Archive for March, 2008

Perimenopausal Sleep Aids

This post is for my fellow sistas out there who are perimenopausal/menopausal and experience night sweats.  It used to be around that time of the month, but now I can no longer tell.  No telltale signs or clues either.  When it hits, it just does.  This has to be one of the worst symptoms of perimenopause for me.  It sucks.  Period.  End of rant.

On the brighter side, I stumbled across Acacia.com which has fabulous “nature-oriented” products for the bath and body, fashion, and home.  I found “hot flash pajamas and night gowns” made out of material which they promise will keep you dry during those power surges.  Can this be possible?  Don’t know, but it’s worth a try. 

**NOTE:  You don’t have to be perimenopausal/menopausal to enjoy this cool website (LOL).  There are a lot of amazing clothes, jewelry, purses, etc., so check them out.

acaciahotflashpj1.jpg Acacia – Hot Flash Pajamas, $89.00 – Stay cool and dry Acacia.com which promises to keep you dry during those power surges while you sleep—even during “power surges.” Made from a fabric used in athletic clothes, this soft, pretty sleepwear absorbs moisture quickly and dries almost instantly. Light green jammies have a long-sleeved top with lace at the neck and pants with elastic drawstring waist. Lilac nightgown with georgette trim falls to just above the ankle. Both have lettuce edging. Patented Dri-Release fabric is cotton on the inside, poly on the outside. Sizes S(4–6), M(8–10), L(12–14), XL(16). Machine wash. Imported.

acaciahotflashgown.jpg  Acacia Hot Flash Nightgown, $59.00 -Stay cool and dry while you sleep—even during “power surges.” Made from a fabric used in athletic clothes, this soft, pretty sleepwear absorbs moisture quickly and dries almost instantly. Lilac nightie falls to just above the ankle. Mint green pajamas also available. Georgette trim and lettuce edging. Patented Dri-Release fabric is cotton on the inside, poly on the outside. Sizes S(4–6), M(8–10), L(12–14), XL(16). Machine wash. Imported.

Brunsli’s Hair Ties

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I love unique handmade hair accessories and jewelry.  I fell in love with Brunsli’s Hair Ties a long time ago and couldn’t wait to show you the beautiful hair ties this Ebay store creates.  As a matter of fact, Brunsli  (owner) was one of the first posts on my blog back in August 2007.  Thanks Brunsli!  For those who own Brunsli’s Hair Ties, I hope you know how fortunate you are.  Not only are they clever and stylish, but truly are “one-of-a-kind”.  Lucky you! 

A LITTLE ABOUT BRUNSLI’S HAIR TIES

Brunsli’s Hair Ties was started by a mother (Brioche) and daughter (Brunsli) team after many readers inquired about the beautiful hair ties Brunsli wore on her blog (Brunsli’s Hair Ties Blog).  As Brunsli was just finishing law school, mom took over the store having recently retired.

Brunsli Hair Ties are designed with all hairstyles in mind.  They are large enough to hold a mature mane of thick dreadlocks.  They can be doubled or shortened to hold fewer locks or thinner locks such as Sisterlocks.  It also would work for natural hair, as well as braided hair with extensions.  Brunsli Hair Ties are versatile; you can wear it loose to keep your hair back and out of your face, or wear it tight to make a neat ponytail.  Brunsli Hair Ties are handmade pieces made of natural products, so they vary slightly.  Of course, people without locks or braids can wear Brunsli Hair Ties too.  They compliment natural (yay!) and relaxed hair as well. 

All of the hair ties are amazing, so please don’t limit yourself to only the ones posted here.  Make sure to visit Brunsli’s Hair Ties Ebay store

brunsliaiden.jpg  The Aiden, $12.00 – Made out of black horn and tea-stained bone crossbar.  The black horn piece measures 1.5 inches, crossbar measures 2 inches.

brunslijaya.jpg The Jaya, $15.00 – Jaya is made of wood with attached pieces of blacklip shell and a shiny black horn crossbar.  It is 1.5 inches in diameter. 

brunslileone.jpg  The Leone, $18.00 – The Leone is made of spotted shell and a wooden crossbar.  It is 1.5 inches in diameter.

brunslitemar.jpg  The Temar, $21.00 – The Temar is made of a black ceramic piece and a contrasting, but well-coordinated amber horn crossbar.

 brunslijacque.jpg  The Jacque, $25.00 – Made of blacklip shell and a shiny black horn.

brunsliparis.jpg  The Paris, $35.00 – The Paris is made of beautiful mother-of-pearl shell adorned with authentic African bone and metal crossbar beads.  The diameter of the shell is 2.5 inches.

brunslialexandria.jpg The Alexandria, $40.00 – The Alexandria is made of beautiful, intricate carved Asian piece with large center knot.  Diameter of piece is 2 x  1.5 inches.  

     Here are pics of my hair with the “Jaya” Brunsli Hair Tie.  My hair is not long enough yet to wear it properly, but I was able to wrap it twice and wear a puff. 

***NOTE:  The Brunsli Hair Tie store on Ebay has been closed.  Please read info here.

Organic Comfort Clothing

I’m trying to incorporate as much “green” into my lifestyle as I can, which currently includes finding clothing made with organic cotton.   I love tee shirts and socks which I affectionately call my “comfort clothing”.   These staples became part of my “Work-At-Home Mom” attire for years while working as a medical transcriptionist.  You won’t find me at home without them.

What is organic cotton?  Per the Organic Trade Association’s Organic Cotton Facts“organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. Third-party certification organizations verify that organic producers use only methods and materials allowed in organic production.”

I was shocked to learn the inhumane conditions workers (women and children) face on a day-to-day basis at sweat shops.  There are no unions to ensure worker’s rights, fair wages, or even safety.  The Organic Consumer Association’s Clothes for a Change Campaign provides valuable information about our clothing industry.  I found the following facts to be rather disturbing, but it also forces me to rethink where I purchase clothing and shoes in the future.     

  • A United Nations study in 1997 found that in 80% of developing countries, manufacturing wages are now lower than they were in the 1970s and early 80s. 
  • Hourly wages paid by clothing giants such as Wal-Mart, Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor, Esprit, Liz Claiborne, Kmart, Nike, Adidas, J.C. Penney and others in China’s “special economic zones,” are as low as 13 cents an hour, well below the estimated 87 cents an hour minimum living wage for an assembly-line worker in China.
  • More than 200 American textile mills have closed since 1998.

On a more positive note, while researching companies which manufacture or sell organic clothing, I stumbled upon Maggie’s Functional Organics and I’m so glad I did.  To add to my delight, I found out this company is located right here in Michigan.  

Some enlightening information about Maggie’s Organics found on their website:

  1. Since 1992, Maggie’s Organics has used certified organic fibers in all of their products and upheld their commitment to working with business partners that provide sustainable working conditions for all of their employees.
  2. Currently Maggie’s abides by the OTA (Organic Trade Association) recognized American Organic Standards for Fiber: Post Harvest Handling, Processing, Record Keeping, and Labeling.
  3. In an effort to uphold a commitment to social responsibility, Maggie’s Organics is proud to have played a critical role in the creation and development of The Fair Trade Zone, a sewing cooperative in a highly impoverished area of Nicaragua. Ravished by Hurricane Mitch and a series of other natural disasters, the inhabitants of Nueva Vida, Nicaragua, found themselves forced to work in sweatshops if they found employment at all.  A partnership with Maggie’s Organics and an NGO, Jubilee House, has helped them build a dream – The Fair Trade Zone. The Fair Trade Zone is now a successful and independent business, which is 100% owned by its workers.

Kudos to Maggie’s Organics.  More companies should follow your lead.  This is definitely the type of company consumers should patronize.  Maggie’s Organics offers tees, socks, tights, baby items, and a new loungewear line Visit Maggie’s Organics website.  Definitely worth your time.  The following descriptions were taken directly from website. 

maggiesshorttee.jpg Maggie’s Organics Short Sleeved Tee, $11.20 – Maggie’s Short Sleeve Women’s Tees are 100% certified organic ring-spun cotton jersey.  They are sewn at the 100% worker-owned Fair Trade Zone in Nicaragua.  These tees have a comfortably fitted silhouette and an attractive jewel neckline.

maggiesthreeqtrtee.jpg  Maggie’s Organics 3/4 Sleeved Tee, $12.00.  Our 3/4 Sleeve Women’s Tees are sewn at the 100% worker-owned Free Trade Zone in Nicaragua.  Made of 100% certified organic ring-spun cotton jersey with a fitted silhouette and an attractive jewel neckline.

maggiesunisexlong.jpg Maggie’s Organics Unisex Long Sleeved Tee, $15.00 to $16.00 – Description:  Our 3/4 Sleeve Women’s Tees are sewn at the 100% worker-owned Free Trade Zone in Nicaragua.  Made of 100% certified organic ring-spun cotton jersey with a fitted silhouette and an attractive jewel neckline.

maggiesunisextee.jpg Maggie’s Organics Unisex Short Sleeved Tee – $13.00 to $14.00 – Certified organic cotton.  A great tee shirt!

maggiescottontripak.jpg Maggie’s Organics Cotton Crew Tri Pack, $19.00 to $19.20 – Contents:  89% Certified Organic Cotton, 10% nylon, 1% Lycra.  Description:  Our classic best selling Organic Cotton Crew Socks…available in special tri-packs! Perfect for med or women and versatile enough for dress or casual wear.

maggiescottonsock.jpg  Maggie’s Organics 99% Cotton Crew, $8.00.  Contents:  99.8% Certified Organic Cotton, .2% Lycra.  Description: This version of the Cotton Crew Sock contains only .2% Lycra (at the very top of the sock only).  The rest is CERTIFIED ORGANIC COTTON!! This is the best product we have for individuals with acute skin sensitivities.  Available in 4 sizes to fit everyone. Because we have omitted synthetic fibers in this sock, it has a looser fit.  Please take a look at our sizing chart, as these socks are sized differently from the rest of our socks.

maggiesloungesets.jpg  Maggie’s Organics Camisole/Pants Lounge Sets, $37.00 – Made with 100% Certified Organic Cotton.  These Lounge Sets are great for yoga, lounging around the house or running errands on the weekend!  “Pull on” elastic waist pants.  Made in Costa Rica or at the co-op in Nicaragua.

*Please check Maggie’s Functional Organics website for Availability/Size Charts

My “Keep It Simple” Hair Routine

August 2008 will mark my “natural” hair journey anniverary.  Six years ago I decided to  stop relaxing my hair and wear it how it was intended to grow out my head, naturally.   I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.  Can you believe I didn’t perm my hair until I was 25 years old?  My stylist got tired of pressing my long hair and suggested that I try a perm.   I initially told her no, but she continued to suggest one until I finally gave in.  I do not  dislike relaxers.   After all, I did relax my hair for 15+ years.  I also see beautiful, relaxed heads of hair every day.  The one most important thing I’ve learned over the past six years?    The naturally sprouting strands of kink, curl, and swirl on my head are just as beautiful.  

PRODUCT STAPLES:

Upon completing rehab for my serious product junkyism (LOL), I found that my hair thrives best by keeping it simple.  My hair products can be found anywhere; the grocery store, dollar store, or local beauty supply store.  It’s not necessary for me to order anything online unless I really want to.  I still purchase products from time to time, but the following products have been my staples over the years:

  1. Cheap conditioner:  Suave Tropical Coconut or Breck Restorative Conditioner (Dollar Tree).
  2. Cholesterol conditioner:  Lustrasilk Aloe Vera or Shea Butter & Mango.
  3. Oils:  Olive or coconut.
  4. Moisturizer:  Castor oil (best moisturizer hands down) or Lily of the Desert aloe vera gel.
  5. Shampoo:  V05 Kiwi & Lime Conditioner (clarifying) or apple cider vinegar (ACV). 
  6. Rinse:  ACV or homemade green tea spritz.

ROUTINE:

  1. Conditioner wash 3x week. 
  2. Apply moisturizer daily.  Pay special attention to the ends.
  3. Detangle once a week with a wide-toothed comb.
  4. Deep condition once a week.

Last February, I had about 2 inches of hair.  Here are a couple of pictures of my progress.

JULY 2007                     SEPTEMBER 2007                   DECEMBER 2007

019.jpg             hair-with-product.jpg              120.jpg