Monday, April 18, 2011

Book it with Yats, bliss and hairy business

Less than a year ago I heard that some New Orleans folks are called “yats” based on the phrase “Where y’at?” Yvonne Spear Perret grew up a “yat” and didn’t know it, but she sure was taking in all the Mardi Gras etiquette, methods of proper beignet eating and jargon of her town as she grew up. In “Yat Wit: Chicken Gumbo for the New Orleans Soul,” this funny lady covers everything from the Tooth Fairy leaving doubloons instead of cash and newcomers alarmed that they’ll arrive at a crawfish boil with their dinner still alive to the nuances of catching the best beads and living with roaches. I love this book and I love that town. I’m NOLA bound as soon as possible.

“Bliss Every Day”
This book, dubbed a practical guide to find peace and happiness, reminds us that our lives can change completely over time, so we might as well imagine a more positive outcome. Deborah Fairfull wants us to do things that make our soul sing. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone we deal with was singing and we could form a choir? Little exercises help form her bliss lessons. Here are a few:
• Write down all the things that you are grateful for in terms of life lessons. What did you see as difficult and painful at the time, but now you understand the deeper meaning and appreciate the growth it brought you?
• Write an optimistic story about your future, covering all levels of your life, such as relationships, career, finance, spirituality and health.
• Write down things you love about someone else and give it to them.
• Do kind things for others and learn to love people as they are.

The book on hair
Curlies, straights and wavy girls can wear it well with ideas from a full-of-photos book called “Cozy’s Complete Guide to Girls’ Hair: The Cutest Cuts and Sweetest Hairstyles to Do at Home.” Order this book and organize a slumber party, because little girls in your life will want to braid, clip and flower one another’s hair all night long. Readers can learn about caring for each hair type and there’s more fun in store. Guests can make crafts at this party. Tips from the “Cool Ways to Keep Clips” list includes painting bread storage or tackle boxes, clip them on a decorated ribbon or make a fold-out hanging cosmetic bag all fancy.

Tubes, bottles and jars
Bazillions of dollars are made making women smell good, but I’m often asked “What stinks?” by my loving spouse who claims to be allergic to fake flowers. As soon as he’s gone I burn incense, but I do try to keep his zone as fragrance free as possible. Enter John Masters Organics Bare, a line with organic goods and natural extracts that do the lotion/shampoo/detangler/body wash jobs in a subtle way, offering luxury and confidence from discreet, white bottles. Scan labels for ingredients such as vanilla and coconut oil, but smell them not. This way, we’re both in luck.
Gehwol Med Salve for cracked skin is a trusted German favorite in a tube with healing power from chamomile, labeled suitable for diabetics. As sandal season approaches, this lanolin product with zinc oxide and eucalyptus oil will make Americans and Europeans beach ready. Gehwol’s “classic” packaging reminds me of creams found in my grandmother’s cigar box alongside medieval-looking hair clips. To me, that’s another indication that it works.
Epoch’s Sole Solution foot treatment comes in a bronze-colored tube noting its crushed allspice berry is what indigenous Central Americans grab for persistent dryness and cracking. Ice Dancer Invigorating Leg Gel glides out of a silver tube. As promised, the mint (favored by Southwestern Native American Tribes) blends with menthol, eucalyptus and Horse Chestnut in a fast-absorbing gel. I’d have loved this in my waitress days. There’s a clear warning to avoid eye contact but I confess I dabbed some at my temples to alleviate a headache. Those buying Epoch’s NuSkin Baobab Body Butter will enjoy knowing a tree will be planted to reforest Malawi. Their skin’s hydration can help the environment.

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