Monthly Archives: January 2015

Ultimate Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

As promised, today’s post is perfect to send along to all your loved ones and hint at some Valentine-inspired gifts or shop for them yourself! There’s bound to be something for everyone (I know I’d certainly be happy with anything below).

In addition, for all my DC and NYC readers – be sure to place your flower orders with UrbanStems before the 14th – they just launched their new flowers and personally, I love the Georgetown (I might be a little bias). And ladies, they’re also teaming up with Bull + Moose to send floral bowties too.

Shop till your heart’s content!

2 Weeks & Counting!

{Image via UrbanStems}

How-To: Blowout, Curls & Hair Products

Today I’m blogging about a new topic for H&T – my locks.

Now before I begin, full disclosure: I am by no means a hair stylist or even expert for that matter. However, I decided to share my routine because I often get asked by readers and friends, what products I use, how I curl my hair and my favorite; “if I just got a blowout” (no, I don’t get them every week. sigh. but thanks for the compliment.)

The first thing you must know is that this routine works for me but, as my hair stylist reminds me, I have “A LOT of fine hair”. My hair often looks thicker in photos or in person because of this. With that being said, I find that I can’t use a lot of products because they weigh it down.

Also, before a few years ago, my hair would hold absolutely NO curl (it’s naturally pin straight and also dries in about 5 seconds) – more on that later.

So after much trial and error, I have found what works for me. Alas, here are some of my routine products with tips and suggestions.

One. Drybar Texas Tea Shampoo & Conditioner + L’OREAL EverPure Volume Shampoo & Conditioner - I have both sets in my shower and switch it up each wash or often mix them. I can’t use a lot of conditioner on my roots or my hair will be weighed down so I focus mostly on the ends. Both of these products are also sulfate-free. (I noticed a huge difference in my hair’s shine since switching to sulfate-free shampoos years ago. Note: I also do absolutely no coloring to my hair.)

Two. ghd Style Heat Protect Spray + ghd Paddle Brush – I spray the protectant on when my hair is still wet & use the paddle brush after. This brush is pretty much life changing – it has a non-slip handle and is perfect for detangling, styling and blowdrying.

Three. Drybar Texas Tea Volumizing Spray – I spray this on the upper half of my hair near the roots while it’s still wet as well. This is a new product for me and I’ve noticed a big difference with volume since using.

Four. Drybar Triple Sec 3-in-1 Spray – Sometimes I will use this instead of the Texas Tea spray but I have to be careful to not over-do it or my hair will look greasy. This little baby is a volumizer, texturizer and dry shampoo in one. I use it when my hair is still wet before I blowdry.

Five. Drybar Buttercup Blowdryer + Drybar Medium Round Brush – I now own the BEST blowdryer (thanks to Christmas) and I switch between my paddle brush and the round brush when drying. To be honest, my hair already dried super fast and now that I have my own Buttercup, it’s amazing how quick I’m out the door. If I’m going to curl my hair, I’ll put a headband in, put on my make up and take a “hair break” and then proceed to the steps below.

Seven. Drybar Money Maker Hair Spray – If you buy one hair product on my list – make it this. No, seriously. This is the only hairspray I have ever liked or used consistently – it is worth every penny and I have multiple travel bottles so there’s always a can around. Not to mention it smells amazing, feels light weight (not sticky) and lasts all day long. I even spray it on straight hair.  If I’m going to curl my locks, I will spray my paddle brush first and then brush my hair out. I also use this once I curl my hair to set. I cannot get enough.

Eight. Enzo Milano Hair 25 MM Wand(1″ Barrel) – As I mentioned earlier, my hair is pin straight naturally. I spent my childhood in dance recitals, plays and cheerleading competitions and I was always that girl who had to keep the bandana on with pin curls or rollers until the last minute – please, tell me someone else shared my pain?

I also could not use a curling iron and hated the dent marks they often left. This all changed a few years ago when I got my ENZO wand (complete with a Michael Jackson-esque glove for newbies #hot). It truly is the only tool that works for me and lasts and I can’t tell you how many people I’ve recommended it to. I use is a few ways – I will split my hair in two and curl sections from the root down away from my face or just curl the ends for a quick and easy look. I’ve also used it while my hair was in a pony tail and then curled. Another tip if you have super straight hair is that I always make the curls tighter (hello, Shirley Temple). I then spray and let them fall out or shake them out with my fingers before I’m ready to leave the house. This item deserves a blog post and how-to video of its own.

Nine. Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo – the last product that I consistently use is this dry shampoo. Like hairspray, I have never been a huge fan of dry shampoo as a whole until I discovered this one. Drybar also makes a “brunette” version but I prefer the normal one as the brown spray can come off on your sheets, clothes and hands (no bueno). I use Detox before I go to bed at night and then again on the day of. I also am a fan of “dry blowouts” on the days where I don’t wash my hair or frankly, don’t have the time. I will spray in some Detox on my roots, run my fingers through it and then blowdry the rest out.

For those of you wondering how often I wash my hair, this depends on the week – I used to be a “wash my hair every day” kinda of gal but I noticed when I let it go an extra day, it always ends up looking so much better. Truthfully, it also really depends on my Barre Tech + Soul Cycle schedule. I’m sure someone understands this too? #sweaty

 And there you have it! What are your favorite products? Have you tried any of my favorites? 

Shop them all again below and send any questions/comments my way!

Stay tuned later this week for my Valentine’s Day gift guide galore!

{Photo by Daniel Swartz}

Entertaining Finds

With the holidays now behind us and calendars finally starting to slow down, it’s safe to say that I’ve taken a little break from the entertaining myself. However, that certainly does not mean that I have stopped shopping online for inspiration for upcoming Spring get-togethers this year.

Today I’m sharing some of my entertaining finds over the past week – have any favorites? Send my way!

Sometimes I find myself completely inspired by one item and create an entire party or excuse to host (and toast) – whoops!

Happy Friday and to everyone who has a long weekend – enjoy!

New Year Favorites

Happy New Year!

Things have been a little quiet the past two weeks on here as I took some time “off” from my day job and blogging to spend the holidays in Florida with my good friends and family. The R&R was much needed and while I was so sad to leave sunnier skies and 80 degree weather, I am so excited to kick off another year of H&T. Thank you so much for your continued support and for reading.

If you haven’t already noticed the “facelift” H&T got for Christmas this year, I hope you like the new layout. Be sure to subscribe to get all the latest posts and updates in your inbox too.

I thought I would start off the year by sharing some of my recent favorites – I often share many new items on my Instagram so one of my goals this year for the blog is to update you here too!

First up, Barrington Gifts new monogram stripe collection – OBSESSED. I have a few of their totes and I can’t tell you how many compliments I receive when I wear my Black Watch Plaid one and I can’t wait to get one of these new beauties in the mail very soon. Below are a few of my picks but there are several colors, stripes and patterns to choose from to make it your own. AND for all my mommy-friends – it comes in a diaper bag version too (your welcome).

 

Maybe it’s the fact that I went from laying out poolside recently to trekking through the snow in Georgetown during DC’s first snowfall this week – but I’ve been eyeing lots of new rain and snow boots alike recently too. How cute are all these? I love them all but these might be my absolute favorite.

 

To go with the boots – fun socks, patterned leggings, ear muffs and hats, of course! I’m guilty of stocking up on all these this season for lounging, bed and arctic weather days.

Thanks to my barre obsession, I justify all my new workout gear purchases accordingly.  (I take classes at Barre Tech 6-7 times a week now and have noticed such a big change in my arms, thighs, abs and overall strength! H&T readers also get 10% OFF with BarreTech10 so be sure to join me in class soon if you live in the DC area.)

And last, but certainly not least – beauty picks to get your new year started! Not shocking, Drybar tops my list plus yours truly received my very own Buttercup for Christmas this year (best.gift.ever.)

 There you have it – hello 2015! Stay warm everyone, it was 9 degrees last night in DC!