Feria Fiasco

Ever since I had Riley (and if I’m being honest, even before), I’ve been lazy about beauty maintenance. My eyebrows have gone months (terrible) without getting done. My semi-new gray hairs tend to stick around for much longer than they should. And my husband could testify to my prickly legs as shaving is just not on top of my priority list when I’m trying to squeeze a shower in to a busy day. So when I get the opportunity and take my precious (to me) time to do something like dye my hair, I’m pretty bummed when I don’t see results like I wanted. I’m downright livid when I find that it made my hair look even worse. I wouldn’t normally want to use a public space to bash a product or company, but I feel like it’s my civic duty as a girl (and bonafide hot mess) to make sure others don’t fall prey to the same mistakes I have.

I recently bought L’Oreal Feria hair color at CVS because it was on sale and ExtraBucks woo! (If everything I just said there was gibberish, just ignore it.) Now, I know all my hairstylist friends may start yelling at me for even using box color, and normally I’d be right there with you guys. But when you’re trying to cover persistent grays on a budget, home remedies are necessary. Being that it was more expensive and kinda fancy looking, I thought Feria would be great. It promised shimmering highlights and vibrant color. Don’t believe everything you read. (You would think a semi-intelligent human being would already know that, but I digress.)

My first inclination that this hair color wasn’t to be used again was the smell. Hair color does sometime have a harsh smell to it when it’s working to change the pigmentation of your hair, but this was overwhelming and when I pulled some hair a big closer to my face to get underneath, I couldn’t breathe and was nervous that I got it in my eye thanks to a severe burning sensation.

After rinsing and drying my hair, it didn’t seem like it did much to my roots. While it did cover the gray, I had purposely bought a darker natural brown color to change it up a bit and while the drier ends up my hair changed, my crown did not. I also noticed a redness and slight itchiness around my hairline, something that’s never happened with any of the other various hair color lines I’ve used. I don’t have very sensitive skin so that isn’t something I normally worry about with beauty products.

Lastly, in the last week I’ve found numerous sections of hair that have just broken off including a large chunk in the underside of the back of my head as well as what I call “palm trees.” Palm trees are the little frizzies around your hairline that seem to stick up at inopportune moments.

I’m sure many of these symptoms could just be normal for using box color, but I have never experienced them with any of the many times I’ve colored my hair (even the time during senior year when I turned my whole head white…oops). While others may have had success with this hair color, I will be avoiding it like the plague…and mostly likely writing a strongly worded letter to L’Oreal!

Have you ever done something crazy cosmetically? I should put up a timeline of terrible personal hair color choices. There have certainly been enough instances!

Health(ier) Eating

Hubs and I are In the middle of our second week of eating (mostly) healthy. We’ve made a few meals I found on Pinterest and Instagram, and I thought I’d share the recipes we liked so far. Keep in mind we are also trying to stick to a budget so our daily food intake is not as dietary or healthy as it could be.

One of our favorite meals that I make often is Mexican Lasagna. Tortillas replace noodles in this version of the Italian classic (my all-time favorite meal), and we multiply the fiber by using Mission Carb Balance tortillas. They have 26g of fiber which greatly offsets the carb intake. With ground turkey, low fat cheese, beans and salsa, we manage to make this meal much healthier for you.

We also tried this “smoky chicken, pepper, and spinach pasta salad” served warm. It was incredible and super filling, no side needed. I seem to struggle with anticipating how much food my hungry police officer husband is going to need when he gets home from work after a 12 hour shift, so a filling meal is a big plus in my house. We used whole wheat pasta to make this meal a bit more carb friendly, but otherwise I didn’t change a thing.

  

I brought this three bean and zucchini salad from the genius over at inspiralized.com to my in-law’s yesterday for a Memorial Day BBQ, and it was a hit. Have you ever made zucchini noodles? The Spiralizer is pretty easy and diversifies your vegetables enough to make you forget you’re even eating them. I’ll do another more in-depth post on the Spiralizer and the terrific recipes we’ve tried from inspiralizer.com and accompanying cookbook.

   

 

Last but definitely not least, I’ve read about protein pancakes forever and always assumed they would be difficult or require a million ingredients so I never tried to make them, but I’ve been craving that baked good type of breakfast, and I knew pancakes would satisfy that yesterday morning. I found this recipe and actually had all the ingredients on hand to whip them up…super delicious. They don’t necessarily taste exactly like pancakes, but they cooked really easily and the combination of banana, cinnamon and vanilla extract totally fulfilled my need for baked deliciousness.

By the way, these past few weeks probably make up the only time in my adult life where I had ingredients on hand to put together various meals (think potatoes, onions, chicken broth, vanilla extract), and it makes me feel so grown up. Being able to make those pancakes this morning was a mini-victory for the cool portion of this hot mess (although how COOL it is probably depends on your definition of the word…).

Friday Faves

This week has seemed long for some reason. Maybe it’s because it followed such a great weekend, but I’m happy it’s Friday! Plans this weekend include swimming with Mimi and Peepop, cleaning, relaxing and barbecuing with the whole family on Monday. Have a great Memorial Day weekend and make sure you spend some time paying respects to those who have served our country!

I took a long walk with Sawyer a few days ago while Riley spent some time with her Mimi and Peepop. I finally put my birthday presents to good use and Sawyer got some sun!

   Speaking of walks…this screenshot of my neighborhood map makes me giggle.

 Eating healthy (with a few cheats…looking at you, root beer floats!) has been great this week. It’s fun to find meals we like again and feeling awesome is the best part. I’ll post more about our healthy eating endeavors next week!

Click the photo for the recipe at Veggiebelly.com – Balsamic Grilled Summer Vegetables with Basil Quinoa

I’ve been watching Parenthood when Ron isn’t home and I’m stuck on a couch nursing Sawyer. It’s awesome…such a heartwarming, funny show. I started watching it because I heard good things and because I love Lauren Graham (Lorelai Gilmore is one of my favorite TV characters), but I think Crosby and Kristina are actually my favorite on the show. I feel like I see myself in Kristina and how she tries so hard to be the best mom ever for her children.

A recent park date with my family is still making me smile. It was Sawyer’s first walk outside, and Riley got to run around the park and work off some energy. She loves climbing on ANYTHING, and I know it will haunt me until climbing things no longer seems like fun for a girl. Her fearlessness exhausts me!

    

Date Weekend!

Part of the police officer life is long/odd shifts and exhausting days. My husband works for 12 hours at a time (before overtime) and when he gets home, he could fall asleep standing up. Many nights we’re in bed about the same time as Riley, 8pm. I am usually up for a while, but he tends to fall asleep within the hour. His shifts alternate each week, granting him a 3 day weekend twice a month. Although last weekend should have been his turn for a break, he signed up for some off-duty work and although it didn’t consist of nearly has many hours, he still had to work a bit of the weekend. Earlier in the week, we planned to go out on Sunday to see a movie, but when I came downstairs from putting Riley to bed on Saturday night, Ron had surprised me by renting Wild. He bought me the book by Cheryl Strayed for Christmas one year, and I’ve been dying to see the movie ever since. The book is incredible (if you haven’t read it yet, get to Amazon and download it now!) and knowing that the author was also tied to the movie almost guaranteed authenticity at the very least. With our recent Lost obsession, we haven’t been looking at renting movies lately, so it was especially exciting for him to plan this little surprise. What made it even better was that he rented it at Redbox, which I know he hates doing. Just the thought of him going against his movie renting preferences (meaning have me do it!) made it more special.

Movie watching with my lobster husband…burned from directing traffic all day!

In honor of the event, I decided to go out and pick up a bottle of wine and some semi-dietary ice cream. With Pinot Noir and Greek frozen yogurt in hand, Ron and I watched the movie. While I liked the movie and I thought Reese Witherspoon was great in it, the book is definitely better. Of course, I generally think that about all movies that come from books.

Delicious treats…and the omnipresent baby monitor in the background!

When Ron got home from work on Sunday, he took me to the movies to see Pitch Perfect 2. It was hilarious and had some great songs. I love going to the movies and get extremely excited anytime we go. We skipped the snacks and enjoyed some Coke Zero (diet treat!) and the movie. Does anyone else get swept up by the previews? They’re my favorite part of a movie theater experience. I hate when a preview is so good that you end up wanting to see that rather than the feature you actually paid to see. While sitting through the previews, we caught a glimpse of the movie Inside Out. It looks adorable. It’s about a girl named Riley (!!!) and her feelings inside of her, depicted as little creatures. As we were watching, Ron leaned over and told me he was going to take our daughter, Riley, to see it. Even though she’s not yet two years old, I think she will love the giant screen and animated characters. Either way, it was so sweet to see him get excited to take our girl to the movies.

Images courtesy of Google.com

After the movie, we went over to the Fox and the Hound for a drink and some appetizers, another fun surprise since we started a diet and beer and boneless wings generally aren’t included. We didn’t go nuts and kept it to the one beer (I tried Guinness Blonde…I never thought I’d be a fan of Guinness, but I love the Extra Stout and the Blonde is a nice summery version of Guinness!), but it’s always so nice to be out alone with my hubs! We try to eat in a lot to save money and keep it to the healthy side so drinks and snacks out were a great ending to our day date! We also took the opportunity to kind of plan our trip to New Jersey next month. There are so many people we want to and need to see! I also need to eat a bunch of Jersey food before returning to the land of Southern cuisine (bleh). I miss pizza, pasta, breakfast sandwiches and Italian subs! I might eat TaylorHamEggandCheeseonanEverythingBagelSaltPepperKetchup every day and gain back whatever weight I lose in the next month, but oh well. Southerners don’t understand our love for breakfast sandwiches! (Seriously, they think putting ketchup on them is weird…they’re weird!)

Overall, I appreciate any and all time my Hubs and I have to spend alone together. When most of our conversations are punctuated by stopping Riley from pulling the dog’s tail or keeping her from climbing on the kitchen table, it’s a treat to spend a conversation focused on each other. Even sitting in the movie theater and occasionally resting my head on his shoulder was like a mini-vacation. This past weekend was a happy and fun reminder that there’s no place I’d rather be!

Friday Faves

A few favorite things & moments from the week to take us into the weekend (another fave…especially when my husband is off like this weekend! Sort of, ha)

  1. First and foremost, I am happy to be blogging again. I’m hopeful I’ll keep it up, but maybe my lack of outward commitment will be what keeps me going. I love getting my thoughts and stories down on (virtual) paper. I love to read blogs and have always wanted to keep up with one of my own. I don’t think I’ll be doing any outfit posts any time soon (although a true depiction of my #OOTD might be entertaining enough…mismatched and pajamas and 3 day old leggings anyone?) and my photos could use some work (perhaps they’ll improve along with my level of sleep deprivation!), but this week has been really fun.
  2. For my birthday, my husband gave me a workout outfit from Fabletics. Have you heard of this brand? They put together workout clothes based on your style profile and ship to you each month for $49.95. As a VIP member, your first outfit only costs $25, and you can cancel at any time. This is the outfit I received and I LOVE it! The clothes are great quality, and although I haven’t been cleared to work out yet, I’ve already worn everything at least once. I can’t wait to wear them on an actual run!                                                                                                                                                  Photo Cred: Fabletics.com
  3. I have been brewing coffee at my house for the first time! I’ll go more in depth about this on Monday (how fitting…a post about coffee to beat the Mondays!), but a perk of my week has definitely been my daily iced coffees!
  4. I shouldn’t say this. I know I shouldn’t say this, and yet here I am. While Sawyer LOVES (like la la la LOVES) to scream and cry in the afternoon/evening, he sleeps pretty darn well during the night. I feel extremely lucky for this development and yet now that I put it out there in the universe (in print no less!) I’m sure I’ll be up all night from here on out.

    Sleepy Sawyer

  5. My husband and I are starting a diet (officially) this weekend. I need to fit into a bridesmaid dress for my lovely friend Jill’s wedding next month (OMG next month!) which I was measured for 12 pounds and one baby ago. I was in my best shape since high school this time last year and can’t wait to get back to feeling that good. Unfortunately, tiny increments of sleep while chasing after a toddler and being attached to a screaming baby for multiple hours on end doesn’t really make you want to eat salads. All I want is chocolate. Chocolate on everything, please. But today I tried to put on a pair of pants I bought last summer and could barely get them up, let alone zipped. So diet it is. Diet is really the wrong word; we’re looking at a change in lifestyle. Nothing feels better than eating right and working out (besides maybe getting a good night’s sleep in addition to those things) so it really is a fave to be getting back to my best self.

What were some of your best moments or faves of the week?

Mad about Dreams

I had the most realistic dream the other night. In the dream, my husband and I had gone to visit friends and family back in NJ. We are planning a trip in June for both visiting and for our good friend Jill’s wedding. I know it will be difficult to bring an almost 2 year old and a 2 month old on a 9+ hour car ride along with a week outside of their element and routines. I’m already somewhat concerned about how this will affect the two kids and by extension me and my sanity. I guess my dreams are mirroring my anxiety that lies beneath my consciousness because in my dream visit, we show up to a party at our friend Matt’s house before going anywhere else. Although there are other couples with children in this group of friends, it is more like a frat party atmosphere where I immediately lose my husband and later find him drunk while I struggle to take care of two kids under two all while feeling completely out of place.

I’m not telling you this to talk about dreams specifically or vent about my worries, but because I woke up extremely angry at my husband. Sleeping innocently next to me, I got the sudden urge to smack him and then yell at him for ditching me immediately, but luckily I’m not quite that insane and I realize my anger had no place in real life. I’m not always this sane though and have actually spent days, or at least mornings, mad at my husband because of something he did in a dream.

Can you imagine being mad at this sleepy face?

Has this ever happened to you? I find it crazy! Is it because maybe the feeling of anger is more powerful than other feelings? Is that just me? How come happy dreams don’t leave you feeling happy? Or maybe they do and we just don’t notice as much because of course we notice negativity before positivity (something I’m working on within my own life). Because I guess I do feel sad after waking up from a sad dream, or at least somewhat melancholy.

Please tell me I’m not the only crazy person out there that this happens to! Anecdotes about how you got even later on are much appreciated as well!

Lately…

Lately…I’ve been feeling the urge to write. I’ve thought about journaling, taking literal pen to paper, and cataloguing my thoughts privately, but I love blogs. I love reading them, and when not completely bogged down by life, writing them. So back to the interwebs I go. I don’t want to say I will post every day or every week or even ever again because once I do, it will be a year before another post appears here so let’s just say hi again and let that be it.

Lately…I’ve been breastfeeding. The past few days I think that has occupied at least a third of each day, if not more. One big difference between my (now 20 months old!) daughter, Riley, and newborn son, Sawyer, is that Sawyer is a typical hangry boy. He wants to eat ALL. THE. TIME. He still sleeps a decent amount at almost 4 weeks old, but if he’s not sleeping or eating, then he is crying to eat. So that’s a tad exhausting. Also? I’m not as good at getting up in the middle of the night this go around. Maybe it’s because I’m a year and a half older or maybe it’s because I’m not taking opportunities throughout the day to nap, but either way I find myself sleeping through the alarm and only jerking awake when the baby starts to cry. It seems find since he is eating nonstop anyway, but still. Last thing about breastfeeding? My boobs hurt. Like 50% of the time, they are swollen and aching…probably because this kid won’t stop eating so my body thinks food is necessary ALL THE TIME. It’s like I’m nursing twins. Ay yi yi.

Lately…Riley takes my breath away with her intelligence, sense of humor, and beauty inside and out. She is SO smart. Maybe all one year olds are this smart, but I doubt it. Of course I’m biased, but my heart swells with pride when she helps put the dishes away or drapes a “may-may” (blanket) over her “bruddah.” She loves to give hugs and kisses, especially butterfly kisses, read books, take baths, and drink “smoonies” (smoothies). She is beyond persistent, a trait I think will help her later on in life. She is definitely headstrong, but still a good listener and a great helper. She makes me laugh hundreds of times a day and surprises me all the time with her skills and intelligence. I love to love that little girl!

Lately…I am really appreciating my one glass of wine at the end of the day. There is nothing like unwinding with a yummy glass of Mommy Juice, even if it is restricted to one glass (probably for the best!)

Lately…my husband, Ron, and I are watching Lost on Netflix. My favorite thing to do after a long day is to binge watch a few episodes. We haven’t done that in a long while due to a busy year, and I forgot how fun and absorbing it is to watch one show almost non-stop.

Lately…I am just really happy, even when I’m overwhelmed and crying or yelling or missing my police officer husband, I’m so deeply happy.