beauty review :: dessange purifying clay

image via google

Not gonna lie... I'm a sucker for products. I try to be a minimalist and I certainly don't have drawers full of makeup I'll never use, but I do give in to things I want to try. So when I saw the Dessange Purifying Clay hair mask in an xoVain article, I really wanted to see if it lives up to the hype. 

The appeal stems from a few key points. First, you can get this mask at Target. Since I have a Target card, I always buy whatever I can there! Yay discounts and free shipping! Second, this is a pre-shampoo mask. I can let it sit on my head for 10 minutes before my shower and multi-task. I love that it doesn't involve an extra step in the shower aside from rinsing it out. Lastly, I really wanted to give it a shot because I have always had oily roots, even by day two of clean hair. So if this product was going to work for anyone, it would be me.

Here's the rundown:

I applied the clay mask to my hair using the brush applicator. That was fun, it made me feel like I was at the salon. Per the instructions, I just applied to my roots and massaged it really well before letting it sit for about 8 minutes. (I'll try 10 next time.) I rinsed it out in the shower before shampooing and made sure to give my head a thorough scrub so none of it was left behind. Easy peasy. 

Today is day two post-shampoo and I have to say, my roots don't feel greasy. I'm trying to figure out if that's just in my head-- but even if it is, it's working! I normally feel the need to use some dry shampoo just to touch up, but I didn't and my roots still feel clean. I try to go about three days without washing my hair unless I desperately need to, and day three is usually way oily, so I am going to wait until tomorrow and assess the situation. If it's really doing its job, this is an answered prayer. And at $12, it's not breaking the bank. So far, I recommend this if you have oil-prone roots!

lazy days + lazy meal

I am a textbook extrovert. I love being social, only need a rare day to myself once in a while, and I like to keep busy. But with cold weather coming on and lots of activities on the calendar for the upcoming holidays, I have learned that it's best to slow down a bit. And you know what? I enjoy it. 

I took it easy this weekend... a good balance of getting my social fix and having time to myself. I had two great conversations with friends. One was a Bonefish girl's night with my friend Drea, which we do every few months and it's the best. We have such a good time catching up on life and splurging on drinks & seafood. The other was a coffee date Saturday morning with my friend Renee at our local coffeehouse. (Lavender-vanilla lattes for the win!) I hadn't seen her since our church closed and it was a refreshing time to talk to her and plan to get together again, since she basically lives down the street from me. Never underestimate the importance of good friends, laughter, and meaningful conversation.

The rest of the weekend I spent at home relaxing, getting a massage Sunday, watching That 70's Show on Netflix, and doing laundry. And I finally did something I've been meaning to restart for a long time: cooking a meal for the work week.

Here's the thing. Being a single girl is great because I get to do whatever I want, whenever I want. I don't have to worry about anyone else. It's a selfish life, but I'm not complaining! So you can understand my dilemma when it comes to food. I like to cook, but I don't often want to go to the store just to buy specific ingredients for a meal that will feed an army and there is only me to eat it. And sometimes, I just do not want to cook. Especially during a lazy weekend. But the other side of it is that I need food for lunch during the work week. And I hate trying to come up with a new lunch every single day. Enter: the Crock Pot.

After a quick Google search, I found this recipe for a burrito bowl with chicken. It cooked in the Crock Pot for four hours total. All I had to do was add the ingredients and then do a massive amount of laundry while I waited. This is now my favorite type of cooking. I have a meal for the entire week and I barely had to do anything! I have a feeling this will be my new Sunday routine. It feels good to have something homemade, yet super easy. And at the end, you only have one pot to wash. YES.

If you have any favorite slow cooker recipes, leave them in the comments!

currently :: 013

1.  a friend bought me this! best surprise.

2. it's a month filled with both birth and death, which has been strange. my friend ashley gave birth to her first beautiful baby boy this week. i also had to attend a memorial service for my friend's mom, who will be greatly missed. happy + sad extremes.

3. i need to get cracking on christmas shopping. every year i wait until black friday/cyber monday and do it all at once (because hello, deals). but then i get calls from my credit card company asking me if i've had my identity stolen because who would spend $300 on Old Navy sweaters? yeahhhh.

4.  every few months i have a dinner date with a good friend that i don't see super often. we always go to Bonefish and stay there until like 11 PM. i am so looking forward to that. there's nothing like a good, long chat with your girlfriends.

5. can someone explain this november weather to me? sometimes it's warm, sometimes it's so not. HELP.

6.  a PSA to everyone who cares about the Starbucks cups: you need to find a hobby or something.

7.  my favorite coffee shop has this maple latte that is soooo good. they make up special drinks every month and they are always delicious. plus every time i'm at the register, i'm tempted to buy a bacon-filled chocolate bar. WIN.

8. speaking of maple flavors-- these KIND bars. yum!

9. i need boots. specifically, black-maybe suede-everyday-casual but cute-can go with a lot of things boots. (i'm starting to understand why men think we are complicated.)

10. my favorite book has been made into a movie. i am scared to see it... after reading this book countless times over the past 14 years (woah), i have such a clear vision of the characters as i see them in my mind. the movie will probably ruin that. side note: i have read all of her novels and she is my favorite. give it a try! (start with the Big Stone Gap series.)

flamingle-ing and monkey assualt: a day at the zoo

Over the weekend, Laura, my sister and I went to the Baltimore zoo. I hadn't been in ages and I incessantly whine to Laura about the lack of animals in my life right now, so it was either this or get me a pet (never gonna happen).

To start, this one of my favorite memes to ever float around the internet:

So naturally, I was more than thrilled to find my tribe. I think I fit right in.

I bet they're all single too. I feel you, my sisters! (I assume they're all female.)

I lounged on a polar bear, which was actually super uncomfortable and I think my back is bruised:

The penguins were particularly friendly that day. My sister gave them a classic Native American name: White Eyebrow.

I have had a special love of lemurs ever since I saw an episode of Miami Ink. A girl came in to get tattooed with her pet lemur. It cuddled with her while she got work done. That soft tail! Where can I get one?

My sister wouldn't stop singing the song from Madagascar, by the way. And here is one doing yoga/meditating. He was pretty zen. Arms outstretched, opening his heart to the world. Way to focus, lemur. You do you.

And now for the highlight of the day. We went to the chimpanzee exhibit. Laura has had a strong resistance toward monkeys for a long time, and watching Planet of the Apes didn't help. She says they are too intelligent and aggressive. I agree, but considering we were at the zoo and not Jane Goodall-ing it out in the jungle, I figured we were pretty safe. After all, the monkeys are behind a strong wall. And the whole point of the zoo is to look at them, right?

So, we roll through the monkey area... watching them swing and play and take naps (super cute, by the way). We made our way to a section that had a huge enclosure with four or five chimps in it. We were watching for a while, not doing anything, just observing. The biggest chimp, who is sitting closest to us, started clapping. How fun and cute, we said! Two seconds later... he pursed his lips like so...

... makes eye contact with us, gets a wild look in his eye, and CHARGES. He stampedes toward us, picks up his giant water bowl, throws it at us, and then comes at us full force and slams his whole body angrily into the glass right where we are standing. We FREAKED. I'm pretty sure we all screamed... and I'm laughing to myself right now, but it was pretty scary in the moment. Even though there was a wall between us and he obviously couldn't get out, the way he came at us scared the crap out of us. One minute he seemed fine and the next, he was trying to body check us through the wall with pure rage. Needless to say, Laura's worst nightmare came true :) Here's some photo evidence of the aftermath:

You can see the chimp's handprints on the wall where he slammed into it. Laura's reaction alone made the whole trip worthwhile :) I have to say that one of the other chimps was very lovely. He came up to us and was putting his hand up to ours, interacting calmly. Laura even participated.

Note to self: If you visit the zoo, don't make eye contact with the giant apes.


 image via google

if you know me, you know that i hate change. it's a tough thing for me to grasp, life moving on when i have no say in it. i know that change is good for us and allows us to grow, but i wish i had more warning sometimes.

these past few months have been challenging. i am getting excited for the end of this year. some good things have happened to me, yes, but 2015 had a messy start. it didn't set the tone well for the rest of it, and i've had a hard time shaking that off. i am sincerely hoping that 2016 brings good things. or at least a happy beginning.

i'm big on reflection; i like to look back and see what my experiences have been over the past months or year. this is why i journal, although not nearly as often as i used to. if you're wondering what has been keeping me from this blog for the past couple of months, it's a combination of things. lack of wanting to write combined with laziness. feeling like i have nothing good to say. struggling with expression and not wanting to sound mundane.

and then there are the actual life events that keep me from coming back here. can we be honest for a minute? life gets really hard in a way that is difficult to explain to anyone. i have anxiety that i can't stop. i have sleepless nights where i  incessantly think about my past, present, and future. i need help but i fool myself into thinking that because i am a christian, relying on God should be enough to fix me. (spoiler alert: sometimes you just need extra, physical help and there is nothing wrong with that.) and i am deeply affected by what happens around me: a friend's mother unexpectedly dying, my own mother's struggle with mental illness, relationships that can't and don't work out. lots of heaviness.

i'm sorry if it sounds like i'm complaining and have become the most negative person in the world. not every day is awful. circumstances just have a way of sneaking up at the same time and splitting me into little pieces, each struggling for a different reason. "this too shall pass" used to be a mantra for me, but there are certain situations that will not go away quickly and are not bound to be resolved for a long time. that's probably the hardest part. when there is no end in sight, how do you get past it? 

anyway, i wanted to come back to this space and start being present here again. don't worry, the future posts won't all be like this. in fact, there is a lot of good among the difficult right now. i have supportive friends and overall, a great life. i am happy. i am also trying to keep my head above water. if you're also having a hard time right now, give a listen to this song. it's been playing nonstop for me and helps keep me grounded.