Jen is married!

I have mentioned my galmance with Jen here, and here and how awesome she is. Today I was thrilled to be able to do her hair and makeup, as well as hair for her wedding party. These girls were a riot! They had me cracking up more than any other bridesmaids ever have, and I especially loved the loosely thrown around use of the word wicked, because the girls were all from Boston.  Jen’s wedding took place at the Seascape resort in Aptos, CA which is a beautiful location on the California coast near Santa Cruz.

I could not get over how gorgeous this bridal party is, just check out the photos! I’m bummed I didn’t get any photos of Krista, she’s the cute blonde with the short hair in the group photo, but I did manage to get photos of Kim, Kate and of course, Jen. Let me know what you think!


I wanna get away

There is something about summer that makes me want to just…get away! I am DYING to leave town and go on a vacation. To pretty much anywhere. Las Vegas and South Lake Tahoe are especially calling me right now.

Last summer I went to Vegas twice, (I know, life is rough) and had a blast both times. I don’t exactly fit the mold of the typical Vegas party girl. I don’t drink copious amounts of alcohol in one sitting, or very often, I despise cigarette smoke, I have extremely bad gambler’s luck and bring it like a black cloud to anyone around me, and I don’t like to go to clubs and dance with strange sweaty people. There is something magical about Vegas that makes all of the above, if not exciting and fun, at least tolerable. I drank,  I danced, I gambled, I tolerated the smokey casinos and did it all with a smile on my face.

The best part of Vegas for me is the amount of things to do, see and eat. I got to attend the first ever UFC Fan Expo, which was AWESOME! I met MMA fighters, checked out all the coolest new fight stuff, watched a grappling tournament my friend Tom competed in. I also got to eat at yummy places, stay in lovely hotels, and play all day and night, and I was present for the wedding of some of my favorite people, yeah I’m talking about you Tom and Tiffany!

I didn’t get around to doing nearly any of the exciting touristy things, like take in a Cirque or burlesque show,

go on any of the casino rides and attractions like the Manhattan Express at New York New York, or ride in a gondola at the Venetian.

And I didn’t get to rub elbows with any celebrities that frequent Vegas, or call this hot city their home.

But I did get to eat at the best burger place ever, Burger Bar at Mandalay Place, walk the strip and drink an alcoholic slushie, stay in one of the most comfortable beds  ever at Treasure Island, which of course has a PIRATE SHIP out front!

Tahoe of course, holds a special place in my heart because it is where Billy and I got married 🙂 We also spent a Labor Day weekend there one year, and it was fantastic! We got to ride a super charged jet ski, watch fireworks over the lake, eat at yummy places, stay at the luxurious MontBleu Resort and had ourselves a fantastic time.

Pretty much any vacations sounds good to me right now. Another factor that is making me wanna get away, my Virgin America flight credit that is expiring on August 2. If I don’t use it, then I lose it, and I desperately DO NOT want to lose it, but it looks likes that is gonna happen.

So instead of running off to Vegas, or Tahoe, I will continue to dream about how lovely those places are, and the fun  I could be having!

Inspired by: Shabby Chic

When I say shabby chic, I’m not talking Rachel Ashwell’s interior revolution of a few years back. I’m thinking how Shabby Chic has influenced fashion, hair and makeup, particularly with brands like Anthropolgie. The Anthro catalog is always gorgeous, effervescent, trend worthy and perfect! If I could dress from one store for the rest of my life, I would love to have Anthropologie be my closet, and provide all of my home furnishings as well. Anthro is not completely shabby chic all the time, but it certainly leans that way, so this is my inspired by romantic looks, shabby chic and Anthropologie post!

Sweet Peas and sweet people

Friendship is a wonderful thing. Having friends is a blessing, and being able to spend time with them is one of my favorite pastimes. This morning, Billy and I got to hang out with one of my best, and most elusive, friends, Lexie. Lexie is a world traveler, and has spent much of the last 3 or so years abroad, and I have missed her each time she’s gone. She most recently returned from a trip to Southeast Asia, visiting Cambodia for volunteer work at Water Of Life , and then visiting Thailand and Vietnam for pleasure.

Billy and I picked up miss Lexie and told her we had a surprise, and we hope she hadn’t eaten yet, then drove to downtown Los Gatos to one of our favorite restaurants, Sweet Peas for crepes! I ordered the chicken pesto crepe, Billy had the Benedictine, and Lexie got the turkey and sun-dried tomato, and we were all more than thrilled with our choices, but I think my pesto crepe was by far the most delicious. We all shared a nutella and strawberry crepe, which is my absolute favorite crepe ever.

After we ate, we took a walk downtown, window shopping and people watching. We stopped in to Mike’s Bikes, and at two optometry stores for Billy to try on glasses that might fit his wide head, and generally just enjoyed our time together, catching up and laughing.

Lexie is one of my friends whom I rarely see, but each time I do it’s as if we are picking up where we left off, and just filling each other in on what we have missed. She is a joy to be with, someone I love and care about, and I appreciate her friendship. I hope you all have friends like that!

Inspired by: Punk rock

Inspiration of the day, punk rock! When I think of punk rock, I imagine the likes of the Clash, the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, skinny jeans, piercings, chains, mohawks galore. I love the grittiness, the attitude, the black, the liberty spikes! But that’s not quite what is inspiring me.

What really is inspiring me, is the modern glamorized version of punk rock.  The girls with dark smudgy eyeliner, red lips, bed head, little black dresses, combat boots.

I know she is pretty much not punk at all, but Taylor Momsen is the epitome of modern glamour punk for me. She is the actress who plays Jenny Humphrey on Gossip Girl and front woman of The Pretty Reckless. She is one part Madonna, one part Courtney Love, one part Lolita and another part 80’s video vixen.

You may not agree that this who you would imagine for punk rock style, but hey, it works for me!

Much needed girlie time

I had the most awesome time catching up with my besties Sarah and Diane tonight! Sometimes you just need your friends, regardless of how well or horrible things are going. They seem to make things even better.

Sarah recently started a new job and has been working crazy hours (read: 55-67 hours a week!) training, so we haven’t seen each other much. I really miss my girls, so today as I walked through Trader Joe’s today doing my produce shopping, I started placing random items in my cart, such as prosciutto, apricot Stilton cheese, a bottle of muscato, lemoncello and vodka, which when I looked at it, would make for a fantastic evening, so I sent out the text messages to both Sarah and Diane that I would LOVE to hang out with them this week and have a girls’ night. We all agreed on Monday evening.

To make things simple for Sarah, I would bring the snacks to her place, and she would kick us out when it got too late. I ended up grilling apricots, figs, and asparagus wrapped in prosciutto because it all looks great when I see it done on Food Network, and I’ve always wanted to grill fruit. It turned out OK, but I won’t be repeating the process anytime soon because it wasn’t that great, but we did eat it.

Things I learned during our girl time:

1) Lemoncello and vodka do not taste like my favorite lemon drop martinis! They more closely resemble the smell of lemon pledge, but can be made MUCH better by adding lemonade and cran-raspberry juice, which also makes it the color of a beautiful sunset, and induces wild giggling.

2) Prosciutto is not so tasty. I should have known, it’s like thinly slice cured bacon, and I HATE bacon. It was pretty though, so I got to eat with my eyes, then unwrap the asparagus and feed the prosciutto to the dog.

3) Cheese is wonderful in general, but Stilton with apricots is fantastic.

4) There is nothing that girl time cannot fix, make better, or at least help you through. Having best friends who know, understand, and appreciate you, is a true blessing in this life.

5) Bladder infections can spring on you in a matter of minutes. Seriously. Out of nowhere, I am suddenly struck with a constant desire to go to the bathroom, and the pain and pressure once I am there makes me not want to go back. Taking some over the counter meds and Tylenol PM to help me sleep through some of it, and if it’s not better tomorrow, then to the doctor I go. Sometime’s the body is a horribly weak thing that needs to be fortified and placed in a bubble to avoid any medical issues, but alas, not possible.

Inspired by: Eliza Dushku

Ahhh, Eliza Dushku. I first discovered Eliza when she starred opposite Kirsten Dunst in Bring It On-you remember of course, that silly cheerleader movie from 2000? She was the hot brooding brunette gymnast who wanted no part of the vapid cheer squad, but turned to them because she just wanted to have an outlet for her active nature.

Well, unbeknown to me, she was also Faith in Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. She is my current inspiration because I just started watching a new Joss Wheedon series called Dollhouse in which she is the star, so she came back on my radar. Billy is was a huge Buffy fan, and his family has told me that Eliza was his “girlfriend” for a long time.  Guess me and the man are inspired by similar things.

She’s just a lot of fun to watch 🙂

She’s a major hottie. Maxim thinks so too! I have to admit, I will read just about anything that passes my eye line, and have gotten caught up in many a Maxim magazine because I was interested in the actress on the cover. Same goes for the Eliza cover! I love how in shape all of Hollywood is. Eliza is no exception. She is just another woman I can look up to as a fitness inspiration….maybe it will help get me out of bed in the morning and in to the gym!

Don’t sweat the heat

According to my blog stats, you guys liked the favorite summer hairstyles  post I made back in June, so I thought I would give you some more breezy, effortless, and chic styles to use on your hair this summer, without all the hot tools and fuss.

Lauren LC Conrad really made a statement when she started French braiding the front section of her hair. It became and instant classic, and looks great on most people. I however, am not most people. My big old forehead makes losing my fringe to the braid not so pretty. You have to figure out a French braid to conquer this look.

The “Heidi”. I always think of the old movie about the Swiss shepard girl who wore her pigtail braids wrapped across the top of her head. It’s a great style if you have longer hair, shoulder length or shorter won’t reach far enough. Super simple to do: part your hair down the middle into two sections. Braid each section and secure with an elastic band, I like the clear ones, and then pull each up and over your head and pin, then tuck ends under braids to finish.

Pigtails to single braid. This can be done by making two single braids from the crown of the head, or two French braids that you combine at the nape of your neck. I love braids because you can have dirty, unwashed hair, wet straight from the shower hair, or day old dry hair to make this work.

Low ponytail with multiple bands. Sounds strange, but look how pretty it is!! Add a cute headband and you are set. It’s a great way to jazz up your basic pony, so enjoy! Also added some pretty casual ponytails too, but that first is just lovely! If you want to dress up your pony, take a thin section of hair from the pony and wrap it around to cover your hair tie and pin in place.

Cool waves. This style you can achieve by taking wet hair, making 5 vertical sections from the crown down around your head, and making small buns with each section, then letting them air dry while you get ready (best if you have lots of time) or over night. You take the buns down and your hair will have lots of waves. It’s a style you will want to practice with, as all hair responds differently, and you may not like the wave pattern. Try it over the weekend and see what you think!

ANOTHER side bun! I know, I know, I have posted this already, but seriously, you can’t go wrong with this style! It’s easy, looks nice, and people will think you worked harder than you actually did. Just pull your hair, wet or dry, over to one side of your neck. You can either twist it into a bun, or secure in a ponytail first, then wrap the hair around the band, and secure with pins. If pieces fall out, who cares, it makes the style look softer!

If you absolutely MUST use head tools on your hair, try to do so sparingly. I suggest washing your hair in the evening, letting it air dry overnight, then styling in the morning with curling iron or flat iron to reduce the amount of heat you have to use. I love tousled waves, which don’t have to look perfect. This can be done by wrapping 2 inch section of hair from ear level around the barrel of the curling iron, but leaving the ends free so they don’t get too curled, then run your fingers through the curls to break them up and tousle. I also love pin straight hair.

Alright lovelies, go out and make your hair beautiful! I hope this helps you figure out things to do with you hair over the summer so you can protect it from heat tools!

Decisions, Decisions, a SFI.09 PSA

Last summer, I was given another opportunity to work with Element 151, this time, as hairstylist for the SFI09 (Summer Film Initiative, 2009), which was a program sponsored by the gang and violence prevention force of San Jose. “Decisions, Decisions” was written, produced and directed by the high school students in the SFI09 program in conjunction with Element 151. The kids spent several weeks learning about film production, and worked really hard during the day of shooting to produce this final PSA. I had a good time meeting these individuals and seeing that the youth of today are going to make great adults of tomorrow. Here is the PSA!