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Month: September 2015

How to Find a Great Hairstylist

Finding a great hairstylist is difficult but worth the effort. A quality stylist can simplify your life and save you time and money. By suggesting low maintenance looks, working within your budget, teaching you how to style your hair, and recommending a few key products (instead of a cabinet full) to help you recreate the look at home, a hairstylist you love is worth her weight in that-expensive-conditioning-treatment-you-bought-but-never-use. Every time you sit in the chair of someone new it feels risky and you worry about walking out with something you didn’t ask for. Do you talk? Sit there silently? Bring pictures? Research industry terms so Miss Scissors knows what you want? It is a terrifying process! But hang in there girl because, thankfully, there are some reliable dos-and-don’ts for finding a great stylist. Do ask around. There’s a pretty good chance your friends, family, and coworkers know someone fabulous. A word of mouth referral is the gold standard in advertising because you can trust people you know. If the girl at the checkout has great hair, ask her who does it. Hit up your pals on Facebook and Twitter. People enjoy talking about the things they love; you are bound to get some good recommendations. Don’t believe everything you read online. The sad reality is people lie. Having been a few times on the receiving end of an angry customer rant I know that not everything an angry person says is true. Try to approach online reviews with skepticism toward both…

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Remembering Grace This Fall

Autumn is my favorite time of year. Hands down. I absolutely love the back to school bustle, the change in the air and the leaves (although I’ve heard that doesn’t happen in Florida), and the unconscious countdown to the fast approaching holidays. Autumn is a fresh start for me. Growing up I loved the start of the new school year. My husband recently quipped about the irony of that considering my homeschooled background. I promptly assured him that each fall I too was the eager recipient of new pencils and shoes and, being the oldest, brand new textbooks with that crisp “new book” smell. And my most favorite autumn purchase of all was my brand new planner. I loved (and still do) the blank pages and the unspoken hope and adventure the school year, carefully choreographed in my new planner, could bring. This would be the year I’d change it all! This would be the year I’d finish my schoolwork early. And in my teens, this would be the year I’d get healthy and earn my PE credits and eat right and lose weight and makeover and then flaunt the fabulousness of my reinvented self. And then I’d do silly things; things like the three different occasions in junior high that I spiral permed my naturally curly hair. Don’t ask me why. I was stupid. And frizzy. So frizzy. (I’ll share a picture sometime. For now those memories are buried somewhere in my old bedroom in California, safe from scrutiny…

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6 Tips to Simplify Meal Planning (and a Free Printable!)

Most of us know that meal planning is awesome. We realize it is a great way to save money on groceries, save time at the store and in the kitchen, eat better-for-you foods, and avoid the everyday stress of “what’s for dinner?” But sometimes the thought of planning meals for an entire week (let alone an entire month) can be overwhelming. It is so easy to get bogged down in the details and over complicate the process of planning what to eat. By keeping things simple however, you can get your meal planning done and your grocery list ready in just 15 minutes (or less) each week. Here’s how: 1) Pick your day to plan. Choose a day each week that you can devote 15 minutes to meal planning. Put it in your planner (I love these cute stickers from Etsy to remind me!) and make it a part of your routine. I like to plan Thursday or Friday for the following week. Store ads and coupons are usually ready by then and I have one less thing to do over the weekend. 2) Make a list of your family’s favorite meals. Putting together a list of what you like to eat might seem redundant, but when you’re pressed for time it is so easy to forget that your hubby likes chicken parmesan. Jot all your favorites down and keep the list handy, adding to it when you discover (or remember) a top pick. This list will become a tried and trusted…

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