REVIEW: Savvy Curls Heatless Headband

I think at this point everyone knows that I’m severely lacking in the Girl Skillz that allow one to do one’s hair. Mine has been getting longer and longer, because I’m a fan of being able to toss it up in a messy bun, which is the extent of my styling skills, really. But it’s kind of going crazy — pregnancy hormones, rapid growth, and a strange amount of frizz/breakage despite me not doing a whole lot of damage to it.

I feel like I’ve been trying to pay more attention to how I dress lately, but then my cute/not yoga pants outfits seem less put together when I have the laziest hair ever crowning my head. But, on the other hand, I don’t have the time, or the skill, to figure out how to do anything fancier.

I read my friend Ravayna’s post about a headband that curls your hair without heat, asked her if it was really legit (she said yes) and decided to order my own. With the exchange and shipping it felt like a kind of steep price to pay for potentially less-scraggly hair, but feeling put together really is a confidence booster for me, so I went ahead with it, sincerely hoping it wouldn’t be another one of those ‘easy hair tricks’ that would get tossed into a drawer because I couldn’t figure out how to do it.

So, I bought the Savvy Curls convertible wrap, because it’s supposed to be better for thicker, shorter, or layered hair, all three of which apply to me. When it arrived, I decided to try it out at night. I did my best to follow the video tutorial on the website and was surprised at how easy it was to wrap the first, bottom layer of hair, but then I tried to do the crown section and ended up with a disaster on my head. Tried again, failed, and determined I needed more practice, but could probably use it as a single wrap because that part was going well, at least.


The good thing about the convertible wraps is that you can detach the second band, and use it as a single wrap, so that’s what I did. I was amazed that it held all my hair in, and even more amazed that it stayed secure through my nighttime thrashing. It was a messier wrap than it should have been, I’m sure — you can see all the bumps in the back — but I swear this was a huge triumph for me and my lack of coordination.

In the morning I nervously shook it out and was shocked to see that it worked! The part in my hair was all screwed up and when I tried to fix it I think I messed up one side a bit, but with a bit of product it was good enough for me.


(Ignore the shadows under my eyes — like I said, nighttime thrashing.)

Given that this was my first shot at using the headband, I’m seriously impressed. It seems gimmicky, but it actually works, and it takes no time at all to wrap your hair. I can see myself using this headband very frequently, because it tames my insane hair into something that looks intentional.

I bought this wrap for myself and received no compensation from Savvy Curls — I just wanted to review it because I was so pleasantly surprised by the outcome!

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REVIEW: SOMA Roasted White Chocolate & SOMA Seville Orange Peel

I love Soma. None of their chocolates have disappointed me yet (wasn’t a huge fan of the balsamic vinegar truffle I tried, but I could still tell it was well-made!). I brought a lot of bars back from my Toronto trip and have been slowly delving into them.

SOMA Roasted White Chocolate

This bar caught my eye in the store — I’ve never heard of, or tried, roasted white chocolate before! I’m usually not a huge white chocolate fan, but I figured a classy chocolatemaker like SOMA would have a good product.

SomaToastedWhite (2)

The bar is basic white chocolate, hand-torched on one side. When you open it up, the front surface has this toasted finish, and the back is untouched. I love the map of Toronto! In the store, there was a little note saying that the roasted white chocolate has a taste similar to roasted marshmallows, and I found that to be true. The texture on the top is crunchy and caramelized, and the rest of the chocolate is not overly sweet. The toasty taste definitely takes over. I don’t think it’s the kind of bar you can eat all in one go — it’s sophisticated and rich — but it’s something I’d recommend trying if you can find it!

SOMA Seville Orange Peel

This is more of a classic stand-by kind of bar. I also tried a candied Seville orange dipped in chocolate, and it shared all the same qualities as this bar save for the fact that the orange-to-chocolate ratio was obviously different.


Matt wanted to try this one but I scarfed it all without him (it’s a mini-bar if that makes it better). The chocolate itself was awesome, and the orange taste was subtle but still there. Yum!

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Viability Day

When I was pregnant with M, viability day came and went without me noting it very much. My sister congratulated me on reaching that particular milestone, which was the only way I really noticed it happened. I carried on blissfully, had an overdue baby, you know the story.

This time around I’ve been anxiously awaiting viability day for about a month. I know it isn’t a guarantee of a healthy baby or anything like that, but reaching 24 weeks means that if this baby tries to come out, the doctors will try to keep him in. Or they’ll intervene to keep him alive if he comes out anyway. And every day we travel beyond this point is a good, good thing.

I have no indicators of pre-term labour, which may make my focus on viability day kind of weird. But had I started to lose this baby before this point, it would be considered a later-term miscarriage, and that would be it. We would lose another pregnancy and it would be terrible. At least now I know, if my body decides to wreak havoc again, that we have a fighting chance.

Like all of the other milestones we’ve crossed and celebrated, I’m equal parts relieved that we’re here, and terrified that we’re one step closer to a full-term baby, because of that teeny part of my brain that insists on murmuring the other shoe can still drop, you know. And I know full well that bad things happen even with full-term babies, and beyond, and so I keep doing the work to push that part of my brain down and remind it that I’m the one in charge, and I can choose to celebrate, and odds are everything will be okay.

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So, cheers to viability. One step at a time.

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Black, Gold, & Rainbow Nursery Inspiration

When I first started thinking of nursery designs I was 100% positive we were having a girl, and was loosely planning a rainbow theme (for a rainbow baby!). Then I found out this kiddo is a boy, and had to do some more thinking. My initial attempts at pulling together an inspiration board were a little bit on the ‘girly’ side, I found, after I shared them with friends for their reactions. I still wanted to do the rainbow theme but found I had to temper it a bit more for the right effect.

The things with the red asterisks in the below image are the things I don’t have yet, or am still considering. We’re reusing the big pieces of furniture from M’s nursery — the crib, the Hemnes dresser, the Keekaroo peanut changer in aqua (still the best baby purchase I’ve ever made). I am NOT painting aside from touchup, so help me, so the room is staying the soft gray we chose when M was in utero. I found her nursery turned out softer and less cohesive than I wanted so I’m trying to be bolder this time.

Nursery Inspo

I found the crib sheet on sale on Etsy from I Sew Jo (the gold stars and moons pattern in the photo) and used it as my guide. Jo was kind enough to send me a fabric sample in the mail as she said the fabric isn’t as soft/is more glitzy than other sheets. I felt it and I think it will be okay, especially after some washing, but once he’s free of swaddles and actually has more of his body on the sheet we may switch it up. Which is why I bought that grey star muslin sheet, and a few other backups that mostly have the star theme going on.

The black and gold stars represent the vinyl wall decals I bought a mix of (Bright Swan Creations), that I’m thinking are going to go on the wall behind the crib. I may hang the rainbow banner (Dyani’s Memory Box) and name banner from BCBaby Creations (note — the names and letters in this board do not indicate any baby naming hints!) above the crib too, but if it’s too busy, I’ll find another place for them. On the big blank wall by the door I’m thinking a gallery wall of sorts — the Best at Life print I got on sale from Chapters, the wall letter also from Chapters, maybe some geometric shelving.

Elsewhere around the room, I have that Stay Awhile hook from Urban Outfitters to put somewhere, and am hoping to get M to paint a bigger canvas I have, to replace the canvas currently hanging in the nursery that does not go with the theme at all. I’m thinking that can bring in more of the bright colours! I also have a yellow tieback set from Zara Home on order to jazz up the short, white curtains I’ll be hanging, and green drawer knobs to theoretically make the Hemnes dresser a bit brighter.

Aside from that there are a few larger pieces I still need to pick up — I’d like to replace the rug (and steal the one M has in there now for our master bedroom) and the Hampen from IKEA seems like an inexpensive choice; we have one in green for M’s big girl room. I want a Raskog utility cart for more organization, too. We may need to replace a bathroom cabinet that sustained water damage in the garage over winter, so I’m waiting to find out what exactly needs to be ordered from IKEA before I make my list!

The only thing that is really screwing me up is the fact that I think I need a new chair in there. M wants the Poang we had for her room, which makes sense — we’ve been using it heavily for her for almost three years, and she still likes having someone sit down with her for awhile at bedtime. But I don’t want another Poang for the nursery if I can help it, because it was horrible to get in and out of while I was still freshly recovering from birth, and I’d like something more comfortable. Buttttt I don’t know where to start, what will fit, or why every glider/recliner/rocker is like $400. I do have an old rocking chair that could be glued/screwed/oiled and cushioned, which is my backup plan for now.

I’m hoping it all comes together nicely and doesn’t look too busy! I’m slowly amassing the collection of things and waiting for the bathroom and bedrooms to be done so I can set up M’s new room and get to work on the nursery before December.

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Grace, Too

The first Christmas present I remember buying with my ‘own’ money was a Tragically Hip tape, for my sister. They’ve been one of those bands (along with Blue Rodeo and the Barenaked Ladies) that worked their way into the Canadian collective, and thus into the background of so many life moments, large and small. Wheat Kings on repeat in my tiny computer room/closet in my first solo apartment. Bobcaygeon in the background during our wedding dinner. Fiddler’s Green at a family funeral. The Hip, crackling through a 20-year-old motorcycle radio, the only thing that came in clearly on an empty road between the Ottawa Valley and Brockville. I grew up just north of Kingston, so the Hip were always on the radio.

When the  band announced lead singer Gord Downie’s brain cancer — glioblastoma — and their final tour at the same time, I looked for tickets but found out that the Winnipeg concert was happening right in the middle of our busiest summer week, and there was no way we could humanly pull off attending. Then we found out that the CBC was going to broadcast the final Kingston show, across Canada and the world.

We projected it on a white sheet strung across our backyard Saturday night, grateful that the day-long rain had finally let up. I dragged out our cooler loaded with beer for Matt and lemonade for M and I, grabbed the marshmallows, and settled everyone in with blankets around the fire.


The time zone was working against us but it eventually got dark and we could take in the concert, word for word. I don’t think M will be able to remember it as the cultural touchstone it was, but she was enamoured with Gord’s hats, and insisted on wearing her own. The concert stretched late and as I kept telling her one more song, one more song she said, “Mama, I want to be like that man when I grow up.” I saw friends, scattered in every direction of the country, sharing their own reflections on Facebook. We watched the stars come out, then cloud over, and I said a silent fuck cancer.

My favourite. ❤️ #CBCTheHip

A video posted by Shayla Bradley (@shay1a) on


When the night was over I carried her, almost-sleeping, into the house while Matt pulled all of our food and drinks and tech inside. She drifted off, but I couldn’t — I was feeling grateful, heartbroken, and bad. It’s not often you see mortality played out for the world to watch and it left me incredibly unsettled.

This morning I washed two days’ worth of campfire smell out of my hair, put on my weekday clothes, and made my donation to the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research. The least, really, any one of us who watched that concert (one third of Canada!) can do.

I come from downtown
Born ready for you
Armed with will and determination
And grace, too


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