Happiness is a Good Haircut

I love getting a great haircut. It puts me in a such a good mood and adds a spring in my step. Afterwards, I find myself doing a hair flip, toss, or swing but for me that one of the universal signs that it works. I could throw around that “new hair, don’t care” phrase as well but that is pretty much the opposite. I do care. There were times that I didn’t as much and let it go far to long but now I make it a point to care and to make sure I do something about it.

When I was growing up, I was lucky to have the consistency of having the same person cut my hair, The BFF’s mom. Not only was she an extremely talented stylist, or hairdresser as was the term more so used then, she was like my second mom. If something wasn’t going to work, she’d be totally honest with me and then we’d find a solution to get what I was hoping for. She was also the master of seeing a photo with an idea I had and then modifying it to work perfectly on my head.

After she passed away, I bounced between trying a new stylist and doing absolutely nothing with my hair. I had grown my bangs out around 2002 so that checked bang trims off the upkeep list though that list barely existed anymore. It wasn’t that I wasn’t regularly washing my hair because the thought of not doing that makes my scalp itch. I just adopted the idea that I was growing it out as I figured out what I wanted to do with it. That was a stupid idea. It might have been growing out but the condition of it was going down.

After haircut based common sense rejoined the self care party and I was back to getting more regular cuts, I eventually started going to the stylist I have now. The new stylists I had gone to were good but not matter how talented someone is, it wasn’t that clicking “this is it!” moment where I find myself oohing to Darth Husband and taking photos of my self. That is where I am now.

I know that moment has led me to get out of that silly rut when I’m doing a version of Pinky and the Brain:

Gee, hair, what are we going to do today?
What we do every day, the same dang thing.

I’m even back to rocking the bangs which I wish I had done sooner. Seriously, I forgot how many other hairstyles I prefer when I have bangs. I might still go to my standbys of having it pulled back especially when on a computer for long periods of time but I’m excited to try new things and get back to wearing styles I have in the past. Well, within reason since I have no plans for mall hair or growing it out past my elbows any time soon.

One of my fashion/beauty goals for 2015 is to get back to trying new styles. I have various curled styles, updos, and ones with a retro element to them that I’ve tried over the years. Now I have over 100 pins on my Hair Pinterest board. Some might be epic fails due to my hair type but others might totally work and be added to the more regular routine. Now I just need to do it. I already have the hairspray.

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Live & Local: Mighty Fox at Lincoln Hall

I love that moment when I hear a song or a band for the first time and I just stop. Everything else fades away and I’m transfixed. This is what happened the first time I saw Mighty Fox. There was no longer a crowd around me and just this fantastic rock band on the stage in front of me.

From their website since it does it much more justice as a description than “OMFG this is an awesome band:”

“Mighty Fox isn’t just a musical project but rather a journey.  As an up-and-coming group based in Chicago that has already gotten industry professionals stirring, it’s clear that this project is more than just a “band” but rather a way of life for the musicians involved.  Each song has the listener noticing the many different artists that influence Mighty Fox and how they’ve effected the lives of the members.  With bands like Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, and U2 being considered substantial influences, Mighty Fox has a very well rounded sound that anyone and everyone can relate to and enjoy.  Don’t let the names fool you though.  Mighty Fox has definitely found a sound of their own which translates incredibly to their live show.”

 I was ecstatic to find out that they were a local Chicago band. That put them on my “MUST see again” list and since that show, I’m happy to have seen them play live more.

The last show was last Friday at Lincoln Hall and once again my cousin was rocking out with me. I met her on the Northside after work and after hunting for a parking spot amongst the snowdrifts, we got to the venue with a good amount of time before the first band started. With four bands on the bill, Mighty Fox was third. Since Lincoln Hall is a smaller place, around 500 capacity and with sound well done for the size, we could easily see the stage and since it was a really laid back crowd minus one very excited chatty group celebrating a birthday with confetti (yes, actual metallic “Happy Birthday” confetti) we easily worked our way up front for their set.

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With everyone on stage but Mike, vocalist/guitarist, the music starts. Then a moment later he is onstage and their set kicks into gear. For ten songs, the room is enveloped in sound: Jon on drums, Markham on guitar, Johnny on bass and keyboard, and Mike switching between guitar and only the mic. From the soaring chorus of “Tom’s Song” to the pounding beat of “Let Go”, Mighty Fox had great energy on stage no matter what the tempo. You can tell that they are doing something that they love.

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Here is the full setlist of the songs that we danced to (or swayed to depending on the song) at the show:

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Being a musician myself and having friends in bands throughout the years, I know that there is a lot of work put into it. After I see a great show, I basically want to say to the band “thank you” as in “thank you for sharing your music with me.” With most shows (most being any general band), it usually is more so something like “great set”  just in passing but this time my cousin and I got to meet them and actually got to talk for a few minutes. I always appreciate when someone will chat a bit after rocking out on stage. Both being very nice, Markham granted my request for the setlist as he paused from breaking down his gear and Mike responded to my good-natured sarcasm about his moving too much resulting in blurred photos with some of his own. No pompous attitudes means gold stars in my book. I’ve met too many “What? I’m in a band. I’m too cool.” jerks over the years.

So back to the setlist photo. Yes, that is an actual set list and it is signed by Mike and Markham. It was an idea that popped into my head after the set had ended. Then I thought “Why not?” There is just something about this band. It reminds me of back when I was the music director at my old college radio station. A CD would come in and after playing it, I’d think “THIS! This will be a big deal.” I really hope I’m right.

Fashion Friday: Here I Go Again (Slouchy Sweaters)

As I’ve been rearranging my wardrobe for the umpeenth time, I am reminded of the things that I really don’t need since I have numerous versions of them yet I continue to buy more. It is that mix of knowing what I like and what works when it is actually worn that ends up making it part of my style staples.

One thing I DO NOT NEED more of right now is slouchy and/or cardigan sweaters. I have the army of grey cardigans leading the pack and the other colors and patterns following behind them. Even though I kept telling myself to stay away from them, I know eventually one will follow me home and of course, I will have to keep it.

For now, I will appease myself with some ideas via Polyvore.

 

Slouchy

 

January to June CSYA Household Challenge

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I am usually not one to make grand proclamations on January 1st about how this is the year I’m going to eat better, lose weight, or one of the checkboxes on the more general “get healthier” checklist. They are make sense to be decent new years resolutions but I often find myself thinking these things throughout the year. That means the 1st could be June 1st or October 1st. Starting at a 1 just makes sense even if it is found in the center part of a date. However, this year I’m going more into checkbox mode and I’m blaming Darth Husband.

Darth Husband gets these grand ideas sometimes where my responses vary from “OK, that will work” to “Hmmmm” to “OK, no.” (Keep in mind that I also do that to him too.) I just have to be careful sometimes to not “OK” when I mean “Hmmmm” especially when it means a challenge. He loves challenges and is quite a competitive person. Me, on the other hand, can be competitive when I want to be but in the team sports side of life I’d rather not play. So thing being said, I somehow managed to agree to a January 1st to June 1st fitness/weight challenge. Rather that trying to back out, I’m sticking with it.

The plan is to see who is in better shape on June 1st with the highest percentage of weight loss being the winner. With a nine-inch height difference as well as the man vs woman aspect, having a percentage was fairer than using actual number of pounds. Since both of our weights are already in the healthy ranges for our heights and ages, this is more so a push to get healthier and then the winner get bragging rights. We both will end up winners too in that being in better shape by summer means we get do things like going hiking more.

Though we generally do eat right, there was too much fast food and take-out the weeks prior to Christmas. I am not adding holiday based meals, treats, and whatnot to that mix because I refuse to deny myself holiday food based traditions. I stick with my mantra: “If I want the cookie, I’m going to EAT the cookie, just not the entire tray of cookies.” Having food ready to grab and go or put down in front of you at a restaurant is easy but since you don’t make it yourself you don’t know exactly what is in it. There are times when I add something to my food tracking account and I am surprised by how much salt is in it. I know it has extra in it but exactly how much extra is the shocker.

For about a little over a month, my gym membership key tag hasn’t moved much. When both my cousin’s and my schedules got a bit hectic, we kept rescheduling and rescheduling until the rescheduled date would be the following week. My cousin and I decided to just get back to our routine in January. Then my Sister-in-Law and niece came to visit and spending time with out-of-town family took priority. Weight machines at the gym were replaced by carrying around and playing with my one-year-old niece.

So now the challenge has begun. Fingers crossed that I will win but if I don’t, it better be close!

Season’s Readings: 12 Days of Book-mas – A great gift for someone who enjoys holiday classics

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A great gift for someone who enjoys holiday classics

  • Name of book:The Night Before Christmas (Little Golden Book)
  • Author: Clement Clarke Moore
  • What is about: This is the classic Christmas poem with 1949 illustrations.
  • Why you like it/recommend it: When I think Christmas stories, this is one of the ones that immediately comes to mind. It is a simple story that can be read and shared by all ages.

Season’s Readings: 12 Days of Book-mas – A great gift for fans of Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live, or fans of comedy in general

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As part of this series, I am also sharing recommendations from others. Today’s book recommendation comes from Kelly at Brownies and Zucchini.

A great gift for fans of Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live, or fans of comedy in general.

  • Name of book: Bossypants
  • Author: Tina Fey
  • What is about: It is a comedy book about various happenings and stories from Tina Fey’s life.
  • Why you like it/recommend it: I am not a huge book reader, but this book hooked me from the beginning and though there are serious instances in the book, it stays funny through the very end.
  • Other things people should know (part of a series, now a movie, etc) Tina Fey actually reads the audiobook version, and I’ve heard that makes it even more hilarious!

Please note: Links found within this post are NOT affiliate links and I receive no compensation for any potential purchases.