If you know me personally, you know just how important women empowerment is to me. I basically look for any excuse to write about badass women and today is no difference. On this day September 25th 1981; Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was first appointed to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan. Justice O’Connor began her term and remained until 2006.
During her tenure, Justice O’Connor oversaw many important rulings, including the infamous Bush v. Gore, the case that put the end to challenges on the results of the 2000 presidential election (ruling to stop the ongoing Florida election recount and to allow no further recounts). O’Connor is even more notable because she always felt a responsibility to demonstrate women could do the job of justice. In a male dominated Courtroom, she certainly showed she could to the job as well as any man. She faced some minor bumps in the road, including the lack of a woman’s restroom near the Courtroom.
Following her retirement from the Court on January 31, 2006, Justice O’Connor has continued her judicial service by hearing cases in the United States Courts of Appeals. In recognition of her lifetime accomplishments, President Barack Obama awarded Justice O’Connor with the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, on August 12, 2009.
Have a Day, Justice O’Connor! Thank you for playing such a crucial milestone in women’s empowerment and history. Today I celebrate and applaud you.
Today’s post is going to be a little different. Today I am going to be sharing with you my artwork and also a short little story that goes with it. The goal of this post is to shed light on some thing millions of Americans suffer with: anxiety and depression. I’m hoping that the short story reaches somebody who can relate to it and gives them hope to keep holding on. Even if it’s for an hour even if it’s for another minute, just keep holding on… Without further ado here is my short artful story￼￼: Exhaustion
She was pale with exhaustion. Depleted, debilitated, and deeply fatigued. She took her coat off and stood in the rain. It drenched her from head to toe but she felt nothing. Numb. Her soul was as saturated in stress as her body was in the moisture which condensed from the atmosphere. The rain fell slowly, meticulously with acute visibly in separate drops. She could probably count every drop if she wanted to but she couldn’t find the energy to do so as she lumbered through the door with great sense of heaviness her petite frame.
She collapsed in her doorway, with nothing to say. Eyes blank, face drained of color and expression, the only thing that told her she was alive the rapid thumping of her heart and the slow churning of her stomach. Her coat, dark as a raven’s wing, lay tossed beside her-much like her dreams for a fulfilling career. Her long, crimson hair pooled around her like a curtain of blood to mask her anguish. The vinyl flooring is cool against her feverish skin and she wonders how long she could lay here before someone worries and calls her name…
She is spent and her spirit is weathered but yet she is never alone. She has the love of a family, significant other and friends but it is Christ right now who is beside her who loves her the hardest in this moment: he dwells in her heart and gives her the strength to rise from her spot on the floor.
“I can hang on,” she says, “for one more day, for one more hour, for one more minute…”
She says this repeatedly, it’s a mantra she repeats daily and hourly while somehow getting by and living to fight another day taking each moment minute by minute as the years rolled on…
If you or a loved one is suffering from depression or anxiety please know that you are not alone. Christ wants you on this Earth as much as your loved ones and I do.￼￼ if you ever need someone to talk to please feel free to call the crisis hotline at: (855) 942-3414. It’s important to shed light on the dark shadows that dwell in many American’s (as well as countless of people around the world’s) minds￼￼￼. Stay safe everyone and God bless.
Let’s travel back in time: The year is 1997. I remember being 8 years old and visiting the Statue of Liberty with my Father. I always had this cute little obsession with the Twin Towers: whenever we’d visit family in New York or my Mom’s friend Kathy in her apartment in the city I’d watch the twin towers in the skyline until they disappeared from view. I loved the one with the antenna (the North Tower-don’t ask me why I just thought it was cool) My best friend Jen had visited with her Dad and I remember asking my parents if I can visit the observation deck and just look out on the city and I was always told “sure, we’ll definitely do that one day”.
So there I was on the ferry over to Liberty Island and I remember looking up at those great big towers and thinking “wow! They are so tall, strong and mighty!”. I’m 31 today and I will always remember the childlike innocence of being 8 and thinking NYC (especially the twin towers) was invincible.
Now, let’s go forward in time. The year is 2001. I remember with the eyes of a 12 year old the weirdness of 9/11, 19 years ago today. It was a beautiful, mostly sunny day and the sky was so blue. I remember being in 7th grade and watching the morning news with my Mom in which I saw my last glimpse of the skyline on Eyewitness News before I skipped off to school for what would be the strangest school day of my life.
I remember my classmates leaving early, the teachers with glassy eyes and disbelieving faces and I remember my middle school principal Mr. Baxter coming in and saying “Is everyone alright?”. I remember how none of my teachers put on the TV although I heard some did, and having this creepy silence on the bus ride home. I remember carrying my purple plastic French binder (the nerve cause that was the only teacher who gave me homework that day and a lot of it), getting off the bus and seeing my Mom and her friend Marie on my front lawn looking very sad and serious. I also remember seeing what happened on the tv, watching those towers disappear from my view forever. Watching people jump like ants out of windows just to get out of the inferno that raged inside.
I remember the blood and distraught faces of survivors and spectators as they ran from the smoke that swallowed up the city like a cloud of volcanic ash, the firefighters on the screen running in, many of which would never come back out (including my future father in law’s cousin Tommy), I remember the faces of each victim that has flashed on my tv ever since that day. I remember feeling such sadness and pain at the loss of life and crying with my parents.
I also remember the feeling of hope-when England played our national anthem my entire family watched from the couch crying, I remember how United we all stood as Americans, how proud we were to live in the greatest country on Earth.
It’s sad how divided we are today politically, how we have people not feeling safe in the country they call home and people either being too sensitive or not sensitive enough. When I think of a post 9/11 world, I think of the immediate unification of all Americans and I think we need that more than ever in this country right now. We can honor those who lost their lives in the senseless attacks by being good to one another. One of the things I appreciated as I looked at 9/11 from a more adult and historical standpoint was the stories that came out of people helping people-people LOVING people as God would want us all to. It does not matter our age, our race, our religious beliefs or lack there of we are all God’s children regardless. So many people saw God’s love in action through total strangers on that day.
May we never forget this and try our damnest to aspire in creating an atmosphere of unity like it again. ￼That said, God bless the victims and their families who find strength each day in their absence to go on with their lives.
This post is short, sweet and to the point: I’d like to take this moment to wish you, your family, and friends a very blessed, safe and healthy Labor Day Weekend to all those who celebrate here in the USA!
Transitions, they’re a part of life, both scary and exciting as well as fresh and yet intimidating. Wise people always say “practice makes perfect”￼, but what’s practice to a perfectionist though? I have been very vocal on this blog, an advocate if you will, about my long battle with anxiety. Anxiety is wanting a fresh start but allowing negative thoughts and self sabotage to get in your way. You literally feel like you’re waiting for somebody to figure out you’re a fraud. Even when you do your very best.￼￼￼￼People often think it’s easy for anxiety suffers just to “turn it off”-man I wish it was that easy!￼
I am what many would call a creature of habit. I like my routine, I like my life, and any life changes that come my way often take time for me to adjust to. Life doesn’t follow a script, not the ones we write for ourselves and not the ones we expect life to write for us.￼ The only thing we are guaranteed in life is that we are all born, we are all going to pay taxes, and eventually we’re all going to die. What we do with that ” – ” in between our beginning and our demise is entirely up to us but ultimately it could be very intimidating. Many of us are searching for meaning in every opportunity but sometimes opportunities come along to force us to grow.￼￼￼
When you’re a perfectionist in a world that demands perfection you often feel like you fall short of these expectations the people around you have of you. It’s like standing underneath a crumbling avalanche and waiting to be buried in a mirage of feelings. With age I am learning that everybody feels this way: the fear of disappointing our spouses, our parents, our partners, our relatives, our friends and our coworkers. ￼ although I know it is important not to let this fear take the wheel and steer my life direction, some days I find it’s much harder to battle these feelings then others. ￼￼Some days, I am confident in my abilities and certain of my success. Other days, I just want to crawl into a ball and hide from everything￼￼￼. These days which are so conflicting in many ways beg me to question: ￼Is it really better to fake it until you make it? Or should we wear our personality flaws and struggles like battle scars? Is there truly strength in vulnerability by being accessibly vulnerable?￼￼ I think there is, but today, I don’t have answers, only questions and sometimes that’s okay too.
Many Americans with a basic knowledge of history know that the 19th Amendment guarantees American women the right to vote. A lot of modern-day women take for granted this very milestone which required a lengthy and difficult struggle from women who lived over a century ago; a victory which took decades of turbulence and strife.
The journey to give women their basic American right of voting began in the mid-19th century. This was a time when woman suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience to achieve what many Americans considered a revolutionary change for that time.
While women struggled with their rights to vote, believe it or not, the first woman to run for President in a major election took place in 1872. You probably won’t read about her in your high school US History I or II books; but her name was Victoria Claflin Woodhull and she was the candidate of the Equal Rights Party. Her opponents were Ulysses S. Grant (R) and Horace Greeley (D). Woodhull, fought hard for women’s rights and even founded her own newspaper. She became the first woman to own a Wall Street investment firm. Luckily, she would live to see her dream of women’s right to vote realized before she died 7 years later in 1927 but what does that have to do with the significance of this very week?
In order to answer that question, we need to go back to 1878, when the amendment we know today as the 19th amendment was first introduced in Congress. It all began when Victoria Woodhull addressed the House Judiciary Committee, arguing women’s rights to vote under the fourteenth amendment. This ideal was met with such distain that the Anti-Suffrage Party was founded and push back began. From that moment forward it would be 42 whole years later in 1920, when the amendment would finally be ratified! Could you even imagine fighting for something that men your age could do simply by being born male for 42 years? While this seems discouraging to many, it￼ was all made possible by the early champions of voting rights for women. These women, like Victoria Claflin Woodhull, worked tirelessly to make progress on this basic American right. Their strategies varied and while some tried to pass suffrage acts in each state. There were nine western states which adopted woman suffrage legislation by 1912 these states included: California, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Washington State, Oregon, Kansas and Arizona.
Other states, like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts continued to reject woman suffrage. While many well-known women in our history books challenged male-only voting laws in the courts, some of the more well known public tactics included parades, silent vigils, and even hunger strikes. Supporters were heckled, jailed, and sometimes physically abused simply for the rights that men were freely given. I am reminded of the movie Iron Jawed Angels starring Hilary Swank in which she plays Alice Paul. The movie details Paul’s experience after she was arrested for “obstructing traffic” while picketing for women’s suffrage. The struggles she underwent when she was denied counsel, placed in a straitjacket, and subjected to examination in the psychiatric ward (simply for wanting equality!) is just baffling. When it’s concluded that Paul showed no signs of mania or delusion, she got returned to the prison’s general population, where she led the suffragettes on a hunger strike that ended with the warden force-feeding her raw eggs and milk.
The fight was long and exhausting by the time 1916 came, most of the major suffrage organizations stood united behind the goal of a constitutional amendment. When New York officially adopted woman suffrage in 1917, President Wilson (who was in office during Paul’s imprisonment) changed his position to support an amendment in 1918 and the political balance finally began to shift.
On May 21, 1919, the House of Representatives passed the amendment, and two weeks later, the Senate followed. When Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920, the amendment was officially adopted 100 years ago this past Tuesday. While decades of struggle to include African Americans and other minority women in the promise of voting rights persisted, the face of the American elections had changed forever.
As a woman in America, I feel honored and privileged to have been able to vote in every major election. To have my voice heard and not be denied simply because of my gender is something I never take for granted. It is hard to believe that only 100 years ago women gained the right to legally get out and vote, while today so many American women are unregistered to do so. If this post could inspire someone out there who isn’t registered to do so and make their voice heard, then I will feel I’ve done my part in honoring the legacy of the women who came before us, who fought tooth and nail￼￼ to ensure women were included in “all” being “created equal”.
If you haven’t already, please consider registering to vote as it was a privilege up until the last century that was denied to many. ￼Be sure to leave a comment below and tell me; are you registered to vote? How important to you is voting in elections both national, statewide or local?
I’m sorry, but not genuinely, that this post is for my makeup lovers. I can’t even accurately put into words how truly in LOVE with sharing and talking about cosmetic products I am. I especially love a product with good integrity (that doesn’t test on animals) and most of all LASTS ALL DAY while looking fabulous. Let me start this post by saying I am the first to admit I criticize the SHIZZ out of the Kardashian/Jenner crew, but I can also give credit where it’s due and I got to say: when it comes to makeup, those ladies know their products and put out quality products. I really love and use the product I’m going to discuss today so much that I wanted the opportunity to talk about why I put my seal of approval on it.
Before we get into how beautiful this shade is for a multitude of reasons let’s talk about the company itself. The company we know as Kylie Cosmetics came about in February 2016 after the lip kit releases made an ABSOLUTE killing. In fact, by the end of 2016, the company’s total revenue was over $300 million. Talk about striking gold!
Jenner credits the creation of her ‘lip kits which launched a brand’ to her former insecurity about her lip size as inspiration and is quoted saying it’s “one of the most authentic things I’ve done in my career”.
One thing that always bothered me about ‘celebrity products’ is you’re paying for the name 95% of the time and yet 5% of the time it’s like the anti-climatic Spider-Man 3 in the fact that it often falls short of our expectations. I set out to find out if Kylie could put her “money where her mouth is” literally, as in, is her lip kit products sold at $27.00 USD to pop really worth it? It’s been a best seller for so long that I couldn’t help but wonder: How many women out there were purchasing these products for the Kylie brand for prices they were ashamed to tell their friends?
I waited until the Black Friday sales to strike in November of 2019, I purchased Kylies’ Bare Velvet Liquid Lipstick Lip Kit for 15% off. The color looked pleasant, a nude pinky beige, that I could wear to work every day without looking too over the top. One of my biggest pet peeves is finding a lip liner that compliments and matches my lipstick and Kylie-you clever fox-certainly delivered on that promise! Each Lip Kit comes with a Velvet Liquid Lipstick and MATCHING Lip Liner. So, to reiterate with each Lip Kit you get:
Kylie’s website claims this ultra-long wearing Lip Liner has a creamy texture that glides across the lips for a very easy and comfortable application. I definitely agree, but as a general staple I ALWAYS apply chapstick 10 minutes before putting on the liner. Some reviewers claim it dries out their lips, I just avoid this possible ramification by going the extra mile with chapstick. I really LOVE how this Lip Liner sharpens easily in most standard sized sharpeners – just make sure your sharpener is not dull!
Next let’s talk the Velvet Liquid Lipstick…
I FREAKIN LOVE the Velvet Liquid Lipstick it definitely provides high intensity pigment for a full coverage lip and it looks very natural and not phony in the color Bare. I haven’t tried the reds or pinks but I have to say this is my favorite nude lipstick. It’s long wearing, ultra pigmented liquid lipstick and it does glide on for a creamy matte look that does not dry down, at least for me.
I know that I can get through the work day wearing this lipstick and not have to worry about reapplying, which for me, makes it worth the price. ￼ I have come to the conclusion that even though Kylie cosmetics is admittedly pricey it is really no less expensive than a quality MAC lipstick￼￼. While in some cases I do believe that the fans of a lot of these successful media personalities will buy and back a product for the sake of the name, in Kylie’s case, I think she’s got a pretty good product to back her brand. ￼
I honestly went into this product testing thinking I’d be slamming the youngest Kardashian-Jenner sister worth a whopping $900 million dollars ￼according to Forbes 2019 edition for selling a crap product but WOW I am not only impressed but will definitely be purchasing again.
Now that you know the truth, I can share with you how I apply without getting any bleed out when greeting people with a customary kiss hello. I’ve learned some tips and tricks I’d like to share on both applying and making the most out of your lipstick. Cause who doesn’t want to look as fabulous as possible when you purchase a great product?:
1. I always apply Chapstick to my lips and let it soak in for about 10 minutes before I put on my liner. What this does is it smooths out any rough patches you have on your lips. It also hydrates your lips to give you a more fresh look.
2. Next, I apply the Kylie Cosmetics’ BARE liner. Since you’ve put on Chapstick a little bit tends to go a long way with the liner. Apply till they are coated and smack lips together a few times to evenly spread the liner. As I mentioned you shouldn’t need a whole lot because the Chapstick will help spread the color around as well.
3. Thirdly, you have the velvet liquid lipstick which you dab on very liberally. Let this sit for 5 minutes.
4. FINALLY (and this is my secret trick fan friends) take a tissue or a piece of toilet paper and place it over your lips. Take a smaller brush and using your setting powder (the one you set your foundation with) smooth it over your tissue covered lips. What this does is help set the lipstick so you are not getting any rub off when you give someone a kiss hello. Do this twice until you see little to no bleed out.
As you can see, this flawless application and trick to making your lipstick last really does actually work. What make up products will you spend the money on that are well worth the brand? Leave a comment below I’m really curious to hear about what products you stand by and if you think they’re really worth the prices. Have an amazing Friday, I’ll see you all next week.
Last night I had FULL intentions of giving you my lower carb grilled cheese recipe but Tom and I made such a delicious dish last night I couldn’t resist NOT sharing this recipe we found while surfing Pinterest on a Sunday night. I know it’s bad form, but I honestly can’t even remember who or where we received the recipe from but we always end up doing our own little twist to each one to make them our own.
Please be sure to read my full DISCLAIMER regarding recipes and the ingredients I list. I am neither a dietitian nor a nutritionist so please use your own discretion or consult a professional if you have any questions or concerns about making this recipe.￼￼ Obviously, a well-balanced diet is the way to go, and while my lifestyle is geared towards lower carbs I try not to let it be too restrictive. The picture above shows my husband’s dish, he opted to have his bacon wrapped chicken with rice while I opted to have mine with green beans so aside from how freakin’ easy this recipe is to make what I really love about it is that the side dish can be as versatile as you wish.￼
My Recommendations for side dishes include:
Depending on how healthy or strict you feel like being, this dish would really compliment these sides and many more-it’s really up to you! Although I doubt you came here to read about what side dishes I recommend when it was a recipe I promised to share so let’s get right into it!
Here’s what you’ll need:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Worcestershire sauce (enough to coat both chicken breasts)
4 slices of bacon (uncooked)
Here’s what you need to do:
Take your two chicken breasts and liberally saturate them in Worcestershire sauce so that they are completely covered. Next, you’re going to generously sprinkle some garlic powder and chili powder. We honestly don’t measure so use your best judgement on how much or how little seasoning you feel comfortable with. Finally, generously coat the chicken with brown sugar and make sure to rub in-don’t be shy-show that dinner some love!
Once you have your chicken breasts seasoned, grab that bacon and start wrapping, Tom and I used two slices of bacon per chicken breast. If you’re a family of two; use four bacon slices if you’re a family of four; use eight slices of bacon. Or if it’s a bigger piece of chicken you can use three slices of bacon to ensure it is fully wrapped. As long and your chicken is fully wrapped in the bacon it will be fine, use your discretion. Now this last part is very important, once you have your chicken wrapped you may liberally add more brown sugar to coat the bacon on the top of your chicken breasts.
Your chicken should look like the photo above and when it does, YAY it is ready to be cooked! Now toss those tasty suckers on an oven-safe baking sheet that is covered with tinfoil. Be sure to spray your tin foil with a non-stick spray to avoid any post-cooking sticking to the foil. ￼
Pre-heat that oven to 375 degrees, in fact, I highly recommend preheating the oven BEFORE you start seasoning your chicken breasts because that way by the time you finish, BAM! It’s ready to rock and roll! Place your bacon wrapped chicken breasts into the oven to cook for 30 minutes and when you’re done…
While you let your bacon wrapped chicken stand for 5 minutes, prepare your side dish-or you can do it ahead of time to save yourself some trouble. Serve with the side dish of your choice and enjoy!
What’s your favorite home cooked meal? Leave a comment below, I love hearing for all of you!
I know it has been such a long time since I updated and I promise it’s with good reason. In addition to me having probably one of the worst writers blocks I’ve experienced in quite some time, I’ve had a lot of stuff going on in my personal life which prevented me from being as active as I wanted to be. For starters, I got a new job so the last few weeks post Fourth of July I have been focused on learning everything I need to be successful in this new professional venture of mine.
My favorites for the month of July and August will be posted sometime this weekend and I can’t wait to share with you all the things I love, mainly Schmidt’s low carb bread. I am also really excited to share with you my low-carb grilled cheese recipe. Grilled cheese is one of the things I missed most about my old lifestyle since adopting more lower carb eating habits￼ and I am BEYOND thrilled to share with you how you can still enjoy a childhood classic with sacrificing a ‘cheat day’.
This week was really rough week where I am located on the east coast here in the USA. We were hit with a tropical storm, Isaias, which left us without power for over 20 hours￼. Let me tell you all, it’s amazing how much we take for granted the ability to plug in our cell phones into outlets within our homes. Having and trying to get a full night’s rest with no air-conditioning in the house was no fun either.￼
I think the scariest part about the whole experience with Isaias was getting my first ever tornado warning in my 31 years of life living in my state. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a basement to head into so I needed to scoop Draco up and run us into the bathtub. Thankfully the tornado did not strike my town instead it hit a town about 20 minutes south of me￼￼. It was still a super scary experience for us, both Draco and myself, especially since Tom was at work when it was happening.￼ Thankfully God provided and we weren’t affected with any damage just the loss of power but majority of my state lost power too so we weren’t alone. ￼
The power at my job was also affected and not yet restored so as a result yesterday, after the power was soundly restored, I took Draco for a much needed ￼walk with my best friend, Jen, who came by to join us. Draco was very happy to get out and get some exercise, I felt bad because I haven’t been able to walk him as much as I usually do as a result of going back to work. I figured I would take advantage of the fact that I didn’t have to go into the office and treat him to a nice walk. Boy was it hot though!
I would like to give a very special shout out to ￼￼MindBeautySimplicity (we share the same first name too, how cool is that?!) for her wonderful comment this morning. As a writer, we are motivated by the comments we receive, knowing that my blog has made such a positive difference in someone’s life motivates me as a writer to post more frequently. It’s also a reminder to everyone who stops by, please leave a comment, it’s nice to know I am missed￼ and what I have to say matters. Keeping content fresh and relative isn’t always easy for us writers we have to stretch our minds and really think, “does my audience care about this?” Hearing from all of you and knowing what you enjoy reading about helps me narrow down what content to post.
At any rate, I hope this update finds you all safe, well, and healthy. I look forward to posting more frequently as I adjust to my new routine. ￼￼
In lieu of a full post this week, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all those who celebrate, here in the USA, a very happy 4th of July!
Those of us who live here in the USA were the privileged few to have been born in free country. We were able to breathe the fresh free air since our birth. We remember our national heroes today. Together we have proved ourselves worthy of freedom! On this special day, let us take come forward and make a promise to take our nation on the path of prosperity so that people can live a happy life. Happy Independence day to all.
Exactly like 1st Grade Where You're Told To Keep A Journal… Just Add Adulthood.