Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wedding Season: DIY Chic Summer Hair

As many of you already know, I'm right in the core of the wedding planning process for my February 2014 wedding! Many brides turn to a planner to keep organized and in tune with the latest trends, but I thrive from this kind of stuff, especially since it's been my own wedding! I've had a lot of time to plan, so each experience of picking flowers, asking the bridesmaids, and picking the dress has been made into a celebration!

Along with picking the flowers, you have to put your faith into the hands of your make-up artist, photographer, hair stylist, etc. Of course, we all want the best of the best to take care of us on our big day, so I've been doing lots of research. Along the way, I've picked up a few tips on some DIY hair tools that will make you look fabulous if you are planning to do you own hair on your big day or if you just want to look amazing for all the weddings you have coming up this summer!

As we know, Wedding Season can cost a fortune between shower gifts, wedding gifts, and adorable dresses, so why not add a finishing touch with a DIY up-do that will save you money, but keep everyone guessing "who did her hair?"
Best Wedding Hairstyles: Stars' Bridal Hairdos on the Red Carpet : Sideswept Chignon
Often times I have people ask me how I'm able to do my hair in so many different styles. Long, thick hair helps, but I also seek the help of some fun tools!

Simple Style Spin Pin Detail

Whenever I pull these "screws" out of my hair, I get a lot of strange, but intrigued, looks. They look silly and it's hard to understand how they actually work, but they just do! All you do is wrap your hair into a bun, spin these babies into the center of the bun, one on each side and voilà stays up! No ponytail holder required and the best doesn't leave any indentations in your hair like the holders do!

You can do a high bun, middle, or doesn't matter! I've even gotten a little creative with them and use them to push my hair up for more volume when it's in a messy bun!

Below is a tutorial of how to use The Wrap Up! Forget the sock bun! This is soo much easier and more natural looking!

Here is a tutorial of Sarah, herself, using The Wrap Up! She's so amazing with hair that she makes it look effortless! I love the loose curls and the way she puts the bun to the side! Did you check out that "Faux Bob" below? Amazing! You don't even need to chop off your hair! It's all about versatility! One day you have a short bob the next day you have a big beautiful bun!

Sarah Potempa is all about making it easy for us! Now we can do the same looks effortlessly! Imagine having the same looks that Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Emily Blunt, or even the look that Lea Michele has below:

Pinned Image

 Also, take a look at Sarah Potempa's Beachwaver for effortless curls that STAY!!! I swear...GOD must be a woman because Sarah's products are just what we need to make life a little bit easier and a whole lot more fabulous!
Happy Hobbying Styling,

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Snow has Melted: My Brain has Thawed

I can't believe I haven't posted anything since January! I think I went into hybernation! But the snow has officially melted and it's finally starting to feel more and more like Spring in Chicago!

A lot has happened in the last 3 months...I've moved into a new home, been planning my wedding, and was even able to sneak away on a few fantastic getaways.

All of these fun events have been big inspiration to what I've planned to write about, however I've had tons of thoughts flowing through my head, which has made it difficult to pinpoint what to talk about! 

I came across this perfect birds eye view of my head right now...

Maybe Hubs will understand when I explain it this way...(from @[305525486452:274:The Truth About Motherhood])
This is so me and I typically do have at least 2,000 tabs open in my mind and on my PC at all times! :)

The biggest topic that is consuming my thoughts right now is my Winter wedding in 2014! Yay! It's soo much fun to fantasize and think BIG! I've got my ideas and inspirations, but for the meantime, these details will remain a secret! The eliminate of surprise is the key :)

I will, however, be sharing some of my favorite wedding trends, colors, ideas and some tips throughout the next few months. If there is anything specific you would like me to talk about or research for you I'd be happy to assist as your pseudo wedding planner! Just post a comment!

What bride doesn't secretly want a little "FRANCK" in her life?

Pinterest has always been my best friend, but I'm actually contemplating making it a bridesmaid?!? I'm mean, it provides you with wedding advice, emergency tips, and even can entertain you when you think you  might lose your mind. Plus, it won't say a word about the ugly dress you decide to pick out! I think I'm onto something here...

I've been driving my fiance crazy at night because rather than getting involved in the Wheel of Fortune puzzles that we always battled over, I'm nose deep on my i-pad scrolling up and down and up and down looking for inspiration!

I subscribe to Brides Magazine as well, which is great cuz I can easily pull out the pictures and dtore them in my "Wedding Binder", however there is something so addictive about that Pinterest!

Speaking of, by sure to follow my pinterest "The Modern Day Renaissance Woman". ;)

So, I thought the best way to ease myself back into my blog is by highlight a few of my favorite "must haves/dos" for some of the fun things I've been doing this winter:

1. Vacations that Get a Little "Steamy" 
Joy Mangano 900-Watt Go Mini® Steamer w Bag Blowout Set
Engagements and moving to a new home, means doing laundry not just for one but for two! I've never been a big ironer. The pulling out of the board, the waiting for the iron to heat up, the fear of burning a hole through your new fiance's favorite shirt...Not appealing!

As I was unloading boxes and "becoming more domestic" in January, I flipped on the tv, which happened to be on the HSN (Home Shopping Network). I've never actually purchased anything through the tv before, but I did go through a phase in college where I would watch it all day, but never had a purpose for anything.

Well on this particular day, the ladies of HSN were doing a segment on Joy Mangano and her home organizing systems. They featured a mini steamer that did a great job selling, I must say. I skipped right over to the computer and order us one in brown! I would never have to iron again and it was in a travel size, which was going to be perfect for the traveling I'd be doing, especially for work!

The beautiful box arrived and I've been "steaming" ever since! I brought this with to all my getaways to ensure I'd stay looking fresh and crisp. I jam so much in my suitcases anyway that it's hard to avoid a wrinkle or two! The Joy Mangano 900-Watt Go Mini® Steamer with Bag Blowout Set is just what I needed to help bridge the gap between "girlfriend" and "wife".

2. New House: Throw Pillows and a Housewarming Party

Shop pillows
One of the first things I did once we moved in and had our new sectional delivered was to add the pillows. The manufacture included a few custom pillows that I got to pick out different designs for, which was great, but I wanted lots and lots of pillows and I didn't want them to be too matchy matchy. I'm loving all the  geometrical designs. For so long, people thought the pillows all had to be the same design or you could only do a variation of 2 or 3, however you could literally "throw" ALL of these pillows on your sofa and it would become a huge focus point in your living room space. Be sure you have plenty of cocktails handy, because your guests will want to cozy up to them all night!

Tip: Homegoods, one of my favorite guilty pleasures, is a great place to get a similar look without the price tag! What is their tag line again? "Homegoods Happy"? With a wedding to plan and a new home to decorate, I know this makes me happy :)

3. Wedding to Plan: Bridezilla Who?!?

When I got engaged in August, we originally looked to set a wedding date in October. This would give us just over a year to plan. When dates for the venue and church weren't available at the same time, we choice to push the wedding back to after the holidays and to when things slowed down for everyone. Our new date has given us a lot more time to budget and plan.

With many "to-dos" for the "i dos" already checked off our list, we still have 10 months of "planning bliss" ahead of us. This has made the planning experience much more pleasant for me. I'm a very details planner, so I could have only imagined that I would have turned into a bridezilla if I only had a few short months to plan.  Don't get me wrong, I'm sure I will have my moments, but so far so good!

As much as my fiance and I want to call eachother "husband and wife" asap, we are glad that we don't have to rush the joys of being engaged. Plus saying "fiance" is so much more fun, right?!

Everyone keeps telling me that they don't feel any different once they are married, so why rush to get rid of the "bride" title? Anything that involves a "title" and an excuse to wear white everyday is okay by me! Just like we should all do on our wedding day, take it all in and enjoy it!

Now get in the bath, pour some bubbles, pull out your ipad (already loaded up to Pinterest, of course) and relax!

Happy Hobbying Bathing,

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Winter Weather Prep: Sundance "Fashion" Festival

Winter Weather Prep: Sundance Fashion Film Festival

As I begin prepping for my visit to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, I'll immediately reach for my winter essentials! Big furry hats, snow boots, parka, etc. Knowing I'll be spending time outdoors while rubbing elbows with celebs, my cuddle dud long underwear is not going to cut it! :)

What to wear, what to wear??! When packing for this trip, I need to remain practical, while still looking fabulous! It brings me back to my adolescence, when sitting at the bus stop mid-January meant every bit of skin was covered, including my face! The key is to find a happy medium to ensure warmth and style.

Remember this gem of a look from The Christmas Story?!?








Canada Goose Genuine Shearling Pilot Hat
**Faux Fur is fabulous and less expensive


Wardrobe is crucial, but don't neglect your most important accessory...your skin! Winter months bring dry air, days of forgetting sunscreen, and pale skin. I use Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer to combat all three of these "Winter Blues"

Laura Mercier - Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20

For those extra-dry days, turn up your humidifier and try this moisturizer by Clinique:

Clinique - Superdefense SPF 25 Age Defense Moisturizer Dry Combination

See some of these tips I found on from Ulta and Allure Magazine to keep you skin perfect all year round:

Now I'm ready!!! Fingers crossed for a few celeb sightings! :)

Happy Hobbying Film Watching,

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ebates- Earn As You Spend this Holiday Season!

I forgot to share with everyone during my last post about one of my favorite websites...Ebates! 

The thought just popped into my head, so I decided to write a post as my fiancé and I are in the car (He's driving, of course :P ) This tip is too good to wait!

I prefer to be jolly all through the holiday season and most of the time the crowds in department stores or mad shoppers on Michigan Avenue bring me down! 
No Thanks!

We often forget that this season is not about pushing and shoving, but for a time to give and spend time with loved ones!

Online shopping is the way to go! You can "give" while you save and most importantly, you save yourself some time that could be better spend singing Christmas Carols around the fireplace :) 

With Ebates, you do all the above and you even earn a little extra! Ebates is associated with hundreds of stores, so every time you spend with them, you get cash back!

You even get a $10 gift card to a store of your choice when you sign up!

Before you hit the "shopping cart" be sure to sign up using the link below...

The site even runs specials when they with double you cash back!

For example, I made a purchase at Nordstrom with 6% order before tax was just over $200, so I made $12 in just that purchase! Add in coupon codes and free shipping and I would call that a success! lines or crazy shoppers!

A little extra cash in your pocket never hurts!!! Does it?!? :)

Happy Hobbying Shopping Saving!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

MDRW's Favorite Things 2012

For years, I looked forward to Thanksgiving week when I would stay in my PJs, pour a cup of tea, have my trusty notebook in hand and park my butt on the couch to indulge in every envious moment of...

I would make frantic phone calls and be ready by the internet in order to snag the latest and greatest "it" gifts of the holiday season!!!

I remember my first purchase was the Lollia bubble bath in the wine bottle! As a big bath lover, this was a touch of luxury! There was something so special about using a product that Oprah herself loves!

Remember the UGG frenzy?!? Yes, I was one of those goofballs that searched ebay to pay top dollar just to get my hands on a pair!

Believe it or not, I, myself, got a taste of Oprah's Favs when my Sister landed seats on The Oprah Show for a segment called "What's Cool for Summer" for herself, my Mom, and I!!! We new we were in good hands when we were directed to a sunglass fitting when we walking into the studio. With new designer shades in hand, I knew we were in for a ride! I like to describe this show as a mini version of her favorites! We walked out of there with the new shades, an iPod, speakers, beach towels, cover-ups, hats, beach bags, full Clarins skin care line, Popsicles, and tickets to the Beyonce concert featuring Robin Thicke! We hit the jackpot and for that I'll be forever grateful to Oprah! Not only for the tangible things she gave us, but for such an exciting day on her show with MY two FAVORITE women in the world!

When Oprah announced the cancellation of The Oprah Show I was devastated thinking I wouldn't have that Christmas gift guide I looked so forward to having each year! Needless to say, I was thrilled to see that Oprah brought back her Favorite Things for 2012!!!

This particular episode was great because you got to see the process in which she goes through to select her favs! It's nice to see the integrity she puts behind each product chosen! I was even pleasantly surprised to see her turn away a pair of gloves because, although they were nice, they were overpriced! Love it!

For those of you who missed the episode on OWN, below is a link to her complete list:

So...I got in the shopping spirit and thought it would fun to pick MY favorite things!!! In a fantasy world I would be able to share all these things with deserving people, but we can dream right?!? :)

Oprah chose about 50 things and it took her months, so I'm going to stick with just 10 things that I love!
Enjoy and let me know some of your favorites as well!

10. The Embellished Collar
I love this look because you can make a simple blouse or sweater elegant in an instant! You can wear them with multiple pieces, extending your wardrobe! A great money saver in my mind!

The Full Collar:

The Collar Tips:
 These are amazing! I wore these for a work conference. A great way to add a touch flare to a basic look!

9. Stocking Flatware Holder
Such a simple idea, but adds so much to your table setting!

8.Cucina Coriander and Olive Tree Caddy Set
Luxurious hand soap in the kitchen always makes for a more intimate and hotel-like experience! It's something unexpected next to the Palmolive that you are using on your dishes. Shouldn't we be treating our hands more delicately that our greasy pots and pans?!?

7. Wisteria's Chinese Garden Stool
I prefer to use this stool as a side table or plant table. It's a great design element and comes in multiple colors! I like the silver, as it's a bit more edgy and modern. I already picked up one of these beauties for my three-season room!

6.The Coobie Bra
The Coobie Bra is labeled the most comfortable bra! I'd have to agree! I scored a BOGO deal on these babies and wear them as much as possibly! The bra also seconds as a cami for under shirts and sweaters! Love!

5. Michael Aram Olive Branch Cheeseboard
My Sister and brother-in-law gave this cheeseboard to my fiancé and I for one of our engagement parties! With the holidays here, it's all about entertainment! I'm pumped to put this cheeseboard in service! Michael Aram's pieces are amazing and I plan to add a few to my wedding registry :)

4.Thymes Frasier Fir Fragrance
Nothing smells more like Christmas than the frasier fir tree we put up in our living room every December! Thymes' version of this Christmas classic is spot on and so realistic! One sniff and you'll be hooked! From sprays to candles, there is something for everyone!

3.The Sideways Cross
Love this dainty, delicate necklace! I have one in rose gold! Never thought to wear it on an angle like the one pictured above! Amazing!

2. Apothecary Jars
My Nana used to have these filled with candy when my Mom was a child! I'm starting to see these popping up everywhere! So practical for multiple uses! Make your everyday items, such as candy, fruit, nuts, sugar, nail polish, q-tips, and holiday decor look fabulous! I've already picked up a bunch of these for my new home! Can't wait to fill them!!!

1. Classy Concoction Cocktail Glasses
These glasses and this site are my new obsession! My Captain and Coke always tastes better if it's in a nice glass (more on this later). Like Classy Concoction's tag line says "Any glass can hold a drink, but a classy concoctions starts a conversation!" So true! I'm on a vintage kick so these are the perfect way to send me back to the Mad Men era!

Happy Hobbying Holidays!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Non-Traditional Time"Wine": Great Gift for any Wedding Occasion

Forget a timeline, let wine be your guide! 

Since I love wine, this gift was a no-brainer and was so much fun to put together! I got the idea from my friends MIL (mother-in-law) at her bridal shower! She presented the bride and groom with a wooden trunk filled with wine to be used when celebrating the couples first "firsts." For example, she used Bare Foot Champagne for their honeymoon.

When I saw this, I knew it was just what I needed to make my speech at my Sister's rehearsal dinner a hit! Visuals always help me with my presentations, both personal and professional, so a bunch of wine bottles was a great way to carry me through the speech! Plus, I knew with all the fun kinds of wines out there nowadays it would be easy to pull off! I found most of these wines at our local Binny's, however I picked up a few from a few specialty wine stores in the area.

So here goes MY list, but have fun with it and make it your own:

First Valentine's Day

First Menstrual Cycle :)

First Breakfast in Bed

First Vacation; AKA The Honeymoon

First Fight

First Birthday

First...Well we won't go there

First Baby

First Christmas

First New Year's

First Cinco de Mayo
In my case, this was "First Anniversary" because my sister got married on May 5th.

First "Make Up"

Wedding Night

First Thanksgiving

What do you think? Needless to say, the speech was a big hit and this gift truly is...
the gift that keeps on giving :)

Happy Hobbying Drinking,