Let’s Talk Robberies: Cars, Designer Bags & Missing Makeup/ Lash Kits.

Recently, upon completing an especially sweaty cardio routine, I left the gym to find my driver’s side window smashed. I watch television, and believed the cops might want to dust for fingerprints, so I refrained from touching the vehicle or tampering with the evidence/surfaces. The notion proved founded when the police arrived fifteen minutes later; they dusted for fingerprints–their boots crackled amongst the shattered glass.

I’ll skip the long montage of bursting into tears in front of my gym friend, hysterically requesting my Zumba teacher to dial 911, and the harsh realization that my main makeup & lash kit was stolen (worth over $1,000.00). As a small [mobile] business owner, I was devastated.

Also disillusioned and crushed was my inner-fashionista. My brand new, patent leather Coach tote was stolen and an array of assorted contents: my wallet along with everything you need when you’re leaving on a road trip within five hours. That was a double personal slam with all professional aspects aside; I was forced to postpone a trip to see my Mother and family and the precious bag my best friend purchased to commemorate my college graduation was gone for good.

The point of this post isn’t really a boo-boo session for Ms. Ashley Evelyn, although I’m starting to question the validity of this statement the more I re-read the last paragraph. Accidents like this really do come out of nowhere–and no countdown- to- vacation high can prevent such occurrences.

You can prevent this, or at least lower your risk, by learning from my blunders. Below is a mis-matched list containing afterthoughts & investigator tips.

Here are some things that I have learned:

-The “Towel Covering Technique” no longer works. In fact, tossing a towel over anything in your car probably automatically signals a green light to thieves.

-Always remove your purses, computer bags, wallets, and valuable items from the car. Not even once. I directly ignored my instinct and kicked myself repeatedly later.

-If you can’t take things with you, all important items belong in the trunk. Then again, maybe they belong in the garage? The house? Then again, what if the house is broken in to? Whatever. The thieves didn’t steal my treatment bed, resting in the trunk, but they took what they could see and steal quickly.

-If someone makes off with you credit cards, ID’s, and/or check book, it’s not enough to simply close accounts and reissue them under a new account number. Individuals looking to steal your identity are merely detained by switching accounts because all the information they need remains in the bank’s files. It sucks, but changing banks is the best way to keep your assets safe.

-Lake Mary PD is incredibly helpful, kind, and competent.


Synthetic Dreadlocks

While attending a belly dance performance, I noticed girls sporting colorful or natural looking dreadlocks. The dreads themselves were locked nice and tight. Although each lock maintained its own “individuality,” they were sectioned in such a way that they appeared uniform and professional. For the tribal style belly dance performance, the dancers decorated their locks with flora and fauna and even added beads or shells for further affect. The elaborate styles were very eye catching and beautiful, but the girls’ natural hair remained in a state of detangled health.

I asked my friend where the girls got their dreads and she referred me to a girl named, Katie. “Katie,” I was delighted to learn, is a good friend and fellow alumni from our days at Paul Mitchell the School. Since receiving her Cosmetology license way back when, she has grown into a fabulous hairdresser, achieved her certification in massage therapy, and asserted herself as the #1 dreadlocks & creative extension specialist in Central Florida.

Her website, iKandi Hair Design, features the most impressive and quality dreadlocks portfolio I’ve seen to date. She is happy to provide in-salon SoCap fusion extensions to clients throughout Central Florida, but also creates custom hair pieces to ship to domestic & international clients. Katie’s products include an impressive array of extensions, wigs, and falls. In addition, her web site offers detailed information for wig and natural dreadlock maintenance.

I thought these hairpieces were just too cool not to share. Classic beauty is always in style, but it’s fun to mix things up in an exciting way. I think these pieces are great for: Dancers, Performers, Models, Costumes, Festivals, Photography and Individuals!

For more information & quotes on these fabulous (and reasonably priced!)  hair pieces, you can contact Katie directly.

Little Ballet Dancers Grow Up to be Adult Women with Jazzy Tendencies.

I’ve loved to dance since my first class at the age of three. I remember learning the 4-count break down of the Pas de bourree, Arabesque, and mastering the basic foot work positions. Mostly, I remember feeling a strong sense of belonging and joy which urged me to keep dancing.

By the time I was five, I was ready to mix it up. I’d seen the movie, “Annie,” starring Ann Reinking and fell in love with Ann’s cool, sensual dance moves. To me, the child immersed in 1980s Miami culture, all dance was either street style or ballet. Ann’s style of dance was graceful like ballet, but edgier like street dance. My mother said the style was something called, “Jazz.” Jazz.

We left Miami-Dade and moved to Orlando a few months later. Mama and Grandma took me to a little dance studio, down the street from our new home, and and we toured the location during class time. The studio owner asked me, not my family, what style of dance I liked.

I peered through the window where an advanced jazz class was taking place.  I said, “I dance ballet, but I like jazz.” She liked jazz too and had danced with Fosse; I didn’t know who he was yet. The teens, in their jazz boots and scrunchies, whipped around the floor with grace and ended their expression in crisp, dramatic poses.

I affirmed that I wanted to enroll in jazz and my grandmother assured that I would continue ballet in addition to new disciplines. While I waited for the new dance season to begin, I kept my dance skills sharp by diligently doing Mousercise on the weekends.

I was the youngest one in my beginning class, but rocked my first recital to the tune of “Hip To Be Square.” The upper dance instructor, Miss Cheryl [O’Neill] allowed me to register in intermediate dance the following year, despite the fact that the age difference in that class was even greater. I was six and most of the kids were nine to eleven years old. Despite being the class baby, Cheryl knew that for me, Jazz was expression of emotion. I danced my heart out for her– and moved up with the big girls to the advanced class the following year.

Jazz connected my heart and body and stirred feelings I wouldn’t understand for some time– some, I can hardly decipher as an adult. Last Fall, I started dancing again for the first time since my teens. My gym, formerly known as Lifestyles Family Fitness, offered dance fitness. I was very skeptical before trying the class. Step aerobics and Zumba don’t count as dance for me. However, after my first Sh’Bam class, I was hooked.

Sh’Bam blends jazz, hip-hop–and even shades of belly dance and latin disciplines. We did real choreography. We formed friendships and encouraged each other… but, of course, like every cosmetic or product I’ve ever sworn by, the class was cancelled last week.

What will I do now? I have family and friends who dance at Florida Tribal Dance in Orlando– I’ll be signing up for my first beginner’s class in 22 years and I couldn’t be more excited to see where this new dance will take me…

What does dance mean to you?