In February, for Zach’s birthday, we decided to fly out to his favorite place, Utah. Rad had two flights under his baby belt (one trip, but that’s still two flights in my mind) and with having seen how that experience unfolded, I wasn’t too anxious about traveling with our little tot. I was anxious about the fact that we had all been blasted by a horrible stuffy sinus cold for the preceding two weeks but with us all essentially on the mend and with dry, clear, fresh air ahead, I also knew that if anything we would be feeling better, not worse, once we landed.
And feeling better we did. The sun was shining and the temperature was nearing 60. Completely unexpected. We were instantly swept up in the feeling of vacation, of not being home, of – can we live here?
Unsure if I had properly packed and looking wonderfully disheveled we made our way to arrivals. Our beautiful friend Stephanie was picking us up at the airport. Stephanie’s hair is the hair I always saw on American girls from my Canadian television set. Hair that is golden and flowing and shiny and wavy. Hair that looks glamorous down and fun and spunky up. I would love this hair. But, as my close girlfriends can attest to, I intermittently owned and sporadically use a brush or comb and with my natural-products ways, I struggle to find decent hair care. Summertime is fine – I let it do its thing. Quick shampoo, air dry in the sun. I get nice waves (and quite a few tangles.) In winter though, my hair is a sad, limpy mess. Static. Heavy. Which is precisely how it looked when we landed in Utah from our dry, chilly Ohio. I had it pulled up into a bun, and that is where I planned to leave it until day two of our visit when Stephanie suggested making an appointment with her hairdresser at Lunatic Fringe. (No, she didn’t actually take one look at my hair and say, “Oh, my goodness, you need…” Zach had actually mentioned it first.)
It was a luxurious morning. I relished being primped. (Yes, I know – everyone else is thinking, it’s just a haircut, but for me this is a rare treat.) And as my hairdresser was styling away, we got to talking about me being a new mom. I brought up how ashamed I was that my hair had taken the back burner and more often than not was stylishly propped on top of my head in a messy, stringy bun. His reply was how he finds it incredible that he sees plenty of new moms who still have really great hair. The response made me feel incredibly lame. If there are moms out there doing this, and doing it fabulously well, is this something I need to up my game on?
After I left, I thought it over. Honestly, I could keep going on with a bun – it’s par for me anyway. But, it doesn’t have to be a messy, stringy bun. I had also hawk-eyed how he blew out my hair because to have it shiny and wavy like that even once every couple of weeks would be glorious. Yet, I did decide not to feel so bruised about it. Yes, there are girls who take the time to wash (!) and dry their hair regularly. Style it. Use deliciously effective products. But, I told myself, that’s the thing they are choosing to do instead of another thing. Like, every minute is taken up in a new parent’s life, right? So, if I do my hair, then I just wouldn’t fold laundry that morning (or, y’know, some sort of give and take.) So, I have decided, while I won’t be following the sweet hair braiding tutorials on YouTube that reside in my here-is-what-I-wish-for world, I have determined that it feels good to at least look presentable (we are so sad sometimes, new mommas, so sad with the sentences that can find their way out of our mouths or onto a page…) I will by goodness fold the clothes tomorrow and instead today run a comb through my hair, spritz a finishing spray and maybe even take out that hairdryer for a smooth finish.
(Or, you know, because it’s summer now, I suppose I could just take the laundry outside and air-dry these frizzy, dazzling locks in the warm sun.)
Favorite New Momma Beauty Picks:
COOLA Environmental Repair Plus Clear Recovery Foam Wash: You have one hand holding your baby on your hip/or on counter? Fine! The other free hand can pump a handful of this velvety soft foam cleanser, rub it into cheeks and chin, turn tap on, splash, splash, splash, dry. Ta-Da!
GloNaturals Organic Argan Oil: I sure love Josie Maran’s but this one is way more affordable, and so I switched!
Acure Organics Eye Cream: Nice and light. I use it all over my décolleté as well!
COOLA Mineral Face SPF 30 Sunscreen Matte Tint, Unscented: This has the lightest, most soft texture. The color was perfect for my skin tone (see above photo of me for comparison) and the matte finish isn’t dull at all – it just makes every inch of skin look wonderfully airbrushed. Sure, why not.
Purity Cosmetics 100% Pure Black Tea Pigmented Ultra Lengthening Mascara: Smells like blueberries! For real. Does a nice job making my lashes pop, too.
Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company Honey Butter Lip Balm: Locally produced and I am lucky for it. A nice little pick me up for my lips and smells lightly sweet.
The Honest Company Organic Lip Balm Trio: I stock up on these and leave at least one in each bag and strategically placed in various spots in the truck! Balmy lips are an instant way to wake up your face in a pinch.
Waxelene – Hand moisturizer, lip gloss, anywhere baby’s body needs it – this is a workhorse in my house. And a jar lasts forever.
Nubian Heritage Mango Hand Cream: Smells like a creamsicle. Enough said.
Kinky Curly Curling Custard: Keeps that frizz in check.
DIY Dry Shampo (http://theeverygirl.com/how-to-make-your-own-dry-shampoo-and-how-to-use-it) First time I used this in my hair, here is what happened – a) It worked like a dream b) I was walking to my car after work, passing through an alleyway that backs up to a hotel which usually smells like a dry cleaners and all I could smell were freshly baked cookies. I was so joyous that the smell had changed! Then, the smell lingered, all the way to the inside of my car. I was like – why do I smell like fresh baked cookies?! And then it dawned on me – I had a head full of deliciously sweet cocoa powder.
Habit Nail Polish: Colors are stunningly rich.
American Apparel Head Bands: Those days when you are out of your DIY Dry Shampoo and you really need to get out of the house without a shower or you just can’t stand to pass a mirror in your home with your hair’s current state? That’s what these are for. I have a plethora of colors.
Happy Momma Spray: When I was newly pregnant my editor had received a Earth Mama sample bag and I was the lucky recipient. This spray is for queasy tummies and I didn’t have any morning sickness so I hadn’t thought to use it. But, the other day I was super tired and hitting that 3:00 p.m. wall and I was rooting around my basket of beauty products, doing some spring cleaning and read, “Happy Momma.” I was like, yeah I’m going to spritz this around my whole self right now. And, now every day it’s a little go-to. Because, it’s the little things.