Sunday, October 15, 2017

Let's Talk LipSense



A few weeks ago I received a package in the mail and may have been a little bit too excited.

See, I've heard about LipSense, but I didn't have it in my budget to give it a try. So, when I received some information on Red Gate Beauty offering up some samples to bloggers interested in trying and reviewing the products? I signed up.

I figured there was no way I would be considered.

BUT!

I was. Am. Here I am.

So, my first attempt at using LipSense was broadcast out on my Instagram stories. Now, unfortunately those don't stay around, so I had to save my videos and try to pull them together. Hang tight for that one - I'll share it once I'm totally done working on it.

Here's my first go with LipSense.

I decided to opt for the color named Bella.

My sweet dog's name is Bella, and I figured it must have been a sign or something.

There are so many gorgeous LipSense colors, Red Gate Beauty updates their site regularly to ensure you see whatever they carry. I've been eyeing Apple Cider, Persimmon, and Mulled Wine. Caramel Latte is really pretty, too.

Here are a few times I've worn Bella out and about - with no bleeding, streaking or peeling. And even one time where I put it on kind of late in the day, and so it was still fairly striking at bedtime. This would have been when their Ooops! Remover would have been beneficial.





So - in case you can't tell? I'm a fan.

LipSense is the kind of product you can put on fairly early in your day and not worry about it bleeding all over your coffee cup. It won't surface on your water glass or the bread of your sandwich, and it won't start flaking all over you later in the day.

It really works.

I will include a few things that I was concerned with.

If your lips are dry or chapped? It's gonna sting the first time you put it on. And maybe the second or third. And if you take a break from it and start using it again? It'll sting some.

But it's not as bad as you think. I promise. (Video coming soon!)

And if you do have those chappy lips, you may find that it looks a little odd to you at first. Look at my travel with LipSense picture. You can see the lines of my lips. That's the case with most lip color, though - at least it has been in my experience. And after a while that wasn't the case. Look at my conference pic, a day or so later. You can see how smooth my lips look and how consistent the color is across them.

It's also a little bit sticky. Most glosses are - but the good part about this product is that the stickiness goes away once the color and gloss settle on your lips. No flyaway hair getting stuck to your mouth while you're walking and talking outside? Yes, please, thank you.

Want to learn more about LipSense? Head on over to Red Gate Beauty. 

AND - say thank you - because they've given me a 15% discount that we can use to save some money on our purchase.

Just use the code: bloggymoms15


And thanks for checking out my latest addiction! Hope you let me know if you try it. 

* This product was provided to me by Red Gate Beauty. I was not compensated for this post and was only given the product to try and blog about. If you are interested in sending me product for review - please contact me at ace1028@gmail.com. Thank you. *

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Mental Health Matters

IMPORTANT REMINDER:

If you are in a place where you feel unsafe or if you believe that you are a threat to yourself because of your illness. PLEASE. Please call 9-1-1 immediately.  



Today is World Mental Health Day.

Today. Tuesday. October 10, 2017.

It's a day where my FB feed was flooded with proclamations.

A day where friends reminded one another of their own experiences with mental illness.

A day where the world stood together for a few brief moments to remind one another that we're not alone. Where so many of us across social media and beyond took the time to say:

Me, too!


Those two important words. They mean so much.

They can help someone relate who may not know exactly what is going on with them.

They can remind someone that they're truly not the only one.

They can help someone take a breath and realize that there are others out there who get it. Who know. Who understand. Who feel just like they do.

What they can't do is guarantee things. There's no promise in those words that will absolutely save lives. This is not a magic phrase that will convince someone that THEIR life is worth living. It is not two words, five letters and one large exclamation point that promises with this reminder that everything will be okay and that you - I - us all - that we will get better.

Why am I sharing this, you ask? Why would I point out these reminders on this very important day? A day where people shouted this more publicly than ever before?

I don't say this to stop you from sharing. I don't say this to stop you from shouting.

I truly believe that the Me, too! mantra represents one of the most important phrases in the English language when it comes to mental health. When it comes to awareness and advocacy. It's so so important.

But I do say this for another reason.

Because every year we watch as people lose their lives. As people struggle through the invisible illness that is depression, and succumb to the thoughts that lead them to think that this is the only answer. That suicide is the only way to make the pain stop.

We watch and we learn and we listen. Celebrities. Neighbors. Fellow mothers. The children in our community or in the communities of those we know. We watch as lives get torn apart as the individual suffering most of all takes steps to end their own lives. We watch and we whisper. We wish so so badly that someone had seen them. That someone had known. That someone could have helped them. Stopped them. Done something.

We wonder out loud. To ourselves. To others. What led them to that choice?

Choice.

Mental illness is not a choice. And more often than not those who die by suicide are experiencing mental illness. They've lived with it for so long, and it, not the individual, is what takes their life away from them.

These people do not do this themselves.

Suicide is not a choice.

I will repeat that.

Suicide is not a choice. 


I found this incredible piece on just that that I encourage others to read. It's over on suicide.org and I think it is so very valuable.

Every year over 41,000 people die by suicide. *Stat via the CDC - source: NAMI

Die. By. Suicide.

People do not commit suicide.

It's so difficult to not use that term when someone's life ends by suicide. It is so hard to not say that someone has taken their own life. Even I, as a mental health provider, will ask someone about their history of suicidal ideations - and often I find myself stuck in that phrasing. Have you ever tried to take your own life?

It is not a choice.

Those who die by suicide do not take their own lives.

They did not choose to leave you. Leave us.

There was nothing you could have done.

You could not have stopped their illness from making this choice for them.

They did not make this choice.

Please know this.

I know. Today is the kind of day we should be pledging awareness.

And yet, today I found it difficult to remind people to talk to one another and reach out.

Because although that is important and is something I say ALL THE TIME. I think there's so much more to consider. And I encourage you to remember that you read this and remind others - should they have ever lost someone in this way - because it's not your fault.


It's not your fault.


You did not give this individual their mental illness. 

You did not convince them that the only way out of this pain was to end it all. 

You did not do anything wrong. 

It's not your fault.

That said, if this is YOU I am talking about. 

If you are the individual who is experiencing thoughts of suicide or of hurting yourself in any way, please know that there is a way to get help. Please fight these thoughts, because your illness is WRONG. You deserve to be here. You deserve to be loved. 

If you are in a place where you feel unsafe. Where you believe that you are a threat to yourself because of your illness. PLEASE. Please call 9-1-1 immediately. 

Consider reaching out and call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

You can also reach out to IMAlive and call the National Hopeline Network at 1-800-442-4673.

Both of these websites have a live CHAT option, as well. Please consider using it.

For more posts on the importance of acknowledging the impact mental health has on our lives stay with me:



Ten Ways To Protect Your Health in Today's Political Climate

Please remember that this post is not meant to be medical advice. If you or someone you know is exhibiting suicidal behaviors, please get yourself or your friend/family member to a mental health professional as soon as possible. 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

You Can't Reach If You Don't Stretch



So.

I almost wrote this in a message to someone today, but then decided, no - this is too good.

It's blog post good.

And so, here I am.

Reminding you.

And myself.

You can't reach if you don't stretch.

What are you mumbling about, I'm sure you're asking yourself about me. I know, I know - it sounds as though I'm talking to myself. And I suppose I might be.

Fine. I am. I'm telling this to myself. Because I'm going through some shit and it's impacted aspects of my life that I was finding myself feeling strong in. Because when you feel a shift in one area of your life and start questioning your capabilities and qualities it's so damned easy to let it all go to hell when you don't believe in yourself anymore. Or enough.

So.

Stretch.

Because whatever it is that's right beyond your reach is THERE.

It's waiting for you to grab hold and never let go.

Whether it's a job you're dreaming of. A business venture. A health milestone. A travel opportunity.

It can be something you're terrified of actually reaching.

It can be something that you want to reach, but you're afraid to stretch because ... what if you miss?

Whatever it is?

STRETCH.

Because when you stretch?

You can reach.

You can reach that goal. And then guess what?

You can go beyond it!

Hell yes!

Farther and farther beyond.

So.

STRETCH.

Do it for you.

Not anyone else.

Just you.

Stretch.

I'm watching.

Cheering you on.

I have faith in you.

Stretch.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

To All The Single Moms

Confession time: I've been holding this post in my drafts for a bit. I've been looking for other places to submit it to. I've been thinking, well, is it going to start something w. people when I just want to WRITE and don't want to start anything? And so, I let it simmer. And tonight? While trying to figure out what's for dinner? I've decided to hit publish. Because this is my reality right now - and in sharing it it might help someone else - same as the words of others have helped me. 


I've often been the kind of person who mentioned solo-momming it when my spouse was away for work.

That's not even remotely close to being a single mom.

I'm pretty sure I never indicated that it was, but whether I did or didn't, I'd like to clarify, it's not.

Not at all.

I've seen the mommy wars, watched them unfold online. I've experienced firsthand what it's like to be stuck in a word battle with women you don't even know.

They suck. I'm not here to encourage them. I'm not here to enforce any "laws".

I'm here to speak. To write. To share.

To use my space in ways that I need to.

When you're in a partnership and your partner is traveling for work and you're the only one dealing with all the things?

You're not a single mom.

You're someone who is waiting for your "other half" to return, to give you a moment to escape from the ins and outs of parenting, the exhaustion of it all?

You're not a single mom.

When your spouse works late hours and you feel as though you're the only one around?

You're not a single mom.

I'm sorry. You're just not. You're struggling.

I see you. I hear you.

It sucks.

I've BEEN you.

But it's so so very different on the other side.

So completely different.

Consider ...

When you're someone who no longer has the person you turned to to talk about every and anything in your life with?

You're probably a single mom.

When you're someone who is trying to find that balance between saying enough and sharing too much?

You're probably a single mom.

When you feel as though you simply do not know what is going to come next?

You're probably a single mom.

When you're waiting to file papers that will make your life completely different from all you knew before?

You're a single mom.

Even if the law doesn't say it or see it yet. It's you. You are. I see you.

And when the days blend into the nights blend into the days.

When your child is sleeping in your bed and you're almost too tired to adjust the routine to make it so they aren't.

When you're looking ahead and wondering what you should do, where you should go, how you should plan and have nobody to run those thoughts past.

When you ask yourself what positive co-parenting actually means.

When you recognize big dates are approaching, anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, and you have no clue whatsoever how you're going to observe them, because the framework that has been your world has shifted so much over recent months.

You're a single mom.

And you can do this.

You can manage.

You WILL manage.

Every second. Every minute. Every moment.

You will find your way.

You're a single mom.

You're an enigma.

You do it all.

You find a way.

You balance that fine line and find yourself where you need to be.

You cry all the tears.

Eat all the cookies.

Raise your glass of wine now and then (although who are we kidding? It's coffee way more often than it's wine - you know it and I know it!).

Sweat out your emotions by running, walking, Zumba-ing whenever you can.

You do it all.

You'll continue to.

You put your child first.

You're a single mom.

And you're amazing.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sitting In The Stillness

My goodness.

This.

Someone said this today.

And in reading it I found the exact words I needed.

Maybe she said sit, but still ... (pun not intended).

That's it.

That's where my life has changed so.

There have been so many firsts.

So many things I'm experiencing all on my own.

But this. This is it.

Sitting in the stillness.

I didn't do all the things all the time.

Didn't run around all weekend every weekend.

And yet, on these days. These quiet days.

The ones when I'm home alone with my daughter and feeling guilty.

Or the ones where I find that I am at home, completely by myself?

That's what it is.

I find the difficulties fall in sitting in the stillness.

I'm comfortable with being still.

Whether I read. Write. Watch TV.

Move around the house without direction.

I'm okay with it.

I always have been.

And yet.

It's so very different now.

So different.

It's me.

Just me.

Sitting alone.

And there's no one to talk about things with.

No one to process the week with.

No one to sift through feelings with.

And maybe I'm imagining.

Maybe I never really did much of that at all.

But it's missing.

And when I'm home with my daughter and feel as though I'm lacking?

Those days hurt.

They're the days when I try to find myself and see that I'm missing.

I feel as though there is so much more I should be doing with her.

But we never actually ran ALL the time.

We just did stuff.

And I wonder, is that what's missing?

But it's not just that.

That stuff is okay to *miss*.

The spending money unnecessarily because we'd go to a store for nothing we really needed.

The looking for things to fill a void we didn't know existed.

It's the sitting in the stillness.

Those are the moments my mind goes forward.

Those are the moments I wonder. I think too much.

Those are the moments I find tears streaming down my face.

Thoughts of what used to be.

Six months into this I'm okay.

I really am.

And yet. I still struggle.

Sitting in the stillness.
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