My Purple Hair

>> Tuesday, October 6, 2015

From henna hair color to bottle blonde and now to purple. I’ve been dying my hair for a really freaking long time. Like, I don’t remember the natural color sort of long. And now I’ve given in to the latest trend of purple locks, and I sort of love it. I’m sure some of you are like “we GET it, Ashley -- enough with the constant stream of Instagram photos!” 

But, you guys, I’m having my hair moment. My Clementine hair moment.

So, I went from this:

To this:

(Oh, and this is a selfie-heavy post. Sorry.)

I’m using Overtone color-depositing conditioners at the suggestion of several readers. When I saw that the stuff is chemical-free (peroxide, ammonia, etc.), cruelty-free, and comes in so many colors, I said SIGN ME UP. I initially ordered the pastel purple, thinking that my blonde locks would soak in the tinge of color. And all it did was pleasantly tone the brass out of my hair.

So, once they got their vibrant purple back in stock, I ordered that -- stat. And during my first application, I was actually shocked and annoyed that it barely took to my hair. So, I did a little digging and decided to apply it to DRY hair for like 20 minutes. I even covered it with plastic wrap.

Yup. That worked like a charm.

(No filter:)

I am pro-Overtone. Also: This isn’t in any way a sponsored post, I’m just enthusiastic about it. So, I can wash my greasy hair every freakin' day and follow up with the daily conditioner. To get the best results, I usually towel dry my hair and let that stuff sit in around 10 minutes (longer than the directions). But it’s been working out great. I’d love to even do some pink over this purple color for more of a lilac effect. We’ll see.

Then I do the deep conditioner for some extra color punch once a week.

I don’t know how long I’ll keep up with purple hair. Or rainbow colored hair. For now, I’m enjoying the flexibility I have to do this style since I still work from home. Honestly, I bet my boss at my last office job would have been cool with it. It’s fun. Ada loves it. In the end, it’s only hair.

And it’s way better than my DIY undercut, right?

(Side note: I’m still SO surprised + endlessly entertained by the negative feedback I got on that hairstyle. I got a couple emails -- really! -- from people telling me I made a huge mistake and that it looked awful. Dude. It’s hair. My hair! To me, not being adventurous at all with something as fleeting as hair is so terribly boring.)

As the blonde grows out of my hair or I get it cut, the color will be less noticeable unless I bleach it blonder. The color will also slowly fade (about at the same rate as semi-perm dye) if I keep washing it out. Overtone does carry some intense color depositing conditioners that are very bold, so there’s also that option. For now, I’m good. My purple hair even has me experimenting with fun hairstyles.


If you’ve been interested in dying your hair a funky color -- do it.

Life’s too short not to have fun with your hair.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a tasty mac + cheese recipe!

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DIY Silhouettes // $10

>> Thursday, October 1, 2015

I’ve been slowly transforming our house through cleaning and decor to make it a calmer place to spend time. After all, this is my home and my office, so I spend a ridiculous number of hours under this roof. We’ve always been clean (wiped down counters, scrubbed toilets, steamed floors) . . . but definitely messy (mountains of clean laundry on the floor, toys everywhere, piles of mail).

With all the stuff we’ve been going through, I’ve found cleaning and decluttering to be this weird therapy of sorts. Like, I’d rather spend a couple hours cleaning than reading or watching TV. I even skipped working out on Thursday last week and cleaned for a couple hours instead. And the other night I took a good half hours to wipe down the washer + dryer that were honestly not left in the best condition from our previous owners over a year ago.

Do you think I’m crazy? Maybe I am.

Our decor is making a shift, too. I want cohesiveness. I want simplicity. Neutrals. Country and rustic to remind me of my hometown. Corner by corner, we’ve been doing little projects to make our home a place that feels really cozy and lovely. But as the fall and holidays seasons are approaching, we’ve stopped any heavy lifting (I so badly want to add beams to our living room!) to focus on the light stuff, like art and textiles.

Here’s a fun DIY art project you can make in a weekend for less than $10. There are lots of tutorials you can find online, but it’s a pretty intuitive process. In fact, my second grade teacher made silhouettes of all my classmates way back in the day by shining light on our heads and tracing the outline with pencil. This is that project, just kicked up a notch + improved with some technology.

Here’s my inspiration:

STEP 1: Take Your Photo

Take a selfie or have someone else take a photo of your profile on a plain background. You can use a wall or even fabric backdrop. Some tutorials I came across even suggested using a window, but I found the light made it tricky to get all the right detail.

STEP 2: Edit + Order

Convert your image to black and white and up the contrast using a photo editing site like Pic Monkey. There’s no right or wrong. You just want to make sure you’re clearly able to outline your features. Oh, I took our photos in square cropping, so I had to overlay them onto a 4x6 backdrop with black so they would print out well. Does that make sense?

Then order prints at a place like Walmart. I got a couple in 4x6 and 5x7 because I wasn’t sure which size I wanted. (And they were super cheap per print, so it wasn’t a big deal to have a couple extras.) For our silhouettes, I ended up using the 5x7 of my photo and Stephen’s. We used the 4x6 of Ada so she’d be a bit smaller.

STEP 3: Cut it Out

You can use sharp scissors or an X-Acto knife, but go slowly! Get the divot where your bangs hit your forehead. Keep that stray piece of hair. Don’t chop off where your glasses hit your nose. Basically, cut as closely to the photo as humanly possible because the more little details you get -- the more it will actually look like you.

STEP 4: Spray It Black 

Again, a lot of tutorials had different instructions for making your silhouettes black (or whatever color you want!). I decided to use some matte spray paint we had hanging around in the basement -- and it was SO EASY this way.

Just a few spritzes, dry time, and they were done with an extremely smooth, flat finish.

STEP 5: Mount on Paper

So, you’ll need frames for this next part. Cut out a piece of paper (I used plain white and some paper bag paper) to the size of your frame. Use a bit of glue and stick the photo onto the paper. You can write your name, the date, or anything else, or just leave it plain.

STEP 6: Frame

Stick your artwork in your frame and admire your project! I love the look of oval frames for silhouettes, but I couldn’t find any for instant gratification. So, I ended up picking up a mixed lot of frames because I want to add to our collection in the future, but I don’t want to be limited by the type of frame so they would all match.

The frames I got were around $7 a piece, the paint was free because we already had it, and the prints were like less than a quarter. So, you can easily do this project for $10 or less, depending on what frames you use.

This isn’t how I plan to have them displayed in the long run (see my inspiration, above!). I want them on the wall, but I want to add a bunch more first. So, I’ve put them on the ledge for the time being. I need to mix in some more dark frames, too. But I’d love to do the cats and maybe some full-length silhouettes. We shall see.

Have you tried this project before? 

Please let me know if you do!

Psst: For more cheap DIY decor, check out the 5-Minute Fall Wreath.

More fall essentials:

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Pumpkin + Pecan Apple Crisp

>> Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My mom had certain desserts she liked to bake. I remember a few out of the rotation best. Chocolate chip cookies, of course. Then there was chocolate chip cookie pie (oh, I cannot wait to recreate this recipe sometime!). And apple crisp was probably the healthiest of the bunch.

After our epic apple-picking adventure this weekend, I knew I wanted to make up some apple crisp. But I wanted to try something new. (Check out Basil Apple Crisp.) So, I decided to add some pumpkin, pecans, and make the recipe bigger than my normal batches.

And I’m currently eating this dish for breakfast.


What you’ll need . . . 

  • 10 small to medium apples, peeled + cored 
  • Juice from one fresh lemon
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar*
  • 1 (heaping) tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • 1-1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (uncooked)
  • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar*
  • 1/4 cup flour (or more, depending)
  • 1/2 cup pecans (pulsed into a meal in your food processor)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance (or butter, substitute, etc.)
* I used Better Body’s Coconut Palm Sugar, but you can substitute in brown or granulated sugar.

Method . . . 

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 in baking pan (I used glass) and set aside.
  2. Once you peel, core, and chop your apples, toss them with the lemon juice, pumpkin puree, coconut sugar, cinnamon, flour, and arrowroot powder in a bowl. Pour this mixture into your prepared pan.
  3. Using the same bowl (with all the pumpkin-y leftovers from the apple mixture), toss together the rolled oats, coconut sugar, flour, pecans, cinnamon, and then work the Earth Balance into the mixture with your fingers until it’s crumbly. You may want to add more flour if the mixture is too wet. I added a few more tablespoons until it was still crumbly, but not greasy.
  4. Distribute the topping over the apples, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. You want the top to be golden brown and the apples to be cooked through.



Apple + Pumpkin Spice Stew
Apple Oat Bars
5-Minute “Baked” Apples
Morning Glory Muffins
15-Minute Applesauce
Spiced Applesauce Biscuits
Applesauce Coffee Cake

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