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Like a bad relationship, Summer 2011, has come to briefly shine its bright light.  Just when things get good and hot, it then creates a distance with one foot out the door. My initial response is to say, “Not Fair!” but what I really should say is ” Thank you for stopping by. It was nice while it lasted. ”  It’s not easy but we are better off counting our blessings.

Not only did I enjoy the little sun I had, I found thrill in the lessons I learned. This was the first summer I let my hair run free in the sweltering heat. Not even one week in, I quickly found out why it may have been a bad decision. No matter what I did to my hair, the humidity would just go in and erase all the hard work I put in the night before.  It didn’t matter if I had products with the tightest hold, my shrinkage in the humidity would do nothing but “win win win, no matter what” [- yea, I just quoted DJ Khaled]  

Lesson learned and going forward, my summer hair wardrobe will be nothing but protective styles.  That means, braids, wigs and weaves.  Those are my go-to protective styles that often work for me. Between the genius of all the talented folk on YouTube and my creative skill, I’ve made/styled all of my own braids, wigs and weaves – I love a good challenge + I graduated cum laude from the University of Kitchen Beautician.

If you care, here are a few of my favorite things for Summer 2011:

1 – Mint.com : Mint.com has been a savior to personal financial goals. I literally would store paper recipes for months and I could never keep up with my budget spreadsheet.  Mint.com pulls all my financial life together and makes my life easier. Check it out for yourself!

2 –Eos Lip Balm:  I’m that [green] girl who reloads my old lip balm containers with vaseline. The day I discovered this lip balm, those days we over [or at least for now]. I love the shape and feel of this balm.  Hands down its once of the best balms I’ve ever had. So, far I’ve tried the frosted green egg – sweet mint. You can easily get them at most Walgreens or Duane Reade stores.

3 – Summer  Meals:  Meals/snacks that are tasty, quick and fabulously thrifty are a must for the summer.  See a few of my favs below. For more wonderful meal ideas, go to  mint.com blog 

a) Stuffed tomatoes

Cost: $1.80, or $0.90 per serving,source

Cut the tops off two large, firm tomatoes and scooping out the insides. In a bowl, mix a 12-ounce can of tuna, a stalk of finely chopped celery, a quarter-cup of chopped red onion, half of a ripe avocado and the pulp of the tomatoes. Add the juices of half of a lemon[ I don’t use much lemon] and salt and pepper to taste. Mix all together with a fork, and then place into tomato shells. Chill, then serve.

b) Strawberry Mint Lassi

Cost: $3.65, or $0.91 per serving, source

Place in a blender nine ounces of hulled strawberries, a few fresh mint leaves, seven ounces plain yogurt, a large handful of ice and sugar to taste. Blend together until smooth.

c)  Tandoori Tofu

Cost: $3 per serving

Click here to learn how to grill tandoori-inspired spiced tofu “steaks.” Serve with vegetables, grilled eggplant and cherry tomato on skewers or alongside brown Basmati rice.

Cheers + Enjoy the rest of your summer CURL-friends!

– ♥ LC

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