Category Archives: Beauty

Compliments…the power of words…

I love when I get my hair washed and styled at the hair salon – I swear I walk out of there feeling like a million bucks! And having people compliment me before I even hit the street is a definite plus! But I didn’t always welcome compliments.  In the past, I could just not accept a compliment graciously, and say, ‘thank you”.

In the past, twenty people could come up to me in a day’s time and say something nice about me and I’d smile and say thank you, but in my mind I would dismiss every single compliment.  I simply couldn’t internalize something I don’t feel myself.    Maybe it was stupid – but it was my reality.

And sometimes, even now, especially when I go for treatment, I feel so ugly and useless, I may still have a hard time accepting a compliment…but I am more aware of this uneasy twinge, and manage to smile and confidently utter, “thank you”.

I no longer feel the need to counter any praise by listing off my flaws.  I no longer worry that by accepting admiration, I may appear arrogant.  I used to foolishly worry that I would come across as proud, conceited, or egotistical – if I accepted a compliment without following up with a negative.  I no longer feel this way.  I welcome and accept all compliments.   These days, I don’t find myself having to downplay my strengths and emphasizing my weaknesses.

So many people even with high self-esteem may tend to reject the compliment because they want to be seen as modest and humble; others with lower self-esteem may not accept the compliment because it is inconsistent with their self-image.    I guess also we sometimes think the person giving us a compliment only wants something – so we are less likely to believe it.

I understand now that a kind word, acceptance, actually makes me feel better; boosts my self-esteem.  I believe it even wards off some depression.  Compliments should lead to positive thinking, not lead us to focus on our flaws and questions other’s motives.

Between doctor visits, treatments, being too tired to perform 110% at work – I look forward to the smallest kindness.   Believing the kind words of others —when I am feeling stressed or sad can actually counteract those negative emotions and improve my mood dramatically.

Always in my pursuit of finding balance, I like to follow this goal:  Don’t let people’s compliments go to your head and don’t let their criticisms go to your heart.  I am not sure who first coined this expression – but the sentiment is a good reminder to all.

More words to live by:

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
– Leo Buscaglia

So today when my friend states, “When I compliment you, I compliment myself, because I am who I associate with”, I will just hug him and smile.  ♥


Living and working…

Ah Mondays always take on different meanings for me.   Today it’s all about will I be able to work during my chemo treatments.  This is where I find strength I didn’t know I had and have to keep adopting my inner Divatude!

I am realizing from chatting to others, many people can work during their chemotherapy treatment.  It depends on the person.  Right now I am having very few noticeable side effects.   Besides being late every once in a while to go in for treatments and being tired, I can work through it.  Other people really need to take a break from the stress of their work life. And I think, in part, the decision is personal one, in addition to a medical one. It is rare for the chemotherapy itself to produce side effects that would make it impossible to keep working.  Sometimes it does — some people have their own reaction, and if so then that needs to be managed — but it isn’t a common thing, and most people can keep working if they want to.  So here I am getting ready to go into work.  

So far, I feel very fortunate to be able to continue working, since it really helps to keep my mind off of my illness and dwelling about my condition.  I still have to tell my boss about my illness but that comes after next week when we can talk face-to-face in Dallas.  But I will keep it a secret from others.  I learned how to actually put some makeup on to hide the dark circles and redness, and will use my clothing to hide the weight changes I am going through.  Right now, the worst looking thing are my nails – they are a mess; breaking off.  They hurt.  I wish I could just wear gloves 24/7 to hide them.  *sigh*

I need to keep reminding myself that all these changes are temporary.   Temporary!

I know all of this sounds shallow but keeping my appearance up is good for my morale.  I would love to hear compliments.  And get some positive attention.  I usually shrink away from that – but am realizing that it will do me some good this time.  It is easy to dwell on how horrible I feel or look when my skin and hair texture is changing, feeling nauseous, and so tired.  So trying to look normal, even having fun with my look really helps.   I am hoping that it also helps people around me who know what I am going through.   If they see me coping and doing ok, maybe they won’t pity me or feel uncomfortable around me.  They will be less afraid of the illness and treatment.   Here’s to hoping…


Blue moon…

Written By Mike Wall – Published August 31, 2012 – Space.com:

A blue moon will grace the night sky tonight (Aug. 31), giving skywatchers their last chance to observe this celestial phenomenon for nearly three years.

The moon will wax to its full phase at 9:58 a.m. EDT (1358 GMT) today, bringing August’s full moon count to two (the first one occurred Aug. 1). Two full moons won’t rise in a single month again until July 2015.

But don’t expect tonight’s full moon to actually appear blue, unless you’re peering through a thick haze of volcanic ash or forest fire smoke. “Blue Moon” is not a reference to the satellite’s observed color.

The term has long been used to describe rare or absurd happenings. And farmers once employed it to denote the third full moon in a season — spring, summer, autumn or winter — that has four full moons instead of the usual three.

‘The next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.’

– Armstrong family statement

This somewhat obscure and complicated definition, in fact, is found in the 1937 edition of the “Maine Farmers’ Almanac.” But in 1946, a writer for “Sky and Telescope” magazine misinterpreted it, declaring a blue moon to be the second full moon in a month with two of them.

Widespread adoption of the new (and incorrect) definition apparently began in 1980, after the popular radio program “StarDate” used it during a show.

Blue moons occur because lunar months are not synched up perfectly with our calendar months. It takes the moon 29.5 days to orbit Earth, during which time we see the satellite go through all of its phases. But every calendar month (except February) has 30 or 31 days, so two full moons occasionally get squeezed into a single month.

Though the phrase “once in a blue moon” suggests the phenomenon is exceedingly rare, that’s not quite the case. On average, blue moons come around once every 2.7 years, making them more common than the Summer Olympics, or a presidential election in the United States.

Some years even boast two blue moons. This last happened in 1999, and it will occur again in 2018.

Tonight’s blue moon also happens to fall on the day of late astronaut, Neil Armstrong’s memorial service.   Armstrong, who on July 20, 1969 became the first person to set foot on the moon, died Aug. 25 following complications from heart surgery.

So stargazers may want to keep Armstrong’s “one small step” in mind as they gaze up tonight.

“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request,” Armstrong’s family wrote in a statement shortly after his death. “Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

Couldn’t resist…

Blue Moon
You saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own
Blue Moon
You know just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for
Someone I really could care for

And then there suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms will hold
I heard somebody whisper please adore me
And when I looked to the Moon it turned to gold

Blue Moon
Now I’m no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own…♥


Beautiful…a place where I can breathe…

Who knew that attempting to survive a Zumba class yesterday, we would hear of a beautiful song and be reminded of the original place I heard it – the movie, “The Secret Life of Bees”?!

So of course I had to re-watch it!  Ah now to some of my fav quotes:

“Someone who thinks death is the scariest thing doesn’t know a thing about life.”

“Knowing can be a curse on a person’s life. I’d traded in a pack of lies for a pack of truth, and I didn’t know which one was heavier. Which one took the most strength to carry around? It was a ridiculous question, though, because once you know the truth, you can’t ever go back and pick up your suitcase of lies. Heavier or not, the truth is yours now.”

“I have noticed that if you look carefully at people’s eyes the first five seconds they look at you, the truth of their feelings will shine through for just an instant before it flickers away.”

“The body knows things a long time before the mind catches up to them. I was wondering what my body knew that I didn’t.”

“I worried so much about how I looked and whether I was doing things right, I felt half the time I was impersonating a girl instead of really being one.”

“People, in general, would rather die than forgive. It’s that hard. If God said in plain language, “I’m giving you a choice, forgive or die,” a lot of people would go ahead and order their coffin.”

“You’ve been halfway living your life for too long. May was saying that when it’s time to die, go ahead and die, and when it’s time to live, live. Don’t sort-of-maybe live, but live like you’re going all out, like you’re not afraid.”

“Make the world better. Take the meanness out of people’s hearts.”

Yes…live each moment, forgive, move forward…no regrets.  Honesty hurts.  Such is life I guess.  ♥

The time is right
I’m gonna pack my bags
And take that journey down the road
Cause over the mountain I see the bright sun shinning
And I want to live inside the glow
Yeah

I wanna go to place where I am nothing and everything
That exists between here and nowhere
I wanna go to a place time as no consequence oh yeah
The sky opens to my prayers

I wanna go to beautiful, beautiful, beautiful,
I wanna go to beautiful, beautiful, beautiful,
I wanna go to beautiful, beautiful, beautiful,
I wanna go to beautiful, beautiful, beautiful,

Please understand that it not that I don’t care
But right know these wall are closing in on me
I love you more than I love life itself

But I need to find a place where I can breathe
I can breathe
I wanna go to place where I can hold the intangible
And let go of the pain with all my might

I wanna go to a place where I am suspended in ecstasy
Some where between dark and light
Where wrong becomes right

I wanna go to beautiful, beautiful, beautiful,
I wanna go to beautiful, beautiful, beautiful,
I wanna go to beautiful, beautiful, beautiful,
I wanna go to beautiful, beautiful, beautiful…


Words to a song that truly resonate….

This is a song for every girl who’s ever been through something she thought she couldn’t make it through, yeah
I sing these words because I was that that girl too
Wanting something better than this but who do I turn to?
Now we’re moving from the darkness into the light
This is the defining moment of our lives, mmmmmhh

Cause you’re beautiful like a flower
More valuable than a diamond
You are powerful like a fire
You can heal the world with your mind
And there is nothing in the world that you cannot do
When you believe in you
Who are beautiful
Yeah you, who are brilliant
Yeah you, who are powerful
Yeah you, who are resilient

This is a song for every girl who feels that she is not special
Cause she don’t look like a supermodel, Coke bottle
The next time the radio tells you to shake your money maker
Shake your head and tell them, tell ’em you’re a leader
Now we’re moving from the darkness into the light
This is the defining moment of our lives, Yeah
Cause you’re beautiful like a flower
More valuable than a diamond
You are powerful like a fire
You can heal the world with your mind
And there is nothing in the world that you cannot do
When you believe in you
Who are beautiful
Yeah you, who are brilliant
Yeah you, who are powerful
Yeah you, who are resilient
Yeah you, who are beautiful
Yeah you, who are brilliant
Yeah you, who are powerful
Yeah you, who are resilient
Yeah you, this song is for you
Yeah you, this song is for you
Yeah you, this song is for you

Yeah you
Yeah you, you are brilliant


T’s Pushing people away…again…

Trying really hard not to.  Every time I get sick, start feeling overwhelmed, feeling sorry for myself, I push people away.  I just can’t deal.  Some people make it easy.  My true friends give me the space I need but they won’t allow me to fully disappear.  Thank goodness.  I wish I could take back some things the past two weeks.  But I guess we really don’t get do-overs, do we?!

Yes, a part of me understands why things had to happen this way. I understand the reasons for causing me this pain and anxiety . But mere understanding does not chase away the hurt nor pain.  There are times when life suddenly casts a shadow before us: we suffer for sins we did not even commit, we go through situations we certainly do not deserve to be in. In such times, we have so many questions throbbing at the back of our minds, but the biggest of them all is “WHY?”  “Why ME!?!  Again…”

Pain = Pushed people away = Higher anxiety ~ Cycle?!

I have sadly learned that an answer is not really forthcoming.  I know I will not hear answers to these questions; the pain remains, life stands still, and I can’t do anything but wait ‘til everything’s over, until I can move on again like I used to, when my body didn’t fail me and my heart wasn’t shattered yet into the thousand lonely pieces they broke into.  Here is my most important question, and that is “HOW?”

How do I deal with my feelings of brokenness? How to continue moving forward? Where is my smile again?  Like many people, I’ve been through dark and painful moments in my life as well, moments I wanted to skip, moments when what I really wanted the most is to have my own time machine so I can either go back where I was happy, or fast forward anywhere in the future where I can find myself again. But no machine like that has ever been invented yet, and the only way to move from the terrible place where I stand is to continue going through the dark tunnel ahead that will lead me towards the new beginning I’m looking forward to.   *sigh*  I know once I do what the doctors suggest, I will be back on my journey.  But am I really ready?!

Sending an apology to my friends…out into the universe… I don’t mean to push you away.

I don’t have a fear of intimacy.  I don’t fear someone seeing the real me (well maybe this minute since my eyes hurt from crying).  I don’t fear someone might leave me.  I don’t fear that I might get hurt.  I recently met someone who I feel sabotaged their relationships, by allowing fear push people away.  I felt like it was the good old, “I’m gonna get you before you get me” syndrome, where someone behaves poorly to drive the other person away or just flat out breaks-up for no real good reason.  I have also seen people who sabotage themselves by consistently looking for things to fight about, to be jealous about or to be critical of.

But that’s not me – today I am admitting that I am pushing some people away because I have this inane belief that they can’t handle my life.  My uncertainty.  My getting sick.  My honesty.

So I am trying so hard to find and hold onto…accept, challenge, patience, love, strength, don’t dwell, learn, pray, laugh, cry, believe…keep breathing…hoping…

I don’t plan too far ahead…too much expectation, too much disappointment, too much illusion.  I tend to live from day to day.  Mostly it’s from moment to moment…gets me to the next step.  Pain is pain and suffering is suffering. There is no magic pill or any kind of painkiller that we can take to prevent us from feeling our hurts. We have to bear it head on and cling to the thought that things will definitely change for the better.  “I have deep sorrow today, and an unclear vision of the future. But nobody ever died of loneliness – only of hopelessness! As long as I have hope, no problem is ever too difficult, no night ever so dark that it can prevent the rising of another day!”

Can joy still exist even in my sorrows?!

Yes – although right this second, as I write this I am not fully embracing this but I do believe that joy and sorrow can definitely exist at the same time.  Someone deep down, I know I am going to get through this current hurdle.   Somewhere in my heart, there is a chamber of joy that has remained intact, untouched, forever guiding me in me most troublesome days and paths.  Faith, hope, loving myself…protects me and my happiness.

I didn’t realize the power of a secret I’ve been keeping. I didn’t notice the constant weight hanging on my shoulders. I didn’t realize the enormity of it all until I let it out today and now again via this post and I feel like I am slowly learning how to breathe again.

It’s nice to put trust into someone who speaks in “when’s” and not “if’s.” It’s nice to know that, despite how heavy and deep and painful a secret may be, there’s at least one person who’s willing to accept what you’ve told them and be honest when they tell you, “it’s not okay…but you’re going to be.”  Thank you – you know who you are….my rock, my sanity.  And ♥mm♥ is there too – even with September 11 fast approaching and my sadness hitting an all time high.  Talk about timing!

I have allowed some wrong people in my life this year, as well as learning to cherish the right people.  Still learning.  I think I will continue to look at most things as though they are my first time, as though it will be my last.  I will continue to pray, smile, and love!


Tuesday Tears…

Tuesdays should be off limits for bad news.  No?!   I wonder if people dread the doctors as much as I do.  You would think I would be so used to them by now.  But no, never.  Talk about anxiety.  I swear I experience “white coat syndrome” – a phenomenon in which people exhibit elevated blood pressure in a clinical setting but not in other settings.   It is believed that this is due to the anxiety some people experience during a clinic visit.  Yup!  That’s me.  I usually experience social anxiety – but my blood pressure doesn’t usually elevate.

So bad news…I was sort of expecting it, but still hard to accept.  I am crying myself out so then tomorrow I can move forward with a new plan to stay healthy.

I am no longer allowing my past dictate my future. nor allowing my being sick a lot define me or rob me of feeling beautiful and being productive.

Nope.  Not Again.

I will always find small ways to create and enjoy moments.  I will continue to dress stylish despite my weight gain; I will get my hair done and skip lunch.  *sigh* I will cut back on the Pepsi and drink more water.

For years, I was doing so much for other people that I had started to neglect myself. I am finally once again putting myself at the top of the priority list.  Adopting the right attitude…maybe even of that of a “Divatude”…although not sure if I can pull that off.  🙂

Learning to focus on the beautiful moments and not dwell on the hardships, especially the challenging painful days that lie ahead. Grateful for all the blessings and opportunities.  May they keep coming…♥


Being Altruistic…”Keeping Hope Alive” (MLK)…♥

What a day!  What a weekend!  Many may view my life as pretty sad – trust me I have called my life that myself many more times than I care to admit.  But as down as I am, I try to remember that there are many others worse off than me.  I usually find that giving back in some small way is good for the soul.  I don’t have much but my heart is full and I am forever grateful.

I find that being altruistic, and reaching out to help others, not only benefits the person being helped, but practicing altruism also has many benefits for the person doing the helping.  Trust me I am proof.  I try to help others because I truly believe that reaching out in some small way is one of the greatest gifts of the heart.  I sometimes wish I had all the answers though and a crystal ball.

I have been doing some type of volunteer work for the past 15+ years; and it never fails to make me FEEL!  Sometimes I feel happy, relieved, worthy, determined, purposeful…but other times I have felt heartbroken.  Saturday was a good day.  Raised money, was able to help provide close to 200 elementary school aged children get school supplies.  But this evening was a different day.  Children in distress – emotional abuse, broken homes, anger residing.  I grew up in Newark, NJ but was luckily sheltered to the real ugliness that permeates the city.

I met a little 10 year old today that was using his fists and hitting a brick wall when I asked what he was doing and if he was okay, he answered “No!  I have to hit, I am angry”.   He didn’t want to go home. I took him for a walk, we chatted as he drank two bottles of water.  Sounds so simple but it was hard – all I wanted to do was hug him and take him home.  I found myself many times tonight at a loss for words.  So I listened. And prayed.  And will continue to do so…

So I cry and I pray that my tears help someone else….more in need than me.  ♥

Some of my favorite quotes that remind me what living is all about…

“You will find, as you look back on your life, that the moments that stand out are the moments when you have done things for others.” – Henry Drummond

“Down in their hearts, wise men know this truth: the only way to help yourself  is to help others.” – Elbert Hubbard

“Charity and personal force are the only investments worth anything.” – Walt Whitman

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no person can sincerely try to help another without helping themselves.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition, to know even one life has breathed easier because
you have lived, THIS is to have succeeded.”
 – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Make it a rule…never to lie down at night without being able to say, “I have made one human being at least a little wiser, a little happier or a little better this day.” – Charles Kingsley


One Lovely Blog Award…accepted.

I logged on this evening to vent about my horrible day only to find out that I was nominated for a “One Lovely Blog Award”….Ooooh  what a lovely feeling, what a mood changer!  A big thank you goes out to Sashaspirig, for turning my day around!  🙂

  • Step 1:  Thank the person who gave you this award.  Include a link to their blog — if you can figure out how to do it; took me a while – think I got it right.  🙂
  • Step 2:  Post the award image.
  • Step 3:  Share  7 things about yourself to the one who nominated you plus others who will read this post.
  •  Step 4:  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered , follow and think are excellent and nominate them for the “One Lovely Blog Award”.  Try to link to their blog…trying…and let them know they have been nominated.

Hmmm…seven (7) facts, things about myself:

  1. The taste of good chocolate is my weakness.
  2. Words in a good book move me.
  3. My dog makes me laugh.
  4. My job helps pay the bills.
  5. I don’t cook…but love to eat.
  6. I don’t drive…but wouldn’t mind a hunky, tall chauffeur.
  7. I am a great listener…huh?  Yeah I really am!
The best thing about receiving nominations is being able to acknowledge blogs you enjoy:

Forecast: Chance of Rain…

Just finished watching the movie, “Swinging with the Finkels”‘…and parts of it resonated with me…

“The only real obstacle to man’s inability to commit is man himself.”
“It’s not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility.”

For people who always think the grass is greener on the other side…If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is…now!

With so many advancements in technology, our lifestyles have been completely transformed. So many choices.  Sometimes when we have so many choices we become restless. We tend to not settle on what we already have or stay satisfied with what we’ve got because we’ll always be wondering about the next big thing. It’s called the grass is always greener syndrome. So many of us tend to think someone else is having a better time elsewhere; we can make ourselves miserable by thinking about the unknown in our endless quest to find happiness. We lie awake at night torturing ourselves over what we should do next, wondering if we are missing something big. We feel we are wasting our lives if we are not doing something more important.

There’s also this sense of urgency, this sense of time and pressure we place on ourselves. Sometimes we feel like we are running out of time and should constantly be doing something greater othwerwise we consider ourselves failures. Then there’s the whole idea that we are somehow special and meant for grandeur; that somehow our lives were destined to be thrilling, adventurous, and hugely successful.

And when we wake up and just realize that our lives are not turning out the way we expected or dreamt…well we find ourselves in crisis, don’t we?!  Perhaps a mid-life crisis. We get depressed; we want more; we get that grass is greener syndrome. We become unhappy, disatisfied, and spend all of our time and energy focusing on what we don’t have rather than counting our blessings. Trust me, I have been there – earlier than I expected in life too; most likely brought about from my illness and having to accept my limited opportunities early on. And I have learned that one is truly not happier on the other side of the grass…the grass is just as green. Focusing on what we don’t have is a definite recipe for disaster. It leads to a miserable, lonely existence and causes us to forget what is most important…the present – the here and now.

As John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans”. So very true!

With so many choices and opportunities available to us, sometimes we tend to ignore what’s actually happening around us in the present. We forget the whole how to be happy; we miss the point of what happiness really means – acceptance, peace of mind, forgiveness, being mindful.

Don’t get me wrong, opportunities are great, sometimes wish I had more, but there comes a point where we need to accept our choices, decisions and our lives. Embrace all that comes along. Definitely go out and see the world and try to enjoy all that life has to offer. But whenever you feel yourself losing focus and wondering what if, bring yourself back to the present, Enjoy the moments today! Happiness to me is no longer about where I live, or the material things I have; it really is simply sometimes about smelling the roses, taking a deep breath, feeling your heartbeat…

All we have is the right now, So let’s forget the past; try not to worry too much about the future; truly find something in each new day that makes us smile even if for a moment. Stop thinking the grass is greener – because it truly isn’t…and without the rain, it will still turn brown….embracing ME!


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