Mexican Domestic Goddess

Delighting in Winter

Jacqui SkempComment

I don’t know exactly how it happened, but last year I stopped hating winter in Minnesota. I can attribute it to a few friends who are winter (and generally just life) enthusiasts. I saw one post something to the effect of “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear” and it’s true! I realized that I couldn’t change the weather, and I was just so tired of complaining about it. It also helps to have a husband who loves a rainy or snowy day, grey day.

The real kicker was when I took our middle son in for a check up and practically begged our kind doctor to tell me how I could get our son to sleep like a normal human being. He looked at the boy literally bouncing off the exam room walls and said “he needs to get outside” - he might as well have written it down as a prescription.

So there I was, bundling up two babies, strapping one to my back and shuffling behind the other in the middle of December. I made a plan for myself, and I wanted to share it with you in case you too are a winter hater and need a little bit of an attitude adjustment. Feel free to send me this post when I need it.

1. I got outside. Every day. Didn’t matter how cold, windy, or snowy it was. I got really good at layering everyone up, and I aimed for at least forty five minutes of outside time. The perk of babies in snowsuits, besides being adorable, is that they’re really slow. The threat of a child in a snow gear making a mad dash to the corner of the block is pretty minimal because they can barely move. So after breakfast we walked, and after dinner we walked, and we were all better for it.


2. I said “no” to a lot of things. Less playdates, coffee dates, park dates, etc. I needed a season of regrouping, and winter allowed me that. I also said “no” to feeling guilty about not doing more things because that’s what the warmer months are for. Summer is a season of getting out and enjoying the sunshine and going, going, going. Winter is my time to slow down the pace and take a closer look at the things in the interior that need tending to.


3. I said “yes” to a simpler, slower routine. This is really just something that more seasoned moms know, and I am still learning. Our mornings had a basic rhythm: get dressed, breakfast, clean up, walk, lunch, naps. Then I would take some time to rest, and start dinner early, keep everyone happy until dad got home, dinner, walk, baths, bed. It was really, really nice. Here’s a link to a little video I made of one of our walks.


4. I noticed things that were beautiful and specific to winter. Snow on our trees. The satisfying feeling after shoveling the walkway. The afternoon sunlight in our living room that deceivingly hid the fact that temps were in the single digits mosts days. The bright winter light that only happens when the world is covered in snow.


5. Finally, I made it a point to focus on my own health. For me that meant using a happy lamp, starting to work out regularly, and eating better. I started small and simple and tried to focus on one thing and doing that well first before adding another element.

We had our first semi-decent snowfall last night, and this early November morning had me feeling giddy, despite my children tearing the place apart. This season of slowing down, and settling in is here, and I am ready for it.

My Current Curly Girl Line Up

BeautyJacqui SkempComment

When I first started my curly girl journey, I tried a lot of different products, but I did my best to avoid spending a fortune because it can really add up quickly. I know this line up looks like a lot, but I have found that as I've treated my hair better, over time I can go many days between washes, refreshing in between wash days, and generally using a lot less product. It also helps that I cut a foot of hair off. Someday I'll write a post about the products I used in the beginning, but if you want to start simple, I would strongly suggest getting yourself to Trader Joe's and getting the Tea Tree Tingle body wash (yes the body wash) and the conditioner. because you can use it as both your conditioner and your leave in.

Quick tip: you can buy a lot of these products in travel sizes at Target and Ulta. That's a great way to try something new without committing to a full-sized bottle of a product you might hate. These stores will usually take these products back if they are really not working for you. 

Alright! Here we go! 

1. DevaCurl No-Poo Original 

You're going to need something to clean with. I was about every third or fourth day and I do need to cleanse every wash day. Not all curly girls do, and you'll have to see what works best for you. This is a no-poo, which means no lather, and it does take a bit of getting used to, but I found that my hair really responds well to this DevaCurl No-Poo Original formula. 



2. DevaCurl One Condition Original 

After cleansing, I apply this conditioner and make sure to really squish it into my hair. This is also the only time I use a comb. After that, no more combs or brushes! When I'm done showering, I make sure to rinse this out really well. Then I flip my hair upside down and rinse some more before applying my next product. 




3. Kinky-Curly Knot Today

After rinsing out the conditioner, I use a leave in. I like it because it's not heavy, and doesn't seem to weigh my hair down. I apply this from root to ends. 






4. DevaCurl Styling Cream

I've used a few different creams, and I got this one free with purchase, and I really like it! I've also used the Shea Moisture Curl Enchancing Smoothie, and I will go back to that when I'm done with this bottle because I want to use up what I have. But after that I will probably go back to the DevaCurl cream because, again, it's not too heavy on my hair. I apply this to the section of my hair that I would gather in a ponytail and down to the ends. More details in a future post. 



5. Shea Moisture Mousse

I've been using this Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Frizz-Free Curl Mousse for some time now. I don't know why it works so well for my hair, but I can tell the difference when I don't use it! So I do apply it every wash day and refresh day, and I apply it liberally. 






6. Goddess Curls Botanical Gelle 

I've tried a million gels. Of all the curly girl products I've used, this particular category is the one that has caused me the most angst. Too much or too little can completely change the way my curls form and hold their shape. I really like the Kinky-Curly Curl Custard, but the price point isn't always my fave. I'm currently working through this bottle of Goddess Curls, and it's good and higher up on my list of gels I like. Though I would like something that would give me a better cast without weighing down my hair. I might try the Kinky-Curl stuff again now that my hair is shorter and I'm not blowing through products as quickly. 


Next week I'll share some of the extra things I use to style my hair, like clips and diffusers and are you overwhelmed yet? I hope not! 

Remember, you can go back and ready the beginning of my curly girl journey, and I have lots of resources linked there if you're interested in starting the curly girl thing. 

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage if you click through to shop at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support. 

I'm a Curly Girl

BeautyJacqui Skemp1 Comment

Two years ago I was complaining to a friend about how irritated I was with my hair. It was no longer holding a curl from my beloved curling iron, it was very frizzy a short while after straightening it, and it just took so long to deal with. From the point of getting out of the shower to having it completely styled, it took a minimum of 1.5 hours. I have three small children, I do not have the time. So this friend asked if I had heard of the curly girl method, and I had not. She added me to a group, and I read and read and read. 

What is the curly girl method? It's a way of caring for naturally wavy or curly hair. So you put away the straighteners, brushes, sulfate filled hair products. You want to figure out your curl type (how loose or tight your curls are, and yes, wavies count) and then your porosity (stay with me) and then there's a lot of trail and error. A lot. There's actually a book and it's a great place to start. I'll also link to a few of my favorite instagrammers who have taught me loads about caring for my particular hair type. 

Fall of 2016 was the first time I attempted the routine and it took soooo long to diffuse my hair. I was frustrated. I couldn't figure out the right balance of product, so I gave up. Six months later I got a Deva cut, and that's where they teach you about curly hair and how to apply product. They also cut your hair dry, wash and style, and then cut any parts that need touching up. I highly recommend doing this. 

I still went back and forth with my commitment to the method because while I was using curly girl approved products, I was frequently blow drying and straightening my hair. Finally in October of 2017 I put away the curling iron and hair brush, and I haven't looked back since. December of 2017 I had a foot of hair cut off, and in April of this year I had even more hair cut off. The results have been amazing. With proper deep conditioning, products, and styling I have healthy curls that I love, and I've cut my hair routine time in more than half. It might be hard to tell because -quality photos- but my hair has gone from limp, stringy, dry and frizzy, to soft, rope-y bouncy curls. 

If you're thinking of trying it out, please give it a go! You can email, comment, or message me. It's been a journey of self acceptance. This is the hair that I was given, and I am now in love with it. I can't remember the last time I felt like I had a bad hair day. Next week I'll have another post on my current routine and what products I'm using. 

Here are some of my favorite Instagram accounts run by curly girls who have a similar curl pattern to mine, or are just a great resources: 

@Dominique has amazing video tutorials on product application, diffusing, etc. 

@reallifecurlygirl has a lot of great info on different products, and a fantastic youtube video for beginners. 

@curlpowersalon is the salon I went to here in Minneapolis, but I love following salon accounts because they have so many inspirational photos. 

@naturallycurly is another great account to follow for product reviews and interviews

And this article is another good place to start. 

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage if you click through to shop at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.