Friday, February 27, 2015

Simple & Striped..

TURTLENECK: Nasty Gal | SKIRT: Kingdom & State c/o | HEELS: Steve Madden | CLUTCH: Clare Viver | WATCH: Michele | BRACELET: David Yurman | RING: BaubleBar  | LIPS: Happy Go Lucky | EARRINGS: old (similar style) | SUNGLASSES: Ray-Ban

I am counting down the days until my skirt for Kingdom & State is available, but until then I am wearing this faux leather midi from K&S! Oh, and I may or may not have picked up THIS swimsuit, too! Next week I am heading out of the country for a few days so I've been scouting out new swimsuits.. I also grabbed THIS one! 

Just in case any of you noticed, I got a little off schedule with my posts this week. :/ Sorry about that! Fitz turned me into a paranoid parent for a couple of nights. His bark has been sounding different - almost hoarse?! We have noticed it for about a week. Like, when the UPS man rings the door bell Fitz always goes running to the door barking (ferociously!), but recently his bark sounds weaker than usual. His personality is the same - still as fun and playful as ever. But one night he was making a weird coughing noise and I of course freaked out. John said he thinks Fitz is fine.. but I am the crazy one who started thinking about Fitz being sick! This is embarrassing but for two nights in a row I was waking up every once in the while to put my hand on Fitz (he sleeps on my feet or John's head, lol!) to make sure he was breathing. I honestly could not sleep because I would feel him get still and I would get worried. Anyway, sorry for the novel - but I am taking him to the vet to get peace of mind. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015


CARDIGAN: bar IIIc/o | TURTLENECK: Nordstrom | LEGGINGS: bar III c/o | FLATS: Yosi Samra | BAG: Prada (similar, more affordable style) | WATCH: Michael Kors | BRACELETS: David Yurman, Brandy Pham c/o | SUNGLASSES: Ray-Ban | EARRINGS: Kendra Scott  | LIPS: #26 'Rose Libertin"

There are so many things I can say about the weather, but that's getting boring. Yes, there's snow on the ground, yes I am sitting outside enjoying the weather. Just how it goes in the south, keeps things exciting?! ha!

Between being snowed inside or working outside, this fuzzy cardigan by bar III has been getting plenty of wear. (You may have noticed it in this Instagram pic.) It's so soft / cozy / long - kind of the perfect combination for this time of year.

I'm not sure if any of you have noticed the #settingthebar hashtag, but it is a campaign that bar III recently launched dedicated to highlighting Millennials who are 'setting the bar' by pursuing their ventures & defining success. Throughout this year bar III will be highlighting these Millennials through social media/videos entitled "#settingthebar".  I'm a big fan of this campaign because I know it will make a positive impact on our generation. 

Thanks to bar III for sponsoring this post. All thoughts & opinions are my own.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Backstage with Banana Republic FW15

COAT: Chicwish c/o | SWEATER: Nordstrom | PANTS: similar | BOOTS: similar | BEANIE: Topshop | CLUTCH: Valentino (stolen from Caitlin!) 

One of the best parts of teaming up with TRESemmé for MBFW is getting the inside scoop on what really goes on backstage - between the hair, nails, & make-up.. it is a so much fun & a great learning experience. Today, I wanted to share a look behind the scenes of the Banana Republic presentation. Between the backstage experience + FW15 looks, it was hands down my favorite part of Fashion Week. Also, I wanted to share a few photos of my hair from this day - I  went with full, fluffy curls since I was in all black - typical New Yorker, right?! No, but I felt a little plain in all black so I wanted to amp up my hair a bit. 

The TRESemmé team was in charge of the hair for both the male & female models. TRESemmé lead stylist, Jeanie Syfu, walked us through how she used TRESemmé products & techniques used on the models' hair. She explained that the hair for this show was to be a natural style. She used products from the TRESemmé Perfectly (un)Done line to achieve this clean, relaxed hairstyle. Some of the models had a low ponytail & others had a loose wavy hair style. 

For the loose waves, the hair was sprayed with the TRESemmé Perfectly (un)Done Sea Salt Spray (this gives the hair a great tousled texture to work with!) & then lightly blow dried. Then using a wand/curling iron, pieces were wrapped around the barrel (leaving the ends out so that they remain straight). Finally, she used the TRESemmé Perfectly (un)Done Hairspray to {lightly} lock in the style. The hairspray is key because it doesn't cause the hair to feel sticky or stiff, yet and it allows the hair to move naturally, while still holding curl! 

The low ponytail was achieved in a similar way minus the use of the curing wand. The hairstyles were meant to be airy & mattified which is why the TRESemmé Perfectly (un)Done Sea Salt Spray was essential in creating this look. Jeanie showed us how she wrapped a bungee around the ponytail to secure it after giving it texture with the sea salt spray. Am I the only one new to bungee pony tail holders?! They keep the hair very secure - I actually ordered a pack after seeing how effective they are! As you can imagine, the bungee is not exactly "cute" so she took a very small piece of hair from the ponytail & wrapped it around the bungee to hide it. Finally, she used the Perfectly (un)Done Hairspray to lock in the look!

As far as the FW15 Banana Republic looks, what do you think? I had to snap a quick picture of that model wearing pink! 

Thanks to TRESemmé, a Unilever product, for sponsoring today's post. All thoughts & opinions are my own.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Save & Splurge..

1 \\ 2 \\ 3 \\ 4 \\ 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10

Some of my favorite things for the spring // summer months (or Spring Break!). Between hot pink dresses, neon swimwear, distressed denim, glam sandals, & golden jewels.. I am beyond ready for warmer temps! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Spring Feeling..

TOP: J.Crew (20% off w/code 'shopping time' | DENIM: old (similar style) | WEDGES: Tory Burch | BAG: Valentino (love this one, too!) | SUNGLASSES: Karen Walker | EARRINGS: Tory Burch (loooovee them!) | BRACELETS: David Yurman, Brandy Pham, similar bangles | RING: BaubleBar | LIPS: 'Happy Go Lucky'

John got Saturday off so we spent part of the day outdoors (playing with Fitz) & it was sooooo nice being able to wear wedges and short sleeves.. and then I woke up Sunday morning to a text from John being like "look outside (snowflake emoji)".. :/ Needless to say, the wedges were put away, but only for a little while - I'm traveling somewhere a little warmer next week! Do y'all have Spring Break plans??! I'd love to hear them!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Hair Extension 101

A few weeks back I posted on Instagram that I would be collecting all hair questions to compile & answer on my blog. There were so many questions that I decided to break it up into hair care // hair extensions. Today I am answering all the hair extension relation questions.

 What brand extensions do I prefer?
I wear Bellami Hair. I have tried a few other brands and nothing really compares to my Bellami extensions. I've tried a couple of sets that do come close - but their clips are not as high quality which is a deal breaker. (Use code 'EMILY% for $5 off your extensions.)

 How often do you wash hair extensions?
I have 3 sets of hair extensions, and I learned quickly that washing infrequently is the best for making them last longer. I washed my first set of Bellamis 2x and it doesn't necessarily ruin the hair, but I felt like they weren't quite as smooth. I try to avoid washing mine at all cost, but if/when I do I am careful them. Your extensions will last much longer if you take care of them!

 How do you wash hair extensions?
I always use a Sulfate Free Shampoo / Conditioner. (Pictured above is my favorite.) I use warm water - do not get too hot. After conditioning the extensions I lay them on a towel & spray It's A 10 on them - then using a Tangle Teaser, gently brush through them. I avoid blow drying them at all cost, so if I am washing them, I do it at night so that they can air dry over night. Before applying any heat (i.e. curling iron/wand), I spray with TRESemmé Heat Tamer.

Do I wear hair extensions on a daily basis?
No. My hair is naturally kind of long / kind of thick, mind you the day I took these photos I had my hair trimmed and  I had the layers thinned out quite a bit (it holds curl better this way). That being said, I don't need hair extensions badly. I do love wearing them because I like longer hair! I have 3 sets of extensions - 20 inch, 22 inch, 24 inch. The most frequently worn are my 20 inch extensions because they are the exact same length as my hair. I take only TWO wefts & clip them on to each other and then I clip it into the middle of my head. This adds a bit of full ness to my bottom-most layer. Keep in mind that a SET of extensions comes with 7-9 wefts - and you can definitely clip ALL of them in.. I choose not to because it is overkill. When I got my 20inch extensions in, I curled half of them, and straightened the other half so that I can just pop in which ever I prefer to wear that day!

How do I keep them from showing through?
Depending on your hair length / hair cut, this will vary. For the most part, you'll start clipping them in at the base of your neck and work your way up. I would recommend not clipping too high up on your head to avoid them showing. If you do clip them higher, always make sure there's a layer on top of the clip - and TEASE that layer to make it fuller. Using a teasing brush / comb to backcomb that hair is really important in disguising the clips.

Do I like Bellami extensions or is it a business deal?
As I said before, I've tried other brands (they will go unnamed, but I have tried the ones at Sally's!). Not many hair extensions are as high quality as Bellami's - they are crazy thick - and you can decrease or increase the gram to get thicker or thinner. I've tried competing brands and the hair was nice, it was the clip quality that didn't impress me. I have never had a Bellami clip come loose or fall out - whereas that is common in other brands. Just FYI, if a clip falls off the weft, then you can't use it anymore. :) On the business side, they do offer $5 off to my readers with code 'Emily5'. (This post was not sponsored - I did this because the crazy about of hair questions I get!)

How do I put hair extensions in?
Well, I have a video from a year and a half ago HERE you can watch. Or you can check out the following pictures. Putting in hair extensions is super, super easy. They are just little clips! (Putting in 22inch extensions here.)

Can you do up-dos with hair extensions?
Yes! You may have noticed that's what I did in THIS post. Also, any time I am wearing a braid, I always use extensions to make the braid puffier!

Upkeep cost?
For the most part, having hair extensions is not too expensive aside from the initial purchase. Of course I recommend buying the products I mentioned earlier to wash them & using a heat protectant before curling / straightening them. I have 3 of THESE brushes - one in my bedroom, one in my bathroom, and ONE IN MY PURSE. Anytime I wear hair extensions, I use the one in my purse to brush through them every so often. My main issue is WIND. When you are moving your hair a lot or the wind is blowing your hair, that causes them to tangle so I always brush them when I think about it. Also, it makes them look softer. :) The better you take care of your extensions, the longer they will last. Mine have lasted as long as a year and a half!

Do they feel weird?
Ha! No! Yes, when you first get extensions and clip them in, you will notice that your head is heavier, but there's no pain involved if you are clipping them in correctly. I personally do not like to clip TOO many in because I don't like to feel weighed down. The most I clip in at once is 5 (when I wear 22/24 inch ones).

What curling iron do I use on them?
Any curling iron is fine to use - I have used a variety of brands and they all curl them just fine. I like the T3 curling iron a lot, but I have also used Conair for years.

How does your hair look without extensions?
There's a recent picture below or you can check out THIS post.

What color extensions do I wear?
I wear Mochachino. It is close to a perfect match. The ends of my hair match with it really well!

What color is my hair?
I do not color my hair (yet). It is a dark brown - not black though.

How should you match your hair color?
For me, it was a lucky guess. I would definitely go through all of the Before / After pictures on the website of wherever you purchase your extensions, that is what helped me the most. You can always have your hair dresser help you, too! When you receive the extensions in the mail, there will be a TESTER clip that you open FIRST to make sure the color matches. If you open the whole set, you void your warranty. 

How many do I wear at a time?
Bellami extensions have 9 pieces (I think!). So, there are TWO four clip pieces, TWO 3 clip pieces, TWO 2 clip pieces, and 4-5 one clip pieces. Most frequently, I clip a 3 clip onto a 4 clip (called double wefted) - this is what I do when I wear a 20 inch. Other wise, I clip in one 4-clip, one 3 clip, and two 2-clips (for the side of the head.) If this sounds confusing, I am pretty much saying I only use between 2 - 5 of the 9 pieces.

Do hair extensions damage your hair?
No. If you are clipping them in correctly and wearing them correctly, they will not damage your hair. I am not sure why but people believe that extensions damage your hair or make it fall out, but that is not correct. 

Do I wear extensions while traveling?
I do wear them while traveling sometimes - ti just depends on the day (or how early I am traveling!) If I do wear them, it is usually just two wefts - and yes when I go through TSA it does show that I have metal objects around my head. They usually just touch the clip and let me go on. :) (I do not get embarrassed about wearing extensions - when people compliment hair's length I always volunteer that it isn't all real.)

Do I cut my extensions to make them blend better?
No. I have not done that before, but I know plenty of people who do - do that! Sometimes, if the hair is not blending well, I will move the clips to different spots. For example, when I wear my 20 inch straight pieces (I use a two 2-clips), I place them on the sides of my head, as high as I can to make them blend. You can do the opposite as well - clip them all in lower on your head. (You can see the 2 straight wefts in the image below)

How do I store them?
For Christmas last year, John got me one of THESE (lol). It gets tons of use so he is proud of himself. Otherwise I just use random, but large jewelry pouches/clutches! I was going to link to an example but it is currently sold out! Store them neatly, though! 

(John and I are obsessed with Maroon 5's 'Sugar'.. oops!)
 (See pic below - Fitz LOVES extensions as much as I do... I have had to throw some away because he went to town on them.)

Photos by Jessica Lynn Tucker Photography. (If you are in the Tulsa area, check her out!)


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