Finding Magic

sanddollars

 

While on our family vacation, Bethany, Natalie and I decided to take advantage of low tide to get to the north end of Kiawah Island. (This trip was a plan B since hurricane Irma squelched our Edisto Island plans). To be honest, I was a little disappointed that the Kiawah Island beach didn’t have shark teeth. I heard that there may be an opportunity to find one on the north end. We had baby Lennon with us, so we weren’t sure how far we could go. She was a little trooper!

We noticed as we journeyed north, there were no other humans.  We encountered flocks of seagulls and pelicans. Then Natalie spotted a whole sand dollar. We grabbed a photo to commemorate the find. Little did we know that we would find over 100 sand dollars as we continued to walk!!!As we neared the point, I even found a shark tooth and we saw dolphins playing. It was one of those walks that can’t be explained. Memory upon memory. Magic was in the air and drifting to shore. A Ranger drove in a truck made sure we knew high tide was a’ comin! We had about an hour before the inlet would be flooded. We raced back with the jewels.

side note: we found out that if sand dollars are still in the shallow water, the best thing to do is gently put them back into a little deeper water on the ocean floor. They are alive until they are on the shore for a few minutes. You will be able to see a little movement in the slits on the dollar when they are alive and see that they are a little fuzzy. Only take the ones that have landed and been on shore without water. Here’s a great article to read about the differences between them being dead or alive. http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/2015/03/25/how-to-identify-differences-between-live-and-dead-sand-dollars/

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“Hello, kid”


1. What’s the one trait you remember possessing as a kid that you’d like to embody now? 


2. What’s the one trait you possessed as a kid that you desire to overcome or release? 


I believe we all have both scenarios buried deeply.

Go find a picture of yourself as a child. Look into the eyes of that kid and smile. Say nice things. Speak positive, beautiful, empowering words and let the “kid” still inside soak it in.

Mascara Tip for Longer Lashes

Do you remember when you started wearing mascara? This was a “game-changer” for me and my blonde lashes. LOL. Mascara can make a dramatic difference between blonde and brown/black lashes. But after after a few years, I began applying quickly by memory, never giving this routine much thought.

Here’s a tip that involves just a slight adjustment in how you move the wand, but  it gives dramatic results. To begin, load up your mascara wand. Now instead of following your lashes in the direction they naturally grow, like, this-

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Let’s move that wand. This time, when you get midway up your lashes, pull your wand (gently but firmly) toward your nose. You’re “guiding” your lashes to the center of your face, …like this

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and this action makes them more likely to “stand up“. Hello.  Yep. This makes your lashes seem longer and your eyes larger.  It’s a game-changer.

 

Happy mascara-ing!

#beautynearme #thebeautynearme

 

RV Rain

Rainy Window Pane

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RV rain is similar to “front porch” rain. It’s the rain that invites you. It asks you to sit and listen for awhile. (More windows per sq feet of space in the RV commands me to take in this subtle but powerful”show”.) I watch and hear the drops hitting the roof. It’s loud; thunderously loud. Even though the rain is “light”, it’s impact is large in our little RV home. There is no avoiding it’s presence. And so I lean into it. I readily accept this rain as necessary and productive as I traverse the journey from summer to fall. Somehow it meets my melancholy heart and does a little soothing as it falls and puddles onto the earth. It feels like night in the middle of the day and I can’t help but think of Texas.

Somewhere a farmer has been praying for rain. Somewhere a father prays for protection from the rain.

As I turn the candles on, I am praying for those experiencing the rain and wind accompanying hurricane Harvey. With every drop I experience here in my world, I pray for comfort, protection and restoration.

No matter where we are, we are all so similarly at the mercy of another.

Hair Extension Review

I was skeptical about hair extensions. I could envision it going VERY wrong VERY fast. I’ve heard stories of tape in, glue and who knows what else, damaging hair. But Clip-in Extensions?! This I had to look into! The more I looked, the more convinced I became. Sure! Why not?! I decided to try it for the versatility, economics and fun. I like options without the longterm commitment of extensions that are adhered in a more permanent way. And it’s “better” for the health of your hair while giving you “change options”.

before and after

So here’s what I did. I brushed my hair out thoroughly, then detangled and put in a little “smoothing serum” on the tips to smooth out before I started the process.

~Considerations~

Brand: I chose Pro Extensions. I saw the color that seemed pretty close to my own color. Made from 100 percent Grade A human hair with claims of easy application (even women with no previous experience)  Unlike weaves, tapes or glues, clip-on extensions allow you the freedom to put in and take out the hair extensions as often as you like.

Color: I chose a platinum/dark blonde combo and was pleasantly surprised. It matched perfectly. BUT if it had not been the right color, (because each set of extensions is made from human hair), they can be styled and dyed just as you would your natural hair. I also liked the polymer-coated clips because they attached securely and did not damage my natural hair. They did not slip out or move around.

Now, The “How To”:

Brush your hair to make sure its easy to section off with a comb.

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2. Section your hair into 3 portions. Sides and back. Then section the back into three portions. Always leave 1/2 -1″ at hairline free of clips.

“Open” clips and arrange hair on the counter in the chronological patten you will put them in. Keep the front and sides of your hair pinned up.  Start with the back. keep all hair clipped up so you can work on one section at a time without any tangle issues. Move from bottom of the hairline upward. Then go to your sides above your ears.  I did 3 singles on each side, keeping all clips on the lower half of my head. Use a comb to make straight part lines before each addition.  If your hair is fine, you may need to tease the roots of your hair for the clips to get a good grip. Since my hair is more coarse, I did not do that. If you can avoid that, I think it keeps it easier to comb and manage.

 

Use a flatiron or curling iron to blend the end of your hair with the extension hair. Voila’! Enjoy the length for a new look.

Pros: Versatile, Easy to clip-in & out, Economical, Awesome when wearing hair down.

Cons: Clip-ins are not super comfortable while laying down. Not able to wear hair up too high on your head comfortably since the clips are shaped to adhere to the shape of your head. It just feels funky and odd. (You may be able to put them in upside down to wear hair up. This seems a bit tricky, but I may try it.

Overall, It’s fun to have the versatility of extensions. It’s a great option for a different look without commitment. 😉 

Clip in & clip out! 

My Date with the Sun & Moon

 

 

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Solar Eclipse 2017.

I wasn’t sure the weather would cooperate. North GA predicted clear skies until 1:00pm and then partly cloudy skies. Totality at 2:35:45 PM, lasting for 2 minutes, 34 seconds.

I hoped and prayed the clouds would part. We traveled a few hours north. Bumper to bumper a few times on the way, but mostly we were just scouring for a good place to park.Parking was full at Tallulah Gorge. I smiled. This landscape was so familiar. As a child I spent a few days every summer at a campground not too far north of Tallulah Gorge. Yearly family reunions were a highlight. I couldn’t help but think of my “Uncle Wit” as we roamed north looking for a place to gaze upward. He loved this place. He fished and camped, drawing the Jones family in, year after year. He loved my momma and loved her girls with tenacity that most uncles only dare hope they possess.

Billowy skies loomed in the distance. We rounded the corner heading toward the campground. Traffic cleared. We found ourself on a winding mountain road. We passed a few “prime” spots for parking and landed at an abandoned store on a country road. Fields to the south were perfectly beautiful & inviting. A family gathering could be seen in the distance, everyone wearing the latest fashion in eyewear.

I sat on the trunk of the car and used a mirror to see the beginning of the magic. The darkness continued to creep upon the light. I wasn’t really prepared for the feeling of wonder or the glow that emanated from behind the moon.

The whole world was “sunrise and midnight” combined. It was eery and yet ethereal; other-worldy and all things beautiful.

It was 2 min and 34 seconds of God’s glory.

Maybe these astronomical rarities are orchestrated to punctuate realities. Heaven sometimes does visit earth. As I looked upward near the place my family reunion convened year after year, I knew Uncle Wit was with me today, shining brightly.

What a glorious Monday #beautynearme.

 

The Necessity of Beauty in Tough Times

My heart was a little heavy. I was deep in thought about those I love and inwardly trying to “solve the world’s problems” (what? you don’t do that?)  Anyway, I read the title of this article in Darling magazine: Why We Need Beauty When Times are Tough . (PLEASE take a minute to read the article).

Oh, my heart resonated with this.  The discipline of knowing what choices keep you grounded in rough times can be tricky. Instead of honesty, we demean ourselves for thinking off the beaten path of hardship. We chide ourselves for being dreamers and wonder why looking at something beautiful is worthy. Well, answer that question. Why is it worthy? Listen to the answer. We know that the tiny, incremental decisions are the ones that let light pierce through the darkness. It’s always been in the smallest of things that redemption and hope takes root.

Maybe it’s in noticing the way the light makes your skin glow at sunset, or the way the trees sway and swirl in the breeze, or the application of a red, “happy” lipstick even when your heart is heavy? Whatever the “beauty” that lifts your heart, embrace it. Embrace it fully. Redemption draweth nigh.

You know celebration and recognition of beauty brings heaven down to earth, don’t you? The gasp inside your heart when you view the snow-capped mountains from the opposite ridge, seeing the aspens blaze in fall, or the surge of happiness and thankfulness amidst utter exhaustion as you hold a newborn baby in your arms, you know the peace that love brings and the way it surrounds you like a warm blanket on the cold night as you gaze up to see a shooting star. Guard this art of seeing, recognizing and celebrating beauty. Let nothing steal this prize from you. It’s extravagance is like a goddess from some mystical shore, looking at you, waiting for acknowledgment. Some will say this goddess doesn’t exist. You know the truth.

Recognition of beauty changes everything, mainly ourselves.