13 Apr


After receiving my Bachelors of Art degree in interior design from Purdue University, I found myself designing kitchens worthy of  the pages of Architectual Digest; however due to the ruthlessness of demanding contractors, and unreasonable managers, I was miserable at my job.  I would sit at my drafting board only dreaming of something I had been passionate about since a little girl, and that was to coif the luxurious manes of men and women.  This passion I procured was probably the reason ALL of my Barbie’s were bald, and perhaps that is why my mother didn’t spend so much energy scolding me for cutting off my dolls’ hair because she knew I was destined to become a hairstylist.  And, just so you know, I have learned to control my scissor happiness.

At last, I decided to pursue my ambitious dream, so I quit my job at the Do it Yourself Center and enrolled myself in cosmetology school. I hold a license to practice  the science of hair, skin and nails.  That means, I can do hair, nails and aesthetics or better known as facials, but my specialty is hair.  I have been dressing the locks of individuals for 11 years, and refer myself to Hair Dr., and yes, finally,  my dad had a Dr. in the family (but not the kind he really wanted).

Four years ago I contracted occupational allergies from hair dyes where it has forced me to consider yet another career.  The demise of the economy has also contributed somewhat (need someone to help cover the cost of my very expensive health insurance), so I came to the conclusion that I needed to pursue yet another dream; a Masters Degree.  I figured out that the one other thing I loved to do is to inform people and provide knowledge, and who better provides knowledge than a teacher.  Yes, a teacher; my Masters program is in secondary science education.

This blog will be combining both of my passions, education and the beauty industry.  I hope to provide valuable information and great tips for great looking movie star quality hair, skin and body.


Skin, our largest organ, yet we tend to take advantage of it and maybe even perhaps abuse it a little.  In my younger days, my goal every summer was to slather the luxuriant silky coconut oils over my curvy body to achieve the richest golden bronze tan, that of a captivating sun goddess in St. Tropez.   C’mon, even I have to admit that I look better with a tan and love having one, but at the time, little did I know that was my skin defending itself from the blazing yellow ball in the big blue sky.

In those days, who ever thought of sunscreen?  What in the world was sunscreen and why would you use sunscreen when you have accelerators such as Hawaiian Tropic, baby oil and Crisco.   Yes, that is right, Crisco, the tub of artery clogging hydrogenated oil used for baking and cooking, and just as it is used to fry chicken, it fried my skin.

Oh, and I forgot about the tanning beds.  The greatest invention ever!  Now I was able to get that fabulous glow in just 20 minutes rather than taking a 6 hour nap while sweating profusely, wasting valuable time and feeling like an overheated radiator.  The best part of the tanning bed was that I could have that radiance all year round and didn’t have to wait for the extremely hot humid scorching summers of the Midwest.  The sad thing is that nobody told me that at age 35 crazy things happen to your skin, especially the fragile skin on your face and around your eyes.   Were those fine lines, wrinkles and slight hyperpigmentation marks I was noticing?  That darn mirror, it was neither lying nor forgiving.  I had an instant divorce with the tanning bed and haven’t looked back since.  I will say that I do still love the sun and being tanned; however, I am much smarter these days:  I use sunscreen.

Who ever heard of having zits in your 30’s and 40’s?  Well, it happens; those darn hormones!  This is my new challenge and am forever trying different things to help the situation.  So, in this section I hope to bring information and tips for fabulous skin.


I was a thin lanky child growing up; however, in my mid-late teens I discovered baking and began noticing my waistband increasing and my thighs morphing into tree trunks.  My sweet tooth and haphazard eating habits continued during my freshman year at Purdue, and before I knew it, I didn’t put on the famous Freshman 10, but more like the Freshman 35.  No wonder when my mom came to visit me she couldn’t stop staring at my fuller round face and told me I had turned into a barrel.  By the middle of my sophomore year, I had reached my all time highest weight ever, 180 pounds.  It was now confirmed; I had lost control.  The popular baggy Z Cavaricci jeans were straight leg jeans on me, and I was a size 14-16.  Something needed to be done, and NOW.

My idea of a diet to lose weight was called starvation, and  I incorporated exercise to my daily routine.  This concept netted me about a 15 pound weight loss by the end of my 2nd year of college and another 15 pounds by the beginning of my 3rd year of school.  I maintained this weight throughout the rest of my college life.  I did however gain about 10 pounds back after graduation due to my prodigious unhappiness at the Do it Yourself Center and the bad idea of starving myself.  At that point I  had done every trendy diet known to mankind with temporary loss and permanent regain because diets do not work.

In 1994 I became serious and relearned everything I was taught in my Food and Nutrition 303 class at Purdue and finally applied it to my everyday lifestyle.  With hard work, I lost a lot of weight where I got down to 130 pounds, (total of 50 pounds and maintaining it for 17 years) which is ideal for my 5’7″ height.  I continue to struggle with my weight because of my tumultuous love affair with food, especially sweet treats.

In this section, I hope to inspire others to maintain a healthy lifestyle, provide weight loss tips as well as low fat recipes.


At this point in my life, my motto is to surround myself with people, places and things that lift me higher.  Life is too short, and I learned that very quickly in November of 2001 when my beautiful mother was stolen in the middle of the night just like that, no warning, no nothing.  God had taken her to be one of his glorious angels.  There are no guarantees in life, so we all must make the most of it and live it to our fullest with no regrets.  I hope to inspire, motivate and provide you with food for the soul…..even if it is just for fun!


8 Responses to “Introduction”

  1. Kathy April 14, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    Nancy, I love the content of your blog… I am looking forward to seeing more!

    • nanstrez April 15, 2011 at 2:50 am #

      Thank you, Kathy. Can’t wait to contribute more. You can “like” my page and get further blog notices from my Facebook page: Hairskinbody+soul

  2. Meg DeMakas April 18, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    I didn’t know that you can still get a tan when you put on sunblock. Wonderful blog! More! More! More!

    • nanstrez April 20, 2011 at 3:28 am #

      Thank you, Meg. Yes, you still get a tan with sunscreen. The sunscreen protects your skin from the harmful UV rays. I am working on my next post!

  3. elizabeth April 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    Congrats and good luck!

  4. Marie DeRenne April 21, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    Loved the blog and I enjoyed reading it!!! Looking forward to more!!!

  5. Beth April 30, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    Hi Nancy!
    I love your new blog! Thanks for sharing all your expertise with us and I am loving learning more about you , too!

    • nanstrez April 30, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

      Thanks, Beth! I tried to leave a comment on your last post; however, who knows what I did. Technology challenged. Still am learning…lol

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