Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's HERE!!

I'm sorry. I'm so jumping on the bandwagon of Colorado rejoicing at the beautiful sight of the lovely snow!! You have to understand that we have not seen a freaking single flake all season long. Definitely not on Christmas!

And now we are covered in it and I'm holding my breath to see how long it will last! The best part about it, is that I have today OFF! :D :D And even though I couldn't get my butt out of bed until 10am because the boys and I stayed up too late, I came upstairs to a massive beautiful display of German breakfast with my favorite Sena on the way with a fat order of Starbucks!

mmmmhhhhh :) Right now I'm debating on what I want the rest of my day to look like. Spend it cozy inside finish a good chunk of The Historian which I'm officially and obsessively hooked on, maybe play some games with my fam (Yes, we're all home on a Thursday) oooor wrap myself in cozy layers, brave that snowy goodness and go cash in some gift cards from Christmas :)

I hope you have a wonderful Thursday!

your happy as a button snowed in,

xo . jess

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

60 degrees funk

I use to looooooove the swings when I was a girl. I would beg to go on one from the moment I saw them. I'd stretch out my arms and kick my legs and enjoy the feeling of flying, if that's what it was like. 
Now they scare me shitless. 
Why is that? 


Since this has officially been the weirdest and lamest Winter I've ever seen in Colorado (just when I thought I'd seen it all) with our 50 degree days and the fact that I still don't wear a Winter coat on a regular basis, I realized that the only thing I have been able to make a decision about lately is that fact that I simply cannot call this weird mood I'm in "Winter Blues". I'd be a fake Winter Blues girl if I did and so let's just call it the 
"60 degrees funk". 

I don't know what it is. Sitting here with my beloved morning coffee, my notebook and you guys is among my top three favorite things to do by far. And even though I'm fully enjoying it and my coffee is more than searing hot, I'm 100,000 different emotions lately. I'm mad at my Dad who, even though sent me a Christmas card with $ in it yesterday, didn't even call for Christmas. And I know he's at home sitting the "no, you call me" game and I'm appreciate of the $, sometimes I'd just really love a fucking phone call. Because if there's one thing I can tell about my dad, is when he's being sarcastic, and his Christmas card is full of it! 
"Merry Christmas to you guys wherever you guys are now"
Really? Juno couldn't put it any better with her collection of cacti "Thanks a heap, Coyote ugly. This Cactus-gram stings even worse than your abandonment."

Then there's a million other people that confuse me, upset me, anger me, and some of them simply just piss me off, yet,...hehe oopsi..some of them quite possibly come and read my blog on occasion (I really have to stop sharing my links on Facebook) and I'm not about to open that can of whoop ass. 

I'm really impatient. So I don't like just sittin pretty and letting the outcome arrive with its lost luggage and excuses of missed flights. Just tell me what I did wrong? Why are you so annoying? And why can't we all just hug, sing cumbaya, and play games? (I'm kidding. that sounds absolutely terrible.) 

Thirdly, one thing I am absolutely not adjusting to in this new adult married life of mine, is that, without college, you don't really have your life set for you, one semester at a time. Anything could really happen and you can completely do whatever it is you feel like. 
Want some babies? Why not. 
Get a second career? Sure! 
Just work and hang out? I'll take door number 3, thank you. 
But I know that's not going to keep me quiet in the corner for long. I'm really antsy I think. N and I are really looking forward to this year, don't get me wrong. N is working hard at his dream which I support 100%, because fact is, we are without kids, for now we're without the stress of a house or mortgage, and we are getting a grip on our mountain of bills thanks to school and paying 90% of our own schooling. 
(Again, thanks a heap, American Secondary Education. You're a doll.) But I can't decide if I've been thrown into the infamous soup bowl of retail where your fate is pure luck and you're swimming around, hoping you look like a yummy potato that will get picked next to move up. I've worked my behind off this year and if it's not in the cards for me this year, well then I'm out. which brings me to my next dilemma of what's next? 
My master's in Education? 
Maybe I should follow my love for photography down the path of a real education in it? 
What if I go to beauty school and open MY own business and have the most rocking little shop in downtown Denver? 

I have it all figured out don't I. 

Happy Hump Day. 

xo . jess

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hair Too{s}day.

Volume 4: Girly Headband

Welcome to my  weekly tutorial  of what do to with your hair!! People are always asking me 

"How did you do that to your hair?" 

And so here are my answers, trials, and step by step tutorials of 

"How you can do that to your hair, too!"

I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday weekend and are gearing up for a fun New Year's Eve. I think I decided this morning that we are going to do something very European this year..but this post is about hair, so clearly I need to take my NYE thoughts elsewhere and get back to you ;)

I'm keeping it a little more simple this week 1) because it's been a nice weekend followed by a crazy work day and I've not found the time to prepare a nice video (one that includes Christmas music and Tom Shane talking to you like last week's) and 2) because yesterday was one of those days where my hair just worked and I had to take a picture and share with you!

It's super easy so I know walking you through it combined with some pictures will do just fine. Plus, it's been rumored that all of your comments on my wedding pictures (thank you thank you thank you) have inspired me to prepare a biggie of video and recreate my wedding hair for you :) I did it myself that day and so many of you loved it I know you can pull it off, because it was super simple :)

What you need
- washed hair
- hairdryer of your choice (a diffuser if your hair usually needs it)
- either a girly headband with a bow, flower, or feather of your choice, or a simple headband works as well

What you do
- You can pull this look off whether you have curly, slightly wavy like mine, or straight. 
- Start by washing your hair like normal. Once you're done let it dry off in a towel for 5-10 minutes. 
- Unwrap your hair, separate out your bangs if you have any and lightly comb through your hair. 
- If you want to enhance your waves grab either a curl enhancing mouse or cream. *Don't use gel. Gelly waves are not so hot anymore ;) If you want to add texture to straighter hair, grab a good styling cream, like volume enhancing mouse or whatever you use normally. 
- For both hair types, flip your head over and scrunch the product in with your head flipped over. 
- Now, I swear this is the secret to best hair do's and for me it's part of my ritual so I swear by it, but, if you don't have time, skip over this next step and just keep styling, but at this point, I usually just leave it and go do my make up, letting the product work itself on my hair a little and letting it dry by air naturally for a little bit. I swear it makes all the difference to style your hair after it's had some time to dry naturally :). So, either try it and go do your nails for 15 minutes or put on your face. Or, if you don't have time keep going. 
- Ready? :) Next, just start blow drying your hair on low, whether you're rocking it curly or straighter. The messier you're drying the better. Flip your head over, flip it side ways..just be gentle with the scrunching. Don't rat out your hair, just gently cup your curls or locks in your hair. 
- Once your hair starts to get dryer, start working the shape, so keep your head up right more and work some volume into the crown of your head, still by scrunching and working your fingers through your hair. 
- Take a mini break, and if you have some curl spray or even hair spray, give yourself a quick spritz in the ends and crown/back of your hair. Then continue drying for just a couple more minutes working that spray into your hair to hold and really bring out your curls or texture. 
- Once you're done, work your bangs the way you want or let your front strands just fall where they are. If you don't have bangs you should just be styling your hair like normal the whole time**
- Fluff your hair and sort of place it till it looks good. 
- Take your headband, if you have a flower or embellishment, if should go on the side where your roots to your bangs are, so on the opposite side your bangs are on. (Look at my picture :P), holding your headband, just slide it gently into your hair so the band gets mostly hidden and your hair falls normal around it. 
- You can adjust volume with hair spray or give your curls one last good spray to keep your curls going throughout the day, and you're all set! :) 

I hope you enjoyed this week's mini tutorial! 
Stay tuned for some big up dos next week :)
(If you have a hair crisis for NYE and are dieing to try a certain do, shoot me an email and I'll whip up a tutorial or give you tips & tricks!  :D 

xo . jess 

Monday, December 27, 2010

it's the holiday season..

I hope you all had a wonderful, peaceful, and merry merry holiday!
I feel almost a bit rusty, coming back to my keyboard this morning. I had the entire weekend off, which in retail is basically unheard of. So today it's back to work and I'm okay with it. Just not really ready, but I'll get over it. 

Our Christmas weekend was spent with way too much food, duh, family time, and great memories. It was absolutely fantastic to be home for the holidays, instead of freezing our butts off in MI, so we were definitely and perfectly content. 

these two bimbos :)

can't stay serious for longer than 2 minutes

still my favorites :)

you're cut off.

I make kissy faces

and squeeze people's cheeks. 

told you. 

cute little Gio. 

Yea! Stockings' time :D

that's better. 

I can't decide if I'd rather admit that I'm either smelling my arm pit or rubbing off the soap from my nose from trying to smell the body wash I just pulled out of my stocking.

I'm a happy child.

Christmas morning. The MOTHER of all German breakfasts :)

Dina and Ty patiently waiting for gift opening!

N ready to take on the family visiting! 

I'm having some kind of issue as always.

I love you Coloradoooo.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Love Is, All Around.

I love Christmas. 
I love this love it brings. 
The laughter. 
The drama. 
The food. 
Your Family and Friends. 
Especially when those friends get engaged (!!!) :D ♥

So far, it's been an absolute wonderful holiday. 
Wishing you all the very best Christmas
and the warmest and happiest congratulations to my friend J on her engagement. 
:D :D :'D

xo . jess 

Heilig Abend

Not considering Christmas Eve as important and special as Christmas Day which is common for the US, is unthinkable to me. 
In Germany, Christmas is celebrated as big as Christmas Day is here, but Christmas Day is a little less celebrated, but still filled with Family, Friends, and Food. 
(The F words of Christmas :) )
So it's almost reverse of the Holidays here. But really, that's neither here nor there. All I'm trying to tell you is that today for me starts the beginning of the best two days of the year. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I bicker with my family, play pranks on each other, hold hands in the grocery store, tease each other, laugh with each other, probably cry with each other, cuddle with each other, and most importantly, 
love each other. 

It's pretty amazing. 
Plus, you've spent the last month trying to think of what you're gonna wear and you look adorable, yet no one cares that by the end of the day you're ripping off those amazing skinnies, dress, or skirt and jumping back into matching Christmas jammies with the whole family...
and then you keep eating. 

Again. Amazing. 
Tonight we are heading to N's grandma's house for annual Mexican food (weird Italians, right?) drinks, and laughs with my mini family posse in tow. Coming back to my mom's for 1 present opening, playing games till late and sneaking off to bed, to wake up to the mother of all German breakfasts (!!!) Christmas music, presents, and lounging..followed by semi formal Christmas brunch and the next gma's house, coffee and cake, tied up in the back with taking a drive across town towards Brighton, where we'll be putting on those cozy Christmas jammies, opening presents, drinking wine, and staying the night. It will be f.i.l.l.e.d. with family time and it will be wonderful. 

Can you tell we were without our families for Thanksgiving this year? 

From my wonderful growing family to yours, 


our wedding

my vintage store dress ♥ 

one of my favorites :) My sister as Maid of Honor and my godson as Ringbearer ♥

one of my absolute favorites ♥ 

photography by

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Come Early!!

There here! There here! There here!
I know Christmas isn't quite here (2 tage!) but I have been in the best Christmas mood today! I've just now ignored and passively accepted the fact that we will not be seeing any 
"White Christmases" 
this year, because I can still go to work without a jacket, here in lovely Colorado. And of COURSE I'm wearing my sunglasses everyday still. But I spent my morning jamming out to Christmas music, my commute around town for chores and cruising off to work blaring "Mele Kalikimaka" down I-25, and even singing "You're a Mean One, Mr Grinch" up the stairs of the parking garage..Santa apparently felt like giving me a little gift early by bringing me our
**  wedding photos **

I've been so happy all day, I couldn't wait to come home. And now, it's 2.01am. I have uploaded half of the 665 images to Facebook and have to be awake and functional for work again in the next 6 hours. 
I need sleep. 

But believe me when I say, that I'm stumbling off to bed with the biggest smile, excited to share with you my wedding pictures tomorrow, the second I get home from work. 
I promise. 

Did I mention I arrived home from work today at 12.23am? Oh no, I realize that it means I didn't get home from work until the very next day. 
I saw that. 

night kids. 

xo . jess

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hair Too{s}day.

Volume 4: Basics - How to braid

Welcome to my  weekly tutorial  of what do to with your hair!! People are always asking me 

"How did you do that to your hair?" 

And so here are my answers, trials, and step by step tutorials of 

"How you can do that to your hair, too!"

Happy Holiday week!
I'm in crazy holiday cheer today. Jammin' out to my perfectly personalized Pandora Christmas station, complete with Bing Crosby and my favorite Christmas songs :) 
I hope I've been able to give you some ideas for the perfect Christmas' Do for this year. I always love your comments, including those I get on Facebook :) So a little shout out thank you for those Facebook followers that are always telling me they can't wait to see my link appear in their feed :). It means so much! After last week's do, a comment from my favorite bloggerfriend and follower Mandee (my favorite cat lady) confirmed what I had been thinking about for awhile. 
> that I should probably include a tutorial on how to braid <

So here you have it. I included a video on how to do a basic French braid, don't worry we're going slow here ;) and then because I felt like it, I show you step by step, how to work the braid magic on various popular braids. 
Don't get frustrated. It took me some time to get the hang of it also. 

Just know these few things: 
1. Practice makes perfect It really takes some time to just play with it and get a feel for it. (Oddly, I can never really watch myself braid in the mirror, because then I get turned around, so I don't look and try to "picture" what I'm doing..I don't know if that makes sense, but try it! 
2. The messier the braid, the better Don't be a perfectionist. You don't want to end up with school girl braids. It has to turn out messy, with pieces sticking out for softness and texture. 
3. Dirty hair is better hair Any braid is always more difficult on freshly washed hair. It's just a fact :) 

Alright, enough blabbing. Let's BRAID! 

What you need: 
- a comb to brush your hair
- clear hair ties
- bobby pins
- a "claw" to help you hold hair out of the way

1. basic French braid
**disclaimer: I was pretty convinced my speakers on my notebook were/are broken, hence the always silent tutorial videos. Apparently it picks up music ?! .. I was going to redo the video..but then the Excedrin commercial comes on and I thought it was hilarious! So I left it :P 

What you do: 
- Brush your hair back
- Gather a pretty good layer of hair and part in three parts. 
- The first braid I'm showing you how to do a "normal braid" as I call it. You'll see the difference in a minute. 
- Take the left outer part and lay it over the middle, grabbing it between your index and middle finger, holding it tight with your middle finger. 
- Take the middle part into your left hand and hold the whole thing in your hand tightly. 
- Take the right outer part and place it over, grabbing it with your left hand middle finger, letting go of the piece that should be between your thumb and index finger. 
- Grab the loose piece with your entire right hand. There should be two pieces in your left hand and one in your right. 
- Place the piece that's in the middle over to the right hand (use your spider hands) so that you're holding on to two pieces in your right hand now. 
- Ready for the next step? Find another finger in which to place the outer left piece, and once your left hand is free pull a straight NEW piece of hair along your head, lift it and add it to the left outer piece that you just added to your right hand. 
- Release the underneath piece, holding on tight to the "new" part you just created, and repeat on the right hand side. **You have to play with this switching, to get the hang of it and figure out a way you can hold it easy. I hope I'm not totally confusing you yet. 
- Repeat repeat repeat until you're completely braided. 
- NOW, I'm going to do the "under braid" which you should use if you're going to braid your hangs out of your face, like Lauren Conrad always does. 
- It's the entirely same concept, except when you first start out, you have to literally just braid under, instead of over. It took me awhile the get the hang of this one, but some people think it's easier. 
- With this braid, it'll look like your braid is sitting on your head, popping out a little. 

2. The LC braid

What you do: 
- Part your hair on the side of your head. (I'm having a really hard time doing this reverse in the webcam :P) ((AND I love this song!!))
- Part if all the way over as wide as your ear. Pull back the rest of your hair so it's out of your way. 
- Also, *** practice with this, it's tricky *** part three small pieces (again I'm having issues) 
- Start braiding under like we just learned, but in this braid, you're only going to pick up new hair on the outside of your hair, watch closely how I do it. 
- Every piece that goes under from the front, gets new hair, the other pieces get braided regularly, till I'm back to the front piece. 
- This can be a little difficult, and it takes getting used to braiding sideways, hence the reason why I'm moving my head all over the freaking place. 
- (aren't you loving the music? :D) 
- Stop adding hair right above your ear and finish the braid
- Pull it around against your head and pin in behind your ear. 
- Now you can wear your hair done, please not as messy as mine, or pull it back, or keep on going with last week's do! 

3. My famous head.wrap braid

What you do: 
- (I know. The Christmas music is awesome) Start off the same way as the last braid, except your beginning pieces should be just slightly thicker. 
- Don't pull your hair back, just brush it back from your crown. 
- With this braid you're going to completely French braid, so take up new hair with every new piece. This is a pretty advanced braid so don't get frustrated! Try the not looking thing if you feel like you got a hang of the whole braiding thing!!
- (Like my singing?)
- Braid down the side of your head like before, pushing back the top layer and pulling pieces from underneath. 
- Once you get slightly past your ear, you're going to want to start braiding across the back of your head, so start using the top layer of hair you've been pushing back till now. 
- Here comes tricky part number 1. Switching hands! You're gonna have to switch your hands to come around both sides of your head so you can continue braiding. I have no easy way to tell you how to do this. Practice with someone either watching and helping you hold until you get the hang of it. 
-Once you've successfully switched, keep braiding normal, taking hair from below and from the top, until your all the way across the back of your head. (My swivel chair is not working with me today)
- Tricky part 2 switching hands again! This one isn't as  hard, but you're going to start braiding looser and holding the braid further away from your head, finishing the braid, once you have all of your hair in the braid. 
- Once the braid is to the very end, hold it firmly, and tuck it under your hair. If you have longer hair, see my pictures below of when I used to do this with longer hair!
- Secure with bobby pins and you're completamente!!

I know you can't see anything really, a little where the braid starts, but I have the back of my hair braided in the same process. I just did it in a half up version. SUPER easy and looks better the messier it is, if you just straighten your hair. Do the same thing and above, just start on the side of your head, and leave half your hair down, so you're gonna braid up a little higher on your head, and the braid will be skinnier with less hair, but it looks so cool. Once you get to the other side of your ear, just let the ends hang down, secure the braid with a clear elastic and pin it right behind your ear. 

Would you believe me, if I only kept this picture from 3 years ago, only because I loved that you could see my whole braid? :) Anywho, again I started on the side of my head, leaving my bangs out, braiding all the way across the back, and then just tieing the whole thing in a half pony. Again straightening looks the best I think. (I knew this would come in handy :))

(look! it's my hilarious friend Ry from Mile High Madness :))

Who said side braids aren't in? I think there'll be a lot of braids for Christmas do' this year. :) 

If I could wear my hair braided every day for the rest of my life, 
I would. 

xo . the braid queen