Behind the Scenes

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If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook, you’ve seen my beauty segment for MundoFox “From Coffee to Cocktails” in partnership with CoverGirl, Herbal Essense, and TRESemme. I have a few more segments scheduled for this season. I can’t wait to share more details on that.

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“She’s back.” I haven’t been doing a lot of shoots or any styling lately except for the occasional booked commercial gig. But the fun stuff, the goofing off behind the scenes with the fun photographers, the looks that book your next assignment…I have honestly missed that. So when I shot with Chicago photographer Fred Brown, who I’ve known now for my entire career from make up artist to model to stylist to writer, he walked me all over his building introducing me to other photographers, letting them know, “she’s back.” He’s talked me into getting back to my styling roots, so you’ll see more fun stuff soon. We did a maternity shoot for my articles on About.com.
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We started with just “decorating” the new house and now we are knocking now doors/walls. This is our family room, where we spend all of our time and yet, the most boring room in the house. There was a door in the middle to the laundry room and our TV in the corner. It was an odd layout so we’ve closed out that door and created one in the corner so our TV can be in the middle. Makes more sense. Getting back to my roots has helped me style my home better. I don’t need to live like in the magazines but if I make those magazines look good, the least I can do is recreate my best work in my home swell right. I’ll be sharing my dining room next week, I’m excited.

New Year, New Hair

This post comes from one of our contributors, Melanie Flores. Melanie is a wife and mom of two fun loving girls.  She enjoys talking about fashion, thanks to many years in the industry, and conjuring up new ways to make mommy life a little simpler. 

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Happy 2015!! We all resolve to do things to improve our quality of life and ourselves. Losing weight, exercising more, and eating less are the most common resolutions I’ve made in the past. This year, I turn the big 35 so I decided to change it up a bit and resolve to take steps to make my life simpler. I wanted to reduce the physical and mental clutter in my life.

I started before Thanksgiving by taking steps to reduce the stress in my family’s morning routine. I felt like everyone was frazzled and screaming. I started by streamlining my own routine. I didn’t want to sacrifice style to save time. I purged much of my wardrobe and kept key pieces to mix and match. I whittled my makeup routine down to 5 products. All that was left was my hair.

Enter Nevena from Custom Hair Lounge. I went in there needing and wanting change. I was stuck in a hair rut. I hadn’t colored my hair in over a decade and it often times got stuck in a ponytail. I sat in her chair and let her work her magic. The only criteria was that it had to be easy and long enough to still put in a ponytail.

3 hours, some really great hair color, and 6 inches of hair later, I felt like a new person. My hair was literally weighing me down. Besides chopping 6 inches off, Nevena reduced the bulk by undercutting it. In doing this, my drying time was reduced by two thirds!!

Let’s move on to the hair color. She did a technique called Balyage highlights. I had no idea what this meant so I had Nevena explain. “Balayage highlights are a great color trend right now that have very low up keep involved. With this technique, the highlights are painted into the hair freehand, rather than using a uniform weaving technique. This type of highlighting adds a boost of dimension to any hair color.. The technique diffuses the color in a natural way and completely avoids that “grown-out,” look at your roots… minimizing the upkeep.” Minimizing upkeep?! Sign me up!!!

It’s been 6 weeks and I still adore the style and color Nevena gave me. I hadn’t colored my hair in so long because I had an allergic reaction to hair color years ago. Custom Hair Lounge is a green salon that uses environmentally responsible products. The hair color she used actually improved the texture of my hair!! Not only does it take way less time to style in the morning, but also I don’t have to wash my hair as much saving even more time.

 

 

3 Ways to Upgrade Your Wardrobe

I’m over the whole, new year, new you thing. I’m okay with the old me but I would be lying if I wasn’t thinking more and more about my old wardrobe these days. As of late, I’ve been purging without replacing them with new items in my closet and maybe it is motherhood, maybe it is age or maybe it is the desire for a more simplified life. Either way, I’m working with less so I have to find new and exciting ways to wear what I have left. So here are some styling tips I’ve been working with on myself, on set, and on my clients for a more put together look.

3 Ways to Upgrade Your Wardrobe

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Belt Everything

This instantly makes a basic sweater with jeans look more put together. Try layering scarves over dresses, chunky cocoon sweaters, or even layering a pullover on top of a button up and wrapping a thin belt at the waist, instantly looks more put together.

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Dress Up a T-Shirt

I remember once being told that no matter what a t-shirt looks sloppy from a few women from California no-less, the epitome of casual coolness. And with my love of Monrow tee, I set off to show them how I styled my own clients in higher quality t-shirts and how easily it could be dressed up. Upgrade your t-shirt by belting, cuffing, tucking, wearing with lace, heck Jenna Lyons would wear one with a maxi skirt on the red carpet. Truth is, it is how you wear your clothes not the clothes you wear.

3 Ways to Upgrade Your Wardrobe

Layers

I love necklaces and once you’ve seen it a few times on me, I retire them and move on. This year I plan on pulling out my favorites and layering them all together as long as the tones are similar. Have fun and mix metals especially if the metals are antiqued or muted. This will be the focus so no one will notice or even care that you’ve worn that button up with jeans twice this week. Don’t act like I’m the only one.

Have fun reworking and remixing your closet…

Baking for Breakfast

Baking for Breakfast

I do not usually do recipes here but I need a hobby and well, despite my size, momma loves to eat. I also have a serious sweet tooth but I’ve been trying to cut back and eat clean again and not just me, the kids and the mister too. So the yesterday I was in the mood for something sweet for breakfast, like a cake or a cupcake but I had no eggs in the house and I’m no professional. I found this recipe online but the reviews weren’t impressive so I mixed it up and reworked the recipe. Let me tell you, it was a hit. My daughter, who is the pickiest think ever, finished three slices and I myself am craving more this minute. This is the recipe, altered a bit.

  • 2/3 cup peanut butter (my peanut butter just has peanuts, nothing else, not even salt)
  • 2/3 cup organic whole milk
  • 1/3 + 3 TBS organic whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached naturally white wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unrefined sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/4 cup mix of unrefined sugar with cinnamon (this was premixed in my cabinet, my husband likes it on buttered toast)

 

  •  Mix together peanut butter and milk with a mixer.
  • Add dry ingredients.
  • Pour into a greased 8×4 inch loaf pan.
  • Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Allow to cool in pan 20 minutes.
  • Remove to rack to finish cooling.
  • Serve with fresh coffee, a dollop of whip cream (you can make your own with sugar and the whipping cream) and drizzle with more honey.

I’m already looking at fun and clean breakfast ideas for next Sunday. We’ve been on a health food kick and getting our 5 year old to eat better. The baby with eat anything. Except peas. He strongly dislikes peas.

 

Crazy Beauty Routines for Busy Moms

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with PONDS® and Latina Bloggers Connect. But the story is all mine and somewhat humorous. Read on. 

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In light of the holidays, POND’S® has partnered with the Rockettes to show you their routines and not just their dance but their beauty routines. Here, I’m sharing with you my routine. Hold on. It is about to get real. 

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I’m tired. It has been a long day. I start the day repeating a million times that we have to hurry or we will be late for school. My eldest just stares and smiles. She doesn’t move and on purpose. She thinks it is funny. The baby is throwing a fit in his high chair while I am walking around applying BB cream in the kitchen and serving up breakfast. I am a master multitasker. My husband is calling from the stairs asking if I prefer his brown shoes or the black. I say brown. He asks if I’m sure. I say yes.  He reminds me that I am a stylist, this is my job so I remind him that he should not question me. He asks again. I don’t move and on purpose. By the end of this so called conversation, my blush and lipstick is applied all sans mirror because after 13 years as a make up artist who can’t right and in the kitchen no less. I rush to the bathroom to fill my brows and apply mascara. That is it for my “everyday” look. It is all I have time for. The kids are bundled up, my heels are on (barely) and everyone is out the door off to face the day after a thousand kisses and a million “I love yous” . Typical days for me do not exist and mornings like these are my only constant. 

My home life can be hectic. But I have a routine. In the car, on the drive home, I’m already removing my make up with cleansing towelettes. I’ve used generic ones in the past and in the winter, I’ve found they can be quite drying. So I tried POND’S® Towelettes this time to remove my make up and refresh my face. I get my second wind as I walk through the door but it doesn’t last. I crash early and I wipe my face again while in bed with another cleansing wipe and hydrate life back into my skin with Rejuveness, their hydrating anti-wrinkle cream that reduces fine lines within 2 weeks. When I passed the 30 threshold, fine lines were not invited to the party. Finally, stress free sleep with stress free skin.

How was your day?

POND’S® Towelettes and POND’S® Rejuveness can be found at Walmart Stores.

How to Unify Your Dining and Living Space

Paint. That’s it. That is the end of this post. Kidding. Read on. 

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I’ve been working on my dining room and finally got around to finding the perfect color for the focal wall. Then I went on and painted the wall behind the bookshelf the same color to unify the space. This wall is part of the formal living area, that my daughter tells people only adults can go in. She is right. I want no little hands up in here leaving a trail of toys and snot all over my nice things. That is what the rest of the house is for. Go put your greasy chicken fingers marks all over the other side of the house, on the other side of the baby gate. My kids have no chill, one would wipe her hands on my new drapes while the other chews on my new chesterfield and I can’t get mad because they are cute. Yup, I’m that mom.

Me: “Did you just put stickers on my wall?”

My Child: “Yes, mom. It looks pretty. I am decorating.” 

Me: “Well, it does look pretty.”

And that is why I cannot have nice things. DR5

Here is the dining room wall. I bought wallpaper to make these beautiful silver print stripes but since I’ve already bought things to hang on this wall, it maybe too much so I’m going to leave it a solid color. DR4

And this is the view from my Christmas tree. Look at Santa on the floor. One of those kids past the baby gate. No chill I tell you. DR3

I ordered these curtain panels for the dining room. They are 96″ inches and because they are faux silk (and I bought them on sale), they were only $33 per panel. It seems like a lot but the length and material makes it worth it. I actually bought 4 panels so that I can continue to unify the space by using the same panels in the living room. What I do not have are curtain rods. Whomp, whomp. DR2

These are the mirrors I plan on hanging on the focal wall. I bought 3 for $11 each at Walmart. They look more expensive than they really were, problem is that I have no idea how on earth to hang them. Any ideas, please send my way. DR1

And these are the candle holders (I have 2) that I bought forever ago for the entry area but they will look better here I think. It is still up in the air. 

As far as the paint, I cannot tell you the color. You see, my husband wanted bold while I was still debating between bold and just dark. We got this loud teal sample that was close in color with the curtain panels but I wasn’t feeling it. Everyone who saw it was loving it though. Now, old me would have gone with what everyone else liked and hated it because I would not repaint it. But grown up me knows that this is my house. Period. So I grabbed the paint that I used in my office which looked almost black (remind me to finish that room and show you), and mixed in a soft grey. It was still dark and missing something so I mixed in the teal sample that everyone loved. I ended up with a dark color that has a mix of blue and green undertones depending on the light. And guess what? I love it. I also put up my 99 cent painting in the living room ( get a glimpse of that room). I bought it off eBay from an Israeli artist years ago and the shipping was like $20. Cheap. I did have to get a custom frame so I went to Michael’s and got one that was on clearance. Custom framing is expensive but after all the discounts it came out to $120. So for $140.99, I have real art in my living room that no one else has. 

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Hopefully next week I will have more to show you but it’s the holidays and I have to finish this room stat and wrap these gifts. GRRRRR.