Sunday, June 25, 2017

For All My Friends Who've Ever Wondered . . . My Natural Hair Color!

(Junior year of High School)

I've had quite a few friends ask me what my natural hair color is when they find out my hair is colored.  A lot of people don't even know I color my hair.  Though when I'm asked what my natural hair color is I never know quite how to respond.  Strawberry blonde? Dark Blonde? Chestnut brown?

I started coloring my hair my Senior year of High School, second semester.

I needed a change.


I was born a Strawberry blonde, but my hair kept getting darker.


 I've always felt like a red head,  or maybe it's technically ginger.  Is strawberry blonde considered gingers in the UK?  Ah, don't matter.  I've always wished my hair didn't darken.  Most of my favorite characters have red hair: Mara Jade, Little Mermaid, Lily Potter, and a whole lot of characters I've just forgotten.

But alas!  My hair did go dark.  Back in 2008 I decided to match my hair to its roots.

The hair stylist said my hair was a chestnut brown.  My Grandma, who I asked on a separate occasion and did hair for decades, also said my roots look chestnut brown.  I was just tired of coloring my hair every month or two.  It's kinda annoying.  But, heh, I got my first white hair at 24, and I soon discovered a lot of random strands had gone white.  So, realizing I'm going to have to color my hair regardless, why not be what I want to be?


 Though I have decided that if I go full white by 45 I'll embrace it.

All white hair is really cool.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

FabFitFun Summer 2017 Subscription Box


 This is my fourth FabFitFun box!  Still loving it.

FabFitFun comes quarterly and is $50 for full size items.  Plus you get access to all their online exercise videos; there's a good variety.  I like that this box comes only 4 times a year.


 BKR: Little - 500 ML Glass Water Bottle

I've been wanting to get another glass water bottle that was smaller than my 20-24 oz bottles!  I don't know if many others are excited for this, but I am.  Lugging my bigger glass bottle to dance is heavy and a bit of a chore, so this is awesome.  It's well made.  I actually like that the lid screws off and you drink directly from the bottle.  Okay, short, gross story, but a couple years ago I kept getting sick, and even though I wash my bottles often, I noticed the lid had hidden corrosion and gunk.  Threw that lid away and I stopped getting sick.  So I only buy water bottles without fancy lids or straws.  In short, this bottle is perfect, and it survived the wash.

For this box we got 2 choice items, based on hobbies and likes.

The first choice item was based on hobbies: Cooking, art, traveling.  You choose one, not knowing exactly what it is, and if you want to get another mysterious item you can pay $10 for each addition.  I choose travel.

The Cooking item was a Himalayan Pink Salt Kit coming with a grater, wood stand, and a block of Himalayan Pink Salt.  In hindsight I wish I choose this.

The Art item was a Ready, Set, Create! Art Kit! by Amy Tangerine with a canvas, brushes, acrylic paints, and an alphabet stencil.  REALLY glad I didn't get this.  From a forum I was reading people were pretty upset, as this looks tailored for elementary kids.

And the Travel item:


 Understated Leather: On The Road Again Travel Set.

I'm meh about this.

Only those traveling outside the Country will have use for the passport holder, and as I use a protective sleeve that blocks RFID chip signals my passport wont fit.  The luggage tag looks well made, I love rose gold, but the "Hands Off" turns me off.  So immature. If they would have written just about anything I would have loved it.  My Mom suggested using the passport cover to organize travel receipts, which is a good idea.


 The next choice option was between Sport and Beauty.  I choose sport.

The beauty item was Dry Shampoo.  So glad I didn't do that.

And the Sport item:


 Way Of Will: 03 Soothe and Cool Message Oil

I love this!  Really happy to try this out.  I need to get back into strength training, so this will help.  That one week when I walked about 60 miles--man I hurt all over--would have loved this message oil.  It smells so good.  This will come in handy.


 Cargo Cosmetics: Cargo_HD Picture Perfect Highlight in Bronze

I actually don't have highlight powder, so once again another good item to try out.  My makeup routine is really basic: foundation, blush, mascara, lip gloss, and occasionally some eye shadow.  I'll have to watch some videos to make sure I'm using it right, but this will be good.  Looks really nice.


 Juice Beauty: Smoothing Eye Concentrate

I'm at that age where eye creams are a must.  I'll never go the Botox route, preferring to age naturally, and I am noticing lines around my eyes.  I've been using other products, so it will be nice to try out Juice Beauty, which I've heard a lot of good things.


 EAU Thermale Avene: Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+

I know I need to use face sunscreen more, and it's hard finding a brand I like that doesn't make my skin oily.  This is travel size, but I'm glad for that.


 Kris Nations: Mystic Bar Necklace

Not happy with the quality.  My Mom got the turquoise, which I believe is actually died howlite.  The chain feels fragile. My Mom has been making bar necklaces in preparation of our ETSY store opening again in a week or two, and the chain she uses is high quality, strong, and the stones are natural.  We go to the Gem Faire, so I'm spoiled in that I know what high quality gems and semi-precious stones are supposed to look like.  I won't be wearing this.  It's not worth $58.  The little bottle is cute.



 Michael Stars: Ruana

I love this.  Another great item.  There were three variations: White/Blue, White/Black, and Cream/Orange/Purple.  I love the color I got.


 The split down the lower half lets you wear it like a scarf, Sarong, or Robe/Shawl.  It's long, which is nice.  It's fun seeing a new take on the scarf.


 This Vital Proteins Marine Collagen is a sample, bonus item.


 The information paper.  There's more than just talking about each item, there's tips and mini articles.  I like this format and the details provided.





 FabFitFun has good workouts online you can stream, included with your subscription, which is really cool.  There's a lot here.  Really nice perk.


 My add-on items.  Additional items you can get at a discount.  The rose mist was $5 each.  The fit book was $5.  The Spongelle and exercise bands were $7.  The lotion and gel duo was my biggest splurge at $18 for both, but the ingredients are all natural, which I like.


I love the box art.  So cute.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Catching Sunlight


“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”
~Benjamin Franklin

(I've been working on Shutterfly books these last couple weeks, trying to complete three books! Ah man.  Shutterfly has this way of overtaking my life and then turning my brain into mush.  Anywho, I've recently been working on a book for last years trip to Walt Disney World, which is where I found this fun picture of a giraffe chilling out.  My Mom took it.  It was a bright and beautiful morning, until a storm attacked in the afternoon.  Animal Kingdom isn't the best place to hang out during a lightning storm, rain punching the Earth, ourselves running for cover.  It was actually pretty fun, and though I love a good storm, the sunshine is always better.)

P.S. Good ol' Ben Franklin is such a rock star.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Remembering My Grandma Stuff: 1934-June 15, 2017


My Grandmother passed away yesterday.  Ravenna Stufflebeam, 1934 to 2017.

I haven't seen her in awhile.  Her dementia got really bad and I stopped visiting as often, which I regret.

My Dad just had surgery, which he's recovering really well from, and as he left the hospital Wednesday he learned Grandma Stuff took a turn for the worst.  We were planning on visiting her yesterday, but learned she passed away that morning.

(Somewhere in the Wasatch Mountains)

Yesterday I was filled with many emotions, some unexpected.  Happy she's passed, because of all the pain she's been in.  She's with my Grandfather now, who passed several years ago.  I have zero doubt of an afterlife, and I know she's at peace.  How wonderful it must be.  How beautiful.  Surrounded by her family and friends, getting ready to do whatever work she and my Grandpa are called to perform.  Heaven's a busy place.

What surprised me was the anger and pain I felt.  Long story, but growing up in Porterville I was persecuted for being LDS.  When we moved to Utah to get to know my Dad's side of the family I was so excited to get to know them, to finally be accepted for who I am.  But then some of my extended family persecuted me for being a shy introverted bookworm.  Family get-togethers became unbearable.  I thought I had forgiven my Grandparents for the role they played, but my feelings came back with a vengeance.  Before going to bed I prayed for help to let go and forgive, and all last night I tossed and turned until 4am, when suddenly all the angst and frustration left my body and I felt peace.  And I know my Grandma's really sorry.  And I'm sorry, too.

So I'm going to remember the good times!

(My two Grandma's)

Sadly I wasn't as close to my Grandma Stuff as I am with my Grandma A and Grandpa R, who I grew up with.  but here and there I have scattered memories.

I remember visiting once when they lived in Reno and visiting Circus Circus.  At some point we visited my Grandparents when they lived in Salt Lake.  It snowed!  And I thought that was the grandest thing!!  Of course now I'm overwhelmingly cynical towards snow, but we went sledding, and that was a lot of fun.

 (Mayon Volcano, Philippines, 1995)

I remember all the family gathering right before my Grandparents left to serve a mission in the Philippines and having a large meal at a restaurant.  Driving home to California was scary as we drove through a legit blizzard.  I still have visuals of cars sliding off the I-15, very limited visibility.

When they got back they didn't really share many stories.  There was one event that my Grandma told over and over.  In once place they stayed there was a pig that ran around quite merrily.  When my Grandparents were about to transfer to another area my Grandma noticed the pig was no longer anywhere to be seen.  The family who served them their farewell dinner served pork, and when my Grandma realized the pork was the cute little pig she couldn't eat it.


My Dad all spiffed up for his performance in Carmen, which was done in English.  He was a smuggler.


Right before my Grandpa died they went to many events and shows and had a booth.  They sold swords, and when Grandpa passed and bought a few.  They also got into jewelry making.  The two wire work pieces my Grandpa did.  The red jasper piece, I think that's the stone, my Grandma made in a class.  I don't think she liked going to the shows.  When I went to my Uncle and Aunts home where she was staying to get a couple pieces after my Grandfather passed we talked, and that's probably the closest I really felt to her.  She softened a lot after he passed.

After that my Dad would regularly pick her up, and I tagged along now and then, taking her to the movies, out to eat, up into the mountains, or anything else we felt like doing.

I'm very thankful that I got to spend those moments with her.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Hanging Like a Space Man


“Imagination has brought mankind through the Dark Ages to its present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity. Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities. So I believe that dreams - day dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain-machinery whizzing - are likely to lead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization.”
~ L. Frank Baum

(I found this guy hanging out in Salt Lake City last Saturday after seeing the Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy concert at Abravanal Hall.  The music was so good.

No one's inside, it's an art piece of sorts, lining the street with other random figures.

This space man is cool nontheless.

When I was younger I used to imagine what it must be like to float in space, right outside the space station or doing a space walk.  The views must be incredible staring down at the Earth.  Can you imagine?  The silence.  How surreal it must be.)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Exploring the San Salvador Ship in Santa Barbara


On May 19th, a Friday, our quick trip to California was coming to an end.

Instead of driving from Atascadero to home through California's Central Valley, which would have been quicker, we choose the longer drive along the coast for scenic and sentimental reasons.

Around lunchtime my Mom, Grandma, Grandpa, and I decided to eat at the Santa Barbara Harbor.  We have so many memories here, and this just might be my Grandfathers last trip.  As soon as we drove up to the harbor we saw a giant, old fashioned ship tower above all the other boats.

There was no way my Mom and I weren't going to explore this ship!

My Grandparents had no interest.

So off my Mom and I went.

What was supposed to be a quick stop became a couple hours.

But it was so worth it!


 We explored the San Salvador, which is apart of the Maritime Museum in San Diego.  This ship isn't original, though it's been painstakingly recreated with acute detail.

The San Salvador was captained by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo who arrived in San Diego on September 28, 1542 before traveling up the coast, all this taking place nearly 80 years before the Mayflower sailed to America.  Really incredible.

















The ship is steered by this rod, which turns the rudder, while the captain's view is that of the main deck.















On the San Diego Maritime Museum website you can download this poster.


















This ship is no longer docked at the Santa Barbara Harbor, though it looks like it will be sailing around.  The San Salvador just finished a week cruise from Santa Barbara to the Channel Islands and then to Sand Diego.  And there's a special Father's Day sail with the ship in San Diego.

Photos by Robin and Sarah Stufflebeam