Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What If I Had Waited "Until"

I've been doing a lot of thinking about how to live life in a more positive and more productive way. 

One thing that has definitely made a difference is to stop waiting "until".

"I will not go to the beach until I can stay at a fancy hotel."

"I will not start a blog until I have that cool Canon camera the beauty gurus seem to all have."

"I will not do this or that until the perfect moment happens"

This is the perfect recipe to how to completely waste your life. Just do it right now with what you have available. Be resourceful. Be creative. Be flexible. 

I don't have the best camera and have been plaqued with annoying computer problems but I have decided to not allow that to stop me from blogging. 

Are you waiting for someone to give you permission or their approval? Give yourself permission to go after your dreams and goals. 

Right before my recent beach trip, there was a series of obstacles and disappointments, while none of them serious, they almost made me want to cancel my longawaited trip. 

I sat down gathered my anxious thoughts, stepped out on faith and went on my trip. 

Waiting "until" would have made me miss out on one of the best beach vacations I have ever had. 

Don't live in fear. Have an attitude of perservence. You are smart enough to think of a solution that will keep you moving forward. 

Tomorrow it will be 2015 - a brand new year. Please don't hinder your positive progress by waiting around doing nothing "until". 

Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 29, 2014

I Found A Mermaid!

Every time I go to Myrtle Beach, SC, one of my favorite things to look for when I go shopping is mermaids.

I absolutely love mermaids. They (like the real ones) are very hard to find. Well at least the ones that pass my strict criteria: must be beautiful, graceful, not trashy or skanky and the mermaid  item must fit neatly in my very tiny budget. 

The happy and thoughtful mermaid sign was purchased at the year round Christmas store Christmas Mouse located at Barefoot Landing
in Myrtle Beach, SC.

The price was only $3.75. I was very happy to find a mermaid I really liked for that low price.  

The sign is made for a very thin lightweight wood and painted a pale pink. The mermaid figure is a silhouette in black. The letters are in green. 

This is one of a few items I've gathered to start my mermaid collection. 

Other mermaid "sightings" while shopping posts are on the way. 

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Lesson Learned: You Work Hard For What You Get

I learned a very hard lesson this year: work hard everyday towards reaching your goals or the situation will stay the same or get a lot worse.  

A big dream came true for me - Christmas at the beach. I am so blessed to be at Myrtle Beach in South Carolina not only enjoying the beach but writing for my blog and my book. Unbelieveable! 

Earlier this year, you could have NEVER convinced me that this moment would be happening any time soon. 

This year was a year of overcoming many   roadblocks and a lot of setbacks. I had a lot of sad dark moments that really weighted down my spirit. 

But I kept fighting the negative forces and did not give up on my personal goals.  I would tell people I'm going to the beach whether they liked it or not. Same thing with visiting Raleigh NC. 

Both goals were accomplished. I will never take anything for granted again. You never know what life is going to throw at you. 

Work hard. Do not give up on your hopes and dreams. Do not care what people think. As long as you are not hurting yourself or others, live your life completely  every single day. 

Believe in the success of your dreams and goals. 

Thank you for reading!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Relaxing Reflecting Planning

I am not only relaxing on my holiday days off from work, this is a time to wrap up 2014 and get ready to move forward confidently into a brand new exciting 2015.

This past year was a very good one. I have so much to be thankful for. I reached a lot of personal goals for my career and my creativity. 

I have big plans for 2015 and the determination to make them happen. 

This year I experienced situations that not only made me stronger but also gave me the wisdom to have a better future. 

Find solutions for past problems. Move forward with a clean slate. Believe the best as yet to come. 

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Christmas Eve Everyone!

I want to wish everyone a wonderful, happy and safe holiday. Thank you so very much for stopping by to read my blog. Enjoy your holiday and being with your family. Relax and reflect while bring 2014 to a close.

These pictures are from Crabtree Valley Mall when they were just starting to put up the mall's Christmas decorations. 

I LOVE the color of the bulbs on these trees. These are my favorite colors for any Christmas decorations. It's a nice change from the usual red, gold and green colors that are always associated with Christmas time.

If I remember correctly this is the Christmas decorations for the store Belks. Simple but very elegant. I actually like these "hanging upside down trees with the red bulb" thingies. LOL!

Take Care Everyone!

Thank you for reading :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Book Reviews: Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page and Scott Weiland Not Dead & Not For Sale

 This book was not very long but it definitely an interesting powerful read. Scott Weiland (lead singer from the Stone Temple Pilots) has had a very turbulent and creative life. He made a lot of bad decisions (over and over again apparently) but he somehow never gave up. 

The book itself was not very long and very readable. Weiland describes the horrors of drug abuse in a matter of fact way that never wallows and glorifies the filth of it like other band member books (Motley Crue for one). He is very open and frank about his mistakes but the intriguing part to me was how he was able to maintain his creativity during some very dark times.

A lot of songs were written when he was dealing with his dark moments. It is thought-provoking to read his song lyrics as they relate to what he was going through at certain times in his life. I was very inspired by how he never stopped creating and kept pushing himself forward. 

The book is a documentation of a man who made a lot of mistakes and how he acknowledges his mistakes and really wants to do better. 

I definitely would like to own this book and that is the highest recommendation I can give for a book review.

Next, the not so great book by a rock and roll legend.

Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page is a book of photos but was actually kinda boring. The lack of text was the problem. No new insight into Led Zeppelin.

 A lot of pics that if you are a fan of Led Zeppelin, you have probably seen before but that is a "rare"  picture in that particular shoot that hasn't been shown before.

A lot of pictures of the stamps on his passports were featured. Again boring. How in the world did such an talented, creative, business savvy man make such a mundane book?

If you are looking for any new insight or clarification of legendary rumors about the band, this is not the book for you. Jimmy Page wanted to highlight the most important and impressive moments of his musical career. But there is barely any text worth reading among the pages.

He is obviously an extremely private person who wanted to just display his life's work through pictures and let the pictures speak for himself.

I would have enjoyed this book so much more if he talked more about his creative process and how he overcame his addiction to drugs. Also I would have loved to get his insight on the music industry today. I will search recent interviews for the answer to those questions.

Check this out from your local library or just go to your local bookstore, sit down and flip through the pages for free. Don't get me wrong, I am a HUGE Led Zeppelin fan who has a collection of Led Zep tabletop books. This book should have been the best Led Zeppelin fan book to add to my collection but I was really disappointed in the lack of interesting content in this book.

Both books can be found on Amazon.

Have you read any of these books? Tell me what you think.

Thank you for reading!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Earrings Of The Day - Banana Republic Gold Circle Rhinestone Studs

 I got a great deal on my very first pair of Banana Republic Earrings. They were regular prices at $16.99 marked down to $4.97 and the sale was 50% and another 15% off. Location was the Banana Republic Factory Outlet store at Carolina Premium Outlets in Smithfield, NC.

The reason they were marked down so low was because the backs were missing. I definitely didn't have problem with that because I have lots of earring backs at home.

Very simply designed with pave rhinestones in a gold tone setting. This picture does not show just how sparkly the stones are.  I will be able to get a lot of wear out of these classic earrings over the years.

I really like the Banana Republic Factory Outlet store. The post about the T shirts I got will be coming up very soon. The best time to go to the outlet stores in at the end of the season when everyone is having their huge clearance sales.

Years ago I go a parachute material purse from the Banana Republic Outlet store that I wore for many years until it finally fell apart. I was hoping to find a similar bag but no luck. The BR store is definitely worth the 45 minute drive but honestly the other stores do not have low prices in my opinion.

Check out the Banana Republic Factory Outlet website.

The background paper I photographed the earrings on is from a memo pad I got from TJ Maxx a while back. Love the printed design.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Woodstock 3 Days of Peace and Music Director's Cut DVD Review

I have watched documentaries about the Woodstock Music Festival before but this DVD reminded me how huge that concert really was. Overwhelming is a word that comes to mind but there was still a very intimate vibe when I was watching the performances.

 It was just a sea of all people for all walks of life enjoying three days of amazing music. This huge peaceful type of concert with this type of "hippie" vibe and variety of famous artist been never been repeated  like this since. Concerts and festivals today do not compare to the vibe of Woodstock.

Watching the DVD, it was so interesting to look at the cool hippie/flower child fashions. I love the baby doll dresses, long strands of colorful beaded necklaces, and how "natural" everyone looked. There is so much plastic surgery, heavy makeup and hair weave to be seen today. Back then people looked like people. Black people wore their own hair a lot more than they do today.

The logistics alone are incredible to imagine how to plan a musical event attended by that many people. Of course a lot more people ended up arriving than the management team had planned for. I have always been extremely interested in behind the scenes activities. 

My favorite musical performances of the concert were Joe Cocker (Update: Joe Cocker died at 70 a day after I posted this blog - so very sad), Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Richie Havens. Some of the crazy zoomed in camera angles added to that being right on stage seeing the bands up close feeling. Loved it.

Hopeful one day I will be able to attend an festival that will come a little bit close to to the magic of Woodstock. The world is a very different place today. There is a lot to be cautious and even afraid of when being in crowds that huge. Europe still has annual music festivals. In America, there is a tendency towards violence sometimes (remember the other "Woodstocks").

Definitely check out this amazing DVD. I must admit it was fun to watch Woodstock but standing around in the rain, mud and the trash would be the least fun part of the experience. Let's not even think about how everyone smelled. LOL!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

J. Crew Gold Pencil - Great Sale Price But A "Goldfinger" Fail

Shiny and beautiful can be used to describe this lovely looking J. Crew pencil set. The classy elegant packing caught my eye at once. I was browsing in the J. Crew store at Carolina Premium Outlets in Smithfield, NC, they were having an amazing sale - 50% off plus another 15% off. I paid $4.97 (tax included) for the pencil set.

Yes this is fantastic but (and there is always a but) J. Crew's prices are so high, even with the discounts, most of the merchandise is far over my very small budget for shopping. So I was so excited that I could finally buy something from the J. Crew. Sadly it was not clothing but still I get to make a purchase and get a cool J. Crew bag.

The gold pencil set is in a thin gold cardboard tub. The pencils are the same high shine gold. Very pretty to look at and display on your desk. The pencil itself sharped in my "old school" turn the lever sharper (some pencils never sharpen - they just keep grounding down to finally a short nub with a point that keeps breaking.

Pencil sharpened fine, good sharp lead point and lastly a good eraser that doesn't smudge. Btw, yes I love office supplies and stationary as much as I do jewelry. LOL!

Today I decided to really use the pencil to draw a mermaid or two and design a layout for my blog, I look down at my hand and cue the "Goldfinger" theme song from the Bond movie: I had gold paint all over my hand. Not cool!

The J. Crew pencil set retailed for the regular price of $14.99 even if the gold paint stayed on the pencil (no the name J. Crew is NOT printed on the pencil) that is still way too much for 10 pencils.

Now I've got to figure out a way to use the pencils and stop the paint from rubbing off on my hands. So lame. This is way I do not blindly believe that a  "designer brand name" absolutely guarantee that you are getting a better quality product.

Scroll down to the see the pictures of how the pencil set looked before and after I used it. 

 Fail big time!

Why would the paint rub off so easily? Have any of you had this problem with this item? I will update you with my solution.

Here is a beauty review post I wrote about the Elf Professional Foundation Brush.

Thank you for reading!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Hollister Antique Metal Blue Ribbon Necklace

A close up of the Hollister necklace I purchased recently on a super clearance deal:  50% off the markdown prices of $4.99 - $2.49!!! The regular price was $34.95. I love finding deals like this on the clearance racks.

Strange thing - I was looking through the bin on the bottom shelf of the clearance section and the marked down necklaces were "hidden" underneath a pile of underwear. Lesson: Always take the time to dig through the piles in the sales section.

Of course I had to buy two necklaces (and the matching bracelet) LOL! I think it is because I am a Gemini why I always feel the need to buy two of almost everything.

I would describe the necklace as antiqued bronze metal, rhinestones, and  two colors of blue ribbon/threads weaving in and out of the metal chain links.

OK let me explain whay I bought two necklaces. Besides the amazingly low price, I will alter one necklace and as a result I will have two similar but different necklaces. The two necklaces can be worn separately or stacked for an even more strong statement necklace style.

I'm excited to start wearing this necklace with my knit or sweater tops.

Here is a past blog post I wore about a gold chain necklace that also had a lot of tiers in it's design.

Thank you for reading!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tommy Bahama Necklace - A Mermaid Would Love This

 I was browsing in the Tommy Bahama store in Crabtree Valley Mall, I took a quick snap of this stunning sea life theme necklace. Any stylish mermaid would definitely love this piece as a part of her accessory collection. It is definitely a big statement necklace.

 The colors are so perfect: smooth blue for sea water and textured gold for the sparkle of the sun on the waves. I searched the store's website and unfortunately necklace wasn't available anymore.

Inexpensive this necklace is definitely not. I believe the price was over $100.00 (just glanced at the tag and I did get sticker shock LOL!) and if I understood the sales associate correctly Tommy Bahama does not mark down their merchandise??

There is an Tommy Bahama outlet in Tanger Outlet store in Myrtle Beach, SC and the prices were much more reasonable. The outlet store had a 30% off sale going on recently.

Since there is no way I am going to pay that huge amount for costume jewelry, I took a picture so I could gather all the elements of the necklace and make it myself. I'm pretty confident I will be able to easily find the sea life pieces when I visit the shops down at the beach. The basic gold chain and the beads are most craft stores.

This is not difficult necklace to make if you have all the parts because all you are doing is just attaching the "charms" to a gold chain with jump rings.

I love when I get inspired by an expensive item in a store, study the different pieces it is composed of then construct my own version using what I have at home or inexpensive items.

Let me know if you decide to make a necklace similar to this.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Overcoming Obstacles

Today was a day of overcoming many obstacles just to post on my blog. From long lines at the DMV to slow or broken WiFi, all I wanted was to just say hello and follow your dreams and your passions. 

I conquered those annoyances and here is this very short but hopefully meaningful post.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Beauty Review - Lush Soap - Sexy Peel

I went inside the Lush store for the second time at Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh, NC. The first time I ventured in, it was on a busy day and was immediately helped a lot more than I wanted to be by the sales associates. My favorite way to shop is to be kindly approached by the sales associate then let alone to shop in peace until I have a question. At that time I felt so smothered by sales associates, I hurried up and let the store.

This time was a much better experience. The store was quiet with only one other customer besides me. The two sales associates were very nice and extremely helpful. I had lots of questions about what is the smallest amount minimum I could purchase. They very graciously gave me a small sample of the soap "Sexy Peel".

Oh btw, my understanding was that there wasn't a minimum to the smallest amount I could ask to purchase, I am going to test this out the next time I am in Raleigh.

The Beauty Review:

Lush soap - Sexy Peel

Main Ingredients: Organic orange juice and lime oil.

It is a citrus soap that first of all smells wonderful of oranges. The lime oil is not as strong as the orange fragrance but it is there just in the background.

This soap is a peeler bar with exfoliating properties hence the rough texture within the soap is small bits of orange peel.

My opinion after using the sample is that it  is OK nothing special. I loved the smell of the soap a lot more than what the soap was supposed to be used for. The lather and exfoliating were both nothing special.

My biggest problem with Lush  is the expensive price. For what the products are in size and use, in my humble opinion, you really don't get a whole lot for your money. Yes I know - organic ingredients are not cheap.

This store is hyped a lot by the beauty gurus on you tube but it's another store that once I actually use the products, it doesn't live up to the excited reviews by the gurus.

I will definitely go back to Lush (on not crowded in the store days  LOL!) to try more products.

Here is the link to the Lush site for the "Sexy Peel" soap.

Anyone have any suggestions on what I should try next?

Here is a link to another beauty review on my blog for the fragrance Jovan Island Gardenia

Thanks for reading

Friday, December 12, 2014

Easy Quick DIY - Turquoise Pendant Necklace

DIY Necklace

The materials I used:

 A cord from a broken necklace.

 A pendant from a long pendant belt . I never liked that belt and hardly ever wore it so I decided to take it apart and make one of the pieces part of a necklace.


 Loop the chain around cord and attach to pendant. I have a set of jewelry pliers I got from Ross. You can use any kind of pliers

That's it you are done! Very simple and very quick.

 If a piece of costume jewelry breaks or I just don't wear it anymore, I will look at the different elements of the jewelry and imagine how I can put it together to make a completely different piece.

With most of my costume jewelry collection, if piece breaks, and I can't put it back together to repair the original piece, I will reuse the parts to make something new and different.

When I am shopping the costume clearance section or thrift shops, I will not only look for items I will immediately wear but for jewelry I can take apart to make new pieces. Just think, the new piece of jewelry is unique. You have just made an original piece no one else will have.

You don't always have to spend money to have "new" things to jazz up your accessory wardrobe. Recycle, Reuse and Remake inexpensive jewelry into a completely new piece of jewelry you designed yourself.

Enjoy your  "new" necklace.

Another easy to do  DIY post -  A framed jewelry necklace holder.

Thank you for reading!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Necklace Of The Day - Six Beaded Tiers On Long Chain - Rue 21

 When I saw this necklace on display in Rue 21, I wasn't sure if it was really my style or would look good on me but since it was the wonderful price of $2.00 on clearance, I decided to give it a try. Every so often I go to Rue21 to see what is on clearance on the jewelry display. I hit the jackpot this time because I got about ten necklaces.

Sometimes you do know how something will look until you try it on. I LOVE this necklace! The style of the six tiers of beads kinda reminds me of some Native American jewelry I have seen.

This necklace has a very long chain so it hangs very low and the tassels make it even longer. As statement necklaces go, this what I would call a very understated delicate statement necklace.

It looks amazing with my solid color sweaters because it adds a bit of edge.

Here is another post about a Rue 21 necklace.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Earrings Of The Day - Mint Green Chandelier - Forever 21

I love these Forever 21 earrings I got on clearance for the $1.99. regular price is $6.80.  This photo does not show clearly the subtle pale mint green with a hint of tiny gold dust. The setting and findings are gold tone.

It is so much fun to find costume jewelry that looks more expensive than it is. The earrings are made of a lightweight but good quality plastic material. The style of these earrings is chandelier so they can be worn with more dressed up outfits.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Myrtle Beach 2014 - On The Way To The Beach

South of the Border - It's a lot of things: It's a rest stop, motor inn (another word for motel?), souvenir shops, amusement parks and attractions, and they sell fireworks. I'm always glad to see the big sombrero tower because I tell myself I'm half way to Myrtle Beach.

                                                           The tower with the sombrero on top.

I loved  this t shirt with the glitter accent on the sandals. This picture does not do it any justice because it looks so much better in person. But twenty-one dollars for a regular t shirt - no way. Maybe ten dollars.

This gorgeous tree was located in the South Carolina Visitors Center. I gathered a lot of brochures not just for Myrtle Beach but other cool places to visit in the state.
Driving into downtown Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I love the feeling of driving down this street and knowing I am finally back in the city and beach I love so much.

                                   Close up shot of the South Carolina Visitor Center's Christmas tree.

LOL! This is a mechanical mermaid in a miniature golf amusement park across from the McDonald's. She was the first mermaid I saw on my trip. Her tail moved up and down. 

One of my first pictures of the beach. I grabbed some McDonalds and headed to the beach to eat with an ocean side view. 

I was at Myrtle Beach only for two days and this day had sun and the next day was gloomy (but still beautiful in it's own way). Thankfully I took a lot of pics on the day with the most sun. It was perfect temperatures for both days. Comfortably cool or outright warm temperatures in December? Strange but wonderful.

A walkway to the beach. I love peaceful pictures like this. Crowded beaches are not fun for me at all. Very few people were at the beach. It was mostly me and lots of cute old people. 

McDonald's in Myrtle Beach. I loved the beach themed decor. Surfboard tables and water reflection picture tables. This actually reminded me of a scene in Veronica Mars where Veronica and her dad are having breakfast in a really tacky super decorated beach themed restaurant.

More pictures from my trip are on the way. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Myrtle Beach I Will See You Very Soon

Myrtle Beach November 2013

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all had a very happy Thanksgiving.  The end of 2014 is also almost here. Time seems to speed up more and more every year.

Work has been very hectic and I hope to be back posting blogs more regularly soon.

Tomorrow I am am going to go on a mini vacation to Myrtle Beach. Finally I am going to see the ocean again. It has been too long. I was not able to go when the weather was warm but I don't care. Looking at those ocean waves is like balm for my soul.

This time of year the beach is  not crowded so this is a big plus for me. I don't like visiting the beach during the busiest times of the year.

I am  really excited to see the Christmas decorations. Christmas as the beach is so cool.

Lots of pictures are on the way. Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading!