Celebrate mothers of ALL kinds!!

Today is a particularly difficult day for me and my family as we spent yet another Mother’s Day without my mother, Johana Mallow, passed away in 1994 of breast cancer and her mother, my beloved grandmother, Marion Gilmore a few months later.

Unfortunately, there’s many, many children this year that are foregoing Mother’s Day due to the loss or separation of their mother or grandmother this year. As a 39 year old woman who lost her closest mother figures at age 12, I cannot emphasize this enough….

You will fight. You will want distance. You will not agree. BUT, you will need her!! I was very lucky when I was younger, my friends were more than happy to donate their mothers during my times of non-existent mother crisis (special thanks to Lindsey and Diane Henry and Megan Pennington for your wonderful mothers!). You WILL need her!!

After my mother and grandmother and then a couple years later my aunt passed away, I was done. I was done crying. I wholeheartedly stopped connecting with people unknowingly fearing that person would pass away. With my father being sort of a public figure in our small town in Ohio as my High School Principal and virtually half the town knowing who my mother was as a 1st and 2nd grade teacher, I put on a brave face.

My mother finally passed from her horrendous battle with cancer in late January 1994. I was a sixth grader. My principal kindly called me from class to gather my things after whispering to my teacher what happened. He then took me in his car through the winding fields for what was the longest 20 minute drive home of my life. I distinctly counting the raindrops sliding down the window I was staring out of. I knew exactly what happened. I have a semi photographic memory and I remember my mother’s facial expression earlier that morning when I was saying goodbye with my little book bag on my back slamming the back door behind me. She knew. A mother always knows. She protected me from literally every aspect of pain and fear and agony that she went through the entire time I was in existence. That’s a mother’s job. She was an AMAZING mother and I treasure having being born from a true angel from heaven.

Today is Mother’s Day and it’s both a sad and celebratory day for me. I’m truly thankful for my past, my dear mother and both grandmothers that have since passed. I’m also blessed with a wonderful stepmother! Coincidentally, my dear stepmother fell this past week, fractured her skull complete with a brain bleed, and the next day out of the hospital is taking care of my father and doing house work.

So, cheers today to all the mothers who never stop, never give up, and never stop fighting for the futures of their children. Love to all of you and stay safe.

How to survive….

The fighting, the loneliness, the sadness. These words describe the atmosphere that we’re having to endure. People are not faring well during this awful time. I am not immune to the despair people are feeling. I wish I could help the people that need help. So, I write this. This is what I’ve been taught to do during times of absolute panic. This time is now. Although it’s October 1 and my favorite month because it’s the start of the holiday season, this season will look and feel a lot differently than any other season in recent memory.

How to survive this time? Hug the loved ones you can as tightly and often as they’ll let you. Take care of each other. Go online and pick up the phone to check on family and friends. Tell them you’re thinking of them and their family and offer condolences to people who’ve lost loved ones. Those people may be suffering alone right now and need support. Grief is a very long process and doesn’t end at a funeral. Many people are grieving right now. People are grieving not only the loss of loved ones but the loss of normalcy. For many people, being together with friends or loved ones is how they live every day and what they look forward to. Even though I’m an introvert mostly, I see people suffering the loss of human contact. We have to take the time to take care of each other as best we can.

Write. Write in a journal. Diary. Blog. Say how you really feel and mean it. When I lost my mother at age 12, I would write very often. I would write songs and poems about her and my loss. I would write until there was nothing more to say. How did I survive? I wrote.

Music is another outlet that should be utilized during this time. It doesn’t matter what type of music you like. Maybe try listening to a different genre of music or like me, try playing an instrument no matter how awful. I’ve been practicing piano for months now on and off and it’s challenging, rewarding, frustrating and I can feel myself growing inside because of it. I’ve also tried singing. Not my forte but actual singing with scales and learning songs. It’s not pleasant. But, trying something new is what it’s all about.

Another artistic outlet I like to utilize is painting or drawing. Again, these are not my forte and will never be but putting color on a piece of paper or canvas can be breathtaking. And you never know where you’re passion could lead you. I will go from drawing cartoon characters to painting a tree with cherry blossoms blowing in the wind. Both made me smile and both took time away from thinking about the misery and sadness people are feeling right now.

Lastly, and most importantly, remember to breathe. It sounds silly but taking care of yourself can keep you taking care of others. So, breathing and/or breathing techniques can actually do a lot for your anxiety levels or depression. Taking some deep breathes reminds you that you’re alive and never take that for granted when others are just trying to breathe.

Helping Resolve Stress

My methods…

When stress strikes me, I eat and eat and eat. So, since January, when the most recent stress event started, that’s what I’ve been doing. Well, I’m paying for it now. My clothes are quite tight now and it’s bathing suit season. What would G.I. Jane do? Yep, that’s where I go when stress builds up to the point where it’s showing on my body. That movie has to be watched again! Take it out of the vault and sit down to be inspired.

The method is this, address the problem. What’s causing your stress? If it’s like my stress and it’s not one thing and there’s no easy solution, then keep reading. How can you address your stress without addressing it? My introvert style, G.I. Jane style. Replace stress eating with my method of ‘Give me fifty!’. The idea is more complex than just exercise, it’s about tricking your mind into thinking about something else, anything else! But, ‘Give me fifty’ can be jumping jacks, push-ups, laps, sit-ups, fifty minutes of meditation, fifty minutes of yoga, whatever your body can tolerate to help handle your stress. To be clear, I’m not a doctor or dietician. This is my method for tricking my mind into replacing food and stress with exercise or other positive actions.

Another action is to get creative for fifty minutes. I will generally practice piano, or get creative artistically by painting, drawing, writing or journaling. So, when I have enough time to get into the fridge, I have enough time to be productive doing something that can help me deal with my stress. If you have children, get them to take a walk with you. Get your fifty in with your kids.

Tricking your brain into healthy habits will not happen if you don’t commit. It will take some time and remember, this is not about getting thin. This is about addressing the massive amount of stress that people are going through right now. This is also not about solving the world’s problems. This is about getting us through this stressful time through positive actions. So, stop, think, and give me fifty. I’m starting with you.

Please everyone stay safe and stay healthy.

Daily Routine

To begin, I’m 38 years young. My morning makeup routine is not for the faint of heart. Lol. It’s not for the 30-minute girl by any stretch of the imagination. So, I will go over it step-by-brutal-step.

1. Use Philosophy Peeling Mousse 2-3 times per week. https://www.philosophy.com/renewed-hope-peeling-mousse.html?ecid=s:goo:s:x:hero:b:na:943454270&utm_source=google&utm_term=philosophy

2. Use Wander Beauty Lift Off Purifying and
Brightening Peel Off Mask daily. https://www.wanderbeauty.com/lift-off-purifying-and-brightening-peel-off-mask

3. Use Garnier SkinActive Purifying Oil-Free Towelettes with Charcoal daily. https://www.garnierusa.com/about-our-brands/skinactive/charcoal/purifying-oil-free-cleansing-towelettes-with-charcoal

4. Lancôme Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate daily. https://www.lancome-usa.com/skin-care/collections/genifique/advanced-genifique-face-serum/1000302.html#GeoRedirectOff=undefined&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIh7Kv0obL6QIV_P_jBx2g9AIqEAAYASAAEgJbRfD_BwE&start=1&cgid=L3_Axe_Skincare_Genifique

5. La Mer the Eye Concentrate daily. https://m.cremedelamer.com/product/20652/74983/face/eye-treatments/the-eye-concentrate#/sku/115246

6. La Mer Moisturizing Cream daily. https://m.cremedelamer.com/product/5834/22929/moisturizers/the-moisturizing-soft-cream/face-cream-for-dry-skin#/sku/44193

After this, the routine varies by day. So, today’s went like this…

7. Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer. https://www.ulta.com/behind-scenes-eye-primer?productId=xlsImpprod1840063&sku=2214801&&catargetid=330000200002232594&CAPCID=430495604869&CATCI=dsa-896513123888&CAAGID=98772994023&CADevice=m&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIg-KnionL6QIVkxatBh059QomEAAYASAAEgL4oPD_BwE

8. Too Faced HangoveRx Replenishing Face Primer. https://m.toofaced.com/product/23476/59042/face-makeup/primers/hangover-primer?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIs5qLwIrL6QIV8wl9Ch1i0wWAEAAYASAAEgJe6fD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

9. Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer in 12N Fair Neutral. https://tartecosmetics.com/shop/makeup/face/concealer/shape-tape-concealer/836.html

10. Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear in 210 Buff N. https://www.lancome-usa.com/makeup/face/foundation/teint-idole-ultra-24h-long-wear-foundation/1000554.html#GeoRedirectOff=undefined&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8KjlpIzL6QIVvP7jBx2YawWTEAAYASAAEgK-BPD_BwE&start=1&cgid=L3_MakeUp_Face_Foundation

11. Ciate London Extraordinary Translucent Powder. https://us.ciatelondon.com/products/extraordinary-translucent-setting-powder

12. Gigi Gorgeous Cosmetics The Sick Sculpt Bronzer Duo: Turnt + Extra. https://www.amazon.com/Gorgeous-Sculpt-Bronzer-Turnt-Extra/dp/B0816ZVVK1&ved=2ahUKEwjd2fXFkMvpAhXRu54KHYkyB1QQFjAAegQIBBAB&usg=AOvVaw0PdojGmUkrc9j-EoADnfTe

13. Maelle Beauty Cheeky Blush. https://www.maellebeauty.com/products/cheeky-blush

14. RealHer Confidence in My Glow Highlighter. https://www.realher.com/products/highlighter

15. E.L.F. Instant Lift Brow Pencil in Neutral Brown. https://www.elfcosmetics.com/instant-lift-brow-pencil/200078.html

16. PAT McGRATH LABS MTHRSHP Subliminal Platinum Bronze Eye Palette. https://www.patmcgrath.com/collections/mini-eye-shadow-palettes/products/mthrshp-subliminal-platinum-bronze?variant=3156883603480

17. Lancôme Paris Le Crayon Khol Eyeliner in Black Ebony. https://www.lancome-usa.com/makeup/eyes/eyeliners-and-pencils/le-crayon-khol/138847.html#GeoRedirectOff=undefined&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIsN2e_qLL6QIVEz2tBh3HpADLEAAYASAAEgJ0OfD_BwE&start=3&cgid=L3_MakeUp_Eyes_Eyeliners_And_Eye_Pencils

18. Lancôme Paris Cils Booster XL Enhancing Vitamin-Infused Mascara Primer. https://www.lancome-usa.com/makeup/eyes/mascara-primer/cils-booster-xl-enhancing-lash-primer/990604.html##crl8-gallery

19. NARS Climax Mascara in Explicit Black. https://www.narscosmetics.com/USA/explicit-black-climax-mascara/999NAC0000086.html

20. Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes Waterproof Mascara. https://tartecosmetics.com/shop/makeup/eyes/mascara/lights-camera-splashes-waterproof-mascara/7.html

21. Gerard Cosmetics Lip Pencil in Ecstasy. https://gerardcosmetics.com/ecstasy-lip-pencil/

22. OFRA Cosmetics Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Oh My Ry Ry. https://www.ofracosmetics.com/products/ofra-x-madison-miller-liquid-lipstick-oh-my-ry-ry



A little about me besides the obvious that I love makeup. My mantra is never to give up. No matter what happens to you along the way. Life is going to be extremely hard. It’s not supposed to be easy. When I was 12, my mom died of breast cancer but she never gave up fighting for her life. A few months later, her mother, my beloved grandmother also died. A few months later, I was gifted a stepmom and two stepsisters. I felt like Cinderella at times, always knowing I wasn’t her daughter.

Nothing ever came easy for me. I was bullied all the way through junior high and high school because my father was the high school principal. I was bullied not just by other students but by teachers and staff who didn’t like my dad. It never stopped me from participating in sports, clubs, musicals, cheerleading, and volunteering. I always put my best foot forward and always finished my task. But being a perfectionist in high school broke me in college. College was hard. I had a lot of financial pressure of my own doing put on myself. So, I worked more than I studied. My graded suffered those first two years. I also always took the maximum amount of allowed classes each quarter/semester. I put too much pressure on myself. But, I didn’t give up or quit, and I graduated in four years at a great university. The final example I will give of how I follow my mantra is more recent. I was a stockbroker for about 6 and a half years but during that time, I suffered from debilitating migraines. I was on a combination of medicine for approximately seven years, one of which gave me severe, permanent tremors. When I was showing the debilitating signs of this Parkinsonian disease this medicine has left me with, I had switched to my dream job of cardiovascular research and published my first paper (https://stemcells.imedpub.com/cellbased-therapy-of-ischemic-heart-failure.php?aid=11224#corr). I’m now completely disabled but not stopped. I will never give up.