Tag Archives: Bobbi Brown

Extreme

26 Mar

The past week or so has been one of those crazy weeks filled with extreme emotion. It’s Sunday night, I’m exhausted and tomorrow starts a new week. About a week ago, I met with a good friend from college for a lipstick and lunch date…now how can you go wrong with lipstick and food? It was great catching up with her while trying on lipstick followed by lunch! Extreme fun! A few days later, I got a call from one of my closest friends telling me she and her husband were getting divorced. This was devastating news to both my husband and myself because they are close ‘couple’ friends. You know, it’s hard to find a couple you both like to hang with. It was a complete shock and so sad, even she was surprised; he just decided to up and leave her and their two kids. Extreme low. Friday I sang at my doctor’s annual World Voice Day Celebration. This was my fourth year attending and singing and every year has been different. The first year was after my first surgery and my voice was decent, the second, was after my third surgery and radiation and my vocal cords were paralyzed. Last year, I was still recovering, and this year, well, I am cancer free. My voice has changed quite a bit (obviously), and singing with one vocal cord is such a thought process, but it was overwhelming and awesome. As I stepped out on the stage I was overcome with emotion because it has been such a long road and not only did it feel like a miracle being there singing, but my ‘voice team’ who took care of me from the beginning was there right along side of me cheering me on. I picked a difficult song and it wasn’t the best I’ve ever sounded, but I was there. Extreme high. Saturday night, I was at a ‘girl’ party with one of my best high school friends whom I reconnected with a couple years ago as I was going through cancer the third time. It’s incredible how true friendship works, we don’t see each other for 20 years and we talk like not a day has gone by. Anyhow, it was a fun party with just a handful of women. Extreme joy and laughter. Today…extreme exhaustion.

Each day was different, each day holds a memory, each day involved relationships. So now, as today ends, we have tomorrow. Life is crazy and fun and sad and filled with so many tidbits in a day. Don’t miss the moments. Take in every emotion, as much as your heart breaks, it gets recharged with love and joy. Love people, they need you as much as you need them and be open to whatever may come next!

Today I wear Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss in Electric Violet, A pinkish, violet shimmery lip gloss. Gorgeous color for spring and summer. This is a newer formulation for Bobbi and it combines vitamins to help moisturize your lips and is not sticky. The colors are still sheer so you can wear it over lipstick if you choose, but they do add a good amount of color on their own.  I chose it because life can be electric if you let it! Enjoy!

Lipstick List

22 Mar

For today I thought I’d depart from my usual ‘life’ topics and talk solely about lipstick. For the men who read my blog, sorry, you may exit now, unless of course you like lipstick.  To go along with this weeks topic of my wonderful blogging group GBE2, I thought I’d write a list of some of my favorites, not only lipstick, but cosmetics in general because I love other products as well (although not as much as lipstick).

I hope the picture above does not scare you, but that is my current lipstick selection from my bathroom. It is ever revolving and I hate throwing them out so some lipsticks may be a year or two old. I also have to say that every few months or so I have a ‘giveaway’ to my girlfriends and mom where they can choose any lipstick they want from my collection.
So, as you can see, my favorites are up front (down at the bottom);  I have multiple colors  and formulations from YSL, Chanel, Bobbi Brown, and Dior.

Here is a list of my favorite colors:

Bobbi Brown– Great colors, long lasting, moisturizing: Raisin, Burnt Red, and sometimes Papaya

Chanel– Not as moisturizing for me as Bobbi, but great variety of reds: Fatale-red

Dior– Not as long lasting, but moisturizing and feels great on lips: 773 Rouge Podium (a great orangey-pinky-red), 714 Brun (shimmery brown pink), 811 Red (no longer available), Also love Dior Addict Lip Glow which is like a lip balm but brings out the natural pink in your lips.

YSL I love the golden glosses! They add a lot of color for a gloss, are moisturizing, have actual gold flecks, and look AMAZING! #2 is my favorite!!

Here is a list of some of my other ‘must haves’:

Cetaphil cleanser and moisturizer

Smashbox Oil Free primer

Armani Luminous Silk foundation or Bare Minerals Matte Powder

Chanel waterproof eyeliner

Benefit They’re Real mascara, Dior New Look Mascara or L’oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara

Last but not least, my favorite lip balms:

Carmex (in stick form), Eos sweet mint, and Aqauphor (which by the way is great for things such as dry elbows, knees, around the eyes, etc…anything dry, this is a great moisturizer)

Have a great day! Today, I let you pick the lipstick color…what are your faves? I’d love to know!

Just Say It…

27 Jan

A few days ago my husband got an e-mail from a friend regarding an acquaintance of theirs. This person was a healthy 36 year old former college and pro basketball player who was also a newlywed of 6 months. About three weeks ago he wentto the hospital for an elective, outpatient surgery…just something simple, or so he thought. A few days later a fever ensued and he was admitted into the hospital. For the past three weeks he fought a massive infection overtaking his healthy body and a few days ago, he passed away. He fought for his life with his new bride at his side and three days before he passed, the physicians told him there was nothing left to do. What made this story more incredible was that he was given just an unknown number of days to live after the doctors stopped treatment. He and his wife decided to make phone calls to family and friends; the people he wanted to say good bye to. It was gutwrenching and as his wife put it in the e-mail update we received, ‘he was able to speak to those he was closest to and when I finally let go of his hand he was able to cross the gates to Heaven’.

Most of us are not given our ‘death date’ or even an estimate of when our last day of life may be. After so many bouts with cancer, it’s on my mind and may be sooner than later, but I don’t even truly know for sure. This man was given the chance to say good-bye, to make peace with people, to ask forgiveness from some, or whatever he needed to speak to them about, he got the chance.  We don’t know when our time may be, why wait to tell people how much we love them? Why wait for the ‘right moment’ to say you care or how much people mean to you? Why harbor resentment which gnaws at you…why not forgive today and free yourself from the burden of bitterness? Most of us will not be given a few days at the end to make phone calls and say good-bye. What are you waiting for? Say what you need to say (great song)…

Today I wear Bobbi Brown Rich Color Gloss in Angel Pink, a beautiful soft pink which can be worn alone. I also dedicate this to the new saint who was brought up to heaven this week!

Laughter and Thanksgiving

21 Nov

I can’t believe it is almost Thanksgiving.  This year has flown by and time seems to move faster and faster. As I reflect on what I’m specifically thankful for this year, there are so many things. I’m thankful that this year I did not need any surgery or treatment for cancer (first year since2008). I’m thankful for my voice and my breathing which slowly gets better with each day. I’m thankful for my awesome family and friends who have been with me throughout.  I’m thankful for my incredible medical staff who are now my friends.  I’m thankful for my job which provides financial blessing for my family. The list goes on and on.

My funny kids

One of the things I’m most thankful for is the laughter in my family that carries us through.  When you’re a parent, you always worry about your kids.  When you’re a parent with cancer, you worry even more.  My kids have been dealing with this since I found a lump in December of 2007; the ups and downs, the surgeries, radiation, etc. I always hope and pray that they are ok, that their childhood has not been tainted by fear or anxiety.  I do know, as we sat around and watched Malcolm in the Middle the other night, we had not lost the laughter.  We laugh about stupid stuff like burping and farting, I make up raps and songs, my kids and I reenact scenes from shows and try to speak in different accents, I’m so happy we did not lose that. Bill Cosby says, “Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it. ”  I find this to be so true. Looking back at this incredible journey, there was lots to laugh about despite the difficulties. Like the time I was trying to do the grout on the kitchen backsplash with a drain coming out of my neck, or when I couldn’t speak and life was a huge game of charades, the snapping and motions I came up with…truly laughable.

Now when I laugh it’s actually a little difficult.  Because my vocal cords are so close together and because one of them is paralyzed, when I laugh really hard, I literally can’t breath.  I have to force myself to try to stop laughing to take a breath…which then makes everyone (including me) laugh even harder.  It’s really too much.  Life is a funny journey and if you don’t laugh about it, you’ll cry too much.  Exercise those smile muscles, smiling eyes are beautiful.

Since it is Thanksgiving and I am truly a lipstick lover, I am not picking one color this week.  I am treating myself to the Bobbi Brown 20th Anniversary Lip Palette.  It’s 20 beautiful colors in one palette.  I have been a lipstick fanatic for about 20 years and I believe I have owned the ten original Bobbi Brown lip colors (which are the top ten colors in the palette).  Happy Thanksgiving, don’t forget to laugh!

Nature vs. Nurture

8 Nov

I have had a crazy, stressful week this past week.  I eluded to a certain situation in my last blog and this week everything exploded and I was caught in the firestorm.  Everything revolved around a single person and their actions which finally caught up to them.  I’ve always wondered if bad choices really ever caught up to some people (because some seem to get away with a lot more than others), well now I know, sooner or later they do.  It was interesting watching everything unfold and because I’m always curious about people’s stories, I wondered what this person’s story was that made him who he was today.  It raises the question. ‘nature or nurture’?  Did God make us this way or did our environment create us into who we are today.  I say both.  One of my husband’s favorite phrases when he’s on a stubborn streak is, ” That’s how God made me and no one can change that.”  I believe that to an extent but I also believe that environment can soften and mold us.  I can only imagine the type of person he would’ve been had his parents not reigned him in. I believe we are all created with unique personalities and temperaments but I think our families, friends, and the environment we are raised in mold us too; and then of course, the different choices we make throughout our lifetime direct us one way or another.

People are funny and interesting and knowing people’s stories not only help you understand them more, but accept them and love them too.  I’m not saying that you have to accept their decisions or how they treat you, but it gives you a better handle on things in terms of ‘being the change’ for people (even if it means walking away).  I’m hoping this event may precipitate a change for the better but who knows.  I read a quote which says, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced”-J. Baldwin.  I understand we need to face our challenges or challenging people head on whether change happens or not.  Maybe it’s just to plant the seed or to be a part of that ‘nurture’. We all have a voice and I’m so thankful after cancer that I still have mine.  We need to use it not only to spark change but to be a blessing to others.

This week I wear Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color in Crimson.  It’s a rich, deep, wine-red, color and the newest to my ever expanding collection.  It’s great for the holidays and red is always that reminder to for me to live life to the fullest…wear it like you mean it!

Ownership

27 Oct

This week I celebrated my birthday.  You all know how much I love birthdays.  This was my first birthday since 2008 that I did not have cancer, was preparing for treatment for cancer, or recovering from cancer surgery or radiation.  It was a little bittersweet for me because I had to be in Philadelphia for a work meeting.  Although I hated being away from my family, I had fun with people I had trained with before, but I also met a new lovely woman who I know I will continue to stay in touch with.  For this meeting, my roomate was a beautiful girl who was almost 20 years younger than me.  It was great and interesting to get to know her as well as my new friend who is almost 20 years older than me.  I loved listening to their stories and perpectives on life, work , family, etc., and what led them to make the decision which led them here. 

For this birthday, like every birthday, I looked back at my life and everything I’ve been through and also looked ahead with apprehension.  I am comfortable with the decisions I’ve made and the path I’ve taken.  There are many things we cannot control, you know, “life is 10% of  what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it” (Stephen Covey). We all decide which path we take in each situation, whether it’s which peanut butter to buy, which doctor to choose, which job, etc…what most people don’t want to do many times is take ownership on those decisions.  Sometimes we  blame the situation or end product of our own decision if it is not what we thought or planned.  Looking back, I have made many decisions that I thought I may have regretted but I look at where I am today and I’m content and feel very blessed.  I would not have chosen to have cancer, but I did choose to fight it and believe in a  positive outcome. Let’s own up to the decisions we’ve made and change our perspective a little, there’s no going back.

Today I wear Bobbi Brown lipstick in Chocolate.  It’s actually a soft , creamy medium brown which on me has a hint of a plummy undertone (probably my lips).  It’s great for fall and not as dark as it sounds or looks.  I chose it because it was my birthday and I love Chocolate (as well as the color).

Safe Haven

19 Oct

Today I had an appointment with my brilliant speech pathologist.  She has a PhD in speech pathology and also a love for music.  She has worked with opera singers and world renown choirs  so I trust her immensely with my fragile vocal cords.  If you’ve been following my story, you know that I am a singer and it is a deep passion for me.  You also know that the first surgery for my cancer permanently paralyzed my right vocal cord.  Eventually, cancer continued to spread handicapping my left vocal cord.  I have worked with Dr. Menaldi (and voice specialist Dr Rubin, MD) each and every time to restore my voice constantly giving me hope that I will speak well and I will sing again.  Through hard work and their constant encouragement I have been able to sing again (miraculously). Last June when the doctors saw cancer cells once again on PET scan, I gave up trying to rehab because I didn’t see the point.  Of course,  in September when ultrasound showed no tumors, I decided to resume and now I am back to ground zero.  Back in June I gave up on the singing, I grieved and I finally let it go. Today Dr. Menaldi said ‘no’.  My neck has taken a beating, but she will work with me until I am singing fully once again.  I never thought a doctor’s office would be a safe haven for me.  Since I have been diligently coming to this office for almost four years now, I have become friends with not just the doctors, but the staff.  They know my story, they have cried with me and encouraged me.  They have seen me at my worst and have followed my cancer journey every step of the way (not by choice of course).

It hasn’t always been easy for me to open up and be vulnerable, but illness left me with no choice.  I feel very fortunate to have quite a few ‘safe havens’; places where I can be myself, free from the worry of what others may think.  I count my friends and family, my home, and now my doctor’s office as safe havens for me (in my case, I also have to include the lipstick counters).  We all need at least one place because if you’re anything like me, it would be so easy to withdraw and have the only safe haven in the confines of your own brain…totally not safe!  So wherever it may be, a doctor’s office, a lipstick counter, or the comfort of your own room, find a place where you can be you to take the pressure off having to answer “everything’s fine”  all the time!

Today I wear Tarte Lipsurgence Liptint in Moody.  It is sheer deep berry colored stain which I love. I also love the name because sometimes I am moody (especially if my thyroid meds are off), and the people associated with my safe havens let me be that way!

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