Homemade Hair Ties

homemade hair ties

Hair ties are like socks – both are notorious when it comes to mysterious disappearances.

I happen to have a little girl who LOVES to pull my hair. In fact, I am pretty sure my constant ponytail has saved me from baldness. Because of her unfortunate tendency, hair ties are an absolute must-have in my household.  But they keep disappearing! I buy a new pack every few months and one by one they are lost to the abyss.

The other day, I looked into the jar that houses my hair accessories and saw a solitary band sitting in the bottom. One hairband? I seriously just bought some! Enough was enough, so I marched down to the craft store and bought myself some elastic. I then went and made a whole heap of them myself. They were so much cheaper compared to store-bought elastics and they couldn’t be easier to make. Maybe I won’t mind so much next time they inevitably disappear.

Homemade VS Store-Bought

Store bought = $.90 each

Homemade > $0.10 each

They look pretty similar, don’t they? I love that you can personalize your diy bands too. Just add a bow, beads or whatever you want for your own custom creation.

homemade hair ties

Using the same technique, you can easily create your own hairbands too. Like this…

homemade hair tiesHow To: Homemade Hair Ties

  1. Get yourself some elastic (I got mine at Walmart but any craft store should have it as well).
  2. For hair ties, cut approx. 8 inch strips. For hair bands, you will need 20 inches.
  3. Fold in half with the finished side facing out. Knot the ends together.
  4. To keep from unraveling, put a little glue on the ends.


Talk to me: Are you always losing your hair bands too? Have you ever made your own hair accessories?

Fishtail Braid Tutorial

A few days ago, I posted a hairstyle featuring a side fishtail braid (check it out here). Since then, I have had several questions about how to create a fishtail. I thought a quick video would be the perfect way to clear things up! I love this braiding style because it’s adorable and looks so much more difficult then it actually is. In fact, it’s one of the few braids that I pull off by myself.

fishtail braid tutorialAfter you’ve mastered the basic fishtail process, get creative by changing up the thickness of the sections you pass back and forth. For a more complicated, tighter style, separate thinner sections of hair. For a casual, messy look, use thicker sections (as in the video).

Fishtail Braid Tutorial

I hope that helps with any confusion, and you are all fishtail braiding pros now! If you have a question I didn’t answer, I’m here to help! Just ask in the comments below.

Shine for the Holidays with Smile Brilliant

Whether visiting family you haven’t seen all year or going to a special Christmas party, this joy-filled season is sure to bring plenty of opportunities for fun and laughter.  Make sure your smile is ready to shine with a quick whitening treatment, so you will be ready for whatever the holidays may bring.

For you do-it-yourself types, Smile Brilliant is the way to go when it comes to at-home teeth whitening. I love this particular brand because you actually take an impression of your teeth which is then made into custom whitening trays. This method is so much more comfortable and effective then one size fits all type trays or white stripes that slip off.

The Process

Making the Custom Trays

  • Receive your kit which includes everything you need to make molds of your teeth. Following the instructions: mix the putty, spread evenly in the plastic trays and place over your teeth. Leave on for 2 minutes.
  • Once molds have hardened, place them in the prepaid, padded envelop included with the kit and mail back to Smile Brilliant. There they will be used to create your custom whitening trays, which will be sent back to you.

*Tip Unfortunately, the mold-making process can be a little challenging if you gag easily. If this is you – put on some soothing music and take deep breathes through your nose. I promise you will get through it.

sb3Whitening Sessions

  • Place a small amount of whitening gel into the trays and then place them over your teeth. You can wear them for up to three hours per session. If your teeth are sensitive, desensitizing  gel is included to make the process more comfortable.
  • Repeat treatment sessions daily until desired whiteness is achieved.

Smile Brilliant ResultsMy dad was the guinea pig for this Smile Brilliant review. He is in his 60’s, and had an average amount of yellowing to his teeth. The before and after pictures above show his results after one week of daily treatments. As you can see, there is a noticeable whiting (more so in person), but it isn’t an extreme difference. Another week of treatments would probably be needed to get the results he was hoping for.

Overall, my dad felt the whole process was easy to follow and didn’t cause much discomfort. He also liked that he could wear them while going about his day. He even painted his house while doing a treatment!


Get your smile ready for the holidays with Smile Brilliant. One lucky reader will win a free custom whitening kit like the one featured above. Fill out the form below to enter and good luck!

Holiday Party Hair {Side Fishtail}

holiday party hairLooking out my window, all I see is snow. It is hard to believe winter hasn’t made it’s official appearance yet. The cold hasn’t been kind to me, especially my poor hair. The single digit temperatures and constant indoor heat, have left me with a dry, frizzy mess. More often then not, I find myself resorting to a dollop of smoothing serum and a quick ponytail. Unfortunately, as we move into the next month, a pony just isn’t going to cut it anymore. December is a busy month for a musician, and I have six concerts booked already.  ‘Tis the season for holiday celebrations, so I imagine all of us have a lot going on in the coming month.

I needed to find an easy party-worthy hairstyle that I could pull off quick. So last weekend, I played around with some different looks and, after a few failed attempts, came up with this side fishtail. It’s perfect for me – quick, easy and helps camouflage the bad hair days that seem to be happening more and more often.

Side Fishtail – Holiday Party Hair Tutorial

Here is a simple and quick tutorial for holiday party hair that will get you out of your bathroom and on to the party in no time. Enjoy!

  • Part your hair on the side.
  • Working from the side opposite the part, separate a section from the crown to just above the ear (the “bangs” section).
  • French braid this section until the braid reaches just below the ear.
  • Twisting inward, gather all hair into a side pony (including the braid) and secure loosely with a hair band just just below the earlobe.
  • Separate the hair in the pony into two sections.
  • Pass strands from one section to the other, creating a fishtail braid.
  • Slid the hair band to the bottom of the braid and secure tightly.
  • For a party ready look, wrap a ribbon around the hair band.
  • Finish with hair spray.


Eggnog Latte Recipe

easy eggnog latte recipe - no espresso machine neededA few days ago I posted my beloved recipe for homemade pumpkin maple lattes. It was such a success, I thought I might share another of my favorite holiday coffee recipes.

The rich, sweet taste of eggnog is one of those things that I look forward to all year. The flavor is so unique, and the fact that it’s only available for a few months makes it all the more precious. I truly love eggnog, but sometimes drinking it straight can be a little overwhelming. Adding it to a latte is possibly the perfect solution. The creaminess and concentrated flavor blends beautifully with the coffee resulting in a festive, and not too sweet, holiday treat.

No Espresso Machine Needed

While I would love to have an espresso machine, being the wife of a grad student rules that out for the time being. So I improvise, and you know what? It’s actually really easy to make lattes sans espresso maker. All you need is some extra strong coffee and a blender (either immersion or standard), and you are ready to let out that inner barista!

Go ahead and give this easy eggnog latte recipe a try. I would love to know what you think!


Eggnog Latte Recipe


  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup eggnog
  • extra strong coffee
  • Optional Topping- sprinkle of Nutmeg and whipped cream


  1. Brew coffee. For lattes, I double the amount of beans.
  2. While the coffee is being made, pour the milk and eggnog into a small saucepan and cook until warm (not boiling). Stir occasionally.
  3. When the eggnog mixture is warm, use an immersion blender or standard blender to beat it until frothy.
  4. Fill a mug 1/4 full of coffee and then top it off with the eggnog/milk mixture.
  5. Add a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle of nutmeg if desired.