Archive for the ‘Beauty/Fashion’ Category


By Vernalee
I had a fabulous shopping experience last week. My finds were terrific. Guess where I went? No, I did not go to Macy’s or Saks Fifth Avenue at Lagacy Village or Beachwood Place. Waking up to see the Eifffel Tower out of my Hilton Hotel window and walking the streets of Paris cruising from one boutique to another would have been great. It is on my bucket list!
Instead and not as exciting as the previously mentioned places, I walked into my guest room and went shopping in my closet. That’s right! It was there that I found a number of items with price tags on them. Really! Where did these items come from? The answer is simple. I went shopping some time ago, bought some items that I liked, put them in the closet, and forgot that they were there. Unbelievable! How many women can tell the same story? Hush! Yet, I don’t know how many times that I have said, “I don’t have anything to wear!” How about you? Shame … on you and me!
What I realized is that my closet was not organized so I didn’t know exactly what I had. Oh my!
It doesn’t surprise me that the average woman spends over $3500.00 a year and some change on clothing.
However, I am here to testify that a shopping experience is within arms reach with an archival dig and better organizational skills.
A whole new outfit awaits you when you shop in your closet. Take it from me! So before you go to the store, go to your closet first. Afterwards, here’s what you need to do:
* Team up with your tailor.
* Repair and Renew.
* Accessorize outside your jewelry box.
* Get crafty.
* Mix and Match it up.
* Strategically reposition and organize your clothing.
Now because I took a few steps, walked into the next room, and pulled out a few hangers that were already there, I have about 10 – 12 new outfits. Groovy! I am thrilled. I have new glamorous outfits to sport a new look with no money spent!. I am also rethinking my look and style. It’s time for a makeover since I got up off my rear end to move beyond my comfort zone of wearing the same things over and over. To my fan club, you will be seeing me in a flash of more colors than my standard traditional black. While searching, I also found colorful scarves and attachments that I didn’t know I had! I plan to add a little spice to my life by accessorizing with vibrant sun bright colors … and more. You go girl!
Time and energy are my only hurdles because I have 3 more closets to go! Then I’m off to search through my jewelry boxes. Vintage jewelry, anyone? Join me … but do so in your own closets … not mine!
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
Ladies –
How big is your purse and how much should you daily carry are fascinating questions with answers as numerous as the sky is blue. It’s an individual choice for sure, but allow me to share an interesting concept about purse sizes and its contents. After years of deliberation, I was converted to carrying a smaller purse and not my traditional large sized purse that resembled a small piece of luggage.
Here are some of the great benefits to carrying less in your purse.
* A smaller purse with fewer contents will not physically weigh you down.
* Carrying less means less to lose by theft, or accidentally leaving your purse behind.
* You don’t have to search for your car keys in a small purse.
* If your cell phone is ringing, from your purse, you can turn it off or answer the call with less distraction.
* You will feel lighter when you’re not responsible for carrying around everything that you think you might need.
So, back to the original question – how big is your purse? How much does it weigh?
After watching a Today Show episode, the question regarding the weight of a woman’s purse stirred curiosity. So the hosts brought out a scale. Hoda Kotb’s purse weighed 11 pounds; while Kathie Lee’s weighed 2 lbs. and some change. Carrying around 11 pounds is tantamount to walking with a 10 lb. plus bag of sugar on your shoulder. Ouch! There have been correlations to the weight of purses to shoulder, neck, and back pain. I know that fact to be true! Oh my aching back! Thus, we should try to carry only basic essentials. You may not believe this but that determination was not easy! It was difficult for me to decide what I needed. So I came up with a workable solution. I can be a genius occasionally! I scaled back on the size of my purse. The smaller the purse; the less it contains; the less it weighs! Clever; right?
I realized that the purse’s content was no joke when my friend couldn’t find her keys last week and emptied her purse. Inside, she had a makeup bag that was as big as a small purse; her cell phone, it’s charger, and earphones; a journal; hair utensils; her wallet; a coupon case; nail polish; tissues; a huge pack of gum; a large bag of peppermint and Hall’s cough drops; a bottle of aspirins; a sewing kit; her sunglasses; and a few other miscellaneous items; so much that I lost count. No wonder she couldn’t find her keys! Oh by the way for those inquiring minds, her keys were in her jacket pocket. She probably put them there because there was no room in her purse. Go figure!
So if you have everything but the kitchen sink in your purse, start unpacking. That’s my thought!
Photo credit:; Source:


By Vernaleeimage
With age comes wisdom. Hindsight gives us 20/20 vision. When we reflect upon our past, there are so many things that we would have done differently. Right? Unfortunately, we cannot turn back the hands on the clock. We can however, learn from our mistakes and not make them over and over again. We can give advice so that others don’t make the same mistakes that we did. Whether they listen, well that’s another thing. Reflecting back, we didn’t always listen either. We lived out the axiom, “Learnt sense is better than bought sense.” Some of the lessons that we learned were paid at a hefty price! Remember?
So if you had to give advice to your younger self, what would you say?
Here’s what Oprah said in O Magazine in May 2012 that she would have written to her 19 year old ” brown skinned” self.
“You’ve spent too many days and years trying to please others and be what they wanted you to be,” she writes. “You will have to learn that the wounds of your past — rape, molestation, whippings for ‘stepping out of place,’ and not being allowed to show anger or cry afterward — damaged your self-esteem,” she says. “Even then you understood that success was a process and that moving with the flow of life and not against it would be your greatest achievement,” she says.
Actress Octavia Spencer writes, “As you make your way along life’s tumultuous highways, it’s important to note that you should always carry a map, have plenty of fuel in the tank, and take frequent rest stops.”
CEO Nelson Wang has one simple piece of advice to his younger self:
“Enjoy the moment.
You never know when this wonderful journey called life will come to an end and it’s important to remember that every single day is a blessing.
All too often we get caught up in the journey. The chase. The work.
Just remember to take a moment to breathe. To reflect. To enjoy. You’ll be much happier.”
Great advice so far! Agreed?
If you want to stop now, that’s fine. If you wish to keep reading and have the time, allow me to share 20 more points. Be my guest. Here goes.
20 things to have told your younger self…
“1. That ex-boyfriend of yours who always wanted you to dress up, wear heels, and look sexy for him all the time, isn’t and never will be “the one”. Your future husband will think you look sexy in sweats and encourage you to be the realest version of yourself you’ve ever been.
2. The people who tell you your dreams are crazy and you should get a real job will still be stuck in the same place they are 10 years from now. You don’t have to be, so keep pursuing your dreams and never give up.
3. Your true friends are the ones who are there for you, who listen to you and who support you in healing, but don’t enable you to play the victim in your own life. True friends will empower you to grow.
4. Giving your power away never ends well. In the moment, taking responsibility might seem like the most painful route, but trust me when I say that taking ownership over the choices you make in life will save you from a lot of healing work in the future.
5. If making-out and sex are the only activities you get up to with the guy you have a crush on, he’s not going to make you his girlfriend. Guys who are in it for more than just physical interaction will call to ask how your day was, take you for walks, and introduce you to their friends. Don’t convince yourself that you can trade sex for love, it never works that way.
6. Your brain doesn’t fully develop until the age of 24. You’re going to make mistakes, a lot of them. Consider the possibility though, that your mistakes are actually lessons.
7. When you are lashing out at someone you love, it’s actually because you’re hurting a lot inside and you have something you want to say but don’t have the courage. Say it anyway. Be clear about what you want, what you don’t want, and what you need. People will respect you more, and you’ll be a whole lot happier too.
8. You are not invincible. Sleep at least 7 hours a night, drink water instead of booze at a party, and skip the drive-thru. Drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes or pulling all nighters every weekend will eventually catch up to you. It might not happen until your 30’s or 40’s, but healing is always more challenging than prevention. Take care of yourself while you’re young and spare yourself the trouble.
9. Don’t give up on your talents and hobbies. If you love sports, playing music, or writing, keep doing it. If you ask most adults who gave up, they’ll tell you how much they wish they would have continued on with their piano lessons, or followed their hearts and pursued their athletic career.
10. Failing is winning. This might sound funny to you now, but believe me when I tell you that all of your failures are laying out a path for you to succeed big-time. It’s better to fail before you make it, than to fail when you’ve already made it and lose everything due to lack of experience. And even if you do lose everything, you can make it all back and then some. Life is full of surprises, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.
11. Be consistent. Being flaky doesn’t just impact your relationships, it impacts your self-esteem and anxiety levels. When you say you’re going to do something or be somewhere, follow through. This also ensures you think twice before committing to something that doesn’t actually inspire you.
12. Practice saying “no” in the mirror. There will be times where you’ll have to tell someone “no” and it will scare you, but you have to set boundaries for others or you’ll end up feeling used.
13. It’s no one else’s fault when you’re not happy. Sure, there may be people in your life who don’t belong there, but it’s up to you get rid of the people who bring you down, call you names or make fun of you for dreaming big.
14. Never take nutrition or dating advice from the wrong magazines. If you really want to be healthy or have a good relationship, read books, rely upon proven/legitimate sources, and listen to your intuition.
15. Your intuition is almost always right. If your gut tells you the new guy is bad news, walk away. As you get older, you’ll come to trust that your gut is your most trusted advisor.
16. Sometimes your mom is actually right. It may be virtually impossible to convince you to take the advice your mom gave you over dinner one night, but chances are she learned the hard way. Learning your own lessons is very important, but feel free to skip and move ahead once in a while by learning from people who have “been there, done that”.
17. Don’t rush to grow up. One day, you’re going to be married, have kids, or comment on how your cat is so lucky that they don’t have any responsibility. Just enjoy this time you have to be young, and hopefully care-free.
18. Save your money and never put all of it into a joint bank account with a boyfriend. Make sure you take care of yourself first and have a nest egg set aside just in case there’s an emergency, or change of heart.
19. Your natural hair color is and always will be the prettiest. You were made perfect exactly how you are. It’s ok to experiment, just remember that changing the way you look can never change who you are inside, and that is what matters most.
20. Everything is going to be ok. You’re going to lose people, get your heart-broken, feel alone, and totally depressed. Nothing is ever permanent, so next time you’re wrapped up in thoughts of how awful everything is – visualize the way you want things to be instead. Eventually, the tide will turn and life will be more amazing than you ever thought possible.”
So, if you made it this far, thank you for continuing. Now then, if you could turn back the clock and give advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Photo source: O Magazine courtesy of Huffington Post; Source:;;


By Vernalee
We all know people who shop until they drop. Perhaps, you may be one. Take a look below and see if you or someone that you know is addicted.
12 signs that your shopping is out of control:
1. You have a closet full of clothes with tags on them.
You don’t have to be adorned in new garb every day to be a shopaholic. In fact, it’s pretty common for a compulsive shopper to have items that sit unopened or with tags still attached—things that you’re ‘saving’ for when you really need them, explains April Lane Benson, PhD, a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of compulsive buying disorder. For women, these purchases often include clothing, jewelry, shoes, and accessories; men tend to buy bigger-ticket items like watches, cameras, and sports equipment, she adds.

2. You can’t go a day or two without buying something for yourself.
Even small purchases—like new lipstick (in the same shade you already have) or thank-you notes to add to the pile you’ve stocked away in a drawer—can signal problem shopping if they happen chronically. That’s because these unnecessary transactions, though small, demonstrate a lack of control when it comes to spending. ‘There are the big binge shoppers, and then there are the shoppers who are spending money where it’s a death by 1,000 cuts—in other words, no individual purchase is bad, but it adds up,’ says Art Markman, PhD, professor of psychology and marketing at the University of Texas at Austin.
3. You experience ‘shopper’s high.’
Shopping addiction is fueled by a powerful cycle of emotions—and this includes that sense of exhilaration or ‘high’ after making a purchase that can become addictive. Shopping releases the brain chemical dopamine, which is associated with feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. Dopamine also plays a big role in drug abuse as well as other addictive behaviors like gambling. Some people even experience a sexual feeling during the act of shopping, according to researchers in World Psychiatry.

4. You experience a let-down or buyer’s remorse after a spree.
We’ve all heard the saying ‘what goes up must come down.’ When compulsive shoppers buy something the brain’s reward center is stimulated, giving rise to that euphoric feeling or ‘shopping high’ they can become dependent on. But the high is quickly followed by a lowered mood after a purchase, explains April Benson, PhD, creator of This can include feelings of disappointment, stress, guilt, and remorse. A true shopping addict, however, can rationalize any purchase if challenged—and this is despite remorse.

5. You’ve gotten in a fight (or two or 20) with your partner over shopping.
Whether the argument is over mounting bills, unnecessary purchases, or hours spent browsing online, if your partner notes your compulsive shopping habits, it’s a good indication that you have a problem, says Kimber Shelton, PhD, a psychologist in Duncanville, Texas. When the cycle of shopping and spending has negative consequences on your relationships, it’s a telltale sign that it’s time to seek help. Another red flag: You’ve continually promised your loved one that you’ll stop or cut back—and you can’t.
6. You depend on ‘retail therapy’ to cope with stress or anxiety.
Shopping makes most of us feel better and, in fact, a survey from the coupon site found that more than half of Americans admit to ‘retail therapy,’ or shopping to boost your mood. In moderation, this can be good for you; shopping can increase dopamine levels and reduce stress and anxiety. If you’re a compulsive buyer, however, you’ll begin to rely too heavily on these feel-good effects, which will become fleeting and quickly replaced with guilt or frustration over your inability to stop shopping.
Without detailed elaboration, take a look at the remaining six signs. They speak loudly and clear.
7. You feel anxious or irritable if you can’t shop.
8. You can’t focus at work or at school.
9. You’ve skipped work or social obligations to get your shopping fix.
10. You’ve begun hiding bills and forging signatures.
11. You’ve started hiding your habits and purchases.
12. You’ve tried and failed numerous times to stop.
After digesting these behavioral signs and taking into consideration the experts’ opinion, I have one question to ask. You can keep the answer to yourself.
Be honest, how many of the signs apply to you; to someone that you know? Are you a shopaholic? Are you addicted? If you are over the edge, you know exactly what to do! Stay out of the stores! May I add this extra tidbit of advice also – stay off and away from the on-line shopping sites; home shopping television sites, catalog ordering, or other forms of shopping inducements. You can do it! So can I! If successful, I wonder how much money this will add to our bottom line. Shhh. I’m stilling counting my extra cash!
Photo credit:; Source: www.readersdigest/Susan Jara


By Vernalee
Good health is a phrase often used, but how often do we stop to think how healthy we really are? As we age, so does the need to take better care of ourselves. It is work in progress for most of us. Working toward improving our health, physical appearance, and mental outlooks, inclusive of medical visits/checkups are the order of the day and our lives. As challenging and as difficult as it is to not eat that slice of German chocolate cake or to do thirty minutes of exercise must become items on our agenda.
“The 17 signs below are clear indicators of a strong foundation of health. If you are able to “check the box” on all of these, fantastic!
If several of these signs are not quite as they should be, then perhaps it’s time to make some adjustments.
Clear, bright skin and eyes.
Strong teeth, gums, nails and hair.
Fresh breath and body odor.
Meals are digested with ease – no gas, bloating, heartburn etc.
Feeling energised when you wake, good energy level through the day.
Regular, healthy bowel movements.
Clear urination.
Wounds and bruises heal quickly.
Joints and muscles flex with ease.
Efficient circulation.
Consistent temperature
Free from cravings for certain types of food and drink.
Able to maintain a suitable weight for your height and build.
Rarely affected by colds, flu and other infections.
Clear and focused thinking, good memory and concentration.
Even and balanced temper.
Able to tolerate stress well.”
Let’s continue our journey to become and stay healthy!
I leave you with my favorite poetic rhyme of all times. Here goes. “Great health is the best wealth.” It is the richest!
Photo credit:;


By Vernalee

Diverse group of women putting on makeup

Diverse group of women putting on makeup

Ladies, listen up! Have you ever calculated how much it takes to maintain our beauty regimen? Without adding any of the bells and whistles, a basic package for us averages several thousands dollars yearly. By basic, I am referring to the routine maintenance of our hair regimen (shampoos, styles, and color); nail care (manicures and polishing); and pedicures. No wonder our pockets are occasionally empty.
The bells and whistles regimen which include the extras and the extravagant care are much more pricey. Cha Ching! Facials, bikini waxes, makeup, waxing, massages, eyebrow shaping and lash implantation, among other cosmetics enhancements add up. It is a time consuming process to have these services performed as well. Conserve your energy as you count your hours to find the required time. And of course, unless you are a do it “yourselfer,” the cost for these cosmetics services and products must be factored into your budget.
To be pretty, Madame Noire Magazine reports that celebrities Beyonce and Kim Kardashian spend one million a year on their beauty care. According to the Wall Street Journal, the money spent on selective beauty services covers a wide spectrum. For example,
* Blowouts, Haircuts And Hair Cuts can range from $40 – $215;
* Brow Shaping & Eyelash Extensions, $25 – $140;
* Chemical Peels, $20 – $600;
* Vitamin C + E serums, $162;
* Ultherapy, $ 1,000 – $5,000;
* Cleaning Serums and SPF 30 Sunscreen, $42 -$45;
* Kybella Injections, $1,200 – $2,000;
* Décolleté Cream, $285.
Did I mention makeup? Foundation, eyeshadow, mascara, lipstick, and moisturizers add up. Carol’s Daughter, Maybelline, Fashion Fair, Loreal, Lady Clairol, Covergirl, Black Opal, … are all familiar brands that we have in our cabinets and carry in our purses.
When all is said and done, if you care about your personal appearance and how you look, though it may be costly, it is money well spent. First, you want to look good for yourself! Rave reviews from your better half are welcomed. When you look good, you feel good. The confidence booster is priceless. We know that beauty is only skin deep. The Temptations put in words years ago. Forget those lyrics for now! When we want to feel beautiful, nothing beats that aroma. Now, let me spray a mist of my expensive $215.00 Flowerbomb Eau De Parfum. I want to smell sweet! The fragrance rounds out my appearance and makes me smell as rich as I feel. I love to pamper myself and be pampered. I’m worth it!
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
Are narcissistic people flowing around in your universe? You know who I’m talking about. I am sure that you know several. I do!
They are those folks who are totally self–absorbed and tend to see themselves as perfect. They are never wrong so apologies are not in their vocabularies. Why apologize when you are always right? Arrogance, extreme selfishness, conceited behavior, boastfulness, and pretentiousness regularly enter their space. Their behavior is often characterized as being grandiose, larger than life, flamboyant, and extravagant. Lest not forget that they are highly egotistical folks with an exaggerated sense of self-importance. Exploitation of others is common.
You probably need no help to identify them, but here are some of the basic
Characteristics of narcissistic folks:
They –

* Believe that they are better than others.
* Fantasize about power, success or attractiveness.
* Exaggerate achievements or talents.
* Expect constant praise and admiration.
* Believe that they are special and acts accordingly.
* Fail to recognize other people’s emotions and feelings.
* Expect others to automatically go along with their ideas and plans.
* Take advantage of others.
* Express disdain for those that they feel are inferior to them.
* Are jealous of others.
* Believe that others are jealous of them
* Have trouble maintaining healthy relationships – personal and professional.
* Set unrealistic goals.
* Are easily hurt and easily feel rejected.
* Have fragile self-esteem.
* Have the appearance of being toughminded or unemotional.
* Are so in love with themselves that they cannot truly love anyone else.
Alright, before you start your list of those that you know who fit the mold, let me share with you the interesting story of Narcissus. According to Greek mythology, Narcissus was a beautiful, proud young man. When he saw his reflection in a pool of water for the first time, he became so enamored that he was unable to stop gazing at his own image. He couldn’t take his eyes off of himself. Sounds familiar? Stuck on himself, Narcissus was unable to leave his image at the water’s edge and eventually wasted away. It’s too bad that his self-absorption turned him into the Narcissus flower. Oh my! Here’s my parting poetic thought. “If you are stuck on yourself, remove the glue. The world doesn’t revolve around you!
Photo credit:; Source:


By Vernalee
imageGQ Magazine classifies wearing belts and suspensions a faux pas; one of the top five fashion errors. Despite the fashion taboo, is a belt and suspender guy a pessimist? Do these guys carry umbrellas on sunny days? Literally, no one needs to wear both a belt and suspenders to hold up their pants! I don’t see many, but I see a few belt and suspender wearing guys. Noticeably, the awkward combination captures your attention. Now then, what does wearing a belt and suspenders together really mean? Here’s the 411.
Someone who wears a belt and suspenders is very cautious and takes no risks. It refers to “redundant systems, a form of “double insurance,” where either the belt or the suspenders serve as a backup in the event of the other failing.”
The phrase “belt and suspenders,” is used in business and law when two strategies are combined to minimize the risk that would exist should only one strategy be in place.
So, if in a figurative sense, you are a belt and suspender person, you are not a risk taker and walk the road of caution. Lest not muddy the waters with those who invisibly wear this combination. Because you don’t see them, it doesn’t mean that the belt is not wrapped around their waist or the suspenders shrugged over their shoulders. Stop! After you leave that fashion crew who have disguised their appearance and true feelings, welcome to another world. Enter the realms of the female wearers. Yes, women can wear belts and suspenders together too! As you know there are many, many hidden features that we don’t see, but feel the effects. In conclusion, finding the balance (risk, no risk, or somewhere in between) is the key. I guess it all depends on what is needed to hold you up. No judgement!
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
Finding the right accessories to complement an outfit can be challenging. Mixing and matching can be fun, but it can also be compromising. To make life simple ladies, here are 8 items that can be added to any wardrobe that we choose. Here goes:
1. Gold Hoop Earrings,
2. A Black leather tote bag,
3. Camel booties,
4. A simple gold bracelet;
5. Tortoise shell sunglasses.
6. A signet ring,
7. White sneakers,
8. An everyday necklace.
Pulling it all together to look cute is the key. I love that Gucci bag pictured above; don’t you?
Men, I did not purposefully leave you out! You are never off the hook! Gotcha! In this case, you can be our eyes and ears. We women often depend on your honest assessment to tell us what you like on us and how we look. You can be so honest with us! Your perspective in many cases is all that counts! You can also buy for us whatever you like! Gifts including the above items, roses, perfume, chocolates, trips, fur coats, and the like – you know what we like – are accessories that go well with us! I’m not asking you to spend your cash, but a happy life includes expenses. Right? When this story hits the news wave of public opinion, remember … you heard and read it here first!
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By Vernalee
healthy living 24 seven. com
You are what you eat! No doubt about it! Unlike many choices, it shows up on us in the form of weight. Our eyes see it; the scale registers it. As we age, we have to be more conscientious about our nutritional choices. Making good food selections is critical. Exercising is essential. Admittedly, it is more difficult to make changes as we grow older. Our old practices (poor eating regimens, lack of exercise) have become old habits that are hard to change; they grow with us. Thus, it is “work in process” for me and my over 55 year old group, as it is our desires to grow older gracefully with healthy consequences in mind. Beyond the food choices, watch out for stress! Interesting, this intangible thing called stress may make us eat more or less. It hard to gauge its effect. My nemesis was salt. I particularly loaded my southern made grits with salt. Now, I have been salt free for 6 months. That may sound small, but it’s an accomplishment when you have been a person like me who put salt on everything (and I mean everything except desserts) even before I tasted it. Moving on, let’s get physical. Getting in the gym is so challenging, but it’s a feat that must be done. As opposed to sleeping an extra hour, I’ll be on the bike cycling and sweating first thing Monday morning. All of these extra steps take time, commitment, sacrifices, and energies. They pay off! We eventually will see the results! It beats doing nothing. Check this out! We can’t escape it! The bad outcomes that doing nothing produce will eventually show up too! It becomes a choice that affects our lives and the lives we touch – plain and simple!
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