Yesterday... I had the awesome opportunity to take a drive to the West Side with my sons and my little sissy.  We watched a gorgeous sunset, returned an item at Sephora and walked Front Street.  Check out our day on my latest vlog - posted below.  It is a little long - but we had a long day and I just didn't think I wanted to cut out too many parts. :D
This was a fun video to do and I hope you guys all enjoy it.  Since Spring and Summer is here - I figured I would share my Hair Flowers with all of you.  I'll be working with my friend Beth as well and she will be posting a similar video.  

Hair flowers are a favorite of mine because they can dress up any type of wardrobe look.  They are the inexpensive - unspoken accessory.  Check out my video below for a tour of my Hair Flower Collection and check out my very inexpensive way to display them.

We are HUGE animal lovers in our house and have recently added a new addition to our family.  His name is Ikaika.  While puppies are cute and friendly and love-able, they also sport major dog breath.  

I was recently asked to review this product and have absolutely enjoyed it.  Check out my review on Orapup.  The link to get a discount is in the description bar of my YouTube video - so click "to watch on YouTube" so you can take advantage of that awesome discount for this awesome product.
Your puppy or doggy will love it and you will too!
I'm so behind in posting here on my blog - I apologize that I did not post this earlier.  In the past I have filmed What's in my Bag videos almost every month if I had time... it's been a year I believe since the last time I filmed one.  Check out What's in my Purse?  I have since changed it but this is the purse I sported for Winter / Early Spring. 

I originally began this post as my Wacky Wednesday Post... but made some changes. lol  So - yesterday (Wednesday) I posted a photo of my green drink of the day.  Now - if you have been following me a while, you will know that while I normally eat reasonable well and healthy - I'm still trying to lose some weight.   Honestly, my biggest problem is that I am so busy - I often times don't find time to eat... it has never been eating unhealthy or over eating.  So I have decided to incorporate 1-2 of these drinks in my daily routine.  I'm still getting used to them, though it is not the taste that is the problem, they taste great... it's about finding the time to actually get it done.

For yesterday's drink I used: Spinach, Banana, Body by Vi Protein Shake, Water and Coconut Oil
Click on the video embedded below to see how and what I did (I briefly show you) and make your own.  You can also click here to watch the video.  

Today's green drink varied in what I included so as you can see - the color is a little different. 

It included:  Spinach, Kale, Spring Greens, Strawberries, Blueberries, Almonds, Water and Coconut Oil.  

I used my Ninja once again to blend and chop it up to make it into a juice.  I had some of the texture of the Almonds, but for the most part - it was not odd to me and it went down like I was drinking a lightly pulp filled juice... not thick like a smoothie.
It's been pretty crazy the last 2 months when it comes to mail.  Freebies that I had requested were starting to show up the last week of March and they just kept coming.  Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining... I enjoy them and enjoy that I can donate them to friends, family or my local shelters and offices should I not find the use for them. 

In this video I go over where you can find some of these awesome freebies... and I also leave a few links in the down bar where you can sign up for a few as well.  Take advantage of them and try out products you may have not tried before.  

Please note that my freebies include those from: Smiley360, BzzAgent, Free Sites/Coupon Sites, and Giveaways I may have won. 

I posted a picture of this look on my Instagram on the day of my 12th year wedding anniversary (April 6th) - as it was the look I used when I went out on a date with my hottie husband.  I had received a lot of requests to recreate the look and/or do a tutorial and my niece had asked me months before if I could please do a black smokey eye tutorial for her to follow... so I figured this would be the perfect time to do so.

This look is easy to recreate.  I'm using just 3 colors from my Lorac Pro Palette... however, there are several other palettes you can use to create the look.  In the video I mention several that you can choose from - one I left out was the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette... exchange the Light Pink (which I used) with Venus in the palette to create your look.

While this look is sultry and sexy and very dramatic... you can easily tone it down by adding more brown and blending it in so the black is not the forefront of the look.   I hope you enjoy this tutorial - products used are listed below and the tutorial can be found in the embedded video below or by clicking here.

Products Used:
  • Primer - Too Faced Shadow Insurance
  • Base - Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze
  • Shadows - Lorac Pro Palette (Taupe, Black, and Cream)
  • Liners - Mally Sparkle Liner in Black and ELF Liquid Eyeliner
  • Mascara - Dior Show Lash Maximizer, Too Faced Lash Injection mascara and L'Oreal Voluminious Carbon Black
  • Lips - Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Rose Amour and MAC's Nymphette Lip glass

Be absolutely determined 

to enjoy what you do.
~ Gerry Sikorski

Wishing you an awesome 
upcoming week and a fabulous day - 
About 4 weeks ago, I had the awesome opportunity to try out 2 of the 8 Hard Candy All Glossed Up Lip Stains (Pout and Love Bite) and over the last 2 1/2 weeks I was able to try out 4 more.  There are 2 more colors in this collection which I really need to get my hands on:  Cupcake (which I have been on the hunt for) and Mauveous.  

The 6 colors I do own: Pout, Red Minx, Orange You Sweet, Vintage, Love Bite and Chic are definitely awesome additions to my makeup collection and I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to try them out.  I didn't get as detailed in my Video review (which is embedded below) because I just really didn't have anything negative to say about the product.  I do wish they had a wider range of colors but am really impressed nonetheless.
I tried to photograph swatches on my lips several times as well as on my arm and got them as close to the actual color as possible.  The lip swatches and arm swatches vary and after swatching on different things, I realized that it really does take on a slightly different color depending on the original color it is being applied to.   

Red Minx (though may look a little pink in the arm swatch and paper swatch is actually a nice red.  It's not super vibrant like say... MAC's Russian Red, but it definitely packs a punch and makes my lips look super juicy when applied.  It can lend a pink tone to it - especially if I exfoliated my lips prior to application - but for the most part, the color is awesome.

Pout & Love Bite though different in the packaging, can look very similar both swatched and on the lips.  I noticed that they are different in bright sunlight when I'm looking in the mirror - but during the night - both have a fuchsia tone to them.   Love Bite was not as purple as I thought it would be, which is not that bad - considering it wouldn't be a very wearable lip color if it was.  I really wish I can get my hands on Cupcake - one because I LOVE Cupcakes and two, because the color is supposed to be a soft baby barbie type pink.  I'm sure it would make for a favorite of mine, once I get the opportunity to try it out.

Chic is my absolute FAVORITE.  I've been using it every day.  While it looks like it is kind of a nude beige in the packaging, it actually has a soft pink undertone to it - so it leaves me lips looking like a soft pink nude.  It's an everyday wearable color for me and it has been a go-to.  You can find this color in my purse pretty much every day of the week.
Depending on the lighting and my original lip color for the day - Orange You Sweet can be a kind of orangey-pink color to a coral.  The Swatches below (on the paper) show it as a pink tone, but it really depends on the starting point when applying.  When I apply it over Pout - it kind of gives Pout a nice Coral tone, when applied on my lips alone, it can go from a Salmon color to a peach toned pink.

Vintage is one that I don't use as often and wish I had during the Fall/Winter months.  I have used it several times and it really looks like a Brown Burgundy on my lips.  What I do love to do is mix it with Love Bite or Pout to create a whole different color that allows me to wear it without looking like I'm from last season. lol 

The packaging of each is super cute.  I love that they look like crayons (though it may not be my friend if my sons ever get their hands on them) and I love the bright colors.   When purchasing them from Walmart - they will be in a plastic sleeve that keeps them protected and sanitized - so if the seal is broken, you know it's been tampered with.  They look similar in shape and size to the Tarte Lip Surgence, Covergirl Lip Stains, Neutrogena Lip Balm/Stains and the Revlon Kissable Balms.  Honestly - I'm really impressed on the sleekness and the quality of the packaging and enjoy the twist up as the others have as well.

They retail between $4 - $6.99 at your local Walmart or Walmart.com and when on sale - you can really stock up at that price.  Having tried several different brands, I'm truly impressed at the quality.  Many of Revlon's Kissable Balms are anywhere from $7.99 - $12.00 here where I live and the price is just as much as high end brands sometimes.  The Covergirl and Neutrogena are also between $7.99 - $12.00 which makes them so expensive, especially since they are drug store brands.  I will definitely be picking up some of the Covergirl & Neutrogena to do a full comparison later (stay tuned) but for right now, I'm beyond floored at how awesome these are.

Lasting power is great - though I have had to apply a few times on days I eat several times during the day or drink a lot.  Though - even if I have to reapply, the stain of the color is still there, it is just missing the gloss.  I also love that though it is a stain, as it starts to fade, it gives your lips a soft "kissable" looking color.  Like you rubbed your lips on juicy fresh fruit.  Not only is the lasting power great - it is super moisturizing and I love that if I skip my lip balm on the day I'm using this - I don't feel like I have to run out and buy a new one.  My lips feel moisturized and soft and the gloss that is in the formulation is NOT STICKY... which if you follow me a while, you know that is a very big factor in my book.  It claims it is a Hydrating Lip stain and it certainly proved that to me in heartbeat.  Oh, before I forget... there really isn't much of a scent to them - so for those of you like me that rather have a fruity or sweet scent or nothing at all, this is one of those.  I also noticed there really wasn't any taste or flavor either.
While this is only my opinion and my thoughts based on my trials using these lip stains, I know others may and can have a different point of view or opinion as well.  But honestly, besides wishing the colors were a little more different in tone so they wouldn't look similar on some skin tones - I am truly calling these a favorite.  It has made my 5 Star Rating for Drug Store Lip stains... I love it.
Check out my Video Review where I show you swatches as well. :) 
While today's quote is by a man who was not necessarily a favorite... he definitely was respected for who he was and what he did.  I figured regardless of who he is - the quote is definitely a great one to share!

Don't measure a man's success by how high he climbs 
but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.
~General George S. Patton
Yes, plus size ladies can still rock out a short dress.  While I love my Maxi Dresses - I love how a short dress can make any woman feel like they are flirty, girly and sweet.  I paired this specific ensemble together because I wanted to wear my Leopard Heels with an outfit that had a pop of color and didn't want to use it with pink.  I found one of my hair flowers and decided this would be an awesome fit and I was right.   I have always had the skin tone to pull off bright yellow shades and I absolutely love the way this whole look came out.  
  • Yellow Short Eyelet Dress from Old Navy
  • Jeans/Denim Jacket from Old Navy
  • Leopard Platform Heels from Fancy Steps

  • Love Collar Bracelet from ShopLately
  • Pink / Aurora Borealis Beaded wrap bracelet - made by me
  • Hello Berry Inspired Pink/Gold bracelet - made by me
  • Pink/Gold bracelet - Forever21
  • Silver/Gold Invicta Watch
  • 14K Gold Plumeria Earrings with matching pendant/necklace
  • Purple, Yellow and Pink Zebra Gerber Daisy hair flower - made by me

On My lips I'm using Milani's Rose Amour lipstick, on my eyes a used a quick wash of purple shadow from my Tarte palette, no primer - so it would look soft.  I am also using my Mally Sparkle liner in Black to line my eyes.  I chose to go with a simple eye look because I wanted my outfit to stand out amongst it all and be the focus of the look.

Check out my Video post below to see my  whole outfit - or click here.
Yesterday (Sunday), my YouTube Channel made 5 years old... I've been doing reviews via my blog even longer than that.  So when people ask me... "How do you get free products to review?" I truly cannot give you a complete answer because I think it can be different for everyone, however... I can tell you what has happened with me and how I got where I am today.  

First, there are many people who start off contacting companies - I didn't even know that existed till a friend of mine did a video last year explaining what she did.  Before then, I was always under the assumption that companies contacted Bloggers/YouTubers to work with.  When I first started reviewing products, back in 2007 - I was contacted by a PR agency that wanted to work with me, because the product I had reviewed (which I paid for out of my own pocket) was a product that they did PR work for.  That was the first company that I worked with that provided me free product in exchange for my reviews.  

If you have been following my YouTube Channel / Blog you will see that while companies do send me products, I also review products I buy out of my own pocket.  It allows me to establish my review base and show how truthful and honest I am.   It also allows me to provide information to other consumers so they can decide whether or not that is a product they may want to buy (the same reason for reviewing free products).  As a consumer, before I buy a certain makeup brands, etc. - I will research that brand or product like a crazy lady... searching blogs and youtube videos to ensure that I am spending my money wisely and not wasting it on something I shouldn't buy.  For that reason, I want to provide the same type of insight for my readers, viewers and those just searching for more info.  It allows us as consumers to really think about our purchases... let's be honest, money technically... doesn't grow on trees.  I never look at reviews (sponsored or not) as just getting free product and I think that there are honestly too many people out there that look at it in this light - which then gives other reviewers, like myself a bad name.  When, my ultimate goal is to allow other consumers to find products they may or may not like before paying the money for it.

As a business owner, in the last 2 years I have had many people (on average at least 2 a day) contact me asking to review my products.  I have built awesome relationships with many of them - those that enjoy what they do and review because their ultimate goal is to assist the company in growing a fan/client base and then you also meet those that are always out to get free product and / or provide biased and untruthful reviews because they are being spiteful for any such reason.  It is sad that bloggers like myself who actually take what we do seriously and passionately can sometimes be associated with people who wind up providing bad reputations because they are untruthful or just seeking free stuff.

So - now... on to what I suggest you do to become a recognized blogger so companies will want to work with you.  

  1. Establish your blog/YouTube channel.  If that means you have to buy products to review, then do it - it will showcase your writing style, your honesty and so much more.  I love looking at blogs/youtube channels when I receive applications for sponsorship/reviews for my own business.  Established channels/blogs are the ones I really like the best.  While I do offer sponsorship to those just building their channels, etc. - I am now much more leery in allowing so and now do not do it very often.
  2. Some companies offer a Blogger / YouTuber Program... while they may not offer you free product - when you buy from them, they may want to feature your review on their Website, Facebook Page, etc.  So when you purchase an item (i.e. Makeup) check to see if they would like to read your review on the products.  This will give them the opportunity to improve their business from an unbiased standpoint and they may contact you in the future to do a sponsored review.  Also - Keep your eyes open for links on sites that say: Blogger/YouTuber Program or Sponsorship Program and if you feel you are ready, apply and see if you qualify.
  3. When writing your reviews... be honest & truthful.  I am so tired of reading reviews from others that say one thing (i.e. The product was junk) but when you look at others, you see that they truthfully did enjoy the product.  Now - don't get me wrong, some products may not fit/mesh well with other people, but you can tell the reviews where the person only wanted to bash on the product for one reason or the other and their review was completely biased or not honest.  Be Honest!  This is your name on the line and as a business owner, people who do things like that to me will never get another opportunity to work with me and I'll be sure to let other companies I work with know as well.  You never know how many companies use the same PR agency and they will automatically refuse you in a heartbeat.  While I am always down for constructive criticism when it comes to my business, there is a big difference between constructive criticism / honesty and just plain bashing.  
  4. If you encounter a product you do not like, mention it to the company before writing your review.  Some of them would like the opportunity to correct the problem if there is one and others would like to know before hand so that they can assist with your use, etc.   Again - like I said... some people just may not like a product and they are being truthful about it... but most companies can tell the difference, I surely know I can.  So - bring it up to the company should you not like a certain color or size or whatever the object may be and give them the opportunity to explain the objects use (maybe you may not be doing it correctly) or to fix the problem.  The worst they could say is "I'm sorry - there's nothing I can do for you" and then you'll know how to proceed in your review.

At the end of the day - everyone reviews products differently and obtains products differently.  The most important thing to do is to ensure that you are being honest - remember, you are building your blog/youtube channel and by starting off on the wrong foot - you will easily put your name out there in negative light.  The reason I have been doing this for so long is because I'm honest about what I do and it allows me to build lasting relationships with the brands I have worked with in the past.   Remember... you are building your name, so sometimes, thinking of blogging as a job (which I also do) may help you do a review that will be polished and provide information - even if you did not like the product itself.  

I hope this helped out some bit for those looking to start reviewing for companies and those that may already be reviewing but are not sure how to go about moving forward.  Wishing you all the best of luck


12 Years ago today (April 6, 2001) I married the love of my life...  my soul mate, my best friend and my biggest supporter.  There are so many things that he is to me... but most importantly - he is mine!

I can't believe how fast the time had gone by.  It seems like just yesterday I walked down the aisle and married this wonderful man... but here we are 12 years later, with a wonderful family and our hearts full with love.  

I'm very very lucky - for I've been told that True Love comes but once in a lifetime and in some cases, not at all and I have found the most wonderful man ever.   It's because of him and his support and never ending love that I am who I am today. <3

Through thick and thin, each moment is a triumph because we are together.  When you have found the love of your life - you know this because your life would stop and you wouldn't be able to go on living without the other.  Love is a wonderful thing, even more so when you are truly happy & content.
To My Darling... 
You are so much more to me than just a husband, You are my Everything!  
You make my World spin and make my heart skip a beat.  
I am NOTHING without you.  
This very moment, and every one before and after are cherished memories
and I'm so thankful that I've been able to spend them with you!
You are my dreams come true - my soul mate and my best friend 
and you make me so happy.  
No one has ever loved anyone as much as I love you! 
I look forward to the rest of our forever and eternity together!
Always & Forever!

Our Song
All My Life - K-Ci & Jojo

"All My Life... I prayed for someone like you!"

I am going to be focusing my Sets on Plus Size clothing and fashions.  Since we are now in Spring, I wanted to showcase a cute and bright outfit.  Being a plus sized girl, I know that sometimes our most comfortable clothing is a great pair of dark wash and perfect fitting jeans... so I figured I would elaborate on all of that and add in some awesome details that would make this an awesome ensemble.  I introduce to you...
"You Light Up My Life" Spring Plus Size Set!
My goal behind this set was to keep it classic and casual but to still offer a bit of style and flare.  I have been told so many times that Yellow is a great color on me and it truly does help my skin tone to stand out and look almost golden.   I am a huge believer in this motto: "Even if casual or laid back in your attire, add some Heels and some cute accessories and you can jazz up anything".  This set includes some clothing from one of my favorite online shops: Debshops.com where you can find awesome Plus Sized fashions for reasonable prices.   Since this was chosen to be a Spring look, I added Gold accessories and a pair of nude platform heels to not only give it a dressy look but to also add a little flair without upstaging the gorgeous yellow top.

Of course - we all know I absolutely love Leopard Print and I thought the purse I chose would not only add a little print to break up some of the solidness, but it would also give a little "growl" power to the outfit.  The gold hardware on the purse would tie in all the colors together and I love that it still had a subtle form of "fierce" added to the entire ensemble.

As I mentioned previously, all of my style sets are now going to include "plus sized" clothing only - since so many of my plus size lovers have been asking where to get certain fashions I have posted previously, but unfortunately, they are not available in our sizes.  Sometimes, the key to accessories and putting together a style set (either via computer or with our real life closets) is to take inspiration from other sets and use that to color graph or select clothing that would fit our size appropriately.  While this look is simple, it's easily attained, wearable and available to fit us curvilicious women!
Dont' forget... to add a little Glitter and Sparkle to your day!
I got this recipe from a Facebook page and wanted to share.  Definitely check out the page and like it to check out more awesome recipes.  We are huge Pizza lovers in this house, so you know I'll be trying this out really soon.  I may be switching out the Cottage Cheese for Riccotta, I'm just not sure yet.  I'll definitely be posting photos on Instagram and here on my Blog when I am finally able to test it out. :)
Bon Appetite!
Pizza Casserole:
Source: Witchin in the Kitchen

1 (16 ounce) package uncooked rotini pasta
1 lb ground Italian sausage
1 (24 ounce) jar pasta sauce
1 (16 ounce) container cottage cheese
1 (2 1/4 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained (optional)
1 (4 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
2 (3 ounce) packages sliced pepperoni

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X13 casserole dish.
  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place pasta in the pot, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
  • In a skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage until evenly brown, drain grease. Mix in the cooked pasta and pasta sauce. Pour into prepared casserole dish.
  • In a bowl, mix the cottage cheese, olives, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese.
  • Spoon the cheese mixture over the sausage and pasta mixture. Top with pepperoni slices.
  • Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until bubbly and lightly browned.
It is only 2 days into the week and already I am feeling like I ran a marathon.  Because I feel so drained, it tends to be weeks like these that really put my mind in perspective.  While sitting at my desk working on my last review I realized that I need to really kick my confidence in high gear and that I need to truly LOVE MYSELF!  You know, we can say it over and over again and preach it to others like we are making money off of the quote, but truly - Do we Love Ourselves enough to feel confident in our own skin?
I can say it time and time again... that I am comfortable with who I am and comfortable with how I look and I feel great inside, but while it is all true... I do still have some self doubt.  It's natural in anyone and I know that so long as I truly do love who I am and if I'm not happy I take the steps to improve... I really am Soaring!

So - to all my lovelies out there... Thin and Skinny, Medium Build and even my Plus Size lovers... you are all beautiful each in your own way.  If you haven't yet... First Love Yourself and I promise, the rest of your happiness will just fall right into place.

Wishing you all an awesome and wonderful Wednesday!
Because Sparkle is Never Optional!
Disclaimer:  I do not claim copyright on any images provided in this post.  They are used for informational purposes only and were found in Google images.
I came across this cleaning tip on a Facebook Page and thought I would share.  But after spending some time on Pinterest today, I found the actual blog that hosts this awesome tip.  So I have linked the correct site for you down below.  You can click on the image below or the link to be taken to the page that I found it.  All credit goes to the page owner, I am simply just sharing it with all of you.  I haven't used this method yet, but I do know that Baking Soda and Peroxide offer great cleaning on their own, I can only imagine what they can do together.  ~ Honey
The "miracle" of baking soda and peroxide. Put 1/4 cup of baking soda in a bowl.....add enough peroxide to make a paste. Rub on with fingers or sponge. Cleans EVERYTHING! Stove, oven, pans, stainless steel appliances, even the white handles of the refrig door.
Click here for details: http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2011/09/my-kitchen-miracle-cleaner-part-deux.html  Image and notation are owned by the link provided, I do not claim rights and I'm simply sharing!
I'm so excited to tell my followers that Milani has made available the LIP MAKEUP BAG as a Limited Edition.  These cute bags were launched in celebration of the New Color Statement Lipstick and I have been sporting them like crazy.  I've been asked so many times over the last couple of months if I would be willing to sell mine and I couldn't part with it - but this is your opportunity to get your hands on your own.  The trendy, colorful, satin makeup bags feature a gold branded Milani zipper pull-tab with an easy to clean, interior washable nylon fabric.  You can use them as a makeup bag to carry all of your makeup/travel essentials or carry it around like a cute clutch.  They come in 4 gorgeous shades:  Pink, Burgundy, Purple (my fav) and Red.  Each one is available for a limited time only and while supplies last.  Check out this link: http://www.milanicosmetics.com/p-164-color-statement-lip-makeup-bag.aspx to get your own for just $4.99 (plus any applicable shipping charges).  

These awesome bags won't be available for long... so definitely take advantage of this awesome deal while you can!
Beauty Blogger Headquarters
Just this evening, I rolled out that my channel on YouTube will be celebrating 5 years in a few days and my blog will be celebrating 6 years in a couple of weeks... so I have definitely had my practice with different types of Photo and Video software over the years.   I am pretty comfortable with what I currently use now... though I am always on the search for something fun and user friendly.  Here are the questions for this month's task along with my answers.  Feel free to comment and let me know what programs you use and like too :)

1) What program(s) have you used in the past for editing your photos and/or videos? Can you provide a short review, likes/dislikes? 
Since I run my own Photog business, it seems as if I have been using Photoshop / Photoshop Elements forever.  I remember when I first started editing images... and used and old school Photo Editing program which at the time was expensive and did everything without utilizing the "layers" concept that Photoshop is so popular for today.  I have used everything from online editors like BeFunky to Photobucket but find myself coming back to Photoshop and I really have a hard time transitioning to anything else.  I feel if I stop using the software, I have a hard time getting back into it.  I think Photoshop is not technically "user friendly".  It does take some learning and getting used to - but once you do, the options for layers, actions and so much more are endless.  It's one of those softwares that you can constantly upgrade or update without actually having to buy new software, because so many developers are constantly developing cool editing features that you just have to install.  If I had to start all over again and try out new photo editors, I know that I would use Photoshop again and still back it 100%.

With regard to video editing programs... yikes, just like Photo programs, maybe even more... I have tried so many I can't even count them on my 10 fingers.   I started editing with Windows Movie Maker and was not impressed with what WMM offered.  I wanted the sparkle and the pizzazz that I seen for other vids... but still wanted something user friendly.  From time to time I do use One True Media, which is an online site for video editing and I still love their features.  Even after almost 5 years... I'm still a Pro Member and utilize some of their cool transitions and slideshows for projects I do today.  I have used Pinnacle for about a year and did really like the program.  It allowed me to do my chroma key and green screen without much issue... but the software itself took up a lot of space on my computer and slowed down, even if my video card is one of the highest to perform the tasks at hand.  I think the software itself had a lot of bugs and while I did enjoy the many options it had available, it was one I would not repurchase again and have not used it in over a year.  Currently I use two video softwares for editing:  AVS Video Editor, which is my main editor and allows me to do my basic and a few other awesome features and then my Slideshow editor which I use for photos (especially when doing tutorials) which is Pro Show.   AVS Video Editor was downloaded straight to my computer and cost me about $50 for unlimited use (basically forever) and the Pro Show I actually pay a yearly fee and use their online editing tool.  
AVS Video Editor
2) What program(s) are you currently using for editing your photos and/or videos? Can you provide a short review, likes/dislikes? 

I think I kind of answered that one in the question above, sorry... thinking ahead of myself. lol

3) What are your thoughts on image editing websites; free or purchased?
Honestly, if you can find a free download or free editing site and it is easy enough for you to use and get the job done, I don't see that there is a problem regarding it.  More power to anyone that can produce anything they need and not need to pay for it.  As I mentioned before... when it comes to Photo editing, my go-to is Photoshop because I also use it for my business... but if I didn't need to - I'm sure I would still be utilizing a free editor.  With regard to Video editing... there are some fun ones out there that offer free services or a small monthly fee.   My problem with free services is sometimes you have to either host your own or you may have a limit on the amount you can and cannot do - so I rather go with a software, knowing that in a year - I can still find my videos or images if needed.  

4) What are your thoughts on editing videos directly on Youtube's website?
I have used that Editor once, before they made all the added affects and fonts and stuff.  I particularly didn't like it because of its lack of options - but I don't really have anything bad to say about it.  I like that the option is offered and I'm happy it is, because 5 years ago when I started, it was not an option or available to me.
5) What program(s) would you recommend for beginner bloggers? 
Hmmm... honestly, I say this pretty often and mean it when I do... Photos should tell a story, not the editing.  If you image is clear and accurate, there is no need for editing except for maybe some brightness... so basic programs like PicMonkey, Photobucket, Gimp and others will work and are completely user friendly once you get the hang of it.  When you learn your software, then you can play and have some fun (that's just my opinion).  With regard to video editing - use what you know you will be able to go to if your computer should fail or in the case you have any issues... you will always have a back up program later to fall back on just in case.  Basic software like WMM or even YouTube editor are great for beginners.  It's been such a long time since I used WMM that for me it is weird. lol But, the options are endless honestly.

6) What is your editing process like? Do you edit individual pieces or schedule a day for all your editing?
I usually edit all images I take the day I take them.  Everything in my mind is fresh and I can retake the images in the case lighting is not ideal.   Videos - hmm... I usually film a few in one day once a week, so I actually edit a video a day trying to make it so I'm not sitting down for 6 hours straight just editing... which honestly, if you do youtube videos, you know this is possible even if you don't want to do it.

7) On average, how much time do you think you spend on editing images and videos in a week?
For my photos - I probably take about an hour in a whole week, but I'm constantly taking photos.  For videos - each video averages 40 - 60 minutes to edit depending on what needs to be done and I edit videos about 2-3 days out of the week.

This was a pretty lengthy post - but I'm glad it was our task for March because I get asked these questions time and time again... it's nice to get it all out and written down.  If you have any questions and I did not cover or answer what you may have had in mind, please don't hesitate to ask.  I think I may have kind of rushed through this post a bit - so I apologize if it was a little weird to read. lol Lack  of sleep will do that to you!

Sprinkles, Glitter and Sparkles to all!

March's Favorites and Current Obsessions include a wide variety of goodies.  I'm not going to really get into detail in this post since my video is a little lengthy... but I talk a lot about each product and why I love them so. :) Check it out and click on the video link here if you can't see the embedded version.

Sparkles & Glitter to all my lovelies!
Plums & Berries
If you have been following me for a couple months, you will see that I have been showcasing some of the awesome Milani Color Statement lipsticks... starting with the Reds and Oranges and Pinks and Corals and now I bring to you the Plums & Berries and Naturals & Browns.  I have many favorites out of the 28 shades available and choosing just one shade would be committing highway robbery. lol

This awesome lipstick collection features lipsticks that are said to provide One Stroke, full coverage application.  What are my thoughts on that statement?  Definitely True!  While some of the colors are not those you will see me use often... all of them do offer great coverage without constantly applying for a bright pigmented look.  They do offer an awesome, light-weight formula that is creamy, even for the matte shades and gives you an awesome moisturizing feel overall.  The lipsticks contain Vitamins A, C & E to moisturize lips, which I can attest that they certainly do.
Swatches - Plums & Berries
The awesome formula of these lipsticks provides long-wear and the colors are so awesome that they really cater to a wide variety of skin tones.  They are Paraben Free - which is a huge plus and come from a brand that is turning out to be a common household name.  

The lip liners offer awesome glide on and smooth application and are very long wearing.  I use them as a base when applying my lipsticks and while they are not kiss proof - they do offer long wear which requires me to touch up less often.  I love that the liners are so creamy to apply, probably the most creamy lip liners I have ever tried - which says a lot seeing I have used many many many of them from drug store to high end.  The lip liners come in 2 colors per collection which allow you to have a "nude/wearable" look or "bold/dramatic" look when pairing with your lip colors. 
Naturals & Browns
The Milani Color Statement lipsticks retail for $5.49 on Milani's Website and around the same price range at the following stores:  CVS, Target, Walgreens, Walmart and Kmart.  If you haven't seen the displays for these yet, keep an eye out because I'm slowly seeing them arrive at my local drug stores.
Swatches - Naturals & Browns
The Color Statement lipliners - available in 2 colors per collection retail for $3.99 on Milani's Website and can also be found at the Stores mentioned above.  The lip liners are worth every penny and are an absolute steal at the price seeing as they are quite possibly my favorites and have been my go-to for the last several months.  They are highly pigmented as stated above and so creamy - you would think that they were lipstick in a pencil.

My favorite colors from these two collections for lipsticks are:  Violet Volt (metallic) and Sangria (matte) from the Plums and Berries and Nude Creme (cream) and Teddy Bare (cream) from the Naturals & Browns.  

~ The Sparkle Scale ~

As I mention in my video below (click here to watch on youtube), This lipstick collection was formulated and geared to provide awesome colors for a wide range of skin tones (or at least that is my thought).  While all of the lipsticks will not necessarily suit my particular taste due to its tone or sheen, I can definitely say that I can give these Collections  5 Stars.  They are not only affordable, but they offer exactly what they say they do - Great pigmentation, awesome coverage and long wear.  Not to mention, the packaging is sleek and look like they are a high end brand.
To see my Unboxing, First Impressions and Reviews on the Pinks & Corals - click here.
To see my Unboxing, First Impressions and Reviews on the Reds & Oranges - click here.
FTC Disclaimer:  The products mentioned and discussed were sent to me for review and consideration.  I am not and was not paid to provide this review and my thoughts and all opinions are my own, unbiased and 100% honest.
I absolutely LOVE Spring... and I love Pastels and soft colors that come with the Spring Season.  I will admit however, being a plus-size woman does not leave me for much room when it comes to dressing "spring like" because Pastel colors can often add a little extra pounds when we don't want it to.   In the past - my go to Spring fashion choices would include a pair of jeans and a cute pastel top... but the last couple of years I have been trying to expand my collection of clothing as I now feel much more confident in my own skin.  Ten years ago - I weighted over 100 lbs less and so it has been a bit of a challenge to find the clothes that make me feel proud to be who I am.   
I'm still on the road to finding myself... and I'm also on the road to getting back on my weight loss, but for now - I'm still a plus sized woman and I have to find the clothes that not only make me confident in how I look, but also look great on me.  The fact of the matter is, yes - I am losing weight and getting back on track, but by making myself feel like crap or not trying to make myself feel and look good, it's only hindering my progress.

I remember when stripes on a full figured/larger woman was a huge no-no, but I have decided that I really like them so I figured I would rock this outfit for Easter Sunday.

My Outfit includes:
  • Forever 21 Plus Size Hi-Low Striped Maxi Dress - Salmon and White
  • Forever 21 Plus Size Cropped denim vest
  • Old Navy Glitter Flip Flops (not pictured - I decided I would use those instead of my heels so that I would not only be comfortable but I could chase after my children while they were hunting for Easter Eggs)
  • Just Fab Nude Platform Pumps (I showed these in the Video - this is something I would have worn if I wasn't walking in the grass all day)
  • Love Collar Bracelet - Shoplately.com
  • Love Bangle Bracelet - Shoplately.com
  • Chain link bracelet - which I made myself
  • Pink Pyramid Style cuff bracelet - Forever 21
  • Daisy Headband - Claire's 
  • Gold and Amethyst Ring (gift from my hubby a few years ago)
  • Gold Teddy Bear pendant and chain (gift from my hubby several years ago)
  • Gold Plumeria Earrings with Diamond center (gift from hubby several years ago)
  • Invicta Divers Watch (gift from hubby but you can buy from Macy's)

My Makeup that I did on this day is the same as my Purple Velvet FOTD which you can find here with the list of products that I used.
It seems like forever since I filmed and OOTD and I still haven't figured out a way that I want to do them... because setting up my tripod and trying to get it filmed on thick grass is usually not ideal.  Once I find a place I can set up my Tripod to film where the ground is steady and I won't fall in my 5 inch heels, I will certainly be filming more of them because I absolutely love fashion as much as I love beauty and I want to offer ideas for simple and even affordable fashions for my plus sized beauties out there.   If you want to see it all on video - the video is embedded below or you can click here.

When I first started doing YouTube videos... there were not many Plus sized ladies out there showing their awesome fashions and I want others to feel comfortable and know that they are beautiful!  Don't forget... Sparkle is NEVER Optional - so sprinkle a little Glitter on your day, smile like you are Sparkling and shine bright!
Love ya all!
FTC/Disclaimer:  Products listed in this post were purchased by me with my own money.  I have provided links to a few of my Shopping Sites and while I am not completely affiliated with those companies, I can and may receive a small percentage or credit for you purchasing when clicking on those links.   You can always decide to go to the website yourself without clicking on my link provided. :)