Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Navy Blue and Animal Print

Hello little gobblers!  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and ate just as much as I did (or more, and then I will chuckle to myself about all the people out there who show less restraint than me).  I finished off the last of the turkey last night with some homemade "turkey noodle soup", which went perfect...since I was sick yesterday :(

But today I am ROARING back to the office hyped up on two cans of spinach (aka, a steroid shot) and some lovely antibiotics.  I feel much better today!

It might have been the J.Lo spread in Glamour a month or so (or this summer, they pile up) ago, or maybe it was some really inspired style blogger, but I've had navy and animal print in my head for weeks now. 

And for the Love of all things Animal, somebody please tell me if this is "cheetah" or "leopard" print.  Why don't I know that?!?!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pre-Turkey Day!

Happy Day-Before-Turkey-Day!

If you're anything like me, you'll be spending your afternoon rushing to clean your house before your parents get into town and then scrambling to the grocery store for food.

I plan on going to my grocery store in full battle mode - I WILL be buying that last can of chicken broth, thank you. Luckily, I'm stocked up canned pumpkin (thanks, Hungry Girl!) so maybe I can work out a little trade.

I'm a master barterer.  One time, in Mexico, I paid $40 for a blanket I'm pretty sure is worth at least $10.  The Mexican boy selling in to me did assure me that it was NOT made of plastic...and I was sold.


Hope you have lots of yummy food tomorrow!  I plan on eating one entire pumpkin pie and at least 15 pecan tarts - good luck beating that!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Maroon Blues

maroon blues brands labeled

The problem with being sick is that I lose all sense of style.

The problem with being having a style blog is that when you're sick, you look like crap.
I made an effort today.  I really really wanted to put on jeans and a tee.

Instead, I put on stretchy black pants and a billowy silk shirt.

This is my work version of comfort.

maroon blues jewelry labeled

maroon blues collage

Monday, November 22, 2010

Old Navy Keeps Me Dressed

I did not realize until I was editing these photos that I am pretty much a walking advertisement for Old Navy today.

These pants and shoes are from last year, and this shirt I've had since college.

I used to think Old Navy was a little overpriced for the quality of clothing that they offered, but after starting this blog, I've realized just how many things I still have from Old Navy.  Back in 1996, I discovered Old Navy in Austin, and couldn't wait for shopping trips that involved a stop at our favorite Mexican food restaurant, two margaritas for my grandmother (Ginny), and then quick (three or four hour) trip to Old Navy.

My grandmother's pocketbook becomes even more generous after two margaritas...which is a rule that still applies to this day, by the way! :)

The point is, I STILL have items of clothing from those high school shopping trips that are in my closet rotation today.  Pretty impressive, Gap, Inc.!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Triple Post Friday

Things have been so hectic here at work that I've forgotten to post!  I can't wait to read almost a week's worth of your blogs this weekend, too!

I've almost finished up with my big weekly project, it's Friday, and there's a football game tomorrow - what more could I ask for in a day!

Wednesday's outfit is a new favorite!  I think these pants fit me well, and I love the dusty rose color of this top.  I'm a little confused about the ruffling--there's more on one side than the other--but I decided to just go with it and pretend like its intentional rather than some kind of sewing error.  I make my own rules.

Yesterday's outfit was more functional than fun, but it got the job done all the same.  I introduced my lacey heels to a pair of pretty socks, and hoped that my pants hid them most of the day.  My office averages a temperature of about 62 degrees, so I was quite thankful for the socks.  Function, function, function.

Everyone's getting a little more of that function again today - I'm up and down on the floor and cursing the copier a lot today, so my outfit is perfect for the occasion!  I'm in a xerox-beating-up mood today, and what better top than a preppy argyle sweater with some ruffles underneath?  I'm KINDS of Office Space today.

Now who took my red stapler?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Does the dress make me look curvy?

My best friend, Kim and I went to Karen Millen in the Dallas Galleria.

I was eyeing this very pretty structured dress when the sales girl walked up to me.

18-year-old sales girl: “That dress is beautiful!”

I don’t know why, but I find it very odd when salespeople compliment the clothes in the store they work in. I know it’s not like they designed it or anything, but I just never know how to respond…

Me: “Thanks!” (Pretty sure that isn’t the appropriate response.)

Sales girl: “You should definitely buy it!” (Thanks for that winning recommendation based on your sales commission and very little on me.)

Kim: “It does look good.”

Sales girl: “Yes, it looks great on curvy girls!”


No one has ever described me as a “curvy girl” before. The way I see it, there are two interpretations of this description.

1. As a compliment, as in Baby Got Back!-chanting, Beyonce-wriggling, Sir-Mix-A-Lot –shaking, Kim Kardashian-inspired, Joan Holloway-strutting BOOTY and BOOBS.

I don’t know if you can tell this, but I ain’t got much of either.

2. As a very nice way to describe a little too much junk in the trunk, a few extra pounds here and there, but you have a nice looking face, and it’s a lot like the way you describe the little two-bedroom fixer-upper in the old neighborhood as “cozy”.


I decided to buy this lovely blouse instead.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Flowers Brooches and Pencil Skirts Make Me Happy!

I have had the craziest day ever today!  After a meeting discussing a multi-million dollar closing deal today, my co-worker and I ran to the post office to Express Mail some Assignments out...only to discover after labeling 40 ENVELOPES that we had missed the 2:15 deadline for overnight mail.

So back to the office to Fed-Ex them, which I just finished up about 20 minutes ago.  I'm about to walk them to the Fex Ex box next door, but since I worked through lunch, I never had a chance to update this thing!

Good thing I'm wearing my business-finest to get me through today.  Power of the Pencil Skirt!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

How to Create Volume & Big Curls in Fine, Flat, Straight Hair

how to create big wavy curls in fine, flat, straight hair
AFTER:  Hours after the photos in this tutorial were taken!

I have decided that it is time to do a "How-To" post on my blog, and since I've been getting several appreciated compliments on my hair lately, and since my hair is a special subject to me, I thought I'd tell women out there with similar hair as me a little secret that I learned pretty recently.

First off, I have severly flat, straight hair.  I read tips in magazines all the time about how to create volume and curls, but to my dismay (and confirmed suspicions), they never work on my hair.  My hair almost always refuses to hold a curl, and often remains limp and lifeless despite how many style products I spritz, squirt, and rub into it.

I have, however, figured out a way to create some volume, keep a curl for an entire day and eventually end up with a wavy style that I envy on those girls who wake up and their hair JUST LOOKS LIKE THAT!

Below is my step by step picture tutorial on HOW TO CREATE WAVY CURLS IN FINE, FLAT, STRAIGHT HAIR like mine.  I think you'll be happy with the result, and also surprised at how easy it actually is to achieve.

My first recommendation to girls with hair similar to mine (you know, fine, flat, straight, limp, thin) is to ignore whatever you've read in magazines or online that tell you that washing your hair everyday is a bad thing.  That may be the case for most women, but I know from experience, its not a suggestion I can use.  I washed, repeated, and rinsed my hair yesterday morning before work, and I got up this morning and took this picture for you (it was 9 a.m.) so that you can see just how oily my hair is the next morning.  Forget the entire next day!  I've tried not washing it before and I feel disgusting, greasy, staticy, and most relevant to this entry...FLAT and LIFELESS.  Don't believe me? 

I don't use expensive shampoos and conditioners.  In fact, at any given time, I have at least 5 different brands of shampoo and conditioner in my bathroom that I alternate between.  I get bored awfully easy.  To show you that an expensive shampoo isn't necessary, I used the cheapest one in my closet:  V05 Herbal Escapes.  I think it was 99 cents a bottle.  I have to use conditioner too, because oddly enough, even though my hair is fine, its not thin, so it gets pretty tangled while I'm doing my daily Black Eyed Peas shake in the shower.  I'm not kidding!

Here's all you need, by the way, or at least some variation of these tools.  The velcro rollers are the key, and I really think some type of clamp is necessary to hold them in.  The little metal clips don't create lines, but I use the big Scunchi clips on the under sections of my hair, because they're easier, and I don't care if there are lines there!!

I brush my hair out with a wide-tooth comb, then I roll it up in the best thing ever...a Towel Turbie, or whatever version you have.  I think mine is called a Turban Towel (I assume that's the generic version!)  This thing is amazing.  It stays securly on my head, which allows my hair to go from soaking wet to damp in the time it takes for me to put on my makeup.  Which is exactly what I do next.

I know, I'm pretty silly.

After letting my hair dry in the turban for about 15 minutes, it's time for some product.  I'll show you the products I'm using right now, but as I explained with the shampoo/conditioner, I get bored awfully easily.  But I will say, I'm pretty happy with the result of these products.

First up, I use Tresemme' 24 Hour Body Root Boost to create some artificial volume.  I follow that with Nick Chavez Mist'r Flockr, which is similar to a aerosole-spray gel.  I feel guilty about the heat I use every day, so I've recently started spray Pantene Fine Heat Protection and Shine in my hair.  Rusk Shining spray goes in at the end, and Tresemme Tres Two Extra Hold Hair Spray (my favorite by far...and I've tried Big Sexy Hair [great results, but very stiff] and Elnette Satin [I was so excited to try it, and so disappointed with the results...which were almost non-existant on my hair!]

I start with the Root Booster, then spray the Flockr all over my hair.  And then, usually as an afterthought, I spray some Heat Protectant all over too.  As a mini, mini product review, I hate the nozzle on the Pantene Heat Protectant.  The spray is way too concentrated and direct.  I'd rather it just give me a big wide spray so it covers more area of my hair.  Anyway, I don't go overboard with product, but I'm not shy either.  I want it to be all over, so after I spray, I comb my hair through with the wide-tooth comb again.

Now it's time to blow dry.  I'm going to show you several pictures of me blow drying my hair, because I want you to understand that there is no strategy or skill to this blow dry.  I have tried since high school to perform a proper blow out with a round brush and blow dryer, but I usually just end up tangling a clump of hair in the round brush.  That was a great look back in my senior year of high school, though, so I'm glad I learned that skill when I did :P  However, now that I'm in the real world, I get some funny looks if I go in with my round brush still dangling from the back of my head.  Damn conformists!

Ok, I lied.  Here's a teeny tiny bit of strategy when blow drying your hair.  You know that old advice, flip your head OVER for volume?  That really only results in wind-swept looking hair...you know, the kind of wind I have here in West Texas...(and totally jacks up your part).  I blow dry from one side to the other, and I JUST read that tip in my Glamour magazine this month, too!  But just so you know, Glamour totally stole that idea from me.  And didn't credit me, either!  Rude!

Alright, here's the only time I use a round brush.  I have some long bangs that I part to the left, and I want them to have a little curve in them.  I start with a round brush to give the end pieces a bit of curl, and then I switch to a regular ole Conair straight brush to add a little lift to the bangs.  You really can't mess this up.  Even if you do, just pin them back like I did on Friday!  (And you thought I planned to do that all along, didn't you?!)

And we're done blow drying!  Guess who wasn't lying about having STRAAAIIGHTT hair?

I wish I could remember where I read this next tip, but I can't, so I'll just go ahead and credit myself with it too (I'm sure you'll take this glory from me as well, Glamour).  After it's all nice and dry, I take my hair spray and spritz a fine layer all over my hair, and then brush it out (seems counter-productive, but I swear, it just spreads a little bit all over, and the Tresemme' doesn't leave it sticky at all).  I make sure my parts are in the right places (to the side and down the back) after all that side to side flipping.  I also spray my bangs where I want them right now, because if I don't, they'll be in my eyes before the end of this tutorial.  And I can't teach if I can't see!

Now's the fun part.  All we're going to do is curl our hair with a regular ole curling iron.  Mine's a Conair, and I think its a 1.5 inch barrel, but really, I just guessed that because I don't know.  And it doesn't really matter.  Use your favorite curling iron, whatever brand and size, and follow me.

We are going to: (1) Hairspray a strand of hair, (2) Curl a strand of hair, (3) Curl a velcro roller around the hot strand of hair, and (4) Clip it.  It's easy, watch!



Get that?  Need to see it again?

So, once you've gone all the way around your head (and again, there's not a lot of strategy, but you'll figure out the best way to space out those groups of strands...and really, the less organized the curls, the more "I just look like this naturally" it will look!)

This is what it'll look like!  Give it a good mist of hair spray at this point.

Now go away.  Go put on your office clothes for the day.  Go make your husband a surprise breakfast of waffles and milkshakes.  Go take the vitamin you forgot about.  Essentially all you're doing is letting the curl cool.  And it is essential - letting the curl cool while its still in its curl mold is THE KEY, THE MAIN POINT, the WHOLE BALL OF WAX...it's EVERYTHING.  If I have time, I wait about 15 minutes.  If I don't,  I give my head a blast from the cool setting on my blow dryer for a few minutes.  And you know, more than likely, I slept through two snoozes on my alarm, so its the Cool Blast for me.

Now we're at the easy part.  Take it all down.  Pull the velcro curler down your hair, exactly opposite the way you put it up.  If you're lucky, the curler will snag a bit in your hair and you'll have to give it a little tug.  I'm not being sarcastic there - this tugging process naturally combs through your curl a little, so by the time you're done pulling them all out, there is hardly anything left to do.  And you don't look like you have big curling iron curls.  You just look beautiful and like you have naturally big curls...you know, if we had beautiful and naturally curled hair.

After I pull them all out, all I do is lift the back portion of my hair (where i put that back part) and spritz some hair spray right at the root and hold the hair up...for about 5 or 10 seconds to give it time to dry.  When you set it down, your hair will be lifted just a bit.  This is a great trick all over your hair if the girls call you up for a happy hour after work and you're feeling a bit flat--take some hair spray to work, spritz it around your roots and hold the hair up to let it dry.  Tiffany D taught me that trick in one of her videos.  After that, I just finger comb the curls a little to combine them all...for this look I don't want separate curls...spritz some shine spray and voila!

You're all done!  Spray it with a blast or four of hair spray, and off you go!!  And the best part?  As the day progresses, and you do start to lose just a bit of that curl...it will loosen up into Serena van der Woodsen-type waves!!

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