Oct 052012
 

So I have no house and home-ish projects to share because, well, I haven’t done anything to house and home other than to try to catch up with my cleaning. This place has been a wreck, yo.

But I totally had a good hair day last night, and I bemoaned the fact on Twitter because there ain’t anywhere to go with good hair in this one-horse town on a Thursday night at 10 p.m. Well, at least not any place where I might meet an eligible picky boy. Then I realized – ahoy! – I have not shared my good hair arsenal. So today, you get good hair.

More often than not, my hair is piled on top of my head in some manner. It’s long – longer than it’s ever been my whole life. But I’m 31, and I figure I have few long-hair days left before I’m one of those women with straw-like gray hair running like acid rain down my back, so I’m enjoying it while I can. My hair is naturally wavy, not curly, but if I don’t fix it, it will be a big ole mess.

Why has it taken me 31 years to figure out how to fix my hair? I blame it on the lack of Pinterest. Pinterest has redefined my hair. Hell, I didn’t even know how to use bobby pins until Pinterest. [Seriously, go read how to use them. It will change your life, er, hair.]

My go-to methods these days?

#1 My Remington D1001 Spin Curl

This is not me. I do not smile while drying my hair.

Several years ago, I came across this bad boy in the last pages of a magazine – you know, the crappy pages with all the ads. It advertised a “wind tunnel” for your hair. I looked it up online, saw it had good reviews, and begged for it for Christmas. Santa (in the form of my sister) hunted it down, and lo and behold, it worked.

The wind tunnel is an attachment. After I blow dry my roots to give me some volume up top, I put this attachment on, separate my hair into four big sections, and suction each section into the tunnel. It whips it around and curls it. Once I’ve done that, I pick out some pieces on to of my head and give it the same treatment. Each section will stay tightly curled until you separate it, but I wait a bit before i do that. Once it’s dry, I spray it with hairspray. Awesomeness. Here’s a pic of me after using the Remington (and after I’ve slept on it):

Not the best pic ever, but you get the idea.

Basically, I love this thing.

#2 Amazing Pinterest find: No-heat headband curls

This is my other go-to. Why do I switch back and forth? I honestly don’t know, except that using heat on my hair too often freaks me out. I’m a no-fuss hair girl. I only own $1.86 thing of Suave kid’s detangler (smells like apples!) and Tresemme hairspray. I should probably fix this at some point, but I’m lazy. I also don’t dye my hair. I did when I was first in college, but that’s been…ages ago.

Tools: one bra-strap headband. [I have no clue what they're actually called. That's what they look like.]

This is the tutorial I used. Toward the end, she spends a lot of time styling her hair, but the tutorial itself is great. Skip forward if she talks too much.


These curls will seriously last for days. I have to be careful, though. I leave the band in overnight, and if I do it too early in the evening, I’ll have insane curls. I try to do it right before bed. I’ve done it on the weekends after getting out of the shower, and a couple hours later, it looks amazing. This is a blurry pic, but you get the idea:

Me – being narcissistic – and enjoying some good hair. Before Pinterest, it was rare.

So. Have you found any low-maintenance but fantastic hair styling tips on Pinterest? Or have you had any hair disasters?

Sep 282012
 

One of my favorite ways to commemorate my travels is to take and press flowers or interesting leaves I find in different places. Some of the best “art” I have on my walls are the pressed flowers I’ve framed from various cities in Italy.

The flowers yesterday at the funeral were so lovely, and my mom and aunts, sister and I took flowers to press or dry. One of my aunts was a florist, and so she told me the different flowers that would press well and which to dry. One of the keys is to press or dry the flowers before they begin to die, while they still retain color.

So even though it’s hard not to want to place them in a vase, you should instead preserve them. (Of course, I say that, but mine are in a vase at the moment. I plan to press them tomorrow.)

To dry flowers:

  • rubber band a bouquet together
  • hang the bouquet together from a string or hang flowers individually
  • hang the flowers in a dark area to preserve the color
  • leave them for several weeks
  • spray them with hairspray

To press flowers:

  • for large flowers, separate petals and press
  • for small flowers, arrange them how you like in a telephone book or other book (I use my old Norton literature editions)

  • add tissue paper to absorb any of the oils or colors from the plant
  • leave them to press for several weeks
  • keep them for posterity or
  • frame them

I think for the bouquet above, I’ll likely frame a compilation. Either way, you know I’ll let you know. :)

Have you pressed or dried flowers before? If so, what did you do with them?

Aug 102012
 

So every morning after I let Maddie out and start getting ready, she climbs back into the spot I left, sometimes not even moving when I make the bed. Her half-open eyes follow me as I get ready, and mostly I feel she barely tolerates my noise and movements. Her look says, “I am only quiet because I know you’ll soon be gone, and I can sleep.” When I kiss the top of her head as I leave, she rolls over and stretches, feigning some sort of activity before I walk out the door. It’s always such a cozy scene, and most mornings I stare a bit jealously at her and wish I could kick off my shoes and join her.

Well, this morning, I will crawl right back in beside her. My co-teacher and I realized we each had floating holidays we had to use before the end of the month. Since we only have a few days between the summer session and fall semester (which we need to prep for classes), we decided to take a day off. Yea!

On the agenda:

  • First and foremost, sleep late.
  • Read lazily in bed (one of my favorite things to do).
  • Cuddle Miss Maddie.
  • Go to the gym! (I love going in the morning. Such a treat.)
  • Meet my mom and sis to go visit my grandmother.

Other possibilities for the rest of the weekend:

  • Paint the garage (holdover from last summer…it didn’t happen).
  • Fix the lawn mower and take care of the yard. It currently looks like a jungle.
  • Touch up paint on baseboards in the living room.
  • Paint the dollhouse.
  • Gather stuff for yard sale.

Ahhhh. Can’t wait…at least for the first list. :) Hope you guys have a great weekend! What’s on the agenda?

Aug 032012
 

When my parents moved  a year and a half ago, we found lots and lots of my childhood things, but one I knew I was ready to take home: my dollhouse. The Christmas I was five, my grandfather made me a dollhouse. My grandmother decorated it, and my great aunt painted a miniature for the wall inside. It was definitely a work of love, one they repeated for my sister and again for my aunt’s daughter who was just a dream when he made it (they adopted her 4 years ago, several years after he died). This week he would have been 94, and I’ve decided the dollhouse needs some updating.

It’s been around for 26 years, and the layers of dust it’s had for years have taken their toll. I’ve cleaned it out and rubbed it down, but I’ve decided to give it a fresh coat of paint. Since last summer was the summer where my house was painted, I’ve decided it’s fitting that I’ll paint this tiny one this summer. In fact, I’m going to paint it the same shade as my house. But before I did anything, I wanted to take a few photos to preserve its original glory.

Each shingle is individually glued, and you can’t see it, but they hung the address, and it was the number of the house they built and lived in most of their lives.

My grandmother made the curtains. She originally taught me to sew, and I remember making Barbie clothes one summer. We also took the acorn caps and used them as “cups.”

The painting my great aunt made. A few years ago, I had the idea to remove it and buy a gold chain and wear it as a necklace, but it’s actually attached to the wall. It’s so beautiful and so unique.

It almost looks real…

Isn’t it lovely?

Now the key is to find where in my house it will live…

Jul 272012
 

I’m going through a phase. This phase makes me want to throw out everything in my house and start all over. I love my stuff, I do. But right now, I just feel cluttered…in mind and body. Ever since I got back from New York I’ve been in a funk. Partly it’s not having another trip to look forward to. Partly it’s because I really loved being in the city. Partly it’s because it’s super hot and steamy outside. Regardless of the cause, all I want to do is clear out stuff.

When I came across this post on Brooklyn Limestone, I decided I’d start small. I go to the gym almost every day of the week. This results in lots of jewelry and hair changes throughout the week. I was finding bobby pins and earrings all over the place! The side of the tub, on the corner of my small pedestal sink, on my bedside table. The blogger from Freckles Chick made a really cute two-tiered jewelry stand. Like her, I have go-to jewelry. My grandmother gave me a beautiful jewelry armoire for Christmas several years ago, and it houses all of my jewelry, but it isn’t ideal for every day. So instead of insisting I would get better at putting my jewelry away each day (at 31, let’s just say that’s wishful thinking), I decided to make something to fit my life.

As is often the case when I’m looking for something, I went to Marshall’s. I knew whatever I got, I wanted to paint gold like the blogger did because I love that matte gold and knew it would match my room perfectly.

I found this great little bowl and loved that the base was much smaller. Space is a priority on my vanity, so I didn’t want anything too large.

Plus it was on clearance for $2! Can’t beat that.

I laid down the tissue the bowl was wrapped in and got a can of Veg-All to balance the bowl but still allow me to get at the edges. I’ve painted enough to know that if you just set it on something, the edges will stick.

I used the gold Bright Coat Rust-Oleum. I looooove it. It also dried really quickly.

This picture shows the sheen from the gold spray paint. I kind of want to paint everything this color.

And here’s another shot of it next to my antique perfume bottles and lotion.

So far, I love it. It’s made it much easier to just take off my earrings and toss them here when I change for the gym or get ready to head into the shower. Plus, I don’t have to hunt every available surface to figure out where I left my ring or earrings. It saves time! So for a project that cost roughly $7 (and I have plenty of spray paint left), I’m pretty darn happy. :)

Have you made any small changes that had big impact? I’m all ears. And what do you do when you feel cluttered?

P.S. Plus, now I have a place to put my super cool necklace from the best pen pal ever, Julz. I don’t want to take it off. :)

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