How to Make Time for Beauty {Guest Post}

Gina (GG) is my bff, a chic mama and my blogging partner at Peace Love and Pretty Things. She also writes her own blog, where the topics of hair and beauty are oft discussed--as they are among her favorite things about which to both learn and teach. She is oh-so-knowledgeable on all things related to pampering yourself, so naturally, I asked her to share some of her knowledge here in the form of a guest post .



On any given Sunday, you can find me at home with a plastic conditioning cap over my hair and a pore tightening mask on my face as I get my house in order for the week. I'm probably folding laundry, cleaning bathrooms, making dinner and straightening up while delegating a myriad of other tasks to my family. Usually, I'm doing my best to get all of the household chores done reasonably early so the man and I can have some time to chill out and relax together before we go into another week of working and navigating this parenting thing. It's important to me to take care of myself and feel good about my appearance, so I make time in the midst of my busy schedule to do the things that make me feel pretty. I don't believe that being a mother of three means that I need to stop pampering myself. The key is to prioritize and keep things simple.

Keep in mind that for the purposes of this post, I'm sticking to the topic of beauty - but I feel the same way about fitness and diet. Mama can't take care of anyone else if she's not healthy. How can moms find time for themselves in between parent/teacher conferences, piano lessons, etc.? Here's what works for me:

Hair

I keep my hair in a bun about 75% of the time. As I mentioned above, Sunday is usually "hair day" where I wash, deep condition, and style for the week. For the forseeable future, I'm sticking to hair styles that don't require much maintenance. Hence, the bun. It's protective and convenient, and yet it's a charming style that keeps me feeling put together.

Skin (Facial and Body)

My skin is more challenging. You probably have clear, smooth, hairless skin, don't you? Not I! I'm prone to acne and dark marks, ingrown hairs and dry patches. Plus, if I want to feel soft (and I really do), cleansing is not enough. I have to exfoliate, shave, and treat my skin on a regular basis - otherwise, my legs will feel like porcupines. I'll admit, though, that the grooming process is fun for me so I take it all in stride. As I mentioned above, Sunday is usually my day for extreme pampering and this allows me to stick to a simple nightime routine throughout the week.

Nails

It's remarkable how much of a boost it can give you to look down at your hands throughout the day and see neat, polished fingernails. Even when you don't have time to paint your nails, just making the effort of keeping them trim and filed helps. It may not be at the top of your priority list, but it's rewarding to take this time for yourself and have fun with different shades or even a nice clear polish to make you feel more polished overall.

Makeup

When it comes to makeup, I'm a big fan of less is more. Whatever your preference, I encourage you to be open to making time to add a little gloss to your situation every now and then. Maybe makeup is not part of your everyday package, but you may find that adding a little mascara or blush to your face helps you feel more awake, more bright, more ready to put your most confident face forward. On an average day, I wear mascara, lip gloss and a light foundation to even out my skin tone. Once you find out what works for you, it can be a five minute investment in the morning that just makes your natural light shine brighter.

How do you make time for beauty despite your hectic schedule? Feel free to share some of your tips and tricks as well!

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Gina Renee Hill is an advocate for the success and emotional well-being of the modern woman. She infuses the concepts of self-love and personal development into everything she creates. Based in the Washington DC area, she does relationship management for a financial services company by day; while her free time is spent studying the complexities of love and life. She is a peace warrior, a dancing queen, and a scribe hopelessly devoted to personal freedom. GG is one half of the duo behind the blog, Peace Love and Pretty Things. She also shares her personal journey of transformation on her blog, The Write Curl Diary.

Recipe: Tofu + Veggie Stir Fry | Posh Kitchen


This past weekend, I made tofu at home for the first time. I’ve been intimidated by it for a while, unsure whether or not I’d be able to make it in a way that was flavorful and had the right texture. But, I wanted to make a stir fry and the store was out of soy protein chicken substitutes, so I decided to go for it.

I grabbed a package of extra firm tofu from the grocery section at Target. I’ve read that it is key to properly drain all the moisture out of tofu prior to cooking; so a few hours before I was ready to make dinner, I extracted it from the package, sat it out on paper towels, blotted, then let it sit for about 30 minutes.


Nasoya Extra Firm Tofu

Next, I seasoned it with salt and pepper and placed in Tupperware with Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki to marinate. This Asian sauce is a teriyaki blend with sesame seeds that is great for seasoning just about any kind of fish, meat substitute or veggie. We love it and use it often.


raw tofu seasoned with salt and pepper

After it marinated for a couple of hours, I sliced the tofu and grilled it on the George Foreman until it had a nice little crunchy crust on each side. Then I chopped into smaller pieces for the stir fry.

It almost looks like meat here, don't you think?

Finally, I transferred it into a frying pan, mixed in steamed Asian style vegetables, and tossed it all with more of the Island Soyaki sauce. I served it over brown rice.



Overall, I think I did a good job with the tofu. T had asked me to “make it taste like chicken”, and while I’m not sure I succeeded there--it was tasty, and I’ve conquered my fear of working with it. In the future, I will probably seek out recipes where I can make it so that it is less soft in the middle; perhaps that can be overcome by some sort of crust.

Have you made tofu at home? How did you like it?


Returning Trend for F/W 2012: Bright Color

One trend I am particularly pleased to see returning for fall/winter 2012 is the presence of bold bright color. Hot pink, searing red and blossoming orange--to name a few in the spectrum--have been all over the fashion week runways. Pink and red color-blocking (yes, I know: every very serious fashion person is now appalled by this term) was major in both street and celebrity style for this past fall and (I hope) we’ll continue to see it in different and interesting ways as I find it such a great and not-yet-fully-explored color combination.

Alice + Olivia
  
Betsey Johnson

 
Tracy Reese


L'Wren Scott

Marchesa

Colder months can be dark and dreary so it makes beautiful sense to emit your own bit of sunshine by punching up the color in your wardrobe. Who says bright color should be reserved for spring and summer? Whoever they are (were?) it seems they’ve been outvoted yet again.

How do you wear color in fall and winter?


Kate Spade Spring 2012 Campaign

I wouldn’t say that I’m necessarily a fan of the Kate Spade brand, but I do like some of the pieces here and there. However, with the new Japanese floral laden, hot pink punctuated, mod inspired spring campaign—the Kate Spade spring 2012 collection had me at first glance.











I love the ladylike shapes of the dresses in the collection (like the floral number in the first photo), and the bright colors of the retro sunglasses. Particularly noteworthy is the gorgeous pink statement bauble bib necklace (3rd photo over the white tee); and the topliner trench in beige lined with black (in the first photo) is to die for.


What would you purchase from the Kate Spade Spring 2012 Collection?


Photos 1, 2, 3, 4

Fresh Start with H&M Spring 2012 Collection

The H&M Spring Collection is now officially available in stores, and I for one, am excited to make a “fresh start” with the retailer and their bright twists on classic spring styles.

I’ve got my eye on two adorable jackets: the classic beige 6-button trench, and the fuchsia short jacket. Both will be great as a polished top layer for work attire, and with jeans for a more casual look that’s still sophisticated.






Though it’s not my personal style, this multi-colored glitter dress deserves an honorable mention as it’s super fun and a standout piece.



What pieces are you looking forward to shopping for spring?


Images via Google+

Playing Catch up with NYFW + The Weekend

Fashion Week in NY has just concluded, and though I was too busy to catch any of the live streams this year, I’ve had an opportunity over the past couple of to days click through and peruse some of the collections. Many were fabulous, and there were a few that I didn’t quite…get. But, NYFW is always a time of excitement, wonder and an overload on visual stimulation; in short, I absolutely love it.

I won’t recap because there are so many blogs and sites that are covering that beautifully, but I did want to share a few of my favorite stills and links to some of the shows that I thought were especially amazing—ones where I would wear the pieces right off the runway if I could.

Oscar de la Renta

















I'm still playing catch up and enjoying every minute, and you--of course--can see all the shows and read the reviews for yourself at Style.com.

What were some of your favorite shows from NYFW?

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After such a busy week, I’m looking forward to kind of a laid back weekend; the weather is supposed to be sunny and mild which is always a plus during winter months. I have plans to finally watch Breaking Dawn Part I (don’t judge me!) with a good friend, to check out a new boutique in downtown Baltimore and to browse some divine home décor with AB (who wrote a fabulous guest beauty post for me recently, which you can check out here).

What are your plans for the weekend?

Style Crush: Olivia Palermo


I have a huge style crush on Olivia Palermo. There are some people who just get fashion right. They have impeccable style that flows seamlessly between classic looks and the trends; while mixing high end luxury with affordable goods. Olivia Palermo is one such celebrity.

Whether in smart jeans, a boho-chic maxi skirt, sleek trousers or a beautiful fitted skirt, Olivia consistently nails a look that is indicative of a complete thought. There’s never any messiness—you can clearly describe the intention and the mood of her ensemble.







She often opts for at least one show-stopping element in each outfit: a large opulent necklace, an envy-worthy coat, cozy fur or the season’s must-have hand bag; and finishes her look with gorgeous, natural makeup.





Olivia’s style inspires me to remember that the classics never go out of style; but you can pump them up in remarkable ways using the season’s current trends. I would love to add a couple of pieces to my closet—staples that I can mix and match like:

A neutral metallic bag

..similar to the hobo Olivia is carrying here



And

a statement necklace



..like the one she wears here.

Which celebrity’s style are you currently crushing on?


All photos via Pinterest

Posh Tip: Get Inspired by Love

It is Valentine’s Day—the day for lovers. And whether or not you have a significant other to exchange sweet sappy romantic gestures with; chances are you are still a lover of something. You are likely surrounded by love all day every day, even if you don’t recognize it. You have the love of your family and your very best friends, and that is something to be grateful for. Maybe your love is found in your hobby—whether blogging, roller skating, reading. Today, take an opportunity to get inspired by everything around you. Drink in the love that is present all 365 (and this year 366!) days of the year.

Get inspired by…

Your Favorite People


Your familial relationships set the foundation for how you love. Take a moment to revel in your family's unconditional affection.



Friends are like chicken soup for the soul. Nourish those relationships relentlessly.

Your Favorite Things




What activities make your heart smile? Is it having a cup of coffee at your favorite quaint little café? Dancing around the room to your favorite song? Or diving into a good book? No matter your favorite pastime, if you feel at peace when doing it, indulge in it today.

The Little Things



Take in the little things that create a small bit of sweetness like nature, or a walk in the rain. Often those are things that help us tune most easily into our hearts.


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I spent some quality time with my honey over the weekend, and tonight T and I will be baking Valentine’s Day cookies.

How are you spending your Valentine’s Day?


Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Fun with Jewelry: Frost Yourself


One of my favorite chick flicks is How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days, and witty though Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey may be--in my eyes, the real star of this movie is the style. Kate Hudson's character works for a fictitious women's magazine, where she and her adorably dressed co-workers have access to the latest in style and beauty trends. But I digress; Matthew McConaughey's character is an ad man who comes up with the slogan "frost yourself" for a major diamond jewelry campaign he's been working on--after Kate's character gives their dog "a little frosting"--a diamond choker. That phrase, frost yourself, has stuck with me since initially seeing the movie and I think of it every time I think of the act of draping oneself in baubles--whether diamond or otherwise. And with this past weekend's frosty chill, how can a girl not think of ice? Here are a few lovelies I am currently crushing on.

Why not frost yourself?



1. Carolina Amato Jewelry 'Lady in Waiting' drop earrings
2. Carolina Amato Jewelry 'Layered Brilliance' necklace
3. Sarah Chloe personalized name necklace
4. Michael Kors 'Uptown Punk' chunky curb link bracelet
5. Glitterrings sparkly 'Shelley' buckle ring
6. Michael Kors 'Blair' multi-function glitz watch

What frosty jewels do you have your eye on?


photo credit

Posh Product Review: Shea Radiance Hair


I’ve been hearing/seeing lots of great things about Shea Radiance (a company that I also posted about here) around the social media sphere, so when I noted on their Twitter page that they were having an ‘Aha Moment’ contest, where the prizing was full sized bottles of their natural hair products, I promptly wrote a lovely little tale about my natural hair journey and crossed my fingers that I’d win the goods. I did!

The Goods
(According to the Shea Radiance Site)



Maximum Moisture Conditioner - Conditioning that works well, even on dry, brittle hair. It strengthens the hair shaft, prevents breakage and repairs damaged hair. Our conditioner blends wheat protein, keratin and castor, avocado and coconut oils with shea butter to stimulate growth & smooth the hair cuticle.

Thermal Protection Smoothie - Shield hair shaft and eliminate breakage from heat-inflicted damage. This Thermal Protection Smoothie is strong enough to stand up to the intensive heat damage that comes from blowouts, flat irons, wands, and hot combs. Shea butter and hemp seed oil restore the natural beauty of your hair, however you choose to style it.

Moisture Rich Hair Butter (sample) - Give dry or damaged hair a luscious, nutrient-rich treatment. Our Moisture Rich Hair Butter combines high concentrations of pure unrefined shea butter with a host of healing and essential oils. Decreases signs of damage and great for twists and locs.

My Experience

I generally refrain from caring for my own hair in the colder months, opting instead to head to the salon for a blow out and straighten. But the arrival of goodies was enough to make me carve out three hours on a week night to try them out. I was not at all disappointed. Not even a little bit. Here’s why:

I used my own shampoo since that wasn’t one of the items I received from the contest. Then moved on to the conditioner, which has the yummiest lemony scent. It has the consistency of lotion, and didn’t produce a ton of lather--which initially freaked me out because I’m used to seeing a fluffy, soapy lather appear. As I generally detangle wet hair with conditioner, I needed to be able to comb through it. I was—the conditioner began to make my hair softer as soon as it was applied, and I was still able to comb through extremely easily.

After rinsing my hair clean, and patting dry with a towel, I sprayed on the smoothie to help protect my hair from the heat of blow drying and straightening. (I skipped the leave in conditioner, which I also won, because any product left on my wet hair after rinsing makes it sticky when I straighten it. I’ll have to try that when I’m planning to wear my hair curly.) The smoothie has a sweet candy scent, and sprays in a very light mist. It isn’t heavy and didn’t make it difficult to blow dry. I usually use Infusium which does still create a slight bit of stickiness that I had accepted as normal—now I know better, because the smoothie wasn't sticky at all. After blow drying, my hair was SUPER soft! Even though it still looked a little frizzy, it was very soft to the touch. Straightening intensified the softness and my hair ended up full and flowy with lots of movement.


My apologies for the bb camera pics, but you get the idea



After curling, I used a minimal amount of the hair butter for finishing. It was great at smoothing and adding shine, but not at all heavy and didn’t weigh my hair down. It is also great at protecting against humidity! On the second day after I styled my hair, I wore it bone straight, and it was raining. My hair never got frizzy or bushy at all. It stayed smooth and straight all day! I generally use Organic Root Stimulator clear gloss, which also works well for smoothing, but doesn’t protect from humidity and my hair will still swell if there is any moisture in the air.



I wish you could reach out and touch my hair through the screen, in order to fully appreciate how great it felt. This might be a little self-involved, but I couldn’t stop touching it for days! On the 9th day after styling my hair, T hugged me and said "your hair is so soft!" And it was! Even when my hair started to get a little dirty it retained the same feel. I will definitely continue to use my Shea Radiance products, and am so ordering a full sized jar of the hair butter!

Have you tried any of Shea Radiance’s hair products? Did you love them?


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