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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Verdict on the hair treatment

So I broke down and took a shower. It's a little early. I think I made it 42 hours instead of 48 but Sam has a 12 month check up at 1:30 and I wasn't about to roll into the doctor's office with the oil slick that had taken up residence on my head. Truthfully, it didn't look that bad although Reid might beg to differ on that one.

I noticed this morning that a lot of my fly-aways had been tamed and it was pretty smooth but that could just be from not washing it for two days.

The packaging said to be sure to use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner which I luckily already had. Have you ever tried this shampoo? It is amazing. So luxurious feeling. I don't care for the conditioner but the shampoo is definitely worth a try. I've also heard good things about the Organix Moroccan Oil shampoo line but haven't tried it myself.

Ok so on to the verdict:

After drying, my hair definitely felt smoother and lighter, like each strand weighed less somehow. I wouldn't say it's super straight but the ends don't flip as much as they had been. My stylist told me that the salon treatment would make my hair look flat-ironed even without blow drying so while that is definitely not the case here I would say that it is noticeably smoother.

After a few swipes with the flat iron (which is a crappy Conair model), I can definitely tell that something has changed. The ends seem to hold the straightening better than before and it's less fuzzy up around my scalp. Hello, no halo!

I still have half a bottle of the treatment left and could probably do it again in a couple of weeks if I wanted. I wouldn't have the pre-shampoo but all that really did was remove any build up and I could probably do that with a homemade mix.

My stylist spoke very highly of the salon treatment they do and said there's two different levels you can get. One lasts 4-6 weeks and costs $125 and the other lasts 3 months and costs $300. Both of those things really depend on how much you wash your hair (just like hair color) and since I only ever wash my hair every other day it would probably last longer for me. It also would only take 3 or 4 hours in the salon instead of 48 hours at home so I'm inclined to think it would be worth it.

I also just realized I have a hair color appointment on Friday and the chemicals from that could just remove all the Keratin I just put in my hair but that's the price of beauty, right?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Seafood? I eat it. (after having babies)

Let me start out by saying...WOW...what has happened in the last few months?  So I am going to give you a little bit of an update.  I'll try to keep it short and sweet so I can get to the topic at hand.

First off, last we spoke I had gotten a temp job at a local tank manufacturer.  It was only supposed to last 4 weeks and ended up lasting nearly 3 months and only ended because...DUN DUN DUN...I got a new job.  PERMANENT JOB!  It's only part time...which is going to work out perfect....and I do admin stuff for one of the government contractors on the Naval Base here.  So you know what part time means for you guys?  More time for pie!

My second update is very sad and many of you have probably already heard my terrible news.  I have written many times on here about my dogs and have considered them part of my family, one of the kids.  But about a month ago, our mini weiner got hit by a car.  It was absolutely awful and our kids have had a hard time with it and of course we have too.  He was our first born.  RIP Trouble!


Alright!  Now on to something a little more up beat....weight gain..lol. 
Before I got pregnant with my first, Revel, which was when I was all of 24 years old, I was a complete toothpick.  I don't know what I weighed, but I would say less than 120lbs.  I wore a 2 (it's been a llloonnnggg time since those days).  Anyhow, I didn't work when I was pregnant with Revel and I totally sat in bed and ate bonbons ALL.DAY.LONG.  No joke!  I slept till 2pm, ate in bed, watched tv in bed....I was lazy for 9 months.  But...I was still a toothpick.  I could wear my regular jeans until I was 7 months.  Then I had my 7lb 2oz baby, which didn't equate to the 40lbs I gained.  But again, I was young and lived in an urban area where I walked everywhere I went.  I worked hard at watching what I ate and getting a normal amount of exercise in...nothing too strenuous.  And I did lose most of the weight.  I would say I kept 10 lbs maybe (I never weigh myself.  I just don't want to obsess about numbers)  But no matter how much weight I got off, things were never going to be the same again.  I never wore ANY of my pre-preggo pants again(I gave them to my mom...I know depressing right?).  But I was still pretty tiny and definitely didn't complain too much.

Now I'd like to rant...so if you're not in the mood...just skip this whole section.  I have friends that were actually smaller after they had their babies than before and they weren't large people to begin with.  HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?  AND HOW DID I MISS THE SIGN UP?  I don't get it!

AND THEN CAME OLLIE!  Thanks goodness she's cute because she ruined me! First of all I'd like to say that I worked my butt off when I was pregnant with Princess Ollie.  I owned my own business and had a part-time job AND ran around after a toddler.  But I had to wear maternity clothes almost immediately, I would say within the first 3 months.  And by the time I was 9 months I was as big as a house  HUGE!  I gained the same amount of weight as with Revel, but boy did I carry it differently this time.  I was big ALL OVER!  My face gained weight...how does that happen?  So then I had her..all of 7 lbs and I was miserable.  First of all, if you know me, or even seen my pics on fb you know that I am heavy up top..yes meaning the boobs.  When I had Ollie I was a 36 E..I am only 5 ft people...I can't be that big. 

Anyway, back to my story...so at my 6 week check up I basically hadn't lost a lb since having her and had decided to use an IUD (Mirena to be exact) for birth control.  And let me tell you people...I have not lost 1 lb or 1 pant size since.  I have worked my butt off from torturing myself at the gym..practically starving myself...diets...everything possible.  I still own and wear regularly the jeans I bought 2 weeks after having her.

So recently I got fed up with it.  I had always heard that birth control in general can make you gain weight.  And although it had never been a problem for me in the past, maybe 2 1/2 years later it's time to admit it could have SOMETHING to do wtih it.  Well okay.  I ranted to several friends who inevitably gave me the,"you know Sheila, you're not getting any younger" speech.  But I just didn't feel right.  I mean basically I still looked pregnant.  So about 1 1/2 month ago, I had it removed...

AND BOY DID IT MAKE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE!

I have already lost 1 bra size and 6lbs without even trying.  (It is the holidays, I can't be responsible for what goes in my mouth this time of year).  Soooo...I guess in conclusion, no...it will NEVER be the same again, but we aren't 21 anymore.  However, if you think this stage is bad...it CAN get worse..lol.

Alyda, aren't you ready for all this?  Believe me, it's inevitable, and it will only get harder to handle the older you are.

And as for your hair debacle...my answer to that...cut it off...worked for me. =) Other than the color of mine getting darker, it didn't change much after I was pregnant.  Guess I had one thing going for me..lol.

But truly Em...you are a beautiful mom.  We all have those inner beauty struggle, and sometimes we maintain better than others...but happy and healthy is the most important thing.  Love you girls!

Pregnancy changes everything (and no I'm not pregnant again!)

Oh, hey there! Long time, no pie.

Sorry to our loyal followers for the lack of posting action. I'd give you the list of excuses for my absence but it's a mile long and would just take up valuable time that I could be writing a real post.

So, to the topic at hand....the changes your body goes through after pregnancy. Now, consider this to be nothing but a rant. You probably won't learn anything from it but if you've had babies then you might recognize something and feel a sense of camaraderie because someone else (me!) has gone through the same thing.

First off, I gained around 50 lbs. with Sam. People swear up and down that I didn't look like I gained that much but let me tell you, the scale doesn't lie. I started off doing really well, drinking lots of water, eating lots of fruit but then 3rd trimester came and I could have just started an IV drip of sweet tea and been just peachy. I couldn't get enough. Sweet tea and Chic-fil-A, a deadly combo.

So of course when Sam joined us and he only weighed 7 lbs, 11 oz. I began to wonder how in the hell I was going to get rid of that other 40+ lbs. Some of it disappeared naturally but once I started teaching it really started to fall off. Not that I'm complaining. Oh wait, yes I am! And here is why...

I have had to buy a new wardrobe about 10 times over the last 2 years and it's really starting to get old. Every time I get a bunch of clothes I actually like and that fit well I either gain weight (hello, baby bump!) or lose weight. I know, I know, stop complaining about losing weight. I hear you. I get it. But seriously, my clothes being too big and looking frumpy is almost as bad as them being too tight. I can't win.

Now, on to my hair. I used to have super stick straight hair. There were times that I wish it was wavy or something but for the most part I enjoyed it. Super easy to style, very smooth, I liked it. Then, I gave birth. Then it all fell out. I'm talking big old gobs of hair just falling out when I showered or brushed it or sneezed. Didn't matter, it just came out.

We all know what happens when hair falls out though, right? It grows back. Which means I have a ton of little baby hairs popping up all around my hairline and in the middle of my scalp. And they aren't even straight! They are all kinky and curly. So now I have this big old helmet/halo looking thing of frizzy, short baby hairs all over my head. And to top it off, my once straight hair has  now decided to have a couple of weird waves in it so no matter what I do to tame it it just rebels and flips out somewhere else.

So in a fit of desperation yesterday I picked up this kit at Target. (It's the thing in the middle of the pic.)


My stylist had told me about the new Keratin treatments you can get at the salon and thought they would work well on my hair and all that and so when I saw this I thought I'd give it a shot. You wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo (included) and then put the treatment on and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then you blow dry and flat iron. It felt so disgusting and super greasy after I first did the flat iron but this morning I can tell that it has soaked in a little more. You can't get it wet for 48 hours and you are also supposed to not tuck it behind your ears or pull it back with anything that will leave a kink or bend in it. I'm sure by tomorrow evening I'll feel disgusting but if it helps even the tiniest bit then it will be worth it. I've used their other products and have some of the moroccan argan oil serum and I like it so hopefully this will help get rid of some of my post-Sam frizz.

As for the clothes situation, I don't know what I'll do. I'm still two sizes away from my pre-Sam days and I still have a bunch of those clothes but they probably won't fit the same anyway. Ugh. 

Sheila, did you ever make it back to your pre-baby size? And did your hair do a complete 180 on you? I've seen other people say that with each kid their hair got wavier so maybe that's my lot in life?

Oh, and Alyda, doesn't this all sound fun? Aren't you totally looking forward to it? :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

This is not a real post. But hey, COOKIES!



I love that Royal Icing lasts forever. It means I can be crafty with a minimum of time (again, Sugar Cookie Recipe courtesy of Sweet Sugar Belle). Also, yay holiday cookie cutters!

(There will be a real post again after Christmas, when I can show all the things I made as presents. Not as many as I meant to, but there are always upcoming birthdays....)

Monday, November 28, 2011

An Ode to Hot Glue and Cardboard




Also cheap fabric samples.

* First, a disclaimer: My camera decided to die right as I started into this project, and I couldn’t find the charger, so I had to take pictures with my Blackberry. They are horrible and you will blink a lot and I apologize, but at least I remembered to document this time.

I had kind of forgotten how much I love hot glue. I don’t really have any space in our tiny condo (a fact to which Emily can now attest, since she came to visit me – well, me and IKEA – last week! Yay!), so the crafting side doesn’t get to come out and play very often. (This is partially why I end up baking so much, since I can’t really keep anything I make, and also I don’t have a craft room or even a dining room table to keep things away from the cats and/or husband.) Anyway, months ago I was walking through Hancock Fabrics (yes, unsupervised, how can you tell?) and they had the tiny fabric blocks on sale for like 25 cents or something, and I saw the fabric above and thought, “Wow, that would make a perfect wallet for my sister!”

So then I bought 30 of them. 

Please note here that no, I had (have?) no idea how to make a wallet and had no idea where to start. Just the fabric block.

Anyway, a few weeks later their cute buttons were on sale, and at that point I got kind of a hazy idea about how to make a wallet. It included cardboard and hot glue. So … the following steps I really wouldn’t call a tutorial so much as A Learning Experience. (Also, possibly a Re-Learning Experience That Hot Glue Is, In Fact, Hot.)

My company had been getting these stacks of marketing materials that are 8.5”x11” and came shrink-wrapped and backed with thin little sheets of cardboard. The cardboard sheets were just the right weight for what I wanted for the wallet sides/walls, so I amassed a stack and took them home.



I collected all my supplies: the cardboard, hot glue gun and glue sticks (I used some called “Ultimate Strength” that promised to be more awesome than pretty much any glue, ever, in the history of the world. I would say this claim is a bit of a reach, but it’s still pretty good hot glue.), fabric panels, cute buttons, Velcro tabs (I didn’t end up using these but I might on future wallets), and colored elastic (found in the jewelry aisle at craft stores).



I just wanted to do a simple V-shaped wallet that had a closure. So I measured an existing wallet to get an idea of size (I think I went with 4”x7.5” for each wall but it’s entirely up to you) and laid out cardboard on the fabric. I used one color for the outside and another for the inside, just for some contrast.



Remember that the outside panels are going to be larger, and will butt up against each other in the middle of the fabric so they can fold, while the inside panels will be separately wrapped (this will be clearer in a minute, I promise). I also used two cardboard pieces for each outer wall, glued together, for a little bit firmer wall.


Then, I wrapped the inside pieces in fabric on one side, hot-gluing it around the cardboard (like you would wrap a chair seat you were upholstering and staple-gunning on the back).
  


Next, the outside pieces, which sit almost together in the center (leave a teensy bit of room for folding together) and then get wrapped the same way, only a little bit prettier since you will see part of the folded corners inside the wallet.



Next, I cut two triangles out of the inside fabric (this will specify how wide your wallet will open, so measure that out and leave a little bit extra for attaching) – I folded each over so it was double-sided, because you will see both sides of this as it forms the bendy side walls of the wallet. Then, I hot-glued each side in place, forming a “V” with the outer wallet walls.


 
(This is why it’s good I took pictures – I’m pretty sure this makes no sense whatsoever with me rambling on here. However, I forgot a picture on the next part. Yeah, I know.)

I wanted the inner pocket split into two, so I wrapped a smaller inner panel on all sides but left a triangle-shaped overhang on each short side that I then glued against the fold-y wall bit (sorry, no in-progress pictures, but I think it makes sense below). I also added some reinforcement stitches here. Next, take the inside panels you have already wrapped, and hot-glue them to the inner area, covering up all the exposed places. 



Now, I had the issue of closure to deal with. The next one I make, I will extend the top so there’s a big flap, but since I was sort of building this one as I went, I didn’t think of it in time. So I made a little strip to wrap all the way around. I secured one end and folded it under (have I mentioned how much I love hot glue?).



Then, I wrapped it around and hot-glued it all the way around to the other side, with an overhang across the open top of the wallet.



I folded under the tip at the end, and then I added some buttons for closures and reinforcements. In nearly every case, this meant going through some cardboard, so I ended up marking the spots and then pushing an embroidery needle through to make a hole first, and then sewing the buttons on by hand. Below is the inside reinforcement button for the outside button that works as a closure. They back up to each other on each side.
  

Then I added a loop of elastic with a button reinforcement backer on that strip I glued around the outside:




This allows the strip to wrap around the wallet and then loop down to close it.



My only concern (which I will address with a big overall flap for the next one) is that something might fall out since it does not go all the way along the open top part. I am hoping it’s tight enough to offset that. And, since I just gave this one to my sister for her birthday (Happy birthday, Ashley!), she will verify for me and I will let you know. :)

And I might be making more wallets for Christmas, who knows!