Perspective Of Yet Another Night Owl

What’s New From Pureology??
October 3, 2015, 2:30 pm
Filed under: Beauty | Tags: ,

What’s new from Pureology??                               pureology

Great things have been created or re-formulated and are now available at Salon Alure in Purcellville, VA!  The new NanoWorks Gold and Smooth Perfection Shampoo & Conditioner are flying off the shelves! Now you can repair the strength and elasticity of your hair or blow away heat styling stress & frizz in the comfort of your own home.  Who wouldn’t want to have that fresh-from-the-salon-vibrancy look everyday?!?!  

Before I get into all the great things these two new shampoo and conditioners can and will do, I want to remind you of the great things Pureology continues to provide in all their lines.  

  • Dual Benefit Formulas: custom care for every hair type, from volume to repair to smoothness.
  • ZeroSulfate: shampoos are formulated with naturally derived coconut, corn and sugar to gently cleanse while maximizing color retention.
  • AntiFadeComplex: essential antioxidants to protect against color fading free radicals, plus full spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreens to retain vibrancy.
  • 100% Vegan Formula: all lines are made with plant extracts to bring together nature and indulgence.  



NanoWorks Gold provides luxurious hair care for mature and aging color treated hair. This rich, transforming formula restores the suppleness, shine and youthful movement to your hair.  The new formula features Golden Marula Oil and also contains Keravis and Shea Butter. Golden Marula Oil is an ultra-light, fast absorbing oil that leaves your hair hydrated and protected, but not greasy.  It contains 4 times more vitamin C than an orange!  Keravis is nature’s antidote to damaged, dry, or lackluster color-treated hair.  It is a vegetable protein that revitalizes hair and fills in the gaps in your tresses.  Keravis protein is able to penetrate the cortex of the hair, helping to build strength from within while coating the hair to protect the surface.  The end result is hair with significantly improved strength.



This new line offers 72 hours of smoothness and anti-frizz control for all hair types. Pureology has created this formula with Camellia Oil. Camellia Oil, also known as tea seed oil, is the actual green tea oil from the seed of Camellia Sinensis, the plant from which tea is made.  It is a lightweight, fast-absorbing oil that moisturizes and conditions your hair to fight the “frizzies”, eases your blow-dry, moisturizes and conditions all hair types.


You Too Can Be Breakout Free! Teen Line from Dermalogica!
March 25, 2015, 8:18 pm
Filed under: Beauty | Tags: , ,

I wrote a new blog for work and of course, you know I will post it here so my friends can take advantage of this information as well.  If your teen suffers breakouts, try Clear Start by Dermalogica.  It has worked for my girls.

Here it is:

There seems to be a lot of skin care choices available to teens, but they aren’t always the best choice for your teen. Many products designed for teens often contain harsh and inexpensive ingredients that strip the skin of natural oils.  They are usually filled with artificial fragrances and colors – all things that can irritate delicate skin, ultimately causing more problems than your teen started with!


Dermalogica has created a line of eight products that utilize medicated ingredients and soothing botanicals that deliver real results!


Begin with the Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash. This foaming was clears away dead skin cells, dirt and excess oils that clog a teen’s pores and cause breakouts.  You can use this wash on your face, back, and neck — wherever your skin requires deep cleaning and pore clearing.  Morning and night, lather a small amount in damp hands, then rub on face, neck and chest….Keep out of your eyes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.


The next step is Breakout Clearing All Over Toner.  This step is an all-over purifying toner that controls excess oil production and eliminates breakouts on the face and body.  It is infused with refreshing extracts that soothe, cool and revive the skin. This product is formulated with 12 gentle botanicals including lavender, camellia sinensis and argan which help to reduce redness and skin irritations triggered by breakouts.


The third step is Moisturizer! The Oil Clearing Matte Moisturizer with SPF 15 is perfect for daytime. This moisturizer minimizes oil and shine and is an ultra-light, non-greasy formula that controls oil production where you need it most — around the nose and on the forehead for an all over matte finish.  The SPF helps to shield against UV rays protecting your skin from the harsh sun which can cause unsightly breakouts and dark spots.


For those emergency breakouts, Dermalogica has got your teen covered!  The following products are targeted to your specific needs. The Blackhead Clearing Pore Scrub Control deep cleans pores and scrubs away dull skin for a clearer complexion. For those stubborn blackheads on your T-Zone, use this as a masque for 5-10 minutes before rinsing.

The Emergency Spot Fix is a powerful concentrated gel formula to apply directly to those last minute breakouts.  This formula wipes out pimple causing bacteria deep within the port to clear your skin up — FAST!

If you skin seems irritated and red use the Breakout Clearing Cooling Masque! This masque helps to clear the breakouts with a cooling sensation while it refreshes and soothes the skin.

So the next time your teen complains about the right of passage of “pimples” — let them know that Dermalogica and Salon Alure can help!



What is your favorite hair care line? Mine is Pureology!
October 26, 2014, 12:14 pm
Filed under: Hair Care, Pureology | Tags: ,

I have tried most every type of shampoo and conditioners out there.  My “go-to” line is Pureology! They have everything I need and I get instant gratification.  Healthy, beautiful hair is my goal and I use different Pureology systems based on my needs and wants at the time. Since I have high-lifted color (blondes have more fun), I love the Perfect 4 Platinum line.  I also use the Hydrate line (because going blonde takes a toll on my hair and I need to replenish that moisture).  At least once every couple weeks, I will use Purify shampoo to remove any styling product build-up or impurities from well or town water.  I always switch it up a little bit to get the best benefits from everything Pureology has to offer!  Read below to find out about some of my favorite Pureology products. Wishing you all beautiful & healthy hair!


Continue reading

Pedicures Gone Bad
October 14, 2014, 4:21 pm
Filed under: Bad Nail Salons, Beauty, Pedicures | Tags: ,

I am not the usual “girly girl” type, but I do have a “girly girl” guilty pleasure….Pedicures!  For years I have had the same person do my pedicures each month.  Tony is amazing and I always love how he makes my feet feel 1000 times better. I am on them a lot…at work, at play, just always!  Recently, Tony opened his own shop and left the local place he has been with for years.  I am super excited for him, but I am sad for me. I am not always the best planner when it comes to doing things for myself, so I was always the one to go for the last minute appointment with Tony.  Now that he has moved further west of where I live, I haven’t taken the time to make an appointment and go see him. Instead, I decided to try another local place in my town. Mistake. Big mistake!

Continue reading

Birthday Boy
October 5, 2014, 11:14 pm
Filed under: Birthday, Family, Siblings, sons | Tags: , , ,

It’s been 19 years since my son Zachary was born. In my heart, he will always be my little boy, but he’s really a grown young man now. I remember when he was just a baby…always ready to give hugs and cuddles. Spoiled rotten by his big sister who doted on him like he was her own. He was her baby brother and she treated him like a little prince. With his big sister around, he didn’t have to ask for anything.

Zachary 10/5/95

Zachary 10/5/1995

Zachary learned to walk during a hurricane in the Outer Banks. If my memory serves correct, the name of our rental that year was “Time Off” and it was an amazing family vacation. The winds were blowing a gale. The house was one of those beautiful brightly painted beach mansions on stilts. The house swayed in the wind and the ceiling fans stayed completely still. It was not so bad that we could not get around, but you could definitely feel the house moving with the wind.  Meanwhile, there is this adorable little boy pulling himself into a standing position and then walks across the room to us. His first steps without someone helping him! It was super cool.

Growing up, he was the sweet, but tough kid. He is the one who listened, but very outgoing. He is the one who made friends with everyone. Never left anyone out. He has a good heart in there.  Then when he was about 4 his baby sister came along.  He adored his baby sister.  He treated her like a princess and his big sister was right at his side helping him to do so.  Of course over the years there would be sibling arguments and sides taken. (Not to mention a phase of chasing one or both of his sisters with bugs or something else “gross and disgusting!”) Oh the screaming by the girls and the laughing by him. Following that always came one of us saying, “Zach leave your sister’s alone.” To no avail.  Thankfully, like we told the girls he would, Zach outgrew that phase.

Zachary, Bethany,  big Sister Alyssa @ Grand Canyon

Zachary, Bethany, big Sister Alyssa @ Grand Canyon April 2001

Zachary has always been respectful of others, even if he doesn’t always agree. Since the time he was young, he always tries to see all sides to everything and figure out his own mind. He is a leader, not a follower and he is never afraid to go it on his own and follow his heart. He was a great baby, easy to take care of, didn’t cry unless he really had a reason. Slept through the night quickly.  He is the friendly, outgoing kid who gets along with everyone.  And as a teenager, more respectful than most and always polite and kind to his Mom. Like all kids, we’ve had our arguments with him as parents. I mean, heck, he is a teenager and they do think they are always right! We’ve had our broken bones. Again, he is a boy, right? Boys will be boys. But, this kid, now young man…I wouldn’t trade him for the world. In my world he is my baby boy (always will be), and he is my world!

I still am the annoying Mom that’s always lecturing and telling him my way of thinking on things. It doesn’t mean he always takes my advice, but he at least listens to my opinions and considers what I say. I suppose I have to loosen the reigns some more and let him continue to make his own decisions. He makes decent ones and he isn’t so little anymore. He’s a college student now with a part time job. He is growing up.

When you are pregnant, no one tells you that when your baby is all grown, you will still want to protect them like they’re still a baby. They don’t tell you how quickly your baby boy grows into a young man that you couldn’t be more proud of! [18 – 21 years goes by really fast when it comes to your babies!] But it happens and when it does it is bittersweet. You are slightly sad to see your little baby boy all grown up, but you are thrilled to pieces that you helped to raise this terrific young man that you are proud to call your son. A son for whom your love continues to grow with each passing minute!

Zachary 10/5/2014

Zachary 10/5/2014

Happy 19th Birthday, Zachary!

Love, Mom. ❤

God Called Her Home
October 4, 2014, 2:24 pm
Filed under: Blood Cancer, Family, Sisters | Tags: , , , ,

So where do I begin? I suppose I should start where I left off, but that was over 6 years ago when I “fell out” of blogging. Trying to write about the last six years would be more like a book than a blog post, so I suppose I will just start writing and see where it goes. Being that today marks three years since I lost my beloved little sister, Tara. I guess I will start with where the realization that I may lose my baby sister began.

In August of 2009, my sister Tara and her husband Pete renewed their wedding vows for their 10th wedding anniversary. She had a beautiful ceremony on the beach in the Outer Banks. It’s where she always wanted to have her wedding there and we were all so happy that she was able to this for her anniversary.  My sister looked beautiful, absolutely stunning. Her strapless white dress had just enough sparkle on the bodice to make it classy and not overdone. The train was the perfect length.  My nephews looked adorable in their little plaid shorts and white golf shirts. My brother-in-law looked amazing in white linen pants with a light blue shirt. Unfortunately the weather did not want to cooperate with the evening ceremony on the beach so we ended up moving it into the beach house, but that didn’t dampen our spirits. My sister was surrounded by her family and best friends and I believe it was everything she had dreamed and wished for.  I couldn’t have been happier for my sister and her family.

1935606_1106728556587_4274343_n1935606_1106728636589_2165901_n 1935606_1106728716591_5993198_n  1935606_1106728836594_1378411_n

Sadly, our good spirits were short-lived.  In late September, early October of 2009, my sister was plagued with terrible joint pain and just an all over feeling of being severely ill.  I can remember her calling me on her way home from work one day, unable to explain how she was feeling, she told me that she “felt like there is poison running through her veins.”  Although she had been to the doctor and had run blood tests, we still didn’t know what was going on.  I can remember thinking to myself that my sister had always been a bit of a hypochondriac and that her Lymes Disease must be acting up.  What happened next never even crossed my mind.

A week later, my sister found herself admitted to Reston Hospital, being transferred to Fairfax Hospital.  She had been vomiting up blood and generally could not even care for herself.  It was the fastest decline of one of the strongest women I knew.  She was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia.  At this time, her cell counts were so bad, she was close to death.  Immediately she began chemotherapy treatments and her family, friends and co-workers pulled together to help her raise funds to cover the un-covered costs of her medical bills.

Over the next two years, our lives and especially hers and her family were like roller coasters. One minute high in the sky and on the road to recovery, then just as quickly, plummeting towards the ground at speeds unfathomable to many. Tara found herself in remission from Leukemia twice during that two year period. She had lost her hair, lost weight, gained back that weight and then some, been poked, prodded and ultimately it was decided she needed a bone marrow transplant. Once again, her family and friends rallied to help and we were all tested to see if we could be her bone marrow match.  Sadly, none of us were a suitable match for Tara.  My younger brother, Michael and I were a great match, but only for each other. How both our hearts broke when we realized we couldn’t help her. That is when we turned to the National Bone Marrow Registry.  We were blessed that an anonymous donor from the U.K. was a good match and agreed to donate their marrow to save my sister’s life. Blessings from strangers make your heart swell with love and thank God that there are selfless, kind-hearted people in this world.

In February of 2011, she received her bone marrow transplant. Now there was a whole new set of issues to worry about. Graft versus Host Disease (GVHD), Anaemia, Infection, Risks of Bleeding, Mouth Ulcers, Infertility and Fatigue. Tara did develop some early signs of GVHD and severe fatigue, but she was on the road to recovery and her hair had even started to grow back in.  We were so hopeful that we had this beat.  Through Spring and Summer, she was getting back to being able to play soccer with her boys, coach their teams and live life almost “normally” again.  It was a blessing to all of us and nothing short of a miracle.

During late September of that summer, just after my 40th birthday, Tara began feeling short of breath and more fatigue. She had a follow-up bone marrow pull to see if the cancer was back. Meanwhile, she was admitted to the hospital once again.  It was around the end of that month that we got news we had hoped to never hear.  Tara had developed severe organ failure.  Her kidneys, liver and her heart were shutting down. Her poor body  had enough.  To top it off, the Leukemia was back with a vengeance.  By October 1, she was comatose and on a ventilator to help her breathe and the hospital was grasping straws as to how to help her.  They even at one point flipped her over (for lack of a better way to describe this) onto her stomach to relieve pressure on her heart and hopefully help her breathe easier. I will never forget when they told me that this was a “last ditch effort”.   We were told that they could only treat one issue at a time and while doing so, the other three would probably kill her, if the treatments they were trying did not kill her first.

On October 4, 2011, we made the decision to take my 35 year old sister off life support. Her husband, boys, family and close friends were by her side. We all got a chance to say goodbye to her and her husband signed the consent forms to remove the ventilator and medications that were keeping her alive.  She finally looked more peaceful without all the tubes and machines attached to her, although you could tell she was fighting for her life and struggling to breathe. I whispered in her ear through tears, knowing in my heart of hearts she could hear me. I let her know that I loved her. I told her it was OK to let go and that I would miss her being the “pain in the ass little sister” that she could be. I reminded how much we all loved her and how she left a mark on this world whether she knew it or not. (I think she knew!) I told her that her boys would be OK and that none of us would ever forget her. I also asked to hug our Daddy when she met him again. I knew he would be waiting for her and would take care of her.

So, today marks three years since God called her home. Her spirit and fierceness still live on. Her boys are prospering and growing into fine young men. We have all continued on with our lives, but there is not a day that goes by that I don’t still want to pick up the phone to call her or jump in my car to go see her. I know she wouldn’t want us to stop our lives because we lost her, so in that spirit, we continue to carry on.


Tell your loved ones that you love them every day. Hug your parents, kids and friends daily.  Life is full of surprises, some good, some not so good. All that is guaranteed in life is that you get just one chance to live it, so live your life to the fullest.

Light The Night in Memory of Tara Chartak Semak

As some of you know, nearly 3 years ago I lost a young lady who was very dear to me. Tara Chartak Semak was a much loved woman, who touched many lives. She was a mother, wife, my sister, daughter and friend who loved the people in her life with a fierceness that couldn’t be denied. On October 4, 2011, my sister lost her nearly two year battle with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. In losing Tara we all lost a piece of ourselves that day.  For me, that piece was a huge chunk of my heart.


Once again, this October 17, 2014, her family, friends and loved ones will Light the Night at Reston Town Center in remembrance of our beloved Tara. In the spirit of Tara’s fierceness we are trying to raise funds and walk to promote research for finding a cure for cancer. Much like our mission with Cancer Sucks, we’re in this together, we’re in it for Tara. Over the last two years Team Tara has raised over $10,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society/Light the Night. This year, although we haven’t reached those same numbers, we still have the same fighting spirit that Tara displayed all through her illness and in her life in general.

We try to continue to help raise funds so that others, one day, won’t have to go through the heartache of losing someone they love to Leukemia or Lymphoma. When you donate this year, please consider making a donation to LLS. Every little bit helps in the fight against cancer. If you aren’t in a position to donate, please continue to help raise awareness so that the research for a cure can continue.

This year the walk is on Friday October 17, 2014 05:00 PM at Reston Town Center, 11900 Market Street, Reston, VA 20191. Your participation in the Light The Night Walk will save lives today. You can check our website here: and click the Donate Now button!

Be sure to check back frequently to see our progress, and thanks for your support!  Even if you aren’t a part of Team Tara, please just consider the LLS organization.