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Paint Your Place to Perfection Black Bananas?! And a recipe! HOW TO : BEST HAIRCUT EVER! GNOWFGLINS! How to Organize Your Photos

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Life Lessons from the Pup

Hey Y'all!

A few weeks ago, I spent the weekend painting away at the front living room of my house. I managed to finish it! Including baseboards (I like painting, but I loathe baseboards). And it looks AMAZING. I am SO happy I had a crazy head moment the week prior and decided to just do it. 

As I was painting on thursday afternoon, the pup pouted.

It was a nice day, so the front door was open, with the screen door shut so we could let the nice 70 degree sunny breeze into the house and not the flies. 

The pup was either curled up in his bed, staring at me while I worked, or perched in front of the front door whimpering.






I could only imagine him saying, "there's a whole world right out there and I'm MISSING IT!"

Why wouldn't I let him out in the yard? Because he lacks enough discipline to stay within the confines of our yard without my being out there with him. If I am outside and doing a project, sure, I don't have to watch him like a hawk. But when I'm inside and he's outside? Different story. 

And it got me thinking about this whole painting project in general.

I started painting at 8:45pm on a work night. Now, granted, it takes someone who has a little bit of crazy in them to take on a project like that so late in the evening. However, had I planned this project, like the painting projects I plan to do in the coming weeks, I could have easily started at say, 4 or 5 in the afternoon, after I got home from work. Had I done this, my day would have looked something like this:

6:45am - Wake Up 
8:30am - Work
5:00pm - Drive home
5:45pm - Arrive home
6:15pm - Dinner
7:00pm - Paint
8:30pm - Done painting, shower!
10:00pm-ish - Sleep
-- Repeat --

After having actually done this for a week to get my painting done, I thought to myself, "What keeps us from doing big projects like this? Or even small ones?" If you're like me, there are many times that I tend to put things off until the weekend because "I have to work." Well, yes, I do have to work. But see the hours between 5:45pm and 10pm? That's a little over 4 hours. A person can do a lot in 4 hours.

And painting is a great project to do in this kind time frame because you have to wait for it to dry before you can move on, or recoat, or paint baseboards, etc. 

Now. What does this have to do with my dog? I realized that what he was going through also applies to us. There's a whole world of crafting, hobbies, home improvement, social engagements, etc. right out there. What keeps us from partaking other than ourselves? What are we being undisciplined in that is keeping us from getting up, getting out there, and doing the things we drool about? (OK, maybe that's just the pup, but you get my point). 

I could have let myself lack the discipline to get this project done. I could have let work be a good enough excuse to not paint. But in reality, it isn't. Clearly, I can accomplish a paint job without a whole weekend at hand. Without taking the whole morning "preparing" to paint (ie - procrastinating). Without taking a hundred water/snack/give-me-any-excuse-to-stop-painting breaks). That time crunch and needing to go to bed so I wouldn't be a mess at work was actually a motivator to be more efficient.  

So, what are you dying to do that you keep making excuses not to? Can I be your nudge in the direction of doing? :)











Thursday, March 14, 2013

Painting : Have Patience, Will Prosper


I came home from work yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon and decided to continue priming the living room of the house I grew up in, that we moved in to... five months ago. Let me back up...

Moving in was kind of a whirlwind. My parents had bought a new place on the other side of town, and had to renovate it pretty extensively. They had a date in mind when they wanted us to start paying them rent, and finally, when their place had become inhabitable and most of the work had been done, I gave them the shove. Seriously. My mom was calling me "the task master" for weeks. But we needed to get our place ready to rent, so we forfeited this place getting ready to rent, and moved in literally two days after my parents had vacated the premises. Which meant it hadn't been painted. It hadn't been cleaned. It still had remnants of their stuff in it. We lived there for 4 days without a stove or a refrigerator (that's what happens when you go from moving half of the house this weekend and half of it next weekend to ALL of it THIS weekend and NONE of it NEXT weekend). We didn't take any time off of work to move. So needless to say five months have passed and we've really done very little "settling in."

The room I decided to paint - at 8:45pm on Monday evening - is the front room that you first enter when coming in to our house. This room functioned as my family's living/family room for many years until my parents added on a bigger one to the back of the house. And even though its function transitioned from a living room to more of a large entryway, there was a big entertainment-center-type-piece-of-furniture that lived on one of the walls - for years. My earliest memories of watching any TV was the TV that was contained in this piece of furniture. My dad built it. It was large but artsy and spacious, not bulky. Anyways, I digress - I say all that to say you can only imagine the amount of dust and dirt on the walls that had built up over the years behind it. Behind the TV, behind the countless records (yes, records). Behind the trinkets and gadgets and speakers and stereo equipment.... I could go on. 

So I've been staring at that dirty wall endlessly for five months. Ok. I haven't. I just see it every time I walk through that room (and so does EVERYONE who comes over to our house! We had Thanksgiving with this wall! Gah!) but it FELT like I had been staring at it endlessly at about 8:40pm on Monday night, which is why I decided I was going to paint it at 8:45pm. I had just had enough.




Here's the hubby making fun of me on Instagram, but I obliged him with a pose. (I'm just now noticing that you can see the shadow of his bald head behind me on the wall. Haha. See how his head is tilted a little to the side? That's him, through the camera on his phone, saying "girl, you a crazy head!" in body language).




Here's the primed room, two days later, Wednesday night after I had finished. I did the wall on the right on Monday, and then the middle and left wall last night (Wednesday). You can see my favorite (sarcasm) lovely (sarcasm) pea soup green around the trim of the door. Needless to say, I'm happy to be rid of it! 

But it's funny - I learned a couple things about painting over the past couple of days. 

First, it's OK to use what you have. I had about 1/2 a gallon of white primer and 1/2 a gallon of lavender tinted primer. Mix them both together and have at it! Because this lavender is so light, it won't make a difference under whatever color I put over the top of it. 

Second, don't leave your paint can lid on the dang floor! I did this both times I painted. And I stepped on it - both times I painted. 

Third, paint how you want. Yeah, it would've been a lot faster for me to roll these walls. But my brush was in my hand. And the roller was........................................................................................way over in the garage. And I HATE cleaning roller brushes. And paint pans. And I was out of pan liners. Pan liners are amazing. And it really only took me an hour and a half to paint each section with a brush. I probably should have used a bigger brush..... So I just hand painted it. Because I wanted to. Because by the time I'd stop myself to say, "I need to go get the roller!" the wall was already halfway done. 

Fourth, paint in little increments if that's all you can do. For some reason, I have always been one to schedule painting. I don't know if this is just how we're taught to paint, or if it's just always worked out like this? Like, "OK, we need to paint. So we're gonna take this WHOLE weekend, and paint sun-up to sun-down and paint everything we need to paint..." You know what this does? Burns. Me. Out. Yeah yeah, you get it all done. But you wake up sore with a neck ache and a back ache. And if you missed a spot or need to do another coat or now it's time to paint the trim, you loathe it. And you never want to paint again for the rest of your life. 

So this time, I changed all that. I want to paint. I need to paint. So, just paint! Paint until you get tired. Or until you're over it. For me, this was one wall the first night. One wall. I'm done. Time for bed. But an amazing thing happened. I woke up the next morning (for work, mind you), " Hey! I'm not sore! No aches! And that didn't take that long! I could paint this whole house in a couple of weeks if I just did an hour and a half at a time!" and it actually inspired me to paint the rest of it. Yes, people will think you are crazy ... 

Them: You were painting last night? Did you work today?
You:  Yep.
Them: Do you still have more to do?
 You: Yep. I'm going to do some more tonight.
 Them: Do you work tomorrow?
 You: Yep. 
Them: You a crazy head!

But there's something kind of exhilarating about painting during the week. At a weird time. When you aren't supposed to. To actually enjoy it instead of let it burn you out. And to let the excitement of that fresh new room grow with each day that it takes you to paint another wall.

Or maybe that's just me :)

Don't forget to check out my post on Seven Steps to the Perfect Paint Color!

Happy Thursday! :)




Thursday, March 7, 2013

Seven Steps to the Perfect Paint Color

I recently helped my mother-in-law pick out paint for her house using my self-developed-super-awesome-paint-picking-method.

All kidding aside, this process really works.

It's fool proof, and you will seriously love your color every time. You will NEVER have to do a re-paint.

I have to be honest, I kind of like painting. I know, I know, there are not many of us out there that do. But I can tell you - there is NO ONE that likes REpainting ;)

Note, this process can be time consuming - I think it took us 3 hours to pick out our color. BUT consider how much longer it would've taken for you to paint over a color you thought would look good, but doesn't. Or how long you'd have to suffer with it if you weren't able to paint over it right away? Seriously - it's worth it. 


Seven Steps to the Perfect Paint Color


Step 1: Find Out What You're Working With
Go to the paint store and literally (see below) LITERALLY grab EVERY SINGLE swatch in the color family that you are thinking of painting. Even if you say to yourself "there is NO WAY I will pick that color!" - grab the color card anyway. Just. take. it. 

I know. It's hard. I've been through ALL of the inner-monologues. 

"I can't do that. I'm NEVER going to pick that color. Why waste the card?!"
"I can't do that. People will think I'm a hoarder!"
"I can't do that. The clerk is going to look at me with disgust because I'm taking so many"
"I can't do that. People are going to look at me like I'm crazy!"

You can do it! I promise! First - that's what they're THERE for. For you to take. And one thing that you most certainly can and possibly will do if you don't follow this method is paint your wall a color that you don't like. 




Look at all of our pretty cards! 
(This lady is a kook. Who wants that many colors to choose from? Isn't this going to make the process MORE confusing???)
No. I promise. Just hang in there. 

Step Two: Start the Picking
Start holding the cards up to your wall one by one, and if you even remotely, slightly, maybe like it, tape it up on the wall.


Here are our "remotely, slightly, maybes" :)

Step Three: Keep Narrowing
Now that you've narrowed it down a bit (it's totally OK if you have WAY more than this in your process) start narrowing even further. Picture those colors spread across your entire wall. Take more than .05 seconds to consider them - you'll start seeing all kinds of things (see below for what I mean by this...)



Here is our slightly narrowed bunch of colors. Of the three beige colors towards the top - can you see how the middle one has a bit of a green hue to it? I guarantee that you would not have seen this green hue in the paint store. Nope. Instead, you would've seen it all over your wall, had you gone in the paint store and said "oh that's a pretty color!" (which I'm sure it is, in some rooms, with specific lighting and decor elements, just maybe not your rooms and lighting and decor).

Keep narrowing until you just can't narrow any further. Sometimes this is down to only 2 or 3 colors. Sometimes - like my experience when I painted my dining room red - it's more (6 to be exact). 



These are the two we narrowed it down to.

Step Four: Get Samples and Paint Patches
Most paint stores offer some kind of sampling option. Whether it be $1.50 for a little dropper bottle sized sampler with brush included, or in our case $3.99 for a quart "rental" that we had to return to the store once we had painted on our sample squares. We got our two colors, plus a third color that a friend has in her house that we thought we might like (I DON'T recommend this - because every color looks different in every house. But if you are convinced your friend's living room wall would look amazing in your house, get the color card from the store for that color and mix it in with the rest, and see if you naturally are drawn to it during your narrowing process). 

Once you have obtained sample paint, paint it around the room. 


Why so many patches? Because this color is going on every wall in the house, and the lighting is very different on each wall. 

Step Five: Live With It
Don't be in a huge rush to get to the paint store, unless you painted it on in the daylight, and the sun has now gone down, OR you can simulate "evening" (ie - lights on in the house are the only form of light in the house) pretty well. If you have a lot of windows that don't have very light-blocking blinds or curtains on them, your best bet is to wait it out. You want to view these patches in every form of light - bright daylight and evening incandescent/fluorescent light supplied by the lamps or lighting in your house.

Step Six-A: There's Your Color!
Once you have seen your choices in all forms of light, seen it on your wall next to your stuff or your carpet or your curtains, then you'll know. It'll pop right out at you screaming "I'm right here!" Then, and only then, can you go purchase the paint and start the paint job. 


Step Six-B: Still Don't Love Your Color? Go to a Different Paint Store
Sometimes the most convenient paint store isn't the best one. For example, we tried using the closest, local paint store to pick our accent wall color, but they just didn't have what we were looking for. So we went elsewhere, and found the perfect color. Actually, our main color, accent color, and trim color are ALL from different companies. Thankfully, most paint retailers either have the competitor's paint codes (best option) or can color match (next best option) so don't be afraid to grab color cards from where ever you are, even if you plan on buying the paint somewhere else. 

(OPTIONAL) Step Seven: Repeat!
If you are needing to pick an accent wall color, or a trim color, do the process over again, but ONLY after you have picked your main color, and use the patch (or the painted wall if you've painted already) as the setting for the other colors.  



Here we are picking trim colors - you would be AMAZED at how different each shade of white is.


Notes:

Accent Walls - Picking a color for an accent wall? Make sure you hold your color cards and paint your patches of test paint in the corner. This ensures you will get an accurate feel of the accent color when paired up with your existing wall color. 

Fireplaces and Furnishings - Make sure you consider the color against other things in your house that you are not getting rid of or "making over." My mother-in-law has a brick fireplace, so we had to make sure that the color she picked went well against the brick. If you have furniture or window treatments you are not planning on changing out, make sure the color goes well with them. Sometimes this means you will have to narrow down what color you paint. For example, our old place had a very open concept. I had already painted our dining room red, and the rest of the house was this wonderful subtle oatmeal-y neutral. I decided one day that I wanted to paint our living room wall. I was having an oatmeal overload. Sitting on our mustard yellow microfiber couch in our living room, you had our lovely red dining room in your peripheral vision, and saw them both, and the wall I wanted to paint all in one view when you walk in the front door. So when I decided to paint our living room wall, I pretty much had to go with orange. Yellow + Blue + Red = primary colors. Not my ideal color palette for the inside of a house. Yellow + Green + Red = Mexican Fiesta? Lemons and Limes in one eye and Christmas in the other? No thanks. So my only options left were purple and orange. I ended up picking an orange that I totally loved, but when through this whole process with both colors. 


Hope this is helpful for all of you at some point! :)







Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Banana Bread Recipe and Ripening Trick!

I have been looking for a new Banana Bread recipe for quite some time now. My old one just had way too much oil and sugar for my taste. And the other day I had a couple of lovely brown bananas sitting on my counter, and since my week-long journey of making my first lemon meringue pie was a flop (more on that later), I decided to bake something I knew I couldn't screw up. SO I tried out this recipe, (apparently it's from the 2007 version of The Joy of Cooking) and it's SO GOOD!

This recipe is not oily or wet like some banana breads are. I find it the perfect texture - dense but still light, and on the dry side but not crumbly. It has NO oil (only butter! and only a half stick at that!) and much less sugar than many other recipes I have seen. It really just lets the banana shine in a glorious way. And I also really like that it's just a 1 loaf recipe - it uses just 2 bananas (which I love because rarely do I let the whole bunch go bad). And it's super easy to double (or triple!), if you DO have more bananas (or friends who like free Banana Bread, or you use my tricks below!), but just enough when you want to satisfy a craving. 



We'll get to the recipe at the bottom. But first, TRICKS!!!

Hubby loved the first batch of banana bread so much that he insisted I make more. This was a lovely idea! Except, I had no bananas, let alone BROWN bananas. 


Where the heck can you get brown bananas other than your (or your mother's, or your friend's) counter top?! So instead of posting a slightly pathetic Facebook blast "Hey! Anyone out there have 2 brown bananas they don't want?" I did a little google-ing, and this is what I found:


Two Ways to Fake-Ripen Bananas for Banana Bread:


1) Slice them up, roll them in sugar, caramelize in a pan on the stove top.


.... Ok.

That sounds easy enough.


Except that I am adding more sugar to this I-got-excited-about-the-low-sugar-content recipe by rolling EACH banana slice in sugar before heating it on the stove. 


No thanks. Any other options?


2) Put the bananas on a cookie sheet and bake in a 300 degree oven for 1 hour.


.... Ok. 


Here goes nothin'!




One hour later....





















(Um, whoa. Those bananas are black. Are they supposed to look like that?!)
Yes. 
(Oh, ok. Sweet. Sooooo... did it work?)



Yep! Indeed it DID work! It's hard to tell by the picture, but after I sliced open the black peel, out popped a squishy banana! 

After all is said and done, I might consider cooking them a little longer next time (now that I know this method wasn't some cruel joke someone decided to post on the internet to see how many idiots would try it and end up scraping banana explosion out of their ovens for hours). 

Mine were REALLY green to start out, and were still a littler firmer than I would've liked after baking them. However, my sister-in-law, who got to try some of the bread, particularly mentioned how she enjoyed the little chunks of banana embedded in the bread. This actually was a result of my bananas not being as soft as I thought they should be, and therefore not getting completely pulverized by my KitchenAid mixer, as they would've had they been naturally browned.  

So, it's up to you. But I will definitely be trying this method again, when I'm in the mood for some Banana Bread and don't want to wait for my bananas to get old :)

Here's the recipe!


Banana Bread Recipe (makes 1 loaf)
1/2 stick (4-5 tablespoons) butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 2 or 3 very ripe bananas (I used 2)
- 2/3 cup sugar

- 1 1/3 cup all-purpose unbleached flour (we are gluten-free in our house, so I subbed all-purpose flour for a gluten-free flour blend)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional) (not optional for me! :) I used Pampered Chef's Cinnamon Plus Spice blend, which is actually like a pumpkin pie spice mix, a little heavier on the cinnamon, with a touch of orange zest - YUM!)

- 1/2 cup of walnuts, chocolate chips, or dried fruit, if desired.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
2. Grease loaf pan (I used coconut oil).
3. In a bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon and mix to combine. 
4. In a separate bowl, combine butter and sugar in a bowl and mix for a few minutes. Add in eggs and banana, mix together until smooth.
5. Gradually add flour mixture to banana mixture and mix just enough to combine. Fold in any nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate chips you want to add. 
6. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Recent Haps


Hey Y'all!

These past couple of months have been CRAZY busy!! Don't worry, though! I have been thinking about you all and the blog A LOT, I just haven't found the time to actually sit down and WRITE. Or do anything worth writing about!

A few things I have been up to!


MARIA GRADUATED COLLEGE!!!!

S-I-L Maria graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in History (heck yeah! History major love in the house!) And (almost) the whole family was there to witness and celebrate!

JULIA HAD A BABY SHOWER!!

This is actually ALL of the S-I-L's AND Momma-in-law at Julia's baby shower! :)


WE WENT TO DISNEYLAND!!! Hubs and I took my 11-year-old sis-in-law for the first time (ok, she was there when she was 3, but who really remembers 3 anyways??)

The hubs got picked for a skit! IT WAS HILARIOUS!! A sort of "dating game" for Sally Mae...

THIS is Sally Mae...

She LOVED the hubs' hairdo. She kept saying "OOOOOOOoooooo I'ma get me a nice fuzzy peach!"

A few choice shots from Toon Town and the Sword in the Stone.

TEACUPS!! The hubs spun us soooooo fast that I had to close my eyes the whole time to keep from hurling!

THIS is inside the Lilly Belle - one of the old train cars! These are super secret/exclusive. You have to make an appointment in order to ride on it. The day that we went, they only had about 30 seats (2 appointment times) available, and we made our appointment only 45 minutes after the park had opened! But it was totally worth it! We felt really special, getting a guided train ride around the park in these luxurious quarters :)

A panorama from my spot on the Lilly Belle

*whew* that was a LOT right?!
Amidst all of that, I think my main reason for not having blogged in the past week is that I am very seriously considering switching to a wordpress blog, and have been spending more time researching this than I have been actually writing. I know, LAME. I won't be boring you with the gory details, just know that a re-vamp may be in the works sometime soon, and until then, the blogging may be a bit sporadic.
So, all that to say, thanks for hanging in there!! :)



Friday, June 8, 2012

GNOWFGLINS



Ummmmmm what?

Yeah, I know. That's what I said when I first saw it too. But give me a second, and I'll explain it to you.

I have recently embarked upon a conquest to try and find healthy, whole food, minimally processed recipes to prepare for the hubby and I. This started about a year or so ago, after seeing the documentary Food Inc. (followed by King Corn, followed by Forks Over Knives, followed by Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, followed by Fresh). I started trying to avoid high-fructose corn syrup, and then learned that food companies hide MSG in foods under pseudo-names, so then I started trying to avoid these. I learned very, very quickly that this is nearly impossible in most packaged foods - even weird things like bread and chocolate milk had these ingredients in them. I began trying to figure out how I could make a garden last through the winter, without being stuck with squash, cabbage, and potatoes as my only cold month options. Looking for fruit/vegetable preservation options lead me to stumble upon the little known process of lacto-fermentation. This process is basically an alternative to canning - instead of loading something up with salt, vinegar, or sugar, and then cooking it at high heat to preserve it, it utilizes the natural dairy by-product "whey" to cultivate an nutritional bacteria that is not only really good for you, but also preserves fruits and vegetables extremely well.

Enter GNOWFGLINS.

GNOWFGLINS stands for "Gods Natural Organic Whole Foods Grown Locally In Season."

This website not only promotes and teaches the process of lacto-fermentation, but also promotes and teaches other healthy cooking styles/techniques such as using sourdough (a lacto-fermented dough) to make all kinds of baked goods, making home-made dairy products like kefir, yogurt, and cheese, using the whole animal and how to make bone-based meat broths, cooking with organ meats, rendering meat fats, etc. For a mere $11, you can subscribe to the site and have access to over 100 lessons, including video and PDF print-outs, on a wide variety of whole food cooking techniques and recipes.

I'll be posting more soon about my adventures in whole food cooking, but for now I thought I would let you know what I am up to, let you check it out for yourself, and give you a little taste of what's to come :)

Happy Friday!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

How To Get The Best Haircut You've Ever Had


As you know, I have recently returned to my blog. When I logged in for the first time a few days ago, I was so excited to find that I had a draft sitting in my post-box just waiting for me to post! Yippee! So, here it is. I have updated it a little bit, and know that when I say "I JUST chopped all my hair off," that was over 2 years ago. BUT, all the information is still true and applicable, regardless of my hair being much longer now :)




9 Tips For Getting The Best Haircut You've Ever Had:


1. Say what you like - and leave it at that. I give my hairdresser minimal instructions - "I want bangs, I part it on the left, and I like layers." Done. That's it. Keep it simple. They know what they're doing!


2. If you bring in a picture, don't expect to get EXACTLY that. Most celebrities (come on, you know we've all brought in a picture of one before) usually have hours of styling, pounds of product, and maybe even extensions in their 'do, which you will not on a day-to-day basis.


3. Find a hairdresser who will "tell you like it is" - they know what they are doing, and what your hair can and cannot do. And just because you CAN bleach the crap out of your hair, doesn't mean you SHOULD. I have learned to value my hairdresser's ability to say no to me, or at least advise me in a certain direction ;)

4. If you like how your hairdresser styles it, ask how, and about any product used. Ask her to teach you as she styles it.


5. Use a good quality shampoo/conditioner - no sulfates! - and use the same brand for both. I recently broke down and bought the shampoo/conditioner that my hairdresser uses - Euphora brand - the large size bottles of each cost me $70! (OUCH!) BUT I have been using them for OVER 6 MONTHS and I am just about halfway through. It seemed like a big investment at first, but the high quality means that I use less on every wash. In the long run, it will actually be cheaper than the stuff I used to use, and my hair has never been healthier! (Shout to to Euphora - aloe is the first ingredient instead of water = SUPER highly concentrated stuff. LOVE it!)


6. Spend some time playing with it, and if there are things that you find you don't like about your cut as it grows out, take note, and bring it up at your next appointment. If you find there are things you don't like BEFORE it grows out (as in, you got your hair cut yesterday and your bangs are already driving you crazy) call your hairdresser and have her fix it.


7. If you have a stylist you trust - stick with her! Even if your cut isn't perfect the first time around, the consistency will help develop it into what you want - example: I just CHOPPED all my hair off. I was happy with the first cut, but I've had it trimmed twice and I keep liking it more and more every time I go in. You definitely can't complain if it just keeps getting better and better. If you're not happy, by all means SHOP AROUND. There's no reason to sacrifice having the best 'do ever for the sake of not wanting to hurt your hairdresser's feelings. Sometimes it's just not a right fit.


8. Don't be afraid to change it up! It could be the best thing you ever did! If you've been highlighting for a while? Try going natural with an allover color. Been one color for a while (or forever)? Try some highlights, or low-lights. Been coloring yourself crazy? Go get it corrected, and give it a rest.


9. You get what you pay for - let's face it - SuperCuts is not going to give you the same quality cut as that boutique salon in the town square. I have found 2 things helpful in not breaking the bank on haircuts: 1) Ask your hairdresser to cut for longevity - my hairdresser is so good at what she does, I can go 3 months (when I'm not coloring it) without getting a trim, and I usually get the most compliments on my hair the week before I have an appointment. Seriously, Sarah at Splendid Little Salon amazing. 2) BUDGET for it! Currently, I am getting an all-over color on my hair. This means I need to make more frequent trips to the hairdresser. I try to wait it out and go about every 2 months. That means, each month, I put half of what my haircut/color costs into an envelope in my purse. This way, when I am ready to go get a trim/touch-up, the money is already there, ready to go. No worrying about where it is going to come from or arguing with the hubby about it (he has signed off on how much I spend, by the way). Even if you had to go every 6 weeks, you could budget - you would simply put 2/3 of what you need in the envelope every month.


Here are a few photos of the past few years of my hair. All cuts are from the same hairdresser.

























(My brother took this one. I heart him.)

I hope these tips have helped you in some way. People ALWAYS ask about my hair, so I thought I would share :)