Friday Favorites: Beauty, bling + entertainment

Happy Friday! This was a strange week, wasn’t it? When you have a holiday in the middle of the week, it’s easy to get off-track with your days, and yesterday seemed like Sunday to me. But I’m not complaining, I’ve enjoyed nearly every minute of all the festivities the past couple of weeks. 

Nonetheless, here we are into the second day of the year, and it just so happens to fall on my favorite weekly post to write: “Friday Favorites.” Throughout the week, you can usually find some planned-out content with substance here on A Lady Goes West, but today is not one of those days. Fridays are all about showing you a few fun things that are making me smile, so I hope you enjoy. Everything shown in today’s favorites, I picked up during my Christmas trip to Florida, except for the links at the end. And do me a favor, if you have a moment, watch the videos! Here we go …

My favorite beauty tool

Thanks to my Mom, I’m now the proud owner of a new curling wand. Although I knew that these things existed, I hadn’t tried one until Thanksgiving in San Diego. Dave’s little sister had one, and I used it to do my hair for Thanksgiving Day. I fell in love with the fact that there is no clamp, so you wrap pieces of your hair around the wand yourself. It’s actually easier to use than a curling iron and gives a nice tight curl.

Curling wandShown above from top left to right: The Conair YOU CURL Curling Wand, the handy little finger protectors that come with the wand and a picture of my hair curled on Thanksgiving Day.

So get this: I have naturally curly hair, which I get straightened via a Keratin treatment every few months. Then, once my hair is straight, I use curling irons or wands like this to recurl it. Makes no sense, right? Well, in a way it does. I haven’t worn my natural curls in many years, and I really don’t ever plan to go back. These tools help me get the right look, it just happens to take a couple of steps to get there.

My favorite mall kiosk find

For the past few years, my iPhone has been covered with several versions of a safe and sturdy Speck-brand case. While yes, Speck makes a great case, I tend to like things a little flashier. The last day that Dave and I were in Florida, after we had lunch with some of my girlfriends in the food court (which was exactly one week ago), I stopped at a cell-phone case kiosk and made this purchase.

Cell phone case blingThe many angles of my new DeBari Crystaria case from Cellairis.

You could say this is a little tacky, but you’d be wrong. The sales person told me it was made from “almost” Swarovski crystals. Which obviously means, not Swarovski crystals. But whatever. At first she said the case cost $50, but somehow I talked her down to $30. That made me think I got a steal. What do you think?

My favorite old-school entertainment

Books. Real life books. I haven’t done a whole lot of reading the past year-and-a-half, outside of buying books at airports and reading them on the plane. But that’s all about to change. I plan to spend more time with a good book in my hand in 2015. And of course, leave it to my Mom to choose some great books as Christmas gifts for me, without me even asking for them or mentioning I want to read more.

BooksA diverse selection, featuring Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, Debbie Macomber’s Summer on Blossom Street and Nicholas Sparks’ Safe Haven.

Have you read any of these? I’m currently reading a different Nicholas Sparks book, which I bought at the airport on the way to Florida, and it’s very good. I hope to start one of these new titles this month. There’s something very therapeutic about losing yourself in fiction. And being away from technology for a few hours at a time? Always a good plan.

My favorite video clips of the week

Okay, full disclosure: Dave and I decided to stay home and lay low for New Year’s Eve this year. In addition to making some great food and drinks, we also spent a lot of time watching YouTube, up on our big-screen TV. We watched a lot of hilarious videos, but we also watched some really enjoyable videos that are worth sharing. If you’re anything like me, you always skip over these kind of links, but you won’t be disappointed with these two.

My favorite links of the week

If you haven’t had the chance to stay up-to-date with A Lady Goes West this week, here’s what you missed …

Okay, everybody, there you go! Tonight, I have a date with a girlfriend for some wine, a free and clear Saturday tomorrow, and Dave and I have his re-scheduled work holiday party on Sunday night. 

I hope you have a great Friday! I’ll be checking in on Instagram, so join me there. Otherwise, I’ll be back on Monday for some talk about fitness. Enjoy the first weekend of the year!

Read more Friday Favorites

If you’ve enjoyed browsing through this post, see below for previous editions or visit the the link-up hostesses, Heather and Clare

  1. A snack, a purse and a ritual
  2. A delivery, a bra and a guy
  3. A sweet, a wine and a read
  4. A drink, a gadget and a plan 
  5. A time, a bottle and a powder
  6. San Francisco edition
  7. Beauty edition
  8. Beach vacation edition
  9. Hidden meanings
  10. Kicks, a book and a bowl
  11. The very best sweatshirts
  12. Party hosting and froyo
  13. Fourth of July daytime activity
  14. Beauty basics edition
  15. Workplace edition
  16. Shopping, sales and a show
  17. The foods I always buy
  18. Sushi, a game and pants
  19. Fitness apps
  20. Delicious and healthy products
  21. Comfort, fitness and function
  22. Beauty, buddha and blog events
  23. Dining, the city and gift ideas
  24. POPSUGAR, sweets and such
  25. A bunch of fun stuff
  26. e-book, food, picnic and tunes
  27. A link, a superfood and a mask
  28. Pants, shoes, food and links
  29. Dining, protein and goodies
  30. Shopping, events and a book
  31. A gym bag, pumpkin and juices 
  32. Workout gear, a top and a massage
  33. prAna, a watch, tea and more
  34. Tasty stuff and gift sales
  35. Decor, bars, boots and a drink
  36. Flowers, music and more
  37. Coqueta, a brush and food
  38. My people and the holidays

Questions of the day

What’s something good you’ve bought or found lately? What are you up to this weekend? Do you have any great YouTube video finds worth sharing?

Ashley signature

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  1. Happy New Year! It really does feel like a Monday today. I’m all mixed up. I didn’t know your hair was naturally curly… do you have a pic on the blog before you started doing the keratin treatments?

    1. Hi Diane! Nope! No pics on the computer even. I haven’t worn it curly since college. No blogs back in those days hehehe. Maybe I’ll pull an old pic out one day. Happy Friday!!

    1. Hi Megan! I know, and I never go to the mall here in San Francisco, so it was by chance I picked one up in Florida. Happy Friday! Go for bling when you look for a case. πŸ™‚ Believe me, it brightens the day!

  2. Love the phone case! And books? Love them too. I can read on my ipad but there are just some books that deserve to be read the old fashioned way, holding a real book with pages to turn and everything πŸ™‚

    Happy and joyful 2015!

  3. I finally updated my I-phone from a 4 to a 6….only took me a few yrs…& it’s been so fun and I have so much more room for apps! πŸ™‚ happy Friday!

  4. We have the same hair!! I have curly hair too but straighten it and then use the wand to curl it. I used to get the Keratin treatment but it didn’t really work on my hair πŸ™ It is funny as I have gotten older my hair has relaxed a little curl wise. I don’t hate it! Happy Friday!

  5. Ahhh, curling wands! Once I tried one I never went back to regular curling irons! I now have two barrel widths and use them almost every time I wear my hair down. Oh, and don’t worry… I pull the same move you do… I don’t get straightening treatments (one day!), but I do blow dry and very quickly straighten my hair to just turn around and add curls from the curling wand. Rarely do I ever just let it go and wear it scrunched! Happy Friday! xo

    1. Hi Heather! So funny what we do to our poor hair. I try to go a couple days a week with no heat styling, which is pretty easy when you wear a bun everyday at the gym. πŸ™‚ Happy Friday!

  6. I understand about your hair. I blow my hair out straight or wear it wavy. I have had a few Keratin treatments in the past too. Love the return to real books…I thought the same thing because I read one the other week when I was traveling too which I never do these days! Enjoy the weekend!

  7. Love the phone case Ashley!! And the old school paperbacks. I have been waiting for the latest trashy Danielle Steele to come out for ages, and no, I will not be reading it on an e-reader!! Guilty pleasures πŸ˜€

    Happy Friday!

    1. Hi Jill! hahah awesome! I’ve never read a Danielle Steele book, but I know she has a great following. Doesn’t she live in SF? Or at least has a massive house here!

  8. Happy New Year! The whole week has definitely felt weird for me. It feels like today is Sunday and I struggled all week remembering what day of the week it was. I’m not super excited about getting back to work on Monday, but I am happy to have a regular routine back again!

    1. Hi Claire! I feel ya, I haven’t returned to “normal” yet since Thanksgiving heeheh. I look forward to the routine too. Happy Friday!

    1. Hi Lizzie! Yes! I used to love the way Keratin made my hair look and feel but it has changed. However, the formula that salons used has changed too. I liked it when the product was stronger (even though it wasn’t good for you!). Oh well. I keep getting them done to help with shine a little, I wish something better would come around. Do you just blow dry now?? That takes me forever!

  9. I had no idea your hair was naturally curly! I was born with curly hair, and after my mom gave me my first haircut at the age of 2 it went stick straight.

    I can’t wait to read Yes, Please. What are your favorite Nicholas Sparks novels? I’ve only read a few.

    1. Hi Catherine, This is my first Nicholas Sparks novel, and right now I’m reading “The Longest Ride” — it’s really good. Up next will be “Safe Haven” which my Momma bought me. You have such gorgeous hair, BTW! Happy weekend to you, my friend. Hope to see you soon:)

  10. I’ve been wanting to try a curling wand for forever! I’m nervous about burning my fingers though. Maybe I’ll check that one out πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Lindsay! Yes, you have to be careful with how hot your hair gets, and I’m sure I’ll get better at it the more I use it. I guess those little finger protectors will come in handy. I hope you have a great weekend!! Thanks for stopping by to say hello:)

    1. Hi Caity!! Thanks for stopping by the say hello. Hope you have a fabulous weekend:) I’m sure you’re got a fashionable shoot lined up for somewhere!

  11. I’m a naturally curly haired gal too! Must try that wand- I’ve been meaning to pick it up! Would be perfect for touch ups on natural waves in between Keratin treatments too (you know, the crazyyy days!) Also- That iPhone case is BOMB!

    1. Hi Bethann! Happy Sunday! A fellow curly girl? I never would have known! Hope you’re having an awesome weekend. Thanks for saying hello:)

  12. LOVE reading πŸ™‚ I haven’t read any of the three books you listed, but the Amy Poehler book is one on my list. I actually have a lot of non-fiction on my reading list this year and am looking forward to learning some new skills!

    1. Hi Heather, I’ve read very little non-fiction in my day and would like to start with that too. Figured I’d get back into reading with some easy fiction though. Let me know if you read anything worth sharing soon. Hope you’re having an awesome weekend! Thanks for stopping by to say hello:)

  13. Safe Haven is one of my favorite Nicholas Sparks novels, but I must say that the movie is solo much more different, so be aware if you have seen it or are planning too! Its not bad, just has some significant changes [like changing the daughters name… why even do that??] Anyway, hope you enjoy it!!

    1. Hi CharlieSue! Thanks, I’m hardly a hair pro, but I know that you are supposed to take the curls away from your face and use a lot of hairspray. That’s how I do it. πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

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