Hair Curling Tutorial With Pantene

My hair has always been a stress point for me. I’ve gone through countless products and many methods of styling over the years to try and find a routine that works best. I’m happiest with my hair when it’s curled, but even then, I feel like my curls fall out so quickly because my hair is so long and heavy!

For the past few months, I’ve been incorporating Pantene’s new Foam Conditioner into the shower portion of my hair care routine and it has made a huge difference in making my curls hold up! This conditioner is very different in the sense that you are meant to apply it root to tip. Because the formulation is so light and airy, you can apply it to your roots without it making them greasy + it doesn’t weigh my hair down like the heavy formulation of the average conditioner.

I start out in the shower by using the accompanying Pantene shampoo (my favorite set is the “Daily Moisture Renewal” set). I put a palm size dollop of Pantene’s Foam Conditioner in my palm then apply it root to tip before rinsing out. 

To curl my hair, I wrap medium size pieces around a curling wand and hold for about 8 seconds before releasing the curl. It is important to note that I curl all pieces away from my face on each side as shown in the photo! Another tip is to not start the curl too close to your head. Starting the curl at least 6 inches down from your roots will create a more natural look. When I’m finished curling, I actually go back in with a straightener and straighten the bottom 2 or 3 inches as I think that also contributes to creating a more natural look.

Although the Pantene Foam Conditioner really helps my curls to not fall out, I usually finish off with a bit of Pantene’s alcohol-free Airspray for good measure.

Overall, these Pantene products have helped my curls hold up longer and make my hair feel more lightweight all around. This, in turn, helps me feel more confident and like the sky is the limit!

This post was sponsored by Pantene, however, all opinions stated are my own.

Spring Wishlist

I would say I do most of my shopping at the beginning of each season (unfortunately when everything is full price). After wearing the same thing for months, I'm always itching for a change of color palette, materials and silhouettes. This dreadfully long winter in NYC (I'm writing this during a snowstorm on the second day of spring) has me particularly ecstatic for the warm weather of spring and summer to come. I tend to gravitate towards pastels, blues and lots and lots of white during spring and summer, which is pretty obvious from the items featured in this post. Everything here is under $100 (besides the sandals) + I've included a list of bonus, under $100 items below!

Red Hot

I typically don't shoot outfits for my blog in "grungy" spots like this (notice all the old stickers/graffiti on the building), but I felt like this outfit was so girly and feminine that it balanced it out well! Plus the red on red? Love. 

Top: Na-kd (use code 'kateblog20' at checkout to get 20% off your order!) | Skirt: Nasty Anal | Tights: Nordstrom | Shoes: Forever 21 (similar)

Streets of Soho

One trend I'm definitely on board with is the "teddy" jacket/coat. I love how this style mixes cozy fleece material with a stylish silhouette and design elements. While I love styling this teddy jacket I picked up from Nasty Gal with casual pieces like this basic striped top and sneakers, I think it would look great dressed up with a feminine blouse and booties or pointed toe flats/mules. On another note, how adorable is this pup we ran into while shooting in Soho?! He is a Rottweiler/Lab mix and his owner was kind enough to let us do an quick, impromptu photo session with him.

Jacket: Nasty Gal | Shirt: Banana Republic | Jeans: American Eagle | Shoes: Adidas

Ivy League

For quite some time, I really fell into the trap that is fast fashion. For anyone unfamiliar with the term, fast fashion refers to apparel that is made for a very low cost then sold to consumers for a low cost as well. Companies like Forever 21 and Zara are great examples of fast fashion. Producing clothing for such a low cost leads these companies to skimp on quality of fabric and construction processes. Getting an on-trend top for $20 full price seems amazing in the moment but when the seams start ripping and the buttons fall off after 2-3 wears, is it really worth it? 

Since I'm a college kid on a budget, I obviously haven't been shopping for $300 articles of clothing, but I have been trying to shift towards shopping the sale selection of a higher price point. Yes, it's a lot harder, more time consuming and frustrating to shop the sale section. However, I feel much more satisfied knowing I've purchased a quality piece of clothing for a reasonable price that will last a long time rather than something cheap that will last only a few wears. 

There are many pieces in this outfit post that serve as great examples of quality over quantity! Brooks Brothers recently sent me this gorgeous bouclée jacket from their Red Fleece collection and the craftsmanship and detail are impeccable. I know that the timeless style and the quality of the jacket will make it wearable for years to come. Another example is my turtleneck from Madewell. Paying nearly $50 for a pretty basic turtleneck seems somewhat absurd, but the details in the top add such a unique touch and it's a staple piece that matches an endless amount of outfits! In addition, these Ray-Ban's were about $150, but they were one of the best investments ever. I love investing in pieces, like sunglasses, that are worn on an everyday basis. The cheap ones break and wear out so quickly! As summer approaches, I'm planning on investing in an Illesteva pair.

What are your favorite piece you've invested in? Let me know in the comments! 

Jacket: Brooks Brothers | Top: Madewell (similar) | Skirt: Nasty Gal | Shoes: Forever 21 | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

How To Eat Healthy When You Hate Salad

The biggest pitfall to my diet is the fact that I don't like salads. I've heard that your taste buds change every 7 years, which leads to you developing a more mature pallet. Yet, here I am still waiting for the day that I like the "adult food" that is salad. It's not salad as a whole that's my enemy, it's the LETTUCE. I love most veggies, but hate lettuce – taste and texture. Through trial and error, research and following a lot of food bloggers, I've found tricks to making healthy, non-salad meals that don't require you to be a master chef.

1. Healthy alternatives to your fave foods 

What a time to be alive – innovative people in our society have done a great job of creating genius, healthy alternatives to our fave carb-filled, fatty foods that still taste great. There are also so many natural healthy alternatives that don't require buying special, pre-made products. Here are a few of my fave food alternatives. 

Chickpea pasta - I discovered Banza chickpea pasta from a food blogger I followed and bought a few boxes on Amazon. While it's a bit pricier than normal pasta, it's the best alternative I've ever found (quinoa pasta is not good) and totally worth the money. According to Banza, their pasta has nearly half the carbs that normal pasta has. It also has more protein and fiber! 

Ezekiel bread - Ok, Ezekiel bread is still bread but it's basically the most raw, unprocessed bread you can buy. Key example: it's so natural that you have to freeze it or else it gets moldy in a matter of days. It's definitely not as good as a baguette or ciabatta, but it's definitely better for you. Since it's still bread, I eat it in moderation, but don't feel as guilty afterwards.

Cauliflower pizza crust - I have tested this stuff out and it's GOOD. I buy mine from Trader Joe's (I actually don't know any other place that sells it) and prepare it with Trader Joe's Pizza sauce. If you really want to go crazy with the health, you can top it with vegan mozzarella, but I just top it with normal, shredded mozzarella and roasted onions and mushrooms. The crust is made from corn flower and cauliflower and is gluten free. 

Riced cauliflower - This is probably the healthiest thing on the list. It is literally just cauliflower shredded up in a way that imitates rice. It sounds weird, but when stir-fried with salt, pepper and other seasonings, it's amazing! I typically top with a fried egg. You don't have to make it yourself, you can buy it in the frozen foods section of Trader Joe's and most other grocery stores. Trader Joe's also makes a riced cauliflower stir-fry medley, which is very good. 

Veggie Spirals - Veggie spirals are just vegetables, like zucchini and sweet potatoes, shred up in a way that resembles spaghetti! You can make them yourself with a vegetable spiral (you can buy them on Amazon) or buy them pre-made at the grocery store (I typically see this brand in the produce section). They taste great when sautéed with pesto sauce and there are tons of recipes online on how to prepare them. 

Vegan Cream Sauce - I became obsessed with this homemade sauce recipe when I discovered it through one of my fave healthy food blogs, Kale Me, Maybe. It's really simple to make and consists of completely pure and natural ingredients: coconut cream, cashews, garlic, etc. (link to recipe here). If you want to find even more healthy alternatives, I HIGHLY recommend checking out her blog, she's genius.

2. Healthy Pancakes

I make these by blending oats/granola, eggs and bananas and cooking them on the stove in a pan like normal pancakes! I just guestimate the ingredient amounts but you can google "healthy pancakes" and find hundreds of variations of this recipe. They taste so great and I usually cover them in almond butter with a drizzle of honey. I literally eat these for dinner (yes, dinner because they're so easy to make) at least once a week.

3. Smoothies/Acai Bowls

You probably just think about acai bowls in the context of restaurants but you can also make them at home! Lots of grocery stores carry frozen acai packets that you can bring home and blend in your blender. You can add fresh fruit, granola and different types of seeds (chia, pumpkin, etc) on top. 

4. Grain Bowls

These are really popular at trendy restaurants in NYC! And thankfully, very easy and affordable to make at home. It's basically like having a salad, except the base is quinoa, farro (if you don't know what farro is, click here) or whole grain rice instead of icky lettuce. Great things to put in grain bowls are sliced avocado, sweet potato wedges, grilled chicken, roasted brussel sprouts and sauteed onions and mushrooms. Just google "grain bowl recipes" and you'll find tons of different variations of homemade grain bowl recipes!

I hope you guys found this post helpful! I truly believe enjoying food is one of the best ways to enjoy life, so don't get stuck in a cycle of eating food you hate just because it's "healthy"!

Photo courtesy of: The Toasted Pine Nut

Finally Gingham Weather

Wow – it finally feels like spring in NYC! I'm just crossing my fingers that it doesn't cool off too much again (the weather here is so indecisive in the Spring and Fall). I'm celebrating by whipping out my favorite print for warm weather, gingham! I accompanied this perfect spring print with light wash mom jeans and my favorite blush flats. Do you guys think velvet (a traditional winter-only material) is ok to wear in spring/summer if it's in a pretty, light, blush hue? I've been debating whether or not I can get away with wearing these beauties this summer. Let me know in the comments! 

Top: Velvet Hearts | Jeans: Mott & Bow | Shoes: Sole Society | Earrings: Lisi Lerch | Watch: Daniel Wellington