Hair Tutorial When it comes to hairstyles, I’m generally a creature of habit.  However, I do like to switch things up (at least just a teensy bit) when the seasons change.  My Pinterest feed has been filling up with all sorts of beautiful braided hairstyles as of late, so when the lovely folks at Dove introduced me to the #SilkyHairDare, I was more than happy to test drive a few products while trying out a new french braided hairstyle. dove-advanced-hair-series-1 My hair is naturally very dry and coarse, and even more so around this time of the year when the weather starts to cool and the humidity dies down.  So I was immediately intrigued by the Dove Pure Care Dry Oil system and its claim to deliver 5x silkier strands while nourishing hair and without making it feel greasy or heavy. Sulfates tend to dry out my hair, so I was a little skeptical when I read the shampoo ingredient list and saw sodium laureth sulfate listed. Fortunately, my fears were put at ease , and I was pleasantly surprised  to find that the shampoo was actually very gentle on my hair and got it clean in just one lather without my strands feeling stripped and dry.  I then applied the conditioner and let it sit for about 10 minutes while I completed the rest of my shower rituals. I noticed that my hair had a decent amount of slip as I finger detangled it in the shower. dove-advanced-hair-series-2 After rinsing the conditioner from my hair and wrapping it in a towel for a bit, I applied a liberal amount of the dry oil which contains a blend of African Macadamia oil and Coconut oil.  My hair absorbed the oil pretty quickly and didn’t feel greasy at all. With my hair prepped and ready, it was now time for styling… Dove Advanced Hair I wanted something quick and easy, so I separated the front section of my hair and put it in three chunky flat twists that I would later take down to create loose waves in my hair.  Normally, I would have applied some sort of setting lotion or styling creme for hold before putting in the twists.  But for the sake of this review, I didn’t apply any additional products. dove-advanced-hair-series-4 The rest of my hair was about 60% dry at this point from being put up in a towel earlier, so I only had to lightly blow dry it for a few minutes. updo With my hair completely dry and detangled, I did one large french braid going up the back of my hair.  For some reason, it’s much easier for me to braid my hair going up than it is going down. There are tons of YouTube tutorials out there if you haven’t mastered the art of french braiding, but hopefully this quick animation gives you an idea of how easy the process is. I obviously sped this up a bit, but it takes me less than a minute to do. dove-advanced-hair-series-5 I tucked the ends of my braid under and secured them with a bobby pin, and here’s a pic of what it looked like in the end. Not bad for 60 seconds of work and no mirror, right?! dove-advanced-hair-series-6

Tada!

Here’s the finished look after I took down my twists before leaving the house.  I’ve been wearing this style for the past three days as I write this post, and I haven’t used any additional products other than the dry oil and a light spritz of water each morning to help re-moisturize my hair.  My hair feels soft and cottony, and not at all oily and weighed down.  All in all, I’m pretty pleased with Dove’s Pure Care Dry Oil hair products.  My only word of caution would be to any folks out there who are looking to avoid sulfates, mineral oil, and ‘cones in their hair care products as this line does contain all three.  For everyone else, I’d say give this line a go!

Now through December 31, 2014, Dove is hosting the “Dove Silky Hair Dare” and daring women everywhere to try Dove Pure Care Dry Oil, risk-free.  If you are not completely satisfied with the Dove Advanced Hair Series Pure Care Dry Oil system, Dove will refund your purchase (from 9/21 – 12/31). Visit hairmoneyback.com for details.  If you decide to try Dove Pure Care Dry Oil products for yourself, you can share your silky results using #silkyhairdare. Dove is also giving away $20,000 in prizes. For a chance to win, share your silky results using #silkyhairdaresweeps. See the official rules for more info.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


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No nonsense

While apple-picking and pumpkin spice lattes are nice, what really gets me excited about fall is the chance to break out all of my fabulous tights, chunky socks, and sleek leggings! When the lovely folks at No nonsense challenged me to a Style Remix featuring some of their new products, I gladly accepted. This fall, they’ve designed a curated collection featuring new fabrications and patterns, including Denim and Ponte Knit Leggings, Sweater Tights and Fashion Tights in bold prints. No nonsense products are easy to find at Nononsense.com as well as major food and drug stores.

Below are a few of my favorites and how I plan to wear them this fall.

First up is the Chunky Cable Knit Boot Sock

No nonsense tights

I pulled all of my boots out of storage this past weekend, and I love how these chunky grey knee socks look paired with both of my cognac-colored boots. I like them peeking out just over the tops of my boots for casual Fridays at the office and pulled up over-the-knee for a fun and flirty weekend look. I give these two thumbs up for their versatility and the fact that they stay up without suffocating my legs!

No nonsense boot socks

And next we have the Plaid Tights

No nonsense boot socks

I used to be really into novelty tights at the start of my blog back in 2010 (as evidenced here), but I’ve gotten away from that over the past couple of years in favor of more subdued colors and prints.  With that being said, I’m always game to be a little adventurous.  While I can’t say that I’ll be rocking my jester tights again any time soon, I like how these plaid tights are playful without being too over-the-top.  For me, the key to making these work will be pairing them with a more subdued color palette and simple silhouettes to maintain a polished and sophisticated look. I also appreciate that these tights didn’t get all wonky and twisted as some patterned tights tend to do on us curvy gals!

No nonsense plaid tights

On to the Super Opaque Tights

No nonsense plaid tights

Now we’re really in my element! I probably have enough black opaque tights to clothe an entire girls’ private school for a whole semester (I’m only slightly exaggerating), so it’s nice to switch things up a bit with charcoal grey tights. The color is versatile enough to wear with pretty much everything, and the tights themselves seem very durable yet soft to the touch.  I also have long legs, so I was pretty ecstatic that these fit true-to-size and came up high enough on my waist to be comfortable and stay in place.

No nonsense plaid tights

And finally we have… Cotton Skeggings?!

No nonsense skeggings

Yes folks – it’s a skirt AND a legging! Not gonna lie, I gave these the side-eye immediately upon pulling them out of the package. But I actually turned out to be pleasantly surprised. I’ll most likely use these for working out, especially when I want a little more coverage in the gym. They also work really well when you need to add extra length to a top that’s a wee bit too short to wear on its own with leggings.

No nonsense skeggings

And there you have it – my fall legwear remix!  Which look is your favorite?  Also, I’m dying to know… would you wear skeggings?!

Leave a comment below with your answer and you could win a $100 No nonsense gift card! You can also enter by visiting No nonsense on Pinterest, checking out more Style Remixes and re-pinning a look you love, see below for full sweepstakes rules.

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the Promotion prompt on this post.*
  2. Tweet (public message) about this Promotion, including a disclosure that your tweet is a sweepstakes entry (e.g., using a hashtag such as #SweepstakesEntry or #SweepsEntry); and leave the URL to that Tweet in a comment on this post.*
  3. Re-pin (publicly) a pin from the client’s Pinterest page here: URL including exactly the following unique term in your pin’s description: “#nononsensestyleremix” and a disclosure that your pin is a sweepstakes entry (e.g., “I am entering the #nononsensestyleremix sweepstakes” or using a hashtag such as #SweepstakesEntry or #SweepsEntry); and leave the URL to that Re-pin in a comment on this post.
  4. Purchase a pair of No nonsense Leggings at www.nononsense.com and create your own Style Remix. Share a link to the public image in the comment section on this post.
  5. Blog about this Promotion (including a disclosure that you have received a sweepstakes entry in exchange for blogging about this Promotion), and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.*

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 10/8/14 – 10/27/14.

Be sure to visit the No nonsense brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

P.S. Visit the No nonsense website www.nononsense.com and follow them on Facebook www.facebook.com/nononsense, Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/benononsense/, and Twitter @BeNononsense


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Not that I ever really need an excuse to shop, but I recently discovered a site that helps me put my dollars to good use for others while filling up my wardrobe.  Introducing… FashionProject_logo Fashion Project is an online clothing donation center with a mission to raise as much money as possible for charity by creating a community where members can donate clothing and shop for causes they care about.  Every sweater, handbag, or designer shoe that’s donated starts a movement that impacts the lives of others around the world. I’m a professed thrift store enthusiast (as seen here), but while perusing the Fashion Project site, I was surprised to learn what actually happens to the ~$52 billion in inventory that gets donated every year.  Any surplus inventory that isn’t sold is quickly sorted, compressed into a bale, and sold for .30 per pound to textile recycling facilities overseas.  Founders Anna Palmer and Christine Rizk created Fashion Project to maximize the value of these items and donate the majority of the proceeds to any cause chosen by the donor. So far, the results have been phenomenal, and the graphic below shows the impact of your simple purchases. fashionprojectimpact Pretty cool stuff, right?! And the best part about Fashion Project is that they actually have a great selection of merchandise at awesome products.

I’ve personally got my eye on the following items:

fashion-project-items1. Missoni Dress //  2. Giambattista Valli Jacket // 3. Givenchy Scarf 
4. Donna Morgan Dress
// 5. Michael Kors Top // 6. Gucci Heels

P.S. You can also save 15% on your first order with code FASHIONHERO15


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Closet Confection: Jewel Thief

September 29, 2014

little-mistress-midi-skirt-2little-mistress-midi-skirt-judith-lieber-overturejudith-leiber-overturenine-west-purple-suede-shoes
{BCBGeneration Blouse (doppelganger here), c/o Little Mistress Midi Skirt (matching top here), Judith Leiber Overture Clutch (similar), Forever 21 Ring (similar), Nine West Shoes (similar)}

There’s just something about a tea-length skirt that makes me feel so posh and refined. So when the generous team over at Little Mistress reached out to me, I was irresistibly drawn to this beautiful midi skirt by Girls on Film.  It can be a tough length to pull off for some (which I learned the hard way when choosing my bridesmaids’ gowns years ago). But I think the key is to pick a shoe with a low-vamp in the front (bring on the toe cleavage, if you’re game!) to help elongate the leg.

You always take a gamble when you try out an online retailer, but this skirt exceeded my expectations.  I’ll probably be going back for the matching top on my own dime to wear for my upcoming birthday dinner. But for today’s ensemble, I went for a mix of rich jewel tones and automatically reached for this citrine-colored top. I acquired it way back in 2011, but I located it’s doppelganger at Forever 21. You can get it here, and it comes in the most gorgeous teal color. In fact, don’t be surprised if you see me wearing it soon!

My birthday’s still 2 weeks away, and my wishlist seems to be growing by the second as I type up this post. So I’ll just quit while I’m ahead.

Thanks for reading!


 P.S. This post is linked up with the following:
More Pieces of Me | PinkSole | I Would So Rock This | Still Being Molly


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VEGAN SALTED CARAMEL ICECREAM SUNDAE My husband has a crazy sweet tooth, but I generally try to keep sweets and junk food out of the house.  But the other day, it was me who was craving ice cream and I just couldn’t get THIS delectable confection out of my head.  Luckily, I had all the ingredients on hand, so I dusted off my seldom-used ice cream maker and whipped up a batch of salted caramel icecream. And because I hate doing things halfway, I also made a delicious caramel syrup to go on top, borrowing from a previous recipe HERE.

But enough chit-chat. It’s time to queue the ingredients!

vegan-salted-caramel-icecream INGREDIENTS

Ice Cream

  • (3) 14 oz. cans of coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup of unrefined coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt 
  • vanilla bean 

Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup of unrefined coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional, but highly recommended!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Refrigerate coconut milk overnight.
  2. When you open the cans the next day, the solids and liquids should have separated.  Spoon the milk solids into a small mixing bowl.
  3. Add coconut sugar, salt and the seeds and pulp from 1 vanilla bean.
  4. Beat until well blended with a hand mixer.
  5. Follow the instructions on your ice cream maker and let mixture freeze for at least 3 hours.
  6. For the caramel sauce, bring the coconut sugar, water, salt, and cayenne pepper to a boil in a small saucepan.
  7. Once the liquid has reduced to a thick syrupy consistency, add the vanilla extract and remove from heat.
  8. Allow to cool a few minutes and spoon over ice cream before serving.

vegan-salted-caramel-icecream-2

I still never cease to be amazed by all the different ways you can transform coconut milk (like THIS, for instance). This dessert turned out to be way more delicious than I expected, and I can’t wait to give other types of vegan ice cream a try!

Now for the burning question: how do you pronounce caramel? I used to be a ‘car-mel’ girl back when I lived in Detroit, but now I sound it out into three syllables.  No judgment either way, just curious…

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