What Have You Done For You Lately?

Yesterday, I posted this as my status on Facebook:

I slept in this morning. Best sleep ever.
Instead of rolling over and doing obligatory stuff, I took some time to catch up on blogs and do some pre-birthday shopping, talk to friends.
Had a great breakfast and enjoyed more than one cup of coffee. 

Now I can do the obligatory stuff and be productive.

Sometimes the best things to do for yourself are the simple ones: enjoying life with no time limit.

It amazes me how much we do as humans: get up, work, cook, clean, look after loved ones, etc, etc. But what have we done to make ourselves happy? Something as simple as getting some extra sleep (or in my case, getting sleep period) is an exercise in self care.

We don’t focus on that often, enough, I think.

We don’t like to say no, or to postpone an obligation.

We don’t like to do for ourselves, in lieu of doing for others.

We put off a small thing that makes us happy (for me, an extra cup of coffee) for completing a task (finishing a schedule.)

And it’s to our detriment.

Typically before I start a new work week, I like to take some time just for me. Sometimes it’s doing my hair; giving myself a good scrub and a deep conditioning. Sometimes it’s a pedicure. Sometimes its taking the time to make my favorite dish, one I don’t do often because its so time consuming (chicken and dumplings.)

And when I do that thing? It instantly brightens my mood.

I took an entire morning to myself, and I felt productive for the rest of my day. I got my housework done, some research finished, dinner AND lunch for the week done. I feel like I can start my workweek having made myself happy, and now I can go forth and share that with the world.

It’s Monday. Most folks hate Mondays because it’s the start of the week; a return to the mundane work life or stress left behind from Friday.

So take some time today to do what makes you happy–even if it’s just a walk around the block at lunch or a milkshake from your favorite restaurant.

Oh, and rock out to this, because it’s what I was listening to when I came up with the title to this post:

Opinions Positivity

Fatshion Friday: NYCC Cosplay Prep

So I mentioned yesterday that I realized that I haven’t begun to plan my costumes for New York Comic Con. I know there are folks reading this like…it doesn’t happen until October. There’s plenty of time!

Um, no. Not if I am making these pieces from scratch. And I am dressing for all four days, so I need to get to work planning and sourcing the materials.

We won’t talk about how I have very little experience sewing. I’m getting myself a sewing machine for my birthday this year, so I at least want to have a concept to work from. And my first pieces won’t be my NYCC ones, but I hope it comes out well.


I plan on doing three heroines and one villainess. I won’t share them all at once though (’cause how much fun would that be?) First one I’m sharing is this amazing character here:


This is Monica Rambeau, and she’s known by many names: Captain Marvel, Spectrum, and Photon (that’s the pic above) to name a few. I started my sketch with this pic in mind:


But then I kept scrolling through pics of her and found this one (she’s Spectrum here, in the Mighty Avengers):


Oh, my. So I modified my sketch a bit. I am keeping the cape, but I love the duo chromatic color scheme:


Only half is colored because I’m trying to decide if I want to switch it up. Still working on if I want to do leggings or hot pants for extra coverage, or if I want a bodysuit (bathroom logistics!) But I love what I have so far.

Designing is fun. Can’t wait to get my sewing machine and really start practicing!

Crafting NYCC

Fatshion Friday Teaser: Comic Con Prep

Hey folks! So, I am still exhausted from work and slight sick (pollen, why do you hate me?), so as I recuperate in bed I am looking up some things. I came to a realization.

New York Comic Con is in October and I haven’t started my costumes yet!

Yeah. I am so very behind.

Since today is only going to be a little productive, I started working on my costumes.

Here’s one of the characters I will be cosplaying:


Info and costume sketches coming tomorrow. 🙂

Crafting NYCC

Wednesday Tunes

Hey folks!

I’m interrupting you’re regularly scheduled blog post for a Beatles music moment:


Yep. I had to do a turnaround shift. For the uninitiated, that’s when you close the night before and open the next morning. I’m exhausted, and this song perfectly encompasses what I have going on in my life. Enjoy the dance break, and I’ll be back tomorrow with a post of substance! 🙂


Nails of Literature: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow Is Enuf

In my junior year of high school, my AP English teacher wanted us to do a research project on any work of literature we wanted. We were going to learn how to use MLA format with this paper, so we were to pick a substantial work in order to have enough to talk about.

It had to be 10 pages, and it was the longest I’d ever had to write.

I couldn’t figure out an author. I thought to maybe do Edgar Allen Poe, or maybe Shakespeare? I liked Shakespeare quite a bit.

When I went to tutoring that afternoon, I asked my SAT tutor, a lovely woman with a huge salt and pepper afro and a pendant shaped like Africa around her neck, who I should write about. I’d had, at this point in my academic career, very little exposure to Black authors.

Without hesitation, she told me: “You won’t be doing any old dead White men on this project, girl.” I blinked. Well, ok then. I thought. So who am I going to write about, exactly?

Not missing a beat, she continued. “Ntozake Shange. The work is For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow Is Enuf (hereafter, For Colored Girls.) You’ll love it, and it will give you more than enough to write about.”

So the next day, I went to the school library and found it. I looked at this skinny little book and thought, I have been set up for the okey-doke! I’m not going to get 10 pages out of this! But I trusted my tutor, so I checked it out and told my teacher my choice.

My teacher blinked. “That’s a little advanced, don’t you think?”



I looked at the book in my hands. “I can handle it,” I said with a smile.

I took that little 60 some-odd page book and wrote an amazing paper. Got an A.

For this nail look, I downloaded a copy of the book to the trusty iPad and reread. I can say that so far, rediscovering these works has been the best part of this project of mine. If you’ve never read the choreopoem (not a poem, or a novel, or a novella,) it centers around the performance of 20 poems set to music. These poems are performed by women only identified by colors: Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Purple, Green, and Brown.

Each Lady had some beautiful pieces, but the one I remember focusing on in my paper was the Lady in Blue. At first it was because blue is my favorite color, but the Lady in Blue did a poem that still fascinates me to this day: “abortion cycle #1.” The whole thing, while short, is amazing because it’s still as relevant now in 2014 as it was when it was written in 1975. The part that stuck with me:

this hurts

this hurts me

& nobody came

cuz nobody knew

once i waz pregnant & shamed of myself

More often than not we suffer in silence. Abortion rights, in general, are cloaked in silence. Women can’t be sexual beings, and if they are, they have to publicly show their shame for their mistake–carrying a child to term is their penance.

We won’t debate this point here today.

The point is, one shouldn’t have to go through tough times alone. Hurt alone. Shame shouldn’t drive people to silent suffering.

And yet it does.

With this concept in my head, I dedicate this week’s Nails of Literature to the Lady in Blue. Presenting: Blue Lady’s Blues.


Right hand is on the left; left hand is on the right.

The base of the manicure is Frenzy by Orly, the accent color is Keeping Suzi at Bay by OPI. The rainbow accent nail (there’s one on each hand) represents the name of the work, and the 4 rhinestone accent nail represents the Lady in Blue. I only did one nail like this to represent the loneliness in the poem.

Despite the seriousness this manicure represents, it was a lot of fun to create. See you next week for the next installment!

Know a work you want to see represented in manicure form? Email me!

Nail Adventures Stories

“Why Do You Put That Stuff On Your Face?” or, My History With Makeup

One day, when I was in high school, I was in the bathroom, getting ready to head to the movies with my friends. My little brother watched me put on my makeup, carefully doing my eye shadow and mascara (I hadn’t yet gotten into liner or brows.)

He looked at me and said: “Why do you put that stuff on your face? It makes you look fake.”

My response was to push him out of the bathroom and close the door.

Honestly, at the time I didn’t have much of a response outside of “I’m supposed to, right?”

My relationship with all things cosmetic started at 16, formally. Even when many young girls start to experiment with makeup, digging into their mother’s stash, I was hooked on Lip Smackers. Specifically, the Dr. Pepper kind because it left a slight red on my lips that I liked. Other than that, I couldn’t be bothered.

My mother would let me have all of the neutral colored lip gloss I wanted. I stuck with browns, mostly. I couldn’t do foundation or anything till I was older, so I was a tomboy with great manicures and lip gloss. Interesting combo, right?

When I was able to do full faced looks, I did foundation and eye shadow. Blue, mostly, because it’s my favorite color. Now, most girls my age were doing a single line of white on their lids, lining their lips with black eye pencil, and wearing clear gloss. I thought that was odd, so I did my lid with blue (lid only, no highlight under the brow) with no eye liner. I did like mascara, though. And I stuck with brown lip glosses.

I can’t say, looking back on it, I had the most savvy makeup sense. But I was supposed to wear it, right? I’m a girl!

By the time I left for college, I was still struggling to keep my skin clear, so I would do full makeup only a few times a week, sticking with a little powder and gloss the majority of the time. I kept it simple, figuring less was more.

And then? I started working, and makeup became my livelihood. And my makeup routine? Took a left!

So, I went from next to nothing to full face and loud eye shadow colors. I discovered Urban Decay and bought as much product as my small paycheck would allow me. Lips still neutral, rarely did a lip liner unless I had a bright color on (never.)

And now? I am a manager, and I do makeup consultations all the time. I tell my clients that I am the laziest makeup artist I know, because my face routine is so low key. These days, foundation, powder (if I remember), liquid liner, brows, and mascara. Lip balm if I have it on me, bright lipstick if I find it in my bag. I do the extravagant eyes when I am headed to see my bosses or training.

With all this history, I still find it hard to answer why I put this stuff on my face.

The honest answer? I love the idea of what makeup can do. It can build someone’s confidence, change an outlook, or give another means of self expression. I tell people that anyone can learn how to do makeup; while many of my coworkers have been formally trained, I have no training outside of getting to work and realizing my look is NOT the best. Makeup isn’t an exact science, and it shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t be an obligation either. It should be fun, a means to express yourself in yet another way, to add to one’s uniqueness. And that’s pretty awesome.

Also? I love showing off some of the looks I come up with now, too. For fun: me in an awesome dark lipstick (Cargo Cosmetics Bordeaux), wearing my dearly departed specs:


This is how you’ll see me at work, most of the time.

But off the clock? Naked face and lip balm. Old habits, you understand. 🙂

Makeup Looks Stories

Getting Crafty Part Two: Blue Champagne Flutes

Last week I shared with all of you the awesomeness that is Darby Smart. I also mentioned I purchased two boxes from them.

So, not only can you do wearable art, you can do housewares!

What do I mean?

The second box was a kit to design my own champagne flutes.

Now, for Black Friday I got some wine glasses, but you’re not supposed to sip champagne out of those (ok, you could, but it might not be the best idea.) So I figured it would be a good idea to have a set of flutes for company.


So, here’s what comes in the box: You get four flutes, a tube of sparkly paint in your color of choice (gold is also available), and a direction card. The design is to put little dots of sparkle around the base of each flute.

Now, y’all know I didn’t follow that direction, right?


Ok, not completely, anyway. Bottom right is closest to the original design, but I did wavy dots, fanned dots, and stars as well. The star one is my favorite. I like a set of glasses that obviously go together, but don’t have to match perfectly. So much fun, and quick to boot! I was finished with this in about 30 minutes or so.

I need more crafts to do. So glad it’s almost payday!


Nails of Literature: The Color Purple

I read The Color Purple (hereafter, Purple) by Alice Walker for the first time in college. Some of my classmates were amazed that I’d never read the book or seen the movie before.

I loved it.

The book, that is. However, I have a tendency to love the book more than the film version, only because more often than not, the film leaves out all of the good parts.

But I digress.

Today is the beginning of my birth month, and this month I have decided to bring two of my loves together: nail polish and literature. Each week, I am going to take a novel, play, or poem and design a manicure around it. Very similar to this awesome tumblr. And for the first Nails of Literature feature, I wanted to focus on a part of the book that is an absolute favorite of mine. Celie, the main protagonist, is sharing some thoughts:

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.”

It’s an amazing point. How often do we miss the small things constantly running after something “bigger?” There’s something to be said for slowing down and noticing the little things in front of you, because when you do, there’s a greater appreciation for the larger things when they happen. It isn’t an if. It’s a when. But you just have to have the patience to wait for it, and the eyes to recognize when it’s coming. Inspired by both the quote above and this book cover:


I introduce you to: Field of Purple.


I opted for grey and purple, as the only thing in color on the cover are the flowers. Deep grey and purple are Mona and Trina by Julep (Trina is pictured), sparkly lavender is Cameron by Julep, and the pale grey on the accent nail is Skull and Glossbones by OPI. The little pale highlight on the flowers is Lilacism by Essie.

May we all be able to notice the color purple in a field and appreciate it.

Have ideas for future books for me to create manicures for? Email me

Nail Adventures