Just call me Farrah

Getting your hair cut at a new salon is a calculated risk.

Getting your hair cut at a new place in your very Polish neighborhood is an even bigger calculated risk.

Getting your hair cut at a new place in your very Polish neighborhood by a woman named Ula (not kidding) whose first language is, naturally, Polish is the grand-daddy of all risks (this is my life we’re talking about, ok?).

Here’s the picture I showed Ula.

Now, in defense of what I’m about to show you, there IS a bit of flip to that hairstyle. But apparently what Ula saw when she looked at this, was the following:

Or, rather, as I imagine Ula imagined I would wear this hair:

Now, I’m not mad. In fact, there is so much kick to my hair that I literally scurried home with joy to take a photo and tell you guys about it. In fact, the only thing that could have made me happier would have been if someone would have actually shouted, “Hey, Farrah!” at me on the way home. I would have been all like, “He-ey!

Which is a big deal. I don’t respond to cat-callers.

My favorite part? When Ula started explaining to me how versatile this haircut is. That I could flip it out or under. As if I would ever want to do anything other than this!!!!

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Justine, isn’t your hair so sassily styled that you can’t even really tell if you like the cut?

Well, yes. Yes, it is. But I have faith in Ula. I have faith in my neighborhood. I have faith in my calculated risk.

And if I’m wrong? Well, I guess then I can just pursue that dream of being a sexy 70s crime-fighting spy, now can’t I?


Hair-Brained Theories

So you know how I have way too manytheories about how hair and attitude are connected? I’m adding another one.

I propose that your entire mood can be lifted by a good hair day. The reverse is also true. Liking your outfit also helps, but hair is the true key. (This is probably mostly true of women.)

The evidence: I usually take showers at night, but I usually don’t dry my hair after, instead letting it air-dry while I sleep. This is fine, but my hair is usually some kind of crazy by the time I wake up. I could probably remedy this by torching it within an inch of its life with a straightener, but I prefer not to do that unless it’s an emergency. (Yeah, go ahead and TRY to think of an emergency that calls for that course of action.)

So anyway. Last night, everything changed.

In a super awesome course of events, our heat is somehow not working. It rules. Really. (Not really.) Naturally, our apartment is freezing. So last night I took a shower for the sole purpose of warming up. For the first time, I didn’t think I could physically go to bed with wet hair. So I dried it. And this morning, it actually looked kind of nice when I woke up. Plus, I’d finally remembered to pack my lunch the night before, so I didn’t have to go through the rigamarole of slapping something together in the morning.

The point is, I’ve had a pretty great day. Which begs the question: Does more put-together hair mean a more put-together life?

Weekend Round-Up

So last Friday the fella and I celebrated a time-honored NYC tradition: Restaurant Week.

I love it so. For those of you who do not live in a city that has this (because it is available outside of my current locale), this is when a few higher-end restaurants will host fixed price lunches and dinners at a discounted price so the underlings (read: me) can get a chance to appreciate them. There are typically three courses of goodness — appetizer, entree, and dessert.

I’m not going to lie; I picked where we went based on the dessert. It was pumpkin cheesecake with — get this — cranberry sauce over it. And amazing taste sensation I plan on copying someday. It was also quite nice of Restaurant Week to fall on our anniversary (because you KNOW that went in to the scheduling decision).

Unfortunately, there is zero photo evidence of this fancy meal because both the boyfriend and I forgot our cameras. Memories fail. I swear, I have maybe one photo of us dressed nicely. Oh well.

Aside from that, though, it was a successful outing all around.

Also, it’s doppelgänger week on Facebook, so everyone is suppose to put a photo of a celebrity they resemble for their profile pic (in case you missed the memo and are confused why everyone is doing this…Dad. You should put that guy from Robin Hood.)

I picked Anne Hathaway, as this is the most consistent “you know who you look like!?” that I get. So…who’s yours?

Hair Today, Someone Else Tomorrow

During my last two years of high school into the first two years of college, I changed my hair a lot.

Like, a LOT.

It went from brown, to lighter brown, to blonde, to dark brown, to lighter brown again, to red, to blonder, to reddish brown. The length was anywhere between the middle of my back and just below my jaw-bone. I had bangs, and then I didn’t, and then I did again.

I’d like to tell you that this was all part of some freedom of expression that stemmed from an innate free-spirited-ness and lack of inhibition. But the truth is, I was just really confused about who I was.

But, being the practical girl I am, I made myself an escape hatch. I told myself everything would come together for me my junior year of college. Why did I pick that specific time? Because that’s when I planned to be editor-in-chief of my college magazine. That’s when I planned to score a major internship I had coveted since I made my decision to go to Drake. That’s when I decided to start being proud of myself and where I was going, instead of focusing only on the things I didn’t like.

Somehow, simply telling myself this would happen actually made it occur.

Around the same time, I dyed my hair back to it’s natural brown and called it a day in terms of hair colors.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Justine, aren’t you planning to dye your hair blonde again at the end of the month? Are you telling us that you’re a lost, scared, unhappy soul again?

Calm down, that’s not what I’m saying at all. There are a lot of reasons girls (and guys) dye their hair: to fit in, to get noticed, to prove a point, because they just went through a break up, and, as in my case, to shake things up.

My life is blissfully good right now, but whenever someone asks me “What’s new?” I have very little to say. Now, I’m not complaining, but I guess I feel like I need some new in my life. New decade, new hair…and I guess a little bit of a new me.

The point is, I used to look at getting a haircut or new hair color as a desperate chance to figure out who I was. Or be someone else. And for the first time since I was 15, that’s not the case.


Well, it was another successful dinner at the Barker-Blanchard residence. What’s that? You wanna peek? You got it!

For the first course, Emma made a nutritious spinach salad:

Yep, using her hands. A true professional.
With gorgonzola, sliced almonds, red onion, and...
...the best salad dressing EVER!

You’ll be happy to know that I was much more helpful this time. For the main course, I made penne a la vodka:

Olive oil, butter, garlic, and shallots.
Puts the vodka in penne a la vodka.
Mix in crushed tomatoes and heavy cream.
The usual pasta picture.
Mix in a little fresh basil and...
...a smidge of fresh parmesan, and we're done!

It’s good to live in our household.

Wanna be like us? You can find the full recipe here. (Thanks, Rachael.) Plus it has a funny name. Enjoy!

Here’s to you, Mrs. Emma Cleaver.

So tonight I found out what it would be like to have a loving wife. And her name is Emma Barker.

Ain’t she a beaut? Here’s a bit more of the prep and results:

Pears stuffed with gorgonzola and bacon, drizzled with vinaigrette
Pasta with olive oil, spices, red onion, and....
...more bacon!
Served with delicious baked broccoli.
And a delicious seasonal beer.
My contribution: Setting the table and getting the drinks. I am my father's daughter.

I’m a lucky girl.

As much as I love my wife..er…roommate, though, I am happy to say that after Sunday, THIS will no longer be an issue in my life:

That’s right. You’re looking at approximately 3,000 miles right there. Well, no more! Suck it, Canada.

Ok, done insulting Canada. I promise. Now if you’ll excuse me, the wife is making gourmet white hot chocolate. God love her.