Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The LOLO METHOD - How I Style and Tame My Gray Hair!

** This post contains links to our own brand and online store. I may be compensated if you purchase the products found at these links. For a full explanation, please see my complete disclosure HERE! Thank you!!!  **


Guys, we all know it- gray hair can be a little..........erm......UNRULY.  Those silver strands that you're growing out can come in with a WHOLE NEW TEXTURE.  They can have a mind of their own!

Think beautiful, sparkling new friends who you invite over for a quiet cup of tea and a civilized chat, but instead they decide to go crazy and have a WILD PARTY on the top of your head!

To make matters worse, the vast majority of us do not have naturally light blond hair, so those new party-animal friends? Yeah, their antics are EXTRA noticeable when highlighted against your darker, non-white hair.

Today I'm going to share with you, what tools, products and tips I use to get my hair looking as soft, shiny and frizz-free as I can. I call it "The Lolo Method!" ("Lolo" is my nickname and it's actually not really an official method, but something that I do everyday and it works well, so I'll teach you!)

Before I begin, remember: you can have all the right tools like styling products and brushes, but without knowing how to use those tools they're not going to work! Be patient and practice. Give it your best shot and you'll do great!



Step 1.  The Set-Up

Ok, here we go. Let's pretend that you're starting on a day with freshly washed hair, just out of the shower,  STILL DAMP.  

My suggestion is that you use the purple shampoo and conditioner from our....ehemmm....ONLINE STORE when you need a bit of brightening of your whites. Or our clarifying shampoo when your hair feels a little weighed down from styling product build up. If your hair is good to go, our super moisturizing daily shampoo and conditioner will nourish you hair and help make the texture soft and lovely.

No matter what you use, starting with damp, hydrated hair is the first step!


Step 2.   CAREFULLY De-Tangle and Condition

So now, this is the part where you want to get yourself something like your fingers, or better yet, a wide-tooth comb like THIS one. When our hair is wet, it is extra prone to breakage and damage so please be super gentle!!! I grab sections of my wet hair and hold it slack while I comb so that I am not pulling my hair out. Use your finger or wide-tooth comb to simply get ride of any big tangles.

Next, I take my Life Changing Leave-In Conditioner, give it a shake and pour a generous sized dollop into my hand. As you use this leave-in, you'll get a better idea of how much your particular hair needs. Feel it out, there's no right or wrong amount! The Life Changing Leave-In is one of my favorite things that we've made. It just makes such a difference! My hair always comes out feeling so much softer, manageable and shiny. It also protects and nourishes with moisture.

You can gently distribute the leave-in all around your hair using the palms of you hands. Then, I personally follow-up with the wide-tooth comb to help evenly apply it.
Next up is a little bit of our Silicone-Free Hair Serum. This is going to give you even more softness and lots of shine! A small amount goes a long way. I start with a dime sized portion in the palm of my hand, rub my hands together and evenly distribute it.


Step 3. Here's the Important Part! The Smooth and Smoosh!!!

I will now teach you my patented technique for less frizzy hair. ;)
Ok, listen carefully.... so, after experimenting and experimenting, I have FINALLY FOUND SOMETHING THAT WORKS! I've been using this technique and it works every time.

I carefully comb my hair and make it as straight/smooth as possible on top. Then I use a cream like our Silicone- Free Styling Cream, or a gel, something like THIS . I smooth a small amount with the palm of my hands, moving from the part in my hair downward. The trick is, is that you are SMOOTHING down the frizz on the top of your hair. You can smooth all the way to your ends, but this is mostly for the wild gray hairs at the top.

Now, again, carefully, I gather my hair into a sleek, low ponytail, smoothing my hair down as I go. If your hair is too short for a ponytail, don't worry about this step.
After it is in a ponytail, one that is not too tight, but just snug enough to help keep my hair taunt, I then apply one more layer of my cream to the top of my head, making sure to smooth everything down and then I STOP TOUCHING MY HAIR!


Step 4. Air Dry a Little or Blow Dry While Smooshing!

You're in the home stretch! Ok, so, if you have time to let your hair air dry a little, then this is always good. I often let my hair dry to partially damp when in the ponytail. While this is going on, I check to see if my frizz is still staying down, and if it's not, I simply put a TINY bit of the styling cream in my hair and I smooth the frizz down again. Then I stop touching my hair! This is part of the trick.

If you are pressed for time, or if you just want to use your dryer, that's fine too! The concept is the same - smoosh, use gentle tension to keep things smooth, don't mess with your hair too much. When I'm ready to dry, whether it be from the start or after air drying for a while, I turn my dryer onto medium or warm and I angle the air flow down while smoothing the hair on the top of my head with the palm of my hand.

It's all about having the air flow and your hand and the product smoothing the hair follicle down. Your hair will look flat on top initially, but once you get everything smoothed, later, you can go back and add volume.

Ok, so dry smooth down, dry smooth down.......


Step 5.  Bring in the Round Brush!

This is the part where I grab my big round brush. You can use any type or size of round brush that you please. Just find something that doesn't pull out your hair. I've found that boar bristle round brushes work well for me. You just need to experiment with your own hair type.

Proceded to dry your hair with the round brush while also smoothing with your hand. HERE is a good video tutorial on drying your hair with a round brush!

Finally, I feel like the following trick really really helps to smooth and calm my hair.  After I'm done drying, I gather my hair back up into a ponytail or twist it into a bun and let it just "set" for a few minutes. I like to let my hair cool down.


Step 6. Finally, the Last Step (Optional)

Ok, this final step is optional, but at least for me, it makes a big big difference. I've found that using heat styling to smooth my hair is a super tool. The thing is, we have to be careful not to use anything too hot, or we'll damage and yellow our white hair! Straightening irons and curling wands are awesome tools, but, even on low settings, we are risking all of that damage to our vulnerable hair.  What I do use is large hot rollers. I use THIS set and love them very much!

What I like about hot rollers is that they don't seem to be as scorching hot and damaging as straightening irons and curling wands. Also, with my set, if I watch them, I feel like I can unplug the rollers a bit early, hence making them warm but not too too hot. I think that the velvety flocked covering to my particular roller set, helps to not snag or burn my hair.

Using the largest diameter rollers that your hair can take, will smooth your hair AND give you great body and bounce! It's a wonderful finish! You can follow up with a tiny dab of serum if needed, but usually I don't, the shine is already there.

And there you have it! The Lolo Method! 

1.) Wash and Prep

2.) De-tangle and Condition

3.) Styling Products

4.) Smooth and Smoosh

5.) Dry with a Round Brush

6.) Curlers


I hope this was helpful in your quest to styling your hair. I know that you might have your own tips, suggestions and routines and I'm always more than happy to hear about yours too! Also, for our very curly girl sisters out there, what do you use and do to get your gorgeous curls looking great?

Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Hair Silver Sisters!!!
xoxoxoxoxo,
Lauren 





Monday, November 19, 2018

Truth In Marketing

** This post contains links to our own brand and online store. I may be compensated if you purchase the products found at these links. For a full explanation, please see my complete disclosure HERE! Thank you!!!  **




Hello sweet friends! This morning I was trying to take some photos of my hair for our  new online shop.  I wanted some nice pictures of what our products can do.


It seemed simple enough- I planned it all last night as I was falling asleep. I'd wake up, get ready, do my hair and make up extra nice. Take some pictures, runs the errands, then homeschool Noah, take him to his tutors, stop at my Mom's to borrow holiday props for new shop photos, write a blog post, answer the customer service questions, make dinner, pick Noah back up and try to find time to walk on the treadmill. Oh, and water the indoor plants, and get to the grocery store for Thanksgiving prep, and walk the dog,  and get my teen to write thank you notes for his birthday gifts.

All was going ok this morning, at least through the hair and make up. I went downstairs to attempt to take some reasonably usable photos of the front and back of my hair. When I got there though, I noticed that there were dishes in the sink that needed to be cleaned up, and the droopy plants that required my immediate watering attention. Then, as I was just about to start taking pictures, the dog started barking to go outside (AGAIN!) and I had to stand in the cold, repeating to her over and over: "DON'T YOU DARE DIG IN THAT MUD AGAIN JOSIE!"
Josie has had precisely 1,783 baths in the past two weeks, after squirrels dug up our small backyard patch of grass to hide their seeds. She figured out if you dig up the grass, not only can you find the seeds, but that it's fun and you can make HUGE mud piles with all of the dirt and melting snow. We're not thrilled with this new development.

Back inside and now running late, I was determined to get at least a few good photos. I held up my phone, tried to find the best lighting in our kitchen, and smiled. A doughy, old, tired me stared back on the screen. My chipmunk cheeks were in full bloom. The hollow, tired looking under-eyes, that I always hoped I would not inherit, were ever so slightly more pronounced than the blog photos of yesteryear. These past four years of homeschooling have been wonderful, but can sort of run you ragged. I used to spend my daytime getting things done, including exercising and primping and making healthy foodie foods and smiling for the blog! Now my time is split between parenting full-time, homeschooling, running a household and starting a business. This morning, getting those pictures was just so much harder than it was before and I was feeling it. I was acutely aware that I am a 40-something year old woman who is beginning to age and really began to question if I was enough. Enough of everything I needed to be to juggle all of these balls in the air.

I was near tears as picture after picture just looked "off." Especially when I went back and compared them to the blog photos that I took just four and five years ago. What has happened to me? I've lost my sparkle. I don't have what it takes to do all of this! I know very well that this is all relative, and that WE ARE OUR OWN WORST CRITICS, but I felt defeated.

Instead of beating myself up anymore though, I decided to stop taking pictures for now, maybe I could get better ones later and I really needed to get going on my errands. I hopped into my car, pulled out, and proceeded to almost bump into THE GIANT DUMP TRUCK BLOCKING 2/3 OF THE FOOT OF OUR DRIVEWAY.  I got two houses down, when I realized that our street was completely blocked by heavy machinery. I was NOT going on errands right now.

By the way, did I ever mention to you that they tore down (except for two walls) a big, old pretty church from the 1920's, directly across the street from our house? Now they're building a four-story office building there. Each morning we wake up to another hairline crack in our ceilings from all or the jackhammering. Which might explain........WHY I'M SLIGHTLY ON EDGE!!!!

I digress.....

As I was coming back inside, it dawned on me that this is what all of this gray hair thing is about - being the true you, and being ok with it! Whether we stop coloring our hair for health reasons, or to get away from the chemicals, to save on time or the cost of dying our hair, it all essentially comes back around to self- acceptance and embracing who we really are.




Even more so I realized, this is why we created the By The Way, Your Hair Looks Fabulous! line of products.  (I promise you, this blog post is not just an advert.) I wanted hair care that would represent a true reality, not a glossy, Instagram filtered version of a "perfect life.
I was frustrated that I couldn't find naturally derived shampoos, conditioners and styling products that I COULD ACTUALLY AFFORD! I was bummed that there wasn't a brand on the shelf that totally understood my crazy, gray fly-aways, the texture of my hair and just why my silvers needed help with shine.

We've toiled away for years now to create an authentic product to love. I've been spreading the message that the true you is great! But it hit me today, for some reason, I haven't been valuing my authentic self even closely as much as the products- Chipmunk cheeks, tired eyes, dropping the balls and all. I've forgotten to love myself too!



I might have had a momentary freakout this morning. A woe-is-me moment. It's ok though, that's also being human, being real. I know more than anything, that life is BIG and AMAZING and there's much too much to explore rather than to be stuck inside, pining away for perfection.

So here I am! The real life me. The not professionally perfect, polished backgrounds, but the best I can do in this moment. If there is one thing you could do for me Silver Sisters and friends, it's to stop today, take a deep breath and remind yourself.........


Love you guys!
Until next time.
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo,

Lauren 



Saturday, November 10, 2018

Guess What!? We're SHIPPING!!! \(^-^)/ !!!!

** This post contains links to our own brand and online store. I may be compensated if you purchase the products found at these links. For a full explanation, please see my complete disclosure HERE! Thank you!!!  **


Guess what!? We're SHIPPING!!!! \(^-^)/ !!!!!!!
I'm thrilled to let you know that pre-orders have gone out and and we're up and running and ready for more! Thank you so much for all of your support, patience and kindness. I can't wait for you to try our products. It's just a dream come true and I'd love nothing more than to help you sparkle and believe in yourself. With lots of love! xoxoxox, Lauren πŸ˜Š

Thursday, September 06, 2018

\(^-^)/ WE'RE OPEN FOR BUSINESS !!! \(^-^)/

** This post contains links to our own brand and online store. I may be compensated if you purchase the products found at these links. For a full explanation, please see my complete disclosure HERE! Thank you!!!  **



Dear Silver Sisters: I am OVER-THE-MOON to announce that By The Way, Your Hair Looks Fabulous!™ shampoo, conditioner and styling products are now on sale at our new site www.thebtwco.com! I would be really grateful if you would stop by and take a look. You have all been wonderfully supportive as Jon and I have worked to launch the company, and TODAY is the day that you can now help THE MOST by spreading the word about The BTW Co. across social media. Sharing our new site in your Gray Hair groups on Facebook would be especially helpful. Thank you!

Having the opportunity to share my story, learn about yours and be a part of our wonderful community of Silver Sisters has been one of the great joys of my life. I am deeply, deeply appreciative that you have been interested in what I have had to say, and that you have shared your journeys with me. 
I love you Silver Sisters! Welcome to a new adventure where we Shine OUR BEST!
xoxoxoxoxo,
Lauren

Friday, August 24, 2018

OUR LIST IS LIVE!!!!!!

** This post contains links to our own brand and online store. I may be compensated if you purchase the products found at these links. For a full explanation, please see my complete disclosure HERE! Thank you!!!  **


Friends! Thank you so so much for your amazing response to my announcement this week. All of your support and encouragement was incredible! I'm thrilled to share our products with you - our new haircare brand, "By the Way, Your Hair Looks Fabulous!" will be up and running  by September 6 at the latest! If you would like to receive updates and be notified as soon as we are ready to launch, we're creating a mailing list NOW!  I'd love it if you would please send your name and email address to hello@thebtwco.com to receive information about our new brand. We take privacy seriously and will never give your contact info to a third party. 

Silver Sisters, if you are looking for hair care products that won't turn your beautiful whites yellow,  but instead will hydrate and add brightness ad shine, then our products are for you! Our purple shampoo and conditioner, our moisturizing daily shampoo and conditioner, clarifying shampooincredible leave-in conditioner, hair serum and styling cream are made with many naturally-derived ingredients and are: 

- Paraben-free
- Sulfate-free
- Silicone-free
- Non-GMO
- Gluten-Free
- 99% Vegan (there is a honey derivative in three of our products)
- Leaping Bunny approved and not tested on animals!

And, all of this goodness will be available at an affordable price! 

As someone who went gray at a young age and then struggled with the chemicals in most hair dyes, I decided to take the leap almost ten years ago and let my silvers shine. What I've found over the years is that we truly lack natural, safe, affordable products to care for our unique hair needs. That's why we are brining this product line to you. It is our mission to help empower all of my Silver Sisters out there to stand tall and feel their best. To sparkle!

*As always I can't thank you enough for helping us to spread the word as we begin this new adventure. Please share with your family and friends, and most of all in gray hair groups on Facebook, as I am not allowed to self-advertise. Thank you! Thank you! THANK YOU Silver Sisters!!! 

xoxoxoxoxo!!!!! 
Lauren 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Some Exciting News!!!!

** This post contains links to our own brand and online store. I may be compensated if you purchase the products found at these links. For a full explanation, please see my complete disclosure HERE! Thank you!!!  **





Hi friends! I have some really EXCITING NEWS!!! 


Today I went to the salon for a much needed trim, and when I came home, posted a picture on my Instagram. Your responses were so kind and I decided it was the perfect time to share little surprise with you! I had quite a few questions asking what kinds of products that I use on my hair and well.............what I've been using IS MY OWN, NEW PRODUCT LINE!!!!!

My husband Jon and I have spent a long long time coming up with a line of shampoos, conditioners and styling products specifically for Silver Sisters!!! (Although, six of the eight products can be used on ANY hair color or type.) I saw a need in the market for NATURAL, paraben-free, sulfate-free, silicone-free (etc) products for gray hair that were AFFORDABLE and would leave you with soft, shining, vibrant hair! I am so excited and can't wait to share more with you guys. Our products will be available for order in September. More info to come soon, the moment I have it. 

If you PLEASE could, it would be a HUGE help to Jon and I if you would spread the word about our upcoming line to any family or friends who might enjoy it, and ESPECIALLY in any Gray hair groups on Facebook or anywhere else on Social Media, as most places you are not able to self-advertise. Thank you, that would help me more than I can say. We poured our heart and soul into these products -from one Silver Sister to another, so we can help make this journey a little brighter.   Love you guys! THANK YOU!!!!

xoxoxoxox,
Lauren

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Super Exciting, Hair Product SECRET, and What I Use on My Skin!



Ohhhh Silver Sisters, I'm guessing that you might have heard it by now, that today I started making short Instagram Story videos. I've been posting all day long, and I just can't seem to stop. It's so much fun and a lot easier than sitting down to blog. This is all quite embarrassing and awkward honestly, and I feel about two decades too old to be making Instagram videos. I'm throwing my worries out though, it's time that I diversify my tech and find easier ways to share with you.  If you're interesting in seeing my short clips, be sure to subscribe to  How Bourgeois on Instagram!!!

At any rate, two quick things for this post- the first is a super exciting hair product secret that I just can't share in full yet, but hope to soon! The second note is about skin care. A very kind reader asked today if I could share what I use on my skin. I appreciate the interest and I'm flattered that she wanted to know, but I'm always so worried about my skin and would love any product suggestions from you too!

The same dear reader also asked if I could share the hair care products that I'm currently using, and I wish so much that I could! The only thing is...I can't. Not yet. I HOPE I can sometime soon....


I'm really sorry for the teaser, but I've been working on something for a long time, and testing out some fabulous products that are just for Silver Sisters! They're natural too. πŸ’– I promise, you'll be the first ones to know if and when I'm able to tell you more! πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™



The second bit is in response to the question: "What skin care products do you use?" It was very nice to be asked, but I'm not convinced that my routine is even close to a good one. I have wrinkles and crow's feet and the occasional blemish too. None of this is fun and I'm completely open to hearing about products that my readers love and use. Maybe they will help me!


For what it is worth, here are the simple products that I use and feel work well! 

First, I will say that my skin tends to be on the dry side. I'm 41 and struggle with the beginnings of fine lines and wrinkles and sun spots/ freckles in the summer. I had a basal cell skin cancer removed from my forehead a couple of years ago. πŸ˜₯ It was from years of not wearing sunscreen as a teenager and in my 20's, especially when I would be at the beach on Lake Michigan. I really really really regret it. I'm incredibly thankful that my dermatologist caught the spot, and ever since I've worn mineral sunscreen diligently every single day. 

Soap-wise, I just use a very gentle Oat and Honey bar of soap from Trader Joes! It's affordable and non-irritating and it takes all of my makeup off easily. Next I moisturize both morning and night with
Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Day Lotion . I genuinely love this lotion. I was looking for something that was inexpensive, yet still natural and would work. It's very hydrating and has helped a lot with my dry skin, and the Clary Sage claims to help with fine lines. I think it has! When I am gifted an Origins Cosmetics giftcard, or able to splurge, I do swear by their Starting Over Age-Erasing Moisturizer.  Really, I saw a nice reduction in my wrinkles and would use this moisturizer always if it was more within my budget. Origins has a nice points program though, and as I purchase my concealer and pressed powder from them, I usually rack up enough points to receive something for free each year. Which, leads me to the next product, one that I chose as my freebie! It's the High-Potency Night-A-Mins Mineral Enriched Renewal Cream. I put this on at night as an extra wrinkle cream and an hydration booster. It seems though, that they're only now selling it as a skin refining oil online. It's worth a look!

Finally, sun protection. That's my big thing. You know, it's funny because I often forget to put it on my neck and chest and especially in my Insta Stories, the sun damage shows! I need to remember to get it everywhere.

It's a personal decision for myself, to do my best at avoiding chemicals that I can. So, I stick with mineral or mostly mineral sunscreens. I ABSOLUTELY adore and recommend COOLA Mineral Sunscreen .  It is specifically for the face and comes in a 30 SPF, unscented, matte form that is tinted and has just the faintest bit of coverage. It blends in with any skin tone and is like wearing a primer that kind of "photoshops" you. πŸ˜… The matte finish is perfect for the hot summer, I can't say enough about my Coola. πŸ’–

Finally, when I know that I am going to be outside for a while and want a higher SPF, I use
La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Tinted Mineral Sunscreen. It was recommended to me by a friend and I've heard that many many people like this light-weight mineral sunscreen. It feels a bit tacky going on, but it dries quickly and unlike most mineral sunscreens, it leave no white cast!

So there you have it! At least the part about my facial products. I'll be sure to keep you up to date as I find more winners.

Until next time!
xoxoxo,

Lauren 


















** This post contains Amazon affiliate links. For a full explanation, please see my complete disclosure HERE! Thank you!!! **

Monday, July 09, 2018

A Letter to the Worried Mom


Dear Worried Mom,

Today was a big day, a monumental day! I just want to throw my hands in the air and yell it from the rooftops: "MY SON WENT TO A MINI-CAMP today!" Not only did he go to a mini-camp, but he went happily to a new place, without any kind of worry. No phone calls home to pick him up, no night-before-jitters. "Bye Mom!" he said and went right.......out.....the.door.




Six hours later, Noah walked back in from his rock climbing adventure, took a shower and then LEFT AGAIN for a friends' house. 

Why might this be such an exciting day in our home?  (I know that every summer, thousands of kids across the country attend day camps.)  The reason that I'm beside myself with excitement and joy, is because this was a first for my child. Never in his life has Noah gone to a school or class or day camp or workshop or tutor willingly for the first time and without any fear. Such a sigh of relief it is to do something that feels  just totally normal- pack a lunch and send the kid off with a smile. 

The reason that I'm sharing and writing this post (with Noah's permission), is because I'd like to say something to all the Moms out there who are struggling with an "outside of the box" kid.  The kind of child who never seems to go with the flow, never  does the things that everyone else's child is doing at the time. The kid that you love with ALL of your heart, but who exhausts you because he or she is just more intense, takes more energy and time, and logistics and desperate prayers in the night. I'm here to tell you -  BE PATIENT MAMA, THEY WILL DO IT WHEN THEY ARE READY, I PROMISE YOU.               It'll be ok.   πŸ˜ŠπŸ™πŸ’–

When Noah was about a year old, we enrolled in a Mom and Tot class. I'd take him, and it was great, but he never seemed to want to do what the other babies and toddlers were doing throughout the year. He didn't want to join in circle time for songs and puppets, or leave the table where he was snacking, even when everybody else had left. He had no signs of wanting to walk at 13 months and was the very last one in his preschool class to potty train.  Each time that I worried or felt that I must be doing something wrong as a parent, to have have the loan kiddo in the bunch; my wonderful, life-long friend Andrea from the Mom and Tot days would say to me gently: "Don't worry, he'll do it when he's ready."  I would take comfort in her words as Andrea was already the mother of fantastic four-year-old twins and the sweetest toddler. I just knew she must know something about all of this.

It might have taken thirteen and a half years as a parent, but I feel as if today was the quintessential moment that all of my trust and belief in this bit of parenting wisdom was absolutely solidified. I've known it for a while, I lived and breathed and and forced myself to go forth with the deep conviction that he'd do it when he was ready. Today though, it was the perfect illustration of this great adage.

While I have Andrea to credit as my first patience guru, many many others have uttered the same words to me over the years. There's a reason that we pass this maxim down to each other, and I just want you to know that it's true!

For some of you who are newer readers, you might not know that we unexpectedly and without choice, found ourselves homeschoolers in the fall of 2015, when Noah was entering the fifth grade. It turned all of our lives upside down in a matter of days and challenged every iota of my vision and assumption of what his schooling would look like. What helped me to adapt and not fall completely apart during that time, to take a deep breath and have faith that I was meeting my child where he was at, was most certainly the book "Simplicity Parenting."  Simplicity Parenting and the educational philosophies that honored the natural difference in children's own timetables. Their compassionate teachings showed me that rushing these timetables was of little if not detrimental use. 



Had I not already searched for answers in books and seminars as to why my little guy was able to do surprising things like read at three, but couldn't handle the emotional demands of a school day like his same-age peers,  I would not have come across the philosophies of child development from Kim John Payne, Gordon Neufeld,  John Holt and "The Conscious Parent," by Dr. Shefali Tsabary. These educators, doctors and child development experts, helped me to have the amount of trust needed in Andrea's message to finally embrace where we were at, rather than let the wistful feelings and doubt get the best of me.

I appreciated the message of Simplicity Parenting so much so, that I enrolled in their Family Life Coach Training last fall. It was an excellent opportunity and I hope that someday, I will be here online or in person, helping  parents to find more family peace and simplicity.



I wanted my child's inner voice to be one that said: "I can do it!" I wanted him to view any of his differences as uniqueness instead of short-comings, his goals not yet obtained as exciting puzzles, not hurdles. It was all about acceptance, encouragement and cooperative solution finding. 

So, for example, earlier in my parenting career, when Noah would have a complete meltdown each morning before school, or not be able to go forward with a field trip or be sent home in tears from day camp, I would crumble into my grief for myself and him. Then I would do what many well-meaning people with less sensitive, more typical kids would suggest to me - I would "stay strong" and make him jump right back into that class or camp the same way the next day. I did what I thought I was supposed to do, less be labeled as a "push over," a "helicopter parent," someone that was not "in control," of their child.  So I pushed and tried to hold back my own tears when seeing his. I sent Noah to school, enrolled him in camps and classes. I  R.S.V.P.'ed "yes" to birthday parties that were difficult for him and accepted playdates that I knew would end in burnout. Instead of stopping, listening to my inner voice, following my heart and honoring the needs of what my child was so outwardly displaying to me year after year, I just kept doing what I was thought was the right thing to do.

By the time he was ten, I just couldn't do it anymore. I was burnt out, Noah's joy was waining. It was time for a paradigm shift. I LET GO. Instead of making him do what society prescribed as normal, I tried to listen. I listened to what he was feeling and why. We talked through the knowns, and the parts he didn't know just yet about himself. We partnered in attaining goals and got a team together with some of the most caring and supportive people. We tried new things together, on HIS timeline and I celebrated each little victory when he struck out on his own. He was, and I was... HAPPY.  We found our peace. 

Fast forward to today: here is a thirteen year old boy who started a new camp without a hitch. He asked to take piano lessons, guitar lesson, golf lesson and goes all on his own. He happily spends summer weekends in Northern Michigan with our family, without his parents and we have to practically drag him home from loud raucous study sessions, full of teens. In fact, he's become so suddenly independent that Noah begged and pleaded to us in June, to allow him to fly BY HIMSELF, ACROSS THE ATLANTIC to join his tutor/our beloved friend in London who would be finish up speaking at a conference for ADHD and different learners. Then, they were going to spend two weeks, visiting friends and traveling around England. I wish we had been able to get it together in time, next summer...

The little boy who found school and birthday parties and vacations to be too much, who wanted to stay home in his cozy home and routine, he's now a member of Monday Night School with other Teens at our temple, about to start a junior cadet program with The Civil Air Patrol, and holds the ultimate goal of starting history classes at our local community college when he is in 9th grade.        He says: "Mom, it's ok, you can just drop me off."        
                                                                                                                      
πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

So worried Mama, whether your young child is more timid or cautious or fearful than most others. If your kiddo is struggling to begin reading or cries at the sight of math or takes forever to potty train, just know, they will do it when they're ready, and that it will be ok.

Seek out the professional developmental or educational support that they need to thrive and be their best. Don't be ashamed to take their hand and work through things TOGETHER and listen to your heart. 

Be their biggest cheerleader and keep your hopes high-your positivity will nurture your child's inner voice and  help your them to grow.................more than you can ever imagine. 
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

You're doing better than you know worried Mom! Keep up the good work!

With love,

Lauren 
xoxoxoxoxoxo







Saturday, May 19, 2018

Growth


Growth, it's one of those elusive things that just kind of sneaks up on you. Unless you're a teenage boy, growth doesn't happen overnight. In fact, you can grow so slowly, whether it's your maturity or your character or your  HAIR, that you don't even realize that anything changing! Well, that is, until one day you say: "HUH. Something is different..."

This is exactly what has been going on with my hair. Silver sisters, I think a lot of you might know the struggle- you're slogging through your gray hair grow-out and it just feels like it is taking FOREVER! Right? You've been there too?

Even after our hair is all one-ish color and we've got some length, at least to me, it still didn't feel like my hair was growing as quickly as I wanted it to. 

Last spring I walked into the salon and asked my sweet, wonderful, super-gray-hair-cheerleader of a stylist Lydia to just give me the chop! Luckily for me, every time I come in with a major over-haul idea, she patiently talks me through what I might or might not like, gives me alternative ways to achieve the look  that I'm going for and lets me decide from there. This is also known to me as : "A.K.A. Keeping me from cutting all my hair off when it's 85 and humid in Detroit, but seriously regretting the move 12 hours later."  (Thank you Lydia!!!)

So last spring, when I turned up with a bunch of short, short hairstyles, Lydia helped me to realize what I would like the most is a bit longer, angled bob. That cut is the photo above in the upper left hand side.  Fast forward to this spring, about a year later, and it hit me that my hair was actually starting to get longer. In fact, when I compared two photos, one from the day of my cut and one from this spring, I was amazed to see how much my hair had grown! It just kind of snuck up on me.

The reason that I'm telling you all of this is because I thought maybe, just maybe the multivitamin that I began taking last year, helped to speed up my hair growth.  I'm putting it out there that I am not a scientist or a doctor or a nutritionist, so I don't know for sure, but I do think that after taking the SmartyPants Women's Complete with fish oil and Biotin, that my hair began to get longer and stronger and my nails did as well.

I know there is a lot of controversy out there as to whether or not you actually need a multi, or if they are good for you. I know there is controversy over ingredients, dosages and even the fact that these are "gummies." You need to do what is right for you, and if you're up for trying them like I did, much luck to you! I happen to think they taste yummy and never miss a day.



At any rate, what I take is SmartyPantsWomen's Complete. You can find them on Amazon and at Target, really all over. As a Silver Sister, I find that when we share from our experiences, it helps to make this journey a little easier. 

Until Next time!
xoxoxoxoxoxoxo,
Lauren :)



Monday, September 11, 2017

Losing My Graith - Gray Hair Faith

Have any of you ever had the same experience? Do you also go through periods of doubt? I have a feeling that these might be universal Silver Sister feelings.........

There comes a point, after you've grown your gray hair all the way out, when it looks "normal" compared to....let's say the "skunk stripe" phase that you start to think less about it. You walk around with your gray hair for a while, a few months, a year. You see your reflection in storefront windows as you pass by, and in the bathroom mirror, and no longer does your reflection shock you. You're not surprised, you don't ask yourself: "who is this woman staring back at me?" It's just simply you, and you don't devote as much time thinking and worrying and questioning the gray.

That's what happened to me at least. After a few years of being a full-fledged "Silver Sister," I kind of stop analyzing it all. I thought more about most other things, and less and less about my hair color.

Then this summer, something happened. I can't tell you why, but the "looks" started getting to me again. I began to notice the stares more often. Here and there, everywhere that I went, my HEAD would get the stares! Was I imagining this?

I was so good at letting the puzzled looks go when I was growing out my hair. In the beginning, most people would give my half white, half dark brown hair at least a side-glance. I understood it, I looked looney! I would look at myself too! πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚

Once it was all grown out, I remember still getting little looks from time to time. From what I figured, I was a younger person with a head full of white hair- so not something that most people were used to seeing. It was also before the 20-somethings began to bleach their hair and dye it gray! "Hashtag Granny Hair," was not a thing yet.

It was because I could understand and sympathize with the human impulse to glance at something surprising or different, that I was able to brush them off to the point of not noticing the looks anymore. Not noticing them for a long time.

Then this summer happened. I have no idea what it was. Why was I suddenly getting more looks or maybe just noticing them again? Not just looks, but more like....you know the stares that people can do, that I myself can do when I'm daydreaming and I don't realize that I'm holding my gaze at someone in the grocery store a few seconds too long. The gazes when your mouth is kind of open and you're trying to figure out what exactly are you looking at? You know those?

Well, I got those stares, daily, multiple times, everywhere I went it seemed! I could almost read their minds from the expression on their faces: "Wait, is she old or is she a young person with white hair?" "Um....did she dye her hair white or does she have some problem and her hair went gray?" "Why in the world would she go gray?"  Things like that. That's what I *think* they were thinking.

And all this looking just got to me. I began to feel insecure, like a minor freak. I worried that all these sets of eyes were connected to a brain that thought: "WHY would she ever do that to her hair!" At first, I wanted to make sure that I just wasn't being paranoid. I need to know if I was imagining it. So, Jon and I went out on errands, to places like Costco and the grocery store. I let him know what I was worried about, and asked him to quietly observe and see if people really did stare at my hair. I also asked him to give me the honest-to-goodness TRUTH. Sure enough, ten seconds into Costco.....one look, two looks, three glances and on.

Validation! I was not (so) crazy. 

That's when I lost a little bit of my GRAITH. My gray hair faith. Faith in the knowledge that I was doing the right thing for me. Sure, it was good to avoid the hair dye that caused me allergies and avoid the chemicals that I had chosen not to use anymore. When I stopped coloring my hair I saved time, money and future stains to all my towels, but was this still enough to be worth it? Worth all of these stares?

We talked in the car, talked in the store, and talked again at home. Jon patiently listened to my worries and insecurities. I told him that sometimes I just wished that I was brunette again so I could simply blend in and avoid any attention. I didn't want to be a gray haired person anymore. I went through the pros and cons of coloring my hair and keeping it white. My husband, ever the diplomat, encouraged me to make the right choice for myself, and that he supported me either way. Either way? EITHER WAY!? "Come on" I said, "Just make this easy and make the decision for me!" But, he wouldn't.

In the days that followed, my feelings of grabulous (gray fabulousness) were at an all-time low. I was seriously considering dying my hair! I feared though, that if I should do this, I would lose the respect of many a silver sister and reader. I was too scared, and I just didn't know how to remedy these sad emotions.

Enter the pivotal moment of my graith rebirth, summer 2017! πŸ˜†πŸ˜œ I hope for those of you who also struggle with your graith, that you have trips to Costco like this too........

The day I began thinking about coloring my hair, a few minutes after the "last stare that broke the Lauren's back,"  I said: "Jon, that's it. I can't look like such a weirdo anymore. I need to dye my hair!"

But no more than two isles later, the hair Gods must have been looking down on me, because a young GUY called out. I kid you not, called out to me from his table, (after I turned turned down his offer of "The Worlds Best Pillow,") and said "Hey! Your hair is really cool." Ha! What? Who, me!? "Yes," he said. "I really like your hair."

Now, I know what you are thinking, he's just trying to get me to buy a pillow and all, and this might be true! But he seemed so genuine and we got into a conversation about my hair, and I don't think he was trying to fool me. This young man said that he liked the gray, and then worried that he might have said something wrong after I thanked him for saying that and told him that I was tired of being gray though . He asked if it was difficult to get my hair to that color, and asked what I would dye it next. This made me smile. I said it was just my natural hair color, and he was shocked! Oh young people.....you're so young. I wish I was so young. I am so old now....... 😫😭😭😭

Seriously though, it was very kind of him. I thanked the pillow salesmen and then I was on my way to the potato salad holding my gray head a bit higher.

Wouldn't you know it, three seconds later in the potato salad isle, the most wonderful, sweet, kind woman came up to me and said: "I just love your hair!" I couldn't believe it. Maybe I thought....the universe was giving me a sign to not to dye my hair. "Thank you!" I said. She went on to point to her beautiful streak of pure white hair, and to talk about the ordeal of trying to figure out how she was going to get through the grow-out process. Then she candidly told me about her health issues, including MS, and how she wanted to stop applying chemicals to her body. That was very moving to me. What a brave woman. We talked a little more and I even shared my blog with her. I mentioned the support groups for men and women on Facebook, where we all encourage each other through the hard parts.

I went into Costco that day longing to color my hair, and I left with a renewed understanding of why I'm on this journey. I think it's to band together with others out there who are struggling with their own reasons for having to bare their natural hair. Without each other, I don't think it would be possible. For myself included! It was the brave women that went before me, that stopped coloring their hair, and shared their pictures, triumphs and struggles online. Without them, I would never had made it a month or even a week. I owe so much to my silver sisters, and that's why, with this purpose, I will keep going. I have my faith in this crazy journey the call "going gray" again.

Until Next Time!

xoxoxoxoxox,
Lauren