UntitledSo, I had a regularly scheduled hair appointment last night.  I think I’ve been using the current stylist about a year, maybe more.  I trust her, we have a friendly rapport and I told her I was too blonde and something had to give.


Neither of these photos are accurate.  The top left selfie was at 10  pm last night, after my appointment.   The right photo was taken outside in cloudy conditions, and is too orange.  There is a copper glow, but not THAT much!

We arrived at this hue after a lengthy discussion.  That’s one of the things I like about my standing, Friday evening sessions.  She’s a night owl engaged to a musician, and I am not in a hurry to get to anything, so there’s time to strategize before the work starts.   I had gotten too blonde for my liking (see here), but I also didn’t want to just glaze it on back to my natural blah brown.  Interestingly, on my laptop, the photo on the right is representative of the auburn highlights my natural color gets when I spend a lot of time in the sun in the summer.

Neither photo includes any make-up.  Maybe Easter family time will yield some good photos.

Have you ever made a wild swing in your hair color?  Any advice for the new redder me?

Lyme’s wide net

But first, Wen cleanse #3 or Wen Day #5.  Again, no need for a photo, but I reached for the Wen this morning, did 6 pumps on cleanse #1, and only one, conditioner style, on round #2.  No leave-in.

So, about the title.  I’ve been treated for Lyme Disease 3 times.  Another friend is going through her second episode and is doing a lot of research.  Ironically, Lyme came up in a Wen/hair discussion with a bloggy friend this morning too. 

What if my hair changes aren’t a result of THE CHANGE, color processing, etc., but instead, are a symptom of my trials and tribulations with ticks – er, Lyme Disease?  What if instead of blaming all kinds of good hair products for failing me, I just need vitamins for my hair to battle the Lyme damage?


Dogs at work, not to be confused with WORKING dogs

And likewise, how many more of you have had Lyme Disease, or have someone close to you who has?

Just as I’m doing a little analysis paralysis with my own issues, so too suffers Sissy.   You can read more about her trip to the vet yesterday (eye’s fine, she’s mostly healthy) here

And why can’t humans get a Lyme vaccine, use Frontline to ward off ticks for 30 days at a time, etc?

Wen 1 + 1

No photo today.  Trust me… you don’t want one.  Let’s just say that after a completely neutral impression this morning, by noon, my hair was far too greasy for public viewing.  Never mind that the Knight had a play date – er, invited one of our awesome neighbors over – but at least he came over while the dogs and I were wogging, and sweaty head and greasy head look a lot alike, especially when I’m almost being rude and hoofing it to the house quickly.  Hem.

My unofficial Wen resources both believe I used too much product.  We’ll try again tomorrow.  And yes, I routinely skip a day when I have nowhere to be.  I prefer to wash my hair daily, and that’s part of the why I’m trying Wen; I’ve been told by professionals and long-term hair colorers alike that the color lasts best if one doesn’t wash daily.  Interestingly, Wen advertises that it’s safe for daily use for processed hair, and then the bottle reads something like “you may find you don’t need to cleanse as often as with traditional products.”  Ummm…  double-speak much?

Since you’re here, can you tell me what “business casual”  for women means to you?  No, don’t go look it up, just shoot from the hip.  I’m pretty sure I have a reasonable impression of what it means, but yet again, erring on the casual side Podunk seems to be setting me up for confusion.

What’s on your mind today?


Wen Day #1

So… after years of thinking maybe I should try Wen not-shampoo, I am giving it a go.  As much as I hate selfies, I do want to preserve what I did and the results, both for my own analysis paralysis purposes, and for those of you who have your own Wen curiosities.

First, un-Wen before photos:

UntitledThe best hair day in a very long time, with AG products.  No frizz, soft waves, lots of shine.

UntitledFrom the other side, and who knows WHAT I used… not even my own water.  (We were in DC.)   But, you can see the flip and soft curl thing my hair does, no matter where I am or how I try to style it.

UntitledNow, for the awkward selfie for Wen Day #1.

(Do I look cross-eyed?!  Gah.  Selfies stink.)

I think maybe there’s more curl to my wave.   Maybe it’s the awesome fluorescent lights, but my hair looks a little dull, eh? 

Here’s what I did:

Barely dampened my hair when I got in the shower, then did 5 pumps – because that’s all my small hand would hold – and slapped it on the top front of my head.  Massage, rub, scrub… repeat 2 more times.  Yeah, I’m a direction follower, but I couldn’t decide whether I have short-long hair, or long-medium hair, and by 15 pumps, I had globs of product gathering on my fingers while I scrubbed.

Rinse and more rinse, then 3 x 2 pumps all over again with more massaging and scrubbing.  I let that marinade while I shaved my legs and finished my shower, then more copious rinsing.

I squeezed out the excess water and wrapped my hair in a towel while I dried off.  Then, after I’d done my “chamois” towel wrap, I decided to try half of a pump or so as a leave-in.  Yeah, I didn’t follow directions here either.  They said to do it while the hair was still WET, but I didn’t wanna’.  I only applied it to the bottom 1/2 to 1/3 of my hair.

Then, I blew it dry as usual.   It felt as though it took longer, but I’ve never timed myself, so maybe I was just impatient.

Other points of interest:  Especially on the first wash, my scalp was quite tingly.  Not in a chemical, burning way, but definitely something was going on.  It tingled some with the second wash/soak, but not at all as intensely.  This is also why I hesitated on the leave-in, but I had a couple of tangles, so… I went with it.  It *TOTALLY* took longer than my regular shampoo and conditioner, and even with going light on the cleanser, I can’t see how this isn’t going to be significantly more expensive than even my salon-level products I have been using.

It’s too soon to tell.  Stay tuned.

Are you trying anything new?

Chemistry and Beauty Products

So…  I’ve heard all kinds of theories.  Some say you shouldn’t mix brands of beauty products, especially with skin care, because you never know how the different formulations will react.  I’ve never mixed shampoo and conditioner brands, but KathyB’s post last week made me wonder…

UntitledDo you mix and match?  Is this just some OCD head-game I’m playing with myself?

There’s an awkward selfie that inspired today’s analysis paralysis.  A rather good hair day on a damp, dreary day – unheard of!  What I did…

I used the AG Colour Care Shampoo & Conditioner my stylist sent me home with two appointments ago.  I had declared it sub-par, and have been just trying to use it up, and since today is a rainy day, it seemed like a good day to just throw in the towel and submit to a bad hair day from the get-go.

The little sample pack had some split end treatment thing with it too, and honestly, I wasn’t impressed with that either.  This morning, the pump wasn’t dispensing, so in frustration, I twisted off the whole contraption, globbed a “huge” dab out, saturated my ends, and… well… 

Huh.  Go figure. 

In other news, that super-awesome Cover Girl “orange” mascara?  Nah.  It flaked off all over my greasy little eyes.   It didn’t irritate my eyes as much as most eye products do, but it definitely wasn’t a pretty picture 4 hours later when I looked in the mirror.  Maybe I’m just meant to stick with foundation, concealer and lipstick?

Bella Belara

09060114GB_148_BellaBelara_001_HOr, in which we learn that Chan doesn’t even know what perfume she wears.  Sigh.  I wear Bella Belara, not Belara.  The differences are obvious; pink and black bottle, not shades of blue, and then there’s the scent profile…  They aren’t radically different, but clearly I am fragrantly unaware.  No wonder I lack a signature scent.

I love the stories about your signature scents though.  I’m not sure why I am suddenly a little consumed with finding one of my own. 


Snow 2010… repeat please?

But happy Thorsday, little friday and Thankful Thursday anyway.   I’m doing a snow dance along with countless school children and teachers in podunk; our own school district closed proactively, the one immediately to our east is closing early, also as a precautionary measure.  The weather forecasts are varied, but seem to insist that sometime very soon, the temperature will drop 8-10 degrees and it will snow. 

The fur-girls are hunkered down at home, just in case.  I can’t complain about drool and slobber gobbers on my pillow when the Knight doesn’t finish making the bed because he’d have to bother the dogs.  Spoiled much?

Thankful?  I’m thankful for so very much, but I’m really grateful for the other women in leadership in the JLC.  I’m one week into about three weeks of mid-year reviews, and not only am I excited about how far we’ve come already, I’m blown away by their dedication and candor.  I knew coming into this year it would be one of great change and transition as we select a new focus area for our community service efforts, but we’re also managing to move forward on several other fronts because we really are a group of phenomenal, talented women! 

Who are the phenomenal women in your lives?

Scent you are here…

Oddly, fragrance has been on my mind, and I just filled out a survey about fragrance habits.

Do you have fragrance habits?  I used to get a new scent every time I got a new steady beau.  For several years – or so I was told – my co-workers at the firehouse knew I was on duty when the stairwells smelled like me.  That would have been the Liz Claiborne Claiborne era, followed by the Ralph Lauren Lauren era…

07030156CU_p29_Belara_0001_HThen I married the Knight.  I love me a floral, but I can’t stand a strong scent, and several friends are even less tolerant than I am, so I don’t wear fragrance daily.  Plus, I think shampoos and lotions are far more fragrant than they used to be, and the wrong combination can give me a headache in three seconds.

I think my favorite fragrance ever is Kate Spade by Kate Spade, but wow is it a luxury treat. 

Currently, I spray on Mary Kay’s Belara more often than not, but in the summer months, I’m still polishing off an ancient bottle of Jessica McClintock.  I do have Gucci Guilty for special occasions, but it’s pretty potent and a little heavy for me for daily use. 

Do tell me about your fragrance use.  Has it changed over the years?  Or do you truly have a signature scent?


Loft cheetah-ish print I need to go try on

… about the animal prints right now.  I’m pretty sure I “hated” them the last time they were all the rage, but I already have four pieces in my wardrobe that immediately come to mind, and I am sure I need more.

Okay.  So much for being unable to care about fall fashion.  Inundate me with 278 email ads, Pinterest folks pinning, and add a grey morning, and I’m there.  Doesn’t hurt at all that the Loft has lumped dots in with their “spot on” campaign.  I also happen to already own three dotted items and might have ordered a fourth yesterday.  Hem.

Then, in a “my thoughts to mass market” moment, I was just internally griping yesterday because being ridiculously fair and yet outdoorsy, plus having sensitive skin and liking a faux “even” skin tone, I REALLY want a good, higher than 20 SPF tinted moisturizer.  I wouldn’t wear it every day… except when we’re at the beach…  Enter my inbox, Bobbi Brown.   I’ll be ordering some BB Cream SPF 35 just as soon as I figure out which shade I need. 

In other news, I’m on day #3 of the too good to be true Wake-up Makeup trial.  I went with the ivory powder foundation, because of course, podunk doesn’t seem to have the “new” liquid yet.  I’m pretty sure the formula doesn’t make a big difference in effect.  It has a cooling sensation as it leaves its powdery state and blends with the oils on my face.  But Marjie?  Skip it.  Not only does it fail to make me or my skin look or feel like we’re 18 again, the ivory is too dark for my never-sees sun forehead, and barely works on my sun-kissed cheeks and nose.  I’ll use it ’til my summer “tan” fades just because I’m thrifty like that, but it doesn’t have the real perk me up impact that Mary Kay’s Indulge Soothing Eye Gel has. 

For what it’s worth, I’ve been using THAT product for over 15 years, and maybe it’s why I don’t have significant crows feet.  I can also tell you it will fight a good fight against puffy eyes from a crying jag, allergies, lack of sleep, etc.   Sometimes, technology and cosmetics do have a good, successful, long-lasting marriage.  Doesn’t hurt any that I love the color too. 

What trends and/or gimmicks are you feeling right now?

PS – Go Sanya and Lolo!!  As a former sprinter, Sanya is the reason my eyes needed a double-dose of that eye gel this morning.  I had to stay up and watch.  See…  even with two of the best coaches to EVER grace high school track & field (seriously!), I wasn’t able to compete successfully in the 400M.  Pacing yourself and giving it all you have for a quarter mile… they’re mutually exclusive in my book.   … and I always wanted to be a hurdler, but my one attempt led to knee surgery, a bone chip still moving out from hiding once in a while in my wrist, so…

Wake-up Makeup

I am dragging BIG TIME after a week with extra meetings that sometimes ran into overtime.   We almost always have the TV on at work, and I saw this:

Who doesn’t love Kate Hudson?  But it’s the promise of 18-year old skin that tempts me…

Please and thank you?!   I don’t know that I look radiant and well-rested after a full-night’s sleep anymore, but I’m sorely tempted to try this stuff.   They also offer an eyeshadow + primer, a blush and an eyeliner in the Wake-up line.  I might need all of it to stand a chance in the morning…
Has anyone tried this stuff?  I have had good enough luck with Almay before…
What’s on your weekend agenda?

A word from our sponsors…

I realize most of you don’t give a hoot about my over-zealous passion for all things Junior League, but stick with me through this post, and MAYBE I’ll be able to move on.  (Plus, tomorrow’s Thursday, which means I have a prescribed program…)

You know you’re in the right place when even the corporate sponsorships secured by the non-profit’s staff make you happy.  Such is the case with most of AJLI’s corporate sponsors, so I’d like to introduce them to you.

In order of their appearance on the AJLI website:

Lilly P Marlisa

My beloved Lilly Pulitzer.   Okay, this is where I confess that I didn’t do much Lilly until they became affiliated with the JL several years ago.  The rest is history.  Add in that our local Lilly boutique really does love their League, and I honestly feel guilty shopping anywhere else.  THAT my friends, is how my marketing friends dream it will work!

(Although I think I’d like Marlisa in the Bee in Your Bonnet pattern… maybe?    That yellow/pink/blue would look cute with my 3/4 sleeved denim jacket, because those who know me well know I’m not going to bare my shoulders!)

I don’t really know Lierac, but given that they gave each conference attendee three full-sized products to try, they’re getting a mention.  When/if I try them, I’ll report back.  One of the presidents I affectionately call the rocket scientist supermodel likes their products, so they must be first-rate.  (And I’m not being snarky…  her job is rocket scientist-like, and she totally COULD be a supermodel.)

Skipping light years ahead, I’m also a fan of Favorite Recipes Press, aka: FRP.  Back several years ago, our League made the decision not to attempt the rigorous process of producing a legendary Junior League cookbook.  In the two years of research it took to get to that point, I had the privilege to work with FRP and to get to know their staff and their program.  A friend and I are “graduates” of their Cookbook University, and I still dream of a JLC cookbook. 

No disrespect to the more recent winners, but I have to share the Virginia League that won the 2010 FRP Cookbook award, The Hampton Roads’ My Mama Made That.  (Please consider paying a bit more and ordering directly from JLHR; ALL of the proceeds go to them that way.)

Isn’t the cover alone reason to own it?!   This is where I have to confess that I don’t own this one… yet.  I might have accidentally almost ordered it.  However,  I can vouch for Virginia Hospitality, which is a regularly used cornerstone of my JL cookbook collection.  (And no, I won’t tell you how many I own.  I will give you a hint…  I seem to accidentally purchase a couple at every conference I attend, and then friends usually give me at least one or two more throughout any given year, and I’m on FRP’s email list and…)

Last but not least on my list is Kashi.   They put their money where their mouth is, and that allows Leagues to make strides to end hunger and educate the children in their communities on healthy living.   I am hopeful that next year this time, I will be sitting on a big secret, and come mid-May, I’ll be able to share photos of the JLC receiving a grant/award for our Kids in the Kitchen projects. 

As an aside, there are generally a host of Kashi products both in my pantry at home and stashed in my office at work.  Most taste wonderful and are pretty good for you, as processed, pre-packaged foods go. 

A special thanks to those of you who actually read this post.  I don’t take for granted that my need to spout off about what matters to me matters to others!