Denman Styling Brush Review

As a curly girl with thin, frizz prone hair life of getting your hair to look the same voluminous, lush self day in and day out is a chore. So when I learned of this styling tool specifically designed for such hair I was ecstatic! Imagine a brush that helps create uniform, frizz free spirals. Sound too good to be true? Well maybe it is.

I’ve given the brush a good try a couple of times now; and yes it is an amazing styling tool that gets my hair somewhat frizz free, but at the end of the air drying process(still not brave or desperate enough to really try diffusing it yet) my curls are nice and uniform and spirally… and elongated…

See absolutely gorgeous spirals! The only downside is that my curls are super soft and dissolve into sad, silky blah. Yeah I don’t know if I’m doing it wrong. Like using the wrong products in combination with the brush? I don’t know at this point, but I feel like the brush does what it claims to do enough that I am not quiet ready to give up on it.

Anyone out there have a Denman brush? What are your thoughts? What am I missing? Like I want to love this brush, but something is just a little bit off.

Anyhoo… Yep that’s it! Hope you guys enjoyed.

Lots of love,


The Over-hydration of Curls

It’s been almost a month since I started on my next stage of curly hair-ness. And since then I have been living at a vacation home next to a lake. And since lake life seems to be in my blood(in other words I love it and could easily do it for the rest of my life) there were I a few things I needed to learn about my hair and lake water.

So I was under the impression, since my hair was so dry going into this curly revolution that there was no such thing as too much hydration… Yep I was wrong. Shocker. After one particular warm week, in which I spent most of the time in and/or under the water, my hair became… Well gross. I’d rinse and wash it out(thinking that was the problem) but it was like the more water I applied the more my hair was crying out for help.

This is when I once again turned to the trusty internet and began researching. And I learned about a thing called over-hydration.

What the what?

So what is over-hydration? Exactly what it sounds like. It’s when your hair gets too much moisture, which apparently can happen. Curly hair is all about finding that balance between moisture and protein. (Still learning here) Too much of either is a bad thing.

So what can one do to stop over-hydration? Easy answer: stay out of the water!!! My heart broke when I learned this. I’m part mermaid and asking me to stay dry is like asking me to give up coffee- Not gonna happen!! So what to do? One curly haired sister said applying a crap ton of coconut oil before swimming and then applying again as needed(like sunscreen) is a good way to fight over-hydration. I’m excited to give this a try. If that doesn’t work I have a swimmer’s hair mask I use for pool water plus a swimmer’s cap. I’ll just have to experiment and see what works best.

Okay but what if you have over-hydrated your hair? How do you fix the damage? I did an over night coconut oil mask, which is rich in protein. Attempting in my experimental way to balance out my hair. (Sometimes I have no idea what I’m doing) I left the mask in for a whole day(or you could do it over night) and then I rinsed/washed almost all of the oil out and applied my leave-in products. Over the next week, which abnormally cold and therefore I didn’t do any swimming, my hair slowly absorbed the oil.

Day 8 after oil mask= Zero water contact!

My hair is back to semi-balanced life. At least I had a week of good hair days. Which is a lot more than I could say a month ago.

Another thing I have been doing to encourage I stick to my curly hair regime is not to pull my hair up. Whether it’s a good day or a bad one, I live with the hair I got. Learning what it likes and what it doesn’t.

This is what progress looks like people- Getting from point A to point B without freaking out! (Yes this is what my hair looked like when I woke up vs. how I got it to look)

Anyway I hope this was informative and in some way helpful. Thanks for letting me rant!

Lots of love,


My Curly Hair Journey

Both a blessing and a curse is the girl, who has curly hair! (Though I’m sure this can be said of every hair type) It was many years ago- I think I was either 19 or 20- when I finally accepted that my hair was curly and would never be straight. To be exact my hair would be like my mother’s destined to get curlier, darker and thinner. I was to struggle with dry, frizz prone locks that frankly do whatever they want.

So upper left photo I took yesterday(2020), upper right I was 15yrs. old(2012 and you can see how much frizz there was, but also how much thicker it was. I did have a perm in it at the time), bottom left was two years ago(2018 or 2019), and then the bottom right is from 2018(and note I had gone over it with a curling tool to try to de-frizz it)

I did a post on my old routine for my curly hair (here) like two almost three years ago. So please note that it is woefully outdated and some of the products I no longer use(Deva and the Sea Salt spray) But the past month or so I have realized that while my old routine was way better for my hair than what I was doing before, it was also far from perfect. My hair would barely last past day two of wash, which for curly hair isn’t good.

Thus I would pull it up in a bun like so… 😩

I don’t mind my curly hair(now) I really like it when it’s not a frizzy, brittle mess. Here are a few things my Mom taught me and that she reminded me about curly hair care.

The Do’s+Don’ts of Curly Hair

  • Set aside your shampoo– Not for always, but since my hair was so dry my Mom suggested only co-washing my hair for a awhile. What is co-wash you ask? It’s basically washing your hair with just conditioner. In fact that’s exactly what it is. Below is my hair after I co-washed it for the first time. The only down side to co-washing is that unless you vigorously massage it into your scalp you can fail to get the dirt out of your hair. Thus using a shampoo for curly hair is required. But if you check out my old routine(linked above) you’ll see that’s what I was doing and it wasn’t working.
No heat tools used. I just let it air dry. It was so freaking soft!!
  • Coconut Oil Mask- Basically I melted two to three tablespoons of coconut oil and then massaged and scrunched it into my hair, pulled it up and slept with it for a night, rinsing it out the next morning. (I did this last week instead of washing my hair. I will probably do a mask of some kind once a month) Below is the result- I don’t have a before picture which I apologize for.
As you can tell it is kinda weighed down by what’s left of the oil in my hair after the rinse out, but I knew my hair was going to suck all that moisture by the next day. And trust me it was so much better than before.
  • Wash Your Hair Once a Week- Or even better every two weeks!(If possible) I knew this but I didn’t follow it like dogma… Now I do. Once a week wash with a mask of some kind every month.

After getting the starting tips from my Mom she told me to look into the curly girl method. As I started researching it I immediately felt overwhelmed: curly hair types, sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, low-poo- What the what?!? Thankfully there have been girls before me, who have been on the curly girl method for a few years and are willing to pass on their knowledge. (Though I did order the book by Lorraine Massey to read through it myself and I will pass on what I learn) I have mainly been watching different YouTubers, though my favorite so far has been Hanz Curls. And here’s what I’ve learned so far, definitely taking baby steps…

  • Ditch the Cotton Pillowcases- This came as a total surprise to me, but cotton pillowcases dry out your hair!! No wonder my wash wouldn’t last till the next day. I slept with my hair up, but I’d still end with a dry, knotted patch of hair right at the back of my head. Everything I read and watched was telling me to get a silk or satin pillowcase. But silk pillowcases are pricey. So I opted to tie my silk scarf around my head instead.
How I tie my scarf at night, plus my hair the next day. (The left pic was the day after my coconut oil mask rinse, so you can see how fast my hair sucked up the oil)
  • Applying Water-downed Gel In the Shower- This I got from Hanz Curls and her wash routine video. After doing a low-poo(still trying to figure that out) and applying her conditioner, she applied a lot of gel that she watered down. Then she dried it off with a t-shirt(another thing my Mom told me to start doing since towels dry curly hair out too much) and applied more gel as well as her other leave in products. I gave this a try last wash day(another curly girl term) and that’s when my hair was so freaking soft!!(see pic above of co-wash results)
  • Doing a Curl Refresh In Between Washes- Another thing I didn’t know one could do. But it’s totally acceptable for a curly girl to rinse out her hair with water on day three or so after her wash. Not so it’s soaking wet necessarily, and without using any conditioner or shampoo; but just so your curls get a reset so to speak. This has been a lifesaver for me and has allowed me to stick to the once a week big wash rule.

I obviously I’m just starting this journey into my curly hair and I’m told it takes months to years to get the curly girl method to work wonders on your hair, but I’m willing to do it. Ya know since I’m stuck with curly hair. To all my curly girls out there- please pass on your wisdom to this newbie! I’d really appreciate it.

Lots of love,


Getting a Gym Membership for the 1st Time

Am I crazy?

So I have never ever had a gym membership before. Growing up my physical activity consisted of swimming and walking a lot. Like everyday for hours. I lived at the public pool and though I have never been a speedy swimmer, my talent laid in sheer endurance. When my siblings got out of the pool I would still be there swimming back and forth and back and forth again.

As far as sports went I was never interested. I played wiffle ball with my sibs and my Dad. Our team was proudly called either the Weenie Whackers or the Ragamuffins. And my sole contributions to the team was being somewhat good at stealing bases. If we played flag football(which in our family quickly turned to tackle and maim and destroy football) I was usually a linebacker or defensive end. My older brother was usually the QB, so all I had to do was rush him before he could pass and hit him as hard and as fast as I could. Or if it was a run and he tossed it to Tay I just had to run her over before she could get out and around me. I was very deadly over short distances but if Tay or Jake, both speedy, got the edge I was done for.

Anyway needless to say I have never been very physically fit or anything. And I wanted to change that…

What’s the goal?

Here’s just a very simple break down of what my game plan is:

  • Loose 10 to 15 pounds- Just a general weight loss of the extra pounds I am carrying around.
  • Endurance- I want to build up my endurance and since I hate- HATE running with a passion, swimming laps is it. My own personal goal is to swim 1700 yd. or 64 lengths(equivalent to swimming a mile) under an hour. At first and then we’ll work on wielding my time down even further.
  • Build up my muscle by weight lifting. I’m still working on a workout plan with my older brother as to what would be the best way to approach this one. So I’ll keep you updated.

Here we go!

If it’s not painfully obvious by this point I have no idea what I am doing… Yet. But I will and that’s the point! I’m super excited to start this new adventure even though I know pain will follow. But as Jake is proud of quoting…

“Pain is just weakness leaving the body.“

Do you athletic types(wink,wink) have any advice? I’m thinking of meeting with a trainer. Or there any things I should do first? Really I have no clue so I would really appreciate any help.

Lots of love,


New Hair Still Me

(Let me start off by apologizing to all of you who have already seen my enthusiastic unveiling… I splashed pics everywhere… I got excited. Can you blame me? But if you don’t want to hear anymore about my new hair than stop here.)

Ah it’s that time of year again when I feel the need to shake things up a bit. So I shake off my old locks for something new. Oh baby is this new! 

I knew I wanted to cut my hair shoulder length again like last summer.

So much tin foil! I was picking up the aliens.
And that I wanted my normal highlights and lowlights. But I also wanted to try something slightly more daring… 

It started with just wanting pink playfully tucked underneath,  but my stylist (who is amazing) told me the soft, pastel pink I’d picked would fade pretty fast so why not go for it and streak it all over. I’m so glad she talked me into the adventure because it is sooo cute!
The pictures really don’t do it justice. Artificial light definitely makes it look more pink while in the sun it looks more blond. It also largely depends on what I’m wearing and my makeup as to it’s color.

I’m learning so many new things about my hair. How to make the color last as long as possible, but I’m starting at ground zero  (since I’ve never colored it before) so if you guys have any suggestion please- PLEASE! Pass them on. (P.S. I think I fixed the comments sections and this would be a great post to check!)
Lots of loves,
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Little Girls, Little Girls

Let’s talk little girls! (Is anyone else thinking Annie?) More specifically let’s talk little girl hair.

If any of you a have wee lass you know they’re soft, curly baby hair is simply gorgeous! But it’s also almost impossible to style. 

Of course you could leave it down to blow in the wind and get caked with whatever sticky, unknown substance she comes in contact with. (Snot, syrup, yogurt, her brother’s buggers and so on)

Working as a nanny has given me plenty of practice doing little girl hair and I’ve learned some helpful tips along the way. (Below are some of my go-to hairstyles and for the most part they’re fairly easy to replicate)

Our first look (and arguably the cutest) are the “pig tails”. They’re pretty easy to do, just slowly and evenly start dividing the hair into elastics. You can either just leave the ends to hang or gather them into a bun.

I normally reserve the below “half-up half-down” look for Sundays. It will last the morning but not the nap! These looks can be harder to do as they require the little one to sit still. That’s why I normally do her hair at breakfast when she’s eating, or at a snack time. Food is a powerful motivator.  

Probably the look I use the most are my whimsical “web designs”. Mainly because they’re actually really easy and because they can last for several days with only mild redos.

When making your pattern just make sure you’re even on both sides. Using the same color elastics is also a good idea as it gives the look a more orderly feel.

One of my fav looks however is the messy bun! Mainly because it’s okay if looks well… MESSY! I redo it once after her nap (just retying the middle bun) and then let her go. The best part is you can dress it up or down considering what clips you use.

To achieve this look I gather the hair at the very front of her face and tie it in an elastic. Then I do the same with the middle section of her hair and the back section (gathering all those stubborn baby hairs). I carefully take out the middle elastic and gather the other two ponytails into it before retying into a simple bun. Then put a few clips at the base of the other two elastic bans to hide them and to provide extra staying power!
Before nap… 
After nap! 
Lots of loves,
Facebook: A Nanny’s Notebook
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