Friday, March 7, 2014

Global Keratin Treatment review

I have crazy hair.  Some it it is perfect curl, some of it is wavy, it is all frizzy and it is unmanageable.  I have been using a straightening iron for 13 years now and not to get my hair straight, but to make it stylable.

I used to do the Brazilian Blowout system.  I liked it overall but what I didn't like is that I still had my little baby curls framing my face (could have been the person who applied it) and that it lasted about 8 weeks on me.  Then my hair would frizz.

My wonderful hairstylist, Chi at Rain and Co salon, talked me into doing the Global Keratin Treatment. After a year of thinking about it, I decided it was time. It comes from Israel and in my experience, most of the hair products that come from the middle east are fantastic.  It also claims to last SIX MONTHS!!  So, the price is a little steep ($400) and it took 3 hours to apply, but I figure spending $2.40 a day for six months is doable.  I will just cut back on my Starbucks!

So, here is my before pictures.  As you can see, I have to wear my hair in a ponytail a lot when it is curly.  If I want to wear it curly, I have to shower the night before and put it in braids.  Then the next morning when I take out the breads, I have to manipulate it with product.

*sorry for the bad quality....I was using my old camera phone since I am still waiting for my new replacement!

If I want to straighten it, it takes 45 mins, at least.  Plus, the roots are so puffy and curly, it looks unhealthy.

The process was fine.  It took 3 hours.  Chi wash and conditioned my hair, then applied the straightening product.  Next she blew dry it and straightened it to activate the product.  She used VERY SMALL sections.

Some stylists wash the product out at this point, but Chi swears by leaving it in for 3 days.  That means for me, no ponytails, no clips and no water on my head for 3 days.  Which is fine because I love wearing my hair down when it is straight.

Here is me the next brush (I forgot to take a pic right after the process, but it was pretty much exactly the same).

I am amazed about how my tiny curls are gone!  I am amazed about how healthy it is now as well!  And my color looks like it has been rejuvenated!

When I wash my hair, Chi says that it will just be like beach waves.  All I have to do after I wash and condition my hair is towel dry it, put some serum in it and GO.  Seriously?  This stay at home mom is so excited for the easy breezy care of his hair!
I will update after my first wash on Sunday!

Washed my hair and O.M.G, it is so soft and smooth!  Here is a picture of my hair after it air dried with NO product....still pretty tame, in my book!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Yummy Roasted Cauliflower

I am a roasted veggie freak.  I roast EVERYTHING!  And cauliflower was on my list this week.

I found this recipe and modified it slightly for my taste, but this turned out pretty good!  Also, if you are weary of cauliflower, try this recipe.  It may change your mind!

First, I cut up the head of cauliflower into smaller florets.  Then I added a couple teaspoons of dried marjoram, whole garlic and olive oil.
 I decided to add precooked bacon.  Because who doesn't like bacon!

And some Montreal steak seasoning.

Put it in a 450 degree oven for 20 mins.

Then added a couple of tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar and Parmesan cheese.

Cooked for another 15 mins.
Here is the finished product!  The hubby loved it and my 18 month old gobbled it up!   The tang of the vinegar was awesome.  I think I am going to add Brussel Spouts next delicious!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Magic urine stain remover!

Ava is completely potty trained during the day and has been for 7 months now.  I don't remember the last time she had an accident!
Nighttime?  Now that is a different story!  She is still wearing pull ups at night.  We have tried not giving her any liquids an hour before bed and having her go to the bathroom right before bed and she still wakes up wet!

The other night, hubby was putting the girls to bed while I was out for dinner with a friend.  He wanted to be proactive daddy and told Ava that she needed to be a big girl and wear her undies to bed.  She said "Ok, Daddy!".  However, Daddy forgot the no liquids rule.  And Daddy also forgot that I had taken the waterproof sheet off and put it in the wash.
He told me this when I got home at 10pm.  So I knew it was going to be a long night.

Ava woke up in the middle of the night, wet and crying.  I changed her clothes, changed the sheet and put a towel under the clean sheet.  i was dreading the mess I would have to clean in the morning.

Of course, her nice mattress had a BIG stain on it.  Living in Seattle, I cannot clean it and leave it outside to try (it rains here, Ya know!) and after much internet searching, I found this solution!

All I needed was Baking Soda, Hydrogen Peroxide, some dish soap and a spray bottle!
Here is the stain before:

I sprinkled Baking Soda all over the stain.  I let it sit for about 20 mins then I took a towel and rubbed it in a little.

Then I added my 10oz of Hydrogen Peroxide (that was put in a spray bottle with 3 drops of Dawn dish soap) and sprayed that sucker!  I used everything in the bottle!

Then I waited for it to dry.  I had a fan going on it for about 2 hours and it was dry!

I could already tell a difference!  Then I vacuumed up the baking soda and VOILA! No stain!

You can see I missed a spot, but I redid the spot the next day and it became super clean.  And no urine smell!  I cannot believe this worked.  I have a feeling that when Stella starts potty training, I will need to use this trick often!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Fun with Mod Podge!

I have another human inside of me.  No, I am not pregnant.  I have a crafty Momma that is dying to get out.  I call her Betty.  I get this awesome ideas of crafts to do.  I buy all the supplies.  Then I attempt them.  I get frustrated (or distracted) and I don't finish.  One day, I will fix this flaw.

I went to Joanne's a few months ago and they had a huge sale on Canvas.  I decided to buy a few because I like to use the kids painting projects as decorations around the house.  Ava made these for Stella's room before Stella was born.

Anyways, I was looking to make a gift for my Dad and Grandma for a late Xmas (we celebrated in Feb.  Long story).  Eureka!  I can do canvas art!  After several searches on the Interwebz, I settled on Mod Podge pictures.  And here is how it ended up!

Pretty cool, huh?!  For the LOVE one, I used leftover scrapbook paper from a few years back when I thought I would make a scrapbook for Ava when she was born.  I finished 2 whole pages!
Then I used Mod Podge to apply the paper, acrylic paint to get the green edges and some distress paint to make it look antique.  I also just printed pics of my girls on printer paper in sepia tone.

Once dry, I painted the L, Ava used her hand prints to make the O, I painted the V and Stella used her hand prints (with Daddy's help) to make the E.  She is only 18 months old, so the prints are a little wonky!

The Second one I did the same, but used pics of my cousins and gave this one to my grandma.

Now, I have many ideas to make my family wall in my room!  Picture transfer on canvas is super easy and CHEAPER then any other store can offer.  Looks like I will have plenty to do!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Thoughts on 33 years

Yesterday I turned 33.  And as my Mom pointed out, that is the age that Jesus died on the cross.  That was the start to my birthday.

I remember when I was younger I thought 30 was so old.  Then I turned 30 and felt fabulous!  Now, at 33, I should be feeling old.  But I am feeling the best I have in years!  And here is why.

My early twenties were a time of finding myself, however many miss turns I took, I ended up here.  And I am grateful.

I had a horrible boyfriend at the time, I was far from financially responsible, I was still trying to decide what to do with my life, I was partying A LOT, I was physically and emotionally unhealthy and I lost touch with friends who I will later find out should have been there all along if I allowed them to be.

Then, I met my now husband and he guided me to the light!  Seriously! He taught me about financial responsibility.  He taught me about being emotionally healthy and physically healthy and, most importantly, he showed me that I am a good person and I should trust my instincts.

Here I am, age 33, two amazing daughters and one irreplaceable husband later, and I am so pleased with where I am at.

7 months ago, I set out to get healthy for real.  No more of these fad diets or get skinny quick schemes.  I was going to do it the hard way, but the healthy way. In my past, I have tried every diet, exercise program, diet pills, shakes and even some interesting electronic devices (ab shocker, anyone) to get fit.

I have tried Jullian Michaels 30 day shred, Shaun T's Insanity (which is the only thing that actually worked for me), P90X, hip hop dancing, and then some.

I have tried SlimQuick, Hydroxycut, Hoodia, All'i, Xenadrine, Garcinia Cambroguia, Sensa, Caffiene pills, and laxatives.

I have tried Paleo, no carb, no gluten, no salt, no sugar, no fun diets.

So, I feel like it is safe to say that I am an expert on the quick fixes.

Instead, I decided to add more fiber to my diet, less sugar, and cute back on alcohol but not limiting myself to what I want.  So, if I want a brownie for dessert, that just means that I eat healthy all day or go for an extra run.  I feel free!

And I run.  I run to clear my head.  I run to be held accountable to my buddy, Knox.  And I run to make sure that my kids have a mom who is active and can keep up!  I want to be that mom practicing Softball with my kids, not the one sitting in the chair.  I want my kids to see me take care of myself in a healthy way and not being obsessed with my body shape so that they are confident in their body when they are teens.  I want my kids to see me as a role model.

I don't weigh myself very often.  But on my 33rd birthday, I decided to do it.  I discovered that I have lost 29 pounds in 6 months.  I went from a size 12 to a size 6-8.  All due to running and eating healthy.  I did not starve myself, I did not take pills and I worked out when I could (2-3 times a week).  I am happy, not just about how I look, but I feel so healthy!  I see the correlation between unhealthy habits leading to depression.  And I never want to be there again.

Me in June 2013
Me in February 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

To Macklemore and Ryan Lewis...THANK YOU!!!

Everyone is talking about the Grammy's last night.  From Taylor Swifts GIFtable moments (head banging?), Pharrell's hat (channeling Smokey the Bear) Paul McCartney and Ringo.....but I stayed up to watch Macklemore and Ryan Lewis perform Same Love with Mary Lambert, Queen Latifah and Madonna.

I have loved Macklemore since 2011 when I heard "My Oh My".  His rhymes are smooth and important.  He has something to say.  Not the typical cars, money, girls, drugs that is around rap.  But he talks about REAL LIFE.

So when Same Love came out, I had chills.  This song, this video, every live performance, I tear up.  Not only believe I have a strong belief in Gay rights and Gay marriage, but because I believe in Love.  And when Mary Lambert starts singing the line "I'm not crying on Sunday", I lose it.  This is personal for her.  As a catholic and as a lesbian, she found herself in a situation where she was not accepted by her religion, but she wanted to be.

But this performance takes the cake!  During the performance, Queen Latifah actually married 34 couples.  And get this, they were straight, gay, different religions, was about LOVE.  lets celebrate LOVE!!

I dare you to watch this without crying.

But to be honest, I thought it could have been better without Madonna.  Mary Lambert can sing circles around her!!!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Salary for a Stay At Home Mom

I am consistently seeing these articles about what a salary for a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) would be if we got paid.  At first, I was like "Right on!!!", but after some thought, I am realizing that this is just another way that mom's can feel good about being a SAHM.

Those of us who are lucky enough to be able to stay home (yes, I said LUCKY), should realize that yes, it is a job, but (in my humble opinion), we should not feel like we should martyr ourselves because we sacrifice so much of our lives for our families.  We are Mom's.  THAT is our job.

Here is an image that I got from Cafe Mom that explains the "salary" of a SAHM:

Ok, lets break this down.  I have a 4 year old and an 17 month old.  

Facilities Manager:  Hmmm....I would have to split that with the hubby, so not the 10.8 hours that this pic claims, more like 4.

CEO:  Again, split with the hubby.  We both run household chores and daily happenings.

Laundry Operator:  Ok...I will take the full amount on that one!  Yes, the hubby will help when it gets really backed up or if he needs something washed for a business trip, but as far as every day laundry, putting away and hand washing delicates, I end up doing 95 % of it.

Computer Operator:  Besides my randomness here and my check in on my favorite sites while having my morning coffee, all computer operations and anything teckie (hello, entertainment system) is all on Hubby.

Housekeeper:  Yes, yes and yes again.  HOWEVER, I do not spend 14+ hours cleaning on my own.  If I did, I would not be a happy mom and my kids would be watching TV all day long.  I will say about 8-9 hours of cleaning per week when the hubby helps.

Cook:  I am FOR SURE the cook of the house.  BUT....I don't think cooks get paid $13.56 an hour to make plain pasta or heat up some mac and cheese.  And to give out carrots.  I do cook a good meal for the hubby and I at least 4 times a week. But, I will go with this one.

Daycare Teacher:  I used to run a small daycare out of my home.  And when I did that, I would totally understand these numbers (in fact, it was an under-paying job) but now, just as a mom, I feel like this is fair.  I do wish I did more learning exercises with my kiddos.

Van driver:  This is a total yes.  

Janitor...I totally get.  Just last night I had to wake up at 2 in the morning to clean vomit from the carpet, and also change some sheets.  Plus, don't get me started on the dog.  But, I would put this in the same catagory as housekeeper.

Psychologist:  Does this count when I am the one who needs a shrink?

So, in the end, I think it is a little much.  But again, I have some pretty easy kiddos, schedule is not full of sports practices, plays or dance recitals yet.  And I am lucky enough to have a husband who helps out when he is home.

I guess I am tired of everyone saying "Being a SAHM is so HARD!".  I agree.  But I will also venture out to say that being a working mom is even more difficult.  But that is me.  I know Mom's who could never stay home and tell me I am so brave.  If they live a day in my shoes, they may realize that YES, it is a thankless job most of the time, but I don't think it is as hard as everyone says.

Well, maybe you should ask me that when the girls are going through puberty.  Then I may want to work in a field where there is a LOT of travel!