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In Which I Travel To 9 Stores For Dove Dry Shampoo

16 Dec


The thing is, my hair and skin just do not know what to do about the whole Utah situation.  From the moment I cross the state border and head to Swig sugar cookies there’s all sorts of confusion, and no matter how much I assure everyone that “We’re home!” and “This is fun!” I just have a multitude of dry skin and hair situations on my hands.

Enter Dove dry shampoo.

You should know that things are about to sound very sponsored-posty around here, and as deep as my Twitter connection is with the folks over at Dove, we are, in fact, only on first name terms and I do not have an unlimited supply of Dove dry shampoo coming my way for this here post, but maybe I should because Dove is the best and no other brand of dry shampoo will do.

Dove?  Bueller?


Continuing on.

My journey into dry shampoo madness began last Saturday at a Utah Walmart where I risked my life and limb for my Dove goodness.

To give this some context, you should know some facts I cannot prove, but have heard through the grapevine: My parents live in South Jordan, the city in Utah with the highest number of children per capita. Utah has the highest number of children per capita of any state in the nation.


Or so it felt.

Walmart didn’t have the dry shampoo, obviously, you know where this story is going, and perhaps Normal Me would have accepted this and gone home.

But this was not Normal Me.  This was Post-Walmart Me, Determined Me, and Determined Me does not let things like near death stop my hair care regime.

Determined Me tries the next Walmart.  And Target.  Two Targets, in fact.  And Sally Beauty Supply.  And Bed Bath and Beyond.  And Ross.

It was all a bit of blur, actually.  Going into the stores.  Taking pictures of the blank shelves that read “dry shampoo.”  Making abrupt turns into random new stores, eyes aglow.


I could feel I was in crazy town, and yet I wouldn’t get off the crazy train.  I had devoted my whole day to this, I would conquer!

Utah would not have the last laugh!

I sent out several texts to friends, pleading for rescue/validation in my quest. Hilary responded with the comforting, “Does anyone actually wash their hair in South Jordan?” Amy suggested that this dry shampoo search was a point of personal pride and she was behind me all the way.

She also told me Siri couldn’t help, meaning…

I was literally on my own.

Technology had failed me.

Target had failed me.

My mind was failing me.

By store seven I was in deep.  I told myself I could live without dry shampoo.  It wasn’t much of a life, this future of flat hair, but it was my future with flat hair, you know?

I could just go home.  Regain my sanity.  Take a shower.

Something.  Anything.  Bueller?

And then, a miracle occurred in the Riverton Walgreens.  A miracle that looked a whole lot like three Dove dry shampoo bottles (though I couldn’t be sure due to a possible mirage situation).

I found Dove dry shampoo!

It was not a mirage!

My friends confirmed via text!

There’s more to this story including a fairly great celebration dance by yours truly, but all you really need to know is that when I went to bed, I sprayed that Dove dry shampoo like there was no tomorrow, and when I woke up, I had the bounciest, fluffiest hair of my life and it was all worth it.*

Every last store.

*Added for dramatic effect.  My hair looked quite good, but in a regular Dove dry shampoo good way, and this whole thing was likely not worth it.  Except for the tweet from Dove.  That was worth it.  Because you’re worth it.

Wait, wrong brand.

I’m still in recovery.*

Does This Count As A Post?

1 Dec



Oh hey, how about we start this crazy week off with a several-days-old Taking Stock post?

All right then.

Making: plans, Miranda Lambert style
Cooking: red and purple skittles
Drinking: diet coke, always
Reading: Gone with the Wind, always (Every once in awhile I feel like a parody of myself.  When I go to the gym in a Malibu McDonalds shirt toting GWTW I definitely feel like a parody of myself.)
Wanting: to transport Truman, my teddy bear, back to CA with me
Looking: at my high school room
Playing:  Lily Allen onlyyyy
Wasting: time?  My life?  Time it is.
Sewing: umm…
Wishing: my hair would grow and grow and grow
Enjoying: pasta nights with friends
Waiting: for my hair to grow and grow and grow
Liking: seven rings on one hand
Wondering: about the boy
Loving: the boy
Hoping: I stop thinking about the boy
Marveling: at the Utah mountains.  Sigh.
Needing: laser hair removal
Smelling: Kai.  Kai.  Kai.
Wearing: my Great Gatsby sweater and fuzzy socks
Following: my FAC plan, but mainly failing at my FAC plan, and stressing about failing at my FAC plan
Noticing: my nails have been lima bean green a lot longer than planned
Knowing: I should stop going to bed at 3 AM
Thinking: that no matter what I put into some of my friendships, I will never, ever deserve all I get out of them
Feeling: so very happy to be home
Bookmarking:  The Portable Dorothy Parker, one short story at a time
Opening: Michael’s snap chats
Giggling: at Caitlan’s gold pants
Feeling: very tired, and a little bit weepy, and a little bit extra tired because I’m so weepy

Can’t Buy Me Love

13 Aug


As I write this post, I’m sitting in my high school room listening to “Can’t Buy Me Love” on a forgotten record player.

It’s strange being back home and in this room.  In some ways it feels like I never left.  Like I’m forever 16 wearing floppy Winnie the Pooh slippers and declaring, “No one understands me!”

In other ways, this room feels more like a museum than a current living space.  A place where all the cast-offs of my old selves remain, scattered and unorganized and asking me if I’m really, 100% sure that they don’t deserve a place in my future.

“I don’t know,” I answer.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I don’t know.

There’s the Polaroid of a boy I can’t quite seem to throw out.  The snapshot of my Snow White hair. The stuffed animal won by the boy I can’t quite seem to throw out.

There’s the white swimsuit that should have been recognized as a mistake.  The purple snuggie.   The Scarlett O’Hara Barbies that I will never, ever get rid of, but may never, ever know what to do with.

And then there’s the silly, hip, wonderful, abandoned record player, requested for Christmas one year when I was sure I could be “that person.”

It’s funny.  I don’t even know who “that person” is anymore.

Bagels And Sisters

9 Aug

photo-173I’m back in the great Beehive State this week, enjoying a delicious cold front.  I don’t even need air conditioning here, I just roll down my car windows, bask in the 100 degree heat, and scream obscenities about Arizona!

Fine, I don’t scream obscenities.  I just think them.  Sometimes. Often?

Don’t miss you, Arizona.

The parentals are out of town, which means I wasn’t welcomed home in the grand funfetti way I’ve grown accustomed to, but which also means I’ve spent some quality one-on-one time with the baby sister Jessica.

Jessica and I are often told how much we look alike and, as good sisters do, we vehemently deny these claims.  “Who, us?  PLEASE, I look more like that red-headed 80-year-old man across the street than her!”

It’s all very unconvincing.

Jessica and I have been lounging and bageling and Dawson’s Creeking all week and I miss this so.

The hardest part of adulthood is the reality that all the people I love are never in the same place at the same time anymore and I have to take them in scraps and pieces and bagels.

And even when the bagels are smothered in homemade apricot and almond cream cheese, it’s just never really enough, you know?

You know.

Dream Home

7 Aug


Yesterday I found the house of my dreams.  My forever home.  My forever dream home of magic and wonder.

Breanne and I spent the day in Heber and Midway because we wanted to and why not and also TONY’S TACOS.

After a plate of carne asada and some solid wandering, we stumbled upon my future McHome right on the corner of town square, all run-down and perfect and begging to be loved.

Maybe it was the fact that I had just spent several hours in a used bookstore and was good and whimsical, or perhaps it was the Town Hall’s “Edelweiss” glockenspiel speaking, but there was something about That House.  I instantly saw past its crumbling foundation and straight to a future where I had sunk millions of dollars into repairs and was throwing Great Gatsby-style parties on the grounds.

From zero to Gatsby in less than two seconds.  A new record, guys.

Bre and I peered through the warped windows of my future, trying to make out the floor plan.  “THIS IS THE LIBRARY. THIS RIGHT HERE!” I yelled. And then we discussed fireplaces and crystal knobs and how exactly one might match the wallpaper to the original pattern.

As we eagerly planned the restoration project, I had a vision of my future.  A future where I’ve sold a series of novels and made enough money to buy my McHome, so we’re talking a very soon and very realistic future here.

In this future, I am fully enmeshed in the Midway culture, the slightly batty character who wears a few too many scarves and is followed by children’s whispers,“You can always find her at the glockenspiel at 2:00.”

I’ll be invited to speak at the local high school on career day (because, hello, successful), but instead of talking about writing or books I will bring “Rumours” on vinyl and sit in silence as it plays and the teenagers fidget uncomfortably like, “I heard she was weird, but this?”

When the album finishes I will abruptly announce, “Field trip!  To the glockenspiel!” and force the whole school out for a round of “Edelweiss.”

I really, really, really love the glockenspiel, in case you can’t tell.

I also really, really, really love saying the word glockenspiel, which everyone can tell.

I’m so excited for this eccentric future of mine and hope I sell a novel soon so it can begin. I also hope Midway retains every ounce of its charm (and Harry Potter train) and that the bookstore is looking for volunteers when this all happens.

And Tony’s. May Tony’s tortillas be a part of my life from now until eternity.

The Great Outdoors, Or Something Like It

2 Jul


Let’s talk for a minute about that time my extended family rode ATVs and side-by-sides through the Heber mountains.

First, I think it’s necessary to point out that while my extended family may often ride motorcycles in the dirt, my immediate family, aka the”J5s,”  is not used to this sort of activity.  The J5s’ idea of a rip-roaring time is a brisk walk or perhaps a tight Wimbledon bracket challenge.  If we’re feeling really rebellious we might try a new word game!  ATV riding, the great outdoors…not so much in our vocabulary.

My mother once famously said that the only reason she would ever camp would be if she no longer owned a car.

It should be noted this is not an attitude problem. My mother enjoys all sorts of activities. For instance, she and I love to engage in heated, all-night discussions on gender roles in Gone With the Wind.

Some people like the outdoors.  Some people like Rhett Butler.

Moving along.

My father was given the (unenviable) task of driving me, Mam, and Jess in this dune buggy thing, straight out of the Indiana Jones Adventure. We were a loud dune buggy. A  screaming dune buggy.  An “I feel like I’m on a Disney ride!” dune buggy.

Bless him.

And now for a few pictures to explain our journey.


My mom, usually the first woman to weasel her way out of a picture with an, “I’ll take this one!” kept saying, “I look so good dirty!” and jumping into random pictures, all smiles and poses.  It’s like I’d never met her.


My Paps was apparently unfamiliar with the faux-candid photo. When told to “pretend you’re driving” he smiled for the camera.   This, the man who claims he cannot smile on cue.  We’ll save the all-night conversation about gender roles and pictures for another time, but know it’s there and it’s real.


Even though I rode with my face covered as shown in this beautiful shot, I still managed to be so dirty at the end of the whole ordeal that people lined up to take pictures with me.  It was like I was a prop, one of the princesses at Disneyland or a dressed-up gladiator outside the Colosseum, making money as the entertainment.

This last shower I finally felt like the dirt was out of my hair.

Until we meet again, Great Outdoors. Until we meet again.

One Of Those Photos

24 Jun


Do you ever see a candid photo of yourself and go, “Surely this can’t be what I really look like!  Surely one of my supposed-to-be-my-soul-mate friends would have stepped in years ago and confronted me about the problem that is this facial expression!  Surely the camera was on the fritz!  Surely so many things!”

Sadly, this is not one of those photos for me.

This photo is all Jill.  Classic J. Lo.  Jillian 101.

The hand in the air, the furrowed brow…if you’ve ever wondered what I look like telling a story, look no further.

I’ll have to save my surelys for another shocking picture.

On another note, my hair color is one of my favorite things going on in my life at the moment.  This may sound very shallow, but this time last year I was recovering from a bout of wannabe-Addison-Shepherd hair and that sort of experience does things to a girl.

I’ve made a vow to not change my color from now until forever, and it is your responsibility as a reader of my blog to hold me to that.  Talk me off the ledge.  Remind me I’m not Isla Fisher.  This is really for the good of everyone as I can get quite emotional about poor hair decisions and you really don’t want to read my hair-color-inspired poetry, I’m warning you now.

As a final note in this incredibly insightful and thought-provoking blog post, I’d like to point out that I don’t think the facial expressions of those around me in this picture accurately depict how people respond to my stories.

I’m sticking to that.

Aunt Jill

8 May

DSC_1000 DSC_0995 DSC_1008


I spent Monday afternoon running around trying to catch this little guy on camera.

Actually maybe I should rephrase that.

I spent Monday afternoon sprinting-at-full-speed-in-impractical-shoes trying to catch this little guy on camera.

There, that’s more accurate.

I imagined taking Liam’s picture would be as simple as me saying, “Oh Liam! Look over at Aunt Jill!” He would quickly oblige, of course, so happy I was in his life and spending time with him. I would snap wonderful, candid photographs that would reflect our close relationship. We would spend the afternoon laughing, swinging, and singing a duet to “A Spoonful of Sugar” together.  Maybe while I taught him his times tables.  Maybe not.  We’d just see how it went.

I really do think like this.

Someone save me from myself.

An hour into The Great Liam Picture-Taking Adventure I collapsed on the couch, exhausted. My whimsical-photographer outfit was a mess, my knee was bruised, my muscles were sore. I vowed to recommit myself to the gym and to take a good, hard look at my expectations in life.

I also vowed to spend as much time as possible with little ones. There is nothing in this world cuter than a 2-year-old who calls you Aunt Jill.

There just isn’t.

You better believe next time I’m wearing running shoes, though.  And maybe knee pads.  Would buying a helmet for this venture be going too far?

That’s what I thought.


3 May


I’ve been thinking a lot about hometowns and nostalgia and what makes a place meaningful.

I’m from the suburb-of-all-suburbs, South Jordan, Utah.  Our claims to fame include a completely average mini golf course, a Coldstone, and a bug-infested trail along “The Jordan River.”  That’s the type of suburb we are.  Everything is named after something else.

I love it.

This week I gave the official SoJo tour to a friend who had heard a lot about this little corner of the Salt Lake Valley.  A friend who kind of nodded when he heard me gush like, “All right, Jill. This is another one of your things.”  A friend I was determined to show just how great a suburb can be.

When I sat down to plan out our SoJo route I quickly realized that this tour was going to live or die on my energy levels.  Like if I am showing off two Harmon’s grocery stores I’m going to have to do it while singing or something, because, frankly, it’s not all that exciting.

This did not bode well.   Live or die on my energy levels means DIE. DEATH.  PERISH.

As I sat and stared at my blank “SoJo Tour” paper wondering how I could get out of the whole thing, I realized something that I already knew, but needed to remind myself.

South Jordan, for me, is not about the chain stores or the Town Square or even The Greatest Movie Theater I’ve Ever Been To.  The restaurants aren’t the reason I got homesick in London.   The local attractions aren’t what made me rush back home on my spring break.  South Jordan is about the memories and the people. And can you really take someone on that tour?

I thought about it.

I could show him Ashley’s house where I woke up on my 18th birthday to my surrogate family, a “Happy Birthday” banner, and pile of presents.

I could show him my high school where I so wonderfully naively thought I had figured everything out.

I could show him the place I came when I realized I didn’t.

I could show him the porch where my family took our last round of matching pictures.  (May coordinated outfits rest in peace.)

I could show him where I had my first kiss.  And the place where I first heard someone say they loved me and I realized “we were in love.”

I could show him my library, the place where I would move in if they would let me.

I could show him Breanne’s basement where my teenage friends and I sat down to predict where our lives would be at 25.  The place I listened to my friends state exactly what they wanted out of life and realized that I had no idea.  The place where I got emotional and said, “I just want to be happy.  When I’m 25, I hope I’m happy.”

I could show him my home, where I came back after a year in Malibu and realized, guess what–I’m 25. My life is nothing like what I thought it would be.  I’m still figuring things out.  And I’m happy.

I ended up just taking my friend to Café Rio.  Because that’s what you do in South Jordan.

And that other tour?  That’s for me.

Maybe It’s Genetic

3 Mar

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Things we have in common:

1. Hair!

2. Talking with our hands

3. Forever 21 “I Heart Malibu” sweaters