#WelcomeToThePalace

Proposal

“Will you marry me?” Sammy asked with a smile so wide I could see his back teeth. There was no nervousness in him, no indication that it was coming. Just good conversation turned down-on-one-knee. Instantly I was leaning down, grabbing him by the face and planting my M.A.C. Red lips all over his.

You think about the day you’ll find your person, they day you’ll get engaged, the day you’ll get married. You don’t have the slightest idea it’ll be THIS MUCH FUN! That it’ll feel THIS special.

December 11, 2014 was just another Thursday. I threw on black pants and heels that morning and headed to the salon for a ten hour day. We had dinner plans that night that I almost kind of dreaded because frankly I couldn’t wait to get home, throw my hair up in a messy bun, wash my face, and costume change into some Lulu. But we had a commitment, and I wouldn’t bail on my girl.

Lindsey is a creative lover of life whose passion projects from behind the lens. She is a food and lifestyle photographer, but most importantly one of the most amazing people in my life. The week prior, Lindsey asked Sammy and I if we would be a part of one of her restaurant shoots. She said she just needed shots of our hands eating dessert at the end of a Bavette’s dinner. Bavette’s is my favorite restaurant, so of course we were excited to help out.

Sammy met me at the salon and we walked over to dinner together. When we arrived, our favorite hightop in the back corner was reserved. Complete with two glasses of Malbec.

Lindsey came to our table within minutes and explained that we could order whatever we wanted for dinner, and she only needed to shoot the dessert portion. She said she had to go back to the kitchen to shoot some entrees, and that she’d be back once our dessert came out.

Nothing was out of the norm to me. I didn’t question the authenticity of the situation at ALL. Linds and I are always working on projects together, this was no big deal.

Dinner was fantastic. Conversation even better. Simple, normal, “How was your day?” and “Did you see who the Nats traded?”.

After dinner, two tooprettytoeat desserts came out. Followed by Lindsey, ready for the shoot. She arranged the spoons and our hands and took some ariel shots of the food. Signature @eatprayphoto shots.

“Ok guys I’m gonna have you stand in front of the table for a couple shots.”

That was weird, I expected only our hands to be in the shots, but I shook it off.

“Just talk amongst each other.”

I turned to Sammy and said, “Ok, lets pretend like we’re talking.” And he started talking…

“Can’t wait for our trip tomorrow! It’ll be so fun to see your family and let loose for the weekend. But I wouldn’t feel right about going without asking you something first…”

I felt like I stepped into a sauna. Instantly hot all over. I knew.

AND BOOM. Down on one knee. “Will you marry me?”

The restaurant burst into applaud and strangers were recording the moment. I wish I’d have asked them to send it to me! Bavette’s gifted us champagne and I’m pretty sure I drank it in one gulp!

Needless to say there was no dessert shoot, Sammy asked Lindsey to document our proposal at my favorite restaurant. I still can’t believe I had no idea.

I couldn’t wait to get out of there and call our families! I only had one bite of dessert, grabbed my coat and we headed home.

Sammy secretly recorded me calling our families in the taxi home. Watching the video I realize what an absolute spaz I was that night!

We walked into our apartment and I saw balloons and gold rose petals. Then a LOT of champagne, and a huge banner that said #WelcomeToThePalace.

Then two by two, starting with my sister and her boyfriend, some of our closest friends started pouring out of our bedroom. I was still in shock from the proposal, and all I could do was cry to see our friends gathered together to celebrate this new adventure.

Bavette's

Whiskey Gelato

Bavette's Bar and Bouf

Proposal

Proposal

Emerald Cut

Proposal

Proposal

Selfie

Surprise Party

Surprise Party

Guitar

Thank you to everyone who was involved in such a magical night, and to Sammy Palace, for making me feel like the most special girl in the whole entire world.

Love,
AJ

 

Long Distance Love

loney

Defined Brow Tutorial

Ever feel like instead of looking someone in the eyes, you’re looking them in the brows? ME TOO!

Brows are back baby, and the more defined, the better. I teamed up with Ulta Beauty to create this tutorial for a clean brow look. Check it out!

STEP 1: Fill in brow with pencil, using short, fine strokes. // Used Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Skinny Brow Pencil in Soft Brown

STEP 2: Dab brush into concealer. Carve out brows by applying concealer above your eyebrow. // Used NYX Cosmetics Concealer In A Jar in Light

STEP 3: Use brush and fingers to blend in concealer. // Used IT Brushes For ULTA Live Beauty Fully Essential Concealer Brush #212 

STEP 4: Work a highlighting pencil lightly into the arch of your brow. Blend as needed, using fingertip.// Used Benefit High Brow

XO
AJ

 

Quick Party Curls

I teamed up with ULTA Beauty to create a fast and easy hair tutorial for you!

What you’ll need:
Hair elastic
Heat protectant
Curling wand
Hair spray
Hair accessory

STEP 1: Start with dry hair.

STEP 2: Gather ponytail at crown at head.

STEP 3: Spray heat protectant on hair.

STEP 4: Wrap one section of hair around the curling wand. Hold for a few seconds and let it fall.

STEP 5: Repeat with three more sections of hair (or more, if you have thicker hair).

STEP 6: Let curls set for 5 minutes.

STEP 7: Let hair down and finger comb curls.

STEP 8: Lock in curls with volumizing hair spray.

XO
AJ

Product Spotlight : ORIBE Soft Dry Conditioner

Oribe Dry Conditioner

Dry Shampoo? Been there, need that. But Dry Conditioner? That was new news to me!

Allow me to introduce you to my new BFF, Oribe Dry Conditioner. At first thought, it’s gimmicky and overpriced, but spray this velvet onto your locks and you’ll begin buying this in bulk. This is my hands down favorite product for my dry blonde ends, and a great alternative to greasy Moroccan Oil, (which I’m SO over).

This ultrafine mist applied from midshaft to ends of hair, will leave you smelling delicious and feeling insanely soft. I’ve been walking around creepily petting my own hair.

Treat yourself! Or gift a gal pal a bottle for Christmas! (Available at Thomas West Salon, and HERE.)

XO
AJ

Sleep less, dream more.

beauty blog

“AJ where did you go to college?”, Facebook prompts me every few months.

“I didn’t go to college you JERK!”, I angrily think back to my innocent computer.

I’m just so over the idea that college is the only way to success. I’m a little angst-y about it. Obviously.

College was our only option growing up. By sophomore year of high school you had your favorite schools scoped out, at SIXTEEN mind you. By your junior year you’d applied and signed up for all the AP classes you could. By your senior year you were rockin the starchiest, logo-ed, crew neck of your school of choice down the hallways. The hallways that you thought mattered SO much.

Now. Please allow me to make myself clear before you stop reading. I think school is wonderful. College is a magical experience for finding yourself if nothing else. For me though, there was just a VERY different path so clear to me, one that some college students may have envied.

I remember so clearly my peers asking where I had applied and where I’d be living in the fall of 2006. I also remember kind of enjoying their freak-out-faces when I told them I was going to cosmetology school and “not going to college”. America’s Funniest Videos kinda faces. JUDGMENTAL faces.

It wasn’t their fault. We, as a generation, were bred to believe that college, and internships, and grad school, were really the only way. Even the parents of my friends judged me. My teachers judged me. My parents and grandparents were scared for me.

And then I witnessed my parents pressing my little sister more clearly. I think they thought maybe if they had provided me with more direction I wouldn’t make such a mistake. They channeled this learning experience through to my sister. (My sister who now is in grad school with dreams of working for the FBI! —-Who I’m so PROUD of!)

I remember my dad researching the annual income of hairdressers, (this was 2004, and in a small town), and sassily informing me it was $11,000. And I CLEARLY remember sassing back, “Well I’m NOT AVERAGE!”

And I’m not. I am not average. No one who knowingly breaks the mold, is average. No one who follows their dream is average. No one who fights for the anti-cubicle lifestyle, is average.

DO. YOU.

I really don’t care if that’s being a hairdresser. Blogger. Professional baseball player. Firefighter. Rockstar. Moviestar. Model. Actress. Non-profit badass. Start-up badass. Artist.

And maybe YOU is best being a student. FBI agent. Teacher. Doctor. Lawyer.

We’re ALL in this together. The world needs a little of everyone! 

I believe the most important thing is that we all support each other. The way my family came around to support me with an education through Aveda, and a move to Atlanta to work for Aveda’s busiest salon in the world. Followed by moving me home after a lifetime movie breakup, (becuase we all need one of those under our belt to realllllly grow up), and helping me find my balance again.

I believe in you. And ME! US. People doing what we WANT and what makes us happy.

I hope this letter of expression delivers one lesson. YOU might be THAT person, that is unknowingly being rude when you say, “did you go to college”, or, “does it scare you that you don’t have a degree”, or, “do you think you’ll go back to school?”.

DUDE. NO.

Just support me. Tell me you’re happy for me that I’m going against the grain and doing what I love, or frankly, keep it to yo-self!

Follow your dreams. Quit your job. Move to Bali and pursue yoga. I don’t care! Just. Do. YOU. Nothing else counts.

Love,
AJ

Photo by my pretty friend Kina Wicks Photography 

Fall Faves

Fall

Fall just seems to fly by every year, which is a total shame being that it’s my favorite! I find that I shop too much from September to December, I really blame it on the “back to school” mentality that I’ll have deep into my 80′s.

Hope you love these little luxuries as much as I do!

XO
AJ

The best candle EVER.

The best blanket EVER is on sale.

A delicious red blend.

The most comfortable crossover leather jacket I’ve ever seen and am sooooo happy to own!

Cranberry sneakers to make everyday feel more Friday.

Sweet potato salad. On repeat.

Glitter & Gold every morning.

1989. Also on repeat.

Favorite local sweat.

Velvet hair on tap.

Gearing up for 2015. (I got rose gold!)

Heroine.

Juicing, paleo, and skinny jeans…

Pressed Juicery

I’m an all or nothing kinda gal. When it’s a Velveeta and Malbec era, it’s ugly. When I’m behaving, it’s serious workouts and strict diet. I wish I could achieve balance in the health aspect of my life, but I have yet to conquer that. So until that day comes, I’m fine sticking with the ALL IN mentality of my health and fitness.

I’ve reached a point where my favorite jeans in the world don’t fit. We’ve all been there, but it’s never fun and you feel like the only one it’s happening to at the time. I refuse to reward my deep dish habits with the next size up of my not-so-cheap premium denim, and make a change.

News flash! Change isn’t easy, especially such a drastic change flooded with temptation. I REALLY like food. I also REALLY hate feeling this way about my body. Read: Sluggish. Tired. Uncomfortable. Insecure. Hate my workouts five minutes in. That feeling.

So because I’m all or nothing, I decided to do a 5 day cleanse to really quit the hard stuff cold turkey. Yes, I say that because food is my addiction.

Now, let me be straight with you. A CLEANSE IS NOT A WEIGHT LOSS TOOL. It’s a healthy “fresh start”. A detox, teaching your body to rebalance itself.

I want you to understand that as desperate as I am to lose weight, I did not do this cleanse to lose weight as much as I needed a jolt of new, pure, blank canvas H E A L T H.

We get ONE body folks. If I don’t feel sexy as heck at 26, I’m sure doomed for what’s to come in 20 years! I’m taking this time to really combine health and fitness as my number one goal. Yes, AJ Schulz just mentioned health and fitness and her number one goal. The same girl who typically works 80 hour weeks, and treats her body like crap to stay dedicated to her career.

I love my job, but it won’t be there to hang out with my grandkids when I’m 75. My body needs an overhaul. The Arthritis in my knees takes my breath away. The migraines I get should issued to murderers as punishment. The Sciatic Nerve that kicks in after standing for 12 hours is just mean.

Making my health the priority is surprisingly more mental than physical. Meditation has changed my life this year. Just opening my mind and cherishing each breath, while following the words “I am” with what I want to be, has been beyond impactful.

If you’re looking for a reboot, I highly recommend Pressed Juicery. I’ve done multiple cleanses, some so rancid I couldn’t even finish them. I’ve liked Suja as well, but for $100 in shipping, you’ve gotta be nuts to order it.

This was my fourth Pressed cleanse, but my first five day cleanse. If you’re a first timer, I recommend a three day, “Cleanse 1″. I did the five day “Cleanse 3″. The juices weren’t pink and sugary, we’re talkin’ green green green juices. If you’re not down for some earthy flavor, “Cleanse 3″ might not be the best fit for you.

That said, I actually dig “Cleanse 3″. Even the greenest juices are smooth and refreshing. I’m never left making a tequila face after drinking them. There are six juices a day, and I drink as much water as I can when I’m not drinking a juice.

So now it’s back to paleo! It’s amazing how much you cherish lettuce after drinking straight liquids for days.

Have you ever tried a juice cleanse? Would you?

XO
AJ

October

Hi loves! Oh how I’ve missed the feeling of keys beneath my fingers. October was AMAZING! I need to tell you all about it! PS HOW is it already November?!

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I got my braces off!!!!!! Actually I got them off in September! More on that later, but in the meantime, check it out!

Beauty Blog

SAMMY CAME HOME! Baseball season is officially over, and while that was bittersweet, we were able to make it to Michigan with just hours to spare to be a bridesmaid and Best Man for two of our favorite lovebirds!

Sam Palace

Sammy’s parents hosted a fun dinner and bonfire back home and few things make me happier than our moms being buds!

Beauty Blog

Then we had visitors every weekend! My dear friend Megan came to stay with us and work with me for the weekend! I did her color and extensions and am slightly obsessed with how it turned out.

Balayage

The following weekend our sweet friends Abby & Greg came to visit! Love them like fam.

abgreg

My baby sister came to town the next weekend!

kayla

Lululemon asked me to come in and style some of their fall pieces as lifestyle wear versus athletic wear! Photos to come this week! (Photo by Eat Pray Photo)

lululemon

Sammy and I did a juice cleanse. Sammy has assured me he’ll never be doing that again… I’ll be blogging about my experience with juicing later this week!

Pressed Juicery

I worked an emerald filled classic shoot with my faves. More photos to come! (Photo by Emilia Jane Photography)

View More: http://emiliajane.pass.us/chm-shoot

Have an amazing week!!

XO
AJ

Hotheads Extensions Featured Stylist!

Interested in learning more about me? Head over to the Hotheads blog to read my interview!

Hotheads

XO
AJ