To top
27 Nov

Tape-In Hair Extensions for A Red Carpet Look with Novak Hair Studios

Hairdreams Tape-in Extensions

The 411 in the 817: Hair Edition

Red carpet hair extensions featuring Novak Hair Studios, the latest and greatest solo artist, eco-friendly salon in Fort Worth.

Most of you know Jason and I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Academy Awards this past March alongside our wonderful friends Angelique and Mike De Luca. But before we headed out to La La Land, I needed to kick my beauty routine up a few notches.

So, I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried a few things I hadn’t done before, including Botox and fillers (this post coming soon) and a total hair makeover, which included hair extensions.

SoFortWorthIt Hair Extensions

Anyone who knows me knows I am very particular when it comes to my hair. Through the decades, I have had multiple experiences at different salons and various stylists that ranged from not-so-great to exceptional. Check out the homemade perm job from my grandmother and a run-in with Sun-In at Camp Longhorn. NICE, huh?

My signature-look for the longest time was blonde hair, and it perfectly fit my bubbly personality. After transitioning to a more healthy, brunette color a few years ago, I thought it would be fun to experiment with extensions to keep that full-bodied, voluminous look.

Christy Dunaway Smith Chair for Cancer Care Services 2013

Being the research queen that I am, I reached out to a few experts in the beauty industry in search of the top stylists who specialized in hair extensions. Ben, the co-owner of Novak Hair Studios, and his ultra-talented sidekick Madalyn were recommended with the best of the best reviews.

I knew that Madalyn at Novak would provide the service I was looking for, and would ultimately understand what I needed to take my hair game to the next level.

Ben Novak and Madalyn Porche

I may be biased, but I am here to tell you that Ben’s team is indeed the best in the industry, and that is no exaggeration. In fact, Novak Hair Studios is the official sponsor for Mrs. Texas, Mrs. Oklahoma, Miss America Texas, and Miss Teen Texas. Whoa, that’s kind of a big deal, right?

Not only that, local Trinity Valley student Brenna Flynn of Fort Worth took the crown as reigning Miss Texas Teen USA 2018.

HAIR EXTENSION 101

Highlighting the hair extension process and procedures.

I started this process by booking a complimentary consultation with Madalyn so she could asses my hair and pick the best extensions that matched the color, texture, and length of my current locks.

SoFortWorthIt Hair Extensions Novak Hair Studios

Although Novak Hair Studios uses several different extension brands, Madalyn chose Hairdreams, a tape-in brand that uses real human hair and is known for its natural texture. Human hair just feels better over synthetic, and it is by far the superior way to go.

Tape-in extensions are best for keeping your hair thick, happy, and healthy. Plus, they can be reused up to 4-5 times which will save money and time in the long run.

Hairdreams
Hairdreams tape-in

The extension process didn’t take nearly as long as I had imagined. For my hair, the installation was around 45-60 minutes, in addition to the standard amount of time it takes to color, wash, cut and style.

I go in every 5-7 weeks to have the extensions taken out, cleaned, rebound, and moved up closer to my scalp, on top of the services mentioned above. A reinstall day is always a little bit longer than the 1st time you have them put in.

Overall, I always plan for 4 – 4 ½ hours in the salon on extension day.

At the moment, I am on my second set of tape-in extensions this year. The 1st set, which were installed in February, lasted all the way through Halloween while taking a Memorial through Labor Day break. Since we are at the lake as much as humanly possible during the summer months, I really wanted to preserve the integrity and longevity of my Hair Dreams extensions by not exposing them to harsh conditions like lake water, sunscreen and chemically treated pool water.

Remember above when I mentioned how tape-in extensions don’t damage your hair? This picture was taken right after I had them removed for summer break. I believe using these particular extensions has actually made my hair healthier.

How Much do Extensions Cost?

So here is the scoop, Novak Hair Studios truly wants to take care of their customers- so much so that they do not mark up their hair extensions when they purchase from a third-party distributor. Instead, they pass their cost directly on to the customer.

When I originally had my first set of extensions put in before the Academy Awards, Madalyn used seven packs of hair for a fuller Red Carpet, glamorous look. Each pack included six pieces, so we used 42 extensions total, which came to $500 for all of the hair.

For the first time around, it is about $900 for the average person to walk into Novak for a full extension service, including color/hi-lite, cut and style. Paying for your hair upfront is the priciest part of this gig, but after your initial appointment, your regular maintenance is most likely similar to what you have been paying for a typical hair appointment.

For everyday purposes, Madalyn recommended we go down to six packs at the next install to maintain a more manageable look.

Novak Hair Studios is in a League of Its Own

Now let me highlight this luxury solo artist salon in downtown Fort Worth a bit more for you. There are so many unique characteristics that make up Novak; it’s just too exciting not to share.

Novak Hair Studios
Novak Hair Reception Desk

Novak Hair Studios is partnered with Green Circle Salons, a sustainable salon solution that helps recover and repurpose beauty waste to ensure that 95% of everything is recycled, including the hair trimmings.

Novak
Novak

Their eco-friendly model also goes as far as using water-saving Ecoheads on their European wash bowls (reduces water and energy usage by 65%) and an HVAC system that is continuously cleaning the air from chemicals released throughout the day.

The customer service at this salon is unparalleled. A concierge service will check on guests periodically to make sure they are being taken care of and comfortable, and who can resist a complimentary glass of wine from their digital beverage menu.

While you are waiting for your foils to set, enjoy that glass of Chardonnay in a PRIVATE processing lounge so you can rock your lovely foil-covered head without other guests seeing you.

And I’m head over heels with the organic and cruelty-free Eufora hair product line that is exclusively sold at Novak Hair Studios. This stuff is the BOMB!

Eufora

Last, but not least, the attention to detail that Novak prides itself on is unlike any other. Novak’s fantastic staff members and stylists radiate passion for their work and continuously strive to create a positive pampering experience for all guests. I immediately feel right at home when I walk into Novak.

Photography by Maria Ciszek & Novak Hair Studios

SoFortWorthIt GIVEAWAY

Who is ready for a very exciting giveaway from Novak Hair Studios! After all, what says red carpet more than having red carpet hair?!

Start your night out with an Oscar inspired HotTools Pro 24k Gold 1.1/4 inch curing iron with a pure gold finish, along with an arsenal of the styling products you will need to be ready to make headlines for your academy awards debut. Eufora Retain Spray to help retain curls and provide heat protection, Eufora Tame Spray to help lock out frizz and provide additional memory for curls that will last through the after party, Eufora Full Effect Dry Texturizing Spray to help separate and add fullness to any style, and lastly Eufora Uplift Extra Firm Finishing Spray to finalize and perfect those locks. But that’s not all, Madalyn is throwing in a full blowout and style for your next big night out on the town.

Please read the TERMS & CONDITIONS for full details and disclosures located in the Rafflecopter link below.

19 Sep

11 Tips for creating your next Outdoor Patio Party

Riedel PS The Letter

Fall into Autumn with my personal favorite tips and tricks for hosting the ultimate outdoor social.

Dining al fresco surrounded by close family and friends is the optimal way to welcome the beautiful fall weather that’s right around the corner here in Fort Worth.

And boy, I am really looking forward to the change of seasons in the Lone Star State! Don’t let the door kick you on the way out, 110-degree weather!

Outdoor social events and patio parties have been a staple in my family since I was a little girl. I watched my mom throw both elaborate and opulent events, to the more simple of gatherings.

In my eyes, she was and still is the ultimate queen bee of entertaining. I enjoy following in her footsteps while putting my own personal touches and a little flair to my parties.

1. Please, Don’t Come In!

In order to avoid the doorbell ringing a hundred times, I will put a sign near the front door to direct people around to the back of the house. Not having to answer the door multiple times allows you as the host to enjoy mingling with guests.

Porch Party
Patio Sign

2. Conversation Starters

When entertaining, I always have something humorous or a good conversation starter located at the bar. Usually, the napkins or Styrofoam cups do the talking, but I’ve been known to bust out a bowl of penis mints to get the ladies laughing.

Adding your own personal and/or humorous touch to parties helps create the belly-laughing moments that you and your friends will reminisce about for years to come. BTW, I always find lots of humorous goodies for entertaining at the Ft.Worth Junior Leagues’s Christmas in Cowtown Holiday Gift Market every October.

fun styrofoam cups
fun cocktail napkins

3. Garden Clippings

You can go hog wild with garden clippings when it comes to decorating your space for a patio party. Even if you don’t have blooming flowers on your property, different types of greenery make for a lovely botanical look.

Of course, you can always run to Central Market for some colorful stems to pair with your fresh cuttings. For this event, I actually did go to Central Market and I arranged the flowers the evening before.

garden flowers
Central Market flowers

4. Food for Thought

Sky’s the limit when it comes to feeding your guests, but when entertaining outside, be mindful of items melting or spoiling in direct sun.

Claudia Sheddy, the owner My Sweet Roots, has catered several gatherings for me, and I absolutely love her presentation of food. Every time I’ve used her, I receive calls the next day asking for her contact information.

My Sweet Roots
My Sweet Roots

5. The Bar Scene

Although I always have at least one server for parties, even patio parties, there are times when I love to set the bar up for self-service. There is always at least one invitee who takes the initiative to man the bar and pour the refills. It’s also the perfect way for guest to mingle with one another- especially if they have never met.

Patio Bar
Patio Bar
Patio Champagne

6. Stemware Don’t Care

Throughout the years, I’ve lost many Baccarat crystal glasses when I hosted parties. To minimize stress and broken stemware, I decided to keep my sanity and my crystal intact and invest in Riedel stemware from PS The Letter. If one of these glasses were to break, I’m not calculating additional cost in my budget for party planning. Phew.

Plus, there’s nothing better than enjoying a drink out of a Riedel wine glass. The impact you will experience from the shape and size of their grape varietal specific glasses brings out the true flavors of your wine grape.  Ahh…

Riedel PS The Letter
Riedel Wine Glass Patio Party

7. Always Overbuy

I always overbuy for an event to ensure I never run out- especially when it comes to the limes and alcohol. It is so much easier to return unused items than send someone to make another run right in the middle of your party. I also make sure everything I use for patio entertaining is disposable except for the serving pieces and stemware. This makes for easy cleanup and just an overall less stressful event.

Patio Liquor
Topo Chico Patio Party
Patio Party Limes
Plastic Flatware

8. For the Smoking Guests

Ashtrays are imperative. Although most of my friends don’t smoke, it never fails… a few cocktails in and a some of them will bust out the cancer sticks and get their social smoking game on. I can guarantee a few of your guests will be itching to light up a fresh stogie while enjoying the crisp fall evening at your party.

Crystal Ashtray

9. Let’s Get Comfortable

For this party, I set the bar up on the center table in the loggia, where people usually sit down to eat. Although there are plenty of fun places to serve drinks, being mindful of shade is crucial to keeping your ice from melting and glasses getting warm. Small details to consider such as making sure there are enough shady spots for guests to mingle around before the sun goes down. Keeping guests feeling comfortable and happy is imperative.  It will also make you look like a seasoned hostess!

Patio Seating
Patio Seating
Patio Party by the pool

10. Big Ass Balloons

And sometimes, you just need a few Big Ass Balloons as your statement pieces to tie in the full look. This Dallas-Houston company knows how to float a party when it comes to helium. Big air, don’t care!

Big Ass Balloons patio party
Big Ass Balloon party

11. Keep Them Entertained

I usually add a bit of entertainment when I host an event. If it’s not a strolling magician, it might be a balloon artist, lip reader or DJ. But for this occasion, I turned the satellite radio on and piped in through the outdoor speakers.

Alta Drive patio Party
Alta Drive Patio Party

Photography by Maria Ciszek

SoFortWorthIt GIVEAWAY

All in all, keeping your patio party fun, lighthearted, relaxing, and simple will make for a great time! Don’t stress about the small details and don’t be afraid to hire a few extra hands so that you can enjoy your own party. So, sit back, relax, grab yourself a chilled glass of Rose, and make sure those Texas mosquitos don’t bite as you host a beautiful patio party of your own!

PS The Letter
Central Market
Big Ass Balloons
Junior League Christmas in Cowtown

Now who’s ready to kick off these gorgeous temperatures with the perfect giveaway for your next gathering? One lucky hostess will win an entertainment spread to kickstart her next outdoor social.

– A Box of 4 Riedel Wine Glasses from PS The Letter $45

– Floral Arrangement from Fort Worth Central Market $35

– Big Ass Balloon gift certificate $50

– 2 Tickets for Christmas in Cowtown $25

Please read the OFFICIAL RULES & DISCLAIMERS located in the Rafflecopter link below.

4 May

B&B Butchers & Restaurant launches Brunch with SoFortWorthIt

When B&B Butchers & Restaurant’s PR team reached out to help launch their new weekend brunch, I couldn’t have been more thrilled to collaborate with the hottest new restaurant in town.

Over the course of eight weeks, we hammered out all the fun details for me to host an over-the-top influencers event for gals who were in the media, who were social media savvy and of course, I had to sprinkle in a few of my favorite philanthropist and socialites too.

I reached out to some of the best in the industry to make sure this event would wow! I’m a huge fan of floral, and Cityview Florist, aka Flowersnobs, went all out. We coordinated the blooms to match the colors in the SoFortWorthIt and B&B logos.

Big Ass Balloons made quite the statement for the Sunday Funday launch harmonizing the same color palette as the floral and logos.

Besides curating the Bubbles Brunch & Banter event to be a fabulous experience for an exclusive group of digital experts, my favorite part was sitting down with owner Ben Berg, his managing partner and GM, Darren McDonald, and private events coordinator, Angela Kell, to create the perfect tasting menu.

And let me tell you, we were not going to disappoint! In fact, B&B’s Executive Chef John Piccolino and Berg Hospitality Group’s Chief Executive Chef Tommy Elbashary, pulled out all the stops on food offerings.

Photo credit: Felix Sanchez

Have you ever seen so many precious micro versions of breakfast? These passed appetizers were pared down nibbles from actual dishes they serve off their brunch menu. Barbie-sized pancakes? Yes, please!!!

My mom was so impressed by the flavors, portion size and food presentation, she practically accosted Darren to cater their next private event.

Darren serving bite size stacks of pancakes.
Chef Tommy's Bacon
Mini Quiche
Lox & Bagels
Chicken & Waffle Cones

Brunch started out with a viral BANG as guests grabbed an aperitif and made their way over to the social media backdrop to let the world know that B&B’s Bubbles Brunch & Banter had begun and was here to stay.

B&B Butcher Brunch

Squeezebox Bandits played TexMex Zydeco, similar to Cajun Jazz, as we mingled and visited for about an hour.

After grazing on five different appetizers, it was time to sit down and work our way through the next round of food. By this point, I was already regretting not wearing my Spanx.

Thanks to JOY Macarons, each person found their assigned seat with a tasty personalized treat with B&B and SFWI logos on them. A little insider info? Liz, the owner of JOY, was in carpool with me growing up, when we attended All Saints together.

Once everyone took their seats, Darren introduced and thanked me for hosting the launch of B&B’s weekend brunch. In return, I thanked him, the restaurant, all the guests who attended and the local businesses who helped to make this event just perfect.

As the music resumed, more food came out from the kitchen. And more food, and more food. I seriously thought I was going to blow a gasket, but I couldn’t help but try a bite of everything.

Savory bread, sweet pastries and Nutella breakfast pizza with sliced strawberries and bananas! Holy Big Balls of Cowtown, I was about to founder.

I ordered as light as possible for my main entrée, which was the Power Up breakfast consisting of scrambled egg whites, whole wheat avocado toast, and salsa roja. Need I say more.

And then there was dessert. Ripieni Sorbetto’s, the most lovely, frozen citrus fruits filled with sorbet. The only thing missing was the Amalfi Coast. They were absolutely decadent.

And the family recipe, Gramma June’s mini Monkey Bread was pure crack. It was impossible to have just one bite.

As brunch came to an end, guests took home a B&B bag filled with the restaurant’s signature wine glasses, a custom monogrammed bottle opener, a treat from Cityview Florist and an Elaine Turner gift card to the brand’s store in The Shops of Clearfork.

As a bonus, the ever-fabulous Neiman Marcus provided additional gift bags filled with a full-sized beauty product too.

After the event was all said and done, the one thing I’ve been thinking about over and over was the graciousness and hospitality we received during brunch.

I’ve dined at B&B more times than I can count on both hands and EVERY, SINGLE, TIME, service has been above and beyond, like butlers recruited from Daddy Warbucks’s mansion. Berg Hospitality Group does not disappoint.

Hey, when you’re only one of 10 restaurants in the United States who qualifies to serve authentic Kobe beef from purebred Japanese cattle, you can expect the best.

B&B Butchers and Restaurant is a valuable addition to our community. They offer presentation, atmosphere, and good food all in a way that’s fresh to Fort Worth.

Located in the coolest new land development, The Shops at Clearfork. Southern hospitality and impeccable tasting food, what more could you ask?

B&B Butchers & Restaurant GIVEAWAY!!!

*All event photos courtesy of Laura McCarthy of Elusive Images Photography*