Fashion Fun Fridays: Hair Product Review

Okay so this is really isn’t about “fashion” today, but more about beauty products which are like our fashion accessories.

Last Saturday I finally got my butt to the salon for a long overdue cut and highlight. One of the colourist’s hair had these amazing waves and explained to me that she had curled her hair with the Babyliss Miracurl… 3 days earlier! Whaaaaaat?!  I was intrigued. I’ve seen versions of this curling machine in stores and in ads and I categorize it as a gimmick and somewhat intimidating. I mean the thing sucks your hair into a crazy hot contraption. Nothing about it could possibly be good. I was wrong.

I asked my god of cut and colour, aka Bruce at Silver Scissors, to give me curls. And he obliged. (Before I go any further, I should say that I have fine, stick straight hair. I’m convinced that my hair rebels against hair spray as revenge for the 80s, so I don’t bother to use it.) A little Aveda Smooth Infusion style-prep smoother while my hair was wet and a little OSIS+ Thrill texture fibre gum after it was curled and I was feeling like a rock star!photo 1

It was a crappy rainy humid day and the curls lasted all day. And then the next day! With the rainy weather my hair would normally be flat and pasted to my head, but thanks to the Aveda stuff, I was still rocking bouncy curls.  At this point I was committed to see if the curls would really last four days. And they did.

During these four days I was obviously not washing my hair, so I was using my cult classic Batiste dry shampoo that I picked up from Shoppers Drug Mart. The week started out as a ‘let’s see if these curls will really last four days’, turned into an experiment to push the limits of my dry shampoo to see how many days I could use it before I needed to wash my hair. (Before you all go eeeewwwww, I did shower. Just didn’t wash my hair. And BTW it’s not good to wash your hair every day… so there.)

It’s been six days since I washed my hair and I will shout the praises of my Batiste dry shampoo! (No, they are not paying me to say that… but if they want to, I wouldn’t say no…) I used the XXL Volume and wish it had been around in the 80s to give Final Net hair spray a run for it’s money in volume. I also wish I had taken pics of my hair each day, but sadly I lacked the forethought. Here’s my hair on Day 5, which I think is even better than the first day as it looks fuller:photo 2

Today, Day 6, I think would have been my limit, but thanks to my hair donut I am instead sporting a bun – which works even better with ‘dirty’ hair.

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Tomorrow it will be one week since I’ve washed my hair. What I’ve learned from this little experiment is that A) I don’t need to wash my hair everyday; and B) it’s time to shake up my day-to-day styling so I’ll be buying that Miracurl thank you very much.  But if you call tomorrow and I can’t come to the phone, it really will be because I am washing my hair.

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Picture Perfect Tuesday: Frosty Days

Winter is a great time for me to feed my obsession with how stunning frost can be. Did you know that frost crystals are actually translucent, but scatter light in many directions, so that a coating of frost appears white. Also there are many types of frost, such as Hoar Frost, which I discussed in a previous post, Radiation Frost and Window Frost.

For this week’s Picture Perfect Tuesday, here’s a shot of some Window Frost that was on my car. It caught my eye, when the sunlight caught it…

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Fashion Fun Friday: Are you a Hipster?

A year ago if you asked me what a Hipster was, I’d have probably replied that is was a style of jeans rather than a subculture people. While they’ve been around for a long time, Hipsters have come into the forefront a style revolution with their distinct fashion – often stereotyped by vintage thrift shop shirts, rolled up jeans and dark rimmed glasses. Love them or hate them, Hipsters have become the pioneers and leaders of our latest cultural and fashion trends. We can thank them for the surge of distressed jeans, leggings, plaid flannel shirts and old concert tees found at H&M, Forever 21 and American Eagle.

tees

For me, not knowing what a Hipster was, had more to do with being unaware of the current label placed on this group. Before the term Hipster was coined, waaay back in the early 90s, the style was simply called “Alternative”.  As in alternative to the mainstream – which at the time was the uniform of Polo shirts and penny loafers. In those days, the smell of teen-spirit had saturated the air thanks to Nirvana and somewhere in between Polo preppy and Seattle-grunge, “Alternative” was born. Which looking back, makes me one of the original Hipsters, what with my fake black-rimmed glasses, unisex plaid shirt and tapered jeans. (Back then they were called tapered. And we ‘tapered’ them ourselves, sometimes just using a shit-ton of safety pins.)

Here’s some Hipster inspired fashions that I currently love at Forever 21. Mix them up with some vintage finds for create a look that is unique to you.feminine-cardigan

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Resolutions and all that jazz

New_Year_wallpapers_Wishes_for_the_New_Year_2014_047680_Today is the first day of a new year. A fresh beginning. A chance to set a new intention moving forward. You know, the New Year Resolution. Even if we don’t articulate them to others, most of us make these resolutions. Some are pretty common, like “I’m gonna hit the gym every morning”, or “I’m gonna start eating better”… We set out with gusto and the best of intentions only to slip along the way. And if we slipped, we tell ourselves that it’s over and shift back to our previous selves.

According to one of my favourite sites, HowStuffWorks.com, the origin of making New Year’s resolutions rests with the Babylonians, who reportedly made promises to the gods in hopes they’d earn good favor in the coming year. Sound familiar?

My resolution has been the same for the past five years: Drink.More.Water. It’s an easy one and I firmly believe that if you can just drink more water, the rest will follow. Think about it for a minute. We need water to live. When we are properly hydrated we have more energy, think more clearly, we sleep better, our skin looks better, and we eat less – because let’s face it, sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger.

Is your new year resolution to lose weight? Then drink more water. Did you know that drinking a litre of water in a 20 minute period can help you lose weight? The water “floods” your kidneys, allowing them to function better. When your kidneys are functioning at their peek, your liver doesn’t need to help with purification as much so it has more time to do other things… like burn fat. Seriously. The liver is a major fat burning organ in the body and regulates fat metabolism by a complicated set of biochemical pathways. It can also pump excessive fat out of the body through the bile into the small intestines. So if you make your resolution this year to simply drink more water, then you’ve set yourself up for positive changes.

And speaking of positive changes, here are five other resolutions that I found online that I think are worth taking to heart from 20 Things To Let Go Of Before The New Year:

  1. Let go of feeling guilty for doing what you truly want to do.
  2. Let go of “cheating” on your future with your past. It’s time to move on and tell a new story.
  3. Let go of trying to fit in and be accepted by everyone. Your uniqueness is what makes you outstanding.
  4. Let go of the fear of the unknown; take one small step and watch the path reveal itself.
  5. Let go of blaming anyone for anything; be accountable for your own life. If you don’t like something, you have two choices, accept it or change it.

Wanna learn more about the history of New Year’s Eve? Click here to visit History.com

Picture Perfect Tuesday: Happy New Year

Tonight is New Year’s Eve, the night that we cut loose and celebrate the passing of another year – noting our accomplishments and brushing off our failures as we welcome in a fresh year full of possibilities.

For this week’s Picture Perfect Tuesday on the eve of the New Year, I give you roots. Take a moment to think about yours.

roots

Picture Perfect Tuesdays: Rocking Around The Christmas Tree

Is your fridge covered in Christmas photo cards? Mine is! I love getting these because in the age of digital photography we rarely seem to print anything anymore. We now gather around the computer to look at pictures, rather than a photo album.

In honour of Christmas being tomorrow (cue the panicking..) this week’s Picture Perfect Tuesday is a Christmas Card that I created for shits and giggles of the hubby and I in front of the White House Christmas Tree…

christmas

Fashion Fun Friday: Winter Boots

Winter is here. Which means parkas, toques, scarves, mittens and, of course, winter boots. Dressing for winter can be a challenge as it seems that this is the one season where functionality and fashion are not mutually exclusive. Like any gal, I like to look fashionable, but as the years have passed, I will admit that if I have to make a choice, I’d rather be warm than fashionable when it’s -20c outside.

There are many articles right now on how to stay warm and look fashionable when the temperature plummets. These articles talk about wearing layers, cute sweaters and scarves. That’s great and all, but I live in CANADA where winter weather can be unforgiving, with high wind-chills, heavy snowfalls, blizzards, freezing rain and extremely cold temperatures. And it can last for almost six months depending on where you live!

So let’s talk about what you are going to wear on your feet with that cute outfit when there is 15+ cm of snow on the ground and the windchill puts the temperature at about about -35c. As every Canadian knows, a thick pair of socks can only take you so far… Then you need to invest in a good pair of winter boots.

photo 2As someone with a healthy shoe obsession, you might be surprised to hear that I only have five pairs of winter boots. (I don’t count those is my 65+ pairs of footwear.) Some are for pure function, like my Merrell hiking-style winter boots that I use for walking my dogs. Others are for warmth for long stretches of outside activity where I want to look a little more ‘stylish’, like my glorious Joan of Arctic Sorrels (which I tend to pair with an Under Armour thermal base, skinny jeans, a winter leather jacket and a crocheted hat).

But when traveling to work, or meeting up with friends for indoor stuff, these babies are not going to cut it. Sorrels are very warm and perfect for being outside, but not that functional in a restaurant! That’s when I break out my high-heeled rubber soled faux-fur lined boots that are a bit more stylish.photo(1) I picked these babies up at a shoe sample expo. No idea who makes them. If you know, let me know.

Even though we say winter is here – you know, because of the all the snow and freezing temperatures – the first official day of winter isn’t actually until December 21 the date of this year’s Winter Solstice. If you didn’t already know, the solstice is an astronomical event that occurs twice a year as the sun reaches its highest or lowest point relative to the celestial equator. The Winter Solstice is when the sun reaches its most southerly declination of -23.5 degrees. In other words, it is when the North Pole is tilted 23.5 degrees away from the sun. Huh, what?

Let’s try something easier…

Remember last year when everyone thought the world was gonna end? What really happened was that the 2012 Winter Solstice coincided with the end of the Mayan calendar.

Now you are probably wondering how is this related to winter boots? Isn’t it obvious? Life is short but it can feel like the end of the world with cold feet.

Picture Perfect Tuesday: Abstract

Many (too many!) years ago in college we had a photography assignment with one word for instruction: Abstract.

I was excited as ‘abstract’ could be anything I wanted it to be. A close-up on a wall, a blurry reflection in water or a smattering of colourful elements – wherever my imagination took me.

The great thing about abstract art is that it doesn’t reflect any form of conventional reality, all you see are shapes, colors, lines, patterns, and so on. Sometimes it just looks pretty. Sometimes it doesn’t. Regardless, when you see a piece of abstract art, the first response is to ask the creator what it is in order to create context for what you are looking at. However, with abstract art, there is usually a lot more than what initially meets the eye.

Abstract art is about energy; the energy that makes a piece ‘speak to you’. So really it’s not about asking what the piece is, but about acknowledging what the piece is to you… (is your mind blown?)

So for this week’s Picture Perfect Tuesday, I give you an abstract.

Abstract

Fashion Fun Friday: Ugly Holiday Sweaters

Have you noticed the increasing trend in Ugly Sweater themed parties? How did all this craziness start? I blame Bill Cosby with his crazy patterned sweaters for making these sweaters mainstream in the 80s. The revival among younger people throwing ugly Christmas sweater parties, according to Time Magazine, started as a way for young adults to mock their parents’ love of festive looks and thought the sweaters were (gasp) cute.

However the history of the first ugly sweater party can be traced back to 2002 in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) where two friends, Jordan Birch and Chris Boyd, decided to host one at their house. Now celebrating their 12th event, this once small house party is now the official The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party(TM) – an annual fundraiser for the Children’s Wish Foundation.  Their motto: Be Ugly. Do Good. Connect. Give. Reconnect & Be Kind.

Despite the popularity of these parties, it’s surprisingly hard to find a good ugly sweater these days. While it can be argued that one person’s perception of ugly is another person’s beautiful, when it comes to finding an ugly holiday sweater it seems that we all are seeking the same thing. That tacky sweater that you perhaps once owned in the 80s because you got it as a gift and your mom wouldn’t let you throw it out. In fact she may have even been the one who bought it for you. Although it is pretty safe to assume that these ugly sweaters were designed with the original intention of being attractive. So begs the question: Which came first, the sweater or the ugly?

Determined to be successful this year, I set out once again in search of the perfect ugly sweater at the usual places: thrift shops such as Value Village, the Salivation Army and the like. Nada. Zip. Zero. The problem with searching “the usual places” is that this is where everyone else is looking too. So either everyone has already cleaned them out long ago or there are just no ugly holiday sweaters to be found. Have we actually run out of tacky leftovers from the 80s??? Where does one find an ugly holiday sweater these days??

Turns out there are now entire stores dedicated to the ugly sweater. In fact when I went online to see where I could find one of these tacky gems, I only had to type the word ‘ugly’ for Google to immediately return the suggestion of “ugly Christmas sweater”! Here’s what I found:

TheSweaterStore.com has a slew of ugly sweaters ripe for the picking. They promote themselves as having “The World’s Largest Selection of Ugly Christmas Sweaters.” Like this one:

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Not to be outdone, MyUglyChristmasSweater.com boasts having a large selection of tacky 80s sweaters. They do. Check out this beauty:

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And then there is Canadian retailer HolidayRejects.ca who not only offers a selection of ugly Christmas sweaters, but LED light kits to add some extra ‘pizzazz’ to one you may already have.

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And then there is TipsyElves.com. This site has some cheeky tacky sweaters with reindeer in compromising positions and gingerbread men fearing for their lives…

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Now when you find yourself with an invitation to an ugly sweater party, you’ll be set! Be Ugly. Do Good. Connect. Give. Reconnect & Be Kind. Happy Holidays.

Picture Perfect Tuesday: Hoar Frost

Do you know what Hoar Frost is? I hadn’t heard of Hoar Frost until this weekend. Also called White Frost, according to the all-knowing Wikipedia, Hoar Frost is the white ice crystals that form from frozen dew. It typically forms on cold clear nights when heat is lost into the open sky causing objects to become colder than the surrounding air.

For this week’s Picture Perfect Tuesday, I present Hoar Frost:

Hoar Frost Tree

Hoar Front Swing