Life

Making messes and memories

Thank you Vanity Fair® Napkins for sponsoring this post. Take on everyday messes with Vanity Fair® Extra Absorbent Napkins!

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Growing up, on special occasions like a birthday, my Dad would make “Daddy’s Special Pancakes” or DSP’s.  They were always Swedish Crepes, and he would fling them to us from the pan, across the island, and we’d try to catch them on our plates. I still love making DSP’s (though I guess if I make them, they’re MSP’s right?), but for Jack’s little birthday morning we just went with the old classic stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes. I haven’t yet introduced him to the joys of chocolate chip pancakes, we’ll save that for a later birthday. The amount of sugar he got in the syrup alone was more than enough for a boy of only two.  But oooh boy, you’re gonna be excited about chocolate chip pancakes one day. And blueberry ones too (or booburies as he calls them right now).

Jack was a huge fan of pancakes, and he kept asking me to do “mo’ snow, mama!” with the powdered sugar.  Making a pancake breakfast with a toddler, though, holy cow, talk about a sticky mess. I think I used like ten Vanity Fair® Extra Absorbent Napkins just to clean up spilled syrup and pancake batter by the time the morning was over. Normal napkins die a horrible death at the hands of a toddler, so the paper-towel thickness and toughness of the Vanity Fair® Extra Absorbent Napkins is perfect for our mealtimes, and a welcome break from having to wash a bajillion dish towels a day.

Vanity Fair® Extra Absorbent Napkins  are “made for life’s unexpected mealtime surprises” but really, with a two year old, mealtime surprises and messes are anything but unexpected.  Even if my kid doesn’t eat his food, it’s still all over the place.  

Trying to avoid a messy life with a kid is a fool’s errand, and the antithesis to learning and fun in my opinion. Having lots of clean-up is the name of the game, but the memories and the joy will be the lasting impression, at least for them. I’ll probably remember all the cleaning up I did, though I’m sure the giggles will overshadow the cleaning when I look back on days like this.

I can’t believe my little baby is such a kid now.  He’s chattering up a storm all the time, loves reading books, and will sit and play creatively with legos while I drink my morning coffee now, which is a godsend.  Just watching him sit on the counter and nom on pancakes like a grown up boy was such a surprising moment. It’s so weird how the time flies by and also moves slower than molasses.  The first 18 months were the hardest of my life, but now that he’s playing and talking, I’ve found my groove in the mother role. I know there are a lot more messes to be made, a lot more tears to cry, a lot more tantrums to be thrown, but I’m looking forward to this next year as he grows into a bigger kid.  And hopefully those sticky messes like this one will come along with fun, happy memories that make the hard days worth it.

Jack(-o-lantern)'s First Halloween!

halloween toddler pumpkin costume

We didn’t do anything for last halloween, but this year Jack had a bunch of friends his age, and was the perfect age for his first trick-or-treating adventure! We all met up at one family’s house and walked to Proctor Treats where the kiddos got their buckets filled with candy. Afterwards we trekked back to the house, let the babes play in the living room and all us adults filled up on cheese, chili, and wine while trick-or-treaters came to the door.

Jack was pretty obsessed with pumpkins all fall, so naturally I figured a pumpkin costume would be apropos. It’s also a bit of a family tradition. My brother was a pumpkin one halloween when he was super young, and that same year I was a witch, so I decided to be a witch again, this time with Jack. I was pretty excited to find Jack’s entire costume at the thrift store one day, and my costume was entirely pulled from my own closet (though I did have to buy a $3 witch hat because I couldn’t find the one I got some years ago, probably got thrown out in our 2016 move). Having a library of wigs from my Burlesque dancing days does tend to come in handy now and then!

Curran Apple Orchard

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There are a lot of really hard things about having a toddler, but in the past few months I’ve found a group of fellow moms with kids about the same age as Jack and it’s been super fun watching him forge friendships with other kids, and it’s been a godsend for me to have other women around me who GET it and are in the trenches too.

Fall has been extra fun this year as we get to do fall activities together! One mama put together an apple orchard field trip for us all, so we all trekked out to Curran Apple Orchard in University Place and learned about apples! It was super fun, even though Jack lost interest halfway through and charged off to explore the orchard on his own. And thankfully the weather was sunny, if brisk, until it started to drizzle right before we left.

Watching this kid discover the world is so fascinating and special. Next week we head to a farm field trip, and sometime this month we’ll hit up a pumpkin patch because duh. I can’t wait!


My Happy Camper

The Bee & The Fox Outfit

It's not entirely true that he's a happy camper, he's been relatively fussy these days, but I think he probably just wants to be running around at a playground most of the time now that it's summer.  We've been getting our yard a little more kid-play friendly, and I'd like to pick up a kiddie pool soon because he's definitely loving all kinds of water play.  It's fun to see him in the garden, a few of our peas are ready for harvest so I gave him a couple to nibble on.  It's nice to be able to teach him (though I'm sure he doesn't have the awareness to make the connections yet) that food is grown from plants.  I remember growing little gardens with my mom when I was a kid and it was fun to eat the strawberries we grew and harvest radishes and such.  He's probably a bit young to really get it, but I like having him barefoot outside with me playing in the dirt.

Hat : Carhartt | Shirt : Carters | Tee : The Bee + The Fox via Satori | Jeans : Thrifted

 

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How to cut your own bangs

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Bangs.  We love em.  Then we immediately hate them.  But then maybe we love them again.  No, we hate them.  Let's be real, bangs are a commitment.  A serious one.  The grow out period can be a huge pain in the ass if you decide you hate them.  But if you're ready to take the plunge and are willing to go against the advice of, well, almost every one out there, I'm here to empower you.  Are you ready to cut your own bangs?  Hell yeah you are.  Now let's break the rules and DIY that ish.

Obviously this comes with a warning, which is: not many people will advise you to cut your own bangs.  I've been cutting my own hair and my own bangs for many years, so while I'm no licensed hairstylist, I feel super comfortable wielding a pair of scissors near my hair.  I also have curly hair, which is rather forgiving in the haircut department.  My methodology of hair cutting has always been one that is for big, curly hair, so it may or may not work for you if you have a different hair texture.  That being said, I feel like my way of cutting bangs could definitely work for hair that isn't my same texture, but, you know, use your best judgment. 

Here's how I cut my bangs:

1. Separate the section of hair you want to cut into bangs.  I typically do a triangle shaped section with the point near my crown.  This will determine how thick your bangs are, so the bigger chunk of hair you grab, the thicker your bangs will be.  You also may want to take into consideration how thick your hair is, since the hair you take away to be bangs will no longer contribute to your hair's overall thickness. Once you have your bangs section separated, tie back the rest of your hair to keep it out of the way.

2. Flat iron your sectioned hair.  This may not be 100% necessary for some of you, but since I have curly hair, it is.  Most hair stylists will cut hair (and bangs) wet, but since my hair is curly and poofy, I prefer to cut my hair with it's poof and texture intact so I know how things will look.  When my hair is wet, it's way more limp and longer than it is when it's dry, so if I cut it limp and long, it gets shorter and poofier when it's dry and the cut doesn't look anything like it did when it was wet.  I never cut my hair wet, so this is just a personal preference.  

3.  Rough in the shape you want.  I typically do bangs that are on the long side and are tapered longer on either side.  Since I have curly hair I sometimes will wear my bangs with their natural curl and they appear much shorter when they're all crimped up in their natural curl.  Keeping my bangs as long as I can handle helps me style them curly (without them looking like I have a tiny 'fro on my forehead).  When roughing in the shape, leave the hair longer than you want it to be when you're done. You just want to get the general shape, then we can go back and perfect the shape.  Remember, you can always cut shorter, but you can't cut longer.  Always err on the long side, if you live in your bangs for a few days and decide you need them to be shorter, you can always go in and give them a little trim.

4. Make sure that both sides are the same length and hit your face at the same spot.  Then, from the middle, you can use your fingers to pull the hair down and match lengths as you trim down towards the longer sides (if you're doing a tapered bang like mine. If not, just use your fingers to pull the hair down and match the lengths of each piece you cut to the piece that you previously cut).

5. Instead of cutting perpendicular to the hair, cut at a slight upward angle.  Unless you're looking for a super blunt looking bang, a la Sia.  It'll be a little slower going because you're cutting fewer hairs per snip, but you'll get a much better, more natural looking cut than if you just go straight at it.

6. If you need to, you can go back in with the flat iron to give your bangs the shape/curve you want them to have to help you finalize your cut as you snip in your final shape.

7. Again, I'll advise you to cut them slightly longer than you might want, and then live in them for a day or two.  Unlike going to a salon, you don't have to have your bangs absolutely perfect when you're done.  Since you're the one cutting them, you can go back in at any time to edit them.  I cut mine a little long and I've been living in them for about a week and I feel like I probably need to cut a few millimeters off so they're perfectly out of my eyes.

Fringe upkeep is just a matter of repeating that final trim process when your bangs get too long! And make sure you have a decent pair of scissors.  Of course, this is coming from a girl who used to cut her own hair with paper crafting scissors back in college.  You can grab a nice pair of scissors from a beauty supply store, or even sometimes the beauty section of a store like Walgreens or Target.

Be patient with both the process of cutting bangs, and with getting to know your new cut!  Bangs can be a big change and it can take a while to get use to how to style them and wear them.  Have fun!

how to cut your own bangs
how to cut your own bangs