Big Fat Summer Challenge: Go Sleeveless!


Ladies, the Big Fat Summer Challenge is coming to an end soon!  For you all that are participating, how have you been doing with the challenge?  With only four days left in the month, I find myself falling a bit short with marking items off the list.  Hopefully I will fulfill a couple more items in the next few days.  But whether I cross each item off the list or not, I have taken a lot from this challenge and I'm so glad that Jennifer over at Jasifer Lions Club shared this experience with her readers.  Before taking part in this challenge, I had never really shared any of my own personal looks on the blog.  I like to think that I'm much better at coming up with looks for others than for myself.  Not only that, I often find it hard to dress according to a theme, especially one that calls for me to dress outside of my comfort zone.  For instance, I wear shorts (not often), but very rarely are they "short shorts" like the white ones pictured in my first BFSC post.  So I would like to thank Jennifer for sharing the idea of the Big Fat Summer Challenge on her blog, as it has helped me to step outside the proverbial box.

Now, on to the look!  Today I'm wearing a simple sleeveless dress I got from Charlotte Russe a while back. It's super hot here on the coast, so all summer my wardrobe formula has been looking like a dress plus sandals (and sunnies).  Simple enough, right?


And last night was wash night so the hair is looking like a "to be continued" situation, my beloved puff.


And as you can see, I always keep a couple pink toes in my sandals *in my Nicki voice* lol


Do you have a simple summer wardrobe formula?

DUPED: MAC Viva Glam Nicki vs WnW Pinkerbell


Hey ladies!  Remember back in May when I showed you my favorite spring lippies here on the blog?  Well in that post, I shared MAC Viva Glam Nicki, which happens to be a popular shade for the summer as well.  Described on the MAC website as a bright yellow pink with a satin finish, Viva Glam Nicki packs a huge punch of color with application.  But did you ladies know that you don't have to spend $15 to get this shade?  Well, the other day when I was playing around with my lippies, I noticed that Wet n Wild MegaLast lipstick in Pinkerbell looked very similar to the Viva Glam Nicki.  



Here are the swatches.  Can you tell them apart?


The one on the left is Wet 'n' Wild MegaLast Lipstick in Pinkerbell
The one on the right is MAC Viva Glam Nicki.

Do you see a difference?

As far as differences go, Viva Glam Nicki has a satin finish, while Pinkerbell has a matte finish.  Both of them are long lasting, because of their finishes.  The main difference I see, however, is the price tags on them both.  Viva Glam Nicki costs $15 and can be purchased from maccosmetics.com or your local MAC counter.  Pinkerbell costs anywhere between .99 and 2.99 (depending on which drugstore you go to and if you have a coupon on hand) and can be purchased from K-Mart, Walmart, CVS, and other drugstores.  

One thing I did not like about the MegaLast lipsticks is the packaging.  Residue from the black tube seems to be rubbing off onto my hands when I use this lipstick. Has anyone else had this problem with the MegaLast lipsticks?

DO YOU HAVE VIVA GLAM NICKI? PINKERBELL?  IF NOT, WILL YOU BE TRYING THEM?

Check out the beautiful Jaleesie's video on 5 different ways to rock Viva Glam Nicki (or Pinkerbell if you prefer.  I mean who's gonna know lol).

Stay tuned for my Duped post next week!

Looks Like Another Pink Wednesday! (+BFSC)

 As much as I share something pink on the blog, one would think pink was my favorite color!  I will admit I get a bit overzealous when Pink Wednesday rolls around.  The love of pink manis coupled with the introduction to the site On Wednesdays We Wear Pink last year has definitely charged my habit of sharing pink polishes most weeks.  And this week is no different.  With this week's mani, I've done my usual pink nail lacquer with one accented glitter nail.  Check it out:


I've used Sinful Colors in Cream Pink on each nail except one.


Then I accented the ring fingers with Sinful Colors Nail Polish in Rich in Heart.


And what's an accent nail without glitter?  I added Sinful Colors Pinky Glitter for that extra sparkle!

Now for this Pink Wednesday, not only did I rock pink nails,  I wore pink.  Initially I wasn't going to post this look, as I just wore it to run errands today.  But when I realized it allowed me to mark the "wear something I wouldn't normally wear" item from my BFSC list, I snapped a pic to share!  

I rarely wear colored denim,  though I am in love with the trend.  I only own two pairs of colored jeans, and only after a recent trip to K-Mart did I decide to add another pair to the mix.  The fact that these bad boys are soooo comfortable and only cost $12 sold me on them, even though they are flared.  As a short girl, I NEVER wear flared-leg pants.  But anyways, check out the look.


The fact that my daughter said I "looked like the 70s" almost made me change my mind, lol.  


What color are you wearing your nails this week?

Are you participating in the BFSC?  

Just Add Water: Technology and Instant Gratification


We all live in a microwave.  Everything nowadays just seems so instant.  If you're wondering when Jill Scott is coming near your town on tour, just search it on your phone.  In an instant, you know she'll be there in 3 weeks. No tickets? That's cool.  You can look those up in 5 seconds flat on your phone too.  Do you remember the name of that really cute guy you just met at the club? Look him up on Facebook.  Follow him on Twitter.  In about 10 minutes and 15 tweets later, you know his birthday, favorite color, each of his siblings' names, and the strange fact that his dog is named after his ex-girlfriend Misty.  I may be going off on a tangent, but you get the idea, right?  There's no wonder why we thirst for so much instant gratification.  Technology has enabled us to live this way. We talk on the phone while our favorite show is recording on the DVR (so we won't miss anything) all while baking dinner, texting our bestie, ironing our children's school clothes, and perusing the latest status updates on Facebook.  If we're lucky, we may even get that report typed up before work in the A.M.

Why am I going off on this tirade?  Maybe because I feel like everything is moving too fast for me.  I don't know about you guys, but I miss the good old days.  You know, when we actually made the effort to "make" friends with others instead of just looking on profiles and making decisions with the click of a button.  I miss the times when individuals actually hung out together publicly (or privately) and really got to know each other.  We used to take the time to enjoy walking along the riverfront together or have a great lunch date without clutching our phones and announcing on every social network that we were doing such.  Can't we just take our time and chill?  Or are we all too busy for that?

A while back, I was reading a great post by fellow blogger Nicole Alicia, in which she discussed Friendships After College Years.  It wasn't until after I read the post and pondered over it for a few days that I realized why so many of us have trouble maintaining friendships.  I truly believe technology tends to get in the way.  So many of us rely on social networks as a way to keep up with our close friends and family.  Now if we don't take the time to physically nurture our friendships, how will we sustain them?  Some of us even find closure in relationships by officially "breaking up" with people via Facebook.  When I found myself erasing people from my life by deleting them on Facebook or unfollowing them on Twitter, I knew I was doing the most.  Like really, does that suppose to suffice?  What happened to discussing whatever personal issues we were having and being adults about the situation?  I wish I had an answer.

Do any of you guys have any answers or suggestions on ways we can all do better?  If so, feel free to share in the comments!

Repost from Archives: November 2011
Photo courtesy of banlovestam via Tumblr

Magnetic Manicure: Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color


Have you guys had the pleasure of having a magnetic manicure yet?  Well in one of the latest nail trends, magnetic polishes allow for a unique, 3-D finish and people are falling in love with it!  Thanks to Influenster, I was able to try my hand at this magnetic nail polish trend myself.  In my Influenster Summer Beauty Voxbox, I received Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color in Graphite Gravity.

The Application. Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color is to be applied precisely in these two steps:
1.  Apply 1 coat of base coat.  Shake Magnetic Nail Color to activate.  Remove overcap with magnet and set aside.  Apply 1 coat of Magnetic Nail Color to all 10 nails and let dry.
2.  Apply a thick second coat of color to 1 nail and immediately hold the built-in magnet over the nail.  Rest the guide just below the cuticle without touching the wet nail polish.  Hold for 10 seconds.  Repeat for all 10 nails and let dry.  Finish with top coat.

Tips to remember when applying this polish:
-Make sure the second coat of polish is thick and even.  If not, the 3-D effect may not be as detailed as you would like.
-When using the magnetic guide, place it so that the magnet can be evenly applied onto the nail.
-Be extremely careful when resting the guide below the cuticle.  You do not want the magnet to get stuck to the nail!


My thoughts:  After testing the Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color for the first time, I have fallen in love with it.  It is unlike any other nail polish I've tried and is such a drastic change from the pink polishes I normally wear.  The 3-D effect definitely stands out, as many people have complimented my nails in my short time of wearing it.  The application was easy enough, though I had to re-do a couple of nails because I let the magnet get stuck to the wet polish.  And at the price of $9.99, I would definitely purchase this product again.  This bottle, however, is 0.31 fl. oz. so I think it would last me for some time.  If anything, I may just grab another bottle to try out one of the other shades.  Overall, I'm very impressed with this polish!

Available at chain drug stores, food stores, and mass merchandisers nationally.  Learn more about this product at www.sallyhansen.com.

Will you be trying Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color?  If you've already tried it, please share your experience in the comments!

Disclaimer: I received the Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster.  The thoughts I share about this product, however, are my own.

Salt 'N' Pepa's Here! OOTD


On any other day, I would have worn this top with a cami underneath, but after joining Jasifer Lion's Club in the Big Fat Summer Challenge, I decided not to.  I was all in my hip-hop splendor today, so to keep the momentum going, I dressed in hip-hop garb to complement my mood. 

I thought doing the crop-top selection of this challenge would be a bit challenging for me because of all the nice beauty marks my babies left on my stomach during my pregnancies.  But instead of baring my entire stomach, I played it safe.  


Top: (similar) Forever 21
Pants: (similar) Forever 21
Sandals: Wet Seal

Check the accessories:

Clutch: gifted
Earlaces: Selima of BeautyonBlast101
Watch: My Avon E-Store
Glasses: Local Vendor
Lipstick:  Covergirl Lipstick in Flame

This beautiful clutch was gifted to me from the lovely Bijou and Marie from LAMODEROCKS during a giveaway.  Isn't it lovely?

And the cute watch is from my Avon E-Store.  If you are a fan of Avon and mark. products, I would love for you to stop by the e-store and shop around =)

Belt: Claire's

Are you guys feeling the look?


Are you participating in the Big Fat Summer Challenge?
Be sure to check out the challenge's creator Jennifer at  Jasifer Lion's Club!

Pink Wednesdays: Fusion Neon and Irish Green

Today's Pink Manicure has revisited the neon flair I shared in this post, because I am so in love with the Sinful Colors Fusion Neon pink polish.

Big Fat Summer Challenge: The Hi-Lo Look

Hey guys! I know I've been totally slacking with the Big Fat Summer Challenge, but not having a willing photographer has been stressful!  I tell you, I tip my hat to fashion bloggers for taking all these photos.  I have a long way to go!  Right now, I'm trying to train Seven and Six for spur of the moment photography =)  But anyways...  

I recently ordered a tripod and it finally came in the mail yesterday, so hopefully I can pick up the pace on posting my looks for the challenge!  The first thing I did was take pics of my look, especially since it took another item off of my list.

Now we're scratching "wear something hi-lo"off too!

What I'm Declaring Independence From


On this Independence Day, I am inspired as I read the Declaration of Independence I shared here on the blog exactly two years ago.  Two summers ago, I experienced a few losses and with them came many overwhelming emotions.  So in an attempt to regain mental clarity, I wrote a blog post to "declare independence" so to speak, from several things that were plaguing my well-being, such as anxiety, worry, stress, unhealthy relationships, and an unhealthy lifestyle.  Looking back on that post made me smile, because I have made great progress over the last two years.   Rereading the document also made me realize that I still have a long way to go in other areas of my life.  Here's what I'm declaring independence from now.

I DECLARE INDEPENDENCE FROM

Thoughts of inferiority...  There are times that I do believe that I'm just not good enough.  I'm not good enough to be considered for this, or I'm not pretty enough to be considered for that. I'm not smart enough to do this and I'm not brave enough to follow through with that.  I believe that this happens with all of us every now and again.  And almost always, this limiting belief stems from past experiences.  We may have received disapproval from someone we loved or admired.  Or perhaps, like in my case, we have disappointed people who thought so highly of us.  Knowing I've disappointed those I love and admire has a stronger impact on my life than I've cared to admit.  I've refrained from taking risks in my life because the suffocating fear of failing and further disappointing others was unbearable.  And I've never shared this with anyone, until today as I type.

So I now realize that I must create new messages to replace those old tapes I have playing in my mind.  One self-love exercise that has been helping me was a suggestion from fellow blogger Daja of No Boiz Allowed.  She prompted that followers of her fan page list 50 things they loved about themselves.    So in listing 50 things I love about myself, along with reading and reciting positive affirmations daily, I am wiping that inferiority complex away from my life!

I DECLARE INDEPENDENCE FROM

Unhealthy sacrifice...  Oftentimes, because of my "inferior" frame of thinking, I believe that I must always  go that extra mile for others.  It is as if I must do something "extra" because I don't deserve a particular treatment (like love, affection, or acceptance).  In turn, I tend to stretch myself beyond reasonable means for others simply so they know that I love and care for them.  Even if it's out of my realm of possibility.  I think this is why I have a big problem telling folks "no" as well.

It wasn't until I recently read an article on Oprah's website, that I realized I was making unhealthy sacrifices.  I also realized that not having my "sacrifices" reciprocated by loved ones was causing me to become bitter and cold towards them.  I love bringing happiness into the lives of those I love, but I burst at the seams whenever these same people are not able to show concern whenever I am not in a happy space.  And as I continued to read this article I found that I do not have to be the caregiver in all of my relationships.  I don't have to say yes when I really mean no.  I will find balance in my relationships with others and always make sure to take care of myself first!

I DECLARE INDEPENDENCE FROM

Dream Killers...  More than anything, I appreciate a friend that keeps me level-headed.  You know, the ones who will be honest with you and tell you that your "fly-by-night" get-rich-quick scheme just isn't gonna work the way you imagine it.  Or even ones that will tell you that your "game plan" needs a little work.  But what I don't need nor appreciate is a dream killer.

During times that you are reaching for success and attaining your goals, you may find that others are threatened.  And sometimes, these "others" can be your close friends or family members.  They will say things to sabotage your dreams because they don't want your success to surpass theirs.  So in order to keep my momentum going with the chasing of my dream, I am making the decision to surround myself with positive individuals who can inspire me, nurture my dreams, and don't mind sharing their creative thoughts and experiences with me.  And I am saying goodbye to those naysayers.

I DECLARE INDEPENDENCE FROM

Mistakes made in the past...  I have done a good job with forgiving others and letting go of things folks have done to me in the past.  I share a bit about that in my past post about forgiving others.  Yet still, I have the most trouble forgiving myself.  Isn't that ironic?  Why is it that we can more easily forgive someone else than we can forgive ourselves?

I will begin practicing forgiveness by visiting those mistakes I've made in my past and forgiving myself for making them.  I must realize that no one is perfect, so in living life we all go through learning processes in which mistakes will be made.  I must also take the time to let the wounds left from my mistakes heal, rather than deny that these wounds are disrupting my daily thoughts and actions.

and lastly, I AM STILL DECLARING INDEPENDENCE FROM

Anxiety...  I will remember and recite 2 Timothy 1:7 (one of my favorite Bible verses) until fear no longer numbs me.  "For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."  I have often allowed fear to block many blessings and opportunities in my life and I am tired of allowing it.  It is a trick of the devil and I will no longer allow it to paralyze me.  I have too much work to do here!  And I can't let something like fear stop me!

I plan to replace each of these strongholds with love, prayer, and faith.  I believe in myself and know that I am responsible for creating and maintaining my own joy and mental clarity. I wish you all a blessed Independence Day and I hope that you all obtain freedom from any bondage that is affecting your lives.

WHAT WILL YOU BE DECLARING INDEPENDENCE FROM?

For a real treat, check out the amazing Tiphani Montgomery's Fourth of July Manifesto by clicking the link.  She is truly an inspiration to me and her post (which was actually written on today, her birthday) could not have come at a better time.  If you check it out, feel free to tell me what you think of it in the comments =)
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