Brazilian Keratin Treatment

long hairFor women with fine, curly hair, summer can be a nightmare. Heat and humidity wreak havoc on this very common hair type, leaving it fluffy and frizzy and its owner wanting to pull her hair out! Anti-humidity hair products can work to an extent, but for lasting smooth and shiny hair, nothing beats the Brazilian keratin treatment.

The Brazilian straightener is not your grandmother’s relaxer. Lye relaxers strip strands down, weakening hair and leaving locks lifeless. Brazilian Keratin is different. It coats your hair with a protecting cover of keratin, the protein that is naturally found in hair and nails. Hair that is frizzy, unruly and tangly is transformed into silky, manageable hair that’s impervious to humidity.

The word “transformation” is not hyperbole – for women who have battled their whole lives with an untameable mane, this straightening treatment is nothing short of a miracle. And while it won’t make your hair grow faster, its protective coating can help your locks reach new lengths.

It is temporary, of course, as your hair will continue to grow in its naturally wild ways. Also, the keratin coating eventually wears off over time with normal shampooing. If you avoid the ocean and products with sodium chloride – these will strip the Brazilian blowout, as it’s sometimes called, right out of your hair – you can expect it to last three to four months.

Different salons will likely use different brands, and prices will vary, but shoulder-length hair will take two to three hours to do and cost anywhere from $200 to $300 or more, although where I live, I’ve seen Brazilian salons advertising $99 specials occasionally.

For more hair care tips visit How To Grow Hair.

Image: KrisKrug

Oh, Canada! Edmonton Has Lots to Offer

With the economy still slumping in much of the U.S., it is no surprise that some Americans are choosing to try their chances up north in Canada. Edmonton, for one, is enjoying a booming economy. But the city has way more to offer than just jobs.

Edmonton also enjoys the lowest taxes in the country, which, combined with reasonable housing prices, makes it easier for residents to own their own homes, and high percentage do. But when you’re making the move from the States, your best bet at first is likely to be renting. You can start your home search before you even leave by using websites such as, where you can look by area and see descriptions, prices and photos of all types of rental properties, from apartments, condos and converted lofts to townhomes and detached houses.

Edmonton — the capital of the province of Alberta and its second-largest city after Calgary 200 miles to the south — is a beautiful city, whose river valley boasts the largest urban park in North America, providing countless opportunities for outdoor activities. Thanks to the city’s northern latitude, in summer you’ll get up to 17 hours of daylight in which to bike or hike or, if you like to golf, tee up at one of Edmonton’s 70-plus courses. In winter you can go cross-country skiing, ice skating or to nearby downhill ski slopes.

Originally built on the oil and gas industries, Edmonton is a base for technology and biotech companies and was recently named one of the top cities for business development. But it’s not all work and no play — far from it! It is a cultural and educational center with its universities, music venues, art galleries, theaters and museums, including the largest living history museum in Canada, Fort Edmonton Park.

Edmonton has earned the moniker The Festival City for hosting world-class festivities year-round. And more fun abounds with the many pubs, restaurants, trendy clubs, movie theaters, live music venues, comedy shows and lounges that make up its vibrant nightlife.

And let’s not forget shopping. The city itself has several shopping areas sprinkled among its diverse neighborhoods. But it’s also home to largest mall in all of North America — the West Edmonton Mall.

In addition to about 800 retailers, inside is water park with numerous waterslides and the world’s largest indoor wave pool, an amusement park, an indoor salt-water lake with aquatic life, an ice skating rink, miniature golf, movie theaters, bowling alleys, pool halls, arcades and a music stage.

Learn Spanish Fast with These Tips

learning Spanish
Keith Williamson / Foter / CC BY

WANT to learn Spanish fast? Here are some great and easy tips to get you on your way – pronto!

Check your local community college or community center for a Spanish language course. But we know fitting a formal class into your busy life can be as much of a challenge as learning a new language! If you can great; if you can’t get a comprehensive Spanish computer course for self study at home. In fact, even if you are able to take a class, learn Spanish software is a fantastic supplement to your formal studies. Get one you can listen to in your car as well.

Another way to use up wasted time, perhaps if you commute by bus or train, is to have flash cards in Spanish with you. They are inexpensive or you can even make your own with small index cards. They are a great way to reinforce Spanish words, phrases, verb conjugations – anything you’re having trouble with.

Watch Spanish movies, TV shows and even the news in Spanish. You will find that your comprehension improves, and it also helps to train your ear to hearing the language in different Spanish accents. Practice Spanish by trying to imitate the pronunciation of the native speakers you hear on TV. Keep a Spanish dictionary handy so that you can look up unfamiliar words.

Label items all over your home in their Spanish equivalent. The purpose is twofold: seeing Spanish words will reinforce the spelling of the words visually, and saying them out loud will help commit them to memory. Soon you won’t need the labels anymore to know how to say chair (silla), carrots (zanahorias) or candle (vela).

If you can, take a long trip to a Spanish-speaking locale. Choose places that are a bit off the beaten track because in big cities or touristy towns, you are more likely to come across people who speak English, as well as signage and other printed material in English. To get the most out of your Spanish-learning vacation, immerse yourself in the language. Learn Spanish fast with Spanish software

Lastly, the key to learn Spanish fast is to be steady and consistent in your studies.

Making the Move to Calgary

Calgary is a vibrant, growing metropolis in the western Canadian province of Alberta. It sits about 200 miles north of Glacier National Park in Montana, and 80 miles east of Banff, a spectacular resort town nestled in Banff National Park, surrounded by mountains and known for its hot springs and wide variety of outdoor activities. You certainly could do worse than move to this cosmopolitan city!

Saddledome, Calgary
Chad Goddard / Foter / CC BY-ND

The economy has affected the housing market there as it has elsewhere, so it may make more sense for you to look at Calgary apartment rentals. Scouring newspaper ads or postings online in sites such as Craigslist are one way to look for a new place to call home.

But when you are new to a city — or country, if you’re heading there from the States, say — getting help from a local professional can save you time and aggravation.

Before you even step foot in the area, you can check out sites such as to look for an apartment, town home or house. You can search this site by specific area, so you can view options that are close to your new job or your children’s new school. The listings include photos of the properties, detailed descriptions, size, number of bedrooms and baths, and, of course, asking price.

You may recall that Calgary was the host of the 1988 Olympic Winter Games, and was actually the first Canadian city to do so. The Saddledome indoor arena, a beautiful addition to the city skyline, was built for the occasion and also to house the NHL Calgary Flames. With its population nearing a million people, Calgary is the largest municipality in the province of Alberta, which shares a border with Montana.

Park and Downtown Calgary
Park and downtown Calgary. Image via Wikipedia

While the economic crisis has hit Calgary as well, the city is enjoying growth, and a recent report has even called it the economic growth leader in the country.