Wednesday, September 2, 2009

On Being.....Dandy

Although there's an age gap between the two of us, I've found Dandy to be so much fun that I've decided that if I had to choose a little sister, she'd definitely be it. Her outlook on life is positive and upbeat - even after the diagnosis of cancer. For some, it would be the perfect time to crawl under the covers but Dandy has a different perspective that will make you smile and cheer right along with her.
Here's Dandy!

Where were you born and raised?
Surf City baby! AKA Huntington Beach, CA.

What was your childhood like with your siblings? Were you a close knit family?
We have a very unique family and I love it. If I had a white board right now I would totally draw you a diagram.

My parents were both previously married and then got hitched and had me. It was the best thing that ever happened to them. Can I say that? That’s the story as I see it anyway. I have total of 4 half-siblings! My mom had a son and 2 daughters who range from 10-17 years older than me. My dad also had a son 10 years older than me. When I was born I was very much the baby. When I was a few years old I had the house to myself as all my siblings were living elsewhere. This is why I always thought of myself as an only child with siblings.

My family gets together often and there are quite a few of us. We joke because my siblings and I look nothing alike. Most people don’t even believe us when we explain it.

It was sort of like having siblings and extra parents at the same time. I mean it in the best way possible.

What has kept you in California?
I never really “planned” to stay in California. Since college I believe I have moved somewhere around 13 times for school and work and it has always been in Southern California. I like the proximity to family but I wouldn’t be opposed to move if a good opportunity awaited us. I do love California, there is still so much to see and do. And then I look at some of the blogs out there and think of how wonderful it would be to get away from the city. We’ll see where life takes us.

What do you do for a living?

I’m in the exciting, enthralling, action-filled world of bookkeeping! I’m in total denial though. It’s been nearly 2 years and I still consider myself a restaurant manager.

Is that what you dreamed of doing? If not, what is your dream job?

Good Lord no! My goal, my dream was to run my own restaurant. But life changed and when I think about going back I realize I have more dreams than just that. I want to be a wife and mother that can be there for my family… even on holidays and during dinner. I have realized now that I can’t be the type of restaurant owner I would expect of myself and also the type of wife and mother I had dreamed of.

My dream job now? I’m not quite sure, something to do with books. Or food. Or both. Would anyone like for me to run a bakery/bookstore for them? I’ll need to be paid fantastically and I’d like holidays off. Oh and full benefits. And I don’t want to commute 1-3 hours a day anymore. Although, I was just thinking to myself yesterday that I’d like Anthony Bourdain’s job. You know, without the chain smoking and occasional wrestling match. Anyone need a food critic?

How did you and B meet?

B and I met at Roy’s Restaurant in Rancho Mirage. We both worked there. It was against the rules. Don’t tell Roy. I’m just kidding. Roy found out a long time ago.

It was not love at first site. It was not boy courts girl. It was more like girl somehow convinces boy that he cannot live without her. And that he can not only put up with her craziness but also learn to love her little quirks. In the end I think they both win… don’t you?

I want to hear all about the wedding plans...big or little the beach..what are your colors, etc.

B and I both have very large families! It was hard but it looks like we have the guest list at around 225. I had to go back and change this because in the nearly 2 weeks its taken me to do this we’ve already jumped to 240. So yes, its going to be a big wedding. I’ve always wanted a winter wedding so it’ll be December 5th! We are getting married in a catholic church in Newport Beach and having the reception at a country club in Huntington Beach. To be honest I always pictured something more unconventional for the reception but trying to find a library or museum that can accommodate 200+ indoors and didn’t cost a promise of our first born child was an exercise in futility.

I’m not crazy about wedding planning and I find the whole process waaayy over the top. I am learning to really embrace the experience though. I’m not stressed anymore. What gets done will get done. In the end though, it is going to be beautiful and amazing. I also found out I tend to go against the grain when it comes to what I want. I had a lot of people look at me sideways. We are going with a bare branches, wintery, icy, candle lit type of look. Its hard finding a florist when you don’t really want flowers. But our florist is amazing and fantastic and I totally trust her. I can’t wait to share pictures!

My colors are blush and bashful. OK they aren’t really. The colors of the bridesmaids dresses are Espresso, Latte, Mocha and Taupe which range from a dark brown to a silvery/ champagney/ taupe. And they all got to pick their own dresses in different styles from the same line. We aren’t gong for matching here. In fact all the guys will have different ties on in similar colors and they all picked out their various different kinds of black tennis shoes. Yes, tennis shoes, Pumas, Adidas, Vans and something else, I can’t remember. B and I will have accents of blue instead of browns. B picked out his shoes which are a very bright blue pair of Adidas. I know this all sounds very random but I’m positive it will all come together.

If it's not too difficult to talk about, talk about being diagnosed with cancer. Did it change your outlook on anything? If so, what?

You could ask me anything about cancer and believe me, I have gotten some pretty hysterical questions!

First I want to acknowledge that everyone reacts differently when diagnosed with cancer. My opinion may be, and often is, different from others. In my blog I spoke about being diagnosed in a sort of play-by-play kind of way. What I didn’t talk about was the effect it had on me. Being diagnosed with cancer was one of the best things to ever happen to me. I realize that seems odd to some and it irritates others. I am not trying to belittle the situation. I have lost friends and family to cancer and no, I don’t think it was a gift to them. I can’t speak for anyone else but myself.

Do you ever wake up in the morning with an anxious feeling for no apparent reason? That was me… a lot. For a long time. My life was going a mile a minute. I was going in a million different directions at one time.

Then I was diagnosed with cancer. You know what? Everything changed in an instant. I was calm. I didn’t have that nagging anxiety. I really didn’t sweat the small stuff. The things that were so important to me before all changed. I looked at the world through different eyes. I wanted to hug all my loved ones. I appreciated my life so much more. I didn’t get angry at that driver on the freeway. Its weird, I know. Don’t get me wrong, there were times when I was freaked out. I still got nervous before chemo. I still hated needles. But in general I was a calmer, more appreciative woman. I was more positive than ever.

I realized in an instant I needed to spend the rest of my life with B. I realized that I wanted to spend more time living daily and less time getting thru today to get to tomorrow. I realized how lucky I am. Having cancer saved me in so many ways.

What is your favorite way to spend the day?

A combination of fresh cool air, a cozy place to read a good book, soothing music, delicious smells, trying/tasting/exploring something new, eating comforting foods and sharing it all with B.

Why did you begin blogging?

A couple years ago I made a decision to appreciate my life and be happy where I am. You know, living in the now. Sometimes its harder than I expected. I started the blog as a way to keep that focus. Oh and I like to ramble. Have you noticed?

What are your aspirations for the future?

There are so many things I am excited about. The future holds so many possibilities. I have a whole list of to do’s. I’m getting married and growing old with B is on that list. I want to learn to use my camera to capture the magic I see. I really want to have children. I’d like to travel the world, a little bit at a time. I’d like to learn to write and someday publish something. I could go on for days and days!

Define contentment.

Sheesh, I’ve totally been circling around this question! Why is that?

I suppose the definition is really about a sort of satisfaction or appeasement. I actually googled contentment to compare my thoughts to the written definition. So many describe contentment as happiness. To me, happiness is so much more than contentment. Am I content in my life? I suppose. Am I happy about my life? Absolutely.

It might be because I’m never completely content. There is always something I want to do, some place I want to explore, some goal I would like to achieved. I’m never completely satisfied with my life the way it is.

According to a synonym of contentment is “fat dumb and happy”. That will be my new definition…. as apparently I am so much more content than I ever thought possible!

Dandy's Five Faves....

1) Adventures with B
2) Food, especially new foods
3) Traveling anywhere
4) Getting lost in a book
5) Holidays, especially Christmas

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

On Being - Trina

I've been given a wonderful opportunity to interview Trina @ Our Crazy Life.
What's intriguing is that her and her husband have 6 kids (ranging from 29 - 4 years old) and 7 grandchildren. Even more amazing is that they have been married for 22 years this month.

Trina, you have what many would consider a very challenging, non boring life. Are you content with where you are today?

I, along with everyone else probably, would like to have more money and
not have to struggle, but I have a great family, a job I don’t hate, a
roof over my head and food to eat~~ shouldn’t complain because so many
people don’t.

You were married at 15 (first marriage) why did you choose to marry so young?

I was basically forced. My great grandmother was a typical southern lady
and she ran our family. When I got pregnant she insisted I marry.

Was the end of your first marriage a result of being married so young?

Yes and no. I think if I was older and more mature I would have handled
things better, but I was married to a man (I use that word lightly) that
liked to hit me. I took it for several years, but the day he hit my child
I was out of there and never looked back.

Tell me about your marriage now. How did you meet? Were you hesitant to
marry again after your first marriage ended?

My husband (of 22 years this Friday) was actually on a bowling team with
my ex because they had some mutual friends. He liked the ex as much as I
did thank heavens. After I left my marriage he started coming by to see if
I was OK or needed anything for the kids and I helped him with some papers
he had to write for school. After he asked me to marry him about 40-50
times I gave in. I swore I would never marry again, but I am glad I broke
my own rule.

You are blessed to have a large family. Are any of the kids adopted?

I have 3 bio kids and 3 adopted. My kids are ages 29-4 with only the oldest being a boy so our house is a total hormonal mess at times. I have two daughters and their husbands that live with me. My oldest daughter has MS and a new baby so she helps me with my little ones and I help her when
she is having bad days. It is a lot louder and crazier than it was when
only Jeff and I were home after the last one got married, but when we
decided to adopt they all came back home to help out.

I’m sure there’s never a dull day. Are your kids involved in outside activities?

My kids like to do about everything. The older kids all played softball
and were cheerleaders (girls). They love to ride the ATV’s and go
camping. My little girls are following in the same steps~~ they can’t
wait to be old enough to be cheerleaders and my 6 year old is awesome at
any sport she tries. In fact she beat her whole school (up to 6th grade)
in a basketball shooting contest and she was barely 6. We have a pool and
they like to swim everyday too.

The older girls are all married and 2 have kids. The two that have kids
have also both lost a baby, one at birth and one at 3 months from cancer.

Which child keeps you on your toes?

The one who keeps me on my toes is probably Libby, the baby (for now). She
is constantly trying my patience. We are really a lot alike and maybe that
is some of it. I would love to adopt some more kids, but we will just see
how it goes.

Unfortunately my son has made some bad choices and is currently
incarcerated, but it finally seems he is growing up and doing what he
needs to do to get back on track when he is released.

Being a mom and also a grandma must be the greatest! Tell me about it.

When I found out I was pregnant at 15 the first thing I heard from almost
everyone was “get an abortion”. I NEVER even considered it because I grew
up in a large family and knew I wanted nothing more than to be a mother. I
really enjoyed my kids and growing up with them. I really love being a
grandma, they say that grandkids are the reward for not killing your own
children and I believe that. I try to teach them all one bad habit that
their parent had so they can experience it also. I like jumping on the bed
the most.

What is a typical day like for you?

Up at 5:30 shower and ready for work.
Get the kids clothes ready for the day and be to work by 7:00
I work until 5:30 and then get home about the time my husband has dinner
Then we do homework, baths and bedtime. Then I usually get on the computer
for an hour or so.On weekends and other days off. (I work 4-10 hour days) I play with the kids, do some reviews and PR for the blogs, catch up laundry and grocery
shopping. Sometimes we plan something, but most times we just decide to go
to a movie or something last minute and off we go.

You mentioned that you are a cancer survivor. What age were you diagnosed?
Describe your life then.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 31. I have cancer in
my family so we decided radical was the way to go. My body looks a lot
different, but I am here and breathing so I can't ask for more. My life
then was crazy! I had 4 kids 15 and under and I was terrified of leaving
them. I actually didn’t have a lot of time to be scared after diagnosis
because I was in surgery within days. My biggest fear was the way I would
look afterwards and if my family would be embarrassed by my body-or lack
of parts. I shouldn’t have ever given it a second thought. My girls are
fierce in defending me to anyone who says anything and my husband says he
wouldn’t care what they had to take as long as I am still here with him. I
personally think he was just afraid to have all those kids on his own.

Do you have any fears?

It really sounds stupid, but I am terrified of either sinking on a ship or
crashing in a plane and having a shark eat me. I am not afraid of the
water, the ship or flying- just of the shark. Everyone tells me that if my
plane crashes in the ocean I will most likely be dead already and wouldn’t
feel it, but I don’t want to end up as shark poop.

What is your favorite way to relax and unwind?

I like hanging out in the canyon or on the beach. Anything low key and
everyone just having fun. The beach is probably my favorite but since we
are in Utah I don’t get there much. I also like to read and crochet and on
rainy days I like to curl up in a warm blanket and watch a movie

You live in Utah but yet, aren’t Mormon. Were you raised in a Mormon
family? Do you have religious beliefs that you follow?

I was raised in a Mormon family kind of……my grandparents were very religious on my dad's side and my mom's side were partly Mormon and partly Southern Baptist. My
parents didn’t really push any religion on us. I think I have been to
almost every church at one time or another, mostly in my teenage years. I
like the Catholic church and the Baptist, but I really don’t believe much
in organized religion. I feel I am very spiritual and that religion is
just between me and God. I believe in prayer and I believe in doing what
is right so I think I will make it to Heaven regardless of if I go to
church every week or not. That is not so popular here, but that is just
how it is. I allowed my kids to check out different churches also and they
have all chosen different ones so we really just don’t talk about it
much. I think if people were a little more tolerant of other people's
beliefs this world would be a much nicer place. You don't have to agree,
just understand that you don't and it is OK.

Give me your input on:

Racism~~ I think people who say they don’t see color are liars. We all see color, I just don’t understand why people make such a big deal about it. My grandchildren are like the United Nations and I love them all the same.I think I see color and it is beautiful on each person because that is how God wanted them. I also don’t understand how anyone could hate, hurt,
torture or neglect someone because of the color they are. We are all human
and it should end there!

Blogging~~ I used to think it was stupid and I would never do it, but here I am and totally addicted. I love that there are so many topics and different blogs. I love meeting new people and I am hoping to find some sponsors so I can go to Blogher ‘10

plastic surgery~~ If you think you need it, go ahead. Don’t ever do it because someone else thinks you need it. Be happy in your skin and if it needs altered to make you happy, go for it. Although, I have seen some
women with size 48FFFFF breasts that really should have quit before that
point, but to each their own!

favorite tv shows~~ CSI- all of them, Law and Order- all of them, First
48, most everything on the Comedy Channel and TLC and Discovery channels

favorite books to read—Love true murder books. My family has teased me for
years that I keep reading them so when I kill someone I will know what not
to do from all the people who got caught and were written about

favorite music to listen to—I like all music except opera/classical and heavy metal. Some days, I like a little rock and roll to get me going and others a slow country song can calm me down. I sing them all like I am a rock star though, usually in the car with the windows up so some poor
unsuspecting soul doesn’t go deaf from hearing me

What is the perfect romantic get away for just you and your husband?

We love Jamaica and Cancun Mexico. We go to couples only and Adult resorts
so it is calm on the beach. I love kids, just not on the beach throwing
sand at me while I am relaxing. Nothing more romantic than a walk on the
beach as the sun is setting, listening to the ocean.

What has been your compelling strength when you’ve felt discouraged or

Hmmmm, I really don’t know. I guess just knowing I need to get through it
so I can spend happy times with my family. I am typically a positive
person, (although some would disagree with that and think I am a mean mommy
sometimes), so I try to always see the good so I don’t feel depressed. If
I am sad about something like a death in the family or something personal
like that, I want more than every to spend time with the little ones, they
can always make me smile.

Tell me about your talents and hobbies and interests.

I like to crochet, read, cross stitch. I used to ride horses and ATV’s a
lot before my back was broken, but now I am afraid of hurting it again so
I go for lower impact things. I like camping and traveling. I make
beautiful(if I say so myself) wedding and blessing dresses and I used to
make dress patterns for a major children’s clothing store. I don’t sew as
much anymore because of my back problems and it hurts to sit in one spot
for too long, but I still love it.

I would love to hear about your family traditions….what are some of them
that you enjoy doing together?

We always have Thanksgiving at our house. Have ever since I got married.
It is probably my favorite holiday because we all get together after the
long summer and fall and tell everyone what has been happening. I also
like to do a party on Christmas Eve and have Santa come for the little
kids. We have a friend who has a real beard and belly and he is great. All
the kids believe he is the real thing. We make sugar cookies for Santa and
plates of goodies for all the neighbors. It is always fun when the next
little one is old enough to start helping. I love the way their eyes light
up when they finally get to help.

Thank you, Trina for taking the time to chat with me. One more question...

What defines you?

I like to think I am defined by how I live and raise my
children, my career and marriage, but in reality I think I am defined by
just being happy and comfortable in my skin~ while wishing it was a little
smaller skin at times;-)~~doing what makes me happy and not really worrying about the pettiness and drama that can occur in life. I can't change the world, but I can make my little corner of it wonderful!

Monday, August 10, 2009

***WINNER** We have a winner!!!

The WINNER of On Being's Relaunch is....


Please email me with your address so that I can get your gifts sent to you. Also, to begin your very own virtual fashion consultant session...send me an email where apricot-tea can reach you.

Thank you all for entering!

If you'd like to be interviewed, please let me know. The very first interview is on it's way on Wednesday. Stay tuned!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

**GIVEAWAY** - Relaunching On Being

I have a beautiful picture on my wall that says, Home Is Where Your Story Begins. That's my motto for sure. Everyone has a story. Some are huge, late-breaking stories, some are simple but heartwarming and others are ones that require a Kleenex box nearby.

I've had the opportunity to spend time interviewing quite a few well known people for various publications and lots of not so well knowns and what I've learned is there is not one person that I've spoken to that does not have something worth telling. On Being is going to be that place to tell your stories.

Weekly, you will read about different people and their stories. You can comment and ask questions and it's my hope that you will go away having learned something from that story.

I would love to interview all of you - too young to be a grandma, cancer survivor, stand up comedian, young at heart, adoptive, homeschooling, career oriented, laid back, creative, searching women because your story does matter.

I ask that you email me and let me know that you'd like to be interviewed. I'll also come searching you out if you don't volunteer! :) The only request that I have is that you grab the "I've been interviewed on On Being" button when you'd like your readers to read all about you.

Now for the giveaway...

In celebration of relaunching, On Being... I'm giving away a totally cool prize package. Here's the prizes:

1 Stila Deluxe - My Mother, My Hero Gift Bag

Stoned - Handmade and created by my very own daughter, Apricot-Tea - This necklace features gorgeous stones & gemstones of all kinds: agates, jasper, obsidian, quartz crystal, to name a few. & each stone is just as unique & brilliant as the next. This necklace boasts beautiful colors: green, black, red, blue, earthy browns & creams. It hangs at about 16 1/2 inches, & is long enough to just slip over your head. Wear with a simple, summer dress. Or jazz up an all black ensemble. The Stoned necklace can go with anything.

A Book that helps to define your personal style, goals and who you are....I love, love, love my book and want someone else to have the pleasure of owning one.

And last but one of the biggest prizes of Virtual Personal Fashion Consultant session with Ev'Yan, from Apricot-Tea. Known for putting together and creating fashion ensembles, makeup artistry and creating a style that defines you - Ev'Yan will be assisting you with putting together a look that you love, from head to toe. She will consult on hair styles and cuts, makeup, fashions and accessories. This is a value of $350.00 per session and it's FREE to the winner!

For one entry, leave a comment in this post, telling me On Being....who you are and what makes you who you are.

For another entry, become a follower of On Being....

For one more entry, post a link on your blog about the giveaway and come back and let me know.

For two extra entries, pick up the button and place it on your sidebar!

The winner will be announced on Monday, August 10th, 2009.

Don't forget, if you'd like to be interviewed, please drop me an email.

Let's get to Relaunching!!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Part 3 of: On being a Fashion Extraordinaire.

More Q&A from Ev'Yan at, about being a Fashion Extraordinaire.


Should your style statement be something that you are comfortable in or one that looks good on you and that others compliment you for?
I think it should be a mix of both, but the majority being something that you are comfortable in. Some people might prefer you in long dresses, dripping with pearls, but if that is not your taste or your character, you'll be uncomfortable. Your style in general should always perfectly convey everything you're about, & everything you stand for. & this doesn't just apply to clothes. Your style statement reflects the relationships you have in your life, the music you listen to, the way you decorate your house, & so on. It's so important that you know precisely what you like, in all aspects of life, not just fashion. In the end, everything kind of reflects off of each other. (For a better idea of what a Style Statement is, take a look at mine.)

I've fallen into a rut when it's time for bed…I put on an old t-shirt and shorts. Help! I want to look sexy, soft and feminine without wearing lingerie that rides up my butt. What do you recommend?
I hear you on this one, because while lingerie is very pretty, it is also very impractical. I've never understood how some women will spend hundreds of dollars on fancy lingerie, when ultimately, the goal is to come OUT of it, not to wear it all night. Personally, I think lingerie is uncomfortable to sleep in. I mean, really: could you really sleep in something like this? It looks more complicated than it does pretty.

A better alternative would be a nightie. Something light & feminine, made of comfortable material, that is equally easy to sleep in, as well as pretty to look at. Victoria's Secret has some lovely, but practical ones to choose from, in all sorts of colors & sizes.

Another more simpler choice -- which I usually pick for myself -- is just a tank top, with shorts. It's still very feminine, but without much fuss. Target also has some great sleepwear, which is a lot less pricey than Victoria's Secret.

& if all else fails, just sleep naked.

Does hair grow longer in the summer or winter months?
It's not the question of longer, actually. It's faster. Hair (as well as toe nails) grows faster in the summer months. In the winter, the growth process slows down a little bit. I don't know exactly why this is. I can only assume that because of the heat, maybe our bodies are more apt to produce more hair. Either way, it can be a pain in the butt when you're trying to get rid of hair for the summer months, especially in your bikini area.

I have an old vintage (1940's) black pearl bracelet. Could I wear it with jeans or should I go for more of a chic look?
You could wear that with anything, chic or laid-back! Mixing vintage with modern is really hot right now, so pairing a bracelet like that with jeans & a nicer shirt/blouse would be ideal. You could even add a few more (modern) bracelets against the pearls to give it more interest & depth. Layering will jewelry can accentuate it better.

How do you keep your skin so smooth and clear?
Ever since I switched to being vegetarian, I've noticed a big difference in the way my skin looks. It's a lot more clear & even toned. I also drink a lot of water, so that helps with keeping it clear, too. I make sure that I take off my makeup every night with a makeup remover/cleaner. I am strongly against falling asleep with makeup on. It's so bad for your skin, & regular warm water doesn't do it quite as well as a cleanser would.

I do get breakouts still; especially around that "time of the month." But I try to take care of my skin at all times so that the breakouts aren't as consistent or bothersome. If you give your skin a strict cleaning schedule, & you stick with that religiously, I'm sure you will notice a difference in how your skin responds. What helps, too, is knowing your skin. Knowing if it's dry, oily, or combination helps a lot, because you can then decide which products you can use that will help your skin. If you have oily skin, & you're putting an oily moisturizer on top of it, you'll notice a lot of breakouts. It really helps to know your skin personally, so that you can customize your own cleaning regimen.

But don't over clean! I'm sure it's tempting to use several different methods of cleansers & masks to get that damned zit off of your face before your big date, but leave it be. By over cleaning -- & over stimulating, say, with exfoliating or masks -- you're actually doing MORE harm than you are good. & I know it's tempting to pop that zit, but it's better if you don't. Just let your skin be. Your skin has the potential to heal itself, if you let it. & whenever you get the chance to, let your skin breathe, keeping makeup off of it for several hours a day -- preferably at bed time.

How do I decide when it's time to try a new hairstyle?
Honestly, whenever you start getting bored with the one you have now. There really isn't a "life-span" for hairstyles... unless if what you have now is really, really modern or avant-garde.

You could change your hair with the seasons, but only if it's bothering you. Because I'm sure when it's really hot outside, having a long, lengthy hairstyle will be a pain for you. So maybe keep it slightly shorter, with a lighter haircolor -- because dark colors absorbs heat -- in the summer months would be good. But it's not really necessary. I think with hair, you're able to be a little more laid-back with the styles if you want. There aren't really any rules to how you should wear your hair during the months, or when you should change it. Whatever you're comfortable with is your ideal hairstyle.

What styles are in right now?
With hair, there are so many styles to choose from. You've got the pixie cut, the modern bob haircut, long layers, different color schemes, & any kind of variation in between. There are SO many styles to choose from when it comes to hair.

If you are considering changing your hairstyle, I highly suggest looking at hair magazines, especially from other countries. Places like the United Kingdom & Europe are a few years ahead of us when it comes to trends & fashions, mainly with hair. If you ever get a chance to, look at some of the magazines from those countries (they're usually found in regular bookstores like Barnes & Noble, in the magazine section). You'll see that they're way more progressive, fun, & bold.

If you find a hairstyle in a magazine that has attributes of the hairstyle you like, by all means, try it out! But be sure to tell your stylist PRECISELY what you want. You might think that you're being persnickety, but those details are completely necessary in giving you the style you want. So be very, very specific & bring lots of pictures.

On your blog, you have a statement t-shirt. Would that work for someone that is 45 years old and up?
I absolutely think you could wear a shirt like that; why not? Especially if you write something that is meaningful or sentimental to you. Not all trends are meant for the "youngins." Anyone can embrace them, if they have the confidence to do so. That's all it's about... confidence! If you have an air about you that just oozes confidence & "with-it-ness" anything can look good on you. Even if you have to "fake it 'till you feel it."

For example, Redbook magazine does a feature every month in their magazine where their cover girls (in ALL age groups!) wear a shirt that says "I Love My _______ Life." & inside of the blanks, they put whatever adjective(s) or phrases they want. You could easily do the same. Making a statement that is very powerful to you never goes out of style.

Describe a fashion blunder that you experienced and how you fixed it.
My blunder: I remember the first time I realized I was wearing WAY too much makeup. I looked at some pictures that people had taken of me at a party & all I saw was a caked on mess. I had dark all around my eyes, foundation nearly dripping off of my face, & my eyebrows were penciled in far too much. I realized that even though I thought I looked good, the camera captured a different look completely. I looked older, & kind of scary! Not just that, but I could barely recognize myself. All of that goop took away from the natural beauty in my face.

From there, I vowed to never use such a heavy hand when it comes to makeup. When penciling in my eyebrows, I made sure that the pencil matched my hair. (My hair is naturally light brown, but I was using a dark black eye pencil to fill them in. YIKES!) I also made sure that I used very, very light feathery strokes when filling them in, so that they didn't look drawn on.

Changing my foundation habits was the hardest, because if you apply makeup in a poorly lit room, you'll assume you need more than what you really do. & that's exactly what I was doing. I was applying layer upon layer & then I'd catch a glimpse of myself in a better lit room & gasp. It wasn't pretty. So, I literally had to apply my makeup with the blinds wide open -- because fresh, natural daylight is the perfect tell-tale light to use for anything -- & if I felt I needed more coverage, I would walk outside -- yes, outside!! -- with a mirror & see for myself. 9 times out of 10, I had already put too much on already, even with the blinds wide open.

Needless to say, it's takes a lot of practice, courage, & will-power to get yourself out of the blunders & habits you've created for yourself in Beauty. It's so easy to latch onto something because it's routine & it's the way you've always done it. & unfortunately, you'll get your wake up call when seeing yourself on film, or worse, a dear friend might blatantly point it out to you.

Ever since then, I've been better at not being so heavy handed, & I feel more comfortable walking out the front door.


While my mother has been very gracious in asking a lot of interesting questions, YOUR input is much needed, too! C'mon, guys. Don't be shy. ;]

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'll keep the questions coming as long as you keep the answers coming.

Should your style statement be something that you are comfortable in or one that looks good on you and that other's compliment you for?

I've fallen into a rut when it's time for bed…I put on an old t-shirt and shorts. Help! I want to look sexy, soft and feminine without wearing lingerie that rides up my butt. What do you recommend?

Does hair grow longer in the summer or winter months?

I have an old vintage (1940's) black pearl bracelet. Could I wear it with jeans or should I go for more of a chic look?

How do you keep your skin so smooth and clear?

How do I decide when it's time to try a new hairstyle?

What styles are in right now?

On your blog, you have a statement t-shirt. Would that work for someone that is 45 years old and up?

Describe a fashion blunder that you experienced and how you fixed it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Part 2 of: On being a fashion extraordinaire!

More Q&A for Ev'Yan at; the "Fashion Extraordinaire!" (According to my very proud mother.)


What do you recommend for those days when your hair just doesn't do what it's supposed to do? Short of wearing a hat, I had that problem this morning.
There are so many ways to "cover up" a bad hair day. Going back to what I said earlier about adornments, hats, scarves, headbands, bobby pins, etc. are GREAT ways to hide the fact that your hair is being defiant. All kinds of hats are in right now -- berets, fedoras, knitted beanies, newsboy hats -- & they usually can be worn with any kind of outfit. The best way to know for sure is by trying them on before hand. Prepare for the "bad hair day" before it even happens. Experiment with different ways you could wear & pull off a hat. Maybe wear your hair in a low bun (if you have long hair) or flip the ends of your hair up slightly (if you have a bob haircut). You might think, "I look so silly in hats!" but if you're open to the idea, they can absolutely work for you, especially if you take the time to make them work.

Hair accessories are also great ways of hiding a bad hair day. Right now, there are beautiful headbands to choose from & you can go almost anywhere to find them. One of my favorite places to find accessories online is; they have A LOT to choose from, & their prices are fairly reasonable.

& if you STILL don't feel like going the extra mile for hats or headbands, a few simple bobby pins will do. You'd be surprised just how chic your hair can look with some inexpensive bobby pins. Pin your hair back for a faux pompadour look; do little twisties in the front; or simply put a bobby pin on one side of your hair for a slick look. With bobby pins, the possibilities are endless! You'll never know until you try & play around with them a bit.

What beauty products do you swear by or use faithfully?
Lately, I can't get enough of Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula. My feet & heels get very dry during the winter months, so I've been trying to prepare my feet for spring, flip flop weather. Shy of me getting a professional pedicure, where they could buff off the dry, dead skin, I just put a layer of cocoa butter on my feet & heels before bed, put a sock on & go to sleep, & within a few days my feet are smooth! I kid you not; it's amazing! I definitely recommend that.

I also like St. Ives Apricot Scrub; not just because it's a great, low-priced exfoliant, but because they don't test on animals. I'm trying to get more into the habit of only buying animal friendly products.

When polishing my fingernails, the nail polish always wears out on the tips by the next day...why is that and what should I do to prevent that?
You could be applying too heavy of a coat. Usually, chips happen because the coats you're applying are thick & you probably aren't giving them enough time to dry in between reapplying.

Next time you go to paint your nails, apply one thin coat & let it dry completely before applying another layer. I recommend waiting for about 20-30 minutes, because that way you'll know for sure they're dry. If you do thin enough coats, it won't matter if you reapply up to 5 times! It should stay intact a lot better if you make sure that you're applying thinly, & letting them dry completely in between.

One thing I like to do, too, is wear rubber gloves when I'm washing the dishes, or cleaning around the house. The chemicals we use daily -- in dish water, in bathroom & kitchen cleaners -- take a toll not only on our hands, but on our nails. Your nail polish will chip a lot faster when exposed to things like that. I find that when I use dish gloves, I can get a good 2 weeks wear out of my polish. Think of your nail polish -- & the time you use to apply it -- as an investment. I, personally, hate the thought of me spending a few hours on making my nails look perfect, only to go & put them in situations where they could be easily ruined.

What do you consider a fashion "do"?
Tights, of all colors, are a definite DO! Especially for spring dresses & skirts. Floral patterns are a DO! Flat shoes are a DO in my book, but only because I find heels to be completely impractical & terribly unhealthy for your body. (Seriously, not trying to convert anyone, but this article speaks volumes! Why would you want to do such trauma to your feet?!) Dresses & skirts with deep pockets are a DO! Mixing feminine pieces with somewhat masculine pieces (a blazer, perhaps) is a DO! Colorful makeup is a DO! (This article has some GREAT tips & trends about makeup this spring, & in general.)

What do you consider a fashion "don't"?
Ill-fitting clothing is a DON'T! Low-rise jeans is a DON'T! (This is just out of control!) Cakey, gloppy makeup is a DON'T! Certain (passing) trends -- like this, & this, & THIS! -- are a definite DON'T! (More like NEVER.) Obnoxiously loud bling-bling is a DON'T! Not wearing a bra -- or at least not covering up the girls a little better -- is a DON'T!

I could obviously go on for days about the DON'Ts of fashion; & these are very extreme DON'Ts, but still. Don't do them. What matters most is what you do DO!


Sandi says:
Give me the fashion must for a busy mom who wears jeans every damn day! How can I jazz them up?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing jeans everyday! Especially if you're on the go most of the time. One great way to jazz up jeans is -- yes, I know, I sound like a broken record... but -- accessories! Maybe an interesting belt, or better yet, using a pretty scarf as a belt brings some interest to your ensemble. Other things like light cardigans, fringe vests, & long necklaces are good, too! I also suggest maybe doing some embellishments on your jeans. Maybe sew on some lace material lining the outside of your pockets; or you could try distressing them a bit like I did with a cheese grater & a knife. Little things like that will make your seemingly boring jeans a lot more fun, playful, & unique. & they're such easy things that it won't feel like you're weighed down with layers & layers of jewelry & fabric. They're simple enough, but still intriguing.

I hope you all enjoyed this! Keep the questions coming, please!

Here's your chance....

to ask anything you've wanted to ask about hair, makeup, beauty products, clothing ideas and more. Leave your questions in the comment section and Ev'Yan will address each of them in her new post. For now....the interview continues...

What do you recommend for those days when your hair just doesn't do what it's supposed to do? Short of wearing a hat, I had that problem this morning.

What beauty products do you swear by or use faithfully?

When polishing my fingernails, the nail polish always wears out on the tips by the next day...why is that and what should I do to prevent that?

What do you consider a fashion "do"?

What do you consider a fashion "don't"?

Monday, March 16, 2009

On Being... a fashion extraordinaire.

Hello, everyone! I'm Ev'Yan from, & I am absolutely thrilled to be this weeks' guest blogger. I have to say, though, that my mom gives me way too much credit! I am no where close to being an "expert." But I'm happy to share what I already know with all of you. Please, be candid with your questions! I'm glad to help.


How would you describe your fashion sense?
My fashion sense is a mixture of a lot of things. It's frugal, simple, & genuine. I don't believe in wearing things that don't suit my body (like heels, for instance, which I cannot walk in for the life of me!). I am all about comfort. I also like androgynous looks, & I sometimes get inspiration from men's styles. But I like some feminine things, as well, so I would describe my look as "feminine, with a hard edge." I'm not too keen on bright, bold colors. I'm drawn to monochromatic looks: greys, whites, & blacks of all shades. The more minimalistic the better.

Are there certain outfits that you can't live without and if so, what are they?
I love American Apparel t-shirts. They're so easy to dress up or down. I also like pairing tights with things: distressed shorts, dresses, skirts, etc. My ideal outfit is an American Apparel tee, with frayed shorts, & black opaque tights. I could wear that everyday without shame because it's so comfortable (& simple), yet it's very stylish!

Define beauty.
Beauty, to me, is being 100% genuine. It's being true to yourself without boundaries. Beauty, to me, rarely has anything to do with what you look like on the outside; it has everything to do with who you are on the inside. I always try to remember is that Beauty isn't a goal I'm trying to achieve; it's who I am at this very moment, even if I have bedhead. Beauty is in ALL imperfections, especially if you can take that imperfection & make it uniquely attractive. I think everyone is beautiful.

What was the greatest find that was found at a thrift or used store? How have you used it?
I can't really pin-point one great thing that I found at a thrift store. At one time, though, most of my wardrobe was made up of thrift store clothes, & I somehow got a lot of compliments on the outfits I put together. People would ask me, "Where did you get those shoes? They're amazing!" & when I told them, they were astonished. They were even more astonished when I told them how much I spent on them (usually under $5). I still have some of those shoes today; thankfully, my shoe size is the only thing that hasn't grown over the years! I would like to do more thrift store shopping, eventually. I just need to find a good shop in my area.

What do you recommend for someone that's on a limited budget as far as looking chic and beautiful but for less?
One thing that I like to do is look at what's "In" right now. Look in magazines, websites, & higher end stores, & get an idea of what trends you like. Make a list of the pieces you were drawn too & then go to places like Target, H&M, Ross, Payless, TJ Maxx, even thrift stores to see if you can find pieces that are very similar to the "It" looks. A lot of stores have "knock-offs" -- meaning, replicas of trends in fashion, so you're bound to find something. Even better if you can go to a thrift store & find something vintage that resembles today's "It" items, because you most likely won't spend a lot of money. Especially if the trend is short-lived; you won't feel bad when you know you've only spend $10 on it.

What's the most important accessory that makes the outfit?
Absolutely ANY kind of adornment: berets, scarves, bracelets, necklaces, headbands, shoes. People ask me where to start to make an outfit look "amazing." & I always say that they should find one accessory that they love, & use that as the main focal point of the outfit. It always works! You could wear a seemingly plain, black dress, but have a very bright, fun necklace that makes the entire outfit pop! (Even better if the necklace has colors in it that could match your shoes.) Any kind of accessory -- funky vintage necklaces, a colorful scarf, an intricate bracelet -- can have this effect on your outfits. It's the easiest way to make an outfit unique, so be on the lookout for interesting accessories to complete your look. You'll find that you won't have as many "I don't know what to wear" days when you have a lot of accessories to play around with. (Forever21 has GREAT jewelry & accessories.)

If you could dress in one era....what era would that be and why?
Even though it goes against what I would normally wear, I would love to be in the 1920s era. I love the flapper styles. I love the long dresses, with long pearls & beautiful head-pieces. If I could have any excuse to wear a dress such as that, I would take it. But these days, it's very rare to have that opportunity. Even in the 50s, women would wear such beautiful dresses, & for no other reason but to go to dinner. Sure, I could walk around wearing a dress like that, but people would certainly look at me funny. For me, the next best thing is a maxi dress, which is a modernized version of a long dress.

What is one piece of makeup that you won't do without?
Mascara, definitely! It's the easiest way to liven up your face & make your eyes pop without doing much. I'm also trying to get into the habit of wearing red lipstick often, because it can instantly glamorize your makeup without much effort. The only bad thing is that red lipstick gets everywhere, & I have yet to master the tricks to keep it on my lips & not on my cheeks, teeth, chin, etc. But practice makes perfect!

Pancake says:
What I would love to learn is, how to use make up to make my eyes pop! I have light blue eyes. HELP!
Blue eyes -- ALL eyes -- can be dressed up with any color; it is only limited to your imagination! But to REALLY bring out your blue eyes, brown, bronze, peach, & even a darker shade of blue (like navy) would be perfect for you. If navy is too dark for you, go a few shades lighter. Same with brown, or bronze.
Experiment & play around with all colors. If you don't want to spend a lot of money on eyeshadows, go to a drugstore, & pick out a few inexpensive brands to test out. (Wet N' Wild, CoverGirl, Milani, & Maybelline are great.) Go for any color that you're attracted to. & if you like what you see when you put it against your eyes, then you can consider buying a more high-end brand. But I find that drugstore brands are just as good as "professional", department store brands.

Oh, & don't forget the mascara!

There are no "rules" to makeup or fashion, so don't read too much into "blue eyes should only wear this color, & brown eyes should only wear that color." All that matters is that it looks fantastic on you, & that you feel 100% confident in sporting the look, no matter how seemingly odd or "out there."

Keep the questions coming! :]

Sunday, March 15, 2009

On Being -- A Fashion Extraordinairre

Here is the world's greatest fashion daughter who has agreed (without pay) to be a guest blogger this week. To give you a bit of background....

She is a licensed cosmetologist, fashion coordinator/consultant, makeup artist, artist, writer for many fashion magazines and has done a bit of modeling. She can take a trash bag and cut holes in it and make it look trendy and fashionable....I kid you not! She would love to answer any and all questions that you may have regarding anything...and I mean anything...pertaining to fashion, clothes, hair, makeup, can even give you some input on makeover suggestions. Her blog, is filled with a wealth of information as well as her store where she sells clothing, jewelry and many accessories. Without any further's my daughter....Ev'Yan.

How would you describe your fashion sense?

Are there certain outfits that you can't live without and if so, what are they?

Define beauty.

What was the greatest find that was found at a thrift or used store? How have you used it?

What do you recommend for someone that's on a limited budget as far as looking chic and beautiful but for less?

What's the most important accessory that makes the outfit?

If you could dress in one era....what era would that be and why?

What is one piece of makeup that you won't do without?

I've started the questions...please join in!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

More Questions On Being....Black

I got an email with quite a few questions regarding what it's like being Black. I have to give kudos to the emailer....she came up with some questions that must've been circling through her brain for a long time. So without any further ado....

1. Is it true that Black people only wash their hair once a week?
Speaking for myself, yes, I only wash my hair once a week. Reason being....with Black hair, we need the oil which is a necessity for keeping our hair healthy. If it's washed too much, the hair shaft dries out and becomes unhealthy. We also use leave in moisturizer or conditioner to replenish the oils and moisture. As for extensions and weaves, they can be left in for 6 weeks and maybe longer. The hair is either synthetic or human hair. Please don't ask me where they get the hair because I have no idea. No, I don't wear a weave and don't have a desire to wear one. I'm all about being real.

2. Why do Black people name their kids long or unusual names?
My theory could be wrong but I believe that it stems back in slavery when the slaves were given names by the slave owner. The ability to name your child or yourself didn't exist. Being able to name your child whatever you dang please has a certain sense of "power" for some and they run away with that power by naming their children names such as Quaniquashaya Rria. Uniqueness is one thing but there is responsibility in naming a child (in my opinion). I believe that it's a personal choice.

3. What is one pet peeve that you have about being Black?
I hate when people that aren't Black will "name drop" or say, "My best friend is Black" when talking to me. It means nothing to me if your best friend is purple. I also hate being talked down to or condescending tones from older people who act as if I can't relate to what they are saying or talking about. Another thing I HATE is when talking to some women who act as if Oprah is God's gift to Black women. I'm sorry to admit this but some Black women aren't avid fans of Oprah' being one of them. I admire her giving spirit but there are so many other Black women that I would emulate before I choose to emulate her.

4. Have you ever been singled out because of being Black?
Yes. Many times I've been followed in a store as if the sales person was waiting for me to stick something in my purse. My daughter was accused of stealing from Claires when packages were discovered opened and jewlery missing. When questioned about why they suspected them as stealing, the manager's response was, "Well, they had braids and looked like they could be "suspicious". Turns out that there were 5 other teens in the store at the time and they were the ones stealing. Claire's never apologized, although we chose to boycott and not go to the store in the mall where we lived from that point on.

If you have any questions you'd like to ask, this is an open invitation for it. I appreciate being able to be honest. I don't believe in BSing anyone when it comes to my opinions.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More questions for Jill

Sandi has asked these questions....

I too have a child like this! my questions are

1- what age did you know something was not quite right?
JILL: I would say I knew at the age of 3. Up the age of 3 Alexa was so well behaved when we took her places and we did take her everywhere. After age 3 I noticed the trouble starting.

2- What meds, if any have you tried?
JILL: Because she does have Epilepsy we have had to be careful in trying to many drugs. Our first medication was Focalin and then we switched to Focalin XR. The medicine worked wonderful for a while but it was upsetting her tummy so bad. After about a year of taking Focalin it completely stopped working the way it should. We are now using a patch called Daytrana and so far it is great. The only side effect is the let down after 8 hours of medication that is released. She is also on Clonadine for bed time to help her sleep a full night.
3- Have the meds helped, or do you think therapy has worked better?
Jill: We see a doctor not a therapist. We mostly work with her at home with the doctors guidance. Medication has been our savior. Alexa can not function with out it. I have always been 100% against medication until I saw how badly Alexa was suffering.

Does the school work closely with you on behavior issues?
JILL: After a rough ride in kindergarten the school is finally on top of things. They finally gave her the state testing she needed and she is receiving therapy in school for her learning disabilities. The school basically made her kindergarten year a big waste. They were observing the problem instead of taking action. I had to fight for her to get the help she needed. Alexa has disabilities in academics and was behind about 2 years. Now with the help she is getting she is close to her target.
Have you had to modify how she eats in any way?
Jill: Absolutely no red dye. Children with ADHD should not have any red dye in their diet. This includes all orange dyes as well. Also we stay away from sugar. She has an immediate reaction to sugar. Thankfully she can live without it because she doesn't have a sweet tooth.

I have also been asked some question by my friend Ginger.
My question is How do you cope when you are having a bad day and Alexa comes home from school having a melt down or her meds are wearing off? How do you hold it together?

Jill: The truth is, it's really hard. For one, when we see the signs that she is overly stressed we try not to let anything trigger the melt down. We sometimes will actually just leave her to herself and try to avoid too many conversations with her. We don't let her get her way with everything but we go out of our way to keep things calm. These melt downs are not like a normal temper tantrum they are horrible. No one in my family has ever seen her go through one and I wouldn't want them to see her like this.
We don't always hold ourselves together so well. This has been harder to deal with than actual medical problems with my both girls at times. On a good day when this happens my husband and I stay totally calm, on a bad day one of us breaks down along with her. These melt downs are very few and far between lately. THANK GOD!
Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...
As she gets older, if you haven't already started, do you work with her on calming techniques?Do you believe i
n rewards for good behavior?Are you seeing any of those symptoms in Gianna?
Jill: I don't use calming techniques yet, I just try and calm her entire surrounding down. I most definitely believe in rewards for good behavior and I have always probably done more than I should to reward her. So far I have not seen any of these signs in Gianna. Gianna has a bit of Autism that is associated with her syndrome. We are currently working with Gianna to help her.
Christy said...
How does this affect the relationships between the two girls?Do the doctors think Alexa will have to be on medication for this for life?Thanks for answering!

Jill: It is very hard when Alexa is in her moods for her to get along with her baby sister. She loses patience quickly when she is moody. Alexa on a good day is the very best big sister a kid could as for. She is very caring and nurturing to Gianna.
The doctors do believe that this is something she will NOT out grow and will have to stay on medication possibly even as an adult.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Living With A Child With ADHD/ODD

First of All I want to start out by thanking Simone for having me here as a guest blogger. What you are doing is wonderful and will help create awareness on many different subjects.

My name is Jill from Jill's Believe It Or Not. I am a stay at home mom and wouldn't change that for anything. I have two beautiful girls, Gianna who is 3, and Alexa who is 7. Both of my children have medical problems and life hasn't always been easy but it has taught me so much. We are a stronger, more loving family because of it.

Alexa has Epilepsy and in the last two years has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD disorders. There are so many children out there that have these disorders and are living undiagnosed. Having the diagnosis for her has changed her life so much in a positive way. Before she was diagnosed things were tough on all of us. I am hoping that through this interview I can touch someone's life and answer any questions you may have.

What was the journey like as your little one diagnosed? Before she was diagnosed we were unable to control Alexa's behaviors. She was acting out in school, not getting along with others, not being able to stay on any task, and not comprehending. Alexa wasn't able to sleep at night, she would twist and turn and wake up exhausted in the morning. I had to push and fight for her to find the right pediatrician and Psychiatrist
to correctly diagnose and treat her.

Did you feel disbelief in the diagnosis? I actually am the one who knew from the beginning that something just wasn't right with her. You could see in her eyes that she wanted to behave, to listen , to learn but there was something holding her back. Doctors tried to blame it on medication, the terrible twos and the Epilepsy but I refused to accept that. Although medication has and can effect ADHD I knew that it was not the main cause for it.

Have you had to adapt or do anything differently than you’d normally do? In the beginning I would say I tended to avoid certain family gatherings and other social events because I was afraid of her behavior. I have learned that unless someone deals with this themselves they find it very easy to label your child.

What symptoms do you struggle with the most? I struggle the most with the constant mood swings. Too much stimulation from a day of school or a long day on the weekend can put her into an uncontrollable rage of anger. The medication she is on works all day but right about the time she gets home from school it begins to wear off . Her body has what they call a let down period and is adjusting to not having the medication. During this time sometimes another medication has to be given to her to make the transition easier. It is very hard to see such a young child battle with depression and anger. I would say that is the hardest thing about this disorder.
I am really looking forward to answering more questions. I am a very open person and I am up for any questions!
Thank you again Simone!