Sunday, November 29, 2015

Cozy Thanksgiving Weekend

Black sweater dress

head to toe black outfit

Casual messy hair style

Black sweater dress for fall

Gold Feather Bracelet
Black Sweater dress:Oak and Fort (similar)//Scarf:Forever 21//Vegan Leather Leggings:Anthropologie//Tortoiseshell Ponytail Holder:Anthropologie (similar)//Booties:Steve Madden// Feather Bracelet:Anthropologie (similar)//Purse:Primecut 

Feeling Thankful 

After Thanksgiving coming and going, the craziness of this week is finally starting to settle down.  It seems like we can't catch a break this time of year because as we are recovering from the Thanksgiving festivities, Christmas and New Year's Eve is creepin' up right around the corner. Ahh! After a hectic few days of preparing dishes, eating them all, visiting new friends, and nursing the resulting hangover.

 I've had some time to sit and read all of your super sweet and caring comments on my last post and I feel so incredibly thankful. I know I wrote a lot, so I appreciate that you stuck with me during that super long story. Each and every one of your comments means so much to me! After posting, I felt extremely insecure about sharing pictures of my gross hair falling out but you made me feel so much better about it by sharing your salon horror stories, giving hair advice and product recommendations, or giving input on the short hair inspiration. I cannot say thank you enough for your support, kind words, and bringing light into an otherwise dark, crappy situation. THANK YOU! 

Along those lines, it really has been awhile since I've taken any photos of myself because I am still feeling really insecure. I'm in a good place mentally and I'm still looking on the bright side, but I totally cried after washing it for the first time a few days ago. I'm also super greasy from applying coconut oil to my scalp and tips to manage all of my flyaways and breakage. I couldn't get an appointment to get my hair fixed with the salon until Dec 18th so i'll have to wait, but I am excited that my little dark roots are already peeking out a few millimeters. Grow hair, GROW!!! :) 

This Thanksgiving, we were invited to Jake's coworker's friend's house. We didn't know anyone, so I was anxious about going but we ended up having a really nice time. Everyone was so kind and the dishes we brought (jalapeno bacon mac and cheese and lemon bars) were a hit and were quickly devoured by everyone. By the way, i'm planning on sharing that mac and cheese recipe soon because it is ridiculously delicious and you need to try it. 

Since Jake had 4 days off in a row, we spent most of our time inside watching movies, eating leftovers and drinking wine. We stayed in during black friday but ventured out for a walk around the neighborhood and I snatched up this Oak and Fort sweater dress for 20% off! Not THAT much of a deal but I just wanted to spend money to be honest. Do you ever get that? I basically lived in that new cozy sweater dress all weekend. You can wear it with pants/leggings or without and it still looks so chic. I sized up because I love an oversized, roomy sweater and paired it with a taller bootie to add some height. How was everyone's Thanksgiving? And did anyone do any black friday shopping? What are your thoughts on black friday in general? Hope everyone had a great weekend :) 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Perils of Being Blonde

Alright friends, gather 'round because I have a sad story to tell and it involves my pride and joy... My baby... My hair (cue sad violin music). Since going platinum, my hair has been one of my favorite things about my appearance and I’ve always taken such pride in having smooth, long, relatively damage free hair for the past year. My hair stylist from Chicago and I have been bleaching it for years now with the same magic formula- low volume bleach, NO heat, and short periods of time. My hair is naturally blonde so the roots lift easily and transition to that nice, silky silver with little effort or time. Let's get this horror story started...Dundundun.

The Beginning

Since Jake and I moved to San Francisco, I wasn't able to convince my hair stylist to fly out from Chicago to California every 6 weeks to do my roots, so I did my research and found a top rated salon close to the apartment. I booked an appointment and when the time finally came along, I had a consultation with my super nice hair stylist and felt totally at ease in her chair. We talked about the process she would be performing and she got to know my hair by getting a history and by looking through it. Now, I won't talk shit about her because I honestly think she was a great person, and I'm sticking to that, even after what happened next...

The Plot Thickens

Everything was going well and after all my roots were covered with bleach, my stylist put me under some heat to lift my roots faster for roughly 25 minutes. I’ve never needed heat in previous times but I’m not a professional, so I trusted her expertise. After the time was up, we washed and toned my hair and I get handed off to another stylist to blow dry it. Everything seems normal at this time and the color looks great but as we are drying my hair, literally chunks of my hair are falling out… Large sections are hitting the floor and my heart sinks to my ass. A little hair loss during a bleach session is totally expected but large, full lengths were coming out easily and the round brush was completely full of my hair after drying only half of my head. I couldn’t shake the sick feeling I suddenly had so I stopped the blow dry and asked for my original stylist to come back. I asked her if this much hair loss was normal and she admitted I was losing a lot more hair than I should be and that we should stop drying it entirely. As i’m looking at it closely in the mirror, I notice that about 2-3 inches from my scalp my hair is sticking up and completely broken off which I have never experienced before. I start getting really nervous at this time and I know she could see it on my face, so she gave me an overnight hair mask to add moisture and sends me home free of charge with half wet hair. I slung it into a low, loose braid to walk home with and felt sick to my stomach not knowing what just happened. Once I got home, I kept telling myself it was going to be OK but I broke down crying just looking in the mirror. I called my BFF sobbing (who is also conveniently a hair stylist) and she recommended that I slather on Olaplex 3, cover it with a plastic bag and sleep with it.

The Aftermath

The morning after, I gently rinsed my hair under cool water and it just started falling out in handfuls. It was coming out in large chunks all over again and started clogging the drain despite me washing it gentler than a newborn baby. I couldn’t stop crying and I felt stupid as I was reminding myself that it’s just hair. I start telling myself that there are so many worse things that could happen to me and I start listing them but for some reason, it's not keeping me from flipping the fuck out. I'm running a wide tooth comb through my hair with coconut and moroccan oil and long lengths are endlessly falling out and wrapping around my comb and hands. I lost so much hair, it looks like someone actually cut my hair and swept it onto the floor. My hair is broken and sticking up at the crown and in a day, it went from thick and long to noticeably thinner all over. I gently brushed through it a few times to remove all of the hair falling out and collected about a softball sized amount that I ended up crying over some more.

Sorry about the photo quality! These are shot with my phone as it was happening. Dragging out my DSLR didn't even cross my mind! 
I take the day to continuously smooth coconut oil (my lifeblood) into my thirsty locks and I slap what's left of my hair into a hat. I meet up with some friends who are beyond supportive but at the same time give me a reality bitchslap that I need to get over it and move on. I've been putting off calling the salon because I just didn't want to deal with it and honestly, I couldn't even talk about it without blubbering uncontrollably. I had a stiff drink, grabbed my zip lock baggy stuffed full of hair, and Jake and I marched down to the salon to speak to the owner.

We get there and every one is sooo nice and understanding. I wasn't mad, just really upset that it happened and I just wanted to move forward and make it right. Afterall, I don't have a time machine to time travel and change what happened, even though I wish I did. The owner stood behind the work of my stylist because she's a senior stylist who's been practicing for 12 years and specializes in blondes. He gives in and mentions that she was crying because she felt so bad about what happened, and that she didn't know why my hair was breaking off. That's all I wanted to hear! In the end, we made friends with the owner (he's actually a great guy) and another senior stylist wanted to help me out by providing free conditioning treatments and a haircut.

The Takeaway 

At this time, I'm really happy with how it was resolved and I've always been understanding that sometimes, shit just happens and the only thing you can do is deal with it and move on. Luckily, I still have thicker hair to begin with, so there's still a lot left and if I part it differently and smooth it down enough with coconut oil, you can hardly see the breakage unless the wind blows. I feel like this experience has been emotionally draining but also I have a totally new perspective on how much hair and physical appearance can really affect someone. Until this point, I actually considered myself to be the kind of person who could shave my entire head on a whim or have all my hair fall out randomly and not give 2 fucks about it but I've learned that my hair was a really big part of my identity. I can't change the past and it would be lying if I said I was over it or I wasn't sad anymore. To be honest, despite me trying to look on the bright side since this happened, I haven't felt like "me" all weekend. I'm insecure, sad, and afraid to touch my own hair for fear MORE will fall out but I keep reminding myself that it's seriously JUST HAIR... It'll grow back! My approach from here on out will concentrate on taking care of myself (mostly to promote faster hair growth hahah), exercising, and focusing on the other things that make me unique. Not to mention I am scouring Pinterest for some cute short hair inspiration. This could be good afterall :)

Here are some inspiration pictures for my new hair I'll be getting out of this. I'm considering a short cut and maybe even a funky color, like pink or lavender again. What do you guys think? Also, has anyone else had a hellish salon experience? What did you do to fix it? Could anything be done? I would LOVE to hear your experiences, good or bad! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Winter and Holiday Mani-Pedi Polish Pairings

Mani pedi color combinations for winter and holidays

Sky Blue: OPI "I Vant to Be a Lone Star"//Stone Gray: Essie "Marshmallow"
Teal:OPI Nicole "Teal Me Something New"//Royal Blue: Orly Color Blast "Royal"
Sand: Essie "Sand Tropez"//Aubergine: OPI "A Grape Affair"
Poppy: Essie "ClamBake"//Gold: Crabtree and Evelyn "Gold"

Jazz Hands

Yesterday, I decided to treat myself and get that manicure I wanted for my Birthday celebration that's extending well into this week (YOLO). This is honestly the third time in my life i've ever gotten my nails professionally done and every single time, I get overwhelmed by the hundreds of colors to choose from. If you're like me and suffer from indecisiveness and you're also a mild commitment-phobe, it's time to make a game plan. Here is a cute little chart I made last night with my favorite mani and pedi pairings that are perfect for Winter without being totally stuffy or boring. I hope you enjoy! Also, what's your favorite combo listed here, or just in general? 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Beachin' Birthday

California surfers

Platinum blonde blogger

The most patient man in the world, who looks pretty sick and tired of my shit right now haha
Halfmoon Bay

beautiful nature

Beach Hoppin'

OK so, let me start off by telling you something you may or may not know about me... I'm pretty fucking superstitious. When my birthday fell on Friday the 13th this year, I just took the entire day off to celebrate by scheduling a mani/pedi and maxing out my parents' insurance at the dentist because this is that magical year where I'm not insured anymore... Anyways Friday the 13th did not fail me and I got miserably sick with a stomach bug! I wasn't able to cancel my dentist appointment last minute without paying a huge cancellation fee, so I sucked it up and went. Well guys I'll spare you the details, but I'll have you know that this appointment did not go by without incident... I was a straight up Regan from the Exorcist and had to leave without finishing the filling they were working on.

Anyway, after Jake left work early and picked me up, I spent my entire birthday in bed. We rescheduled the festivities to Saturday the 14th and rented a car to visit as many beaches as possible including Gray Whale beach and Halfmoon Bay (my favorite!). The tide was high and wild so we spent most of our time dodging water and stalking surfers who were equally afraid of the aggressive waves.

Orchids in greenhouse

Little shop of horrors plant

Carnivorous plant terrarium

Sundew plant
Probably will be dead in 3 days
Succulent and Cactus Collage

Birthday Carrot Cake

The Little Things...

Stopped by this amazing strip of local florists and greenhouses including this gem, "World's Rare Plants" which is a huge selection of beautiful carnivorous plants. That place is amazing! I've always wanted a sundew plant but assumed it would die from being over touched or suffocated in cat hair, but we got one anyways for my birthday. In case you're wondering, I named him "Dewey" and I need you all to say a little prayer for Dewey to live a long life with me! Fingers crossed.

Finished off our evening with a big slice of carrot cake and some Lord of the Rings. How was every ones weekend? Did anyone do anything fun and exciting? Also, does anyone have any luck keeping carnivorous plants alive? I would love tips and tricks, if you have any!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How to Dye Your Eyebrows at Home

As a natural blonde, my eyebrows have always looked like invisible little cobwebs rolled up and stuck to my face. I have tried several eyebrow pencils, brow powders, and gels to darken them but they always seemed too drawn on and artificial looking. I finally gave in and visited a professional eyebrow salon to have them tinted but 45 minutes and $30 later, my eyebrows looked great but I couldn't shake the "WTF I could do that myself!" thoughts. Since then, I started tinting my own eyebrows at home and I've saved a butt-load of money in the process. Did I mention how fast my morning routine has gotten as a result? No more drawing on entire dark eyebrows from scratch anymore! The results of dyeing your eyebrows last approximately 2 weeks just like any other professional results (from my experience) and they always look amazing.
Here's how to darken your brows at home!

You Will Need:

-Old Mascara Spoodle
-Cotton Balls/Dark Towel 
-An Ammonia Free Hair Dye. I always use Revlon, but Clairol is another great brand!

Before You Start...

It's easy peasy, but it's extremely important NOT to get any dye in your eyeballs. If you're nervous, you can always enlist a trustworthy friend to help you. 
Also, it may be worth your time to check yo'self for any allergic reactions to the dye. If you're a nervous nancy like me, follow these instructions here before putting anything on your face. 

Alright, Let's Do this! 

  1. Start with clean, dry, makeup free brows
  2. Prepare your dye by mixing 1:1 parts developer and dye in a small mixing bowl. You don't need much at all, so aim for about a lima bean sized dollop of both.
  3. Using a Q-tip or clean mascara spoodle, gently brush the dye through your brows, coating the hairs thoroughly. I usually start in the middle of my eyebrows and work out towards the tip, just because I find that the inner hairs are finer and take slightly more time to soak up the dye. If any gets on your skin, use a damp Q-tip to wipe it off.
  4. Set a timer in 5 minute increments to periodically check in. Wipe a section off with a damp Q-tip to check, and reapply dye if you'd like them to be darker.
  5. Once you're happy with how dark they are, wipe off the dye with a damp, dark towel or moistened cotton balls. I use a little facial soap after wiping the majority off just to make sure I got all the dye off my skin. Check out your new brows in the mirror! Add dye to areas that seem lighter.

***Sorry, but I HAD to post this creepy pic! You know me! What I was going to say is don't be freaked out if the dye gets waayyy darker in the middle of your process. This doesn't mean your eyebrows are now black and crazy like Jafar's from Alladin (or ya know, mine in this picture). This is just the dye working!
Before: Brows are virtually invisible
After: Brows are nice and dark
After applying ABH Dip Brow (seriously life changing!) 

Let me know what you think of DIY brow tinting and please let me know if you have any additional tips or tricks up your sleeve! Also, if you give this a try, let me know how it goes! I hope you are having a great week so far!