Monday, June 30, 2014

What I Bought - June 2014

Nothing.  Zip.  Nada.  I didn't buy one thing this month - seriously.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Book Review - "The New Braiding Handbook: 60 Modern Twists on The Classic Hairstyles" by Abby Smith

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of the book for purposes of review. All opinions are my own.

A few weeks ago I was approached to do a review of "The New Braiding Handbook: 60 Modern Twists on The Classic Hairstyles".  I actually jumped at the chance because truth be told, I'm crap at hairstyles, braids in particular.  This fact was causing a major issue in my house because my 6 year old daughter is demanding braids and such.  I thought hey, I may learn a few things!
"The New Braiding Handbook: 60 Modern Twists on The Classic Hairstyles" by Abby Smith available at Amazon in Kindle or Paperback editions

When I received the book, I was pleasantly surprised to see it was by Abby from the blog Twist Me Pretty!  I've been following her on YouTube for a while now, so I knew I was in good hands, and I was right.  I flipped through and marked the ones I wanted to try out on my girl.

The one that was the biggest hit and was much easier than I thought it would be, was the Hair Bow:
 This was so easy, it literally took minutes and here's what the first try looked like:
Seriously, it took maybe 3 minutes.  It's not perfection but darn good for me!!  My girl LOVED this one, she asks for it all. the. time!
Here are the step by step instructions: 
Hair Bow
What girl doesn’t love bows? Seriously this hairstyle just makes me happy!

1–2. Brush your hair up into
a nice high bun. Make sure to leave out about 3 to 4 inches of the ends on the last pass.

3. Split the bun in half.

4. Clip one side of the bun to your head with a duckbill clip.

5. Get your large bobby pins ready.

6. Attach the bun to your head by sliding the bobby pins in vertically. Repeat on other the side.

7. Bring the tail up and forward.

8. Bobby pin the tail near the base of the bun. Spray any flyaways down and pull out some fringe in the front to complete the look!

Excerpted from The New Braiding Handbook (Ulysses Press) by Abby Smith

Here are a couple more styles that were so easy and took minutes:
She was such a happy girl!

Now a few of the styles take a bit more time and practice (I seriously may never master a French braid - but I will say her instructions got me closer than I have ever gotten before), but for the most part the pictures and instructions make attempting these seemingly complicated styles so much less intimidating.  I'm super impressed.  There is a lot of information in this book, it's a great reference (secret - it stays in my bathroom now).  I highly recommend it for those of us who need the step-by-step guide or feel intimidated by all this stuff.  Abby really makes you feel like a friend, cheering you on until you get the hang of it!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

My Picks - Resort 2015

The Resort 2015 collections are being presented as we speak.  I've been busy pinning my favorite looks on my Resort 2015 Pinterest board.  Stop by and check it out!  Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Bandelettes Thigh Bands - Review!

Disclosure: I was sent a two pairs of bands for purposes of review. All opinions are my own.

A while ago I was approached to do a review of Bandelettes (bands that you wear to help/prevent thigh chafing).  I sort of blew it off, thinking that it wasn't really an issue for me.  But then it started to get warm outside and my usual method (slim short) of keeping the chafing at bay was getting a little too warm for comfort.  So I decided to give the Bandelettes a try.  Here's what they sent:
 white lace - not to worry, the lace is soft and stretchy!
caramel lace - both in size B - $14.99 a pair

I tried them out for a couple of weeks and was so pleased.  They really did the job without the added fabric which makes things a whole lot cooler this time of year.  Thigh chafing is by no means just a plus-size issue, I'm a size 6-8 and experience it - thanks to post-baby weight shift.  It's annoying, painful and can make you never want to wear a skirt in warm weather again.  Bandelettes are comfortable, don't bunch or roll when wearing (thanks to the two strips of non slip silicone - see photo above, the right shows the band inside out), don't itch, aren't too tight and don't show when wearing a skirt.  Best of all there are no sticky lotions are annoying powders to deal with.  I even washed them a couple of times on delicate in a lingerie bag and hung them to dry and they didn't stretch or look any worse for wear.

Bottom line, I would completely recommend these.  They are a comfortable and affordable solution for thigh chafing in the warmer months.  They are now a warm weather staple in my wardrobe!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Lush Henna Hair Dye Review and Q&A

Two months ago I decided to try Lush's Henna Hair Dye in Caca Rouge.  Way back when I started dying my hair red, I used the packets of henna you can get at places like Sally's Beauty Supply.  But I decided to try the Lush version because it has extra ingredients to help condition the hair.  As you can see it arrives in a bar that you have to break up.

Once you break it up, you then pour hot water over it and start mixing it.  This takes a while and you have to keep the mixture warm all the while, until it's the consistency of brownie batter.  Since I had super long hair at the time (more on that later), I used all the bricks and it made A LOT of dye (I ended up using about 90% of it)!  Next, I started putting it on my hair - and it was MESSY!  OMG, so messy.  Once you get it on your hair, you have to wrap your head up in plastic and then wait for about 3 hours.
Nice, right?

Then you rinse it out.  And this is even messier than the application, good grief, it took forever to get that stuff out of my hair and my shower looked like I had potted plants in it all day long.  But once I got it all out, my hair felt great and I got a nice red out of it.

Here's the color and my new hair cut.  As you can see I did a big chop.  I got so tired of having all that hair and decided to cut off enough to donate to Locks of Love.  I'm loving the new 'do and haven't missed my long hair for a second!

So what are my conclusions about Lush's henna?  I would say, if you want a natural, not stinky alternative to other at home color, then go for it. Just know it takes a while to develop and can get messy.  I wasn't 100% satisfied with my results (mostly meaning that I need a bit of a brighter red, it looks a little brighter in the photos than it actually was).  And I felt like it faded a little quicker than I remember my henna fading in the past.  Would I buy again, probably not, I don't feel it was $26 worth the effort.

Now on to the Q & A!

I was recently tagged by one of my bloggy besties Sheryl over at How to Make a Life for a little Q & A! Here we go...
1. What is your favorite season and why? 
I have a tie and it's Spring and Fall, I love them because of their transitional nature. In Spring the days get brighter and nature starts "waking up".  In Fall I can't help but love that crispness that is in the air.

2. If money were not an object, where would you travel? 
I would do a complete around the world trip, there are so many places I want to go and things I want to see.  I would start in Iceland and go from there!

3. What is your favorite Television series? 
I recently finished binge watching "Breaking Bad" and it was insanely good, so well acted and crafted, it was sort of TV perfection.  As for my all time favorite show, I have to say "The Andy Griffith Show" it set the bar very high for all the sitcoms that came after - funny with heart.

4. Coffee or Tea? 
Tea - iced!

5. What makes you happiest?
Being around my friends and family (especially at the beach)!

6. What are three things you can't leave the house without? 
Phone, sunglasses and lip balm.

7. What is your favorite topic to blog about? 
Fashion shows, the trends, my favorite looks, all that stuff!

8. If you could be any animal, what would that be? 
I honestly have no idea.  Maybe Karl Lagerfeld's cat - talk about a pampered pet, she's got a maid!

9. What is your favorite music to listen to? 
Pop - Top 40

10. What is your favorite procrastination activity? 
TV and Internet.  Pinterest probably is my biggest time suck...

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