Product Love: Heat Styling Spray Starch

I want to share with you a product that is a staple in my hairstyling routine, Redken Heat Styling Spray Starch 15, Versatile Ironing Spray. While I was thinking about this post I had to remember how I came about this product, and I would have to say by accident.

I am originally from NJ and moved to VA in 2009, but have yet to give up my hairstylist in NJ. I can't do it. No offense to anyone in this area, but I just can't trust anyone to do my hair the way it's done at home. That being said, I decided about a year and a half ago to try a stylist here in the area, and well I won't do that again. I wanted a bang trim and my layers cleaned up- not hard right? Well, upon describing this to the stylist, the owner of the salon, she replied "oh, I've heard of that haircut- it's from New York right?" OMG. Why I didn't go running and screaming from my chair at that moment I'll never know.

All that to say I ended up with the top layers of my long hair up above my chin, giving me this horrid mullet. The positive outcome was they curled my hair and used a pink Redken spray product on it which kept the curl and wave to my hair for days afterwards. I went back maybe 6 months later and asked about it but they had no idea what I was talking about. That or they read my review online about the bad service and even worse Shellac manicures.

Either way, I ended up picking this up to try on the girl's recommendation and am glad I did.

This picture is day 4. Day FOUR after curling my hair with my flat iron. This you see is a huge celebration for someone like me with thick hair. My curls go from ringlets to a slight wave within hours usually, so this is like epic. Here is where they started on Wednesday, Christmas:

Here's the finished product on Christmas, brushed out:

I have brushed my hair daily, and I still have these curls on Saturday morning:

I recommend spraying small sections of your hair immediately before curling with an iron or flatiron. I have sprayed all my hair at the beginning of styling as well as sections alone and find it works best when it has been sprayed and is still slightly wet.  I don't know if you can tell from my cell phone picture of me with the tight curls, but they will have the old hairspray-wet look-crust after they have cooled. I recommend leaving them in their 'crust-like' shape, spraying lightly with hairspray when cool, and brushing out all at once.

Overall I LOVE this product. I have also used Herbal Essence heat protection spray when I flatiron my hair straight, but for the curls I need something strong to hold them in.

I use this tutorial for curling my hair with a flatiron, and this flatiron that I picked up at TJMaxx.

Do you have a favorite flatiron protective or styling product you recommend?

How to De-Seed a Pomegranate

So do I need to even start this post complaining about how difficult it is to de-seed a pomegranate? I think we are all aware of the frustrations, the techniques that don't work, and paying $$$ for it already de-seeded.

Well my friends, the frustration is over. Thanks to my fabulous friend Becki for sharing this on facebook- you rock chickadee. Take a look at this technique using a wooden spoon. That's it, a wooden spoon.

I followed his instructions, only swapping out the wooden spoon for a plastic spoon- maybe it's because I lack any upper body strength, but that worked better for me.

Easy peasy.

So yeah... it makes quite the mess. And when I say mess, be sure to move your beloved electronics, jewelry, mail, and Starbucks out of the way first, or you will have a blood-like splatter pattern on them. Be sure to wear an apron-- make sure it's cute and has ruffles like this one:

But in the end, you get a bowl of deliciously tart pomegranate seeds! Bon Appetite!

Matte Marble

I was going through some of my first manicures when I started blogging, and came across this one, and decided to recreate it and take better pictures. There's not really much to say about this, it's pretty freaking fabulous and I loved loved loved looking at it!

I used my Essie 'Matte About You,' but it has since been replaced with NYC Matte top coat-- my Essie is over 2 years old, thick, and dries a little weird- cloudy is some spots, and not even. I use the NYC top coat as well- no shrinkage, and $1 a bottle- score. Oh, and it dries super quick!

Polish Used- Finger Paints 'Vintage Velvet' and Color Club "Snow Flakes"- both of which I picked up at Sally Beauty Supply on clearance.  Sally's in-house brand is Finger Paints, and they only carry Color Club at Christmas, hence the Snow Flakes.

Link up your fabulous manicures below and visit some new blogs!

Splurge or Settle: Kate Spade Studs

I had my eye on these earrings at Target for awhile, finally picking them up at $6.48 each. Of course I'd prefer the Kate Spade studs below, but I was able to pick up 3 pairs for less than the $38 ticket price of one KS. This is a horrible picture (source: KS,) but you get the point:

I've been all about spending smarter recently, and I really couldn't justify $38 for a pair of earrings, and let's face it, I couldn't chose between all three colors, so I'm looking at $114. But nope- instead it was a $19.44 investment. Score.

And what better occasion to wear these earrings than to meet my nephews for the first time?

What awesome scores have you bagged recently?

Thanksgiving on the Water

Over the last few years, Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday, surpassing Christmas by leaps and bounds. Once a traumatic meal with yelling and fighting (saving grace my mom's amazing food,) Thanksgiving is now a low-key, relaxing, family day with my husband's family. Growing up my mom made literally everything from scratch, including the cranberry sauce at times, requiring her to be in the kitchen for hours. Of course I miss her cooking, but is that the best way to go about the holidays? Is it ok to buy pre-made food and spend more time with your loved ones?

I wouldn't change a thing about my Thanksgiving with my in-laws: food, football, movies, airsoft, shopping, laughing, and overall a copious amount of love.

Oh wait...what is this gloriousness? Thanksgiving at the beach? I cannot imagine a better combination-- my favorite holiday at the beach. This is my utopia-- I shouldn't attempt to experience this as I do not believe life could ever get better.

One day in the near future, I will live at the beach. If our careers continue on the path they are now, we will have the luxury of picking literally anywhere to live. And duh, that's the beach. I've had my share of the mountains now, time for the sand, the wind, the beach, the waves, just an all around feeling of peace.

When that time comes, my friends, I will invite you all to my sanctuary to experience Thanksgiving at the beach.

Photos: Coastal Living, October/November 2013

China Glaze Urban Nights

I am so happy to share my first manicure in over 3 weeks, and perfect for the plum craze this season. I picked up China Glaze Urban Nights for $2 on clearance this time last year at Sally's.

 The outdoor pictures make the manicure look streaky, but it doesn't look like that indoors or in the shade. The accent nail is Zoya Aurora which I used here for another accent nail!

Link up your manicures below and visit some new friends! Happy Monday!

Golden Goddess Juice

I know I said this was my favorite juice, but I really meant this one is, the Golden Goddess juice.  I'm not brave enough to start creating my own concoctions in the juicer yet, so I rely on a lot of recipes from Joe Cross's page, Pinterest, and my favorite source, Nosh and Nourish.

Yes my friends, that's a Golden Beet, isn't is beautiful? Before finding this recipe I didn't know they existed. The original recipes calls for Apricots, but I've used Nectarines and regular old Peaches in place and the outcome is just as delicious. 
Golden Goddess Juice
Makes: ~32 Oz
Source: Nosh & Nourish
2 Golden Beets (large)
3 Golden Delicious Apples
8 Apricots (pits removed)
5 Carrots
1.) Wash all ingredients; cut stems off beets and peel.
2.) Remove pits from apricots
3.) Juice all ingredients.

Butter London Shag

I have shared this polish on Instagram, last year actually, but never posted about it. I spent last week with nekkid nails in part to let them breathe, but also because I went away on a little mini-vacay with my husband for our 5 year anniversary. I know it'll sound weird to some of you yet completely normal to others, but I couldn't wait to get home and use this polish. I was literally dreaming of painting this color. I think it's the perfect fall color!

Maybe it's coming off a 4 day break, but I am dreading Monday- can Sunday just last a few extra hours?

Link up your manicures below and be sure to visit some new blogs!

For the Twill of It

I finally gave in and applied my first fall manicure. Maybe it's the fact that last week it was still 85-90 degrees, or maybe I've been just lazy, but I just haven't felt fall, dark colors.

Essie's 'For the Twill of It' is from their fall collection and reminds me of a black pearl. It's difficult to accurately photograph, but I'm sure you've seen it in person at Target, CVS, etc. I highly recommend it- it's the only color I picked up from this collection, the rest were (although gorgeous) too close to colors I already have.

The accent nail is Digital Glitter by Orly, a multi-colored glitter that compliments For the Twill of It perfectly. I did do one coat of FtToI on my ring fingers followed by 2 coats of Digital.
As always, Happy Monday! Take a minute to visit some blogs below and link up your manicures!
We're always looking for ways to boost link-ups, any ideas?

Splurge or Settle: Gucci Stirrup Top Leather

So we all see the blog posts, magazine articles, and frankly street copies of designer bags, clothes, etc. and let's be honest- we're SETTLING. Maybe I'm speaking for myself? Take this gorgeous Gucci bag. It's everything you want in a bag- smooth leather, gold buckle accents, classy, and elegant. I am seriously swooning over here. But then comes the ticket... $2640. Seriously, that's my mortgage for 2 months. And I can't bring myself to ever pay that for a bag. Yet. Right now. Maybe someday...

So I settle.

But seriously, isn't this spot on? I was out to breakfast a few weeks ago with mi amor and spotted a Gucci-inspired display of bags, scarves, and jewelry, all inspired by the equestrian style that is famously Gucci. And for $24.99. 1% of the cost of a real Gucci. Where, you ask? Cracker Barrel restaurant. I know, crazy right?

Pretty darn close, isn't it? I love my little Gucci knock-off and I know you will too! Run as fast as you can to Cracker Barrel and pick one up! While you're there, check out the leather(ette) and stirrup bracelets and other accessories!

Deborah Lippmann: Space Oddity

I picked up this set at Nordstrom back in August when the family spent the day in DC at Tyson's-- pretty much one of my top 5 days a year. I went in to complete my DL (Deborah Lippmann) Mermaid collection, but when I saw this on display I literally whined, stomped my foot, and screamed "I NEED!" in my head. Of course the sales associate saw this slight tantrum, and immediately informed me that due to the Anniversary Sale, DL's were buy 2, get one free, and that she would consider the set the same as a bottle.  Word.

The set includes Planet Rock, a taupe/cement greige, and two glitter topcoats, the pink-hued Baby, I'm a Star, and the silver-hued When Lightening Strikes.

Seriously gorgeous. Even the greige is beautiful on it's own! I will definitely get use of these 3 colors, probably switching out my Zoya Jana to conserve Planet Rock.

Happy Monday- link up your fabulous manicures below and visit and comment on some fab manis!