Month: January 2016

Skyward: Thought Questions: 323-329

 

Skyward: Thought Questions: 323-329(Skyward photo by Jean-Marie Grange via Unsplash)

#323: What questions do you often ask yourself? What happens after death? Everyone has theories but I really think no one really knows.

#324: What are you an expert at? Multitasking. I know so many studies have come out saying it actually wastes time, kills your concentration, etc., but I like to think I have it down to an art form.

#325: How would an extra $1000 a month change your life? It would mean my husband could quit his full-time job and focus exclusively on school, which would in turn mean we’d get more time together. He’s currently swamped with homework and hasn’t even yet set foot in a classroom this semester! Yikes.

#326: What things in life should always be free? Compassion, and coffee (or tea). Warmth and love should be there for everyone. Too many people put conditions on their love.

#327: What is your favorite time of the year? I love October, but also the spring, when everything is growing and coming to life after a long winter. I think I really enjoy the promise of renewal and new starts.

#328: What is something you have always wanted since you were a kid? To be independent. I’m very strong-willed and chafe under all the rules and expectations society imposes on me.

#329: What is the most recent dream you remember having while sleeping? I dreamt that I overslept and was late for work. Then I woke up and discovered I’d slept right through my alarm! Luckily I got ready really quickly and made it to work just in time.

 

Taking flight: Thought Questions: 316-322

Taking flight in London(Photo by Negative Space via Unsplash)

#316: What do you love to do? Read and write. I don’t even have to think about that one!

#317: What specific character trait do you want to be known for? I guess I’d like people to remember that I was kind. I try to be kind and compassionate toward everyone I meet.

#318: Are you more like your mom or your dad? In what way? I guess I couldn’t really say. Sometimes I’m not sure I’m much like either one but I definitely share some traits—I have my dad’s interest in music and a small fraction of my mom’s homemaking skills, though I’m not as good as her.

#319: What is the number one quality that makes someone a good leader? Humility. It can make up for a lot of other deficiencies because it lets you glean from those around you to fill in the gaps. For example, you might not be the smartest at solving a particular kind of problem, but if you’re humble, you’ll let someone below you take charge and solve the problem.

#320: What bad habits do you want to break? I eat way too much sugar. Way too much. It’s awful.

#321: What is your favorite place on Earth? Home is where the heart is! Cheesy but true.

#322: What do you love to practice? I’m not fond of practicing anything—I’m not very patient—but I guess I find practicing the piano to be relaxing. It’s a nice break from the chaos of life.

Product review: Keranique Volumizing shampoo and conditioner

(Disclosure: I received a sample of this product for review from iFabbo and Keranique; however I was not compensated for writing a review and as always my opinions are my own.)

Keranique--did it give me fuller hair or leave me feeling flat?

You guys know how much I dislike writing “meh” reviews but sometimes it has to be done! This is a product I was recently sent for review and was so completely underwhelmed by that I put off writing a review because I struggled to come up with positive things to say about it. Ouch. It’s not terrible, it’s just…so meh. Read on for the details:

The product: Keranique Volumizing shampoo and conditioner; typically retails for $49.95 for a set of one 8-oz. shampoo and one 8-oz. conditioner. Available here through the company website. Check them out on social media @KeraniqueHair and by searching #KeraniqueHair.

The claim: Cleans and nourishes the scalp to stimulate the hair follicles and provide thicker, healthier-looking hair. Adds body and volume to thin hair, strengthens breakage-prone hair, and provides shine and smoothness without weighing hair down.

I tried it: I’ve always been a little jealous of girls who seem to have naturally thick, glorious hair. Mine is pretty thin and flat and no matter how I style it I always feel like it needs a little help. So I gave this shampoo and conditioner a shot in the hope that it might boost my hair a little, even though, to be honest, I’ve always been a little skeptical of products that claim to transform your hair. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

The first thing I noticed about this shampoo is that it has a very strong peppermint scent and a tingling feeling on the scalp. Some people might like that but I think lots of others might find the scent too strong. The shampoo definitely leaves your scalp feeling squeaky clean yet not stripped, if that makes sense, and I like that it’s safe for color-treated hair. However, I felt like my scalp felt oilier on the second day (when I skip a wash) than it does when I use my regular Giovanni Tea Tree shampoo, so that was a downer.

I was less impressed with the conditioner. It’s okay, but as a long-haired gal, I’ve tried tons of conditioners and have very high expectations, which this product did not meet. It did an okay job, didn’t weigh down my hair, and detangled nicely; but by the second day my ends felt much drier than they do when using my regular Giovanni or Organix conditioners. I used this product continuously for a month and in conjunction with a variety of other styling products and the result was the same every time.

Did my hair look fuller? Slightly, and it was definitely shiny and pretty, but I was incredibly bummed to go into my second day with oily roots and dry ends. It’s even more of a bummer when you consider the price tag on these shampoos versus my typical drugstore buys. The volumizing effect was nice but way too temporary, in my opinion.

My final thoughts: From such an expensive shampoo with such lofty claims, I expected really amazing results, but I was left disappointed. I think in a blind test you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between this shampoo and conditioner and many other cheaper brands. Overall, it’s definitely not the worst product I’ve ever tried, it was just so middling that I would not recommend it.

Have you ever tried Keranique? What’s your favorite hair-boosting product? Do you have any tips for making thin hair look fuller?

On my mind: goals (January 2016)

On my mind: goals (January 2016)(Photo by Lee Miller via Unsplash)

Everyone is making New Year’s resolutions this month—stop smoking, lose weight, etc. etc.—and of course that has me thinking about my own goals. What do I want to accomplish this year that I didn’t do in 2015? What do I want to change? What would I like to happen in my life to alter my destiny this year, as opposed to the path I followed last year?

I wont lie, I set a lot of goals for myself each year that probably seem pretty simple—eat healthier foods, exercise more often, blog more often, read more books, etc. I don’t think of these goals as the acknowledgement of a previous year’s failure. Rather, I see the New Year as an excellent opportunity to realign with myself and get back on track with the things that are important to me.

This year, I’m also setting some larger goals. I would like a major job change, or at the very least to move closer toward writing at least part-time as a “real” job so I can move away from my current full-time job. And I’m striving to practice daily happiness, rather than be bogged down by the negative things in life. After struggling with depression for much of last year, embracing life with job and optimism is a major goal for me.

One thing that has undone me time and again as I’ve previously made goals for myself is that little inner voice that sows seeds of doubt and worry. As I move into 2016 I continue to think of this quote from Nelson Mandela: “One cannot be prepared for something while secretly believing it will not happen.” I believe good things are in store for me in 2016, and I am determined to greet them with a positive attitude and an ambitious mindset, not a store of negativity and self-doubt.

What are your goals for 2016? Do you make New Year’s resolutions or not?