posts in category beauty

Sunday, September 13, 2020


 It's funny how the spirit soars, the animal body stands erect, and good moods prevail...only to slowly deflate as the weeks wear on. Last week, I was on top of the world, I loved everyone, and felt confident in all that I did. This week, though, I have felt myself falling slowly. Just a downward float back into the land of insecurity.

I chose A Mighty Queen under the impression that I would be writing articles of success and inspiration. That is what the people want. People want a sure-footed leader with straight answers. To be such a person requires such self-denial however. Self-denial which smothers the soul over time. Plus, I used to always sing, "Gonna be a Mighty Queen," because I have no desire to be a king. I like girlyness.

I knew I was falling when I found myself chuckling angrily when someone snubbed me as I said Hello. Now, I know there are a hundred reasons why someone wouldn't return a greeting, but my ego was hurt, and I jumped into self-protection. Ten years ago I would have been disappointed in myself for my lack of control and letting the situation get to me and being mean. Five years ago, I would have been disappointed but understanding and forgiving of myself. Now I am understanding, but I also hold myself to a higher standard. I should have just let my embarrassment in the minute wash away and move on past. 

There are times I look about me and I see how mean people can be. How self-righteous and angry and gossiping and hurtful. I find myself standing there wondering why I ever thought they were cool or admirable or hoped to be friends with them. They are no better than me. They might play the game better, but inside their hearts are just as tainted as everyone else's. It's so disappointing when the facade of idealism wears away and you see people for the selfish, broken souls they are. I guess we all are. 

I feel so fragile today. Every word and expression, every phrase and action is sifted through searching for the needle. And sometimes the sharp needle can always be found. 

And the work piles up around me and I don't want to do it. I want to escape, but I have no escape. I am slowly untwisting my heart strings from my novel having fallen "deeply" in love with a fictional character and fictional life, and am waiting quietly for the surging emotions bubbling over to calm and slowly drain away. I did this to myself, and damn, if it wasn't fun, but returning to homeostasis is a must, I suppose.

And at least another week of falling awaits me, and I think that someday, in a few years time, perhaps this rise and fall won't rule my life anymore, and somehow that saddens me. Who will I be then without the ebb and flow of powerful hormones coursing through my body. Not to mention how rapidly my face will fall. I think about it. I have reached the age that it doesn't matter anymore. The imagined weight loss and tummy tuck and breast enlargement and nose reduction, all the lovely things I was going to do to be just a wee bit cuter are really irrelevant at this point. Nobody cares. And I stand here, shaking in my raw soul, aware of my meager accomplishments, aware of my transparent weaknesses, embarrassed by my failings, and just..wait.. For the clock to turn around again, for the sunlight to burst through once more. It will come. And I will tell you joyful stories of strength and peace.

Friday, July 17, 2020

5 Things You Should Know About Life by 30

Life is fantastic. It is an emotional roller coaster filled with ups and downs and sometimes it simply feels too hard. I was walking the halls of the building I am working in, and found myself envying the position and opportunities other people have. And that's when I had to take myself in hand and get tough. Envy might be useful for just a brief moment, but Envyland is no place to live.

Fighting Tooth and Nail

There are so many things I wish I had learned early in life. Some people appear to be born with an inner sweetness and fortitude which helps them navigate the wilderness of life and they appear on top early and stay on top. Others of us had a lifetime of the wrong kind of training forming our brain patterns in ways which seemed beneficial at first, but eventually led us deeper into the fog and away from civilized life (meaning acceptable norms and behavior). 

I am from the second camp. I have used tooth and nail to drag myself (along with the quiet helpful hands of those who have guided me tenderly and forgivingly) out of the self-imposed wilderness into, well, maybe the edge of the woods.  Yes, my mistakes have been totally humiliating, but no, they aren't who I am. I am so much more than just the bad. So I wanted to share some of the thoughts on life I have been having. To some of you, they may seem blindingly obvious. To others, the lesson is still buried in your subconscious waiting for the right time to flip the switch on to self-realization. 

5 Things You Should Know About Life by 30 (or earlier)

Note: You'll notice I have 30 instead of the 40 in the infographic. After reflecting on it, I realized I may have learned the lessons late, but learning them early is, naturally, preferable.

1. Forgiveness is key to happiness- This is one  idea that has been brought up time and time again, but being able to forgive people is essential for a happy life. Forgiveness doesn't mean letting someone hurt you over and over again. You need to do what you need to do to set and enforce your own boundaries for safety and peace of mind. But forgiveness means allowing someone to make their own mistakes without letting the choices they made blacken your heart forever. It is hard not to hold a grudge. Sometimes not holding a grudge can feel like weakness. It can feel like you are letting people walk all over you. But holding a grudge is like a cancer, encroaching upon your heart, eating away at the happy possibilities for the future. Bitterness can feel very right, but bitterness is the language of the ego and the ego is a child. The ego doesn't necessarily have your best interest at heart, even though it will present itself as doing so. Like a pleading child, the ego will tug at your emotions, begging to you avenge wrongdoings against you. But as long as you listen to ego, and struggle to hold anger and hate close, you will be hurt. Learn to forgive.

2. You can't always get what you want- I know it is shocking. It is even more so when others seem to have a golden lighted path leading the way into greatness with strong hands lifting them up along the way. Life doesn't seem fair. Meanwhile you find yourself striving and stumbling, and that which you want just seems to be out of reach. Like grudges, this can lead to a deep and dark bitterness. Learning to visualize the bitterness and anger being washed away has been very helpful to me. When I feel the burden building up on my shoulders I like to imagine golden rays of sunshine lighting my head with warmth as turquoise foaming waves crash gently against my shoulders. Lifting my burden, I am left with all that truly matters. These external desires will all dissipate eventually. The world itself will some day disappear. Learning to find peace and joy with what is inside, with what is real, is the key. 

3. You get to determine your worth- Noone else gets to decide your greatness. Not your parents, not your boss, not your lover. If you are happy with who you are and what you have accomplished, you are a success. Maybe your parents dreamed of you walking the halls in a white coat with a stethoscope wrapped around your neck. But your heart lights up at the smiling faces of your preschool students each day. You are a winner! Perhaps your boss doesn't think you are worthy of her inner circle- but your job gives you time to go home and paint spectacular paintings which thrill your soul. Winner. Maybe your lover wants you to earn more money and bring up their lifestyle, but peace is your ultimate goal. You get to make that choice. This doesn't mean you should be a jerk and not listen to input from others or continue to be valuable in the jobs and family roles that you are responsible for. It means not allowing someone outside of you to dictate how you feel about who you are and the value you bring to this world. That's up to you. 

4. Life is incredibly short- It's really a blink of an eye in the eternities of time. Balance wisdom with childlike curiosity. Save for retirement as early as you can. If you are in your 20's, start now! Don't put it off one more year. Take that income tax refund, or next raise and start investing it right away. There are a myriad of books available to help you get started. At the same time, have fun! Take that vacation. If you are like most people you will have to choose between experiences and things. I can't make that choice for you. My husband and I have chosen an older home with a lower price tag so we have more money for traveling and experiencing the world. If your heart lies in aesthetics, you might prefer living in a beautifully decorated home more than taking a vacation. Only you can decide what your values are. Do some soul searching-discover your values-what matters to you-and start making choices which honor those values. Don't wait. You can always start planning for your amazing life today.

5. Make the effort- If you want to connect with someone, make the first move. Send a text, call, stop by and visit. The worst that can happen? Well, I guess they could go on a radio show and share your heartfelt attempts in a mocking manner, but is that likely? And are they worth your time if they mock you? Take a deep breath and reach out. You might be the light of someone's day. Make the effort in all that you do. Relationship, work, play, rest. Don't be afraid of failure, hiding behind mediocrity, excusing your flaws away. Love yourself immensely and enough to keep striving towards the best version of yourself. Remember number 4. When you have decided your values, go full-force into attaining them. If you screw up, remember number 1. Forgive yourself. We are all learning. We are all perfect in our imperfections. Then stand back up and try again. I won't promise you will reach some arbitrary goal, but I will promise if  you don't try for what you want, regret will sink deep into your bones.  

At some point, life is painful for all us. But it can also be very rich, very rewarding, and very, very good.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Watching The Book Thief-Are sad films hygge?

As the credits rolled on The Book Thief film, my husband and I listened to the haunting music and wiped our tears, faces screwed up. I felt a deep feeling of contentment while my husband said incredulously, "That's cozy?" I had been in charge of choosing a cozy film, so I choose The Book Thief because I think it's beautiful and cozy. I love the run-down house, looking so tidy and clean. I love the sadness and the narrator and all the other characters and just...I enjoy it. My husband agreed it was good, but to him it was depressing and not cozy.

I find myself wondering...what do you think? Do you find beauty in the sad? Do sad movies make you feel better or worse? 
A list of my favorite movies shows I definitely love films which tug at my heart. Out of Africa, The English Patient (though that episode of Seinfeld forever makes me self-conscious for liking it), and many more top this list. If I don't ugly cry-is it even good? I am exaggerating of course. I like many movies which don't make me cry. But the movies which stir my soul (and honestly, The Book Thief is only good, not a favorite), are the ones in which joy and sorrow are intertwined like shimmering golden and silvery threads accenting the fabric of life, creating the richness and depth of experience which is life itself (which by the way, was not a very good movie).

Sunday, April 26, 2020

My Review of Staying Stylish by Candace Cameron Bure

woman sitting on wall during during daytime
Photo by Tamara Bellis on Unsplash

This blog contains affiliate links.

Candace Cameron Bure's Book (with Rebecca Matheson), Staying Stylish, published in 2017 by, was on my quick read list today. For me, a fashion/style book doesn't require reading word for word. The subtitle of this book is Cultivating a Confident Look Style, and Attitude. The book contains three parts: Fashion, Skin Care, and finally, Health, Fitness and Spirit.

Note: The cover price on the book reads $22.99. Amazon is offering it heavily discounted.

I personally love me a good fashion/beauty book. Self-help and self-improvement books have been on my menu since elementary. Sometimes it exasperates my husband who seems to think they are below me, but he doesn't get it. I enjoy reading fluff books, just as he likes listening to music, and I have no apologies to offer for my little pleasure. The equivalent of bubble gum pop, top 40 dance jams (yeah, I just said that), or dare I say it? Bouncing around the Room, these books are relaxing good time read.

In the fashion section, we have Candace modeling classic basics. Let's be honest. She is just so cute! It's hard to believe looking at the photos she is only 5'2". She must have to stick to a depressingly low calorie intake to stay so slender. If you have never read a fashion book, then there might be some new information, but otherwise I just enjoyed getting inspired by the pictures. Most books give advice on how to build a capsule, which I felt was lacking in this book. To me staying stylish would include on advice on what is flattering rather than telling someone to try on what is flattering and/or get it tailored. While that is part of the equation, most people want a little more guidance before heading to the store. Also some discussion about color choices would have made it even better. A lot of people struggle with putting together a thought-out mix-and-match wardrobe.

 The Skin care portion was pretty straight forward. Candace shared some of her products and routines. I only skimmed that part. I have my routine down already. There was information and product recommendations for makeup, which again, would probably appeal to the young, or those who want to feel REALLY in touch with Candace through products.

 I totally skipped the exercise section, but it consisted of Candace holding weights in her hand and getting in various positions. She definitely does look toned! Where's my chubby cheeked sister from the 90's?

The nutrition information was great. I loved the idea of carrying a water bottle, although as a teacher, it doesn't seem like the best way to get through the day (90 minute block scheduling)... But her recommendations for healthy eating on the go were helpful. Tuna and salmon packs are great ideas which I never think to consider. I particularly liked the easy-grab meal and snack ideas, because so many book incorporate complicated menus and recipes-and I just don't have time for that in my life.

Finally, the suggested for nurturing your spirit were right on. From journaling to reading to prayer to giving back, Candace devotes a from a few paragraphs to a few pages for various activities designed to nurture your soul. Most of my free time is devoted to nurturing the spirit (Hello, Blog!), so while I didn't find anything new, it is always appreciated. I gotta admit after reading Candace's selection of favorite books, I found myself wondering if reads all that much, but hey! she is a working actress, she doesn't have to be a total book nerd.

I think the target audience for this book would be women in their upper 20s and 30s.  If you are Candace fan,  you will enjoy the cute outfits and her big smile plastered on numerous pages. If you are don't know a lot about wardrobe planning or want to have her fitness moves in an accessible place, buying the book might be good for you. For myself, it was a great library book and I enjoyed the hour I spent flipping through it!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Book Review ~ Bliss Happens

Photo by Francisco Delgado on Unsplash

This blog contains affiliate links for the kindle version of the book in review. I use the kindle app on my phone and love it!

I was perusing the library for some, "Oh my goodness, they are about to shut down the town" reading books last month, when I came across the book Bliss Happens by Kym Douglas. The subtitle was "the six-week plan to a happier, prettier, thinner, and richer life!"

Now I love a serious book, but I am in no way opposed to fun and light reading, especially when it promises so much! When I finally dug into it. I was hooked. I quickly read through the book in one day.

Kym's writing style is so girl-next-door friendly you will find yourself loving her in spite of any jealous, catty tendencies you  might have simmering under the surface. She may have been kissed by the good luck star (is that a thing?), but if her real-life persona is anything like her book personality, she probably earned it. She is just so fun! 

The book starts out with  a quiz to determine how blissful you are, then breaks off into other parts which include: Beauty Bliss, Living Bliss, and the 30-Day Bliss plan. I quickly tried out some of the beauty ideas which included brushing my teeth with strawberries and smearing lemon slices along my arms to lighten the  age spots, um freckles. Now I can't remember if I read that in the book or if I was just finishing my morning hot water with lemon and found myself overcome with inspiration on natural treatments, but it was fun. It gave my arms a taut feeling for several hours, which I enjoyed, and I tasted sweet and sour, too!

Her life and momming advice was sensible. The food plan sounded delicous and if I stuck to it, I am sure the pounds would melt away. I didn't go through the day-by-day plan yet, but it seems reasonable, and honestly, I adored the alternative exercise ideas such as walking the dog, giving your parner a massage, and having a living room dance party. Really, if you can't follow this exercise plan, you probably aren't even trying.

The only caveat I found was her suggested at ditching coffee for her minty lime drink in the morning. I am just not there yet. I am not sure I ever want to be there, but the drink itself sounds like a treat!

If you are sitting around with only the grocery store pickup as occasional comfort I suggest following the affiliate link above, snatching the book to read on a free Kindle app, and planning out some homemade beauty bliss!