Monday, July 30, 2012

To Trim or Not to Trim...That is the question. Beauty Q & A

The other day while I was working at the salon, one of my clients was talking about growing out her hair. As I was trimming away, she made the statement, "Well, at least getting it trimmed will make it grow faster."

By show of hands, how many of you have heard this, and/ or believe it?
...that's what I thought.


Being spurred along by this statement, I have decided to address some of the most common hair misconceptions, over the next few Mondays, that I hear in the salon on just about a daily basis. So, here we go..

Hair grows faster when it is trimmed regularly.

This is completely false. I'm not sure who started this crazy notion, but I would like to strangle them. Okay, that may be a little harsh..maybe shake them a little.

First, let me give you a little biology lesson.
This is a hair follicle..


It is located beneath the surface of the skin and it is responsible for growing every hair on your body. Hair is formed here, then grows out of your skin, through a pore, and down your head (or back as my recent trip to a water park proved to me..yikes).

In no way can doing something to the hair on the outside of your body, like trimming, conditioning, etc., make the follicle on the inside of your body perform it's duty any faster. Hair growth is determined by a lot of things, but I guarantee this... all of it starts inside of your body.

I like to tell my clients that hair is the trash can of your body. Yeah, I know this sounds bad, but it is true. After all of the other necessary functions are performed in your body and all of the necessary nutrients are used up...your hair gets whatever is left.
Using any medications or illegal drugs?...it will show up in your hair.
Have a vitamin or mineral deficiency?...it will show up in your hair.
Have a thyroid problem or underlying illness..it will show up in your hair.
You wouldn't believe how many thyroid conditions I have helped diagnose over the last 14 years.

So what I am saying is this... if you want to grow hair as fast and as healthy as possible? The first step is to take care of yourself.
 *Exercise, eat healthy, and get plenty of sleep. I think this almost goes without saying..your over all health directly relates to everything.
*Take a multivitamin that especially includes vitamin D, vitamin E & folic acid. These vitamins are especially good for skin, hair, & nails and are generally responsible for the reason that people tend to think their hair grows faster in the summer. People tend to get these vitamins in abundance in warmer months without realizing it because of increased sun exposure and readily available fresh fruits and veggies.
*Brush your hair regularly. Brushing the scalp increases blood flow to those follicles which is thought to help give them an extra boost in hair production.
*Get your hair trimmed.
...wait, what?!?!

Yep, I said it..even though I just told you that it has nothing to do with hair growth...and here is why..

Once a hair is split, it will stay that way and continue to keep splitting until you cut it off.

While science is continually getting better at coming up with potions and serums that claim to heal split ends, the truth is that nothing actually willget rid of them except to cut them off. If you forgo getting your hair trimmed while you are growing out, and your ends are split, you are now growing out split, damaged hair that will have no shine, bounce and will look generally like the end of a broom.

What I tell my clients is this..keep getting your hair trimmed, but maybe just not as often. If you normally get your hair trimmed every 4 weeks, push it out to 6 or 8 (this depends on how hard you are on your hair and should be discussed with your stylist) and never take more off than a quarter inch (once again, talk about your individual needs with your stylist). Typically hair grows at about 6 inches a year or a half inch a month, so if you trim a 1/4 inch off every 6 weeks, you're still ahead of the growing game..only healthier.

I hope this helps clear the air with trimming the hair while growing it out. It's necessary, but not a way to grow hair faster.

If you have a hair, nails, skin, or general beauty question and would like it answered, I'm all ears..or..err, eyes I guess. Just email me at vwinland@sbcglobal.net and I will try and answer your questions...and you may see it on a post, so if you don't want the world to know who you are, don't let me know either! ;)

Have a great Monday!
love,
Val

Friday, July 27, 2012

...Friday

Today was bittersweet out at the ranch.
The "ranch" is my Mom's house in case you were wondering.
....and it's not really a ranch. That's just something my Grandma has always called my Mom's house because it's out in the country. I guess you would just have to know my Grandma...and if you did, well alot of things about me would become abundantly clear.

Today a tree was cut down that has stood for what was estimated at least 150 years. It really needed to come down, it was becoming a hazard, but it's just a little sad to me.

I had a tire swing hanging from it for years. Oh, the memories of my sister winding me up in that swing and then letting it spin me until I tossed my cookies.

OK, maybe I'm not so sad now.

No really, it is a little sad because it's a reminder of how nothing stays the same. It was an awesome site though, once they got it on the ground...


The rings inside were amazing and it was HUGE!


My sons are sitting in one of the hollowed out limbs..and now you know why it had to be taken down.

...and yes, that is my son with the purse.
....and don't tell his father I let him carry a purse around.

...and yes, that is my other son frolicking in the field trying to catch butterflies.
...and don't tell his father I let him frolic with butterflies.

...and yes, that is Channing Tatum, who came to cut down the tree, ..shirtless.
...and don't tell their father that Channing Tatum was cutting down the tree.
..oops...I lost my train of thought...Step Up was on the television..I'm sure you understand.

Rest assured that we call the purse a "man bag" and Chris only carries around a wild safari giraffe in it...even if it is cute and cuddly.
..and Ben wasn't "frolicking" so much as he was seeing how many innocent bugs he could torture. ..and now I am taking them home to watch UFC. ...just kidding.

Have a Happy Friday!
love,
Val

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Big Peach

My family and I spent the past weekend at Holiday World in southern Indiana.  We had a great time despite that fact that on numerous occasions I was convinced that I was going to die because my Hubby talked me into going on some crazy water-coaster.  After I survived the near death experience, I found myself pondering over how I became such a wuss. When I was a kid, nothing scared me, I was always first in line for something crazy and frightening, but now I find that my irrational fears get the best of me.
In line, while we wait, I look around and mentally calculate the odds that I could be hurt.  Really, out  of the thousands of people around me, the odds that I would be the one person who would fall out, fall off, or whatever, are relatively low. But, then I get on the raft and they send me down the  spiral of death that they harmlessly call a "ride" and those odds sharply change in my mind.   I am convinced that I am not sitting right or the weight distribution is wrong and we are all going to die. I then close my eyes, scream my head off, and pray all the way to the bottom, where I get off the ride, pull my swimsuit out of places it should never be, and shakily walk back to my lounge chair.  Then my hubby starts his relentless pursuit of getting me to go on "just one more" ride. I think he convinced me to go on 3 water-coasters in all, then  I proclaimed myself done and headed for the lazy river...which is way more my speed.
Despite my fears, my munchkins had a wonderful time. 
I'll spare you pics of water park fun for two reasons. First, I didn't even begin to think about taking my DSL camera out to the water park and second, there was no way I was even going to take my phone out of the bag...so I didn't get a lot of pics.  Ben did beg me to take this pic of him and his brother though..
...and no, they didn't ride the Wildebeest..they just really like bunnies.

It wouldn't be Holiday World without seeing the big man himself...
The boys got to have story time with Santa right before we left the park.
There is just something wrong with singing "Jingle Bells" when it's 97 degrees outside, but the kids didn't seem to mind.
Santa reminded the boys to be good for 157 more days.
...hehe, yeah, right.















Sometimes, the best part of a trip is all the things you see while you're traveling. On the way home, we stopped at a great little farmer's market that I just love..
On Rt 41 in southern Indiana, there are tons of farmer's markets located along the road, but the Big Peach has to be my favorite.

They sell honey, preserves, jams,  and cider...

amish noodles & melons..
but of course, as the name suggests, they sell peaches..delicious, homegrown, glorious peaches..

and as you can guess I went a little crazy..like I always do..and now I have to figure out what to do with the mountain of peaches I have on my counter.  Oh, the possibilities! ..I'll keep you posted.

So, if you ever get the chance to visit Holiday World, in Santa Claus, IN, I suggest you go. It is the cleanest, nicest amusement park ..ever!
And, if you find yourself on Rt.41, near Bruceville, IN...stop at the Big Peach.  Don't worry, you won't miss it, just look for .....the Big Peach..
...literally.

Have a great Tuesday!
Love,
Val


ps...for more info on Holiday World and all they have to offer..click here

Friday, July 20, 2012

Lemon Infused Vodka

During my recent trip to Indianapolis for our anniversary, my hubby and I went out for a very romantic dinner. It was lovely and when the waitress asked if I would like to try that evening's special cocktail, I graciously took her up on the offer. She then brought me the absolute, hands-down, best cocktail I have ever had in my life.  Then, after I drank it in .326521 seconds, my hubby told her to bring me another (I think he had ulterior motives).

Now, it's time for you to laugh when I tell you what it was. The best cocktail I have ever had in my life is...A Raspberry Lemon Drop Martini. I know, I know...you're thinking that it isn't that special, but it really was. I asked our waitress how on earth they made such a glorious thing and she replied in her best  upper-crust, expensive restaurant voice, "We infuse our own vodka with fresh lemons and we make our own special fresh raspberry puree and combine them into a traditional lemon drop martini."  ....uh, okay then.

Well, the "Martha" in me took over and I decided to recreate the whole martini recipe or die trying...lucky for me that I succeeded. So, if you feel you may need some summery deliciousness in your life..here is how I did it.

First, you need to infuse your vodka.
Oh yes, you could just go buy a lemon vodka off the shelf, but trust me, it's not the same thing..not at all.
So go buy some vodka..whatever brand you prefer....and buy a big bag of lemons.
You then cut up 4 or 5 lemons and put them into a big glass jar and pour the whole container of vodka (1.75L) over them and tighten down the lid. Then, you walk away...for about 2 weeks...and I'm not joking one bit.  Every once in awhile, when you walk through the kitchen, give it a little shimmy-shake, but other than that, leave it be.  The longer it sets, the stronger the lemon flavor.

At the end of two weeks, it will look like this.
Then, you strain your vodka back into the original bottle.
I did this by using a funnel and then setting my smallest strainer on top with some cheese cloth shoved in.
Now, make sure you mark it and date it. If kept in the freezer, it will last up to a year. If you take a little taste sip at this point be warned...it  will make you pucker with it's lemon power.
After your vodka is chilled in the freezer, it's time to make the raspberry sauce..
Take 3 pints of raspberries, 2 C of sugar, &  1/4 C of water and combine in a sauce pan (yes, you want it super sweet for this). Crush up the berries and bring the whole thing to a simmer.

 Let it simmer until reduced and thickened slightly..and then you're ready Freddy.

In the shaker, combine plenty of ice, 2 oz of lemon vodka, about 2 to 3 heaping tablespoons of raspberry sauce, a little squeeze of fresh lemon & 1 oz of triple sec and then shake it like a Polaroid picture. ...
pour it into a martini glass and thank me as you enjoy your taste of summer!  Yum!

Have a Happy Friday!
love,
Val

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Blackberry Bonanza & Cobbler

Well, my fingers are stained black. 
I've painted my fingernails a grey/blue color so it doesn't look like I change oil in cars for a living.
I think it's worth it though, because I have finally finished processing all of our blackberries...

After it was all said and done I had 32 pints of blackberry jam. It's delicious in case you're wondering..hehe.
For some reason I think fresh jelly/jam jars are so pretty..
In the midst of canning and processing the jam I made a quick and easy blackberry cobbler..
When I say it's quick and easy...I mean it.
Combine 1/2 C of flour with 4 Cups of blackberries and 1 1/2 to 2C of sugar (this depends on how tart the berries are)  in a 1 quart baking dish (You can tell I made mine a little larger than that.) Spread the blackberry mixture in the pan...
In a separate bowl, combine 1-1/2 C of your favorite baking mix (I used Jiffy) with 3 TBsp of melted shortening, 1 egg beaten, 1/2 C milk, and 1 Tsp vanilla. ..
Then, dollop the mixture all over the blackberries. I use an ice cream scoop..

Then, spread all your dollops of dough together..

Sprinkle with a couple of TBSP of sugar, because you can..
and  bake at 400 for 15 mins and then turn down the oven to 350 and bake until golden brown..about 10 to 15 minutes more. Let cool ...this is important..because at this point you have the blackberry equivalent of lava and your mouth may never recover.
Then you get to dig in...
now, I need some ice cream...yum.
p.s....you can probably guess that this recipe works with all fruit, so use whatever you have.
Have a great Tuesday evening!
Love,
Val

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Birchbox July

I received my July Birchbox on Saturday and I have some pretty interesting products to share with you this month...

Glamour Magazine partnered with Birchbox to create The Senses.  The point being that your beauty routine should stimulate all of your senses, so they provided products to do just that..
..and  as always, the packaging is so fun..

Here is the bounty..

First up is Boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens..
In their own words..These shine-busting sheets absorb oil with all-natural green tea extracts to leave skin matte. Sounds like a great  product for the summer heat, I can't wait to try it.
100 sheets/$10

Next, Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner..
This product really intrigued me and I found myself running for the mirror to apply it because when I opened it, it looked like this..
It was like applying eyeliner with a Crayola Marker. The jury is still out on this one. I had to go over it a couple times to get a dark enough mark, but I liked that it was a very thin consistency.
Full size/$15

Third up, Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint..
Now, I am a hard sell on tinted moisturizer because I am absolutely in love with Laura Mercier's Luminizing Tinted Moisturizer right now. This felt a little thick on my hand and maybe a little less coverage, but it looked and felt very nice..
Full size/$38

I think I've found a new fragrance! Oscar de la Renta's Live in Love..
If you like clean scents like I do, then you'll love this. It has a slight floral note which I am normally not a fan of, but in this scent, it's not overwhelming. I love it!
Full size/  $25-$78

Next is Larabar Uber
Okay, I had a hard time understanding what this had to do with beauty products, but I guess they needed something to fill in for the sense of taste .....I tried it. I didn't like it. It didn't help matters that I hate cherries.  Blah!
Variety pack of 16/$27.95..Ridiculous!

Last but not least..New neon earbuds!
Wahoo!
That's all for the Birchbox this month!
Thanks for reading!
Love,
Val

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Blackberry Patch

Friday morning I got out of bed and decided I would take three boys to the blackberry patch with me.
I figured that this was either a fabulous idea or a disaster, but you have to live and learn, so off we went.
It turns out that they loved picking the berries almost as much as they love eating them....and I only had to tell them to not throw the berries once, which I consider a small miracle.

I have found that boys do way better with mundane tasks if there is a challenge with it.  Make it a competition that you can win, and they'll have the task done in record time.
Men..huh!
So, I handed each boy a bowl and told them to see who could fill their's up first...and the race was on.
They did really well for quite a while..it was exciting stuff!
This is my nephew.
His name is Gabe.
He's 11.
And he loves orange TicTac's.
He stuck it out with me the longest in the blackberry patch.
The little  boys lost interest after about 25 minutes, but Gabe kept going.
I gave him the award for finding the biggest blackberry.
Yee Haw!
I gave Chris the award for eating the most berries.
You can see the evidence on his face..
So, now the spoils of our efforts..
..and guess what...this is only half!  So, my dear friends be prepared over the next couple days to be bombarded with blackberry goodness.
I have been hard at work and have more to do..and can't wait to share it with you!
I'm a poet and don't know it.
There will be jams and pies..a feast for your eyes.
Much more blackberry fun to come, if I can keep the boys from eating some.
I'll quit rhyming now, before you have a cow.
Have A Happy Saturday!
Love,
Val