I went blonde! Sunday, Jun 7 2009 

Most of my friends know that I rarely do anything to my hair.  Lately, I’ve been cutting it about once a year to once a year and a half.  I haven’t colored it since I was 17 — since I got highlights before my senior prom!

Well, I was ready to do something different.  Not losing the length, of course (I love my length and have had some TRAUMATIC haircuts when I lost more than I wanted to!), but giving it a trim and changing up the color a bit.

And I had a bit of an odd inspiration for my new look.

Bradley Cooper.

I saw The Hangover on Friday night, and it is now one of my favorite movies of all time.  I have never laughed harder at a movie in recent memory.  I had to sop up my face with a Kleenex as we were walking out of the theater!  SEE IT.

And Bradley Cooper…he looked good.  There was a part when he came out in an all-black suit, and he looked SO, SO, SO good.  I was ready to hurl myself at the screen.

There are no pictures of him in the full suit, but you’d die if you saw it.  Here’s the best I could find:

So, why is Bradley Cooper, clearly a dude, my beauty inspiration?

Blue eyes.  Dark hair.  Olive, borderline golden skin.

That’s what I have.  (The skin is a bit of a stretch, but it gets SO gold in the summer.)  But he has such a fantastic GOLDNESS about him.  It makes him gleam.  I want that.  Gold in my hair, golden skin, eyes a wild blue contrast.

So I went to the salon.

Before picture on Newbury Street:

before

After picture at the salon:

After picture, with makeup:

I’M A BLONDE!!!

I was freaked out about it at first — and still am, a tad — but everyone has been giving me so many compliments, it’s made me feel good about it.  (Everyone loves it straight, too, but I NEVER straighten it because it’s so tough to do and takes so long.)

I think I’ll keep it through the summer, then go dark again.

What do you think?

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Yearbook Yourself! Tuesday, Oct 7 2008 

Whatever you’re doing right now, you need to head over to Yearbook Yourself.  This site lets you insert your head into various yearbook styles from 1950 through 2000.  I heard about it first from The Modern Gal, then my friend Erica made some FANTASTIC ones of me and my friend Lisa today.

This is SO ADDICTIVE.

Check it out:

1952 Kate

1966 Kate

1968 Kate — love this one!

1974 Kate

1976 Kate — Erica thinks I look like my mom here.

1984 Kate.  The year of my birth was so frightening.

1994 Kate — and yes, I love to do this to my hair whenever possible.

1996 Kate

1998 Kate

2000 Kate — I graduated high school in 2002 but never adopted this hairstyle.

Think I should adopt any of these styles permanently?  🙂

How to Lose Weight: Become a Vegetarian! Tuesday, Aug 5 2008 

I’ve been wanting to write this entry for a long time.  I never, EVER dreamed that I would become a vegetarian, but I did — and the rewards have been phenomenal.  I never dreamed that I would lose weight this easily!

My whole life, I’ve been very skinny, and I grew up in a family of skinny people (as in those who say “I hope there’s food left” whenever a fat family leaves a restaurant).

Essentially, in my family, being fat is the ultimate sin.  Gay?  Awesome.  Dumb as rocks?  Okay.  Republican?  Forgivable.  But fat?  NO.  ABSOLUTELY NOT.

I was always pin-thin growing up, and even remained skinny after I got curvy in late high school and early college.  I never gained the “freshman 15” — I maintained my weight while everyone else gained extra pounds.

However, I gained a lot of weight during my junior year in college.  I studied abroad in Florence during fall of junior year, and that’s when the pounds got packed on.  In addition to enjoying the pasta, pizza, wine and fabulous steaks of Florence, I was also binge drinking to the point of blacking out and/or vomiting at least once a week.  It wasn’t healthy; in fact, it was quite dangerous.  That semester, I gained a LOT of weight.

(That’s when my sister and even my parents started calling me Heavy K.  Sarah drew a cartoon of Heavy K at home, complete with a “forgotten pie” trapped between the rolls in her stomach.  I was the fat one in the family.)

The weight came off a bit being home from Italy for a bit, but senior year, I gained even more, mostly due to drinking and discovering how much I liked to cook.

At any rate, I was the heaviest I had ever been when I graduated from college.  I was always the skinniest girl while growing up, but I ended college at 5’4″ and a weight of 142 pounds.  I had started college at the same height and 111 pounds.

Here I am at the end of college:

Fat Kate and roomie Kelly Anne at the Fairfield Senior Ball at Foxwoods

Fat Kate at the Fairfield Senior Ball at Foxwoods

Fat Kate with BFF Kara at the Family Dance at Fairfield

Fat Kate with her girls at the Levee at Fairfield the night of graduation

Six months after graduation, I moved to Boston and started walking at least two miles a day to and from work.  That helped a bit — about 10 pounds came off — but I was still much heavier than I wanted to be.

This winter, my friend Lisa got me the book Skinny Bitch, which is a bestseller in the U.S.  Basically, it’s a bitchy, no-nonsense diet book for girls — and once you start reading it, it actually tricks you into becoming a vegan.  A vegan, for the record, is one who eats NO animal products, including meat, fish, eggs or dairy.

Skinny Bitch is definitely worth reading — it really surprised me with the information it presented.  However, here are a few of the most interesting facts in the book:

  • No species other than the human race drinks milk past infancy — and we are the only ones who drink milk of a different species.
  • Most of the meat sold in this country, along with most of the dairy, is filled with hormones designed to make animals grow fat — which, in turn, makes you fat.
  • The atrocities that animals face in slaughterhouses are infuriating and heartbreaking, even to someone like me, who is ambivalent at best about most animals.

For the record, this book is not perfect.  But it can point you in the right direction.

I never thought I’d become a vegetarian.  I adore bacon more than anyone else I know, I have a soft spot for buffalo tenders, and I grew to adore the bloodiest steaks imaginable in Florence.

I always made fun of vegetarians and called PETA the “People for the Eating of Tasty Animals.” I considered myself the last person to become a vegetarian.

But after reading about the hormones and toxins in meat, I decided to stop eating meat, just to try it out.  And it was so easy!  Once I stopped, I had no reason to start again!  I didn’t even miss bacon!

For the past six months, I’ve been living a meat-free lifestyle. I acquired new staples to my diet like meat-free Quorn chik’n patties and chik’n nuggets, Morningstar black bean burgers and tomato basil burgers, and soy milk and yogurt.  (I still eat dairy, but much less than before, and if there’s a soy option available, I take it.)  I’ve added more vegetables, more hummus and more snacks like nuts and sunflower seeds.

And the result?

Without adding exercise, I lost another ten pounds without any effort.  That’s 8.5% of my weight.

Do I miss meat?  Nope.  Not at all.  I am SHOCKED — I thought I would at least miss it a little bit, but no!  Once you cut it out, you don’t miss it.  And being vegetarian often forces you to make smarter choices, like eating salads more often.

I will admit that I have fallen off the wagon a few times.  I once decided to try a McDonald’s cheeseburger to see what would happen after a few meat-free months.  The result?  It felt like a heavy weight in my stomach and my entire face broke out within a few hours.

That’s another thing.  My skin has been so much clearer since giving up meat.

But — let’s face it — losing weight is the most important part.

So, let’s take a look at the results!

Skinny Kate in Reading a few weeks ago

Skinny Kate with Joshua at a house party in Jamaica Plain three months ago

Skinny Kate with Holly at Kingston Station in Boston two months ago

Skinny Kate with Lisa in Vegas a month and a half ago

I’m not quite where I want to be in terms of weight.  I have another ten pounds to go before I get to my pre-college weight, but I’m pretty sure that’s unattainable, given the changes a girl’s body goes through between ages 18 and 20.

I’ll never be a size 0, at least not without looking like a freak, and I’ve come to terms with that.  Still, I’d love to lose another five or so.

Becoming a vegetarian has been so much more successful than I ever imagined. I can’t believe it was so easy to lose so much weight.

And now that I’m skinnier, I can wear clothes like this:

That’s me on my 24th birthday this past weekend with my mom and my sister.

And you know what?

They haven’t called me Heavy K in months.

I LOVE my new haircut! Saturday, May 3 2008 

I just got my hair cut for the first time in 18 months, due to being traumatized by my haircutting experience.

I was so afraid of another disaster.

Well, there was no disaster — AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE RESULTS!!

I went to Escape Spa in the South End and had it cut by Wendy, after reading so many glowing reviews of her on Yelp.  Well, she definitely lives up to the hype.  Wendy is AWESOME!

I explained to her how my last haircut was traumatizing and told her concerns.  Above all else, I NEED LENGTH.  I love my long, wavy hair and I need to keep it at least a few inches below shoulder-length.  Additionally, I’d like more volume and I’d like a low-maintenance style.

I was also considering experimenting with side-swept bangs, NOT thick or heavy bangs of any kind (because I had those throughout my childhood and hated them).  I’m not a fan of my fivehead and wanted a way to camouflage it better.  I wasn’t sure how to go about it with wavy hair.

Wendy is amazing .  In addition to being HILARIOUS, interesting and so much fun to talk to, she did a wonderful job with my hair.  She didn’t try to make it anything it wasn’t (unlike many stylists).  She just worked with the odd wavy-to-curliness with the occasional straight patches throughout my hair.

She also remarked that she never sees hair in as good condition as mine, in spite of the fact that I hadn’t cut it in so long.  (That’s because I don’t dye it and I don’t blow-dry or heat-style it.)

Wendy cut the bangs long so that I can tuck them behind my ear, and she added layers throughout the front of my hair to give it depth and dimension.  I was a bit ambivalent right away, but as soon as it settled, I saw it: it’s perfect.  I don’t know how she did it.

And here are the pics!  Here we go:

Before:

After (down):

After (up):

I LOVE this up look!  I had no idea I’d be getting anything that good!  And if it’s a special occasion and I need to do a fancier French twist, I can wear the bangs straight and pulled to the side.

I highly recommend seeing Wendy at Escape!  They have no Web site, but you can check them out on Yelp.  Be sure to book ahead — she’s hugely popular and she’s going to be away all summer.  I might see her again for a touch-up before Vegas.

Oh — also, I was just driving up Mass. Ave., just north of Porter, near the Elizabeth Grady, and I SAW OWEN WILSON COMING OUT OF A BLUE TRUCK!!!!  I didn’t think it was him, but I saw the nose!!  He was with a women wearing a scarf over her hair — probably Kate Hudson!  She’s still filming in Boston!

But why North Cambridge?  Weird.

Thoughts on the hair?  🙂

Overdue Eyeshadow Thursday, May 1 2008 

Let’s start with a confession.  I’ve been using the same exact eyeshadow — not just the same color, but THE SAME EYESHADOW FROM THE SAME CONTAINER — since high school!

It’s bad.  I know.

I tend to wear the same makeup every day, occasionally changing it up for nights out.  Each day I wear foundation (mixed with a bit of moisturizer), concealer (if I’m breaking out badly), powder, taupe eyeshadow, gray eyeliner, black mascara on both my lashes and brows (more on that later), and either reddish-brown or reddish-purple lip gloss.

The eyeshadow is Maybelline Shadow Trio in Tassled Taupes.  Taupe is a perfect color for me — it’s a great contrast to my blue eyes while picking up the yellow flecks in my irises, and it works well with my olive skin tone (especially during the summer).

I never ran out, despite wearing it almost every day, so I saw no reason to buy a new one (even though you’re supposed to replace powders every 18 months or so).  I didn’t even replace it after the light-colored powder had fallen out and the compact had broken apart.

And then they discontinued the color.

It wasn’t until recently that I told myself that I had to grow up already and buy a new one.

I combed through the huge Sephora at the Pru but couldn’t find anything that matched.  If I couldn’t find anything there, I was doomed, I figured.

Until today.

I was at CVS buying concealer when I found the most perfect eyeshadow: Revlon’s Make a Sheen in 865, Olive it Up.

Check it out:

I tried it on and I LOVE IT!!  It’s even better!  There’s so much depth!

Now, if only I can get myself to throw my old compact away.

No.  I’ve had it since the year 2000 or so.  I can’t bring myself to do it just yet

Two-tone toes and disco hair Sunday, Apr 27 2008 

I experimented a bit with my hair and nails this weekend.  First, I did what I had always wanted to do since I was little (and why I never did, I have no idea!) and painted my toenails two different colors, half and half, a diagonal stripe dividing the colors.

Here is the result:

There is a smudge on my left big toenail, but I’m not really in the mood to fix it.

I’m a lifelong pianist, so I rarely paint my nails.

Last night, my hair was still damp after being in its usual French twist all day, so I decided to see if I could get it extra EXTRA curly.

I don’t own a hair dryer, so I used my space heater, cranked up to 80 degrees.

I scrunched and sprayed with spray gel, then with hairspray, and held my head upside-down in front of the space heater.  It only took about five minutes.

The result:

Huge, giant, crazy disco hair!  I LOVED IT!!!!

It’s not an everyday thing, but for an occasional night out, it’s awesome!

Seeing results like this makes me want to postpone the haircut that I scheduled for next Saturday and keep growing my hair until it reaches my waist!

Eighteen months without a haircut! Friday, Apr 18 2008 

Today, I was sitting at Flour Bakery (incredible) with my friend Esther and enjoying a quiche and salad when I suddenly realized that I had hit a milestone.

“Your hair is getting so long,” Esther remarked.

“Yeah, it’s getting kind of crazy,” I replied.  “I need to — WAIT!  Is today the 18th?”

“Yeah, it is.”

I realized that I had reached the eighteen-month anniversary of my ill-fated haircut that, at the time, I deemed “the biggest mistake of my life.”  I cut it off impulsively, thinking I could rock a short, dark (dyed black?), curly look.

I should have known better.  I always hate short hair, and I’ve dyed my hair twice with semi-permanent haircolor and I’ve gotten highlights twice.  Those four instances were all during high school.  I’ve had long, dark, wavy hair since the beginning of college.

When I was young, I viewed long hair as a status symbol.  When I was in the fourth grade, I was neck-in-neck with another girl for the honor of having the longest hair in the class.  When she cut hers off, I felt like I had achieved something fantastic.

As a result, I’ve only had about three short haircuts, ever.  The rest of the time, it’s been shoulder length or longer.

I was so upset when I cut it off in October 2006 that I actually calculated how many millimeters it grew each day.  I wore it up every single day for a few months.  Traumatized, I resolved not to cut my hair again for a long, long time.

It grew, and it grew quickly.  I never blow dry my hair, so my hair is in pretty good condition.  I never get split ends — but after eighteen months, I’ve got some splits to repair!

Here is my hair right after I got the haircut:

And here is how my hair looks today:

I usually let it get curly from sleeping on it wet, but it went kind of straight today.  I never know how it’s going to look on any given day — it’s quite tempermental.

(And YES, that is the amazing SILF shirt from BustedTees.  I LOVE THIS SHIRT!!)

I think I’ve gone long enough.

It’s time for a haircut.

Not even REMOTELY above the shoulders, though!

I need to find a new stylist, but that will be a new entry altogether.