Finally, Pictures Of Gorgeous Women That Make You Feel Better About Yourself Instead Of Worse


Grab your sister, daughter, mother, aunt, grandmother, BFF and watch this wonderful, refreshing message.

Losing my religion…to a hair stylist

Alright ladies, listen up!

If you are a “Christian” who feels guilty because you want to look nice, raise your hand. Darlings, when did God declare, “There shall be no highlighting of hair, painting of nails, or staining of lips”? Who told you that beauty isn’t important to the one who created it to begin with?!

I am so tired of hearing women bash other women because they’re pretty, curvy, skinny, tall, short, well put together or any number of things that we all strive to be. Why don’t we walk up to each other and say, “Girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl, you got it goin’ on!” Instead we gossip and make snarky comments to anyone who will listen about how we bet she’s starving herself or throwing up… she probably doesn’t have the money to buy that outfit so she charged it and is in debt… that’s not even her hair, it’s a weave… or highlights, or a hair piece. Let me tell you something, the moment I pay for highlights, a weave or a hair piece, technically it’s mine!

Some of you have seen my Facebook post about my hair stylist Freddie and his trusted assistant, Jason.
Freddie and Jason at Jamison ShawFreddie and Jason restored a sense of beauty in me that I haven’t felt for a while. Not because I don’t feel valued. Not because I need more attention from my husband. Not because someone was mean to me. Are you ready for this?


I didn’t even realize that I felt this way until Freddie changed my look. I feel great! What I don’t feel is guilty for spending 2 hours in a salon, away from my children, being pampered by professionals and paying money that I worked hard to earn.

You shouldn’t either!

I have received mostly positive feedback from the picture on FB, but I did have one woman email to say, “Don’t you feel selfish taking all of that time away from your husband and children to have unnecessary things done to your appearance?” Hmmmm…”No. Should I?”

Here’s the deal beauties, I am finding more and more that when I take a little time out to take care of myself, I am a much better wife and mother. Chris and I are a team. He’s not a babysitter, he’s their father. I didn’t turn in my id card when becoming a mother. Did life change? Sure. Is it richer and fuller? Yes. Do I find my identity in my children? No. Plus, when I feel better about myself, I feel sexier for my husband. See how this works? I cannot imagine God saying it’s a bad thing.

People will disagree with me and that’s okay. (Please disagree in the comments and don’t send me an email.) Here is what I believe. God took His time. He created every living thing with such ornate detail. He sculpted the earth. He used color and light. He didn’t throw a blob of black and grey together and say, “It is good.” He created beauty and said, “It is good.

So for those of you condemning those of us who take delight in highlights, stilettos and red lippy, I say, “Stop acting so religious and go get your hair done! You’ll thank me.

Don’t underestimate the positive impact of a seemingly small change. AND you don’t even have to have surgery. I’m going to make this super easy for you Atlanta peeps. Here’s Freddie’s card.
photoI suggest calling to make an appointment. When they answer the phone, they ask, “How may we make your day beautiful?” I love that!


3 ways women can learn Victoria’s secrets

We’ve all heard it said that men are visual. I believe it to be true.
For some reason women, especially “women of faith” either voice issue with undergarments or treat it as taboo. Why?!

They say things like, “My husband shouldn’t have to see me in something red and tight to want me!” Truth is, he doesn’t! The end result is to see you in nothing at all, it just makes the trip there a little more fun.

Ladies, you are missing it! As a proud, card-carrying patron of Victoria’s Secret I’ve learned a few things over the years.

1.– There is the assumption that the only reason to wear lingerie is for someone else’s viewing pleasure. WRONG. I mean…half wrong. Wear lingerie because it increases your sex appeal…in the mirror. When you feel sexy, you’re more inclined to be sexy. Throw out those over worn granny panties. YOU will feel better in a little lace.

Not feeling so hot? “Throw some lace on it.”

2. – No matter your size, choose something that fits. Let me break this down for you…
If you’re a size 0, don’t buy a size 4 because you’re self-conscious and you’ve never worn anything form-fitting, above the knee or off the shoulders. Ladies, I’m not asking you to wear this get-up while shopping at the grocery store! It’s in the privacy of your own home.

If you’re a size 16, don’t buy a size 8 and attempt to squeeze yourself into it. That will only make you feel worse about yourself. Buy for your body. Let me say that again. BUY FOR YOUR BODY. Not for the body you are aspiring to have. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. That’s what sales associates are there for.

3.– You can stop being judgmental and rationalizing why you don’t look like the model in the life-size mural on the wall in the store. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. We’ve all cut our eyes and hidden our husband and children from the half-naked woman strewn across the boudoir. (Those poor girls would give anything for a cheeseburger and a shake.) I’m telling you to walk in there proudly, warm pretzel nuggets in one hand, Starbucks beverage in the other and give that gal in the poster a little wink as you make your way to the “get your sexy on” or in some cases, “bring your sexy back” section of the store.

For those of you thinking, “There must be some scripture, somewhere to dispute wearing lingerie.” Bring it! I’ve never seen it, so enlighten me. I mean, have you read Song of Solomon?! There’s some pretty steamy stuff in there once you decode the palm tree, goat and pomegranate analogies.

I’m not telling you to blow the budget on fancy panties, but I’m pretty sure when discussing finances with your man, he will find room in the budget for a little shopping trip. Better yet, discuss budget in the buff. It’s always worked for me.

Your turn! Do you think any size woman should feel comfortable in lingerie? If not, what’s the cutoff?

I’m a hypocrite

Some days… when standing before my reflection stripped of everything… motives, guilt, expectations, past images, I can honestly look at my body and speak the words of Psalm 139 with great certainty.

There are other days when I stand before the mirror and wonder whose body I’m trapped in and when the merger occurred. I look at my curves as too curvy. My hair appears dull. My laugh lines are deep and obvious. My image is distorted.

These are the times when the Father whispers my name, Chosen one. Beloved daughter. I have called you by name. You are mine.

I used to have such a hard time with the phrase, “Beauty is on the inside.” I felt like everyone I heard say it was unattractive and used it to self-soothe. (Mean and judgmental, I know.) Interesting how perspective changes when inner beauty is realized in others and strived for in oneself. It is much more difficult to acquire, maintain and increase than outward beauty. It is the great reminder that this “shell” is temporary. Appearance is fleeting. What’s on the inside will indeed show through…eventually.

I have found it fascinating how the inside begins seeping through the eyes and the smile. The mannerisms and responses. The posture and tone. I know several women over the age of 55 who have a rare beauty that a 20-year-old doesn’t even know to wish for and certainly could not understand. My perception of beauty now differs greatly from when I was 20 or even 26. I don’t think it can adequately be defined. It’s like trying to wrap ones mind around “forever.” It simply cannot be done.

Truth be told, twelve years of abuse to one’s body doesn’t just go away. I know that eating disorders in general are a phenomenon to many. For those of us walking through it, it could not be more real. Some days I wonder if I will ever have a healthy relationship with food. I wonder when I will stop wanting to bend over and vomit every time something passes my lips. I wonder when I will stop trying to force my curves into straight leg jeans. I don’t know?

What I do know is that when I stand up in front of your daughters and mothers, sisters, girlfriends, wives and friends and tell them that God made them with a purpose in mind and we should embrace the body he has created for us, I better be living what I’m speaking.

Some days I do. There are days when I have too much confidence. Those who know me well would attest to that. On the days when I’m not appreciating my laugh lines, the curve of my hips or the scar on my belly (that provided a safe delivery for our son) I remember the verse that I have given out to so many women and girls. “I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation!” Psalm 139:14

I am not the crease in my brow or the lines encompassing my eyes. I am not the stomach lacking definition or the thighs that will never fit into a size 4 again. I am not the arms that hide from sleeveless shirts or the boobs chest that is, at times, less than manageable. I am not the chin that is no longer well-defined or the insipid, brown hair on my head. The fact that more things jiggle when I walk than I would like, does not decrease my value or deflect me from my purpose. All of these things make up my physique, but they no longer define me.

I am a child of God. Made in his image. Created with great purpose and craftsmanship. I am his masterpiece. Dearly beloved. Beautiful in his sight. Purchased with his blood. Worth dying for.

And darling, so are you.


Accentuating Beauty: Part 3

I hope you have enjoyed the last few weeks with Ariel. This was such a fun series. This week Ariel will answer your questions, but first I wanted you to know a little bit more about her. This was a stretch since she doesn’t like to talk about herself. She is always focused on others. Truly, Ariel is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.

Where are you from? “I am from Richmond, Kentucky. I was born and raised there until I was 19. I got married (ya, I was young) and moved to Atlanta. I have been happily married and lived here with my family for six years.”

When did you start doing make-up?I started doing makeup on myself and my sisters when I was young, but I was TERRIBLE! I didn’t know a thing. Then when I moved to Atlanta, I didn’t have a job. I walked in to a Dillard’s actually looking to buy clothes for interviews and someone stopped me and asked me if I was there for the job fair. I said no, but she continued on like she didn’t hear me and took me to the cosmetic manager. She then proceeded to say that I would be great in cosmetics. Long story short, I worked for Lancôme for almost a year at Dillard’s because, well, I loved it and learned a ton! I then went to Neiman Marcus (a whole new world) where this country girl adapted to the city just fine. I worked there for four years for several lines and then specializing in Bobbi Brown.”

Why Bobbi Brown? “Like I said before, I am not making a plug for Bobbi Brown and I no longer work for them. I just honestly fell in love with a lot of their products and their philosophy about makeup. Check out their website and read up on the brand. They are one of the few lines who have a foundation/ concealer for every skin color. That is just one of the reason I love that line. I have tons of other favorite products that are not Bobbi Brown; I just tend to use mostly their stuff.”

What is your favorite thing about doing this? “If you ask any makeup artist they will tell you they have seen it all. You meet people from all walks of life and I LOVED that. I learned so much about how to talk with people and I learned from them. That was my favorite thing about working, was meeting new people and learning their story. Sometimes I felt like a therapist. That leads me to my favorite thing to do now are my friends makeup and some events. I don’t work much more outside of that because I am focusing on my family. I love being able to make someone feel great about themselves. Make up is not needed, but it can accentuate the beauty that is already there. I love being able to make someone realize how truly beautiful they are.”

What is one random fact about you? “I was somewhat of a tom boy growing up. I played softball from age five through my senior year of high school. I also played soccer for six years. I love to be active and be outside. (well, with no bugs) I run and play golf. (When I have the time) This seemed to shock most of my clients when I told them, but I would tell them that I have always loved to dress up and be girly too.”

“I don’t pretend to know all the answers or to be the best makeup artist. I was just thrown into doing makeup by events that could have only been orchestrated by God. I want to use what I know to help people feel better about themselves and to be confident in their beauty.”
She may not know all the answers, but she knows a lot. Let’s look at your questions from the past three weeks and her answers.

This is in response to Cat’s question about eyeshadow color (especially for hazel eyes.)Eye shadow can be very tricky to pick out and very hard to recommend without talking one on one with someone. Just like any kind of makeup, you can make a statement with the colors you choose to wear. For specific color recommendations for hazel eyes, I would say to wear gold, brown, green, and violets/plum colors. These are pretty basic go to colors that will complement your eye color.

 Now, for everyone you should have your three go to colors for your day look. A light color that you apply all over the lid, this includes under the brow all the way to your lash line. This helps to take darkness out of your lid and make the other colors you apply stay more true to color. If you use an eye shadow base apply that first and then your light color. You can get eye shadow bases in light colors, like the one I used on Melissa to serve two purposes. Then you should have a neutral color that complements your eye color that you can place all over the lid or in the crease. You can stop here and not put another color on, but if you like to have more on or want a night look you can add in your third darker color. This can be a brown, black, purple, green, etc. (Just a color that is darker than your first two). This color serves as your eyeliner or crease color.

    I am all about getting the most out my cosmetic products and most cosmetic companies get that you need a few colors to complete your eye shadow look. That is why you see several eye shadow kits at the cosmetic counter and at the drugstores. You don’t have to do the same thing every day or use the same amount of colors every time. These are just some easy steps to get your started in your makeup experiments. I will be the first to tell you that there are going to be some awesome looks and some not so awesome, but just practice and see what you end up liking. Just remember it’s makeup and it’s supposed to be fun!”

This is in response to Elizabeth’s question about her lipstick not staying put. “Everyone has the issue with their lipstick fading or smudging…believe me I wish I could recommend the perfect lipstick! The truth about lipstick is the longer lasting ones tend to be dry and don’t look great unless a gloss is applied afterward. Then you have the moist lipstick that we love the feel, but it is off our lips onto our face or teeth in a second. I would recommend choosing a lipstick color that you love and then wearing it a few times and see what it does. If it tends to get dry, apply a lip balm or gloss over it (not before, this will cause smudging). If your lipstick jumps all over on ya, then apply a lip liner all over the lip first. You can put some of your foundation/powder on the lips as a primer. You can also limit the coats of the lipstick on; more is not always better. The lipstick feels so good going on, so try and resist applying too much. I love lipstick, but for day my go to is a gloss. I love the hint of color and hydration that it gives my lips.”

Several have asked for a list of products used. For a PDF version, click here

We have received messages regarding booking information for Ariel. We will respond via email. As Ariel said, she is in a season of life where her little ones need most of her, which requires that she be more strategic about appointments. Please give as many details as possible when inquiring (date, event, time commitment) and I will return your email as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd the winner of the eyelash curler, primer and mascara is… Liz! Congratulations Liz! If you will forward the mailing information via email for your prize, I will send it out right away.

Accentuating Beauty: Part 2


You’ll remember from last week’s post, Ariel gave us a step by step tutorial on how to accentuate our beauty while highlighting our best features. Today, we will transition from “day” to “evening” make-up.

* Add darker eye shadow all over the eyelid making the eyes look smokey.
* Smudge the eyeliner and thicken the line on the top lid

This also helps the smokey look and adds more drama to the eyes.
* Place eyeliner on the inner bottom eyelid.
This frames the eyes making them stand out.
* Add a little more concealer for a clean look under the eye
Having a clean fresh look under the eyes with a night look is important.
Darkness under the eyes (especially with dark eyes) can make you look sick.
* Apply the Shimmer Brick (Bobbi Brown) along the cheek bone.
This adds shimmer and when the light hits the cheekbones it is gorgeous.
* Define the lip with lip liner.
This helps the lip color last longer because it acts like a primer.
* Brush a darker lipstick on the lips, two coats.
This makes the lips look full and more pronounced.
Lipstick makes a statement and completes the night look.
Annnnnnnd the finished product
Stunning, right?

Let’s recap:


Day look


What do you think? Is it feasible for you to do these steps?
What’s holding you back from trying something new?

Ariel is a busy mama to
two beautiful girls.
She is always on the go.
If anyone knows how to make a process more efficient, she does.
There is no need to compromise looking your best when
you become a mom.
In fact, we think it’s a
reason to celebrate.
Take a minute to comment, ask a question or tell us about your favorite beauty product in the section below.
We will choose a name at random next Wednesday to win
an eyelash curler, a tube of Bobbi Brown primer and mascara.
How fun is that?!
You must leave a comment below to be in the drawing.

Next week, Ariel will answer all questions asked from
Accentuating Beauty: Part 1
and today’s post.


“Serenity Now!”

I find myself using this phrase quite a bit when I am attempting to find my “happy place” during moments of stress. Well, I found it and it’s too good not to share with you.

Meet Rebecca. She is responsible for some of the most beautiful plants and flowers I have ever seen. Specializing in dahlias of all colors, shapes and sizes. Truly, I have yet to find their equal.

She has other various types of flowers as well. We brought home a beautiful hibiscus plant that will brighten up our front flowerbed. I have assured her I will send a picture as soon as we put it in the ground under the crape myrtles.

Rebecca is located in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina, in the town of Cashiers, near Highlands. We have driven past her sign many times and never stopped, but on this particular day, I couldn’t help myself.

With macro lens in hand, I walked up to her porch to ask if I could take a few pictures of the exquisite garden. She was hesitant at first and the more I talked to her, the more I understood.

Rebecca is not only about surviving, she is about thriving. She raised 4 children as a single parent. Three boys and one girl, they are grown now and quite successful. She takes care of this plot of heaven on earth and calls North Carolina home.

She encounters all kinds of people from day to day, especially during the summer. Most are vacationers. Fortunately, she has wonderful, faithful customers. Unfortunately, she also has people drive up and start taking pictures of her beauties without even asking and when confronted, they shove their “I’m a professional photographer” garble in her face and make false promises to send her prints.

I compare that kind of behavior to someone coming up and snapping pictures of my children without my permission and then using the pictures for personal gain. NOT okay. So you can see why she was wary of me.

I had tucked my camera away and after a few minutes, she said that I was welcome to take pictures. When I say that I could have stayed there for hours capturing every intricate detail of these elegant masterpieces with their dainty petals, I am not exaggerating. And Rebecca is beyond knowledgeable about every single flower. She speaks of each one with such passion and adoration.

All of her plants are hand watered and they only receive organic nourishment. There are no pesticides or artificial anything added to them. The soil, the fertilizer, everything is prepared in such a way that the health of the flowers and their foliage is beyond reproach.

The reason I am sharing this with you is because I almost missed it. Do you hear me? I almost missed learning about this incredible lady who worked 17 hours a day to ensure that her children were fed, clothed, educated and had more than a roof over their heads.

Now, her fingernails stained with rich soil and her hands evident of the work she does, she tends to her gardens and shares the beauty of creation with anyone who wishes to partake. If you are in Cashiers, NC, you must stop by Rebecca’s Natural Gardens. Make sure you don’t miss the gift as I almost did and be sure to stay awhile and bask in her wisdom of God’s creation!

Below are pictures of my top 5 favorites. I was going to do 3, but it was too difficult to choose. And I thought 10 was too many. SO, here they are, in no particular order.

This is a dinner plate dahlia. It was larger than 10 inches and can grow to 12 inches around. Hence the name, dinner plate dahlia. I was completely enamored of it.

Look at the colors…the vibrant center. The camera doesn’t do them justice.

This is one of my favorites. We have a front row seat to the intoxicated bumblebee from the nectar of this flower. Clearly he prefers to only eat organic.


Clicking on a picture will open the gallery and allow you to scroll through. If you love a picture, please leave a comment under the one you like the most.
I’m a words of affirmation girl.