I Got Trendy with Curtain Bangs

This week I updated my ‘do with a new set of curtain bangs. The funny thing is, anytime I’ve had bangs they’ve always been curtain bangs, I just didn’t know they had a fancy name! I have the kind of bangs that will do one thing only, and that’s split down the middle.

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Curtain bangs are usually a little longer and parted down the middle, framing your face on each side like a curtain. They have wispy ends rather than a blunt cut, giving them a laid-back relaxed look.

I was actually growing out my bangs a bit when a few rounds of bleached highlights led to some breakage in front and I started chopping bits off myself. So when necessity brought me to my hairstylist Georjie, the first thing she said is “Have you heard of curtain bangs?”

I said no, and told her to just go for it!

A few snips later and the damage was cut off and I was left with pretty face framing fringe that for once I wouldn’t have to fight with and try and tame into a side part or glue straight down. My hair just naturally want to part down the middle. And while the rest of my hair can be wavy and weird, my bangs have always been completely straight so this style totally works for me!

So now I’m feeling all trendy with the latest style in bangs. So if you are looking for a change that’s easy to wear- ask your stylist for curtain bangs on your next visit.

 

Why Choose Soy Over Paraffin Wax Candles

J&L Decor, a handmade home decor company out of Montana, sent me a lovely handmade Lavender and Vanilla Scented Soy Candle to try out recently, along with some enlightening info about why they chose to make their candles using soy wax.

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Lauren Cox, the co-founder of J&L Decor, recently wrote a post about Soy vs Paraffin Wax and why soy is the better choice:

*Article summarized: Paraffin is the most common candle out there right now, and you see them in many big corporate stores like Walmart and Target. Why? Paraffin wax is cheap to buy which makes it cheap to turn into candles.
But paraffin wax is not necessarily the best choice since it is known for stirring up allergies and having a very smokey burn. For this reason, J&L Decor chooses to use soy wax instead. Read on to learn more about paraffin vs. soy and the benefits of burning a cleaner all-natural wax.

What is Paraffin?

Paraffin wax is a byproduct of crude oil refinement and the smokey burn is due to the incomplete combustion of carbon resulting in soot. In fact, most candles made from paraffin wax contain high levels of toxic benzene and toluene found when burning the candle. Both of these are carcinogenic toxins also found in diesel fuel fumes and are what can trigger allergies as well as cause respiratory issues. Since soy wax is a vegetable oil based product, you don’t have to deal with that oily petro-carbon soot you get when burning paraffin wax. This soot is the black slick you find all around the top of the container after burning. The candles can also leave soot on walls on furnishings and is hard to get off.

What Are the Benefits of Soy?

  • Soy candles burn longer – The average burn time on an 8 oz. paraffin wax candle is approximately 35 hours. Soy candles normally burn about twice as long as paraffin candles.
  • They are also easier to clean up – since soy is made from vegetables rather than being a refined gasoline by-product, all you need is soap and water to clean up wax spills.
  • Soy holds fragrance longer because the candles burn slower.
  • They burn clean, no sooty residue!

Is There a Drawback to Using Soy?

Only in appearance- soy candles have slight flaws that paraffin candles do not have. The soy expands and contracts with the change of temperature and can leave air bubbles in the jar. They often have a frosted or orange peel appearance. But these little imperfections do not affect how the candle burns.

Soy Candles from J&L Decor
Soy Candles from J&L Decor

So for a cleaner burn, longer burn time and more fragrant candle, the choice is clear- Soy candles are the way to go!

Want to try one for yourself? Check out the selection at JandLDecor.com

As for my candle, the lavender vanilla scent reminded me a bit of fresh laundry, but I think that’s because I use a lavender vanilla scented fabric softener. I lit the candle and after about 30 min. the scent filled the room and made its way around the house, so I can attest to the highly scented claims being true! And after letting it burn for a while, I blew it out and there was no sooty black ring around the candle. I stuck my finger in the cooling wax to see if it felt different and it was oily and didn’t dry and harden right away like paraffin. I dripped a little on my desk and it easily wiped up with soap and water.

I never knew there was much difference in the wax candles were made from, so it was interesting to learn about the soy wax. I am definitely a fan now! No more trying to wipe the soot off the tops of candle holders. 

 

Real Mom Life, Making it Work

Being mom means being the ultimate multitasker, squeezing things in whenever you can, and trying to do most things with a companion of questionable temperament.

My friend Georjie snapped this pic while she was highlighting my hair one afternoon. It’s not exactly a glamorous shot, but it’s a little peek into daily “mom life.” Me trying to get things done with a little guy at my feet.

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I’m most likely checking an Instagram post while my son plays on the floor of the salon. We were lucky that it was empty that day because he didn’t want to sit quietly and watch TV or his iPad. And I was lucky to have met someone who worked at a cute little salon in the back of a boutique who was OK with having my son scurry around while she did my hair.

We made it work. That’s what moms do. All day, every day.

I Don’t Want to do The Thing

So, this is me today:

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I keep sitting down and trying to do The Thing I’m supposed to be doing and it’s just not happening. Actually typing about not doing it is the closest I’ve gotten to doing it. And therefore, I’m almost giving myself a pat on the back for half-assly doing The Thing without trying. Good good! You wrote 61 words so far, write just a few more and we can call it good enough and press publish.

I haven’t had much time to actually sit down and think today, and in the few moments I have been able to have computer time it’s like all my thoughts just get jammed up and then come lumbering out in a weird cumbersome way. So then I just scroll through Facebook until my son realizes he hasn’t asked me for food in the last seven minutes and I have to go back into Mom/servant mode.

There are actually a TON of things I could be doing on the blog right now. Products to review, SEO to brush up, drafts to edit, photos to resize…and I just don’t feel like doing a darn thing. My fire seems to have fizzled a bit today. Life kept throwing things at me. Like if I was the fire and those things were snowballs. So one by one they piled up and now I feel sort of like a pile of unmotivated slush.

But tomorrow is a new day. Time to shake it off. Try again. See if I can catch that spark. My fire may go up and down, but everything is fine as long as I make sure that pilot light never goes out.

 

How to Use a Nebulizing Aromatherapy Diffuser

A lot of moms these days seem to be getting into oils. I’ve been into essential oils since I was a teenager working in a hippie shop that sold oils and part of my job was to educate myself on all the different oils and their purposes. So I’ve always had a bottle of tea tree stashed away for disinfecting and a bit of lavender for soothing. I’m not new to this.

What I am new to is the nebulizing diffuser. At the shop we had a stone you put drops on, some little sticks soaked in oil, a heated lamp type thing and one that used water. I was recently sent an Ionic Nebulizing Aromatherapy Diffuser from Utama Spice and I really like the concept! No water, no heat – just pure pressurized air is used to disperse the oil into the air so it’s not diluted or changed in structure.

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The Danau Satu has a light color wooden base and custom-blown lead-free glass top and looks great sitting next to my desk. It has a low-energy cycle with a 120 minute pump auto shut-off and fully adjustable dial to instantly fine-tune the mist intensity. It also has a pretty mood light inside the glass.

It’s very easy to use- just remove the little spout at the top and add drops in the hole. I started with 6 drops to test it out, then added more when I was sure I liked the scent. You can fill it all the way to 1/4 inch below the inner glass tubes, but you don’t want to overfill it.

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When you switch it on, you will see the glass fill up with a mist and the mist will start to come out of the directional spout. You can then adjust the amount with the dial.

The Utama Spice website has a helpful video on cleaning your diffuser, which you should do every so often to prevent build up, and when you want to switch to a new oil.

 

So that’s it! Pretty easy! Just put drops in, turn it on and go. Make sure you don’t lose the dropper things that come with the diffuser because otherwise getting liquid (after cleaning) out of the glass ball is tough. If you watch the video, you’ll see how they turn it on its side and use the dropper to suck it out.

I’m really enjoying my new aromatherapy enhanced workspace!

For the Love of Noodles

My son loves noodles. Just plain spaghetti noodles with a little butter or olive oil. He doesn’t like to spoil it with any sauce. I keep trying to encourage him to try them differently- marinara, cream sauce, maybe some meatballs, but no. Just noodles. It makes me think of a photo of me as a little girl, where I’m eating spaghetti and it’s smeared everywhere. I expected this to be some sort of normal baby ritual- the spaghetti mess. But when my kid is done he just looks like he’s oiled up and ready to wrestle.

for the love of noodles
Pure Joy & Noodles

He loves them so much that when we went on a two week cruise where he could order absolutely anything he wanted for dinner, every single night he ordered plain noodles. One night he tried nuggets and sent them back in exchange for noodles.

So I’ve embraced this and now make a big batch of noodles all at once, put them in a gallon freezer bag and keep them in the fridge, ready to heat on-demand. That way, I can make noodles in 15 seconds instead of cooking them from scratch every time. I’ve also started getting those “Hidden Veggie” noodles and other healthier varieties rather than regular old pasta. So far, he likes them all the same.

To be honest, I’m just happy anytime he shows excitement about eating something besides chocolate and gummy bears. We have a lot of arguments over what consists of “real food” and why he needs to eat it. So if he loves noodles, I’ll make noodles!

He also went through a serious Puffs phase and a hot dog phase. As a first-time mom, I’m guessing this food fixation is a universal toddler (and child) trait. So what food is your kid obsessed with right now?

Happy New Year! Changes to Sponsored Posts in 2019

I know it’s only New Year’s Eve, but I haven’t written on here since Christmas so thought I would stop by and drop a little Happy New Year. Also, I woke up before my son today so a mom has to steal that time when she can.

I only started this blog about six months ago and am still unsure of exactly where I’m going with it, but I know it’s going somewhere. I already renewed the domain for another year. If you just stumbled across this one, my main blog is GeekMamas.com and I started this one as sort of a “sister site” where all the total mom stuff can go. Geek Mamas is a little more personal and humorous, so I was trying to start a more normal “mom blog” with this one. A place I could put articles that might not fit as well on my main site.

And sponsored posts of course. I was wanting to do a lot of sponsored content over here and make it a bit of a money-making machine! But a funny thing happened along the way and I found out I still don’t like dealing with a lot of the sponsored content stuff unless it’s actually something I would read. I have some sort of built-in journalistic integrity where it just gnaws at me if I post something really lame or salesy. So I have been going through and weeding out some of the earlier unpaid contributed content that has links to businesses. I’m all about linking to bloggers and helping other mom bloggers get exposure, but I started to feel like businesses were taking advantage of me asking for me to publish the article as if I had written it and sneaking links in there, all while submitting boring re-hashed articles.

I just couldn’t do it. I tried. I really tried.

So while I still plan to accept sponsored content here, (it would be nice to cover my hosting fees at least), I’m going to be more picky. There will be a small fee for businesses, it has to be introduced as a guest or sponsored post and it has to actually be something people will read. Blogger guest posts, promoting their blog, will always be free.

So I hope to write more and publish more guest posts here in 2019. I think there is a big blogging year ahead for both this site and Geek Mamas! And feel free to contact me to pitch guest or sponsored content.

Hope you all have a very Happy New Year!

 

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