How to Rock a Christmas Crown

crown-and-glory-christmas-crown2Statement hair pieces are all across the blogosphere these days and perhaps you’ve excitedly ordered one but have yet to actually wear it. Whether it’s an enormous flower crown or an over-the-top festive garland, when it arrives in your hands, you might be at a complete loss for how to style it. Especially if you’ve got short hair and your new topper is truly going to be the star of the show. Using my gorgeous Glitterati Christmas crown, here are a few ideas for styling show-stopping headwear, whether your hair is pixie cropped or medium-short.

You can always keep it simple as shown above and straighten whatever fringe you have before swooping it to the side. If you’ve got medium-short hair, pin everything else back except for a few wispy pieces at the sides. For my pixie’d ladies, seriously, just pop that thing on and lace it up. You’re going to look gorgeous!

crown-and-glory-christmas-crown3If you know how to maiden braid, bust one out and French plait that fringe into submission. If, like me, you find that technique totally mind-boggling just braid your fringe normal (or try this simple twisting technique – tutorial number two) and pin it in place. Just pull the rest of your hair back (I pinned mine in a messy loop) and crown yourself the queen of the holidays!

crown-and-glory-christmas-crown4My favourite way to wear this crown is with lots of tight, messy curls! I used a ¾” curling iron, alternated the direction of the curls, and used different sized chunks of hair to get a fun, tussled look. When you’re done, just let the curl cool down, spray them liberally with hair spray, muss them up a bit, and then get that damn crown on your head!

crown-and-glory-christmas-crown1I love a faux beehive and they look perfect with this crown. You don’t need a lot of hair to style one. Just backcomb the hair around the crown of your head a lot and then load it up with hair spray. Use a comb to smooth the top of the your hair and then pin it in place. You can leave the rest of your hair down but I like clipping it into a messy loop. Here’s an easy tutorial if you’re new to faux beehives but I promise, if I can make my hair do this, so can you.

As you can tell, I’ve been wearing my Christmas crown everywhere and it gets complimented by everyone. Which is a good reminder: people like a statement piece. They’re a great conversation starter and no one will realize how nervous you were about putting it on. They’ll just know you look fabulous!

Love, mulled wine, and kisses under the mistletoe,
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Tattoo Talk: An Interview with Emma Robinson

Emma3Emma Robinson, 20, English with Creative Writing student at Falmouth University in Cornwall, England

Emma is another one of the Glitterati gals. Seriously, they’re the most glittery, upbeat girl gang imaginable! And Emma is definitely a force to be reckoned with! She writes a blog called Pink Mind Dreams and has an enviable collection of colourful tattoos (to match her colourful hair and headwear!)  Here she is chatting about them today.

How old were you when you got your first tattoo? What was it?
I got my first tattoo six days after my eighteenth birthday. I had had it booked for about a year and I was so excited. I’d known what I wanted for ages and had been constantly doodling it on my arm for years. I got the quote “Don’t dream it, be it” from The Rocky Horror Picture show tattooed down my left arm with two little pink hearts at either end. Since the first time I watched that film when I was about 13 it has been my life motto. What’s the use in dreaming about something if you don’t go out there and try to make it happen?

How many tattoos do you have now?
I have been quite busy in the last few years and now have 14! I have a pretty long list of pieces I want and am currently working on both sleeves. I’ve loved tattoos from quite a young age so have had quite a while to come up with ideas. The only trouble now is when I come up with a new idea figuring out where on my body it will go around all the other planned ones.

Emma2What are your thoughts on tattoo regret? Have you ever had any?
I completely understand tattoo regret. It’s a pretty big decision and people change a lot over the years. So far I haven’t had any tattoo regret and hopefully I won’t ever have any. Each one of my tattoos has memories attached to them and they will always be a part of me.

Do you think tattoos need to have a special meaning or can they be purely aesthetic?
I firmly believe tattoos can be purely aesthetic. Most of my earlier tattoos had lots of meaning to me, even if they didn’t appear to at a glance. However, my more recent pieces have pretty much just been because I really liked the look of them and thought they would look great on my body. Tattoos can be a great way to solidify something important to you, however they are also a thing of beauty that can be an extension of your self expression and aesthetic.

Emma1Do you have a favourite tattoo? What’s the story behind it?
My favourite tattoo changes all the time, it really depends on the day! Right now it would have to be both of my Bei Badgirl tattoos on my right arm. Bei Badgirl’s art is so kick ass, she paints awesome, curvy woman with fabulous massive hair and bags of attitude. It just felt right to get some of her work tattooed on me because the images make me so happy. They remind me to be awesome, positive, and to not care about what other people may think of me. Josie, the tattoo artist who did them both really enjoyed them and we are planning on working them into a sleeve! More should be done in February. Having said all of that I do have quite a soft spot for the matching Deathly Hallows tattoo I have with my best friend. It symbolised us finishing school and growing up… and our love for Harry Potter! And all of my matching tattoos actually, it’s nice to have that little physical bond with the people I love.

Are there any artists you’re yearning to get work from?
I haven’t really traveled to get any tattoos yet as I love all the girls work at Shaded Lady in Falmouth. However I would love to be tattooed by Porcelain. I mean who doesn’t want to be tattooed by someone who’s also a drag queen?! Their work is so vibrant and beautiful with really nice line work. I would have to get something super colourful and a bit creepy, maybe an anatomical heart.

You can find more of Emma on Twitter and Instagram. Thanks so much for letting me interview you, lovely!

Love, glitter crowns, & bejewelled sugar skulls,
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25 Totally Free, Completely Magical Acts of Self-Love

tea-journalLast week the darling Emily tweeted that she wanted to get herself a present to celebrate how excellent she is, but that she couldn’t afford to.

Celebrating yourself is at the very heart of self-love and I loved the sentiment of what she was saying. Buying yourself a gift just because is a really wonderful thing to do.

But I’m sure we all know what it feels like to be strapped for cash or just scraping by. During these times it can feel harder to practice self-love because we get caught up in the ideal that we need to be buying ourselves a new lipstick or flying to Tahiti for a retreat to love ourselves. But just like investing in yourself doesn’t have to cost a penny, neither does practicing self-love.

Emily decided she’d celebrate with a delicious, nourishing smoothie instead. And in honour of her gumption and excellence, I decided to put together this list of totally free, completely magical acts of self-love.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the self-help books, healthy foods, and body confident clothing we think we need to buy. But when our bank accounts are dwindling, here are 25 ways to show yourself some loving kindness and support your own personal growth.

+ Dance wildly around your bedroom. Shake off all the negative energy and self-doubt you’re carrying around today.

+ Pull a random tarot card and journal about how its meaning relates to your life. If you don’t have a tarot deck, use this website.

+ Brew yourself a giant mug of tea and sit quietly while you drink it. If you don’t have any tea in the cupboard, why not send away for a free sample?

+ Read from your favourite book.

+ Look at inspiring quotes on Pinterest and print one out for your wall.

+ Take stock of everything in your fridge and pantry, do some creative Googling, and then make yourself something delicious.

+ Go for a walk. Be mindful of everything you see as if you’re seeing it for the first time.

+ Spend 20 minutes doing yoga or getting sweaty with the guidance of a YouTube video.

+ Reflect on your goals and what you can do next to be closer to attaining them.

+ Go to the library and wander through the self-help section. Run your hands along the shelves and pull out one you feel drawn to. Check it out.

+ Put on your puffiest skirt and twirl around.

+ Remind yourself: it’s okay to feel however you feel in this moment. You don’t need to change a thing.

+ Think of little rituals that will add magic to the mundane things you do everyday. Maybe it’s lighting a candle before you sit down to write or putting on power ballads while you clean the house.

+ Write a gratitude list.

+ Tidy your space. Unsubscribe from any newsletters or email lists you don’t like or even read. Try Regina’s Creative Cleanse. Clearing your physical and digital space will help clear your mind.

+ Write a love letter to your body. To younger you. To your future self. To whatever part of you is struggling today.

+ Phone someone you miss and have an amazing conversation. Don’t be afraid to get deep.

+ Watch an inspiring film (if you don’t have anything on hand, check out this list of free sites that stream movies legally).

+ Pull out any craft supplies you have lying around whether it’s old magazines and glue, paint, crayons, or just a bunch of pens. Spend some time getting creative. Doodle for an hour. Make a craft. Create something beautiful.

+ Give yourself permission to do nothing – for an hour, an afternoon, or an entire day. Lie on the couch, sit in the park, or hang out with friends – just make sure you forget about your to-do list and relax.

+ Take a bath.

+ Create a morning routine that helps you feel happy and fulfilled.

+ Write down your favourite poem and keep it in your diary.

+ Ask for help with that thing you’re struggling with. You don’t need to figure it out alone.

I’d love to know: what would you add to this list? And what are you going to do to show yourself some love today?

Love, liquorice, & goofy smiles,
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Photograph via Lifehacker.

The Self-Love Book Club is Back (& IN PERSON!)

richmond-magazineReading has played such an important role in my own personal growth and transformation. When there was wisdom I was seeking, when I wasn’t sure where to turn, or what to do next, there was almost always a book to point me in the right direction.

Of course a book alone won’t change your life. We need to turn inwards and tune into what we already know. You can’t learn anything you aren’t ready to hear. But a powerful book can help us look at the world in new ways, offer guidance or encouragement when we’re feeling lost, and reinforce the new beliefs we’re forming.

Self-love is a commitment we make to our relationship with our self. A promise to put ourselves first. A pledge to completely accept who we are, right now, in this present moment. But it doesn’t have to be a solitary journey. By connecting with other people who are on this same adventure and as deeply invested in their own growth as I am, I am led to new insights. My life fills with more joy. And I move along this path of self-love with more ease.

For all of these reasons, I started the Self-Love Book Club. It began as a digital project connecting like-minded women online as we read a book each month, sharing our thoughts, reflecting on how what we’d read pertained to our own lives, and how we wanted to put these new lessons into action.

In August, after one year and 12 books, I put the club on hiatus while I tried to figure out what it’s future would look like. Over the few months while we’ve been dormant, I’ve had continued interest in the group and old and new members of the club have expressed their desire for me to bring it back.

downloadSo, that’s exactly what I’m doing. During the first week of January I’ll be announcing our first book of the new year.

But here’s the really exciting part:

I’m going to be co-hosting an in-person Self-Love Book Club in London with the lovely Nicola. We’ll meet once a month to discuss the book in person alongside the online discussion and monthly recap posts. I love the power of our digital community but I think it’s important to get offline and meet our tribes face to face. To laugh and connect and share cups of tea over deep conversations.

There will be limited places for the in-person book club, so if you’d like to join us, please drop me an email.

If you’re not based in London, never fear. You can always join us on Facebook. And I encourage you to consider becoming a book club leader yourself. For anyone interested, I’ll be sending over a PDF of tips for putting together a book club in your own town and each month I’ll send you over some reflection questions and pointers for facilitating the discussion with your group. Just send me an email to let me know where you’re based and tell me a bit about yourself. Then I’ll together a directory of all the participating clubs, so that you can find out whether there’s one near you.

I’m so excited to get back into the book club and meet some of you for the first time (!!!). In the meantime, let me know: will you be joining us online or in-person? What should we add to the reading list this year?

Hugs and kisses,
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Images by Justin Ryan Vaughan.

A Bumper Holiday Gift Guide for Everyone on Your (Read: My) List

pink-christmasI absolutely adore picking out gifts for people. I enjoy thinking about the people I love and what I could wrap up to put a smile on their face. What I don’t like are crowded shopping malls and the panicked feeling of having to get it all done at the last minute.

Because I was sending most of the gifts I bought back to Canada, I had my shopping done well in advance and to avoid the crowds, I bought almost all of my presents from independent makers online or at markets.

But I know the next two weeks are crunch time for getting last-minute shopping done. So if you’re not sure what to get someone on your list, I’ve put together a gift guide that has something for almost everyone.

glitteratiFor your best friend who can make anything beautiful, blends a mean margarita, and is engaged to your other best friend.

A star-studded notebook for scribbling daydreams and planning out the year ahead.

A Glitterati subscription to make sure that she has the sparkly 2015 she deserves.

An encouraging mug for drinking her morning cuppa.

Metallic temporary tattoos because you know she’s always itching for new ink.

A chunky crystal necklace from Galaxy Rox Jewellery that she can wear as a self-love totem.

decanterFor your younger brother who can quote every line of The Simpons, taught you how to do a pushup, and just became a dad to the cutest baby boy on the planet.

A traditional shaving kit for keeping his ginger beard in order.

A personalized whiskey decanter that you know he’ll probably fill with Jagermeister.

A ‘Crazy Cat Guy’ t-shirt because cat crazyperson status isn’t just for ladies.

A subscription to the Vegan Cuts snack box because man, does that boy love to eat!

A traditional Japanese teapot for brewing is favourite fancy green teas.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor your mom who never makes you eat onions, almost always knows the names of wildflowers, and owns more shoes than you.

A National Parks Calendar because she’ll think it’s beautiful and won’t have to use one of the crappy free ones that comes in the mail.

Soap shaped like a crystal because it’s beautiful and practical.

A concrete geometric vase for her to fill with roses from her garden.

A hand-painted owl wing scarf for glamourously wrapping herself up in at parties.

A teeny tiny succulent in a teeny tiny pot to wear around her neck.

Sunday_Suppers_-_Fig_Tart_Honey_RecipeFor your dad who taught you how to make risotto, ride a bike, and create a budget.

A hand blown martini glass to add to his collection.

Black truffle sea salt because you inherited your truffle addiction from him.

A luscious skincare package from Napiers designed just for his masculine skin, because you know he loves a bit of pampering.

The Sunday Suppers cookbook because Sunday night dinners at his house are a family tradition.

mobileFor your nephew who has just learned how to blow spit bubbles and shakes all of his limbs when you turn the page of a book.

Felted fox slippers for keeping his tiny feet warm.

A craftidermy seadog for adding an adorable touch of whimsy to his nursery.

A cloud mobile in hopes that staring at it from his crib will enchant him into going to sleep.

A “My Auntie Has Better Tattoos Than Yours” onesie because it’s true and oh-so cute.

houseFor your grandma who is always making at least 150 quilts, sends you crafts in the mail, and has an addiction to funny e-mail forwards.

A pin cushion made from vintage Liberty fabric

A box set of House, M.D. DVDs for her to binge watch when it’s too cold to go outside.

A copy of The Tale of Hill Top Farm because she loves a good cozy mystery.

A custom name necklace from Punky Pins to celebrate her great grandson.

plateFor your boyfriend who gives you fictional tours of London, speaks up against Internet misogynists, and always knows the right thing to say to cheer you up.

A cheeky plate because eating cake in your ‘pants’ is more fun.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook Plenty More because it’s full of veggie recipes he’ll love and maybe he’ll even make you something delicious out of it.

An enormous knitted cowl because he turns into an ice cube outside and it would look adorable on him.

A pick ‘n mix of all the Teapigs brews, because he’s got a growing addiction and might as well try them all.

boxFor your favourite urban pixie who thinks sequins are daywear and likes to dance on the tube.

A subscription to My Little Box because it’s her favourite subscription box and she loves getting surprises in the mail. Each month’s box is full of beautifully designed, thoughtfully packaged gifts that are perfect for that season.

A Leslie Knope ‘Ovaries Before Brovaries’ print to make her smile.

A gold cat sleep mask for sleeping well in style.

A porcelain dollhead planter because every pixie could use some more creepy kitsch in her home.

A copy of Daily Rituals: How Artists Work because she’s obsessed with crafting the perfect morning routine and loves being inspired by how other people map out their days.

How is your Christmas shopping going? Is there anyone on your list you’re completely stumped with?

Love, candy cane forests, & swirly-twirly gumdrops,
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