This last month has been a month full of painful stretching. There's no other way to put it. I've been stretched before, but never like this.
On May 2, we woke up and started the day like any other. Our employees start showing up for work at about 9 a.m. and when the first one arrived, she asked me what was going on down at our building. I hadn't heard anything, but she had seen smoke coming from the general area on her way to our house. I didn't think much of it until about ten minutes later when my phone started blowing up with text messages. And photos. Of our building collapsing.
For the last eight months we've been making plans and working with our landlord to renovate a building on the historic square in our town. We had planned to move Nickel & Suede headquarters there. We'd been preparing to set up a small retail store, shipping and production and offices—even a little nursery for my baby to nap in. The building had been delayed, and so although we should have already been open, it looked like we weren't going to be opening until late July.
And then something went wrong. Something structurally wasn't supported, and the outer wall buckled. People nearby said it sounded like a train was going by and the dust was everywhere as if it were smoke from a fire. Our entire upper floor collapsed—right where Soren's office and the nursery would have been. Crazy scary, right?!?
The most important thing is that no one was in the building. There should have been four crews in there working that day, but something had prevented all of them from showing up for work. Supplies hadn't arrived or they got stuck at another job, but whatever the reason, they weren't in the building when it collapsed. It is so, so fortunate that no one got hurt.
We also hadn't moved anything into the building yet. The walls and the flooring still weren't in, so we didn't lose anything in the accident in that way.
When I heard what had happened I was just in shock. It was so surreal and unexpected that I didn't even know how to respond. I was at home, so I hadn't seen it in person, and it was really hard to think of all of the ramifications of this kind of accident.
And I was also a little bit occupied with what happened next.
While I was blow-drying my hair, Baker was waking up on my bed. And he rolled and scooted his way over to the edge. And FELL. Yep, it really happens and yes, I felt like a horrible person/mother/human being.
He fell and he cried, but I assumed that he was just scared and bruised. He also had come down with a cold the night before, so he was super snotty and coughing and generally uncomfortable. He fussed for the next two hours, and I just wasn't sure which of the above reasons he was crying about. Finally Soren took a look at him and tried having him stand up on his lap. He wouldn't put weight on one leg and really fussed if you tried to make him. So then we knew something was really wrong.
Thoughts of the building went to the back burner, and we got in the car to take Baker to urgent care. Soren tends to get sharp and snappy in stressful, out-of-control situations, so he wasn't being very nice or easy to be around. I was feeling terrible and completely overwhelmed. We drove to urgent care and finally found out after an exam and x-rays that Baker had a buckle fracture in his tibia. He finally calmed down because they gave him some stronger pain killers, but I was still a mess. I had been nursing a migraine since I woke up, and once we finally found out what was wrong with Baker, the stress of it all set in. I ended up in the hall, sobbing, calling my mom to pick up my meds while Soren helped the nurses set Baker up in a splint. Before we were out of there, I had already thrown up and I couldn't even carry Baker to the car. It. Was. Ugly.
(I do have to say that the doctor and the nurses were so incredibly helpful. They had all heard about the building collapse on the news and they felt so bad for us once they found out what we had been through that day.)
So I rode home nauseated in the back of the van. And we rolled up to the house only to find a news crew waiting to ask us questions about the building collapse. Can you believe it?! I just ducked my head and left Soren to talk to them. My mom met us at home with my meds, and I passed out for a few hours.
I woke up feeling more like myself and tried to pull things together. The mail came, and this shirt arrived. It was one of the only bright spots of the day and it definitely felt like a divine reassurance. Baker now had a splint and would be in it for two days until we took him to his casting appointment.
Over the next few days is when everything started to sink in. I started to realized what a setback this was for our business and how much work we'd need to do to adjust. I'd so been looking forward to all of our plans, and what to do next was at the front of everyone's minds.
We went and visited the site several times, and at least the boys enjoyed it. They loved seeing all of the construction vehicles as they were cleaning things up. The roads didn't open again for at least a week, and the collapse was the talk of the town. Baker also got his real cast on, and we started to figure out how to move forward.
Today I'm sharing a tutorial for styling my long pixie every day. I've had a long pixie for about 2.5 years, and it has been such a learning experience. I still have plenty of days when I don't love how it turns out, but I think after all of this time I finally have the hang of styling it. Recently a few of my friends have chopped their hair, and I always tell them that they'll hate it for at least three weeks. Styling really short hair is very different than styling long hair. It takes different product, and you have to switch over from valuing long, clean hair that is touchable to valuing short, dirty hair that can be molded into different shapes. This tutorial starts with clean hair, but my hair actually turns out the best on day two or three. That is when it has enough product in it to maintain the volume and shape that I want. When it's too clean, it just falls flat and slips out of any back combing or teasing I do.
I'm starting this tutorial with wet, clean hair. And the reason for that is that after showering, you need to part your hair before you dry it. Your part makes a huge difference in how your styling turns out and how your hair looks every day until you wash it again. So to start, wash your hair and let it air dry a bit, but not too much.
I always start styling my hair by parting it and brushing it into place. I like to have a deep side part with long bangs that swoop across my face. In order to get it to dry that way, I need to part it that way while it's wet. So I find my part and brush the front forward, and the shorter side gets brushed to the side. You can watch me part it here.
Once I find my part, I apply volumizing mousse to the roots—generously.
I rub that through my roots and then blow-dry. In these photos, I was using this blow dryer, but I recently switched to this one. It's amazingly quiet and quick, and it really does a great job at giving me smooth hair that requires less heat to tame.
I blow dry my hair upside down to volumize the roots for 1–2 minutes. I focus on the roots and stop when my hair is 50% dry.
I then stand back up straight and use my fingers to comb through my hair as I dry it the rest of the way. I don't use a round brush because I want my hair to dry straight, not curled under. (You can watch me blow-dry it here.)
I switch back and forth between blowing my hair exactly where I want it to end up and then the opposite way. Blow it forward and down to train it to lay where you want it to, and then blow it the opposite way to try and keep a little volume.
After blow drying.
(The following steps are what I do every day when I want straight hair, whether my hair is clean or dirty.)
Next I add dry shampoo. If this were day two or three, dry shampoo would be my first step. Be generous on this first day because it will help dirty up your hair, making it easier to work with. Go for the roots, but on the first day spray it everywhere because all of your hair is too squeaky clean.
Bed Head Spoil Me is a really great product to help you get multiple days out of your styling. It re-hydrates your hair after using dry shampoo. Sometimes dry shampoo can make it hard for your hair to hold a curl, so this stuff counteracts that problem. Just spray it on your ends.
Backcombing is essential for getting volume with this cut. My hair is somewhat fine, with a little natural wave. When I blow-dry it, it goes straight and flat. This comb is really perfect for teasing, and I swear by it. I start at the crown of my head and tease sections across the back.
Continue to tease sections through the long side going forward and then a little bit on each side. The more you tease, the better; just be sure to tease close to the root to get the most lift. You can watch me tease it here.
After teasing, I'll comb through my hair with my fingers to put it back into place.
Next I'll use my flat iron. Sometimes I'll straighten my hair before I tease it; they're interchangeable. On the short side of my hair, I use my flat iron to smooth it away from my face. If you notice, all of my movements to style my hair are in the direction I want my hair to end up in. Each element is to train my hair to go where I want it to.
My front pieces tend to curl under if I don't bend them away from my face a bit. Flat iron each side and the back. Depending on the texture of your hair, you might have to section off your hair to do each side.
Redken Wax Blast is my favorite product to get my ends to stay put. I spray it on all of my ends, still swooping them the direction I want them to lay.
I then use my hairspray to finish things off. I use this volumizing hairspray on the roots and apply it generously, holding up my roots until it dries. Sometimes, especially on day one, I'll have to go back and tease sections a little more or add more spray to get the volume and the hold I want.
And that's it! Like I said at first, it's all about the part. If my part goes back, it's hard to recover from that until I wash it again. But this is how I style my long pixie for everyday wear. It usually takes me about 5–15 minutes. Please leave me any questions below or email me. If you like this tutorial, I have starting doing quick video tutorials on Instagram that I think are even more helpful to really see how I style my hair. You can also find all of my other hair tutorials here.
Long pixie 360
Photo Credit- Sarah Sweeney
Happy Monday! We are just coming off of a much needed weekend where we stepped away from work and all of the stress and decisions surrounding that. We try not to work on the weekends, especially Sunday, but it's almost impossible to turn off our brains and emails and conversations between Soren and I about things related to Nickel & Suede. But this weekend we had friends from college come into town and stay with us for a few days. And it was so refreshing! We hardly talked business and instead did normal people things like going to a baseball game and talking kids, life, politics and religion. It was just what I needed.
I've been trying to sit down and write a post about the last few weeks, but honestly I've been struggling. I'm not feeling motivated to blog or to sit down and dump because these last few weeks have been really heavy. I've been running on very little sleep because of Baker's leg and his cold and falling back into old bad sleeping habits. So I'm tired. And I'm going back and forth between being really optimistic and then feeling really stressed. And then trying to keep life for the kids and our family going and happy. Mom carries everyone sometimes right? If you don't follow me anywhere but here, the building that we were renovating to move our business into collapsed two weeks ago. And Baker broke his leg. So tragedy, unexpected life adjustments and lots of extra things requiring my time and attention have popped up lately.
So while dumping here on the blog is super therapeutic for me, I'm not quite there yet. I hope I can find more time this week and that things will come back to somewhat of a new normal.
I am confident that things are looking up and that we'll be led in the right directions, but there is something to be said for letting yourself feel the stress and mourn things that are lost while still maintaining hope in what's to come.
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