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Vote Frances For Hero Dog Awards

Vote Frances featured image description is in the body of the post.

Vote Frances For Hero Dog Awards

Image 1 Frances & Holly description is in the body of the post.
Image 1

Who doesn’t love a hero? And who can deny there’s something extra special about the heroics of a furry companion?

A courageous cancer battle, then later sight loss from her treatments, threatened to turn Holly Bonner’s life upside down. As a mom with two small children regaining her independence came in the form of a canine hero.

From the moment Frances, or “Franny” as she’s affectionately known, met Holly life hasn’t been the same. So when I found out Franny was a semi-finalist in the National Hero Dog Award Contest I wanted to share her story. 

As a dog-lover myself I can appreciate the effect a dog has on the life of its owner. In Franny and Holly’s situation though I noticed a remarkable difference Franny made in Holly. Franny gave Holly a priceless gift—independence.

To be clear, Holly was independent before Franny. The noticeable difference was in Holly’s confidence. Never one to skip an advocacy opportunity Franny has become Holly’s four-legged partner.

Who Is Frances?

Franny and Holly came together in September 2016. A female, yellow Labrador retriever, Franny is a certified “guide dog,” trained by Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Her training specifically included intense socialization around children and she now works with Holly in a variety of educational settings. She possesses exemplary self-control and obedience skills. 

Franny’s primary role is to keep Holly safe when out in the world. She does this and so much more which is why she is also being recognized for:

  • her huge impact on Holly’s life and,
  • her partnership within a special program developed by Holly
Image 2 Holly & Franny illustration image description is in the body of the post.
Image 2

Franny’s partnership with The Visually Impaired Education Program (V.I.E.P.) is an original program Holly created to help educate the Staten Island Community. The V.I.E.P. provides an opportunity for kids (Pre-K to 8) to learn how to positively and respectfully interact with the blind and visually impaired community. Here is a link to learn more about V.I.E.P. 

Receiving this HERO DOG AWARD would shed a national light on how guide dogs help blind parents raise families. Additionally, Guiding Eyes for the Blind would receive a monetary prize, allowing other blind individuals to benefit from a guide dog.

Please vote for Frances EVERY DAY at herodogawards.org/dog/frances from now until July 11th, 2018

Vote Frances Featured Image Description:

Franny is sitting looking directly at the camera with her deep soulful eyes. She has the sweetest face and her eyes seem all-knowing. A pink decorative necklace with colorful pompoms is around her neck.

Other Image Descriptions:

  • Image 1: Holly sits with Frances at her feet, surrounded by Cub Scouts from Troop 6 in Staten Island.
  • Image 2: Teal circular logo, with the letters “V.I.E.P.” at the top. A caricature of Holly and Franny (sitting to the left of Holly). Franny is wearing a leather harness with “guiding eyes” on it. Holly smiles with a short bob haircut and dark glasses. She’s wearing a Cabernet colored shirt with a blue and gold-toned scarf. In her right hand, she is holding her white cane.

Please VOTE & SHARE: herodogawards.org/dog/frances

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Celebrating Springtime Glamour

Celebrating Springtime Glamour featured image description is in the body of the post.

Celebrating Springtime Glamour

Abby is on the job sitting cross legged in her PJs (gray bottoms & white top with a gray collar) with a teal Abby logo laptop on her lap. Sporting her signature explosive hairstyle, she is wearing a headset with microphone and her white cane is propped up next to her.Finally, the trees have bloomed, the weather stabilized and I think we can safely say it’s spring!! What I love most about spring is the opportunity to refresh my environment including myself.

There’s no better time to beef up one’s makeup arsenal than springtime. Well, that’s not exactly true but for purposes of this article let’s just roll with it. Okay, here we go:

I’ve always had a weakness for dual purpose products especially when we’re talking makeup. So when I found this e.l.f. sweat resistant lip and cheek palette I thought eh, why not? When I can find one product that serves more than one purpose, is portable, and easy to use I’m all in.

While I can’t see myself wearing this when I workout, I will test it just out of sheer curiosity. I’m a heavy sweater. Well, not a sweater as in garment but I sweat heavily so we’ll have to see.

Obviously, since this was an online shopping experience I couldn’t stop at just one product, right? Heck no! I mean I needed mascara, brow pencil, more lip color and a couple of extras. At the bottom of this article, I’ll list each product including the link to e.l.f. and a description. As I try the newer products I’ll give a review at a later time.

What I like about e.l.f. products are affordability, they’re hypoallergenic, non-comodogenic, and cruelty-free.

Celebrating Springtime Glamour Featured Image Description:

The products listed below are in the photo.

  • Workout Ready Lip & Cheek Palette – White compact with three lip colors and one highlighter. When opened there is a small mirror in the lid and a brush is also included. The highlighter is cream-colored, and the 3 shades range from a medium coral to a reddish/brown.
  • Instant Lift Brow Pencil – The first time I tried a spoolie brow brush was last year and I think they’re great. So on one end of the pencil is the spoolie which resembles a mascara wand. The other end is the pencil.
  • 3-in-1 Mascara – The brush on this mascara wand is a little funky and supposedly lengthens, defines and volumizes lashes. What makes this brush unique is the little bristle-covered ball on the tip. These bristles are a smidge longer than the other bristles leading up to its tip.
  • Day to Night Lipstick Duo – This lipstick duo as the name implies has lipstick on each end. My color choice was Need It Nudes (one is a dark caramel and the other is light tan).
  • Mineral Infused Face Primer- Small – The primer comes in a 0.47-ounce pump which looks pretty snazzy with the silver neck and the bottle portion looks like frosted glass.
  • Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths – These 8″ x 7″ pre-moistened cloths come in a small black package similar to many baby wipes with a lid on the top.
  • Lip Lacquer – A tube of clear gloss to be worn alone or over lip color. This was one of the freebies included with my order.

Have a great weekend!! ~Abby

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#TBT MyBlindStory: Blindness + Style = Confidence

MyBlindStory featured image description is in the body of the post.

#TBT MyBlindStory: Blindness + Style = Confidence

Below is a revised version of an article I wrote for BlindNewWorld back in 2016. I really appreciate looking back as it gives me an opportunity to see how far we’ve come. You can check out the original article here: #MyBlindStory.

Losing Sight Opened My Eyes

"MyBlindStory

Before I lost my eyesight, I thought blindness meant total darkness. I was wrong. The range of sight loss/blindness is enormous and differs greatly from one person to the next.

Sight loss is a major life-altering event and it takes some time to adjust. Thankfully, acclimation and acceptance are not only possible but we can also learn to thrive. With few exceptions, the things we loved and excelled at are still integral to who we are at our core.

Transitioning from having sight to blindness is a process aided by Personal Adjustment to Blindness Training. This training eases our transition by teaching us new ways to do everyday tasks.

Since my love of personal style began when I was young, sustaining it through sight loss was a necessity. So learning new makeup and styling techniques helped me to increase my confidence despite blindness. 

Being able to keep up my trademark polished image which contributes largely to who I am as an individual was huge. Little did I know when I began blogging that I would connect with so many other fashionable blind women throughout the world. Life lesson—style is not limited to those with sight or who are able-bodied.

Broadening Inclusion

MyBlindStory Image 2: In this photo, I have my white cane and my outfit (capris, tank, sneakers & hoodie) are in shades of gray. 
Image 2

Inclusion and accessibility are major issues of concern in every area of blind individual’s lives. As a sub-group within the largest minority group of People With Disabilities, blindness is a small segment. Even so in the US alone, there are about 21 million adults living with sight loss.

I think the misguided belief that ‘blind people don’t care about their appearance’ is a prominent reason behind our lack of portrayal. Looking at the beauty and fashion industry it’s not surprising to see so little representation of blindness. While we are making inroads to inclusion we can do better. For this reason, a growing number of blind fashionable women are blogging and vlogging on a range of beauty related topics.

Bold Blind Beauty, believes “Real Beauty Transcends Barriers” and as such, we needed a stylish icon to represent blind women. Abigale, the fashion icon, is a chic image that evokes power, independence, and confidence. She is a woman on the move stepping forward with purpose as she navigates the world with her white cane.

Bridging The Gap

MyBlindStory Image 3 Here I'm posing with my white cane, blue jeans, black cold shoulder short sleeve tee and cream pumps.
Image 3

Expanding perceptions by connecting sighted and non-sighted communities are one of many ways we help to end fear and stigma associated with the word ‘blind.’ To extend our mission of “improving humanity by changing the way we perceive one another” we incorporated an online boutique. “Shopping With Abby” promotes powerful motivational slogans on all our merchandise (e.g. Relax! It’s Only a Cane). 

Once, an eye doctor told me “it would be a tragedy to learn how to use the white cane.” However, I believe the real tragedy is the shame many people feel when losing their eyesight. Empowering visual images that exude positivity will change hearts and minds towards blindness.

MyBlindStory Featured Image Description:

A professional headshot of my asymmetrical hairstyle with burgundy highlights. The muted Coral Cutie lipstick topped with a peach colored gloss provides a nice contrast against the gray backdrop. I’m wearing a black dress and black tuxedo jacket trimmed in faux leather, silver statement necklace, and silver drop earrings.

Other Images:

  • Image 1 – I’m standing with my white cane wearing white jeans and a gray cold shoulder sweater with tan lace-up sandals. I’m also holding a silver bomber jacket over my left shoulder.
  • Image 2 – In this photo, I have my white cane and my outfit (capris, tank, sneakers & hoodie) are in shades of gray.
  • Image 3 – Here I’m posing with my white cane, blue jeans, black cold shoulder short sleeve tee and cream pumps.
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J Renée | Blind Beauty Issue 38

Blind Beauty Issue 38 fearured image description is in the body of the post.

J Renée | Blind Beauty Issue 38

“Saying things like “You don’t look albino” or “oh you just look light skin so you’re ok” that’s NOT OK! People with Albinism can look different from the next person with Albinism. So yes, however way they appear to you that is what a person with Albinism looks like.”

J. Renée
Image #1

Professional Makeup Artist, J Renée, did a recent Q&A with Abby here at Bold Blind Beauty. on magnetic eyelashes. Today, she is addressing a more serious issue about misconceptions on Albinism and appearance.

When I saw the video included in today’s post I was happy and angry at the same time, let me explain. I was happy because I love it when people look out for one another. In this video, J Renée speaks to inappropriate comments another young woman received on YouTube.

The young woman who has Albinism was on the receiving end of tasteless comments because people ‘felt’ she didn’t ‘look’ the part. This is where I got angry as not only did assumptions surface but going a step further some took it upon themselves to ‘correct’ her.

J. Renée
Image #2

“You Don’t Look…”

Why does there have to be an all or nothing approach when it comes to people or the conditions we live with? Why can’t we accept that we are as varied and at the same time as complex as our individual genetic makeup? When people share are open enough to share their story the least we can do is be open enough to receive it without challenging their identity.

We invite you to enjoy J. Renée video on Albinism Awareness:

Blind Beauty Issue 38 Featured Image Description:

Blind Beauty is a mock fashion magazine cover. Jennifer Renée is wearing a purple shirt and posing in front of a white background with her hand by her chin. She is wearing purple and pink eyeshadows and magenta lip gloss. Her natural golden blonde hair is pulled back in a ponytail.

Blocks of text superimposed on J Renée’s  photo are: “Bold | She Keeps Pressing Onward,” “Blind | She Has Deeper Insight,” “Beautiful | She Sees To The Heart Of Others.”

Additional Images:

  • Image #1 In this photo, J Renée’s long blond hair is flowing freely while framing her face. The background is pretty jewel-toned turquoise and she is wearing pink/fuchsia tee and jacket. Her lip color is fuchsia and she’s wearing turquoise colored eyeshadow.
  • Image #2 J Renée looks fabulous with her hair in braids and she is wearing a muted lip color and a purple blouse.

J Renée’s Social Media Platforms: