Burning for Blonde: Don’t try this at home.

Well folks, I really overdid it this time. A couple weeks after our sunny weekend in Athens, I decided that almost seven weeks of regrowth meant that it was time to do another root job.

May 3rd in Athens:

IMG_6314After sectioning off my hair, I mixed up my bleach and developer and got to work as I always have with my roots, but this time it was different. About 6-7 minutes into my application, my scalp started to burn fairly intensely.

I became nervous because this has never happened to me while bleaching my hair before, but it’s obviously a very, very bad sign. I was nervous of two things: giving myself a chemical burn or stopping immediately with half of my roots half-developed. Neither are really lovely hair situations to deal with later on.

Since I was almost done getting to the top of my roots and finishing application, I decided to at least finish applying the bleach and then see if I should rinse it off if the pain persisted or got worse. At 8.5 minutes I was done applying, but my lower scalp really burned. I was going to rinse it off right then, but then it sort of stopped hurting around 10 minutes developing time and seemed normal again.

I let my hair process normally and then I showered and conditioned as usual as well, but it was clear that my hair and my scalp really did not care for this last root job. When I got out of the shower, it was clear that much of my hair was breaking off all around, leaving me with tons of little frizzies and the rest was fried to straw.

May 15 after a LOT of hair oil and wax:

Not only that, but my color is still uneven. It’s darker yellow in some spots, but I cannot take the orange out without adding in too much purple or gray to the lighter, whiter parts. It’s a mess. My hair is a hot mess and it depresses me. I don’t even like the fact that my skin is so tan right now from all the time outdoors. I don’t like my platinum blonde, tan look. I hate it!

Now is the part where regret is sinking in: My scalp did not really hurt the rest of the evening, but I could tell that I did chemically burn it slightly. The skin on my head felt tight when I flexed my face muscles.

The next morning I woke up with very slight scabs in many spots where it had burned. It doesn’t seem to be bleeding (My advice, don’t ever google “bleach scalp burn”!) or continuing to seep, so I am treating it as a regular burn by applying neosporin and aloe vera. It’s kind of like having a bad case of dandruff that’s been scratched too much, so I’m trying very hard not to touch it at all and realizing that I will need to be extremely patient to get out of this blonde mess.

Part of me wishes that I could go back in time and decide to never bleach my hair. The other part of me vows that this is the last time I bleach my hair at home DIY style. If I want platinum in the future, I will have to face the facts and pay up at the salon. While I continue to be terrified of Swiss salon prices, I think I will have to go visit one to figure out how to grow my hair out from here. I really want to just go back to natural brown and let my whole head of hair grow out, because this straw left here is just pitiful and makes me sad.

My plan now is to grow my hair out for at least a month before I think about dyeing it at all. It’s sad, but I am not even happy how the color turned out, but I know that it would be healthier if I wait at least two months or more to try and address my root problem by then. Sigh. This was a big, fat fail.

Have you ever had a chemical burn from hair products? Did you ever immediately regret coloring your hair? Please tell me I am not alone!

A Place for my Paper

During a spring cleaning weekend, Kay finally had time to take a look at our toilet paper holder for the master bath and get that bad boy mounted.

The original plan from the contractor was to have the toilet paper holder go to the upper right of the toilet, because the toilet is a bit too far from the opposite wall to mount it for front access.

Well, I hated the idea of putting it on the wall with the toilet. It’s always a pain to twist back there to grab some TP, and as a lady, it’s not really a “sometimes” option. I also did not want it on the wall between the toilet and the shower because that seemed like a soggy disaster waiting to happen.

The contractor did not want to take responsibility for drilling into our shiny new bathroom cabinet and originally we planned to just sticky mount the holder up there, but that proved impossible with the design of the mount. Soo…. finally after getting the correct size screws, Kay mounted it.


I have to say, I’m really happy it’s finally up. The only tad negative thing is that we didn’t open the box for the toilet roll for the longest time, and so we did not realize that there is a problem with the finish of the metal that makes it look like the holder has water on it or is dirty. It kinda bugs me, but I’m still happier to have the toilet paper off the top of the sink and into a real holder.

All this begs the question, which way do you put the toilet paper in your holder? We’re obviously a cat-less household. 😉

Spring Cleaning Monster Windows

Kay and I have been in our flat for nearly two years now and have yet to have washed the windows and shutters that face the street. We cannot just set up a ladder outside on the balcony like we do for the other windows, so I was putting these off for, well, about a year to be honest. But look how dirty they were!Bleach!

It was easier to maneuver in the bedroom and bathroom to get to the windows, but for the office, I had to squeeze the ladder in and out between the desks. We can open the windows easily, but they don’t exactly have a lot of room around them for bulky, heavy ladders that I do not care for at all. (Somebody wants a new step ladder, can you tell?)

For the windows and shutters I cleaned them in phases.First I wiped them down with damp rags, then I soaped them up, then I washed them off with water. Then for the windows, I cleaned them with glass cleaner and a towel and then another round with my special glass-cleaning cloth that has two sides.

After six rounds of wiping split in two sections for the ladder portion, these babies were as “done” as I felt like doing. I mean, let’s be honest here, it’s going to rain and continue dropping pollen down for awhile, but I’m not going to eat off these windows.

They look nice enough now that I don’t feel ashamed to open the curtains and I’m not so worried about the curtains getting dirty if we leave the window open and they blow against the banister.

What’s your big spring cleaning project that you avoid?

Healthier Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I had been meaning to try these “healthy” Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes from Elana’s Pantry for awhile. We had some cashew-based pancakes in Thailand that were delicious and knowing that they are a celiac-friendly option makes them perfect.

The ingredient list is pretty short with only seven ingredients, including the coconut oil you fry them in.

I whipped ours up in my Kenwood Cooking Chef food processor attachment to grind the cashews first before adding the other ingredients.

Bananas and heaps of vanilla? This has to be good!

…annnd the chocolate chips.

Unfortunately for me, I still have not gotten the knack of cooking gluten free pancakes. They set up OK and the mix was a good balance of liquid to dry, but I just couldn’t flip them before they burned!

As hard as I tried, any time I knew they were bubbly and should flip, I couldn’t get my darn spatula under there. The whole pancake would just slide away on the pan, mocking me.

In the end, I was only able to flip them when they were already kind of burning. Man. If that’s not depressing on a Saturday morning, I don’t know what is.

Still, since I doubled the recipe (yeah, we eat a lot!) it made heaps. Too much for us really. I think one recipe would have sufficed.

And even though they are a little burnt, don’t you think they look tasty? They still were… but they definitely need some practice. Although, we are in serious need of some more syrup before new pancakes can be made. Kay is a bit sad because the imported maple syrup is extremely expensive in Switzerland and not the best quality.

Do you have any tips for GF pancakes? Friends are telling me I should reduce the heat a lot more next time. I wonder if it’s also possible that my pan is too oily?

Pillow Time

We bought our big Karlstad sectional quite awhile ago and I was always planning on brightening up the room with some throw pillows, but I never got around to it until now.

Some people are anti-throw pillows, but not only did my eyes want something to visually put my mind, and therefore body, at ease, I really wanted pillows to pile up behind me while I watch movies with Kay!

We had these two sad, sad looking (and feeling) pillows from Kay’s parents that I was using, but I wanted a mix of plumper pillows to tie in the green color from the kitchen.

Also, how sad looking is that leather couch? Now that we switched the sofas and TV around, we never sit on it and it looks so lonely and empty. It’s great for parties, but it’s a bit of a black hole otherwise.

I headed to our favorite store, IKEA, one day and decided to at least get myself started on a variety of pillows to fill the space up and make it look more homey and inviting.

For only 180-ish CHF, I bought 11 pillows and 7 pillow covers. I am really loving the new summer 2015 pear pattern from IKEA. It matches our kitchen green almost perfectly!

I just wanted to try out a mix of patterns, textures and colors. In the future, I might still make my own custom covers with more special fabric, but these’ll do for now.

See what a difference the TV area is from when we first moved in?

Even the change from where the TV was at the beginning was quite different, but I like which wall the TV is on right now.

We still plan to actually hang up some photos at some point. Kay and I have been debating for a long time about how to install a photo hanging system because we have cement walls and they are not fun to drill in. We’ll see what happens on that front!