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14 Apr

This summer I will be celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary. I actually got married young by today’s standards, one year after graduating college (he graduated ahead of me). For the first few years of marriage, we were commuters. I had an apartment in Indiana where I was placed for my first job, and he was in Chicago for medical school. People have asked why we didn’t just wait until he was done instead of only seeing each other on weekends for the first few years. Well, we were young and in love and that’s well, what else is there to say? Anyhow, it was a honeymoon every weekend and we did wait 6 years to have our first child. Since the beginning of our marriage we have had 10 different addresses in three states (I am also counting the two addresses he had while in school since I would visit and it would be our home for the weekend). 3 of the homes we had built from the bottom up, 1 of the homes was a ‘spec’ home which means it was half done, we chose the rest, 1 was a builders model home, and today’s house was an older home that we have put blood, sweat, and tears into in re-doing each room, one by one. Our first child had gone to three different schools by the time he was in second grade and my other two experienced the stress of remodeling our current house while also dealing with my cancer. It has been quite the ride and today, we have had the same address for 7 years, the longest we have stayed anywhere. Sometimes I am jealous of some of my friends who got married and put roots down somewhere and never moved but I don’t think I would change things, it’s what I know.

This week my cousins and aunt are visiting from California and the Philippines. I haven’t seen my cousin from the Philippines in almost 30 years (I think we look the same, like no time has passed). It reminded me of the journey my parents took 40 years ago leaving friends and family with a 3 year old (me) to start a better life for the generations to come. It was a huge move away from all they knew, from their home. What is a home? You’ve heard the cliche’ “Home is where the heart is”. For me that’s true. If I were Dorothy in Oz and clicked those red shoes three times, they would bring me to my home; not defined by a city, state, or address, but solely defined by where my family happens to be. The upside from all the moves is that I don’t get attached to things (even though I don’t think I really ever have). I don’t get attached to homes, or stuff for that matter. The slight downside is that it has become harder for me to get attached to people because in the back of my mind I’m thinking about our next move. The invention of Facebook of course has changed that dramatically because I can now reconnect and stay in touch with all the people in my life past and present and I’m thankful. Through the moves I have met some incredible people and lifelong friends. When cancer came I cannot think of one person past or present that did not reach out to me. I reiterate this, sometimes we just have a moment to impact someone in either a positive or negative way…make it count.

Today I wear Dior Addict lipstick In New York. I love Dior lipsticks and this is a pinky brown which is quite easy to wear with anything. New York is the place I thought I would be living (because of my Broadway dreams) but have only gone to visit. Life takes us along many different paths and I never look back. Home IS where the heart is.

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!

Special

11 Oct

Last week a great man passed away.  Yes, we all know that Steve Jobs of Apple passed away but that is not who I’m talking about today.  Yes, Steve Jobs was an incredible mind, innovator and inventor, he changed how we communicate today; but I’m talking about a man named Al.  Al was also a man in his 50’s, married with children.  For the past few years, my family and I (sometimes just my husband and I) frequented a local family restaurant.  The food was good and inexpensive and the atmosphere was extremely relaxed and family-friendly.  Al was the owner.  The first time we came, Al introduced himself, asked our names, and said welcome.  Subsequently, anytime we would come in, he would greet us by name and stop to chat every now and then.  Throughout the years (6 years to be exact), Al would have us taste the new soup he was trying to sell, bring us small desserts ‘on the house’, and after learning that I liked his warm rice pudding with whipped cream on top, he almost always brought some to the table for me.  That’s the man he was.  He remembered our names and what we liked.  If he wasn’t talking to us, he was wandering the restaurant talking to the other customers.

His funeral was last Saturday and hundreds of people showed up.  What made him so special?  He knew people’s names, he looked you in the eyes and focused on you when you spoke, he remembered small things about you and would ask how you were, he treated everyone special, regardless if they were there for a cup of coffee or for a full meal.  Al had customers of all ages and walks of life, he always had a smile on his face and you could tell that he cared.  About a month ago, my husband and I were there without the kids and he sat with us awhile and told us he sold the place.  We were sad that we wouldn’t see him so much, but happy he could finally relax and spend more time with his family.  On October 5th the world lost a visionary in Steve Jobs, but in our small community, we lost a man who cared for each of us.

How easy it is to make people feel special.  Remember their name, look them in the eye, care about their answers when you ask a question.  It makes a such a difference. I recently heard a quote, “There’s no rewind in life but it’s always being recorded.”  Think about it,  people everyday are recording or remembering your actions and you can’t take things back.

Today I wear Dior Addict Lip Polish  in Glow Expert in honor of Al because I know he made that conscious effort to make every person he interacted with feel a little more special and leave his restaurant with a glow.

Listen

11 Aug

I’m meeting tons of new people with my new job which is always exciting and a little nerve wracking for me, but fun of course.  The other day I was at lunch with some customers and we were having general conversation about the weather and how their day was going etc.  Most of them said the obligatory, fine, but one of the gentlemen there who I don’t know at all, opened up and talked and talked about his current extremely difficult life situation.  Most of the room had left and he went on and on not wanting advice and certainly not judgement but as he put it, he wanted to verbalize what was in his head and he hoped at the end I would not think he was crazy.  He apologized after spilling his guts for 45 minutes.

My church is holding a mens retreat this fall called ‘The Courage to Listen’.  Of course it’s for men, because they don’t listen…just kidding.  Anyhow, as I listened to this virtual stranger talking about some deep stuff in his life, this phrase popped into my head because do we really have the courage to listen to people and hear the deep stuff they are going through?  When we ask the question, ‘how are you?’, do we really want to know? I felt privileged to hear him rant and also felt pretty good that after only an hour of small talk with the group he thought I would even listen and not judge.  When people I know and trust ask me how I’m doing I give an honest answer and sometimes it’s not positive.  I think people are taken aback with honesty and in our fast-paced society, listening has become a lost art.  I think we want to hear, ‘Fine’ as an answer so we can move on with our day but I know for me sometimes I just want to rant and not have any particular thing solved or discussed; sometimes I just want someone to listen.

Do you have the courage to listen?  Try it, look people in the eye and listen.  Don’t try to solve and don’t interrupt.  It’s amazing and enlightening and when you listen with the sole purpose of ‘hearing’, sometimes you can hear what makes a person tick, what’s in their soul.  Think about your closest friend, they listen. Now think of the impact on a stranger if you truly listen.  It’s a beautiful thing!

Today I wear Dior Addict lipstick in Raspberry Rush.  It’s a gorgeous soft shimmery pink which would look great on any skin tone.  I wear it because it’s such a yummy rush making new friends from just taking the time to listen.

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