Glow up, Girl!

If you’ve read my O to 100 post, then you know that I’ve been obsessed with makeup for about four years. Seeing it written is kind of shocking to me. Doesn’t seem like it’s been that long in real life. But life has happened and I have no complaints about that. I’m finally getting into a groove and practicing  recurrently.

I am generally a brand loyal person. Makeup is the one thing I am not at all brand loyal with.  Trying out different products in makeup is the only way to find out what works best. My skills are continually improving, your girl is glowing up! I’m not a professional yet, but watch out world. I’m starting to branch out a little!

I ran across these pictures from a makeup party I attended 4 years ago. This picture tickles me today, because I remember being so proud of my finished product. I also thought I was the teachers pet, having  the most product knowledge in the group.  Bless my heart.

If we fast forward to today, there have been improvements even since the 0 to 100 post was made in September of last year. I’m proud to say that I feel like I’ve mastered the art of highlighting and contouring my face.  However, I am in the process of finding the perfect hydrating foundation (for my normal to dry skin) in an affordable long-wear (12+ hour) formula.

As with everyone, I have good brow days and bad brow days. More good than bad, so I won’t complain! My struggle area was and still is eyes. My lids are oily and hooded, so finding shadow pigments that don’t crease and transfer is one issue, another is my ability to place the pigments on my lids in a way that best displays the colors and helps to make my eyes looks more open. I also need to work on winging my liner.

Be sure to subscribe! April will be the kick off of my ‘Practice Makes Perfect’ series. First up, and liner (wings)!

 

Getting Back in the Saddle

Never Miss a Monday

I ended my workout hiatus this week. So far so good. When I showed up on Monday, I was embarrassed, afraid and walked in with my tail tucked. But the fam welcomed me back with open arms and, as usual, it was like I hadn’t missed a beat -until the workout started! I was inspired when I saw the board, because the workout looked like I could actually get through it without throwing up or falling out. 

The workout consisted of push ups, sit ups, kettle bell swings and running. I was able to keep a nice steady pace, and was proud when finished my run with a little spirit. I’m guessing my trainer noticed the pep in my step too, cause when I glanced at the board ‘2 ROUNDS’ suddenly appeared.  After about a 3 second fit, I started up on the second round.  By the end of my second run I had to take it slow and on a few occasions I felt the need to throw up -I didn’t, what a great workout!

Mid-Week Mommy/Beast

I rarely bring my children with me to the gym because I have a hard time seperating the mommy in me when I need to be in beast mode. On Wednesday my husband had something come up  and wasn’t able to pick the girls up. My original thought was to skip working out that day, but I knew that if I skipped I wouldn’t make up the workout. Since I’m just getting back in the game I knew I needed to bring them along and get er’ done. Equipped with snacks, drinks, and hand held toys we headed off to the box.

As anticipate, my toddler didn’t stay in the childrens’ play area. But have no fear, I’m a mom and I am here! I had already pulled out and set up her stroller, and positioned it out of the way of others, just in front of my workout space. Thankfully the workout didn’t require me to leave the area I was in. It was actually a nice bonding moment for my baby and I. She helped me count out my dumbbell presses, push ups and box step ups. I’m so glad she was there, cause I was tired halfway through the first round but her smiling face kept me going.

This was my first time taking my toddler old to the gym. She did so good! I don’t have as many reservations about taking her any longer.

Friyay!

Friday rolled around and I had begun subconsciously sabotaging it’s workout in my dreams on Thursday night. I woke up and decided to go ahead and throw my workout clothes together and take my gym-bag to my car. During work I thought about how tired I was and  how I should just go home since I had plans for the night. Up until I got in my car and headed in the direction of the gym I was talking myself out of going. But I decided to snap the hell out of it. I cranked up some 2 Chainz (my get crunk, ratchet artist of choice) and got my attitude togetha!

The workout was intense and I had to dig deep to get through it. Dumb bell thrusters, sit ups, and running. I simply wasn’t prepared for the intensity of this workout. I hadn’t eaten enough food or drank enough water that day. It showed in my performance.

This week is done!

I am proud of myself for completing a week of working out after having missed so long. It’s great to be a part of gym that is family, that looks for you when you don’t show up and welcomes you with open arms when you return. I may have thought that missing the gym for all that time was a much needed break, but it wasn’t. Time waits for no woman, and our workouts gradually gain intensity. Missing that time in the Box makes it that much harder to get through the workouts I’m doing now.  I don’t plan to miss a month of working out again, even if I can’t make it to the gym, I’ll just take a brisk walk or do some other exercise.

Date Night Creepin’

My husband and I couldn’t let Spring Bring pass by without a date night. If you’re a parent,  then you know how easily plans can change.

The children were slotted to be with my parents, so we made plans for a date night with a ‘lil swag’. My plan was to come home from work and get casually cute. We’d head out to Trinity Grove, hold hands and walk around until the vibe lead us to a spot. We’d have dinner, a couple of drinks; and I’d twirl my fingers through my hair,  laugh, and childishly giggle at my husband’s corny jokes. I’d close out dinner with some freakish fantasy promise to my husband, then we’d take the scenic route home and have loud, mind blowing sex until we both fell out.

[INSERT REALITY] The children are dropped off at my parents. The baby gets sick and within a half an hour of being dropped off, I receive a text to be on standby because I may need to pick her up. Now my heart is heavy and I’m dealing with conflicting emotions. Should I just go get my daughter ,or continue putting effort into making time to be alone with my husband, at the risk of having your plans interrupted by a trip to the ER. I was determined to have date night with my boo, so I didn’t mention the text to him.

By the time I got off work he’d texted me letting me know he was hitting the gym, and would meet me at home a little later. I took advantage of the alone time and grabbed a nap. My husband woke me up with a loud yelp. Bragging about how he’d skipped the gym, and, instead, delighted himself in dessert and four Long Island Ice Teas at the bar. It took a few seconds for me to realize exactly what he’d said and what was going on, just enough time for my phone to ring -you guessed it! My parents are on the line, and I can hear my baby sulking and crying in the background. They’re explaining to me that she won’t eat anything and just wants to be held. So I did what any caring and loving parent would do.  I asked if she was she bleeding, had a fever, and did they have any form of medicine for comfort. Then suggested giving her a popsicle to calm her down. The popsicle suggestion worked, so I told them to call me back if things got worse and she wasn’t able to get comfortable.

The girls and I went out of town the first five days of the break. So my husband and I hadn’t really seen one another and we were looking forward to date night. Time alone and away from the house is something we really needed, so we took a chance and went for it. We stayed close to home since the baby was sick, and I decided to be daring. I had not one, but two Coconut mojitos -my new favorite drink. It’s just the right combination of sweet and tangy, with a splash of refreshment for me. We both also decided to try items off the menu that we hadn’t had before. To switch things up a little, you know.

I don’t know how you and your spouse entertain yourselves while out. But me and mine take pleasure in drumming up the love stories of other couples and families that we see while out. I’m a lightweight, so I was good an tipsy by the time I finished my first drink. I may have embarrassed my love and myself a time or two by the time I finished the second drink.

Long story short, dinner was great and we had a wonderful time. We made it home and crashed until my parents called us early the next morning.  We weren’t able to have a lavish night on the town, but we were able to spend a few hours of quality time together and it was great while it lasted (especially the sleep)!

What risks have you taken, as a parent, to ensure quality time with your spouse?

 

Makeup Buying Tips for Beginners

There are so many trends in makeup these days. Some of them are so over the top that even professionals have to shake their heads in disbelief in total amazement.

I absolutely LOVE a good “beat.” But with the exception of an occasional social event, holiday ball or maybe a photo shoot, I’m at work, then home with my family. I am my own paparazzi, and post my own pictures. So why do I feel the need to have a full-on “beat” whenever I am leaving the house? It’s simple. Looking good is kind of a thing, and I love all things fashion and beauty.

Breaking into the world of beauty/cosmetics is fun, but it can also be intimidating and pretty frightening. I have put together a few tips that will help take the edge off your first venture into makeup buying.

Seek individualized professional advice. There is a difference between a “Beauty Influencer” and a “MUA (Professional Makeup Artist)” and it helps to know what the difference is. Scouring the internet with hopes of pinpointing the products you should use to accomplish the flawless images you see posted online will leave you overwhelmed and out of a lot of money. Beauty Influencers are sometimes MUAs, but they mainly provide information based on product functionality resulting from work they do on themselves. MUAs work primarily with others and have been classically trained in the art of makeup application, sanitation and the color wheel. Speaking to a MUA on an individual basis will provide a personalized list of suggested products that should work best for you.

Find an Esthetician, start getting facials, and develop a cleansing regimen. Any makeup, no matter the brand or cost, works best on clean, well treated skin. Estheticians are licensed beauty professionals who specialize in skin care. It’s best to know your skin type and to be aware of chemicals and/or processes that may cause skin irritation. An Esthetician can help you with that. Estheticians can also assist you in nursing damaged skin back to health, and help you find a cleansing regimen and product line that will work best for your personal needs.

Dupes (Duplicates) are your friend.  When I initially got into makeup, I did what everyone does. I grabbed $50 and headed to the closest MAC counter expecting to get a full face worth of products. Please laugh out loud, cause I am! I was excited when I arrived, but I walked away feeling defeating with only blush, lipstick and lip liner (and I didn’t really know how to use any of it). I was also angry that three items went over my $50 budget.

Dupes are lower end products that either function closely to their higher-end counterparts or they match in color -this is when beauty influencers come in handy! Find a dupe video. Dupe videos take all the guess work out of buying drug store brand products. There is absolutely no need in spending money on high end products if you do not know how to properly use and apply them. Practice makes perfect, and you’ll need plenty of it. Trust me when I say that you’ll be less angry with yourself for wasting the product out of a $10 bottle of liquid liner vs. a $32 bottle of liquid liner. There are also drug-store brand products that work just as well as department store brands for up to less than half the price.

Utilize classes and redeemable through purchase services offered by brands and cosmetic stores. Google and YouTube provide great visuals and tutorials for skin care and makeup applications. But beauty brands and cosmetics stores also offer tutorials and some offer hands on classes as well. Ask about the programs available when you are out. The next time you’re at the mall, stop by all the cosmetic counters and ask about their redeemable through purchase services. Check out the links provided below !

Sephora  offers a host of Beauty Sevices, Beauty Classes and Store Events

Makeup For Ever offers One on One Makeup School classes, as well as hands on group Makeup Mastery classes. These classes are paid for or redeemable through purchase. They also offer Pro Tips and short How To videos on their site.

MAC offers demos, lessons and applications that are paid for or redeemable through purchase.

Optimize your experience. Visit the makeup counter during low foot-traffic times of the day verses going during hi foot-traffic times. It increases your chances of getting undivided attention from the MUA on staff. It’s ok to let them know that you’re new to this. The more they know, the better service they can provide. Make a list of the products you want as well as a list of questions that you need answered. Go in with the understanding that even with professional help, makeup is trial and error. Use a product more than once before finalizing your opinion of it.

My last  tip for beginners is to just be you! Makeup is art and a form of self expression. There is no right or wrong. You can be as creative as you want to be with it. Practice makes perfect. You got this!!

Transparency…

I follow quite a few blogs, ordinary people and a elect few celebrities. Their lives are smilingly perfect. Everything runs on schedule, they are smiley and (appear to be) happy people. Their lives seems to just roll without a hitch…blah, blah, blah.

Welcome to my world! Where more times than not, we fly by the seat of our pants to keep things moving. However, I am getting better with having a routine and getting on schedule. But I’m human and there are times that shit just derails and falls apart.

My A beautiful beast post provided a little insight on my weight loss journey. You learned that my attendance record can be choppy at times. I have plenty of workout experiences and plenty of gym pictures to write a year’s worth of workout posts that will motivate not only you and myself as well. But I’m not here to put on airs and pretend to be someone that i’m not.

I haven’t worked out in three weeks! Why? Honestly, I haven’t been overly motivated to go. I’m a wife, I have two small children and I work full-time. I make time for the gym majority of the time, but there are times that I am running on zero and need a break. Not necessarily a three week break though. At this point I’m just being a slacker.

As a person who has struggled with weight all my life, I am happy to have finally gained knowledge on nutrition and found a gym that I love.  But the struggle is real. Thank God for my trainer! He’s been all up in all my social media  and texting about where I am and what’s going on -another reason I love my gym. The trainers are personally concerned with our well-being.

Even though I haven’t worked out in three weeks, I am being mindful of what I eat making healthy choices at least 80 percent of the time. Which means that I’m maintaining my weight. It also means that I’m not building any cardiovascular endurance or gaining any muscle. But I have also assured my trainer that I’ll be back after spring break!

Are you on a plus size fit journey? What are some of the challenges you face with workout consistency?

 

Big Dreams

My oldest daughter and I attended the 2017 Mommy and Me Dream Bigger Tour in Dallas, Tx over the over weekend. It was quite a treat. The Dream Bigger Tour is a motivational conference for Mothers, Mompreneurs, and their children. The founder, Sherrie Walton wanted to create a platform that would allow her to put her children first and provide her the ability to never be “too busy” to be present, in the moment and available to tend to their needs. Sherrie is a gem! She was open, transparent and genuine when I spoke with her.

Founder of the Mommy & Me Dream Bigger Tour, Sherrie Walton http://www.iamsherriewalton.com

The event was kicked off with a powerful and purposeful prayer by author, and found of  LeBrin Books, Dian LeBrin. As lunch was being prepared for serving we had time to visit with vendors and mingle with other Big Dreamers. After lunch, it was time for business an the breakout sessions began.

Dian LeBrin

We met the Kidpreneur’s, they talked to us about the businesses they owned, how they can  up with their businesses, and what those businesses meant to them. The panel consisted of two beauty influencers; Chelsea Stafford who founded Bare Hair Bar and Glossy Girl’s founder Destinee Duncan. The third panelist was future event planner Christopher Walton. After their Q&A session, all aspiring kidpreneurs were allowed the opportunity to tell us what their future businesses would be. We also heard from attending kidpreneurs with already established businesses.

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Chelsea, Christopher and Destinee during their Q&A segment.

The children were then taken to a separate area with speakers; Ex-NFL Player, Bethel Johnson and Youth Motivational Speaker, Valencia King who also had fun career potential motivating activities for the children.

Bethel Johnson being introduced by Shirley Walker-King

Valencia King

We enjoyed a host of guest speakers and panelists. Our  first speaker was Tiffany Fulcher, founder of Tiffany Fulcher Enterprises. She provided us with strategies on How to Make Money as a Mompreneur.

Tiffany Fulcher

Shirley Walker-King is a business and relationship coach, she spoke to us about work life balance. -Remind me later to tell you why I love her.

Shirley Walker-King

Renee Villanueva founded The Motherly Hustle and she talked to us about perseverance, and staying encouraged.

Renee Villanueva

We were given marketing advise from Phenixx Marketing‘s President, Telea Stafford.

Telea Stafford

The panelists shared some of their experiences with trials, tribulations and triumph while pursuing their dreams. They were open, honest and transparent with us about how difficult it can be to overcome the fear of change. The panelists were, Veronica Torres Hazley of V12 Yoga.  and Sherlyn Dorsey of You Are More Than Their Mother.

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Panelists during the Q&A segment.

Transparency, drive,determination and most important, support  filled the room. The most memorable part of the experience for me was the wrap-up. The children came back just as we were summarizing the advise and power messages we’d just received. We then took the hands of our children and made pledges of unconditional love and support to one another. Last, we took a moment in private and wrote down fears and things that we needed to let go of on index cards, tied them to balloons, and had a balloon release in the park. Not only was the experience therapeutic, but I left with tools to help move forward with my dreams and aspirations.

Preparing to release our fears!

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The beauty of releasing your fears!

My daughter had a great time and enjoyed the day out with me. She enjoyed the breakout session where she created a vision board and had a list of things to do to assist in reaching her highest potential.  For me, the most important thing that she took away from the event was to always do her best and she is assurance that Mommy is behind her  and in full support of her dreams.

My baby, CayB ready to make her dreams a reality!

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Dream Bigger Dallas!

http://www.phenixx.com / Founder of Bare Hair Bar, Chelsea Stafford

Perimetric Financial Services

Mary Kay Independent Sales Director Kerry Francis

KeepCollective.com with Valerie Jackson

Peremier Designs by Susan

Chole + Isabel by Nancy http://www.candibynancy.com