This class is for parents and caregivers and runs on three consecutive Saturdays, March 28, April 4 and April 11, 12:30 – 1:30 PM.


$60 per infant.


Tomi Leigh Johnson


Source Yoga

2712 N 21st ST

More Information:




Counterfeit flat irons?

October 5, 2008

A client who has moved to Hawaii emailed me asking which flat iron we suggested.  We have used many different irons over the years and our current favorite (by a long shot!) is the GHD.  The comapany makes a number of different models.  I think the highest priced models are a bit of overkill for the home user, so I suggested that she purchase one of the low to mid-range models.

She looked around online and was startled by the price.  Then she found one on ebay for a great price and snatched it up.

Here is the story in her own words.

Now I have a bit of a story that goes with my GHD.  I started looking at how expensive the irons were, so I decided to have a look on EBay.  They were still expensive, but not nearly as expensive as I saw at Sephora.  I looked at the feedback and it was good, so I made the purchase.  The iron arrived and immediately I contacted the seller.  It did not appear to be authentic.  I went to the GHD website and entered the sell by date.  It wasn’t valid.  I then contacted GHD and went over the other things about the iron confirming it was counterfeit.  Counterfeit flat irons, I had no idea there was such a thing.  I then contacted PayPal.  It turns out the seller bought a bunch of them on EBay and didn’t confirm the authenticity, which is very easy to do, and resold them on EBay.  PayPal will give me a refund, but I have to pay to ship the item back to the seller which is not cheap going from Hawaii to New York.  I was able to give the seller information to GHD and they have been in contact with me a lot regarding the counterfeit.  It turns out there is a big market for these and they catch on fire and the plastic has even melted into people’s hair.
I am not sure why I didn’t think to check the wholesale beauty shop where I have an account.  I drove down there today and bought the iron and I am in love with it. I did save some money, but with the cost to ship the counterfeit back, I will not have saved as much as I could have.  It just goes back to that saying that if it is too good to be true, it probably is.
I love how hot it gets.  I bought the pink one with the black plates and pink roll bag.  Cute, fun, and it works so great!
This client was able to get her iron at a wholesale beauty supply because she is a licensed esthetician and massage therapist.  For those of you who are looking for a great iron and a safe buying experience and do not have such access, I recommend purchasing from a trusted online merchant like Sephora.
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You call that pink?

September 17, 2008

A diagram of the EM spectrum, showing the type...Image via Wikipedia

You may have been in the salon when the hairdressers are debating the interpretation of a particular shade of blonde.  “It’s a bit orange.”  “No, I really think it’s gold.”  “Get a piece of white paper so we can compare it.”

Yup.  We are color geeks.  A client made a comment about her red purse and we all instantly began giving our opinion of what color the purse was.  Orange.  Salmon.  Adobe.

In the spirit of your hair color geeks, I have an article to share with you about Pink and how our brain makes it up.  Enjoy!

The light spectrum has a colour missing because it does not feel the need to ‘close the loop’ in the way that our brains do. We need colour to make sense of the world, but equally we need to make sense of colour; even if that means taking opposite ends of the spectrum and bringing them together.

Read the rest of the article here.

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Broiled Salmon and Butternut Squash Risotto

Broiled Salmon and Butternut Squash Risotto

Peach pie a la made with blackberry balsamic syrup

Peach pie a la mode with blackberry balsamic syrup

It’s Peach – O- Rama, kids!  After work on Saturday I went to Metropolitan Market to get a case of peaches.

These smelled the yummiest!

These smelled the yummiest!

I used all of the peaches to make the filling for two pies.  I think my teenager and I (who was unexpectedly hanging around the house this weekend) ate two or three peaches while peeling and slicing, so it was just shy of a whole case that went to pie.

Into the giant bowl of peach slices I added 1 cup each of sugar, brown sugar and 1/2 cup of cornstarch.  I like cinnamon, so I added a big handfull.

I feel no shame intelling you that I bought frozen pie shells.  For the tops I used the refrigerated sheets of crust.  Yup. I am lazy.  This is news to you?

After 15 minutes or so, the sugar will have macerated the fruit and your peaches will be glossy and delicious.  Using a slotted spoon, pile the peaches high into the defrosted shell.

Beat one egg and a splash of half & half (or heavy cream) and brush lightly over the top crust.  Use a sharp knife to make vent holes.  Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the top.

Bake for 15 minutes at 375° then cover edges of crust with foil (unless you have some old pie shields sitting in the bottom of a kitchen drawer) and cook an additional hour (or until crust is golden brown and delicious.

A smart person puts a foil covered cookie sheet under the pie while baking.

Blackberry Balsamic Syrup:

macerate approx. 1 pint berries with 1/2 cup sugar

add a good glug of balsamic vinegar

simmer for an hour


add more sugar or vinegar to taste and simmer to further reduce if desired

A shameful secret!

Until this weekend I have never made risotto.  I just never tried.  I mentioned it at the salon and a client offered to fax me what he called the best risotto recipe in the world and I agreed to give it a try.  I did make some changes to the recipe (you know me) but I was glad to have some ratios and measurements to use.

The first thing I realized is that I would need chicken stock, so I set to making that on Saturday.

I boiled up a brine for the chicken:

half gallon apple cider

half gallon water

1 bay leaf

handful of peppercorns

cup of kosher salt

soak chicken in brine overnight

discard brine and place chicken in stock pot

fill body cavity with one onion (quartered), a few garlic cloves and a handful of parsley

pour a few inches of apple cider in the bottom of the pot

sprinkle bird with smoked paprika

place more onion, garlic and parsley around the bird

cover and roast until meat is falling off the bone

When the meat is cool enough to handle, pull it off the bone and save for a later meal.

place skin and carcass back in the pot and add more cider and water plus a few sprigs of rosemary to cover

simmer until the carcass is clean and the bones break easily

strain out solids and discard

place liquid in fridge overnight

scrape off fat and discard

Place stock in pot on stove and add two packs of frozen butternut squash and bring to bubble and leave on simmer.

Melt a half a stick of butter in large skillet (I hear there are actual risotto pans, but as this was my first time, I didn’t have one!) over medium heat

add one mined onion and sweat until translucent and beginning to brown

add a splash of olive oil and 2 cups arborio rice

cook until rice is almost completely translucent (will still be white in the center)

add a tablespoon each of fresh minced sage and rosemary

add a half cup of dry white wine (or if you are like me and there is no white in the house, use rose) and stir until absorbed

get used to stirring

add stock one ladle at a time and stir until the liquid is absorbed

keep at this until the rice is tender

it will take about a half an hour and about 4-6 cups of stock

when it’s tender and ready, add a half cup of grated Parmesan, 2 tablespoons of butter and serve when creamy

Simple grilled salmon

place cast iron skillet under broiler set on high

sprinkle salmon fillet lightly with True Lime, kosher salt and sugar

spray with garlic juice

let sit at room temperature until no granulation can be seen (should be glossy)

place skin side down in hot skillet and return to broiler

salmon is done when it flakes apart easily

This was a great opportunity to show my kid why we have fresh herbs growing in our kitchen window.  She was none too thrilled with how long it took to make the risotto, but was very appreciative of it once it was done.

Pigments for sale on market stall, Goa, India.Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes when we talk to laypersons (non hairdressers) we discover that they have no idea that changing from one color to another requires more thought and effort than simply dumping on the desired new shade.  Or our clients tell us stories of strangers who will ask them “What color is on your hair?” so that they can go and purchase a box of that shade.  If only it were that simple.

We do our best to educate the outside world on the intricacies of our craft. Haircolor is an art and a science.  There is chemistry impacting the physical fibre that is the hair and a skilled colorist can anticipate what is going to happen as well as correct unfavorable outcomes.  That is why you pay us instead of doing it in your bathroom.

Say hello to our dear friend Kris Blondin. (You know that it is our general policy not to identify clients on the blog, but Kris has a visible online presence and is never publicity shy.) You may remember her from one of our ” Last week’s interesting hair” posts.

When we last saw Kris, her hair was much darker. (Not to mention longer!)

Beehive for Zoobilee

Beehive for Zoobilee

To take Kris from her deep brown based color we first had to decolorize the hair.  That means removing some of the artificial pigment and lightening the natural pigment (chemical lighteners break up the hair’s melanin and diffuse it so that light travels through and our eyes sees it as lighter.)

Once we had made the hair light enough that the new color would be able to be seen, we applied our desired shades in an alrtful pattern.

Placement of Elumen shades in foil

Placement of Elumen shades in foil

Haircolors are naturally deeper and cooler at the scalp, so our color at the base is equal parts dark brown and pure red (Elumen NB@4 and RR@all.)  On the lengths of the hair, one side is pink (Elumen PK@all) and one side is yellow (Elumen YY@all)  Wher the colors meet, an additional shade is created.

  1. Pink
  2. Pink mixes with brown and red
  3. Brown and red
  4. yellow
  5. yellow mixes with brown and red
  6. pink mixes with yellow

Each foil has a slightly different pattern.  the yellow may be just at the tips, or may be a chevron shape into the pink, etc.  When it is all done, here is the fabulous end result.  We will keep Kris this shade for 3-6 months.  For maintenance, we will apply the brown red at her re-growth each month.  When she tires of this shade, we will go through the process again to create something new and exciting.

Hair by Aura
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Here is the link from the video.  Get your own fitting.

I am sure you have heard how so many of us are in the wrong bra.  I can’t tell you how many times I have said to a client “Wow! You look great!” and they say “New bra!  And you’ll never believe what size they gave me!”

Here’s the scoop:  I often see women wearing bras that are too big around and with a completely inadequately sized cup.  One friend said to me (before her breast reduction!) “I am a 38C.”  And I responded “On what planet? Your boobs are HUGE!”  You’re a 36F if I ever saw one.

Now, it takes one to know one.  I have had a breast reduction.  The last bra I bought before my procedure was a 38G.  The cups were big enough that I could wear them as hats.

Here are a few tips:

If your straps fall down, cinch those puppies up!  How can they hold up your boobs if they can’t stay up?

If you wear the bra on the tightest set of hooks, it is probably too big around.

A good bra should feel good.  It should feel like your boobs are up, not hanging, and seperate, not squooshed together.

Oprah did a whole segment on this and you can read all the tips here.

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I monitor my credit score regularly.  While I wouldn’t say that I live in fear of identity theft, I am aware of it, and would like to avoid it.  Carrie has had some problems just because there is another Carrie Martin in Tacoma with her same birthday who is not a fine, upstanding citizen with good credit.

The scoring method has been shrouded in mystery and I have always been intrigued by the process.  (You know I love to know how things work!)

Ron at the Wisdom Journal (a great blog that I have repeatedly suggested you should investigate) has a great article that is an interview of a FICO expert that explains this stuff in simple terms for those of us who weren’t finance or economics majors.

I recently had the great pleasure and honor to conduct an email interview with Barry Paperno from Barry is an expert in the field of credit scoring. My questions were selected from things I personally wondered about, as well as some questions I’ve been asked by readers in the past. Here is the interview in its entirety.

1. What EXACTLY is a “credit score?”
A credit score is a number that summarizes your credit risk based on a snapshot of your credit report as of a particular point in time. The credit score that matters is the “FICO” credit score, developed by Fair Isaac Corporation and most commonly used by lenders, which uses a range of 300-850 with the higher the score, the lower the risk.

2. What are the components of a credit score? (what information is evaluated and how is that information weighted?)
The five main categories of information that FICO scores evaluate, followed by their estimated weights, are:

  • Payment history (35%)
  • Amounts owed (30%)
  • Length of credit history (15%)
  • New credit (10%)
  • Types of credit used (10%)

It’s a great interview.  Read it all here.

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