Every day Life
Last week, I had the good fortune to visit Cancun, Mexico. The beaches were white, the water was turquoise, the palm trees were a deep green, and the sky was blue. At our hotel, there were plenty of pale tourists, like myself, who slathered on sunscreen to catch some of the sun’s warmth. Many were from other countries: I heard French, Portugese, German, Italian. And one thing I noticed, from these non-English visitors: Their lack of tattoos. Pale, golden and darker skinned bodies were on display, au naturel.
The Americans, in contrast, were artfully decorated. Some lightly, some head to toe. Older women had vines and flowers adorning the length of their legs. Muscular men had pictures of Mom, girlfriends, babies. Some had tattoos broadly displayed on their backs. “Why get a tattoo if you can’t see it?” asked my daughter. Indeed.
The rise of the Millennials is one reason for the surge in tattoos, as young adults proudly clarify their identities to anyone and everyone. The top benefit, according to the study: It made the owner feel sexier. (Role models, perhaps, by David Beckham, Angelina Jolie?) Yet there are plenty of older folks, too, who are taking to literally proclaiming their heart on their sleeves. And when the romance with Suzie falls through, well, there’s always tattoo removals, now a billion-dollar industry. Re-purposing tatoos has also spawned a whole new art form, even creating its own television show. It's something to keep those 21,000 tattoo parlors open, and expanding.
Last year, a friend sent a birthday card that said “Show and Tell at the Old Folks Home”. The game was “Guess my Tattoo.” Shrinkage matters, as one ages.
Tattoos are getting more sophisticated. According to Inked, the new trends in 2016 are minimalistic, single line tattoos, and double exposure. And color. Much more color.
According to Pew Research Center, 14% of all Americans – some 45 million people - now have at least one tattoo. Seventy-six percent of these are 16 – 40 years old. And some 17 percent of these individuals have regretted their decision.
What is clear is that given my tattoo-free state, I’m about to be in the minority. There’s something about voluntarily handing over hundreds of dollars to inject ink into one’s body, painfully, that keeps me from being tempted.
What about you? Do you have a tattoo? Do you have more than one? Any regrets? Does it make you feel sexier? Rebellious? Empowered? Let’s devote some digital ink to those Inked. We’d love to hear from you!
So if you haven’t heard, Macy’s suffered a pretty dismal holiday season and will now lay-off thousands of workers and close 36 stores in the United States. Now, I’ve been a Macy’s shopper for a very long time (Hudson’s to Marshall Fields and now Macy’s) and have frequented my local Macy’s stores for my apparel needs for years.
But, let me tell you after my last few shopping experiences the above news is no longer surprising. I recently visited the Macy’s in Westland, MI for some long needed work cloths and jeans. I can tell you that this was my worst experience at a Macy’s ever. First of all, I must have hit the store on some type of special sale Saturday and by 11am the entire store was a mess. By the time I tried on some cloths and had my items selected, the checkout lines were at least 6 deep all over the floor. My line had about 8 people ready to check out at a counter with 2 salespeople. One of those associates decided to go clean out the dressing rooms and leave 8 people standing in line. All she did was bring out large piles of cloths and throw them on a heap to put away later. Now what do you think would be more important? Checking out customers who have already selected their purchase or slowly pile up the cloths. When I mentioned this to the remaining associate, she apologized and eventually called her associate back to start the 2nd register.
When I got to the counter to pay, I was told how busy they were and that their manager never had enough employees called in to work the sales. When I was finished checking out, I went to where Macy’s customer service counter used to be and discovered only phones in its place. There was no way to locate a store manager and convey my disappointment.
I have noticed a steady decline at this Macy’s over the last few years. Cloths are on hangers that often have the sizes mismarked. The dressing rooms are messy, out of date, with broken doors and hooks and the sales clerks are totally disinterested and never around to help or check you out when ready to pay. I’ve visited several other Macy’s locations in Chicago, Ohio, and throughout the Midwest where service is still hanging on a bit better.
If Macy’s really wants to stay around, they need to address customer service. I would have much rather stayed at home and shopped online than spent my day like this!
My wonderfully innovative daughter found a great opportunity to get a free haircut and donate her hair at the same time. Just recently my tween, out of the blue, came home and declared that she had decided to cut and donate her very lengthy hair to charity. I was dumbfounded. There was nothing I could think of to say since she fought so hard for years against any kind of cut. She mentioned that one of her friends had just gotten a cut and donated her hair to Pantene Beautiful-Lengths (minimum length 8 inches) and her cut looked so nice. My daughter was really excited. So after some research, we chose “Wigs for Kids” since it was for kids and my daughter had at least 12 inches to donate (which is the minimum).
Wigs for kids is a private, non-profit organization relying solely on donations to make durable, custom Hair Replacement Systems that look just as a child's natural hair would. If you are looking for places to donate your hair, Wigs for Kids will be happy to use your ponytail in order to create a Hair Replacement System.
They give you many options to donate to their charity; You have an option to visit a salon listed at Wigs for Kids, or you can follow the step by step guide to cut the ponytail and send it in yourself, you can setup a cutting party as an event, you can donate money, or you can sponsor a child.
We looked through the list of salons that are affiliated with “Wigs for Kids”, but we couldn’t find one close to us available. So we decided to cut her hair at home using the step by step guide and send it to Westlake Ohio ourselves. It’s a win – win, she looks beautiful with her new haircut and one special child will be closer to receiving a wig for free. I’m very proud of her for doing this, she did the research, she found the charity and she followed through on the drastic cut that took off 1.5 feet…no flinching, she practically placed the scissors in my hands. Later she told me how nervous she was, but also how glad she was that she actually did this.
When Children lose their hair, they don't just suffer physically. The change in their appearance can drastically undermine their self-image and sabotage their self-esteem. To help heal the pain of these struggles, Certified Cosmetic Therapist Jeffrey Paul founded Wigs for Kids, a nonprofit organization that has been serving children suffering from hair loss since 1981.
Just yesterday, one very talented and remarkable group of hair stylists in Sterling Heights MI from Elementz Salon held a “Wigs for Kids” event at Lutheran High North High School. They donated their time and energy working all morning cutting hair.
One of the ladies, Denise Graham Kriebich comments: Had a great start of the day! Cut hair with some of my girlfriend's at Lutheran High North High School. The girls donated hair for Wigs for Kids!!!! So proud of them! What a wonderful thing they did for sick children suffering from hair loss usually from cancer! It was so rewarding! I swear I'd do it every week if I could! You can tell it really made them feel good even though they were so nervous!
Love Peace and JOY!!!
Here is Boston, we’re bracing for another frigid day ahead. The temperatures are in the single digits – and then there’s that wind chill effect. I envy the animals and amphibians who sleep through it all and wake up, refreshed, in the spring.
I work from a home office. Today I’m wearing four layers, plus my thick socks and sheepskin slippers. The electrical heater is at my feet. I sip tea all day long. And I eat. And then I eat some more. I’d like to think of it as nature making me do this – after all, think of the whales, the bears, the sea lions and their thick layer of blubber protecting them against the icy weather. But if I’m honest, I realize that I eat because I’m stuck inside, not inclined to get up and away.
Yet the days are getting noticeably longer, and the march to spring has begun in earnest. I just wish the Artic snap would remember it has outstayed its welcome here, thank you very much.
Here are my top favorite things to do, when the weather keeps me inside:
The warmth is coming. And for me, it can’t get here fast enough. What is your favorite tip to survive winter?
Right now, I’d like to thank all of our relatives and friends for the endless supply of children’s reading material sent to us over the years. I believe those books helped turn on my daughters imagination… which helped turn her into the silly and fun thinking person she is today…..it doesn’t hurt that her father and I are truly demented beings. Some of the best times that I have spent with my daughter were when I read to her.
I don’t know if it was because we read so much to her, or that we really showed an interest in the stories, or that she is just a really good reader, but she started reading books to herself before she was five years old. Whatever the reason, I am happy that she enjoyed books so much that she created her own. Pages of cartoons about her hamster “Nibbles” were EVERYWHERE. Play dates with her friends turned into notebooks filled with the “Adventures of NIBBLES”. The whole family got in on the act….slowly we created tooth fairy characters that befriended Nibbles and their stories together. We had fun making up jokes and drawing pictures of their alphabet rhymes. …sometimes her friends joined in too, they seemed to really enjoy the tongue twisters and the adventures.
Now, years later, she is a tween. She is amazing! Yes I am blessed to have her…and YES, she is still reading books. I mean real,”hard print” books, where you have to turn the page between two-fingers books. It changed though when she was given an ipad. She read hard copy books but only because it was for homework and these books couldn’t be found in electronic form. When this happened I started to look for books that might peak her interest, help her destress from a day at school and take a breather from the ipad which was her goto for destressing. I chose the silly cartoon books that seemed to speak to the most silliest of children….”Captain Underpants”,”Calvin and Hobbes”, “Diary of a Whimpy Kid” and don’t forget “Mrs. Piggle Wiggle” (not a cartoon, but definitely a favorite). It helped but it’s taken a lot of effort to get her back to reading and loving to read the way it was before.
Before I started this blog post, my daughter and I talked about how much we enjoy books, and she said that one of the best things about reading a book was to open a new book and smell the new print.…can’t get that from an ipad.
I’m sure that there are many reasons why Steve Jobs did not want his children to have ipads (or similar electronic devices), to me I can see that electronic devices can kill the imagination if you’re not careful.
Read to your children, it’s a great adventure that you can go on together without even leaving your house.
…you won’t regret it.
LOVE, PEACE AND JOY!