Camera Musings….Me and My Holga!

images-3I am at heart a photographer! I love the feel of a camera in my hand and I carry one everywhere I go. I was trained as an Army videographer and was told that I am a good one. I chalk that up to great Army training, a steady hand and breath control are the result of my years in uniform behind a camera capturing things that go BOOM! I wouldn’t trade it for the world but my heart is in photography. I use my iPhone 6s Plus and my Hipstamatic app for spontaneous, in-the-moment shots and friend shots that end up on Facebook and Instagram. When I want to capture dreamy, artistic shots I pull out the Holga.

images-1After its launch in the early 1980s, Holga cameras became a popular option for people like me that want to shoot medium format 120 film on the cheap. The Holga was manufactured in in China and was marketed as the working-man’s camera that was expensive and available to everyone. Alas, camera production was shut down in late 2015, but the Holga is making a comeback! Lomography color negative film paired with the Holga produces photos that are lightly colored with light leaks and blurry edges that are artistic and full of life. My interest in Holga’s started a few years ago and I was able to purchase my Holga’s…yes I have a few and plan to get more…from Amazon and with it’s Prime delivery option I can have a new one in my hand in a day or two. I love the fun colors and the toy camera feel.

Photos don’t have to be perfect and if I can get one beautifully, imperfect photo out of a roll of film I am happy. Find beauty in the simple things! images-2The summer season and all its adventures and activities will guide you just follow your eye.

Happy Holga Days and I want to see some of your pics.

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Commencement Days!

imgresIt is that time of year again! Newly minted graduates escape the bonds of high schools, colleges and universities! This year, actually yesterday, I was apart of the festivities. One of Loyola University Maryland’s newest Emerging Media graduates. The feeling is indescribable and sharing this time with family and friends is incredible. All of the hard work is behind me and the excitement of new beginnings is palpable. I hope that one day everyone can feel the happiness that I felt when I walked across that stage to shake the president’s hand. The Emerging Media Studies program conferred 14 graduates from all walks of life and I felt honored to share this time with them. The department hashtag #WeRreal describes us perfectly. We are real and we are ready to go forth and do great things.

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Thank you Loyola University Maryland for the opportunity to learn the Jesuit way. I will make you proud!18557481_10209850680932446_7927485159741492002_n.jpg

What’s In Your Summer Make Up Bag? ….My Favorite Things Spring Travel Edition

imagesIt is that time of year when I put away my heavy, dark, over-defined statement makeup and fill my handbag with light, pretty basic products that let my skin shine through. I prefer makeup that take 2-3 minutes to apply often without a mirror. I don’t want to be a slave to the mirror, the heat or anyone’s expectations. I also keep a beautiful notebook sure to inspire and feed my creative flowI wanted to share a few of these products with you and would love to see what’s in your bag!

The Travel Make Up Bag!

SKIN CARE FIRST!

I am still on a @MilkMakeUp kick so bear with me. I hate traveling with my favorite full size skin care items….the anxiety going through security is too much to bear. Ziploc bags with all of your carefully cultivated products undergo scrutiny from agents who could care less that you can’t live without the base of your entire look. So to reduce my stress I rely on full-sized options and travel products from Milk MakeUp….perfectly sized and the solids are TSA-approved!  Fabulous face, dewy and fresh, perfect for every occasion that you may come across.

Matcha-Cleanser-cap-655x1024I love TEA and drink it everyday so Milk Makeup’s All – New Matcha tea skin cleanser and toner are perfect for your summer makeup bag. These products keep your skin cleansed, toned and protected; they also keep you from carrying your entire collection on your travels. My favorite new Milk Makeup products come in solid form so TSA can keep their hands off and you can stay beautiful throughout your adventure.

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The best feature of the Milk Makeup travel kit is that they come in their own adorable travel bag so I can just grab and go! The Milk Make Up travel kit comes equipped with the hangover-killer Cooling Water.  A soothing seawater and firming caffeine stick that helps soothe puffy travel and margarita salt swollen eyes. I apply this product each night and morning. Milk’s Hydrating Oil Stick is goes on next. This hydrating oil vitalizes my skin and help me maintain a healthy glow. Just a dab where you need it and smooth into your face….no need to pile it on. I follow up with the Blur Stick an oil-free primer in a universal neutral shade to blur the look of imperfections. Perfect for vacations when you want your skin to shine through. Let your skin bloom like the flowers that you see everyday! A minimal layer of Ubame mascara, a touch of highlighter, brow gel, rosy blush and lip balm  and you are ready for your next adventure!

Turn that fresh face look into Super Glam with Lashes from ZivaLash! Make your eyes pop and draws every eye in the room! My choice is the Zivalash Kari Ruby Lash!

These silk lashes are lengthy with a wispy flair at the end.  You will get in trouble when you wear these pretties out and about. Now get out there and be glamorous!

 

Travel Light…Travel Easy and Most of All!  Don’t be Afraid To Let Your Line Shine!

 

Pack Like A Pro!….Guide to Summer Essentials!

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It is time for fun in the sun! Leave your over – coordinated city slicker duds at home. Lighten your load and your spirit by developing a capsule travel wardrobe with one or two signature pieces that can be adjusted to hang with your travel adventures! Here’s how you do it:

Make a List!

I call my list Summer Adventure 2017 and I start to organize from there. It looks like this….

Mexico Adventure

Clothing

  • Lightweight Maxi Dress – Use as a cover up for easy meals or movement around the resort
  • Cotton Tunic – Cover up and doubles as a travel outfit over leggings
  • Ribbed tanks and v-neck tees – love these for travel. Pair with shorts leggings capris or your favorite jeggings for nights out!
  • Thin Cardigan or Kimonos – for those cooler evenings or early morning hang out around the pool.
  • Lightweight Jacket – Don’t want to catch a cold hanging around airports! I will be wearing my Stitchfix military-inspired jacket that pairs with everything on this list.
  • Long Maxi Skirt – I found a great North Face maxi skirt that looks tres adorbs with my ribbed tank and Havaianas! I pick up a few new pairs at the start of the summer! As much as I love them I know flip flops take a beating
  • A Blanket Scarf – they were all the rage last winter so make sure you use yours to ward off airport chills, germs and general closeness of people that you don’t know. I spritz mine with lavender spray for serenity and calm. People are going nutso in airport these days and I want to remain serene and unflappable.
  • Linen Pants – any color will do. Pair them with V-neck tees and statement jewelry and your prettiest flip flops!
  • A pair or two of shorts – you never know!

And that is your Summer Adventure go-to wardrobe! All links provided….affordable and Prime eligible in most cases! I can’t wait to update my summer wardrobe at these prices!

On to Accessories….

  • Always pack a journal! You want to remember these moments! There are always quiet moments….take time to jot down your thoughts!
  • Beach bag – Everyone needs a chic carryall for their stuff!
  • Bathing Suits – I buy them in separates throughout the year to catch them at the very best prices!
  • Sarong – You don’t want to show the resort all of your goodies!
  • Cute clutch – for your lippy, I.D. and Benefit Dr. Feelgood, my complexion go-to! Don’t want to appear greasy do we?
  • Summer Hat – protect your face from the summer uv rays.
  • Cute Summer Sandals – Pack a pretty bejeweled pair to go with your dresses and sandals.
  • Sunglasses – I go full -on DIVA in my Coach sunglasses…there’s no use letting anyone see your full on party/relaxation mode!

So you want to know the secret to packing all of the gear in an airline approved carry-on bag! No worries I have the answer! Look and travel like a pro with your E-Bags packing cubes they are the answer to packing your adventure in your carry-on!

 

Stay tuned for Travel Make-Up Essentials! 

Happy Trails!

Life Musings…Journal Your Way Through Spring!

5161ir3vb9L._AC_US218_Spring is a time of rebirth! Flowers are blooming, the weather is cooperating and we have shed the heavy layers. Spring is a time to celebrate yourself! Beauty trends and the latest fashions are amazing ways to express your self but at its core beauty starts within. Take the time to preserve your inner light. I take the time to celebrate my thoughts and the things that make me happy through travel, photography and writing. Cultivate your inner beauty along with your physical representation and you will shine this season. When you smile and laugh your inner peace resonates and everyone around you reaps the benefits. I have kept a journal or diary since I was a young girl, capturing my thought and feelings while documenting people and places that brought me joy. Many of my blog posts start out in longhand and transfer to my site once I have settled in for the night.

Journaling is relaxing and allows me to relieve stress. So in honor of the Spring/Summer season I indulged in new journals for work and me time! My favorite Moleskine journals now come in bright vibrant colors like teal, red and fuschia, colors that are guaranteed to bring out the writer in you. Moleskine journals have a long, distinguished history. 41q4yofsxvL._AC_US218_The Moleskine notebook is, in fact, the heir and successor to the legendary notebook used by artists and thinkers over the past two centuries: among them Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Bruce Chatwin.

In the mid-1980s, these notebooks became scarce, and soon vanished entirely. In 1997, a small Milanese publisher brought the legendary notebook back to life, and selected this name with a literary pedigree to revive an extraordinary tradition. Following in Chatwin’s footsteps, Moleskine notebooks have resumed their travels, providing an indispensable counterpart to the new and portable technology of today. Capturing reality in movement, glimpsing and recording details, inscribing the unique nature of experience on paper: the Moleskine notebook becomes a battery that stores ideas and feelings,

51WyzpF2MfL._AC_UL160_SR160,160_A chance trip to a Crate and Barrel store gave me a new favorite and I balance my love for journals between the two styles. The French-inspired Mon Carnet de Poche has become a favorite in my day bag along with my Moleskine. I am an inpatient shopper and very grateful that Amazon carries both styles and I can get them overnight or close to it through my Prime account. I like to use one for my fashion and blog notes and the other for tedious meetings. I mean really…who wants to sit in a meeting and not make a must-have now list!

41VijXHebJL._AC_US218_Last but not least is my One Line a Day memory book. My memories cannot be contained in one line so I try to document the one thing or significant memory that has affected me emotionally. Good or bad and with little censorship. I celebrate life’s challenges through these memories. You never know how far you’ve come unless you acknowledge the good times and bad. So, I hope you can find joy and peace in the reflection of life.

Happy Journaling!

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Get Creative! All Journals Available At Amazon.com

Summer Musings: Drink Water S’Well!

31pbDuzjSlL._AC_US218_I love to talk about natural beauty and health but I truly believe that beauty starts from the inside out. You can buy the best make up and beauty products but nothing can replace WATER! I can’t stress hydration enough! Flipping through an old copy of Instyle magazine while waiting for my yearly dental cleaning made me think about how much water I drink and how it effects my beauty routine. Drinking enough water each and every day can be the answer to your biggest beauty problems (we’re talking dull skin, brittle nails, and even thinning hair. Here are a few reasons to drink for beauty and health.

Water Makes Your Skin Glow
41zylMI+JyL._AC_US218_Water helps your body flush out toxins more efficiently, leaving your skin looking fresh and more radiant as a result. Drink an 8oz glass in the morning before brushing to get kickstart your liver and kidneys from a long night of sleep. I also keep a bottle on my nightstand to give my body a chance to rejuvenate during the night.

It Makes Nails Stronger
Brittle nails that constantly break and peel can be a sign of dehydration. By sipping on more water on a daily basis, you’ll promote nail growth and prevent dry, flaky cuticles.

It Fights Aging

A gallon a day won’t magically erase fine lines and wrinkles. But by staying hydrated, you can maintain your skin’s natural elasticity and suppleness. Water consumption combined with a dedicated beauty routine can keep those lines and wrinkles at bay.

It Clears Acne
Another beautiful part about washing away toxins is that it can prevent acne flare ups and other common skin issues. Try squeezing a fresh lemon or a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into a cup of hot water and drinking it first thing in the morning.

If it is hard for you to drink the recommended amount every day try different methods. I have carried the infusion water bottle and experimented with different combinations of fruit and herbs. Pinterest has hundreds of pages devoted to fruit and herb infused water.

Here are a few ideas to motivate you to drink water

The S’ip by S’well bottle is a perfect compliment to a hot summer day.

  • Keeps your drinks cold for 24 hours, hot for 12
  • Double-walled to eliminate condensation so bottle won’t sweat on your hands or in your bag
  • Food-grade, 18/8 stainless steel is BPA free and sensibly tested for healthy hydration
  • Vacuum insulated to keep liquids and carbonated beverages fresh
  • Holds 15 oz of your favorite beverage

Amazon has a large selection of fruit infuser water bottles in a variety of colors because we all want our accessories to rock!

Make water a part of your daily routine and the benefits will shock you.

 

 

 

Color Musings: Frye Clutch Bags

2931564-p-MULTIVIEWIt’s Spring! The sun is shining and the flowers are blooming! Put away the drab, heavy layers and inject color into It is time to add some color to my wardrobe! If you’ve read my earlier blog posts you know that I am a Frye fanatic so I checked them first. The soft, buttery worn in feel of a Frye bag is like nothing in the world but I have always been hesitant to take the plunge….until I stumbled across 6pm.com!The Frye Michelle Tech Clutch is roomy enough to hold the essentials and this color is everythang I am thinking jeans with crisp white blouses. (pssst…it’s on sale for $99) The chambray off the shoulder trend that shows the beautiful skin of your shoulders and pairs perfectly with white denim jeggings or shorts. I can’t wait for the hot weather so I can carry this perfect summer bag with my white chenille dress.

Zappos’ sister site is the recipient of all the Zappo goodness! I have scored great deals and the shipping is fast! Amazon.com has partnered with Zappo’s and 6pm.com so if you are a Prime member you get all of the benefits of the fastest shipping evah!

I have included links to all of the products listed so Amazon can hook you up! Have fun and be pretty…be colorful!

Until the next Musing my friends!

 

Beauty 101…Charcoal the next BIG thing!

Ancient beauty secrets are coming back in a major way and a surprising ingredient has found its way into the products that women use in their beauty regiments. Activated Charcoal has become the go-to product of the year showing up in everything from skin care, toothpaste and skin lightening products. Activated charcoal absorbs toxins and Adsorbtion, not absorption, works by electrical attraction, pulling molecules, atoms and ions towards its surface and sticking to it, not becoming one with it. Beauty experts have found that a.c. absorbs toxins in the skin as well making it a perfect ingredient for everything from facial masks, underarm lightening and surprisingly toothpaste.  As a self-proclaimed product junkie I am intrigued and delighted to find a new, natural product to add to my beauty routine. So here are a few interesting uses for activated charcoal that you can try at your leisure.

First things first, indulging in new beauty products can get expensive so hit up Amazon.com where a 4 ounce size will run you $5 or less. The packaging is less than ideal so be careful opening the package. A little activated charcoal goes a long way so you have time to get the full benefits of this product and try the product in a few different ways.

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Skin Care — Face Mask

I indulge in Self Care Sunday. I wash and deep condition my hair, give my self a facial and a good mani-pedi. It is relaxing and helps me get my mind right for the upcoming week.Charcoal draws impurities out of your skin so steam your face first.

Ingredients:

Activated charcoal powder

Rose water or plain water if you are sensitive

Aloe vera gel

(optional) tea tree oil

Mix half a teaspoon of each ingredient (only use a drop or two of the teat tree oil) stir until it forms a paste and apply to skin. Simple right! Let the mask dry and wash with warm water. Beware this mixture can get messy!

images Tooth Whitening

Whitening your teeth does not have to be expensive, damaging or time consuming!

  1. Wet your toothbrush well.
  2. Place toothbrush on top of a napkin, piece of toilet paper, or paper towel.
  3. Carefully open your container of activated charcoal.
  4. Empty activated charcoal powder onto toothbrush.
  5. Start brushing! …
  6. Gently brush for 3 to 5 minutes.

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Detox and Lighten Underarms 

A great advantage to doing an armpit detox, besides that it helps speed up the natural deodorant adjustment period, is that it might help pull some of these chemicals out of the skin and tissue of the armpits. This can be especially helpful after years of conventional deodorant use.

To Detox your armpits try this….

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a glass bowl (do not use metal!) with a wooden or non-metal spoon until about the consistency of sour cream.
  2. Spread in an even layer over the armpits and allow to sit for 5-20 minutes. I suggest starting slowly and working up to a longer period of time once you see how your body adjust. If it hurts at all, remove immediately.
  3. This may cause some redness as it will increase blood-flow to the area, but it will go away quickly.
  4. Wash off in the shower or with a warm, wet washcloth.
  5. Repeat daily or as needed until under-arm odor goes away and natural deodorant is non-irritating.

To Lighten Underarms

Ingredients

-1 tbsp. raw honey
-3 capsules of activated charcoal
-1 old or cheap foundation brush
-1 plastic bowl

Mix raw honey with activated charcoal (simply open capsules and pour over honey). Mix well with foundation brush before apply to clean armpit. Apply to whole area and keep on for 20 minutes. Your body will heat the mixture and start to run so wear an old tank top (or go au natural!)

Rinse with warm water and see the difference. You can do this weekly to see more lightening.

 

Let me know how activated charcoal works for you!

Duty, Honor, Pride! Honoring Military Women – Past, Present and Future!

I had the honor of participating in a retirement service at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial a few years ago. I had time to walk around and viimagesew the art, video and photo exhibits, there is so much to see. A wave of emotion hit me as I realized that I was a member of an exclusive club where the requirements are bravery, courage and dedication to our nation. I didn’t realize that a silent group of women were watching me and they approached and hugged me like a long-lost sister. They were museum docents, the women who volunteer their time to keeping the museum alive. They were women who’d served in the military as nurses, doctors, and in recent more direct combat roles, understand my sacrifice and my tears.

Congressional resolutions to honor military women were introduced by Senator Frank Murkowski (R-AK) and Congresswoman Mary Rose Oakar (D-OH). Signed into law by President Reagan in November 1986. The Women’s Memorial is the only major national memorial honoring all Servicewomen, a number that exceeds 2.5 million. It was a struggle images-2to get the museum project off the ground because the costs would exceed 22 million dollars and require 2.5 million dollars in yearly operating costs. Despite the fundraising efforts of a determined group of women World War II veterans the memorial is in danger of closing due to rising financial concerns. In an interview with NBC News, retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught, a Vietnam veteran and president of the board of directors of the Women in Military Service Foundation, described the financial situation as ‘iffy’. The memorial remained afloat thanks to a $1.6 million congressional appropriation and a special fundraising drive that’s brought in $250,000. But paying bills remains a challenge, Vaught said. “You’re constantly wondering if you’re going to get enough money to pay for the rent, pay for the electricity for the building, pay for the people that work,”

 

images-3The original supporters of the memorial are dying off with many of them in their mid-eighties. It is time for the generation of women that have served to step up and participate in the efforts to preserve our history. REGISTER, DONATE, PARTICIPATE it is time for us to tell our story. There have been too many instances where women in service have been overlooked because we have not used our voice. The day I visited the memorial I told my story and it is now forever preserved. Women suffer the same it is not necessary to suffer in silence.

 

For more information visit: www.memorial.org

References

https://www.armytimes.com/articles/americas-only-memorial-to-military-women-needs-your-help

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/37069130/ns/us_news-life/t/will-womens-military-memorial-stay-open/

www.womensmemorial.org

 

Shoe Musings….PreHeels!

preheels-productSpring shoes are blooming in a riot of colors and styles and after a winter in closed toe booties and over-the-knee boots it is time to show off those pastel pedicures! After years spent in Army boots and a few foot surgeries I have a hard time wearing heels for any length of time so I started searching for a solution. The answer came to me when I was tagged in a advert for PREHEELS!

According to the website PreHeels was founded to finally put an end to the problem of blisters and irritation that our favorite heels and new shoes love to leave on our feet. Don’t abuse your feet PREHEELS works with all shoes so don’t be afraid to use this product with shoes that you are trying to break in. 

I bit the bullet and ordered a bottle right away. A 30% discount code was included in the advert and shipping was fast! I was surprised to have my bottle in less than two days! I started slow with an amazing pair of Coach wedge heels that are a little less than comfortable but absolutely adorable! My next attempt will be my favorite Frye shooties that are so cute but rub like the dickens. Check out the video!

How it works! 

Shake the can well before use, spray a layer on clean, dry skin and allow the barrier to dry fully before spraying a second layer or putting on your shoes

PreHeels is invisible and forms a dry, long-lasting coating that won’t rub off on your shoes like greasy balms or gels. 

What shoes will you try this product with?