How to Make Emoji Cupcakes

I hope you are having a wonderful 2017 so far! I fell in love with emojis during 2016, so I wanted to make something emoji themed. I had an extra box of cake mix in my pantry and a whole bunch of chewy candies I’ve been “saving” from Halloween. So BAMM and this idea was created!

The first thing we have to do is tint vanilla frosting with 5 drops of yellow and one drop of red. This will make a yellowish-orange color, perfect for the face of an emoji!

Then using your chewy candies, pop them in the microwave for no less than 5 seconds to soften them. Using your hands shape the candies into whatever shape you want. With all the colors of the rainbow on hand, the possibilities of emojis are endless.

For the eyes, eyebrows and mouth I used Tootsie Rolls and rolled them out to thin cylinders and cut them and shaped them to my liking. I also used Starbursts as the tongue, blush, and hearts for the emojis. Then for the white parts, I used the vanilla flavored Tootsie Rolls for them. For the crying/laughing emoji, I cut circular blue hard candies to the shape of teardrops.

For the poop emoji, which is my favorite and (I think it is) cutest emoji EVER, I popped on a Hershey’s kiss chocolate on top of the cupcake. (OK, in my case this was just after the holidays, so the candy cane kisses were going to do.) Then I rolled the Tootsie Roll to a thicker width than the other emojis. I wrapped that around the kiss and then shaped the vanilla Tootsie Roll in the shape of the eyes and another one the shape of it’s mouth.

Then your Poopsie :) will look like the picture above. Oh, yes and roll another Tootsie candy for the pupils. Yay, I was so happy with these results (especially the poop) and I hope you try it out for yourself!

Love you, Cassidy!

My Healthy Journey as a Junk Food Addict

My-Healthy-Journey-as-a-Junk-Food-Addict

I felt awful last night and all day today. Last night after I left my co-workers house I started feeling sick, like I was going to throw up.  I went to bed, waking up feeling the same way.  All day I have felt a weird feeling in my stomach and extremely tired.  I’m calling it a junk food hangover.  I know I said this last night, but it is amazing how bad you feel after eating something not healthy, when you have eaten healthy for so long.  It really makes you think what the bad foods do to your body.  Think about it – when you are used to eating junk and then one day you eat nothing but healthy foods, you feel great!  But, when you are used to eating healthy foods and one day switch to junk, you feel like poop! 

This is making me want to do some research on the effects junk food has on you.  I know I have done a lot of research on the effects healthy foods has on you, but never the opposite.  Post on that to come soon.  Anyway, I know my body needs healthy foods right now, but the uneasy feeling in my stomach makes me not want to eat anything.  Regardless, I headed to work with a bag full of health foods.

The morning started off with some yogurt. 

1. 1/2 cup Fat Free Stonyfield
2. French Vanilla Yogurt,
3. 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
4. a splash of acai juice, and 1/2 cup of Kashi Go Lean Cereal for some crunch. 

Yummy!  For lunch, I had a turkey sandwhich on my Arnold Sandwhich thins.  I know cheese is not good for you (lots of calories and fat), but I believe it to be a good source of dairy and just have to have cheese on my sandwiches.  So, mine had 1 piece of low fat swiss cheese.  I also added some cucumber slices and spicy brown mustard.  With my sandwich, I had a cup of Curry Chicken and Rice soup.Because my stomach was feeling queasy, I skipped all of my afternoon snacks.  Probably not good, because my body probably needs the nutrition at this point.  And because of my food hangover and the cold and rainy weather, I also skipped my run this evening.  It was supposed to be 3.5 miles, but I really am just not feeling it, and came right home to get into my (husband’s) cozy pajamas – they are so warm!!For dinner, we are having a sauteed chicken with sweet potato “chips” and some broccoli.  It wasn’t the delicious meal I had hoped, but it was food, and healthy food.First, the sweet potatoes were supposed to be “chips.” But after accidently cooking them too long, they were too soft and I ended up just mashing them.  Even though they didn’t come out crispy like chips, the potatoes were still really good! I love anything sweet potato!

Second, the chicken was marinated in some combination of 1/2 cup low fat buttermilk, 1 tbsp honey, and some spices.  The marinade was not flavorful, so the chicken was kind of blah. 
The broccoli was the best part of the meal, seasoned with red wine vinegar, pepper, lemon pepper and onion powder.

Now I’m relaxing on the couch with Izzy while Francesco cleans up for dinner (love him for doing this every night!).  We’re watching Dancing with the Stars, which Izzy just happens to love.  We’re both wrapped in our snuggies on the couch on this cold, rainy night.  Probably just taking it easy the rest of the night and hopefully getting some sleep. I want to be rested so I can get back in my running routine tomorrow!  I got a new pair of running shoes today and just got the thing you put in your Nike + shoe, and I’m super excited to use it!

The Unconscious Meal

The-Unconscious-Meal

Ever go into the pantry, grab a box of Ritz Crackers, Cheeze-its, Campbell’s Soup, or Oreos and read the long paragraph of ingredients on the side panel? Most of our eyes traipse right over the ingredient list and go directly to the nutrition facts. We assume the presence of chemicals in our food is impossible because we believe the government exists to protect us. However, after reading about monosodium glutamate (MSG), hydrogenated soybean oil, and BHT, go figure that these ingredients are in most of the brands we grew up to trust and love. The media does a great job distorting what the true definition of health is, so we were lead astray from that ingredient list, and instead swayed to focus on counting calories and making sure the number of grams of fat are under five. As consumers, we were distracted, for the sake of profits. It is not their fault, they are just so good at selling to us, and we keep mindlessly eating. We are too busy with schedules, meetings, and commuting, it is no wonder that most of us do not have time, let alone care, to read the list of ingredients on the “lunch size” Doritos bag. We have lost the value of the art of eating, and ritual of cooking food. The love and energy that goes into the preparation of a meal, and mindfully consuming it is not a common practice. For the average unconscious consumer, the only way to prevent a future doomed with a cabinet of medications and a hospital bed with their name on it is if there is a shift in consciousness. In terms of food, it can be described as one’s own willingness and intrigue to self-educate about the food they put in their mouth every day.

Most people may argue that food does not play a vital role in diseases that exist as we get older such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Maybe we think that at 34 years old, having high blood pressure is just due to stress in life, and although it may have something to do with diet, it is not as much of a concern to make any lifestyle or diet changes. But where did this belief come from? Instead of looking deeper, we are prescribed a medication to lower our blood pressure and cholesterol- a pill; the magic cure all for everything! Much like our inner voice is within, much like our peace starts within, the healing of our ailments starts within. The pill is outside of us, and works to mask symptoms and alleviate temporarily, not acknowledging the cause or assessing changes in lifestyle to bring the body back to balance. This is why being conscious is essential to higher ways of thinking, eating, and living. If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten.

With that said, if we are addicted to certain foods or certain ways of eating, we may start to raise our consciousness by questioning ourselves. There is a theory that says the idea of asking ourselves penetrating questions, by repeating it over and over, is a method to reach the core of conditioning behind our behaviors. For example, asking ourselves why we eat eggs and bacon for breakfast with black coffee. When you come up with an answer, you ask yourself “why?” again. Continue to ask yourself “why?”, until you identify a belief that drives your behavior. Then ask yourself if the belief is serving you or not. It could be “I eat this because I was taught that eggs and bacon for breakfast are what real men eat.” Everyone will have a different conditioned belief as to what drives their behavior, but the point of doing this exercise is to start to raise awareness into the behaviors we live out day to day, specifically for the sake of this article, our eating habits. By questioning our behavior, we start to identify our patterns, and if we aren’t happy with our life or our health, or how we feel, then the only way for it to change, is if WE change; if our thinking changes. Remember, the change starts within. The act of just questioning a behavior that is so mechanical is a HUGE step, because we are beginning to break down the pattern of the repeated behavior that we are targeting needs change. Consciousness can be defined as choosing wisely, whereas unconsciousness can be defined as not seeing there is more than one option.

“None of the emotional, spiritual, mental, chemical, biological, or physiological processes can function adequately, without the nutrients required to sustain them”

TV dinners, fast-food, processed frozen foods, and other nutrient devoid food don’t give our body the nutrients it needs to be able to carry out functions of our body. If we do not get enough nutrients, we suffer from digestive problems (constipation, IBS, acid reflux disease, crohn’s disease, gas, bloating, etc), we suffer mentally (mood swings, depression, anxiety). These are all symptoms of not only a lack of nutrition, but a lack of consciousness! Have you heard of the term mindless eating? This is an example of unconscious behavior that we engage in that has a tumultuous effect on our health. This is commonly practiced through watching TV and eating simultaneously. What if instead of mindless eating, we started to become mindful? We are unable to ensure we are chewing properly, and are probably missing the goodness of each bite- the flavor, texture, and aroma of food, when the mind is hypnotized by the television set. Shifting our consciousness means that we start to look at things differently, we question learned behavior that has become repetitive and mechanical, and we start to make decisions more in alignment with the health of our community and ourselves. If we are a reflection of the world we live in, it is no wonder that the change we wish to see outside of us starts with a change inside of us first. Bon Appetite!

Surviving My First Job Fair

Surviving-My-First-Job-Fair

The first job fair I ever went to was awful. It was embarrassing (someone literally looked down my shirt and told me to ‘keep that coming!’… creepy.), it was awkward, and at the end of the day, I was depressed because of my lack of networking prowess. But to be honest, I didn’t take it very seriously, and it was a school event which meant that 40 of my classmates were in attendance–it was far more tempting to talk to them than to schmooze with the unknowns.

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a recruiting fair for work in Australia (because if you didn’t know, I’m moving there!), and decided to put aside my humility and be the shining star I knew I could be with potential employers. It may not have paid off as much as I’d wanted (I had high expectations), but I walked away feeling accomplished and like I took the reins. And honestly, that’s all I can ask.The thing about job fairs, especially recruiting fairs, is that you’re not just a resume in a pile. You’ve got a chance to make an interview-worthy impression without having to get the call-back first. Even better, your interest in the company and your attitude can make up for any holes in your resume that might cause you to be overlooked had you just applied online. So in light of my most recent experience, here are my top 3 career fair tips for success for the next time you find yourself feeling uncomfortable, afraid, or just generally clueless when it comes to booth-hopping 101.

Bring an up-to-date-resume-
 I’m not just talking about your standard, plain-text resume. Remember that there may be hundreds of other very personable candidates in attendance. Find something that can be your distinguishing factor with your resume (for me, it’s accent colours of red for titles and section separators), something that’s not too over-the-top or overdone. That way, when the recruiter asks for your CV, it’s memorable and they’ll look at it later and think “ah, I remember this red CV! That was Erica Wodzak, she was a very friendly and intelligent lady”. A+ for standing out.

Go alone- when you attend career fairs with people you know, it’s too easy to stick together and fall into the crowd. I’m not fully comfortable myself being ‘professional Erica’ in front of my friends, so I keep the two personae separate for now. I find it easier to talk to new people when I’m alone, so if you must go with a friend, agree to rendezvous after 30 minutes of mingling. This gives you an opportunity to share knowledge with each other, but to keep out of each others’ peripherals while you’re networking.

Speak up- be polite, but do your best to make your way to the front of the booth if it’s busy. Have your questions ready, or listen into other conversations and develop questions from what you hear. Make sure to smile and be friendly, and never open with “here is my resume”. My general tip is not to offer your CV, but wait for them to ask for it. This way it makes them want it, and all the more likely to look at it (and remember you) later. Do your best to be intelligent and inquisitive, and remember to thank them for their time when you leave.

It’s not always possible to prepare ahead of time for career fairs, as the company attendance list isn’t always available (which was the case for me last week). In this case, try to develop general questions that still sound prepared–mine was “I was wondering if you were looking to take on any recent graduates in the near future”. When in doubt, grab a brochure and develop a question from there. You’ve got absolutely nothing to lose, and for every new employer booth there is it’s another opportunity to try, try again. Most importantly, be yourself, because you’re kind of really amazing at it!

Best Way to Clean Ceiling Fan Blades

clean-ceiling-fans

Among all other home appliances, ceiling fans are most probably the easiest to clean. It needs cleaning every once in a while. Cleaning your fans at a regular interval keeps you away from health problems. The dirt and dust accumulated on the blades will spread all across the room leaving the floor and furniture unclean. Thankfully, it is not a robot science to clean up your ceiling fan and we have covered it all in this article.

Protect Your Floor from a Muddle
Before you even start, cover the surrounding furniture and floor area slightly more than the radius of the fan. This way you will save your other furniture from the unwanted dust coating.

Solution
You may have been doing the chore using plain dusters. Use a cleaner for an effective result. Either buy a mild solution for cleaning the blades or prepare a homemade cleaner. Add 2 tablespoon of white vinegar in 200 ml water, shake it and it is ready to use. Pour the solution in a sprayer and spray it well on the duster.

If the blades have accumulated sticky dirt, in that case, add baking soda which will clean the dirt from the fan blades.

Duster
Yu can get some handy microfiber dusters which are good to use. There are varieties of dusters you can buy, it can be in the form of gloves or sticks. Alternatively, you can use an old, torn, ragged piece of cloth. Using a pillow cover or a plastic bag can be a good idea. But if you are going to reuse the pillow cover you have to wash it. Our suggestion is you can use a used and old pillow cover, because the dirt may leave stains on it in some cases.

Vacuum Cleaner
For existing vacuum cleaner users, the job can be much easier. If it comes with a dusting attachment for cleaning the fan blades is good; you can also buy one as well. If you want to buy an attachment, go for something that covers the maximum surface and is flat. Vacuum cleaners save you the extra trouble from scattering the dust all over the room.

Ladder
If your vacuum cleaner or the dusting mop cannot reach the blade, you have to take help from a ladder. Place it safely, it should be sturdy to stand alone. We recommend that you ask someone to be present to hold the ladder for you. Now, balance and climb up. Reach the step when you are comfortable to do the business. You must avoid if you have joint problems or balance problems.

Cover Yourself
By now everything is in place and you have determined how you are going to clean up the ceiling fan. It is time for your own protection. Wear a cap or cover your head with a cotton scarf. Wear gloves in your hands, cover your mouth, nose. To protect your eyes you may wear clear spectacles.

Steps for Cleaning Fan Blades

  • Spread the ladder on the floor and climb up to reach the fan.
  • As you reach a comfortable position, hold the fan and gently wipe the blades with the wet duster or vacuum cleaner.
  • Be careful as you take it off the blade, you should not drop the dust below.
  • Carefully come down and take the wiper/mop outside the room for cleaning.
  • Wash your face, hands, and eyes to avoid contamination.

Replace the old ceiling fans, check this blog to find guide and information.

For more on cleaning, consider:

Bob Vila’s Blogs
Wikihow

Run Santa Run – Fun with

Run-Santa-Run

Earlier when I was thinking of where to get breakfast, I thought about how to get there as well. That kind of thought hasnt come up with me for awhile and perhaps it’s just my body asking for it to be my priority from time to time. Every morning me and oftentimes with the wife and kid would go the bakery or the local grocery. We do this as soon as all of us are awake. This morning I woke up a few ticks before 5:30 am and realizing the rest of the family members are still at least half an hour away from waking up, I decided to jog the 200 meters of distance from our house to where we buy the pastries for breakfast. Normally we would take a ride on the bike so it would only take about a minute to get there.

Making that decision earlier made me realize how I’ve so much strayed away from physical activities and how much my body needs it. The simple jog alone for a measly 200 meters did nothing but highlight how much I failed my own body and how weak I’ve become because of this. Upon getting back home after spending a few minutes of some needed run I felt my breathing cleared right away. I’ve forgotten how before I was able to sleep that I was having some trouble breathing. Last night, I kept sneezing for a good hour before I was able to take my rest. The morning jog earlier, no matter how insignificant it might seem, forced my respiratory system to get rid of some mucus that’s blocking my breathing. I have definitely felt the relief brought by that 200 meters jog.

Getting back to my computer for work after breakfast, I opened another tab and typed the phrase “run Santa run”. I have heard that on the coming months before Christmas, there would be running events named after Santa. The results I found are about online games which are so much popular nowadays. It’s a fun game made of flash, I can’t help but to mess around it for a few minutes. It’s not surprising that games like these are not only popular on web browsers but it’s already gaining ground as a mobile app as well. The game was about Santa dodging many hazards so he could get back to his job delivering presents to kids which he somehow has forgotten and that is why he is on such a hurried pace on the game (Fun intended I know).

After playing with that game for a few minutes, I finally found the page where it says that there would indeed be a 5k/10k running event which will not be held for another month. I would just have to take note of that. For now, one thing is for sure, every morning I’ll jog starting tomorrow. I know I’m not alone at this scenario wherein as our careers progress it becomes harder for us to find time for ourselves. After reading this, I hope you; my reader would find that patch of time for yourself as well because no matter how insignificant it might be, a 200 meter jog made a believer out of me.

Time to Hang

Once in a while every single parent needs it!

I’m a single mom and my days are packed. My weekdays go a bit like this:

Wake up at dawn to prepare a healthy breakfast and lunchboxes. An hour later, all is prepared, packed and ready for the day’s activities. I go to gently stir my five-year-old daughter, who sweetly smiles and snuggles a few moments more.

After the morning ritual of dressing, eating breakfast and brushing teeth we head off to preschool. Here we greet friends, admire climbing technique, trip over blocks, discuss details with teachers and make clay sculptures or drawings. Once we have said our goodbyes, I head towards the door, where I am usually stopped by another child who wishes to share the intimate details of their latest drawing or booboo or plushy. I clear the maze eventually and head off to work.

Time to HangI work at the barn in the mornings, which I love. It is a pleasure to be out in the fresh air surrounded by nature and my favorite horses. There is plenty to do around the farm and work never ends; it merely moves with the seasons.
My morning can include any number of tasks from training horses, teaching, moving heavy loads, gardening, feeding, caring, meeting vets or whatever the day requires.

Just after noon, I head back off to pick up my daughter from preschool. By the time I arrive to get her, she is usually hungry being a pretty active little one. Thanks to my morning ritual I have an arsenal of healthy snacks prepared! She is pleased and ready for action after the nutritious treats and

I work on a freelance basis from home, which involves hours in front of my computer.d off to the next adventure. Today it was active play and swimming which left her happy, hungry and exhausted! Mommy, carry me! While I don’t have to carry her far, she is getting heavier by the day, and the heavy lifting is a strain on my back.

Once we arrive home, she is off like a bullet to her toys, giving me some time to prepare dinner. With full tummies, we head off for bath time and bed time. A bedtime story or three is standard procedure followed by a discussion of things we are grateful for today and what we learned.

When she finally drifts off to sleep I have time to clean up, get the laundry done and get to my desk. Yup, once the lights are out my work begins anew. I spend nights doing freelance writing and editing. After my long day, the desk time is a killer for my back. Perhaps it is time for an inversion table[Inspirational Bodies]. The thought of being suspended by my ankles upside down and decompressing my spine sound like heaven at this stage… time to just hang so to speak.

When I wake in the morning, I will do it all again with a smile. What a precious opportunity we have, to sow the seeds for the future. I am so grateful and will continue to do my best joyfully.

Taking shape – but lots of mud and the odd bit of snow too!

It’s been a busy few weeks! We’ve seen the windows go in, the walls of the swim spa enclosure go up, 35 cubic metres of mushroom compost plus all the floorboards get delivered, an 800 metre trench get dug to lay the phone cable and, in between for light relief, a few trucks getting stuck in mud (if they’d just stick to the roadway or have decent tyres all would be well…sigh..).

We pulled one out with Ken’s twin cab, a neighbour hauled the truck delivering the floorboards all the way up to the house with his tractor (although it was dry and the road is good, the truck had bald tyres and couldn’t make it up the hill…). But the weirdest of all was watching Stephen Lebner from Little Dirt Works pulling a huge truck and trailer back onto the road with his single cab Ute. It looked a bit like an airport apron tug pulling a jumbo onto the runway.

10.8.13-Fixing-gateway-KS_0548-300x225Between the compost truck and Telstra’s contractor laying the phone line, the entrance to the driveway got pretty churned up and the drainage pipe which was already starting to go at the edges, gave up the ghost. No trucks could get in so Stephen and James Lebner spent the weekend replacing the pipe, widening the gateway and resurfacing the entrance way.

While Stephen and James worked on the entrance way, Jarydd got stuck into the ditch draining into the main dam to clear it out and make sure that water could drain into the dam without getting dammed up.

It looks like it worked (with some help from a fair bit of rain the past week and even some snow) and both dams are full to overflowing which makes us very happy. We’ll pump water up to the irrigation tanks before the end of the winter rains to make sure we have as much water as possible stored before the summer begins.

The swim spa enclosure is nearly ready for its roof now too. Swimming pools are unbelievably pricy here (everything is come to think of it…) so we thought this would be a great compromise – a combination jacuzzi / swimming pool about 3×6 metres.

17.8.13-Swimspa-Enclosure-5601-300x198Powerful jets at the end create a current you swim against. You get the strength of the jet just right for your swimming speed. Too weak and you’ll swim into the wall. Too strong and you’ll find yourself shot backwards. Wonder how fast it could propel you? Could be quite fun…

The swim spa is already in place (protected by a cover under the blue tarpaulin and wooden pallets) and the enclosure is being built around it. Should be lovely on a cold wintery day sitting and bubbling away in the pool, looking out at the wonderful views through the windows!

The Farm

When I think of farms I think of miles and miles of flat, boring corn fields. At least that was my impression growing up in the midwest. So I was slightly surprised when I visited Matt’s farm for the first time. The farm is run by Matt and his dad and has been in the family for some generations.

First of all, it’s a dairy farm

farm

that’s surrounded by mountains to the east

farm-1

and the ocean to the west.

farm-2

It is as pretty as it looks and you can never really tire of the views. That’s not saying that life on a farm is romantic, relaxing, or beachy. It’s probably quite the opposite. The list of chores is endless: cows to be moved (between paddocks), fences to be fixed, and cows to be milked (twice a day: first at 5 am and again around 3:30 pm)

farm-3

It is definitely hard work…..for Matt. But let’s be honest here. I have my own job and I don’t spend time on the farm doing these things. That’s Matt’s area. I’ll just provide the moral support and a good dinner after a long day and leave the dirty work to Matt.

Here Is What My Had to Say

hair-cutting

Here’s the thing. I did Education Work for some of the leading edge companies, and for some of the true innovators in the Industry. I loved it. Hanging out with these people and simply absorbing every bit of technical information that I could. You see, I don’t really consider myself very artistic, but I understand anything mechanical. So I set out to learn Hair Cutting from the purely mechanical side .The fact of the matter is that beyond the perceptual vision of the finished product, Hair Cutting can be reduced to a purely mechanical activity.

I’m a realist, and I knew early on in my career that I was probably not going to be a Paul Mitchell, or Irvine Rusk, or Brian Drumm. You know, the kind of Hair Cutters that alter Trends in Hair Fashion. I don’t really have that sort of visionary artistry, but let me see it once up close, and ask a few questions to make sure that I understand concepts totally, and I can reproduce the work. I found that it was more important for me to learn the techniques necessary to duplicate rather than create the trends.

So I went on a mission to learn everything I could, from everyone I could, and after a few years people started asking me to show them some of this stuff. I started doing little seminars in friend’s Salons, and for Product Distributors, and then I was asked to get involved with the local Affiliate of the N.C.A. I went to every little event that they put on at a local Holiday Inn. After being seen several times, and getting to know a few people, I was approached to fill an open position on the Board. I got involved and started doing Educational work with them, and a year later I was voted in as Vice President, and Educational Director. I was now responsible for setting up the monthly shows, and classes. One day while asking for Ideas for Show Topics at a Board Meeting, this guy who worked for the local Paul Mitchell Distributor, Don Oulette (who, by the way, went on to become the top Paul Mitchell Sales Person – World Wide!) tells me about this customer of his who owns a Salon in a neighboring town. He told me that this guy was really fresh and totally crazy. His name is Albie Mulcahy. I’m sure that you have probably heard of him. Anyway, Don brings Albie to a meeting where he tells me of this tremendous event he wants to do for us with music and dancing and smoke and lights and all this production. I asked him if he could simply do 3 or 4 Hair Cuts and explain them as he went. He looked at me funny and said “I guess so”. Albie and I went on to do a bunch of stuff together. Life was good!

Albie and Don and I all ended up being involved with Paul Mitchell Systems, and had a blast for several years. It was truly a time of wonder. The Industry was changing once again due to the influence of Paul Mitchell, and the Visionaries he cared to surround himself with. Through the experience with Paul, I met an unbelievable array of the very best talent in the business. Innovators, Inventors, Developers, Chemists, Scientists, and mostly, the very best Hair Dressers alive at the time. It was a whirlwind of learning and experience. I shall never forget Paul and the opportunities that he afforded not just me, but everyone who came in contact with him, and I shall never stop touting his genius. I knew Paul for just a brief moment, it seems now looking back. I can not imagine the impact that he must have had on people who knew him well over a long period of time, or who worked closely with him in the early days.

Shortly after Paul’s demise, I left the Company rather abruptly. After being away from the company for a while I began to realize two things. First was that for almost 10 years I had taken my direction from an Icon who headed a huge company, and now I was having to find my own direction. And secondly, it was the man not the products that I was looking to for direction. I decided to take a step back and really look at what I was going to do next. My Salons had been exclusively P.M.S. Retail for a long time, and I was a little out of touch with what else was really out there. I started using everything my friends were telling me that they were using, and quite frankly, I could not find a Product Line from which I liked all of the products. I would like this stuff but not that, or that stuff but not this. I’m not naturally a big fan of mixing and matching products from different lines, or having several thousands of dollars of products sitting on shelves waiting for some one to buy them. I much prefer the Idea of having a commitment to one or two lines and selling them aggressively. This way I have a limited amount of investment in a quickly revolving Retail Stock.

This began the new adventure. I simply could not find a Product Line that I was in love with, or even liked for my own use. I know that this might sound crazy with everything that is out there, but still this was my position. Everything out there seemed more or less the same to me and I became frustrated. In talking to a friend (who is not in the Hair Industry) and describing my situation and feelings and frustration, he asked a question that stopped me in my tracks. He asked, “If you are this frustrated and concerned about products to use and sell because they are all more or less the same, is there a company that will private label some stuff for you with your name and logo, I mean if it is all the same?” I had not thought about that possibility, but of course I had heard about Private Label Companies, so I investigated the Idea, with no luck. I was simply unsatisfied with what there was out there and I really began to think about what I would do differently than all the other product manufacturers if I had the opportunity to actually design my own products. What could I learn that these mega-companies didn’t know. What was it about these products that I just didn’t like?

I began to research every aspect of product development. I had some background in Chemistry, and working with a couple of product companies doing product analysis and testing. I also researched the actual Chemistry of hair. How it is produced by the body, and with what ingredients. I began to have a whole different understanding of what it is I have been cutting all these years. This Keritinized fibrous material turned out to be a bit more complicated than – This stuff growing out of our heads. Just as I was becoming what I thought was an expert in the science of hair, it dawned on me. Why is there so much oil in Hair Care Preparations? If in fact, most problems that people complain about with there hair was lack of moisture related, and oil repels water in Nature, why would we want all of these oils in our Hair Care Regimen?

Soon after coming to this oil and water epiphany, I was introduced to a renowned Hair and Skin Care Chemist at a wedding. We spoke for an hour about the Chemistry of it all. I was trying to sponge some knowledge and information from him. After speaking for some time he informed me that he has a company that custom designs Hair and Skin Care Preparations for a few special people, and he was impressed with my knowledge and told me then that if I was serious about doing a line he would like to work with me on it. Now this guy doesn’t have the kind of Private Label Company that has a stock line of products that you choose from and label with your name. No, you design the product, then he formulates and makes some of it. You test it and comment,and he tweeks it till you love it. The first three products we did together took over four years to get right. The rest is history, or will be.