Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Better Care For Better Hair

Over the past week, I was experiencing a bit of a hair melt down.  

But I'm jumping ahead.

First, I should explain:  I've worn my curls au natural for almost 5 years now.  They started as a buzz cut and sprouted eagerly into shiny bouncy corkscrews all over my head.  And during this honeymoon period,  I fantasized about Chaka Khan curls cascading down my back - looking like this majestic curl goddess.  All I had to do was simply wait, right?  
And given the fact that I have superhuman fast-growing hair, waiting would be easy!  Yeah.

Well after five years, I've cut my hair so many times, clearly I couldn't "just wait".  Not because of any lack of patience I may have had but because the stages to get to long curls is a nightmare people!  Sure, 4-inch curls are a cinch but anything past 8 inches is agonizing.  Every time my hair would enter that danger-zone length, I would go insane from the maintenance and cut it off.  

But!  Last week, when my left eye began to twitch and my teeth started clenching at the thought of finger combing my neglected overgrown locks, instead of taking to the scissors like usual, I turned to the internet to find a simple, no-nonsense wash and go for longer natural curls (because I refuse to style my hair any other way - I mean, I have places to be you know?)

After hours of searching I finally stumbled across a hair blog that gave me a refreshed taste to go forward:  "Beads Braids & Beyond".  
Of course it would be a children's natural hair care blog that would give me the simplicity I need to not give up.  Of course it would.

Anyway, it was lil Miss A's hair care routine that got me to go to Target and finally get some new products to play with.  When I saw this cute little girl, I was like Chaka who?  This girl's hair is fierce.  
Little did I know, just playing around ended up changing my mind completely about hair products.  

They're totally amazing and I totally need them!!

This is a wash and go....  A wash and go, ladies!  Scroll down to get the deets on this miracle - needless to say, I'm loving my longer curls and I aint choppin' em off.

clockwise:  Shea Moisture Curling Gel Souffle / professional blowdryer / Dove Intensive Repair Conditoner / Denman brush / Kinky Curly Knot Today Natural Leave In/Detangler

The first thing that Miss A's mom discusses is her use of conditioner.  She uses lots and lots and lots of it!

So I did too.  In fact, I filled my whole palm and that alone made a noticeable difference when finger combing in shower.  It really is amazing how much moisture my hair type needs.

So onto the steps:

1.  
Condition

I got in the shower the next morning like usual.  I wet my hair completely.  Then I poured a palm size of Dove conditioner into my hand and glazed it over my hair, spreading it in thoroughly.  

Miss A's mom says she uses the cheap stuff.  Because with the huge amounts of conditioner that Miss A's hair needs for each wash, she doesn't want to break the bank with the expensive conditioners.  
It all gets rinsed out anyway.  This big size Dove conditioner was $5.

2.  
Detangle

After the conditioner had been worked into my hair I began finger combing and detangling.  Working from the left side of my head to the right.

After my hair was thoroughly detangled with my fingers, I put a golf ball size of conditioner into my hair and began detangling my hair with my Denman brush.  From bottom to top, starting on the left side of my head all the way to the right.  I hadn't done this in years.  Yikes!  That's when my curls began clumping up and springing back to life like a magic trick.

3.  
Rinse

With my hair completely detangled, I rinsed out all of the conditioner being careful not to agitate my curls.  I finger combed the conditioner out, avoiding causing new tangles.

4.  
Leave In Conditioner

Stepping out of the shower, I did not wring out my hair or pat it with a towel or touch it at all.  I allowed it to drip wet from the rinse without any kind of drying.  I immediately poured a golf ball size amount of Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave In into my hands and worked it into my hair, adding a little more to my ends.

At this point, my corkscrew curls have already formed all over like I had twisted them individually.  But I hadn't!  And I notice my hair has an incredible gloss!  Not a wet look but a healthy clean gloss.  Something I'd always had trouble achieving before without the use of a shine serum.  So glossy!!

5.  
Style

With the leave in conditioner fully absorbed into my dripping wet hair, I take a few paper towels and squeeze the excess water from my ends.  Then I carefully part my hair (making sure to not snap any tangles) and place the hair in the style I want to wear.  So for me, bangs in front with a top middle part.

Then I dip two fingers into my Shea Moisture Curling Gel Souffle and finger comb it into each section of my style.  Re-dipping for each section.  This will set my style and promote less shrinkage.  I didn't notice less shrinkage but I did notice my curls didn't frizz later that day.

6.  
Dry

Last, I turn on my blowdryer to a medium strength with a heat setting of cool.  Pointing it down while placing it over my head, the air blows my hair down, keeping it in place and setting it in the style I created.  At the beginning of blowdrying, I don't want to agitate the curls, I just want to dry them a bit so that I don't have wet hair.  I pull the curls down and extend them out so that they'll dry in a lengthened state.

Then after my hair is somewhat dry, I turn my heat setting to warm and point it upwards while placing it at chin level so that it blows my hair up.  I like volume.  
From this angle it also dries my roots and agitates the curls to pop more.

Miss A's mom doesn't use heat at all.  I do because I can't stand having wet or even damp hair when I go out.  With care, little damage can come of blowdrying so I'm not worried.

****************

So there you have it!  My new and improved wash and go routine for better hair and a saner me.  Hopefully it is easy to follow and do with your own hair potions.  

I used Kinky-Curly because that's what Miss A's mom uses and I liked the idea of using a leave in for once since my hair dries out so easily.  I love it.  I decided to use Shea Moisture because it happened to be on sale.  I would have bought the equivalent of Kinky-Curly styling gel but it was $20.  Maybe I'll try it in the future if it ever goes on sale.

If you have any questions, email me or leave a comment, I'd love to chat :)


And catch up with me again on Friday!  
I'm excited to show you a completely new outfit for a change!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Refresh

Ahhhhhh.... after a visit from my mother-in-law, a stint with strep throat, and some great sewing projects completed, I am back, refreshed and excited to share some new pieces, ensembles and looks!

As you may already know, I recently cleared out my Tiny Closet to make room for some new treats.  And since my closet is already quite Tiny, it's even smaller now that I've done the revamp.  Sooooo I've been on a concentrated hunt for more pieces that I can adore and wear all year long.

The only problem is, I'm not really finding anything good.  You know?

I thought after nearly two years of super minimal shopping and finding new ways to enjoy all the awesome clothes I already had, I'd be revved up to welcome some new items to my wardrobe.... But all of a sudden many of the clothes I'm seeing are just not good enough to buy.  This leads me to a Tiny Closet golden rule:  

If you can't find what you're looking for.  Look harder.  Don't settle.
Don't buy something just because you're tired of coming up empty.  My life is full of compromises so when it comes to clothes, I relish in going for what I want.  Not whatever is there.

So voila.


Simple but are you surprised?  I'm not.  I'm still looking.  As much as I'd planned to sport more involved, creative outfits, I haven't found what I'm looking for, so I'm keeping it minimal and casual for now.  I'm also sewing a heap of new clothes as well!

tee: The Tiny Closet Collection / harem pants: American Apparel / flats: Breckell's / jewelry: Banana Republic and vintage 

The items I did add immediately though were these cool aqua flats and a chic pair of harems.  Oddly enough I don't already have a pair in black.



On another note, I also got some new hair products!  Not sure if it's noticeable but my curls are a lot more defined lately.  Yes, this no-nonsense curly hair girl is venturing out past her 1-step hair routine and becoming more dedicated to keeping her curls soft and juicy.  I'll share my new wash n' go routine later so keep visiting to see!!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

New Pairings

With my closet cleanse completed, I am having fun putting together new ensembles with a refreshed eye.

Theo and I have started really crossing off our list of all the new local restaurants we've been planning to try out ever since we moved here.  I found yet another dinner outfit to wear perhaps this weekend when we try a new Brazilian place down the street.

waterfall top: (skirt) Forever21 / pencil skirt: The Tiny Closet Collection / sandals: Nine West / earrings: Francesca's Closet / necklace: Heavenly Couture / sunnies: RayBan

With my Tiny Closet even tinier now, I am looking forward to finding new pieces to adore.  I thought I would've been able to get out and start hitting up the local boutiques but I've been 
tethered to my sewing machine day in and day out - I'm starting to think I'll just sew myself a new wardrobe, ha! 

No, but really.... I might just try to do that.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Black & Tan

Scrambling to leave the house yesterday afternoon, I put this outfit together in seconds.  The color coordination really was through no planning of my own but sometimes,
the most careless outfits turn out to be the coolest.


I rarely wear these leather shorts (since leather on a perspiring body in the Summer is pretty much a fashion nightmare) but on the cooler evenings, I break em out.  They're a bit dressier anyway.

I thought I would dress them down with a tattered muscle tee and casual leopard flats.  The first of my new collection of flats for my lil wardrobe.

muscle tee: Original Gangster / leather shorts: Forever21 / flats: Ebay (Breckelle's)

When this flat style debuted mainstream again a couple years ago, they were somewhat expensive.  With nightmares of the past ballet flat trend behind me and my
ruined feet to show for it, I've been wary to spend the money for this newer style flat.  So I found some cheap versions on Ebay and whatdyaknow?
They are perfect.

Perfectly comfortable, that is.  And exactly my style.  

Get ready ladies, I'm gonna wear.these.out!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Chambray & Denim

Going through my closet on Monday, this week marks the the beginning of a rather large wardrobe revamp.  

As many of you know, almost all of the clothing in my closet serves a functional purpose.  Its functionality being that it allows me to live my life.  
My wardrobe reflects my personal style, yes - but equally importantly, my lifestyle.  My reality.

Well the reality is, lives change. And since my closet is directly linked to my life, it's time my wardrobe caught up with the winds of change as well.

So with all this open surgery I've been doing to my Tiny Closet, it's given me a bit of a fresh eye for ensemble options.  Like this denim on (sorta) denim.  
Definitely a Summer (and Spring and even Fall) keeper!

chambray:  Shades of Gris / denim shorts: Kunna / wedges: Et Fiancees / belt: Zara Men / necklace: Heavenly Couture / cage ring: Forever21 / sunnies: RayBan 

I needed a pair of longer fitted denim shorts so before throwing out a great pair of Japanese stretch denims, I cut them and made them relevant again.  As for the sandals, that was the only "for looks" portion of the outfit.  I don't wear heels that much anymore (winds of change, you know?)  But I didn't want to bore with the same.old.white.oxfords that I usually wear so I threw those on instead.  
These sandals are wonderful but sadly, no longer serve a purpose for me.  

With some real estate opening up shortly in my closet, I plan on moving in a long awaited diverse collection of flats.


With this chambray and denim duo though - I have found another fabulous uniform.  Great with safari-like accessories and some classic wayfarers and most importantly, 
perfect for a casual, quiet life on the go. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Happy Monday!

Aaaaand here's another batch of fun photos to entertain you this Monday morning....

enjoy.
bein my sexy self.

bee.

 In my own world.

Falling. 

Growing impatient. 

Tired of shooting.

Eh, modeling was not exactly my calling.  Anywaaaaay
Cleaning out my closet this week to get ready for..... 
a new look!  

Yes, yes, it's all very exciting.  Some shopping, some sewing, some new ideas.  It's going to be a whole closet cleanse.  Excited to share with you!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Play Date

Last week, Theo and I decided to revisit Long Beach, the area where we stayed when the idea to move to California first hatched....

It had been very shortly after our wedding and, feeling a bit reminiscent and romantic, we took the day to eat at one of our favorite diners, 
play our favorite arcade game on the boardwalk and catch up with one another.


I designed a simple white tank dress the night before just for the occasion, actually.  I wanted something fitted, comfy, casual but (gasp) NOT jersey.  Jersey and double knit is my go-to fabiric.  But this fabric I came across is luscious - I wish you could feel it!  It's thick so I didn't have the need for a bra, but it was also weighted perfectly for a great drape.  

Anyway, I liked it.



 jewelry: thrift shop / dress: The Tiny Closet / sandals: Zara

As some of you already know, I quite fancy wearing white - especially on special occasions.  And that day was really a special one.  
So happy I could whip up that LWD in time because Theo loved it!  Hope you like it too :)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

American

Independence Day is tomorrow and every year I let the holiday go by just like any other day.  Yes, I love the fireworks and can't help taking up someone's invite to an immense barbecue of course...   but this year, July 4th is tugging at my heartstrings a bit.  

I guess I've been thinking about it and I can say, in my own life that I have personally never felt more free, more independent and more self-sufficient than right now.... 

Coincidentally, there's a holiday where I can celebrate all those feelings.  


I recently saw a delicious photo on my Instagram feed and now I can't find it again for the life of me!  Cool-watermelon-eating girl, if you are reading this, thank you for the yummy inspiration :)

This is officially now the only way I will eat a watermelon.

And I plan to eat a lot of these mini ones all holiday long.


Continuing on my stripe obsession, I thought it would be cool to make a red & white striped version of my Tiny Closet Collection tees.  
Worn with some comfy blue jeggings stretch denims, I am fully prepared to enjoy the festivities.


So Happy Fourth of July to everyone!  
Wherever you are, I hope you are enjoying your day and appreciating where you are, where you came from and what you're made of.  Who run the world? lol

Be young, be dope, be proud...
Like an American.  

- Lana del Rey

Monday, July 1, 2013

Harbor Blue

A couple weeks ago, we decided to paint one of the main walls in our bedroom.  With crisp white walls running throughout the loft, I thought a deep dark color to (surprisingly) pop would be best.  I've been trying to find the right moment, as well as the perfect light to show you the finished product...

pssst!  not to mention of course a coordinating ensemble to wear 
inspired by the new statement wall!


I fell in love with this Martha Stewart paint - and the color is "Wrought Iron" ... it also looks like a harbor blue though which reminds me of the color of the lakes and harbors around Seattle.   
So dark, moody and classic!



I also love the wash of these trusty All Saints drop-crotch denims.  With my striped sailor top I thought it would be fitting for a nautical look.  
I actually didn't wear this outfit for long since it reached the 90s yesterday and I wasn't about to let myself sweat in a silk jersey sweater top and heavy coarse denim.  
What I thought would be an easy breezy outfit turned out to be hellish and I eventually couldn't wait to take it off!

I am looking forward to wispy jumpers and cooling Summer dresses so keep visiting for more Tiny Closet Summer wear!