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A Shot in the Dark

Shooting Down Assumptions

Acrylic Makeup Cosmetics Organizer Luxury Crystal Insert Holder Box www.amazon.com
Acrylic Makeup Cosmetics Organizer Luxury Crystal Insert Holder Box
Amazon

Long before I lost my eyesight my middle son, Devon, was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). To the casual onlooker, if Devon was having a good day, he would not appear to have anything wrong with him. If that same casual onlooker had the opportunity to spend some time with Devon they would soon need nerve medication.

Devon’s ADHD was a hidden disability that began long before his diagnosis at 6 years of age. From head banging as a baby, behavioral problems at 4 daycare facilities to never finishing kindergarten because he was expelled, to say he was a challenge is putting it mildly. I remember one of his daycare teachers telling me she just didn’t understand it because he was such an adorable, loving child. Every morning he would come and give hugs and kisses to his teachers and then later in the day something inside him would snap.

Upon the ADHD diagnosis the doctor told me that the mechanism in Devon’s brain that should keep him from acting compulsively was broken. This was why he acted out and just kept me on the edge of my seat. Life with little Devon was never boring and his disability was my introduction to the special education system and advocacy efforts on his behalf.

Devon is completely fine today and is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He majored in psychology and minored in music and is looking to start his own business.

Having experienced inaccurate assumptions first-hand, I remind myself things aren’t always as they might appear. The other piece that bears mentioning is the struggle for people who have hidden disabilities is multilayered. While some of us may choose to keep our disability under wraps there are others who want to be taken at face value without judgment.

Take cosmetics for example, wouldn’t you think it would be rather odd for someone to say to a person wearing makeup “You don’t really look like that…?” Likewise, when someone has a hidden disability and they self-identify, we should be mindful to do so takes courage and filter out our assumptions.

Makeup can be such a wonderful ego boost and it is so much fun to experiment with different types of cosmetics. For us blind and vision impaired ladies though it can be a bit of a challenge it’s definitely doable especially if we’re organized.

Visual clutter is a term I heard recently and it something that can be very distracting for people with low vision. Minimalistic is word that I’ve always liked for its simplicity.

How do we get rid of visual clutter with cosmetics? Paring down to just the essentials is really only the beginning. Organizing and labeling your makeup will help you in being able to readily locate any of your cosmetics. Investing in an organizer that works for you is worthwhile.

The 2-piece acrylic holder that I got from Amazon works best for me because it’s see-through and I like that I can put everything in one place. Also, it’s the perfect size that lends to ease in keeping it neat and tidy.

There are a total of 4 drawers (2 side by side at the top and 2 longer ones directly underneath). The inset piece that I sit on top of the drawers can actually be used as a stand alone. The unit measures 9.4 inches wide by 5.1 inches deep by 7.5 inches tall.

Since I know exactly where each of my cosmetics and tools are I don’t feel the need to label the drawers on the organizer but if I change my mind at a later date I can do so at that time.

“Whether I’m wearing lots of makeup or no makeup, I’m always the same person inside.” ~Lady Gaga

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Sensational Seasonal Sparkle

Beauteous Bling

Crystal and Chain Cuff Bracelet www.solesociety.com
Crystal and Chain Cuff
www.solesociety.com

As if on cue this morning the birdies were happily chirping which leads me to believe that they must have set their clocks one hour ahead. I’m usually pretty grouchy when the time changes to daylight saving time because I hate losing an hour. I think today was an exception because I’m feeling much better health-wise and am able to enjoy this seasonal change.

It should come as no surprise then as a carry-over from yesterday I am in the most wonderful mood. Yeah it’s a tad bit chilly but the sky is blue with these puffy white clouds, the sun is out and the snow has just about completely melted. It’s a true Sparkling Sunday!!

On Friday I happened to catch the tail end of “The fashion guy,” Lawrence Zarian’s spot on Live with Kelly and Michael where he talked about the top 5 absolute spring must-haves for women. Drum roll please….

  1. Great Scarf in Pink or Coral
  2. Statement Necklace
  3. Cuff Bracelet
  4. Metallic Clutch
  5. Bold Cocktail Ring

Lawrence who was promoting his book 10 Commandments for a Perfect Wardrobe had each of these items on hand to adorn Kelly Ripa. Kelly then put on her best model face and strutted across the stage as if it were her personal runway.

Calvin Klein Tie Dye Print Scarf Scarves
Calvin Klein Tie Dye Print Scarf Scarves
www.6pm.com

I do like these accessories although I would add a pair of sunglasses to complete the look. Aviator sunglasses can work with just about any face type however you still need to look for the appropriate size to suit you.

The pictures throughout today’s post with the exception of the cuff bracelet which is mine are items I found at various online retailers. While I do not advocate running out and buying anything because someone says it’s a ‘must-have’ these are just ideas to get your creative juices flowing. In all reality you may already possess these or like items that you can integrate into your spring wardrobe.

Electric Scarab Collar Statement Necklace www.baublebar.com
Electric Scarab Collar
www.baublebar.com

The crystal and chain cuff bracelet that I acquired from www.solesociety.com is striking. It’s a gun-metal 1-3/4 inches wide cuff. When placed in front of you it has alternating rows of ¼ in wide chain, smaller chain, tiny crystals, medium and larger crystals, tiny crystals, smaller chain and one more ¼ in wide chain.

Calvin Klein Tie Dye Print Scarf – from www.6pm.com is a very pretty bright coral with slight fraying at the ends. It measures 75 inches long by 19 inches wide and is 100% rayon.

IRELAND Silver Clutch www.aldoshoes.com
IRELAND
www.aldoshoes.com

Electric Scarab Collar Necklace – I found at www.baublebar.com is described as “glimmering, high-shine jewels accent a shiny curb-link chain, punctuated with opaque neon stones for a shock of bright color.” The color of the 7 smallish stones appears to be coral and would go perfectly well with the tie dye scarf or a completely different color. The necklace is 20 inches long with a 2 inch extender and lobster clasp closure. Materials are plated base metal, leatherette and glass.

The IRELAND silver clutch is a vision of sparkly with a magnetic snap flap closure. I found this clutch on www.aldoshoes.com.

Rebecca Minkoff Pavé ID Ring Silvertone w/Clear Crystals
Rebecca Minkoff Pavé ID Ring Silvertone w/Clear Crystals
www.6pm.com

Rebecca Minkoff Pavé ID Ring from www.6pm.com is made with my favorite Swarovski® crystals. This ring is a silver-tone stainless steel ring. I do like this ring although with size 5 fingers it probably wouldn’t work on me. It’s a bold statement ring that is 1-3/4 inches long, ¾ wide and ¼ high and of course this probably goes without saying but it sparkles.

AJ Morgan Mission Sunglasses us.asos.com
AJ Morgan Mission Sunglasses
ASOS

The AJ Morgan Mission Sunglasses us.asos.com with their slim metal frame and the double bridge aviator design the teardrop shaped gradient tinted lenses appear to be a peach color and would round out these accessories rather nicely.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” ~Anne Bradstreet

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Shoe Lovin’ Saturdays: Weigh in #6

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah

 Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah

Zip-A-Dee-A

My oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine heading my way
Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah
Zip-A-Dee-A

Nina Keiko Lime Colored Beaded Clutch www.6pm.com
#1 – Nina Keiko
www.6pm.com

For those of you who remember this wonderful Disney song I apologize if it’s now going to be stuck in your head but if misery loves company what about pure unadulterated joy? Uh oh, now I’ve Got the Joy In My Heart and I must stop this before I start singing Pharrell Williams’ HAPPY and yes, I had to go there. In case you haven’t heard Happy you absolutely MUST take a listen click HAPPY. This song will have you clapping your hands, snapping your fingers and just make you want to dance.

So how is it that I can be so deliriously happy on such a chilly overcast day? Allow me to fill you in.

The Stars are Aligned

Orion, my favorite constellation, (probably because it’s the only one aside from the dippers, that I could find when I could still see), also happens to be the name of my little grandson. Orion is here with me today and will be spending the night with Gigi (my self-appointed grandma nickname). I never thought anything could top the births of my own children until this little guy arrived last year. He has stolen my heart and being that I’m no stranger to little children I am still constantly amazed at everything this little boy does.

Breckelles Blush Colored dOrsay Flats from www.ModCloth.com
#2 – Breckelles 
Alternate ModCloth

Orion is the cutest, sweetest most precious grand baby in the whole world. When he was born he was completely bald and as his hair began to grow in it was bright red. Today, his head is covered in these long, curly, ringlets and he has the longest eyelashes and sweetest smile this side of the Mississippi. Even when he cries it’s cute!!

Spring Forward

Aaaaaahhhh, Spring Forward, the mere words had me breaking out in song. I know, I know, it’s only March and in this neck of the woods a blizzard or two wouldn’t be unusual but I’m feeling like we’ve finally turned the corner and it won’t be too long before we can send old man winter packing, bid Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) a fond farewell, and embrace a long-awaited rebirth of longer days and flowering blooms.

Michael Antonio Driver-BR Women's Shoes www.6pm.com
#3 – Michael Antonio Driver-BR Women’s Shoes
www.6pm.com

I long for lush green trees, the cheerful sound of birds singing, flowers, warmer weather, the smell of fresh-cut grass and the overall awakening of life. To be outdoors soaking up the sun and enjoying a cup of hot coffee on the balcony in the morning hours is where I want to spend my daily devotions.

1st Milestone

The scale told me I was 157 this morning – music to my ears as this means I met my first goal. The hard work is beginning to pay off in great dividends. For the first time in my life I have energy and I feel more clear-headed. My asthma still bothers me first thing in the morning but it’s nowhere near as bad as it was about 1 month ago and as long as I stay on target it will continue to improve.

157 Pounds March 8, 2014
157 Pounds March 8, 2014
157 Pounds March 8, 2014
157 Pounds March 8, 2014

157.7 was my first goal and I vowed last week that I’d get here by weeks’ end. Here’s todays’ total numbers:

  • Weight:          minus 9 pounds
  • Thighs:           minus 5.5 inches
  • Arms:              minus 1 inch
  • Bust:               minus 0.5 inches
  • Waist:             minus 2 inches
  • Hips:               minus 1.5 inches

My main personal colors for the upcoming spring and summer 2014 are coral and turquoise. Last year I began incorporating more of these two colors into my wardrobe and I wanted to continue the trend this year because of their loveliness.

Brights Out Bright Yellow Handbag www.lulus.com
#4 – Brights Out Bright Yellow Handbag
Lulus

Coral reminds me of a beautiful sunset sky over the ocean with a mixture of reds, oranges, and yellows. The warm tropical color of coral evokes the sound of waves gently lapping the sands on the beach. You can almost hear the calming caws of the last of the sea gulls as they soar overhead to their resting place for the evening. This is such a mellow color that both calms and incites happiness inside me.

Alternatively, turquoise is soothingly cool and I can envision myself against the railing on a yacht in a flowing gauzy white dress with the wind blowing my hair from my upturned face. On a steamy, hot summer day sitting next to a fountain and feeling the spray of the water softly caressing my face also reminds me of turquoise.

Chinese Laundry Kalifornia Pink and Brown Ankle Strap Sandals from www.lulus.com
#5- Chinese Laundry Kalifornia Pink and Brown Ankle Strap Sandals
Lulus

I do not have a lot of clothing in these two colors however I have some jewelry, shoes, scarves and handbags that I’m going to have fun with. One other color I really like but will not be making too must use of this year is mint or lime.

The topic of mint brings me to one of my favorite newly acquired items that I got from 6pm.com. This lime colored beaded clutch (picture #1) is so cute and roomy at 11 inches wide and 5 & ½ inches high. The silver detailing, chain and magnetic snap closure really make it pop. This will go real nice with my lime colored sleeveless top and a couple other printed ones that contain various shades of green.

CORMACK - handbags's satchels & handheld bags for sale at www.aldoshoes.com
#6 – CORMACK – handbags satchels & handheld bags www.aldoshoes.com

The blush colored d’Orsay flats (picture #2) are from ModCloth and I’ve been eyed them for several weeks before snapping them up. Because of their neutral color these shoes will go with just about anything although I can’t wait to pair them with some coral.

The remaining pics 3 through 5 are sandals and handbags I found online.

  • #3 – Michael Antonio Driver: Natural colored gladiator-type 1/2 inch heel sandals with zipper at the heel and braided strap to go between the big and second toe.
  • #4 – Brights Out Bright Yellow Handbag: “This colorful structured tote bag has a lightly textured exterior with gold hardware, plus an interior separated into five sections for all the room you could ever want. Carry from twin tote handles with a 5″ drop, or clip on the adjustable shoulder strap. Purse measures 14″ wide, 10″ tall, and 5.5” deep. 100% Polyurethan”e
  • #5 – Chinese Laundry Kalifornia Pink and Brown Ankle Strap Sandal: “A strip of shiny gold rounds the edge of a pointed peep toe with a neon pink snakeskin-textured toe strap nearby, while a chic brown ankle strap secures with golden closures. A 4″ heel zipper offers up even more sparkle with a gold pull above a 1.5″ stacked wood wedge heel. Smooth insole. Non-skid rubber sole.”
  • #6 – CORMACK – handbags: Mini bag in medium blue with gold accents including a decorative lock & key. This satchel has a double handle and shoulder strap with top zipper closure. Measurements are 10.7 inches wide, 8.3 inches high and 5.2 inches deep.

Have a fantabulous weekend!!

“All of us have wonders hidden in our breasts, only needing circumstances to evoke them.” ~Charles Dickens

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Women on the Move: Fatmatta Wurie

Maono Ya Chini

Fatmatta Wurie
Fatmatta Wurie

Maono Ya Chini or low vision is a blog created and maintained by Fatmatta Wurie, a young woman, who was one of the first bloggers I interacted with after I launched Bold Blind Beauty. Fatmatta, a college student majoring in Information Technology (IT) and I connected as we share a mutual understanding on the loss of vision.

When I first saw the words Maono Ya Chini, which means low vision in Swahili, I was intrigued by their exotic sound and beauty. Since the word beauty is seldom associated with vision loss I was struck by Fatmatta’s personal story and her approach to handling that loss. “Seeing life through different eyes,” the tagline of Maono Ya Chini, seems to be the path Fatmatta has chosen to pursue her dreams.

Like so many of us who lose our vision, Fatmatta went through stages of disbelief, fear, denial, exploration to understand, acceptance and finally the desire to help others. Her diagnosis of the hereditary macular dystrophy caused her to make significant adjustments in her life.

I want to change the face of Information Technology for the Blind and Visually Impaired community. And once I do that, it is nothing to change the views and ideas of society. ~Fatmatta Wurie

Diseases of the eye that affect the macula, impact central vision which interferes with a person’s ability to perform daily activities including, but not limited to, recognizing familiar faces, grocery shopping, reading newspapers, menus, ATMs, currency, and watching TV, just to name a few. Safety concerns centering on the risk of falls, disorientation, medication-related errors, crossing the street, cooking, and bathing are real issues seldom considered until one has to face the prospect of living with the loss of vision. Add to it coping with the emotional impact of losing sight and independence it is a true life-altering experience.

After researching her diagnosis and following up with a retina specialist Fatmatta found that she had Stargardt disease. To be a 19-year-old at the beginning of her professional career one can only imagine what she went through upon receiving this news.

Being an Information Technology student, I am immediately drawn to being innovative, inventive, imaginative and creative. ~Fatmatta Wurie

The thing that impresses me most about Fatmatta is that it’s only been three years from diagnosis to the launch of her blog and she has chosen to advocate on behalf of herself and others. She’s volunteering in her local community and has proactively reached out and connected with other people experiencing vision loss to build a community of like-minded go getters.

Fatmatta shares lots of low vision and disability awareness resource information in addition to some of her personal thoughts from her journaling and re-blogged articles of interest. Being a full-time college student and blogging can be a challenge simply because of the demanding nature of school and life but she manages well.

Fatmatta you are an inspiration and I am hopeful that you will indeed change the world!! Your youthful zeal and enthusiasm is contagious. Keep up the good work friend.

“Our ordinary mind always tries to persuade us that we are nothing but acorns and that our greatest happiness will be to become bigger, fatter, shinier acorns; but that is of interest only to pigs.  Our faith gives us knowledge of something better: that we can become oak trees.” ~E.F. Schumacher