Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hair Savior

A quick snap of my hair yesterday sporting my new favorite style.

I recently have gotten the most compliments on my hair when it's super dirty and done in under 10 minutes. What's up with that? Well let me tell you.

A couple of years ago, a reader asked me to write a post on quick hairstyles. Many morning workouts and early meetings later, I've come up with the winning solution = dry shampoo + curling wand + hairspray. In under 10 minutes, I've been able to achieve fabulous, full curls that will last you for days. Knowing that I can't be the only one in need of good hair on the quick, here's the super simple guide:

1. Post workout or wake up, quickly brush your hair and turn that curling wand on.

2. Spray dry shampoo liberally along the hairline and part. Also flip hair over and spray liberally to the under layers of your hair.

New favorite dry shampoo.

3. Section off 4-6 sections of hair. Curl from the back forward, alternating forward and back curls, as seen in this tutorial around the 2:42 mark. I usually curl each section for 30-40 seconds each but curling time depends on your curling wand of course.

4. Allow hair to cool. This is usually when I brush my teeth, pack my bag, etc.

5. Finger comb curls loosely. Style hair however you'd like- all down, ponytail, etc. Recently I've been super into the half up twist back with this hairstyle. Keeps me from fussing with it and ruining the curl/making it greasy.

The most amazing of all hairsprays everrrrr.

6. Spray hairspray to the curls, mostly towards the bottom. Be careful not to hit the roots if you are wearing your hair down or you'll look a bit crunchy. For ponytails though, go wild.

7. Grab your keys and go. 

Perhaps a better shot of the hairdo from the front.

Yes ladies, it's that simple. The best part of this style is that you usually can go even one more day with it. For example, if you wear the half up style on day 2, you can usually do a curly pony for day 3. Is that not amazing?

Hope you all find this routine as easy and helpful as I do. Seriously, this has become a new weekly staple after my back-to-back workouts.

Xo J

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Academy Awards Style Recap

Gwyneth. No explanation necessary.

What did you all think of the Oscars last night? They were sort of weird right? The hosting was MEH, the speeches were not great (except Common and John Legends - amaze), and the performances were weird with the exception of Lady Gaga and the Lego song. But we had the dresses, oh the dresses. I felt like there were some great looks. Here are some of my favorites.

I think Reese Witherspoon was my favorite look of the night. Even though she could barely move in the dress (did anyone else see her try to stand up but couldn't), it was flawless.

Dude Emma Stone NAILED IT in this celery number. The color was so unexpected and could have gone so wrong but she pulled it off beyond compare.

Naomi Watts' dress was a little weird, but I liked it because I had never seen anything like it. She looked great!

Anna Kendrick just simply looked soft and pretty. Ever since Pitch Perfect, she sort of can do no wrong

Any other favorites?

Xo J

Friday, February 20, 2015

Girl Crush of the Week: Kylee Snelgrove of Kylee Dell

For today's Girl Crush of the Week, I'd like to introduce you to the adorable Kylee Snelgrove. By day, Kylee is a PR maven for Olay and by night/weekend (like most of us) she is the blogger behind Kylee Dell. Her style is feminine, pretty and hip and I've never seen someone rock feathers so well! Spoiler alert- I want to raid her closet. Please join me on getting know know Miss Kylee a little better as today's Girl Crush of the Week!

Style icons? Olivia Palermo (obsessed), Miroslava Duma, Blair Eadie, Natalie Joos 
Favorite style trend of the moment? Hmm this is a tough one! I love that capes are big this season but am really excited mules will be big in the spring! 

Favorite book? The Alchemist. I always love a good recommendation though so feel free to send some my way. 
Favorite perfume? Jo Malone Redcurrant & Cream 
Interior design philosophy? I honestly don’t really have one but I usually think less is more. I’m also a big fan of white, white, white and mixing prints. 

Your go-to shopping destinations? Topshop, Zara, Asos, Nordstrom, Shopbop 
Must-have beauty product? Arcona Toner Tea Bar… literally the best product ever. 

Secret addiction? Diet Coke (even though it’s not so secret).

Favorite drink? Diet Coke.  

Motto/quote to live by? Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.
Favorite meal to prepare? Acai Bowls 

Favorite piece of jewelry? A classic gold watch or the ring my Grandpa gave me about ten years ago. I never take it off!
Best way to unwind? Doing a great workout or snuggling up to watch a show.

Favorite workout? Barre Classes but I’m up for trying anything. 

Favorite fitness apparel brand/item? Lululemon all the way. I don’t wear anything else! 

So lovable no? Feel free to follow Kylee via the following social media handles:

Xo J

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Current Obsessions

Monrow Tissue V Neck Tee - A lover of both v necks and the brand Monrow, this shirt was a no-brainer. Looking forward to this becoming a new closet staple.

It's been awhile since I shared some of my obsessions with you all (last post here). I have a few little goodies I've come across recently that I thought you might all like to know about. Enjoy!

Dr Jart Dis-A-Pore BB Cream - I got this in my Birchbox a few months ago and finally got around to using it. It gives great coverage and skin protection from the sun. I just ordered the full size one!

2011 Kunde Meritage - If you are in the market for a new favorite red wine, look no further than this one. It's a super smooth and tasty red blend that will have even white wine lovers asking for a refill. It's more than I would normally spend on a wine (I usually tap out at $25 a bottle), but this one is worth it. I think I may have to go pour myself a glass right now!

Gap Joggers - Why am I so obsessed with joggers right now? I guess it's winter and I'm over wearing both leggings and jeans so want to give joggers a try. I ordered these from GAP in both black and grey to try out. Will let you know how they end up.

Fekkai Salon Professional Blow Out Dry Shampoo - Also got a sample of this in my Birchbox and it's my new favorite. Totally refreshes my hair, even after spin class!

Voluspa Pink Citron Candle - I got this candle for my birthday and love how pretty and yummy it smells. I've been burning it while I work or get ready for bed and it's so relaxing.

Those are some of my favorites at the moment. Any other new products out there I should be trying?

Xo J

Monday, February 16, 2015


Rocksbox Necklace (last seen here, sign up here), Hinge Army Jacket (sold out but similar here, here and here),
J.Crew Vintage T, Black Cutoffs handed down from Dena, Steve Madden Moto Boots (old, similar here),
Rebecca Minkoff Leo Clutch in Marble (running out, but a few left in stock here and here), HRH Collection Bracelet

This past weekend was INSANE weather here in San Francisco. It was in the 70s, sunny and beautiful! On Saturday we went for a hike down on the peninsula. On Sunday, we ran around the city where I took full advantage of the nice weather and rocked some shorts and my new Rebecca Minkoff clutch that I got for Valentine's Day. 

Isn't the clutch amaze? I had been eying the marbled collection for a while and this clutch just sang to me. Similar to my feelings on animal print (it's a neutral), the marble pattern also felt super versatile. Given how is can even plus up something so casual as black shorts and an army jacket, I'd say we have a winner here.

Xo J

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Super Slow Cooker Soup Recipes

Slow Cooker Quinoa, Kale and Chicken Soup - Recipe here

It has been raining pretty hard here in SF for the past few days so therefore, it's been major soup weather. I LOVE homemade soup but LORD why is it such a pain to make. Let me tell you, the slow cooker aka crock pot is here to save the day. 

If you're like me, you probably never gave a second thought to the slow cooker, reserving it only for tailgates or other random large batches of meat your husband wanted to cook up. However, after poking around on Pinterest, I found that the slow cooker could be used in a whole new way- to make soups. It makes sense really, normally all of the work behind making soup is all of the maintenance. Take the maintenance out and all you have it prep. Prep I can handle.

Since learning of this new trick, I've make a couple of super easy, healthy, yummy soups. It's been so great to have them on hand for these blustery winter days. Knowing that I can't be the only one dealing with bad weather and little time, I wanted to share these recipes with you. I hope you enjoy them!

Crockpot Minestrone (modified from this recipe)

1 sweet onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 carrots, peeled and sliced

3 zucchinis, chopped
1 container sliced cremini mushrooms
1 (28 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
2 (15 ounce) cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
2 cups water
8 ounces of uncooked ditalini pasta
12 thin asparagus spears, stems removed and cut into thirds
1 (6 ounce) bag of fresh spinach
1/3 cup freshly grated romano cheese + more for topping
salt and pepper to taste

Add diced onions, garlic, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, the whole can of diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, stock and water to your crockpot. Cook on medium/high for 4-6 hours, stirring once or twice if you can.

About 10-15 minutes before serving, add in asparagus (I like mine with some crunch, add it earlier if you want it softer), spinach, and pasta. Cook on low for another 10-15 minutes then stir in grated cheese. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. I used about a 1/2 teaspoon of each, but it will depend on the sodium levels in your stock, tomatoes, etc. Serve immediately with additional cheese on top!

Miso Vegetable Soup (modified from this recipe)

4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 heads napa cabbage, shredded (about 2 cups)
2 cloves minced garlic
½ teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon white miso paste

2 tablespoons sriracha (or more or less, depending on desired level of spicyness)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 zucchini, for later - spiralized, julienned, or cut into matchsticks

1 bunch soba noodles

Add all ingredients except for zucchini and noodles to the slow cooker. Stir to combine and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8.

Once vegetables are cooked to desired tenderness, add the zucchini and soba noodles.

Let cook on high for an additional 10 minutes and serve.

If you have any other slow cooker soup recipes I should try, let me know in the comments section!

Xo J

Monday, February 9, 2015

Post Workout Style

Growing up an athlete, I was never concerned about looking cute either while working out, or after my workout. When I think about the high bun + hoodie + leggings combo that I wore like every day of Freshman year of college after swim practice, I CRINGE. Luckily brands like Lululemon and Old Navy have come around since then and now I don't look like a total tool post-workout (how I look when actually struggling to tap it back in spin class is a whole other issue).

I recently picked up this tank and sweater and am in love. The tank is the prettiest shade of mint and has magical powers to make it look like I have a tan when I don't. The sweater well, simply put, it's a dream. It's very versatile, working both post pilates class and to work. I'll have to do another post to show that look but for now, check it out post-workout. 

All photos by Dena Smith.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Girls Crush of the Week: Ashley Teale of Turquoise and Teale

I'm excited to share with you today's Girl Crush of the Week, Ashley Teale. Through her blog, Turquoise and Teale (such a clever name right?!), Ashley documents her favorite fashions, recipes and beauty products. I really love her style (I'd describe it as easy chic) and think you all will too. Please join me in getting to know Miss Ashley today as my Girl Crush of the Week!

Style icons? Blake Lively & Olivia Palermo. (I know, I sound like a broken record, but it’s true! They nail it every.single.time)

Favorite style trend of the moment? All-white looks year round. People are finally getting comfortable wearing head to toe white past summertime and I’m all about it!

Favorite book? Such a tough question! Currently it’s All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr


Favorite perfume? Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey

Interior design philosophy? Fresh, clean lines and an inviting atmosphere. I want visitors to feel right at home once they walk in!

Your go-to shopping destinations? Shopbop, Nordstrom, J. Crew, Annie Griffin Collection, local boutiques

Must-have beauty product? Great mascara. Currently it’s Too Faced’s ‘Better than sex’ version

Secret addiction? Sweets. I love a good dessert any time of day


Motto/quote to live by? “I’ve found that if you love life, life will love you back'

Favorite drink? A Moscow Mule or a good glass of red wine

Favorite meal to prepare? Grilled seasoned salmon with an avocado salsa


Favorite piece of jewelry? My engagement ring

Best way to unwind? Hot yoga 

Favorite workout? Hot yoga and Pure Barre


Favorite fitness apparel brand/item? I swear by Zella leggings. They hold up so well, are long enough for tall people and are SO comfortable!

Doesn't Ashley just feel like one of your gal pals? She seems like such a sweet girl with fabulous style. If you want to follow along with Ashley's adventures, check out her channels: 

Xo J

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Scalloped by the Sea

I had originally planned this post to showcase my birthday party look (mentioned here), but then, on a particularly warm day, we decided to shoot at the beach so this became more of a resort look. I suppose that's a testament to how versatile this pretty pink scalloped dress from For Love and Lemons is! It's the perfect shade of pink that works no matter the season. Added bonus- it's also super comfy and stretchy. Something tells me this dress will be going into heavy rotation in 2015.

Prada Sunglasses, Kenneth Jay Lane Earrings (also have them in malachite seen here and here), 
For Love and Lemons Hot Pink Scalloped Dress (similar here, here and here), Banana Republic Bracelet (similar), 
Gigi New York Clutch, Splendid Sandals

All photos by Dena of Cuterwear.