I Wear wet n wild


I’ve been a make-up wearing girl longer than my parents have allowed. I enjoy makeup and I’m not ashamed to say it! Knowing I’m beautiful without an enhanced facial canvas, I simply enjoy the creativity the colors and custom-blends bring me.

Many times people remark that they like my makeup. I’m flattered, and a bit freaked out at times. They often ask what kind of make up I wear. I use MAC as a pressed power, a blend of two Maybelline foundations, and I have one E.L.F. palate that I use for the purple eyeshadow, but the true components that color my cheeks, enhance my eyes and cover my lips on a daily basis usually only cost me $2.99 or less (especially if it’s BOGO-buy one, get one free). The truth is, I wear “wet n wild”.


Gasp! I know. I hear you. “We grew up on “wet n wild” lipstick” I can imagine you saying. “Isn’t “wet n wild”  for little girls?” your mind may be asking. “Isn’t “wet n wild” that cheap makeup?” I’m sure you’re wondering.

Well, let me tell you, “wet n wild” has been good to me. What started out as a necessity because I was allergic to other cosmetics in high school like Fashion Fair that made my lips puff up like plump Nathan’s hot dogs on an outdoor grill, has grown into accepting and realizing my financial priorities and making the most out of what I have.


A few months ago, my sister and I were talking to a group about professionalism in a training. When speaking about the proper clothing for work we both emphatically told them about how we wear old clothing, shop at Ross Dress for Less (nothing like a $7.99 showstopper), welcome hand-me-downs, are advocates of thrift stores, and basically have learned how to look like a million bucks until we get a million bucks knowing that when we finally get a million bucks we certainly won’t want to spend it on clothing.  We work with what we have.

The moral of this story is: I wear “wet n wild” and I’m proud of it. I wear it because that’s what I can afford right now. I’m proud to know $2.99 (reduced to $.99 with the right CVS coupons) can look like $39.99. True beauty comes from the inside. True confidence is when you can rock what’s on the outside knowing it didn’t put you back or pillage your purse. This post is about make-up, but it’s actually about more. It’s about life. I wish all would know that wherever they are, with whatever they have and whatever they can afford doesn’t define them. It actually grooms them for greater.



I Miss My Saturdays!

We’re just weeks out of the last regular season college football game and already I’m having major withdrawal. I miss my Saturdays!


A recent convert to the world of college gridiron goodness, all of my life, I’ve been a “girlie-girl” with no real desire or feigned interest in sports. A graduate of The (15, soon to be 16-time National Champions) University of Alabama, I attended only a few games in college, mostly the year I dated a player (thanks especially “Mr. Gentleman who shall not be named in this post” for those Iron Bowl tickets for my Daddy and me in 1991 or 1992). I sold most of my $4 student tickets each year for upwards of $400 each. I wasn’t a big jean wearer so wearing Bama T-shirts and sweatshirts was out of the question. As an alum, I’ve been to a couple of games and a handful of fun tailgating experiences, but until the last few of years Saturdays for me meant more about shopping and food than football. Boy, has that changed!


 As the full season wraps in less than one month I’m not above cheering for the other big homestate team as they play here in Birmingham, and I definitely can’t wait to cheer for my Tide two more times as they trek the road closer to Sweet 16. I just want to yell, swing my hair, eat good food, yell at the commentators and taste sweet victory. Boy, have I changed!

Still, I’m left with this nagging thought. I miss my Saturdays! What am I supposed to do on Monday mornings as I usually chit-chat with co-workers about the awesome feats on the field the weekend before? What would happen to my Tuesday or Wednesday ritual of searching the world wide web for cute or funny pictures or quotes about my favorite school (Roll Tide) and our victim for the week? What am I supposed to do on Thursday nights as I had grown accustomed to picking out my favorite blingy Bama T-shirt or houndstooth dress for “Casual Fridays” at work? What was I supposed to talk about on Fridays in the hallway, restrooms or breakrooms as I’d usually shared my unbelievably keen insight on all-things football, talking intelligent, pigskin trash with the best of them?  What was I to do on Saturdays as I normally coordinated my picture perfect game day garb, planned a menu or plotted a place to kick back, scream and do my victory “tootsie roll”?


I miss my Saturdays…and I want them back in eight months and counting:)



Wear Your Own Wig


On a previous family trip to Florida one of my favorite cousins and I decided to switch wigs. I was so excited to try hers because on her it looked like a million bucks with change to spare! Her wonderful wig was a beautiful, black, short, precision pixie cut reminiscent of the look made popular in the 60s. She marveled at my “hair accessory”, eager to swap manes. Mine was a mid-length, mixed auburn and brown color, layered look that fell softly in my face just above the left eye. Knowing the investment I made to purchase it, I’ll too say that mine looked like it cost a million bucks with change to spare!


We ripped off our personal pieces and unveiled our “wig caps” for the world to see, okay, not really the world, but our sisters who were waiting to see the by swap. Slowly, and methodically we placed each other’s wigs on our crowns, proceeding to fluff, flatten and fix the tresses in place. Well, wouldn’t you it. We looked a mess. I’m talking a “hot, buttered, smothered, and covered up in hair that should not have been on our heads” mess. We looked so bad in each other’s hair that there is no picture proof of that wig swap ever happening. It was so sad it was funny.

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Only what’s for you is for you. That’s the message I received loudly and clearly while laughing at myself (and my cousin) in the mirror. I just knew without a shadow of a doubt that because the wig looked great on my cousin it would look great on me. We’re cousins after all. We look alike. We should have been able to whip that wig on and pose for more pictures that a high school year book. NOT!


Only what’s for you is for you. I’ve learned this lesson a time or two or ten in life, but it really hit home in that Florida condo as I stood looking like a cross between Wesley Snipes in “To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar” and a person in witness protection. What was so absolutely baffling is how we both could be striking in the ones that belonged to us, and we were, but strike out in the manes that clearly did not have our names written on them. Such is the same in life.


Only what’s for us is for us. Whether it’s wigs, jobs, spouses, opportunities or even obstacles. What’s designed and destined for us is for us, and us alone and only we can wear what’s ours well.

The moral of this story is: Do yourself a favor. Wear your own wig.



Stress Can Be a Mess

Stress Shattered Glass Word Cloud Concept

Stress can be a mess! Stress is one of those things that each of us deals with, or has dealt with at some point or another. It’s actually a normal physical response to things that frighten us, alarm us, cause us to feel threatened or takes our lives off balance. In some emergency cases, stress can save our lives by allowing us to kick into defense, such as in the case of preventing an accident. Stress goes to the core of our physical, mental and emotional state and can hurt if not kept in check. Triggers can be anything from financial woes, spiritual/emotional problems, loss, health issues, concerns about the future, job struggles, relationship challenges, children, parents, spouses and everything and everyone in between. The symptoms or side effects can be anything from headaches, chest tightening, “funny” feelings in the stomach, hives, dizziness, sweaty palms, dry mouth, nervousness, anger, hostility, irrational behavior, poor judgment, mood swings, appetite changes, digestive problems, insomnia, crying, irritability, depression, increased heart rate, and so on and so on and so on.

Lately, I’ve heard of too many people I know and love grappling with the effects of stress courtesy of this thing called life. It saddens me, and in all honesty, is a personal stress trigger when I see those I care for under the influence of stress. I despise the harmful, hurtful, hindering effects of stress! I really do! (Now let me take a deep breath as I type, so I don’t start feeling all “funny” in the stomach because I’m becoming stressed thinking about what others are going through.)


So what do we do about it? Glad you asked, because I don’t have all the answers. What I do know, is that in 2002 I became ill and was diagnosed in 2003 with a disease called Hyperthyroidism which lead to Graves Disease which lead to a potentially fatal Thyroid Storm which lead to the doctors and me not knowing if I was going to come out of this whirlwind of medical madness alive or altered. One of the key factors I had to avoid and MUST avoid to this day is stress. Why? Because stress is a mess! That one single experience and the years following have taught me many lessons, some of which I’m still in “class” digesting. I learned what was important. I learned who and what pushed my buttons. I learned how stress can lead to life-threatening illness. I learned how stress can stop you completely in your tracks. I learned what stress does to the spirit, soul and body. I learned how stress can try to tear apart families. I learned how I am responsible for doing whatever I have to do to preserve this precious life God granted me. I learned the power of the word of God over stress. I learned how some human beings are assigned as angels on earth to help each other during stressful times. And I learned that a life of stress does not have to be my final destination.

Crossing out stress and writing relax on a blackboard.

How to handle stress:

Know what God says about you, and the problems you’re facing. His scriptures ALWAYS have an answer to your situation. Use it before you lose it (by lose it, I mean lose your mind.)

Take a break. Vacations, naps, times of rest or reflection are key to coping with stress. Light candles. Have fun. Go to a spa. Take a day off. Read a book. Laugh at a joke. Exercise. Learn a hobby. Play a sport. Cook a meal. Volunteer. Do whatever you have to do to step away from the situation so you can see things clearly and deal with them rather than them dealing with you.

Know your personal stress triggers. When you know what pushes your buttons you are then charged with avoiding them, or addressing them quickly, and healthily when they arise.

Say NO. Sometimes overdoing it isn’t the way to do it.

Pray. God knows, hears and cares. Talk to him about what you’re dealing with so that His spirit can speak back reminding you of Who ultimately has the final say-so…even over stress.

Let nothing or no one steal your sleep. Commit to giving yourself the rest you need. You deserve it.

Surround yourself with positive people. Nothing positive comes from negative. Be with and around people who can uplift you.

Surround yourself with positive influences. Listen to inspirational music, place notes, memos, “post-its” or whatever you need wherever you need it to keep your thoughts on things that are Godly and good.

Seek spiritual and professional help. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support.

Don’t disconnect. When you’re facing tough situations stay in touch with those who love and support you.

Speak on it. Don’t bottle up your feelings or emotions. Deal with them in a healthy and proactive way.

Remember your resume. Think about all the other things in life you’ve overcome knowing that what you’re in now can and will soon be over.



Live Life Bigger on a Budget


For a lot of us, times feel tough. The economy, life status changes, personal obligations, unexpected issues and other challenges have caused a lot of us a bit of chaos and cost us even more money.


In spite of, and because of all of that has gone on in life, life still goes on and most be lived with healthy doses of rest and relaxation. We need to know how to make the most of what we have and take time to be revived to handle what we have and be made ready for things to get better. I like to call that living life bigger on a budget.

So how do you do it? How do you live life bigger on a budget? I’m glad you asked.

Try out these helpful tips:

  • Vacation during the off-season. Things are always less expensive during the “down time” of travel and lodging.
  • Shop during the off-season. Items are always less expensive when they aren’t in season. Buy now. Wear later.
  • Buy in bulk with others. Share with family or friends from what each has purchased so that each has what each needs for less.
  • Pay up. When times are more plenteous pay extra on bills and other expenses.
  • Plan group trips to surrounding outlet malls. It can be fun and you can be frugal at the same time.
  • Know the deal. Utilize Groupons, coupons, discounts, happy hour specials, “kids eat free days” and BOGO deals.
  • Share what you have. Use seasons of financial revitalization to share meals with family members, co-workers and friends. You’d be surprised. A big pot of spaghetti and garlic bread can go a long way.
  • Eat out to take home. When dining out, only eat meals that guarantee leftovers for the next day.
  • Take lunch and make it tasty. One way to be the lunchtime meals out monster is to make sure what you bring from home is delish!
  • Find out what’s free. Take advantage of free concerts, festivals, seminars and workshops.
  • Polish it up. Get a matching drug store brand of your favorite salon polish to use as a touch-up in between visits for your manicure and pedicure.
  • Ask for help. Don’t wait too late to ask for help.
  • Learn to say NO. If you can’t afford it, don’t want it, or don’t need it just say NO.
  • Volunteer. Giving back is the best way to take your mind off of what you don’t have to help someone who has less.