Of french tips, and trims

Hello all,

I know it's been a while since my last post, so I thought I would stop by and give you all an update.  We'll start off with the happy first; I am learning how to french tip my nails! I know that I've done colors in the past, but I bought a pen and am quite pleased.  This is my second attempt:
My first attempt was okay, but I hadn't gotten used to the pen yet so it was a little shaky on the right hand.  The paint dries super fast, which is awesome so I can actually get these done in about fifteen minutes including nail prep time.  Not bad for an amateur, eh? (Oh....ignore the little white dab on my thumb...sorry....) 

Okay...now for the not so great part: I got a trim.  *WAILS* MY HAIR IS SO FREAKING SHORT!!!!! 
Okay. Not really.  But it feels like it.  I realized that because of the "singe" episode I really did need to get my hair shaped up and since my left side grows slower anyway it was just starting to look bad.  So I went to my trusty hair stylist - she has been cutting my hair since I was ten years old so she knows my likes and more importantly, my dislikes - and showed her the damage.  Honestly, she really didn't cut anymore than an inch on the bottom and then just deepened the "V" cut a little bit to even everything out, but I'm really bummed because it means that I'm just short of waist length again.   My new goal is by the end of May I'll have at least two and a half inches more...maybe three or four if I work up the courage to start taking vitamins daily again.  (Vitamins make me really sick if I'm not careful, so I have to watch it.) So we'll see...I suppose it's not that bad, but it's just frustrating...I feel like I'm taking one step forward two steps back...but in reality it is the opposite of that.  I am making progress, I'm just at that "Wall" stage where I feel like I can't go any further, but I know that as soon as I get past waist length it's going to be smooth growing. 

I also got new toys!! Yay!! I bought a "Tangle Teezer".  I don't know if any of you are familiar with it, but it looks like this.  I'm not sure that's it's as amazing as they say it is, but I can say that it cuts my de-tangling of the wet hair time in half, easily.  The idea behind it is sound; many soft bristles make for less pulling and breaking.  I have noticed, in reading reviews, that if you have ethic hair that is course or more wiry, stay away from this item.  I have yet to read a review from somebody with that hair type that has had a good experience with it.  Same with people who have curly hair.  Since my hair is only slightly wavy, so far I haven't had any issues.  It can't replace my love of a good wooden paddle brush or a tsuagi boxwood comb, but it's a nice new addition to my hair "stuff" collection. :) 

Oh! Interesting little thing.  I decided that in light of the "trim" *enter horror music", I would use my WEN cleansing conditioner only, because my hairstylist usually washes and conditions my hair and I didn't know how my hair would react to SLS so I wanted to be on the greasier, less clean side in case of excess drying.  I started a week before and was washing with it every other day, or at least that was the plan.  By the time I had washed it twice with the WEN, my scalp was itching SO bad I couldn't take it anymore.  I used a baking soda wash and rinsed with honey and lemon juice and the itching went away immediately. It was really interesting to see how my hair has grown to love and depend on my chagrin soap bars and the baking soda.  It just doesn't like anything else.  So I won't be trying that again any time soon. 

Okay, well that's all for now.  I will talk to you lovely people later! 


Okay, I want to get a little serious

So, this is going to be a branching off of what I usually write about because this has been pressing on my heart for a while.

I know that what is written on this blog is to be generally considered fairly shallow and vain.  I want to try my best to address why I do like writing about this so much and why it's been a journey for me to get here.

I've never really considered myself a beautiful person - NO, I'm not fishing here for those who might know me - but it was really set in stone for me when I went on a camping trip with a family whose daughter applied makeup on the way to the camping site.  Me, with my boy cut hair and camping clothing, couldn't hope to compare to the person with curly red hair, five inches taller than everyone there, smart, matching hiking gear, and with perfect makeup.  Her daddy took a picture of her and said that a photographer wouldn't even have to edit her photo at all and then took a picture of me, looked at it and said, "Well, we'll have to work on you."

It hit me like a knife in my gut; never before had I been so unfairly judged or insulted.  And that feeling of accepting that I just wasn't that great looking pretty set itself into my heart permanently.

*Enter violin music* Pathetic, I know.

So imagine if you will, someone who has been told all her life the classic, "you have a wonderful personality and are so pretty on the inside" trying to accept that she will never be anything more than the awkward girl next door.  It's frustrating.  And it's hard, especially when you're trying your best to be stoic and realistic about it.  I started growing my hair out and it got really long, to about my hip.  I started obsessing; I finally had something of my own that not a lot of people had and it was soooo pretty and lovely and everyone wanted to touch it.  I couldn't NOT think about it.

Everyday was focused on the opportunity to show off my hair, which - when looking back at it, wasn't all that great.   I mean, it wasn't bad, but there was a lot of damage, I didn't wash it enough and the bangs just kinda sucked.

So I chopped it off.  Again.  And started up a new mindset: if I can't be pretty, then I'll be bada$$, hip, funky, cool, hence the spiky pictures of my hair that I've posted in two posts back.

I tried to not think about my appearance and how I felt about myself, because I knew that, in God's eyes, I was beautiful to Him no matter what, and as much as I tried to remember that my opinion of myself only got worse.  I was still constantly thinking of how I looked and how I just didn't compare to other people.  I knew and know it's wrong to do that, again, I was hand-crafted by my Sweet Abba and that should have been enough, but I think that I started embracing a mindset that was just as negative as being constantly obsessed with myself in that I didn't have a realistic idea of how I truly looked.  I would downplay myself on purpose.

Slowly but surely, I have begun to accept a more realistic and accurate idea of my own beauty.  I think a lot of why we have this falsified concept of what is attractive in this world is because of how much society pushes synthetic beauty.

Aha! Little lightbulb goes on in my head! I know that the way the world views us normal, non-photoshopped, looking women is wrong, but I know that we are beautiful and should strive to value ourselves as such, why not promote a more natural, better, organic means of promoting that beauty?

And here we are.  It's still a journey and I still struggle with my self-image a lot, but I've really come to appreciate the little things that I've been doing to pamper myself and my ego.  I love long hair.  I just do and I always will.  I will NEVER cut it shorter than my waist ever again because I feel beautiful with it.  And not only because it's long, but because it is truly healthy.  I like having longer nails.  I have to find a balance because I am a pianist and having long nails can effect my proficiency in playing, but as long as I keep them healthy, I am happy.  I like making sure my skin is hydrated through the best means possible and I love sharing what I'm learning with people.

This isn't just about external beauty either, it's about becoming beautiful from the inside out and it's about learning to embrace yourself and who you are and taking care of yourself.  It's our job to maintain our bodies; we've been given them for such a short period of time, why not take care of them as best as we can?

I know that hair and skin and nails still seems a bit shallow, but it helps me stay grounded.  When I get these things off of my chest via blogging or on youtube, it helps de-stressify my life and allows me to tackle the many difficult things that I am challenged with.  Brushing my hair is relaxing and I don't think there is anything wrong with that.

I know that I am and always will be beautiful in the eyes of my God who created me, and I know that He has a purpose for my life that I'm sure has nothing to do with how perfect I can get my french manicure, but I do know that to fully achieve what His will for me, I need to have a good opinion of myself and feel confident in who I am.  Without confidence and endurance, without the faith that there is Someone who cares enough about us that we should treasure ourselves I believe that we have very little that we can truly call our own.

Okay...*gets down from soapbox*.  I think I'm done for now, but like I said earlier, that was very important for me to share with you.  Thanks for listening!


In a slump

Hello lovely people,

Well...I'm SO tired...and frustrated! I've been trying to upload a video onto youtube because I really want to start doing video tutorials for hairstyles, hair care and organic beauty "stuff", but my camera keeps cutting my videos off near the end.  I guess the number of photos I have stored up in a particular program affects the number of minutes I can record.  I'm hoping this will be a very short and temporary setback because I really, really want to get going on this.  I have lots of ideas I want to share with you all!

Other than that, not a whole lot is happening.  I've decided to start a semi-different wash routine because I want to save money on the shampoo bars, and because I want to see if my new routine will allow me to wash with shampoo less, but still keep in control of the greasies.  Last week was my first try and so far it seems to be working well.  I'll let you know more as I experiment more.

I just figured I would write you a quick post so that I stay on top of writing and I'm kinda tired of looking at my last post :P,  I also want to post a video showing you some decent pictures of my hair how it is now.  Honestly I'm a little disheartened because last time I took a photo of my hair wet I could really see extra layers on the left side of my hair; it looked like someone started to cut a "v" point but forgot to do the right side.  I had my husband look at it and he said when he combed it out it looked fine and he could only see a little bit of uneveness, which is fine for me, but he did notice that my spine doesn't sit straight either so he thinks that is playing a part as well.  I think several things are to blame:

1. My spine was very crooked and out of whack the last several times (seriously it looks like, when I'm standing straight, that my right hip is three inches higher than my left, or rather it did.  It's starting to mellow out.) and when my hairdresser trimmed my hair, she had me sit down on a stool, so I'm wondering if I was sitting crookedly then she might have cut accordingly without realizing it.  (I'm not blaming her, I LOVE my hairdresser)
2. When I freaking SINGED my hair it was on the left side and I'm thinking it definitely put in some more layers :P lovely
3. I did shape up the bottom most layer of my hair and put more of a "V" into it...I'm not sure if this caused the extra layers on the left side, I tried to keep it as even as possible and the extra "layers" so to speak are higher up where I didn't dare tread with scissors...so I think it may have played a small part.  I think all three of these things played a small part which just all added up.  I look through all my photos and noticed that my left side has always had more layers than my right side, so it might just be a growth thing too.

Who knows!  I'm just going to keep growing and I might go my hair stylist to trim it, but I'm really hoping to start doing that myself because I don't want to go in and have them use the shampoos that I've worked so hard to get off of.  I also think that it would be easier because I can better maintain it myself that way.

Okidokies, I'll stop blabbering and hopefully I'll be able to post a video on youtube tomorrow; I will try my best to record before I go to work in the morning.