Keep Tulips From Drooping

I love to have tulips in the house during the winter, because they make me feel like Spring is still a possibility no matter how cold out it currently is!  I found tulips for $3 a bunch at our local grocery store the other day and had to grab some since it was artic here this weekend.

The one thing about tulips that can be a bummer, is their tendency to droop, as soon as you put them in the vase.  I tried a Pinterest trick this time and it worked!  I actually combined two common tricks, so not 100% sure which one was the secret, but both are so easy, I don’t mind repeating them both.

First, I left the tulips in their store binding overnight.  Meaning, I took them out of the plastic envelope/bag thing you carry them in, but I left them attached to each other by the bindings/bands and stuck them in a vase of water.  The reasoning behind this trick, is because tulips are hollow stemmed, keeping them together allows them to absorb the water without drooping.

I also added a penny to the water in the vase.  I’ve read about this trick for a couple years and always forget to do it.  I honestly don’t know the reason for it, but I am sure it changes the alkaline of the water.

It’s been a few days, and so far so good as you can see below.  Aren’t they so pretty?   A few of the leaves have drooped and the tulips aren’t standing straight up and down like a soldier, but I like them a little more natural myself.  This is a huge improvement from the last time I bought tulips, so I am declaring this a Pinterest Success!!

Keep Tulips from Drooping

Have you tried these tricks? I’d love to hear about it or any others in the comments!

 

Best Dry Shampoos

I know a ton of you are dry shampoo addicts like I am, but there are still some of you who don’t get it.  Why do I use it?  For one thing, I spend a decent amount of money on my hair color and the less I wash it, the better my color holds.  It saves my hair from blow drying too. My hair is overall healthier since I stopped washing it every day.  Secondly, I like to sleep.  To be honest, sleeping in longer is probably my biggest motivator in using dry shampoo.  I still shower daily, I just don’t wash my hair.  I’m lazy, not disgusting!

Thirdly, sometimes, it’s just too much to do my hair from start to finish.  I am sure that sounds ridiculous to some of you, but sometimes I am just not in the mood to start the process of styling my hair from wet head to finished product. I just don’t always have that much time, especially in the morning.  I wasn’t blessed with the kind of hair that can air dry or even just get blown dry and be presentable, so it’s the whole she bang every time.   And lastly, I like my hair better with some texture to it.  There’s no frizz, it holds curl better, its smoother if I want to straighten it, just overall easier to style on day two or three, than day one.

I don’t know about you, but I love using dry shampoo!  Prior to it becoming available everywhere, I used baby powder and I have to say, I didn’t love the smell.  It’s great on a baby, but not so much in your hair.  Plus it was super messy and ended up everywhere.

Fast forward to the era of dry shampoo, I’ve used a ton of different brands and now feel I’ve narrowed it down to the best of the best.  Without further ado, here are the best dry shampoos!

Best Dry Shampoos

Buy Batiste Dry Shampoo Here

I mentioned this one as a fave product before, Batiste Dry Shampoo.  It’s easily applied, available everywhere (Amazon, Ulta).  Comes in many different scents and has special versions for brunettes and blondes.  I like the tropical and the original clean and classic scents, but over Christmas, I bought a trio of travel mini’s that are all different scents, so I might end up with a new fave.

How do I use it? I shake the bottle, spray a couple squirts into my part and underneath my layers  and let sit while I do my makeup.  I usually come back to it after I apply my foundation and brush it through a bit (depending on how I am styling my hair that day) and hit it with the blow dryer and a round brush.  It honestly looks like I had a blow out after.  Then, I style as usual.  If I am in a huge hurry to run out the door, I spritz my part and sides and underneath, fluff a bit and head out.  Super easy to use, smells good.  Can’t go wrong with this one.

 

Best Dry ShampoosBuy Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo Here

I went from using baby powder to Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo originally.  I still love it and use it off and on.  It’s a powder formula with a narrow tip on the bottle, which allows you to flip through your layers and squirt the powder on your roots.  You then need to massage it lightly into your scalp.  It immediately makes your hair get a ton of texture and I think it is best used on pretty dirty hair.  I usually recommend this stuff to people who work out and don’t want to wash their hair in between.  It’s more absorbing than Batiste due to its consistency.  You can buy Oscar Blandi at Sephora or Amazon.

It has an okay smell, not offensive, not my fave, but definitely better than baby shampoo.  It’s super easy to transport in your travel bag or purse.  I would think it might be hard to use if you had dark hair, but since I don’t have dark hair, I can’t confirm.  It does help with dark roots though by lightening them a bit, which is a plus over Batiste. One huge pro is that while small, the bottle lasts forever!  A solid choice if you prefer a powder consistency in your dry shampoo.

Best Dry Shampoos

Buy Dry Bar’s Extend Your Blowout Kit Here

Tons of people love the scent of Dry Bar’s dry shampoo.  I personally do not and found it a bit overwhelming to use in the morning.  It was super strong to me at least.  If the scent doesn’t bother you, it works pretty much the same as Batiste, it’s just more expensive.  I used it the same way I did Batiste as described above.  I don’t usually recommend this one, but I know many people who swear by it.

When I bought my Dry Bar shampoo, it came with a sample of their Detox Dry Conditioner (see kit above).  I honestly thought dry conditioner seemed like a gimmick and wasn’t even going to try it, but I did and loved it!

If you are a regular dry shampoo user, you will know what I am saying, when I say sometimes, if you dry shampoo several days in a row, your hair tends to feel a bit tangled and weirdly textured.  Spray some of this Detox Dry Conditioner on your ends and it is gone.  It is amazing how it completely changes your texture.  It helped me detangle and smoothed out my ends and overall I loved how my hair felt.  I’m still using my sample and am debating whether I would buy it again.  I don’t use it often for one.  If I had longer hair, it would be a resounding YES, but since mine is mid-length, I can’t really make a strong case for needing it.   Would definitely recommend for those with long hair!   also recommend buying a Dry Bar Kit, like I have shown above, to try out a couple of their products since they are more expensive.  You can find Dry Bar products at Sephora or Amazon.

Do you agree with my picks for Best Dry Shampoo? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

 

 

 

 

Fall Purchases 2016

I need new clothes like I need a hole in  my head, so I tried to be reasonable when adding some new fall additions to my closet.  I thought you might like to see some of my purchases and hear about something I am still on the hunt for.

My Fall Purchases

 

Plaid Camp Shirt

I bought this maroon and black plaid camp shirt at Torrid.  It’s extra long which I love.  I also love that it’s not your standard red and black plaid.  I’ve worn it a couple times and it’s really comfy.

My Fall Purchases

I also bought this AMAZING olive green military inspired jacket at Torrid.  I had to go to two different stores to find it, but it was well worth it.  I will admit, I did feel a bit Janet Jackson circa Rhythm Nation, the first time I wore it, but I got over that!  I seriously want to wear it everyday!  Apparently, I am not the only one, because it is currently sold out online.  You may luck out and find one in store.  Definitely worth checking out.

My Fall Purchases

Bow Blouse

I fell in love with this Ruffle Bow Blouse from Eloquii.  It comes in a deep red and a yellow also.  It’s hard to read it in the photo, but the detail on the blouse is awesome.  It’s super girly, yet in black it’s a real statement piece.  You can wear it with jeans or a suit.  Highly recommend this item!

P.S. For those of you who haven’t ordered from Eloquii yet, I always order a size up.  They charge a restocking fee, so I would always rather err on the side of too big rather than too small.

My Fall Purchases

Metallic Patch Jeans

Again, the photo doesn’t do these jeans justice.  They are boyfriend jeans with distressed patches and the patches are lined with metallic gold fabric!  Can you tell I am excited about these?!?!  I bought them on the loose side because they are boyfriend style.  I cannot wait to wear these!

My Fall Purchases

Those of you who follow me on Instagram, have already seen this beauty.  I bought this Plaid Bag at the Kate Spade Outlet in Florida.  I can’t find it online, but you can call an outlet and if they have it in stock they will ship it to you.  I may or may not have bought the matching scarf too!

I’m still on the hunt for the perfect booties, but haven’t found the right price point, style and fit yet.  I know Nordstrom will have what I want, but at a price I probably don’t want to spend!

What did you add to your closet this Fall?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

 

Mammogram Tips

It’s October and that means it’s a return to Fall, Halloween, Football and everything turning pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month.  The best thing you can do to celebrate October is schedule your own mammogram.  I unfortunately have had friends with breast cancer and some discovered it via a mammogram and others noticed a lump on their own and pursued it with their doctor.  No matter how it is discovered, it is vital to discover it as early as possible.  Do not let fear of a mammogram ( or the results) make you delay getting yourself checked out!  I’ve shared this before, but I am always amazed at how many women fear getting their first mammogram.  For those of you who haven’t had a mammogram yet, I thought I would share these first-timer tips again.

Somecard via SaltyBlonde.com

1.  Go to a center that specializes in mammograms.  I’ve been to several different types of centers, all of which were certified in mammography and now go to a major women’s hospital for my mammogram.  My reasoning for this is that I often need to have several different types of testing done and I prefer to do it all one after another versus waiting for my scans to be read on a different day and then making another appointment.  At my center, a radiologist is on site to review scans real time, so I leave with my results.  Other centers have a system where your results are mailed to you.  Every center is different and the one I go to definitely takes much longer during the appointment than going to a suburban center, but works best for me personally.  If you have a preference, ask your gynecologist for a recommendation or call and ask several centers in your area how and when the scans are read and results delivered to you.

If you switch between centers, you want to make arrangements ahead of time to have your previous scans sent to your new center for comparison.

2.  Your day of instructions will say to not wear deodorant, lotion, powder of any kind that day.  Be truthful when they ask you if you wore any, because it can show up on your mammogram.  I try to make my appointments early in the day because of this.

3.  Wear two piece clothing.  You will be removing your top and bra and putting on a robe.  Make sure you wear something easy to remove and comfortable.  I wear very little to no jewelry that day just because I don’t want to have to keep track of it.

4.  If you go to a big hospital screening center, bring a book, have a game on your phone or iPad to pass the time.  In my particular case, I usually have to wait in between scans for the radiologist to read them and then go into the next set, so it helps cut down on nervousness and irritation if they are backed up and I have to wait.

5.  Just go do it!  It’s a few minutes of some minor discomfort.  And I mean minor.  Compared to everything else women go through, this is a piece of cake!  Don’t be nervous about the process!  It is a little disconcerting to have some one else move your breasts around the machine, but they do it all day, every day for a living, so just relax!  The whole thing takes about 10 minutes from changing your clothes to having your mammogram done.

6.  Don’t panic if they say you need to get a more detailed scan or a sonogram!  Again, a few minutes for both and they just want to check something in more detail.  It can be for a variety of reasons, usually because the tissue is dense, could be a cyst or maybe the picture just isn’t clear.  Nothing to freak out about at all!  You could be told immediately after your mammogram that a more detailed look is needed or you could receive a card in the mail or a call from the center.

I of course have to qualify this by saying I am not a medical professional and these tips are based on my personal experiences and preferences.  Hopefully, this has made you feel a little more at ease and you will be scheduling yours this week!

 

Fave Nude Lipsticks

I am always on the look out for great new lipstick shades that are your lips, but better.  My natural lip color is death warmed over, so it is more a normal person’s lip shade, but better!

Best Nude Lipsticks

In my searches, I’ve found three that are my faves!

Fave nude lipsticks

From left to right: MAC’s Half n Half, Bobbi Brown’s Blondie Pink and MAC’s Modesty.

MAC’s Half n Half is a old fave, that I newly rediscovered.   It looks great alone or over MAC’s Spice lip liner.  It has my favorite consistency of the three, very smooth and smells vanilla-ey!

Bobbi Brown’s Blondie Pink is the one I get the most compliments on.  It is sheer and I love to wear it on the weekends!

MAC’s Modesty is slightly darker than Half n Half and I usually wear it without a lip liner, but that is due to laziness!

Fave nude lipstick swatches

From top to bottom: Blondie Pink, Modesty, Half n Half

I am always on the look out for new nude shades, I’d love it if you would share your faves with me in the comments!

 

Modern Mercantile

I’ve been driving by Modern Mercantile for over a year on my way to work and have always loved their window displays, but had never stopped in.  I finally had time last month to check out the store and wasn’t disappointed.

For those who don’t follow my route to work (HA!), it’s located on Main Street in Carnegie, PA, a suburb of Pittsburgh.

The first thing that caught my eye was a display of amazing bags made of repurposed tents.  They are so well made and would make fantastic gifts.  (I kind of want to lose my laptop bag to make an excuse to buy one)  Choices ranged from handbags, totes, smaller electronic bags, laptop bags and keychains.  The owner told me they will be restocking through the holidays.

Modern Mercantile

Modern Mercantile had jewelry, dog and cat toys and treats, and décor items spread throughout the space.  I especially loved the initial key chains made from recycled license plates and the collar attachable bow ties for dogs.  They also have their own private label laundry, bath soaps and candles.  All smelled amazing and are locally made!

Modern Mercantile

 

I saw so many things that would be perfect for gifts, I can’t wait to come back and shop some more! After petting shop dog Rufus, we went next door for some ice cream at the Flying Squirrel.

Have you been to Modern Mercantile? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

 

 

 

What is Microblading?

Have you been hearing the term microblading?  It’s the latest beauty craze and all over Instagram (#browsonfleek) and beauty blogs.  I thought you might want to get the 411 on what it is, how it works and does it hurt?

Microblading is a semi permanent form similar to tattooing.  It is mainly used on eyebrows and the technique is able to recreate the look of feathery hair strokes.  It is manually done using a very fine blade to deposit pigment into the upper levels of the epidermis.

Because the color is deposited closer to the surface of your skin, it appears crisper and finer than a traditional tattoo.  Your initial appointment takes about two hours and requires a touch up appointment about 4-6 weeks later.

It won’t last as long as a traditional tattoo and I think that’s a good thing!  Faces change and so do eyebrow trends.  You don’t want to be stuck with the same brows forever!  For most people, it lasts from 1-2 years, with yearly touchups.  It fades out naturally over time.

It truly is an art and involves your practitioner measuring and drawing your brows on prior to beginning the procedure.  You want to make sure your brows look good from every angle, not just straight on and that takes time.  I would recommend taking selfies from different angles after they are drawn on to make sure you love them.

Picking a practitioner is the most important part! You want to look at their work and check how it has healed.  I would advise reaching out to some of their clients to ask them about their experience.  It is your face after all!  Check out their procedure room and hygienic practices.  Ask them questions! Do your research first!  You have to find the most experienced person who delivers the results you want.

My first question was, how bad does it hurt?  I’ve heard differing opinions.  Numbing cream is used and I am sure it just depends on your pain threshold.  Comments ranged from it’s like waxing to I thought I was dying, so I would say it’s probably tolerable to most people.  There is some scabbing, similar to tattooing.

I have to give a caveat here and say I have not personally had this procedure done.  I have been checking out people’s results and they are spectacular, but I don’t think it’s for me just based on my personal healing/scarring record.  My skin tends not to heal well and I wouldn’t want to risk my face.  (that’s just me, don’t let me scare you, make your own conclusions please! I am not a medical professional.)

It is a lifesaver for people who struggle without brows.  They really do change your entire face.  I think it’s an amazing alternative to permanent tattooing since you can change and tweak it as your face and styles change.  It’s also a great option for those with scars or missing parts of their brows.  Many people have bald spots from old brow rings or overplucking in their youth (or the 80’s).  Everyone I’ve talked to who has had it done, said “Why didn’t I do this sooner!”

So how about you? Have your tried it or will you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!