Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hair Braids 7 Days Challenge from Pinterest

I decided to do a 7 days Hair Challenge taking hair braids tutorials from Pinterest and recreating these looks. I saved ideas and braid tutorials on my Pinterest Profile and looked for how to braid your hair and do cute easy hair undos.

The first challenge this morning was a Dutch braid by Barefoot Blonde. It is an upside down braided bun, which according to the blogger, is really easy. Below on the left side her final product (photos by Barefoot Blonde), on the right mine (my own photo).

It was not easy. It looked easy but after the second attempt I gave up. You can only see one strain of my braid at the very top of my head. I was not able to lift each single strain of hair and start my braid at the very bottom of my head. You can also see how sad my bun is. Despite having a lot of hair I was not even able to get a good bun. This was a total disaster. Even BuzzFeed could not replicate the complexity of this dutch braid.

Today my friend Christina challenged me on a messy braid bun featured on Latest Hairstyle by Jenny Strebe. I thought this could be potentially easy since it has the word 'messy.' I can camouflage imperfections. I was wrong of course and my attempt failed miserably today too.

First, I realized soon that I did not have the correct supplies. My pins were cheap and old which made the entire bun fall once I walked out the door. (Yes, I walked out the door like that). I did not have the right elastic bands. Mine were big and well yellow!! I also forgot to make the braids look messy and bigger. And the top of my head was too composed. But surely enough my trainer commented on my braids then proceeded to make me do one minute of jumping high knees- I had braids all over my face slapping me hard!!! Is there a tutorial on braids for incompetent girls like me?

I challenged my friend Christina to do the same as she always looks good with whatever she does with her hair. No surprise she was much much better than me. She shared some tips for beginners like me.

Tips and tricks on how to braid your hair: (I just copied what she sent me, yes lazy me, but I made comments from the beginner's point of view). 

Top Knot with Under Side Braid

This one was pretty easy for me, as the version with just a ponytail used to be one of my “go-tos” when I was a cheerleader in high school. [hint here: if you are a cheerleader your braiding skills will improve]. Some tips and tricks to be successful with this hairstyle:
- Section off the front portion of your hair. This helps you know where to stop braiding and it will help with the securing of the braid. - If you don’t know how to do a “Dutch braid” or “inside out braid,” instead of pulling your strands overtop of one another, you can take them underneath. - Sit on the edge of a bathtub or you WILL get dizzy! - Braid your hair as tight as possible and as close to your head as possible for the best results. - SUPER IMPORTANT, don’t stop braiding once you’ve run out of new hair to pull in, keep going almost to the end that way when your securing it with a hair tie, your braid won’t come undone. - Swoosh your hair around into a bun and secure with bobby pins. [beginners buy bobby pins] - To get the braid to look larger and thicker, take your fingers, or the metal end of a rat tail comb and starting at the thickest part of your braid pull gently at each section working your way back down to the base of your head. - Hair spray and GO.

Strand “Messy Bun” Braid

Fist warning, this is NOT a “5-minute” hairstyle when your hair is as long as mine! The end result was cute, but definitely this is not an “all day” look for someone with heavy hair, but would work for a dressed up date night. [I agree. Once I got to the gym my fell apart at the first jump] - I started by spraying some dry shampoo throughout my hair to create some added texture and grab. I try so hard to pull of the “day old “ hair, but my hair just looks greasy, so dry shampoo is an easy fix. - Section off the front of your hair and secure it so you can work easily on the back pieces. - When I separated my hair, I braided my hair straight back to get the same look as in the picture. - Instead of braiding all four sections at once, go ahead and mess up these back two sections by just tugging at them from within the braid and then pin them up. - This step is IMPORTANT. When you do your front two braids, you MUST pull your hair in the direction you’re going to pin it, or you’ll have two ridiculous bumps at the front of your head. [I was wondering why I always look like a Star Trek character] - I left these two tight to add visual interest and pinned them back. - Be sure to tuck in the ends, or you’re hair will end up looking weird. (Ahem, Ginevra!) Yes to that! - Bobby pin! Bobby pin! And hairspray.
Can we please give an applaud to Christina. Seriously, look at my attempts and hers. 

Day 3 of the braids tutorial challenge: 

I found the picture on Head Quarters For Hair which inspired me to give it a try. I think I  am getting slightly better, don't you think? I am waiting for Lulu to send me her version. 

Day 4 How to braid your hair from beginners:

I am so proud of this creation. The inspiration for today's challenge was the top picture on the left side. I could not find the original source with the tutorial so I had to improvise. I think it turned quite nice beside the green elastic band. As usual I want to show some of my friends' creations which are amazing as usual.

My friends' creations: two different friends with a lot of hair!!

Day 6 (I skipped a day): 

For a lazy Sunday I found an easy (so it appeared) braid pulled in a high bun. The picture from the top left was taken on Pinterest and it appears on the blog Daily Makeover. The remaining of the pictures are my own recreation.

What I learned: brush, brush, brush you hair so it will not create bumps. I never ever brush my hair but you can see it makes a huge difference. Also, having dirty hair helps and it does not even look I have dirty hair. Last, use some hairspray. It not only holds everything in place but it also gives a shine to the hair. I think I am starting to get this all 'how to braid your hair.' Remember to subscribe to my blog if you want an automatic update on the challenge.

Day 7 how to braid your hair 

It is finally here the last day of the braid challenge from Pinterest. It has been so fun and it was even more fun when few of my friends joined me. I have learned that with practice you can improve your braiding skills. While it was clear that the tutorials on Pinterest were from professional bloggers who probably tried and tried many times to get it right there is no reason why people like me should not try. I got so many compliments for just having a screwed up braid and it did not take too long. 

Now I am off to the next challenge from Pinterest. Do you want to challenge me? Then post a comment below with a picture of your challenge (must be from Pinterest) and I will try to recreate it! 
The first picture with the model was taken from PoPular Haircuts

If you want to challenge me leave a comment below and attach a picture. You can always tag me on Instagram.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Concerts at Cascade Park in Tallahassee

I don't even remember when I last posted or talked about fashion, babies, and fitness. It has been quite  crazy few past weeks. We usually begin traveling quite often in the Spring, which means the laundry piles up in the house and we just don't spend as much time inside.

I wanted to share some pictures from The Avett Brothers's concert at Cascade Park in Tallahassee. If you are ever trying to find things to do in Tallahassee check out concerts and festivals that Cascade Park offers in the Spring.

So this past weekend it was the opening of The Word Of South Festival, which is a literature and music festival (free) through out the weekend. (what more do you need right?). The Avett Brothers (paid concert) opened the festival on Friday night at Cascade Park. To tell you the truth, although I listen to the band, I just did not really care about the concert because I was having such a great time with friends and being outdoors. When you don't get to go out often you are just happy you are out.

Cascade Park, located at 1001 S Gadsden St. is a 24 acres park located downtown Tallahassee. Despite the complains from locals while building the park, they were able to build an amphitheater for concerts and live music events. Attendees can either buy tickets to have sit or lay on the grass, which I actually prefer. There are food trucks and drink kiosks everywhere, although lines can be quite long. Even better they have a full bar. Yes, real cocktails, not the same cheap beer you find at most concerts. I really suggest anybody to just go at least one time. Bring your blanket and just relax as the sun goes down.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

5 DYI Hair Masks That Everyone Can Try

5 DYI Hair Masks That Everyone Can Try

There are many different ways that people can damage their hair while going about their daily lives. Harsh sunlight, city pollutants, and not having the time to nourish your hair and scalp can all take their toll. Even worse, most people think that the best way to undo this damage is to buy expensive hair masks. That is why we are going to take a look at how to make hair masks at home and the five best DIY hair masks for damaged hair.

1. Banana Homemade Hair Remedies

The ingredients in this hair mask might be a little outlandish, but it is a very good hair mask to promote healthy hair and scalp, strengthen hair follicles, and heal your already damaged hair. For this hair mask you will need two overripe bananas, a tablespoon of honey, a table spoon of olive oil, and a tablespoon of coconut oil. You have to blend the bananas so that there are no chunks, add the rest of the ingredients, and then blend the entire mixture together. Once you have let it sit in your hair for five minutes, you simply wash it away with warm water.

2. Olive Oil And Egg Hair Mask

Another one of the best DIY hair masks for damaged hair is the Olive Oil and Egg hair mask. The best part about this one is that it is one of the homemade hair remedies for which you already have the ingredients. All you need to do is combine three tablespoons of the olive oil with two eggs. Allow the mixture to sit in your hair for about twenty minutes, and then rinse off with warm water.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar And Lemon

If you want to know how to make hair masks at home that are simple and effective for oily hair, then this is the one for you. Simply take a ¼ cup of the apple cider vinegar and mix it with the peel of an entire lemon that has been grated. When you put this in your hair for 15 minutes it will begin to wick away the excess oily moisture from your scalp.

4. Avocado Hair Mask To Get Shiny Hair

Avocadoes are one of the favored items for DIY hair masks for damaged hair, and can help restore the luster that you want in your hair. This mixture is simple: take one ripe avocado, a banana, and a teaspoon of olive oil and blend it all until it is smooth with no clumps. Then apply it to your hair for fifteen minutes and wash it away for shiny, beautiful hair. You may want to actually take a shower to make sure that you get it all out of your hair, but the results are worth the hassle.

5. The Yogurt Approach To DIY Hair Masks For Damaged Hair

The final hair mask that we will look at uses the amazing properties of yogurt to create homemade hair remedies. Not only is this incredible for moisturizing, but it has so many valuable vitamins in its mixture. For this you need to have a half cup of plain, probiotic yogurt, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (seriously, just stockpile this stuff), and a teaspoon of honey. Combine the mixture in a bowl, work it through your hair and scalp, and let it sit for fifteen minutes. Then, take a shower to wash it away using organic shampoo for incredible strength and moisture in your hair.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Post Baby Before and After Photo: 12 weeks recap

Week 12 is over. (It was over 2 weeks ago but I did not have time to post) This symbolizes the end, the 'reveal' of my work out program to get back in shape after having my baby. I thought I would share some background info and a brief summary of my journey.

I started working out right before Thanksgiving 5 times a week doing 30 minutes cardio and 30 minutes weight training. My diet has not been perfect but I definitely eat/ate healthy and organic. I just can't find myself to optimize the diet to achieve more definition on my body because I have said this many times: I like my wine and pasta.

During pregancy I gained 46-50 pounds. I lost about 20 after giving birth and within the first week but I was left with an extra 30 pounds. When I started working out after 6 weeks of giving birth (this is what doctors recommend) I checked in at 144.2. I had not worked out during pregnancy, due to complications, so I was out of shape in so many ways. I was also breastfeeding when I started working out, which demands more calories and energy. I had problems with my back which prevented me from even lifting my own baby. 

I decided to go back to Body Trac, which focuses on group training. You get the attention of a personal trainer but you don't pay all the big bucks. I knew I needed the motivation otherwise I would have not done it myself.  The staff also does an initial body assessment and measures even your metabolism rate. Based on your rate, weight, life style etc they calculate how many calories you are supposed to eat, burn and how long to expect changes or weight loss. We set up a goal of 120 with calories intake at 1500 for a 12 weeks duration. We also took measurements of my body because the scale is not the most appropriate way of measuring success in many cases. 

The initial measurements (in inches) were: (before starting the program)

Waist: 34
Legs: 20
Arms: 14
Weight: 144
% Fat: 37

After 12 weeks of consistency here my results:
Waist: 26.7
Legs: 20
Arms: 9
Weight: 133
% Fat: 33

Here the pictures: Remember that I did not start working out until the 6th weeks after having Olivia, but for the sake of it I wanted to show you how I looked. You can see that after delivery you still look pregnant. This is normal as your body is slowly adjusting. Also the after baby body picture is from week 13th because I did not work out week 12th.

This second picture is from week 0 to week 12 of working out at Body Track. My diet did not change much (I need to work on that now). This was all about consistency and being active at least one hour a day (Sunday rest). 

And here a picture of the front. Is it amazing how malleable our bodies are? We should all love our bodies no matter the size and just focus of being strong and healthy. This picture shows week 0 of working out versus week 13. Here you have it - my progress so far and my before and post baby body pictures. Not too bad right? 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How To Wear Your Jeans Shirt

I have been in Salt Lake City for the past week at the Adobe Summit 2015. The conference was pretty amazing and very instructive for analysts and tech nerds like me. Plus I got to see the band Imagine Dragons so I can't really complain much.

Packing for a cold state and being from Florida it was quite a mission. I don't like to pack heavy; on the contrary, I rely on a small carry-on luggage to travel. Among the many wool and cashmere sweaters I packed two major items which turned to be versatile for cold weather and conferences : a plaid shirt and a jeans shirt by J.Crew. You can see on my Instagram's account how I paired the plaid shirt and jeans shirt, but I am posting here few pictures Mallory, my photographer, took before I left. Now, you won't see my denim shirt or plaid shirt anymore because it's totally summer here in Tallahassee.

In general I stay away from wearing all denim - I don't wear jeans on jeans. I just don't personal know how to pull that look off and have not found the perfect jeans and denim shirt to get that look. I pair denim shirts with more elegant pieces from nice dressed pants to texture evening skirts.

The look below reminded me a little bit of my friend Hilary because it is moving into a more bohemian style, with ethnic pieces used as accessories. All accessories are vintage.

Friday, March 6, 2015

How to Wear Plaid Shirts

How to Wear Plaid Shirts

I absolutely believe that a plaid shirt is a 'must' in somebody's wardrobe but it can be quite difficult to know how to wear plaid shirts without looking like you are about to chop some wood. So here my personal tips for wearing your favorite plaid clothes. 

Photo by Mallory Brooks 


Photo by Mallory Brooks

I hope you got some ideas for plaid shirts outfits. please remember to subscribe and follow my blog for for fashion tips for real people. 

All pictures have been taken by Mallory Brooks. Please visit her site because she has great shots of Tallahassee and surrounding areas.

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