Wednesday, February 13, 2019



My husband and I don't normally celebrate Valentine's Day like everyone else, because we don't need this one particular day to celebrate our love for each other.  So with that said, I do not have a Valentine gift for Gerry.  But I would love to share with you the perfect last-minute gift that you can give your honey-bug if you are lagging in the gift-giving department.


For Christmas, I gifted my husband part ownership of a lovely old castle in France.  What, you say??  That's right.  There is a wonderful movement happening in France that is devoted to bringing back to life structures that are centuries old through crowdfunding.  As a professional travel planner, I do a lot of research and happened, one day, to come across an article of a castle that was fully restored through donated funds from around the world.  What a genius idea to reach out to the online community for help in preserving French heritage!  

We love to travel.  We love history.  We love France.  We love taking care of things that are important.  



I wanted to participate in the restoration of this collective's second castle, the Chateau Fort de l'Ebaupinay.  This old gem is in a region that sits between Paris and Bordeaux.  I bestowed to Gerry the title of shareholder of l'Ebaupinay. Gerry's Christmas gift was presented in a gift bag, which had inside of it several photos of the castle, and on linen paper a description of the purchase and the key. He received his key to the castle a few days after Christmas.  This key will allow Gerry to participate in future restoration projects to bring this castle to life, and gives him free entry for life.  He can also, as projects arise, donate more money to the effort, and that elevates his rank in the hierarchy of the castle.  How fun is that!  The Dartagnan, which is the organization behind this effort to preserve, has other projects lined up.  Visit their website here to see how you can help.


I've always called Gerry my knight in shining armor.  But now he is my Lord, and I am his Lady.

Happy  Valentine's Day!


Thursday, January 31, 2019

GOING GRAY

With a new year comes new beginnings.  For me, it's a new look for my blog, new goals, and a new hair color, and it's all natural!  So let's talk about my hair, because I've received so many compliments and questions on how I achieved going gray.  
April 2017

For about five years, I'd thought of going gray.  In the beginning, my family said that my face looked too young to go gray.  "Why don't you just get more highlights in your hair," they said.  But to me, that was simply more time and money spent sitting in the salon.  Touching up the gray roots myself became a burden because I was constantly going to the drug store to purchase root powder, pens, brush-ons and boxed color.  I also had a particular section of hair that couldn't hold on to color and it was frustrating.  One day I complained again that I had to go home to color my roots, and that I wished I could go gray.  My daughter said "you've been saying this for two years, mom.  Why don't you just do it?".  Wow, I had experienced an epiphany!

That was in 2017.  I decided I would begin the graying process in 2018. In January of that year, I went to see my hairstylist, Randy, for some advice.  Instead of achieving my grays through creative coloring, he said the best way to go was to naturally grow out the gray and that I needed to be patient.  Very patient.  It was better than throwing a lot of chemicals on my hair for a long period of time and damaging the integrity of it.  So for three months, I used the L'Oreal root cover-up and lightly sprayed over the gray roots.  It took a lot of practice to get it right.  The thing with dark hair is the strong contrast of the gray coming in.  When I first sprayed, the color blasted out of the can.  Not only that, it made my hair tacky.  I didn't like the feel of it, and I couldn't even brush through it.  It was horrible!  Over time, I learned to spritz versus spray.  But still, my brush didn't glide through my hair easily.  What I love about the spray, however, was that it lasted way longer than the powders and roll-ons.  It also washed out easily.    I used this product religiously for four months, then got sick of the routine.  It was time to move on!

June 2018

After our trip to France in April, it was time to ditch the root spray.  I was going au naturel.  It was so freeing.  I was no longer a slave to hair color products!  Gawd, it feel so good!  As I continued to grow out the gray, I also trimmed the length of my hair little by little. 

July 2018

It was at this time that I began receiving so many compliments on my hair color and style.  Randy, my hair guy, said it was so edgy with that reverse-ombre look.  My youngest sister loved it so much and can't wait to go gray after she retires.  She tried to do it last year, but because of her job as head of her department and all the meetings she attends, she said it was difficult for her to keep a professional look.  I think I understand how she feels.  Strangers from many different places would approach me to say they loved what I was doing to my hair - the lady at the airport, the young male flight attendant as he's pushing the beverage cart down the aisle, the cashier at Williams-Sonoma, the speaker at an American Red Cross disaster feedback session (in front of everyone), the lady at a restaurant who wanted to take my picture so she could show her friend what she might look like growing out her grays, and so on.  It was incredible!  I never received as many compliments with my longer, dark hair.  I wish I had gone through this process years earlier, before it became the latest trend for ladies of all ages to go gray.

August 2018

My hair got even shorter before I had my hand surgery in late September.  I pondered how I would blow out my hair after every wash with only one hand.  It made sense to cut it shorter and let the hair air dry.  Cutting my hair short also relieved me of the dark tresses.  It was a whole new look.
September 2018
So to those who asked how hard was it to go gray, well, it wasn't all that difficult.  It might be a teeny bit scary when you begin the process, but it does get easier with each passing month.  How quickly you go gray depends on how short of a length you're willing to go to.  There are so many tricks out there to gracefully go gray.  My advice is to first speak with a hair professional who specializes in coloring techniques, then you make the decision to go gray the salon way, or go the au naturel way.  Just remember that in the salon, to go gray is not immediate depending on the present color of your hair.  It can happen in a day, or it can take a few months.

Are you inspired to follow this hair trend?