BROW TRENDS – THE CHANGING STYLE OF EYEBROWS

I recently watched a commercial all about beauty products for eyebrows. I didn’t realize there was so much needed for them to look great and keep up with brow trends! It made me laugh a little and reminisce about my own “brow” story.

A Little History

My mom grew up during the depression. The style at that time was to pencil in your eyebrows. She had fair skin, blue eyes and light brown hair. Her brows were thin and I watched her “draw” them on her face a million times. She wouldn’t leave the house without her brows and a little lipstick.

It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that everyone else did not “draw” on their brows. I was the kid with hazel eyes, ruddy skin and brown hair. Also, I had a very healthy set of brows. In fact, I had to work hard to avoid the dreaded “unibrow”!!

picture of woman maintaining eyebrows
Photo by Shiny Diamond on Pexels.com

My Brow Story

In the early 80’s, I spent many hours in the Merle Norman Studio having electrolysis removal of my brow overgrowth. Many of my girlfriends did as well. Those were the good old days!!!

Growing up in the 80’s the trend was a more natural brow and I succeeded for the most part in taming the two “beasts” above my eyes. After having most of the excess brows removed by electrolysis, only a little plucking was necessary to stay in step with the trend.

Then comes the 90’s and the skinny brow. It took me a while to catch on to this one and meant trouble for a girl with such healthy brows. A professional would need to be called in. And so began the days of brow waxing appointments. I must admit that this is my preferred brow look. It goes well with my glasses and I just like the clean look.

There were many women who tried to DIY the skinny brow look with disastrous results. Good thing you can just “draw” them back on! LOL

Mom With Teenage Girls

The skinny brow trend continued into the 2000’s and this meant taming the brows of my daughters as well. Let’s just say we all were blessed in the brow area! Trying to keep everyone waxed was quite the challenge and expensive.

As our lives got busier and the trends are always changing, more natural brows emerged in the mid 2000’s. This meant less waxing and more plucking from home. We gals could now manage our brows on our own.

Continuing Trends

As Instagram became very popular in 2015, so did a very unique brow called “The Instagram Brow”. It was a statement look. The brows were big, bold and very structured. At the same time art began to influence brows as well.

Women began sporting brows with designs, colors, cuts and even jewels in them. Let’s just say this was not a look I was interested in. Here’s a link to a lovely article in Cosmopolitan by Ruby Buddemeyer for more details on brow trends.

brow trends - woman with artistic eyebrows
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Final Thoughts

Getting back to the commercial that started this whole post, it seems to me that brow trends have come full circle. Once again the trend is to “draw” on your brows. My mom would be in style if she was still with us!

This thought made me giggle! Thinking of all the times my mom drew on her brows and all the time I spent trying to make mine “skinny” adds up to quite a lot of effort for such a small part of our face!

Well, it seems natural brows are in for 2021 but I think I’ll settle somewhere in the middle and keep my favorite “skinny brow”.

In the end, whether you pluck them, wax them, draw them on or add to them, do what looks best on you!!!

Keep being your awesome self!

PET SITTING TRIP TO SAVANNA, GEORGIA

I recently had the opportunity to pet sit my “grand kitty” Lina. My daughter who lives in Savannah, GA needed to take a business trip and asked “Mimi” to help take care of her cat Lina. I was happy to to be able to help out.

My daughter’s trip was just long enough to need some help with taking care of Lina. She is quite the affectionate and vocal kitty and loves to have attention. She is probably the sweetest cat I have ever met!

The Drive

The drive to Savannah is only about 2.5 hours. I arrived around lunch time and Lina was nowhere to be found. My daughter lives in the upper portion of a downtown duplex and a new downstairs neighbor was moving in. The noise of the movers had Lina scared and hiding.

After a moment of panic and a quick search, I found her hiding in a bathroom drawer! I wish I had a picture. Lina is not a “tiny” cat and stuffing herself inside a drawer is quite the site! I picked her up and loved on her a little, but the noise of the movers drove her right back into the drawer.

I decided this was a battle I would not win until the movers had finished downstairs. Settling in and eating lunch was now the focus. After eating a delicious frozen dinner, I proceeded to unpack my bags and settle on the couch, check my emails and watch a little Netflix.

Settling In

The noise from downstairs finally stopped and I once again plucked Lina from the bathroom drawer. She was slightly insulted but complied. Lina is so sweet and curious. She needed to check out everything that I brought, including my computer, Ipad and phone. She loves to touch everything, almost as though she knows how to use them.

Kisses from Lina

After establishing her authority, Lina decided that a few snuggles were in order. She settled down on the pillow next to me and we binge watched Netflix together. I would love to say that I went sight seeing and did fantastic things while in town, but that would be a lie. The truth is, I simply hung out with my “grandkitty”.

Lina and me watching Netflix

Perspective

While I certainly had the opportunity to venture out, I chose to simply relax. Savannah is one of my favorite cities. The food, shopping and history are outstanding. This visit was not about “touring” the city, but helping out my daughter.

The week had been a little tough and having time to relax and refresh was so nice. Sometimes a change of perspective and location is just what you need. I had no responsibilities other than loving on Lina and that was just what I needed.

In fact, I actually got a lot done. The lack of distractions and quiet of the apartment allowed me to stay focused and get some tasks moved off of my “to do” list.

Final Thoughts

I went to Savannah to help out my daughter, but in reality, my daughter helped me. She had prepared for my arrival with some of my favorite things (wine and coffee)! LOL! She even left notes so I could find everything easily. The apartment was clean and ready for me to arrive. I had need of nothing. What more can a parent ask?

There are no perfect parents or perfect children. But, in this moment, I knew I was appreciated and was glad for the opportunity to help her out.

Lina and I “lived it up”!!! We relaxed, laid around, napped and “chilled with Netflix”. Doesn’t that sound so awesome!!!!

Well, I had to return home but did so a little more refreshed. Both of my daughters are awesome young women. Both of them knew how tough my week had been and both of them showed me how much they care. I am thankful for them and for the opportunity to continue to invest in their lives. Whether it’s grandchildren or grandkitties, Mimi will always be available!

JOY THIEF

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt

Our very “social world” has connected us in amazing ways. It also has a “dark side”. The constant visual influence of the “highlight reel” of others lives can make us feel “less than” and “unworthy”.

Give some thought to where you focus your eyes. To much time spent looking at the lives of other keeps you from being present and enjoying your own!

WINTER CABIN TRIP – FEBRUARY 2021

Robby and I always make a trip to our cabin in the woods in February. This is our anniversary month and we love to celebrate in our “Happy Place”. This year’s trip did not disappoint.

The weather in Western North Carolina in February can be quite tricky. We have had times of extreme cold, soaking cold rain for days and the occasional snowfall. The past three years our visits were very “wet”.

While time at the cabin is always great, soaking rain makes getting out more challenging. And let’s not forget that the firewood will be wet! UGH!!

Our Anniversary

We arrived on a Friday evening and had time to get a quick bite at a local favorite restaurant (socially distanced of course). The weather was cold but not extreme. The firewood was fairly dry so a roaring fire kept the evening nice and cozy.

On Saturday evening snowfall was expected in the range of 3-6 inches. I got things going early and we purchased groceries to carry us through until Monday.

I had made reservations at a nice restaurant to celebrate our anniversary. Fortunately, I made the reservations for early evening. This gave us just enough time to enjoy our dinner out and make it home just as the snow was falling.

Cabin in the woods - Anniversary Dinner
Cabin in the woods - first signs of snow in driveway
Cabin in the woods - snow is accumulating

The Snow

The snow fell throughout the night. When I awakened on Sunday morning, there was a winter wonderland surrounding me. We accumulated about 3 inches of soft snow and the mountain sparkled with pristine white beauty.

The interesting thing about a fresh snowfall is the complete quiet that comes with it. All the animals are in their nests and nothing is moving around. I truly love the magic of this kind of peaceful moment.

The best part about this snowfall is that the temps would rise quickly and the roads would be clear by afternoon. This was good news because our driveway is a beast!!

I was able to take one of my dogs for his first walk in the snow. I didn’t think he would like it, but when his feet hit the soft snow he began to prance a little. He also made the cutest pawprints as we walked along.

3 inches of snow
winter wonderland
sparkling white covers the woods

Getting Out

My husband is the “boss” when it comes to getting our truck turned around and out of our steep driveway. We did venture out that afternoon for a quick lunch snack. Grilling burgers and watching the Super Bowl were on the evening agenda.

Robby was a trooper and grilled outside in the cold and the burgers were delicious. He continues to be the grill master!

Going Home

There never seems to be enough time at the cabin in the woods. But, home calls us back. We leave with joy for the time there and excitement for the next visit. The mountains will always be calling me and I intend to answer!

FINDING HAPPINESS AND JOY IN 2021

The new year, 2021, holds hope for finding happiness and joy. What does that really mean? Because these words are often used interchangeably, knowing the difference will help you manage your emotions.

First, let’s define happiness and joy. Happiness is a state of well-being, contentment or pleasure. Joy is the emotion that comes from the state of well-being or success. (See article in Primewomen.com)

These are both positive terms and emotions. However, there is a subtle difference.

Happiness

Happiness is a feeling or state of mind that is influenced by external events. We feel happy when we get a new job. That feeling remains until another event comes along and perhaps bursts our bubble.

External conditions drive feelings of happiness. These feelings are affected by the actions of people and things in our environment. When plans fall through or circumstances become negative, our happiness disappears.

Happiness with smiling woman embracing domestic cat at home
Photo by Sam Lion on Pexels.com

Joy

Joy is an internal feeling. It is derived from a French word “joie” which means to be glad or rejoice.

This emotion is internally driven and not dependent on other people or events. Joy comes from maintaining your own inner peace and satisfaction with yourself. Having purpose in your life, connecting with others, and spiritual beliefs all contribute to joy in your soul.

Joy with little girl with yellow leaves standing in autumn park
Photo by Charles Parker on Pexels.com

Differences

Happiness is a short term feeling while joy is a long term emotion found throughout our journey.

An example is achieving a goal. This produces happiness. The process of achieving the goal produces joy!

While happiness depends on external things going well, joy can be felt in the midst of problems and pain. Joy is rooted in an attitude of gratitude and mindfulness. It is cultivated within, not received from the outside.

What Are You Seeking?

As you pursue and achieve your goals in 2021, embrace the happiness of those moments of success. In the journey of pursuing and achieving your goals, let joy carry you.

Happiness is fleeting and fades quickly. But, joy cultivated through inner peace and gratitude will remain and be your strength in times of challenge and disappointment.

Cultivate joy in your life and happiness will be a by-product!

HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME?

The who, what and where you spend your time matters!

  • Spending time with great people will lift and encourage you!
  • Visiting great places will inspire you!
  • Reading and learning will grow you!

Nourish your soul by being intentional with what you do and who you do it with. Don’t waste time with things and people that aren’t supportive of your growth and future.

MY CONFESSION – I LOVE CHOCOLATE

From the time I was a little girl sitting in the floor, eating M&Ms, I have loved chocolate. I wish that I could explain my feelings for this bittersweet treat. I do not have a sweet tooth. In fact, I prefer savory over sweet. But for chocolate, I can only confess that I love you!

What Is Chocolate

Chocolate is made from cocoa beans. These beans have been grown in the Americas for thousands of years. The harvesting and fermenting of the cocoa beans occurs in many stages. The beans eventually become chocolate liquor and chocolate butter. This form is then used to make the chocolate delights we love.

Why Do We Love Chocolate

I was quite surprised to discover how many scientific studies have been performed to find out why we love chocolate. First, the most simple explanation is that chocolate triggers a release of endorphins and serotonin in our brains. So, it makes us feel good!

The cocoa bean in its raw form is quite bitter. Chocolate contains many chemicals which both please and stimulate the brain. While the amounts are small, they do tease the senses.

The addition of sugar and fat take chocolate from bitter to creamy and sweet. Milk Chocolate is a favorite of Americans. Click here to read “The Secret of Why We Like to Eat Chocolate.

Scientists have studied the chemistry and the effects of chocolate for years. In a nutshell, they find it just makes us feel good. See “Why Do People Like Chocolate So Much.”

There is much debate as to whether chocolate has health benefits. To sum it up, the answer is not clear. Chocolate itself is not bad for you, however, the sugar levels in it can cause problems with tooth decay and contribute to diabetes. Everything in moderation I suppose!

Kinds of Chocolate

There are three main kinds of chocolate. They are: dark/plain, milk, and white. Each of these are types are chemically different and may affect your body differently. Click here for detailed information about types of chocolate.

White Chocolate

White chocolate is easily identified by its cream or ivory color. It is made with sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla and lecithin. These ingredients are what give it a sweet vanilla taste. While I do like white chocolate, I find it a little too sweet. Adding a few pretzels is the perfect pairing.

why I love chocolate - pic of white chocolate
Photo by Elli on Pexels.com
Milk Chocolate

Milk chocolate is the most classic form of chocolate. It has a sweet creamy flavor. It is made with chocolate liquor, cocoa solids, sugar and milk. This chocolate is brown in color and often characterized by a caramelized smell and the flavor melts in your mouth.

why I love chocolate - pic of milk chocolate
Photo by Vie Studio on Pexels.com
Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is deep brown in color and is often referred to as black or semisweet. It is the simplest type of chocolate made with chocolate liquor and sugar.

Dark chocolate has a firm texture and often has a baked brownie or brown spice flavor. I must admit that a good European dark chocolate is my favorite. The slightly bitter flavor along with the texture make it so enjoyable to me.

why I love chocolate - Pic of dark chocolate
Photo by Eva Elijas on Pexels.com

Final Thoughts

Fortunately I have a great deal of self control and am able to moderate my consumption of chocolate! It is one of the few foods I truly LOVE! It just tastes, smells and feels good to eat.

So, eat a little chocolate today and release those feel good chemicals! I guarantee it will put a smile on your face!

pic of boy eating chocolate and smiling
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

HOW TO UPDATE YOUR WARDROBE

My favorite delivery arrived this week. It is my quarterly box from Stitch Fix. I open it with excitement and am always pleasantly surprised. This is my secret to how to update your wardrobe.

How It All Began

Several years ago I realized that my closet was full of outdated and even worn out clothes. I began to purge and plan how to update my wardrobe.

The task felt overwhelming at times. Shopping is a challenge for a petite woman in my city. There are very few stores that carried clothing that worked for me.

I have always been willing to shop online and so I decided to take a chance on using Stitch Fix to solve my wardrobe problem.

The sign-up process was thorough and easy. I began with a monthly plan of 5 items per box and set a reasonable budget. I can still remember receiving the first box. My nerves were anxious about what I would receive and whether it would fit.

That first “fix” fit my body and style perfectly. Over the next year I continued to receive monthly boxes and my wardrobe grew in style and function.

Staying Current

Now that I have such a good foundation of well fitting pieces, I changed my plan to receive quarterly boxes. This is how I keep my wardrobe up-to-date without breaking the bank.

Stitch Fix offers me a variety of clothing brands that fit me and my style well. Never have I been disappointed with one of my “fixes”.

My Recent “Fix”

Here are a few pics of my box and what was inside. The five pieces were two sweaters, one blouse, one pant and one color block pullover. These pieces also pair well with other items that I have received previously. Makes styling your outfit easy. Also, each box comes with a styling card to give you ideas on how to wear and pair the clothing.

Update your wardrobe with Stitch Fix  Box
Update your wardrobe showing clothing from Stitch Fix
Update your wardrobe with Stitch Fix styling card
Update your wardrobe pic wearing new blouse.

Final Thoughts

While I still enjoy window shopping and I do purchase a few items here are there, Stitch Fix has given me a great foundational wardrobe and I never had to leave my house! They are easy to work with and offer a variety of plans and budgets. Update your wardrobe today! Click here to get started with Stitch Fix.

HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF?

“The Law of the Mirror – How you see yourself determines how you invest in yourself.” John Maxwell

How do you see yourself? Are you worthy of good things and success? We must be rich in self image (not arrogance) toward ourselves.

If you don’t believe in YOU – No one else will either!!!

YOU are enough! YOU can! YOU are worthy of investing in the betterment of yourself!