Thursday, September 10, 2015

M.I.A. // One Year Anniversary

Hello blog, I know it's been almost a year since my last post, which is far too long to go without posting, but I've been without a computer and became busy with other hobbies and responsibilities... Things are finally smoothing out and I'm falling into a better routine now. This season in life I'm stepping into is so exciting, Inspiring even, so with all of that being said I am deciding to make a conscious effort to keep up with this space that I have missed so dearly.

It's my first post back and I thought I'd share some photos and memories of our one year anniversary trip to Flagstaff. We took two days off work, packed an overnight bag and set out for a mini getaway to a few of our favorite places.

We took the longer route because we had to stop in Jerome for hamburgers at one of our favorite spots. Tim and I actually had one of our very first dates there, so it was nice to return on such a special day. 

We got a room at the Hotel Monte Vista. Supposedly the place is haunted (I don't think it really is) but our room was beautiful, with a view of downtown. They have this great little bar on the corner of the hotel lobby called Rendezvous and it just so happened to be Mojito Monday, so after a quick drink we walked a couple blocks and had dinner at a sushi bar. It was such a beautiful night, just the right amount of chill in the air.

The next morning we woke up early to explore and have breakfast at Macy's European Cafe. I can't come to Flag without stopping in for a latte and food. If you find yourself in the area, Macy's is definitely a must! On our way back through the canyon to Sedona I asked Tim to pull over so we could hike down the side of a mountain. It was just before the monsoon storm, a few sprinkles and thunder in the distance, we found a creek and hundreds of furry caterpillars hanging on leaves. 

I can't believe how quickly this first year of marriage has flown by. I feel like it was just yesterday I was sharing my vows in a tearful whisper to the love of my life. Before I know it we will be celebrating a lifetime spent together, I look forward to that day, when I can think back to this first anniversary, how simple but so beautiful it was.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Songs For Sweater Weather

It's Monday, my least favorite day of the week... But, feeling oh-so inspired by Heather over at Rags And Roses, I made a playlist appropriate for the season! These are my must-play tracks for this time of year, sure makes me feel some kind of way. Though, I will admit, I'm a little self-conscious about sharing my musical taste due to the fact that every time I talk about bands I like with co-workers or local friends, I rarely find anyone that knows who I'm talking about... I hope you can enjoy this mix, and maybe we can bond over similar taste!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Autumn Sightings On An Afternoon Walk

Today, my hubby and I decided a walk near the lake would be nice before grocery shopping and I really wanted to get out and soak up the last remnants of summer heat. I brought the camera along to capture some snapshots to share and we saw some very cool specimens, as well as some of the first glimpses of fall :)

 Isn't he cool? Luckily, Tim spotted him or I wouldn't have even noticed. He's a Whitelined Sphinx caterpillar and I just love his horn and colors. 

We stopped over at Tim's parents' house too, and there were all kinds of cicada shells and I just happened to find this little one. Tim really didn't want me to bring him home, but I just couldn't resist! I'm mesmerized by the veins in his wings.

Other than being eaten alive by mosquitoes, we had a really nice time and wrapping up the night with curry and Captain America. I hope everyone's week has been lovely!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Curly Hair Care

Happy hump day! It's been a while since a Hairdo Appreciation post and I've really been trying to love my natural hair more, so I'm sharing some tips for curly hair care and my must have products to keep my locks strong, soft, and frizz free.

Tip #1: Avoid over-washing curly hair.
To really keep my hair from frizz and brittleness, I wash it 3 times a week, at most. This may seem gross, but the natural oils from your scalp are very good for your locks and by not washing your hair daily, your scalp will produce the correct amount of oil, keeping your hair from appearing greasy.

Tip #2: Give yourself a scalp massage, daily.
This is a very good habit to form, but be sure you do not use your nails, this only causes damage to the roots. Use the pads of your fingertip and stimulate the follicles for a couple minutes a day. This promotes volume, growth and lets face it, feels amazing.

Tip #3: Ditch the hair ties with metal.
Before the introduction of the cute and stylish ribbon hair tie, I put my hair through hell. Every time I would take my hair down from a ponytail, there was a knot attached to the tie. The amount of breakage happening to my curls was horrible. I felt like I could never actually grow my hair out. Making the switch to harm-free hair ties was so beneficial, especially because of how much I love wearing buns and ponies. They may cost a little more, but your hair will be much healthier.

Tip #4: Mask your hair with coconut oil.
I do this once a month for an hour, and it makes my hair so soft and much more break resistant. I also notice less frizz, in general. Melt 2-5 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil. Starting at the ends of your hair, work your way to the roots with a comb. Wrap with selifan once you have covered each section and let it sit for 60 minutes. Afterwards, wash with shampoo twice to be sure there isn't left over oil.

Below I've shared some of my other favorite products, as well as the ones mentioned in the tips:
Curly Hair Survival Kit

Shea Moisture is a wonderful brand that is cruelty and sulfate-free. The Curl Enhancing Smoothie is my go-to styling product. I also recommend argon oil after washes, this gives your curls a nice shine and really helps combat against frizz! Last, but not least, a wide tooth comb; this is the best brushing tool for get the tangles out but leave the curls intact.

Embracing my natural hair isn't always easy, but I'm learning to love it!

What type of hair do you have? How do you keep yours healthy? 


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Autumn Greetings / Twine Pumpkin Lantern DIY

Today is the first day of my favorite season, and I am so excited about it! Fall is starting out to be just wonderful, I had an interview this morning for a dream job and I've got my fingers crossed that I'll get the position (I don't want to jinx it though, so I'm not gonna say too much).

To welcome Autumn, I decided to share my very first craft tutorial for The Desert Poppy; a whimsical, illuminated pumpkin! This was such a fun project, but it was pretty challenging to get the twine wrapped around the balloon evenly.

I hope that this craft will be a fun one for you guys, here's what you'll need

Mini twinkle lights (or a fake candle)
Pine cone, cork, or dead branch stump
Two bowls
Mod Podge
Spray paint of your choice
Sponge brush
A knife (or scissors)
(I made sure to put down a plastic cover on the table and outside while I was doing this so nothing was ruined, because we all know what a pain Mod Podge can be!)

First, you are going to blow up your balloon to the size desired, I did one larger size and one medium. Then you will take your sponge brush and paint on a decent amount of Mod Podge all over it, I found pouring the glue into a bowl much easier than trying to get the brush in the bottle.

Once it's pretty sticky, start to wrap your balloon with twine, tie the the beginning of my string to a piece that was tight enough before getting too far into the wrapping. This part was the most tedious and had me kind of frustrated because my twine just didn't seem to want to stay put, but the next few steps helped a lot with that. Be sure not to over-wrap your balloon, you want to leave parts exposed to let the twinkle lights shine through, but do leave big enough gaps on the top and the bottom so that you are able to put the lights in and fit the cork in the top just snug.
Once you have completed this, cut your string loose and tie it around a sturdy part of the wrap. Now, you will cover the twine with more Mod Podge, don't be afraid to really get all parts covered, this is what will help most in holding the round form.

Now balance the bottom of the balloon on the second bowl so that it will stay in place for drying.

When your balloon is dry, or pretty close to, take it outside and color your twine with the spray paint you chose, this step is really about your preference. Go as bold or as light as you like.
Once your twine is colored to your liking, let it dry.
After your pumpkin is done drying, pop the balloon. Don't be alarmed if you notice your form start to deflate a little, you can easily reshape it once you remove the balloon. 

Take your topper and gently wedge it into the top of your pumpkin, I recommend super gluing it so it doesn't collapse. 
I was originally going to use a cork for the top, but this being my first time doing this project, I left too big a hole in the top of my pumpkin for it to fit. I decided to go with a pine cone instead and I'm actually really glad I did!

And now, delicately put your string lights inside the pumpkin from the bottom, and plug in your fairy-tale lantern!