Monday, September 15, 2014

Fall beauty look

My fall makeup look

Today was the first true Fall like day here in Georgia. The temperature is 72 degrees but it feels chilly to me. Before you tell me that 72 degrees isn’t cool, please understand that I spent Saturday in the beaming hot sun enjoying a concert in 90 degree plus weather. Sweat was rolling down my face but I do enjoy heat much more than cold. I was hoping that we would gently ease into Fall but if today is any indication, the Fall has arrived with a vengeance and the time has come for me to put away all of my sundresses and shorts!

One thing that I do like about the Fall is changing up my make-up. I do like the richer hues that are suited for cool weather and this Fall is no exception. I was able to attain some very reasonably priced things from Walmart that will carry me straight through the winter. This Fall it is all about the cat eye and smoky hot lips. Dark lips are totally in (But note - I am not a fan of the blue lip thing that is happening. I think it is a complete fashion don’t. Just my humble opinion but I have yet to see it look good in real life. I think it is best left on the runway or in high fashion magazines. Some things are NOT to be emulated).

For my Fall look today I focused on deep purple. I love purple, it is my absolute favorite color. My guest room is purple, my bedroom is lavender, I simply LOVE purple! Since it is Fall I decided to experiment with purple! I start by keeping my eyes fairly neutral with a pop of purple on the outer lid. The wow factor comes in with my purple lip! 

What I like about this look is that I can wear it during and by intensifying the color smoothly transition into night. To ensure my eye shadow stays in place, I start with Hard Candy’s Eyes the Limit Eye Shadow primer ($5.00). It minimizes creasing (I actually haven’t had any creasing using this product) and it helps the eye color pop. I followed by using two Hard Candy pallets - naturally gorgeous ($6.00)  and smoke out ($6.00). Naturally gorgeous has colors to help achieve the perfect nude look and smoke out assists with the smoky eye. I used a brown for my entire eyelid. I followed by highlighting the center of my lip with metallic gold. I moved on to smoke out and used the deepest purple for the outer corners of my eyes. I used white for my inner corner, doing this helps brighten my eyes. I used a blending brush and blended completely.

For my liner I used old faithful - Maybelline’s waterproof Ultra Liner ($5.97). I love it because the brush gives you the ability to make as thick or thin a line as you like. I am into the cat eye so I took the liner out past my eyelid to achieve the look. For my mascara I used Hard Candy 1.000 lashes fiberized lash weave mascara ($6.00). I like this a lot! The fibers help my lashes look longer. For my cheeks I used Hard Candy’s  Blush Crush Baked Blush in Bomb Shell ($7.00)

My lips are the focal point of this look. I used Hard Candy’s Shadowholic 12 hour waterproof eye crayon in Purple Rain($5.00). Yes, I know, an eyeshadow on the lips, but believe it or not it works extraordinarily well. I top it off with a little gloss and I am ready to go! If you’d like to see how I applied everything take a look at my video below!

I really like this Fall look and am happy with my Hard Candy Pallets. They have 10 colors in each and enough variety for me to create numerous looks for a minimal investment. Bring on the Fall and Winter, I am make-up ready!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Dr. Oz in Atlanta! Bringing Healthy Back #DrOzOn2

My mom loves Dr. Oz. Whenever she is in town she watches his show religiously. Although I don't watch television often, I do like to catch The Dr. Oz show because it is so informative and inspires me to continue living my healthy lifestyle. Here in Atlanta starting on Monday, September 8th at 3PM the show is moving to WSB-TV Channel 2. I am especially excited because on Saturday, September 13th “USANA Presents: Bringing Healthy Back with Dr. Oz.” Health Expo will be held here in Atlanta! The expo is sponsored by
Channel 2 WSB-TV 
in conjunction with
Piedmont Hospital, Alere, Covidien, and Linx. During the Expo there will be "90 Minutes to a Healthier You" shows that have an all star lineup of experts - including Dr. Oz who will share tips and advice on health, fitness and nutrition. The shows are from 11am-12:45pm and 2pm -3:45pm.  

Event Details

USANA Presents: Bringing Healthy Back with Dr. Oz

Location: Downtown Hilton

255 Courtland Street, NE, Atlanta GA

Time: 9am-5PM

Registration: The Expo is free but registration is encouraged! If you want to attend 90 Minutes to A Healthier You (details below) registration is REQUIRED! Click here to register

WSB-TV Anchors (Jovita Moore, Justin Farmer, Karen Minton, Katie Walls, Glenn Burns, Linda Stouffer) will be at the Health Expo and you can meet them! Jovita and Justin will also be MC’ing the “90 Minutes to a Healthier You” show here are some details on the lineup!

  • David Buer, Atlanta-based Sharecare Fitness Expert and celebrity trainer of people like Tyler Perry and Joey Lawrence, will also attend and demystify frustrating fitness myths and misconceptions about working out.  He will also motivate you to adopt a more active and fun lifestyle with simple and effective workout routines that you can do anywhere without any equipment.

  • Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, Chief Doctor at Sharecare, will show you how to use health management gadgets, use your smartphone as a personal health consultant, and demonstrate free health apps to help your health needs.

  • Dr. David Wentz, CEO of USANA Health Sciences (a nutritional supplements company) and author of The Healthy Home, will point out the simple ways to protect your family from hidden household dangers.

  • Chefs Crystal Hoang and Seth Hendricks (of the restaurant Goin’ Coastal) will give Southern favorites a healthy makeover to keep the dishes low in fat and calories, but high on flavor.

And by attending the expo you have a chance to meet Dr. Oz! At the Health Expo, WSB-TV will host a Twitter contest for those who are on-site. Two people who tweet the most about the Health Expo will get to meet Dr. Oz. More information about the contest will be revealed at the Health Expo.
Follow the social conversation at #DrOzOn2.

I'm excited and the expo and really looking forward to meeting Dr. Oz!
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Disclosure: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post. All opinions are my own. 


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Let there be light: Depression, dancing and great friends!

Music makes me high!

The past two weekends have been incredible! They were filled with friends, family, fun, laughter and dancing. Lots and lots of dancing! This has been a turning point of sorts for me because over the last four months or so I’ve been struggling with dysthymia ( otherwise know as chronic depression). This is nothing new for me, I’ve battled with it on and off since childhood. It manifests in general malaise, over indulgence and lack of motivation.  Although I’ve taken medication in the past, for two years I’ve been able to keep depression at bay by exercising; however this time around I lost the motivation to get up and do it. So, I spiralled down into the abyss while keeping up the pretense of things being generally okay.

Familiar with the cycle, I know I’ve made some poor decisions but I have been able to stay afloat which is meaningful. I am sure you are wondering how this links to my excellent weekends, well, being surrounded by my friends and keeping my soul filled with music has helped me to get back on track. My dysthymia has not gone away but I have become more organized and motivated which ultimately will lead to physical exercise. And the endorphins? Well they keep me level and hopefully I will return to my normal self fairly quickly.

Ivan and I with city lights

Last weekend I was visited by my college friend Ivan who helped me tremendously (Ivan is an exceptional graphic artist and web designer. I’m not biased - well maybe a little - check him out if you are looking for great work!)  We spent the majority of our time together painting.  An ominous task considering the sheer size of the place and our limited time but we did it. I have to give him props.  One day I was talking to him about living in my house for 7 years and never making it a home (only my son’s room and the guest room are painted). He volunteered to visit and help transform my house into a home.

I get by with a little help from my friend! 
After about 15 hours of labor, the finished product! 

I am absolutely enamored with my new room. The bright yellow and lavender colors make it almost impossible for me to stay in bed upon waking. We used Behr Premium paint and the walls are just fabulous even with only one coat of paint! In addition to painting,  Ivan and I enjoyed sushi (my favorite!), celebrated his birthday (and a reward for his hard work) at my favorite seafood restaurant Lure. We also  spent some time with my friends. An absolute ball and believe it or not, being “busy” helped me get motivated in ways I never imagined. I am going to tackle my closet next but will NOT post a before photo because I can’t let you in on ALL the crazy! The only thing that was missing from an otherwise perfect weekend was dancing. But Labor Day weekend made up for it!

I’ve spoken about my love of dance in the past but I was fully emerged in music, fellowship and dancing this weekend. House in the Park is an annual event that culminates with a huge bbq/cookout/dance party in Grant Park. But for the past three years “Weekender Events” have been held starting the Thursday before the big event. I wasn’t able to get out Thursday (sadly I missed the Prince party) and Friday but I was busy through Labor Day! 

I started by dancing at my girlfriend Allison’s event Celebrate! A Day Party that is not to be missed if you are ever visiting Atlanta. I started dancing around 5 and didn’t stop until the party ended at 10pm!
I moved on to two more parties (conveniently located across the street) Sounds of the City and The Return of KemeticJust. I stayed out until 1:45am. I did have dinner between Celebrate and these parties but I’d say that was just an hour. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE to DANCE? 

Dancing early in the festivities HITP
Sunday was House in the Park (HITP), it was hot as HADES but I loved it. It was like a college reunion, bbq and dance party. What’s not to like?

I visited friends, ate, drank and was merry! Reminiscent of Christmas in August! I had a ball. After the event ended at 8pm, I went home took a shower and a disco nap then hit the streets at 11 for the after party. I literally did not leave the dance floor except to get some water - TWICE and closed the place down at 3AM. But I wasn’t done yet! On Monday, I went to the Soundtracking of our lives Tour Brunch Party featuring all women DJs.

DJ Lynnée Denise was on FIRE! 

I did rest up during the day so I only made it for an hour but I heard DJ Lynée Denise spin and it was bananas! Check out the video below and check out a few of my moves. Allison shot it and says I have energizer bunny inside of me, I'd venture to say I have two or three! Dancing is my favorite exercise and I go HARD!

Oh these past two weekend have given me LIFE! I’d almost forgotten how GREAT friends and awesome music can affect my mood. As a result of theses weekends things around here have changed. I have awakened every morning to a beautiful room that gives me the energy I need to start my days. I listen to house music and get my groove on which activates me mind, body and soul. And I think I am finally reaching the light at the end of tunnel. For this, I am grateful!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Duck Tape School Supplies {DIY}

There are some who say Duck Tape can be used for everything! I know people who use it for repairs and I’ve used it for things ranging from decorating a pumpkin, homemade maracas and making my son a folder for his school papers. Annually Duck Tape holds a contest for people making prom dresses/formal gowns with this material! Folks are really creative and with the multiple designs available the sky really is the limit.

In the past I’ve done a tutorial showing how to make a folder decorated with Duck Tape for the school year. I had to make another this year for my son and you can check out my post about how to make it. This year I also wanted to add a little something special with Duck Tape and so I made a pencil holder for my son. I must admit that I liked it so much I ended up making my own and plan on using it in my purse to hold my essential makeup supplies! So you may be wondering how to make this multi-use pouch. No worries, it is simple!

You start with your favorite design of DuckTape, in this instance I used flames. My son loves Hot Wheels and this design is reminiscent of the brand. I also needed a ziplock bag, I used a quart sized Hefty ziplock bag. This way my son (or I) can fill the pouch without worry that it will open. And the Duck Tape reinforces it so sharp pencils or pens don’t damage the pouch.

I take the tape and use it horizontally on the bag. I try to use one long continuous piece of tape for each row and eyeball it. If you want to be more precise, you can measure the bag and cut the Duck Tape, taping front and back until the pouch is completed.
And that is it! Making a pencil case/pouch is easy and fun. This is a craft that your child can make and depending on age, can do it completely without supervision. Best of all? The mess is minimal! I really like this craft because it provides your child with a one of a kind pencil case handmade by you!

Healthy Lunch Ideas {video}

Neat-Oh The Picnic lunch box and Lunch blox

My son has always been a picky eater. There are times when he is willing to expand his palate just a teeny little bit and I am joyous. Most times it doesn’t last too long. Something he liked last week can be on his “I don’t eat it list” today. It used to really bother me but after speaking to his pediatrician many years ago and being told he would eat when he was hungry. Well, I simply provide him with the food I know he will eat (unless he changes his mind) and hope for the best.
For me this means very rarely can I do cute sandwiches - he doesn’t eat sandwiches of any kind! No pb & j, no tuna, NO SANDWICHES! So it is important for me to be creative, sometimes slip something new into his lunch and hope for the best.

On my last visit to Walmart headquarters I was introduced to a ton of fun lunch box ideas. Sadly, I will have to do those with someone else’s kid because my son just ain’t having it! However, I am ecstatic about the actual lunch  boxes. My son has been excited about using his Neat-Oh The Picnic Lunch Box and Placemat He absolutely loves it and so do I. The lunch box provides all the room needed for his lunch but also opens out so that he can have a place to eat his lunch. I think it is a brilliant idea!

Next up is the Rubbermaid Lunch Blox ($7.97). This is a great compact lunch kit. It comes with an ice block that you can freeze nightly to keep your child’s lunch chilled during the day. It also has compartments that you can fill with the various foods your child enjoys. It basically is a Bento box and I know creative parents will have a field day using it. My favorite aspect of lunch blox is that each compartment snaps in to the ice block and the largest compartment has removable sections in the event you want to use the entire thing to hold a sandwich. I have to note of course that this is reusable so no waste like when using disposable sandwich or snack bags.  Speaking of resusable, you should check out the Lunchkins resuable lunch bags. All summer we used these for my son’s lunch.  Here is a video I made showing how I fill the Lunch blox with healthy foods my son will eat.

Although I do allow my son treats, I keep his meals healthy most of the time. He loves chicken nuggets and the Simply Smart chicken tenders from Purdue are my choice from him. They are free of the additives that concern me with other frozen strips.

I think this is a great alternative to me actually cooking chicken strips for him. I also like the Great Value Protein bars ($2.50) He has snack time at school and I like this option because he gets a boost of protein and hopefully a zing for his brain power! I give him Mott’s fruit snacks for dessert and as a side he has baby carrots. I usually include a fresh fruit and strawberries are one of his favorites. I rotate his fruit on a daily basis and sometimes substitute it with fruit and veggie mix that I know he likes.

Lunch time preparation could be stressful but in my household we keep things pretty simple. As my son matures I’m sure there will be additions to this particular meal but in the meantime I indulge his wishes!

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