Thursday

CONVERSE ALL-STARS... FOREVER YOUNG

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The Chuck Taylor All-star has literally stood the test of time. I mean back in the early 1900s when it with first debut, I don't believe Charles Taylor knew what he was getting himself into. Known as the "most successful selling basketball shoe in history", this indestructible shoe has evolved into an "any occasion footwear" and is seen everywhere else, but the court. From their monochromatic black shoe to the newest CYO (Create Your Own) Design, the Converse All-Stars gives us the choice to make the shoe our own. You can choose different hues from the sole to laces... to the tongue then to the lining and stitch... or choose one of their many patterns... the combinations are endless.

I remember while living in Maryland/DC when I was younger, some of the boys wore these same shoes. I clearly didn't know what they were because I was from Charleston were most of the boys were beach flip flops, Nikes, Reebok or Adidas. To be honest, the only guys who I'd see where these shoes were the skateboarders. They would be all scuffed up, dirty and worn~ I wasn't interested in wearing those. Well while living in MD/DC, the boys wore them differently... I liked how they wore it and I was interested in getting my hands on some. This is when I noticed... these shoes are versatile and fashionable because the boys/men there paid attention to their appearance.

Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars can be seen just about ANYWHERE. Some of the most unusual places that you may find these classic shoes at would be under the beautiful flowing gown of a nerve-racking bride. Can you imagine: Your beautiful friend walking down the aisle. She so captivating and everyone can't take their eyes off of her. As she's walking down the aisle to her anxious husband-to-be, for the briefest moment, sliding from under a white gown you see a flash of red... or green... or even black. No no no, these aren't humps or ballet flats, but...

SHE'S GOT ON CONVERSE ALL-STARS!!!


LMAO! I think everyone needs to make sure Grammy doesn't see this during the exchanging of the vows because she'll probably pass out. Being the unorthodox person I am, I've already set the rule that everyone in my bridal party will indeed be wearing All-Stars. Recently, I ran pass some really cute pictures online of members in wedding parties "rocking" their All-Stars shamelessly and looking super excited about adding that fun touch to such a serious event. But one that stood out the most was an image captured by Love Life Images of a beautiful newly married couple all glammed up... with their Chuck Taylors!

Image Capture by Love Life Images of Savage, MD

Image Captured by Love Life Images of Savage, MD
Right now, in my closet, I have two pairs of All Stars. I wore them both... combined no more than 7 times. Welp, I have a pair of army green/orange ones that I wore with a Miami Canes t-shirt. I don't even know where it is anymore, lol. Then I have a pair of pink ones that don't really go with anything I own. Ok, let this be a lesson to those wearing All Stars, when choosing your sneakers (if you actually care) make sure you have something to wear them with. Lesson learned.

Monday

I LOVE THE Z!

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    I think I'm more excited about the new pieces that are coming in because it reminds me more Old Glamour.
Z Gallerie never ceases to amaze me when it comes down to the Glitz & Glam so picking my ultimate favorites will be the rags. I've always said "Z Gallerie reminds me of myself- shiny, shimmery, and glowy" (that's the exact word I chose, lol). Whenever I would visit to store, I always head in the direction of the frame artwork. These artists, Oliver Gal seems to have something going on with their couture/fashion artwork and I really have to do more research on these ladies so I can become a little more familiar with their work... plus figuring out a way to use them in future interior design projects  (and I'd really love it if they could comment or be interviewed in the future... we shall see).

Artist: Oliver GalArtist: Oliver GalArtist: Emma Brooks
Artist: Oliver Gal
 

Thursday

COLOR TRENDS FOR SPRING 2014!!!

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Valentino F/W Spring 2014 

Oh boy am I excited to come back to a wonderful post. Back in 2010, I remember doing fittings for a designer in Fashion Week and she brought out some swatches/patches of fabric and started pinning them together on me. All the colors were so vibrant and sort of... random. I asked her assistant where she got these random colors from and she said, "they are this season's color trends". Little did I know, how accurate she was with these colors because 2 out of 10 colors she used would be featured during the season. I had no clue. I just wore the garment and walked to runway... that's all I really cared about anyways, LMAO!

This time, several years after stepping off the runway myself, I decided to continue researching color trends to stay in the loop of what's being featured for the upcoming seasons. So without further ado, here are your colors:
PLACID BLUE and VIOLET TULIP
HEMLOCK and PALOMA
SAND and FREESIA
CAYENNE and CELOSIA
RADIANT ORCHARD and DAZZLING BLUE

Ok. So the chart is pretty much easy to navigate. If you don't know how to view it like a designer, has how. Each color some how compliments one another. The "equilibrium" of this scale balances out the lighter colors at the top with the darker pigmented colors at the end. Now, don't get all crazy and start fuses all these colors together (well, if you can pull it off, more to your second power) because you'll either need a floor mirror and/or a best friend to capture what you've just done. There are always of piecing these colors together. Notice in the top image (Valentino Spring 2014), the trending colors are presented in the garments. If you also pay attention to this season's Target commercial (his name is Peter Pilotto- not promoting Target now, just focusing on the featured collection), you will notice the same color scheme. Now, if you're the type that likes to K.I.S.S (keep in simple, stupid), try pairing these colors with white or black bottoms. This way you'll be safe and still in style.

Now, the runway isn't the only place featuring these same colors. Did you know interior designers and tons of furniture designers are using these same exact colors to bring the fashion show into your home? Look at Pier 1 using some of these colors in their new Spring catalog. I haven't gathered any other companies like Z Gallerie or some others yet because I believe they're keeping it under wraps (I know it'll be so gorgeous, as usual) and waiting for the right time to debut.
Courtesy of Pier I Imports Spring 2014 Catalog

This season will be full of light and deep tones. Just know, you're seeing here at these colors will be in full effect and in style. And remember, have fun with these colors... you have my permission to turn out and show off this season.

Wednesday

FAVORITE APP OF THE WEEK - IBOTTA

   Ok, so now we're getting somewhere. This is my first installment of Favorite App of the Week and I am so excited to tell you about an app that has been on my iPhone for some time now. Usually when it comes to applications, paid or free, if I don't like it I will remove it from my space. I say the only apps that should charge money should be the ones that will put money back in your pockets for SHOPPINNNNNG. If you're doing your weekly shopping, why not take advantage of one, two or four of orders and tasks for extra cash. If it won't benefit you in the end, why spend! Hey, that rhymes.



 Ibotta- Cash, Not Coupons



   Here's a mobile app that pays you real money for shopping. Seriously! It's a FREE app so you don't have to worry about pricing. To start, make sure you sign up with an account~ well I'm pretty sure you have to do this before anything because you'll need to set up your Paypal account if don't already have one (if you have one, all you do is provide your user information) in order to get paid. So here's the info:

1. You're earning money for the products at each store. There are lots of grocery stores, department stores, movie theaters and electronic stores that you can choose to shop from. However, you just can't purchase anything... it has to be on their list.
2. They have bonuses!!! Who doesn't like bonuses? On top of what you earn, there may be a video or survey you can participate in in order to gain more.
3. To redeem your money, you have to have a receipt! Yes, you have to purchase the item, silly. They ask for Proof of Purchase by scanning the item's barcode and actual receipt for their QR scanner. So keep those receipts until you get home.

   The brands they have listed are good products too. I know when I first started, I was wondering what the catch was. Was there going to be brands I've never heard of or items no one would dream of ever buying. There are well known products that we usually buy so there's no point not to get paid for it. Just know, these are not coupons!!! Lol, do not go in the store and ask information about this app or how this works because it is not a store promotion and they'll probably look at you like "who let this fool out the house? " It's plain as 1-2-3: Find the product, purchase, and scan. Another ah-ha about this is you can only transfer money into your Paypal account if you earned at least $5. You can even choose to put it on gift cards if you prefer that way better. ohhhh and when you refer a friend with your referral code you earn more money... this app is genius!    Overall, I'd say I really like this app because this woman here now has to budget her money and pay attention to sales and promotions, lol. For me, it's a little better than keeping up with paper coupons because it could get a little messy at the register. That's embarrassing.

Sunday

HOW TO MAKE A VISION BOARD.

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I don't know about you, but I normally have a thousand thoughts running through my mind a mile a minute. On top of that, it can be overwhelming because I can't think about one certain task I'd like to do and let alone... how to move on to another. That is until I started writing things down. Before, I'd just let it go on, but try to slow it down mentally and start over. LMBO! Now that I think of it, it sounds hilarious- but I actually had to think to myself, "STOP! STOP!" so I could snap out of it. I have always been an organized person. I knew how to file things in its correct place so I could have that clear space. I always look at it like "a cluttered space is a cluttered mind". I also noticed when I draw and write things down, my tasks usually gets done.

I was introduced to this new idea just a few weeks ago by one of my small groups sisters who told me that she created a vision board. I've heard of this board, but I've never tried to do one or was I anxious to start purchasing things at Wally World (WalMart) to started. She told me what she had on her board and the meanings of why she choose it. She actually knew what she was going for it life and how she wanted it... it was impressive too. The purpose of a VISION BOARD is to display photos of people, places or things and quotes and sayings (like a collage) on a board for positive inspiration or things you want to work forward to in your future. Most people use magazines, newspaper clippings, flyers and mailbox stuffers, photos of family and friends to complete their boards. If you would like to do this project, you would need:
- poster board (any size is good, but the bigger the board, the more you can fit)
- magazines (I've found that magazines geared to home/garden, glamour, and money work best- go figure!)
- scissors
- glue stick (liquid glue can get messy and makes images bumpy)
- crayons and markers
- glitter

When you are doing a vision board, being neat is ok. What makes your board even personal and "beautiful" is that it's your own thoughts, your vision and that everything seems scattered and not in order. Personally, I think it resembles a work of art when different colors, ideas, photos and sayings are scattered around the board. When adding words, you don't necessarily have to clip paragraphs and sentences. You can, but trying short words like "love", "become successful" and/or "gain power" to get straight to the point and it delivers that instant message.

When you are doing your board, you'd want to ask yourself this questions to help you choose to right pieces for you:
- What do you want for your life today?
- Where do you see yourself within the next 5 to 10yrs (or you could think further down the line if you aren't doing annual VBs)
- In order to succeed, what must you have?
- What is your life's motto?
- What would you like to see yourself driving or riding in?
- Where do you envision yourself living or vacationing to?
- How would you describe your characteristics?
- If money wasn't a factor, what do you need/want most of all?
- If you could, what would you surround yourself around?
- What do you enjoy doing the most?
- What would you like to work on when it comes to YOU! ?


Those are just a few things you could bring to your board like I've done with mine.
I haven't finished my board yet, even though I just started today. In fact, I'd like to toss the one I started today and start over. I even contemplated getting a smaller board. I think that was the worst idea I could ever think of because that will only limit me on the amount of things to add. If I am going to dream BIG... I need a BIG *** board for my many visions. So if you do decided to do this craft, remember a smaller board only means less opportunities to accomplish and the BIGGER you go... more empowerment will come your way!!!

Friday

HOW LONG IS TOOOO LONG?

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I am almost embarrassed to even go there and put this up, but a girl's gotta say what a girl's gotta say. When is it time to put away the old makeup and introduce new? I notice said "makeup gurus" say how they've had this makeup for this long and this makeup for that long and when it all comes down to the truth, they actually keep them in their collections for several months to years longer than suggested. True? I'll show you how true it really is and how long you should substitute in replacements
(L) My E.L.F shadow after 8 months (not sealed properly)!

Mascara: After the 3rd month, you should get rid off. Due to the risk of transferring bacteria from one eye to the other, mascara is actually the shortest on the timeline. Some say just rewet or add saliva, but doing so will increase the chances of spreading bacteria by reinserting the wand in and out over time. Hey, if it gets dry... just replace it!
Eyeshadows: Cream shadows that are kept cleaned (use a antibacterial wipe) and sealed can last for a year and powered shadows can last up to 2yrs. There's a good investment if you are a shadow freak (like I am).
Eyeliners: These can last up until you've sharpened them done to a peg or up to 2yrs. Always remember to keep it clean because it is being applied near you eyes (i.e. waterline and lash line) by sharpening before or after each use or by wiping with a antibacterial wipe.
Gel Liners: Get this... 2months! The formulas in these containers do not last long at all and also has a high risk for bacteria...
Blush: Yes, this too. Replace within a year to 2yrs.
Lipsticks: One year should be the max! But their sidekicks, the lipgloss can hold out until that 18-month mark.
Foundations/Concealers: Twelve months! Notice when you actually start getting breakouts or blemishes or formula starts the seperate, this can be caused by expired foundations/concealers.
Sponges/Applications: Remember to wash periodically and replace monthly. Remember when you're washing your dishes or using your favorite loofa (luffa, loufa, or bath sponge) it absorbs everything... everything!

Recent cleaning and addition of new makeup for my collection.
Just remember this...
~ Cream based makeup can last between 12- to 18months. While powders only last 12!
~ Just like our food, if it has a smell, "moldy" patches, or oil separating (like water to oil) this is a sign it's gone bad.
~ Wipe down your pencils, pencil sharpeners, lipsticks, applicators... everything with antibacterial solutions/wipes.
~ When you get new cosmetics, remember your timeline. Get a strip of tape and permanent marker and jot down it's expiration date under the container (if the company hasn't already done this for you).
~ Do condition/moisturize to revitalize your skin. You never should apply makeup to unwashed, dry faces. Just imagine old, expired makeup to blemished, dry skin! Creepy!

*This is a disclaimer. I am not an expert or a scientist of facepaint. I did not go through any training. These facts are through trial and error, my very own experiences and what I've noticed throughout my years of wearing and purchasing makeup. Like everything else I own, I occasionally sanitize, store and seal anything makeup, lotions, perfumes or anything I apply on my skin because at the end of the day, your skin is a living organ and your body will reject it if the product isn't fresh (or in other terms, good for your body).