What is Balayage? A Lesson in Highlights

Recently, I’ve been taking on the daunting task of switching over my closet to my spring and summer wardrobe. I’m about halfway through because you never know what the early spring weather is going to bring — today I’m working outside in shorts and flip-flops, and Thursday we are expecting snow! Mother Nature is so moody sometimes…

Beyond my clothes, I think of the change of seasons as a time for a beauty refresh. It’s time to bust out the shimmery eyeshadows and nude lipsticks that had to be separated from my pasty white skin all winter. This year I also decided to freshen up my look even further by changing my hair. I’ve never been a fan of doing anything drastic with my hair and prefer an overall-natural look. Luckily, the newest color trend in salon is balayage.

Balayage = hair painting


Loving my new color!

Balayage is a hair technique where the highlights are hand-painted on by the stylist, sans foil. The stylist scatters the highlights throughout the hair, often focusing lightness around the face, to create a more natural look than the linear pattern followed in standard foil highlighting. Balayage also follows the ombre-like technique of beginning the highlight a few inches from the root, to again create a soft, sun-kissed look. This also means that there are no glaring dark roots and less upkeep!

Overall, it’s a great option for the beauty girl who wants to brighten up her look, while maintaining her natural “I woke up like this” style.

There is no time like the present…

Begin doing what...quote

Procrastination. It’s something that most people struggle with, and I certainly have, since my elementary school days. It’s easy to understand why people procrastinate daunting tasks, such as writing that paper, cleaning out your closet, fixing the roof, or making that uncomfortable phone call. But, why does it seem that we also procrastinate our dreams? That vacation that you’ve always wanted to take, the career change that you’ve been pondering for years, moving away to a new city, starting a blog…I’m sure you can think of several desires in your life that you pushed off. (And if you can’t, then you’re a badass and I respect your courage)

There are obvious things like financial restrictions that hold us back, but the common excuse seems to be that “it’s not the right time.” I’m learning more and more each day that there’s usually not a perfect time for those big dares and adventures in life. It’s not because they’re not meant to happen, but rather, they defy routine and the unwritten rules of our daily lives. Wake up, drink coffee, go to work, go home, eat dinner, unwind, sleep, and restart. Keep a steady job, don’t rock the boat.

My husband and I experienced this feeling as we discussed, contemplated, and dreamed about the decision to move away from our home base in Kansas City. We put the decision off for years actually, waiting for certain pieces to fall into place. But once those pieces were settled, there was always another floating piece needing to fall in place. Once we made the brave decision that we were going to move to CO, we put deadlines on ourselves in order to keep the ball rolling. We gave our 60-day notice to our apartment complex, visited Denver to begin looking for a home, and eventually it all fell into place.

Mapping out and taking individual steps is key to beginning the process of reaching your goal, whatever that may be. Our adventures and our dares are often the moments in life that help us to grow as a person by learning more about ourselves, our abilities, and the world around us. Personally, I would rather take the chance of my dream/goal not working out than have the regret of never trying.

Remember, there is no time like the present.

P.S. – Some extra logistical encouragement from Huffington Post

All About…Fringe

fringe outfit

If you have signed on to Pinterest in the past month, flipped through a fashion mag, or have started scouring the stores for your spring wardrobe, you know that fringe is BIG. I’m a huge fan of fringe and already have some staples in my wardrobe and many ‘wants’ scattered on Pinterest board.

Fringe Wrap

Have you ever stopped to wonder who decides the trends of each season? I know that the runway styles tend to filter down to the fashions for us regular people, but who makes that first decision about what trend will be scattered across the runway and across designers? I doubt that Ralph Lauren, DVF, and Mara Hoffman schedule a tea time to sync up before NYFW. I digress, but it’s fun to think about…

fringe vest

Fringe gives your look a Boho feel and accomplishes making your outfit perfectly imperfect. It’s an interesting twist on your typical piece of clothing or accessory, and can be worn across all parts of your style — from tops, sweaters, and vests, to handbags and even jewelry.

These are some of my favorite fringe inspirations!

fringe booties

fringe necklacefringe model

Tested & Reviewed: Murad Rapid Collagen Infusion for Lips

Murad Collagen LipsThese lips of mine have had a rough few months. Between the normal harshness of winter and the dry air in Colorado, I can now admit that I am a chapstick addict. Soon after moving to CO last fall, the hubby and I added a chapstick to every room so that we were never too far away from relief! However, I was still noticing that my lips looked dry and cracked whenever I smoothed on my lipstick. I tried homemade lip scrubs, which only lasted for a short period of time.

One day I stumbled onto a new product by Murad, called Rapid Collagen Infusion for Lips. The product claims to “revitalize” lips while also using collagen to give a “plumper, more youthful appearance.” And who wouldn’t want a more luscious pout? I know I would! I’m a huge skeptic when it comes to these products that seem to just be marketing a result that many women desire, but the reviews I read were overwhelmingly positive. And my friends, I am happy to report that it works!


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How the Change of Seasons Affects Our Mood

While sitting on my deck, where I established my office for today, I leaned my head back to feel the sunshine on my face and admire the tree towering above me. My breathing was calm, my body relaxed, and my mind in a happy state. I began to wonder about the psychological effects the weather seems to have on me, and whether others felt the impact that I often do.

I’m a sunshine-lovin’ summer girl at heart, and was born at the beginning of the summer. Over the years, I had heard here and there about researchers who believe your birth season has an impact on your personality later in life. While I don’t see a way this can possibly be true for the entire human (or even American) population, I’ve learned that many people have a strong preference for which season they enjoy the most. Some might argue that the preference is solely due to the activities and events that each season of the year brings. While this certainly can have an impact, for me, it’s more than just that.

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How to Make Cheap Flowers Look Professional

flower arrangement

March is quickly passing by, which means it’s time to give my house a spring refresh! I’ll be clearing out the pinecones and dark colors to make way for fresh, bright decor that screams sunshine and sandals. What better way to liven up a space than fresh flowers? After I became obsessed with keeping a fresh arrangement in the house, I realized how much the hubby has been spending all these years…or should I say, USED to spend, before we were married 😉

Quality flower arrangements can be super pricey, especially for something that has a shelf-life of only a couple weeks! Purewow put out a great article with little tips on how to add a little magic to those grocery store-bought blooms.

Click Here.

Be Happy Today

The internet is full of inspirational quotes and sayings about how to live your life – what to do, what not to do, how to be happy – the list goes on and on. I personally can’t get through one time-sucking, Pinterest-browsing session without reading a quote that speaks to me and my life. Like many of you I’m sure, I reflect on that quote for several seconds, and then it is filed away in my “Quotes” board, unnoticed by me for another six months. The days get busy and we fall into old habits and our usual flaws. When I do go back and read through these simple sayings, it’s the best reminder and opportunity to re-focus parts of my life.

Recently I found a quote that suggests a very simple idea, but is something that I believe everyone can relate to.


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Why I tried meditation, and you should too.

meditation 2As I lay in bed one night, my mind raced so quickly from one thing to the next that I couldn’t even finish a complete thought. There was so much to be done the next day, the next week, before the deadline, that I felt completely consumed and aware. Every minute that was passing by was one minute closer to my alarm sounding and inducing immediate anxiety. My mind was in a whirl, and I thought of the words of my yoga teacher. She insisted that breathing was the most vital part of the practice and to keep a constant awareness of it. After three deep inhales and exhales, I felt my entire body relax, without realizing that my legs, toes, and back had been tensed this entire time I was laying in bed. Perhaps this allowed my exhaustion to take over, because next thing I knew, I was waking up to my alarm the following morning.

Was it meditation? Sure, at least for a beginner. I realized that “meditation” was not just for the zen’ed-out hippie with loads of free time to sit and reflect. As I started to look further into meditation and the methods for beginners, I realized why we seem to hear more about it day to day. There are overwhelming amounts of research proving the multiple benefits that come from meditation, including both psychological and physical results. Meditation is perhaps the simplest way to quickly improve your overall well-being. And who doesn’t desire quick results nowadays?

I’m not a doctor (surprise!), so I won’t pretend to explain how and why these effects can occur, but you can read more about it in this Forbes article. The benefits most observed by meditators in these studies were lower heart rate and blood pressure, and a decrease in overall stress and anxiety. Improved attention and concentration were also often present, and studies have even used standardized tests to prove that people scored higher after just a couple of weeks of meditation.

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