It’s a 10 Miracle Leave In Product Review

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave In Product Review

I first heard about It’s a 10 Miracle Leave In Product on Amazon. I was searching for something to control the frizz in my hair that has developed over the last year or so.

The product information on Amazon:

Repairs dry, damaged hair while adding shine and controlling frizz. It’s a 10 Miracle Leave In Product seals and protects hair color, detangles, prevents split ends and breakage, creating silkiness while enhancing hairs natural body – also protects your hair from heat! Ingredients

Ingredients

Water Purified, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Propylene Glycol, Panthenol, Cyclomethicone, Silk Amino Acid, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract (Sunflower), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Quaternium 80, Fragrance (Parfum), Eugenol 3, Coumarin 3, Cinnamal 3, Linalool 3, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

Directions

Shampoo and condition hair, towel dry, spray product all over hair and comb through. Blow dry or style as desired.

I read many reviews where people were just raving about how great it was. My hair has a mind of it’s own and often doesn’t like products that other people’s hair like, but I was optimistic.

I bought the 4 oz bottle and gave it a try. I couldn’t tell I had put anything on it at all. Super frizz.

I mixed it with some products. Same results.

I mixed it with other products. Same results still.

I waited for a couple weeks, changed my shampoo and conditioner, and tried it again. Now I have given up on it. Will probably give it to my sister in law who also has curly hair and see if it does more for her.

Conclusion:

This stuff it obviously doing great things for some people, just not me. If you are looking for a product such as this, it is an inexpensive product to try. If you hate it, you won’t be out much money.

Holiday Stress Tips: Actually Enjoy the Holidays This Year

HolidHoliday Stress Tips: Actually Enjoy the Holidays This Year

The holidays are upon us and holiday stress tips are needed for most of the people I know – including me.

The holiday season can easily get out of hand without you even realizing it. How can something that’s supposed to be so warm and fuzzy  cause so much exhaustion and anxiety?

Well, let us examine that question. Just off the top of my head I can come up with these:

  1. Too much preparation
  2. Too many events
  3. Financial strain
  4. Uncomfortable family situations
  5. The need to get everything “just right”

I’m sure you could add plenty more to this list, but this where we will start.

I have always LOVED the holidays. For years everyone in our big extended family came to our house for Christmas and sometimes for Thanksgiving. My parents cleaned the house, cooked a large portion of the meal, and then cleaned the house again when it was over. I helped with all of this to some degree and my Christmases were always warm and fuzzy, you know…..the way Christmas is supposed to be for kids.

Fast forward several years (we won’t say how many), and the holidays have become one more thing on my to do list. Actually, the holidays add MANY things to my to do list. For the last few years I have actually started to dread the holidays. And that is just sad.

Here in the United States we live a lifestyle of constant  going and constant input thanks to the internet and 24 hour shopping outlets. The holidays are the one time of the year we should be able to slow things down, but the opposite happens since the holidays add EVEN MORE to our already crazy hectic lives.

So let’s address each of the issues above, shall we?

Too Much Preparation

This is a biggie for almost everyone.

I have personally stopped doing several things that used to be on my list. For example, I no longer send out Christmas cards. I loved sending and receiving cards, but my list had grown so long that I would download the addresses onto a spreadsheet and then print them on labels. This part was quick, but I had to actually write something inside each card…..so that whole activity went away a few years ago.

You don’t have to personally send holiday greetings to everyone you know.

Sure I felt like a Scrooge at the beginning, but over the years several people have stopped sending cards to me too, which means I am not the only one who wants to slow down.

I am the only child of two very sick parents so I have done ALL of their Christmas shopping for a few years now. (I have done some of it for many years.) I also wrap and tag all of their gifts. As a result I spend many hours shopping and wrapping, so I learned the joy of gift bags.

Every gift under your tree does not have to look like a page from Better Homes and Gardens.

Write down all of your responsibilities and be honest about what you can eliminate. I know it is difficult to stop some things, but think about the overall enjoyment of the season and decide if it is really worth it. You might even substitute something for a new (and easier) tradition.

Too Many Events

Just a few years ago we were invited to start attending a family get together with some extended family (in addition to the three we already attend). We thought long and hard on it, but ultimately decided it wasn’t worth the extra cooking and gift buying – so we said no. That was difficult, but my sanity was worth it.

So think about it: If you could eliminate just one event from your list each year it would make an impact on your enjoyment of the season.  If you feel that you MUST do a certain number of things each year, then try substituting   something stressful (or something that takes lots of preparation) for something simple and relaxing.

For example, you could substitute a glitzy Christmas party for a walk in the park to look at Christmas lights and drink hot cocoa.

You don’t have to attend every holiday event within a 50 mile radius of your home. 

Financial Strain

Some people overspend every Christmas. Every single one. And they pay for it each year. In fact, I know some people who barely recover from the previous Christmas when the next one comes around.

Why?

For one, we think spending all this money will make Christmas more “magical” when in reality in only makes it more expensive.

But I think there are two main reasons we do this. For one, we want our children to get everything for Christmas that all their friends get. I know I am truly guilty of this one.

I remember sitting in grade school after Christmas break when the teacher would go around the room and have each child tell what they received for Christmas. Most teachers don’t do that anymore, but I don’t want my kids to be the ones who didn’t get as much as everyone else.

Ridiculous, right?

Would it mean that I loved them less if they did get less? Of course not, but that is the typical mindset. I have been working hard to counter that in our family. It is still a work in progress.

The second reason ties in to the first reason: “Keeping up with the Joneses” or keeping up with everyone around you. No one wants to see their piece of the American Dream slipping away, so they must keep up. You don’t want to be embarrassed by not having the latest and greatest things, right?

I know it sounds silly when you actually think about it in this way, but most of us are (or have been) guilty of this. I think the Great Recession has had some impact on this way of thinking. People are going back to spending less and saving more. Just look at the tiny house phenomenon. Attitudes are changing.

You are not in competition with your family and friends.

Uncomfortable Family Situations

People who don’t get along…..almost every family has them. Or maybe it’s that one unkind person who insists on spreading their unhappiness around. Don’t succumb to the doom and gloom.

Be proactive, not reactive. Make the decision before you get there to be happy and relaxed and enjoy your day (or evening). If all else fails, there is always avoidance. Just walk away and talk to someone else when something unpleasant is going on.

Every family has unique situations, but if you think about it long and hard you can probably find some ways to handle difficult situations that come your way.

Don’t let others dictate your happiness and enjoyment.

The Need To Get Everything “Just Right”

When my youngest child started Kindergarten i went back to work for the first time in seven years (outside the home anyway). I started part time, but over time I have migrated back into working full time again.

So let me tell you something: You CANNOT work a full time job while taking care of your children, home, aging parents, bills, errands and everything else that comes with breathing and STILL make everything during the holiday season be picture perfect.

It cannot be done. I don’t care how many time Martha Stewart says it can. All you will do is make yourself a nervous wreck it you try.

Trust me, I know.

Besides, life isn’t supposed to be perfect. Nothing else during the other months of the year is perfect. So give yourself permission to be okay with that.

There is one thing I have done that has helped with that. I buy fewer gifts. That doesn’t mean that I skimp on presents, but rather buy higher ticket items of (hopefully) better quality. This is easier for me now since my kids are getting older and want more expensive items anyway.

However, everyone could still do this to some extent.

I know this sound a little crazy, but I actually put a limit on how many items can be in our stockings. You are probably thinking that sounds too restrictive and like too much work, but I think it was ultimately simplify everything.

Less shopping, less racking your brain to get ideas, less wrapping, and less stuff to throw away because they didn’t really want it (but you bought it anyway because you had to fill up the stocking).

I hope this will allow us to focus less on gift giving and more on family time.

Remember when Charlie Brown complained about Christmas being too commercial? I totally get that now.

In Conclusion

Christmas should be fun and relaxing. Start a new tradition in your home of making it that way.

I hope these holiday stress tips will truly make an impact on your holidays. No one has ever looked back on their life and said, “I wish my life had been busier and cost more.”

Further Reading:

How To Avoid Success Guilt

Success Guilt How To Avoid Success Guilt

The phenomenon of success guilt has been growing exponentially in the last few years for many people. At the time of this article a Google search of “success guilt” returns of 25 million hits. I would categorize that as an epidemic, wouldn’t you?

What is Success Guilt?

Success guilt is a state of feeling guilty about the good things in your life due to knowledge of others in the world not having as much. In many ways it could also be called “success anxiety” because that’s what it brings to your life – anxiety. And when a person experiences lots of anxiety (i.e. stress) it defeats the purpose of having all those wonderful things.

Most people think having a well-paying job, a healthy family, and some extra cash on hand does not make them a bad person. However, they believe actually ENJOYING these things does.

Sounds crazy when you think about it, but most of us (me included) have wrestled with this at some point in life.

Where Does This Guilt Come From?

Success guilt is cultivated in many ways.

We live in a world of constant input thanks to 24 hour news channels and the internet. A gazillion media outlets are constantly breaking stories about excessive spenders doing crazy things like buying $50,000 handbags or throwing $100,000 parties, and I often wonder, “Do they feel any guilt about starving and sick children in this world?”

Probably not because they keep on doing it.

But the problems most of us have with success guilt comes from somewhere totally different. We watch news stories about homeless people eating at a soup kitchen for the holidays and we feel bad because we are eating a home cooked meal in our warm, cozy homes.

We get a new car and feel terrible about a person we see walking down the street carrying everything they own in a backpack.

A friend passes away due to cancer and we feel guilt because you are younger but still here. (This is also known as survivor guilt and is a topic for a different article.)

Does any of this sound familiar?

How To Overcome Success Guilt

The best way to overcome success guilt is to give yourself permission to do so. You are probably thinking it couldn’t possibly be that easy – but it is when you examine the facts.

Below is a list of reasons why you can be the champion of your life and feel good about it:

It is okay to want to be happy.

Not everyone is happy. Not everyone CAN be happy. And not everyone WANTS to be happy. (You know those people.)

You being happy does not take anything away from anyone else on this planet. In fact, it makes it a better place. Bad things are happening in this world every second, but there are also good things happening. And happy people are usually the ones that cause the good things.

So try to concentrate on the positive things and not the bad things. That alone will boost your happiness.

Just because someone else doesn’t have something doesn’t mean you should do without it too.

There are hungry people in this world. That will probably always be true. If today’s technology and communications systems cannot solve the problem, then it may never be solved.

That doesn’t mean you should starve yourself. That will not feed those poor unfortunate souls. You should keep yourself healthy so you can help be part of the solution to this overwhelming problem.

The same goes for other things in your life. Think about your children. You think it is perfectly fine for them to be happy, healthy, and live a great life. Apply that same set of standards to yourself.

See yourself as fortunate and accept it as it is.

Denying yourself leisure time will stress you out and lead to problems with those around you.

When you are stressed it always causes the trickle down effect. Those around you pick up on the bad vibes and it gets carried on to other people like electricity through power lines. Pretty soon your spouse is stressed, then your children, even your coworkers begin to feel the strain.

Before you know it everyone around you is stressed, which causes a cycle when you become even more stressed from the environment you have now created.

So do yourself and everyone around a favor…..and go on that vacation!

Wanting a good life does not make you greedy.

Greed can be an ugly thing. No one is denying that. However, unless you are one of those over indulgent  people who throws money around like it’s nothing, you are probably not one of those people.

In fact, if most people ranked the things that made them happy, the list would probably be topped by things that cost little or nothing. For most people it would probably look something like this:

  1. health
  2. good marriage/relationship
  3. children
  4. family & friends
  5. ability to help others
  6. relaxation time
  7. comfortable home

I don’t think this list would make anyone look greedy, do you?

Having a good job or a spouse with a good job would probably fall somewhere on everyone’s list because you must provide for yourself somehow. And that’s okay. You must be practical. And a high paying job is always better than a low paying job, financially speaking.

Conclusion

Life is short, so don’t complicate it more than it already is. These are words to live by.

Here is another resource for further reading:

How Facebook Can Slowly Destroy Your Finances

HowThis article was reposted from MSN Money/Market Watch. (The article has since been taken down by MSN, hence I am no longer linked to it.)

 

Social media can eat into your bank balance.
Roughly four in 10 adults with a social media account (39%) say that seeing other people’s purchases and vacations on social media makes them look into a similar purchase or vacation, according to a survey of more than 1,000 Americans released this summer by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. What’s more, 11% have taken a vacation or made a purchase in the last year after seeing someone’s post about their vacation or purchase.

And fully 30% of Americans say that social media has some influence on their purchasing decisions, with 5% saying that it has a significant impact, a 2014 Gallup poll found. Among millennials the numbers are even higher with roughly half saying that social media influences what they buy.

Some social media-related spending, of course, is driven by the fact that many brands advertise their goods and services on social media or pay celebrities and other influential people to post about them. By 2017, social network advertising spending is expected to hit nearly $36 billion, or roughly 16% of all digital ad spending globally, up from about $24 billion in 2015, according to eMarketer, and celebrities ranging from reality stars like the Kardashians to sports bigwigs to fashion bloggers have endorsed brands on social media.

But often, there’s something deeper going on: “We are socially comparative creatures by nature,” says psychologist and author Nancy Irwin. And the use of social media makes comparisons to others just a scroll or a click away: “Social media can be the modern day version of ‘Keeping up with the Joneses,’” she says, and some people “feel inferior if someone they know has a shinier or bigger toy than they do.”

Many of those people react to this feeling of inferiority by buying the same thing — or even better — than a social media contact has, and then posting about that. This perpetuates the cycle with others seeing the post, and some of them “feeling like they now ‘need’ to one-up you,” says psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, author of “Better than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love.”

See also: This academic study proves everything you thought about people who post selfies.

Plus, social media “can normalize the buying experience,” adds Lombardo. When multiple people in your social network have $500 designer shoes, it can seem like everyone is buying them — and thus entice you to buy too, even when you can’t afford that.

Of course, “some people can look at others trips and concerts and bling and be truly happy for them and feel no pressure to compete,” says Irwin. And the issues of comparing yourself to others and normalizing extreme spending are by no means limited to what you see on social media.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/technology/how-your-facebook-account-can-slowly-destroy-your-finances/ar-AAiP2d4?li=BBnb7Kz

Leaving the Rat Race – Money or Sanity?

Leaving the Rat RaceLeaving the Rat Race – Money or Sanity?

Many people dream about leaving the rat race, but there’s just one little problem. You have to choose: it is going to be the money or your sanity? You can’t have both, you see. Or can you?

Today I am rethinking many of my decisions in recent years. I stayed home with my two children from a month before the first one was born until the day the second one started Kindergarten. And I realize I was blessed to have that experience. I am a teacher so I am home with my children for school breaks and holidays. Another blessing for sure.

However, I often feel exhausted both mentally and physically. I am the only daughter of two very sick parents which makes me part of the “sandwich generation”. Don’t know what that is? It is when you are “sandwiched” between your children and your parents, both of which need your care.

I know I am not alone. There are millions of websites out there which attempt to deal with the growing anxiety of adults who have responsibilities (and often debt) which are crushing. It is like having a rain cloud that follows you around, constantly raining on your parade….and everything else in your life. Can you say STRESSED OUT?

In this juggling act most people must maneuver jobs, kids, parents, debt, retirement concerns, saving for kids’ college, church, and everything else in life at the same time….without dropping any of them. And then you still have to run errands and fix dinner. (Oops! You forgot to buy groceries.)

At some point we all ask: Is this all there is? Will life ever be anything except work and an ever evolving series of responsibilities?

For some people the answer is a resounding, NO!

People are tired of stress. They no longer want to be slaves to debt and jobs they can’t stand. Ever watch any of the numerous television shows about people living in tiny houses? It is a trend in easier living and enjoying the simpler but better things in life. People are selling huge houses (or never buying one to begin with) and quitting high stress jobs.

Things sounds appealing, right?

So what do you do if you have a hankering to simpler your own life, but just don’t see how that can happen.

Well, let’s look at some of the ways that people live simpler.

  1. Live in a smaller home.
  2. Stop being a slave to consumerism.
  3. Stop trying to keep up with everyone else. (They are probably in debt too.)
  4. Follow your passion to find a meaningful job, even if it pays less.
  5. Have a “less is more” attitude.

Let’s say you already have a house which is your true home and you are attached to it. I get it. You don’t want to leave that house because you brought your babies home from the hospital there.

Or you have spent years and thousands of dollars to attain the education for your current career. It’s not so easy to walk away from that. Especially if you are still paying student loans for that education.

Personally, I am still trying to find ways to simplify my own life. My husband and I recently decided to trash the idea of building on a new master suite onto our house but instead reworked the footprint of the one we already had. That was a step in the right direction. In the coming years we will save tons of money on heating/cooling bills, maintenance, and taxes.

However, we still haven’t found a way to cut the cord when it comes to cable television. Everyone in our house has a couple of shows that we think we can’t live without. And even though I keep pushing for us to cut the wire, I also realize that all episodes of Mysteries at the Museum ARE NOT on Netflix. And what would my life be like without that?

Things Are Different Now

Back in the day, if you had filled a bottle up with water and sold it to our grandparents they would have laughed at you. What a silly concept! This is just one example of how things have changed over the years. How we spend our money has changed also and there is one thing that literally flushes our money down the drain: SERVICES. Services are something that most households didn’t have a long time ago.

Most of us pay for lots of them. Here is a list of a few common ones:

  • cable television
  • Netflix
  • Amazon Prime
  • Cell phones
  • Home wifi
  • OnStar
  • Hot spots
  • Lawn care
  • Child care
  • HOA fees

Of course, there are many, many more. How many of these do you pay for? Too many, right? Just a little food for thought: Write down all the services you pay for and add them all up. Does that figure make you sick? Because at the end of the month there is nothing tangible in your hand that you own. That money just grew wings and flittered away. Never to be seen again.

I recently read an article about how the cable television market is dwindling and how much of it is due to millennials. Most of them have either cut the cord or were never tethered to one to begin with. Apparently, they can be quite frugal.

They spend their money much differently than some might think. You have to remember they are products of the “Great Recession”. Maybe they learned something the rest of us had trouble getting into our thick heads:

Less Debt = Less Stress

Okay, we all know this is a big issue. But where do we even start if we want to change our lives? I mean, we want to downsize but we don’t want to cut out EVERY luxury in life, right? Don’t want to do that living in a cave thing.

It’s All In the Attitude

So here is what I am thinking. It is all in our attitudes about life and the things that make up our lives. For instance, much of the rest of the world views Americans as gluttonous, spoiled, and arrogant. I am not going to say that is not true in a lot of ways. So my new thing is trying to adopt a more European attitude about things.

For example, most Europeans are not as attached to their vehicles as Americans. It is simply transportation for them. Our whole identity is tied to them. You know it’s true.

Americans tend to think their house emits their value as a person. I won’t lie here. I have caught myself comparing my house to another person’s. Luckily, I snapped out of that before I started spending unnecessary money to “keep up”.

So it really boils down to this: If you truly want to downsize your stressful life, there are tons of websites and books to five you practical advice on how to make that happen. It can’t happen overnight, but it CAN happen. A smart plan and determination are two things that can make it happen.

But along with that must come a change of attitude. We must learn to appreciate what we already have and ask ourselves about each thing we acquire in life, “Is this truly worth the work it took to get it?”

Maybe we don’t have to choose money or sanity after all. Maybe…..just maybe…..we can find a happy medium.