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Impacting Positive Change

Image of a heart drawn with crayon
February is National Heart Healthy Month

Today there is so much going on in my brain I don’t know where to begin so I’ll start with an article a blogger friend of mine, Alicia Searcy, passed on to me yesterday. Alicia has an intimate understanding of the challenges faced by people with disabilities. Her blog Spashionista, focuses on “the trials and tribulations of a 50+ fashionista with cerebral palsy who wants women of all ages and abilities to look and feel beautiful.”

The article Alicia shared was about the first model in a wheelchair to ever take to the runway at New York’s Fashion Week on February 6, 2014. I love what the model, Danielle Sheypuk, had to say about how she felt as she approached the runway. “I felt sexy and glamorous. Most importantly, I felt like all of the other models there. We were all women who have achieved significantly and made outstanding contributions to our community. I just happened to use a wheelchair.”

Model Danielle Sheypuk 'People with disabilities are consumers of fashion' Photograph: Peter Hurley
Model Danielle Sheypuk
‘People with disabilities are consumers of fashion’
Photograph: Peter Hurley

The designer, Carrie Hammer debuted her collection with “Role Models, Not Runway Models” which, when you think about it, the majority of women out here are not runway models. I needed to share this with you today as it speaks to the heart of my message which is simply impacting positive change. I really do “trust my vision of possibilities regardless of universal skepticism.” If you would like to check out the article on Danielle and Carrie you can see it

Jessica Howard Sleeveless Dot Collar Shirt Dress - JCPenney this mock wrap dress is ideal for the pear shape.
Jessica Howard Sleeveless Dot Collar Shirt Dress
JC Penney

Remember on Saturday’s post how I was telling you about my miserable attempt at a radio interview? Well, today I get confirmation that I needn’t worry so much as Bold Blind Beauty and another fantastic blog were featured on VisionAware. This was so unexpected and wholeheartedly welcome I can’t adequately express how good it felt to receive the news that my blog is gaining some traction. To read the post you can get to it by clicking this link Meet a Bold Blind Beauty and a Deafblind Mother.

Bisou Bisou® Cowlneck Knit Tank - Fashion - JCPenney. This sleeveless cowl-neck also works very well for the pear.
Bisou Bisou® Cowlneck Knit Tank
JC Penney

The Pleasant Pear

Now I can focus on today’s body shape which is the Pear or sometimes referred to as Triangle of which I am one. Roughly 20 percent of women fall into this category. The simplest description of the Pear shape is narrow shoulders and full hips/thighs.

Black & White Striped Pocket Dress front
Black & White Striped Pocket Dress front

Since looking good in your clothes is a matter of highlighting your positives and downplaying your weaknesses it’s really all about illusion. Wearing clothes for your specific body shape help to maintain the illusion as well as proper fitting clothes help you to look good in your chosen outfits.

Black & White Striped Pocket Dress
Black & White Striped Pocket Dress

How do we camouflage our hips/thighs while at the same time draw attention to our upper body?

  • Tops: Scooped and square necklines visually widen the shoulders, as will embellishments along the neckline. Exposing one or both shoulders also draws attention to your upper body. I have 2 very comfortable ruched cowl-necked tops that I typically pair with a cami underneath and expose one shoulder.
  • Waistlines: The empire waistline displays your small waist while minimizing the hips. Choose dresses that gently taper at the waist and slightly flare out over the hips and thighs. An A-line or pleated skirt, nipped at the waist will balance out your bottom half and give a leaner look.
  • Pants: Pants that minimize hips by slimming or elongating as well as tailored darker colors are ideal for the pear shape.
  • Jeans: Boot cut with a slight flare at the bottom work best for our shape.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave a note in the comments section or you can email me direct at

“People are like stained-glass windows.  They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.”  ~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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Trending Now – Confidence!

A gold medal is a nice thing – but if you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it. ~From Cool Runnings

Image of a heart drawn with crayon
February is National Heart Healthy Month

So I just got home from a visit to my low vision specialist. I got to try out a couple of new gadgets like a pair of reading glasses with this cool bubble on the one lens. To use them I need to hold reading material very close to my face but it gets the job done. They would allow me to read instructions on medicine or a recipe even.

To get to the doctor’s office I have to walk down a number of long corridors. And of course there’s no hiding the fact that I use a white cane as one can hear the echo of the ball tip rolling to and fro with each step I take.

Even though I’ve been using my cane for about three years now I still can feel a little self-conscious so my remedy is to walk like I own the joint. So it was with head held high, sunglasses, black leggings, black tank top, black boyfriend jacket, black & white zebra/leopard print fringed scarf tied around my neck, I made my way to my destination.

I am always so inspired by out of the ordinary occurrences. When I was waiting for my para-transit ride home a woman sitting in a chair next to me said “we have the same stick.” I laughed, we exchanged pleasantries, got into a discussion on our individual vision impairments and I ended up recruiting her for the Low Vision Committee of the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind.

On the way home the song that I’ve claimed as my mantra, Make it Happen by Mariah Carey, kept swirling around in my head. It shouldn’t have been a surprise because when using the treadmill this morning I heard this song and was reminded that life is tough but we need to persevere even in the face of adversity.

Trials happen and some can challenge our confidence but we must keep pushing forward. I should not be where I am and had I listened to naysayers I would not have progressed to this point.

We have to wear clothes because to go around nude would be, well, unacceptable. However I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say that confidence is the most important item we can wear.

Trends come and trends go but how you feel about yourself is paramount. So when thinking about trends, you want to go with what flatters your body. For example I cannot wear tunics of any kind due to my body type. I don’t consider this a flaw I just need to find a suitable alternative which leads me into today’s trending topic.

Shape Shifting Style

Since the numbers indicate 46 percent of women are rectangle in shape. Rectangles do not have a defined waistline and the key here is to create curves. Following are clothing tips for you rectangles.

  • Form curves: Look for scooped or sweetheart necklines; tops with collars, ruffles and detail will define your curves. You want to avoid high and square necklines
  • Cinched waistlines: To provide distinction between the size of the waist and the bust, a cinched waistline will add definition. Tops, jackets and coats with a cinched waistline are ideal for this shape. Adding a belt also helps to create the illusion of curves.
  • Looking Lean: Long and lean jackets accentuate the rectangle shape.
  • Layers: Wear clothes that have layers for example wearing a tee-shirt inside your shirt or just a sleeveless tee-shirt on top of another tee-shirt.
  • Pants: Pencil pants emphasize the legs and make you look lean although the rectangular shape can wear just about any pants with the exception of baggy jeans.

Next week I’ll talk about the Pear Shape.

“Only as high as I reach can I grow,
Only as far as I seek can I go,
Only as deep as I look can I see,
Only as much as I dream can I be.” ~Karen Ravn

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Eyebrow Solutions

If eyes are the windows to the soul then the eyebrows are the frames

e.l.f. Eyebrow Stencil Kit
e.l.f. Eyebrow Stencil Kit

I am so excited!! Over the weekend I received in the mail 2 tools that I mentioned last Monday to help with applying my eye makeup. Both items come from e.l.f. and I can’t wait to share my feedback.

The first tool is the Eyebrow Stencil Kit and my immediate observation right out of the box was the great flexibility of the stencils. No stranger to eyebrow stencils, in the past I’ve tried a couple of different types and they were either too rigid or the shapes weren’t even close to my natural brows.

The e.l.f. eyebrow stencils come in 4 different shapes:

  1. Soft arch – is a gently rounded shape that follows the line of the eyelids. Soft arch eyebrows are perfect for women who have sharp, angular features, as they enhance softness to the overall look.
  2. Structured arch – is noted for a sharp slant upward from the inner corner of the eye, and a downward slant toward the outer edge. Women who have rounder or wider facial features can benefit from the vertical line created for a slimming look with this style.
  3. Curved arch – is a mixture of the structured and curved arches and is characterized by an upward slant from the inner corner of the eye to almost two-thirds distance, and finishing with a slight bend downward along the outside.
  4. Full arch – is depicted by minimal curvature along the length of the brow, and is good for women who have very narrow faces, or widely spaced eyes.

“Knowing your face shape is the first step to creating your most beautiful look” ~Kevyn Aucoin

The very first step in determining the shape of your eyebrows is, knowing the shape of your face. There are 4 basic facial shapes and I’ve provided the arch that works best with each shape:

  • foraywhileOval – forehead is wider than the chin with prominent cheekbones, face tapers to a narrow oval chin (soft arch)
  • Round – face is almost as wide as it is long, face is widest at the cheeks (structure arch)
  • Square/long – forehead, cheekbones and jaw line are all about the same widths with the squared jaw line being the most obvious feature (soft arch or full arch)
  • Heart – similar to oval but the chin tapers to a point (curved arch)

How to apply eyebrow makeup

  • Run your finger along your eyebrow to get an idea of the natural brow line
  • Place your index finger straight alongside your nose to the top of your brow line. (This is the start of your eyebrow).
  • Place your index finger alongside your nose and angle it outwards to the outer corner of your eye. (This is where the eyebrow ends).
  • Once you have determined which stencil to use, line up the widest end of the stencil to the beginning of the brow line
  • Likewise with the end of the brow line the thinnest end will be at the outer corner of the eye
  • Once you are satisfied with the placement of the stencil you can use eyebrow makeup to softly fill in area.
  • After you have applied the eyebrow makeup you’ll want to use an eyebrow brush to gently groom the brows and blend the makeup color for a more natural appearance.
  • Practice, practice, practice.

If you are using eyebrow stencils for the first time it is going to take some time to get used to them and you may have to try several different types before finding ones that work for you. I really like the ones I received because I found them easy to use and my brows looked awesome (this compliment from my son who notices little).

The second eye makeup tool I received was the Mascara Guide from e.l.f. I will explain how to use this guide next week but I can tell you that I think it’s a great tool especially for my upper lashes.

e.l.f. Mascara & Shadow Shield
e.l.f. Mascara & Shadow Shield

Overall for a cost of around $6.00 I definitely feel these two tools are worth the money. I’m still waiting on a couple of other items and once they come I’ll let you know my thoughts.


“I just like playing with makeup and clothes – so I really don’t feel like there are rules, and if there are rules, then I think it’s up to you to break them.” ~Kesha