Melrose and McQueen Hair Salon

“Wouldn’t it be funny if I just gave you a really shitty haircut?” That isn’t a normal thing to say to a first time client, but Kristo, {@Kristoyo} owner of Melrose & McQueen, isn’t a normal hairstylist.

I walked into Melrose & McQueen, located in Inman Park, and instantly felt at home. The manager offered me a beer {PBR} and Kristo came up to greet me like we were old friends. After a quick consultation, we were already making really inappropriate jokes and onto much less hair-related topics.

But it wasn’t all giggles – M&M means serious business too! Kristo built the first salon by hand in 2011, thanks to many “YouTube University” tutorials. Pretty much everything from the bare bones to the light fixtures was built by him. And you know what’s even crazier? He’s doing it all over again. On top of traveling for hair shows and teaching educational classes and meeting with CEOs and serving as an International Ambassador and creating a charity and working Mercedes Benz Fashion Weeks and getting the ladies and everything-else-he-said-that-I-couldn’t-even-write-down-because-he-does-so-much, Kristo is building M&M 2.0 as well. When I asked him how he balances it all, he said, “Some people do yoga. Some people do meditation. I do hair. When I’m in this space, I’m not thinking about anything else” – except for when I used the word esoteric in a sentence and he said “hold on” and scribbled some ’90s rapper names on the mirror in front of me. He’s weird like that. But weird works, because Melrose & McQueen – named after Melrose Ave. and Alexander McQueen has been named the ‘”Best Hair Salon in the Galaxy”‘ by some humans, but mainly aliens.” So yeah, they’re a pretty big deal if you ask me. In all seriousness, I never expected to have such a great chat about life while drinking a beer and gettin’ my hair did.

Towards the end, we landed on the topic of his experience with homeless people throughout his travels. Sometimes, he’ll request a piece of life advice in exchange for his donation. He said that while one man shrugged and said, “love Jesus?” he was incredibly touched by another’s choice of words: “My daddy always told me that everybody should take ten minutes out of their day to think about their future.” Poignant as hell, man. So if you’re ready to get JBF hair {you’ll have to ask Kristo what that means} with a side of serious wizdomz, take those ten minutes to think about your future and then head to Melrose & Monroe.

Check them out this weekend at the Inman Park Festival giving out free haircuts on the skreet with all donations going toward @The_Hairfarmer. If that’s not enough, they’re located right next to King of Pops. But no worries, they’re shear to blow you away *cue eye roll.*



Living Alone: the Good, the Bad, and the Crawly

Last May, I decided to live alone. After living with 21 other girls with a tiny shared bathroom, kitchen, and study space, it became apparent that sorority house living isn’t for me. But for a long time, I thought that “living alone” was a title reserved for crazy cat ladies and newspaper hoarders, so of course I was a little nervous about the stigma I’d be attaching myself to if I decided to venture out on my own. I’m so glad I took the leap though, because living alone was one of the best decisions I’ve made in college. As my eternal ’80s crush, Ferris Bueller, says, “It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.” So, if you have ever lived alone or are wanting to do so, here are some things you can reminisce on//expect:

The Good.

Being Nekkid. Like, Whenever. Not that I have any real nudist tendencies, but it’s kind of refreshing to know that I can cook breakfast and get ready in my…ahem…skivvies. I can take important phone calls, write term papers, etc. all while wearing a suit {my birthday suit, that is.} No More “Guilty” Pleasures Whether it’s binge watching Broad City all night or listening to the “Turnt Up Time” playlist on Spotify at 9:00 AM, living alone means not conforming to anyone’s idea of normal living habits. Because let’s face it, sometimes you just need to veg out to the antics of Abbi + Ilana. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t occasionally {okay, often} dance around my apartment and lip sync to the new Drake album while getting ready for the day. Again, with the ’80s film references, it’s very Risky Business or Footloose.

And who’s always the winner of any Apartment 16 dance competition? That’s right. It’s me.

Taking Responsibility for Your Own Routines

Whenever I neglect to put my dirty clothes in the hamper or wash my dishes immediately after eating, I have no one there to do it for me. And it’s great. When I lived in the sorority house, cleaning other people’s crusty oatmeal leftovers was a nightmare. How long had it been there? Why is part of it green? These were questions I didn’t even want to know the answers to.

Creating my routine means waking up to my own alarm without having to worry about disturbing someone else {and vice versa.} I’m able to enjoy a few quiet minutes and a cup of coffee before I had to speak to anyone. And the best part – the number one reason I chose to live alone – is because I’m secretly an introvert. While I love hanging out with my friends, I definitely need time in my day to be alone and reset. When you live 3 feet from someone else, they might see that as you being rude or antisocial, when you’re really just sitting on your metaphorical battery charger.

The Bad.

Living Alone is Not for the Vertically Challenged

I guess this is more of “me” problem, but being 5’2″ has its drawbacks when you live by yourself. When a lightbulb goes out, it doesn’t get fixed until I muster up the courage to stack books//boxes//other unstable objects high enough to stand on top of to reach it.

Not very bright of me, I know. I was incredibly excited to get a stepladder for Christmas.

Crazy Imaginations

I don’t race often {read: ever} but my mind sure does! I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been up on those unstable pedestals and thought to myself: What if I fell and died? How long would it take for someone to come and find me? Would they know what to dress me in for my funeral? Should I put a note on something for that? Basically, I can get a little carried away.

My favorite//most embarrassing story on this topic occurred last October. It was just starting to get chilly and it was about 6:00 in the morning. I woke up to what sounded like really heavy breathing, deep and menacing. I instantly clenched every muscle in my body and stayed that way for the next hour. Was someone in my apartment? Why are they just hanging out and breathing creepily? Then came what I can only describe as what sounded like a crackhead playing the drums on my living room’s coffee table. It was this out of sync tapping sound that stopped and started every few minutes and it was both hilarious and terrifying. When my alarm went off at 7:00 AM, I told myself: “Okay, so whoever’s in my living room isn’t trying to harm me, maybe they just want a place to hang out. If they were going to rob me, they would have done it by now.”

I unclenched and quietly got out of bed. Upon seeing nothing in the living room, I carefully went into the bathroom, expecting one of those cliche horror movie shower scenes. Then I felt this source of warmth next to me. Suddenly, the tapping started again and I realized that this whole time I was so scared of a few pipes expanding within my radiators – I didn’t even know the radiators worked! I couldn’t help but laugh at myself for the detailed narrative I had spent the last hour constructing.


As you can imagine, living in an old building + the crazy Georgia weather meant encountering a few bug issues this past year. Before I knew about “roach motels” {what a great euphemism}, I was definitely the type to jump on the table when anything with multiple legs skittered across the floor. I created several contraptions for catching said critters – my most elaborate involved a mason jar + duct tape + a Swiffer. Living alone really upped my creativity…survival of the fittest, amirite?

Making Moves {Physically + Figuratively.}

That brings us to this month, when it came time to either renew my lease or move out. It was another tough decision to make. I’ve loved living alone, but in trying to become more financially independent, I’ve had to look for somewhere to live that’s more in my personal price range. I knew I couldn’t live with a million girls again, but having the space I want with the price I want meant getting a roommate.

Enter the only other person I could imagine spending//actually do spend all of my time with:


The match up is perfect. She’s the Abbi to my Ilana and the Daria to my Jane//Quinn. When we were both in the sorority, we would sit for hours on end watching Jerry Springer re-runs in the house’s living room. And even though we always want to know how each other’s day has been, neither of us feel the need to make polite roommate small talk. We’ve even discussed how easy it is for us to sit in silence and work on our own stuff without feeling weird. In fact, I wrote this whole post while sitting next to her. While I wrote, she got up and did her signature dance move and we sang really off-key at the top of our lungs. And when you can belt Maroon 5’s “Sugar” in front of someone sans judgment, you know you’ve found a best friend.

The Overall.

Living alone has taught me more than I could have ever imagined. I kept a plant alive the whole time {a big accomplishment for me!}, didn’t burn anything down, and avoided making any crackhead living room friends. So generally speaking, I grew a lot this year. And now, I’m excited to grow even more alongside one of the best people I know!

Do you live alone or are you thinking about living alone? How do you like it? Share your stories in the comments below! 



5 Lessons I Learned from Spring Break

Hi, friends! Thanks to a great online deal and some kick ass parents, I spent this past week in the beautiful Dominican Republic with 11 of my friends. While I expected the typical sunburn + over eating of buffet food… I never expected to learn a few valuable lessons along the way. These may seem mostly “duh” to you, but I think they are important enough to make note of once again. But before I get into them, I want to say thank you again to my amazing parents for this opportunity. It’s been so fun and I am forever grateful!


Don’t worry, I don’t mean literally. Even though there are so many great online deals, “resort life” has a simpler meaning. Take some time in your busy schedule to just enjoy the present. Put down your phone and communicate with others in alternate ways – this was particularly easy for us because there wasn’t free wifi on the resort 24/7 so we actually had to…wait for it… talk to each other!

But slowing down doesn’t require deep thinking or being on a beach, it justs require some time for personal reflection. Stop stressing about why you didn’t get enough Instagram likes on that one picture and, as my mom says, enjoy the now.


Olivia + me getting some sun{burn} on the boat

This kind of piggybacks on the first one, but I think it’s equally important. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a shopaholic. If there was a job as a retail therapist, I’d already have my PhD. So when I was budgeting for this trip, I kept thinking I would need more, more, more money to pay for any jewelry or clothes I may have wanted. But as we sat on the beach yesterday, merchant after merchant approached us trying to sell various items – a necklace, cornrows {I coulda looked like RIFFRAFF}, a picture with a baby monkey {okay, we did do that} but none of it really appealed to me. Then, a small man named Manuel came to tell us about an all day trip where you could go snorkeling above a sunken ship, have lunch, and swim in one of the most beautiful beaches in the world… not to mention enough free rum to satisfy the most parched Captain Jack Sparrow. We instantly said yes and I’m so glad we did because it was one of the best days of my life and I got to spend it with people I absolutely adore. And technically speaking, I do get to take home this gnarly sunburn, so I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.



Although yesterday was so great, I also had a giant slice of humble pie. To get to the private beach, we had to take a 30 minute boat ride to and from the resort. After we had our excursion, we were nearing the dock and getting ready to end the day. As the captain said goodbye, he politely requested that we tip the ship’s crew. Everyone reached for their wallets and I was shocked to find that the rather large sum of money I had saved for this adventure was no longer in mine.

I told my friends and tried to play it off, saying that “money is money and I still had a great day” – both of which are true – but inside I was livid because that same captain had stressed that our belongings would be safe in his care. As we exited the boat, I looked at his jovial expression and, in an unbecoming tone, told him that he shouldn’t advertise the safety of our stuff because mine was stolen. His face dropped and I stomped away. As I got to the other side of the dock, I put my hand in my pocket only to find the money. I must have moved it at some point during the day… did I mention we had had a lot of rum?

Regardless, I felt absolutely horrible for being so rude to the guy. Even if it had been taken, it was my decision to part with my belongings while frolicking on the beach. I jumped to conclusions and acted like I was some sort of tourist-martyr for standing up to him, but really I was just a brat. Moral of the story: check all the facts before you fuss somebody out.


While I love being surrounded by so many different cultures at this resort, it’s been absolutely wild to see the way some people treat the staff. Whether they are complaining about minutia or completely disregarding the several hundred employees, it’s amazing to see how people treat each other. My dad always taught me that if someone is wearing a name tag, you should say their name. Humanizing those who are servicing you directly relates to how well you will be treated.

So say thank you. Look people in the eye when you talk to them. Smile whenever you can. You never know what good that person can do for you and what good you can do for them.


Each day, we got one free hour of wifi in the lobby of the resort. That initially freaked me out – how was I going to browse imgur or Pinterest? But it was actually really pleasant. The minimal use of Internet connection forced me to, as I mentioned earlier, live the resort life and enjoy the now. I had to talk to people, make plans in advance, and get outside if I wanted to do something besides watch Scooby Doo in Spanish with Mary Grace. But I digress…

That one hour rule made me think about this blog post, write it down on paper, and use time management to publish it in 60 minutes – whereas my usual format is to just kind of word vomit until something coherent comes out. But I did it because I truly love and believe in this blog. I’ve always loved writing and I’m so happy I have found a way to do it for fun while sharing it with others, so it’s worth the time and effort.

What are you passionate about? Are you devoting time and effort to it? Whether it’s school, work, or a hobby, I hope you are, and I hope you are a lot. For instance, I’m off to devote more time and effort into drinking out of a pineapple…cheers!

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Go Green With Your Wardrobe + for the Planet!

angelina jolieEarlier today, my friend Angela asked my opinion on what to pair a black jumpsuit with – a statement head piece? a simple necklace? Since she’s wearing the outfit to a nighttime wedding, I suggested that she go for a pop of color and try statement emerald earrings to add some fun to the formality.

And since it’s the beginning of March, I couldn’t help but think about the term “going green.” Usually, it means all organic, 90% compostable, cage-free, cruelty-free tomatoes {or whatever comes to mind.} Especially in the fast fashion industry, {H&M, Forever 21, etc} it can be extremely hard to come by organic materials made in such large quantities. And when you do want clothes that look good and do good, it seems like they usually cost much more than their over-processed peers. Long story short, it ain’t easy bein’ green…

But it can be.

So, in this spirit of this lucky month, here are 3 WAYS you can go green without sacrificing your style or breaking the bank!

1. Head to the Emerald City

The first tip is to literally go green. The color by itself conjures many ideas about different hues – kelly green reminds me of the time I was Peppermint Patty in a school play during my infamous awkward stage. Forest green has a relatively small niche, bringing to mind military or tree-hugging ensembles. But, there is one tone that is ageless, sophisticated, and enhances the beautiful features on nearly everyone who wears it. It’s emerald! No wonder it was chosen as Pantone’s Color of the Year in 2013! 

It’s a luxe you can lust after + perfect for spring! 


The great thing about emerald is that it doesn’t require much. Adding just a pop – a Peter Pan collared shirt, a statement earring, a fun clutch – gives a richer quality to your overall look {which few colors can do.}

2. Plan It for the Planet

Earlier, I mentioned how “organic” products can cost an arm and a leg for the average consumer. That’s why I was delightfully surprised to see a little green tag on many H&M pieces while I was in the store the other day! Those tags are markers for the “H&M Conscious Collection” – a line designed with earth in mind. They’ve developed 7 commitments for creating more sustainable products that “make you look good, feel good, and do good.”

Whether or not you shop at H&M, I recommend you check out those commitments so that you can be more aware next time you are searching for fast fashion. On top of that, try to limit the amount of clothes you buy that contain polyester, nylon, acrylic, etc. {see the top 6 list here} as those must go through serious chemical processing.

3. Donate + Recycle

Re-sale stores such as Buffalo Exchange {Poncey Highlands}, Rag-O-Rama {Little 5}, + Lucky Exchange {Midtown} give you two great options for cleaning out your closet. Right now is the best time to go since most re-sale stores are currently shopping for all seasons. You can receive ~ 50% in store trade {usually a credit is put on your account or you’re given a gift card} or ~ 30% cash back. Another great feature of places like these? If you bring in your own bag or go bagless altogether, you’re given a “chip” to put in one of three bins, each representing a local charity. Depending on the store, a certain amount of profits will go to each cause! {photo c/o Buffalo Exchange}

I also recently downloaded an app called ThreadFlip on my phone; it’s an online re-sale store where you can shop women’s “closets” for everything from Christian Louboutin shoes to independent designer dresses. What I like about this app is that it provides the shopping experience without actually having to go into a store {while I love looking for vintage pieces, some days I just don’t want to have to search!}

You can put in all of your sizes, filter by price//category//brand//etc, and take your pick! When you “favorite” items, you’ll get a notification if the price drops or if there is a flash sale. Oh, and did I mention that you can sell items from your closet, too? Chaaaa-ching!

These tips aren’t going to singlehandedly save the polar bears, but they are practical steps you can take to having a more colorful, conscious, and cost-effective style! 



Five Reasons to Wear Lipstick

lipstick“Don’t leave the house without some lip color!” 

I can’t even BEGIN to tell you the number of times my mother told me this while I was growing up. She would usually dab me with whatever Clinique shade she had and say, “Go like this” while puckering her lips.

Each morning as she got ready, I watched mom put on her color. It fascinated me, the way she skillfully applied it. I went from mom’s smears to Bonnie Bell’s Lip Smackers to shiny clear gloss {ugh, never again} all in the hopes of graduating to my very own “color” one day.
Lipstick meant being grown up; lipstick meant womanhood. 

But today, I feel like women my age have fallen out of love with lipstick. I feel like I waited so long for this rite of passage and now it’s not even “in style” anymore. Sure, I see it on Pinterest and in magazines – “Bold lips are IN!” – but I don’t often see it day to day, where it really matters. So here are FIVE reasons why you – yes, you – should start wearing lipstick.

1. It’s an ancient art form

Outside of sweatpants and your old sorority tshirt, what do you consider your most casual outfit? Is it your Converse with jeans and a simple top? Is it a daytime dress with tights and boots? Whatever it is, envision that outfit. I’m sure you look great, but why not take it up a notch by adding a fun color to your face? It doesn’t have to be bright red or baby pink to make you stand out; even by just applying the color, you are making your outfit even more effortlessly chic. Check out this article on what color to wear with your skin tone.

If you aren’t wearing lipstick because you think it’s another frivolous fad, think again. Women have been donning their lips with colors for thousands of years! Filipinomen {and women} used to crush gemstones and apply them to their eyes and faces. In the 1800s, it came in a pack and was applied using a brush by actors for performances. Fast forward to the early-mid 20th century, when red lips were popularized + sexualized by screen sirens like Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. Wearing lipstick officially meant you were sexy.

2. It takes you from drab to dramatic

Another thing I hear women say is that lipstick makes them look high-maintenance. While that might have been the case for those thousand year old women crushing up gemstones, it’s not the same for us today. We have it so easy! Lip color is for absolutely everyone. I mean, there’s a reason why Lil’ Mama wrote a whole song about it.

3. It’s better than baubles

Let’s just have a moment of silence for the bubble necklace. Items like this were great in their heyday, brightly adorning women of all ages and budgets. We’ve seen hundreds of trends like this come and go, but you know what has remained the same? That’s right, lipstick. The gaudy plastic beads may have finished their run, but your classic red lips will never go out of style. That little tube is the easiest, most mobile accessory you can keep on you at all times that will instantly upgrade your look. While having a menagerie of shiny jewels is great, only lipstick allows you to bring positive attention to your face without having to carry around your own Charming Charlie’s.

4. It hides your crusties

Ew, I know. But it’s the middle of winter! How can you expect to keep your lips moisturized if you don’t put anything on them? Few things are more cringe than crusty lips on an otherwise beautiful face.

One of my favorite beauty secrets is exfoliating my lips with a toothbrush, going to bed with a layer of Vaseline on them, and waking up with a pretty pout. And I swear by Burt’s Bees tinted lip balms {except for the honey scent} to help hydrate and replenish during these chappy weeks. Another pro-tip: apply a light layer of baby powder between exfoliating and lip stickin’. It’ll help keep the color from separating into lines when your lips do get dry while keeping them chapped-free.

5. Louie C.K. and his daughter said you should

Well, kinda. I was watching an episode of his show, Louie, when a particular scene struck me. While at a restaurant for 10 year old Lillie’s birthday, Louis CK gives his daughter a pair of concert tickets for a performer whom she no longer listens to. He asks who she does like, and is shocked to hear the name “Lady Gaga.”

Louie: I appreciate that you like her-

Lillie: Lady Gaga is an artist!

Louie: Honey, within reason, I would never tell you what to listen to but I want you to grow up to like yourself… and have a job… and be strong.. and think about who you are. I don’t want you to think it’s all about your looks and glamour and stuff.

lipstickselfieLillie: Well, can’t I grow up like that and still like Lady Gaga?

It might be a stretch, but this scene was the catalyst for me to write this post. The beautiful thing about lipstick is that you don’t have to wear it for anyone else but yourself. You can wear any color lipstick you want and STILL be a tomboy or a high power executive or a stripper or whatever you want to be.

So get out there and FACE the world today … but don’t leave the house without some lip color!



Cafe Jonah & the Magical Attic

BUCKHEAD is many, many things.

Park + Rec's Tom {Aziz Ansari} spittin' the truth.
Park + Rec’s Tom {Aziz Ansari} spittin’ the truth.

It’s home to fancy restaurants, shops with unpronounceable names, and ridiculous dog hotels. While most of that sounds like something Tom Haverford from Parks and Rec would love, it often intimidates the average Joe {let alone a broke college girl like me.} And let’s face it, Buckhead doesn’t immediately come to mind when I think of “exploring Atlanta.”

But the saying holds true – never judge a book by its cover. In searching for a new coffee//study spot, I stumbled upon Cafe Jonah

Nestled between those aforementioned car lots and spas, Cafe Jonah is a full-on lunch spot {try the grilled chicken panini!} with a great selection of hot teas and coffee. When I walked up to the counter, I mentioned that it was my first time coming in and both employees were incredibly attentive + helpful {and didn’t judge me as I ran around taking pictures}.

*Infomercial Narrator Voice* 
But wait! There’s more! 

Not only is Cafe Jonah a restaurant//coffee shop//house-turned-common

space…it’s also home to the Magical Attic! Head upstairs and you’ll find a teensy attic housing books, candles, and tarot cards for sale in addition to the on-call psychic, Autumn. She greeted me with a big hug and a quick mention of her reading rates and the monthly Psychic Fair held in the Magical Attic. 

The next one is this weekend, Feb 7 + 8, 10 am – 4 pm!

If unraveling the mysteries of your future isn’t really your thing, here’s the best part about Cafe Jonah: 10% of their daily profit goes directly to three charities located nearby. Owner and mother to the famous “Jonah”, Jenny, {of Souper Jenny} named the cafe after her son “simply because he asked.” She wanted him to grow up in an environment full of local food and friendship – two things I never predicted to find in the big city.

Let me know if you check this place out
+ if you need a lil’ more visual convincing, click on the pictures below!


What’s up, Doc?

Do you have an item (in your closet, in your jewelry box, etc.) that carries sentimental value whenever you put it on? Perhaps it’s an old t-shirt covered in ketchup stains and nostalgia, or an Alexander Wang dress that makes you feel like (and likely cost you) a million bucks. Regardless, I feel like everyone has something of this nature that makes them feel – to quote my friend Rich Homie Quan – “some type of way.” For me, it’s my pink Dr. Martens. While they’re the antithesis of Cinderella’s glass slippers, my Docs make me feel just as fearless as the Disney princess every time I slip them on. Plus, they’re way harder to lose.

It’s cool if this sounds dumb to you but I’ll never forget purchasing these bad boys. It was before Spring Break of last year and I was looking for a pair of shoes that could survive in any sort of weather at a music festival I would be attending. My friend, Angela, had recently purchased a black pair of Docs that I had secretly been coveting but was too scared to buy for myself. How was I, a bubbly, middle-class white girl, going to pull off shoes that were designed by a WWII army doctor for soldiers?

I bit the bullet and bought the boots.

After a few days of suffering from buyer’s remorse, (where was I going to wear bright pink shoes in my everyday life?!) they had arrived. With great anticipation I opened their packaging to find what would become my shoe version of Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth. After stumbling around like a newborn fawn for a few minutes – those shoes are not built for agility – I got my bearings and began to strut about. No piece of clothing had ever made me feel this way! I was badass but not frightening; I was feminine and fearless (don’t worry, I’m not about to bust into a Taylor Swift song here.)

The shoes were a hit at the festival! Upon arriving, two girls stopped me and asked to take my picture for their fashion blog. When I came back from Spring Break, I found ways to incorporate the them into all types of outfits for a wide range of social settings. I became accustomed to the numerous compliments on my shoes but it has taken me until now to realize why they mean so much. Fashion itself has always been important to me as a vehicle for self-expression; what you wear often reflects what’s going on inside and what you want to say to the world. After a tough year academically and personally, I didn’t have much to say and felt that what I did have to say wasn’t good enough. But these pink, rubbery, yellow stitched shoes spoke for me when I couldn’t and in turn gave me back the confidence I so greatly needed.1421424427

While I’m so thankful for my Docs, I now know that this journey isn’t entirely attributed to the boots (although much of the journey was walked in them.) Sometimes it takes a little push out of your comfort zone to get you where you need to go. For anyone feeling similarly, I encourage you to follow the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: “Do one thing every day that scares you,” even if that thing is stepping outside in your bubblegum pink boots.