Keep your fantasy hair color looking vibrant forever with oVertone

By on Aug 29th
Megan's purple hair that faded way too fast. Photo by Sirens Salon.

Megan's purple hair that faded way too fast. Photo by Sirens Salon.

True story: At the beginning of August I dyed my hair this really pretty lavender, by mid August — even with adding my hair color to my conditioner — it was faded beyond all color recognition. Strangers went from saying "I love your hair!" to "So, what color was your hair?" So depressing.

That is why I'm beyond stoked that oVertone is our newest sponsor, because it's is a line of vegan color depositing conditioners that keeps your fantasy hair color looking vibrant and beautiful. Their mission: to end hair fading for good.

oVertone vegan color depositing conditioner

oVertone was created by Maegan and Liora, who put their brightly-colored heads together and concocted a product that both of them had always wanted — a conditioner that would heal hair between dye jobs and keep it looking as bright on day 60 as it did on day one. As they put it, "We want to be bold, AND look the part 24/7, no matter how long ago our last salon trip happened." oVertone is an end to cold showers and a reintroduction to heat styling. It's a way to keep your hair healthy and colorful every day, no matter how often you shampoo.

But how is that possible!?…

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My dog sleeps in a fireplace: Turn your unused fireplace into a doggy alcove

Guestpost by Pufferfish on Aug 28th
Hi, my name is Aristotle, and I love sleeping in a fireplace.

Hi, my name is Aristotle, and I love sleeping in a fireplace.

When we moved into our current house, one of the details that struck us as odd was the fireplace in the master bedroom. Why the heck would anyone want a fireplace in the master bedroom?

Well, lots of people were happy to tell us why anyone would want a fireplace in the master bedroom — I guess lots of people like fires in fireplaces, and find the idea of being able to watch a fire while in bed very nifty. Apparently, we're kind of odd.

The fireplace was a gas fireplace — or maybe it was originally a natural fireplace that had a gas hookup added to it. There is a pipe at the bottom of it that leads to a contraption at the back of it, and we were told that was for gas. But unlike the other gas fireplaces we'd seen, the front of the fireplace was open. And the whole thing appears to be non-functional.

We didn't care about the functionality of it — and to be honest, there were lots of other things about the house that were clamoring for our dollars that took precedence over figuring out and fixing up the fireplace. So it sat for almost two years.

During that time, our dog slept in a pen at the foot of our bed. It's a collapsible gate thing that's meant for toddlers — we set it up every night and take it down every morning so that the dog can have access to his bed throughout the day. You know, when he's not napping in his bed in the kitchen, or his bed in the den, or his favorite spot in front of the door, or his sunbeam on the carpet. My dog is kind of spoiled?

I finally got tired of dealing with the whole collapsible pen thing, and started eyeing the fireplace in a new light. Previously, I had thought of trying to turn it into a bookshelf, but never got around to it. Then one day, our general fix-it guy and house savior came by to help me with some stuff, and I asked him if he could build me a platform to fit the fireplace and also figure out some way to cap the fixture at the back. Yes, he could, and the result has been stupendous!

Here's the fireplace, sans dog bed:

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Try a different country's food each month

Guestpost by Janice McDonald on Aug 28th
Our homemade sushi.

Our homemade sushi.

I haven't been in a food rut since before I was married, thanks to my husband who loves food and cooking. He also loves to challenge himself. Put those two things together and one outcome is the monthly food challenge.

Every month we pick a different country or region and make that type of food at home. We sometimes get excited and buy a bunch of unique spices, and sometimes we are tame and just use what we have. We generally select one to two recipes a week from the location we picked. That seems to get us a sense of what the food is like.

If we find a great recipe we want to hold onto, we simply print it out and put it in a binder next to our cookbooks.

We had originally thought we'd only do this for a year, but clearly we could go on much longer. We find our recipes online or in cookbooks from the library, or we have even asked friends from that country what they traditionally cook. We also try to visit a restaurant with that type of cuisine, if possible.

The thing is you can start at any time and go for as long as you want. It has forced us out of our culinary comfort zone. It's been fun to try traditional things like coq au vin or homemade sushi rolls. If you have kids, it's fun to learn about the country, too.

So far here's what we've done:

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Our hipster city trip to Berlin

By on Aug 27th

Lunchtime selfie

Travelers: Lydia and Johan
Budget: Budget ($500-$1000)

Where did you go? We went to the German capital city Berlin for five days.

We mostly chose it because, living in the Netherlands, it's relatively cheap to get to for us. But also because we have some friends who live there, it has great museums and (FOR SHAME) we had never been there before — and we always like exploring new places!

Love :)

What did you do? Lots! We like museums, pretty and/or historically significant places and funky shops, so that's mostly what we went for…

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My relationship vs. my pantry: why I don't need nicely-labelled canisters

By on Aug 27th
My relationship and my pantry: why I don't need nicely-labelled canisters

Labelled jars are gorgeous… but store-bought packets do fine, too. By: Dinudey BaidyaCC BY 2.0

After ending my relationship and moving out of the home I shared with my partner, I've moved into my own place with a roommate. We've been buying the things we need as we go, in priority sequence — a coffee maker was first, obviously.

In shopping for the new place, I remember what I left behind at my ex's: the pretty swing-top jars and canisters with colourful, perfectly co-ordinated labels, on which I used my best handwriting to label the coffee, macaroni, etc. They sat on the pantry shelf, a Pinterest pin waiting to happen. I was meticulous — borderline obsessed — with putting every package of food that came into our home into a pretty jar with a nice label.

At my new apartment, my coffee sits in its original bag, with a rubber band closing it. It's in my cupboard, which is next to my roommate's, where he keeps his food in the bag it came in, too.

And I don't care.

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Family member in the middle: Being stuck between two family members who aren't talking to each other

Guestpost by Rebecca on Aug 26th

I know if I ever get married, I'll have to make a choice between inviting my dad or my brother. This will be to protect each of them, and protect the day from family arguments.

Every adult family relationship dynamic is different. For me, our difficulty is that my older brother, who I am very close to, will not talk to our dad. My brother knows I will not cut contact with our dad, even though he feels I should. He has respect for my desire for a relationship with my dad. Still, being trapped in the middle is difficult.

There are posts on Offbeat Home about how to maintain difficult family relationships and how to sever them, but let's talk about being stuck right in between…

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This app may help me get over my fear of buying perishables

By on Aug 26th
Photos courtesy of The Fridge app.

Photos courtesy of The Fridge app.

There is an app that now exists that helps you keeps track of your perishable food. It's called The Fridge, and I think it's going to help me get over my fear of buying perishable food.

Since I'm so unfamiliar with "real food" that I don't really know how long I have to use anything, I just end up saying "nope, nope, nope" to foods with a time limit. Although we have tons of tips to prevent food spoilage, I still feel like that's a lot to keep in mind at once. Can't someone else do the thinking for me!? Oh hey…

Here's how The Fridge works…

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