Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Dogwood Festival 2014 Pictures

 The Dogwood Festival is held in Fayetteville, NC for three days every year. This year some bands for the concerts were The Marshall Tucker Band and John Michael Montgomery. These two were the main headliners. Not necessarily my type of music but they were both amazing to listen to and watch perform.

The opening band for CC Martin (country singer) and John Michael Montgomery was a local band called Outcry. Wow! They were really good. I got really excited when they played an Alice in Chains song "Check My Brain". First time I every heard an Alice in Chains' song played live before. The band did a very good job too. Added plus, the drummer looked like Jerry Cantrell in his younger badass long haired days. Sadly I did not bring my camera on those days.

Going to this festival and watching the bands reminded me of my love of seeing bands play live. I have missed the thrill of watching talented people sing and play instruments. My favorite place to watch bands is either right in front of the stage or side stage. Watching bands set up and take down their equipment is cool too. Yes, I'm a definite fangirl. But not a groupie. LOL!
This cover band was called Liquid Pleasure (LOL! yeah I know) but they were AMAZING.

Liquid Pleasure Cover Band. They played everything. All kinds of music.

This was the average price of the food. Very expensive and very unhealthy.

 More pictures to come. :)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Dogwood Festival - Music, Inspiration and Motivation

I attended all three days of the annual Dogwood Festival yesterday. The funny thing is it all happened by accident. Everyday I make sure I get out and see new things. While going to one place, I noticed the festival was setting up. Unlike past years when I didn't think it would be interesting, I decided to just go and explore.

Wow. I had the best time I have had in a really long time. Listening to live music had been such a huge part of my life for many years and for a long time I had not been pursuing that passion. Stepping out of my comfort zone, I decided to talk to people and ask questions. Being shy will limit your life. I learned this the very hard way.

Speaking to the right people, I was able to find out the details of  the festival. As a result I saw (for free) a lot of live music: The Marshall Tucker Band and a couple of really good cover bands. Funny thing, the drummer for one of the bands (Outcry) looks just like Jerry Cantrell from Alice in Chains when he was younger. I had some fan girl loving guys with long hair moments. LOL!

I'm going to write another post or two about what I learned about myself, why exercise is even more important to helping you do what you want to do., and how living your passion is truly living life to the fullest.

Stay tuned for more to come.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Tips for Beauty Gurus to Decrease Hater Comments -Part 2

Here is Part 2 of  Tips for Beauty Gurus to Decrease Hater Comments

"Lazy Haul" videos for showing clothing items.

Holding up an item of clothing out of a bag does not show how a piece of clothing will look worn.  It is so much easier to know how the clothes actually fit if the item of clothing tired on and styled. At the least the beauty guru could take the time to model one or two of the items. Another suggestion is to do a look book video soon after the haul video.

The good old sponsored product “bait and switch”.
The viewer will  assume they are watching a certain type of video because of the title but in the middle of the video, are suddenly blindsided by a random sponsored product “commercial”. I just skip over that section of the video. Some gurus promote random sponsored products that seem really odd and out of place on their channels.

It is really annoying to hear a beauty guru proclaim how wonderful a product they have never seemed to have used  before but now are totally in love with. The beauty guru will act as if they can’t live without it but it is obvious they don’t know very much about the product and haven’t used it for long enough to form a real opinion.

Beauty gurus who have a hoarding issues.
No one  will ever needs that much makeup. A whole room  (or cabinet) of makeup? I understand that they are sent makeup from companies as part of their job as makeup salespeople but showing a huge amount of makeup will definitely breed envy in viewers who want to be able to have a lot makeup but don’t have the money. It would not be so bad if the gurus would make the effort in videos to “shop” their makeup stashes. There is a mentality of always rushing towards the next trend or constantly buying new things. Make full use of the makeup you already own.

Fake bloopers
Do I really have to explain this? Real outtakes are genuine and funny but fake bloopers because bloopers are popular not funny at all.

Nothing is for “free”.
I’m not getting any money for this says the beauty guru. Yes this may be true but the guru is doing it for future business with that company. The beauty gurus are building relationships with brands.

Not Being Original.
Beauty gurus are notorious for copying each other’s videos. Be yourself. The viewers watch the same videos gurus do and it is annoying to see the exact same mannerisms, products, etc. Please stop with the hair stroking.  

 It is so aggravating when a certain sponsor is making the rounds among the gurus and you hear the same sales pitch in video after video for some random product they wouldn’t normally be interested in and haven’t actually used for a very long time.

Worshipping a beauty product, clothing item or designer bag.
It’s is a complete waste of money to buy something  very expensive and not use it. I think it is so strange when a beauty guru is  very “precious” with a makeup palette “I don’t want to mess up the design imprinted in the makeup” or someone who hardly ever uses the “price of a used car” designer handbag. Use it! That’s what it was made for. You are more important than your possessions.  Get all of your money out of something by putting it to good use.

Magic endless money
Constant hauls but no acknowledgement of having a job or how to save/budget to be able to afford all the clothes and makeup. Beauty guru admit you were sent items from companies.  Full disclosure of each and every item you were sent for consideration by companies.

Buyer Beware
It is the responsibility of the viewer to do follow up research before deciding to purchase the products or items mentioned in videos. Your mind and money are your responsibility. Don’t blame” the nice girl in your computer” for persuading you to spend money you should not be spending.

Read reviews about the products or go to blogs  to see the clothing styled before you make your final decision. Do what is best for your needs and your lifestyle. Remember you cannot buy the  “perfect” world presented in the video. It’s an illusion.

Sadly, there is no “cure” for haters on the internet. Some people think it is fun to leave nasty comments on videos. Haters love having one sided unfair fights with you tubers they pretend to have a "relationship" with online. The internet allows people to attack hidden behind their keyboards.

The beauty gurus who handle the hate the best are the ones who do not let it get to them. They make the best videos they can and do not let haters provoke or intimidate them. Block and delete the really nasty comments is always good strategy. But make sure the comment is actually a hate comment not an honest critique of the video. Look for the truth. Gurus who listen to their viewers make the best videos.

Part 1 of this post is here.

Do you think anything can be done to lessen the hater comments on beauty guru videos?

Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Tips for Beauty Gurus to Decrease Hate Comments - Part 1

 Tips for Beauty Gurus to Decrease Hater Comments*

*Unfortunately there will always be negative people on the internet.

 I really love watching beauty gurus videos on you tube. They are so inspiring, motivating and funny.  I absolutely have much respect for many of these women and men who are brave enough to put themselves out there to the world in you tube videos. They are indeed very brave and amazing people who do an incredible at job at presenting products, clothing, etc. informative and creative videos.

But this blog post is about the beauty gurus that have annoying unprofessional habits and spread misinformation in their videos which can annoy some viewers and lead to more than the usual amount of hater comments.

***The following post is my humble opinion.***

Be Honest when reviewing products.

If a beauty guru really wants to stir up hater comments all she has to do is lie to viewers. We (the viewers) can usually tell when a guru is not being truthful. Some gurus sing the praises of a product they have hardly if ever used just to get a pay check from a company. I have no problem with beauty gurus being sponsored but I have a problem with people who try to sell me anything and everything just to get paid. Beauty gurus should test the product for a reasonable length of time and give an informed pros and cons review of the product. Haters love beauty gurus that kiss up companies for free stuff and money.

Beauty Gurus who appear to live in a perfect world.

Beauty gurus that present a near "perfect world" and a magical endless amount of money for shopping, buying coffee and having lunch with friends every single day. These gurus who never talk about the realities of the world and pretend they don’t work for a living will definitely generate envy/jealous among some viewers. Beauty gurus should admit who they work for (you tube, beauty/clothing companies or a network) and talk about how they save and budget money to afford their lifestyles. Most viewers of beauty videos are young girls and it is sad to read their frustration at not being able to live the "carefree" lives of their favorite guru.

Lots of poor quality filmed videos.
Beauty gurus should make the best quality videos they can . Be professional. If you are getting a pay check from you tube or a beauty company, this is no longer a hobby, this is your job. Also horrible lighting in video after video. Poor editing or no editing. Cluttered or dirty background areas – clothes and shoes on the floor and bed. Set high standards for your videos.

Not being knowledgeable about products being presented in their videos.
When gurus talk about beauty products, clothing items,etc. they should do their research, be organized and knowledgeable about how to use the products. It is so annoying to watch someone who is not prepared and seems to not care they were not prepared for their video. How many times have we heard “I’m not good at describing scents”? Be aware that sometimes gurus will give “half” the information about a product to increase traffic to a company’s website.

Pretending you don’t work for you tube, a beauty company or a network.

Nobody is falling for the “I’m just a regular girl sitting in my bedroom showing products” anymore. You (beauty guru) are a salesperson and your viewers are potential customers for your channel and for the companies you represent. If you have an email for business inquires this is a job not a hobby.

Not being consistent. 
Beauty gurus who constantly promise certain videos but the videos are never made. I understand when this happens once every once in a while (life happens) but there are beauty gurus that made promises or start video series and never finish them.  Don’t make plans or promises you have no intention of following through with.

Beauty gurus try to look your best while on camera.
Everyone feels more confident when they have put forward the best effort to look pulled together on camera. Gurus are scrutinized so closely on camera, why give any meanspirited viewer good reason to criticize poorly applied makeup or messy ( and not the on purpose hairstyle) hair. Be camera ready.

Beauty gurus that complain.
No one likes a complainer especially when it is very obvious  the beauty guru is paid very well for making vides. Incessant whining about having “first world problems” is one of the biggest pet peeves I have . They have so much compared to the rest of the world but it doesn’t seem to be enough. Complaining about how long it takes to edit a video is so annoying. There are a lot more difficult jobs in the world than filming and editing videos for a living. The amount of money the guru will make over the life of the video (from views and from ad clicks, etc) will well compensate for the few hours sitting down in front of a computer.

Beauty gurus really are not your friend. 
Dear viewer: It is easy to believe that the nice girl talking to you on screen really personally cares for you the truth is she really doesn’t know you. It is sad that viewers believe a beauty gurus is a real friend.  For some, unfortunately beauty gurus are an imaginary “friend”  they can be horrible to in an unfair one way fight. Haters use beauty gurus to vent their own personal problems in the comment section.

To be fair, I do think many beauty gurus care a lot about their viewers but my point is we (the viewers) do not have "a real life in person type" of friendship with them. Online friendship is not the same as an in real life type of friendship.

Part 2 of this post is here.

What do you think is the cause of so many hater comments on beauty gurus videos? How do you think these type of comments can be decreased? 

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I Went Walking Today - Exercise For Life And Inspiration

I went walking on the local trail and it was amazing! This was the very first time I ever took my camera with me. My eyes were opened to the beauty of nature. Combine your exercise with another passion in your life and it will not seem like you are forcing yourself to exercise. Today I walked while taking pictures of the forest. It did not feel like a workout but trust me it definitely was.

As I was walking, I saw a woman that was the same size I was last year. This year I don't weight the same as last year. Lots of changes in my diet, walking and riding my bike, have made a lot of positive results on my health. Daily exercise can be boring but you must find ways to make it fun. I am so thankful I found fun ways to exercise.

I have walked this four mile trail many times before but I had never really stopped to look closely at the trees and the flower. There was so much inspiration.

As I walked, I would get ideas for scenes for my characters in my book I'm writing. The battle scene here or an intense argument next to that huge old tree. When I write, it is a lot easier for me when I start from something visual or music.

Before I knew it over two hours had passed. I had gotten my daily exercise and was filled with many stories to write when I got home. I love days like this. Crystal blue skies. The bright sunshine made the green leaves sparkle like diamonds. Fall and Winter never make me feel this happy and energized.

This trail will never be the same again. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Everyday Is A Beautiful Day - Create Something New

This is a dogwood tree in my backyard. Each year I watch it bud, bloom and then drop it's leaves. Every year  it will go through the seasons of life.

The lesson this beautiful  tree teaches me is that everything has a season and a time. We have to go through things in order to move to the next steps in our lives. Sometimes it will be easy and sometimes things will difficult. This is the way life has always been since the beginning of time.

Expecting every day to be a good day without any problems is very naive. Hard times make us stronger and appreciate the good times. I have learned so many valuable lessons during my hard dark times. But the biggest lesson is to never stop moving forward. Life is going to go forward whether you are want it to or not.

Being creative and inspired helps me to stay excited about every new day. I get such a burst of energy when I'm writing, drawing or painting. Being an artist can be a blessing and a curse but as long as I stay inspired to create something new, life is amazing. I learned the hard way to accept myself as an artist or I will feel empty and depressed.

Everyday is a new chance to start over. Start fresh and look for new creative ways to deal with something you want to change in your life. Never give up. The only way to fail is to stop trying.

What did you create today?

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Necklace of The Day - Gold Chains Go With Everything

I LOVE wearing this necklace. I got it at the Salvation Army or a Flea market. It probably only costed a few dollars.   The best thing about these bold statement pieces is they can instantly dress up any top. My signature look is to wear one of my signature necklaces with a regular T-shirt.

 It can be worn anywhere with anything. As a statement necklace this piece adds a lot of bright shiny impact to any outfit. The gold tone is in a couple of different tones and textures. There are also alternating gold and iridescent crystal beads.Any necklace I can instantly thrown on and get on with the rest of my busy day will become a favorite.
Vintage costume jewelry like this is first place on my search list whenever I go thrifting. I have seen similar pieces in shops recently but of course they do not have the weight in the materials or workmanship. When I buy things I expect them to last. I am definitely not a disposal clothing or accessories type of person. Buying things that will not hold up in the was or will quickly tarnish - not my style and a waste of money.

Two wishes I have for this multi chain vintage necklace: I can find another similar and I can find one that I could take apart and wear the chains as separate necklaces. I hope my gold chains choker statement necklace dream will come true soon.

Do you have a gold necklace similar to this piece?

Thank you for reading

Monday, April 21, 2014

Free Or Cheap Background Ideas for Blog Photography

I'm new to blogging. Also I'm very new to photography. Having a blog means I've had to learn very quickly how to use my camera to take pics to post. Here are a couple of ideas to add a bit of variety to your backgrounds for your photos.

A white box is a great way to have a white background and bring in a bit more light into the frame. Any ordinary box will do. You can shoot from above or cut out the front of the box and shoot the subject head on.

Paper - patterned, or solid color, wrapping paper, tissue paper. I have even just opened up a blank page in a sketch book and used that as a blank white background.

Bedspread or bed sheet - A bed sheet is very good for draping on the fridge (close it in the door) stand in front and presto a white backdrop for fashion photos.

Wooden, brick or tile flooring and carpets

Dishes - pie plates, cake plates, or a pretty dinner plate

Make your own backgrounds with rubber stamps, drawing or painting.

A mirror - yes this is a bit tricky but if you get the right angle it looks like the item on the mirror is floating in mid air.

A basket

On a stack of books or magazines

What ideas do you have for new photographers?

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Enjoy The Beauty Around You - Get Outside and Walk

Get outside and enjoy spring!

Life is too short too be sitting inside the house. Get up and Get Out! If you are feeling stressed or feeling uninspired one of the best things I like to do is to take a walk. Walking will get the blood going and fresh oxygen into the body.

I have solved or simply let go of so many of life's annoyances or problem by taking a walk to clear my head and my heart. Walking has helped me get through some very dark and sad times in my life. A change in surroundings does wonders for the mind and the soul.

Unplug! Put down the computer and the phone for just long enough to refresh your mind. Too much internet or social media will make you think the world is a lot worse off than it really is. Good news doesn't get as much attention as bad news so that is what is pushed and promoted much more often online. Good things do happen but you don't hear about them nearly enough as the latest horrible human tragedy or disrespect for human life.

Walking helps me get out of my head and look at the beautiful things created on this incredible plant. Sitting down too much in terrible for your health. It is a blessing to be able to walk  and to stand so get outside and move. The more your move around the better your body will feel.

I hope you have a wonderful healthy inspiring day today.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Beauty Review - Queen Helene The Original Mint Julep Masque

This clay mask is another cult favorite skin treatment. I love using this mask a couple of times a week as part of my skin routine. It smells slightly of mint chewing gum so it does contain added fragrance. There is a pleasant cooling sensation on the skin as the product is drying.
After watching a Vivanna Does Makeup video on her youtube channel, I have been following her suggestion of applying the mask with a foundation brush. I use an Elf foundation brush with synthetic bristles. I really don’t recommend using a thick fluffy soft brush. I apply to the face and the neck being very careful to not apply it to the delicate skin around the eyes.
The elf foundation brush is a great solution for not getting my hands covered with clay  this definitely helps me to want to use this mask more often during the week. Less cleanup is very nice because clay masks can be very messy.
I have combination skin that has dry areas and my skin felt very moisturized and clean after I removed the mask. You can apply a thick layer of the clay to have a deeper cleaning of the skin or a thin layer when you want to just quickly add a good cleansing treatment step to a daily skin routine.
The mask takes about ten to fifteen minutes to dry. I use a washcloth with warm water to gentle dab the mask off my face and neck. Then I follow up with a cleanser either Cetaphil or Olay Foaming Face Wash.
 The claims on the label: Does it “rinse away blackheads”? I didn’t notice this at all. “Helps relax tired muscles and ease tension lines on the face and neck.” If you do a very thorough facial massage while applying the mask with your fingers, I guess this could happen.
I love this mask because my skin loves it and it is very inexpensive. I purchased it at Walmart for about  $4.00.
Have you ever used Queen Helene Mint Julep as part of your skin routine?
Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Springtime and Dogwood Trees. I Love This Time of The Year

Dogwood trees and beautiful blue sky

I took this picture of a blooming Dogwood tree in my backyard. It was an amazing blue sky day and I was hoping I would capture the moment. I think I did.

One of the many great things about having this blog has been that it has gotten me out of my comfort zone. I have done more new things, learned more new skills and consistently become more and more organized because of my blog. Having this blog made me become a lot more comfortable with myself. I feel a lot more confident about my skills and talents. The only way to get better at anything is to practice. I learn something new everyday because of my blog.

I have only had this blog for a little over a month and it has made more positive changes in my life than anything has in years. If it wasn't for this blog, I wouldn't have this beautiful picture of a clear blue sky and blooming dogwoods to share with the world.

I love spring and my blog. It has been a time of New beginnings.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Life Lessons I've Learned from Turtles

One of my "pet" ceramic turles

I don't know where or when my love of turtles began. They are so cool, focused calm but very determined and persistent. These are all qualities that I am striving for in my own life. One slow but strong step at a time. Turtles never seem to get stressed or frustrated. They do not seem to let the annoyances of life bother them at all. They don't seem to be able to be such good swimmers but they are. This is a lesson about the fact that  looks can be totally deceiving.

Turtles have things to do and places to go. They seem to have a goal or an important appointment and they will make it to this appointment no matter what obstacles block their path. Flip them over, they will not give up until they are the right side up and slowly steadily moving forward.

One foot in front of the other. Turtles seem to not care what other's think of them. They have a very strong outer shell to let the negative stuff of life just roll off or bounce off. But turtles are soft on the inside. Being hard within your heart can cause as many problems as being too soft on the outside. Develop a hard shell to shield your mind against the nasty stuff life throws at you.

Yes I definitely love turtles for a lot of very important reasons not just because they are so cute. Today I choose to move forward towards my goals. One step at a time. Sometimes I will go slow. Other times I will be able to move a bit faster. My life goal is to move forward. I have things to do and places to go.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Total Body Stretching & Flexibility Workout: Denise Austin

I have watched Denise on TV and in her videos for years and years. She has been my positive happy upbeat but most importantly high motivating fitness instructor. This video made me feel amazing after having a stressful day.

It is so important to stretch the body everyday for good health. Denise has a saying "You are a young as your back." Flexibility is a daily fitness goal for me. I want to be able to move through my life pain free.


Books I Am Reading, Inspiration and Writing Journals

This is the recent journal I am writing and drawing in.

This is my recent Mermaid Novel writing journal.

Inspiration! I love pin up art. I am developing my own black women pin up art.

Reading heaven. I LOVE graphic novels.

One of my many art instruction books.
This is the cover of my current writing and drawing journal. This is Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

This was a quick overview in pictures of everything I'm into right now.

Ask me questions! I would also love to know what you are reading, writing and inspired by.

Thanks for reading!

Food Review - Back To Nature Sweet Potato & Cinnamon Crackers

Just because something is natural doesn't mean it is good for you or tastes good.

Wow these thin hard crackers tough to eat. I am not talking crunchy. I am talking HARD. Maybe I got a bad batch that was stale.

Once I could them chewed up enough, they were not tasty. To be honest I am not a big cinnamon fan. I love sweet potatoes so I thought this was going to be good. Nope.Even if they were a softer cracker I would not have liked the favor.

Eating healthy is a journey. You are not going to like every healthy food that is available. Find healthy food choices that you love and enjoy them. I do not force myself to eat something just because it's healthy. Enjoying the food you eat is an important part of life.

What is your favorite healthy snack?

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Dogwood Flower and Cosmo Watercolor Flower

I painted this watercolor fantasy flower in March before this beautiful Dogwood flower had bloomed. Until I took this picture, I didn't realize how much alike the two flowers are.

This spring, I have had a wonderful time photographing the flowers in my yard. I have always done this in past years but this year having a blog, I am taking extra care to do my best to show the world how beauty they are.

It can be a blessing a a curse to have a backyard full of trees - lots and lots of leaves to rake in the fall. But I am always awed by the intricate detailed beauty of flowers.

Many watercolor dogwood flowers will be painted. The cosmo flower maybe I will save that for my novel about mermaids. Hmmmm underwater flower.....

Do you have dogwood trees where you live?

Here is a previous post I wrote about a watercolor lesson a day calendar I use as an art exercise.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Necklace of the Day - Rhinestone and Three Pearl Flower Choker

This rhinestone and stimulated pearl necklace is a perfect example of how I defy all style or trend rules and wear my "evening or dressy" occasion sparkly jewelry everyday. I do NOT care what people think. Rhinestones are so fun, bright and happy that I don't want to have to wait for the dark of night or a special dress up event to take them out.

If I bought something, I need to use it. When it is just sitting in a drawer out of sight not being used, this is a waste of very precious money. My jewelry collection allows me to make the exact same top and bottom completely different every time because I will wear a different sparkly accessory.

My costume jewelry collection allows me to express myself. Whatever mood I'm in or whatever color I want to accent in my outfit, a have fun searching my stash for just the right bauble. I don't have a lot of clothes but having lots of jewelry choices makes me feel like I have an almost infinite wardrobe.

Do you have a favorite piece of sparkly costume jewelry that you wear during daytime?

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Watercolor Lesson-A-Day Calender - This is a good art exercise

This Lesson a Day calendar is a fun way to practice watercolor lessons or just doodles.You can learn how to paint with watercolors but it also has watercolor tips and artist information for each day too.

The good thing about this calendar is it a good way to learn watercolors on a  daily basis. Practice makes perfect definitely with improving artistic skills. The only problem I had with this calender was that the line drawings paintings are very small sized images - hard to paint at times. This is like a tiny watercolor coloring book.

Each page gives you a line drawing to  paint and it the beginning of each week the drawings are shown already colored and completed. You can use the pictures as reference.

I did a quick google and there are these types of watercolor lesson calendars still available online. Have you ever tried this type of calendar before?

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Marilyn Monroe 550 piece puzzle- Sadly I cannot put it together.

This is a beautiful puzzle that is almost impossble (to me at least) to finish.

 I LOVE this photo of Marilyn. She is wearing a gold lame Travilla gown in this famous photo series. Marilyn wore this gown briefly in the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and later at the Photoplay Awards where she won the Fastest Rising Star of 1952 award. *This info was from the The Marilyn Encyclopedia by Adam Victor.

Over the years, I have tried now and again to put this gorgeous Marilyn puzzle together. And sadly gave up each time.

It's not just the huge fact that this puzzle has 550 pieces that is intimidating enough but the confusing numerous black background pieces has been the main reason I cannot do this puzzle. The puzzle pieces are also very small. I don't want to give up but it is very annoying to have this puzzle (in it's many pieces) spread out on a table for weeks screaming at me "Finish Me!".

It think I will research online some tips on how to put together a jigsaw puzzle. I had done this in the past and there actually is a logical method of matching shapes to fit together.

We shall see. I will keep you up dated on my progress.

Marilyn Monroe Puzzle by Golden 5291
550 pieces
15 1/2 x 18" inches

Here is a link to the other Marilyn puzzle I wrote about on my blog previously that I WAS actually able to put together. 

Do you have any tips on how to put together this puzzle?

Thanks for reading!

Book Review and My Thoughts About Don't Eat this Book by Morgan Spurlock

This book might  inform you and then scare you into eating a healthier diet.

These are some things I learned while reading this interesting and at times funny book.

I never realized how little I knew about the foods I have been eating for years and the overall big business of the Food Industry.

I had already decreased my visits to fast food restaurant before I started reading this book. So glad of this because I would have been really been even more grossed out.Eating at fast food places excessively is extremely bad for your overall health. I cannot say I will never ever eat a burger again but I thankfully am lot more aware of what it might contain.

Your eating habits define your health. If you want to be healthy eat healthy foods. Everything in moderation.

McDonalds is not the enemy. That is not what this book was about. Eating greasy salty foods everyday and not exercising will sabotage your health. Think about what you put into your mouth and what the effect on your longterm health will be.

The McDiet had a horrible impact on Spurlock's health but not exercising made everything worse. The rundown of his doctor's check up reports were was the scariest information in the book. Obesity and high blood pressure can end your life.

Creepy fact: Food is not supposed to be indestructible. An example in the book was of a french fry left in your car for weeks. A regular potato will age over time and start to decompose. This is normal. The fast food french fried will look a tiny bit different but because of the preservatives and oil will stay about the same.

Not being educated about how fast food is prepared and being persuaded by advertising lead me to a life long bad habit of making very bad food choices. This resulted in me playing a potentially dangerous game with my health. I had experienced some of the side effects he described in the book but I always thought that was normal. Food is supposed to give you energy NOT weight you down and make you feel bad after you finish eating it.

Soda: Nothing good to say about it. No nutritional value. Soda makes you fat. I don't even want to think about all the gallons upon gallons of sweet tea I had consumed from many years. Never did I ever take seriously the fact that sugary drinks can make you gain weight. I haven't drank soda in many months.

I wish I had read this book many years ago. Maybe I would not have gained all the weight I gained over the years. Thankfully, I have lost a lot of weight but I have a ways to go before I reach my healthy goal.

Don't Eat This Book: Fast Food and Supersizing of American By Morgan Spurlock is a very interesting book that will probably change the way you think about eating out. Healthy is always better in the long run.

Sidenote: I haven't seen the documentary. To be truthfully, I'm a little scared to see this book be brought to life. I'm still getting over being grossed out.

Have you read this book? Do you eat out a lot? How healthy do you eat?

Overall this book was an easy read but I did kinda glance quickly over the statistic parts of the book. I got my wake up call big time. Clean up your diet. Eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible.

Here is another book review I did previously  - 201 Healthy Smoothies and Juices for Kids.

Thanks for reading!

This is a Bearded Iris or a Crinum. Or Not?

I don't know what to call this beautiful flower
This gorgeous flower bloomed a day or two ago. It is in the same bed of flowers as the crinum. I don't know if it is a crinum or a bearded iris. I looked it up in a book a while back and it looked like the flower in the picture.
It is so lovely to behold with the deep purple and rich gold. I would love to find a dress or any clothing in this glorious royal shade of purple. Being beautiful is not enough for this flower it also has a wonderful citrus but also delicate flowery fragrance. If anyone knows of a perfume that can mimic this flower's scent, please let me know.

I hope this bloom last a long time because I don't think it bloomed at all last year. Another reason this flower is so amazing.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Have a beautiful Life. Every Moment is Precious.

Spring is here! Flowers are blooming.

These are camellias that had fallen to the ground after blooming. They are still lovely even after leaving their branches. I don't know why they have fallen but seeing them underneath the bush made me a little sad but also thoughtful about living a full life.

Everything has a season. These flowers fully blossomed then it was their time to fall and then fade away. We all only have a certain amount of time to live a beautiful full life. Do not waste time because every second of life is so valuable. You can never get tomorrow back. Let strong and positive today.

This lovely bloom lived a short time but put all it's effort into becoming something beautiful for the world to see. I loved learning this valuable lesson.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cassette of the Day - Angelique Kidjo Aye

Angelique Kidjc  - Aye

Have a listen to Angelique Kidjc's amazing voice. So much emotion and power. These songs bring back so many memories. It is so hard to choose a favorite song because they are all so amazing.  I bought this cassette a really long time ago and recently dusted it off to listen to some old favorites.

Just have a listen to this happy sometimes haunting and sorrowful but ultimately joyful music.

Other cassettes I've talked about on my blog.  Everything But The Girl   Primus and Patsy Cline

Listen and Enjoy!

Tell me what you think.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Beauty Review - Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel

Oil free Dickinson's All Natural Witchhazel

Dickinson's is my very first toner I've ever used. Over and over, I was hearing from the beauty gurus: cleanse, tone and then moisturize as the standard beauty routine. says it locks in moisturizes but I found it to be just a little drying but now enough to not be able to use the product.  I use this toner after my cleanser then I make sure I rinse my face and neck thoroughly with water to prevent drying.

Dickinson's ingredients are natural grain alcohol - 14% and witch hazel extract. It has a faint antiseptic smell but that to be expected. I have decided to try the non alcohol toners next to see if they will not make the dry areas of my skin feel drier.

After using it for about a month,I do like how it cleans all the dirt left after I use my cleanser. Every time I see the dirt on the cotton ball, I am always surprised.When I use my cleanser, my face seems so clean but the extra step of a toner proves otherwise.

This toner would probably be better for people with oily skin, I have combination skin but it gets oily in the warm months. Maybe Dickinson's would be better for me during the spring and summer but not for the fall and winter.

Have you used this toner? What non alcohol toners would you recommend?

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Beauty Review - Olay Foaming Face Wash

Olay Foaming Facial Wash for Sensitive Skin
This is a good cleanser if you do not use too much of it at one time. I have combination skin. When I used this product it had a slight drying effect on the drier areas of my face. I suggest using less than a pea sized amount. Also take the time to rinse off all the foam after cleansing. This may add to the drying effect I experienced.

The product itself is like a pearly soap. It is really gentle and cleans very well. It does not win over my favorite Cetaphil but it comes close. I use just a little(smaller than a pea size) with a warm washcloth or facial brush on my face and neck. Be gentle with your skin, there is no need to scrub.

When I apply any cleanser, I will take a few moments to do a light facial massage. This has many benefits for the skin and the muscles underneath.

I bought the product to try something different from Cetaphil that is good for sensitive skin but I don't think I will be repurchasing it. It was fine it just wasn't amazing and it wasn't very moisturizing. My blog review on Cetaphil is here.

Olay website

Have you used this product before? Did you find it drying?

Thank you for reading!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Beauty Review - Montagne Jeunesse Dead Sea Mud Pac

Montagne Jeunesse Dead Sea Mud Pac

This clay mask is for normal to oily and T-Zone skin. Ingredients include sea kelp nutrients. It has a fragrance bergamot fruit oil and lavender oil. This was the main downside to the mask, I really didn't like the way it smelled. Not overpowering where I wouldn't buy it again but definitely noticeable.

I don't usually use the entire product when I use these facial masks. The 0.7 fl oz was enough for two applications. The consistency is thick and it goes on very smooth.. The drying time was about ten minutes and it wasn't unpleasant feeling on the skin.

To wash it off, as I do with all clay masks to prevent tugging at the skin, I gently dab a warm wash cloth over my skin and neck repeatedly until the mask is removed.

I was very pleased the the results. My skin definitely felt clean and refreshed. I would repurchase this mask and recommend it to others. It was purchased at my local Walmart for about $1.34 before tax. Inexpensive and effective.

 Montagnejeunesse website.

Read my review of Freeman Facial Peel Off Mask Cucumber here,

What is your favorite clay mask?

Thank you for reading!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

My Mermaid Home is Calling Me

When I'm away for the ocean for too long, I start to become uneasy. Stress tries to creep into my daily life. My ocean home is calling me. Whispering to me to come. The most peaceful place I can be is at the beach. Soon. Very soon I will come for a long visit but I will not be able to stay.

Where is your most peaceful place?

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Beauty Review Freeman Facial Peel Off Mask Cucumber

This product has everything I love all in one: Inexpensive, easy to use and provides good results. Freeman Feeling Beautiful Facial Peel off Mask Cucumber feels amazingly refreshing and cool when you apply it to the skin. This is the perfect mask for the upcoming hot dry days of spring and summer.

You have to put on a thick enough layer for it to dry and be easily peeled off. I did manage to get two applications out of this 0.5 fl oz package.The consistency of this mask is like sticky clear glue with the scent of cucumber and aloe but it is not too strong to be bothersome. I apply this mask to my face, neck and even to the tops of my hands.You only have to wait about five to ten minutes for the mask to dry completely.

After I peeled it off, my skin felt moisturized. I used my usual cleanser Cetaphil - I reviewed this product on my blog here.  Warm water on a wash cloth, I just gently dabbed at my skin.The residue of cucumber mask washes off quickly.

I purchased this mask at Walmart for about $1.34 and will be definitely repurchasing it in the future. It contains cucumber extract and aloe. This cucumber mask is for normal to combination skin.

What masks are you using for your beauty routine?

Thanks for reading!