Category Archives: Style

Old Friends, Love & Weddings

On my birthday, a big package awaited me on my doorstep.  Tearing it open, I thought wow, my friend Erin knows how to send a birthday card.  Then, as I unwrapped the super light box, I realized it was instead an invitation to be a bridesmaid in her wedding.  Pretty much the cutest bridesmaid invitation I had ever seen!  She sent an adorable, personalized hanger to hang our bridesmaid dresses, complete with a little tag reading, “Will you please hang with me on my wedding day?”


Weddings seem to come in cycles and Alex and I are currently on an upswing.  The last was 2009, the year we were married and attended five weddings.  In two weeks, Alex’s friend will be married and I will attend another friend’s bridal shower.  This sweet, childhood friend that sent the bridesmaid invitation will not be married until next fall and I cannot wait.

I love weddings.

The year I planned ours, I woke up excited every morning for what lay ahead.  Now, I’m excited to accompany another friend on this journey.  She and I first met in elementary school and bonded over our quirky shyness as middle schoolers.  We liked the same boys, stayed up late giggling uncontrollably, and developed code names for everything.  Even though years kept us apart as we got older, we always easily reconnected when life brought us back together.

Tonight I’m feeling grateful for old friends, love, and weddings.

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All Women Have A Three-Dimensional Beauty That Moves

Tonight I found myself sitting in Naked Lounge, a coffee shop in Midtown Sacramento, with my teenage sister and her friend.  They have a summer routine of drawing in coffee shops, creating little pieces of artwork they leave behind on the bulletin boards, their creative mark left scattered throughout Sacramento for all to see.  As they sat working on their artwork, I took pictures.

While this in itself was enough to keep me amused, sitting, observing their routine, I noticed something else, something deeper as I photographed.  Like most girls and women I know, they were very picky about the pictures I took, even if they were beautiful to an outside eye.  It reminded me of how I felt about pictures when I was younger and how I look back at those same pictures today and think wow, what was I complaining about?

But, that’s the great irony of female existence.  The photographs I see of me today leave me convinced I’m past my prime, which is pretty ridiculous given I’m only 28.  Still, I see my face changing, lines forming, angles becoming more pronounced.  As much as I rolled my eyes at my sister and her friend, I do the exact same thing and always have.  Truth be told, if my hair is not blown dry and make-up is not on my face, I do not feel like I’m in any state to have a picture taken.

This left me thinking, what is wrong with us?  Is our self-worth really that dependent on idealized outer beauty?  Why can’t we see the true beauty that is right in front of us?  A friend and fellow blogger, Neurotic Nancy, wrote today about how good it felt to regain her confidence.  She went out and felt good about herself.  Imagine that, a woman comfortable in her own skin, proud of who she is, inside and out!  Why aren’t we raising girls like this, that see their whole selves in pictures instead of just the tiniest imperfections?

About six months ago, another friend in LA was hosting weekly public art installations of “ugly faces,” as an open rebellion against a societal obsession with vanity in a town that is built on it.  I was so intrigued by this concept that I submitted my own “ugly” shots, some of which are still buried somewhere on that page.  The funny thing is that it was genuinely difficult to take those pictures, like I was fighting against decades of social conditioning.

I guess the point of all of this is that it made me hyper-reflective to hear these girls be critical of themselves.  Beauty should be something we are proud of, something that emanates from the inside out.  I want my self-worth to be strong enough to see past the tiny imperfections of a moment trapped in time.  Ani DiFranco describes her beauty as a beauty that moves, that cannot be captured in a photograph.  I like this idea because it implies there is more to us than what we see in two dimensions.  All women have a three-dimensional beauty that moves, a beauty that should make us so proud that mere pictures never creep under our skin to undermine our self worth.  I have met a couple of women like this, whose smiles light up pictures, rooms, lives.  I do not know their secret, but I’m determined to figure it out.

Tenaya carries around this old tattered book she bought in Germany filled with her own artwork in the margins.

Kaitlyn busy drawing her contribution to the coffee shop bulletin board.

Still at work, and beautiful, no matter what she says.

Tenaya’s super awesome pencil box.

Pretty Tenaya.

And me.  Despite my messy, wavy hair, lack of make-up, and desire not to have my picture taken, I’m posting anyway.  No more letting pictures define me.

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Bikram: A Trip to Mars

Hot yoga is a trip to Mars.

You board the small little ship with mirrored walls.

The instructor walks around and makes sure everyone is properly prepared for the journey, (towel on mat, water bottle in top right corner, check, check).  She is a direct captain, but easy to follow, admirable in her stance, enviable in her sixty years that look more like forty.

Then you take off on this strange journey to a world with 37% humidity, 106 degree heat, and glowing orange light.

You move like you’re wearing a space suit, everything feels slow.  You concentrate to convince your body to cooperate.

You hate it, but you love it.

Then, 90 minutes later, the doors to the spaceship open back up, sun filters through the doorway, and cool air rushes in.  You’re done.  Swimming in sweat.  Oddly fascinated.  Invigorated.  Ready to go drink wheatgrass shots, or better yet, Kombucha.  Good thing Whole Foods is in the same parking lot.  If only you weren’t so sweaty…

Day two of Bikram down.  Determined to use all forty classes before my pass expires.  Possible addiction forming.  Must buy better gear.  Yogi transformation in progress.

Next time I’ll be better prepared for the monsoons…

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Pretty Summer Hair in Five Minutes

Gentlemen readers, unless you are fabulous hair dressers or dads in charge of the morning hair routine (mine was, and boy was he proud when he discovered the flip through ponytail!), this post is probably not for you.

Ladies and hair-interested men, listen up.

I discovered my secret to summer hair.  It only took me 28 years, (which is okay, because it took me 26 years to learn how to wear makeup).  I have never been high maintenance with my hair and have always envied girls that make looking put together seem effortless.  That’s the beauty of this discovery– it is almost effortless.  All you need is wet hair and the ability to start a french braid, (even if that ability stops as soon as those first three strands are started, which it does in my case).

The secret:

1.  Start one french braid at the crown of the head to one side or your part, (the part does not need to be in the center, in fact I think it’s cuter if one side ends up with more play).

2.  Instead of continuing a french braid all of the way down, just use those first three braid pieces to make a regular braid down the back of the head, (you’ll end up with one small braid).  Rubber band at the end for now.

3.  Do the the same thing to the other side, creating a second small braid to the other side of your part.  You should still have about half of your hair left unbraided since you did not continue french braids all the way down.

4.  Remove rubber bands from the braids and combine with the remaining hair to twist into one bun, (today I varied this by braiding the two small braids with the remaining hair into one long braid before twisting into the bun, either works well).

5. Ta-da!  Your hair is now summer ready, (great for swimming, or still looking pulled together without having to blow dry).  BONUS:  After your hair dries, you have a second wavy look for later, (which I’m noticing is really in right now).

The braids create a relaxed but pretty summer look that is really hard to mess up, (if I can do it, you can do it!).

Reminds me a little of the coveted renaissance fair braids growing up, very sweet and romantic.


I love that this is something I can actually successfully do to my own hair in five minutes.  Had to include this shot for my creepy evil eye.

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