Theory of Beauty 

 “I have this theory, that if we’re told we’re bad; then that’s the only idea we’ll ever have. Maybe if we are surrounded in beauty, one day we will become what we see.” Jewel “I’m Sensitive”

Throughout high school, college, and a few years after, I was obsessed with Jewel. I still kind of am, but I often forget she exists. Then I remember, and I go on Jewel listening binges. 

I love the lyrics to most of her songs, but “I’m Sensitive” has always stood out to me. Maybe because I am much more sensitive and easily wounded than I try to let on, but I also just love this idea of surrounding yourself with beauty. Let’s take that a step further- I want to help create that beauty for other people. 

How can I do that? Well… I could probably start with my attitude. I’m still working on that whole pessimism thing. And, let’s be honest, I should work on not being a bitch half the time! 

I think that seeing beauty in life is often just taking the time to slow down and appreciate. I feel life is beautiful when I spend time with those I love, go on a long walk, or go try something new. 

Does anyone have any suggestions? 

Jillian

How To Make Fancy Hair Ties and Headbands

  

I’m guessing that if you have longish hair, you may have heard of this crazy phenomenon. Normally, elastic hair ties come in bags of approximately eight million (okay, 30ish) for maybe $3.99 at most. Sure, it sucks because you eventually lose all the good colors and in the end are stuck with only some kind of hideous day glow orange and maybe a few almost broken random greens, but certainly nothing you want to use at work. Still, you’re only out four bucks to go buy new ones, so no harm no foul. Several years ago some teenagers girls started selling fold over elastic hair ties, which will run you about $2 EACH. For one. I’m not one to hate on an entrepreneurial spirit, especially from a woman, but come on. The price gap here is just absurd. 

I did the obvious thing. 

I bought two packages. 

Isn’t that what any self respecting woman would do? Spend $12 on nine hair ties (see, I got a DEAL)? 

The thing is, the marketing got to me. They promise to not leave a pony tail bump or pull out your hair, and they’re soooooo pretty. I ended up loving the thin ones I got, but the thick ones are absurd for my fine hair and I use them for things like holding together markers. I am addicted and I wanted more, but I knew this was absurd and I wasn’t buying them. There are so many guides for this online, but here is my quick version anyway. 

Step 1: decide if you have thin or thick hair. I’m positive you already know this. Most people seem to use the 5/8″ fold over elastic, but that doesn’t work for my hair at all. I get the 3/8″. I’ve also given these as gifts to many people, and they seem to work pretty well for them, too. 

Step 2: buy fold over elastic. You can buy it at a craft store like Joann’s, but I haven’t had luck finding the 3/8″- or anything not in a kiddie pattern. I buy mine on Etsy wherever I can find the best deal. Five yards will make about 20 hair ties. 

Step 3: cut the elastic. The great thing about making them yourself is you can make them exactly the size you want, but standard is nine inches for a hair tie and 18 inches for a headband (use these at the gym, they don’t slip too much and keep bangs out of your face!). Don’t pull the elastic when you’re measuring, just lay it flat. 

Step 4: tie a simple knot at the end, then pull it until it’s tight. You can either stop here or finish the ends. 

Step 5: I like to cut the ends at a slant so they look cuter, and touch them to a flame (carefully, with a lighter) so that they don’t unravel. People will tell you they don’t unravel anyway, but I am OCD and I respectfully disagree. 

Bam, you’re done! I paid $8.95 including shipping for 20 yards of fold over elastic. I had four different colors of five yards each, and made 14 hair ties and three headbands with each color. So, I spent $.11 per hair tie and $.22 per headband! 

These would make a great stocking stuffer or birthday gift. Everyone I give them to loves them (or is too nice to tell me differently), and it’s fun to give something useful and handmade. You can put them in a cute tiny pouch, or cut a small piece of cardboard and wrap it in wrapping paper, then put the hair ties around it.

Have fun! Let me know if you try it!

💛 Jillian

What Makes You Feel Beautiful? 

Jenny Feldon

A while ago, I read a book called “Karma Gone Bad” by Jenny Feldon. I thought it would be a fluffy, summer read kind of thing, but it was so much more. Jenny’s writing style reminds me of Cheryl Strayed and her book, “Wild”. She is brutally honest, and let you see her heart and soul. I love honest writing, writing that makes a difference to me long after the book is finished.

The book is about when Jenny and her husband move to India temporarily for his work, and everything that means. The struggle to adjust to the culture, experiencing so many new things, how it affects their relationship; it’s fascinating. It made me think about marriage and how I live my life in a different way. I think it’s really important to constantly examine your life, and this pushed me to do that.

There was one passage in particular that truly struck me (the passage is above). I took a picture before I even had a blog, because it meant that much to me. I liked to go back to it and re-read it. Here is the passage for anyone who can’t see the picture:

“Yeah, sure.” I blushed under his gaze. “Thanks.”

Jay never told me I was beautiful. I’d been wounded by the absent compliment more than once, frustrated that he seemed indifferent to my appearance no matter how much effort I put in. Don’t you think I’m pretty? I’d ask. Of course I do. I married you, didn’t I? he’d answer, as though that were good enough.

I wanted him to think I was beautiful, or at least tell me so, even when I wasn’t. Because I wasn’t, always, but I longed for him to see me that way. My desire for his acceptance and approval hadn’t disappeared the day he put a ring on my finger. Sometimes I’d stand in front of the mirror, staring at myself, trying to see what he saw, wondering what flaw rendered me so ordinary to the person who was supposed to love me most.

But mostly, I let it go. There were other people who filled that void. Whose compliments lifted me up and made me whole. My parents, my girlfriends, my co-workers and classmates. Years before the cultural phenomenon of the Facebook “like,” we traded support like currency, banking a gorgeous here and a brilliant there, knowing that when we needed it, a whole slew of love-isms would come back to us in spades.

-excerpt from “Karma Gone Bad” by Jenny Feldon

Jenny’s words resonated with me, deep down. I had struggled to explain to my husband how I needed positive reinforcement. It always ended up coming out like I was begging for compliments. Compliments that felt awkward to him, and often undeserved to me. When it comes down to it, it was the way I wanted him to see me. Not as I always am in the moment, but as I am as a whole person. The person that should matter most.

This is a danger in relationships, I think. When you have something that you really need, really want to express, but don’t know how. Then you have to find a therapist, book, friend, pet… Et cetera to help you find it.

The plot of my obsession over this thickens. One day I thought, I should blog about that! So I took a chance and I contacted Jenny to see if it would be okay to use the passage. I told her how much I loved it and waited… Not really thinking she would get back to me. THEN SHE DID!! Oh my gosh, I was totally star struck 🙂 Part of her email is below. She was so nice, and I was happy that I let her know I loved her book. How cool is this?!

Jillian,
… THANK YOU for reading and for your incredibly kind and thoughtful words about the passage. It means the world to me that my words resonated with you, and especially the words in that passage, as it was both one of hardest to write, and the most meaningful to me in the entire book… Of course you can quote or photograph the excerpt… Thank you so very much for reading the book and for taking the time to write this email. It touched me deeply and I’m grateful.

All my best,

Jenny

I feel so honored that she wrote me back. It’s wonderful that I was able to touch her! It was a little hard for me to reach out to her (but not as much as it would have been in the past). I was worried she would think I was crazy, and definitely thought she wouldn’t have time to answer. I’m so glad that I was brave, because I feel so much more confident now.

I know that I deserve someone who gets me, but I truly think it is more about me. Getting myself, loving myself, and knowing how to express what I need. That is how I can feel beautiful 🙂

Tell me what you think- and if you have any reading recommendations for me?

Jillian

Five Guilty Pleasures That Cheer Me Up

bear nailsSometimes life is exhausting, and this has just been one of those weeks. It’s time to put some effort into becoming myself again; instead of a crazy, stressed out version of myself. Here’s what I want to do this weekend:

1. I adore this manicure by polishpedia.com. Probably because I’m such a girly girl and love pink and bears. I’m not going to apologize. I will say, I’ve done it before, and pink is actually not a great color. If you’re not a super genius artist, the bear will end up looking like a pig. Also, I didn’t actually watch her video, so maybe that’s part of the problem. But I think I’m going to do it with white and gray.

2. A good work out on my rower while I watch Scandal. I still haven’t seen it!! No one can ruin it for me! Please?! This will give me about 50 minutes of cardio, which should definitely give me happy vibes.

3. A long walk in the park with the Shibas.

4. Undoubtedly, an afternoon nap. I just can’t even tell you how much I want this.

5. This is probably not a guilty pleasure, but I’m going to eat a salad and a green smoothie. I need veggies and vitamins, and I know they will perk me up.

Any other awesome ideas? Tomorrow I get to hang out with my darling M ❤ , and girl time is the ultimate pick me up!

Jillian

Sephora and My Free Nars Gift Review

Nars birthday giftA friend and I went to the mall (not a common occurrence, despite what my blog suggests), and I couldn’t resist Sephora. I need some new basics, and got the Anastasia brow powder duo (I absolutely cannot leave the house without brow powder) and some Sephora mascara. At the register, I got my free birthday gift that I had totally forgotten about!

For anyone that doesn’t know, if you get the free Sephora card, you get a deluxe sample on your birthday, and it’s always something awesome. You also get random samples based on points, which happens pretty often since everything at Sephora is a trillion dollars. Anyway. I was super excited about my gift. It is a two pack of Nars lip pencils. It came with a deep red- Cruella velvet matte lip pencil, and a mauve of sorts- Rikugien satin lip pencil. I tried them on and have cheesy pictures for y’all to see 🙂

The velvet matte felt like a dry lipstick. If I am ever brave enough to wear this in public, which is unlikely to happen, I will put gloss over it. The satin lip was super moisturizing and felt soft and smooth. As for color, I think they both worked, but let me know what you think. My bare lips are first, then Rikugien (in my opinion, so similar to my natural color it’s not worth wearing), then Cruella (cute but OMG not my style and made me feel I needed to put on more makeup).

bare lipsRikugien lipscruella lipsI would never have bought this, but I think it is super fun to play with. The lip pencil is easier to apply than regular lip stick, which was helpful for the bold red.

Jillian

How I Get the Easiest Curls Ever. While Sleeping.

how to gridI know I’ve mentioned before that I hate doing my hair. I want to have it both ways. I want to do nothing, and still have the cutest hair ever. It turns out it doesn’t really work that way, but I still try.

This is my story of how I accidentally figured out how to get curls in my super straight, thin hair by doing almost nothing.

Step 1: shower, comb out wet hair with a wide tooth comb. I have bangs, so I pulled those out to be blow dried.

Step 2: spray hair with some sort of texturizing spray (I use Sea Spray by Lush) and part down the middle.

productsStep 3: put in buns. I use a small ponytail holder (my hair is super thin, I’m not kidding) and pull my ponytail through halfway, then halfway again (pictures 2 & 3). Just make two sloppy buns.

Step 4: dry bangs if you have them. Go to sleep. If you have thick hair, you might need to either let your hair dry a little before putting it up, or dry it when you take it out of the buns in the morning. When I get up, I just take the hairbands out and fluff out the curls. I add the Bumble and Bumble pret-a-powder for volume in my bangs and top of my head, then scrunch the curls with more Sea Spray. Done!

 

 

curls!I’m not trying to claim this is the cutest hair in the world, but after a life of flat hair, I like having texture. I also like that I don’t have to dry my hair before bed.

Finished product!

Let me know if you try this, or have other easy hair tips for me.

Jillian