no ‘poo no thanks

No, not that kind of poo. I’m talking shampoo.  Have you heard of going no ‘poo?  I’ve been hearing about it for a couple of years on Pinterest and blogs; basically you stop washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner and use other natural options.  There are several methods of doing this but the most commonly talked about one is baking soda and apple cider vinegar.  You “wash” your hair with a baking soda and water solution then rinse and “condition” with a vinegar and water solution.

It had mixed reviews, as most things do, but the majority of people had good results and said if you’ll stick with it through the transition period then your hair will be ah-mazing.

Well, who doesn’t want ah-mazing hair?  And I’m nothing if not up for a a good ‘ol crunchy hippie girl challenge.  So tried it.  For a month.

I started October 7, 2013 (Yes, last fall.  A year ago.  And I’m just now getting around to blogging about it.  Don’t judge.) and I was so optimistic.  I wore my greasy hair in buns, covered it with big headbands, used a DIY dry shampoo, and tried to wait it out until the transition was over.

Well, that never happened for me.

It was bad, y’all.  I’ve always had greasy hair (like, it would start looking greasy less than 24 hours after I washed it) but this was beyond horrible.  My hair felt gummy and gross and looked awful.  My scalp was itchy and flaky so I looked like I had dandruff on top of the nasty grease.

I tried and tried, I really did, but I just couldn’t take it anymore!  One Sunday morning after I “washed” my hair with the baking soda and vinegar then dried my hair to get ready for church I just wanted to cry because it felt and looked so nasty.  I jumped in the shower, re-washed with my old shampoo, and ahhhh…talk about some ah-mazing hair.  After a month of grossness it felt SO wonderful.  (Well, I quit on November 3 so almost a month, but close enough)

I had told very few people that I was doing no ‘poo because I didn’t want everyone to think I was gross.  But after I washed my hair for the first time in a month I got several compliments on it so obviously it didn’t look good while I was doing it if they noticed that big of a difference.

So, would my hair finally have transitioned if I had kept at it?  Maybe.  But honestly after a month of trying I wasn’t willing to keep going.

Would I try it again?  Actually, I might.  Not any time soon, but maybe someday.  I’ve since heard that if you have hard water (and we do) that the apple cider vinegar isn’t the best thing to use so that could have been my problem.  I might just need to tweak some.

Why am I telling you all this?  I have no idea.  I know this works really well for some so I’m not trying to discourage you from giving it a try, I guess I just thought I’d share to show that it doesn’t work for everyone.

After I gave up the No Poo I went back to my conventional shampoo for a while.  I’ve now switched to a natural shampoo and conditioner from Young Living and I think it’s a good balance – better for my hair without quitting cold turkey.  I had a transition period with this but it was very mild and didn’t last nearly as long.  People who don’t like the no ‘poo method often prefer to do “low ‘poo” by using a natural shampoo like I’m doing or trying to shampoo every few days instead of every day (or just washing with conditioner – I’ve heard of that one but I’m not sure how that works exactly).

Here are some pictures from during that time period.  I didn’t get any close ups because I didn’t think about it nor do I think you could really tell anything from a picture.  Looking at these pictures that really don’t look that bad but trust me, in person it looked bad and it felt worse.

IMG_8505 IMG_8493 IMG_8480 IMG_2623

So what do you think?  Have to gone no ‘poo?  Would you try it?

(I’m hoping ‘Becca will weigh in here on why I had such a hard time with no ‘poo, maybe she’ll have some insight.  Of course if any of the rest of you do then please share!)

Jamberry Nails review and giveaway

Jamberry candy chevron and teal polkaCandy Chevron (discontinued) with a Teal Polka accent nail

Have you heard of Jamberry nails?  They are great!

I am not a nail polish girl.  I think polish makes my nails feel weak after I take it off plus I just can’t stand the hassle of painting, making a mess, letting it dry, trying not to mess it up while it’s drying, chipping, etc.  I keep my toes painted all the time but very, VERY rarely paint my fingernails.  It’s been well over a year since I painted my nails.

I started hearing about Jamberry Nails and I’d seen a little bit about them on Facebook but didn’t know what they were exactly.  A few months ago my friend Gina invited me to an online Jamberry party.  I attended, had a lot of fun, played some games, won some free stuff, and purchased some Jamberry nail wraps to try.

Since then, I’ve been wearing my Jams pretty much all the time and Gina loves them so much that she started selling them
(check out her website here)…so we decided to team up and do a giveaway!  Yay!

Jamberry Mad ModMad Mod

So what are Jamberry Nails?  Think fake nails but in sticker form.  They are stickers that are shaped like your nails – you cut them to the length of your nail, apply a little heat, stick them on, do a little filing, and voila…pretty nails.  It really is super easy.  It takes me maybe 15 minutes to do my nails and the best part is that I can stop in the middle if I need to.  There isn’t any drying time so if Hudson wakes up and needs me and I only have two nails done it’s no big deal, I can go back and finish the rest later and I don’t have to worry about the fact that they aren’t dry and might get messed up when I pick him up.

Jamberry black and white polka and bubblegumBlack & White Polka with a Bubblegum accent nail

How do you use them?  I alluded to that in the previous paragraph, but here’s what I do: Buff my nails and wipe with some alcohol to make sure the are clean and smooth.  Cut the Jam to approximately the length of my nail, hold in front of the heater, stick to my nail, smooth down, then file the tips. Jamberry sells an application kit (with scissors, a buffer, nail file, alcohol wipes, etc.) and a heater.  I won the application kit during a party I attended and then Gina was kind enough to send me the heater to use for this review.  I love having the application kit and the heater and I think the heater is definitely easier to use than a hair dryer, however, you totally can still use the nails without having all the Jamberry equipment so don’t let that stop you!

Jamberry application kit and heater

There are bunches of You Tube videos about how to apply your nails and I recommend watching a few of those to see what to do before you start.

How long do they last?  For me, about a week.  I find that after a week my nails have grown so much that there is noticeable (to me, probably not to others) growth at my cuticles and that the ends have started to get a little worn.  But for me a week is plenty and I’m ready to move on to a new pattern anyway, plus that’s still way longer than my polish would have lasted.

Jamberry August hostess specialHere’s one set the day I put them on
Jamberry after one weekAnd then a week later (I just realized I took a picture of the other hand, whoops).  You can see some growth but overall they still look pretty good.

My favorite thing about Jamberry Nails is that I get to enjoy having pretty nails without the hassle of painting or the cost of a nail salon.  Having my nails done makes me feel happy and pretty and put together even on the days that I’m covered in spit up.  I also get to branch out past my normal red or pink polish to fun patterns and colors.  I never thought I’d be a nail girl but now I am and I love them!

Now it’s your turn to try out the Jamberry goodness by winning the giveaway!  One of you will win a $25 product credit to use towards some Jams!  How exciting!

We’re also having an online Jamberry party if you’d like to join us, learn more, play games, and maybe win even more cool stuff!  That’s right, there will be even more giveaways in addition to the one we’re doing here on the blog!  Plus, joining the party will get you more points into the giveaway so definitely do that!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

new mom hair – Lilla Rose review and giveaway

ditch the claw

Hudson is a big time hair puller.  In fact, since he was four days old he’s been grabbing on to and yanking anything he could get his hands on (I learned the hard way and haven’t worn dangling earrings since he was four days old…).  Needless to say, my hairstyle of choice most of the time is up and out of his reach.

That gets pretty boring and usually means a lot of ponytails.  Lots and lots of ponytails.  They’re fast and easy…but not very exciting.  At home I was using a beat up old claw clip to flip my hair up in a twist (hello middle school!) but couldn’t bring myself to wear it out in public so when I went out I mostly stuck to ponytails.

Enter Lilla Rose.

I don’t remember when I first heard about the Lilla Rose Flexi Clip but it’s been quite a while, maybe even a few years ago.  I remember being intrigued but never pursued them any further; then a few months ago I stumbled across them again on Pinterest and really wanted to give them a try.  The Flexi Clip looked like a perfect, updated substitute for my beloved claw clip up do.  I got hooked up with Independent Consultant Linda Sears and she helped me determine what size would be best for me.  I ended up ordering one clip and then she sent me a second one to try so I could write this review and she is also sponsoring this giveaway for one of you lucky readers!  Yay!

I really wanted to be able to wear my hair all the way up and back, so based on the sizing video and Linda’s recommendations I ordered a medium.  There are so many beautiful designs and colors, but I wanted to start out with one that was simple and would match everything so I choose the Celtic knot pattern.

It was perfect!  I wear my hair in a french twist of sorts probably every other day now.  It’s almost as quick as flipping my hair up in a claw but looks much more polished!

And, bonus, it holds so well and is super comfortable.  There have been many days that I have put it up in the morning and basically forgotten about it.  I can go all day being pretty active and not have to re do my hair; in fact, I’ve even taken a Sunday afternoon nap and then gotten up to go to church again that night and not had to fix my hair since it still looked good!  Wow!  My head doesn’t get sore, either.  The Flexi Clip isn’t tight or put pressure on my head like bobby pins or barrettes do so I can leave it in all day and it doesn’t hurt.

lilla rose celtic knot french twistLilla Rose Flexi clip Gibson Tuck

Linda then sent me an extra small to try out so I could so some other hair styles.  The extra small is perfect for a loose half up, a tails up, or a pony tail.  When I first tried putting it on my pony tail I was nervous about how tight it was, but then I realized it needed to be that tight in order to keep the ponytail in place.  It ended up being exactly what I needed!

lilla rose Hawaiian flower half uplilla rose Hawaiian flower ponytaillilla rose Hawaiian flower braidLilla Rose Flexi clip tails up

I just can’t say enough good stuff about Lilla Rose.  I feel much more put together now that I have an alternative for my hair.  I’m able to get it away from Hudson’s grabby hands but not have to wear a boring old ponytail anymore.

Lilla Rose has other products besides just the Flexi Clip.  They have these You-Pins that I really want to try.  My other previous go-to hairstyle (besides the pony tail) was a bun.  My Flexi Clips aren’t big enough to hold my hair in a bun (and I think it would look kind of silly anyway), but the You-Pins look like they would be perfect for my buns so they’re on my wish list to purchase next.   I’m especially crushing on the Sparkling Star and the Open Flower!



They also have some beautiful headbands, hair sticks, and bobby pins.


So….do you want one??  The good news is one of you will win a Flexi Clip of your very own!  Check out the Rafflecopter giveaway below to enter to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win?  Don’t want to wait?  Ready to Christmas shop?  Think you’ll need more than one?  Then go ahead and purchase one (or more!).  Linda has a special for new customers – buy 3 get 1 free.  Grab a variety of sizes to try or buy several to use as stocking stuffers for the girls in your life.

Before you purchase, make sure you watch the sizing video so you know what size you need for your hair type and length.  It is super helpful!  If by chance you order the wrong size, Lilla Rose will gladly exchange your flexi for free within 90 days. There is also a one-year guarantee on defective items.

(Fine Print: Giveaway is open to US residents only.  This giveaway is sponsored by Independent Consultant Linda Sears.  I was sent a Flexi Clip in exchange for my review but all comments and opinions are mine.)

BeBand three ways – Works for Me Wednesday

At the beginning of my pregnancy I bought a BeBand from Target.  A BeBand is basically just a stretchy, spandex-y, tube-top-ish piece of fabric that you can use to extend the life of your pre-pregnancy pants.  The idea is that you leave your too-tight pants unbuttoned/unzipped and then wear this band over it and it holds your pants up (sounds like something I could use more than just during pregnancy!). I used it a few times but didn’t really like it.  It would never stay in place and either rolled up or down and drove me crazy.  I think most of that was due to the fact that my pants were already too tight and pushing their limits even before I gained that first pregnancy pound.  I ended up just moving into maternity pants pretty early and wearing long shirts to cover us the saggy belly/crotch area until my belly filled out enough to actually warrant needing maternity pants. The BeBand went into my drawer for months.  I actually offered it to someone else who was pregnant but she wasn’t interested so I just hung on to it.  I’m glad I did, because as the months went by I found some more uses for it. The second way I used it (the first being for its original purpose) was as a tube top of sorts.  I struggled with so many of my maternity tops being much too low cut.  At the beginning of pregnancy I just layered a tank top underneath to bring the neckline up a little higher.  As my belly grew the tank tops got too tight around the belly.  I wasn’t about to buy a bunch of new tanks though!  One day a thought popped in my head and I grabbed the BeBand and put it on like a tube top.  That worked perfectly!  It covered everything that needed to be covered and raised the neckline, but it didn’t restrict my belly or have annoying straps that kept falling off my shoulders. IMG_8978 I used it as a tube top for several weeks leading up to delivery.  Then after delivery I found yet a third use…as a girdle. You see, after you have a baby your stomach is all loosey-goosey.  It used to have this big baby in there, plus a placenta and fluid and all kinds of other stuff… and now all of the sudden it’s empty.  It just feels weird and it’s hard to stand up straight because all that weight that you were used to carrying around is gone.  I found that in those first few days I much preferred wearing my maternity yoga pants that had a full panel that went over my stomach because that stretch panel gave me a little support and it felt like it was holding my stomach together.  I really wanted to wear all my pajama pants but they were just normal-waisted and didn’t give me any support like the maternity pants. Enter the BeBand. I wore the BeBand around my stomach…not to hold up my pants in this instance, but to hug my tummy just a little bit and give it that extra support.  That way I was able to wear my loose pajama pants.  I only needed it for about a week before that strange empty stomach feeling went away, but it was wonderful to have while I needed it. I had actually considered buying one of those very expensive support girdles for after pregnancy that are supposed to help your stomach shrink back.  I decided it was probably not that effective and didn’t want to waste my money.  I also bought a cheaper post-natal support belt from Motherhood Maternity, but it was too stiff so I took it back.  The BeBand ended up being perfect – it gave me support but wasn’t too tight.  Do I think it helped my stomach shrink?  Probably not (not that the expensive girdles necessarily do either), but it gave me that little extra hug my waist needed. So don’t write off your pants extender after the first few months!  If you’re like me you’ll be able to extended its life (pun totally intended) through your pregnancy and beyond!  Who knows, I might even find more uses for it in the future. Oh and a bonus…this YouTube video shows you how to use two t-shirts and a belly band to make a DIY baby carrier.   Pretty cool.  A fourth use for your belly band! The BeBand (and it’s many uses) works for me! And a Hudson picture…just ’cause he’s cute :). Photo Feb 09, 12 52 28 PMIt’s hard to believe this little guy lived inside my tummy for nine months…no wonder if felt all strange and empty after he was born!

P.S. Come follow My Chocolate Moments over on my new Facebook page!

What I Wore Wednesday

I actually like these outfits for a change!  Dressing my pregnant bump has been challenging in that I don’t usually feel like my outfits are really all that cute.  Mostly as long as they fit and don’t look too tacky or outdated, then I’m satisfied, but I don’t typically look back at pictures and particularly like the way they looked.  The ever changing belly, the clothes that fit one day and not the next, the awkward way the clothes are made in order to accommodate several months of body changes; these things just make it harder to find things that fit well I suppose.

Anyway, this week I had some winners that I’m proud to show off :)

gray maternity sweater26w3d

sweater – Motherhood Maternity
skirt – Motherhood Maternity
boots – Madden Girl via Marshall’s

DIY pumpkin belly maternity shirt26w6d

shirt – Hobby Lobby (jack ‘o lantern face added by me)
jeans – Motherhood Maternity
shoes – Toms

I was inspired by a picture of a shirt that a friend texted me many months ago (I’m sure it’s on Pinterest but I can’t find it right now).  This was so easy to make – I just bought an orange shirt from Hobby Lobby, cut the jack ‘o lantern face pieces out of black felt, and sewed them on with a zig zag stitch.  It probably took less than 30 minutes.  The only think I didn’t like was that because the shirt was just a regular t-shirt and it had to be big enough to fit my belly, the shoulders were way too big.  In hindsight I might have tried to track down an orange maternity shirt so it would fit better, although for one day of wear and less than $4 I can just deal with the big shoulders, huh?

purple and yellow scarf27w3d

shirt – Old Navy maternity
sweater – Limited
scarf – Rugged Wearhouse (aka Gabriel Brothers)
jeans – Motherhood Maternity
boots – Gianni Bini via Hyder’s

Linking up with Lindsey

pleated poppy

What I Wore Wednesday + a Bellaboulie Boutique giveaway!

………………………giveaway is now closed………………….

I am so excited to share a giveaway with you today!  An old friend of mine (that sounds bad…she’s not old, we’ve just known each other since we were little) runs an online boutique called Bellaboulie Boutique.  They sell fun jewelry, accessories, and clothes.  She contacted me to see if I was interested in doing a review and giveaway…ummm, yeah!!  So she sent me a few pieces to try out for myself.  Here’s how I’ve worn them over the past weeks:

to a wedding:

teal Old Navy maternity dress24w2d

dress – Old Navy maternity (buy here)
tank – Gabriel Brothers
boots – Gianni Bini via Hyder’s
necklace – Bellaboulie Boutique

bellaboulie jewel tone statement necklaceI love this Jewel Tone Statement Necklace.  It is perfect for fall!

to church:

pink checked Motherhood Maternity shirt24w3d

shirt – Motherhood Maternity (buy here)
skirt – Motherhood Maternity
shoes – Target
necklace and earrings – Bellaboulie Boutique

bellaboulie monogram initial gold pendantMonograms are hot, hot, hot right now and I was excited to get my very own Monogram Initial Gold Pendant (“K” for my last name, I haven’t changed how I spell Caitlin…just in case you were wondering; although the swirly next to the “K” kind of looks like a “C” anyway so that’s pretty fun)

bellaboulie pearl cluster earringsThese Pearl Cluster Earrings were probably my favorite item – they are just so versatile and can be dressed up or down!

(apologies for the horribly awkward picture of the side of my head)

orange and turquoise fall outfit25w3d

dress – Old Navy
tank – Gabriel Brothers
boots – Gianni Bini via Hyder’s
cardigan – ??

to work:

shades of gray25w5d

shirt – Motherhood Maternity
pants – Gap maternity
shoes – Shoe Carnival
headband – Gussy Sews
necklace – Bellaboulie Boutique

bellaboulie pretty in turqoise necklaceAnd finally, the Pretty in Turquoise necklace.  I was a little unsure of how I would wear this; I thought it was a bit dressy with all the diamonds.  I decided to give a try with a normal work outfit and I thought it turned out great!  Yay for taking fashion risks!

Birds of a Feather Scarf

This beautiful Birds of a Feather scarf is what one lucky reader will win – just recently added to the shop for fall!  You can earn three entries by completing some or all of the Rafflecopter tasks below; I’ll announce the winner on Sunday.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can’t wait to get your hands on some of their yummy items?  From now until October 31, use the word “chocolate” to get free shipping on your order!

Linking up with Lindsey

pleated poppy

What I Wore Wednesday

Fall break really cut in to my blog-worthy-outfits since I spent most of the break at home working hard on the nursery and scrapbooking, but here are a few cute ones (in my opinion at least) from the past few weeks.
flowerdy shirt22w6d

shirt – Old Navy maternity
jeans – Motherhood Maternity
boots – Gianni Bini via Hyder’s

I love these boots so much and want to wear them (it is October after all) but I’ve only gotten a few chances so far.  It’s still just much too warm many days.  Come on cooler fall weather!

black and white stripes and polka dot toms23w1d

shirt – Gap
jeans – Motherhood Maternity
shoes – Toms
necklace – made by me

black and white polkadots23w3d

shirt – Motherhood Maternity
skirt – Motherhood Maternity
shoes – Payless

Remember how a few weeks ago I wore those red shoes and Josiah told me that he liked my “red boots”?  Well, last week he was visiting family and Tiffany said he went into his aunt’s room, got out a pair of her red heels, and said “Look!  Red boots like Missy Caitlin’s!”.  How adorable is he?!?

tan stripes and polka dot toms23w6d

shirt – Motherhood Maternity
long sleeved shirt – Limited
jeans  – Motherhood Maternity
shoes – Toms
owl necklace – Amazon

Linking up with Lindsey

pleated poppy

What I Wore Wednesday

Another Wednesday – time for pregnancy fashion!
teal Old Navy dress22w3d

dress – Old Navy (get it here)
tank – Gabriel Brothers
shoes – Payless

I just got this dress from Old Navy Maternity this week.  It is so soft and comfy, plus I love that teal color for fall!

I’ve reached the point in pregnancy where I no longer feel stable in high heels.  The last time I wore heels to church (that was basically the only time I ever wore them anyway) I felt a little off balance.  I guess my center of gravity is shifting, so for now I’m going to stick to flats.  These shiny red shoes fit the bill of dressy enough for church but still flat and comfy.

puzzle(obligatory cute child picture…)

Funny story about my shoes: after church Josiah bent down, touched the tip of my shoe sweetly, and said “I like your boots, Missy  Caitlin!”.  He was wearing some little cowboy boots and must have thought that mine were boots, too, since the toe was pointy.  Love him and his funny comments!

raspberry top and skinny jeans22w3d

shirt – Motherhood Maternity
tank (underneath) – Old Navy
shoes – can’t remember, but probably shoe carnival

Linking up with Lindsey

pleated poppy

What I Wore Wednesday

It’s finally, finally feeling like fall around here.  I have been waiting its arrival quite anxiously.  Here are some of my transition into fall outfits this week.

skinnies and boots21w3d

jeans – Motherhood Maternity
tank – Old Navy
cardigan – Loft outlet
boots – Gianni Bini via Hyder’s

Oh how happy I was to wear my boots on Sunday!  I love those boots so much but it just been too very hot to wear them so far this year.  I’m ready to add them back into the rotation as the weather cools for sure!

maroon and brown21w4d

pants – Old Navy
shirt – Motherhood Maternity
shoes – Maurice’s

Linking up with Lindsey

pleated poppy

What I Wore Wednesday

We didn’t announce Sweet Baby’s gender until Saturday, so the for rest of the week (like last week) I wore purposefully tricky gender neutral (or both pink and blue) to throw all those outfit analyzers for a loop.

Wednesday: pink tank with blue cardigan

pink tank blue cardigan19w6d

pink shirt – Motherhood Maternity
brown tank underneath – Gabriel Bros
cardigan – Loft outlet
pants – Old Navy maternity
shoes – Crocs

Thursday: blue tank with pink cardigan

blue tank pink cardigan20w0d

tank – Target
cardigan – Loft outlet
pants – Gap maternity
shoes – old, don’t remember where from

Friday: jeans/school spirit day at school so I just wore jeans and a school t-shirt.  No gender-specific (or not specific) outfit needed.  Friday after school, though, we took some gender reveal pictures and here’s what I wore for that little photo shoot.

gender reveal picture20w1d

shirt – Old Navy maternity
tank worn under – Gabriel Bros
cardigan – Loft outlet
jeans – Motherhood Maternity
shoes – old, can’t remember where from

Saturday: gender reveal party day!

white shirt and skinny jeans20w2d

shirt – Old Navy maternity
jeans – Motherhood Maternity
sandals – Target
owl necklace – Amazon ($0.83 as of this posting…yes, that’s 83 cents!)

Linking up with Lindsey

pleated poppy