Chapter 12: Cool Soccer Mom Hair

Motherhood is full of surprises.

Some are wonderful.

Like how ridiculously, heart-string-wrenchingly beautiful it is when your baby reaches out and touches your face for the first time. Or smiles. Or hugs you. Or laughs. Or falls asleep on you. Or gets food all over their face. Or breathes. Or exists.

Some seem real bad, but are actually fine

Like did you know that most stretch marks fade?!

I. Did. Not!

I’d just gotten used to looking like I’d been mauled by a tiger, and – poof! No more red claw marks down my tummy.

Bloody thrilled, mate.

Some definitely are as bad as they seem

Like sleep deprivation.

That crap is fierce.

It was my son’s birthday this week, which means I have not gone to bed – and stayed there all night – for over 365 days. Not that I am for sure counting.

I am currently surviving on coffee and love.

And some are just plain crazy town!

Exhibit A. Your hair doesn’t really fall out when you’re pregnant.

For nine months you become this lush Pantene ad of a woman. But then birth happens.

And

your

hair

falls

like

rain.

Showering becomes a very disconcerting exercise. Like, y u still in my hands, hair? U no live there.

I think my hair-exodus calmed down around 6 months postpartum (tbh, I have no idea. The last year is a beautiful blur), leaving behind some very questionable regrowth layers.

I have also been slowly turning into the lion from The Wizard of OZ as one of my budgeting hacks (two words: halved income) has been to cut down my six-weekly visit to the salon to six-monthly.

Grim.

Effective, but grim.

Also, #firstworldproblems.

“The Cool Soccer Mom”

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Last week (a casual six months since my last appointment), I booked in with my gorgeous hairdresser Haley, and asked her to make me look like Gemma Arterton, please and thank you.

I call this haircut: “The Cool Soccer Mom”.

It’s like Amy Poehler in Mean Girls meets Hilary Clinton.

Possibly the best gif I’ve ever seen.

Baller.

Other famous mum-fan include Kween of Hair, Lauren Conrad, real life Belle Marion Cotillard, and “Where the bloody hell are ya?” Lara Worthington.

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So. Damn. Chic.

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How-to style this mother

There are lots of different techniques you can try (like this one, or this one) – but an easy method is …

The Cool Chick Curl

  1. Starting at the front of your hair, curl first segment backwards away from your face
  2. Next segment: curl the opposite way (towards your face)
  3. And so on until you reach the back of your head
  4. Start the same process on the other side
  5. Straighten the ends (or leave uncurled)
  6. Spritz with sea salt spray (or hairspray) and mess up.

Done!

Curled Bob

I also like to air-dry my curls sometimes to get a little chic curled bob poppin’.

I do this when: a) I want to channel Marion and feel ooh lala and French, or b) I. Can’t. Be. Bothered. Heat. Styling.

Side note: my fave writer Zoë Foster-Blake has a phenomenal curled bob.

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Tiny Dancer Bun

I’m a huge fan of the half-up bun. Like …

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It’s easy. Cute. And let’s face it, ponytails and buns are RIP when you’re hair’s at this length.

Other than pigtails (and pigtail buns or braids), it’s kinda your only option.

So at least it’s a good option!

Footnote: The origin of the term “Soccer Mom”

While I was researching for this post, I found out something really interesting.

It turns out, the term “Soccer Mom” became a thing during the 1996 election (Bill Clinton v Bob Dole), when the typecast of a suburban, SUV welding white woman became a “swing vote category” (Source).

We must win the Soccer Mom vote!

Fun. Facts.

When did you have a big hair change? Was it after a big life event? We do that, huh.

Kate x

Ps. The struggle has been so unbelievably real trying to get a good photo of the new do, so here are some random grainy photobooth snaps of me and my man at our friends’ wedding yesterday.

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Chapter 10: Reading

Until this week, I hadn’t read a book in a year.

Which, for someone with a degree in English Literature, is basically sacrilege.

(Ps. I also have a degree in Psychology and Management, but we didn’t come here to talk about how very smart I am. We came here for lols and encouragement, and some A-Grade ridiculous stories.)

It’s all coming back, to me

One of my Thirty Before Thirty goals was to rediscover the absolute bloody joy of reading.

I had a bit of hormonal anxiety (fun!) before little man was born, which combined with a fierce imagination, made for some dramatic times up in my head.

So to help, I steered clear of reading or watching anything that added to the drama above my ears.

But then after a while, the hormones chilled (Thank. God).

And Z was born.

And I didn’t sleep anymore.

And my mental capacity was #basic.

And Christmas Netflix movies became my jam (how good was The Christmas Prince, though).

And I just never really got back into books.

Until, now.

To Guernsey, with love

Last weekend, my mum gave me The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society to borrow.

She said: “It’s very you”.

So I started reading it on Sunday.

And then I finished it on Thursday.

It was amazing.

I was also bloody thrilled to discover that they made a movie of it in 2017, starring the divine Lily James. She’s one of my faves, but I hadn’t watched it yet because I thought the name was weird.

What a fool.

I’m going to have a couch date with myself on Saturday and watch it. Because I know how to party.

Book Club

For those of you who are interested, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is set at the end of WW2, and tells the story of the German occupation of Guernsey (an island in the English Channel) through an ensemble cast of gorgeous, witty, clever characters.

The book is written entirely in letters and notes (the format reminded me a bit of Love, Rosie), and the main character Juliet is to die for.

She’s the sort of character you wish was real just so you could be friends.

“You know how I love talking about books, and you know how I adore receiving compliments.” – Annie Barrows, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

I know those feels.

It has everything: Strong female protagonists (along with Juliet, Elizabeth is the second, silent central figure of the book). Realistic, quirky, loveable characters. A setting that teaches you something. A love story. And all of the lols.

I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m a pretty big fan.

It reminded me a bit of The Girl You Left Behind, the lesser-known novel by Jojo Moyes (of Me Before You fame) half-set in German occupied France – which I also really liked.

Kate’s Goodreads

In honour of rediscovering my love of literature, I thought I’d share my all time favourite books/series/authors, and why I luuurve them so damn much.

Best Nonfiction Comedy

Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns)

This 👏🏼 Book 👏🏼 Is 👏🏼 Everything

I had a real “Books By Female Comedians” stage (Miranda Hart’s Love Peggy gets an honourable mention in this category), but this book is the best of the bunch BY FAR.

I think I’ve re-read it twice … maybe three times …

So funny. So inspiring. So great.

Best Series for Tweens That I Read as a Grown Ass Woman

The Georgia Nicolson series. With such titles as Startled by His Furry Shorts and It’s ok, I’m Wearing Really Big Knickers, you know you’re in for a good time.

Pure, ridiculous, teen hilarity.

I was genuinely heartbroken when their author Louise Rennison passed away in 2016. But she gave the world the Disco Inferno Dance and Dave the Laugh, and for that I will always be grateful.

I could have literally snogged until the cows came home. And when they came home I would have shouted, “WHAT HAVE TOU COWS COME HOME FOR?! CAN’T YOU SEE I’M SNOGGING, YOU STUPID HERBIVORES???” – Georgia Nicolson

Favourite Writer

I love Zoë Foster-Blake.

I just feel like we’d be friends. And I love her novels, Air Kisses and Playing the Field.

Her blog is also bomb. Get amongst it.

Best Sob-Inducer

Me Before You is gorgeous. And harrowing. And hilarious. And everything.

I also really loved Emilia Clarke’s (my all time girl crush) portrayal of Lou in the film.

Who, now I think about it, actually has some similar traits to Juliet in Guernsey

Quickest Read

I read Divergent in a day.

O b s e s s e d.

Although I felt the series got a serious case of the “er … where are we going with this plot …?!”, Divergent was sublime.

Book three (Allegiant) was ridiculous.

Best Christian Book*

I really enjoyed Jesus is ___ by Judah Smith.

He managed to be funny and inspiring and informative all at the same time, and I loved it.

Also, anything by Joyce Meyer, the First Lady of Female Preachers.

Bow down.

*Other than the Bible, which is a pretty good book …

Best Inspo

Girl, Wash Your Face is amazing. I’ve only just started it, so I’m well and truly jumping the gun by putting it on this list, but I don’t care. It’s amazing.

The author, Rachel Hollis, also has an amazing podcast called Rise which I thoroughly recommend.

Best Classic Prose

I will tell you a secret … I only ever finished one book during my English degree.

I know.

And that one book was Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.

I am only now realising how sexist I am … All my fave books have female leads.

Literally. All. Of. Them.

I guess …

What’s you’re all time favourite book? Do you have any recommendations for me? I feel like you all solidly know “My Type” now.

Kate x