2013 Year in Review ~ Welcome, 2014!

happy new year
Happy 2014!

Greetings, friends, and a very happy almost-2014! I haven’t been quite as bloggy in 2013 as I’ve been in previous years, mostly because cosmetology school has been taking up sooooooo much of my life! Which is NOT a bad thing, to be sure :-) The decision to go back to school full-time and make a career change to something I’ve always wanted to do has been challenging, rewarding, freeing, frustrating, mind-opening, exhilarating, and most of all, humbling. I’ve only got a couple of months left before I’m done with school and get to take my state board licensing exam, and then after that, my new career officially begins! Very exciting and scary all at the same time. I’m ready for it like I’ve never been ready for anything!

One thing I’ve learned in the last year is even though it can be tough to start from scratch at something you’ve never done before (after doing something you’re good at — and succeeding at it — for half your life), learning something new is always, always, always rewarding. Even if you learn it the hard way! Shaking up the system, breaking patterns, challenging the norm — whatever it takes to keep your brain fresh and stimulated will always be worth it in the end.

One other thing I’ve learned is that — even though people told me this, I didn’t really believe it — cosmetology school really only prepares you to take your state board exam. It’s true! We don’t learn a ton of cute haircuts or funky haircolor or anything much like that, although we do learn some trendy stuff. But school is really focused on the basics. Which is fine! We all need to start somewhere, and it’s crucial to have a solid foundation before trying newer things. But I am looking forward to continuing my hair education once I’m licensed!

As I move into 2014, I plan to blog more in the new year, at the very least with updates on my career and photos along the way! Tips, advice, and more yummy, healthy recipes in there, too, of course ;-) But I’m pretty active on other social media, so be sure to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for the latest and let me know you’re a blog follower!

Here’s a brief recap of my 2013 highlights (no hair pun intended). I’d looove to hear from you and what your year was like, too! :-)


Started cosmetology school!!

Oh, yeah, and got married!! ;-) OMG!! Took a mini-moon at the beach for a weekend (but are planning on taking a full honeymoon after I graduate, yippeeeee).

Our wedding spot (approximately)


Hmm, I think I just focused on school all month!


Did my first-ever set of pin curls and finger waves on a real person, for a friend who was going to a 1920’s circus-themed party. I also did her makeup! I learned a LOT doing her hair, namely that a bonnet dryer would have been a better idea than air-drying, and a much, much stronger gel would have held the waves better than what I used. But she was a real sport for being my guinea pig, and I’m happy to say my finger waves have improved drastically since that day!



Took a spring break trip to Arizona, where I cut my whole family’s hair :-)

Started visiting a lot of high-end salons in San Francisco, trying them out as a client to evaluate them as potential places I might want to work someday.

Went to a hair conference in San Jose where I watched a lot of demos (inspiring!) and bought a lot of products (good prices!).

Had our first client days at school and got to play around with a bunch of friends’ hair.

Changed my haircolor from platinum-in-front, espresso-in-back to allover medium cool brown with highlights.


School, school, school and then, finals!


Summer break, part 1.

Got re-certified in CPR.

Had a jury summons, but didn’t have to serve.

Took a weeklong roadtrip to LA and back, revisiting old haunts and discovering new loves. Saw the Stanley Kubrick exhibit at LACMA, a dream come true.

A Korova Milkbar girl, from “A Clockwork Orange,” at LACMA

Changed my haircolor to bright, cherry red. “Ariel red”!

Ariel red

Took makeup certification classes in Runway Makeup and Bridal Makeup, at Kryolan.

Summer session: focused a lot on braids and updos.

Braids ‘n’ bows
Bridal-style updo

Got certified in hair extensions through Short2Long.

Got to see my sister and her family for a short visit :-)


Changed my haircolor to “Cherry Cola,” a reddish brown.

Had a rowdy and hot 4th of July party at school, which resulted in several grass stains, sunburns, and bruises but was totally worth it. My team, “Glamerica,” did not win anything, alas, but it was really fun to glam it up outrageously, anyway.


Summer break, part 2.

Visited a lot of salons as a client. Got a lot of blow-outs, a haircut, haircolor. Learned a lot — some of the salons that I thought I would love turned out not to be my style at all. And others pleasantly surprised me!

Practiced yoga for, like, hourrrrrs.

Went camping!

Tree pose in a tree


Salon visits, yoga, running, relaxing, visits with friends.

Changed my haircolor again! To “Chocolate Plum,” a purplish dark brown.

Back to school!


Applied for and received an awesome merit-based scholarship that really helped this semester!

Signed up for a beauty show competition in Santa Cruz with a few other girls from school and started working on our project pretty much nonstop for the whole month :-)

Started learning all about using bleach. So much to learn there.

Practiced vintage hairstyles a lot. Vastly improved my pin curls and finger waves!

Vintage pin curls

Saw the Arctic Monkeys at the Fox Theater! Good show, fun times.


Did highlights on a friend with virgin hair and they turned out fabulous! And she loves them, too!!


Competed at the show in Santa Cruz! Very challenging weekend! We didn’t win but the experience was well worth it.

More highlights! Then, of course, got more highlights of my own ;-) I mean, I couldn’t NOT.

Started facials class, finally allowed to sleep in school, haha.


Volunteered face-painting for several hours at the San Francisco Mission District’s Day of the Dead parade.

Some faces I painted

Helped out a drama teacher friend’s high school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream — taught the students how to do their hair and makeup for the show, and they turned out great!

Pre-applied for my state board exam!

Had a very cool interview at a salon I’d LOVE to apprentice at once I’m done with school.

Explored my beautiful San Francisco with my mom and her hubby on a gorgeous fall weekend.

Spent Thanksgiving down the coast, away from the city, and totally, 100% unplugged. I turned my phone OFF. Wow!


Spent a volunteer day giving free haircuts to homeless men and women in San Francisco. Super-rewarding and I will definitely be doing that again.

And then, OMG, finals! Winter break! Family! Christmas and New Year’s! Time to unwrap presents and wrap up the year!


Wishing you all a very happy, healthy, and vibrant new year! Cheers to 2014 and the big, fun changes ahead.



2 thoughts on “2013 Year in Review ~ Welcome, 2014!

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