The Happy Girl Blog

Happy girls are the prettiest girls

10.20.2014

Fears #Blogtober14 day 20

Hola peeps. It's another Monday, which means the beginning of another work week, whomp whomp. However, I am off work for the next few days and headed to Southern California with Mr. B. He has an optical managers training/seminar in Newport Beach, and invited me to come along. I'm very much looking forward to a few days away without an agenda.

Today's #Blogtober14 prompt is your biggest fears.

Getting deep with this one.

When I was a little kid, I had a recurring nightmare about a swarm of rats killing my family by eating us alive. ever since, I've had a huge fear of rats.

When I hit about middle school, I developed a new fear: I didn't want to die and have everyone forget about me. So I developed a goal to become famous for something positive. In my 13 year old brain, that would inevitably be acting, because even then I still wanted to be a movie star or something.

When I met Billy, everything else suddenly paled in comparison. Here was the man I would marry, my best friend, the guy I couldn't see living without. Now my fear is losing him. I could face any of life's obstacles with him by my side. I know he would protect me from as much of life as he can, and would do anything to make sure my fears were never realized. However, there are so many unknowns that could come into play that would remove the one thing I need the most. A car accident. A heart attack. A disgruntled customer with a vengeful spirit. All of these things, and more, are capable of at any time removing my happiness, causing me the most pain I could imagine, and changing my entire life in a split second. I try not to think of living a life without Billy in it, but occasionally those fears creep into my mind and lay waste to the rainbows and butterflies.

What are your fears?

Helene in Between Blogtober

10.19.2014

Happy #Blogtober14 day 19

Happy Sunday! Hope it's a fun day for ya. I am out on an early morning photo shoot, working some red and metallic silver magic with my best Austin photog buddy Josh. Then I'll be off to work for the day. So yes, it's fun, but it's also a work day for me.

Today's #Blogtober14 prompt is what makes you happy.

One word. Five letters. Billy.
He's everything.

He knows how to make me smile without even trying. He makes me laugh, all of the time.
He sings silly made up songs set to popular music that get stuck in my head but I can't help but giggle when I hear them.

He is the first person I go to when I need help with something, and even if it's not his expertise, or even familiar to him, he will figure out how to help me.
He listens patiently, with full attention, as I tell him about troubles, excitements, my day, or funny stories.

He knows more about hair and makeup than most guys, because he listens dutifully to everything I say to him.
He believes in me, so much.

He is my biggest cheerleader, and is so supportive of everything I do.
He  is constantly referring my services to people he meets, and speaks incredibly highly of my work.

You couldn't ask for a more supportive spouse, and more importantly, a best friend.

Billy makes me happy.
Helene in Between Blogtober

10.18.2014

Secrets #Blogtober14 day 18

Happy Saturday! I have already been up since 7, drove an hour down to Dripping Springs for a weddings, made some ladies look beautiful, driven back, and set up for a bridal trial I have this afternoon at my home. Saturdays are always busy!

Today's #Blogtober14 prompt is a secret about yourself. Um, if I have any deep, dark, ugly secrets, I generally wouldn't want to put them online for everyone to see haha Maybe I'll try to qualify something you may already know because I have mentioned it in passing. If you know me really well, you have probably seen this first hand.

I am a clumsy, klutzy, accident-prone person. From walking into doorknobs and walls even when I see them, to full-on breaking bones, I have done it. Let's start with broken things. Both arms, at different time of course, a toe, and two fingers have all been broken. I've badly sprained my right ankle twice, a year apart, on the same trail while running. I have mystery bruises and scratches that I can't begin to imagine where or when I got them. I manage to shut my leg in the car door a few times a year. I have crashed or fallen off my bikes at least three times resulting in broken bones or losing skin which creates some ugly scars. I think I have it out for myself.

Billy says my theme song should be Pink's"Don't let me get me". You know, because of that line that says "I'm hazard to myself"? Yeah. He starts singing it every time I do something klutzy or come home with a new injury.

10.17.2014

I'm an expert #Blogtober14 day 17

What up, blog peeps? It's day 17 of this here #Blogtober14. I honestly can't believe I've made it through this far. I mean, I missed one day but made it up the next, so I'm counting it.

What am I an expert in? Can anyone truly be an expert at anything? I think that life is all about learning, and you should always look for ways to grow in whatever way you can. Sometimes though, that can feel tough when you have reached the top of a field. But to paraphrase Cypress Hill with their song (Rap) Superstar, there's always gonna be someone coming up, knowing more than you, doing things better than you, so you gotta keep on your game.

You didn't know I was a secret hip hop artist, did you?

So my expertise...I gotta go with hair and makeup. It's something I've been working on since I was little. It's something I constantly strive to do better with, to test my limits, to try new things. Photo shoots, weddings, short films, fashion shows...You name it, I'll do it. So I guess this is about as close  to expert as I can get. But know I am still learning. There is always something new to gain from every experience. I learn new techniques, new tricks, trends, products...It's a learning experience every time. And I will never stop gathering that education and sticking it away in my Batman tool belt of tricks of the trade, right next to my makeup brushes.

10.16.2014

Fall Fashion #Blogtober14 day 16

Today's #Blogtober14 prompt is Fall fashion.

So...I'm not a fashion blogger, and I definitely would not exactly call myself fashionable. But I can pin fashion like a pro, so I am sharing some I have found lately on Pinterest that strike my fancy.

I am particularly fond of classic and ladylike pieces, scarves, full skirts, boots, and neutrals. I think that's a pretty safe way to approach fashion! What about you, do you have any fall fashion faves?
Helene in Between Blogtober

10.15.2014

Favorite Quote #Blogtober14 day 15

Finally! A blog prompt I can embrace with open arms that doesn't require me to pry open my mind and dig for a "memory". Not everyone has a steel trap for a brain when it comes to storing and recovering memories. *side eye*

The #Blogtober14 prompt for today is your favorite quote and why.

Easy.

My favorite quote is by my favorite actress and humanitarian, Audrey Hepburn, and it's where I got the name for my blog. Originally, it was Happy Girls are the Prettiest Girls, and finally ended up being The Happy Girl Blog. And this quote? It's pure gold on so many levels.
I love this quote because of everything it stands for. It says "it's OK to be girly and like pink. Laughing is better than any kind of exercise because it works your soul as well as your body. Kissing is important, so it often. Stay strong when things go bad. Being happy makes you pretty, not the other way around. Don't stop believing- in yourself, in what you love, in miracles. 

It's my motto for life, as well as my blog. 

10.14.2014

Funniest memory from childhood #Blogtober14

First, I would like to wish my mom, Brenda, the amazing lady that she is, a very happy birthday! Exactly one year ago today, we had ourselves a birthday breakfast, and then set off in a moving truck bound for Texas. Our house had just closed, and being the amazing lady that she is, she offered to pack up my apartment while I worked, and then drove that truck, me, and my two cats across four states in three days so we could move in. I wish I could be home celebrating with her right now, or at least giving her a big hug and some birthday pancakes. Happy birthday, Mommy!
So, you know how I have been mentioning that I am no good with memory recollection, and I can hardly remember things that happen a week ago? Yeah. Today's prompt for #Blogtober14 is your funniest memory from childhood. This prompt is tough for me.

It may not be my funniest memory, but I guess I can relieve a sort of funny time in my childhood, when I was obsessed with big hair and wanted to look like everything that was wrong with the '90's.

When I was in the third grade, I begged my mom to let me get a spiral perm. I guess I was into hair, even back then. This was in the thick of the early '90's, when every girl I noticed had long spiral permed hair and big bangs. Oh, and scrunchies. And weird headbands. And stirrup pants. And side-tied t-shirts. Oh yes, the '90's were totally tubular and absolutely insane.
 
I had shoulder length, stick straight hair, and desperately wanted it to be curly. I would go so far as to sleep in sponge rollers so my hair would be curly, but it was uncomfortable and the curls never looked right. After much pleading, my mom finally gave in. She took me to Cost Cutters, a chain of hair salons that catered to families, and was a step above a Super Cuts. The hairstylist that worked with my family whenever we went in was the one tasked with making my hair look beautiful like all of the high school girls I rode the bus to and from school with. Giant green rods were twisted and spun into my hair,  then clipped into circles, making me look like a tiny, bobble-headed Medusa, before a trash bag was placed over the rods for my perm to develop. The weight of the rods, and the stink of the chemical were horrific, and the long process was something my 8 year old self hadn't imagined. I waited anxiously, hoping I would have beautiful Jessie Spano or Sarah Jessica Parker hair when all was done. Finally, the stylist unwrapped the rods and sent me out into the world with my freshly permed, giant head of curls stinking of perm solution and with strict instructions not to wet my hair for three days.

I am pretty sure I was incredibly happy with my new curls, but so terrified by what all of my friends would say. I mean, when you are eight, what other people think of you is more important that what you think. I didn't have long to wait. That afternoon, I was going to a friend's birthday party at an ice skating rink. I remember my hair still being damp when I arrived, and how the icy air made it poof out horribly. Now I know product would have been incredibly helpful. Or to just not have gotten a perm in the first place. The birthday girl, my friend Jackie, skated over and screeched "what did you do to your hair?! It's so big!" I just fluffed my hair self-consciously and said "I permed it", like that was the most natural thing for a third grader to do.

I never did get the memo that hair products would have made my blonde afro more manageable, but I did let that hideous perm grow out, and never considered perming my hair again. In a funny twist of fate, however, when I hit puberty, my hair became wavy, and I spent many days with gel-scrunched curls well into my post-high school days, never imagining that I had even a slight resemblance to my permed hair days.
Helene in Between Blogtober

10.13.2014

Favorite Fall Recipe #Blogtober14 day 13

The #Blogtober14 prompt today is "Your favorite fall recipe". What a very perfect prompt for such a great fall day! It was raining this morning, with cooler temps, and a blustery breeze is making a racket outside. Perfect for thinking about my favorite fall recipe.

Of course, I will give you a recipe I came up with, that will always be a go to for me. Pumpkin pie is a quintessential fall favorite for me. You can make it so many different ways, and it is always tasty. 
Here is the link to my original recipe I posted back in October 2012! I've made it few times since then, and always enjoy the sweet, pumpkin-y goodness that reminds me of fall.
  • 1 9 inch pre-made unbaked pie crust {or your favorite pie crust recipe}
  • 2 15oz cans organic pumpkin puree 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 14oz fat free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 chopped walnuts 
  • 1/4 cup cold butter *trust me, room temperature does not give good results
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  1. preheat oven to 375 degree F. (190 degree C for my Canadian girls)
  2. Roll out your pie crust and put in your 9 inch pie plate, folding down edges so it's uniform.
  3. Blend the pumpkin, egg, milk and pie spice until thoroughly combined. Pour into your pie shell.
  4. Combine brown sugar, flour, chopped walnuts, cold butter, and cinnamon until crumbly. Sprinkle streusel mixture on top of pumpkin mixture. 
  5. Bake at 375 for 50-55 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool before serving.

To top it off, you can make this yumminess! 

Honey Ginger whipped cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Combine cream, honey, ginger and vanilla in a mixing bowl. 
  2. Beat until soft peaks form. Chill for an hour.
  3. Top each slice of pie with a dollop of cream when serving.
Helene in Between Blogtober

Best advice #Blogtober14 day 12

Sometimes, it's hard for me to remember much that has happened in the past. I  have a halfway decent memory for people's names and obscure details about them, but I've always struggled with a more recollection based memory for details like what we did on a trip, or even what I wore a week ago. I would like to think this is because my brain is moving too quickly to process all of the information I see on a daily basis, and only big memories stick for long periods of time. The true reason is a total mystery to me.

So when the #Blogtober14 prompt yesterday was for the best advice you've ever been given, I immediately drew a blank. I would love to have a mind full of memories in which dear people imparted wisdom that stuck with me, but really only one really stuck out. I believe it stuck with me because I heard it so much over a year's time.

I spent a year learning the cosmetology basics at Fremont Beauty College, an institution that left much to be desired. From the 1970's style classroom set ups, to the less than stellar product assortment, the place was kind of a dump. The reason I chose to do my year-long cosmetology course there was simple: they had an open night program when I needed one, and the tuition was offset by a county grant, which meant I would only pay a fraction of the cost, already much lower than many of the schools that were closer to me and more prestigious. So off to Fremont I would go each evening and all day on Saturdays, fighting commute traffic and wasting an hour of my afternoon in the car. Eight months I spent doing this before I was able to transfer to the day program for my last four months of school.

One of my instructors, a beautiful and sassy black lady named Ms. McInnis (funny how she was African-American, yet had a very Irish or Scottish sounding last name), was full of spunk and loaded with catchy phrases. She would provide assistance, instruction, and offered us a laugh when we found a situation stressful.  During those stressful moments, after offering her opinion on how to correct a mistake or how to go about achieving the magic some client was asking for, she would laugh and remind you of a small piece of advice she gave freely: "You gotta fake it till you make it".

Maybe hearing this at first, I missed the full meaning of it, but after a year of hearing it regularly, it finally hit me. In order to be successful and make people trust in your skills, you have to project that you know what you are doing and are already successful. Ms. McInnis knew this, and was able to sum it up in an inspirational poster kind of way.

I took it to heart when I applied for apprenticeship and assistant positions at salons. Fresh out of beauty school and holding my state license, I only had my intuition and a year's worth of half-decent school behind me. I needed those salon jobs to hone my craft and figure out just what I needed to be a better hairstylist. I would learn a lot while I was assisting, and I would figure it out, eventually.
Sorry for the blurry photo, it's the only one I have with my beauty school diploma
I applied it when I sought out a photographer to work with in developing my portfolio. I had never done any pin-up style hair before, but it looked easy enough and I quickly mastered the basics and had a portfolio within a summer's time. Once the pin-up port was full, I moved on to other areas, continuing to use this motto to bolster my confidence with each new endeavor. If I didn't know what I was doing, I learned really quickly, but I always looked confident and capable on the outside.
 I still use this advice on a daily basis. Sometimes a new challenge walks through your doors that you have never experienced. You still have to confidently approach the situation and make the best of it. Or turn it into a learning experience. Either way, it's a great piece of advice, probably some of the best I have been given. That I can remember, anyway.
Helene in Between Blogtober

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