Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Moment in Reflection

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I don't know about you but about once or twice a year I get in this low vibe. I'm okay in the sense that I'm not sad  or depressed. But I wouldn't say I'm overly happy either. I'm just....there. And its usually at this time that I become very reflective on my life. Almost as if I'm looking at my current day life retrospectively. The time of year where I have all those "whoulda, shoulda, coulda" moments like losing 20kg, taking those cooking classes and that language class. Blogging every day always ends up on the list and always I feel like a failure (because this is an unrealistic goal right now), which is why weeks go by without a post. My mood usually peaks up after a week or two with this faux sense of confidence that if I just make a list and stick to it, my life will be better.

And for a small moment in time it is. Until something distracts me or throws out my current momentum. Then I'm right back to square one. 

I wonder if I'm alone in this weird cycle of repetitive failure? I recall as a child my mother having a similar circle with diets & losing weight. I'm wondering how much of this is a learned behaviour? I already understand that happiness is a journey to be taken and not a destination to be visited, so why do I keep doing this?

Right now I'm resisting the urge to strategize on how this month I can make my life "better" and concentrating on identifying where this impulse is coming from and treating it at the source or at least with new tactics. Because I'm sick of having this lull every six months. And I truly believe this is something I can "unlearn".

I'd love to hear further discussion on this or if you've experienced something similar. If you have, please share your thoughts in the comments.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hairstylin' {Behind The Scenes}

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I have been bleaching and killing my hair for quite a number of years now. In the last twelve months I've switched from highlighting with foils to a straight bleach & tone. I get many comments on my hair and people ask me about what they do at the salon to make it the way it is. So here is a look behind one of those secret girl things women do.

My colourist, Lex at Gene Juarez Redmond, is really the star of the whole thing. She really knows her stuff, is super nice & friendly and has the ability to make my hair sparkle. If you are in the Seattle/Redmond area then go make an appointment and tell her that I sent you. You won't regret it.

So basically what happens is this;
I turn up, usually running ten minutes late because it seems no matter how early I leave for things I'm always ten minutes late. I "check-in" with the lovely receptionist, who gives me a gown to get changed into so I don't destroy my clothes with the bleach. Which I have done, to my gorgeous purple & silver plaid sweater {or my nana sweater as my younger sister likes to tell me}.

Then Lex will greet me and we'll head over to her little work station. I sit down and we take a look at how the blonde is fairing. Whether it is getting too bronzey or looking faded, that sort of thing.
 I usually say I want it one shade lighter, I keep pushing how blonde I can get away with.
I think this is my limit.

Lex will then hand me some magazines, which I love because I don't buy magazines, and she will go off and mix up her magic potion. This takes about 5-10 minutes, so I'm assuming she has to sing a special hair chant or something to activate it. Either that or there is a whole bunch of science going on.

She'll head back and start applying the mixture the base of my head to cover all of my yucky dark regrowth. She uses a brush similar to a pastry brush and does the whole base of my head, leaving the length of my hair as is {see picture}. Then I get to sit under the hair heater machine to activate the bleach. I love sitting here because I'm usually always cold, and this thing is like heaven. I sit here for about fifteen minutes flicking through magazines or fb'ing with my Windows Phone 7.

Then Lex will come and check that my hair hasn't fallen out of my head and we head over to the sinks and I sit/lay down. She'll get the bleach off before I get scalded from the it, I'm serious I had one lady about a year ago leave my head covered in blisters from bleach. Ouch.

I then get some toner applied to cool the blonde colour down {and I also finds it soothes my head from the bleach heat} and I'm sure there is more science to it I just don't know nor want to know what it is. I like I have no idea how it all works. Then I get that rinsed out after about ten minutes.

Then my favourite part. Deep conditioning treatment. I get a head massage when the deep conditioning treatment goes in and it is SOOOO good. I have trouble sometimes to not fall asleep. Wake up Leila, time to get dried off.

Back to the chair and Lex softly dries my hair on the low setting of the hair dryer and sends me on my way with a spring in my step. {see picture}. This usually takes a total of 1.5-2 hours. I have do this every four to five weeks before the regrowth looks real bad. I'm not sure how much longer I'll keep doing it but for now I'm enjoying being a blonde.  

Do you spend a lot of time at the salon or are you a once-every-six-months type of gal?
What is your hair styling maintenance like?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Yellowstones in my Shoe

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I have a friend visiting in October from Australia. It will be her second visit and this time we are planning on doing a big road trip, with one the destinations being Yellowstone National Park. So over the weekend Daniel & I watched an amazing documentary on Netflix made by the BBC called Yellowstone. It was absolutely amazing and I recommend it to everyone.

It was a three part documentary with each part being around 45 minutes long. It covered Summer, Autumn & Winter in Yellowstone and followed the journey of some of the local wildlife.

  1. Yellowstone was the very first National Park in America established back in 1872.
  2. It stretches across three states; Wyoming, Montana & Idaho.
  3. Yellowstone is home to two endangered species; the Gray Wolf & the Whopping Crane.
  4. Yellowstone & the Grand Teton National Park make up half the size of New Zealand.
  5. How much to maintain & protect almost 9000km2? In 2006 it cost a cool $30 Million.

Geysers, springs, volcanoes, bears, wolves & bison. What a truly amazing place!! I can't wait to see it in October!

Have you been to Yellowstone before? What are your recommendations?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Looking Ahead at the Pretty Pretty

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I've been spending a lot of time during this last week to work out on the trail next to my apartment complex. It has a few steep hills on it that really get my heart pumping {great practice for hiking} and I've definitely felt the burn in my legs and abs. I even think I may have lost a little bit of weight but I haven't weighed myself so don't know for sure. But it feels like it.

In anticipation of losing some of this weight I've been getting a little ahead of myself and scanning a few online shopping websites at some of the options open to me if I keep up with my exercise and shed those pesky ten pounds. I've been putting together a Summer Lookbook on one of my pinterest boards, but here are some of my favourite picks for Summer from Forever21 & Victoria's Secret.

What are you eyeing off for this season?
{whether that be Summer or Winter depending your hemisphere}

{Guest Post} Death by Chocolate Muffins

Today's guest post comes to Emerald City Girl from my good friend Claire at Keeping Up With Lucy, and is the first guest recipe post for the new Whisked Kitchen section. Thank you so much for this recipe Claire, it looks so great I'm making it over my 4th July long weekend. Happy Weekend! ~ Leila

These muffins are so moist with a melt in your mouth chocolatey goodness. They are loved by everyone who tries them. I welcome you to trying this delicious muffin recipe and let me know what you think!
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
100g dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup white choc bits
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg

{The recipe states that you can make 12 muffins but I get 24 out of the mixture}
  1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F) & line a muffin tray with muffin cases or grease the tray.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Make a well in the centre. Add milk, oil and egg.
  4. Stir until just combined, don't over mix or muffins will become tough.
  5. Spoon mixture into muffin tray & bake for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Stand in tray for 5 minutes then serve.

*You can freeze the muffins in snap lock bags for up to 2 months!*


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