Monday, February 27, 2012

Viola Davis Wears Her Natural Hair at The Oscars



Viola Davis braved the Oscars on Sunday night wig free and looking gorgeous in an emerald green number by Vera Wang.  In previous pictures I'd seen her with her natural hair color and I thought she looked exquisite.  For the the Oscars, though, she went light auburn and you all know I'm a sucker for red hair.  Doesn't she look fab?
Only recently has Viola been brave enough to show her natural hair to the world.  In conversation with Ryan Seacrest, Viola credited her husband who had encouraged her to wear her natural hair saying, "My husband wanted me to take the wig off.  He said, ‘If you want to wear it for your career, that’s fine, but in your life wear your hair.  Step into who you are!’” 


And last but not least, let's talk about that body--looking toned and wonderful.  I hope I can be in as good a shape as Ms. Viola when I get to my 50s. She better werk!


Images sourced from Google

Friday, February 24, 2012

Emerge.

"In the face of defeat, we emerge strengthened, to face our next victory." - Eleesha


Four and a half years ago, I was faced with a pile of debt and struggling to make it from one paycheck to the next. Although I had a decent paying job for a young lady being single with no children, I was terrible at managing my money.  

To this day, it's a wonder where all that money went--a mystery to which I have no clue.  Clothes and shoes weren't my poison although I enjoyed shopping but I was often on the road so perhaps it was spent partying & traveling--that's neither here nor there.  At that time, there were only two things that I was actually responsible in doing: paying both my rent and car note on time--no exceptions.  Anything beyond that was thrown to the wind, never mind saving for expected maintenance of my car or even emergencies.

The cycle of broke-ness went on for only 2 years but I'm a witness that it takes far less effort to acquire debt than it does to get out of it.  I've spent a little more than double that amount of time paying those bills I made (and as well some that were made for me by an ex, lawd that's another tale in itself).  

However, the turning point for me was in the latter part of 2007 where I received two wake up calls in the same weekend:

Wake Up Call #1

I'd ventured to Cold Stone Creamery with my girl, Lesa, for an overpriced bowl of ice cream--$6 to be exact.  Had the creamer load up with all my favorites: french vanilla ice cream with snickers crumbles, extra peanuts and caramel. My mouth was watering in anticipation of savoring all the goodness.  Got to the register for ring up, card declined.  The young man was attempting to be discrete about it but there was another creamer standing next to him when it happened.  She asked outloud with a huge mocking smile on her face, "It was declined!?"

 Really? Yes, right in front of an ice cream shop full of people, I tell ya. Lesa and I laugh about it these days but back then I was freakin' mortified.  

Wake Up Call #2

 I'd gone to my good friend Jenelle's bridal shower the following day and stayed for a few hours not too far from my own home. At the end of all the festivities, I got outside to my car and it wouldn't start although there had been no prior indication that maintenance was needed.  Turned out that the car needed a new battery and some other part needed to be replaced because the battery acid had eroded it. I stood there in front of Jenelle and her father embarrassed explaining that I just didn't have money for a car battery knowing what had happened at Cold Stone the day before.

Jenelle, my sweet friend, offered to purchase the car battery for me and luckily the other part was just a few dollars so she offered to pay for that as well.  I cried as we stood at the counter at Auto Zone. She said it was nothing for her to do that for me and although I paid her back when I got my next paycheck, I was still very ashamed.

It was only after these two instances where I'd finally said enough is enough and slowly began to make my ascent to where I am today.  Not saying that I'm at the pinnacle--no, not nearly but I'm now only $600 away from being debt free(minus students loans). I'm finally feeling the weight being lifted from my shoulders and the stress has surely dispersed.
  
I had accrued that debt through my childish actions, immature mindset and by overextending myself on the account of others that in the end left me holding the bag.  However, a new woman has emerged from all of that nonsense with many lessons behind her.  Now, I'm a save-first-responsible-doing-what-I-want-within-good-reason kind of girl whose well on her way to total life prosperity. (TLP Nicole! Tee hee!)

The first step in progress, that leads to victory, is being honest with yourself and those around you.

This is my truth and this is where I came from. I shared this in hopes that it will help someone else. Perhaps in getting at least one to change their perspective on how they handle their affairs.
And no, I'm not embarassed or ashamed.

  Heck, even before the great Suze Orman was the Suze Orman we all know today, she was mired in debt and she shared her truth with the world.  If she can, so can I. 



FACE:
MAC MatchMaster Foundation in 6.0
MAC Pinch Me blush

EYES:
Base: NYX Yogurt Jumbo Eye Pencil 
Lid: Rock & Republic Emerge & NARS Coconut Grove on outer 1/3 & lower lash line
Tear Duct: Wet N' Wild- "Blue Had Me at Hello" Light Turquoise
Highlight: NYX Nude
Liner: Maybelline Ultra Liner Black
Waterline; Maybelline Live Express Pencil Ebony Black
Mascara: Maybelline Illegal Lengths Black

LIPS:
Liner: MAC Chestnut
Lipstick: Smashbox Nylon Nude

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Blog is On Fire!


I've been  given the Blog on Fire Award by GorgeousPuddin
Thanks girlie!! My readers and blog friends make me feel so special!


Rules for Tagged: 
  1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
  2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.
  3. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
  4. Go to their blog and tell them that you've tagged them.
Rules for Blog on Fire:

Reveal 7 things about yourself. 
Pass the award onto 10 other deserving bloggers.



Ok, so how about this.  I like the 11 questions and I'll only answer those as I think they will reveal alot about me. (Yeah, I just made up my own rules)


1. Are you currently doing what you want to do in life?
Semi. And what I mean by that is I'm doing it on a semi-part time basis but I'm working on making it full time on a professional level.  I'm a skincare enthusiast and a writer. And just one of the things I'd like to do is to write about skincare from a professional standpoint as a certified, licensed and practicing esthetician.

2. What is your absolute favorite way to have fun?
Anything that involves music.  I love to dance and party.  My father was a DJ and huge music-lover. Music has been such a large part of my life and I can never go a day without listening to music. I can party alone or with a group--doesn't matter as long as I've got some great tunes, I'm having a great time.

3. How many siblings do you have and what birth order are you?

I have an older brother and a sister-cousin.  Sounds incestuous but I assure it's not what you may think. My boo, my sis, my very bestfriend, Jenn is my cousin but we grew up really close.  So close that our mother's used to dress us alike. I'm 9 months older than she so in a way I'm the middle child.

4. What's your fantasy car.

Porsche Panamera.  If that's not the most gorgeous machine ever, I don't know what is. It's a family car but a sports car through and through and it's just too fly for words. I need one in white with peanut butter leather if anyone is willing to donate. :-) I'm just sayin'.


5. Where is the last place you vacationed?
On our last vacation, we hopped three locations while on a cruise.  Miami, Key West & Cozumel, Mexico.  I had an absolute blast.

6. Do you wear jewelry and do you prefer gold or silver?

YES! I love jewelry. I like both gold and silver.  I have a neutral skin tone so they both look great against my skin.  

7. What's the best thing you've ever eaten?

I think it's safe to say that I'm a foodie and to answer this question it'd be hard to choose just one place or one dish. There are far too many from which to choose and I absolutely cannot name one without naming a few others. I've been many places and have had the opportunty to taste some awfully good food.
I'll give you the top 4:
1. Enchiladas de Mariscos at Lauriol Plaza (D.C.)
2. Calamari Salad at China Grill--that may have just been because I was with child at the time but at the time it was HEAVENLY, lol (Miami)
3. Pollo Saltado at Puerta Sagua (Collins Ave, Miami)
4. Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki and Briam & Rice w/Feta (Buffalo) (Lordie, this made me want to slap my in-laws)

8. What colors is your bathroom decorated with?
Brown and I hate it! The bathroom was originally decorated brown and cream, it looked so rich and pretty but over time and with houseguest destruction--don't get me started--it is now just brown.  Come April, everything will have been changed though so it's not sweat.

9. How often do you exercise?
Not much anymore. Y'all, I fell off the wagon but I've stopped being a lazy bum and picked back up earlier this month.


10. Do you want children? If you have children do you want more?
I have a two year old now and I want two more but Chief is saying he'll only allow one more. Mmmhmm.  You know what they say about men being the head.  That means that we are the neck and we can turn the head wherever we choose. ;-)

11. What is your least favorite food? If you had to eat it for 1 month for a million dollars could you?
Least favorite food, Lima beans, hands down.  1 month = 1 million!? OF COURSE!  I'd find some way to season them up to make them edible. After all, they're good for ya!


I want my tagged bloggers to answer the same questions that I answered here. :-) And I'm only tagging 3!


1. Marina!
2. Jenelle!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Purple Smoke - The Tutorial

I've finally had the time--actually, I stole the time--to do this as we have been ridiculously busy with house and home.  I don't like not doing things that I said I would do so I made this happen for those that requested it.  Thanks so much for all the love. Y'all just don't know how much it means! My sincere apologies for the delay.

Let me know what you think.  

Friday, February 17, 2012

Seeing Red: Tracee Ellis Ross

Guess who's joined #teamredhead!  My personal fashion icon and I'm sure just about everyone's natural hair icon, Tracee Ellis Ross, has gone auburn. 

She was spotted at the Michael Kors Fall 2012 fashion show--in the front row might I add--sitting next to the lovely Katie Couric.  As a huge fan of spicy tresses, I love it! 

 Do you like Tracee's new hue or do you prefer her original color?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Flowers from Fatima


Recently, I was contacted by the lovely Fatima of Flowers from Fatima to check out her Etsy shop where she creates and sells gorgeous handmade flower hair accessories.  Now, I'm not sure if she knew it or not but she was right on time as I was already on the market for hair accessories.  Since I've received my hair combs, I have been very pleased with the quality and I've received quite a few compliments on them as well.

Whether you want to add an elegant touch to your updo or jazz up a casual hairstyle, these pretty hair pieces are fit for any occasion.



Fatima's inspiration:
"Growing up, my father decided to pursue a family run program for the improvement of our neighborhood. Alone, my family and I turned the neighborhood into a paradise. We attracted exotic butterflies, birds, and positive energy that seemed foreign to the complex and this beauty lasted for many Summers. It was then, 10 years ago, that I found an attraction for natural beauty and have grown to connect with our Mother Nature in all ways possible. In mid-December, my father passed, but his vision and dream of hope lives through my flowers"

At this time, Fatima is offering a generous discount of 40% off exclusively to PrettyGirlRock readers.  Simply enter "PrettyGirlFlowers" in the promo code box at check out and you're all set.  Also, if you spend over $35.00, you'll receive a free gift.  The promo ends on Feb. 24th which is next Friday so don't delay in taking advantage of this great offer. 


**Disclosure** I've purchased these products with my own hard earned cash ;-)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Beauty Goodies for Spring


In light of recent events taking place in my life, I decided to put myself on a spending freeze.  How about it only lasted for about two weeks but I assure you, I kept my purchases modest.  I was tempted to do much more but I have to say I'm proud of myself for refraining. I'm always perusing the aisles of my local Target & beauty supply store even when I intend to buy nothing.

The reason for breaking my no-spend rule was just so I could pick up a few things for spring. I'm especially in love with my polishes and have quickly falling in love with NYX polishes for the lovely price ($1.50) and the wide range of colors (over 144 from which to choose).


I was a bit skeptical about the blush at first but purchased it anyway and I'm glad.. It's gorgeous, highly pigmented and applies with little effort.  The first time I tried it on, I did so with a heavy hand and ended up looking like I had a fake tan only on my cheeks.  When applied correctly, though, it's absolutely beautiful. 
p.s. check out my sideburns...LOL   They are a lil thicker than most but I LOVE them. 

Aside from these beauty buys, I'm also proud to say that I've gone thrifting and have found some amazing buys--most of them being brand new with tags and all.  I do plan to share my purchases with you as soon as I get the items out of the cleaners.  I have to do so soon because some of the items were for winter.

Also, coming this weekend.  A tutorial on my Purple Smokey eye makeup look.
Lipgloss

Eyeshadow
Polish
Lipstick
Blush