Friday, December 9, 2016

Starting the shop up...Again

So I have added a couple things to my shop! I read a quote in a book that said "Don't wait until everything is perfect to start, just start!" It's really hard for me, and without even realizing it, I've been struggling with that for a long time. It tempers my creativity so much when I start worrying what people will think, and how silly the shop will look with only a few things (who am I kidding, it looks sillier empty.) I've spent too much time paying attention to others and what they're capable of, and downplaying what I can do, that I crippled myself! Ugh, but enough focus on that. Here are some of the recent pictures, I'm gonna kinda let them stand alone and hope you come visit my shop!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Weird Wednesday: Cats Who Claim Businesses

On the way home from running errands (meaning visiting the library and Chick-Fil-A) we stopped for some chips at CVS and saw a strange sight. This plump kitty was dozing by the entrance of the door. I'm not sure what popular opinion is about feeding strays, but I shared a bit of my breakfast burrito with it. I wonder what people thought of me taking pictures of the sweet thing.

If I didn't have a very opinionated cat at home already, I probably would have carried it home with me. Although I regularly see families of cats at the post office and even some restaurants, this was the first time one claimed a place in such an obvious way. Does anyone know what the protocol is for stray cats?

Post edited to add that I went into a favorite restaurant, and the owner (my friend) was complaining about a cat that got dropped off behind the building. I don't even know the gender, but the cat is beautiful bright white and very friendly. If anyone in GA wants a kitty too adopt, let me know! 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Seasoned with Salt and Speaking to Strangers

If you have ever read my blog, you know that I have never made a secret of my struggle with acne and the resulting hyper-pigmentation; however, I'm not sure if I have told about the many times I've been approached about it by friends and strangers alike. 
As you can see, the hyper-pigmentation is pretty obvious. 
I was at Lowe's with my family. The purpose was to take my 2-year-old niece to get some pink flowers so she'd have her own garden (she's been claiming gardens as her own and picking the pink flowers.) Anyway, as we headed to the register, I was waylaid by a black lady I would guess to be in her 50s. Since I had a camera hanging around my neck, I assumed she was going to ask about it. Instead, she simply said, "Your face, what do you use on it?" 

I groaned inwardly. I've had too many of these experiences to be shocked, and yet I worked at Chick-Fil-A long enough to feel I have to be polite to everyone. I opened my mouth to answer. 
"My grandson has that same problem." she stated.

I again took a moment, and thinking a little more of her now that I knew she had a point besides selling some products or nosiness, I replied, "It was worse than this. I have a hormone imbalance, and it causes acne, but once the acne is gone it leave these marks behind. They take awhile to go away."

 "You should try cocoa butter." She said.

"I haven't tried that," I answered "but I'm supposed to be wearing sunscreen, and I didn't all summer. Almost everything that helps the marks makes your skin sensitive to the sun." I admitted. 
She thanked me for that tip, because black people still neglect sun protection for the most part.We were settling into the conversation, and she started asking if I knew anything about eczema and when I told her yes, she wanted me to write down what I suggested for it. 
 Somehow, this lady managed to make me feel chastened (for not doing what I know to do for my face), and yet uplifted. This is a rarity when it come to discussions about my face, it is a very tender subject for me! With that being said, I would suggest that she start off the conversation in a different way next time, And I won't lie about wanting to go straight home and slather on sunscreen and makeup or just hide under my covers... but I could tell that her heart was in the right place and I'm gonna try that cocoa butter! 

We are so quick (me included) to get upset because we think we know where someone is coming from, but sometimes grace and a hearing ear are called for. My verse of the week is from Colossians 4:6 and says "Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
What experiences have you had with strangers approaching you? Have they been mostly negative or positive? Tell me below in the comments!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Foundation, concealer, and cleanser, oh my!

Today I'm going to talk about something that I'm far from an expert on, but that I learned by necessity. You are probably aware that I have PCOS; although it does not define me, it is a part of my life that I have to acknowledge exists in more ways than I want. I love eye makeup, but I started wearing foundation and concealer because of my hyper-pigmentation left from acne breakouts. Also for another post, will be the comments that I get sometimes just walking around without makeup. My first concealer was Kat Von D concealer and I loved it! It didn't take me long to realize that it was causing breakouts, and I found out later that it is not the best for those who are prone to acne or have picky skin like me. Always google the customer reviews of things you're not sure about if you have sensitive skin. 

Fast forward to about a year ago, my friend (who is a makeup artist) suggested I try NARS foundation. Y'all, I'm not even gonna lie, $50 is expensive to this thrift store shoppin' and yard sale lovin' girl...SO I bought their concealer and found a cheap foundation elsewhere. The concealer is good, but it's not gonna work all by itself if you're trying to cover up some hard core marks like I was! I wanted to put concealer on the more recent marks, and then cover the fading ones all over with a good foundation.
Without makeup

A few months ago I went back and had one of Sephora's special skin match tests done. These things are so embarrassing for me, because I feel like they can't get a proper reading with the dark marks! I was brought two possible matches for the "full-coverage" that I had requested. One was NARS. I slathered each side of my face with a different brand, asked a few random passersby for their opinions, and settled on the NARS foundation. I can't even describe how much I love it and find it worthy of my hard-earned money! It is unique in that the instructions tell you to rub it between your hands and apply-WITH YOUR HANDS-but it does go on very nicely. I like that it isn't weird colored, you know all the shades and undertones that become even more obvious with black girl skin and brown foundations! I wanted one that had more gold undertones instead of the pink or sometimes greyish look makeup gives me. It is very light feeling and almost watery in comparison to some, but that makes layering an option if you're extra funny about every any flaws being invisible. I find that one layer works and I can wear it all day without worrying about needing to reapply.

The only problem I ran into was getting it off. It seemed like the usual cleansers weren't working, so at Sally's one day, I asked a sales associate what she had that would help. She picked up a tub of Queen Helene cleansing creme and said "This will get anything off, and it's what I use."
Dear Sally's associate, thank you for saving my skin. I love you.
With a quick application of my new foundation just to run out the house.

Does that describe well enough how I feel about it? Little tip: it leaves your skin soft and supple, but I think you should consider washing it off before you jump your butt into bed...Also sometimes I don't if I'm feeling lazy, and it hasn't caused any breakouts. So that's my makeup story. I hope that it has helped you some! If you have any tips for blush or (more) eyeshadow that you love, tell me about it in the comments! 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Smart Succulent (or any plant) Purchasing

Are you here because of those totally dreamy succulents I posted on Instagram?

Whether you are or not, you're gonna want to hear this if you like a good deal. Now, first a little disclaimer: I am not a professional; in fact, I am a reformed black thumb. The only thing that's important though, is that I am working on being a true blue gardener slowly but surely...AND that there is a less expensive way to purchase plants.

Some of the succulents I purchased and re-potted today.

You may remember from this post how I said that I started a tree seedling business for/with my dad. Well, since then, I've kinda gained a newfound interest in plant life! Seeing my garden grow from seeds might have helped as well. Secretly, I've always loved succulents, but was too afraid to try growing my own. Since a few months ago when I bought an aloe plant-which has been thriving-I became convinced that I can indeed grow them.

Agh, get to it already Elisabeth! Okay, so today I went with Momma (the true gardener) to buy some succulents, and as I veered in that direction she said, "Wait, first we need a buggy, and then we're going to the specials."
Around my house, that means something. Dirt cheap. Saving money. Pinchin' pennies. Deals. Extra ice cream money y'all! So, at Lowe's (and other places like it-so I've heard) there are shelves with plants that are not doing well. They're significantly marked down in the hopes that they will sell quickly and not be a total loss. Big stores don't have time for one-on-one plant-sitting. Usually these will be in a less obvious place, so that IF you know about the specials you'll pass all the beautiful blossoming flowers first and find them irresistible. Today, lots of plants were marked down to a dollar!

So what are you waiting for? Oh, more tips! You know me well. If you have a specific plant in mind, find out when it is going out of season, or finished blooming. They become significantly less attractive and much more difficult to sell, and will likely be marked down. If you're a succulent hunter, look for plants that have had "babies" or spread; it is fairly common, and you're basically getting 2+ for the price of one-you can separate them at home like I did. Lastly, late fall is when stores are in a hurry to get rid of their live plants. During the winter, the people that rush in to beautify their yards in the spring (inexperienced) don't even bother the garden section, so the plants will be marked down like crazy.

Did that help you any at all? I hope so. I like to pass on anything that I learn, and I would love to hear any bits of knowledge you can add to this! Lemme know in the comments! 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

A Bright Idea

A few weeks ago I received a text message from a friend in another state. It was unusual because we're friends but keep in touch mostly through the occasional Facebook comment. She asked me something about sewing, and I got nervous. Since I've had the chance to do custom work and it has bitten me in the butt more than once, I don't feel the initial excitement anymore.

She sent me some pictures of some pretty simple skirts, and I told her they were totally doable. We started talking prices, and then she got to the really cool part: She wants an African print skirt! As you know, Hancock fabrics closed down this week, but I was mentally going through the store trying to remember if I'd seen any of those. I was pretty sure I hadn't. Going by there, I realized I was right and they didn't have the fabric, but I did find a pattern on sale! I can't resist passing these sales on to customers and see them get excited too! 

Fast forward to a couple days ago, and I went by the discount fabric store (don't let the name fool you, seriously) and there it was! I am absolutely looking forward to this project now. My friend couldn't decide because there were three rows of assorted fabrics like the one below! COLOR!

What new (or old) projects are you looking forward to this summer? 

Friday, June 3, 2016

How My Garden Grows

Here in the South especially, so much is said through tone and facial expression. One word can hold the meaning of a sentence. With all that being said:
Seriously, I had no idea that things would take off as they did where my garden is concerned. Also, did I mention the business of selling tree seedlings? Yeah, well running that business turned out to be work, because things were selling really well!
Potato plant grown from an old potato
 Dad left me completely in charge of replying to inquiries because he was at his 9-5 and didn't have time to research the answers. I've spent almost as much time on the computer as I've spent shipping plants from Monday through Thursday. I didn't realize that I could be obsessive until now. I checked and rechecked tracking to be sure the plants arrived quickly, researched several different sources before answering questions, and looked up different plants I was considering selling.
Then the first person with a complaint emailed; he said that he thought his persimmon seedling was dead. It had only taken two days to reach him so I was skeptical, but then I researched it and realized that if the plant sat on his porch for a couple hours it could easily wilt. Reading further I found that it's just now a good idea to ship through summer, so from June 1st through September 1st I get a break! I'm using this time to reorder, and also to reconsider.
I hope that through diligent planning, I can start sewing and begin my own business before the year is over. Perhaps if I set up my schedule early, I can be prepared in advance to have time-even just a couple hours a day! As you can see, by my garden I also meant my life in general! I've just joined an Instagram challenge that starts next week. Most of the time I just feel too worn out to take "perfect" pictures and I'm hoping that the challenge will actually help me out because I would like to use Instagram effectively for my business as well!

Anyway, I'll leave you with this picture of my squash. Look over here to see what they started out looking like...And no, I haven't stopped being awestruck by them or talking to them to "help them grow".