30 October 2013

Nine Years a Winner

Shawn and I met nine years ago today at a Halloween party in DC. #nostalgia.

23 October 2013

Mari & Jane on TV


Jane made her debut on TV while riding in the backpack. We were interviewed for a local TV station about the restorations being made to the monuments and next Capitol. The reporter wanted me to talk about how it's an inconvenience to tourists. So I did my part. Not hard hitting journalism, but whatever.

Seriously my opinion is: scaffold the whole darn town. Just keep the Metro running and the zoo and museums open!

Our inarticulate part in the video is two minutes in:
DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

08 October 2013

TIBTIL: Biosilk 17 Miracle Leave in Conditioner

I have a whole back story about discovering this product.

So I'm still searching for a hair salon that I like here in Baton Rouge. After Shawn was away for a few days I was desperate for some time out and my hair was really ratty -- just long and puffy and shapeless. So it was up in a ponytail or fat bun most of the time.

Enter: Fantastic Sam's. I thought: OK, a quick, cheap haircut with no appointment needed. Shawn can spend time with Jane for a little bit, and it's only a couple blocks from the house. How bad could it be?

HAHAHAHAHAHA.

I didn't have to wait TOO long to get the cut -- about 20 minutes maybe? But then the cut and style (style costs extra ... and turns out to be even MORE than the cut itself) took nearly 2 hours on their own. I like sitting in a nice, well-appointed salon just fine. But this is a dingy, crummy hair cutting farm with clipped hair everywhere (no cleaning up between clients), junk spilling out of the MDF stock cabinets and really really weird "art" painted on the mirrors to show each stylists' personality. So I was not happy it took so long/didn't really enjoy the ambiance at all.

The one shining moment came when after the shampoo she sprayed this Biosilk 17 Miracle Leave in Conditioner, and WOWZA it really took out the tangles. The comb just glided through the hair with no tugging or pulling. I thought about buying some right then -- but once I saw the actual bill for the cut and style I decided to check on Amazon, where I got it for about $12. (I didn't even ask how much it was at Fantastic Sam's, but I'm sure it was more.)

The cut itself was fine -- I got solid layers, which is something I have trouble conveying apparently, as the last two salon cuts I ended up with a weird back-shorter-than-front angled 'do and a barely trimmed almost all-one-length cut. The length here was good, just about shoulder length, but she had no idea what I meant when I asked for razored ends. She had a razor comb or something that she tried with -- but it wasn't what I wanted. And she ended up cutting that off anyway because she kept picking and trimming for so long.

The blow dry was long and inefficient. I wanted to rip the dryer out of her hands and do it myself. She was intense with the flat iron too -- teeny tiny sections of hair and spraying each one with CHI iron guard spray (incidentally the smell reminded me of Georgetown and the boys across the hall). I appreciated the attention to detail, especially given the cost, but I hadn't prepared myself to sit still for QUITE so long.

The cut and style ended up being MORE than what I paid for a haircut and style at any of the salons I have been to in Baton Rouge (even factoring in tips, which I always give, even if I am dissatisfied!). In any case, I won't be going back to Fantastic Sam's anytime soon, and I'll probably just start back at the top of my salon tour around town. The first one I went to wasn't so bad, but I got turned off when there was a weird long piece in the cut. I should have just gone back and had her fix it. She actually could do the rocker chic razored ends that I like so much. I think my break from that salon (the only one I went to multiple times in BR) happened right after I got pregnant, so hormones were likely a factor there. It also is so close to campus that parking is a total nightmare.

I've been using the Biosilk 17 Miracle Leave in Conditioner for a couple weeks and I still really like it -- it makes combing out my wet hair a breeze, and I don't lose as much to breakage I think. It also does make my curls bounce more (although cutting my hair always helps with that, so who knows what's really the reason). I like the spray, and I thought you might too. I have not tried it as a body lotion (there are 17 "miracles" it can do and that is one of them), and I don't think I will. It's too valuable as a hair product to waste on my skin!

Amazon Affiliate links used -- apparently the CHI iron guard spray isn't available on Amazon at a reasonable price, but that gives you an idea of what I mean. Or here it is on ULTA.

02 October 2013

Read: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food LifeAnimal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this book accidentally on my library's Overdrive and read it on my old school Kindle. I hope the print version has glossy pictures of the food and animals. But even with just black and white text, I really liked the book.

Basically this is a memoir of a year of local eating -- as local as possible without giving up coffee and spices or being total jerks while guests in others' homes. I'm concerned about what I feed Jane and how I can give her the best tools for eating well. So this was right up my alley interest-wise. I am a fan of Kingsolver's fiction, so when I saw this pop up in my unrelated search on Overdrive I gave it a try.

It's full of facts about the farming industry, and I was constantly spouting them to Shawn. It's a few years old though, so things are probably different. I hope it's the case that more people are embracing the more local eating. Personally I don't do well on it at all -- we eat bananas every week, and that's one of the verboten foods in this family's home. I am inspired to take a look at the farmers market again, now that it isn't quite so screaming hot, and really pay attention to in season vegetables and find fruits that haven't traveled so far. Less processed food is always a goal of mine, and I fail regularly (crackers and DDP are two big weaknesses).

Copying this family's year-long quest (that seemed to turn into a no-big-deal lifestyle after all) would be impossible without a farm to grow crops and raise animals, but she discusses that too and offers tips for eating locally without growing your own food. (Personally my garden continues to be a disappointment ... but maybe next year will be better.) Otherwise the book is inspiring to anyone who is thinking about making changes -- small or large -- to help their own foodshed.

View all my reviews

01 October 2013

Striped Hooded Capelet



I finished this capelet last week, and I'm very happy with the way it turned out. The striping sock yarn made a cool pattern, and I liked the lighter weight and feel of the yarn. The pink camo version I made before turned out slightly bigger than this one, although this one still allows a little room to grow. This is a really easy pattern, and I love, love, love the book that it's in: Little Crochet: Modern Designs for Babies and Toddlers (Amazon affiliate link).