I Washed My Hair 4 Times In An Entire Month | How To

Autumn here and I’m getting 100% real here with you guys today. I HATE washing my hair. In the words of Mr. Grinch, “Hate hate hate, double hate, loathe entirely.” It really is that bad y’all! I used to be an avid washer. I washed, dried and either straightened or curled daily. Despite using product to protect my hair, I still had TONS of damage and split ends. My hair was also extremely oily if I skipped a day of washing!

About a year ago I discovered dry shampoo and my world was forever changed. I’ll admit, I was extremely skeptical. There was NO way I could go without washing my hair. I decided to give it a go and see what would happen. I washed my hair on a Monday and Tuesday morning threw my hair up in a bun while I showered. Got out of the shower, sprayed my hair with some dry shampoo, styled and went about my day. By Tuesday evening my hair was a greasy mess. I decided to go ahead and try to alternate washes every other day. After a very LONG few weeks, I noticed my hair was less greasy by the evening of day 2!

Fast forward to a year later and I am only washing my hair once a week! I get asked about my hair ALL the time so I thought I would share some tips I have learned along the way when it comes to using dry shampoo.

1. Use dry shampoo before bed!
If you only take one thing away from this blog, it’s this!! Using your dry shampoo before bed really does make all the difference. I used to use dry shampoo in the mornings while I was getting ready. My hair would look pretty dull throughout the day. When I started using dry shampoo at night I noticed my hair was MUCH shinier and softer in the mornings. The dry shampoo will absorb all of the oils as you sleep so when you wake up, you’re ready to go!

2. Don’t be afraid to try a different brand!
I see so many people who only try one brand of dry shampoo and quit because they felt it didn’t work. I have used 5 different brands over the past year and the last brand that I tried has been my favorite. I’ve tried everything from high end dry shampoos at Sephora to drugstore dry shampoos. Some of them were terrible, some have been great. My personal favorite right now is Batiste! I can find it at Wal-Mart and it’s under $10!!

3. Spray, rub and then brush!!!
When using dry shampoo, spray the product onto your roots, rub it in and then brush it through your hair! I have pretty dark hair and with this method I don’t have issues with the dry shampoo leaving a white residue on my head. Also, brushing the dry shampoo last helps distribute the oils it absorbed from your scalp down to the ends of your hair!

4. Give your scalp time to adjust!
Every time I post about not washing my hair for a week I hear the same thing… “I could never do it. My hair is so greasy I have to wash every day!” Let me tell you, my hair used to be oily and flat. I washed it every single day, sometimes twice a day if I was going out at night. I understand your struggle greasy haired girls!!!

It took my scalp a few months to completely adjust but it did adjust. Your scalp produces oil on a supply and demand basis. If you’re constantly washing your hair and stripping your scalp of those natural oils it produces, what will happen? Your scalp will produce more oils because it thinks you need more. You have to train your scalp by slowly increasing the days between washing.

In the beginning, there were many days I wore a hat or my hair up because there was so much oil! For two weeks I washed every other day, weeks three and four I washed every three days, weeks four and five I washed every four days. I would use dry shampoo on the nights I didn’t wash. Now my scalp has adjusted and I wash every 7 days and usually only have to use dry shampoo once or twice in between.

You have to give your scalp time to adjust, it won’t happen overnight. It’s a process that can take months!
I get asked a lot what my favorite dry shampoo is and I have to say Batiste! I’ve tried everything from high end to low end and the Batiste is my favorite. It smells great, works well and is only around $7 at Walmart! You can find it at pharmacies and also Ulta!

Dry shampoo has made life so much easier for me. I have extra time in the mornings (ie. more sleep) and my hair looks so much better! Since I’m not washing and drying every single day, my hair is shinier and has tons of volume. I also have less split ends and my hair is healthier in general! I will sing the praises of dry shampoo from the rooftops!!

Here are days 2-7!

dry hair tutorial

dry hair tutorial

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Play! by Sephora | October 2016 Box Review

I’m not going to lie to you, I have been waiting on this box to arrive for almost a year.  I (Kelly) am a subscription box addict and also their biggest critic.  I signed up for Birchbox back in 2011/12ish when subscription boxes were becoming all the rage.  I then bounced back and forth between Ipsy & Birchbox.  Both boxes disappointed me because they weren’t fulfilling my needs.  I didn’t want to receive drugstore products in my box.  I could buy those as Ulta or CVS for $6 if I wanted to try them.  I wanted to receive the products that I would never try unless I had a chance to sample them prior to dropping $40+.  I wanted my prestige brands!

When Sephora announced their new Play! boxes I was immediately in lust.  Sadly they were limited to larger cities and I live in small city.  I waited… and waited… and waited some more until finally the email arrived (almost a year later!) that I was chosen!  It was my turn!!!

My first box arrived and it was fabulous!

Play! by Sephora is a monthly subscription box featuring deluxe sample sized products.  The box costs $10 a month and includes a handful of prestige brand cosmetic and beauty product samples.

Cost: $10 a month in the US

Shipping: Included in your monthly fee.

What’s Inside: The October box included an adorable satchel (is that what you’d call that?) that said: Lipstix & Chill.  Plus FIVE deluxe samples of prestige products.


Flash Photo GlossThe Estee Edit:
I absolutely love a good lip gloss.  The shinier the better!  Estee Edit’s new Flash Photo Gloss does not disappoint!  This stuff is very shiny.  The product boasts that it has blue micro pearls which give your teeth a more white appearance.  I didn’t see a magical change in my teeth color when I put it on, but I also wasn’t on set with a professional camera and lighting.  That could definitely make a difference!  This gloss is very thick and tacky.  If you’re not a fan of sticky gloss I would definitely steer clear.  It’s not my favorite gloss in the world and I don’t think I would buy it again.  If you’re in front of the camera for a living this could be worth adding to your makeup collection!

Skin Dew Hydrating Essence Mist & Setting SprayFarmacy:
I’m not going to lie: I haven’t used this sample yet.  I absolutely love setting spray but I don’t use it enough to purchase full size bottles.  When I get my hands on a sample sized bottle I save it for my night time makeup or special events.  I did spray a bit on my face to smell/feel it and the first impression was fabulous.  I think Urban Decay Up All Night setting spray will always be my ride or die setting spray but if you are a fan of the Farmacy brand this one could be a great alternative.

Bamboo Creme Frappe Skin Reviving Fresh GelErborian:
Say that name three times fast.  Really, do it!  If you could do it then you’re better at speaking than I am because that’s one very long name.  When I received this sample Autumn instantly commented how much she loves this brand.  I cannot remember having ever used their products in the past but her positive input excited me.  This product does not disappoint!  It does exactly what it promises: moisturizes, absorbs quickly and has a light feel to it.  I really love this one enough that I have put it on my list of possible moisturizers to purchase in the future.

Side note on moisturizers: I have found that once you find what type of moisturizer works/you love that it makes your life much easier when hunting for the perfect moisturizer.  I love a glycerin based moisturizer.  Almost every moisturizer I try and instantly love has glycerin as one of its top 3 ingredients.  Alicia taught me to pay attention to the ingredients in the products you love/hate and beauty product shopping will become simple.

Always on Matte Liquid LipstickSmashbox:
I am not a fan of lipstick or anything matte.  I feel like most matte makeup makes me look more washed out and pale than I am but I didn’t hate this one!  The applicator has a little bowl built into it to ensure you receive the perfect application and it stays much better than most lipstick.  I still have to pile on some gloss to give it some shine.  Chances are pretty much zero that I would purchase a matte lipstick but if you love matte this is probably the best one I have tried recently.  Maybe someday I’ll grow up and learn to love lipstick, until then I’ll stick with my Nars gloss.

Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed OilChristophe Robin:
This stuff is amazing y’all!  I am on a quest to have healthy hair after a unfortunate event in July 2015 with my hair and a lot of bleach.  Recently I have been using Living Proof hair care and I decided to throw this little gem into the mix.  Every time I use this on my hair it smells amazing throughout the day, it styles better and looks healthier.  The price makes me want to cry a bit but I may actually purchase a full size of this item if I keep loving it as much as I do right now.

Mon ParisYves Saint Laurent:
I am without a doubt the worst person to ask for perfume recommendations.  My nose couldn’t decipher between apple and strawberry scents if it had to and my idea of whether a perfume is good is if I like how it smells.  I don’t hate this one which is a huge plus.  I tend to hate most perfume.  I wore it for a day and the scent stayed with me.  I will most likely use the rest of the sample and move on.  It has a bit of a musk scent to it and I’m a fan of light and airy fragrances.  I give it a A+ for staying power.  If only I loved the scent a but more.

Review:  I’m pretty sure you’ve already gathered that I absolutely loved this box.  It is by far the best box I’ve received from a subscription box service thus far.  The products are all items that I will definitely give the samples a try!  There was nothing in the box that I immediately re-gifted to another of the mom’s to try which usually happens with my subscription boxes.  This is a definite win for me!

Box Value: Approximately $44!  It’s a bit tricky on some of the products to figure out the retail value of them but the value was enough that I felt it was $10 well spent.

Want to Try?  Due to high demand Play! is currently on a waitlist status.  Hop on over to get your name on the list.  It’s absolutely worth the wait!

Disclosure: The opinions expressed in this review are my own.  I do not receive compensation for reviews.  This post may contain external affiliate or review links.  Kelly paid for this subscription.

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Quick and Easy Trendy Baby Bandana Bib | How To | Pregnancy

Hey guys! Alicia here! I am killing time as I wait to go into labor with baby Anderson and decided to do a bit of sewing for him. This is a quick and easy handkerchief bib pattern that will fit a baby 3 months to 12 months of age. Here is the link to their tutorial which includes a printable pattern from Project Nursery.
I decided to use cheap hand towels from Wal-Mart and flannel baby blankets to make my bib, but you can use anything as long as the materials are absorbent. I of course had to make a Mickey for obvious reasons.

baby bib tutorial

Be sure to cut the fabric folded against itself lining the folded edge as instructed on the pattern.

Place the fabrics with the front facing each other and sew around the edges leaving a space to turn them right side out once complete.

baby bib tutorial

Flip the bibs right side out and sew the final edge. The original tutorial suggests uses snap buttons to secure the bib on baby, but I used some Velcro that I had on hand.

baby bib tutorial

These are so cute and the perfect hand made gift for anyone expecting!

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A Mom’s Guide to Surviving Election Day | How To

It’s hard enough to get through a normal day as a working mom but lately we’ve had the added insanity of listening to the non-stop bickering on Facebook about politics.  Unless you live under a rock you’ve seen the train wreck that is the current election year.  Let’s be honest: it’s gotten ridiculous.  Don’t believe me?  No worries!  We have this gem to prove the ultimate weirdness involved in this election.

Be proud of yourself Mom!  You made it through the social media election crap storm without losing too many friends (hopefully.)  November is here!  The end is drawing near.  The final step is surviving Election Day; which ultimately could be harder to survive than the zombie apocalypse.  Keep your head up, eye on the prize and follow our survival guide!

Photo credit: Autumn Branscome Photography

Step 1: Wake up!
You made it through Monday!  Another beginning of the week success is under your belt. The rest of the week is a breeze… except… wait… what is that nagging thought in the back of your head?  Ugh, it just hit you… it’s Election Day!

It’s time to do your duty to country and cast your vote, but first you have to get the kids dressed, off to school, grab a coffee, vote, then head off to listen to political water cooler chatter ALL day long.  Survival today is going to require coffee.  Go ahead and get yourself a cup, throw whatever clothes you can find that are relatively clean on yourself and the kids, and get out the door.  Trust me, you’ll look more put together than some of the characters you will see today.  Election Day tends to bring out more interesting people than you would find during a trip to Walmart.

Step 2: Drop the Kids Off.
For a brief moment as you pull up to your child’s school you wonder why there’s so many adults parking and walking into the building. Then it hits you… it’s Election Day!   You forgot that not only does Election Day mean the talking heads on your television argue all day long but it also means Maddi’s school is closed.  *pounds head against car door*  Quickly, text everyone on your babysitting list.  Chances are they are all still asleep because they don’t have school either, but it’s worth a shot.  When that fails, it’s time to “Mom up” and realize you are taking Maddi with you to vote.  At least the baby’s daycare is still open… you hope.

Step 3: Pre-Voting Child Pep Talk.
It’s time to vote in one of the most polarizing elections of the year and you have a kindergartener chomping at the bit to see what all the fuss is about.  A pre-voting pep talk is a must if you’ve decided to walk into the lions den with him!  A quick chat to ensure he understands how to quietly stand in time, not scream anything obnoxious, stay in your voting booth and be quiet should ensure your sanity.  Because those talks always work so well, right Mom?

Photo credit: Cate Waters

Step 4: Enter the lions den.  Go Vote!
You’re half way through the parking lot when you hear a couple debating which candidate is the best to win.  You whisper a silent prayer that they keep the conversation PG-13 because you cannot handle another conversation where you have to convince your child that the the P word is referring to an adorable kitten and not a woman’s anatomy.  Yup, this is what the election has done to you as a parent.  You’ve been reduced to explaining to a 5 year old what the P word is… and maybe bending the context a bit.

Being the organized woman you are, you decided weeks ago how you would vote for each election and even researched the candidates to be ready.  A quick punch and you’ll be on your way is the hope. Maddi starts to ask a thousand questions so you explain to him how you are going to pick the next President today mentioning the two main candidates are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.  Instantly in a bout of excitement, Maddi screams, “Vote for Donald!  He’s friends with Mickey!!!!”  A head pokes out from the next booth over with a disapproving look. Roll your eyes, grit your teeth, punch that ballot and move it momma!  You can explain to Maddi later that Donald is in fact not the duck who is Mickey’s friend (or is he?), and you shouldn’t share who you plan to vote for if you want to have friends.

Step 5: Survival.
It never fails, as soon as you step outside, your mother-in-law calls to tell you she can take Maddi for the day. Thank You Grandma!!!  A quick trip to drop him off helps re-normalize your crazy so you can swing by Starbucks and get yourself a fancy schmancy coffee and prepare for the water cooler chatter at work.

You finally make it to the office proudly displaying your “I voted!” sticker when the 23-year-old intern pops by your desk to say “Hi!”.  She displays her equally shiny sticker for you to see and points out brightly that you are in kindred spirits. Ha!  Little does she know that you’re not in the same league.  She spent 10 seconds voting and chugged her caramel macchiato in peace afterwards as she drove calmly to work.   You smile politely knowing that in the next 10 years she’ll go through the pure insanity you just went through and she’ll have earned her wings.

Keep your head down, get your work done and push through the day.  Do you best to not fall into the trap of debating at the water cooler.  As your best friend always reminds you, “Don’t wrestle with pigs, you get dirty and the pig enjoys it.”  Your time will be much better spent Pinning ideas for dinner.

Step 6: Pick up the Kids.
You survived!  The day is simple now: Pick up the kids, cook dinner and relax. Maddi runs out of his grandma’s house and screams, “Mommy I decided I like Hilwary!  She’s prettier! And doesn’t have orange hair!  Grandma said Donald isn’t friends with Mickey.  She doesn’t even think he’s allowed to go to Disney! Grandpa said Hilwary wouldn’t know if she had Disney tickets because she can’t keep track of her mail.”  And just like that you feel your anxiety level rise as you roll your eyes so far back you can see your brain.  You rush Maddi to the car, thank your mother-in-law and call your husband to pick up dinner and bring it home, there is only one word to describe today, DONE!

Photo credit: Amanda Greer Photography

Step 7: The End is Near.
The children are finally in bed.  Grab yourself an iced tea, wine, beer, or Vodka and settle on the couch to watch as the end approaches.  You survived Election Day!  You showed your child an example of doing his civic duty and supporting this great country.  The results are coming in and reality is you have no control over them at this point.  You mutter a prayer for the country and smile knowing that in four years you’ll have two little people making your day hectic.  Hopefully by then Ms. Peppy Sunshine Intern will have a child or two and bring you a caramel macchiato while you sit in solidarity knowing that surviving this election fiasco as a parent was an adventure.

Photo credit: Kelly Broyles Photography

A note from HtKS moms:  Thank you so much to everyone who has already voted in this year’s election and to those who will vote tomorrow.  We know this election has been a bit of a circus and while we poke fun of it in this blog, we also strongly believe in the freedom we have to vote.  A freedom that many of our loved ones have fought to preserve.  Please take a moment tomorrow to vote even if it means some embarrassing moments with your little Maddi.  Voting is very important and teaching the future generation to vote is crucial.

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Trick or Treat!: Easy & Fabulous Costumes for Kids

If you’re like the four of us then you have a deep love for Halloween and costumes but you also have a very busy month of October!  October is the busiest month of the year for photographers which makes Autumn & Kelly half insane during the month!  Jenn & Kelly both have littles with birthdays in October.  And Alicia’s kids are still settling into school.  October is pure insanity.  As much as we would love to have elaborate costumes for our littles the reality is that probably won’t happen on most years.  That doesn’t mean we cannot be creative though!

We present to you our fabulously simple yet oh-so-fabulous costumes of 2016.

Miss A (Kelly’s Daughter): Lucille Ball from I Love Lucy
My theory on Halloween is rather simple: Until my child is old enough to battle me on what she wants to be I control the costume.  Ha!  Sorry, not sorry.  Since she has red hair I tend to play it up on Halloween.  This year her Aunt Jenn & I thought it would be hilarious to turn her into Lucille Ball.  I did not anticipate that half of the younger generation would have no clue that I Love Lucy or Lucille Ball ever existed.  I am fairly confident I found the root of all our world’s issues!  We need to bring back Lucy!

A photography client referred me to the lovely Amanda from Segsworth Designs  to create A’s Lucy costume.  For $35 she made a stunning blue dress with white polka dots, a apron and headband.  A quick trip to Target for a $2 mini-whisk plus grabbing a small bowl out of her toy food and we were ready!  It took us a few extra days to teach her to yell “Ricky!”  But she finally got it down.

Miss H (Autumn’s Daughter): Aurora
My girl is obsessed with princesses! Her current obsession is Aurora so of course, we had to be Aurora for Halloween. I’m a big thrift shopper and actually found this costume on a Facebook yard sale site for $12. I found her tiara and wand on the clearance rack at Claire’s Boutique for $10 making the total spent on this outfit $22!! Since I didn’t spend a lot on this outfit I didn’t feel bad about letting her wear it to school for the day! I think she’s the most beautiful Sleeping Beauty ever! 😉

Miss E (Jenn’s Daughter): A Piratehalloween-pirate-costume

Being the Pinterest addict that I am, I’m usually all about the DIY costumes. However, this October was a little crazier than usual for my family so I decided to settle for the quick and simple route and go with a store bought costume. I searched online for costume options before I went to the Halloween store, but this cute little pirate costume for $20 was too adorable to pass up. Is she not the cutest pirate you’ve ever seen? I found the little spyglass you see in the picture on Amazon for $3 to compliment her costume.

I decided that my husband and I should dress up last minute (as of 9am on Halloween). It took some persuading, but he agreed if it was “just a t-shirt”. TMNT sounded like something he would be ok with, so I ran with it. Not to mention, it was one of our only options left at the Halloween store. I added the mask in last minute and that took even more persuading (men!), but thankfully he agreed to wear it for the picture.  I’ll call that a win!

Mr. M & Ms. K (Alicia’s Littles): Darth Vader and Princess Leia from Star Wars

Our Halloween theme was led by Max this year. He picked Darth Vador early on and the rest of us jumped on board. Kiley is 12 this year, which means she wanted the candy but did not care much about dressing up. So I found a low key Princess Leia outfit on Pinterest and copied away!

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