Dry Shampoo & Daytime Workouts: A Love Story

I don’t know if I’m severely behind the curve here, but I just discovered dry shampoo. The daytime workout game has totally changed for this curly girl.

As I’ve discussed here, I have thick, naturally curly hair. I workout at work. In the summer, that meant getting to work early & showering here. In the winter months, it means fitting it in at lunchtime and rearranging my showering schedule to accommodate. It also means that if I skip a workout bc I don’t feel like it I have to walk around all greasy and gross bc I didn’t shower OR workout.

Wait, that’s not cool.

Enter: dry shampoo. I grabbed it after my stylist told me all about it during my last cut. (I like it, but having impulse bought it at a salon… well, I’m quite sure there are more affordable and equally good options out there. That said, I’m not even gonna bother with a shout out to the brand.) Like any curly girl product, make sure it’s sulfate and silicone free & you’re set. It basically soaks up oils (sweat in my case) that might require me to wash my hair more frequently. My stylist told me that dry shampoo has been around for a while and they would often use it for the elderly & bed-bound folks who couldn’t get baths/showers as often as they needed to. (Sounds good, she also has custom made gas masks for her dogs in the case of the apocalypse, so, you know, grain of salt or whatever.) It essentially makes it so that instead of showering (or rinsing and having to redo my hair), I can do dry shampoo.

So, here’s how I use it. Let’s use today as an example.

I woke up & showered at home. This is a daily thing, I’ve stopped the “I’ll just shower at work and hope I don’t skip my workout” mess. I know you’re all proud of me for showering daily. Thank you. I feel like I’ve come so far.

I went for a run and then did at body sculpting class. The combo wasn’t intense the whole time, but I was my fair share of sweaty. When you have thick, course hair like mine, it holds the sweat in the hairs right by the scalp. Before, that meant it’d dry then have sort of oily and greasy looking roots.

So, today. after my workout, I pulled out my pony tail and blew it dry for a minute or so. I sprayed dry shampoo on the “wet” parts (that had been mostly dried) and scrunched it back up. I’m sitting here with hair that looks more or less the same as it did going into my workout.

Sometimes easy solutions fall in my lap. I think I’m in love with dry shampoo.



Sending Love to Mom-Mom

This post isn’t about me, or my birthday, or cancer. It’s about my mother-in-law, my husband’s mother and my child’s grandmother. We love her, she’s so important to all of us and she’s having what I can only assume is one of the toughest days of her life today.

She was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 2007, and underwent treatment (Intensive Interferon) in the summer of 2008. We were sad to hear the news a few weeks ago that… it’s back. Today she’s having a procedure done that essentially pumps her leg full of chemo (my words, if you want the sciency/real info, check this out.) Worth noting: it says 60% of patients don’t get the cancer again. While we know there are no sure things in cancer (or… life), we’re very, very hopeful about this procedure.

Though I bash them frequently, I think I actually started a prayer chain on Twitter. There’s a first. 🙂 And I think all of my friends who were thinking of us today and will continue to as Mom-Mom recovers.

There are a lot of unknowns ahead, and we’re even more helpless than we’d otherwise be since we’re stuck 450 miles away in NC. We’re sending all our thoughts, prayers and positive recovery energy to Mom-Mom, knowing recovery from the surgery will be tough, but not tougher than she is.

We love you, Mom Mom, and we’re sending all our love.

You can follow her journey and recovery here.

Whatcha reading?

Weekends are becoming more what they should be around here lately: relaxing. We still have lots to do (soccer practice, and also a crapton of leaves to take care of. Yay Fall.) but we are able to fit relaxation and fun in.

For me, that means reading! And not only audio books (like it was for the past few months), REAL BOOKS. It’s exciting, and this year I’ve developed the habit of diving in to several all at once. At the moment I’m reading…

A Storm of Swords (GOT Book 3): I’m listening to this one, because I’m a huge baby/whiner about how long they are, and was getting bitter about how much reading time it was soaking up. Well, trading that in for a cool 47 hours of listening… I guess it’s a win? It’s a great book, and I’ve slowed down how much I’m listening.

One for the Books by Joe Queenan: I impulse bought this one after hearing an interview with him on NPR. He’s a brash Philadelphian (his accent was part of the appeal, though it’s not *pleasing* in the widely understandable way that, say, a Southern accent is, something about it makes me miss home.) He’s an author, but this book is about how much he reads (150ish books/year). His reading habits are nothing like mine and at times he is annoyingly flippant about books I like, but it’s making me think and sort of rededicate myself to reading more.

Catcher in the Rye: I am not quite sure why, but I feel it’s time to reread this one. It’s one I’ve read 3 times now, and I’m super excited to crack it open again. I have the copy I read in high school & I was really into underlining stuff and writing in books then. I continued that tradition and it’s sort of a whole different experience each time I read it, and funny to see how time changes what parts speak to me. The first time I fell in love with it (the second time I read it- first time I didn’t really get it, I think), I was 2 days into studying abroad in Ireland (10 years ago… how can that be?) Something about it, even though it’s not about being a stranger in a strange land or any of the things I was feeling, takes me back to those feelings. I’m pretty excited to re-re-re-reread it.

Oh, and I am sort of slowly making my way through Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake because I love Anna Quindlen (or bc you know, I am secretly 20 years older than I’ve been letting on?), and Showstoppers! for work, as a writing style to strive for in our next book. I get to read a book for work, that’s pretty cool, right? (It’s pretty geeky though.) Scott and I started listening to Paterno on the way home from DC the other weekend and we’re going to listen together on roadtrips. Really, really loving it so far, and I think most Pennsylvanians/Penn State fans would!

And, I promised myself I wasn’t going to flake out on book club for next month, so I will read the Wedding Gift next! Promise!

The Post-Election Post ( in which I don’t gloat)

I know this viral 30 days of thankfulness thing is going around FB and the social Interwebs. It’s not the worst thing I can think of, but sometimes it does come off as… IDK, bragging? I won’t give you a list of how perfect my kid and husband are or all of the things I have. But, running the risk of being “unoriginal” in November, I have a sort of overwhelming feeling of gratitude today, mostly relating to yesterday’s election and the results.

Spoiler: My gratitude is not (very) politically divisive.

I’m thankful to live in a country where we all can vote. Women, minorities, any citizen. I’m proud that 69% of my state voted, and that I don’t know of anyone who didn’t vote. I’m proud to include my daughter in this tradition and am excited to continue to teach her about her civic duty.

I’m thankful for the progress this country voted for yesterday. Gay marriage, marijuana legalization, openly gay senator, more women in the US Senate than ever before… Americans are becoming more open minded. And voting down crazy pants men with terrifying opinions on abortion and rape that have no business being legislated. *fist bumps all around on that*

I’m really thankful for social media. Last night as results came in, and even more so, during the 3 intense Prez debates… it was the perfect mix of substance, snark and humor that balanced out the tension. I’m happy to have a place to go to share opinions without losing friends for them. (That’d be Twitter, not Facebook. I most definitely have burned bridges on Facebook… but that’s a whole ‘nother story.)

And I’m thankful to have a husband I can high five when we finally received the “Obama Wins” headline late last night. I’m not a gloating type, and I truly DO empathize with Romney’s die hards. I was that distraught in 2004. *Clinton lip bite* I feel your pain. I’m more thankful to have a husband I can rant with, discuss issues with and who is engaged in politics too. And extremely thankful we agree (most of the time.)

I’m (mostly) thankful it’s over. I won’t miss the election, or the Facebook and Twitter promoted stuff (which, since we hardly watch TV sort of replaces negative ads for me), but I will look forward to the tell-all postmortems! When does Game Change 2 come out?

MCM: I’m ready.

I’m sitting in our darkened hotel room (or, as Margo’s calling it, the “showtell” room… lolz.) and Scott and Margo are napping. We had a wonderful morning, great DC fall weather & pictures, awesome time at the museum. I’m quietly looking at some weather, maps, huffington posts in the dark…

And then it hit me. I’m ready. I really, really am. I spent all day Thursday mulling over the stupid weather and stuff out of my control. I just spent a great day with my family and then it hit me: I got this. I am ready. I’m less stressed today than I have been in weeks, like some sort of zen has descended on me. It’s nearly go time and I’m so alright with that!

Maybe it is that we’re here, in this hotel full of runners, in a city full of runners. Everywhere I look, it’s families with one parent walking around in sneakers and jeans (seemingly the uniform of marathoners in the days before the race.) Maybe it’s the exhaustion of having to do so much to get there & I’m just ready to have it be that time already; so much lead up gets old. I’m so tired of this forecast going back and forth, I’ve decided it just doesn’t even matter.

And when I decided that, I knew I’m totally ready. It can do whatever, but it won’t rob me of my joy in running my first marathon, among a field of 30,000 others who have put in the same amount of sacrifice. I think about how much I’ve given to this training, and multiply it by 30,000. Amazing. No matter what, it’s gonna be great. Sandy can do whatever she wants, I have rain gear.

They just don’t *get* me.

Do you ever feel like you have certain groups of people where you keep saying things that…aren’t representative of you?

I do. It’s my neighbors.

We live in a really awesome neighborhood, full of older homes and “mature” landscaping. Around here, that means it’s “transitional,” in that half of the owners are the old jerks who paid $67,000 for their 2500 sf home (or, “original owners” being the nicer way to say that.) They’re not really jerks, they’re just in a different stage of life, not really “friend” material. The other half are folks with kids. For whatever reason, we’re finally getting out more, going for family walks and have started socializing in the streets. It’s exciting; I have felt that *knowing* our neighbors was something missing for us. And they have kids moderately close in age to Margo, so that’s an awesome perk.

But, it’s weird. I keep feeling pigeonholed by the random questions they ask me and the lack of time/ability to explain myself or even be myself. Some of that is the kids’ fault; hard to see a convo thru when boys are playing in the street and crashing bikes into each other. And I sorta get stuck in these odd conversations and get one weird question and no time to clarify. I’m frustrated, and they think I’m too young, pregnant/anti-alcohol and/or politically ambivalent and a prude. I’m MAYBE one of those things, (if you think 30 is young.)

Like, Friday night there was an impromtu gathering in someone’s driveway. BYOB, kids play till bed, music in the garage. Fun stuff. Well, it devolved into ladies/men groups. The lady group was talking about books, and I’m like “ooo! This is my convo!” Then, of course, 50 Shades comes up and they’re all “did you/didn’t you read it” and asked me. I can’t lie… so I said that yeah, I read half of it and couldn’t finish. Then they sorta brushed me off, and I was left feeling like an illiterate prude. I’m NOT!

And then they’re like “do you want a beer?” I didn’t, I was running 8 miles the next day, and had one with dinner (which was sorta pushing my limit) “No thanks.” “Aw, are you sure!?” *look at me like I’m crazy*

Sigh. I’m  not crazy. And also? It’s okay if someone doesn’t want to drink. It’s ok! There are many, many reasons that someone might not drink and it doesn’t (shouldn’t) need explained. Anyway, now they think I’m pregnant and/or one of those judgey non-drinkers. I keep thinking it would be a good entree into mentioning I’m running a marathon, maybe give them a sense of something I *do* like, you know, proactively… but alas, not yet.

Then there was talk of someone’s birthday. “How old are you, Jamie?” 30 – “oh…” no “oh you’re so young, but dude, I’m 13 years younger than at least one of them. And frankly, the 15 year old daughter of one of them? I had the best convo with her. The more I think about the awkwardness we’ve been experiencing, perhaps the age gap IS the bigger issue.

Then, THEN!, politics comes up. I want to vanish. I have a dumb democrat (meaning she kinda sorta knows the issues, but won’t stand by any statement and follows everything up with some hedge to negate her statement like “but all politicians are liars,” or “but I don’t really know, I disagree with other parts of the democratic platform”) and a financially motivated republican who proclaims proudly she doesn’t like him, but she’d “vote for Mitt twice just for no capital gains tax.” Huh. I’m not TOUCHING this. And so I get to listen to this inane political back and forth, trying not to agree too arduously with stupid dem. I’m just getting to know these ppl, I don’t want to be defined by my politics (a problem “Don’t touch my capital gains” lady doesn’t seem to share.)

I actually got up and joined the men at that point. Margo had a good time, and once the lady chat broke up it bounced back a little. I was just left feeling misunderstood and sorta misjudged. They’re nice people, there’s nothing malicious about any of it, but I just don’t feel like I’m able to accurately portray myself in these weird social situations. I don’t really know how to remedy it either… since it seems to compound on itself and I’ll probably be more awkward next time. Humph.

Curly Hair Control: I Haz It.

I have to give Margo all the credit for making me “go there” and start dealing with my hair. I was sort of complacent, not really in control of my hair but you know, wearing ponytails and having a good hair day maybe once every 2 weeks. Margo has my curly hair and I feel obligated to not have her walking around all frizzy and crazy. Toddler curly hair is adorable and crazy.

So, my friend Suzi sent me this link which got the ball rolling, a blog post about the Curly Girl Method. I haven’t read it (or really much beyond this post). But I’ve made a bunch of changes over the past few weeks and feel really positively about my hair. And maybe this sounds overly dramatic and self-important or something, but it’s a good feeling to know how to do your hair. I think most people know how to do their hair, and I might have thought I did, but now I know I know. (I am going to win some “Confusing Sentence Structure Award on that…)

New Habits

(Sorry, creepy Selfie was the best pic I had. & I fought with my computer & wordpress for like 10 min to get a pic of my crap “before” hair and gave up. Just use your imagination.)

1. Wide tooth comb, not brush.
2. Cease and desist washing. This is a toughie, and I’ll be honest, I’ve always had a flake issue so quitting shampoo was… daunting. In the blog post linked above, she mentions conditioning your scalp. You guys… that makes all the difference. The Curly Girl Method advocates no washing ever, but I’ve cut back to once a week, with lots of scalp conditioning and no flakage. It’s miraculous. I just use my regular conditioner, though they do say “no phosphates” or whatever.

Oh, one thing with this I haven’t figured out/researched is how to deal with chlorine. If I swim (which, between working out and going recreationally, is a few times a week lately), I pretty much have to wash it bc of the amount I pay for highlights & chlorine’s ruthlessness. So only in the past week or so has that thrown off my hard-line once a week rule. I’m not sure if you can do anything about that…Any help there?

3. Still loving the Kinky Curly Leave In Conditioner
4. Drying my hair with a tshirt. I’m not sure what it is about this, drying with a scrunching motion. Works wonders!
5. Cutting back on blow drying. Often I’ll just do a few minutes to sort of get it started and roll in to work with sorta wet hair. Not sure how that’ll translate when it gets cold, but we’ll figure that out. For now, blow drying sucks anyway so I’m cool with this change!

Any other Curly Girl tips I should try or that I missed?