My 2014 Makeup Favorites

Xtina Vida makeup

With 2015 already underway, I think it’s only fitting to dedicate my 1st post to my makeup favorites for 2014. These beauties have made their way into my cosmetic rotation & are worth having in your beauty arsenal.


1. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette $58
A limited-edition blush palette with three shades of Ambient Lighting Blush for seamless, soft-focus, and multidimensional color.
I warn you now, I’m a huge fan of Hourglass cosmetics, but I’ll save that rant for another post. This blush palette is a fair-skinned girls dream. It contains a trio of blushes, two are part of their permanent collection, & one exclusive color. Luminous Flush is a soft pink-coral, Incandescent Electra (exclusive)is a cool peach, & Mood Exposure is a soft plum color. Each blush is mixed with one of the ambient lighting powders from Hourglass, creating a color that offers not only a nice pigment payoff, but a…

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One Moment in Time

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog challenge entries, you’ll realize that I’ve fallen behind, way behind. No worries though, as long as I keep writing, it’s all good. Today’s entry is about a moment that I felt most satisfied with my life. That’s a tough one for me because generally speaking, I’m very satisfied with my life. No seriously, since I made the decision over fifteen years ago to finish what I started in college, I’m good. No nix that, I’m golden! I have a job that I like, people who I love in my life, my finances are fine and I’m in reasonable good health. I have the tools I need to make changes if I do get to a place where I’m no longer satisfied with my lot so….

All day, every day!

What’s Your Sign?

I’m not the kind of person who places much stock in a person’s birth sign. I’m a firm believer that we are a delightful mixture of innate characteristics and life experiences. However, I can’t argue with what my zodiac sign says about me and people who share this sign. As my birthday falls between August 23rd and September 22nd, that makes me a Virgo, the only sign that is represented by a female. Figures.

According to “Ganesha”, “Quiet undemonstrative and introvert, the Virgo are the waters that run deep. Wise, witty and well spoken, the Virgo have a good understanding of human nature and can effectively help people solve their problems.” Agreed. I am indeed exactly as this description suggests. However, it helps that I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology, I’m just saying.

Some of my positive traits are that I’m practical, meticulous, analytical, intelligent, reliable and modest. Again, I can’t argue with that, except the modesty. I’m modest in my dress and appearance. I am not modest about my accomplishments. No, I don’t brag or toot my own horn but if I’m good at something, you’ll know it. I’m a wonderful person, I work hard to be so and I’m not backward or reticent in letting folk know this. But, I will allow for not being everyone’s cup of tea. I’m good wit that.

Now for some of my negative traits:  I’m over-critical, fussy, fastidious, harsh, conservative and judgemental. Yeah, I can’t argue with any of this either. I am exacting in my standards. I fuss about seemingly inconsequential minuetae. I can be fastidious in my environments; especially if I have to share it with people, and I’m harsher than bleach on colors. No seriously, if you transgress with me I will rain fire upon you of biblical proportions. And judgemental? Pfft! I’m garbed metaphorically in justicar robes. The thing is, I turn all of these negative traits on myself.  No one will ever be as hard on me as I am on myself. For every harsh judgement or criticism I’ve doled out to someone else; I’ve beaten myself up about it ten times worse. I’m constantly on myself to be better. To strive harder. I won’t ask anything of anyone that I’m not willing to give of myself and if I finally allow you into my inner sanctum and you eff it up? Sucks to be you. I won’t forget it or forgive it and I will napalm that bridge as though there were a Zombie horde on the other side. But if I’m the one to betray my standards and yours? I’ll flay my soul bare and pour salt upon it hourly and even if you forgive me, I will never forgive myself. Never. I don’t love or trust easy but when I do, it’s depth is staggering and damn near unshakeable.

In short, I’m a well-rounded and intelligent woman with OCD and trust issues; or I’m humanity’s accountant. Whatever works.

The Dirty 30

Here are 30 interesting things about yours truly….

  1. I always rather be reading.
  2. I was a camp counselor for a summer.
  3. I’m an international dater.
  4. I tone down my looks.
  5. I prefer my glasses to contacts.
  6. I love to dance.
  7. I can bellydance.
  8. I know how to use zils (finger cymbals).
  9. I know how to weave on a hand loom.
  10. I crochet and do cross stitch.
  11. I’m a book and craft hoarder.
  12. I want to learn how to garden.
  13. I have a minor in Religion and Philosophy.
  14. I’m shy about speaking Spanish in front of native speakers.
  15. I despise liars.
  16. I have serious trust issues.
  17. I’m happy to sit at home all day long just reading and drinking coffee.
  18. I’m almost always expecting the worse and I make contingency plans for it.
  19. I didn’t really apply myself to my education until college.
  20. I’ve never wanted more than one child.
  21. I don’t believe in sugarcoating the truth for children.
  22. I hate when people make assumptions about me based on my ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation.
  23. I’m a private person but there isn’t too much that I won’t talk about.
  24. I’m an introvert who fakes being an extrovert really well.
  25. I can’t stand obstreperous people and willful ignorance.
  26. I hate sharing. Hate, hate, hate it.
  27. I won’t be told how to live.
  28. I don’t forgive, or forget.
  29. I’d rather walk away from a confrontation but if I have to engage in one; I’m in it to win it.
  30. I’m intensely loyal and my word is my bond.

I don’t know how interesting you’ll find this but I wish you joy of it.

The Last Word

Today’s blog challenge has me writing about a time when I thought about committing suicide. I wish I could say that the thought had never crossed my mind but it’d be a lie. Sadly, this is the case for many of us. Life has a tendency of beating us down to a point where we just can’t see a way to get up and keep going. Some of us have mental disorders, chemical imbalances, or life experiences that eat away at any semblance of joy or purpose. Some of us don’t even know what it’s like to be happy or content. Depression is very real and it covers us with a blanket that smothers hope and happiness the way CO2 smothers flames.

I was twelve when I contemplated killing myself. I had an abusive childhood and a parent that had been abused herself. There were days when the tension was so thick that you could feel it pressing against your skin and the only thing that would release it was violence. I had become an expert in judging just how much tension could build up before my parent let loose and unleashed it all on me. The rages were epic and by today’s standards my parent would have been brought up on charges. Thankfully, I never had to take a trip to the emergency room because of it but there were a couple of times where I was afraid for my life. I share this not to garner sympathy or for you to vilify my parent, but so that you may be able to understand why a young girl who had a roof over her head, food on the table and a solid middle class upbringing could have been so despairing that she’d think about ending it.

I had just gotten a progress report and it was bad. Well, bad by my parent’s standards and I just knew that when six o’clock came my ass would be grass. It had been at least two weeks since the last time I’d had a beating so the tension had been building and the apartment felt like a damn pressure cooker. I was sitting at the dining room table and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t do it. Not the curses, the screaming, the slaps, the punches or the choking. I just couldn’t do it. I got up and took the bottle of my parent’s high blood pressure pills and I emptied them into my hand. I poured a glass of water and I sat back down and just stared at those tiny pink pills. I thought about how my body would be found and how sorry my family would be. It would all come out then and everyone would see that I wasn’t the problem. There’d be weeping and wailing and my parent would be so overcome with guilt that soon there’d be another funeral. And the fantasy was so good to me that I had the pills on the way to my mouth when I realized that I wouldn’t be around to see any of it. I would be dead and gone and in all likelihood no one would ever know just exactly what drove me to it. I’d be just another sad, misguided youth who took the easy way out. My parent would receive nothing but sympathy and I would have finally been truly beaten.

I wish I could say that I had a sense of peace come over me and that I heard an angelic voice speak to me of love and grace but that’s not what moved through me. What did, was an almost frightening level of rage. I hurled those pills across the room and let loose a string of curses that had spittle flying and would’ve earned me a backhand. I’d be damned before I gave anyone the satisfaction of breaking me! I had already done 12 years and all I had were six more to go. I’d do my time and be done, but I would not, WOULD NOT allow anyone to kill my spirit. So, I picked up all the pills I could find, put the bottle back where I got it from and worked on fighting back the only way I had left; with my words.

Obviously, I made it through and I can say that I’m the better for it. I’ve been to therapy and I’ve built one hell of a solid support network of friends and family that helped me through. I’m glad I didn’t give in but to be honest, it was so damn hard. It’s hard to persevere when the foundation that should have been provided for you was made of substandard materials. How does a soul continue to shine when those responsible for its nurturing are the ones trying to snuff it out? I’m simply amazed that more of us don’t give in.

I’m glad that I hung on. It can get better and it does but you have to be here for the truth of that statement to be proven. Hold tight and fight. Fight for your life because it’s worth it. If you think you aren’t worth the effort today, well damn it wait for tomorrow and the opportunity to make it worth the effort! You only get one you and if you won’t fight for yourself how do you expect anyone else to?


You Gotta Have Faith

I bet you have George Michael’s Faith stuck in your head right now (cue maniacal laugh). I couldn’t help myself, it just seemed so fitting to what the 4th entry of the blog challenge is about: Religion. To be more specific we’ll be exploring my views on religion.

I’m what you would call a Happy Heathen. Oh, I firmly believe in God. I know that there is a higher power and that we all serve. Some of us serve by inspiring others to follow a righteous and spiritual path and other serve by being examples of what not to do. I believe there is truly only one path, however no one may tell you what you’re path is. You must experience your own journey and find your own truth. I also have complete faith that we will all get to where we are supposed to be—eventually.

At one point I was a devout Catholic. I went to Mass every Sunday and if I missed a Sunday, I went to Mass the next day. I paid my tithes and read my bible. I was doing it all by the catechism, and I was good at it. I became so good at it that I forgot that His plan and mine weren’t necessarily the same. Like many devout Christians I assumed because I was living right, nothing would ever harm me. I was wrong. While I was being devout, my husband was not and well, you can probably guess the rest. My heart was broken, my trust shattered and my life was a shambles. You know the drill: Denial, anger, depression, rage, hope, rage, grief, rage, bargaining, and some more rage. I went through it all and for a split second I was so flipping angry at God for not giving me a heads up. I was angry that He didn’t stop my husband’s infidelity by performing a mercy killing. Yep, you read that right. I actually felt that I should have been spared that pain by my husband’s death. Even now typing this, the sense of shame that comes over me for that utterly selfish and unworthy thought is almost overwhelming. I was so horrified that I’d come to this pass that I started to re-order my thinking about my faith. Don’t mistake me, I wasn’t angry with God. I didn’t blame him for what happened, rather I was ashamed that I allowed myself to think that because I was doing what I was supposed to that I wouldn’t ever have to go through trials. I thought that being good elevated me above that and I knew better than that. In my grief and I anger I came so close to praying for the death of the father of my child and simply because I was hurt. To this day I’m ashamed of myself for that.

To be clear, I never stopped believing in God, never that. What I stopped believing in, was organized religion. In theory religion is a wonderful thing. It uplifts you and supports you through times of trouble. It comforts you and gives you clear instructions and guidelines as to how to live your life. So many of us would’ve given in to despair if not for the abiding love of God. I get that. But what we often forget is, our denomination isn’t our faith. Your faith is your belief and your religion is the tool/vehicle that you use to express it; that’s it. God is the destination and religion is your mode of transportation. Furthermore, I don’t think He is too caught up in how He’s perceived or by what name He’s called. Look at all the variation that was created in the world. Do you honestly think that the Intelligence that created that has gender identity issues? I don’t think so.

Thank you for reading, and may you be blessed.

Just Say No!

Yeah, I went there. Day 3 of the blog challenge and I’m to share with you my view about drugs and alcohol. I can’t imagine why you’d be interested in it, but I’ll give it a go.

This is really a tough one. Personally, I refuse to be ruled by anything. The thought of relinquishing control of myself to a substance is abhorrent to me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a prude. I do occasionally drink alcohol and I have been inebriated (drunk just sounds so damn unsavory) but I don’t make a habit of it and I’ve never blacked out of forgotten my actions. All in all, I don’t really care for the feeling and I really don’t care for the after effects. I always end up feeling disappointed with myself. As someone who grew up with some heavy drinkers and an addict or two I have no desire to stagger down that road.

I understand that most people who use drugs for non-medicinal purposes are in some kind of pain and/or they may be predisposed to use and addiction. Life is hard and many of us are just ill-equipped to deal with it in any way that doesn’t involve some kind of mental/physical/emotional anesthetic. I can see that, but I can’t see taking that first step down the rabbit-hole to substance abuse and addiction. I just can’t. I’d rather slog through my shit; both metaphorically and in actuality, rather than take on an addiction. I won’t be ruled by anything other than my will. I just won’t.

Now, having expressed that, if you choose to do it, I won’t judge you for it. But it is very hard for me to be compassionate and sympathetic to someone who is a practicing addict. I just can’t get past the thought and feeling that it is a sign of weakness. And to be clear, I’m only referring to drugs used for illicit recreational purposes and not medicine prescribed to treat mental/physical disorders and/or diseases. And between you and me, this is one of the hardest admissions I’ve ever made.

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