#ArtfulEpcot: Mexico’s El Artista Hambriento at Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts

Last weekend I hit Epcot for some train watching and Photopass fun with the kids…

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…so of course I had to knock out another booth while we were there. And that booth was Mexico.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts Mexico Booth El Artista Hambriento

Throughout Epcot’s various festivals, Mexico has always been a favorite of mine. Did it measure up again this time? Welllll……

  • Mixiote de Cordero: Wrapped slow-braised lamb, marinated in tres chiles paste and spices ($8.95)

Once when I lived in Manhattan my roommate saw a guy chasing another guy through Union Square with a brown paper bag. He threw the brown paper bag and it exploded against the street and had been full of…..

Oh never mind.

I don’t even know why the bag of poop story popped into my mind just now.

Seriously though. You have to giggle at this one a little. As far as the taste goes? I mean – I guess it’s pretty good meat? If you’re paleo or keto or otherwise craving a bag of slow cooked protein, this works. Otherwise it’s just a bag of meat. A pretty good, $9 bag of meat. So moving on…

  • Tacos de Puerco: Two corn tortillas with slow-roasted pork shoulder, marinated in ancho paste and served with sweet plantain puree garnished with pea tendrils ($9.95)

Epcot International Festival of the Arts Mexico Booth El Artista Hambriento Tacos de Puerco 1

These weren’t bad. I wish I had more to say about them. The description sounds AMAZING on paper. They had a nice little kick and there was a barely there, wanted to taste it more bit of sweetness from the plantains. I didn’t love them as much as, say, the shrimp tacos that Mexico has featured at other festivals, though. The sauce was more heat than taste and my American palette tends to want a little crunch with my food. And honestly, the price trend continues – because $10 is a lot for what’s on this plate.

  • Atole de Fresa and Mexican Concha Bread: Warm strawberry drink served with Mexican concha bread ($3.95)

Epcot International Festival of the Arts Mexico Booth El Artista Hambriento Concha Bread

So…um….my picky 7 year old loved this? I wasn’t thrilled. It was basically a slightly sweet, pretty dry roll and a cup of warm strawberry yogurt. The yellow on top was pretty nondescript. Like it had a little texture but wasn’t sweet enough to be noticeable on the taste front. At least the strawberry “drink” dip cut the dryness? Otherwise…nope. Don’t waste your calories here.

  • Frida Guava Margarita ($13.75)

Epcot International Festival of the Arts Mexico Booth El Artista Hambriento Frida Guava Margarita

Holy freaking expensive drink. Was it tasty? Yes. It was delicious. But the $14 price tag is borderline offensive for this thing. I’m not even convinced there was alcohol in it. If you want a sweet, tasty drink and couldn’t care less how much you spend on it, have at it. Otherwise, there are probably better places to blow $14.

#ArtfulEpcot: Morocco’s Mosaic Canteen at Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts

I wasn’t wasting any time on my first trip to Epcot’s 2nd International Festival of the Arts last week. I have, however, wasted too much time in getting around to writing up the second country that I sampled that day. So without further ado, today, I give you Morocco.

Like Japan’s offerings, I love how these dishes jump off the plate onto the camera. If Artful Epcot’s food items are nothing else, they are lovely.

  • Spiced Beef…or Hummus Trifle: Layered hummus topped with spiced beef, pine nuts, and dry cherries served with pita chips ($9)

It’s a little laughable that this is listed as “Spiced Beef” on the menu board. It’s name in the Festival Passport, “Hummus Trifle”, makes so much more sense – since it’s the hummus that dominates here. This thing looks SO good on paper. It’s hard to go wrong with beef, dried cherries, pine nuts, and hummus. And don’t get me wrong. It’s fine. But this is essentially a huge cup of hummus with a few chips and some so so meat crumbles, pine nuts, and cherries on top. It wasn’t bad. If you’re craving hummus it’ll hit the spot. (And bring extra chips because they give you more hummus than you can possibly scoop up with the 10 or so chips that they give you.) But generally I think you can do better than this at Epcot right now. And for $9 you can definitely do better.

  • Mediterranean Flat Bread with Za’atar, Olive Oil Artichokes, Olives, Mozzarella an Feta Cheese ($8)

Artful Epcot Epcot International Festival of the Arts Morocco Mediterranean Flat Bread

Isn’t this lovely? It pops on your tongue just as beautifully as it pops off the screen. The flavors are fresh and simple. The za’atar (a middle eastern spice mixture) is fresh and bold, the cheeses aren’t overpowering, and I’d take a good artichoke as a boyfriend any day. Don’t get me wrong. Nothing about this is going to turn your culinary world upside down. It’s simple and fresh and just good. And it’s huge!! For $8, it’s a solid lunch any day of the week. Two enthusiastic thumbs up. Fine holiday fun. 😉

  • Chebbakia: Hand-twisted strips of fried dough coated with honey, rosewater, and sesame seeds ($7)

Artful Epcot Epcot International Festival of the Arts Morocco Chebbakia

If you like a classic middle eastern dessert or have a sweet tooth that you need to punch in the face, this will be your jam. I wanted to taste more rosewater. (I always want to taste more rosewater.) But this was chewy and sweet and sticky and sated my often insatiable sweet tooth. The sesame here (unlike the sesame in Japan’s taiyaki) was not overpowering, but just added a bit of interest to the overall taste. For $7, this wasn’t the cheapest dessert, but it was certainly rich and big enough to serve two people. I think you should go get some.

 

#ArtfulEpcot: Japan’s Takumi Table at Epcot International Festival of the Arts

We kicked off Artful Epcot and the second annual Epcot International Festival of the Arts this past Friday, January 12th, and I came in swingin’ with my passport in hand while the kids were in school.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts Festival Passport

Where did I start, you ask?

In Japan, of course.

The sooner you eat somewhere for the first time, the sooner and more often you can eat there again. Because science.

Takumi means “artisan” in Japanese. There are only two food items at Takumi Table this year – one savory and one sweet.

 

Before we even dig into the details of these items, I’m going to stop and comment on how BEAUTIFUL everything offered at Festival of the Arts is this year. If Food & Wine blogging is a never ending battle with dishes that won’t pose for the camera, Festival of the Arts is a veritable runway show of edible little supermodels. And true to Japan’s always impressive attention to detail, they’ve again chosen to plate their foods on and in dishes that teeter on the edge of disposable and almost make you want to wash them and tuck them into your purse to reuse at home.

But let’s stop talking and start eating…

  • Chirashi Sushi and Haupia Pearl: Salmon, Tuna, and Yuzu Miso with Coconut Tapioca Pudding ($7.50)

Chirashi Sushi and Haupia Pearl Epcot International Festival of the Arts Artful Epcot

I’m not moaning. You’re moaning.

Oh you’re not? Okay. Maybe it’s me after all. The worst thing about sitting here writing this review is having to look at this without eating it (again).

Chirashi is happy, lazy sushi. Because instead of being a tidy little roll, it’s just a big ol’ pile of the same delicious ingredients. But in usual form, Artful Epcot has found a way to make even chirashi as beautiful as it is delicious. The rice is perfect. The seaweed salad is crisp and chewy and not fishy at all. The mound of salmon and tuna on top is fresh and soft and perfect. And it all sits on slices of orange that add a citrus-y pop to the whole thing.

And then. You guys. When it’s over and you’ve licked that side of the plate clean?? There’s this lovely little shot of sweet coconut milk and tapioca and fresh fruit that is so refreshing and good that its only fault is not being huge.

I cannot wait to eat this again. I want to write poetry about it and have it for lunch every day until February 19th.

But onward…

  • Taiyaki Dessert: Japanese Stuffed Pastry, Sweet Red Bean Filling, Sesame Cream, and Raspberry Sauce ($4.50)

Taiyaki is a lovely little fish shaped cake typically filled (as here) with sweetened adzuki bean paste. It is thought to have originated in Tokyo during the Meiji era (1868-1912), but now you can find it all over Japan.

Like most taiyaki, Artful Epcot’s version was almost too pretty to eat. But unique to most taiyaki, it was bedded next to an unattractive pile of too much sweet sesame paste and whipped cream. It was warm and sweet and teetered on the edge of delicious so closely that it broke my heart.

I love me some adzuki bean paste. Not overly sweet but soft and mild, it’s wonderful nestled inside some warm dough.

Taiyaki Dessert 3 Epcot International Festival of the Arts Artful Epcot

So why was it leaning up against a pile of whipped cream that appeared to have come out of a can?? WHY??? And why was it sitting in an ugly pile of sesame “cream” that wanted to put hair on my chest when I tried (admittedly, with my tongue) to clean it off the fish??

Listen. Give this a try. The cake itself is warm, soft, mildly sweet perfection. I plan to go back and get it again – just asking them to hold the whipped cream nonsense and put the sesame cream on the side so that I can control how much (or how little) touches my fish. And in rare form, I’ll bring a friend – because this thing is RICH. Try it. But don’t be surprised if when you’re done eating you’re cleaning the sesame out of your teeth and still looking at something like this…

Taiyaki Dessert 4 Epcot International Festival of the Arts Artful Epcot

I’m sorry little fish tail. I couldn’t handle you.

This booth had two food offerings and I just wrote a full on book about them. I hope the ones to come make me want to prattle on less because momma doesn’t have time to write a novella about all 19 booths…..

In the meantime, one passport sticker earned. Lots to go-

Takumi Table Japan Pavilion Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Artful Epcot

Have YOU had the chance to visit #ArtfulEpcot yet? If so, what did you eat?? If not, what’s on your short list for when you get there??

#ArtfulEpcot – Epcot International Festival of the Arts

Epcot International Festival of the Arts

It’s a new year and we’re kicking off another grand Epcot festival!! Epcot’s inaugural Festival of the Arts was just last year and this year we’re getting it back and bigger. It runs from January 12th through February 19th and includes a wealth of unique musical, visual, and, of course, culinary bliss. Festival goers can also see Disney on Broadway events every weekend and take in a long list of seminars, food studios, and other artists. You can even have your hand in a little bit of interactive art of your own….

Epcot International Festival of the Arts Artful Epcot Mosaic Painting

Luck as it was, the kids are (omg finally) back in school after the holidays and I’m more or less walking again after completing my first Dopey Challenge last weekend (recap to come), so I was able to run over to Epcot during the festival’s opening day to wander World Showcase and scratch the surface of its food offerings.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts Festival Passport

SO. FREAKING. EXCITED.

(Ignore the nails……I’ve been a little busy……)

Bottom line – I don’t care if it’s because Disney is aiming to bring in guests in its “off season” (bwahahaha…off season…right) or because they’re too tired to move the Food & Wine food booths and are just thinking of ways to repurpose them year ’round instead. There’s a lot to eat, you guys. This little passport lists 19 booths full of new food and drink. And I’m ready to dig in and start earning my completion stickers.

 

 

Happy New Year, My Friends

The following is nothing more than a repost of my off-the-cuff thoughts leading into 2018 elsewhere on social media – for no other reason than that they are a part of the over story that I am gathering here….

Image may contain: 19 people, people smiling, child and outdoor

 

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t exhausted and overwhelmed by the idea of putting together a recap/New Year’s message this New Year’s Eve. I’m used to tongue and cheek telling years not to let the door hit them in the ass on the way out. That wasn’t me being negative so much as just having honest reactions to a chain of truly difficult times. To say that 2017 was different would be a vast overstatement and a disservice to the last 365 days, myself, and everyone else on this wild ride with us.

2017 was the year of diving into life head first. Whether it was selling our beautiful home in Maryland, packing up, and relocating to the land of Disney locals. Or the very start of my little Etsy shop. Or letting myself just write again with the birth of the new blog. Or the growth of a wonderful community. Or registering for Dopey. Or, or, or….. It was the year of learning as we go and not knowing until we tried. It was the year of not fearlessness – but of facing fear head on and walking forward anyway. It was a year of growth and change and gratitude – all in the light of the acute knowledge of how short life is.

I’m not big on resolutions. I tackle goals every day and tomorrow won’t be any different. I have no weight I feel the need to lose in the new year. No languages I feel the need to learn. I’m good with how much I exercise and how well (or not) I eat. If 2017 was the year of not being afraid to go in dirty and learn as I went, 2018 will be the year of settling in. Of finessing these big changes. And, hell, who am I kidding, of picking a list of new things to jump into boldly and blindly.

New Year’s is one of those rare holidays that we don’t have to preface with “if you celebrate”. So celebrate – all of you. Be safe and stay warm and good luck opening the door to this new year and all of its possibilities. Looking through the 1000s of pictures I have from this last year, if anything was wildly apparent it was just how surrounded we are by wonderful people who love us.

Love each of you back and more and am so grateful to share this planet with you. Live big and live good.

 

Motherhood and Its Tears

“Mommy why don’t you sing Rockabye Baby to me at night anymore?”

“Honey, that’s actually not a song that I ever really sang to you….”

“Yes you did. Will you sing it to me one last time tonight?”

And like that I’m in tears. Over the end of a ritual that started at the same moment that it ended.

Keep Moving Forward…Into What?

When I was in law, I had reoccurring nightmares about climbing. Well…perhaps “nightmare” is too strong a word. But the gist of my almost-nightly subconscious wandering was that I was, in some way, shape, or form, climbing upward on something that was shaky. Either a wobbly ladder or poorly connected platforms or a broken escalator…. Always upward, and always on unsteady ground. Taylor Swift’s proverbial tilted stage.

My mind is clearly terrible at subtlety in its metaphors. The ground was slipping out from under me in my steady march up the ladder of success.

But for all of its wobbling uncertainty, upward was – and is – delightfully measurable. What is above. What is below. Who is above. Who is below. ~Height~ is so very quantifiable. Whether you are higher than you were last year. Whether you are higher than anyone or everyone else.

But forward. What is forward? What is backward or stagnant or forward when the process is a cycle and there is no finish line? We are told that baby steps in the right direction without knowing the ultimate destination are the way to approach these things – and really the way to approach life in general. And I accept and believe that with all of my heart. But particularly after more momentous and tangibly “right” changes or events – moves, job changes, completed races, and on and on – when the steps are big and clear and the progress is unmistakable – it’s easy to lose sight of what little steps and decisions are right and to what the monotony of the typical day contributes. What place does a day of cleaning and laundry and sick kids and packing lunches have in a life that is moving in the right direction? How do we keep from falling into a rut when the big moments aren’t happening and we are so consumed by the typical day-to-day chores that the bigger picture feels 1000 miles away?

To what extent does moving forward sometimes require nothing but for us to learn to be still?

I’ll never forget reading Karen Armstrong’s The Spiral Staircase years ago and the “a-ha moment” that I had when she described how the nuns’ strictly regimented outer life was meant to free the mind for larger, contemplative pursuits. That the simplification of our outward lives allows for grander internal endeavors. My head goes there when the monotony of daily regimens begins to take over. Let the repetitive tasks happen. Let your mind go.

Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living. That’s always seemed a little pompous to me, as some of the happiest people I know don’t seem to spend a ton of time waxing philosophical. But, to the extent that waxing philosophical is my lot in life (and let’s face it, it is), perhaps losing myself in the laundry isn’t the worst thing in the world.

I no longer have the OED at my fingertips, but a quick search defined “forward” as:

  • toward or at a place, point, or time in advance; onward (dictionary.com)
  • onward so as to make progress; toward a successful conclusion (Google dictionary)

And on and on….

Here I think it’s less about that conclusion or finish line and more about the never ending process of progress that precedes it. For a goal junkie, that loss of tangible “finishing” is perhaps the hardest part of leaving society’s definition of success and attempting to rewrite it yourself. And those times that follow the big leaps, when the days settle back into quiet and normal, can be the hardest. Especially when you can start to doubt your little steps because the bigger goals are such black boxes.

But perhaps learning to be still is, for many of us, an enormous part of moving forward.

Perhaps when we are feeling most lost it’s important to trust that, for all of its definitions, much like the Supreme Court and obscenity – forward is just something that we know when we see it. And, in truth, much like running, the joy and fulfillment is so much less in the finish line and so much more in the process.

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Eat This: Epcot Legacy Showplace at Epcot’s 2017 Food and Wine Festival

The old Odyssey building is home to food offerings of its own and some fabulous exhibits celebrating Epcot’s 35th anniversary at this year’s Food & Wine Festival.

If you don’t know where the Odyssey building is, you’ll find it on the walkway/bridges running from Future World East into World Showcase. This year they have 3 food items, one of which deserves your attention and your calorie allotment for the day….

  • Chilled Scotch Egg wrapped in Sausage with Mustard Sauce ($4)

Scotch Egg

So for those of you unfamiliar with Scotch Eggs, they’re basically a sausage wrapped hard boiled egg that is meant to be travel friendly and eaten at things like picnics. I’m just going to apologize to all of my UK friends right now. Because…nope. I don’t even care how ugly my picture of this thing is. It didn’t do it for me. As far as I can tell, you don’t even get a whole egg. And it’s chewy. Like, chewier than a hard boiled egg should be. It tastes like cold, leftover breakfast. And it’s breaded – so it’s not even like you’re low-carbing it when you eat one. The creamy mustard is pretty good –  but it’d be better on something else. Skip it and save room for…

  • Zesty Cheeseburger and Cheddar Cheese Macaroni Handwich ($5.50)

Handwich

Commmmme to momma…. This thing is RICH. You might want to block out time for a nap after you eat it. Mac and cheese and bits of burger piled high into a cone shaped soft pretzel. It speaks for itself. Eat it slowly while you stroll around the 35th anniversary exhibits in the building.

There’s also a third “food” item at Epcot Legacy Showplace. L’Orange Cotton Candy – a mixture of lime and orange cotton candy. Confession: I didn’t get it. I’m not a big cotton candy eater and feel like you guys could probably fend for yourselves out there on this one. Cotton candy is overpriced everywhere, so $4.75 doesn’t seem terrible if you’re into it. And this one is apparently French.  So mangez as you will….

Eat This: Beaches and Cream Soda Shop at Disney’s Beach Club Resort

There once was a time when I set my alarm for dawn 180 days out from our trips to book all of the hard to get ADRs. Now, on park days, I wake up in the morning and browse the Disney app with the kids to pick our day’s plans. Yesterday morning was a lazy-ish Sunday, so instead of running out the door early we did some stuff around the house and just grabbed an early dinner reservation at the Beaches & Cream Soda Shop at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.

Beaches & Cream

To get to Beaches & Cream, you enter the lobby of Beach Club and walk toward Cape May, then around the back of it through the open hallway, which puts you out onto the patio area behind Beach Club’s amazing pool, Stormalong Bay (which it shares with the Yacht Club). You enter Beaches & Cream back there – through either the carryout door or the main restaurant door.

The main restaurant is tiny. I think I counted 10 total tables – 3 booths and 7 small round tables. Sort of explained why reservations can be so hard to get.

 

Try to get a seat near the jukebox in front if you can. You can pick the songs that are played. I think my kids enjoyed that at least as much as the meal.

There was a lot of Sugar, Sugar and Lama Rama Ding Dong going on while we were eating. If anyone reading this was there, I apologize.

Beaches & Cream Menu

The menu is, not surprisingly, no frills 50s style diner fare. Burgers and club sandwiches, meatloaf and a Reuben. It was chilly outside and it was on the menu, so I opted for the grilled cheese and tomato bisque. All sandwiches are served with fries or fruit. I opted for the fries and upgraded them to chili cheese. Because, you know, research.

In the distance you can see the kids’ hot dog and mac n cheese. I’m not bothering with close up pictures. They were, in short, a hot dog and mac n cheese.

The grilled cheese was basically a solid grilled cheese. The tomato bisque served its dipping purpose. The fries were good enough fries covered in chili and cheese sauce.  It was a good, inexpensive (the grilled cheese and bisque were $12), chill meal eaten to the tune of jukebox music just behind Stormalong Bay. If you’re deciding between this and Victoria & Albert’s, you’ve…well, you’ve got more trip research to do – but if you want a chill meal during an Epcot or Hollywood Studios day or while you’re poolside at Stormalong, it’s a great option.

But we all know Beaches & Cream isn’t really about the savory dishes. So I did you guys a solid and took at quick look at the dessert menu…

Beaches & Cream Menu 2

…before ordering the Kitchen Sink. You guys – I don’t even like ice cream that much and was alone with my two skinny kids, so this was hilarious. When they bring it out they put these yellow siren-style lights on and the waitress makes a big announcement to the whole restaurant, which dutifully chants back “A WHOLE CAN??” to the information about just how much whipped cream is in this thing.

Beaches & Cream Kitchen Sink

That’s right. The Kitchen Sink is served in an actual “kitchen sink” style bowl that houses massive scoops of vanilla, chocolate, cookies and cream, and mint chocolate chip ice cream, an entire can of whipped cream, massive chunks of cake and brownies, Oreos, maraschino cherries, and “every other topping” that the restaurant has – which seems to include gummy orange wedges, peanut butter, bananas, chocolate sauce, various chips and sprinkles and God knows what else. At $32, it was more than all three of our dinners combined, but it claims to serve 4 people and that seems like a low estimate. After eating for approximately 3 hours, it looked like this:

Beaches & Cream Kitchen Sink After

I don’t even think we’d really hit ice cream yet. People at other tables might have been laughing at us. I also might have been laughing.

So, in short, if you want a really chill meal in an out of the way spot at a great resort, hit up Beaches & Cream. Especially if you love ice cream. With the Food & Wine Festival currently around the corner at Epcot, I’d usually have trouble justifying it – but it was perfect for us last night.

We’d planned on heading into Epcot for Illuminations afterwards but it was unseasonably chilly and I figured just as well not to push it on a school night. So instead the boys toasted marshmallows at the Beach Club campfire and played on the beach for awhile before we headed home. I befriended a lovely couple from Jersey whose child took a liking to me and the boys played with his older sister in the sand. Those little pinch-me moments overlooking Crescent Lake and the Boardwalk are my favorites these days.

Beaches & Cream Boardwalk View 2

Review (and Mood Lightening): I Tried Madison Reed So You Don’t Have To – But Maybe You Should…

Preface: The response to my last post, wherein I start to share the story of my exit from law and move to Florida, has been extraordinary. The number of people who have read it, shared it, and reached out has filled my heart and, in its own way, bolstered my own move forward. If you have read it and it touched you please, PLEASE don’t hesitate to share it and to reach out. If you *have* reached out and I haven’t properly responded yet, please know that it’s because you were one of the messages that I wanted to give full time and attention and life hasn’t permitted that just yet. I have read every response, private message, and email, and every one has touched me.

So, all of that said, I have some processing to do before I revisit the heavier stuff and don’t want that to immobilize me in the meantime.

So let’s get very, very light and review some brilliantly Facebook advertised hair color.

Before I dig into this, I’ll acknowledge that I respect a smartly marketed product. I love my Squatty Potty and the rainbow pooping unicorn that talked me into trying it. So when Madison Reed got my attention with their clever time lapse videos, I knew I’d be giving it a whirl.

To be clear, short of the occasional highlights, I color my own hair – and I haven’t even been doing that much for long. My wedding hair stylist joked that I probably had the last head of virgin hair in Maryland’s tri-state area. Short of some experiments with black and strawberry blonde in my freshman year of college when I’d cut my hair boy-short and was messing around, my color has generally been au naturale.

Then I quit my corporate gig and had the freedom to put a little very temporary pink in it.

Pink Streak Hair

Then I went to D23 and cosplayed as Gamora. I #$%$ing love her. And her red hair.

Gamora Cosplay

Then back to brown…..but then I hit Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and my 4 year old was dead set on Spider-Man. Which was awesome. So I went as Black Widow. Red again.

Black Widow Cosplay

My hair was tiiiiired. And I didn’t really want to grab a box of light brownish off the shelf. And Facebook kept running these eye catching ads with time lapse videos and everyday people shaking out their shiny hair. So I hit up Ulta and had a text message convo in the aisle.

I had Lucca (Light Golden Brown) in my hand before I even noticed the text message thing so I was convinced enough..

After the kids went to bed (and before returning to my Stranger Things 2 binge) I broke the box open.

Around this time was when I acknowledged to myself that something was squicking me out. And then I realized that Madison Reed was sounding like Ashley Madison to me. So I acknowledged that and moved on – perhaps with the knowledge that Madison isn’t a great part of a brand name just yet. #toosoon

You’re supposed to divide your hair into sections and then apply the color one section at a time. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I applied the barrier cream from the little packet and soldiered on. I should say, though, that it smelled AMAZING and had the loveliest consistency. I might have briefly wondered if it would work as a makeup primer.

After mixing the right chemicals and shaking them up, I started to work my way around my hair.There was no smell at all, which was nice. I managed to get everything well coated, though the formula was thick and I could see someone with a ton of hair needing two kits. In any event, I finished up and used the cleaning wipe to wipe around my hair line after donning the provided shower cap.

I then let it sit for 45ish minutes. This was the extended time for “stubborn greys”, which I don’t really have, but more is more so there you go. There was no smell at all, though over time my scalp did start to itch the tiniest bit under the hair cap.

Madison Reed Hair Cap

At the end of the processing time, you’re supposed to throw on the second pair of provided gloves and hop in the shower to rinse completely. Then you wash and condition your hair with packets that were provided with the kit.

Then I got out and dried it.

I will say that in pictures the change is not overly dramatic (and I didn’t want dramatic), but overall the color is very vibrant and smoother – and my hair FEELS freaking AMAZING. I’m curious as to how that lasts, because I’m sure the provided shampoo and conditioner were intense treatments. Still, I just colored my hair like 30 minutes ago and it’s so freakishly soft and shiny and swingy that I can’t stop touching it.

So I’ll update. But in the meantime I really loved this stuff. And I needed to break the intensity for a minute. So I shared my shiny, swingy hair with you.

This is, of course, not endorsed. I just genuinely liked the stuff.

xoxx