Category - Thoughts

The No-Poo Movement

8 Apr

Ok so it sounds worse than it is. Back here, I mentioned that I was going to try no shampoo for the month of March. When I told my mother, she thought I’d lost my mind. Maybe I had, but it seemed like a good idea to me, you know, just to try something different and new.

The no-shampoo thing basically involves using baking soda and water to wash your hair, rather than store bought shampoo, which usually has way too many chemicals. The above photo is of my hair the day after a wash, and straightened out a bit. I still used conditioner, albeit completely organic, but still store bought.

So here’s my thoughts and list of pro’s and cons.

- It’s a cheap option.
- It actually works. I had my doubts, but this head was not greasy after a wash.
- It felt really nice once it was washed out. You know how it’s usually the shampoo that makes your hair feel gross and the conditioner leaves it feeling soft? Well this felt amazing after washing out and I could have skipped the conditioner, if it wasn’t for my dry hair.
- The baking soda is gritty and gives a good cleaning feeling as you rub it in.
- I can see how it could be a great camping or travel companion.

- I found I needed to use a lot of it to cover my scalp. I do have longer hair but I still went through half a box in a month.
- No foam. I’m still unsure if this is a con, as I know it’s the chemicals that make the foamy stuff, but there is something about a good lather that makes you feel squeaky clean.
- My hair is very dry, and as a result I never needed to wash it much. I found that this method required washing more frequently. I’m not talking everyday, but it was more regularly than I was previously washing it. Again, not sure that it’s a bad thing. I guess it means that the chemicals in the store bought shampoo might have been making my hair dryer.
- I found that it takes longer to wash. I really had to work the gritty soda into all areas of my hair, and if I didn’t use enough, it would need the next wash sooner.

So my conclusion? I’m going back to shampoo! For the simple reason that it’s more convenient to just squeeze it from a bottle and I don’t like to dither about when it comes to beauty stuff. How first world of me right? Well at least I know that if I ever need it, baking soda will always be there for me.

So I’ve Been Reading Lately…

25 Mar

I’ve always wanted to be the kind of person that reads, but I’ve never really spent time searching for books, trying to find something that I connect with. In fact, I’ve always found books (the ones I’ve read) dis-engaging and a waste of time.  At the start of our journey, I bought a book whose cover and blurb caught my attention. It was a big book, ambitious for me, but at $14.99 I thought it could be a good entertainment option for the long plane ride ahead (yes, I’m like a child who needs activities planned for the plane in the event movies are not an option). I picked it up and read occasionally and about a quarter of the way through, my attention was suddenly captured and I was obsessed.

Maybe it was the air of culture that Europe seems to instil in people? I mean my husband now drinks red wine and the strongest espresso he can find. Regardless, that book was done shortly and I needed the next in the series, which I purchased (totally worth it) and read on our iPad. At the end of last year, I decided to re-read the Harry Potter books, a series which has always been a favourite of mine. I mean, I loved the books when they first came out, I love the movies and could watch them over and over, and I had a bit of time on my hands. Well I devoured the lot in a month.

It was finally when we moved to Calgary that I signed up to the library and I haven’t stopped reading since then. I’ve read the above books so far this year (plus a few other duds) and signed up to Good Reads. Are you on it? It’s the best way to track your reads and find new books suited to your genre, which seems to be the key to my continued enjoyment of reading.


Things I’ve learned: On the Road

11 Mar

I’ve been wanting to share an important (and please take note – personal opinion) life lesson I learned while on the road for a while now, and looking back over some photos I took at the time I came to these important conclusions on life, well they inspired me to finally write it.

We found ourselves in a place called Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, and that place is just magic. For those who don’t know, this lake sits inside a circle of mountains and volcanoes. A long steep decent is required to get to one of the major towns that surround the lake, and trips over the water are the only way to access some of the quaint Mayan villages around the waters edge. The way the clouds sit over the mountains, and at times hover over the water, the way the sun sets in an explosion of colour each evening and the stunning and shocking combinations of colour that the locals wear, traditionally, of course, adds to and creates the magic of this place.

It was here that we were introduced to Mayan Families, a dedicated and multi-facetted NGO which supports the community and provides much needed help in this region. While Guatemala doesn’t have extreme poverty, there are many issues in relation to malnutrition, money and the general health of the Mayan population in these regions. Even though Lake Atitlan is over-flowing with NGO’s, more support is always needed. It was toward the end of our time in this area of Guatemala, and having taken into consideration everything that I had seen on our trip, and the people I had met, that I realised something very important.

How many of the people that I had seen on this trip were ever able to, or would ever be able to ask the question, “what do I want to do with my life”? How many of the tiny babies I’d seen and the children playing in the streets would grow up to choose the direction of their life and their work?  How is it fair that the situation they are born into determines their opportunities in life? Many of the people in this region don’t even speak Spanish, let alone English. By learning Spanish, a whole world of opportunity opens to them, and by learning English, even more so. Why do I deserve a bright future and not one of the many people I had seen here?

And so on reflection of these rhetorical questions, I realised how truly blessed my life is, how shallow all those Facebook complaints about the latest Australian election and the hard ships it may bring them were, and how angry it made me to hear others talk about their #firstworldproblems.

And so now I truly believe that if you are born into a household, society or a country that gives you even the slightest option and hope to ask the question “what do I want to be when I grow up?”, I believe you have a moral responsibility to not only do something great with your life, but to do something for someone who can’t ask that question. And these are not empty words – while volunteering is currently not an option, I know that financial support is always needed in so many places in the world and always try I put my money where my mouth is in an ongoing, sustainable way.

I guess all of this was just personal thoughts, epiphanies if you will, that only travel could hope to invoke in this wanderer.

Dealing with the Negative

4 Mar

There is so much good that comes with making and creating things that come from your heart. The bigger things get, the bigger your reach gets, the more you put yourself out there and the more your audience grows. As is the case when you put yourself out there, bad things can happen. These bad things really suck, because usually there is so much positivity and love for what I do. I’ll be honest here – I had a bad review on Etsy. I tried really hard with this particular customer, but she was international which means that no matter how we pack our products, and how much we try to make things solid, I can’t control some circumstances around postage and handling. It sucks – I wish I could be better, work harder, and I ALWAYS go the extra mile in these situations and I beat myself up about it every time.

It’s hard not to take it personally, but having spent some time dealing with it, I figure that like most things in life, I have to focus on the good. I have to try harder next time, be nicer, go a little bit further than the extra mile and realise that if people want to be negative, there is nothing I can do. It’s true what they say, not everyone will like you. And so we pick ourselves up and push on, continuing to create things that make people happy. I mean that’s the best I can do…


27 Feb

Lately I feel like I’ve been in a whirlwind of trying to get back on top of our bank account, endless days of working (on things I’d rather not be) and enduring the general freezing, daily grind. It’s been cat-like-curl ups, freezing my butt off, waiting for buses, getting creative, baking gender revealing cakes with my bestie and buying more and more crafty supplies to indulge my growing addiction. Life will get back to exciting soon… real soon.