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Kickin’ It Old Skool Blog-a-thon!

I couldn’t resist joining in with a bunch of creative pals in this December blog-a-thon.  Some posts will be just for this “event” and some will be combined.  I hope it’s a lot of fun for everyone!

Day 1 of Kickin’ It Old Skool: De Selfie

Me in my natural environment...

Me in my natural environment…

Here I am where I usually take most of my selfies — the kitchen.  It’s got a neutral colored wall and great morning light. Being next to the fridge has benefits, too… This one was actually cropped and used for my passport photo.

It is SO COOL that you can now take your own passport photos and crop them to standard with the State Department’s ultra amazing cropping tool. You upload your photo, resize it to fit within their template and save.  It saves as the perfect 2 x 2 size to print. Super simple.

Anyways, I digress. The selfie.  I used to be very shy. But then I decided that it’s OK to look the way I look and it’s OK to share that. Most of my selfies are either to document that I’ve been somewhere ( a festival or event I’m working) or to show products I’m trying. (In this photo, I’m wearing TheFaceShop’s FACE IT CELL LIGHTENING POWDER PACT SPF25 PA++ powder foundation, a smidge of Tarte Amazonian Clay  12-Hour Blush in Exposed, neutral eyeshadows from Urban Decay’s Naked Basics Palette, Smashbox’s Limitless Eyeliner in Onyx, CoverGirl LashBlast ClumpCrusher mascara in black and Mineral Fusion lipstick in Pure).

By posting selfies I affirm that beauty comes in many sizes and shapes and ages, and that while I may have felt like an ugly duckling for most of my life, I’m really a swan… just like all my fellow swans.  We are all beautiful.

Show it!


Walking on Sunshine… the Sunshine Award!


Let the sun shine in!

I’ve just been nominated for the Sunshine Award by the lovely Zan of!

For the Sunshine Award, the blogger must:
  • Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  • Share 11 random facts.
  • Answer 11 questions from the nominating blogger.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers.  They should be bloggers who deserve some recognition and a little ray of sunshine!
  • Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate answer & let all the bloggers know they’ve been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)

11 Random Facts

1. Although I spent most of my childhood in  Nashville, my earliest memories come from when we lived in Montana.

2. I knew about cornrows a *long* time before Bo Derek wore them in the movie, “10”.

3. I did not save any memorabilia from the bicentennial celebration of 1976…

4. My first real job was in a camera shop where I was forced not to work during inventory because the company hired temps for that job…

5. Many years later, I worked as a temp and did inventory jobs.

6. I discovered the deliciousness of Tex-Mex at a small take-out place in Buffalo, NY.

7. I have never been to India, but it is very high on my list of places I want to visit.

8. I managed to graduate high school without taking chemistry.

9. I was not an athlete as a youngster, but now I really enjoy competing against myself in walking races.

10. I used to take my dates to Chinese restaurants to see how they reacted when I ordered Szechuan dishes.  When the man who is now my husband not only ordered Kung Pao chicken, but also ate the peppers and didn’t bat an eye, I knew I had met my match.

11. My college art teacher told me I had no talent.

11 Questions to Answer

1. What is your favorite relaxing technique?
Listening to quiet music.

2. What is your favorite dessert?
Pie.  Most varieties.

3. How old is your oldest child, if you have any?
No kids.  Our oldest cat is 12.

4. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Asking for good lighting at a gig and then getting put in a dark corner… just because you can see in semi-darkness does not mean I can see well enough to DRAW in those conditions… getting riled up just thinking about it… it happens more than you would think which I why I travel with a lamp…

5. Where were you born?
North Carolina

6. Have you ever traveled outside of the country?
Yes. China, England, Italy, Australia, France (just Paris), Germany, South Korea

7. How many books do you typically read in a year?
12 – 15

8. What is your favorite genre of movies?
Kid’s… I love me those Disney films!

9. What is your favorite breakfast?
Huevos Rancheros!

10. Do you make your own laundry soap?

11. If you had a choice between ice-cream and chocolate, which one would you choose?
Do  I HAVE to choose?  Ice cream.

And here is where I am supposed to nominate 11 other blogs.

But I have a problem here.  I can’t think of 11 other blogs that weren’t aready either nominated for this award or recently nominated for another award.  And some blogs have a No Awards policy… so I’m going to take the cue from Little Miss SCB and do what she did when nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award: she invited readers to come up with their own nominations!  Brilliant!

So, I’d like to invite anyone who is interested in the Sunshine Award, to tag yourself and post a link of your blog in the comments section below. Or, if you want to bring attention to someone else’s blog, feel free to post that link, too!

Thanks again to Zan from flourishingathome. Her blog focuses on “all things homemaking” from her delightful perspective as a Mom, craft diva, recipe sharer and child of God.  Check out her blog when you have the chance!


Monday Blog Love: Fifty, not Frumpy

On Mondays I share a blog that makes me happy and I hope it inspires you, too.

I’m not really a very fashionable kind of girl, but I do love reading fashion blogs… it’s a vicarious thrill.  And Susan, from Fifty, not Frumpy does not disappoint.  Her posts are filled with accessible fashion in gorgeous Southern locales.  If you don’t like her outfits (which you will!), you WILL love the lush greenery of the Southland and those wonderful sweeping staircases and tall columned porches… I’m getting almost homesick for springtime in Middle Tennessee just thinking about it…

Susan’s mission is  “to let women know they don’t have to be invisible after 50.”  What an inspiration!  Additionally, she hopes to inspire us to eat more more healthy plant based meals (this is her story why this this important) and to keep going on dates for the rest of our lives (sounds like an awesome plan to me!)

Susan’s joie de vivre is contagious and she has a very easy, gracious style that I admire. I think you will, too.


Blog Love: Beautyholics Anonymous

Every Monday I share a blog that I love and think you will enjoy, too.

Beautyholics Anonymous…beauty comes in all sizes, not just size 2. When I saw that tagline, I knew I had to check this site out!  And I was not disappointed.

Tine from Beautyholics Anonymous is the first to admit that she is a beautyholic… and also fond of chocolate and shopping, but not necessarily in that order. Originally from Malaysia, she now lives in Australia and while her beauty focus is mainly on Asian products, many of the products she reviews are found in the US as well.  She also covers a wide variety of other topics, ranging from ethical questions to her lists of lusts (that make me drool) to her Bloggie Wednesday series in which she answers burning questions about the practice of blogging. She has beauty regrets and has bravely admitted to the world that although she is a beauty blogger, there are a few things she can’t seem to master (I can’t figure out false eyelashes, either!)

Her posts are lively, fresh and always interesting. Check her out. You’ll be glad you did!



Monday Blog Love: Of Faces and Fingers

Every monday I share a blog I’ve recently discovered and think you will also enjoy!

Actually, I’ve been following Of Faces and Fingers for about 6 months so it’s technically not a “new” discovery… but I do want to share in case you haven’t discovered it for yourself!

Of Faces and Fingers is based in Singapore, but with a wider worldview.  Its editor, Musicalhouses has lived in both Chicago and London, but is a true Singapore girl with a penchant for BB creams, nail polish and good, girly fun! I appreciate that she admits to owning cheap cameras (The Panasonic LUMIX DMC T4 has been my workhorse and is cousin to her previous camera)… her tricks are good lighting, good angles, and good editing software (which can’t really compensate for good lighting and angles).

Many of her reviews are of Asian-specific brands or products, but still contain useful information for someone looking for similar products in the US (or on ebay).  Some are of international brands such as Illamasqua and Kiehl’s and others are useful tutorials — such as the one about fixing a broken nail with a teabag

Musicalhouses has a fresh, breezy style and does not pander to big brands.  She uses whatever looks interesting and reports honestly.  I enjoy reading her reviews and checking out her tutorials, and I know you will, too.


Monday Blog Love: A Girl’s Gotta Spa

Every Monday I feature a blog that I love and think you will, too!

A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do and sometimes a girl has gotta spa!

A Girl’s Gotta Spa! has been around since 2005 and is a team effort. Each member of the team has her own specialty, but they all have a passion for beauty and bath products.

This month is Melanoma Awareness Month, a topic that is near and dear to AGGS team member, Amanda, who is a melanoma survivor. She brings her special experience to help raise awareness not only of what skin cancer is, but several ways to help prevent it. She’s been there and wants to share what’s she learned.  Her voice is clear, honest, but never preachy.  Her reviews are insightful and useful.

Of course, what would a blog called A Girl’s Gotta Spa be without spa reviews and DIY Spa recipes?  From the Fountainbleu in Miami Beach to Hotel Hershey’s spa in Pennsylvania, to ideas to pamper yourself at home, this blog has got it covered.

If you haven’t checked out A Girl’s Gotta Spa!, get on over there!


Monday Blog Love: Diane Jarvis-Schuller: Photographs Never Forget

Each Monday I share a blog I’ve recently discovered and want to share!

I’ve been involved a postcard exchange called Liberate Your Art.  A bunch of us (more than 200 this year) made 6 postcards of our art and sent them off to Kat Sloma in Oregon — who organized, addressed and stamped them all — and then mailed them off… and now the postcards wander, ending up where they may.  I have received 4 postcards so far. You can check them out on my other blog: Musings of a Hennaphile.

And one of MY postcards was received by Diane Jarvis-Schuller from Vancouver, BC. So, I checked out HER blog…and was delighted to find a new place to visit for inspiration, a few yummy recipes and instructions for making a lovely bath salt. The photographs make me want to just dive in….

well, she IS a professional photographer, but also a person who muses, ponders, shares, and creates. Whether she’s relating about her adventures in canning or just talking about the recent dinner party she hosted, Diane makes you feel like you are a trusted friend. Put the kettle on and enjoy!

Monday Blog Love: Science of Beauty

Each Monday I spotlight a blog I’ve recently discovered and want to share!

Sarah of The Science of Beauty is a beauty junkie with a PhD in Science, specifically wound healing. So when she talks about how products work — or how pseudo-scientific marketing is hype, you can believe her. Her goal is to talk about the products she loves in plain English.  OK. I’ts Australian English, but it’s clear and honest with just a touch of wry humor.

In addition to debunking popular myths about weight loss, she shares such gems as a portrait painted using ONLY OPI nailpolish…it’s amazing! You can spend hours just browsing her informative and interesting posts… please do!

Monday Blog Love: Recovering Shopaholic

Each Monday I spotlight a blog I’ve recently discovered and want to share!

Meet Debbie, a Recovering Shopaholic. She is working one day at a time to reign in her wardrobe purchases…and wants to help you (and me) become more aware and more mindful of our purchases.

What a breath of fresh air!  In a blogosphere filled with fashion blogs that encourage you to buy, buy, buy, this is a fashion blog that urges you to stop, think, and consider your options carefully.

Debbie shows off a couple of outfits that are keepers.

Debbie shows off a couple of outfits that are keepers.

She shows what she bought, what worked, and what she’s going to return or give to charity. And she shares how she came to her conclusions. Thoughtful, honest, and insightful.

Debbie is participating in Project 333, a challenge that asks folks to pare their wardrobes down to just 33 items for 3 months. It’s a bold challenge — not unlike a foodie being asked to stop eating sugar or a couch potato to limit tv to 3 hours per week.  It’s a challenge that makes me ponder my own wardrobe… and perhaps will inspire me to do some spring cleaning soon.

Take a peek at Recovering Shopaholic. I learned a lot of useful tips about making my wardrobe more focused and less cluttered… and all those suggestions would also apply to make-up and skincare items, my personal obsessions…

Hi Debbie, thank you for sharing!

Monday Blog Love: Girl Unwinding

On Mondays, I share about a blog that either makes me nod, makes me smile or makes me feel like singing.

Today’s blog does all three. Girl Unwinding isn’t a beauty blog, it’s an online journal about life’s meanderings.

In words and pictures and pictures about projects, Dawn shares her delight in all things wonderful. It’s a scrapbook for the soul.  And when I’m having a blah sort of day, that’s were I head for an inspirational poem, some color and a cup of tea.