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Blog/Life | About me on Sugar & Type

Squirrelly Minds
Hey y’all!
….Yes, I’m Canadian and I occasionally say y’all.

Did any of you happen to stumble across Sugar & Type yesterday?
The adorable Ilana asked if she could interview me and be a part of her Creative Crush series.
Uhhh…talk about honoured.

If you want to know a little bit about how I blog, teach, and now run a paper goods shop, (on top of my sweet tooth kryptonite), pop on over to read the interview.
See you there!

Life | On maintaining a positive body image

On Maintaining a Positive Body Image | Squirrelly Minds
Outtake from Donut Ice Cream Cake

“I wish I were a little bit taller, I wish I were a baller, I wish I had a girl who looked good I would call her”.

Yep, even Skee-Lo wishes things were a little bit different for him. At least back in 1995 he did. (You’re welcome for getting that song stuck in your head).

Something I have always struggled with ever since I was aware of my body is my weight. I remember the teasing in elementary school, being embarrassed at my lack of stamina in junior high gym class, and feeling like I could never get a date in high school (hell, well into my 20′s).

I’m now closing in on the first year of my thirties and I’m only now slowly becoming more okay with my body. But I still don’t love it. I gripe and moan about clothes not looking how I’d like, or wearing only certain clothes because they hide ‘troublesome areas’. I realize I am in full control of my body and, if I wanted, I could just join a hardcore gym and only drink juices and eat salad for the rest of my life. But honestly I don’t think that would make me any happier.

And I’m okay with that, but here’s where I worry. One day when we have children, I would hate to have my insecurities projected onto them. How I feel about myself should have no influence on how anyone feels about their bodies, especially children. But it’s hard to hide how you feel about yourself every moment of every day. Don’t tell me you haven’t indulged in a pint of ice cream and sat there feeling miserable about yourself on a lonely Saturday night before. …..only me? ….okay ignore that last bit.

As I mentioned, I’m slowly becoming more comfortable with my body. It’s taken nearly 30 years and it will no doubt take several more, but I’m getting there.
Whether it’s our body, intellect, income, or whatever else, we all have our insecurities, even if it’s just some of the time. My questions to you are:

How do you manage your insecurities?
What things do you do or say to remind yourself that

Life | On Donating Hair

On Donating Hair | Squirrelly Minds
Yep, that’s 18 inches of hair right there, currently sealed in a ziploc bag and about to be shipped off to be made into a wig for a beautiful woman battling cancer. You may have read last week that ever since the big chop of ’96(ish) I have sincerely regretted not donating my hair. A couple years ago I decided to grow out my hair as long as I could stand it, then chop it all off to donate. Remember the before?
On Donating Hair | Squirrelly Minds
That hair was taking over my life. As you can see in the above photo, it was trying to attack me. It was time for the big cut.
On Donating Hair | Squirrelly Minds
This is what 18 inches of freedom looks like.
As soon as the ponytail was chopped off I felt completely elated. I would have been happy if we left the hair cut just like that! I thought I would feel a tinge of remorse, but there was absolutely none. I was so excited to get this weight off my shoulders (quite literally) and donate it to someone who really needs it.
On Donating Hair | Squirrelly Minds
I did a fair bit of research and asking around before decided who I wanted to donate to. Since I had a lot of hair that was never treated or dyed and had few greys (sigh) I wanted to find a place that had strict regulations. It was also important to me that they didn’t charge cancer patients for their wigs, and that it was either local on the provincial or national level. So I chose the Pantene Pro V Beautiful Lengths Program.
If you’re thinking about donating your hair, here are some things to consider beforehand:

  • Do a lot of research first and ask around before selecting your donation place
  • Find a place foremost who fits with what you can give – hair length, greys, treated hair etc. Then think about what’s most important to you – location, accessibility, women, men, children, etc
  • Make sure you read the requirements carefully, including how they’d like the hair packaged after it’s cut. Most will want a dry ponytail secure with an elastic at the top
  • Bring a ziploc bag with you to the hair salon
  • Mail the hair yourself. Don’t leave it for the salon to send as it might not get to where you want

On Donating Hair | Squirrelly Minds
While I l-o-v-e having short hair, I’m still figuring it out and learning how to style it. To be perfectly honest, I think I could even go shorter ;)

Would you like to donate hair, or have you in the past?
What have your experiences been?

Style | Short hairstyles for women

Cutting long hair | Squirrelly Minds
When I was a kid I was known for my butt-length locks. My mom loved my hair and had visions of me appearing on a shampoo commercial. I probably could have if I tried.
I pleaded to get my hair cut. It was after all my hair, but I wasn’t allowed. When my mom was at work I pestered my dad to let me cut my hair until, out of frustrations, he finally gave in. My sister took a pair of scissors and CHOP! Hair all off. Needless to day, it was a bit of a shock for my mom.

I look back at that time quite fondly, but also with a pang of regret. Not for the near heart attack to caused my mom (though I do feel bad) but because I didn’t know hair could be donated for a cause, so it all simply went into the trash. I have felt horrible about it for nearly two decades.

A few years ago I decided to leave my hair alone. To let it grow in its untreated/uncoloured state until I couldn’t stand it anymore. Then I’d chop it all off and donate it to a good cause.
I thought I would never reach that moment. That I would have an internal battle with myself
“Time to cut your hair Tanya”
“But I love it!”
“But you don’t need it!”

Last week while in the shower washing my hair, I realized that internal battle was over when I spent the entire time imagining what it would be like to have short hair. It is time.

Short Hairstyles | Squirrelly Minds
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

I’ve done a bit of research finding my face shape by using measurements and this flowchart. Looks like I have an oval face shape, which means I have a pretty wide range of hair options.
I was originally inspired to cut my hair short by Kate Bracken’s hair in Being Human. I love the sweep and asymmetry of it. I don’t know if I’m quite ready for hair that short, but I know I want long sweeping bangs, asymmetry, and chin length or (maybe) shorter. I’m not entirely sure what I’ll end up with when I do go in for my appointment, but I’ll show a few photos, say a few key words, take a deep breath and let my hairstylist go at it.

Until then, I need to decide where to donate my hair. I made sure not to colour/treat my hair and to grow it extra long so I could pick any donation centre I wanted. I’m sure each is as good as the other but I want to make the right decision.

Have you donated your hair before? What was your experience?

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