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.