From the category archives:

living on less

Curly Hair Don’t Care | Easy Summer Hair Updo

by Tara Kuczykowski on May 29, 2015 · 0 comments

The days are heating up and the humidity is on the rise -- a deadly combination for wavy/curly hair that's already prone to frizzing. For this reason, I often wear my hair up in the summertime, especially on that 2nd day between washes when I already have less curl definition.

My go-to style is sort of a cross between a messy bun and a topknot, and it's really easy to replicate. As you know, I have long wavy/curly hair, but this should work with just about any hair texture that's shoulder length or longer.

A really good hair spray is a summer staple for updos. I've been using Schwarzkopf Styliste Ultime Biotin+ Volume & Texture H20-Free Hair Spray, and I have to say I'm lovin' this stuff! It's the perfect strong hold fine mist aerosol spray that keeps my hair in place without making it sticky or weighing it down.

In addition to a good strong hold hair spray, you'll need a slip-resistant hair elastic and a couple of bobby pins. For 2nd day hair, you may want to have some dry shampoo on hand, as well.

Easy Summer Updo Hair How To

  1. Start by pulling your hair up into a somewhat loose high ponytail. Optional: If your roots are looking a little greasy, a misting of dry shampoo should help take care of them.
  2. Wrap the hair elastic around the base of your ponytail twice, and then on the third wrap around, only pull your hair about halfway through, leaving the ends loose on the underside.
  3. Divide the ends into two pieces, and pull one side around the front, covering the hair elastic. Secure on the underside with a bobby pin. Repeat the same process on the other side, wrapping it around the opposite side.
  4. I usually play around with the loopy part until I'm satisfied with how it looks, and then I mist my hair all over with hair spray.

The whole process takes less than 2 minutes, and I love how covering the hair elastic with the extra hair gives it a little more polished look. Voila -- easy-peasy summer hair in minutes!

What's your favorite simple summer hairstyle for sticky, humid days?

Quick purchase link:

Over the next several weeks, I'm thrilled to be teaming up with Schwarzkopf to share my best styling tips for wavy-curly hair using their new line of professional quality hair care products available exclusively at Walmart! Developed with Claudia Schiffer (one of my all-time fave supermodels), Schwarzkopf has created the ultimate product range for hair care, color and styling -- including some very innovative products.

Read more about the various Schwarzkopf products I've tested:

Walmart Moms Disclosure

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My husband has suffered from severe seasonal allergies for as long as I've known him, and this spring season is no exception. In fact, I'd venture to say it's been one of the more troublesome seasons we've had for awhile.

I know the sneezing, coughing, and itchy, watery eyes have really been wearing on him, so when Walmart asked if anyone in my household would be interested in trying out Flonase for his or her seasonal allergies, I figured it was worth a shot!

Maybe you're already familiar with Flonase, but in case you're not, it's a non-drowsy (uber important!!!) prescription strength allergy relief nasal spray, which blocks the Histamine, Cytokines, Prostaglandins, Tryptases, Chemokines, and Leukotrienes that trigger an allergic response. Available OTC for $13.96 at Walmart, it provides 24 hours of relief from nasal decongestion, runny noses, sneezing, itchy noses and watery eyes.

How NOT To Use Flonase

So my husband will be the first to admit that's he's slightly impatient and headstrong... After using Flonase for a few days, he complained that it worked well at first, but it seemed to wear off later in the evening, usually at the most inconvenient time, like when he was trying to run a baseball practice.

Knowing him all too well, I asked if he was taking the proper dosage, to which he replied, "I just assumed it was one spray on each side per day, so I went with that." Sigh...

The Proper Way To Use Flonase (For Adults)

Since he'd already tossed the instructions (totally typical), I looked them up online. You know, sometimes I really don't know what I'd do without the Internet!

Anyhow, according to the instructions, adults should start by using two sprays in each nostril once daily during the first week. After the first week, you can reduce to one spray in each nostril. If symptoms worsen, you can go back to using two sprays again.

After starting over with a week's worth of two sprays of Flonase on each side per day, I'm happy to report that my husband's allergies are pretty well controlled with this product! And hopefully he'll do a better job of reading the instructions first from now on. Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?!?

Quick purchase link:

$4.00 off Flonase Allergy Relief 120 spray bottle



P.S. Right now you can save $4 off a Flonase Allergy Relief 120-spray bottle with this printable coupon! This size runs about $22.96 per bottle at Walmart.

Walmart Moms Disclosure

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A little over a year ago, I shared a new personalized vitamin recommendation tool available on Walmart.com called VitaSelect. I'm excited to announce two new additions to this highly useful tool: 1) VitaSelect is now mobile optimized so you can access it while shopping at your local store and 2) more brands have been added to the recommendations, giving you a greater range of choices.

A Little Recap on VitaSelect

The VitaSelect tool leads you through a short series of questions about your health, lifestyle, risk factors, and stress levels. After you complete the survey, it will recommend a personalized list of vitamin recommendations, prioritizing what your body needs most and also offering a few additional optional recommendations for optimal health.

Once you receive your recommendations you can choose to print the list or email the list to yourself. Walmart doesn't store your personalized information, so you'll definitely want to do one of the two!

Out of curiosity, I decided to fill out my profile again, and I was surprised to find that my priority recommendations have actually changed since last year -- so I guess that goes to show that you should revisit your supplement choices occasionally to ensure that you're taking the correct supplements.

Instead of recommending a multivitamin and probiotic, VitaSelect recommended that I take a multivitamin and a super B-complex supplement. I haven't been very diligent about taking my vitamins the past couple of months, so I'll definitely be renewing this daily habit.

Are the VitaSelect Recommendations Trustworthy?

If you're a little on the fence about using an online tool to select vitamins and supplements, I'll tell you why I'm totally comfortable using VitaSelect...

After you receive your recommendations, you can click on the little plus sign to "Learn More" about the recommended vitamins and supplements. Once you've clicked on it, you'll also be given the option to click on "References," which will provide you with a very long list of resources detailing trials, studies, and research on the particular supplement you're viewing, allowing you to make an educated decision on your own.

Of course, if you're still unsure, it's always wise to consult your doctor or a pharmacist.

Use the VitaSelect tool to get your personalized vitamin recommendations now! What supplements did it recommend for you? Were you surprised by the results?

Walmart Moms Disclosure

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When I received a box of Schwarzkopf hair care products to try about a month ago, everything seemed pretty straight forward -- until I pulled out a small container of Schwarzkopf Styliste Ultime Satin Frizz Control & Protect Wax Powder. Being completely unfamiliar with such a product, I remember wondering, "What the heck am I supposed to do with this?"

Curious, I turned the container over to learn more, and discovered that it's intended to provide "superb frizz control and flexible styling without weighing [your hair] down. To apply the wax powder, you sprinkle it in your hand and then rub it into a creamy paste. I have to admit, it was totally fun to feel the wax powder transform from powder to paste with just a little body heat.

How To Use Wax Powder

After a little trial and error, I've been using the Schwarzkopf Styliste Ultime Satin Frizz Control & Protect Wax Powder a couple of different ways:

On myself -- My second day hair (remember, I don't wash my hair every day) tends toward being a little flyaway and not as defined as when it's freshly washed. I rub a little of this wax powder into a paste all over my hands and scrunch it into the ends of my hair to tame the flyaways and give it kind of a beachy texture.

On my girls -- My girls both play soccer and will typically wear their hair back in a ponytail or braid. I discovered that hair wax is just the product to keep the baby fine flyaway hairs around their face slicked down where hairspray has always failed. For their hair, I concentrate the paste on my fingers and smooth back all of those baby hairs around their face before they put one of their sports headbands on.

After noticing it at my local Walmart store, I also purchased a container of Schwarzkopf Styliste Ultime Biotin+ Volume & Texture Magic Volume Powder to try. Unlike the wax powder, the volume powder stays a powder. Sprinkled at your hair's roots, it's perfect for adding a little extra volume to second day hair, and I also like to use it to add extra volume when I wear my hair straight.

Both of these new Schwarzkopf products lend themselves to a variety of hairstyles and textures. I definitely recommend giving them a try!

Quick purchase link:

Over the next several weeks, I'm thrilled to be teaming up with Schwarzkopf to share my best styling tips for wavy-curly hair using their new line of professional quality hair care products available exclusively at Walmart! Developed with Claudia Schiffer (one of my all-time fave supermodels), Schwarzkopf has created the ultimate product range for hair care, color and styling -- including some very innovative products.

Read more about the various Schwarzkopf products I've tested:

Walmart Moms Disclosure

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Curly Hair Don’t Care | Dry Shampoo For The Win

by Tara Kuczykowski on May 15, 2015 · 0 comments

I mentioned back in my first post in this series that a good dry shampoo is a curly girl's best friend, so I was really looking forward to trying the new Schwarzkopf Styliste Ultime Biotin+ Volume & Texture Luxe Fresh Dry Shampoo. Since I only wash my hair 2-3 times a week, the roots can be looking pretty greasy by the third day. A little dry shampoo can usually get me through another day before I need to wash it again.

I'll be honest -- I've tried a lot of drugstore brand dry shampoos over the years, but I've never found one that I like anywhere near as well as my favorite salon-quality dry shampoo. And believe me, I gave them every chance, since my usual product can only be ordered online and requires ground shipping. It's expensive and inconvenient to say the least...

Given that I've been so pleased with the other Schwarzkopf products I've tried, I was cautiously optimistic about trying new Schwarzkopf Styliste Ultime Biotin+ Volume & Texture Luxe Fresh Dry Shampoo -- so I'm happy to report, that I actually really, really like it! I won't say I love it just because I have to be careful not to over apply to avoid white roots, but the scent and texture are amazing. If Schwarzkopf adds a tinted formula for darker hair to the line, I will totally upgrade my opinion to LOVE!

3 Tips for Applying Dry Shampoo

  • Shake the bottle before applying. This step is really important, because the powder has a tendency to settle and you'll essentially just be spraying air on your hair if you don't.
  • Spray using short bursts. Spraying using short bursts can help you avoid over application that leads to white roots, especially for those of us with darker hair. Remember, you can always add more, but removing excess can be difficult at best.
  • Spray only the roots. The ends of your hair don't get oily, and dry shampoo can make them staticky and flyaway. I part my hair in the opposite direction and mist it at the roots, and then I repeat on the other side. Then I simply work it through using my fingers. Feel free to brush it through if that works for you, but as I've mentioned, I don't brush my hair.

Whether your hair is straight or curly, this dry shampoo is one Schwarzkopf product that I recommend you all try. At just $6.97 per bottle, it's a fantastic way to extend your hairstyle between washes this summer! Check out the coupons below to make it even more budget friendly:

$5.00 off (2) Schwarzkopf Ultime™ Hair Products


Quick purchase link:

Over the next several weeks, I'm thrilled to be teaming up with Schwarzkopf to share my best styling tips for wavy-curly hair using their new line of professional quality hair care products available exclusively at Walmart! Developed with Claudia Schiffer (one of my all-time fave supermodels), Schwarzkopf has created the ultimate product range for hair care, color and styling -- including some very innovative products.

Read more about the various Schwarzkopf products I've tested:

Walmart Moms Disclosure

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