Mom Hair Don't Care

I shared a picture on my Facebook wall to show off my new t-shirt. I was quite excited by this shirt. I thought it was a funny shirt. I thought it was the perfect shirt for me. My Facebook friends were like, "Yeah, the shirt's cute or whatever, but what is going on with your hair? It looks ah-may-zing?! What are you using? Tell us the secrets!" And then I was like, "Ohemgee, I'm a freaking rock star! That's it, I'm going to bed, because this day isn't going to get any better."

I'd already been planning to blog about my style, because when I put on pants Facebook is like, "Jen!! Over here! Over here! Who are you wearing?" and I'm like, "Vera Wang. For Kohls." 

So here we go, this is the first installment in the style guide of a 40-plus, minivan-driving mama. 

We'll start with the hair since that's trending right now. I woke up this way:

I have naturally curly hair that I used to blow dry and flat iron into submission. But a few years ago I decided to stop fighting with my hair and just embrace it and let it do what it wanted. Unfortunately, when left to its own devices it just goes frizzy instead of soft, springy curls. The good news is science has heard curly-girl cries for help and there is a crapton of good products out there now to enhance your natural curl.

Matrix Total Results Curl Please Shampoo & Conditioner. It all starts with the shampoo. I use curl enhancing shampoo and conditioner. I've tried a bunch and this is the one that works the best for my hair. I can definitely see a difference on days I don't use it. My curls don't hold up as well in the summer's humidity or the dry winter weather.

Morrocanoil Curl Defining Cream. This stuff ain't cheap, but it's magical. You don't need much. In fact, too much makes your hair "crunchy." Sometimes I just put this in and call it done. When I do that, it looks like this:

I use a little Morrocanoil Cream and then I let it airdry. If I have an early morning appointment, I wash it the night before and let it dry overnight. I don't blowdry my hair anymore. I find that helps a lot when I curl it.
Side note: I also like this Morrocanoil product. I only use the teeniest tiniest amount every so often to make my hair more manageable. I use it on Adolpha's hair too and it's a miracle worker on her thick, wavy, tangly hair. 

Once it's dry, it's time to curl it. I have fine hair, but I have a lot of it, so I divide it into sections when I curl. This was a trick I learned on the internet. I'd been trying to curl my hair without sections and it just didn't look as good. I didn't think I needed sections because I didn't have long thick hair, but sections are the key.

So, you'll need some clips.

I need two or three at a time to section my hair. I section my hair into two to four levels depending upon how much curl I want.

The curling iron is very important too. I've used curling irons in the past and been very disappointed with the results. I realized it was because I was being a cheapo. It's amazing what a quality curling iron can do for you. I use the Hot Tools Professional Ceramic and Tourmaline Extra-Long Barrel Curling Iron/Wand 1 1/4 Inch. I have a 2 inch barrel too, but I don't like the results as well. It works well for Adolpha's long hair. It makes my hair straight.

I've had my curling iron for about three years now and it still works great with no problems. It heats up fast and makes my curls smooth and shiny, no matter how frizzy my hair was when I started. My hair takes curl very fast, so I turn it fairly hot and move quickly. The other thing the internet taught me was you have to curl in BOTH directions. I curl away from my face, but some of the sides and back are curled toward my face. You can just sort of practice and play around and see what looks best for you and your hair. Also, the first time I curled my hair it took forever and looked really terrible when I was done. I didn't section it, I didn't have the iron hot enough, and I didn't do a mix of directions for my curls. It takes some practice, but I'm literally the worst at spending time getting ready and even I figured this out, so you can too. I can curl my hair in about 5 minutes now. No joke, this is the easiest hairstyle I've ever had. 

I usually finger comb through the curls and sort of fluff them together. If I want more of a wavy look, I comb through them with a wide-tooth comb. I finish with either spray wax or styling wax. For both of these I've tried many brands and my favorite is Sexy Hair. Particularly, Sexy Hair Play Dirty and Sexy Hair Control Maniac.

Hairspray doesn't really work for me, the curls fall out and my hair gets flat, so spray wax is a great in-between product. It can give me bigger hair and keep the volume if I want that. I usually use it when I'm getting all fancy. 

Whereas, the styling wax is a good everyday kind of product. It gives high shine and keeps everything in place, but it can kind of weigh down the hair. You'll have to experiment with how much is a good amount for you. I use the tiniest bit. The picture that made everyone excited was with this wax. See how shiny it makes your hair?

I hope this helps! Good luck and let me know in the comments what other products you'd recommend for curly hair. I'm always looking for something new to try!

Oh, and also, you can get the t-shirt here.

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Some of those links are affiliates. I gotta buy more wax somehow!

2018 Holiday Gift Guide!

It's my favorite time of the year: wondering what the heck my family wants for Christmas! Both of my kids have phones now and access to my Amazon account, so it's making gift-giving a lot easier this year. They've created Wish Lists for me and I simply have to pick and choose what to get them. Hopefully you can find some good stuff for everyone your list (and maybe even a little something special for yourself!)

Spikeball - Gomer's been playing this game a lot at school. It sounds like way too much work for me, but the kids really like it! The team that won were a brother-sister duo who have their own set at home. My kids think they need a set now so they can practice too and win the next tournament.

Bluetooth Beanie - It's cold in the winter and I'm always bugging Gomer to put on a hat. Maybe if his hat will play music for him, he'll wear it?

Gaming Headset - This is the year of online gaming. It has taken over Gomer's life (and bank account). It seems like every week he needs to order one more thing that will make his game better. The headset will help him communicate better with his squad and help him defeat the enemy or something like that. All I know, is if it keeps him from talking to his friends on speakerphone, I'm cool with it.

Gaming Mat - I don't even know what this is. Gomer says the mouse performance is vital to his game and this mat will make the mouse more fluid or some nonsense like that. Also it lights up, which is imperative and gets him "cool" points because light up stuff is necessary for taking your gaming to the next level, blah, blah, blah. Basically, this is a super cool mouse pad, folks.

Mechanical Keyboard - Gomer swears this is also vital to gaming domination. The mechanical keyboards are superior in all ways and such and so on. I just like them because they're "clicky". I like clicky keyboards.

Hammock - When Gomer needs some downtime to read (haha, more like stream Youtube), he would like to hang out in a hammock. I would like to hang out in this thing too. 

Workout Bar - Gomer is gonna get swole this year and this bar is gonna do it for him. 

Wireless Waterproof Speaker - Gomer cannot be without his music or his jabbering Youtube bros, so a waterproof speaker might be nice in the shower. Maybe he'll listen to the weather and know he needs to wear his Bluetooth hat too.

Apple Airpods - Gomer saved up all his money this year and bought himself an iPhone. This Christmas will probably be dubbed, "The iPhone Accessory Christmas" because he's out of dough and still needs all the stuff to go with the phone.

Evidence Bag - I'm a big fan of pouches. You can never have too many. This would be great for all of Gomer's iPhone crap.

Loud Ass Alarm Clock - Gomer has officially become a teenager and can't get his lazy butt out of bed. This will be under the tree whether he likes it or not.

Books Gomer read this year and liked:

The Outsiders

The Book Thief

Thirteen Reasons Why

Sony Earbuds - Adolpha complains that all the earbuds we own are too big for her dainty ears. I have these and they're super squishy and can fit into tiny ears, so hopefully she will be able to use them and I won't have to hear her Youtube videos anymore.

Squishmallow - Twelve is a tough age. Adolpha wants a new phone, makeup, skinny jeans, and....stuffed animals. She loves this brand especially. They're uber-soft and squishy. Just like the name suggests.

Superpower Pouch - As I said before, pouches are good and anything with a "Girl Power" theme is great too.

Makeup Organizer - Adolpha is always organized, and her makeup will be too.

Makeup Brushes - A girl can never have too many brushes, unless she's Adolpha. The girl has more makeup brushes than the pros. What is she doing with them all??

Lightbox - This is a fun little item. Adolpha envisions us each leaving messages for one another. My first message will be: CLEAN UP YOUR ROOM.

Bluetooth Speaker - When we were kids, everyone had a boom box or a stereo. We used to turn up our music and dance or sing in the mirror and those days are over. I'm getting everyone new speakers this year so we can jam together. It's going to be so embarrassing for the kids.

Adult Onesie - I think Adolpha has two or three of these now, but it's cold here in the winter and she pretty much lives in this kind of stuff. The kids bought me my first one last year and I'm addicted too. 

Nintendo Switch - We have other gaming systems in the house, but this one has been on Adolpha's list all year. She swears this one would actually get played with (unlike the other ones collecting dust in the basement).

Bike Wheel Lights - I think Adolpha is convinced these will make her bike go faster or something. 

Hair Tie Bracelet - Adolpha has hair down to the middle of her back and even though she starts out most days with it down, it almost always ends up in a ponytail before dinner time. This will be a cute way to carry a hair tie and not cut off her circulation.

Books Adolpha read this year and liked:

My Lame Life

One of Us is Lying

To All the Boys I've Ever Loved Before

Charging Station - This is more for me than the Hubs, but it goes on his list since he's the "techie" in the family. At this point we have four phones, four Kindles, two tablets, and a bunch of other stuff that needs charged. I'm tired of my kitchen counter being overurn with cables and junk. This will hopefully cut the clutter and keep everything together.

Punching Bag - The Hubs is always on me to work out with him. He wants me to find something we can do together. Well, I did it. We can punch stuff together. It seems only appropriate that we should own a punching bag!

Stuffed Burger Press - The Hubs is the cook in the family and the Master Griller. He makes great burgers and I think this can only up his game.

Roku - As you know, the Hubs is notoriously cheap. This year he had the bright idea to cut our cable. that's right. He cancelled our cable. We can't have nothing, though, so I'm getting Roku boxes for everyone, including him.

Quick Charge Car Charger - Again, we have a lot of stuff to charge. I can't tell you how many times we get in the car and one or both of the kids are out of juice. This will help us all stay powered up.

Soda Stream - Not only is the Hubs cutting my cable, he's been trying to cut our grocery bill too. He's thinking the Soda Stream can help. All I know is that I can tell the difference been Coke and anything else just by the color, the smell, and the bubbliness of it all. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to drink "Cola-Flavored Wetness" but we'll see.

Breakfast Sandwich Maker - A friend was raving about this the other day and it sounded like the perfect thing to put on the Hubs' list. He loves egg sandwiches and always complains about how expensive they are when we go out. He can have an egg sandwich every day for pennies!

Cell Phone Lenses - The Hubs is the techie, the chef, and the cheapo. He's also the resident photographer. He takes the bulk of our pictures and he really doesn't like carrying around a big camera. These will make it so much easier for him to get the pictures he wants, without the bulk.

Books the Hubs read this year and liked:

Leaders Eat Last

Tools of Titans

Rise and Grind

Mug - I like to drink hot tea or chai all day and I find that my drinks get cold too fast. I want an insulated mug that can hold a lot and keep stuff hot. 

Airfryer - I've heard good things about this thing. I believe anything tastes better fried, but as we all know, it's terrible for you. I'm hoping maybe this is the magic I'm been looking for? Because baked fries just don't cut it for me.

Packing Cubes - I've been leaving my house a lot this year and traveling around the country to speak. I bought some packing cubes when Amazon recommended them to me. I was sort of confused as to why they were so great. Well, I've figured it out. I can pack whole outfits together and things stay nice and neat in my suitcase instead of sliding all over the place. It makes packing go faster too, because I'm not playing Jenga to make everything fit in the suitcase. I'm sold.

Dashboard Pad - When I travel, I use my phone as my GPS. I'd like something small and portable that I can take with me to hold my phone and make it easier to see when I'm driving in a new city.

Wireless Charger - I got a new phone this year and it has wireless charging capabilities. I've gone through countless cords and worn out my plugger-inner part on my phone. I'd like to be able to charge my phone wirelessly.

Microphone - I started making more videos this year and I'd like a fancy new microphone because I'm pretty sure it will make me a better videographer. 

Belt Bag - OK, so when we were growing up, we called these fanny packs, but now they're "belt bags" because that sounds cooler. I've officially reached the fanny pack age. I get it now. It's versatile, it carries a bunch of stuff, it's easier on my back. They're good for when I go for walks or if I'm hanging out at the ball fields watching my kids.

Heated Mattress Pad - I've also reached the heated mattress pad age. My friend was telling me about these. I've heard of electric blankets, but not heated mattress pads. This sounds divine on those cold winter nights. And this one has dual control, so the Hubs and I won't fight over the temps.

Notebooks - I can never have too many notebooks. I like spiral ones and smallish ones to fit in my purse (or belt bag).

Pens - I'm a pen whore. These literally make me a better writer.

Magnetic Poetry - I had one of these in college and I miss it. I'm ready for a new set so my kids can leave me inappropriate poems on the fridge.

Lip Scrub - My lips are rough and dry this winter and Adolpha tells me I need a lip scrub. I have no idea what it does, but she swears my lips will soft as a baby's butt once I use this stuff.

My book club and I read a bunch of books this year. If you want to join, click here. Here were some of my favorites:

An American Marriage

The Power

Force of Nature

My books always make great gifts too. Get them all here.

Well, that's our list for this year. Here are some links to previous years' lists:





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