- I am surrounded by some of the most creative, talented, compassionate, and loving people on the planet. I am grateful for that every day.
- I want to cover the world in hugs and lift everyone I meet up in spirit and life. And I’m going to…some way, somehow.
- There are things I’m terrified of, but I’m overcoming those fears with the help of prayer, therapy, and an amazing support system.
- You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. ~ A.A. Milne
- My God is an awesome God and I am going to be alright.
I am deflection and depression. I am angst and anger.
I am thousands of hours of wonder and wandering, love and leaving, crushes and crying.
I am made up of my ancestors before me and the legacy I leave in friendships.
I am proud power getting stronger with age. What doesn’t defeat me now only drives me harder and clears my head.
I can overcome anything with His grace.
So can you.
I have been bitten, betrayed, bloodied, and beaten. I am not those things.
I have been raped, released, reneged, rattled, and ruined. I am not those things.
I have been broken, but healed. I will break again. I will rise again.
So will you.
I am precious, passionate, people. I am spirit, love, dance. I am intelligent, resourceful, loyal.
I am me.
So are you.
It’s been a minute since I wrote more than a few sentences, but it’s time again for the annual #bloglikecrazy challenge. Each November, Javacia Bowser, founder of See Jane Write, challenges anyone and everyone to write a blog post every day for 30 days. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don’t, but I always give it the old college try. And try again I will this year.
Why do I want to try #bloglikecrazy again? Because my blog needs a refresh. My site needs a refresh. I need some new menu options, some new graphics, some new everything. Maybe this month will give you, my dear readers, some chances to help me decide on the changes to be made…a new picture here and there…some color changes. Maybe some polls in there for you to vote on. But the blog will definitely be filled with new breath because that’s all I’ve got now. So much has happened since we last ran into each other (doesn’t it always seem that way), and I’ve got a lot to say.
I hope you stick around for the month – and after – and see what I’ve got for you on YouGotRossed. I’ve got some new ventures and adventures headed your way. More soon, loves!
I first met Christina (aka PinkLuxPL) a few months ago through Javacia Bowser at a See Jane Write* event. She immediately caught my eye with her stylish outfit and picture perfect makeup. I was mesmerized and I wanted to be her. Just look at the picture above; I rest my case.
I knew I wanted to learn more about her and, more importantly, from her. How did she put that fabulous outfit together? How did she achieve makeup perfection? I didn’t have to wait long. After talking to her over email and then in person a few times, I scheduled her to do a makeup workshop for Birmingham Girls Club. As a preview, I went to her house before the workshop to learn more about her technique and let her do a test-run on my face since I was going to be the model at the workshop. The run through was amazing and I knew instantly that I needed to be a participant in the workshop (and not the model) so I could watch from the audience and write these tips down.
I’ve since been to a few of Christina’s events and I learn new tricks and money-saving tips each time. My top three takeaways from her are the instant facelift (I have had TONS of compliments on my skin since integrating this into my makeup application), how to apply concealer and highlighter for best results and to contour, and lots of money saving tips on where to get good makeup for a lot cheaper than Sephora – including top notch brushes – and ways to save money at home during my beauty routine. Being 40, I thought I knew most everything I needed to know about makeup. I’ve been wearing it since I was a teenager and have mastered a lot of of the tips, but I had no idea how much more there was and how much better I feel about my appearance just from a few new tricks from Christina. The saying is true…you can teach an old dog new tricks. 😉
Christina offers group classes and makeup sessions, as well as one-on-one wardrobe/styling and or makeup sessions. Visit her web site at pinkluxpl.blogspot.com to get all the details. I highly recommend her. You will look (and feel) 10 years younger. And no, this isn’t a paid or sponsored post – the girl just made a believer out of me.
THIS JUST IN FROM CHRISTINA: Cyber Monday discount: Book today and get 40% OFF SERVICES! This includes bridal and prom makeup appointments, as well as wardrobe makeover and online sessions. Tired of not knowing how to apply your makeup or finding yourself with a closet full of clothes but still don’t know what to wear!? Or maybe you want to learn how to create a look and build the perfect wardrobe for your body? These sessions are for YOU! Booking for 2016 is available! Only a few spots left for December 2015. Email email@example.com TODAY to get this deal.
* Learn more about See Jane Write here. Javacia, founder of SJW and MEGA SUPER WOMAN, is offering a deeply discounted special on her one-on-one coaching sessions – $50 for 1 hour (normally $125!!). Click here to submit your payment and then email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your session. It ends tonight so hurry!
Dear Mental Health,
I’m sorry for what you’re going through. I know you’ve been lost, loopy, and just out of it for a few days now and I wish I could change that. I know you’ve been crying out, trying to figure out what’s going on, and why you feel strange and I’m so sorry.
Much like my very brave friend, Andrea, I’m not keeping quiet any longer. Mental health issues are less of a stigma than they used to be, but they’re still shushed and tucked into tiny boxes and shoved far back into the recesses of our figurative closets. I’ve posted before about my ongoing battle with my mind – not necessarily full on depression, but definitely not the happy Sherri I want to be. I recently switched medications from something I’ve been on for years that hasn’t seemed to do much, to a newer drug that seemed to have worked for two days. Now I feel I am right back where I was on the prior medicine.
I’m changing medications again. I’ve read about side effects of medications and also the effects of coming off or going on them, along with the proper way to do it. I’m currently coming off my latest medication completely before starting the new one. Let me just say that I have’t been completely SSRI-free for as long as I can remember. In other words, I can’t remember not being on something.
The effects happening to my body and head right now are scary, to say the least. I can feel changes in my head, along with feeling generally loopy or woozy most all of the time, especially when walking. And I’m so tired. Lethargic, even. I want to sleep all the time right now and can’t get enough. I could barely muster getting out of the car yesterday when we arrived to Thanksgiving lunch at a nearby restaurant. Once I stepped inside the restaurant, I just felt lost. My brain is clear and functioning properly, but there are some synapses not firing quite right in there, too. There are spurts of tunnel vision, moments when I stand up and immediately need to sit back down, and scary dreams. In short, I feel exactly the opposite of how I think I should feel OFF of medication. It’s crazy.
I’m sharing this because it seems that each time I write about my experience(s) with mental health, I’m reassured that I’m not the only one going through these exact same circumstances. It’s so helpful to know that I may feel crazy in the head (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) and I’m not alone AND that it won’t last. I’m looking forward to starting the new medication to maybe help balance some of this ickiness in my head and body out, as well as get me back to my awesome, cheery self. I’m positive that with my doctor’s help and listening, we will get the right medication figured out. Until then, please forgive me if I seem out of it. I am.
Mr. Sheuster telling me I never have to grow up…I’ll take it. #macysparade #findingneverland
Of course I’m going to get all sappy today. I know so many friends and family have experienced loss and trying times this year and my heart aches for them. I am hoping that through all the darkness and grief they are able to see the silver linings that still shine behind the scenes. I know it’s hard, but we still have so much to be thankful for. I can’t speak for them, but I woke up this morning. That is huge – so many did not. Most of the people I know have food, shelter, clothing, and FREEDOM. So many do not. So, as you go through the day – celebrating or not – spending time with family or not – please take a moment to say a prayer or send love to those who are not as fortunate. Even better, consider giving back with your time, talents, or resources to the many wonderful local organizations that can help those in need. If you need any suggestions, please let me know. And, last but not least, take a moment to tell someone you love them and WHY you are thankful for them. Even better, tell someone you don’t know that you love them and are thankful for them. I plan to freak someone OUT at Shoney’s today. Join me, why don’t you?
And thank you to all my friends and family for making this and every day so special. I am blessed beyond measure and I try to remember that each day. I am thankful for the good, the bad, and the ugly that you all bring into my life that makes it so much more bright. You all help give meaning to my life and give so many reasons to keep on keepin’ on. Thank you for the smiles, the tears, the hellos, the goodbyes, and the forevers. I love you.
Recently, my fashionista fab friend, Jennifer, asked me if I wanted to have a shopping field trip to my favorite store, Torrid. Let me preface this by saying I HATE shopping for clothes in person. I haven’t shopped for clothes in a physical store in years. As it happens a lot of time, when you are a big girl and the selections are limited, you want to go less and less. Add to that the feeling that nothing fits or looks right, and you pretty much want to bury yourself under your covers and never come out. But, women need clothes and I’m no exception. For me, clothes shopping is akin to going to the dentist – I never go with anyone because I don’t want them to see me cry, sweat, or scream and I get terribly overheated and come out looking like world’s largest radish. So, I browse and click from the comfort of my laptop and try things on privately in my home where I can prance and dance (or burn them) all in secret.
Poor Jennifer had no idea what she was asking when she extended the invitation. Since we are extremely close, I knew I could confide my apprehension to her and she would understand. And she did. But she also asked me to go because she knew I wanted help. I’ve told her more than once how much I love her style and how much I need some style tips and wardrobe suggestions. So, putting my fears and ill feelings aside, I agreed.
Still full of ickiness on Saturday when we met, I was soon at ease. She came in like a fairy Godmother – no kidding – bibbitying and bobbitying all over the store, gathering armfuls of clothes for me to try. Outfit after outfit went from her arms to the saleswomen to the dressing room. I went ahead to the room to mentally braced myself for trying on clothes in the store and in front of someone else that I knew. End result? No big deal at all! Jennifer put the cutest things together, was extremely sweet and supportive of all my insecurities, and quickly squashed any fears that lingered in the dressing room. I felt 16 again, giggling and trying on outrageous outfits alongside tasteful ones and even posed for pictures. PICTURES. AS IN EVIDENCE. AND MY SMILE WAS REAL IN THEM! (blackmail photo above)
She’s not a personal shopper by trade, but the girl has ALL the skills to be one and I know she’d love the opportunity to help anyone with tips and ideas. I asked her for shoe, jewelry, and outerwear advice along with the outfits we put together. We both left with some great outfits and I didn’t vomit. HUGE win. Because of Jennifer I can say with certainty that I will venture back into Torrid in the future to shop and try clothes on. Sometimes all we need is a fairy Godmother!
Birmingham is awash with talented artists, from music to media to art and more. We are fortunate to have some of the best in the business right in our figurative backyard. Before I moved to Birmingham I never really cared that much about art, local or otherwise. However, after falling madly in love with Naked Art (thanks to my good friend, Lee) not long after moving to Birmingham, I jumped on the art bandwagon. Naked Art appealed to the non-conformist in me, carrying all types of strange and wonderful pieces by local artists. I had never seen anything like it before and I was hooked. Since discovering Naked Art, I have slowly, but steadily, grown my art collection and it’s full of some of my favorite artists like Sarah Woodall, Vero Vanblaere, Scott Thigpen, Chad Moore, Chris Davis, and others.
Sarah Woodall’s skylines are a must have for any Birmingham lover. She does commission work, but you can usually find her pieces during the year at ArtWalk, some of the monthly Art Crawls, and her web site sarahwoodallart.com. Being in love with all things Birmingham, we actually have a few of her pieces on our walls, some received as gifts and some just gifts to ourselves. From her depictions of Vulcan, the infamous Magic City sign, and more, Sarah creates masterpieces that work well in any decor.
Another one of my all-time favorites is local celebrity Vero Vanblaere. Vero actually owns the previously mentioned Naked Art gallery and that’s where I first discovered her work. Her pieces are so unique, many whimsical, and all tell a story. Vero also does commissioned work and her pieces can be found inside Naked Art, as well as many festivals around town. Vero’s talent has spilled over into filmmaking and she recently released her first short film Bottomless to rave reviews.
Chad Moore’s photography business is called Piffle Pics and the name is perfect. His photography cracks me up. I’m not an art connoisseur (or even that good with words), so the best way for me to describe it is pictures with characters inserted into them, usually in somewhat ironic or funny situations. They’re not always funny though; my favorite piece by Chad is a “You Are Beautiful” photograph that he did.
Chris Davis is another local boy made good. Between his commissioned playful dog portraits, clay platypi, and Vulcan beards, his art can be found all throughout Birmingham. Add to that his amazing graphic design skills, improv and comedy acts, and you’ve got a first-class artist.
Rounding out my the top of my list are Scott Thigpen, John Lytle Wilson, Delaine Derry Green, and Eric Johnson. Thigpens creations are beyond witty, Wilson’s robots and unicorns feed my inner child, Green’s vintage-inspired pieces make me wish for simpler times, and Johnson’s Birmingham metal works give me the warm fuzzies.
Do you have any favorite local artists? If so, who are they and why? Tell me in the Comments below.
It’s no secret that I am in love with Birmingham. I dub myself “Birmingham’s Unofficial Cheerleader” (at least until they create the position for me). What thrills me to no end is that I’m not alone. Birmingham is a city full of love for one another. We have helped launch hundreds, if not thousands, of books, movies, businesses, incubators, and more just from supporting each other in our endeavors.
Take Carrie Rollwagen and Amy Bickers. Active members of the Birmingham community, they decided to launch Kickstarter campaigns to try and publish books that they wrote. Success! Completely crowd-funded books by local authors because Birmingham believes in its own. Another great example is Sidewalk Film Festival, a local independent festival that recently had its biggest year due in part to thousands of Birmingham believers shouting from the rooftops how amazing it is over the years.
On a personal note, I’ve found so much support in groups like See Jane Write and Birmingham Girls Club, created to help other like-minded women find and build their own tribe. For example, I’m sitting in a coffee shop right now with a room full of other women, blogging and writing. My blogging buddy, Jennifer, and I put the word out earlier this week that we were going to be setting some time aside to just work on our blogs this weekend and invited others to come along and here we are. This is the power of our community, supporting one another even with no words and just the clicking of keyboards.
I believe in Birmingham. She believes in you. Birmingham’s got your back!