Monday, November 29, 2010

Latest Obsession: Blow Dry Bars

As I mentioned earlier, I had some quality time with the newest issue of InStyle Magazine while I was waiting for my plane home a few weekends ago. Since we're quickly nearing the end of 2010, this issue was loaded with so much loveliness that I still need to finish "studying" everything. During my LONG delay at the airport, I spent most of my time reading the STYLE 100 section, which included the top 100 fashionable highlights from the year. You better believe that I folded down a bunch of page corners!
Well, #52 in the STYLE 100 especially caught my interest. Over a week later, I am still talking, thinking, and tweeting about it...

Source: Dry Bar LA
Blow dry bars are much like your typical hair salons, except that the services are limited to washes and blowouts, meaning no cuts or dyes. By cutting out those regular, expected salon services, it actually opens the door for stylists to focus on creating more complicated hairdos. Customers go to blow dry bars specifically to get salon-quality styled hair without having to wait for the next cut. 

At first, I thought this idea sounded a little crazy, but the more I've researched it the more I can't wait to visit one of these salons. Yes, the prices can be a little steep, but it would definitely be worth the investment, every now and then, for special occasions (like upcoming holiday parties). I'm already planning to visit BLOW, the NYC salon that InStyle credits for starting it all, next time I'm up that way. Also, fortunately for me, new blow dry bars are already popping up nationwide, so maybe one will turn up around here in the near future. I sure hope so!

Where to go for blowouts:
* Dry Bar - Los Angeles (new locations coming)
* Bubble Blow Dry - Los Angeles
* Blo - San Francisco
* Swink Style Bar - Seattle
* HERSHESONS - London (salon has hair tutorials here)

When I go, I want my hair styled something like Lily Donaldson or Taylor Swift's waves. I think it would look especially pretty swept to one side.
Source: Poozt

If you live near any of the salons listed or even a different blow dry bar, please pay a visit for me. Tell me what you think, so I can live vicariously through you! 

Thursday, November 25, 2010


It has been a really wonderful year, and I have so much to be thankful for right now. I have been met with some tremendous opportunities and experiences that I wouldn't trade for anything. Some are wrapping up and others just beginning, so, on this Thanksgiving Day, I find it especially fitting to sit back and reflect.

I am thankful for...
* Faith - I don't know everyone's religious backgrounds, but I think most of us would agree that there is a higher power at work in this world. To let you in on my beliefs, I am blessed to have the saving grace of Jesus Christ. He is my Rock, my Savior, and the guiding force in my life. He brings me through the trials, and He deserves all the glory for my successes. Without Him, I have no purpose!

* Family - I can honestly say that I have a family who would do anything for me. My parents have been huge in helping me pursue my dreams and passions, especially this year. I couldn't have asked for greater support, sacrifice, and selflessness from them. I'm also thankful for my beautiful sisters and awesome bro-in-law, who always offer a listening ear and wise advice. I love you guys!

* Friends - As I've said before, relationships are huge to me. I enjoy making new friends, keeping up with old ones, and loving on people around me. I am blessed with so many amazing friends and mentors who have invested in my life. I treasure the memories past and those to come!  

* Freedom - I am proud and grateful to be an American, born with freedoms that are unheard of in so many countries around the world. I'm thankful that Christopher Columbus ran into the Americas and that the Pilgrims took a leap of faith in settling at Plymouth plantation, enduring a brutal winter and suffering tragic losses (I can't even imagine it). I'm thankful for the Founding Fathers, who fought for the freedoms that I enjoy today, and for those who continue fighting.

* Fashion - Obviously, I had to bring fashion back into the equation somehow. That's the fashionista in me! I am thankful for the beauty, creativity, and fun that the fashion industry provides. I love that fashion blogging found me unexpectedly when I started contributing at DFOF over a year ago. Now I have my own creative outlet with Fashionable Conversation and new ideas flooding my brain almost daily. I still get excited about new trends, figuring out my own style, searching for the next must-have, taking style risks, and meeting others who share the same love of fashion. In addition, I love my growing community of fashion blogger friends and hope to meet up with some of you girls someday! <3

Now that I've written an essay, I want to hear from you! What are you thankful for?

Photo taken with my sister's Holga!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Business Professional

Here's another look at my work clothes. I love all these pieces because I can mix and match them to create a multitude of professional outfits. So convenient and economical!

What I Wore:
* Silk Shirt - $13 - TJ Maxx
* Pencil Skirt - $20 - Target
* Blazer - under $25 - Target
* Tights - FREE - my grandma's closet
* Platform Pumps by Madden Girl - $34 - TJ Maxx
* Vintage Clutch - FREE - my grandma's closet
* Pendant Necklace - FREE - gift from my grandma

* Hot rollers - I dried my hair almost completely (a little dampness helps) and set the rollers somewhat randomly around my head. For loose curls, I left them in about 5-7 minutes.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Many moons ago...

Many moons ago (before I even had side bangs!), I took these pictures with my bestie. I came across them randomly and decided the blogging world should admire them. Enjoy!
Our era of inspiration for the last three pictures was the 1970s, and I love how my hair looks. Maybe I should get layers again, tease up my hair, and go all retro glam? Nah, not yet. I finally got my layers grown out! 

Oh, but I kind of want more interest in my hair. Layers might be nice. Opinions please?


Monday, November 22, 2010

On a Whim

First off, I want to say that I was totally planning on blogging last week, but then I ended up going on a last-minute trip with my best friend. I literally decided to go on Monday afternoon, headed out Tuesday morning, and spent the entire week just having fun in one of my favorite places here in the states. So I took an unplanned yet COMPLETE break from everything. I barely even touched my macbook! I loved having the opportunity to be completely spontaneous, carefree, and relaxed. I really needed it after this very busy year.

Here are a few highlights from my week of free spirited happiness:

* Amazing conversation - I am a huge relationship, quality time person, so naturally I love hanging out, talking, and learning about people's lives. We don't even have to be doing anything super fun (you can make fun anywhere). I just enjoy conversation with friends, old and new. And there was certainly a lot of that on my trip. Good times!

* Sushi tasting - Believe it or not, I had never tasted sushi before last week. And you better believe that I will probably never taste it again. Yes, I gave it a shot, but it's not my thing unfortunately. For not tasting good (to me), sushi certainly looks pretty. Oh, and on a side note, a couple with our group shared/consumed 82 pieces between the two of them. I was absolutely amazed! 

Trying sushi - before & after! :)
* Skiing - Again, this is another shocker, but I had never been skiing until this past Friday. My friends told me I caught on quickly because I was off the bunny hills in no time and going through some real powder most of the day. Even though I'm a little bruised and battered from falling a bunch, I'm ready to go again!

* Coat Wearing - While the weather has been kind of indecisive around here, my vacay location had coat-worthy weather nearly everyday. So I was VERY glad to have my newest coat (bought last season). I'm still looking for the perfect tiered coat to add to my outerwear collection, but I absolutely love my tweed trench from New York & Company.

* Quality InStyle time - While I was waiting for my plane, I grabbed the latest issue and shortly realized how many things I need to cover on my blog. I was so inspired by the contents, as I'm sure you noticed if you follow me on twitter. I like to give commentary when I read mags...or anything for that matter. So follow me! (Note: My tweets are protected for now, but I approve almost everyone)

Okay, so back to reality. It was a great trip, but there is much to be done this week! Seriously, the moment my plane landed, I was already thinking up to-do lists. I'm a crazy girl like that though. I HAVE learned to take no-planning-allowed breaks, which has become a wonderful thing to me. Planning is definitely necessary, but too much planning can ruin your life and make you insanely stressed. If there's one thing I've learned since graduating college, it's to be open to things outside of your "master plan." Besides, life is much more interesting when you aren't planning every last detail. I'd rather be surprised!

Later lovelies!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Black & White Stripes

I already have another outfit post, and, for the first time in ages, I actually wore lipstick. I love what it does for my photos, so I think I'll let the lip color happen more often.

The temperature was perfect, and the sun was shining, which made everything work out wonderfully for this shoot. I really enjoyed being outside!

These boots are quickly becoming my favorite fall wardrobe staple. I had been looking for a pair of tan, slouchy boots all last fall and never found THE pair. Then, while I was making the rounds about a month ago, I happened upon this pair at my favorite local shoe store. They were even on clearance, and, since I can't pass up a good bargain, I knew it was meant to be!

Now I'm on a quest for some brown riding boots. It's funny how just as you find something you've been searching for, the victory is short-lived, as you're immediately onto the next "much-needed" stylish item. That's how I am anyway. 

As you might have noticed from previous looks, I love wearing dramatic black eyeliner. But while I've always been a fan of eyeliner, I only recently started drawing it out more exaggerated on myself. It can be tricky to get it just right, but the resulting look is fantastic. Fortunately, Pixiwoo helped me get the "flick" part down. I highly recommend their tutorials!
(read to end for a listing of my eye makeup products)

I just love this shirt. It screamed out to me on the rack this past weekend, so I tried it on and couldn't leave without it. I see a lot of potential in it, beyond today's look, so it was worth the purchase. I try to buy clothes that can be worn and accessorized over and over (much like a LBD). That's just smart shopping folks!

What I Wore:
* Striped Tunic - $17 - TJ Maxx
* Jeggings - under $25 - Pac Sun
* Vintage Clutch - FREE - my grandma's closet
* Tall Boots - $50 - local boutique
* Bow Headband (from London!) - FREE - gift from my sister

Eye Makeup:
* Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner - $7 - Maybelline
* Falsies Mascara - $5 - Maybelline
* Eyeshadow Quad (in menage) - $15 - Victoria's Secret
* Eyeliner Tutorial - FREE online - Pixiwoo

Thanks for reading!


Monday, November 8, 2010

Fashionable Face: Alison Sudol

Do you recognize this lovely redhead? You should! She's none other than Alison Sudol of A Fine Frenzy.

I don't remember how I discovered Alison's music, but, one day in 2007, I realized I had been frequenting her myspace multiple times a day for weeks. So I ordered her album, One Cell in the Sea, and was hooked. And like any good friend, I got all my besties hooked as well!

Alison is known for her ballads (especially those reminiscing past relationships - what could have been, what she's glad is gone, how to move on, etc.), but her latest album has a good mixture of upbeat and slow numbers. If you're new to her music, I recommend any of it! But for a quick taste, listen to the following:
"Almost Lover"
"Near to You"
"What I Wouldn't Do"
"Swan Song"

Beyond her beautiful tunes, she has incredible style. In many ways, I feel like we should be style sisters. 

We both love...
* Vintage outerwear, hats, and scarves
* Mustard yellow
* Long hair
* Pretty dresses
* Feminine, delicate details (lace accents, high waists, and floral prints)

Alison often looks like she stepped out of another era but was slightly modernized, leaving her completely current yet unique at the same time. Now that's difficult to pull off! I feel like that's how vintage lovers should be though. It's not necessarily about being a complete "replica" of an era - it's about making it work for the here-and-now, mixing modern and vintage creatively. Does that make sense?


Check out this cute stop-motion video of Alison!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Asian Market

I was out and about town this afternoon, so I decided to have my sister snap a few pictures of my outfit. We were out with my mommy looking for very specific items for making Asian cuisine, so I have some "scenic" pictures of the marketplace throughout my post. Enjoy!

We finished off the day with some boba tea (technically, mine was a boba smoothie). It's always such a delicious treat. I was drinking it so fast that I kept getting a brain freeze!

What I Wore:
* Plaid Shirt - under $25 - Forever 21
* Jeggings - under $25 - Pac Sun
* Trench Coat - under $35 - Old Navy
* Vintage Purse - FREE - my grandma's closet
* Tall Boots (my latest obsession!) - $50 - local boutique
* Braided Headband - $2 - Claire's

In other news, I've decided that I should start wearing lipgloss and/or lipstick again. Typically, I just prefer my Burt's Bees lip balm, but I need more color going on. I'm feeling bright pink or dark red for some reason...


P.S. My friend Travis just reintroduced me to Gavin DeGraw, and I'm loving the song "Dancing Shoes" from his newest album Free. Take a listen!

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Brooklyn Bunch

Top: Ingrid Michaelson, Greg Laswell, Jenny Owen Youngs, Bess Rogers; Middle: Lauren Zettler, Rosi Golan, Ian Axel, Katie Costello; Bottom: Peter Bradley Adams, Allie Moss, Allison Weiss, Greg Holden
There is an ever-growing number of indie artists based out of Brooklyn, and I am a huge fan. After seeing many of them together in various concerts and videos, I've noticed that they are more than individual artists. Many of them are really good friends, and, depending on who is headlining, you might even catch a few backing during another's tour. It's really cool to see that kind of community among artists. 

Not long after discovering this cool little community from Brooklyn, my bestie and I decided to dub them "The Brooklyn Bunch." For us, it all started with Ingrid Michaelson's tour last year. We had heard that Bess Rogers and Allie Moss were backing, but we didn't know anything about who was opening. And then we met him, Greg was love at first word! Yes, his charming British accent got me, but his music drew me in because of its honest lyrics and beautiful melodies. Not surprisingly, I snagged his EP at the concert and looked him up on myspace, where I later discovered even more artists like Ian Axel and Rosi Golan

Since my blog has been dry on the musical inspiration lately, I'm sharing a playlist with my current faves from The Brooklyn Bunch (click the link for my mix on iTunes). Enjoy!

And check out this awesome cover of Go West's "King of Wishful Thinking" by Lauren Zettler and friends. It's always been one of my favorite songs, and I love what this group did with it!

Oh! And since this is a FASHION blog, I can't end without commenting on the style of The Brooklyn Bunch. In general, their looks are carefree, relaxed, and thrifty.  The girls wear vintage boots, skinny jeans, and basic tees or blouses, paired with knitted scarves and hats. And the boys rock shaggy hair, plaid shirts, and dark-rimmed glasses. These looks definitely work for them!