Hair Care and Baking Soda

Baking soda has seemingly endless uses, particularly in regards to cleaning. Used alone, or combined with other ingredients (such as white vinegar or lemon juice), it is not only versatile, but naturally effective.

baking soda shower
Image Source

Aside from a zillion household uses, baking soda works GREAT as a “shampoo.” My roots get incredibly oily. In between traditional shampoo washes, I love to use baking soda. It’s a super simple and super cheap option that really works for me.

Steps:

  • make a paste out of baking soda and water
  • wet hair
  • sing a little tune
  • apply baking soda paste to roots (I definitely avoided the ends as mine need all the moisture they can get; sometimes I’ll condition just the ends at this point, too.)
  • rinse with water (or apple cider vinegar for extra shine!)
  • air dry (I feel like blowdrying would be too harsh.)

In the shower, after rinsing, my hair feels very rough/dry, but after it dries the texture is wonderful. The baking soda seems to dry up the excess oil in my roots and, perhaps my most favorite part, it adds some great volume to my flat, fine hair.

Have you used baking soda to wash your hair?
Did you like the result, or have a bad experience?

Photo Diary: Pisa, Italy (Summer 2013)

Unfortunately, I only spent a few hours in Pisa. It was summer aka incredibly hot and crowded. I wasn’t a fan of the city, granted I didn’t see much of it. The “day” trip over from Florence, where I was studying, was rushed….. my roommate was flying out of Pisa headed for Paris, so I tagged along to see the Torre pendente di Pisa (Leaning Tower of Pisa). We took a bus from Florence to the Pisa airport, then a bus from the airport to the tower complex. Sadly, no one really pays any attention to the cathedral or the baptistry. I really wanted to go inside both, but like I said, the trip was rushed – roommate had to catch a flight, and I needed to get back to Florence for something that seemed more important (although I can’t remember what that was anymore). The second time I was in Italy (October/November 2014), I skipped Pisa. Maybe the next time around I’ll spend more time there to get a better sense of the city, away from the ultra touristy locations.

Here’s a small photo diary
of the couple hours I spent in Pisa
(aka just in the Piazza del Duomo)…

(Click photos to view their captions and in full size.)

Have you been to Pisa? Did you have a chance to get away from the touristy locations?

One garment, thirty ways.

Versalette vs Hipknoties

I recently found a piece of clothing that is very versatile called the Versalette, a “one size fits all” garment which can be worn 30 (yes, THREE ZERO) ways. While this garment is pretty badass, it’s $110. I don’t have that kind of money lying around to spend on such an item. Well, luckily I am apart of a wonderful group on facebook for female solo travelers. I posted the Versalette to see what my fellow sisters thought and it turns out there’s a very similar, more affordable product called Hipknoties, which sell for $60-75. The Hipknoties come in three lengths: mini (32 inches), midi (44 inches), and maxi (60 inches). Each length is still one size fits all and there are endless color options. The Versalette has only one length and three colors.

While I am not able to compare these garments side by side by trying each of them on, I vote for the cheaper option.

 Do any of you own either of these two garments?

Ipsy Subscription Review

There are a lot of monthly subscriptions boxes available these days…. beauty boxes, animal boxes, art boxes, food boxes, mom/baby boxes, wine boxes, and so on. I can’t afford to have multiple subscriptions, so I currently receive ipsy’s glam bag. A friend suggested this beauty box to me and I am so glad she did!

For only TEN DOLLARS a month, I receive “a beautiful Glam Bag with deluxe samples and full-sized beauty products.” (From ipsy website) You fill out a survey with your basic info (skin color, eye color, hair color) and then what kinds of products you are interested in (lotions, lips, eyes, hair care, nails, etc). Your beauty products are selected to match your answers. (And you can retake the quiz at any time to adjust what you’re getting.) Once you receive your bag and try out the products, you leave reviews which further adjust your preferences.

Here are a few of my ipsy glam bags, oldest to most recent…

I never took a photo of my September glam bag, and I was out of the country when October and November arrived. When I was finally back in the States, I was so excited to open the two packages (always a bright pink bubble envelope) and see what was inside that I forgot to take a photos again. (You can easily find reviews by searching “ipsy (insert month) unboxing” on youtube.)

Out of all the other beauty boxes, I chose ipsy because each month, the products come in a cute makeup bag. I have yet to run out of uses from them! I use a few in my purse to keep things organized and the others hold everything from my daily makeup basics to my shopping coupons!

Even though you can upload photos and videos of your use of the products, I’m not particularly active in the online community. I do frequent the tutorials, though. They’re super helpful and great for gathering your own ideas. As a subscriber you can earn points by reviewing your items and sharing them on facebook. You use those points to “purchase” extra items for your glam bag. In saying that, if you sign up through THIS LINK (or the one above) it helps me earn a few extra points. Each member gets a personalized link to share with friends as another way to earn points. Help a girl out?

*As much as I wouldn’t mind a job at ipsy, I am not employed by them. This review is solely my opinion. I am just a big fan and want everyone to know how great ipsy is. I wouldn’t suggest signing up for something to any of you that I don’t participate in myself.

I’ve heard some really great things about other monthly boxes!
Are you a subscriber to any? 
Which ones?
Tell me about them!

My Reviews on TripAdvisor

Reviews are a powerful thing.
I know I depend on them, and I do my best to give back to other travelers by writing reviews on TripAdvisor. Here I will link the reviews I have written. This list will surely grow, so check back often for new information!

DUBLIN

  1. Marsh’s Library “Such a lovely little library! A hidden gem!”
  2. O’Neills Bar and Restaurant “Best Guinness Stew EVER!!”
  3. Times Hostels – Camden Place “I’ll be back for sure!”
  4. Dublinia: Experience Viking and Medieval Dublin “Best for Children”
  5. SANDEMANs NEW Dublin Tours “The BEST (and most enjoyable) way to learn about Dublin”

LONDON

  1. Masters Super Fish “The BEST fish and ships in the city” (Yes, I misspelled “chips” … embarrassing).

TURIN

  1. Egyptian Museum of Turin “Incredible collection!”
  2. Focacceria Tipica Ligure “Amazingly delicious and ridiculously affordable”

Resale Groups on Facebook

My six-week backpacking trip taught me to live with less, and I’m incredibly thankful for that lesson. Therefore, I have been going through my belongings and setting aside a TON of stuff to sell in a yard sale. Whatever doesn’t sell, I will donate.

Sure you can list your unwanted things on eBay or craigslist, but I have found listing my items on Facebook resale groups far more profitable. Think of them as online garage/yard sales. The groups are generally local, working within smaller geographical areas, a few cities or maybe a county, (but I have also seen groups for an entire state). People post photos, details, and a price of the item they are trying to sell. Then, someone comments on the photo to ask questions regarding the object(s) or to show interest in purchasing the item. Once an item sells, the buyer and seller agree on a place to meet and exchange goods for money.

Some groups are wide open, with no organization, and anything goes (camping equipment, firearms, baby clothes, accessories, you name it, you can sell/buy it). These aren’t for me. Nothing seems to sell, for anyone, in these types. I tired multiple Facebook groups before I came across one that works. My current resale group operates verrry efficiently. In order to get into the group, you must already know someone who is a part of it. This helps keep things local and potentially more safe. There are group moderators, strict rules on buying and selling, and they even organize a group meet once every week. The group meet is probably my favorite part. It allows to my make my transactions in a safe environment, in a crowd of people doing the same thing I am doing. Sellers park in specific rows (A-F, G-N, O-Z) so buyers can easily find them. It’s all very organized, and more importantly safe.The group itself is very active and things are constantly selling! I listed a few items and sold one within the first day of listing! Sometimes you get multiple people wishing to purchase that you have to go in order of who commented first! How great is that!

Now, here are a few tips on reselling your items through facebook groups:

  • Find an active group(s). Browse the group, read comments, see if things are actually selling. Read the group rules and see if you like the way the group is run. Find a good fit for yourself. And it’s totally okay to sell within multiple resale groups, just remember not to cross list!
  • GREAT PHOTOS! I cannot stress this enough. There are plenty of times I’m interested in purchasing an item, but the photo is off putting… there’s a dirty room in the background, the lighting is bad, someone’s holding a small item in their hand and their nails are disgusting, they’re selling a patterned blouse and photographing it on a patterned couch, etc. These types of photo do not make me want to purchase their item. Take the time to photograph your things is well-lit areas (preferably those lit naturally by the sun). Have a neutral background that doesn’t take attention aways from the object you are trying to sell.
  • Accurate descriptions. Don’t lie. Be honest. Disclose if the item as scratches/stains/tears/etc, if you are in a smoking household, or if you are in a pet-friendly home. The more details you share, the more information the buyer will have. Who want to ask a tons of questions? No one. You’re more likely to sell and item if you provide all the information up front. Include things like size, color, and dimensions. There are also all kinds of fancy abbreviations and specifications. Here are the ones I’ve learned…
    • NWT = new with tags
    • NWOT = new without tags
    • NIB = new in box
    • GGC = gift-giving condition
    • EUC = excellent used condition (no real visible wear or damage, but has been used)
    • GUC = good used condition (shows some wear from intended purpose, i.e. washing of clothes, reading, playing, but no damage)
    • Used = shows wear and (may) have minor damage but still able to be used for intended purpose
    • As Is = obvious overt wear or some damage but can be repaired or used for parts
    • SF = smoke free
    • PF = pet free
  • Be kind. Handle yourself like an adult. Be polite. Karma is a bitch.
  • Patience. Sure you think your things are grand, but that doesn’t mean they will sell quickly. Follow the group rules, only “bumping” as many times as is allowed. If you’ve had your item up for some time without any luck, try reducing the price or listing it in different resale group (but do not cross-list).

Happy Resale Selling!

Myself on the Road

Starting with most recent, here are a few snapshots of myself on the road. You can click on an image to view it in full size with its caption.

Weekly Schedule

While I’m learning that I need more structure in my life, I really love the freedom to be spontaneous. Therefore, just as this blog is a mishmash of topics, each week I’d like to have a mishmash of scheduled days and random days.

So, I present to you…

miscellany’s weekly schedule

 

HANDMADE MONDAYS  Interviews with handmade artisans.

TUESDAY (Random)

WORDS OF WISDOM WEDNESDAYS  Quotes, my responses to them, and an invitation to share your own opinions.

THURSDAY (Random)

FINGER-LICKIN’ FRIDAYS  Recipes, curious to try and tested/approved.

 

*Tuesdays and Thursdays will have fluctuating content… travel/outdoors, art history, personal stories, creative writing/poems, DIY, crafting, hacks, photo diaries, guest authors, etc.