10 Hair-Saving Tips for Summer!

It’s still summer here in San Diego for a few more months (does it really ever ends??), and I thought this post from Cheryl Locke at Madison Reed is perfect for those of us who may be spending more time outside, in the water, or just having fun adventures and want to keep our locks looking luxurious.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may be compensated (it’s a super small amount!) if you make a purchase after clicking through the links. You can read my Disclosure policy here.
Bright and warm days are ahead. Like our favorite season, summer hair should be effortless in theory. In actuality, you’re battling major beauty bummers like frizz, brassiness, dullness, and sunburn.

How to deal? We’ve rounded up the best defenses–some as simple as just adding water. The sun’s out and fun’s in. Here’s how to beat the heat beautifully.
Madison Reed - Salon Quality At Home Hair Color

  1. Wet hair. It’s simple and effective. Before taking a dip in the pool, drench hair in fresh water. Like a sponge, your strands will soak up water, preventing chlorine and chemicals from penetrating cuticles.
  2. Lock in moisture. Before you take a swim, work in a hair oil; it seals hair from chlorine and the drying effects of the sun. Plus, oil provides a bit of weight to prevent flyaways and frizzing.
  3. Wear a cap. We’re confident you can pull off this look. If you take frequent dips, you’ll want to embrace a hair cap’s retro charm. The additional barrier does wonders on keeping chlorine out.
  4. Rinse off immediately. After pool-time, prevent chemical build-up (and green hair) with a quick rinse. Brownie points if you use a clarifying shampoo followed by an extra-emollient conditioner to bring hair back to its original shine and bounce.
  5. Deep condition. A shea-butter-rich treatment is your best anti-frizz secret. You know what they say about an ounce of prevention. It keeps hair more manageable and less tangled even in salty-windy beach conditions.
  6. Use an SPF. Most of us dutifully slather sunblock all over our face and body, but we often forget our hair and scalp. Don’t make that newbie blunder. UV rays not only fade hair color, they also dry out hair, cause split ends, and weaken hair’s elasticity. Spritz on a liquid SPF (or DIY by combining 2 teaspoons of SPF lotion with one cup of water). For additional protection, summerize products with UV-fortified formulas. Psst: Madison Reed’s shampoo and conditioner come with UV-shielding lupine flower.
  7. Keep hats on. A floppy brim is not just the it-accessory of the season, it offers protection against the color-fading effects of sun.
  8. Skip the blow dryer. For natural curls and waves, just go with it. Work with, not against curls; straight styles that require flat irons and blow-drying will fry ends, deplete moisture, and end up giving you more pouf than sleekness.
  9. Pull it back. Your best line of defense against the pouf is often a sleek bun or topknot.
  10. Don’t touch your hair. Except for occasional flirty hair flips, excessive handling of your hair only causes frizz.

Post courtesy of Cheryl Locke for Madison Reed.

Madison ReedMadison Reed offers salon-quality, handcrafted hair color delivered to your door on your schedule! Clear instructions, all the extras you may need and fabulous results really set Madison Reed apart from other home hair color options! I love the conditioner– smells great and keeps my hair super soft and shiny!

What I love is that you start with a Hair Profile (kinda like a quiz) and it helps you find a color that you’ll love.

Complimentary Make-Up Services at Sephora inside JC Penney!

Screen Shot 2019-07-06 at 10.17.10 PM.pngSephora Insiders- Check your email for this sweet offer, a free sample sized Too Faced Lip Injection lip plumper. Offers of freebie change frequently, so keep your eyes peeled for different deals!

Most Sephora inside JC Penney locations have special events with free sample offers, or if you can’t make one of the events, stop by any time for a free 5-minute or 15-minute minis where you can learn new beauty tips and application tricks!

5-minute minis include:

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15-minute minis include:

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Another thing I love about Sephora in JCP is select locations offer Color iQ– You can get your skin scanned to reveal the most scientifically precise foundations, concealer, and lip matches FOR FREE!

If you are looking strictly for skincare, take advantage of the free Moisture Meter! This tool gives a free, instant hydration reading- plus skincare picks just for you!

Fine Print: †Receive a trial size, free with any merchandise purchase of $25 or more at Sephora inside JCPenney stores only. Must be a registered Beauty Insider to redeem.

I love checking out Sephora inside JCP. It’s a great way to stay on trend with cosmetics and skincare and check out colors in person. It’s how I learned all about my favorite Primer- Tatcha The Silk Canvas (perfect for us with dry skin).

FREE Credit Score and Savings Advice from Credit Sesame!

Knowing your credit score is important. Having good credit can help you in several aspects of life:

Good credit gives you better access to better APR’s for credit cards, mortgages, car loans, lines of credit.

Credit Sesame is so much better than some of the other credit report services.

  • You can get your credit score for FREE each month.
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Getting started with Credit Sesame is easy- just click here! We’ve been using Credit Sesame for over 5 years!

Money Saving Tips for Going Back to College!

collegeSo after a few year s(cough cough), I’ve gone back to college to finish up my AA and get ready to transfer to a CA State University.

Like any endeavor in my life, I’m trying to do the college experience on the cheap. Here are a few ways you can save money while going to school:

Start out by completing a FAFSA. That’s a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Regardless of your family income or situation, you should fill it out. You never know what kind of loans, fee waivers, or grants you may be eligible for. I was able to get a Governor’s Board Fee Waiver, which paid for my classes. All I had to pay was the Health Fee (which is $20).

amazonprimeAmazon Prime has a discounted program for students. The first 6 months are free (Courtesy of Sprint, and just $6.49/month after that. That’s 50% off the regular price.

You can rent your textbooks online, Amazon rents textbooks. Your local school library may also have short term checkout of some textbooks. You may have to ask the librarian for more information.

If you need a new computer, Apple offers a discount through Unidays. I’m still in the middle of setting my account up, but it looks like Unidays partners with hundreds of retail partners.

School supplies are always cheaper if you buy them off campus. I like to shop for school supplies at Dollar Tree, they have lots of great stuff all year long.

A list on online retailers offering discounts can be seen here, courtesy of Dealhack.

Once school starts, get a Student ID card.

Beyond saving money at on tuition, books, and supplies, your student ID may give you discounts out in the world! College students who meet some criteria may also receive a discount on your automobile insurance, cell phone bill, even fee free banking products.

Movie theatres, museums, local attractions, and restaurants sometimes give students discounts, make sure to check before you go.

Talk Back: What’s your favorite Student Discount?

 

Women’s Health Week!

Womenshealth.gov - National Women's Health Week!
It’s only fitting that Women’s Health Week starts on Mother’s Day. While not every woman is a mother, everyone has a woman they care about in their life. National Women’s Health week is May 13- May 19, 2018.

The Women’s Health Week website has all sort of great guides and resources all about how women at any stage of life can care for themselves. And they are SIMPLE STEPS!

Here are just a few daily choices that women can make to live a little more healthier:

  • Eat healthy — go to ChooseMyPlate.gov to get started
  • Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity
  • Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep

See, baby steps!

A few other helpful hints that are good for your body & mind as well as your wallet…

If you have health insurance, don’t forget to get your annual check-up/exam (it’s covered for free under all health insurances in the US)! You can take that time to address health questions with your PCP. If you don’t have health insurance, many Planned Parenthood Clinic offer annual exams (in addition to annual reproductive health exams) for free or very low cost.

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Getting outside with a friend (or pet) is a great way to relieve stress!

If you don’t belong to a gym or health club, many employers offer discounts or work with gyms to offer discounted memberships.  If you aren’t a gym person, check out your local parks. Lots of parks in our local area have special walking loops and even fitness stations (Mast Park in Santee has both!). Other parks in San Diego with fitness/exercise stations include: Mission Bay Park,  Embarcadero Parks North & South, Tidelands Park near the base of the Coronado Bridge as you arrive in Coronado, Hilton Head Park in Rancho San Diego, Chollas Lake Park, and Morley Field (near Balboa Park). If your local park doesn’t have a fitness course, play on the jungle gym or go for a walk!

Taking care of your skin is a great way to practice a little self-care and relax. Here is my DIY Frugal Facial.

And the easiest step I can recommend to better your health: Have a glass of water! We have all sorts of water bottles at home, including infuser bottles like this one. The kids each have a water bottle too!

And if you are a budget, don’t forget to check out freebie sites for health and beauty freebie- I’ve gotten free SPF, skin care products, a pedometer, and vitamins!

I’d love to hear from you: What simple steps do you incorporate into your life to improve your health? Guys, you can comment too!  Better health is for everyone, not just ladies!

 

10 Practical Self-Care Tips

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There are tons of articles about Self-Care on Pinterest and mommy blogs. Having read a bunch of them, I’m lead to believe that all of these people have kids that go to bed on time, never wake up for water, cry out in the night, or may possibly be robots.  Why? Because facials, manicures, pedicures, private yoga sessions, and taking a long quiet bath are usually recommended. I can seldom do any of these after my kids are in bed.

Remember, self-care is more than slapping on a mud masque and shotgunning wine from a can (yes, it exists) on Sunday night while you hide in the bathroom and pray the kids stay in bed. My top ten list is stuff that is practical that will help “refill your cup”- and not with wine from a can.

  1. Go to bed early. Like 9:30pm instead of 11:30pm. It’s all about baby steps.
  2. Drink a glass of water in the morning. Yeah, you are supposed to drink 7 more after that, but, you’ve got at least 10 more waking hours to get that accomplished.
  3. Take your vitamins. They are doing no good in your medicine cabinet. To remind yourself, get an “old person pill case“. My husband and I each have one, and so does Henry. I refill them on Saturday night. I’m such the party animal.
  4. When you are alone in the car each day, do some deep breathing.  I like the Alternate Nostril Breathing (I learned it in yoga- pre-kids). It’s easy to do and just two minutes of it can really help you relax. Bonus: It’s free.
  5. Indulge in a guilty pleasure. Take 30 minutes and do something that you wouldn’t Facebook about- Take a couple Buzzfeed Quizzes, Watch Dr. Pimplepopper videos on YouTube, watch the Kardashians on Hulu. Just disconnect and do something mindless.
  6. Color! I have a bunch of coloring books for adults, but I also like to print off coloring pages too. I have some pinned on my 100 Days of Art Pinterest Board.  Color with what you’ve got on-hand. Crayons, markers, colored pencils. Heck, it’s ok to steal your kids coloring books.
  7. Do a Social Media Purge. I did this at the beginning of January. I unfollowed/unfriended anyone that caused me stress, pain, anxiety, or jealousy. You don’t need to be surrounded with Keeping Up with the Joneses all the time. Your time and family are great the way they are.  Removing these emotions from your daily life will give you relief. It’s liberating.
  8. Enjoy something to eat or drink that brings you joy or is nostalgic. Bonus if it’s something that your kids don’t like/won’t eat. Then there will be no sharing.
  9. Go for a ten minute walk. Outside is best, but a few laps around your office building is ok too. If you are home, grab the kids, the dog, and go outside. Investigate your neighborhood. It doesn’t have to be an Instagram-worthy sunset walk, just get out and stretch your legs!
  10. Power Down- Put down your phone, tablet, turn off the computer for an hour and take a break/nap/shower/bath.

Most of these things can be done with little to no cost. Anyone can do them. How do you make sure that you get enough self-care?

Practical Ways to Help New Parents…

Having had two kids, I can tell you that nothing is more helpful than having food to eat in the first few weeks after giving birth. Having a baby is stressful, especially if it’s your first. You can take all the classes in the world, do as much prep, but when it comes down to it, you spend the first few weeks tired, stressed, and weary.

Having a few extra hands and a hot meal you can eat one handed (especially something you can eat while breastfeeding) is worth it’s weight in gold!

Recently a friend and his wife welcomed their little girl. Hubs made up a batch of his new baby calzones. He makes them for everyone of our friends that is having a baby. They freeze well, re-heat quickly (and well), and you can eat them one handed.

Thanks to Kasandrinos Olive Oil and UsFamily Guide for the opportunity to sample this olive oil for free! I’m not usually a big Olive Oil fan, Kasandrinos Olive oil has a light flavor that works really well in Calzones! I also like that it has an easy to pour spout inside the bottle!

We use the Pizza Crust Recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Anything. You can find the recipe here.  One Pizza Crust makes 4-6 small calzones.IMG_2064.jpg

As the dough rises, we prep the rest of the ingredients. Sauce, cheese, meats, veggies.

I use canned tomato sauce and add Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, a pinch of parmesan cheese, salt, and black pepper. No added sugar.

Some of the most popular ingredients around here: pepperoni, sausage, onions, bell peppers, ground cooked beef, sliced chicken breast, goat cheese, mozzarella, bbq sauce (instead of tomato sauce), cheddar cheese, ham, green chilis, meatballs (I usually make them little or slice them up), pretty much anything in the fridge!

Once the dough is ready, it is portioned out, rolled and then the magic happens!

For small/hand held sized calzones, use 1/2 cup cheese/toppings and 2-3 T. of sauce. Fold over and crimp the edges shut, and place on a cookie sheet that is either sprayed with Pan or use a silicon baking mat. I have these and I love them!

Larger Calzones need almost double the amounts above.

Bake at 450 for 10-20 minutes, depending on size.

Before and after baking!

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Here is the result of a few hours work. They were delivered the next day, ready to be frozen and enjoyed at the new mom and dad’s leisure!

If cooking isn’t your “thing” here are a few other ways to help the new parents in your life:

  • Bring them their favorite coffee drink, and something to eat.
  • Offer to hold/watch the baby while they take a shower/take a nap/have 5 minutes alone.
  • Fold/put away their laundry.
  • Wash their dishes.
  • Take out the trash, or if trash day is the next day, take their cans down to the street (then the next day, stealthily put them back).
  • Be there. Honestly, it can be lonely if you are a new parent. It’s not like you are taking your new baby all over town. You are just trying to get the hang of having a new family member. Sometimes it’s just nice to have someone to come hang out with!

Kasandrinos and Us Family guide provided us with a free bottle of olive oil in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own. I was not financially compensated.