Black to Platinum Blonde at Home: Yes, It’s Possible!

I’ve always been a fan of dyeing my hair in the comfort of my own home. Ever since I was a teenager and experimented with that first box of bleach from Walgreens, I knew it was over. I’ve had a wide range of the colors of the rainbow on my head. I’ve went through stages of wanting deep Violet hair, then wanting it to be black, then wait- no. I wanted to be blonde. I’ve put forest green on top of some other faded color, then just said “Well nothing’s gonna cover this but black.” It wasn’t my best month.

But what I’m trying to say is my hair has been through a LOT. All of that time processing chemicals on your strands will leave your hair in a fragile state. I will admit I’ve had elastic-y hair in the past from too much time processing bleach. And I noticed my hair started to do that as well this time around with bleaching, but I had already planned to cut my hair into a lob, so I wasn’t too worried about the ends becoming a little fried. After the cut, my hair has never felt healthier, even after going platinum.

So how did I accomplish this? Well, I will start by saying that patience is key. When I decided to go blonde this time, I didn’t hop right in my car and drive to Sally’s. This is because I had just recently dyed my hair black, and I needed to let my hair rest and let the black dye fade. Luckily for me, dark dyes don’t stick to my hair very well, and I didn’t use a filler so it faded to a nice brown in about 2 months. I used Neutrogena’s clarifying shampoo a few times (not every time because that stuff is super drying) and made sure to use some kind of leave in conditioner after every shower.

Once I felt like all the dye that would come out with showers and stripping it lightly with shampoo was done, I decided to then use a treatment of Color Oops. I’m not the biggest fan of this stuff, it smells really bad, I always have a hard time getting the smell to leave my hair. But I decided to do it regardless. I ordered it off Amazon, and didn’t realize until I opened the box and was ready to get started that I ordered the extra conditioning one instead of the extra strength. So it wasn’t as strong (or strong at all) and only lifted my hair one level. Lame. So I just went ahead and used Olaxplex No3 on my hair that week to prep it.

So about a week later, when I finally decided to jump the gun and do the first round of bleach, I ended up going to Sally’s to pick up everything I needed, which is: gloves (at least 5 pairs), mixing bowl, mixing brush, shower caps (again, at least 5), L’oreal Quick Blue powder bleach, Wella Color Charm Toner T18 (2), and 2 containers of developer, one 20 and one 30.

For my first bleach session, I ended up only bleaching one side of my head to have more control over processing times. I just brushed my hair out, parted it right down the middle, and braided the right side tightly against my head to keep it out of the way. My hair was unwashed for at least 2-3 days before I bleached to have more oils in my hair. I mixed the powder with the 30 level developer with the ratio 1:2. I really saturated the left side of my hair and let that sit for about 20 minutes. I repeated this on my right side the next morning.

The results were just what I expected. My hair was a rusty rose color with blonde roots. My natural dirty blonde roots had lifted right away and were pretty much ready to tone, but the rest of my hair was still clinging to that deep red color I had done last year. Bummer. But I wasn’t defeated. I was determined to go platinum, and I knew this was a process.

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I made the decision to bleach my hair every weekend and to use Olaplex throughout the week to help with the damage. This took 4 weeks, 4 weekends of completely saturating my hair from top to bottom with bleach and putting a shower cap over it for 20-25 minutes each time. I used the 30 developer the first 2 times, and 20 developer the other 2 times. This resulted in my hair being blonde when dry, but still a bit pink when wet. This doesn’t bother me, I didn’t think damaging my hair even further with another application of bleach to attempt to lift it out was worth it.

Right after the fourth and final bleaching I applied the toner to my damp hair. I mixed the Wella Color Charm T18 Toner with level 20 developer and ran that all through my hair. This mixture is very runny and I suggest you use a towel around your shoulders to help with the dripping. You can also use it when your hair is dry but I was impatient to tone it and I do believe the water helps dilute it for a more even tone. I let that sit for 35 minutes and then really washed and conditioned my hair well. The next morning it still had a little dusty feeling from leftover toner so next time I’ll probably shampoo twice. I use Not Your Mother’s Blonde Moment purple shampoo and conditioner.

The result: platinum hair! Yaaay! I cut about 6 inches off my hair and have been loving it ever since. I read a lot of articles and watched a lot of Youtube videos on others attempting this at home before trying this. I was super nervous at first that I would be stuck with bright orange hair that just wouldn’t lighten. But I got exactly what I wanted. If you’re considering trying this yourself, I say go for it! It really was an easy task for me and I didn’t mind having not so cute hair for a month to accomplish it. If you need a friend to help you, don’y worry, not many people can see the back of their head.

This has given me a much needed confidence boost- I catch myself staring at it all day long. Cutting off all my dead hair felt like a weight was being lifted, revealing a brand new me who’s ready to do anything.

Breast to bottle: Why I made the switch

There’s a crazy amount of pressure put on new moms to breastfeed. Believe me, I experienced it first hand. Women are made to feel inadequate if they don’t succeed with it, which is definitely not what a new mom should be worrying about. We all know the phrase “breast is best,” it’s on all the handouts from the hospital and it’s all over the internet as well, only putting more pressure on moms to “tough it out.”

I toughed it out for 8 days. For 8 days, I went through the pain, engorgement, latching problems, sleepless nights, the tears. And I wonder if I would have saved myself from the physical and emotional pain that came with breastfeeding if I wasn’t doing it because it was what I was “supposed to do.” Every time I fed my son (which was sometimes as often as every 45 minutes) I would cry out from the toe curling pain from his latch, even though I was doing everything that the lactation consultant told me to do.

I was also dealing with recovery from delivery. I could hardly sit down without being in a tremendous amount of pain. I had zero appetite, and would go until 5pm before realizing I should probably eat something. Even going to the bathroom was a 20 minute task- with the pain of going and cleaning up- it was like a crime scene in there. (Sorry- but I feel like everyone needs to know just what women go through.)

I was miserable. I was not enjoying this sweet time with my newborn like all these other moms were. I cried every day. And I cried when I fed my baby his first formula bottle, because I felt as though I had failed. I remember googling to try and find some support for moms like me who switched to formula and finding hardly anything. Why is society shaming moms for doing what is best?

My son is almost 7 weeks old, and he now has a mom who is happy, more in the moment, and better rested to be there for him. My baby is also happier, gaining the weight he’s supposed to, and is doing great with formula feeding. I do not regret making the switch. And no mother should. We need to normalize moms who formula feed because of latch issues, or because of poor supply, or because they simply just don’t want to. It’s not only their choice, but it’s also no one else’s business.

I hope any moms that are reading this can feel reassured that they made the right choice for their baby, and to not kick themselves for choosing to stop their breastfeeding journey. Just remember- fed is best!

Getting ready for baby: Packing our overnight hospital bag

We’re now 20 weeks pregnant with our little guy and can’t wait to welcome him into the family! As the day gets closer, we’re accomplishing some tasks to make sure we’re as ready as possible. We’re doing everything from planning nursery themes to onesie shopping to reading parenting books. You can never be too prepared, right?!

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One of the first things we’re accomplishing is packing an overnight hospital bag. We decided to head over to our local Kmart to pick up some essential items to help us through the labor and delivery process. Here’s what we’ve packed so far!

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We’re packing everything in this awesome five-piece diaper bag – we’re all about using things for multiple purposes and being frugal, so this is perfect for us.

This is just the beginning of our overnight hospital bag. We’ll be adding some more essentials we get closer to our due date. If you’re a parent and have any suggestions for us, feel free to let us know in the comments below!

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Thanks to Kmart for helping us out as we get ready to welcome our baby boy into the world!

The BEST dog food for picky eaters

Ever since we brought Zira home in November 2017, she’s been a picky eater. She would literally rather eat leaves than dog food.

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During those first few weeks, she would only eat food out of our hands. She’s nearly 2 years old now and it’s been a consistent struggle to get her to eat enthusiastically. We’ve tried numerous dog food brands, mixing wet food in with dry food, and we even had a period of a few months of making chicken, rice, and veggies to mix in with her food. She would be excited about these new things for a little bit, but would always go back to her usual ways of protesting her meals.

We’re so happy to say that we FINALLY discovered a food that Zira loves! It was a completely random find – we got a sample bag of this freeze-dried raw food at a pet store that we’ve only gone to a few times. We decided to mix it in with her kibble to see how she liked it. Turns out, she’s obsessed! When she kept scarfing it down, we immediately ordered another bag and it’s been smooth sailing for about 2 months now. She’s excited about eating every day, which is such a miracle!

The food is Sojos Turkey Recipe.

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It’s the only thing that’s gotten Zira to be excited about the words “breakfast” and “dinner.” Plus, it’s super easy to use. All we do is mix it with water and add some of her kibble to it, and voila! You would never guess she’s a picky eater anymore.

You can get it from Amazon in a 4 oz. trial bag, 1.75 lb bag, or 7 lb bag.

Plus, it’s Amazon Prime Day so it’s the perfect chance to try them out!

As an Amazon Affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Zira and Ellie are going to be big sisters!

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You guys, IT’S HAPPENING! We are filled with so much emotion as we share this news with everyone. We are SO excited to welcome a new member into our family (yes, a human one)!

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This is by far our greatest adventure yet, even though our lives have been full of them – from Jesse moving 3,000 miles to live in California, to being pet parents to the best animals in the world, to double-proposing to each other at Disneyland.

Zira and Ellie are going to be the best big sisters!! They’ll have plenty of new duties, including food testing, toy testing, teaching the baby how to play, and serving as guard dogs!

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We can’t wait for this new addition to our family to enter our lives. We’ll provide you all with updates as we prepare to welcome our baby into the world!

We adopted a cat and she’s THRIVING! | National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

Today is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day and we wanted to share our adoption story! Last year, we made one of the best decisions of our lives: We adopted a cat! It’s one of the most rewarding things we have ever done. Here’s the story:

We went to The SPCA of Monterey County in November of 2018 and instantly fell in love with this face:

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She immediately accepted chin scratches and started purring like crazy. It was like she knew we were meant to be together. Plus, she had similar physical attributes to Zira (blue eyes and a pink nose with black spots!). We just COULDN’T resist! So we made an on-the-spot decision to adopt this beautiful cat and name her Purrdita (named after Perdita from 101 Dalmatians).

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The only thing we knew about her is that she was found on the streets, was estimated to be 3 years old, and the SPCA originally gave her the name Cecilia. Other than that, we knew nothing else about her story. But she just seemed like the perfect cat — and we were right! Apparently she loves living in our home too. Just take a look at how much she’s transformed since November of 2018:

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Purrdita has gotten so fluffy and looks so much healthier. It’s so rewarding to nurture her and watch her live a happy life. She has the best temperament too. She always greets us with the cutest meows. Our lives are so much better with her!

Her and the dogs were a little wary of each other at first, but now they get along great! Zira cleans her ears, Ellie plays with her, and all 3 of them sleep on the couch together. Just take a look at the three of them in this video:

Long story short, we highly recommend adopting a pet when you can. Visit your local shelters and find a pet that’s in need. You’ll get rewarded with so much happiness – we promise!

Can you watch our proposal without saying “Wow?!”

If you ever frequent YouTube, chances are you’ve seen at least one video from FBE’s “React” series – their channel has over 18 million subscribers. Well, our proposal video was featured in one of their recent episodes! It’s the first one shown to the participants in the video. Can you pass the challenge by not saying “Wow”?! We can’t even do that!

Let us know how you did in the comments!