Silver Sparkles

I was a bit disheartened when a friend recently showed up with her hair dyed in a monotone, off black color to cover her silver hair. My first impression was that this color, which was too dark for her complexion, over-shadowed her sparkle. If you didn’t know, let me be the first to tell you, Silver Hair Sparkles!!!

Fashion Design by Greta Wallace of Simply Greta

But of course, every woman has the right to wear her hair the way she prefers. Many women believe that dying their hair will make them look younger. As a beauty expert who can’t help but notice a woman’s appearance, I have always countered that covering up your silver hair, doesn’t necessarily make you look younger; done improperly, it can actually create the opposite of what is actually desired.

And speaking of young, the young girls are stripping their dark hair and dying it silver these days; that’s the trend. Silver is the new black!!! And I’ve recently heard a couple of podcasts about white women getting on the natural hair bandwagon. Natural hair for them means being liberated from covering up their silver hair.  And doesn’t silver sound more appealing than gray?

If you prefer covering your silver hair, here are a few tips so that your hair doesn’t scream, “I’ve just dyed my hair to cover the gray.”   As we grow older, silver hair or lighter hair, softens the aging of our faces. So follow these tips.

Tip 1 – Use a color that is at least a shade or two lighter than your natural color. Whatever you do, don’t use black, which will give you a harsh look and will wash out your natural complexion, reflecting a dull hue in your skin tone.

Tip 2 – See a professional colorist who will know how to match your skin tone and offer you an array of hair colors to choose from. And though it may cost a little more, having highlights and low-lights will really give your hair more of a natural look, emulating the way natural hair color appears in varying shades. At Khamit Kinks Professional Colorist Taeisha Black is stellar at coloring hair. Book a consultation with her to discuss your options.

Tip 3 – Following your hair color process, make sure to have a deep conditioning treatment as hair coloring by its nature is very drying and strips the hair of its natural oils. You want to replace these oils by having hot oil treatments and  great conditioning treatment.

Tip 4 – And for those who are wearing your silver hair, use silver boosters to enhance and help your silver sparkle.

 

 

 

Healing and Being Flower Fresh

The great Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh says, “We should be flower fresh, so that we refresh others.” When visiting with my mother in the hospital over the last few months that was my intention, to be flower fresh, not only for my mother, but all those who attended to her. A hospital is definitely a place that needs the energy of flower freshness. I wanted to be flower fresh to help my mom get better, but I also I had with me, something more.

I brought to the hospital an Anu Essentials Refresh Spritzer and I would spray it a few times throughout each day. This not only changed the aroma and molecules of my mother’s hospital room, but it had an affect on everyone who entered her room. From the visitors to the nurses and the nurse’s aids and doctors, they all noticed the shift in energy and aroma when entering my mom’s room.

Typically they would all take a deep breath and say, “Something in here smells good, what is that?” They also allowed me to lightly shower their faces with the Spritzer. They would happily follow my directions to softly close their eyes, inhaled slowly and deeply as I gently sprayed them with the Spritzer. And my mom was happy that I had an extra Spritzer to leave with her, so that she could spray it whenever I was not there to address any unpleasant smells.

As I have mentioned before, my mother has been in and out of hospitals all her life and even as a child, the one thing that always weighed heavily on me when visiting her at the hospital, was the ever-present hospital smell. Let’s be honest, it smells of pain, illness, and even death, which is something that affects not only those staying there, but also those working and visiting there.

Since I have such a keen sense of smell, I find the aromas of a hospital draining on my spirit. Therefore, I was relieved and felt armed with nature, to have my creation in my bag to help me through the many hours spent at the hospital.  It made it all, so much more bearable. After finally leaving the hospital, the first rehab center that my mom was transferred to was so dank, in addition to the Spritzer; I had to bring out the heavy aroma arsenal. Stay tuned for that story next week.

Burdened with a number of respiratory illnesses, commercial perfumes and other artificial fragrances can set my mother off to coughing, choking and wheezing, which made it impossible for her to continue to go to church. The amount of heavily perfumed members of the congregation would trigger an asthma attack. That is never the case when I spray our plant based perfumes or Spritzers around her. I was so happy to have in created botanical based aroma Spritzers, something that’s easily accessible that I could use to uplift, inspire and shift the energy of my mother and her hospital room. It also helped to inspire me through the long hours.

Formulated with herbs and essential oils it brought nature into the space, God’s pharmacy, is what plants are. They are naturally imbued with healing elements. So if you need to change the energy in a space, whether it’s your home, car, office, or even a public place such as an airplane or hospital room, remember the healing and renewing elements of Anu Essentials Refresh and Spiritual Spritzers. Our Spritzers make it easy for you to be ‘flower fresh.”

I would be remiss if I didn’t share that as a woman of a certain age, experiencing the power of heat rising aka menopausal symptoms, spritzing my face with these herbal Spritzers calms the sweating and leaves me with a feeling of freshness.  Try it! I guarantee you’ll enjoy the experience.

This Little Piggy Went to Market – In Thailand

Today was a day of incredible markets and unusual experiences. In Thailand like in most markets, they are not just a place to purchase food, goods and pick up desirables. It’s a place to commune, connect, and perpetuate community. This is more than evident in the markets we visited today.

First stop, the Maeklong Railway Market just outside of Bangkok proper in the Samut Sakhon Provence. There is no other market like this one in the world. The story goes that the market was originally on land that became too expensive for the merchants, so they decided to relocate to place that would be free, the railroad.

This market is set up on either side of the railroad tracks and when the train comes through (eight times a day) everyone has the clear the tracks and make room for the train. For shoppers this merely means moving out of the way. For the merchants this means, winding in their awnings, rolling back the carts that their wares are on (a foot or two) and then there are other items low enough to the ground that the train passes over them without harm. It’s a most unbelievable experience.

Once the train passes, awnings are rolled back out, crates with wares are rolled back into place and the shoppers are once again all a bustle. Everything you might need for creating a dish is there, vegetables of all sorts, as well as fruits, seasoning, fresh fish and seafood, meats of all kinds and young girls stringing the worship garland of marigold and jasmine that I purchased and wore around my neck.

The second stop was the Floating Market in Dameoen Saduek. We drove another half hour or so to arrive at the dock to take the long nose boat to the floating market. This is a canal that was dug by hand which is incredible to imagine considering the length of the canal. We were on a pretty fast moving boat for at least twenty minutes.

Two of the elements of both of these markets are the incredible heat and humidity and this is true despite the fact that we began our journey at 7:00 to avoid the height of the heat. Despite that the heat was quite intense a somewhat draining. Thank goodness for the air-conditioned tour bus. The other element consists of droves of people, locals shopping and tourist from all countless far away lands. The largest groups are tourists are from China.

Last stop wasn’t your usual market; it was small and was actually a cocoanut processing compound. At this stop we were taught how the cocoanuts grow, the many ways it’s processed for oil, to make sugar, syrup, soap, oil, milk, juice and of course we were able to purchase, fresh, young coconuts to drink. Most Thai food includes some element of the coconut. As a special treat for us, our wonderful tour guide, Nok, purchased some plantain bananas that were rolled in cocoanut shavings and deep-fried. It was very delicious.

At this stop we were also able to go inside of a traditional Thai home. Made of teak wood, these homes are on stilts to raise the house to avoid flood, to house the water catching device and because having the house high off the ground, makes for a cooler home.

Inside each home is a shrine to the Buddha, in varying degrees of elaborateness.   There are also shrines outside of every home and business. Each home has two shrines, a shrine to the land elements (soil, air, water, plants, all botanicals) and a shrine to the ancestors. The ancestors have their own home outside the house because they are not allowed to live inside the home; they have their own home.

The land shrine is on a single pedestal and the ancestor shrine is typically on six legs. There are offering made to the shrine daily of acknowledgment and prayers, incense burned, food offered and worship garlands made of flowers like the one I purchased. I wore mine all day long and was just enchanted by the fragrant aroma of the marigold and jasmine. I can only imagine the ancestors loving this fragrance too. It’s jasmine that is the primary essence in the Anu Essentials Sea Scape Perfume, a fragrance that has easy access to my heart.

Also, this home, market had many animals, monkeys, birds, roosters, dogs and a cacophony of insects, which made for quite the sound system.  We finally arrived back to the hotel and just as I was about to prepare for a nap, veteran globe trotter Kay called and asked me to go with her to an antique mall.  That would take a whole other blog post if I could even find the words to describe one incredibly fabulous store with antiques that are just mind blogging. That’s another post for another day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally there was a delicious dinner with my two veteran, globetrotting friends who planned this incredible trip, Kay and Patricia at the night market on the river front.  Yes indeed, the market remains a hub for people to come together, to be together, to live and enjoy life.