Inspired by Chris Secor

I've been doing pretty well with my Surrounded by Inspiration theme for 2014 and had a great boost of inspiration last Friday when I had my hair done by Chris Secor. Chris is my hair guy. The Middle Sister found him years ago and when she lived in New York, would be sure to book an appointment with Chris whenever she visited.

I have was never a big hair person. I have long, straigh, brown hair. I might get it cut two or three times a year. I went to Chris a few times for these cuts and found him pleasant. It was not until two years ago that I started seeing him regularly. You see...... two years ago I started coloring my hair! I was rocking this grey streak in the front and my sisters started telling me it was time to start coloring my hair. I was holding out a little bit until T told me I was getting more grey coming up and it wasn't in my streak. I called Chris and said I wanted to color my hair but I didn't want to use harsh chemicals or have a "line" if I decided to stop coloring my hair. We met and he gave me some options.

Chris is an instructor at the flagship Paul Mitchell School and is always learning about new technics and products. We found a great product to try and we talked about maintanice schedules. I was ready to commit and I went from a two times a year to a once a month hair girl. I have been very happy with Chris and my hair. Every time I leave the salon I get tons of compliments on how good my hair looks.

But that is not why I am inspired. I am inspired by a conversation we had last Friday when I was getting beautiful hair.

It really is a simple thing, but Chris knew was having a hard time at work last year and he asked how that was going. I told him how I was trying to be inspired by things and stay professional. In our chit chat he offered up inspiring advice about wishing good things for people. Using gifts (physical or time) to encourage positive relationships, And just staying out of the drama advice that really hit home. I left inspired by him and weaing a new set of glasses that I viewed work through.

Inspiration is everywhere, and I was happy to be inspired by Chris Secor.

(If you are looking for a hair person in Corana Del Mar, I highly recommend him and so does YELP!)

Thanks for the Inspiration Chris!


Inspired by stripes

Over the winter break I painted the inside of our house grey. I did the heart swatch test again, and T and I decided which grey we liked best. He was kind of indulging me because he was perfectly fine with Woven Straw, the color we painted our walls after the slab leak that turned into a month of crazy holes in the walls, retexturing walls, new floors, etc. etc. etc.. You can see it in this post about stenciling a wall. But I was not as big of a fan of that paint color and have been leaning toward grey walls, so over winter break, I painted our house.

The painting itself was a little bit of a comedy of errors for me. I had painted a wall in the bedroom white to do my heart test and then T and I agreed on a paint color. I painted a wall and it was too light, so I painted another wall a different color. After they dried I decided I liked the first wall better, but T and my sisters like the second wall. So I painted three walls the color they liked , Notre Dame by Valspar, and left the one white wall. We lived with it for a few days and then I decided to paint the rest of the house. There is an advantage to living in 600 square feet. Painting only takes a few days!

I divided the remaining painting into two days and started with a living room wall opposite a big window. When the paint dried it had a much blue-er tint than I was going for. The light we get in the living room is different than the light we get in the bedroom and it really changed the color of the paint. Again I paused. Do I want to paint my house this color? Is it too blue for me? Again we lived with it for a day or two and then I decided to keep painting. It was more blue than I was looking for, but I had bought all the paint and was willing to give it a try.

I painted the rest of the house and changed the stenciled wall into a striped wall and T hung up his glider over the stripes. I loved it! The pop of white made the Notre Dame paint seem grey and not blue. At least in that section of wall.

After living with the new paint, I can say I am okay with it. It is a little blue in certain light, but overall I like it way more than Woven Straw. And the striped wall is awesome! It makes me happy every time I look at it.


Lake Como Villa

Our villa for Lake Como has been booked and you can see more about it at this link: http://www.vrbo.com/1077146ha I found it on vrbo.com (vacation rental by owner) right around the time I found our apartment in Florence, Italy. It looks fabulous, and again, I am hoping the pictures are true.

I delayed blogging about it because even though I thought I was booking it through VRBO, I actually ended up booking it through a different site, and it looks like a company is running the rentals.
Not really a big deal but as I started to get confirmation emails it looked like a few people were part of the piece of the pie and it made me a little uneasy. More like a few different companies. I guess the biggest thing that made me uneasy is when I went to a special website set up for my trip and was asked to enter the passport numbers of our party. As T once had his identity stolen, this kind of stuff makes me super cautious. Especially because I have never had to do it before when I rented an apartment abroad.

So I am excited about this villa and probably overreacting, but I think I am going to contact them to see why they need all that information. I will keep you posted. Wish me luck!

I emailed the company very soon after writing this blog post to ask why they need the passport information and admitted I was a little uneasy about giving it out for our party.  I was emailed within hours letting me know the rental company somehow falls under the hotel guidelines and that is why they ask for passport info.  They then let me know the office is based in another city, so that was why they had the online passport info option.  AND then they said they totally understood my uneasiness and would come get the numbers from us if there was a need when we were in Italy and they would send me any information I needed manually.  I was very impressed with their service and understanding.  Things are looking good!


Italy Airfare 2014

Italy airfare has been booked!  Our trip is happening in Mid-June and prices have risen since we took our Paris trip a few years ago and I don't recall the price of the Ireland tickets.  The flight from LAX to Milan is under $1200.  Still a lot of money, but I guess that is why I save up for two years for a trip like this!  Flights were hovering at $1500, so I was glad we found this one.

Just one more apartment to book (still).... I need to get on it!


Inspired by nature


Today I got to work at 6:45am to discover my normal parking lot was blocked off for construction. I found a space in another parking lot and was walking up a path thinking of some sad news when I looked up and saw this. For some reason it lifted my heart. The rain we are finally getting, the cold in the air, and the drops dancing through this sage and gold plant. It's the little things and I am glad I looked up to be inspired by it.