Pin Curls that Last for 5 Days

Hey, friends!

So one of the big resolutions I made to myself when I started this blog a few years ago was that I didn’t want to be a fashion/beauty/lifestyle blogger. Today, I’m breaking that promise to bring you something that I believe is pretty freakin’ worthwhile: the 5-day hairstyle.  

You heard right: style once, wear for 5 days. Don’t believe me? Check it out. 

This little trick has helped me enormously since I had a baby, though I figured it out long before Mac was born. I was always a person who said, “My hair won’t hold curl.” It turns out that’s a bunch of hooey. ANYONE’S hair can hold curl - even the most limp, flat, fine, straight hair. Trust.  

So this process is called “pin curling,” and it’s a really old technique. The science behind it is that if you allow your hair to cool while it’s still in the shape of a curl, it retains the shape for a lot longer. Think about it: if you curl your hair with a curling iron, then immediately let it drop back down as it cools, the curl will be a lot looser because it’s cooling in a more open, wider shape, instead of in a tightly-wound curl.  

It’s a little bit of work on the front end, but it takes no more than twenty minutes. And when you’re through, you have 5-day hair - 20 minutes for 5 days? Worth it.  

You’ll need: 

- Clean hair
- Duck clips (the long, silver clips you see at the salon) 
- A 1’’ curling iron (if yours is a little larger or smaller, that’s fine - we’ll get to how you can make that work) 
- L'Oreal TXT It Tousle Wave Spray (optional, but great)
- 20 minutes

Step One:  

Wash, dry, and blow your hair out. A “blowout” doesn’t need to be salon-quality - it just needs to straighten your hair and get it completely dry. I divide my hair into two sections with a large clip, dry the bottom half with a paddle brush, then dry the top half with a round brush, pulling the brush up and through my hair as I dry it to give it some volume around the crown. Whatever method works for you is fine - just needs to get the job done.  

Step Two:  

Grab a two-inch section of hair and use your curling iron to curl it under, all the way toward your scalp. The direction you curl it is up to you - if you want to have a salon blowout look, curl it under. If you’re going for more of a Victoria’s Secret wave, curl the hair around the closed barrel of your curling iron. That’ll make more sense in the video below. 

Step Three:  

Release the hair from the curling iron. Then, using two fingers on your non-dominant hand, curl the section of hair around your fingers back up in the same direction as before, and secure it with a duck clip. Make sure the curve of the clip is facing toward your scalp, not away. If it sounds confusing, use the video tutorial below as a guide. 

Step Four:  

Repeat the process until your whole head is covered in pins.

Step Five:  

Give your hair some time to set. Do some housework, make some phone calls, or if you’re doing it in the morning before work, make this the first step in your routine. Do your makeup and have your coffee while your hair cools!  

Step Six:  

Take your hair down and comb through it with a wide-toothed comb. Don’t worry - this step isn’t going to destroy your curls. It’s just going to calm them down. Make sure you complete this step with at least ten minutes before you need to be anywhere so that your hair has time to settle and you don’t look like you shoved your finger in a light socket, like so:

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To maintain your curls all week long:  

Before bed each night, wrap your hair into a twisted bun and secure it with a rubber band. I usually loop one loop all the way around the hair, and take the other loop halfway over the bun to make sure it stays in place all night (watch the video below for a detailed walk-through).

In the morning, take your hair down and you’ll discover that you’ve still got an “out in public” ready head of hair. Hooray!  

Just to show you that this works, I documented 5 days’ worth of hair for you. I curled it on a Thursday, and the last photo was taken on a Monday.  

Thursday:  

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Friday (yes, I’m wearing the same shirt, I have a newborn, don’t judge me):  

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Saturday (featuring my goofy husband):   

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 Sunday: 

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Monday (the messiest and yuckiest day):   

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As they say in My Big Fat Greek Wedding: "So there you go!" 

I hope this has been helpful and will save you some time in the mornings that you could use snuggling your babies, sleeping in, or getting extra work done. 

Thus endeth my stint as a fashion blogger.  

*Bows*  

Pregnancy Product Recommendations

Happy Tuesday! 

OH MY GOSH DOUG JONES FREAKING WON THE SENATE, PEOPLE. HE WON. A DEMOCRAT. IN ALABAMA. IT'S A HUGE DEAL. HUGE. ENORMOUS. 

Mmkay.

Since I'm just sitting on "go" waiting for this baby to be born, I thought I'd record a short(ish) video recommending some products that have really worked for me this pregnancy. I got lots of helpful tips from girlfriends of mine, and some things I just trial-and-errored for myself. 

I've included links to all my recommendations in the text below the video, so if you know someone who's pregnant, click around! I can guarantee a big ol' hug if you were to gift your pregnant pal any of the following things. 

(In the future, it'd be great if someone could remind me not to shoot a video of my extremely pregnant face from a low angle. Holy double chins, y'all. W/e, I'm too pregnant to care!) 

Holiday Gifts for Neighbors and Colleagues!

HEY EVERYBODY, REMEMBER ME? 

Yeah, it's been a minute. I've just decided to give myself some grace about updating since I am exactly 9 days (at the most) from giving birth. Which is a sentence I can type and understand in theory but really is melting my brain into a puddle of Gak on the floor. 

(Nickelodeon Gak? Anyone? Anyone?) 

ANNNNNNNNYway, the point is, I have my entire house decorated for Christmas and my nursery done. My hospital bags are packed. I am completely ready to go, which means that for the next little while until this baby decides to make its debut, I need things to occupy myself. 

Enter: a project! 

I usually bake things for my neighbors at Christmas, but this year (with the help of my mom, as you'll see in a moment), I thought it would be fun to do more of a crafty gift. The idea of these cute lil' guys it that the recipient can dump out the contents of the jar into some water, simmer it on the stovetop, and make their house smell like Christmas! Once you've gathered all your ingredients, this is an incredibly easy and fun project that makes your OWN house smell delicious as you work on it. It's also really kid-friendly, so if you have young babies at home, they can easily help in assembling your jars. 

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You will need: 

  • An assistant who has graphic design experience and make your tags adorable, if you're 9 months pregnant, will go pick up all these ingredients for you and bring them to your house along with lunch. (Okay, you don't REALLY need that, but it sure does help!)
  • Halo or Cutie clementines 
  • Whole cranberries 
  • Christmas tree clippings
  • Mulling spices (available at World Market!) 
  • Mason jars 
  • Festive ribbon 
  • Cute gift tags 

Then just work from the bottom up! Start with your mulling spices, which is really the key to making this smell so dadgum fabulous: 

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Next, add a handful of cranberries: 

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One or two clementines, depending on the size of your jar: 

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And then fill the top with Christmas tree clippings: 

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Seal off the jar, tie some ribbon around the top, and add a cute message along with some instructions, to the tag. Voila! 

 (Sorry about the extra text here - this was downloaded from my Instagram story because it was the only photo I had of the tags. Oops!) 

(Sorry about the extra text here - this was downloaded from my Instagram story because it was the only photo I had of the tags. Oops!) 

It's so colorful and fun AND functional - the best part about these jars is that, as the water boils/simmers out, the recipient can just add more water and leave the same ingredients in your pan. Get creative if you don't have mulling spice on hand - you can use cinnamon sticks, cloves, ground nutmeg - all scents of the season. 

Hope you enjoy! 

5 Things: Hosting Out-of-Town Guests

One of the things I love to do more than anything on this earth is host visitors in our house. I was always so concerned in the months before we made this move that we'd be largely alone in Asheville, but it turns out we get to see our friends and families more here than we did in Alabama, in some cases! 

Particularly in the fall, Asheville is covered up top-to-bottom with tourists who we call "leafers," in town to watch the Blue Ridge Mountains change from this 

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to this: 

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(I know, right? Pretty spectacular). 

So I thought it'd be the perfect time of year to talk about little things I learned from my mom that I like to do when hosting guests, besides putting out fresh towels. 

1. Flowers! 

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Buying flowers can get expensive, so lots of times I source the blooms from my yard, or even just use the greenery. A little bit of "living thing" in a room totally changes the feel. I try to put two large arrangements in the den, kitchen, and guest bedroom, and small arrangements (usually in Mason jars) in each bathroom. 

As you can see in the background of this photo, the first weekend we moved up here, we had a big arrangement of wildflowers in our den. Also very funny to look back on this decorating from three years ago. We've come a long way, baby. 

2. Candy and snacks! 

This is another direct result of growing up in my mother's house, but we usually have bowls of treats (my signature is seasonal M&M's) all over the place. One in the kitchen, one in the guest room, and one on the table in front of the TV. 

I know. It's an issue. 

Really, it's less about candy specifically, and more about having something for people to easily reach for. I've found that if you ask your guests, "Are you guys feeling hungry?" the answer is always, "Not really!" because no one wants to put you out or make you work. 

But if you just MAKE the food and put it out ANYWAY, it always mysteriously gets eaten...funny how that works. ;) 

So just put it out! I always have a cheese board ready when people are coming in from out of town, just so folks can immediately have something to nibble on and don't feel like they're inconveniencing me. I also like to play a fun game with myself to see if I can remember people's favorites and buy them in advance - favorite beer, favorite kinds of cheese, favorite chips, etc. I may or may not have a running list in a drawer. Don't tell. 

 Normally I cook a full breakfast (eggs, bacon, yogurt, granola, berries, OJ, etc.), but this is a perfect quick option: Sister Schubert cinnamon rolls served with fruit and carried out onto the front porch to enjoy the fall temps. 

Normally I cook a full breakfast (eggs, bacon, yogurt, granola, berries, OJ, etc.), but this is a perfect quick option: Sister Schubert cinnamon rolls served with fruit and carried out onto the front porch to enjoy the fall temps. 

3. Bedside water and coffee. 

Another "my mom" touch. We bought these glass bottles for about $5 each Michael's a few years ago and they have paid for themselves about 1,000 times over with how many times we've put them to use. 

When we have company, each guest has a glass bottle filled with water and fresh, clean glasses on their nightstand. If I'm REALLY doing a good job, I make sure to go up and re-fill the water bottles at some point during each day. 

We also happened to have an extra Keurig, because Jordan's sweet parents got us a Ninja coffeemaker for Christmas two years ago. So we moved our old Keurig to the guest room, stocked a glass canister with pods of coffee and tea, and I always stick an extra mug or two up there in case our guests are super-early risers (as in, before 6 AM) and want to have a cup of coffee without waking the whole house up. 

4. Have a plan.

No photo to go along with this one, and this may be showing my cards too much, but when guests are coming for a weekend, I like to sit down with a legal pad and map out the trip. It's helpful for my type-A brain to go ahead and plan what we're going to do, because there is SO MUCH in Asheville and often we only get one full day with our guests, as Friday and Sunday are travel days. 

One of the most important things I've found is to also include rest time in the "plan." The perfect weekend tends to balance activities and downtime. As much of an extrovert as I am, I also really need time to be quiet and re-charge - so if I'M feeling tired or overexerted socially, I know my friends are. Laying around on the couch and drinking makes for some of the best memories anyway, don'tcha think? 

 Like so. 

Like so. 

Okay, so I only made it to four things. Sue me. Hopefully that inspires some ideas and makes you want to call your friend to invite them over! These little touches really are so fun to do and are all about thanking people for driving to see us. So - how comfortable can you make your guests? 

Happy hosting! 

The Final Countdown

Jordan and I (okay, just I) saw this great web series that Whitney Port (of The Hills fame) did during her pregnancy called "I Love My Baby But I Hate My Pregnancy." Each week, she did an update about kind of a "real girl's pregnancy," with all the yucky stuff no one likes to talk about but everyone experiences. 

I haven't had as rough a time as Whitney Port, but I did love the idea of documenting a little bit of this process in an honest way because it's so special and once-in-a-lifetime. I love looking back on old photos and video, so more for Jord and me than for anything, I thought it would be fun to have some tape of these last 10 weeks. 

Here's installment one, where he and I talk about The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of this process. If you've ever had kids, I'm sure you can relate to lots of this - because, let's be honest, pregnancy is all of those things.

Also, somehow we end up talking about comic books. And the time I tooted on Jordan's foot. 

Hope you enjoy this early morning, no-makeup look! (The lighting gets better, I promise.) 

Yellow, The Space Between, and Landslide are copyrighted by Rockabye Baby! and are not my property.