Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hair, There, Everywhere.

I love when I look back and realize that I've made the right decisions in my life.  Doing hair has taught me a lot about people, life and my artistic ability. I remember getting a cross-eyed look from more than one person when I decided not to go to college and to go to beauty school instead.  Thankfully, I  always follow my heart and once again it has taken me to the correct place.

The most rewarding thing about the my job in the beauty industry is having the opportunity to help a person feel good about themselves.  Everyone should feel beautiful and I love assisting that feeling whenever possible.  In 2005 I attended Vidal Sassoon Academy for a 6 - week haircutting course, which I refer to as "beauty college."  I picked up my things and lived in a hotel room in Santa Monica, Ca. by myself for almost two months.  I met so many amazing people at school, some in which i still keep in touch with.  I am so thankful for this experience because aside from the top notch education that I got from class everyday, I was able to do something completely on my own for the very first time.

If anyone is aspiring to be in the hair business Vidal Sassoon Academy is one of the best places to start or extend your journey.  I first attended a local cosmetology school, then started working in a salon and later went to Sassoon, there they taught me everything I needed to know about cutting hair.  I returned a few years after for a two week advanced coloring class which was also amazing, the school being in sunny California was a bonus!   I've attended many seminars on haircutting, coloring and thermal reconditioning throughout my almost ten year stand in the beauty industry.  Aside from Sassoon I've studied at Toni & Guy, Wella, Bumble & Bumble and Milbom USA etc. and I've learned something  from each one.

I love Hair extensions as they are my specialty.  The brands I regularly use are Hair Locs, Great Lengths and a few Tape-In methods.  A lot of clients assume that hair extensions are just for length. When they discover that on any style, extensions can be applied for volume, highlighting or to help get through the phase of growing out a short haircut, many are sold right away.

Many of the friendships closest to my heart began at the salon that I still currently work in.  Xoma is an upscale hair salon that houses much talent and many down to earth people.  We treat our clients like friends and from the moment one walks in, we strive to make sure they feel welcome.
I could never work in a stiff environment with a lot of rules, I prefer freedom with my wardrobe and my schedule.  Xoma stayed open through a full renovation so that clients could still have their hair done regularly and we've also worked through a time when half of the staff left us at once.  Our upgraded establishment is marvelous and we've filled the empty chairs.  A little bit of patience goes a long way.

Whether I'm coloring my grandma's hair, beautifying a client for a special night out or dolling up one of my best friends or family members for their wedding day,  I find hairdressing to be an especially gratifying career.  I've no doubt in my mind that I'll wear many hats in my life but I will never lose my passion for being a stylist.

"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.-Confucius"

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wine don't Whine.

Every alcoholic beverage has a different experience.   When I think of wine, I think of the aromas and flavors.  I imagine sharing a bottle with a group of friends or a date and the calming feeling that follows my first sip.  I love wine so much that I've recently become a Consultant for The Traveling Vineyard. The Traveling Vineyard is a in at home wine tasting, comparable to Mary Kay, Lia Sophia and Pampered Chef.

As soon as I heard about TTV I signed up instantly, who doesn't love or know someone who loves wine?  I hosted my kickoff tasting at my house with family and a few friends.  The only preparations the host of the party has to make are to have food pairing options available.  To no surprise, I opted for a kitchen full of different snacks for my friends to enjoy afterwards also, I can't help it, I love to entertain!  Each tasting set (which is provided by the consultant) has two red, two white and one dessert wine.  TTV's selection of wine is tasty and moderately priced. After you taste there is an option to purchase and always a promotional deal of the month.  At my particular tasting, if a guest bought 3 bottles of wine, they could add a set of wine pourers for only $2.00, with a five bottle purchase an optional cooler for $5.00 and so on.  The more you buy, the more promotions you qualify for. The company also offers to send two bottles of wine to a persons home every month for around $30.00, I thought this would be a great gift to give or even to buy for myself!

A TTV party is perfect for getting together with a group of friends or colleagues. The knowledgeable consultant at your party will simplify the steps of wine tasting for your group.  If interested in hosting a wine tasting or becoming a TTV consultant feel free to contact me and I'll walk you through the steps.

Food & Wine magazine had this Wine Tasting Workout in an issue I was skimming through the other day and I absolutely loved it! Go through the steps and you'll be on your way to becoming a sommelier!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery.

My friends love birthdays!  Even with everyones crazy schedules we always manage to get together and celebrate.  My best friend Anthony's birthday is next week when he'll be away, so this Saturday we got together and headed to The Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery.

The rainy weather added to the already cozy setting.  The pot belly stoves,  acoustic rock n' roll group on stage and farm to table menu was worth the drive and the wine wasn't bad either.  As soon as we walked into the winery, we each purchased a souvenir glass to sample some of Warwick's wines.  The cider is one of their best sellers along with the black currant dessert wine and they are delicious!  I'm usually partial to red wines, here I favored the white, it was perfect.  The wines were a bit lighter in body than I'd usually prefer but very refreshing.  It's worth a visit to Warwick to bask in the whole hearted atmosphere.  There aren't many other things in life that's better than a day of laughs and friends!

Getting a table is a bit of a task at this place, you have to move quick and come early!  The four of us that arrived first were starving so we shared a Caramelized Onion and Brie Panini, Margherita pizza, Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad and a Cheese Plate while we waited for the rest of the gang.  The food was fantastic and although I stuck close by the salad I did manage to try everything.  The mushroom panini was my favorite but the mussels we ordered later on gave it a run for it's money.  Though I did not try them, the truffle fries  looked excellent! If I lived nearby I could definitely see myself stopping in for lunch from time to time.

The winery closed around six o'clock, so we headed into town to Eddie's Roadhouse, which happened to be owned by a guy from Jersey! The bar was tiny and packed so we were happy that we could snag a couple of seats, later the eight of us gladly took over the whole bar area.  Eddie's offers all craft beers which lit up the eyes of my beer loving friends.  I am not a beer fan, luckily they also had a full bar so I switched it up and had my signature Patron and seltzer with lime.  We shared a hummus plate with eggplant ratatouille and olive spread, it was delicious.  I also rolled with another goat cheese salad here,  I know not repetitive at all, it was very very good, better than the first! We then parted ways with the others and the original four of us wandered to a couple other places.  The other bars did not excite us much so within fifteen minutes we were tired and ready to go home.  All in all our experience was fabulous and I can't wait to visit again.  Happy Birthday Ant!

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Online dating has helped many people find their mate and now that it's socially acceptable, we can even talk about it!  The thought of putting up a picture on a website along side your stats makes some nauseous, but if you're shy, trying to throw yourself back into the dating pool, or just looking for a way to date outside your social circle, a dating website could be the way to go.  It's not easy to meet someone in the bar/club scene.  Even when an extremely confident man or woman approaches someone a lot of times nerves or pride get in the way.

Being extremely open minded and one of the only single ones left out of my group of friends,  I gave online dating a run.  I wandered through the website, put up a profile and photo and the emails started flowing in.  I didn't feel bad not answering someones message if I wasn't interested or attracted as there was no pressure like there would be if we met in person.  When someone peaked my interest,  it was much easier to relax and be myself from the get go, I was never worried about my hair or sounding silly in some way.  I remember situations when I've given the wrong impression to someone that I was interested in just because I was nervous; this doesn't occur when you meet online.  It is also nice to see a photo and a little excerpt of how a person perceives themselves before taking time out of your schedule for them.

It is very wise to actually talk on the phone a couple times and see more than one photo of someone before you agree to a date.  Text messages and emails are great for those who know each other well, but when meeting someone new, texts can be taken out of context.  I can be very sarcastic and I'm sure that I've offended a handful of people that don't know me well through a text.  One of my friends even describes my written words sometimes as "lethal." Adjust your expectations, when looking at photos,  if the person looks old, add 5 years, if they look too heavy for your taste add 5 pounds.  This leaves more room for you to be pleasantly surprised when you see them in person.  Try your best to focus on the most important thing that won't change, their personality.

A great first date location is somewhere you can both relax.  A fun activity is nice but make sure you are able to talk to each other , don't go to the movies or to a loud club.  It's best to meet for a drink or coffee,  don't commit to a long meal or daylong event.   Try to keep the date simple incase there's no chemistry, but leave enough room for flexibility incase there is; this way you're not having to find an out.  Even if you are blown away by each other, please do NOT sleep together just yet,  go out again and let things develop.  What can turn into a bountiful relationship can be instantly ruined by having sex too soon, it can send the wrong signals.

When making your profile keep in mind what you are trying to attract.  Don't put up four pictures of your dog unless you are trying to set him up too and if you are looking for someone of a respectable nature, don't put up half naked pictures of yourself. Be honest about who you are and who you are looking for.

Be a bit weary when meeting anyone new. Meet in a public location the first few times, strangers don't belong in your car or home.  I have been in contact with a couple compulsive liars and even one guy who was on the run.  Although it takes some of the magic away from dating, if you have an uneasy feeling about someone, but are still interested in going out, it's not the worst idea to become friends on Facebook or to Google them beforehand to make sure that their story lines up.

I've had good and bad experiences dating online. Towards the end of my adventure, I felt a bit burned out as it was repetitive and no longer fun.  Although I didn't  find my "match," I did meet a few nice people and had many interesting experiences.  In conclusion, if you want my personal advice, you're best off taking a lot of the guess work out of it and meeting someone through a friend.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Susie and Sally.

I get a kick out of reality TV.  I don't care what is going on in other peoples lives, but what I do enjoy is the little vacation my mind gets.  Whether its Real Housewives, Vanderpump Rules, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Shahs of Sunset or until i just couldn't stand it anymore- The Jersey Shore, it is always nice to just sit and watch nonsense that carries no weight in our real lives on TV.  I don't  have a "show" i have to watch, when I am watching anything, it is usually on for background and if someone wants to change it, I don't oblige.  The only time I put up a fight is if they want to put on a horror or historical flick- I am not a fan of either of those, or even being in the same room with them.  I don't want to be either scared or bored to death! 

There are friends and clients of mine think that reality shows are repulsive.  They either think it is silly nonsense, a bad example or that it rots your brain and I cannot totally disagree.  Usually, the people on these shows are fighting over ridiculous things, stealing each others boyfriends or husbands, trying to "one-up" or impress each other, talking behind their best friends back or spending money in really lavish ways.  Aside from the frivolous spending, (I mean come on, it is kind of exciting to think a person could have no worries about money) none of these things are really anything that we don' t all experience in our every day lives.  That old saying "The more money, The more problems" is completely relevant here but what people don't say  is how they are bringing on those problems themselves.

Although it is entertaining to watch a show that is so ridiculous, in real life I'm not a fan of the way people treat each other at times.  Women (or once and a while men) can be down right vicious!  Working in the hair industry in one of NJ's most savvy communities, I hear stories about women that compete with each other over things that are silly, quite frequently.  When it comes to weddings, the celebration should be about celebrating the couple and not just a show to put on for all of their friends. 

People are so brainwashed with the idea that one way of living is the right way for everyone.  A marriage, house and two kids may not be an  ideal life for everyone.  When a person doesn't take a chance to sit back, breathe and understand who they are, what they truly desire and what will make them happy,  they tend to worry more about keeping up or blending with everyone else.  I believe that one will experience more true happiness if they really "know thyself." If a person is sure of or has a good idea of what it is that will make them happy in life, little things that really don't matter to them anyway will not take such a big space in their head.  Comparing myself to anyone else but me would be useless.

About a year ago, I read one of Bethenny Frankel's books "A Place of Yes."  I enjoyed the book completely and would recommend it to anyone, i may even read it again.  In one of the chapters in the book she speaks about "staying in your own lane." 

“I once read a quote in a book called Competition, that said, ‘Your opponent, in the end, is never really the player on the other side of the net, or the swimmer in the next lane, or the team on the other side of the field. Your opponent is yourself, your negative internal voices, your level of determination.” You have to stay in your lane. If you keep looking to the left and to the right to see what everyone else is doing, you slow down and lose your momentum. In any kind of competition, if you keep your mind on  you and not on anybody else, you stay focused and efficient. “ - A Place of Yes

I could not agree more. 

"Competition" and "cattiness" comes from one's own insecurities.  Telling your friend something about another friend that isn't positive will not do anything for you.  If you call someone fat, it wont make you thinner and comparing win's and losses will not make yours any better or worse.  If we could all just be our friends and families cheerleaders think about how much more positive and less stressful life would be.  It is a big world, there is enough room for everyone to attain their dream.  Keep the drama inside the television.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Glass is Full.

Passion is something a lot of us search our souls for.  What I have found over the years is that the journey to finding your passion is sometimes not given as much credit as it deserves.  I myself longed for some time to know just what it is that makes me tick, what tickles my fancy and what would make my millions.  Sometimes i was so caught up with figuring it out that i forgot to just keep living and let life show me.

Whether you are looking for the love of your life, the perfect job or just want to feel more fulfilled, just keep moving forward.  We sometimes worry too much and all it does is rob us of our happiness.  Scrolling down my "wall" just today I came across a great photo and short story.

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they'd be asked the "half empty or half full" question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: "How heavy is this glass of water?"
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn't change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes." She continued, "The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything."
It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down! -author unknown

A little food for thought for the day. :)