One Year Later…

 

It has been a year since my last blog post from my dorm room at BSU. A bit has changed since then; fasten your seatbelts folks get ready to warp speed into the present. Don’t worry, this story has pictures.

Shortly after the shampoo post, we had a little bit of a surprise, I was pregnant. By Sonogrampregnant, I mean really pregnant. Like three months pregnant. That part was kind of like the aftershock after a ginormous earthquake.

 

*At this point I should probably put in a disclaimer, no-poo shampoo hair may have been slightly swayed by super pregnancy hair.*

 

Almost exactly three months later I married my best friend. Thanks to a lot of help, we had a seamless, beautiful outside wedding on an absolutely perfect August evening (and my dress hid my baby belly).

The week after the wedding I started a marketing internship with a small non-profit in my home town. I am still there and loving the challenge.

Just about 3 1/2 months, 20 boxes of Mac & Cheese, and one really bad haircut later Payton Madeline came into the world. December 7th, 11:07 p.m., 7 lbs 7 oz. By the way, the doctor had said “You should have a baby by noon!” that was about 11 hours optimistic.

The four months since Payton’s birth have been a whirlwind.  Between work and figuring out how exatly to not screw up our daughter, life is kind of chaotic.  Who would we be if we weren’t busy?  We are taking it day by day and challenge by challenge, and believe me it is messy. But hey, that is what keeps it interesting, right?

Easterpayton tutu

 

 

Advertisements

 The Follow up: I’m still not washing my hair 

I had some awesome feedback after my last post where I explained the No-poo shampoo method I have been using. Several people have told me they are loving the change since they have taken on the challenge themselves!

I have been doing the Baking soda/ ACV  for almost 4 months now and still love it. I have added to my hair care. I know I said I was going to do a hair mask and try it out. Sorry folks, I ended up going in a different direction. I had some people voice the concern that they work out a lot and are worried about washing their hair so often with the baking soda/ ACV. I think I have the solution. 

 There is a wonderful woman named Joy who owns Grandma’s Soaps and Stuff. She makes a homemade shampoo bar that does not have any of the harmful detergents or unpronounceable ingredients. It even has all of the awesome natural oils added to it for those who worry about their hair drying out. Even with my oily hair this has been a godsend when I need a quick wash. 

My typical schedule is:

  • Sunday: grandma’s
  • Monday: no wash
  • Tuesday: no wash/ grandmas
  • Wednesday: baking soda/ ACV 
  • Thursday: no wash
  • Friday no wash/ grandmas
  • Saturday no wash/ grandma’s

Like I said, there is some variation depending on my workout schedule but this is pretty typical. It completely alleviated the need for a hair mask. This whole deal doesn’t work well for everyone’s lifestyle and that is ok.  This method has been more economical and healthier for my hair than I ever thought it would. If you have any questions please comment or message me. 

The next hair adventure: bring out my natural highlights with a lemon + hibiscus rinse! 

 alternative shampoo results.  

If you are interested in the Grandma’s shampoo check out her Facebook at Grandma’s Soaps and Stuff. 

Why I Stopped Washing My Hair

I have wash every day greasy hair. I bought increasingly more expensive shampoo and conditioner to try and combat the excessive washing. When you use commercial detergents, as gentle as they say they are, they wash out necessary oils and dry out the strands of hair. Detergents also create a coating of different residues on each strand of hair. All of this lead to a vicious cycle of overwashing.

After a lot of reading and recipe hunting I finally ditched my expensive shampo habit. I tried the “hippy approach” and tried baking soda with an apple cider vinegar conditioner. I have never been happier and my hair has never been healthier. Here is my washing routine that has adjusted to every 3-5 days (depends on how much hairspray and product I use).

Baking Soda Wash: put 4-5 spoonfulls of baking soda in a 400 ML bottle. I used an old organix shampoo bottle I had lying around. Fill it up the rest of the way with hot water and shake until it is disolved.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Conditioner: Thie is even more simple. 1 part ACV to 2 parts water. I have this in an old Lovespell Victorias Secret bottle. It has a perfect amount for a wash or an in-between wash spritz. The spray cap is very handy.

How to Shower

1) wet your hair thoroughly with water.

2) put the baking soda wash directly on your scalp. Part your hair if you need to. Try to focus on the scalp more than the length of your hair. Though for my first wash I did my whole hair to cleanse the leftover detergents out.

3) let this sit for a minute or two then RINSE THOROUGHLY.

4) Spray the ACV directly on your scalp again. After I make sure my scalp is covered I pour it over the rest of my hair. Here is where you want to get all of your hair coated.

5) Rinse this all out. Some people say cool water is better, I can’t seem to give up my steamy shower so if it is, let me know. The smell goes away after you rinse it out.

Your hair will not feel “CLEAN” like you are used to. It will feel weird and hard to describe. Have a little faith. I suggest blow drying your hair the first time, simply because it is less scary than waiting to see your results. My hair has gotten progressively more shiney and soft since that first wash. You will have to wash every other day or third day for a week or so while your  head adjusts.

I don’t dye my hair so I do not know how this wash affects color treated hair. For my brown hair, the ACV  lightens my natural highlights (especially my one weird blonde section) and brings out the red in my hair as well.

I have been reading about hair masks to try once a month to help maintain healthier hair. I have been looking at a lot of recipes that do different things. I will follow up on that adventure. The idea of marinating my head in raw egg is kind of freaking me out.

Remember, on the days you don’t wash, it is ok to rinse with water and rub your scalp while you are in the shower. It helps extend between washings. Also brush from root to tip. This spreads out natural oils to protect your hair like it is supposed to.

Here are pictures after my first wash (scarf) and a month later (no scarf).  Yes I am wearing the same shirt. I like this shirt. Don’t judge. If you have any questions or decide to try it out, let me know!

Purity: the anti sexual way to sexualize

A friend of mine sent me this post (click “post” to open in new window) knowing it would give me a severe case of the feelings. At first I was livid then I was amused. Then I was sad and then I ate pizza rolls. That last part is not really important but it happened. No shame.

For those of you who did not click the link to the post (don’t lie. You know who you are) here is a summary:

This is a satirical letter regarding the modern purity movement. It is a movement that claims its base in Christianity. It is missing a key point of Christianity, however. Grace.  There is no tolerance for anyone else, any “mistake.” If the problem with youth today is that we put to much pressure on them then this is worse by 10 fold.

The purity movement focuses on daughters. Girls as young as 5 to give you more of an image. These girls are drilled to maintain their sexual purity. That alone isn’t a bad thing at all. If you save your virginity for marriage then great. Let us go a step further.

Not only should you not have sex until you are married. You actually belong to your father. Yes, the Father but also your biological, earthly father. When I say belong it isn’t “oh she is a daddy’s girl.” It is a contract to let your father run every interaction with the male of the species. A boy must ask permission to “get to know you” after spending an amount of time with your father. Then hell must freeze over before you are left alone together. What better way to teach trust and self control then to completely take the opportunity to use either out of the question.

Should you chose to hold hands or heaven forbid kiss a person, that is just to intimate. Leave room for jesus people. Most of these girls who are dragged into this extreme culture believe that if they were to kiss someone or hold hands before marriage, they are committing adultery because one day they will get married and any prior contact is cheating on that person.

Let us take a second and think about all of that.

Now. The purity balls that these believers throw are focused on the girls. They are taught to be modest and completely obedient to their fathers. They symbolically marry their fathers who will one day literally give them to another man, who will then own them.

So from a young age they are taught that to falter is to be a disgrace. To not abide by these rules makes them less worthy. They must cover themselves because men can’t be expected to control themselves and the girls are sinning by causing men to “falter in their thoughts or actions.” That is just how men are made. They are sex maniacs without expectation of self control and if they “falter” they are just men so that is how God made them.

Seriously guys, how is that not insulting to you as well? 

Not  to mention the fact that by telling girls they are not allowed to be physical beings they are constantly reminded and hyper sexualized in this weird convoluted mess of white dresses and shame. You think the secular world is full of constant sex, is it so much better to be bombarded with anti- sex?

Guess what: The focus is still placed on the female body as her worth and that she should be ashamed to be proud of the physicality of it. It is a shame culture under the guise of “empowering.” 

I am sorry but what the hell. Because that is what would be like. Hell. To be constantly told that you are property and struggle with the thought every second that something simple might cause someone else to think something and that makes it your sin.

I am not property. I am proud of myself and that includes the way I look. Yes I tend to dress more modestly but if I decide to wear something like a dress and high heels that makes me “feel pretty” it is not my fault or responsibility to control anyone else’s thoughts.

And for the women who keep writing that girls need to dress in a way more understanding of men so that men do not falter, one thing.  If you are so worried about your man straying because of some yoga pants then maybe you should examine your trust issues. Because personally, I trust “my man” to be faithful to me because of the love and respect that we share.

Right to Read

I may have mentioned it before, but I love books. I collect books. When I was a kid and had the time I read everything I could. Sometimes two or three books at a time. I’ll admit, I have read “Gone With the Wind” 5 times.
I assumed that people who didn’t read just didn’t want to or like it. For some that is true. I never suspected that 1 in 4 Americans are functionally illiterate. This means they cannot read above a 4th grade level. Some of these people hide their illiteracy out of embarrassment and get pretty good at it. Some of the people who work closest to them still know.

I dug into this issue some more to see what is being done to help fix the problem. A problem that seems to develop between 4th and 8th grade. Clearly “No Child Left Behind” failed them. In some cases programs like Accelerated Reader seem to do nothing but further discourage kids by putting a point value on books. The students pick books and literature that do not appeal to them, and in some cases are to difficult for them just to get their points. How exactly is this supposed to inspire a love of reading?

The next step was to look at programs outside of the schools. Most free reading programs dealing with illiteracy are focused on adults. Granted in our system these are apparently necessary, they do not hit the problem at the root of the cause. Other programs geared toward school age children do little more than throw books at the issue. Throwing books at kids who are already frustrated and embarrassed is absolutely counter productive.

I think I can fix some of the problem. I was inspired to develop a study to help counter some of the issues caused by the programs in schools now. I will divulge the details a little later as things get more settled and developed.

If you have an opinion or testimony about the illiteracy issue please comment below. I really look forward to reading what you have to say on the matter, even if it is that you don’t like what I have to say. It is everyones job to leave this world better than they found it.

The time TED lied… and forgot a step

Ok maybe lie is a bit harsh. ideas.TED.com had a clever article I stumbled on today. 6 Ideas From Creative Thinkers to Shake up Your Work Routine. Yes, it is a mouthful for a title but in true TED style they had it formatted seamlessly.

These tips were;

  1. Keep a schedule
  2. Take a walk
  3. Seek inspiration
  4. Stop while you’re ahead
  5. Take a mini sabbatical
  6. … they really only listed 5… So, there is that. Maybe they took a mini sabbatical to find some inspiration for #6. That clearly worked.

Isn’t that just beautiful and simple? I mean, how did I never think of this? OH! Because I am not Ernest Hemingway or Henry David Thoreau. I can’t sit out by my lake at my cabin in the woods drinking whiskey.

Here is the real, down and dirty, painfully true way that I find my inspiration.

  1. Wake up in the morning– after waking up in the biological sense this requires waking up in the much more real mental sense that requires highly processed foods and a coffee IV.
  2. Sit at the computer with a purpose– sit down ready to roll with every intent of being awesome and writing the great American novel… after checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest for three hours, and have three Clash of Clans battles.
  3. Start letting the words flow unashamed– start writing words. Whatever words happen to come out. My writing usually starts with “so how about this writing thing. Bound for success. Clearly writing is going to be the most productive thing ever. EVER.”
  4. Die a little inside– this requires laying on the futon in a puddle of  Cheese-it crumbs and MadMen for at least 6 episodes. 8 is advised.
  5. Have the right foods for creativity– I personally live on caesar salads, pasta, and vanilla soy lattes. Mostly vanilla soy lattes. And by pasta I mean Ramen Noodles.
  6. Read– read whatever you want. Not what you have to. If something is calling you to get out of your own head then listen. It is like when you crave bananas because you are low on potassium. You crave books and articles because you are low on words.

Writing is hard and scary. It is putting your art out into the world for others to see what you really feel. Writing is grabbing a piece of your soul and dragging it out into the sunlight for everyone to see.  It isn’t easy. It never will be. But that is what makes it the greatest thing in the world.

Coffee Monster is my Spirit Animal

Great news everyone! I found my spirit animal. Don’t judge. If people can pick unicorns I can pick him.

.spirit animal

It never says in the movie (Monsters University) but I am pretty certain this guy is a PR major. Look in his giant eyes and see the mix of terror and espresso. I promise that at least one of those is a vanilla soy latte (also known as the life force). And back in his room he has a pint of Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz stored in his roommates freezer.

That poor little monster is realizing that someday he will have to go out into the world and show what he learned in these four years and that someone at some point is not going to like it. Not only will they not like it, they might even hate it. Poor little coffee monster is headed to the library to pour over books and articles that he is constantly reminded are out of date by the time they are published because the big wide world is spinning way to fast for any coffee to help him.

Eventually coffee monster will realize that everything will be ok one way or another everything works out like it is meant to as long as he works his tail off and keeps putting his work out there into the world. They can’t all be misses right?