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Today’s FBFF is all about hair care! Since getting my hair cut, I’ve unfortunately had to spend a slight bit of more time and effort with it. It’s worth the effort, definitely, but I can’t just brush it and go anymore. Probably a good thing.

1. How often do you get your hair cut? Not very often, actually. It’s not that I don’t enjoy getting my hair cut – on the contrary, I love the feeling of a new haircut. It’s just that a haircut is pretty expensive for me and I have to budget carefully in order to make sure that I can afford it. Now that I have a new job – especially since it’s one that basically requires me to be the face of the company – I’ll likely go in more often to get it cut or trimmed up.

2. Do you go to the same stylist each time, try someone new, go to the cheap hair cutting chains or live it up in a salon? I always, always, always go to my stylist. You know how people say that it’s near impossible to find the right stylist? I found mine back in college thanks to my wonderful college roommate. Even though we have different types of hair, my stylist somehow always understands my hair and knows what will flatter me most. Occasionally she does a little hand-holding as well, like with my last trip there to chop off my hair.

RE-SULT!

3. Do you color your hair? How often? What’s your natural color?  I definitely color my hair. Unless I’m adding highlights, I dye it myself – something my stylist taught me, actually. My natural color is a dull light brownish color, so I like to liven it up with reds and browns, although I’ve done black (big mistake) and many blonde highlights (good if I use warm blondes) as well. My favorite and standby color is half copper red, half medium brown – it brings out a beautiful chestnut color on me. Speaking of, I should probably get on that.

4. The one thing you always do to keep your hair looking great is: I try not to damage it too much. While I do color it every few months, I always use a super deep conditioner afterwards to help it repair. I also use very little styling product in my hair, and when I do use product, I try to use decent products such as Sebastian. I use brand name shampoo and conditioner that treats my hair well. Unfortunately, I now have to blow-dry my hair every day after the shower, but I don’t dry it completely. Overall, though, I think my trick is that I understand what type of hair I have (fine, but twice as much as most people) and treat it accordingly.

5. What hair trend do you love and wish you could rock? I absolutely adore wavy curls. Think Kristin Wiig’s hair in Bridesmaids – perfect. I love, love, love the way my hair looks with curls, but it takes a sizable chunk of time to style and my hair is so stick-straight that the curls don’t hold well. Occasionally, I’ll take the plunge, but usually I won’t bother unless it’s for a special occasion. I haven’t tried curling my hair since I chopped it. Must do that.

Took an hour, lasted three.

Check out the other FBFF bloggers’ responses here!


Health for the Whole Self discusses fat discrimination and how to combat negative comments: Things Fat People Are Told

Kate from Divergent Musings has a fantastic post on body image issues and a follow-up post on saying “screw you” to labels: Thoughtful Thursday: On Body Image Issues and Thoughtful Thursday: Numbers & Labels

Arash Mazinani speaks about his beef in an absolutely true post about body shapes: My Beef with Body Shapes

Zen Habits discusses how to deal with negative people – do you agree?: 7 Simple Tips to Deal With Negative People

Rosie Molinary talks about ways to develop and convey confidence (a HUGE component in attractiveness): Steps to Confidence

Annie on Strong, Healthy, Fit tells readers to declare themselves perfect already: I Am Bikini Ready

Stylish Thought discusses savage bloggers – are you one?: Are you a Savage Blogger?

Beautifully Invisible (hilariously) shared how Jack Sparrow taught her fashion lessons: 5 Things Jack Sparrow Taught Me About Fashion and Makeup

Sally McGraw guest posted on The Frisky about improving body image by dressing for her figure: Dressing Vs. Dieting

Em of Oh, the Places You’ll Go had a great post on trying new things on those days you feel ugly (and looks adorable to boot): Contextualizing Ugly Days

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, talks about 6 happiness “boosters” and their not-so-greatness: Why These 6 Happiness “Boosters” Might Actually Make You Feel Worse


Today’s FBFF strays a bit from the norm – instead of answering question prompts, bloggers are writing about their top blogging pet peeves. By no means do I wish to offend anybody with this list. I certainly don’t think my blog is better than anyone else’s – in fact, there are a few things that peeve me about my own blog, which will hopefully be alleviated when I buy my domain. Regardless, here are a few things that bug me when browsing blogs, along with recommendations:

Blogs cluttered with sidebar widgets/pictures/ads – I used to have a list of blogs I read on my sidebar, if you recall, but eventually it got the point where I was sharing so many that my sidebar was getting very long. I ended up removing the sharing widgets and creating a Blog Love page to share my growing list of bloggers to clean that up. I understand and respect that bloggers have many affiliations, but having outrageously long lists gets distracting and looks muddled. My recommendation: Create pages dedicated to those specific affiliation or sponsors. Giving them their own page will give them special status on your blog and they won’t get lost in the oodles of sidebar widgets.

Blogs that have typos – This may sound snobbish of me, but I was an English major in college and language is my love. I proofread all of my posts after I publish or schedule them and go back to fix any issues I may have. Granted, most of my posts are not exceedingly long, so it’s easy for me to do so. But when I’m reading through a post and see a bunch of typos, I wonder why the post didn’t get proofed. I think it’s just so natural for me to do that since I was an English major and now do a lot of editing in my work. My recommendation: Give your post a quick 2-minute glance after finishing it to make sure you’ve captured any typos or layout issues.

Blogs with an unclean layout – I don’t mean unclean as in sin and hellfire. I mean the blog layout just somehow doesn’t match the blog format. Usually I find this has to do with a mismatched color scheme. If the text color clashes with the background color, it’s going to make the entire layout look funny. I also occasionally see text that doesn’t wrap properly or a blog layout that covers text. My recommendation: Choose colors you like, of course, but focus on meshing them together well. Ask for second opinions once you find a color scheme you like. And try to hold off on posting blogs until drastic issues are resolved.

Blogs with too many pictures – I love pictures, I do. I don’t love sitting in front of my computer for five minutes waiting for your pictures to load. I especially don’t love sitting in front of my computer for five minutes waiting for your pictures to load when they’re basically the SAME PICTURE. My recommendation: I want to see your lovely photos, but if they’re similar, try to pare it down so that you’re only showing about five photos. If you’re showing photos that are not similar, incorporate a jump or a break to cut down on loading time.

Blog posts that have a jump – I know, I just recommended that you use a jump. If you’re going to have a lot of images in a post, it’s hard to avoid using a jump to help speed up loading time. The reason that I dislike jumps, however, is because I use Google Reader to subscribe to many blogs. Google Reader pulls in the blog into their format. I can’t see anything beyond the jump, which means that I have to go the extra step to click on the link to access your page if I want to read more. I’m lazy. If I’m on your blog and I have to go to a blog page directly to read the rest because of a jump, I then have to go back to read more on your blog, and remember, I’m lazy. My recommendation: I’m not the only lazy reader out there. Think about your readers in terms of blog accessibility, then go with your gut.

Blogs where I can’t scroll down and access more posts easily – If I’m reading your blog, chances are I want to read more than one post you’ve written. While I highly appreciate that bloggers think about loading times and try to alleviate those, it frustrates me when I can only read one post per page. I don’t want to click through a dozen pages to find the one post of yours I wanted to share from last week. My recommendation: If you’re going to alleviate loading time by showing only one page at a time, find sidebar widgets that help me navigate to older posts and categories. I would recommend having those regardless – they’re my favorite widgets.

Blogs that make it difficult to comment, like, or share – I like your blog post! I want to leave a comment to say so or to share my opinion as well! I want to like your blog! I want to share it with others! Oh, wait. I can’t. Blogs that make it difficult to leave comments or share them with other readers lose readership, period. My recommendation: Review your widgets and commenting abilities to make sure that they’re reader-friendly.

And one of my own pet peeves to prove I’m not a total blog snob…

WordPress saving and reloading issues – Anyone else have this problem? It doesn’t happen too often, but I’ll be working on a blog and suddenly, my browser will freeze. By the time I get back to the page, it’s disappeared. Thankfully WordPress automatically saves, so I don’t always lose my text, but I do often lose my saved publication specifications, categories, and tags. Since almost always I write my posts in advance and schedule them, this means that I accidentally post TV Tuesday posts on the previous Friday as uncategorized (which, you may have noticed, I never do) and no tags (again, never happens). Like I said, doesn’t happen often, but it’s quite the peeve when it does.

Check out other bloggers’ pet peeves here!

What do you see when reading blogs that irritates you?

Recently, Friend Friday asked us to write about our blogging influences. Today’s Friend Friday questions are all about outside influences.

1. What magazines do you subscribe to? I actually don’t subscribe to any magazines. For one, they’re expensive and I don’t think they’re worth it. More importantly, though, almost all women’s magazines are chock full of crap that make women feel bad about themselves. Ironically, many claim that they’re good for women. For example, I used to subscribe to Marie Claire, who claim that they support women and occasionally run features on survivors. Then I realized that 95% of the magazine talks about how to make yourself more attractive. 0% talks about loving yourself.

2. Do you watch any fashion TV shows? I don’t really, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy them. They’re just not my favorite type of show, and since I have so many other shows that I want to watch, they get pushed to the back-back burner. I do like Project Runway and I’m interested in America’s Next Top Model. That’s about it.

3. Beyond blogs, what websites do you frequent for fashion inspiration? To be honest, I don’t seek out sites for fashion inspiration, but I will check out various retailers such as ModCloth if I’m looking for ideas or want to see some cute clothes. Kate recently invited me to Pinterest as well, so I’m anticipating that I’ll find a lot of inspirational ideas on there as well. Here’s my profile!

4. Advertisements play a huge role in forming public opinion about a product or brand… what ads do you like and why? I have to admit, my favorite commercials are the ones with Betty White in them. Seriously. I love her. She’s like my old lady idol. Beyond that, I don’t pay as much attention to ads as I do to marketing and advertising agencies and what they put out. For example, Jack Morton is my favorite agency because they create campaigns solely on user marketing strategies. Very interesting stuff comes out of there!

5. Do you own any fashion books? I don’t have any clothing fashion books, but it’s not because I’m not interested in them. It’s because I would buy the book and then it would go out of style in six months. Seems pointless to me. I do have a book on hairstyles because I suck at styling my hair (even more reason to love my new, simple haircut). I used to own the Bobby Brown Beauty Guide, mainly for makeup, but now I just use Mary Kay Makeup Artist palettes.

Check out responses from the other fabulous FBFF bloggers here!

Thanks to the ever lovely Kate, I’m participating in today’s Everybody, Everywear monthly crossposting – this month they’re featuring florals. I’ve been hoping to get my hands on a decent floral top this year, but I haven’t managed to find anything yet. I’m just pleased I found a few cardigans when I went thrifting this weekend, so I can’t really complain. I put this outfit together, and then I remembered that I wore a really cute outfit on Sunday that had a floral skirt, and then I remembered that it’s dirty and the skirt isn’t work appropriate…so here you go!

Apologies for the poor photo - busy night meant no pictures until 8:30!

See everybody else’s floral everywear here!

Florals | Everybody, Everywear

Today is a great day, readers, because today’s FBFF is on SHOES! As I’m sure you can tell from previous posts, I adore shoes. My boyfriend thinks I have a problem, but only because he doesn’t understand the innate (read: societal) need to own and wear many pairs of beautiful shoes. But for me, part of the reason that I love shoes so much is because I struggle to find clothes that look good on me, but I can almost always find an adorable-looking pair of shoes. Anyway, enough about that. On to the questions!

1.What is your go-to pair of shoes? My go-to pair is actually the only pair of shoes that my boyfriend has ever purchased for me, a pair of cute and simple black ballet flats from Target. They’re comfortable, but they’re also stylish and go with almost anything. In fact, I may be wearing them today. They also have some sentimental value, because as I said, they’re the only pair that my boyfriend has ever purchased for me. He adamantly refused to ever buy me shoes since apparently I have an “addiction” (not true, since I don’t let myself actually buy the shoes I ogle on a regular basis). When I said that my only pair of black flats, which I ADORED and wore all the time, were falling apart, he looked and agreed. I was very excited when I found out he got me shoes for my birthday! Best gift. 🙂

He even snapped a great picture of them during an outfit post shoot!

2. What goes into your shoe buying decisions?  Sadly, money, money, money. I rarely will spend more than $50 on a pair of shoes, and usually it’s more about $20. I’m big into clearance shopping for that reason. A trap I fell into, though, was buying cute shoes that were heavily discounted when they weren’t very comfortable. I’m learning to break that habit now. I’m hoping to make some more money soon and be able to truly splurge on a few pairs.

3. The majority of the shoes in your closet are what color? They are most definitely black. I have black flats, black boots, black pumps, black strappy heels, black shoes galore. I wear a lot of black, so that’s a big reason. I’m looking forward to getting more color into my shoe diet in the future!

4. When it comes to designer shoes what are your favorite brands and why?  Up to recently, I would have said Manolo Blahnik without hesitation, then followed up with Jimmy Choo. When I was doing a little digging for this Truth Thursday post on shoes, however, I realized that I don’t adore their brands as much as I truly adore Christian Louboutin. Despite the fact that his website is increasingly weird and slightly creepy, his shoes are amazing and much better fit my style. Someday I will own a pair. And yes, I will likely buy them on clearance.

5. If price wasn’t an issue, you’d own which shoe?  If price weren’t an issue, I’d own multiple pairs of shoes!

Like this fantastic pair of nude pumps from Christian Louboutin.

I’ve also been gunning for a pair of brown boots for quite some time, so I’d definitely expand my search on those. And as I mentioned, I really want to add color to my shoe closet, so I’d add a great pair of blue heels:

Like this.

And I love gray shoes, so I’d probably add some kind of gray heel. I’ve also really enjoyed some of the strappy flats I’ve seen recently. And I would definitely consider picking up a colorful print, like perhaps a floral? Many options!

Don’t forget to check out the other bloggers and their responses here!

This week’s Friend Friday is all about fitness! To be honest, in the past, I would have had very little to say about this as I hated working out. A year ago, however, I joined a gym and while I still don’t love working out, I like the feeling of finishing up a workout. Combined with my desire to improve my body image, this Friend Friday poses some great and apropos questions that I’m no longer afraid of:

1. Do you keep some kind of fitness routine? Why?  I do! I joined Snap Fitness a year ago and have really enjoyed going to the gym on a (somewhat) regular basis – although I haven’t gone much this year due to an overwhelmingly busy schedule and now illness, but I’ll get back soon. As mentioned above, I used to hate working out, but I really struggled with body image (still do) and wanted to want to work out. I would try during college to go work out at the school’s gym, but never maintained a schedule. It didn’t help that I didn’t know that lifting weights helps my body type exponentially more than cardio workouts do. Now, I go in a few times a week to lift weights and/or do interval training cardio exercises (trying to build up to going in almost every day, alternating intervals and weight lifting). Have I lost weight? No. But do I feel stronger and healthier? Absolutely. In fact, I think the reason I haven’t been sick in over a year – until now – was because I worked out regularly and take daily vitamin supplements.

2. Has working out, maybe training for a marathon or something of that nature, helped with your own perception of body image? In a way, it has. I feel better about myself when I work out knowing that I’m trying to do something to improve my body. I actually feel guilty when I have time to work out and don’t. At the same time, the fact that my body shape hasn’t changed at all is difficult to deal with. I have to remind myself that I changed birth control recently and that I’ve been overwhelmed with stress and depression much of this year, both of which can be attributed to weight gain. Other than ensuring that I pair proteins and carbs, I also don’t watch what I eat. Bottom line, I feel better about myself when I work out because I’m making an effort to be healthier. 

3. When you are hitting the gym or just going out for a long walk what do you wear? Is it about functionality or fashion? Haha it’s totally about functionality! I used to care about what I looked like at all times, including doing a light cover-up to go to the gym. To be fair, St. Olaf was filled with young women who had to look perfect at all times. Now I realize how ridiculous it is to look good when you go to the gym. That’s not what the gym is about. The gym is about putting your body through positive stress, and like it or not, that stress is not going to make you look good.

4. Do you feel there is a cultural perception of what you ‘should’ be doing for your own physical fitness? Oh, absolutely. There’s an overwhelming aversion/dislike/hatred of fat people. People who aren’t fat have this fierce belief that those people are just lazy pigs and that’s absolutely not true. Yes, obviously many people eat what they shouldn’t and don’t exercise as much as they should, but bodies have a set, natural, predestined shape. I could eat celery for the rest of my life and still wouldn’t be a size zero. I could diet forever and never weigh what a skinny person who eats nothing but ice cream and cheeseburgers weighs. It’s not at all fair and I struggle with that fairness every day. 

5.  Dream big… what would be your ultimate fitness goal. Honestly, it would be to lose weight and feel comfortable in my own skin. I still struggle with my body image on a daily issue, so I really wish that I felt more confident. I hate society and its demands, but I still subscribe to them – how can you not? If you know, please teach me.

Check out what other fantastic FBFF bloggers wrote here!

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