Friday, June 27, 2014

{Confessions of a Product Junkie}....Curly Hair Products Update

Hello blog readers!  It's been a awhile!  I have just completed my 3rd week of a 5 week summer term where I am teaching 2 classes, which equates to being away from everything for approximately 20 hours a week between Monday-Thursday.  Couple that with my law practice, and well, that's where I've been for the last bit.  I think I have some exciting adventures to share this summer, so don't go anywhere!

Today, I'm giving up update on my hair.  Not that any of you care about MY hair, but if anyone has curly, wavy, or even knows someone with either of those types of hair, hopefully this post can help you too!

I wrote last summer about my own personal hair product apocalypse when most of my go-to products were discontinued and I was forced to find something that would work for my curly hair.  It's definitely been an example of where "one door closes, another door opens" or "all things happen for a reason" (or insert your preferred cliche here).  You may recall that I decided to go all in, and embrace the Deva Curl system.  I had never been a "system" girl, but desperate times call for desperate measures!

Today I thought I would give you an update on my thoughts after approximately one year with Deva Curl...


Deva Curl Low-Poo
They also have a No-Poo, which I enjoy the smell of better than Low-Poo, but I like the small bit of lather that the Low-Poo gives you, which is missing from the No-Poo.

Deva Curl One Condition
Like most curly haired people, dry hair can be a problem for me.  My hair lady thinks my hair has been in its best condition ever since I started using Deva Curl.  I haven't purchased or used any of their more deep conditioning treatments, because it hasn't been necessary, but keep in mind they are out there.

{styling product while wet}
Deva Curl Ultra Defining Gel
A huge change from my before Deva Curl days...I only use one (ONE!) styling product while my hair is wet.  That may not be a big deal for you people who don't have to tame the beast that is curly hair, but take my word for it, this is a BIG DEAL!.  I use Ultra Defining Gel.  I have also tried a sample of a spray product that I liked too.  But I got this one first, it works, so I'm sticking with it.

{styling product when dry}
Deva Curl Styling Cream
Again, I only use one styling product once my hair is dry!

Deva Curl makes hair sprays, but I haven't ever tried it.  I still use the same hairspray I have used since 5th Grade!  So I guess I haven't totally adopted the system.

{other products}

I starting using the Microfiber towel.  
This is highly recommended by "experts" because it is suppose to keep hair from frizzing.  I have the Deva Curl towel, but have also bought cheaper ones at places like Tuesday Morning (in the kitchen towel section).  

I really was curious about the Deva Curl Hair Dryer, but never $160 curious

Then they came out with just the diffuser, which at $45 was much more pocket book friendly. 
While it looks like a giant Shrek hand, and is a little different to get used to, 
I do think that I like it a lot.

Finally, the last "ingredient" into my year long experiment is a Silk pillowcase.  Again, this is suppose to help with frizzing issues.  I see a huge difference on my second day hair (and maybe even third day on occasions!).  I ordered this Spasilk one off of Amazon.  It is pretty inexpensive, and has held up well.

Note:  Do not confuse Satin pillowcases with Silk Pillowcases.  Satin is easier to find at all the major stores.  Silk is a little harder to find (thus my order from Amazon).  Satin can actually make the frizzing worse, not better!


(1) Shampoo & Condition in the shower.
(2) I comb out my hair when I get out of the shower, clip it up with a big clip, and then usually put on my makeup.
(3) I then lean over the sink and re-wet my hair with COLD water.  I get it soaking wet.  I squeeze out a lot of the moisture, but still leave it pretty wet (it would still be dripping at this point).
(4) I add the gel, and then use my microfiber towel to kind of scrunch and squeeze out some of the excess water.
(5) I dry my hair with the diffuser.  I dry my hair until it is completely dry (a little controversial in the curly world, but it works for me).
(6) I use the style cream
(7) I spray it with hair spray.

I think that you have to find what works for your hair, but I do think starting with hair that is too dry can be a problem, and I would think this is a universal problem. 


I have really liked my year long venture into the Deva Curl world.  I think for the most part I have had pretty good hair days (more good than bad, so that's what really counts).  I also love that my hair has been in good condition.  

I have had some friends try it and they only had slightly wavy hair, but it has given them really good results too.

I find myself wanting to recommend Deva Curl to people all the time!  But I bite my tongue because how do you really say "Um, you know what would really make you hair look tons better?  Deva Curl!".

{note:  this is NOT a paid sponsor ad by Deva Curl, but oh how I wish it was!  I could use some free Deva Curl!}

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Emily Giffin Book Signing {2014}

Every couple of years, Emily Giffin writes a new book, and I attend her book signing in Dallas.  This year, it was at the University Park Library.  It was a nice venue for an author talk and book signing, and really much more enjoyable than it was at Barnes & Noble.

Emily always give out buttons for her book events...

If you haven't read any of Emily's books..... what are you waiting for?!?  Start at the beginning and work your way through them all:

Something Borrowed
Something Blue
Baby Proof
Love the One You're With
Heart of the Matter
Where We Belong
The One & Only

Vanity Fair has described her as the modern day Jane Austen...

In an effort not to give too much away about The One & Only, here is the blurb from Emily's website which describes the book

Thirty-three-year-old Shea Rigsby has spent her entire life in Walker, Texas—a small college town that lives and dies by football, a passion she unabashedly shares. Raised alongside her best friend, Lucy, the daughter of Walker’s legendary head coach, Clive Carr, Shea was too devoted to her hometown team to leave. Instead she stayed in Walker for college, even taking a job in the university athletic department after graduation, where she has remained for more than a decade.
But when an unexpected tragedy strikes the tight-knit Walker community, Shea’s comfortable world is upended, and she begins to wonder if the life she’s chosen is really enough for her. As she finally gives up her safety net to set out on an unexpected path, Shea discovers unsettling truths about the people and things she has always trusted most—and is forced to confront her deepest desires, fears, and secrets.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Summer Reads {2014}

It seems to me that Summer is for books, what Thanksgiving through January is to movies.  I love the  summer book season!

Here are some of the books that have just been released, or are about to release, that I will be reading this summer...

I just love Emily.  I love all her books.  I have attended three of her book signings, and will attend another on June 3rd.  I always have such fun!  Oh, and have I mentioned we follow each other on twitter?  This new book is out today, so get your copy.  I'm currently stalking Fedex tracking for progress on my copy!

Jennifer Weiner is another favorite author.  She has a new book coming out on June 17th.  I've only been able to attend one of her book signings, but I hope that when she releases her book tour dates, I'm able to attend another one.

I've read all of Jane Green's books as well.   This book has been out for a couple of months, and I can't believe I haven't read it yet.  I will be reading it soon.

I have read several of Mary Kay Andrews books.  They are always a quick & fun read, and I like that they are always set in the south.  This one comes out June 3rd.

I read Daisy Goodwin's "The American Heiress" and enjoyed it a lot.  It was very Downton-esque.  "The Fortune Hunter" comes out on July 29th, and it sounds like it will be a good one too.

I recently checked out "The House Girl" from the library.  I also loaned it to my friend Lisa while I had it, and we both enjoyed it.  There are several stories woven into this book, but the main characters are : (1) Lina Sparrow, a first year lawyer at a big firm in NYC, who gets tasked with finding a perfect plaintiff for a big reparations law suit the firm is working on; and (2) Josephine, who is the house girl for which the book is named, and her life on a plantation.  

I've read great things about "The Goldfinch", and of course it won the Pulitzer Prize this year.  I also checked it out from the library and it is sitting on my nightstand, but I haven't read it yet.  Lisa read it and said she didn't enjoy it as much as "The House Girl" (thus it's still sitting on my nightstand!).  Actually, I just didn't want to dive into the 700+ pages of this, when I know that I'm going to get Emily's new book in a day or two and want to read it immediately.

So those are some of the books that I'm looking forward to reading this summer.  What about you?  Are there any that you are looking forward to reading that I have missed?

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Gift to Myself

When I teach an express class each semester, I like to buy myself a reward present for completing it without having to enter rehab for exhaustion during or after the class.  You know, that's a thing that celebrities do.  I'm pretty sure in the normal world, that's called a vacation, but I digress.

Anyway, it's really not that bad.  I think the dread of giving up 3 weekends, and teaching 17 hours over the course of less than 48 hours, is the worst part.  I've been teaching the last 2 weekends, and today I start my 3rd and final weekend.

This semester, the express class happened to coincide with the end of the regular semester, which means I've also been pretty busy wrapping up things for my other two regular semester classes.  Add all that to the past 3 weeks of my actual full-time job practicing law being insanely busy, and well, I feel like I deserve a reward.

I usually like to buy myself something that I might not purchase on a regular basis.  I have bought Tory Burch Revas, Rayban Aviators, etc.  Nothing crazy expensive, like that Prada purse I lust after, but definitely more spendy items than I buy without some serious consideration.  (also note:  I still don't usually bite the bullet unless I am able to get these things at a discount)

This is my last weekend of class, but I rewarded myself a little early this year.  I caught some Tory Burch Miller sandals on sale a couple of weeks ago, so I rewarded myself with a gold pair.

Prior to this, I had only tried on the patent leather ones, and wasn't really in love with them.

But these are a pebbled leather, and I LOVE THEM!
So Comfy!

I have decided that I think I would really like a silver or pewter pair now.  
I mean, if you have gold and silver, they would go with just about every outfit you own, right?
But then I saw this color on Tory's website... Rose Gold!
Be Still My Heart!

 Of course, they are ridiculously expensive for what they are.  I am under no illusion that they are anything but overpriced.  But I am going to be watching for a new sale to hit.  Oh, and I might need to sign up for some additional Weekend Express classes ASAP!

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Summer Tote

Starting early this year, I saw this L.K. Bennett ad in all my magazines month in and month out...
Immediately, I felt a strong pull toward that English Seaside inspired tote!

I went to their website and it was nowhere to be found.  I looked week after week, and finally took to twitter...
(by the way, it is not named Lucy)

I waited impatiently patiently, and finally I found them on their UK website, but they weren't on the US website.  I also called to the Texas LK Bennett store in Houston.  They knew less than I did for whatever reason, but they mentioned that they were getting lots of calls of inquiry about it.

So what's a girl to do?  Take to the twitter again, of course...

I started to worry that if I waited for them to be released in the US, they would sell out before I got one, so I sucked it up, decided I wanted it bad enough to pay shipping from the UK, and placed an order from their UK website.

Truth be told, I wasn't even really sure what the bag cost, or how much the shipping was, since it was all priced out in pounds instead of dollars.  But I did what I often did when going to school in London, or traveling over there... I doubled it and decided that I was okay paying that, so I placed the order.  

Shockingly, I placed the order on a Tuesday, and it was delivered on Friday morning!  Amazing!
It actually was shipped from the UK and got to my house in 24 hours!

(sorry all those were iPhone pics, and bad ones at that!)

A better picture
It came with a cute little post card too!

I'm so happy to have it.  I think it's such a super cute Spring/Summer tote.  Oh, and I was correct.  Out of all three, the one I got was sold out instantly once it hit the US market!  So glad I paid for the shipping, and so sad I didn't order several to ebay!  

Monday, April 28, 2014

Pie! Oh my!

I don't know about you, but I just love finding new places.  I always get so excited, but my expectations are apparently, well... high.  Usually, places measure up in some areas, but fall short in others.  I guess over time, I still have high standards, but my expectations have diminished, since I've dealt with disappointment more than once.  That being the case, I cannot express how elated I was last week when I came upon a new place in my beloved downtown McKinney, TX, and it not only met, but exceeded my standards in ALL AREAS!

I went down to the square for lunch last week.  I love the square.  It kind of makes me feel like I live in Stars Hollow (Gilmore Girls reference for those of you deprived of that gem), and it was one of the main reasons that Money Magazine chose McKinney as the #2 best place to live in the NATION.  I don't go down there often enough.  While we have great restaurants, it's not always easy to pop in and out due to parking issues, so it's not a place we go as often as we should.  But I do go down to get my hair cut and occasionally shop around at the cute collection of stores, and on occasion, for lunch.  Last week I went twice for hair and lunch, and I discovered a pie shop.

As soon as we saw it, it was a no brainer.  We were going for pie!  I was shocked to discover that The Emporium: Purveyor of Fine Pies,  has actually been here since November.  Apparently they just got their tables outside and signage, so that's why I had missed it every time I had driven by over the past 5 months.  The outside was very appealing...

The inside was equally cute.  I didn't take pictures inside.  I didn't want to freak them out too much, as my over enthusiasm at each element was probably freaky enough!

Every.  Single.  Element.  Was.  Perfect!

The menus you could take home...
Simply Gorgeous!

We got our pie to go...

The to-go packaging is so charming...

We got two to try...Smooth Operator and Snowball

I'm not as big of a pie nut as I am cake nut, but y'all, IT WAS GOOD PIE!

Not fancy schmancy pie, but your grandmother is a wonderful cook and this is her famous pie kind of good.

It is all made in house.  It is all natural ingredients.  It is beyond good.  

We now have a goal:  Try all the pies before they change the menu (as they do seasonally). 

If you live in the area, come try some pie.  They have very generous hours of operation, so it shouldn't be a problem.  If you aren't in the McKinney area, they also have a store in the Bishop Arts District down in Oak Cliff.  

This is not a paid advertisement.  I'm just overly enthusiastic about a quaint business, with wonderful products!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Easter 2014

For Easter, we went to my uncle's house in Dallas.  I made a salad, deviled eggs, and some coconut cream eggs.  We had tons of food as you can see...

My mom made the mini strawberry lemon pies from last month's Southern Living...

This year I tried a new trick for boiling the eggs for deviled eggs.  AND IT TOTALLY WORKED!  Here's the trick:  flip your eggs over in the carton so that you are storing them "upside down".  Do it like a day or two before, and then the yolk will be in the center of each instead of all wonky in at least half of them!  Seriously, you can see how perfect they were...

Pretty dining room and table too...

My cousins...

The coconut cream eggs were super good.  You could totally make them into candy balls instead of eggs, and then you don't have to wait until next Easter to make them!

Here's the recipe:

Coconut Cream Eggs

8 ounces of softened cream cheese
1 TBSP softened butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup of shredded coconut
1 TBSP shortening
2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Using a mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter until blended.  Incorporate the powdered sugar, and then the coconut.

Refrigerate the mixture for one hour, or until easy to mold with your hands.  Dust your hands with powdered sugar, and mold the mixture, placing them on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.

Place in freezer for 2 hours or until eggs are firm.   Melt chocolate chips and shortening in microwave* by heating for 30 seconds, then stirring, and repeating until melted and smooth.  Dip eggs in chocolate mixture until completely coated.  Place back on wax paper and refrigerate until hardened.**

*I used a double boiler and found that not to be ideal, because it was melting my eggs quickly.  So the microwave is probably best.

**I found that the kept best in the refrigerator until you were ready to eat them!


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