Holiday Party Hair {Side Fishtail}

holiday party hairLooking out my window, all I see is snow. It is hard to believe winter hasn’t made it’s official appearance yet. The cold hasn’t been kind to me, especially my poor hair. The single digit temperatures and constant indoor heat, have left me with a dry, frizzy mess. More often then not, I find myself resorting to a dollop of smoothing serum and a quick ponytail. Unfortunately, as we move into the next month, a pony just isn’t going to cut it anymore. December is a busy month for a musician, and I have six concerts booked already.  ‘Tis the season for holiday celebrations, so I imagine all of us have a lot going on in the coming month.

I needed to find an easy party-worthy hairstyle that I could pull off quick. So last weekend, I played around with some different looks and, after a few failed attempts, came up with this side fishtail. It’s perfect for me – quick, easy and helps camouflage the bad hair days that seem to be happening more and more often.

Side Fishtail – Holiday Party Hair Tutorial

Here is a simple and quick tutorial for holiday party hair that will get you out of your bathroom and on to the party in no time. Enjoy!

  • Part your hair on the side.
  • Working from the side opposite the part, separate a section from the crown to just above the ear (the “bangs” section).
  • French braid this section until the braid reaches just below the ear.
  • Twisting inward, gather all hair into a side pony (including the braid) and secure loosely with a hair band just just below the earlobe.
  • Separate the hair in the pony into two sections.
  • Pass strands from one section to the other, creating a fishtail braid.
  • Slid the hair band to the bottom of the braid and secure tightly.
  • For a party ready look, wrap a ribbon around the hair band.
  • Finish with hair spray.

FishtailCollage

Eggnog Latte Recipe

easy eggnog latte recipe - no espresso machine neededA few days ago I posted my beloved recipe for homemade pumpkin maple lattes. It was such a success, I thought I might share another of my favorite holiday coffee recipes.

The rich, sweet taste of eggnog is one of those things that I look forward to all year. The flavor is so unique, and the fact that it’s only available for a few months makes it all the more precious. I truly love eggnog, but sometimes drinking it straight can be a little overwhelming. Adding it to a latte is possibly the perfect solution. The creaminess and concentrated flavor blends beautifully with the coffee resulting in a festive, and not too sweet, holiday treat.

No Espresso Machine Needed

While I would love to have an espresso machine, being the wife of a grad student rules that out for the time being. So I improvise, and you know what? It’s actually really easy to make lattes sans espresso maker. All you need is some extra strong coffee and a blender (either immersion or standard), and you are ready to let out that inner barista!

Go ahead and give this easy eggnog latte recipe a try. I would love to know what you think!

EggnogCollage

Eggnog Latte Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup eggnog
  • extra strong coffee
  • Optional Topping- sprinkle of Nutmeg and whipped cream

Directions

  1. Brew coffee. For lattes, I double the amount of beans.
  2. While the coffee is being made, pour the milk and eggnog into a small saucepan and cook until warm (not boiling). Stir occasionally.
  3. When the eggnog mixture is warm, use an immersion blender or standard blender to beat it until frothy.
  4. Fill a mug 1/4 full of coffee and then top it off with the eggnog/milk mixture.
  5. Add a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle of nutmeg if desired.

SaturDate at Walgreens with Colgate Enamel Health

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Colgate. I received a product sample for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

I’m pretty sure my teeth are cursed. Ever since I was a teen, it’s been a struggle to maintain my oral health. My dental journey began in the 9th grade with a trip to the orthodontist to correct the little gap between my front two teeth à la Sponge Bob. No big deal, right? Not really. Two oral surgeries and four years later the braces came off and my teeth looked perfect.  Unfortunately, a visit to the dentist that next week revealed that they were definitely not perfect. I had cavities, several of them. Now it seems I can’t make it through a single dental visit without needing at least one filling.

Since I am a huge baby when it comes to anything involving a drill and my mouth, I try my best to keep my teeth as clean and protected as possible. So when I was offered the chance to try the new Colgate Enamel Health line of toothpaste, which promises to smooth and protect my enamel, I was happy to oblige. They even have a whitening formula, so now my teeth can be pretty and healthy.

Colgate Enamel HealthThe enamel on your teeth is designed to keep out the germs and plaque which lead to decay. Unfortunately, the things we eat and drink everyday can lead to a slow erosion of this protective barrier. And once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. So protecting this line of defense is extremely important. Colgate Enamel Health works to smooth and protect enamel in two ways; by replenishing rough spots with natural calcium and by polishing the enamel smooth so germs are less likely to stick to teeth.

Walgreens SaturDate Event

On November 15, 2014, Walgreens will host a SaturDate event featuring the new Colgate Enamel Health Toothpaste. During the event, complimentary samples will be available, and the Walgreens beauty advisors will be there to answer any questions you may have about this new product. As a bit of a beauty junkie and avid Walgreens beauty aisle shopper, I have been to several SaturDate events. They are fun and you can find some great deals,  so I will definitely be making an appearance on the 15th. Hope to see you there!

Learn more about the Saturdate® events.

Christmas Gifts for Her: Anjolee Jewelry

Compensation was provided for this post.

chirstmas gifts for her

Two of my most precious possessions are the necklace and bracelet passed on to me from my grandmothers. Both hold special memories. One, a pearl necklace, was given to me for my wedding day. The gorgeous creamy pearls with diamond clasp are simple yet incredibly elegant and remind me so much of my grandma who loved them first. The second piece is a multi-stone silver bracelet, whose fun earthy style represents my other grandma so well. Now that I have a daughter of my own, I look forward to passing down my jewelry to her throughout the years.

Jewelry is a gift with longevity, and this is one reason why it is my favorite thing to give as well as receive. A well made ring or bracelet is beautiful now, of course, but it also continues to share its beauty with generations to come. Whether new or well loved, a special piece of jewelry is the perfect gift especially during Christmas, a time that places so much emphasis on the family. Anjolee Jewelry has a large selection of customizable diamond and gemstone jewelry, so you can give a gift that truly represents your loved one.

This year, a gold bracelet has made the top spot on my Christmas wish list. So, I was excited to find some gorgeous gold and diamond bracelet designs at Anjolee and LOVE the Curved Diamond Journey Bangle. You can see the picture below – the design is so simple and graceful. Actually, I found a lot of things I loved, much to my husband’s dismay I’m sure. Scroll down to see my favorites…

Anjolee JewelryAnjolee Gift Guide Necklaces

Compensation was provided for this post.

Maple Pumpkin Latte

pumpkin1

My husband teases me about my pumpkin fanaticism. From cookies and pies to candles and body lotions, I adore all things pumpkin. So years ago, when Starbucks introduced their Pumpkin Spice Latte, I was totally in love. Yet, even as this uber latte became more and more popular, I began to have my doubts. Eventually, I just couldn’t stomach spending that much on coffee. Plus, do you know how much sugar is in those things? Yikes! So I took to the kitchen and came up with my own cheaper, healthier, and in my opinion, tastier version. I absolutely love the addition of maple – it pairs so beautifully with the creamy pumpkin. It’s not as sweet as the coffee shop variety, but the flavors are simply delicious. Give it a try and let me know which version you prefer!
maple pumpkin latte

Maple Pumpkin Latte Recipe

Ingredients (enough for 2 generously sized mugs)

  • 2 tbs pumpkin puree
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • 2 cups milk
  • strongly brewed coffee
  • cinnamon and nutmeg for garnish

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the pumpkin until warm.
  2. Mix in the maple syrup and stir until bubbles begin to form.
  3. Add the milk and vanilla. Stirring occasionally, heat until warm but not boiling.
  4. Using either an immersion blender or standard blender, blend the mixture until frothy.
  5. Fill two mugs a quarter full with strongly brewed coffee.
  6. Pour the milk mixture over coffee and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg.