February is such a great month. Winter. Groundhog Day. Valentine’s Day. And four very symmetrical weeks.
February is also the fastest month, and this year it felt particularly quick. Granted, I had a lot going on, but I felt like the pages of my calendar just flew straight from January to March. Whoosh…
Amidst the flurry of pink hearts and tiny cakes, I did manage to compile a few of my favorites from this month.
Let’s get started!
Wash your hair twice. This is not a product or tangible item, but hear me out. It occurred to me the last time I was at the salon that every time I visit, they shampoo my hair twice, and I began to wonder if there might be a benefit to this method. It reminded me of my nighttime face-washing routine, where I first remove my make up and then wash it. The idea being that I need to remove any product from my face so that I can really clean the skin underneath. Maybe the same is true of my hair?
So I gave it a go. After a month of the double-wash method, I have noticed a huge difference. It hasn’t changed my hair, but it has changed the way my hair responds, if that makes sense. It’s like my hair is more receptive to whatever I put on it, whether that is a deep conditioner (see below) or a styling product.
A few caveats worth mentioning. I am not an everyday hair washer. I typically only wash my hair two or three times a week, so that might have something to do with the way my hair is responding. I also use sulphate-free hair products. I can see how if you double washed your hair every day with a low quality shampoo, it might have a really drying effect. And, obviously, hair is not a one-size-fits-all situation. If you try this, let me know your experience!
Pantene Rescue Shots. Speaking of hair, I discovered these Pantene deep conditioner shots. I have been using them once a week, and I highly recommend. They stay on your hair for about a minute (so no long wait time), they rinse out easily, and they are very affordable. They do not weigh my fine hair down, and I can tell a difference in texture and softness. I love high quality products, but I love them even more when they are budget-friendly and available at Target.
Becoming by Michelle Obama. If I didn’t love Michelle before this book, Becoming sealed the deal. This book is fun to read, mostly because I enjoy hearing origin stories and behind-the-scenes tales. Michelle has an incredible origin story, and she tells it beautifully. I loved reading about when she met Barack, knowing what was going to happen down the road (“You’re going to marry him!”). I got giddy watching the drama build, knowing the ending. (“He’s going to win! He’s going to win!”)
I also enjoyed hearing her side of certain stories that plunged her into the spotlight in an unflattering manner, only to be reminded that we all should effort to be a bit kinder with our judgments before jumping to drastic conclusions. I loved hearing her talk about her role as a mother, raising two daughters in the spotlight. I loved hearing her share how she struggled to balance her role as an independent woman with her identity as Barak’s wife. I loved reading about the Trump election from her very unique perspective. I was moved. Have you read this yet?
Swell Tumbler. This little guy is my new favorite coffee mug. I like it because it is insulated, so it keeps my coffee from cooling off before I finish it. I like it because it’s little. I don’t want a big-gulp’s worth of coffee. I want a cup. One cup. Not a quart. A cup. And this 10-oz cutie holds one cup of coffee. It’s called portion control, and having a mug that accurately represents a serving size is a step in the right direction. I also like the pink. It’s a happy little mug.
Big Small Businesses. Hang with me on this one, because it’s kind of difficult to explain, but I’m going to do my best. We all love small businesses. I own a small business, so obviously, I am a fan. Sometimes in all the small business love, I feel like big businesses get cast in a negative or lesser light. Like they are the enemy of small business. But big businesses aren’t necessarily bad.
Small businesses rely on loyal patrons to keep them in business. Do you know who else depends on loyal patrons? Big businesses. And lately I have had multiple experiences with “big” businesses that have reminded me what a resource they can be to my small business. My favorite thing is big businesses that operate and feel like a small business. I want to share two examples with you.
First, around the corner from Hurley House is Sur La Table. Sur La Table is a national chain. They are big. But my local Sur La Table is staffed by smart, lovely people who are helpful, friendly, and supportive of my local business. They know my name, the help me find what I’m looking for, they attend Ina Lunches, and they are working hard to make their store successful the same way I am. We work in very different sized organizations, but just because they are a “big” company doesn’t mean they are impersonal or not trying to connect with every client that walks in the door. The Fort Worth Sur La Table store and the staff inside of it are a treasure. Sure, it’s not technically local and it’s not small, but Sur La Table is one of my favorite places to shop because I know I can walk in and connect with other people who care about helping me find the perfect white tart pan.
The same is true of the Fort Worth Central Market. Central Market is a huge grocery store with multiple locations. But guess who works in the Central Market? Real people who are passionate about their work, just like I am. Last week I needed burrata cheese, but they didn’t have any. Guess who made burrata cheese for me? Micah, from the Central Market cheese counter. Micah and I have become cheese friends because I always ask him for help when I’m looking for cheese. He loves telling me what he knows, and he wants to help however he can. The Central Market cheese counter feels like a small cheese store, but it’s inside a big grocery store.
I have had the same kind of experience at Central Market in the floral department, the bakery, the bulk department, the wine department, the meat counter, the seafood counter, and the curbside pick up. These people are my people. They make a huge grocery store feel like a collection of small stores that are ready and excited to help me find what I need. It’s incredible!
Last, but not least, is there anything better than painted nails? I have been painting my own nails every week for years, and it is one of my favorite ways to care for myself. I get asked a lot about my nails, and for what it’s worth, my DIY manicure lasts an entire week. Even with dishes and cooking, they look pretty great seven days later. This isn’t a new discovery for me, but it felt like a fun thing to share. I have written an entire blog post about my method and the products I use. The method involves making sure the nail bed is perfectly clean before you begin painting. The products include a base coat that really sticks to your nail, a high quality polish, and a quick drying top coat that adds a huge dose of shine. Let’s all paint our nails!
Thank you for reading!