Wednesday, December 2, 2015

More Christmas Decor!

          The holidays are in full swing!  Its time to decorate your home and tree if you haven't done so already.

Do you have a theme or color scheme to decorate your home for Christmas?  
I typically find gorgeous and beautifully colored ornaments from a variety of stores.  I've collected quite many of them over the years and can't bear to part with some.  

I peruse the aisles of Target, Pier 1, Michaels and other stores to get the right color combo for my tree each year.  I consider myself to be a girly girl and my tree colors usually incorporate pinks, purples, turquoise, lime green and silver. 

Since this year is my son's last official Christmas at home I promised he could choose the colors and he decided on royal blue and gold.  I'm cool with that..except I decided to sprinkle some silver in the mix.  While I was out doing a little shopping on Sunday I picked up a few items at Michaels 50% Christmas decor sale.  The items pictured below cost me less than $20.  Because they were on sale already I didn't use a coupon.  

The first box is the exact color that I was looking for.  Then I saw the gold ornaments that reminded me of cupcakes, looking at them now,,,they sort of look like acorns. ..hahaha.  Either way, they're pretty darn cute!  Then I ran across the beads that I love and I have them in turquoise from previous years.  I will either find more ornaments in this same shade of blue or go with a variety of blues.  

Let's see how my decor progresses as I shop around at my favorite stores.  I found a Michaels gift card on my dresser that I plan to use for a few more items while their sale lasts.  It's not a big haul..but they were pretty good finds on my first trip out for decorations this year.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

New lippies.. Ulta haul

Thanksgiving is over and that pretty much means that Black Friday was upon us!!
Well I will admit that I use to be one of those crazed shoppers who practically skipped time with my family to get a jump on a crazy electronics deal.

I happened to be checking my emails and an advertisement for Forever21 popped up so I had to check it out.  I will post about that haul in another blog post.  They had some pretty decent deals.  I even caught the restock of an item I had been dying to get!  I pray that it fits right.

Saturday came and went.  I only picked up a gift card for a neighbor that moved to Texas and went to pick up a Christmas present that I had ordered the previous week.

Today, I decided not to sleep the day away and get out and pick up a few items.  I had been itching to get back to Ulta for my NYX fix.  I went to grab my coupon and noticed they had Ulta Beauty items buy two, get two free.  They had me at hello!  I've never purchased their brand of cosmetics before but it was worth a try.  I tell you, I cannot pass up a good deal.  They didn't have many of my preferred colors in stock, but I was able to pick a few shades to sample.

Check out what I snagged below:

Top left: Ulta Brilliant Color Gloss Rich Plum 12
Top Right: Ulta Matte Lip Cream Allusive
Bottom Left: Ulta Matte Lip Cream Stirring
Bottom Right: Ulta Lipstick Plum Crazy 217

In addition to the sale I used a coupon for $3.50 off $10 purchase.  My total came to $15.26. Not too shabby.  The pics may not be true color due to my lighting.  I will try to capture in daylight and repost.  I'm diggin the top right and bottom left. All products went on smoothly and felt very light.  

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What are you afraid of?

What has fear kept you from doing?  Achieving? Even attempting?

I personally have seen fear stop so many people from pursuing their dreams and doing what they desire.  Why is that?  We become afraid of the what ifs and are not able to realize that its the very thing that is stopping you from living life authentically.

I've seen fear in the form of relatives or friends who may try to dissuade you to take that leap of faith. They might not be doing this on purpose but it happens.  Just think..You have this grand idea.  I mean you can't stop thinking about it. It consumes you that you can't work your day job because of your dream job.  Then you go to share with someone and they dissect every aspect of your master plan.  They question your ideas and motives and you start doubting yourself.  They warn you of all the things that can go wrong.  And somethings are bound to go in the opposite way of what we think up in our heads, but instead of seeing that as a loss, it should be seen as a lesson. 

Fear can literally paralyze you because of the unknowns. You know what you want out of life.  But you won't go after it.  I see meme's and posts all over social media of people wishing their days away because they are not living with purpose.  How many actors, poets, singers, writers and business people have you heard say that getting to where they wanted to be in life was easy? I can assure you that they didn't have an exact plan in their mind, but the desire was so great that they had to go for it. 

I personally suffered and still to a degree suffer from fear.   Back when I was younger I had people taken away from me so I was afraid to leave those who I had left.  I didn't like change.  I played the hand that I was dealt.  I had the dream of going away to college, but in the back of my mind I couldn't imagine not living at home with my family.  I found out I was pregnant so I was slightly relieved that I didn't have to leave home because I decided to keep my baby and stay home and attend college locally.  You then start finding excuses to allow fear to keep you where you are.  We tell ourselves that once we finish this, we will be able to do this. And that continues on for so long.

The world is more transparent now..even though everything you see on social media is not truth.  But social media allows you a window into the outside world and you can see people literally pushing boundaries and stepping outside of their own boxes.  People are more and more seeking the life they love.  

I say all of this to say, stop letting fear run your life.  Don't quit your daydream.  

Thursday, November 19, 2015

No more Mockingjay..

          The last installment of The Hunger Games will be out in theaters tomorrow.  I'm so sad that there won't be anymore.  

I had the liberty to catch an advance viewing of The Hunger Games; Mockingjay Part 2 last night.  A friend of mine gifted me four passes that I just couldn't pass up.  It was a coincidence that I had just received an email from Fandango to purchase tickets to a double play premiere then I received the text message from my friend telling me she had passes.  I swear she has ESP. 

First of all, I definitely am a fan of Jennifer Lawrence.  She is very talented and I truly enjoy watching her as Katniss Everdeen.  She makes me want to learn to shoot a bow and arrow! I also just so happened to have caught up on the previous two installments over the weekend.  So I was all anxious to find out what was next in store for Katniss, Peeta and Gail.  

I haven't read a lick of any of the books so the ending was a complete surprise for me.  And now that I have seen the series, I will read the books..I know, totally backwards..but hey.  I recognized something good when I decided to catch the first installment.  Now I get to look forward to all the parts that couldn't fit into the movies.  

This movie had me wiping my tears on my sleeves a few times.  I got to see Katniss finally choose between her two loves and she finally was able to stop fighting for District 12.  I give the movie two thumbs up. I really enjoyed it...some of the scenes were a little far fetched..but definitely a good way to end such an iconic series.  Now all I need to do is learn that song, that whistle and how to keep my three fingers really close together.. I'm giggling as I type but I'm so serious!! 

The sponsors of the screening even gave us commemorative mocking jay pins. The movie is the move, go see it!  Panem!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Feeling Spec-Tacular

It's Motivation Monday!  New goals!

          I start most Mondays out with some gospel music to get me over that hump.  As I sit here blogging I'm listening to Pandora and they are playing all the songs the choir at my church normally sings. Even though I missed fellowship..I am still getting my message!!!  This music gives me strength to get through any type of day..

To get in your zone, I recommend waking up as peacefully as possible.  Yes, its Monday and the weekend is over, but make the best of it!  Go wake your kids up for school with a smile.  Offer them encouraging words when they leave out the door for school.  Make yourself a sweet, warm cup of Joe and turn on your favorite motivational or meditation sounds to get going.

I'm handling some home maintenance, helping my family with some business..and on the hunt for some reading frames.  Some cute yet, inexpensive ones to be exact. I found my first pair...and the search continues..

They cost me less than lunch....stay tuned for the link to purchase a pair of your own!

Friday, November 13, 2015

What are you wearing this Fall?..My Macy's Bootie Haul

          Ok, Lets's get into these booties!!  Like most ladies this Fall, I too am all about the Fringe.  I picked up this pair by Carlos Santana. I had to exchange them for a larger size to ensure that I could wear them with thicker socks this Winter.  These boots are a stretch for me..I usually don't go this light or with suede.  But..I loved them too much to pass them up.  Yay or Nay?
I've also been obsessed with finding some boots like the ones below since last Fall. I ran across a blog with someone wearing a pair by The Lucky Brand and I didn't want to spend over $100 so I said I would keep looking until I found some that were comparable. These are by Material Girl.  They're a little bit country and I like it!!

Lastly, I snagged these shearling lined booties by Rock Candy..I don't quite love them yet..but I needed some more short boots that gave the look of combat boots.  These were the closest and they were on SALE (ding, ding, ding).  Don't mind my silliness..I get happy when I shop LOL.  But seriously..these guys will can wear them up to hide the fluff or down to showcase it.  They're very comfortable so that's a plus.  A nice vest to rock them with will finish the look nicely..I guess I will add that to my Christmas List.
Honestly I feel like my style is all over the place these days.  Which one would you have picked?

Similar style Rock Candy boots can be found here: Rock Candy Boots

Thursday, November 12, 2015

I hear that skin is In!

          They say that skin is in.  I declare my skin looks amazing during the Spring and really does.  Maybe a shade or so darker..but yes amazing...that melanin kicks in overtime!! But lately my skin has been more acne prone and dryer than normal.  Problem is that I don't have a regular skincare routine..even though I should as a sufferer of eczema.  I simply use Olay Body Soap, Black Soap or Neutrogena Face Wash whenever I thought to buy some.  Or every now and then I use Dream Clean from Lush Cosmetics.

My lack of attention to my skin is becoming apparent to me.  My face is taking the biggest hit.  I gotta get it together.  I had this notion that the older you get the better your skin looks..ugh maybe not so much at the moment. I'm hoping my research and a little sampling of the different products out there will put me on the right path.  Even though I love me some concealer and foundation, I don't want to feel like I need them to be comfortable when going out on a daily basis.

Every one should be able to enjoy having even an skin tone and blemish free face.  So on that note I will make sure to incorporate a facial service when I splurge on a spa day as well as face masks and mud masks at home for the time in between. The masks below are ones I picked up from Kohl's and Forever21. 

Tell me your skincare secrets in the comments or via Twitter. I would love to know what works for others!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Are you in charge of Thanksgiving dinner?

Yes, its true..if you're seeing Christmas commercials and receiving Black Friday sales ads, its almost Thanksgiving!  YAY or Not?!

Are you the lucky owner of Thanksgiving dinner this year?  No worries!! It should be pretty easy.
If you're traditional, you can just go purchase your frozen turkey and fixings.  But if you are not there are plenty sites on the internet to use to create your menu.

I have relied on Pinterest many a times for regular meals so no doubt there will be plenty for your festivities.  Find your perfect poultry dish in a flash.  Venture out there and try some duck...or maybe just a dish using duck fat.

I can't wait to dig into to mashed potatoes, candied yams and some 5 flavor macaroni and cheese. Please don't forget your greens.  Here in the south we prefer collards with pork or turkey necks.  Or you could choose a nice cabbage dish.  I recently sauteed in some bacon bits and chopped onions in my cabbage...can you say gooood?!!

Lately I have been seeing links to Tasty.  It's hard to resist the comfort eating with sites like them!

If you're not an online recipe person, break out Grandma's or Auntee's old cookbooks.  Happy Turkey Day!

I plan on preparing some desserts this holiday season. Stay tuned for future posts!

Check out the links below to help prepare your holiday meals!

Tasty on Facebook
Pinterest Thanksgiving Recipes

Sunday, November 8, 2015

I thought I was a book snob..

          I somehow convinced myself that I was a "book snob".  Over the years I developed a habit of reading books and series of books by particular authors.  I would rarely sway from that approach unless a friend recommended the book or I had just heard so much about it that I had to see what the fuss was all about.  

Well last Spring Break as I made my last minute Target run for travel sized toiletries and whatever else I thought was worthy of tossing in my card..I happened upon an end cap with a few clearance books.  They were probably purchased online and then returned to the store, because they were marked down under $3 each.  I get uber happy when I can buy books dirt cheap even if I don't plan to read them anytime soon.  I've always been a book hoarder and I'm proud to admit it..(insert shoulder shrug).  

I ended up reading one of the books a few months back and got enrolled in a book club because I mailed in this postcard for some free books.  I'm laughing inside because I should really start reading the fine print. Before I knew it I had read and loved the book and signed up for that darn book club and got 5 more books in the mail.  That book was a Harlequin Romance novel.  

I still haven't read all books that were sent to me.  I have since paid whatever I owe that book club..I don't like a regular memberships because I am such a random reader and I love the library.  But after reading a few of Susan Mallery's books, I am no longer one of those people who says oh I don't like those gushy Harlequin Romance books..because obviously I now do.  I had the notion that I couldn't relate to those books as an African American reader because I have a picture of Fabio on the covers imprinted on my brain..but I can.  (and for those who don't know who Fabio is..Google him..I'm an 80's baby). I will remove my snob hat for now.  I've even gone to my local college library looking for more of Susan's books.  But honestly, the writing was great.  The characters were cute and likable and who doesn't love love? 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Are you having a hard time focusing on your short-term goals?

          If you are having a hard time focusing on your short term goals it may be that your life is full of clutter.  You can't properly function when you have lots of little things that are in your way. These little things left unhandled can become big things over time.  Before hibernation time settles in. Lets get going!

It's fall...for me that involves a lot of soup cooking, television watching and nap wanting.  This time of year can quickly derail any short-term goals you have planned for yourself.  I mean lets be realistic here..who doesn't want to curl up with a warm cup of coffee and a good book? I see your virtual hands up. 

Don't fall into the trap.  Wake up each morning and jot down your goals on a note pad (five of them is a good number).  Each day, plan to knock out at least three of those things.  Whatever item/goal that you don't complete rolls over to the next day.  Before you know it, a week has gone by and you are well on your way to a more organized and accomplished you.  These things can be business, life organization or home project related that you have been delaying.

I give this advice as well as I am practicing it myself.  I realize that I receive way too many emails.  I am beginning to unsubscribe from emails that I skim over on a daily.  Also, I've begun deleting ancient emails..Just today I am all the way back to unread or junk emails from 2012.  Knowing better is doing better.  Don't put it off-start today!!

Next up is de-cluttering my papers..I'm on my way to some guilt-free coffee and FICTION!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What's your favorite "F" word?


                  So it seems that I haven't penned a blog post in a very long time.  I had promised myself that I would do better with adding content and doing so on a regular basis.  Well-you know what happens.  My full-time job has me extra busy these days.  And my son is in his senior year of high school (insert Mommy tears). If you have children, you should know that preparing a teen for college and adulthood is a full time job also.  College visits, football camps, prep testing, studying etc is in full swing.

                  Even with all of my other responsibilities I feel that I must maintain some sort of focus on my own goals and aspirations.  I finally completed my Associates Degree in May of this year!! Yay me.  Now back to the business of building my FUTURE.  Right about now, that is my favorite "F" word.  I have been menially working on my first fiction novel.  No more excuses.

                On Periscope, Instagram and Facebook (yes I still like Facebook) there are constant reminders of people building their businesses, creating careers for themselves and leaving corporate America.  I've been putting a lot more thought into the decisions I make to prepare myself for my next chapter. Sometimes social media can catapult you towards figuring out your life or it can easily distract you from it.  I like to think I use it for inspiration and motivation.  I stay up at night with ideas for all the things I want to create and do. What are your plans for your future?