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May 27, 2015

5 Tips for Caring for Your Curls This Summer

If there is one phrase to describe my summer style, it's "easy and comfortable". I live in running shorts and tank tops, or when I need to look a little dressier, I opt for easy-going sun dresses in the summer months. And when it comes to my hair, it's no different. I really, really dislike getting sweaty before my day even starts, and I can't stand spending lots of time doing my hair every day with various hot tools that will just add to the heat outside. Plus, summer is such a great time to give my hair a break and let it recoup from the winter's brittle cold.

But when you have some natural wave in your hair, (and especially when your hair is crazy coarse and dry), then letting your hair go au-natural can be a little bit treacherous in the summer months! Between frizz and curls that have a mind of their own, managing your locks in the summer can take some extra skill and finesse. So with that in mind, here are a few of my favorite ways to keep my hair looking good in the summer months!

1 // Quench the Thirst
If you have curly hair, then you probably know that the key to fighting frizz is keeping your hair moisturized. Dry hair = frizzy hair, so making sure that you're nourishing your hair with great, moisturizing products is essential. Finding a good deep conditioner it work into your routine every week or so is a great idea, but make sure that the products you use every day also include moisturizing ingredients. (Personally, I love Dove's New Quench Absolute line!)  

2 // Skip the Soap
I've tried the whole no-poo thing and my hair, while dry, can get greasy-feeling, so I've found that what works best for me is shampoo-ing no more than once every other day. If you've never tried to give yourself a break from the 'poo, then I highly recommend experimenting! Giving your hair a break from shampoo can help it regulate the natural oils that your scalp produces and contribute to your hair's health, therefore helping to ease dryness. When you do shampoo, be sure to use a moisturizing product!

3 // Be Picky About Your Products
Some products contain ingredients that will only further dry out your hair, so be picky! Finding a product that will not only define your curls, but leave them feeling nourished, smooth, and looking natural is not easy, but I'm currently crushing on Dove's Quench Absolute Supreme Creme Serum. It absorbs into your hair quickly (so no greasiness!) and it's lightweight and creamy, so it leaves your hair nourished! I also love that it can be used on dry or wet hair, so it can be incorporated into any part of your morning routine. Finding the right product that works for you is essential!

4 // Find a Routine that Works
Like I said, I really dislike having to use a ton of hot tools on my hair in the summer, but sometimes, I need a little bit of extra definition in my curls, so putting away the curling iron and blow dryer for three months isn't exactly an option. What I have found, however, is that there is middle ground. For me, a routine that works is throwing some product in my hair and letting it air dry as long as I can in the morning, then getting the dampness out of of it with my hair dryer and finally, finishing it off by throwing in a few curls here and there with my curling wand, set on a low heat. This routine gives me the definition of heat tools, without having to use them start to finish. The only trick to this style is making sure you don't fry your hair by trying to curl it...be sure it's dry enough before breaking out the curling wand!

5 // Love Your Curls
No matter what, don't forget to love your curls! Too many times I look in the mirror on a bad hair day and decide I hate my hair, or looking at someone else's curls and thinking "I wish my hair looked more like that!" So even through the bad, frizzy hair days, be sure to show your curls some love! I love my curls by treating my hair well, getting regular trims, giving it a break from my hot tools, and moisturizing it like it's my job!  

I really love Dove's new Absolute Quench line.  It's moisturizing and nourishing products are great for smoothing and defining natural curls in the summer months, without weighing curls down or leaving them feeling crunchy or greasy!  

Did you know that one in three women in the US have curly hair, but only 40% of little girls with curly hair think that their hair is beautiful, and only 10% of women with curly hair feed proud of their hair. That's so sad! Dove Hair recently launched a "Love Your Curls" campaign to encourage women to celebrate their curls, and the new Love Your Curls book is a poetic tribute to curly hair. The book features real stores from real women and is intended to inspire curly-haired girls of all ages! You can download the book for free here, and you can even personalize the book to include a photo of yourself and a poem about your curls! (Check out mine here!) If you have a daughter or niece with curly hair, then think about creating a customized book for her and encouraging her to love her curls!


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

May 25, 2015

Grateful for the Weekend

Happy Memorial Day friends!  I hope you're enjoying your long weekend and taking some time to remember the sacrifices of all of those who have and are serving our country today!  I'm so grateful that we live in a country where freedom is valued, and where men and women are ready to fight and even give their lives for that freedom.  If you or someone you know serves our nation, thank you!

I'm joining in today with Emily over at Ember Grey for her Grateful Heart Monday link-up. It's always great to start the week off by listing some things I'm thankful for, and today is definitely no exception.  In fact, my heart might need this list today more than ever.  In just a few hours, we'll be hitting the road to take AJ to the Philly airport.  He'll be spending the summer back in Boston taking a full course load of classes and working.  Though he'll be back for the 4th of July, these next five and a half weeks (and the five and a half after the 4th) are going to be hard.  It was so great to have him home for the past two weeks and we're in the final months leading up to our wedding, so there's lots of prepping to do.  It's just starting to hit me how much I'd like to be able to do all of that prepping together. 

In addition to that, my dad is really feeling the fatigue that a year of chemo brings and I so wish I could do something to help him.  I just want him to feel better again, especially since his scans have been good.  

So yes, today's grateful heart post is necessary.  Here's what I'm grateful for today:

+ Having two weeks with AJ
+ The long weekend
+ My schedule is about to normalize a little bit, and I'm ready to be super productive on my days off!
+ AJ and I bought living room furniture this week!
+ I'm so grateful for great brothers & sisters in Christ who support my family
+ Summer has arrived in PA...we're looking at temps in the 90s all week!
+ Getting big things crossed off of the wedding checklist
+ My first year of teaching is behind me!  While preschool wasn't necessarily what I always wanted to teach, I'm grateful for all that I learned this past year!


May 24, 2015

HTB Happenings

Happy Sunday!  I hope you've all had a great week!  It was a busy busy week for me, and that meant not blogging as much as I would have liked to.  But I've got some exciting posts coming up, including our Guys Behind the Blog link-up coming this Thursday!  This past week, we had our engagement photos, I finished my first year of teaching, AJ's sister graduated from college, and we bought living room furniture!  I told ya...busy!

Here's what you might have missed this week on Heavens to Betsy:

+ I bought a box of popsicles for our last day of school this week and was reminded of the magic of a good popsicle!  So quintessentially summer!
+ One of my favorites from our engagement shoot this week...can't wait to share more of these!
+ We had dessert at Magnolia Bakery in NYC after Amanda's graduation on Friday.  I've been there a bunch of times for cupcakes, but this was the first time I ever tried their banana pudding.  It. was. amazing.  For real...if you're ever in NYC, get it.
+ Another fave from our shoot!  We met up with our wedding photographer in downtown Lancaster, and it was a perfect spot for our pictures!

+ Do you partner with brands to write sponsored content?  Here's why I think you shouldn't work for free.
+ This DIY College Survival Kit is a great gift for any grad!
+ AJ and I made some grilled BBQ ribs and our recipe for a great dry rub was on the blog on Monday!

+ Stacey's post on how to become a better you was on point!
+ I loved this post from Hayley...these desk accessories are adorable!
+ Jenna's panko, cream cheese, and herb stuffed mushrooms have my mouth watering!
+ I can totally related to Beth's feelings about trying new things (and I love seeing other's take a shot at hand lettering!)
+ Did you see Laura & Jacob's big news?

May 22, 2015

DIY College Survival Kit

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareYourSummer #CollectiveBias

When I graduated from high school, one of the best gifts I was given was from my mom and was a "College Survival Kit".  The jar, filled with things that I might find myself needing in college, sat on my desk for four years of college.  She had packed the jar full of things that every college student might need like a roll of quarters and paper clips, as well as some sentimental things like an old photo and "Massachusetts Moose Mints" (I went to school north of Boston).  I never touched it's contents, but it was a great reminder that my mom was just a phone call and plane or car ride away, and that she was there to help me survive college if and when I needed her. 

When I attended grad parties that summer, I decided to make a few of my friends survival kits as well, and now, years later, it's still one of my favorite gifts to give.  With four family members graduating this year (we're actually in NYC today for AJ's sister's college graduation!), I'll definitely be making more of these jars to hand out to my favorite grads!

And just to make things more personal and special, I couldn't help but pair the College Survival Kit with a personalized Coke bottle.  I think that these bottles are super fun, and are a great little decoration for a college desk or bookshelf!  I found these bottles, labeled "Zachary" and "Class of 2015" for my cousin Zac, who just graduated a whole year early from Berklee!  He is an incredible upright bass player and he'll also be making the big move to Nashville this summer, so I couldn't help but pick up these fun labeled bottles for him to take with him!  And I might have to create a twist on these College Survival Kits and make him a "Real World Survival Kit"!

You can fill your jar with anything you think a college student needs, but here are a few of my suggestions!
+ A large jar or clear container
+ Paper Clips
+ Rubber Bands
+ A roll of quarters (hello, laundry!)
+ A bag of candy (for those late-night study sessions)
+ Toiletries
+ Post-It Notes
+ A Nail File
+ A photo
+ A Pen and/or Pencil
+ Chapstick
+ Instant Coffee packs or tea bags
+ A few $1 bills
+ Anything sentimental or reminiscent of the grad's hometown

HOW TO // 
Putting this one together is simple.  Be sure that your jar is large enough to fit everything that you gathered, and then start putting it in!  Put in larger items first, and save anything that is particularly decorative, or that you want the recipient to be able to really see, to fill in around the outside.  I always try to put certain things around the outside of my jar in an attractive fashion and not just tossed in, and I do my best to make sure that everything in the jar is at least somewhat visible, so that the person receiving it can see everything without taking it all apart.  

It's super easy to find all that you need for a College Survival Kit at Wal-Mart, and while you're there, be sure to check out their great displays which make is easy to find the names you're looking for!  Coke has tons of names out this year, and Wal-Mart's wide selection and organized displays make it even easier to find what you're looking for.  The personalized 20-oz bottles are great for anyone and the more generic bottles like "Class of 2015" are fun for the grad in your life (or any other summer fun you have planned)!

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