Thursday, December 13, 2018

Monday, December 10, 2018


I love this song and I'm not sorry. 

I am, however, sorry that I also enjoy this BONUS mixtape Monday selection, which is a tacky dumpster fire and I can't get it out of my head (especially when he yells "two pairs of spandex pants!"). I'm sorry for everything. 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Blue hair, don't care.

I get asked two questions pretty regularly regarding my hair:

1. Is it for something? Like, Halloween?

No, this is my every day hair. Also, every day is Halloween, so...

2. How did you do it? Do you have to bleach it?
This blog post is in response to the second question. I figured I'd go step-by-step so that when people ask I can be like, "I wrote a blog about it!"

1. Supplies

I wrap my hair in foils when I bleach it to a) keep it warm and from drying out, and b) bleach is dangerous for skin and clothes. I also wear cheap little latex gloves, and use one of those salon bowls to mix up the bleach. Also wise: rolling up bathroom rugs, and wearing clothes you don't care about. It gets messy.

For actual supplies, my favorites are the 'N Rage White Out Kit because it comes with a toner and does a good job lifting my hair. As far as the actual color, my all time favorite is hands-down Wella's Color Paints in Blue. It's affordable, and it lasts significantly longer than any of the other brands I've tried (less blue showers and longer between dyes, YAY). 

2. Section it off. 

I know my hair pretty well, so I guestimated where I wanted the blue to show. I know how it falls and how I part it, so I knew which parts would show through day-to-day. Also, since I'm extremely lazy, I picked parts under the main part of my hair so I can let the roots grow out quite a bit in between bleachings. 

I like to pull the rest of my hair back and get it out of the way so I can just focus on the sections I need to bleach. 

3. Apply bleach.

After mixing up the bleach, I usually just use my fingers (inside the gloves, of course!) to apply it to the sections of hair. I have a brush that I use as I get closer to the roots, but I never apply it directly TO the roots (another bonus of peekaboo placement--no one notices or cares if it doesn't start directly at the roots!). 

After the bleach is on, I wrap it in foil, then keep a close eye on it. It takes a long time to lift my naturally dark hair enough, but I don't want to over-fry it. About 30-40 minutes is usually long enough for me. 

When the bleach is done, I wash it out.

4. Toner
After the bleach is washed out, my hair is generally this orange/yellow color. Color theory is important, you guys. If you have yellow or orange and add blue to it, you get a weird greyish green color. Hence toner. 

Toner is this weird purple inky stuff you put on your hair to TONE it down to a whiter shade (purple negates the warm tones, hence why platinum blondes are recommended to use a lilac conditioner to maintain their color). The 'N Rage toner has a thick consistency which makes it nice and easy to apply. I put it all over the freshly bleached parts and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Then rinse! Check out the before and after toner difference:

Getting it whiter makes a nice base to apply BLUE!

5. The blue dye
With my hands in gloves again, I just squeeze the color like toothpaste onto my hair and work it in with my fingers. The Wella hair dye is super easy to use that way. Also, since it's pre-mixed and sealed in a tube, you can save whatever you don't use for later. I get at least two, sometimes three, dyes out of a single tube.

Once my hair is well covered in blue, I clip it up and wait about half an hour. Then rinse, shampoo, condition, and...

That's it! I say "that's it" like it doesn't take me almost 2 hours every time I do the full bleach process. It does. However, I go as long as possible between bleaching it (2-3 months) and just touch it up every few weeks with the blue, which takes significantly LESS amount of time. 

Hope that's helpful. Also, if you have any tips and tricks to share, please do! 

Monday, December 3, 2018

This is the only Christmas music I'm interested in.

Greetings. Enjoy today's selection of Christmas metal. 

Every year in Finland they do this concert called Raskasta Joulua, which literally means "heavy Christmas," and it features singers and musicians from some excellent metal bands coming together to do holiday music. I'm not even kidding. 

This track features my favorite, Marco Hietala, and is from an album called "Ragnarok Juletide"--like, what else do you need for Christmas? 🤘

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Things for which I'm thankful

  • My job. Not many people get to work at something they love every day. Granted, librarians don't make much money, but there's more to life than that, and I'm thankful every day that I found a good channel for my passions that allows me to eke out a meager living and help people, all while enjoying myself immensely. 
  • My bed. Seriously, bed is just so good.
  • Animals. We don't deserve them.
  • Literacy. It's a privilege, and has been my greatest lifeline.
  • My family.
  • Laughter. Whether it's Vine compilations on Youtube or the laughter yoga class I attend once a month, I echo Elizabeth Bennett's sentiment, for "I dearly love to laugh." 
  • Those moments at the end of the day when I snuggle under a blanket with Bixby and read. Sometimes with dark chocolate or a cup of something cozy. Those moments are divine (also hygge af). 
  • Freedom of expression. 
  • Music.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Black Friday.

Black Friday. 

It is inherently awful.

There is nothing wrong with giving holiday gifts or shopping or capitalism as a whole. But I find the whole callous display to be some of the absolute worst points of humanity. I'm angry with businesses and advertisers for manipulating people and children into believing this is normal and necessary. I'm disappointed that people buy into it. I hate that, one day after a national holiday of literally giving thanks, we're out pummeling each other in search of doorbuster deals.

What can you do?


There are good deals all year round. A little pre-planning means you can still save money on big ticket items without feeding into this frenzy. 

Shop locally. Support small businesses made up of real human beings instead of giant, ethically-questionable corporations. 

Give art and/or handcrafted items. Etsy is a great place to start.

Participate in Giving Tuesday.

Better yet, give consumables and experiences, shop vintage/used, gift plants, and hand make your own gifts. Be mindful of the gift wrap and cards you use. 

Just being aware makes a huge difference. I love to give gifts, I love to wrap presents and make them look pretty. But moving forward, I'm trying to consume more mindfully, particularly at this time of the year.

The season shouldn't be about material goods. Presents are fine and fun (especially if you have children in the family), but there's no need for the absolutely massive amount of consumption, waste, unhappiness, wash and repeat cycle anymore.

For more info:

The Helpful Guide to Christmas: a great list of links from Becoming Minimalist, which is a great blog in its own right

Jingle All the Way (it's hokey, but I love it)

Volunteer. Giving time is a great gift, AND it makes you appreciate what you already have. 

Monday, November 19, 2018

"Every time I try to make you smile you say that I'm being a child. Well I tried my best."

This is an older song (apparently it was on Gossip Girl?) but I just discovered it. I knew about Zee Avi before because she did this heartbreaking and sweet Christmas song  but this one is different from her usual quirky, Jack Johnson-esque, happy "I ride a bicycle and wear vintage hats" vibe. 

(I have no idea if she wears vintage hats or rides a bicycle, but that's the sort of manic pixie dream girl I've always imagined her to be.) 

And then she goes and does this and it's poignant and sad, and she looks like some kind of goddess or statue come to life. Love it. This definitely qualifies as a "banger" in my book. 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Just podcasts.

I feel stupid admitting this, but I just discovered podcasts this past year. Like, I knew they existed and what they were, but I never listened to any. 

Now that I've opened that box, I'm a little obsessed. Here are some of the ones I particularly like. 

Even if you're not a minimalist, this is just a good podcast if you're curious about minimalism, consumerism, or living/consuming more mindfully. I think this would be an especially good podcast to listen to as we enter the most consumerist time of the year...

This is a no-frills podcast made by two English friends who are absolutely adorable. They discuss different things such as comparing yourself to people on the internet, social media use, how beautiful flowers are, valuing yourself, and other assorted things. They're so lovely, and it feels so intimate, like you're just hanging out and talking with Zara and Sam. Realistic positivity is the focus. It's very uplifting, and I always enjoy listening to it.
Also, Zara runs a shop and it's fantastic.

This is probably the most "famous" podcast on this list, thanks to the book and TV series based on it. Basically, Aaron Mahnke investigates a true scary story or folk legend and presents it bi-weekly. Some of it is interesting, most of it is terrifying, all of it is damn good.

I've been following Jenna Marbles since she first exploded onto Youtube, and it's been an absolute delight to see her grow up into a cool, hilarious adult. This is definitely one of those podcasts that gets funnier the more you listen to it, as Jenna and Julien's inside jokes become your inside jokes, too. It's silly and nonsensical, and perfect for when you want something light.

This podcast was designed specifically for people who are fed up with tech--particularly, mobile obsession and social media addiction. I like listening to it because I'm also getting to be more and more anti-tech, anti-social media the older I get. I want all you young kids off my internet lawn! 
No, but seriously, they're great because they embrace the benefits of tech, they just want us to consume more mindfully, which I am 100% here for. They also have a business where they rent cabins. And a book. "They" are Jon Staff and Pete Davis, btw.

Any other podcasts I should be checking out?

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Book review: Forest Bathing

Click here to buy.

So weird story. I was poking around the internets and I saw an ad for an event called "moonlight forest bathing." In my mind, I imagined a bunch of people in old timey tin bathtubs in the woods just like, hanging out. I investigated a little more and found out that forest bathing is a completely different thing (also, this event was in Maryland, so I didn't go). 

Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku as it's called in Japan, is the act of simply being in nature, and "bathing" in it with all five of your senses. It's a counter movement to the nature deficit that's plaguing us. 

This book was awesome to read. The language is simple, yet almost poetic in its prose. Couple that with the full color photographs on almost every page, and I felt ten thousand times calmer just reading a couple pages. 

Forest Bathing presented lots of research and data about the psychological and physical effects of nature in such a way that it was easy to understand and interesting to think about. Also, this is apparently a growing movement around the world, and especially in Finland (as if I needed more reasons to be obsessed with Finland). 

Dr. Qi presents practical tips for forest bathing, since not all of us live near a forest (any green will do, even a little park), most of us work in offices (a small plant or even pictures of green make us happier!), and sometimes we can't get away (essential oils and tea are your friends). 

Here were some of my favorite pages:

Tips for enjoying tea. And life. 

I loved this book so much, I bought a copy for myself. Most times, when I check out a library book I return it and that's that. But I wanted to own this one. It's sad that we've reached a point in our civilization where we need a "how to" book on how to be outside--even more sad that we need scientific reasons to back it all up. But hopefully reading this book will educate people on the benefits of the natural world, and kick us all in the pants to take care of our planet, ourselves, and that tenuous relationship a little more carefully. 

Further reading:

Monday, November 12, 2018

Kiss me hard before you go.

I literally had no idea this was a Lana Del Ray song. Oops. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Hello. It's me.

Today's mixtape Monday is pure selfish vanity. It's me singing THAT SONG by Adele, featuring a guest spot by Kiwi because my recording studio is literally just my iPhone. 

I'm only doing this because I'm certain that nobody is actually reading this blog. I'm not a narcissist. 

Jk, I'm a millennial, we can't help it.