More expensive is not always Better

Let me preface this blog by saying:

  • 1. I am by no means a makeup artist.
  • 2. I am most definitely not a makeup artist.

I do, however, know what makeup I like. And I do know that while I will spend a reasonable amount of money on makeup, I won’t spend a fortune.

My eyes must be done before I go out. Eyeliner and mascara are a must. My eyeliner of choice is NYX Epic Ink Eyeliner in black to line around the top of my eyes and below, ELF eyeliner, also in black. (My mascara brands may vary.)

This past weekend, I dug deep in my makeup bin and found a black eyeliner by Este Lauder. It’s a pencil liner with a smudge sponge on the opposite end. I thought with it being the weekend and all, I’d try a different look (I tend to go with the winged eyeliner look primarily.)

I went for a more soft, sort of smokey eyed look. What I got within minutes of stepping outside into the hot, humid day was a melted mess of eyeliner on the top lids. Even the $3.00 ELF liner on the lower eye held up better than the almost $25.00 Este Lauder eyeliner. It’s not waterproof and it melts, smudging all over my eyelid. I was disappointed to say the least. There is no way I ought to have to reapply a $25.00 eyeliner as often as I did. I gave it a go three days in a row with the same results.

I think I’ll stick with my current combination, the NYX eyeliner is waterproof and glides on smoothly and runs less than $10.00. It lasts all day, despite the humidity. For far less than half the price of the Este Lauder liner, I can have eyeliner that lasts all day.

So as you see, more expensive is not always better. The proof is in my three day trial results.

Black & White

I write. I blog. And I take photographs, both digitally and using 35mm film (yes, it still exists.)

I’ve recently been shooting more frequently with film. It’s my very first love when it comes to photography. I taught myself. This was pre-youtube and google. You either read a book (I didn’t), had someone teach you (I didn’t), or you played with the settings and figured it out (I did.)

While Photoshop and Lightroom can create all sorts of effects, I haven’t found it able to recreate the feeling of a true grainy, black and white film shot. And even more so, the anticipation of the results. Nothing instantaneous in the world of film. You shoot. You develop. You hope you got the shot. There are no do-overs when it comes to film.

Either you got it or you didn’t. Either you understand the inner-workings of the camera or…you wing it, hoping for the best. There are no LCD screens to peek at here. Pure. Film. Pure. Knowledge.

(Logo added in Lightroom)

Nail polish…Anxiety

Ladies, please tell me I am not the only one who begins to feel a little anxious when I walk into the nail salon and the nail technician say, “Pick out a colour.”

There are three billion colours to choose from? How is a girl to narrow that choice down? For a long time, I was doing french manicures on my toes and finger nails. Then, winter came along with closed toe shoes and I decided it was time to choose a colour. I could literally stand there forever, staring at all the pretty colours, choosing two or three or four. Oftentimes, to ease my anxiety (sometimes the simplest choice will trigger it) I will have my technician choose. And she always chooses the right colour for my toenails. Always.

Thank you! My wonderful nail technician for easing my mind a little. After all, a pedicure ought to be relaxing.

-Eating my way through Chicago

Chicago, Chi-Town, the Windy City, call it what you may….the food there is incredible. I may not look like I’m much of a foodie (5′ tall, 98 lbs – sorry to get a bit “personal” here, ha!)

I absolutely love Chicago; it’s a beautiful city, filled with many tasty-licious foods. Having just been up in Chicago a few months ago, I wanted to break the tie between Giordano’s and Gino’s East deep dish pizza. I swore that Gino’s was “better.” (Better is all relative, personal preference if you will.)

A little back-story on how this challenge began between the two restaurants. Upon arriving in Chicago in July, on our very first night there, we ordered in. Exhausted, we patiently awaited the arrival our deep dish personally designed pizzas from Giordano’s. Mine was….well, good but somewhat dry. On our final night in Chicago, we met up with my cousins, Frank and Betty, for a Chicago-style deep dish pizza dinner at Gino’s East in downtown Chicago. Not only did we endulge in their deep dish pizza but I had the absolute best thin crust pizza I’ve ever had at any non-Italian pizza spot.



Upon my return to Chicago this month (October,) I was determined to have another go at Gino’s delicious deep dish pizza as well as Giordano’s (in the restaurant this time.) It was time for a tie-breaker decision. ¬†Would it be Gino’s East or Giordano’s for the win?




For the record, after dining at Giordano’s two nights in a row (because the first night, their pizza completely won me over, perfect amount of sauce, tasty ingredients, perfectly crisp buttery crust…..) there was absolutely no need to go back to Gino’s. Giordano’s pizza is perfect. I can’t vouch for their thin crust….but their pan pizza is mmmm, mmmm good.

When in Chicago, do as the Chicagoans do….eat deep dish pizza (and Chicago hot dogs at Portillo’s by all means…..)

Never Apologise For Being You

It’s been a reoccurring theme over the past few days. Yes, women are emotional. And no, there is absolutely nothing wrong with showing your emotions.

For a long time, I hid mine. I put them under lock and key, inside a box. Then, I took that box and buried it. Because emotions equal weakness.

Somewhere along my journey, early in life, I somehow equated tears with weakness. Then, I grew up and it was some years before I realised crying isn’t a weakness but a strength. Furthermore, crying is cleansing. It lifts a weight off your being. Showing emotions, rather than boxing them up, is a sign of strength. We were given the ability to show and have emotions for a reason.

Show them. Share them. Don’t lock them away.

Darkroom Dreaming

Another roll of Ilford film, dropped off for developing. Wing’s Camera is about the only camera store left in the Aanta area and has become my go-to camera store. It’s nostalgic. It smells like old camera equipment. The store is small and the staff are amazing.

For so long, I’ve dreamed of having a darkroom. I even got excited when I saw they sold the supplies there! Finally! Someplace local to purchase the materials needed to create my own space where I could delve into developing my own masterpieces out of 35mm film… (Yes! It still exists…)

Fast forward to several months later when my dreams were squashed. Chemicals and I don’t get along. Having recently being diagnosed with asthma, I can no longer be around the strong odours that chemicals induce. It’s a bit of a life-altering thing, but I can, however, still shoot film and take it to my new favourite camera store for them to develop. All is not lost…and now I patiently await for their phone call to tell me my prints are in.


There are so many methods of communication. I must admit, I am horrible when it comes to phone calls (both making and answering them.) I’ve never been great with phone calls. But, give a sheet of paper (or three) and a pen and I’m off to the races.

I think I write the longest letters. Although I’ve met my match with a couple pen pals. And yes, I do have pen pals. I know. They still exist.

I love the act of writing, of formulating my words on paper with a nice writing ink pen. I can sit and write for hours. Often, my letters are like journals, written over a period of days. A chronology of my life, written to a friend.

The anticipation of receiving a letter in the mail…the process of choosing which stationery to use to reply, which envelope, or do I choose a pretty notecard? Do I add glitter and confetti for a sparkly surprise when the open it? Stickers or washi tape?

The act of writing also commits things to memory. It’s therapeutic. It’s nostalgic and it’s my favourite form of communication. Nothing is better than finding a letter in your mailbox.

Well, are you?

Are you a “gaze at the Moon” sort of person? Does the changes in her phases excite you?

I’ve always loved the moon, the stars, the galaxy. An infinite universe, something we will never full understand, even as we continue to explore.

Astronomy and astrology fascinate me. The moon in each of her phases is truly a wonderful, magical sight. While I love the sun, I think my love for the moon goes deeper. She affects not only the Earth’s tides but our day to day being as well. Once you become in-tuned to the moon and the Universe, you become to know yourself a bit more. You grow and understand who you are.

God created a beautiful universe, one I stand and look in awe at every single day. Notice the little things, stop awhile and gaze at the moon, the stars, the planets. For in doing so, you’ll find a piece of yourself there as well.

Hello! Asthma!

It’s been awhile, I know. I should do better. I need to do better! I’ve been less than inspired. Call it writer’s block. Or whatever. I’ve just not been feeling “it.”

I’ve had lifelong “hayfever.” Pollen allergies, nonspecific up until this past Monday. I finally went for environmental allergy testing. Turns out, I’m basically allergic to everything in the environment, to include feathers! Feathers, really? Who knew!?!? It explains why I feel miserable most of the time. Being allergic to so much in the state of Georgia creates year-round allergies. To top it off, I was also diagnosed with asthma.

It’s all good information to know. Now that I know my triggers, I know how to treat and manage it all. I plan to feel 110% more energetic soon and I plan to be more inspired, just not outdoors in the pollen. Perhaps I need a private beach, with nothing green for miles, just soft sand…maybe that will inspire me…

Til the next time….