Crabtree and Evelyn

For the last two days I have been using La Source Original Formula Shampoo and Conditioner by Crabtree & Evelyn. You can find it at

Crabtree & Evelyn products are generously supplied by Hilton Hotels, at least the ones I’ve stayed in. The bottles are simple thin containers with pop up tops. The light blue color is relaxing and welcoming. The full-bodied fragrance is wonderfully refreshing, especially in the morning when all you really want to do is crawl back into the comfy Hilton bed, and hide under the big fluffy comforter.

So, the real question is how did it do with my hair? Unfortunately, not so well. It took more than half the bottle to feel like I got shampoo throughout all of my hair, and even then the lather was miniscule. The conditioner was no better… I used over half the bottle, and still couldn’t get my fingers through my hair without finding tangles.

My thought… well, at least my hair will smell great!

I did hope that after using the rest of the conditioner bottle that my hair would be left smooth and silky, but after four hours when my hair finally dried I was left with frizzy dry scary hair. Hair that you can’t do anything with, except pull it back into a bun, and longingly wait for tomorrow’s shower.

All in all… not impressed with the Hilton provided Crabtree and Evelyn shampoo and conditioner.

On another note… The Crabtree & Evelyn body lotion that Hilton provides is AWESOME! That I would spend my own money on!

Hotel Shampoo and Conditioner

Throughout the past year I have found myself a very frequent flyer… The  reason for said travel doesn’t really matter in the context of this text, but what does matter is the travel regulations that state only 3 oz. bottles of shampoo and conditioner can be carried in your luggage.

I have long… curly… dry hair, and I need my shampoo and conditioner, but I have grown used to not carrying it with me on trips. With that said, I have used the same shampoo and conditioner for about ten years now, if not longer. My shampoo and conditioner of choice… drumroll please… Pantene Pro V for Curly Hair!

Now, I love Pantene, or at least I have no complaints against it. My hair isn’t overly dry, nor is it oily, it just is the way it is! So, nothing to write home about, but nothing to complain about either.

However, I, like so many people, love the tiny little bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, and even mouthwash that hotels provide! I like to walk around with them, pretending to be a giant! Yeah, yeah, scoff if you must, but you know deep down that you do it too!

Anyway, I have from time to time, like every time I travel… collected my unused bottles and brought them home with me. I like to put them out when I have visitors at home, making them feel like they are staying at a high-class hotel… or just a small guest room with pretty smelling shampoo and conditioner in the guest bathroom. lol

Although, we don’t have over-night guests very often. Thus, I am left with quiet an assortment of tiny little bottles! Because I stay at the same hotels over and over I have multiples of the same brands, but last night I looked through my little bottles, and discovered that I have 12 different types of shampoo and conditioner. This lead me to wonder how each of these different products would treat my hair. Thus my twelve day hair challenge!

I will be using a different hair product each morning, for the next twelve days, and blogging about how it affects my hair. WooHoo… So much fun, for me anyway. I won’t be able to tell you what hotels all of the products came from, because I’m not that anal… I didn’t keep a list, but some of the hotels mark their bottles with their names, so I will provide that information when available.

So, stay toned… tomorrow you will hear all about my experiences with La Source Original Formula Shampoo and Conditioner by Crabtree & Evelyn!

Questions Unknown…

He sat in his room avoiding his parents downstairs. It was the third time in less than a month that he had been grounded. Not really a bad boy by nature these last few months he had really changed. “I’ll set up an appointment tomorrow…” He could hear the pain in his mother’s voice. “I just don’t know what to do with him any more…” the conversations went on and on.

He could take no more… his parents would never believe! He left a note on his desk: “Sorry to do this, but you just couldn’t understand. Know I am safe and try to be strong… For I will return, and it won’t be long!” then out threw the window he jumped and once on the ground he started to run!

Into the night he began his quest. Searching for answers to questions unknown. Then there in the dark he stumbled upon it… Deep in the woods and high in the mountains… Covered by trees and guarded by wolves. They welcomed him kindly and lead him straight in…

To the leader they took him. She smiled so sweetie then asked him to dinner as she explained his past. The chosen one… Sent to guide them… Born of the blood… Not human… Not vampire… A mix of the two so strong and so fierce!

As time did pass he learned to control his emotions, cravings, desires, anger, frustration… Soon he was ready and went off on his own. To his old home where so much had changed. His parents did not wake. Into their room he could feel the tension growing inside. But, when he got there… empty… alone…

His parents were gone and only a letter remained. Welcome to the family… Now you know our secret! From out in the woods he heard them calling. Down the stairs… Out the door… Running so fast he knew just what to do. With them at his side he made his first kill.

One Step at a Time…

Have you ever had one of those days, where every inch of your body and soul wants to be creative, but the world around you is just fighting you every step of the way?! Yeah, well that’s where I am today…

I have been sitting in front of my computer; with a story line, a plot, and a goal, for the last hour. Yet every two minutes one of my kids bursts into the room yanking me out of my concentration and forcing me to listen to their whining and complaining.

I thought that taking them for a mile and a half hike through the cold caverns would wear them down and make them lethargic enough to sit on the couch and rest for a while, but no such luck! Apparently exercise only invigorates my children’s sense of adventure and energizes them to make it through the rest of their day.

Thus, meeting my goal of making it through chapter eleven of my book seemed to quickly be slipping away. That was until I discovered the power of Pepperidge Farm cookies. That’s right, Pepperidge Farm cookies happen to be a lot like crack to children. They love them, and will do just about anything for them, to include sitting quietly while watching a movie so that mommy could get some quiet time. Ah, the power the cookie.

I hammered my way through chapter eleven, and quickly moved on to chapter twelve. Who knows if any of it is any good… I certainly don’t, but I’m enjoying the process, and to me that is the goal! At least for now. When I’m done the goal will be to publish, but for now I’m taking it one step at a time…

Why Do Some Children Bite?

As the Director of a private preschool there is nothing that pulls at my heart-strings more, than when a child gets hurt, and biting is one of the worst. However, what I have to tell myself, having been the parent of a child who repeatedly got bitten as well as the parent of a child who was a biter, is that biting is common among children.

There are a number of reasons that children bite, and not a single one will make the parent of the child that got bitten feel any better. Nor will those reasons make the parent of the bitter feel better, because believe me it feels just as bad to know that your child is hanging out at school trying to taste his friends. I make light, but because I don’t see it as a problem, but because I want everyone to know that staying calm in these events is one of the best ways to help those bitters to correct their behavior.

Why Children Bite:

At a young age many children bite simply because they are exploring the world around them. Children go through a very “oral” stage when everything around them goes directly into their mouths, including their friends.

As they start to teeth biting can also be used as a way to sooth those aching gums, and ease the pain that their feeling.

It is also common for children to start biting before they have developed the communication skills to negotiate with others. They may resort to biting as a means of expressing themselves or getting their way.

As children get older, if biting continues or occurs for the first time, it is often out of aggression or anger. This is when a child who can clearly and effectively communicate what he or she wants doesn’t get his/her way, and makes the decision to punish the person he/she sees as being responsible.

What We Do to Prevent Biting:

Although we can’t catch every bit before it happens, we do try very hard to catch the majority of them. By doing the following things we hope that the children throughout our center will learn that “Teeth Are Not for Biting” our friends!

* We model kindness and gentle behavior

* We supervise the children well they are playing and we try to notice when tension builds and we try to redirect the children’s interest.

* We talk about feelings even with our littlest students. We help to build their language skills through sign-language.

* We try to balance each student’s day with stress-relieving activities such as art, outside play, story time, and even music and dancing.

Some important steps to remember when dealing with a bitter are:

1) Stay Calm – Young children especially infants and toddlers don’t understand what all the fuss is about after they have bitten a friend. Thus the child is often bound to try it again to see if he or she receives the same reaction.

2) Teach the child Self-Control – After biting another child, the bitter should not be placed in timeout as a punishment, but in quiet time to help settle his nervous and to take a break.

3) Set Boundaries – It may seem obvious to console and cuddle the child who was bitten, but the child who bite may also need comforting because he/she has often startled him/herself in the act of biting, not understanding what set off his own aggressive behavior.

4) Help the Healing Process – In order for the children to move on from the incident it is important to get both children in a safe, non aggressive situation where they can have fun together. This will help to erase the hurt feelings, and hopefully allow the child that was bitten not to associate the “biter” with pain or fear.

WRITE… Write… write…

Okay… let me start by saying, I miss my husband! He recently started classes toward his masters program, and he attends classes every Tuesday and Thursday evening. I know what you’re thinking, “Tuesday and Thursday? Is that all?” and you’re right. It’s only two days a week, not bad at all. Yet, still… I miss him when he isn’t home with me and the kids. Although above even that I am incredibly proud of him! Going back for his masters isn’t going to be an easy road, by any stretch of the imagination, and the fact that he is doing it with a full-time job, two kids, and a sometimes needy wife, I commend him!

Now, as I sit here and sulk… I can do one of two things. I can literally eat the pan of brownies in the kitchen and watch television until he gets home – not a bad idea, or I can pull out my computer and get to work! I am choosing the second option. I am always struggling to find time to write, and now with him going back to school I have been given two evenings a week, after the kids are in bed of course, to do just that. So, take advantage of it I will.

My goal is to see significant progress by the end of this coming weekend… which is to say that I will finally get through chapter eleven!

I think that my creativity has maybe taken a brief vacation, and left me in somewhat of a stump or creative block. I shall hammer through it this week though, and come out victorious! lol… That actually sounded confident. This just may work. If not, I might just cry… I figure if I don’t get to work soon, then when I receive my editor’s notes next weekend I really will cry. I am expecting them to be detailed and extensive, because that is what everyone had told me editors like to do. I have mentally prepared, but who knows how much that will really help. Although, I do look forward to the suggestions. I am excited to get book one in the Blood Angel series ready for the publisher, and an editor is just one of the many steps so… BRING IT ON!!!

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort… Follow-up

Okay, I am sure someone out there read my previous post about my recent experience at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Well, I’d like to throw it out there that the purpose of my blog was not meant to attract their attention, or to even get anything in return. However, I was pleasantly surprised when they actually read the blog and responded within just a couple of hours.

After talking, via email, back and forth with the representatives at the resort I was very impressed. In order to make up for our bad experience they have offered us two nights free in one of their other buildings. That to me shows that they really do care for their guests and for the level of customer service that they portray. Thank you Sandestin, tops off to you and your staff.

So, now… my husband and I plan to give it another go, but this time we’re taking the kids. Haven’t booked the trip yet, but we are looking forward to another weekend at the beach, and hoping for a nice (clean) room with a view.

Goodbye Stress… Hello Smile!

Ever have one of those days where everything seems to be against you? Yeah, well that was me yesterday… Well, maybe that isn’t completely correct. I mean my day was okay. It was just really long and extremely busy. Then, after a long day of work I couldn’t just go home to my loving caring family like I wanted to do. No I had to go to a staff meeting, and seeing as I’m the boss… I couldn’t really miss it.

The staff meeting started with a two-hour training, which felt like two years after the busy day I had. Then to follow-up the training we actually had to do the meeting portion. That took another hour. We didn’t get out until 9:00pm last night!!! That never happens… By that time my staff was antsy and didn’t seem to happy either, and FYI with the not so subtle attitude I was receiving from some of them throughout the meeting… I wasn’t all that happy either!!!

Today is going to be different! I have over the past couple of months been able to put aside my stress at work, and let the attitudes slide… today will be the same!

Goodbye Stress… Hello Smile!

Finding the time…

It seems as time goes by my days get shorter and shorter, and I am having less and less time to write. It makes me sad to think I have spent less than an hour writing over the last two weeks! How am I supposed to get through this project if an hour or two a month is all I have to devote to it?!

It’s no ones fault but my own! No pointing fingers here, it just is what it is. I have a family and at the end of a long work day it’s hard to want to do anything but spend time with them. How do you tell your kids, “No sweetie mommy still has to work, I can’t cuddle or draw right now.” I can’t do it. They give me those puppy dog eyes and I just melt!

So, now I have fallen behind, WAY BEHIND on my self-set goal of having book three in the Blood Angel series complete by the end of August. I’m only on Chapter Eleven… with so much story left to tell.

Please send me out good creative thoughts to help me get through the rest by my newly set goal of November 26th MY BIRTHDAY!!! Because what better birthday gift could I give myself than finishing the book?!

Stay tuned for more updates in this on going adventure…

Behind Locked Doors – Never Looking Back

He sat alone in his small one room apartment the windows open and the moonlight shining through. As he warmed up his guitar he could hear his neighbors yelling to shut up and turn it down. He didn’t care so he played on. Song after song the yelling got louder… Until finally…

Sick of their torments he focused his thoughts. Into their minds he traveled showing them pictures of those he had killed… Blood he had shed… Lives he had ruined. Slowly he drained them of their energy, their sanity, until the images were too much. They crumpled in the corners of their own homes, crying in fear and sadness. In a matter of moments he found his way into their rooms and feed on their weak trembling bodies. Full and energized he went back to his music never looking back.

(c) Copyright Soden, Nina 2011