Lauren Conrad made me popular

Seriously, I don’t think people actually read what I write. When I check in and see that people have actually been hanging out on my blog, reading the drivel I write, looking at the pictures I think are pretty and inspiring, and generally being my friend and confidant, it astounds me. I also wonder how many actually stick around, and aren’t just a Google search fly by looking for a Lauren Conrad Updo.

Miss Michelle of Booksnshoes recently posted a fab giveaway, which I told you about (and you should have entered, hello!) because she saw the number of admirers visitors to her blog had grown. This got me thinking “how many people visit my blog?” Turns out, it’s a lot of you (over 15,000 visits since December)!

I try to be creative. I try to post pretty pictures when I’m not particularly verbal. I try to entertain you. I try to post hair related things. I try. I try all for you! I’m hoping you get a few inspirations, hair tricks, lightened moods, laughs, and feelings of solidarity and commiseration out of reading my blog. Thank you, I love you this much!

Also, it turns out you like Lauren Conrad. A lot. That seems to be the biggest draw to my blog, so thanks Lauren Conrad and your braided/messy bun/low curly bun/side bun/updo for bringing people to my site, and perhaps making them stay to check the place out? I  think I need to put a Lauren Conrad updo tag in every single post I write, then I’ll see the traffic increase, right?!

I will be announcing a giveaway tomorrow for the loyal friends who visit my blog and read what I write, even though I hate my own writing, you apparently don’t mind it 🙂 All the cool kids are doing giveaways now, didn’t you know? I’ve always wanted to be a cool kid! Yes, it will be hair themed, which is just so appropriate 🙂

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!

Neon Youth

Ahhhhhhh, the joys of summer!

I am particularly blessed with a fantastic job that allows me to really enjoy a summer much like a school kid gets to. I take the kiddos to theme parks, movies, frozen yogurt, let them play video games, hang with their friends, and have a lot of fun doing it all. That is why I decided to capture some of the fun!

Bryn and her best friend Sophie love neon colors, and will wear these intense colors daily. Bryn inspired me to create a photoshoot using bright colors for wardrobe and makeup, style nice and easy summer hair, and play around outside, enjoying the sunshine and summer. All we needed was a lemonade stand and melting popsicles to really make this a super summer spread! This is my ode to summer, please enjoy!

Summer is a time for tea parties with your best friends

Summer is a time to reach for new heights, exploring the bonds gravity may, or may not, have on you

Summer is a time to laugh with your loved ones

Summer is a time to get a little sassy

Summer is a time to look ahead

Summer is for taking afternoon naps, just because

Summertime is for climbing trees

Summertime is for bubble blowing

Summertime is for freckles

Summertime is for daydreaming in vivid colors

Summer is a time for hide and go seek

Summertime is for best friends

Pretty people

I have always been blessed with gorgeous friends. I can’t help it, I attract pretty people into my life. I don’t discriminate, it’s just a proven fact that the people who come into my life and stay are usually very lovely, on the inside and out.

Part of my recent vacation was spent making my friends even more beautiful. As all of my readers know, I took a bunch of makeup classes and have been building my kit and skills. Part of that is to work on my timing, getting it down to about 45 minutes per person. Like most things in life, practice makes perfect, so I took a day to practice on a few willing friends. We focused on airbrushed foundation, and pretty eyes, and we had a blast!

Sharon is one of my running buddies, and a total rock star of inspiration for me. She has completed at least 2 triathlons that I know of, and has a half marathon and at least one more triathlon coming up this fall, with more next year. She runs several times a week, and I have gotten to run with her a few times when she takes “short runs”, which are the equivalent of my normal 3 miles that I think is tortuously long! After taking these photos at our session, I’m going to have to come up with a photo shoot to use her in, because my camera LOVES Sharon, and I’m dying to get more photos of her! Check out her killer smizing-that’s smiling with her eyes for all of you sillies who do not watch America’s Next Top Model! Yowza!

I put the rest of my makeup “appointments” on the following day, to test my speed and make myself stay on a timeline. I started the day with my friend Brittany coming in for her 1st bridal makeup trial. We have known each other since middle school, been close on and off throughout the years, and recently got together for dinner with our men. We chatted about her upcoming wedding (10/10/10 yeeee!!) and of course I asked about her hair and makeup, because I always like to offer my friends my services when  I can. She is having her cousin do her hair, but hadn’t made a commitment for makeup for herself, or hair for her bridesmaids yet, but knew she wanted to have airbrushed makeup. Well, I can offer that, and so I did! Brittany has been really committed to her health and fitness lately, and lost an amazing 30 pounds, but let me tell you, she has always been beautiful, no matter the weight, and now she just glows. I can’t wait for her wedding in October, she is going to make such a gorgeous bride!

Samantha was my next “client”. Sam and I met in high school, and I now cut her hair regularly. She just cracks me up with her fun single girl stories (come on dudes, she a catch!),  and I love hearing about the celebrities and former classmates she runs into at her serving job at Outback, and she is also totally motivating me with her several days a week Pilates class she is taking at a local junior college, for fun! She let me play up her eyes a bit, and we really liked the outcome.

I then packed up my gear (really, it is gear, and it requires packing. Have you seen my Batman utility belt?? It holds all of my brushes and is a major part of my gear) and headed over to Karina’s house. She has two adorable little girls. Victoria who is 4, even let me put the tiniest little shimmer on her eyes, and Alexis who is 9 months wanted to be a part of the action and got to sit on mom’s lap and witness at a young age the art of beautifying oneself. Karina was on the staff of my high school church youth group, and I loved counseling with her after I graduated. She is one of the sweetest, most down to earth mammas I know!

I came back home, set my gear up on the kitchen table, and then got to lay on the couch for a bit before my next appointment arrived. I totally get why makeup artists will carry all of their gear in large rolling cases, AND lug a director’s chair with them, the strain on your back when you bend over, even slightly, to apply makeup to a person sitting in a low chair, is excruciating. I may have scoliosis, and undergone two spinal fusions to correct it, but I rarely if ever suffer back pain like this. I will be investing in a tall chair shortly to remedy this aching, it’s so worth whatever money to save my back!

Amber was my last appointment of the day, and she is no stranger to being my model. She came in for one of my makeup classes a few months back, and we did the “Lux Bride” look on her, which was very natural, light handed, and pretty. She requested a darker, smokier look this time around, and I was happy to oblige! Amber and I met in high school, and recently reconnected through the wonder of social networking. Begin rant: What did anyone do before Facebook? I can see why class reunions were appealing once upon a time, but now we don’t have to suffer the indignity of eating terrible food and reliving our glory days of high school in a crappy hotel ballroom/rec center/high school gym, because we can just Facebook stalk them and check out what they are up to without ever having to actually speak to them! And I digress…. Amber is lovely, and I really enjoyed the new look we did with her makeup!

I just have to throw in these last few photos! My besties Sarah and Diane and I got together for a girls night a few weeks back, and we played with makeup then as well! I don’t know what it was exactly that got Diane laughing in that last picture, but it’s absolutely awesome.

When you’re down, get up!

So, I have been a little down on myself lately, and I wanted to turn that negative thinking around and focus on some positives. So here is a list of things I like about myself, and things that make me happy.

I love my small ankles and wrists. It does not matter that they are attached to large hands and feet, because they are delicate and small. I can wear ankle strap shoes, or cropped pants because I don’t have cankles (calves that extend to the feet, making it look like there is no ankle).

I love my smile. I have a large mouth with big old full lips. Some women who have full lips don’t like to wear much lip color, but I embrace it! Bright red, mauves, sparkley rose-y pinks are all fantastic to me. I have a rather “gummy” smile, meaning a lot of my gum line shows when I smile, which sometimes bothers me. I love that I smile often.

I love that I have many talents and abilities which I have been blessed with. I love that my passion for doing hair has allowed me to find a career that makes me happy. I love that my patience and my desire to take care of people has transformed into my nanny job where each weekday I get to spend time with cool kids and perhaps make a difference in their lives.

I love that I have stuck to a new eating and exercise plan and it is really starting to show! Changing the foods I eat from mainly processed carbohydrates and sugars to the natural variety in fruits and vegetables, as well as bumping up my protein intake has made me so much more energetic, made me feel better, and is paying off big time in the 6 pounds I have lost already.

I love that I can finally run 3 miles straight. When I first started running 3 months ago, I had a hard time running more than 5 minutes, then a mile, and so on. Years ago when I was a “runner” I ran a mile at a time, and mainly did sprint and speed work as a short distance runner in track and on the soccer field. I never imagined that I could be running 5k distances 3 days a week consistently. It makes me feel good to have accomplished something like this. It’s no half marathon, but I have no desire to run 13 miles!

I love that I have meaningful relationships in my life. Billy is an amazing husband, and a great best friend who I have lots of fun with. I also am super blessed to have awesome best girlfriends- Sarah, Diane and Tiffany are caring, encouraging, supportive and fun. Even more so, I have super great close friends who are always willing to hang out, chat it up, and have fun with me. Having one friend is great, but having as many as I do is spectacular. I also love making new friends, which I get to do regularly through my job and experiences.


Some things that inspire me are:

  • Bikini bodies. This is actually my current screen saver, and it serves as a reminder that hard work pays off. As Josh says “Eat like a rockstar, look like a rockstar”.

  • by Zuzanna Light.  Zuzanna is this crazy fit super trainer chick who posts workout videos daily. I have yet to actually do one of the workouts, but I enjoy reading the accompanying blog and seeing the pictures of the different moves.

  • Fitness blogs by Josh Hillis. He is a master trainer and kettle bell instructor who writes amazing diet and fitness blogs that cut out the BS and give you the skinny (hehe) on what works and what doesn’t, and why. I found him last week, and am already addicted. This is a blog about workout partners, wanna be my workout buddy?
  • Tiffany, my amazing friend, fellow hairstylist, trainer, nutritionist and MMA enthusiast. She has a rockin body, works super hard at everything, balances life, work, and education, and is a completely genuine and sweet person.

  • Whimsical and pretty pictures. What, this isn’t entirely about diet and exercise, other things inspire me too! I wish my life looked like an Anthropologie catalog. Um, yes I realize that 6 photos follow, but I LOVE them all!

  • lolcats. They make me laugh, and that’s a good thing! There is something special about cats that allows you to use bad spelling and grammar to imagine what they would say that is entirely too funny and irresistible.

  • Avant garde hairstyles. I like those editorial shoots where the hair is completely wacky and not anything a real person could wear out. They inspire me to dig deep to come up with photo shoot ideas that are fun. I’m much better at copying someone else’s work, than creating my own, so this is a way for me to reach outside MY box without working too hard 😉