In my household, I perform all of the heavy lifting when it comes to grocery shopping, planning and cooking meals, and housework. Truthfully I have pretty much given up on cooking altogether - its a lot more work to put together meals for 2 than 1, and I often find that I don’t have the energy or creativity to think of anything that sounds good, let alone actually cooking anything.
There’s so many meal kit services out there, I didn’t know which one to try. Every time an ad popped up somewhere and I browsed a new site, I was uninterested in the offerings and never signed up. I am a picky eater, partly not my fault because I have celiac disease, but I also am willing to accept that I have silly dislikes and preferences that make it difficult to please me. I am also concerned that there simply won’t be enough to satisfy Travis’ appetite - his full plate is 2-3 times the size of mine, and we only ever have leftovers if I cook for 4+.
My best friend Gina knows me very well and is the one who invited me to try Martha + Marley Spoon. For the first time, I logged on to a meal delivery kit website and actually liked the things that popped up! So, we’re trying it, and our first box will be here this week. We’re getting:
Are these the most adventurous choices? Absolutely not, but I’m picky remember? I also purposely picked simple recipes because I feel like I’ll be able to judge the quality of the box contents more fairly without getting too excited about cool new things. There also are a limited number of gluten free options available in the weekly menu, all the more reasons to go with familiar options to start.
I am a little concerned with starting a meal kit subscription during a time when shipping norms are all out of whack, and the Apple App Store reviews for Martha + Marley Spoon make me very nervous. There are a lot of people saying they had extreme shipping delays even before the pandemic, and their customer service rates poorly. I’m hoping this doesn’t foreshadow my experience, but I logged in on the day my box was supposed to arrive and the tracking link showed it still in process. This is in conflict with the actual Martha + Marley Spoon website, which says it is on the way.
Either way, I’ll check back in later when the box arrives!
I learned from Craig Milran on Instagram and through the internet that by potting your pothos with a moss pole, you give the plant the upright structure it needs (and would have in nature) to encourage larger mature leaves, as opposed to the smaller leaves produced on an unsupported plant that puts it in "trail and find light" mode. Also helps with humidity - something I'm constantly fighting with here in Arizona.
My Golden Pothos is my first try with a moss pole. I repotted the freshly separated sections in a circle around the well-saturated pole, then adhered some of the inner stalks to the moss pole using plant Velcro in my new beautiful pot from @potey (now I want all my pots to be cylindrical 😭) it was really easy!
Everything I mentioned is available in my Plant Mama list on Amazon! (https://amzn.to/351SDh5)
My name is literally mud. Mud with secret moss inside, waiting to emerge and dazzle us all!
My new friends over at Simply Mossy Art sent me this awesome moss frame in celebration of their grand opening and ITS SO COOL!
Setup was ✨amazing✨ and took no time at all. I'm so in love with the whole process 🥰 Moss is a slow grower, so it'll be a few months before this frame shows it's stuff, and I'm in for the long run.
I was really proud to have been brought in by Simply Mossy Art owner Lucas Picciolo, who contacted me via Instagram to get my opinion on his burgeoning business. I'm honored to say that I was able to be involved in the launch of someone's business. It was also incredibly motivating to be connected with Lucas through my involvement in the Plant Parent community on Instagram - looks like I'm doing something right!
Simply Mossy Art isn't just about owning a cool, living art piece. The frames are handmade and hand finished from reclaimed pieces of wood from construction sites that would otherwise be discarded. The company has also partnered with One Tree Planted to plant one tree for every frame sold.
I'm digging the living art vibes coming off this thing. I'm feeling the fires of inspiration and wonder what other ways I can implement more living art in the house. More moss? A plant wall? Who knows!
I have always loved plants; I have awesome memories of caring for grafted cacti and Venus fly traps and gardening with my late stepmom (with varied success in all areas).
In 2019, I got deeply into plants along with what seemed like the entire internet. I turned to plants in response to the stressors of moving in with my partner and having a very rough time together, and the lack of stimuli I was experiencing in all of my worlds. Raising and caring for plants gives me a sense of accomplishment and usefulness that I self-prescribed to soothe the strain of my life this year.
In 7 months, I have gone from 0 to 28 plants under my care! I realized that I spend a hell of a lot of time, energy, and money tending to my leaf babies, but I never feel overworked or overwhelmed dealing with them the same way other things in life can take it out of me. Plant-keeping is one of my purest sources of happiness - check out my reasons and feel free to use one (or more) of them to justify a trip to your local plant store for an impromptu adoption of a leaf baby!
Earlier this month I went to San Diego to celebrate my birthday with my best friend Gina. During my trip, I popped up to Laguna Niguel to see my cousin Kendall, a recent cosmetology school graduate who’s kicking ass early in her career. I’ve been wanting highlights, and there was no better way to get them than to let my cousin use her new, awesome skills on me!
As expected, they turned out great, and after many years of generally being a very dark brunette, I am now a very ash blonde. I love my new look and it really has me feeling myself on so many levels - getting rid of ugly clothes that don’t go with my shiny new do’, taking the time to do my makeup and hair whenever I’m gonna see people.
However, it is a lot of work and I do not recommend it if you don’t have either the money or the patience to take care of it properly. Here’s what I’m doing to avoid being Hay Bale Head, queen of Brassyland.
"What shampoo and conditioner do you use?"
Your stylist is not asking you this to trap you into buying her products after your service (although, you should buy them because your girl works hard and that’s how you get REAL salon results at home).
Here’s how I look at drugstore shampoo: Its like gas station sushi - just because they sell it there, doesn’t mean you should buy it or consume it!
Sulfates, alcohol, literal water, silicon, all of these are things that pump up drugstore haircare product volume but destroy your hair by stripping it, coating it in a nasty coating, or wasting your money on mostly water. Not all drugstore shampoos are the worst thing in the world, but if you’ve just spent $100+ on a new hair color, why would you not invest a little on better products?
I have been using Function of Beauty since July, and my only complaint is that the conditioner could be more moisturizing, which after talking to customer service should be addressed in my next bottle. I also do not hear complaints, groans, sighs, or shocked pauses when I tell my stylists what I’m using - a good sign!
Click to get $5 off your first Function of Beauty order, on me!
Wait but then I need two shampoos?
Yes - if you go lighter, you may now need a purple shampoo. Purple being opposite yellow on the color wheel means that the purple tones in the shampoo help cancel out unwanted brassy (aka unwanted warm) tones in ashy or platinum hair.
Living in a rural area, I also have extremely hard water, and even with a water softener, I can tell when I don’t use purple shampoo often enough. Hard water makes brassiness worse, so I went with super powerful Finola No Yellow purple shampoo, mixed 1:1 with my normal FoB shampoo
It’s getting hot in here...
As my once platinum blonde sister told me, “You’re really going to have to do your hair now...” I didn’t understand what she meant at the time, but it turns out my hair no longer looks all that great when I let it air dry naturally unmanipulated. Weird.
I have had to learn to blow out my hair, and while it looks fantastic, its time consuming and physically exhausting even with shoulder-length hair. I have my eye on either the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer Hot Air Brush or the Gold N Hot Professional Ionic Volumizer Dryer and Styler for Textured Hair to help speed up this process - I’m inclined to go with the Gold N Hot as its geared towards more textured hair and is a little more inexpensive.
I am super into IGK Next Level Nordic Cotton Volumizing Volume Mist. I have a lot of hair in quantity, but the individual strands are very fine and easily held down. This mist pumps up my hair and helps it maintain the bounce between washes, which is great since I only wash my hair twice a week if I can help it, and since it does double duty to protect from the heat I can get away with less product weighing me down.
Not into hay bale head? Me neither.
The first time I washed my hair after Kendall had given me an awesome blowout, I was devastated by the texture of my hair after air drying. It felt like absolute shit and for the first time since the bleach went on I started to regret my decision. That’s because I stupidly neglected to purchase a bond builder before washing - don’t be like me.
A bonder “reforms the disulfide bonds that make up the hair, according to colorist Tina Outen“. I do not know much about using a bonding system during the coloring process (I am not a stylist and don’t claim to be one, I just listen and do my research), but I do know that using a bonding product after service is the only way I have found to actually repair my hair, rather than just slicking it smooth between washes.
I have been using IGK Antisocial Overnight Bond-Building Dry Hair Mask spray (why are all of their product names so long) to help repair my hair, and it makes a night-and-day difference.
All in all, I love my hair and actually have been having a lot of fun treating myself to new luxury products and hanging out pampering my mane. I am glad I took the plunge and did something out of my normal choice zone.
Thanks Kendall - see you in December for a touch-up and the holidays!