Friday, December 27, 2013

Natural Hair Styling for your Child's American Girl Doll: Yarn Extensions

My daughter has been wanting an American Girl doll for the entire year. It was the only thing she asked for for Christmas. She only gets one present, so she made it easy for me this year. Or so I thought. I had been tossing around the idea of adding an American Girl hairstyle feature on the blog since she first mentioned she wanted one. I've styled doll's hair before, so I knew what I was going to be getting myself into. Still, having ordered the doll a month in advance and styling a bit every day, I still found myself up until the wee hours of Christmas morning finishing this look. I think it was somewhere around 3:30am when I finally finished the extensions. I didn't style the hair until later that day, after I finished my daughter's hair.

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Papercrafting Christmas Ornaments for Gifts or Decor #Crafts #Spellbinders

We normally like to give out gift cards to special people who help my daughter throughout the year, but this year we decided to make some homemade ornaments to go along with them. We made them for my daughter's first grade teacher, the principal at the school, and her piano teacher. These are a fun idea if you're looking for to spruce up the regular gift card idea, or if you're looking for a fun craft to keep the kids busy over winter break.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

DIY Hello Kitty Snowflake Window Clings #Crafts #HelloKitty

My daughter really wanted to share a little craft that we've been working on as we're decorating for Christmas. As most of you know, my daughter is a huge Hello Kitty fan, so we've taken this age-old technique of making homemade snowflake window clings and stepped it up a notch by adding Hello Kitty, herself, to a few of the snowflakes!

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Celebrating 6 Years with a DIY Rainbow-Themed Birthday Party

Another birthday party come and gone. Whew! Having taken my daughter to Disneyland for her birthday last year I had completely forgotten how hard it was to throw together a birthday party between Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, there's nothing like having a kid who's old enough to help out, especially during Thanksgiving break. There were no, "Mama, I'm SO bored," during the holiday because we managed to keep ourselves pretty busy putting together all of the homemade items for her birthday party that week. When the day of her party actually arrived, I only needed to assemble her push-up cake pops and decorate. Yay for pre-planning!

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Triangle-Part Yarn Extensions Tutorial and Style Options #NaturalHair #Hairstyle

If ever there was a hairstyle that incorporates a ton of other stuff we've already blogged about, this is it. Seriously, I think I've covered quite a few different techniques in this one, so if you're interested challenging your skills and know-how, this will likely do it. We have yarn twist extensions, flat rope twists, piggyback rope twists, and triangle parts, not to mention knowing how to cornrow (for the style shown above). Yep. I'm super happy with style and it's going to offer us all sorts of flexibility for the next month, especially when it comes to styling for Christmas. If you have questions about why and/or how we use yarn, or need any additional information on yarn extensions (including the pros and cons of doing them), we've got a slew of posts covering them.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

DIY Rainbow Birthday Party Invitations #Crafts

It's that time of year again! Nope, I'm not talking about the holidays, I'm talking about my daughter's birthday. She's turning 6 this year and I have to admit I'm super excited about that, in large part because that means she's old enough to really pitch-in when it comes to pulling her birthday party together. This year (like her previous birthdays) she chose a theme based on her Halloween costume. So, after having a snow princess party for her 3rd birthday, and a Hello Kitty birthday party for her 4th birthday, she's doing a rainbow party this year. (She went to Disneyland for the first time on her 5th birthday, so we didn't have a party that year.) We're still pulling the rest of the homemade decorations together this week, but the invitations have been completed and we posted instructions below.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Using the Baggy Method for Moisturizing Dry Ends #NaturalHair

Protective hairstyles are a great way to go if you're looking for a way to maintain moisture over a long period of time without having to style hair as frequently. Some of our protective hairstyles include pinned buns formed from twists or braids. In her most recent hairstyle, my daughter is wearing her hair with two longer braids on each side that are wrapped into buns (tucking the ends in) and clipped. However, depending on the condition of the hair, weather, and playtime this might not be enough to preserve moisture for the duration of the style. We had super dry Santa Ana conditions recently that wreaked havoc on her ends. We combat regular winter dryness using our humidifier, but for those times when the ends need a bit more help the baggy method is our go-to technique.

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Cornrows Braided Toward the Hairline: Protective Hairstyle #NaturalHair

I was asked by @NoviceGem via Twitter who asked what inspires the hairstyles that I do. I thought it was a great questions that I will likely address in a longer post sometime. However, for this particular style I wanted to revisit something I had done in the past, (the X-pattern cornrows, something I did when she was really small) but work it into a more protective hairstyle that did not include the use of ponytails (as my original style had). I also knew that I wanted the hair to go down toward the hairline instead of pulling away from it and that I wanted it to last 2 or 3 weeks. In my head I thought about how to work the smaller rows into the larger ones, and this how it turned out! It worked pretty much how I expected it to.

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Twisted Bangs with Flat Twists Into Bun #NaturalHair #Hairstyle

I have plans to set some yarn twists toward the end of this month, so over the next few weekends we're just going to be doing quick hairstyles that will last about a week, perfect for the school year and those times when we don't want to invest a whole lot of time on hair. This hairstyle took less than an hour to complete and really only requires basic twisting skills. You can do braids and cornrows, instead, of those are easier for you and/or work better on your child's hair.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On Local News: Our DIY Rainbow Costume & More for Under $30 #Video

Despite the rain and the crazy Southern California traffic, we did actually manage to make it to the studio on-time in order to be a part of this year's DIY Halloween costumes segment on Fox 5 San Diego. Many thanks to The Mama Mary Show for inviting us again this year. Boo had such a blast last year when she got to model her Master Tigress costume. I have to admit, I wasn't sure how she'd do without a mask to hide behind, as she can be pretty shy sometimes. However, I think we were all pleasantly surprised to see her toothless grin!

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Friday, October 25, 2013

7 Tips for Setting Twists for a Well-Defined Twist-Out #NaturalHair #Video

Do twist-outs have to have awesome definition to be "good?" No way! Some twist-outs are done specifically to show off "big hair." However, there are some times when people want that really well-defined look of a crisp twist-out. In fact, we used this method to set my daughter's hair for her Halloween costume this year (you can see the final results here). This post covers the steps we go through to achieve that a more defined-looking twist-out. By no means am I implying that one look is any "better" than another, but this post does highlight the flexibility in styling that comes with kinky-curly hair and one of the ways to style it to achieve a particular effect, when that effect is the one desired.

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Friday, August 2, 2013


Hello and Happy Friday, Loves!
So today as I was getting ready to meet up with my sister-in-law for a fun little spa day and lunch, I texted one of my friends to tell her happy birthday. I then realized not only was it her birthday, but that today is also my 5 year YouTube anniversary!!!
And my face looked like this...

I would seriously never remember that exact date if it were just any random day, but since it falls on her birthday, I always remember it! It was really a surreal feeling. I absolutely cannot believe it has been that long.
When I uploaded my first video, I had no idea it would become what it has. This fun hobby of mine has turned into so much more for me. It's truly changed my life. YOU guys have truly changed my life.

This post feels very "giveaway-ish", but there's none of that going on here. Just little ol' me saying thanks.  I'll try to do something like that soon- But most of you guys know my philosophy on giveaways and how they really work. To me, they're not really that big of a "thank you" for you guys. They really just drive more traffic to my videos or blog. So I don't do it for that reason. I really like doing things that will actually benefit you guys. Unfortunately, giveaways only benefit maybe 5 of you (at the most) out of almost 700 THOUSAND subscribers.  Which lets just be honest... You guys know if I could give you guys one of everything I ever talk about in videos each and every time, I totally would and it would make me the happiest ever. But that isn't really possible...haha  That's basically why I rarely do those.

So I just wanted to say thank you. Nothing fancy or showy, just simply, thank you. Thank you for all of your support and kind words, all of the comments that brighten my day and have brought me more joy, smiles, and laughter than you will ever know.

You guys are awesome and basically rock my world.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Our Little Black Satin Bathroom

I feel like my home decor posts over the past week have been very bathroom-y... haha
But as promised, I wanted to share with you all how the satin-black bathroom came out!  I know that using black paint on walls can sound a bit scary, but if done right it can actually look very classic and beautiful.

So this room actually became black on a whim. Little backstory... I had painted the adjoining guest bedroom a pretty neutral gray (Edgecomb Gray by Benjamin Moore) shortly after we moved in. I LOVE that color. Since I had almost a half gallon of it left, I figured I would paint the bathroom that color as well.
Here's a little shot of it in the guest bedroom...

Until I remembered it was a "flat" finish. Which isn't the best formula for a bathroom. For bathrooms, I like to use at least an eggshell formula. Preferably a satin. Just because hairspray, products, any moisture basically, will stain the walls and be almost impossible to clean. The finish basically soaks it right in.  So a satin (or glossier) formula will be easiest to clean and hold up so much better.
So I went into the garage to see what leftover paint we had in a satin formula.

Remember these??

To see more on painting the French doors in our foyer black, check out this post.

Yep. An almost full can of Behr Black Suede in a satin finish. I had purchased the full gallon of this (although the French doors took maybe about 1/8 of it to paint?) thinking I may use it on the back of the front door as well, which I'm still thinking about.
Anyway, I immediately got really excited about the idea of a chic little black bathroom.

Here is the before shot...

When we moved in to this house a few months back, you may remember me talking about how excited we were about how updated everything was. Every faucet, fixture, cabinet knob, countertop, doorknobs, floors, granite... everything had been replaced brand new before we moved in. Except this bathroom...
It was like the poor little bathroom that everyone forgot. In these before photos, you may be able to tell I had replaced the cabinet knobs with some of my Anthropologie crystal pretties I brought from our last house. Yeah, all new cabinet knobs everywhere too. Just not in here. I seriously think they just forgot about it.

So my plan was to work with what I had in here.
The paint color before was totally not unbearable, but it was very yellow in this room. Also, you cannot tell at all from the photos, but the paint was peeling off and flaking in a lot of areas in here. I'm guessing there was wallpaper in here before and when it had been removed, maybe there was some residue left over that they painted over? Totally not sure.

Here's a few more before shots.

This bathroom is meant to be shared between the two bedrooms at the end of the hall. The guest bedroom actually connects, while the other bedroom doesn't. It's right next to the doorway to the bathroom though. I cannot wait to share that room with you guys. It's HUGE. We're thinking that will be a perfect room for a future kiddo. Don't get excited. Not that time quite yet...haha

So I began by sanding over the walls where the paint was flaking and where it appeared the residue (possible old wallpaper glue?) had broken through. That was the worst step.

Then I "cut in" with the black paint and an angled brush around all of the trim, crown moulding, and doors. I take back what I said before. THAT was actually the worst step... and by far the most time-consuming.

Then I rolled the paint between all of that on the walls. That went super quickly.

aaaand here she is!

I think the white bead board trim and all of the white cabinets, floors, and tile in the shower helped to balance out the black.

Not the best shot below (the lights are reflecting all crazy on the walls), but you can see the other little side of the sink and you can see how I painted the little wall "medicine cabinet" black as well. I thought it just looked a little more pulled-together rather than leaving it white.

Speaking of the light fixture, this thing gave us some MAJOR problems.  I actually like the way the chrome faucets and finishes in the shower look with the black paint, so I decided to make those work and just pick up a new pretty vanity light fixture to replace the brushed nickel finished one. So off I went to Lowes and bought a shiny new chrome one. 
Brad is great at electrical stuff and replacing fixtures and whatnot, so we came home and removed the old one... Only to find a HUGE hole right behind the two left lights exposing a large plumbing pipe behind it. Apparently when the house was built, they did that to sort of make you avoid drilling any part of the fixture through it. Which is great because the existing fixture would have been mounted and drilled to the wall right at that spot (they drilled a new mounting hole in the mounting plate to avoid it. I should've totally taken a photo of it... It was crazy.

Problem was the new fixture attached in the center and didn't have that huge backplate like the existing one. So we would have had to patch that spot which would have been a tough job. 
So up the old fixture went again and the new one went right back to the store. I picked up some of the same little clear shades I used in our powder room re-do too. I think they look a lot better. 

 The only thing I would eventually like to change is possibly the countertops. I'd like to change them to a light-colored granite. Just because the ones now are pretty scratched and can look a bit yellow against all of the white, but they're just fine for now!

I was also contemplating painting the bead board and trim above it black too, sort of like this photo. But so far, I'm diggin' the contrast.

Not the best photo (took all of these pretty late at night), but here's what it looks like coming in from the guest bedroom side.

One thing I would LOVE to do that will definitely happen in the future is to replace the little light fixture in front of the shower. You can see it in the photo below (should have totally turned it off for this pic, but you get the idea).

It's nice because it's controlled separately than the light above the vanity. Anyway, I'd love to change it out to something really fun. Definitely will wait until I find something perfect. 

So my biggest tip with black paint (where walls are concerned) is to stay away from stark black formulas. Even if you want a black black room. It's usually just not flattering. Find a black that has a bit of gray or brown mixed in to soften it a bit. It will still read very black, but won't look stark.

paint: Behr Black Suede (satin formula)
sunburst mirror: Target
shower curtain: India Rose
rug: Ballard Designs
candleholder: Bath and Body Works
little mirror on vanity: Anthropologie
little gold tray on toilet: Target
bathmat (over tub): Target
crystal knobs: Anthropologie

Paint is a pretty crazy-big-difference update huh? All of the little decor items in the room aren't new. Literally the paint is the only update. I love what a difference it made!
So do you guys have any black rooms? What are your favorite black paint colors for walls?

Monday, July 29, 2013

New Makeup Eye Candy...

Happy Monday, everyone!! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

So I mentioned in my last post that this weekend I had done a bit of shopping...

As always when I go a bit crazy in Sephora, I created a little haul video for you all to share with you my thoughts on all the goods I picked up! While I tried on some of the lip colors in the actual video, I figured it would only be appropriate to share with you all some detailed photos of ALL the makeup goodies. Just because sometimes video swatches don't translate so well.

Enjoy all the swatch-y eye candy goodness.
Don't miss the video for more details on each item!

NARS And God Created Woman Eye Kit

Bite Lipstick in Retsina and Blush (from Cuvee)

YSL Babydoll Mascara

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Secret

Fresh Sugar Honey Lip Treatment

 Sugar Honey on left, Chanel Secret on right

NARS International Velvet lipgloss

Dior Hydra Life BB Eye Cream

Chanel blush in Malice

Chanel blush in Rose Ecrin

Rose Ecrin on left, Malice on Right

Hourglass Ambient Lighting powder in Diffused Light