I just finished devouring my monthly magazine delivery, many of which featured some kind of hair section. If I was lucky there would be a small sidebar on "short hair." Followed by 17 pages of how to do cool things to long hair. I felt a personal need to correct this injustice! There are TONS of things you can do with short hair. (Like this or this)All that it really takes is a little experimentation and the right styling tools!

A really great Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner (I'm obsessed with the L'oreal Volumetry line)
A strand plumping serum ( I love this one by Alterna)
A setting serum (I can't live without Living Proof Prime Style Extender)
Hairspray (I love the smell and gentle hold of Dry Bar Money Maker)
A small curling iron & hairdryer
A round brush & Bobby pins 

Wash & condition hair in shower. Towel dry hair and then mix together the two serums and spread it through your hair. Careful not to overdue (a pea size drop of each - max!) Flip your head upside down and holding the nozzle as far away from your head as possible, dry your head. If you can, run a small round brush through your hair while you dry it (pulling tight when you hit the strands with hair)

When hair is totally dry, flip it back over. Lightly mist the whole head with hairspray. Wait a minute or two to let it dry, that tackiness will help the curls hold. Pin back the top layer of hair (I use bobby pins but whatever you have handy) Starting from your face grab a tiny piece of hair (one to two centimeters width!) and then wrap it around the barrel - alternating directions towards and away from your face and keeping the barrel at an angle from your head (not straight up!) Give those curls another mist then pull down the next layer and repeat. Be really light with the hairspray! You don't want crunchy curls.

The trick with this look is patience  - when you have long hair you can grab big chunks and go to town with them. With short hair you need to take lots of tiny pieces and the sheer number of sections will make this take a little time. Trust me, if you rush by trying to take bigger pieces this wont work.

When your whole head is curled, flip it over again and hit it with the cool feature on your
 hair dryer. Run your fingers through the curls. And ta da! Beachy, sexy waves for short hair!

My favorite shots from paradise... Because beautiful things are nice to look at...

Sometimes when you aren't feeling well there's only one thing you can do. Look at pictures of puppies.
This is Fenway (also known as Puppy, Nurse Fenway, Monster)

He sleeps on the bed...

He chews things adorably....

He uses humans as pillows whenever possible...

He likes to do this... No idea what this is but he loves it...

He prances frequently, both on sea and land...

He gets more space on the bed than I do...

His face is very squishy...

He knows exactly how cute he is...

Do I ever wake up on a grey, foggy cold SF morning and think to myself - "Gee, self, I can't wait to drag myself out of this warm comfy snugglefest and go workout..." (Well, yes, sometimes, but let's pretend I'm normal) 

Do I ever wake up and think, "I can't wait to put on my hot pink pants." HECK YEAH. 

Cute, flattering workout clothes have always been hugely motivational to me. There is something very motivating about having something adorable to put on that makes it easier to do that whole exercise thing.

I also have discovered that while I HATE running, I love dancing. Last night while the Fen was handling his business, I had an aggressive, solo dance party. So if you ever see a crazy girl hopping and twirling around the Marina in bright pink pants - definitely say hi. XOxo

P.S. This post is inspired by current blog obsession, Adrianne Ho of SweatTheStyle. While clearly genetically blessed the girl works it HARD, her recipes are awesome, her taste in music flawless, and everything she does is inspirational. 

Neon Beanie, Old Navy Perfect Tank (my absolute all time favorite tanks of all time), Lululemon Flow Y Bra & Reversible Pants, Nike Shoes, Rayban Sunglasses & Maybelline Babylips in Fruit Punch 

What if throwing on a summer dress just wont do?

This is a kimono, tied at the waste over a pair of silk, laser-cut shorts. It's what I like to call "daytime, tropic-appropriate black."
What's the hardest part of being paleo? The crunch. You miss the crunch! Most store bought potato chips contain something that is forbidden or unnatural. Mmm, yum, xantham gum - says nobody, ever.

This recipe is, like all my recipes, super duper simple. It's also MUCH easier if you have a mandolin slicer (I of course used a really good knife but I want one, sigh.)

Tarot Root
Drizzle of Olive O
Drizzle of Sea Salt

Special Equipment: parchment paper, mandolin slicer

Preheat oven to 425. Thinly slice the root, removing any really excess "hair" but leaving the skin on. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Bake for about 15 minutes till chips become crispy and golden brown.

Paleo is a good guideline for the many foods that my boss and I try to avoid, but sometimes people still use ingredients which aren't, for lack of a better word, "kosher" for either our allergies or our interpretation of paleo (um, corn starch? really?) So with that in mind I set about to find a recipe for a raspberry sauce to put on a pork dish I was making for lunch. Easy right? Wrong.

And so... I was forced to make my own. And of course, like all things I do it was really easy, used only 4 ingredients plus water! Whee!

Please note: Without the thickener (flour/cornstarch) the sauce will be a little bit more liquid then you are used to, next time we make it we are going to try it with cream of tarter - so if you get a chance to test this let us know how it goes!


Package of raspberries
3-4 tbsps of lime juice (depending on how much you like lime)
1/4 cup water
A plop of Ghee (clarified butter
like this one)
Splash of cinnamon (optional)

Put the first 3 ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring the water to a boil. Let them boil for about 15 minutes until the raspberries dissolve. Add a plop of ghee and mix in. Let it boil some more. Add a splash of cinnamon. Enjoy!

I had a craving. I did not want to go to the store. I found this recipe on Pinterest. I substituted with the whims of someone crazy enough to take fate in her own hands. It could've been a disaster or glory - there was no middle ground.

It was glory. Make these right away, just be warned that you will want to EAT THEM ALL.


2 1/4 cups unbleached gluten-free flour (I used Trader Joe's Brand) 
1 tbsp baking powder1/4 tsp baking soda1/2 tsp salt1/3 cup olive oil1/4 cup goat cheese 3/4 milk1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Mix together the dry ingredients. Make a circle in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in everything else. Using a fork, or your hands, stir until just mixed. "Careful to not over mix as it will make the biscuits tough." So be gentle with that dough!!
Knead the dough by gently folding it into itself 5-6 times.  Roll or press the dough out to 1/2 inch thickness. Using a cup, cut the biscuits and put them on a dry baking sheet. "Place them close by to help them rise better (they like to be cozy)." Which is awesome because this makes a lot of dough! 
Bake for 10-11 minutes, until golden brown. They will smell done so stay nearby (it smells amazing)
Want to be Beyoncé? Me too. Can't afford La Perla? Me neither.

Fortunately for us all there is Nastygal. This mesh bodysuit evokes a Beyoncé like aesthetic but for under $50. That's right,  Beyonce's grammy outfit for under $50. 


Trying to motivate yourself out of bed when it's cold and foggy and you've just gotten back from paradise... Well, it sucks. Enter this beauty, a BLUE LEATHER JACKET from Zara, which kind of makes it worth it to get out of bed. Kinda.

P.S. If you want one I suggest you buy it ASAP. I went to the store to exchange sizes and every single person who saw me with it was in line with it behind me in the checkout. Even the manager who had to authorize the exchange was like, wow - that is awesome and a good deal.

I stole this phrase from my socks. The socks I wear to bar method. They are bright purple and some percentage of the sales went to benefit some kind of cancer (purple is lung I think?) and when my thighs are screaming bloody murder after one million on pointe down-an-inch torture squats, I look down on them and I think, "Dena, you can do this. Don't stop."

I had a dear friend, mentor and trainer who taught me that when dealing with a physical challenge the best mantras are short. They remind you to breathe. They sync with your breath. Two words is the perfect length for such a mantra. When you are doing something it feels like you can't do, when you are so far out of your comfort zone it's physically painful, this mantra becomes louder and more powerful than your doubts. Say yes. Say yes. Say yes. 

I once had a boss who told me I was too negative. He was right. He said don't ever tell me no, Dena. Say yes. Figure out how to make it happen. 

When my fiancé and I first started dating I instagrammed a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt that I felt particularly resonated in my soul, many years after the stories above. I had started to internalize the messages that the universe was pounding into me. I was realizing that with him sitting next to me. The quote was "Don't let anybody tell you no, who doesn't have the power to tell you yes." I think he fell in love with me right then and there. 

Positivity is not something that comes naturally to me. I am a worrier. My creativity is inspired to it's most perfect furor by thinking of the worst case scenario for every situation, all the time. I am anxious. When people are late I truly believe that they are lying in a ditch somewhere. 

This positivity that people find so inspiring in me was hard won. I have fought years to achieve it. I fight everyday to maintain it. It has been challenged in the most brutal of ways with this whole cancer business. It still some how manages to flame on in me. And it starts with a spark so small and simple that it works for everything. Say yes. Say yes. Say yes. Like a heartbeat. 

Can you do this? Yes. Can you keep going? Yes. 

Can you get on a plane and fly to an island in the middle of the ocean to make memories and find answers and be surrounded by so much beauty and love that it could fill this ocean? Yes. Yes. Yes. 

I've had a profound personal realization about my sense of style which is that I basically dress like I'm on vacation all the time. Not having the sort of "job" that requires anything of the "professional" variety I have accrued a wardrobe that's sole purpose is to delight me.

I basically wear two colors, black and neon. Neon comes in various shades but the end of the day it's all same same. Neon is surprisingly versatile in a wardrobe that consists mostly of black, white, grey and fluorescent. It makes things feel special. Since this was a special weekend it called for my most special attire.

I also want to extol the virtue of the maxi dress, because it is the essential transition piece for flying (especially when shifting from tropical to more temperate climates) this one in particular has seen more airports than my roller board. Did I wear a bikini on the plane so as to maximize pool time? Yes. Am I apologetic? Absolutely not. Do I think we should all rebel and start a tech colony on Hawaii called silicon pool? Abso-freakin-lutely.