Spring is Here – Refresh, Reboot!

Hafa Adai Lovelies!

SPRING! A time to clear away the blahs, to reassess goals, to clean out closets! Here in Guam it is an endless summer (which may sound great to a lot of you!). however, the weather can be a motivation killer. That “sameness” is kind of what has happened with me lately. The lack of a season change made me a bit stuck with my mindset and goals. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I noticed that I hadn’t written anything in awhile or planned something new. So – presto!

Presenting the new look to The Divine Mz M! I am back, baby! New beauty tips, reviews, fashion, fitness, body image discussions….and GIVEAWAYS! Yes!!

As of late, I have really worked on my makeup skills and started a side gig as a makeup artist! Being able to create while making someone feel amazing is such an fantastic feeling. If you are on Instagram, please check out my work and let me know what you think! @DivineMzMel

What are you planning to do differently this spring? I’m going to get more fit (planning on 15 more pounds gone by my July birthday), focus more time with friends, and saving cash towards a December trip to Australia!

I would love to know your goals!

Until next time –

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo Melanie:)

The Truth About Getting Older!

Hello Lovelies,

I think the month of January ran by me without my realizing it. My every day life has been incredibly busy for a month straight – between teaching, doing parties, and now launching a new business with makeup and skin care (more to come on that later!!), I think my body decided to revolt!

Some of you know that I’ve become pretty passionate about getting healthy. For almost a year, I’ve watched my diet and worked out at least 3-4 times a week, focusing on a cardio/weight lift circuit. It’s worked out great, as I’ve lost 33 pounds. Pretty nifty keen, if I say so myself!

March 2016

March 2016

January 2017

January 2017

But here’s the thing. Though I am stronger and more fit, somehow my body decided maybe I was trying to do too much and as a result, my sciatic nerve GOT MAD last Saturday morning and the Hubby and I spent most of the day at the emergency room. So, imagine my frustration when I am told to rest for a few days and take medications for pain. UGH!

Besides all that, I am realizing that my eye sight is going downhill. More and more I am having to rely on my reading glasses – and that’s not such a bad thing, as my glasses are kinda cute, but damn….it means I am definitely getting older!

I want to tell all young women out there – CHERISH your bodies. Love them as they are; don’t wish for something else. Now that I am in my mid 40s, my beauty routine has become much more elaborate to fight gravity. More supportive bras, firming creams, regular masks and facials. Yes, I know – we all get older. However, it doesn’t mean I have to just let gravity and stress tell the story of my life! Call me vain, but I want to look as young as my heart feels.

Dress. LuLaRoe. Bag, Just Fab. Necklace, Premier Designs.

Dress. LuLaRoe. Bag, Just Fab. Necklace, Premier Designs.

I take care of my skin. No longer do I trust just anything to put on it – chemicals make me red and the inflammation ends up breaking down cells, causing loss of tone and creating wrinkles. I discovered a professional grade skincare and makeup line, LimeLight by Alcone, which uses no chemicals, is free of parabens, plus is cruelty free (which I especially love!). Check out my before and after! You can see more at my Facebook page: Giving Good Face by Melanie! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1069186336560621/

Left, last December. Right, Feb 3 2017 after using LimeLight by Alcone's skin care and makeup consistently. No photoshop or filters!

Left, last December. Right, Feb 3 2017 after using LimeLight by Alcone’s skin care and makeup consistently. No photoshop or filters!

So yes – physically, aging sucks. Over time, things wear out. However, one thing I know is true: With age, comes wisdom. I don’t get sucked into others’ dramas, I focus on what’s really important to me and my family, I believe kindness is much more effective and needed, and true friendships are precious and few. I have no patience for toxic people or situations.

Getting older has given me more confidence. I say what I mean, and mean what I say. I don’t have time for games. If I want to try something, I will do it. Appeasing others to save face doesn’t interest me. The cliche’ of “life is too short” becomes very clear as one gets older.

So, yes I’ll have to do more physical therapy, wear glasses more frequently, maybe pass on more commitments to reduce stress. However, I’ve got one life and I want to live it the best I can!

Until next time!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo, Melanie:)

 

Oh No, My Friend Has a Home Business…!

Hello Lovelies,

I know this has happened to you. You’re on Facebook, and you’ve received an invite. It’s from your friend Jane and guess what – she’s started X business as a consultant, and wouldn’t you like to 1) come to her launch party 2) refer her to some friends and/or 3) host a party?

One of two things will happen:

  1. You sigh and decide to go to the launch to support her (but you’re not spending more than X, dammit!)
  2. You sigh and pretend you didn’t see the invite and make up an excuse later.

I know you’ve done one of the two because I’ve done the same thing!

However – here’s the truth: Your friend is excited about her new business but is scared sh**less at the same time because she’s worried about:

  1. The cost she’s put into the start up.
  2. Her partner’s rolling eyes and the “I told you so’s.”
  3. She will piss off or annoy her friends and family with party invites and product posts.

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Kinda seems like it? hahaha!

Kinda seems like it? hahaha!

Here’s where things changed for me. When I decided to go to a party that had a a direct sales product, I actually had fun. For real!

Plus, the consultant was a military spouse like me, and she was just trying to make a little side money – no grand delusions of getting rich. She wasn’t pushy, either. Bonus: I liked the products!

And then, I thought – why am I giving my money to big box stores when my business could be directly helping a family? 

I decided I would try to support home businesses as much as I could. If I needed a special gift, better makeup, skincare, comfortable clothing, or great smelling wax bars, I would seek out those consultants.

And, though I never sold any products before, I became a Pure Romance consultant last August! Nearly six months later, I’ve sold nearly $17k in retail and was able to buy Christmas presents without digging into our joint checking account! Most importantly –

  1. I believe in the products. I’d never recommend anything I didn’t believe in to a friend, or use myself.
  2. The parties have introduced me to new friends. As a military spouse, it’s easy to feel isolated and I’m so grateful for new women in my life!
  3. I don’t feel like I have to “bug” people.
With my team members!

With my team members!

Ready to do my party thang.

Ready to do my party thang.

So, the next time Jane invites you to her Scentsy, LuLaRoe, Limelight, Younique, Origami Owl, Thirty One Gifts (or Pure Romance!), party –  DO THIS:

RSVP and go.

OR

Not interested? Let her know. Just say, “Thanks for inviting me! This isn’t really something I’m interested in, but I’ll pass your name on.”

She (and other Janes) will appreciate it! Believe me, a “no” won’t crush her (if it does, then maybe she shouldn’t go into business?!!).

Hope this helps you out!

Until next time –

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo, Melanie

Your friendly Pure Romance Consultant:)

http://www.pureromance.com/melanierobinson187802

 

 

Phrases I Hate

“Act your age.” “Ladies don’t act like that.” Those two phrases were ones I dreaded hearing when I was growing up.  I never truly understood what they meant, but now I am older, the context of those words make me cringe and upset. Why?

Because we direct them at girls. We expect them to mature faster and be quieter, more “ladylike” in demeanor. Their enthusiastic energy gets toned down, their “tomboyish” attitudes and activities looked at as something weird, or a “phase.”

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There’s a famous saying, “Well behaved women seldom make history.” To me, it means not being quiet when people are hurting.  To not accept poor treatment. To rise above expectations. To DO YOUR OWN THING, regardless of age.  I am in my mid 40s and still like amusement parks. I listen to everything from Rihanna to Skrillex and jazz too. Wearing crazy leggings makes me happy, and yes- my hubby is 12 years my junior. Some people might think I haven’t “grown up,” but on the contrary, I’m growing in experiences. If we stop trying new things, taking risks, or sharing an opinion, then you have stopped experiencing life.

So, to my fellow “ladies” out there: Stop apologizing for your ideas. Don’t second guess yourself.  Trust your instincts. Say what you mean.  Be brave and DO YOU!

Until next time,

Love, laughter and shoes-

xoxo, Melanie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Bargains & Splurges” – Beauty Edition

Hello Lovelies!

Fall is upon us, though living in Guam is an endless summer in flip flops! I do miss the rush of looking for the perfect sweater dress and boots! So, in lieu of doing a “Best Fall Fashion” post like I’ve done before, I present my favorite Beauty Bargains and Splurges!

I chose to review the basic three we usually use: Foundation, Lipstick, and Mascara.

You know the saying, “you get what you paid for?” I think that couldn’t be more true when it comes to beauty products. I’m sure you’ve tried a number of products over the years and it can take quite awhile to find what works. So, I’ll break down what has worked for me.

  1. BEST FOUNDATION: 

 Bargain – L’oreal True Match

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Hands down, True Match is one of the best drugstore brands out there. Priced at $8-10 a bottle, this gentle and lightweight foundation comes in several shades that lives up to its name, True Match. It never looks “cakey,” and has pretty good staying power throughout the day.

 Splurge- Younique Touch Mineral Foundation

touch-liquid-foundation

Initially, I bought this as a “going out/special occasion” makeup, but once I put it on, I am wearing it nearly every time I wear makeup! I have never felt anything so light and velvety before. It’s gentle on my skin, moisturizes, and doesn’t get greasy looking after a day in the Guam climate. Yes, it’s more pricey ($39), but since it doesn’t irritate or change color over the day, I am in love.

Runner Up: Clinique Chubby Stick Foundation 

2. LIPSTICK/GLOSSES

Bargain – NYX Butter Lipstick

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Priced at just $6 a tube, this lipstick is surprisingly lasting and has a nice shine, but not too shiny. I would say that it does feel “like butter” on my lips and I like that it doesn’t dry out my lips, like many lipsticks tend to do. Lots of colors to choose from!

Splurge: (tie) Clinique Chubby Stick & Pure Romance Obsession Lipgloss

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I’ve been a big fan of the Clinique line for quite awhile now, especially since I love the Chubby Stick Foundation, and I love the Chubby Stick for lips even more. The fact that it comes in a “crayon” keeps it from melting down like sometimes lipsticks can do in tubes. The color makes my lips moisturized and includes my favorite rose color – Bountiful Blush. Great for an everyday look or going out! (Retails $17).

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Pure Romance is a company which specializes in beauty, bath, and bedroom accessories (and I am a consultant!) and to be honest, I wasn’t that excited about the lip gloss at first. But when I got it as a free gift, my tune changed! I’m normally not a gloss girl, but Obsessed is NOT sticky, too shiny, and it being formulated from bees’ wax makes me lips super soft! I wear it all the time, and fits great in my purse! In four colors – Charm, Crush, Groove (my fav!) and Captive. (Retails $18-20) Grab your Obsessed here: https://www.pureromance.com/melanierobinson187802

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Wearing my fav color – Crush!

3. MASCARA.

Who doesn’t love mascara? Even if you’re not a big fan of wearing makeup, somehow just adding mascara adds enough to wake up your face.

Bargain – L’Oreal Butterfly Intenza

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Finally, I found a mascara that lengthens, thickens, and doesn’t give me a clumpy look! Plus it’s pretty easy to remove at night. Butterfly Intenza’s wand gets the baby lashes, and doesn’t dry out the lashes, either. Priced at $7, you can’t beat that!

Honestly, I don’t use any higher end mascaras! Are there any you like?

What are YOUR picks for best foundation/lipstick/mascara? Please comment:)

Until next time -love, laughter, and shoes!

xo, Melanie.

 

 

Fighting the Good Fight: My Battle With Anxiety

I am celebrating an anniversary today. Six months ago today, I decided to take control of my life.

On March 12, 2016, I was the heaviest I’d ever been in my life, 223 lbs. I was suffering from constant pain from sciatica, which created a daily need for some kind of painkiller, be it an over the counter med like Aleve or something stronger that could knock me out.

What I wasn’t sharing – panic attacks that used to plague me for years had returned. Driving around this little island made me feel claustrophobic; like I couldn’t run away. I chalked up most of my feelings to homesickness, but the bulk of the truth was staring at me in the mirror.

I was sick. Overweight. Over-medicated. Physically weak.

At my heaviest.

At my heaviest.

I have always been an advocate of celebrating the body you have and not tearing yourself down. Though I’m not ashamed of the weight I gained, I was worried that the weight I had put on was destroying my body. Things I used to do rather easily (like climbing stairs) would leave me out of breath. I was more tired than usual.

But what I failed to see until that day in March was, my panicky feelings were tied to my body crying for help. Though I was put on an anti anxiety medication, I still struggled with leaving our house, worried that a panic attack might happen. That’s the worst part – the “what if” I have an attack?

I couldn’t deal with it anymore. I decided to get serious.

Before I "got it." Medication only helps so far.

Before I “got it.” Medication only helps so far.

To be clear: I am not advocating that anti anxiety/antidepressants are bad. However, through my experience, using medication alone to deal with anxiety was not enough. I had to make big changes to my diet and get physically strong. I needed to push through discomfort in order to make changes. Not only from a physical standpoint, but I needed to confront issues with myself. Meditation and seeing a therapist helped to quiet my ever-racing mind.

Today, I am positive that my body does not respond well to sugars and processed foods. Whenever I have given myself a treat and eat something with more sugar, my joints hurt the next day. I feel lethargic and also more prone to insomnia. So, I will eat a much smaller amount to avoid the side effects.

As I write this, I am 28 pounds lighter. My medication has been adjusted and I’m sleeping better.

Feeling so much better!

Feeling so much better!

My message is this: Anxiety and depression are very real. It’s not just feeling anxious or blue. I “white knuckled” through a lot of the anxiety for a long time, or I would try to distract myself by throwing myself into a lot of projects so I wouldn’t have to deal with my issues.

I know that I will need to continue to work out, eat well, and monitor my stress to keep the panic attacks and depressive episodes at bay.

The Hubby has been amazing through my journey. I really don’t think I could have got on a good path to wellness without his support. I love him with all my heart!

Love of my life!

Love of my life!

If you are struggling with anxiety and/or depression, don’t be afraid to get help. You’re not weak for doing so! It means you want to live a better life, and you deserve that.

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xo, Melanie.

 

 

Pictures Don’t Lie

BoM selfie

Hello Lovelies,

Oh, I am a bad blogger! I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I posted anything, but I HAVE been busy! First off, I went home to Michigan for a couple weeks to surprise my dad for his birthday – and was he surprised! Between myself, stepmom, best friend, and aunt, we pulled off an awesome surprise party! I’m so happy I was able to do that for him and spend time with people I love. It’s hard to be so far away.

One of the things that’s hardest to do when going on vacation or seeing your friends and family is sticking to a healthy routine. When I left for Michigan on June 14, I weighed 207 (17 lbs down from my heaviest in March). I watched portion sizes, how much sugar and fat I ate, and avoided simple carbs. I did some “power walks” in the mornings to get my cardio going. Coming back, I was 205. Now I am 202! That’s 21 lbs. gone.

Though I’ve seen progress on the scale, sometimes it’s difficult to truly see it in the mirror. However, going through some pictures gave me true perspective of what I’ve done. Here I am at the start of my journey in March (at 223 lbs):

When I began to take control of my health!

When I began to take control of my health!

March 2016 223

Here are my latest pics from the first week of July:

Dress, Just Fab. Belt, thrift store find.

Dress, Just Fab.
Belt, thrift store find.

Bag and sandals, Just Fab.

Bag and sandals, Just Fab.

Though I look and feel healthier, I am not going to put down the Melanie in the “before” pictures. That’s something I don’t like seeing people do who’ve lost weight (“Look at how fat I was!, What a slob!, How ugly! etc.). I don’t think it’s healthy for my soul to “name call” myself. Who I was then has brought me to now, so I am thankful for that.

I’ve also put in 500 lifetime miles on my FitBit! I had to celebrate my getting these cute black sandals from JustFab.com (unfortunately are now sold out!).

Blk JF sandals

Though I’m entering (what is horribly named) “middle age,” I find that the key to staying and feeling youthful is to surround myself with people who love to have fun and bring out the best in you. I am blessed to have several people in my life who do this, especially my best friend of 40 years, Debby. She may not be my blood sister, but she has been one to me in every sense of the word!

All dressed up to see the hilarious musical, THE BOOK OF MORMON.

All dressed up to see the hilarious musical, THE BOOK OF MORMON.

BFFs Forever!

BFFs Forever!

Question for you all: Is age “just a number?” Are there things you should stop doing at a “certain age?” Please comment:)

Until next time!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo Melanie.

 

 

 

SHOP LINKS: Black T shirt dress (up to 3X)

Bag (available in cognac only)