So I washed my hair last night… but not how you think.

Washing hair with baking soda and vinegar? Really??

So I’ve been wanting to try this for a while and finally did it last night and today realized that I hadn’t done a blog post in a while and thought this might be worth writing about!

I usually wash my hair with this stuff:

I see a theme...
I see a theme…

 I have pretty horrible psoriasis and I’ve found the only way to control it is by using tar shampoo every time I wash my hair which is usually between every 3 to 5 days (I could go longer between washes before I chopped off my hair). I use the generic dandruff shampoo for some extra lather and well, extra dandruff control I suppose. I can’t use conditioners at all because no matter how much I use it always makes my hair super greasy. I had been using moisturizing shampoos on the ends of my hair when it was long but I gave that up too when I lost the length. And so far it’s worked fine. In fact, here’s what my hair looks like having been washed the night before and air dried:

twoshampoo
Not bad, just messy

I recently read about washing your hair with baking soda and vinegar as a way to cut out unnecessary chemicals in your beauty routine. Since I know I’m allergic to hair dye (so sad) and that artificial sweeteners (specifically Aspartame and Asulfame Potassium) give me wicked migraines, I figured it was worth a shot! So after talking at length about it (and other essential oils adventures which are hopefully to come soon) with my friend, Haerah, I went for it.

Using In Sonnet’s Kitchen’s guidance, I was ready to start! First, I got two little containers in which to mix ingredients (because apparently baking soda is only potent for so long in water so you want to make it in small batches):

TSA approved!
TSA approved!

and then got my ingredients which cost me a whooping $3.16:

sodavinegar
I could get used to the price of this hair care!

The guidance said one part baking soda to 3-4 parts water so I did about a centimeter of baking soda in one of the containers and filled it just past that first sticker. And then it was one part vinegar (which btw my friend told me to get organic, but this was all the store had and I really wanted to try this on a Saturday in case I needed to rewash on Sunday so this is what I got) to four parts water so I measured it out and ended up filling the container. They also say you can add essential oils to the mix to help cut the vinegar smell but I don’t have mine yet but I do have an oil that I wear as a perfume so I added two drops of that. I could honestly notice a difference in the smell with just the two drops. Ok, so then I jumped in the shower! Baking soda mixture on first and I rubbed it into my roots and let it sit for about three minutes and then rinsed with warm water. Vinegar next (making sure not to get it in my eyes) and then rinse with cold water to seal in moisture. And here’s what it looks like after blow drying:

threesoda

Amazing! It looks no worse (and maybe even better) than shampoo! And today after sleeping on it, my hair feels as soft as usual and it doesn’t feel dry or dirty. So… I know that I need to expect it to get a little greasy but what I’m worried about is if I notice that I’m scratching more from the lack of the medicated shampoo. So far it’s been ok. Can’t wait to see how it looks in a day or two! So a quick comparison:

Top: Shampoo. Bottom: Baking soda and apple cider vinegar.
Top: Shampoo. Bottom: Baking soda and apple cider vinegar.

What do you think? Do you have any favorite home remedies in your daily routines?

xoxo

DIY Fabric Flippy Floppies!

Happy summertime, y’all! Life has been crazy with trips and husband being in school so I haven’t made much time for projects. But this weekend I have absolutely no plans so of course I got itchy to do some sort of craft.

This past week, one of my favorite blogs, A Little Bolt of Life, featured DIY Disney painted Toms. I immediately wanted to do it myself (though I knew I would want to try doing a Little Mermaid version) and made a mental note to look for these shoes the next time I was at Walmart. However, while running errands this morning we ended up at Walgreens in the summer section where they had a great selection of cheap flip flops. I suddenly remembered a Pinterest idea from long ago and just had to see if I could pull it off…

So here are the $2.99 beauties I started with:

Yay cheap summer shoes!
Yay cheap summer shoes!

I started by cutting the plugs off the bottoms of the plastic part til I was left with this:

Holy moly!
Holy moly!

Then I went into my fabric scrap bag and pulled this awesomeness out:

What? You don't have random Little Mermaid fabric laying around?
What? You don’t have random Little Mermaid fabric laying around?

and then I cut it into strips…

Made sure there was lots of Ariel showing
Made sure there was lots of Ariel showing

I then threaded both ends of a short strip through the top hole and knotted it on the bottom, making a loop on top. Then I actually cheated a little and sewed the longer strips into tubes so there were no raw edges and then threaded each end into the bottom holes like so:

See where I'm going with this?
See where I’m going with this?

And then- Wah-la!

Custom Little Mermaid kicks!
Custom Little Mermaid kicks!
New favorite shoes!
New favorite shoes!

I seriously might have a hard time not wearing these all the time, though I’m sure my plantar fasciitis and amazing cankles will talk me out of it eventually. 😉

So whatchu think? Don’t you need to go make some DIY summer footwear now??

xoxo

7 Hairstyles in 7 Days!

So last week in one of my favorite blogs, Hair Romance, I read how she had accepted the challenge put forward by Fox in Flats to do the 7 Day Hair Dare. While I love doing fancier hairstyles on myself, I love sleep more, so often my work hairstyles leave much to be desired. I decided it would be fun to see if I could do this challenge for myself. Here’s how it turned out!

Day 1: Being that it was Memorial Day, I wanted to do a red, white, and blue motif of sorts and as my dress was blue and white, that left the red to my hair.

Red, white, and blue!
Red, white, and blue!

I used a red scarf which I tied around my head first and then incorporated the red scarf as one of the three plaits in two pigtails which I then pinned up and hid the ends in the scarf. I had never tried this before and was very happy with how it came out AND how well it held throughout the day.

Day 2: One of my new favorite hair accouterments is a hair donut which my mom bought for me. It allows me to throw my hair up in a ponytail and make a clean bun, like so…

Hair donut!
Hair donut!

In the past I had made sock buns which had similar outcomes, but not as clean. Also, full disclosure, this is two separate days because I’m lame and repeated this hairstyle (day 2 and 7). It’s just so easy and keeps all my hair up out of the way!

Day 3: This day I actually gave myself the time to do a proper fancy style for work! It’s a lace dutch braid starting at my part, going across the back of my head and then twisted up into a side bun.

Braidy braid braid
Braidy braid braid

Day 4: Today was a blah day.

Blah.
Blah.

The best I could come up with was a ponytail, but at least I hid the elastic with a piece of hair! Meh.

Day 5: On another of my favorite blogs, she is always featuring her “Tuck and Cover” hairstyle in different variations so I decided to give it a shot but with a few changes since I have a lot more hair than she seems to.

Tuck and cover!
Tuck and cover!

I ended up having to braid my hair and roll it up into the headband and pin it in place. Anything else I tried fell right out because my hair is just too heavy. I like how it turned out though!

Day 6: Fun day at a winery calls for a casual fun hairdo! Enter side messy fishtail braid!

Fisshhhh
Fisshhhh

I probably could’ve redone this to make the sections smaller and therefore make it look more fishtail, but I was happy with how it came out!

Day 7: Like I said, I was lame and repeated my bun since we went to breakfast early and then for a hike but I recently sent my cousin examples of top braids to possibly do for her senior ball and they’re actually more like what I do on a regular basis anyways, so…

So many choices!
So many choices!

Ok, so maybe I don’t wear a tiara on the regular, but the other ones I do and then either pull the rest of the hair into a low ponytail or a bun.

So I’d say the challenge was a success! I mostly did this for me because I need a little something to look forward most work days but also because lately I’ve been feeling stagnant and frumpy and needed to shake it up! So who will do the challenge next? I’d love to see what you come up with!

xoxo

Tauriel hair!

It’s Saturday and for a change, there are no morning/afternoon plans on our schedule. AWESOME! So naturally, we decided to watch The Desolation of Smaug (isn’t that what you’d do on a day off??). Not only was I excited to see this again for the first time since in the theater, but I also have now watched “Lost” in its entirety and was interested to see what I would think of Evangeline Lilly in a role other than Kate Austen (the first time we watched DoS, I had no idea who she was). And I gotta say, I know lots of Tolkien purists were annoyed by the addition of an unnecessary She-Elf who then falls in love with a dwarf (blasphemy!) but that doesn’t mean she’s not a beautiful bad ass in this movie. I mean, look:

Kate, er, I mean, Tauriel
Kate, er, I mean, Tauriel

I remember oogling over her hair on my first view of the movie (you know me and twisty braidy things) but this time, since I was watching it at home I had the luxury of pausing the movie to try to figure it out. So first, I started by sectioning off the the hair:

It's a good look for me I think
It’s a good look for me I think

I found out by trial and error, that it is easier to do the front section first. I did some simple twists on either side, not really making a true part down the center.

Twisties
Twisties

It’s not as clean as Tauriel’s, but I didn’t have a team of hairdressers helping me so it’ll have to do.

So next, I started twisting the sides. Tauriel’s is a simple twist, but knowing my hair, that wouldn’t stay so I actually did more of a french braided twist to lock it down to my head.

Not going anywhere!
Not going anywhere!

Then I twisted the other side and connected the two twists.
Perfectly imperfect
Perfectly imperfect

All that’s left is to do a fishtail braid from the top twisty section, add a little flair, and wa-la!
All done!
All done!

So let’s compare:
If only I had some pointy ears...
If only I had some pointy ears…

I look just like her, right? Ha. Well, it’s not perfect but I had to try my hand at Elvish coiffures. 😉 What do you think? Do you see something I could change to make it more accurate?

xoxo

April Showers bring… Aprons!

I’ve been saving this post for a while as the outcome was a gift and I didn’t want to spoil it!

My cousin Joe is getting married in June and this weekend was his lovely bride, Sam’s, bridal shower. A few months ago, she posted an apron made from the leg of a pair of jeans on my Facebook wall saying I could make it for her as a gift. Though I loved the idea, I already had a gift for her so it got moved to the file in my brain labeled “Wouldn’t it be cool to make this one day,” and I forgot about it. That is until my favorite jeans…

IMG_0058
…gave out on me.

Womp womp...
Womp womp…

BUT then my brain started screaming at me, “HEY! Remember that project Sam told you about? Now you have the right materials for it! You must obsess over it until you find the time to actually make it happen!!” And I said, “You know what Brain? You’re right!!”

So in the meantime while I didn’t have the time to actually be putting needle to thread, I still was following all of my favorite blogs and gathering ideas. One of my favorite inspirations is Dana from danamadeit.com to whom I will never ever hold a candle but she’s at least given us “normal” people a chance by starting a series of video lessons. The one that caught me for this particular project was the one about making your own bias tape. After watching it, I knew that’s what I needed to do for the apron.

At my next trip to Michael’s, I found this fabric (their selection is null but this was in what I’ll call the pillow/embroidery section) and while it was rolled up and I didn’t know if it would be enough I bought it anyways. I was pleasantly surprised when I unrolled it.

O, hey Deadliest Catch marathon on in the background!
O, hey Deadliest Catch marathon on in the background!

Ok, so I had my materials! Jeans, bias tape fabric, and time. GO!

First, I cut the “good” leg (sans holes) off at the hip:

IMG_0062

Then I folded in half and cut the arm hole areas by cutting a half moon shape at the top which when unfolded (and evened out a bit) looked like this:

IMG_0063

Next came the bias tape! I fearlessly followed Dana’s instruction, cut the fabric on the bias (or at a 45 degree angle) and got to folding and ironing!

Fold, iron, repeat.
Fold, iron, repeat.

Lemme tell ya… Bias tape is my new most favorite thing. No measuring and pinning hems, just place that sucker on your piece, sew, and you have a perfect and professional looking edge. SCORE! Because bias tape also has a bit of give, it can follow curves more easily.

So I had the edges done, now onto the neck strap and tie around the back. I took what was left of my bias tape scraps, put the right sides together and sewed three lines. Then I cut in them in half (essentially making two tubes).

IMG_0065

I then took a safety pin on one end of each tube and fed it through to flip it right side out (sorry no pictures). I then ironed and measured how low I wanted the apron to hang and sewed the neck strap in place.

IMG_0067

For the back “tie” however, I wanted to figure out a way to not have a bunch of tiny seams in the strap so the easiest thing I could think to do was make one long piece and add velcro to the sides.

The velcro dots blend right in!
The velcro dots blend right in!

Lastly, I decided to add a pocket to the front so I carefully removed one from my jeans with a seam ripper. Unfortunately the pockets had all sorts of embellishments so I just covered it up by using more of my bias tape material!

Bye bye embellishments!
Bye bye embellishments!

And the final result looked like this:

Ta da!
Ta da!

I considered adding more details (like the buttons I had that matched the polka dots) but decided (after seeking outside opinions) that I should just leave it as is. I am absolutely thrilled with how it came out and look:

The blushing bride!
The blushing bride!

I think she liked it too! What do you think? Do you have an old pair of jeans that you’ve repurposed? I’d love to hear about it!

xoxo

Poppin’ tags: Part 4

And now for the piece that I think looks the most different from the original and therefore I impressed myself the most with- my white sundress! So here’s the before in case you forgot:
20140327-223025.jpg
Not bad but just felt a little frumpy and also, white sundresses and whatever polka dotted, striped, or colored undies I tend to wear just don’t match. So I knew that was the first thing to change. I had a navy sundress in high school that I adored so navy seemed like an obvious choice when choosing my dye. I also decided that I wanted to attach that lace bib from Dress #2 to this dress so I threw that in the mix at the same time.
20140327-223501.jpg
After going through the dye process, I was reminded of an important lesson- DO NOT expect your finished product to match the color on the box. It’s probably not going to happen. Because when I opened the washer, my dress and bib were not navy but instead this deep purple color which I was TOTALLY ok with!
20140327-223726.jpg
Then I moved on to the length. I knew that I like longer dresses but I just felt like knee length was the way to go with this one (mostly so there wouldn’t be any unfortunate hugging in areas). I knew I would wear a belt with the finished product (can you tell I’m a big accessorizer?) so I just needed to decide where I wanted the seam/belt to hit my mid-section. I put the dress on and put pin markers where I wanted the seam to fall, took it off, and just chopped! Cutting is always the most terrifying part for me because it seems so final. Unlike the rule “measure twice, cut once,” I usually measure three or four times before cutting. Then I just sewed the top and bottom together (no ruffles this time)!
20140327-223705.jpg
My finishing touch was to hand sew the lace bib on to the dress. I originally thought that I could sew it higher in the chest region so I could still have that peekaboo effect I thought I would have on Dress #2 but when playing with the placement, I realized that it would look better just as embellishment on top. So I sewed it on, stopping at the seams by the arms so it didn’t just trail off without purpose by my armpits. I know from far away you can’t see the detail as well, but this is my favorite part of this dress. So here’s what the finished product looks like close up:
20140327-223721.jpg
And then I accessorized with a gold belt and shoes and a simple white cardigan.
20140327-224011.jpg
One more before and after shot:
20140327-223958.jpg
So there you have it! Went to the thrift store with only $20 in my pocket and ended up with three great dresses! Do you have a Macklemore-esque success story? I’d love to hear about it!

xoxo

Poppin’ tags: Part 3

One down, two to go! I showed you what I did with my Hawaiian wonder, now I’ll show you how I doctored my lovable monstrosity! Here’s a refresher:

20140326-203456.jpg
I LOVED the print on this fabric. The colors and the bold flowers, all of it just spoke to me… and it must’ve been speaking pretty loudly to drown out the lace bib, shoulder pads, and weird front seam! My original idea was to wear this dress backwards and cut out the fabric behind the lace for a peek a boo effect. It wasn’t til I decided to use the lace bib for my third dress that I changed my mind about the whole design.

Unfortunately I didn’t take many “during” pictures, so I hope you have an imagination!

So first I removed that bib.
20140326-203159.jpg
Turns out the “hem” of the neckline was pretty sloppy because it was being covered, so why make it pretty? Then I moved on to the bottom. Like I said, this had a weird front “V” seam so I had to decide whether or not to keep it. While it wasn’t UNflattering, I realized that I just didn’t like it and decided to the skirt off above it and then reattach it to the top. Only thing is I did like the gathering that the skirt had at the waist which meant I had to create the gathers by pinning them in place before sewing the top and bottom together again. It was kind of tedious, but it gave the flounce to the skirt that I think flatters more rotund derrieres so it was worth it.

After the skirt was worked out, I moved back to the top. Shoulder pads were removed and then I had to do something to the sleeves. I love ¾ sleeves, but with the way the neckline was shaping up and now that the dress was shorter, I didn’t think fuller sleeves was the way to go. I decided to chop them off. Unfortunately, giant poofy 80s sleeves require giant arm holes to accommodate everything. There wasn’t really a way to cover them up without it looking weird so I just knew that this would be a dress that required a tank top underneath (which let’s be honest, I probably would’ve done that anyways).

Finally, back to that neckline. I liked the idea of a sweetheart shape and there was enough extra fabric to make that shape work. And then instead of leaving the straps raw, I pinched them together and sewed a little scrap of fabric around them to hold the pucker I wanted. That also helped make the “sweetheart” a little more defined.
20140326-203237.jpg
So there you go! Add the tank and a belt for a little more definition and it’s good to go! Here’s the before and after, one more time:
20140326-203253.jpg

One more to go! ;