Motherhood and Life, Her Way.

7U6A7852I know this is a hair blog, babes. But every once in a while when something stirs me enough…..a person, a story etc…..I feel the need to share it with you. This is one of those instances.

A few months ago, a beautiful woman sat down in my hair chair for the first time. She was getting her hair done for the first time since enduring a hellacious twin pregnancy and birthing two perfect babies, a boy and a girl.

7U6A7890As I did her hair, she told me her story of how she decided to have babies on her own, without a partner. What she described about her life and choices  was both captivating and empowering.

I mentioned towards the end of our time together that I am working on building my photography portfolio, and she excitedly said she had been looking to find someone to take candid shots of her and her babies.

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2 weeks later, we embarked on a photo shoot which involved her and I, her incredible newborns, a team of women on hand to distract, hold, prop up, feed, and swaddle the babes as needed, several important family heirlooms for props, and torrential rainfall.

Her photos turned out gorgeous, and really conveyed her dark, beautiful powerful sorceress-ness contrasted by the sweet innocence of her babies. After we shot, I asked her if she would let me ask her some questions for an HTHG interview, and she obliged.

Friends, I give you Charla Pereira…..Mother, Badass, Boss lady, Doing it Her Way.

Charla…Where did you come from, where did your parents come from, and how did you end up here.
I am quite a few things – Portuguese, Anglo-Indian, Romanian gypsy, Ukrainian, German – the babies now also have Croatian and Scottish to add to the mix  – my dad was born in India / Calcutta / my mum in Canada / she is first generation Canadian. I was born and raised in Canada as well.  My grandfather always said that my widows peak made me a seer. The gypsy in me goes where I want, do what I want and create my world how I want it.
You are a designer at Microsoft? Tell me a bit about how you landed there and what you like about designing.
I am a Senior Design Manager at Microsoft Studios Canada, I eat the world with my eyes, I want everything in the world to be easier, prettier, and more fun.  I have painted the world around me since I can remember and before that. Microsoft has allowed me to work on projects that excite me and make me feel like I am able to bring the future to life.
What is your superpower, as a woman/mother?
HMMMMM – I don’t know. I think all woman are in general super heroes in so much – If I were to say what everyone says to me about how I am it is that I know my babies instinctively – again I believe all women of course do  – I think it goes back to my deep watching of the world around me – in a sense it is photographic to everything around me – but its deeper, its emotional not just physical.

Knowing peoples emotions before they know them and having the same reaction to my children that way – I love being able to know them better than anything in the world.  It’s something everyone always notices about me – how my empathy mixed with my seeing abilities creates this ability to see into peoples energies, needs, and how I can help them.

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You decided to have babies without a partner. Tell me a little bit about that choice, and why you are glad you made it.
I’m more than glad I made it!!  I have been married, been in love, plan to be again but wanted to be put my energy, love and effort into having children rather than a relationship at this time.  These babies are perfect. I knew that the universe wanted me to have children – I knew in my heart and soul.

I don’t believe you need a partner to have the things you want and thank goodness for technology you don’t need one to have a baby either. I also think it comes to seeing others so unhappy in their relationships, what happens to those relationships when you have children etc. I didn’t want to chance that – I wanted babies and I wanted them to be all mine.  Mostly having a partner is not a priority for me. Before kids the priority was me, my work, my art and then it just morphed into wanting children to share it.
I was struck by the support you have in your team of women who have help you with your babies. SO cool. Describe a typical day/night with you and the babies and your crew of ladies?
I had the worst pregnancy ever. Hospital and almost losing them, bedrest for 6 months, nerve damage, diabetes and a list of other crap – my mother, the most amazing woman is to be praised for keeping us alive.  
I am so grateful for these amazing ladies, friends, and mothers coming to my aid and giving me and the babies love and compassion.
I was so lucky to have the doula that I have, Angie Dobbins-Frisbee. She has been available day and night, supported me with breast feeding the twins, making enough milk, sleeping a little. 

She introduced me to a team of doulas that helped me around the clock to make sure the little babies were able to thrive and I didn’t die in the process.
I don’t think that there is anything better than the energy of woman, young old and in-between, around babies.
The nurturing, support, understanding and love that just comes out  – watching this for me has been so amazing – you can feel this strong woman energy all around. It’s really beautiful.
A typical day for us is nothing typical, everything changes!  I observe how they are that day and how I can make that day the best day ever for them – and not die of sleep deprivation in the process!
Obviously you have NO TIME to spend right now on your hair, but I’m curious…..What is your general hair MO? Ponytail everyday, no wash?

My hair is long, up and away from being pulled lol – but always a part of me to express my creative side…….when I have the time.

Charla, we salute you! Thank you for sharing your story with us and empowering us with your experience. I look forward to shooting more photos of you and those sweet babies some day.

 

xoxo, HTHG

Tea and Braids: Tradition for family

The other night, we had tea and braids night at my house. It was an excuse to quietly bond with my kids before bedtime. It doesn’t happen often that we get to hang out together, quietly doing projects. Key word quietly. My daughters know how to use their voices.

7U6A5746The girls love Sleepytime tea and Wildflower Honey, collected by our cousins in the Montana Rockies. It feels like a special ritual, and it helps calm them. I am in love with my ceramic mug by my favorite potter, Adrien Miller. 7U6A5751

I have been teaching Marley to sew, a skill that I have collected in tidbits from both my parents, and both my grandmothers. My mom and her mom were very dedicated to following patterns. My dad and his mom were quite bold when it came to winging it and sewing by hand.

I consider my rudimentary sewing skills to be some of the most treasured practical skills that I have. Marley can now thread a needle, knot the thread, make stitches, and tie off the stitches at the end. I recently tried to throw away a tattered old pair of her underwear that had holes, but she insisted on mending them instead. She now proudly wears them, and I proudly pretend I am Caroline Wilder, raising pioneer children. Next stop, making balloons out of pig-bladders to play with. Simple pleasures!

Also, Marley mended a gaping hole in one of her favorite blankets, then tore out the stitches, deciding she liked it much better with the hole.

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7U6A57577U6A5781While she sewed, I brushed and braided her hair, which is like fine spiders silk but as dense and pale as pound cake. In the back ground, an uninterested fairy with droopy wings pretended to be the princess of the puppies.7U6A5766

7U6A5777For fun, I wrapped Marley’s dutch braid into a bun and pinned it with my incredible long steel 2 prong pins that I am obsessed with. I get them from an online shop called Mennonite Maidens. You should seriously check these chicks out.

Do you have daughters or long haired sons? Tea and Braids is a lovely evening-time bonding tradition for children and their parents. My girls love having braids in their hair, and then mermaid-y waves for the days following.

xo, HTHG

Lazy Gal Buns

lazy gal bunsHey my dears. Here is a quick lazy girl hairstyle that I have been rocking lately because my hair is (Finally!) long enough to wear all braided and twisted up high. Halleluja!

This is a great mom hairstyle because it can be done super quick and it will stay in all day long while you wrestle, run around, and then lock yourself in your room for some peace and quiet.

I like Lazy Gal Buns because they give a nice amount of volume all over, and because the buns are on top, it looks super cute from all angles!

Lazy Gal Buns

As always with braided hairstyles, prep the hair with Masterbraider wave and braid spray.

Begin by parting the hair down the center. Gather hair up on one side, nice and high. Braid the entire section and secure the end with a clear elastic. Pull the braid apart to loosen it up.

Repeat on the other side. Now, take your braids one at a time and wind them into a loose bun. Tuck in the ends, and pin them into place.

Pull your lady parts down from the temple area, and from right in front of the ear.

Now you can laze about in high style. And don’t feel bad about it! Everyone needs an unjustified lazy day sometimes.

xo, HTHG

 

Happy Mothers day! Here are 6 tips for great Mom hair.

mom hairThis post is dedicated to my mom, Ann. She has taught me many things and I have taught her many things back. She used to braid my hair into 2 french braids and it was pure heaven. So thanks, mom, for everything. And happy mothers day to all the mamas out there! I hope you have planned something nice for yourself to celebrate mothers day this year.

About a year ago, I sat down to write a post about my favorite hair tricks for busy moms.
Mom hair is a subject that is very close to my heart because I am a mom who has mom hair.

I took Selah to the playground today. It was peak playground time in Seattle. First sunny week of spring, 10 AM on a Wednesday. The place was crawling with moms. I got to thinking about mom hair.

Like all the other urban modern moms, I promised myself that I would keep my look together after having kids. I abandoned that promise about 5 months into my first pregnancy, when yoga pants and hoodies won out over cute vintage maternity dresses and designer jeans. I promised myself that I wouldn’t drive a mini-van. I promised myself I wouldn’t have a pancake butt and mom hair.

As I watched the children play, ( AKA studied the mom hair in action) I realized that not only do I have a mini-van, ( Not that cute VW bus behind the mini-van) but I also have mom hair. And it is not so bad. It is just a messy ponytail/top-knot, natural textured fuss free simple easy hair.

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If you were to see me in my element, you would see modern mom hair to the max.  I have found an easy routine that works with my hair and my lifestyle. I have DIY layers and mom-bre ends and I ShamPHree my hair weekly. When I am shooting photos for this blog it is the only time that I don’t have mom hair. I love blogging because it is my only mom escape;)

Being a mom is the perfect excuse for abandoning your daily fight against your hair. Here is an great article about how to rock your mom hair.

I have a few tips for keeping your mom ‘do fresh.

Mom hair tips

1. Tired of looking and feeling tired? Try bangs! They are an instant style pick me up and they are easy to DIY!

2. Make sure your hair routine suits your lifestyle. Are you spending more time than you would like trying to get your hair to behave? Maybe it is time for a hair consciousness shift. Free the beast. Work with what you have, not against it. Maybe it is time to try ShamPHree-ing.

3. Make sure that your hair is cut in a way that will grow out well. In my opinion, cuts with rougher edges and layers and texture tend to grow out better.

4. If you color, stick with shades that flatter you. If you are stuck in a color rut and have been getting the same bleach highlights for the last 10 years, consider transitioning to a more low-maintenance color process.

5. Search high and low for a hairdresser that understands your taste and lifestyle. Ask around, search the internet, stop people on the street.

6. Have fun with your hair! This website alone has nearly a hundred easy DIY hairstyles for all hair types that can be done in 5 minutes or less with nothing but a couple of bobby pins and some small elastics. Even a small accent braid in your top-knot goes a long way. Experiment with DIY hairstyles. Try HTHG’s Tired Mama Braids!

What I saw at the playground today was a lot of moms who would rather be at the park with their kids than messing with their hair.  I am grateful that mom hair has evolved from the days of that terrible mom-bob fashioned by Martha Stewart. Aren’t you?mom

Rock on with that mom hair.

 

Now I just need to work on loving my pancake ass.

Cool kid braids.

IMG_1351 My daughter Marley’s hair is finally long enough to braid, after her 4 year old DIY haircut experiment. She is also old enough to have caught on to that silly old gender stereotype that boys have short hair and girls have long hair. So, she only kept this hairstyle in long enough to let me take a picture, then promptly took it out because it made it look like she was a short haired boy from the front. She will learn.

On a slightly different topic, almost 6 is a cool age. Marley is starting to develop a social awareness that makes me proud. Hearing her excitement when she talks about MLK and Rosa Parks and how they stood up for what they believed makes me feel like there must be a bright future for my children. I showed her the Same Love video by Macklemore and now she understands the adversity of people who are not treated fairly based on their sexual orientation. She asks A LOT of questions. She wants things to be fair for all people. And she is a complete bossy know-it-all who will not take ‘no’ for an answer so I like to think that she will grow up to make the world as she wants it.

Cool Kid Braids

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Getting back to hair, this braided hairstyle is super easy to do and it is perfect for medium length hair. It consists of 3 little braids and a bun. Here is how to do it.

1. Section off both sides of the head, from behind each ear, across the top. Part section down the middle. Make a small dutch braid on one side. secure with a small clear elastic,

2. Repeat on the other side.

3. Join your braids together at the back of the head with another clear elastic. Remove the elastics from the ends of your first 2 braids.

4. Braid the ends of your first 2 braids in with the rest of the free hair. Secure the end.

5. Roll that braid upwards, and pin it to secure.

6. Arrange the bangs or lady parts.

 

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