Hairs & How I Cut My Own

My hopes were to share with you a finished laundry room cabinet this week but no-go because, as it turns out, finding wood to make shelves for the thing is turning into a longer process than we wanted it to be.  Hopefully that saga will come to a close soon and I’ll have an ‘after’ and tutorial but until then, here’s a sneak peek:

Today though, it’s a DIY haircut and layer tutorial.  It’s not the best hair-cutting tutorial out there and while I was going through the grainy phone pictures I took of myself in-process, I realized it might be the worst and a video might’ve been better.  But either way, I promised a step-by-step so here ‘tis.

  I’ve been cutting my own hair for 10+ years but only in the past six or so have relied on myself as my sole barbette minus one professional cut I got three years ago (unless my sister’s visiting because then I make her cut it).  Cutting my hair, and Anthony’s hair as well, is one of the ways we save money in this house.  It’s worked really well for us and probably saves us a good $250+ a year. 



If I’m just trimming my hair, I usually just cut it wet right after a shower.  If I’m trimming and layering, I blow-dry it as straight as I can get it, which is a beauteous sight considering my naturally curly hair doesn’t blow-dry stick straight:
photo 1 (1)
[I mean, it makes you wonder why I don’t make this my reg ‘do, doesn’t it?  Frizz is inn.]

After blow-drying it, I straighten it with a straightening iron to get it as straight as possible.  It’s hard to tell how well I’ve cut when my hair is wet (and I’ve heard that wet hair stretches leading to a not-so-good cut when it dries and my most favoritist pro hairstyler ever used to cut dry because he said it gave a better cut) so when I layer, I cut it dry.

Back to just the regular trim though, I like a rounded V vs. a straight-across cut along the bottom of my hair when it’s behind my shoulders so to get that, I part my hair as best as I can down the middle, pull both sides forward, and cut straight across the bottom on both sides, like so:
 photo 2 (5)
I learned how to trim my hair this way by following Feye’s self-trimming method and it’s worked like a charm.  I usually have Anthony check for stragglers when I’m done just in case though.  :)


Trimming can be explained pretty well using pictures and words but layering is a little more difficult.  To layer, I grab thin sections of hair, sort of like pie pieces, sectioning it from top to bottom.  Then I pull each section out and cut a diagonal line at the end, starting where hair from the bottom of my hair ends, up.  So, I end up cutting more length off the higher I go.  This picture doesn’t explain very well but it’s what I took at the time (and it’s actually after I cut):
photo 5 
I slide my fingers out to the ends of the hairs from the bottom of my head and holding my fingers straight up and down, cut along them. 

And then I made this crazy-looking graphic to help explain:
If the yellow circle were my head and the yellow lines, my hair, I’d pull them out like the picture above and cut along the black line.  Doing so gives me a bunch of layers.  The lower you hold your hair out, the longer your layers will be and the higher, the shorter they’ll be. 

And that’s how I layer my hair!  (Any and all beauticians reading this right now are probably cringing…sorry.)  I’ve tried a few different ways besides this (like this time when I wanted a deep V cut and butchered my hair and had to cut off six inches to fix it) but have found the best layering cut happens using this process.  Oh and btw, I didn’t come up with this myself, I learned it from being very observant while getting my hair professionally cut and playing around with different techniques with my sisters.  (Just a side note:  I respect hairstylists and know they have to make a living too so in no way am I trying to say that what they do is not important or can always be done at home.  We choose this route because we’re on a really tight budget and can’t afford salons where we’re at right now but I say support them if you can!) 

Here’s the aftermath of my scissoring the other night whence I trimmed and layered and took pictures doing it:
photo 1 (6)
(Quick photo courtesy of the husband who was caring for Sebastian after bedtime so I could give myself a quick cut.)

Another thing worth sharing is the way my sister layers her hair(s).  Her way is much easier and I have yet to try it but all she does is put her hair up into a high pony at the tippity-top of her head.  The best way to do this is to flip your head over and brush your hair up into the pony so that each and every hair leads from it’s root, straight up into the pony and out.  Then she holds that pony up and cuts a line straight across.  Of course, I faked what it’d be like for explanatory purposes:
 photo 3 (3)

And then I let go of my hair and this happened:
photo 3

And I had to document my new ‘do.  Lady Gaga would be proud, I think.  ;)


I’m many things but an online shopper is not one of them.  I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve ordered an article of clothing online.  Two times I can think of off the top of my head is the time I ordered two pairs of the same gap maternity jeans in two different sizes knowing one would probably fit and the other wouldn’t.  I didn’t have to pay shipping because the total cost was over a certain amount.  Second, Target used to carry what are my all-time favorite tees and now that they don’t, I’ve been known to order them off eBay (here!).  Is that crazy, especially since we live in a technology-saturated world and it would be so much easier than packing up three kids to get to a store?  Are you an online orderer?  Here’s the thing, I have a paranoia that whatever I’ve ordered and paid shipping costs for won’t fit so I’ll end up returning it, possibly paying more shipping and end up having paid shipping costs for something I didn’t keep.  It’s a real fear people.  So tangible clothing shopping it is for me.  Enter eShakti - the only online women's fashion apparel company offering sizes 0-36W & custom clothing.  When they contacted me a few weeks ago asking if I’d like to customize a dress to fit me, it was like they were in my head and knew exactly how to quell that fear.  I jumped at the opportunity, hoping for a good outcome and wasn’t disappointed.  I chose the Scallop Neck Faux-Wrap dress in prussian blue:

I threw on my leopard heels (Target, two years ago) and couldn’t decide on a necklace because I didn’t want to take the show away from the scallop neckline, which had me at hello.

And the pockets!  I love me a dress with pockets and appreciate them even more now that I have three chicklets who need stuff stowed every once in awhile so they had me at hey, how are ya?

The quality of the dress is outstanding!  Their prices aren’t too different from higher end clothing stores like J. Crew (unless you shop sales, in which case they’re a lot more affordable) but the fact that you’re getting a quality-made garment that’s specifically made for your body is genius and a great (dare I say better?) way to spend your money, in my opinion.  The customization process was very simple – measure all the places on your bod they ask you to measure, insert said measurements, and wala.  I also got to choose the dress length – above or below the knee or mid-calf - and the type of sleeves I wanted on it – none, short, cap, or elbow length.  I choose below the knee and loved the cap sleeves the dress had in the online image so I kept those.  I had the option of subtracting the pockets too but I’m not that crazy.  ;)  I felt so regal constructing this dress online.  It was like I had my own personal tailor for five minutes!  My only, very small, complaint is that the measurements in the drop-down boxes where you could choose your number were only whole inches; no half-inches.  There were a few times I came up with half-inch measurements, one being my waist size and, for fear that rounding down to the nearest inch would yield me no breathing room, I rounded up.  I wish, now that I have the dress, that I would have rounded down instead because the dress fits me in the waist for sure but it could stand to be a little more snug.  Lesson learned for next time.  And speaking of next time, I’m crushing on any and all of these (Christmas is coming y’all!):
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Just a budget-conscious girl’s tip:  For registering with eShakti, you get a free $25 credit towards your first purchase.  (Just be sure to register right before you buy because I think the credit expires not too long after you register!)  Also, there’s a $7.50 fee to customize a dress (which is nothing when you’re talking a dress that’s made for YOU) but your first customization is free, so take advantage of that!  AND, last but not least, eShakti generously is offering a 10% discount to all Bean In Love readers!  Just enter code ‘beaninloveblog’ at checkout!  (P.S.  The reader discount is only good until 12/04/2014, needs to be entered in the ‘promotional code’ box, can be used as many times as you want, and can be combined with other offers unless otherwise specified in other offer conditions, but can’t be used on clearance/sale, gift cards, or overstock categories.)

eshakti review

Have you ever purchased from eShakti?  If so, what was your experience like? 

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Easy DIY Jean Vest

Among their plethora of hand-me-downs, the girls had a sweet little jean jacket from their cousin.  From Gap, embellished with embroidery, and soft; cute on the hanger but on?  Well, meet the Hulkette:
With their tiny frames and stick arms, the girls didn’t stand a chance.

So, after procuring a second jean jacket (for $5 off Varage Sale!) that was similar because #twins, I made a few snips, inspired by Kilee, and we’ve ditched the steroids in the name of fashion:
[While saying “cheeese” and dressed in skirts their size yet way too big that I spied undies a few times and the only shoes they have right now that fit…better get on that!]

All I did was cut off the sleeves which probably doesn’t need one word of an explanation but since I am who I say I am…
jean vest tutorial

The only thing worth mentioning besides “Step 1:  cut off the sleeves” is that when you do, make sure you cut as close to the inside hem as possible so that you wont see any remaining sleeve material peeking out from under your new armhole.  I found that cutting at a slant gave me the closest cut.
photo 1 (1)
You don’t have to worry about fraying because you’re not cutting out the hem, just the sleeve material where it meets the hem.  No cutting the hem = no fraying.
 photo 2 (5)

And that’s it!

It’s just now dipping under sweltering here so hopefully they’ll become our toddler wardrobe staple soon!  Until then, we do quick photo shoots in the cool of morn:
I had been on the thrift store hunt to grab a jean jacket to turn into a vest for my very own but then I found one on the clearance rack at Target a few weeks ago so we might possibly turn into those mom and kids that are matchy-matchy once in a while.  I’ll make sure to gram the occasion if we do and give you full permission to do an eye roll.  ;)


Leaky Tap

Hey all!  So sorry for the radio silence last week…even though I know the only one to notice was probably me.  Monday and Tuesday were busy spent with the kids before I jetted out to St. Louis on Wednesday to spend some time with my bestie, Megan, helping her plan her upcoming wedding.  I brought Sebastian along for the ride since he’s still nursing and, let me tell you, one baby is a breeze!  ;)  I mean, it would’ve been if clingy wasn’t his middle name but hey, I got a taste of what spontaneity felt like again and got to eat in an actual restaurant THREE times in THREE days!  Crazy.  And the fall:
photo (8) 
Take me back.  The only colored leaves we see down here in the south are in craft stores so I soaked up the scenery like Spongebob and made a resolution that a visit is necessary every fall from here on out.  On Friday, Grace was so kind to let me pop in and spend a couple of hours chatting while the happy couple had a meeting and it was the best couple of hours Sebastian had.  I’m positive he wouldn’t have even noticed if I had left because he took to them like a bee to flowers.  Grace (who is so awesome and sweet and downright gorgeous) and I have the same alma mater (Franciscan University), so I knew her from college but had never met the rest of her clan and let me tell you, they are the epitome of cute.  I don’t know if you read her blog but if you don’t, you should.  Lack of time has brought the unread posts count in my blog reader to an all-time high (168!), but you will never find a post from the Camp on that list.  She writes, I read, I read to Anthony, end of story. 

So anyway, I was hoping to get my act together and get some actual substance up as soon as the kids say “nap”, but until then all I have to share is our new faucet…so boring, I know. 

A couple of weeks ago I started noticing puddles forming around the base of the old faucet but just thought my sloppiness with getting water everywhere while washing dishes was getting bad.  Nope.  Turns out our faucet was leaking.  We didn’t want to rush into buying another before a good deal showed its face, so Anthony bought us some time by putting some plumbers’ putty around its joints and we just made sure to turn the water off under the sink at night.
photo 1 (11) 

Then last week, I came across this faucet on sale for $98 (marked down from $154) online at Home Depot.  Bought it, they sent it, Anthony installed it and…
photo 2 (11)
…just like that, we have running water running where it’s supposed to and only where it’s supposed to.  (I made sure to croppity-crop out the dirty dishes just for your viewing pleasure…insert over-dramatized wink.)  I love the high arch (our old one had zero arch) and how sleek it looks.  So, if you’re in the market for a new kitchen faucet, snatch this one up before the sale ends on 11/2!

And that’s all I’ve got today!  I seriously have, let me count, umm…seven finished projects waiting for a spot on the blog so there is content coming, I just have to find the time to write and it used to be after bedtime but Sebastian has thrown his out the window so just…well…stay tuned.  #socliche  #i know  ;)


The girls have been crushing on these Old Navy loafers ever since they spied them in-store a month ago:
leopard loafers old navy
Okay, so I fibbed a little…I have been crushing on these for the girls.  But, as much as I love my girls, I don’t even spend $20 for a pair of shoes on myself so to spend that on five-inch long toddler shoes (times two) that’ll be too small in three months just doesn’t jive with my wallet. 

So, you can imagine our delight when I found a pair of these little thangs at Goodwill last week:
photo 3 (8)
A size too big but I know two little girls who can prance around in their mom’s 7.5’s so one size up is nbd. 

The pom flowers though, they had to go.  As cute as they are on the shoes, they made them less versatile with than without.  I don’t want to have to make sure blush pink fits in with an outfit if those shoes are the ones getting worn, ya know?  They were sewn right on the toe of the shoe though so I just grabbed my seam ripper and ripped them right off.  It took all of two 1 (10)

Bingo.  Now we just have to find another pair.  ;)
photo 2 (9)

  photo 4
^ hashtag ootd ^

And never fear, I didn’t toss the pretty little flowers.  They’ll be married to a couple of nice hair clips as soon as I get around to it.  Tutorial to follow along with dancing and some wine-ing.  Be there.
photo 5