Day 17: Bohemian Braid

So somehow that Bohemian Braid that I had wanted to do disappeared into the Pinterest abyss.  I swear I pinned it, but apparently not?  It has also disappeared (mysteriously, I might add) from Pinterest altogether.

One funny thing about Bohemian Braids: there are many of them. And they’re all done differently.  Which makes sense, I guess, when you look up the definition of ‘bohemian’ (which I did):

a person, as an artist or writer, who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices.

Just replace ‘person’ with ‘braid’, and there you go.  The Bohemian Braid is a wild, free flowing (read ‘messy’) and unconventional braid.

Even though I didn’t get to do the Bohemian Braid I originally planned, I did find a pretty cool replacement.

bohemian braid

If you watch the tutorial, you’ll see she does two braids on each side, and braids the first braid into the second.  If you do it that way, make sure you start the first braid low enough so it blends into the second.  The first time I did this hairstyle I did it just as the tutorial showed; the second time I omitted the first braids and just did the side French braids.  In my opinion, it turned out just as good the second time as it did the first (and took a LOT less time)!  Just remember to “pancake” the braids for optimum results.

Good luck!

Katie

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How to be a Stain-Fighting Ninja w/ Stain Removal Recipe

As I mentioned last post, I am working on my own laundry stain remover….sorry, this is not going to be THAT post.  THAT post…still coming.  In the meantime, here is the recipe that I am basing my recipe off of.  You know how when something is so awesome and works so well you kind of don’t even want to mess with it?  Yeah, that’s where I am right now.

BEST STAIN TREATMENT EVER:

  • 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup Dawn dish soap (original)
  • 1/4 cup baking soda (optional-this is more to really work it into the clothes when you are scrubbing-I like it in mine)

aaa

This works SO well-you wouldn’t even believe.  Unless you’ve tried it-then you would definitely believe. Just apply the stain treatment directly to the stain, agitate (aka rub it in) and wait an hour or two before washing.

A few additional tips that will really help you earn your ninja stars:

  • Sometimes a really tough stain will keep a couple of treatments-keep working at it!
  • If the stain doesn’t come out the first time, DON’T run it through the dryer!  This will make the stain set in more, and make your job a lot harder.
  • Something else to try: spray the stain with straight-up vinegar and leave it to sit out in the sun for a couple of hours.  Then wash as normal.  NOTE: Do NOT wash with chlorine bleach after spraying with vinegar as this will create toxic fumes.  Yeah…so don’t do that.  Also, do not spray with hydrogen peroxide and leave out in the sun-unless you want to irreversibly bleach your clothes.

ADDED BONUS: This concoction also works wonders on your tub! Just apply directly to your tub or anywhere you are wanting to clean grout, let sit for 1 minute, scrub (barely)…and not only will all traces of dirt be removed, but your tub will SPARKLE.  I kid you not.

The only part I really struggle with in this recipe is the Dawn.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still WAY better than any chemical stain remover you will buy in the store (less toxic and works better).  But still, I am working on a stain remover using castile soap which has NO questionable ingredients-however, it’s still in the testing stages.

To be continued…

Katie

Day 12: The Rope Braid (another EASY braid!)

So I know that I said that I wanted to explore more variations on the ponytail, but I really felt the wind blowing me in a different direction.  More of a “rope braid” direction.  I had seen this tutorial awhile back and put it on my “Hair To DO” list and there it sat…until today.

The rope braid really is quite an easy braid, if you can wrap your head around crossing the strands over in the OPPOSITE directions of your twists.  If you have no idea what I am talking about, just watch the tutorial.

rope braid

I also added a hair wrap to the original ponytail to dress it up a bit.

I still plan to get those DIY laundry stain remover links up today, if my kids cooperate.  I have also been working on a stain remover recipe of my own, but it is not yet ready to be unveiled.  It needs a few more trials first.

Speaking of trials, I recently read that in New York, Cornell University released GM moths in a “field test”, if you can call it that.  Don’t know how they can really take them back if things don’t go well, now that they’re out there.  These moths are actually from Europe; the Europeans, however, decided that more lab testing had to be done before releasing them into the wild.  Not the United States.  This could have far reaching and potentially harmful effects on local ecosystems.  Glad we really thought ahead on this one.

*Sigh* Rant-over.

Katie

 

2 Easy Updos That Take 5 Minutes (or less)- Day 9

It’s always nice to have a couple of easy go-to hairstyles in your repertoire for busy mornings.  These next two hairstyles are just that.  The first style, the Easy Updo, is just your basic pulled up hairstyle.  I believe it took me all of 2 minutes.  It can be adjusted to sit higher or lower on the head, depending on where you tie the initial band of hair.

easy updo

I was not lying…just your basic updo.  No muss, no fuss.  The problem was, I did my daughter’s hair first with the Easy Chignon, which is like the Easy Updo, only knotched up a level with a few twists.  It looks elegant and unique…so much so that when we went to Costco, she received compliment after compliment on her hair. (Plus she’s a pretty cute kid to boot.)  I fell in serious LIKE with the Easy Chignon (I would say love, but it seems wrong to use that adjective with a hairstyle when it’s the same one I use when talking about my family).

easy_chignon

This was a challenge for me in that it did not come with a tutorial-only a picture!  Figuring out how to do cute hairstyles that I saw on Pinterest…typically not my strong point.  But seeing as I have been surprising myself as of late, I decided to give it a go-and was pleasantly surprised!

Since this did not come with a tutorial, I decided to create my own in case anyone else was interested in replicating this cute, unique ‘do.

chignon-tutorial-1chignon-tutorial-2

A) Starting at the top of the side of the head, take a strand of hair and twist, gradually adding more hair in as you work your way down the head.  At the bottom, secure your twisted strand of hair with a low-hanging strand to secure it in place.  Repeat the process on the other side of the head.

B) Gather all of the hair (including the two twists) into a low-hanging ponytail.  Invert the ponytail. (For those not familiar with this, all you do is make a hole in the hair right above the hair elastic, and pull the bottom of the ponytail through the top of the hole and all the way through.)

C) Rubber band the ponytail about 1-2 inches from the bottom of the ponytail.  Tuck it into the inverted ponytail and bobby pin to secure.

D) Ta-da- all finished!  You can adjust the chignon so that it is looser or tighter, depending on how you want the final product to look.

Note: It is a good idea to have on hand ‘clear’ elastics!  For my family, that means having these brunette elastics (see picture below) on hand-the match our hair almost perfectly and blend right in!  These have made all the difference in hairstyles such as this one.

elastics

Join us tomorrow for a few twists on the common ponytail! (Man I wish I would have known these back in my ‘ponytail phase’ of life…which lasted for a loooooooooooooong time!!)

Que descansen bien!

Katie

 

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Day 8: The Sock Bun + a therapeutic STUFF purge

If you want a perfectly round bun, then the sock bun is for you!  The fantastic thing about this bun is that you can virtually put it just about anywhere on your head.  Just locate the base of the ponytail where you want your final bun to lie…and then follow the [somewhat] easy steps to your perfectly circular bun (aka the Sock Bun)!

My kids LOVED this bun because the first step is cutting the toes off of an old sock.  The next step, at least for my kids, was then to wear the sock toes (sans the rest of the sock) around the living room with wails of laughter.  I loved the sock bun because I got to repurpose an old sock from my bin of socks that are missing their partners!

I present to you, fictitious reader, the Sock Bun:

sock bun

A side view of the Sock Bun:

sock bun side

Steps to the Sock Bun:

1. Find a calf-length sock (a pretty elastic-y one) and cut off the toes.  Then roll your sock into a tight donut.

*Note: If your hair is not super long, or if you are attempting this style on a toddler, use a smaller sock.  For my middle daughter, who is 2 and has hair that falls just below her shoulders, I used an infant sock and it worked perfectly.

2. Make your ponytail.  Remember, the base of the ponytail should be where you want the final bun to lie.

3. Place the sock donut around the ponytail, and move it up the ponytail, until you have 1-2 inches of hair sticking out the top.  Fold the hair that is sticking out under and through.

4. Using both hands, fold the sock and the hair down, until you are at the base of the ponytail.

5. Secure the Sock Bun with bobby pins.

6. Dress up your Sock Bun with a small bow or clip (if desired) and you’re done!

V sock bun

The final product on my middle girl, V! Also note the lip sticking out, as she is in full-pout mode!

Another tip: Use a sock that is similar to your own hair color, you will be glad you did!

Here is a video that shows how to do the Sock Bun on yourself. It’s a bit lengthy, and the actual tutorial doesn’t even start until after the 3 minute mark, so if you don’t have time to spare, I would recommend fast-forwarding to the action.  Here is a second link that shows how to do the Sock Bun on a toddler.

OK, so my kids’ hair is getting better, but I was also hoping to add some go-to Mom ‘Do’s to my repertoire.  Good news: the Sock Bun is multi-generational!  It works just as well for moms as it does for toddlers, teens, etc.

K sock bun

Okay, so I just had to show you all my own sock bun that I did on myself, as I am notoriously bad at doing my own hair! It is kind of a “messy” sock bun, but all in all, not too bad!

I also debated on sharing this next one, but I though, what the heck? I have been working on a Messy Knotted Bun, with mixed results.

messy knotted

It’s a Messy Knotted Bun-you achieve it by tying your hair in knots and then bobby pinning it into place.  My problem is that my ends stick out and my last knots don’t want to stay knotted (don’t know if my hair is quite long enough?).  It’s a work in progress.  Strangely, where I would have found this discouraging before, I actually find myself excited by the challenge!  I have been practicing hair while I watch my kids play, practicing while I watch them splash in the tub, practicing…well, you get the picture.  I like doing hair, and it is no less shocking to me than it is to everyone else!  (Especially those who knew me back in college and high school when my go-to hair was the ponytail!)

In other news, I have mobilized and set a date for my rummage sale!  I went through my kids’ toys today and the guest bed is already STACKED with items for the sale.  It’s a little embarrassing.  It feels so good, though, to see the toys whittled down to only those that my kids use on a regular basis!  Tomorrow I tackle the coat closets and MY closet! It is so….THERAPUETIC to get rid of all this stuff!  I feel 100 pounds lighter already, and I’ve only just started!

Here’s to living well with less-

Katie

PS If you want to see another video on cleansing junk from your house, click this link-my mom shared this video with me and it’s great!

 

 

 

 

Day 2 of the 30-Day Hair Challenge: The Triple Plaited Princess Bun

For Day 2 I chose the Triple Plaited Princess Bun.  This is what it is supposed to look like:

triple plated

For whatever reason, I chose to try it out first on my middle-child, who has medium-length hair.  It was challenging as she almost didn’t have enough hair to twist up into buns at the end.  It was cute, but once again not exactly like the tute picture!

viv-day2

I actually did get them twisted tighter after this pic was taken, and it was way cute…unfortunately there is no photographic evidence of this as she would not sit still long enough to let me snap the pic!

I then went on to doing my own hair…epic fail!  Check it out:

day2-katie

Wow-this was not flattering AT ALL (pretty much because I didn’t do it right)! I had to remove this hairstyle before we went to Target…all that hard work down the drain!

Also, did anyone know that there is a right and a wrong way to insert a bobby pin?  I did NOT up until a couple of days ago (this should surprise no one)!  Apparently the wavy side is supposed to go down…who knew?  Although I don’t think that is the entire problem in the above picture…

Finally, I did my oldest daughter’s hair.  I was hoping it would turn out a bit better: her hair is longer making it a bit easier to work with.

Tday2-1

So far, so good. First phase successfully completed!

Tday2-2

I am liking the braid-within-a-braid!

Tday2-3

And ta-da! The finished product! Definitely better than my first couple of attempts.

Tday2-4

A different view…T loved her “princess hair”!

So overall not a bad day’s effort.  Baby steps, right?

Join us over the weekend for our next project:

The Original Waterfall French Braid!

I have purposely NOT been attempting braids because they SCARE me!  But it is time to phase my nemesis the braid head on (no pun intended)-wish me luck!

Hoping you all have a relaxing (and SUNNY) weekend wherever you may be!

Katie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 Days of Hair Challenge: Day 1

So as I previously mentioned, my goal for this month (well, one of them), is to start to learn some new hairstyles that I can use when fixing my daughters’ and my own hair.  Easier said than done as I am dreadful when it comes to hair.  Words can barely even describe.

To kick off the 30 Days of Hair Challenge, I picked what I thought would be an easy ‘do to start things off right.  Holy cow-this hairstyle was not quite as easy as I thought it would be!

For starters, I don’t even know the name of this hairstyle as there is no name listed in the tutorial.

Here is the video, if you want to check that out BEFORE you see my “version”.

day1_Tali

T was my first “victim”, er, volunteer to have her hair done!

 

For me, not bad, but as you can see not exactly like it was on the video.  They made it look so easy!  My main problem was that once I had the hair looped and tucked under, it kept wanting to come out.  It didn’t sit there and form graceful loops like it did in the video!  So then I decided to try it on myself, with these results…

day1-Katie

Once again, for me, not bad!  I mean, the messy look is in, right?

On the drawing board for tomorrow: The Triple Plaited Princess Bun! (Should be exciting).

Until then!

Katie

PS Got the watermelon planted today!  Sorry-I have been slacking on taking pictures on the progress of the plants, so to make up for it, how about a picture of my adorable middle daughter covered in dirt?

vivi-dirt