Korea | Pt.1

Around Seoul.  Click to enlarge.

 

xx Greta

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Holy Grail: Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo

This may sound hyperbolic, but having oily hair made me a complete prisoner to my shower, blow dryer, and morning routine. I was always envious of women who could go three, four, even five days without washing their hair – meanwhile I was stuck shampooing every other day, if not daily.  I would plan my life around my hair – making sure I had enough time for the 45 minute blow dry and straightening job that was necessary to get out the door.

Some days I just wanted to roll out of bed and be out the door in 30 min – not an hour and a half.

Many thanks to Drybar’s Detox dry shampoo, I’ve been able to join the club and be a little more liberal with the snooze button.  It is my new holy grail.

 

Now trust me, I am no stranger to dry shampoo.  I’ve tried Tresemme Fresh Start, Bumble and Bumble Pret-A-Powder, and countless of other sample size offerings I’ve collected over the years.  None of them made a difference, so eventually I gave up on the idea – as ingenious as it was and as much as my friends swore by it.

Detox entered my life when a well-meaning but someone pushy Sephora employee coaxed me into buying a travel size to accompany the blow dryer I was there for.  I have trouble saying no to sales people (I end up feeling irrationally guilty), so I figured – eh – give it one last shot.  

And it WORKED.

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, so first, let me show you the results.

This is me before on day 1 hair (this is evening, I had washed my hair that morning.  Pardon the costume, it was Halloween):

 
Stringy, greasy, yuck, no.

This is me on day 5 hair (FIVE!!!) with the dry shampoo.   

  

What oil? What grease? It looks ~almost~ like a day 1 blow out.

To be fair, this experiment does not have a proper control as the test subject.  I bleached my hair, which from my understanding is known for decreasing oil production.  

I accept this as a variable, but the results of the dry shampoo are impossible to ignore. 

The shampoo comes in an aerosol can – which right away is a plus.  I much prefer that over the Bumble and Bumble style shaker.  It distributes the product more evenly.  The spray itself comes out thick and uniformed.  Unlike Tresemme’s Fresh Start, which had a very narrow spray and too fine of a mist, Detox coats your hair in product in a few short bursts, allowing you to cover a large section of hair in seconds.  

  
When I massage the product into my hair, it immediately feels silky, not like there is a ton of product build up.  I can run my fingers through it my hair, and the visible residue absorbs within minutes without any traces of dandruff-like powder.  My hair looks fluffy and fresh, and smells amazing. 

The best part is, if I spray the shampoo on day two hair, it continues to do its job absorbing oil on day three, four, and five with little to no need for reapplication.  I feel like I’m finally doing my hair a favor and giving it a much needed break from constant heat and shampoo.
The product comes in two colors, blonde, which I bought for my quickly fading purple hair, and brunette, which I would have purchased for my natural color.

So, cheers to Drybar for their miracle product that has cut my mourning routine in half.  

Xx Greta

Lavender Spring

In my 23 years of living my hair and I have struggled to find common ground.  I’ve never really been happy with its natural tendencies – which is to be more than wavy but less than curly with lots of frizz – and so I’ve always fought it one way or the other with heat or product.  I’d go through phases where I would feel bad about my constant need to blow, iron, smooth, spray, and battle my hair that I would decide for years at a time to do my best to baby it.  I would quit the heat, cut off the dead ends, not brush it while wet, dry it with a t-shirt not a towel, use sulfate free products.  Even after such dedication, I would often be unable to recognize any improvement.

My natural hair decided to celebrate our last day together by behaving.

My natural hair decided to celebrate our last day together by behaving.

Eventually I accepted defeat and the fact that I would never have the thick, healthy looking hair that I desperately wanted.   It was not in the cards for me to be able to walk out of the shower and air dry my way to enviable locks.  My hair was not going to be my stand out feature – but give me 45 minutes, a blow dryer, and a flat iron, and I could make it at least presentable.  My hair would be the wallflower of my look, it wouldn’t stand out because it was fabulous, but it also wouldn’t stand out because it was hideous either.  It just was.

Until I decided – fuck that.  I can have dope hair if I want.

So I dyed my hair lavender.

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As I approach my mid twenties, I’ve realized I’m running out of time to do crazy things with my appearance and have it be somewhat acceptable. Now is that time! So I went for it.  Since going from brunette to a pastel color requires bleach, I decided for my initial change I would visit a professional.  I found an amazing salon the the West Village, Seagull Salon, that specializes in out-there colors, and booked an appointment with their stylist Sarah.  She was incredible and took such good care of my hair (I was so worried about bleaching it because I have had BAD experiences in the past at top NYC salons trying during my ombre phase).  Even though we bleached my whole head, I feel like my hair is healthier than it was before.

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Now I’m loving my new look.  I finally feel excited about my hair, which is such a new experience for me.  I feel confident and more like “myself” than I did with my natural brown color.

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Xx Greta

Break A Leg

This weekend I used two of my very very precious vacation days to go meet up with my family in Utah for a long weekend of skiing.  I’ve been going to Utah since I was a baby – my father owns a timeshare at Snowbird, which is where I learned to ski and have spent many a winter vacation throughout my life.The past few years since my parents divorce, I had been visiting almost exclusively with my dad.  This year, however, my mother decided to come out as well.  I am grateful to have parents that are able to be mostly amicable around each other – but throw two divorcees in a small condo and there’s bound to be some less-than-smooth moments.  Luckily, my uncle and cousin also came out from the Bay Area to stay with us, so their presence softened the tension somewhat.  Or at least had everyone on their best behavior.

Overall it was so lovely to spend time with my family.  I don’t get to see my Cali relatives often, so it was nice to meet in the middle.  As I’ve gotten older I’ve really grown to appreciate time with family – I love traveling with my friends, but there is nothing like having a few days off to fully let your guard down around your fam.

 

We enjoyed two full days of skiing together, Saturday and Sunday.  I’ve been skiing since I could stand on two feet – so it’s the one thing I truly feel comfortable saying that I’m legitimately good at.  There’s very little terrain that I’m not capable of tackling, whether it’s navigating cliffs, woods, or steep slopes.  At times this leads me to be overly confident, often testing the limits of speed and agility that my skis will allow.  I’ve had a few near miss moments – catching an edge at a high speed, getting a little two much air off a jump – but I’ve always landed on two feet with no other afflictions than the pit that forms in one’s stomach upon realizing just how wrong something could have gone.  It’s a thrill.

 

Unfortunately, this time I had one of those near miss moments that landed me on the wrong side of that fine line.  I landed wrong coming off a jump and immediately tore my ACL upon impact.  I’ve definitely been bumped and bruised before skiing, but the popping noise that I felt and heard when I landed let me know immediately that I would not be walking away from this one unscathed.  As someone who has never seriously injured herself in her life (a true miracle knowing my clumsy nature), it was a horrifying experience.  Upon impact I collapsed and proceeded to slide down the slope in a tangled mess of skis and poles in utter agony unable to stop myself.

We’ve all seen those videos of professional athletes hurting themselves – the ones where it’s so difficult to watch yet you can’t look away as you cringe clutching your own limb and feeling their pain secondhand.  When I tore my knee it was like living one of those videos.  I felt the join dislocate momentarily, tearing far enough to snap the ligament inside.  In the moments after impact, before my uncle stopped my mess of a self from sliding completely down the mountain, I remember having so many thoughts rush through my head – the primary one being instant regret.   Could I please just rewind time 10 seconds and not go off that jump? I knew right away that I had done damage, and the second thought I had was the fear of finding out the extent of my injury.

I haven’t cried from physical pain since my childhood – but man oh man was I screaming.  It’s funny, because making such noise wasn’t going to help me (people were already calling ski patrol and my family was with me), but it was the only thing that could distract me from the pain.  I was also crying because my whole future was rushing before my eyes – how would I go to work? How would I follow through on all of my plans/responsibilities/housework/fitness?

The ski patrol got there in record time, and by then my adrenaline had kicked in and the pain began to subside.  The stabilized my leg in a splint and lifted me into their sled, at which point I somehow managed to smile and throw a thumbs up for a very necessary photo opp.

The journey to the clinic was very interesting and at times anxiety inducing.  I had to ride up a chairlift on the sled, which they attached to the back of the chair with some metal framework.  I was holding on for dear life and rambling on about how “I’ll probably never walk again” and “how will I ever manage to move into my new apartment at the end of the month?” (If we’re honest I’m still grappling with that one).

We then had to ride down the tram to the main plaza where the clinic was located.  Thankfully, my mom was able to accompany me this whole time and talk me down from my naturally anxious/hypochondriac mindset.  She is a nurse and also tore her ACL skiing 20 years ago at the same resort – so she knew what was up and was able to rationalize my worst case scenario thought process.

Once at the clinic they took and X-ray of my knee to confirm (thankfully), I had not broken any bones.  The doctor then did a test for latency in my ligaments which involved her tugging the joint in various directions to see which ligaments were still intact (and would provide tension for her tugging), and which were not (my ACL!).  Luckily my adrenaline was still strong at this point, so this was minimally painful.

 

The remainder of the day was not as bad as I expected.  I was discharged with crutches, a brace, and explicit instructions to exercise my injured leg as to not lose my muscle tone and range of motion.  If I rehab my leg correctly, there’s a 30% chance I would not need surgery.  I went to the pharmacy to fill my “just in case” pain med prescription (which I don’t plan on using because I have an irrational fear of heavy drugs), had a quick bite to eat with my family before they went back on the mountain, and took a shuttle home to assume my couch locked position for an afternoon of icing my knee and binging on Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

 

I’m writing this now from back in NYC, laying in bed with ice on my knee.  Supposedly I’m supposed to ice this thing 8 hours a day.  Good luck!  I just flew home today and am curious how navigating my daily routine will feel tomorrow.  Everything I do takes twice as long, whether it’s showering or walking.  Perhaps this is a sign to slow down in life a little bit.  I really have no choice!

Either way prepare for more stores of a girl on crutches in NYC!

Xx Greta

Greta the Ghost

I know how to do this one amazing magic trick where I completely disappear.  I think it’s pretty impressive, but my friends might beg to differ because it often leads to texts like this (sorry Angel!):

All jokes aside – it’s a problem.  Sometimes I just get too overwhelmed by the influx of information directed at me that I just…stop.  I lose my ability to pay attention to my phone – or at least the aspects of it that warrant a direct response from me.  This often means ignoring friends’ messages for far longer than I should.  It’s never because I’m annoyed with them.  I love talking to my friends, but on occasions where I go grocery shopping, commute home on the subway, have a drink with a friend…or any other activity that turns my attention away from my iPhone for more than 30 minutes and results in me being inundated with 65 text notifications and 10 work emails causes my brain to short circuit.  The problem isn’t the time that I’m not looking at my phone, it’s being so absolutely overwhelmed with the notifications that I don’t even know how to begin responding.  So I delay and then delay some more.

13 year old me is shitting herself right now – I used to get like one text a week because a) because I didn’t know anyone with a cell phone and b) I wasn’t necessarily in high demand as an 8th grader.  I would have killed to be this “popular” – but it’s not popularity.  I’m not avoiding fun social things.  I’m avoiding adulthood and responsibilities.  I’m avoiding my mom texting me asking if I’ve done my taxes, I’m ignoring the five new interview requests for my clients that will take me an hour each to coordinate.  And as I ignore these things, I begin to feel guilty.  When I think about them, I feel even more guilty.

It’s a spiral of guilt and stress that I can’t help but to internalize.  I focus on it so deeply that I convince myself I’m a terrible human being who can’t give my friends the attention they deserve.  I tell myself I’ll respond when I can actually sit down and have a conversation – which is usually at the end of a long day at work is right before I crawl into bed with my jeans and makeup still on, and hours after the original message was sent.  At that point, a conversation is the last thing I want, and so begins the vicious cycle.

As an introvert, I also use “ghosting” as a coping mechanism for bad days.  If I’m upset with something that happened at work or in a relationship, I usually much rather fix it with a joint, bath, and sleep than talking to someone about it.  Most times, this just lasts a few hours, but if I’m really upset, this process can take days.

When it comes down to it, the knowledge that I’m completely ignoring all my friends becomes MORE stressful to me than the effort of the original response.  I dig myself into a hole, and the feeling of being there is very much similar to the feeling I used to feel in college as I watched the clock tick into the night while procrastinating my homework.  Watching the clock tick on and knowing I have messages to answer carries the same type of stress.

I’m working hard to find a solution to this problem – or just stop doing it.  It’s easier said than done.  Part of me wonders if this is just part of transitioning into adulthood and growing accustomed to being accountable – a journey I am certainly not finished with.  Baby steps – tomorrow I will wake up and answers five text messages before I get into the shower.

xx Greta

Face Mask Thoughts

As I sit here in my Monday night face mask looking cute (see below), I thought I would write a quick post about what is going through my mind lately. As this dries.  I have 20 min – GO.

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To preface this post, I guess I should give a brief overview of my dating history.  It basically went like this:

0-17: Zilch

17-22: Relationship

22-23: Help I’m single, help tinder sucks, help unrequited love

Now that we have the basics of that down, I’d also like to point out that this isn’t the type of post where I have a point to make at the end – it’s more just to document my general confusion with a certain aspect of life in the hopes that one day I can look back and understand what was going on.  Or perhaps someone else is equally confused.

I’ve been feeling lately like I can’t fall in love…or even in “like.”

This is a bold statement to make, but it’s getting to the point that I’m concerned there’s something wrong with me.  When I broke up with my ex of five years, I knew of course that it would take time to feel ready to meet new people.  Eventually, after a few months, I felt like I was ready to give it the good old college try and put myself out there.

I’ll go on dates with guys…nice guys that I should think are perfect…but I just can’t seem to catch feelings.  I usually end up getting so hyper-focused on the fact that (in my mind) I’m incapable of love, that I end up creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.  There’s nothing objectively wrong with the guys I’ve dated, I just get so much anxiety from the pressure to like them that I end up catapulting my feelings in the opposite direction.

I want to change this, because it feels like I’m a-emotional (is that a thing?) and I want to be in love again – when the time is right.  I can’t tell if this is a sign that I’m not ready for a relationship and that the guys I’m meeting aren’t as “perfect” as I think they are – or if I’ve actually just lost my ability to feel chemistry with another person.

Time will tell.

xx Greta

Adventures in Vermont

One of the best things about New York is the fact that you can choose what you pay for things.  Feel like balling out and dropping $300 on a meal? No problem.  Want to spend $3 on falafel from Mamoun’s? Even better.

That’s why when my friends and I decided we wanted to get away for a weekend and go skiing, we opted for a $150 all-inclusive Chinatown tour.  Sure, it’s not Aspen, but for what our après ski lacked in hot tubs and luxury it made up for in shenanigans and the kind of laughter where you’re not sure if you’re bladder will hold out.  From my experience, the best memories are not the ones where everything goes smoothly, but rather the ones where everything doesn’t and the hilarity that ensues.

Our trip started at 8am on Saturday, in Chinatown.  It was cold as all shit, and the Egg McMuffin I picked up on the way to the bus stop was frozen solid by the time we actually boarded the bus.

After a four hour ride on the outlet-less bus and a gourmet rest stop lunch at Quiznos, we made it to our first destination – a farm for a winter sleigh ride.  We arrived at the farm an hour early, which left us with plenty of time to explore the ground and make some new friends.

After the farm, we went straight to our Best Western in the lovely Keene, NH – and were let loose for the remainder of the night.  With all that Keene has to offer (we were across the street from McDonalds AND Walmart…location guys, location), we didn’t really know where to start.  Naturally, we began where any night worth writing about begins – Tinder.  My wonderful friend Abby volunteered to sacrifice her account and began right swiping like her life depended on it…hitting all matches with a copypasta message about four crazy girls stuck in a Best Western looking for a party.

If there’s one thing Keene, NH has going for itself, it’s Keene State College – a notorious party school.  We decided early on in our Tinder escapades that we were going to relive our college days for the nights (judge all you want…but when you’re stuck in a small town with nothing to do, the threshold of acceptable and worthwhile activities lowers significantly) and “crash” a few parties.

This plan went as expected…dorm parties are lame and we felt very old despite our newly assumed aliases as NYU college seniors.  We still had fun.

We didn’t stay late because we had to wake up at 6am the following morning to ski.  I was in bed by 11:50 with my end of the night Easy Mac and dreams of fresh snow in my head.

The skiing at Mt. Snow was was great, since my friends and I are were all at different ability levels we ended up separating and doing our own thing.  For me this meant snowboarding (I’ve been skiing since before I could walk…but my boarding skills leave much to be desired), and falling a fair amount – but not nearly as much as I expected.

We left the mountain at 2pm, with a four hour bus ride ahead of us…of course this did not go as planned, and we ended up spending ten hours on the bus with one bathroom break to boot.  But like I said in the beginning…I’ll remember that.

xx Greta