Odds and Ends

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1. I just finished up my Pantene commercial behind the scenes series at Hair Thursday, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t leave out a single detail. Part one here. Part two here. Part three here. Part four here. Phew!

2. I’m drooling over my new Joy the Baker cookbook. What do I make first? Banana Bourbon Bread Pudding? Chocolate and Salty Peanut Butter Ice Cream? Cream Cheese Pound Cake? I am paralyzed by the options.

3. Rachel from Pencil Shavings just posted about her closet makeover. (I know. I am obsessed with cleaning out closets. It’s like my favorite activity EVER.)

4. I love garlic, but chopping garlic? Not so much. That’s why one of my Trader Joe’s must-haves is Dorot frozen garlic, and I just saw that Megan from Not Martha fame is also a fan. Viva la frozen garlic pods!

5. This is essentially the easiest smoky eye tutorial ever.

6. Speaking of smoky eyes, things are a-changin’ over at my Babble blog. Say goodbye to What in the Whoorld and hello to Beauty and the Beat! Details here. (Psst – if you have any beauty-related questions or topics that you would like me to address in my upcoming posts, please leave a comment on the Babble post.)



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The Hair Photo a Day Project

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Have you all heard of Fat Mum Slim and Pantene’s Photo-a-Day Collaboration? Obviously, I’m a fan of Fat Mum Slim’s Instagram challenges, and I think I might need to join this one a day late.

The best part about this particular photo challenge is that it leads up to April 27th, when Pantene and Seventeen are hosting the first-ever National Donate Your Hair Day, which will benefit the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program. They’ll be encouraging people to cut and donate their hair so that they can create free, real-hair wigs for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment.

Kudos to Pantene and Seventeen for putting together such a fantastic program. You can read more about the photo challenge at Fat Mum Slim. Who’s in?



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My Pantene Commercial: Behind the Scenes (The Finale!)

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Part one here. Part two here. Part three here.

I know, I know. Don’t cry for me, Argentina. My behind-the-scenes series is coming to end. (Wait, are those tears of sadness or utter relief that you don’ t have to read this stuff anymore?)

So we’ve covered the fitting, the sleepless night beforehand, the 5:45 am call time, the hair and makeup, Pieeeter, the stylists fussing over my clothing (seriously, SO MANY people touching me at one time), the enormous amount of people staring at me, the SWISHLASH, the speaking parts…what is left?

Hmmm, how about more even more makeup and hair styling?

Or the cool Sony Studios water tower thingy?

How about MY TRAILER?

(Yeah, I had a trailer. In fact, when the Jeopardy audience was let out across the alley, people kept peeking in the trailer, trying to figure out what star was inside. SORRY, FOLKS. JUST AN EVERYDAY BLOGGER. Sorry to ruin your day.)

Oh! See that guy walking in front of me below? That’s Jimmy – he was awesome, and basically kept the shoot running on time. You see, if you would allow the team to take all the time they want, nothing would get done. Makeup and hair could keep primping for hours, the director could spend hours getting the perfect shot, but Jimmy was the one that kept everyone in line. (He also stood a few feet away from me during the shoot holding a water bottle with a straw, and whenever he felt I needed a drink, would magically appear. I’m telling you, commercials have their perks, people.)

Also, do you like my shirt? Only a FEW pins here and there…I’m telling you, lots and lots of fussing over my outfit…

And then it was back to the grind. Here I am blogging on my computer! You know, on a beige bear skin rug, JUST LIKE I DO AT HOME. (And you can see a little bit of the stylist in that photo. Guess what she was about to do? A little more fussing! However, she kept me looking perfectly effortless the entire day, which was, in fact, a LOT of effort.)

Director!

Speaking parts!

Hair tools! And my water bottle with the straw! (Jimmy, where’d you go?)

A little photo on the monitor with my name. God knows these people weren’t dealing with the normal Pantene girls (Eva Mendes, Naomi Watts and Cat Deeley), so they probably needed some reminding.

Primping. Discussing.

Blogging at my desk. I was almost to the finish line, people.

Now, when I was shooting the above part, the team needed to move some lighting around, so I had about 30 seconds to kill. I saw Jimmy, who had been holding my iPhone, and asked him to toss it to me. And then I shot this – I wanted to remember what it felt like to have so many people surrounding me while I filmed. Be sure to look beyond the first layer of people. Like I mentioned before, NO PRESSURE.

The last part of the day consisted of me moving around the set while the director (nicely) yelled orders at me. “Walk right! Walk left! Sit on the bed! Grab the pillow! Big smile! Stand up! TWIRL! TWIRL AGAIN!!!!”

You guys, at this point, we were in hour fourteen of the shoot. I was borderline delirious, and I could barely keep from breaking down in hysterical laughter over all the twirling and pillow-grabbing I was being instructed to do. (In fact, for those of you who know me in person, please ask me to re-enact this part at our next get-together. You won’t regret it.) Why was the director instructing me to do all this random stuff?

Well, I’ll tell you why. Take a look.

See, that’s the thing. Man, these guys are really good at what they do.

So, there you have it! My commercial. When it was finally time to say goodbye, it was hugs and high-fives all around, and when I walked out the stage doors, I briefly freaked out over the fact that it was pitch black outside. At the time, I had no idea that an entire day had passed, and that is was actually nighttime. I hopped into the car, and the driver drove me back to Orange County. I may or may not have gotten a little misty on the way home…it was such an amazing day, and I thank Pantene so much for giving me the opportunity.



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31 Bits (+ Giveaway!)

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Over the next few weeks, I am going to be featuring some of my favorite local (Southern California) companies. I hope you enjoy!

Today I’m giving away one of the prettiest necklaces. The Camellia in Mint by 31 Bits.

I’m sitting here looking at it while typing this post, and ladies, it’s pretty much the greatest pale green-blue color ever.

I hope you will enter the giveaway, but most importantly, I hope you will read about this incredible company and check out the 31 Bits website.

Here are the girls behind 31 Bits.

Gorgeous, right? Well, these ladies are far more than a gaggle of pretty faces.

When Kallie Dovel traveled to Uganda in the summer of 2007, she met a few women that made paper bead jewelry. After spending time in their homes and hearing their stories, Kallie knew there had to be a way to give opportunities these women. She brought a box of jewelry back to the U.S., and spent the next year finishing her degree and dreaming up the concept of a development organization. She brought a few friends on board and her ideas quickly evolved into 31 Bits. The girls traveled back to Uganda in August 2008, and selected six women to begin buying jewelry from on a monthly basis.

Fast forward 4 years, and 31 Bits now works with 108 women in Gulu, Uganda. How it works is that 31 Bits purchases jewelry from each woman on a monthly basis, providing them with an immediate, consistent, and fair income. Each piece of jewelry is handmade using 100% recycled paper and other local materials. By selling these products in the international market, they are able to generate a profit that is used to continue purchasing jewelry, as well as provide the women with numerous development programs (English lessons, finance training, health education, vocational training), equipping them to develop a career and attain social equity on a local level. 31 Bits is committed to working with each woman until she has graduated from their program and can attain a sustainable mean of income within her own community.

Here are some of the women that are part of the program.

Pretty incredible, and let’s not neglect to mention how beautiful the necklaces (ranging between 26 and 54 dollars) are themselves. The beads are made from recycled paper that comes from old posters, magazines, fliers and textbooks, and then are sealed with a non-toxic, water-based varnish. Depending on the size of the necklace, one woman can make between 5 and 15 necklaces in a week.

I want them all, and I’m telling you, it’s much easier to buy a new necklace (or a few) when I know that my purchase is helping these women achieve their dreams. The lovely ladies at 31 Bits sent me the Aurora, and it’s quickly become one of my most worn necklaces.

If you would like to be entered into the giveaway for the Camellia necklace, please visit the 31 Bits website and then leave a comment on this post before Saturday, March 31st at 6pm PST. I will announce the winner on Facebook on Sunday the 1st, so be sure to like my page!

Also, the ladies at 31 Bits are offering 20% off your online order with the code WHOORL20 from now until April 4th. FABULOUS. (The Rockhopper is going to be my next purchase. Wait, no, maybe the Meadowsweet…the Windflower? HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO PICK?)

Happy necklace browsing!



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