heather ward kepshire

Eat Your Way To Fabulous Hair.

There’s no magic pill.  If you are starting to notice something is off with your hair or scalp, it might be time to take a look at those meals in front of you.  Strong, vibrant, better-looking hair is a direct reflection of what you put in your body.  When you stray away from a balanced diet, over time you’ll see dry, brittle, thinning hair.  Before you run to the store for Biotin Supplements, here’s where you should be focusing your energy. 



What’s so special about essential fatty acids? About 3% of the hair shaft is make up of these fatty acids, and they are critical to the proper function of your entire body. But it’s important to know your body is not able to produce these fatty acids on its own, so it is necessary that you eat foods containing them.

What foods?  Salmon, herring, sardines, trout, mackerel, walnuts, flaxseeds, avocados, and pumpkin seeds.



Boost collagen production with Vitamin C.  It’s common knowledge that collagen goes hand in hand with beauty and anti-aging. But it’s not just skin, collagen surrounds the hair strands as well.   As we age, collagen breaks down causing hair to be more vulnerable to damage.  Eating more Vitamin C is critical for circulation to the scalp and it also supports the tiny blood vessels that feed the follicles. Too little Vitamin C in your diet can lead to hair breakage.


What foods?  Citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwis, tomatoes, blueberries, dark leafy greens, and red peppers.



Protein is the building block of beautiful hair.  Foods that are rich in protein are usually also great sources of zinc and iron, all of which keep hair strands strong and plentiful.  When there is an iron deficiency or anemia present, you will notice hair loss as a direct effect.


What foods?  Eggs, chicken, fish, pork, beef, oysters, nuts, and beans.



Stop the damage.  If you find yourself with brittle and breaking hair, Vitamin E is required to nourish damaged hair and to prevent further breakage.  As an added bonus, it aids the body’s ability to manufacture keratin within hair strands to restore your locks.

What foods?  Sunflower seeds, almonds, pine nuts, dried apricots, spinach and olives.



Not just for healthy eyes. Beta carotene is an antioxidant, which your body turns into vitamin A.  It helps protect and produce the oils that sustain your scalp, and being low on vitamin A can even leave you with itchy, irksome dandruff.  Furthermore, every cell in whole human body cannot function without enough vitamin A- so load up on the beta carotene when you can.


What foods?  Sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, mangoes, pumpkin, and apricots.


There’s no magic pill

photo credit: tumblr

photo credit: tumblr

If you’re already eating a wholesome, balanced diet with all of the above mentioned foods but you still have problems with your hair, read my article “Fragile Hair Woes” to shed some light on three other causes of problem hair.

Paint It Black.

Happy (Almost) Valentines Day!!!  Let’s talk about something dark on this wonderful weekend of love…


I’ve been captivated and charmed by ultra-dark paint lately.  Like, almost black.  And although this look may not be for everyone, painting a ceiling dark will give the room a real sense of space, and enclose it in a warm, sophisticated, comforting way.

photo credit: Lincoln Barbour for Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

photo credit: Lincoln Barbour for Jessica Helgerson Interior Design


Recently, I have been able to act on these dark urges for our own low basement ceilings.  For this project, we opted not to do a drop ceiling with drywall, instead we left the joists overhead exposed and carefully re-routed the electrical wires and plumbing (thank you, Mr. Heatherland) to make everything neater.  Then I got to paint them black!


Why Dark Ceilings Work


For low ceilings, the instinct is to brighten them up with light colors to “lift them” and give your more visual height.  But instead, if you opt for a color with a lot of depth, the effect will “recess them” out of your sight line so when you’re standing in the room with a dark ceiling you won’t really notice them as much.

photo credit: Elle Decor

photo credit: Elle Decor


This is especially important for our basement.  Since we were painting existing floor joists from the living space above, there’s a lot of imperfections in that wood.  If the color was light, every shadow cast on them would highlight the flaws, but the dark color will hide everything.  Imagine this:  Let’s say you have a little cellulite on you backside (no judgment), if you wear a tight white dress you will see all those imperfections, but if you wear a tight black dress, the little bumps and lumps get hidden.  Same idea for paint. 


Creating Balance

One more notable mention: In order to make this look work, I’m a big believer in balance.  When you have a dark ceiling, you should consider pairing it with a dark floor too.  Otherwise the room might look a little top heavy.


Photo Source: Pinterest

Photo Source: Pinterest

Also, this is a wonderful opportunity to decorate with light furnishings and items with reflection to cultivate brightness in the room alongside with the depth.


As for Me…

Well, I got to put on my favorite tyvek suit agin, rented an industrial paint sprayer, and plowed through 17 gallons on Primer (Dark Tinted Kilz) and Paint (Behr Cracked Pepper) for our basement ceiling.  And honestly, I loved them from the moment the first coat went on.


Not convinced yet?  Just wait till we finish it up, trust me, this one will be good!

Paint The Town Red(gard).

It feels good to be making visible progress on our latest project.  I just wrapped up the waterproofing portion of the guest bathroom remodel which means I am one step closer to getting the tile on the wall.


With the first bathroom we renovated, I used Schluter-KERDI Shower to build and waterproof our shower.  Kerdi is a fabric waterproofing membrane that gets hung like wallpaper.  It took me about 4-6 hours to get it done and it appears the most expensive waterproofing option on the market.


This time around I used Redgard.

...and away we go.

…and away we go.

Building and waterproofing a shower/tub surround with cement board and Redgard is more cost effective than Schluter.  Plus, it is way easier.  Imagine you’re painting walls with hot pink greek yogurt… That’s exactly what it’s like.




Cement Board

Cement Board Screws

1 gallon of Redgard

Paint Brush

Paint Roller, Cage, and Tray


Cement board is hung just like drywall, and fastened to the studs with cement board screws.  Then it is ready for Redgard.  The corners get painted first, then the rest is rolled on.  It’s bright pink when it’s wet, and then it dries red.

redguard selfie.

redguard selfie.

When it’s dry, you recoat it going the opposite direction than you did the first time (if you rolled vertically, now you roll horizontally).  After the second coat dries, take a peek throughout the whole surface and check for any pinholes or holidays to touch up.



I had about 70 sqft of cement board to cover, and actually had enough Redgard in my 1 Gallon pail for almost three coats- so I did *almost* three coats, and I also did the strip of floor in front of the tub.

second coat

from pink to red

There’s a great blog I’ve used as a resource for all my bathroom/tile/shower renovation needs, The Floor Elf.  He’s got a free “Shower Waterproofing Manual” that I think everyone should take a look at if they are embarking on such a task, and he also has a full library of other ebooks to purchase with more in-depth explanation.

tile prep

tile prep

Now I’m ready for tile!

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