Happy Fourth of July!

Before you go out today to enjoy great barbecue, family and Summer heat, let’s take a minute to remember the relevance of this holiday. Independence Day is the day that the United States of America adopted the Declaration of Independence. On July 4, 1776, The Continental Congress declared that 13 colonies of The United States were no longer under British Rule.

The observance of this holiday commemorates the bravery of generations of the past who fought for our freedom from an unjust system of government. Even though we separated ourselves from control of a government that sought to undermine our existence and sabotage any attempts of American greatness, we still deal with similar injustices and similar attempts in our country today.

My personal feelings about this holiday and this great country is bittersweet. The United States of America has grown since 1776 from 13 colonies to 50 states, a federal district, and five territories. Even though we are free, we still live in a country dealing with many injustices and grievances like our ancestors with much little recourse from our government.

There is one thing that we as Americans must understand: Change does not happen by happenstance. Political and economic change happens by organization from factions and groups. If we really want change to take place in our country, we must get involved in our communities, cities, and states and effectuate change from the bottom to the top. Like our forefathers, we must stand together against the forces that attempt to disrupt our lives. We can only do this together.

We must understand that there is good and bad everywhere. However, a country is only as good as the people who comprise its makeup. If we want to truly live free amongst our people, we must first learn to live peaceably with our people no matter the color, religion, creed, or political views. While you’re enjoying your family and friends today, think about those countries that do not enjoy the same freedoms and remember to thank God for our freedom and pray for our country and countries around the world. God bless America!

Top 3 Ways to Make the Most of 2017

 

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If you’re like me,  you walked away from 2016 scratching your head and wondering what just happened.  There were so many highs and lows of the year that left many of us in disbelief.  This past year was a year of surprises, upsets, and losses.  Whether you’re a Trump supporter or not, you have to admit your disbelief of the fact that 1) a man with no political experience won the Republican nomination and 2) won the race.  If you never believed that anything can happen in America, then now you’re a true believer. Even though the first black man won the Presidency eight years ago, the racism that he experienced the entire time in office was no surprise.  Nonetheless, 2016 taught us a lot and made us pay attention.

Our surprise and disgust at the Flint, Michigan water crisis made us totally look at government agencies differently.  Then there was the loss of the greats: Prince, David Bowie, Alan Thicke, Carrie Fisher, and Debbie Reynolds.  Kim Kardashian got robbed at gunpoint in Paris, but Kanye eventually had the meltdown we all saw coming!  Then it happened.  Brad and Angelina finally broke up.  Lastly, the Dallas Cowboys walk away with the greatest record in their NFL history and achieved this momentous feat by way of two very explosive rookies named Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.  Last year was no punk!

I could go on and on about all the craziness that occurred last year, but it would be pointless because 2016 is gone.  Now we must focus on how to make 2017 better than the last.  I came up with a few tips to help make this new year a little more bearable.

Add Color to Your Perspective

Have you ever noticed how color can cheer you up?  Likewise, it can bring you down also.  It can and will cloud your vision when you see things in only one or two colors: black or white.  I have a friend that sees everything in black and white. There is no gray area.  However, I have argued that there are many ambiguities in life.  Everything has to do with your perspective.  If you see everything in the black, then everything will appear dismal, hard and hopeless.  On the other hand, add a little color to your perspective and watch how your views will change.  Once you start thinking with an open mind, then possibilities will abound.  There is more than one way to view life and its circumstances.  Color changes the way you view things because your mind starts to open up.  I don’t mean black and white color.  I mean yellow, green, purple, red, or orange.  Try living your life in color and watch your vision change for the better.

Don’t Give Up On Mankind

With all the negativity and complete horror stories that we hear in the media, it’s hard to have faith in people these days.  In most cases, until something awful happened to make you distrust people, you were born into this world trusting others.  After all, as babies, we have to completely rely on others.  In life, we are going to have to work with and deal with others.  I am not suggesting that we trust blindly.  I am suggesting that we give more people the benefit without first assuming that all blacks are bad, or all whites are racist. This goes back to opening our minds and adding a little color to our perspectives.  We have got to start giving people the benefit of the doubt.  Give people a chance to prove themselves before you completely count them out.  If they fail, at least you tried to be a part of the solution and not the problem.

Look at the Big Picture

You must know by now that we are all apart of a bigger picture. With a world population exceeding 6 billion, every individual has a part to play in the universe in which we live whether big or small.  As you create the story of your life, make sure your stamp impacts the world in such a way that you realize the importance your contribution makes to the big picture. If you’re a stay-at-home mother, raising kids that are respectful and kind is important to the big picture.   If you’re a factory worker, understand that your work product contributes to products that not only consumers need, but contributes to our country’s gross national product.  The scientist is just as important as the convenience store worker.  Each person has a roll that contributes in some way to the bigger picture in the grand scheme of our lives.  If we can just continue to think of the big picture instead of merely thinking of ourselves, then we can all contribute to making our world a better place in 2017.  Make sure you’re making the right impact.

 

 

 

My 2017 Beauty Wish List

I’m a list person. I love to make lists. I take pleasure in writing goals, resolutions, and especially to-do lists. I like to plan for the things that I try to accomplish and the things I want.  However, I rarely make Christmas lists.  When Christmas rolls around, I just wing it. Even though my children made their Christmas lists for me faithfully each year when they were young, I never paid much attention to their lists because I had my own. Don’t judge me. 🙁

For me, Christmas is a time for giving. I always considered creating a Christmas list as an act of selfishness. Christmas isn’t the time to be selfish. Typically, we tend to spend money for Christmas gifts that we wouldn’t buy any other time of the year.  Thus, the splurge mentality.  This past year I had a thought. I realized that creating a want list for Christmas is no different than when I create lists for my goals and my New Year’s Resolutions. I completed my “want list” for Christmas and recently got everything on my list.  I am rewarding myself with a few items that I have worked hard for throughout the year. I decided to splurge a little. Lucky for me, the only thing I love is makeup!!!!

I made my list and checked it twice.  Therefore, I decided that is even more of a reason for me to follow through with my list. This year has been a doozie for me, complete with many highs and lows. With every obstacle, I managed to survive. I can’t think of any other reason why I shouldn’t treat myself to a few of my favorite beauty goodies for conquering all of the hurdles of 2016. These are my MVPs for 2017.

1) The Tartelette Naturals Palette $34.50 (www.ulta.com) Shown above.

What’s great about it:  It’s great natural clay palette for the eyes.  Clay matte makes the application go on smoothly and naturally.

2) Mia 2 Clarisonic Brush $169 (www.ulta.com)


What’s great about it: It has dual power with two speeds.  It deep cleans the skin and leaves the face feeling like a baby’s bottom.

3) Lorac Tantalizer Baked Bronzer $35 (www.ulta.com)

What’s great about it: It can be used on any complexion. It gives the perfect bronze glow and it’s not too light or too dark.

4) Anastastia Beverly Hills eye brow pencil (dark brown and soft brown)v $18.50 (www.sephora.com)


What’s great about it: It’s the Bentley of eye brow pencils.  It can be described in one word: precise.

5) DiorShow Mascara $28.50 (www.ulta.com)


What’s great about it: This one product makes your lashes look like fake lashes. It has ltwo ends: one primer, the other mascara.

These are my beauty favs. What are yours?