Operation Haircut

Posted by Carly Morgan

I hate getting my hair cut. HATE IT. I feel like 50% of the time I leave feeling unsatisfied and ripped off. Part of this is because I just don’t get that excited about my hair, but another part is that I just haven’t found the perfect stylist for under $300. (If you’re in Utah and you want to know who the perfect over $300 stylist is, call me and I’ll give you his number. Love him.)

Anyway, last year I started cutting my own hair. First I just trimmed my bangs, but before long I had added layers, fringed the sides, and eventually cut off about 9 inches in a blunt, bob maneuver. It was passable cute and didn’t cost me a thing, outside of a pair of hair shears from Sephora, but when it grew out it just looked really awful. Add to that the fact that my hair always streaks red in the summer, instead of getting those cute surfer-girl caramel streaks, and you’ve got yourself a complete mess of a haircut.

I knew that something needed to be done, so I made a salon appointment here in Salt Lake at a place I’ve never tried before. Then, I hopped onto Real Simple’s virtual makeover site and whipped up a few looks. I posted them on Facebook (using my blogger account and not my personal one) and before long, three favorites emerged:

Funny enough, but the two hairstyles that I’ve worn for most of my life (long and flat, long with blunt bangs) were both the least popular styles I’d put up. Apparently the community has spoken and I should stop (A) ignoring my hair and (B) taking a pair of shears to my forehead.

Anyway, I consulted with Kyle and he liked my hair short and red. So did a bunch of other people, but the style was still pretty scary. I’ve been growing my hair out, so the thought of cutting it short was daunting. I also wasn’t completely sold on the red color, even though my hair has natural red highlights, because it’s a pretty big change for me. Ultimately, though, I decided that red and short might be just the hair jolt I needed and I resolved to go for that cut (even though I was leaning towards long and dark with layers).

Then, we went to Vegas and when we got there I was really frustrated with my hair. It was freaking out in the heat and just generally really bleh, so I made a spur-of-the-moment appointment at the amazing salon at Treasure Island and ran down to get my haircut. I showed her the short, red cut that I wanted and she basically refused. She said that I wouldn’t look good and I would completely hate it and then she suggested a longer, darker cut with layers. I compromised and told her to cut it, but not to color it. This is what she did:

I admit, I kind of love it. It’s true that it’s not crazy different and it’s still straddling the line between red and dark brown, but it’s really comfortable and very easy to style. I also feel like I can let it grow out for a long time, which is fantastic because I don’t like getting my hair cut at all. I still have that salon appointment, so I might make a drastic color change, but I don’t know which shade I’m leaning towards…

Vegas in Photos

Posted by Carly Morgan

On the night before Kyle’s birthday, we randomly decided to go to Vegas for the weekend. Kyle had never really been there, having only driven through as we went to and from Disneyland, and I had wanted to take him there for a long time. I’m actually not the biggest fan of Vegas, since it’s pretty hot, dirty, and expensive, but the charm of Vegas still gets me as long as I take it in small doses and I knew that Kyle would love all the theming and random entertainment.

Plus, we finally got our new car and we were itching to try it out:

 

She’s a Subaru Imprezza wagon and we got her for a smile and a song. I was a little worried about getting such a small car (it’s small compared to the two Jeeps that I’ve owned), but she’s actually really fun to drive and she gets amazing gas mileage.

 

The desert was hot on our drive out, even though we didn’t leave until about 6 in the evening. It was nice though, since I’d rather drive through the heat than the rain. It actually was raining a bit, but it was so hot that it was turning to steam before it reached us, so we just got to enjoy the rainbows on the way down to Southern Utah.


We ended up at a Motel 6 in St. George, Utah on Kyle’s birthday, because it was getting kind of late and we didn’t want to bother driving the extra hour to Las Vegas since we were pretty tired. I’ve stayed in Motel 6s all my life and it’s always the same story…kind of dingy, noisy neighbors, and a weird smell that you just can’t quite place. In a way, though, the crappiness is comforting because it reminds me of the road trips my family took when I was little.


We got on the road early the next morning and drove on through Arizona to Nevada. It’s not the prettiest of drives from Salt Lake to Vegas, but I suppose if you manage to get down there without being burnt out on stone and sand, you might think some parts are a little scenic.


I did all of the driving on this trip, so Kyle got to man the camera. Therefore, I have tons of pictures that look like this:


Nevada: officially too hot. Even the guy on the state sign looked parched and baked.


When we got to Las Vegas, we drove past the strip and went straight to the Disney Character Warehouse to spend money on discount Disney stuff. Then we hit Cane’s chicken so I could get my chicken strip fix. We used to live right around the corner from a Cane’s and I can 100% attribute at least one extra dress size to the fact that they put crack or something in their chicken sauce. I could eat Cane’s and only Cane’s for the rest of my life.


And then it was on to the strip, where it was a balmy 112 degrees.

 

We stayed at Treasure Island, which was a first for both of us. It was a really lovely choice, because the room was quiet, clean, comfortable, and came with an amazing view:

 

It was too hot to be outside, so we lost ourselves in the forum shops at Caesar’s Palace.

 

And then went back to the room to sleep until it was cool enough to venture outside. The view from our room got even better after the sun went down!

 

Little did we know that the low for the night would be 98 degrees, so it was still pretty hot when we took off to see the sites. We made it to a ton of casinos, Kyle won big on slots, we had incredible citrus cocktails, and I about ruined my feet on my new flashy Vegas sandals. Unfortunately, I haven’t a single photo of any of that because it was just too damn hot to unzip my purse and remove my camera. I don’t know how people live in Las Vegas all the time. It’s like living on the sun.

At 2AM we wandered (ok, I hobbled) back to our room and I conked out immediately. We slept until our noon checkout and then took off to find Hash House-a-Go-Go of Man vs. Food fame. It was actually really easy to find, just a short drive off the strip.


We started off with a mimosa (Kyle) and a s’mores mocha (me). I would have much rather had the mimosa, but the s’mores thing was supposed to be the house specialty and when I’m travelling I always feel like I should trust the house. As it was, it was too damn hot for coffee and although this drink was amazing for the first 20 seconds I had it, after a while it was just too sweet. There was easily three inches of marshmallow cream on the top of it, so I had to struggle just to reach coffee and all of that eventually melted in. My opinion: make one of your friends order it so you can take a little sip and then get yourself a mimosa.

I also got the other house specialty: Fried Chicken Benedict. It’s a layer of mashed potatoes, a layer of biscuits, a layer of spinach, a layer of tomatoes, a layer of bacon, four pieces of fried chicken, and about two cups of scrambled eggs, all covered in melted cheese. It’s then drenched with chipotle hollondaise and stabbed with a giant rosemary skewer. Don’t worry…I didn’t eat it all, even though it was pretty delicious. I think my leftovers could have fed three other people.


Kyle got the much more sensible spinach and mushroom hash, but he couldn’t finish all of his either. This place was a great restaurant, but the sheer waste of food was a little overwhelming.


And then it was back on the road for eight hours as we made our way home to the sounds of BNL and Arlo Guthrie. I love road trips and I love my husband.


Still, there’s no place like home.

How to Make a Birthday Cake For Your Cat

Posted by Carly Morgan

A little over a week ago we celebrated Charlie and Scout’s first birthday. Since you only turn one once, we wanted to do something a little special for them, so I decided to make them a cake.

There were actually a couple of recipes for kitty cake online, made out of things like tuna and rice, but none of them really sounded like something that the kitties would dig into. So, I decided to make up my own easy recipe using things that I know they love.

First, I gathered some Fancy Feast, some dry cat food, a plate, and a cookie cutter. I was going to use a kitty-related cookie cutter, but we didn’t have one and I didn’t know where to find one. What we do have is an abundance of Disney-themed cookie cutters, so I went with a classic Mickey Mouse shape:

Step One: I put the cookie cutter on the plate and scooped one of the cans of Fancy Feast out onto it.

Step Two: I mashed the Fancy Feast in and added another can to fill out the shape.

Step Three: I put the dry cat food into a ziploc bag and mashed it up with a rolling pin.

Step Four: I took the mashed up cat food and put it on top of the wet cat food to create a cookie crust. Sort of a reverse-frosting situation.

Step Five: I carefully moved the shape from the “working plate” to a clean plate so that the presentation would be better. I then removed the cookie cutter. I had to do it slowly, but it came away pretty clean.

Voila! Kitty cake. Doesn’t the cat food crust look delicious?

Verdict: LOVED.

We also did presents. For all of you that are curious, the key to getting your cats to unwrap presents is to wrap them loosely in tissue paper that has kitty treats scattered throughout it.

If you have more than one kitty celebrating a birthday, be sure to get a new toy for each of them. Our cats each grabbed their toy and ran away from each other. They wouldn’t share for the rest of the night.

Happy Birthday, kitties!
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