Flowers of Paradise Lunch Bag

Flowers of Paradise Collection

Canvas Lunch Bag – $15.99

Found here

  • 12.5″ x 8″x 5.5″ canvas
  • Roll to close with secure velcro
  • Phthalate, BPA and Lead-Free

 

Looking for something unique to bring to the office?  Maybe your child wants a different kind of lunch bag for the school year.  This great, unique item with custom artwork is a fine selection for any age group.

Make the most out of your meals on the go!

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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.

Continue reading “Dating Down the Rabbit Hole”

Product Review – 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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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! 

Is 30 The New 20? 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!

IMG_3461Me at 29

SRPromMe at 18

From Caked to Cupcake

Sitting at your vanity, calmly applying the face you want to wear with the perfect light highlighting your visage  – Does this really happen to anyone?  My usual makeup routine is sandwiched between the other million things I have to do before I’m out the door.  That goes for any time of day too, even if I’m going out for the evening.  I specifically want to mention eyeshadow.  I absolutely love eyeshadow and using various colors to create a new shade or new look to compliment my outfit.  I’m a true artist and use my face as yet another pallet.  Does this mean everyone should have animal print eyelids?  No.

First things first, remember your audience.  What does that mean?  Is it a wise idea to cake on the makeup, go heavy on the lids for an important meeting or meeting new clients? No, not at all.  For most, if not all, work settings, it is truly best to stay as natural as possible, when it comes to your eyes.  Save the bright blues and coppers for a night out on the town.  A simple soft shade,  liner and great mascara go a long way versus trying to “express yourself.”   Even if your boss is more lax and encourages you to express yourself; still play it safe.  You never know who you will encounter and what new connections / networking can be made.

What about that night out?  Again, know your audience.  Are you going on that first date?  Play with colors but stick to something low key that enhances your natural beauty.  I don’t think he or she would appreciate dating a Monet painting – they should be getting to know you.  What if you’ve been married for what feels like forever?  Break out your colors and play around until you find a combination you love.  Spice things up, have fun – be someone different that night.  Just remember that too much really is too much and caked on isn’t cute.  I call it the “Cupcake” alternative.  It is just enough without being too much.

Also, don’t break the bank in search of the best eyeshadow.  The prices vary from very inexpensive to very expensive, and now there are brands that claim to last longer than 5+ hours on your face without issue.  I don’t recommend wearing the same makeup longer than 10 hours.  Your skin needs to breathe – but that is another topic altogether.  Do make sure you test products out to find out what works best on your skin.  I haven’t found that expensive brands work better than inexpensive ones, so don’t feel the need to splurge (unless you want to).  Don’t be afraid to try new colors either!  Mix, match and be fabulous!  The same rules apply to the brushes.  I find my cheap brushes do their job well and clean very easily so I don’t waste endless q-tips (I call them Q-Tip$) in the process.

Take a risk, beauty, don’t always be on your guard.  Life is too short to go along with the crowd.

Stay beautiful!  xox

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.