Imaginale Design
I relaunched my new Photography Website!!! To read more about it, check out my post at Imaginale.

And here is the website: Imaginale Design
Imaginale Design
I just limped towards my laptop and I'm pretty sure the bottoms of my feet are SWOLLEN.

Jose and I met some people through his tennis tournament who invited us to play sand volleyball tonight. I had dance practice which ended late, but we headed out to the game anyway because it had only been about 30 minutes. I liked the idea of playing barefoot... until it started feeling like I was playing on a nail filer!!

I was already wearing band aids from dance cuts, and now I could feel the sand just grating against the arch of my foot. On top of that, I REALLY like playing volleyball and I was throwing my body left and right. Usually when I work out really intensely I won't feel the soreness/exhaustion until the next day. Ummm, so much for that! I feel like my arms can't even type and definitely feel the pain now!

I have some exciting news but will have to share it tomorrow because I'm going to bed! However, I wanted to let those who read this blog to prepare for the move. Yep! I'm going to transition my wedding posts on to my Imaginale Design Blog so that I don't neglect this blog. I'm not deleting this blog -- heck, I wish I could type it on my photography one and have it publish here too! What I'm basically doing is no longer publishing the NEW posts here and instead on Imaginale Design. So make sure you subscribe to Imaginale Design because there will be lots of stuff going on there :) I've got lots STILL to share about the wedding, so get ready for the move! Don't worry... I'll post reminders on here, but wanted to give you the head's up once I'm finished transferring all the posts.
Imaginale Design
Remember the post when I mentioned bringing you some Spanish souvenirs? If not, go read it, then come back ;)

I have finally completed my Spain photos and picked my favorites that could (in my opinion) look fun as prints for your home!

However, you'll have to cast your vote in my photography blog: Imaginale. You'll be able to watch the video there AND I'll pick a random comment to win a free print!!

So take a look at the video and cast your vote!!
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Aaalright. I last left y'all with the story of how bad my hair trial went with the salon in Houston. I called a friend from high school, venting my frustrations, and discussing how simple this hair style could be.

This same friend, let's name her Loreal (cause she has beautiful hair, haha), is the one who taught me how to MAKE the extensions. After sending her photos of the trial, she called and left the following voicemail: "Oh nooooo. Alejandra this is NOT what you described to me at all. Look at those curls! Are they even curls? She definitely didn't get it. You know what? If you want, you can come over and we can try creating the look you're going for. Then we can take photos and you can show her the process and I'm SURE she can re-create the look with instructions."

Haha. Can you imagine showing up to a stylist with "How To" instructions. I'm sure she'd love that!

Anyway, I thought that was REALLY, really generous of Loreal to offer. I couldn't believe it. I was incredibly grateful that she would take the time to do this for me.

Excitedly, we bought the appropriate extensions, went back to her place and sewed them according to my head measurements. Another thing to note: I had just washed my hair that morning and blowdried it, so it was really flowy. Already I could tell the difference in the curls! They were bouncy, silky, and loose. She used a lot of hair spray (still), but it wasn't weighing my hair down too much since it was so clean. After simply putting on the extensions (3 tracks), and curling my hair, we got excited like little girls at HOW beautiful the curls looked in comparison to my trial!


As you can see on my mini-diagram what a DIFFERENCE my cleaner hair made -- and blowdrying it. Note the length difference between my natural hair and the extension. Although I was going to cut it, it's MUCH better to have the ability to cut to YOUR desired length, rather than have no layers to work with.

Check out the front:

Talk about drastic improvement! Once we curled my hair and saw how much it would shrink, we knew how much to cut off. Like I said before, I didn't want to look drastically different SO, I cut the extension to the length my NATURAL hair is -- before it's curled. Obviously you lose a lot of length when you curl, so I wanted to make up for that. Also, it obviously adds even more volume.

But want to hear something even crazier? You might be thinking to herself "WOW, those extensions obviously added length, but look at the VOLUME!" Guess what? If you go back to my last post with the bad hair trial -- I had some extensions there too! The only difference is that they were the shorter extensions. So why didn't they add VOLUME? Because my hair was too oily, FLAT, and hadn't been blowdried! I'm telling you this to emphasize what a difference it makes when you blowdry your hair. Granted, the Houston salon lady had only put in like 2 small tracks so we could "get an idea." Here's a really old picture of me with similar volume and my hair MUCH shorter:

or something with even MORE volume...

Hahaha. You get the point!

So we pinned it back, added the flower and it looked like this:

The side

But now the problem is... you can see that we didn't put ENOUGH hair spray because within a matter of minutes, the curls started to fall:

That's not even a curl anymore... it's like... semi-waves? Don't get me wrong, this was DEFINITELY moving the in right direction and I learned the following:
  • Blowdry my hair FO SHO!
  • I need to find an alternative to volume because I LOSE a good portion of it when my hair is pulled back (on the top section).
  • Make the curls tighter because they WILL start to come lose
  • Add more hairspray
However, I was SO excited about it that I asked if she would be interested in coming to my wedding and doing my hair. I KNEW this was a big risk for me to take, and I also knew this could put a lot of pressure on her. I told her to think about it, and that I would be fine with whatever she decided. Loreal took a few days to think about it, then fortunately agreed!

I was so excited because I had someone I trusted, and I didn't have to worry about having to spend so much more money on really expensive hair trials. We decided to do a second trial with Loreal to correct the loss of curls, and get closer to that "wedding day" hair. Ironically, she actually suggested that I don't wash my hair the day of the trial because that might have been why my curls didn't hold. And guess what? The second trial ended up being a hot mess because my natural hair oils once again weighed my hair down and was even WORSE at holding curls.

Panic mode. I had to leave for Houston in 2 days, and we had yet to have a hair trial that was "THE ONE." We schedule a last minute 3rd trial... and she ends up getting a stomach virus :( Ahh!! I HAVE to leave that Sunday to Houston for a meeting with my DJ. I don't hear back from my friend, and then it's Monday and I'm trying not to push it. I don't want to take advantage of her amazing help, but... my wedding is this coming SUNDAY. I wait for Monday to see if she'll call me and -- nothing. I finally call her on Tuesday and reach her voicemail. She ends up texting me, in a matter of minutes letting me know that some conflicts would not allow her to be there on Sunday.

Um. What?

I was really upset, disappointed, and stressed. I couldn't be that mad at her because of HOW much she helped me, but I felt so let down only days before my wedding. Anyway, I HAVE to come up with a back up plan. There is no time to sulk or blame anyone -- it's time to take action. I was in the car with Jasmine (my sis in law) when I was receiving the bad news via text, and turned to her and asked: "Is anyone in your family decent at hair styling?"

I knew what I wanted for my hair and I knew I could do it, but I absolutely needed help. Thank God for Jose's Aunt Jane and cousin Sacora!! They were SO nervous about the potential of doing my wedding hair because of the stress. I reassured them that *I* would be guiding them throughout the whole process and no matter HOW crazy or good my hair looked, it would not be their fault.

Bam! We pulled out the hairspray, my AMAZING curler (y'all this sucker is $75 but it's my secret to tossled curls), tons of bobby pins, and extensions. Since my curler doesn't have a clamp, it takes some time getting used to wrapping hair around the base of the curler and holding the hair. You have to wear a glove too! Otherwise you will burn your hand like crazy. Trust me.

So here we were, our first hair trial -- days before the wedding. I turned to Aunt Jane and said "Okay Aunt Jane -- your responsibility is to spray the curls, tease the roots, and add the extensions." So this was our flow: I divided my hair into sections, Sacora did the curling, and Aunt Jane sprayed them down and added the extensions with my guidance. Once my whole hair was done, we got to the tough part -- styling it.

I explained how I wanted the side that was pulled back to almost look braided. Basically, I didn't want to just grab the left side and pull the hair back to the side and pin it. Aunt Jane BLEW me AWAY with her sudden creativity! I simply showed her from what I managed to reach on the side of my hair and she took over. It came out PERFECT!

Aunt Jane turned to me and said: "You need to tell me the TRUTH. Do you REALLY love it? Because I need you to love this on your wedding day. If this isn't what you want, you shouldn't keep it." I responded "Trust me -- I REALLY do love it. I promise I would not keep it if I didn't like it. I couldn't do that to myself on my wedding for the sake of being polite!" Haha. But let me say, we teased my hair SOOO much to get volume for the top section.

Here they are in action on the wedding day:

Sacora curling

Aunt Jane teasing :)

NOTE: My hair is NOT that short -- we actually pinned the bottom UP so that as we did each section, we loosely kept the curls bunched together to retain their curl.

We put on my veil, added my earrings and I looked at the mirror. Wow. I realized how God literally took care of me. A situation that could have been so stressful ended up being taken care of by my new family. Aunt Jane and Sacora would have NEVER imagined they would be doing my wedding hair. Heck, I didn't think -I- would be doing it!! But ultimately, God proved that all it takes is trust. To trust that he will take care of you, no matter how far you're pushed.

Imaginale Design

It's a three hour difference from Arizona to Atlanta, where a lot of my friends live, so I had to post this "I PROMISE IT'S COMING" post.

I said I was finishing the hair story, and I am, but I got home pretty late after bible study tonight and had to start working on an inspiration board for a last minute photoshoot. AND after working for only an hour -- it was suddenly almost midnight! I didn't realize how late it was and I have to wake up early for a photoshoot tomorrow.

I had planned to type up the post tonight so you could have it in the morning, but -- well, I need to sleep and you KNOW I can't type the "finale" in just 30 minutes :( Curses for talking too much!

If I end the shoot early tomorrow, I will type it when I get home! Either way, keep your eyes peeled and make sure you've read part 1 and 2. Noches!

p.s. Has anyone heard of the show The Colony on The Discovery Channel? Jose watched an episode on his laptop while I was working on my inspiration board and that show is C-R-A-Z-Y. Not to mention I can NOT handle watching people throw up, so you can imagine how I jumped out of my seat when they started showing that. Thieves, rotten pigs, pepper spray, robberies, milk poured on eyes... and my husband is loving it. Seriously. He had to stop himself from watching a second episode. Anyway! Just some random thoughts to see if anyone out there shares his feelings or mine. Haha :)
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Ok, clearly I am at a point in my life where there are lots of people having babies. I mean, people that I know. However, that was not the case at ALL until my bestfriend just delivered her baby today.

I got all emotional like I was the one who was pregnant! Kristen Lewis and I have been bestfriends since middle school. Back when we used to write notes and my name was spelled "Alahundra." Hahaha. Story of my life with my name :) For some reason we both just clicked and -- wait -- for SOME reason? No, let's not play. Let me count the reasons:

-Kristen and I are both loud.
-Obnoxiously loud in high school.
-We liked to laugh. Kristen taught me to laugh at MYSELF.
-This included many accidents (on both sides) where laughter came first, followed by "Are you okay?!"
-We worked at the same restaurant and went to the same high school = ridiculous memories.
-There was typically never something we weren't willing to try. That includes skipping school for lunch to get free, DELICIOUS, fajita nachos from my Aunt's job downtown.
-Putting on the MOST ridiculous performance during our improv class (cheerleaders with asthma) that was applauded by our friends but incredibly scorned by our teacher.
-If we were in trouble individually, that's okay. But in trouble TOGETHER? Forget about it! That would just be more trouble.

When Kristen found out she was pregnant, her and Billy each chose one person to tell. They would tell the rest of their family & friends once they went to the doctor and had everything checked and confirmed. I remember missing her phone call and listening to her voicemail. I thought there was something different in her tone and when I called back the first thing out of my mouth was "You're pregnant?!" She was!!! I was so honored to be that person to receive the call.

It blows my mind that the same girl who drew on the seats of the school bus with me (remember the turtle lady?!), peed between the portables because we could NOT hold it and her car wasn't working (only to later find out she hadn't fully shifted it into park! :), convinced me to audition for Arts Magnet by playing improv games with me, shared the MOST intense secrets that one day on the DART train, snuck out to the roof of my house so we could tan only to be embarrassed to see construction men working two houses down whistling at us -- is now a mother to a boy who will probably do ten times as much ridiculous things in his childhood.

She's a mom. Wow. When I saw the first photo of her holding Kent, I realized I was no longer an onlooker of friends with babies. Today my bestfriend, the face I've been SO familiar with in my childhood, is holding a child of her own.

No, I'm not pregnant. Just emotional. Happy Birthday Kent :)

Kiki & I on her wedding in 2006
Imaginale Design
Photography, fashion, and design inspire me. What inspires you?

I'll be finishing the Hair Story this week :)