Coconut Oil Hair Mask

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

My hair has been through a lot in the past 4 years. From postpartum hair loss to having it chopped off into a pixie cut, to growing it out, then postpartum hair loss again after my second baby, to having it professionally highlighted, to having health issues that have made it fall out and feel dull. Right now i'm focusing on getting my hair back to it's natural and healthy self again. It has taken work but I am seeing wonderful results! One of my favorite things to do and also one of the most beneficial is doing a coconut oil hair mask once a week. I also take a hair skin and nails vitamin, drink plenty of water, and make sure to eat healthy fats (think coconut oil, avocado, nuts) protein, and minimal heating tools.
If you look up how to do coconut oil hair masks you are going to find a lot of different methods, here is how I do mine. 
First, you're going to want to start with dry hair. I use an organic virgin coconut oil, unrefined. A lot of people make the mistake of heating their oil in the microwave or on the stove top in direct heat. Please do not do this, you will kill all of the good stuff for your hair. Simply warm about a tablespoon or two by rubbing in the palms of your hands. Begin to massage into your scalp (this will stimulate new hair growth), then work your way all the way down to the ends. Once I have my hair well coated in the oil, I will twist my hair up into a bun and leave it on for an hour or two. Some people even will leave this on over night which you can do too. The amazing thing about coconut oil is that it actually does not stain like most oils. So don't worry if it gets on your shirt or sheets! It washes right out. 
Once you are done letting the oil soak into your hair it is time to wash it out. Before turning on the shower I dry lather my shampoo into my hair. I know this may sound odd but it really does make a huge difference in helping get all of the oil out! Then I turn on the shower and rinse the shampoo out. After this, I condition my hair two times. Yes, two times. This step is also very important in making sure to remove all of the oil from your hair. Some people suggest shampooing your hair multiple times to get the oil out, think of the double conditioning like that, only it's much more gentle and moisturizing. 
My shampoo and conditioner. Smells like cupcakes! Colour Goddess, Bed Head by TiGi 
Now you are left with healthy, shiny, stronger hair! At this point I like to blow dry my hair. I always let my hair air dry but I feel like blow drying it helps to make sure my hair isn't left feeling "oily" after a hair mask.  

Cottage Garden

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Growing up my brothers and I did a lot of gardening with our mom, our neighbor was also a gardener and had a beautiful yard that she would let us explore.  I have always loved gardens and being outside, from the time I was little some of my favorite memories were spent at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston. I can smell it just thinking about it! 
My husband and I have been married for just over 5 years now, since being married we've lived in different rentals until now. Because of this I have really gotten out of the habit of yard work and gardening, it has definitely been taking some relearning. One thing that I love about our new home is how many gardens it has, we have six total. When we moved it there was a really good start to the gardens but they were in need of some TLC. Every weekend we try to go out and buy at least one new plant to add to the front gardens. My favorite garden style would definitely be a cottage or english garden. Filled with an assortment of beautiful perennials and fragrant herbs! Think Tasha Tudor, she is my inspiration. It's really been fun because I don't have to think about it much, if I fall in love with something I just add it to my garden. 
For my herbs I love having them close to my kitchen since I use them in my daily cooking. We have a cozy little side porch right off the kitchen when I decided to put an entry table with my potted herbs on. I also plan to plant some herbs in the front and back gardens as well since some of them do a really wonderful job of keeping the wasps away from the flowers. Here are a few pictures of what we currently have going on. There is still a lot of work to be done but i am loving it. Flowers make me happy. We will be laying some fresh mulch down this coming week, I'll be sure to post before and after pictures of that. Happy gardening! 
The kids helped me pot the herbs for the porch today. Two of the herbs our neighbor gave us! 

My mother in law gave me this potted rosemary!

Today we planted hydrangeas. They're on the pricey side but Kmart has these beautiful ones for a good deal.  

Knockout roses, beautiful and easy to care for. 

Lemon Pie

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Lemon. Oh how I love lemon. I love the smell, the color, the flavor, it's all so fresh and cheery. This recipe was posted on Magnolia Blog , it's Joanna Gaines' recipe and oh so good, plus your kitchen will smell amazing. I love a dessert that's natural, pretty, and just the right amount of sweetness without being overpowering. 
We are new to our neighborhood and having such fun getting to know everyone around us, I love baking and thought it would be fun to make a pie for our neighbor next door...and ourselves...hehe. Here is Joanna Gaines' recipe, because who doesn't love her?! 

Recipe makes 1 pie, I doubled up.

Pie Filling Ingredients:
3 cups Eagle Brand Milk (that is sweetened condensed milk, I used Publix brand)
3 egg yolks
⅔ cup lemon juice
1 dash salt
Crust Ingredients:
1 ½ cups crushed graham crackers (I found 1 sleeve of graham crackers came out to about this)
6 tbs butter
⅓ cup sugar
Whipped Cream Ingredients:
1 small carton of heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
For Crust:
  1. Combine crushed graham cracker, softened butter, and sugar. Mix well and press into greased (I use Baker’s Joy non-stick spray) pie dish. Bake for 8 minutes at 350.
For Pie Filling:
  1. Mix Eagle Brand Milk, egg yolks, lemon juice and salt in a mixer. Mix well- I typically beat with my mixer for 4-5 minutes on medium speed. Pour into pie crust and bake for 10 minutes at 350.
  2. Place pie in the refrigerator for at least an hour so it will set.
For Whipped Cream:
  1. Mix whipped cream, sugar, and vanilla. Whip until fluffy, and add to cooled lemon pie.
Once done, I added some slices of fresh lemon on top with a sprig of mint. I hope your family enjoys this recipe, or a friend or neighbor. :) 

Kitchen Makeover

Monday, April 4, 2016

We bought our first house last month and we moved in just over a week ago. Before we moved in we wanted to have a few renovations done, most of which took place in the kitchen. The kitchen is galley style, so I wanted to focus on making this narrow space feel more open. We had someone replace the old floors with hardwood to match the already existing wood floors in the living room and hallways, then had them all stained a darker color and then a satin finish put on them (by the way, I would HIGHLY recommend a satin finish, I love the natural look it gives not to mention that it's lower maintenance than a glossy/shiny finish!). For the cabinets, we kept the original cabinets and hardware but had them painted in an antique white, Dover White by Sherwin Williams. Then had a dark brown glazing swept over the edges, I really love how rich this makes them look and also it brings out their unique structure. For the wall color we went with Collonade Gray by Sherwin Williams. We have white dentil crown molding and this warm taupe/gray really makes them POP. I am loving the French Country feel my kitchen is having! 
Now, who wants to come over for some coffee?
Before and after.

The laundry closet is at the end of the kitchen.
I got this bird cage from T.J.Maxx, it actually is meant to be hung and holds pictures but I love it for my kitchen window.

Lovely little coffee nook.

I found this $5 scalloped cake stand at Target, I'm using it to hold my soap and sponges next to the sink.