If you have turned on any news source in the last few days, you’ve seen that our home state of Texas has been devastated by Hurricane Harvey. This is “one of the largest disasters America has ever faced,” according to Texas Governor, Greg Abbot. With 100+ mph winds destroying homes in the Corpus Christi area, as well as the 50+ inches of rain that has flooded Houston and surrounding areas, literally millions of people are being affected. We beg of our readers, both domestic and international, to keep these people in your thoughts and prayers; and if you can do so, donate to the American Red Cross (any little bit goes such a long way)!
Fellow Texans- please keep up the good work. It is so heartwarming to see the H-E-B trucks loaded up with food, water, and medical supplies on their way to help those in need, Buc-ee’s Gas Stations setting up cots in aisles so that the families who had to evacuate can have a place to sleep, and so many others donating food, clothes, and toys to those affected by this disaster of a storm.
To all those in the affected areas, please stay safe.
*Ohio is for cheap wine loving residents of Pennsylvania.
I used to feel like Joel duped me into moving up to PA from Texas for the lone reason that Pennsylvania has some whack AF laws regarding alcohol. “What do you mean you can’t buy beer or wine with the rest of your groceries and have to go to a separate part of the store? TRADER JOE’S DOESN’T HAVE WINE AT ALL? HOW WILL I LIVE WITHOUT MY OTHER BOYFRIEND, TWO BUCK CHUCK?!”
But, being a serial optimist, I can always find that silver lining….
THEY TOTALLY SELL WINE EVERYWHERE IN OHIO (fun fact- most of the people who willingly visit Ohio are just thirsty Pennsylvanians)! Last weekend, Joel and I embarked on the fifty minute journey out of PA, through WV, and into OH for the sole purpose of buying cheap wine. We’ve both been feeling the itch to travel again, plus there’s totally a chick-fil-a on the way. Three birds, one stone, dead.
Joel heard on the streets that Aldi sells an “award winning” rosé, which everyone knows is the drink of the summer as well as a key ingredient to frozé (frozen rosé). So with bellies full of chicken and NPR on blast, we embarked on an epic…. “oh, we’re already there? cool…”
And whatdya know, they were sold out! Instead, we got:
a white zinfandel (it’s pink too, so close enough)
cheap Aldi champagne
a box of Chardonnay (it’s not good)
a 6 pack of Amber Ale (also pretty bad)
When we got home, Joel made some champagne ice cubes, which we later mixed with the White Zinfandel and some frozen raspberries, and you know what, it was one of the most refreshing alcoholic beverage I’ve ever had (suck it, frozé).
It’s funny, when I lived/worked in Ohio for the 9 months leading up to our wedding, I felt myself harboring this childish resentment toward the whole state, but it really isn’t that bad. I swear, people from Ohio are the nicest, so I’m hoping they don’t get too offended by my lighthearted teasing (lookin’ at you Leann and Rachel)!
Being a mother, you learn quickly that there are not enough hours in the day. You have kids that you actually have to keep alive! That means, feed them, make sure they use the bathroom (hopefully in the toilet), sleep, stay clean, and learn something in day. That is a whole day in itself. So how in the world are you suppose to get everything else done? You just figure it out.
I won’t lie to you; most days, I have one or multiple piles of clean laundry laying around waiting to be folded and put away. I go to start, and then a kid starts screaming and I get distracted and have to make lunch then find out we are late for a doctor appointment… and the laundry gets forgotten about. “Maybe Tomorrow” is spoken way too often out of my mouth.
In the midst of all the madness, you have to remember to take care of yourself too. Recently, I’ve taken up BUTI Yoga. I got a subscription so I can workout at home, anytime I want and my kids can join me if they want to. It’s been a good way to focus my physical energy to better myself and know that it’s helping me focus on one thing for a restricted time.
I’ve been trying to go “hands-free” as much as possible. I recently finished up a whitening session with Smile Brilliant. I first sent in my personal compressions and had custom teeth whitening trays sent back to me. It turned out to be way easier than I thought. Sometimes I would pop them in before leaving the house since they can stay in anywhere from 45min-3hours. Pop them in, go grocery shopping, come home, work out, and during all of that, I’ve whitened my teeth. Being an avid coffee and wine drinker, my teeth were desperate for some attention.
After being approached by Smile Brilliant, I started my whitening sessions. Most of them were done in the evening before bed but I also whitened on the way to the beach, and once while at my grandmother’s house for a few hours. Simple, comfortable, and efficient. Perfect for a mom on-the-go!
Before starting my sessions, I looked through some teeth whitening testimonials and a little research on what to expect before whitening. My teeth do tend to be a little sensitive so I made sure to get approval from my dentist. Other than some slight tingling on my gums, I never had any issues or side-effects. My smile is my favorite feature, It’s not perfect but it gives everyone else a spark of positivity and joy! If there’s a way to make it shine brighter, I’m all for it.
Aside from being able to whiten my teeth hands-free, I’m always trying to do some sort-of social gathering through the week. As much as I love staying home in my yoga pants, being around others gives me energy and lifts my spirit! It can be a lot to juggle but I always try to remember there are only so many hours in the day and to make sure to spend those good hours focusing on what’s worth living. My family, my friends, and myself! If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of everyone else.
For a chance to win you’re own Whitening Kit, enter into our giveaway we are offering from today: August 30, 2017 until September 6, 2017
I love Instagram for 2 reasons. First of all, it’s a place to get inspired (I could spend hours scrolling through the “explore” page and looking at colorful places around the world, cute triplets, and/or videos of ocean life). Secondly, it’s a place to connect with inspiring and cool people outside of the Facebook bubble of people you knew in high school.
My next Woman Of The Hour is my favorite Instagrammer/blogger, Bianca Jasmon. BJ is one of those people who, even though I’ve never met her in person (our plans to meet up when I’m in Texas always get thwarted by my dumb family [LOVE Y’ALL THOUGH]), I just know that I love her. She is a down to earth beauty queen and her colorful IG account and thoughtful lifestyle blog are sure to be your new favorites!
How/why/when did you get into blogging?I started blogging mainly to have a living log of the first few years of my marriage and to journal our travels. I started this blog in January of 2016 and I used Squarespace to get it going because I found it super easy.
Favorite part about writing your own blog?I love that I can see the evolution of things like my hair or style but also my writing and novice photography.Also, connecting with people via the internets is fun!
What is your 9-5 day job?It’s a v boring office job, insurance related. “I can’t tell you, it’s a secret.” JK
What are your most used blogging tools? (Camera, editing program, Instagram husband to take photos, etc) My phone, my husband and A Color Story!
How do you stay inspired? Staying inspired can be really tough especially with a “lifestyle” type blog. If I don’t have much going on in my life in a certain week it’s tough to come up with a post to share and I don’t ever want to force a post. But I do find good new music helps get my creative juices flowin’. Also, yoga lets me clear my head on the regular which helps!
What blogs do you read? Yours! I love Minimalist Baker for recipes. ABM from time to time. But honestly, these days it’s more about Podcasts for me. I like unsolved mysteries or crime podcasts the most (Up and Vanished, My Favorite Murder and the like). But lately, I’ve been branching out and listening to women empowerment and career driven podcasts too!
Okay I feel like I said the word “blog” too many times, so on to my other favorite questions to ask…
Describe your style in 1-5 words. easy, neutral, playful, body positive
Who is your style icon? Ohhh let’s see, growing up I’d say Selena for sure but present day I’d say Carole Radziwill always looks so incredible.
What is your best feature? I love my natural eyelashes, they’re long with a little curl- got lucky!
What song would you want to play when you walk into a room to make you feel bad ass? Currently, “Most Girls”- Hailee Steinfeld- gets me pumped to be a lady every damn time.
What beauty product can you not live without? Oooo, that’s a toss up between mascara and an eyebrow pencil. I can’t live without full brows but I’m obsessed with mascara.
If you were an inanimate object, what would you be?Hmmmmmm I have to say I’ve literally never thought about this before so I asked my husband who’s sitting right next to me and this is what he said “I think you’d be a pair of ballet shoes because you’re delicate and tough at the same time.” He’s cute. Background to that, I took dance all throughout my childhood and some in college and still love it so much.
What was your first aol screen name? Ha! I don’t remember my first one but the one I remember the most is ‘SwingForMars,’ it’s taken from a song. Anyone else love Jack’s Mannequin too (RIP)?
Are you currently binge watching anything, Netflix or otherwise? Currently re-watching The Office for the millionth time. I also re-watch The Hills and One Tree Hill a lot too…the early 2000’s man, the golden age of TV… ha!
What is your favorite Halloween costume you’ve ever had? I’m actually not big into Halloween! I was a big scaredy cat when I was younger so I never invested a lot into my costumes but when I dressed up I’d always have a cutesy costume. A couple years ago I was an ice cream cone a la Studio DIY which was fun!
If you could go anywhere in the world for a week, where would you go and why? Ah! This is a hard one! I still have a bazillion places I want to visit. Top 3 places I want to visit at the moment are Italy, Greece and Hawaii.
What is your drink of choice? “Red, red wine” (had to Spotify UB40, just had too)
Give me an example of your biggest fashion win and your biggest fashion mistake. The biggest fashion fail I’ve had was (Dave just asked “when you were goth?” because I told him I dressed goth for a few weeks in middle school but no that’s not it) when I worked at a retail store in college and I came into work wearing a tunic that was way too fitted and short as a dress and 4 inch wedges I could not walk in. Every time I had to go retrieve something in the stock room I would pull my “dress” down. I realized after a few times of tripping on my ankles that I would never wear this combo again.
Fashion win probably should go to my latest jumpsuit purchase from Mister Zimi, it’s flowy, bright and I feel so good in it!
What are your favorite and least favorite current fashion trends? Favorite trend currently is probably the off the shoulder situation, it’s so flattering and so what if you can’t use your arms!? I don’t know if I have a least favorite trend… you do you!
Go-to karaoke song? Ha! Believe it or not, I’ve actually never done karaoke (wut?) but if I did there would probably be a lot of Celine Dion and Boys II Men…overall anything 90’s.
Favorite song of the moment? Oooo I like this question but I have a lot of current favorites right now… I’m going to go with 8TEEN by Khalid because it’s soooo happy and has been on repeat this summer!
Best advice you’ve ever been given and would like to pass on.
I remember an entrepreneur say that after working a 9-5 for years he realized one day that he didn’t want to work for someone’s dream anymore. That’s really stuck with me since then. I want to be my own boss someday so that all the hours I put in are a direct investment in my own dream.
AIN’T SHE THE BEST?! To see more from Bianca, follow her Instagram, like, right now… She’s in NYC with her husband and her stories do not disappoint.
Joel and I have this one friend, Ben, who is an actual real life genius. He is a neuroscientist with an IQ of, like, 160 (probably). THE ONLY time I have ever seen Ben stumped or in disbelief was when we were all hanging out around the time of our wedding last year and he saw me casually pull out my hair extensions… The “waaaait, whaaaat?!” look on his face led my to believe that if I could fool someone so unfoolable, I must be an expert… yes, an expert at clipping in hair extensions, but an expert nonetheless.
I’ve been wearing hair extensions for a longgggg time because my stupid hair won’t grow all the way down to my butt no matter how hard I will it to do so. Also, I keep cutting it on top of forgetting to take my biotin so there’s that.
Back in high school, I used to buy the hair and sew in the clips myself, but these days, ain’t nobody got time for that. My friend suggested eBay for buying extensions, which is what I did this last spring. I would definitely recommend buying these if you want to give hair extensions a try. They’re inexpensive and good quality and if you need to tweak the color to match your own hair, it’s easily accomplished (my cousin applied a toner to mine and now they blend perfectly).
Here is my tried and true method to hair extensions:
Begin by sectioning off the very bottom two inches of you hair. Clip the rest on top of your head.
Using a teasing brush, back comb your roots (I read in a magazine once that this helps the clips stay in place)
Clip in a two or three clip piece of hair and curl in sections (I like to use my trusty old curling iron, since my curling rod is MIA, to curl the top of the strands first then pull the curling iron down to the bottom instead of trying to wrap all the hair around at once.)
Repeat, repeat, repeat. Sectioning, teasing, then curling. When your head feels like it’s 15 lbs heavier, you’re probably good to go.
Lightly brush through all of the curls before adding hairspray and/or texturizing spray.
Other Uses For Hair Extensions
Add extensions to a top knot to make it look like an avant-garde birds nest.
Misplaced your Groucho Marx disguise glasses? Use hair extensions to make yourself look like a sexy unibomber and go spy on your neighbors.
Need material to make a rope because you’re camping or on a boat or something? Braid your hair extensions and use those.
Brush your hair extensions both before and after every use.
Wash your hair extensions semi-regularly (obviously not as much as you wash your own hair, but don’t never wash them).
Definitely unclip and pull out your hair extensions in a public place to see peoples’ reactions.
If you’re wearing hair extensions when you go visit your sister and she asks in that patronizing way of hers if “that’s all yourreal hair?” say “yes”. I mean, it is your hair, you paid for it.
Name your hair extensions. I call mine Sylvia.
Stop calling them hair extensions and refer to them only as your “weave” or by the name you gave them in the last tip.
As someone who will never be able to pull off sexy, short hair, I appreciate the hell out of hair extensions (I mean “my weave”! I MEAN “SYLVIA”!). I plan to keep these luxurious locks for an unbe-weave-ably long time.