Archive of ‘Everyday’ category

Q & A Friday: Cuffing Pants with Short Booties

Q: What’s the correct way to cuff your pants when wearing short booties?

A: Short booties are a great look year round, but especially in the transition seasons like fall and spring. I see people wearing their pants wrong with booties all the time and I understand that it can be tricky to know how to cuff them.

You’ll always want to aim to have your pants just skimming the top of the boot. Having them  tucked into the boot or over the boot will look funny. If your boot is a few inches taller than mine shown above, then it is definitely appropriate to tuck them in. Most short booties, however, look best when the pants hit point of slightly above the top of the boot.

is there a style question you’d like for me to answer? Post in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer it!

 

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Q&A Friday: Are Statement Necklaces Still In Style?

my personal collection above

Question: Are statement necklaces still in style?

Answer: Most statement necklaces are still in style. I don’t remember “statement necklaces” being such a huge trend before 2010ish when J Crew came out with the bubble necklace, and since then they seem to be everywhere. When I say most are in style, I don’t think ones that were super popular for a time and died out still are – hence the bubble necklace, but something like pearl clusters are timeless. I still love and wear statement necklaces like the ones on my vanity in the photo above. I wear the pearl ones way more than the other two since the other two are so fancy, but I think fancier statement necklaces can be dressed down quite a bit such as buttoning up a chambray shirt and wearing the necklace over or under it.

When wearing a statement necklace, keep all other jewelry simple. I see so many statement necklaces paired with matching earrings, and it can be too much. You want your look to be effortless, not too matchy-matchy.

So while the current trend seems to be more minimalist/dainty jewelry, statement necklaces are still thriving and have staying power. Try to look for statement necklaces that are more timeless rather than the latest and great trend.

How to Get the Biggest Braids

Before a few years ago I could barely braid my own hair unless I was doing a side braid, but with a little help from youtube I’ve come a long way. I love putting my hair back into a braid in the summer to keep it out of my face, and I love how romantic braids can look when they’re loosened up. I have a knack for making any hair type and texture work to have a big braids (without extensions) and want to share how I do it with you today:

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Here are the products you’ll need to prep your hair. The dry shampoo and hair spray are going to give it some grip, and the smaller bottle of hair texturizer is key for making your braid bigger when it’s already braided.

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I have a lot of hair, but this will work with any length that you can braid. I brushed out my waves (yikes) and applied the dry shampoo and hair spray.

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I love a dutch braid because it’s easy to make it look prominent, but you can do any braid you’d like! Dutch braids are just french braids except you braid under instead of over. I have an easier time dutch braiding than french braiding my own hair.

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I leave a generous amount of room at the tail and then tie off with an clear elastic hair tie. I have used regular hair ties and they don’t work as well to grip and hold the style.

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This is where the magic happens – pull the braid apart. Use the hair texturizing powder from the first photo and tap the powder onto the braid. Then begin to pull it apart from top to bottom. I normally go from top to bottom a few times to make it as big as I can. The process includes taking each strand of the braid and “pancaking” it look fuller. The elastic at the bottom will start to make its way down the tail of the hair since you’re pulling the strands apart.

It’s nothing too crazy, but between the texturizing powder, elastic ties, and pancaking the braid your braid will look way bigger and stay that way. It’s fun to try these techniques on different types of braids as well.

Organizing My Hot Tools

I love playing around with different hairstyles, so naturally I have a lot of hot tools. Between two curling wands, a curling iron, a straightener, a hot heat brush, and a blow dryer, it can easily get messy if not organized properly. Until recently, I had them all piled in a bin, but I  discovered an easy way to organize them better that I wanted to share with you!

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I recently bought this magazine holder at Target that now doubles as hot tool storage. I bought a metal one vs. a cardboard one in case one of the tools was still a little hot. It stands all my tools up and keeps them neater than I’ve ever had them before.

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This hair care storage is great for putting my blow dryer away and can fit hot tools on the side compartments. I used to use the side compartments until I got too many hot tools, so now it holds hair brushes. There is space in the back of this holder for attachments that go on the blow dryer. There’s a hook on the back to hang it somewhere, but I normally just stick the whole thing in my bathroom cabinet.

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It all stays nice and neat!

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Remember to always wrap your cords up and tie them like above. It keeps the cords from getting tangled and twisted, which prolongs the life of your product.

 

How do you keep your hot tools organized?

 

Easy Braided Up-Do

I got a few questions on instagram about my hair in my latest post so I figured I would share some insight on my new favorite up-do. One of the best things about it is that’s easy to do in a pinch.

I always panic when it comes to doing my hair when attending a wedding. I’m always stuck ten minutes before we have to leave re-doing the hairstyle I had in mind for the 100th time. Sometimes I’ll curl it and leave it down, but sometimes I want a little something extra than my normal hairstyle.

I attended a wedding this past weekend and wanted to try a new up-do I saw on youtube. I wore my hair this way the day before to get in some practice and to make tweaks before doing it the day of the wedding. I was pleasantly surprised on how it turned out, and the up-do stayed put on a rather windy day.

You’ll need plastic elastic ties, and you can find a whole pack of at any grocery store, convenience store, etc.

First off, master the pull through braid. Here is the tutorial I use and the results below:

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Once you’ve got that down, the up-do is the same thing but sideways and lower on your head. I have more hair than the girl in the video so I stopped doing the pull through braid once it went across my head, then puffed it all out how I wanted it, and then proceeded to do a tight regular braid and tucked it under discreetly. This tutorial helps a ton!

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Baseball Hat Hairstyles

I love wearing baseball caps, especially in the summer. When my hair isn’t cooperating, I can always resort to throwing on a cap and calling it a day. It’s also great for sun protection to keep the harmful rays off your face. With so many great baseball caps for girls these days, there’s no reason for it not to be a closet staple. Here are the hairstyles I wear most with my baseball cap:

Hat worn in photos is this Land’s End one with monogram.

IMG_2209If I wear my hat backwards, I like to keep my hair long. Don’t forget to brush your hair straight back (as opposed to keeping your hair part) so that your hair looks even when wearing a hat.

IMG_2216Side braids keep your hair off your neck and show your hair style to the person you’re facing. It’s very casual-cool.

IMG_2213IMG_2215Low pony or high pony – I’ll do either depending on the day, but I always gravitate towards the high pony.

IMG_2223This braid is really a dutch (french braided) as opposed to starting the braid at the nape of my neck. A messy braid goes well with a baseball hat.

IMG_2228Finally, one of my favorite ways to wear my hair with a baseball hat. Braid pig tails can look a little juvenille depending on your age, but wearing them with a baseball hat let’s you get away with it since it’s a sporty look. I’ll occasionally fishtail braid them if I have extra time.

How do you wear your hair with a baseball hat?

My Gym Hairstyles

I’m a fitness instructor at Life Time Fitness a few mornings a week before my full time job, and while some mornings I just throw my hair back in a ponytail with a headband, most of the time I like to spend a tiny bit more time on my hair since I’m on stage in front of a room of 40+ people. I’m a big fan of a high pony, but I gravitate towards styles that have detail down the back of my head since it fits best with my mic (yes, I get a Britney mic and I love it). Here are my top five hairstyles for the gym:

IMG_9025A reverse french braid, or dutch braid, is just a regular french braid except you braid under instead of over. I like it because the braid sits nicely on top of the head, and when pulled apart to spread it, it looks really cool. Here’s a youtube tutorial on the dutch braid. IMG_9024This twisted pony is just a style I made up (although I found a similar tutorial for a “woven pony” here. I twisted the hair pieces (about two on each side) and crossed them over each other. I then pulled all the hair into a low pony. I always get a lot of compliments on this easy style!

IMG_9015A segmented pony is a style I do a lot of variations of. Sometimes I pull it into a high pony and then do the segment look, and when my hair isn’t cooperating, I just do this french segmented pony down the length of my hair. It creates a cool, faux-hawk-eqsue look that’s a little edgier and keeps all my hair in place.

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This rope twist braid is my new favorite! It’s so easy and stays put. The tutorial explains it really well.

FullSizeRenderFinally, I just learned this pull-through braid and it’s a game changer. All you need are some clear plastic hair ties! This tutorial explains it best.

 

I want to hear from you – what’s your favorite hairstyle for the gym?

Hat Trick

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If you been reading my blog for awhile, you know I’m a big fan of hats. I love the stye, but I also love the added benefits of keeping the sun off my face and out of my eyes. A lot of women shy away from hats because they don’t believe they look good in hats or they’ll have “hat hair”. First of all, saying you don’t look good in hats is ridiculous because there are so many types of hats that you’re bound to find one that fits you right. Secondly, there’s a simple trick to combat hat hair that I’ll share with you today:

Normally I part my hair to one side, so if I put on a hat, I’m covering up my part and one side of my hair will look thicker than the other. So before I put a hat on, I brush my hair straight back. This not only evens out each side’s hair thickness, but also avoids “hat hair”. It’s a win-win! I do have courser hair, so for those of you whose hair ‘dents’ a little quicker, I recommend using a dry shampoo, taking your hat off periodically, and also running a comb through it.

My hat above was sent to me by Harding-Lane. I’ve been wanting a needlepoint hat for awhile because it’s such a classic, preppy style, and they had so many wonderful choices. My favorite part is the strap on the back is made from sailboat cloth. It’s extremely well made and very fun to pair with any outfit. You’ll be seeing more from me about Harding-Lane later this Spring.

How do you combat hat hair?

How I Curl My Hair – 4 Methods

I’ve gotten a few people who have asked me how I curl my hair so I decided to show the four ways I use most to do so. I am not a hair expert by any means, I’ve learned almost everything I know from youtube tutorials.

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Here are the four tools I use, none of them are top of the line, but I’ve been very satisfied with each of them.

1. Regular 1″ Curling Iron ($32.88)  Many people use this as a wand, but I’ll be showing basic curls using the clamp on it.

2. ½” to 1″ Curling Wand ($24.99) I use this for tiny curls that last a long time.

3. 1″-1½” Curling Wand ($22.09) A larger wave for a more mature, glamorous look.

4. Sponge Rollers ($1.25 for a 10 pack, get two packs) Easily found at any convenience store, I use 1″ sponge rollers. This is the easiest way I curl my hair.

 

photo 31″ Curling Iron

1. I have my hair parted to one side, making one side have almost double the amount of hair than the other. I clip half of the hair up on that side to begin. The key to the curling iron is to curl away from your face, and start in the center of the hair as seen in the first picture. Curling up, back down, moving the iron down to grab more hair.

2. Continue the above method until all the hair is in the iron, and the outside of the hair is hot. I learned this method best from watching this youtube video. She explains it very well and it will change the way your hair holds a curl.

3. When you release, don’t pull the iron out, gentle loosen the clamp and let it fall out. If you want subtle curls, continue curling the same way. If you want your curls to stay longer, use a duck clip or bobbi pins to pin the curl to your head and let it set so it holds its shape longer.

4. This is how my hair looks like when I’m done with my whole head. I wait about ten minutes while getting ready for my day to let the curls set, and then I’ll brush the top of my head and the ends, and then use my fingers to soften the curls.

5-6. After softening my curls, I have a look that holds the curl in the ends and keeps the top smoother. Although I use this method the least, I like the way it looks when it falls out throughout the day turning into a subtle curl.

photo 2 ½” to 1″ Curling Wand

This wand tapers from a 1″ to a  ½” at the bottom.

1. The key is the wrap your hair away from you face, hold it for a few seconds, and then slowly let it fall out. Keep the wand vertical as seen in the photo. You may notice my black glove I use – that is a heat protectant glove that lets me get really close to the ends of my hair while curling without burning myself. I wouldn’t use the wand without one!

2. Notice this will give you really tight curls, so you will want to make the sizes of the hair pieces and their location a little more random to make it look more natural.

3. The curls will seem tight at first, and a little like Shirley Temple, but they will fall out and look beautiful after a few hours.

4-6. I brush the ends a little bit, and push a few pieces around so it gives me more volume on the top of my head. These pictures were taken right after I curled, but they will loosen up over time. I can usually make these curls last 3 days.

photo 11″-1½” Curling Wand

This is by far my favorite method of curling. I’ll wear this look anywhere from an everyday style to attending a wedding.

1. Like the last tutorial, keep the wand vertical and wrap away from the face. Hold it until the thickest part of the piece is hot and then either lightly let it fall or clip it up for a more long term hold. If I have a wedding, I will clip up the curl and let it set, but normally I release it.

2. You’ll want to curl in the same direction and same curl pattern. Notice in the second photo the curl all goes in the same wave.

3. This is how it looks when I’m done. I let it set for at least ten minutes before I do anything else.

4. You can end here and keep the big curls. This is a great look, but if you want a softer curl you’ll have to loosen them up.

5. I like to gently brush out the curl by starting at the bottom and brushing the ends, using my fingers (not the brush) on the main part of the curl, and then brushing the top of my head.

6. This is the end product, and notice I used the same curl pattern and softened them up. A great tutorial that I use is from the Beauty Department.

photo 41″ Sponge Rollers

1. These things are my go-to curl for when I know I want have time to curl my hair in the morning but still want an easy hair style without heat. I used sponge rollers as a kid, and my hair dresser told me a few years ago that they will still work in my hair but to get larger ones (1″) so they don’t look as childish. They are super cheap, and easy to find at any Walgreens or beauty supply store.

2. Hair prep – do not skip this step – dampen your hair slightly so it’s not wet but not completely dry. I even put some product such as hair spray just to help it hold the curl. Take small pieces and roll them up into your hair away from your face. I don’t like to overload a roller with a lot of hair, but you don’t want it to be too small either.

3. When your done, your entire head should be covered in sponge rollers. This normally takes me no more than a few minutes to get all my hair up in rollers.

Next step – Go to sleep.

4. When you wake up, you’ll need to take your rollers out. This will take you about two minutes, but there are two methods for the curl. The first one shown is to roll the sponge roller out of your hair.

5. You can also pull the roller straight out of your hair to create a different look.

6. Notice the curl on the left has been rolled out, and the curl on the right has been pulled out. I tend to do a mix of both because I take them out pretty fast. They’re different looks, and you can see what one you like better.

photo 57 & 8, This it the final result. Notice that it gives me larger at the bottom with a little volume on the top. This method usually lasts the entire day, but by the next morning it is just a wave. This is a back pocket method for when I want curls without all the heat. It’s inexpensive, quick, and gets the job done!

 

I hope you enjoyed the four methods I use for my curls. A few overall tips – I normally do about 400 degrees on my curling iron and wand, but I also have thick, coarse hair. If you have finer hair, you’ll need to turn down the heat. I also use a heat protectant spray before I do any curling, with the exception of the sponge rollers. I do not hair spray before I curl, only sometimes after, because heat and hairspray together can do a lot of damage to your hair. I try to make my curls last as long as possible, and I use Psssst! Dry Shampoo to help keep my hair fresh.

 

 

What to Wear on a Summer Date

Warmer weather and longer days give way for more creative dates than the typical “dinner and a movie”. Whether it’s your first date with a guy or your 500th with your husband, here are some outfit ideas for four different dates that are commonly associated with the season.

photo 4Picnic: Lucky you, you get to go on a picnic! I chose a chambray dress and added some color with a vintage Ralph Lauren scarf. The wedges are made by Clarks and are very comfortable for walking yet keep the outfit feminine. Most casual outfits would work, and you can look nice without looking fussy. Here are a few tips to keep in mind: Please avoid heels as they sink in the grass and make you look high maintenance in the great outdoors. Swap out perfume for bug spray – your date would rather you smell like bug spray than hear you complain. Lastly, if you choose a skirt or dress, make sure it’s on the longer side as you we will be sitting on the ground at some point during this date.

photo 2Zoo: Going to the zoo is another fun date idea (except I normally avoid it until all the kids go back to school). Anyway, I went with olive green shorts, a lightweight top, and a panama hat to keep the sun out of my eyes. I like sleeveless shirts for most outdoor activities in case you get hot and sweat a little bit, it won’t be as big of a deal. Comfortable shoes are a must since you’ll be walking a lot, and a cross-body bag keeps your hands free so you’re not stuck lugging a huge purse around.

photo 3Miniature Golfing: Fun at any age, putt-putt brings out some healthy competition (or unhealthy in my case) between you and your date. You may go after dinner, so I opted for white denim and a button down shirt to keep it polished but not too dressed up. Adding watches are not only functional but can add a lot of style to an outfit as they become more rare. I’d rather look at my watch for the time than check my iPhone and risk the person I’m with feeling ignored.

photo 1Baseball Game: I went with a baseball tee, denim shorts, and a baseball hat with my home team on it. There’s no need to get all dolled up for a baseball game, I like dressing up too, but you have to draw the line somewhere. Wear something associated with the team you’re watching, and if you don’t have anything, then just add a dash of one of the team’s colors.  Regardless, keep it casual and functional. Any place you go with crowds, a cross-body bag is a must since it forces you to downsize your purse and also keeps you hands free. Don’t forget a hat and sunglasses since you’ll be in the sun and want to see the game without squinting, unless you’re baseball team plays in a dome, then I’m very sorry for you.