Summer and Strand

June 25, 2010

Summer is here.

So is mass-hyst-HAIR-ia!

Along with the sun and the swim and the salt and the sweetness of summer come variant obstacles to p-HAIR-adise! I’m going to stop doing that now….putting HAIR into words. But I shall put solutions into words…and pictures!

For every follicular foe…

there is an ally!

One of the first and the best is to embrace and control the natural change in your mane!

Besides the gorgeous natural effect of a day on the shore, there are amazing products that reduce frizz and set hair’s natural movement. There are even crafty ways to make your own products! Check out some Salt Spray recipes on ehow.com that get you that natural beachy hair anywhere! If you’re not into even minimal manual labor, Bumble and Bumble makes Surf Spray for the same effect.

As a girl with fine, frizzy and unevenly wavy locks, I adore a couple of John Frieda products. MANE-ly (oh gosh…sorry) his Frizz-Ease Straight Fixation. I know it says “straight”…and upon styling with a flat iron it lives up to it’s title, but I find that if I use velcro rollers or put in pin curls or even air dry, it smoothes the strands in their intended form. I also love to finish any styling with Frizz-Ease Moisture Barrier Firm-Hold Hairspray. I’ts especially great with any formal styling or ponytails, chignons and up-do’s. For a more intense frizzless wave, I love to spritz my hair generously with Garnier Fructis Wonder Waves Wave-Enhancing spray, then scrunch and blow dry with a diffuser. That brought out my curviest wave!

I personally have consistently…inconsistent…and often unruly strands, so I’ve devised many methods to tame the mangy mess with virtually no effort.

Pull back a ponytail!

Simply teasing the root and securing a pony at the base of the crown, about an inch and a half up from the bottom of the hairline, creates the ultimate low maintenance look. I like to defrizz by lightly straightening or curling the tail of this do. If you have bangs, they are best silky and straight. For my more flamboyant females, there are ways to stylize and personalize with a headband, flower, brooch or extra ties.

Headbands are my personal favorite!

I usually wear a scarf or band with my long hair lightly teased at the root and tied back in a low ponytail or bunch. For an instant fix that goes with anything, try a $10 versatile braided headband from Sephora.

In fact, braids are another easy fix for free spirited strands!


I like to start one at my natural part then wrap fully or partially at the crown. Encircling tresses with a french braid adds more polish to the pouf.

With a little more time and a little more stress on your tresses, you can properly prep and straighten with a good ceramic hair iron. Proper time and technique ensure slick and smooth style that can stand up to the heat and humidity…unless you plan on serious sweating…or swimming.

So, pony up!

Coax the curl, wrap your cap, play with braids or move to smooth your coif…

and crown your summer with style!

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Plumes and Panache

April 16, 2010


Pa*nache n.

1. a dashing manner; style; swagger
2. (Clothing & Fashion) a feathered plume on a helmet

[via French from Old Italian pennacchio, from Late Latin pinnāculum feather, from Latin pinnafeather; compare Latin pinnāculumpinnacle]

I’m pretty sure I wore the word incarnate at a wedding recently.

It was a lovely Conservative wedding in the Puritan midwest, far from my free spirited comfort zone, but my confidence soared.

Scott Wilson headdress

Helmeted with a wraparound braid (firmly secured to my head so as not to scatter and frizz on the dance floor) and adorned by faux flora and true feather, I strode into battle, a fierce defender of individuality, bravado and fun.

That’s me on the right.

Notice the gently sprouting plumage.

Ignore the handsome gentlemen on the left.

He’s taken.

Birds fly and flaunt…

chirp and sing….

Why should we be gilded and chained?

vintage feather necklace

Why not dream of taking wing!

by designer Miss KK & available at www.BonaDrag.com

…and launch a stylish flight of fancy…

design by Laura Kranitz

“…birds fly over the rainbow, why then, oh why, can’t I…”

-E.Y. Harburg

Spring Rain

April 9, 2010

Today on the East Coast it is cloudy and cool

…with 60% chance of precipitation…

…and likely thunderstorms.

Yesterday was sunny and warm.

Spring is settling in and we are all scrambling to adjust.  There are more hours of light and greater clarity of our surroundings. There is immense relief as we stretch our legs, step outside and escape from our indoor imprisonment.

Then, there is significant disappointment in the set back of a rainy day.

There are ways to ease the tense tether of wet grey skies,

and perhaps ways to revel in the ties that bind.

Light candles…Listen to music…Write a letter…

Visit a quiet indoor space…Sip from a mug…Read a book…

Look…Listen…Watch the rain…Hear the wind…

Let all other preoccupations wait, and just be where you are

…with what you have.

The time we spend weathering the inclement

is what makes sunny comfort so anticipated.

Jars sans Jelly

April 2, 2010

With all the fanciful things jars can contain,

they capture little bits of the best things in life!

Bring some sweet

bright

comforting

…charming…


rustic…


…natural…

pure

refreshing…


…elegant

…STYLE into your LIFE!

That was extremely enthusiastic for a segment on jars.

But they are precious…affordable…recyclable…non toxic…portable…and readily available to us all!

As a metaphor for living life with style,

I would like to encourage you all to devour the jelly, and free the jar!!!

Pain and Pushing Through

March 29, 2010

Today I witnessed a girlfriend’s breaking heart

…and my child’s cramping leg.

Each one a casualty of unfamiliar and unforeseen pain,

they braved their injuries.

My five year old son cried frequently every time his hurt leg set down to carry his weight.  My friend gracefully carried her burden with eyes only barely reddened by earlier tears.

When I see people that I care for go through the inevitable aches of life, my first instinct is to lift them up and assure them that everything will be alright.  Behind that instinct creeps the fear that something more sinister lies in wait.  That they might not recover.  I am an admitted paranoiac who constantly talks myself down from ledges of irrational worry.  But, ultimately, there is nothing that the human spirit cannot survive.  This becomes especially obvious if one is a person of faith in a higher power.  It is inspirational to me to see the strength in those suffering and the power and responsibility of the rest of us to impress hope upon them.  I’m not saying that depression won’t set in or that a kind of death will never come before it is welcomed, just that we are all justified in pushing through and insisting that better days are yet to come.

I’ve dealt with various levels of loss.  None would I consider personal tragedies, though some were agonizing.  My mind wanders to friends and family who are dealing with eminent tragic loss, and I keep going back to the hope and prayer that they will find within themselves the prescience that joy will be as possible as pain is unavoidable.

Later this evening, my son’s painful leg muscle relaxed in a hot bath with some gently coaxed stretching.  My friend’s heartache will undoubtedly take longer to heal.

Our physical and emotional scars mark a living history.

Whether we carry them with pride, prejudice or shame,

they are indelible proof that we have survived,

or better yet that we have LIVED.

Country Cottage Couture

February 26, 2010

cou·ture (k-tr, -tür)n.

1. The business of designing, making, and selling highly fashionable, usually custom-made clothing for women.
2. Dressmakers and fashion designers considered as a group.
3. The high-fashion clothing created by designers.

[French, sewing, from Old French cousture, from Vulgar Latin *cnstra, from Latin cnsuere, cnst-to sew togethercom-com-suere,to sew; see sy- in Indo-European roots.]
hmmmmm…
Despite this definition’s obvious allegiance to cloth…I think I can stretch the word’s use and understanding to describe “the business of designing, making, and selling highly fashionable, usually custom-made” decor for homes.
Ok!
Then…I also have to stretch the word “custom-made”
to describe anything put on this earth and/or crafted by human hands
that was proverbially meant just for one special space.
So…
to me…
in my Utopia…
when grouped with “country” and “cottage”…
the word “couture” becomes everything BUT it’s connotation alone.
It becomes the heart and soul and singularity of a truly country cottage inspired space.
I was swept away this week by the 2010 Cottage Style publication…which I am about to steal from my mother’s collection.  Page after page of gleaming whites, gorgeous wood tones and glimmering strokes of teal and green seem so timeless and natural.  I’ve always had a love affair with white wash and distressed painted finishes.  Their use in the hands of inspired individuals seem to provide endless possibility and undying re-invention.
Despite my liberties with the individual definitions of each word in this post’s title…it is no stretch to assume that those cozy, country, comforting, cottage-y types out there understand it perfectly.
It speaks to the painstaking collection of new and found objects
that gradually organize themselves into spaces that define us
and welcome our guests.
It beckons the mind’s eye to the wonder and whimsy of time, places and gatherings past.
It brings to mind tea and cookies, bread and wine, earth and hearth, sun and splendor, sugar and spice and surely
…all things nice.

Where have I BEEN all my life!

Ha ha….

Well, in addition to being a personal lifestyle warrior, I’m a full time mom and an often times actress.  So, life got hectic for a while (thank goodness for steady work)…and I completely dissolved any contribution to my blog!  I see in the future, though, a time when I may be primarily rocking a style website, and I need practice writing down my thoughts and ideas.  I also need major help figuring out how to make this blog pretty.  It’s all in my head, but I’m technologically…slow…so there’s a learning curve.

For lack of my own adorable website, I would love to introduce you to my gorgeous and talented friend’s online boutique, Madison Belle!!!

This phenom-friend of mine, Brooke, is a truly passionate entrepreneur and an equally spirited soul!  Her site has been featured on many popular style blogs and she was even highlighted in Country Living.  She scours the land for the most adorable and crafty pieces with vintage flair.

Find a unique gift, or an amazing conversation piece to add style to your world!

the adorable style of http://www.shopmadisonbelle.com

See!  Comfort and style CAN be bought!!!

www.shopmadisonbelle.com

Since I was a Star in the Sky, I have believed in the value of a constant and true search for oneself. I have believed that with even basic access to other people and their life discoveries, we can all discover ourselves. And…this search and discovery never stops. Which is, to me, an AWESOME thing!

Ok. Though this “belief” extends to some serious life issues that are far beyond my personal passion…I’m talking about Style, here! I’m talking about finding a confident personal Style, that may change, but…at least feels productive and relevant and GOOD right now.

I want to use this blog and, eventually, a website, to network all of us…STYLEPHILE to STYLEPHOBE…to expedite and intensify our constantly evolving journey of self discovery. I’m lucky enough to have some great connections to some amazing artists and experts who are itching to contribute. So…this is a start!

Life can be sweet. Put in something good, mix it up a bit, give it some heat and…TAKE A SLICE! I’ll be dishing out the goods periodically…with a little help from my friends.