VOTING has opened!

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GUYS! Voting has opened!

Being a finalist in the Allure Beauty Blogger Awards just got real. Today is the first day of voting, and Challenge 1 is a good one!

Head over to Allure to vote for Your Stylist AJ, and keep me from getting eliminated! You can win some seriously great prizes just by voting. : )

XO
AJ

Inspiration Station

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Lately I’ve been sucked in and inspired by these two Tumblr pages:

The Glossier Nerd  & Her New Tribe 

Go ahead, get lost in them!

I’ve been consistently inspired by neutrals with an overdose of texture. What’s been inspiring you lately?

XO
AJ

#ALLUREBBA

Guess what?! I’m a finalist in Allure’s Beauty Blogger Awards!

YourStylistAJ.com

This year, Allure chose their top 10 picks to compete as finalists in the competition. When I got the call that I was one of them, I just about passed out. I stopped walking, sat straight down on the sidewalk, and tried to act normal. But this isn’t normal, this is HUGE.

All my life, I’ve set large goals, but sometimes, I let the largest ones pass out of fear. Fear is a powerful feeling, and one of my personal goals for 2014, was to ignore fear, and only follow the words “I AM” with words of optimism and strength. I would love to win this competition, but I mean it when I say I already feel like I’ve won. Challenging myself to even apply for a spot, and putting myself in the vulnerable position of letting America vote either for or against me, is such personal progress. We all have insecurities, and some of mine had to be broken down in order to make this happen. I am so proud of myself for that, and at the very least, I will take that away from this experience.

Beginning this Monday, April 14th, we finalists will compete in up to five challenges, and YOUR votes can keep me in it to win it! And get this- you can win incredible prizes just for voting. Not a bad deal right?

I’ll keep you posted each week as the new challenges are released! I’m excited to share my love of the beauty industry and hope you guys enjoy what I’ve been working on!

Thank you so much to Allure for this opportunity! I’m also just beaming with gratitude, as the close friends and family in my life have shown an incredible amount of support.

See you at the first Challenge on Monday! Until then, you can see my intro video and interview HERE!

XO
AJ

Easy Fancy Bun Tutorial

Hi lovlies! Welcome back to another tutorial! This Fancy Bun is SO easy, but looks just a little extra special than your typical bun. Check it out!

Emilia Jane Photography

To get the look at home:

1-2. Leaving the “sides” out from the ears forward, gather the back section and place into a low ponytail.

3. Twist the pony and wind it around the base of the elastic.

4. Secure with hair pins.

5. Take the first side section and twist away from the face.

6. Place the twisted section above the bun, and loosely wrap what’s left over around the bun, securing with a bobby pin.

7. Repeat on the other side.

8. Rock your Fancy Bun and put it on Instagram using the hashtag #YSAJtutorial

XO
AJ

Thank you to Emilia Jane Photography for capturing this look for us!

Dearest Thomas West Salon clients and friends!

Emilia Jane Photography

I am continuously blown away by your loyalty and generosity! Some of you have been my client for over four years and I have loved getting to know you and hearing about your life!

As you’ve likely noticed, my books have gotten increasingly busier. I often have a four week waiting list. Though I do my best to accommodate everyone, sometimes even working 12-14 hour days I can’t get everyone in. Some say this is a good problem to have, but I’m always concerned with keeping you happy, and apologize for any inconveniences regarding my schedule.

Typically stylists increase their prices somewhat regularly. As their business grows, so does their price point. I’ve worked hard at Thomas West Salon for over four years, and never increased my prices. After a recent meeting with Tom, we have decided to increase my prices.

I hope you understand, and continue to see me! This increase was a difficult and big decision, but in my industry, it’s like getting a raise, and I hope you feel I deserve it!

As of April 1, 2014 my prices will be as follows:

Women’s Haircut $80

Men’s Haircut $50 (no increase)

Blow Dry $50 (no increase)

Color/Base Bump $80

Partial Foil $150

Full Foil $200

Thank you again for being so amazing! I hope to see you soon!

XO
AJ

Photo by Emilia Jane Photography

I Declare a Snow Day

It’s March 25, and I just opened the curtains… to find yet another layer of the fluffy white   wet and cold stuff. I’ve had a crazy work load, brewing up an exciting project- (coming to you April 9!), and I’m declaring today a snow day!

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I’ve made some tea and a fire, and spent the early morning on Pinterest. I’m dreaming of Spring and have faith that it’s JUST about to make it’s debut!

I’m psyched that opening day is days away! What are you most excited about for the break in weather?

XO
AJ

 

#TBT

Last year right before Spring Training, Emilia took photos of Sammy and I, just being Sammy and I!

This year, as Spring Training winds down, and I’m missing that boy like crazy, I figured a lil’ throwback Thursday was necessary!

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Thank you Emilia for taking such amazing photos, and thank you Sammy for making me laugh harder than anyone I’ve ever met.

XO
AJ

Photos by Emilia Jane Photography

Women Who Rock // Lauren Ferris

I’m so honored to introduce you to my soul sister, Lauren. This chick is hands down THE strongest, most independant woman I know. That’s a BIG statement. I dare anyone to tell her she can’t do something.

This amazing mother, talented hairdresser, blogger and bombshell inspires me daily, so I just have to share her with the world. I love you Lauren.

XO
AJ

______________________________

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Name: Lauren Ferris

Occupation: Hairstylist & Blogger at A Glass of Sun Tea

Passions: Parenting, painting, thrifting, decorating, renovating, up-cycling and writing.

Inspired by: Music, TED talks

Success means: To me, success has absolutely nothing to do with money. It is not measured by income. I guess I would say that success, to me, can be measured by the quality of life you’ve made for yourself. There are 168 hours in one week. 40(ish) of them are what most of us spend at work, sometimes far less and sometimes double that. Regardless of the time spent or the money earned, a successful person will be able to go home and live their actual life, emphasis on NOT their work life, to the fullest. Happily, eagerly, energetically, optimistically live their life. I suppose you could sum it up to say that success to me is the capability and willingness to happily and freely build your own person outside of your 40hr a week money maker. To rest your head on your pillow at night with a fulfilled heart and a smile on your face.

Something you’re proud of: My darling little boy, our home, myself! woopwoop

A piece of advice: Don’t take a single moment for granted. This life, challenging, scary, sad, lonely, cruel as it may be, is a blessing. Make your moments count.

Favorite quote: “The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them.”

Photo by Eat Pomegranate Photography 

Think Spring!

Meli Cafe Green Juice

Tomorrow I head back to Chicago, and for the first time this year, I will be in the same place for more than one week.

Spring is around the corner, I believe it. With Spring comes a fresh start and new beginning. It’s almost more powerful than the start of a new year for us in the midwest. I am looking so forward to cleaning out my closet, reorganizing, redecorating, donating, healthy grocery shopping…. should I keep going?

This new wave of motivation has me goal setting big things!

  • Closet. Donate anything I haven’t worn in the past year! 
  • Tutorials. Keep up with my 2014 goal of more beauty tutorials. I have loved your positive feedback and am excited to deliver more tutorials.
  • Sleep. My schedule has flopped from time zone to time zone and I’ve been working crazy hours at the salon which has confused my internal clock. I’m excited to retrain my brain to wake up at the same time every day no matter where I am or how much work I have to do. My body will thank me! Is this something you should try too?
  • Buy bedding! My current bedding drives me crazy. I’ve been waking up in a tangled mess, re-making the bed, and going back to sleep. I’m on the market for new sheets/ comforter… do you love yours? I’d love to hear about it!
  • Greens. Ohhh how I miss my VitaMix. Being home so little the past few months has lead to a very low intake of my organic produce, and an unfortunate increase in salads with caloric processed dressings with a slice of bread! I am craaaaving food from the earth.
  • Read. I don’t care how busy I am, I need to make reading a priority. One of my favorite quotes regarding writer’s block- “You must read in order to write.”
  • Sweat. That gym membership I pay for, has been more like a donation lately. Time to get my butt moving again.
  • TV Diet. I’ve never been much of a TV person, then Juan Pablo happened. I’m giving up TV for a while because I just really do NOT have two extra hours a week to participate in other peoples’ drama.
  • Reconnect. I miss my friends. I am excited to reconnect as our hibernation comes to an end. I’d love to get some active dates on the calendar! Miss me? Lets go to Flywheel, CorePower, or chat over a green juice at Meli Cafe!

What’s on your Spring agenda?!

XO
AJ

THAT moment.

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See that moment? You can even feel it can’t you? THAT’S the moment I live for. The very second my bride sees her hair on the most important day of her life, and loves it.

Today I am feeling extremely grateful for the love I’m continuously surrounded by. Thank you to all of my brides, for making me the luckiest girl in the world. You are all so stinkin’ special to me.

I love you.
AJ

Photo of the lovely Rachel captured by Stoffer Photography