How to Soften and Stretch Braids (and fishtails!)

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If you search for braid inspiration on Pinterest or Instagram, I’m sure you’ll stumble across a really wide, thick looking braid or fishtail in about .001 seconds. I love that this is where the trend is going because I love lived in, soft, romantic hair. And tight, perfect braids are a thing of the past (unless you are a little girl, in which case you can do whatever you want with your hair because you’re adorable).

Getting the look of wide and stretched out braids is incredibly simple. And once you see how easy it is, you’ll be able to transform your braids into the ones you see all over Pinterest and Instagram, I’m sure of it!

Texture spray (or powder if you prefer) is SO VITAL to softening out the braid without pulling it out completely. Here is a post all about texture sprays, including a few of my favorites.

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Tag your photos on Instagram with #smallthingshair so I can see your soft braids!

Philosophy’s TSV on QVC

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I’ve been a philosophy fan for such a long time. I’ve used the purity cleanser and the microdelivery exfoliating wash for years!

Today on QVC you can find really fantastic deals on a ton of philosophy products. May I gently nudge you to look into the Renewed Hope in a Jar? That has been one of my favorite beauty discoveries from 2015. It’s like a tall drink of water for your skin.

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And another deal that you need to know about is the miraculous 12-piece shower gel collection. Keep it all for yourself, or stash half of them away to give as potentially the most perfect gift, but passing these up would be a shame. These 3-in-1 body wash, bubble bath & shampoo smell exactly like they are described. And they are fragrant enough to linger nicely on the skin for longer than just the duration of your shower.

The vanilla coconut may change your life like it has mine. Wouldn’t this be really cute wrapped up in some cellophane with a loofah and tied with ribbon? I may even do that just for when I have guests come to stay at my house. It’s always fun to try a new scent of body wash, and then they could simply take it home with them as a gift!

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The philosophy items on QVC can be a single order or you can sign up for auto-delivery, and I like that they offer that option. Since a lot of the sizes are rather large, a single order would allow you to really determine how long it takes you to work through the product.

And the deals QVC is offering are really great, and philosophy products always delivery on quality and effectiveness.

So, happy shopping! Hope you find some grew deals today! I’m looking forward to picking out which scents from the miraculous 12-piece shower gel collection I’m going to keep for myself, and which ones I’ll give as gift!

this post was sponsored by philosophy via RewardStyle. The products pictured were provided as a gift. Hope you find some great deals today !

Summer Braids Class at Parlor Blow Dry Bar

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I had the pleasure of meeting about 40 local women for the Summer Braids class I taught at Parlor Blow Dry Bar on Monday evening. Oh my gosh it was so fun, and the only thing I would have changed was to add more time! I demo’d about 4 different styles and then told everyone to get up and practice on themselves while I wandered around and helped.

The class was really casual and my goal was to have everyone in there leaving with some kind of braid in their hair. And while I didn’t get to stand at the door and check, I’m pretty sure most people left feeling at least a little bit more comfortable with braiding their own hair!

It was so fun to be behind the chair again, and I hope to host another one of these classes soon. Big thanks to everyone who came out, and ENORMOUS thanks to Parlor for creating the perfect environment for the evening!

Hair Tools, a starter kit

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There are a few tools that are absolute must haves in my beauty drawer, and a lot of them are frequently used in my hair tutorials as well. If you are trying to build your hair tool collection from the ground up, or fill in any holes, here are a few of my favorite things to start with.

I’m not going to talk about products or hot styling tools yet since those vary so dramatically from texture to texture, but instead the tools I share below are must haves for any texture.

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1. Cricket Pro 35 comb. This is the only comb I’ll use. It’s strong enough so it won’t bend in the hair, and the fine tooth end is perfect for building texture and volume!

2. I’m new to these Blax hair elastics but I don’t think I’ll ever buy another brand again. They are strong, won’t snag, and can be reused a few times without getting overly stretched out.

3. I have this little mirror sitting on my vanity, but I also have a basic large hand mirror to look at the back of my hair as well. If you are using a makeup compact to see the back of your hair, just stop now. Invest in a big mirror so you can really see what’s happening back there!

4. Duckbill clips are the best for keeping hair out of the way without leaving a crease from a jaw clip.

5. A denman brush is perfect for smoothing through hair, and a vented brush would be even better to use while you are blow drying.

6. A wide tooth comb should be one of the first tools you use to comb through wet hair as it will be the most gentle. This is great to throw in your pool/beach bag as well!

7. Diane bobby pins are the absolute best. They won’t slide out of the hair, and they are really strong. Don’t even bother buying pins at the drugstore, none compare to Diane.

8. Soft elastics. These are great for casual side braids, or wearing your hair back at bedtime. I use these more often than I would have thought, and love that don’t don’t leave a strong crease.

I use tools from this arsenal in just about every tutorial, so bookmark this page to refer back to if I talk about something in the video (a duckbill clip or bobby pin) so you know exactly which one I’m talking about!

Having the right tools for the job will make styling your hair a heck of  a lot easier, so I hope these simple tools help you feel even more confident about rocking your ‘do!

 photos by Jordan Maunder 



I posted this image + a lengthy caption compared to my usual few sentences on Instagram last weekend and I was surprised to read over 400 comments responding to it. Almost all were encouraging and sharing similar sentiments.

My biggest take away from the responses was that I’m not the only mom who is having a bit of a hard time with figuring out my style. And even for women who don’t have kids, sometimes other life changes can throw you into a wardrobe rut! As a former “get fairly dressed up almost every day to go to the salon kind of gal”, my casual and active day to day (other than work days) means I almost never touch the things I wore 2 years ago.

Before I go much further I probably need to emphasize, for the sake of giving you some context, that I really love this stage of my life. Usually a few times throughout the day I look at my boys and just grit my teeth together and say,”oh I just love you so much I cannot HANDLE IT!” So know that I’m not writing this with a complaining tone, but instead a rather excited one about embracing my casual lifestyle + discovering clothes that I feel good in.

So, on days when I’m not working, I’m with the boys until Justin get’s home and then we tag team. And I’m a do-er, so we are almost always outside or running errands or going on a walk. And I need my outfit to be functional, comfortable, and simple.

I still like feeling put together, even if it means I only spend about 15 minutes on myself in the morning. I usually wake up before the boys (I feel behind and rushed if I oversleep and they wake up before me!), so it’s not a matter of finding the time, it’s about maximizing the little time that I do take!

I’ve tried a capsule wardrobe in the past and while I love love love that idea, I’m not great about sticking to it! But I want to create a few go-to outfits that I know will check all the boxes (realistic, comfortable, and simple) that I can put on in the morning and not feel like I want to change into my soft clothes by mid-day.

And I want you do to that along with me! So, I’m going to start working on my 5 outfits this week and share them here soon! If you have a favorite simple + comfortable outfit that you find yourself wearing a lot, take a selfie and share it on Instagram using #smallthingsblogstyle . I would love for that hashtag to become a little source of inspiration for other women looking to change up their style.

I can’t wait to get ideas from you!