Stitchfix #13

I got another Stitchfix shipment this week and realized it has been a couple of months since I've done a post on what I've gotten. If you've been following along, a couple of months ago I talked about the concept of a capsule wardrobe, and that I'd be doing one for the fall and winter. What I didn't quite expect was that with all of the changes I've made in the gym and with my eating habits, some of the clothes, especially pants, from my capsule are already too loose. I've been having to update/replace a few things that just aren't flattering or comfortable anymore. 

People have been asking me how Stitchfix boxes will work since the idea of having a capsule wardrobe is that you don't have to keep buying anything new. For the past couple of boxes I've been extremely picky with what I've been sent and didn't keep anything. I'm making very careful choices as to what pieces will fit into my wardrobe and will transition well in between seasons. 

If you haven't heard of Stitchfix here are the deets: 
1) Go the link, sign up and fill out all the info they ask for about your personal tastes, they'll hook you up with a stylist who'll send you a box with 5 items that they think will look great on you, based on what you tell them.
2) Pay a $20 styling fee which includes the box shipped to you and goes toward your purchase should you choose to keep anything in the box. 
3) Get your box (which you can set up on auto for once a month or schedule them as you wish) and try on your items! You have 3 days to decide and there's a free shipping bag included to send back what you don't want.

Here's what I got this month:

Benzer Plaid Layer Sweater

 This sweater is soft and lightweight. I love the plaid piece underneath that gives the illusion of layering without all of the bulk. I really love this.

Paul Colorblock Mixed Material Top

Another high quality piece. It's very stretchy material and the material is very flowy. I did notice it wrinkles easily if it's not hung up constantly, though. Although I like the comfort factor of this, I wasn't a fan of the higher rise front as it wasn't super flattering. My arm is kind of covering it on the left photo but the shirt sticks out quite a bit and isn't very flattering on my body. It was also a bit snug through the shoulders, I have wide shoulders so this happens a lot haha.

Baxley Zipper Detail Skinny Jean

At first I wasn't a huge fan of these jeans. They are a super soft and stretchy material, about like leggings.They fit my waist well which is hard to find usually because my lower half is curvy. I did notice the material does hold on to lint easily; out in the light they looked really fuzzy. It's a bit hard to see from the photo (sorry iphone's lack of detail) but those are zippers on the front pockets. Jury is still out on these. They're so comfortable. 

Faya Sleeveless Keyhole Fit & Flare Dress

This coat wasn't in the box, I just got it at the end of the season last year (at Nordstrom's I think?) and I haven't gotten a chance to wear it this year and I love it so much. BUT this dress came and I love the color and keyhole detail. It's made, as many of the Stitchfix products, with super stretchy and soft material so it'll fit a variety of body sizes. The only thing I didn't like with this was the length. A little bit too short for my comfort, I'd have to always wear thick tights underneath. I'm 5'9" so this wouldn't be necessarily short on everyone, though. 

Benson 3/4 Ruched Sleeve Blazer

Woot! I've been looking for a perfect fitting blazer and have found it. This is darted in the back so it follows my waist curves just so. The sleeves are ruched, which is totally my jam because I have long arms and always end up pulling my sleeves up anyways. The lining on the inside is blue and white pinstripe which shows through when you roll the sleeves a bit. I love, love this. 


I've created this Stitchfix board on Pinterest to help give my stylist some ideas on styles I love. I've been working on keeping it updated which helps give her a better idea of what to include in my fix each month. 

Paleo noms.

So I've kind of slowly been transitioning myself to a Paleo style of eating. There's a lot of misinformation out there about it, and a lot of different takes on how people eat this way. However, I found a really awesome cookbook and started transitioning to this way of eating and saw immediate results with my body and energy levels. Taking out processed and added sugars as well as bloat inducing grains really made me feel 100% amazing. 

Now, it hasn't been easy all the time. My husband and kids aren't in on it (although I'm working on taking out sugars and most grains from the boys' diet) and it can be challenging for me to give up some of the stuff that tastes the best but isn't nutritionally sound. However, the less sugar I eat, the less I crave it. 

I recently got this cookbook  and have practically cooking nonstop from it. Every recipe I've tried so far has been amazing and surprisingly simple. Not a ton of random and complicated ingredients or processes, which is good for me because I'm not a chef. I'm a basic cooker. 

Here's a few of the things I've been cooking up. I'm wondering if any of you would be interested in the recipes? 
Bacon wrapped dates and pineapple. 

Lemon blueberry muffins.

Pumpkin pancakes. SO GOOD. 

I'd like to hear from you. Do any of you eat Paleo and what are your favorite recipe books/websites? 

Isaiah gets a hair cut. (and got even more handsome)

Since the boys were born Chikezie and I have had this image in our head of having two little boys with big hair.  I love the idea of wild and natural hair, especially when it's so curly. We became very committed to letting it grow long despite all the questions and comments from people asking us "when are you going to cut their hair?" Surely little boys can't have long hair, right? 

We let their hair grow long for about three years before it finally became a lot of work for me. Their hair is so curly and they have a lot of it, which means even more prep time in the tub. Washing/conditioning/combing through it in the tub would take me about a half an hour and my arms would be so tired by the end. The work was even more when they started preschool and would come home with sand, sticks and leaves in their little afros. Getting sand out of that hair is nearly impossible. 

I began trimming it last year, just keeping it long-ish but cutting it to a more manageable level. Still, they'd come home from school with just a head of straight up dirty hair. It was just so much work for me that the idea of these two little boys with big hair just didn't seem so appealing anymore. When they are old enough to start taking care of their own hair they can decide what they want, but for now it's up to the person taking care of the hair. 

I'd contemplated cutting one of the boys hair and it was a pretty easy decision: Isaiah. The kid hates when I mess with his hair at bath time. Screaming, angry. It's such a battle with him and when I laid a towel out on the living room floor one afternoon and asked if I could cut his hair, he came and sat down. 

About an hour later, a ton of hair on the floor, using both scissors and the trimmer, and a couple of little mess ups, Isaiah emerged from his first big hair cut a happy boy. 
He's so proud of his hair he had to tell everyone he met that he got a new hair cut. 
Now for anyone worried about their precious hair, Julian is insistent he doesn't want a hair cut. So his will remain in its current wild and big state for the foreseeable future. (And it's much easier for me to manage just one boy's long hair than two.)

They now look a little bit more like brothers and a little bit less like identical twins. (They're not identical.) They now have some hair that reflects a little bit more of who they are, Isaiah clean and regimented, specific and outgoing. Julian, unique and independent, a bit of a wild card and goes to the beat of his own drum. 

Since the very beginning it's always been all about their hair and now the hair on top fits the the boy underneath a bit more.


Happy Birthday, Husband.


Today is your birthday. This photo was taken nine years ago today. That night we (a little bit drunkenly) shared our first "I love you" after exactly one month of dating, and only slightly longer than that of having even known each other. I fell hard and fast for you.

You're silly and your laugh is contagious. Gosh, you're just so funny, probably the funniest person I know. You know just when to use your humor to lighten the mood or to get me to just chill out, and it's not even on purpose...it's just the way you are. And it doesn't hurt that you have such a gorgeous smile. I mean? Good job, college Mandey. 

You're smart. But not only are you smart, you're creative. Sometimes people who are so smart lack creativity but your brain just works in the most interesting way that I'm still learning about you almost ten years later. You like to keep things simple on the surface but beneath the smiles and jokes you're such a complex and caring man. 

You have such a big heart, a stubborn and strong willed mind and and and...I just love your face. You're such a good daddy, you work so dang hard and even if you leave your socks in the living room all the time I couldn't imagine picking up after anyone else. 

Thank you for doing the past nine years of your life with me. Happy Birthday, husband. 

Patchwork Oakland Fall 2014 Recap

Well, it's been awhile since I've checked in here and so much has happened. While I work on catching up over the next couple of weeks I thought today I'd share about Patchwork and how it went. 

There was a ton of preparation for this show and I had no idea what to expect as far as sales and set up and space and traffic and...well I just really wanted to get in the door. As the days got closer I actually got less and less nervous/overwhelmed because all of my little to-dos were starting to come together. There was finally a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.

One awesome thing about Patchwork was that we got to go in the day before and set up. It was so nice knowing the final things we needed to do on Sunday, and to feel a small sense of relief when we were all done because I knew there was nothing more I could do and it was time to see how all my hard work and preparations would play out.

The day of the show I had a few feelings in the back of my mind that I wouldn't sell anything. I also had this weird feeling I'd sell out of something I hadn't made a ton of. (Which isn't the worst problem in the world, but of course I was still worried about it.) It was just the unknown that left me nervous.

The show went awesome. It exceeded my expectations, I sold quite a bit of product and even almost sold out of a couple of things. Products got a lot of compliments, I couldn't have asked for much more out of the experience.

And my booth didn't look like anyone else's, which was really what I was going for.

It was bright, inviting and homey. I had tall/raised tables to put things at eye height. I wanted people to touch things. You're more likely to buy something if you can touch it first, so I'm glad I found a way to allow people to touch products without committing to entering the booth, but still made it open enough for people to come in.

There was a mirror in the back for trying on headbands, and so many people did. The blankets were at a perfect height/angle for lots of face time, and whether or not people bought them, they touched them, which was all I wanted.

The front table had a few different layouts throughout the day as certain things sold more I moved them closer to the best selling items on the front table and they started to sell more also. It was fun seeing how I could rearrange things to make them more visible and appealing throughout the day. 

I'm also super thankful for my sister in law and friend Maryam for helping me out over the weekend. I couldn't have done it all without them! It was also awesome to see a couple of familiar faces stop by to support me/other handmade businesses. 

Totally a great experience and I'll definitely be applying to do Patchwork again in the spring. 

Halloween Recap

Halloween came and went so fast this year. This was the first year the boys actually chose what they wanted to be and the for the first time had a definitive opinion on everything. They really wanted to be Octonauts, a British cartoon series that airs on Disney Jr. It's about these little animals that explore and learn about the ocean. The boys have been obsessed with it for well over a year (and have learned quite a bit about the ocean from it) so it was perfectly fitting they decided to be these guys for Halloween:

Captain Barnacles, the brave polar bear leader of the Octonauts. And Kwazii, the renegade pirate cat. 

These costumes were a bit tricky because you can't buy them and there aren't a lot of examples on Pinterest to go off of, so I really had to just wing it. I think it turned out pretty well.
Isaiah was pretty much obsessed with having a tail. Julian just liked the little compass on his shirt. I later added an eye patch for Isaiah because he was insistent on having one.


We went to a costume party over the weekend and they had a little costume parade at school on Thursday. Friday it was pretty chilly and rainy but it all cleared up by trick or treat time and we went out. 

I thought they'd be all about trick or treating since they'd talked it up so much in the days preceding but as soon as we hit the first house Isaiah got massive stage fright and wouldn't say anything. Julian managed to squeak out a, "Trick or Treat" but for the most part they were both pretty quiet. 
When we got home I let them eat 3 pieces of candy and then had them eat actual, real life food. In the past they've been known to actually throw up if they have even a bit too much sugar so they were cool with keeping it minimal. (VERY thankful for laid back kids.)


Capsule Wardrobe Week 1

Ok, so remember a couple of weeks ago when I said I was completely revamping my wardrobe in favor of having more items I love and less of what I don't wear? Well, I think I'm about done. I haven't gotten around to taking photos of all of the items, but I plan on doing that soon so you can all see literally everything I have to wear for the next 3-6 months. 

For now, I'm posting on Instagram daily of my outfit for the day. (Much to the dismay of many followers who drop off after I post a photo of my outfits. They must be pretty horrible.) Now, the goal of me posting these is to have a collective set of photos of all the different variations of outfits I put together with my limited wardrobe. I'm hoping it'll help give some of you all ideas on ways you can put items together and also show you that more in your closet isn't really more. I want to be an example of how you can wear the same staple pieces in different ways in real life. 

I'm a stay at home mom. It's hard to follow a lot of fashion bloggers, and even my favorite and capsule inspiration Un-Fancy because most days a week I'm at home, and I only leave the house for short periods of time to run errands or go to the park or drop my kids off at preschool. I don't have the need to wear heels or even boots with heels or even wedges very often. The idea of a capsule wardrobe is to style it in way that best suits your individual lifestyle, and as you'll see in the coming weeks, my lifestyle is pretty casual. 

All of that being said, here's a peek at what I wore over the past week. 

busy building a house

Life has been a tad bit crazy the past few weeks and October has completely flown by. I think the driving force behind the craziness is that I found out I was accepted to be a vendor at the Patchwork Show in Oakland on November 16. Let's be honest, I'm super freaking excited and also super freaking out. I have an 8x8 foot booth and I have no idea how much I may or may not sell. This is my first big show, yeeee!

So since I'm one for trying to be like, crazy different and I set unrealistic and super high goals for myself, my goal for the show is to have a kick-ass booth. I've been looking up some inspiration on Pinterest for some really awesome displays and decided I'm going to build a house frame made out of PVC pipe, and the frame itself is going to be the display. Last week I worked on it for a bit and this is what I came up with:
Now, I'm going to add some horizontal bars to it and MAYBE some shelves? I'm trying to make sure it's super easy to put together and take down without being confused about what piece goes where. I plan on having only one table inside and will hide my extra inventory in some black ikea file boxes that will have a decorative look and also hide the extra without having to have a table cloth on a table. 

Here is some of the display inspiration I've found on Pinterest:
I thought about doing something like this but it's a little too complicated for me to do at the moment and I really like the house idea.


I love the simplicity of this house frame and the contrasting color. My shop items are all very colorful so with a white frame it gives it kind of the opposite effect. 

I can't wait for all of this to come together and to see what the final display ends up looking like. I'm kind of making it up as I go, so the end look will be just as much a surprise for me. My goal is to be able to use this for fairs in the future and because the PVC is in many pieces I can use what I already have to build different sized displays based on whatever space I have. 

So, on to a new chapter of business for me. Seeing people face to face and watching them judge what you've made is a little unnerving, but I really think this might be where I can really let my personality show through my display and you know... in person. Sometimes it's nice to see the person who made the goods you're about to buy. It gives the items a story and a little bit more meaning, and is what I really love about the handmade world to begin with. 

Capsule Wardrobe Project

Have you ever opened your closet, looked inside and then instantly felt depressed over the fact that you have nothing to wear? I mean, you could wear those boyfriend jeans you just got but you don't really like how they fit (but they're like, totally in. and you wanted to still be cool) and you don't have a good shirt to go with it. Or you could wear that cute blouse you've had forever but the shoulders are a bit tight and the fabric is a little itchy. What actually ends up happening is you throw on your usual skinny jeans and plain t-shirt and call it good. And then curse yourself for not wearing your other clothes more often.

This is the story of my life. I have a closet full of things that I really love in theory but then never end up wearing because I don't have pieces that fit with them in a way I'm comfortable with. Or I buy things that I kind of like, or are ok just because they're on sale and I feel like I don't have anything in my closet already.

I'm over it. My friend Maryam brought up the idea of a capsule wardrobe to me last week and I'd never heard of it before. Basically, it's a limited number of basic essentials, usually between 25-40 pieces, (including pants, shirts, jackets, shoes) that you mix and match together and wear for an entire season. When the next season begins, you pack up your current season and get the new one out of storage, carrying some items over that can be transitioned. The goal is to have 4 solid "capsule wardrobes" that you can open up and wear each season, replacing 3-4 items each season as you need to. 

What is the appeal of this to me? I love the simplicity of it and the idea that you have a closet full of things to wear just by having less. I like the thought of having a closet full of clothes you love rather than mediocre pieces that you bought without a real purpose in mind. 

In light of this new discovery, yesterday I followed the instructions from my new favorite blog Un-Fancy and took every single item out of my closet. I then went through everything very critically and only put back the pieces I really loved. And then I went through one more time with a bit of a mental check list of basics that I wasn't crazy about but are good staple pieces. I cleaned out 2 garbage bags full of clothes to donate, 1 of winter clothes that were still in my closet, and another 2 bags of summer clothes that I'll go through with this same process next summer. How did all of that fit in my closet!?

This is what I ended up with:
Right now this is everything. 
- 1 pair of boyfriend jeans
- my favorite skinny jeans
- 1 pair of black jeans
- 1 pair of well fitting dark/neutral jeans
- 2 t-shirts 1 black, 1 grey
- 1 sweater
- 1 chambray button up
- 1 plaid button up
- 1 slouchy cover up
- 1 denim vest
- 1 military style vest
- 1 vegan leather moto jacket (I bought last year and haven't had a chance to wear yet)
- 2 light weight fall coats
- 1 denim jacket

Shoes:
- black booties
- brown wedge boots
- studded boots
- moccs
- leopard print flats
- wine colored lace up shoes
- 2 pairs of heels, one wine, one nude
- knee high boots
- 1 pair of chucks

I'm not counting my work out clothes or undergarments, which I also went through and all fit easily and with extra space in this small dresser. I know I have a lot of jackets but I just really love all of them. What I'm lacking are basics. I'm following this wardrobe guide, as I have a few pieces that are similar and I really like this girl's simple style. I have a few more pieces than she has but I also won't be getting a few (like the puffer jacket, leather leggings, wool joggers) because they just don't suit my lifestyle or body shape.  Here's a look at it, because it looks so good all laid out like this lol:
(here's the link to her whole post)

Now what to do? I found a couple of basic tops on her list, a replacement for my chambray shirt that I just don't really love, and a white button up. I've ordered them and we'll see how they fit when they arrive. (Online shopping is hit or miss with me.) The nice thing about living in the bay area is that fall and winter are very much alike, so I'll be getting good use out of all of this and really won't have to officially switch to a winter wardrobe at any time.

The craziest thing happened yesterday after I put all of this stuff back in my closet; I looked inside and immediately felt like I had a lot to wear. You would think with more choices in a jam-packed closet you'd feel you had more to wear and by taking everything out I'd feel the exact opposite. But I've gotten rid of all of the background noise, and see only the things I truly love. 

I'm really excited for this new journey in my own style. I'm hoping that by finding and creating a small collection of pieces I love that I'll spend less time finding what to wear, or not loving what I'm wearing. The first step of this little experience has been completely eye opening. I honestly believe EVERYONE could benefit from at least the very first step: taking every thing out of your closet and with a very critical and honest mind, only put back the things you really love. 

What do you think? Would you be willing to drastically reduce your wardrobe like this and create a small array of basics you can mix and match for an entire season? 

Stitchfix Number 12

It's that time of the month again...NO, It's STITCHFIX TIME. Duh.

If you haven't heard of Stitchfix here are the deets: 
1) Go the link, sign up and fill out all the info they ask for about your personal tastes, they'll hook you up with a stylist who'll send you a box with 5 items that they think will look great on you, based on what you tell them.
2) Pay a $20 styling fee which includes the box shipped to you and goes toward your purchase should you choose to keep anything in the box. 
3) Get your box (which you can set up on auto for once a month or schedule them as you wish) and try on your items! You have 3 days to decide and there's a free shipping bag included to send back what you don't want.

Now, I've had some pretty awesome luck with Stitchfix but last month I think that luck kind of ran out. Here's an idea of pretty much exactly one of my pieces from last month:
I'm not kidding. Minus the yellow stripe, this is the exact sweater I got. And this is pretty much how I felt and looked in it. It wasn't good. Or it was the best. I'm still traumatized and not thinking clearly.

Now before I get started on this month's goodies I wanted to let you all know I'm trying to do these posts a bit different. I'm going to be adding a separate photo of the outfit itself so those of you who've had questions about other things I'm wearing can have all the info! I'm not going to link up to each specific piece because honestly, I don't have time for that. So I'll let you know where I got it and you can do the rest from there. 

That being said - there was only one save from last month; this plaid infinity scarf. We all know I'm a sucker for plaid. 
Other outfit details: Shoes - some discount store in Portland. Sorry I don't remember. // Earrings - Stitchfix // Dress - Target

This month went MUCH better than last month. I actually told my stylist to give me a box full of boho just in time for fall. I was looking to try a completely new style and this box didn't fail me. 

EIGHT SIXTY
WHISTLER GRAPHIC PRINT BUTTON FRONT BLOUSE
We're actually in the middle of an annoying October heatwave right now so this top is perfect. I love the print, it would look great layered for a night out. It's light and flowy. Didn't mind this. 
Other outfit details:  gold earrings - World Market // jeans - Madewell // heels - Target

SANCTUARY
SYLVANA FAUX LEATHER TRIM PLAID TUNIC
The word "tunic" is a stretch with this one. I had to keep the bottom buttons undone so it would fit over my booty. I appreciate the small detail of the patches on the elbows and the leather trim inside the collar and cuffs of the sleeves. One thing I also liked about this was that is has snaps rather than buttons. I tied a belt around the middle so I didn't look super boxy. 
Other outfit details: necklace - Stella and Dot // jeans - Madewell // boots - Target

RENEE C
NICO CHAIN DETAIL METALLIC KNIT SWEATER
This was a super interesting sweater. There was like a plastic/fiber material throughout that made it look like a chain link fence. I also like the chain details at the shoulder. You can't feel the plastic on the inside, its only on the outside. Only downfalls - A) I'm not sure how to wash it. B) The metal chains at the shoulders are freezing against my skin. If I wore this in the winter I'd definitely have to wear something under as a buffer. 
Other outfit details: headband - Mama Mandolin // boyfriend jeans - GAP // shoes - Target

SKIES ARE BLUE
ANDI GRAPHIC PRINT FRINGE CARDIGAN
I like the idea of this cardigan, and it's definitely the boho style I requested. There was just something about it that didn't quite work. It's definitely comfy and cozy though. 
Other outfit details: tank - H&M // jeans - Old Navy // moccasins - Minnetonka

COFFEESHOP
KENNEDI KNIT SLEEVE CARGO JACKET
Yes times a million. YES. I love this jacket so much. The pockets, the sweater sleeves, the hood is huge, and especially the cinches in the middle. It's essential for me to be able to cinch in the waist of my outfits to give me some definition at my smallest part. This is one of my Stitchfix faves!
Other outfit details: jeans - Old Navy // boots - Target // shirt - Stitchfix

Want to give it a try? There's nothing to lose, even if you only do it once, it's a super fun experience. GO HERE to read more and sign up!

the numbers mean nothing: learning to lose the scale

A month or so I had a bit of a fight with my scale and I think I've eventually come out on top without having lost a pound. Crazy, right? We all know what everyone says about scales and that it shouldn't matter what number says, it's all about how we feel. Well that's all good and great but I'm telling you as an actual human woman, it's so. hard. to get that number out of your head.

I remember in high school I had a notebook I'd write down my goals. I remember writing that I wanted to be 140. I'd keep that as a goal and this time, for real I was going to make that goal. I'd be that weight and all of my problems would be over. I'd be small like most of my friends. Not that I was big, but I've always weighed more than I look...and it has been endlessly frustrating. Now, I never really did a lot to actively lose weight; I wasn't really too keen on doing all of the things that would help me reach this magical number. I was a pretty active teenager. I played volleyball and trained for volleyball in the off season. I didn't snack much, I ate what my mom cooked for dinner and my school lunch.  But I still so vividly remember seeing that number in my notebook. 

I don't ever particularly remember feeling fat, I just felt like that number was supposed to be less. I had hips and thighs and a butt. I had cellulite. (This was way before booties were the obsession.) I wore size 10 jeans, size small or medium tops. This girl thought she needed to be smaller: 
I was wearing a super tight slip under this, kind of like spanx before they had spanx. I kept feeling like I needed to suck in the whole night of my concert after this. 

For the next 10 years I'd continue to fight this mental battle over the scale and that number. After I had the boys I was determined to get back down to the 158 I was before I got pregnant. Or somewhere around there, I don't remember. Except now, after kids the scale just won't budge. I've hovered between 172-178. At 178 I'm usually not working out and eating horribly for an extended period. 

But what about the past year, and the past 5-6 months specifically where I've been working out a lot and watching what I ate? For a bit I was so particular about calories, then I was about carbs, then something else. Anything to get the scale to go below that 172 mark, even I was losing inches it became this obsession. I'm a competitive person. Not about silly life things like motherhood, but when it comes to physical things, I'm super competitive. When there's this goal in my head that I CAN NOT beat, I get angry. "I will beat this, I'm going to win. " I tell myself this, almost mentally willing the scale to change. 

I finally came to a breaking point a few weeks ago when I had this moment, this really sad moment. I woke up one morning feeling fit. I'd been working hard, I didn't feel bloated, I felt strong and lean. I decided to get on the scale. I wanted a number to validate how I was feeling. I got on the scale. 173. UGH. Immediately I felt deflated. I stood and looked at my stomach sideways in the mirror. Maybe it wasn't that flat. Look if I didn't stand up straight it just flopped out like that. And my arm fat. Oh and look at all that cellulite on the back of my thighs.

And then I stopped.

What was I doing? Not more than 30 seconds before I felt strong and confident. That fucking number just ruined it for me. It changed my entire mindset, I felt defeated and like a failure. What I'd been proud of was now actually just another thing I needed to work on. This isn't who I wanted to be. Life is so short, it really is. Was this really how I wanted to live it? My life dictated by the mass of my body? The literal number that represented the heaviness of my body, no matter what it appeared on the outside or in my head?

Right then and there I quit the scale. 
This was me this morning. All 172 pounds of me. All 69 inches in length, all size 9 feet, all 24% body fat (and hopefully a lot of muscle). All wide hips and strong shoulders and sore legs. I was weighed at my gym last week at the start of a fitness competition they're holding and that was the last time. I won't know again until they weigh me next month. I really don't care to know then. I'm working my body hard. I'm feeding it (mostly) the right things. Most importantly, my mind is getting stronger. It has learned that all of those numbers mean nothing if you're not comfortable in your own skin. 

slowly growing out a pixie = awkwardness

I'm really doing it this time, I'm growing out my hair. I've said this for a really long time but between bleaching it continuously and getting a lot of "trims" it really hadn't grown much up until a few months ago. It's not that I was trying to keep it short, it just starts to get really awkward for me, really fast. 

A little over a month ago I reached the ponytail stage. And by ponytail stage I just mean two little tiny pigtails that contained about 3 hairs long enough to fit in a small elastic band that had no idea what was going on because it hadn't been used in a year.
It was a little weird. The top half really isn't pulled back- the layers just sit there there, sad they can't reach the ponytail party. This felt like a major life accomplishment for me. 

A couple of weeks later I went in for a trim and most of that long stuff was cut off. I'm essentially trying to keep trimming the back/bottom so the top layers can grow. This is pretty much the only way to avoid a mullet. So these sad little piggy tails were gone just as soon as they arrived. 

The bleaching was constantly frying the ends of my hair so I just decided to go dark with it again. My stylist matched the dark to my roots, so this is pretty much my natural color. I'd also been playing with the idea of throwing a bright color in, just so it wasn't a plain brown. (When has my hair ever been boring?) We used the existing blonde and colored it a combination of pink and red, making it this really pretty/bold red. 

Other ways I've been helping my hair during this awkward grow out stage? Headbands. They hide everything. I barely have to do anything to my hair, I just throw one of these on when my hair is greasy or not-fixed. 

This day I attempted some big wavy curls and it ended up looking REALLY stupid and I didn't have the time or energy to fix it so I just threw the headband on. It helped flatten the wildness.

The red has been interesting to maintain. I'll work on a post about preserving color but one of the main things is that I can't wash it much. So on oily gross days, twists like this one work well because they just stick.  (don't mind the photo of my shoes. They're just my favorite and I had to share lol)

I'm going to try to post some progress photos over the next few months to hopefully show some somewhat graceful ways to grow out a pixie cut. Or it could just end up being really awkward and weird looking. Either way, fun for all!

Have you ever had to grow out a pixie? HALP with all the advice!