Thursday, April 14, 2016

Different Learners Change the World

Dear bloggy readers - parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers and friends of different learners, 

Today, I have a wonderful post to share with you! Do you remember earlier in the week when 
I wrote about the happy news of finding a unique learning environment for Noah?  How Noah "Goes to Kevin's" now, to learn and socialize and grow as a person? Well, Kevin has stopped by in my own, little corner of the internets in the form of a guest post today!

So many of us struggle with being "different learners" - you might have ADHD like I do, or dyslexia or dysgraphia or a processing issue. You might be a  kinesthetic learner and find sitting in your seat, listening to lectures from a teacher unbearable. Whatever way you or your child learns best, if it is not typically  part of a conventional education, Kevin will surely have some tips and advice to instill hope and inspiration in you!

As we get closer to the release date for Kevin's third book: Success and Failure with ADHD: The Oskar Schindler Story, I wanted to share a short post written by Kevin with you. Kevin talks about how different learners, often disregarded for their unique traits, can make for some of the most poignant, creative and positive changes in our world!





Different Learners Change the World - by Kevin Roberts

I am an adult with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and I run programs to help ADHD and different-learning youth succeed academically.  Every single day, I and millions like me struggle through this condition.  We have problems following through, staying focused, maintaining motivation, and completing tasks.  We do not function well in routine reality, but many of us thrive when life deals us intensity.  

When I travel, for example, my ADHD symptoms seem to vanish.  Being in new places and around new people excites me and activates my brain.  When I did a speaking tour through the United Kingdom and Europe this past March, I stayed organized and energized for two weeks straight.  I am an author and usually struggle terribly with writer’s block, but on that trip I completely edited my recently-finished book, started the outline for my next book, and finished the first stages of planning for an ADHD exchange trip coming this July.   While sitting still and completing rote tasks bedevils people like me, when life is filled with possibility and adventure, many of us with ADHD are unstoppable. 

The adults who surround ADHD young people frequently fail to focus on our strengths, and we can as a result develop serious self-esteem issues.  The good news is that there are great examples of extraordinarily successful people with ADHD and who learn differently, many of whom have changed the world.  We need ADHD heroes to inspire us and to counteract the steady diet of negativity that many of us receive in school.  

Love him or hate him, Sir Richard Branson has made a huge impact on the world of business.  Like many different learners, this amazingly successful billionaire does not play by the rules of the system, but rather creates his own systems, excelling in innovation and out-of-the-box thinking.  A visionary, he does not limit himself to one field, but is continually on the lookout for new and adventurous opportunities.  Like Sir Richard, ADHD young people often fail when shackled to the system because their strengths are pathologized.   Young people whose talents, like those of Sir Richard, include creativity, spontaneity, risk-taking, and playfulness are usually viewed by teachers as troublesome and problematic.  Weighted down with such labels, individuals like Sir Richard all too often perform poorly in school.   

So the place in which we spend 30-40 hours per week, an institution that essentially measures our worth, does not generally honor who we are and our unique contributions to the world.   We hunger for adventure, new experiences, and challenge.  Without these, we usually fail, or at least underperform.  School and many jobs just do not offer the stimulation we require to optimally function.  But solutions for different learners do not come from helping us succeed in living boring, mundane, and repetitive lives.  What if Sir Richard used his energy to force himself to play by the same rules as everyone else?  The world of business would be deprived of many innovative strategies.  
Another great ADHDer also struggled in school.  Unlike Sir Richard, this individual failed at almost every business he ever started.  But this man did something so extraordinary that his deeds will echo down the ages.  Oskar Schindler was kicked out of school, had numerous brushes with the law and, like many ADHDers who fail to find their way in life, struggled with addiction.  But during a brief period during World War II, the intensity and dire nature of circumstances brought forth his inner genius.  If you do not know the story, he outwitted the Nazis and saved 1200 Jewish people from the fires of Auschwitz.

Oskar Schindler had all the hallmarks of ADHD:  impulsivity, poor follow-through, difficulty staying on task, as well as terrible organizational challenges.  But when extreme intensity greeted him every day and when people’s lives depended on his actions and decisions, Schindler came alive!   A few wise Jewish businessmen in the Krak√≥w ghetto saw Oskar’s genius and supported him in his most extraordinary endeavor.  Sir Richard’s parents also supported his every endeavor, and this fact underscores the importance of looking passed the disabilities, like Sir Richard’s dyslexia, and relentlessly shining light on a person’s strengths.         

In my work with different learners, I find that a very common strength is an innate desire to help others.  You will succeed in helping those of us with ADHD and learning differences if you work to empower us to find intensity and excitement, activities that activate our minds.  Better yet, help us find purpose.  People like us know the pain of alienation, of being shunted to the margins of school and the society at large, and so, many of us possess instinctual empathy and a desire to help ease the suffering in the world.  

We may not all have the skills and aptitudes to become billionaires or defeat an evil empire, but I assure that if you look carefully at a person with ADHD and peel back the problems and the difficulties, you will find an individual who powerfully wants to be of service.  You do us the most good when you help us help others.  With support, intense and relentless focus on our strengths, and the abiding belief that we have something unique to offer, you can help us—and we will—change the world.

My upcoming book goes into great detail on this phenomenon, The Oskar Schindler Story: Success and Failure with ADHD (Available on Amazon, July 2016).  Please contact me if you’d like to help spread the word on this groundbreaking book.  I believe this book will change the world!


To learn more about his work, or to contact Kevin, visit his website:  www.kevinjroberts.net.

Join myself and other parents like me on Kevin's Facebook forum: ADHD Change the World.

Finally, you can find Kevin's highly acclaimed first books, Movers, Dreamers and Risk-Takers: Unlocking the Power of ADHD   and Cyber Junkie: Escaping the Gaming and Internet Trap on Amazon.com.


Until next time, love yourself and love you kids, just the way they are!
xoxoxoxox,
Lauren :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Great Gray Hair Products and Makeup Round Up!

*This post contains some Amazon Associate links. I just wanted you to know that I haven't been paid to talk about any of these products and none have been gifted to me. I simply like the following items and would love to share what I've found with you! To read my complete disclosure, please see HERE! Thank you! *

Hair Sisters!  \(^-^)/ (I feel like calling you "Hair Sisters" instead of "Silver Sisters" for a change. Is that ok?) Hair Sisters, I am back once more with a few of my recent favorites. You can see from the photo below that I have totally thrown my "natural beauty products only" aspirations out the window. Actually, it was done out of yellowed hair desperation.  If I could find and afford only eco beauty products that truly work, I would easily choose to steer clear of anything conventional. That said, one, maniacal night, I was driven to order all of the hair  products that I feared the most on Amazon. Products that promised to make my lack-luster gray, SPARKLE!!!!!  I really needed help.


A purple toned gel to hold your style but not yellow it, some V05 goop to soften and smooth, and a RINSE (go ahead, you can laugh) to brighten up even the most dull heads of hair. That's what I've got for you today. Because I've neglected to cart myself off to the salon since last summer *gasp* , my hair has kind of paid for it. As time has gone on and I've gotten more white than gray hair, my color tended to take on brassy, yellow tones. Going to see my hairstylist Lydia helps immensely. She gives me a trim and a clear glaze with a hint of blueing in it to brighten my white. I REALLY need to go see her, but in the meantime, being busy with homeschool and all, I decided to try a temporary fix at home.

Here's a picture that I quickly took this morning. I tried smiling, but honestly, I just HATE taking pictures of myself. (I do it for YOU Hair sisters!) I feel like when I smile, it's even worse- my eyes squint and I get chipmunk cheeks and my nose scrunches up. Not a good look.  The point of this picture is to show you that after using the above products, my hair was brightened quite a bit! 


Ok, here's at least a half-smile. It's more "me" than the serious photo above. ;)
So you can see that my hair is quite white and bright at the moment. I've been trying out this trio of products for about a month now. Let me tell you about each one, and how I've been using them....


For starters, I'm still using whatever shampoo and conditioner is lying around our shower. It's usually a Renpure Organics Argan Oil Shampoo & Conditioner. Recently though, I've been more conscious to use a "purple" shampoo and conditioner at least a couple of times a week. You can see my "My Favorite Products" page for a list of my top natural and more conventional purple shampoos and conditioners. Since I've use up my "eco" ones for the time being, I've been using my 
Pantene Silver Expressions Color Enhancing Shampoo and Conditioner.  I like the stuff! No, it's not natural, or super special, but I feel that it works quite well when I need to get some of the yellow out and to brighten up.

After I wash my hair, this is when I...... USE MY NEW RINSE!!!! Maybe I'm naive, but I've always thought that rinses were something that grandmothers in the 1950's used. I might be wrong. Also, I've heard horror stories about white haired people (like myself) who accidentally turn their hair purple from a bluing rinse. I don't want to do that! After little free time and limited extra money for a trip to the salon, I became brave enough to try a rinse for in-between visits. I've heard that a lot of people get good results from Roux Fanci-full Rinse #49 Ultra White MinxGuys, this is the stuff!
Thumbs up! I think it totally worked for me, and no purple hair look included! Apart from being terrified about the chemicals and annoyed every time I have to apply it, this is it! It works.

With damp, post-shower hair, I wrap a towel around my shoulders and stand over the bathroom sink. (Don't imagine this scene.) Roux Fanic-Full Ultra White Minx is a very watery, purple color rinse that deposits an undetectable amount of bluing onto your hair, neutralizing any yellow tones until the next time when you wash it out. Surprisingly, I personally have not had any purple staining on my hands or scalp or even white towel. Maybe I'm just careful with washing my hands and where I apply it, but I find the color in this rinse not to be a problem. You can read the reviews on Amazon to see how other women apply this rinse to their hair, but I just carefully squirt some from the pointed tip of the bottle onto the top of my head and then comb through. CAREFUL TO AVOID DRIPPING INTO EYES! I've also poured a bit into my hands, and then leaned over the sink or tub and applied it directly to the areas of my hair that are most yellow. One thing I've noticed is that it pays to saturate your ends and other places that are dull.

Next I put my hair up in pony tail for a few or I go right to drying my hair. I've only ever dried it on warm/hot with a brush, but see no yellowing with this product. In fact, my hair comes out whiter and brighter than before!

After drying my hair I've been using my large Conair curlers that have a velvety surface.  I know heat styling isn't the best, but my hair is so poofy and unruly, it REALLY helps to smooth down the frizz. I like to use my Giovanni 2chic Avocado and Olive Oil Super Potion as a heat protectant most of the time. It also helps to smooth out the hair shaft. After curling, I comb my hair, and if I want to set my style, like I did today, I use a small, dime size dab of One 'n Only's Shiny Silver Gel! I wondered if "purple" gel was any different from everyday clear gel products. It doesn't seem to be, and this gel is not what I would call "SUPER hold," but I like it a lot. For one, it doesn't make my hair stiff or crunchy at all, but it does help to keep down some of my flyways. Also, I figure, the purple tone isn't yellowing my hair, so why not. It can only help, right?

Finally, IF....if my hair is still frizzy, which is not always the case, or it it is lacking some shine, I will apply the teeniest, tiny baby finger, fingernail's worth of VO5 Conditioning Hairdressing for Gray/White/Silver Hair. Seriously, what is hairdressing even? All I can say is this stuff WORKS! Any split ends are immediately mended. Your hair gets a nice, soft shine. YOU MUST USE IT SUPER SPARINGLY THOUGH. This tube will last me until 2060. I know it. Sometimes I use a bit of the V05 on second day hair to make it a litter softer and shinier too. It comes in handy, and at this price, I highly recommend it for your gray hair tool kit!

In the makeup department, there are just two, quick things that I wanted to show you. Both of which I am wearing in these pictures. The first is Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Work It Full Flared Fit Mascara. I just love it! I've been wearing Physician's Formula mascaras for several years now. Many of their formulations are more natural and their mascaras make my lashes happy! I've tried four different types of Physician's Formula mascaras, but this one is my favorite. "Work It" not only makes my eyelashes longer and fuller with one swipe, but it lasts all day and only comes off with soap and water. It's pretty close to waterproof, but without feeling heavy or clumpy or waxy. It just great!

Also, I really love my new Origin's Matte Stick in Gingersnap.  These little, velvety lipsticks come in four matte colors. (Right now it looks like two colors are in stock.) I love them. The formula is creamy, highly saturated and has a lot of staying power. I feel like they moisturize my lips and I adore the matte finish. In fact, I like mine so much, that I can't wait to try another! I just read that "Eggplant" is not as dark in person as it is online, that it's more like a rose color. That might be my next one. Oh, and it's buildable color. I can apply it over chapstick for a more sheer look, and no lip liner needed.

And so my hair sister,s that is the scoop!

Until next time, be nice to your hair!!!
xoxoxoxoxoxo,
Lauren :)