What #BeautyIs…

Hello lovelies,

What is beauty? What do you consider to be beautiful? I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea lately, mostly because so many women and girls are subjected to a marketed ideal which for many, is unattainable. As a beauty and fashion blogger, I am committed to writing about and showing diverse versions of beauty. Maybe if more of us did, we can combat the  unrealistic, photoshopped messages and embrace who we really are!

Beauty Is…

  1. Trying something new.
The awesome Carmen.

The awesome Carmen.

My dear friend Carmen, who is already an accomplished actor, director, and ballroom dancer, decided she wanted a new challenge and a new way to get healthy. So, in her late 30s, she picked up a whole new sport! Fierce.

2. Creating Your Own Trend.

The unique and awesome Jakey!

The unique and awesome Jakey!

Jakey (another dear friend!) has always followed her own lead in fashion. She’s worked every hair color you can think of, can pull off just about any style, because she’s fearless!

3. Making Your Life Happen.

My beautiful cousin, Jax.

My beautiful cousin, Jax.

Though she had a steady job and was doing well in her hometown’s college, Jax (real name: Jacqueline) wanted more. She took a risk, aimed high, and ended up becoming an Editor in Chief of a major college newspaper. She’s also about to graduate and launch a new career. Well done!

4. Not Settling for Less Than You Deserve.

My BFF of several years, Debby.

My BFF of several years, Debby.

Debby is practically my sister. We’ve been best friends since age 4, and we’ve seen one another through all kinds of ups and downs. A couple of years ago, she was in a miserable relationship which had practically stolen her bubbly lightness and joy. Though it was difficult, she summoned the courage to leave the man who brought her pain. By not setting for someone who did not appreciate the beautiful person she is, she now has a wonderful relationship! Don’t EVER settle. You don’t know what you are missing out on!

5. Celebrating Your Body, Your Spirit.

Bikini CU

 

Bikini, Forever 21 Plus.

Bikini, Forever 21 Plus.

So many of us wait until we’ve got the “perfect body” before we’ll put on a bikini, wear a swimsuit, or even go to the beach. I haven’t worn a bikini in 15 years, and I’m tired of waiting. Let’s not let media decide how we should feel about ourselves. Be proud to be you!

6. Facing the World Through Challenges.

The lovely Beth!

The lovely Beth!

Recently I learned that Beth, one of my high school classmates, is facing cancer. Though her prognosis is good, she is still dealing with the harshness of chemo. I love that she put herself out on Facebook with a red lip and a sparkle in her eye! Get ’em, girl! You’ve got this.

Beauty is not what comes out of a bottle, a syringe, by an Instagram filter, or off a clothes rack. It’s truly how we see ourselves and how we treat the world around us. Let’s celebrate what truly #BeautyIs!

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xo, Melanie.

 

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Pressing Forward with Patience

Ah, Daylight Savings Time…gotta love losing that hour! The time change falls a bit later here in Germany, and I’m sure I’m going to feel that loss tomorrow!

Besides the time change, I’m dealing with changing feelings regarding my body. I started physical therapy last week (I had back surgery this past January), and I was hoping my therapist would give me the green light to start swimming and doing yoga. As a former dancer, I miss feeling movement and working up a sweat, plus those things can get me back into better shape.

However, my therapist doesn’t think it’s quite time yet. “We’re going to do strengthening exercises first, but no twisting movements yet. Be patient, and you’ll get there.”

Honestly, I’ve been patient since June 25, 2012 when a car plowed into ours. Ever since then, my flexibility, my ability to go on long walks, exercise vigorously, and dance has been greatly compromised. It’s like my body has been stuck in a long winter, waiting to thaw out and bloom. Patience is starting to wear thin.

Yesterday, a friend tagged me on Facebook to post a #nomakeupselfie for breast cancer awareness. Even though I am frustrated with what I currently cannot do, I AM HEALTHY AND BLESSED.

I am healthy, and have great love!

I am healthy, and have great love! #nomakeupselfie

Being thankful is something that isn’t just reserved for Thanksgiving. I have many blessings – love, family, friends, pets!  Today I am thankful for all these things, plus being able to express myself freely on my blog.:)

I also love to express myself through fashion and makeup, of course! A little sparkle lifts the spirits. Here are a few pieces I decided to debut today!

Spring accessory1

Spring accessory2

Spring accessory4

Spring accessory3

It’s hard to be patient sometimes, but I am learning the embrace the mantra of, “this too shall pass.”

What is difficult for you to be patient about? Please comment!

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Floral headband – CLAIRE’S ACCESSORIES

Silver bow ear cuff w/stud – CLAIRE’S ACCESSORIES

Floral ring – CHARLOTTE RUSSE

Silver chain w/high heel – JOLLYCHIC

IFB_SEAL_RED