Sunday, December 29, 2013

And Away We Go!

Ah, goodbye 2013 and hello 2014.  What does this new year mean for you?  Are you getting married, having a baby, moving, changing careers, going back to school or starting school?  People seem to want to jump into life changing situations as soon as Christmas is over.  Why do we do this?  Why are we adding extra pressure and stress to ourselves just to break these resolutions by the end of February?

I suggest an alternative to these resolutions so you don't feel at all let down come Valentines Day.  Set more realistic goals for this year.  Set goals that can be met every day, week and month.  Do not hope to lose 40 lbs in a month, aim to lose a healthy pound a week.  Aim to make a new friend each month.  Learn to organize small portions of your home or office so that by next December you will have more accomplishments to be proud of that will last through out the next year.  Change is something humans have a hard time accepting and implementing - but it is not impossible.  It is better to start small, even micro because every success is a success worth celebrating.

Stop being so hard on yourself because you didn't accomplish _____ by the time you were _____; or you didn't quit _____ by _____.  It's not worth it.  You are much more than the numbers on the scale, who you share your lease, mortgage or car note with - you are beautiful inside and out.  This is your time to come into your potential and inspire others to do the same.


Do your best, remain positive and start small.  You will reach great heights.

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See you down the path!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Review: Freeman Avocado & Oatmeal Facial Clay Mask






I got this as a free sample and figured it was worth a shot.

The results?  I had an allergic reaction to the product and it left my skin feeling oily and looked dried out at the same time.  It was weird and I wouldn't recommend it.  I have two other samples by Freeman to try but I'm not sure I will even bother.  If you have sensitive skin, I'd skip this line.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Forever & Ever, Then Ever Again

I recently heard some people talking about the relationship between Ruth and Boaz and how much of an impact it had on their decision making when it came to picking a partner or waiting for that *right* person to come along.  If you aren’t familiar with the story, Boaz is a well established Israelite of means who met Ruth, a Gentile who was at a low point in her life.  This meeting changed their lives forever.  Boaz was a blessing in Ruth’s life.  I like to think that blessing went both ways for both people.

I was discussing with a good friend of mine how hard relationships can be, whether you are married or not.   We also discussed why it seems that opposites always seem to attract and stick together longer than those who are too much alike.  Like Ruth and Boaz, we may be brought together to be a blessing for someone else because we already have enough in our lives.  I firmly believe that the story of Ruth and Boaz goes beyond the traditional male and female relationship.  I feel that there are people who are like Boaz, male or female alike, and people like Ruth, again both male and female alike. There are times that we will have to hold up our partner through their season so that you two grow closer together.  Sometimes we have to be the leader, teacher, shelter for their suffering or their strength like Boaz was for Ruth.  There are times that we are like Ruth, feeling low and needing that hug or action of love to see us through.  The core importance of the story is to teach us that we may not always understand our partner because they may not be “on our level” or they may have either exposed, hidden or unwarranted insecurities that are plaguing their life and possibly now your relationship and we can be quick to dismiss situations, people and emotions due to ignorance. 

It is important to take a step back and realize that like Ruth who saw Boaz in a field, we have to strip down situations to its simplest form, like the field, to truly see our partner.  Whether you are Ruth in the situation or Boaz, you should be able to be vulnerable to pave the way to a solid future together. 

Have a great day!  :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

BoOoOo!

It's a cool morning here and all of social media is buzzing about pumpkins, desserts, Halloween and boots for Fall and the upcoming Winter season.  My personal favorite is sweet potato cake and pumpkin muffins.  I also love Halloween too.  I love the dressing up, socializing with friends and all the free candy, or at least the candy that is dirt cheap the day after Halloween.  I know around this time a lot of stores are running ads for costumes and those Halloween Adventures are starting to pop up around towns across the US.  For the most part, this is a great resource for all the fake blood and guts you need to make your Halloween the most memorable.  The downside?  Their selection for anyone over a true size 14.

The last time I bought one of those prepackaged costumes, it was over priced (surprise) and fit okay but not great.  I would have liked it in a size larger but what are you going to do?  I have spent a lot of time searching out stores that have some extended sizes but they end up being incredibly expensive.  Why would I spend $50-$70 for something I'm wearing for only a few hours that will invariably end up with some food or drink stain on it?  Chances are I won't wear it again another year either.  If you are into spending that kind of money, Torrid would happily take your cash.  They have various Halloween styles that are $50+ and are sizes 12-28.

What about those who can't afford to spend that or simply don't want to?  Make your own costume.  You would be surprised at how easy this is and how inexpensive.  Unless you want to get into something more intricate with sewing great detail and so on, you can find most pieces you will need at a local thrift shop.  They always have various items that can be pieced together to create a unique costume that actually will fit and won't break the bank.
General suggestions:
  • Pirate/Gypsy/Witch:  Look for ruffled blouses, corsets, long flowy skirts, scarves to wrap around your head and old costume jewlery to accent your outfit.  If the outfit doesn't look distressed enough, you can use an exacto knife or razor to shread some of the fabric in small areas then run it through the wash.  It will come out looking a bit worn and faded.
  • Disney like characters:  I've seen more adults wanting to dress like Cinderella or Belle lately than little girls and that's great.  It is easy to find similar style gowns and the accessories on the cheap.
  • Various Animals:  These are easy enough depending on what kind you want.   A little makeup, headband with ears or horns and you are good to go.
  • Medical Staff:  Most thrift stores don't carry old scrubs but Walmart actually sells scrubs.  If you are a great seamstress or know someone who can sew, get an outfit, cut it up to how you want and boom - costume.
  • Cop:  Same goes for being a Cop or a Sexy Cop of some kind.  Finding the various parts of the outfit is easy enough and fake handcuffs aren't expensive either.
  • Various Book or Literature Characters:  It is very easy to find things to put together so you can look just like your favorite character.  Especially since a lot of book characters channel the fashion of years ago so finding the old plaid or worn clothes is an easy find.

For all the other special additives such as fishnets and tights, I have found that Burlington Coat Factory does sell it in plus sizes.  I know Walmart does sell it in plus sizes as well but I haven't tried them personally.  I may this Halloween season though.  I invite you to be creative this year and find something that you like and want to be.  Don't feel limited or intimidated by what is on the rack because it isn't your only option.

Good luck, stay safe and enjoy the sweets!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Basics & Boots

What are you stocking up on this Fall ?

Instead of flooding your feed with Do’s & Don’t's that may or may not work for the next 6 months, I invite you not hold on so tightly to trends.  If you want to try it, do it.
  • I wear white all year round.
  • I wear bright colors all year round because I love it.
  • I hate brown clothes.
  • Button up shirts are my enemy.
  • I hate how hard it is to find a well fitted turtleneck sweater.
Stores that I often shop in:
  • Burlington Coat Factory:  I put them first because you really can find many complete outfits at great prices here.  I love this store and have to have such restraint on going.  Whether you are plus sized or straight size, they have great stuff that is on trend and affordable.
  • Target:  Target is very hit or miss.  Lately it has been a miss but for you plus sized ladies out there, hit their maternity section on a sale.  You can get nice stuff that is usually a longer length and tends to fit better.  Their maxi dresses are my favorite because they are long enough.
  • Walmart:  Believe it or not, some of their plus stuff fits well and is priced well.
  • Forever21:  This store is great for more unique items to spice your every day up, plus their jewelry is insanely cheap.
  • Nordstrom:  They actually have a great plus size section that is made with better material and a better quality than other stores.  If you are going to pay a lot for something, you may as well get the best quality you can.
Stores that I am beginning to love:
  • H&M: If the price is right, I will start buying more from them.
  • ASOS:  They have such cute stuff!  I was recently turned on to them too.  This is why it’s so important to share what you know.  There are so many hidden gems out there.
Stores that I can’t stand anymore:
  • Lane Bryant:  Their clothes are way over priced, the material is cheap and the fit is horrible on a plus sized figure.  Their models are usually a size 10-12 at the most and they pin the clothes back on the girls so it looks fitted.  Don’t waste your time and money.
  • Ashley Stewart:  Same goes for them.  I don’t understand why they are raising their prices.  Have you seen or felt their material? Yuck!

Break out of the norm, hit up a thrift store – be unique and be happy.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dating Down the Rabbit Hole

I want to first start by saying that there are still some amazing people out there and maintaining a positive, optimistic attitude is more powerful than the alternative.  We live in an age where it is easy to meet new people every second of each day.  It is easy to get connected for free on a lot of platforms without having to spend a dime.  Social media has made it convenient to stay connected with people from around the world, not just those in your area.  This is fantastic to a fault.   I have noticed that this fault is more than simply overlooking the fact that your partner snores when they sleep.  These faults are starting to add up to something more serious that is chipping away at the sanity and emotions of some.

I remember when I was growing up having to race to the phone when it rang in hopes it was that cute person you’ve had your eye on all month or school year.  Especially if you had siblings, you knew of the dreaded panic hearing someone else pick up another phone in the house.  There was no real privacy and even when your parents installed that awesome second line, you still had to share it with everyone else in the house.  Also, there was the great feeling of slamming the phone down on someone who broke your heart.  You knew that was justified as a slap in the face to the offender.  Were these truly better times?  I can see their benefit.  Today, we rely so heavily on text messages, emails and broken phone conversations, that is if you can even get someone on the phone.  There are benefits to this but let’s be honest; is this shortcut way of life really the best way to build and maintain a relationship?

There are many different kinds of people you can meet but there are some personalities that you seem to meet more often than you should and you should avoid:  They are the secretly married, bitterly bitter, overly independent, or leech.  Yes, some of these personalities overlap but for the most part, they are of their own right scary, somewhat dangerous, and can be sniffed out with some good sense and patience.

Secretly Married:  Ah, yes, the, “my partner doesn’t understand me” or “they won’t have enough sex with me” type.  They usually disguise their true intention unless they are in an open marriage.  They also tend to have a type and you are never the only one they are talking to or dealing with.  They start off with a casual approach, but it becomes obvious what is really going on.  With so many free dating platforms and applications, it makes it easy for them to seek out others.  If they are willing to let you go, thank them and move on.  This only ends one way and it is with you utterly heartbroken, gaining 20lbs and being a world champion in eating junk food.  Yeah, brownies are amazing but eating 1 to 5 pans of it isn’t healthy.

Bitterly Bitter:  This type tends to spew some seriously verbal abuse when you tell them you are not interested or are ending your time with them.  They are quick to say how worthless you are or how you will never be anything without them.  I hear situations like this all the time from friends, family and colleagues and have experienced them myself.  We all have been burned in one way or another when it comes to relationships but healing and moving on from the past needs to happen before we move on to a new situation.  Sometimes there are those who seek out new people who resemble a part of their past so they can stay in that part of their life.  It is best to recognize this early on so their toxicity doesn’t become part of who you are.  Misery does indeed love company.  This is usually disguised by those who are obsessed over their ex.  If he or she is not interested in getting to know who you are, they then make assumptions about who you are, and spends more time mentioning the past, notice the red flag and head for the hills.

Overly Independent:  There is absolutely nothing wrong in being independent.  Working hard and getting an education are vital in life but we have to remember to keep in balance that you do in fact need other people.  Even the busiest person needs human affection.  Sometimes we need a hug, handshake or a high five; sometimes we need more than that.  Love is so important in our species and you are not meant to be “forever alone.”  Those who claim they don’t need anyone else are the ones hurting the most.  This type, if you have the patience, will open up once they feel comfortable.  That time may also not come either.   If they are pushing you away or pushing you too hard to configure yourself into something you aren’t, it is best to let them go.  You have enough going on in your life to play therapist in their lives.

Leech:   Aren’t familiar with what a leech does?  Google that sometime.  They are little bloodsuckers that never let go.  Yes, they once had medicinal purposes but if you happen to be walking through a jungle, you aren’t going to consider them to be a good thing.  They hold on and never let go.  You either have to pull very hard or use a lighter to burn them off.  Same rules apply to these kind of people.  They are the ones who send novels for text messages, endless voice-mails wondering where you are or show up at your place of employment unexpectedly.  They show their true colors from the start.  They will latch on from the start and never want to let go.  It usually takes a lot of energy, force and threats of a restraining order to get them out of your life.  There is a healthy amount of inter-dependence in a relationship then there is somewhat stalker behavior if not a true stalker.   Keep an eye out!

It is rough out there in our modern dating world but it is not impossible to find someone.  It is important to remember who you are, what your goals are and if this person you are meeting is truly in line with them.  Do they value true conversation or are they asking for dirty pictures from the start? Do they solely rely on text and email? I always say you can determine their true intentions within 2 weeks.  Watch for signs so you won’t spend years with someone who never intended on getting serious with you from the start.  Do not be afraid to communicate your desires.  If something is important to you, you will find that person who respects that and wants something similar.  I don’t believe in settling for anything but you have to remain optimistic.  Your partner won’t be able to be everything and leap over tall buildings or volunteer saving cute animals on the side.  We are only human after all.

You are amazing just the way you are, never forget that!  I wish you all the success in the world out there!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Product Review - Motions Leave in Conditioner


I have spent a lot of money and time trying to find the best balance when it comes to conditioning my hair because even though it is oily, it tends to dry out fairly easily.  It’s a delicate dance I play with chemistry.  I decided to try Motions brand leave in conditioner.  It’s under $4 a bottle and can be found in most beauty supply places.  I haven’t seen it in stores like Target or Walmart.
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Results?   I’m not crazy about it at all.  My hair feels stiff and straw-like and doesn’t have the shine that I like.  There are other products that I like better as a leave in that give my hair life and make it soft, shiny and beautiful.

Recommend?  I’d skip this.  It’s inexpensive but the results aren’t worth it.

Here I am sans makeup after using the product during my hair routine.

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Back to School Stress

I encourage you to stay focused on your education.  Worrying about what is on your back versus the degree hanging on your wall is completely pointless.  Yes, it is fun to look good but it is also fun to stretch your mind and ascend to higher levels of education.  Some career paths demand you to be a full time employee and part time student and it’s important to maintain it.

Stay Organized:  I can not stress this enough!  If you are not the type then take some time and meet with those who are.  Buying endless calenders isn’t worth your time if you aren’t going to use it.  Since we live in an age with smart phones and tablets are becoming more inexpensive, get one.  Program it with your daily life schedule and make a habit to keep a paper copy just in case your technological best friend dies on you.  Getting into a good routine will help you in the long run.

Set realistic goals:  I am a firm believer that at any age you can start over.  There was a woman who in her 80s wanted to go to law school did.  Just because your current career path, job or lifestyle causes setbacks, find the core issues and rise above them.  It is possible and you are capable!

Carve out me time:  It is important that you remember how much you mean to the world.  To live a life that is full of stress and frustration harms the very being you are.  Whether you take time each day to unwind or do something special each week for yourself – do it and maintain it.

Remember to have fun:  It’s that simple.  Whether you need to hop on Tumblr during your lunch break or you need to watch Golden Girls each night before bed (I know, I do) stick it in your routine like you would add lemon zest.  Sprinkle in some fun to take the edge off.  It works better than coffee (almost, anyway).

At the beginning of the year you are worried about having the right “look” but come midterms before Thanksgiving, you will be headed to class in somewhat clean sweatpants and Ugg like boots with 3 pencils in your hair.  It’s a reality of school and life so just remember to shower and stay focused on studying.

Have a great year! 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Is 20 Really the New 30? I Don't Think So

Every so often you hear the phrase, “30 is the new 20″ or “40 is the new 30″ and so on.  It annoys me because it is simply not true  and shows how youth obsessed we are as a culture.  This year, in December, I will be turning 30 and you know what?  I’m glad it won’t be a repeat of my early 20s.  I have grown so much as a person in the last 10 years and frankly, I don’t ever want to return there.  I had a great time over the last decade and where I am now, and am going with my life is more of an adventure to me than feeling as though I can “restart” at some point in my life.

My body has changed in all aspects.  I can see some lines being drawn on my face by time, I can feel a difference in my skin, my hair, teeth – everything and I am okay with it.  I respect the flow of life and events and have adapted to what I currently have.  Something I found that helped keep my mind level was creating smaller goals for myself and sticking to them.  Currently, I am aiming at losing another 40lbs of fat.  I started lifting weights last December and a few weeks ago started Zumba (which is amazing).  I am not doing this to fall into what is “beautiful”; I am doing it for me and my family.  I’m in this life for the long haul, God willing.  I want to make a difference in others’ lives and I want to be an example for my son to start healthy and stay healthy as an adult, in mind, body and soul.  For everyone else, whatever age you are, be that age, have fun and learn from your mistakes.  I remember the 16 year old me, the 21 year old me and now the 29 year old me and they are so different that if they were in the same room together, they wouldn’t know each other.  It’s a good thing and can only go up from here.  I’m not afraid of failure and know that around the next corner I will find my success as will you.

As I enter the next decade, I hope to make many more new friends, open my life up to numerous new and exciting opportunities and do more traveling.  For those worried or hoping to be 20-something again, find inspiration in your current 20,30,40,50+ something.  Each decade brings us closer to that true enlightenment.  Each new line, wrinkle, or gray hair is a mark that we lived our lives fully and completely.  Embrace it!

Me at 29 (currently)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cleaning Out Your Closets



I do my best each season to clean out my closet, beauty bag and beauty containers.  This way I don't feel as guilty splurging for new items.  Also, when you donate your goods, you can deduct them at the end of the year.  Cool, huh?  It's like cash just sitting around in your closet collecting dust.  If you aren't into that, having multiple yard sales through the year is another great resource for turning a profit on things you no longer need, want or use.  The other end of this is by visiting various yard sales or visiting your local thrift shop, you can find new goods at low prices.  There are some consignment stores that do this, but sometimes they can be as expensive as the name brand store itself. 

With Fall approaching, don't focus too much on which trends are floating around.  Some of those trends are very ill fitting on a curvy woman and it is better to stock up on the basics while adding a hint of color, pattern or personality to each outfit. 

Work Basics:  Fitted jackets, great slacks and skirts, cute flats and modest heels - It's good to have various pieces that can be mixed and matched together, that way you will never run out of things to wear.  You can always throw in various pattern tights for a fun twist in the office. 

Casual Basics:  If you are a demin kind of woman, invest in a quality pair of jeans.  It can be very hard to find jeans that fit.  I personally hate them but to each their own.  It is better to invest in a more expensive pair that fits you well because it will last longer.  If you opt for something cheaper, be prepared for it to fade and not last more than a year.  Other basics to remember are thin and thick style tops that can be layered that are various sleeve length.  Here in the North East part of the US, our Fall weather can be just about anything from somewhat warm days to very cold nights before winter sets in.  Be ready!  Hoodies and sweatshirts are great for those cool nights but look for something more put together.  Save the super casual stuff for nights in at home. 

Dressy Basics:  Wedding season isn't just once a year anymore, it can be all year round for some.  It's important to have some cocktail dresses stocked in your closet just in case.  I can't count how many times I have had to rush to a store in search of something to wear to a formal occasion.  It's a pain, it's annoying and it's unnecessary.  Buying a few key items that you can switch things up by adding a scarf, new shoes or great jewelry helps and extends the life of the items in your closet.  I like to browse and shop at the end of a season when things are on sale or already on clearance.  You'd be surprised at how a cardigan or blazer can change a dress or how opaque tights can warm you up but also slim you down.  Give a shot - be bold!

Makeup Basics:  Play with new colors that blend well with neutrals for your skin tone that can go from day to night or meetings to that great dinner date.  A time saver for your makeup routine is to do basic foundation, eye liner, mascara, and your favorite color lip gloss or lipstick.  This fall, deep crimson and various mauve's can be your best friend through either lip gloss or lip stick. 

Remember to have some fun when it comes to fashion and keep it tasteful.  It is more important to showcase who you are versus what item you have on your body.

 You are timeless and unique.  

Sunday, July 28, 2013

I Can See August Over the Mountian

With July coming to a almost rapid close, it is time to start preparing for back to school, and various Fall adventures.  Before we break out the boots, jeans, sweaters and hoodies, I want to remind you to enjoy the remainder of the month of July but also enjoy all that August has to offer.  July is a very hard month for me and with a very good friend of mine going into major surgery tomorrow morning, I am reminded yet again that life is just too damn short.  One minute you are here complaining because they forgot to add cheese the next you are laid up in a pine box.  Don’t let any moment go by without sharing your joy, love, concern for others.

It’s not too late to rock that bikini, work hard to run that 5k or ask that cute guy out who you work with.  Dive into the possible and expand your expectations.

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All hail seductive carrot.
With enough squats, you two can have thighs just like this carrot (ha!).

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Beauty Spot Check

For those brave enough to wear full face of makeup in this nasty weather I commend you.  For everyone else, here is a quick tip on looking fresh even if you aren’t feeling fresh.

Face:  Cleanse twice a day with a very mild cleaner.  Getting some cold water on the back of your neck will help cool you down as well.  Hold off on the foundation and everything else since it’s so warm (unless you are in the AC all day).  The heat is only making you sweat which means your makeup is clogging your pores even easier.  This time of year, let your skin breathe.
Eyes: Hold off on the mascara and eye liner and shadow.  My liner (even the waterproof stuff) runs into my eyes on hot days like this.  It’s annoying and pointless.
Lips:  You lipstick is going to crack and come off faster due to how much more water you are drinking due to the heat.  Stock up on some lip stuff with SPF in it or use Vaseline.  I swear by that stuff and always have a small jar of it in my bag.  It keeps your lips extra smooth for smiles and kisses.
Hair:  Throw it into a bun.  Invest in some cute accessories from the dollar store but put it up and get it off your neck.  Headbands, clips, pins – you name it, try it!   For those ladies with short hair, rock those awesome accessories while us with long hair look at you with envy for the next 2 months.  I will be back to styled, shiny hair in no time.  I can barely wait!

Stay cool, drink plenty of water and go easy on the booze.  Never forget to be you, and rock your natural beauty!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

VPL

Visible Panty Line is a constant struggle because a lot of clothing items aren't lined anymore.  Lined meaning, there is an extra layer of material between you and the garment to avoid seeing any bumps, lumps or panty lines.  They also don't make slips anymore like they used to either.  The new thing is shape-wear which I am not a fan.  I think it's confining, constricting and uncomfortable.  The closest I get is control top panty hose when it gets cooler out for more dressy and formal occasions.   

For all the other times, wearing the right underwear is crucial. 

Fabrics:
  • Cotton:  This is by far the best fabric to buy for your body.  It's also a great choice to wear under denim. 
  • Satin/Silk:  This may feel silky and smooth but is not ideal for all day wear, unless it has a cotton panel.  Yeast infections are a very real thing.  
  • Lace:  It's pretty and feminine but can be seen through almost anything.  I say keep this to lingerie unless that's the look you are going for. 
  • Polyester/Rayon:  This fabric is becoming more and more common in place of satin or silk because it's cheaper to make and produce.  The same rules apply, if it doesn't come with a cotton panel, don't bother with them.  
  • Lycra/Spandex:  It's tight.  It will stretch out faster no matter how well you wash it and it's more expensive.  You can wear this under formal dresses, semi formal wear, work clothing as well.  It doesn't breath well either, so pray there is a good A/C wherever you are going. 
Styles:

  • Hipsters:  This is my favorite style to wear as far as every day is concerned.  It sits at the top of your hips, right below your belly button.  It's comfortable, trendy and can be worn with pants, skirts, and various short styles. I wouldn't recommend it under a dress because of the dreaded "roll down" then you have to pray you have a moment to run to the bathroom to adjust yourself. 
  • Boy Shorts:  This is a fun style that a lot of people enjoy.  It can be worn under almost everything and is very comfortable.  It does allow for more coverage of your tushie and sits at your belly button.  
  • Thong:  Be careful with this style.  It might be sexy but it's not ideal to wear all day.  
  • High Waist:  This is great under dresses and dress pants.  It allows for the coverage, comfort and seamless effect.  
My rule of thumb is prepare your undergarments as well as you prepare the outfit you are wearing.  The right underwear can save you a lot of embarrassing situations in life, also can save you from doing that shuffle-walk in an effort to adjust yourself.  Invest in good quality underwear that will last a while for your formal and professional ocassions.  Do not feel like you are stuck buying from one store because there are a lot of retailers that sell plus size items.  Also, don't feel bad if you end up buying cheap, every day stuff either.  Things stretch out over time, get holes and don't fit as well as they did before.  Toss them, move on and be happy - your bottom half will thank you.  With each season, go through your drawer and discard.  You know what needs to stay and what needs to go.  

This is my faux pas with underwear done on purpose.  Yoga pants can be awesome but dangerous. Just be mindful of where your top is. That's my hip and part of my stomach. 
See that blue monster peeking out from below deck?  March back in there, mister!



Sunday, July 14, 2013

Hell of a Weekend

What a weekend. 

With all the emotions being thrown around, words being expressed and biases formed, broken and reborn, I think we need to keep something in perspective.  Love.  I'm not talking about candy, hearts and flowers - I'm talking about love where out of suffering we move on together, out of respect, we move forward and tolerance, we can find a way to live together to find peace

This kind of love finds forgiveness in a dark place called humanity.  The spectrum of light, colors and emotions -  we feel everything, even if we don't want to.  The pain I felt last night and still do, and I probably will carry some for the rest of my life because I know plenty of people who fit the description, profile, complexion of being in the "wrong" part of town at the "wrong" time.  Whatever the fuck that even means. 

Growing up religion has taught me to turn the other cheek, that these insults, and trauma are caused by individuals who are hurting from their own demons but sometimes you have to wonder if it's really the devil or their own ego?  Now that I'm an adult and have a growing and continuing understanding that there is more to life than what fills the pages of any one book.  There is a lot of truth and power to maintaining the spirit, both human and otherwise, moving forward, forgiveness, and hope and pray that something finally sparks and people will let go of the anger and hurt in their own hearts.  Life is more than the color of skin, the neighborhood in which we live and the building we walk into once a week to absolve ourselves of our transgressions. 

My spirit is low and my heart breaks for what is going to come from this situation.  I remain optimistic that good will rise to the top and there is a greater hope for the future.  Anything is truly possible. 

I ask you to just remember the small things; the pleases and thank-yous, holding doors, remembering to smile - all the small things we take for granted or can't be bothered to perform.  Don't let this just pass us by and have it turn into passing meaningless chatter. 

Let us be more.

Let this mean more.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Nail Treats

I’ve been feeling stressed out lately, mainly due to a few life issues going on for me.  Changed my polish today which always puts me into a better mood.  It’s probably more of a Fall shade but I don’t care.  I don’t see a reason in adhering to trends and seasons – if you like it and it will make you feel better, do it.

“Gorgeous” by Sinful Colors as the base layered with, “All About You” by Sunful Colors on top.  I finished with a clear coat on top for extra shine.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th to You & Yours!


It’s Independence day here in the US and most people are doing the bbq thing, worrying about how much food they should or shouldn’t cook.  I want to take a moment to remind us to remember what this day is really in celebration of and how much further we need to go in American and as Americans.  Equality is still being fought for, as is maintaining our freedom by those overseas and stationed here within the US borders.  It’s not a day to worry about how many Pinterest ideas you have for an American flag dessert or table scape; remember those who we have lost, are losing to PTSD and those who are braving the choice by enlisting.
For those sitting around enjoying a day off, reach out to those who may not have family in the area.  Fellowship with your neighbors, or make a new friend today.

Happy 4th of July everyone!   Stay safe, thankful and free.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

White Nails ?

I have seen some women with white nail polish and wanted to try it on myself.  It was actually hard to find a bottle of white polish that didn't have a pink base.  I like the outcome though.  It looks really bright paired with my summer complexion.  I think this would look good on anyone too.  I added an accent nail with silver glitter so it wouldn't look boring.  This will look pretty done any time of year too.  I think in winter I will add the silver glitter to every nail.

White polish ( Snow Me White ) by Sinful Colors
Silver Glitter polish ( Queen of Beauty) by Sinful Colors

White Nails


Have you tried the white nail look yet?  Are you willing to try it?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Best Makeup Remover? Yes


I know I have spent many hours debating on which brand to buy, which is actually worth its price, and if it really removes all the makeup as it claims.  There are different kinds of makeup remover to use.  Some will remove all of your makeup and some specify that it is only used to remove eye makeup.  We all know that it never really removes everything and you may end up with raccoon eyes before you have to wash, and in some cases scrub the stuff off your face.  We've all been there and done it.  I have to share with you a trick I discovered recently.

I'm a Mom so baby wipes are a huge part of my life.  One night, I didn't want to use my usual makeup remover because it tends to sting my eyes.  I figured I'd use a baby wipe because it was there in the bathroom.  I have to say it wiped everything off easily and without irritating my eyes or skin.  When I say everything, I mean, foundation, eyeshadow, eye liner and some mascara.  It doesn't dry out my skin either or cause any kind of reaction.  I still had to use a much smaller amount of my makeup remover on my lashes to get the rest of the mascara when I washed my face but since using less, it helped save my skin and eyes.  It's definitely worth a shot and is cheaper than most makeup remover brands.

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The baby wipe brand I buy is Target's store brand unscented wipes.  I use Avon's makeup remover.  I only buy it when they are having a sale on the product.  It's not worth the hefty price tag they put on it.  It's not too effective and gets into your eyes easily, no matter how careful you are with it.  As soon as you do remove your makeup, wash your face with a light cleanser.  I usually use baby body wash because it works very well and doesn't irritate my skin.


What is your favorite way to remove your makeup?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Weekend Wishes

What are you getting into this weekend?  I hope whatever it is, you find the joy in it.  This should be a very interesting weekend for me.  Tonight is one of my favorite nights, date night.  I love any excuse for getting dolled up for a night out!  As far as makeup goes, I’ll stick with a gold base and maroon accent for a mild smokey eye, eye liner, mascara and a soft plum lip.  It is all very subtle but I prefer my makeup like that than the shocking style.  Makeup should show off your natural beauty, not a person you aren’t.

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Cobalt Blue with lime green accent on my fingers and toes.  You can see where I made a few mistakes with the polish.  We’re only human, right? Haha

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Floral high-low strapless dress.  I got this from Walmart (yes, Walmart!).

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Cute nude, peep-toe wedges. These are from Target.

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Turquoise like necklace with matching earrings.

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Orange gemstone ring with diamond accents.  It’s mix media but it works together well.

I hope your weekend is just as beautiful!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Heat Wave Hair Watch

The past few days have been a reminder that the Summer heat is right around the corner.  This prompted me to stock up on some summer hair supplies for when it is pointless to use a blow dryer and other styling tools.  For my curly haired mavens, Dove makes a great whipped mousse product that is inexpensive.  Suave does as well and is even cheaper.  I usually finish off the style with Dove's hairspray.  

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  Whipped Cream Mousse

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Dove Hold Hairspray
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Suave Captivating Curls

Remember if you are going swimming in the pool to not add any product to your hair.  The chemicals in the pool don't mix well and will dry your hair out.  Once you are done swimming, rinse your hair out with clean water if you are able until you can wash your hair.
I usually add baby shampoo to my hair washing routine in the summer since I am washing my hair more often.  It cleans well without weighing your hair down and is inexpensive.  You don't have to buy name brand baby shampoo, the store brand works just as well.  Don't forget the conditioner either.  Chlorine dries your hair out big time.  If you are an avid swimmer this summer season, deep condition your hair every 2 weeks, everyone else, once a month is fine.  A lot of companies make a product that claims to work "the best."  Dove makes a great one that works well and isn't expensive.  You do not have to spend the big bucks for healthy hair.

Keep it simple, moisturized and healthy this summer!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Gold Fancy

This past weekend I was down in Houston, TX to see my cousin get married.  The wedding was fantastic from start to finish.  My cousin, the bride, looked amazing as well did the bridal party, groom and groomsmen.  I couldn’t help but get emotional!  With a mix of high fashion and culture, everything came together wonderfully.

I wore a dark green dress from the makers eShakti.  I paired it with a gold clutch, pearl necklace, pear stud earrings, diamond ring and gold 40s era shoes.  I’m not usually a fan of gold because it tends to blend into my skin tone rather than showcase it but it worked for this outfit.  For makeup, I went with gold and maroon on my eyelids, black liner and mascara.  My lipstick shade was in the berry family.  I was not wearing foundation because I normally don’t wear it.

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This was in the back part of the bridal suite.

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My shoes and clutch

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The pearl and diamond accent necklace with matching pearl studs.

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Diamond ring to finish off the outfit.


I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

Friday, May 17, 2013

"What Are You Doing This Weekend?"

This is one of my favorite lines in common conversation.  There is a pressure, or an impulse to round up the usual suspects in an effort to dump the week’s stress in either a happy hour situation or having a happy hour by yourself.  Either way, it’s a great stress reliever and makes us yearn for more than two days off a week to relax.  I know some who try to stuff their weekends full to the brim with endless activities then will complain about them come Monday morning.  I invite you to save one day a week for yourself.  Don’t wait until you have that “free weekend” that gets put off from month to month.  Each week, give yourself that peace and quiet where you can shut your brain down with a cup of your favorite beverage, book or movie.  They say that children can be over stimulated but I firmly believe that adults can be as well.  With all the modern advances in technology and the constant contact from those in our lives, whether virtual or real, it is time to take advantage of the “off” button.  It is time to value what once was, that is your own thoughts, your life and your goals – no matter what.

I know many religious folks that use this time as a time of reflection and worship or devotion but it is not limited to religious people.  Not even in the slightest.  Sometimes our best ideas and revelations come from that one moment where the music was turned down, a movie paused or the crowd went silent.  Take a moment for you because you are important in this picture too.

What is it you are doing this weekend?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Surviving Wedding Season

Dancing, laughing and taking too many pictures mark this time of year and the happiness that surrounds weddings.  We all love the free food, free booze and hopefully not getting stuck at a table where you don't know anyone.  I have a few tips to share on ways to make it through, while not straining your time, money and fashion.

  • Coupons:  Most couples are registered at either Bed Bath & Beyond, Target or Crate & Barrel.  Utilize their gift card options or get on their mailing lists for coupons.  Sometimes, these companies offer a discount just for buying something off a registry.  Either way, shop around, search the internet and ask store employees for any hidden discounts.  I am sure you are attending more than one wedding this season, if not this year and the cost will add up.  
  • Dess and accessories:  Respect the couples wishes on their attire information.  If the wedding is formal, wear a gown - if not, find a classic cocktail dress.  Instead of splurging on one dress for one wedding, find something that can be worked in different ways so you can use it again for another occasion.  Different jewelry, shoes, bag, or hairstyle can change a dress and make it look like another fantastic outfit.  
  • Open Bar:  Two of the best words in our world.  I love to indulge just like everyone but know your limits.  I've been the victim of this before in my life and am speaking from experience.  Maintain yourself while having a good time with limits.  
  • Destination Weddings:  If you are fortunate enough to go, turn the trip into a mini vacation.  There are numerous places that provide cost effective packages that include air fare.  Try something new while there too.  Stretch your limits and wings; you won't regret it.  
  •  Remember to have fun:  This is the most important aspect to keep in mind.  Whether you are surrounded by extended family, friends or new potential friends, make the most of the event, smile and enjoy.  

Monday, May 13, 2013

Rocket Volume? Possibly

I recently bought Maybelline's new mascara product titled, "Rocket Volum' Express." I feel the need to add some sound effects since next to the R is a rocket style flame.  How cheeky, right ?

 I can't say it worked any better than their other products really.  It goes on smooth, but it took me a while to get every lash coated.  It's noticeable in public though.  I had a few people mention my lashes saying it was noticeable, but not that they thought it was any different than before using other brands.  It goes to show you that a lot of these mascaras do the same thing and look nice,  but for the price?  I'm not sure.  I usually buy Maybelline but I'll stick with a cheaper option next time.  This was on sale at Target for under $6 this week.  Give it a shot if you are feeling brave. 


Until next time!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dating is a Dying Art

When was the last time you went on a solid date where you felt there was a connection, you actually wanted to see the person again, and you felt it could turn into a relationship? When was the last time you went on a date and projected all your thoughts and possibly derailed things after the appetizer? I know we are all guilty of having the foot-in-mouth instead of the spinach dip as the starter course. Or we are downing too many alcoholic beverages before we even learn their last name then complain that things bombed to anyone who will listen. Why are we torturing ourselves? I used to be that single lady who ordered one too many “foot-in-mouth” until I had a moment of clarity and changed my attitude. Looking back, I realized why I was attracting the wrong man and why things never developed due to how ridiculous I was being. I know that by changing a few key things, you too can find a healthy relationship that will give you a sense of pride and boost of self-confidence.

As a plus-sized lady, I fell into the thinking that I may never find the unicorn known as a “good man.” What if I’m not pretty enough or thin enough like some of my counterparts who, in my mind, fit more into what should be and not what is. I honestly have to tell you that that mentality is absolute bullshit. Men are men and they are not as discerning as women make them out to be. If a man finds you attractive, he finds you attractive. Yes, there are men who prefer a thinner woman, but sometimes they tend to be very insecure. It’s mostly due to them being worried about what their friends will think – not their own happiness. I’m not the thinnest hen in the henhouse but I have to say that I turn more heads than my slimmer counter parts. It took years for this to finally sink in but it is possible and it gave me a new sense of self-confidence. I was ready to be loved because I learned to love myself.

I empower you all to smile, be open and open-minded and confident. Learn to listen as well as communicate your desires and ambitions. Finding the right partner starts with finding yourself and loving yourself. Try not to get caught up in broken text message, email conversations, drinking too much during the dating period, being too abrasive or rushing to the future before it even gets here. Relax, have fun and let love find you because it will when the time is right.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sensual Summer Legs

I admire those that get their body parts waxed regularly.  It’s expensive but the results are amazing.  I usually stick to shaving.  I never had much luck with hair removal creams either.  I guess my hair is just too stubborn?  Who knows.  Either way, for those out there who shave every other day in the summer like I do, remember to use a fresh razor, shaving cream and a good moisturizer afterward to keep your legs smooth.

I have never found one razor brand better than another, plus most of them are very expensive.  I usually buy the target brand disposable kind.  They have a small blue circle indicator to let you know when it’s time to toss it and use a new one.  I also use Target’s brand shaving cream because it works just as well as the more expensive name brand stuff.  I also have sensitive skin and it does not irritate me either.

Post shave I use Johnson & Johnson’s baby oil gel.  I feel it keeps my legs smooth without feeling greasy like baby oil sometimes can.



Also, if you are applying sunscreen after the baby oil gel, I recommend using a spray versus the lotion like cream kind.  This way it won’t make a nasty combination on your legs.

Enjoy your summer, have too much fun and make a lot of memories!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Mama!



Mother’s Day is more than a day to honor the woman who gave you life.  This day and every day should be a day met with high praise for all Mother’s, whether they are biological or not, such as Grandmothers, Sisters, Aunts or that family friend who took the kids in despite not being “family.”  Every day should be a thank you, even if that day was a struggle.  Sometimes we have to fight through the pain to realize they only wanted what was best for us.  Sometimes that struggle was all too real and as an adult, you then realized how tough things were for her growing up and she did the best she could with the tools she had.  Life isn’t a guarantee of perfection and promises but it is possible for all to do better and be better.  

There is no specific definition or rule book on how to be a Mother.  Yes, there are numerous experts that claim they have found the formula for Motherhood but can they really measure love?  Can they really measure how many kisses given because you scraped your knee?  Or crying because you graduated high school, college or beyond?  That measure of pride and love is something no expert can compile.  It is something personal and special, that bond beyond compare.  I invite you to create something different this year for Mother’s Day.  Make a book of memories that you want to share with your Mom and turn it into a keepsake for when you have your own children.  This way you have something that can be passed through each generation as a symbol of what love is defined by in your family.  I usually make photobooks, albums or scrapbook something.  What will you do this year?

Friday, May 3, 2013

I Really Love Animals

Tiger earrings under $11 from Ashley Stewart of all places.  They are really heavy and I have yet to find a back that will support their weight.  I’m a bit upset but I love them too much to return them.  Sigh, the price of beauty.




They add a bit of style to almost any outfit, aside from formal wear.  I wouldn’t wear these for the Lord, but a dinner date with someone special would be fun, or even a girls night out.  This is the dress I wore it with.  Yes, that is my, “It’s a-me, Mario!” pose in the mirror.




Until next time!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Prom Promises and Memories


It’s that special time of year again.  Prom season!  It’s stressful and wonderful all at the same time.  There are many decisions that go into making your night something to remember.  Which shoes, dress, jewelry, makeup, bag, even which date to bring?  You want everything to be perfect on that night and most importantly, you want to have fun.

Dress:  Most proms are formal, which means you need a floor length gown.  I know there are trends of short dresses, but those are better for other semi-formal events.  Find a material that you can breathe in, it moves with your body and you are comfortable.  You will be doing a lot of moving and shaking, and sweating so keep that in mind when trying something on.  If you are going strapless, invest in a high quality bra.  This isn’t the time to scrimp.  With a higher quality bra, it will last longer making it worth the purchase.  Remember to stay in the nude hues when it comes to strapless bras.  Even if your dress is lighter in color, do not buy a white bra.  Even if your dress is black, do not buy a black bra.  This rule goes for all shape-wear too.  It should blend with your skin, not contrast.  That way, if there is any issue, no one will notice it – they will just notice how great you look.  

Look for a dress that will flatter your shape, not what is trendy.  I am not a fan of the empire waist style because it does nothing but create more folds than necessary.  Also, remember you girls are young.  You do not need anything that is too revealing or sexy.  Try to access magazines or online material to figure out which styles you like and bring those ideas with you to the store to help find the perfect dress.  This way you won’t get stressed out spending hours trying on dresses that you hate or grow to hate the process which should be a special moment for you.  Also, do not feel as though you have to spend a lot to get a lot.  If budget is a concern, consignment shops have a great selection of second hand dresses.  Sometimes they will throw in alterations for free.  Most places, if they have a seamstress on hand, will give you a discount on their services.  If they don’t, find a local dry cleaner.  They usually have someone there who works fast, cheap, and they will also clean and press your dress for you as part of the price.  

Hair & Makeup:  Keep it simple, soft and classy.  This is not the time to let your friend’s sister’s cousin twice removed practice their artsy makeup tricks on your face.  Clean face, clean hair and great natural makeup go a long way.   Less is truly more.  

Accessories:  Jewelry, shoes, bag should correspond but not overpower your outfit.  Small clutch, beautiful and tasteful jewelry and great heels or flats will complete the outfit. 
Whoever you decide to go with, remember the most important part of all, to have fun.  These moments are the ones that stick with you through your life and eventually, you will want to share them with your own children.  Make the most of the time you have and take too many pictures!  

Me (on right) and my good friend Julia at our Senior Prom June 2002