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So you’ve bought a shampoo bar.. ..That’s Great! I’m hearing it more and more as they are gaining popularity, “Yeah, I bought one but it doesn’t work correctly. I get a waxy finish and I can’t get it out!”

Well I’m here to tell you that of course not all shampoo bars are created equal. That is the nature of all natural products. However, I wouldn’t dish your bar just yet. Let me explain.....

We have been used to using a shampoo that have substances in them called sodium lauryl sulfate or SLS. The reason sodium lauryl sulfate is used in soaps and shampoo is because it is an inexpensive detergent and it makes substances lather. This makes it for a quick, easy convenient way of getting lots of bubbles which incidently the beauty industry has told you is luxury. It is also the way to wash out the product faster.

I’ll try to illustrate this for you....

If I were to take a bar of soap of any kind and drag it across a table top, if would leave in its wake a film of waxy residue. For us to get that off, we need to take a cloth and rub at it and add water to it until it turns into bubbles that wash away with a greater amount of water. Otherwise, we are there with a knife or other scraping utensil scraping it off the table. The same works for our hair. Because most natural soap bars (I can’t speak for all) use SLS-Free, including myself, we as users, have to put the work in.

Here’s how:

Start with soap in your hands with a bit of water to create a lather

Once we have a lather going on, we can transfer that to our head

With both hands and in circles around the hair, keep adding small amounts of water to add to the lather

and just when you are about to give up, keep going! That’s just your self-prescribed time frame for hair washing kicking in! This is YOU (or Uniqi 😏) time, so saveur It!

Once you have a good load of bubbles, massage it through the hair like you would any other shampoo product.

Wash it out

So your hair is going to be squeaky clean, probably cleaner than you’ve ever have had before! You will need to condition it as each hair shaft has now sprouted little spurs due to the positive ions. This is your hair cuticles opening up. To smooth them down you need to apply negative ions which is your conditioner and can be found in some hair driers.

Crazily enough, Apple Cider Vinegar is a natural product that can do this and is the base ingredient for my leave-in spray conditioner. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical thinking I would be walking around smelling like a chip van, but found as the hair dries or it is dried, the vinegar smell goes away! Happy Days!

Well I hope I have helped you a bit further on your quest for a natural choice towards your hair care products and love that you are trying! It does take a bit more thought and a bit more time but when you think that in the long run it’s for you, your family and even in a small bit, for future generations, I think you’ll agree it’s worth it!

Blessed Be

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Updated: Oct 11, 2022

It's Mental Health Day and I want to speak to you about Resilience.

I know it's a buzz word now but I'm not a fan.

Resilience, when looked up is defined as coming back to its original form.

My question is why?

Why would I want to come back from something not learning anything?

I would rather adapt. Use the lessons learned and be stronger in the next round.

The Olympic Games

I’ve been to 2 : competed at the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA and then was on Team 2008- the information Task Force for the Toronto 2008 bid who went to the Sydney 2000 Games.

1996 could’ve gone better.... I went into the Games injured with a dislocating shoulder (tore my labrum clean off in the semi finals of the trials). I was tired from qualifying, and they made me change my judogi just before going on.

So qualifying was a brand new thing in ‘96 and for women of the Pan-Am union there were only 2 spots per category after the top 8 world ranked were selected. Actually, it worked in my favour as the American had an automatic berth and the Cuban was in the top 8 being World Champion. Through the year, the Cuban-born Venezuelan snatched the first berth right under everyone’s noses and left the second spot between myself and the Brazilian. We were tied in points. So it was proposed a fight off to happen in Puerto Rico, I think it was, best 2 out of 3 in the December.

It then got postponed.

Keep in mind this was just to qualify. I still needed to win nationals.

It was postponed to February.

Then it was postponed to March, then again to the end of April.

Each time, I was tailoring my training to peek at this event.

I get a call from Captain, my national coach saying, “Niki, about the fight off...” He couldn’t finish with all the ‘niceties’. I was throwing down the phone.

“Wait! Wait! It’s ok, they’ve cancelled it. They’ve picked you!”

A true phenomenon occurred. Niki Jenkins was stunned silent.

But good news!


So I had to win Nationals which I did, however, landing on my shoulder (I do apologise to the girl who’s nose I crunched 😞) and tore my labrum. Thank goodness for adrenaline which took me through the final.

It’s kind of synchronicity that I write this on Mental Awareness Day as my next portion of my story is at the actual Games.

When I finally got to the on-deck area, after the judogi fiasco, I asked for a minute alone in the curtained off area they provided.

This might sound a bit crazy to some but I experienced what can only be described as an out of body experience.

I started sobbing, like ugly ugly crying.

I openned my eyes and was literally beside myself. My ghostly form shook me and sternly said, ‘Get it together Woman!! We haven’t come this far, to get this far!’

So I did.

Dried my face on my Plan B gi, and walked out into the lights, the noise, the crowd and the French opponent. I nearly armlocked her but nearly, against a wazari, doesn’t cut it.

I was done.

Ooooooh so done!

It was a while before I wanted to see a judo mat again.

2000 Sydney was an opportunity of a lifetime! Our team led a VIP service to athletes, supporters, stakeholders and influencers. As it happens, CBC asked me to commentate as Nico Gill, was favoured to do well. My first live commentary ever and it was the finals of the Olympics Games.

Baptism by fire.

I then met the Love of my Life, Neil and life then spun a very different direction from there.

These are the elements that create us, I have no regrets, only some not-so-great experiences, which I dub The Dark Ages. They were really dark and fodder for a future blog. But I have learned from them, tried to use them to shape a good person with a great attitude towards life.

I’m happy to share more privately with and when anyone who needs to hear it and to let them know it can get better, there is ALWAYS someone who cares for you.

Don’t be afraid to ask.

I have been there.

I know I’ll always #asktwice

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Today is my birthday.

Well thank you. That's very kind.

I will tell you my age as it's important to the blog. Today I am the big 4-9.

I think with all birthdays we tend to reflect and set goals, and why not? We most likely have not carried on any New Year's resolutions we promised, so birthdays can be sort of a Plan B. Although, I don't set resolutions, nor normally wait for significant dates to make any changes. But, as this is the year coming up to 50, I'm thinking it's time to have a good hard look at what's going on in the House of Niki.

I'm also recovering from Covid, which surprisingly completely took me off my feet and left me with a chest infection and a husky cough that makes everyone who is around more than slightly uncomfortable. It's not the general feeling of malaise or even the exceptional tiredness that took me by surprise but, for me, it was not being able to breathe. That was not on at all, and really took me to those dark places that really, we choose to avoid.

I often have a recurring dream that I'm under water or the air has been snuffed out and I can't breathe. I wake up finding that I am holding my breath and it's terrifying. It's usually around times when I feel overwhelmed or not in control of things, despites all my efforts (Ha! There it is again!)

These past couple of weeks have put things into perspective and as Neil was away while I sat 7 hours in the A&E for a chest x-ray, I was alone with my thoughts.

Do I have a plan for the next 50 years, knock on wood.

Working for myself, as the saying goes, I'll be working until lunchtime on the day of my funeral. But the past few weeks and especially the last couple of days, I've had to check to see if I've been the best type of mom, wife, friend I could be. As I've said in earlier musings, I've never been a girlie girl and shudder at the notion of being thought of as a 'Pick Me' girl as my daughters have educated me on the latest social term - someone who downplays themselves to gain favour or access to an otherwise inaccessible group by way of a sympathy vote. So I tend not to sit around hoping to be invited to this, that or the other. I rather feel that people will contact me when they need me or want me to be at their social event, therefore I won't necessarily contact them, without good reason. I truly believe a true friendship is where, even though you haven't spoken for a long time, you just pick up from where you left off. But isn't just calling to connect a good reason, I have to ask myself?

And that is how I have come to this next year's mantra....not that's work and I don't want it to be work. This part of my life shouldn't be work, it should flow within mindful parameters, guided by my interests and by those who are interested in me.

I have boiled it down to one word: effort

People who know me, know me to be a pretty full on busy bee with a lot of irons in the fire at any given time and might have a difficult time wondering why I've chosen effort, as it might look like I am always putting as much energy into life that I can.

This is different.

I'm thinking that another way of putting it is 'prioritised conscious application of will'.

(I just made that up, but I think it sounds pretty swish)

I will make the effort to to do things in the present that benefits me that could be put off for another day.

I will make the effort to keep in contact with people unless it becomes one-sided, in which I will no longer.

I will make the effort to walk everyday or do a physical activity that is for my pure personal pleasure and not for work.

I will make the effort in my appearance each and every day - a ritual that somehow gets left behind once you have kids. And it's true that people treat you differently if it is perceived that you have made an effort, as cynical as that might be, it seems, to me, to be the unspoken law of the jungle.

The proof of this working well for me was when I did my first yoga class yesterday, with a friend who has been asking me on and off for a few weeks, and today I made the effort.

Could I have laid in bed a little longer? Sure.

Could I have given the excuse of too much work? Absolutely.

And the result was wonderful.

In this class I had one thing to do and only one thing and that was to listen to my body, listen to it's story as it went through basic poses and opened up.

Nothing else.

I haven't focused on myself like that since...well forever.

So finally, I have decided that this year will be about effort that fulfills me, makes me better to be around, makes people want to connect on a vibration that is positive and possibly effortless as the effort has already been done.

So no memories to write about today. More about looking forward, however, I did learn something recently that resonates deeply with me and I guess is along the lines of effort:

the difference between being Effective and Efficient that will weave it's way through my efforts this year and hopefully beyond:

To be efficient is to get prescribed things done in a prescribed time, faster and with less input.

To be effective is to take things forward and progress making it better and learning the whole way.

Effort: It doesn't take much, only the courage to say Let's Do This.

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