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Glimpses

Snapshots of our lives

January 18, 2016

Curly Girl

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.

Beforeandafterhair

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:

  1. Moisturize the crap out of your hair.
  2. Shape those ringlets.
  3. Preserve that shape.

 

Moisturize

  • 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:

IMG_1037

  • 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:

artifical curls

  • 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:

IMG_6301

  • 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:

IMG_6292

  • Happy second day hair, happy husband, happy new year:

IMG_6162

 

January 10, 2016

Milo Chats Winter 2015

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.”

IMG_4974.JPG

 

So, Felix’s language brain area must have just expanded exponentially, because all of a sudden he is talking in full sentences and is now an official contributor to this popular blog category.


Felix sees a QR code and asks: “Is this minecraft?”


Felix sees a little duckling: “Aww, so cute!” Then he sees two ducklings: “Aww, two so cutes.”


Milo comes in from school: “Mom, you have to come out and see this. Felix is leaking chicken nuggets out of his mouth.” What I did see when I looked, was a Felix covered in his vomit.

September 8, 2014

House Tour 2014 Main Floor

This year was supposed to be the year of all years, when I was finally gonna be able to rip out the discolored old carpet in our living room and install wood floors. But then the furnace started acting up and that’s where the money went. So, next year it’s gonna be.

Foyer

Before:

Foyer

Between:

Foyer Between

Now:

Foyer

Alright, the perspective is not the same, but this area is still mid makeover (since April) and I’ll show more details soon. So far I got to re-paint the walls, molding, install a board with coat hooks, and shuffle some storage solutions around. And these things are gonna get done before the end of this year:

  • Finish wall of board and batten on the left. Like this.
  • Install new pendant light fixture

(more…)

August 23, 2014

Housetour 2014 Upstairs

It’s been over 3 years that we lived in our beloved home. Much has changed, much will still change, and we are happy to be in this cozy place that has become truly ours. It is still constantly transforming and adapting to our ever changing needs. At this point we are planning to stay in this house roughly until Milo is done with elementary school, so another 5-6 years. The neighborhood and the community is just too great to leave and the elementary school is right across the street. Eventually however, we would like to move into a single family house with a garage and our own yard. With that in mind we are trying to make mostly cosmetic changes that take the house from old country to fresh contemporary on a low budget, so that it will sell easily and hopefully for a profit.

Some of the updates we are making throughout the house are:

  • Paint all trim bright white instead of cream color
  • Change all brass light fixtures to white, black, or silver
  • Swap out all brassy wobbly door hardware to brushed nickel
  • Remove nasty old carpet from main level and basement and replace with wood floors and new darker carpet
  • Repaint rooms to a more gray based coordinated palette instead of tan and red.

Other than that it’s really just some major decorating. Look at this evolution of a home.

(more…)

August 13, 2014

Milo Chats July 2014

Holy crap, it’s been a while since anyone’s been seen on this lonely old blog. Aside from busy life, I have been trying to be more lazy on my evenings and have taken on reading books again and going to bed early. Not such a bad thing I have to say. But every now and then I should still try to throw in a few of these shorties. Here is an example of Milo’s logic.

“Mommy, Felix wants to take my money, but I don’t want him to have it because he will put it in his mouth and die. And that would be sad, then we wouldn’t have any baby anymore. Like my friend, he doesn’t have any baby brothers. Maybe they all died.”

After I explained to him that sometimes people stop making babies and babies all grow up to be big kids he suggested: “So maybe when Felix is 10 you can put him back in your belly and have a big baby.”

April 27, 2014

You’ve Been Served

So, about 3 months ago I had written up that long post about how I made over our old dining room buffet and then it didn’t save and all was lost and I never wanted to write again. Not really. But then I decided to start on our staircase renovation, so instead of typing everything up again I started scraping off caulk hours and hours on end. A full post on that coming soon. Maybe.

So now without any patience to go into the buffet details again, let me just throw these picture at you:

BuffetBefore

I know, I know, doesn’t look too bad from far. But when you look closer it was really obvious cheap laminate, not actual wood. And said plastic foil started to peel off on one side, so it had to be done.

BuffetSide

I used chalk paint (color “French Linen”) for the first time and while it’s not as magical as some DIY people out there make it look like (you still need to sand and multiple coats), it really creates a thick solid cover that should last for another couple of decades.

DetailsComparison

BuffetAfter

And then it was Christmas.

BuffetScene

Happy Spring!