26 February 2013


i was raised listening to my father say "Looking good is better than feeling good" and i wholeheartedly believe it.

i do not go out without mascara on. i do not consider putting hair in a ponytail as a hair-do. i do not own a pair of sweatpants. i do not count flip flops as shoes. i judge people who show up at work or church with wet hair. Call me superficial. Call me vain. i stand by my opinions.

An amazing blogger i follow wrote an article about dressing for the day. As i read her post i found myself nodding along and agreeing with the mantra "Dress for the day you want to have...not the one that is trying to have you." After all, you know that feeling when you step out of the house and you KNOW you look good. You have an extra bounce in your step. You feel more confident. You expect people to notice you--people WILL notice you. (Sometimes i even get this feeling if i know my toenails are beautifully painted even if they are hidden in boots).

There is a misconception that it takes a lot of money or a lot of time to look nice or done up. Here are my basic rules:
1- Always wear makeup. It only takes 5 mins to put it on and it makes all the difference.
2- Do your hair. If you want a low key style, tell your hairdresser what you are looking for so they can cut it to best work with your hair type. Check out tutorials for easy-dos. Messy buns, simple braids, curls, even straightened with a little smoothing product. Just do something!
3- Accessorize. Fun earrings and a scarf can make your whole outfit. They are cheaper to buy and you look like you made an effort.

i have had a blast playing with curls, waves and braids in my hair. i never spend more than 20mins on it (usually it's closer to 15). Here's what i came up with:


Playing with french braids

Messy side fishtail braid
Messy side bun

Simple french braids+lipstick
To sum up? So maybe i'm a little vain. But i will still dress up for the day that i want...and i want a load of beautiful days. i love this quote by Coco Chanel:

"I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little--if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny."

15 February 2013

My V-Day

V-Day. "A common name of many different public holidays in various countries to commemorate victories in important battles or wars in the countries' history" (Wikipdeia). "A day of victory" (Merriam-Webster). 
V-Day. Also known this time of year as an abbreviation for Valentine's Day.
This year for me they were synonymous.
Since 2005 Jake had been my "valentine." Our first Valentine's Day he gave me a movie poster of "The Phantom of the Opera," a single red rose tied with a ribbon and a handwritten note sealed with red wax. When I was in France I had a bouquet of roses delivered to my apartment. One year we spent the day in an airport in Cancun as we ended his leave time and he headed back to his deployment (i got a stunning opal bracelet). The last few years we started the tradition to bake heart shaped pizza together.
i didn't have a valentine this year. i didn't want one. i didn't need one. And. It. Felt. Good.
Stephanie came to visit this weekend with her new little puppy. She said she didn't want me to be alone on February 14th (and let's face it...we both just really wanted an excuse to see each other). Yesterday morning I sat on the floor cuddled up with her puppy (see? i DID get some Valentine's Day cuddles) and watched her get ready for the day while we chatted. She told me that she felt like i was doing well...i mean, REALLY doing well; that she felt like i didn't need her there to get through the holiday; that i am calm and collected. Now anyone that knows me also knows that rarely am i calm and collected. But she is right about one thing: i am at peace.
It happened last week. i found what my counselor calls my "quiet resolve" or what other people might call "closure." I have been striving towards it ever since i was in NYC and made the decision not to be a victim anymore. i spent many hours pouring over old journals, reading help books, talking things through, and writing writing writing out my feelings. As i set my New Year's resolution, i knew that i was getting closer, but part of me was still scattered, unsure and, to be frank, undecided. Last week, the final piece clicked into place. It was unexpected (both the event that helped me find my quiet resolve and the fact that i found it) but it happened fast. One moment i had agitated resolve...and then i realized i was done. It was over. i was free from the disquiet.
i found peace.
i felt the difference instantly. i am sure there will still be moments of anger or sadness. But the anger isn't a personal fire against Jake anymore. The sadness is not a desire to retrieve what we had but rather a grieving for what was lost (past, present and future). Quite frankly, i have reached a point of neutrality concerning my past marriage and my ex husband. In other words, it was what it was. i did what i could and even if i didn't, there is nothing i can do now. It is in my past. Jake is who he is and that doesn't concern me now. He is in my past. i am who i am and there is plenty that i can do now regardless of my past.
This Valentine's Day was amazing. i didn't receive roses. i saw plently of other people have attention lavished on them. i listened to the plans of many a happy couple. i even had one person say "Valentine's has to be so HARD for you! It's probably the WORST holiday of the year!" i laughed. i wasn't jealous. i was neutral. In all honesty.
Besides that, i was able to be with people that i love and who love me. And, as Victor Hugo said, "The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved--loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves." But even if i had been all alone, i would have been just as fine. War won. Victory Day.