The Real Secrets to Mermaid Hair

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Last week I got my hair trimmed, which was long(ggg) overdue.  The last time I had gotten a ‘trim’ was longer than I care to admit. Now I’ll be honest- I’m usually a complete spazz, eyeing the poor girl/guy about to barely take off an inch. However, this time I was all about getting a serious 5 inches snipped.  Yet, one question the stylist asked me was how in the world I had managed to go so long without trimming, and my hair still be healthy. This is where I’ll admit how long it had been: One year, and six months. I know, it’s horrid.

The point is, I do get asked about my hair all the time.  What I do, what I use, how I maintain the overall health, etc.  And although I’ve shared a post about hair health once before, I’m pretty sure it dates back to two years ago. So, on this dreary Monday Morning I figured why not do a short write-up on how to get healthy hair. Plus I love swapping fun beauty secrets, so please share yours too! So here we go:

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of hype about this ‘no shampooing’ your hair- ordeal. Well I’ve be shampoo-free way before this fad has exploded (and I have the serious disgusted looks through the years to prove it.)  Some people summed it up to, ‘well you’re just a crazy ‘live green’ lady who adopted a concept of the ‘dreadlock.’ (Note: I’ll admit, I totally have a slight obsession with dreadlocks, but on me I’m sure I would look like a complete craze.) However, I’m so glad this concept is really catching on with women. Here’s the thing though, you don’t have to not ‘shampoo’ your hair, you have to re-define what is ‘acceptable’ as a healthy shampoo.

1. Forget what you learned when deciding on haircare. Those labels don’t matter. What really matters when it comes to healthy hair is the ingredients you’re using.  Drying ingredients are pretty much in EVERY major-brand these days. Even if it’s labeled as a ‘conditioner.’

2. Back to basics. When I started ignoring labels and only looking at ingredients (even if it was technically ‘body wash’, for example) that’s when my hair changed drastically. I don’t shampoo everyday, but if it’s after the gym or been a while since I truly ‘rinsed’- I’ll use Alaffia Vanilla Mint Body Wash (which is a life-changing product for skin & hair with unrefined neem oil and moisture-rich, handcrafted, unrefined, shea butter.) The only true ‘haircare’ that I usually recommend is by Acure (which is of course carried by my favorite beauty site: Spirit Beauty Lounge), who also craft their formulas with only using truly amazing ingredients! Most definitely Mermaid-hair approved.

3. I always opt. for a hair mask or a ‘heavy’ conditioner vs. more of a ‘daily’ conditioner. Using this really helps with scalp-health and seeing I don’t shampoo reguarly, I want something that truly nourishes holistically. Also, while my conditioner is on I always brush through my hair while IN the shower, and very carefully, at that. After this, rinse very thoroughly!

*very important note: The ‘bad rep.’ that no-shampooing gets is that your hair is essentially then ‘building up’ with heavy conditioners like what I stated above.  That is false. Especially seeing as we are making sure our conditioners are UNREFINED with all-natural ingredients. No icky ‘coating-like’ ingredients that most commercial conditioners contain. Such as silicone. So this means the formulas are only giving our hair what it needs to be strong and beautiful, and then rinses away.

4. After the shower I apply a tad of Almond Glow, it’s way lighter than the more-popular argan oil. It helps to protect the hair- especially while you sleep on it.

5. And here is where shi* gets real, The Big Number 5. It’s the ESSENTIAL Mermaid-hair tip that I feel keeps getting seriously ignored, you ready? Okay: People with seriously healthy hair, DO NOT use heat on their hair. No straighteners, no blowdrying, no curling iron (except for seriously once-in-a-while occasions, like their wedding, etc.), zip & zero. They simply, just And yes, it’s the truth. I know, at first it sucks and you may look like a poodle for a few months. Hint: I totally did, I have plenty of friends that can vouch for my hair in the past. But then something seriously amazing and wonderful happens! Your hair begins to HEAL ITSELF! And become strong, and thick, and all things mermaid-like. And you basically live on beautiful beaches and swim all day.

Think of it like this: Using heat on your hair even a few times a week is like having four microdermabrasion appointments in one week. It ain’t pretty. Your hair is weakened, drained of all it’s natural strength and hydration. And while it looks good for a couple hours, you’re going to have a serious reaction if you keep it up.

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So, I wanna’ know: Would you be willing to go au-natural for a month to see if my tips work? Leave a your comment in the comment section and share your thoughts/or own tips for healthy hair! xx

Brunching: Mozzarella Basil Tofu with Eggs & Asparagus

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To celebrate my first Friday back blogging I wanted to share a little gem I discovered a few weeks ago. It’s crazy simple, looks impressive, and obviously absolutely delicious. It’s now become my brunch staple and perfect for lazy Saturday mornings. Literally you basically put everything in one pan, and wait. It’s pretty wonderful.

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you need:

fresh, sliced mozzarella

basil leafs (as much as your little heart desires)

tofu, sliced

1 bunch of asparagus

4 organic eggs

salt & pepper (preferably pink himalayan salt)

Simply blanch you asparagus. Add some coconut/or/canola oil to a medium-high heated pan. Add your asparagus. Crack eggs on top. Salt and pepper. Next, cover pan and let the eggs slowly cook/steam, making sure you keep a close eye! They’ll be done when their is a slight white on top of yolks. Add mozzarella to melt. Sprinkle basil over top, and add a bit more salt and pepper. Done! Serve with toast + unlimited Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s.

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lots + love, happy weekend.

A.M. Routine: Drink Your Citrus

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What I’m celebrating today: Happy just about February! This amount of happiness knowing January is about over is pretty much making my heart smile. Spring is that much closer. Ahh…and it’s Friday. Loveliness.

Lately, as you know, I’ve been a bit down and out. Winter has been especially horrid this year for me, but I can’t say I haven’t been a little more pro-active about it. (Although I might have indulged in serious heart-wrentching country music from the 90s lately- that shit isn’t for the faint of heart.) Why is that when we’re down we usually want to jam to songs that are just as sad? Allison Krauss, I’m looking at you. You know, I actually need an answer for that one.

 Anyhow, I used to run pretty avidly, however the past few years have definitely seen a big decline. So, in November before all the NYR’s started rolling out at the gym, I decided to start trekking back to where I used to be. Goal: Run past 15 mins. without looking like a zombie afterwards. Last week I finally(yyy) felt wonderful and happy about having to run. Pro-active score: one check for Laura.

Another check was to make sure I get my diet closer to where it was a couple years ago, as well. I was a vegan (although not anymore/vegetarian now), but with that, I was very conscious about making sure I had a SUPER balanced diet. I wasn’t a vegan who just let cookies, bread, and sandwiches with avocado spread become my only options. I’m talking I was fairy-food status. LOTS of gorgeous fruits and vegetables, Ayurvedic supplements for stress, warm lemon water in the a.m. for proper digestion, you name it. My diet is still very balanced, but it’s in need of starting a pretty static juicing routine, and well, just those elements that used to make my body feel a lot better.

This year is about re-adopting that way of living, only a little more forgiving. As a woman, and with the honesty I try to have on my blog, I used to get so unravelled after eating a cookie, or having a bite of cake.  Granted, it was even ‘healthy’ cakes and cookies! Gluten and dairy free, and I still felt those pieces of guilt. Screw that. The beauty of simply living life from moment to moment, comes out when you let go a little. Finding that balance is the forefront of this year.

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 Warm citrus water is a new, absolute, daily-morning must. And it’s such a simple, thoughtless step in the morning. It is so beautifully cleansing for our liver and helping our bodies properly rid of unneeded toxins. It also helps naturally rev-up our systems for the day, awakening our own body’s synergy. And a plus side-effect is more vibrant, clearer, radiant skin due to the extra aid we’re giving our bodies in digestion. As you can see, I’ve either been swapping lemon for grapefruit here and there. Mixin’ it up a bit!

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So, cheers to a new daily beauty routine, loves.

p.s. can you tell how much I need summer, with my crazy mason jar love?! xx,

Winter’s Neon + Vanilla Beet Smoothie

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Hello loves, here I am. It feels like months and months since I last updated this lovely space of mine. I’d be lying if I said life has been all things sparkle and glitter lately. I’ve been brushed with a lot of emotion on so many different levels. Mainly, I cannot think of any other description besides this; life has been, winter. Since my last ‘mini-post’, writing- really anything- has felt a bit forced. Especially if I’m trying to share a fun post. So I’ve summed it into this: It’s another stage of this bright life, a time and place where we’re supposed to really pay attention to the present. Not document it so much.

Although, I’ll admit, that thought sometimes seems funny to me. Most of our lives almost have to be documented these days, in so many social standards. And I’m just as guilty as any other.

But back to January. This month has honestly been about reflection, pretty much the opposite of a new year’s resolution. Usually I feel like people already have their new year’s goals in-mind by this time, I don’t have a clue. It’s been like that what feels like my whole life, and I’m okay with that. Although, I’ve found that other people get nervous when people don’t have a plan. Ever gotten that response after slight laughter, “But really, what are you going to do?” And you just stand there without an answer, or the slightest clue of the answer yourself, so you just make up a plan to make them happy. Yep, that’s me in a lot of respects. All we can do is keep our eye’s on a light, a glow, and breathe deeply, knowing in our own ways we’re working on getting there. And in that sense, I always know I have my best interests in-mind. I’m working towards my own happiness and if being raw, and slightly skeptical of steps I take is something I feel, then I simply allow myself to feel it. I sometimes wonder if people weren’t so scared of life, then maybe we would all be more loving towards one another. It’s in fear that our lives become drained. It’s something I try to gently remind myself, everyday.

On that note, I also wanted to say I’ll be focusing a lot about health and beauty this year on my blog. That will be a lot of my newer posts. It’s something I hold very dear, our bodies and our health- so I just wanted to start a lot more of that reflection on here.

And with that, I will share my new found obsession with you dears as an ode and cheers to ourselves this year. And being completely entranced, by our own positive power :). It’s the one definite that made my new year’s resolution list: My Vanilla-Beet Smoothie. Beets are so wonderful for us in so many ways, but mainly they are known for their cleansing benefits. Especially if you think of their deep, beautiful, vampire red, you’ll realize what they are known for cleansing; our blood. The brightness of our bodies depend on this, so it’s a wonderful smoothie for everyday.

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 Vanilla-Beet Smoothie

1 raw beet, slice thinly for easy blending + 2 beet leafs

1 scoop of protein powder of choice (I use Green Vibrance Vanilla protein)

1/2 cup vanilla almond milk

half an organic apple

1 1/2 handfuls of organic kale

1/2 cup water

Blend, love, and reflect. xx

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Pretty Picks December: She’ll Wear Red Velvet

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If you have been following me for a while,  you probably already know I adore lipstick.  Any kind really, but the idea of a deep red has this timeless appeal that not many other colors can compete with.  So, I own a lot of red lipsticks to say the least, and I’m quite in love with most all of them for different reasons.  However- this one is a true love.  It’s Anthropologie’s Albeit lipstick in ‘Red Velvet’, a cyber Monday random buy.  I must admit, the prettier/simpler packaging first drew me to the ‘stylo sticks’ vs. the classic tubes.  Which was kind of a match made in heaven seeing the color options differ and none others in the line could stand against the deep, Christmas-party, red that I’m now having an affair with.  

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They are all infused with vitamin-rich papaya so the ‘matte’ look is completely comfortable and winter-lip-friendly.  Plus, I read somewhere on Anthro’s site that the ‘Albeit-inspiration’ comes from old-hollywood hues, so it’s no wonder they’re are all so intriguing.  Hello, Audrey and Marilyn.  If you’re on the hunt for your new favorite color- look no further, my dear.  I’ve found it. 

xo, til’ next. 

Holiday Gift Ideas: Flowering Frame DIY

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Hi lovelies! It’s a rainy, lazy, Monday here.  Plus it’s super cold and obviously miserable.  Seeing as I’m off work, my day will indeed consist of a warm latte, a movie that indefinitely will include Meg Ryan (i.e. When Harry Met Sally), and a couch. So, I thought why not share a post I never published from October? It’s kind of brilliant if you ask me, seeing as I threw it together literally last minute for a magazine I was contributing to at the moment. It’s super easy, budget-friendly, and actually really quite nice and unique. I’m thinking a perfect gift idea for the holidays! Oh, and if you’re wondering, the picture is of my parents from the late 70s. xo Hope you enjoy:

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I’m one of those people who continuously wish for change.  Not drastic changes so much as little changes- ones that make life a little more…celebratory.  Cooking something new and exotic for dinner, making it a point to alternate shampoos each month, or simply rearranging furniture are all simplistic changes I happily embrace.  It’s the little things, right?  I’m always trying to find new ways to create a certain balance.  It helps keep everything feeling fresh and interesting, especially when life is going a bit- how shall we say- array.  With that in mind, the other day I was trying to come up with a way to make my home a little more memory-friendly.   My apartment is definitely lacking when it comes to relishing sweet moments of my life.  Most pictures in my apartment are flea market finds that are awesome, yes, but I’m definitely in need of a bit more of that ‘balance’ I’m talking about.  A little way to surround myself more with the people and places that I love.

Image The only ironic downfall is that I have a lot of people and places that I love (i.e. boxes upon boxes of photographs.)  Which would mean my apartment would quickly give off that clunky feel of picture frames being the main attention-grabber in a space.  I’m pretty sure my new aura would give off the ‘proud grandparent’ vibe vs. the clean simplicity I usually aim for in a living area.  So, with a little inspiration for my love of fresh flowers and my constant need to change I came up with this ‘flowering frame’ DIY that keeps your picture-sharing pretty, elegant, and simple. It’s a super easy way to keep seasonal flowers around the house(I used these deep, wine-stained, mums in light of upcoming fall) while also allowing you to switch up pictures any time your home is feeling a little ordinary.  They’re also a really lovely way to spruce up lazy weekend get-togethers outside. I clearly took pictures when I set them out for a few dinners this week!  They add a certain fun (and easy) element when entertaining friends and family, what do you think? xo.

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1 Tape sides of bubble vase- creating the ‘frame’ look. I used the crafting tape from Scotch which peels off really gently and doesn’t have that bad habit of taking the paint with it.  Make sure you also cover the top and front of your vase with a barrier, you don’t want to leave a spray paint ‘frost’ behind. (color via: Valspar Color Radiance in ‘Blushed Rose’)

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 2 Spray paint vase (*only one side on one side of the tape)Remove tape after paint sets.  I didn’t remove the tape immediately because it’s very easy to accidentally smudge the paint- wait a few minutes, then remove.

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  3 Plant and set. Plant your flower of choice in your mason jar.  Once you’ve done this, carefully set it behind the picture into your vase.  And you’re done!

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note: I think a pretty, clean, white or a shimmery-hued gold would be ideal for Christmas! And of course, share your own ideas for this project below. xo

How To Give A Gift: Everyone Will Love

Simple Gifts for the Hard-To-Buy-Fors
To start off, here are a few of my favorite odds-and-ends that are simple, festive, & bright.  A cozy throw, a comical plate, a beautiful magazine, lovely glow-worthy skincare + nailart, etc., are simple and definitely no-brainers that many times are a hit among holiday gift-giving (girl-edition, at least.)  However, sometimes it’s definitely not so easy.  Especially when perhaps you don’t know someone that well, or maybe you don’t know their interests.  So I’ve organized some rules that I’ve come up over the years that are really helpful in giving a great gift, to everyone:

Rule 1 Okay, so maybe not everyone, but I’m talking in reference to things not many people don’t like.  Take a topic that is always a ‘win’, enter: food, health, useful home decor/tools (I’m staring at you never-been-used-bread-makers), your own favorite skincare products (Om Aroma & Co.), good spirits, etc.  It’s a simple rule when buying gifts; be thoughtful & unique, and always think to yourself would like the gift if you were the one being gifted.  When you start thinking about gifts that you would like yourself, you’re more likely to be on-point of what others might enjoy, too.  For instance: think of some of the go-to restaurants in your general area that you really love, like a bakery.  Do they ship their speciality items?  Same for local wines, a local brewery, etc.  I mean, how many people don’t like great food and good alcohol.  I can’t think of anyone I know…

Rule 2 Words that work magic together during the holidays: ‘One of a Kind.’   There is something so magical about giving something no one else has.  Yea, it sounds a bit conceited, but it’s really not.  Truthfully…it’s just plain awesome and, well, one-of-a-kind. It’s a no-fail. (p.s…have you ever heard of ‘Of-A-Kind‘? It’s pretty much equivalent to a hidden-rare-jeweled-crusted website of treasure.)

Rule 3 Get your hands dirty with creativity so you don’t overspend. Cheesiest remark ever? Yes, indeed.  However, good gifts aren’t always expensive gifts.  Why is it that so many feel this way?  To be honest, some of my most treasured gifts are well under 30 bucks. For instance, my Dad once bought me a gorgeous ceramic pitcher that has this adorable little lid you can place your teabags around as they steep.  And yes, I’ll probably be the old lady who hands down a tea pitcher as if it were a rare piece of jewelry. My point with this story, yet again: don’t overspend.

Rule 4 Go ‘local.’  I’ll never tire of this statement.  Rev-up your local economy + get an awesome gift for someone?  Pretty sweet gig if you ask moi.  Plus, it pretty much entangles everything we’ve gone over above.  Unique, one-of-a-kind, thoughtful, interesting, etc. There are so many talented people in your own community who spend their days creating something awesome, why not find em’ and know about em’? Oh, and obviously the best part: share them.  (p.s…here is one of my local favorites: My A La Mode)

Rule 5  Think of ‘places’ they seem to be a lot, then go from there.  You want to get them something they will use everyday, or at least a lot. Are they in their office space (insert: a calming & inspirational print for their wall,  some low-matenience greenery- I think these guys are too fun, etc.), kitchen, living room space, outdoors.  When you think of the places they spend most of their time, chances are your gift will reflect a certain thoughtfulness a lot of people, often times, miss when gifting.  How many times did you get a gift that was totally not…you.  It’s these simple references that’ll help you get a little closer to the ‘them.’

So lovelies, hope this helps! If you like what you see, I may start a series leading up to Christmas of quick tips and tricks to give a great gift that comes from your heart, not your wallet. So feel free to leave comments and questions! xo, loves!