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    Friday, July 29, 2011

    Hair Week

    Not to be confused with shark week. This week has been all about summer hair and I wanted to end this with my favorite summer hair products that I just can't live without. I am sure next year I will be declaring a whole slew of new products the just can't live without, but until then these are my top contenders.

    Dry Shampoo: Seriously this is the hardest thing in the world for me to narrow down, so here are my top two.

    • Klorane Dry Shampoo this is perfect when you just need a quick touch up. It really               absorbs all of the oil and is so easy to use. This is my go to bottle for traveling!
    • Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo. Yes you read that right Suave. I tried this out simply because it was on sale and $3.00. I mean how could I say no. Not only does this work on absorbing oil, but this gives great volume and has a great scent. First time I used it my hair went from limp and oily looking to fluffy and clean! Totally worth three times the price.
    Hairspray: This is so easy. L'Oreal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray. This is the one that stylists used to sneak past customs to get into the US. While I don't think I would ever go that far for it, I do love it. It sets your style perfectly, but brushes out without leaving any residue behind so day to evening looks are possible!

    Hair recovery mask: Yes you need one. If you are out in the sun, swimming in pools or just outside during sun hours, try it. You will like it. I use Garnier Fructis Fortifying Deep Conditioner 3 Minute Masque. Leaves my hair soft, shiny and healed.

    Last and definitely not least is the heat protective mist. I use just a few squirts of the Blow, the Heat is On and blow dry, curl or straighten as usual. This just gives a little bit of protection against all the heat that I apply to my hair. I do like to keep my hair as healthy as possible, even though I torture it day after day with heat!

    Have a super weekend everyone and take good care of your hair!!

    Thursday, July 28, 2011

    Summer Lovin'...Hair Edition part two

    I love the salty hair style I get from being at the beach and getting in the water. For some reason when you are at the beach your hair dries in the most amazing, messy, perfect casual style. Being as I live in the Pacific Northwest, where the water is still crazy cold no matter how hot the day is, I don't get the chance to get the beachy hair style often as I did when I lived in California. In fact this only happens when I am on vacation. So I was super crazy excited when I saw this video via BirchBox on how to achieve this look sans beach. Bonus - the only things you need are a mister, water and salt. No fancy products needed.

    Get your beach on!

    Monday, July 25, 2011

    Summer Lovin'...Hair Edition part one

    Hair. As a girl hair can make or break my morning. If everything is going well the hair falls into place and I feel awesome. If it is not doing what I want it can really set the mood for my day in a not so awesome way. During the summer and depending where you are in the world humidity adds to the issue and can make the taming of the beast even harder. I am here to say I am tired of wearing pony tails and buns. So I know that I have talked about argan oil before for your face and now I am here to address  how it can rock your hair into shape!

    After taking a shower you take a small amount (no more that quarter size) of the oil and put it in your damp hair and style as usual. This has cut my frizz and has made my hair so soft that the first time I used it I couldn't stop touching my hair. If you are worried about it getting to oily, don't. You only put on a small amount and I don't rub it in to my scalp. I just concentrate on the nape of the neck down and then finish with the top. I have never had any oily feeling in my hair and I do tend to have an oily scalp so I understand your hesitation if you are worried.

    Now the biggest test came on my trip to New York in July. If you don't already know NYC is a humid city and July and August are top of the charts. Holy cow it was muggy and icky, but it worked liked a charm. Amazingly I have kept my hair out of the pony tail and buns and have been showing off my tresses in all of their well oiled, but not too oily, glory.

    I have tried several of the oils and really they all are awesome, but the best bang for my buck has been the Organix Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Penetrating Oil. It's inexpensive, works and lasts a long time since you only use a little.

    Here is to a pony tail free summer!

    Friday, July 22, 2011

    New York State of Mind

    I have been to New York many times over the years. I love this city. The first time I went there I knew I could move there with no issues. The only problem is I didn't. So I continue to visit enjoying it for what the city has to offer and then going home to my little condo in a smaller city with inferior public transportation.

    The last couple of weeks I have been in New York working with two very different people from my office, one who grew up in Jersey and one who this trip is her first ever to the Big Apple. This got me thinking about my favorite places in New York. These are the places I always go to that while are not exactly off the beaten path must be done every time I am in town.

    Central Park

    There are so many points of interest that I don't even know which one is my favorite. I think it depends on the time of year since the park changes so much from season to season. Since this is summer I think the fountain is up there with my favorites. It's a great spot to bring your lunch and relax.


    Not exclusive to New York, but it's not available in my city so I have to make a stop here every time. Nicely made clothes at a decent price is always a good thing. Plus the clothes are super cute. Only problem is sometimes the dressing room wait is forever and a day. That is just New York in a nutshell though!

    Photo courtesy of Visit5thavenue.com

    Sak's 5th Avenue

    Going in is not a requirement, but window shopping is! I love this store, but rarely buy anything other than socks or underwear there as it is supremely out of my budget. Still fun to go to and look around.

    Photo Courtesy of Saks Inc.

    New York Public Library

    This is just a must see. Beyond all the movies it's been in, it's a great place to go in and just roam the stacks.

    Of course there are so many restaurants and bars that I could recommend, but half the fun of wandering the streets of NYC is finding your own great hidden gem.

    What are your favorite points of interest or hidden spots in NYC??

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    For Reals

    Unlike today I always wear mascara. It's one of the three top beauty items I must have on my face (mascara, tinted moisturizer and blush) before leaving the house, however today I just totally forgot it. I was busy packing for my holiday this morning and spaced it completely.

    Last week when I was in New York I stopped in at Sephora to pick up some argan oil before I leave the country, because seriously I can not be without it and I am running low. At check out I got a free sample of from Benefit. I am not always optimistic about new mascara. They promise big, bold, long, fat, lean, brilliant lashes and I end up with clumps or slightly better than what god gave me. So I was hesitant to try it on a day that I had to look super presentable so I waited until this weekend. I was so surprised at how easily the application was and that at the tip of the wand are bristles that separate the clumps with ease. My lashes looked longer, darker and not clumpy or too fake looking. It was perfect for me. I get the definition I want without the 10 pounds of make-up look. I went out this weekend to buy the full size version since I loved it so much!

    Click here for a link to the before and afters Benefit has on their site and trust me you will love They're Real, super high recommendation!!

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    Anniversary Sale is HERE!

    The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is the one sale that I always look forward to every year. I stock up on all of my fall basics and get some great key pieces that I know will be used all season long. I usually make sure that on the first day of the sale that I am not expected in the office until the early afternoon so I can make sure to take my time and browse all items. This year however I was in NYC on the first day of the sale (NYC does not currently have a Nordies, but I hear they are working on fixing that) so I sadly missed the craziness of the doors opening and the women rushing the racks. The good news is that the first day is actually just a fun thing for me and Nordstrom does have plenty of stock to last the entire sale. So that left me with even more time to puruse the sale online and make a list of what I want to make sure and see. I do not order online since that is not nearly as fun as going to the store and checking it all out in person! I think I have narrowed this down to a few key items, but I am sure that will all go to wayside when I am going from department to department checking it all out. Here is what is at the top of my must have list.
    Cole Haan 'Air Whitley' Boot. What can I say, I adore a good black
    versatile boot and need to replace my old flat black boots. I think these will fit the bill nicely.

    Miz Mooz 'Felicity' Pump. Love this subtle color.
    Elie Tahari
    I love this top. Splash of color, but not too much.
    Perfect for office or going out.

    Calvin Klein
    I could see this go from day to evening so effortlessly.
    autumn cashmere sweater
    Total splurge, but I love sweaters and it's CASHMERE
    MAC Brushes
    Best deal on brushes HANDS down. I replace my
    worn brushes every year with this deal.
    Hope you have fun checking it out and let me know what you end up with. Happy Shopping!!

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Thistle while you work

    Summer and bugs seem to go hand in hand and nothing makes a vacation more uncomfortable than itchy, scratchy bug bites. If you are like me when you do get said bug bites it turns bright red and swollen and can completely ruin an outfit. So the big problem for me is that I don't like putting on bug deterrent stuff. Even the most natural of sprays you find in the drug store have a toxic fume that just can't be masked. So you have two choices, get bitten by every bug on the block and lake or smell like chemicals and not have anyone want to sit next to you. Not great choices.

    So I have tried so many different sprays because for reasons I can't even begin to understand bugs love me. I can be in a group of 10 people and be the only one that has bites at the end of the day. I must be pretty tasty. So after reading an article The Community of Magdalene, a residential community founded for women with a history of prostitution and drug addiction and helps them gain job skills and create a better future for themselves, I wanted to find out more. Part of this program is the women create natural hand made bath and body products and all sales and profits go back to the program. There are so many great products that they offer that I had a hard time figuring out what to get. Then I saw something I had to try. Geranium Spray. Apparently geranium is a natural bug repellent and they combine this with lemongrass and citronella (also of the repellent sort) with a dash of lavender to create a scent that you don't shy away from putting on your body. SOLD.

    Next up was the test and I must say that I didn't get one bite while wearing it in a pretty bug crazy environment this weekend. So not only are you supporting an amazing program, but you get great products that are good for the body, environment and soul. Not bad for a bug spray. I can't wait to try out some of the other products they offer too!!

    Oh and a small tip. Don't forget to put the spray on your feet. I made this mistake when I was in Minnesota for a wedding and could barely put on my bridesmaids shoes without wanting to tear the skin off my feet. Flip flops didn't even help since it cut right on the bites. A weekend I will never forget and not just for the wedding.

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Mercury in Lights

    Candles. I love them. Pretty, mood setting, soft and I look good in candle light. If I could have candle light every where I go that would be awesome. A unicorn wouldn't be bad either. No, all right. Well so when I can have candle light I do. Dinner, parties, random days that it is so gray here in Seattle that I can use candle light. Pretty much all the time. So obviously I like pretty candle holders. The last year or so I have been really into mercury glass. When you put a candle into this silvery, shiny, translusent glass it gives off a glow that is so pretty and welcoming that I have had to stop myself from buying too many! If you want to add a dash of elegence to your party I highly reccommend getting a few for your house. Take a look for yourself and try not to covet mine to much. They aren't leaving my house!!

    Friday, July 8, 2011

    Loving what you have

    I have mentioned it a few times, but to be clear I am seriously trying to save money. I have cut way back on shopping, going out with friends and just in general watching those pennies. See I am going to Italy for vacation this summer and I want to make sure I can have a good time and return home not feeling awful about maxing out the credit cards.

    So today for Friday Favorites I have decided to show you some of my favorite things I have around my house. I love old stuff and I have lots of it. The stories that these items would have if they could talk always makes me smile. I don't dare call these vintage since I think that is used to often to describe things that are just a few years old. These things are just old, fun and all displayed, used or played with regularly. I hope you enjoy them!

    I love these. They are cute and super easy to carry
    from room to room 8 at a time.

    This is my Space Needle commemorative bourbon bottle
    from the Worlds Fair. It is a great addition to my bar.

    My old and super pretty hankies. I have some on my wall,
    some in my purse and then put some in my pretty Tiffany vase.

    This is a super useful kitchen gadget, especially around the holidays.
    This can carry cupcakes, cookies and a cake. All in one!!
    This is my newest addition. This belonged to my maternal
    grandfather. I am on the hunt for bulbs and film for this.
    Let me know if you know where I can look!!
    Have a great weekend!!

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011

    The Naked Dress

    Sex and the City. You watched it. If you didn't catch it on HBO you watched it on DVD, E! network or just saw the movies. If you watched any of these things you most likely have seen the naked dress that Carrie wore. If you have lived under a rock here it is:

    OK so now we are all on the same page. That dress is very much for the size 2 and under. I agree. But there has to be the dress for the rest of us that has the same WOW factor? Yes. I have found this lovely dress by Alice + Olivia that screams it needs to be in my closet. While this may not be for everyone, I do think this could work on almost any body type and look amazing. It's sold out today on shopbop, but is available on Bluefly and it is a splurge I am willing to cut into my wine budget for. It is that awesome. For some reference here is what it looks like.

    You, yes YOU would look AMAZING in this. I love it! Treat yourselves ladies and wow the man in your life with a dress that simultaneously leaves everything and nothing to the imagination.

    Monday, July 4, 2011

    IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    235 years ago today The Declaration of Independence was approved as the official wording by congress to back up their vote on July 2 that actually declared their independence from Great Britain and was for all practical purposes propaganda to inform everyone they were 'free' of British rule. The actual Revolutionary War was started a year prior to the document declaration and the war continued on for several more years after. It was a long and tiring war, but with quick thinking, luck and a little help from the French, we are not declaring allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II today.

    I actually try to read the Declaration of Independence once a year. Not just because I am a history freak or that I like reading, but because it is fascinating to me that a document that was written 235 years ago still holds up. It's not a long read and you can just skim it if you like, but it encapsulates the very reason why they were fighting and why this country needed to be free from British oppression. The battle for Independence began years before the Declarations inception and continues to be relevant to this day as both a reminder for us (Americans) and for inspiration for other countries that are still fighting their own Independence.

    You can read a transcript of the Declaration of Independence here.

    Happy 4th of July!!

    Without Freedom of Thought there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as Public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech.
    Benjamin Franklin, writing as Silence Dogood, No. 8, July 9, 1722
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