Joss & Main

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Top 5 Hair Trends of 2011

There are a lot of super cool easy hair trends floating around this year. There are way too many for me to find, copy, post and give credit to. So I'm going to break it down into some of my favorites that I have seen. These styles have made me wish that I could have long luxurious hair to braid and manipulate to get these drool worthy styles.

1. The Fishtail 
We all know, love and grew up with this pony from the 80's. Except in today's age we ditched the frizz and 18 in bangs for some sleek shine and a little tousle.

2. The Cascade Braid or the Waterfall Braid
I ran across this beauty on Pinterest and I fell in love. I wondered "how can you do that?" and the search for a tutorial was underway. Now I am braiding challenged. I can do a traditional braid and I get the concept of the french braid but I just lose the hair every time. Maybe now that I have two little beauties to practice on I can finally master this technique!

This braid is special because it looks like a french braid that got side tracked. It runs from on side of the head to about 3/4 of the way to the other side and starts to take a downward detour. In the midst of all that going on there are pieces that seem to jump off of the bandwagon trying to find another way to their destination. If you catch my drift. 

A double waterfall braid. Super cool!!

This is a quick tutorial to the waterfall braid. It's called the twisted braid in which you twist the hair instead of french braiding it. Maybe I can get a grasp on this lol.

3. The Ballerina Bun

This is a classic iconic piece when referring to dancers. You can't go to a ballet and NOT see these. Mainly because they're probably required. But people have taken up this style as a new trend. Possibly to hide that second and maybe even third day hair? GASP! But all in all this is a very classic up do that can be worn formerly or out on the street. I love how it is simple and chic.

Here is a twisted alternative to the class ballerina bun:

This is pretty self explanatory.

Here is another version of the ballerina bun also dubbed the fun bun by The Beauty Department

3. The Knotted Ponytail

I thought this was different. Typically whenever you think of knots in your hair you think of one hot mess that might involve scissors at some point. But after looking at the different ways of wearing it and seeing the photos of models I simply agreed that it was a pretty darn good alternative to the regular ponytail.

And a shorter option:

Polished or messy you can KNOT pass this up! It's perfect for day or night, work or play.

5. The Ombre and Reversed Ombre

One on the most stand out trends of 2011 the Ombre has seeped it's way into Beauty and fashion. Everywhere you look you can see the ombre effect as I like to call it. I tried it on my nails(unsuccessfully), I see in people's hair and on their lips!! But my favorite place that this look can take place is in the hair. It's new and refreshing and just overall beautiful. The ombre looks like one dyed their hair a lighter color and let it grow out thus showing age old roots. But if you go to your stylist you can achieve this look without the wait.

I am really fascinated by this one because it doesn't just use everyday hair color it adds a pop of color and shows what the ombre style really is.

And this my friends is a more natural ombre. Where the hairdresser opted for more of a human hair color palette as opposed to the above pic where it's a natural human color mixed with a fantasy flair.

I hope that you all enjoyed my top 5 hair trends of 2011! Feel free to leave a comment or share any of your favorite hairstyles from this year!

An Allen Christmas Unwrapped

This Christmas Day went off without a hitch!! Everyone was happy, no crying or fighting from the kiddos. No bickering between the married couples and no animosity between the generations. My mom was over and so were my grandparents. We enjoyed hearing the Christmas story from my husband and watching a really good movie called The Perfect Gift. It's about an obnoxious little girl who basically learns a lesson in love from who else? Jesus. Great movie all in all. Then to celebrate my mother and I tried to make Banana Creme Pie. The banana cream was yummy, even if it wasn't fully set but the crust? Well next year we'll be going with a graham cracker pie crust lol.

Our "Family Tree"

Lights and garland from the Dollar Store. The ribbon and ornaments I had on hand. The snow flakes were also from the Dollar Store as well.

My grandparents with my youngest.

Seamus with his Legos Car set from Aunt Deanna.

Maddalaena in her wrapping paper ripping frenzy. Afterward she yelled "I did it!!!"

Seamus and Lylian "helping(taking over)" Maddalaena unwrap her dollhouse.

More dollhouse unwrapping

The dollhouse...

Seamus and Lylian getting into other toys.

My grandparents, Willie and Shirley

Great Grandparents with their Great Grandchildren

Seamus and Lylian posing for a picture

Lylian and Maddalaena helping "Papa" unwrap his present

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Seeing as Christmas is right around the corner, I wanted to wish all of you an actual Merry Christmas!!!

I want to paint a picture. I, the wife as my husband calls me am chillaxing on the couch watching Cars 2. My husband and my almost two year old maddalaena are doing the dishes. How sweet of them:). I am here because I have been having contractions off and on. For those of you who don't know, I am 25 weeks pregnant. It's going to be a little boy. Well at least that's what they ultrasound techs say. So far I am bigger than I have ever been this far along. So this is more painful than ever. And to top it off I'm having loads of heartburn. So my darling husband who with his killer headache and his little accident with the stairs is suffering on this eve doing the one thing he hates, dishes. He is wonderful isn't he?? And so on that note. Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Jones Design Company

I just found this awesome new blog by this company JDC or Jones Design Company. They have a lot of cool holiday and everyday decor items that you can print out or learn how to do from their tutorials. Go check them out. 

Untraditional Christmas Tree

My husband Richard and I were extreme procrastinators this year. Normally we're super dedicated and have our tree cut down, trimmed and up about three weeks before Christmas. Well not this year!!! So that left to actually be creative. I know I know it's pretty hard for us 20 something's. But we did it and pulled it together without any outside help. I'm very proud for that because it means that there is still hope for us yet!

So this creative project involved wasted printer ink, multiple sheets of paper and a few gallery frames that refused to cooperate. The end result was a spectacular tree made out of picture frames! This idea originally started when Richard tried to create a tree out of green construction paper. Yeah... It didn't turn out so well. Then I came up with the frame idea using our family pictures haha get it? A family tree!! We didn't measure anything. But it came out awesome! Richard strung lights in between the rows and we hung ornaments in between the pictures. We have our storage ottoman underneath it with a blanket and a sheer curtain scrapped over it for an effect. Although I'm not quite sure what it is. Anyway, take a look.

Friday, December 16, 2011

New Maternity OOTD

Okay so I put this outfit together under the stress of having my son be at school on time and being late for my daughter's doctor appointment. I love that it's casual and comfy. I have on a pair of off white leather flats from AE. You all might remember them. They came in various shades of colors like orange, yellow, green, red, black, and off white.

Blazer: Loft Outlet 2 yrs. It's one of my fave pieces as you may notice I wear this a lot.

Shirt: Button up Old Navy 5-6 yrs ago.

Tank: Old Navy 2 summers ago

Scarf: Target( I think) 2-3 years ago

Maternity Jeggings: Loved by Heidi Klum sold by Motherhood Maternity October of this year

Necklace: Payless 1 yr ago

Close up of the top half

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Newspaper Nail Art

I just came across this link on YouTube about newspaper mani's!! I will be sure to try this out!!

To start off take a newspaper and cut the text portions into ten strips. Make sure that they are a little longer to your nail length. Paint your nails with a clear base coat. Then you choose a light nail color(I would choose any color that would allow you to see the ink from the newspaper). Paint your nails with your chosen color. Let dry fully!! It is really important not to skip this. Allow 20-30 minutes for dry time. Then pour rubbing alcohol into a small shallow dish. Submerge a newspaper strip into the alcohol. Apply to nail gingerly. Make sure that you press the newspaper onto your nail and not rub it on. Gently pat all around your nail to ensure full coverage. Carefully peel newspaper away from nail. Repeat with other nails. Apply top coat and allow to fully dry!!

Here are some pics of various newspaper manicures:

My Newspaper Nails. This was so simple you all should give it a try!!

OOTD Today...

Ok please don't mind the look on my face. This far along in pregnancy you have to concentrate really hard lol.

Ok so for this look I followed more of my everyday style. All little dressy and a little casual. There isn't a shot of the shoes because well, they're missing a much needed accessory and I can't figure out which one I want.

Open Drape Front Cardigan: Loft Outlet 2 years ago.

Silver blouse: Loft hand me down

Brown maternity pants: Motherhood Maternity October

Necklace: Payless on Clearance

Bracelet: Pandora customized by my husband

Base Coat: Sally Hansen's Double Duty Strengthening Base and Top Coat found at local drug stores.

Base color: Nicole by Julep

Accent Color: Power Clutch by Essie

Top Coat: Sally Hansen's Double Duty Strengthening Base and Top Coat

First I applied a coat of the base/top coat. Let dry for a minute. The I applied two coats of Nicole by Julep. Let dry for about a minute. Then careful I swiped or dragged Power Clutch by Essie across the far corner of the nail. Aim for a little below mid nail and drag in a diagonal direction. Finish with a coat of your top coat and let dry completely for about 30 minutes.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nail Polish Woes...Solved!!

Although I've been using nail polish for years, I have recently jumped back into using it. I love the face that a little polish can change a look or a mood and it can definitely be a finishing touch to anything. It comes in hundreds maybe even thousands of colors and textures and I'm finding out more recently that there are people who can do with nail polish what Picasso could do with a canvas. It's amazing and it's an art. 
The trouble with nail polish is one little thing I'd like to call glitter. I don't know how many of you have used glittered nail polish and upon removal, the glitter stays and the polish goes. Well, thanks to the Birchbox Blog I have found out how to successfully and effortlessly remove glittered nail polish. Below is the link to the page.

Also another little tip I learned from Birchbox is that top coats don't stay on. Because of the washing of hands and normal wear and tear the top coat will wear off over the course of a day or so. So apply your top coat about every other day. It will help your manicure last. Also when you apply your top coat, make sure that you sweep your brush across the open portion of your nail to seal the ends of your nail. 

Here is a sure fire way that your mani will stay in place long after the paint is dry:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Contest at Rebecca's Soap Delicatessen

There is an amazing contest going on now for handmade cold processed soaps and lotions at Rebecca's Soap Delicatessen!!! Receive $25 in product of your choice!!! This contest ends Dec 15 so hurry!!!!

Believe me this stuff is amazing!!!!

Pics of some of her products:

Handmade Luxury Shea Butter Soap in Mango and Papaya $6

Handmade Goat's Milk Lotion in Red Velvet Cake $8

Handmade Solid Sugar Scrub Cubes in Strawberry Champagne $6.50

Men's Handmade Shea Butter Soap in Eucalyptus and Tea Tree $6

And her store link:

Friday, December 9, 2011

Birchbox, Julep and Essie

Today has finally come. I have been waiting with anticipation since November 10th!!! My Birchbox with all it's little goodies has finally arrived in my mailbox. Two days ago I was graced with the appearance of my Julep Maven package as well. I also purchased my first ever bottle of Essie nail polish(which I still have yet to use). It's like receiving Godiva Chocolates once a month!! What I love about these services is that they are informative, trend keeping and most of all affordable!!! Birchbox is just $10 a month for some of the hottest and money worthy samples of the season/year. Julep is all about mani's and pedi's. And they're fee is only $20 but you get three full sized products and a couple of samples to try which is uber amazing!! And Essie is well, amazing nail color that I can go buy at Walmart if I so desire lol.

Inside my Birchbox:

Show Stoppers: Two black miracle strips to help keep you in place when your clothing can't.

EBOOST: A daily health booster. You just add to water and stir and you're all set to go. It has vitamins, minerals and super nutrients to help get you through your day. There is no sugar, artificial flavors and it's very low in calories only 5!

Ageless: A parfum from Harvey Prince

Orofluido: A beauty elixir for your hair. Just add a few drops in your hands, rub throughout damp hair. Don't rinse and you're all set!

Jouer: Conditioning Lipgloss in Birchbox Pink. Made Exclusively for Birchbox

The Pore-fessional: This is a Pro balm to minimize the appearance of pores

Inside my Julep Maven box:

I was thrilled to receive this. Not just because of the full sized products but because I love nail polish!! It makes me feel so pampered!! 

On the left: Nail Color- Nicole a deep shimmery red color. Comes out in a cranberry hue. I think it's divine!

Nail Color: Whiteney- a nude color that will compliment pretty much every color and outfit out there

Julep Facial for Hands: Glycolic Hand Scrub- I used this and loved every bit of it!! This coupled with the Everyday SPF Hand Cream makes your hands so silky smooth you'll want to rub them on your face for hours lol.

My First Essie Nail Color!!!

Meet Power Clutch $7.79 at Walmart. 

Power Clutch is from the 2011 Fall/Winter line

I can't wait to try this out. It looks like it would be suitable for any winter outfit. I cannot wait to add more Essie nail color to my growing polish collection!!

Christmas With Scentsy Online Party

For all you Scentsy lovers out there I am hosting an online Scentsy party through a friend of mine and new consultant Katie Prosperie. The event starts now and ends next friday Dec. 16. If you would like to make a purchase please visit her site and place an order under my name Portia A. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My hubby and I at The Cherry Circle Annual Christmas Party

Richard and the girls at the Christmas Party

My son, ever so popular with the girls

And here having fun with the boys

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Nail Polish Greatness!!

Ok so I know this is like my 100th post in a day(just kidding), but I just HAD to share this with you! I just bought Sally Hansen's Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips in Check It Out. And I absolutely love them. They were super easy to apply and I could do it during nap time!! So first you give yourself a mini mani. Get rid of all the nail polish and cuticle crud. Then you file your nails. After when you're ready to apply the strips sweep your nails again with nail polish remover to get rid of oils and dirt. Take a strip, measure it to your nail, remove the top plastic layer, remove nail polish strip from paper and then remove the tab. Securely holding the strip in one hand(be sure to hold in the center of strip for most control) apply to your nail, pressing firmly and in an outward motion. These can be stretched a little bit for maximum coverage. In the kit you'll get a wooden cuticle tool, use the flat side to gently smooth out any wrinkles and secure the strip to your nail. You'll also receive an emery board, use the light pink side to gently rub the excess nail polish away from the tip of your nail. I topped this with a coat of Essie's No Chip's Ahead: Chip Free Top Coat. Let dry and you're off! Here's a pic of the finished product: 

P.S. Don't mind the jar of soap...