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Category Archives: Hot Mess

Hot Mess: Beauty Blogs

Some people seem to have learned a million ways to do their hair and makeup effortlessly, always having a fun style and easily dressing things up when the occasion arises. These people seem to include many of my friends.

I am not one of those people.

I don’t know if it’s a lack of ability (probably not) or¬†intimidation¬† (probably so), combined with a love of lolling, but I know that I get stuck in beauty ruts for years sometimes, and they tend to be pretty simple/borderline boring. Now that my hair is longer than it’s been in years (see here), this is especially true.

I’m not much of one for New Year’s resolutions, but I do want to try to take more risks and put forth more effort this year and in the future. I want to take more pride in my appearance, and not just hide behind “good enough, with a great personality.”

These are a few of the blogs I’ve found to get me motivated and give me some much-needed direction:

  • The Beauty Department– This might be my new favorite. Fun ideas with lots of tutorials. Especially great about hair. I need tutorials.
  • The Concerns of Mindy Kaling– Oh how do I love Mindy? Let me count the ways… This blog is awesome. She’s hilarious, and she actually has some great fashion tips/reviews. Some of it is a little out of my price range for sure, but she’s definitely no GOOP.
  • What the Frock?¬†– Dana used to work for Anthropologie, and has flown all over as a wardrobe stylist. She emphasizes super affordable pieces, and isn’t afraid to use bold colors. Love her.

These are just three of my favorites for now. Hopefully they’ll help me start this little journey of mine.

Anyone have any other favorites? Help a girl out!

How to stay cool

I live in the South. About this time of year it gets really hot. Oppressively hot. Like walk outside and five seconds later you have a sweat mustache hot.

A little over two years ago my husband and I bought an awesome house. We fell in love instantly, to the house that is, not each other, that takes time. It was everything we wanted and more: old house with charm, spacious rooms, amazing kitchen, no major renovations needed. Our only issue: no central air. To a girl raised in the South I didn’t even know such conditions existed, at least not in civilized society. But we were young and in love and decided to purchase the house thinking we’d install air when we could afford it. Well, its our third summer in the house without central air. We’ve adapted.

So today, as it is currently 99 degrees out (and feels like 112!) I’ve put together a list of ways I’ve learned to stay cool tolerate the heat.

Relax and loll about. This is not the time of year to get a lot of things done. Save that for the spring and fall. Its way too hot to be re-landscaping the yard or cleaning out the attic. Forget about it.
Fans. Our house came with ceiling fans in many rooms. While not the most attractive lighting or ceiling fixture, they are effective this time of year and I won’t trade them for anything. In the rooms without ceiling fans we’ve purchased additional stationary fans. We have several tower fans which fit nicely into corners and blend in. In my dressing room I purchased a vintage looking fan which sits atop my desk. Constant air movement is essential when you don’t have central air.
Cocktails. One of the best ways to stay cool is with a ice cold beverage. Whether its a glass of ice water, sweet tea, or watermelon mojito, its important to stay hydrated. Might as well make it a tasty one.
Watermelon. My all time favorite summer indulgence is a cold watermelon right from the fridge. I tend to stand right over the sink and chip away at a nice big wedge.
Frozen grapes. If you haven’t tried these, you’re missing out. Like nature’s popsicle.
Cold Salads. This summer my mission is to try a new pasta salad each week. These are great as the standing over the stovetop time is minimized. I also tend to serve each meal with a cold lettuce salad.
Grill out. Make your man go outside and grill your dinner for you. Why should you have to be cooking in the hot kitchen?!
Do your chores all at once. Since we can’t all afford household help, I’ve learned in the summer to save all household chores to do at one time. This way you only get hot and sweaty once. Although, don’t try to do too much or you’ll get exhausted and overheated.
Loll about. I can’t emphasize this enough: This is the time of year when you can get away with laying on the couch reading decorating magazines for hours with a cocktail at hand and not feel guilty!

Hot Mess: Dresses!

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I, like most girls, want to look cute. I need the compliments of the people around me, like a margarita needs salt. If a week goes by without one, I know that I obviously need to step things up.

The problem with stepping things up is that it can require a lot of work. I have friends who wear brilliant, multi layered outfits, with the perfect matching accessories, head to toe. While I love their look, it’s just way too complicated and requires valuable time planning, visualizing, and trying different options. On the average weekday morning, there is no way I’m going to get up any earlier than absolutely necessary to spend that sort of time on an outfit. It’s called beauty sleep for a reason, right?

My answer to this dilemma?

The dress. The glorious dress.

I own a lot of dresses. Some people might think this is because I’m extremely girly/prissy, but in reality, it’s because of how awesome and easy it is to look good in a dress. I can roll out of bed late, pull my long, messy hair back in some form or fashion, throw on minimal makeup, and still manage to look great, because of a dress. Nothing is easier. There’s no worrying whether things match, or if the lengths are right, or whether a top should be tucked in or not. You simply choose a dress, pull it on, and grab a pair of shoes, typically sandals for me. If you can put a cute belt over it, you gain about a million points. People will talk about how pulled together and fabulous you look, and think that you must have put a lot of work into getting ready.

The result? Minimal effort and thought, maximum compliment potential.