Hair is a weird thing. On one hand, it’s just hair right, what’s the big deal? On the other it’s YOU, one of your most distinguishing features at least. I’m the girl with the curly hair, so much so that I’m deemed unrecognizable by friends when I straighten my hair.
Recently I gave my curls a break, I just needed a change, something that would stick around longer than a blowout. The thing with hair, particularly curly hair is it’s a whole darn thing. It’s like an outfit and accessory all in one, sitting on top of your head. A constant party is happening above my neck and it’s completely unpredictable. You go to sleep one way and wake up with a different head of hair – forget about factors like weather changes, pffffff, it’s crazy. There are benefits too, don’t get me wrong. Curly hair is fairly low maintenance – less washing, prefers to air dry (when possible). When it’s long you can usually pull off a hair knot sans accessories – it just stays! And all of your straight haired friends LOVE your curls.
Now with my straighter, albeit slightly fried, locks I did get the much needed change I was waiting for. Since things are simpler and a bit more predictable above the shoulders I find myself experimenting with my clothes – more pattern, more color, different silhouettes. Fun stuff! But I lost the healthy shine and the ability to just wash and go unless it’s 1987 and I’m with Bon Jovi.
The verdict: Am I happier with the overall outcome? Yes………no………yes, most of the time.
Oh hair balls!!!!!!
Growing up in a city I associated the word “dirty” with other people’s germs, your shopping cart that’s been touched by 100 other people, that guy who spit a loogie on the park bench, the money the cashier handed back to you – DIRTY. In rural life there’s a whole different kind of dirty, one that’s associated with time outside, hard labor, on-going, never ending projects.
The past few weekends I’ve been able to spend time out in the country doing some hard, dirty work and I’ve found it’s cleansed my soul like nothing else. NOTHING ELSE. More than a bikram yoga class, more than a 5 mile run, more than a hike in the forests of France – pulling on a pair of work gloves and preceding to work until your soaked with sweat seems to be a little recipe for perfect contentment. There’s a satisfaction associated with the piles of your labor, a newly weeded garden, a freshly painted porch, a rebuilt fence that no exercise regimen can compete with. So I’m very excited to announce that my husband and I are embarking on a very dirty project.
Say hello to my husband’s great grandmother’s house. Built in the early 1900’s to stand the tests of time we’ve decided to bring this little beauty back to the land of the living. We’ve got a whisper of a budget and child labor so please don’t expect any Smitten Studio or Young House Love level of documentation or know-how as we undertake this enormous project. But do expect a bit of Green Acres humor such as my son running with complete abandon right in a yellow jacket nest (4 stings later he’s learned how to not run through a field with high brush) or me unearthing a rattlesnake 3 hours into day one of our project though my husband who has spent years in this locale had never seen one venomous snake – Lucky me!
We are sure to gain a few bumps and bruises in the process but I’m hopeful we’ll not only survive but really LIVE! Wish us luck.
My, oh my, it’s a wonderful day today in my part of the world – sun shining, birds chirping, crispness in the air, the kind of day that begs to be lived outside! It’s the kind of day that gets me thinking about Kinfolk, small gatherings with people I love, simple gestures, the balance of work, play, quiet. As I set out to watch one of Kinfolk’s much loved videos, I tripped upon the fun news of Kinfolk launching an apparel company. Fancy that! No more wondering what to wear to your Kinfolk inspired Small Gatherings. Then my eyes slipped to the bottom of the page for more fall inspired fashion and I saw this from Portland Monthly online magazine:
Move over Snuggie, zip on up in The Napsack by Poler Stuff. This thing looks brilliant to me, but I also spend a lot of time figuring out how to wrap blankets around myself and go about my day, something like The Napsack would make perfect sense around a campsite. Can’t you almost feel that fire warming your fingers and toes?
For more outside fun check out these:
Lastly, for an urban jungle mash up, Darling, Be Daring.
Having recently completed a cross country journey allowing me to stay in many fine establishments across our great country I can say without a doubt, your hotel was the worst. Not to throw out the apple tree due to one bad apple, allow me to limit my comments to the Best Western Santa Fe Inn Amarillo, Texas.
Let’s begin with the name, “Best Western Santa Fe Inn” – there was nothing ‘Santa Fe’ about this ‘Inn’, it’s confusing, overly long and sets up an expectation that the hotel clearly has no intention of reaching toward.
Now the room – when staying in an unfamiliar place it is generally helpful to have lights by the bed or beds. A lamp, a switch for over heads, a sconce or two – a light switch clear across the room which ignites a dim lamp in the far corner is unhelpful when reading in bed or rising when it’s still dark outside. Secondly, when offering a “Clean Remote” it’s generally helpful that it is indeed clean. Although I find it wasteful, the concept is that remotes are disposable allowing each new customer a fresh clean remote. Our remote had been wiped down – sort of, there was still “schmutz” on the power button and sides. Thirdly, privacy curtains, although the blackout shades are particularly helpful to block out the morning sun, it’s also helpful to be able to fully close curtains when your room faces the parking lot. A 12″ gap does not provide the privacy one might hope for. On to the carpet, while placing carpet in front of the bathroom sink area is an interesting choice, it does experience greater wear due to water, constant standing for brushing teeth, drying hair, flossing, etc. Whatever synthetic “softener” you used to create the illusion of thickness in this particular area resulted in a greasy residue that sticks to your feet and smells weird. Lastly the bed, traditionally I prefer something softer than the floor, when my 7 year old son, won’t even bounce on the bed because it “hurt his bottom” when he sat down, I’d say that’s a touch too firm.
Shall we go outside to the “pool”? We’ve had our share of hotel pools on the trip, usually the color is something akin to blue, the greenish hue at the BWSFI (that’s Best Western Santa Fe Inn) was green and cloudy. Hmmm, a little concerning but not as concerning as the number of dead insects floating on the top of the water. But having 5 children under 10 in a minivan for 8 hours requires some release, so we allow them all to jump in. What’s missing? Towels! It’s not uncommon for towels to be missing from the swimming area, but this was the first time I had to ask the front desk “helper” for the towels and then receive a lecture about only asking for one towel for guest and she’ll count how many people are swimming. She can actually do that from her front desk station since she can see the pool clearly – might have been nice to send someone out with towels when she saw us swimming but maybe she figured we’d air dry.
I could go on about breakfast, security, hotel employees, wall non-thickness but after about 10 nights staying in different hotels each night suffice to say that the Best Western Santa Fe Inn Amarillo, Texas was the WORST EVER, like EVER.
I’m a big fan of book series (plural for book series – seriess, seriei?). Characters grow and change, plots thicken, twist, turn, sometimes they take us backward, sometimes forward. I’d rather get sick of characters than feel like I didn’t get enough. Usually, I will not even consider beginning a series unless all the books are published. I have self discipline to wait for something at the beginning but once I start reading my addictive brain wants to inhale the whole thing as soon as possible……I’m the same way with pie.
So when I finished Deborah Harkness’s “A Discovery of Witches” and realized it was a trilogy I was thrilled…..UNTIL I learned the third book was not yet published. “A Discovery of Witches” rang all my bells: supernatural, historical fiction, adventure, romance. I couldn’t help myself after finishing the first, I HAD to go for the second even though I knew it be that much more painful to wait and wait and wait. Two years, my friends, two years later book three is available!! I can’t say I’ll ever knowingly do this again but I decided to reread the first two books in order to recreate the excitement of tucking into a final book and right now my anticipation is thru the roof, there might be something to this waiting game after all.
Ever notice how more and more people spend their days in work out wear? I’m not in an office, I work out of the home, go on grocery runs, school runs, extra-curricular kid places, hopefully an occasional date night or family dinner out thrown in there and what I notice is loads of women (and some men) in exercise clothes. I’ve been totally judge-y about it too, wondering aloud, “are they actually going to or coming from a work out”? “Where have all the real clothes gone”? Well, I’m completely changing my tune on the subject.
While doing a cleanse I mentioned my “distraction sit-ups” as well as finding a yoga class I like, and I’ve begun these little bursts of what I’ll call “spontaneous exercise”. Sometimes I just want to take a brisk walk or kick up into a handstand or do a few sun salutations or push ups or jumping jacks – all of the above are far easier when one is properly attired.
Enter the emerging trend of workout gear becoming more street ready. Theory, the ever popular women’s contemporary line, launched Theory 38 with highly progressive options for the gym and on the street. Lululemon, arguably Dallas ladies’ daily uniform of choice will offer &go, a nice alternative to heading to the grocery store in skin tight yoga wear. Above you see what Nike has going on, sporty but relaxed, and that cape would make me feel like a super hero, it’s my second favorite. The company that tops the list however is Aether, based in Los Angeles, they seem to have nailed exactly what I’m after. No crazy neon, or fussy fabrics, just a perfect cross of slightly nicer lounge clothes and less serious workout clothes.
So until we are all wearing some kind of Tron onesie, I’m adding the new criteria of “cartwheel friendly” to my new purchases.
Like so many kids across the nation last month, my kids were glued to the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, at ages 6 and 8, my kids could appreciate the drama, the agony, the triumph, the importance of these nations coming together in competition and celebration.
Snowboarding, in particular, made a huge impression. After hearing the story of Canadian Mark McMorris, Bronze medalist for Slopestyle, who grew up wake boarding and skateboarding in preparation for snowboarding, they couldn’t get on their scooters fast enough, “to begin our training”, they said.
As you can imagine their first runs at riding horizontally on scooters without holding the stick ended up with bloody knees and hands. What’s a mom to do? Run out and buy knee pads, wrist guards? Nope, old socks to the rescue!
Hands: Old kid socks, toes removed for fingers, small hole in the “heel” for thumbs.
Knees: Old adult socks “feet” removed, ankle portion used for knee protection.
Winter Olympics 2022, here we come.
Clean your pan BEFORE you take it off the stove! Bear with me, I don’t use a microwave so all cooking from heating oil to melting chocolate to warming left overs and actual cooking is done on the stove. There’s some good stuff out there about what kind of cookware you should use and why, the 2 pans I end up using 99% of the time are my Lodge skillet and All Clad pot. Trust me when I say neither are easy to clean…….until I learned this trick.
I hear it’s called “deglazing” by those who know what they are doing in the kitchen. The basic steps are when your meal is finished in the pan (or nearly finished), crank up the heat and add a bit of water. The water begins to boil and you can easily scrape along the pan removing all the cooked on bits, no more scraping scrambled egg after soaking for hours! This has saved me tons of time and effort plus I feel very chef-y when deglazing, had to share with you fabulous folks! For concise step by step instructions with photos check out The Kitchn.