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Top 10 Hair Care Gift Ideas


Touted as one of the top hair salons in the country by Elle Magazine, I've been fortunate enough to sit in one of the gorgeous chairs in this salon with a bubbly in hand! Let me tell you ladies, this man gives good hair. He is one of the most sought after stylist and with good reason. Call him a hair guru/ hair whisperer/ hair Sherlock because he will seek out what your hair dilemma is and fix it.  Since the 90's, Carlos Perina has been primping my locks through all the trends the decades have had to offer. I've been pixied, bobbed, feathered and of course Rachel-ed. My hair has also been EVERY color of the rainbow. One would think after years of hair torture one's hair would be calling it quits. Remarkably, it's in great shape! I attribute it to the remarkable products I get from his salon. Carlos has happily shared with me his favorite hair products. (If there is a special someone who is need of some hair love, any one of these lovelies would be grand to gift them!) 

1. Tangle Teezer- everyone is gaga over this little brush. It's the only brush that actually works to get those nasty little tangles out. Amazing for children as well because of it's non-hurty aspect!

2. Keratin Complex Curved Vent Brush - the design allows more heat to flow to the hair shaft, reducing drying time and if you have long hair, you know how long it takes to dry!

3. Parlux 3500 Super Compact Ceramic & Ionic Edition Professional Hair Dryer  - the ionic & ceramic system helps the hair retain moisture, conditioning and eliminating frizz. This leaves the hair feeling smoother and silkier and the compact size is ideal for travel.

4. T3 Bodywaver large barrel styling iron - this 1.75 inch barrel leaves you with big, polished voluminous waves.  It’s like getting the look of a professional blowout without having to use a blowdryer and round brush!

5. HairArt iTech Keratin Heat Digital Titanium Styling Iron- the benefits of ceramic heat and ionic technology combined with titanium enhances hair hydration and shine. No frizzies with this lovely!

1. Melu Shampoo and Conditioner family- Ideal for long or damaged hair with a tendency to break, thanks to its active ingredients which strengthens it.

2. Moroccan Oil- Available in many sizes, this oil from the gods is a must for it's restorative properties. Use before or after drying. 

3. Coppola Keratin Complex Infusion- this treatment provides intense penetration to heal and smooth hair. The infusion opens the hair cuticles to deliver keratin proteins into the hair shaft. If you are regularly using heating tools on your hair, this is the treatment formula to use!

4. Oribe Royal Blowout - The ultra-lightweight mist tames flyaways and beats frizz for a smooth, glossy finish. Whether your hair is coarse and thick or fine and wispy, it will add volume and shine as you blow dry.

5. Oribe Cote d'Azure Hair RefresherA mist of Oribe signature fragrance refreshes hair, neutralizes odors and cuts static. Perfect for travel! 

And there you have it! The list of lists for your lovely hair, curated by the master of all tresses! To make an appointment with Carlos visit his site here.

P.S. And if Mr. is reading this, #3, 4, and 5 in the tools section would be righty loved ;)



No sew monograms


These are the easiest monograms to make! If you are not a sewer, these will be right up your alley. You can fuse them to any fabric including sweaters. I made mine using sequined fabric! Ready, let's go...



-Shirt or sweater

-plaid fabric, 7 x 7 inch piece will do (any fabric can also be used)

-Heat N Bond, available in most craft stores

-Initial template- printed on card stock




Step 1:

Print and cut out the initials on card stock. You can download many great free fonts on, I used “Lemondrop” for mine at 144 points. 

Step 2:

Read the directions on the Heat N Bond packaging. You will want to cut a piece that is big enough to cut out the initials on and fuse it using the iron on the back of the fabric.

Step 3:

Using a marker, trace the backwards initials on the Heat N Bond paper.

Step 4:

Once you have cut out the traced initials, position them on the pocket of the shirt or wherever you would like them to go.

Step 5:

Peel off the Heat N Bond paper on the back of the letters and reposition them on the shirt.  

Step 6:

Using a hot iron, press firmly on the letters until they have fused to the pocket. You’re finished!


Bottling Hard Cider


I'm lucky enough to live in apple country and when I heard that my friends were bottling their hard cider, I invited myself along for the fun! While I really intended on helping with the labor, I actually ended up being there for moral support/ sample taster/ food eater. And while I was given a thorough explanation of the process, I can't quite seem to remember the technique as I took my sample tasting job quite seriously. So it went something like this...

When we arrived, there was a pick-up truck stacked high with about a thousand empty bottles. We were to take the bottles out and wash them using this stacky contraption that has a water spout on top. When you push the bottle down, a water solution squirts inside the bottles to sanitize them. Then you place them on the rack to dry.

See, that's me on the left sampling and holding the drying rack. Multitasking.

This accordian like thingy is an apple mash squoosher. I didn't see it in action but I hear it's quite exciting.

This is Kim, my folklorist friend, who is documenting the life and times of the the modern farmer. I'm sure she has a better description for what she does. The message is more like, "You should be good to farmers, they keep us fed and so hug them."

Anyway, after the bottles have dried you need to put a little sugar in the bottle. The sugar feeds the yeast and then bubbles are born. I think. If you put too much sugar in, then the bottle could explode on account of too many bubbles being born. And so we can all blame Kim if our cider explodes because that was her job. Sugar-putter- inner.

Some sort of stuff happening here but don't know what it could be. Looks a bit moonshine-y though.

Look at this gorgeous thing here.  #HandmadeCraftiness. Could be a tiny engine?

Here's Paul, let's call him the Cider Master. He's the one that was in charge of the whole concoction. You have to keep the barrels at a certain temperature for the fermentation process to work. Otherwise, the whole thing goes to pot and that would be sad. You also have to put a layer of CO2 on top of the stuff while it's fermenting but I got a little fuzzy when this was being explained so you'll have to look it up. Or ask Paul.

Here's the lovely Shannon. She was the hard workiest of all. She would siphon the cider into a smaller bucket from where she would siphon that into the bottles. She also brought a crock pot of homemade soup and so I love her.

Here is Mr. 

He likes to help too. And sample. And eat. See how each bottle is hand filled. That's one thousand of those suckers. Each one loved and cared for.

After the cider is in the bottle, you have to find a brawny farmer to push the bottle cap on it. Luckily, Shannon's husband Matt was all "that's my job". Hopefully, he pushed them on real tight because of that whole explodey thing.

And that was it. The end.

We were gifted a case of this amber loveliness and told to wait about a month to drink it. Although, I'm not sure that we'll get to a month. We will try and save at least one for Christmas day. 

If you would like to visit Shannon and Matt's  Hollin Farms, click on the link. It is the most wonderful pick-your-own farm in the Delaplane, VA area. And they are such wonderful people! 


Festive Antler Headband



We are slowly creeping our way into the holiday season and this time of year always means crafty get togethers! This year I got together with Annabel Wrigley of Little Pincushion Studio and we came up with a sweet little craft for you! A festive antler headband, perfect for those holiday pictures! This is a simple craft to do with the kiddos while sipping hot chocolate and listening to holiday tunes

Materials List:

-Martha Stewart crafter’s clay



-hot glue gun

-tacky glue

Step 1:

Roll the clay in your hands till it becomes malleable and shape it into an antler shape. It is easy to make three little rolls and attach them all together to make the shape.  Let them air dry overnight. 

Step 2: 

Using your tacky glue, apply a small amount where you would like the glitter to be. If you prefer a more natural look just leave them the original clay color. Hot glue into place on the headband. That's it!



It's a giveaway!

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