Why I Dyed My Hair Brown…Then Lied About It

I have been a blonde all my life. All of it. When my hair was long, it was long and blonde. When my hair was short, it was short and blonde. When I got highlights this Spring, they were to lighten up my already light hair. After shaving everything off for charity in high school, I was left with a head of blonde fuzz. The email address that defined my early teen years was the ever-creative “busy_being_blonde.” You get the point–golden locks are my JAM.

Sorry, they were my jam.

Just a little change…

BAM! Brunette. Just like that. I coloured my hair on Saturday, and life has been a whirlwind of catching people offguard since.

It’s very, very, very different, but I really do like it. The people around me like it, too. And everyone, me included, would like to know “WHY” I chose to do this–WHY I chose to go this dark, this dramatically, this suddenly.

Fair enough, right? It’s a very new look, so it’s reasonable to wonder what fueled the decision. And it would be reasonable for me to answer questions about it. Which I do.

Regretfully, none of these answers are true.

“I guess I just felt like a change!”

Lie. I do not “feel like” a change. Not a real change, anyways. And even if I did, does dying your hair count as a legit change? It might make a statement about where you’re at, or accompany a change nicely, but it’s not exactly life-changing in and of itself. I’m a mobile and adventurous 20 year old, you guys. If I did truly feel like a change, dying my hair would be pretty weak.

“I have always wanted to give it a try, so I thought I’d just go for it!”

I don’t know what my definition of “always” is, but…no. Not even. I don’t think there was a single day before this Spring’s blonde highlights that I even considered touching my hair colour. And going dark? That idea dates back to maybe a few weeks ago, if that. Liar, liar.

“I thought it would be nice to go with a warm colour for the winter.”

…That doesn’t even make sense.

“Well, I was Audrey Hepburn for Halloween, so I just went all out!”

Yeah, except I frantically pulled together the Breakfast at Tiffany’s costume last-minute. Seriously last minute–the afternoon of the 31st, to be exact. Also, I didn’t dye my hair until November 3rd. Also…who does that?

Though I did get to bring a little brunette to a Halloween bash Saturday night. Maybe I DID dye the hair for festive reasons after all…

(Note: if anyone does go all out enough to perma-dye their hair for Halloween then…I take back that last question. Also, that person is awesome.)

“I don’t know, I just felt like it.”

I did feel like it, yes. Or at least, I didn’t not feel like it (obviously). “I don’t know” is a cop-out, but it’s fair. It’s a simple way of saying “why” isn’t totally identifiable. Which is…about half true.

The Truth

Alright, here’s the other half of the truth. Like I said, I don’t know quite why I did it. However, for your reading pleasure, here is the lame back story as well as I can remember it:

It was a few weeks ago. I was in the office. In passing, my friend/colleague told me that she used to be a brunette. She added that chocolate brown hair looks good on pretty much anyone. Intrigued, I responded with “Would it look good on me?”


I think she had reasons for this. Maybe she didn’t. Either way, the conversation ended with me proclaiming that “I guess I will dye it in November, then.”

“DO IT!”

Just like that. I imagine that she immediately forgot the conversation, but I didn’t. If there’s one thing I like more than making random plans and commitments (like dying my hair in November), it’s keeping them. Basically: I really like to say things. I don’t like to say things I don’t mean. So when I said “I guess I will dye it in November, then,” I meant it.

And now I’m a brunette. That’s the truth…at least, as far as my mirror and memory can tell. Shout out to the lovely ladies at Hair Junkie on Laurier Street West for a fabulous first experience!

(‘Sup, dark side?)

Cloffice Space: A Love Story

Okay, confession time: Some how, some way, at some point, I wound up owning a LOT of clothes. And shoes. And belts. And earrings, too, though me owning pairs of ANYTHING usually ends with a lot of singletons lying around.

This is not something I’m overly proud of, and I certainly do not I know how it happened. I really, really don’t.  As a kid, I rocked the hand-me-down overalls and uncombed hair with no problem at all, yet somehow wound up being one of those women with the “CUTE SHOES?!?! WHERE?!?!” attitude. Yeahp, this little lady grew up, and now she doesn’t have enough hangers for all her pencil skirts.


Thanks for your influence, society.  For what it’s worth, I do try to even out these new fancypants tendencies by regularly pulling my nub of a ponytail through a baseball cap. Like a rebel? Sort of? It’s just a thing.

This summer, I took on the project of re-decorating my apartment in a big, big way.  My #1 weapon in this undertaking was my friend Josh, a magnificently organized man fresh out of Algonquin College’s interior design program .  Pizza in hand, Josh and I discussed some serious apartment overhaul. He helped me through the bathroom, the kitchen, the living area…it was all pretty easy. I knew what I wanted. He knew how to make it better. But then–what of my room? What of my clothes, and my shoes, and my belts? What of the loner costume jewelry findings that I promise, promise, I will transform into something cool someday?

I would like to take a moment to address the minimalists in the building, and explain why I didn’t just purge my closet then and there:

  1. Because in typical “I really wear all of this! I swear!” fashion, I just. Didn’t. Want. To. (Convincing, right?)
  2. Because at the time, I was a student with two jobs and an active social life.  My many outfits were, at least in part, complimentary of the many “hats” I wore.  My closet was/is my costume collection, and I tend to wear a whole lot of costumes.
  3. Because more clothes meant I could go longer without doing laundry. Which is good. I think.

The result of all this? A little closet suffocated by blouses. A room where clothes ended up on the floor. An arguably non-existent organization system that really did not work. Mainly, the result of this was a huge need for Josh’s insight. He made that insight very, very clear: “Shauna, you need a cloffice.”

Cloffice. Best word ever. I like it. Let’s do that.

…whatever that is.

This was pretty much the response from everyone I told about my new project. “Cloffice! Sweet/neat/cool!! I mean, I think it is. I mean, explain this?”  A cloffice, Josh explained, is what happens when a closet and an office make sweet, sweet love (…that is not actually what he said. I am paraphrasing).  The desk, lamps, books, and other office-y items are placed in the closet, making it a bit of a mini-“room.” This leaves a lot of space in the bedroom for (much needed) clothing racks and shoe organizers.

Spoiler alert: There are currently no clothes on my floor. Zero, none. This works.

Here’s how it works:

First, I took all of my clothes out of the closet and moved them onto a couple rolling hangers ($30 each at Zellers). In between the hangers, I hung an organizer for (most of) my shoes.

The new wardrobe space (please note: there is ACTUALLY space for said wardrobe. Finally.)
My roommate last year had her closet organized by colour. Really good call…makes it much easier to find things.

I wanted to separate my cloffice from the rest of my bedroom, especially now that this “bedroom” was really just one big wardrobe with a bed on the side (no complaints). To do this, I simply hung a curtain between the cloffice and the rest of the room.  Leftover clothing hangers made for a great impromptu “curtain rod” which paid a little homage to the “clo” side of the cloffice.  Using leftover paint, I matched a couple of these hangers to my bedroom’s accent wall to bring some unity to the colour of the room.

Finally, it was time for that sweet closet/office lovin’.  Aren’t you glad they found each other?

My cozy little cloffice!

My cloffice has now seen me through a good couple weeks of school.  Not much has changed since the project began: I still have a lot of clothing. I still don’t know why. I still am not overly proud of it, nor am I willing to change, nor do I need to change it. My solution has been found.  Game over. And I think I can speak for myself, my clothing, and my computer in saying: The closet and the office couldn’t be a more perfect union.

Autumn Apartment: Phase One

Autumn apartment phase one is actually a very simple concept. Basically, watching the days slowly shorten and the rusted leaves fall to the ground can either feel depressing (shiiiit, summer’s over…) or awesome (‘sup, prettiest season?).

I’m aiming for awesome.

I have two roommates, Miranda and Lloyd. When I told her that I like to seasonal-ize my surroundings, Miranda thought the whole thing made perfect sense. Lloyd, on the other hand, could not have been more confused. YES, I explained, it was/is important to match the energy outside to the energy inside. And, yes, the colours and the smell and the feeling of fall are all way too beautiful to just ignore.  Lloyd gave me a raised eyebrow, but told me to go for it, “I guess.”

There are two phases to fall décor, in my (crazy, according to Lloyd) opinion.  The first major one is in mid-September, and it errs on the Thanksgiving side of things—warm smells with subtle reds, oranges, and browns. The second phase happens when Halloween enters the scene in October.  I try very hard to avoid being tacky in both phases, but by nature autumn is bound to be a little corny.

That was a really bad joke, I’m sorry. Moving on…

Some of my decorations were a small investment, but almost everything was done on a student budget. Here are a couple of my favourite ways to subtly welcome in September:

  • Soap. Smell matters, probably more than anything. The easiest and most effective way to bring a season inside is to keep its best smells around.  I try to buy soaps when they’re on post-season sale, which is pretty much the ideal way to go about everything décor-wise.  Even at regular price, though, soap has to be one of the least expensive and most effective ways to bring about autumn apartment phase one.  I use: Roman Apple scented liquid soap.  It came from the grocery store at some point throughout the year, and I just stored it away until it made sense for my hands to smell like apples.ImageOther favourites: You can’t go wrong with Bath & Body Works this year.  They have 35 Fall-themed scents in adorable soap dispensers, priced at a totally reasonable $5.50 each (or $15 for 4, if you’re in the market for some early stocking stuffers or want to pack up fruitier scents for Spring/Summer).  Their line of fall products even goes insofar as lotions and shower gels, so if you want your whole body to smell like the season they’ve got you covered.  (Also, there’s always the grocery store. Also, Shoppers Drug Mart.)
  • Candles. Candles are the main reason that I was able to finally get Lloyd to mutter some approval in the form of “Well, it does definitely smell good in here.”  I  love candles, but have trouble justifying dropping too much money on something with the sole intention of setting it on fire. It’s best to just go with the most inexpensive option, usually scented tea lights, and find a way to make those tea lights look good. The way to get cheap candles to look good, as always, is to let them shine through the right container. Like this:
    See, easy right? Martini glasses are the best for holding tea lights because their small bases make for the perfect resting spot.
    The centrepiece my candle cups are sitting on is awesome.  Miranda REALLY likes it.  My roommates last year really liked it, too.  It was somewhere between $20 and $30 at Homesense, but has already been well worth it–especially since I will be able to use it for years to come.
  • Tablecloths & Linens.  Tinted trees are one of the best things about the season, so what could make more sense than tinted tables? Colour can create and instant and radical change to the energy of a place. Throwing a gold cloth on our kitchen table and a thin red sheet on the coffee table was probably the easiest and most dramatic fall-ification I was able to bring to the space. (Coming in a close second: The regular use of words like “fall-ification.”)
    ImageGold and red are both good calls because a) they pop, and b) they can be easily used for Christmas, too. In my case, tablecloths also serve the very important purpose of hiding any evidence that I found both of these tables discarded on peoples’ driveways. Side of the road furniture can be sexy too? Maybe?
  • Little Things. As time goes on and you navigate post-season sales, dollar stores, garage sales, and so on, keep your eyes open for accents. I’ll be honest, most of mine came from Homesense.



Homesense is awesome. Though I should warn you, I have still been unable to find my favourite fall accessory there…


Yup, that’s the one.

Happy September everybody!