POLL: Would You Chemically Alter Your Hair?

When I was six I asked my mom if I could get a perm to make my stick-straight hair look more like Mariah Carey’s.  Not surprisingly, she said no.  Instead, she braided my hair the night before every big event (first day of school, performances, etc…) and I was temporarily able to enjoy the curly hair I wanted so badly.


These days, I enjoy the versatility of my hair texture— some days I like to wear it straight, other days I add a little curl.  Still, I have considered chemically changing the structure of my hair.

Perms are not what they used to be… there are many styles of perming that look natural and not poofy.  There are also a number of techniques to permanently straighten the hair.  The upside of these treatments are that they make daily hair styling more manageable if you’re constantly curling or straightening your hair.  However, they grow out just like hair color, meaning maintenance  every 6-8 weeks.

I’m curious if you’re interested in either…


Would you change the texture of your hair?  Why or why not?  Would you choose to straighten or make it more curly?  Have you done it before?  How’d it turn out?  (Bonus points for pictures!!)


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Your Questions, Answered: Bad Air, Bad Skin?

Reader Reiley lives in Santiago, Chile, and her skin is paying the price.  She writes:

How do you clean your face when you live in a polluted city? (With cruelty free options, please!) I use exfoliating face wash and astringent at night…but i had to go to the derm because my skin got too bad. I’m also curious as to whether those exfoliating brushes work….


Here are my thoughts…

According to this study, pollution has minimal effects on the clarity of a person’s skin.  But based on personal experience, I beg to differ.  When I moved to San Francisco from Santa Cruz, my skin had to adjust.  I have been blessed with relatively clear skin, but I found myself battling pimples on a much more regular basis.  Regardless of the cause, there are always things we can do to improve our skin care routine…

Reiley mentioned that she uses both an exfoliator and astringent every night.  But exfoliation is something that shouldn’t be overdone.  If you are using a gentle exfoliator that is specifically designed for the face, then daily use is fine.  But if you’re using a grainy scrub, this should only be used once a week.

Using astringent is a great habit, but make sure you use a cleanser first.  Astringents and toners tighten up the pores, which keeps pollutants out, but if your pores are not properly cleaned out, you’re really just keeping the bad stuff in!

I recommend trying Clinique’s Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam.  Not only is Clinique endorsed by PETA as a cruelty-free brand, they are known for amazing skin care products (and for good reason!)

The study  I mentioned above acknowledges that pollutants lower the skin’s natural levels of both Vitamin E and antioxidants, so I would find products that are high in both.

Origins A Perfect World moisturizer is designed to combat the wear and tear caused by pollutants, sun, etc… and is super high in antioxidants.  (Plus, it’s also a cruelty-free brand!)

We’ve discussed Alba before, both for its PETA endorsement and its great line of sun care products.  For an extra-deep clean, I’d use their Vitamin E-packed Deep Sea Facial Mask once a week.

And here’s the deal with those exfoliating brushes:

Brushes can totally help to dig deep into pores and thoroughly clean the skin, but make sure you’re not using the brush in conjunction with an exfoliating cream (one is plenty!)  These brushes are meant to be used with a regular cleanser, and should only be used 2 or 3 times a week. (Over-exfoliation can be super harmful to your skin, even if it feels like you’re deep-cleaning daily!)  Also, make sure you buy a brush with soft bristles, meant only for the face, and not a body brush, which will be too harsh for delicate facial skin.

Reiley, I hope this helps!

For a full list of cruelty-free companies (beauty related and otherwise) check out PETA’s website.

Have you ever moved to a new town and noticed a change in your skin?  What did you use to combat this problem?  How often do you exfoliate?  And do you buy only cruelty-free products? (Props to Reiley for doing so!)  Tell me about your skin in the comments!


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Happy Friday! My Picks Of The Week…

This week has been the longest ever in the history of the world.  I thought it was Friday on Tuesday, and then on Wednesday… so, let’s just say that I’m really happy that it finally is!!


Check out these cool links I found around the web this week:

Enter to win this oh-so-cute wrapping paper…

I don’t care whether you’re Jewish, Christian, Atheist… whatever.  This girl is ADORABLE (and talented!!)

Orange accents are too much fun.

I want a mini cocotte!!

But I REALLY want these glittery nails!

A gorgeous pink wedding.

What do you think of Rihanna’s new hair?

And if you need some help for the holidays, check out the jewelry in this girly gift guide

What are your plans for the weekend?  Gearing up for Thanksgiving?  Laying low at home?  Let’s chat about it in the comments!


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Yummy Recipe To Try Tonight!

Travis’ parents got us The Newlyweds’ Cookbook recently (I know we’re not officially newlyweds, but still… yay!), and we tried out a recipe last night that I had to share with you all!

The cookbook is from Crate and Barrel, and I totally recommend picking it up.  There are so many delicious looking recipes, including drinks and desserts— my favs!

The recipe we tried is called “Chicken ‘Panini’ With Mozzarella”, and not only is it unbelievably delicious, it’s seriously easy to make.

Here’s what you’ll need:

And here are the steps:

Want to see a few photos of our experience?


What do you think of our chicken panini?  Have you ever made a dish like this?  Think you’d like to try it?  Any other new recipes you’d like to share? Let’s chat food in the comments!


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Wedding Wednesday: Are Cute Stamps Worth The Extra Dough?

I’m a detail person.  I love lists.  I notice typos.  So when it comes to my wedding, I want everything to be well thought out— even the little things.   But I’m finding that these little details really add up!


Travis and I have a few of our engagement photos back from the photographer and we’re starting to design our Save-The-Dates, which got me thinking about postage.  If we went to the post office and ordered any old stamps for our STD’s (yes, weird acronym), invitations, and thank you cards, we’d pay about $80 for postage.

But when you go to all the trouble of designing beautiful paper goods, it feels kind of wrong to attach an illustration of the liberty bell to the envelope.  I would go with custom stamps for sure, except that creating our own design means we’ll be paying nearly double for postage.

Decisions, decisions…

What would you do if you were me?  Would you pay extra for custom postage, or would you pick out the prettiest USPS version you could find?  Are you willing to pay more for little details, or would you rather spend your money on the big aspects of wedding planning (food, dress, venue, etc…)?  Give me some advice in the comments!


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