Six Great Reasons You Should Be Steamin~

Ahhhhh…Steam.  The catalyst for the invention of the shower cap and the creative muse for products like John Frieda Frizz Ease.   Environmental changes similar to steam are the reason behind bad hair days, silicone sprays and hat hair all over the world. 

Yes, steam has really gotten a bad wrap when it comes to hair;  but there are many reasons why you should be using the power of steam in your hair care regimen instead of avoiding it.

Ancient cultures such as: The Mayans, Alaskan Eskimos, Russians, Turks and Chinese enjoyed the benefits of steam.  These cultures used steam to rejuvenate tired muscles, provide a sense of spiritual identity and a place for socializing.  They also knew a lot about the healing and relaxation that takes place when steam is used.

  Steam is an important stimulator.  When water is heated and turns into the vapors we see as steam, the molecule size is just small enough to penetrate the hair to its roots in order to release the moisture into the scalp.  The steam having two-fold action also allows the scalp to release  its toxics, built up sebum and open its clogged pores.

Here are six reasons why you want to use steam:

  1. Clogged pores equal little to no growth.  Steam unblocks the pores so your hair can grow fast.
  2. You are wasting your conditioner without steam.  Once the pores are opened up the treatment can really penetrate.
  3. When skin is stimulated and free of toxins, collagen begins to increase, blood begins to flows near the skin or scalp  and normalizies its environment, resulting in a balanced Ph.
  4. Hair retains and keeps it elasticity due to increased moisture.  It stretches without breaking and splitting.
  5. Your sebaceous glands make oil at a normal rate instead of leaving you too dry or too greasy.
  6. The hair stays hydrated resulting in smooth, silky and shiny hair with body (who doesn’t want body?).

Here’s a great recipe I found in the book, The Herbal Home Spa by Greta Breed Love:

*Caution: If your hair itches after the steam treatment it is only reacting to increased circulationPicture of Herb leaf and flower tied in bunches hanging and drying on a stainless steel pole, isolated over white background.

You need:

2 quarts of water

2 teaspoons dried basil

2 teaspoons of dried rose petals (get in the habit of drying roses from your yard)

2 teaspoons lavender petals (dried)

2 teaspoons of lemon balm

2 teaspoons dried comfrey

1 large towel

*Many of the ingredients can be supplied by using a few bags of herbal tea.

  • Bring the water to a boil in a large pot
  • Add the dried herbs
  • Cover
  • Turn off heat after two minutes
  • Uncover and stir the herbs
  • Remove from the stove

To enjoy:

Place the pot on the floor at the end of your sofa or even bed, just position it so that when you are lying down the pot is six to ten inches away from your head. 

Make sure that you are comfortable.  Pin your hair up on your head very loosely so that the steam can penetrate and get to scalp.

Drape a large towel around the hair along the hairline and let it hang down around pot to catch the steam.  Remain a safe and comfortable distance for as long as you can.

Okay, now go on!  Enjoy your healthy, shiny hair.  You can thank me later.

Listen to what I’m  listening to:

\”Golden Brown by The Snatch\”

Until next time,

~Spread the Love

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A Fight for Fashion & Fashion for Humanity

I’ve heard quite a few horror stories about the vintage lovers paradise, Jet Rag located at 825 N. La Brea in West Hollywood, and   most of them include down right brawls for clothing at the $1 yard sale held on Sundays at 10:45.

So when I went down there with my mini me side kick in tow, we were prepared for a battle.

When we arrived dressed in fatigues and Doc Martens (lol) we surveyed the parking lot and found a calm crowd of ten, looking through piles of clothing laid out in rows in the tiny parking lot.

Well I  now I am starting to believe that the rumors were totally steeped in myth; there was no way these smiling and friendly fashionistas were going to get down and dirty for a few piles of clothing.  In fact everyone was all smiles, peace signs and members only jackets.  At 10:20 the employees began bringing out large one hundred pound bundles of clothing secured in heavy plastic strips

Suddenly the numbers increased and people began staking their claims on the parcels by sitting right on top of the bundles.  At 10:30 they began cutting the plastic strips and the group of ten turned into seventy-five eager shoppers.

Right before the last parcel was opened, a store employee announced that fighting, pulling, shoving and grabbing were not  permitted.  In fact if any two people got into a pulling match they would both be cast out of the lot and banned from the sale. Once the okay was given, the crowd proceeded to rush the bundles grabbing huge piles of clothing in their arms and returning to a corner to look through their finds.  It was like watching piranha feeding in a controlled sort of way.  One fellow even lost his balance and fell face first with a load of clothing.  It was pure fun!  Especially since I was out-of-the-way taking these shots.  One fashion-ista even came over and gave me a super cute pink poodle skirt for my daughter (complete with beaded poodle) that she adores.  I also snagged a vintage button down shirt with floral embroidery that I absolutely love.

It’s important to remember to bring cash to these types of sales and also bottled water and a protein bar wouldn’t hurt; you’ll definitely need the strength..lol.

When I hear there is a similar parking lot sale a few blocks away, I say goodbye to my new friends and rush to the bat mobile to check it out.    Not more than a few blocks away on Santa Monica Boulevard  and Detroit I see a sign which states $2 dollar clothing, is for sale. The sale, (right across from

BevMo) is being held by stylists and owners of  The Wardrobe Company, Lisa and Debbie Britton and is in its first week of operation.  When I hear that these recycled pieces are being sold for a good cause I couldn’t help buying a few goodies.

The weekly fundraiser runs every Saturday and Sunday from nine to five and the proceeds go to children at a bush school in Tanzania; which their brother Jeff is on the board of.  Twins for Tanzania is a grass-roots organization created by the ladies to benefit the non profit, Indigenous Education Fund, by raising money through Hollywood style charity events and yards sale style, clothing sales. The former Canadian actresses decided to form the organization after traveling to Tanzania to visit the school in person and seeing the poverty first hand; and after spending two and a half weeks with the students, these cool twins decided to re-evaluate their contribution to humanity by giving back.Picture

The goal of the organization is to eventually help girls all over the African continent, from Tanzania to Somalia; you can check them out at the sale or go to www.twins4tanzania.com for more info.

Until next time,

~Spread the Love

 

 

 

 

Sunny Days and Secret Wars…

What’s a girl to do in Southern California when the spring time temperature gets higher than it’s been in weeks? Why, hit the beach of course. 

So with my daughter in tow we jumped on the freeway and headed out to Long Beach’s Shoreline village; where they were giving their version of a Mardi-Gras celebration (not to be confused with New Orleans).

After battling the parking lot we were able to take in the festivities which started four hours earlier.  And while we did miss the parade we didn’t miss out on some of the other fun; like this new attraction which allows you to experience what your pet hamster must  feeling like when you let him out to play.

Long Beach’s Shoreline Village has a great variety of restaurants, bars, boating and vendors.  It’s jam-packed with things to do on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

While we were there: we took some really great pictures, got our faces painted, had ice cream and of course ran into some pretty colorful people.

 
Watching art being created in front of you is a totally different experience than seeing the finished product framed in a gallery.  It’s raw, fresh and wet (literally) emotion being layered and transmitted from the music to the artist to the canvas and then to you the viewer.  It’s like tapping into a never-ending stream of energy to create a piece which holds all of the energy of that particular moment; it’s truly a form of improvisation.

So, while Dj John Lackner blasted some amazing world music, I watched live artist Michael Pukat delivered art to a standing crowd.

Michael is a Los Angeles based fine artist who has established himself as one of the more prolific live painters as well as made a name for himself by exhibiting constantly and relentlessly throughout the LA art community. His unique blend of seductive, classical imagery is cross pollinated with a witty, contemporary edge of subtle satire-all doused in reflective paint.   Since this was my first experience with live art I wanted to know how I could see more.
Well according to Michael, there is indeed a “secret war” going on.  And it is happening in various underground clubs in cities around the world.  Yes, while DJ’s are spinning the latest music over booming sound systems; artists around the world are intuitively creating masterpieces in the form of: street art, fine art and graffiti art to a cheering crowd of spectators and battling for the title of worlds best.

 The crowd is a roaring mob, the standing room is similar to the inside of a sardine can and the art is spontaneous and raw.  One Australian performance artist has even started the trend of allowing viewers to add their own imagery and color into his own creation, during the event. 

According to the secret wars websitehttp://www.secretwars.co.uk/ this movement is similar to fight club and can be stumbled upon in the darkest of bars and deserted meat factories in corners of London, Sweden or Brazil and grow mainly by word of mouth.

My new friend Michael has agreed to let me check him out at one of these underground clubs right here in LA, so we will be able to get the deets on this growing movement first hand; in the meantime I have found some footage of one such event from secret wars website

http://vimeo.com/17709484.

Here is a picture from one event in Amsterdam with a standing room only

 

Michael  Pukat will be going on a live painting tour through Europe with Art Battles from April – June 2011.

We at Roots and Berrie’s will definitely be rooting for his team. Here’s a link to check out this amazing artist: http://www.michaelpukac.com

 

 

Until next time..

~Spread the Love

The Early Bird Gets The Most Fabulous Picks…..

Once I have my morning cup of coffee or green tea at 6:30 a.m.  I am literally, the nosiest person in the world.  On week days, my fix can only be soothed by browsing the internet for the latest information and commenting on other people’s blogs.  But, on Saturdays while the party animals are sleeping off last nights shots; I am up and ready to hit the streets in search of something interesting.

There is only one thing I love more than stumbling upon a $1 dollar estate sale in a ritzy neighborhood (a la Angela Bassett in Waiting to Exhale) and that’s a multifamily yard sale with great items for only a buck.  So once I found one being publicized, I set off with my navigation system guiding me to what hoped to be a fabulous find.  Unfortunately, when I arrived I saw the dreaded “YARD SALE CANCELLED” sign posted on the grass *I seriously got misty eyed*.   I circled off the block and (through my tears..lol) spotted another sign leading me to another sale and then another.

I believe a yard sale is one of the best ways to find quality items to spruce up your home at fabulous prices.  Today’s first find was only fourteen dollars. This great heavy wood table, was promptly taken home and placed in one corner of my living room where it really highlights the beauty of my beloved aloe vera plant.

My second find were three Moroccan influenced heavy metal containers etched with a leaf design; I paid four dollars for the set.  While they would certainly add a bit of panache to any living room, I like to think out of the box.  Perhaps, after they are cleaned I will use them to store flour, beans and oats in the kitchen.  They would certainly look great in the bathroom as a home for my: Himalayan bath salts, oil beads and bath teas.  Hmmm…. only time will tell where I will use these babies.

                                                                                                                                                                

I always meet some of the most interesting people on my early morning adventures and today was no exception.  My final stop was a yard sale given by two divas: Kelly Lyans and Dana Lazzareschi, Co-Owners and Directors of a company called Funky Divas.  These ladies have many celebrity clients and  were featured on E! Entertainment, when Lisa Rinna (from Dancing with the Stars, Soap Talk, and Days of Our Lives) had her, assistant Ninie, book a Funky Divas Birthday Party for her 2 little girls.  These busy ladies teach dance to elementary students at afterschool programs, choreograph for television commercials, do summer camps and birthday parties and give a great yardsale.

  Needless to say they had some really amazing items which were being snatched up like hotcakes: Bags from Gwen Stephani’s L.A.M.B., a gorgeous silk duvet set, super hot party shoes, a burnt orange vintage leather jacket, a laptop,  Juicy Couture  sweat suits and tons of girls dance costumes going for just five dollars a set to name a few. 

Of course I snagged a few cool items: A Hawaiian coral necklace for a dollar and a practically new turquoise and gold top from Lucca Couture for only a buck, as well.  As I was leaving, I spotted a shimmer of gold on the grass and quickly started towards it thinking I had finally struck gold I began looking through a pile of really great horse hair platforms, golden tanks and a  beaded halter; things I could fit.  Womp, womp!  It was

 quickly confirmed that this fabulous pile was being amassed by some other lucky girl who had gotten there before the yard sale began.  I bounced back to my car, opened the sunroof, and drove away, still happy with my finds.  All in all it was a good day.  Yes, it’s still true what they say about the early bird getting the worm.  But, in this case the early bird gets, the  most fabulous picks.

   

 

 

 

 

 

Until next Time

~Love

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Get Superior Moisture for Hair and Skin with Two Natural Ingredients

How many times have you gotten out of the shower, dried off and applied an oil only to look up hours later and discover the dreaded midday dryness has invited itself to the party once again?

And how many times have you applied an oil to your lovely locks only to have it appear parched and thirsty by midday?  The problem with oil is that it is not and has never been, a moisturizer.  However, the great thing about oil is it is a great sealant when used properly.  Oil, when applied on top of a moisturizer locks softness into place resulting in skin and hair that remains  silky soft and easy to manage.

We’ve all seen oil floating in a layer on top of a glass of water, refusing to mix like cliques at a highschool dance.  Logically, it would seem that since they are both liquids they would bond at some point; but the truth is they have very different chemical compositions.

In short, oil is less dense than water and made of larger molecules.  These molecules do not carry a charge and therefore cannot bond with water.  Oils large molecules cling together and create an elastic layer, forming droplets on the surface of the water.

Wait a minute, does this mean that oil forms an elastic layer on skin and hair and if applied in a dry state will lock out  the moisture?  Yes.  And this same oil, if applied to a moist area will form a layer to lock in the moisture?  Thats right, now you’re starting to get it.

While plain water is a great moisturizer in it’s own regardGlass containers with rose water and flowers

I prefer using the properties found in rosewater to do my bidding. 

Rosewater, is the left over liquid remaining when rose petals and water are distilled together for the purpose of making rose oil.  Ancient Romans were said to bathe in the water for its anti-septic and anti-bacterial properties.  It has a delightful aroma and is a lightweight method of providing moisture for your skin and hair.  Rosewater, can be found at most local grocery stores including: Indian and other natural food markets such as Whole Foods.

                         Jojoba Oil                                                           

 Finding a natural oil to lock in moisture always comes down to a matter of  taste; some of my personal favorites are: jojoba, coconut, extra virgin olive oil, shea butter, argan and almond.  When it comes to oils the lists is exotic and endless; it just depends on your needs and whether your skin is dry or oily.

Spray BottleAll you need to stay soft and moist are a spray bottle (purchased at any local beauty supplier), rosewater and a natural oil.  Pour the rosewater in your spray bottle and spray on face, body and hair after showering.  Next apply your oil to lock in the moisture for the day.  Many have reported clearer skin, smaller pores, and hair that is easier to detangle just from using rosewater alone; not to mention the soft scent that stays with you all day.  If you’d prefer not to smell like a subtle rose try orange blossom water for the same benefits with little to no scent.  So, what’s in your spray bottle?

~Love

Sources

WiseGeek.com/ Buzzle.com- Manali Oak

Vintage Recipe for healthy shiny hair….

Apparently the late 1800’s wasn’t a popular era for veganism or hair pomades made without using animal by-products.  In fact, after hearing crazy rumors about the way Latin women have been achieving healthy lustrous locks for years with this protein rich substance; I decided to do some research on my own and discovered a not so secret recipe that has been in use for centuries; even by American royalty.

Bone Marrow (yes you’ve heard it right) has been used in hair products for hundreds of years.  Probeauty-supply.com, carries a treatment called Lamaur Bone Marrow hair treatment, a deep conditioner that has reportedly transformed the hair of  one beauty department guinea pig “taking  it from dull-bedhead to shiny straight for an entire week” 

Bone Marrow Deep Penetrating Conditioner 16 fl. oz - Click Image to Close

 While the bone marrow treatment is fairly cheap (a tub will only set you back about sixteen dollars) I decided to snoop for the recipe on my own.  I consider myself a mixologist and besides I am sure that ladies in the 1800’s didn’t have Lamaur’s.  No, I am quite certain someone was mixing this concoction in their own kitchen; glowing and sweating in front of a fire all in the quest for a  glossier mane. 

 I struck gold, Vintagerecipes.net posted a recipe for oxmarrow pomade from The White House cookbook back in, 1887:

Ingredients

  • 1 marrow bone
  • 1/2 pint of oil
  • 10 cents’ worth of citronella

Instructions

Take the marrow out of the bone, place it in warm water, let it get almost to boiling point, then let it cool and pour the water away; repeat this three times until the marrow is thoroughly “fined.” Beat the marrow to a cream with a silver fork, stir the oil in, drop by drop, beating all the time; when quite cold add the citronella, pour into jars and cover down

Perhaps Mrs. Grover Cleveland was onto something:

Mrs. Grover Cleveland Memorabilia

Apparently, Wholefoods carries marrow bones in their freezer section for soup stock and such however; if you do not live near a WF pick up ox tails or beef shank and proceed with the recipe.  The citronella is added primarily for scent; so you can substitute any essential oil of choice. My personal favorites for stimulating scalp are: rosemary, lavender and peppermint.

Once you have the oil, massage into scalp with finger tips for 15 minutes and leave on overnight.  Wash out in the morning and repeat the treatment every other day for 2 or three days.  Keep mixture refrigerated or frozen.

Bone marrow is the soft and flexible fatty tissue that fills bones cavities.  It is rich in fat and proteins and has been reported to stop and reduce hair fall and create that rich and lustrous hair we all seek.

 Well, because I have heard so much hype about this treatment I feel that I need to compare the natural vs. the  prepared version, on my own hair.  Yes, this blogger intends to order Lamaur’s conditioning treatment and test its effectiveness against the all natural, White House recipe from 1887 (which I will “glisten” over a hot stove and prepare myself).  Stay tuned for my review and results!

Use me again….

Are you new to recycled clothing? I most certainly am.  Well I will admit to having had an eye for the fabulous since I was quite young. In fact I have been raiding my mothers closet for her forgotten 70’s wardrobe for years: the ultra cool hand painted wooden bangles, suede bags and patchwork jackets do wonders for a white cashmere sweater and dark jeans.

  Well, last week after returning from a golf lesson, my mother and I decided to indulged in a little retail therapy and ended up at our local Goodwill.  No, there was not any fast playing techno, hip visual window displays or cheeky sales associates folding  crewnecks and stacking the latest sandblasted denim.  However, it did look like the aftermath of the storm in terms of neatness; residing on the lowest scale end of glamour. When therapy was mentioned I’d imagined perusing through sample sale racks in the little boutiques along Highland  and picking up a few model size dresses to squeeze into.  But here I was at high noon, on a Saturday watching; recycled clothing, furniture and electronics being picked over, plugged in and tried on and taken off, twice.  Yet, something told me this wasn’t just the kind of place where seniors on a budget go to get their shopping fix.  In fact, I spotted two set designers picking out vases and pictures for a video shoot and a  tall, lanky yoga enthusiast holding a meditation mat and practicing his “posture” while in line, with his eyes closed. *blank stare*wooden bangles with oyster shell /bronze inlay

 

Well, imagine my surprise when I looked at the room with a soft focus lense and discovered hidden in the rubble; a vintage Kimonos for under twenty dollars, a funky patchwork wool blazer by Parisian designer,Claudie Pierlot for ten (pictured below), a Vintage Lucie Lowen suede clutch with gold zipper  for only five and amazing wooden bangles with oyster and bronze inlay for six bucks a piece (shown above).  As my grandmother would say, you could have knocked me over with a feather. 

Not only is recycled clothing an eco-friendly way of dressing but it also reduces the size of landfills.  About 11 million tons of clothing are tossed each year and manufacturing waste from denim is often dumped into our dwindling water supply.                  

Vintage is chic, healthy for our environment and a great way to add distinctly unique pieces to your wardrobe without breaking the bank. Fabulous finds at those prices scream, “Use me again!”