Chop shock subsides

Beangirl said:
Well holy crap, that sucks!! I know, I know, stuffy boring uptight people will say, “Oh it’s just a haircut, it’s not the end of the world.” Which obviously it isn’t, but IT STILL SUCKS. How you feel about your looks when you’re sleep-deprived and overly-busy and everything else is important. I just can’t imagine what she was thinking.

It will grow out again, but meantime I’d seriously consider going to someone else and having them fix it, even if it means it’s going to be shorter. Having SOME of it be long enough for the haircut you want but the rest nowhere near isn’t going to do you a bit of good. While you’re waiting, you might as well have a GOOD short haircut. Right? (Thus speaks the voice of Experience. Who almost never listens to herself.)

So true. It was hard to feel unpretty. I won’t go to that stylist again, and cancelled all plans to ask her to cut off the straggly underlayer by my neck–her scissors and my hair shouldn’t meet again. But I’d go crazy to cut it any shorter so I’m going to make the best of it.

Bad haircut and growing hair out webpages advised cocnut oil, so I put a little (it’s solid this time of year) on the straggles which helped significantly. A surprising suggestion was to vamp up the rest of your look so you feel prettier, and there’s some distraction. It’s December but I wore a wrap knit dress–my two have short sleeves, so there was no choice there. I put on lipstick and darker eye makeup, since my students told me my hair looked darker (LOL–there’s less hair so the proportion of dark brown roots:red coloured hair is overall darker looking). After two washes and NO blow drying, the poofy fishbowl look died down and tucks behind the ears decently. Cutting off 4″ makes my waves come out in force. I’ve decided that it’s a long shag cut, and with darker makeup I’m going to rock the look rather than timidly step around wincing. Anyway, thanks for listening 🙂 My camera battery died the second I turned it on, but when it recharges I’ll get a photo. It’s alright now!


Bad haircut

How…? I showed my (former) stylist 5 photos of the same hairstyle. I told her in French, her native language, that I was growing my hair out and I wanted just the ends cut off and a very slight layer to make it sit right (not hang like a shower curtain). I hadn’t come in for 7 months to grow out my previous bad chin-length haircut. She began cutting in the back, out of my sight, so by the time I saw she was cutting off 3 months’ of growth it was too late. Half of my growing out time… all destroyed in ten minutes.

It’s a mix between a Florence Brady and a mullet. It’s awful. Very un-feminine. My best friend told me I look older.

She cut deep layers, so deep that when she blow-died my formerly shoulder-length hair it makes a bowl shape around my head. It has absolutely ZERO to do with the photos of the style I wanted, except the wisps of hair she left long in the back (that’s the mullet) that have to be repeatedly styled every two hours all day to keep their upward flip. It’s right in the middle of a wave on one side. It looks straggly. Above the straggles is an above-chin-length fishbowl. I feel so ugly with it. It’s depressing to go into a salon and walk out feeling less pretty than before–after a professional blow-dry and styling have shown me the best of the cut.

Day 1: 7 bobby pins to hold in the fishbowl to the sides of my head, but even they couldn’t redeem the look. The stylist hacked it too short to do a ponytail, butterfly clip, or a French upsweep anymore. I looked so much better and had so many more options before she hacked it. 5 photos! Sheesh.

Day 2: hair gel–haven’t used any in years–couldn’t tame the fishbowl either. Coconut oil on the frizzy mullet flip that cooperates on one side only partially redeemed the look for an hour or so. I have to brush and re-style it every 2 hours.

So yeah, in my former life without children I could blow it dry and bear it. But my daughter is teething and wakes up hourly. My eyes are red when I wake up, and I go to bed before 9. This morning I chose to forego breakfast to spend twenty more minutes asleep. I’m a nursing mother and bike commuter so not eating is major. Did I mention that my daughter is terrified of the blow dryer’s noise? So should I have the rest to wake up with the extra styling time I now need to try to make the best of things, she will awaken and howl instantly. Did I mention that my stylist personally knows my baby, and is 100% aware that I’m the mother of a young baby? Like I need a high-maintenance haircut?

I feel ugly. Time to make lemons out of lemonade. Firstly, I can’t trust that stylist with scissors again so I will certainly not go back to ask her to fix anything. She will just worsen the damage by shortening it.

It’s time for major HAIR ACCESSORY shopping, and buy some interesting earrings and focus on pulling the poofy sides close to my head. I wish I were sewing. I’ve always wanted to make a sixties-style winter dress with a matching kerchief and wear the ensemble with boots. Even a skirt with a matching kercheif would be cute. Unfortunately, my crèche just got a case of chicken pox among the 13 babies that go there, so I don’t want to put her in extra for sewing time only to have a sick baby–for Christmas, which could potentially cancel our travel plans. Life… it will get better.

Thanks everyone!

So many nice people chimed in on post-partum depression, and even more sent me private emails to cheer me on. A friend IRL read it and said that just reading it helped her reflect on her life stress lately, as she is taking high-stakes exams for promotion. Thank you! Your words mean a lot 🙂 I’m feeling better. I got a new nursing top, a new haircut, and I finished my skirt. Nothing like a feeling of accomplishment and doing something out of the ordinary to boost your spirits. The skirt is a little longer than its predecessor because I left the edges unfinished, like Cidell did recently on a tee shirt destined for weekends (sorry I can’t find the exact post) Cidell’s blog. Do you know how nice it is to wear normal, non-maternity, non-nursing clothes? Niiiice. Plus it’s been ages since I wore a skirt because I was a bike commuter and, well, they don’t mix well together, LOL.

Do you know that my favourite cuisine is Korean? I found Maangchi. Eureka! This is one of my most favourite dishes in the world, which I haven’t eaten for years since I moved out of Korea. Just last night I made the first of the two tofu dishes here, and my gfs like it so much they asked for the recipe. My husband will eat the whole plate if I’m not quick. WHOA, hey? It’s incredibly good. How did I live without it! No wonder I got depressed 🙂 LOL Maangchi’s cookbooks are available as free downloads and she has an iPad app. Check her out. Also Aeri’s Kitchen for more Korean food-YouTube goodness. If you know of any more, please tell us! I just love Korean food to bits. Mmmm!

And I’ve lost 5lbs of pregnancy weight this month. A nifty little side effect of having the blues that can perk you up.

Assumed British, no traffic ticket

This is Belgium, and yes I got pulled over on my bike.
This morning I was tooling down my usual bike path when I spotted the construction workers had took up a temporary metal grate where bikes cross over the construction rubble, and the workers were standing on the mound of earth deep in conversation. Not wanting to bother them, and being *just* on time to catch the tram (you can take bikes on the tram), I quickly decided to go ten yards (*cough* ‘metres’) the wrong way up a deserted avenue, no car in sight, and then cross over where the road was already paved. Whoops. The police were there directing traffic, and is his right and his job, he sternly asked me (in French) what I was doing. I admitted (French) right away I was in the wrong to go up the wrong way, it was stupid of me, he’s right. He nodded and agreed I was stupid. 🙂 Then proceeded to instruct me that ‘in Belgium we drive on the right side’ (gesturing). I almost blurted out, ‘oh yes, in my country too’ because I’m American; but then I realized he was letting me go because he heard my English accent in French and thought I was British! Hilarious. For once, being a foreigner was actually an asset, and in connection with national authorities of any country it’s almost *never* an asset to be a foreigner.

Korean dinner

If you know anything about me, it’s that I *love* Korean food with a passion. I lived in Korea from 1996-7 and picked it up there. As I type I’m devouring a delicious Korean salad, Kong na mool moo chim (Soy bean sprouts salad), that has been known to convert even non-mung bean spouties into sprout aficionados. It’s in Korean Kitchen under Recipes–>Vegetables. If I have any room left for dinner, I have neang myun on the stove, made in a non-traditional way with broccoli–perfect with the mustard oil seasoning!–and tofu, ‘cos I’m veg. Neang myun is a cold summer soup made with buckwheat noodles–delicious! The easiest way to make it is to buy the packaged noodles with packets of bouillion and tiny packs of mustard oil inside. It’s ready now so I’m signing off.

The last Sunday in Brussels

Last night it was a perfect night, with partly cloudy skies and a temperature somewhere between balmy and fresh. I went to the Grand Place with a friend and saw the Brussels Summer Festival there: a huge stage set up with a live band. It was very cool. Dozens of people lined up on the grand statehouse’s first floor outdoor walkway to watch the concert, with swirling lights washing over them like the reflections of water.
Lately I’m also listening to Depeche Mode, especially ‘Walking in My Shoes.’
My Asian dress isn’t working out very well in linen, which is a suggested fabric. It looks poufy over the bust. Luckily, the color is great on me–chartreuse–and it seems redeemable if made in a stretch cotton. Which I have set aside in the stash just for this dress.
I’m moving to Hong Kong in less than a WEEK! The plane leaves Saturday morning. Which makes me think of being a thousand seas between here and there: my favorite Laura Pausini song original video or.
and the HOT Cuban remix

Alterations: that flighty mistress

After all the lovely encouragement from folks here and on PR to not be so self-conscious about my white and not-so-tight arms, I decided to go with th Burda cut-on sleeves. So that left the FBA to tickle with. FFRP recommended cutting off the sleeves and doing a FBA on the slashed bodice. But do I know better than FFRP??? Oh my. I decided to experiment, which is great, but my alteration isn’t going to work and I should just re-trace the upper front and start from scratch since I already cut it up quite a bit.
Re-tracing…. zombie look appears in eyes….

What is more fun than re-tracing? Why, it’s cracking open *another* fresh pattern. It was irresistible to me. I traced a dress from BWOF 2/06, #124 last night. I need to go out to the fabric store now to find an underlayer, because my lovely cotton batiste is very translucent. BWOF’s dress is in chiffon with a nude color underlayer. The model literally looks naked in it, those 2 layers of chiffon didn’t cover a dang thing.

This dress, thanks to the arm friends, is sleeveless and it has a CF ruche detail that will be easy to put in a FBA. Flighty, flighty, flighty; but why punish yuorself for doing whatever yuo feel like on vacation? Yeah, life’s too short.

Beet salad

Exki is a local restaurant that sells fresh, natural foods for the business lunch crowd. You know this type of restaurant. They have a marvelous beet salad that converted me: try it!

Shredded raw beets + rapeseed oil (I use olive oil) + fresh coriander/cilantro snippets + salt & pepper

It’s beautiful to look at too. My at-home version is made from cubed beets bought from the store, because I’m not motivated to peel and prepare raw beets.