Tutorial: Triple Dutch Braid

DSC_0122.jpg

I’ve been playing around with triple braids lately.  You know, where you braid three sections of hair and then braid those together–a braid within a braid, if you will

The thing is, my hair isn’t long enough to really pull it off.  Personally, I think it looks best if you have long, long hair, and mine’s only long.  Still, I think I found a way to make it work.

Enter the triple Dutch braid.  By Dutch braiding the center braid, there’s a little more interest at the top of my head and less on the rest of the style.  Here’s how to copy this look:

dsc_0107

Starting at the crown of your hair, Dutch braid the middle section of your hair.  If you’re not familiar with Dutch braiding, it’s basically an inverted French braid.  Instead of pulling the outside strands over the middle one, you pull them under.

dsc_0111dsc_0115

 

Next, braid the outside sections of your hair.  Secure with elastics and gently tug on them to fatten ’em up.

dsc_0119

Finally, take all three braids and, you guessed it, braid them together as you normally would.  That’s it!  At this point, you could leave it as-is, or you could wrap a section of hair around the elastic to hide it.  Or, you could also stick a pretty bow at the end…

dsc_0122

Have you guys ever tried triple braids?  And is there a style you’d like me to show you next time?

 

 

Outfit: Trying to Care

DSC_0069.jpg

dsc_0097

I don’t really like the idea of New Year’s resolutions.  Telling yourself that you’re going to start making a change on some arbitrary day doesn’t seem like a good way to set yourself up for success, you know?  Like, if you really wanted to stop eating sugar, you’d do it now, not on January 1. (Or never, if you’re me and have a profound sugar addiction.)

That being said, there is something to taking a step back and looking over the things in your life that you want to improve.  Maybe you want to volunteer more, or take on a new hobby.  Me?  Well, I just want to care about other people.

I spend a lot of time in my own little bubble.  I do what want to do, when I want to.  And if something gets in my way, I just hope someone will take care of things for me.  As much as I hate to admit it, I’m more than a little spoiled.

But I don’t want to be like that anymore.  I hate that I’m like that.  This year, I want to be different; I want to spend more of my time looking out for other people–having more conversations, baking more cookies, running more errands, helping out.  I want to be there for someone besides me.  I’m good at getting Poptarts for myself when I’m hungry, but what about picking up dinner for my parents?  I write in my journal for hours, but what about having a heart-to-heart with a friend?

Just let me finish this Poptart and I’ll be right over.

Outfit: Winter Blues

DSC_0140.jpg

dsc_0111dsc_0114

dsc_0142

Today, I wanted to talk about something I briefly touched on in my last post.  I mentioned that it seems like every winter, right after we roll the clocks back, I start feeling a little blue.  Stress seems to affect me more when it’s cold and dark out, and sometimes I get bouts of anxiety that practically immobilize me.  When it gets bad, you’ll find me sitting in bed, wasting time on my phone because I can’t do anything else, like read or go out.  Nasty thoughts creep up on me, and they rattle around in my head, telling me I’m not good enough (for what??) or that I’m a loser.

But this year isn’t like that.  The anxiety is still there, but over time, I’ve figured out some ways to beat it down on my own.  I’m certainly not opposed to getting professional help (I’ve had both a therapist and a relationship coach this year) or using medication when it’s necessary, but I have some personal strategies that seem to be pretty helpful for when I’m down.

First thing?  No coffee.  For a while, I drank coffee like a Gilmore, but I gradually came to the realization that in addition to boosting my energy, it can also make me feel like everything that ever stressed me out is coming to get me.  These days, I drink lots of tea, but I do have a coffee now and then when I know my day is pretty clear of Things That Worry Me, like deadlines or chores or any little thing.

Speaking of Things That Worry Me, I’ve cut down on those, too.  Taking it easy with this blog has been such a huge relief, and I’m also taking it a little easier with dating.  Now I have more time for other hobbies that help me relax…

…Like working out!  I’ve been a big Blogilates fan for a few years, and now more than ever, I see how much of an effect Cassey Ho and her stupid-hard routines have on me.  Just half an hour every day will give me energy and clear my head until the next day when I get down on my yoga mat again and scream my way through eagle crunches and hip twists.  Sometimes (all the time) it can be really hard to motivate myself to put on my workout clothes, but when I remind myself how amazing I’ll feel afterward, I can endure thirty minutes of leg lifts and other torture.

Now, even with these strategies, I do still have “those” days.  In fact, I’m having one today, and it really sucks.  But I know I have some control over it, and you know what?  I’m gonna put on one of those Blogilates vids and crunch it out.

Outfit: Santa’s Elves

DSC_0092.jpg

In the last few years, Christmas just didn’t feel the same.  I can’t put my finger on it, but I’d never want to sing carols or decorate or do any of the things I normally love.  My heart had none of its magical holiday joy.

But this year is different.  I’m back in the Christmas spirit!  The cold doesn’t feel so cold, I blast Christmas music in my car and sing all the way home from work, and I’ve even decorated my apartment this year.  While it might look a little sparse, you should know that normally my decorations can be summed up with one (1) stuffed fox toy.  But now?  Garland! Lights! Mugs! Candles!

I’m trying to pin down what’s caused my heart to grow three sizes this year.  Maybe it’s the fact that there’s snow on the ground.  Maybe it’s because I’m working out more to control my seasonal depression.  Who knows?  Who cares?  I’m just happy to buzz around town buying gifts and wrapping them and taking Moxie out for winter walks in her smart fleece jacket and red boots.

Happy Holidays, you guys.

dsc_0082

dsc_0089dsc_0098

dsc_0103dsc_0105

Outfit: Hazy Shade of Winter

DSC_0016.jpg

Hello!  Even though it’s only been about a week and a half since I last posted, I feel as if I’d been gone a good deal longer.  So much has changed–you can like comments on Instagram! It’s white and snowy in Chicago! And I’ve given up my dreams of being a famous blogger someday!

dsc_0021

dsc_0038dsc_0040dsc_0041

Let’s talk about that last point in a little more detail, okay?  I’ve mentioned time and again that blogging stresses me out, and a couple weeks ago, I laid out some of the things that really bother me about the whole process–the biggest are the time commitment and blogger backstabbing. I got to the point where I started to question what I was even doing with this blog.  Did I really want to turn it into a career one day?  Or would I be better off dialing it down to a hobby?

I knew I needed some time to think about it, so I took a week off.  Really off.  This was the first time I completely disconnected from the whole operation.  No posts or likes or comments, nada.  And you know what?  It felt great!  I binge-watched Gilmore Girls, hung out with friends, and slept in on the weekend.  I didn’t think about how I needed to document everything so I could turn it into an Insta story.  I simply enjoyed myself.

And I gave up my dream of turning Mox in Socks into a career.  Far from being sad about it, I’m really very relieved.  I did a lot of reflecting on what it takes to become a popular blogger, and I don’t have it in me. I’d rather spend my time doing other things and maybe picking up some new hobbies.  Maybe I’ll really get into sewing like I said I would, or I’ll develop a passion for dance or I’ll just move to Korea and teach English.  Who knows?

So what does that mean for the future of Mox and Socks?  Well, not much is going to change on the outside.  I love photography and fashion, and you can count on me to always have a couple of outfit posts a week.  But you might not hear from me all that often.  No, if you want me, I’ll be lounging around my studio, reading a book and scratching Moxie’s ears.