On this snowy, and very grey Toronto day.. I managed to reflect on a lot of things during my solo coffee this morning. How much I love to be around those who I love so dear to my heart, and being there for my family more often. I think one of the biggest lessons that I have learnt through these six months, is that no matter where you are in the world, if you don't have those amazing people surrounding you, then life isn't as meaningful. Work is great, but work will never be there to help you through hard times, illness, or stress.. your family and friends will. I fully recognize and acknowledge that now. I have constantly been on the run since I graduated, that I have found myself realizing.. that I haven't stopped to smell the roses either. It is safe to say that I have now lived in two wonderful cities.. and not once actually soaked it up for what it really is. In this time of reflection, I have realized that I am so young, and have my WHOLE life ahead of me.. so what is the rush? After reading an article on the book "The Happiness Project".. basically stating that life will pass you by, and it is only up to you to maintain your happiness. I read on, and decided that I wanted to start my own happiness project. Revelations for each month of this fine 2011 year. So.. after two hours in Starbucks, and two Americano's deep, I have 4 pages in my journal, inked with my personal revelations. Here goes,
Danielle, change yourself to love more than you can ever imagine. You are already known for smiling.. but smile MORE. Smile 10-30 minutes each day, and make a stranger smile back too. Show unconditional love and support to those in need, non stop. Love makes the world a truly better place. Constantly be mindful of your heart, and choices from the heart.
Work harder on all things dear in your life. Obviously your career is on the top of the list, but make sure your work also includes your blog, which is your diary. Aim for more in your portfolio. Continue to make close connections with those higher up. Lastly, acknowledge your work, because that is what will keep you inspired. Know that your capable of whatever you want, and trust your decisions. Remember that you must crawl before you walk.. and then walk until you can learn to run. Get better at being patient with life. Everything comes when it is ready.
Theme: LIGHTEN UP
Remember that "the day's are long, but the years are short". Let go of the pressure you put on yourself, and just be in the moment. Appreciate the smaller things.
Dani, if you truly want to have fun, and live those years young and hard.. having the time of your life.. THEN DO IT. But make sure that you schedule these things like any other doc or dentist appointment.. so that you can't get caught up in the routine of work and everyday life. If you never find time, you wont.
Keep close contact and connections with good friends, near or far.. for they are more important then anything else. They keep you strong, and are the little lights in your life that make you shine your brightest.
Theme: BUY HAPPINESS
Obviously watch your spending, but treat yourself and others. Go out for a fancy dinner, a trip somewhere far or close, or a day at the spa. Ultimately, you need to do these things, because you deserve them.
Theme: CONTEMPLATE THE HEAVENS, and ETERNITY
Dani.. you must keep writing. Writing is what keeps you grounded at even the hardest of times in your life. Whether your having a great day.. or a horrible one.. WRTIE. Having that spiritualness inside and on the paper, keeps you sane, and soo very aware of yourself and emotions.
Theme: PURSUE NEW PASSIONS, OR OLD
This can be anything! A new hobby keeps life interesting. Try and make it involve helping someone else out too, so your gaining good karma, and being an even better person in the mix. Learn more about things involving your health, take a cleanse, buy a new cook book.. and make things you never thought you could. Do something to ring in the fall.
Dani, be aware of all things in your life. I cannot stress this enough. Take what you have discovered, and realize that it is a learning process. Everything you choose to do in life, always leaves you with a lesson. Good or bad. Right now, you have realized so much about yourself, and noticed the things you were lacking, and leaving behind. When start to see things differently, listen to it, because it is just making you wiser. You always seem to follow your head, instead of the heart, and that can cause unwanted trouble. So just be. :-)
Theme: CONTENT HEART, AND ATTITUDE
Dani, people always say your "too nice" especially in Toronto. For so long you were confused by those comments, because you weren't sure if that meant good things or bad? But just know, that no matter how happy you are to someone else, and kind hearted.. YOU can't make them truly happy. That is up to themselves. Just show your compassion, and know who you are. This is one of your biggest lessons so far.
THEME: PERFECT HAPPINESS
Keep your resolutions close by. Just because resolutions are usually only during the holidays, doesn't mean that you shouldn't make more if you need to, during the year. Resolutions are your personal growth. Reflect on your year, and hope that you followed everything that you wrote down. Think of new ways to be the person that you are, and never change for anyone. Live in your moment.
Season Transitions can leave us all with that bittersweet feeling inside.. Because although we are in the midst of entering Spring, right now can be one the hardest times for our Wardrobe and Appearance. I am sure many of you have the tendency to become overly anxious when seeing Spring Editorials in Magazines, or inspired Runway Shows.. but this is to our advantage when preparing for the next season and trends! As being a Hairstylist, I always become inspired by trends on or off the Runway. Whether they are extreme or effortless, I love to alter or make a solid attempt for them to be "Street Worthy". Below are the following popular trends, and a brief description of how to achieve this look in your own bathroom mirror!
For me, I feel this is a classic Spring trend that never gets old. It's that look of "just got off the beach, destination vibe". Headwear can definitely be something incorporated into your bathing suit, or beach outfit. To achieve this look, simply section your hair in either a center or side parting, and secure all Hair into a low Pony. Once Hair is pulled back, wrap the Pony tail around the elastic, creating that "loose bun" effect. This look is not about perfection, so don't worry about it loosening a bit. Once wrapped, grab a generous amount of Bobbi Pins, and begin securing the bun with your pins. After your finished, grab whichever Headband you want, and gently bring it over your head, placed far back enough that you can still see the parting.
In terms of your Headwear.. it is very easy to find inexpensive Headwraps in any Womens Department Stores. Ex. Forever 21, H&M, Urban Outfitters.
Low Pony, with a Sleek Side Parting:
One of the biggest trends on the Runway and on the Streets, are the Low Ponytail, with that dramatic part. Although this look is a lot more edgy, it maintains femininity at the same time. To achieve this look, have a Styling Lotion or Light Gel handy, as this will help create sleekness and perfection on all angles. Some of my favorite products for this look, are the Bumble and Bumble "Styling Lotion", and the Bumble and Bumble "Gellac". You can get either of these retail items at any salon which carries Bumble.
Once you have applied a generous amount of product to freshly clean hair, begin by sectioning your hair to the side ( almost lined up at the end of your eyebrow). With a comb, start combing through the hair so everything will smoothen out, working the product through. Once hair has been completely smoothed, slowly comb hair into your hand (which will be your ponytail). When the hair has all reached your hand, grab a thin tight Hair Elastic and secure!
Imperfection at its finest:
To create this Loose Beach Look, begin by towel drying freshly washed Hair, and applying Bumble and Bumble "Styling Lotion" and Bumble and Bumble "Thickening Spray". Another alternative product to use before blow drying is the Sebastian Professional "Volume Active Spray". Begin by sectioning a center parting, and start rough drying with your fingers. This will allow for imperfection in the part, and allow some lift at the root. Feel free to flip your head upside down and continue to dry and gain that ultimate volume. Once 80% dry, use a large round brush; take large sections of the Hair and start at the front, project 180 degrees with the brush, to give maximum volume. Direct the brush beveling under and also upward for uneven texture and to enhance any layers within your hair.
Once completely dry, finish with a Light Holding Spray of your choice, my fav being "Aero Gel" (in a pink and white can). Also the "Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray" is a great product for this look.
Big Volume and 80's Waves:
One unexpected Spring Look that has made a huge comeback, has been the 80's "Farrah Fawcett" look. This trend is great, paired with any sort of Tribal or Floral spring printed top or dress. The tools you will need for this look, is a 1 inch and a half curling iron, or Marcel Iron (gold wand one). A setting spray, preferably "Aero Gel", mainly because it acts as a pre styling spray and setting spray when your finished. Begin by sectioning the hair into 4 sections.. (down the middle, and ear to ear). Starting at one side, continuously wrap hair around the iron, if you use the clamp on a basic iron.. it will not create that "wave" effect, so make sure you are just wrapping the hair around and not using the clamp. Whichever direction you choose to wrap the Hair around, will be the result of the direction of the curl. Continuously work your way around the head, curling 3/4 inch sections. I cannot stress enough, that you must not touch a single curl, or put your hands through them. When heat is applied to hair to create any sort of texture, the Hair needs time to "Set", and cooling allows that. Once you are finished, and your entire head of curls are "set" and "cooled", flip your head upside down and begin working your fingers through the curls and shaking it all out. Once everything is pulled through, flip your hair back up, and Set with your finishing spray! If anything feels out of place or you want more volume at the root or crown of the head, use a Tail Comb, and gently and lightly backcomb some sections for minimal volume.
I can't help but think of a Chic French Woman, when seeing this look on or off the Runway. It is the new and improved "Model Bun" for Spring and Summer, and still compels elegance, class, and simplicity on all levels. Begin with 80% freshly dried Hair, with have already worked in a Styling Product of your choice. Particularly a gel that works great for this look, is "Sebastian Professional, Gel Forte"
which is a light holding gel, that also gives a "wet effect". Using a quarter size amount to start, work through partially damp Hair. Make sure the hair is combed through prior, because as this look is very sleek, it also allows for some uneven texture too. Gently start pulling the Hair back into the lowest pony tail as you can, being mindful that the sides are tighter then the top portion. Once your pony tail is secured with an elastic, twist the hair before wrapping around the elastic. Once the hair is wrapped, using larger than normal Bobbi Pins, begin pining the bun in place!
Blunt Bangs are back, and screaming for Spring. If you feel like taking the plunge, and changing your look a bit.. I highly recommend doing a little bit of a fringe. If your scared to do it bluntly right off the bat, ask your stylist to ease into the process, by starting with a bang that can work as a side bang and somewhat straight across! That way, you can see if it something you want to commit to!
If you want to change your look a little bit more.. throw some layers into the mix, and shag it up! Spring this year is all about the hair looking "undone", so by adding layers, it will give/create more texture to the hair and style.