Blog| Mood Board

Recently, I’ve actually been using my Pinterest. I’ve never been a big fan of it. It always felt hard to navigate and find original sources and you get five thousand notifications, which I hate. But it’s gotten better and I’ve found a few uses for it.

One of those uses is using it as a digital mood board.

I’ve seen a few different artists use it as such and it’s a much better solution than what I had been doing (saving each picture to a folder on my computer). You can use it for inspiration, references, and a general atmosphere guide. I’ll pin something because I like the style, colors, pose, face, or just so I can see how to draw something I’m not familiar with. It’s actually a great resource and I wish I had started to use it sooner.

So I thought I would give you a peak at what mine currently looks like!

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Day 2 of my Inktober prompts is Owl and I needed a good reference of a barn owl since I’ve never drawn one before. I ended up using the one on the top right and modified it to hold a branch and then used the double triangle shape since I’ve been in love with geometric designs lately.

I’m also starting my own apothecary cabinet at home and it’s one of my prompts so I’ve been pinning different apothecary set ups as well.

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I’m big on mermaids and long, tentacle like floating hair so I pinned a bunch of those as well as some hair designs and things I might use for paintings later. I’ve been trying to get better at drawing hair so I like to pin things in the style I wish I could draw in. The 2nd from the left on the bottom was mostly color inspiration!

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I pinned some pattern inspirations here and flowers because I’m always trying to draw flowers better. Some cauldron’s and cloche designs for inspo for later prompts. That Batgirl on the bottom right is gorgeous and I ended up pinning it for inspiration for future Ladies Night flyers.

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I’m big on skulls, horns, and creepy hand poses and pinned a few references I found. I had the idea of having a girl covering her face with her hands and drawing eyes in her palms and making her whole body galaxy colored with white lineart, but haven’t gotten to that yet. I also want to draw some creepy witch/monster hands for Inktober and maybe do another animal skull.

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And a lot of these are Persephone and crystals inspired. I want to draw a neat pomegranate with flowers and skulls for one of my prompts. And I absolutely suck at drawing crystals so I pinned some for reference. I’m doing a Tarantula with crystals growing out of it later and need to get my crystal game in order. And then of course more flowers because I have a problem.

I’ve only been using my mood board for a month or so but it’s already helped a bunch when it comes to inspiration and coming up with new ideas. I have a seperate board for clothing inspiration and things like that and I think I’m going to start pinning them in my mood board instead. I use it mostly for art anyways and I’m fashion challenged for the most part.

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If you’d like to check our my art board you can see it here! I pin more stuff as I need to and with Inktober, it’s probably going to get a lot bigger.

Do you use Pinterest for your mood board or do you use something else and what do you put on it? Let me know and share yours in the comments!

-Sam <3

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Blog| House Tour

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Our house is a bit eccentric. I will take most of the blame for that but it’s Rony’s fault too. We love a lot of weird things and my witchy aesthetic combined with his love for horror and Halloween and so we ended up with what we have lovingly started calling the Pumpkin House.

I thought I’d give a bit of a house tour so be warned that this post is picture heavy. Also I briefly debated cleaning all of it top to bottom, but decided not to. I wanted to show it looking lived in. It never stays clean between projects, cats, and dogs running in and out so I figured there was no point. Behold it in it’s messy glory!

The first room is the living room. It connected to the dining room and to the backyard and also has a small utility room for our washer and dryer. We keep the art in here black and white mostly and of course, I have a penchant for animal skulls, plants, crystals, and dead flowers.

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We sweep every day and still end up with a giant pile of fur on the floor and no matter how many times I straighten the couch, the dogs or Rony toss the pillows everywhere for naps or play time. We may be getting rid of Leon’s playpen soon since he’s outgrowing it, but he loves to curl up and nap in there sometimes so it’s hard to part with.

Next is the dining room or as we call it, the Halloween room. A large majority of our Halloween collection is kept here and is starting to overflow. It’s connected to the kitchen, front entryway (that leads to my office), and the hallway (that leads to Rony’s office and the rest of the house).

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We pick up Halloween stuff from everywhere. We started the tradition of going to the store after midnight on Halloween and buying everything when it goes on sale. A lot of it came from Seattle when we went last October, some as gifts and conventions, and then the art from everywhere. We have a few original paintings from local artists and Mondo prints that we love.

It’s probably our favorite room. We like to work at the table and hang out together.

Next is our Dia de los Muertos themed kitchen.

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We haven’t done too much with the kitchen. It’s a bit cramped and the set up isn’t our favorite. We had to get a kitchen cart to add more room and so we can keep the plants away from the cats. Rony’s mom gave us the decorative skulls and we kept a bunch of decorations from when we celebrated Day of the Dead.

From the dining room you can get to the front entryway. Ever since we added the screen door there is much more light in there, but we still had to add string lights to keep it from being pitch black.

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The cats love to look out the door and will meow to go outside all the time now.

We got the tall bookshelves from our friend who owned a bookstore but moved away. They’re enormous so we bolted them to the wall but they work very well for collections. I keep a lot of my books in the entry way along with all our geeky figurines and collectible cups. Rony is being a “armory” on the wall.

The downside is that we clean out things a lot and the “take to storage” spot ends up piling up next to the front door. It never gets cleared away. We also keep our shoes next to the front and our coat rack so it just looks messy all the time.

Next is my office that needs to be cleaned.

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The cats have pretty much taken over my room. We made it to where the dogs don’t come into mine or Rony’s offices so those are the cat sanctuaries, but mine more so because of all the windows and places for them to sleep. Demo likes to sleep on top of the closet space and both my office chair and gaming chair have been commandeered by cats.

I have two desks, one for computer work and one for illustrating, and then a bookshelf for all my Etsy store inventory and mailing supplies and a bookshelf for all my paints and art supplies. There’s actually a stack of canvases next to it too.

I’m trying to get frames for all our Ladies Night posters to hang up but Rony bought me this Becky Cloonan Ladies Night poster from Austin Books & Comics. I’ve loved it since I first saw it and it’s one of my favorite things.

Next is Rony’s “office.”

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Rony’s room is very much a boys room. Clothes on the floor and snacks everywhere and it’s mostly the room he goes and plays video games in.

He did manage to clean and organize it lately and got some of his art collection hanging up. He also bought a brand new, huge art piece, the girl with the record, from a local artist at the last First Friday Art Trail. His magic art pieces though were actually the first thing I ever painted for him and I made them right when we got together.

I don’t go into his room much, mostly just to lay on the floor and watch him play games, but occasionally I’ll go and borrow his light table he has set up.

From his room you go down the hallway to the bathroom (which is the only room I didn’t take pictures of) and our bedroom.

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Our bedroom is the least put together room. We go in their to sleep, nap, or lay in bed and mess with our phones. Every now and then I’ll go work in my planner but it’s very much a sleeping room. If the dogs are outside, I can just check on them from the window in our bedroom and go back to sleep. We haven’t even gotten art on the walls even though we have a few framed and ready.

I think a large reason is because a majority of the room is taken up by the dogs’ kennels. Almond’s kennel is huge and Leon just got upgraded to a bigger one. I have to use his as a nightstand and Almond’s as the laundry bin. And we just got a bigger bed with a frame so that’s even more room taken up.

We mounted the TV to get us more space, but not much. I use my grandmother’s old sewing table as a nightstand as well and I’m the only one using Rony’s old dresser and the closet. He keeps his clothes in his office.

I do keep my Sandman collection in the room, mostly so the cats don’t mess with it in my office. One day I’ll fix up the room. It’ll get there.

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I love our house but it is very odd. The floorplan is weird, you could tell it’s been added onto but not in the best way, and the layout is questionable. But we’ve made it into something that fits us and our animals and that works for us.

Moving in together was easy because our styles are so similar and it shows. I just hope to keep filling it with more plants and spooky original art and lots of love.

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-Sam <3

Blog| Conclusion: One Month of Natural Hair

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It’s been one whole month since I decided to put down my hot tools and let my hair be naturally curly. A whole month is sleeping with shirts on my hair, “plopping”, looking up hints online, and early morning showers. You know, you think when you leave your hair natural there should be less work to it. But nope.

At first, I just decided to forgo the hot tools and leave it at that. I continued my routine as normal, only leaving my hair to air dry because if I blow dry then I look like a lion. This quickly did not work. My hair was frizzy and half curly and all mess.

So I needed to change the routine.

I can’t tell you how many different products I bought to get my hair less frizzy. I even gave up drying my hair with a towel and had to start drying it with cotton shirts to prevent frizz. I couldn’t sleep with my hair loose or else I looked like medusa in the morning. I hate sleeping with my hair in a ponytail so this was the WORST.

No more combing. No straightening or curling.

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So first, I asked for recommendations. I ordered a few different anti-frizz and hydrating products since my hair is bleached. First was this Original Sprout Curl Calmer  that was recommended. I would put a bit in my hair after the shower and then put my hair up in the shirt wrap.

Next I got the SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I tried not to put too much so my hair didn’t feel greasy, mostly putting a bit on my hands when my hair was dry and smoothing it on.

Trying to find a balance with my hair though was driving me nuts. Sometimes I’d try a new product or try too many at once and my hair felt gross and I’d have to rinse it all out at the end of the day. I was washing my hair almost daily because there was too much product in it. I either put too much or too little in my hair and would just throw it up in a ponytail to avoid dealing with it.

I was remembering why I preferred straightening it.

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And then I got recommended to do conditioner cleanser or going No-Poo.

Yeah, it sounds weird. Basically you give up shampoo and go for a conditioner cleanser. Shampoo apparently has really harsh detergent in it and can strip out all the oil in your hair and your head tries to make up for it by producing more oil. By doing conditioner cleanser, it’s gentler, doesn’t completely strip out the oil so your scalp doesn’t overproduce it.

I was super skeptical. I hate my hair being oily and greasy. It makes me breakout and dry shampoo feels crunchy. But I quickly got tired of frizzy messy curls so figured why not. I ordered Deva No-Poo conditioner cleanser and tried it out.

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And it’s actually not that bad. It took a while to not add a ton because I felt like I wasn’t clean enough but my curls weren’t that frizzy and were really soft. You don’t get that squeaky clean sound when you rub your hair but apparently you’re not suppose to. It means it’s too clean. It still took 3 days before my hair got oily but even then it wasn’t that oily and I could use dry shampoo to make it last another day.

The downside is that bottle of conditioner cleanser costs $15. That’s a lot for me to spend. Plus Rony is using it now so the bottle is emptying fast and it ain’t that big.

But my hair is finally curling nicely and is less frizzy although it is now huge when dry.

I trimmed it a bit and got some dead ends off and then my hair got even better.

Now am I completely in love with my curls? Honestly, not always. I feel like the curls aren’t uniform enough for it to look really nice and not just a tangled mess. That or I just don’t have the knowledge to make them nice looking. But sometimes they turn out good and I don’t mind them. It also doesn’t help that the bleached ends don’t curl that well anymore.

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I’ll still probably straighten them every now and then, but I think I’ll try and leave them natural more often than not. I wish it was less effort to take care of them because I’m way too lazy for this life, but if I can get a routine down then it might get better.

I’ve learned to like my wild curly look more than before as long as the curls don’t get too crazy.

PS. Bangs are the worst when you have curly hair.

-Sam <3

#NotMyStyle| Firework Maroon

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It’s another NotMyStyle outfit!

Just a recap, I’ll occasionally be having my friends test my style limits by choosing outfits for me I wouldn’t normally choose for myself. This tends to mean color since I mostly wear black, jumpers, crop tops, etc.

This time my best friend Marisa chose this outfit.

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I don’t wear crop tops often. I have a few, but the ones I wear the most are my sweater ones because I can layer them. I have a heard time letting myself have cleavage and showing off my stomach so of course Marisa’s first idea was, “I wanna put you in a crop top.”

This is a step up from her other idea of putting me in matching denim.

Our first trip we went to Kohl’s and Target and didn’t find anything. She wanted a crop top and Maxi skirt and we could not find any Maxi skirts. Then Leon ate all his pain medication and I had to rush home to make my puppy throw up.

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Second trip, we made it to the mall before it closed and Marisa made me to go the store Agaci. I’ve never been there. It doesn’t have anything I tend to buy and I have a hard time finding stuff for me there.

So that’s exactly where she wanted to take me.

We found the Maxi skirt (actual) relatively fast, a flowy maroon flower print skirt with double slits, but took a while to find a crop top. We ended up with two choices, a black short sleeved crop top (similar) and a maroon strappy tank crop (similar).

They all fit me relatively well though I’m so short that I had to hike up the maxi skirt to the top of my waist so no tummy was showing. She left the choice of the top to me and I got both.

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I decided to go with the maroon because paired with the skirt, it looks mostly like a maxi dress. It was hot over the weekend and for 4th of July so it helped keep me cool and I like strappy tanks that criss-cross and the choker strap was neat.

The skirt was airy but still a bit long. I wish it was a tad shorter and then I could wear the top as an actual crop top. On the plus side, I could hide my swim suit under it really well.

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Overall, I don’t hate it. I managed to make it a bit more like my style by pairing it with a dark lip and my pink glasses and black slippers. I actually got a lot of compliments from strangers on the whole outfit and Rony said I looked nice. I wore the black crop top later in the night to pop fireworks after it had cooled down a bit and it went well with the skirt.

Bonus, the maroon matched my hair a bit.

We took these pictures around campus and tried to catch dragonflies and hung out at the fountain. It was very summery.

Would I wear it again? Probably. I don’t think I have a lot to pair the maroon top with besides leggings but I can definitely pair the skirt and black top with something.

So good job, Marisa. And thank you for not finding anything goldenrod colored to put me in because I would have been miserable.

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-Sam <3

Blog| Backyard Dreams

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With the air conditioner having gone out this past weekend, I spent a lot of time outside because it was cooler there than in my own house. I got a lot of yard work done!

I’m gonna warn you, I’m obsessed with DIY’s. I like seeing how things work and I like making them myself. This has resulted in years of me re-purposing ill-fitting clothes into something wearable, making weird furniture, attempting to fix the house with cheap solutions, and watching way too many videos on Facebook.

Our backyard is huge and I love it for the most part, but the fence is falling apart and there is a huge dirt patch next to the door because sun doesn’t shine there. The dogs always track in mud and if it rains then say goodbye to a clean house. I tried to throw mulch on it before but Almond threw it all over the yard when she runs at full speed and rain has washed most of it away.

So I thought of new ideas.

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I got some sand and move around the dirt to make it more level. I had previous fashioned a splash block for our gutter since there’s no downspout and figured I could use those cement tiles to make a sort of patio area. The sand helped to cover the mud and hold the tiles in place and I made a checkerboard pattern with them. I filled the empty areas with pebbles and left an area around our huge tree to add plants or something later. A few more tiles and bags of rocks and it’ll be completely covered.

I fixed out leaky hose and put a few more tiles under it to keep it from making a water hole. The dogs love to dig in the water leaking from it and I’d rather not clean up any more muddy face mask dogs.

Next, I took some cinder blocks and stacked them a few feet high. I left a few near the base to brace it and I’ll fill the holes with dirt and plants later. I inserted four 2×4’s into the holes to fashion the arms of the table and then got some wide wood sheets and hammered them into the 2×4’s to fashion the tabletop. We went with 2 sheets after realizing the first sheet was a little flimsy.

It still needs paint and stain, but we got a nice outdoor tablecloth from Target for now!

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I’ve always wanted a hammock and found one with a stand on Amazon and then we broke down and got this baby pool as well because we always wanted a pool and it was cheap. So basically everything I’ve ever wanted for my backyard we finally got and I am so happy with that decision.

We picked a corner with no trees and with mostly dead grass. The set up was actually super easy, but the sun didn’t make it wonderful. It was hot. We started filling it up (which was a 4 hour process) and worked on setting up the hammock in the shade.

We lined the fence with string lights that we found on sale and I love it so much. Our yard is so big that it’s hard to see the dogs along the back fence at night and I get super paranoid. Now I can see them all the time and it makes out yard seem magical. It was a moderately cheap solution to light up a giant area and makes the area more friendly to hang out in at night.

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We have a Target problem. Most of our things come from Target because it’s a magical place, including all the string lights, inflatables, table cloth, and my bikini bottoms (actual).

This is also the first year I’ve ever worn a bikini. I have a tumultuous with swim suits. I usually always wear shorts and a shirt or if I can find a decent one then a one piece. It’s too hard to find something that fits me and I hate showing my body which has led to a hate-hate relationship with bikinis.

But now I’m on this “loving myself” kick and managed to get the courage to buy a bikini. I originally bought a top from Target that I had liked but kept freaking myself out about it. It was strappy and cool but it was a halter and even their largest in store size fit me a bit small and there was a lot of cleavage. I didn’t feel comfortable in it and I figured that if I was going to try a bikini then I at least wanted to be comfortable.

 

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I got an email that Hot Topic was having a flash sale and swimsuits were included so I thought what the hell and looked through them. I can’t do sweetheart necklines without having a ton of cleavage and most of them fell into that category.

But I hit a gem. There was a gorgeous sun and moon top that wasn’t a halter top and was available in XXL and it was pretty cheap. I had a coupon for free shipping and bought it instantly.

It got to the house in less than a week and fit me! Plus, because I didn’t read before I bought it, it’s reversible! The other side is black and white stripes which I love.

I am not small. In height, yes, but not in size. I have a stomach, like most women, and I don’t love it but I’m trying not to actively hate it. I’ve tried to lose weight, mostly to decrease my bust size, and nothing really works unless I go hardcore and make myself miserable with dieting and working out.

I eat pretty healthy and I’m working on getting active, but I’d rather love the body I have and learn to be okay with it. So yeah, I’m not perfectly thin in these pictures and I have stomach rolls but all well. I’m human.

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The backyard is definitely becoming one of our favorite places to hang out now. We have air conditioning again but it’s still hot as hell and the pool and hammock are quickly becoming are favorite places to hang out. Leon gets his stitches out Monday and he’s been so excited to play in the water while Almond hates all these water activities.

There’s still a few things I’d like to do. I want to add plants everywhere, make a step stone path near the pool, and grow grass in the dirt patches. But I love what we’ve done so far and being able to hang out with the dogs outside is wonderful. I’m more than willing to take a few naps in that hammock under the stars. And we got it done just in time for the BBQ on Saturday.

I love swimming and was probably a mermaid in a previous life so I’m most excited to be able to swim and spend time in the pool. Maybe I can try to do laps or something to keep me active. As long as I’m in the water, I’ll be happy.

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What’s some DIY projects you’ve always wanted to get done?

-Sam <3

#OOTD| Double Trouble

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#1. Daytime Ghoul

As you may already know, I’m obsessed with Halloween and horror and all matter of spooky stuff. Our entire dining room is basically a dragon’s hoard of Halloween items (I swear I’ll do a house tour one day). It’s the biggest thing me and Rony have in common.

So when I see cute Halloween themed clothes, I jump on it. And man did I hit the jackpot.

Cowcow is “an online platform for designers and creative artists to showcase and sell their artwork on t-shirts, gifts, umbrellas…” etcetera etcetera. It’s like Society6 and all those other sites that let artists upload designs and they get a percentage of the profits. I actually found it through Amazon because that’s how I buy everything.

Link here. I promise this isn’t sponsored. I wish. But hey go check out cool stuff.

All of the designs on this dress are Halloween themed. All of them. Yeah, I went crazy. I wanted to get all of them. And they weren’t that expensive so that made me go crazy more.

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I picked my favorite and I let Rony choose one too because I couldn’t decide. The cat design is adorable. Moons and cats and bats are all things I love and the color was super cute.

I got a Medium in both but I probably should have gotten a Large to avoid the dressed boob stretch problem. It is a very stretchy fabric like a lot of skater dresses but the designs are nicely printed and don’t fade with the stretch too much. I avoid skater dresses a lot because of that reason.

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The cat and bat dress I decided I would make casual and fun. It’s playful and matched my favorite vest and hair nicely. I wanted to show that you can dress these up in a cute fun way or in a more subdued, “fancy way. So I threw on my favorite boots (similar) and found some spooky jewelry like my bird skull earrings (similar) and Amethyst crystal necklace (Exact).

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This vest is the first vest I ever made. It’s very Sailor Moon/girl power inspired and I wore it to the first Ladies Night we ever held. I’ve lost a lot of buttons here and there but it’s my favorite. I made it out of a size too large Forever 21 jacket and attempted to dye it black only for it to come out purple. I wasn’t mad about it and splattered pink and blue paint on it.

I did each stud my hand and painted with fabric paint the patches on the back. It took forever but I love it.

Overall the outfit was comfy and perfect for adventuring. I’m just in love with the pattern and paired with the vest, I feel cool and like I can take on anything. It’s not heavy and flows really nice and for $12, it’s a steal.

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#2. Witch of the Woods

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The second dress is the one Rony picked out.

Fun fact: to shoot these pictures we went looking for houses that were for rent. We figured they wouldn’t mind. And we found a lot of cool houses.

I definitely went for a witchy vibe with this one. The first one was bubblegum and this one was all Grimm Fairytales. I couldn’t find my newer black cardigan (similar) and this one ended up getting a small hole in the arm, but it all went together nicely. I paired it with my nice Anna Sally Wedge Ankle Booties (Exact) and let my crazy curly hair down.

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Also it was crazy hot for 8:30 at night and the wind was blowing like crazy but everything came out nicely.

For those following along with my hair journey, it’s been a week of no straightening and I’ve bought so many new products and done so many new techniques it’s crazy. Today I get to start giving up shampoo because apparently that helps. But the curls are getting better as long as I don’t forget to put my hair up at night.

Because then I look like Medusa again.

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And for those keeping up with me having shaved my eyebrows for Sombra, they’re growing back in. No one panic. The purple hair has faded SO much though and I’m a little sad, but I think I may just transition it to lavender for a bit and then back to blue. At least I don’t have to worry about color remover.

The pattern for this dress is still playful but I think dressing it up makes it more adult? Chic? I’m not sure the word. But I definitely look intimidating again, especially with my black Colourpop lipstick. Rony had to keep reminding me to smile because I suffer from permanent resting bitch face.

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I love finding little things that make me happy like these dresses. I think they match my personality well and I am ALWAYS down for more Halloween themed clothes. For me, they’re good year round but if you’re looking for some dresses further down the line in Fall I think you should check these out.

And if you aren’t down with the Halloween theme, they have plenty of other designs too!

 

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Next post will be about Summerween, I promise.

What holiday is your favorite and are there any holiday themed clothes you wish you could wear year round?

-Sam <3

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Blog| One Month of Natural Hair

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I’ve talked before about how my hair is naturally curly. My mom has really tight curls and my sister, at most, has slight waves. I landed more on my mom’s side with half-wavy curls and coils. I’ve never been able to figure out how to deal with them and of course, coloring and bleaching my hair doesn’t help.

But I want to try. I figured that straightening and hot ironing my hair every day isn’t exactly the best for it and if I want to move to Seattle I’m going to have to learn to deal with it. There will be no escape from moisture there.

So I’m going to keep my hair naturally curly for a whole month.

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Right now it’s in the extreme frizz phase and I hate it. It doesn’t look good and I can’t shower in the evening like I normally do or else I’ll look like medusa in the morning. My morning routine takes 30 minutes in the morning and I like it that way. Now it’s going to take longer.

I think that’s a big reason why I straighten it. My curly hair just never looked tidy and put together. I always looked like I was crazy. I think there are ways I can make it look better but I’m going to need to get some things. Like mousse and probably a hair diffuser. Who knows.

No, seriously, who knows? I need help.

I’ll keep everyone updated through my hair journey and hopefully at the end of the month, I’ll have learned to love my curls.  Hopefully.

Do you have curly hair? How do you manage it? Let me know below!

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