Weekend to Weekend: Adventure in Philly and Friendsgiving

Hello everyone!

So the last week, starting with last weekend, has been pretty nuts for me. Mostly, I was just stressing about the lasts quizzes and papers I had due last week and in the couple of days coming up before Thanksgiving Break, but there were some exciting things as well. We’ll begin with…

// SUNDAY //

Last Sunday I went to Philly to see my cousin at the Craft Show at the Convention Center last Sunday. I took the train with my parents, which was crazy. There must have been an Eagles game going on that night, because almost every seat on that train was filled. However, I was lucky enough to land a window seat on the way there. I watched the gorgeous farmland and countryside pass me by the entire train ride.

By the time we got to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, it was around noon. We had lunch at the train station’s cafeteria, which was surprisingly diverse in its options. I ended up having a grilled cheese from one of the stands, and it was delicious.  Then, we walked about a mile to the Convention Center. Along the way, we passed City Hall and a gorgeous cathedral, and I fan-girled over the gorgeous architecture. Because I’m a total geek like that, I guess. Here are only a fraction of the pictures that I took of the buildings, and of the LOVE sign, as well!

Here are some other pictures of the walk to the Convention center:

I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to take pictures of the art at the Craft Show, but i wish i had more pictures than I do of all of the amazing pieces that were there. There was jewelry, sculptures, ceramics, and even instruments. The genius of the people featured there blew my mind.

By the time we were walking back to the train, I was exhausted after being on me feet all day. However, that still didn’t stop me from my picture taking frenzy. Here is one of my favorites from the evening:

// WEDNESDAY //

On Wednesday of this week, my college held it’s Thanksgiving Dinner. It is a tradition here, and almost everyone comes out and partakes in this yearly tradition. Then, after we’ve all stuffed ourselves with mashed potatoes and pie, we all gather around the biggest elm tree on campus and have our Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. Santa comes, of course, and after the tree is lit, the president of the college reads us a Christmas story. There’s hot chocolate and cookies, and it’s possibly one of my favorite events during the entire year.

And, me being me, you know I took a million pictures. Here’s a few!

The dress that I wore for the Thanksgiving Dinner was loaned to me by my fabulous roommate. Everyone dresses to the 9’s for the event and I couldn’t decide what I wanted to wear. Then, of course, the leggings, scarf, and parka came out for the tree lighting.

This weekend was fun as well, even though most of it was spent studying and writing papers. The most notable night was Saturday, when my friends and I decided to go off campus for dinner and go to a restaurant in town. We waited nearly an hour for our food, but it was worth it when it finally did come. I got veggie fajitas, and they were to die for. Then, to top the night off, we all watched She’s The Man in my dorm room. Breaking up the busy week and weekend with having fun with my best friends made all of that stress worth it (or, livable). Laughter makes anything better.

XOXO

L

The Weekenders: Lots of Donuts & Homecoming

 

Hello everyone!

Saying “happy Monday” seems a little like an oxymoron, but I hope you all had a good start to the week anyway. I hope you all also had a fun weekend! I know I did. This weekend was full of adventures, and I thought i would document it for you guys.

// Friday // 

On Monday or Tuesday of last week, my best friends and I all decided that since last week was going to be pretty rough, that we would do something fun on Friday. We decided to drive to a Duck Donuts that was about 20 minutes away. One of my friends had talked about it how good it was we thought it would be a good way to mark the end of a long week, and I looked forward to our trip all week!

Once Friday night came, we went to Dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s, which is always delicious. I had the salad bar and those croutons are to die for. After that, we thought we would go to Walmart to let our food settle and check out their Halloween costumes. We had fun playing with the different costumes and deciding which costumes we wanted. I picked out my costume… But you guys will have to wait and see my Halloween post to see what I picked!

When we got out of the car at Duck Donuts and started walking towards the door, I could smell the donuts from outside! It was so hard to craft a donut from all of the choices that they gave us! I got four donuts, gotta have something for breakfast, right? And I got one for my boyfriend, too.

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We were able to watch the donuts be fried and decorated, and when we ate them the donut was still warm from the fryer. It was heavenly. Seriously, if you have a Duck Donuts near you and you’ve never been, I really recommend going! If you’re a donut fan (who doesn’t like donuts?!) than you’ll love this place. Get the Oreo donut (bottom right in the box in the picture above) from the “customer favorites” section on the little card you use to order your donuts. It seriously tastes like they melted down an Oreo.

My friends and I all took so many pictures there at our table, I think the employees at Duck’s thought we were nuts. We got so many strange looks. But who cares, right? Gotta capture the moment in remembrance of the donuts. Here’s some of the cute pictures we took:

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Side note: The coffee was really good, too. I tried their Pumpkin Harvest coffee and I definitely recommend. This is coming from a girl who loves her plain black coffee!

Love my friends ❤

// Saturday //

Saturday was Homecoming at my college, and I was woken up at *cough* eleven *cough* by the parade outside my window. Not a bad way to be woken up, to be honest. Better than the usual angry alarm clock.

Campus was swarmed with parents, families, alumni, and students out to enjoy the festivities. There’s a Homecoming fair after the parade that everyone goes to, and all the clubs on campus come out and sell stuff at tables around the quad. There was a band playing, too, and they were pretty good… Better than the band last year, that’s for sure.They played oldies songs like “Sweet Caroline” and “It’s Raining Men.”

I manned the table for the Creative Writing club. We sold bookmarks for a dollar, and we did pretty well if i do say so myself! I also took a walk around with my friends to see what the other clubs were selling, and there were some really great things. I think I got a little carried away, but totally worth it.

We got a beautiful day. It ended up getting pretty warm, I was way overdressed in my sweater and puffy vest!

Later that night, we went to the Homecoming Buffet with all of our friends, here’s a selfie I took afterward with my roommate, hot fresh apple cider in hand:

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// Sunday //

Sunday night my roommate and i woke up and decided to go to Dunkin’ Donuts to get coffee and something to eat for breakfast. I know, lots of donut shops! And, on a whim I decided to try their pumpkin macchiato, and I really liked it. Again, this is coming from a girl who loves her black coffee with nothing else. What have I become??

On the drive there and back, we listened to throwback songs, like Ashley Tisdale’s “He Said She Said” and Jonas Brothers. It blows my mind that some of those songs are ten years old. I can’t comprehend it.

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After we got back from Dunkin’, my boyfriend arrived and we spent the rest of the day together. Lots of time was spent taking silly pictures like this on Snapchat:

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After that, we went to the praise service on campus and then went to dinner. I did some reading and got some homework done. Then, the weekend was over. It’s always a bummer, especially after such a good weekend like this one, but lots of good memories were made. I’m so thankful for all of these people who I love so much!

I hope you all made lots of memories this weekend, and have a great week!

L

Saying Goodbye to Autumn

Since the Holidays are coming quicker than I can fully comprehend, the end of Fall is soon arriving. And don’t get me wrong, as a girl who can barely retain body heat, I love the warmth of summer. However, there is something so refreshing about fall, especially this past fall. The crisp weather, the leaves on the trees, the colors of pumpkins and gourds. The excuse to use the word “autumnal.” The vibrance of Autumn feels like a tall glass of water after months of wilting in the summer humidity. This fleeting season comes and goes in a flash. I wanted to milk this fall for all it was worth: enjoy every leaf, every pumpkin, and every magenta sunset.

I have always felt like I experience a creative rebirth during the Fall. There is something in the air that recharges me. As someone who always seems to have writers block, this is much needed rejuvenation… I think it’s something with the colors. The fiery auburn and deep wine leaves speak to me and do my heart good. It’s almost a spiritual experience for me when I see a mountain side in the distance with all its trees’ leaves turned. It’s during that one-week sweet spot, where all the leaves are turned before they fall, when I feel the most alive. Something about their beauty gives me such joy.


Stomping in the crunchy leaves as they fall like we’re children again, watching movies together while we’re snuggled in blankets and drinking hot chocolate. Going to an orchard with my boyfriend, and eating apple cider doughnuts with ice cream later that night. This was what this fall was all about for me, all those memories that I made with the people that I love the most.

I continue into the next season of my life with a heart full of memories, love, and happiness.

XOXO

L

 

Feeling Stressed?

Who isn’t these days, right? Ever since school started, a peaceful moment is hard to come by. Whenever I feel like my year is about to explode, I do one or all of these things and I feel better.

1. Drinking peppermint tea (or whatever your favorite tea is) in my favorite mug.

I don’t know what it is, but drinking my peppermint tea in my favorite white mug that my cousin gave me makes a difference. I love how big the mug is and how it’s the perfect size to wrap my hands around, letting the how tea keep my hands warm. I make my tea and snuggle under my favorite blanket. It’s one of my favorite things after a long day of studying, it makes me so happy.

2. Watching trashy TV with my roommate.

Millionaire Matchmaker, Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After?, Bachelor in Paradise, Gossip Girl, anything mindless to get our minds off the work.

3. Watching funny YouTube videos.

My roommate  and I do this all the time. Silly storyline videos and conspiracy theories are among our favorites. Laughing with my best friend is possibly the best medicine for stress.

4. Having a random dance party.

Crank your favorite music and just dance like a hippogriff for a solid thirty minutes, it until you can’t breathe anymore. My bestie and I love our nightly dance parties. We favor early 2000s music. Britney for me, Backstreet Boys for her.

5. Throwing a tantrum.

Humor me on this one. If your day was just downright terrible and you feel like you want to cry, dropping down and pretending to wail and pounding your fists like a three year old is actually surprisingly cathartic. If not hilarious. It doesn’t accomplish anything, but it’ll definitely make you laugh a little bit, and on those hard days sometimes all we need is to smile.

I wish you all peaceful days and nights, but if those stressful days do come (and we all know they do), I hope this helps!

Happy studying and slaying!

Since I’ve Been Gone: Highlight Reel

So this is a little embarrassing.

I realized that I have neglected my blog for 2 months, which is exactly the opposite of what  I had planned for this summer. But once I went on vacation with my family, I kind of got into this “summer vacation” mentality. Meaning: I got super lazy and blogging went on the back burner to watching Gilmore Girls and other such endeavors. With that said, I have had a pretty amazing summer since the last time we talked, so here’s the highlight reel:

1. I went on vacation with my family in Stone Harbor like we do every year, and it was so much fun and relaxing. I always leave that place with so many new memories.

2. I have been volunteering at the local historical society, and I have had such a blast! I was researching and studying collections and writing blog posts for them, which has been such an amazing experience! Not to mention fascinating. If you would like to read a blog that I wrote click HERE!

3. I undertook a MASSIVE cleaning project in my room. I decluttered a messy room, went through childhood toys, cleaned out my closet (In which I found a box of my baby clothes), rearranged my furniture, and deep cleaned every surface of my room and closet. It took three days and I was extremely exhausted afterwards. I felt so accomplished  afterwards when I was able to walk in my room and actually enjoy spending time there. I’ve never been so anal about keeping my room clean before.

4. I saw my boyfriend a bunch. He’s coming tomorrow, too, which is exciting! I’ve also been shamefully out of touch with my friends from school… Sorry guys, if you’re reading this!

5. My aunt and uncle from California came out to visit for a week, and i was able to catch them for their last few days of their visit. I only get to see them a couple of times a year, so whatever time I have with them is so special. They left just before July 4th, which I spent with my boyfriend before taking the train home to spend the night with my parents.

6. I went on a day trip with my parents grandparents to Stone harbor this past weekend. The water was so warm I just stood in the water for about 30 minutes before my mother had to drag me away. The trip was so nice but it kind of made me wish I had a DeLorean and go back in time to mid-June. Because it hit me that summer officially ends for me in a couple of weeks, and that really bums me out.

7. I got together with a lot of my friends from high school. I love seeing them and it made me realize how much I missed them last year!

8. I went to Warped Tour with my boyfriend, and it was so much fun! I got to see one of my favorite bands, We The Kings, and I went crazy singing. I took so many pictures and some videos, so I’m thinking about making a YouTube video dedicated to it.

That’s the jist of it. I can’t think of anything else that I’ve done at the moment but I am sure that I have. I have 2 weeks left before school starts (like WHAT right?!? I’m torn between squealing from excitement and sobbing). In the future, I have a few things I want to do before school starts, which is post more on this blog, possible kickstart a YouTube channel, do some reading to get a leg up on my classes this year, get together with my friends some more. And pack for school. And go shopping for school. Basically a lot of preparation for school. Help me!

ALSO, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I changed my theme! I love playing with my blog’s theme, and I am in love with this new one! I made the collage for the banner, and I can’t believe how good it looks. Also, I am much happier with this theme because it it more cell-phone friendly than the last one, but it’s not too different as well.

I hope you guys forgive me for going MIA for 2 months! If you’re reading this, thank you for sticking around, I appreciate it 🙂

I’m checking out for the night, I’ll write soon!

With love,

L

P.S. If you want, you can head over to my Twitter and my Instagram and follow me there, too!

 

Target Haul: vacation prep and Father’s Day

Oh, Target. I think that I (and every human on earth) could easily get lost in this place. This is the only place where I can go into the store thinking that I’ll only need one simple thing, like makeup wipes, and get distracted in two seconds flat. Usually by the clothing section, since you can see the Junior section right when you walk in the door. Which is mean when you don’t have an awful lot of money to spend and there are so many cute sundresses and skirts and things to get distracted by.

I had a bunch of things that I needed to pick up for my upcoming vacation at the beach. I’m sure I forgot a million things that I need for the trip. I’m sure that I have one or two Kmart trips in my future this coming week. This is what I got tonight…

I was completely out of both the Daily Brush Cleaner and the dry shampoo. Both are things I use nearly every day. I’ve been out of the dry shampoo for weeks. If I’m honest, since finals week. In May. I’ve been putting baby powder in my hair as a makeshift dry shampoo. Thank God I remembered today!

I’ve also been wanting to try a setting spray, and I picked this one out because I love ELF products, it seems pretty portable and easy to throw in my bag, and it was $3. So if it sucks, it was only three bucks, right?

I bought this on a whim because I have been looking for the perfect orange lip product since last summer, and I thought i would give this one a shot. I tried it on when I got home and I fell in love. The formulation is perfect and made the application so easy. It dried quickly and is matte, no streaks. I’m probably going to wear this cream lipstick every day for the rest of the summer. And I’m probably going back to Target soon and buy the rest of the NYX Liquid Suede line. It’s so much better than the NYX Lingerie gloss I’ve tried!

I’ve been wanting a new workout bra, and this one was pretty cute and held me in nicely. Believe me, I was jumping around in the fitting room to test it. Everything short of a plank. You have to make sure you’re spending money on something that’s functional, right? (I hope I’m not the only one that does that)

The detailing on the back is too cute, and I loved the color. It looks paler in this picture, but IRL it’s a brighter baby blue. Other than black and my bright pink Nike sneakers that I wear during every workout, the majority of my workout clothes are blue. I’m happily adding this one to the docket!

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This tank top is so cute! The criss-cross straps in the back is what caught my eye originally, and I think this will be something nice to wear when I’m at the beach. It’s just what I needed… something casual and cute to throw on!

Okay Dad… If you’re reading this, STOP READING!!

I got my Dad a card for Father’s Day, and I thought this one was cute. I thought the blurb was funny and I definitely think he’ll like it.

That’s everything I got on this Target trip. I know I’m not the only one who goes crazy there… I went with my mom and she did too, haha! What about you guys, is there such a ting as a person who can go to target and only pick up one or two things? I don’t think so. But you learn something every day, right?

With love,

L

Mini Golf & Sunsets

So on Friday night my family decided to go to the mini golf course about 20 minutes from my house. This was our first outing of the summer… The first of many! The weather was gorgeous and perfect for mini golfing, and we got there right around the time the sunset was starting. If you know me, you’ll know that I am obsessed with sunsets. I love watching them and taking pictures of them. Whenever I watch one, I take a million pictures, and tonight was no different! Here are a few of my favorites from the night…

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Every sunset is gorgeous, but this one was so much fun to watch because it seemed like every moment it morphed into different colors every time you looked at it. Which didn’t help my obsessive picture-taking at all!

Also, while we were golfing, we saw that a mama bird guarding her layed eggs in the mulch next to the fairway of the course. It was hard to miss her, since if you got even five feet near her on the course, she would puff up her feathers and sqwak at you until you walked away. Here she is…

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If you can’t really see her, neither could I at first! She camouflaged herself really well in the mulch, but you could definitely hear her from many holes away. As you can see, the golf course had put flags around her so no one walked through her area, but I know I wouldn’t dare walking anywhere near her! I would be afraid of being pecked to death by this angry momma. It was crazy though, because while I was there I watched a girl a couple of groups behind me try to walk up to the bird and attract her away from her eggs so that she could see them. I think the poor bird almost had a conniption!

Today, I’m pre-writing a lot of posts for while I’m on vacation next week. I’m heading to the beach with my dad’s side of the family, which is a yearly tradition for us. I’m so excited, I can’t wait! And of course, I’ll write about my adventures while I’m there, too!

Happy summer! With love,

L

Throwing Shadows: It’s all in my head

It is so frustrating to look at myself in the mirror, and after more than two years of hard work, think to myself I hate the way I look.

Every once and a while I have a night like tonight. I look in the full length mirror in my room and analyze every inch of my body. My thighs are too chunky. My legs have cellulite. My arms are too flabby… What is with that fold of skin where my arms meet my chest?  My abs aren’t defined, and the area above my belly button is still stubbornly fatty. I look at all of these imperfections and I break down. I either get angry and punish myself with more sit ups or I cry. I feel like everything in my life has gone wrong, and there’s nothing I can do about it.

Sometimes I even have a panic attack. I drop down to the floor and hyperventilate, thinking to myself that I don’t want to go back to the way that I was. I so desperately don’t want to gain those pounds back… but I’ve worked so hard and this is what I get? This?

After a minute or two I calm myself down enough to go to bed with tears still in my eyes. I fall asleep promising myself that I’m going to do fifty squats in the morning. Match that up with a run and a kettlebell workout. Maybe even some yoga. And I do. And I’m sore for a week for overworking my body.

This is nothing, however, to how it used to be. When I was younger, I would do this every night. I remember once in middle school, I was so upset with my reflection, that I unrolled the yoga mat and attempted an extremely difficult workout on YouTube. When I couldn’t complete the first set of exercises successfully, even though they were way out of my league at the time, I sat on the yoga mat and cried, looking down at my thighs. They look like beached whales. I repeated this in my head as I punched my legs over and over. I hit them so hard that my legs buzzed with pain. I woke up with a bruises in the morning.

This was not one of my finer moments, and there were certainly many more nights like this. It’s difficult to think back to how miserable I made myself back then. I compared myself relentlessly to the pretty and popular girls in my grade who were all skinnier than me. There was absolutely no mercy for myself. Every inch of me was under scrutiny. And since I judged myself so harshly, I figured that other people must have judged me just as much. As I walked down the hall, I imagined what my peers were thinking as they passed me. No one could ever have thought of nastier insults about me than I made up about myself.

Fat cow. Legs and arms like beached whales. Obese bitch.  I repeated these like mantras over and over in my head. Over. And over.

For the most part, I’m usually pretty happy with the way that I look now. I think it’s the endorphins from exercising. However, I’m still obsessive over everything. I check myself in the mirror every time that I pass one. Even in reflective surfaces I look for my reflection… My cell phone screen, picture frames, store windows. If I’m not happy with what I see, it effects my mood. I feel the need to check and make sure that I’m still small. That the fat fourteen-year-old hasn’t come back and gobbled me up like a piece of cake. It’s a subconscious habit that I’ve had for years.

It’s not only frustrating. It’s exhausting. Why can’t I just be happy with myself? Don’t I deserve that? After losing seventy pounds, can’t I just be happy?

The problem is, when I started the weight loss journey, I thought losing the weight would solve all my problems. That if only I were 120 pounds I would be happy. If only. I’m under that weight right now and I can still make myself miserable like I did when I weighed in at 185. It’s all in my head. I know that. But that knowledge doesn’t make nights like these any better.

I think what helps me the most is knowing that I’m not alone. When I was younger, I thought I was the only one who felt this way. Now I know that there are so many girls out there who struggle with the same self-image issues that I do. I try to preach to myself self-love, replace those hateful words in my head with words of love, but honestly, it doesn’t work for me if I don’t feel like I believe it. I try not to compare myself to other women around me, but with social media it is so difficult. Honestly, Instagram and VSCO is what triggered tonight’s hate-fest. I just need to teach and reteach myself not to give in to the temptation to compare my so-called imperfections to so-called perfections.

I wish I could go back to the moment where all this started. It was in the third or fourth grade, right around the time that I started puberty and realized that I was bigger than the other girls, and apparently that wasn’t a good thing. I wish I could sit my nine year old self down, and tell her to listen up. Believe that you’re beautiful. Because if you believe that you are, you are. Or in ten years, you’ll still have the same sad thoughts at nineteen that you did at nine.

Girls, if you’re reading this, I implore you, please don’t do what I do. Please love yourselves. Don’t over-analyze your bodies and make yourself cry and have panic attacks. It’s no good. Believe me, I know. Please, please, please, take every chance that you can to love your bodies, because they’re beautiful and they sustain you through this life. Hey, you’ve made it this far with it, right? It (hopefully and prayerfully) hasn’t let you down yet. Learn this lesson and take it to heart. And maybe someday, I’ll get there, too.

With love,

L

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Rm 12:2 

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

A truly gorgeous day!

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Today was such an incredibly beautiful day. I took a long run in the sunshine, and afterwards I took a shower and played with the new hairstyle afterward… I blew out my hair and then curled it with the 1″ curling iron, put in the texturizing cream, and then hairsprayed the crap out of it when I was done styling, and I love how it turned out! So, on a gorgeous sunny day like this, what’s a millennial to do but take some selfies?

Also, when I was in my backyard, a visitor turned up on the deck! I’ve named him Unicorn Kitty, and he’s been a wandering around the neighborhood for years, but he’s been hanging out on our deck more often lately.

He is the sweetest thing on earth. While I was taking the pictures, he would follow me around and brush up against my legs and purr. I love cats so much, I wish I could take this little one in! Such a sweetie. If only allergies weren’t a thing.

Right now I’m celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Hills and I’m watching an old DVD set of the first season. I’m a sucker for old reality shows like that, and Laguna Beach.

I’m going out of town tomorrow, but I will have a summer workout playlist up in the early afternoon before I leave. So check back tomorrow for all of my current favorite songs to run to!

L

P.S. Want to catch up with me on social media? Check out my Twitter and Instagram!

 

 

Chop Chop

So I had a most eventful day today! I went running with one of my close friends from high school in gorgeous 80 degree weather, which was so much fun. We went out to get smoothies together afterwards, which was so much fun, too! Then, after that, my dad surprised me with exciting news… I made Dean’s List for the spring semester, and I am so beyond thrilled!

After a celebratory dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, a creperie in the city near me, I went to the salon… And I took the plunge! I’ve been wanting to try the long shaggy bob since last summer, but I haven’t had the guts to try it until now! This is the picture that I found and showed to my hair stylist, who did such an amazing job!

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I asked for this cut, and for my hair to fall just under my collar bones.

This is before the cut… Look at how tangled the tips of my hair looks! There was so much damage that needed to be cut off.

Aaaand this is after!!

I am so in love with this cut! I have had long long long hair for years, so it was a much needed change. I haven’t had short hair since I was four or five years old! But I hadn’t gone to get my hair cut in a year, and my hair was really damaged from that. We’re talking two inch split ends, here. What can I say? College kind of distracted me.

That, along with the niggling desire to get this style cut, I decided to go for it! I thought I was going to cry when she cut my hair (I lost about 8 to 10 inches!), but when she started cutting, I felt exhilarated and excited! I got layers to frame the face, and my stylist used a 1″ curling iron and styling cream after blowing out my hair. I watched her so that I could try to duplicate what she did on my own. After my appointment, I went out and bought a ceramic 1″ Revlon curling iron and Pixie Play Crafting Cream from Garnier from Kmart (the total for the purchase was around $19… and I bought a nail polish, too!), so hopefully those products work. After I get used to the new hair-do, I’ll probably post what I do to maintain the look!

But seriously guys, I learned such a big lesson today. If you ever really want to do something, just go for it! Even if it turns out to be a mistake, at least you did it, right? After all, hair will grow back 🙂

L

P.S. Want to follow me on social media? Check out my Instagram and Twitter!