the pixie cut series, part 2: rocking the pixie

This is Part 2 of my Pixie Cut Series. For anyone out there who could care less about short, cute haircuts... tune back in later :)

By now most of you have gotten yourselves a trendy little pixie cut and wondering how the hell to rock it. There are so many ways, dear pixies, so many ways indeed. In fact, I asked a few of my favorite short-haired ladies to chime in with their thoughts & photos. But first, here is my tried & true advice for rocking it.

Part 1: Rocking the Pixie

Research, or Obsessively collect photos of cute pixie cuts on Pinterest It doesn't sound like a good use of time, but it really helped me remember that there are lots of pretty ladies out there who are rocking the pixie cut. My personal collection is dominated by Michelle Williams and Carey Mulligan.

Accessorize. Once I had a pixie cut, I went overboard with big earrings, chunky necklaces and accessories. Embrace it. You already look fierce, but with some gigantic hoops or a crazy ass scarf, you are unstoppable. I also, interestingly, over-compensated for my short haircut by rocking frilly, feminine things more often than usual. Ruffled skirts, pink sweaters and the like. You don't need to do this, because I can assure you: you will not look like a boy. I promise. Unless that's the look you are going for, in which case that's cool. But if you want a cute girly pixie cut and you bring along some pictures of cute girly pixie cuts, you will not look like a dude.

Experiment. Granted, you don't have as many options as our long-haired sisters, but there is still room to mix it up. Sometimes I felt awesome with a headscarf, but when my hair was really really short I sometimes felt like a newborn baby whose parents dressed me in one of those headbands with a bow on it. You know what I mean. Anyway, give it a shot. Rock a fauxhawk. Slick it back. Get some bobby pins up in it.  Change up the color. Ditch the part. When I first hacked off my hair I kept parting it the same exact way I always had. Sometimes it made me feel like a little boy, dressed in his Sunday best, on his way to church. (I don't know, it's the visual that always popped into my head.) Try combing it all forward, going for a really deep sidepart or pulling the top part back into a poof if it's long enough. Even with my grown-out pixie, I comb my hair forward from the crown and then over to the side. Ya dig?

Be confident. Just rock it. You have a haircut that lotsa ladies would kill to have but are way too scared to take the plunge. Own it. Work it. I can't overstate this confidence part enough. Whether you buzz your hair off or are just inching closer to a pixie cut, you are freeing yourself from the constraints and trappings of the long hair standard. (By the way, I am also jealous of you long-haired vixens... I think my hair looks best above the shoulders but you ladies that can rock it halfway down your back... sweet!) Long hair does not a woman make. You can still be a sexy young thang with short hair. You can still be glamorous. You can be dressed up or dressed down. You do not need a ponytail or a top knot to be trendy. Once you learn this, you will become an unbeatable force. Break loose from the standard beauty paradigm. Be edgy. Be sweet. Be yourself & rock the hell out of that pixie cut.

A few of my favorite pixie cuts...

Pixie Cut Queen Jeannine says...

My love affair with the pixie started back in high school when I viewed it as yet another way to stand out in a crowd and define myself. I remember begging my mother to bring me to get my hair chopped at the posh new salon in town. She has always preferred my hair to be long saying things like “Oh, but you have such beautiful hair” (like it’s a shame that it’s short). She eventually relented and, picture in hand (probably Ashley Judd at that point), I went to my appointment at the fancy salon. Before the stylist commenced she made sure I knew what I was in for. With a thick Russian accent she warned “Now, you know this is verrry short!” Despite the concerns of those around me, I went home happy. That was the first time I had not only such a short haircut but also such an extremely intricate and textured one (my mall haircuts were far from complex).

When I got ready for school the next day my confidence eroded. Maybe it was too short? Maybe I needed to feminize it a bit? My solution was to throw a long scarf around my head like a headband, which would later become my standard high school look. My relationship with the pixie has evolved somewhat now, it being more out of convenience than about expressing my individualism. However, I do like that it’s not necessarily common and that it still insights some curiosity. Comments from women usually go somewhat like this “That must be so easy!”, “I've always wanted to go very short but never could do it!”, and “What does your husband think?” My answers are usually “Yes it is!”, “ You should do it- hair grows back!” and “My husband would prefer it long but it’s not his head.”

Jeannine's advice:
  1. Go to someone you trust and bring a good picture of what you want (front and back).
  2. Remember that hair does grow back.
  3. Believe me, you will not look like a boy. 
  4. Oh my gosh, think of how quick it’s going to be to get ready in the morning?! Those extra 10 minutes are golden! 
  5. Get a good texturizer or hair wax to define your layers. 
  6. Live it up and enjoy the pixie--play around with it and try a faux hawk!
Want more? Check out Katie's cute style:

Katie and I are pixie cut buds. Most of our emails and correspondences include the question "How's the pixie doing?" and updates on whether or not we have mini-mullets forming and are due for a trim. It's nice to have someone else to talk to about the ups and downs of pixie cut life. Katie has super curly awesome hair, and I was secretly hoping she would send me a picture of her 'fro as it grows out. Maybe next time? 

Lest you think I am delusional enough to think I own this trend, here is proof that hip ladies have been rocking the pixie cut for years.

Here are two of my favorite vintage cuts:

My Nan always worked her short hair really well. Look how hip she is here! The glasses, the necklace, the crocheted shirt... and of course, the short 'do. Perfectly executed.

My mom, a short hair pro. Adorable! Mom is another great pixie cut confidante because I can complain about the need to overcompensate with jewelry and makeup and frilly dresses and she knows exactly what I mean. But look how stinkin' cute she is with this short hairdo?

In my introduction to The Pixie Cut Series, I said that "Ever since I cut my hair short, it has been the #1 compliment I've gotten from strangers and also one of my top insecurities." I was relieved when the "Amen, sister!" comments rolled in here, on Facebook and by email. Turns out this is common. Even though my pixie cut elicited more compliments than any hairstyle I'd ever had, I was still plagued by constant worry that it wasn't cute or pretty enough. Well, let this blog series be a wake up call to anyone who's rocking the style: YOU LOOK AWESOME. YOU LOOK BOLD. YOU LOOK FIERCE. And? If you decide you've had enough of the pixie cut, that's ok too. Because hair grows back. Stay tuned for "Part 2: Growing it out", in which I walk you throw the growing out process and promise you that you will survive it, with your dignity intact. 

The Pixie Cut Series
Part 1: Chopping it all off
Part 2: Rocking the pixie
Part 3: Growing it out
An Update- 8 Months Later

guest post: homemade pierogi

Happy Friday! You all remember Sister and her super-popular homemade sweet potato gnocchi? You guys freaked out all of the internet about that one. Well, get ready, because today Kate is going to teach us how to make homemade pierogi! I know. I KNOW. My mom, sis and I got together one night to make them (Kate made the fillings ahead of time) and then got together another night to eat them. They are one of my favorite foods and, if you have a food processor, not as difficult to make as you might imagine. So take it away, Sister!

Ice is back with my brand new invention. Any Vanilla Ice fans? No? Dang. Anyhoo, I’m back but it’s not with a new invention. (Editor's note: Kate and I met Vanilla Ice while he was on his weird rap-metal comeback tour. Just thought you should know.) I’ve loved pierogi for as long as I can remember. As a kid I called them ‘okie-dokies’ which I think is absolutely precious. (Editor's note: That IS precious.) I even made a mobile about them in third grade…my teacher thought I was nuts until my parents translated for her. After years of eating Mrs.T’s Pierogies, then discovering Millie’s Pierogi at The Big E and most recently actually making pierogi with a friend, I decided to give it a whirl myself. If you have the time, handmade pierogi are absolutely worth the effort.

For those unfamiliar with pierogi Wikipedia says, “Pierogi are boiled, baked or fried dumplings of unleavened dough traditionally stuffed with potato filling, sauerkraut, ground meat, cheese, or fruit. Of central and eastern European provenance, they are usually semicircular, but are rectangular or triangular in some cuisines.” I’m lucky enough to come from a Polish background so pierogi have always been around my kitchen.

Here’s the deal: gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves and grab a couple of friends. Ply them with food and beverage if the concept of homemade pierogi isn’t enough (then promptly re-evaluate said friendship…trust me, pierogi are worth it). Extra hands make the filling and pinching go by quickly. Which is exactly what went down a few weeks ago at our weekly Goddess dinner...

The night before I made two fillings—potato-cheese and cabbage. I’d never had cabbage pierogi before I made them with my friend. I was shocked pleasantly surprised that they were delicious.

Potato-Cheese Filling

  • 1.5 lbs of russet potatoes
  • 1 package (7oz) farmer’s cheese (ANY cheese would work)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Splash of milk

Peel and dice potatoes. Boil under very tender. Drain well, empty into large bowl. Mash potatoes well. Add cheese and mash/stir to combine. If very thick, loosen with a splash of milk. Should be mashed potato consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.

Cabbage Filling
  • Head of cabbage
  • 2T butter
  • Salt and pepper

Remove outer leaves. Quarter and core head. Using the use slicing blade in your food processor shredthe cabbage leaves. Melt butter over medium heat, add cabbage. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate.

Pierogi Dough (Recipe from here.)
  • 2 cups flour, plus extra for kneading and rolling dough
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened and cut into small pieces

To prepare the pierogi dough, mix together the flour and salt. Beat the egg, then add all at once to the flour mixture. Add the 1/2 cup sour cream and the softened butter pieces and work until the dough loses most of its stickiness (about 5-7 minutes). You can use a food processor* with a dough hook for this, but be careful not to overbeat. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or overnight; the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Each batch of dough makes about 12-15 pierogies, depending on size.

*I made this in my food processor with the regular blade. Worked perfectly and made for quick dough-making. This is a see-how-it-goes kind of process. Make some dough, use it, and repeat until fillings are gone. I used about 3 doughs for pierogi plus I also used the fillings to make this fun snack from WW. If you’re just making pierogi, you’ll probably need about 4 doughs total.

Pierogi Assembly

Roll the pierogi dough on a floured board or countertop until 1/8" thick. Cut dough into squares/rectangles.

Lay a dough square in your non-dominant palm, place a small ball of filling (about a tablespoon) on each dough square and fold the dough over—edge to edge for potato and cheese; corner to corner for cabbage (A neat trick stolen from my friend. Makes it easy to identify potato and cheese vs. cabbage for those anti-cabbage folks.)

Pinch to close in filling, squeezing air pockets out.

Place on cookie sheets and put into freezer. Once partially frozen (15 minutes), move to plastic storage bags and return to freezer.

To Serve

Add frozen pierogi to boiling water, careful to not overcrowd the pot. They are done when they float to the top (about 8-10 minutes). Drain well. Saute chopped onions in butter in a large pan until onions are soft. Then, add pierogi and pan fry until lightly crispy. Enjoy.

You are totally making Hurricane Pierogi this week, aren't you? Not a bad idea, if you are stuck inside and hungry. (Seriously though, check the maps and take the necessary precautions if you are in Irene's tracks. Other parts of the country are used to these storms, but if you are in the Northeast like me you are probably thinking, "Hurricane?! WTF?")

PS- Not to give away any ideas, but if Kate brought her homemade stuffed pastas to a food swap, she'd be the most popular swapper there.