May 17, 2013

Chai’s Length Check + Trim Results

The photo program I use to hoard and process all pictures for this blog has been giving me the finger for the past week or so, therefore I hunkered down and did my best to bring you guys a video showing the latest trim results + length check.

The basics of what I’ve been using to keep the frizz at bay pretty much came down to the bare basics:

Carol’s Daughter Monoi Oil – Used in the morning to smooth away frizz, and that is pretty much it. I find that the more product usage, the less chance you’ll be able to style your hair they way you love, for a longer period of time. The less is more definitely does apply if you’re planning to rock your curls straight.

MonoiOil

 

If you guys have any questions on where I got my trim, or heat damage related questions, I’ll be addressing those in another post, along with pics!

May 15, 2013

Don’t Forget To Let Go…

theif

 

I’ve recently returned to an old love of collecting notes, writing down phrases and quotes that would enable me to see things more clearly. I’m a collector, of many many things, including journals, old letters, lists. Tons of misc.

But today I needed to be reminded of why it’s is emphatically necessary to leave the mistakes of the past in the past and release the abuse of trying to live up to this preconceived notion of what we ought to be, say & do. In reality, I am a huge fan of comparison shopping. It’s how I roll when I’m in search of a deal on shoes, clothes, bags, gym memberships, you name it, I’ll widdle the price down to only what I see fit as the ‘right price.’

But where I draw the line? This thing of comparing my actions, goals & intentions against another person. No one wins this game, and today I was reminded of that. Our lives, our journeys…our pathways to something greater than all of our preconceived notions, cannot live in someone else’s pocket. No one can dispose of your dreams unless you hand them over or worse, let down your guard.

Do you ever find yourself comparing your life, your succeses and hurdles against someone else?

Well, stop it. For serious…abandon that method of living, cuz I’m almost certain it ain’t working. There’s work to do, and this world needs all of you. & me.

May 14, 2013

The Reformed Foodie

kale pasta

It’s been a while since I posted any recipes from Chai’s kitchen. The oven doors that were once happily open to experimenting with a myriad of recipes has been unofficially closed for some time, and here’s why. My health became more important.

Late last year I became ill, barely able to get up and out of bed and tend to everyday tasks, let alone cooking or baking.  I began visiting doctor after doctor, took time off work to sort through the crazy, and enlisted the love of my Mum to walk me through it. Literally, I could barely walk without a physical breakdown.

Now, to bypass all the sordid details of diagnoses and follow-up visits to doctor’s that were beyond frustrating, the gist? I decided to go gluten free. To allow my body to heal and get on the path to feeling better, I gave up an old way of eating that quite frankly made me ill. Okay, so if you’re still asking, well…”what is gluten free?” May I defer you to Gluten Free Girl’s most amazing story on the matter and her incredible journey to recovery. Minus the husband, and a few other tidbits, our stories are quite similar (as are many who travel down this path).

So while I don’t have a yummy recipe to share that involves maple glazed frosting, here goes a short list of what you’d need to even begin thinking about going gluten free:

What you’ll need:

  • Patience - making changes to anyone’s diet requires a reserved amount of patience because you are essentially undertaking a life change.
  • Understanding Friends+ Family – You will need folks around you to hold you up and support your decision. For many, going gluten free is a life changing moment – not a trend – so it’s best to have people around you that won’t lead to self sabotage, or worse, guilt.
  • An Open Mind - You will be trying and sampling and incorporating an immense amount of NEW foods into your daily diet, and my advice is to be VERY open minded to every possibility. Much of what I eat today is based of course on how yummy something is, but also sustenance. My pre-thoughts these days? How will this make me feel once my body is done digesting

Believe me, I’m no expert. I’m a beginner to all this, but I’m doing remarkably well in adjusting to a new way of eating that suits all of my body’s needs. If you’re curious about what it takes to go gluten free, please feel free to ask! I dare say, I do not have the answers, but if you are in need of support & or encouragement, I’m here. Also, if you’d like me to post more in depth on my current food lists and what I love to eat these days, let me know.

May 13, 2013

Note to Self: Relax

Light

This past weekend I did that one thing I vowed to do each year, and that is to embark on a journey or a place I’ve never been before. The year has started of on a quiet note, with work picking up & your run of the mill distractions getting in the way.  But getting the opportunity to escape the city these past few days reaffirmed all reasoning behind why I wanted to do this in the first place.

Go somewhere & do something you’ve never done before can sound like such a monstrous task, but believe it or not, it can be as simple as escaping your mundane routine & hitching a ride to the outskirts of a local town. When I called my own Mum and mentioned I’d be leaving the BK for tennis camp, she scoffed (not so quietly) under her breathe, and ultimately resigned herself to the fact that I’d become that woman.

Eventually, you stop the dreaming, halt the planning and begin the action of doing. Or at the very least you try. No matter how big or small (me and a tennis racket, such a kodak moment btw) you must insist on finding the courage to stretch out of the zone that tricks you into being too comfortable.

 path

At the end of the day, what matters is that you moved, you went…you got the chance to go, fetch a few memories and return home to relive them all over again.

May 10, 2013

Wanderlust at Work

create

This weekend I decided to take a road trip with a few co-workers and immediately thought back to last summer when I took one of  the most incredible trips; away from the city, away from the beat down bustle of the 9-5, and nestled in the still mountains of Colorado.  I shared it with four other inspiring, savvy & smart women who to this day, blow my mind as to how unique and individualistic they each are. I got lucky.

Create2012

For the first time I crossed bedrocks along a river bank, quieted down, journaled and listened to the rush & silence.

Create2012

There was this thing called ‘hiking’ that I accomplished, and afterwards wore the largest grin (evidence above).

Create2012

I can’t begin to explain what that thing above was, but again the smile. It wanted to get out. If you live in a city where bearing down each time you enter a commuter train or cross a street with a mean mug is your default, you may just understand the necessity of smiling without provocation.

Where would I want to go next? Anywhere. Name it, and I’m game. There’s nothing & everything you can learn from taking a chance and embarking on a journey with women (or men), a pack of hungry travelers who bring nothing but positive forces of energy into your space.

May 9, 2013

My First Job

fear

 

To think back on my first real paying job brings up the fuzziest of memories. I was in High School, 16 and urged a good friend to sneak me into this special program where I heard an actual paycheck was involved.  See, my first job was tough. I’d stumbled on a therapists assistant position of monitoring and coaching autistic children at an after school program. Essentially, I learned the patience and know how of listening more effectively, and taking orders that in some cases meant life or death.

I remember sitting in a classroom while assigned to a child each day and wondering if I could really do it. From the smallest task of helping a young boy put on his coat (this often took several prompts, sometimes 30min) to helping a young girl eat 1 cup of yogurt (not as easy as it seems). But the fear was never of the kids or their toys, but of whether I could live up to the expectations of being someone that they could depend on to feel better & get through their assigned tasks. I’d known zero there is to know about autism (do many 16yr olds do?), who it affects, the why’s, the families it stood up to and tried to beat down. But I learned.

Because in the face of fear & the not knowing, I understood that it wasn’t at all about me. & when this happens, it does become that much easier to get over not only yourself, but also any annoying feelings of inadequacy.

Odd, because most stories I do hear of first job experiences typically entail a gross tale of burgers and atrocious customer retail flashbacks (the latter which I emphasize with wholeheartedly btw). But this? Was hard, and challenging, and stress inducing for a youngin who only wanted a few dollars to waist on clothes at Strawberry.

But I’ve no regrets. I learned then blossomed and felt the greatest sense of accomplishment having helped. I remember their names, David, Susie, Rachel & Wally & oddly enough still run into some from time to time.

Do you guys remember your first job? Did you learn any lifelong lessons from it?