CLIP-IN HAIR EXTENSIONS!

There are so many kinds and your head might be spinning trying to pick out the best pair for your hair. And then blend them in with your real hair. Clip-ins are my JAM and I feel like an authority on the topic because I have tried out so many different brands and styles. I’m pretty detail oriented when it comes to my extensions. They can’t look like they’re dangling from my head like an octopus or give me a penis head. You know what I’m talking about, right?!

Let’s get right into it. Here’s my guide on how to make sure your clip-ins look as natural as possible:

♡ Make sure that the hair extensions texture matches your natural hair texture. The best way to do this is to make sure that 1. the hair you are buying is 100% human hair and NOT at all synthetic. No plastic Barbie vibes here. 2. Take note of the amount of grams you’re buying. If you have thick hair, you’ll want to up the grams.

♡ Make sure the color is on point. Usually with hair extensions you can go 1-2 shades lighter or darker (give or take) and your hair will blend. However: I have had the most luck having custom color done. This will allow you to have the most natural, seamless look color-wise. When I had NBR extensions (not clip-ins), they were custom colored to match the highlight pattern and color of my hair perfectly. You could not tell where my real hair started and ended.

Side note: I recently went darker and LOVE my hair color so much. I wanted something more natural and seamless so Noelle at ash Salon toned by blonde way down to a bronde and left my roots alone for a pretty melt. I had purchased these Hair Shop clip-ins that were bright blonde to match my previous color, but she toned them with the exact same toner that was used on my hair to match my new hair perfectly.

The Hair Shop is my go-to place to buy clip-ins because the color selection is amazing, the quality of the hair is better than any other clip-in brand I’ve tried (and I’ve tried A LOT), and the customer service is fabulous. If you need help color matching, their team will help you.

♡ Have your clip-ins cut to accentuate your hair cut and style. This one is SO IMPORTANT. You don’t want to be walking around with hair that doesn’t blend. Whether you have layers or no layers, you’ll still want to have the extensions cut to make the whole look natural.

After mine were cut, I took one weft out at a time and labeled each one with where it was placed on my head and I keep them all labeled in a drawer with hair ties around each weft. For example: on the top right side of my head, I label that weft “top right” so that I know exactly where each piece goes. I snap them all in super fast – less than 2 minutes!

Let me know if you have any questions – I love helping you with this kind of stuff!

xo, Lynn

Woah boy is this a big topic…one that I have wanted to write about for a long time.

WHY I QUIT VEGANISM.

If you’re vegan or if you’re not vegan, I hope that this post helps you in one way or another. I’ve compiled facts and resources for you if you’re inclined to dig deeper and do more research on this topic. More on that as we go.

2000 was the year that I stopped eating all red meat after my family and I drove by Harris Ranch on I-5 as we traveled to LA from Northern California. Seeing those cows packed into confinement made me so angry. I declared right then and there that I was done with red meat. Looking back, I totally get that this was Speciesism. 

But I stuck to my word and never touched red meat again…after one last In ‘n Out burger because they were my FAVORITE. Spoiler: I wish I knew better and did not stop because NOW I am grossed out by it and don’t have the desire to eat red meat. 

I continued with everything else though: poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy. Just no beef.

In 2014 I decided to go vegan for ethical reasons. I hate the idea of exploiting animals. By the beginning of 2016, my body was screaming at me to stop. I spent several months prior to quitting veganism trying to ignore my body’s cues. I experienced extremely dry skin, indigestion almost all of the time even after eating the ‘right’ combinations of foods and eating little to no ‘junk’, fatigue, and the list goes on. Side note: one of the junky foods I would eat a lot were Beast Burgers from Beyond Meat. Finally an option packed with protein! Until I came to learn that Beyond Meat products are packed with bad-for-you ingredients. Occasionally I’d cheat and eat fish. To my dismay, I would feel SO. MUCH. BETTER. My digestive issues resolved, and I felt satiated. The way that I felt started to really nag at me and I constantly weighed my options: feel good in my body but feel guilty AF about the impact of my choices. 

I lumped animal products into one evil category of factory farming. You know those horrifying videos of animals being abused. I have not watched one purposely and I never want to. But I do know what goes on at many factory farms. I saw it with my own eyes at the California State Fair with a dairy cow. What I was not aware of was a whole other world of meat, eggs, and dairy, grown by independent farmers who practice regenerative agriculture. “In short, regenerative agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that seeks to rehabilitate and enhance the entire ecosystem of the farm by placing a heavy premium on soil health with attention also paid to water management, fertilizer use, and more. It is a method of farming that improves the resources it uses, rather than destroying or depleting them”. {via}

These farmers use techniques that enhance their environments and treat their animals humanely, allowing them to engage in their natural behaviors and eat the food they’re meant to eat. The additional benefit is that the meat, dairy, and eggs produced by these farmers are more nutritious than your run of the mill shitty factory farm. 

I chose my health and my body as my priority and having the education behind independent farmers and the benefits, I do not place any guilt on myself for consuming animal products now. I am very selective about where my meat and eggs come from – I still don’t consume dairy because it grosses me out and I am lactose intolerant. Tip: If you’re looking to forego grocery store meat, I highly recommend visiting your local Famer’s Market to support your local farmer(s).

Let’s get into the specifics of why and how eating meat is not something that you should feel guilty about – because this information helped me a lot. All of this information is via The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Paleo Leap. You can visit their site to read more about the biological benefits as well as environmental benefits, but here is a brief list:

♡ Meat contributes greatly to our overall health and contains many nutrients that cannot be obtained in any amount from plants:

  • Carnosine, a molecule found in meat sources, is an antioxidant that protects against degeneration.
  • Vitamin B12, found in meat, helps make DNA, prevents certain types of anemia, and contributes to the health of nerve cells.
  • Meat is a complete protein source with a higher biological value.
  • Meat is a good source of the difficult to get vitamin D, contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, and the minerals zinc, selenium, and iron.

Book recommendations:

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

How to Heal Your Metabolism

The Vegetarian Myth

Nourishing Fats: Why We Need Animal Fats for Health and Happiness

There you have it. I hope this helped you if you’re vegan and feeling guilty about the thought of adding animal protein in to your diet, or if you’re just looking to make healthier choices in general. Because I wish I would’ve read something like this when I was struggling.

xo,

Lynn

Press-on nails have had a bad reputation. When you think of press-on nails, you probably think about thick, ill fitting nails, right? Yeah, I did until recently because I have used those shitty nails in the past…when I was in my early teens to be specific.

Let me give a little backstory here. Before I started getting my nails done at the salon, I would buy glue on nails – always the french mani style…early 2000’s, ya know? They were hard to apply, never fit quite right, and would pop off so easily. The last time I applied them back then, I accidentally glued my lips together – LOL. I got the glue on one of my fingers, touched my mouth, and there you have it.

Now that many California nail salons have been closed for months 🤐 I couldn’t take it any longer, caved, and bought press-on nails to see what all the rage was about. OMG, you guys, press-on nails have improved over the last 15 years. SO.MUCH. They are also so much less expensive than going and getting a manicure. Faster, too. I will always prefer my usual dip powder manicure, but the downsides are the cost and the time it takes. I don’t count those appointments as ‘fun’ ones because I am sitting there for over an hour unable to use my hands.

An Instagram ad got me a few weeks ago as I was searching for the best press-on nails. I ordered two styles after I read about Static Nails and as I type this I am wearing them for day 5. I LOVE THEM.

The process: super easy. You select the size for each nail before breaking out the glue by placing each fake nail on top of your natural nail bed. My nails are tiny and I did have to file all of them down a bit, but I love that Static Nails provides you with several size options for each nail. Next, apply a thin line of glue onto your nails starting from the cuticle and ending at the tip. I also applied a dot of glue to the faux nails for extra security and let the glue set for 6 seconds before applying the faux nail to my real nail. Works like a charm. Then, file or clip the tip into whatever shape and length your heart desires and get ready to shock everyone when you tell them your manicure isn’t dip, acrylic, or gel. I was at Trader Joe’s yesterday and the cashier asked me where I got my nails done. She was shocked when I told her that I was wearing press-ons and asked for the name of the company and the color. Yeah, they’re really that deceiving.

What I love about Static Nails is that they’re nothing like what you’d see at the drugstore – a cheapy box with a clunky style. They’re chic. They’re amazing quality. They’re vegan and cruelty free. <— THAT is what sold me.

So there ya go. Order them and you won’t be disappointed! Static Nail sets are the next best thing – or maybe better – than your salon mani.

xo, Lynn

This post was a looong time coming. I have not calculated the days that the gym has been closed, and I don’t want to, but I have some tips for you today to help you take your fitness from bleak to amazing if your gym is closed or if your usual routine has been affected.

Before I jump in to all the tips, I have to let you know that perfecting my routine took a good 3 months. When I found out Daisy had cancer and during her steep decline, my fitness routine went off the rails – and that was in the middle of having anxiety about all that is and was going on. NOW, however, I am in a consistent routine and feel comfortable and confident sharing what has worked for me.

Perfect your night time routine. This one is huge and I think it deserves its own blog post, but make sure that your sleep hygiene is on point. I like to go to bed at the same time night, and that starts with a HOT shower with the lights off and the salt rock night light on, a skincare ritual with lots of oils, calm tea, and 30 minutes of reading a book (no phone). Right now I’m reading Hidden Epidemic <– more on that at a later date.

Wake up with a cold shower. I wrote a blog post on getting cold last year, and this is something I still do everyday. I hop in the shower for as long as I can handle it COLD, usually about 1 minute these days, and it wakes me the fuck up. Getting cold changes your physiology which helps your circulation among many other things. For the purpose of getting my fitness in, I find that getting cold helps me feel physically ready for a workout.

Calendar your workout. My workouts are set for everyday at 6:30 AM in my Google Calendar, and they’re color coded to yellow. Yellow is such a happy color and that is how I always feel after a workout. I’m sure you’v heard the saying “You’ll never regret exercising”…but we’ve all regretted NOT exercising. Having my workouts scheduled makes a WORLD of difference in just getting it done.

Do something different each day. By different, I mean a different workout than what you did the day before. It keeps things interesting, it keeps your body guessing, and limits fatigue of certain muscle groups. I like to focus on upper body or lower body and add in cardio days in between. These days cardio looks like a rigorous hike. They used to look like 45 minute HIIT workouts on the treadmill or a SoulCycle class. I have tried to run outside and I injure one of my ankles each time…so I’m done with outdoor runs for now.

If I’m not feeling very creative with my workout, I’ll refer to fabulous trainers that I’ve been following for years. These amazing women don’t disappoint. When I’m not making up my own routine, I am doing a workout with:

Blogilates: Cassey’s workouts are approachable and they’re FUN. I always get a good workout when I follow her routines. Usually I’ll pair two workouts one after another for 30-45 minutes of upper body or lower body. I recently did this thigh workout paired with a different leg workout and my legs were on fire for days.

Whitney Simmons: I started following Whitney YEARS ago, like 2012 or 2013 when Instagram was just popping up on the social media scene. Her funny posts had me coming back for more and now I follow her routines if I want new ideas for body weight or dumbbell moves.

Pamela Reif: If you want an amazing workout, Pamela is your gal. Her workouts are super easy to follow and they’re ALL challenging, just how I like my workouts.

Sarah Bowmar: Sarah helped me track my macros several years ago (I no longer track macros) and she has been a nutrition and fitness inspiration to me for years. Her body is insane and she has the BEST weight lifting workouts. I referred to them more when I was going to the gym but I do modify many for at-home dumbbell workouts.

xx,

Lynn

If you follow me on Instagram, you might already know this, but if you don’t – my baby, Daisy passed away last week. Hence the radio silence over the last several weeks. 

This post is to get my thoughts out “on paper” and to hopefully help anyone who is struggling with the loss of an animal family member. Because so many just do not get it. If you’re not a cat or a dog person, no problem, but you’ll have to be to get this post. Tune out those people who say “oh, she/he was just a cat and you can get a new one” – ya know those people. Animals cannot be replaced. 

Daisy has been by my side for almost 12 years since I adopted her from a rescue organization – she had been found in a barn with her mom and siblings as a tiny kitten. I chose her out of her litter because she was such a sweet girl, and had the prettiest green eyes with a pop of eyeliner. 😉  She’s been through my college years, a marriage, a divorce, my second marriage, and SO much more. She sat in my lap purring day after day as I worked on this blog. She slept across my chest every night until she got too sick and weak to jump up on the bed – there were times I had nightmares about being strangled to wake up to Daisy’s weight over my neck – lol. When she did become too weak to jump up on the bed, I would lift her up so that we could snuggle at night. In the morning, she’d still come in to visit and try her hardest to jump up on my side of the bed. Instead, I’d pull her up to be with me so we continued to share bed snuggles until her very last day. She would chirp every single morning as my wake up call to feed her – sometimes as early as 5 AM, and always right in my face. If I didn’t listen, she’d gently love-bite my hand until I got out of bed to feed her breakfast. She was a mama’s girl through and through but she loved Jeff so much too. She LOVED it when he’d pick her up and toss her on the bed, for her to come running back and have him do it over and over and over again, chirping and meowing always asking for more.

Daisy was just as feisty as she was sweet. Those who knew her know this about her. She was always ready for a little sibling rivalry with her sister Nala, and if she didn’t like you, she’d let you know with a hiss and if she was REALLY pissed, a growl. She especially hated my mom and held a grudge on her for the entirety of her life…and I know it was because my mom was always the one to give her shots as she is in the veterinary field (since day one). Daisy got a lovely red tag on her carrier when she went to the vet because she was considered ‘fractious’ and let everyone know how much she hated to go to the vet. Once when she had to be sedated for a procedure, the doctor had to give her more and more doses of sedation because she was just so angry that she was being held down for a procedure and let them all know it. He told me once they were done, “Daisy is not a cheap date!”

It’s been five weeks since Daisy was diagnosed with cancer. I will detail some specifics here as again, I want to help others who might be going through this because it’s hard, sad, confusing, and heartbreaking. 

Since Daisy was a kitten, she was a high-maintenance girl. I remember when she threw up days after I’d adopted her at 12 weeks old and I wondered what was wrong with her when it continued on and off. Food changes and trips to the vet ensued over the course of her entire life, and the girl has had WAY more than 9 lives. At 2 years old, Daisy was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Disease which requires food modifications and sometimes medication. Throughout her life, she was a picky eater, making it extremely difficult to have her fed and nourished but I always managed to find something she liked that didn’t have an explosive combo with her stomach issue. She’d decide she wasn’t into certain foods on average once or twice per year, which always caused me stress and I recently learned that this is typical of cats who have IBD. 

In 2015 she stopped eating once again due to stress of having construction done in our home, and quickly lost weight, so to the vet we went to find out that she had Fatty Liver Disease, a reversible disease caused by a significant decrease in calories. She was on her deathbed and the vet told us she would have died had we not taken her in that night, but she recovered swiftly and put on weight. 

That was the last big scare until earlier this year. Daisy went to the emergency vet in January because her behavior quickly changed to find out that she had some kidney issues. Fast forward to April, and she was diagnosed with kidney disease, liver disease, and lymphoma. Daisy went through some shit but she was always tough as hell and she always came through. 

The test results were very confusing, even to some of the best veterinarians in the world at UC Davis. Her lymphoma was mostly made up of small cells (lymphocytes) which is typically classified as small cell lymphoma, a less aggressive form of lymphoma in cats, but she also had medium and large lymphocytes, which are classified as mixed and/or large cell lymphoma, which is more aggressive. Layer on kidney and liver disease and Daisy’s cocktail of illness was complicated. So complicated that a UC Davis faculty member spent his own money to “stage” the cancer and look at it more closely. 

As we waited for the specifics to come back on her cancer, Daisy began treatment with Prednisolone and weekly B12 injections given by my mom. Chemotherapy protocols are different depending on the kind of lymphoma the cat has, so we could not begin with Chemo until we had more answers. When we got the answer and set up a consultation to begin Chemo, Daisy started to breathe with effort, which is NEVER a good sign. We took her in to the vet to find out that she had fluid in her chest, around her lungs, which the vet drained. This is called pleural effusion. However with pleural effusion, even after draining (thoracentesis), it will come back within days or weeks. Daisy’s vet told us that the likely cause was that her cancer had metastasized to her lungs, making it very late to start Chemo. This also confirmed that Daisy’s cancer was super aggressive. And so our plan was to let her go when the fluid came back instead of repeating thoracentesis over and over and over again, likely everyday, putting Daisy at a huge risk for infection and an extra poor quality of life. Jeff and I snuggled her, gave her treats and so much love. And then Daisy’s respiratory rate went up 24 hours after she’d had the fluid drained. She began open-mouth breathing, which we had never seen from her before, and is a very negative indicator, so we took her right in to the vet to confirm what was going on. The fluid had come back in her chest and in her abdomen. We were so thankful that her vet confirmed that euthanasia was the best option – I NEEDED to hear it because I was willing to do anything to save her from the nasty cancer. Seriously, FUCK CANCER. 

I hemmed and hawed over whether I could be there for the euthanasia. I asked myself and beat myself with guilt if I wasn’t going to be there. But ultimately I decided NOT to be in the room. I went in and I said goodbye to her. I told her how much I love her, I thanked her for everything she taught me, and I put my forehead against the top of her head like she always loved to do with me when we snuggled. I told her not to be scared and I told her to come visit us afterward.  I did not want her to feel and see my hysterical sad energy during her last moments earthside. Instead, Jeff, the most amazing, calm human ever, stayed with her from beginning to end. She loved him dearly and it was perfect that he was with her, looking into her eyes and telling her how much each of us love her so dearly. 

Daisy is being cremated and I will have a diamond made from her ashes so that I can carry her with me everywhere that I go.

Daisy was and is the most special thing to me. I read somewhere that when a pet is ready to ‘go’, it’s because their mission in life has been completed – to teach us what we needed to learn. I believe that Daisy taught me so much about compassion. Caring for her and her health challenges throughout her life is something that I am grateful for. Also, stuff… it doesn’t matter. At all. Love is what matters. Her and I shared a unique bond that I will forever cherish. Thinking about the rainbow bridge is the saddest fucking thing though and I absolutely hate reading others’ similar stories – in fact I avoid it – so thank you for reading if you’ve made it to the end. 

If you’re going through something similar, please feel free to send me an email. I’m here for you<3

Xo
Lynn

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