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Tag Archives: red lipstick

Tapestry

22 Sep

tapestry
Life is a tapestry of relationships, every thread is crucial….

This past weekend I was able to spend some time with my friend Grace at a cottage in Northern Michigan. I have known Grace for almost 20 years and it was just a great time to relax and connect. At the resort there was an outdoor art park with that saying, along with other quotes, carved into marble right in the middle of the woods. It was fitting to be there and see that with Grace because I’ve known her for so long; we’ve sang together, she’s been a mentor to me, but best of all she’s been a friend through all my junk past and present. As I was standing there staring at it, a whole bunch of people ran through my mind; not always great, life-impacting relationships, not always positive, but definitely a critical thread in my life story. There are many people past and present, even those I’ve just met, that each have had a purpose or have taught me something about me or about people in general. artpark

Up north, there was just a hint of the trees beginning to change colors. Fall is my favorite season in Michigan for exactly this reason. The air changes and becomes cooler, the sunsets are more fiery, but the changing colors are amazing and the beauty at its peak always leaves me breathless. So here it is, the beginning of a new season. The leaves change and the wind goes from a warmer air to being cooler and more crisp. Life is in constant change and people constantly weave in and out of glassour lives, sometimes for just a season. I believe we meet people at exactly the right time we need to meet them, there are no accidents. What’s our part? What’s my part? I’m repeating myself when I say that sometimes we only get one chance, one moment to make an impact on someones life. Will it be positive or negative? I personally want to be a faucet filling someone’s cup than a drain depleting someone of life and energy.This is a long quote but I really liked the analogy…
Life is similar to a bus ride.The journey begins when we board the bus.We meet people along our way of which some are strangers, some friends and some strangers yet to be friends.There are stops at intervals and people board in.
At times some of these people make their presence felt, leave an impact through their grace and beauty on us fellow passengers while on other occasions they remain indifferent.But then it is important for some people to make an exit, to get down and walk the paths they were destined to because if people always made an entrance and never left either for the better or worse, then we would feel suffocated and confused like those people in the bus, the purpose of the journey would lose its essence and the journey altogether would neither be worthwhile nor smooth.’~ Chirag Tulsiani

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven-Turn,Turn,Turn~The Byrds

Today I wear Nars Audacious Lipstick in Charlotte which is a deep oxblood burgundy. You can always count on Nars for great lipsticks and great colors. These are weightless, long lasting and smooth…obviously the color is amazing. This particular color is great for fall (but be sure you don’t do the smoky eye with it or you’ll look like a vampire). Cheers to a new season!

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Heart or Paper?

7 Sep

Photo courtesy of Leanna Vite Photography. Thanks Leanna!

Photo courtesy of Leanna Vite Photography.
Thanks Leanna!


I think more than ever I have been in an internal conflict about purpose; what I should be doing, what I’m meant to be doing, and what I want to be doing. Part of it is age , and part of it is post-cancer putting an exclamation point on time. The average lifespan for females in Michigan varies from 77-80 years of age depending on which website you refer to, which means my life is more than half over. Sounds grim but the one thing we cannot change is that we all die at some point; and although many of us are committed to things which help us feel younger and look younger, we don’t actually get any younger. Anyhow, I listened to a great talk by a New York Times columnist and the question he posed was, ‘Should you live your resume’ or your eulogy?’ WHOA. What a question. As Americans, or maybe I’m just speaking for myself, we spend a whole lot of time working on our resume’ and making sure it looks good for the next job, employer, promotion, or even the public, but what do we want ‘listed’ in our eulogy? ‘She was in management’, ‘she got promoted quickly’, ‘she won president’s club several times’….I say no. We want (or at least I want), people to say I lived and I loved, I helped, and was a joy to have around, I made people feel things, and was a positive presence…

Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life~John Wooden

Here’s the conundrum…we all need to make a living, but at what price? Do we push ourselves to continue rising up the ladder, do we stay in a career because our resume’ shows we are good at it yet everyday wonder why we’re doing that very thing in the first place? A few blogs ago I talked about doing something you love or are passionate about every single day, even if it’s something small…that’s a start. It reminds you of who you are and who you are made to be. I guess I’m a bit confused (and probably really confusing to you), right now. My struggle is definitely not the resume’ and trying to achieve mega success by worldly standards, mine is actually wondering if passion and work can actually merge somehow or if the resume’ will continue to consume the passion bit by bit; what is written on paper vs. what is imprinted on your heart. Is it resume’ or eulogy? Eternal success in a finite world or eternal value, leaving a legacy? Can it be both?

Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.~Billy Graham

Today I wear Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Revolution lipstick in Mrs. Mia Wallace. I know, I know, I did UD last time but I had to write about this one. So, you know I love the Urban Decay lipsticks but this one is a deep red. It has been 20 years since the movie Pulp Fiction came out, I don’t remember much about the movie except for the dance scene with John Travolta, but I do remember the lipstick on the black haired Uma Thurman. This is a limited edition and it’s smokin’ hot. Live passionately! Cheers!

Unrealized Dreams

14 Aug

changing woman
Recently I was able to reconnect with a friend who I haven’t seen in probably three years. It was great because we were able to talk like no time had passed yet our lives were so different than they were 3 years ago. We talked and laughed and really marveled at how life can change so quickly. We talked about the future and about our dreams and what we would like to see; some things we had in common, some we just laughed about. Something I shared is the realization after cancer that you just never know what will happen tomorrow, so I try every single day to do one thing that brings me closer to a dream or goal.It certainly keeps me busy. She asked how I manage to do all the stuff I HAVE to do PLUS all the stuff I WANT to do…I kept my answer simple…one day, one moment at a time. If I don’t fit all of it in, I don’t sweat it, I just move on to the next day. Here’s another awesome thing I discovered, if you live with your eyes wide open to opportunity, sometimes yellow flowernew dreams make their way into your life. Remember when I wrote about watching roller derby? I watched because the minute I saw their booth at a local fair and spoke to a couple of the girls, I knew I wanted to be a part…enter new dream! See how it works? I’ve been talking about this with a friend for awhile and she recently shared with me that she decided to pursue her dream of riding horses! She said that by me talking about doing something new it pushed her to also do something she had always been interested in. Why not? What stops us? How and why do we forget some of the things we loved? We all have responsibilities; jobs, kids, etc. but if we don’t do a little something that reminds us who WE are every single day, we slowly start to lose a little bit of ourselves. Thankfully we are all created uniquely us; different, special, and beautiful.
me and jen
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.~H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Today I wear Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Revolution lipstick. This is seriously a hot red; dark, edgy, awesome! You all know I love Urban Decay lipsticks and this is no different. Lots of moisture plus lots of color…limited edition so get it while you can! I chose this color because it’s bold. Live your adventure! Cheers!

This Girl Is On Fire

21 Feb

Dancing on the streets of Paris with a breakdance crew

Dancing on the streets of Paris with a breakdance crew


I have a friend that I see every now and then. She is the person who always has a book to recommend or an author or a new song; not a fiction book, some type of inspirational or self-help book, but never cheesy. She always has great advice, not too pushy, and the way she comes across, with her added expressions, never ceases to crack me up! She’s actually hysterical and no matter what mood I’m in, I leave laughing. Anyhow, I saw her recently and of course she opens with ‘I just read this great book’ (uh huh, I’m already smiling) ‘It was written by this incredibly strong woman’…’All right’, I say as I take out a piece of paper to write name and author, like always…’Maybe you’ve heard of it, it’s called ‘My Lipstick Journey Through Cancer’ by Anna Warner’. Me…blank stare back. Then she stares at me square in the eyes and says ‘that’s right, she’s in there, bring her back.’ Believe it or not, that small gesture touched me deep in my soul and I started to feel that fire again (cue the theme from Rocky). Who am I? I’m a girl who auditioned for a show 3 times before finally getting on, I fought cancer 3 times also, I pushed through a science degree when all I wanted to do was sing and dance, and when people said I couldn’t, I did all I could to prove them wrong. Heck yeah, I’m a fighter.

There have also been a lot of opportunities recently that have popped up. I was asked by an artist and vocal coach from Atlanta if she could use my story as part of her Vocal Workshop, of course, thank you Heather! A national cancer organization has also asked me to speak and share my story at a national meeting for young physicians. On top of that, coming soon is an event near and dear to my heart, the annual Voice Day celebration that my physician puts together, and I am still fortunate to be able to sing and be a part of that special day. This week I also met up with a couple old co-workers and it was really great. I am so incredibly grateful for all of my experiences, good and bad, but mostly for all the people who God has weaved in and out of my life and journey at exactly the right time. I love you all. ‘She got both feet on the ground, And she’s burning it down. She got her head in the clouds,And she’s not backing down. This girl is on fire…~ Girl on Fire,Alicia Keys

Today I wear an old favorite, Buxom Full On Lip Polish in Brandi. These lipglosses are not sticky at all and make your lips tingle a little. I love the color Brandi because it adds kind of a deep berry shade to my lips while still being a little sheer. Check out the box it comes in…yeah, this girl is on fire…watch out! Cheers!

Anti-Resolutions

30 Dec

2014.4
Christmas 2013 has come and gone and now the countdown to a New Year is upon us. I cannot believe it will be 2014 in a few short days but I am so ready. 2013 has not been a great year for me but at least I end on a healthy note. It started with bad numbers in my blood work from January leading my physicians to believe that my cancer was back but in a different area of my body. From there, the different scenarios; insurance that wouldn’t pay for testing because of my pre-existing condition, then the one unwilling to pay for the expenses of the PET scan, ultrasound, etc., followed by the numerous friends that offered to do fund raisers so I could have answers. Then the passing of my friend, and cancer angel, Bob. The toll of all of those on my brain and body; depression, anxiety, etc. and all that has transpired since then…. For now, I am cancer free and moving forward. Most people set resolutions right about this time, goals they want to achieve, promises they make to themselves about health and life in general. After cancer I reassess those things daily, so annual resolutions are not something I think about,I tend to just ‘go’ with life. Someone I know said to me a short while ago, ‘So just because you had cancer you think you’re strong now?’ Without a doubt. Lesson #1 from 2013: Watch your words, they stem from your heart. Enough of the negative can really damage a person and their soul…blog for another day.

So back to the resolutions…yes, I have the typical thoughts of eating right, exercising, being grateful, etc, but for today I thought I’d set my anti-resolutions; things I don’t want to do in 2014:

1. I will not let any person dictate to me how I should act or feel or who I should hang out with; I already have a God that counsels me on that
2. I do not want to ever forget that God is in control and that He will never love me less despite my mistakes
3. I will not let someone’s opinions, anger, or bitterness affect or change my perceptions and opinions
4. I will not say ‘yes’ when I mean ‘no’
5. I will not feel guilty for eating carbs and sugar. I like them both and when I try to stop or cut back, I want them more anyway
6. I never want to be too busy to help someone or to listen to them
7. I will not feel guilty for missing a day or a week of exercise…although my body, heart, and mind will be mad at me
8. I never want to view life as a glass half empty, it’s too awesome just being alive
9. Although I talk a lot of taking risks and fearing less, I do not want to sky dive…ever
10. I will not stop playing Candy Crush because sometimes we just need a little bit of brainless activity…

I do look back at 2013 with a thankful heart too. I reconnected with some old friends, I started a new job with an old boss that I love, I’ve met some amazing new people, my kids are awesome and never cease to amaze me, going through tough times I have realized I am abundantly blessed with friends and family that support me; it’s really quite overwhelming. You know that saying that what you put out into the world comes back to you ten fold…it’s true, so be kind. I look at 2014 with excitement and eyes wide open for whatever adventure lies ahead but life happens moment by moment and I just want to soak it all in. ‘Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards’~Soren Kierkergaard

Today I wear NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Snow White.This is a perfect red, exactly what you think Snow White would wear…not too orangey, more of a blue-red. The other plus is that it’s only $4.00. The formula is moisturizing and semi-long lasting. These lispticks can generally be found at Ulta or Target, they are really great! By the way, none of us need true love’s kiss to wake us up! Cheers and Happy New Year!

Staring at the blank page before you, open up the dirty window let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find….
No one else can speak the words on your lips. Drench yourself in words unspoken,live your life with arms wide open.Today is where your book begins,the rest is still unwritten‘~ Unwritten,Natasha Bedingfield

Christmas Memories

21 Dec

Christmas

Christmas always brings lots of memories; some great ones, and some not so great. Growing up in Detroit, I remember my parents waking me up as a young child to attend the historic Old St Mary’s Church in Detroit to go to midnight mass. What I remember about it (since I was so young) was that it was huge and outrageously beautiful. But I also remember the pews being hard as I fell back asleep on them during mass (oops, I was REALLY young). Anyhow, traditionally, we would go back home afterward and eat until dawn. Though the church location changed when we moved to the suburbs, that tradition carried on through high school, sometimes with only my family, and sometimes with friends coming to our house. I remember moments around Christmas like ice skating around the frozen fountain at Belle Isle, the Thanksgiving Parade, and shopping at the old Hudson’s in downtown Detroit.

The two most memorable Christmas’s to me were both significant moments in my life. The first was awful, 2009. It was the morning of Christmas Eve 2009 when I was at the hospital with my three girlfriends at 6am. They came with with me to support me during my PET scan to check on suspicious activity in my neck. At this point I had and beat cancer twice already with my last surgery just the September before. They came with me to sit for the three hours it took to finish. When I came out, two were sleeping in chairs in the waiting room and I’ll never forget how grateful I was they had taken time away from their families to be with me that day. At 4:00 the same evening my doctor called and I received the devastating news that indeed the cancer was back. He said, “Merry Christmas, I’m sorry.” The other Christmas I remember was in the 4th grade, I was 8 or 9 and we had just moved to the suburbs from Detroit. At this time my parents were both working and my dad had even worked two jobs to move us to a nicer area. That Christmas I wrote Santa a long letter. I remember writing a list of things I wanted and then adding things for my hard working parents. When I came downstairs Christmas morning, nothing from my list was on the fireplace. All that was there was a large (to me it was life-sized) yellow, stuffed dog. I remember being a little disappointed that Santa hadn’t brought the presents I asked for for me and my parents, but I loved that stuffed animal. It stayed with me for years! Looking back I now realize that we didn’t have a lot of money and my parents gave me the best they had. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about it.

After cancer and life’s difficulties in general, Christmas along with every day is special. We were given the gift of Jesus on Christmas Day and that is the best gift. Every moment, every memory, every breath whether Christmas or the days after is icing on the cake. Today’s lipstick is my favorite red Lancome L’Absolu Rouge in Merlot. Moisturizing, deep red. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you!

Friends

6 Nov

fall13

It’s November and I haven’t written in a while. You know when you’re so busy that you feel like if you stop running for just a moment, life will run you over? Sometimes that’s how I feel. Well, today that picture above was the scene on my street. Just last week those trees were full of different brightly colored fall leaves and today, they’re almost bare which only means one thing here in Michigan….winter. While during challenging or difficult times, certain areas of life seem to move in slow motion (I can almost hear the clock ticking second by second ever so slowly like water dripping), generally I think time moves so fast, I can’t believe 2013 is almost over. Tonight I got to spend some time with some of my sorority sisters from jen2college. It’s been awhile since I had seen many of them but even after 20 years I still think we look the same, again, where did those 20 years go? Two of my most favorite people were there and it was great. One I get to see fairly regularly and the other, not enough. One thing I know for sure is that great friendships last a lifetime. I could go months or even years without seeing them but the minute we start talking it’s like we never left. “We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet. Even longer,’ Pooh answered.”   ~ AA Milne, Winnie the Poohanne and jen

Life has been a wild ride for what seems to me, a long time. Through cancer and life post cancer, friends have really stepped it up. Some of the things they did and have done for me jenhave been extraordinary and I know I will never be able to repay their kindness and support. Isn’t that what friendship’s about? Giving without expecting?  I am so grateful for all of the friends who have and continue to stand by me and support me, and to all my new friends too. I don’t believe we meet people by accident, so welcome to my world. Life would not be fun without you, you’re my heroes.

Today I wear Urban Decay Revolutionary Lipstick in Venom which is a really bright plum. These lipsticks are pretty awesome, full of color and moisturizing at the same time. My friend Jen in the pictures was one of my lipstick inspirations. Back in college, she wore hot pink lipstick everyday while I wore my Chapstick trying to hide my big lips. Since then, I have learned to love my lips and whenever I buy something bright (like today’s color), I still think of her. Thanks Jen! Cheers!

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