25th birthday

I had the best birthday of my entire life yesterday! I am so full of love, happiness, friends and good times! I have the best friends and an amazing husband who love me so much, and for this I am grateful!

This year, Billy knew how to relieve the Christmas/birthday slump I slide into each year. He organized with my best friends Sarah and Diane to create a casual dinner party for 10. I didn’t know about, or even ask about it, which is incredible restraint from me, a hater of surprises and keeping things hidden. Billy did start telling me a few days ago what he was planning, but only gave me small tidbits at a time. My birthday actually started out the night before when Billy brought my birthday present home from work; it was a memory foam mattress topper, and it made for the most incredible and satisfying night sleep I have had since we got this stinking mattress 2 years ago. Having extra fluff and squish made all the difference to our tired, worn out mattress. I woke up early on my actual birthday and began cleaning the house, in preparation for the arrival of our friend Justin who is staying with us for a week. He recently finished a deployment to the middle east as a Navy flight engineer, and I wanted a nice clean place for him to enjoy. It was helpful that I cleaned my kitchen first, because Sarah and Diane came over with crepe making yummies, and proceeded to make me strawberry, banana and nutella crepes, which were to die for.

I met a friend for lunch at Scramblz, then did a little grocery shopping with Billy so we could bring a lasagna to my dinner party. Billy managed to fanagle the coveted Simone family lasagna recipe out of his coworkers who rave about it all the time, and then I set to work creating this odd sounding lasagna while he hunted down a pitcher for sangria we were hoping to make. The sangria never made it, but the lasagna was amazing! Who knew adding some whacky ingredients that do not sound good in theory, would make for a fabulous lasagna that everyone, even the non-lasagna lovers wanted at least a second helping of, if not the recipe itself.

I really enjoyed having my friends around me for the dinner party.

The melding conversations, and cacophany of voices made some part of me relax and take pleasure in being surrounded by loved ones on a special day. I guess I shouldn’t have worried or gone into a funk this year, it turned out so well! Hopefully having such an amazing birthday will end the yearly funks all together, that’s my hope! I doubt I will have another birthday quite this wonderful, but I don’t mind.

Best part about dinner, the cake, of course!! Sarah created pastry perfection with my death by chocolate cake made up of chocolate cake, thick fudgy frosting between the cake layers, and rich, fluffy chocolate buttercream merange frosting on the outside. It was so good, I do not have words to do it justice.

After dinner, we all crowded into the family room for my newest addiction, Rock Band! I had my newest best friend, 3 year old Chloe, help me play the drums, that was way too silly.


Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is able to enjoy some time with family and loved ones. My friends are like my extended family, and I love them all tons, so I was very glad to be able to spend my Christmas morning at my friend Sarah and Brandon’s house having homemade donuts, yum! I smell like deep fried food now, but oh boy were they tasty!

Our Christmas eve was spent with my family at my aunt’s house for her annual open house foodie extravaganza. We ate until we couldn’t eat any more, and caught up with all of the family we rarely see. It was special, but I am so glad it only happens a few times a year, because extended time with my family drives me just a little nuts. Especially my overly exuberant teenage cousin who happened to shriek a shrill ‘EEEEEEEEEEEE” every time she opened the front door and saw another guest. It got old. We left after a few hours of family time,coming home to open our presents and settled down for a movie and cuddle time, just B and I.

We really missed having Billy’s family around. The last few years we have spent the night at the family’s house, opened gifts together and enjoyed christmas breakfast as a big old family. This year, the whole family went to Disneyland, and due to economic and timing issues, we were not able to join them.  

Despite screaming cousins, my large and overwhelming family, and missing Billy’s family,  it’s been a very nice holiday!

my listings on theknot.com and weddingchannel.com!

Hair By Adrian – Northern California – Reception and Ceremony Locations.

This is the link to my weddingchannel.com featured vendor listing!

Hair By Adrian – Northern California – Spas and Fitness.

and this is the same listing but on theknot.com, since both sites are under the same umbrella, I was able to be listed twice 🙂

My website has seen only 2 hits specifically from these listing since this went live a few days ago, but hey, they is promising!

Christmas leads to a birthday funk

Well, I certainly got caught up in the madness that is Christmas! I have been out shopping, fighting crowds, braving lines, and searching for THE present to give. I had had high hopes that I would be able to get away with just giving out gift certificates for free haircuts from me, but somehow that idea didn’t stick, and I reneged on my offer and decided to spend some real money.  I think I just missed having anything to wrap up. I don’t consider myself a Martha Stewart of gift wrapping, you know, using the perfect heavy paper or cute fabric and tying intricate knots and bows and making gift tags to adorn the tops. Instead, I pick a few simple wrapping papers, get some coordinating ribbon, and go to town. I also love the look of a mound of presents under my tree.

As it is with everyone, the economy is raining on my gift giving parade this year. I wanted that proverbial mountain of presents, but instead have a handful of gifts that in lieu of creating a feeling of fullness, draw attention to the amount of space and emptiness under the tree. I’m no miser, I do spend what money I can, and more than that, I want to give gifts that will make people happy, but the economy has forced me to compromise and get creative. I have pretty Christmas cards, and fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies (my favorite, and specialty) to hand out to friends, and a few gifts for immediate family and for the family I nanny for, but love and my friendship for all.

Now that I feel Christmas is taken care of, I must address the looming presence of my 25th birthday which falls three days after Christmas on the 28th. Let me give some back story as to why this is not a joy filled time for me. When I was a senior in high school, turning 18, I was suffering from ennui, some mild depression, or that SAD (seasonally affective disorder from lack of sun exposure) or something else that left me sad and full of despair as I approached my birthday. Now, each year I look forward to my birthday when it is still months away, but the closer I get to the actual day, the less excited I become, and more, well in a funk, for lack of a better phrasing. This birthday funk makes me gloomy, or at least not my out going and cheerful self, and those close to me know it. Billy gets extra cautious of me around my birthday, not wanting to bring it up in case it pushes me further in, or I take out my unknown bother on him.

I both crave and despise companionship near my birthday. I desperately want people in my life around me because in the back of my brain I know they will pull me out of this, but the front of my brain refuses to listen and thinks that being around people will be the worst thing possible. I end up fighting and struggling with myself until someone decides not to take my lame excuses and makes me be social, then I feel better and loved and all things that birthdays are supposed to make you feel.

Even knowing this, I still fall into my funk, and don’t know how to, or don’t want to get myself out without help. It’s like stopping your car on train tracks, and staying there even when the gates come down, and the train is whistling toward you, telling you to move, but now you can’t because you are stuck.

I am extremely thankful for my amazing friends who are able to pull me out of the funk and don’t hold it against me. Billy of all people sees how down I get, and though he isn’t entirely sure what causes it, or even fixes it, he is my rock and white knight when I need him. My girlfriends are also amazing. Sarah and Diane, being my closest friends for over a decade, are able to love me in a strong handed way to divert my attentions from my own selfish thoughts and depressions and focus on the gift that is my life. And now I can count on the lovely Tiffany, who gets to share a second Christmas in my life, and who already is protective of my fragile emotional state at this time of year and is making plans to force me into society instead of wallowing in my self-pity. She saw the depth of where I go this time of year and didn’t allow me to sink, but promised rafts of dinner and movies and fun instead. There are more people who save me year after year and don’t even know it, and I thank them too.

Just reading over this brought up some interesting thoughts. I wonder, if deep down, I make a big deal of my birthday for myself, and create these high expectations for what amounts to just another day, then I get depressed as the days leading up to the birthday, no one else seems to take it upon themselves to celebrate my birthday without me planning it. I desperately do not want to sound selfish, or like I expect others to just do this for me, but maybe there is a part of me that wants that and is that selfish. I think that is why I struggle so hard about my birthday; I don’t want to be the one in charge of it, and want to just celebrate without the planning that goes into it, as I already am so tightly in control of all other aspects of my life, that this one should fall on someone else. Gosh I don’t like that 😦 I don’t want someone else to read my mind, plan something for me, and expect myself to just give in. Heck, when a friend asked how I was celebrating, and then offered to throw something for me, I adamantly said no. What is it I want then, if I won’t allow anyone to plan for me what I refuse to take responsibility for? Now that is the million dollar question. Isn’t life just full of those these days? I will continue to wrestle with my funk, and further explore the idea of my own selfishness being to blame, and I’ll do some home-brewed therapy to try to make it better. Either way, it’ll get blogged in its own time.

life’s little headaches

What exactly causes a headache, and why do medicines like acetaminophen or ibuprofen help? I asked my pre-med buddy in Washington DC, and he said that even doctors don’t know why Tylenol works. Crazy.

I have a raging tension headache at the moment, and my Excedrine tension headache is all out, so Tylenol is going to have to do. I get these types of headaches from both physical and mental stressors. Physically, I carry too much stress or tension in my shoulders and neck, which can be complicated when I am styling hair and have my arms raised a good portion of my day, blow drying, cutting and coloring hair.

I sometimes wonder why we stress at all. Is the world any better, the problem any less real or important because of our stress? I know I let things affect me more than I should, and it manifests itself in pain and headaches. Most stressors are minor, so why do I let things bug me so much? Because I simply want to control everything in my life, including the problems. My theory is that I want to lessen the problem and tend to over think it, or try to solve it before I have a proper solution or even a good process to use. Reality is, I just have problems letting things go or work themselves out, and think I have the “best” way to deal with something, best being used lightly, as I know I am not always right (gasp!) even though  I try to be.

So for the headaches of the world, I will try to let things go, ask for massages from Billy, and take my acetaminophen like a good kid 😉

New business cards are here!

Reinventing yourself is a lot of work. Let me explain; I realized my business at Lux, the salon I work in Los Gatos, was slowing down quite a bit now that wedding season is officially over and I do not have my weekends booked up weeks or even months in advance for them, and I am no longer bringing in the profits from them either. My main clients that I see on a semi-regular basis are generally taken from 2 circles. The first circle is made up of my extensive network of acquaintances, friends and family. They are people who are close to me and have trusted me to cut and color their hair. The second circle is made up of the first circle’s referrals. Because I know I have basically tapped out my resources for bringing in new clients, I had to do something to drive in more business. Thus my idea to embrace technology and market myself in a convenient way for people to be able to access my information, and voila, www.hairbyadrian.com, a new twitter account @hairbyadrian, and finally this blog, were created. Ideally, now a potential client would simply have to go to google, search for wedding hairstylist, Los Gatos, hair, or something similar, and they will be directed to me and I will celebrate when I ask how they found me, and they tell me my hard work and efforts have paid off. Ideally of course. Realistically, I doubt it will be that easy, but I can hope!

Now, with a new website, and all the other promotional aspects, I needed new business cards to hand out like candy. If I could get away with plastering every car I see, and pressing them into the hands of every person I pass, and that would generate business rather than enrage people, I would do it. Let me say I already have 2 kinds of business cards that I carry. One is strictly salon related, and is the generic business card with the salon’s contact information and my name on it, and the other is a personal card with a cutesy design I picked from hundreds of free samples available when I made then, oh, about 2 years ago. The Lux cards are great when I want my clients to call the salon to re-book their appointments, and the personal cards have served their purpose to this point, but are a little kitschy, so I wanted something that reflected the new, more sophisticated hair by Adrian who has her own website and writes frequently in her blog. This is where www.123print.com comes in, and saves the day! For about $40 for 200 cards I was able to completely customize the front and back of a business card to be exactly how I wanted, and I am so impressed with the outcome. I just got the cards in the mail today and can’t wait to start passing them out and seeing the reactions from the recipients, because they are not your standard business cards, but something I think is spectacular. Well, a picture says a thousand words, so let’s let the cards themselves speak.


front is glossy black

 back is a mini portfolio to showcase a few of my shots and give the recipient an idea of what I am capable of.

I don’t know how many people have embraced this idea for their own cards, and I hope I am within a relatively small group of people, because I want these to be unique enough to make people keep the cards, and remember me when they need their hair cut, colored or a hairstylist for their wedding.

The Lux Salon annual holiday party


Billy and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at the Lux Salon Holiday Party at Straits on Santana Row. I was very happy with my cute silver sequined bolero jacket you can just glimpse in the last picture. I actually went out of my way to find an outfit I thought was trendier and dressier than my usual jeans and shirts attire, and I came up with the sequined bolero over a light pink tunic and grey skinny jeans and “big girl shoes”, otherwise known as grey peep toe pumps. It all worked together, but had someone shown me the outfit put together I most likely would have said “no thanks, that’s not my style” and kept looking, so it is interesting to me that I put it all together and decided it was for me. Unusual, but very fitting with my more open-minded and adventurous spirit as of late.

My other adventurous undertakings have been  mostly food related, like trying foods that I normally would shy away from, like red meat, random sauces, and new combinations of foods. I had London broil for the first time with my lovely friends a few nights back, and Sarah, my gracious hostess, was taken back by my willingness to eat steak when I have had an aversion to eating anything other than turkey or chicken since she has known me, which is 10+ years now.  I’m not sure why exactly I have never liked or been interested in eating red meat or pork, but I would rarely if ever consider it for myself to eat. This new adventurous eating is opening up many flavor doors that I have bypassed on the road of chicken breast and turkey sandwiches, and I am very much enjoying it!

Our party was at Straits, a restaurant with Singaporean cuisine, and caused a flavor explosion in my mouth when I tried new foods with my newly acquired open mind to new tastes. I had a lovely beef dish in a coconut sauce with green polenta that was so juicy and tender it just fell apart in your mouth, a salmon dish that was covered in a very spicy sauce that I was not very fond of even though I do like salmon, and the chicken satay skewers that I just love. The desert was this little pyramid chocolate cake with whipped cream, and it was delicious too. The only thing I did not try were the beef spare ribs in a tangy spicy sauce because 1) I don’t like messy foods that require fingers to eat, and 2) eating food off of bones really freaks me out. I guess I’m not that open-minded 😉

The highlight of the evening was the white elephant gift exchange that has become a tradition at the annual holiday party. We get a $25 limit for which to find a gift that is either wacky, fun, or bizarre, and this year was in no short supply of  hilarity! I brought a gift bag I created from awesome finds at Trader Joe’s that included sipping chocolate, french truffles, dark chocolate sea salt caramels and a bottle of sweet red wine, not very wacky but definitely fun. The most bizarre gift had to be the size 48 C black old lady bra that one of our nail ladies decided to throw in, and I don’t think anyone traded their gifts or stole it from the unfortunate soul who wound up picking it. The black bra came out with a fiery gusto, as the esthetician who unwrapped it accidently spilled the tissue paper onto some candles and it went up in a glorious fireball that had everyone staring for a few moments, then rushing into action or cracking up because they were filled with champagne. I did a little of both, by taking a moment to stare and laugh awkwardly at the great orange fireball in front of me, then decide if chardonnay or my glass of water would be better to throw on it, I decided water was of course the best option (I was one of the people who had a lot of champagne you see) then stumbled forward with said water to be blocked by a mass of helpful party goers who had the same idea, and pass my water off to them to fight the fire. We ended charring a few of Straits christmas snowmen decorations that were on the same table, no didn’t set off any smoke alarms or cause too much damage. This next picture is post-fireball, and you can just make out Tallie wearing the bra that caused a fire at our party hehe.


I leave you with a last picture of our Christmas tree with my kitties standing guard. They LOVE the tree and take every opportunity to steal the ornaments, chase each other around it, hide under the branches and drink the water in the stand.

YouTube – Whiskey Tears – Official Trailer

YouTube – Whiskey Tears – Official Trailer.

Summer 2008 I worked on a short independent film titled Whiskey Tears shot in San Jose. It was my first, and so far only, foray into styling hair for film, and I am very happy that it was picked up by the San Jose film festival recently. This is the trailer for the film that was passed around the last year or so, and I can’t wait to be able to post the whole film one day. I had a ton of fun on the set, met a lot of really cool people, and was opened to a whole new world of opportunities for hair styling. I would like to continue in working in film whenever I have the option.

featured vendor on theknot.com!

Exciting news, Hair by Adrian (moi) will be a featured vendor on theknot.com and weddingchannel.com starting Christmas Eve!! This is a really great opportunity to broaden my market and perhaps gain new clients in the process. 

Weddings are one of my favorite services to provide for my clients. I truly love being a part of that special day, and having great hair is so important for the bride to feel perfect.  

I will post a link to the site when it goes live 🙂

Some Christmas spirit

Ahh, this week is finally making me feel the Christmas spirit! The Los Gatos holiday parade made another stunning performance this past Saturday, and though I was not there due to the photo shoot with Juliet Nicole, it always makes me happy, and shows just how close to Christmas we are. Monday morning I picked out a Christmas tree and single-handedly dragged it off my Jeep, through my apartment complex, and into my apartment where I set it up to see that the tree lot guys had, ahem, put the base on crooked, so the tree leaned quite a bit. My remedy to all leanings and broken legs is to prop of the leaning thing with hardback books from my vast collection. It worked when we broke one of the bed legs, and it worked again with the tree 🙂 I decided to buy some new Christmas decorations for the tree, so this year, we have a red and gold tree to marvel at. My salon’s holiday party is this coming Saturday, and I am looking forward to dressing up (just a little, I’m a casual kind of girl) and getting together with my coworkers and their plus ones for dinner and drinks at Straits on Santana Row.

Thankfully, I don’t have much Christmas shopping to do this year, as my family will be receiving gift certificates for haircuts with me, and my friends will be getting home-baked cookies and cards. Billy and I will be exchanging gifts, and I plan on getting Rock Band for Wii for the kids I nanny for, but other than that, no real gifts. Now, what to get the hubby? He insists he doesn’t really want anything other than car insurance for his toy car, toy meaning project car he has had since high school and loves more than most things in life. But insurance doesn’t wrap up well, and my lovely lit up and sparkly Christmas tree deserves some gifts under it.

I get a little bummed around Thanksgiving when I see the Black Friday sales that make people act like heathens, and it makes me wonder if  we have lost the true Spirit of Christmas in our desire for shiny bright new things. Once upon a time, Christmas was the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, accompanied by a few pagan rituals thrown in to appease the masses. I think the whole hoopla over gifts kind of crowds the birth of Christ out. I love getting and giving gifts, but sometimes it seems like the rush to find the new “it” thing for the kiddos or that perfect something for a loved ones can be too distracting and overwhelming. The main focus then becomes how much we spend and what we get present wise instead of celebrating the birth of Jesus, or as Ricky Bobby would say, “Tiny, 8 pound, 6 ounce baby Jesus”.

Just remember to slow down for a few minutes to count your blessings and realize it’s not all about the gifts, but the true reason for the season.