Thursday, December 05, 2013

I've moved!

For all recent things in my life, check out my new blog Kayla Rochelle Photography. Over there it's all about life and pretty photos!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Home sweet Home...

Johnny and I are moving into an exciting time in our lives. The time when we stop writing a monthly check to our landlord, and instead start writing a check to the mortgage company. We've spent the last few months searching for our perfect first home. Our weekends are full of house hunting, and floor plan discussing and our weeknights have been taken over by phone call making and getting tips on HGTV. 

In the words of Carrie Bradshaw, " I've been cheating on fashion with furniture". We may not have a house just yet, but that doesn't mean that I haven't been dreaming and pinning as though we do! The downside to renting for the past 8 years, is that I've never been able to pick out paint colors or make modifications to a home. Suddenly, we'll be in a place where I can do whatever I want ( as long as Johnny okay's it of course!). To help stream line my thoughts I've been pinning every image that I think could work in a future home. 

Home Decor Collage
I've also been spending lots of time searching through Etsy, looking at pretty pillow covers and artwork. 

No Whinning

( Hopefully! ) Soon we'll have a home and I can put some of these ideas into action. Until then, keep up with my pintrest to see just where my head is at! Check out my pintrest to see the original sources to the above images, and what else I've been pinning lately!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Make-up in the age of technology

No Pants, Pants

I have been seriously lacking in the 'making myself look pretty before I leave the house' department as of late. I have a train case full of pretty make-up, and a drawer full of great hair products but each morning I feel bothered to do little more then lather my face with lotion before heading out for work.

No Pants, Pants

With no good reason as to my sudden lack of desire to improve my appearance, I knew that I needed a good swift kick in my pants. I spent some time last week watching Youtube videos full of product reviews, makeup tutorials and style inspiration. It was somewhere around hour 4 of video watching that it hit me that I had learned more about make-up application in the last few hours then I have in my entire 25 years of life. Most of what I knew had come from hours of trial and error and from a book by Bobbi Brown I checked out of the library when I was 14 and spent most of my summer pouring over.

No Pants, Pants

I couldn't help noting that most of the Youtube videos I watched were hosted by teenage girls. Apparently they learned the art of make-up application with the help of technology, and not from their local library. I cleaned out my train case last week, and placed an order with my favorite make-up company E.L.F. for some new products. It's time I broke out of my slump and joined the teenage girls of america!

No Pants, Pants

Do you have any great make-up tips or tricks I can give a try?  

Thursday, February 23, 2012

If you stopped by for tea

Trees in the Middle of the City

If you stopped by for tea, I'd have the kettle steaming and the mugs ready upon your arrival. As soon as your coat was hung up and we had taken a few minutes to hug and say hello, we'd make tea to our preferences and head for the living room. Tea with friends is best enjoyed on the comfort of cushions. We'd snuggle close, take a few sips and get into the sharing of it all. 

We would chat a bit about the crazy weather, and I would tell you that it's been really hard on me. I've been uncomfortable in my skin, literally. A side effect of my migraine medication is that it makes it hard for me to process changes in body temperature. Since Mother Nature has given us a winter with temperatures all over the map, I'm having an even harder time keeping things stable. I itch everywhere, and I tingle when I'm not itching. Showers have become unbearable and I spend most nights tossing and turning. All I can do is count down the days until Spring weather arrives, and hopefully with it some relief.

I would let you know that I've been feeling overwhelmed lately. Not with all bad things, or with good just overwhelmed. Even when you are prepared for everything life throws at you, some days it just feels like a lot. 

I would let you know that I've finally decided to joint the craze and read the Hunger Games. A friend told me the premise behind the story, and I saw the trailer this week and I knew it would be a story I would love. I'm off this week to buy a copy of the first book. I hope I can finish it before the movie comes out in March, but first I need to finish the book I'm halfway through. Have you read the Hunger Games yet? 

I would ask you how you've been feeling? How this weather has been treating you and what you've been reading? 

I can't wait until we get together for some chat and tea again.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Making Moves

Making Moves

The winter blue have definitely gotten me. While I can't say that they've gotten me down, they have gotten a hold of me. Recently I've been feeling unmotivated, sluggish and  like hiding under the covers and watching trashy television is the best way to tackle my to-do list. It's not by the way. In fact not one thing on my to-do list has been touched in quite some time.

  Making Moves

Of course nothing on my list is urgent of course, and instead mostly DIY projects I had hope to accomplish by now. I'm not lacking in inspiration, just motivation. My pintrest board has been filling up, and I have ideas jotted down in every empty book I can find. Another book that's filling up faster then we expected is our calendar. Between May and November we'll be attending 5 weddings, and all of the events that go along with them. We've got some big changes coming starting early spring, and some changes coming for our friends and families as well it seems. With so much 'about to happen', it seems my mind went into temporary lazy mode. Well I hope it's temporary anyways. 

Making Moves

To help shake my mood I've got a few plans in place. I've made Johnny promise not to let me go another week without mopping the bathroom floors ( that's been the easiest to-do list item to ignore!) , I planned a craft night with my girlfriends to get some DIY projects started and get some gabbing in, and I'm hoping with the deadline looming for the big stuff to start I'll have to choice but to get my butt in gear. 

Making Moves

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Why I cut my hair short, and why I never plan on going back

A few months ago when asked for my id at a local bar, the bartender at first refused me service. I assured them that I am 25 years old, and I rattled my address and birth date without blinking before they finally agreed to let me buy my very adult glass of wine. As I walked away, the manager suggested that I try ' not changing my hair so much' to help prevent any future confusion. What the manager didn't know was just how incorrect his statement was. I cut my hair into a chin length style in 2008, and I haven't looked back since. When my license photo was taken on my 21st birthday however I had shoulder length, brown hair. 

Great Hair- oldie
* Photo taken circa 2007 * 

Like most girls I know, I always wanted what I couldn't have. As a young girl I had pin straight blonde hair, so I admired girls with thick curly brown hair. I would take photo after photo of every celebrity I could find with me to the salon.

 ' My request is simple hair dresser. I just want to look exactly like this famous person who doesn't look like me, whose hair is nothing like mine, and who pays people to style their hair each morning. Got it? '

No matter how many different celebrity looks I tried, I still wasn't happy. I would always leave the salon with the same pin straight hair, and always with different layers put in. I still looked like me, and nothing like the picture. About the time I moved out of my parents house, I thought I had finally figured out the trick. I would grow my hair out, pledge not to cut it until it reached the length I wanted and instead I would dye it. My hair is notoriously slow at growing. I've read that each person's hair is genetically disposed to reach it's prime point at a particular length, and won't grow much beyond that. After 3 years without hair cuts, my hair was still just grazing my shoulders. During that time, I had explored various shades of brown. I didn't look any more like me, but I did look an awful lot like my brunette siblings. 

Great Hair2
* My blonde self  next to my naturally brown haired siblings *

I was reading a book by Tim Gunn in 2008 in which he had written something that would change my opinion of my hair forever. I can't remember his exact quote, but he said something along the lines of,

 ' Ponytails are the worst thing to ever happen to your hair. Consider your hair your best built in accessory. You wouldn't buy an accessory you'd want to hide everyday would you?'. 

That was all I needed to hear. The fabulous Mr. Gunn was right. I finally had longer hair, and it was spending more time up and out of the way then it was long and flowing. If I was going to keep it up all the time, I mind as well keep it that way permanently. I cut it short in 2008, but spent the next few years bouncing between stylists before I finally found my amazing hairdresser Hannah last year. I already had the short hair, but I wanted to add some oomph to it. I sat down in her chair for the first time and gave her specific directions.

" I'm sick of trying to look like everyone else. I like my hair short. I just want to find a style that can make me look like the best me." 

Great Hair- Updo
* My fancy hair at a recent wedding * 

There are some downsides to having shorter hair. When we get dressed up for weddings and fancy events I have only two options, half up or all down. ( Of course this also makes things incredibly easy ! )

 I can't pull my hair back at all which is only a hassle when it comes to A. working out B. driving with the windows down and C. having the flu. The solution is simple. A. I go to workout class looking fancy but leaving looking extra sweaty, B I keep a comb handy to tame to extra volume once we stop and C I keep headbands near the toilet. You can never predict when a sudden stomach bug will hit. 

The last downside was something I had never expected. It seems that short hair is something that attracts a special kind of man. Johnny has made no secret of his desire for me to cut my hair even shorter, but the truth is he loves any hair style that makes me happy. ( Cheesy but true) I have gotten a lot of feedback in the last few years however that makes me think that I got lucky with Johnny. One of his friends on a drunken night declared that  I 'would almost be his type, except for the hair. I would never date a girl with short hair'. My response? ' Well I'm not single, but if I was if my hair was listed on your Top 5 concerns, you wouldn't have stood a chance anyways.'  

Great Hair
* I may never stray from this hair style * 

Hannah and I were gabbing ( like hairdressers and clients do!) during my last appointment, and she asked if when the time came for our wedding, I would be buying extensions to put in my hair. I didn't hold back from laughing at her questions. Why would I do a thing like that? Not only would Johnny have no clue who was walking down the aisle, but long hair just isn't me. I've tried darker, longer, and curlier, but none of those styles made me look like me. 

Having shorter hair does mean up keep appointments about every 6 weeks. I'm always amazed when even at 5 weeks since my last appointment, I will still get questions ( Did you just get your hair done?) and compliments ( Your hair always looks so good!). My roots can be showing, and my hair can be off length but people don't seem to notice. What they do notice is the fantastic accessory I'm wearing on top of my head. The fantastic accessory that finally has me looking like me. 

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Miskko Hair Dryer Review

When the sweet people at Miskko contacted me about reviewing one of their Hana Hair Dryers, I must admit I did a little happy dance. Who me? Little ol' me with the short hair? I've read so many rave reviews about all of the Miskko products, so I was eager to let one of these items get to work on my head! Since I do have shorter hair, I only blow dry my hair when necessary, or when I want to help add style. Typically blow dryers leave my hair feeling stringy and puffy so I prefer to air dry as often as possible. I was so excited to wash my hair right away and get to work blowing drying my hair! 

Hana Hair Dryer

Imagine my surprise when I opened the box and found not only the hair dryer, but also some other treats to help my hair stay healthy and shiny. This has to be the prettiest box I have ever received in the mail! You can really tell that the folks at Misikko care about their products and about customer service. This blow dryer was amazing. The thing I noticed right away was the temperature. This dryer never got to hot. (Something that really matters with my thin hair!) Typically, with my cheaper hair dryer I couldn't keep it in one spot of my head for too long or it would burn my scalp. This dryer however was warm, but never hot. I was able to use my round brush and comb, and spend my time really working my hair dry, instead of hurrying the drying process for fear of the heat. Even with the cooler temperature, my hair dried in half the time it normally takes, and it was immediately smooth and shiny( without the help of any added products!) . I didn't even have to use my straightener to style afterwords, because the dryer had done it all for me! This Hana blow dryer is on the higher side of the pricing scale, but spending the money now means you'll have healthier, happier hair for longer. By the end of my first use, this dryer became my favorite tool in my cabinet. 

Hana Hair Dryer

Missiko is proving that using the right tools for your hair, helps to keep your hair healthy. They also carry flat irons and curling irons that are as reviewed as highly as the blow dryer. If my experience with the dryer is any indication, these products are ones that will be added to my wishlist for my birthday's to come! 

* I was compensated for this post with a hair dryer for Misikko. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone* 

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Superbowl: Red&Blue vs Red&Blue

Football is a pretty big deal around our parts. And by pretty big deal, I mean a huge deal. Starting in September our Sunday's are consumed by football, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Despite living in the hometown of Giants training camp, we are Steeler's proud in our house. Each year my collection of black and yellow clothing items grows and grows. Superbowl

Sadly the Steeler's will not be playing in this year's big game, but the Giants and the Patriots will. We'll be hosting a party for all of our Giant's friends ( and there are a lot of them!) so I will be rooting along with the crowd for the Giants to pull out a big win, but hoping that Tom Brady gets more screen time. See, I'm a girl who likes her cake and wants to eat it to. Luckily for us non Giants and Patriot fans, this year, both teams are the same colors. Which means we can show up to the party supporting both teams, without supporting either. ( Get it?) Also, I will most likely be wearing my yellow underwear to show my support for Troy Polamalu even though he will not be playing, and no-one will be the wiser. (Well except for you all now)

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Instagram: January photo a day

When I decided at the beginning of the year that I wanted to spend more time focusing on photography, I wasn't just deciding on a resolution for the New Year, but actually setting some goals for myself. I wanted to continue developing my skills with my Nikon DSLR, and I also wanted to start seeing the world from a more 'photographic view'. While I brushed up on my manual for part 1 of my goals, I decided to join the January photo a day challenge on Instagram to help me get started on part 2. 

Jan Photo a Day
Some of my images from the month: 
[1] day 5- something you wore [2] day 4- letterbox [3] day 8- your sky [4] day 9- daily routine [5] day 10- childhood [11] day 14- something you're reading [12] day 16- morning [13] day 17- water [14] day 18- something you bought [15] day 19- sweet [16] day 20- someone you love [17] day 21- reflection [18] day 22- your shoes [18] day 23- something old [19] day 26- colors [20] day 27- lunch

While I don't own an iPhone which boasts an impressive 8 megapixels, my 0.63 megapixel iPod touch gets the job done just fine. I like having an intended image to capture each day. Thirty days later, I'm already seeing a difference in the way I look at everyday items. Instead of seeing fruit in a basket while I grocery shop, I'm seeing a future cropped, lightly focused imaged. Seems my 0.63 megapixel challenge is just the tool for helping me reach my goal! 

Follow me on Instagram to see my February photo a day challenge! 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Memory Making

Memory Making 

Last year I was seated on a jury in a higher profile case for our area. Unless you've been on a jury, it's hard to explain just what the deliberation process is like. ( Though this commercial is a pretty close representation!) Whenever my family and friends bring it up, I find myself saying over and over that it is not an experience that I will soon forget. 

  Memory Making

In fact during the trial I would come home each night and could say nothing else ( legally of course) except, "well I've got more to add to the story I'll tell our grandchildren years from now". If the news cameras and the  live twitter updates from the courtroom weren't enough to tip me off, I was in the middle of making a life memory. My courtroom memories were obvious though. It was a once in a lifetime experience, and I knew while I was in the moment that I would tell stories about this, and re-live these conversations for the next 30+ years. 

Memory Making

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the memories we'll hold on to, that we don't realize we're making. When I'm teaching my granddaughter the secret to the perfect cookies ( assuming I've discovered it by then), what moments from my life now as a 25 year old will be deemed moments worth telling her about? Who knows what simple tasks each day, are becoming memories ingrained in our minds. There won't always be news cameras and twitter updates to make things quite so obvious. 

Memory Making