I've been thinking a lot lately about where I was personally this time last year, where I've been since then, and where I am now. It's strange, looking back at all those moments as a whole, trying to trace the path that got me from there to here. On the surface, it may not seem that much has changed for me. I am living in the same place, I am unemployed again, I am in the same relationship. But I can honestly say that the person I have grown into this year is vastly different from the girl I was. I've accomplished a lot this year for myself. I started this blog, for one. That was a huge goal of mine for years (yes, years). I am incredibly happy, which is something I don't think I would have said last year. I am getting better every single day at managing my anxiety. I am learning to move past so many of my fears. I am learning, growing, and loving.
Looking forward, I always have a tendency to expect so much from myself. As humans, we tend to be slightly a little too optimistic about what we can do in the future, but I think this is a good thing. Sure, I am no where close to where I envisioned for myself at the beginning of the year, but life happens and setting goals is still important to me. I think that may be the most important part of looking back over the year we are completing, recognizing all of the unexpected hardships that you encountered and acknowledging that you accepted them for what they were and made it through regardless. Let's all pat ourselves on the back for that.
I know that this year was a hard one for me, but for all of those struggles I have far more joy to look back on. So many great memories were made this year and I'm proud of all I have accomplished.
A few favorite posts/things from this year, in chronological order
+ Lots of random drives with my loves: It Pays to Take the Back Roads
+ Having a little lake all to ourselves for some canoeing, camping, exploring, and love celebrating: Anniversary Weekend Camping at Little Payette Lake
+ This is Why I'm Happy
+ My first set of hair tutorials, back when I had quite a bit more hair to work with: The Criss-Cross Applesauce, The Upside Down and Around, and The Bohemian Wrap
+ Learning to be happy while being away from Will for the first time in our relationship was hard, but I did manage to function normally without any communication with him while he did field work this summer. Hopefully I'll be better when that occurs again this summer. A Little Lonely Lately.
+ Our backpacking trip in the Sawtooths this September did not go according to plan, but it was still one of the best trips of my life. I will hold all of those memories so dear. Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 of the trip.
+ I got to tag along with Will for one of his work trips. It wasn't too eventful, but it was a lovely little getaway. And a real treat for me because I miss northern Idaho so much: Fish Creek
+ I had so much fun making our Halloween costumes this year and they were a big hit! I'm not quite sure what to do with them now, though. Our Halloween Costume: PACMAN and MS PACMAN
+ That one time I thought I completely ruined my bangs and then ended up really loving it: Oops I Cut My Hair Again
+ I started a new series called Inspiring People I've Met Online. Look out for more remarkable people to be featured in this series this next year.
+ We actually went out and did a lot of festive things this holiday season, like going the the Tree Lighting and walking around Winter Garden aGlow. This december has been Magic.
It was so much fun going back through these posts (particularly the trips we took) and being able to read my account right along with some of my favorite pictures from the events. I'm remembering that this is the number one reason why I blog and what I continue to love about doing so. I love documenting these memories for us and allowing them to be easy to recall. This is something I want to work on further this new year, specifically in also capturing those smaller everyday memories and special moments as well.
Happy New Year! Have a fun, safe night celebrating a new beginning.
Life lately, according to iPhone pictures:
01 Pippin before and / 02 after falling through the ice on a pond (he was chasing ducks) / 03 yummy veggie sandwich / 04 me at my birthday lunch / 05 bluebird, my new favorite lunch place / 06 barrettes make me feel less lazy about my hair styling choices / 07 wrapping gifts and a confused Pippin / 08 christmas eve at Will's family's house, Pippin matched the gifts a bit / 09 Pippin with his christmas treats / 10 christmas morning with my family / 11 a new bookcase to match our new corner desk, the jewelry stand was a gift from my sister and that pretty antique horn box was a gift from a friend / 12 the blanket my mom gave us for christmas goes perfectly in our room / 13 an exhausted Pippin snuggling clean laundry / 14 some favorite gifts from some favorite people / 15 sick but a cute sweater
Hello there, lovelies. I hope you're still there. I'm back from a rather lengthy blogging break that wasn't planned/intended/expected but that happened regardless. I'm actually glad that it did. I have been going nonstop for the past few weeks. Between getting gifts done and crafted, christmas shopping, commitments to friends and family, spending time with friends and family, the holidays, traditions, new traditions, surprises, unplanned issues, trying to push out blog content, and other things I'm sure I'm forgetting to mention, I got really exhausted. And Will got sick. And then I got sick (I'm still sick). The holidays tend to be a busy time for everyone, so I"m sure you understand that I got overwhelmed and instinctively cut out what I didn't have the time or energy for without much thought. I hope you'll forgive my absence here. More importantly, at the top of my ignore list has definitely been my blog email inbox (which, ironically has gotten more traffic lately than ever before). So, if you've emailed me in the past month-ish I promise I'll read your messages and get back to you this week.
Cutting out most of my responsibilities here for the past few weeks (I had set those hair tutorials to post in advance, so really, it's been awhile) really allowed me to slow down a bit, as much as one can around the holidays, and really enjoy time with those I love. Which is what this season is all about. I had a wonderful christmas with both of my families. And I had a lot of time to think about this blog and the direction I want to take it this next year. I've set a lot of goals for myself that I am really excited about that I can't wait to share with you.
I hope you've been well since last I've been around. I hope you had a wonderful time with family over the holidays, if that is what you do. I'm so excited to get caught up with all of you and start this new year feeling fresh. I hope you'll be around for it all! Thank you for reading.
I first styled my hair like this for my birthday dinner, out at a nice restaurant, with my family. I liked it so much that I've worn my hair this way several times since then. I was really wanting to style it into some finger waves, but not only is that a tricky technique to master but it is terribly time consuming. But I love retro waves and curls, so I decided to go for something a little simpler (and much less time consuming) while still trying to embody that retro feel into the look. I know for a fact that these curls aren't an authentic vintage look, and I'm not quite sure what the technique I used could even be called. But this hair style does make me feel very classy, sophisticated, and pretty. I'll call that a win.
These retro inspired curls are the third tutorial in my Holiday Hair for Shorties miniseries. See instructions for how I created the look below.
Easy Retro Curls for Short Hair Tutorial:
- Begin by combing through your hair thoroughly to remove any tangles.
- You'll want to to work in fairly small sections at a time. Take a one inch section of hair from the tap layer of hair and run some styling putting through it.
- Curl this strand away from your face using a curling iron, holding for 10 seconds or so to set the curl.
- While the curl is still warm, use your fingers to curl it up into itself. Twist it all the way up to the base and pin it in place onto your scalp. Duck clips probably work best, but I used bobby pins just fine.
- Take the next strand of hair over and repeat steps 2-4.
- When done with the top layer of hair, move onto the next layer and curl and pin those sections in the same manner until all hair on one side of your hair is pinned and curled. The hair at the back of my head is too short to curl this way, so I leave it alone for now.
- Continue the entire process on the other side of your head, curling each section and pinning the curl while it is still warm.
- Once you have completed both sides, give everything a good spray of hairspray. Making that face I did is optional. Let the hair sit for a bit.
- While you let the curls sit and set, curl the back of your head. I like to just curl these hair down, the ones that are long enough to curl, anyway. The face I made here is optional too. My hair takes to curls very quickly so I only let it sit like this for about 10 minutes. You shouldn't have to let it sit for too long.
- After letting it sit, pull the pins out.
- Your hair will likely look a little stiff and silly once all the pins are taken out, but don't worry, we'll fix it.
- Use a brush to comb out and through the curls and shape them as desired. Give everything a final spray when you like how it looks.
Pair with some simple drop down earrings for a really elegant look.
I'm back with my second of three holiday hair tutorials for short hair! I mentioned yesterday that I have been receiving a lot of requests for hairstyle tutorials lately, and because I love to get fancied up for holiday parties, I used those requests as an excuse to try out a few different looks for fun. Now I'm sharing my favorites here with you! Lucky you. I'm super excited about this one in particular, though, because it is something I've been wanting to try on myself for quite awhile but just for some reason never got around to trying it. I'm really happy with how it turned out and how it looks on me.
For this next tutorial, I styled my hair into a tiny little bouffant. I finished off the look by pulling everything sleekly back behind my ears. I think this look is super sophisticated, but in a very understated way. I love that it's a bit of a faux pixie, and I really love that it feels a tad retro. See how I easily created this look below.
Teeny-Tiny Bouffant Hair Tutorial
- Start by sectioning off the front portion of your hair, everything from your ears forward.
- This back section will be used to create the bouffant, so leave the front alone for now. You can pin it forward and down, if you like.
- Use a styling putty or mouse on the back section of hair. Run a good amount of it through with your fingers
- Backcomb the back section of your hair, starting from the bottom and working your way up to the top of your head. Spray sections with hair spray as you go along. Go for maximum volume here. Your hair will likely look a bit ridiculous when done with this stage.
- Now that you've gotten a good amount of volume, begin smoothing the top layer of hair starting in the middle and moving to each side.
- If you've pinned the front, unpin it now. Make sure that the entire top layer of hair is smooth and looks seamless.
- To create that perfect bouffant look, let the front hang forward and grab the back section of hair (that you backcombed), pushing it up and forward a bit. Smooth everything one last time using a comb. Pin the bouffant in place at the back of your head with bobby pins.
- Using a straightener or a curling iron, create some simple waves to the hair that is left out of the bouffant. You can leave the hair like this, if you fancy.
- For a sleeker look, and for a bit of a faux pixie, comb all of the hair back behind the ears.
- Use a bit of styling putting, to insure all the hair will stay in place, and pin the hair at the base of your head in the back.
I'm excited to wear this look a few times this holiday season. I think it will look perfect finished with a thin gold headband. And maybe, perhaps, it will keep me from wanting to chop to a pixie for a little while longer (because I've been feeling rather inclined to do that lately).
Stop by again tomorrow for another retro inspired look.