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Budget Fail and Budget Win

Budget Fail and Budget Win

This week I had a budget fail that really stuck out to me as a “stupid tax,” but then also a budget win that almost made up for it just a day later! These were both pretty unique things so I figured it might be […]

Working 9-5 Feels Impossible After College

Working 9-5 Feels Impossible After College

I’ve been working at my full time job for a bit over year (I was promoted so really it’s only been six months in my current position). I’ve sometimes felt like I can’t stay focused at work all the time. Or more accurately, like there […]

My Grocery List August 2017

My Grocery List August 2017

This week has been another good one budget-wise and food wise!

  • Onions
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Coconut cream
  • Bacon
  • Arrowroot
  • Chicken tenderloins
  • Mushrooms
  • Aidell’s Chicken and Apple Sausage
  • Aidell’s Ginger and Scallion Sausage 

these sausages are my lifesavers and thankfully were on sale!

  • Bell peppers
  • coleslaw

Meals to prep

  1. Breakfasts – Hard boiled eggs (or aidell’s sausage) with guacamole and produce.  No frittata this week!
  2. Chicken Pad Thai – recipe to come soon! Yes it’s Whole30!
  3. Swiss Steak and Mashed Potatoes – also Whole30!

Non-Food

  • Toddler potty seat – eek yes potty training will be happening soon! I got the kind that sits on top of the regular toilet because it takes up less space
  • Diapers
Decluttering While Zero Waste: Yes it IS Possible

Decluttering While Zero Waste: Yes it IS Possible

If you get nothing else out of this article, decluttering while zero waste IS possible. I’m a work in progress on both minimalism and zero waste. Some things I’ve noticed while working on both is that often, when in a big declutter phase, people often […]

Our Emergency Fund: How Much to Save

Our Emergency Fund: How Much to Save

We were so excited to get to building our emergency fund to our “fully funded emergency fund.” This is also known as Baby Step 3 of Dave Ramsey’s Financial plan. After we became debt free, it was time to begin saving up. But how did […]

July Favorite of the Month

July Favorite of the Month

Welcome to my favorite of the month! I select ONE item from my beauty/hygiene products (all hair, skin, and makeup) that has really stood out to me as being the top item. The reason I do this is to appreciate what I have. Aside from my eyeshadow palettes, all of my makeup fits into one bag. My skincare can all fit in a drawer. I don’t own a room full of products, so when I say something is my one favorite of the month, it is my FAVORITE. So here is my July favorite of the month!

Library of Flowers True Vanilla Parfum: the story

I found this fragrance as a happy accident. In fact, I was flying home from Anchorage, my hometown, back to Michigan. I had some extra time in the Anchorage airport, and stumbled upon the most gorgeous hand cream I have ever smelled/used. The feel was perfect and that scent. Nothing had ever smelled so perfect to me. It was vanilla and amber without smelling like a cupcake or frosting. The name of the fragrance said it all: “True Vanilla.” I asked the worker how much it cost (because I couldn’t find the price anywhere), and it turned out to be $37.50. OUCH. Gorgeous though it was, this was just too much. So I left and made a note to check the website of this brand at some point to mention this as a gift idea in the future.

Then, fate struck when I reached the Seattle airport. I went into another little shop during my three hour layover. This shop happened to have not only the hand cream, but also a solid perfume and a bottle of parfum. The prices were also much more reasonable (that same exact hand cream was $26 here!). I immediately sprayed the parfum and it was as intoxicating as the hand cream had been. Not wanting to make an impulse buy, I left the store immediately and went to eat my breakfast that I’d packed.

During this and the next hour, I kept noticing how amazing my wrist smelled. Ironically, while on the trip home I’d been talking to my mom how I wanted to pick up a “more summer appropriate” fragrance. So in the Seattle Terminal, I did some intense Google research (yes, that is sarcastic) and found that this brand is a very boutique type of brand. It isn’t sold in many stores, so it’s crazy that I found them twice in a row. The parfum was listed at $48, but with shipping, came almost to the $54 that the Seattle airport shop was charging. I think that $54 is a great price point for this. Margot Elena (Library of Flowers) is a small batch perfumery made in Colorado, USA.

My Jo Malone fragrances cost more but the quality of this feels so much better.  Quick note: for the life of me I have NO clue what the name of the shop was, but it was directly off of the nice main food court area with the huge wall of windows. When I realized the price wasn’t going to be better online, I decided that this was it. Yes, this was an impulse buy. I’m actually very good at impulse buying and first impressions. If I don’t love it immediately, I won’t use it/wear it etc. That airport impulse easily became my July Favorite of the Month!

Actual Favorite of the Month Product Review

This is the best impulse buy of my life. I have worn this fragrance every.single.day. And I have gotten at least two compliments a week. This scent is everything I have ever wanted in a fragrance. According to the website, the fragrance has top notes of bergamont, middle notes of dark vanilla, and base notes of amber. Basically what this means is that I smell warm and inviting, but not sickly sweet. I think a lot of people would classify this is a warm, fall and winter fragrance. Personally, I find it great for all seasons but got this for spring/summer/whenever! The packaging is gorgeous. Margot Elena is a true artist, and the designs are beautiful. The parfum came in a paper box inside a cardboard box. This is how I leave it displayed and it doubles as pretty bathroom decor!

How I leave this displayed…it’s hard to see but there is a nice wooden box surrounding the paper one.

 

The only downside is that I don’t know if the scent lasts consistently. Some days, I smell like the parfum all day, but other days I feel the scent fades. I love the smell so much that I’m thinking about getting the solid parfum to layer. Overall though, I can’t say enough good things about this fragrance!

-Rachel

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Marquette Weekend Getaway

Marquette Weekend Getaway

In my last post, I mentioned that we had traveled and spent a bit more than we meant to. One of these weekends was Travis’ and my Marquette weekend getaway. Honestly, I’m okay with us overspending because this was our first long weekend away together […]

July Budget Recap – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

July Budget Recap – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

This month involved some tough learning for us in the budget department. It was a bit of a slap into “don’t get too comfortable” reality. I want to end on the exciting positive, but first some guilty admissions. I might sound a little dramatic. We […]

My Wavy Hair Wash and Go Routine

My Wavy Hair Wash and Go Routine

There are zero affiliate links in this post.

I am SO excited but yet so nervous to post this. I have a few “hair troubleshooting” posts partially written for how I figured out my routine, but honestly I was getting too frustrated to post them! It felt like things weren’t working on my hair, and I really REALLY didn’t want to waste product. But I’ve found what my hair is loving – even in 100% humidity! I say that I’m nervous to post this because now I’m scared that my hair will go insane next time I shower.

Another great thing is that this wavy hair wash and go routine as a whole is budget friendly. There is one expensive product, but the super low cost of the other items balance it out. I will say, of the four items I use, only ONE is zero waste (the rest are at least in recyclable packaging). This is something I plan to work on, but for now I  just needed to get my hair to a place where I wasn’t a complete frizzball.

I have been showering in the morning which my hair seems to prefer. I don’t love this, but it seems to make a difference. That said, I haven’t yet tried this exact product routine at night. I’ll update on my Instagram stories if I try that!

Last before I begin: I think this could work if you also have normal-to-low porosity hair, and medium to thick hair that is 2A/2B/2C waves. It’s always worth a shot!

Step 1 of my Wavy Hair Wash and Go Routine: Low-Poo

  • DevaCurl Low-Poo Original Shampoo – the only reason I get the “Low Poo Original” versus the “Low Poo Delight” is based on the scent. I cannot stand the scent of the wavy hair line (read that full review here). This is by far the most expensive hair item I use. $44 for 32oz. Ouch, but my hair loves it. Note: many wavy hair gurus swear that glycerin is the root of all evil in humidity. My hair does not seem to mind it when paired with everything else I mention, but it’s something to keep in mind.

How I use: I wet my hair completely and massage my scalp with water only to begin. Then I take a pump and spread all over my hands like I was washing them in the sink. Then I massage into my scalp. For whatever reason, I find this low poo does not “spread” over my scalp very well. If I put a handful onto my scalp, it stays wherever the product was applied. By spreading it onto my hands more first, the product gets distributed better and I don’t waste any. I repeat this until my whole scalp feels coated and massage in with my fingertips. Then I rinse out.

Step 2: Condition

  • Yes to Carrots Nourishing Conditioner – I got this stuff on clearance at Target. I paid $6.99 for a 16oz bottle and so far it’s been nice! I would say it adds moisture without weighing down my thick hair. I don’t see anything “amazing” about this conditioner, but it’s the best performance for this price range that I’ve found so far!

How I use: I flip my head over and put the product into my hands. Then I finger comb (a bit roughly if I’m honest) through my hair. I typically get larger clumps this way. Often, I find that my clumps look “frizzy.” When this happens, I add more conditioner into my fingers and smooth the clump down. I repeat this on whichever clumps need it. I find that taking a little extra time in the conditioning (and styling) process goes a really long way. Once this is done, I flip my head back upright and scrunch up the product briefly. I go about my shower routine (body wash, face wash etc) to let the product soak in. Then, I rinse out the conditioner while scrunching the entire time. I finally flip over my head and am ready for the styling products (which I have right in the shower with me – this is key for keeping mess minimal)

Step 3: Curl Enhancer

  • Homemade Flax Seed Gel (Zero Waste!! recipe soon!) – The two items I mention before come in (recyclable) plastic, but this is completely zero waste and natural. I LOVE that about this. It’s relatively easy to make and inexpensive too! The one downside is that it must be stored in the fridge and has a short shelf life. Many people add in preservatives but I like mine simple. I make in small batches and it works for me.

How I Use: At this point, my head is upside-down, and my hair is sopping wet. I take half a palmful and scrunch (squish) it into my hair. Similar to my conditioner, I find that some clumps look “frizzy,” so then I take dime sized amounts and smooth down a “frizzy” clump until it looks good. Then I give it a quick scrunch. I’ll do this to all the clumps that need it. At this point, my hair looks like it’s ready to be done, but I have one last step. Note: when I was traveling I didn’t bring flax seed gel because I didn’t want to worry about refrigerating it. I used a nickel size of DevaCurl Wavemaker and this worked well during this step.

Step 4: Defining Gel

  • Aussie Instant Freeze Gel – This gel was the first gel I bought when going to the CG method. I found it for $2.77 and was super excited (especially since the DevaCurl gel I was considering was 10X the price!). At first, this didn’t work for me. My hair was dry and frizzy and a mess. I think the alcohol dried out my hair. Once I began using flaxseed gel (which is really moisturizing), this product started working amazingly well. This gives just enough hold but isn’t overly heavy. The price is right, and the product is great!

How I use: I squeeze a quarter sized amount into my palms, rub my hand together, then scrunch lightly. I scrunch for maybe 30 seconds max, because I’m impatient and this routine takes long enough as is for me.

To Finish My Wavy Hair Wash and Go Routine…

I IMMEDIATELY, with sopping hair, plop in a soft t-shirt for somewhere between 10-30minutes depending on the day. If I leave it up much longer it gets frizzy. Then, I let my hair down and try my best not to touch it. I notice that 100% of the time, the more I touch my hair when it’s drying, the more frizz I end up with. Sometimes I clip up little sections for volume, but I do this before my commute to work. Usually my hair is too wet for this to be effective so I often skip this step. I let dry completely (this takes a few hours and I really don’t care about it at work) and lightly scrunch out the crunchy pieces. There usually aren’t very many! I have thick hair that loves product.

Day Two and Beyond:

My favorite method for my wavy hair was and go “refresh days” is to spray with water/conditioner and smooth (or super lightly scrunch) in flax seed gel. The flax seed gel seems to really bring back my waves and add in moisture. I also think that DevaCurl Wavemaker works great for refreshing (and definitely is better when traveling), but flax seed gel is much more eco friendly and cost effective.

 

I hope you enjoyed my wavy hair wash and go routine! What do YOU use?! Do you have to diffuse? or do you prefer to wash and go too? I’m always curious about products. I haven’t tried very many, so let me know!

 

-Rachel

Climate Change and Social Media: A Rant

Climate Change and Social Media: A Rant

Disclaimer: this is a rant, not a scientific journal. Take my opinions for what they are…opinions. About a month ago, the Paris Agreement was a huge deal. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the world of social media has an influx of environmentalists like I’ve never seen […]