Why I Started Getting Highlights

Today’s post is something I’ve been wanting to write for a little while, and while it may sound silly, it’s about a subject that’s been pretty sensitive and difficult for me to approach. I have a confession to make: I started getting highlights in my hair! *crowd gasps*

Ok, I know that sounds over-dramatic. I mean, who doesn’t color their hair anymore, right? But this is actually a pretty big step for me. I was always really blonde as a kiddo, and because I was a lifeguard at an outdoor pool in the summers, I kept my locks crazy blonde naturally all through undergrad. Observe:

Hair Refresh // Imperfect Chevron

And you guys, having that naturally blonde hair was kind of a source of pride for me. I’d get compliments, people would say “you have the prettiest hair color!” and I could casually reply “thank you, it’s just my natural color.” I had this dumb sense of pride that my hair had never been touched by highlights or hair dye for the longest time.

But once I stopped lifeguarding and started grad school (read: spending all of my free time indoors studying), my hair started to darken. Don’t get me wrong, it still had some blonde hues. But it was more of a dirty blond, and I started to get really bummed out about it. I’ve always seen myself as a blonde, as silly as it sounds, that’s always been a part of my identity. I started to not feel so much like myself, and have some self-deprecating thoughts.

I finally decided to do something about it this year! I wanted to go back to blonde, back to the color I was used to seeing on myself. I considered dying my hair, but decided against it because of the maintenance it requires (I didn’t want to have to go get my roots dyed every couple months because I’m lazy). So I went for highlights, to add some light and bright blended color. And I love it, you guys!

Here’s the “before:”

Hair Refresh // Imperfect Chevron

And here’s the “after:”

Hair Refresh // Imperfect Chevron

My stylist recommended a full highlight instead of a partial, so the color would go all the way to the nape of my neck and work to lighten all of my hair, creating a blended and natural look (rather than the stripey tiger look I was so hoping to avoid). I’m so happy with the resulting color.

In the end, I just realized that I wasn’t happy with my natural color anymore, so I decided to make a change. I’m so glad I took the plunge.

xo

A Visit from my Parents

Hey, internet world! Happy May, how the heck did we get here already?

As you may have seen, I’ve been taking a break from blogging (and many of my typical hobbies, actually) because I’ve been needing to focus on work and my work/life balance…which is continuing. It’s a work in process. Happily, I seem to be getting a little better at balancing the work part and taking some breaks, which is helpful.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some photos from when my parents visited me last week. They flew in from Colorado last Wednesday, and of course I managed to get really *really* sick on Wednesday (I could barely swallow water because my throat was so sore and swollen). So I ended up spending Thursday and Friday in bed sleeping while my parents entertained themselves. Just my luck, am I right? Luckily I felt well enough on Saturday to take a drive with them up to the North Bay area.

We tried to drive to Muir Woods, an idea I now realize was insane on a summery Saturday. It took a crazy long time to drive up there with the traffic, and there wasn’t even any parking when we arrived. Yikes, Bay Area. That’s the one thing I’m not loving about you, the crowds and the traffic. It seems hard to get away from all of that hustle-bustle business. Anyway, we managed to get a parking spot at Muir Beach and ended up just admiring the ocean for a while before lunch. The ocean is definitely my happy place, I think I could live next to it and never tire of it.

Muir Beach // Imperfect Chevron

Muir Beach // Imperfect Chevron

After that, we drove to Sausalito and enjoyed a brief walk around the town and looked at all the cool boats. That town was also pretty hustle-bustle on the day we were there, but it seemed like a fun place. Definitely more boutiques and fancy little cafes and bistros than dives and hole-in-the-wall places, but it was pretty to drive up that huge hill through the neighborhood and get to see such an amazing view!

Sausalito // Imperfect Chevron

Sausalito // Imperfect Chevron

On our way back to the East Bay, we drove over the Golden Gate bridge, which was really worth it. It was beautiful! I’d actually like to walk or bike over the bridge this summer, but we’ll see if I get to it this year. San Francisco is really the coolest city, I wish I lived a little closer to it!

Golden Gate Bridge // Imperfect Chevron

It was so nice to see my parents, and get to spend a little time with them last week. I’m still really happy about my decision to move to California, but I do miss my family and Colorado. Hoping to see my parents again soon!

xo

 

Life Lately (and an apology)

Hey, there, and happy April! First things first, I want to honestly apologize for my lack of presence here on the blog the last couple of months. I’ve been trying to survive at work, and in the last couple of weeks I’ve realized I haven’t been taking good care of myself. So I may not be posting too much in the next couple of months, while I try to get myself back on track! I think, sometimes you just have to take some time off and get a breath of fresh air.

Anyway, this weekend I headed over to a local park for a short hike, and I snapped a couple photos. The pictures just don’t do this view justice, I swear it is even prettier in person. California sure is nice!

Spring in California // Imperfect Chevron

Spring in California // Imperfect Chevron

Just look at these wildflowers, I mean!!!

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I always feel like getting out in the fresh air recharges me, it really refreshes my soul. It sounds weird but I always feel so much better when I get out.

Spring in California // Imperfect Chevron

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

xo

 

In The Kitchen: Crock Pot Chicken Curry

I’ve been loving my crockpot, you guys! I don’t make something in it every week, but when I do, it makes my week so much less stressful. When I get home from work, I already have a healthy meal prepped, and I can just throw it in the microwave and be done! It’s really been a great solution for me. I’ll continue to share which crockpot recipes I’ve tried and loved here on the blog, and please feel free to share some of your favorites with me! Here’s my Pinterest board featuring the recipes I’m hoping to make at some point.

A couple weeks ago, I made this chicken curry recipe, and I think it turned out pretty great! I even served it to my boyfriend, and he gave me a big thumbs up! I added bell peppers and kale to buff up the veggies in this recipe, and I think next time I’d add chopped up carrots, too. The bummer was, I didn’t cook the potatoes long enough, so they weren’t as soft as I’d have liked, but I’ll remember that for next time!

Easy Chicken Curry // Imperfect Chevron

This isn’t the BEST picture, but trust me, this curry is better than it looks. Try it out and let me know what you think of this recipe!

xo

Life Update: Spring Fever

I’ve had a looooott of people ask me how I’m liking California so far. And to be honest, I’m really liking it! But I’ve had some bouts of grouchiness with all the rain we’ve been having here…I mean, I know it’s a good thing. But also, I’m a sun baby. I love my sunshine, and just getting outdoors, and when I can’t do that I start to get a little antsy. Anyway, overall I’d have to say that California has been treating me well so far! I’m dreaming of Spring, and am already more than ready to break out my shorts and start shopping for swimsuits for the Summer…yeah, I get a little excited about warm weather.

Here are some snapshots from life lately:

I just bought this cute little lens for your iPhone, it slips right over the camera slot. I’ve been playing with it a bit, here are a couple of the wide angle shots:

Life Update // Imperfect Chevron

Life Update // Imperfect Chevron

Been feeling a bit under the weather the last couple weeks, so I’ve been upping my Vitamin C intake, which looks like this for me (I’m not big on taking medicine):

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Lately I’ve had the creative itch…I’ve been doing a lot of painting and sewing! I made some adorable pillowcases with the cutest prints. Popsicles!?! I mean!!?

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And this work-in-progress little painting:

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So that’s a little bit of what I’ve been up to! Hope you have a wonderful week. Holy cow, we’re welcoming March this week! :0

xo

 

Dairy-Free Favorites

*This post is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own*

I’ve been living the lactose-free (mostly…I will admit I eat pizza on occasion) for almost 4 years now, and it has helped my health so much. I’ve always had a very sensitive stomach, and even as a child I had difficulty eating ice cream. But I never connected the dots that lactose was the problem! For me, cutting out dairy products has helped me be less nauseous most of the time, and spend more time enjoying my life instead of feeling sick.

But after 4 years without dairy, I have tried so, SO many products and found which ones I prefer. I wanted to share my lactose-free favorite products with you all in case you’re newly lactose-intolerant or are looking to branch out!

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Milk

So I’ll be honest, I don’t drink dairy-free milk straight from a glass. But I need something to put in my coffee and pour over my cereal, as well as make smoothies and cook with. Anyway, there are TONS of lactose and soy-free milk options out there, it can be a little intimidating the first few times. I prefer almond milk, cashew milk, and almond-coconut blends. I never buy soy milk, just my personal preference!

#1 Top Pick: Calafia Farms brand Toasted Coconut flavor. Honestly, I’ve tried several brands of almond milks and this brand is absolutely the best quality I’ve tried. It’s very smooth and not gritty at all, they have good tasting (not too sweet) flavors, and it comes in a gorgeous bottle. It’s a little steeper price than some of the options, but I prefer this brand to any other I’ve tried so it’s well worth it!

#2 Runner Up: Almond Breeze brand Unsweetened Vanilla or Almond-Coconut Blend. A good overall brand! Lots of flavors (plus they also have all the blends (almond-cashew, almond coconut), and has a good taste. I typically buy the unsweetened flavors, because I find the almond milk already has a slightly sweet taste.

“Cheese”

I don’t use fake cheese all that often, but sometimes I crave nachos or a grilled cheese sandwich, you know? It’s not something I typically eat very often, but I’ve tried several different brands and had to throw out many many bags…here are the brands I’ve found to be the best tasting.

#1 Top Shreddable: Daiya brand Mozzarella Shreds. While costly, this cheese melts really well and has a similar salty/savory flavor as real cheese. It’s perfect for nachos, lasagna or baked pasta dishes, pizza, and other casseroles.

#1 Top Sliced: GoVeggie! brand in American Slices. This is my go-to sliced cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s similar consistency to like Kraft singles, which sounds kind of gross unless you’re 10 years old, but it melts really great! I’ll use it if I want a cheeseburger or grilled cheese. And you really can’t beat the price, it’s very reasonable for a dairy-free product.

Ice Cream

I LOVE ice cream. To be honest, this has totally been the hardest part of being lactose intolerant for me, because I used to crave ice cream daily. There are many dairy products that I can actually still eat in small amounts, but ice cream is not one of them. It is just not worth how sick I get after eating it. Anyway. The frustrating thing about dairy-free ice creams is that they are A) very expensive, and B) typically come in pint-sized containers. It’s very annoying. Plus, it’s difficult to find ice creams that mimic the wonderful consistency of real ice cream. Here are my top picks.

#1 Top Ice Cream: Lactaid brand (any flavor!). This brand comes in a quart size, and is actually real ice cream (they just remove the lactose!), so it solves both of my quandaries. Plus, it comes in several flavors (salted caramel, cookies and cream!?) which is a total bonus. All in all, an amazing product.

#2 Top Ice Cream: Trader Joe’s Soy Creamy in Cherry Chocolate Trip. If there’s a Trader Joe’s near you, get there immediately and pick up some of their Soy Creamy ice cream! It’s got a great consistency and flavor, and I love that the Cherry flavor has those tasty cherry bits in it. It’s very reasonably priced, too, and you get a quart!

Yogurt

I’ve tried several brands of lactose-free yogurt, and there is only one brand I’ve found that tastes the best to me.

#1 Top Yogurt: So Delicious Yogurt in Plain or Strawberry Banana. Yes, this yogurt is not cheap. But it tastes wonderful and has a great consistency. It isn’t tangy or watery, and the flavors are fresh tasting. So if you’ve gotta have some yogurt in your life, this is the way to go for sure.

So there you go! A quick list of some of my favorites. Found any other brands of lactose-free foods you love? Let me know! I’m always looking for new good ones. Again, this post is not sponsored in any way, I just like to share the products I love and use in my daily life.

xo.

In The Kitchen: CrockPot Love

Happy February, all! Is it just me or was January just a giant blur? Yeah.

Anyway, I wanted to share a fun slow cooker recipe I made last week after buying my very first crock pot! I’ve been eating really poorly lately (read: schlepping home after work exhausted and making a sandwich or popping in a microwave meal), and I want to change that. I feel much better about myself (and feel much happier!) when I’m eating a balanced diet filled with greens and protein, so I’m trying to get better about it. I decided to buy a crockpot so I could make a week’s worth of meals in advance and pop them in the microwave when I get home from work. It worked so well last week, I’m excited to try lots of slow-cooker recipes in the weeks to come!

Okay, sorry for rambling a little there. Let’s get to the food! I adapted this recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas. The recipe suggests straining off some of the liquid at the end to make your fajitas, but I skipped that step and just ate mine like a hearty stew. So good!

How amazing does this look? In The Kitchen // Imperfect Chevron

It tasted really good, and I was overall really glad to have easy microwavable and healthy meals during the week. In the future, I’d probably cube up some avocado and throw some cilantro on top! And maybe add a little more spices?

Do you have any go-to crock pot or slow-cooker recipes? Feel free to share with me!

xo