Month: July 2015

Year One…

Happy Tuesday! As usual, I hope the weekend was good to you. My weekend was a little different this time. It was my first trip back to Connecticut since December 2014. The winter was harsh, so I decided to wait until warmer weather to visit. Let me just say that year one can be extremely hard…from holidays to “triggers” that brings back memories. Everyone and every situation are different. My visit was planned and had a purpose…sorting through belongings 🙁 . Because we were a long distant couple and our marriage started out that way as well, we never lived together. So everything was at his moms. Not totally ideal for me, but I do what I need to, what I know is right, and what I know Robert would want. So I cleared my weekend took TWO days off of work to travel only for me to feel like it was a waste of time 🙁 . I spent all of about 3 hours with his mom on Saturday and lunch on Sunday just to figure out that I now need to rent a cargo van, travel back to CT to get a few boxes. Definitely not my ideal situation. Not only did this weekend cost me about $800, but I now have to spend MORE $$$$$ to go back up there. Just a little ranting from frustration, but this is my reality… my year one!

I had the chance to visit his grave site for the first time. He still doesn’t have a permanent marker, but it’s on the way. It was very emotional to say the least. On my second visit the next day, I did take some flowers (had a little purple in there, which is my favorite color 🙂 ).  It was better than the first visit, a lot easier.

Robert

After my trip to CT, to make me a warm and fuzzy again, I went to see my little tink tink who’s only 7 weeks old!!!! Y’all know I luh da kids 🙂 . I found out one of the besties wasn’t feeling to hot and went to see her too (which she drove herself to the ED)!!! Now I’m all for supporting my loves when I know about it and when I can, but I ONLY go to hospitals now for the important people. Hospitals are definitely a trigger for me. Since I spent over 7 weeks day in and day out in a hospital, it’s just a sensitive place. Though she wasn’t hooked up to anything, I could still envision tubes, IVs, beeps, nurses in and out, being cognizant to what they were saying and just the look and feel of the rooms…just the habits that I picked up during that time. It helped some that I was talking to redirect my focus a little. But I held it together as I always try to do. Some days are easier than others; but I know she’s going to feel some type of way when she finds out, but she’ll be ok lol. Like I said, I’ll do what I can when I can!

My Year One series is just my thoughts, feelings and journey of the first year post-death of my hubby. I hope that it allows you to capture a view point from a young couple battling terminal cancer that was in the early part of their relationship. An outlook on the good, the bad and indifferent when dealing with grief, in-laws, legal matters, and just raw emotions.

Until next time…

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Make Me Over

I was reading over the lyrics of Ike & Tina Turner’s song “Wish” and I must say some of the lyrics are quite touching. I’ve heard and sang the song oh so many times but never thought about what she’s was really saying. I guess because the movie had me so busy watching her transform into “Tina,” that understanding the lyrics got lost for me.

Hey Lord
Make me over, I wanna be made over

Make me smart, make me king
Give a lot, give me steam
I want eternal beauty, spiritual things
‘Cause when I’m done, yes I wanna be a good thing

Hey Lord
Make me over, I wanna be made over
Hey Lord
Make me over, I wanna be made over

I wanna go places, I wanna do some things
I wanna be a star, I wanna have a big name
But in my heart, let beauty reign
And when I’m done, I wanna have fame

Any-who let’s talk about my life and makeup! I didn’t start wearing it until college. And by wearing it, I mean actually applying it myself (with the help of my roomie :D) for those special events and such that we would attend. After college, just one random Saturday morning I woke up and decided I wanted to get made over at the MAC cosmetic counter. This particular day opened my eyes to a whole new outlook on makeup. I knew what I didn’t want to look like but I had no clue as to how makeup could really transform my look. Now I know this might sound abit stereotypical, but with my previous comment in mind, this is how I selected my makeup artist: #1 I looked for a woman with a similar skin tone as mine, #2 I looked for a woman with the right look (not too overly made up), and #3 I looked for a woman with a great personality, not the snobby-you should already know how to do this by now attitude. So needless to say, today was indeed “my day” because there was this woman who favored me and she immediately approached me to see what my needs were. I told her I don’t wear makeup except for some special occasions, but would really like to learn an everyday look for beginners. She was sooooo sweet and soooo helpful, so $100+ later- I was looking and feeling like a million bucks! I told myself after purchasing the foundation, eyeliner, lip liner, eyeshadow, and must have lip gloss that I may not be able to afford this look everyday maybe just every other day lol. So that began my makeup wearing days. Now fast-forward about 2 years later and I was back to square one with makeup. Only wearing it when I wanted to feel extra-pretty or needed a pick-me-up. Now-a-days, I’ve been dabbling abit more with it because I mean, well hey, I still have those pick-me-up days and date nights with the hubs to dress up for! YouTube has certainly given me the dream of becoming a MUA (only for the moments of viewing the videos though, and then reality snatches me back lol). There are some amazing women and men who can really transform a person through the art of makeup! Much props to them 😀

For my daily skincare, I squeeze a pea-size ball of First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser onto my Ulta Cleansing Massager and give my face a good 2-3 minute massage. I rinse with warm water and then apply a single pump of my moisturizer First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Face Cream. At night, if I wore makeup, I first remove it using baby wipes. I’m seriously addicted to baby wipes, you’ll find them in almost every room of our house, the cars, and on occasions my purse! Next, I cleanse-again using the FAB Face Cleanser and Ulta Cleansing Massager but for my nightly moisturizer I go for abit more moisture than during the day. I’ll either apply Nivea Moisturizing Crème or coconut oil and off to bed I go.

My makeup routine or the lack there of consists of a few different products dependent upon the weather and my skin. If my skin is showing signs of dryness, I opt for a cream base foundation or BB Cream and no powder. If my skin is normal and the weather is reasonable (high within the mid-80s) I opt for MAC Studio Fix foundation in NC45. If it’s HOTT outside and I still want an even skin tone, then I opt for NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in CUBA. For my hooded eyes, I keep them pretty neutral with golds & browns (still learning how to work with them). I only apply eyeliner to the bottom of my eyes, if any at all, because my experience has been that it makes my eyes appear even squintier when applied to top and bottom. I apply a few strokes of Covergirl lashblast volume mascara again to the top lashes only. For my brows I fill them in using a stencil and dark brown eyeshadow. And for my lips, I keep them pretty neutral in the nudes and pinks – my go to lip gloss is MAC Ready or Not and I’ve also taken a strong liking to L.A. Girl Glazed Lip Paint in flirt.

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And there you have it, I hope to be made over really soon and learn how to master, what is it called? A BEAT face! Do some flawless contouring and blend that eyeshadow to the max. I mean a girl can dream right?!?! LOL But in all seriousness, my goal is strive to put my best face forward!

Have a wonderful Friday babydolls!

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Girls Just Want to Have Fun

We almost made it through the week, I hope it’s been lovely for ya, just a few days left of our Beauty Summer Series for July.

So, I am sure we ladies have all had a moment where we were caught in mama’s makeup. Lipstick up to our nose and down to our chin. Then we graduated to that Tinkerbelle makeup kit, lol with that eye shadow that was more like baby powder with a sparkle or two.  Once you got a little older, you might have been allowed to put on some colored lip gloss, but that was it.  Eventually your age caught up with your make up interest and You…. began…. to have FUN!

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My daily skin care routine consists of using Neutrogena wave sonic spinning power cleaner, in which it comes with its own soap pads. When I am not using that I simply use Neutrogena’s deep clean face wash and moisturize with coconut oil. When wearing make up I first use the makeup remover toilettes (again by Neutrogena) followed by my sonic spinning brush. I have been using this brush for about 3 months and I love it, my skin is smooth and I personally feel like it has a “glow” to it with consistent usage, as of now, I use the brush every other day. When needed, I also use witch hazel or apple cider vinegar as an astringent and during the summer I wash my face with lemon juice and raw honey atleast once a week which smooths out my skin tone and my hyperpigmentation areas.

On to the fun stuff….now, I do not wear makeup every day and typically go weeks without it, BUT when I wear it I do enjoy it. I recently bought some goodies that I’m too excited about, so let me share.

MAC came out with a summer matte 2015 collection a few weeks ago that is giving me life right now, I have taken pictures (lighting wasn’t the best, but you’ll get an idea) of the few I bought along with some blushes I already had or bought during this haul.  I am no makeup artist, but enjoy playing in it and like what I like, which works for me. Haven’t taken any classes….YET, by the way Tanisha Walker has a makeup class coming up in a few weeks check her out. In addition to purchasing these lipsticks I also tried a new foundation (Urban Decay) and some fo real eyeshadows which is also Urban Decay ( ya’ll I was left in the store waaaay too long, lol).

My foundations for reference purposes;  Revlon Photo Ready I’m 010 Carmel, In MAC studio fix fluid and powder I’m NC45 and for my new baby, Urban Decay Naked Skin I’m shade 9.0, my sister is an 8.0 and in MAC c6

Pink Pigeon (Lipstick), Pink Swoon (blush) and Betty-Lou Manizer-theBalm cosmetics  (used as a highlighter)

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Stone (lipstick), Sweet As Cocoa (blush) and Global Glow Mineralized SkinFinish (highlighter). My sister, Tropic Tonic (lipstick) Urban Decay “Naked Flushed” in Streaked (bronzer, highlighter & blush palette)

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Along with the new lippies I also bought a new foundation Urban Decay Naked Skin. Highlighter/bronzer Betty-Lou Manizer-theBalm cosmetics. Urban Decay 8-hour powder Blush in Bittersweet to go with my Heroine (MAC’s matte lipstick). Last, but not least, Urban Decay Shadow box (my first “expensive” shadows, I had been using E.L.F and Coastal Scents which have been good to me,)

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Less Is More

“Maybe she’s born with it…maybe it’s Maybelline” Ha! Remember that commercial? Do they even still use that tagline? Any who it’s all about make up this week ladies and well to be honest I like to fall somewhere in between those 3 dots. There was a time (mainly when I was single lol) that I would get up, put on a full face and head out for the day. My mom would always tell me “Katesha remember that less is more. You don’t want people to get scared or think you are sick when you don’t have on any makeup.” LOL! Well she couldn’t have been more correct! I definitely did not and still do not want to scare anyone! And actually I think that is a great principle to live by in the makeup arena…less is more.

These days it is very rare, I mean really rare that I wear a full face of makeup during the week. I’m a Sunday only kinda girl unless there is a special occasion where I need to spruce myself up a bit. During the week, if I do anything, I typically fill in my eyebrows, apply some gloss and go. It’s way too hot to do much of anything else right now.  I just have to remind myself when I do fill them in so that I won’t rub my hands over my face and wipe them off LOL!! (Hey it happens lol) In case you’re wondering, I use a dark brown eyebrow pencil to fill in my brows. When I first started I had to learn the hard way not to use a black pencil, talk about looking crazy! LOL!

Eyebrow Collage 

Let’s talk Sunday Morning Look! I wish I had something exciting to share with you here, but I don’t. I like to keep my look as natural as possible. I know, I know, just call me Sarah plain and tall. For my eyes, I usually apply a light brown natural shadow, a little highlighter under my brow and mascara. On those days that I want a bolder look, I add a chocolate brown to get that smokey eye type feel. I love Almay’s eyebrow pallets. They are affordable and have the 3 colors needed to obtain that natural look that I desire. I have dabbled with a few different foundations and I have 2 lines that I like – CoverGirl Queen’s Collection or L’Oreal True Match. They both have a light feel and don’t leave me looking oily. I recently purchased CoverGirl’s Clean Normal Girl to apply under my eyes and around my brows for a smoother look after I’ve applied foundation. It helps get rid of blemishes and those dreadful dark circles under my eyes! After foundation comes a little bronzer on my cheeks for an extra glow! Now one thing that I have come to love is a poppin lip honey! Since I keep the rest of my face basic I tend to like to have fun with my lip color. I’ve come to love (it took me a while to try them out) bright reds, pinks and purples for the summer! Two of my favs right now are Violet by Milani and Fuchsia Flash by Maybelline.

 Make Up Collage

That’s my makeup expertise in a nutshell. I know that it’s pretty basic for a 32 year old, but I hope to take a makeup class with our wonderful makeup artist/photographer, In God’s Image Photography/Makeup Artistry, who beat my face (is that how you say it LOL) in our official Girlfriend blog photos. You’re never too old to learn right?

Make Up Products Collage

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Makeup and Photography done by In God’s Image Photography/Makeup Artistry

Let’s get GLAMed!

Happy Tuesday! It’s that time again in our beauty series for us to share some of our skin care and makeup routines. So because I’m such the plain Jane in the bunch, I know NOTHING about makeup lol. I had to reach deep and do some research for this one! So let’s start with skin care first. My daily routine includes cleansing with Pond’s cleansing towelettes (either original and evening soothe), then I moisturize with Aveeno Daily Moisturizer. And that’s it! I’ll occasionally use Aveeno’s foaming facial cleanser in place of the Pond’s. I find that these products works best for me at cleansing and removing excess oil build up with leaving my skin dry. The moisturizer isn’t heavy or oily…which I love!!!! Easy breezy for me in the mornings lol.

Now, onto the heavy stuff…MAKEUP. By no means am I a makeup wearer. When people come with makeup I try to run the other way lol…REALLY! I mean I start backing up, trying to hide, become invisible…everything you can imagine. But I was thinking outside of the box on this one and tried something new…Lipstick! My go to lip routine is lip balm/chap stick (I mean I add a little Victoria Secrets gloss when I’m feeling spunky :).  I stick to lip balm/chap stick’s that do not contain SPF because I have an allergic reaction to it (just imagine your lips feeling like sandpaper or like you have sunburn on them…not fun). So I took to a few friends and my sister (the one that can’t take the trash out until her makeup is done lol) about what they recommended. I wanted to try matte. I think that it looks nice…not too shinny and not too dull. I started looking and doing some price comparison because I didn’t want to spend a fortune on something that I potentially would not like. After a few YT videos and Google searches, I found a few brands at my local BSS (beauty supply store) and Walmart. I came across Wet n Wild, Ruby Kisses, and Black Radiance. My biggest challenge was find lip liners. All of the lip sticks that I tried (at least eight lol) range in price from $1.99-3.99. Colors ranged from nude to red to plum (I told yall I was venturing out lol). My solution to finding lip liners that would match ALL these colors came when I ventured into ULTA a got a little help. Can we say GENIUS!!!! The lady who helped me was super great. My biggest (and best) purchase to date is my clear lip liner! It runs $18.50 at ULTA and it’s called TOO FACED Borderline Anti-feathering Lip Pencil. I love it! I can wear it with any color lip stick and when the lip stick starts to wear off my lips are still lined with the color.

Now, onto my favs thus far. For the “red” color, I’m loving the Black Radiance Perfect Tone Dual Lip Definer in Brickhouse color as well as Spotlight Red from Wet n Wild. I can’t believe I’m saying this…but I’m also liking this Plum Wine by Ruby Kisses. They all go on smooth and don’t leave your lips dry and cracked (super plus). I’m still working on the nudes. Let me know what you think and please offer up suggestions! I’m a work in progress 😉

Until next time beauties…Picture1



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Is There a Cure?

  • Progress Report month #3: 2lbs gained totaling 9lbs lost thus far

Is there a cure for emotional eating? I get cravings when I’m happy, sad, mad, stressed, you name it. And I’m talking about the kinds of cravings that are greasy, sweet, loaded with all the junk that causes clogged arteries and could send you into a diabetic coma! Is there a cure for me? I mean I understand that it’s my choice to give into the cravings or redirect that desire to something else such as exercise, reading, etc. but it’s just not that simple for me. I’m starting to think it would just be easier if could I really teach and program my body to LOVE and CRAVE foods that are healthy and fueling to my body. Like my reality is I’m going to eat, right now I can’t see how I can stop eating- so since I can’t, I at least need to eat what’s good for me. Anybody with me? Or at this point are you laughing and calling me crazy! I’m trying to be real with you ladies and I really need some help! My failed efforts lets me know I’m not able to do it on my own any more. I know I’m not going to wake up tomorrow morning and be cured (or will I?). How much of this disease is simply me being disobedient to God… am I cursed? I’ve just got a lot thoughts floating in my head right now (which has me currently craving a chocolate chocolate chip muffin- Lord help me!) and I need a sure-able cure! So ladies please be in prayer with me, that I’m able to fight this disease and turn my unhealthy craving habits into a fueling frenzy for my temple and that surely God will provide my way of escape!

I’ve shared this scripture before but feel it’s necessary for my own benefit to repeat it again:

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10: 13 (ESV)

If you have any tips and/or suggestions, please share them. I’m sure there are other women that could benefit from our discussion. Thanks in advance ladies!

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A Confession

**Stands up, clears throat**….ah emmm….My name is LaTasha and I’m addicted to ratchet TV!!!!  I know I can’t be the only one with this issue. Ratchet TV has definitely gotten a hold of me, I must say. It all started with “Flavor of Love”, y’all remember that one…Flavor Flaaavvv!!!! After that “I love New York” then “Real Chance of Love” (RIP Real). I did take a glance at “Bad Girls Club” from time to time, but truly this is where it all started.

Some shows I have been into lately is; “Love & Hip-Hop” (all of them), “Braxton Family Values”, “Cutting It In the ATL”, “Marriage Bootcamp”, “Housewives” (mainly NY and ATL), “Basketball Wives” which is about to start back up. I usually am not able to catch the shows on the night they run so my DVR is set and ready to go. So “Love & Hip-Hop”… How about Mimi finally disclosed her part in leaking of that sex tape (although we already knew that). Furthermore, those postpartum hormones are getting the best of Kalenna and your boy Yung Joc is a clown all day every day! Also, I wish the Braxton sisters would make up already, I’m getting bored with the bickering over the same stuff (But I’m still hooked)  Oh and Traci! Lawd… She was a flat out mess on stage at Toni’s concert! Girl was hopping around, looking drunk… Three steps behind on her dance routine but you gotta love her though, lol. Also,  “Cutting It In the ATL” is growing on me.. Not sure why I’m watching it… But I cant seem to look away… (Don’t judge me) and I’m behind on Marriage bootcamp, last episode I watched was the audio tape of Hank and his “mistress” (talk about embarrassing). I hope “Basketball Wives” don’t let me down, if so I could always grab a good book, any suggestions?

 

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10 Years Later…

“Because you never know where life is gonna take you and you can’t change where you’ve been. But today, I have the opportunity to choose.”  June 2nd made 14 years since high school graduation, June 28th made 10 years since I finished my last exam and completed my undergraduate degree at NC State University, August 15th will make 10 years that I’ve worked for the same company…10 years has it really been that long? It kind of comes as a shock and slap in the face because it seems like just yesterday I was walking across campus thinking, dreaming even, about all I would accomplish after crossing the stage. “Katesha you should consider going to graduate school.” Something my mom would often say as graduation approached. And my response would always be “I’m tired of school, I’d much rather get up and go to someone’s job everyday than get up and go to class.” (I wish ya’ll could see my face right now!)

If I could take those words back now, man. As I sit and reflect back over all that I’ve accomplished, goals not yet reached, mistakes made, setbacks, failures….I wish I would have made better decisions. First being I would have most definitely taken the GRE and gone to graduate school directly after receiving my undergraduate degree. Sure the option is always there, and I am actually starting a graduate certificate program in August, but still, I wish I would have done it then before the husband and child. (Let’s be honest I’m no spring chicken, my brain is not as fresh as it used to be lol). Can I be honest with you all for a second? I am super nervous about starting this new program! I haven’t looked at a text book or wrote a research paper since June 28, 2005! Ha!!! One thing is for sure, if I haven’t already, I will definitely have to “get my life” and have my time management on point! From the full time day job, full time night job (Husband and VERY active 3 year old), Kingdom assignment/personal spiritual growth and development, the ins and outs of everyday life, and now have to sit thru a 4 hour class ANNNNNNDDDDDDDD do homework (I think this may just earn that ‘S’ on my chest LOL!) I just don’t know if I’m ready! But none the less this has been a goal of mine for a few years and I know that it is long overdue and definitely needed in order for me to obtain other goals and future dreams.

That’s just the thing, I feel like I’ve done that too much over the past 10 years, put stuff off until later. Or talk myself out of it because I don’t feel like it’s the right timing or even for me. Sadly at one point I felt as though I was just settling and felt like well this is just the way my life is going to be. Not so. Again I had, and still have, to cast down that negative thinking.  I am a child of the Most High and He did not create me to just settle. I was created with a purpose and it is my duty to live out that God given purpose no matter what I’ve done, where I’ve been, where I feel like I have failed or dropped the ball, none of that matters.

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” Philippians 3:14 MSG

So let me flip this thing around. 10 years later…I’ve been employed for 10 years on the same job when there have been so many that have been laid off or fired…I was found by my “Adam” and became a wife which led me to be blessed to conceive, carry and give birth to a beautiful daughter when there are so many women who desire to do the same…I finally got up the courage to apply for the graduate certificate program, got accepted and will start this fall…I faced my fear of being transparent and alongside of my best friends we started this blog in hopes to touch and encourage the lives of women…most importantly I gave God a sincere ‘Yes’ and haven’t looked back since.

I guess that wasn’t so hard. I’m learning more and more that it’s all about perspective. “I choose to be the best that I can be. I choose to be authentic in everything I do. My past don’t dictate who I am. I choose…”

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