Friday, May 28, 2010

Fabulous Hair Candy Giveaway!!! - Courtesy of Ododo Originals

"Effervescent Evergreen"

Hello Ladies! I am pleased to offer our first sponsored giveaway courtesy of Ododo Originals! - This contest will be open until 12AM June 4th; and this time, we will have three lucky winners. It's easy to enter; simply visit Polyvore, and create an outfit inspired by one of the flowers [no multiple entries please]! Post your link to your fabulous Polyvore creation [along with the name of the flower you selected], and Leslie will pick a winner! Simple enough right?

A bit more about Leslie, the creator behind the line:
I'm Nigerian, born in the UK. My family moved around the globe a bit before settling in the States in my early teens. My mother was a quite a fashion plate and passed the gene down to me. I'm an accessories junkie obsessed with hair, but I could rarely find good quality, truly unique hair pieces to purchase in stores. Since I've always been "crafty" and enjoyed crocheting and sewing, I decided to make them myself. I started out a few years ago, altering silk flowers into hair pieces, but soon realized that silk flowers are a dime a dozen and not quite the look I was going for. I played with leather and wood, but they didn't hit the mark. Then, one afternoon,  I walked into a bead store with rows upon rows of various beads in various colours and I saw the possibilities. After several months experimenting with wires and bead sizes and various tools, I ended up with the flowers I sell on Etsy. I try to have something for everyone in every mood, from loud, brassy pieces reminiscent of cabarets to soft, muted flowers that would fit comfortably in the strictest of tearooms.
Here's Leslie's Polyvore Post [You can refer to this for an idea of how to design your set]:

This was inspired by this hair accessory [this color is not included in the giveaway];

Thank you again Leslie for sponsoring this giveaway! I am off to design my Polyvore post!


My Only Sunshine

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My "Beauty Bag" Staples

I'm pretty much a no-fuss girl most of the times, but there are a few products that I can't leave the house without! Here they are in no particular order;

MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Spiked - Well groomed eyebrows can really make you look flawless and fresh-faced even sans makeup. Some people say your eyebrows should be the same color as your hair; I say maybe a shade darker for light-haired women, and a shade lighter for dark-haired women. My hair is jet black, but I never use a black eyebrow pencil, it is too harsh.When using an eyebrow pencil, make short soft strokes, then blend in with a firm eyebrow brush.

Smith's Rosebud Salve - I love this all purpose salve; I use it on my hands, elbows, cuticles, arms, and of course on my lips. It has a slight "rosy" scent which I love. A tin lasts me about 8 months to a year!

Benefit Bad Gal Mascara - This is the ultimate day time go-to mascara! It makes my lashes thick, and dark without giving me tarantula eyes. In fact I dare to say that it doesn't even look like I am wearing mascara when I use this. I use Bad Gal Mascara to make my eyes pop [along with defining my brows] on those days I am makeup free.

Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes - Pretty much the best darn eyeliner I have used to date. It goes on smooth, and intense. And it's definitely worth it's weight in gold. After shelling out $17.00 for an eye pencil I was expecting waterproof, intense, long lasting color; and that is exactly what I got.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish - I got everyone I know hooked on this stuff. I use this on the days I don't want to wear foundation, and I want a nice glow. I would say this offers low coverage for pores and blemishes, and offers a soft focus matte finish. If I had to pick ONE piece of makeup to take with me on a deserted island; this would definitely be it.

MAC Select Coverup - I swear by this stuff, before I used it solely underneath my eyes. Now, I use it over every blemish! I dab this magic potion over any dark spot, and uneven area on my skin prior to applying my foundation. The result is an even palette ensuring a flawless finish once I apply my foundation. I also apply it around my mouth for making my red lips pop, and also around my eyebrows to enhance the arch.
Beauty Blender - I profess my love to my Beauty Blender at least once a week, because that is how often I use it. If you are looking for a product that gives you a flawless, airbrushed-like application; this is your best bet. I lightly wet it, then dip it in foundation and apply the makeup to my face using a "stippling" like motion.

I am always looking for the next best beauty product, what are some of your staples?
Products Mentioned In This Post:
MAC Eyebrow Pencil
Smith's Rosebud Salve
Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish
MAC Select Coverup
Beauty Blender

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

6 Techniques For Easy Breezy Blowdrying

If  blow drying your tresses is giving you the blues, try employing one [or hopefully all] of these methods for a hassle free styling experience. Improper blow drying techniques can lead to brittle, dry, and lifeless hair! The key to using heat without "heat damage" is using it in moderation, as utilizing proper techniques.
+ Do not blow dry sopping wet hair! Blow drying hair that is dripping wet will lead to dry, damaged hair. Carefully towel dry hair in sections using a microfiber towel prior to blow drying. When towel drying, be sure to "squeeze" not rub to avoid breakage and unnecessary tangles.
+ Use a heat protectant! I always use a heat protectant when thermal styling, and I swear by Aveda Brilliant Damage Control. Good heat protectants have proteins that bind to your hair shaft that acts as a barrier to prevent heat damage.

+ Watch your heat setting! I normally blow dry on low heat with a high power setting. Kinky hair has a tendency to be a little on the drier side, so blow drying on high heat should really be a no-no.

+ Blow dry hair until 75% dry, then sit under a dryer to dry the remainder of your hair. I prefer this method versus blow drying my hair until it's 100% dry because it makes for much softer hair. Another plus is that you cut down on the amount of direct heat that is applied to your hair. This technique is also beneficial to those have been less than successful at air drying. Blow drying first gives your hair that "smooth" appearance, and drying under a hooded dryer the remainder of the way gives your hair the soft "air dryed" feeling [minus the crunch or kink factors]

+ Hold the blow dryer 5-6 inches away from your hair when blow drying. Again, the key here is to avoid heat damage. Holding the dryer too close to your hair can also lead to issues with your scalp as well [dry, flaking].

+ Detangle thoroughly before attempting to blow dry! Hair should be soft, smooth, and free of tangles prior to blow drying. This is the time to break out that heavy duty seamless comb [I recommend Mason Pearson], and Fermodyl 619 if your hair is prone to tangles.
------- + I apply Fermodyl after applying leave-in conditioner to help detangle. I only use this product if my hair is very kinky or dry. Fermodyl helps with the detangling IMMENSLY and I believe it is due to the high content of lactic acid.
Blow drying hair that has tangles can lead to unnecessary hair loss, as well as breakage.

Do you have any tips? Add them in the comments below!

Products Mentioned In This Post:
Microfiber Hair Towel

Aveda Brilliant Damage Control
Fermodyl 619
Mason Pearson Detangling Comb

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fitness Quicktip: Consume Protein After a Workout

 [I love the cover of this mag; source: black fashion]

Some people call your "post recovery meal" one of the most important meals of the day. I remember the days I would finish my weight traning, drink a liter of water, scoff at the gym rats drinking protein shakes, and head for the hills. I will admit, protein got a very bad rap with me because I had the assumption that I would "bulk up" if I regularly ate protein bars, or drank protein shakes. However,  I learned shortly thereafter that protein intake is essential in helping to repair the muscles [protein synthesis] used during workout sessions.

Studies show that your body is most receptive to vitamins and nutrients during the 45 minute period after your workout. The type of protein is also important, you should be looking for a mix of casein and whey protein. Out of those two types of protein, whey is absorbed faster, while casein is primarily used to regulate amino acid release.

I normally drink Chocolate Milk [Horizon Nonfat Chocolate Milk] after my weight training regimen [which was suggested by my trainer], not any old chocolate milk; but one that is low in fat, carbs, and sugar. Chocolate milk consists of 80% whey protein and 20% casein. This is the perfect post-recovery drink for people like myself that can't stomach the taste of protein shakes/bars [and is also cheaper. hell-lo]. Remember if you choose to go this route, be sure to check the fat and sugar content before buying that gallon of chocolate milk :-)

Another Sunday Morning: Randoms + How to Date Your Vintage Finds

Vintage Beaded Cardi - I believe this still had the tag on the inside!! This is definitely 80s
Wool Dress - This is the sweetest little dress, it has big buttons down the back, and hook & eye closures. Because of the construction; I am guessing this is 50s - to early 60s. Still working on the dating of this dress.
Super random outfit; horseback riding maybe? lol The suspenders are 50s, shirt 80s, shorts 80s.  The belt is vintage as well; but now that I think about it...I never even payed much attention to date it. The hat is pretty old; I haven't taken a gander inside to check out the I am not sure how old.
70s Silk top and 80s shorts. The belt is vintage as well [haven't checked the label yet]. The headband is the one I made from this post.
Another barely worn dress; from the tag I am guessing this is 80s.

Just got this jacket and quirky mink hat; I haven't attempted to date them yet.

Shirt is definitely 70s, shorts are 80s. Belt is also vintage.

Random 80s Navajo style tapestry jacket, and 80s bustier.

Dating your finds is part of the thrill of treasure hunting! I have compiled a very short [but very useful] list of resources that should help take some of the guess work out of dating pieces. I turn to the Vintage Fashion Guild after every haul, not only are those links helpful; but the entire site as well.

Vintage Fashion Guild [Label Resource]
Vintage Fashion Guild [Quick Tips for Dating Vintage]

Monday, May 24, 2010

Turkey Enchiladas w/Black Beans & Caramelized Onions

I put on my domestic hat this weekend and made dinner for some crazy, loud, obnoxious Laker fans this weekend [I kid guys]. The fellas requested enchiladas, and I obliged. This was my first time making enchiladas this way [I made the recipe up as I went along], but I will definitely make them this way from now on! Caramelizing the onions is optional, but it's lends such a sweet flavor to the enchiladas from the sugars in the onions [it does add on to the cook time; it took me about 30-35 minutes to fully caramelize my onions], it's delicious.

You may notice that I used "black bean soup" instead of black beans, this is because the regular black beans are a bit hard for my liking. In the black bean soup, the beans are a lot softer.

Turkey Enchiladas w/Black Beans &  Caramelized Onions
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 large onion, julienned
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1lb of ground turkey
1 large can of red enchilada sauce [I use Las Palmas]
1 cup of grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup of grated mexican "enchilada cheese"
1 can of goya black bean soup [drain the juice]
2 tbsp of olive oil [for onions]
5 tbsp of olive oil [for tortillas]
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp of chili powder
1 tbsp of ground cumin
1 tsp of dried bay leaves

Mix the cilantro and tomatoes together. Set aside in the refrigerator.

Caramelize the onions first, as this will most likely take the longest. To cut down on time, I caramelized the onions while I was prepping the other ingredients [you must move fast though].

Add about 2 tbsp of olive oil to a medium saute pan, allow the oil to get HOT. Add your onions, then stir to coat them with oil. Stir occasionally, lowering the temp if necessary. You will have to stir these occasionally for about 30-35 minutes, as these will burn easily if they are left unattended for too long.

Brown ground turkey in the same saute' pan you used to caramelize the onions in. Add garlic, spices, and bay leaves. Then add salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, slightly warm the enchilada sauce. Pour into a bowl once warm, and set aside.

In a small saute' pan, pour about 5tbsp of olive oil in a pan. Allow oil to get hot, then add your tortillas [one at a time of course] until each tortilla is soft [not too soft to the point that it is falling apart, just enough to make it pliable.

Spoon about 1/4 of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a large casserole dish. Dip each tortilla in the BOWL w/the tortilla sauce, place it in the casserole dish. Fill your shells with meat, tomato mixture, black beans, onions, and cheese.

Once you have filled all of your shells, sprinkle remaining cheese mixture on top of the enchiladas. As well as the leftovers from the tomato mixture.

Lightly spoon 1/3 of the enchilada sauce over the enchiladas. Cover with foil, then bake for about 20-25 minutes on 350.

After about 20-25 minutes, uncover. Let cook for another 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbling. 

Allow to cool for about 10minutes to "set" everything so that it isn't falling apart as you serve it.

There Is No Greater Agony Than Bearing An Untold Story Inside You - Maya Angelou

I played around this weekend and took "Alice & Wonderland" style pics, it was fun until the swarm of flies and gnats discovered me; uggh. I scored this really, really old cape at the most recent estate sale..and I couldn't wait to wear it. The stares that people gave me as I walked down Ventura Blvd made me chuckle.
I woke up on the happier side of the bed this Monday morning, and I wanted to pass the positive energy forward. Enjoy this poem ladies, as we are all phenomenal women!
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.  

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees. 
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing of my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can't see. 
I say
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
The palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me. 
-Maya Angelou

Cape: Vintage
Lace Dress: Vintage
Purse: Vintage
Cocktail Rings: Vintage
Cuff/Earrings: Forever 21
Socks: H&M
Shoes: Tory Burch

Friday, May 21, 2010

Don't Lower Your Expectations To Meet Your Performance. Raise Your Level Of Performance To Meet Your Expectations. Expect The Best Of Yourself, And Then Do What Is Necessary To Make It A Reality. - Ralph Marston

I have never been so happy to see Friday in my life! It's been a long, long week; and I am not the least bit sad to see it go. I have a pile of vintage clothing that I will be working on all this weekend; mending, removing stains, pressing pleats etc. And I am taking a mini road trip to an old barn to check out this ladies collection of Edwardian nightgowns, and pinup lingerie. Keep your fingers crossed, as I don't know what to expect; hopefully the items are in good condition. Oftentimes when you come across items that old; they are ridden with moth holes. One other tip I forgot to mention when it comes to buying old clothes, is to store them in a freezer if possible for about 48-72 hours. This is to kill any moths, and moth eggs that might be present. 

If any of you lovelies hit it big during your treasure hunting this weekend, please do share your finds [many of you sent me emails stating you were going to estate sales this weekend]! Good luck, and don't go overboard, as it's definitely possible!

I am wearing my "Beetlejuice" tights again from H&M, these tights come two in a pack for $5.95 [they come with the striped pair pictured, and a dotted pattern] which is pretty good considering I will be in tights for the next 3 months. I got second degree burns on my ankle while working with hot glue a few months ago, and to prevent discoloration of my skin while healing, I need to keep it out of direct sunlight for at least 6 months.
Some of you may remember these shoes from this post, they are super comfy. Even when I wear them in impractical situations like walking in a

Dress: Marciano
Tights: H&M
Shoes: Michael Kors
Blazer: H&M
Jewelry: Forever 21
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