Friday Questions

Winter2014-2015-276 Winter2014-2015-277 Winter2014-2015-278 Winter2014-2015-279 Winter2014-2015-280 Winter2014-2015-281 Winter2014-2015-284 Winter2014-2015-286 Winter2014-2015-287 Winter2014-2015-288 Winter2014-2015-289 Winter2014-2015-292 Winter2014-2015-293Just in case you were concerned due to the recent prevalence of healthy food on this blog, I bring you an onslaught of photos to show you that my doughnut love is alive and well. After Zeke’s in Dupont closed I have been hard pressed to find an amazing fluffy yeast doughnut in the city. Astro Doughnuts is great, but sometimes over heavy and a little pricey. District Doughnut isn’t bad, but they do mainly cake doughnuts and I am a fluffy yeast-dough lover through and through. I had heard about Sugar Shack that just opened in Old Town and yesterday I convinced my friend Christine to hit it up with me.


They were perfect. Relatively cheap, huge, fluffy (though that had cake too!), and amazing flavors. As in, I had a Somoa doughnut, and I woke up this morning thinking about when I can have another. I brought one home for James and in a show of truly sacrificial and noble love, I didn’t eat it when he was late home from work.

But enough about doughnuts (though, I can never have enough doughnuts), I come to you, dear Internet, today with some questions.

What is the best product to make my hair less blah?Ā  I am in a hair rut. When I dry my hair overnight, I still do my routine curl it big and spray it hard routine, which I love. But lately I have been feeling like my hair is just blah, flat and lifeless when I let it air dry during the day. While I am a pro with the hot tools, I know NOTHING about the products one puts in their hair when it dries. Also, I recently got my first blow dryer (yep, finally a woman). What are the best products to use on my hair if I am blowing it out or diffusing it? Help people! I need some serious woman to woman feedback to save my sad winter locks that are currently receiving a random cocktail of whatever products I rummage up in my drawer.

What is the best BB cream? I feel like my discovery of BB cream was a game changer. It was prompted by the time I texted a selfie to my mother to show her my new hair-do and she responded “Those freckles are cute, but they are irreversible damage to your skin that you really should avoid.” Thus, I marched myself to CVS and purchased some SPF BB cream, because there is no way I am remembering to apply sunscreen and foundation. Plus, I love the light and natural finish. But, I don’t really have any clue what are the best ones. Recommendations people – give em!

What is the best personal finance managing website and ap? My brother uses Mint and raves about it, but I’m curious what you think. Do you use any sort of web finance tracker? I’ve been rocking the spreadsheet and calculator for just a little too long.

I think that’s it for today, though you can bet I will pester you with more questions in the future. I hope you all have a great weekend and that you eat as many doughnuts as your biggest pair of elastic waist pants allows!

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52 Responses to Friday Questions

  1. sboline says:

    We use Mvelopes. It has a subscription, but it’s worth it to us.

  2. jaxstamp says:

    Hannah, your blog brings me such joy. And those donuts. YUM.
    As for the hair dryness problem ( which I battle with vigor) – have you ever done a coconut oil mask while you sleep? You sleep with the coconut oil in your hair (encased in shower cap or old shirt with plastic wrap) and then wash and condition in the morning. GLORIOUS hair, which means James will forgive you for sleeping in a head turban.


    • Hannah says:

      They were sooooo good! Get yourself some next time you are back.

      I am intrigued by this coconut idea. But will it make my hair too oily? I don’t just want moisture, I want big body and umph!

  3. Anna-bird says:

    Ok once Lent is over I’m up for a trip to SS literally ANY time you want to go. And in the meantime, I’ve been going every Sunday :).

    I bought Aussie’s 3-Minute Miracle (or some such) for extra help during the winter, and it seems to deliver! I just use it every few days and instead of normal conditioner, so it’s not a big production. (Though I shouldn’t be allowed to weigh in on hair issues, because I’m in desperate need of a diffuser but lost that attachment years ago and haven’t figured out how to get a new one without buying a whole new hair dryer. Special.)

  4. Sarah says:

    Almay’s BB cream is my fave…nice coverage, not greasy, can add powder on top if you want! Im gonna buy more today actually because I am running low. I am at a loss for hair, totally!

  5. Raewyn says:

    I had a coconut milk scalp massage recently, it was wonderful. Left it in for several hours and when I washed my hair it was so gorgeously wonderful!!
    We use for our accounting package – it is great šŸ™‚

  6. Kelsey says:

    1) I am lazy and fickle and, whenever my hair is not doing what I want it to, I just change up the shampoo and conditioner I use. That seems to do the trick or at least makes me think it is. For moisture, I once randomly added molasses to my conditioner after reading an article and it actually transformed how my hair felt! It makes a mess, but I have it in the house anyway.

    2) No clue, but when I’m trying out new beauty products, I stalk all the reviews on Amazon before purchasing.

    3) YNAB. It takes some getting used to and cost money, but I have no financial anxiety whatsoever. Game changer. It’s also fun once you get hang of it.

    • Hannah says:

      1) Usually my go-to too. : )

      2) I am basically a review junkie… hence why I outsource all my questions to you fine people of the Internet.

      3) Everyone who uses it seems SO LOYAL… must be good!

  7. I’m visiting DC in a few months, and have an eternal love for yeasty doughnuts, so I am so stoked to try these Sugar Shack ones. On the itinerary, immediately.

    I’m also a fan of BB cream – currently I use a Smashbox one, which I don’t love but did totally save me from getting sunburned when I was surprised by San Francisco sun last weekend. My boyfriend got burned to a crisp because he didn’t use sunscreen, and I was totally fine.

    Hair products I’m not use with, because I have this ridiculous super curly hair that needs specialized products and is just too much work, but lately I’ve been using a Moroccan Oil Curl Creme and really like it, so maybe just try some Moroccan Oil? I’ve always loved that stuff.

    Have you heard of The Beauty Department? ( Sometimes they don’t hit the mark, but they recently had an article about how to let your hair air dry. (

    Finally, because I don’t have enough to say, I *love* Mint. I’ve been using it for years, and I don’t understand why anyone would use anything else. The only thing I don’t like about that is that you can’t set up more than one savings goal per savings account, which is slightly annoying, but for tracking your budget and managing expenses, it’s superb. It has a great mobile app as well.

    • Hannah says:

      You will love them — so tasty!!!

      Thanks SO much for the Beauty Dept rec! I went to comment on this…. and then clicker over to that link and was sucked down the vortex of good advice. Just making it back!

  8. Katherine A says:

    Those donuts look amazing. I love little donut shops, but unfortunately we don’t have any around here. Ike and I use the Goodbudgeter app. It’s like virtual envelopes and syncs between our phones. It also has a website, but we hardly ever use it. The app is free unless you want more than the standard number of envelopes. We set ours up just for the budget items that need to be checked before purchases (groceries, clothes, gas, etc., and not rent or loan payments). Also, the little envelope is very encouraging when you enter your purchases.

  9. Jennette says:

    I have tried three BB creams. Cover girl was recommended in Verily magazine, but it was terrible and weirdly grainy. I liked clinique’s version, but my absolute favorite was tarte. It’s $35 but it has an awesome texture and I feel like a tube lasted a really long time. BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen is the whole name

  10. streckerme says:

    girl. i’ve got answers FOR ALL THREE!!! i feel very influential right now. šŸ˜‰ hair product: miss jessie’s “jelly soft curls” is where it’s at. i don’t use it much anymore because i don’t use any hair products anymore, but when my hair is having a rough time, i turn to miss jessie. it was life changing when i first got it and i’ve continued to be super impressed. BB Cream: I’ve only used one, but I’ve used it for 1.5-2 years now, so maybe that counts for something? it’s dr. jart BB Cream. Budget software: YNAB (you need a budget). don’t believe what anyone else tells you. YNAB is the best. and cody did a significant amount of research on the subject. since you’re a student, i’m nearly certain you can get it for free!!!! also, get the iphone app. you can enter purchases as you make them and throw those receipts to the curb!! (or recycle, because that’s probably the better choice). šŸ™‚

    • streckerme says:

      a day later, i feel like i should add that after i wrote that comment, i thought to myself, “mary, you really should start using product in your hair again.” and so i did. and i think i’m here to stay because i woke up with jelly soft curls. šŸ˜‰

  11. For a second I thought you were at Astro Coffee in Detroit (the cafe with the chalkboard looks so much like their layout).

    The absolute best BB cream is Beautycounter’s Tint Skin. Full disclosure, I am a consultant for the company, but only became one after trying and loving their stuff. It’s lightweight, creamy and has a bunch of good ingredients that your skin will love (so many brands have carcinogens or toxins). Not cheap, but totally and completely worth it, I promise! 30-day return policy! (search Tint Skin)

    I love Kiehls hair styling products. They are mostly okay for you (as far as toxicity). The heat protective straightening cream is fantastic (it doesn’t actually straighten my hair, it just makes it not frizzy) and the creme with silk groom. It’s thick so you only need a little bit. Again, not cheap, but you’re worth it! And the products are quality.

    • Hannah says:

      I should probably think more about toxins than I usually remember to… I will check these out!

      • Sarah says:

        Hannah, I’ve used some of Beautycounter’s stuff after making friends in a mind-numbingly dull government class with a woman who is a consultant, and I love all of it. I haven’t tried the Tint Skin yet, but my friend is sending me a sample (they’re really good about letting you test sutff) and I’ll let you know what I think!

  12. Lindsey says:

    I’ve only used drugstore products, but TRESemme Curl Hydration lotion/creme is my gold standard. I’ll rub in a few pumps to then diffuse and wear my hair wavy/curly, or rub in a little less to blow out and curl with a mega curling iron. Either way, it leaves my hair very soft and moisturized (my hair is thick, wavy/curly, and dry). It’s around $4 for 6 oz., and has a light, pleasant scent. I’ve only found it at WalMart, and online. Another product I’ve recently used with blow outs is “It’s a 10” spray. A bit more expensive, but I’ve been impressed with how well it’s kept my hair smooth/moisturized despite all the blow drying. My hair is my best asset, so I try to keep it looking good and healthy! Good luck – it’s always fun to find a great new product! šŸ™‚

  13. Jess says:

    I can not, for the life of me, enjoy a fluffy donut. I want zero air in my sweet treat- I want dense, cakey goodness. I hope this isn’t a deal breaker for this friendship.

    Best blow dry creme, in my opinion, is Bumble & Bumble Straight. It’s pricey- but mine has lasted over a year (probably due to the fact that I only wash my hair like twice a week). I’m also a big fan of the “Not Your Mothers” brand. Their sea salt spray is my new favorite product.

    As for budgeting- yeahhhh. I am still doing that envelope thing where I mostly forget to do that and always use my card. Whoopsies.

    • Hannah says:

      Pretty sure that last sentence sums up the majority experience with budgeting.

      And, as I texted, our friendship will not only thrive in our donut differences, it shall flourish.

      I am a sea salt spray addict. I can’t even tell if it does anything, but I just love that beachy feel.

  14. Ruth says:

    For a personal financing app, I definitely recommend YNAB; the software works like a charm, syncing to multiple devices, and their people/support team are great. We’ve been using it for several years now, and I can’t tell you how many hundreds of dollars it’s saved us, and how great it is to have full control of what you spend your money on. Go for it, and get on board together with James! Looking forward to reading you blog about it šŸ™‚
    As for BB cream, I’m very happy with the BodyShop’s BB cream, just make sure you get the right color!

    • Hannah says:

      That seems to be the big thing I hear about YNAB: it is ACTUALLY a budgeting system, whereas Mint is more about just tracking what you spend. I guess I should analyze which we actually need.

  15. amyoftexas says:

    I can vouch for Mint (which I know means a lot since I have so much credibility as a stranger from the Internet). I love being able to select a time period or an account and see all the graphs and charts for income, spending and debts. I also really like the goals feature, which I’ve been using to track paying off my student loan. I don’t know about you, but having happy graphics makes me feel more motivated to be responsible about money and Mint has always been reliable, intuitive and fun to use.

  16. Nicki says:

    I use Laura Mercier products. It may sound odd, but I am really sensitive about the way skincare products smell, and this is the first brand where I love the product and the way it smells! I use the Flawless Skin moisturizer (contains SPF) daily, and it smells so good that I actually can’t wait to put it on everyday. They have a rose hydrating cream for night without SPF that I recently tried a sample of and loved, so I think I may switch to that for night. I use the tinted moisturizer which also has SPF on top of the general moisturizing cream (my skin tends to dry out). It’s about $40 a tube but it lasts for about 6 months. The moisturizing creams are about $50 and last me about 3 months. If you go to Norstrom and have a rep work with you, they can easily help you identify the best shades for you. They also taught me a way to make my eyes really stand out without applying a bunch of eye makeup! It’s a great routine for looking put together for teaching when you don’t have a lot of time!

    As far as the hair goes, maybe a trim will help? When I was wearing my hair curly I used Big Sexy Hair curling cream, and I know a lot of other people who use their products regardless of what look they’re going for. I also really like Redken products — they have a nice heat serum that keeps hair nice and smooth when blow drying and it smells divine (notice a trend here?)

    Last tip — CVS charges an absurd amount for hair products! I was surprised to find that they’re usually cheaper at ULTA. And you earn points toward future purchases!

    • Hannah says:

      Yeah, I think CVS is ripping me off — it is just so convenient because there is one a block away! I’m also on the fence about if my hair is curly enough to rock the gelled curls thing. It used to be, but I feel like it gets a little smoother every year.

      Now I really just want to go smell the LM products… smell matters!

  17. Nicki says:

    We use Mint too!

  18. Stephanie B. says:

    I like the “Yes to Grapefruit” CC cream. I’m pretty sure CC cream is basically the same as BB cream… just some marketing tactic or something. My friend swears by the NARS BB cream, but that’s definitely pricier. I really love Moroccanoil products, they’re more expensive but I can definitely tell a difference. My friend (same one!) raves about Living Proof hair products.

    • Hannah says:

      Grapefruit? Intriguing. I think there is actually a difference, in that CC creams actually cover up and BB creams do more blending in… or something. One time it was explained to me, but I don’t exactly remember.

  19. Kristen Zilz says:

    I loved reading these comments, people! But I love even more how it’s this gem of an online community. Ok. Now down to business. I use Mary Kay’s CC Cream and it’s a dream! If I don’t put any other makeup on in the morning, I most certainly always apply this silky smooth complexion concealer and corrector. It’s amazing. And it lasts for aaaaages which is a HUGE plus for us budget minded folk. And Mary Kay consultants are easy to find, right? šŸ˜Š Ps. Hannah, your hair is the, but I so get needing a change. I currently am growing out my pixie (which was so amazing – I just get bored.). šŸ˜„


    Girl with the always changing hair.

    • Hannah says:

      I do love MK products! They are my go to, especially for skin care, but I’m pretty sure they don’t carry a BB cream and I just find it works so much better with my skin.

      And yes…. really we are just in those months of the year where I want a change NOW.

  20. Anna Kate says:

    Okay. SO. I didn’t expect there to be this much advice already when I went to comment, BUT I’m still going to tell you about Apple Cider Vinegar for hair. I’m not sure how much it would do in the volume department, but all I can say is that after using it, my hair feels light and my scalp feels tingly and ALIVE. (But it’s not creepy.) It basically strips your hair of all the product buildup from your shampoo, hair spray, etc., and you can feel it. First, you need Bragg’s ACV because it’s thuh best. I think most grocery stores have it. I just mix roughly one part ACV with one part water in a spay bottle, and spritz my dry hair until it’s as wet as I can get it. Let it sit for about 45 minutes. Sometimes I twist my hair up and put it in a plastic bag followed by a towel to prevent dripping, or I’ll just clip it up and take a bath while I’m waiting. After the time is up, rinse out the ACV thoroughly, and then shampoo and condition as normal! Air dry or blow dry and feel the aliveness. šŸ™‚ Also, the coconut oil tip is amazing, too. I alternate between the ACV and the coconut oil treatments every other week or so. Tip: DO NOT wet your coconut-oiled-up hair before shampooing. Shampoo it BEFORE you get it wet, pretty much like you’re washing it, just without water. It’s kinda weird, but you will have a MUCH easier time getting the oil out. You asked earlier if it would make your hair too oily. This is the step that will prevent that. The ACV and coconut oil compliment each other because the ACV cleans and refreshes your scalp and strands, and the coconut oil moisturizes the heck out of it. I love it.

  21. Anna Kate says:

    p. s. It’s hilarious to me that your post was partly about your hair being blah, because I was getting ready to say I think your hair is especially care-free and beautiful in these pictures!

    • Hannah says:

      To be fair, this day was a day after my hair was curled super well, so it had carry over vavoom to spare. I’m talking about the days when I wash it early and it just dries all flat and sad. Generally I am super skeptical of washing hair with anything byt shampoo, but I am intrigued by this ACV deal… I want my hair to be alive!!!!

  22. Mary Ann says:

    I don’t know if it’s the best, but I’ve recently started using YNAB to help budget and I love it. It’s very user friendly and easy and helpful!

  23. Kristen says:

    I love love love Garnier’s Curl Construct mousse! It’s the boom-diggity!!! After I put it on, I use a diffuser which is the boom-diggity’s child. My hair is naturally waving and frizzing and it helps to control it and tone it down so I can actually go out in public.

    • Hannah says:

      I do really love Garnier products, mostly because they smell nice. My hair used to be curly, but I feel like it gets straighter every year… might have to take another stab at my diffuser!

  24. Hey Hannah! Just for context, I read your blog religiously and am a bit of a fan-girl. But I’ve never commented! So here you go.

    1. Hair. I have crazy curly, thick hair and I use argon oil on it literally everyday. It has saved my hair from itself. There’s no more frizz and fewer split ends! For more volume, use a volumizing powder or even dry shampoo (I personally like the “Not Your Mother’s” brand). Also I’m a huge believer in the diffuser attachment for hair dryers. It gives your hair more volume and doesn’t fry it. Muy buena.

    2. K. I know as much about BB cream as I know about zorbing. But I do know that bareMinerals just came out with one and I’m in love with their products. So I’d try it.

    3. is the

    Also DONUTS. Holy moly.

    • Hannah says:

      Thanks so much for commenting!!!

      I have tried the Not Your Mother’s dry shampoo and loved it… maybe I will look into their volumizer!

      I have never tried bareMinerals, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it!

    • kahryn says:

      I have to second the dry shampoo suggestion. After watching Britt on the Bachelor this season I was seriously coveting her voluminous hair … and then one day after the gym I dry shampoo’d my hair and BOOM. There it was. Just spritz it into your roots, rub it in, flip your hair back and try not to lie about how much you loved Arlington.

      • Hannah says:

        Perfect Bachelor themed comment FTW. Her hair was gloooorrrriiiooouuusss. And her lipstick. Her diva-attitude, not so much.

  25. Pingback: 5 for Friday. | The Art in Life

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