Tag Archives: sephora

Still Waiting…

21 Jan

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I am still waiting. Yup, that’s right…I go from scanxiety to results-anxiety and it isn’t fun. I have to say that in my whole, almost 10 year history of PET scans and CT scans this is the longest I have waited for results. Typically I have gotten the results by the end of the next day, even if the next day was a Saturday but now it’s been 3 LONG days. The mind is a funny thing, it has the ability to take you down a bad path and your body actually feels it. In the past 3 days my thoughts have run the gamut from best case scenario to the worst and the longer I wait the more my mind and thoughts rollercoaster. It’s nuts. I have desperately been trying to occupy my mind on other things but it always comes back to the silence and the wondering. This weekend I have learned how to play the ukelele, have looked up different recipes in an attempt to meal plan for the week, I’ve read half of a book I just started, we went out with friends, I’ve been to the gym, and here I sit, tired from not sleeping well and staring at my phone with hopes that my doctor will call. I know, I know, I have no control over when those results will be done. Yeesh.

This past week I listened to Rob Bell (I know he’s controversial but he’s still interesting and makes you think) being interviewed on a podcast. He spoke about the time he had a concussion and could not process anything except the ‘now’. He said in that state of mind everything ‘now’ was beautiful, to the point that when his kids entered the room he would cry. That is mostly how I feel. Historically I’ve never really been a person who looks too far ahead; I never bought sale clothes at the end of the season for the following year, or clearance Christmas decor for the following year, etc. My reason would always be that I didn’t know where I’d be the following year, or what I’d be doing, or regarding clothes, what size I’d be the following year. Welp, cancer has magnified this trait of mine…everything is NOW. When I look at my kids or sometimes even think about them I cry. When there’s a beautiful sky, I tear up. Shoot, I can look at my dog and burst into tears at how beautiful and loving he is. I was speaking img_1191to a coworker a little about my grief and anxiety (which I really hadn’t felt to this extreme before) and he asked what made this time so different than the last few rounds with cancer. Outside the obvious ‘this time it’s stage 4’ I realized that I’m more anxious because right now my life is great; I have an amazing husband that brings me so much joy and laughter, my kids are great, I have great friends, I work with amazing people at a great company, everything is good and fun and peaceful and all I want is more time to rest in this good. I just want to rest here awhile…in the good. So I wait here in the good and (semi)patiently continue to trust in God’s plan.

‘I believe that a trusting attitude and a patient attitude go hand in hand. You see, when you let go and learn to trust God, it releases joy in your life. And when you trust God, you’re able to be more patient. Patience is not just about waiting for something… it’s about how you wait, or your attitude while waiting.’~Joyce Meyer

Today I wear Sephora Collection Lipstick in Yum Yum. I wanted to try one of these lipsticks by Sephora because of the packaging, it helps that they’re fairly inexpensive. This is a good color for everyday and I love the name..yum yum (plus it has chocolate chip cookies on the package). Cheers!

Can We Change?

14 Nov

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Recently I had a conversation with one of my coworkers about personality types and whether people could change or if we just are who we are; a deep topic but spurred on by another conversation I had with my boss. We are in sales so we talked about our specific personality types (defined by Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, etc) and how they relate to selling style and if one may be better than the other. In the end my coworker and I decided that we were created a certain way at our core and there are enhancements we can make to our specific types like being a little more aggressive or being a little more extroverted, but at our specific personality type stays the same. There’s a saying ‘fake it til you make it,’ can you fake kindness? Then there’s ‘this is how God made me.’ Is it? Is there a ‘bad’ personality type? I don’t believe there’s a bad type but maybe life experiences, disappointments, and our own insecurities make us ‘hard’?  Can we soften? Can people change? All tough questions.

I read this today and it really resonated with me: You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere.Why did you spill the coffee? ‘Well because someone bumped into me, of course!’Wrong answer. You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup. Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea.*Whatever is inside the cup, is what will spill out.*Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which WILL happen), whatever is inside you will come out. It’s easy to fake it, until you get rattled.*So we have to ask ourselves… “what’s in my cup?” When life or business gets tough, what spills over? Joy, gratefulness, peace and humility? Or anger, bitterness, harsh words and impulsive reactions? Whoa. When faced with adversity who are you because that is when your true thoughts and heart show. I have been around people who have raged and placed blame outside of themselves in troubling times but who does that hurt? It shows a core of anger and insecurity and the ‘ugly’ that rolls off their tongues is truly the ‘ugly’ that’s in their hearts. Matt 15:18 ‘But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart..’ Can they change? Nothing is impossible with God but first they must look in the mirror. I am no saint but with all the challenges life has thrown over the years all I can do is fall to my knees, cry out for peace, and be grateful for another day. Maybe that’s what it’s all about. It doesn’t depend on personality type because at all of our cores is love and the need to feel loved. Maybe it’s all about control. We go through so much in life; illness, hurt, broken relationships, etc and maybe we become hardened because those are the things we cannot control. So here’s what must change…not our personality type, but our need to control every circumstance or person, or in other words, our need to be God. Just my theory. ‘All is not what it is-it is always more. What seems like your story is but a line in the whole story’~Ann Voskamp.

This weekend I was blessed by an img_7380-1unbelievable surprise. My son’s recreational basketball team comprised of most of his closest friends surprised me by wearing t-shirts especially made (by the moms) in support of  my cancer journey. I cry thinking about and looking at the pictures. The beautiful thing about releasing control over whatever situation you may be in is that it frees your heart to love more, to be more authentic and to be kind. You get to be more of your authentic self because you also release the need to control people and reactions and crap in general and you get to live the golden rule ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’~Matt 7:12. What you put out into the world comes back 10-fold and those shirts on those boys created by the moms was a HUGE 10-fold bounce back. My grateful heart is once again mush.

img_5039-1Today’s lipstick is YSL Rouge Pur Couture Dazzling Lights Edition Lipstick in Le Rouge which is blood red. These lipsticks are a little pricey but super moisturizing. For whatever reason the lipstick just feels luxurious on your lips but I’m not gonna lie, the color slips off my lips pretty quickly. Never the less, if you want to splurge, YSL and Tom Ford are the two brands that are splurge-worthy. I chose this color because it’s red and a great color for the holidays! Cheers!

How We Live?

7 Aug

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I have a super talented brother, he’s a singer/dancer/actor who was on Broadway for years and has been in the cast of shows like Rent, Mamma Mia, and Miss Saigon among other things. Currently he travels the world as a choreographer, teaching master classes in dance and theater, and judging and emceeing national dance competitions across the country.  A couple weeks ago my brother was hired to teach a master class in theater arts at a theater on the east coast. During one of the breaks he had to return phone calls so he left the theater for a short bit and was walking around in the nearby park/neighborhood. He was in a t-shirt and khaki shorts and was not carrying anything except his cell phone which he was on. I say all of this because within that half an hour he was approached by the local police. Apparently someone had seen him and called them about ‘a mysterious brown skinned man walking around the neighborhood.’ For. Real. He said that the minute the policeman came up to him the officer put his hands in his face and said,’oh damn, I’m so embarrassed.’ Yes, even the cop couldn’t believe it. To follow up on the complaint the police had to go to the theater to verify his story about being there to teach and of course it was the truth.

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Does he look scary?

This is now the world in which we live. It’s sad and it’s unfortunate and at a time when America is probably the most diverse, we feel the most segregated. We are scared of each other, scared of who the next president will be, scared of our neighbor, scared to cross the city line. We talk big but talk from our comfortable little squares about how things should change. How will they change? Martin Luther King said, ‘Love is the only force capable of turning an enemy into a friend.’ Easier said than done. Are we losing our capacity to love others? The bible talks about faith, hope, and love with the greatest being love. I recently read in another blog that many think that there can be no faith or hope without love but the author believed that there can be no faith and love without hope. I think that is where we stand today. With all the tragedies, terrorism, senseless shootings, etc, we are starting to lose hope in our futures which then creates cynicism and less faith then eventually less ‘love thy neighbor.’ This attitude then moves down to our kids who really haven’t yet experienced the world but now have the same attitudes and opinions we do regarding politics and maybe even race. It’s a vicious cycle. How do we stop it? I don’t know but how about starting with kindness and respect of others and their opinions. We all have our little circles of influence-start there, we don’t all have to win an argument, sometimes it has to end with agree to disagree. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control’ Gal 5:22-23.

Today I wear Laura Mercier Lip Glace’ in Blush which is a rose brown. I love how these glosses feel and the color is decent for a gloss. I have been using this for years and my absolute favorite color is Brownberry which has been a little hard to find but this comes pretty close. It’s always a great time to just throw on some gloss! Cheers!

 

Unexpected Family

21 Jan

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My dad is the oldest of 7 and my mom is the youngest of 4, that being said, I have many cousins, aunts and uncles. Here’s the thing, when my parents immigrated to the United States in 1972, it was just us; me, mom, and dad…no other family. So what happens when you have no family around? You find people in similar situations, similar interests, or maybe just genuinely lonely and you make a family. I grew up with several other Filipino families who we met in our Detroit apartment complex, church, work, etc. who became my ‘cousins’, ‘aunts/uncles’, and ‘grandparents’. I don’t remember a time flipswhen families and extended family grew up and stayed in the same area. I know people who have this and it’s awesome, but with the changing times, changing family units, and the changing economy, families seem to spread all over the place for most folks. What’s the definition of family? Traditionally, family is defined as ‘a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household’ but I also found the definition of a family as ‘a group united by significant shared characteristics’.

The past few weeks have been filled with some super happy exciting things that I will talk about soon and at the same time the past week has been boutextremely stressful and at times frightening. Some of you know that I started getting involved with a local roller derby team over the summer. My time with them has been off and on because of a knee injury and now the current situation I’m in, but last Saturday as they welcomed me once again with open arms it was overwhelming. I couldn’t help but feel like I had another group of people that have become family. I have found unexpected family as a child through friends of family, and as an adult through a college sorority, work, church, and now derby. I am so grateful. There are many people who are lonely and have little to no blood relatives around, what’s your part? Would my life be different if my parents did not put themselves out there or if people had not reached out to us? Absolutely. Hands and eyes wide open, someone needs you as much as you need them.’There are the families that we are born into, and there are thederbysis families that we choose our circle of friends. While their faces may change over the course of our lives, the joy they bring us remains constant.’~unknown

Today I wear YSL Volupte’ Tint In Oil in Drive Me Copper. It’s winter in Michigan and my lips tend to get dry. I was introduced to these just a couple days ago and WOW. It’s oily but not greasy, it’s lighter but not exactly a balm or a gloss. I can’t really describe it but it’s awesome! It has a wash of color, enough to wear alone and since it’s YSL, it’s a bit pricey, but WOW. I chose this color because it’s like glistening gold on my lips (like sunshine)…cheers!

Moments

31 Dec

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I recently watched a short motivational video someone posted on Facebook. The 4 minute video had quite a few impactful statements but the one that stuck with me was at the end when the speaker said that his life is now measured in moments instead of time (or something like that). Essentially life is fleeting and instead of looking at minutes, hours, dates, he looks at his history as cherished moments and his future as the opportunity to create more memorable moments; well, that was my interpretation. 2014 was filled with so many incredible memories for me, good and bad, and as I reflect on the last year I am incredibly grateful for everything. Pain, heartache, fear, joy, happiness, excitement, love, all emotions I got to experience. Literally it was a year of extremes but everything, every event, every emotion has continued to shape me and mold me into the Anna of 2015 and I’m excited. I reconnected with some old friends and met some incredible new ones, and wow, all you guys are awesome! Every person you have in your life adds a little something to it, whether it’s a lesson or a confirmation, someone that helps you grow or someone who reminds you and brings out who you really are; and honestly,even the toxic people in our lives are there to make you stronger, and to help you learn something about yourself before you have to turn away.2014

So, after all the challenges and difficulty of the past few years I want more for 2015:

More joy
More love
More strength
More peace
More hope
More stories
More people
More moments
More magic

And less…

Less fear
Less toxic
Less turmoil
Less drama
Less things

In the end, logically, life cannot help but be measured by time. There are truly only 24 hours in a day. Today though, if you read Facebook posts and talk to people, they reminisce about moments over the past year so maybe we do measure our life in moments. Time is fleeting but it seems that moments and memories last, let’s make some good ones! Happy New Year!

What day is it?”It’s today,’ squeaked Piglet. ‘My favorite day,’ said Pooh.’~A.A. Milne

Today I wear Lovemarc Lip Gel in Showstopper. This lipstick has a bit of a different feel. It’s fairly moisturizing and since it’s a gel, it doesn’t feel like lipstick or lipgloss, hard to describe. I chose it because it’s red and I love the name, Showstopper, duh. Cheers!

ABC

15 Dec

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Today is December 15th, 10 days until Christmas, three presents under the tree. Nope, I have not yet purchased any Christmas presents yet and earlier today I started to panic a little. Where are the presents under the tree from you ask? My 12 year old who was able to buy gifts from his school’s Holiday Shop last week. Yup, the youngest member of my family is done shopping. One of the blogs I follow gave an ABC challenge today; what are the first three words you can think of starting with A,B,C, then incorporate those words into your blog. Here’s my three…Amazing, Beautiful, Contagious. So here goes. I have an amazing life; it is filled with imperfection, good and bad choices, good and bad memories, love, fear, heartache, illness. Look at that list! I am privileged to have felt all those emotions, awful things that have made me stronger and awesome things that have helped me remain grateful..it’s been quite the year. Beautiful. What can I say? There’s simply a lot of beauty out there if you look. From my kids, to the people in my life who love me and make me laugh, to even the grayest clouds in Michigan (you know the sun is just on the other side of the clouds). There’s magic and beauty out there if you just take the time to stop and find it. Contagious. This is my goal. To live an authentic life filled with love for people, patience, kindness, and so much joy that it’s contagious, you know, that whole pay it forward concept. Again, life is a challenge every single day and I get really sick of having to be strong sometimes, but I believe we go through stuff to help others. Plus, truly, how much is in our control? James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.momandaud (2)

So, it’s 10 days until Christmas, tomorrow begins Hanukkah and it’s a busy time of year. If I can focus on Amazing,Beautiful,and Contagious, I know it will all be ok. ‘Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!’― Dr. Seuss Take a minute to breathe in life and be grateful.ABC…what three words pop in your head first?

Today, since it’s the holiday season and just about all brands put out a palette of some sort I’m going to point out a couple lip sets that are my personal faves. First is Nars Digital World Lip Pencil Coffrett Laced With Edge Holiday Collection. There are 5 lip crayons both satin and matte. I love Nars lipsticks and lip crayons so this would be a fabulous set. Next is Urban Decay Full Frontal Lipstick Stash set which include 6 lipsticks and a lip pencil. This lipstick is great and this set would be a great way try several shades! Both sets come from Sephora and would be great to have! Cheers!

3 Words

15 Oct

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There are three words that have become synonymous with cancer fighters/survivors or really anyone who has or is fighting some type of battle externally or internally…COURAGE, BRAVERY, HOPE. I have been called courageous for fighting something I didn’t choose, but also had no choice but to fight back. What truly do these words mean?

Bravery and courage are sometimes used interchangeably but actually have very different origins and meanings. Today’s definition of brave means possessing or exhibiting courage, or courageous endurance. From Middle French it means splendid, valiant. It’s also an American Indian noun for North American Indian Warrior. Courage is interesting. ‘Cor’ is the Latin word for heart, and originally courage meant to speak one’s mind by telling one’s heart. Today it means acting heroic. Social researcher Brene’ Brown says “Heroics are often about putting our life on the line. Ordinary courage is about putting our vulnerability on the line.” WOW. Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. In old English it is wish, expect, look forward to possibly connecting; root word ‘hop’-leaping in expectation.

Interesting. Can you have any one of these three words without the other? Can you have hope without bravery? Can you have bravery without courage (vulnerability)? See what I’m getting at? We need all three. If you go back to the definition of bravery and consider courageous endurance it takes on new meaning. Being brave requires ongoing vulnerability, enduring the road or path you are on valiantly.

All of us face battles every single day. Some internal, like illness, depression, cancer…battles with our bodies. Other battles are external;jobs, relationships, conflict. The only aspects in our control we really have with both are our attitudes and our actions. I have had a tough week but because of my faith I always have hope, and since the three words go together… I guess I am brave and courageous too. We can’t control others’ actions, just ours. I love my life. Pressing on…

Today I wear Dior Glow…my standby, constant. It’s a lip balm that somehow brings out the natural color of your lips. It’s simply awesome, get your inner glow on! Cheers!

Tapestry

22 Sep

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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!

Fear vs. Freedom

14 Sep

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A friend of mine posted a question on Facebook the other day asking what people’s fears/phobias were. There was a variety of answers ranging from the typical snakes, spiders, clowns, all the way to the fear of an ex or of not being wanted. Can fear and freedom co-exist? Sometimes. Take the fear of moving someplace new; new school, new job, etc..but the freedom after the initial adjustment knowing that maybe it was for the best (or not). The fear of cancer coming back yet freedom with the knowledge that you’ve beaten it at least once and you have today to be alive. There is great fear, but the freedom you can feel is a choice that must be made yourself.

Fear is a monster slowly making its way into your mind. It’s blackness and its long tentacles wrapping around your brain creeping in like a sheer cloud of death. Trapping your mind and body with a blanket of insecurity which penetrates every thought of every minute forcing your body to respond. Slowly it takes piece by piece; your conscience, your confidence, and ultimately your freedom if you let it. It paralyzes you and twists your stomach, makes your heart pound and eyes dilate. There is no hunger, no sleep, and at times you choke at the very breath left stuck in your throat. Emotions raw, body weak, fear is a trap waiting for you to fall. Yes, I have felt this.Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation…. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins.~Charles Stanley

Can freedom exist in the presence of fear? It has to. Resting in the knowledge that God is in control…Step 1. The exhilarating feeling of wind in your face, arms open, trying to capture the stars. The heat of the sun or even the raindrops reminding you life is always washed and renewed. Being alive is awesome, every moment precious and not worthy of wasting. Smart, strong, determined to break the chains of fear that bind you even if it’s link by link. Fear is powerful but none is more powerful than the human spirit touched by God’s grace. Every moment, every breath, make a decision to take life back. Who needs Superman to save the day when you have you? Be your own hero.Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.~Jim Morrison

Today I wear Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Dare Devil which is a cool sparkling blackberry. Seriously, I just bought this and love it. It’s not too shiny or sticky, has lots of color and just kinda melts on your lips. Plums and deep berry shades are in for fall and this one’s great. Gotta love the name too, a dare devil wouldn’t have fear now would they? Cheers!

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!

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