I don’t want to sound too hippie but coconut oil is changing my hair/skin/life!

Stephania! says you Stephania! What on earth are you doing there in that picture? Why are you posting a picture on ye olde internets of yourself with no make up and a klassy ziploc bag on your head? WEIRDO.

Well, says I, the ziploc is the poor mans shower cap and leave me be! I am currently performing a hair miracle. 

Or rather coconut oil is.

So, last night I tweeted “people, I  don’t want to sound too hippie, but coconut oil is changing my hair/skin/life” and sooner than you can say Nathan Fillion is a golden god people were like tell me more, Minks, tell me more. Not being one to deny the masses my incredible wisdom (quit laughing, let me teach you how to bleach your hair cheap whore yellow! I’m an expert!) I have decided to blog it. Now sit back and be amazed…or at least mildly interested and slightly bemused.

I’m not quite sure how I first heard about the miracle substance that is coconut oil but I know it was years ago and then I forgot all about it. That is until I, you know, turned my hair into yellow straw. So I was playing on pinterest like you do, and oh! right! Coconut oil can deep condition your hair. So I immediately went to Target and bought some. Came right home and begun the deep conditioning process. And then I fell in love. I might marry it. I am now like the mom in my Big Fat Greek Wedding “Put Windex on it!” except I’m “Put coconut oil on it!”

HAIR: The thing about coconut oil is that it melts crazy super easy, like with the touch of your hand so you don’t want to microwave it. To deep condition your hair scoop out about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil into a ramiken or cup and place it in a bowl of hot water until it melts. Then slather it on your dry hair, really saturate it, get it on your scalp, get it everywhere. Then put a ziploc on your head, or it you’re a little higher class, maybe a plastic shower cap. I’m not going to tell you how I know this but Glad Press n Seal works well too. While I am slathering the oil on my hair I stick a towel in the dryer and then wrap the hot towel around my ziploc’d head. Not face. Don’t be a moron and put a ziploc on your face.  OR sometimes if I am able to I just aim the hair dryer on warm at my hair for a good 15 minutes or so THEN wrap it in the hot towel. The longer you leave the coconut oil in the better. If you can handle sleeping with it in, even better! Then a nice hot shower and wash your hair twice to get it all out. If I am not going anywhere (and let’s face it, I have two kids and rarely get out) I will only wash my hair once, which leaves it kind of heavy but keeps some of the oil on there ever longer.

You can also use just a touch of it on your dry ends if they are frizzy or you have fly aways. Coconut oil is extremely light, not like olive or vegetable oil. sometimes I will scoop out a dime sized amount warm it between my palms and then smooth on the ends of my hair.

SKIN: What can’t you do with this? First off, right before bed I smooth it over my eyelids, under eye and lashes and crows feet. Ugh, I hate those things. It may make your vision the teeniest bit blurry, so do this right before you go to bed. I let it soak in for about 10 minutes and cover my whole face in vitamin E cream. Since I have been doing this my lashes are thicker, my under eye bags less puffy and my wrinkles less noticeable. I use it on my lips right before bed as well and have even melted 2 parts lipstick to 1 part coconut oil to make a great gloss.

I slather this all over my legs right out of the shower and put it on my arms as well…it’s GREAT over self tanner. It gives your skin the teeniest shimmer.

Huckleberry had a vicious diaper rash last week and of course I slathered coconut oil all over his cute boot and BOOM! Gone. No chemicals. Boss has been getting bloody noses and so I’ve been putting a tiny bit in his nose and no more nosebleeds! Bonus, it contains anti-microbials so it’s even better shove up your nose than icky petroleum jelly.

COOKING/EATING: You can use coconut oil as a replacement for butter or oil in almost any recipe! The health benefits of eating coconut oil are vast. It contains lauric acid which is a natural anti-fungal, so if you frequently get yeast infections or athlete’s foot this will be incredibly beneficial to you! When you ingest lauric acid it is converted to monolaurin which is highly toxic to viruses and bacteria. Good for flu season! It can also help with weight loss as it contains medium chain fatty acids which is all scientific and schtuff but basically helps convert food to energy etc. etc. etc.

I don’t want to be over effusive but since including this in my diet/beauty routine I have seen results. Maybe you will too!

Oh, and in case you are thinking YAY! but do I really want to walk around always smelling like a pina colada? The answer is: you don’t have too. REFINED coconut oil has no smell or coconut taste. VIRGIN coconut oil does. So, I use virgin for baking and my hair and refined for everything else!

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Top 5 (completely shallow) things that made 2012 better.

Featuring vacation pictures of 2 precious boys who make my life better! 

(Shopping buddies)

1. Jeggings from Hollister. I KNOW! Once I got over the fact that a.I was shopping at Hollister for myself while most everyone else in the store was shopping for their teen children and b. omg it made me miss California. Will that ever stop? I don’t know… But this tip came from Style Twin Kel (aka Auntie Keek) and dear God I am ever thankful for it! I have skinny jeans to wear with boots, but I hated the way they looked with flats, heels or wedges. Then Kel was all you must possess these you will live in them. Correct she was. The price is right and they are so comfy! I’m living in these, big warm sweaters and my moc slippers. The biggest problem with them is I only bought one pair and I need more. Bonus! They are on sale for 25!

(Batman chooses greeting cards wisely at USPS)

2. Yellow concealer. This is actually a shallow re-deaux from 2008. I had forgotten. Huck has been getting tooth after tooth after tooth (side note his molars might be the size of a brontosaurus’ molars. They are roughly the size of a gobstopper. Possible exaggeration but holy crap are they massive. I can feel the orthodontia coming!) and teething seems to be a lot harder on him than Boss, so we are up a lot. While I personally adore middle of the night snugs and another chance to get high from huffing his noggin; getting high always has a price. This time the price is dark blue bags for days in the under eye region. If I am being honest the eyelids are a lovely bluish as well. Basically I look like I got punched. If you’re looking for a cheap-o fix I can’t recommend Physician’s Formula Concealer Twins in yellow/flesh enough. I am also using the yellow as an eye shadow base and it’s a God send.

 

(you’ll put your arms down when you get to school)

3. Gel (shellac) manicure. Where has this been all my life?? I have both old looking hands and weak nails. I feel a lot better about my claws when I have a mani but my nails bed and polish is pointless….enter gel manicure. Again; I have Style Twin Kel to thank for this. 2 weeks no chips? Even when I am wrestling small boys into car seats. It’s expensive but whoa nelly is it worth it. Considering trying an at home kit, has anyone tried this?

(I tell ya, these encyclopedias will pay for themselves!)

4. Long Tanks from H&M- I honestly don’t know how to get dressed without these. They are thin but long so they give you that nice long layered look without being bulky. I wear them with almost everything including the aforementioned beloved Hollister jeggings. They are like 5 bucks a pop and I buy them in bulk. Cannot have enough.I have been wearing these for years and  I went a size up while pregnant with Huckleberry and if I get to have another I’ll just be praying that H&M never discontinues these.

(Hey! That’s MY batman costume!)

5. My new Michael Kors bag and the matching (from Target) make-up & diaper bags to put in it. I might marry this bag. I might live in it. I might sleep with it at night all snuggled up to it and whispering sweet nothings into it’s many interior pockets. I am in love. I miss Filene’s Basement but hooray for TJMaxx getting all the good stuff since they went out of business and thank you to whoever hid it in the way back just waiting for me to see it, God Rays to hit it and the choir of angels who sang as it floated on the back of a brilliant white pegacorn who flew it right into my waiting arms. Special thanks to my in-laws for the gift certificate.

 

There you have it. The top five utterly shallow things that made 2012 better for me. Life changing? No. But fun! What are your 5 things? Anything I am missing out on?

A New Year….Or I went to the White House with Whore Hair so you don’t have too.

The thing about me is that I can never leave well enough alone. So if one is good, then I need two. Two is great but four would be better! And so on and so on and so on. Thus it was with my blondish hair. Oh! It was so lovely…but wouldn’t blonderish be even better? And the next thing you know, I had whore hair. Cheap, bright yellow and orange whore hair.

Actual picture of me:

Okay not really, but when Boss found this old doll of Auntie Keek’s he declared Mommy! You two are the same! you have the SAME hair. Must remember to thank his teacher for really driving home the same/different lesson. Not only was my hair neon orange yellow but it was also the consistency of straw. Glorious, tough straw.

The only thing worse than going in wanting to be blonderish and coming out looking as if Smurfette were turning tricks on the corner to score Meth is if you go in wanting to be blonderish and come out looking as if Smurfette were turning tricks on the corner to score Meth and having to go to the White House that very same night.

Oh yeah.

There was nothing to be done but cancel. Except, you don’t just not show up to the White House, am I right? I mean it’s not like Michelle was meeting me for dinner, but we were invited to tour the East Wing and see the Christmas decorations which are amazing! Zach talked me into it and after my mother in law dried my tears and handed me a diet coke we were on our way.

There was no sugar coating it. Zach tried and I told him not even to mention it or I would cry again. My mother in law tried to convince me it wasn’t that bad. (it was) and my sister in law said nothing. She just pretended my hair wasn’t neon yellow. And that? Was how bad it looked. Kel is my style twin and if she can’t even come up with a kind word…well, we know for sure it was, as they used to say, shiteous.

And it was. And no, I didn’t let anyone take pictures of me, trust me it was for the best.

 

I tried to hold my yellow head up high as our friends were polite enough to only widen their eyes in shock and disbelief for a mere second or two before they recovered and we chatted about anything other that the straw mop top I was sporting to the FREAKING WHITE HOUSE. The decorations this year were more subdued than last year but it was still exquisite. My two favorite decorations are in the State Room which features both the mini White House and the Creche which is beyond exquisite. Sadly none of my pictures of the Nativity turned out. This is what happens when you have an 18 month old grabbing your camera and a 4 year old missing in the East Wing. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that we blinked and Boss was GONE?? Thankfully he found his grandmother and honestly we weren’t too worried. Security was everywhere, still we were half panicked and half joking that he just wanted to see Bo.

My husband has petted Bo. It’s the single thing I am the most jealous of in any of his White House visits.

Luckily for me, nary a Secret Service agent inquired as to why a ghetto orange blond chick like me was invited to the White House. Manners? They’re used to it? I don’t know. I will say that not even in junior high was I as self conscious as I was at the White House. UGH! Two days later after some very intense conditioning my hair was lovingly colored dark ash blond and I was able to rejoin the ranks of the non whoreish haired.

I’ve never been so grateful for chemistry.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!! This year feels like its going to be a good one, don’t you agree?

ivillage asked Boss what his resolutions for me would be…and he came up with some doozies! (It should be noted that though you can see my hair here it looked WAY worse in real life. WAY WORSE!)

And yeah…mine are…out of reach? pathetic? You decide.

did you make any resolutions?

It’s possible…

It is possible that this last birthday has thrown me for a loop a bit more than I’d care to admit. Well, not so much MY birthday, but Sister Dub’s has just pushed me right over the edge. Some how her joining me at, shall we say, a certain age has made it really real. Because my own birthday wasn’t enough.

The fact of the matter is that at this age I am totally, really, and truly an adult.  One would think the marriage and the two beautiful children might have driven that point home, but nope.

It’s possible that at this certain age I may have had a little pre-mid-life crisis and gone blond. Ish. Blondish. It’s a word, spell check says so.

And you know what? I dig it! I’m going to stay blondish for a while. It’s just hair, right? And for now it makes me feel sparkly and happy…which is how I feel on the inside and how I want to look on the outside. I don’t know about you guys, but I swear on a stack of Seventeen Magazines that I was just 17 myself. But then my junior bridesmaid goes ahead and turns 18 this week. Eighteen. WTH? I still feel about 22…albeit smarter (let’s hope) so how do I go about making the outside match the inside without channeling Amy Poehler in Mean Girls and more like, just Amy Poehler? Because Amy Poehler kicks ass.

So yeah I feel and want to look happy, youthful, and sparkly but not…delusional. I’m not Forever 21 (although hello? I do get certain things there) but I am not Chicos yet. Ever. Whatever.

Yeah. So Blondish. It is happening people. And it’s fun.

 

(p.s. I’m wearing Stella and Dot necklace and earrings. I’m having an on-line trunk show and you should get some. Because they are awesome, I am rapidly becoming a Stella and Dot hoarder.)

A new synapse formed.

It occurred to me, as things do, while I was ironing my pillow cases that perhaps not everyone does this. Perhaps not everyone thrills to the crackling sound of the sizing as it sprays on the white cotton. Perhaps not everyone is swept over by a peaceful calm as the iron smooths out all the wrinkles leaving nothing but crisp white.

I firmly believe that towels and sheets should be white but friends should come in all colors.

huckie mouth blog
I’m not sure when I discovered my love of ironing. It’s akin to making the bed for me. An instant payback, an immediate reward. With two small kids and no space of our own life is constant chaos. I can never seem to get all the laundry done, all the dishes done, all the diapers done…it is a constant catch up.

Let’s not discuss the state of my closet.

But smoothing the wrinkles away from my sheets, my duvet, and yes, my shower curtain is a calm in the storm. Hucklberry scoots all around the floor thrilling to Play with me Sesame and Boss practices his booty bounce on the bed as I spray and iron.

It’s a good day. Sometimes there is joy in the little things.

Just Sitting here on the corner of Awesome and Bombdiggity.

{via Pinterest}

Yup. Today is my birthday and  have decided that in this, my thirtieth (again) year I shall simply be awesome.

Oh, I don’t mean that suddenly my head has exploded with ego…no, no. I am still the same insecure wreck I was last year. My brain is still a constant cycle of negative self talk and anxiety. I’m telling you it is a par-tay up in cabeza de Stephania.

However on this, my thirtieth (again) birthday I declare that this year shall be spent letting GO of at least some of that self doubt. Go Dog GO!

Because listen, I am not a size zero. I am not 6 feet tall. I didn’t turn out to be a super model. But I am pretty blessed. First and foremost; my boys, my babies,are here and healthy and just for reals the bombdiggity. Second: I gots me a hubby who is a good honest man and as an added bonus he makes me laugh till my eyes water. Third: Mumsy is awesome. Forth: we live with my in-laws. I know, not normally a blessing, right? But mine are pretty cool and we get to save money to move (soon we hope) and hey! free babysitting! Fourth: I am blessed to love The Boss’ preschool. Even if he doesn’t right now. Sad panda. Fifth: I am resilient. I beat an eating disorder just before it beat me. I moved across the country away from my home and friends and have slowly made a life for myself.My once much abused body rallied and built not one, but two beautiful babies. I’ve struggled with postpartum anxiety and am winning the war. Sixth: super awesome bombdiggity friends. Dub, WWJD, Miss Katie, and all my others. I am so very lucky. I include you, my ‘make believe in the computer friends’. I am grateful for each and every one of you.

For my birthday I declare that you are awesome too. BTW you look great today! yes, you!

My ability to lose something is directly correlated to how much I like said thing.

My ability to hold on to something I like, say a pair of earrings for example, is directly correlated to how much I like that something. Yesterday I searched high and low for a lovely little pair of earrings I bought in Hawaii. A carved flower holding a drop jewel. Oh! I love those earrings! They are like a tiny bit of heaven draping from my ears! Or rather EAR as I can only find one. I tore my jewelry chest apart. I looked high and low in all the little spots where I tuck things, and all the spots where others in the household do the same. Nothing. Just one lonely little perfect earring, handmade in Hawaii. Sigh.

So, I reluctantly chose what are perhaps my 4th favorite earrings. Little gold dangley branches. I love em. I got them from a commercial I shot in LA, the costumer telling me they suited me so well I must keep them. I was not going to argue at all! They are junk jewelry but I love them.

Sadly apparently today was like the Earring Thunderdome. Two earrings entered, one earring left. How? HOW???

Earring.

 

No earring.

 

And yet the ones that I don’t love, they seem to multiply.Two earrings become four then six then eight…they are like bunnies.They are everywhere I look, constantly earring blocking my attempts to get it on with my faves.

 

How do they know? This same principle applies to my favorite lip glosses,sunglasses and shoes. And yet the ones that I don’t adore seem to stick around just to make me mad and miss the ones I love even more.

They taunt me.

Am I crazy? Are you buffudled by this Bermuda Triangle of accessories??  Just me?

Things that could only happen to me.

{photo by Gail Boos. I did not drink that Guiness}

We all know my car is trying to kill me right? This car is out to get me. On Friday I got the all clear from awesome Dr. G to get in my little car and drive to DC to meet TOTT, Bob-bob, Auntie Keek and some out of town family for lunch at National Geographic. Their salad bar is the sweetest. Just an FYI. Of course it just for employees and family etc. etc. so you’ll have to trust me on this. The NatGeo caf is the bombdiggity!

Anyway, on the way we had to stop and do one of the Boss’s very favorite things in the world. Get gas. No idea why he loves this so much, mayhaps it’s the fumes? I don’t know, but the boy loves it and every time he plays with his toy cars they all have to stop and get gas. So he was pretty stoked about about a quick fill up at the local station. I decided being out! and free! I would be all ambitious and clean my windows while the tank filled.

Well, don’t you know that car just reached out and grabbed as I scooted my way from the tank to the windshield and I found myself stuck between the wall of the flower planter (who are they kidding with this? Its a gas station!) and my evil car.

By stuck I mean jammed, crammed, unable to move, stuck. STUCK. Couldn’t move, just standing there wedged there. People all around and no one helping this big old pregnant woman. I stood there for a moment, window squeegee raised a bit in the pose of the Statue of Liberty, wondering what to do. My belly firmly squashed up against the car.

So yeah. What was I going to do? I mean, I’m not about to let someone getin my car with The Boss and move it, cause ummm NO and also OUCH! I am stuck! I could feel Baby2ElectricBoogaloo getting antsy from the pressure of being wedged in there. I tried to stand on my tip toes, maybe my girth is a little less and inch and a half lower. No dice. There is no movement happening left, right, up or down. They are going to haveto call the fire department and I will be the laughing stock of all the hot firefighters.

Cause they are always hot, especially when you are at your worst, am I right?

Finally with a mighty (painful) stretch and a roll Baby2ElectricBoogaloo moved and gasp! 1/22 of an inch of space! I popped up on my toes hoping to gain a little more leverage and scooted back towards the gas pump. Freedom!!!!!

Windows be damned. I got myself in my car and got out of there before more people could point and say “That’s the pregnant woman who got STUCK!”

So you can see why I had the salad bar.

1997 called…

I got my hair cut. I did. I totes dig the chick who cuts my hair, but somehow inbetween when she styled it and when I styled it, well let’s just say my hair time travelled back to 1997.

Finding a great hairstylist is quantum physics hard and every once in a while I still weep for my LA love guru/ hair magician Hunky Paul. Sigh. So when I found this chickadee out here I was happy. I mean, she might not be as nice to gaze at and gossip with as the Hunk but she’s good.

Except ya know, this last time.

I always bring in a photo. Hunky Paul drilled this into my little medium brown colored head.

This would be what I brought in:

This would be what I looked like after I ‘did’ my hair today.

{The boobs didn’ t come with the haircut. sads.}

I asked TOTT what he thought and he said ‘oh honey, you look sooooooo cute. In 1997. Where’s your backpack purse?’

Then he called me Rach. I told him that made him Ross and he better get to gelling that hair up and practing saying Hi in that mopey Ross way.

So I did what any self respecting gal with an immediate gratification problem would do. I grabbed some scissors and hacked off the bottom.

I no longer look like this:

I’m now sporting something more like:

{Shelby was right. It does look like a brown football helmet.}

I kid, I’m such a jokster! It doesn’t look like that! No,  I’m not rocking a mid 80’s mom do now. I’ll be heading in later this week to have her her thin out the heavy top layers and *gulp* I’ll probably have to go a little shorter. One of my super powers is super fast hair growing so I’m not too worried. Super fast hair growing super power is way cooler than say, the power to move things with your mind.

Oh wait. No it’s not.

 more like this:

and less like this:

{*Note to Target. Garden decoration fail. I am 12 and I giggled about this ahem, mushroom for 10 minutes and took a picture. I was not the only one to do so. Several grown adults were observed mimicing my awesomeness}

But for now….at least, I can leave the house without anyone singing I’ll Be There For You.

Don’t say I never taught you nothin’

When I was about 6 or so my mother bought me this beautiful cloth doll at a boutique next to Casa Bonita. My favorite childhood restaurant. Yes, it really exists, South Park didn’t make it up. Anyway, I loved this doll. She had lovely brown yarn hair and a big pink bow, a gorgeous pink dress with cabbage roses on it and a skirt that could be taken off and worn as a bonnet. I loved her. I also loved playing at Viele Lake with Dub. Our moms would walk us down there and we would be tortured by feed the geese and play on the playground. Of course I wanted to take my gorgeous doll to show Dub. And by show her, I mean rub it in that I not only got to go to Casa Bonita, but got a doll too. Buuuuuuuuuuurn, sister!

My mom said no, let’s not bring your brand new beautiful doll. I said, Mumsy how dare you deny me the opportunity to make Dub jealous! Also, we both know I’m gonna win this one and time’s a wastin’! Off we went to the Lake with my doll and headed di-rectly to the playground. Dub, Doll and I made it about 5 or so rounds on the roundabout thingy before Doll went flying off and landed in the sandy water that had collected by the spinning toy. Sobs, distress, screaming ensued.  Doll. Was. Ruined. Apparently her insides were made of scraps of fabric and when dampened the color ran from her insides to her out, marring her beautiful cream complexion with spots and streaks of brownish red.

She was thenceforth known as The Doll With The Skin Disease.

I still loved her.

You may not know this about me but I am pale. I don’t just mean white – I mean see through white. When I was pg you could could plan to motor west on route 66 on my belly. I feared ultrasounds might be unnecessary. Just hold a flashlight up to my huge swollen stomach and see him dance!

I attended Catholic school for a while in junior high. It was a hoot and all the girls were suuuuuuuuuuper nice. They gave me cute nicknames like Morticia, Elvira and Casper. Like the Ghost. My mother was quick to point out that Casper was the friendly ghost, but that was of no consolation to me.

And thus, in the 8th grade I began my Life Long Love Affair/Hundred Years War with self tanning products. I started with good old Coppertone. It came out of the bottle orange and I slathered it all over my spindly white legs, tossed on my light blue denim skirt, pink shirt, purple eyeliner and headed off to junior high. It was in gym class (which I was sitting out of, natch) that I looked down and saw myself. Oh. God. I resembled a monochromatic Jackson Pollack leg painting. It was horrible. I went to the bathroom and cried. The problem: I was and continue to be, a dress wearing freak. I love dress and skirt. Love them. And my legs, well…they get seen.I even went so far as to try a tanning bed once. They laughed at me. Laughed. At. Me. But those year book epitaphs always rang in my head

Get a taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan. {They haunt me.} Keep in touch, get a taaaaaaaaaaaaaaan.

The whole while Dub just laughed and laughed since she tans if you turn on a bright light. She and I spent the summer laying out on my roof covered in baby oil. Awesome. We were the epitome of brilliant in our youth, as you can see. She tanned and said buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurn sister.

And I did. Then I peeled and was white again.

Finally, better living through chemistry has caught up with my paleness (somewhat) and I have now entered an exclusive monogamous relationship with Jergens self tanner (no animal testing!)

A helpful hint before the weekend: if you run out of shaving cream may I suggest that if you do use your creamy facial wash as a substitute you make sure it doesn’t include a make up remover in the formula.

If you do, your legs might quickly resemble The Doll With The Skin Disease.

Not that I did that.