Search This Blog

Friday, February 20, 2015

High Adventures with L'Oreal!!!

I realized a long time ago that I didn't want to be anything but blond, but then I wasn't exactly blond any more.  So I did what we all do....tried a million things.  I went the beauty salon route, but after I had it done that a few times it wasn't worth the time or money to me.  So I tried doing it myself.   After I did it a few times I noticed it got blonder and blonder and blonder.  Every time I had a picture taken all I could see was a couple of eyebrows and some lipstick.

Then one day by chance I stopped at a unique beauty supply shop.  I don't even know what brought me in, but this incredibly nice woman asked if she could help me.  After hearing my tale of woe she knew exactly what to do.  Turns out she was an ex-showgirl who colored all of her friends hair and understood completely about hair getting blonder and blonder.  So she steered me over to L'Oreal, we picked out a color and I have been using it ever since.  Then she whispered a great trick in my ear.  "Save a little of the color and about 15 minutes after you put it on your roots, take what is left with some shampoo and pull it through your hair."

Since L'Oreal was a good fit when I started doing my hair twenty years ago, I enthusiastically responded when I was given an offer to try a new L'Oreal product.  I noticed the color I was using wasn't covering the white/gray very well, but I thought that was just part of the whole getting older thing.  The new product is called "Excellence Age Perfect" and is specially developed for mature, gray hair.  L'Oreal sent the product over and I stared at it for a few days.  Am I really going to do this?  Use a new color when I am pretty happy with the way it is?  More staring.  I am not very intrepid when it comes to change.


....I did it, but not before I took some before pictures...

You can see where my white is coming in
This has been my color for 20 years.

Right at my hairline the hair is pretty white and needed better coverage

Roots....color that hair!!

Now it's go time!!

Everything is included, and the directions are very clear.  It had been a long time since I used a box like this (I have been mixing my own) so I read everything carefully.  It was a snap even for me.   The developer is already measured and in the bottle, the color is a cream (impossible to spill)  and is easy to add...there is a handy dandy plastic brush to do your hairline with....and the obligatory gloves.  It went on easily and I waited the 30 minutes (did some yoga) for a  I washed it out in the shower and used the conditioning treatment that was included.  I am a "conditioning-aholic" with a low tolerance for bad treatments, but this one was really effective.

This product covered my white hair a lot better, and I like the color...


Although the color is not very different (thank goodness, I worried for nothing)  the coverage is much better.   It was hard for me to change, but it was just what I was looking for!  

I would also like to add that I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer network campaign for L'Oreal Excellence Age Perfect. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own.  I am in no way affiliated with L'Oreal Excellence Age Perfect and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.  #sponsored and #AgePerfectColor 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Strength and Struggle

"Strength and struggle go together.  The supreme reward of struggle is strength.  Life is a battle and the greatest joy is to overcome.  The pursuit of easy things makes men weak.  Do not equip yourselves with superior power and hope to escape the responsibility and work.  It cannot be done.  It is following the path of least resistance that makes rivers and men crooked."
Ralph Parlette

The Bristlecone Pine lives in the wilderness for thousands of years but planted in your backyard where it is regularly watered and sheltered it won't live beyond a hundred years.

Embrace the struggle for the strength it will give you.  It is why you are here.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

5 simple ways to Happiness

I recently listened to a Ted Talk that fit all my Ted Talk criteria....entertaining, not very long and relevant to my journey.   It was by Shawn Achor (over 8 million views) and his topic was happiness.  Since I am fascinated by happiness (or lack of) I read and listen to everything I can about it. My personal search for "where did the funny go?" has been constant and illusive.

His talk is only 11 minutes...11 minutes is just about perfect for a Ted Talk, anything more than that and I start making shopping lists.  But I can chew tacks for 11 minutes....

Achors talk mirrors a class I have been taking on mind mastery.  My teacher, a psychologist herself, has proven to me my brain is not as smart as I thought.  Brain has always been a word of honor..Brainiac, Brainy, etc. However, it turns out our brains are easily manipulated.  Which explains a lot, but also means we can retrain those not so smart thoughts. Our brains have been having the same thoughts habitually for a long time.  So we have to retrain our brains.  Brains seem to live in a default emotion of pessimism.

Had any of these thoughts?

"You can't make a living to support your family."
"Financial ruin is right around the corner"
"You are too fat to go to the beach, disneyland, out with the family"
"You are not pretty, you are not worth knowing, you have no talent"
"You cannot start a business, give up"
"I am afraid of loosing my job, my house, my family"

Insert your catastrophic statement, I know you have one.  And remember thoughts aren't real.

Achor says we can retrain our brain in 21 days, mind mastery.  Sounds very Yoda-esque doesn't it?  However the concept has settled on me as truth, and his 5 ways to retrain your brain are simple and easily doable.  And instead of happy hoo-ha he gives the reasons these things work.
For Twenty-One Days.....

1.) Gratitude- write 3 NEW things down every day that you are thankful for.  This starts your brain scanning for positive things instead of negative.
2.) Journaling - journal about one positive thing in the last 24 hours you are grateful for, giving your brain the opportunity to relive it.
3.) Exercise - This trains your brain to realize that behavior matters
4.) Mediation - takes your brain out of the ADHD of life and gets over the multitasking and focus on the event at hand.
5.) Random acts of kindness - write a grateful and positive letter to someone in your inbox every day day, reflecting on the good in people.

Twenty one days....just twenty one days and you can retrain your brain.  But then understand, you aren't finished.  You have to keep going with this, but you will feel so good it won't be hard.

Take your brain out for a walk and discuss the changes you will be making, you are in charge after all.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sometimes Life is Left in the Hands of Amateurs

Last Thursday I received a message on Facebook from the husband of a dear friend.  He told me Ann (his wife, my friend) had finally given him permission to tell people she was going in for an operation to remove a tumor on her intestines.  They had found it by chance, of all things, through a cough.  After a series of specialists, and almost 5 months, they finally found the proper diagnosis.
I called last Friday night, I had to know what to do...but what could I do but listen and pray.  The operation was to be intense, and she would be hospitalized for a week.  We spoke about how blessed she was to have such incredible health care and how carefully she had been led to the correct diagnosis.  Both of her sons are doctors and they concurred she was incredibly blessed.  Most of these cases are not found until it is very difficult to treat, instead of simply difficult to treat.  

We hung up on the note of a very cherished friendship of thirty years....through children, marriages, big problems and small ones.  Even though she lives far away, distance has never been an issue.  She is my friend, my sister in life and I so wish I could be there with her.  I adore her.

Today I received another message from her husband.  He told me the operation was very long, and more involved than they anticipated.  They wouldn't know the results of the tumor for another couple of days.  His anxiousness and worry were palatable and then he said something I wasn't expecting.  He had been putting off telling her that their son, Brian, had passed away during her operation.   I knew he was failing from brain cancer, but I didn't think it was eminent.  He closed by asking for my prayers....a dad who had lost his son and was so concerned for his wife only wanted my prayers.  I couldn't move....I was paralyzed for a moment.  How could this have happened?  There was not a better man than Brian......He was a young man with a sweet wife, twin daughters and a son.  He was a doctor, a hiker and a Texas Aggie Alum.

I am an amateur on life because I just don't get it.....there are so many awful people who we could gladly give over instead of someone as kind, sweet and good as Brian.  He was making a difference in the world, he was a good doctor, an incredible father, and an adoring husband.  

I am an amateur on life because I don't focus on what is really important.

I am an amateur on life because I have to be reminded every day as to the true purpose of my life, why can't it hold over just one day?

I am an amateur on life because I don't really understand that I can be right or I can be happy, but I won't be both, because if I "have" to be right at the expense of others, I will not ultimately be happy.  
Rancor is never peace.  

Brian is at peace, his family is comforted by the knowledge that families are eternal, and they will go forward.  No rancor, no anger...they will simply go forward.

Love you Brian...and just for you, Gig 'em!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mountain Ridge Little League

The Mountain Ridge Little League Baseball team was notified they are now the World Champions.  So that means the Little League team who represented me won the title almost 6 months after the game was played.  I live within the Mountain Ridge boundaries, I actually know the coach, Ashton Cave....


Because Jackie Robinson West who won the title did not abide by a very important rule that you use the players within your boundaries.  It isn't an all-star situation, which some people think.  It is a neighborhood team, that is why it is so hard to win.  Little League officials have all kinds of checks and how did this happen?

This is not the way Mountain Ridge wanted to win.  And now that they have, so what?  Did they get to hold up the trophy?  Did they get to throw out the first pitch at the World Series in San Francisco or meet the President?  Nope....

Mountain Ridge is a very special team who won the hearts of everyone in Las Vegas.  They beat the team Mo'ne Davis played for.  You remember her, the phenomenal girl pitcher who was on the cover on Sports Illustrated and also received an Espey.  They even beat Jackie Robinson West 13-2 earlier in the double elimination tournament.  These were not kids of privilege, these were regular kids with parents who raised money with baked sales and garage sales for the trip to Williamsport.

My friend April Nakasone sent me this message, " I liked what Coach Cave said on the radio this morning.  He wishes instead of them getting the trophy, there would just be a big blank on 2014 so parents can use it as a valuable teaching lesson."  Thanks are right.

I feel terrible for the Jackie Robinson West players.  They have spent the last 6 months thinking they won a title that was taken away today.  I hope Jesse Jackson, who took them to Disney World, gathers them together and explains what happened. That is wasn't their fault but some coaches and some parents decided to pull kids in from the suburbs to play with an inner city team.  It is going to be a terrible fall with brand new circumstances because they were rock stars in Chicago.  And it isn't their fault this happened.

It really does come down to success in life is what you learned in Kindergarten.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Brian Williams and Robert Capa

I am sick for Brian Williams.  He is so loved, so flawed.

Just like all of us.

I don't know what I would do in that situation...maybe it got away from him.  Maybe he told people he had been in a fire fight in a helicopter so many times it became reality.  I couldn't say.  Just being there and in the vicinity of war would be dangerous enough for me.

But then I think about Robert Capa, the most famous war photographer of World War 2.  He was there on D Day...his description of D Day in an article from Vanity Fair was riveting.  Steven Spielberg said he used the 11 remaining pictures Capa took (out of hundreds) for "Saving Private Ryan"


Spielberg gave these pictures to his Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski and told him he wanted the entire D Day scene to look just like this.  Kaminski won the Oscar for his work.

Robert Capa took these pictures....he was there.  His descriptions of what he saw are horrific....along with all the other war correspondents who brought us these images and their first hand reports.

That's why men held Brian Williams responsible, even after all these years.

They were there, they took it, he didn't but said he did.  It's hard to defend and hard to condemn.  I am not going to, but he does owe an apology and an explanation to those men he wanted to be, but wasn't.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday February 8, 2015

I subbed for a class yesterday at our local college and had the best time.  Being surrounded by youth is extremely inspiring to me.  I love their comments and energy...I really enjoyed it!  I gathered up my things and went out to the beautiful warm afternoon to drive home.  Before I drove off I checked my mail and messages.  One of the messages caught me by surprise.  The husband of an incredible couple we have known for thirty years said he had finally gotten permission to tell me his wife, my dear, dear friend had a tumor on her intestines.  It was quite large and major surgery is scheduled for this Tuesday.

I wrote back and told him how sorry I am.  What do you really say that could matter?  I told him we would fast for them this weekend..we would pray and I know they will feel our prayers.  I wanted so much to take their pain away.

I cannot do that.

But we can share the burden.  And it will make it so much lighter for them.  I believe that.

To a little nicer, a little more forgiving, a little less anxious to fight and someone you haven't spoken to for a long time.  Resolve that you do not have to be right...bring peace to a room....

Tell people you love them.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Best Time And The Second Best Time

Oddly enough over the past few days I have come in contact with several people who have intimated to me their time has past.  Their dreams were not realized and now it is simply too late.  They told me "I could have done this, I could have done that.....Why didn't I finish school?  Why did I pass up that opportunity?  Why didn't I take the job with all the security instead of gambling on myself?  Why didn't I have children, get married, get divorced....why didn't I eat better or exercise more?

"The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is today."

I believe it is never too late.  There was a time I did not think I was capable enough, smart enough, or healthy enough to start a business.  But we had to, there was no other way to make a living.  After searching for jobs my husband and I discovered we were largely unemployable.  And facing the fact the recession had cleaned us out the future looked pretty bleak.   So we started our own business, and we have had some brilliant successes, and also made some pretty big mistakes.  But we keep going.  When things don't go our way we just say....

"Now what?  So What."

Does this take work?  This kind of care free attitude?  Yes we start over every day.  Every day we pray, we read, we tell ourselves we can do it.  I believe God wants us to succeed.  Believing that has helped me a hundred fold.

Last night I asked a very successful, hard working colleague of mine if he ever wanted to give up.

"I wanted to quit day before yesterday.  But I didn't because I can't.  I just get up the next morning and start over.  I believe that, and because I believe that,  solutions come, panic wanes and emergencies abate."

Our journey began with realizing what we had to work with.  What do we already have?  Well, we can cook, we can entertain, we have nice serving pieces, a sense of style (love adding that)  Raymond is a brilliant floral arranger, and we have great friends.

Catering...our little business was born.  We gave it the whimsical name of Ray Ray's.  That was my husbands nickname as a little boy.

It has not been easy, but doors have opened, word is slowly spreading and we do better all the time.  As the saying goes above, we built a windmill.  There are a million reasons to fail.....but we won't. God wants us and you to succeed.  He helps us build a windmill.

We are starting now to make a brand new ending, in a life we never expected to have.  When I hear people say, "I never thought my life would turn out this way,"

I want to ask them "Isn't it great?"

....please understand, that is how I feel on a good day.  But many, many days I haven't felt that way.  I have sat in a puddle and thrown dirt on my back, I have been resentful life didn't play out the way I imagined...I have cried, screamed into my pillow, bemoaned my fate and been angry as hell.

But I am better.

And as we get better at what we do I am not as nervous....that's a simple word, the truth is I have been terrified at times.

I am not as angry as I was.  Still very far from where I want to be, but at least I am on the path.

Build a can do anything.