Thursday, June 23, 2016

Dinosaurs & Rainbows

Max had his sixth birthday party this weekend! Can you believe it? He's getting so big.

As is his usual, he requested a specific theme for his birthday party. This year was Dinosaurs & Rainbows. I can do that! He also invited his entire class... so I had to plan on approx 12 RSVPs and their parent(s). No problem... yeah. Slightly intimidating.

I did a few things to achieve this:

  • ordered a bag of 72 mini dinosaurs for favors
  • bought a freakin load of candy
  • filled the crockpot with hotdogs and bought five bags of various chips
  • had my friend Erin with Sweet E's make me some banging rainbow dinosaur cookies (which double as decorations when plated)
  • put out a bowl of multi colored mini marshmallows (huge hit!)
  • rainbow streamers
  • dinosaur themed table cover and rainbow themed plates
  • made dinosaur egg cake pops (like making regular cake pops but elongate one end of the ball so it's egg shaped before dipping)
  • made a dinosaur dig cake with a skeleton inside! I'm really proud of this one, it turned out great, and the kids thought it was fantastic!
  • as favors I made 21 dino egg pinatas. Paper mache + small balloons + spray paint + those mini dinos and all that candy + approx three hours of my life = EXTREMELY HAPPY GUESTS. Seriously, that was their favorite part of the party. I had them each choose one, then on three they smashed. It was glorious. The story behind why I would do something so ridiculous as make 21 egg pinatas? Well, Max REALLY wanted a pinata for his party, but it was eating at his sense of fairness that only one person would win. So his solution was that everyone has a pinata! Very fair, but I don't know if I'll do that again. It was easy, but very time consuming. In retrospect I didn't need 21, but the RSVPs were sketchy so I wasn't sure of the head count. In the end each guest got two (except Max) so it was doubly awesome for them.
I don't have pics of the pinatas, sorry. It was down to the wire getting those done, and by the time I remembered, they were smashed!
can you see the dino skull?
How about now? Can you see the skull?
The reveal! An Albertosaurus!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Mermaid Hair Maintenance

HELLO Mermaid Hair! (Or unicorn hair, which is probably more appropriate with this photo - I swear the umbrella in the painting wasn't intended to look like I have a unicorn horn. Just a REALLY AWESOME coincidence.)

So - you went to the salon or DIY'd it, and now you have funky colored hair. NOW WHAT??? How do you maintain your lovely locks to keep that color as vibrant as possible as long as possible?

Want to know the big secret?


For reals.

Or, rather, don't shampoo it. The thing with having hair any color of the rainbow is that it's a temporary dye. It will only last 6-8 shampoos, and after that the color will fade pretty significantly. But don't despair! With some strategic hair care, you can totally get your color to last a solid month.

So what to do instead of shampoo? Here are some alternatives and my suggestions on frequency. Keep in mind that your hair may not be as silky soft as it is when you've shampooed and conditioned - but it'll still be clean! AND it'll be healthier because you won't be stripping (shampooing) and re-hydrating (conditioning) it constantly.

1: Rinse thoroughly with water. Get your fingers up in there and scrub your scalp, loosening the oils etc so that it will rinse out. Run your fingers through, squeegee out the water, and repeat. You can do this for 3-4 days at least before your hair will start to look funny. What's awesome about this method? Your hair will be easier to style! The residual oils will actually work a little like styling balm.

2: Wash your hair with cheap conditioner. Most inexpensive conditioners have mild surfacants in them that will gently clean your hair. You'll need quite a bit to work it all the way through your hair, more than you're used to. Get it really worked in, and don't forget your scalp, and run your fingers through several times. A wide toothed comb is handy for making sure you get it all the way through. Don't leave it on your hair for long, and rinse thoroughly. The longer you leave it on the more color will wash out. Personally I love the giant containers of conditioner with pumps from Costco.

3: Use cool water. Hot water opens up the hair shaft, allowing more of the color to escape. I hear it's also better for your skin to use cooler water (hint, hint). Don't freeze or anything, hypothermia isn't worth gorgeous hair, but avoid hot showers.

4: Use a depositing conditioner every other "wash." A what? These conditioners are tinted and will leave a little bit of color behind, slowing the fade. You've probably seen them in the drug stores for blonds, brunettes, and redheads. Using a blond conditioner is great for yellow and orange hair. Go for the redhead for orange and reds. To find the cooler toned conditioners you usually have to go to a beauty supply store (or online, which is my preference because I don't like shopping) Use blue tint for blue, green, and white hairs, and purple tint for purple, blue, silver, and white hair.

5: Don't over style. The more you fry your hair the more you have to condition, and the more color will be stripped as you condition it. Also three day old styling products get icky. Go as minimal as you can, maybe instead of product all over, just do the ends of your hair, or just the fly aways. Try changing up your hair style so its a little easier. Like - blow out and style on day 1, headband or barrettes pulling the hair away from your face on day 2, and a ponytail on day 3. Or just let your hair air dry and see what happens! Maybe your natural hair inclinations are good looking all on their own.

Questions? Hit me up in the comments!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Egg Drop Soup

Have you guys made egg drop soup yet? No? It's SO EASY.

Step 1: Bring chicken broth to a boil
Step 2: Whisk some eggs in a measuring cup or something else that's easy to pour from
Step 3: Slowly stir the boiling broth (not with the whisk, trust me), and at the same time pour a thin stream of eggs into the broth. It cooks on contact, and the swirling of the broth trails out the cooked eggs into ribbons. Really freakin cool, right???
Step 4: Add chopped chives or scallions, salt and pepper to taste. I put in a bit of fresh thyme since it was growing next to the chives, and threw in some chive heads for funsies.

You can mix it up with this soup so many ways with just herbs - or add some veggies and really go crazy!

For reference: I used 8 cups broth, 7 large eggs, 1/4 cup fresh chopped chives, 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

TEAL Raised Beds and Seedlings!

As you may have guessed - I actually stained the raised beds mid-May. The building of the beds happened on day 1, the dirt was day 2, the staining on day 4 or 5, and I planted by day 7. I'm just not so good at staying on my game with the whole posting updates thing. BUT - that means you get some cool reveals like THIS:

Instant garden!

Check out those tiny seedlings! And those pumpkins in the top photo - those were part of my egg shell starts! All of the seeds I planted did great. HELLO HOT HUMID WEATHER! Not so fun for the sweat glands, but AMAZING for germination.

You may note the fencing over the bed - that's to deter cats and critters from digging up my hard work. Once the plants are big enough I'll remove the fencing. I used the same stuff as well as some generic posts from the hardware store as a trellis for the beans. (that fencing was leftover from a play yard fence - yay reusing!)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

TEAL Raised Beds!

one coat
WHEW it's been a busy couple of weeks! The raised beds are in, planted, and STAINED. They're gorgeous! We used a deck sprayer similar to this with a wand. Trust me - you want a wand. Trying to get a traditional paint sprayer or a can of spray paint level with the grass would have been awfully annoying.

dad going to town with the sprayer

I used a latex concrete stain recommended by the paint department, it was around $25 for a gallon. I thinned it half water half stain so it wouldn't gum up the sprayer, and we still had GREAT saturation even on one coat. The concrete blocks soaks it right up, so by the time we finished the last bed the first was dry. I wanted it to be super saturated so we did three coats total - and spent maybe half an hour with it.

I LOVE my teal raised beds! THEY'RE SO PRETTY AND TEAL OMG

(and major props to my dad for "helping" me stain the beds... and by helping I mean he totally did it for me while I pointed and took pictures)