Natural Makeup Must Haves | Bare Minerals Favs

People often inquire about my skincare regimen and makeup application. Honestly, it’s very simple. I avoid heavy sun exposure [as should all Irish to the core pale people], wear sunscreen, wash my face twice a day with chemical free natural face washes, and regularly apply moisturizing creams. Side note – I’m an Oil of Olay girl, just like my Grams. Basic beauty done right.

As far as “putting on my face” goes, I keep it easy with Bare Minerals Makeup. I’ve been a fan of their products since 2008. They’re natural and light, giving you the extra va va voom without the harsh chemicals and “overdone” look. Recently, I tried their new barePRO performance were powder foundation and was truly impressed. I applied early in the morning, post a dead resurrection sleep and two very large cups of coffee. After being outdoors most of the day for football practice and park time, coupled with errands, cleaning, and all things meal prep, it stayed fresh without any additional application or touch ups. My skin felt hydrated and fresh, twelve hours later. Legit.

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Here are some links to my every day Bare Minerals favs:

Pressed Foundation Powder – with over 30 different shades to complement any skin tone, you’re sure to find the perfect match. Obviously, I use “No 1 Fair”.

Blush – my color of choice is “Fruit Cocktail”, which matches perfectly with my porcelain skin. A little goes a very long way since this is lose leaf, so use sparingly. You do not want to look like you belong in a Carnival.

Eye Shadow – my pictured is a combination of “Moss” and “summer”. It’s a nice, light shimmer combo that keeps my tired Mom eyes vibrant.

Hope you check out and add some of my above favs to your makeup bag. Wonderful for an on-the-go lifestyle that will leave you radiant amongst all manners of #Momlife. I’ve never been disappointed with a Bare Minerals product!

“She Stood in the Storm, and When the Wind Did Not Blow Her Way, She Adjusted Her Sails.”

I’ve always been partial to this quote for it’s eloquent way of taking challenges and turning them into potentially beautiful life experiences. Adaptability and flexibility are absolute life essentials.

As I balance a career with [single] motherhood, and all manners of household duties, there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to combat my growing (and aging) “To Do List”, coupled with all the stressors that come from spur of the moment hiccups (more like choke holds). How does one deal with it all, without completely giving up? Breathe …

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Life is challenging. We can all agree on that.

My career houses a combination of strategic, results oriented projects requiring top of the line quality. And while I may house the innate skills to deliver, it’s not like I’m brushing my hair all day in a tower. Mental fatigue is a realistic, full fledged demon! Throw on top all that comes with #MomLife (how do people do it with more than one???), exercise and meal prep, beauty regimens, etc. The words “maddening” and “overwhelming” come to mind. Breathe again … and regularly. Pause and name your blessings. You can do this … all of it.

Over time, I’ve learned the key to balance is intentional perspective and outlook. This includes a positive approach to every day basics, and surrounding yourself with positive energies and people who identify with the same. As I’ve mentioned before, “your vibe attracts your tribe”.

I’ve put together a “Top 3” to get you thru any day (curve ball or not).

1) Plan & Prioritize.
There’s nothing original about this approach. The truth is, the better you plan, the less you are to feel overwhelmed by any potential wrenches life heaves your direction. I’m a lean principles person by nature. If there’s waste I can identify and toss, I’m all over it! I recently “leaned up” my house down to pantry organization. Example … I pre-packaged, in portioned zip lock bags, and placed all of Griff’s snacks on a shelf within his reach.  When he wants a snack, he can acquire one on his own without the giant bag of chips exploding on the floor. This method also yields quick lunchbox assemblage. While the front end prep takes some time, it’s worth the time and stress reduction on the backend. Less steps, less stress. Organization of your home will lead to organization of your day. I know this sounds rigid and militant, but your future self will thank you. Look for ways to lean your home and every day flow … subtle changes make huge differences.

Next, I keep a calendar of events to help me stay focused on the tasks at hand and prep for future events. I plan meals for the week and use weekend time to cook and freeze for the coming week. This approach has helped me stay on top of my Mom game and healthy lifestyle, while I’m still able to fulfill all other obligations.

Be realistic about your planning and don’t overcommit. Know your limits and don’t feel guilty about not being a part of every single event or interest. Your kid will most certainly survive this life even though they didn’t attend one out of five birthday parties they were invited to … Lord, help me.

2) Delegate & Engage.
Where you can find help, ask for it and execute accordingly. My son is finally at the age where he is learning what it means to be a household contributor. We’ve incorporated a “How Can I Help?” (a.k.a. “Chore Board”) into our home. He’s gradually understanding the importance of accountability and ownership, which makes Mom tasks decrease. Finally! I firmly believe this to be an important quality to adopt, for a variety reasons. Not only are you incorporating assistance into your day, but you’re also teaching your littles valuable life skills. Win-win.

Also … when others offer to help you, take it! I used to be one of those persons who thought I needed to do it all on my own, when I had family and friends wanting and willing to make my load lighter. For me this was a lesson in humility. As I started to look at this offering as a blessing from above, I was able to surrender those feelings of inadequacy. The truth is, God was strategically placing people in my life to shower me with the love and support I need(ed). Thankful moment.

3) Give [and Receive] Grace. 
I’m going to spend some time on this one, as it is one for which I have a burning passion. Giving grace has become a popular saying these days. When I talk about grace, I’m talking about the “unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification; a virtue coming from God”. To look at everyone thru the eyes of Christ truly is a virtue. This is a deep and philosophical topic. So in short, giving grace is about the way you approach and react to any individual or situation that is negative, disappointing, or hurtful in nature. A sometimes daunting, jaw clinching approach.

And trust … there are people who chap my rear in every way imaginable. However …

To operate from a position of grace is to push aside your human nature to react in judgement, or allow your preconceived ideas and notions to take hold of your response. Instead, when you respond in a way that leaves room for mistakes and second chances, [understanding you don’t know what others are going through] positions you for the higher road. And while this may be the road less traveled, it definitely has the best view. Remember, you too have had your moments you’d like to bury and not resurrect. Mmmm-hmmm.

While extending grace to others, be sure you’re doing the same for yourself. We get in the habit of putting so many expectations and self-imposed stressors on ourselves. When you don’t meet a goal or forget what may seem like the most obvious and trivial task, give yourself grace. You are human and you are trying your best. If your kid ate something off the floor, just remember it’s not the Home Depot floor. They will live.

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I’ll end on this … dress up for every day and give it your personal best. Y’all know I’m committed to doing it all in this life … or I will die trying. So you know good and well I am going to look cute doing it! Outfit details are as follows:

Paige Denim pants; Target top; shoes are no longer available, but I found a similar pair at Nordstrom Shoes – Calvin Klein.

Give it your all and know I am supporting you through every valley and mountain, from a distance. Perspective truly makes a difference!

Hippie Chic | Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

It’s a breezy beautiful Texas Saturday, which means all things outdoors. Today, Griff and I walked thru sunshine and park trails. My hippie chic style was in full swing, polished off with an on point bang braid.

This top is a Lucky Brand purchase from a couple years ago and one that never grows old for me. I’m a huge Lucky Brand fan; for their delicate and flowy ensembles, that don’t leaving you feeling like you’re wearing a giant sheet. While this top is no longer available, I have found a similar one (Click Here), and it happens to be part of the Labor Day Weekend sale – jackpot!

I love a good pair of jean shorts; they go with anything and can be dressed up or down. Comfort is key for me, as I’m regularly chasing around a 5 1/2 year old and leading a very active life. Joe’s Jeans have a very soft denim feel and fit well without being too snug or restrictive. Their sizing is true to form, with appropriate lengths for people like me who have a 5’8 frame and long legs. I can’t understand these tiny pieces of denim people wear these days that, quite honestly, could double as a headband. I cannot afford to have wardrobe malfunctions and things falling out at every bend and stretch. I mean, I’m a lady … and a mother.  Thank you, Joe’s.

My sandals are … wait for it … a wonderful Target find! I don’t buy a lot of shoes from Target, as the comfort and quality piece leaves more to be desired for me. However, these strappies are super comfy and have worn well amongst various terrains. A pleasant surprise!

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Hair today was quick and easy. I typically roll my hair in a loose bun and clip for the night, so I have a natural wave in the morning. Dry shampoo, a “messy” bang braid, and a quick tousle and spray later, and you’re ready to go!

It was such a beautiful day. Remember, “Your vibe attracts your tribe.” So, radiate like sunshine. Focus on all the positives in life; count your blessings and name them one by one.

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What’s your go to weekend look? Would love to hear from you!

Rainy Days Got Me All Southern

It’s raining in Texas, but I’m keeping the sunshine alive with the perfect summer getup that will withstand all the rain drizzles and wind gusts this great state of Texas is delivering.

When I wake up to a rainy day, my hair game immediately goes flat (ugh), so I do what I can to make the best of it. And Lord knows there’s not enough dry shampoo and frizz tamer to combat this humidity. What to do? Why channel my Southern roots, of course. Today, I’ve selected a lovely cut out shoulder blouse, paired with skinny jeans, and giant hat to cover my untamable quaff.

For me, flowy blouses and skinny jeans are a perfect combo. They give that dressed up denim feel, with a casual, relaxed undertone. I recently stumbled upon this blouse on a “quick” toiletry run at Target. It immediately caught my eye and was one of those “well, since I’m here” purchases. The Generra skinny jeans are some of my favs! Comfy and fit like a glove. You can pick up some on your next Nordstrom run, or you can be like me and find them at TJ Max for $16 and change (winning!!!). The large, floppy hat is the last “formal” addition to this outfit and oh, how I love that it oozes all things Southern. I picked up my hat, shades, and earrings at one of my favorite local Frisco boutiques, The Firefly Boutique on Legacy Dr.

This attire is versatile. You can grocery shop or have a cocktail with this style!  Perfection. And big hats are perfect for big hair, big plans, and big dreams! Go seize your day and don’t let anyone, or anything, rain on your parade!

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Personal Pampering | #Momlife

Single Mom life is no joke. Between all the household chores (I can slay some plumbing issues, pesky smoke alarms, and car tires), grocery / essentials shopping, cooking / meal prep, all of Griff’s school projects and after school activities, workouts, and balancing these with a full-time career … well, let it be known this one woman show can be exhausting at times and calls (more like screams) for some rest and relaxation. Whew.

While schedules are tight and life is always heaving things my direction, I’ve found it’s crucial to get in some “me time” whenever and however I can. Sometimes, it’s tough to physically get away to the spa or salon, so I improvise. Enter, personal pampering. Side note – this is also very budget conscious (jackpot).

Here’s what you’ll need (give or take):
– Essential Oils lavender oil and a diffuser. If you don’t diffuse oils, you can always use aromatherapy candles.
– Wine (a given)
– Nail polish for your fingers or piggies (or both)
– Facial mask of choice

Keep it simple with your at home spa time. A little goes a long way when you can just enjoy the peace and quiet.

Tonight is a multi-tasking kind of personal pampering. Earlier, while Griff was in the bath, I capitalized on this window of leisure and gave myself a homemade mani. Essie polish is an all time fav, as it’s easy to apply, quick to dry, and lasts thru all the aforementioned day to day Mom life tasks. Plus, they have such fun colors to accessorize your style. This week’s color is “between the sheets” creamy grey. Love it!

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After dinner and a riveting episode of Bubble Guppies, Griff is now tucked in like a burrito and settled in his room, so I’m taking advantage of the rest of tonight’s quiet moments!

Next up, a hydrating honey dew and chamomile mask, full of antioxidants [and paraben free], for all the moisturizing and rejuvenation my tired face needs. This is a cream base mask that you generously apply, let your skin absorb throughout the night, and wash off in the morning. It absorbs thoroughly, so you don’t have to worry about messy residue on your bedding or clothes. Tip – be sure your hair is securely fastened and out of place, as to not wake up with strands dried to your face (possibly speaking from experience). The next morning, you’ll rise well-rested; always a welcomed feeling.

You can find this particular mask in most any local drug store. I’m currently wearing it as I type and let me just say … not only does it feel refreshing but it smells so good, I could darn near eat if off.

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Ta-dah!

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The rest of the night is my kind of luxury … vino, feet up, and The Olympics. GO TEAM USA! Relax and enjoy! I’m “Mom life”ing it with all you Mom’s out there!

Summertime and a Little White Dress

These days, the wardrobe choices are becoming more and more saturated with colors, patterns, layers, and a plethora of accessories for the pairing. While these combinations are beautiful and fun, sometimes the evening calls for simplicity. Enter … the little white dress.

Yes, the little black dress is a closet go to staple … and trust me, I own several. However, the little white dress gives a lighter (and cooler) feel, whilst maintaining the “va va voom” affect. Besides, this Texas heat is kind to no one, so if I can be comfortably (debatable) cool, or at least subliminal message myself, I’m all over it!

I picked up this gorgeous number at The Limited years ago. In fact, I wore it to my High School Graduation (circa 2002). Since then, I’ve had it tailored to fit. So you can see, I recycle and rotate my closet throughout the years, but I’m always loyal to those timeless, classic pieces.

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Simple outfits don’t need much, in terms of accessories. I love the pearl and sparkle combo, so I chose dangling earrings with a light and flowy long necklace (keeping with the pearl theme). For some contrast, I added one of my favorite costume jewelry rose gold pieces. And yes, that is very much a “homemade spa” manicure, thank you very much. My Dallas Cowboys blue certainly gives an added flare to this ensemble! A simple black clutch works great and is easy to carry.

While this dress is no longer available, I did find a sassy new number I’m dying to make “closet home”. Check out this French Connection cut out dress from Bloomingdales: Little White Dress. I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Ready for a weekend immersed in all things Dallas! Stay tuned for more adventures.

Jump-Suiting into the Weekend Like the 4th Charlie’s Angel | Mission Out On the Town {Very} Possible

Happy Friday, Y’all! Tonight called for some fun, out on the town adventures, and this jumpsuit delivered just that. I picked this fitted, flowy little number up a few weeks back, during a “Me Time” stroll through Galleria. I was specifically looking for a dressy day to evening, summer friendly piece that could withstand this TX heat! After hitting up all my frequent favs, I dropped by Zara’s and was immediately magnatized by their jumpsuit display … fell in love! This modern take on a 70’s classic was a delightful find and checked every box on my list of desired attire.

Bosley called for a GNO and I was excited to debut!

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Can you stand it?! Not only is this jumpsuit chic, fierce, and retro elegant, but it’s also super comfy and is very appropriate for a patio evening in this inferno summer of a state! Pass the Pinot, please.

Click here for Zara’s latest looks: Zara.

Bag pictured is from one of my favorite Frisco, TX treasures, The Firefly Gift Boutique.

Monday Mad Men Vibes | Have You Seen My Cocktail?

Mondays (insert overly dramatic exhale, eye roll, and for some, a mild adult tantrum) … the dreaded weekday. Could this day produce any more utter disdain from the masses? We are all about the weekends and the coveted day we have now labeled as Fri-YAY! Even Wednesday got a bone thrown its way with Hump Day; the focus again being the countdown to the weekend. It got me thinking …

I feel like Mondays get such a bad rep. Yes, they typically follow the conclusion of weekends, time off, and all things relaxation. Yes, they tend to be the entrance into a workplace you’ve feverishly tried to turn off and bury for two solid days. While some of those thoughts and feelings may be fair and valid, I firmly believe a new perspective and take on Mondays is in order.

I’ve found the old saying, “You can control two things in life – your actions and your attitude.”, to be consistently on point. The day truly will be what you make it; your approach is key. As much as I love my weekends, I also love the thought of new beginnings and opportunities; the idea of possibilities. Mondays, for me, have become just that … an opportunity to further develop my passions, continue working in the creative spaces I’ve taken a break from during my weekend hiatus, produce and deliver results to enhance and deepen my skill set within my career, be an inspiration to my son and everyone around me, build a better version of myself … and that’s just scratching the surface. Again, the possibilities a day may bring!

Today was a Monday done right. I put my modern vintage best on, channeling my inner Mad Men leading lady. Not pictured here is the fitted navy cardigan I had to quickly shed in the TX heat, but a wonderful complement to this outfit nonetheless. It was a highly productive day for me, full of challenges and successes, coupled with laughs and fun social interactions. I look forward to picking up where I left off tomorrow … already steamed my outfit for all the leading, project execution, and dragon slaying I’ll be doing in style. 🙂

While I don’t think anyone should live for any particular day, but rather live for every day, let’s all try to start viewing Mondays as a day to tackle, seize, and make absolutely grand. Get up, dress up, and never give up! And when you’ve finished the day, grab that cocktail/beer/vino and soak in every last lovely moment of the day. I thoroughly enjoyed mine, sitting by a fountain, in shaded sunshine – it was most certainly an uncork and unwind kind of evening. Now if I could only find that handsome Don Draper …

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Pink Pout Perfection

As much as I truly love being a red head, the hair, pale skin and freckled color combinations have made it problematic when choosing lipstick colors. I’ve always gravitated towards basic glosses and muted shades, with the desire to find a bolder look for those days / nights you need that extra pop of glam.

Finally stumbled upon this gorgeous bold pink by Too Faced Cosmetics during one of my regular Ulta runs. Definitely adds the va va voom I was looking for without being too over the top in color.

Link to lipstick specs:
https://www.toofaced.com/p/lipsticks/melted-metal/metallic-bunny/

Heads up tip … be sure to try the lip color on your skin (using the backside of your hand as a canvas), to ensure you’re getting a realistic idea of how the shade will wear on you. That being said, not only did I leave Ulta feeling accomplished with buyer’s giddiness, but it also looked like I had toddler tendencies and had recently raided all the makeup in my mother’s and grandmother’s vanities. I’ll bring a bag of on-the-go wet wipes with me next time.

Everyday Extraordinary – “We Rise by Lifting Others” – Constance Latimore – October 2015

Meet our October Everyday Extraordinary … my dear friend … the fierce and inspirational Constance Latimore. This multi-faceted woman takes fashion to a whole new level of sassy class with wardrobe, hair, and accessory combinations, while keeping her ensemble current with cultural staples and a free-spirit vibe.

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From fedoras, to beanies, to buns, there’s nothing she can’t jazz up and make fun! And seriously, who can rock a braid bun like she does?

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Even her running attire is astoundingly fashion forward! Have you ever seen such?

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All fashion fabulousness aside, the most outstanding and awe-inspiring quality of Constance is her dedication to servant leadership and the investment of her time and energy into loving and encouraging others. Here are some captured moments of her past missions …

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Recently, Constance made the life altering decision to resign from her eighteen year managerial position within Corporate America, to propel herself into establishing a non-profit dedicated to the rehabilitation and re-entry programs of American prisoners.

I had the opportunity to sit down over a delicious brunch spread to chat with Constance about her mission and goals within this realm. Here’s what unfolded during our time together …

Me: When did you first realize your calling and passion for prison ministry?

CL: I’ve always been drawn to those who society views as the “underdog”. Prior to beginning my eighteen year career in insurance, I worked as a counselor in a prison for four years. It broke my heart to witness someone released without any family support. They were issued a fresh pair of Dickies pants, white t-shirt, $25, paper bag of their belongings and a bus pass. I would witness many of them return because they lacked the necessary life skills and technical training to navigate the “free world”. A turning point for me was about a year ago when I decided to volunteer for a local re-entry program, teaching life skills … I found most had very few, if any.

Me: What is your plan for an ideal non-profit re-entry program?

CL: Depending on the length of incarceration, many released have zero knowledge of the basic technology platforms we use (i.e., tablets, smart phones, Bluetooth). I plan to establish a non-profit with a direct focus on training curriculum designed to highlight life skills through the following topics: basic customer service, social media etiquette, and communication skills. I also plan to include technical training through the use of computers and tablets. Ideally, I would like to provide a means for transitional housing as a safe place for learning and developing, while also assisting with job searches and career quests.

Me: What motivates and inspires you most about this cause?

CL: I’m motivated most by my experiences watching children grow up without fathers, women carrying on in life without their spouse/life partners, and the disproportion of men to women attendance in our local churches. I believe Biblically that men were created to serve as head of household. With the vast population of incarcerated men in America, our households are suffering. I’m motivated by the desire to return our men to their communities where they are in a position to effectively lead and prosper as I believe they were designed.

Me: Who was your biggest inspiration growing up? How does your upbringing play into your gravitation towards missions and ministry?

CL: My parents were and remain my biggest inspiration. My father is a church Pastor, so I grew up visiting and singing with my parents and our church choir at the local prisons. My parents accepted countless collect calls from family members and people they visited and mentored at the prison. I’ve listened to many conversations as they encouraged and prayed for those on the other end of the call. My parents have always taught my sisters and me to extend grace to others because we have all received God’s grace.

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I’ve known Constance for many years and one thing has always remained steady … her love for others. I am proud to call this amazing woman of faith “friend” and “Kingdom sister”. Please join me in celebrating, encouraging, and praying for Constance as she embarks on this new journey in life.

As Mother Teresa so eloquently stated …

“I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.”