Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Diva Salon and Spa

I went to Diva Salon and Spa for the first time ever last week. Until last week, I had a hairdresser whom I adored and have never seen the need to go to a salon. Always sounded charming and like something out of the movies, but do I need that? Exactly. Anyway,  about a month ago I happened to see a contest on facebook to enter to win a free spring makeover. I never win anything. Ever. But I entered, because that is the type of perpetually hopeful person I am.

To my shock... I won! What? That never happens.

I was so excited to get this 'hair makeover', if only for the fact that I could save my usual $175 when I go to my hairdresser and get myself some new clothes or something with that money. Excellent!
I made my appointment and went in. My stylist was one of their instructors, which was a good omen. If she's teaching it, she's gotta know it, right? (Absolutely!) I wasn't expecting anything outstanding... I figured it would be a typical hair appointment like the hundreds I have had over the course of my life. But it ended up being so. much. more.

 I arrived a few minutes early and they asked me to sit and wait, offering beverages and taking my jacket. A short while later, my stylist appeared. She led me to the chair and asked what I wanted done.

It was quite simple... I am growing out my hair so not too much off the length, and I wanted to go lighter for summer. She commented on a few things... the colour I should go that would high-light my skin tone, something I could do for the cut to make it more "fun" while still growing it out. And she said that my hair seemed a little dry so she would do a hair therapy treatment of some kind.

The salon was relaxing, nicely lit, fun music. I didn't feel too much like chatting, and my stylist picked up on that and politely allowed me to read magazines and veg without unnecessary babble.  After my foils were in, my stylist then pulled up a chair and gave me a hand massage, one of their complimentary services. Ahh, that was nice. Then, after the haircut was complete, she gave me another complimentary service, free makeup touchups and recommendations.

It was such a great experience, and I wanted to thank this salon for such a wonderful gift. Truly a celebrity treatment. If you are in the Calgary area and are looking for a new place to get your hair done, check them out! Highly recommend!

BEFORE: boring, bland and dark

AFTER: light, easy to style and a gorgeous colour

Whitney Boyd is the author of two women's fiction novels, Iced Romance and Tanned, Toned and Totally Faking It. Her third romantic comedy is a work in progress. When she's not writing, Whitney enjoys catching up on celebrity gossip, running and spending time with her one year old.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Book Review - Replacing Gentry

I just finished Replacing Gentry by Julie N. Ford, and I really enjoyed this book. It is being released on April 9, 2013 and is available for pre-order on Amazon. Honestly, this is a 5 star book and a true joy to read.

When Julie asked me to review her book pre-release, I accepted without really knowing anything about the book. Julie herself is an author of several books, including chick lit, and I thought that this book would probably be in that genre. As I read, however, the book drew me in and I couldn't put it down.
So what's it about? Marlie Evans, a Cali girl, meets Daniel Cannon, a southern widower with two twin boys and it is love at first sight. Marlie, a social worker, usually prides herself in using her brain and not leaping into things, but when it comes to love, it's hard to stay strong. Daniel proposes the day after they meet and she agrees. Without knowing much about her new husband, a state senator, she soon finds herself unwanted in the South... by her inlaws and by Daniel's associates. Mysteries surround her husband's late wife, Gentry, a woman who appeared to be beloved and yet whom nobody will talk about. Marlie begins digging deeper and is shocked at the answers she digs up.
Conspiracies, secret societies and people who will kill to keep their pasts in the past, this book is the perfect women's fiction... mystery blended with real emotions as a woman tries to connect and integrate herself into a new family and new society.
I started this book during my toddler's afternoon nap and couldn't put it down! There were twists and turns and it was far from predictable. It reminded me of classic novels such as Jane Eyre or Gone With The Wind in the development and attitudes of many of the characters, and yet was modern and addressed many issues that face us today.
Marlie's interactions with her stepsons made me think about how I would deal in that situation. The title itself speaks to this... how do you replace a mother in the lives of her children? How do you replace her in the life of her husband? And how do you keep from feeling like you are second best?
This is an excellent novel and I highly recommend you go out and get yourself a copy!