November 4, 2018
In July this year we said goodbye to our first house. The first home we bought and had made our own, where all our memories as a family were made to that point. While some of us were excited for the next adventure, we all were sad to leave this beautiful place behind. Some serious tears were shed.
There is just something about all the memories in the home, about all the work that was put into making it perfect for our family, that made it very hard to part. Not a single surface, fixture, or piece of equipment in this house was left untouched after we were done with all renovations. It took us seven years to optimize this place to its fullest potential and going back to the very beginning in a new house was pretty rough for me. It took me about four months before I had left the old house behind enough that I could start liking the new house and write this post.(more…)
October 28, 2018
Creepy spookiness has been a thing for me ever since a sleepover when I was 15 years old and a group of friends and me watched three zombie movies in a row. I can’t really say what the fascination is about, but I’ve always enjoyed a good scary movie since then. So just imagine my giddiness when I moved to the original land of the creepy tradition of Halloween and October rolled around for the first time. Who can deny that this holiday is obviously a very close second to Christmas.(more…)
January 15, 2017
Das Jahr begann für uns mit Rekordschneefall von einem Meter, der drei Tage schulfrei bescherte und das Bauen von ganzen unterirdischen Tunnelstädten ermöglichte – ein großer Spaß für die Kinder, aber lästiges Übel für all diejenigen, die trotzdem irgendwie zur Arbeit kommen mussten.
September 23, 2016
Nic: “Come on, Milo you can do better than that. You draw like a 3 year old kid.”
Milo: “That’s just my style.”
Felix as we are driving on the highway: “The other cars are going slower than us because they don’t know where their hyper speed button is, right mom?”
Milo: “At school Emma is always following me because she is in love with me.”
Nic: “Aww that’s sweet.”
Milo: “No, its not! She loves me.”
Nic: “Yes, what’s wrong with that?”
Milo: “But she is way too young to get married!”
Nic after carrying Felix’s motorcycle toy for a few minutes: “Felix, can you please hold your own toy.”
Felix: “But I look awesome without holding anything though.”
July 25, 2016
Milo’s reading is getting better by the day, but sometimes it is still hard for him to grasp the meaning of what he reads while he is focusing so hard on pronouncing letters. Even after he has “read” a sentence, he sometimes asks for me to read it again so that he can understand the thing as a whole. Well, the other day he definitely got the meaning of what he read when this happened:
Milo reads about sharks. The book says: “About ten people get killed by sharks every year. But every year people kill thousands of sharks.” Milo immediately breaks down sobbing all over the book and crying hysterically about the poor sharks.
After kids going “mom”, “mom”, “mom” every two minutes for hours on end, I ask of them: “Guys, can you just for 5 minutes find something to do by yourself and don’t constantly say mommy mommy mommy.
Milo: “Okay, Nicola.”
Milo and me having a discussion about a dinosaur movie:
Milo: “Mom, there are no real dinosaurs, right?”
Nic: “There used to be real dinosaurs, but not anymore.”
Milo: “But the dinosaurs in the movie are not real dinosaurs, right?”
Nic: “There were real dinosaurs a long time ago, but the ones in the movie are not really real.”
Milo: “I know that, the real ones are just featured in the movie. Wait, how do I know what featured means?”
Felix hears the echo of his yelling: “Did you hear that guys? My mouth is somewhere else.”
January 18, 2016
The majority of people around me have pretty straight hair. Maybe with a slight bend in them. Straight, sleek hair is desirable and all hair products try to help with that. And that’s why most of the curly humans amongst us only know the straight way to treat hair. Just like I did up until last year.
You have to brush it is what you learn as a kid. You have to straighten the waves first, and then curl them properly, that’s what hair stylists have been telling me. But go figure, that’s just not how curly hair works.
This is a short story about how the Internet helped me convert my scraggly waves into healthy curls and I am planning on spreading the word. Everybody needs to know this – straight haired mom’s of curly girls, traditional hair stylists who want their curly clients to come back. If you know a curly person, you have to get your friend to try it. Not because how you look is everything that matters, but feeling good about yourself does make a difference. And many curly people do not feel good about their frizzy pouf, but instead fry or brush their hair straight every day.
I’m gonna try to boil this curly recipe down to the basics because there are plenty of other detailed resources online that are all linked to this wiki. Here it goes – Three basic principles of treating wavy, curly, or coily hair better:
- Moisturize the crap out of your hair.
- Shape those ringlets.
- Preserve that shape.
- Use sulfate-free shampoos. Sulfates dry out the hair a lot and remove all natural oils, causing the scalp to produce even more oils. It takes a few weeks for the scalp to regulate, but afterwards you will get at least an additional day out of your hair without it getting greasy.
- Some curly people even just scrub their scalp with a light conditioner instead of shampoo. It’s called co-washing. Personally, I alternate sulfate free shampoo and co-washing.
- Because sulfate-free shampoos can’t fully remove silicones from the hair, now you’ll also have to find all silicone free hair products for conditioning and styling that rely more on natural oils.
- Use lots of conditioner on the length of the hair. Like tons. So much that your hair feels like slippery wet seaweed before you rinse it out.
- Don’t use a terry cloth towel to dry the hair because it removes too much water. Instead, just blotting it for a minute with a microfiber towel or your husband’s old T-shirt works well. It should still be pretty wet for styling.
- After washing and conditioning, the moisture needs to be locked into the hair. This is where every hair has different needs and you’ll have to find out by experimenting what combination of product works for you. I add leave-in conditioner, and then lots of strong hold gel, because my hair is super porous and otherwise gets very frizzy quickly.
Shape. A.k.a don’t brush!
- Curly hair should never ever be brushed. Especially not when wet or before styling. Wet hair breaks too easily and dry brushed curly hair looks messy, frizzy, and big:
- Curly hair naturally clumps together in strands, don’t try to fight it. Even the artificially curled hair that everybody wants looks like that. See:
- So, don’t try to separate the clumps. There is absolutely no reason to do so. Instead, detangle your hair while you wash it and it’s smothered in conditioner. At that point it doesn’t take more than gentle finger-combing to get any tangles out.
- In order to form the clumps, just gently scrunch your completely wet hair with a cotton T-shirt after the shower. Don’t dry it too much. As long as there is still moisture, hair naturally clumps together in strands.
- Again, don’t separate those strands. Apply styling products only by smoothing over the hair and gently scrunching in. No raking or combing in.
Keep the Shape
- Now, to set the curls, I like to wrap my hair in a plop while I’m getting dressed and make my face presentable.
- Afterwards, air drying is usually best.
- When it’s too cold to air dry, you can use a hairdryer with a diffuser to avoid head freeze. The diffuser slows down the air stream to keep the curls in shape and you can apply the warm air directly to the roots to give them extra lift.
- After the hair is 100% dry and depending on what product you used, the hair might be stiff and crunchy from the gel. It looks weird, feels weird, and is weird:
- But that’s how gel works. It forms a cast around the strands to seal the moisture in while it slowly dries without getting frizzy. Then you just scrunch the crunch out and the results are shiny and soft curls.
- Now, the only downside of nice curly hair is that you try to avoid anything that could mess it up. Like wearing hats, or laying down for naps. But sleeping is inevitable and what works great for longer hair is to put it in a pineapple above your head over night:
- Happy second day hair, happy husband, happy new year:
January 10, 2016
Hi guys, what’s up. Anybody still here? I know it’s been awfully quiet on this blog lately and that’s mainly because you know why. Time. Who has time anymore for this stuff? Actually, it’s mostly because I have successfully met my goal last year to relax more and do less. Instead of doing home projects, I’ve drastically upped my TV watching and book reading and going out going. That was a nice change, but this year I’m ready to turn the creative juices back on and hopefully get a good mix of everything going. For a start, here are some of the conversations you’ve missed:
The other day I discovered my first white hair and showed it to Milo. His first immediate reaction: “I’ll be really sad when you die.” Later on: “Can I see your old hair again?”
One night I was trying to motivate the kids to put their PJs on as fast as possible so that we would have more time to read. Usually that works by making it a race. So I started putting my PJs on and said to Milo: “Come on, Milo, faster or I’m gonna win.”
Milo: “It’s not a race mom.”
Me: “Really? But what if it is a race and I’m winning?”
Milo: “But it’s not a race.”
Me: “How do you know it’s not a race?” (Fully expecting to win this argument)
Milo: “Well, because you didn’t say ready-set-go and started without me.” (Can’t argue with that)
One night while doing homework, Milo decided that he could connect all the individual letters in a word to each other, so he was practically spontaneously writing in cursive. Lincoln said:” Wow, Milo, how did you learn that? You are writing in cursive, that’s a dying form of writing.”
Later on Felix asked Milo what he was writing and Milo replied: “This is how the old people write before they are almost dead.”
Even later Milo asked me: “Mommy, can you show me how to write a dead b again.”