Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Soapbox: Soap...

Okay, nothing to complain about today...

So what am I doing instead? I'm making soap and a couple of other special Christmas presents. Mostly because I don't have the money or patience to deal with the crazy people doing their last minute shopping.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Be safe, be smart and be loving!

Gods' speed,


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

All Natural Wednesday: Music

This might sound trite coming from someone with a music degree, but there have been studies that link music and all sorts of things.

One of my favorite forms of this is singing for health! Betcha didn't know it was good for ya, eh?

Ever notice that after you've sang your heart out you feel better, healthier, stronger? There is a good reason for it, actually.

According to Dr. Ben Kim of, singing from your abdomen (your lower belly) engages your diaphragm, which in turn helps to move your lymph fluid through its lymphatic system. This, in turn, makes way for general good health with a raised immune system and helps remove toxins from the body.

Singing also, to a lesser extent than real (sweat producing) exercise, releases endorphines, which raises that feeling of "good" that helps keep us healthy mentally as well.

How do I cash in? Thats easy!

Stuck in traffic? Sing along to the radio...
Have a free weekend before Christmas? Go caroling with friends... (Plus you'll have the added benefit of walking around your neighborhood or wherever you go.)
Have the house all to yourself? Dance and sing to your favorite music. Who cares if you look silly... after all, the only one looking is you!

Have some fun, and belt it out... trust me, you'll feel better. Who knows? The one stuck next to you in traffic might just be singing along to the same song!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Soapbox: Entitlement

Entitlement is the state of being entitled. Entitled means that you are owed certain things or certain behaviors just for being who or what you are.

The Queen of England is entitled to service and esteem from the English people.

Most people are not entitled to that level.

Police officers are entitled to respect, even if its a begrudging form of it, from the people they are sworn to protect. They have earned this entitlement because they have sworn to serve and protect the people.

A similar thing applies to Fire fighters. If a Firefighter tells you to get out of the building, you do it, because you know they are going to be running into it to put out the fire.

Entitlement is not for everyone.

We are not all the Queen, or in positions of authority or protection. Children are entitled to the right to dream and dream big. That doesn't mean that a thirteen year old girl deserves or will get a laptop for Christmas. She is entitled to ask, but thats kind of it. (The same thing goes for her brother, who wanted a $250 toy x3...)

Many of the simple problems that we face day to day could be simply resolved if people would let the idea that they are owed something fall by the wayside.

No, actually, I do not have to give you my parking space or the right of way because you have a more expensive car than I do.

Neither do you have the right to demand my time and attentions when you don't care about my life or my loved ones enough to ask or listen or care to ask about them. Don't bother me with trite worries about your world when you don't give a hoot about my life. I'm not a psychologist. They make a lot more than I do.

On the same token, people are all entitled basic respects.

Be courteous to people. Hold the door open for people behind you (especially if they're carrying a large box).

Be honest. If you're not happy in a relationship, don't cheat on them, separate and see if that clears up the problem. Tell them the truth in a gentle way and work on your problems together.

Take responsibility for the bad as well as the good. If you screw up, own up to it and work with whoever it effects to make you both satisfied with the outcome. It takes two to tango.

And finally, remember that we're all people with hopes and dreams and aspirations. No one is better than anyone else. Its all the amount of work that you put into your endevors that determines your amount of success. Be nice, work hard, and you'll earn the right to be entitled.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

All Natural Wednesday: Grapefruit=Superfruit

Alright, alright...

There are a lot of stigmas associated with Grapefruits. And truth be told, they've gotten a bad wrap for a long time.

No More!!

Give a grapefruit a chance this week. They are one of nature's superfruits and if eaten correctly, are actually really tasty and refreshing.

Here's how you do it:

Cut one grape fruit in half between the stem and end of the fruit.

Next, with a small pairing knife, cut between the fruit segments, but be careful not to cut through the skin.

Then, cut along the skin between the segments.

Top with a spoonful of sugar, or a packet of equal or similar substitute. Place in a small bowl and use a small spoon to pull out the segments and eat. When all the segments are out, squeeze whats left into the bowl and drink the remaining juice. It will be sweetened by the sugar or substitute and is really refreshing.

Still not convinced? Here are some tastey facts:

-Half of a grapefruit provides all the vitamin C the body needs for one day and is an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, potassium, folate, vitamin b-5 and Lycopene. (Folate for heart health, b-5 for Seratonin production, Lycopene is a potent antioxidant)
-Grapefruits come in many colors, such as yellow, pink, white or ruby.
-Grapefruits flavonoid content helps fight against free radical damage, which results in aging.
-Pomelos, or Chinese grapefruits are the largest citrus fruits.
-A Frenchman, Count Odette Phillipe, planted the first grapefruit trees in Florida in 1823. Today, Florida produces about one third of the world's grapefruit.
-Some mature grapefruit trees can yield up to 1,500 pounds of fruit in a season.
(Thanks Skin Inc. January 2009 issue, "The Main Squeeze"... and Thanks Sean for teaching me how to eat them!)

Hungry yet? You know what to do! Have a nice fruity snack, and a wonderful week!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

A friend of mine from my Alma Mater, Metro State College of Denver, posted this on his Facebook page, and I really think it fits. What a fun way to celebrate a Holiday?!

So, in addition to Health, Family and all of the things I've learned over the course of this year... and its been a very enlightening year, let me tell you.

Here is a bit of levity... because try as I might, I keep coming back to music as my rock and my salvation of sorts...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Don't eat too much, and don't drink and drive... but do enjoy the holiday and treasure the knocks as much as the successes, cause they make us the people that we are! Best wishes to all!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

All Natural Wednesday: Dry Shampoo

Here's an easy way to get clean minus the water that soap requires.

There are a ton of different materials that can be used for dry shampoos.

The most common are: Rice flour, corn meal, and baking soda.

Rice flour and corn meal are much more gentle on the scalp, though.

The application is simple. Part hair in 1" sections and apply a small amount to the scalp exposed as you go.

Once the whole scalp has 'shampoo', massage in gently (I'd do this somewhere that you can sweep, or over a sink if possible.). Let set on hair for ~15minutes. Don't take a shower in this time, it will create a paste on your head that is really not pleasant.

Brush out (again, somewhere you can sweep) with either a natural/boar bristle brush or a nylon brush.

Your hair will be cleaner and if you color your hair, it will not have faded.

To be fair, I haven't been able to use the dry shampoo effectively, though Corn Meal is definitely the best of the three. Generally I use "Dirty Secret" from Rockstar hair products. It smells nice, its pressurized and doesn't make a mess of my bathroom. Corn Meal, if you can manage it, is by far a less expensive option, however.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Soapbox: Professionalism

1 a : of, relating to, or characteristic of a profession b : engaged in one of the learned professions c (1) : characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession (2) : exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace
2 a : participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs (a professional golfer) b : having a particular profession as a permanent career (a professional soldier) c : engaged in by persons receiving financial return (professional football)
3 : following a line of conduct as though it were a profession (a professional patriot)

...Or, at least that's the Merriam Websters definition.

A professional is someone who actively engages and specializes in a form of work for profit. It is their profession. (Root: Profess. So, it is the occupation, you say with conviction, that you have.)

As such, its important to, well, take it seriously.

This is where professionalism comes into play.

What is professionalism and why should you care? Simple. If you don't take the job that you "profess" is your specialty seriously, then no one else will either.

Professionalism is the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person. (Thanks again Merriam Webster) It is the behavior and demeanor that you show the world in the process of doing your job.

Hold on, let me get on my soapbox.

-Do dress appropriately and be hygienic. Everywhere if possible, but at work is the important part.
-Do speak clearly and succinctly. But stop talking and listen as well.
-Do manage your time by priority and don't try and do too many things at once. This goes for helping people too. If you can't help more than two people well at a time, then don't do it.

-Don't make lewd comments or elude to incompetence of the people you work with or to your customers. It makes you look poorly as well. After all, you work with them, right? Who is the bigger 'whatever', the boss, or the person working for them?
-Don't assume anything. Your High School coach was right... when you assume you make an "ass" out of "u" and "me".
-Don't talk religion, politics or too much social information about yourself. All of these make people nervous and its best to leave it for late night television or Fox TV to hash it out. If you alienate your clients/customers, then you'll lose their business and they'll tell their friends. Never think they won't.

Hope this helps! But please, keep in mind that I don't write these things because I have an axe to grind or anything like that... the truth is that I struggle with these exact things.

Professionalism is part of being an adult. Whether you're cutting someone's hair or making copies of their favorite pets picture, everyone deserves the best service and respect that you can afford them.

Its what a professional does.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

All Natural Wednesdays: Are you S.A.D.?

I thought that this week, with the resurgence of our snowy weather, I might address something that happens pretty commonly throughout Winter and is often overlooked.

S.A.D. Funny acronyms aside, SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. While its cause is debatable, it is most often attributed to the lack of light that happens with the onslaught of winter.

Most commonly considered "seasonal depression," "Cabin Fever," or the winter blahs, there are many easy and all natural ways to combat it!

1. Citrus fruits: They're high in Vitamin C, a natural booster for the system, and are in season in the winter. If Grapefruit isn't your thing, eat an Orange or a couple of Clementines.

2. Exercise: Okay, so you should be exercising anyway, but here is a good reason to do so. Physical activity, specifically the kind that elevates your heart rate and causes a little perspiration, releases endorphins which in turn elevate your mood. Plus, they boost your metabolism and help move things through your system, like toxins that might make you more sluggish.

3. Tanning: Relish this suggestion, cause you won't get it often. Seriously, light therapy, in the form of UV tanning beds, can help your body produce vitamin K. Only 5 minutes at the most, once or twice a week. Really, do try and limit your exposure. Sunburns are especially painful and irritating when bundled under layers and layers of sweaters and coats. Not to mention the risks for skin cancers. Moderation is the best policy here.

So have a lovely winter, keep hydrated, eat plenty of citrus, exercise, and get a little bit of sun!

For more information on SAD, go to

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Soapbox Sunday: Child and Pet Ettiquette

Lumping your child in the same category as your pet is not fair, but in some ways the same rules apply.

Children and Pets (namely dogs) in the Salon or store or wherever...

Here's the thing:

If you're in a Salon or Spa, you're there to relax and feel better. Doesn't it make sense to make it a pleasant place for everyone? This is why the same rules apply to bringing your small dog into a public place as bringing in your four year old boy.

If... and this is a big one... if you can't keep them quiet, they'll disturb others.

On the same token, if they're running from one end of the store, restaurant, Salon, Spa or whatever to the other, that is not proper behavior. Its disturbing to everyone and doesn't belong in public areas. Disruption aside, there is also a matter of safety. If a child wanders into an area where things could fall on them, or people could trip on them, then they're not safe.

I only bring this up because I care. Its not to be bitchy or unprofessional or anything of that nature. But if there is a small child running break neck behind a stylist who doesn't know they're there and has very sharp shears in her hand... well, accidents are bound to happen.

That being said, if you have a well behaved child, dog... iguana, or whatever. Then by all means, bring them along! But use discretion. If you know they can't behave, get a sitter.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

All Natural Wednesday! Fizzing Bath Bombs...

Fizzy Bath Bombs

As the first installment of All Natural Wednesday, here is the recipe for a very easy bath additive. Its an effervescent version of bath salts. Same effects: smooth skin, soothing water... with the fun of bubbles!

2 tablespoons citric acid powder (Think Vitamin Cottage or natural supplement section)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup baking soda
3 tablespoons light oil such as canola, almond or sunflower
3-6 drops essential oil or fragrance oil (optional... and avoid cinnamon oil, it burns)
2-3 drops food coloring (optional)

Mix dry ingredents in a plastic or glass bowl first. Add oil to dry mixture and blend until it makes a soft dough. Add fragrance and color if you desire. Shape the dough into small balls and place on a sheet of wax paper. Let the bath bombs harden and dry. Approx. 24-48 hours.

To use: Drop one to three bombs into a warm bath and enjoy!

Yield: 4 ounces, enough for 6 bath bombs, depending on size.

Source: Natural Beauty at Home (second edition) by Janice Cox, page 135

Monday, November 9, 2009

You dirty RAT!

Oh dear...

So, in the spirit of cleanliness, and in an attempt to dispose of the strange sounds coming out of under the sink, we bought some traps.

Normally, I'm all for the "I don't have to see them" variety of spin traps. The premise is simple. Mouse smells something good, they go inside to investigate, the lever snaps closed, neck broken and mouse inside trap. The plus side to this is that you never actually have to touch said (dead and flopping) mousie... Its a big bonus.

Well, that didn't seem to work, unfortunately. After a full day and night of continued sounds and prestine traps, we decided to up the stakes. Full on snap traps. You know the ones. They're spring loaded metal attached to a piece of wood thats baited. If the mouse steps (or breathes too hard, Sean has a sore thumb from showing me how they work) on the baited part, the metal snaps over them and breaks their neck or seriously wounds them.

At least, thats what its supposed to do... helps if you're dealing with a mouse.

A mouse, even a big one, is typically 2-3inches long. This was not a mouse. Which is why, of course, the traps didn't work. It took two days to get this guy, and even then when Sean went to dispose of him, HE DIDN'T FIT IN THE TRAP!

The green is where the "mouse" was laying while Sean watched its death throws... When I got home, Sean described the "mouse" and explained how he used an old towel rack and a paint stirrer to chopstick it into the trash. He kept insisting it was a mouse because it was cute and gray and surprisingly clean looking. We think he might have been someones pet rat that got into the wall or something. (Because of that, I've been calling him Pickles. Its a good rat name, Pickles... right?)

The problem was that he didn't know if it was dead or not. It wasn't in the trap, and it looked dead, being that it was flopping around when poked and didn't appear to be breathing. But who wants to be holding a wild animal of any variety when it 'comes to' from being knocked out? Originally he was going to either hit it with a hammer or stab it with one of my steak knives, but (thank goodness) decided instead to Macguiver it into the trash and run it out to the dumpster.

After eating dinner, we came home and I cleaned under the sink with copious amounts of lysol and found how he had been coming into our humble abode.

I also found some very telling paw prints on the side of our trash can...

The good news is that we got him, and that I've plugged the hole by covering it with a metal scouring pad that I nailed to the wall. Under the sink is clean and the hole is plugged, but just in case our little buddy was a momma, we set some more traps up just in case.

Rest in Peace, Pickles... can't say I'll miss ya.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Of Mice and Meetings...

There is a sound in my kitchen.

It's the rustling of paper and wrappers and small edible things. It happens late at night when I'm getting ready for bed, and at quiet times during the day. It's a very small noise and it is coming from the meanderings of a very small mouse.

Cuteness aside, there is a rodent living with Sean and I. We were watching Spectacular Spiderman and I heard a noise coming from the kitchen. Being back from work and getting ready for school, I was eating some leftovers when we heard what sounded like tinfoil being crumpled.

Being naturally curious, I went to check it out. Sean, apparently, had been hearing the noise for several days now but had yet to investigate it. So, sneaking very quietly into the kitchen, leftovers in hand, I gently pulled open the cabinet door under the sink.

There, munching on some wilted celery that was sticking partway out of the trash was a terrified little mouse. The feeling was mutual as I jumped about two feet in the air, made an awfully girly sound (like eep) and lost the fork out of my plastic container. The mouse tore straight for its hole where the pipes come out of the wall for the sink while I jumped and Sean laughed about how the mouse was probably more scared of me than I of it.

He was probably right. We did get traps that day, and after I cleaned up the food stuffs scattered around under the sink (and the two tinfoil cupcake wrappers) Sean set them up. It was amazing. Little mouse had pulled wrappers and Pumpkin pieces and Spaghetti squash skins and all manner of things out of the trash.

I guess this means that if you have good stuff in the trash and its accesible, even on the third floor you can get vermin. Good to know... Guess I'll toss my old pumpkins directly in the dumpster.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pause for Reflection...

Sometimes I think that maybe reaction for the sake of reaction is counterproductive.

Proaction, if not thought through is just as bad.

Its true... to "assume" makes an ass out of u and me... your coach in High School was right!

So here is my plea: Think, then react... and one more thing: If you think something would be better, and its NOT FOR YOU... Check with the customer BEFORE you do it. Maybe they'll like it! Maybe not... but at least you've tried.

Sometimes, trying is better than reacting.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Unexpected treats...

Two nights ago it started snowing... and it hasn't stopped. Two days worth of snow and slush and cold closed work at 7pm and school for two days.

Here is a picture of the pumpkin that I carved yesterday evening and the one I cleaned out for Sean. (He hasn't carved his yet.) I also made chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting.

The finishing touch on the cupcakes will be some red-cornsyrup for blood drizzled on top. (Because I'm a vampire for Halloween.)

So, needless to say, even though I didn't have school, I stayed nice and busy.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


A somber and silent blanket of thick snow has fallen over the world tonight.

Its fitting, actually, since Sean and I were informed today that our neighbor has passed away.

Good luck and best wishes, John. Hopefully you're in a better place and have found the happiness in the next world that you couldn't find in this one.

Rest in Peace

Sunday, October 25, 2009

...I'll cut you!

Welcome! These are a few pictures from my first week of being able to cut real-live people's hair!

This is Su. She was my first haircut of the evening of October 14th. I gave her a blunt cut (0 degrees elevation)with deep v point-cutting at a 45 degree angle in the back to create movement. She liked it so much that she wants to get it shorter.

Above is Kirstin's before photo. Below is after.

Kirstin had an all over 90 degree haircut. Its usually referred to as a "layered" cut. She has a lot of hair, but it was lots of fun to cut!

Sean's been a real big sport about this whole school business... he even volunteered to come in a second time for a shorter haircut to help me. I think it came out really well... and its the first time I've cut his hair and it was even! Hurray for clippers!

Here are a few pictures of a short hair-cut on one of my manikin heads.

Thanks everyone who's come out to be a model for all the various services! Please come in again soon!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Excuses... excuses...

Just thought of this as I was biking home from work today...

Here's the thing: I'm late a lot... you could say that its one of my big faults. It is what it is...

Generally, its because I don't get up early or I dally around the house until I've fettered all of my free time away... and I realized that most of the time, its not that I don't have the time... or that I don't manage my time well. Though that can sometimes be true.

Its an excuse. I can't be on time because I wake up late... why? Cause I don't want to get up. So yep!

Excuses are just reasons we give ourselves not to try in the first place.

So, why not just try?

This is my new mantra... starting today. We'll see how long it lasts til the new one, but for now, I'm optimistic.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Scissorhands! No, not the movie...

Scissors! Scissors! Scissors!

So, on Tuesday this week, we had a special guest come and visit our class in a sort of celebration of our finishing cutting class. It was great!

Heres the deal: There are two kinds of scissors; Beveled and Convex.
I drew them in photoshop for ya...

Guess which one is sharper... Yep! The one on the right.

There are also two kinds of metal that these scissors are made out of:
Forged and Tempered.

Forged is worked and compressed into its final form, much like a good sword..
Tempered is melted, put in a mold to cool and rough shod into form.

Another interesting thing that I learned was in addition to rinsing your shears after every client, shears need to be lubricated with shear oil(he said that it has a small amount of wax in it) and then re-tensioned.

The key to good tension, it turns out, is finding the optimal balance between too loose and too tight. Too loose will round the blades out, while too tight will wear them against each other and both will limit their life span.

The way to test tension is to hold the finger tang and open the shears so that they make a cross. Let go.

If they don't move, or only close about half way, they're too tight. If they just flop closed they're too loose. The goal is to close about 2/3rds of the way.

The gentlemen who did the presentation also showed us some stretches and taught us about how a lot of scissor sharpening people will ruin good shears trying to give them a bevel edge, instead of sharpening them correctly.

Of course, I want to buy one of their shears, are you kidding?!?!? Trouble is, I don't have the money... yet.

I know exactly which model I want, actually... I want to get the 6.5 inch swivel scissors. You can see all of their products on their website and specifically the swivel shears that I like HERE. (Its the Samadhi "cyclone"... did you know you can personalize them with different color attachments? I'm going to get purple.*grins*)

Happy Perusing... and remember! Don't drop your shears!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Snack time!

Recently I've been playing with different eating patterns and have noticed that if I eat more during the day, especially before or during work that I feel better, have more energy, don't want to kill my co-workers, etc, etc...

Well, snacking requires food, which means that I have to buy more... which requires money... or creativity. Yep! So, creativity won, since I'm not making more and still have all my bills.

The first thing that I made was apple chips. This meant cracking out my dehydrator from storage and firing it up. It was incredible! The whole house smelled like apples. Almost as if I had baked a cake or pie or something. The next thing I made was my variation of Zucchini Bread. Here's the recipe:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray two loaf pans lightly with oil and flour.
Combine ingredients in order:
2 cups Whole wheat flour
1/2 cup White flour
1/4 cup ground flax seed milled
1/2 cup uncooked wheat bran
2 tsp ground cinnamon to taste
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup splenda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup egg beaters
1/2 cup finely shredded apple (one small, in substitution of oil)
2 cups shredded zucchini

Mix well, divide into loaf pans and bake 30 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.

Makes approx 32 servings. (Weight watchers: 1 point!)


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

..27 and a new gift of sorts

Every year on my birthday, I take a moment in my day to review and plan for the future.

This year, as you might imagine, was no different. With one small exception. I was driving home from picking up a free gift with purchase of my favorite face cleanser and a new eyeshadow for my make up kit - when it hit me.

I don't care for the mall anymore.

It was a big realization for me, since most of my job history took place in, around or in a similar retail environment to a mall. Don't get me wrong, I still love going to visit once in a while, but the charm and magic is gone.

This led my year in review to a different avenue than I'm used to...

Some of the things that I've always treasured and built up in my mind as absolute truth are slipping or gone altogether.

Buying things -anything, everything...

if I could afford it, was a major source of entertainment and joy of a sort. Now its more of a chore, cause what happens if you buy the end-all 'item X' and then the next week you see a better made version for less expensive... but you're stuck with the first thing? And you didn't really need it in the first place???

What others think...

Okay, I'm not saying that peoples' opinions of me as a person don't matter. Its more a matter of not worrying about what a person is going to think about me because I wear my clothes a certain way or because I like tinted lip gloss and red-purple low-lights in my hair. I don't care what they think about my look. If they like it, I can help them achieve a similar look or not. But I don't beat myself up because they don't like it. I just don't have time to care. :)

Creating art -Everything can be art, really!

Conversation, for example, is an art and not a science. One of my secret goals in most conversations with people (and I pride myself on being able to talk to ANYONE) is to make them smile or even laugh. Too much time in life is spent in mulling over how life sucks. Maybe life doesn't suck... maybe you just suck at life? Take a minute to laugh about your problems every day and you'll start seeing them in a different light!

Know what else is art? Balancing finances, organizing your house, writing in your blog (or updating your facebook or myspace status), doing your make-up, wrapping presents, taking pictures, and many many more things! ...not to mention making tasty eats on a tight budget! That takes some serious creative energy!

Life is short - But its also longer than most of us realize.

Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix and tons more all died at 27. Granted, many of them died from drugs, alcohol or suicide... but its still there. Know what else is intesting? How many people create late in life!

Ronald Reagan became the governor of California at 61, then went on to be President. All after an pretty decent acting career! Benjamin Franklin helped draft and signed the Declaration of Independence at age 70. At 81, Franklin signed the Constitution of the United States of America. But its not just politicians... Frank McCourt who wrote the bestseller "Angela's Ashes" didn't begin to write until he was in his sixties.

"Chaucer wrote his CANTERBURY TALES between the age of 54 and 61. Ogilby, the translator of Homer and Virgil, knew little of Latin or Greek till he was past 50. Socrates learned to play on musical instruments at age 80. Columbus was well over 50 when he discovered America. Grandma Moses achieved her fame and success after age 90."

Another thing that I've realized is that one thing I've always believed is not only still true, its gotten stronger...

Passion is the heart and soul of success. Without it, you might as well give up. Passion is the key to creation and creativity. It is the essential ingredient in all cooking and every business venture.

Passion and the stomach to follow through with your dreams are the greatest tools that you could ask for in climbing your own Mt. Everest.

Ps. A really great book that Sean's been reading lately has helped me in these deep thoughts. Here's a LINK TO HIS SITE...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Finished Kitchen... Ah... Pretty

Hurray for posing and cameras with timers...

Okay, so strictly speaking, these are not the "finished" photos. LOL But still good stuff, huh? :D

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kitchen Prettiness...

Gone are the horribly ugly handles of doom! It started as this ugly egg color with brown handles smack dab in the middle of the cabinets. Blech...

Above: stripping the doors. Below: Priming the cabinet frames.

Above: First coat of "brown eyes".

Tomorrow I'll post the finished product!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

...Ah... Fall!

So, Sean is back, the kitchen is re-painted and Sean's parents have come and gone.

I know, I know... I should be updating this blog more, but... okay this is not a place for excuses. I'm done with that. Moving on...

Two days ago I woke up and it was raining. Well, raining and someone was hammering. Except for the noise, it was beautiful outside. Wet and wonderful. This morning it became much colder, still cold now, though the rain is mostly past.

On Saturday, I found out some great news!

Longs Peak Academy has just submitted the last piece of information they needed to become Federally Accredited. What does this mean, you ask?

Well, an accredited school can provide a certain amount of Federal funding such as grants, scholarships, and oh yeah... LOANS.

How does this effect me? The three hundred dollars or so that I've been giving them every month will be mine to do with as I please. And how do I wish to use this? Two hundred straight to savings, and the rest on extravagant items like food and toothpaste. Its an exciting prospect, let me tell ya...

Another fun happening will be this weekend, when I'll be going to Peel's Creative Arts 2009 Conference. I'll write up a little of what I've seen there when I get back. I'll be staying with my mom in Denver for the weekend, so that will be fun. Plus, I'm meeting up with a couple of the girls from school.

Good stuff all around. Now, if I could just figure out how to afford going part time to Kinkos... hmmm... I'll let you know what I figure out.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

...Leaving on a jet plane...

Sean is currently winging his way to Maine.

Today we left the house at about seven in the morning and after picking up a sandwich at Einsteins and navigating the amazing amount of traffic on 270 to I-70, we made it to DIA.

All this week, in fact, all this month, I've been brave-stoic-confident and even optimistic about the fun he'll have in Maine and the fun I'll have with the house all to myself. The truth is that after I lost sight of him going through security and set foot on the moving walkway, I was crying. I missed him already.

Actually, the feeling was so strong that I cried my way past where I'd parked my car and watched planes for about forty-five minutes, determined as I was to see him go.

I must have watched about thirty planes landing and taking off... when it hit me.

Not only did I not know what Continental's planes looked like, but I was slightly jealous. All of these people coming and going, taking trips and seeing the sights... and I didn't know if I would have enough cash to get out of the parking lot.

So now I'm back home, even though without Sean here, its not very 'homey'. First things first, I suppose. Time to clean, then I'll see what I can do around the house.

Maybe I'll even do some sculpting...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Small Business Plans...


Ever since I was about 12, I've wanted to open a bed and breakfast. It started when my brother and his significant other were living with her children in Salida in a house that her mother owned.

It was beautiful. Salida is at one end of what's commonly called the "banana belt of the rockies". Its a lovely little town with a large concentration of cops, cows and white-water enthusiasts and sometime ski instructors. My favorite stories that I've written are based there, and I've always had a sort of nostalgic reverence for the idea that one day I'd have a bed and breakfast out there or somewhere like it.

Lately I've been thinking about what I'd like to eventually do with my skills in the Salon and Spa trade. So, I've decided to marry the two and start researching opening a Bed and Breakfast with a sort of everyman/woman day spa and salon. It would be akin to a destination spa, but with a more earthy and reasonable price range.

The next question is where?

Boulder is pretty well saturated, and Salida is really farther than I'd like to go. I'd like to put it somewhere near the mountains, perhaps Golden or something... I'll keep you posted on what I figure out.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Of Evil Rice and Off-Street Signs...

The amazing thing about changing your lifestyle and re-educating your body to eat in a more healthy way is that your body will come to expect it.

For instance, I've been eating really healthy lately. You know, lean meats and salads, vegetables, and the like... its been a month, and though I haven't really seen the results on the scale, my body has apparently adjusted to the new habits.

Case in point:

On Friday we went to a friends' house(her house is beautiful, btw, and is my new motivation for being successful at my new salon endeavors), had dinner and watched the directors cut of "Caprica" (the made for TV movie from Syfy, which was excellent).

The dinner was lovely. She grilled chicken kabobs and served salad with light dressing for the main meal. The appetizer was a sort of ground turkey-spicy cheese dip. The dip was INCREDIBLE! Apparently it was made with lean ground turkey, queso cheese, spicy salsa and sour cream. Wow... I could not stop eating it. Even the chips tasted great.

...Thats what happens when you don't eat cheese for a month. Its sort of like if an alcoholic gets handed a handle of Jack Daniels. Less dramatic and messy, but its the same idea. I didn't eat as much dip as I wanted, but I still ate too much of it.

Day two:

Saturday is Sean and my "date night" of sorts. So we went out. For the last several weeks we've been going to Baker's Street Pub and we were both a little Baker's st-ed out. So instead of going there, we went to Tsing Tao, a Chinese restaurant across town that I had found online.

It was lovely. We were the only ones there, except of course, the staff. We ate well, Sean with sweet and sour chicken and I had sesame chicken with brown rice. Later, we went to ice cream as usual, and went home.


I woke up, spent some time with Sean, went to the restroom, started walking back, and suddenly I was on the floor in a cold sweat. My stomach was killing me (I was pretty willing to bet it was literally). I kept thinking that I would have to call 911 or something. Sean was good as gold and got me several rounds of water and a cool towel for my face.

After about mid-way through the second water I started feeling better. I've been drinking water ever since and I feel much better. Today I'll drink water until I go to bed and hope for the best tomorrow.

Street signs...

Today we went for a lovely drive in the mountains. Its an incredible thing to be so close to the mountains and to be able to drive through them any time. It does my soul good. Sean and I had a great time and returned home rejuvenated and invigorated.

Whenever I go places, if I find something that sparks my imagination, I either take a picture or write a note to myself. This is the sign that I found today:

No Parking (crossed out P)
Dusk til Dawn

How fun is that? Why no camping or no stopping? What happens at dusk? I love those signs... very cool. Its the closest thing I've ever seen to a vampire warning sign or a werewolf warning sign or something... :D

Friday, July 31, 2009

Plot, subplot, Monkeys and facials...

I know what I said, believe me! I said "...every day, or couple of days." So, I got busy, meh... no one really reads this anyways, so what does it matter, right?

But on the same token, you're reading this, so not all hope is lost!

Okay, back on subject. Plot and subplot. I don't know why or how or whatever might have prompted this, but I've been thinking a lot about story structure lately. Could be the story percolating up through my subconscious of late... who knows?

The bare bones of a through story, or a series especially, is plot. There is a problem that needs to be solved and it needs to be something people care about. People will get sick or something, someone with lose their house or their livelihood, or maybe the world will be stuck by a meteor... whatever.

The plot comes from the progressive trials, discoveries and journey through to the resolution of this objective. This is also where sub-plot lives. Subplot is the side-bar objectives and trials-discoveries-journeys that eventually lend themselves to the main plot, but they are their own smaller, contained pieces of the larger story.

A really good example of this can be seen in the show "Burn Notice." The show is based on Michael, the protagonist, in his quest to get back to being a spy, after being "burned" and cut out of the profession that he loved. Every episode has its own sub-plot that contains the main elements of his spy skills that he uses to help whomever it is in trouble that week.

In addition to this, there is the underlying plot where the objective for Michael is becoming a spy again, and his girl-friend pushing for him to quit and rebuild with her.

Without both plot AND subplots, and a strong objective that the protagonist or whoever is striving for, the story is limp and sad.

Moving on...

Monkeys!!! ...and other figurines! I've finished Nicole, Sean's drummer, last night. Henry is still in the fridge, but I'm still working on him, don't worry. He has a lot of muscles, actually, and is taking massive amounts of clay.

Here are some pics:

Nicole, no paint with Henry wire frame:

Nicole, with paint, and Henry with basic body:

Now a quick note about facials...

Have you ever had a facial? I mean in a Spa, performed by an Esthetician or a Cosmetologist and probably between $50 and $100. Well, then you know how great they are... and not to toot my own horn, but I'm really good at them.

If you know someone who needs a facial, we have facials, body treatments (whole body salt scrubs are out of this world great) and other things available at my school:

If you call me and ask nice, and its a night that I'm allowed to have models, its FREE!! Let me know if you're interested, I have to do lots of these things before I can graduate, and I love helping people feel good!

Well, until next time... Best wishes and good health!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


...even a rat knows when to desert the ship.

If you've watched enough pirate/sailing/sailor movies, you've no doubt encountered this adage. As I survey our general lack of staff at work (even though we're inundated with a large variety of customers) I'm irresistibly reminded of this line. Actually, its haunting me.

Why does a rat desert a ship?

My managers that I've mentioned this to, and even my friends - insist that I'm looking too hard at this and probably I am. But like it or not, the 'rats' are jumping ship. Planes with the most cancellations or no-shows tend to be the ones that crash. In the next month, we're losing 2 employees. The month after that? 2 more are slated to leave. The next month? Who knows?

On a lighter note, the movie rental for the week was "Roman Holiday" featuring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.

According to the Netflix wrapper: "Audrey Hepburn (in an Oscar-winning performance) stars as a cosseted European princess who goes AWOL in Rome and is soon taken under the wing of tabloid journalist Gregory Peck and his photographer sidekick Eddie Albert. She thinks the boys don't suspect who she really is... but they're clued in the sense a sensational story if they can just keep Audrey's handlers from retrieving her too soon. The essence of 1950s chic."

Super cute movie... they sure don't make em like they used to, ya know? I liked it a lot, actually. I've been curious about this movie ever since I was a kid watching "Only You". In that movie, they re-enact a scene from the movie "Roman Holiday" in which they go to the Mouth of Truth... very enjoyable! Good stuff...

Random thought for the day: Why do fat men ride cheap motorcycles? I can understand the tough factor and all, but the jig is up! I'm not scared of a three-hundred pound dude on a rice-cooker, especially when its all fat and no muscle. Craziness...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I now pronounce you...

Wedding stylist!

Ok. So I've been busy. Big whoop... Sean is busy and he blogs almost daily. So no more excuses! I'll be blogging again much more often now. At least once a week, if not more.

Granted, no one actually will read this, but still... if nothing else it gives me an outlet and an excuse to write.

This week I finished a mauquette of one of Sean's figurines (I'll post pictures tomorrow). Also, today I helped my friend Audrey, who I met in Cosmetology school, to do the hair and make-up of the wedding of a friend of hers.

Here are some pictures:

Tomorrow I'll try and post the pictures from the mauquette... Oh! I have to go get her out of the oven...

...until next time...

Ps. This week, I'm weighing in (ala weight watchers, btw) at 167. Last week was 171

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sure, I don't NEED them... :D

I know its been a while since my last update, but to be fair, I've been really busy. Its funny, I thought once I'd given up faire for these next two years that I'd have more time and more money to do things...

Not so much...

Actually, its the other way around. I have less money, because I'm paying as I go (and buying extra supplies along the way...) and I go to school three nights a week and Saturdays all day. The payoff is that I have Sundays off to spend with Sean or clean our place.

Also, one of the girls overheard the teachers talking about me the other day! Turns out, everyone is REALLY impressed at how well I'm doing (the term "natural talent" gets tossed around a lot around me) and their only regret is that I haven't finished much of the program yet, so I can't officially do much in the way of client services.

I'm not letting it get me down, though. I can perm now, and do up-dos and shampoo sets (gel curls that older ladies get once a week).

Not to mention the occasional make-up session. Sometimes we get little girls in for special occasions like their birthdays and they get "glamour girl" makeovers which includes nails, make-up and some sort of pretty hairdo. I did one this last week.

She was eight years old and I gave her a crown braid with half her hair and the bottom curled pretty. In the braid I put some gold glitter (she called them sparkleys). We also did her make-up with pink glitter, some pastel purple eyeshadow and light pink blush. She was pleased as punch! So very cute!

Here is my friend Audrey in pincurls (gel curls, except dried with pins holding them instead of curlers)

So, you're probably wondering what this has to do with "I don't need them"... well, as with most fun occupations/hobbies, there are cute t-shirts that people can buy. Since I can't really afford them, I thought to let people know about them on the off chance that someone is at a loss for what to buy me for my birthday or whatever... :D They're from "" I wear a Woman's Medium.

Friday, May 8, 2009

...a little perspective?

I guess with all the excitment between going to school now... and working, a little perspective is good.

Here's a quick link to my new school: Longs Peak Academy of Cosmetology

Music has been my "me" time lately... and I thought I'd just share some:

...and this song has been stuck in my head for about a week... I wish they played out here!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Much news...

As anyone who has known me over a summer can attest, I love the Renaissance Festival in Larkspur, Colorado. Whats more, I love working there.

Yes its hot, and hiking in a dress (with a corset) can be exhausting... much less singing and hiking at the same time. But I loved working there... yes, I typed that right... past tense.

I'm taking a hiatus. I don't know if its a "much needed" hiatus or if this is even the right choice for me, but I really need to get out of Kinkos... which leads to major update #2.

I'm going to Beauty School, beginning next week (Tuesday, actually) I'll be starting at Longs Peak Academy of Cosmetology. Its a part-time, two year program in which I'll learn hair, nails and skin. It is my ticket out of Kinkos, and believe me, I'm excited about it!

Sean and my Mom are being ultra supportive during this major upheaval. When I told Mom my plans she actually hopped happily and told me how perfect she thought this would be for me. Sean offered to help pay some of the schooling if I couldn't get a loan. He said he was proud of me for going back to school "for us.."

This is my thought: I'm going to try and stay at Kinkos through school. When school is over, I'll get a job at a full-service salon and work up some clientele. If that goes well, I'll rent a booth and take my clients with me or possibly open a new salon with a collection of others of like mind. To augment my income, I have some ideas about in-home spa treatment parties. It would be great for wedding parties or a "girls night in" kind of thing with wine and a movie.

The big thing would be that I could make my own hours... which means that I would have more time and energy to do the Faire or anything else that I wanted to do! I could go for hikes on a Tuesday, or walk the dogs on a Thursday... or go to lunch with Sean on a Wednesday! Plus, I'd be able to use my creativity to help people.

I guess it doesn't hurt that I'm good at that, either...

Don't worry... I'm not giving up on music. Actually, I play Guitar almost every night and I'm singing with it when Sean goes on his evening bike-rides. Playing and singing are great relaxers for me, and the only way I'd give up music entirely would be if I were in a coma, and even then I'd probably dream music...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009 crumbs...

There are holiday crumbs in the couch, on the floor, around the kitchen, even on the walls of the condo.

Not real "crumbs", more like the random detritus of the holidays. Christmas and holiday cards, ornaments, packing materials from boxes in the mail, empty holiday plates, and of course the twinkling lights along the indoor-plant 'christmas tree' and the mantle.

So today I'm cleaning. Time to take down the lights and pack up the holidays that seemed to sneak up on us, ambushed and then flitted away into the night. What day is it anyway? Oh, right... the third of January... 2009!

With cleaning always comes introspection on my part... which is probably why I'm waxing philosophical at the moment. That, and the holidays always tend to bring people out of the woodwork. Those that you've sort of let slip over time and have reunited with for whatever reason that the holidays always seem to spark.

Perhaps its the movie that I received through Netflix this week? I watched "Home for the Holidays" while eating a brunch of sorts. Buy this movie... seriously.

Its my favorite holiday movie. Its not one of those movies like "Miracle on 34th st" or "Its a wonderful Life"... its more of a real 'how life over the holidays' sort of thing. It always makes me want to hug my mom and thank her for raising me. It doesn't sugar coat the holidays, but it does make you feel good about the holidays that you do have.

The special things that make you and the ones you love different are the things that should be treasured.

Who cares if you got what you wanted or if crazy Aunt Jane asked you fifty times if you were done with school or if your Dad has never apologized for anything in his entire life or if you accidentally got your Mom drunk for Christmas. Its the memories that matter!

Life keeps on going and you just have to keep going... even if its not perfect like you think it should be, it is what it is, so make the best of it. Thats my big plan for this year... make the best of whatever happens and just to keep smiling as best I can. There are some things I can change, but there are some that I can't, so I'll do what I do and hope for the best!

I basically work, eat, sleep and play guitar. Not necessarily in that order, but hey... that's the fun part, right? Variety of the when versus the variety of the what.

I guess its one of those easy things to pare down on when you can't afford to drive half-way across the state to hang out nonchalantly with friends.

I'm not complaining... Life's been good for the most part. Sean, my boyfriend who I live with in Boulder, has been busybusybusy and we've just managed to squeeze in actual social activities on all the major holidays including New Year's Eve.

The plus side of his being busy is that he's one of the few people who are thriving monetarily in this whacked-out economy. I'm scraping by bill wise and am very happy that I still have my savings chugging along.

Currently I'm waiting to hear back from Betty on whether or not she wants me to come back to faire sans Madrigals... Dana and Leah quit, Michelle is having her baby in March, Emily wants to start a whole new group, but I'm really burned out on the group thing...

Last year, trying to get all of the girls together for rehearsals (nevermind the antics AT the faire... but we won't get into that... oi.) was much like trying to herd cats. If you can convince one, the others want to do something else, or vise-versa... and the prospect of starting over with people that I don't know? Gives me heartburn just thinking about it.

But I'm getting pretty damned decent on guitar. Sean's recently taught me bar and power-chords. I've been in touch with Gary and Steve Mariner about getting tab or chords for some of the faire songs... Steve promised that he'll get back to me on it.

So, yeah... All things concidered, I think 2009 will be much better than last year... There is a hope in the air that I didn't have last year. Makes me smile a bit... guess I'll just have to wait and see, right?

Happy New Year!

I hope that you and yours have lots of luck, lots of love... and a postive outlook for the future. It is what you make it, so make it a good one!