Monday, July 15, 2019

Our 9th Anniversary

Matt and I didn't have any huge travel plans for our anniversary this year, but we still wanted to do something special. It's easy for couples who have been married for awhile to just let an anniversary pass with an exchange of cards and a special dinner, and I honestly would probably be that person if Matt weren't a bit of a romantic.




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This year, we had brunch on our anniversary and opted for a relaxing staycation and a trip to a local bird sanctuary over the weekend to celebrate.
I was really craving blueberry pancakes, so rather than do dinner, we did brunch!
If you've been reading here for awhile, you know Matt and I are bird people. We both feel having a pet isn't in the cards for us right now, but we miss spending time with birds; the moment Matt raised the idea of a trip to the sanctuary, I was in. (Honestly, when he told me he thought we'd be able to hold birds I almost cried.)

First, though, was the staycation. We got a room at the Hyatt Regency where we stayed for our anniversary in 2017. The resort is just gorgeous, with top-notch amenities and beautiful rooms. Once more we opted for a room with a view.
It was overcast on Friday when we arrived, but I still managed to get a tan at the pool.
We got mimosas upon check-in. We cheered to "80 more years"; I asked, "Then we get divorced?" Matt said, "No, then we die." We decided to try for 81 so we can reach an even 90.
And that was it, really. We spent Friday at the pool, then had a nice dinner at the resort. Saturday we spent more time at the pool. It was relaxing and beautiful and maybe a new tradition.
The bird sanctuary was a great experience, although not quite what I expected. Most of the birds are parrots that have been given up because they outlived their owners. There were tons of macaws, African greys, and cockatoos.
Our guide introduced us to every bird and told us about their personalities and how they'd come to the sanctuary. We fed them unsalted almonds and walnuts. I love interacting with birds; they're so funny and personable. They took the nuts from us so carefully, and some even chirped like they were saying "thank you". The one pictured below was shy; our guide said he doesn't like many people, but he happily took walnuts from me, though every time he'd run to the opposite side of the cage to eat them.
We did get to go into the macaw house, where you can hold the birds if you want. I am still nervous around large birds, so I opted to just feed them.
After the tour, we hung around to look at the adoptable birds, which is when we got to see some lovebirds. Unfortunately, we couldn't hold them. It left me feeling torn; someday I'd love another bird, but I still think the timing isn't quite right for us.

Year nine was a good one for us. I'm looking forward to whatever the next year has in store!

ABK

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Pink Hair Don't Care

When I was in high school, the emo scene was in full swing and colorful hair made its first appearance on my radar. I wanted so badly to dye the tips of my hair hot pink, but because my hair was so dark I knew it wouldn't take without bleaching first, and I didn't want to mess with that. So I never got to partake in the trend.
Admit it: you, too, wanted to look like Avril Lavigne.
For awhile, it seemed colorful hair went out of style. But in recent years, we've seen it again. Once more I wished I could dye my hair pink or purple, but again, there was the whole bleaching issue and now also the professional-work-lady issue. (My school has a no-unnatural-hair-color policy.)

When I started seeing ads for Overtone I was intrigued but skeptical. Say it with me: I have dark hair. But when they came out with rose gold for brown hair, I couldn't resist. Temporary, non-damaging color that supposedly works without bleaching? What did I have to lose?
Here's my "before".
I did some research and checked hashtags for befores/afters, then placed my order. On Wednesday night, I took the plunge.
I didn't realize gloves would come with it, which was a nice surprise.
I feel like this is a company I can get behind because (spoiler) their product works and they're trying to be environmentally conscious. The included pamphlet is printed on recycle paper and reminds you that their jars and bottles are recyclable. The products are also vegan and cruelty free.
The conditioner is like a thick mousse and smells very minty.
The conditioner says to leave it in for 10-15 minutes, but all the reviews I read suggested 30-45 for dark hair. I set my timer for 45, but actually kept the conditioner in for about an hour. Application was messy. I used petroleum jelly on my neck, ears, and face to avoid stains, but the gloves they provide are flimsy and over-large. I may has well have been wearing produce bags on my hands. I'll definitely invest in a smaller pair from the pharmacy next time I color.
There's no need to be precise, which I appreciated.  The color found my natural highlights and blended itself pretty well without giving me that flat, all-over same-color look.
My hair took on a kind of stiff, gluey texture.
Rinsing was an experience. The color just kept running off with no apparent end in sight; because it's a temporary formula, I wondered if waiting for the water to run clear would mean I'd over-rinsed somehow. The instructions aren't very clear.

Still, I rinsed intensively for like 10 minutes in the shower. My hair towel still picked up some pink when I was done, but right out of the shower my hair had obviously picked up color so I managed not to wash it all out in one go.
Then I blew it dry.

I'd say the color is more reddish/purplish than pink right now, maybe because of how long I let it sit. I know that after a couple washes the color will begin to fade, and I'll definitely post updates on that if the color change is significant. Also, my hair did feel very soft after, as advertised!
Indoor lighting 
Direct sunlight
My final verdict is that this was a fun and good experience that finally fulfilled my dreams of coloring my hair! I didn't have to bleach, there was actual color payoff, and it'll wash out before I go back to work in August (probably)! Even if it doesn't, I don't think the color is so jarring that I couldn't get away with it during the school year.

I may order a sample size of one of their brown shades once this fades, because I like the idea of using this to enhance my natural color year-round.

ABK