Project 333

I’ve always had a problem with clothes. Over-stuffed closets and too much laundry. I love clothes and fun outfits, but I’m not very good at keeping everything organized. I already circulate my closet every six months between Spring and Autumn. Even with cycling clothes in and out of my closet I still end up with too much stuff. Yet I still feel overwhelmed when choosing something to wear, and suck at keeping my floor free of dirty laundry.

And so, Project 333 – Reinhard Edition.

Continue reading “Project 333”

Happiness vs. Joy

If you didn’t already know, I’ve been struggling this summer. I’ve gotten easily frustrated and fed up with processes that work too slow, and wind up feeling defeated and deflated. Here’s an excerpt from something I jotted down while in a serious decline:

“What am I doing? I feel like I ask myself this question a lot. At the moment, I’m a photographer for Camp Sandy Cove. While I love being back at camp, I’ve found myself already in a rut of “in-between”. What is an “in-between” rut? Well, sit back, grab a drink, and I’ll tell you. An “in-between” rut is when you hate everything. You shouldn’t, but for a split second that makes absolutely no sense, everything is useless including yourself. You hate the grass and the pavement and your own shoes and people in general. You mostly hate yourself though, because everything seems to have come from nowhere and it makes you tired and sad for no reason. It makes you question everything you do. Those of you who might confuse this with depression would be wrong. Depression would be when you question your very existence and when this feeling continues for longer than a few hours. A rut usually only lasts anywhere from 60 minutes to 24 hours.

I’m tired. So incredibly tired. The kind of tired that seeps in through your lungs and grabs you and rips you to shreds. I have no problem admitting any of this. I’m tired. But it’s not that kind of physical exhaustion you get from running around all day and taking pictures of small children. And pretending to have the energy of ten people that you obviously haven’t had in quite a while.

It’s a mental and spiritual exhaustion. A soul exhaustion that feels like everything good has just been completely wiped from the planet. All you can hope for and all you can pray for is just to make it back to your bed. I’m at a point where I just don’t care. And caring usually keeps me alive. I want to lay down in the wet grass of the soccer field and just be. Who knew I would miss the freedom that comes with being able to even do that much? Working six days a week at camp doesn’t really allow that behavior, because even on your off day, camp is thrumming with children. Compete with their whining and their screams and their “you’re in my personal space” banter.

Maybe the sun is sucking it all away. Maybe the heat and the exhaustion mix to form a messy cocktail of emotions that leave me tired and aching for something else. I keep waiting for the eminent breakdown, with tears and some horrible mental break that drives me off the edge. It hasn’t come yet. The waiting is almost as bad as the break.”

If that doesn’t give you a hint of where I’ve been at this summer, I don’t know what will. Feeling exhausted even after a good 8-9 hours of sleep, waiting for impending break down. As the summer has sprawled on, my emotional state hasn’t gotten better.

Since Chesh is my boss, that means he walks and talks me through my mid-summer evaluation. Over-all, his comments were that I was doing well at my job but needed some tweaking in certain areas. One of those things was my attitude. His comment was that while around the campers I was high energy and high smile; a good attitude and engaging. As soon as the office door closed, though, I became a grumpy, sassy, complaining person that was downright depressing.

“We need to work on that.” He said.

“I’m exhausted,” I admitted, grumbling my way into a slouch on the armchair. “And I don’t want to do this anymore. I feel worked to my limit and even though we get a day off, it never feels restful. I don’t feel re-charged. I keep waking up tired.”

“That’s what I mean. We need to work on finding something that makes you more than just happy, but gives you the re-charge you need to get through the summer.”

After a while of contemplation about this (I ended up being placed on the shuttle that Sunday, which meant a solid 8 hours as co-pilot to think things through and mull over possible ideas), I figured out it was my joy. I was certainly happy on my day off, and happy when the wifi worked, and happy when I got to use a golf cart to get around camp, but there wasn’t joy. I suppose I should say there still isn’t joy, since as I write this, I’m still working it through myself.

What brings me joy? I’ve been trying to figure it out. I think there’s a difference between those “little happys” and true joy. A little happy would be a surprise oreo cookie, or a late night trip to IHOP. These are beautiful things in and of themselves, but they offer a happy relief that usually doesn’t last very long. I need to find out what brings me joy and not just happiness.

If you have any ideas, let me know. This is a journey, after all!

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Calling All Mermaids and Camp Counselors!

The same way an ink spill pools over everything it touches, hair dying does the same. I came to camp this summer sporting beautiful locks of bubble gum pink hair.  Halfway through training week, I was approached by not one, not two, not three, but nine people who wanted me to help them dye their hair. Everything from natural blonde and auburn with black tips, to purple streaks, to flaming red, to purple with orange tips, to peacock ombre. I was excited to say the least. If there’s something I love to do, it’s dye hair. Let me repeat: I LOVE DYING HAIR! I think that using your hair as a canvas is an extremely fun way to show off your personality. Getting to transform your hair into something exciting, is a way for me to be a part of that “unveiling”.

As someone who dyes hair a lot, I have tried a lot of different brands and colors, compiling a lovely little list of what works best. I rate hair dye on vibrancy, fade, and bleed. Vibrancy is the color you get right after you dye it, fade is how your color fades over time as well as washes, and bleed is how much rubs off on clothing, pillow cases, and in the shower.

DISCLAIMER: The products mentioned are purchased (usually) through Sally Beauty Supply, which I am a huge fan of, and can easily be found in just about any town. I don’t receive any compensation for the products I recommend. I recommend them because they’re good products that I’ve tried that I love. If I haven’t tried a certain product, I’ll give no comment. There is a very long list of things I want to try that I just haven’t done yet. I promise that as I learn new things, I’ll edit this post, or maybe write a whole new one!

Moving on.

First, let’s talk Hannah’s hair.

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For me, the most important part of getting my hair to the color I want it, is bleach. I don’t mean the bleach you keep in your pantry. I mean hair bleach. I mix of powder and volume 30 developer. I use that combination because that’s what I’ve tried on my hair and what seems to work well for the level of lift I want.  (If you want some more info on bleaching, read this lovely article. Usually it takes me 2-3 bleach jobs to get the right amount of lift. As you can see from the picture above, my hair is a pretty white-ish blonde. Since I knew I was going for an orangey-pink color, I probably would have been fine with just once or twice instead of the three times it took me to get this.

Now onto color. In the second picture (the one with the strawberry vanilla caption), I used Ion Color Brilliance in the shade Flamingo. Now, I was really excited about Flamingo, because I was hoping it would give me the right kind of pink that I wanted. I didn’t want bubble gum pink, and I really didn’t want that bright Barbie hot pink either. Unfortunately, Flamingo came out more like melted ice cream, and since that WASN’T what I was looking for, I tried again.

Next I used Flamingo mixed with Ion Color Brilliance Brights in the shade Magenta. This gave me a little bit of an in-between that melted ice cream and Barbie pink.

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Thus, my third picture. I wasn’t sure about the fade, but so far I like it! The top fades first (since it’s closer to my scalp, and is what gets washed the most), and melds into a blonde color. Here is an example of that fade.

I really love the Ion brand, and have found it the most flexible in hair colors. They have a lot of options with not too much fade, and very minimum bleed. Also, one box/tube of Ion costs about $6, which is perfect for my price range. It takes about a tube and a half to do all my hair, which means I can redo my color for about ten dollars, which I redo every two weeks. The key to good fade is cool showers. If your color fades super quickly, and you’re so surprised that your hair is fading, understand that the hotter your shower is, the faster your color will fade. Now, in the summer, I don’t mind taking cool showers. But once we kick into fall and winter, all I want to do is slip into a hot steamy shower.

Another thing I want to mention is Overtone. Overtone is a conditioner that has color in it, and every time you wash your hair and use the product, it adds color back into your hair.

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I bought myself a bottle of daily conditioner in their Vibrant Pink and have been using it every time I shower. The best part is that they encourage you to shower with warm water instead of cold. YAY! After using the product (and hearing so much hub about it), I have to say I was a little disappointed. It kept the color even, which I appreciated, but didn’t keep the vibrancy. In the picture with the sunglasses, you can see the color is an even light pink (which is CUTE!) BUT I isn’t that bright pink I wanted. If you want a pastel color, this stuff is awesome! You can purchase the conditioner through their website, and the bottle is around $17 for 8oz. “Use our Daily Conditioner every time you would normally condition your hair in the shower, especially after shampooing. These mild formulas will deposit just the right amount of color while moisturising your hair to help it healthy. Some colors might stain your hands a little, so be sure to look for our “wear gloves” warning in the product description.” (Overtone.co)

As I’ve researched dye, I’ve developed a long list of colors to try next, and I’m “booked” for color all the way through next spring. As I try new products I’ll write about them and figure just WHAT works best in my opinion.

Farewell, my fellow mermaids!!!

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