A Quick Reunion…


Alan and me in the pool-house showing some love…

I grew up in Santa Clara, California and haven’t been back since 1996, when my grandpa died. It’s now 2017 and I live in eastern North Carolina and have for 21 years.

A high school friend of mine had been staying in Greenville, South Carolina for the last several years, and every time we tried to connect, something else came up.

My friend, Alan, is in the process of moving from Greenville up to Bellingham, Washington, and made plans to stop here Monday afternoon, stay over, spend yesterday here, then head out this morning, but hit a glitch and didn’t get on the road until yesterday afternoon.

He arrived at the house last night just before ten o’clock. We fixed him a lime twisted gin and tonic and fed him and talked until the wee hours of the morning. We ended up falling into bed (he in the guest room and the hubs and I in our room, just to be clear) and rolled out of bed after ten this morning.

After several cups of coffee (nectar of the gods, we both referred to it as, because old habits die hard) my husband started the grill and we feasted on Salmon Kyoto, asparagus and jasmine rice for brunch.

Alan had a few things to pick up, so I drove us to the local store and the entire time, neither of us could shut up! From ten last night, until his departure shortly before five this evening, we reminisced about our childhoods and caught up over several decades.

That said? Simply talking about our childhood in the ‘burbs of the Silicon Valley brought back a LOT of forgotten memories. It is like having an opportunity to re-live your childhood with someone that shared that experience with you on the opposite coast from where we grew up! My husband was born and raised here and runs into childhood friends regularly, and he “has” that. I don’t. Having Alan here today, and my girl Vicky here last November was like revisiting my childhood once more, and honestly? It feels really good to get back in touch with one’s ‘local’ roots, even if you are a whole country away from where you grew up!

The sad part, to me, is when they leave. 😕 While I am always happy to see my childhood friends? It’s like the memories that they dredged up with me leave when they do, and I’m left as the lone Valley Girl in the South.


Just being us after too many years! ❤️

When it was time for him to head out? My heart broke the littlest bit, because there went another link to a really happy childhood. I felt the same way when Vicky rolled out last year.

All of that being said, I just got notification of a multi-class reunion to be held at Central Park in Santa Clara in September of 2018, so you know I will be saving pennies to get us out there!

Until next time…

My Monat Reviews: Intense Repair

Many of you know that I started using the Volume System a year ago, when I started my journey with Monat products. After one use, I noticed an immediate difference in the texture and volume of my curls. (The before/one use/one month image can be found here, along with a dramatic before and after bald spot picture.)

I attribute the growth to the Intense Repair Treatment products (IRT).

The first IR product I tried came in my product-pack that I received when I signed up as a Market Partner. Remember, I signed up sight unseen, and bought the smallest product pack with my raise bonus from work. Looking back, I should have gone bigger, but I digress.


IRT Spray on thinning/bald spots 2x/daily for the win!

I started using the IRT spray a couple of times a day last August. I had three very bald areas on my head; one on each side of my head that were easily covered, and one on the back, which was hit and miss as far as a comb-over went. Does anyone else, besides me, find it sad that a woman would not only know what a comb-over is, but have to use one, too? IRT Spray grade – A+

So I shampoo’d and conditioned with the Volume System until Monat came out with this:



IRT Shampoo for the win! This stuff smells amazing!

I figured what the heck? The hubs and I would give it a try (he’d been using the Black 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner, and was working on growing out his hair, as well as trying to get hair to grow in his bald spot) and see what kind of results we got. That was probably last fall, sometime, although I can’t remember the exact time, because, if you will recall, I was dealing with much mayhem at my day job. This shampoo is honestly amazing! It has more Capixyl in it than the other shampoos (Capixyl being one of the hair growth ingredients in many Monat products), and the cooling sensation on my scalp was similar to what I experienced while trying out the Black 2-in-1. For me? I was starting to get what I referred to as Chia hair. I was getting baby fuzz in my bald spots, was sporting different lengths of hair in thinner spots on top of my hair (used to, you could see my scalp and I had a wide part).



About 2 months after I started using Monat! 😮

I was absolutely flabbergasted!

I realized, right before Thanksgiving, that I really needed a trim, given my ridiculously dead ends. So after going red, I took off a couple inches. I took a photo right after, and then another, right after Christmas, which was only about 4-5 weeks later. I submit the following:


Anyone else see a difference? Also, this was the same dye-job…faded, but still okay. Shampoo grade – A (I gave it an A because it tended to dry out my husband’s ends, so I put him on the Hydration System shampoo and conditioner, but kept him on the spray.

Then Monat released the IRT Conditioner at the end of February:


Game changer, right here!

After trying the IRT Conditioner, I posted the following on my Monat Facebook page:

“I know I have been absent for a few months due to day job chhanges and constraints.

That said? I also was unable to go to Monations in Texas, where they rolled out the IRT conditioner, which I tried for the first time, tonight. I am about ten minutes post-conditioning after trying my IRT conditioner that came yesterday. My hair, even though still wet, feels silky. My scalp has a pleasant tingling sensation.

My husband, who used it first, says his hair is softer than he is used to, even using the volumizing conditioner!

My vote is that Monat came up with a winner in their IRT Conditioner! For more info, pm me!”

Conditioner grade? A+

Now, here is a pretty recent image of my hair:


If y’all have any questions about the products I wrote about above? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below, or drop me an email here for more private questions and comments. I would love to hear from you! 🙂 If you need more information on the products, themselves, visit here.


Until next time, y’all! ❤️


Re-Post: Flattered. I Think.

Originally I had planned to do a post on my review of Monat’s IR (Intense Repair) products, which is the system I attribute to the regrowth of my hair.

While checking ping-backs, I found a request in French, so I ran the snippet through a translator and found it was a translation of last night’s Black Box post. Curious, I hit the link attached and went to the site. This is what I found:



My post all in the langue française! 😁 It is pretty much verbatim,  Even down to the link to my Black Box shopping cart!

What do y’all make of that?

To my knowledge, in all the years I’ve been blogging, I don’t recall ever seeing a re-post of one of my blogs in English, let alone another language.

That said, I did notice at the top, “By Equalibre Plus” and didn’t comb the entire thing for any credit to me, the original author, so I posted a comment (that is waiting for approval) thanking them for the repost and included a link to this site.

Here is the link for anyone wanting to check it out.

Okay. Back to our regularly scheduled content…