November 30, 2011

Happiness Is Diary

Watch: Juicy; Friendship Bracelets: c/o JewelMint

I love holding hands.  The interlocking of fingers, the cupping of two palms...In fact, you may not know it, but you do too.  It's all about our intrinsic desire to touch and be touched.  Scientifically speaking, (whoa bet you didn't think I'd pull that out!) holding hands reduces stress, as the simple touch produces oxytocin in your brain.  Don't you ever wonder why you naturally reach for someone's hand when you are scared, nervous, sad, or in love?  Whatever the reason, holding hands is simply, a connection.  And in a way, I think it is a gesture that makes us extraordinarily human, when you really think about it.

So, if your hand doesn't natrually gravitate towards someone elses today, simply stretch out your arm, extend your hand, and say to a friend, "Hey, will you hold this for me?"  I know I do that to Husband, and lucky for me, he always does. 

November 29, 2011

Meant to Be

Blazer: Anthropologie; Jeans: AG; Shirt and Belt: JCrew; Boots: Vince Camutto; Bag: H&M; Rings and friendship bracelets: c/o JewelMint; Earrings: c/o LeMode Accessories
I saw this Madchen blazer while shopping several months ago at Anthropologie.  It would be safe to admit, it was love at first sight.  As I glanced at it underneath the misty lights of the store, sitting perfectly coiffed on a cold, empty mannequin, I knew it had to be on me.  But, and there's always a but.  It carried a $258 price tag.  I knew we would never be, so regretfully, we parted ways.  I walked out of the store, looked back for one final glance (so dramatic, I know), and put it in my mind that I would never think of that blazer again.  Fast forward.   
A few weeks ago, I walked into that same Anthropologie, on a rainy night, with nothing else in mind but to return a polka dotted apron I had purchased.  I figured I would take a look around the store, just in case, and made my way to the sale rack.  And there it was.  That blazer.  Hanging clumsily between folds of sweaters.  One left.  Size small.  $70!  In a moment, I slinked that blazer off of the hanger, wrapped it around me, gazed softly into the mirror, and then totally high-fived myself!  Score!!  Call it fate, but somehow, this little blazer and I found each other again.  And when I exchanged it for the polka dotted apron, that I thank for allowing us to meet again, it really only felt like I bought this little gem for $40.
So, the moral of the story is this:  When it comes to shopping, and life, hold out.  If it is meant to be, it is meant to be.  If it's not, move on, or be happy with what you've got.  And, if you are patient and wait, you will be rewarded far more than any impulsiveness can give you.

November 28, 2011

Recap

Shirt: c/o Windsor Store; Purse: c/o Windsor Store; Shoes: G By Guess; Jeans: AG; Scarf: Michael Stars; Belt: JCrew; Sunnies: BCBG
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend!  Husband and I sure did!  We spent Thanksgiving at my Parent's house.  Do not worry.  I did not steal the pumpkin pie.  I shared.  Because that is what Thanksgiving is all about.  Anyways, on Friday we drove to Tucson (that's where Husband's family is from), and spent the long weekend there.  The weather was absolutely divine and all I wanted to do was bask in it's beauty.  I'd like to say we spent the weekend outdoors hiking (which is what we had planned on doing) but most of it was consumed by eating.  Lots and lots of eating.  And driving around the mountains picking out our million dollar dream house.  I'll take the one with the incredible city view please.  Happy Monday!

November 23, 2011

Don't Get in the Way of My Pumpkin Pie

Pants: FreePeople; Shirt: JCrew; Sweater: Urban Outfitters; Shoes: Marc Fisher; Purse: c/o Windsor Store
Tomorrow's Thanksgiving!  I'm really excited!  I am planning on getting drunk off of tryptophan (you know, that weird stuff in turkey that makes you sleepy).  However, there won't be any time for napping because, well, I have a confession.  You see, I am going to attempt to steal a whole pumpkin pie, just for moi.  Why don't I just bake one for myself, you ask?  Because.  I'll be relaxing all day while other people slave over the stove.  So, back to my plan.  What if...I sabotage the pie by "accidentally" dropping it on the floor.  But, then again, that probably wouldn't be the best idea because who wants to eat pumpkin pie off the floor?  Granted, I would.  But I think I have a better idea.  What if, I take a bite out of the pumpkin pie, abruptly spit it out onto the table and scream really loud, "EW!!  This is just AWFUL!"  Yep, pretty sure no one will want to eat it after that.  And then I will laugh, having fooled all of my family on Thanksgiving, and I will go sit in a room by myself and devour that delicious pie I waited all year for.  And then I'll blame it on the tryptophan.  Happy Thanksgiving.  Peace, love and pumpkin pie.   

November 22, 2011

Tips for Self-Portraits

On today's Tuesday tutorial edition, I want to offer some tips to taking better self-portraits.  These are things I have come to learn after almost a year of documenting my life and style through pictures.  When you are the force in front of - and behind - the camera, it allows for more creative control because you can set the shot up exactly how you want it.  But at other times, being your own photographer can feel limiting and intimidating.  To ensure that you get the most out of your photos, keep these tips in mind!

What You Will Need.
1.  Camera.  I use my Canon T1i Rebel, with the standard kit lens (18-55 mm) for self portraits.  However, a point and shoot works just as well.  
2.  Tri-pod.  No need to spend big bucks on it.
3.  Remote shutter release.  Only if you want to avoid breaking a sweat running back and forth setting timers
4.  Confidence.  Because taking pictures of yourself can be awkward.

Things to Consider.
1.  Background.  Two items make a photo; the subject and the background.  Look at both components as equal parts.  When it comes to personal style photos, your background is an extension of your outfit.  Therefore, it should complement what you are wearing, not compete with it.  

If you are in an earthy outfit, go outside and find an open field with warm sunlight.

If your outfit is a little more edgy, find some cool architecture or a wall with bold color.

Do pick up on similar or contrasting colors and textures.

Don't pose in front of noisy backgrounds. i.e., walls with lots of graffiti, or places with lots of people/cars in the background.  Noisy backgrounds detract from the subject and the eye doesn't know where to look.
No.
Don't pose with your house in the background or in your dark bedroom.  It looks amateur.
 
When all else fails, do find a plain wall to stand in front of, and let the subject speak for itself.

2.  Lighting.  The best times of day to take pictures are in the morning or evening when the sun is either rising or setting.  At these hours, the sun is softest.  If you have to take pictures in the middle of the day, find shade to avoid harsh light and shadows on your face.  However, make sure the shade is not spotty, i.e. under a tree, which can cause spotty light and shadows to appear through leaves onto your subject.


3.  Natural light is amazing, and it is your friend.  Always shoot without a flash to obtain the most natural looking photographs.  Only use a flash whenever it is absolutely necessary.  You can always make post production adjustments.

Focusing.
This is the most difficult aspect of self-portrait taking.  I don't know how many times I have taken a batch of photographs to find that the pictures were blurry.  To ensure that your camera focuses, set up a tall prop where you will be standing and focus the camera on it.  Set the timer, and then quickly move the prop out of the way and stand directly where you placed it.  This is when a remote would come in handy, so you do not have to run back and forth setting up and taking down your prop.

Modeling.
Feel uninhibited in front of the camera and let your personality shine through your photos.  Move around, laugh out loud, smile, smolder.  The point is to convey natural emotion.  Sure, you might look crazy doing it, but no one ever called you normal.  I kid, I kid.  Besides, the best part about taking your own picture is that over time, you learn how to pose.  For instance, it can look funny to pose with arms straight at the side.  (At least in my case).  So, bend an elbow slightly, or put hands on the waist to break up the length.  Over time, you learn what looks good, what doesn't, what you like, what you don't, and you can take all that information and direct others when you are behind the lens.  And that's a beautiful thing.  


It's All in the Numbers.
Take tons of photographs.  Take 100.  Take 200.  Take 400.  The more photos you take, the more chances for capturing that perfect picture.  Because let's face it, we don't look flawless in every photo.  There are eye blinks, bad angles, funny expressions, out of place accessories, the list goes on.  Bottom line is, more photos means more options.  Period.

Composition.
Make the photo interesting through composition.  Don't just stand there!  Zoom in.  Zoom out.  Try different angles.  Get up close to the camera.  Get on the ground.  Play with lines.  Crop the subject.  Some of these actions can be done in post editing, but when you try different things while shooting, you may be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.  If not, press erase.


 
And most importantly, when it comes to taking a self-portrait, be you!    

November 20, 2011

Just getting my Thanksgiving game face on by stretching out the belly with some delicious pumpkin pannies.  Mmmmm...smothered in syrup.

November 18, 2011

JewelMint Giveaway!

Necklace and XO Rings: c/o JewelMint; Top: Splendid; Vest: FreePeople; Jeans: JBrand; Boots: Vince Camutto; Purse: H&M
To celebrate Friday, we have a giveaway with JewelMintJewelMint is the creation of celebrity stylist and designer Cher Coulter, and the beautiful actress and fashionista, Kate Bosworth.  Gosh, I wish I looked like her!  Hello, two different colored eyes.  OR - had her closet.  Anyways, enough about my girl crush.  Cher and Kate have scoured all around the world for inspiration to bring you and me, stylish, unique, and affordable pieces.  I am loving this chic necklace, and these XO rings totally fit my personality.  But back to the important stuff.  JewelMint is offering the chance for you to win one of their pieces of your choice!
To enter:  Like JewelMint on Facebook
Additional Entries: Follow on Twitter and/or the JewelMint Blog 
Leave a separate comment below for each entry!

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Also, the winner of the $50 gift card to Windsor is: J.Lynn!  Congratulations!  I will be emailing you.
Thanks to all who entered.  
And don't forget, 10% off to Windsor with the code roh at checkout!

November 17, 2011

New Boots

Sweater: Bar III for Macy's; Shirt: Sugarlips for Macy's; Jeans: AG; Boots: G by Guess; Purse: H&M; Ring: c/o Windsor Store; Necklace: Free People; Really Bright Lipstick: CoverGirl 305 Hot Passion
I ended up at Macy's One Day Sale event yesterday.  Twice.  I browsed the shoe section during lunch and then headed back over after work.  Even Husband joined me for some shopping, which is really, actually quite rare.  Hey, we love a good sale.  Anyhoo, I had been eyeing these G by Guess booties since I saw some random girl in a similar pair, wearing them at H&M.  I thought they looked effortlessly cool on her and hoped to pull them off just as well.  They are a little more edgy for my style, but sometimes it's fun to mix it up and try something a little different than what you would normally expect from yourself.  I think they are a fun addition to my ever expanding shoe collection.  And besides, can a girl really have enough boots?  On second thought, (especially if you are my Husband), don't answer that.

November 15, 2011

Kitten Liner Tutorial


Modernize the cat eye by creating a thinner line across your lashes, for a playfully natural, day to evening look.  I love this because it widens and elongates your eyes, while emphasizing those luscious lashes!  Watch the tutorial below to recreate the look!   
 

November 14, 2011

My Adventures in Hair Color

Jeans: JBrand; Shirt: JCrew; Necklace: FreePeople; Purse: Francesca's Collections
My beautiful friend and hair stylist, Alayna, helped switch my hair color up over the weekend.  It's not a drastic change, but I really like it.  You see, I have a tendency to get bored rather easily when it comes to the color of my hair.  For the majority of my life, I went for the bleached-out blonde look.  It was like an obsession as to how blonde I could be.  Everytime I went back to the salon, I would say, "Can you make me blonder?"...."How about blonder!" as the bleach and dollar signs washed down the drain.
At 26, I had a quarter-century hair crisis, and thought it would be a great idea to go dark like Olivia Wilde.  Hey, dark hair and light eyes is striking, right?  Well, I come to find out, striking on Olivia.  You see, everyone close to me pretty much hated it and would remind me of it, often.  And somewhere underneath that dark dye, I still identified as a blonde.  "Oh, this isn't my natural color,"  I would tell people.  (Yet, neither was blonde.)  
So, my quarter-century hair crisis soon turned into a quarter-century identity crisis.  After a month of not recognizing myself, I knew I had to get back to my roots.  But what where they?  I found out, with a few highlights, my natural hair color wasn't so dish-watery, or "poop-color" as I used to call it, and, not only did I embrace it, I actually loved it.
But, like I said...I still get bored. But not as easily. The days of bleached out hair, and trying to drastically change who I was, by changing my hair color are behind me. But, I'm never afraid of a little change.
The moral of this story is simple, but it took me a while to learn:
Don't be afraid to experiment and try something different or new. 
But remember, you are most beautiful just the way you are.

November 11, 2011

What's In and What's Out

Sweater: c/o Swell; Top: Urban Outfitters; Scarf and Belt: Nordstroms BP; Jeans: BCBG; Boots: Vince Camutto (Macys); Purse: H&M; Earrings: c/o LeMode Accessories; XO Rings: c/o JewelMint
Long sweaters are in.
Cropped sweaters are out.

Forget about a sunrise.
It's all bout the full moon rise. Besides, you don't have to get up near as early to watch it.
And, you can look at it without going blind.  That's a win-win.

People hugs are overrated. Case in point?  The back pat, the awkward lean, or the hug that lingers....
Dogs do it better. They stand on two legs first of all. Those silly little quadrupeds. And then, they put their front paws on your shoulders, wag their tail, and lick your face. If that isn't precious, I don't know what is.

10-10-2010 is so last year. Literally.
11-11-2011 is where it's at. Besides, I'm going to make the wish of all wishes at 11:11 PM tonight. It pretty much has to come true.

You know what else is out?  The week!  Hello weekend!!!  Happy Friday!!!

November 10, 2011

Win $50 to Windsor! - Closed.


Windsor is offering the chance for one of you to win a $50 gift card to shop their store!  It's pretty much your go to stop for affordable fashion.  In fact, they were just mentioned in the recent issue of People's Style Mag, as one of ten online shops to go to for trendy pieces without having to break the bank.  I love all of their fun accessories, shoes, tops, and let's be honest, they have some SMOKING hot party dresses for the upcoming holiday season.  I saw this little party dress pictured above, on Kristina Bazan, from the blog Kayture, at a Michael Kor's after party, and she looks like a million bucks in it. I kinda have to have it for New Year's Eve now. And I'm just saying. The dress is only $52. Win.

To enter this giveaway:
  Like Windsor on Facebook

For extra entries:
Follow on Twitter
Visit Windsor and tell me what you would buy with the gift card.

Leave a separate comment for each entry below.  Good luck!

Also, receive 10% off your purchase from Windsor at checkout by entering code ROH.

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People who are winning.....

  

November 9, 2011

Happiness Is Diary

Apron: Heavenly Hostess (Bridal shower gift from my Sister, thanks Kari!); Shirt: JCrew; Necklace: Francesca's Collections
Growing up, I always used to bake.  It is something I remember doing with my Mom.  As a little girl, I would sit barefoot on the cold counter top and study her every move as she heaped, dashed, mixed, and danced her way around the kitchen.  I got to help too.  "Gently," she said, as my small hands learned to crack an egg. 
Nostalgia aside, baking will always be happiness to me, for many reasons.  I love being able to create a delicious something from scratch.  I love trying new recipes, and dabbling in old ones that have been passed on from my Grandmother, and perfected by Mother.  I love licking the dough off the spoon after all the ingredients have been combined,  and the sweet smells that permeate through rooms as my creation is baking.  I love biting into a warm, gooey dessert, and enjoying it with a tall glass of milk.  
But, I don't bake for just myself.   I bake to share with others.  To me, baking is love, love is happiness, and happiness is just a couple spoonfuls of sugar away!
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P.S. I found this recipe in my recipe box.  I wrote it when I was a little.  My Mom saved it after all these years.  Gosh, it sounds like a really amazing cookie.  After reading it too, I now understand why I never was a spelling bee queen.  Lost to the word mildew.  "M-I-L-D-......O?"  Fail.



November 8, 2011

You Asked

Some of you asked how I did my hair in this post. So, I'm here to tell you.


Watch this little video to find out how!  It's super easy, that you will be like, really?  To get the curls, you can watch my previous hair curling tutorial here, for the full effect.



Also, please let me know whether you like me posting tutorials or not. I was thinking about trying to post one every Tuesday. I really appreciate all of your comments, thoughts and feedback, and know that I read every one. Happy Tooesday! ;p

November 1, 2011

DIY : Triple Knot Buns


This hair-do is very versatile.  After not washing my hair for a couple of days, but still desiring a little style, I throw these easy peasy buns in.  It is a great alternative to the top knot, or the standard bun.  All it requires is for you to know how to twist and pin, and you're ready to go in five minutes!  This hairstyle is also great for dressing up.  I spent a little more time on it, and wore it in my previous post with that little Giambattista Valli number.  Check out my instructional video below (sorry there's no sound!), and if you do it yourself, email me a pic!