Monday, September 29, 2014

Schoolin' Life

Houston has finally fallen.  Fallen in line a little with the majority of the U.S in welcoming the new season.  But enough already about sweater weather and jackets and boots and maroon/burgundy/oxblood. (I wonder who comes up with the names for various shades of color.  Some of them are quite imaginative.).  It seems like fashion loves fall, what with all these fashion weeks and whatnot. 

Although I predict that the sun's gonna come out again and betray us while wearing our sweaters, but until then I'm happy to wear cardigans and not feel so icky sticky hot on the way to school. As long as I'm indoors and the air conditioning is on full blast, I'll always have some kind of sweater.  Anyway, here I am, rockin' fall-type clothes and just schoolin' life.
What about you?

♫ This is for them 20 somethings
Time really moves fast, you were just sixteen 

Cath Kidston!!
Outfit Details
Express top // Target Merona cardigan // Levi's skinny jeans // just a plain ol' belt // BX by Bronx boots // Cath Kidston zip purse

Thursday, September 25, 2014

As Seen on Youtube: No-Heat Way to Stretch Natural Hair

How many times have you spent hours clicking through a million YouTube beauty/fashion videos?  With topics on how to create the perfect eyebrow, how to get a defined bantu knot-out, how to apply makeup for a natural look, or ten ways to tie a headscarf (there's more than one?).  So many out there, some are alright and others are just inspiring.  Sometimes I think "inspiring" has two meanings.  One is "Oh, cool!  I could do that!"  And the other is "Amazing...but definitely beyond my current capabilities. Maybe one day."  But you can't get to "one day" until you start today...

I actually learned how to flat-twist from YouTube a year ago (still not very well or neatly, but at least...) so I decided to try out more of the cool things I see in videos.  First up, how to stretch my hair without heat.  I don't use a blow dryer, just let it air dry into a semi-shrunken state.  Flat twist-outs don't really stretch it so much and I was perplexed as to how so many natural haired women started tutorials with stretched hair.  Seek and thou shalt find.  Last Sunday night after washing it I tried.  I blended techniques from two videos:

TheChicNatural used hair ties at the base of each section and folded the thread (6x the length of the section) in half with the loop end at the top.  I followed those techniques.  Nadine of GLYC actually did the threading process twice (two nights), using coconut oil on the second round.  I wasn't about to do this twice (how would I go to class the next day?) but I decided to use coconut oil in my first and only round.  Also, once she completed a side she threaded them together so I tried to do that too. 

What I Used: spray bottle with water only // SheaMoisture Restorative Conditioner // Trader Joe's (non-deodorized) Coconut Oil // (12) hair ties // rat tail comb and wide-toothed comb // duck-bill hair clips // hair weave thread // scissors

this took me FOREVER
In the morning I unraveled everything to find my hair sufficiently stretched.  Success!  It did feel a little dry though (despite using the coconut oil).  So it was stretched.  "Now what?" I thought.  I had not made any plans beyond taking down the 12 threaded sections.  I wouldn't have had time anyway.  Instead, I spent five to ten minutes trying to manipulate it in some cute way but just ended up tying it in a low ponytail with two black barrettes on the side.  Ugh!  

That Monday night I put in six ugly flat-twists (because I think the stretched hair was supposed to make it easier to style in twists or what have you).  Two days later, its back to its unstretched state.  So much for that.

I don't know if I'll do it again but it was cool to try, I guess.  Hmmm...maybe I should have taken a photo in my hair's post-wash and conditioned super-shrunken state.  Oh well.  Anyway, check out TheChicNatural and GirlsLoveYourCurls channels on YouTube.  They both have a lot of great stuff.

Happy Thursday! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy 48

what is that face?

One year has passed and this is my 48th post! 
I've managed to create something on the Internet at least once every month.

When an anniversary occurs I feel like you're compelled to think about something, voluntarily or not.  Recall or relive a memory.  Celebrate a gain or a success.  Mourn a loss or a failure.  Reflect on how much you've changed, whether you've grown or regressed.  Sometimes thoughts are positive (and I hope they are for everyone).  But other times thoughts are not positive.  In those cases, I hope things have gotten better or that the situation has been acknowledged and you're still working your way through.

At first I was mildly shocked about the milestone because it came to mind.  Then I thought about why I decided to start this blog (self-expression, to be a little bit bolder, to be inspired, and maybe to inspire others).  Have I accomplished these goals? Not quite...and sometimes I wonder if I should (or if I would ever) push myself more, to promote me, and be shameless. Hmm...I don't have an answer yet.  But in the meantime I'm happy about Extraordinary Too and I'll try to keep it up as long as I can.

So...this dress with a pleated skirt (which I wanted to call a crinkle skirt, but that's incorrect).  It was a birthday gift from my dear friends.  It came with a black elastic belt that tried to cut my middle in half.  The belt had to go.  The only originality I added was the heart buckle green Moschino belt that was either stolen from or given by my mom.  I can't remember lol.   

Happy 48!

Outfit Details
Emma & Michele dress // Moschino leather belt // oh...Dear! wedges

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Style On Public Transit

I was in New York City a couple weeks ago (for a reunion with my friends from college) and on the last day two of us took the bus back to our hotel to get our luggage and head to the airport after a whirlwind weekend.  

On this bus, we sat in the back but soon it filled up.  A group of tourists boarded, maybe six guys and girls.  One of them was wearing something so casual but well put together that I couldn't stop staring.  So simple and cute that I became the ultimate creeper and snapped a photo with my iPhone (trying to be discreet and pretending to be doing something else).  Just the outfit, minus her face and the shoes (to try for the shoes would have been too obvious).  She had a Fendi bag (out of my price range), but I thought that maybe I could try to replicate this outfit.  One day...

Inspired by someone else's kind of extraordinary I created my first Polyvore collage.  So that's how these bloggers make those outfit idea images!!  Mine is a little cluttered and a few of the item brands are too expensive at the moment (or forever), but the idea is there.  Now to go on the hunt! 

*There was also a really dapper man on this bus--suit, suspenders, hat, cane, everythang.  A lot of people in New York really know how to werk. 
girl on the bus

On Public Transit

Monday, September 1, 2014

Amateur in the Mirror | Last Days

"Last post I mentioned how variable the dress code is at my job."  That's what I wrote when I first began this post...almost three months ago.

For two years my job was disease intervention, first in STD/HIV and then in tuberculosis.  I had to interact directly with people who either had a communicable disease or could be at risk to contract one, which meant I had to be "in the field."  In hospitals, in people's homes, sometimes on the street, riding around San Antonio and anywhere else within Bexar County.  You were supposed to dress comfortably yet professionally.  Not dressed up-- jeans were okay--but not roll-out-of-bed dressed down.  Business casual, I was told.  A lot of times it was more casual than business but I think the nature of the work excuses it.

I remember when I first got the position and had no idea exactly what I'd be doing.  "I need work clothes!" I thought.  So my mom and I went thrifting (and she did her magic elsewhere) to get me started on a basic work wardrobe.  Dress pants and button-downs and shift dresses and sensible wedges.  And I wore all of these and looked well-put together for my first day and first two months (when I was mostly indoors reading about the knowledge instead of out there applying the knowledge).  Once I started going out on my own, the way I dressed changed.  I'd only wear dresses and heels when I was on clinic duty (to conduct patient interviews) or planed to stay in the office and didn't have to go out into the field.  

Here, I was in Atlanta for my end of program/fellowship training where the dress code was a definite business casual.  I was really feelin' myself and that polka dot skirt so I set my camera on the counter of my hotel room and tried some mirror tricks.  This is probably the easiest way to look professional: pencil skirt, top and cardigan, flats okay, heels optional.  I think I could wear all of this for something else entirely too.  Maybe it's not actually as business casual/professional as I thought...huh.

Happy Labor Day!

Outfit Details
Target Mossimo polka dot skirt // Target dress t-shirt // Nine West cardigan // BCBGeneration wedges // JewelMint Frosty Florals necklace // Steve Madden crossbody purse