The Fresh Cut

Ask any lady and she’ll tell you that the day she goes to the salon is the best day ever.
You could be in your gym clothes, with no makeup on, and that new ‘do makes you feel like a million bucks!
A new cut & color makes you want to go run errands just to show off your fabulous hair
and you wouldn’t mind going to a restaurant by yourself ’cause damn you look good.

A new hairstyle can do a lot for a girl’s morale
and with the new year just starting out, my BFF and I decided to visit my favorite stylist for a fresh look.
We each went in very different directions, but I think its appropriate considering where our styles were coming from and what we hoped to get out of 2015.

Here’s what we looked like in October 2014:
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Between then and our appointment our hair had grown out (and so had our roots) and the color had faded.
Basically, we were ready for a change!

Keisha wanted to transition into a lighter shade of brown. Her previous color was very dark and harsh against her porcelain complexion. She wanted to get back to a more natural, professional color that would allow her to transition into a lighter, honey brown over time.

As for me, I had spent all my life playing it safe with my hair color. This year, I wanted to have fun (yet remain professional) by incorporating a subtle color, like rosé. I felt that this hue would not be too obnoxious in the workplace, but would allow me to add personal flair to my appearance.

So last Thursday we made our way over to Douglas Carroll Salon to visit my favorite stylist, Bren Anderson.
Bren is seriously a hair genius. If I am ever doubting my hair idea or need a new perspective, Bren is there with words of wisdom and his magic scissors. He knows how to work with my (or anyone’s) hair type, face shape, and lifestyle.
Upon arrival, we chatted for a few about what we were going for and he laid out the game plan. Keisha and I took our places in the hydraulic chairs and were ready for action!

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First comes the processing to take our hair lighter.

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Then Bren mixes up the color!

One of my favorite parts that was not photographed is when they shampoo your hair. It is so relaxing!

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Finally, color is done and it’s time for a cut.
Bren can be a bit of a perfectionist, but that’s why I love him.
He likes to cut the basic shape/length while the hair is wet, then go back after it’s dried to do the details.
Bren never lets you walk out without your hair perfectly styled.
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Finally, after five hours in the chair, we’re done! Don’t we look amazing.

But we’re not done. It’s time for a mini make-up session!
Douglas Carroll Salon offers a variety of services, from cuts & color to massages & facials.
We met with make-up master Betty Mekonnen, currently the most published make-up artist in America.
Betty is wonderful. Next time you have a wedding to attend or a big date, go see her!
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After leaving the salon, we met up with our good friend & coworker Megan for a little photo shoot.
Here are some of my favorite shots.
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As you can see, our ensembles reflect our new hair ‘do.
I selected an outfit of soft pastels to match my rosé hair
and Keisha dressed in a neutral color pallet to highlight her lighter locks.
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We had a lot of silly shots in between the serious ones. When you’re shooting with your best friend, it’s hard to keep a straight face the whole time. Some of the laughs were fake, that then led to real laughs. Other times we were simply having fun.
And we can’t forget the shoes! Keisha wears Sam & Libby for Target and I’m wearing Cole Haan.
We took all of the photographs at Fred Fletcher Park. It is a beautiful area with winding walkways and two really cool historic buildings. We shot a few images in front of this old home.

All in all, it was an exciting day and we couldn’t wait to show off our fresh cuts at work the following day.
Next time you go in for a hair cut, try giving your stylist a general direction or parameters and let he/she do what they do best. Trust is essential in a relationship with your stylist. Your hair is in their hands! Furthermore, honesty is a must. Do not fib about your hair care routine or your satisfaction.

I absolutely loved what Bren did with my hair, but I left wanting more pink.
He understood and told me to let him know if I wanted to amp up the color.
Since I had to keep work in mind, it was better to start subtle rather than go crazy and it be far from professional.
So yesterday I went back and he added more color! The end result was exactly what I was looking for: pink, but not too pink, and noticeable but not in-your-face.

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The Orchid Effect

When I moved into my apartment almost a year ago, my friend left me three orchids to look after while she moved to Vermont. I was so terrified that I would kill them in a matter of days, but miraculously they have survived. It’s ironic actually; I’ve managed to let my peace lilies, basil, rosemary, and several other herbs die, but the orchids have prevailed.

These delicate flowers have taught me a lot over the past nine months; first, that I do not have a green thumb, but also that just because something appears dead and barren doesn’t mean it cannot bloom.

Thus the inspiration for this post. If you’re a Triangle local, you’ve probably noticed the unseasonably warm weather these past few days. This seems impossible considering that just last week we had a high of 20 degrees, but indeed it has felt like Spring rather than Winter. So, just as the orchid can bloom despite the time of year, I decided to dress in pieces more suited to the relatively high temperatures. But how do you dress for warm weather when it is technically winter? No one wants to look crazy wearing a sundress on a 60 degree day in January, yet draping yourself in dark colors just feels wrong. Keep reading and I’ll teach you my three tricks for merging the seasons!

Light Layering
This ensemble was inspired by the first bloom from Medusa (named for all of her snake-like roots) since I cut back the stem last Summer. A bright, sunshine yellow sweater was the focal point for the outfit, but I needed to tone down the hue and make the look more appropriate for Winter. I did this by adding a touch of black and layering. The undershirt is a super lightweight chambray, but just the hint of a layer makes everything feel more warm and cozy. This technique doesn’t have to be implemented with a sweater; you can layer two button-ups or shirts to give a similar effect. Add a lightweight scarf and you have the perfect outfit for a warm day in Winter.


(Ann Taylor Loft sweater and shirt, Joe’s jeans, Sam & Libby for Target oxfords, vintage Casio watch)

Bright Colors, Warm Fabrics
Nothing says Winter like chunky knits, thick wovens, and fabulous furs. Wear these materials in bold colors to embrace the spirit of Spring. This outfit combines multiple textiles in mostly solids to create a statement, taking inspiration from a single print that makes the look cohesive. If this technique is new to you, try introducing it in accessories, like a blue fur scarf or pink leather gloves. Even a pop of color can make a mostly black ensemble feel fresh.


(Vintage cape and scarves, Kate Spade gloves, Gloria Ortiz heels, J. Crew shirt, Susana Monaco dress, vintage belt)

Juxtapose the Intensity
Most Winter fashion is comprised of deep, dark colors. When the sun comes out, take the opportunity to wear more vibrant variations on these hues. I played off the deep purples in this vintage skirt by incorporating a bright violet sweater. This ensemble combines sporty details, reminiscent of Fall athletic events, with feminine touches that are so Spring. Floral prints with dark backgrounds help to blend the two seasons even more.


(GAP jacket, J. Crew sweater, vintage skirt, Cole Haan heels, vintage necklace and clutch)

So the next time it rises above 50 degrees in the dead of Winter, remember that there are no rules that state Winter fashion has to be dark. Liven things up with a splash of unexpected color and don’t be afraid to show a little skin!
(Just make sure you remember to get a pedicure before breaking out those peep-toe heels.)



“Time may change me
But I can’t trace time”

— David Bowie

As you finish one chapter in life and begin another,
you reflect on all that you have accomplished
and all that you still want to complete.

2014 was a big year for me:
It was my first year out of college
I moved in to my first apartment by myself
I started an amazing job
(a real, grown-up salary job with vacation days and health insurance!)
I adopted a kitten, Lunar Eclipse
and I launched the Style Asset blog.

But there is still so much I am working on and that I have to do!

Some goals cannot be completed within a year.
They are journeys that take time and dedication.

One of my biggest journeys has been in the health & wellness sector of my life.
About two years ago I began eating better, thanks to a book that changed my perspective on food,
(Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman)
But this healthy eating led to unwanted weight gain.
Looking back now, I can see that prior to changes in my eating habits I was unhealthy.
Yes, I was skinny and everyone gawked at my tiny frame and I loved it,
but I was not healthy.

Healthy is a two-part program.
I had the eating part right, now it was time to work on the dreaded exercise portion.
So last year I joined a gym and went maybe three times a month.
Pathetic! How can I expect change when I put in so little effort?
Well, I did change: I gained 10 lbs, but my body fat remained at 19%.
That’s good, right? Maybe, but it’s not what I wanted.
Needless to say, I am not wasting money on a gym membership in 2015.
There are other ways to be active that suit different lifestyles.
I recently signed up for Daily Burn, an at-home work-out program,
and so far I’ve been able to stick with the weekly regime.

Fingers crossed that this helps me achieve my wellness goals:
not to be super skinny, but to be the best version of me that I can be.
I will not look at super models and envy their long legs or their 23″ waist,
because I have strong legs and beautiful curves.

2015 is about loving my outward appearance for what it is
and bettering myself mentally & physically.
In 2015 I will read more, I will drink more water and less wine,
I will use less salt, I will cook a majority of my meals in my own kitchen, & I will exercise weekly.
In 2015 I will continue growing Style Asset by encouraging my creativity
and not letting a busy work week drain me of energy to express that creativity.
This year, I vow to shop smarter by investing in quality pieces
rather than buying something “because it’s only $10, so why not?”
I will consume less and save more.
I will prepare my body & mind for this amazing future that I have in store.

2015 is gonna be big.