I'm showering at the Y this morning after running on the treadmill and this is all I need (plus a brush in the car) to get ready for work.

The Cost Of Beauty?

I was no more directly affected by the events of 9/11/01 than any other person in the country. I’ve always felt weird trying to do any special blog entries on the anniversary because I have nothing better to add than the millions who were actually directly affected by having loved ones die, or by living in cities forever scarred by the attacks. So, on the anniversary, I always try to do an act of kindness for every year that has passed since the original event. That’s 14 acts of kindness today that I’ll do deliberately in memory of that terrible day and in honor of all of those who died tragic deaths at the hands of those terrorists. Feel free to steal my idea, as I stole it from someone else almost a decade ago.

SO! I have an interesting parenting situation! Nikki wants a haircut in October (she has to have long hair for an upcoming wedding) that will require a trip to an actual salon. It’s a unique haircut that could go very wrong in the wrong hands, but I have a friend who had something similar done, so I want to take Nikki to her salon to be safe. BUT. That’s a much bigger chunk of money than the standard $20 (that’s including tip) haircut from the walk-in place by Target. Donnie feels like Nikki should pay for the difference and I disagreed at first, but couldn’t really give a good excuse why I disagreed.

The way he looks at it, anything she chooses above the “norm” that we would pay for, for Wesley or E, should cost her money so she’ll understand the cost of it. But, of course, being a girl is just more costly – right? When it comes to hair/makeup? So how do we deal with that in a fair way?

It’s really gotten me thinking a lot because Donnie has a very valid point and there’s no part of me that feels like I should buy her $25 mascara when she starts wearing makeup. But, I also don’t think we should feel like the only “fair” situation is to pay the same amount on her hair/cosmetics as we do Wes’s b/c I don’t think that’s reasonable.

But should it be?

We’ve come to a good compromise for this one situation because I am having such a hard time coming up with a good reason that isn’t, “But she’s a girl! That’s different!” Because – you know – what if Wes decided he was going to show some of his fem side and wanted to wear makeup, we’d have to buy his if we buy hers, right? So how do we keep it fair and not just fall back on, “Being a girl is more expensive!” because that’s not really fair, is it?

Where we’ve kinda settle for now (and several people on twitter chimed in to say this is kinda how they do it or how it was for them) is we will pay for more than we would with Wesley…within reason. Like, when she starts wearing makeup, we don’t want her necessary buy cheap stuff because she has to buy it herself, so – at least in the beginning – we’ll help out with the basics. We’ll help out with skincare. We’ll help pay for salon cuts if she needs a salon, but she has to help too. But bonus stuff, trendy makeup or hair accessories or colors or style? That will all be 100% on her.

The funny thing is that, over the past year? Donnie has probably spent more on haircuts than I have. Mainly because I’ve been growing my hair back out, so it’s not been trimmed in probably a year. Whereas Donnie has gone to one of those upscale barber shops once using a gift card I gave him, and once on his own dollar. So I’ve had zero haircuts, he’s paid for 1. Also – I don’t use any shampoo and I use Suave conditioner and some other basic brand of hair gel. (Treseme? Maybe?) I probably spend $20 max on hair/makeup/skincare/nails a month. MAX. Probably actually $10-$15, I’m just rounding up. So, Donnie definitely has a distorted sense of what the “average” woman spends.

I'm showering at the Y this morning after running on the treadmill and this is all I need (plus a brush in the car) to get ready for work.

I’m showering at the Y this morning after running on the treadmill and this is all I need (plus a brush in the car) to get ready for work.

SO! Here’s my questions for you:

  • How do you make it “fair” with growing boys and girls with how much you spend on hair/makeup/skin care for a girl?
  • If you’re a girl – how did your parents handle it? Or if you had a sister? My Dad bought me the very VERY basics but I didn’t really understand it so I doubt that was a lot of money. I think I mostly just got my Mom’s makeup that she bought and decided she didn’t like.
  • As an adult woman – how much do you spend monthly hair/nails/skin/makeup? This includes pedicures, hair cuts, moisturizer…everything. Everything that a male your age might NOT spend money on? Because I’m also trying to give my husband a better idea of what “average” is.
  • Finally: Haircuts/colors etc, are those line items in your budget? Because they aren’t in ours since it’s not consistent. I never go, Wes often can get his cut by Donnie when he’s getting buzz cuts, and Nikki obviously usually only gets trims. So it’s just periodic costs so it can go in the $50/month “miscellaneous” category. BUT – obviously if anyone got their hair cut at a salon professionally every six weeks, we’d probably need a line item for it.

Achievement Level: Nude Bra

No one should wake up at 3am on Labor Day.

This was what was going through my head at 3am this morning. I am going into work today because I have a lot of catch-up to do from last week and the office will be nice and quiet, but I don’t have to get there by 7am like I normally do, and was kinda hoping to run first so…

No one should wake up at 3am on Labor Day.

I tossed and turned for awhile thinking about financial collapses caused by hackers, apocalypse-causing viruses, and being trapped on Mars…


Finished watching: Mr. Robot
Finished reading: Station Eleven
Currently reading: The Martian

I dozed of for awhile trying to do that whole “relax every part of your body starting with your toes” thing that sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t, and finally got up for the day at 5am.


IMG_9491I did two amazing things this weekend. First? I took an idea I saw somewhere on the interwebs and made it even better. I saw a closet-door shoe holder used to hold water bottles, but I modified it a bit to also hold things like our blinky lights or headlights or running gels and water bottle holders. (Click the picture to see it bigger.) We have cabinets for our bottles but they take up a lot of space so this clears up some of that space and then puts the gels and the blinkies all close to the bottles which makes more sense than keeping everything in different places.


IMG_9508The second amazing thing I did was BUY A NUDE BRA.

Here’s the thing. Every time we have to get dressed up for something I have various panic attacks over what to wear or how to wear makeup. (I own mascara which I wear regularly and some eyeliner that I always TRY to wear on special occasions but never quite get it right. AND I OWN NO OTHER MAKEUP.) Sometimes I panic over what purse to carry (my normal purses are very utilitarian) or how to fix my hair (my hair is so variable based on the weather) but it is NEVER EASY. This weekend we were going to a wedding and Donnie bought a suit and looked amazing which put all sorts of pressure on me.

I can’t have you looking like a damn magazine cover and me looking like the schlumpy girl who lives under the bridge and talks to pigeons.

I found some clearance jewelry and shoes and a non-clearance blouse I kinda liked to go with a skirt I had but the blouse was sheer and I have never ever owned a nude bra.

Full-disclosure: I wear sports bras 95% of the time. I only wear “regular” bras with certain dresses where the straps of the sports bra don’t work right. I HATE REGULAR BRAS.

But – this was sheer and you’d be able to slightly see anything I wore under it so I needed it to NOT be obviously a sports bra and it needed to be as close to my skin color as possible. So, at age 40, I bought my first ever nude bra.

This feels like something I probably should have always had as an adult female but…you know…I still have free-range eyebrows (“Free-Range Eyebrows” – the title of my upcoming memoirs.) and don’t own high heels so I tend to march to the beat of my own female drummer.

I felt very proud! Think of all of the outfit possibilities there are out there waiting for me now that I own a nude bra! THE WORLD IS MY OYSTER.

I know it’s hard to surpass my amazingness this weekend, but did you come close? I mean – maybe not “Nude Bra” close…but “Organizing Running Gear” close? My awesomeness is a little unattainable by most standards.


Color Me Jealous

Nikki hates her long her. She loves it when she wants to have it to do fun stuff with, but 9 days out of 10 she hates brushing it and dealing with it and puts it up in a ponytail almost every day.

She’s in a wedding in October, so she was thinking we could cut it shorter now, and it will grown out for a fun style in October. It would give her a little bit of a break, but still give us hair to play with for the wedding. BUT! Before we did that, I suggested we put some fun color tips in it for a little while!

I spent yesterday morning reading articles and watching YouTube videos about dip-dyeing hair. I wasn’t too worried about screwing it up since A) It’s not permanent and B) We’re chopping it off anyway.

IMG_5475We set out yesterday morning after the ice melted on the streets and she picked out her color at Sally’s Beauty Supply. I made her get Manic Panic because I have experience with that stuff (20 years ago) and I know it washes out/fades over time.

We came home and went to work. I broke her hair up into 8 tiny ponytails and put rubberbands at the same height on all of them. I painted almost to the rubberband and then cut that off and “twisted” the top part of the dye so that the border wasn’t a straight line. That part was a little wonky because my “twisting” got a little bit of dye on a few strands higher up than I wanted, but over all it was a great technique to make sure there were straights lines on each ponytail that wouldn’t match up across her hair.


She SCREAMED when she saw it, she was so excited. She’s not much of a hair person but she just kept looking at it all day and freaking out about how much she loved it. It’s not perfect, if you look too close it’s obvious it was done by an amateur, but considering I am an amateur, I thought it turned out great.

I’m going to take pictures of it as it washes out to see how long it takes to fade so we’ll know for future reference because she is loving this so much I know she’ll want to do it again!





I did it! I chopped off my hair! And now I have to shower every day and I’m kinda pissed about that!

I had become a bit apathetic about my hair in the last year or so. 99% of the time I wore it in a bun, which meant I didn’t always have to shower as a dirty bun looks the same as a clean bun.


If you’ll recall – I stopped using shampoo in my hair with any regularity in 2003. That decision right there made my curls SO MUCH MORE AWESOME. Which means, when I fix my hair, I really like it. And all it takes to “fix” my hair is to get out of the shower after a good conditioning, and put gel in it. That’s it! Nothing else!

Yet…STILL…I was too lazy to do that many mornings. So, it went back in a bun. 5-6 days out of 7. I decided a while back that a short hair cut would FORCE me to spend more time on my appearance, something I needed to do. I just needed to decide how short, and what style I needed. Once I decided? BAM! I went Friday and chopped it ALL OFF!

I am happy with it, I am! But, I am still inherently lazy. So, you know, I miss having the option to just throw it back in a bun and say, “SCREW IT.”

It’s not quite long enough to put in a ponytail, but pigtails work on a run, as long as I use a headband to keep the front parts out of my face. I think I could probably french-braid it, but I haven’t tried yet.

The last time I had short hair was 1998 or so. I figured I’ll keep it short for a bit, maybe get it cut again before E’s graduation, but I’m certain I won’t keep it short forever. The Lazy is too strong of a force to battle and – while I hope styling it on a regular basis instills better habits – I still really need to be able to just throw it back regularly.

But for now? It’s fun! (Other than the new look when I wake up in the mornings. That’s a bit scary.) I’m going to play with it as much as possible while I have it. And then I’m going to grow it out and put back up in a bun for the next 10 years.


Help Me Hide My Ugly Toes

Summer is Here and I Have Ugly Feet

There was a time, many moons ago, where someone told me, “You have really pretty feet…and I usually think all feet are ugly.”

I took that as a major compliment! I never even got regular pedicures or anything…those beautiful feet were all natural, baby.

Then I learned a hard lesson last year when I started running regularly – I’m prone to the dreaded BLACK TOENAIL. Now, I had actually lost toenails before on hikes so I knew this was something I was susceptible to. But it turns out that when you run at least 100 miles a month, it’s even more common. I did ditched a pair of shoes that weren’t quite big enough (those of us prone to the black toenails really have to heed the advice of getting running shoes half a size bigger than you feel like you need them) and as long as I keep my toenails trimmed before all of my super-long runs, I’m usually okay.

But – it still happens sometimes if I forget. I currently have one big toenail that FINALLY fell off and is only grown back about halfway right now. (SEXY!) One of my smaller toenails is black and I’m waiting for it to fall off any day. And then during my 10-mile race 2 weeks ago – I forgot to trim the toenails and I think I have THREE black nails from that. It’s hard to tell yet, but I think I’ll lose three of them.

In other words, I’m down to FIVE normal toenails.

In other words, my feet are HIDEOUS.

So…um…what do I wear during the summer?

I wore my red TOMS the majority of last summer but they only go with so much of my wardrobe and they’re not the best shoe to wear all the time since there’s not a whole lot of support to them. I just feel like I need a variety or my feet start hurting. Now, I rotated between 2 pairs of boots all winter, so I don’t need that much of a variety – but I would like something else to wear during the summer. Are TOMS my best option? Do you have cute summer shoes that would cover my toes? My requirements are: A) No heel and B) Casual.

I may just break down and buy another pair of TOMS, but I’m just curious if there are other Summery Shoe options for those of us wanting to hide our toes. If you have any ideas, share them with me and my ugly feet please. THANKS!