Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Musing (32) - No Apologies

I want to share with you a beautiful blog post my wonderful friend Ashley McElyea wrote on  her blog (Read it here - Learning To Be Unapologetic) a few weeks ago. It's a blog entry that I keep going to re-read.  It resonates with me in such a deep way, on such a personal level. And it just goes to show how amazing, loving, and open my wonderful friend is.

It may seem like such a simple post, but it speaks volumes to the way society thinks people should be, to the way we judge or accept people in an instant.  But to me it also speaks volumes as to how people to often hold themselves back, worry to much about the way others think about them.

Ashley and I connected over our love of reading and story telling, but our blossoming friendship - even if it is online as we live so far apart - grows, we continue to connect on a deeper level. As two people with significant and profound emotions, similar struggles in life, and so much more. We support each other, the encourage each other, and we accept each other.

Ashley makes me see the beauty in simple things, the enjoyment life can give. She's an old soul, with a huge heart, she's companionate, driven, and has the unmistakable ability to accept and love everything life has to offer, at face value, for exactly what it is.

As she faces her life, struggles, obstacles, and changes head on without a hint of regret. She inspires others, she inspires me. Because of who she is, the unconditional support she can offer, I learn through her.

I've learned to accept who I am freely, without questioning myself. I've learned to love the changes I see in myself. I've learned to accept the overwhelming emotions I often feel.  I've learned to accept and face challenges that come to me head on, with determination to see me through. I've learned to trust in myself and my decisions.

And most importantly I've learned that making mistakes is ok, loving quickly and deeply and passionately is ok, having moments of weakness is ok, and being free to be myself, whoever that may be, is ok.

I've learned to stop caring what others think about me, to ignore others negativity and scrutiny. To be happy with the person that I am now, and always be open to the person that I could become in the future. She accepts herself, as she grows. She doesn't apologize for being her. And because of her, I've come to the conclusion that neither will I anymore.

I do not apologize for the way I feel about myself, my life, or others. I do not apologize for my opinions or thoughts. I do not apologize for my language being a little more colorful than others might find acceptable. I do not apologize for liking what I like, and hating what I hate. I do not apologize for the things I do in my life, that should really be no one else's business anyway. I do not apologize for being blunt, and sometimes brutally honest.

I don't profess to be someone who is holier than thou, nor do I pretend to be someone I am not. I am the way I am, and I am happy being me. If you like it, and me, the cool. If you don't, then cool. But I do not apologize for being me.

Ashley isn't really on some grandiose mission to change people or the world. She is just a women who is willing to share her thoughts, her life, her stories, and her feelings with others.  And if she happens to reach someone on a deeper level, to help them want to be a better them, then that's a bonus for her.

Honestly, through her words, her friendship, her support, her love, and her blog she has certainly helped me to accept the changes that have developed in me over the last few years.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Fashion Friday - Day Look at the Calgary Stampede (Sorry so late)

Good morning y'all!!! I apologize for the delay on posting things! I have been busy the last few weeks, traveling and attending shows in Montreal. 
 Today we are going to talk about Make-up! I will start off sharing a photo of me on a recent trip.  :) 

This was taken on my way to the Calgary Stampede. My awesome cowboy hat was actually bought in Florida at a $5 store called Bebe. And no, the tatt on my wrist isn't real, it was Canada day and my friends and I decided to put fake ones on! 
Now to the make up......they say it isn't good to wear make up the same shade as your eye color...SCREW THAT NOISE!!! I believe you can wear any color as long as you blend it well! 
Here I've used "Winter White" from L'Oreal in the corner to centre of the lid. I then added the royal blue from Wet n' Wild to the outer edge of the lid, blending the middle where the two colors meet lightly. 
As you see by the photo, the blue actually opens the eye and shows off more of the blue in my eyes :)
I added black liquid liner pen to the end of the eye lid to open it up a little more. Liquid liner pen is much easier to handle and stays on longer than a pencil liner. Mines from Revlon! Best ever! 

I get asked alot if my lashes are real...yes they are! I only wear fake ones on special events.
What mascara do I use? I use Big Eyes from Maybelline; ultra black BUT to have that drama lash, you need to use a eyelash curler in which you can find at any drug store or Wal-Mart. 

This look can be worn from day to evening. It's a fairly quick look to apply, but is still flirty and feminine! 

Well I hope you enjoyed this little make up lesson! I will try to be more on the ball for the next posts :) 

Have an awesome day & week-end everyone xox

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Review - Pretending He's Mine (Caught Up in Love #2) by Lauren Blakely

Image and Synopsis from
Title: Pretending He's Mine (Caught Up In Love #2)
Author: Lauren Blakely
Format: Kindle
Genre: Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Lauren Blakely Books
Published: February 20, 2014
Source: NetGalley

Reeve Larkin needs a job. Sure, the actor is talented and gorgeous in that dreamy, broody sort of way that makes all the women swoon. But he lost out on a part in a big movie, and now his day job hours have been slashed too. What's a handsome young thing in need of a role to do? Sign up to be the fake fiancé of the sexy and shrewd casting director Sutton Brenner, who must appear temporarily attached if she's to land a coveted gig casting a red-hot film. So Sutton strikes a pact with Reeve to play the role of her fiance until she closes the deal. The trouble is - she's sexy-as-hell and damn near irresistible to him. And he's not only a great guy, but also the best dirty talker she's ever met. It doesn't take long for their pretend love affair to heat up, especially after that toe-curling night in the balcony of the Broadway theater. And that scorching afternoon in the stacks of the New York Public Library.

A red-hot love affair. An intense connection. But as the lines between make-believe and matters of the heart blur, can two people working in the world of acting fake it til they make it?

My Thoughts:

This book has several of the elements I look for in a book. From strong main characters, who know who they are and what they want, to a fluidly moving, yet unpredictable plot line.  Pretending He's Mine, is a steamy, romantic, and titillating read. The pages drip sex appeal, sexual tension and yearning. And that's just when the two main characters get together.

Reeve Larkin - Hot, sexy, talented and driven. An actor trying to climb his way up the ladder through true grit and perseverance. His character is not just dreamy, he's down to earth, broody, and flirty. His character starts off being very strong, very well developed and yet extremely relatable. He has a dedication to his acting, while still trying to make ends meet, and knows who he is. The fact that his character was so strong to begin with was refreshing. To many times I have read a book, where characters had "big secrets" or broken pasts they were trying to over come, and their broody, nonchalant attitude was covering for some kind of pain or regret they couldn't get over. It was refreshing to see a character like Reeve. We;; developed from the beginning, but open enough to learn and grow throughout the story. Not to mention the fact that he is dripping with sexuality, sex appeal, and is just plain freaking hot.

Sutton Brenner is the other main character, who brings a refreshing new take to the whole, pretend relationship aspect of this story. She's a business women, who doesn't play games, and will do what she has to do to get herself ahead, make a deal, and forge a path in her career.  She is successful, driven, and to the point. She is another character that is really well developed to begin with, and in the beginning appears to be shrewd, and all business, but as the story unfolds she opens up and grows so much.

Yes, the whole fake fiancĂ© story has been done before, but these characters together, the situations they are put in, and the sheer tension between them brings all sorts of new elements, which makes this a different and refreshing aspect to the abundance of fake relationship stories available. With a quick moving plot, several obstacles and twists for the characters to endure, the undeniable attraction between the two characters, and just the right amount of romance and sexuality, this story easily stands out from others. 

It's a lusty, tension filled, entertaining and sexy read!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Musing (31) - Starting Over (Finding Myself Again Part 11)

Starting over is not easy to do. No one would look forward to it, or enjoy it. It is literally one of the hardest things a person can do. Leaving what they have, and know behind, to start fresh. You start over with nothing - or next to nothing. You have to clean your slate and start again. That means you have to fight to find yourself, to support yourself, to dig yourself out from where you were.

Starting over is hard. So hard. And so much work. And when I started over I was about to have a baby. Talk about stress.

It was a really rough time. I was scared all the time, that I wasn't going to be able to make it on my own, that I didn't know who I was without him, that I wouldn't survive, that he would find me, that I would disappoint my child, that we would have to go without and struggle to constantly get by.
There were so many things that weighed heavy on mind. So many things that threatened to swallow me up, so ensure I failed, to break me.

It was the biggest struggle I have ever had to face in my life, filled with so many emotions, all the fear, the unknown, the instability. I was at the bottom, and I didn't know if I could make it back to the top when I couldn't even see it.

It was a really emotional time for me, I was given the chance to do some self reflection, and man I definitely didn't like the answers and thoughts I was coming up with. I practically hated myself for what I had put myself through, the situation I was in, and what I was bringing my son into.

It was a very dark time for me. VERY dark and unhappy. I was not in a good place.

There is no manual to help you, no step by step instructions, nothing that can help guide you through it. The advice of others can only go so far, or help so much. But the support of them is and was fundamental to the life I was trying to life, the betterment I wanted to achieve. The safety and stability I wanted for my son. Without that support I probably wouldn't have put my big girl panties on, and gotten to work!

I started over with little to nothing. A few things in storage, a new baby, and little to no income. I spent time at a women's shelter, before finally finding an apartment that I thought could be home - until he found us. And an emergency move was needed.

I lost more things in that move, it was like the 6 months I spent trying to build a life and a home hadn't even happened. It's taken me years to get stable, to get my house in order, to sort out my feelings, and to start living my life again. It's taken me 8 years to accept the decisions I'd made, to come to terms with the life I am leading now, and the life that I left behind.

It's taken me 8 years to fight my demons, to stop hating myself, to stop doubting myself and second guessing myself, to accept what life has to offer me.

It's taken me 8 years to enjoy the little things, to stop stressing over everything -especially those things that I have no control over.

It's taken me 8 years to fully enjoy my precious time with my son, to enjoy the little moments, to enjoy the world and the life that I have.

It has taken me 8 years to breathe easier, to feel stronger, and to believe in myself. To try new things, enjoy new opportunities, and make changes in my life I was to afraid to make before.

It has taken 8 years of ups and downs, loss and gains, heartache, and many lessons to trust again, to love again, to believe in myself again, to be me again.

Starting over is hard. But in the end, I became a better me. A stronger, more determined me. A me that I like, that I'm willing to mold into something better, to growth with and to accept no matter what.

I know I'm far from perfect, and I know that I would not be the person that I am now if I hadn't made certain decision in my life. Had I not had the experiences I went through. Had I not suffered and persevered.

I finally free, confident and happy.

I finally like the me that I have become.  I don't regret the choices I made in the past, the situations I was in, the struggles I faced. I am a better person, and mother, because of them.

I am strong. I am me.

And I wouldn't change what I have now for anything in the world.