Sparkles and tutus

I saw these photos here and was completely inspired to play dress up!

I quickly pulled my purple tutu out of the closet-yes, I have a purple tutu, and a black one as well, I love costumes and dressing up! I found a sequined bolero, sparkly jewelry and ruffly heels,  and said “tah-dah!” to Billy. He laughed at me. Just laughed and looked away. I still wanted to get some pictures for posterity, and asked him to take the photos.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get Billy to play photo shoot with me, so  I had to get creative and  use my “Skinny Mirror” to take my own photos. I say Skinny Mirror, because this $5 mirror I picked up from Target a few years back makes everyone look fantastic, and as the name says, skinny.


Katie is married!

This past weekend I had the distinct honor of providing hair and makeup services for Katie. She and I know each other from high school, and through her siblings who I have been close with throughout the years. She was a calm and collected bride, taking the day in stride, not letting anything phase her. She was patient and relaxed, such a nice change from a lot of the frenzied activity that can accompany a bride on her wedding day. It was a pleasure working with Katie!

Katie and Josh chose Saratoga federated Church in Saratoga, CA as their ceremony location, and had their reception right across the street at the Saratoga Foothill Club, which was designed by the famed Julia Morgan. The White’s are not a particularly decisive bunch, so I had all of the sisters collaborating on Katie’s hair and makeup, making sure we were all achieving the desired look, which made me happy, because it’s nice to see a family that knows each other so well, as to provide the proper feedback one needs on a wedding day. Katie is the first bride I have provided makeup services for, so of course I was a little nervous, but she is such a trooper and left her makeup in my hands, foregoing a trial, and saying I could make her up so she would look nice in pictures, but still look like herself. I used soft neutral browns, and some peachy bronzes for her eye shadow colors, and applied individual eyelashes to make her eyes pop, used a soft pink blush on her cheeks, and a natural rosey lipstick and gloss to give her a polished and natural look. Her hair was simply curled, and a small portion was caught up at the crown of her head to secure her veil in. Katie was absolutely glowing- such a stunning bride- and I was so happy to be a part of her day.

Meatless Monday: Portobello pitas and orzo salad

I would love to start participating in the “Meatless Mondays” campaign that I have noticed a lot lately, but with a hubby and a roomie that are meat fans, it’s a little hard to incorporate.

Thankfully, neither of them cook- pretty much ever- so I am able to make what I want and serve it to them and hope for the best. Both of the recipes I used tonight were from videos that popped up on my iGoogle home page. Neither of them had set amounts of ingredients, but watching the short videos gives you an idea of what, and how much exactly, you will need. I broke it down as best I could, so hopefully this works for you!

Portobello Pitas

  • 4 pita breads
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 large tomato
  • herbed goat cheese
  • shredded basil, about  4 tbsp
  • salt and pepper to taste

Brush pitas with olive oil and garlic, then place on a heated grill (or grill pan) for a few minutes, then flip and toast the other side as well. Once both sides have toasted, spread goat cheese on the pitas and set aside.

Slice tomato, then sprinkle salt and pepper on tomatoes and mushroom caps. Place Portobellos on grill for 4 minutes, turn over and grill for 2 more minutes. Place tomatoes on grill and flip, about 1 minute on each side. Once veggies are grilled, assemble them on your pitas, tomatoes then Portobellos, and sprinkle with basil. I served the pitas with orzo salad and cubed cantaloupe for a nice light dinner.

Orzo salad

  • orzo, cooked as directed, without salt or oil. I made a whole package, bad idea! Way too much! I say 1/4 pkg max for 4 people.
  • 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained, with liquid reserved, chopped coarsely
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes pack in oil
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion (I substituted chopped cucumber for crunch, no one here likes onions)
  • 1/4 cup fat-free feta cheese crumbles (thank you Trader Joe’s for having fat-free!)

Cook Orzo as specified without salt or oil. While orzo is cooking, chop artichokes, olives, tomatoes, spinach and onion/cucumbers, set aside. When orzo is cooked, drain and rinse with cold water, then transfer to a large bowl. Add artichokes, olives, tomatoes, spinach and onions/cucumbers, mix, and top with reserved marinade, salt and pepper, and feta cheese. Toss and serve with chopped basil if you wish.

Hope you enjoy your own meatless Monday!

Whiskey Tears Official trailer

In the summer of 2008, so 2 years ago now, I was given a unique and wonderful opportunity to be the Key Hair stylist for a short independent film. Element 151, a San Jose based production company, wrote, directed and produced this 15 minute video about a group of rockabilly 20 somethings who are the kings and queens of their own little world. Everybody knows their names at the dive bars they frequent, they have cool custom bikes, and with they know that with the right friends, every night can feel like 2am. This is the official trailer for the film, check out the glorious colors, the crispness of the video and the fun hair! Also check out photos from the set below the video. Enjoy!

getting to know me

1.If you had 5000.00 to spend on plastic surgery what would you have done?
Boobies! I’ve wanted them for years, and even a 20 pound weight gain after high school paired with birth control could
not give me the décolletage I would like. I would definitely do it for myself, no other motivations, and it would make me extremely happy.
2. Do you watch Soap operas and if so what is your favorite and why?
Nope. Unless The Hills counts? I used to watch it. There are plenty of other mindless TV shows I do watch though 🙂

3. Favorite clothing brand?
Target, Forever 21, Charlotte Russe. Pretty much anything priced cheaply for cute fun things. I got for quantity over quality, so I prefer to get more for my money when I shop.

4. An afternoon shopping spree at your favorite store or maid service for a year?
Maid service, hands down! I hate cleaning, and buying out Target sounds awesome, but I don’t have enough room for an entire store in my apartment.

5. Would you ever vajazzle?
No way! That’s so dumb.

6. Favorite Disney Princess?
I liked Sleeping Beauty as a kid, but I’m not really into Disney at all.

7. Last movie that made you bawl your eyes out?
Um….can’t really think of a  movie, but I cry at TV shows all the time. Most recently, Losing it with Jillian.

8. Have you ever broken any bones and if so what?
Oh man, here we go. Broke right arm in 3rd grade, broke left arm in 5th grade, broke right ring finger in 6th grade, and one of my toes in 7th grade. I don’t think you can count my spinal surgeries (2), because they didn’t break any bones, but I did break the titanium rod they put in my back (1st surgery), so that sort of counts. Hey, I have always been clumsy and accident prone!

Thanks a lot Adrienne and Michelle for making me finally do one of these things! I always think about it when I read your answers on your respective blogs, but never got around to actually filling one out myself.

Reflections on an average education

I recently read an article in Allure magazine called “cutting class”, which is about famous hair stylists’ beauty school experiences. It made me think back to the not so distant past to my own time in beauty school.

At the time I thought I was better than the school, and perhaps I was in some ways, but there is always something to be learned, from even the poorest institutions. The saying “you get what you pay for” is the best way of looking at my beauty school- it was cheaper than most other schools and offered night classes so I could keep my day job.

I took my time in beauty school very seriously. I was not only going to learn how to color, cut, set and perm hair for salon clients, I was also going to figure out how to be a session artist and do hair for photo shoots and build a special occasion business that could rival the best of the best. I have always been an avid learner, and wanted to cruise through my education so I could pack more into less time. Unfortunately, beauty school tends to lean toward those who are slower learners, rather than the more advanced, who felt they had mastered the course work early, like myself. This bit of vanity and pride are not becoming now that I analyze my actual thoughts at the time, but still hold an ounce of truth- I learned quickly and got bored when I had to wait for the rest of the class to catch up.

I had also assumed that I would learn advanced techniques for the subject matter, but we were only taught the very basic principles of hair styling that would allow us to pass the state board test. I wanted to learn how to style elaborate updos, how to master the art of color and execute precision hair cuts often seen at trade shows where stylists from major brands would perform miracles and make hair into art. Getting a grasp on the basics, the fundamentals of my trade, and learning why it is we start a certain way was a very important foundation for me to learn, and I needed it to build upon, but I wanted more.

I ended up teaching myself a lot of what I know and now use daily. I always found that if I wanted to use a new technique or try a new style I had to figure it out on my own, so I became good at copying styles, cuts and color, and creating them with my own spin. I tend to have a softer hand when I recreate looks, whether an up style or a cut or color, because I would rather come off conservatively and make tweaks later, than start off radically and not have any room to fix it if the client is unhappy.

I have leaned on this ability to pick things up as I go a little too heavily sometimes, and haven’t placed furthering my education through classes at the forefront of my mind. I realize now I need to let other people teach me, so I can have a greater variety of skills and abilities to pull from. I think I’ve limited myself creatively through only having my perspective to see hair through. I know there are many ways of looking at styling hair, and I would be better off to embrace new teachers, so that is what I am going to do. I will look up local classes in coloring, cutting, and styling to give me more options, more creativity, and more respect for my fellow artists in this field. Through this, I will be able to offer my clients more of everything!

favorite summer hairstyles

Summer is officially here! The Summer Solstice was yesterday, and now we can fully embrace the glorious sunshine, water play, being outside and active, bonfires, s’mores and all sorts of goodness!

Summer is also a time when your hair gets completely thrashed. Come on, saltwater and chlorine are terrible, as well as sunshine on your colored locks, so here are some options for you to treat your hair well over the summer months!

Deep condition every week 🙂 Find a nice brand of moisturizing shampoos and conditioners and make sure you take a few extra minutes at least once a week to slather on a heavier conditioner to make up for the heat styling, the chemical treatments and the elements. I love Kevin Murphy‘s Born Again Shampoo and masque, which I use on myself. I am the epitome of everything I wrote above: super blonde hair from coloring, I flat-iron or blow dry regularly, and I am out in the sun every day. I need the moisture and the restructuring.

Find new styles that allow you to not blow dry or use heat tools on your hair. I love braids and side buns and little twisty ‘do styles and wear them a lot. I also work with my natural texture a lot, which is wavy, so I will work in some Kevin Murphy Motion Lotion and then twist sections of hair, scrunch a little and let air dry.

I try not to wear my hair pulled back in super tight ponytails too often because the tension will inevitably start to cause breakage around your hairline which is not so cute. Here are a few of my favorite styles for you to look at!

beachy waves

braids and buns

casual braids

twisty buns

looped buns

braids and messy buns

Official 5k results are in

Wow, I just got the Henry Coe 5k results posted by e-mail, and I am so impressed with myself!

I was the 35th of 113 people, 12th woman, and 3rd in my age group to cross the finish line, and my official time was 30:35! That has me very happy, and I look forward to working toward even better results in my next race which is to be determined.

Guess all of that training, healthy eating and goal setting paid off 😉

Save Your Life

This weekend I tried my hand at film makeup, and it seems to have gone over well! I worked on 3 male actors, and it was a much simpler form of makeup that way. Guys don’t need any eye makeup, they just need some general skin care and foundation to even out their complexions, and then lots of setting powder, and some bronzer for sculpting. I was especially handy at mopping up sweaty brows and re-powdering shiny noses 🙂 I had to create some sort of prison yard type tattoos on the thugs in the film, so I put a spider web on one man’s neck, and the other’s elbow, and put a cross on one’s forearm and a spade on the other’s hand. They were by no means professional looking, and when you looked at them in person you could tell it wasn’t real, and was eyeliner, but it worked for the shot. I also got to bloody a guy’s nose and lip! It was exciting.

Save Your Life is going to be a TV special that they are hoping will be picked up by a network and eventually become a series. The premise is that you can use martial arts training for many things in life, including overcoming trauma, dealing with past hurts, and getting yourself out of dangerous situations, the last being the scene we shot this weekend. We filmed in downtown San Jose, and boy did we get so many curious glances from passers-by.

I met a lot of really, genuinely nice people on this shoot, most of them associated with KO Karate. Master John Ozuna is the proprietor of KO, wrote a book about his multitude of life experiences from which Save Your Life originated, and is such a sweetheart! His fellow instructors and students made up the cast and extras, and there was a small production team who were professional and eager to make the most of every situation, from gawkers, light rail trains, buses and homeless people, to ever-changing light situations, losing power and having to re-shoot certain scenes soooo many times.

I am so happy to have been a part of this production, but man, I was worn out at the end of the first day because it followed my 5k and early wake up time. We had originally planned on just one day of shooting, but due to losing the light, we shot 2 scenes on Sunday to finish up. Over all it was about 10 hours total, but in film, you hurry up to wait. You rush rush rush to get everything done so you can start shooting, then you just hang around to see when you will be needed.

I didn’t get to snap a lot of pictures during the shooting, but here are the few I caught!

Master John Ozuna in the KO Karate studio

Pete, AKA Thug #1

Leland AKA The Dealer and his neck tattoo

Shooting on 1st st at Paseo de San Antonio

Fun facts I learned this weekend: Master Ozuna is the 2008 Guinness World Record holder of most martial arts punches in one minute, we was chosen to be one of the Ninja Turtles in the original movie, but declined the role to pursue more martial arts, the KO Karate studio bathrooms are AH-MAZING, one being the Zen garden and the other the Dragon’s Den, and they both live up to their names.

Kobe graduated!

Friday, Kobe graduated from the 5th grade at Mulberry School in Los Gatos. He was so excited all week about graduation. I have never seen a kid this into graduation. He picked out a nice sport coat, tie, button down and khaki pants outfit, and couldn’t wait to wear it. He was also really concerned that some of his classmates wouldn’t be dressed up and would ruin the effect of his nice outfit, precious right?!

Each of the kids gave a speech about their time at Mulberry and how it has shaped them and made them ready to go to middle school. One of the girls, Kira, gave a speech reminiscent of a college graduate’s, and you can see she is going places with her life. Apparently, she is the equivalent of the class valedictorian, having breezed through the academics, and also excelled in class leadership. I sure hope Kobe keeps in touch with his classmates so we can see what becomes of them later on. Kobe’s speech was on how Mulberry has made him “strive to not go with the crowd”. He is adorable, and I am so blessed to be his (and Bryn’s) nanny. Check out these pictures of Kobe, his sister Bryn, mom Kia and dad Vince. Aren’t they a beautiful family?!

Kobe Sullivan, President of the United States of America, 2036…you watch for it!

Super gorgeous girls, I just love them both! They could be models (I  think Kia was).