January 20th, 2015 · Print
This is sort of rite of passage, right?
I scheduled a haircut for this weekend, and in the morning, as I was getting ready, I looked at my insanely long hair, and suddenly realized… I was sick of it.
It was as simple as that: the ends of my hair have been growing for about a decade, nearly untouched. After a terrible crop my freshman year of college, I’ve pretty much let my hair grow with just bare minimal trims twice a year.
But now that I’d grown my hair out to nearly waist-length, I found myself looking in the mirror and it just suddenly looked… wrong.
I don’t know how to say this except this way: it was like finding a Metrocard in my wallet after we’d moved out of Manhattan. I looked in the mirror and my hair looked like a relic from a different life. These days, my hair is almost never curled, straightened, or blown out. Sure, long locks look great when you have time to style them, but most of the time, I don’t. Throw in a heaping dose of inevitable postpartum hair changes (none of them good) and I was just done with my long hair.
So I went to my hair appointment and told my stylist to chop of a whopping six inches.
And the result is above! It’s still long, but it’s shorter than my hair has been in years (practically since the beginning of this blog) and I love it.
I wrote last week that one of my 2015 beauty resolutions was to take more risks, and this is me, putting my money where my mouth is. And this feels fresher than my hair has felt in years, easier to style, and just right for where my life is, at this exact moment.
And, hey, great minds think alike! My friend Jordan from Ramshackle Glam went all the way to a bob over the weekend! She looks completely amazing, but more importantly, I have to give you a snippet of her post on the transformation below. I love how she describes the experience of having long hair:
All those long curls were such a security blanket for me — if I felt shy or tired or not like my best self I could sort of fluff them around my face and make my hair be what people saw, not me. And now I don’t have anything to hide behind, so whatever’s on my face — happiness, exhaustion, worry, whatever – is right out there in the open. And I like that.
It feels honest.
If that’s not the best reason I’ve heard to chop off your hair, I don’t know what would be.
Tags: beauty · hair
January 16th, 2015 · Print
Have I got a story for you guys today.
(Skipping to the end, I’ll tell you: we’re fine, everything is fine. As you can see in that picture above, Bear is totally ok, but… here goes.)
So, last Friday, when I picked Bear up from the school he goes to in the afternoons, he felt a little warm. A few hours later, his temperature had gone up to about 100 degrees, which is definitely a fever, but a pretty low-grade one. It came down with Tylenol, and persisted for about a day and a half, and then he kicked it.
Almost immediately afterwards, he started getting cold symptoms, which, I thought: ok, not the end of the world. He’s almost nine months old and is around other kids almost daily, so, needless to say, we’ve had our fair share of colds. I called the doctor and they said to watch him for a few days to make sure he didn’t get worse, but overall, no big deal.
So, on Wednesday afternoon, I drop him off as usual and proceed to work for a few hours. Only, when I pick him up, his teacher tells me that he’s fast asleep at 6pm (weird), he hasn’t eaten anything all afternoon (very weird), and when I hold him, I realize that his breathing is super fast, like he’s struggling for air (absolutely horrifying).
I take him home and immediately call his pediatrician’s office and talk to their after-hours line. They get a nurse on the phone, and I tell her what’s been going on. Fortunately, by this point, I’d nursed him and he’d eaten something, but his breathing is still shallow and fast.
I’m holding Bear in my arms as I tell her this story, so his head is close to the phone. And she goes, “oh, I can hear him — it sounds like he’s panting. How soon can you get here?”
And you guys, my stomach flipped. “Five minutes,” I told her (a lie; we live more like fifteen minutes away from their office, but I was basically planning to drive 200 miles an hour at that point).
“Ok. Head over. I’ll meet you in the waiting room and check his vitals.”
That’s, obviously, when I started to cry.
Chad was still at work, so I got Bear into the carseat as quickly as I could and drove us to the office (200 miles an hour seemed like a good idea, but I decided it was probably better to avoid dying in a car accident on our way to the doctor’s office, so I went the speed limit… ish.) Minutes after we get there, the nurse comes out and hooks Bear up to an oxygen monitor to check his breathing, and I was so close to hyperventilating that I debated asking her to check mine when she was done.
But, thankfully, a minute later she announced that his oxygen levels were fine. His fever was back, but only around a hundred degrees. A while later, once Chad had arrived, we saw a doctor, who told us that he’d developed an ear infection — in babies, this is a pretty common complication from a normal cold, and they can come on suddenly, sometimes in a matter of hours. My sweet little baby who had been on the road to recovery at lunchtime now needed antibiotics, but was otherwise ok. (The breathing was just due to congestion, it turned out — his lungs were fine, too.)
Me, on the other hand. All I could think about was that he’d taken a turn for the worse and I hadn’t been there.
The worst part? I’d gotten to a stopping point in the brief I was working on forty-five minutes before I’d picked him up, but since he was safely at school, I’d taken a shower.
While my baby was refusing to eat and so congested that he was panting, I’d taken a shower.
And, obviously, I hadn’t known. But I still felt so guilty — I was still so shaken up by the whole experience and somehow felt like it was all my fault.
But once we got home, and Bear was safely in bed, I told Chad about how I was feeling. And my husband is excellent at kicking some sense into me when I go down a mom-guilt spiral, because he looked at me and responded immediately:
And, you know what? He was absolutely right. I had no idea, and yet I was sitting there, beating myself up. Ultimately, I’d done everything that I could have done — and this experience, while very scary, had turned out fine. Our son had an ear infection, got treated for it, and was now on the road to recovery.
Bear’s illness itself wasn’t a big deal, but my reaction to it, in some ways, was. This situation was almost totally out of my control, and yet my urge, as a mom, was to feel like I somehow failed him. To beat myself up totally unnecessarily, when I had done everything I could for him. To feel like I’d failed simply because this had happened.
I’ve written before about “mom guilt” and how impossible it is to try to be a “perfect” parent, but this week was an extra reminder. I hope this never happens again, and that Bear has a healthy end to his first year. But if it does, I’m going to remember that sometimes these things are out of my control — that even though I’d like to protect him from everything, trying to do that is setting myself up for inevitable failure.
As always, I’m going to do my best.
And I’m going to remind myself that that’s enough.
Besides, you can’t get through a baby’s first year without at least one Urgent Care visit, right?
January 14th, 2015 · Print
Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with Dove. I have been compensated for my participation, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
There’s something I want to admit to you guys.
I’ve gotten into a beauty rut.
Between work, the baby, and all my other commitments, taking time to pamper myself was dead last on my to-do list for most of 2014.
But, you know what? The start of a new year is the perfect time to change that. Sure, 2014 was hectic and harried — but that’s a huge reason to set some big beauty resolutions for this coming year!
So, in partnership with Dove, I’m sharing my beauty resolutions for 2015. I make resolutions every year, and usually I’m pretty good about keeping them, so I’m optimistic that I can keep these up — as you guys will see, this year I’m all about the simple, easy ways to amp up my beauty routine and add some balance and relaxation to my schedule.
Resolution #1: Take Time to Relax
One day-to-day change that I’m making is in my morning shower routine — instead of a quick wash while I think about my never-ending to-do list, I want to create a luxurious, soothing experience that starts my day with a moment of calmness and presence. Small changes in your daily routine can make a big difference in your outlook, and your beauty routine starts in the shower! I just discovered Dove’s Sensitive Skin Body Wash and I’m totally obsessed with it — it’s so nourishing and moisturizing, and leaves my skin feeling incredibly soft and smooth.
So in my morning shower, I want to spend a few extra moments feeling the warmth of the water on my skin. I want to use great products with scents and textures I love, like this one, and bring that calmness and luxury to my skin and mind all day long.
Resolution #2: Take Some Beauty Risks
One big problem with a hectic schedule: it makes you reach for the same lipstick, the same blush, and the same eyeshadow every. single. day. Sure, I know I can get away with it and look pulled together, but you know what? It’s boring.
This year, I want to take more beauty risks, whether it’s a bold, bright lip color, a pop of coral on my cheeks, or even a new haircut. Beauty isn’t about just going through the motions — beauty is meant to be fun. This year, I’m going to focus on remembering that and having fun with my routine again.
Resolution #3: Bring Calmness and Peace Into Everyday
That calmness and presence I focused on during my morning shower? Unfortunately, sometimes it flies right out the window when, half an hour later, I’m stuck in traffic or drowning in unanswered emails.
But my resolution this year isn’t just to relax during those calm, peaceful moments at the start of the day — it’s to focus on bringing that calmness and peacefulness to everything I do, all day long. Instead of rushing from task to task, I’m going to take time to plan my day, tackle the things that need to be done, and consciously give myself a break at the end of the task before heading immediately into the next.
Those are my beauty resolutions for 2015! I’m sure I’ll add to this list as my year goes on, but those are the ones I’m focusing on starting this month. And both Dove and I would love to hear from you guys too! What beauty resolutions are you making this year?
Finally, Dove is giving three of you guys a chance to try their body wash yourselves! Enter below by commenting on this post or by following @sugarlaws on Twitter or Facebook, and and I’ll pick three random winners after 48 hours! US shipping only.
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