July 31, 2012

30x30, Week Seven

This week I mainly focused on jeans. Jeans are my go-to for an easy outfit year round. I work inside, so while it's hot getting to my car, I typically freeze to death in my studio so wearing jeans and layers saves my fingers from turning blue. 

I mixed some different colored sweaters with tops that I wouldn't normally wear. I would naturally gravitate to a grey sweater for both the polka dot and striped top, but I wanted to add some color into the outfit!

My sister was taking these photos, and also instructing me on how to add a belt to an outfit like this. I agree that the belted version is more interesting than the photo above, but since it isn't in my 30 items, I couldn't officially put it as an outfit photo! 

You may notice I showed 4 outfits. This was to make up for a few weeks ago when I only showed 2 outfits. 

Are you participating in the challenge? Link up here

Click here to read the original post! You can also find links to the clothes I'm wearing in this post. 

Casey Leigh Giveaway

Today's giveaway comes from Casey of the blog Casey Leigh

She happens to be a pretty incredible artist. 

She sent me this print, that I love, and I put it in my office immediately. It picks up the variety of pinks I already have going on in there.

I decided to put it in this shadow box as a different way to display a print. It adds just enough color and pattern to that corner of my desk.

Check out Casey's blog for beautiful photos of her children, inspiration, and touching words from her heart.

Would you like to win either a print of your choice OR an ad space on her blog (if you are a blogger) ?

Enter using the giveaway tool below.
(only US residents may enter for the print, anyone can enter for the ad space--as long as you are a blogger)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

July 30, 2012

Hair FAQ Video

We're changing it up a bit this week and instead of a hair tutorial I'm going to answer a few hair questions.

I posted on the blogs' Facebook page a few weeks ago asking you to leave any general hair questions in the comments, and thankfully a lot of you did--so I had plenty to choose from!

I tried to pick the most commonly asked questions that I get either from my clients, friends, or random strangers who find out I'm a hairstylist. 

Some of the topics covered are: blow dry temp & speed preference, home hair color, how often to wash your hair, how often to use a deep conditioner, etc.

But, while you are watching this video, keep in mind that unless I know you personally, your best source for personalized information about your hair is from your stylist. He or she would be a great resource for you to ask specific questions (ex. "should I get bangs?"). I'm offering general answers based on my experiences and opinions.

Also, in an effort to prevent this video from being excessively boring, I tried to pretend I was sitting across the table from a friend. So, pretend we're friends sitting at Starbucks talking about hair stuff.  K? Thanks. 

July 27, 2012

High Five for Friday!

It's Friday! Time to go through the top 5 things of the week!

1. Fridays now feel like actual Fridays. I stopped working Saturday's at the studio, and have really been enjoying a balanced schedule. Saturdays are awesome. It's been 6 years since I've had Saturdays off, and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

2. Justin and I joined a new gym! I wish I didn't t forget how great I feel when I work out. I sleep better, I'm not tired during the day. I end up eating better since I don't want to make my workout worthless! It's good to be back in the routine. 

3. The video showing the service projects of ServeRDU is up! You may notice someone very familiar a few minutes into the video. (00:58)

ServeRDU 2012 Recap from Josh Sliffe on Vimeo.

This was a week where people from The Summit Church served throughout the Raleigh-Durham area. My sister and I were both at the Global Hope India service event making little bracelets for the children at risk. 
It's truly heartbreaking to think about the horrific circumstances that these children go through. And while making bracelets may only seem like a small thing, there is no reason to doubt that God can use it to work in these children's lives. 

4. I was so encouraged by your comments on yesterday's post! If you are challenging yourself to shut it down, at whatever time you choose, I wish you success! So far I have had 1 successful day. And that was yesterday. :)

5.  The drivers license arrived (click here for backstory) And it is pretty bad. Oh my poor hair. 

ALSO, can we talk about my eyebrows? Those are not real. I swear they photoshoped those eyebrows in there! They look like Nintendo Wii brows. 

How was your week? Link up with From My Grey Desk if you post a High Five for Friday post! 

July 26, 2012

6:00 Shut Down

photo source: Real Simple

It's hard to get away from the demands of an inbox. From Twitter or Facebook. And now more than ever, it's hard to stop uploading photos to Instagram. 
We're all connected. And it's good. It's great actually. What a fantastic world that we live in where we can share moments of our lives with friends, or just other people!
We are inspired. Motivated. Moved. Changed. All from the things that happen around us. 

Pinterest changed weddings forever. 
And baby showers.

Instagram made every meal an opportunity for us to become photographers. 

Twitter has become my first resource for breaking news. 

It's enjoyable to be in community online. 
But we can't miss out on real life. 
Because you can't scroll down far enough to see what happened. It happens, then it's over.

So I started enforcing a "6:00 Shut Down" for myself. I'm not strict or rigid, but I'm determined to shut down some of the online activity at 6:00 in the evening. 
I'm ending my work day. Intentionally. 

But even if you don't "work" online, the 6:00 Shut Down can be a way to just take a breather from social media. 

I've been operating in a busy lifestyle for months, and while I really, really enjoy doing everything that I'm doing, I'm not doing any of those things really well. I'm giving each thing about 70%, because that's all I have available. 

So instead of qualifying my day a success or not based on getting through my entire list of to-do's, I'm going to do as much as I can until 6:00, and then shut it down.

Or, I'm going to try.

So join me, if you need to, and we can let our thumbs rest a little bit. 

*there is nothing else going on, on a deeper level, I just wanted to share with you this challenge I've given myself. Also, I hope this doesn't read as a complaint, but simple a glimpse into the fact that I don't do it all--which it may look like on the blog sometimes. Someone recently told me , "It's hard to fit a 3 dimensional person into a 1 dimensional place." Truth. Don't value your 1-d over your 3-d. 

Is this my philosophy degree talking? :) 

July 25, 2012

30x30, Week Six

My goal with this weeks outfits was to wear something light, cool, and as comfortable as possible in the heat. 
So skirts it is!
And light colors. In fact, no color at all actually. 

When I got my camera out to take these photos, Grits came flying out from wherever he was in order to set up camp in my "photo zone". 
When I take photos inside, this is the only place that the lighting is bright enough. 
And apparently the only place where Grits wants to lay at that very moment. 

I politely asked him to move but. . .

So, I gave up and decided to leave him back there for the duration of the pics.
It also turns out that I match him. How cute of us.

I'm not typically a "belt over the clothes on 100 degree days" kind of girl, but this outfit really needed it. It's another option besides tucking in, and allowed for a little bit more freedom with this top. 

This last outfit is probably my favorite. Although apparently Grit's hated it and couldn't even stand being in the same photo with it.

You may notice that this grey skirt is different from the original skirt in the first 30x30 post.
I got bleach on that other skirt, so I needed to replace it with a similar skirt asap. The original was from J.Crew outlet, and this one is from J.Crew outlet. 
I like the original more, especially since this skirt is "insta-wrinkle". I mean, you look at it and it wrinkles. I hate that.
But, it's a grey skirt. And I'll probably wear it to death like I did my last one.

Are you doing a 30x30 challenge with us? There are basically no rules, but some guidelines are on my original post! 
Link up with From My Grey Desk if you are participating! 

**all the sources for the items I'm wearing can be found here.

July 24, 2012

Twisty Ponytail

With the heat these days, I find myself pulling my hair back in a ponytail more often than not. But sometimes I want it to look a little bit more styled than just pulling it back.
I tried this technique the other day, and it worked perfectly. It's a little bit more interesting than just a ponytail, but keeps the hair off my neck!

Clear Elastics
Bobby Pins (professional quality) (shop at Sally Beauty Supply for quality pins)

Shirt: Target
Necklace: LightYear 
Earrings: Francesca's 

July 23, 2012

The Bland Bathroom Makeover Reveal

Well, the bathroom is finally made over! And to say it's brighter and livelier would be an understatement.
Let's look back at the before photo.

The owners' sand color didn't work with our existing gold shower curtain. And with a neutral basket, flowers, and picture, the colors were all very boring. The rest of the home has great colors, from grays to dusty blues, so the sandy bathroom looked neglected and sad.
I found the shower curtain that I loved at Target and used the Chip It! tool to find the perfect paint color to spruce up the bathroom. Of all the colors that were "chipped," I liked the yellow the best. It was bright and definitely bold enough for a small room like a bathroom.
And so painting began. There was lots of tape and detailing, but the paint went on nicely. My husband and I had plenty of laughs trying to get around each other in there. And after two coats, we were left with a bright little bathroom!

See how the yellow walls pick up the yellow in the shower curtain? That's exactly what I wanted to happen.
I kept the towels white so as to not have too many colors going on in one small room.

I also stuck with neutral and light accessories. The shower curtain faces the doorway, so that acts as "art." It's a busy enough pattern that I didn't need to fill the walls with coordinating artwork. I did need to fill in the space between the mirrors and the toilet, so I went with a tall vase with some big flowers.
Slipping a little placemat on the top of the toilet is another way to ground the items without using a basket (like I had done before).

A lot of the accessories came from World Market, one of my favorite stores. The hand towel holder came from Target, as well as the towel it's holding!
I'm so glad that we brightened up this bathroom!
Do you have some painting to do? Be sure to check out Chip It! and the How To Video, then drag and drop the Chip It! button below to your toolbar so you can be sure to pick the perfect paint colors for your home!
Chip It!
Tell me about a room in your home that you'd like to makeover using the Chip It! Tool for a chance to win a $1,000 Visa gift card and $200 Sherwin-Williams gift card.
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post with your e-mail address included { ex. Kate (at) gmail (dot) com }
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
Entries from all participating blogs will be pooled for winner selection; only two entries per household. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 7/23/12-8/10/12.
Be sure to visit Sherwin-Williams' brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggersĂ­ posts!

July 20, 2012

High Five for Friday

Hey. It's Friday.

My morning was going great, all 5 minutes of it, until I read the ending to The Dark Knight Rises from someone's Facebook status.

Yeah, seriously. 
On the day of the release.

Anyway, I'm going to stop talking about it so maybe I can forget it between now and Sunday when I go see it.

There were five great things of the week too.

1. Whipped up with "pantry meal" on Sunday night--love it when I have enough food to make a meal without going to the grocery store. I also started meal planning for the first time in my life and it's made a huge difference. I love it.
Oh and there was Rosemary Bread involved--yum. 

2. You know those weeks when you really can't find anything you want to wear? And then you have those weeks when you can easily find something? I had one of the latter weeks. 

Top: J. Crew Outlet (similar), Cropped Pants: J. Crew Outlet (similar)

Top: Old Navy, Cropped Jeans: The Loft,  Necklace: c/o Very Jane, Sweater: Gap Outlet 

3. A particularly moving sermon on Sunday given by our campus pastor.

4. Homemade pizza with my sister, and chats about our new endeavor (we'll fill you in soon).

pizza dough recipe here

5. Heading to the local flea market for the first time ever tomorrow! And SO looking forward to it! 

Hope you had a good week! Link up over at Lauren's blog if you write a High Five for Friday post

July 19, 2012

The Office!

Here's a little peek into my office! I took these photos weeks ago, and now it's a total disaster area again, but today I can live vicariously through what it should look like! 

I love it. It's so much different than my original office in our other house. And I'm very grateful that I have an entire room to work in! 

I love having a separate desk for jewelry making and other crafts. And having a BIG table means I can have a lot going on at once, which is how I like it! 
I found this table on Craigslist, and it was painted white. My mom and I roughed up the surface a bit with some sandpaper, painted it grey, and it was perfect!
The rug is from Ikea, and I love it, but it has taken forever to "lay flat". I've since moved it from how it looks in this photo to help it along, but it may just be a little wrinkled forever. After all, it was a whopping $19.99. What can I expect! 

The white table used to be my sister's dining room table, however it was originally owned by my parents. We do a lot of furniture sharing in this family! 

Interested in anything specific? I've labeled as much as I can in the photos below:

Hope you enjoyed a little peek into my office! 

July 18, 2012

The Dept. of MakeUNDER Visionaries.

I finally had the pleasure of visiting my local DMV yesterday. 

During my drive, I thought to myself, "Okay, this is going to take several hours. Prepare yourself. Begin your calming exercises now. Think about nothing. Turn off the brain." 

I have to gear up to have my time wasted. Not in a "I'm too important" kind of way, but simply in a "there is 1,000,000,000 things I'd rather be doing than going to the DMV" kind of way. 

But, nonetheless, there comes a time in everyones life where a small part of them needs to die at the DMV, and that time was yesterday.

Let's start at the beginning.

I had a hair appointment yesterday afternoon to get my hair colored. On those days, I tend to let my hair air dry after applying a leave-in conditioner to give it a break and really let the leave-in conditioner work well. 

I drove home with wet hair, and it was nearly dry by time I arrived. I threw it back in a ponytail, and did some things around the house. 

Then I remembered that I haven't updated my address yet on my drivers license (even though we moved months ago) so I planned on heading to the DMV. 

I thought, "Surely I won't have to have my photo retaken because this is something that can be done online". 

I know that you are thinking. Why didn't you just do it online, Kate? Well, I lost the pin that I used 3 years ago and I couldn't find a way to request a new one. Plus I thought, "What's the harm in going to the DMV real quick?" Delirious, I know.

So, I check my face in the mirror. I'm wearing a few swipes of mascara, some under-eye concealer and made a honest attempt to cover up blemishes but was quite unsuccessful. (I tried a new BB cream that made me break out--the worst!) My hair was flat, in a ponytail and I was wearing my "Monday Clothes". (Mondays are my days off when I clean the house, do laundry, etc.). 

I was a sight to behold.

So I head to the DMV. I prepare myself as mentioned above.

I was greeted by a bright and shiny personality at the desk. I'm serious, she was happy. I was floored. 

I take my number and wait. I have 3 people ahead of me. This will take. . .oh, I don't know. . .about 6-7 hours I figure.

30 minutes later, my number is called. 

I walk back and am greeted with another joyful soul and I'm shocked once again. 

dared to think to myself "Well geez! This is going to smoothly! I'll be out of here lickety-split!"

I hand her my license.
Old drivers license photo. Hair=large. 

We go through the changing of my address, the woman helping me tells me I look better blonde, and then she says ,"Okay, smiley time!!!"


I said, "WHAT!? I have to get another picture?" 

"Yep, head on over to the camera!"

My blood ran cold.

Okay, not really. But I did realize that this whole event was too good to be true. Of COURSE you would have to have your picture taken Kate! This is the worst you have ever looked! And that's the goal of the DMV! 

Laughing to myself, I sit and wait for smiley time. The bright and shiny personality comes to take my picture, says she likes me better blonde, and clicks away.

I smile, mostly because I'm laughing at how ridiculous my photo is going to look, and tell the woman "Thanks!".

I have to wait 15 days before I can lay my eyes on the beauty that will be the worst drivers license photo in history. 

But hey, at least I look better as a blonde. 

July 17, 2012

Stella and Dot Giveaway!

Have you seen Stella & Dot's new Fall Collection? It's teeming with beauties like the one I'm wearing below.

Nicole Hazen, my Stella & Dot consultant, sent me this beauty yesterday. I absolutely love it. It's delicate, dainty, and I love that the purple gems mimic the ombre trend. 

Would you like to win either this necklace or a $50.00 Gift Certificate to Stella & Dot c/o Nicole Hazen?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

30x30, Week Five

I had one little day this past week to take my 30x30 pics and that happened to be yesterday.

After I had already shot my next hair tutorial. 
And I try to keep those quiet until Monday's so I thought about posting all my pics today like this:

EXCEPT---what it wrong with this picture?

I spelled peek wrong. Dang it. But I'm sitting at my laptop (without photoshop) and I can't fix it. Don't judge. Maybe I'm just trying to get this Twitter user riled up again: @StealthMountain 
He's tweeted at me a time or two.

Anyway, consider yourselves warned. This hairstyle is next week's hair tutorial! 

On to the outfits. . . 

I find myself wanting to wear my pink skirt a lot. Most of the tops I chose for my 30x30 will pair nicely with this skirt, so it's easy to work with.

A typical outfit for me involves stripes. And cropped jeans.

I was feeling brave (and bright!) for my last outfit. This is quite the colorful combination, but somehow I think it works. Since I was wearing pink + coral from head to toe, I had to wear my Adina Necklace from Stella & Dot. I mean, it just fit perfectly!

I've enjoyed the 30x30 Challenge so far! Most of the items I chose are simple enough that they can easier be matched with each other. And it has made me think outside of the box when it comes to different combinations!

See the original 30x30 post for info on where each item is from 

Are you joining us? If so, be sure to link up over at From My Grey Desk! We'll choose our favorite outfit the monday after the link up, and feature it during the next link up! 

July 16, 2012

The Sideways French Twist

Several months ago I showed you how to do the Chic Updo. My hair was right at my shoulders, and it was closest I could get to this style

Now that my hair is a little bit longer, I was able to show you a different way to start this style, and how to get a higher and fuller finish. 

You don't need to have curled hair to do this style, but it may help when it comes to bending your ends under! 

The products mentioned in this video are:
Not mentioned, but still used: Aquage Uplifting Foam

Earrings: Francesca's
Dress: Modcloth (full image here)