Tuesday Was a Good Day

Tuesday was my first day off after working all weekend and Memorial Day.  J and I had plenty of errands that took us all over Central Pennsylvania.

First we went to Jo-Ann’s to pick out fabric to make a Princess Elsa cape for J.  J has been taking a small blanket and tying it around her neck like a cape.  Which gave me the idea to make her a true cape with velcro, etc.  I found this pattern on Pinterest.  J was very good in the store.  She helped me find the perfect shade of Elsa blue and a sparkly overlay/sheer.  I think picked out a pretty pink satin for the other side, thinking one side could be fore Elsa Princess and the other side could be a super hero side.    J was so good that she got to pick out a treat, pop-rocks.  I haven’t had these things since I was a kid and J totally got a kick out of them.

Next we ran over to Old Navy.  I had to return a pair of maternity shorts that I had bought online.  I was looking for a regular pair of jean shorts but all they had were ones that had a rolled edge.  J found some cute hats that we had to try on and asked me to take a picture of us.  How can I refuse cute hats and selfies?!

But first let me take a selfie

But first let me take a selfie

I found a cute onsie for the baby and a shirt for J on the clearance rack.  Then off to SAMs club for groceries.  I spent WAY too much money here but I was able to get Matt’s Father’s Day present.  He has been lamenting that we no longer have a Keurig to make “good coffee.”  We got spoiled living with Mom and Dad.  The only downside of just having a Keurig is not being able to make a pot of coffee for a crowd or a thermos to take to work.  There had to  be a solution.  Why wasn’t there a machine that could do both?  Brew a whole pot of coffee and make a single cup if you only want one?  Enter  the Hamilton Beach Two-Way FlexBrew Coffee Maker!  It’s like they read my mind!

Coffee Heaven!

Coffee Heaven!

I got it for a steal!  They are advertising it online for $99.99 with a $10 mail in rebate.  I got it for $79.00 at SAMs club!  That’s a $20 savings!  Not to mention this station that does both is $50 cheaper then the cheapest Keurig.  I felt like a queen walking out of there.  I got Matt a box of 54 Starbucks Pike’s Place K-Cups and two t-shirts from American Apparel that were also on sale to round out his present.  J did an awesome job sitting in the cart and helping me pick out groceries.  Matt decided that he wanted his present early, so we set it up Tuesday night.  We were both very excited about having coffee in the morning.  Once we actually use it for a little bit I’ll write an official review about it, but so far we like it.

Mom and Dad asked to have J spend the night since they were only going to be watching her one day this week.  So after her nap Dad came to pick her up.  I decided to make a fancy dinner for Matt and I since we weren’t going to go out for a date on Tuesday night when we both had to work the next morning.  For dinner I made Greek Chicken on the grill, tzatziki, and rice.  I picked up some Kalamata olives and feta cheese for sides.  Then for dessert I made Baklava using a recipe I found on Pinterest.  You can tell I’m not a true blogger, I didn’t take any of the pictures before I ate all of it.  LOL!  It must have been pretty good, there were no leftovers!  I did manage to get a picture of Matt and I before we chowed down on the couch and watched The Heat.

Another selfie!

Another selfie!

It was a perfect night.  A full tummy made for a great night of sleep!  Not bad for a Tuesday if I do say so myself.

Would y’all want tutorials or a blog about the Greek/Persian food I made?  Let me know.  Enjoy the rest of your week!

 

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Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

I recently chopped all my hair off.  So I am going to tell you my “Curl Story” and a little bit more.

I was born with CURLY hair.  I had a halo of curls my entire childhood.  I never knew how to care for them and my mom was totally overwhelmed with them.  I grew to resent them.  I want long straight hair like other girls at school.  Not frizzy wild hair that never actually looked curly to me… just frizzy.  If I couldn’t have straight hair I wanted hair like this:  Picture.  Beautiful well-formed curls that flowed down my back like a Botticelli model.  People always told me that they loved my hair but for some reason I didn’t believe them.  All I saw was frizzy hair and it drove me NUTS.

5th Birthday

5th Birthday

Getting my hair cut was always an ordeal.  Most hair stylist don’t know how to handle curls (VERY CAREFULLY!!) and cut it the same way they cut straight hair.  I can’t tell you how many times I left a salon upset that my hair wasn’t perfect curls or magically straight.  I called it the wedge, the pyramid, the bell… I could go on and on.  Curly girls know what I am talking about.

"The wedge"

Aaron and I Lake Tahoe 

When I got to middle school there was a girl, Carol, with perfect curls.  I loved her curls.  I wanted her perfect blond curls.  I asked her how she took care of it and discovered mouse.  Then came crunchy curls.  I had crunchy curls for a long time.  I still had frizz but it was better than it was.  I also began to realize that I touch my hair too much and that my hair looked better when I didn’t touch it.  I am bad about that.  I like running my fingers through my hair.  When it is curly I get nervous about it, which makes me touch it, which makes it look worse.  Just writing that sentence made me run my fingers through my hair.

Sarah Long Hair

Perfect example of brushed out curls

In high school I discovered the blow dryer.  I loved rainy days because my mom would blow dry my hair for me in the very early morning hours.  It was quite the process.  It would take at least 45 minutes to do.  Which now seems ridicules to me knowing now that the moisture in the air would lead to frizz (my enemy).  I would be so happy with my hair until I stepped out doors and then I would be a poodle again.  Grrr.  So off and on for the next 5-10 (gulp) years I would go for various amounts of time blow drying my hair and alternating with curly hair.

I was very lucky.  My curls were resilient.  No matter how much I blow dried them I could wash them and then they would be curly again.  No problem.

In 2006 I found a hair stylist who knew how to cut curly hair, gave me a GREAT haircut that actually showed off my curls and made them look beautiful.  He also told me not to wash my hair as much with shampoo.  I was used to this with blow drying my hair.  I would go several days making a blow dry last for up to a week so I didn’t have to blow it out again.  This made my curls better but there was always a point in there where it would just get too greasy and I would have to wash my hair.

In 2008 I moved back to Pennsylvania and I was determined to figure out how to care for my curl.  I had to find a way to make peace with them.  To make them look pretty.  I wanted to be happy with them.  I discovered the Curly Girl Method in 2009.  I could go on and on about this but I won’t here.  If you like more on this leave a comment and maybe I’ll write another post about my experience with it.

I had pretty curls for the first time in my life.  I was so happy about it I couldn’t stand it.  I loved people telling me they loved my curls because I agreed with them.   I was still occasionally blow drying my hair but only for special occasion or event.  For some reason straight hair means dressed up, grown up or fancy to me?

I got pregnant with my daughter in 2010 and my locks got longer and longer and thicker and thicker.  I loved ’em.

I had my daughter in August of 2011 and I knew from the moment I saw her that she was going to have curly hair and I wanted her to love it.  I never wanted her to feel ashamed of her curly hair like I did.  I wanted to show her how to take care of it and make it look pretty.  I wanted her to never feel the out of control-ness that my frizzy hair made me feel.

I have shampooed her hair 2 times in her life (she is just over 2 now).  I have threatened my family and my husband’s family with death if they shampoo her hair.  My husband washes her hair with conditioner so lovingly it breaks my heart when I see him gently combing out her conditioned curls.  I love making her curl perfectly formed.  I love hearing people compliment her curls.  It makes my heart swell.

A little over a year ago I discovered the flat-iron and curling iron.  DHUN DHUN DHUN.  I noticed that my curls weren’t as curly.  I was in-between cuts and I thought “well, I’ll just flat-iron it/curl it.”  So for about the next 6-7  mos I was a slave to the flat-iron/curling iron.  In June 2013 I decided to do a dark red wash in my hair.  Now I knew that red is really hard on hair but I didn’t think much of it.  My hair is resilient, right?  I had done red before no problem.  I can abuse it and it will keep bouncing back, literally.  WRONG.  I fried my hair.  BAD.  I was mortified.  I had never had fried hair.  I was heart-broken.  My curls felt like straw and my hair was thinner and it wouldn’t curl.  Now this was just a 28 day ammonia-free rinse.  I went back to the Curly Girl routine immediately thinking that would help.  Nope.  My curls were stringy and greasy.  I tried new products and old products and got the new Curly Girl book and nothing helped.  I tried this for months.  It got better but it wasn’t back to normal.  I started to notice that if I didn’t use a diffuser on it and scrunch it, I would hardly have any curl at all.

Finally, in October I bit the bullet and decided to get my hair cut.  I was expecting to get it cut off and end up with my bouncy full curls back.  I was wrong.  My hair has changed.  I have a little wave now but not enough to make “real” curls.  But I am determined to take care of my hair.  I am still using shampoo, only because I have to.  My hair gets so oily in just a day or so that I look like a greaser if I don’t wash it every day.  My hair is thinner then it ever was.  I am using only natural, curly girl approved products on my hair.  I moisturizer like it is going out of style.  I finally have soft hair again.

But I am going to pout now.  It isn’t fair that I finally learn how to take care of my curly hair and now it’s gone.  I know that I have, probably, done it to myself but that still doesn’t seem fair.  I would give a lot to have my thick curls back.  I hope that they will come back.  Perhaps my body needs a rest or is changing or with the next baby they will come back.  Who knows.

I consider myself a pretty healthy person.  My mother in-law is convinced that it’s my thyroid, but I’m not showing any other signs of thyroid problems.  I eat well, most of the time.  I get enough rest, except for when I don’t.  I exercise, when I can (I also have a very active job).  Hell I take vitamins!  A LOT of them to make up for what I don’t eat enough of.  I guess after writing this post, it is time to call the doctor and see what they think.  Perhaps it is time for a good once over.


***Update***

So I wrote the above blog in November.  I was at a point that I figured that I would NEVER have curly hair again.  That I was destin to have normal wavy boring hair. 

I did have my thyroid checked when I first found out I was pregnant and it was low.  I had it checked again in the second trimester and it was normal, so who knows what is going on with that. 

But I am happy to announce that my curls are BACK!  I have been using the curly girl method religiously.  I don’t use shampoo at all.  I gingerly blot my hair with cotton t-shirts.  I only use alcohol free gel and a leave in conditioner in it.  I don’t touch them once I dry them.  I haven’t blow dried them straight once since they have come back.  I only use a diffuser on low heat to quick dry them.  I am like a fanatic.  I am so happy that they are back I have been telling people about it non-stop.  I have converted at least one girl at work. 

Prayers answered!  My only fear at this point is that I am going to lose them again after I have this baby.  Hopefully that last round was just a warning from the curly hair gods.  Warning me that they can be taken away just as quickly as they can be given.  Yes ma’am!  You got my attention!

Memorial Day- 2014

Summer is here!  The beaches and pools are opening this weekend.  Ice cream is cold.  Grills are hot.  Shopping sales are going non-stop. 

But let’s take a moment to remember what this holiday is really about.  Memorial Day is a holiday that celebrates men and women who have died while serving our country.

Arlington National Cemetary

I know that I forget this on a regular basis.  I have so much gratitude that I do not have to celebrate this holiday with a different meaning.  Matt, Aaron, and my other family members who have served have all come home. Many have not been so lucky.

Thank you to all those who have served, past and present. Thank you to all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for this great country of ours. Thank you.

Now back to our regularly scheduled BBQ and Lemonade.

I’m a work in progress

So I was looking over all the post that I have written on this blog and I realized how much I enjoyed them.  I apparently turned this in to a chore instead of a labor of love.  I do this with most things.  Anyone else have this problem? 

So today I will try again.  First blog post since March.  What?!  How is that possible?  I swear I haven’t been that busy or at least I didn’t think I had been that busy. 

Does anyone else have to keep trying again? 

So updates about life and me since March. 

We found out in mid-April that we are having a BOY!  He is measuring 2oz bigger than average and about 2 days ahead of schedule.  Oh goody!  LOL!  We still don’t have a name.  Nothing fits.  It isn’t like when I was pregnant with my daughter and just knewthat her name was Jacquelyn.  I am trying not to stress out about it.  I know he will have a name by the time he is born.  Maybe we will let him pick his own name after he is born, like Picabo Street.  Just kidding! 

Craft-wise I really haven’t done a whole lot.  I have been pinning like crazy on Pinterest. That counts as being crafty, right?!

I am having a hard time crocheting and I don’t know why.  Not physically, I’m just not interested in it.  I have plenty of projects started just no motivation to work on them.  As we speak I have all my supplies in my locker and could be working on a granny square afghan for my mom.  Instead I am working on this blog and doing research for my spray tanning company.  I think it is because I was sooo sick over the winter with what I now know was morning sickness and a horrible stomach flu that I equate crocheting with nausea. Opps. I guess I’ll have to force myself to work on it and prove that it doesn’t make me nauseated.

I have been looking in to embroidery machines. I am dying to buy this one. I can’t stop thinking about all the cute monogrammed things I could make as gifts and for myself/the house. I can’t cough up enough dough at this point to actually buy one so I keep pinning things on Pinterest so I don’t forget when I finally buy my machine.

We had a wonderful unexpected visit from my mother in law, Lisa, last week. She helped us put in a vegetable garden and small flower garden in our backyard. Matt has been seeding the yard constantly in an attempt to get all the bald spots where we ripped up concrete last fall. It is starting to come together. We have had one fire in our fire pit and have enjoyed our new Adirondack chairs on the back porch. We have had one family BBQ with the new grill. Matt loves the charcoal grill. Nothing fancy just a good old fashioned round Weber Grill.

Weber Grill

We are loving Game of Thrones on HBO. It is getting so good this season. I am sad that there are only a couple episodes left. Any other GoT lovers out there?

Other than that we are just doing life. Living each day as they come. Life is good. Real good. Maybe that’s why I haven’t had time to blog about all of it. I’ve been too busy living it.