Yes it’s your hair; no I won’t make you blonde today

We’ve all been there. And if you haven’t, you probably will be one day.

Your hair is dark, and you want to be blonde. A Kardashian (I couldn’t tell you which one) did it in one day so why can’t you?

I get it, I do. You’re paying, you want it done now and you are frustrated that no one seems to be able to do it.

Let me preface it by saying we are all able to. It has nothing to do with our capability and more to do with our integrity, and the integrity of your hair.

If your stylist knows you and your hair history, the chances of you getting blonde faster is higher so I recommend finding a stylist and getting cozy. Much like a doctor, we keep records of your hair history so we know exactly what has been done, how you keep it maintained at home and what you’re going to do when you’re blonde. This is so valuable for major hair changes so stop bouncing from chair to chair, find someone you like and get over the fact that she books “so far ahead” and be grateful she’s talented and sought after and just pre-book mk?

Now that that is out of the way, let’s move on to reasons a stylist says no to making you blonde in one day:

  1. How much time do you have? Did you book a consultation prior to this appointment and set aside 4-5 hours? Because if you are just sitting down for a colour that’s not going to cut it. Colour corrections are finnicky and if your stylist doesn’t have an assistant, it’s nearly impossible to do if double booked with other clients.
  2. It’s not just the lifting that takes time, it’s the treatments in between, because sure I can maybe make all your hair blonde today, but I just might end up sending it home with you in a plastic bag and a fancy new $600 platinum pixie cut.
  3. On that note, what’s your budget? Colour corrections vary by stylist, salon, experience and product used. There is no guarantee on cost when going into a colour correction and your budget needs to make room for *oh crap you have a ton of hair* or *we need to lift again / highlight* or even better? You have banding weeeeee
  4. More budget … again, treatments cost money and they vary on salons and procedure. There can be a couple done in one visit depending on your process and don’t forget to factor in your new shampoo, conditioner, protein and deep moisture treatments, styling treatments and to do it all again in 4-5 weeks (minus the products, but hey, they run out and you’ll need more)

Here’s the reality, most people don’t have 8 hours to spend in the salon going from black to blonde in one day, nor do they have the budget. It’s much easier to spread it out over a few months, or in my case a year. Yes, I’m a stylist, no I don’t pay your prices for colour and I still took a year.

Why? Because I wanted healthy (ish) blonde hair. Because even with all the treatments in the world, coloured and lifted hair is damaged hair and damaged hair is great! I can’t stand when my hair is too healthy because news flash! It doesn’t style well.

Blonde in my world = volume. Praise the Lord.

Ok, so you have the time, you have the budget, your hair history is with your current stylist and you’ve never coloured your hair at home and she still won’t do it.

Why?

There are no guarantees.

She might be scared to say yes because she knows that some hair is harder to lift (like mine needs two processes in one visit on a root touch up to be platinum) and she knows that you won’t be happy if you don’t leave Gwen Stefani blonde today and we just can’t guarantee it will happen and we truthfully don’t need you going around town badmouthing our work and how “warm it still is” when we exhausted all our options making your blonde dreams come true.

I recommend being willing to spend 2-3 visits going blonde, and hey maybe you get lucky and it happens straight away!

I’ve personally done a technique that got my client to a perfect, healthy platinum blonde in one visit but it was a 5 hour visit and $600 and that doesn’t happen often and people are rarely willing to pay. She was unhappy with the price even though she agreed her hair felt perfect and she figured she could have seen someone else for cheaper and gotten the same result.

Ouch.

So yes, I’m a little leery about taking people blonde because I have personally found if the price isn’t $200 and perfectly white the client isn’t happy, even with a properly discussed consultation.

So if you’re ready to ride the platinum train be willing to:

  1. Manage your expectations for the end result and work for that perfect blonde within a few visits
  2. Pay for it and pay well #notaboxedblonde and expect the “quote” to be loose
  3. Visit in 4-6 weeks (preferably 4) depending on growth and yes, pay for it again.
  4. Be happy with your toner for 1-2 weeks and then wish you had never washed your hair ever
  5. Learn to wash your hair less.
  6. Have photos (pictured is my hair warm and cool; know the difference and show the difference because we all see colour differently)
  7. Trust your stylist

 

 

Let me know what you think in the comments below and submit your hair questions to braidsandbrassfitness@gmail.com 

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On Celebrating Failure

The year of discipline continues 📖 
Since the start of my journey, I have been trying to find my way back into the word of God. In all truth I was mad at Him for a long time for all the hell we went through and I had a hard time reconnecting. 
But I know my Jesus, and despite the struggles and hard times He is with us, and I knew I had to come back to him. 
Fitness saved my life, and God gave me fitness. I used to feel guilty for being able to dedicate myself to a workout daily but not to reading my Bible and now I don’t because I understand something, that fitness was the only way BACK to Him. It’s the only way to clear my head of the frustrations, of the fog that was post partum depression, of the anxiety … it’s what gave my mind rest. 
Sometimes I cried when I finished workouts in the beginning. Sometimes I still do, because it’s through movement I find peace, I find God there. 
Fast forward to today. Today has been a long long time in the making, and it’s only through trying and failing daily for a year that I sit here successful today, and by trying I mean thinking about doing it and not doing it. That’s it. I made no big efforts except the intention in my heart to succeed, knowing full well my standing with God was not dependent on my Bible reading, but my growth is. 
I look at this the same way it takes some people to start clean eating or to start exercising, because I don’t LIKE reading my Bible. Not yet. Because there’s no emotional joy attached to it. It feels like a chore and so that is how I am approaching it. 
Instead of sitting down trying to have these all powerful moments every day I’ve simplified the process for myself. I wanted to start January 1st but I didn’t and that’s ok, I started today. I will simply read the Bible on a schedule for the simple sake of finishing it in one year (which fully reminds me of the days in Jakarta that we spent reading the Bible non stop for THREE DAYS over the city we were ministering to. Powerful stuff.) 
And for some reason, today was the day. 

It’s the slight edge. It’s the compound effect of positive steps forward every single day, so whatever you’re trying to accomplish I encourage you to fail gloriously every single day and rejoice in your failure because it will lead to your success. 
Never feel bad for your journey. It is yours and yours alone, and if you need someone to celebrate failure with, look me up. I’m really good at failing forward. 

No Perfect Bodies; On Why You’ll Never Look Like Me

Unless I’m standing straight…I get rolls.

You don’t see that on Instagram or Facebook. And I want you to see it. 

I have rolls, cellulite and love handles. 

Stuff doesn’t fit. 

So what is the perfect body?


The perfect pregnant body is one that carries, sustains, and sometimes sadly, loses babies; yes, you are still perfect. It can birth naturally, via c-section or with the assistance of drugs and tools. It can breastfeed, it can bottle feed and give skin to skin for comfort, and loving caring arms. It can sag or tighten, wiggle or not. 

The perfect pregnant body is not one without stretch marks, fat rolls or weight gain. 
My desire is to embody a healthy pregnancy, not give an unrealistic idea of what anyone can or should look like. This is my journey. Mine. You can’t actually have it, because you are not me. Your body will look different. 

I hear a lot “you have the perfect little belly!” and while this has made me feel good in the past … it’s starting to make me a little uncomfortable when said. Because if I have the perfect belly…what does that say about someone who doesn’t look like me? Was she not perfect? Is she not the embodiment of feminine, God given, life sustaining perfection without the “perfect round little belly”?


I have seven years of fitness behind me. I have a small frame. I have exercised through two pregnancies and have eaten well for myself for the better part of a decade. 

Simply put, I love health and fitness. 

It didn’t take me being overweight to realize I needed a change, I was always more into health food than anyone in my family, like the real earthy hippy kind of food. Yea that’s me. I was always in sports, and when sports died out after high school I moved into running, hot yoga and the gym. It’s ebbed and flowed but essentially had the same projection for most of my life…

This is me. 

35 weeks with baby 2

Does my life sound similar to yours? No? So stop comparing yourself to me. Stop feeling bad for not being where I am. You might get here, you might not, but where you get to isn’t less because you aren’t naturally small. 

 

I hope this doesn’t come across arrogant like I think everyone wants to be me, I’ve just heard a lot of people say they wish they could look like me. And I love that I am privileged enough to show people what a fit and healthy life looks like, but don’t make me out to be perfect. Because if I’m perfect, and you can never be me because I’m me and you’re you, you have set yourself up for complete and utter failure. And that’s just not fair to yourself. 


I want you to see that you could inspire the next generation. Your kids could be little freaks like me! Imagine, little grass munchers haha Craving fruit and enjoying avocado ice cream and matcha teas, not because we have to but because we want to. Do you see though? It’s not about what we look like, it’s inspiring others to live healthy fit lives. It’s being healthy and fit just because it makes us happy and healthy. 

So when you are looking for some inspiration, I am grateful for the opportunity to provide that; I’m grateful and humbled. It’s an honour to share my life with you and to bring you on this journey with me. 

But please, for heavens sake, if you’re looking for someone on whom you set goals after, make sure it’s someone who has a similar body type to you; if that’s me, I’m flattered. Because aside from what I was born with, I have worked very hard to maintain and strengthen this body. I am proud of my muscles and my ability to run and chase my family.  But please remember this when looking to the Internet for the next “Pinspiration”…

Aim for healthy, aim for strong looking women, aim for the fittest your body has ever been. And be proud of your body however it looks when you fuel it, work it and rest it. 

There is no ideal. My goal is to coach you into a healthy relationship with food, exercise and self acceptance. 

You should try it. Contact me and let’s join hands. 

On “Those” Days; An Open Thank you to my Husband and Mother

Today has been one of those days one of those weeks months years.

Ok, but today it all boiled down to a nightmare of a day.

I truly want to be one of those moms who writes about nothing but the rainbows her child poops and all the glorious joys of motherhood. And I will. One day. I do know those joys, I have those joys, I live for those joys … but to be honest, if I talk to you and you speak of nothing but all the happy times and how amazing everything is 24/7, I don’t relate to you. And sometimes I hope you’re a liar, because if you’re not, what the heck am I doing wrong? Is my parenting bad? Are my sons endless tantrums and lack of sleep my fault, thus causing the misery we find ourselves drenched in from time to time and if I could just … teach him better, none of this would be happening?

Probably not true. But my thought process none the less.

In any case, if you’re like me and my husband, you’ve had … well let’s politely call them shitty days. Yes, I know. I’m a Christian, and I swore. No, it doesn’t make me cool. No, it doesn’t make me evil. I’m very sad, very vulnerable and very tired today. And sometimes, it’s the only word I can find. So shitty it shall be.

Today started out like any other day…6:00AM wake up on the nose, child in the fridge screaming for strawberries and the tantrum over food begins. No, you can’t eat 12 plums and 38 strawberries for breakfast. Here’s your eggs. Well you said you wanted eggs. No you can’t have oatmeal. Because you asked for eggs and I made eggs. I don’t live to make you food. Yes, you can have a plum when your eggs are finished. Because if I give you the plum all you’ll eat is the plum until your stomach thinks your full and you never eat sustainable food. Sustainable. Sus-tain-a-ble. It keeps you full. No, you can’t have more strawberries. When you’re done screaming and kicking on the floor, come find me. I’ll be eating your eggs.

Usually my patience is pretty far reaching. I am able to take deep breaths and relax, remind myself this is a stage and that one day he won’t throw himself on the floor every single morning the minute he wakes up, and he will have slept through the night.

Today was a different day.

I managed to get in a team call this morning while he screamed and ran around peeing on things because he’s kind of over being told he has to pee and is rebelling, and I managed to do quite a bit of tidying around his tantrums. We also sat together and drummed, and played hide and seek around his fort, and read books inside of it. He then napped for 1/5 hours and woke up foul, as usual. And today I couldn’t handle it.

I don’t know why my son doesn’t sleep well, and I don’t know why he wakes up angry. But it frustrates the hell out of me, because I want to fix it. I want to see him happy and thriving, and to see him so upset all the time honestly just breaks mommas heart. He cries intermittently and hard for a long time after waking up. We’re talking a couple of hours until he’s righted himself, and I’m at the point where I’m falling asleep while he’s screaming because I’m so bloody tired of it all. My body is exhausted and my mind is weary.

And then in walks my husband, and in walks my mother.

My mom came to help me clean today … and all I could do was sit there. And cry. And then leave to nap. And then wake up and stare into space. And watch her clean.

She cleaned my floors, my banisters, my kitchen and every inch she moved along, she scrubbed away a bit of the clutter frustrating my heart.

My husband was in there with her, helping, putting in an effort … while I sat here. Immobilized by exhaustion? Yes … depression? Maybe … in any case, I am not alone in these struggles and there he is. Doing things I cannot do. Cleaning dishes. Making dinner.

My family has surrounded me and it took me a good couple of hours to get up off the couch, and pitch in.

And to top it all off? I can’t show my gratitude…I can’t seem to be very warm and inviting and kind. I can however be critical, condescending and lack the ability to extend anyone else the grace to not be perfect.

So because I can’t seem to find my voice when anyone is present to say thank you, here I am. Saying thank you.

Lucas, you have strength I cannot comprehend. No, you don’t have to be pregnant. No, you don’t know how tired or emotional I am. But what you do know is that you were once married to a vibrant, joyful woman who didn’t condescend, criticize and fall apart. I promise you, even though I keep losing that woman, she is here, and I will keep doing everything I can to find her, to be her. You have put up with just as much sleep loss and frustration and joy and pain as I have, and yet you come home and you take care of this family. I promise I will show you all the kindness I have, even if it’s not much I will muster it up and give it all to you. You have provided for me, for Asher in ways you’ll never understand. Food, finances, it all pales in comparison to the peace you’ve given me to know I am married to a warrior. A fighter. A man who is so capable of loving even when love is not being shown. Sometimes I get angry around you simply as a reaction to your love, because it’s too much for me to handle your gentleness that I react negatively…like being in the presence of God’s overwhelming love that if we don’t feel worthy we run from. I’m 5. No big deal. Just know that I see you, for every little amazing thing you do, even though I don’t seem capable of voicing it. I’m learning. Pray for me and work with me; I know God will use you to be the hand that pulls me up. Thank you for every day, for every hug, for every kiss, for every time we forget to make eye contact throughout the day and then you touch my shoulder to remind me that you’re there. Thank you to the ends of the earth, which I will crawl to to find a way to show you my love.

Mom, I don’t know how you’ve put up with me all these years. To no end do I wish I could actually be as kind as you deserve, when I am this down and out. And just like Lucas, what kills me the most is your endless ability to pour out love on me when I’m like this. To not ask for anything in return. To just be willing to do whatever you can to help me and my family, even if you never get a thank you. I wish I could open my heart when it’s this hard, but I haven’t been able to, and you deserve every ounce of gratitude I can muster. For loving my son to the ends of the earth, to taking him when I’m working, to always be there to help me, to always bend your plans to help mould them around mine and A’s sporadic naps…you’ve never asked for anything, and I’ve never been able to give much, but my love and respect and deeply rooted desire to be like you, you have. Thank you for choosing to love me even on the hard days.

I 100% believe this will pass. I know that this is 95% sleep loss and 35 weeks pregnant. But it’s hard to see past that, especially when I had such a good handle on it just a few short weeks ago.

But I’m here, putting the few things in front of me that I know how to do.

One of those being my complete and utter commitment to sharing my journey with you. Because while it is scary to some to be “so open” it’s actually very therapeutic for me. I’m a verbal processor but I also believe that God will use my struggles, and reach out and touch someone with them.

Maybe to help you feel like you’re not alone.

Mom’s, it’s a tough gig.

And sometimes, we aren’t the nicest to those who are nicest to us, and I know you’re like me and find it devastating to know we’ve hurt someone whom we love so dearly.

If you’re in the same boat, I’m praying for you. The trenches are deep, but the hands reaching in are strong and sturdy.

Grab hold of one and don’t let go.

Commit with me to taking the time every single day to doing something that utterly feeds your soul.

Spend time with God, knit, rest your face in the sun, walk alone outside, exercise, eat well and as you walk alone let the wind caress your skin and fall in love with life every single day.

It won’t be like this forever.

Just promise me you will take the steps to walk forward every single day.

More than a fitness coach, I walk hand in hand with women struggling with things I too struggle with.

A tribe of strong women is forming around me, and together we climb ahead.

I have an incredible support at home, and there are those of you who are single parents or struggling the same but have no family to help …

I can’t say I’ll come be the things for you that my family is for me, but I can walk with you. I can climb with you.

We are strongest when we hold each other up.