5 Minute Curls

Pajamas: Victoria’s Secret | Blow Dryer: T3 | Curling Wand: T3 | Hair Spray: Biolage

Since I FINALLY got my hair done and basically feel like a new woman, I thought it was about time to show y’all how I get my curls! I am not good at a lot of things in life, but I think that I could compete with the best of them when it comes to the time it takes me to get ready for the day. I have perfected my morning routine so that I can take a shower (this includes washing my hair), do my hair and make-up, get dressed and head out the door in under 30 minutes. It’s taken me many years, countless snooze buttons, and a lot of tardiness to get this down but the longer I can stay in bed, the more of a win it sounds to me!

 I like to think that my curls could best be described somewhere on the spectrum of a loose beach wave. Now I don’t claim to be a beauty or hair expert by any stretch of the imagination but I am going to do my best to break down how exactly I get my curls. I’m talking step-by-step as well as a full review of the T3 products that I use in the video and are ALL the rage right now. So without further ado, here is my very first video!

*Before you begin curling your hair, I highly suggest starting with fresh, clean, blow dried hair. This will boost the volume of your curls dramatically compared to if you let your hair air dry. I am using the T3 Featherweight Luxe 2i dryer. I personally always flip my hair over my head and dry my hair that way. Pretty sure this is the key to va-va-voom!*

Step 1: Divide your hair into multiple sections (2-4 is usually best): Focus on one section at a time. For thinner hair, less sections will be needed. I personally do 3 sections. A upper and lower section on my parted side, and one on the other.

Step 2: Start with the bottom sections: This is important because you want to work your way up. Since the top layers are what everyone is going to see, think of the bottom layers as a little less important. You can spend a little less time on the bottom layers and don’t worry to much about how tight the curl is. We will focus more on the top.

Step 3: Wrap 1-2 inch pieces of hair around the barrel: Depending on the size of the barrel that you are using, this will determine the amount of hair you can comfortably wrap around the barrel. In order to save time, wrap a large enough section around the barrel that will evenly fit on the barrel. You never want excess hair that is not actually touching the barrel.

Step 4: Leave hair on the barrel for no more than 10 seconds: As long as you adequately let the barrel heat up before you begin, you should not have to hold your hair on the barrel for more than 10 seconds. In fact I personally usually only hold it for about 5 seconds before letting the hair drop.

Step 5: Repeat all over your hair: Once you finish the bottom sections, start working your way to the top. The top layers are where I will spend a little bit more time. This usually means a little bit smaller pieces of hair and I’ll leave the hair on the barrel for closer to 10 seconds.

Step 6: Curl hair away from face: As you get closer to your face, make sure that you are wrapping the hair outwards towards the back of your head. This will create a more natural look.

Step 7: Run your fingers through your hair: This step is important because rather than brushing your hair out, your fingers work much better and will not create frizz like a brush might. This will break up the curls to make them look more natural without diminishing the curls.

Step 8: Spritz with a finishing hair spray: Possibly the most important step if you want your curls to last! Again, to make your curls look the most natural, and not crisp, a finishing spray rather than a strong hair spray is best. My personal favorite that I have used for years is Biolage.

How would you describe your hair?

I have pretty thin, fine hair. I used to shower/wash my hair at night but have found that I have so much more volume if I do all of that in the morning. I try to go at least 2 days without washing my hair but on the second day, even with dry shampoo, my hair is a total grease ball!

Is your hair naturally straight or curly?

My hair is 100% naturally straight although I never wear it that way. I curl my hair almost every single day since it takes me no time at all and gives me so much more volume!

How well does your hair hold a curl?

I have found that over the years, the better my hair will hold a curl. Unfortunately, I think this has to do with the fact that my hair is becoming more and more damaged the more that I use heat on my hair and like I said before, I blow dry/curl my hair almost every single day. The thing with my hair is that no matter how tight the curl is, it will always end up looking the same. My hair will fall and look almost more like waves than curls.

What products do you use on your hair?

I do not use many products at all. Besides my shampoo and conditioner, the only other products that I use are a leave in conditioner (acts as a detangler) and finishing hair spritz. I’m trying to get better about protecting my color as well as my hair from the heat so I recently picked up Aveda’s Color Conserve hair set and damage remedy. Once I have been using these for a bit longer, I’ll let you know what I think!

What is your honest review of the T3 blow dryer?

I have been using this for about a month now and just do not love it. I have tried to love it for the price tag but if you are in the business of trying to save time, this hair dryer is not the one for you. Compared to my Conair hair dryer, it does not dry my hair near as fast. In fact, it takes more than double the time to completely dry my hair. The plus of the T3 is that I can tell my hair is softer and not as damaged. Personally for me though, I need something that will dry my hair faster.

What is your honest opinion of the T3 curling wand and is it worth the price tag?

So the biggest question of them all! After months and months of seeing other bloggers post about this amazing wand, I have to say i felt a little left out. Once I finally received my wand, I was ecstatic that I now had 3 different curling size options. After trying out all 3, I have stuck with the largest barrel size and honestly never really use the other 2. If I want a bit of a tighter curl, I will use the smaller, one size barrel but I have found that my hair really won’t hold a tighter curl. I have used several curling wands over the years, including the T3 and if I had to pick the one for the most bang for you buck, I would hands down pick my Hot Tools curling wand. That isn’t to say that the T3 wand doesn’t work well, I just personally don’t see spending the money, especially if your hair does not hold a curl well or if you only forsee using 1 out of 3 barrel sizes.

If you stuck through the entire post, I sincerely thank you! I’d love to hear your thoughts on my first video and beauty post! Do y’all like seeing these? Are they helpful and is there anything else like this that you would like to see? Leave me a comment if you think so!

Photography and Video by the amazing Banavenue

*I was gifted the T3 products for this post. As always, my thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.*

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The Next Bachelorette

Dress: Envy Couture by Anil  | Photography by: Banavenue

Well the day we ALL have been waiting for is finally here. We can all rest easy tonight knowing that we have 12 weeks of hopelessly romantic insanely awkward encounters. Let’s be honest, it’s really just an excuse to get together with friends and throw back a few bottles of wine while watching an absolute train wreck. It’s where we can find a little hope that our lives aren’t nearly as embarrassing or terrible as ABC makes these people’s out to be. In case you forgot, last season a girl announced to all of America that she had a certain issue in the bedroom. So if you think you have it bad, things could be much worse.

As much as I hate on the Bachelor/Bachelorette, you will find me, a Chipotle bowl, my fuzzy socks and a bottle of wine posted up on the couch every Monday night at approximately 6:59. I used to be able to wait until about 7:30 or 8 so that I could fast forward through commercials, but 1) that’s less time to drink wine and 2) thanks to social media and the 5 different Bachelor watch party group texts that I am in, it would be social suicide not to be watching it live. Can you imagine the horror of someone else watching something uber embarrassing or downright funny before you’ve had the first laugh?! Not ok.

Let’s talk a little bit about how the first night will inevitably go down. You will have a slew of men show up and introduce themselves to the bachelorette. The majority of these first impressions will be something cringe worthy that you will probably have to hide halfway under a blanket just to stomach the second hand embarrassment. Then you will have the few guys that try the safe route and just offer a “hey, how are you tonight”. LAME. I prefer the cringe-worthy moments if we are being honest. Makes for better entertainment.

You will find out that there are “jobs” that you didn’t even know existed or ones that could hardly be called a profession. You make money from that? Teach all of America your ways please. For instance, this season we have a tickle monster, aspiring drummer, former professional basketball player (ok not bad, but like what do you do now?), and a Whaboom (WTF??). All I know is that if you can make a living off of tickling, sign me up.

After the men make their way into the Bachelor pad, you will immediately start to see the drama unfold. We start to see who is supposedly there for the “right reasons” and who is just there to catch some fame. Someone might cry night one. In fact, it isn’t an episode of the Bachelor after all if someone doesn’t cry. Someone always cries. If I was the betting type, I’d also bet that at least one guy will get drunk and make a fool out of themselves.

Whatever happens tonight, you know it’s going to be the MOST dramatic and best episode that you are EVER going to see in television history. And if it doesn’t turn out that way, there is a 99.9% chance that next week’s preview will tell you that is the case too. And the week after that. And well, every week after that. Somehow every week earns that title and we all get sucked into the madness. So cheers to a drama-filled and wine-induced season!

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Business Wardrobe Essentials

Top: LOFT | Pants: LOFT | Shoes: Johnston & Murphy

Photography by: Banavenue

You know those business wardrobe essentials that no matter how many new clothes that you get, you just seem to keep going back to? If I had to guess, it’s for one of a few reasons but the number one reason that the majority of us return to the same piece of clothing (no matter how bad it should and needs to be washed), is comfort. There are several days in my work wear past that I sacrificed being “well” dressed for a only slightly upgraded version of pajamas. Thankfully I’ve slowly learned over the years how to build a comfort-approved AND cute closet that starts with these 3 little business wardrobe essential tips!

1.Stretchy Pants – Also known as God’s gift to the working woman. I’m no yogi, but the amount of stretch in these bad boys would definitely allow you to bust a move in the office, you know if that’s your thing. While dresses are the perfect one stop shop option, stretchy pants are where it is at. This cropped style that you see me wearing is very popular right now and is super flattering. I love that LOFT and many other retailers are now offering these pants in petite, regular and tall sizing options so that no matter your height, you don’t have to worry about taking them to get tailored. Go ahead and stock up on these in every color, you can thank me later.

2.Cotton Apparel – When it comes to office space, you just never know if it’s going to be Antarctica or the Sahara Desert. There really is no in between. Finding cotton clothing for the office can be a bit of a struggle since everything nowadays is made out of polyester but hold out for those cotton finds because they are so much more breathable and comfortable! I personally love cotton, sleeveless tops like this one that I can then pair with a sweater or cardigan because those are 2 things that are actually extremely easy to find in a cotton option.

3.Pretty Pumps – Ever heard the quote, “A woman can do anything that a man can do and she can do it in high heels”?. You best believe that is the truth. Not only do I believe that heels are more comfortable than flats, they are also our secret weapon ladies! Hear me out, if your heels are not more comfortable than your flats, you are investing in the wrong pair of pumps. The right pair of pumps makes you look professional and I think you already know that they do wonders for your legs. Talk about a win-win! And heck, if you got it, flaunt it 🙂 I’ve said it several times before, but I highly suggest investing in a pair of brown, black and nude pumps. If you are feeling daring, cheetah print is also one of my go-to colors!

Wardrobe essentials in my book are 100% completely dependent on comfort. As many times as I have tried to convince my boss that the dress code should allow for pajamas and leggings, they just haven’t seemed to go for it yet. Until that day comes (fingers crossed it’s VERY soon), these tips should tide you over.

 

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Houston, Let’s Grab a Drink!

Top: Express | Skirt: Express | Shoes: Nordstrom | Purse: Express | Earrings: Bauble Bar | Sunglasses: Nordstrom

Photography by: Banavenue

In honor of Cindo de Drinko (I mean Mayo), I thought it would be fun to share my favorite places in Houston to grab a drink. Whether you are a dollar mimosa fan, margarita loving, or champagne poppin’ person, I’ve got the answer to all of your happy hour needs. From Sunday brunch to after 5 cocktails, I like to believe I’ve got a good grasp on the best places to go.

Since all of you are hounding for all things Mexican and margaritas today, let’s start there and then we will break it down into a few more categories so that you have endless options!

Margaritas

El Tiempo – The most happening place on Washington. While there is almost always a wait, the authentic Mexican food and margaritas are well worth it! People who don’t have an El Tiempo come from far and wide to eat/drink here!

Ninfas – The original Ninfas is located in Houston and if you have ever been to a Ninfas then you pretty much know the menu. The only difference is that the look and feel of this place is unlike the chains. It is much smaller and was created by “Mama” Ninfa Laurenzo herself in 1973. A must see for you Ninfa fans! O and the margs are strong here (because I know that is important!).

Cyclone Anayas – With multiple locations all over Houston, Cyclone’s is a popular spot. From jumbo margaritas to penny (yes, 1 cent) mimosas on Sundays, this spot does not disappoint. If you go during happy hour, you can find great specials on food and drinks!

El Patio – Holy goodness. These margs are KILLER. They are known for their blue margaritas and they will take you down. This spot is a little smaller than your typical chain restaurant but what they lack in size, they make up for in tequila!

El Big Bad – Located in Downtown among other bars, El Big Bad is known for their infused tequila. Some venture to say that it is the best Margarita in town! They also have a second story patio that has a great view of downtown!

Cocktails

Julep – An absolute must if you have not been. It has an old timey, hipster feel to it with a little bit of class. The perfect place to grab a couple of drinks before dinner or a night out with the girls. There is a full bar that serves cocktails, spirits, and wine! As assumed, you have to try the mint julep!

Anvil – In the Montrose area and actually the original cocktail bar in Houston. A small bar with little parking so you might want to grab a ride here but it is definitely worth checking out! There are a few restaurants and other bars near by so I would highly suggest this place before a date or night out.

Bad News Bar – Want a cool view of Downtown Houston while sipping on a fancy cocktail? This little bar is a little tricky to find as you have to spot the name outside (Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge), go through a door, and then up a flight of stairs to get there, but the view is worth it! It is also along a string of Downtown bars so you have lots of options to hop around.

Mongoose vs. Cobra – It is located in Midtown and has a fun vibe. Not one of the go-to Midtown bars so the crowds aren’t usually as crazy. They have a large selection of small-batch beers and cocktails served in industrial looking glasses.

Wooster’s Garden– Also located in Midtown, this swanky bar has such a fun atmosphere and is the perfect spot for your next date night or Sunday Funday. The cocktails are a little pricey but if you get there before 6 pm (Happy Hour), they prices aren’t too shabby.

Wine o’clock

13 Celsius – Located in Midtown, this is such a cool spot for any winos. There is seating at the bar or lounge areas, as well as a little outdoor patio. On top of a great wine selection, the menu offers charcuterie boards and my personal fav, make-your-own smores!

Sonoma – With two locations in Houston, this is a spot that I always come back to. My personal favorite location is the one in the Heights because of their upstairs patio that not many know about. If you are looking for a good glass of wine and pizza, look no further! I did a post on Sonoma here that shows more of the patio and their menu selections.

Bar Boheme – This hipster spot might be one of my favorite bars ever. It offers a large patio scene with cute outdoor lighting. I love that it is never too crowded and feels almost homey. They offer an extensive menu of wine, cocktails and bar food (that is delicious!).

Benjy’s – While a chain restaurant, it is still my favorite to hit up during their happy hour time because of their amazing food. You can score a bottle of wine on happy hour for $20 and their famous brussel sprouts or pizza for only $6-$8.

Patio Bars

La Grange – Off of Westheimer and Montrose. Half indoors, half outdoors. They have a great menu and drink selection. It is also along a strip of bars so you are walking distance to several other fun bars.

Eight Row Flint – A new bar in the Heights. They offer a great patio with a large selection of rare bourbons, craft beer, margaritas, and an amazing taco food truck.

The “Creeks” – There are 3 bars that are all owned by the same family that are spread out around the Houston Heights area. You have Cedar creek at 18th St. and Beal (my personal favorite and the largest of the 3). There is Canyon Creek at Wescott inbetween I10 and Washington (love their frozen mimosas, sweet tea or Jack Daniels drinks). Lastly, there is Onion Creek at off of White Oak close to Studewood (the smallest of the 3 and a more rustic feel).

Cottonwood – Just north of 610, this bar is a tried and true favorite. Always a good crowd with lots of dogs running around. Sometimes you will find live music and there are a couple of cornhole game boards. Good bar food including paninis, burgers and brunch!

Axelrad– This beer garden is famous for it’s hammock seating, outdoor patio and live music. They offer beer, wine, drinks, and pizza.

Sunday Funday

Kirby’s Ice House – Want to know where the party is? You will most certainly always find it here and not just on Sundays. Usually a very young crowd with a HUGE patio, cornhole and several food trucks. They are also dog friendly!

Wakefield Crowbar – With 3 sand volleyball courts and a huge outdoor patio scene, this place is always poppin! They are kid and pet friendly.

Down the Street – A cute and quaint neighborhood bar. My personal favorite! Depending on the day of the week it is usually moderately busy, unless it’s Bingo night in which they are packed! This is on the first Wednesday of every month and I highly suggest going. They have the best Sunday brunch around and the cutest atmosphere. Boys, they have a ping pong table that always has a game going on!

Lei Low – Looking for a funny and cool bar experience? Lei Low has some of the coolest, Hawaiian inspired cocktails that you will ever find! Don’t be fooled though, they are quite strong!

Karbach Brewery – Houston has a few breweries to choose from but Karbach has the best overall experience if you had to pick just one. With a huge outdoor space consisting of bar games, food trucks and picnic tables, this spot is one you could spend all day at!

 

If I left any off that you think are Houston staples, please let me know. But seriously, it would pain me to know if I somehow don’t know about the best place to grab a $4 glass of wine or see an amazing view of downtown while I throw back my 3rd cocktail! There are very few words that bring me instant happiness, but “happy hour” will do just that.

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone! Party hard and stay safe!

*This post is in partnership with Express. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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Spring Must Haves: Splurge vs. Save

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With April showers gone (fingers crossed), and May flowers upon us, you can bet that means Spring fashion is about to be in full force. If you weren’t already craving pastel colors and skimpier clothing, you better start! There are a few trends this season that I thought I’d give a shoutout to and also cover why there is no reason to splurge on these when the exact same item is out there for considerably less!

  1. Denim mini skirt: This reminds me of the Abercrombie/Hollister high school glory days. The major difference now is that we are actually talking about an appropriate length! Speaking of Abercrombie, I do have to give it to them for stepping up their game. I actually bought a few items (including this denim mini skirt) from there recently. Make sure to size down if you order!
  2. Designer dupe sunglasses: Oversized, designer sunglasses are  ALL the rage right now. The price tag is not so great. Thankfully I have found several dupes that I get compliments on all the time. I basically own every Karen Walker dupe out there. Heck, I could do an entire post just on that! Believe me, ditch the designer shades and save your money for wine (lord knows we all need more of it). And no one will be able to spot the difference!
  3. One piece bathing suits: While not a new trend, you will definitely find more and more options this year. I love the semi-sexy contrast that a lot of retailers are bringing in this year. It kind of defeats the purpose of a one piece, but hey it’s called fashion for a reason right? It doesn’t have to make sense 🙂 Believe it or not, thanks to my friend Britt’s suggestion, my current favorite place to find affordable or designer dupe swimsuits is Amazon! Find some of my favorites here.
  4. Tassel earrings: These bad boys are back and they are bigger than ever this Spring. Every place you look has their own spin on tassel earrings and I probably have spent close to a small fortune on them. I’d say there are worse things to be addicted to but if you are going to spend the money on these, keep it at a minimum as this is a trend that won’t be around forever!
  5. Bow slides/mules: This new trend is one of my favorites although it is also one that I don’t foresee sticking around forever. Because of this reason, I don’t see the reason in investing in such a trendy piece. Target currently has a great selection of designer dupes, at extremely affordable prices. I bought the bow slides in both the pink and black options because $25 was just too great of a deal to pass up! They also come in a striped or taupe option.

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