Hair Color for Little Girls

Pink or blue hair is no longer considered unusual. I walked around with my girls this weekend at a local festival and we saw hair color in every shade. I’ve even seen many women 60+ with purple or pink hair. Honestly, I love it! I think it’s fantastic that people feel comfortable enough to make a statement in this world.

Rose hair
Joico Color Butter in Rose — Day 4 streaks

A few months ago I dyed my hair pink (rose) with some at-home color. I had done the same at the salon over a year ago but wanted to test the waters at home. Since playing around, I fell in love with the Joico Color Butter. It’s easy to use and not permanent. The color builds on itself as well. I read the directions many times!

My girls are 5, 7, and 9. The middle one is more eccentric than the others. I already know she’ll be my wild child. She has so much to express and certainly loves to dress her own way. When I told the kids I would color their hair for summer she was SO excited. They are not allowed to have colored hair at school. I had the pink/magenta on hand and the second color we opted for was blue. Blue hair for summer, why not? Off to Ulta we went.

We started easy with doing the tips of their hair. The instructions say apply (with gloves) to wet or dry hair. In my experience the dry hair took color better than the wet. You leave the color on for 5 minutes but I left it on for 10-15 minutes. It’s super conditioning so their hair feels silky after using the product. Of course the color will take blonde hair differently than it will do brown hair. Both girls have more brown-ish hair than blonde so the color isn’t super intense. It washes out over time as well.

 

So here are the girls with pink and blue tipped hair. They are happy, I’m happy– it’s a win-win. Warning for those who swim a lot. We tried the color and swam the next day in the pool. The color just about totally came out. I’m not sure if this is normal or not but to save money on color, wait until you don’t plan on swimming a lot. Their hair is so fresh and not chemically treated so I don’t think the color stays as long as it does in my hair.

Have fun experimenting this summer!

July 4th Fashion

I remember the first year I watched our town 4th of July parade. It was 100 degrees and I had two little kids. We sat at a friend’s house at the end of the parade and it was SO long. Our little town has a 3-hour parade! Families put chairs out the day before and we have rules about when you can leave your seat unattended. It’s so big that the 3rd has turned into a party just waiting for the 4th to arrive.

When I was a kid we visited my Uncle’s house for the West Allis July 4th Parade. I always got a baton to twirl on the sidewalk. Later on we would head to a friend’s lake and my dad would shoot fireworks off the dock over the lake. It was a huge party and we were always a part of it.

The last two years our school has had a float in the town parade. My girls have dressed up in red, white, and blue and helped to cheer to all the parade watchers. They really had a blast and were thrilled to ride the float instead of walk. They smile. I smile. I have a few drinks. It’s a fun day! I can’t imagine not taking part in some festive activities. It’s been such a big summer memory my entire life. But each year I think about what red, white, and blue clothes I have on had to wear. If it’s super hot, I end up with an outfit change or two.

Here are my season picks for festive outfits. Stores don’t always have a section curated, but if you search for the colors you may find something you are looking for. Have a Happy 4th of July and always remember to pay it forward and be a little kinder.

4thjuly

 

  1. Red Star Tank from Evereve (one of my favorite stores to shop at).
  2. Roxy Trucker Hat, decked out in red, white, and blue– just like our flag.
  3. Striped Embroidered Tank from Escapada. Resort wear at its finest!
  4. Braeve Embroidered Dress found at Evereve (of course). Off the shoulder too.
  5. Scout cooler, must keep your beverages cold! Online or at Amazon.
  6. Cherry Red Slip-ons from Ugg “Sammy”. Comfortable, breathable, fashionable.

Rent The Runway, should I?

Rent The Runway is another fashion subscription service but focuses on the top designer brands. What makes this one different than the next? Here is a rundown of how RTR works.

  • With RTR you can shop online or shop at one of their stores (big cities only), where you can try on a selection of dresses and rent on the spot or for a future date.
  • Not sure about what size you are? You can add one free backup size to your order, and rent a second style for $32.50.
  • Almost every dress features customer reviews (with photos!), so you can see how the dresses look on real women. This is a crucial part of the service. By reading reviews you can see real women in the dress and they usually share what size they are wearing, their measurements, height, and weight. It’s pretty easy to tell if your body type would be a good match for that dress.
  • Keep your items from 4-8 days. Everything ships back free via UPS.
  • There is a $5 insurance fee which covers most mishaps
  • There are many ways to rent: Pay as you rent each piece, $89/month for four rentals per month, $159/month for unlimited rentals per month.
  • There is a PRO Membership for an additional $29.95/year. You’ll get FREE shipping and FREE insurance for a year, plus a $30 birthday gift. Shipping TO you is normally around $12-15 (return shipping is free). If you plan on renting even two dresses a year, this PRO membership is worth it.

Here are three dresses I’ve rented and wore. Two of the dresses I shipped directly to the location I was flying to (hotel in Las Vegas and a Texas home). I have rented some things that didn’t work out. In one instance, the dress fit but I wasn’t convinced that it would stay up all night (strapless)– luckily I had a back up of my own at home. RTR is good about sending an emergency dress if you really need one.

 

What can you rent?

You can rent designer dresses in any style, tops, coats, pants, and skirts. There is no athletic wear. There is an app for your phone and it is really easy to filter by color, size, date of rental, occasion, price, style, body type, maternity, designer, and more. If you’ve ever wanted to wear a $1,000 Marchesa lace dress, now you can for around $145. What a steal! In addition to clothing, you can rent hats, sunglasses, jewelry, purses, and scarves. Designer accessory heaven.

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Would I use RTR again?

For *fun* events I will definitely use this service again. I love renting a fancy dress and sending it back. I hate wearing the same dress twice (especially if the crowd is similar) so this is a great solution. I don’t think I’ll ever subscribe to the Unlimited Monthly Service for the same reason as I won’t keep a long-term subscription to Le Tote. I just don’t need to wear high fashion on a regular basis. I work from home and sometimes won’t really have any other adult interaction. I do have a closet filled with pretty decent clothes so wearing those day-to-day is best for me.  For that reason, it’s a good splurge but not a regular thing for me.

A Night in Paris: Father Daughter Dance

Last night marked another fabulous Father Daughter dance at our school. This is my second year as co-chair for the event. Our first year was a pajama party so we wanted to get a little fancy this time around. After searching Pinterest for some fabulous ideas, A Night In Paris became our favorite pick.

papersphinx_paris_1-To get our creative juices flowing we started with this beautiful watercolor Paris pack from Paper Sphinx on Creative Market. We bought it for $12 and used it for all our invitations and posters for the dance. Super chic!

I rented an Eiffel Tower from a local prop company for $50. To save on delivery charges I pick it up and dropped it off myself with my truck. A super fun touch for a special evening! For the backdrop to our photo shoot we opted for pink and white stripes. We found a plastic table cloth roll from Oriental Trading Company and gave us 100 ft. for $20. We also used it to cover all the tables at the event. It was a deal and really looked great.

A local coffee shop and two friends had the bistro tables and chairs for us to borrow. Much better than renting them and it was a cute touch to have the sitting area at the dance. We had floral donations and also used silk flowers to add some Parisian flower market touches. Our original inspiration was these beautiful bistro windows!

IMG_1336Bistro Windows

To make the windows we used foam board. I hand drew all the pastries on the window and colored it in with colored pencils. We used black 1″ masking tape to make the window lines. For the window box, it was a separate piece of black foam board that was cut and hot glued together and onto the back of the window. The ivy pieces are so light weight they just sat inside the box. We initially had plans to hang the windows from the ceiling with hooks but they were so light that we were actually able to tape them to the wall. The black and white striped awning was poster board from Hobby Lobby. I cut foam board triangles and glued them to the back of the poster board to hold them out from the wall. There is a wooden dowel on folded under the top of the poster board with eye hooks on the side. This allowed us to hand from the ceiling as well but with a few pieces of tape it just stuck to the wall. The overall affect was stunning!

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A Night In Paris dance set up in our gym foyer. Bistro tables, raffle table, and concessions.
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Vintage bicycle for a prop used with silk and real flowers. Silk flowers and galvanized pails were from Michaels craft store. The fresh flowers were a donation from Native Floral in Milwaukee.
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The bistro awning was made with one large sheet of black paper and then we glued down alternating white pieces. The top was folded over a piece of foam board cut about 2-3″ wide, alternatively you could use a wooden dowel with eye hooks on the side to hang. I suggest using a dowel. It hung with fishing line from the ceiling in two parts, the top and the front to create the “hang” affect. You can see the white hooks in the photo. It really was a great addition!

If you are planning a Father Daughter Dance I sure hope this helps you! It was such a fun theme and we really got creative. Everybody walked in and felt they were transported to Paris. The girls truly enjoyed it all. Good luck with your planning!

annie-erika-paris

Paris PIN

Adult Braces: Should I?

Let me take you on a journey that started one year ago.

I’ve had jaw trouble for quite some time now. Not the normal locking, TMJ stuff. It was different. Whenever I exercised I got a charley horse in my left jaw it was super uncomfortable. I chalked it up to dehydration or some other excuse. But one day I had a jaw muscle spasm so bad and it didn’t stop. If the contracting muscles don’t relax for several seconds or more, the pain can be severe, and it was! This incident made me call the dentist and better yet, I called a highly recommended dentist in my area for a new consult in hopes of becoming a new patient and switching offices.

The Start of it All
The X-rays from my visit showed that my left jaw bone was almost totally worn flat. It was apparent I am a “clencher” and I’ve been deteriorating my bone for years and years. Next we talked about braces to fix my bite and lessen the impact the clenching is doing to my muscles and bones. I had thought about braces almost 15 years ago for cosmetic reasons and never went through with it. The dentist told me that if I didn’t get braces to correct the issue there was a very good chance that in many years from now, I’d end up with horrible jaw pain and would probably need a gum graph to fix some gum tissue that is getting worn down. It seriously sounded like the future could be hell, not to mention my jaw muscle were still spasming.

The Orthodontist

My next visit was with an orthodontist in town. My dentist and orthodontist are married and I actually love it! I know they have great communication and are on top of all the new trends in these fields. My 9-year-old daughter sees a different orthodontist than I do. Yes, it’s weird. I really felt that Dr.Allison Mantel knew the best way to fix my teeth and I never got a second opinion. Originally there wasn’t much of an estimate as to how long I would need braces. I opted for the clear ones which are made of glass. I also had clear rubber bands the entire time– I was never brave enough to get pink or blue or any other color. The time frame estimate in my chart said 18-months and in my head I gave myself 12-months. Honestly, there was really no way to tell in the beginning how long it would take.

Dr. Mantel did outfit me with AcceleDent, a Vibratory Orthodontic Device clinically proven to speed up orthodontic treatment and reduce discomfort by up to 71%. Yes, I do believe it worked (not with discomfort)!! I followed all the instructions and my braces were off in about 10 months. [happy dance]

I won’t sugar coat my experience. It was painful on so many levels. My teeth moved extremely fast and I cried HUGE tears leaving that office for the first month– and this was just from changing rubber bands and wires. I felt like a baby with all the tears and need for a soft diet (mostly vanilla malts and wine). There were a few times I swore at the poor assistant working on my mouth. It was not a pretty experience but it’s what I had to go through. I still struggled with looking at myself in the mirror and hating what I saw. I had food in my teeth all the time and struggled with eating in public. Ten months went fast but when I look back, it went pretty slow some times.

Should you do it?

I can’t answer this question for you but I can offer up my raw truth. It truly depends on how bad you want a perfect smile. What would having that smile meant to you? Do you have jaw problems like me? Will not getting braces cause a much larger problem in the future for you? That’s the boat I was in. I knew that future damage would be far worse than anything I would go through for one year of my life.

I had braces, you want Invisalign? Yep, that works on most accounts too. For me it wasn’t an option. I needed my back teeth moved in a direction that Invisalign wouldn’t have been able to correct. Right now I have two clear retainers that I need to wear 24/7 for 6 months (unless I’m eating, etc). This is basically what Invisalign is and I’m not sure this is any better. Taking them in and out to eat all the time– it’s a tight fit and messy! You can still see them on my teeth and the process can take longer. It’s also super important to wear them 24/7 or else it doesn’t work as fast.

So I think if you need or want to have adult braces, do it the real way. The community was always my cheerleader. People would say the kindest things ever to me! It really gave me a newfound sense of strength and confidence. In some situations I had to put on a full metal-mouth smile and grin like I owned the world. I was uncomfortable and scared but I did it anyways.

It’s Finally Over

I have a splint to wear while I sleep to keep my teeth straight and to help with the clenching. I’ve also thought about going back to physical therapy to make sure that I’m strengthening my jaw muscles and moving in a forward direction with that issue. It was a crazy ride this past year but I did it.

If you decide to have adult braces— you can do it!