Monday, January 30, 2017

Tips for Growing Long Healthy Hair


Growing out my fine hair has seemed like a never-ending process. I cut my hair to my collarbone in 2010 and I'm finally to the point where I'm maintaining my length because it's what's best for my hair type. If my hair gets any longer I lose volume and it's won't keep any style! I was not blessed with thick hair, but I do have really manageable and silky hair. I think it's important to accept the hair you have and work with a style and cut that suits it! If you're in the process of growing out your hair, here are my tips to avoid split ends to have healthy, long hair! 

Lower the heat 

This year I decided to use a little less heat on my hair, starting with saving my curling iron for the weekend. I'm sure it depends on your work environment, but I can easily start incorporating more ponytails and buns into my work week to save some heat time on my hair. I've been loving these to prevent creases in my hair, but they're definitely not "invisible" like the name implies. Along with turning down the temp of your curling iron, you can also turn down the heat in the shower when rinsing out your hair. The heat protectant I've been using lately is this one, but I've been using the original version for years! I've also added in this product  to my ends when they're dry and I was shocked that my thin hair didn't look greasy after applying. I've tried to use argon/ moroccan/ jojoba oil in my ends and they're all way too greasy for my hair type. 

Use a deep conditioning mask

But choose wisely. Using a very heavy product with fine hair may cause your hair to be flat and greasy. I've been using the  It's a 10 Miracle Hair Mask and it doesn't weight my hair down. I apply it evenly throughout my hair and after letting it soak in about 5 minutes I take a little pump of their volumizing shampoo and run it through my roots to remove excess conditioner. Afterward, I use a mousse on my roots to give it a little more grit to style. My hair is super silky on it's own, so using too many softening products on it won't give me any style no matter the heat.

Amp up your diet

Having a diet filled with protein,  healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals will help feed your body from the inside out. I've been wanting to read this book to learn a little more about a beauty diet, have you read it? It doesn't hurt to take a multivitamin either. Even though you're eating a nutritious diet, it's hard to get all the micronutrients you need unless you seriously vary up your diet/ nutrients daily. Some people also swear my taking biotin, but I find if I take a huge dose of it I break out. 

Get a regular trim

Some people swear off getting their hair cut when trying to grow their hair long. It seems counterintuitive, doesn't it? However, I think this highly depends on your hair type. If you have fine hair like I do... please get it trimmed. I'd much rather grow it out on a slower but healthier basis.  In the long run, you'll be glad to have long hair that isn't stringy and dead on the end. I would ask my stylist to "micro trim" my ends every 5-6 weeks, but the time depends on your hair. I know I need a haircut when my curls start falling out more than normal. Also, I would save this for the professionals or at least professional hair clippers! Using kitchen or dull scissors to clip out split ends can actually lead to more split ends. I'm SO guilty of this in the past 🙅

Choose your brush wisely 

Always use your fingers or a wide tooth comb when your hair is wet. This is when your hair is the most susceptible to damage, so treat it with care! I like to rough dry my hair with my fingers until it's about 85-90% dry, then I take my round brush to finish the style. For regular brushing, a cushioned paddle brush with flexible bristles will be more gentle on your hair than a plastic bristle brush (I use this one!). Always start from the bottom and work your way up! 

Use a Microfiber towel to dry

I swear by these Turbie Twist microfiber towels for after the shower. They're gentle on your hair and help to absorb water which will help decreases your blow dry time and therefore decreases the amount of heat damage on your hair! It's also way more comfortable to wear. Simply squeeze out the excess water (don't rub it around in a towel!) before applying. 

Protect your hair while you sleep

I wrap my hair into a bun with a scrunchie (yep, bringing those back!) to help maintain my curls if I've styled them and to help prevent breakage while I sleep. You can also braid your hair] but my hair is too thin and I'm left with a 90's crimp hairstyle the next morning. I also purchased a silk pillow case a few year ago to decrease the friction on my hair while I sleep. 

Disclaimer: I was gifted the Miracle Hair Mask, Miracle Leave In Lite, and Miracle Oil plus Keratin to try but not in exchange for this post. I have been a fan of the miracle leave in conditioner since college and was excited to give more of their products a try! Our partnership in no way affects my opinion about these products. If you have any questions about affiliate links and gifted products, read more here. xo

Did I miss any of your tips for long healthy hair? Leave me your tips in the comments below!

xo Amanda John


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

My Hawaiian Bridal Shower

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My bridesmaid Brittany who's beautiful house hosted the shower. We've known each other since 2nd grade! 
Mom and I 
Tim's Mom and three sisters xo
My MOH and friend Jordan who I played softball with in college
Better late than never to share the deets from my bridal shower, huh?!

My Hawaiian themed bridal shower back in August was hosted by three of my bridesmaids, and they did such a fabulous job! This was the first official pre-wedding celebration because Tim and I opted out of an engagement party, so it I remember it all setting in on the ride there.

The theme was simple, it was summer and we were honeymooning in Hawaii. But not all showers require a theme, so if you're stuck then just let the bride be the theme of the day! Photo booths are such a fun decor idea because you know there are going to be a lot of pictures taken, why not set up the backdrop up for social sharing success? My friends and I had so much fun posing with these cute props.  I'm not sure on all the decor details, but I think they purchased most of it from Etsy and Party City. I linked what I could find! 

I do have to say the Macaroons were to die for. Tim's sister Leanna found my new favorite little French cafe in downtown Marietta. The pineapple donut holes were also a cute extra dessert touch that I haven't seen before. Also, doesn't that cake deserve a shoutout!? It was oreo filling, yum! Your shower isn't the time to deprive yourself if you're been focusing on your weight for your wedding. Let it be your cheat day and enjoy it with all who is there to celebrate!

In case you missed my Hawaii honeymoon posts, you can read them here (Kauai / Maui

xo Amanda John

Monday, January 23, 2017

How to wear a blanket scarf like a poncho

This season I think we've seen a revamp in the traditional blanket scarf. I haven't seen the big triangle looped scarves as much this season, but I have seen a lot more being worn like a poncho, so I thought I would give it a try.

The verdict?

Obsessed! And, it's super simple.

How to style a scarf like a poncho:

Fold your scarf in half, creating a triangle

Grab the two ends and drape them over your shoulder, leaving the triangle draped in the back

You can also fold the scarf in half, creating a rectangle and wrap yourself up in it, but I think folding it into a triangle creates more of a poncho look and stays a little better on your shoulders. 

I love how this simple step completely changed up my plain gray piko top. I always buy these on sale at local boutiques because they're so comfy and I like how they're long enough to cover the booty with leggings but also drape nicely when I want to tuck the front into jeans.
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On Friday, Tim and my family went out to the Avalon to finally celebrate my birthday after the snow and sickness delayed it a few weekends. We had dinner at El Felix, then shopped at Lululemon and the Banana Republic sale. I found a lot of great pieces I can't wait to style for the blog soon! I don't even want to count up how many ruffle detailed tops I bought in the last week 🙈.  

On Saturday, we were expecting it to rain all day, but in the afternoon it cleared up so we went to HomeGoods and the mall to get out. We both ended up at My Fiore Boutique and bought this gray Piko top and blanket scarf on sale for $12. I had to do a little hunting, but I found one exact scarf on Poshmark if you're interested. I've been wearing the heck out of these distressed jeans because they're very comfortable, and we all know if I'm wearing pants it's because they're comfy 😜. They're currently sold out, but I found a similar pair at Nordstrom Rack from the same company. 

It felt like a busy weekend, but it didn't feel very productive! Minus that big Falcon win! Hoping this week I get a little more blog work done. I have a ton of video footage to edit! Would you rather see how I curl my hair or how I do my blog makeup first??

xo Amanda John

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Styling Over the Knee Boots

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I finally jumped on the over the knee (OTK) boot trend after finding these Dolce Vita Owin boots at the Saks Off Fifth outlet after Christmas. I previously had a pair of flat black OTK boots from Coach (I worked there for three years) but I ended up selling them on Poshmark because honestly, I felt like a pirate when I wore them. 😜

So it took me a while to jump back into the trend, but I'm always loving my friends on Instagram posting about them! I especially love them with winter dresses because they cover more of your leg to make it feel more appropriate in the cold weather. I probably didn't wear a dress on this date night because I was too lazy to pop some gradual tan on them, and the world is not ready for these bad boys :) I'm definitely a dress girl for all the comfort reasons but also I just feel more like myself in them. So look for more looks with these boots with dresses in the future!

Everything else I'm wearing is very affordable. My vest is old from Old Navy, but this style can be found at just about any store these days (linking a few options in the widget at the end). My casual top is from Target. I definitely recommend to let it air dry to avoid it shrinking up on you! I've learned the hard way in the past. 

My legging jeans are pretty old from Abercrombie and Fitch, I can't believe they even still fit, haha! Goes to how just how stretchy they are ;) I think it's important to wear tight/skinny/jegging type pants when wearing boots in general. Bunching up just doesn't look as flattering to me!  If you love my watch, you can use code STRAWBERRYCHIC15 for 15% off your purchase at Daniel Wellington (I don't get a kickback or anything :)

styling over the knee boots, affordable over the knee boots

I'm currently finishing this post as I watch last's night's episode of The Bachelor. I'm not going to lie, it's getting hard to watch. I definitely miss the Sean Lowe type Bachelor days...Tim and I decided to save the $50 a month and just get the internet which really hasn't been a huge adjustment after going 4 months without any of it. We use Apple TV to watch things later on, but I wish Bravo and E were both on it! If you don't have cable, what do you do to watch your favorite shows?

Random question, but do you prefer the text at the top like in today's post or bottom like it's always been??

xo Amanda John

Monday, January 16, 2017

Bar Cart 101

I never thought I would buy a bar cart. I rarely have a drink or throw a party for that matter.

So what's the point?

When Tim and I moved into our townhouse we overlooked the typical newbie things and didn't realize how little kitchen storage we had. I mean we have one silverware drawer and a half drawer.

Especially for all those kitchen items on our registry...

I also had been building up a generously sized party collection for our wedding, because I wanted our getting ready photos to be #extracute.

All of this lead me to a big storage problem, and the bar cart was an easy way to solve that!

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My Bar Cart Details:

I saw this cart at Target and it was the most affordable one I came across. I definitely didn't want to drop $200+ on a cart to hold the cocktails I'll probably never make but keep pinning on my Pinterest. It also helped that it was free thanks to a gift card from Delta for losing our luggage on our honeymoon.

Putting all of this on the cart opened up a whole cabinet in our kitchen, so now our Corningware has a home in a cabinet where it belongs. I'm considering adding some marble contact paper to the wood to lighten it up, but for now I kind of like the masculine touch it adds.

You can see I've collected a lot of pineapple type items, all which have been gifts throughout the last year. I have a few bottle stoppers, both gifted from Tim's sweet sister this year. The LOVE bottle opener was a gift from a Swoozies Bridal Showcase, and the leaf bottle opener was a wedding favor a few years back, but I found it here!

The Pineapple platter was from the Lilly Pulitzer + Target collection and it's a funny backstory to how I actually have it today. I wasn't expecting the madness that came along with shopping the collection. I mean I actually don't own anything Lilly. So in the madness that was grabbing everything I saw available, I bought this platter. Did anyone else experience people hoarding things for trade  At the time, I didn't have any need for it, so my mom offered to buy it and gifted it to her friend. I always admired it, so she ended up re-gifting it to me at my bridal shower. So in the end, my mom paid me for it and I ended up getting it back.. haha!

The dotted champagne glasses were a find at Hobby Lobby that I purchased for us girls getting ready on wedding day, along with these best day ever cups from Swoozies.  My tassel is from my bridal shower and you can purchase it off Etsy (link!). The J cheese board was a gift from my cousin. A lot of little decor (rose towel, hooray and cheers stirrers, polka dot straws, marble tray) was found at HomeGoods. They recently have caught on to this bar cart trend and have a row or two of bar related items in my local store. 

Traditional Bart Cart Components:

  • Ice Bucket
  • Glassware - I have both copper mugs and champagne flutes. Customize this to fit your taste! 
  • Wine and bottle opener 
  • Shaker / Tumblr
  • Bar Spoon or stirrer 
  • Pitcher
  • Bottle Stopper 
  • Straws 
  • Mixers + Garnishes 

The Accessories to Make it Your Own:

  • Cute Coasters
  • Personalized napkins - I still have napkins from my bridal shower #treatyoself
  • Coffee table books
  • Candle + matches
  • Add a tray for interest - I found my marble tray at Homegoods
  • Extra kitchen towels
  • Extra serving plates 
  • Fresh flowers 

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Bar Carts Under $200:

Other Functional Uses of the Cart + Style Inspiration 

Just because it's called a "bar" cart, doesn't mean you have to use it as one!

Coffee Cart: I also love the idea of using it as a coffee cart if cocktails aren't your thing or if you're underage in college. I would have been the hostess with the mostest during my studying days if I busted out a coffee cart for my girlfriends! 

Bedside table: For some added interest in your bedroom you can use a cart as your bedside table. 

Bath Cart: If you're limited on storage in your bathroom consider using a small cart to store a few towels on the bottom and some pretty toiletries and bath soaps on the top! 

Dessert Cart: If sweets are more your thing, another way to use your cart is as a dessert cart! Cute for bridal showers, bachelorette parties, birthday parties, and whatever else you have planned.

    If you're not ready to fully commit to a cart, I've also seen some really cute bar tray options. If you've styled your bar cart of know of other ways to use it, let me know in the comments!

    Also, check out my Valentine Bar Cart, it's my favorite holiday update to date. You can also see my first house decor update to see where it's ended up in our home now!

    Cheers to Monday,
    xo Amanda John