Going Red…again!

Did y’all know that once upon a time I was a stylist? I graduated from a cosmetology program in 2012, and while I’m not licensed now I still use all the tips and tricks I picked up just about everyday. It’s been particularly useful (and money-saving) to know how to color my own hair!

Back in highschool I was using drugstore box dye which worked really well the first time. But, then it kind of turned into a series of disasters that left me perpetually coloring my hair black to cover up all the weirdness. Hair school really opened my eyes to how much of a science experiment hair color can be, and suddenly all my mistakes made sense. While I’ve still had a couple not so perfect results in coloring my hair over the past few years, I at least know exactly what to do to fix them.

So, back to present day. For the past several months I had been lightening my hair in order to go blonde. I was at a brassy orange shade when I needed to take a picture for the DIME store’s website. After trying to edit the picture to become more flattering, I was fed up and ready for my mop to look like anything else. In comes purple!photo (8)

The purple was fun, but quickly became a greyish brown in many spots due to previous color of my hair and it’s poor, brittle state. Despite receiving an unbelievable amount of compliments on my weird grey hair (one gal took a pic!) I just couldn’t live with it and didn’t want to continue coloring it purple. I knew it was time to go back to red.

Red and I have been “involved” for a long time. I think one of my first hair colors was a cherry cola kind of shade, and I’d been copper, auburn, magenta, and fire engine red since then. I’m a pale lady and very Irish, so maybe it’s just destiny that red is a flattering color on me but it can feel a little defeating to go back to it…it’s hard to keep vibrant but also hard to get out. As a color jumper I know it will be a pain if I want to change it again. But I did it anyway, and it wasn’t an easy process.

First off, I had to bleach my hair again. Since I’m not licensed my options are Sally’s or online to purchase hair products, and I don’t have the time or money to order “fancy” brands online. I had a tub of Kaleidocolors Bleach leftover from attempting blonde, so I mixed up a bleach bath/shampoo cap. Basically, it’s equal parts bleach, developer, and shampoo (or conditioner in my case.) By diluting the bleach with the shampoo/conditioner you won’t have as strong of an effect, but it’s a little safer for your hair and can be applied more haphazardly. I will say, I have very thick and coarse hair which means mine can resist more damage. ALWAYS TRY A TEST STRAND OR RISK LOSING YOUR HAIR! The purpose of this particular bleach bath was just to open up the cuticle so some of the purple could get out. I kind of accomplished it…

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As you can see, the top of my hair lightened pretty well, while the bottom is, um, one of those unimaginable colors that isn’t supposed to be seen by the human eye. “Good enough!” I said and went onwards with the next step.

This tiny little bottle contains several applications of miracles. I can’t praise it enough! When bleaching your hair you are purposefully eating away at the pigment in each strand. Hair is a protein, so after bleaching using a protein filler can help restructure the hair enough to get a new color on. The bottle above is applied to damp hair and left to sit and absorb, then color can be applied directly on top. In my case, I wanted something demi-permanent- demi’s will be generally only be depositing color and not lifting/opening the cuticle like a permanent will do. I chose Wella Color Charm in Fiery Red (the only nice red option I could find.)

After letting the color sit, I rinsed it out and let it towel dry only to find the bottom part of my hair was still a bit of a dusty reddish-brown. Not too surprising considering it was a lot more purple/grey to begin with. Thankfully in my ever-increasing store of hair color at home I had some orange glaze- a glaze is a deposit-only color that requires no developer, unlike a demi-permanent.

EVO Fabuloso is a brand new to me, but pretty great in my experience so far. I mixed the orange color intensifier pictured above with some of my red protein filler and applied to the ends of my hair. And I waited. And waited. And waited! I wanted my little strands to soak up as much warm/red pigment as possible. Guess what…

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Please excuse mess in background and lack of emotion in my face.

It worked! My hair is actually MORE red on the bottom now, which I don’t mind at all. I think it will start to blend as I wash and continue to use the glaze and tinted conditioner. It’s still a heck of a lot better than where I started!

Haircolor is truly an art, and also a pain in the ass. If you get your color done professionally, be sure to tip your stylist if he/she does a good job! They deserve it. I’m sure this won’t be the last hair color post you see from me, but I do think I’ll be taking a break from coloring it for a while. Pretty sure my locks need it. What are your favorite products to keep your hair looking great?

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Happy Anniversary to Meeeeee~

Disclaimer: I was not paid by the cities of Plano or Dallas to write this post, I just REALLY enjoyed my time there. 🙂

This weekend marked the 6th (ish) year that Kolin and I have been together. We round it up to 6 because even though we’ve broken up a few times we never actually stopped seeing each other, which is maybe kind of cute (but also frustrating in the moment.) It’s safe to say we’ve reached a much less tumultuous time in our relationship and have been living together for the past 3 years with our two little kitties. We are by no means rich, but our anniversary marks the end of a 7 month spree of birthdays/holidays and we do try to do something a tad more special to celebrate. This year we nabbed a room at NYLO in Plano from Groupon and decided we would just “wing it” in terms of what to do that night and the day after.

The room was super trendy and modern with an oh-so-comfy king size bed. We have a queen at home but with two cover-stealing cats and my hugging-pillow addiction, it can feel pretty small. I don’t think I even bumped into Kolin over the course of the night, and somehow, he didn’t even snore. Will all my snoring woes go away if we get a king size bed? It’s something I’m still mulling over…

Photo by Sara Kerens//from the Dallas Observer website.

After thoroughly exploring our room and enjoying a glass of champagne, we checked out Yelp for some tasty places to nab dinner. Turns out the Holy Grail Pub was just right across the street from us and has great reviews. I can’t lie, we were heavily influenced to go there by the fact that they serve a cheese board. What better a way to start your night than with some fancy cheese and wine? We selected three different cheeses to taste and were just blown away- the Cahill Porter Cheddar from Ireland was my fave, while Kolin loved the Basil Bruder from Germany. The cranberry Wensleydale was delicious and tasted almost like candy. After our first few bites, we began seriously discussing how much money we needed to start allocating to a cheese budget each month. Hint: it is a lot.

Despite not wanting to say goodbye to our amazing cheese platter, we also wanted to get a more substantial dinner. Whiskey Cake was on our list of places to try out. As soon as we arrived, we knew we made the right call. It was very busy but smelled like smokey goodness. Our wait time was estimated at 30 minutes but we got in much sooner and dove straight in.

Kolin ordered a burger and I got a fish sandwich. We were informed by the waiter that everything was made from scratch and that they use local ingredients, but quite honestly I think we would have been able to figure that out based on the taste alone. Kolin nearly melted into his seat after claiming it was the best burger he’d ever had. We can’t wait to go back- great job Whiskey Cake staff!

We called it a somewhat early night since we had been drinking and stuffing our faces for awhile and settled into the hotel for a good night’s rest. After a lovely shower in the morning, I checked my phone and nearly screamed….I won an Instagram contest put on by STRUT, a cute little boutique based in Dallas and Austin. I’ll be the below items sent to me very shortly and I could not be more excited!

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The Perot Museum in Dallas was our next stop and was a very neat experience. Unfortunately it was the first Sunday of Spring Break week and there were kids as far as the eye could see…I’m sure it’s a busy place to begin with, but it was a little overwhelming with so many little ones around. Regardless, I’m glad we went and would love to go back and check out some of the featured exhibits.

Twisted Root Burger Co. was our lunch stop after seeing our usual place Torchy’s Taco’s was packed. It was, big surprise, amazing. I promise we don’t have really low standards for food or anything. This was just an exceptional trip.

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As you can see, Kolin was crazy pumped about the pickles. If you care to know, he did eat all of them too. I had a yummy quinoa/black bean burger and we shared shome cheddar fries (duh.) We enjoyed a cheap lunchtime beer and then he said the best words a girl could ever hear…”do you want to go to Buffalo Exchange?” I held back my happy tears and said yes! He got some shoes and I found a funky little dress, both were on sale and he bought mine for me, yay!

After that we opted to head back home and relax. We had sushi and cheesecake for dinner and watched Big Hero 6. It was a great and much needed 24 hours of uninterrupted couples’ time and I am so so thankful we had the chance to do it. While we are back to the grind today, I feel rejuvenated and excited and have lots of neat things to work on. He doesn’t read my blog (I think) but if he ever does, I love you Kolin! 🙂

I’m going to New York!

I’ll be back in the big apple from April 28th to May 5th! This will be my third time visiting and I think it will be my best yet. I haven’t been in the northeast for spring in a long, long time and I am so excited! Hopefully I won’t have terrible allergies like I tend to get here during those months, but I’m willing to take that risk.

My two best friends live in New York and while we try to visit each other as often as we can, we are young and poor and life too often gets in the way. Thankfully I’ve got about 9 weeks to save up some cash and prepare myself to make the best out of this trip!

Here’s what I’ve got percolating in terms of making some extra money for fun stuff/hotels/food:

  • Etsy! Duh!
  • sell some clothes
  • sell a vintage wedding dress I found awhile back (I wasn’t saving it for me, I promise 😉 )
  • DIME/SCRAP sales
  • E-rewards surveys (sounds like a scam but is actually pretty useful for racking up airline/hotel points!)
  • put in extra hours where I can

I also know I can save some money in a few areas:

  • don’t eat out
  • turn off the thermostat during the week while we are gone
  • walk/bus to work once the weather is nicer

I’ve got a lot of planning to do between now and then but this trip has given me something to look forward to and I couldn’t be happier. I’m all ears for other tips and tricks that may help with cash flow, and I’d love to hear any recommendations for food, shopping, and nightlife too! More details to come as I figure them out.

Momentum

Since I last posted I have sold a couple scarves, woot! It’s a great feeling to know that other people like my vision and think my products are worth their money! I spent a few hours today taking more pictures and listing some more scarves on my Etsy, which means the majority of my items are now just waiting to be sold. While I’m playing around with some different strategies to get more attention to my shop I also need to work on diversifying what I offer.

Patchwork Infinity Scarf - Flamingo, Red Knit, Stripes

One of today’s additions!

Here in Texas winter will be over soon. It’s already 60 degrees today…of course that doesn’t mean we won’t have another cold snap, but in general I’d say in March it starts steadily getting warmer. Scarves don’t make too much sense in the summer, so it’s in my best interest to start on other things!

I have lots of ideas- kimonos, sleep tanks and nightgowns, bralettes, and shorts…the problem is just getting them started. I can find basic patterns to give me an idea of what to do, but adding my own spin is very important. I’m sure this will be something that comes easier to me as I go along (after all, I did just start seriously sewing last year) but the clearer my own vision, the easier it will be to make a place for myself. It’s like putting together a puzzle I suppose; I’ve collected all the edge and corner pieces and set the frame work, now I just have to start figuring out what the picture actually looks like!

While it’s a bit stressful trying to find your place artistically, it’s also a lot of fun. I feel like I’m getting to know myself better and I’m even dreaming up new product ideas! Both good affirmations that I’m in the right place. I think the trick is not to hang out too much in my own head and remember to actually get to work. 😉 That may take some practice too.

What do you do to make you dreams come true? Share in the comments!

Getting it Together

Hellooooo WordPress and Happy New Year! I am happy to announce that during my absence from this blog good things have happened. Really good things. Namely, I have added infinity scarves to my Etsy arsenal and have also become a seller in two brick-and-mortar stores. Yippee!

Patchwork Infinity Scarf - Peach, Floral, Lavender Plaid

I am presently selling at SCRAP and the DIME store, both of which I have connections to, but I still feel very proud nonetheless. In fact, despite knowing and working for one of the owners, DIME actually purchased 12 of my scarves upfront! So technically I have already fulfilled a wholesale order. Hopefully my first will not be my last! 😀

Today I spent a good chunk of time taking pictures for my Etsy shop and then editing and listing them. I’ll tell you, it was a bit of a drag. But now that they are up there and ready to be sold, I am so pumped to do some marketing and promoting! To start off, I’m offering 10% off your purchase during the month of January with the code “jan10.” Take a peek and tell your friends too!

I’m aiming to get some more products up by Valentine’s Day but we’ll see what time allows. It does seem to be ever so fleeting these days…but such is life, eh?

Hope this post finds you well!

Toad Road

How often is it you see a movie that really gives you goosebumps? Something that leaves you with bad taste in your mouth or a knot in your stomach? In my experience, not often.

While it’s a little out of season to talk about scary movies, I’ve spent the past week watching one almost every night and Toad Road was too good not to write about.

It had sat on my Netflix list for several months, but it wasn’t until early last week that I finally decided to sit down and watch it. It was rated well, but I hadn’t heard of it. It had been made somewhat recently, but again, not once had it been recommended to me. I’m not sure why that is, because it was the best “scary” movie I’ve seen in a long time, and the story behind it’s making was just as intriguing as the film itself.

Essentially, Toad Road follows a group of young friends who are caught up in the drug scene. Ring leader James meets and starts dating Sara, a sweet girl in college who becomes obsessed with psychedelics during the course of the movie. She eventually is driven to visit a local urban legend called “Toad Road,” which is supposed to contain the seven gates of Hell. We see very little of Toad Road itself, and while the few glimpses are undoubtedly creepy, I think the scariest part of this movie is seeing these kids lose their minds to drugs. Mostly because all the drug usage depicted is real. The filmmakers are calling it a docu-horror, and it seems appropriate. The cast, while directed to act out a particular story line, are all real friends who live the same lifestyle the characters do. This adds a lot to the believability to the story and really leaves you scratching your head at the end.

I’m sure Toad Road was produced very cheaply, but the end result was very rich and elaborate. While I found myself able to sleep perfectly fine after watching it, I am still insatiably curious about the story. As it turns out, Toad Road is a real urban legend in York, Pennsylvania if I feel like being brave. While I doubt I’ll make the trip, this movie will stay with me a long time.

Resolutions Part 1

Right from the get go, I feel like this post should maybe be called “Resolutions Part 1 and a Quarter.” Mostly because one of my resolutions is to blog more, but I don’t necessarily want to blog about blogging, so I’d rather talk about something a little more interesting. But just keep that little nugget in your noggin and we’ll get on with it.

One of the biggest issues I’m facing right now in my life is clutter. Blegh! Don’t you just hate that word? It’s the worst- and I’m not just talking about having a messy kitchen. My brain is cluttered too. Between my day job and side gigs and housework I’m having a hard time setting priorities and accomplishing all I set out to do. I have a million little notebooks but still manage to forget things! But maybe all those notebooks are part of the problem. Maybe I need to simplify. Maybe I need to streamline.

It may seem like a silly place to start, but my closet is one of the things I want to tackle most. I have a ton of clothes but dislike just about everything I own, and it makes me feel like a brat. Some stuff I’ve had forever, some of it is missing a button that I keep saying I’ll sew back on, and some of it stuff I’m waiting to fit back into. When it comes down to it, I probably wear the same 10-11 outfits over and over. So why not just get rid of everything else? I could sell it and make a few bucks, or donate it to those in need. Either way, it would be getting put to use more so out in the world than in my closet.

So that’s what I’m gonna do. I’ve been reading up on “capsule collections” and Project 333, which is a really neat idea/movement in which you have 4 seasons worth of clothes, but each season is only made of 33 total pieces (including jewelry and shoes.) I decided to make a collection of my own on Polyvore featuring 23 pieces, but did not include shoes or jewelry this go around. Maybe I’ll get braver as time goes on, but this seems like an appropriate step and will still allow for lots of variety.

Capsule Collection
I already have a few comparable items in my closet now and want to sell my nicer pieces and donate the rest. I plan on shopping at thrift stores or using a resell app like Poshmark or Threadflip to further “green-ify” my efforts. Not only will I be cutting out half my closet but assuming I can find fairly similar pieces I’ll actually have a cute and age-appropriate wardrobe that would fit in one load of the washing machine! Doesn’t that sound amazing?!
As a lady it can be easy to get caught up in trends but gosh dangit if it isn’t an expensive and silly habit! Not every trend looks good on me and that’s okay. Not everything has to be brand new and that’s okay. I’m ready to accept that and really start developing and refining my personal style in a way that works for my budget and budding beliefs. If you’ve been having similar feelings I’d encourage you to research minimalist wardrobes and see what you think!
I can’t wait to share more with you guys very soon. If you have any suggestions for streamlining life let me know in the comment section!

End of the Year Cheer

It is officially December, the last month of 2014. This time of the year seems to be full of excitement for everyone- whether it’s for gifts at Christmas or getting rid of some bad habits in January. I’m no different and have spent the last couple of weeks sporting big smiles and big dreams. Not only was my birthday just last Sunday (which I spent in style and in great company) but the following day I finally opened StarChart. That’s right, it’s really, truly, up and running! It’s still in the beginning stages but at the suggestion of some of my Etsy-veteran colleagues I decided it was best to just get it started with what I have rather than wait for everything to be “perfect.” Time still seems to elude me, and going into the new year I know I will learn what to do in order to accomplish my goals. I don’t expect any of it to be easy or quick, but at least steps are finally being taken.

I have so much more I want to share with you, but I think I’ll break it all into separate posts. Sorry for the cliffhanger, folks. :p Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, in America at least, and a happy November everywhere else! Oh and if you get the chance, please go like my shop and my products! I’ll happily return the favor for any other Etsypreneurs out there!

Nautical Themed Hand-sewn Sleep Mask

Returning to my Roots

If I was a shoe, I’d be a flip-flop….because that’s what I do. Sometimes I wish I could be a leather and steel-toed boot with some conviction, but then again, I don’t want to be laced up on the same stinky foot forever.

Perhaps my shoe metaphors are a little too vague (or just totally nonsensical) so I’ll just get to the point: I’m a pescetarian again. After being a vegan for about 10 months. But before that I ate meat. And in high school I was a pescetarian. So, yeah. I’m a flip-flop. I have high hopes for this round though!  I was able to be a pescetarian for a good year and a half in high school before a certain burger-loving boyfriend came along. I know he’ll love me no matter what I eat though, and I think becoming a pescetarian again is the right choice to fit my morals, my budget, my health needs, and my schedule. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but it works for me right now.

I’m actually planning on taking my pescetarianism a little more to the paleo side in that I will be avoiding cheese and eliminating milk and refined grains. If this week’s grocery trip was any indication of success and/or tastiness, I think we’ll do just fine. ($39 for a ton of fish and fresh veggies, y’all.)

I’m excited to be able to cook more often for Kolin and myself and to be able to share some recipes with you too. I know I constantly look to the blogging world for inspiration and am so impressed with the variety and creativity of some of you- no matter what kind of diet you follow! I know if I keep an open mind my world tummy will grow tenfold. 🙂

Responsibilities and Masquerades!

Good news folks! While I can’t really call it a promotion, I had the opportunity to take on some more duties at SCRAP. I am proud to announce that I am now in charge of our Re:Boutique! Woot! I hope to eventually change my title to reflect my new duties, but I’ll wait until I’ve actually made some changes and hopefully some improvements!

Our Re:Boutique is a little section of our store where we feature local artists who reuse materials in their work. I love all the stuff that we feature and think other people would too, but I think the boutique just hasn’t had enough attention devoted to it. Considering there were only 2 staff members before I came along it makes sense, but now with the three of us we can each begin to focus our attention to specific areas. I have a lot of ideas to drum up more business and I think I lucked out in terms of timing. People will start shopping for the holidays soon and who wouldn’t love a hand-crafted gift from SCRAP?! 🙂

More SCRAP news too- our annual Masquerade Fundraiser is coming up in just over a month! I am really excited to be a part of it but also really nervous. I’ve never done anything quite like this professionally and it’s been an interesting ride so far. I have to give props to the people and organizations that have to reach out for donations constantly! It’s no fun to go through the trouble of contacting someone only to get denied- or even worse, ignored. Luckily, I’ve managed to procure a few donations here and there and I’m hoping my decorating skills and ability to bartend will make up for anything else I lack!

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Tickets are on sale now and are only $5! So far we’ve got a bunch of awesome raffle baskets planned as well as some tasty food and drink to be served. People can dress in costume or just fancy pants- masks are heavily encouraged though, there will be a mask contest with prizes! You can buy tickets in store and online.

Ok, last SCRAP update I promise: we are moving to a bigger space! Yes, we have officially outgrown our current location and are seeking a new building by the end of the year. We’ve been getting literal tons of donations each month, which has been great and we love it! BUT it’s been putting a strain on keeping our store safe and clean. We are hoping for a warehouse type building with an open layout and a couple thousand more square feet. Our director has a few good leads, but hopefully something will solidify soon.

All I know is it’s going to be a busy couple of months! Wish me (and us) luck!