Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise.

Over the past few week I have had the opportunity to hear some incredible women speak and watch women accomplish great things. Octavia Spencer came to IU not long ago. You may know her better as Minny Jackson from The Help or Dorothy Vaughan from Hidden Figures. One thing she was passionate about was bringing one another up, meaning helping one another out, supporting each other, and sharing your little victories. Personally I am all for this. And one way that I have been able to support my fellow women recently has been through the Maya Angelou inspired Phenomenal Woman campaign organized by entrepreneur, Meena Harris. This campaign raises money for seven organizations that do work for women’s rights by selling a simple gray t-shirt that features two words: phenomenal woman.

The campaign began with a humble goal of selling 500 t-shirts. And since the start of the campaign the the goal has been lapped over 14 times. The current count is at 7,257.

That sounds like a lot, yes. But take a minute to soak that in and realize what that means. Because so many t-shirts have been sold, $232,224 will be donated to charity and the campaign is not over yet. (Yes I am promoting this campaign right now, but how could you not when such good things are happening?) There is still 14 days left before the campaign ends and therefore still potential to make a positive impact.

Something that started off as a small nod to National Women’s Day (March 8th) has grown into so much more. One woman started a campaign and many others came to support not only the cause but also each other.

We should celebrate that.

People have amazing potential to do great things (women and men). This is just one example of someone advocating for their peers and others coming to support the cause.


If this perked your interest and are interested in buying a shirt, or would just like to find out more the link is listed below.


Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.



Beauty Favorites: July 2016


Some of these products have made it through many moves, they are products I felt I could not live without.  Others I have came to love more recently. Either way I’m a loyal consumer.




My skin regimen is an oldie. Yet it still works for me. I am a stickler about protecting my skin. As a young kid, my mother would make a point of teaching me, protect the skin you were given. She would point at her own “troubled spots”, a result of hours of unprotected exposure to sun, baby oil and the addition of the reflective sheets. Because of the early wrinkle to the face and chest she would say “this is why it is so important you take good care of your skin”.   As a result of those moments I took to daily doses of SPF. Olay’s All Day Moisturizer feels light on my skin and doesn’t streak. It rubs in nicely and never feels oily. There is none of that sunblock shine from this product. 15 SPF may not seem like a big deal but it will be worth it in the long run. In the words of my mother, “your skin will thank you for it one day.” At night, typically after a shower, when SPF is not necessary  I will apply No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Lotion. It is perfect for the end of the day. It is a cleansing product which helps get the last of the day’s makeup off of your face. It cleanses while it moisturizes. 10/10 would recommend. And lastly- Tony Moly I’m Real Face Mask. I love face masks. Although I do not do one everyday, I wish I could. Unfortunately, they are a little more on the pricier side. Face Masks are like an at home spa treatment. I feel like I’m living in luxury whenever I am using one.



I cannot see myself taking these out of my routine anytime soon. Some product is going to have to blow me out of the water in order for me to consider replacing one of these. I feel like I have found the perfect product combo. My hair has never felt silkier or healthier. These two are best when applied to dampened hair. I start with It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In Product, spraying two or three squirts into the palm of my hand, rubbing my two hands together, and then smoothing the product over the top of my head where I usually get fly-aways. This product has done wonders. I have tried going days without it and you can honestly see the difference.  This keeps my frizz under control and even tames the beast. The bottle promises things like it repairs dry and damaged hair, adds shine, detangles, controls frizz, stops hair breakage etc. It gives a list of 10 benefits and it does not over promise. OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Penetrating Oil on the other hand, is the newbie at this party. It worked its way into my heart after a single use. A friend of mine owned the product, raved about it forever, and I finally tried it. And let me tell you, that very same day I turned around an ordered myself a bottle. The smell of this oil is heavenly. Argan oil is my new obsession. Everyone has found at least one product where they get one whiff of it and all of the sudden they have an overwhelming urge to eat it. This is what that product for me.  I apply a pea sized drop, rub it around on my hands, then run my fingers through the ends of my hair. By the time my hair is dry it is silky smooth and under control.



Lush Cosmetics’ Bubblegum Lip Scrub is a lifesaver. It is perfect for whenever your lips are chapped and it seems like no amount of lip balm can cure it. This lip scrub is essentially edible sugar- bubblegum flavored of course. All you have to do is apply with your finger and rub your lips together, it is that easy. By rubbing your lips together the sugar scraps off the dead skin and makes way for new tissue. You can either wash it off your lips with water or simply lick it off. If you are a bit squeamish and the thought of eating your dead skin is too much for you then option #1 is the way to go. But ladies, the results are lovely. The lip scrub gives your lips a fresh start. And for daily use I have Tanya Burr Cosmetics Matte Lip in the color Martha Moo. This color is gorgeous. I have never been a huge lipstick fan. For me lipstick was not worth the hassle. It smudges, stains, it wears off, you have to reapply, it was just too much for me. I was never a big fan of a shiny lip on myself in the first place and I absolutely despise lip gloss (its sticky). Plus I have big lips to begin with the last thing an amateur make-up artist like myself wanted to do was draw more attention to them. But for this Matte Lip product I made an acceptation.  After a minute or two from application the lipstick is no longer sticky (Bless The Lord) AND it is practically smudge proof. I could go practically all day without reapplying. It is pure magic.


Brows & Eyes

Do I fill in my eyebrows everyday? No. In fact I rarely do and this is still a staple for me. Why? Because the spoolie brush on this end of this is fantastic. I do not fill my eyebrows in but I still need to the spoolie to comb through my brows and shape them before I apply a clear brow gel. Otherwise my brows will be going every which way you can imagine. So yes the Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Long-Wear Brow Pencil is a must. And when I am feeling especially fancy I will fill in my brows a touch with the shade Espresso. It works well for its purpose to. Plus the packaging is flawless. Next up my all time favorite mascara: Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara. This one came in a small box from Sephora with lots of random samples, I did not realize how valuable this would be to me until years later. I’m torn between identifying my favorite part about this as the brush or the formula itself. The brush is all bristles, wider at the base and then smaller towards the end (so it is good for getting the inner corners and also the lower lash line). Then the formula I love. It does not clump. It lengthens. It defines your lashes. It applies evenly. It does not flake. And it is amazing in humidity. This is the best mascara I have ever used.



This category is more of a personal preference area. So I will keep it short and simple. Daisy by Marc Jacobs is a sweet and light smelling fragrance. It is quite strong initially but does wear off throughout the day and needs to be reapplied. Treaclemoon Raspberry Kiss perhaps is a sentimental piece to me. A good friend, who is currently living on the other side of the world, gave it to me as a gift. And it is extra special since she brought it from Switzerland. It is an all around good hand & body lotion. It does its job well, is very smooth, and smells incredible. This too is a fruity scent.




It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In Product

OGX Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco Penetrating Oil

Tanya Burr Martha Moo Matte Lip

Lush Cosmetics Bubblegum Lip Scrub

No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Lotion

Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer with SPF

Marc Jacobs Fragrance Daisy

Treacle Moon Hand & Body Lotion Raspberry Kiss

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Brow Pencil

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara

Tony Moly I’m Real Avocado Mask Sheet

Dutch Side Braid & Ponytail Braid

hair spot - 1 (2)

hair spot - 1

All too often my go-to hair styles for hot days are simple ponytails or messy buns. Braids are a great solution for mixing it up. Having long hair is actually so nice for doing hair braids. There is so much that you can do with your hair when it is long vs. when it is short.  Braids are just a quick way of getting your hair off you neck and they look nice too. Whenever I do not have a lot of time in the morning to get ready I put my hair in a braid. Braids look fancy and they take less time than actually straightening or curling my hair. And it is a nice change from my all too regular pony tail or messy bun. With that being said, a Dutch Side Braid is one of my favorite “fancy” and quick hairstyles. I like Dutch braids because they pop out more, they are more obvious and more unique, except in actuality they are really just a French braid reversed. And the addition of one small pulled apart braid to a pony tail looks sleek and adds a point of interest.