Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Who's hair is it anyway?

If you've ever thought about getting hair extensions or already have them, have you ever wondered where it came from? If you don't want to know then I suggest you don't read this article. Now I'm not talking about synthetic hair of course. I'm talking about real hair. Where does it come from? Horses? No, its labeled "human hair" for a reason.

It usually occurs where work is either poorly paid or not paid at all. People speculate it could be from dead people. (Which is gross anyway..) But how could it all be? The nutrients from their bodies would be gone and the hair would be of poor quality. Its true, they do sometimes sell it. But live human hair is far better and sells for a lot more money.

In a number of Countries such as India, China and Eastern European countries; Which is where the best quality hair comes from. Women grow, shave and sell their hair, or even offer it to satisfy a god.

The places that harvest the hair, known as 'hair factories', sign women up to grow their hair to a specific length and quality. They are very serious and strict with the conditions under which the girls must grow it. The women - and sometimes their whole families - must keep their hair away from any contact with pollutants and make sure it is kept in top condition while to grows. Sometimes the factories even provide food for it's workers to ensure that the hair grows to a good enough standard.

When the time comes for the hair to be harvested the women line up at the factory before their heads are shaved completely bald and they are sent out to start the whole process again.

This may seem like a girl's worst nightmare to you and for many girls it is, but for other women it is the easiest and most effective way of providing for their family and the alternatives could be much much worse.

However not all hair 'donors' benefit financially from such a huge sacrifice. In some parts of India women are conned out of their precious locks without even knowing they are then being sold to other, more financially well off, beauty conscious women around the world. And it can be a horribly traumatising experience for them.

In 2006 it was reported how in the hills of Tirupati, in India, a Hindu temple has become the second richest religious site in the world; due mostly to it's sale of human hair.

It was reported that every day in India, up to 4,000 women visit the temple to take part in a "religious ceremony", called 'Tonsuring', where the girls must shave off their hair as a sacrifice to the god Vishnu. These women believe that taking part in the ceremony is a sign that they are willing to give up their pride and vanity, and to thank the gods or ask them for health and happiness in the future - little do they know is that they're also making a lot of money for those who run the temple.

After the 'ceremony' all the hair that is collected is combed, sorted into lengths and dyed before being shipped to Western countries to sell as wigs and hair extensions.

So while you could see extensions as a great way to give us a beauty boost and make us feel great with our new luscious locks - there is in fact a much bigger human story behind every lock of hair.

So next time you feel like you need some extra volume for your hair, buy synthetic or just pick up a teasing comb and learn how to make your own hair sexy and voluptuous all on its own.


Monday, March 22, 2010

More dash than cash!

This Monday I stumbled upon an amazing website
dash-style.com. After a quick browse I found my dream shoe and quickly bought it. $300 cheaper than from the store!

Started in early January 2010 and run by a charming lady named Gem. She has a massive range of shoes, bags and accessories at a fraction of the price you would pay in store! Like a net-a-porter you don't need to cry over. They aren't real real, but they're great super high end knock offs and look totally amazing and are worth every penny. From Manolo to Hermes you will not be stuck for choice.

The store is super easy to browse and should you have any trouble with anything, you can add Gem on MSN and speak directly to her about your order. She answers quickly and is very polite and easy to talk to.

On close inspection of the shoes, they have seamless detail and are perfect. I mean PERFECT. Arriving in a brand name dust protector bag and designer box. You cannot tell the difference! Luxe love at its best! All leather products are real and they even come with certificates of authenticity. Your mail man will think you won the lottery!

Mention that you found dash-style here for a $10 discount on any pair of designer shoes! (coupon code DASH10OFF)

Happy shopping ladies!

PS. There's boys shoes too!


Monday, March 15, 2010

The Problem with Money

I wish...
I am the worst person at saving money. I cannot, for the love of anything dear, save.
I don't really see the point unless its for something I really want or somewhere I want to go to. But now the place I want to go to and the thing I want have become the same thing.
I want to buy my first house.

What should look like this..

I have had a peep on a few real estate sites and liked what I saw. ($250k for a 2 bedroom appt in the city? Nice.) Then it was revealed to me that there is other costs. I hate other costs! Why the hell is interest so high anyway? With Australian banks now a little more than a couple of billion dollars ahead of their usual earning for the year (in March), now they're just being greedy. I get the whole stamp duty thing and other moving costs. But this interest rate business is getting a bit out of hand isn't it? So when I did a loan calculator with the current interest rate over the maximum period possible, which was 30 years (so you pay less monthly, ie. $1,700pcm), it showed that I would end up paying a whopping $560k interest on top of the $240k I would borrow from the bank. Making the grand total of a small, 2 bedroom starter apartment, $800 000.


Really looks like this.

No wonder you don't see any people in their 20's owning houses! With most people in that age group only averaging 2 years at each place they work in, (its true!) its hard to find a well paying job you love these days. Not to mention the courses you have to take to be able to do some of the jobs out there. Good luck even paying rent during your full time 5 year engineering course. You could just live with your parents the whole time. But after you become engaged or pregnant or any derivative of another person coming into your life, say goodbye to any harmony you may have had.

If on the other hand, if you want to say, pay your dream house off in 5 years. Be prepared to pay $3-4000 a month. So you will probably have to get say; a second job, plus be a stripper on the side, just to pay your loan and live. I can see why people are so hesitant on getting a mortgage now. I never knew what horrible things they were. And if you so happen to have a mortgage and win the lotto. The bank (you know. Those guys who are totally fair and all..) will charge you a penalty fee for paying off the remainder of your loan before the set date.

Yeah, you heard me.

So my dream of being a home owner is a little far off for now. But one day, I will have the castle of my dreams. Oh the things I will have in there! Now all I need is the winning numbers for the next lottery.


"Real" Women.

A friend of mine pointed out the other day that clothes for larger women are always labelled "for REAL women". I myself have seen this too. But for the love of god, we cannot find the same label on smaller clothing. For skinnier girls. Are we not real women too?

Do we not have the ability to have babies? Have PMS? Love? Be loved? We all go through the same stuff. So why is the world trying to tell us that we have to be either a stick or a fat lump, then classing us as real and fake? My friend was actually upset by this accusation that only big women are real. As far as I'm concerned, we are all real women. With feelings and thoughts, regardless of the size of our bodies.

This is where life gets confusing. The debate about what looks best aside, we should focus on what it means to be a healthy, happy woman, rather than who gets the best clothing. Yes, smaller women tend to be healthier, happier and more confident, but I don't think that should make larger women resent them. Why not aspire to be that? Find a diet that works and stick to it. Don't just sit there and rain hatred down on small girls. Its actually not fair to anyone.

Smaller girls also do tend to get a bit over confident and bitchy towards bigger girls. You know why? I'll tell you. Because we always get the feeling you hope we trip and break our necks for being small.

See? Double edged sword. This lack of communication isn't good for anyone.

We are ALL real women. And the second we admit that, we can all help each other to achieve the look and life we want.


Food for Thought - The thing stopping me from exploding


Amidst all my preparations I am finding it hard to get any inspiration to write. My head feels like its literally about to explode. Though that could be due to me wearing power hair for the last week, it doesn't excuse my lack of communication. I apologise to you girls for this. Who knew weddings took so much planning? And don't even get me started on the engagement party. Nightmare. I have possibly become one of those mythical 'Bridezillas' that you see on the lifestyle channel, but as Himself has pointed out, he knew this when he asked me to marry him. So no surprises there.

I am currently battling to keep my life from becoming an Everybody Loves Raymond re-run and not to mention not being able to get a damn thing done because no one is coming with me to give me another opinion. *coughs and glares at bridal party* You too groom-ey!

I wish it was this easy.

I even tried to get a massage to relax me, but when the ring comes off I seem to be free game for even the massage therapists (yes. I was actually GROPED by one) so that didn't help. I do have someone on my side though. My dear Mother. She is a totally amazing woman. (She also sports an amazing NYC taxi whistle, perfect for the city..) She has pretty much held my hand through all the crap that's happening at the moment. *raises glass* Here's to you Angel! Now I just need to start working on the registry and the guest list.. Oh no.. My brain! Its gone again.

Anyway. Enough about me!

Well, maybe a little more... I found some awesome cakes that have come into consideration for the engagement party, they have also temporarily halted my drift into insanity. You should try it! Looking at cakes is surprisingly relaxing. Especially when you have something, ANYTHING you want to plan (wedding, birthday, charity gala, baby shower etc..), it really gets the creative juices flowing! Plus you don't have to think about all those stupid costs and lists and other garb that isn't any fun to plan.

My cake must feed 110 people, so god knows its gotta be a huge one. I didn't even know there were that many people that knew Himself and Myself were engaged! And just so you know.. That's the minimum. *dies*

"Darliiiing!! Cant we just elope?!"

Apparently not.

Enjoy the delicious goodness.

So pretty!

Gawsh this'd make a girl grin on her wedding day wouldn't it.

This one is amazing!

Alice in Wonderland Themes!

Beatrix Potter, tailor of Gloucester hand painted cake.
Its amazing that I found these amazing cakes on Cake Wrecks! They're so perfect! What kind of cake would you like at your wedding?


Friday, March 12, 2010

One Perfect Moment

We've all seen it in the movies. Those perfect Kodak moments that seem to go in slow motion. You probably feel like you've never had one. But you have. Your first kiss, your first 'I love you', your first house or job or baby. Maybe it was the first time you held hands or even smiled at a cute boy across the room. Life is made up of moments, each one precious. You don't need to prove they ever happened with a camera or a video or even telling anyone. These are moments precious to you.

Girls; it feels like we're forgetting how to have those moments. In the heat of it are we too busy trying to scramble to preserve it? Are we that reliant on what other people think of our precious moments? I carry a camera with me, I wont lie. But I haven't charged the battery since I went on holiday. I'm not so super dependant on technology that I cannot function without it. I don't even have a mobile (unless forced to carry one) and I do perfectly well. You see people now days, walking down the street, completely catatonic, oblivious even; to the world around them because they are updating their facebook or emailing someone about how they never get the guy. Meanwhile, a gorgeous guy would walk past and in a non-technology dependant world - he would see her, she would see him. They would make eye contact and accidentally bump into each other's shoulders and apologise and maybe he would ask her out to dinner. - But no. He's on HIS mobile too, doing the same thing. In the real world, they knock each other's shoulders and keep on walking; the moment that could have been, is lost. Because we are searching in a place that isn't even real. Its true that one in three married couples met online. But that's because that's the only place they were looking.
Does this look like fun?

Did you happen to meet a lovely guy once at a bar. Seemed like a great person, spoke to you, looked into your eyes when he talked to you. Then asked "whats your Facebook?" Tell me, what are you doing now? Are you dating? Or did you have so much "textual" contact online that nothing sparked. There was no point in hanging out because you could say everything you wanted online, there's even a list of what he likes and doesn't like! You don't even have to ask. In the search for love and new connections. Is it the over connectedness that's destroyed our chances?

This looks more fun to me..

I hate to use myself as an example; but I feel like after countless relationships based through technology and spent hours texting and not talking I have the right to tell you.

Do you want to know how Himself and Myself got together? The old fashioned way. I think when we were starting to see each other, we probably sent 3 text messages. He would always CALL. We spoke on msn twice. He went to Canada for a month before we made it official, and yet we still didn't deteriorate to facebook. We video called, he walked to payphones, we did all we could to keep it as real as we possible from that distance. When he got back, we went driving together. We went to the beach, to the dog park - with the sausages - and we spoke on the phone. Never online. And now the longest we've spent apart is 3 days. We've been overseas together and done some of the most amazing things. I have a few snaps here and there. But my life is for living, not documenting.

So ladies, leave the house. Get outside and when you walk down the street. See the world. Not the World Wide Web. Its more fun. I promise.