Monday, December 15, 2014

DIY: Blonde Hair to Brown {Hair Rescue!!}

I confess. I have made some really poor choices concerning my hair. But lets not reflect on the past too much. I had a bad experience with going blonde. Let's just say I could see my hair breaking off as it was being blow dried at the salon and I spent the last two months babying it, going sulfate free, doing hair masks and doing just about everything I could to save it from breaking any further. I ended up with some really awful roots. It was getting really bad. I thought about doing the ombre look and nixed it. I was terrified to go to someone new and worried that any permanent color would do hard core permanent damage. So I researched and read what I could. I watched videos and I went for a combination of all of those things. I'm going to share my knowledge with you!

So, a little hair background. Hair color is like the primary colors. Red is red, blonde is yellow and brunette is blue. So if you have blonde hair and you put a brunette color on it what would you get? Green. Yellow and blue makes green. I've had that before. It's not pretty. In order to not get green you need to add the red back into your hair first. Which is the scary part as you will see below. I also found out that using permanent hair color creates lines in your hair. So every time you dye your hair it creates a little faint line of where you dyed it before. That's not cool.Solution, use the semi-permanent. It is much easier on your hair and since it fades you aren't left with the line.

What I did, step by step:

I actually bought 4 boxes of color, but only used 3. I have a lot of hair. So I knew I would want plenty to cover with. I ended up only using 1 box of the red and then 2 of the brown. It is really important to cover your ears and around your hairline with vaseline or lotion before starting. You don't want any to get dye to get on your skin and this will help you from having brown ears. You also need either a couple of baby wipes or a washcloth that is wet and ready for any oops drips you might have. An applicator brush (about a dollar) help to give your color a more professional look and really help to get your roots covered. I also like to mix my color in a disposable bowl. Makes cleanup super easy.

I started off by putting the red back in my hair (Clairol Natural Instincts 16 Spiced Tea). I ended up only needing one box. I did not dye my roots, I only did the places that were blonde first and then anything else. Rinse and blow dry. I remained calm and didn't panic, you will want to panic. Ellie made up a song about having Fozzie Bear Hair. I took a break and put the kids to bed. Then I mixed together my 2 boxes of brown (Clairol Natural Instincts 5C). I put it around my hairline first. Next I applied it to my roots, working from front to back from my temple to crown and then the back from side to side from the top of my head down to my neck. Lastly I filled the length of my hair and piled it on top of my head in a bun. Wait, rinse, condition, blow dry, admire your handy work. Only cost me $18 bucks. I've gotten more compliments on this hair than I did going to the salon and spending upwards of $80!!

When it was looking pretty good all blonde and cute, fried but cute.

With some serious growth.

OMG. Don't Panic. DON'T PANIC that you have Fozzie Bear Hair.

Brunette Fab!!
So much better than before!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

My Kind of Co-Sleeping

As my kids get older we seem to spend more Saturday nights in front of the fire discovering movies together. We have the fireplace going, stockings hung, cozy lights and my loves all snuggled in around each other. Falling asleep on the couch is my kind of co-sleeping. Saturday nights with these guys is my favorite. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Lego Advent Calendar {and the life lesson it brings}

As a child I celebrated Advent every year with my mother. She had a sweet little set from Unity that we would listen to (on a cassette tape!) and we would light the candles on our wreath. The memory is a dear one and I wanted to recreate that feeling of closeness, reverence and gentility that my mother had with me. I had really considered doing a cute little one that I had to fill myself (ha maybe next year) but when we visited the Lego Store last month in OKC with Girl Scouts I found two Advent Calendars there and opted for easy and fun. Something I knew that would entice them into this celebration. You could make a cute one and fill it with Lego's though and that would be pretty awesome too!

So far, it's love at first open! They had two options in store and I picked both so that the boys and girls can take turns opening one each day. As they opened their first one (littles got to go first) the excitement was palpable. It was then that I realized the main lesson it was teaching them, patience. Patience, something we are not born with but must learn and practice.

It also teaches so many other things. In our case, there was graciousness of the older kids, allowing to let the younger ones go first. It teaches them that they do not always have instant gratification and that its okay when you don't! They will also have to share the sets once they are complete, which isn't anything new when it comes to Lego's, but a good lesson to reinforce nonetheless. I also love that it fosters the anticipation of something and then having to be patient in order to get it. The lessons all tie together and are interwoven. They may not realize what the tradition is teaching them right away, but what they learn from it will spill through in their daily life for the rest of their lives.

You can check out all of the Advent items The Lego Store has to offer here. I could spend all day looking at Lego's, shhhhhh don't tell the kids though!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Mason Jar Makeup Brush Holder DIY

I did this project over three years ago, so I can say with conviction that it lasts. I didn't used to wear makeup consistently, especially when I was staying at home with my kiddos. Now that I have been in the workforce and I'm getting older I almost always wear something. This was one of the easiest little projects. Antique white spray paint + little jelly mason jar = fabulous makeup brush holder. You could spray it with any color and I am sure it would be just as fab. I sprayed the inside and the outside. I have since added a cute little tie.

This would make a really cute gift for a tween or teen! Makeup brushes and a cute little holder along with some new makeup. Okay maybe it would make a cute gift for an adult...I love mine.

Without the tie. I love the texture of the jelly jars.

With the tie. I like that you can change it up!

Monday, December 1, 2014

My Black Friday Deals and Steals

I love Black Friday. I get the best deals and steals! I'm going to share with you my secrets. First, I stay up late on Thursday night. I put on the comfiest pajamas and watch movies late into the night with the oldest kids while the littles fall asleep around us. This year we discovered a ton of new/old movies (which I listed at the bottom). We all fell asleep in one big slumber party. Friday morning I don't get up until I have to pull together a leftover piece of pie and cookie breakfast for the kids. Or whatever is easiest to get to in the fridge that is stuffed full of leftovers. I chose a roll and a cup of coffee. Then we snuggle up on the couch again, fireplace still going and we watch movies, eat leftovers, laugh, nap, joke, hug and enjoy the entire day just like that. I get the best deals. I spend the entire day with my kids and husband.  I stole hugs and kisses and stroked their cheeks and ran my fingers through their hair.They don't need a new toy or for me to get all my shopping done, they need me. Sleepy me in my pajamas snuggling them and making memories.

If you go all out for Black Friday, I support you 100%. Live and let live or in this case nap and let shop :).

Movies we suggest: The Burbs, The Man With One Red Shoe, Romancing the Stone, Maidentrip (it is half Dutch/English with subtitles and she used the F word once, which didn't need subtitles) and we started PBS's National Parks: America's Best Idea by Ken Burns. Everything is on Netflix. Enjoy! Oh and 80's PG is like today's PG-13, just sayin'.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce {Make Tonight in less than 20 minutes!}

I love homemade cranberry sauce. Every year I ponder why I don't make more of it all year long. It's just that good. You can make your own in less than 20 minutes with only 4 ingredients, 5 if you count the water. Yep, that's right. So lets do this!

What you need:

1 bag of cranberries
1 cup of sugar
1 orange
1/2 tsp of Pumpkin Pie spice
1 cup of water

Grater or zester
Stove pot to cook with
Bowl for underneath strainer
Canning jars or container for storage

What you do:

First you need to zest your entire orange, you should yield about 1 tablespoon of zest. I use a Progressive Grater Pod, I love that thing, took me about a minute to zest the whole orange! But you could use a grater if that's what you got! Once you have your zest, squeeze out the juice from your orange, which should yield about half a cup. If you have a juicer, use it (thanks mom!). Combine all ingredients over a medium high heat for about 10 minutes or until your berries are tender and have burst open. Now is the time to do a taste test. If you want it sweeter, now is the time to add more sugar. I personally like it to have a little tart kick so this is perfect for me. Once the taste is just right, take off of the heat and spoon about 1/3 of the cranberries into the strainer over the bowl. Press down and get all of the juice out. Pour the juice you strained out into the bowl back into the pot, mix and store. This makes enough to fill 3 jelly jars!

Tips, tricks and substitutes:

Roll your orange to release the oil and juices. You will get a lot more by spending 20 seconds rolling your orange between your hand and the counter.

Don't have an orange? Use half a cup of orange juice, or even a spoon of orange juice concentrate!

If you are new to canning, make sure you heat your canning jars under warm/hot water before adding the hot cranberry sauce. Leave about 1/2 inch between the top of the jar and the cranberry sauce. My cans always seal themselves by putting the lid on right away, after cleaning around the top of the jar first.

Straining is optional! If you like a thicker jelly you don't need to strain. Also, if you don't like pieces of cranberry you can strain the whole thing, but that might take 30 minutes instead of 20!

This is a great thing to make with the kids too. They love to watch those berries burst and I've made homemade cranberry sauce lovers out of all of them.

There you have it! Easy, fast and better than the can!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Coloring Turkeys with Oil Pastels

Ellie's favorite art supply is oil pastels. They happen to be the perfect medium for creating her disguised turkey this year. This year she had to disguise her turkey as a famous Oklahoman. Being a little gymnast she chose Shannon Miller.

This year she had to write and essay in addition to simply coloring her turkey. She learned a lot about Shannon and I encourage you to check out her website. I especially loved that Ellie got to learn about life after gymnastics and to see a courageous woman who won the battle against cancer.

Oil pastels are a great tool for blending colors. When she brought it in to show us we were amazed at how she so many times, teaches herself by doing. My children never cease to amaze me in how they learn. Each are unique in what they are gifted at. It's really a beautiful thing to watch.

This years Thanksgiving Turkey disguised as Shannon Miller at the 1992 Olympics!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hunger Games Party

Holy fire cake Katniss! The older they get the harder it is to theme them out, but I keep giving it a try. For Ethan's 11th birthday, we celebrated with Hunger Games. We have both read all of the books and had a really fun time discussing them and excitedly waiting for the movies to come out and going to see the movies together. Since it was going to be a co-ed party I came up with some "cool to 5th grade" Hunger Games. Really they had a blast. I am a pretty cool mom when it comes to parties.

Here is what we played:

Hungry Egg Run: Where you have to balance an egg on a spoon and run through an obstacle course.

Marshmallow Knock Down: Kind of like dodge ball but with marshmallows. Divide the kids equally and have one kid on each side balance a cup on their head (which is pretty funny in and of itself). The objective is to knock the cup off of their head using the marshmallow. You could also line cups up and have the kids try to knock the cups over and have prizes underneath (like candy, because they still are cool enough for that).

No Hands Cookie Eating Contest: Balance the cookie on your forehead. The first one who gets in in their mouth (no hands) wins.

Hide and Seek {Flash Light Version}- This is the really fun one. Give all of the kids a flashlight, or as we found out, they can use their cell phones. Divide into teams, boys vs girls (works well if its co-ed, so there are no boys and girls hiding together, lol, which didn't happen but just in case). Set boundaries (no go rooms or places). Turn off all of the lights. One team waits outside and while the other team hides. They have 5 minutes to find them and they can only use their flashlights. Super fun. We played dozens of rounds of this.

Hunger Games Banner on Etsy {Instant Download}

Oh Girls. It has begun!

Join me later this week for a tutorial on how to make a Hunger Games Fire Cake!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Homecoming {Pardon the lateness of this post}

We started going to the homecoming parade a few years ago and have created a great little tradition. Last year Ethan was in a wheel chair with broken legs and this year Ellie had a broken hand...we can break that tradition kiddos! This year we packed a picnic lunch and ate at the farmers market after the parade. Thursday nights have various artists that come and play. It was a beautiful evening, I don't think we could have asked for better weather. The kids were great in public (the car was eventful though) as they are 99% of the time. They all ran around and climbed and jumped, laughed hearty laughs and made new friends.

Friday we went to the football game. We had a great time. Ethan got to sit with his friends in the student section this year. Jack was on the jumbo screen. We beat the pants off the other team by halftime. They had some amazing kettle corn and it was a real treat.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Little House on the Prairie

Did you know that the Little House on the Prairie was on the way from Topeka to Tulsa? How in the world did I miss this? Sunday I decided (along with some help from my mother-in-law) that our run around and wiggle stop would be there. We took a potty break about 30 minutes prior but I wish we would have waited. The bathrooms at The Little House on the Prairie were far superior to the gas station we had stopped at. The admission was $3 for adults and $1 for the kids. I would have paid that just to use the bathrooms there. It makes a great rest stop.

I think that Ellie and Jack loved it the most. Jack talked to the donkeys nearly the entire time we were there. Ellie loved all the little details. The school, the post office and the little house all were perfectly put together. We even found a little turtle crossing through. My mom would have loved it. It reminded me of her. Such a fantastic learning opportunity. We talked about homesteading, why the post master would have lived at the post office and all sorts of things. I think it will be really neat to do some research, reading, maybe a couple episodes of the show and then visit it again in a few years. It is just far enough off highway 75 that it's nice and quiet, giving you that 1870's feel.

Take a detour and make your rest stop here. You won't regret it! Stop at the gas station for drinks and snacks or bring your own. We got butterscotch and peppermint sticks at the gift shop 10 for a dollar.

Love when I get them all together in a pic. 

Jack LOVED the donkeys. That was his favorite part.

The mail boxes were a big hit.

Ellie was really in her element!

Anyone ready for school?