This is the prime season for beach hair! I know many of you enjoy summer by hanging out at the beach — lucky you! I am still stuck in a concrete building in boiling Manhattan! If you’re a water girl, then you know the feeling of having your hair naturally dried and styled by the breeze. If you’re just aiming for the relaxed, natural surfer girl look, or if you want to prolong your vacation style, then you’ll love this recipe!
Beach hair spray for a negligé/wild look in your hair is something you can buy at the store, or do-it-yourself. It’s an easy DIY that won’t cost you much — no need to sell seashells by the sea shore. Here’s the recipe that will reveal the mermaid in you!
– A plastic spray bottle
– 1 cup of warm water
– 1 Tbsp of sea salt or Epsom salt
– 1 Tbsp of almond, argan, or apricot oil. Or, easier: melted unrefined/organic coconut oil – 1 Tbsp of hair gel or leave-in hair conditioner – Facultative: 5 drops of essential oil (I used Plumeria, because it smells like Hawai’i!)
– Pour the warm water into the spray bottle.
– Add the sea salt, and shake well until the salts are totally dissolved.
– In a separate bowl, mix the oils with the leave-in-conditioner – Add mix to the plastic bottle, and shake well until dissolved. Shake before using, as well.
– You can keep this hairspray 3-4 months if you store it away from the heat and the sunlight.
How to use it?
If you have thick, wavy hair, spray on damp hair and scrunch with a towel to dry for loose beach waves. If you don’t have time to shampoo, or if you have fine hair, spray on dry hair and loosely twirl your hair into a bun. After 10-15 minutes, let your hair uncurl, and voilà!
It’s finally summer, and time to take care or yourself to be in shape for the hot and sunny days! Now that I work very closely with a registered dietician for my job, I learn so much about health and wellness. A big part of fitness depends on what you put in your body, and this is why I love my job working for a food company as a social manager: I can help people learn about the best foods to stay healthy. On the other end, if you really want to be fit, y’all know exercising is key. But there is another factor we tend to forget: sleep is very important too! Everyone has a routine to fall asleep. What’s yours? Mine is a cup of an herbal infusion, and a spray of this relaxing lavender pillow mist! I used to buy this product for a pretty high price because I got so addicted to it, it was hard to live without once the bottle was finished. Even my husband was calling for it! After doing some research, it turns out it is very easy and cheap to make it yourself. You literally need 4 ingredients: water, a few drops of lavender essential oils, and a dark spray bottle (so the essential oil doesn’t spoil with light & time). The recipe is below, along with a printable sheet of cute labels. Enjoy!
“A pillow mist that is SO relaxing, it will put ou to sleep for a hundred years!”
Behind the scenes story: my photographer friend, Julie Voss, is working on extending her headshot photography business to boudoir photography, and she needs models to build up her book. Check her out at La Parisienne boudoir, in Seattle. She is so incredibly talented. I always have fun shooting with her, and she is one of these amazing friends that say “YES, let’s do it!” to my recurring crazy ideas. When I told her I wanted to install a princess bed in the woods and wear my wedding dress for a “sleeping beauty” photo shoot, she was over excited, and I am so grateful. We’re both loving the results!
“Whoops, I just woke up like this!”
4 oz tinted blue glass bottle (I found mines on Amazon)
1- Boil a big pot of water. Set aside. Boil the glass measuring cups you will use to sterilize.
PS: the measurements in the pictures are for 8 bottles all at once.
2- Pour the water in a sterile container. Add the lavender oil and shake!
3- Add the vodka. Shake again, then pour to the spray bottle using a funnel.
7- Download the printable sheet of labels here, print on a label sheet, and cut out.
8- Stick the labels on the bottles. You can keep the pillow mist up to six months!
9- Go take crazy sleeping beauty pictures in the woods (optional ^^).
Halloween is in a week… I want to celebrate with a Mexican inspired DIY: skull painted vases!
These decorative skulls come from the traditional Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), which is celebrated at the end of October and at the beginning of November in Mexico. Since the dates are really close, the painted skulls have become a popular symbol for Halloween in the U.S, too. Here is an easy decoration project to do for yourself or with kids. I think I’m going to keep these cute skulls up all year round :)
You will need:
– White acrylic paint (I used some furniture paint I had left over from when we moved in)
– Jars, glass bottles or vases
– Colorful sharpies, including a black one and a white one
Start by pouring a small quantity of paint inside the jars, and shake them slowly to cover all the sides. Pour back the excess of paint in the pot. Once the inside of the jar is painted and dry, paint the skull shape on the front side. Tip: you can draw a big circle for the head, two small ones on each side for the cheeks, and a square at the bottom for the jaw. If you don’t feel confident drawing the skull ornaments right away, you can first train on a paper, then draw the skulls with a tin sharpie, and at the end line the patterns with the bold black sharpie. I compiled many skulls patterns on Pinterest here. You can also download and print the skulls sheet below here ;) Don’t forget the final touch: small white dots and lines. Now that your vases are done, make sure the paint inside is completely dry, and decorate them with some seasonal flowers!
Last week I posted about our wedding, its organization and the DIY decors. I want to dedicate this post to my bridesmaids!
The first time we got married, in October, I only had two-weeks notice, and my family and friends couldn’t fly to Seattle to celebrate. We had a nice dinner with John’s family and friends, and my parents on Skype, but I definitely missed these girls.
When we got re-married in August, my family and friends were present. I realized how important it was to be surrounded by benevolent people before and during the wedding. Time is sometimes stressful right before the Big Day. You are more emotional than usual, and you can easily feel overwhelmed by small details. These girls are here to reassure you, give a hand, make you laugh and bring on the fun! It means a lot to have your best friends around you. Since I knew they had to fly from Europe, it was even more precious. My bridesmaids and I used to be very close friends. We experienced college together: we prepared for exams late at night, we did school trips, we shared boys stories and were part of several musicals. After grad-school, we took different paths — mostly because we became so busy with work, or because we moved to another country. Still, they took a two-week holiday to come visit us, and we were immediately close again. I knew this moment would be a unique way to catch up and seal our friendship, so I really wanted to treat them and make their time in Seattle unforgettable.
Here are 8 cool things to do with your bridesmaids for your wedding:
#1 Federate Team Bride!
Your bridesmaids don’t necessarily know each other well. It is a good idea to create a Facebook group for them to connect a few months ahead of the wedding. I crafted a nice and funny blurb about each one to post in the group so they can learn about each other and start a conversation. For them, it is also a good way to ask about the wedding preparation and get advice from each other. For the bride, it is the perfect platform to communicate logistics (transport, housing, outfits, activities, etc.) and to build excitement. I remember sharing bohemian outfit ideas found on Pinterest to inspire them, and I posted old pictures of us doing crazy stuff in college to refresh their memory!
#2 Say “Thank You!”
Your bridesmaids are coming to your wedding to celebrate your friendship. It means as much for them as it means for you! Take care of them. It is easy to turn into a bridezilla as tension rises, but remember that they are here to enjoy a wedding and have fun. They will give back when you need them most. The days before the wedding, I arranged some activities so we can spend some precious girl-time together, and the day before the wedding, each one of the bridesmaid received a personalized gift bag. I had stuffed small boxes with homemade goodies such as a friendship cuff (DIY here!), homemade soaps, leather barrettes, a frame for a bridesmaids picture from the wedding, and of course a nice letter for each one. You can always add littles treats like chocolates, key holders, nail polish (and hangover medicine, if they get the goodie bag before the bachelorette party)!
#3 Take Care of the Logistics!
While you can’t arrange transportation and housing for each one of your guests, it is nice to provide extra assistance for your girls. You know the wedding area better than they do, and you want them to enjoy their stay in a comfortable place. We hosted all our bridesmaids in our house. The family house turned into a holiday camp, with mattresses on the ground and daily BBQ dinners for 10 people. It was a zoo, but we had so much fun!
#4 Help Them Find Outfits!
Many bridesmaids worry about their wedding outfit. They know they are expected be assorted, wearing the same dress or at least the same color. I’m not very attached to traditions (we got married by a comedian on a beach, for Pete’s sake!) so I wanted to give them as much relief as possible. The theme of the wedding was bohemian, so I didn’t want them to wear the same outfit. Plus, we don’t share the same budgets and body shapes, so I decided they could choose their own dress. We discussed together and agreed on flower crowns for everyone, and the result turned into a beautiful, colorful mess!
#5 Plan Group Activities Together!
Your bridesmaids are close friends, and you don’t get to see them everyday, so enjoy the precious time you have with them. An occasion like this is not likely to happen again soon. Listen to them, and try to plan a few activities to do together before the wedding. Do they want to relax at the lake, read magazines and paddleboard at sunset? Do they want to go shopping and get a manicure? Do they want to visit the region, get some local and authentic experiences like tasting wine or visiting museums? Are you missing your student days, when you were squatting at each other’s place, cooking dinner and watching a chick flick? Your wedding is the perfect occasion to live these moments again. And if you are not flying right away to your honeymoon, spend some relaxing time together after the wedding to debrief. You will be delighted to hear all the wedding stories you missed because your were busy being the bride!
#6 Ask For Help!
Whether you can afford a wedding planner or not, you will need help organizing the wedding. Your bridesmaids are your allies. They are there to have fun, but they are also there to administer the fun! You know your girls, and each one of them as a special talent they will be honored to use to help you. Pair a goofy one with an organized one to take care of the bachelorette party. If you have artists and crafty friends, they can give a hand for the decorations. Some are very talented for hair and makeup, some will be perfect crowd pleasers by singing a few songs or giving a funny toast! Of course, you don’t want to overwhelm them with work — it is a celebration, after all! By giving your bridesmaids the opportunity to gift you with one of their talents, you will end up with a very unique wedding that looks like you. During the wedding, you know you will be able to count on them to remind you to smile, eat and drink some water. They will help you fix your hair, remove that red wine stain on your dress, and they will be the first ones on the dance floor to get the party going!
#7 Create a Souvenir
As a DIY blogger, I was fully expected to spend some crafty time with the bridesmaids. Each one brought wire and some flowers assorted to their dress. The day before the wedding (still hungover from the bachelorette party, and after spending the morning dealing with a broken septic tank!) we sat down in the bridesmaids’ headquarters and made some flower crowns. Each girl created a unique crown she will be able to keep as a nice souvenir of the wedding.
#8 Stay in Touch
Having these girls around for two weeks reminded me of the fun we had during our good old times. It is easy to lose friendship because of time passing and people living busy, different lives. Your wedding creates memories your bridesmaids and you will likely keep forever. Since you reconnect and catch up on each other’s stories, stay in touch and follow up. These moments you share are sealing your friendship for the long run, so make sure to keep these girls in your life!
To Swann, Laureline, Marilou, Aliki, Lucie, Léa, Julie and Aline!
I’m back on the blog after a few weeks of absence. It is really pleasing to see you are still coming here everyday, and I want to thank you for this! The reason for my absence is that my summer has been a bit hectic — we’ve had some busy times at work, John was accepted at Columbia Law School, and we had to plan a move to New York City.
Before moving, we got re-married and organized a re-wedding celebration with 100 guests. The re-wedding story is that we got married a year ago, but since I got my fiancée visa at a date neither of us could plan, we didn’t have a fix date for the ceremony until a week beforehand! It was too complicated to invite all the people we love, so we postponed the big party until the following summer to have more time for organization. Now that we are settled in Manhattan, and the summer is slowly fading, I want to share with you some sunny pictures of our wedding. I hope they’ll brighten up your day!
As you know, I’m a big fan of home-made crafts, so we ended up with a one-of-a-kind DIY wedding! We chose to host the party at John’s parents’ old family house on Vashon Island, a wild island near Seattle. (So wild, in fact, that you can only access it by ferry.) The beach house has a lovely view of Pudget Sound and a yard that could easily host 100 hippie guests. Plus, the beach is close, and we wanted to do the ceremony near the water.
We started organizing the wedding four months in advance. John rented tables, chairs and sound systems. We found a caterer and a photographer via Thumbtack. We were also welcoming out-of-town guests, so we organized a few activities to make sure they enjoy the best of Seattle’s summer! I started accumulating decoration items every time I would find a good deal. Michaels, Party City, Luna’s Bazaar, Oriental Trading and Pinterest became my best friends. We got fresh flowers from a farmer we met at Pike Place Market. They delivered the flowers the morning before the re-ceremony, and an angel-in-disguise (our next door neighbor) did our arrangements — she was a professional florist before moving to Vashon. On the D-Day, the bridesmaid squad and both our families helped set up the decors and the tables, which was a huge help!
After a few weeks of dress-hunting, I found my dress at a designer outlet store in Seattle called I Do Bridal. I looked for a bohemian and fluid dress that would be comfortable to wear. My friends, Julie and Aline, were very supportive, even when I tried a dress that shaped my booty like a Kardashian! We had a lot of fun at this store, and I finally found a dress that was perfect, with just enough lace and sparkle and a deep decolleté in the back.
I discovered Shoes of Prey, a website where you can design your own shoes. I crafted some bridal mermaid flats, with the back covered with golden scales — a must-have for a beach wedding! On the wedding day, Julie did a perfect job curling my hair, and I knew I could count on my gorgeous Greek friend, Alice, for the make up. I was so lucky to be surrounded by helpful and benevolent friends! John doesn’t like to think too much about how to dress; I ordered a couple bowties and suspenders on Etsy, and half an hour before the ceremony, he grabbed a clean shirt and pants, and he was ready to party!
Our ceremony was outrageously hippie-tastic. We gathered our guests on the beach, near a drift wood monument my brother had built in lieu of a stage. We served fresh drinks from a “Here Comes the Booze” cart, and our comedian friend, Swann, married us with a superbly funny speech that we hope will stay in memories for years!
After the ceremony, everyone walked back to the beach house where champagne and appetizers were served. I had prepared small favor bags for each guest. In addition to the traditional sweets and mints, we personalized them with rocks from the beach, funny trivia questions about John and me, and a too-difficult crossword crafted by John that no one could finish!
As a Franco-American couple, we had to honor our guests’ cheese and wine expectations. A big thank you goes to Swann, who ran heroically around the tables yelling “Vive la France” with the French flag to announce cheese was served! For the dessert, I had my eyes on the “Naked” cakes you can find on Pinterest. My parents mounted and decorated the cake before it was served, but the activity turned out to be a bit technical, and they needed to be rescued by my brother and a team of bridesmaids. It eventually turned into a giant whipped cream battle, and the monster cake was half-presentable as a result. Hopefully it was still delicious!
It was so exciting to prepare this wedding with John as a teammate. We had a very low budget and worked hard for months with the support of our family and friends. It wasn’t easy all the time (it was only our second wedding, after all!) but it was really fulfilling to work for so long for a single day we will remember as a milestone for the rest of our lives! It felt weird not to have any wedding crafts to do in front of the TV for a while, but now that our life is back to a normal routine, I’ll switch back to blogging crafts and recipes, I promiss!