Friday, October 31, 2014

Marketside Organic Produce

One of the major complaints that I’ve heard regarding eating organic foods is that the prices are high and eating organic is simply too expensive. The work around for many people, including myself is to choose the products that are on the Dirty Dozen when making purchasing decisions because for me going totally organic is simply cost prohibitive. When I am food shopping my first stop is produce. I make smoothies almost daily and need an ample supply of fruits and vegetables in my refrigerator. The other day to my delight I was pleasantly surprised when I ventured into Walmart and found a very good selection of organic vegetables. My Walmart has always carried organic but this time, their brand Marketside Organic was showcased. As in, there is a large selection!

Not only did I find a number of vegetables, I also saw organic juices! On that particular morning I did not make a smoothie before taking my son to school so I was hungry. The juice was perfect for my morning meal! The best part about the organic produce that I saw was the pricing. All of it was priced lower not only than other organics but regular produce! I have never seen that anywhere before. This gives me hope that people who otherwise would look past organic produce will actually buy it because the price is right!

I purchased organic baby spinach for $2.98, hearts of celery for $2.68  and baby carrots for $1.07. To say I was pleased is an understatement. I have staples for my son’s lunch - carrots and celery and the spinach for my smoothie at prices that just can be beat. I also bought Daily greens juice (which was delicious) for $1.94.

Although I saw lots of veggies, I did not see any organic Marketside fruit. I am waiting for the day when it becomes available and it should be soon. This change was mentioned when I visited Walmart headquarters a few weeks ago and I can’t wait! Organic fruits and vegetables available at Walmart affordably priced!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Galaxy s5 Camera is amazing! #vzwlife

In September I made a horrible mistake. I was charging my camera, my beloved Samsung Galaxy camera on my bed and accidently sat on it. It was my fault, I don’t know what possessed me to place it on my bed but I did and I was devastated. I need a good camera but have not taken the time to read the manual of my DSLR so it sits collecting dust. In a camera I need convenience, portability and most of all the ability to take great shots that I can share on all of my social media channels instaneously. The Samsung fit the bill but I didn’t have $400 in the budget to replace it. So whats a girl to do? I found myself admiring photos taken by my friend on his camera and on facebook another friend had a great photo posted and they both used the Samsung Galaxy s5. I was sold! I have been the proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy s5 for a little over a month and I love it. I still have plans to learn how to use my DSLR but in the meantime, I am ecstatic about the shots my phone can take.  

These are just a few of the many, many photos I took on my recent trip to Turks & Caicos. I’ll be posting more soon and sharing my memories of the trip. My Verizon Galaxy s5 is my very best friend and with good reason.  As they say, a picture says 1000 words!

Disclosure: I am a Verizon Life Ambassador and am occasionally sent products to incorporate in my daily life. All opinions are my own. 

Dating in 2014

Dating in 2014 is far different than it was over a decade ago when I was last single. Overt sexuality in the media and a high ratio of women compared to men - especially here in the South, I believe, has changed the dating landscape. In my dating life over the past couple of years, the majority of men I encounter have an expectation that after three dates it is time to “put out” or get out. Three dates? 

That is barely enough time to learn a person’s home address, let alone reach that level of intimacy. Trust me, I am not judging those who decide that having sex on the first or third date is a good decision but I personally value individuals who have an interest in me that is deeper than what is between my thighs.

On the one hand, I appreciate the forthright nature of men who decide not to pursue me after the third date. It lets me know that they are not the man for me. On the flipside, it is disheartening because I am left wondering, where are the good men who can appreciate my intelligence, wit, charm and love of life? Admittedly, I would really like to have a meaningful relationship and  believe the man who wants one too will cherish all I have to offer. As the pastor of my church put it - sex is the dessert, not the appetizer.

So what is a woman to do? Like men we are sexual beings and desire intimacy. Speaking for myself, in the past when sex was introduced into the relationship, it became a monogamous committed affair. As I dipped my toes in the dating pool, I quickly learned that most people don’t hold that same belief. Seemingly sex has become sport and with the numerous opportunities out there, committed relationships are a thing of the past. I made the mistake of allowing my desire for a relationship to override my clarity of thought. When a man told me he wanted to be in a relationship, despite his shortcomings, I moved forward. Sex was involved and based on previous conversations, in my mind we were committed. However when actions did not reflect the words expressed and I asked about it, “he was not ready.”

I left that situation quickly and realized that perhaps he say my vulnerability as a newly divorced woman and said anything to meet his goal of having me physically.  I too was culpable because I let my yearning for the ever elusive great “relationship” work against my better judgement. However, I still pressed on in the dating world, sure the next date might just be the one.

I tried online dating to no avail. The sheer number of wackos and sex fiends I’ve encountered that way is astounding! One man asked me on a date and when we met and I told him my age, he immediately asked for the check. 

To add insult to injury, having arrived at the restaurant before me, he requested individual checks! I was perplexed because what type of man asks a woman on a date with the expectation that the woman will pay for it? Please don’t get me wrong, I have no problem going dutch or even paying for a date, but in this instance, he initiated the entire encounter! In the end he paid for my drinks and appetizers and I dodged a bullet. He told me he would date a crazy woman who was younger than him rather than date a woman his own age!

That was my last venture into the world of online dating and really dating at all. I decided to simply “live my life like it’s golden” without worrying about “finding a man” and instead focused on looking inward and finding me.  And you know what? When I stopped looking, a man who values and cherishes me, not my body, stepped right into my life!  Although I have no idea what the future holds, I am enjoying this journey, we are getting know each other and having fun in the process. Dating in 2014 is indeed different than it was years ago, but I say remain steadfast to your values, beliefs and do the things that make you happy. Become the person you are looking for.  When the time is right, a good man you will seek you out and find you!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Storm X-Men Make up tutorial

Storm of the X-Men is bold, brazen and beautiful. All of the things that I want to be and so it seems natural for me to want to wear a costume that epitomizes all  of her characistics. I’ve actually wanted to be Storm for years but have been unable to find a costume. This year, I decided to finally put my crafty ways to work and transform myself into my alter ego STORM! I am fully committed to the transformation and for me that means even adopting her beautiful eyes. In order to accentuate the eyes, I had to do a full on glam look. I hope you like it as much as I enjoyed putting it together!

Today I am going to show you how I achieved this look!  If you are not familiar with Storm, she is a member of the X-Men, a mutant. Her name is Ororo Munroe, a descendant of African princesses who all have white hair, blue eyes and wield magic. She has the ability to control the weather. And her name, Ororo means beauty! So of course, I had to play up the beauty aspect of my costume. Check out my video below!

I started with products from Walmart. As a base I used my favorite foundation Revlon’s Colorstay 24 Hour in Cappuccino. Next I focused on my eyes. I used Hard Candy Eyes The Limit Eye Shadow Primer ($5.00) to keep my shadow in place. For a dramatic look, Hard Candy 12 Hour Eye Waterproof Shadow in Gladiator ($6.00) did the trick. This is a silver long wearing shadow that I placed from the corners my eyelids all the way to my browbone and extended into a taper that went slightly beyond my eyebrows. 

I also used it as an eyeliner for even more drama! Next I wanted to have a dark contrasting color so I added a black eyeshadow from the Hard Candy top ten eyeshadow collection Smoke Out $6.00 (I also used this in my Fall Beauty Look). I placed black directly on my eyelid and then tapered into a triangular shape just beyond the outer corners of my eyes. I did not do any blending but I achieved the shape I was going for by cleaning up the make up with a q-tip.  

Next, I applied Fright Night Glamor eyelashes which I absolutely love! They are found in the Halloween section at Walmart and have sparkling gems at the base. 

They look stunning and at only $2.97 are a real bargain! For my cheeks I had a rose color from my personal collection - PLÅ beauty (a portion of proceeds from this collection goes to Children’s Hospital of Atlanta, I love that!). And for my lips I used See Red from the Cover Girl Queen collection ($5.94). Bold eyes and lips truly make this look pop!

I didn’t stop with my face, I also painted my nails. I painted Black on Black from the Sinful Colors collection ($1.98) on four of my nails and then painted an accent nail Hi Ho Silver from the Sally Hansen complete Salon manicure ($6.48) line. For the topcoat I used Sally Hansen’s miracle gel ($7.97) to that I could get long wear from my manicure. I suggest having a wooden manicure stick on hand to clean up any polish that may accidently get on your fingers. Simply wrap the tip in a cotton ball, dip it in nail polish remover and remove any mistakes.

I have to say that I am really proud of the final look. I had to piece together my actual costume by searching Amazon for the components (the majority of which I can use again for a different costume in the future). I cannot wait to go out as my alter ego Storm with my son on Halloween, he is going to get a huge kick out of having a Superhero for a mom!

If you are looking for more Halloween costume inspiration, check out my friend and fellow Walmart mom Heather of the Domestic Diva as she shows you an easy Leopard Halloween Costume Makeup Tutorial!

Saturday, October 25, 2014


My entire family is lactose intolerant. This means that if we eat or drink dairy products we will certainly have some adverse effects. I’ll leave the details to your imagination but let’s just say it is probably best that after eating a plate of mac and cheese we should each find a room for some alone time! I think the last time I had a glass of milk I was 18 and my son has never had one. It became very clear when I was nursing and indulged in my favorite treat, ice cream, that it caused my son to have extreme discomfort and gas. This however doesn’t mean that we don’t drink any types of milk (and occasionally a bit of ice cream!).

Almond milk is a staple in my home and I use it in my smoothies but quite frankly, I will not drink it by itself. I just don’t like the taste. However, I’ve been introduced to a MilkSplash ($3.48) and I can add a little flavor to the almond milk when I want something besides a smoothie or want to encourage my son to drink some almond milk. To use it, I add a splash to a glass of milk. Each bottle of MIlk Splash is 24 servings.

MilkSplash is available in a variety of flavors and are available at Walmart:  Cookies N’ Cream, Sir Strawberry Swirl, Jammin’ Banana, Orange Cream Dream, and Cocoa Loco.  I like chocolate so Cocoa Loco is my favorite flavor. If you or your kids are looking to spice up milk, Milk Splash is an option.

I consider Milk Splash a special treat, we won’t use it daily but on occasion it can add some fun flavor to our milk.

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