Thursday, April 6, 2017

Article Request Part 2: Makeup products

Leah Sheffield Fusselier from Louisiana asked if I'd do a makeup tutorial.

I wouldn't mind doing an actual video tutorial but I don't know how I'd set my phone up to actually record it. So....let me think a bit more about how to do that.
In the you go.....
Girls, my makeup bag is the size of Texas and I am NOT a brand snob.
No, sirree. I'll try any brand until I find what works best.
And as you can tell I have every brand under the sun.
I use MAC for my foundation, concealer and pressed powder, yet you'll see Maybelline loose powder, another concealer- wait- I have two concealers? -  as well as L'Oreal and Milani.
I have to tell you that the products I get from Milani (cheap from CVS) are probably my favorite. Their eye and lip colors are very rich. They also have a contour/highlighter that I absolutely love.
Here are questions I get asked most.
How long does it take you to do your makeup?
It depends. If I'm going somewhere with Mr. T and he is in a big hurry he'll tell me 'you don't need to do the full-dolly'.
In actual fact, I do indeed do the 'full-dolly' every single day of my life. Even if I'm just staying home. I never know who is going to drop by and it's not that I'm ashamed of being 'nekkid', it's just that I look so different (i.e. like an old hag) and I'd rather not subject people to that. I think it makes them uncomfortable.
Oh - but wait! I still haven't answered the question. So, how long DOES it take me to do my makeup?
 I think about an hour altogether - give or take another 35-45 minutes.
How much do you spend on makeup each month?
I spend very little, actually. It all lasts a long time and of course I don't run out of everything at once. I probably replace concealer and mascara more than anything.
You should never keep your mascara longer than 3 months, and I have such dark circles under my eyes that I have to use a lot of concealer, so it goes pretty fast.
You're getting older - you should probably use a lighter hand.
(code for 'girl, you wear way too much/)
It's true - I wear a LOT of makeup and I am totally, completely, unabashedly unashamed of that.
It's like a hobby for me so I like to play and experiment and try different colors and looks.
First of all - I care NOTHING about age, and Second of all -
I live in Texas where everything is bigger - including my eyelashes.
So yes, I'm wearing a lot, but NO I don't think I wear 'too much'.
Oh heck - who am I kiddin'?
Of course I wear 'too much'  - I'm too much, but at 54 years old I doubt that I'm changing anytime soon.
Love me, love my makeup.
End of story.
You wear highlighter.  Isn't that more for the younger set?
I mean YES I wear highlighter, but NO I don't think it's for the 'younger' set.
I have found that using highlighter gives my 'blah' skin a little 'oomph'.
Do you do your own makeup?
Believe it or not I get asked this a lot. 
Of course I do my own makeup.
Mr. T would not cotton to the idea of moving a makeup artist into our spare bedroom - unless said makeup artist could also double as the chef. And the pool boy. And maybe mow the lawn every once in a while.
Thanks for dropping by!
Anything you want me to write about?
Comment below or feel free to email me! 

Article requests from friends: Part 1

It should be no secret that I have suffered from writers block going on 140 a few years now. So...I recently reached out to some of you for ideas and you came up with some really interesting topics.
I'll do it in several part series.
So, Johna Johnson Armistead, you're first.
'Write something personal about one of the Bible verses you posted today"
The following was my facebook status:
"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them."
Romans 12:14
You see, I always try to love people the way God loves us - unconditionally.
It's kind of like that Back Street Boys song (I hear you saying 'whaaatt?, but bare with me),
I don't care who you are, where you've been, don't care what you've done as long as you love me....
That's the way God loves us and I try very hard to love like that.
But, of course, I'm not God.
I'm human and while my intentions are good, when someone
goes out of their way to be mean, to say things that cut to the quick and they do it on purpose,  and in a public way, my first instinct is to lash out.
(Yes, that happened this week).
Then, I remember this commandment.
Yes, I know it's not one of the 10 original commandments, but it's a commandment nonetheless.
There's also that 'little' verse out there, too, that tells us we are not authorized to seek revenge.
Or hold a grudge.
So, even though it's really, really, really, really hard sometimes, I quote these verses over and over in my head, and remind myself of my vow to actively try and love each human being just like God loves me.
That, dear Johna, is the story behind my posting of the Bible verse.
If anyone else has anything they'd like me to touch on, or if you have a question/comment, please leave in the comment section below. It's been a while and really miss you!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Just thinking out loud

I have pondered for quite some time if I am going to leave my blog up.
Let's face it: I haven't written on here much lately. Actually, I have not written ANYWHERE lately and I had been wondering if I might just give it up altogether.
Here is the chain of events leading up to this revelation:
I was all set to do a charity book signing in my hometown over the holidays. I had 2 full boxes of "False Victim" and one box of "The Hillbilly Debutante Café", however when I went to load up for the signing, my boxes of "False Victim" were gone. Vanished. Nowhere to be found.
I'm telling you, I tore that house apart looking for those boxes. At the last minute, I had to cancel the signing altogether.
I knew - and my husband agreed - that I could not show up at a book signing and make it with 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe' on it's own.
I felt awful for 2 reasons - mainly, because I'd let people down. And 2: because the realization, for the first time, hit me that I am really nothing without 'FV'.
First of all, let me say, I am so grateful for the success of
'False Victim'. I still wish the story had never happened, but am thankful that I was able to take an awful thing and turn it into something good.
But the fact is, I love and am proud of my work on the
'The HD Cafe'.
One endorser described it as a 'combination of Steel Magnolia's meets Fried Green Tomatoes with a sprinkle of My Name is Earl on top'. 
I have learned the hard way that this is not what the majority of people want to read. They want drama. Or romance.
And I don't want to write about either. If that is what it takes to be a successful author, then I have nothing to offer.
It was 2 weeks within that self-revelation that the man we hired to haul off trash, just happened to pick up my last box of books and took them to the dump. Ouch. He apologized profusely but that obviously didn't make them any less at the dump with all the other waste.
Ironically, it was 2 weeks after that, that I learned my publisher had closed up shop. I had suspected for some time that was going to happen.  Through the years I'd taken quite a bit of criticism for choosing to go with that particular publisher.
Keep in mind, I'd also signed a movie contract and everyone wanted a percentage of that except for this publisher, which pretty much made my decision to sign with them. I still say it was a good decision at the time.
So. Here I sit. Writing on my blog, knowing that no one is really reading it anymore....and wondering where to go from here.
I think for now I am going to use the blog as my diary. I enjoy writing and if I'm writing in it just for me, I don't feel the pressure of having to please anyone.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Selling Hillbilly Hacienda

2017 is already bringing changes to our life here at the
 Hillbilly Hacienda-with number 1 being that Hillbilly Hacienda is on the market.
Yes, you read that right.
My beloved Hillbilly Hacienda is under contract by another buyer, and the way it looks right now we will be moving into our new house the middle of January.
I've had the best time renovating this house - watching my vision come alive day to day and turning her exactly into what I wanted her to be.
I have enjoyed sharing pictures with y'all and the interest you've taken in every single one of our projects whether it be the pantry or the pool, helping me pick out wood floors and even naming her!
I thought this would be my forever home and led you to believe it would be.
So, I'm sure that leaves you with this question: WHY?
It's plain and simple: there is someone new.
Since I was a child I have always known what I wanted in the perfect home -
-beautiful foyer
-formal dining room
-large catering kitchen
kitchen dining area
-swimming pool
Well, lo and behold I unexpectedly found the house that has all of these things while previewing other houses for a client.
This is the first time in my entire life I have ever seen a house that met all of my needs and wants.
The next thing you know I am putting an offer in and working like a mad-woman to put mine on the market.
Now, on this New Years Day 2017 I find myself packing up my possessions, preparing to start yet another new phase in my life.
I made the announcement on my Social Media pages a few days ago and have gotten mixed reactions -
How could you let that pantry go?
while the pantry at the new house isn't as cute, it's much, much bigger and the fact that I have a REAL library more than makes up for the pantry.
But you just built that pool!
I know! But the new house also has a pool right off the sunroom - literally steps from the back door. And my yard isn't really much more than the pool so not a lot of maintenance.
Are you leaving Texas?
No way!!! As a matter of fact, I'm just moving about 5 miles down the road. So, I'll still be here in my hometown of Rowlett. And this new neighborhood has trees - real, live trees!!
I am so proud of the work I've done here. You know that old saying 'leave things better than you found them'?
Well, I think I've definitely done that with Hillbilly Hacienda.
I love the way you've followed along and loved her as much as I have.
And if she could talk, I bet she'd say 'thank you' as well.
Til Next Time,