How I Improved My Vision

Ningxia Red familybringsjoy.comI have some awesome news to share about Young Living’s product called NingXia Red.  I will first tell you in my own words what it is and why I take this product daily.

I received 2 small packets of NingXia Red in my Premium Starter Kit.  My friend who sponsored me briefly mentioned it.  I wasn’t quite sure about it, but wanted to try it out.  NingXia Red is a supplement in liquid form.  I drink 2 ounces (1/4 cup) a day. (Make sure you measure it in a glass or metal measuring cup.)  The base liquid is derived from a fruit found only in China called the wolf berry.  The wolf berry (see video at end of this post for in depth explanation) is known to have anti aging properties to it.  Since I will be celebrating my 45th birthday in September the phrase “anti aging” is like a siren song.  This supplement also has essential oils.  The combination of these ingredients makes for a happier Shan.  Now, I will tell you up front, I have not personally seen years taken off my face or body.  However, that is not necessarily what it is for.  I think of it this way…if in 10 or 20 years I look and feel like I do now, a 44 year old women…I will take it!

What I noticed when I took my 2 days worth from my kit was something I didn’t expect.  I felt balanced and a better sense of well being.  I noticed a huge difference on the days after I did not take it.  Oh the taste…you might be wondering about that.  Have you ever had pomegranate juice?  It tastes similar to that, but with a little more of a berry taste.  It’s not bad at all.  It basically tastes like you are drinking juice.  What I experienced by taking my kit’s 2 days worth was enough to sell me on NingXia Red.

I have been drinking this supplement, NingXia Red, every day since November.  I was talking to my friend/sponsor about it and she shared a fantastical story with me about it.  She said there was a man who took NingXia Red every day for a month.  He had cataract surgery scheduled.  He went to the surgeons office to have the cataract removed when the doctor said, “We can’t remove your cataract.”  He asked, “Why not?”  The doctor replied, “It is gone.  You no longer have a cataract.”  This man attributes this happening due to him taking NingXia Red.  I was like really?!  My friend then went on to tell me she hopes eventually to not have to wear glasses any more because of NingXia Red.  I was like, “You really think that can happen?”  She did.  Now I will tell you I was very skeptical of this.  But now I am not.  Why?  I had my yearly eye exam on Tuesday.  Guess what?  My vision prescription DECREASED!  My vision has improved!  I was completely shocked when the doctor told me this.  I thought my vision had gotten worse because I had been having trouble…my old prescription was too strong.  Of course I had to share NingXia Red with the doctor!

Here’s a graphic which might explain why NingXia Red can help your vision can get better.

Incredible Ningxia familybringsjoy.com

Do you see all that beta carotene in there?  Here’s another good explanation of NingXia Red:

Benefits of Ningxia familybringsjoy.com

I’m loving this product!  It is worth every penny!  Let me know if you want more information about Young Living Essential oils.  Me personal site is here.  I also have a tutorial on how you can receive Young Living’s products at whole sale prices by clicking here.

NingXia Red Brings JOY,

Pick Your Favorite Stud

Birthstone_Studs_All

My favorite jewelry staple lately has been Chloe + Isabel’s studs.  I love these studs!  The above photo shows them just a little bigger than their actual size.  They are not too big, not too small…the perfect size to compliment your style for the day.

Birthstones_Introducing

These are a fabulous gift for all occasions.  I gave studs to many of my family members at Christmas.  Not sure what birthstone your special person has…I’ll share a secret with you.  Go to their Facebook page to see when their birthday is (if you don’t already know it.)  Some of us older folk tend to forget.  Look at the above photo to see which stone belongs to them.  Voila!  For only $22 a pair you can’t go wrong!  If you decide to purchase several pairs at a time, don’t forget all orders over $100 receive FREE SHIPPING.  Besides, there isn’t a rule that says you have to wear your birthstone.  Personally, I wear October’s Opal studs all the time and my birthstone is September’s Sapphire.  I like the opals because they go with everything!

Pick_your_favorite_stud

Important reminders:

  • Jewelry is hypoallergenic, nickel free + lead safe
  • Packaged in keepsake pouches perfect for gifts
  • Branded with signature chloe + isabel’s closures
  • Lifetime Replacement Guarantee on ALL c+i pieces
  • All orders over $100 include FREE SHIPPING
  • Contact me to hold your own online or at home Pop-Up Shop to receive FREE JEWELRY

Head on over to my online boutique Jewelry Brings Joy today to purchase your studs by clicking here.

Have a sparkly day,

Excellent Phone Apps for Family History

I am super excited to share with you an excellent presentation on phone apps for doing your family history!

One of my friends, Crystal Beutler, taught a class at RootsTech a few weekends ago called Family History on the Go.  Fortunately for us, they recorded the class and have shared it online for FREE.  I love FREE!  Crystal co-taught the class with creative app developer Rhonna Farrer.  I use her app Rhonna Designs to create fun Instagrams with quotes and designs.  If you go into my Instagram feed(@familybringsjoy) you will see what I am referring to.

Family History is the perfect activity during snow days like today!  It’s Saturday, so the kids wouldn’t normally have school, but the roads have iced over.  It’s not too safe for us to be going anywhere.  I’m excited to show my kids what I learned.  I believe this class completely revolutionized my way of doing Family History.  Genealogy can bring family unity like nothing else.

Learning brings joy,

Happy Families

I’m really enjoying this new video series titled “Happy Families.”  It’s refreshing to see what other happy families do.  What makes them happy?

I thought you might like it as well! :)

Blessings to you,

Therapeutic Ramblings

I’m here.

I’ve come to the conclusion I may not have any more faithful readers.  I’ve been neglectful in my blog writing.  Mainly because life has been very full these days.  Full probably is an understatement.  It’s been busting at the seams and I can’t seem to catch up.  I’m not complaining, except that I miss writing/journaling.  I’ve pondered over how this blog began.  It was simply me writing about my life, my family and my interests.  I still do that…yet I feel like I can’t post something unless I have photos to accompany my post.  Pouring through photos, editing photos and then adding them to a post is the most time consuming [for me] with blogging.  I love photography.  I’m a visual person, so it seems nonsensical to NOT have photos.  Don’t get me wrong, the writing part does and can take up time.  Depending on the subject, sometimes it can take literally all day just to write one post.  I truly hate when that happens; because then I am too tired to go through the process of adding the photos.  Then I get upset with myself.  It begins a cycle of frustration.  I know why this happens.  My ADD brain causes this.  Even though I know why it happens, it doesn’t change how it makes me feel.

Over the last few months I’ve noticed a trend with some of my other blogger friends.  I’m not the only one who has neglected their blog writing.  As a matter of fact, I’ve noticed some have focused mainly on Instagram rather than blog.  I completely understand this.  It is way less time consuming to post photos on Instagram and add your thoughts than keep up a blog.

In my personal reflection of my blogging, I kind of feel like I need to chastise myself to some extent.  My blog was for me to share my thoughts and feelings.  It is mine.  I don’t need to do it a certain way.  I don’t blog primarily for monetary gain (although it would be nice) so I don’t need to follow certain rules to gain followers etc.  I have always and will always only want readers by way of organic means. {meaning I don’t pay to advertise my blog or any of my social media to gain readers}  However, for some reason, I entered the mindset that I needed to write about certain things in a certain way and order.  I don’t like that.  I don’t like my creativity, my flow of thoughts to be stifled.

I can’t remember the last time I looked at Google Analytics to see how many readers I have or what post was being read the most.  I think doing that also stifled my creativity.  I don’t want to feel as though I am in competition with anyone.  I just want to be me and if people want to read what I have to say, they are welcome.  It’s okay to have a post without photos.  It’s okay to just write.  I’m really trying to talk myself into this mindset…mainly the photo part. {I don’t think I’m a great writer too…please don’t check my grammar}

Last but not least, I think my other issue has been the name of my blog.  I worry people see the name of my blog and think I have a perfect family.  Or I worry they think I’m an expert at creating a joyful family.  Unfortunately, this is definitely NOT true.  About a year & a half ago our family almost dissolved.  My marriage was falling apart.  I had filed for divorce.  Without divulging details, it didn’t happen.  We are working on us.  It’s difficult, yet we are managing.  Life is rough.  Families and marriages are made up of individuals.  We don’t have control over those individuals.  We can influence and teach, but we don’t have control.  Anyway, during that tumultuous time in my life, several people asked me if I was going to change the name of my blog.  It really caught me off guard.  Why would I need to change the name of my blog?  I still believe family brings joy.  My own parents divorced, yet I still love my family…I have more family to love.

When I redesigned my blog several years back, I added and sometimes other emotions as a subtitle hoping to clarify, that just because you have a family, doesn’t mean you will live in a constant state of joy.  We all know that is not the case.  People/individuals in families can cause heartbreak, frustration and every other form of emotion possible.  Even so, I still believe the family is the basic unit of society.  I believe it is better for each individual of a family to stay in tact. {as long as there is not abuse being inflicted in any way}  I’m not going to site a study on family or give quotes.  This is my personal belief from my own experience in this life.  I also know that if a spouse dies it doesn’t mean the family is dissolved.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that I didn’t have any intention of changing the name of my blog when I thought I was going to be divorced.  Nevertheless, now I am reevaluating.  Should I change the name?  Is it misleading?

It would be a lot of work to change the name.  In the blogging world they call the name of your blog your “brand.”  So I have spent many years cultivating my brand.  What if a reader wanted to see what I was up to and they couldn’t find me anymore?  I really don’t want to change the name.  I also don’t want my integrity to be in question.  Yes, this is my blog.  If you have not met me in real life, then my blog is a reflection of who I am as a person.  It is my sincere desire for people to know I am authentic.  I am a highly sensitive person which makes me very conscientious of others feelings.  When I leave this life I want to leave a legacy my family will want to continue…one of integrity and love of all mankind, but most of all my love of family.  It is most precious.  And with constant nourishment it can survive into the eternities.

So whether anyone has read this post or not, the writing of it was beneficial to me.  And from here on out I pledge to write more regularly for me with or without pictures.  With that being said, I absolutely and positively love having readers…especially interacting with them.  You are welcome to come along on this journey.  All insights and comments are welcome…although I reserve the right to delete any contentious ones, as I would rather keep things on a positive and uplifting basis.  Life is rough enough as it is.  I don’t need anyone bringing me down…my own nature does that enough as it is.

Now I’m going to go take a walk/run.  I wish you a good day.

Writing brings joy,

How Many Red Flags Does It Take? (The Very Bad Haircut)

I learned recently I have been blessed with good hair stylists for the majority of my 44 years on this earth.  Some may say that is completely debatable upon perusing through pictures of me at various points in my life.  However, I can’t recall having an experience at the salon where I have to hold back tears as the person is cutting my hair…until my last hair cut.  I’ve heard nightmare salon stories over the years, but I just think to myself, “hair grows.”

My many haircuts

FullSizeRender_3Here’s the deal…I have LOTS of hair.  When I say I have thick hair…it is THICK.  It is also coarse in nature, not thin.  This is not a complaint. This is merely a fact and is partly the reason why I like having a short hair cut.  The times in my life when I’ve had long hair…oh my goodness does it take a LONG time to shampoo, condition and DRY.  Not only that, if I want to pull it out of my face, say by using a pony tail, I will have a headache by the end of the day, due to the weight of the hair pulling on my scalp.  In addition, I would usually end up with a little sore on my scalp.  My hair grows super fast, again not complaining.  Since I have a pixie haircut now, I usually have to go to the salon every 4 weeks to have my hair cut and colored.  I’ve earned every one of my grey hairs, but I’m not ready to be entirely grey haired.  I’ll save the “I don’t like growing old” post for another time.

Now that you have a better understanding of how my hair is, let’s proceed to the story at hand.

When I moved to Oklahoma (remote small town) I went to 2 hair stylists in which I came to the conclusion I might need to travel (two hours) to Tulsa for a hair stylist.  It wasn’t uncommon, as many other women there also traveled the distance to have good salon experiences.  After making the two hour drive every 4 weeks, for about 6 months, I was ready to find someone local to do my hair.  Fortunately, I found someone!  I asked a friend of mine to share who cut her hair.  She referred me to the lady I ended up going to for about 5 years.  She was the one of the owners of the salon and extremely talented.  Oh how I miss her!  I did travel to Oklahoma to get my hair done after we moved back to Texas in July for a couple of months. The following is the before and after of when my stylist from Oklahoma cut my hair from a bob to a longer pixie cut.

from bob to long pixie3 familybringsjoy.com

I finally decided I would take the leap and find someone here in North Texas.  I figured, I’m in the big city now, it shouldn’t be so difficult to find someone to cut my hair.  Well, I figured wrong.

The following is a sample of photos I showed the hair stylist of how I liked my hair cut:

Instagram Hair Collage familybringsjoy.com

bad cutIMG_5625My first salon experience back in Texas was an ok experience, but I didn’t like how she cut my hair.  The stylist came highly recommended by several people.  She was super sweet and I enjoyed our conversation.  At the beginning of our appointment I showed her pictures of my hair the way I liked it.  My hair was longer because I had gone 2 months without having it cut.  I also noticed the next day after her coloring it…there was grey still showing.  She was super nice and recolored it for me at no charge.  I just didn’t feel like it was a good fit.  The photo to the left was the one I texted to my husband after the appointment…way too short for my taste.  The black and white photo to the right shows how long it was before she cut it. :(

I promise I’m getting to the real story. I felt the need to share a bit of background first.  Okay, so we ended up spending some money at the Aveda store on products for my oldest daughter’s naturally curly hair.  When we checked out, the Aveda sales representative {because of our sale} gave us certificates for 2 free haircuts to a local Aveda salon.  Now let me tell you something…I used to go to an Aveda salon in my home town (Arlington, TX) when I was in high school.  I had an excellent hair stylist who cut my short hair back then.  I was so excited to think I could find someone at an Aveda salon again!

RED FLAGS:

  1. When I called to schedule me & my daughter’s appointments they were able to book us for the very next day.
  2. The hair stylist called me the morning of our appointment to say they were out of electricity. (Not the salon’s fault. Workers for another business in their complex cut the wires.)
  3. The hair stylist did not look professional. She was wearing worn out jeans, a t-shirt and boots. Nor did she wear makeup or do her hair. Her hair was pulled up into a ponytail.
  4. She looked extremely young.
  5. She asks me, “Do you know what color your stylist used on your hair?”
  6. She asks me, “So how much length do you want taken off here and here and here?”  (after I show her pictures of how I like my hair)
  7. She didn’t set a timer after she put the color on my hair.
  8. It took her an hour to cut my hair.  We were in the salon for a total of FOUR hours! It usually only takes about an hour and a half to color and cut my hair.
  9. “What kind of styling product do you use in your hair?” she asks.
  10. It was free.

too good to be true
Red flag number one: I should have realized right off the bat, it’s not a good sign if you can get an appointment for the next day.  Usually, good hair stylists can not get you in right away because they are booked weeks in advance.  My daughter and I were in desperate mode so we thought we were lucky she could squeeze us in.  Can’t blame us for trying to be optimistic.

Red flag number two: The fact the electricity was out should have been another sign…warning!  It’s not their fault at all, but walking into a salon which is dark with extension cords running through out, hooked up to a generator does not make for the best salon experience.  Fortunately, the electricity was restored while she was applying my color.

Red flag number three: If someone is going to do my hair, which has to do with my outward appearance, I kind of would like to see they care about their own appearance.  She looked as though she just got out of bed, pulled up her hair in a messy pony tail, threw on the first thing she could find, and went to work.

Red flag number four: Looking young is not bad at all.  However, it told me she may not have very much experience with doing hair.  I found out she had been a hair stylist for 5 years…but for some reason I don’t know if that was the truth.

Red flag number five: If I am paying someone to color my hair (which I did actually pay for the coloring service,) I would expect them to know how to match my hair color.  It was lucky I did know what color my previous stylist had been using.

Red flag number six: Again, if I am paying someone to cut my hair (lucky enough I did not have to pay for this particular haircut,) then I expect them to know how much length they should take off.  She also asked me what kind of scissors they used…seriously?!  I have no idea!  If I knew how to cut my hair, I would do it myself.

Red flag number seven: While the stylist was coloring my hair, she cut my Daughter’s hair.  Fortunately, my Daughter liked her hair cut (she has long hair.)  However, she spent about an hour cutting her hair and I was beginning to wonder if I would have any hair after leaving the color on for so long.  I asked her about it and she said, “I’m watching it.”  Hmmmm…that doesn’t make me feel any better.

Red flag number eight: I know because of my thick hair, my unique cowlick at the base of my neck, and the pixie short style, it is a little difficult to cut my hair.  This is why I want someone with experience cutting short hair or cutting hair in general.  I’m not sure she has cut very many short hair cuts, but normally someone can cut my hair in about 30 minutes.  It was complete and utter agony watching this girl cut my hair for an hour.  I can’t tell you how many times I just wanted to yell, “STOP CUTTING!” and get up and run out the door.  I didn’t.  I didn’t want to hurt the poor girl.  She was doing the best she could, but inwardly I was crying and holding back the tears.  Four hours was way TOO LONG for the service we had done that day.

Red flag number nine: I expect my hair stylists to know what products they should use on my hair.  I’ve never had a stylist ask me what to use on my hair before, ever.

Last but not least, with red flag number ten, which technically should be number one, I should have known, if it’s free, she must need business…which means she is not very good.  Bless her heart, I feel bad for her.  And I can only write that now because it’s been 3 weeks since she cut my hair.  I was livid after my haircut.  I know everyone has to start somewhere.  Thing is, maybe this occupation is not best suited for her?  I’m grateful I did not have to pay for the haircut which made me go home and cry like a baby.

My Facebook status on November 25, 2014extremely bad hair day facebook status

FullSizeRender_1I would like to mention one other aspect I did not like about this salon in particular…the music.  Music is a very powerful medium.  I’ve been known to walk out of stores that are playing the music too loud.  I also don’t feel you should play only one genre of music in a store except for in the case of a spa.  It is completely acceptable and encouraged to play soft relaxing music in the background at a spa.  This particular salon (and no I will not be sharing names) played the same Christmas CD 3 times before I asked her if they could play something else.  Normally, it might not bug me, but this was the day before Thanksgiving and I don’t really like to listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving.  They replaced the Christmas CD which included 4 songs.  Ok, I don’t care what kind of genre of music it is, even if it’s my favorite 4 songs in the whole wide world, I don’t want to hear them repeated over three hours.  The four songs on this CD were Gospel Worship songs, with one being a live concert version.  Here’s the deal…I’m a Christian.  I really like Christian Contemporary music.  Worship music is different.  I didn’t mind listening to the songs the first time I heard them, because I am a Christian.  However, I am not accustomed to listening to the Worship genre of music, as my church does not play those songs in our worship service.  Putting that aside, what about the clients in the salon who are not Christian?  Wouldn’t that be kind of a problem with them?  When I go to a salon, I feel like not only am I paying for the expertise of the stylist, but I’m also paying for the atmosphere in the salon.  When I go, I want it to be a pleasant and relaxing experience.  I want to feel confident my hair stylist knows what she’s doing and I will leave feeling good about how I look.

hair salon chair familybringsjoy.comI recommend salons and stores play a variety of music (with the exception of heavy metal where they are screaming the lyrics, one of the major reasons I don’t shop at Hot Topic.)  This way everyone will hear a song they might like and enjoy listening to the music.  Volume of the music is important as well.  This particular salon had their music volume up so high we had to raise our voice to speak.  Background music should set the mood and be in the background, not in the fore front.  Being the ADD person I am, if I’m shopping at a store where the music is so loud, I can’t think or focus on finding what I’m shopping for, I want to leave and I do.  The store lost a customer.  I also leave stores playing the same genre of music (especially the ones I don’t listen to as much or care for.)

This experience was sort of traumatic for me…enough for me to write about it.  It has me feeling somewhat hopeless about my hair, which tends to have me feeling a little self conscious.  I want to explain something about me.  I’m the type of person who does her hair & makeup in the morning and then doesn’t look at it in the mirror throughout the day.  I’m not a vain person.  This horrible haircut has me looking at myself in the mirror throughout the day to check and make sure the shorter patches are not sticking up.  I was hoping after it grew out some those pieces would lay down more…nope.

Here are the pieces after 3 weeks of growth without styling product on them to flatten them down. (don’t look at my roots!)

one side with more grey edited

yuck haircut

back of my head

Sometimes even the styling product doesn’t keep them from sticking out.  I guess I’m going to have to say goodbye to my pixie haircut because I can’t keep reliving this horror story over and over.  That makes me sad.  I like my pixie haircut.  Just last night I dreamt I had several wigs I wore. :(

I didn’t realize this post was going to be so long.  I’ll stop ranting now.  I hope this finds everyone enjoying the Christmas season and doing well.

#firstworldprobs,