Top Knots and Curly Locks

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Top 8: Beauty Secrets

Growing up in dance classes and musical theatre, I joke that I can only count to eight since almost everything is done in an eight count.  In honor of that, I have decided to do "Top 8".  Here are my Top 8 Beauty Secrets.

8. Curly Haired Girls: Ditch the Sodium Laurel Sulfate
I learned this trick years ago and it really does work.  Sodium laurel sulfate strips away some of the natural curl.  Just because a shampoo or conditioner says it's for curly hair doesn't mean it's sodium laurel sulfate-free.  Be sure to check the ingredients, it's usually one of the first few listed.  Two of the best shampoos I've found are Chi and Big Sexy (either in curls or silky, both are great!).

7. Eye Cream isn't Just for Below the Eyes
It's never too early to start using eye cream.  Right now I'm using Tibetan Goji Eye Serum.  I got it in my FabFitFun box (go here to sign up and you'll save $10 off your first box!) and love it!  A little bit goes a long way with this stuff!  Eye cream isn't just for below your eye though, dermatologists say to massage it onto the lid and take it as far up as the brow.

6. Use Your Ring Finger
When it comes to anything with your eyes from putting eye cream on to gently pulling on your lid to put on eye liner, always always always use your ring finger.  It is the weakest of all the fingers, therefore it causes the least amount of damage.  Remember, the eye is one of the most delicate areas.

5. Never Brush Wet Hair
Your hair is at its weakest when it is wet so never brush it.  Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers if you must.  If your hair is tangled, start combing it gently from the bottom then work your way up.

4. Pulse Points for Perfume
First and foremost, never rub your perfume; it crushes the molecules of the fragrance and ruins the scent.  I was always taught to dab it inside my wrist but recently I've found some new places.  It's best to spritz your perfume where you have pulse points, areas where blood vessels are close to skin and that are constantly emitting heat.  These areas stay moist and perfume applied to these areas will stay longer.  Some of the best pulse points are your inner elbows, the backs of your knees, behind your ears and your lower throat area.

3. Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold, But Just Right
Water temperature is very important.  We've all heard if we want shiny hair to rinse in cold water, if it's too hot it can make hair look dull.  When it comes to washing our faces if the water is too hot, it can dry skin out; if it's too cold, it won't open pores enough to clean them.  Also, when washing your face, lather up for 30-45 seconds, that's the time it takes to fully dissolve dirt and oil.

2. Retinol
Retinol is a form of Vitamin A that has been popping up in products everywhere especially in acne and anti-aging treatments.  It helps with skin cell turnover and penetrates the outer layer of skin and works to repair the lower layers of skin which results in firmer, smoother skin.  Along with necks, hands give away a woman's age.  I noticed a few weeks ago the backs of my hands looked dull.  I recently read to put retinol on them and since I have some that I use for my face, I decided I would try it.  I noticed the next morning my hands didn't look nearly as dull and my veins didn't appear to protrude as much.  It's recommended to apply it twice a week and I always follow up with a hand cream.

1. The Best Time to Apply Deodorant
The most effective time to apply deodorant is at night, right before you do to bed.  Your body temperature is more regulated at night and skin is calm and dry.  This allows the deodorant to penetrate more deeply into sweat ducts and lasts the whole next day.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Manners Monday: Thank Yous

Call me old fashioned, but I love handwritten letters.  In this day and age where everything is so instantaneous and digital, there's something so fun about opening your ACTUAL mailbox, not the one on your phone, and seeing a letter there.  I love opening an envelope and seeing someone's handwriting on paper, not Times New Roman on a bright white screen.  And where putting pen to paper takes longer than striking keys on a keyboard, you know that for that little bit of time, someone was thinking of you.

Nowadays, it's becoming less and less common to get a "Thank You" card in the mail.  It's so quick and convenient to send someone a text that says "Thanks," but that doesn't cut it.  If someone took the time out of their day to attend your wedding, birthday, etc. and spend money on you, the least you can do to show your appreciation is to send a thank you.

According to Emily Post, it's never wrong to send a thank you note.  The acceptable time frame for sending thank yous is up to 3 months after receiving the gift.  While it's best to get the note out as soon as possible, it's better late than never.

When it comes to writing thank yous, they don't have to be novels, just thoughtful.  If you have tons of notes to write, write them in small batches.  Writing 100 thank yous in one sitting sounds daunting, but writing them in sets of 10 doesn't sound nearly as bad.  Happy writing!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Favorites: Shorts Edition!

I'm linking up with NarciAndrea and Erika to share this week's Friday Favorites!  Last week, Shay talked about some shorts from LOFT and I fell in love with them.  So much so, I ended up buying 5 pairs of them!  Be sure to check out LOFT because the shorts are 50% off.  And for an even better deal, sign up for eBates and you'll get cash back on your purchase!  Without further ado, I present Friday Favorites: Shorts Edition!  PS. All the pictures were taken by my sweet friend, Catherine.

Shay posted about these shorts and that's what got me hooked!  I loved the color and knew I needed the Diamond Print Riviera Shorts.

How cute are these Scallop Riviera Shorts?  They're so girly and fun!

These are the Abstract Riviera Shorts. I love the color blocking and I've worn a navy belt with it before but forgot to pack it for the pictures!

I feel like Taylor Swift when I wear these Gingham Sailor Riviera Shorts.  They're high-waisted and have the cutest buttons on them.  I love wearing nude heels with the shorts because they make my legs look SUPER long!

I also got these Diamond Eyelet Riviera Shorts but I don't have the perfect shirt to wear with them yet.

Let me know if you stock up on any of these shorts and I'd love to see how you style them!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Paige's Wedding!

Happy Wedding Bell Wednesday!  Remember Paige?  You can catch up on her bridal shower here.  This past weekend was her wedding weekend.  Not only was the wedding beautiful, it was so much fun.  We were on the dance floor for close to 3 hours!  You've been warned, this post is picture heavy!

The Thursday before the wedding I chopped 18 green peppers ...

... to help make black beans for the reception.

While the beans cooked Friday, we decorated the church.

Yes, that's my dad walking down the aisle.

The night before the wedding, we spent the night at the bride's house and watched "The Rugrats Movie."

The next morning it was time to get out makeup done at MAC.

The sister of the bride, Jackie, getting her makeup done.

Paige getting the finishing touches!

Kara, the Maid of Honor, helping Paige get ready.

Waiting for Justin.

I'm not a fan of "first looks" pictures, but I love these.  This way you get a picture before the ceremony but the bride and groom still don't see one another. 

I love this picture! Nothing like a little more deodorant before the ceremony.

Paige made her own bouquet and included pins from her late grandmother.

The godmother and mother of the bride.


With Mom.

We've been together since birth and I was so honored to get to stand next to her on her big day.

Presenting Mr. and Mrs. Justin Crowder!

Time for the reception!

I love my family.

The first dance.

The ceiling of the barn was so pretty with all the lights.

The cake.

Cutting of the cake.

Don't let this picture fool you, I had to clean icing out of her nose!

Just a girl and her godfather.

New siblings!

The three of us have been together since before we were born.

Selfie with Jackie!

Mom loves this picture of us dancing to Flo Rida's "Low."

The wedding was so beautiful and I wish Paige and Justin all the best.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Favorites!

I'm linking up with Narci, Andrea and Erika to share this week's Friday Favorites!

First up is this lettuce.  Now, it may look like regular lettuce, but it isn't.  It's lettuce that I grew in my garden!  Ladies, I had no idea lettuce could smell so good.  I picked it from my garden and immediately washed and ate it.  My dad stole a couple pieces of it and said how great it was.  Every time someone has been over for dinner this week I've offered them a salad because I want to share the goodness of this lettuce.

Please ignore the misspelling of "separate," but I found this in the bathroom at Books-A-Million and had to take a picture of it.  This sticky note made me smile and I love that someone else agreed enough to add an "amen" to it.

Ok, it's time to get personal.  I have chin hairs.  There, I said it.  A couple of them are long and black, but the others are wiry blonde and I can't see them to pluck them ... but boy can I feel them!  For years I've heard of the company Bliss but never used it until I saw this at Kohl's.  I've considered waxing my chin, but I was told the hairs weren't long enough.  I'm in a wedding tomorrow and wanted rid of the blonde hairs so I decided to try this.  It's life changing.  It's like a Nair or Veet, but sensitive enough for your face. My chin is so smooth after using it!  Lots of stores carry Bliss or you can order it directly from their website

I found this shirt on Twitter and need it.  This would make a great gym shirt and goes perfectly with my "Fries Before Guys" shirt that I already have.  If you know where I can get this, let me know and I'll love you forever!