What I Did: Returned Clothes

After doing a couple wear-tests of the Old Navy pixie pants, I ended up returning all of them. I wasn’t confident that they would hold up well after several wears and washes. If the price had been right, I might have kept one pair to see what would happen, but at $25, I didn’t really feel like it was worth the risk. Plus, I seriously don’t need more pants. If they go on sale (what doesn’t go on sale?) for under $15, I’ll buy a pair.

Because I returned the pixie pants, I also had to return all the free white tees (if you bought the pants, you got a free tee with each pair). I actually did like the tees — they seemed like the perfect lightweight, easygoing t-shirt…but just like pants, I don’t need more t-shirts.

I returned a few other items as well, including two pairs of the $10 flats I bought (both the navy and green eyelet/cutouts). I was feeling buyer’s remorse for all the money I spent on clothes, so I tried to just return everything that I didn’t love (or already cut tags off of).

I did keep a few things. I kept both pairs of the zip-pocket pants (dark grey and camo print). I really like them. I wouldn’t describe them as flattering to my behind — the waist is too big so there’s no “hold” on my rear. I’ll just have to wear shirts that are long enough to cover my bum. That’s basically my favorite type of shirt anyway, so no real sacrifice there.

I also kept two drawstring vests (whoops, I never told you about that purchase! They were originally $30ish each, but I got them for $20ish each. Maybe more expensive than I would have liked to spend, but I had to have them).

vestThe vest (canvas fabric) came in two colors: cream and military green. I saw basically all of my favorite fashion bloggers wearing an earlier version of the green vest a couple years ago and have been kicking myself ever since for not buying it back then. I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity this time, and I decided the cream color would be useful too. I’ve really built up my vest collection in the last couple years. I’m not sure if that’s something to brag about, but I love them! I got two compliments from total strangers on the cream vest when I wore it over the weekend. I haven’t worn the green one out yet, but I’m assuming it will also result in compliments because it’s just that cute. I could probably write an entire blog post about all the outfits these vests will make. Just search “military vest” on Pinterest — that will save me lots of time.

And I kept the two pairs of black flats — one was just a basic pair of pointy-toe flats, the other was the d’orsay style.

Back to my returns.

Needless to say, the Old Navy cashier who processed all my returns probably wasn’t my biggest fan. I’m confident I looked crazy because I had to explain why there were so many separate transactions (coupon maximizing and online price changes). I feel shopped out at this point, so I’m hoping I just stay away from clothing stores for awhile. I went to Mall of America with one of my favorite people on Saturday (ha, that doesn’t make it sound like I’m trying very hard to stay away!) and wasn’t tempted with any item of clothing that I came across. We really didn’t look at clothes, honestly. We didn’t even go into Gap! We just walked and walked, making small talk. My friend did have a couple shopping missions, and we managed to cross off one of the items on her list. I did buy two necklaces at Forever 21, mostly because I had a store credit to use up, and all the jewelry was 30% off…so I spent less than $15 on two super cute necklaces. I’m fine with that.


What I Do: How I Curl My Hair


I’ve had a couple friends ask me how I curl my hair. When I was a kid, and basically up until my senior year in college, I was pretty clueless about how to style my hair. When I finally attempted to curl my hair, I’m confident that the finished style was tight ringlets that channeled 90s prom or a 90s perm. Fun times. I can’t explain why I sucked so bad at hair, but I did. I sucked equally as bad with makeup.

Fast forward to today, where we have the gift of YouTube tutorials to help those of us who are beauty-clueless learn how to properly use everything from curling irons to undereye concealers.

My favorite hair-styling YouTube channel (and blog) is Kate Bryan’s All the Small Things. She is an amazing hair stylist, but she also has the most soothing voice. Back when I used to spend my Friday nights watching hours of YouTube videos, hers were always my favorite because I not only learned how to style my hair, but I also felt super relaxed after watching them.

Anyway. Kate has a great tutorial for how to curl your hair, especially if your hair is closer to shoulder length. I do almost everything she does, other than I section my hair a little differently (use whatever works best for your hair type) and I use a 1.25-inch barrel instead of a 1.75-inch barrel.

I haven’t done the teasing step of her tutorial, but I want to try it, only because it seems like whatever volume I have in the morning is gone before lunch. Teasing makes me nervous though….so we’ll see.

Products I use:

Now, some of these products are more expensive…most of them I either got for free or at a steep discount. Both the Tresemme and Not Your Mother’s products are available at Target and Walmart, so I would recommend those for anyone on a budget. As for the Big Sexy Hair volumizing mousse…I’m not a hair expert, so I’m probably using it incorrectly and that’s why I haven’t been amazed with this product. I’ve tried a couple cheaper alternatives and I don’t notice a HUGE difference in the performance. I still prefer the Big Sexy Hair volumizer over the other products I own (something from Matrix and something from Aussie), but once it’s empty, I’ll explore a different product. I love my Hot Tools curling iron, but I’ve had good luck with mega-cheap curling irons from Walmart and Target too, so do what you want. The Sebastian Shaper hairspray is decent, but I don’t want to spend the money to replace it once this bottle is gone.

My curls don’t stay the same as the day progresses — they definitely loosen up, but I’ve been lucky enough to usually like them in every stage (my hair is just a little longer than my shoulders). When my hair is on the shorter side, I’ve noticed the curl doesn’t hold at all and it looks odd all day. When my hair is longer, the curl is usually great, even after I’ve slept on it. You would think that would encourage me to grow my hair out longer and keep it that way, but I keep thinking, “This time will be different!” and my shorter hair will work with me or I’ll magically figure out the trick. No such luck.

Do you have a holy grail volumizer? Tell me what it is! I’ve heard good things about Redken Guts (and I know I’ve used it in the past and thought I really liked it, but it’s been a long time).