Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Festival Hair Week: Basic Boho Braids + a Noonday Giveaway

Howdy:) Day two of my festival hair week is actually covering two things that I've been getting requests for a lot lately - basic braids that look age appropriate and not like you're trying to be a kid.haha and also braids that you can wear fun hats with! These particular braids have a more rustic finished look, but the method is the same and I'm excited to finally be putting out a little tutorial for you guys:)
Because my hair is so long, it can often look a little silly spilling out everywhere from under a hat, so more often than not I put my hair into two braids like these when I wear them. 
One last thing before starting, remember that keeping them loose while you braid will help them not look so 'american indian', and never starting the braiding higher than your shoulders is what keeps them looking mature and a little more sophisticated. Okay lets get going!


- two hair-ties or elastics
- hairspray - optional
- dry shampoo - optional

Notes: If you already have texture in your hair then leave out the dry shampoo otherwise spray a bit on for some grip. If you have silky or fine hair(like me!) then you'll want to include some hairspray to help the braids hold in place longer:)
Steps 1-3: (1) Start by separating your hair in half with a straight part down the middle, and if you need extra grip and texture work in some dry shampoo with your fingers. (2) Pick a side to start, separate your hair into three sections, and begin your braid (3) by first pulling your front-most section to the back. This will keep it from pulling towards the front more than you want it too. 
Steps 4-6: Make sure as you begin your braiding that you don't start around your ear level, but rather closer to your shoulder. this difference makes the difference between adult lady braids and 12 year old braids.haha Once you've braided your desired length, tie it off, (4) and tug the edges of the braid to loosen, as well as around your scalp. Repeat on the other side, only this time (5) I like to work in a few random braids here and there for some asymmetry. Tie the second one off, (6) loosen the hair around your scalp a bit, and you're all finished! 
Steps 7-9: (7) After tugging out from my scalp (8) I added a few feathers to each braid (for that extra bohemian touch) by tucking the pointy end upwards into the end of the braid, and (9) wrapped the ends with some leather cording to finish it all off. and you're all done!
Just your basic run-of-the-mill braids, but it's still great to get the tutorial checked off the list! I hope that you've learned a little something new or at least are inspired to do somethin fun with your hair today!
One last exciting thing before I finish up: Noonday Collectionthe inspiring company that sells the necklace I'm wearing here, has graciously offered to give one away to you guys! I really love the mission behind Noonday Collection and each beautifully handmade piece that they sell. This necklace for instance is called the 'Modern Angles Necklace' and it was handmade by artisans in Ethiopia from up-cycled metal and artillery. "These remnants of former weapons of conflict are new beautiful pieces of redemption. The women who make these pieces are HIV positive and they are proud to say they are no longer defined by their disease. If you want a deeper glimpse into the Noonday Collection artisans, here is a link to our Website." I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to work with Noonday Collection, I love knowing that my necklace has a history and so much meaning, and I'm so excited one of you will win one for yourselves, so lets get to it!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks again for coming by for a visit today, and if I don't see you back here for the rest of the tutorials this week, I hope you have a great rest of your week ahead!
xo, Emily

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Must Ask mama - Round 3

'Must ask mama' is a fun way for ladies to get answers to their questions from multiply mothers all in one place, and this month I was asked to be a part of it! There are questions about style, babies, family, motherhood etc, and we ladies do our best to give helpful and concise answers:) Sound like fun? Oh one last thing before we get started -- make sure to send over your questions to Lynzy at sparklingfootsteps (at) gmail (dot) com ASAP to get them answered next month! Here we go:
QUESTION ONE: "We started my son off in an infant seat then we transitioned him to a convertible car seat after he turned one. We kept him rear facing until only after he turned two (as recommended by AAP). While the convertible car seat is is still great for two year olds we were looking for an additional seat and came across the high back booster. Most of the manufacturers guidelines for the high back boosters say they are ok for two year olds (and 30 to 70 (or sometimes 90) pounds). My son falls well within this range but I am still skeptical about high back boosters for a two year old. He has weight on him but the high back boosters are so much less bulky than the convertible seats- I feel like there might not be enough protection in the event of a crash. There are a few high back boosters that come with a five point harness rather than just the belt positioning seats but I just feel like it might not be "enough" What would you do?"

Monday, April 21, 2014

Festival Hair Week: Easy Headscarf Roll

Hi loves! I'm in such a great mood today because I'm starting a new mini series/hair tutorial week here on the blog, and I haven't done one of these in way too long! This week is inspired by music festivals (in case you couldn't tell:)) mainly because the festivals are kicking off in full swing, because I've been getting lots of requests for these type of tutorials, because I've been in a big bohemian/hippie hair type of mood lately, and because they're relaxed and easy and perfect for this time of year! Here's the first tutorial to kick off the week:
Okay I am not even kidding you when I say this style took me about 2 minutes tops. I know you've seen a lot of different types of the hair roll/gibson tuck tutorials on here because I love them so much, but I was thinking for a while how I could make the look even easier, and this is the end result! It can be sleek and tidy or textured and messy depending on what you're going for, it doesn't require Any teasing what-so-ever, and there's not a single bobby pin in there! Seriously this takes the cake for speed, anyone can do it if your hair goes past your shoulders and even if it touches the floor.haha I just can't wait for you to give it a try and tell me what you think! 

- 1 bandanna or small headscarf
- 1 hair-tie
Yes that's it!
- small elastic to secure rolled scarf
- dry shampoo
- a teasing comb
- hairspray
Steps 1-3: Start off with 'old' hair (or spray on some dry shampoo to add some texture and grip), and tease your crown a bit for some added lift if you wish. (1) Pull all your hair directly back away from your head and tie a hair-tie securely a couple inches from the end. (2) Roll up your bandanna or headscarf tightly, and put a little elastic around the middle if you're just beginning, this will keep it from unrolling on you. (3) Tuck the hair-tie over the bandanna once... 

Steps 4-6: ...and begin rolling towards your head, (4) not worrying too much about how loose the sides look, because you'll take care of those in a minute! (5) Once you reach the base of your neck with your roll of hair, tie the bandanna off-centered, and (6) use your fingers to comb the hair on the sides over the bandanna and tuck inside. 

Steps 7-9: (7) Do this all the way around, and use a two way mirror if needed to see the back. At this point you can leave it looking tidy and sleek, (8) or you can start tugging your hair out a bit at your crown, from the roll itself, (9) at your temples, along your hair line, etc for a more relaxed and effortless look. Give it a little spritz of hairspray if you'd like, and you're all good to go!

Something I wanna mention if you're new to my tutorials:) I figure that too many pictures and instructions is better than not enough, and so I always go into depth in my tutorials so that the reader will have as much success as possible the first time, so please don't be daunted by long text or lots of pictures!

I hope you give it a try and that you love it as much as I do! Remember to always come back here to comment if you have a question, or I'm always on Instagram too if you need help or advice. I'm So so excited about this hair tutorial week on the blog, and I hope to see you back here tomorrow for the next style!
xo, Emily

P.S. click here to read a bit about the 'new look' of my tutorials and also to see the tutorial that sort of kicked off the bohemian series!

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Best Birthday Present

Happy Easter! I hope you're all having a warm day in one form or another. We've been able to spend it with some close family having good conversation, eating treats, hunting for eggs, the usual drill:) One thing that was different about this Easter, is that this year it falls on Martin and Sophie's birthday! So Naturally I pulled them aside on our way to be with family and snapped a few photos of them together, and aren't they just cute:
Today Sophie turns 3 and Martin 33, neat huh? My sister Whitney was born on my dad's birthday and they've always had a special relationship, a lot like how I share a birthday with my grandpa. Whenever we were together for our birthday before he passed, we always blew out the candles together and it was always more special because of that:) 
Sophie was our first home birth, and when I went into labor with her on Sunday the 17th Martin made some comments in mock disappointment about me not waiting until his birthday, and sure enough the contractions kept coming and coming for days! It was so exhausting.haha Finally on Tuesday night we called the midwife, and she was born around 12:30am on Wednesday morning, the 20th:) Martin got his birthday wish, and not really anything else that year, poor guy.haha But he said then that I'd always have trouble topping a baby as a birthday present, and he was right! Everything else seems to pale in comparison since then, imagine that:)
What She Wore // hat - gift (similar, similar) // dress - tj-maxx (similar) // sandals - target (old) (similar, similar)// 
Happy birthday to the most patient man in the whole world. I'm so proud of you and everything you do for our family. You always put yourself last, and I hope you know how proud of you I am and how I love you more every day. I want to be with you all the time, and I hope you never get tired of my clingyness because it's getting worse with age:) Love you always honey bunches
 You're 3 Sophie! We're so proud of you and how big you're getting. You are such a sweet and tender girl Soph and always have been. You're also the mildest out of all your siblings but don't tell your siblings I said that:) I hope you can be patient with me as I'm constantly working on being a better mommy and you oldest girls are the guinea pigs.haha 3 is going to be a great year for you baby girl. We love you so much.
What He Wore // aviators - tj-maxx // shirt - raw uncut // watch - croiten // shorts - split // messenger bag - targus brand // shoes - chaps
Do you share a birthday with a friend or family member? If so is there a special relationship between the two of you or not really?? Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I hope you have an excellent rest of your day!
xo, Emily 

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Martin's Simple Fajitas + A CW by Corningware Giveaway

Hey loves! Today I wanted to share this easy recipe for these simple and awesome fajitas that Martin's been making for ages and that he got me hooked on after we were married. They come together in like 10-15 minutes, they're really quite healthy (if you don't pile on the sour cream:)) and they're so so delicious!
The sharing of this recipe was mainly inspired by the vibrant and fun colors in the new CW line from Corningware, which I was very excited about receiving for review before the official launch of the line. I grew up eating out of Corningware Bakeware and I have so many memories of delicious meals attached to that name. Since I've started my own family I've loved searching around thrift stores (as I'm sure many of you do as well) for the vintage Corningware dishes to add to my own collection because they're so durable and strong, they easily go from oven to table because of how cute they are:), they nestle easily for storage, they're dishwasher safe, etc and this new line is no different! Except for the bright colors of course, which give them a very modern and fresh feel. Enough about that for now though, lets get to the recipe!

Simple Fajitas
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 lb boneless beef chuck steak (other favorite cut optional)
5 Tablespoons white distilled vinegar
1 large white onion rough chopped
2 cups rough chopped bell peppers
1 can (4 oz) tomato sauce
1 Tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons garlic
1 Tablespoon oregano
2 teaspoon cayenne
black pepper
white pepper

Cut steak into 1 inch strips against the grain making them roughly 3 inches long, and toss in a bowl with 5 Tablespoons of white vinegar. Set aside to marinate. Saute half of of your chopped onion on medium-high heat with 3 Tablespoons of olive oil. Once the onions are browned and caramelized, drain and discard the vinegar and add the meat to the pan. 
Season your meat with 1 Tablespoon paprika and 2 teaspoons of garlic, some salt, black pepper, and white pepper. Brown meat on one side and then flip to brown on other side. Add half of the rough chopped bell peppers approximately 1 cup. Once meat is browned on both sides and cooked through add remaining onion and bell pepper tomato sauce and seasonings. Add final salt and black pepper to taste.
Serve with toasted tortillas. Additional options to deck out your fajitas include: avocado, mozzarella cheese, lettuce, sour cream, fresh lime juice, hot sauce or any of your personal favorites.

And now for the giveaway! One winner will receive two pieces from the new CW by Corningware bakeware line, and all you have to do to qualify is leave a blog post comment telling me/us what you'd like to make in your new dishes, or even have someone else make for you.haha something like that:) Here's the raffle thingie:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks so much for visiting today, and good luck with the giveaway!
xo, Emily
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Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Finds #90

This week I found...
 1  // this asymmetrical nude blouse with leather around the neck. Love this color so much right now! 
 2  // these linen cloth napkins in light grey. napkin perfection:) my fabric of choice right now is linen
 3  // this recipe for chai banana cake with some whipped cream on top. looks so tasty! 
 4  // this pillow from modcloth with the constellations all together, I'd love this for John's room 
 5  // this luminizer from rms beauty that has the perfect pearly sheen. love it
 6  //  I love this woven chain necklace with graduated chain. the turquoise color is spot on too. 
 7  // this beautiful geometric vase made of concrete. I'll take about 6 of them for the kitchen
 8  // this amazing looking recipe for roasted asparagus with hollandaise. one of my favorite combos!
 9  // the jane austen handbook needs to be on my etiquette shelf in the library
 10  // these  comfy looking salt water sandals by hoy shoes. I'll take one in every color please? :)
 11  // this set of natural agate coasters are perfect, especially with the gold-toned edges. need them 

We've been Spring cleaning a lot over here and I've had days this past week of feeling so overwhelmed that I just have to load the kids up and go for a drive to get my mind off of all the goals and things. What are some ways that you keep your imagination under control? haha Please share!Take care my friend:)
xo, Em
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