Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

We know that amateurs wait for inspiration. It’s only the salty sailors who sail in still air, trusting intuition and determination will keep them moving. And it’s because of this that they are the ones who will collect the skylines and scores, the sights and successes, while the others sit in wait, stagnating and stale.

 

I’ve been an amateur as of late. No time. No spunk to hunt for treasure. No snap for anything but my own sorrows and slumps.

 

Then the strangest thing happened. Putting the sheets back on the bed is not one of my most favorite tasks, so to make it slightly less painless, I play mind-numbing T.V. while hoisting my five hundred pound mattress up chest-high so I’m able to wrap the fitted sheet snugly around the base—assurance that I will only have to perform this incredible feat once until the next wash.

 

This day, the mind-numbing T.V. of choice happened to be a Katy Perry documentary called Part of Me. Katy’s music, although catchy and quirky has never been on my A-list, but as I heaved and huffed, the show began to seep its way into my awareness.

After all, it resonated with me on several levels. You may know I’m a Make-up Artist by trade and I admit to a degree of fangirlyness when it comes to celeb styling and Katy’s make-up is always impeccable. So, for me to learn that she plucked her Make-up Artist, Todd Delano, out of retail obscurity…well, it tweaked a heartstring.

katy-perry-0

 

And, she’s a Writer. Much of her material leaks hot off the pages of her personal diary—raw thoughts and emotion slowly simmered into song. I related to her strict upbringing and her struggles with money. Her passion to create and her desire to become what she’d always dreamed of being. I admired her capacity to think outside most everything she’d been taught since a young age, her talent at turning those things inside out and her ability to maintain her relationship with her family despite this turn of their truths.

 

No, Katy Perry’s music may not have been on my A-list, but her rite of passage now is.

 

We are capable of relating to anything. Compassion and understanding are components of our genetic make-up. Sadly, some of us bury them, but in the beginning, there they were. We were born with them. Whether you’re waiting for inspiration or it simply rings the bell while you’re doing the laundry, stop and let it in. Sometimes we just need to sit down and go beyond the cover to actually read the story inside.

 

Read Full Post »

We bought a new car. It wasn’t slated into our immediate financial plan, but when awarded squat for my husband’s mashed up write-off and a whopping $5000 repair estimate for our 11 year old van (lovingly known as the Silver Bucket) we were left with little choice.

 

Despite the sharp snap of our purse strings, I’m thankful for this new vehicle. It makes me feel safe and relaxed. When I’m driving it, I am patient and peaceful. There’s just something about it.

 

I didn’t know what it was at first.

 

There is the obvious. I mean, I’m not driving the Silver Bucket anymore. That’s a plus. There’s no need to fret about it breaking down while on the road or worse, losing steer-power on the freeway and me, subsequently crashing to my untimely death in a cringe-worthy caravan. Insult to injury.

 

All jokes aside though, that van has been good to us. We’ve owned it for quite some time, payment and almost maintenance-free. It has reliably delivered our children from A to B on countless occasions and hauled 4000 pounds over long, dry roads and rocky terrain. It kept going when the going was tough. Just for us. And it’s appreciated.

 

But it took me a while to get it.

 

It‘s not just the obvious. There is a certain straightforwardness to our new ride. An ease to hopping in, turning it on and getting where we need to be. No sense in entertaining the what if’s. No need to confuse cares with concern over complications.

 

Put simply; simple is nice.

IMG_7611

Read Full Post »

It’s been brought to my attention that I have been sitting on valuable information. Newly enlightened, this topic may read differently than what you are used to receiving from me. Please know, that despite my reference to teens in this post, the information below will benefit people of all ages and stages.

***

As a teen, you’re most likely prone to breakouts no matter what you do, but the good news is, there are many ways to keep them in check. Sometimes, even just knowing you’re doing all the right things can be enough to give you peace of mind.

I have been an Aesthetician and Make-Up Artist for 20 years and this is my advice to you:

Wash your face every night before bed, using a milky, non-foaming cleanser. Non-foaming is important because it keeps your skin at an ideal pH level. Our skin likes to be acidic and when we use foaming cleansers, our pH level becomes too alkaline, creating tight skin and the perfect platform for bacteria to thrive.

Feel free to use an exfoliant (gently) once a week should you crave that smoothness, but make sure it is not infused with sharp shards that will cause microscopic cuts on your skin. These cuts will also allow bacteria to find a home. Only use beaded scrubs. Sometimes even a soft once-over with a face cloth is enough!

Use a toner (made for sensitive skin) to remove leftover cleanser residue and any make-up that may be left behind. This helps once again, with maintaining or restoring a healthy skin Ph.

Even though you may believe your breakouts are from too much oil, you need not fear creams! We still have to moisturize our skin with a non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) lotion. This is important because the oil in our skin builds on a supply and demand basis, so if we don’t give it any moisture after cleansing, it will work to produce more oil than normal, causing a breakout.

Pure Oregano Oil is known for its disinfecting and purifying properties and can be helpful in the treatment of acne or individual problem areas. Once you have completed the steps above, use the dropper to place enough oil on the end of a Q-tip and apply to any affected areas.

In the morning, because your face is already clean, you will need only to rinse with water. Cleansing your face too often can also cause problems. As I mentioned before, stripping the skin of its natural oils is a cruel and unnecessary act! Alright, that wording might be a bit dramatic, but there is that supply and demand thing to worry about. Use a toner if you long for that fresh(er) feeling and, as always, apply a bit of moisturizer.

In coming posts I will talk more about products and what types are effective and affordable, but for now, let me say that even at your young age—especially at your young age—use a lotion with an SPF. Trust me, you will be punching my name into whatever Search Engine exists 30 years from now, so you can shower me with thanks for your un-sun-damaged skin.

Wearing make-up is of course, completely fine, as long as you follow what I’ve said above. Do not go to bed without washing your face!

To add to this, managing stress is key. Make sure school or friends don’t become the center of your world. Yes, doing well in school should be high on the list, but there are ways to make sure you keep on top of studying and homework that don’t make you hide in a corner and cry. (More on this in another post, but for now, here’s a hint: TIME MANAGEMENT!)

Good friends are equally essential in life, but the main focus here should be on the word good. If a particular relationship is getting you down or causing you grief, it’s okay to step away. It doesn’t have to be forever. It can be just long enough for you to catch your breath and clear your head.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with lots of water and fresh air, good eating, exercise and plenty of sleep is one of the greatest things you can do to be your best you.

Good luck! And remember, the pimples aren’t who you are. You will continue to grow and blossom long after they, and their memory, have been washed away.

See what I did there?

acne_teen_skin

Read Full Post »

In between being me and struggling to become who I think I should be, I also get to be someone else.

 

At 25 I was thankful to finally discern I didn’t have to do things I didn’t want to do—things like work with numbers, play bitchy office games, scrub someone else’s toilets or eat my carrots cooked. I realized I could take something I’d loved to do as a child and turn it into a big girl career.

 

I trained to be an Aesthetician. I took an intensive, full-time course and for the duration of a year, I did nothing but homework and performed thousands of services on hundreds of clients and my fellow students. Contrary to my mindset prior to diving into the adventures of beauty school, it was a long and challenging haul.

 

Surprise, surprise, there was much to learn for the sake of vanity. I memorized the names of every bone, muscle, nerve, organ and system in the human body and their functions. I explored nucleic cells and biochem.

 

I studied.

 

Hard.

 

Every single night.

 

Never having had an affinity for school, I was pleased to graduate at the top of my class and more than proud to receive my 5 diplomas. But, after some time working in the industry and a stint of dabbling in my own endeavor, I realized I had managed to somehow still be doing something I didn’t want to do.

 

Shoot.

 

I hung on for as long as I could, but in the end, had to succumb to the fact that electrifying unwanted hair from areas I shouldn’t see unless I’d at least been bought a dinner made me cringe and scraping dead, flaky skin from the soles of needy feet was not, in fact, the glamorous profession I had dreamed it to be.

 

So, I sidestepped.

 

These days, and that encompasses the last nineteen years, I focus solely on the make-up aspect of the beauty industry. I get to float around on TV sets, wedding days, runways and photo shoots.

 

And, it is in fact, glamorous, and something I still want to do after all this time.

You can check out Jennifer’s many stunning shots over at COFFEE & COUCH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

You will eventually have had enough of my grieving process I’m sure, but for the moment you may be finding comfort in walking alongside me. This is what keeps me going. Perhaps you’ve lost someone or perhaps that hasn’t happened for you yet and you’re trying to understand what to expect.

 

Expect nothing.

 

I can safely say that although the journey will hold similar jumps for all of us, the method and speed with which we get through (not over) them, will not be the same whatsoever. Emotions and reactions are dependent on so many things—age, proximity and support for example, come immediately to my mind.

 

I tried to tell you a story today, but couldn’t find the words. Everything else seems trivial right now and even though I know that’s far from the truth, I can’t seem to muster the creative backbone needed to spin a tale.

 

But I did visit my girlfriend this weekend. I’ve known her for twenty years and she moved to what I’d call far away a couple of years ago. I miss her terribly, but it’s also nice to be able to make an excursion out of seeing her now.

 

So off we went, my daughter and I, painlessly driving the three-hour jaunt, stopping only for cheap gas and cheerful wine. (The wine was for me. My daughter is not allowed to get cheerful just yet.) Once settled and after eating (a delicious Thai meal courtesy of Leslie’s hubby) we sat on the couch and the dreaded reared its inevitable head. We hadn’t, of course, seen each other since my Papa’s passing and she asked how things were going and how everyone was doing. We talked for some time…well into the night, and as we headed off to bed we were still pondering what happens on the other side.

 

I told her that as much as the idea of a guardian angel seems comforting, I don’t like the idea of them having to watch over us. After all, what kind of torture would it be to see our children but be unable to touch or talk to them?

 

“No,” I said. “I like to believe they take a version of us along for the ride and that way, for them, not a thing has changed.”

Cool-memes-living-life-in-the-clouds

 

 

Read Full Post »

Bear with me.

 

It’s a long journey around so many messy things and I lack the stamina to run it in one tidy breath.

 

Opening your eyes to the realization that somehow you must lift your burdened self out of bed so the show can go on. Peeling potatoes and stirring gravy so your children won’t think of this as the year they lost a Grandpa and Christmas Day. Stoically wading through a sea of memories that now contain a foreign element of hurt, so others can remember him the way you do. Battling tears and the desert that has become your mouth in order to send him off with the dignity he very much deserves.

 

Worrying someone will bring him up and then hurting when they don’t, planning only outfits with pockets to hold your twists of unscheduled Kleenex. Finding a way to preserve voicemails you’re so thankful you never deleted, fighting the guilt that you have saved the last ten, subconsciously aware you would come to rely on them one day soon. Holding on to the last time you saw him healthy and ruthlessly reliving the last horrible day that he wasn’t.

 

I used to think death was this obscure thing—a convoluted end that was hard to understand—marred by emotion and murky in its meaning. I was so wrong. Death is concise. It’s clear. It’s forever. And it’s final.

 

So I fumble for a bright side.

 

Hazy always ends in a positive spin. And although I’m desperate not to let her down, I’m having a really hard time grasping a silver lining through all of these ominous clouds.

 

I wish you heartache such as this in your life. Because despite the crumbling cliff it leaves you dangling from, it’s a true blessing to have loved someone this way.

th

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

What was once decent in life, can, like magic, become disproportionate in death.

 

Our memories switch off the ability to recall missteps, unpleasantries and altercations. It takes those things by the neck and drags them deep into the folds of our conscience, tucking them in for a Snow White sleep.

 

The brain, nature, survival, whatever we choose to call it, takes over, and we remember solely the good—the kind words said, the times they made us smile, their soars and their successes.

 

But for the majority of breaths—theirs and ours—we brush our teeth, drive to work, eat our dinner and wash the dishes. One day comes after the other and we forge on, comfortable in the knowledge that we simply like, and contently love.

 

It’s that very love that protects us. It shields. It transforms what’s now gone into only what we need to remain—good deeds, helping hands and a softness of spirit.

 

And this is understandable. After all, less is more. We tend to scrape away disagreeable to accommodate the palatable on our plates.

 

But this wasn’t my Papa’s way. In life, as in death, he had no tolerance for waste.

 

That’s why he only made room for extraordinary his whole life long.

In loving memory of John Martin Murphy Sep 6 1927 - Dec 24  2014

In loving memory of John Martin Murphy
Sep 6 1927 – Dec 24
2014

 

 

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,218 other followers

%d bloggers like this: