Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'm boycotting shampoo.

A few weeks ago, my friend Bethy posted a link to this article, which presents the merits of going extended periods of time between shampoos. I was intrigued, and I decided to jump on the bandwagon. As of today, I've gone 2.5 weeks washing my hair only on Sundays. The article emphasizes the cost and environmental benefits of "no-poo", but I am honestly most interested in seeing if re-introducing my hair to some of its natural oils will result in healthier, less frizzy hair over time. Maybe I'll even be able to lessen my reliance on my beloved Chi.

Here's a peek into my new routine:

Sunday: Wash hair; dry and straighten. No styling products used. (I know, I'm frying my hair.) Here's my hair's starting point:

Monday: No wash or rinse. Alternatively, rinse only. No styling products.
Tuesday: Rinse; dry and straighten. No styling products.
Wednesday: Rinse; dry naturally. (This results in disheveled hippie waves. I title this picture "Brutal Honesty"; yes, I'm in workout clothes with no make-up.)

Or, rinse; dry and straighten, and apply dry shampoo. This is the dry shampoo I'm using:

I purchased it at Ulta specifically for this adventure. I would recommend it for no-wash days even if you aren't going a week between washings.
Thursday: No wash or rinse if I can pull it off; or rinse, dry and straighten plus dry shampoo.
Friday: Rinse, dry and straighten plus dry shampoo.
Saturday: Rinse. Leave hair wavy/curly but use a curl-enhancing product (since I wash the next day).

My thoughts so far:
Firstly, this saves a good amount of time 4-5 days out of the week. So, yay! Monday-Wednesday I love, but by Friday and Saturday, my hair ends up in a ponytail. I'm hopeful that my hair is still adjusting, but right now, I'm not sure I could attend a "going out" function on Friday or Saturday without cheating and washing my hair. I do think my hair is starting to be slightly less frizzy between drying and straightening, so that is progress.

Right now, I plan to stick this out at least 2-3 more weeks to allow my hair ample time to adjust. I'm still hopeful that I can shift to weekly hair washing permanently. However, I'm spoiled to work from home, so I can experiment more without having to look "office ready" each day. Long term, at minimum, I plan to return to a "wash every three days", which I can definitely handle, and I do think improves the condition of my hair.

Anybody else want to jump on the bandwagon with me?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Oh hello, Monday (and a Pie Recipe)

(Edited 5/27 - Kelly's Korner folks, please, please, please try the "Best and Easiest Pie Ever," listed below. So easy and good.)

So, it's Monday again. How did that happen? This past weekend was really, really nice. Since we did date night on Thursday (for my birthday), we hung out at home on Friday. We watched the Braves beat the SF Giants, which is no small feat since a) the Giants are the reigning World Series Champions and b) the game started at 10 PM EST. On Saturday, we spent some time at the lake, since the husband's Navy sailing club was having a free sail day.

Sunday was Easter. The truth of this day is crucial to my life, yet how quickly I can let the busyness of the day make me forget it. I need the story of Easter to stay on my heart each and every day.

And now, for a few miscellaneous updates.

1) Best and Easiest Pie Ever
I made this pie yesterday for our Easter dinner with some friends. It takes less than 15 minutes to pull together, and it requires no baking. Plus, it's relatively light (although not health food!). And despite the name of the recipe, the lemon flavor is present but not overwhelming. It's my go-to.

Lemon Pie
16 oz Cool Whip
16 oz sour cream
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 cup Country Time lemonade mix
2 9 oz graham cracker crusts (store-bought)

Mix condensed milk and lemonade mix. Add sour cream and then Cool Whip. Mix thoroughly. Pour into crusts. Refrigerate; can be frozen also. Makes two pies.

Also, if you'd like to try some, you can just eat what's left in the driveway, where I dropped one of the pies on our way out the door. Thank goodness for two pies.

2) SPF 50
Our family has made a complete shift to SPF 50. (And I know if we had kiddos, the number would be even higher.) We're not tan by nature, but we're not the palest people ever. I just love the feeling that I'm protecting my skin effectively. Plus, burns are the worst. I'm intrigued by this:

Has anyone tried it?

3) Prayer Request
I once mentioned my extreme distaste for the doctor. On Wednesday, I have a follow-up appt at my girls' doctor. The reason still falls under the category of "preventative", but it's to take care of something so it won't cause problems later. I would appreciate a quick prayer for my nerves and the doctor on Wednesday AM. Thankfully, it's an early morning appointment, so I won't have to dwell on it all day.

Happy Monday!
Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Friday, April 22, 2011

Post-birthday Love

Yesterday, my birthday was awesome. Today, here are some of my favorites.

Pre-work breakfast with two dear friends

A wonderful husband who plans a special evening involving a quick shopping trip and dinner
(two ways directly to my heart)

Car self-portraits with the husband taken with a cell phone

Oak Steakhouse in downtown Charleston
A husband willing to take posed cellphone pictures with a menu in a nice restaurant

An amazing dinner involving steak, asparagus, and several items with names I can't pronounce

Texts, calls, cards, and emails from favorite people near and far

Summer rainstorms to make everything look nice and green

The upcoming birthday of my wonderful sister (on Easter!)

The death and resurrection of my Savior, whose blessings made all these favorites possible.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
1 Peter 1:3

Linking up with Rachel at Finding Joy.
friday favorite things | finding joy

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dear self on your 28th birthday,

Today marks the beginning of your 28th year of life. No, you're not old.

Year 27 was good. In every year prior, you were anxiously awaiting "the next thing" - the start of high school, graduating college, your first real job, meeting your future spouse, planning a wedding. But, this year seemed somehow calmer. Each week came and went, sometimes more chaotically than others. Don't live for the weekend. It makes the year feel like it's only 52 days long, which makes time fly by even faster than it already does.

It was your first married birthday. You learned alot about being a wife. But, moreso, you learned just how thankful you are for your husband. Seriously, never forget how thankful you are for him. (Today also marks 18 months of marriage. Our marriage is now reaching toddler-stage, babe!)

You picked up some new hobbies. Who knew your mom's green thumb might start to grow on you? (Har. Har.) You now have six living houseplants, and you can refer to each of the plants in your yard by name. Still, if something doesn't grow like you expected it to, that's okay. You're fascinated by super foods, so you make your hubs eat a lot of kale and try multiple quinoa recipes. Make sure you still eat macaroni and cheese occasionally. You also kind of dig this blogging thing. (Though the hubs is getting tired of your sentences starting with, "So I was reading this blog.")

You also discovered a love of hosting. I think a lot had to do with relaxing your standards. Once you discovered that the only real requirement for effective hosting was a clean bathroom - and a working coffee pot - you realized your house was happier with other people around.

Your job challenged you. Sometimes it made you cry. Remember that you are capable, and you are in your position for a reason. Make sure you also remember to be thankful for it. Your coworkers have become some of your best friends.

You also realized just how thankful you are for your parents. Every little girl should have a dad like yours. And your friends. Keep up with your friends. Sometimes you can do the calling. Initiating plans is a good thing. Girl time over coffee is definitely a good thing.

And you can admit it. You're attached to "your husband's" dog. There's nothing like having a walk/run buddy and someone who greets you at the door with a tail wag. Working from home, he's your only office-mate.

As you enter year 28, some big life changes are ahead. It's quite possible that your zip code will change. It's quite possible that your next address will be a rental. And maybe it won't. As long as you can paint the walls and still go to bed beside your best friend, you'll be fine. Promise me you'll be prayerfully open to every job opportunity your husband uncovers.

Chill with the "order of operations" you determined for your life. You will have moments that make you feel less than invincible, and that's okay, because you aren't. However, don't let any of those moments make you fearful to embrace new opportunities or to simply have fun. Being cautious doesn't mean you can't be adventurous. You are pretty funny. You're not too old or reserved to be silly either. Don't be afraid of babies. Your husband will be an amazing dad, and you'll be okay, too. However, don't get stuck on, "This is the year."

Trust God's plan above all else. Choose joy.

Love, Me

Monday, April 18, 2011

Miscellany Monday - Short and Sweet

It's Monday. I'm trying to knock out real-world projects, but I couldn't resist joining in to the Miscellany.

1. Emerald Cocoa Roast Almonds
Try them. They are so good. I have Elizabeth to thank for introducing me to them.

2. Garden Flag Mystery
Saturday was incredibly windy. Our garden flag, usually in our front flower bed near our front door, was blown 30 feet or so to the right into the woods beside our house. Needless to say, we also lost power for a while, and I had a bad hair day!

3. New Jeans!
I ordered these puppies from American Eagle. It's been several years since I've owned any AE jeans, but I was intrigued by the high-waist feature. After a day of wearing them, I'm sold. All skinny jeans should be high waisted.

4. Girl Time
I had a super fun girls' weekend with two of my favorite people on Saturday. After toying with some other options, we defaulted to what we do best (with no husbands or kids around) - shopping, eating, talking, and drinking coffee. I'm so thankful for these girls.

5. New Small Group Study
Tonight, we start this study:

And while small group is meeting, a few of the small group husbands have a "man date" planned. I can't wait to hear about the outcome.

Happy Monday!
Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Friday, April 15, 2011

Another Week in Review (Already??)

Joining up again with my Week in Review at Filled with Praise.

This is my small group (minus of few of us). 

On Monday, instead of our usual Bible study, the whole crew came over and we grilled out. We had 19 adults and nine children. It was a ton of fun. I'm so thankful for these ladies. 

I love that we have unique perspectives and different life experiences.
I love that they give me an excuse to drink two cups of coffee on a Monday night (plus dessert).
I love that I can share honestly.
I love that they love Jesus.

Filled With Praise

We are anticipating that we will move this November when my husband transitions out of the Navy and into a different job. Thankfully, his post-Navy job prospects are very encouraging. However, the housing market is not. I got myself into a bit of a tizzy this week at the thought of our savings disappearing to get out of house and at the thought of putting our house on the market next month (which sounded like such a lovely plan six months ago). I keep telling my husband (who is the saving, level-headed with money one in our marriage) maybe God is allowing us to save just enough to get out from under our house with no debt. In reality, I have no idea, but I do know that we have infinitely more than we deserve.

Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.
Matthew 6:20 

And on a lighter note, going to the gym really does do wonders for your mood. As much as I put it off, I'm always so glad I did it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

On the topic of fashion -

In anticipation of my birthday, I asked my ever adorable husband for permission to purchase a full-price shirt from Anthropologie. I'm in love with their stuff; when I lived in Atlanta, I spent too much money (Oh, if I'd saved it instead!) and time wandering the store (I'm definitely a wander-shopper. I walk through the store/department two or three times browsing, pausing occasionally, before I feel confident enough to make a decision to purchase something or leave.). I used to be known among my friends as "one of the fashionable ones."

Sadly, when I got married and moved, I moved away from Anthropologie, and I moved into my work-from-home lifestyle. Honestly, there is no longer any justifiable need to buy tons of clothes. I don't laze around in my pajamas all day, but I'm much more likely to put on jeans and a casual shirt with a cardigan than I am to put on dress pants and a button-down shirt. I've been slowly but surely culling down my clothing stash to respectable, non-hoarder standards. I'm pretty proud of myself.

I'm learning to play with what I have instead of needing something new. Borrow for special occasions. Giveaway the sizes that don't fit. Pay attention when someone mentions a need that you could potentially meet with something in your closet. What a blessing!

It's so much more fun to see one of your friends wearing something you gave them than to stare at it hanging in your closet.

But -

Occasionally, it's fun to get something new and pretty (semi-practical). Today, these two things arrived for me in mail. I can't wait to add them to my small(er) and improved wardrobe.

Sadly, it appears that the necklace I bought (which was totally on sale) is (already!) no longer available. However, if you have the skills, this tutorial tells you how to make it. (Seriously, people are so amazingly crafty.)

I feel like I'm slowly but surely figuring out how to make a love of fashion work for me, instead of me idolizing working for it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Miscellany - "My" edition

It's Monday, and it's time to be miscellaneous again. I should have called this "brag edition" because I've got to brag on my hubs and my dad. I hope you don't mind.

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1. My Dad's a streaker.
My dad started running before I was born. So, he's always been a runner to me. However, beginning on April 1, 2001, my dad established a very specific goal - to run a minimum of three miles every day. And he did it. On March 31, 2011, my dad successfully ran each day for TEN YEARS. Seriously impressive. And for the record, he didn't stop there. Now he's working on year 11.

2. My husband finished the Palmetto 200.
The Palmetto 200 is a 200-mile relay race that starts outside of Columbia, SC, and ends in Folly Beach, SC. The hubs and 11 other people  (including two women) from his office ran as team "Anchors Aweigh." They covered 200 miles in 29 hours and some change. I'm a proud wife.

Here we are at the finish line, waiting for the last guy on their team to cross.

3. My new favorite food is cheesy.
Publix should never make it a BOGO deal again. It's too dangerous.

4. My jeans have holes.
And I need to replace them. I have to be honest. I used to save my pennies and buy Citizens of Humanity jeans in Bootcut Dita style. (As in "for my birthday," please.) One pair has been fantastic. The second pair I bought hasn't held up nearly as well. (I'm quite disappointed.) The hubs has budgeted a (more modest) amount for me to buy new ones. But, I don't know which ones to buy. I always need petite or short. Help.

5. My weekend flew by.
B was gone Friday evening for the race, I relaxed at home. I met B at the finish line on Saturday, and then we went to our friend Harold's birthday celebration. We played Jokers and Marbles - my favorite. Today was church and then we came home to clean inside and out (yardwork), because tomorrow my small group is bringing their families with them, and we're cooking out. I'm so excited. (Although I gave up my original plan of making burgers from "scratch" in favor of Bubba burgers.) We even made a quick trip to Lowe's, so now we have an umbrella for our Craigslist-purchased patio set. I think it "makes" our patio.

Happy Monday.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Week in Review, Recipe Style

Filled With Praise
Today, I'm joining up with My Week in Review at Filled With Praise. (After initially hitting on a few high school and college acquaintance blogs who pursued adoption, it has been an absolute joy to read so many other stories of God's faithfulness through adoption!)

This has been a week of calm productivity at our house. The hubs and I cooked dinner each night, exercised, and walked the dog together (one of our favorite things to do). We have some exciting things happening this weekend (Palmetto 200, anyone? The hubs is starting his portion of the race in a few hours.) and next week, but this week was just good.

Last Sunday, I scored 5 lbs of ground turkey breast for $19.99 at my local Super Bi-Lo. (I think $4/lb is pretty great, especially since ground turkey freezes so simply.) On Wednesday night, we made this recipe, one of our favorites (and originally scored from a magazine...that I don't remember, so I can't give true credit).

Turkey Patties (serves 4)
1 lb ground turkey
1/4 cup panko crumbs
1 egg white
2 tablespoons minced scallions
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (We've only used dried (and lessened the amount); works fine.)
Zest, juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon canola oil
1) In a large bowl, blend ground turkey with panko, egg white, scalliona, garlic, soy sauce, parsley, lemon zest and juice. Shape into 4 equal patties.
2) Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook turkey patties for about 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Enjoy!

I've been bearing the burden of feeling "out of control." Quite a few things are happening on our little family's life, as well as the lives of people that are close to us, that I want to fix or change or solve but instead are beyond my control (job hunts, relationships between parents and children, doctor follow-ups, not to mention the craziness that is the news!). I don't like that feeling, and honestly, I let fear creep in too quickly (No happy-go-lucky gal here.), but I know instead I need to lean on my Savior. His mercies are new every morning.

A constant cry of Psalm 16, my current scripture memorization goal.

"I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”...LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken."
Psalm 16:2, 5-9

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My First Adventure on the Sea

One of my husband's favorite pastimes is sailing. He even teaches sailing to the students at his (Navy) command. When we first starting dating, he just assumed I would like sailing. I mean, who wouldn't? Unfortunately, I wasn't quite up for the adventure (I know. I know.).

So, this past Saturday, I finally did it. I went sailing with my husband and our friends Harold and Elizabeth.
This is the boat we took out on Lake Moultrie - a 22 ft day sailer.

Before the sail.

My handsome husband preparing the sails. (Elizabeth and I were in the cabin of the boat at the time, which I didn't like too much. You felt every move of the boat. Being topside was much more pleasant.)

It was really windy, as in, wind advisory for the area lakes and ocean.
The hubs didn't mention that until we finished sailing. He knew I'd chicken out. Which I would have. Twenty-five MPH wind gusts were quite the adventure for this beginner.

It made for some fun photo ops.

But, I did it.

I'm no expert. But, I'm definitely glad I can now say,
I went sailing.

After a quick costume change, we topped off the day with Japanese.

Next time I post about sailing, I'll be at the helm. (Maybe. In the spirit of full disclosure, my first two-ish minutes at the helm this time ended with me talk-yelling to "Help me NOW!")

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dilbert knows my life.

Before I begin my first "real job", Dilbert was just another groan-inducing comic. In the summer of 2005, after about two weeks of working in an office, my eyes were opened, and I understood every comic, sometimes too well. Dilbert cartoons started to grace the walls of my little cubicle.

I've been an official "home-based" employee at my company for two years. I don't plaster the walls of my little office with Dilbert cartoons, but when my husband brought home this Dilbert cartoon the other day, I laughed so hard I had to share.

(Yes. My company has these types of meetings. And, yes, this is what they call them.)

Dilbert and I could so be work BFFs.

I'm not sure if anyone else can relate to these infamous meetings (if you aren't, they are meetings in which the whole company or a large part of the company is invited to hear from one of the company leaders), but this cartoon still makes me giggle. Happy Tuesday!

P.S. I know I promised in a previous post that Bon Blog Designs would be giving my humble blog a makeover. That's definitely still the plan. In the mean time, I fashioned this temporary solution to make my blog a bit more inviting.

And yes that's a European shoulder bag substantial camera bag my husband is wearing in the left picture.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Magic Miscellany

Joining up with Carissa again this week.

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1. Grocery Shopping
Ok. I put off grocery shopping too long. Other than a couple of trips to the grocery store for meats and produce, I probably haven't been in three (or four??) weeks. We were starting to run out of everything, including staples, so I spent five hours going to three stores today. Honestly, I went through a couponing stage about six months ago, but I'm having trouble staying focused on it lately. Any advice?

2. Magic Eraser
While grocery shopping, I decided to pick up one of these.

Apparently, I've been living on a rock. I've never used one before, but this thing did an amazing job of cleaning the soap scum in our master bathroom tub. These things might be a bit a expensive for everyday use, but they really are as great as everyone seems to think.

3. Patriarchs
Tomorrow night is the last night of our Beth Moore study, Patriarchs. I highly recommend it. Next we start Priscilla Shirer's Jonah.

4. Eat This, Not That
Speaking of books, if you haven't heard of them, I recommend the "Eat This, Not That" series of books. I don't think the content is the be-all-end-all of food books, but it's really interesting to consider which food are actually better for us. I especially enjoy referring to this one.

5. Crispy Kale
As evidenced by this post, I love kale. I'd heard of making krispy kale (or kale "chips"), but I didn't know how to do it. Last night, my friend Bethany shared her recipe, and I can't wait to try it.

Crispy Kale
Toss kale with olive oil, salt, garlic powder and pepper.
Cook for 7-9 minutes in a 400 degree oven - should be crispy but not too dark.
(Bethany recommended getting it out of the oven when it's still green and slightly crispy to make sure he doesn't get bitter.)

I'll be doing some kitchen experimentation this week, because that sounds good. Happy Monday!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Finds and Favorites

Yesterday, I ventured to Target after work. I hadn't been in a while, and my goal was to buy frames for these two prints that I snagged recently:

I ended up making a quick additional stop at A.C. Moore to find suitable (and not obnoxiously priced) frames. But, I did find this on clearance:

I've been admiring this little table for a while, primarily because it reminds me of the cozy meets modern cabin we stayed at in Boone, NC, for our honeymoon.

I don't have intentions of decorating our entire house in this style. 
But that little table -  
Makes me happy.

And at 50 percent off, I pounced. Right now, it's serving as a makeshift bedside table for the hubs (before he was using a square basket with a top), but we'll see where it ends up.

Linking up to Rachel at Finding Joy's (Friday) Favorite Things as these are some of my favorites, new and old.

friday favorite things | finding joy
P.S. Those pictures are directly from the rental agency's website. We would definitely recommend them to anyone interested in visiting that area! Our cabin was called Log Heaven.