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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!

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

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!


Do you ever wake up, stumble into your closet, and pick out the first thing that feels good enough for you? I do this almost every day. Because of this, and because I own a lot of black/blue/grey clothing, I end up wearing a lot of drab colors. One of my style goals this spring is to incorporate more colors into my wardrobe, so I’m giving myself (and anyone who wants to join me!) a challenge: Wear at least one brightly-colored item every day this week.

I’ll try to do an outfit post each day to document my splashes of color throughout the week. If you want to join me, let me know and I’ll link out to your blog so people can see your splashes of color as well. Who’s with me?

Today's splash of color - I apologize for the poor lighting!

What is a style goal of yours this spring?

I’ve done a couple of these posts (formerly labeled under Blog Banter, now FBFF), but I just officially applied for membership for this great group. Katy of Modly Chic set up a group for fashion bloggers exactly one year ago today and it has exploded. Katy always provides fantastic questions for us fellow bloggers to ponder and respond to on our own blogs. I may not post these every week, but I will do my best.

This week’s theme – gratitude. While I haven’t been blogging on here for very long (in my fourth month) and I don’t focus solely on fashion, I do want to express my gratitude (many of these questions surround blogging).

1.  When it comes to me personally – I owe a lot of who I am to: Without a doubt, my parents have been instrumental in helping me become who I am. I’m certainly not finished with this journey – in fact, I doubt that I will ever be finished discovering who I am – but my parents have definitely helped me pave a path. My grandmother was also an essential person who helped me grow into myself, perhaps more so than anybody. Nowadays, when I see myself do things or act in ways that remind me of her, I relish the fact that I’m becoming more like her.

2. When it comes to me professionally – I owe a lot of who I am to: Again, my parents. I’ve had 20 or so jobs in my lifetime (at one point, I was working four jobs and going to school full-time – I’m not flighty like that sounds) and they’ve always supported me through it. My parents forced me to become financially smart so that I could become financially independent, they supported my various (and multiple) career paths, and they made me push myself into doing what had to be done. We’ve talked about everything related to career, from the obvious to the minute details. I am definitely grateful for all of the advice and support they’ve given me over the years.

3. When it comes to the art of blogging, I’m grateful to these people for helping me through some rough spots: I haven’t blogged for very long, so I can’t speak much to rough patches yet. I can say that Kate at Divergent Musings is the reason that I started blogging again and the reason that I’ve continued blogging – in the past, I’ve started a blog and dropped it again in a few weeks. First, she encouraged me to keep up blogging and join WordPress’ PostAWeek2011 Challenge, then she inspired me with her own posts. Now I’m to the point where I schedule a post for every day about a week in advance. None of that would have happened without Kate.

4. One blogging challenge I’m grateful happened because it made me stronger was… definitely the WordPress challenge. I’ll admit, I was sure that I wouldn’t be able to do the PostADay challenge – after all, I wasn’t even sure I’d keep a blog going with my past record. The PostAWeek challenge was perfect because it allowed me to feel okay about not posting for a day or two, but forced me to post on a regular basis. Now I do post nearly every day and enjoy doing so.

5. To my readers, I’d like to say… thank you for reading! I started this blog as a journal of sorts – a way for me to say whatever was on my mind and explore a variety of subjects that I’m interested in. Because of its lack of focus, I figured that I wouldn’t have much of a readership. In the few months that I’ve been writing, however, I’ve found a few connections with various readers and other bloggers that I treasure. I love logging into my email and seeing that some awesome reader left me a comment! I especially love that I’ve been able to get some new ideas and perspectives thanks to the comments that readers have left on my blog. I’m very grateful for your readership and hope my blog continues to be of interest!

Check out the other bloggers’ responses here!

I know – I haven’t done an outfit post in forever. To be honest, I find them harder to do than my standard posts because I really struggle to find similar items (since mine are rarely new enough to be online or are thrifted). I actually created this outfit around wanting to wear a scarf. I have difficulty pairing scarves with outfits for some reason, so I’m trying to incorporate them into my wardrobe more. Here’s what I came up with.

I love you, pants!

White mock turtleneck, Old Navy
Gold scarf, Target? – similar
Brown pants, New York & Co. – similar
Brown heels, Target – similar
Bracelet, family jewelry

I haven’t worn these pants in a long time because of dreadful winter, but I knew they would match well with the rest of the outfit, so I decided to put them on this morning. I forgot how much I LOVE these pants! They are incredibly comfortable, they hug all the right curves, and they cut off at the perfect spot on the leg. There’s a couple of spots where my stomach sticks out a little, but overall, they’re a great pair of pants. Plus, I got to wear a scarf!

Kind of wish I'd had a better shirt.

Kitty!

Stupid camera wouldn't take a decent picture.


I know I promised I would write these makeover posts a while ago, but I honestly wasn’t sure what to write.  Today, however, it’s time to give it a shot. As you may recall, I’m interested in getting feedback and advice on dressing more fashionably. Today, I’d like to get some opinions (or even specific ideas) on how to make my casual outfits more stylish.

Here is the must-know information:

  • I’m a pear shape, so I try to focus attention up.
  • I have quite large hips.
  • I’m generally a size XL or 18.
  • I have a very low budget for adding new items, which is why I’ve been so slow to start on this.

I already know that I need to increase my collection of belts, tights, cardigans, and chunky jewelry. I also need to wear my heels more with casual outfits, which will be easier to do now that the weather is warming up.

Any thoughts on casual outfits that would make me look more fashionable? Any specific items you think I should get?

I haven’t been keeping on the FBFF weekly questions, but I’m all in this week. This week’s question:

What 5 Spring Trends will I be rocking this year?

Funny enough, I actually quite hate a lot of the styles that other people like right now – some because of the way the style looks on me (maxis look horrible on my frame) and some because I’m just not a fan (I can’t stand wedges). Here are the ones I’ve loving:

1. Floral prints – I’ve never been a fan of floral prints – in fact, I own maybe two things with flowers on them – but this year, I’ve really been enjoying some of the floral print tops that I’ve seen. Actually, I have an ideal image in my head of a top I want – if you can find it for me, I will be forever in your debt – it’s a black tank top with red trim and small red flowers.

I also love bold shoe colors.

2. Layered sleeveless cardigans – It’s funny, I didn’t think I would like this when it first started coming out, but I saw a mix one day that caught my interest and I haven’t stopped liking them since. I don’t own one yet, but I’m sure I could find a way to pair one with a cute t-shirt or something. Sadly, I hate my arms, so I probably wouldn’t be very comfortable wearing one over a tank top. The only question – crocheted back or no?

Adorable outfit.

3. Light-colored trouser shorts – This is my number one must-have this spring – I will find a pair of business shorts! I really want to mix a beige pair trouser shorts with a bright blouse and a cardigan or blazer. It’s definitely a work in progress. I’m not sure if I should shoot for linen or a different fabric though – I don’t usually like the way linen falls on me.

I adore every bit of this outfit, down to the flower in her hair.

4. Mixed neutrals – I’ve been loving neutrals all season. To be honest, I’ve always been a black and blue tones girl, but just recently, I’ve really started appreciating the creams, peaches, grays, and browns. I definitely need to incorporate more creams and peaches into my wardrobe for sure, so that’s one of the my next closet projects.

I may have stolen this picture from TartLemonDrop.blogspot.com

5. Blue eyeshadow pops – Remember when blue was considered the “whore eyeshadow?” Not anymore! I’ve experimented with blue eyeshadows a bit throughout my years of makeup play, but this season, I want to go bolder (like this Mary Kay look). Because I have green eyes, blue also makes my eye color pop. The biggest challenge for me is covering up my undereye circles so the blue doesn’t make them stand out.

I definitely want to try this look.

Remember to check out the other FBFF blogs and get more spring trends!

Everyone has their own little things that they’re OCD about. People who are “type A” tend to have a few more than most. Here are a few of my OCDs with my “common sense” reasons:

1. All DVDs and CDs have to be facing up – This is something I’ve done for years. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a disc sleeve or the case it came with – they face up. I can tell if I put the disc back in its case simply by looking to see if it’s facing up. My reasoning? It’s easy to immediately see what disc you’re looking at. I also have all of my DVDs in order of genre, and yes, I put a movie back if it’s not in its proper place.

Ahhh, yes. Order.

2. Dishes should be in their rightful place – I love my roommates, but I find dishes in random spots around our kitchen, or worse, right next to where they should go, and it drives me nuts. I’ll admit, this is an OCD of mine and I feel a little bad for my roommates for having to deal with me for it. But to me, it’s like why wouldn’t you put it back where it should go so it’s always there when you need it (unless it’s dirty, and then you know it’s dirty)? I’ve considered making myself the only person to put dishes away (seriously) but I always realize that I’m freaking out about nothing before I do.

Dear God, why??

3. Books I own have to be in the same format – I was talking with Kate about this and thankfully, someone else out there agrees. If I’m going to own a series, they are all going to be in the same format (hardcover, trade paperback, or mass market paperback). For example, I have waited for over a year to buy the final book in the Millenium trilogy because I have the first two books in trade paperback and therefore, the last book needs to be in trade paperback. I prefer reading trade paperback, but I prefer buying the series I’m devoted to in hardcover. Here is an example of my extreme feelings about this: I decided to buy the Twilight series. I got the second book in trade paperback, then was given the third book in hardcover. I eventually got the first and fourth in hardcover, so I had a complete series, right? Wrong. I sold the second trade paperback version and bought a hardcover version. I admit, there is no common sense reason for this – it’s just weird.

Hardcover rocks.

4. Everything in my closet has a specific order – In case you haven’t given up on me yet, here’s another weird OCD habit of mine. My closet is highly organized by style and color. My dresses and suit jackets are in one area, my casual shirts are next to my dress shirts, and my jeans and work pants are in the same area. Beyond that, my clothes are arranged according to color within these regions. My boyfriend thinks it’s ludicrous, I think it’s incredibly efficient. I always know where every item of clothing is.

 

This is just half of my closet. Best part of this house.

5. I recycle everything – I’m a crazy recycler. I recycle everything I can and a little of what I can’t. It honestly really irritates me when people don’t bother recycling when they easily could. It actually makes me angry. It takes so little work to recycle. If I have a can of soda out somewhere and there’s not a recycling bin around, you bet your buttered biscuit that I will bring it home to recycle it. I will pick something out of the trash (if it’s on top and not gross) to recycle it. This stems more from overall guilt of killing the environment than anything. It feels good to know that I’m doing my part to help conserve resources. I’m an extreme case, but it takes so little to recycle.

I blame my extreme recycling on my roommate in New York.

What are your obsessive tendencies?

*Note in reply to comments: I know I don’t have OCD or even really OCD tendencies. I just really like being organized. 🙂


I can’t lie – I was going to have my boyfriend take numerous awkward pictures of me in my clothes this weekend to prepare for the next couple of Makeover Mayhem posts…but we forgot. 🙂 I really need to learn how to take photos of myself with my new camera, so I guess that gives me reason. For this week, however, I’m going to let the makeover action slide a little – one, because I don’t have time to prep the pictures, and two, because I found this great Friend Friday prompt on body image via Modly Chic that I felt was very apropos.

When I decided to write Makeover Mayhem posts, I did so with the intention that I would get some advice about how to become more fashion-forward. I admit that this is an area where I could use some outside help. Although I am self-conscious, I didn’t start these posts because I hate my body – or love it, for that matter. Eventually I might post about exercise and diet, but even that’s a maybe. I don’t want this to be about my body, but I do want these posts to be about learning to love the way I look. So with no further ado, here are some body image questions/answers!

1. Since you started blogging has your image of yourself changed? Not yet, but I think it will. It honestly was a pretty big step to decide to write Makeover Mayhem posts because I am self-conscious about my specs. But as I said above, I want this theme to be about learning to love the way I look, so hopefully that’s coming! I’ve already gotten some great tips on haircuts, so I’m looking forward to seeing where this theme goes.

2. Are you self-conscious about any aspect of yourself? If so, do you go out of your way to avoid it or do you post it/talk about it anyway? I am, as I mentioned, but I think that posting about it is healthy and a positive way to accept all types of bodies. Avoiding it just leads to shame and self-hate, which is definitely not what I want!

3. Based on how you are feeling now, what do you think the future holds in the evolution of your body image? Whoa…this is kind of an intense question. I’m honestly not sure about where the evolution of my body image is going. On the one hand, I’m excited to get back to the gym – not because I particularly love exercising, but because I like the feeling I get from going. On the other hand, I know that I just have a bigger body type and it’s just going to be difficult to find clothes that fit well and are flattering, etc. Perhaps more balance is in the future.

4. Do you photograph yourself for your blog? If so, how do you feel about the experience when you’re having your picture taken? If you choose not to post pictures of yourself, what prompted that decision? I do photograph myself for these posts, mostly because I think people can provide better commentary and suggestions if they can see what I look like. For example, it’s hard to visualize “huge hips” in a flattering way, but that’s actually a good quality of mine. I do feel awkward in those pictures – everyone does – but it’s worth it.

5. What would you want every person who struggles with body image to take to heart? It’ll likely always be an issue, but try not to listen to the standards of perfection that society throws at us. It’s not fair and it’ll never be fair. But regardless, there is at least one person out there who thinks you’re gorgeous.

Check out the other responses here!

How do you feel about your body image?

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