Saturday, July 31, 2010

Kailua Beach and Halona Blowhole

Today, we went out to Kailua Beach and then Halona Blowhole.

Kailua's water was blue and vibrant and absolutely stunning. It was so windy that sand just kept blowing in my face. I still have sand in my ears and hair.

At Halona Blowhole, we hiked down to the cove and my dad and sister jumped off the cliffs. The  current was so rough, I was worried about it yanking them underneath.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Quick Update

My Monistat came in! I was worried about the pre-filled applicators being difficult to deal with, but they aren't too bad.

The pre-filled applicators have caps on them, so you just take what you need and recap it. Simple!

My sister (a hair stylist, of course!) is visiting for a week. She's been begging me to let her cut my hair. I told her in no uncertain terms could she cut my hair, but I've consented to allowing up to half an inch trimmed off. I don't know if she'll be able to stop herself at half an inch.

We're taking a trip out to Sea Life Park tomorrow. My husband, kids, dad and sister are going to go swim with dolphins while the baby and I just observe. Sea Life Park also has a wholpin, which is a rare hybrid of bottle nose dolphin and false killer whale.

I'll certainly be posting pictures when we get back tomorrow. I can't wait to see the dolphins and turtles up close!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Moonlit Walk and Length Shot

I took Daisy for a long walk last night. It was almost a full moon and the light was so bright, it was beautiful. I wore my hair down and imagined the moon hitting my hair. I don't know what it looked like, but I really enjoyed thinking about it.

Tonight is a full moon and I'm going to take Daisy for another long walk while wearing my hair down. It's thought (by some) that moonlight can be healing.

I personally really enjoy star and moon light. It reminds me of reading Many Waters by Madeline L'Engle when I was a child. When the main characters, Sandy and Dennys were badly burned by the sun, they spent the evenings being healed by the starlight. What a beautiful image!

I took another length shot. I'm not pleased with it because my ends look like crap. Whenever I wear my hair in a braid, the tassle end of the braid ends up looking wonky until I get my hair wet. It's not damaged or dry, it just looks it. I can't figure out how not to get wonky ends from braids.

Anyway, just because this is how I roll, I'm going to share it with you guys.

See what I mean? Those ends look like crap! The braid waves are pretty, though. If I could just figure out how to get the braid waves and have my ends look normal, I'd be all set.

Oh, and look at how loose my pants are! They're sagging from my bottom. I really need to buy new pants.

In other news, I will be flying out to PA in a few weeks to start house shopping. I plan to take photos while I'm out there. I'll be visiting my best friend at the same time, so I'm really excited about going. (That and being without the kids for five days- what will I do with myself? I do feel bad for my husband, though.;-) )

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Length Shot, New RInse and a Picture of My Dog

This posting is going to be all over the place, so I do apologize.

First thing is a new length shot from Lyndsey. Her hair is looking better every day.

Looks great, huh? It's gained in length and looks so much healthier.

Next, I made myself a chamomile and lavender hair rinse.


 It smells amazing and I made enough to last me a couple of rinses. I haven't used it yet because I haven't washed yet. I plan on taking it into the shower with me to rinse after conditioner.

I set it to simmer for a moment in water and within seconds (really!) the whole house smelled like lovely herbal tea. My kids complained that the smell was too "spicy," but I thought it just smelled amazing.

I'm still waiting for my shipment of Monistat 4% to arrive. I'm thinking it should be here any day, but tracking USPS is so unreliable. I'm just so impatient!

And last, but not least, I got this great picture of my dog, Daisy. She's an eight pound Tibetan Spaniel/Poodle mix. We've had her since she was a puppy and she's two now. I just love dogs!

Up to no good.
I caught her there. I hope she didn't place a huge bid for some junk on Ebay. She's sneaky like that.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

Whoa, I've been busy!

 As you guys know, we're moving to the mainland in about eight weeks. Since we plan to buy a house once we get there, I've been doing the legwork to get there.

Yesterday, I spent over two hours on the phone with Mortgage Company X*. I was just trying to get some basic information on mortgages, since I knew absolutely nothing about buying a house. I ended up being preauthorized and now have the funding to buy a house.

I'm still stunned that it was that easy!

So, now we get to go house shopping! The only problem is, we're halfway around the world from where we're moving. Luckily, we have a realtor that will help us find the perfect house.

In mid August, I'll be flying out to look at the houses in person. I loathe flying. I have to take medication just to get on a flight, because I'm so terrified. I would have sent my husband, but my best friend lives pretty close to where I'll be looking. I can stay with her and rent a car to see houses.

I'm be trying to see some local things so that I can take pictures and post them here.

Anyway, I know this post is way off the mark, but buying your first house is exciting, thrilling and terrifying and I just had to share.

*Not their real name.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Brief Update: Order of Monistat and The Morbid The Merrier

Just a brief little update...

I finally went ahead and ordered 3 boxes of Monistat 4% from They only had them in the prefilled applicators, so this will be interesting. I've hit a bit of a stall, I think, and I'm blaming it on my diet. I'll take a picture for you guys right before I apply the Monistat and then again, two weeks later, so you guys can see any changes.

I've been working on talking Lyndsey into putting down the flat iron, and she did a few months ago, but was still using the blow drier. She finally put that down and she's been excitedly showing me the much improved condition of her hair. It's growing really fast, too, whereas, she had complained before that her hair never grows. I'd say it's hitting between her shoulder blades now. As soon as I get a minute, I'm going to dash over and take a length shot from her to put up here.

I used to love bath products. My bath product budget has mostly been overtaken by hair accessories now, but I placed a few orders recently, just for fun.

I ordered some fragrance, lip balm and bath powder from The Morbid The Merrier on Etsy. I am in love with their "Harlot" lip balm in Funnel Cake. It smells and tastes absolutely scrumptious. I'm not a lip balm person, but I really like these. I placed another order and when I get that, I will do a proper review, but in the meantime, I'll share a little bit about my first order.

It seems like a lot of the perfumers with a darker edge (BPAL, Moona Lisa, etc) have some version of an absinthe scent. I haven't tried either BPAL's or Moona Lisa's, but I have tried some from now-defunct online companies. I'm honestly not very fond of the smell of absinthe due to a few too many absinthe-fueled nights in Germany. (The kind where you partake just a bit too much and the mere thought of drinking that beverage again makes you dry heave. *shudder*)

The Morbid The Merrier has Cocoa D'Absinthe, which is cocoa and absinthe (duh.) The cocoa smell is rich and true and the absinthe is almost an afterthought. It's a beautiful scent.

I made my husband smell it since he's familiar with absinthe, as well, and loves chocolate. He took the sample bottle tentatively, brought it to his nose and lightly inhaled. His eyes widened and he brought it back for a second whiff. "This smells good!" he pronounced. That really impressed me since he's not really a big fragrance person.

The lip balm comes in these oval tubes. For someone who constantly loses lipstick and lip balm due to rollage, oval tubes are sheer genius.

The bath powders come in these awesome boxes, which are tied up with ribbon. The box is cardboard, but is so cute that it's easy to reuse. In fact, it's the perfect size to store hair sticks. ;-)

Anyway, I'll do a proper review of The Morbid The Merrier once I receive my next order.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Arrivals: Ravenscroft Fork

I recently purchased my first fork not made by my favorite, Grahtoe Studios. I've been watching a store called "Ravenscroft" which had been closed for a lengthy period of time.

She's especially known for her moon forks, which are very different from other forks. I've been wanting one for a long time, but haven't taken the plunge yet.

I saw that she had opened up shop again and decided to make a purchase to see her work up close. I decided on a bocote two prong fork.

Looks lovely, doesn't it? So glossy and sleek.

It came packaged wonderfully. I love the way some Etsy shops package their items. Grahtoe, for example, is wrapped up in tissue paper with a lovely vine ribbon. The Morbid The Merrier comes with the lip balms wrapped up like little candies. It's so exciting to unwrap lovely wrapping and find something even lovelier underneath.

It came with a cute card, a glittery box (which my five year old daughter immediately snagged) and two surprise hair sticks. They're raw and organic looking and I absolutely adore them.

When I first held the fork, I was pretty surprised at how small and narrow it was. I was worried that it would be too small for my hair. I shouldn't have worried. It's handled everything I've thrown at it so far.

It's beautiful and glossy and smooth. It goes so well with my hair. I think that the tighter tines of this style of fork would be perfect for thinner or shorter hair, but as you can see, it works just fine in my hair.

This fork will be perfect for those days when I want something a little smaller. I'll be watching her shop for the perfect moon fork.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Aiea Cemetery and Ewa Beach Train Tracks

Today Lyndsey and I went on a little trip and visited Aiea ("Eye-Ay-Ah") Cemetery and old train tracks out in Ewa ("Evah") Beach.

Aiea Cemetery has long been of interest to me. It's just this tiny little island of earth surrounded by major roads. The tombstones seem mostly to be just rocks set up on one side. Unlike most cemeteries, which are lush and green and thriving with life, everything in this cemetery is dried up and dead. I believe that most of the names I could read were either Japanese or Filipino.

We couldn't find a grave more recent than 1947. Most seemed to be from 1910-1930.

Many of the headstones were merely poured cement which had the names of the deceased and their dates written by hand before the cement dried. Only a few weren't obviously homemade.

Some of the graves had these odd structures made from metal and piping which were reminiscent of a bed. I believe this next photo is of an infant grave. There was nothing to indicate anything about the space it occupied except that it seemed to be a crib.

I think this next one is probably one of the older graves.

This next structure was unique among the graves. It was apparently an old Japanese grave which housed several members of the same family.

Next, we headed out to Ewa Beach to see the train tracks. Admission to the Museum was $10, so we opted to stop on the side of the road and walk down the tracks. They haven't been in use for years, but still seem to be in good shape.

Hawaii has a large wild chicken population and we saw a hen with five little chicks. I've heard a rumor that the chickens came from an abandoned chicken farm, but I'm honestly not sure if that's true. The chicks were cute, either way.

That's Lyndsey taking a shot of a very strange fence we found. The fence was made of wooden slats, old mattress frames, cots and chicken wire.

It even looks like they included the bottom part of an old crib. I guess that's one way to recycle.

Here's a picture of my bare foot on the train track, just for fun:

I really wonder what the reason is behind the way the graves are set up. If anyone knows, I'd love to hear about it.

We have about nine weeks left here in Hawaii and I'm trying to cram in every bit of sightseeing I can in that short amount of time. I'll be sharing as much as I can with you guys. I hope you're enjoying seeing a side of Hawaii most tourists miss.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Catnip, Cat Mint and Calendula Herbal Rinse

I did an herbal hair rinse this evening after I washed my hair. It's really easy to do yourself, but there are different ways to make them.

I took 2 tablespoons each of dried calendula (also known as marigold), catnip and cat mint. Nightblooming carries catnip and also (I believe) cat mint. I got the calendula flowers from an Ebay seller.

Catnip and cat mint is renown for its ability to help condition hair and to prevent split ends. The calendula I added because I'm trying to impart the copper tones the Hawaiian sun has bleached from my hair.

Place the dried herbs into a pot with about 4 cups of water (I use a lot of water because I have so much hair.) Let the water boil or, alternatively, dump boiling water over top of the dried herbs (like making tea.) Make sure the pot is covered so as not to lose all the water.

Allow the herbs to steep in the hot water for at least 15 minutes.

It smells pretty good and my husband even asked if he could have some of my "tea."

Once you're done steeping your herbs, allow the mixture to cool off so you won't burn your scalp.

Take the strainer of your choice (I like the wire metal ones because I think they work better for herbs, but the baby hid it from me again,) and strain the water into a larger bowl or pot.

I'd recommend doing this in the bathtub or at the kitchen sink, so you'll have less of a mess to clean up. Grab a towel and a small bowl or coffee mug.

If you're doing this at the kitchen sink, just lean forward so your hair is dangling into your large bowl or pot. Take your small bowl or coffee mug and scoop some of the rinse up. Pour it over your scalp and length, making sure to get all of your hair.

You can also choose to recline back (in a bathtub, for example,) and just let your hair soak in the mixture.

I rinse for about ten minutes, then lightly squeeze down the length of my hair. I wrap a towel around my head for a few minutes, then air dry.

I've never personally tried any of these, but I've heard of people doing lavender rinses, walnut hull rinses, violet rinses and chamomile rinses. I almost added lavender to my rinse this evening, but since I've never tried it, I'll wait to do that one on its own.

Always make sure to do a skin test before using herbs (or anything else) on your hair. If using something like walnut hulls, which could darken your color, do a test run on a small patch of hair so you don't end up committed to something you hate.

Final results (still wet):

The rinse was a complete success. My hair was soft and silky and easily combed through, even while dripping wet. This will be a regular treatment from now on.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Movie Hair: Empress Elisabeth

I've been watching period movies pretty much non-stop for the last three days for inspiration for a new hairstyle tutorial.

My favorite thus far was the three part German movie, Sissi, about Empress Elisabeth of Austria. She was known for her beauty and hair. Even today, her hair is a source of interest and hairsperation.

Elisabeth was absolutely stunning and her hair was something to marvel at, even among the many long haired women of her time.

Here's a photo of Romy Schneider as Sisi in the movie (Sissi), for comparison:


I consider myself pretty good at figuring out how to copy hair styles. Watching the movie, Sissi, though, led me to come to the conclusion that there is just no natural way to accomplish her hair styles. Although she had a huge amount of hair, which varied from knee length to ankle over her lifetime, she would need about twice as much hair to accomplish her signature look.

It appears to me that two braids are taken from either side of the head and wrapped in a circlet about her head. The remaining hair was braided into four or five braids. The braids were each draped and pinned at the opposite side of the head. I'm thinking swatches of hair were plaited into each braid to enhance the thickness. I believe she used a snood in a similar color to her hair  to keep the braids together.

If I did this style to my hair, my braids would look puny and thin, even though my hair is pretty thick. Each of her braids was roughly the equivalent of half of my hair braided. For six to seven braids of this thickness would be impossible to achieve naturally.

Elisabeth also didn't dress her own hair. Attempting this style on my own hair would require strategically arranged  mirrors and super strong arms. If I had an army of ladies in waiting, I'll bet my hair would look as awesome.

I'm watching The Crown Prince as I'm typing this, hoping to find more hair styles to attempt to copy. Incidentally, this movie is about Sisi's (that's the correct spelling, by the way. The movie had it wrong.), son, Archduke Rudolf, who apparently killed his mistress, then committed suicide. It is said that the Empress never recovered from the loss of her only son.

Anyone have any period movies I should watch for hairsperation? My only caveats are that I don't use product in my hair, it needs to be something I can do by myself, and I won't be using hair swatches, falls or rats. Anyone?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sale Alert: Ravenslair

Ravenslair is having a two day sale! The sale runs tonight (this morning?) from midnight to July 9th.

This is a "Unicorn's Horn" hair stick and would be absolutely perfect for a chinese bun. The ends are pretty even and it looks pretty sturdy. I've been looking for a pretty solid hair stick for my Chinese buns that aren't huge (the stick, not the buns, of course.)

If you're wondering what the heck a chinese bun is, here's a photo. This is double butch braids into a chinese bun (the hair stick is from Beetnik505, who, sadly, seems to have closed up shop):

The last time Raven had a sale, she sold some of her Texas Twisters. This time, she's done one better. Check it out:

I think with some dangly earrings, these things would be great for wearing during a night out on the town with your significant other (or your lady friends.)

These last ones are really cool. In a way, they remind me of spoons, if that makes any sense. I really love them, and, although I'm trying to be strong, I might end up buying these for myself. They're so unique and just beautiful.

Remember, the sale only runs for two days, so if you see something you like, you should snag it now!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Length Shot and Saggy Pants

I figured it was time for a length shot. I looked at the new photos and could not figure out why my hair looked so much shorter. It finally hit me!

I've been on a diet for almost a month. I've lost a bit of weight. I'm not sure how much exactly (I don't own a scale), but I do know it's probably between 10-15 pounds. My pants are hanging off my butt and it makes my hair look shorter, since the pockets are hanging lower. Maybe it's time for new pants.

I think it's time to re-henna, so I'll be purchasing my custom blend from Nightblooming. The waves are from wearing my hair in a bun for a while. I think they look kind of pretty.

My sister (the hair stylist) is coming to visit in three weeks and I am so excited. This will be her first trip to Hawaii and I know she's amped. I'm going to see if I can get her to put my hair up in some interesting styles to take pictures.  Any requests? I'll see if she'll humor me.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

New Experiment

I'm trying a new experiment.

There are tons of websites that have scanned in old beauty books (really, really old beauty books.) I really enjoy reading through those. Some of the old tips for beauty are just wild and some of the books describe characteristics of people based on their hair color. "Black haired persons are serious, but if they have a widow's peak, they are untrustworthy and not marriage material."

The books contain recipes for hair tonics. The recipes are varied and some contain some pretty gross ingredients. Sheep's urine, animal lard and cooking grease are some of the stranger ingredients. I kind of wonder how one would acquire sheep's urine. 

Anyway, one of those old books swore that a person could stimulate hair growth by pulling their hair. There were pictures accompanying the directions. Basically, you run your fingers through your hair, gently tugging on the strands as you move over your head. The key here is gently.

I looked around on the internet for anecdotes about pulling hair for hair growth. I read that some people put tight cornrow braids in their hair, attempting to promote growth.  Several people swore that cornrows are a great way to make hair grow. I personally think that the growth is just because it's more obvious as braids grow out, not that it's actually growing faster.

There were a few threads on the LHC about hair pulling to promote growth along with various anecdotes about friends who've done it and had hair growth.

Scalp stimulation has long been considered a viable treatment for thinning hair. I figured I'd give it try, for science's sake, of course.

I did it for the first time this morning. My plan is to pull my hair every morning after I get up and comb my hair.  I will say this, it does feel good. If for no other reason, I'll probably keep doing it for relaxation.

And of course, here's my disclaimer: Please do not pull your hair out. If you pull too firmly on your hair, it could come out or you could develop traction alopecia. If it doesn't feel good, you're pulling too hard.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sale Alert: Grahtoe Studios

Yeah, you heard me right- Grahtoe is having a sale! I'm totally excited about this because (if you haven't noticed already,) Grahtoe is my favorite hair accessory maker. I love Grahtoe.

Their beautiful hand mirrors (not the palm sized ones, the larger ones) are 30% off (I've been lusting after those for a while.) They're different looking from regular mirrors, but you can hang them on a hook or nail when you aren't using them.

Just look at that! Absolutely stunning!

Their boxes of snowflakes/stars are $5 off. I was going to buy a box for my mother in law and for my husband (they like snowflakes) for Christmas, but I'm going to buy them now and just save them until Christmastime. I've gotten two snowflakes from Grahtoe and I can tell you, they are delicate and gorgeous. Not one is like the other and they'll look beautiful hanging from our Christmas tree.

While you're stopping into their shop, check out their new line of "hair swords." They're hair sticks shaped and modeled after swords. I've seen ones that have actual blades, but these ones are wood, so they're aren't sharp.

Those are pretty bad ass, if I do say so myself.

One of their most popular items (so far as I can tell, based on long hair gossip,) is their Mermaid's Tail sticks. They're antler hair sticks (no animals were harmed in the making of these. Antlers are naturally shed and collected by people who find them on the ground.) They have a decorative "mermaid's tail" in different kinds of woods. This one is in purple heart wood:

And speaking of Grahtoe, guess what I bought?! I check their Etsy store just about every day, just in case I miss something I have to have. I saw these handbag mirrors and I knew I needed one.

It's a beautiful zebra wood and is so affordable. It fits into the palm of my hand and is perfect for checking out the back of my hair in our bathroom mirror.

Anyway, if you're looking for a unique gift or a new hair accessory, Grahtoe's an awesome Etsyer to check out. They're completely unique, classic and timeless, and just incredibly well made.

Kimi and Stacy are really awesome about custom orders, so if you see something you like, but want something a bit different, they're amazing to work with. You can find their Etsy store here: