Brighter Sides

Life & Style blog of a Seattle artist, hairstylist, and social media pro

Bad Hair Day? Here Are 5 Things You’re Doing Wrong – Guest Article On Skirt Collective

Bad Hair Day? Here Are 5 Things You're Doing Wrong.Photo: Flickr/martinaphotography

I have an article over at Skirt Collective today. Head over there to find out some ways that you could be creating a bad hair day for yourself. And feel free to leave questions/comments – I will answer them!

P.S. Here are some more of my hair-related posts you might like:
How To Trim Your Own Bangs
How To Clean And Maintain Your Blow Dryer
Dandruff vs. Dry Scalp: What’s The Difference?

By Kelsi Eldredge

TILT – Things I Love Thursday January 22nd, 2015

This post contains an affiliate link. I make a small amount of money when some links are clicked or purchases are made after clicking links. This helps me to keep the blog running. I will never endorse products I don’t personally believe in. Thanks!

Well, it’s half way through January, so I figured it was about time for the first Things I Love Thursday of the New Year! Here is some stuff I’ve been loving lately.

1. To kick things off, here’s something that fits in really well with the TILT theme. Last year, my friend Sarah made a “good things” jar, which was a jar in which she put slips of paper throughout the year, with good things written on them as the occurred. She shared each thing with us on New Year’s Day, and encouraged us all to make our own “good things” jar this year, so that we can all share them on New Year’s Day next year. I thought this was a great idea, since our memories tend to record lots of the bad things that happened to us, but let the good things slip into obscurity, especially if they were small bits of happiness rather than big achievements. I plan on making one, and I encourage you all to make one as well! You can write down anything good that happens to you in a day, which you might want to remember later on. You could read them all at the end of the day, or pull one out when you are having a rough day and feel like nothing good ever happens to you.

2. I kicked off the New Year by taking a trip out toward Snoqualmie Pass with my boyfriend for a day in the snow! Read more about it and see more pictures of our gorgeous hike.

3. This llama rug. What the heck. It’s so cute. And it’s only $24! (actually $18 because it’s 25% off right now!) The only problem is it’s only 2″x3″ and I’m not sure where it would fit, but I was thinking maybe it would be equally good (if not better!) as a wall hanging! What do you think?

Urban Outfitters Llama Rug $18

4. One of my favorite blogs, Scathingly Brilliant posted it’s last post a few days ago. Obviously I don’t love that the blog has come to an end, but I am happy that Kate is focusing on her art, which is her main love, and that she’ll still be blogging at her portfolio site. So here’s to endings and the beginnings that they allow for. I’m sad that Scathingly Brilliant will be no more, but I’m excited to see what Kate has in store for us in the future and I wish her the best of luck!

5. I finally paid off my student loan from cosmetology school. It took 10 years and my retirement from the industry, but it’s officially paid off! It will be nice to not have that chunk coming out of my bank account every month, especially since I don’t really have any extra money these days. Also, since I am only employed part-time at the moment, I’ve decided to use the extra time I have to focus on my blog and on freelance writing! I would love to make enough money from home-based ventures to be able to travel, because that’s my one biggest passion.

6. This Charming Charlie is a tumblr account that someone recently shared with me, which is a mashup of Peanuts cartoons and The Smiths/Morrissey lyrics. I’m a big Smiths/Morrissey fan (the blog name Brighter Sides even came from a Smiths song!) so I thought these were delightful.

This Charming Charlie: Peanuts/The Smiths/Morrissey mashup

I hope you’re all having a great week and your new year is off to a wonderful start as well! Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave me a comment! I love comments :)

By Kelsi Eldredge

Snow Day at Snoqualmie River

It’s been a weirdly warm winter in Washington (Alliteration FTW! My 5th grade teacher would be so proud.) and I’ve been complaining that we haven’t had snow yet. Okay, we had snow, but it was like, an eighth of an inch and it melted by midday, so it doesn’t count. I looove snow for the most part, but in past years, I’ve sort of dreaded it in a sense, because it often meant driving to work, and quite possibly getting stuck and not being able to go home. Like the time that I had to stay overnight by myself in a creepy old building that was haunted. No, thanks. I’d rather be cozy in my bed with Netflix. But as I mentioned in my last post, now I barely have to drive anywhere! I can easily walk to work and back, and snow can’t stop me! But of course, we haven’t had any snow that’s even tried. Sad face.

At the beginning of the month, we decided, if the snow won’t come to us, then we’ll just have to go to the snow. So Aaron took me up to Snoqualmie Pass (yes, that is a word, spell check) for a snow day! We bundled up, grabbed some coffee and food, and headed to the mountains!

I-90 to Snoqualmie Pass

Our original plan was to go to Olallie State Park and play in the snow there. But as we neared it, we realized that it was just under the snow line. So, plan B: We hiked the trail up toward Franklin Falls. Everything was quiet, and serene, and we mostly had the woods to ourselves. I think I stopped about every 5 minutes to comment about how pretty it was or take a photo.

Snowy Tree on Franklin Falls Trail, WA

Ordinarily it would have been a very easy hike (just the kind that I like), but the snow was packed hard and the trail was slick from the all of the hikers who were there before us. We walked carefully and slipped several times, but were always able to catch our balance or grab on to a railing or tree to right ourselves. The trail was alongside Snoqualmie River, which was dotted here and there with adorable wood cabins, and has some of the clearest water I’ve ever seen. Here’s a photo of the river, with water flowing under and around the ice. This was my favorite viewpoint on the whole trail, and by that time it had started snowing lightly, which made it even more magical.

Snow and Ice on Denny Creek, WA

As we neared the top of the trail, we started meeting hikers who were coming down, and each one of them that we passed said something to the effect of, “It’s REALLY icy at the top, good luck.” One even passed off his walking stick to us. We trudged on, undaunted (actually, I was kind of daunted, but we still trudged on toward adventure!) until we came to the top of a little hill and could see the trail beyond. It was a sheet of thick, solid ice. Nope. We felt we had already pressed our luck enough, so we turned back to a little, out of the way spot and sat down under some trees to eat our well deserved picnic lunch.

After we were satiated, we made our way back down the trail, which was a little scarier than going up. But we still made it down without mishap. At this point, Aaron got his banjo out of the car and we began to walk the short distance through the campgrounds so he could film a song in front of the river. Of course, THAT’s when we slipped and fell. On the concrete. The ice-covered concrete. Ouch. After checking to make sure we were just bruised and not broken, we hobbled on to the creek side, which was a beautiful backdrop for this.

So it was worth it, or at least I thought so. We got back to the car, popped some ibuprofen, and headed back home. Along the way, we put the camera on the dashboard and filmed the snowy road back to the freeway, and later Aaron backed the video with one of his songs (The Ice Age Song, appropriately). It’s a singalong, so I hope that you’re watching this at work.

As an aside, on the way home, I took this “sad because I fell on the ice” selfie for Instagram while we were stopped at a gas station, and under the suggested locations, I noticed that someone had added “Twin Peaks”. We just recently started watching that show (no spoilers, please!) and since it was filmed (at least the exteriors) in the Snoqualmie Falls/North Bend area, we decided that we have to go back up there after we finish watching it, and see all of the locations. And hopefully get a damn fine cup of coffee.

Sad Face at Twin Peaks, WA

P.S. You might also like these posts:
DogVacay Review and Our Wonderful Mini Vacay
TILT – Things I Love Thursday September 4th, 2014
Yosemite Nat’l Park With Jessa From Caked Vintage


By Kelsi Eldredge

How Metromile is Helping Me Save Money and Drive Smarter

This post was sponsored by Metromile via Collectively Inc. All experiences and opinions are my own.

For the past decade or so I’ve had kind of a lousy commute. Well, I didn’t think it was bad at the time, but it always prompted people to ask “You live where? (Seattle) And you drive here to work? (Some small town here or there, about an hour away.) Why? (Reasons, I guess…?)” Between my daily commute, and the trip to Oklahoma and back to Washington, my poor car has covered a lot of miles. But a few months ago I landed the first job that didn’t require me to drive a couple hours a day to get to and back from. In fact, I now work within -gasp- walking distance!

Not only is my job a short, 5 minute walk from my apartment, but so is the grocery store, coffee, restaurants, and darn near everything else I could need. I still drive sometimes, because Seattle’s public transportation is pretty terrible (you win this round, Portland!) I go to a lot of shows, and obviously I have to go to Target, but I’m really glad to be driving less. Gas is expensive and car repairs are no joke either.

So, last month when I was contacted to try out a service called Metromile, I was intrigued. Metromile is a “driving companion” app, geared toward city dwellers (but seemingly useful for anyone). All you have to do is plug a small device into your car, and the app gives you feedback about fuel efficiency, mileage, driving habits, and several other handy things to know. I figured: Heck, it’s free! Why not?


I hopped on the website,signed up for my free Metronome device, and downloaded the app. A few days later, this adorable white and teal box showed up at my door. I opened it up, and inside was the Metronome device, and a quick start guide.

The only tricky part of this whole venture was figuring out where to actually plug the device in. Thankfully, not the cigarette lighter, which I use to plug in my GPS and my phone charger. Does anyone actually use that port to light cigarettes anymore? Why are we still calling it a cigarette lighter? Or is that just me? So many questions! But I digress. The device plugs into your OBDII port, which I had never heard of, but I guess is the port that mechanics plug diagnostics tools into to see what is wrong with your car. The quick start guide that came with the Metronome had a diagram showing some places that the OBDII port might be located. I was still scratching my head after checking the indicated places, but a quick google search told me that on my particular car, the port is under the dashboard, above the gas pedal, about where the driver’s right shin would be. So after standing on my head, I finally saw it and plugged in the Metronome.


Voila! The device (which comes with it’s own wireless service, so it won’t use up your data plan) started communicating with the app, and as soon as I made a trip, I could see stats about it. The app contains a slew of information, all in a sleek easy to navigate dashboard (I’m a sucker for presentation!) While seeing driving trends over time is nice, my favorite feature is the trips category. You see all the trips you’ve made, including exactly where you went, how long it took you go get there, how fast you were going, and approximately how much the trip cost in gas. You can also give a name to specific places that you go a lot, as well as categorize trips (leisure, commute, errand, business, road trip, or add your own) which I could see being especially useful for someone who drives their car for mixed personal and business use, and wants to keep track of business miles for taxes!


Something that came in really handy for me one day was the “car location” feature. It will tell you exactly where your car is parked, and you can get walking directions to it. If you live in a city, chances are you have to do some street parking at least once in a while. And if you’re like me, after circling around to find a spot, you might not pay attention to exactly where you actually ended up. Oops! I did this a few nights ago when my normal overnight parking spot was taken, and after having a slight heart attack the next morning, thinking my car had been towed, I checked the app and it was just one silly block over from where I thought I had left it. Thank goodness. The company says they’ve even been able to help recover customers’ stolen cars this way!

Another interesting thing that Metromile offers, in addition to the app, is pay-per-mile car insurance. You pay a small flat monthly rate, and then a few cents per mile driven, which is tracked by the Metronome device. Based on my initial quote, I could probably save quite a bit on car insurance, given how many miles I put on my car now. My only concern was that I do like to occasionally go on road trips, and I was worried that racking up that many miles would be expensive. But it turns out they thought about that too, and they don’t charge you for any miles driven over 150/day (actually 250 in Washington). The pay-per-mile insurance is only available in Washington, Oregon, California, and Illinois right now, but they will be expanding to more states soon.

I’ve only been using the device for about a week now, but I’m interested to see what my driving trends divulge, and try to use the information to cut down my driving even more!

By Kelsi Eldredge

TILT – Things I Love Thursday, September 18th, 2014

This post contains an affiliate link. I make a small amount of money when some links are clicked or purchases are made after clicking links. This helps me to keep the blog running. I will never endorse products I don’t personally believe in. Thanks!

I feel like a lot has happened in the past couple weeks since my last TILT! I’ve definitely been busy. Here are just a few things that have put a smile on my face.

1. Last week there was a solar flare that made the Northern Lights visible to much more of the Northern Hemisphere than it normally is. A few of us made a trek out East to Rattlesnake Ledge to look at the lights by the lake. Unfortunately, we didn’t get much of a show, just a couple streaks of whitish light marked the sky. But it was still clear and the stars were beautiful, and it was still a lovely little trip with good company and good food and drinks. And now we know a great place for a sunset picnic before the weather gets too cold. Here’s what it didn’t look like, but I wish it had looked like, for those unfamiliar with the Northern Lights.

northern lights photo by Moyan BrennPhoto source: Moyan Brenn on Flickr

2. I started a new job and I really like it! I’m still working part time at the salon, but now I’m also working part time at a boutique that is a short walk from my house. It’s fun and everyone there is really great. I’ve never had a job that I could walk to before, and taking two hours off of my commute every day REALLY makes a big difference! I was sad to leave my other part time job at the antique mall, but the time and money I will save makes it worth it.

3. My boyfriend and I just booked a little cabin on the coast in La Push for a couple of days at the beginning of October and I am SO EXCITED to get out of town! I haven’t been able to travel since last Christmas when I went home to visit my family. As much as I am enamored of the ocean, this will also be my very first trip to the Olympic Peninsula. I found a great sitter for Bruno on Dog Vacay again (see my post about Dog Vacay here) – Unfortunately the lovely lady that he stayed with before was unavailable, but I think he’ll be very happy with this new sitter for a few days.

La Push beach photo by Pascal WeberPhoto source: Pascal Weber on Flickr

4. ModCloth is having another 70% off sale and just in time! Since starting this new job, I’ve felt that my wardrobe is very lacking and I was just about to place an order there when they marked down a ton of gorgeous stuff! Check out what I ended up buying!

5. One of my awesome sponsors, Bubble Cat is offering readers of Brighter Sides (that’s you) a 20% discount this month! Go check out all of their cute jewelry and other goodies (my favorite is this peeking cat keychain) and then use the code BRIGHTER (all caps) at checkout to get your discount!

Did you get to see the Northern Lights? Have you been cleaning up in the ModCloth sale? Tell me what you’ve been up to the past couple weeks in the comments!

By Kelsi Eldredge

ModCloth Is Having a 70% Off Sale!

This post contains affiliate links. I make a small amount of money when some links are clicked or purchases are made after clicking links. This helps me to keep the blog running. I never endorse products I don’t personally believe in. Thanks!

modcloth 70 off sale

Wow! After organizing my sad and barren little closet, I almost placed an order with ModCloth yesterday. And now I’m so glad that I put it off, because today they are having one of their infamous 70% off sales! I didn’t get to order anything in their last sale, but this time I was ready. I wanted to buy ALL THE DRESSES, but I saved some for you all! Here are the ones that I did snag.

dresses 70 off sale

Dramatic Sequins of Events Dress $97.99 $28.99
Bowl of Cheery Dress $59.99 $17.99
Soho Soiree Dress $64.99 $19.99
Checker Her Out! Dress $42.99 $12.99

Crazy cute stuff, right? I’m really excited to have some new things in my closet, especially after getting rid of so much stuff when I moved in June. Click here to shop the sale (and hurry, because three of the dresses I wanted sold out while they were in my shopping cart)! Are you buying anything? Let me know what you got, in the comments!

P.S. If you have never shopped at ModCloth, use this link to go there. You’ll get $15 off your order and I’ll get a $15 store credit for referring you. It’s win/win!

By Kelsi Eldredge