As a little girl, the worst part of any weekend was getting ready for church. And no Sunday was as excruciating as Easter Sunday! I was not a fan of dresses when I was little, but Easter dresses were always extra itchy and uncomfortable. (Must have been all the lace in the 80’s) Even the little socks I had to wear had lace on them. Fast forward a few years and now I love buying an Easter dress. I feel like it’s the one Sunday where our family needs to (at least try) look like we have it together. You know, every boy is wearing pretty plaid and actually has matching socks!
I have not purchased a dress yet and have been hunting online this weekend. I’ve come up with a few options.
I want to hear from ya’ll! Which one is your favorite and do you still buy an Easter dress?
I have always had a thing for scarves. I think back to the mid 90’s and I can remember exactly what I wore to the Master’s golf tournament the first year that Tiger won. Not because I’m a Tiger fan, but because it was a memorable moment in golf history and I really loved the outfit I was wearing that day. It was the perfect GAP outfit made up of a pair of khaki cigarette pants, a sleeveless white button down and a dusty rose colored scarf with little flowers. I kept that scarf for a long time after they went out of fashion and now they seem to be making a comeback. Bloggers are rocking scarves all over Instagram. Something about a scarf makes life a little more glamorous to me, like back in the 50’s and 60’s when woman wore them often around their heads or necks. Anything that makes me feel a little like Jackie O or Grace Kelly is perfection in my book. They both had such impeccable style and while we’re talking about it, I would be tickled pink if pill box hats and women’s driving gloves came back in fashion. Seriously!! What a classy time in fashion. But back to scarves….
I’m a little upset that at some point I decided to get rid of my small scarf collection and I have recently decided to start a new one. I purchased a pretty little red one from Madewell for $12 last week and I seriously want to wear it all the time. Scarves are easy to wear and can make a simple outfit look more polished. You can wear them around your neck, around your wrist in a bracelet style or several different ways in your hair. Check out the ways I styled my new scarf and go pick up one of your own.
When we moved into this house I was about 7 months pregnant and at the time a fresh coat of paint was about all we could handle. Fast forward about 3 years and I had about all I could take of the living room situation. I dreamed of a lighter brighter room with shiplap (of course). The first thing I did was a little crazy, but I got rid of everything. For about two weeks, we lived with a couple of chairs, a couple of lamps and the tv. I have always read from decorators that a good way to refresh a room is to take everything out and then slowly put it back in after you’ve determined what you want to keep and/or where you want everything to go. That’s what I did, only I gave away our furniture. (I like to go big or go home.) I have slowly, over the past 8 months, put things back in place and purchased new item. The first thing I did was pick a fresh new paint color, a really light grey. Next I ordered a couch. Yes, I ordered it online without ever having seen it. It came from Wayfair and I was actually pleasantly surprised! It was really cheap, and sits pretty good. If you haven’t checked out Wayfair, you should. I’m hooked. So far, everything I have purchased has been pretty good quality and they really do have “just what I need”. Anything you can think of for home, they have it. Disclaimer, their furniture does have to be assembled, but was not too difficult. The best part about the couch is that it’s slipcovered so I can wash it. To me, this was a MUST with the boys. Even though they are not allowed to eat in the living room, they find a way to sneak food (and markers, and dirty shoes, and then there’s the dog…) I had my husband shiplap the wall, which I wrote about in a previous post you can find on the website. I also purchased a new rug from Wayfair, which I was also very pleased with. The curtains I made for about $30. I took an old rod that I already had and ordered curtain hooks from Amazon for around $10 for two packs. The curtains themselves are painting drop cloths that I also ordered from Amazon for around $10 each. I bleached them a little, washed them and hung them from the clips. I do need to hem them to the correct length but you can also just fold them over, like I did or if you don’t sew, you can cut them and use Velcro. Easy and CHEAP! The rest of the time, I have been trolling through Target and antique stores finding things to decorate with. I still need to replace the big brown recliner but can’t find exactly what I want to replace it with. I’m waiting for the club chair that matches the couch to come back in stock. I also change the throw pillows almost monthly, so we are still a work in progress and probably will be for a while!
Happy February! I don’t know about y’all, but I have my fingers crossed that the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow tomorrow …or does see his shadow… I can’t remember but whichever one gets me warmer weather stat!! Today wraps up my final post on my hair lessons and before I get started on it, let me go ahead and tell you that it’s going to freak some of you out. Please don’t let it. Just keep reading and hear me out. This is a conversation that I find myself having with people and I know some of you just are not going to have it, but here goes….
3- STOP WASHING YOUR HAIR!! I know, I know! Some of you are saying, “No way, I HAVE to wash my hair every day.” The truth is that it’s really bad for your hair to wash it every day. I promise! When you wash your hair with shampoo, it strips your hair of its natural oils. Now you’re thinking, “Duh, that’s what I want it to do.”. When the shampoo strips your hair of its natural oils, it replaces them with harsh chemical oil replacements, the chemicals are bad for your hair and it produces more oils to replace the ones you stripped. The more you wash and strip, the more oil it makes to compensate, the greasier your hair gets. It’s a bad cycle. Break the cycle! Start by looking at your shampoos ingredients. I use to be the girl that walked in the drug store and bought whatever was on sale and/or smelled the best. Big no,no! Pick a shampoo that is paraben and sulfate free. These are harsh chemicals that are bad for you. I can’t tell you more than that because I’m no expert, but google it. They’re bad. Next, check the ingredients for alcohol. Most shampoos contain some form of alcohol (even if it’s listed some other way), but make sure it’s at the end of the ingredients list. They are usually listed in order of prevalence, so if alcohol is listed third on your bottle, there’s a lot in your shampoo.
So, you have a new shampoo, now what? Start off small and wash your hair every other day. I’m not going to lie, it isn’t easy. It takes a while for your hair to adjust to this, but I promise it will adjust. Once your hair gets use to this, you can slowly go longer without washing, especially in winter months. I usually wash my hair about every four days or about twice a week. In summer, it’s more like three times a week. I know that grosses some of you out but my hair has never felt more healthy or been more manageable. You see, when you wash less, not only do your natural oils become more balanced but you are drying and styling less which helps keep hair healthy. You’ll have less split ends and breakage.
There are tricks you can do to help make the process easier. Dry shampoo works wonders. Spray your roots and let it sit for a minute. Then style your hair as usual. I like to spray it and then blow dry my hair upside down just long enough for my hair to get hot, then I let it cool upside down. This gives it lift and volume. Try different dry shampoos in travel sizes to see which one you like the best. I don’t have a favorite dry shampoo and usually have a can of whatever I happened to grab at the store. One of my favorite things to use is Fekkai Blow Out Hair Refresher Dry Shampoo. I love the smell and its light enough to just “refresh” my hair on days two or three. It’s not a very “thick” dry shampoo and I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re just starting off and are trying to control the oil. It’s great to just spray on and make your hair smell better. On day four or during the summer months I actually prefer to still use my trusty old baby powder. I really do like it better than any dry shampoo. I realize that it won’t work for brunettes and I’ve heard that cocoa powder works well, but I’ve never tried it. Some other tips to help the process, is to wear your hair up or put some lose waves in it on days you didn’t wash it. When I was just starting, I would have clean straight hair on day one, maybe leave it for day two or put lose waves in it and then wear it up on day three. I also love a good hat! A hat looks stylish and no one has to know how terrible your hair looks underneath it. So, there you have it! If you missed lessons 1 and 2, you go back and catch them on the blog. Hope y’all have enjoyed my rambling about hair all week!
Welcome back! This is the second blog in a series of hair lessons that I have learned over the years. Now, you may be thinking what does she know about hair? Let me tell you, I’m no expert. But, I have spent 39 years with some difficult hair. I just want others to not make the same mistakes I’ve made. I’ve survived the Big Bang/choke on hairspray stage in the late 80’s-early 90’s, the spiral perm stage of the same time period, the “Rachel” in the mid-90’s (mine did NOT look like hers), and the Dharma/Faith Hill short hair from the late 90’s/early 2000’s. That one was actually really cute, but growing it out, not so much.
I’ve dyed my hair myself and had to suck it up and go to my stylist with my tail tucked for her to fix the orange mess I made. I’ve gone to the mall for a quick trim when my stylist didn’t have time and left in tears with a free haircut because it was SO bad. Extra side lesson: NEVER GO TO THE MALL TO GET YOUR HAIR DONE!!! And now, lesson two:
2- Expensive products aren’t always better, but often times they are well worth the money. My hair is such a pain to wash and dry that I have always hated having to style it after all that, so often times throughout my life, my hair has been a large frizzy mess! I’ve also never been into super polished hair. I’ve always liked it a little unkept but still pretty. (Think Gisele Bundchen or Blake Lively in Gossip Girl. Perfectly unkept hair.)
The thing is I just wanted my hair to magically look like that without putting any effort into it. A little over a year ago, I started experimenting. I finally came to the conclusion that maybe I needed to up my game. Products have never been my thing because in the past I would go to CVS or Walgreens, grab something to try and end up with crunchy, limp or nasty hair. But, products have come a long way over the years. Tons of products come in travel sizes and it’s a great way to try new stuff without the commitment. I was constantly hitting up the travel products at the drug store, Target and Ulta. By doing this I discovered a few things.
There are shampoos and conditioners for every type of hair! I started trying different types to manage frizz. (My main problem) I found some drug store shampoos that work pretty well, like L’Oréal Nutri-Gloss High Shine but my favorite is Redken Frizz Dismiss. It cost more than I had ever paid for shampoo and conditioner but it has been worth it. I buy the large pump bottles from Ulta when they go on sale for buy one, get one 1/2 off. And since I get the big bottles, I only have to buy a few times a year. I also discovered that my hair really needs a serum or oil to help tame the frizz. I run some through my hair while it’s wet and then more on the ends once it’s dry. I like the serum by Garnier Sleek & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum for a less expensive drugstore option but my favorite is Hydrating Styling Cream by Moroccan Oil. Once again, more expensive, but worth it. And my absolute, hands down favorite upgrade is my T3 Featherweight Hair dryer. Trust me when I tell you that all hair dryers are NOT the same. I spent a good year playing with this dryer every time I went in Ulta but the price was crazy!! Who pays $200 for a hair dryer? But the reviews were amazing and it’s better for your hair (it doesn’t just blow hot air directly at your hair) and it cut drying time in half. Last March, I woke up in the middle of the night, flipped the tv to QVC for some random reason and there it was! My dream dryer on sale for $150 with 6 easy pays! It was just after my birthday, so I pulled the trigger as a gift to myself. Y’all, BEST PURCHASE EVER!!! Seriously!! You may be reading this and thinking I’m out of my mind, and I’m telling you that I will bring this dryer over for you to try. It cut my drying time in half!! My hair is smoother and straighter, even if I don’t use a serum and round brush. It feels lighter after I’ve dryed it. I even took it to my stylist to try on my hair just to make sure I wasn’t crazy. She agreed it was faster to dry and my hair was lighter and smoother. I’ve been letting my hair grow out and every time I have tried this in the past, I always given up and cut it because it’s just too unmanageable, but not anymore!! Between my upgraded products and this dryer, it’s a totally new ball game. Don’t be afraid to try new products. Do some research. Read reviews. Find what works for you, even if it cost a little more. You might find it’s worth the extra money!
I have started this post about four times over the past couple of months, but I stop every time. I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about exactly. But after having the same conversation recently with several different people, I was able to narrow it down. Brief history of my hair: it’s been a love/hate relationship my entire life. When I was little my mom kept it long and it was really pretty. And I hated it! I wanted it short and would beg her to cut it but that was not going to happen. My hair is REALLY thick, so it was/is a pain to wash, a bigger pain to dry and when I was little it was usually in a ponytail. It would hurt so bad by the end of the day, I wanted to cry. If you don’t know what I mean by that, let me educate you. Thick hair is heavy, so you will often see people with long think hair constantly putting it up and down. This is because the weight pulls it down and after it’s been up for a little while, it will start to hurt at the scalp. Leave it up long enough and it can bring you to tears when you take it down. No joke! I’ve been through a lot with my hair and I could fill up numerous blog post with stories, but I’ll spare you. Instead, I want to share with you what I think the three most important things that I’ve learned about my hair are, in three different blog post. So, here goes….
1- Don’t be afraid to try something new! But, please know that your stylist is not a miracle worker. Your hair is what it is. Mine is super thick, course and slightly wavy, so I will NEVER be able to pull off a cute little pixie. And y’all, I’ve always dreamed of a pixie! My stylist (love you, Steph, if you’re reading!) has the most gorgeous face and the cutest pixie cut. I’m so jealous, because I know it will never happen for me!! If you have curly hair, then you have to embrace that and find cuts and styles that work with your hair and face. Where to start? Do your homework. Pinterest is a great place to go. Just put in your hair type and what you are looking for. Always take your stylist a picture! They aren’t mind readers. Show them what you want and ask them if they think it will work for you. Also, ask how much styling is involved. If you’re going to have to pull out the flat iron or curling wand every day and you hate to do that (like me), then you better make sure the style is low maintenance. When it comes to color, I also say go for it! I’ve been light brunette, dark brunette, strawberry blonde and a few months ago had rose gold highlights put in. Keep in mind, again, that your stylist is not your fairy godmother. She can’t turn your dark brown hair to platinum blonde in one visit. Lastly, don’t freak out!! Please know that not every color or cut you choose is going to look good on you, but you can always change it back. If you experiment enough, eventually you’re going to do something that you immediately regret. (Me- every single time I cut bangs) But, that’s the great thing about hair! Color can be changed and hair grows!! Hair changes- Go for it!!
Holy stressed out mama!! For those of you that do not know my little monkeys personally, let me tell you that they are one strong willed bunch. I’m talking stubborn to the core. Each has his own way of stubbornness, but the youngest is about to do me in…. and he’s only four. Let me start by telling you that this child already knows how to wrap people around his little finger. He bats his eyes, he loves, cuddles and hugs and is known for saying some of the sweetest things, but….
He has never been a great sleeper. Ever since he was born, he has had a tendency to just want to be up in the middle of the night. And this is where mommy and her sweet baby butt heads. I LOVE sleep! I mean, seriously love sleep. I am not a morning person, nor am I a night person. I am a sleep person. #Pisces But back to my current problem child. He has gone through stages since infancy and he was to the point of being ok once he fell asleep (It would take a little while and he was going to get up once or twice). Lately, he wants no part of going to bed. For the past two weeks we put him in bed between 7:30-8:00 and it is 10:00 -10:30 (or later) before he actually goes to sleep. Now, this wouldn’t be a problem if he was just in his bed singing songs or something. Oh, no. It’s a full on party. He is up messing with the middle child so he can’t sleep, playing Nerf gun wars, plundering through his oldest brothers room after he is asleep, or using all my good purple shampoo that I left in their bathroom for a “science experiment”. The past two weeks have been so draining. It’s not like I can relax or get anything done because until he falls asleep, I have to constantly keep putting him back to bed. Ya’ll, I even got up one morning to find that he had helped himself to leftover pizza and some Mountain Dew from the kitchen (after I had fallen asleep). Yep, sleeping with pizza crust in his bed. Not only is it difficult to get him in the bed, it is hell trying to get him out of it. This morning I’m pretty sure I almost pulled his arm out of socket trying to get him out of the floor while he was kicking and screaming. Then he knocked an end table and sent a lamp flying to the floor. The oldest two haven’t made it to school on time in two weeks and I’m pretty sure the school is about to contact me about that. Help me, Lord!
Now this ain’t my first rodeo. My oldest has never been a great sleeper either, but I learned how to help him very early in his life. Consistent bedtime routines and wind down time helped the oldest, but it does NOTHING for the youngest. We have tried it all including crying, pleading, bribery and spanking. I’m convinced nothing short of locking him in his room or strapping him to the bed is going to help. However, I have ordered a couple of things that I’m going to try. Thanks to Amazon, I have Good Sleep essential oil on the way and a bottle of Zarbee’s Natural Children’s Sleep with Melatonin Supplement. (P.S.-their cough syrup and some peppermint oil in the diffuser works wonders for nighttime coughing) So, that’s it. My last ditch effort to get the party animal to sleep at a reasonable time so he isn’t such a beast in the morning. I’ll let you know if we make any progress. Has anyone else ever dealt with this and have a miracle remedy? I’m totally open for suggestions.
One Stressed Out and Tired Mother.