Hair Diaries

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This hair diary is sponsored by 2-Minute Club featuring PURA D’OR.

I colored my brown hair for the first time in sixth grade. Well, technically I didn’t color it because my mom would have never allowed it, but I did convince my mom that this box of hair brightener I bought would do only what it promised–accentuate the hair color I was born with and make it shinier (does anyone remember that 90’s product? I can’t for the life of me remember what it was called). I was convinced my hair looked different when I was finished though, and I was hooked. By my twenties, I was blond–well, Garfield orange with ends that resembled a dry broom if we’re going for accuracy–but in my head, I was Claudia Schiffer, so it didn’t matter. What was important was that I could change my hair–when I was feeling bored, when I didn’t like who I was, when I wanted to shake a feeling, or sometimes simply to scratch a creative itch–or as Brett calls it, “when the phase of the moon shifts.” I’ve had blond hair, red hair, brown hair, black hair (I loved it, everyone else hated it), and once–for about 45 minutes before a frantic trip to Rite Aid–lavender hair that stretched like elastic. I’ve played with lengths, styles, color, fried the ends, skipped hair cuts and convinced myself I was too busy to do anything the right way. But now, nearing 40, I have one main goal for my hair…take care of it.

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How does one who used to swap out hair color like nail polish colors take care of her hair while still having fun with it?

1. Home spa and daily care.
The older I get, the more I value self care and make time for daily rituals from skin to hair care. I have super fine hair that gets oily if I don’t wash it every day, and yet I hate the idea of my scalp getting doused with chemicals every day and the build-up it creates. Plus, ever since having babies, there’s more hair going down the drain and being pulled out with my brush. We just discovered the PURA D’OR (we as in Brett and I because he steals all my products ;o) hair therapy line aimed at preventing hair loss with a 100% natural preservative system–no sulfates, no parabens, no harmful chemicals, manufactured in the USA and cruelty free. We love it. With fine hair, the thing that I want most in a shampoo is one that leaves my hair light and volumous as it can easily feel weighed down. This shampoo and conditioner leaves my hair feel super clean, light and manageable. And it smells so good!

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After and 8-week clinical study, 9 out of every 10 PURA D’OR users noticed measurably improved volume to their hair–and there are over 13,000 reviews of people who agree.

I love how it smells–enriched with essential oils and a nice lather too.

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2. No more D.I.Y. for major changes.

Thankfully, my hair dresser is also my good friend, and friends don’t let friends drastically change their hair without a little thought. Every time I have an itch to do something crazy, I text my hair dresser who usually calmly texts back…”sleep on it.” And by booking an appointment to have changes done in a salon, it gives me time to wait and think about it which almost always leads to changing my mind. I didn’t deliver my own babies because I’m not an obstetrician; the same rule applies to hair: Leave it to the experts.

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2. Regular hair appointments.
With three kids, I have less time now than I ever did. I find that gives me even more reason to get away for self care time. And that little trim might not seem like a big deal, but it makes my hair look so much healthier after so many years of ravaged ends. Plus, my hair salon offers wine. Let me spell that out for you: no kids, a glass of wine, a head massage. I never miss a hair appointment.

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3. Can’t resist the urge? Get crazy with bangs.
When I’m feeling a serious urge to change something up, and I’m not willing to wait for my next appointment, I let loose with my bangs–a small enough area for harmless D.I.Y., and they grow back super fast.

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4. Play with fun styles.
With a little creativity, I can achieve that big change I’m going for with an up do…

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…or ponytails…

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…or braids. While I’ve been tempted to cut my hair short again, I can’t give up the fun braids, especially now that spring and summer are around the bend.

If you want to make your own home spa and try PURA D’OR, you can order PURA D’OR on 2MinuteClub.com where you’ll find the lowest member only pricing + free shipping. Plus, the first 100 readers who order will receive $20 Off + Free Delivery off your first order of shampoo and conditioner. Click here and enter in the code KELLE (offer valid only on the shampoo/conditioner sets).

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I have a hair appointment tomorrow and one day to think about any major changes (Short cut? Blonder? Dark? So many choices!).

In the meantime, I’ll be taking care of what I’ve got.

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Enjoying: Spring Preview

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It’s spring break and I haven’t caught up on the blog, but I did get notified that our demolition job on our floors got moved up from next week to Monday which means I have to move everything that’s standing in most of our house to two rooms, and I have two days to do it. Brett walked in my office this morning, glanced from piano to desk to piles of shit all over the floor and just started laughing that weird nothing’s-really-funny-but-I-don’t-know-how-else-to-respond laugh. “How are we going to do this?”

“We can do anything,” I answered. “We’ll make it happen. We always do.”

So we’ll be busy for the next few days. But we’ve had a lot of fun the past two weeks, so we’re stocked up pretty good.

We’ve been enjoying…

Weekend Farmer’s Market
In season, our little downtown streets host the best farmer’s market that makes you feel alive and in love with everything. Especially the beignets.

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One of my favorite things about our poppa and Gary? They are adventure seekers. They never say no to an art show, a farmer’s market, an early morning beach excursion, a bike ride, a day trip, a memory.

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(my first baby niece was here last week, and we LOVED having her)

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Welcome to Naples. Where tiny dogs are treated better than tiny children. We quite possibly have more dog boutiques than coffee shops.

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We can walk right from the farmer’s market to the pier where they sell frozen chocolate-covered bananas. Dash calls them something else that I don’t really feel like typing, but if you really want to know, it rhymes with “boop-on-a-stick”

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The Annual Grandma Stay
My mama was here last week, and every time she leaves, I’m left a little stunned at how the beginning of this love journey so quickly turned to the middle. So many of my favorite memories of my mom that make her who she is to me happened at the same place in life that I am now. Desperately loving my parents and kids at the same time feels overwhelming sometimes and can make me anxious. I am learning to stop viewing that love in terms of an hourglass losing sand but rather an eternal gift–every year, every change makes it better and stronger and more beautiful. No fear of scarcity in moments or memories or love. Just open arms, open mind, open heart: there is more, there is more, there is more. There is always more.

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Florida Lovers
I posted this picture on Instagram and a reader who used to live in Naples but moved away and misses it wrote the following comment: “I know exactly where you are. Wiggins. 4th entrance, middle boardwalk. My favorite spot in the world. It’s my locked screen wallpaper.”

 

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…and I was astounded. There are multiple boardwalks on all our beaches, and we have beaches aplenty. To have a secret place you love so much that you’ve memorized its view–the exact height of the sea grass, the knots in the weathered wood of the boardwalk planks, the way the sky and sea and grass and boardwalk all magically combine to make it stand out from every other beach boardwalk in town…well, I want to be that kind of observer.

She was right though. It’s special.

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Spring Preview
We Floridians take one for the team by testing out the spring vibes before they get to the north. We take that job seriously. So, dear bundled up northerners, you have much to look forward to. The flowers are coming…

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…and the waters are getting warmer.

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Spring fashion offers many colors this year…

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…and nautical is so in.

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Forecast: Sunshine. Hope you find lots of it this weekend.

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Easter Basket Fill-Up

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It’s official: The Peeps are out, so it’s time to get a head start on Easter. If you are a regular reader here, you know that curating lists of cool tiny shit is my jam. I take this job seriously and spend far too much time searching high and low for the coolest stuff kids will love that stands out from the regular ‘ol trinkets lining the store aisles. Not that there’s anything wrong with that stuff–Dash is completely infatuated with Chapsticks, so he’s getting a pre-packaged plastic egg full of Bonne Bells, and he’s going to love it. I love filling baskets with treasures that will last and things my kids will really love and play with, so I dig, dig, dig for the good stuff. Also, I have a thing for children’s literature, I love to tuck a new book in my kids’ Easter basket, and this list gives me the excuse to gush about my newest kid book loves. With no further ado, here’s my Top 20 Picks for Easter Basket Goodies:

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1. Over and Under the Pond. Published just this week, this book is perfect for spring. A work of art and a magic combination of author and illustrator, this follow-up book to Over and Under the Snow and Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt disguises a wealth of information as sheer poetry. From “light-dappled leaves on shore” to drowsy turtles and scuttling crayfish, this story paints a picture from sunrise to sunset of all the happenings hidden in pond life and is a joy to read out loud.

2. Love Is. With sweet illustrations and simple but powerful text, this book describes the cycle of love in motherhood through the story of a little girl who finds a tiny duckling, raises it and eventually has to let it go. Try and not cry with your kids snuggled next to you–their feet poking out of footie jammies they’re too quickly outgrowing–while you read this part: “Love is nudging, gently tugging, coaxing baby from the nest. It’s getting to the edge and hoping, letting nature do the rest.”

3. Little People, Big Dreams: Frida Kahlo. If you don’t know this series, you need to. The stories of all the great thinkers and dreamers and doers of the past, presented in kid form, with fun illustrations and the important lessons highlighted: “Frida Kahlo taught the world to wave goodbye to bad things and say ‘Viva la vida…’ ‘Live life.'”

4. The Littlest Family’s Big Day. Emily Winfield Martin is one of my favorite children’s authors and illustrators (Have you seen The Wonderful Things You Will Be? Gah!). Long after you read the text on each page of this story, you’ll still be studying the pictures, pointing out every sweet little detail that brings this story to life. Let’s just say there’s a woodland creature party at the end and tiny gnomes are singing campfire songs, squirrels wearing itty bitty hoodies are roasting marshmallows, and a garland of firefly jars lights the scene. I can’t even.

5. Things to Do. This brand new book from Chronicle (Chronicle ALWAYS delivers. Always.) makes me want to be a teacher again. Its poetry and gorgeous soft illustrations makes it perfect to stand alone simply as a favorite book to read out loud, but there’s more–literacy lessons and word patterns and a buffet of beautiful adjectives and juicy verbs that help kids learn how to recognize and write good sentences. A great take on perspective: “Things to do if you are an acorn. Wear a bumpy, round cap and a starched brown coat. Grow, plump, ripen, snap from your stem… Or “Things to do if you are rain. Polka dot sidewalks. Freckle windowpanes. Whoosh down gutter spouts. Gurgle into drains. Patter ’round the porch in slippers of gray.” COME ON. This is beautiful.

Alright, alright, I’ll stop gushing about kids’ books. Moving on…

6. We Go Together Pop-Up Notecards from Chronicle. Technically, it’s still from Chronicle, so we’re blurring the line of books here. This is definitely one of those gifts you get for your kid but kind of hope they forget about it so you can claim ownership. But, for the sake of Easter baskets, let’s say you’re buying these because you know your kid will love them and be more inclined to write sweet notes to their friends and grandparents. Trust me, they will when they see how cool these are. The outside of every notecard begins the same: “We Go Together Like…”, but the real magic lies inside…a pop-up of the cutest pairs–salt & pepper, milk & cookies, coffee & donuts…Adorable.

7. Unicorn Snot. Lainey found this in a cute boutique in Vail, and I pretended to be all “Oh, you don’t need that…” but really I was all “Put that back, you’re getting it in your Easter basket.” It’s a shimmer glitter gel they can put in their hair or on their face to get all Ariana Grande (wait, does Ariana Grande sparkle? I don’t know, but I’m guessing she does because she’s Ariana Grande.). Cool enough on its own, but then they named it “Unicorn Snot” to be even cooler and get more sales.

8. Dress-Up Bath Tub Stickers. Always on the hunt for cool tub toys that are age appropriate, I love these and know Nella will too.

9. Manhattan Toy Baby Doll in Bunny Sleeper. The doll itself is adorable–simple design, sweet little features, cute stripey pajamas. And then they went and tucked her in a bunny sleeper. You win, Manhattan Toy. YOU WIN. Easter baskets are begging for this baby.

10. Rainbow Clip-In Hair Extensions Set. My girls are going to lose their shit. I’m just sayin’. (I’m giving these to them early because we are going to Weeki Wachee next week, and mermaid theaters call for mermaid hair.) They clip in nice and tight with real wig clips. Let’s just say I may have ordered an extra set for….*cough*me*cough*.

11. Wood Tetris Game. This is my recommendation for the year. In fact, I’ve recommended it to three of my friends after we fell in love with it, and they all bought it and came back to me saying, “Oh my God, I love this, I’m buying it for gifts forever now.” Buy two because we have races to see who can finish theirs first, and that’s what makes it fun (Lainey’s getting GOOD). We keep them on our kitchen barstools, and they get used ALL the time. Neighbors who stop by too.

12. Prismacolor Colored Pencil Set. I always love to tuck an art supply in the Easter basket, and these colored pencils are the best of the best. They come in a cute little tin too. Want a cute bunny coloring book to go with it? The cover design on this one is kind of awful, but the coloring pages inside are really cute.

13. Bunny PJ’s. I got these for the kids for spring jammies and then loved them so much (snug, super soft, cute and inexpensive), I called Heidi to tell her about them because friends tell friends about cute kid jammies. Yesterday she called me after they arrived with, “Holy crap, you weren’t kidding. These are amazing!”

14. Hatchable Pet Chick. You can never go wrong with an egg that hatches a fake rubbery chick. Always a win.

15. Folkmanis Chick Finger Puppet and Bunny Finger Puppet. Folkmanis makes the best puppets, and their finger puppets are my favorite–totally lifelike but tiny and cute. Their chick and bunny has “Easter Basket Approved” stamped all over it.

16. Hatley Bird Umbrella for Kids. Welcome spring with a pretty new umbrella for your kids. This one’s covered in vibrant birds, and everything Hatley makes is meant to last (even through Dash).

17. Masha and Her Sisters Board Book. Okay I lied, another book. And it’s from Chronicle too. This one’s good for the littlest tykes–a board book. But the cutest board book ever–a matryoshka doll.

18. KrazyStraws Personalized Name Straw (THE BOMB!). For $5, you can have your kids’ name stretched into a krazy straw (a little more for names over 6 letters). Not only will your kid love it, it makes for some adorable pictures. And if you have multiple kids, you can ditch the name tags on the baskets and have these straws tucked in each one to identify whose basket is whose.

19. Snake-in-a-Can Prank Jelly Beans. So, this was supposed to go in Dash’s Easter basket but got pulled out early because I’m married to a prankster. My mom is visiting, we offered her some jellybeans, and–oh my God, I died. Never not funny. Unless you give it to someone with congestive heart failure. Don’t do that.

20. Beanboozled Jelly Bean Game. No better way to celebrate “Christ is Risen” than deciding if your jelly bean flavor is booger or juicy pear.  This game brings howls of laughter (and possibly gagging) every time we play it. Great for preteen Easter baskets.

*Also, if you’re looking for a book to tuck in the basket of a little bit older kid, we’re reading Flying Lessons right now, a collection of short stories published in partnership with We Need Diverse Books. I couldn’t love this book more. It introduces so many wonderful themes and conversation starters on uniqueness from skin color to social class and celebrates how we are all more alike than different.