Monday, July 31, 2017

Ikea Hemnes Buffet Makeover

Hello friends! Hope you all had a great weekend. I will be going on vacation in just one week and I am so ready! I did some major reorganizing and cleaning around the house getting things ready in the guest bedroom for my mom and some relatives that will be staying with us next week.  While I was at it, I decided to give my buffet a little lovin' because it was looking kind of sad...  
This bad boy was jam packed with crap that I absolutely did not need anymore and it was starting to overflow... So I said enough is enough you are getting a makeover! 


This was my inspiration photo and I fell in love with it! Marissa from Lilly and Cedar did such an amazing job transforming this piece. 
Via

I found these pulls from a local hardware store but wasn't really feeling the gold finish.


So I  gave them a coat of oil rubbed metallic spray paint and it was perfect. 



All I did was clean the buffet thoroughly with rubbing alcohol, sanded and directly applied the water based paint taping off the top. 


I initially wanted to spray paint it as I have seen many DIY bloggers use this approach but it just didn't turn out right. It started dripping and it looked uneven...I'm sure I wasn't applying it correctly but I just preferred switching to the good old fashioned paint and paintbrush technique ;-)


That TV is ridiculously heavy so I left it on there and when I went to stain the top I just moved it to the side and waited for it to dry and stained the other side.  It worked fine for me. I used a water based stain that dried very rapidly. 

Ready for the after pic??


I added those two baskets from Ikea in which I stored extra wires, chargers et cetera in the middle basket and magazines in the lower basket. I cleaned out all the drawers and cabinets organizing everything and throwing unnecessary things away. It feels sooo good to get rid of crap you don't need. 


Here is the view from the family room now. I think the space looks so much brighter now. I love it. 


I'll leave you with another before and after 'cause we all love those..I know I do!


I would love to do a post soon sharing a complete tour of the house. I'm doing some redecorating in the bathrooms and changing things up in the kitchen as well so when I get that done I'll share it here. I like to document the changes I make around the house.  It's funny how taste in home decor changes throughout the years don't you think? 

On Instragram I shared a peak at my upstairs gallery wall.  I have been adding beach themed wall art for a while now.  It's very different than my downstairs living/dining room area. This space is right above the stairs and it connects the three bedrooms and bathroom. I guess you could call it a little reading nook. I'm on the hunt for a cozy arm chair to put in that corner where the lamp is.  I still am quite unsure of what to do here. It's kind of a strange area and I feel like I never know what to do with that that little window for a window treatment.  Any suggestions are more than welcome! 


I know I haven't been sharing any good recipes lately and that's mostly because I haven't been cooking anything particularly share worthy. Hopefully I'll be more inspired soon... 

Until then, I wish you all a fantastic week ahead!

xoxo, 


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Hair Care Tips for Bayalage

I've always loved changing hair styles and color since I was in my teens. I am naturally a pretty dark brunette but with very fair skin. I never really liked my natural hair color on me because I always thought it washed me out...kind of like Morticia Addams...I don't know. I have always preferred going lighter...like a lot lighter... and anyone who knows a thing or two about color can tell you that the darker your hair is, the longer it takes to process and therefore the more damage it does during the bleaching process.




For many many years I highlighted my hair at professional salons using foils and I remember it taking four hours from the time they started to the time I was finally done. It took me half a day to do my hair simply because it took forever to process.

I would have to go about every three months because my roots would be so dark and the contrast with the blonde was super evident and I hated seeing those dark roots. Needless to say my hair never grew past my shoulders because the tips were so fried that they would break off and I would have to trim it.


This was the lightest I have ever been. 

I loved my blonde hair but it was just taking a toll on my ends and it was way too much maintenance. Since I work during the week the only time I could go get it done would be on Saturday mornings and my whole morning was shot because it took FOREVER. 

At one point I wanted to grow my hair out longer and my hairdresser told me that until I kept bleaching my hair, I woud not be able to keep it long.


This was at my brother's wedding. My ends were pretty bad at this point and you can see the strong contrast with my roots underneath. 

I decided I wanted healthier longer hair so I went dark. And it was... meh... but I wanted it to grow so I just dealt with it.

At a certain point the color started fading and my hair became a mousy ugly greenish color and I dyed it again...brown...and it was fine in the beginning because it was a change but as time went on I started to hate it.


I did this a few times.  I would alternate periods of brown and then go back slowly to blonde by highlighting often. One time I decided to go completely blonde from root to tip and my hair turned bright orange. Yeah... that was a disaster...


So last year I went dark again after a long period with highlights. I took care of it, trimmed it often, deep conditioned and my hair became healthy again.


And as always I liked it for a while but then wanted to go lighter and  at that point I decided to get on the Bayalage band wagon.  Bayalage is all the rage now and I think it is absolutely gorgeous. It's natural and at the same time lightens giving you this stunning sun-kissed look that many brunette celebs have opted for and I think it's fabulous.
Via
After watching 10,000 YouTube videos on the technique I found that many beauty gurus have been DIYing it and you can see for yourself that the method that they use is really pretty simple. So I decided to try it out for myself and I love how it turned out. I also saved a crap ton of money by doing it myself. I have been getting so many compliments so that's why I decided to write a post on it.  I'm not a beauty expert whatsoever so I'm not going to explain the process in detail.  Just look up "DIY bayalage" on YouTube and there are bunch of great tutorials available. There are a few tips to getting it right that I'll share here if you want to try this out.

Via
The photo above is not of me by the way but it shows the technique well I think.  Basically what I did was divide the hair in strands and saturate the ends well while "feathering" upwards either with a brush or your fingers and in this way you don't get a harsh line where the bleach ends but rather it's a gradient transition.  I did use foils to process better but you can opt not to.



This is my hair now. 

 There is an important step that I found out about later because it wasn't really stated in many of the videos and that's the toning process following the bleaching.

If your hair is very dark like mine is, you will most likely turn brassy the first time you do this.  This is not a great look (i.e. my orange hair pictured above).



You need a blue or purple color to tone the orange because the opposite of yellow on the color chart is purple and the opposite of orange is blue. 

Many people use a DIY toner that I tried and it worked pretty well and that's mixing a deep conditioner with a drop of semi-permanent purple or blue hair dye.  This will not turn your hair purple it will just tone it getting rid of the brassiness. It also conditions your hair so win-win. I left that on for an hour and then rinsed it out.

You should also use a purple shampoo and conditioner and this will help with the brassiness as well.

This is what I use. It's pretty inexpensive, it works well and smells like grapes. :-)

The bayalage technique lets me keep my roots dark while giving me a lighter more natural look.  Unfortunately I do have some grays so I just touch up the roots and keep the ends blonde. I don't have to redo the blonde as I did with the highlights every three months frying my hair so I can just keep deep condition and my hair grows longer and is healthier. 



In order to grow my hair longer I have been taking a Hair, Skin and Nails supplement and I really think it has been helping a lot. 
Found here
Once a week I'll use this coconut oil based nourishing hair mask and it leaves my hair feeling great. 
Found here

Another thing I have been careful about is protecting my ends when I go to the beach because salt water, chlorine  and the sun can also greatly damage your hair especially if it has already been bleached. 

This stuff is a little expensive but it's worth every penny in my opinion. I think Kerastase is an amazing brand for hair products. 

Found here

I hope I was able to share some helpful tips if you are thinking about doing this.  I have really found it beneficial for me and I feel like I can grow my hair longer while keeping a lighter color. 

I hope you are all having a great weekend and enjoying summer so far.  It has been super hot here lately! I will be on vacation in just a couple weeks and I am sooo looking forward to that!  God Bless <3

Annnd I think I'll end this with a selfie filter...cause why not?



xoxo,


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Life Lately with a Side of Italian Roasted Peppers

I have a lot of catching up to do on this blog of mine and it seems like I have so much to say I don't know where to start. Things have been hectic around these parts and my anxiety level is slowly creeping back up. I had a terrible day this past Friday and needed to blow off some steam. The day just started out bad from the moment I woke up until I left work because it seemed that everything I did was wrong, there was way too much to do and I just couldn't take the pressure anymore. I haven't been sleeping well at night as the dog wakes up at all hours of the morning barking up a storm because it's too damn hot here and so I have to leave the window open.  He hears cats outside rummaging through the trash and goes bonkers... When I wake up in the middle of the night I start thinking about a million things...my mind starts racing and I can't go back to sleep.  The anxiety has gotten to me.. 

There are few things that calm my anxiety and one of them is shopping... The only shopping that relaxes me is home furnishing and decor stores...so that is where I went. I found this pillow that lightened my mood and took it home with me. I think it looks good and it makes me smile so it's staying on my couch for the time being.


Another thing that calms my anxiety is painting...anything... Just put a paint brush in my hand and I'm good. So my balcony needed painting as it was pretty chippy (not good chippy either). 


So I also picked up some paint and went to town. It looks so much better now and I'm glad I took care of that cause it was bugging me for some time now. 


I don't think I showed you my front door that I painted a couple weeks ago. I know I posted it on Instagram.  My dog scratched the crap out of that door and it too needed some lovin'. It looks so much better now and I am no longer embarrassed when people come over! 


I added some new accessories to my kitchen  and organized some spices and things in cute little glass jars. I just think they look more organized now as I had most in their original store bought baggies. 


Gigia has had this rodent ulcer thing on her lip for almost a year now. Her lip swells up and nothing seems to help her expect for a cortisone injection (depomedrol). It apparently is an allergic reaction but I have absolutely no idea to what...The shot lasts for about 20 days...the swelling goes down but now her lip has swollen back up and I'm nervous about giving her another shot because of the side effects.  I've changed her to a hypoallergenic diet, tried a bunch of things but nothing seems to work. She's not in pain or anything and she's acting normally but I just hate seeing her like this. She also got diarrhea after the depomedrol shot and that was great... I had to switch up the diet again...anyways...it was a mess.  Now that the diarrhea is gone the lip swells back up...my poor baby.


On a more positive note we went to my cousins First Holy Communion in Rome last week and that was fun. It reminded me of my Holy Communion and got me thinking about how my faith stayed with me and has gotten stronger over the years. I pray that these children don't take for granted this blessed Sacrament and that their faith accompanies them throughout their lives. My faith has gotten me through many hardships and I wouldn't be anything if it wasn't for God's strength in me. 


He's our little guy Antonio :-) He's a cutie.


This is part of the family at the restaurant and a picture of the beautiful cake. 


It was SUPER hot that day so little guy had to go and change because he was itching to go play outside with his buddies. 


That's pretty much what's been going down lately in these parts. 

Oh yes! I almost forgot about the roasted peppers! This is another typical Italian dish that is very healthy and is served as a side dish or antipasto.  It goes super well on top of bruschettas or crostini and is so easy to make. Let me guide you through the process.

Wash your bell peppers and place on a baking sheet.  Preheat the oven to 180° C (350°F).  


Roast for about 35 minutes turning the peppers over after 15 minutes. 


Place the peppers as they are in a plastic container covering them and leaving them to cool for no less than one hour. 


The steam from the peppers will facilitate the removal the skin later on. 


Once the time is up remove the stem.  You should find that seeds are mostly attached to the stem. 


The skin comes off super easy.  The peppers will release a good amount of juice.  Make sure to keep that and set aside. Place the peppers in a dish and just peel off the skin as shown below. The secret here is the time left in the container.  The longer you leave them sitting the easier it is to remove the skin. 


In a small dish combine a couple garlic cloves, a small jalapeno pepper, the juice that you set aside from the peppers and a tablespoon or so of olive oil, some salt to taste and chopped parsley. 


Mix well and add to the peppers. 


That's all there is to it.  I love this antipasto.  It's easy enough to make at home and it's healthy!

I hope you all are doing well.  Now I'm going to get back to my day finish my coffee and get ready for church. 

Counting down the days 'til my mamma gets here!  We're going to have a blast.  I know Cathy is going to miss her but she has some wonderful ladies that take excellent care of her while Mom's away so I know she's in good hands. 

I don't know about you guys but I am slightly obsessed with selfie filters and so is my mother apparently ! Cathy doesn't seem very amused though LOL! 


Have a wonderful week ahead! 

xoxo, 

Silvana