Friday, May 18, 2012

A personal touch...

This post is quite possibly one of the most personal blogs I have ever written.  Someone once told me that writing your feelings sometimes is the best way to deal with your feelings so that is what I am choosing to do. 
My parents divorced when I was very young.  5 years old to be exact.  My father has since remarried and as a result of his new marriage I have been truly blessed with some amazing additions to my family unit.  One of which was my nephew, Dylan.  We met when Dylan was but 3 years old.  Dylan was born with cerebral palsy, a very severe case.  He had a very rough and trying life.  He was not able to use his legs and had very limited mobility in his arms.  This did not stop him! He was never discouraged.  While he was limited physically his mind worked just like everyone else's.  Dylan and I clicked instantly, it was like we had always been family.  We enjoyed making fun of other members of our family and we picked on each other like we were brother and sister.  When I got my driver's license I would pick him up and take him to lunch or shopping and when I moved away to college I would make a point to try and still do those things with him.  anyone who knows me knows I love my nephews more than ANYTHING in this world.  They are truly the light of my life.  Dylan was different, he offered something different to my life.  He taught me things I had never imagined.  I learned a new appreciation for life and every breath I was able to take.  Dylan never once "wallowed in self-pity", he never once complained, in fact even on his worst of days he still managed to smile and mutter the words "somebody else has it worse".  It was no secret to all of us that Dylan's life was truly a blessing and with his health conditions it was likely he would not live what would be considered an average number of years.  Even though we had known this for years we had never expected all our days to be as numbered as they really were.  Shortly before Christmas of 2011, during a routine doctor's visits our family was  informed  that Dylan's lungs were not functioning as they should and as a result his life was very precious and limited.  His body was wearing out.  He was tired.  As time had passed since Christmas each day he got a little weaker and a little more tired.  But he was continuing on as he always had, he still went to school, participated in choir and was tride and true to his school athletic events.  Several weeks ago my sister texted me one morning and told me she needed to speak with me and I should call her as soon as I could.  I of course immediately called her.  Dylan had been to an oral surgeon and was informed that some of his teeth were at a risk for septic infection and due to his lung condition doing surgery would most likely (95%) result in Dylan being placed on a ventilator.  It was not the news we had wanted to hear.  The doctors and Dylan's phenomenal pain management team had decided that before any decisions were made about surgery a more extensive run of testing should be done. Just a few days later I received the call that Dylan was on his way to the emergency room and shortly thereafter he was transported to a Children's hospital almost 2 hours from home and placed in ICU. This was Sunday April 29th.  His condition was worsening and only extreme measures could help us now, and they were measures that Dylan decided were not the life he wanted to live. On Wednesday May 2nd, Dylan was sent home under the care of hospice. My sister called me on the way home and informed me of the situation.  I had planned a trip to Ohio to see him on May 12th, but once hospice arrived to the house later that evening they informed the family it most likely wouldn't be much longer, with that notice I left Tennessee at 9:30 at night on Wednesday May 2nd and rushed home to be with Dylan and my family.  I was able to spend time with him reading, talking, hugging, singing and cuddling.  We even got a few moments together to tell each other how much we loved each other.  I told Dylan that he had changed my life and I could not be more grateful for my parent's divorce and my father marrying his grandmother because had that not happened I would have never been so privleged to have Dylan in my life.  Dylan's presence in my life changed me, for the better.  At 11:48 pm on Friday May 4th, at the age of 16 Dylan very peacefully took his last breath in the arms of his mother and father.  I had gone to my parents house to sleep for a few hours and received the phone call I should return to the house, I had no idea what I was walking in to at that point, we had spent 2 days with no sleep, barely eating, and quite honestly i was loopy.  I guess part of me suspected that something had happened, but a large part of me thought i was going over there because he had gotten worse but there was still time.  I was wrong.  When I arrived he had already passed.  I felt like everything around me was crumbling.  I couldn't speak.  It hurt in a way I still 2 weeks later cannot put in to words.  I'm angry. I'm angry he's gone, I'm angry at some point I am going to have to come to terms with it, and I am angry that there are so many people in this world that will never get to know the beautiful and amazing person that he was. I feel so amazingly blessed to have been a part of his life, I feel blessed because I know how much he loved me and I feel blessed that I got to be the person who helped him unwrap his presents every year for the last 13 years, but I feel sad because I never get to hug him again, or hear him say "I love you Aunt Kelly" again , I feel sad because I never get to take him to lunch and take fake shots with him at parties again , I feel sad because I don't get to pick on people with him anymore, and I feel sad b/c every Christmas eve from here on out I will not be the privileged one to help him open all of his gifts.  I feel angry because right now I feel that it's the greatest of people that suffer the most, I feel angry because my sister is now without her only child, I feel angry because he was only 16, and I feel angry because I so desperately do not want to accept that he is gone, but someday when I am ready, I will.  I know they say things get better with time, but right now I admit that it doesn't feel that way.  During those last few days we were told, "Don't cry because it's over, Smile because it happened." I will cry because it's over, I will have those days were the pain from losing him feels crippling, but I will have the days that I will smile because he was part of my life.  I will smile because I was able to love someone like him.  I will smile because I have so many beautiful memories of him, and I will smile because I know how much he loved me. 

This was a few Christmas's ago.  I actually was the one that purchased the goofy glasses for him.  you can even see my hand to the left of him and my super awesome shiny pink bag!

This was actually here in Knoxville when my dad and step-mom Rita brought Dylan down for the weekend to see me.  He had so much fun!  It was probably one of the best weekends I have ever had!

Also this is quite possibly one of the best things I have ever seen.  This was a news segment from nearly 4 years ago that covered one of the many business endeavors that Dylan embarked upon.  Others included (lemonade stand, dog biscuits, selling his own paintings).

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Benefit Tan about Town and Full Glam Ahead

During a recent hunt for a matte bronzer I ran across these two value sets at Sephora, one of which included Benefit's Hoola bronzer (which is matte).  I had never really tried anything from Benefit cosmetics so I figured I'd give it a shot.  I picked up these two sets:
Each set contains 3 pretty decent sized samples of product.  I would consider all the samples actually more travel size than sample size.  The contents of the Tan about Town set included:
- 0.06 oz Some Kind-A Gorgeous in Medium
- 0.14 oz BadGal Lash
- 0.1 oz Hoola
This set is a $37 value and costs only $12!!!

I absolutely LOVE the Bad Gal Lash and the Hoola bronzer.  The Some Kind of Gorgeous product is a cream to powder skin perfector. It is a decent product, but It really isn't a good shade for me. I most likely would NEVER purchase this product on it's own. 

The Full Glam Ahead set includes:
- 0.13 oz High Beam
- 0.09 oz Stay Don't Stray
- 0.14 oz BADgal Lash
This set is $37 value and cost only $12 as well!!!!

I absolutely LOVE everything in this set.  The High Beam is a GREAT product.  It is seriously the perfect cheek highlight.  I love it paired with Pretty Addictions Shattered Pearls.  I am also a big fan of the Stay Don't Stray, personally I like it better than Urban Decay's primer potion.  When my travel size of High Beam runs out I will most likely not even hesitate to spend the near $30 to replace it, I love it that much!!!

Have you ladies ever tried any of these products? What did you think?  What are your favorite products from Benefit Cosmetics?  What do you recommend? 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Suave Keratin Expressions

So I really wanted to jump on the Keratin bandwagon, but honestly some of the products are WAY expensive if you aren't sure how much you will like them. While I was blog browsing I noticed someone had posted about Suave Professionals Keratin Expressions.  I figured I'd give it a shot!!!

I purchased the one for colored hair that had the tag line on the bottle that read "Lower Sulfates".  These babies retail for around 3 dollars a piece at your local Walgreens and I have to admit I really do like these products!!! I haven't used other Keratin products to be able to compare these to, but I do really like the change I notice in my hair when I use these products.  They also smell AMAZING!!! For me these were a great starter product to the Keratin movement and have definitely made me want to try other Keratin products!!

All in all I am super excited about these products.  Have you ladies given them a try yet? What did you think?  Do you have any other Keratin based products you recommend? 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Zoya's Dominique and Pru

This post has been a long time coming, but we all know that I have really been slacking on my blogging recently. Anyway I finally decided to try out Zoya polishes.  When I happened to try it out they were running a sale where you could get two polishes for the price of shipping.  SAWEET!!!!

Anyway I decided to try out these two:
L to R: Dominique, Pru

Dominique is a bright, saucey red
Pru is a purplish pink with gold undertones

They are both gorgeous and holy mama do these colors stay on!!! Overall, I am incredibly impressed with these two polishes.  The sad thing is that you can only purchase these online.  However, it is soooo worth it!!!

Have you ladies ever tried out Zoya polishes? What do you think of them? What shades are your favorites?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jordana Easyshine Glossy Lipcolor

Have you ladies ever tried Jordana's Easyshine Glossy Lipcolor?  If not, OMG they are AMAZING!!!  I have seen them at my local K-Mart and at all of our local Walgreens.  They retail for 1.99 each and they are worth every single penny. 
Here are some swatches:

Swatches L to R: Pink Lemonade, Watermelon, Raspberry, Berry Colada, and Grape-tini
Like I said they are all very moisturizing they have a lot of color pay off and to make it even better they all have amazing smells!!! My favorites are Watermelon, Berry Colada and Grape-tini. 

If you haven't picked any of these babies up yet, I would def. get on it, you can't beat how awesome of a product they are for their very small pricetag!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mirra Daily Shampoo and Conditioner

So, several months ago while doing my grocery shopping at Kroger, I of course had to make a trip down the Health and Beauty Aisle.  There was a brand of Shampoo and Conditioner that I had been eyeballing and I happened to luck out and one specific formulation was marked down from $4.49 to $1.29 each. I of course took advantage of the opportunity and picked it up. 

Mirra Daily is a Kroger Exclusive brand. You can get more information on the brand here.   The particular formulation I picked up was the Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner.  I have since gone to replenish my stock and this is no longer available (probably why it was so cheap).  This time I picked up the day to day formulation.  They have color care, deep moisture, and volumizing as their other formulations.  All of them have extracts from a natural product.

What drew me to these products is that they do not contain sulfates OR parabens.  I have really been trying so hard to take better care of my hair so I try to keep at least 2 good hair products in my rotation.  I absolutely LOVE the way that these smell and I have to admit I absolutely LOVE the way my hair feels after using them!  For the price it's totally worth it, plus your hair will be grateful :)

Have you ladies tried these products yet? what did you think?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sneak Peek of Reviews to come

So I had been doing really good at not buying a bunch of health and beauty supplies and then BAM, I got back in to the habit of doing it... I've been picking up things here and there and then realized oops, I hadn't been blogging about them.  Today I am going to give you a little sneak peek of items I will be reviewing coming up and where I got them. 

So Let's talk about what is in this picture...

Daily Mira Smoothing Shampoo and Conditions: Sulfate and Paraben FREE, purchased at Kroger
Suave Keratin Infused Shampoo and Conditioner: Lower Sulfates, purchased at Walgreens
Garnier BB Cream: Light/Medium, purchased at Walgreens
Aloe and Shea Body Butter: Amazingness, purchased at The Body Shop
Zoya Nail Polish: Pru and Dominique
Sinful Colors Nail Polish: Nirvana, purchased at Walgreens
Sally Hansen Hard Coat: purchased at Kroger
Wet N' Wild: Purple Gray Color (can't remember name), purchased at Walgreens
Jordana Fabuliner: Black, purchased at Walgreens
Bonnebelle Blush-to-Go: purchased at Dollar Tree
Jordana Lip Gloss: Berry Colada, Raspberry, Watermelon, Pink Lemonade, and Grapetini, purchased at Walgreens and Kmart
Wet 'N Wild Lip tint: purchased at Walgreens

I have to say that every single item on this list I am a HUGE fan of, I will be doing an in depth review on these items as time goes on... First up will be the Daily Mira Products :)