Monday, March 31, 2014

My Haircut + Anti-Breakage Hair Tips

As I've mentioned already, I finally got a haircut last week after not having had one since last summer. My hair was hella long, which is my favorite way to have my hair... but it of course had plenty of split ends. Breaking hair is also a big problem for me, so I was also interested in chatting with my hair stylist about that to see if he'd have any recommendations for how to improve the problem.

Here's how my hair was looking when I went in to see James at Acacia Hair Boutique in Downtown Vancouver last Thursday:

My long hair just before a haircut at Acacia Hair Boutique in Vancouver
Now, just to give full disclosure - yes, my hair looks like absolute shit above BUT a) it was partially wet in that photo and had just been taken out of a haphazard braid, b) it hadn't been shampooed since the Monday prior, c) I had just power-walked 2 miles in the rain to get to the salon. So try not to judge me too much based on the completely ratchet look I've got going on in that Before pic.

Originally my plan was to ask for some long layers - I brought in this picture of Kristin Cavallari as a reference:

I've been getting layers cut into my hair for years but have never been especially thrilled with how they've turned out.  I always kind of felt like they weren't very noticeable, whereas you really can't miss the layers in the picture of K. Cav above! Maybe my hair wasn't right for layers?

James didn't think so - with my breakage problems, he recommended keeping the hair all one length if I wanted to keep it long. He also recommended a few other things to help the breaking:

  • I already use the Davines Mellow Anti-Breakage Lustrous Conditioner 1-2x/week, but don't currently use the Davines shampoo to go along with it. James recommended that I switch to using the complementary Davines shampoo, in order to get the full benefits of the conditioner I was already using. Note - they don't sell Davines products at Acacia, so it's not like he was telling me that in order to sell me an expensive shampoo!
  • Normally I let my hair air-dry every single day - honestly, I can't remember the last time I blow-dried it. You'd think that would be a good thing for my hair - no heat products, right? But in actuality, since wet hair is naturally more prone to damage/breaking, the longer that it remained wet each day, the longer it was left "vulnerable"! So he recommended that I start making a point to blow dry my hair each day, making sure to use a heat protectant spray first. He said if I did this for a month, I'd probably notice an improvement.
  • Finally, James suggests using an oil to help protect and nourish my poor, poor fragile strands. He'd used on my hair a Kevin Murphy oil treatment product called Young Again, which - I can't even stress enough - left my hair feeling incredible at the end of the appointment. I couldn't stop touching my hair, and when I asked James if that was due to the shampoo he'd used on me or due to another product, he said it was this oil! By the way, he also dished that you can make your own treatment at home using coconut oil. You can find lots of tutorials about that online!
So here's how much better my hair looked when James was finished with it:

Just after a haircut at Acacia Hair Boutique in Vancouver
He said it was incredibly satisfying for him to chop my hair - hair stylists must really get a buzz off of taking a woman's hair from bootleg to beautiful.

Hair clippings on the floor of the salon
I couldn't resist buying a $40 bottle of the Kevin Murphy Young Again oil treatment before leaving Acacia. I learned after purchasing the Davines conditioner back in the fall that it's totally worth it to spend some money up front and invest in your hair with nice products every once in awhile. The $33 conditioner seemed expensive in October... but here we are on March 31 and I'm still making my way through it. Makes a $33 conditioner seem a little less frightening, right? I'm assuming the same will be true of this $40 oil treatment - it's going to last me awhile.

What are some of your favorite hair care tips?
Do you currently use any oil products for your hair?
Any other tips for me on how to improve the strength of my hair? I'm all ears!!

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Workouts of the Week (Including A New Cardio Workout!)

Wellllllll I got a bit of a late start today because I woke up at 7am to go for a hike.... then changed my mind and went back to bed for 3 hours! Oops. So I guess no hike today, but hopefully a walk through Stanley Park and a gym session later will make up for not getting up a mountain this morning.

This morning is turning out so lazy that I've even been contemplating making an order from The Breakfast Courier - an actual breakfast-delivery service that I learned about via a flyer in my mailbox last week. Breakfast delivery sounds SO fantastically New York City-esque, doesn't it?! Now if only they had a "doughnuts" section of their menu...

Anyway - enough about what I'm NOT doing today. Here are my workouts from this past week!

3/23 (upper body and core)
   - 12 chest press on exercise ball, 10 lbs each hand
   - 20 weighted crunches on exercise ball, holding 15 lbs
   - 12 deltoid flys, 5 lbs each hand
   - 20 weighted v-sit twists, holding 15 lbs
   - 12 close grip chest press on exercise ball, 10 lbs each hand
   - 30 Brazilian crunches
   - 12 deltoid raises, 5 lbs each hand
   - 30 alternating medicine ball flys with 6 lb medicine ball
   - 20 lying overhead raise + double crunch, holding 5 lbs
15 squats, holding 15 lbs
15 squats, holding 20 lbs
15 squats, holding 25 lbs

3/24 (cardio)
For this cardio workout, I wanted to avoid boredom and crank out some high-intensity intervals. To do that, I mixed together 30 minutes of different interval intensities, as follows:
0:00 - 3:00 - warm-up
3:00 - 4:00 - all-out
4:00 - 6:00 - moderate
6:00 - 6:30 - sprint
6:30 - 8:00 - recover easy
8:00 - 9:00 - all out
9:00 - 11:00 - moderate
11:00 - 11:30 - sprint
11:30 - 13:00 - recover easy
13:00 - 14:00 - all out
14:00 - 16:00 - moderate
16:00 - 16:30 - sprint
16:30 - 18:00 - recover easy
18:00 - 19:00 - all out
19:00 - 21:00 - moderate
21:00 - 21:30 - sprint
21:30 - 23:00 - recover easy
23:00 - 24:00 - all-out
24:00 - 26:00 - moderate
26:00 - 26:30 - sprint
26:30 - 27:30 - moderate
27:30 - 30:00 recover  easy 

3/25 (lower body and core)
5 mins elliptical
40 weighted v-sit twists, holding 12.5 lb dumbbell
30 diamond clamshells on each leg
40 bridges
40 alternating weighted side bends, 12.5 lbs each hand
40 side lunges + plyometric push off, each side
40 calf raises, 12.5 lbs each hand
20 deadlifts, 12.5 lbs each hand
30 cobras
15 squats, 15 lbs
15 squats, 20 lbs
15 squats, 25 lbs
1:30 plank

3/26 - 5 mile power walk into city
3/27 - 4 mile power walk into city

3/28 (upper body and core)
5 mins elliptical
12 chest press on exercise ball, 10 lbs each hand
40 weighted v-sit twists, holding 10 lbs
12 deltoid flys, 5 lbs each hand
12 close grip chest press on exercise ball, 10 lbs each hand
40 alternating weighted side bends, 10 lbs each hand
12 deltoid raises, 5 lbs each hand
12 tricep extension on exercise ball, 10 lbs each hand
24 alternating shoulder raises on exercise ball, 5 lbs each hand
12 bent over rows each arm, holding 10 lbs
12 overhead press, 10 lbs each hand
30 cobras
15 squats, 15 lbs
15 squats, 20 lbs
15 squats, 25 lbs

You know what's awesome? That there are an endless number of ways to exercise. Even though it might seem like I do the same basic exercises week in and week out, I always find ways to mix and match moves or switch in old exercises that I haven't done in awhile.

Let me know what your favorite exercises are, or if you have a YouTube channel or website you use for workout ideas!

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Pastel Nails: Sky Blue & Yellow Polka Dots

Deja vuuuuuuu! Like last week, my nails today were inspired by a picture posted by Design Love Fest - this time of the Vivetta collection for A/W 2014.

Easter is in the air (and on the TV commercials, and on the store shelves, and in my mailbox on all those annoying drugstore flyers), and so are pastels! When I saw this beautiful pastel blue fabric with the cheerful pastel yellow polka dots, I knew it needed to be on my nails. The particularly savvy blog reader may have even noticed me pin this image onto my Nail Polish Pinterest board last week!

.  pic via vogue via designlovefest  .
I grabbed two pastel polishes for this look - a not-yet-used light blue polish with pearlescent glitter from Forever21 called Sky Blue, and the dreaded Sally Hansen Mellow Yellow polish I picked up last spring. For some #blurgh reason, Sky Blue photographs somewhat greener/yellower than it really is. In real life it is a soft blue color, I promise. In fact, even Mellow Yellow looks like a bright yellow in these photos... it's definitely a soft, pastel yellow. Dammit. I need better lighting.

The glitter in Sky Blue is sparse, but it looks pretty in the bottle. This bottle of polish reminds me of Cinderella.

Pastels are notoriously streaky on their first coat (and sometimes even their second, third, and fourth coats), so I did one thin-to-medium first coat of Sky Blue on all my nails and let it dry really well before applying a second coat.

Then I just dotted on the Mellow Yellow with my dotting tool. 

When dotting with a pastel nail polish color, I recommend using only about 1-2 drops of polish at a time on your scrap paper, and only trying to do one nail per "puddle." That means you'll need about 1-2 fresh drops of polish for each nail that you dot. You may even need two puddles per nail, if your nails are long enough! Pastels are just so goopy and dry quickly - and the last thing you want is tacky polish when trying to make perfect polka dots on your nails.

I got a haircut last night, as you may have seen if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter. The cut itself is actually just totally straight - one length. It's not what I planned on doing originally, but it was based on the great consultation I had with my hair stylist, James, at the beginning of my appointment. Ultimately he cut off about 4"-5" and my hair a) is still pretty freaking long, and b) feels AMAZING. I'd gone so long without a haircut that it's crazy to remember how refreshing it really is!

Do you guys have anything good going on this weekend?
How long do you go between haircuts usually?
What are you rocking on your nails today?


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring Maxi Dress Guide 2014

Last year I did a round up of spring time maxi dresses, and it's been one of my most popular blogs! An update seemed in order, especially given the abundance of MAG-freaking-NIFICENT dresses I've been seeing around zee web lately!

SIT BACK LADIES (and gent?) and let's get to browsing some of these diverse maxi dresses from Modcloth, Forever21, H&M, Urban Outfitters, and Victoria's Secret!


I love that this dress mixes neutrals and brights for you. 
And check out the cute crochet detail on the back!
Floral maxi dress with beige crochet details, from Modcloth

Crochet detail on floral maxi dress from Modcloth

This bohemian-esque dress has ALL THE STRIPES and a crazy cage-style back.
I really like the "sea glass" colors of this dress.

Striped and patterned maxi dress from Modcloth

Modcloth maxi dress with caged back

Classic navy and white combo. The white lace detail on the arm area is slimming, and the lace on the lower portion of the dress is so pretty! It even has a cute keyhole in the back.

Navy maxi dress with white lace details and chevrons, from Modcloth

Navy maxi dress with white lace details and keyhole, from Modcloth

This patchwork style dress brings out the country girl in me. The ruffly panel in the bodice area would also be pretty flattering for a small-chested lady such as myself!

Patchwork style white and blue bohemian maxi dress from Modcloth

Patchwork style white and blue bohemian maxi dress from Modcloth

Black and white is looking reeeeal good in this dress. 
I love that the chevrons vary in width towards the bottom.
Black and white chevron maxi dress from Modcloth

Black and white chevron maxi dress from Modcloth

This is one of my favorites because it's so simple, yet so pretty! 
And you all know that I'm a sucker for orchids.
Pink orchid colored maxi dress from Modcloth

Orchid maxi dress with sheer bottom and diagonal stripes pattern, from Modcloth


I love the colorful pattern of this dress, plus the slits that make it easier to walk in. Perfect for me because I like to walk REALLY FAST.

Colorful pattern Forever21 maxi dress

Colorful pattern Forever21 maxi dress with strappy back

UM this floral dress is gorgeous. And dat back doe.
White maxi dress with beautiful pink/red flower print, from Forever21

Very cool back on this white maxi dress with pink flowers, from Forever21


Just give me a beach, some sun, and a coconut to sip out of, and I'll be ready to rock this dress.
White maxi dress with tropical pattern, from H&M

White maxi dress with colorful tropical pattern, from H&M

This black hi-lo dress is so versatile - you could probably find a reason to wear it once a week from now till September.

Black hi-lo maxi dress from H&M with lace detail

Black hi-lo maxi dress from H&M with lace detail


This one seems effortless and sporty, with cutouts in just the right place! There are other color options available - including a navy/grey one that I also liked.

Sporty and effortless black and grey maxi dress from Urban Outfitters

Effortless black and grey maxi dress with cute side cutouts from Urban Outfitters


Heyooooo gypsy dress. This has a "beautiful rags" feel, doesn't it??

Bohemian mixed print maxi dress with a v-neck, from Victoria's Secret

Bohemian light blue mixed print maxi dress with a v-neck, from Victoria's Secret

This super pleated, flowy dress comes in lots of colors, but I love this Aqua Frost the best.
In the navy picture, you can see what the back looks like.

Aqua pleated maxi dress from Victoria's Secret

Navy pleated maxi dress from Victoria's Secret

I adoooooore this dress!! It reminds me of mint chocolate Dippin' Dots, which isn't weird at all. As a bonus, it's on sale right now.

Mint and beige short-sleeved maxi dress from Victoria's Secret

Hopefully this maxi dress round-up has been helpful or inspiring for you! I had a few other dresses picked out, but they are already sold out! Better snag 'em fast guys.

Did you have any favorites from above?
What are some of your favorite stores to find spring and summer dresses?
Don't you just love Dippin' Dots? Mmmmm....

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Monday, March 24, 2014

30 Random Things About Me (Blog TAG)

I was tagged by Amy over at Eyeshadow Addict to do this 30 Random Things About Me tag. In the past, you may recall that I did the 50 Random Facts About Me tag, as well as the Thirteen Questions tag, both of which I hope taught you a thing or two (or thirteen or fifty) about moi.

But as a living, breathing, writer-slash-person, I can always come up with more ways to talk about myself. AND I'M 'BOUT TO, 'cause there are (clearly) about to be 30 more Bailey facts heading your way. Yes, yours.


1. I'm terrrrrible at finishing books. There are an untold number of 66%-read books under my belt.

2. I feel compelled to wash my hands after anytime I touch a dog or cat.

3. I'm convinced that walking heavy on my heels all my life has given me horrible calf strength and no butt muscles to speak of. This isn't a scientific assessment, just a strong feeling I have. I've been trying to increase my squats for the last month or so, because Beyoncé says they work.

4. I don't own a smartphone. I had to cancel the data plan on my Blackberry when I moved to Canada, and replaced the 'Berry with a Samsung Bright Side, which sucks completely. Don't buy one.

5. My older sister Mallory and I saw the movie The Witches (based on the book by Roald Dahl) in the theater when it came out in 1990 (when I was either 5 or 6), and can still vividly remember our parents having to take us out of the movie theater crying because we were TERRIFIED. It was during the scene wherein the witches all remove their human masks and reveal their hideous witch faces.  If you haven't seen The Witches, just take a look at this screenshot and tell me YOU COULD HAVE HANDLED IT at age 5!

6. Once while attempting to slice a granola bar in half for a customer, I sliced into my own hand with a serrated knife at a cafe I worked at. I still have the scar. The customer did not care.

7. David and I met while working at that very cafe. (Whattup Esselon?!)

8. My eyes are very sensitive to sunlight - my grandmother recently told me they always had been, even when I was a very little girl. You can catch me squintin' on a sunny or hazy day.

9. The only time I've ever dyed my hair was with a temporary box-color back in 2006, but it was too subtle a change for anyone to even notice the difference.

10. I truly do miss Dunkin Donuts coffee products and always make a point to get myself a coffee or Coffee Coolata as soon as I can whenever I'm back in Massachusetts. Mmm....

11. I got my first real job at age 13, simply because I wanted to work. It was at an indoor skating arena in Pittsfield called The Arena, and the owner was a friend of my mother's, which explains how I was able to get a job at such a young age (pretty sure you're not legally supposed to be able to work in Massachusetts until you are 14, but my 14th birthday was about 2 months after I started working there, so WHATEVA). I believe the minimum wage at that time was about $5.25/hr. #BigChips.

12. Every weekday morning for breakfast, I eat a banana, coffee, and 2 pieces of whole wheat toast with peanut butter. On weekends, I prefer eggs/bacon.

13. My piercings are as follows:  A nose (ring) piercing (age 18), a belly button (bar) piercing (age 16), and pierced ears (age probably 5?). By the way, I've heard mutterings that belly piercings are supposed to be some sort of an embarrassment to women nowadays - like they're a stain to remind us of our rebellious youth - but I must have missed that memo. I'm not embarrassed by mine at all. Not yet anyway! Same goes for my nose ring - I've always loved it and have (thus far) never regretted getting it done.

14. I love camping out in tents. Even when I know that my night of sleep will be horrible, I just love sleeping outside in a tent. Especially if it's with David :)

15. I hiked to the summit of Mt. St. Helens in the spring of 2012. It was one of the most challenging things I've ever done in my life - physically and mentally. Unfortunately... there was no view at the summit because it was white-out conditions:

.  the summit!  I SWEAR!  .

16. Sometimes I go a year or more between haircuts of any kind. I just don't feel compelled to go and do it! My last haircut was in June (yes, of 2013), and scheduling an appointment for a cut had been on my to-do list for over a month before I finally made one this weekend. My appointment is on Thursday... wish me luck!

17. My first concert was the No Doubt Tragic Kingdom Tour in 1996. It was awesome.

18. I was in a high school production of the musical Titanic my senior year (2002). If you're not familiar with this play, you ought to be. It's not based on the movie.

19. Speaking of theater - I love live theater, but I don't go see it very often anymore.

20. This is going to sound a little wacky, but for a very long time I believed that boys must not have feelings. I struggled with boys (and girls... but mostly boys) being really mean to me throughout elementary and middle school, and when I tried to defend myself against them by being mean back, it just never seemed to have an impact on them. It really seemed to me that they must just not have feelings. This irrational idea became kind of engrained in me, to the point where even to this day sometimes I will say something insensitive to Dave or to a male friend (something I'd never say to a female friend), just because my blind assumption is that it won't hurt their feelings because they don't have feelings the same way I do. Can anyone else relate to this??

21. I've been working full time for the same company for a little over 6 years now.

22. I included a bundle of Boston channels in my Canadian cable package, so I still get to watch Boston news and weather :)

23. I am an avid apartment singer. I always have been and only minutely care what my neighbors think of that.

24. I just finished reading Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns).

25. YouTube videos are mostly my entertainment of choice - I watch them more often than I watch television. Some of my current favorites are Miranda Sings, LeighAnnSays, Flula, Jenna Marbles, MissGlamorazzi, and cutepolish.

26. When I was younger, the trolls in Earnest Scared Stupid scared me so much that it impacted my sleeping.

27. Using my right index fingernail, I compulsively pick at the side of my right thumb... and kind of always have. There's usually a cut or broken skin of some sort in that spot. #Sexy.

28. At age 8, somehow the rubber backing of one of those super cheap plastic earrings became lodged inside my ear lobe. Just take a moment to think about that... the rubber back had basically grown into my ear. I had to have surgery to remove it, and I can still remember how frightened I was as they were about to put me under anesthesia. I have a vivid memory of my Dad being there with me (in hospital scrubs) as I fought back against them putting the anesthesia mask to my face. The good news is, as a bi-product of getting a minor surgery as an 8-year-old, I received an AWESOME "feel better" present from my aunt Dee - a big stuffed Max (the dog from The Little Mermaid!).

29. I severed my ACL playing soccer in 10th grade (2000) and had to have surgery to repair it. I'm still paranoid to this day that the repair isn't going to hold!

30. I have a somewhat irrational fear of slipping on things. You'll probably either crack up or want to smack me if you catch me trying to walk up an icy hill in the winter or cross the street on a rainy day.

Ok, now I'm exhausted. I hope you've made it this far - and that you've enjoyed learning a bit more about me!

Thanks Amy for tagging me - and now I tag all of YOU to participate in this tag as well. If you don't blog, share a random thing about yourself below in a comment :)

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