Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dabur, Vatika Coconut Hair Oil

Sunday night something wonderful and rare happened to me, I was left with the car! Yay! Armed with a few dollars, the car and my boredom of staying home all the time, I went to the first place I could think, ASIAN MARKET!!! Whoo-hoo! In actuality, I was left with the car so I could take it to a Mexican llantera shop to change the tire.

Hard at work in the sugarcane fields
Believe it or not, being in an Asian market makes me feel at home. I find comfort and closeness to the people and food there. Strange, I know.

During the Plantation era of Hawai'i, beginning around the early 1850's, the Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Puerto Rican, Portuguese, Spanish and Filipinos all came to work in the sugar cane, pineapple, macadamia and coffee fields.

In fact, it was on the Plantation fields where "Pidgin" was born. Pidgin English is a dialect used by the local people of Hawaii. It is not the same as the native language of our people, which is Hawaiian. Pidgin is a culmination of English and other languages that was spoken on the Plantation fields by the workers to help communicate with one another. A Japanese man could talk to the Puerto Rican man, a Spaniard could talk to a Korean, so on-so forth. As hard as I try, I don't think I'll ever kick my pidgin accent. Although my boyfriend is getting better at understanding what I'm saying, I still need to translate once in awhile.
A mix of ethnicities

If you have never heard Hawaiian Pidgin before, check out this video.  

Needless to say our own Hawaiian culture was heavily influenced by others during this time, especially the food. I miss local Hawaiian food terribly!!! I'm salivating just thinking about it.
All the 'Ono (delicious) food I grew up with. Any local of the Islands would recognize these dishes
I tend to get side-tracked and go off on a tangent, sorry about that. That was a nice little history lesson though, wouldn't you say?

Anyways, I finally made it to Asiana Market.

<---- Asiana Market. Phoenix, AZ

Many of the people I see here, look like they could've been my neighbors in Pearl City and Kalihi and most of the ingredients to the dishes I grew up with are not found in American supermarkets so I immediately identify with everything and everyone in any Asian market. I get especially giddy because I get to see my desi (Indian) folk! I am the biggest dork when it comes to that, my boyfriend is so shame to walk around with me. Haha! I also get a kick out of the innocent signs and advertisements as well.
"Raping paper .79 cents!?! No way, I'm getting 20."

Look at this guy? Isn't he cute!?
After walking around the store for a bit, I came across the Indian Beauty section. The smells of the different incense, powders and oils were incredible, I imagine the entire country smells like this. Looking around for bit I saw a selection of hair oils. There were about 3 or 4 different brands. I immediately recognized, Dabur. I had two bottles of Dabur, Amla Hair Oil when I was living in Hawaii. I'm not sure why it didn't make it to Phoenix with me but I really do miss them, so I decided to buy another one. One bottle in particular jumped out at me!

Dabur's, Vatika Coconut Hair Oil's ingredients include Amla, henna, coconut oil, lemon, neem and rosemary, just to name a few. All chosen carefully to provide natural nourishment for hair and to help improve scalp condition and control dandruff. Hair is stronger, thicker and shinier.

I couldn't help but want it and with a price tag of less than $2.00, I was sold.

My hair after applying my new hair oil

My hair is naturally course, frizzy and dry or "Coconut husk." as my mom and I would joke. Last night I washed my hair and decided to try my new hair oil. I added a few drops to my palm and rubbed my hands together to get the oil nice and warm. I applied it to my damp hair and combed through. I personally love the smell. It's not too overpowering, as the Amla hair oil can be. The next day I checked my hair and it seems calmer and a lot shinier. So far so good! I'm going to continue to use my new oil for the next month or so and give a review.

However, with over a million heads of hair like this....

and this....

I doubt that whatever India is producing for healthy hair, won't be short of amazing for mine!

A hui hou! (till next time)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

Today I reflect on the innocent lives lost on September 11th 2001. I remember you. The tragic events of that day, changed America and the world forever. The lives that were lost & sacrificed can never be replaced. I hope that you are resting in peace and that your families & friends have found comfort and strength in your absence. My thoughts and prayers also go out to our soldiers and their families who have also lost their lives since then.

May we never forget to love others and to love ourselves not just today but everyday. May we speak kind words and do good deeds. Life is short and precious. I am so grateful for everything I am blessed with. For the health and well-being of my family and friends and for the life I still enjoy today. Take some time to remember those who were lost and tell someone that you love them.

Aloha No

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Jewelry and Makeup and Snakes, Oh-My!!

While working on my "Serpents and Women" post, I looked at a lot of pictures of snakes and realized that some people will never be able to bring themselves to own, touch or even look at a snake. Take my grandma for instance, she refuses to look at a snake, even if it's a picture or a small toy. So if you don't fancy a beautiful boa (constrictor) draped across your shoulders, like my grandma, why not wear a powerful, statement snake ring? Or a dainty snake necklace? There's no reason why women can't channel the serpent goddess in their everyday lives!

Trinkets & Baubles

I love being inspired and I couldn't help but be inspired by these creatures! Their colors, patterns and texture made me think of all sorts of makeup color combinations, jewelry, fashion and  a whole bunch of other amazing ideas!

The styles are choices are endless! No matter your age, color or price range, there is something for everyone.

Bollywood & Hollywood

Snake jewelry has been a hot trend in Hollywood and Bollywood for years and shows no signs of slowly down. Movie stars, models, singers and celebutantes have all been spotted with these gorgeous baubles! Rings, necklaces, cuffs, bracelets and earrings are everywhere.  Adorning everyone from Lady Gaga to Angelina. This snake trend is here to stay.


There is a lot that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have accomplished together but who would've thought jewelry designers were among that list!?  The power couple collaborated with Asprey to create the luxurious line named "The Protector". Inspired by the snake, Jolie considers the snake to a "the protector" of her family. Proceeds from the collection will generously be donated to the Education Partnership for Children of Conflict, an organization co-founded by Jolie to provide funds and raise awareness towards children who have been victims of catastrophic events. How cool is that?!

Makeup & Colors

Aside from birds and fish, snakes can be found in almost every color. From black to orange, I love the color inspiration these serpents give me!

Polu - Blue

Maku'e - Brown

Oma'oma'o - Green

'Alani - Orange

Poni - Purple

'Ula'ula - Red

Ke'oke'o - White

Melemele - Yellow

Snake skin Manicures

I came across snake skin manicures on the internet and thought it was brilliant! To get a full mani/pedi done in a salon can run you anywhere from $150-$300, I don't know about you but this is a little out of my budget! If you have the patience though, you can do this in the comfort of your own home. There are up to 170 possible hue and accent color combinations. This is so sheik, I love it!

The snake skin used for this has been shed naturally by a healthy, living snake. No snakes are harmed for this, so please, "live and let live.". Don't know anyone who has a snake? Try visiting a local pet store and ask, they may just give it to you. Check out this amazing video on snakeskin manicures here! *Again, NO SNAKES ARE HARMED FOR THIS PROCESS

*I'm a huge animal advocate. I don't believe in killing animals to wear as a fashion statement. You won't see any pictures about snake skin wallets or shoes.

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did putting it together! The snake has surely captured my heart and attention. The snakes fangs have surely sunk into me, have you been bitten?

A hui hou! (till next time!)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Serpents and Women

Minoan Snake Goddess
What are your first thoughts when you think of a snake? "Gross". "Slithery", maybe. How about, "scary", Ooh I know, "poisonous" or better yet..."creepy?". Chances are the word "feminine" doesn't cross your mind. However, throughout time, snakes are thought to have been the familiars of women. In the bible, Eve was temped in the Garden of Eden by a snake to eat the forbidden fruit of knowledge. In ancient Egypt, Cleopatra committed suicide by allowing an Asp to bite her. Ancient civilizations and cultures around the globe, in one way or another, have their own feelings about this. Telling different legends and myths about these serpentine creatures, and not just that they were snakes but that they were women as well. They are as much feared as they are revered and respected.

I find this fascinating because I love snakes. Maybe it's because growing up, there were no snakes in Hawaii. I only ever saw them on TV and once in Las Vegas. I find them mysterious, beautiful and quite frankly, frightening. You cannot deny the lure they have. Whether they're at the zoo, in a cage, slithering along the highway or draped on someone's shoulders, people stop and look. The same could be said about women. If there's a beautiful woman around, people will stop and look.

Now I do not claim to know everything. I've tried my best to be as accurate as possible with names, cultures, events etc... As they say in Hula, "A'ohe pau ka 'ike i ka halau ho'okahi." or "Not all knowledge is found in one school/source." I'm sure there are many variations and other stories or legends as well. My intention is not to offend anyone either. If you have any stories, please share them in the comments below!

So what are these similarities?

We women are complex creatures. A vast and deep ocean of thoughts, emotions, character, charms and mystery. As Oscar Wilde so wisely said, "Women are meant to be loved, not understood." We are creators and the bearers of life.

Aboriginal "Rainbow Snake"
Snakes were often thought of as creators as well and were a common feature in creation myths. Many people of Africa and Australia had myths of a Rainbow Snake, which was either Mother Earth, giving birth to all animals or a Water-God whose witherings created rivers, creeks and oceans. Greek cosmological myth speaks of Ophion, the snake who incubated the primordial egg from which all things were born. In Egyptian myth, the state of existence before creation was symbolized as Amduat, a many coiled serpent from which Ra, the sun god and all creation rose. In Chinese mythology, Nüwa, a snake with the head of a woman, created the first humans, one by one with clay but this took too much time and strength. To conserve energy, she dipped a rope in clay and flicked it so blobs of clay landed everywhere, each blob became an individual human. The first humans she created became high-class, the second ones became low-class.
The Gorgon, Medusa

However, where we are the creators we are also the destroyers. The Gorgons, in Greek mythology, were beautiful snake women. The most famous and recognized was Medusa. Cursed after angering the Goddess Athena, her gaze could turn any man to stone. In Judeo-Christian belief, Eve was tempted by the snake in the Garden of Eden to eat the forbidden fruit of knowledge, therefore responsible for the fall of man. Was Eve tempted or just willing to listen to a creature we are thought to be so connected to? Maybe we'll discuss that one some other time....

We are tempting and dangerous. I think few would disagree, except maybe my male gay friends, that there is nothing as tempting or beautiful as a woman. There is no question that we have a certain sensual aura and power around us. A women's sensual appeal has inspired the poets for centuries. George Washington once said, "When once the woman has tempted us and we have tasted the forbidden fruit, there is no such thing as checking our appetites, whatever the consequence might be." Forbidden fruit, the serpent and Eve...maybe we are one in the same.
Beautiful & Dangerous

We understand that our sensuality is like a force of fire. Depending on it's use, can either warm our beds and relationships, light up a dark room or burn our house down. We have a constant ebb and flow of sensual energy that flows through our heavenly curves and radiates outward. Some women may not know it, or have not "tapped" into it yet, but believe me it's there.

Knowledge & Power
Lord Shiva & Quetzalcoatl
 Recurrent themes seem to suggest that serpents represented great knowledge and a divine sexual power. In ancient Rome, young women took gifts of barley cake to the sacred serpent to assure their own reproductive powers and the fertility of the earth. In Hindu belief, Lord Shiva, the auspicious one, wears snakes as a garland around his neck. Symbolizing wisdom and eternity. Quetzalcoātl, the feathered serpent, was worshiped by the Aztecs, Toltecs and other Mesoamerica tribes. He was the creator and destroyer of various world periods. He was also the god of wind, water and fertility. The existence of his worship can be seen throughout Central and parts of South America, where serpent motifs are frequent. Many native tribes of North America also worshiped the snake. Navajo, Hopi, Natchez, Zuni are just a few who have a long history with snakes.

A Nagini Princess
We are maidens. Young and fair. In Indian myth, Nāga and Nāgini were human-snake hybrids, specifically the King Cobra, who lived in jewel-encrusted underground or underwater paradises and who had been perpetually at war with Garuda, the sun god. They have continued to inspire legends and stories throughout thousands of years, but it is the women of this race, who have captured the imagination the most. These serpent princesses were said to be strikingly beautiful and able to turn at will, into a cobra or half-snake/half-human form. A precious gem was said to be embedded in their skull which gave them magical powers.

A fierce guardian and protector
We are mothers. The moment a child is born, so is a mother is born. She never existed before, she was only a women. Mothers are held in the highest esteem. "God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers." is my favorite quote from a Jewish proverb.

A farmer in India, while tilling his field, manages to kill a nest of young serpents. The mother, on her return, sees the dead snakes and becomes furious. She bites the farmer, his wife and their children in their sleep, killing them all. The farmer's eldest daughter, already married and living out of town takes some time for the mother serpent to get to. When she finally arrives, she finds the daughter in the middle of worshiping an image of a snake, asking for forgiveness for mistakes made by her family. Seeing this, the mother snake feel sorry for what she did and left her in peace. The daughter's prayers were so powerful her family was brought back to life. This was the beginning of Nag Panchami, an annual Hindu festival in which snakes are venerated and worshiped by hundreds of people, seeking protection from their wrath. Snakes are bathed in milk and fields are forbidden to be plowed. There are also many other variations to the origins of Nag Panchami.

Nag Panchami in India
Unfortunately, many around the world do not have the same respect and love for mothers. By the same token, there are many mothers out there who do not understand what a big responsibility they have and, in my opinion, should not be mothers.

We are lovers. Ever the hopeless-romantics, we love hard and hurt deep. As some would say, "A whole women's life is a history of her affections." Stories of magical serpents and love span around the globe. After all, except for Antarctica, they are found on every continent. The Chinese tell the legend of, "Lady White Snake". A cautionary tale of love between a mortal man and a snake woman. There are many different endings and variations to the story but it's popularity has grown throughout the years. Movies, books, comics and even a Chinese opera have all told the tale. Personally, I would love to see the opera! Read more about her story here.

We are healers... and poisoners. While a woman, with all her compassion, affection, love, patience and kindness, can also be cunning, spiteful and vindictive. "Hell hath no fury, like a women scorned." -William Congreve. Another one of my favorites, hehe. Snakes were also thought to be sneaky, spiteful, even cunning. It's natural for most people to think of snakes as poisonous. Truth is only about 10 percent of snakes worldwide are actually poisonous. Their venom has the power to poison or heal, like a woman's.

"Cobra Wine, anyone?"
In Asian countries such as, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia, drinking the blood and bile of a snake, particularly the cobra, is believed to increase sexual virility. The blood is usually mixed with some type of liquor. While not commonly thought of as food in most cultures, in some cultures the consumption of snake is acceptable or even considered a delicacy, prized for it's pharmaceutical effect of warming the heart. The liver is especially sought after. In some Asian countries, the use of snakes in alcohol is also acceptable. The snake or snakes is usually left to steep in a jar or container of alcohol. It is claimed to make the liquor stronger and therefore more expensive. One example is the Habu snake, used in some Okinawan liquor called Awamori, also known as "Habu sake".

Snake blood and bile
Snake wine is an alcoholic beverage produced by infusing whole snakes in rice wine or grain alcohol. The drink was first recorded to have been consumed in China during the Western Zhou dynasty.

On the other side of the spectrum, to Westerners, snake consumption is not as accepted. Only thought as necessary to survival.

Unfortunately there aren't any stories or myths about snakes in Hawaiian culture as we do not have snakes on our islands. Although we do tell tales of Mo'o or lizards, who ironically, were mostly women. I will definitely write about those legends soon!

Throughout the history of mankind, snakes have been the familiars of women. Mysterious, beautiful and sensual. Maidens and mothers. Poisoners and healers. Clever and wise. Tempting and dangerous. Sneaky and terrifying. Familiar yet exotic. Whether it be the hypnotic way we move or the sensual outline of our curves. Our skin cool like water and  our fiery tongues. Or perhaps it's just the ability we have to terrify men. Whatever the case, snakes don't scare women, because they are women. (figuratively)
And now what you've been waiting for, cause I know you only came here to look at pictures.

The ladies...

My beautiful friend, Diana and Chuy

Angelina Jolie

Cindy Crawford

Modeling with a snake

Bollywood actress, Priyanka Chopra

The late singer, Aaliyah

Patricia Velasquez

Salma Hayek

Leonor Varela

Naomi Campbell

Adrian Curry

Christy Yow

Devon Aoki

Jessica Pace

Monica Bellucci

Penelope Cruz

Mary Louise Parker

Ana Barros

Monica Bellucci

Emma Quinlan

Rachel Weisz

Nastassja Kinski

Nastassja Kinki's Daughter, Sonja Kinski

Angelina Jolie

Elsa Pataky

I hope you enjoyed! Thanks for stopping by.

A hui hou (till next time)

*All photo's belong to their respected owners and were found through a public search engine. No copyright intended.