Weekend Round Up

How was your weekend? Mine was fairly uneventful, but I did get a chance to sit outside and finish reading When Breath Becomes Air. It’s the memoir of Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. In his book, he discusses what makes life worth living as a patient and a doctor who knows his time on earth has been cut short. It’s interesting because he asks the question from both a scientific and a philosophical perspective. What I found most inspiring was his and his wife Lucy’s decision to have a baby despite his terminal illness. In the end they decided,  “Life isn’t about avoiding suffering, it’s also about creating meaning.” Great words to live by. I found myself in tears by the end of the book. Watch an interview with Lucy here.

I just discovered the blog Well Plated. It’s a food blog complete with mouthwatering images, a healthy spin on most recipes, and a cheerful Midwesterner, Erin, at its helm. I tried my first recipe, Crock Pot Corn Chowder, as I was cleaning my apartment yesterday, and it was super easy. It didn’t require a laundry list of ingredients, which for that reason alone I give it two thumbs up. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks scrumptious and it should last me well into the week, which means I have more time to sit outside on my porch reading instead of in the hot kitchen.

Oh and I tried bright-pink, barbie-style lipstick this weekend. It’s Maybelline’s Pink N Chic Matte Lip Color. I was inspired by a similar shade on Southern Curls and Pearls and just had to try it. It still feels a little like I’m in costume when I’m wearing it, but paired with the right bright accessories for summer like these turquoise tassel earrings, I think it can have its time and place.

Mom and Me Mani Day

(Photo by Brian Norcross)

In August, we celebrated the nuptials of my little sister and her long-time boyfriend. Our family has had the chance to really get to know her now husband and it was such a happy day for all of us to see them take the next step in their lives together. In the months leading up to the wedding, there was much planning, list making, bow tying, favor making, and bachelorette partying. By the time we got to the wedding weekend all the lists were checked and it was time to gather as a family and celebrate.

The day before the wedding, I got the chance to spend some time with my Mom. She is the type of person who puts everyone else’s needs before her own. She made an appointment to get her hair done the day of the wedding, but she had neglected to schedule a manicure for herself. So during the few hours of calm we had on the day before the wedding, my mom and I sat outside and listened to the radio while I gave her a manicure. It was nice to treat my mom especially since she is always going out of her way to do thoughtful things for us.

I was reminded of this day, when I read about Julep’s “Mom and Me Mani Day”. The idea being that you get a manicure with your mom and spend some quality time together before the business of the school year and soon the holidays take over.

Since I was wearing a berry dress for the wedding, I wanted to go with a pale pink to compliment that deep color. My mom wore a light pink dress, so she kept it classic with light pink nails. Now that we are getting close to fall, I am looking for some richer colors. Julep has a lot of unique nail colors to choose from. I especially like Anisa and Angelica for something different.

Do you have a back to school ritual you share with your Mom or your kids? If not, a “Mom and Me Mani Day” might be in order.

Stylish Sundays at Swank

This winter has been annoying on a lot of levels, but one thing that’s been really challenging lately is keeping my hair vibrant and healthy. So when Swank Hair Studio and Pretty Living PR invited me to Stylish Sundays for a Blogger Blowout, I jumped at the chance. From what I had heard, a blowout at a hair salon typically involves using the right products and techniques to make your hair look shiny and smooth. With my thick, coarse hair, I have always wanted to try a salon blowout. 
Surprisingly, owner and stylist Melissa, was able to get my hair looking this good without even picking up a flat iron. That’s something I could never do on my own! My hair looked natural and healthy and the blowout lasted for a few days. I loved the results, and would highly recommend giving it a try if you want a salon-quality blowout.

Swank Hair Studio is located in that cute little stretch of Lawrenceville on Butler street. Besides the usual menu of services, the studio has a makeup artist on hand and spray tanning available from Bronze Beauty, the mobile spray tan boutique.

I loved the light and airy look of the salon as well as the glamorous and homey atmosphere. I felt like I was talking with girlfriends as the stylists and I chatted about anything from our favorite restaurants to cute guys.

Bella Christiez Sweet Treats provided the cupcakes. Because what Blogger Blowout is complete without a peanut butter and jelly cupcake? I had one. They are insane!

Beautiful pieces from Swarovski. I was eying up all of the rose gold.

Set up outside was the boutique on wheels Broke Little Rich Girl, Inc. When I ventured inside, I had to stop and look at every piece of jewelry and clothing. It all was so unique — nothing I had seen anywhere else. Luckily, she is set up in the Strip District on Saturday mornings.

Overall it was a stylish and pampered Sunday indeed! Thanks to Swank Hair Studio who provided the complimentary blowout and to Pretty Living PR.

How To: Ashley Wagner Poof and Bun

In honor of the ladies long program, I am sharing my How To for the Ashley Wagner Poof and Bun that she dons during her long program. You can see my full outfit post here. Go USA!

1. Start with either blown out hair or day old straight har.

2. Pull the top front section of hair together and tease.

 3. Push poof forward and secure with bobby pins at top back of your head.

4. Pull hair into a high ponytail.

5. Pull small bump of hair through one loop of the ponytail holder. 
6. Wrap hair around the small bump and secure with bobby pins. 
Ta-da!

Pink lips for spring

Just as I was getting settled and confident in my red lipstick, I saw this image of pink lipstick on this is glamorous. I like the pop for spring, and it could be a nice change of pace when I am not wearing my bright red lipstick and need to make my lips match bright spring outfits. I was trying to figure out what to pair it with and saw that some of the trends in nail polish for spring included some muted colors like mint and nude. These colors might be subtle enough to wear with this challenging color to coordinate. What do you think? Essie mint candy apple, $8

American Apparel Mouse, $6