Back to blonde step 1: Overtone review

We all did something weird to our hair in 2020. Some skipped haircuts. Some grew out their body hair. Others did home haircuts or funny facial hair.

I tried Overtone.

I bought the Ginger overtone last spring and was excited to try a washout color depositing conditioner.

I am SUPER blonde. I have only once before done an all over color on my hair. That was a washout in 2006 and… I looked like little mermaid!

Don’t judge my 19 year old self. 😂🤣😂

This “washout” faded to a rose pink colored and stuck with me for 6+ months.

Mom and I going to a Gala thing to her work.

The only thing that helped was old school “Sun In”

I had experimented with my hairstylist and permanent dies on the under part of my hair but never did a full on color.

We got married January of 2020 and I wanted my hair ‘normal’ for our big day.

Photo credit: Franklin Focus

2020 was starting out to be an awesome year. We stared it with our commitment to each other and were planning an awesome honeymoon to England…. and then COVID hit.

But this is about hair. Not our lack of honeymoon. Just before COVID really rocked our world my husband and I got haircuts.

I am not sure what convinced me to finally try Overtone but I had been snooping on their website and reading reviews and getting ads for a while.

I bit the bullet and bought their Ginger kit. My paternal grandmother was a red head and I thought I would channel her with this color adventure.

Most of the reviews I read said to keep the color mask on for a long time. The box says 10-15 minutes. Other people were saying 1-2 hrs.

So naturally I listened to the internet & not the box. 2 hrs & 1 movie later, I was GINGER.

I LOVED it! It was beautiful, looked like what I was hoping for and it was way cheaper than going to a salon.

I maintained this color through Overtone products from May 2020- October 2020.

The last three times I refreshed my hair I used the golden brown with an attempt to darken my hair a little for a friends wedding.

The ‘golden brown’ didn’t really change the GINGER at all.

If I’m honest, I’m a lazy person when it comes to hair and general appearance efforts. I love sleep way too much to get up early. Also night showers are the bomb.

I maintained Overtone from May 2020 to October 2020. And then I stopped.

But the color didn’t go away.

I finally accepted my fate. This color wasn’t coming out on its own. So I sheepishly contacted my hairstylist and confessed my hair transgressions.

We set up a 2 – 3 step plan of bringing my hair back to blonde… Mostly so I can be lazy again.

Yesterday was step 1.

After 3.5 hrs and trial and error about what method would remove the Overtone color, we had to bleach it and tone it. The orange-y look is gone. It’s now somewhere between a light brown and strawberry blonde.

This is only step 1. We will repeat the bleach & tone steps over a span of time.

Reflection: while I LOVED my ginger look at the height of my maintenance, I hated maintaining it. When I wanted to move on, my hair was stained with color that wouldn’t fade out. Perhaps this would be different on a brunette? But I’m going to be more gunshy with washout hair color in the future.

Recommendation: Blondes, if you plan on making a permanent change to your hair Overtone is cost effective and easy to do at home. However don’t expect a quick change to be available.

Use with caution.

Adventures in Japanese donuts

1. mochi donuts — they have tofu?!?

Recipe: https://eatwithjean.com/mochi-donut/?amp=1

Reflections:

  • The dough was too sticky to roll into balls. I added more flour but they were still too sticky. So I coated my hands in cornstarch. That worked but it was hard to regulate ball size.
  • Cooking time varied.
  • If they sit overnight they become quite chewy.
  • I would increase the jelly in the frosting to increase flavor.

Rating: 7/10 would try again with modifications. Would eat again. Very pretty to look at.

2. Mochi donut holes – milk, butter, & vanilla

Recipe: https://keepingitrelle.com/mochi-donuts-recipe/

Reflection:

  • Flavor is quite bland.
  • Texture was tough outside and doughy inside
  • I made the individual balls too big and the temperature of the oil was 350f but cooked the outside too fast and the inside didn’t get finished.
  • I would make the balls smaller & turn down the oil temp to evenly cook the dough.
  • I would also consider adding additional flavoring to the dough. The only flavor that stood out was the sugar (to which I added ginger and cinnamon)

Rating: 5/10 am skeptical but would still try again for curiosity’s sake.

3. Ube donuts – buttermilk & ube flavoring

Recipe: https://thesweetandsourbaker.com/home/2018/2/9/ube-donuts-with-coconut-glaze

Refections:

  • Easiest recipe
  • Josh’s favorite
  • He says it NEEDS some kind of texture. Besides the frosting (thus all the coconut, nuts, etc we tried)
  • Frosting carries a lot of coconut flavor
  • I would consider adding shredded ube into the batter
  • Most cake like of the three
  • Easiest to mass produce
  • Perhaps go super extra by adding a mochi in the middle?
  • Could sweet soy sauce work with this?

Rating: 8/10 planning to experiment more with decorations but best texture and flavor.

UPDATE: additional recipe attempt

I attempted a modification to recipe 1.

Modifications:

  • Added matcha & green food coloring to batter
  • Added more all purpose flour and glutinous rice flour and sugar.
  • Rolled the dough into ‘snakes’ and shaped like a donut
  • Fried at lower temp for same period of time
  • Coated the donut in matcha sugar

Results: not pretty but tasty. ‘snake’ method didn’t work for a donut shape. Still really chewy (think fried donut from a fair)

Silly food survey

“CAN I TAKE YOUR ORDER?”

• STARBUCKS- venti iced caramel latte decalf w/ almond milk

• SUBWAY – 6″ italian herb & cheese, chicken, bacon, pepper jack cheese, ranch, spinach, green pepper, black olive, & tomato (but only if they look good)

• McDonald’s – either a 2 cheese burger ketchup only w/ diet coke or a chicken nugget meal w/ ranch & diet coke

• CHICK FIL A – no need for hate chicken

• CHINESE – honestly, just egg rolls & crab rangoons. My fave used to be cashew chicken or moo goo gai pan but I can’t find a place that makes it like my fave back home and that place closed down.

• MEXICAN – typically shrimp/chicken fajitas, occasionally aroz con pollo, rarely a chicken quesadilla

• SUSHI- tiger roll, spicy tuna, and rainbow roll, edamame, miso soup, and hot tea (maybe some gyoza too)

• Pizza- buffalo chicken w/ ranch (no onion) or if I’m building one- sausage, green pepper, mushroom, black olive

• WINGS -teriyaki, parmesan garlic, honey bbq, or buffalo (Filling station!)

• SONIC – chili cheese coney or popcorn chicken w/ tater tots and ranch, diet cherry limeaid

•WENDY’S – 4 for $4 jr bacon cheese burger, ranch, & orange fanta

• DAIRY QUEEN – mini butterfinger or oreo or cookie dough blizzard (local dq don’t do food well, just ice cream)- ‘Scoups’ & ‘Cone Palace’ are better

• CANDY – chocolate of most forms (no coconut), rarely do I want fruity stuff, never sour

• ICECREAM – depends, it’s usually in the form of a milkshake. ‘Boom chocolatta’ by ben & jerries is delicious

• CHIPS – depends doritos, cheetos, sour cream & cheddar, 🤔🤔🤔

*CAKE – #1 no nuts or chopped fruit, spice cake, coffee cake, jello poke cake, or “better than sex cake”

*Schlotzsky’s- dont remember

*Texas Roadhouse: sirloin steak med rare, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli (Josh’s steaks are better)

*Olive Garden: depends, sometimes I do soup/salad bc zoupa tuscana is delicious but also ❣️❣️ravioli or tortellini. Love stuffed pasta. (Ps Martino’s is better)

*Outback Steakhouse: don’t remember, similar to Texas Roadhouse (Josh’s steaks are better)

*Applebees: they used to have a thai shrimp salad that was delicious! Otherwise I stick to their appetizers

Can’t wait to see what different things everyone orders 😅

Silly cooking survey

Who can really cook? No boxed Mac N Cheese or Stouffer’s lasagna. I know there are several of you that can really cook.
I look forward to seeing your surveys.
Who can cook real food, not stuff prepackaged or in a box?

HAVE YOU EVER?
1. Made biscuits from scratch? 🤔🤔I do t think so
2. Fried fresh okra? No
3. Made sourdough bread? I’ve made Amish friendship bread, which is a fermented bread.
4. Fried chicken? No, but I’ve fried tofu
5. Made spaghetti sauce from scratch? No
6. Made any kind of yeast bread? Yes
7. Baked a cake from scratch? Yes
8. Made icing from scratch? Yes
9. Cooked a pot roast with all the veggies? No
10. Made chili from scratch? Yes
11. Made a meatloaf? No
12. Made scalloped potatoes? No
13. Made mac/cheese from scratch? Yes
14. Made a jello salad? Yes
15. Made peanut brittle? No but I’ve made toffee
16. Made fudge? Bo
17. Made cookies from scratch? Yes
18. Cooked a pot of beans from dried beans? No
19. Cooked a pot of greens? No
20. Made cornbread from scratch? Yes
21. Make a pie dough from scratch? Yes
22. Cooked a whole turkey? Yes
23. Snapped green beans and cooked them? Yes
24. Made mashed potatoes from scratch? Yes
25. What’s the most people you have prepared a whole meal for? I’ve helped prep a meal for 60+
26. Poached an egg? No
27. Made pancakes from scratch? Yes
28. Roasted vegetables in the oven instead of boiling them? Yes
29. Made fresh pasta? Yes
30. Made croissants from scratch? No
31. Made tuna salad? Yes
32. Fried fish? No
33. Made baked beans? No
34. Made ice cream from scratch? Yes
35. Made jam or jelly? No
36. Zested an orange or lemon? Yes (and have scars to prove it)
37. Made grits from scratch? No
38. Made an omelet? Yes
39. Lived in a house without a dishwasher? Yes, now
40. Eaten a bowl of cereal for supper? Yes

I would love to see your answers.

Reflection: honestly, a lot of my “no’s” are because I don’t prefer that thing, so I’ve never tried. We also eat more ethnic food than classic American soul food.

I can cook a lot of items that are not on this list. Mexican, japanese, chinese, italian, or french are my go to flavors. Very rarely do I leave the recipe as is, typically I take a recipe and modify it for our preferences.

This list is also quite skimpy on other things that are my skills. A baking list would be much better for me. Donuts, japanese taiyaki, japanese mochi, truffles (including keto fat bombs), shortbread cookies, sugar cookies, molasses cookies, oatmeal cookies, brownie cookies, cake mix cookies, brownies from scratch (and terrible diet brownies), hard candies, home made caramels, caramel sauce, and more.

Also I’ve tried making recipes for special diets. I’ve adapted tons recipes for keto, weight watchers, and vegetarian. I’ve used instapots, air fryers, crock pots, deep friers, george foreman grills, cast iron and more.

Thanks, now I’m hungry. 🥩🥦🍕🍤🍠🍩🍪🍳

One Year Anniversary

I’m grateful for today because it marks the day I married the most amazing person in the world. Joshua King is the best partner a girl could ask for. He’s kind and loving. He’s tough and strong. He’s smart and creative. He’s a dreamer. He’s funny and vulnerable. He’s the balance to my crazy and I’m the balance to his. He’s the justice to my mercy. He keeps me balanced and nurtured.I genuinely love this man. Alexanda Fitterer, I finally understand why you always want to be around Mike. Happy anniversary to my husband, my best friend, my partner. 1 year went by in the blink of an eye…. Course it could have been a few other things distracting us (like a pandemic and holidays and murder hornets).I love you, Joshua Lee.

Another 2020 Bingo & our Christmas letter

As we all know, 2020 has not been the best year – and that is an extreme understatement. For Josh and I it was super important to start 2020 getting married. We have to say that was our best decision of the year.

Though we had to postpone our honeymoon for an unknown future date, we have been able to start off our first year of marriage learning how to depend on each other and grow as a couple.

Both of us have explored many hobbies during this year: Meriah has enjoyed sewing, crocheting, baking, painting, rearranging furniture and painting rooms, making wreaths, and decorating for the holidays; with a new hobby of playing video games. Josh has explored many hobbies as well. Some hobbies he explored included home brewing hard cider, mead, and kombucha. Oh, and he made homemade cheese a couple times! That was tasty! The main hobbies being blacksmithing and woodworking, writing, cooking, C# coding, and much more.

We got chickens. Yes, chickens. On a rather spur-of-the-moment trip to Rural King we adopted six baby chickens and Josh built a chicken coop. We later adopted three more. Though they did not stay with us permanently. Shout out to Daniale and DJ for helping us simplify our flock. We also had bunnies for a while, intending to be meat rabbits, but then we also had a short period of time exploring being vegetarians and ethical carnivores. In the end, we are enjoying some beef from my South Dakota family – and trying to make wiser choices with our eating habits by purchasing locally or directly from farmers as much as possible.

For those keeping track we now have five chickens who all lay eggs and are excited to bless others with those eggs. We have five cats. We also have two dogs. We joke that we are somewhere in between a zoo and a farm. We do have dreams of owning a homestead hobby farm one day.. We will see what the future holds.

In the spring and early summer Meriah was predominantly in a digital church format that pushed her creativity and technology capabilities to the limit. Pastoring a church is difficult when you are separated from each other – nor is it easy to make wise choices about keeping people safe when it’s hard to find consistent information. However, our church has been fortunate and so far we have not had devastating cases of COVID-19. One benefit of being part of a rural church is that our exposure is decreased, but it still has made a challenge for worshipping and feeling God move.

For the last couple months, Josh has been working through TEK Systems at SMC in Noblesville. He does tech things that are way over my head but is very much so appreciated for his good hard work by the company. Meriah only ever hears positive things about Josh from his work. He is also continuing to learn more skills in the tech world that could enable him to diversify his job opportunities.

More recently Josh has helped with music at the church and Meriah is extremely grateful. The last two Sundays we have sang together and he played guitar. It has been a beautiful experience. Meriah struggles to express what a blessing it is having him by her side; professionally, personally and in every way.

As we take time to reflect on 2020, the initial thoughts are: “boo this year has been a dumpster fire!” It’s easy to think of the negative things that have happened this year, including: toilet paper shortages, wildfires, killer wasps, and socially distanced worship settings to name a few. All of those things are awful – but when we look back on it, we genuinely see the people who haven’t given up on us. We see people who have continued to enrich our lives in creative ways as we have gone through this weird, hard, growing type of year. We leave it thinking we are blessed and grateful for our family, friends, and the place we live.

Yes, Christmas letters are frequently only about the positive. We don’t expose our dirty laundry. There were definitely hard moments. We both have made mistakes and are working to grow as humans. We both are learning how to communicate and love both each other, our community, and our God better. 2020 hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows, but we want to take gratitude into 2021.

Merry Christmas and Happy New year from the Tigner King family. We hope it won’t be too long before we hug you again.

Love from the Tigner Kings ❤️

2020 Clergy Bingo

2020 has been a unique year. Here’s a fun bingo thing for identifying difficult things that happened or new experiences or learning opportunities from 2020.

The blank

Mine filled in

I definitely had the opportunity to do more of these but half way through the year I chose to step back from ALL the zoom opportunities.

Did anyone else get “zoomed out”? I’m tired of technology and I never thought I would say that.

I used a highlighter on 4 because it wasn’t EXACTLY like the wording. I used fb live instead of zoom. I had a nightmare I gave covid to church members and they died. I used other cliches “pandemic” “epidemic” etc. I was IN a wedding as a bridesmaid with COVID restrictions.

Covid Christmas

Day 1 (Thursday- Christmas Eve): Josh and I drove to see my parents for Christmas, knowing that we would need to make extra precautions with COVID to stay safe.

Good news, we brainstormed the dream of a ramen shop. We got very practical and the weather was quite cooperative.

We surprised my best friend Alex. She cried!

Day 2 (Friday): Christmas morning we a ate delicious quiche and orange rolls. Them video chatted with my brothers & Lizy in MN.

We opened presents and loved the thoughtful gifts from my mom and dad…. Including a special ornament

We had delicious chicken enchiladas for supper and watched White Christmas and Klaus while relaxing and decorating “ugly sweater” cookies.

Day 3 (Saturday): grocery shopping at local asian markets. Poke bowls & sushi for lunch.

Not pictured is the delicious Jambalaya my dad made us for supper. 😋 My inner cajun was so happy.

Day 4 (Sunday): coffee with our friend Andrew to meet his girlfriend. Bagels 🥯. A relaxing afternoon and then nachos with my best friend and play some Jack Box games.

Day 5 (Monday): Josh and I went for a walk and played pokemon. I played The Survivalists on my switch. My mom and I made sugar cookies. Then we binged some Netflix and played more games while dreaming up plans.

Day 6: Tuesday
We bought items for ramen supplies that we couldn’t get easily in Indiana.

We were going to meet friends for lunch but they were sick so we didn’t get to see them this trip 😦 we still ate at the tasty place they suggested.

My dad made us “Gold miner stew” for supper 😋 I’m telling you my taste buds were happy.

Day 7: Wednesday
My mom and I had coffee with a friend Cheri.

Josh and I prepared hot-pot for my parents for lunch.

Then we said goodbye to my SD peeps with some very terrible ramen.

Day 8: Thursday – driving home! Left at 5:30 am CST (6:30am EST) and arrived 6:45pm EST. Josh drove the whole way!

Shout out to Brenda Sears for the Subway gift card. It felt like a healthy meal on the road.

Aaaaaand we were in bed by 8:30pm. We barely rang in the new year. Video games kept us awake.

Post-trip notes:

  • don’t be fooled. We spent much time napping, playing our switches, or watching movies with my mom. Mom introduced me to the Selena netflix show and we watched it all.
  • COVID was in the front of our mind with minimal adventures, social distancing, mask usage, and hand washing/sanitizer habitually.
  • I love visiting family but am so glad to be back in our home with our animals and our bed.