autobiography · DIY · freedom · grattitude · Happiness · Home · Life · makeup · motivation · side-hustle

Let’s Do This!

This is what I say to myself every day when I leave my house. I also say a few sweet parting missives to my dog upon my exit as he stares at me longingly from the front gate. These include, but are not limited to, “Take care of the house.” “Go inside. It’s raining.” “Please don’t bring another toy outside.” “I’ll snuggle with you later.” “You’re a pretty boy!” “I love you!” and “I’ll be home soon, I promise.” But all of this is beside the point.

I also seem to have summoned up a sort of theme music. My phone magically starts playing the Pandora app moments after I walk in. This is a relatively new development and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Since I’m also unsure of exactly what is causing it, I just yell at Siri to make it stop and it does… again magically.

For some reason I began this year with renewed energy. I’m not sure if it was the breakup or some sort of unspoken resolution I sent out into the Universe, but I feel as though with the dawning of 2017, I unloaded the behemoth of all things unwanted and began to see the world through newly-opened eyes. Each day is a gift. I have 2 best friends who are complete opposites. They are two of the most amazing women I have ever met and they continue to inspire and bring out the best in me on a daily basis. They are my co-conspirators, my biggest cheerleaders, and I never question that they always have my back.

Right alongside the things I love and am grateful for are the things I’ve started to see completely differently and want to change. For a long time I’ve been reluctant to do weddings. I just flat out don’t like them. People seem to think that on their wedding day, a makeup artist can simply wave a magic makeup brush and transform them into a completely different person than they were before. That’s always struck me as odd. Mark my words. Nothing will make you question your talent or faith in humanity as much as doing wedding makeup.

Granted, I’ve been lucky to have had some amazing brides, and those experiences alone have been more than enough to outweigh the occasional Bridezilla. However, yesterday I decided to take bridal service rates off my website completely… then exhaled deeply. Three hours later (I kid you not), a bride sent me an email wanting to hire me for a HUGE wedding in about 8 weeks. I sent her a polite response and referred her to a friend who just set out on her own and is building her makeup artist business. Pay it forward whenever possible. Absolutely 100%. This business is completely cutthroat and it’s difficult to know who your friends are. But it all comes back. That’s the one thing you can count on.

I’m actually ahead of the game this week. My taxes are done (these are regrettably a last-minute thing, but I’m working on pushing them earlier and earlier each year. #smallwins). I’ve also secured a loan from the bank that will take care of all of the foundation work (GOOD NEWS! My house will not fall into the abyss on my watch!) and the renovation of both bathrooms. This was all done by Wednesday. I feel as if I deserve an award for adulting super-hard!

Today, a newsletter from a professional organizer was sitting in my Inbox. It contains a plethora of fantastic advice. (Yes, I included the link for you… because I’m good like that.)

AND as if the Universe didn’t have my back enough today, I just got the call notifying me that tomorrow morning I’ll be making David McIntosh camera-ready for Fox.


Both of these men are named David McIntosh. Which one do you think I’m meeting?
If you guessed the pasty, middle-aged guy… you’d be correct. *sigh*
Always the politicians, never the hot guys.

One day…
I’m waiting Universe…


autobiography · DIY · freedom · grattitude · Life · motivation · organization

Why Not?

I’ve pretty much led with that mantra lately and I think it’s getting me places.

  • Email in my inbox about signing up for Citizens Police Academy? WHY NOT?
  • Purchase awesome new kitchen lights and have electrician install them? WHY NOT?
  • Assist male friend on pilgrimage to find perfect prom dress for cheerleader daughter? WHY NOT? (Duh, I know where my talents lie…)
  • FINALLY get someone to come look at my foundation and get an estimate on exactly how jacked up (pun intended) it is? WHY NOT?
  • Buy the jeans in the size that fits me RIGHT NOW not the size I’m hoping I’ll be 2 months from now? WHY NOT?

Yeah, it’s stuff like that, both big and little things. But it’s the things we tend to get hung up on instead of just taking the leap and moving forward. How many unfinished projects do you have lying around your house? How many times have you put something off and it never got done? How many things do you have like this, hanging over your head, taunting you? And how many excuses do you make when they keep not getting done?

I was in the band and worked full time, then I went to esthetician school and worked full-time. Those were my excuses for what seems like an eternity. I still use them to explain the clutter in my spare rooms or my lack of attention to landscaping. I’m sure there are many things I attribute to all those years of neglecting everything else so that I could be a rock star and get an esthetician license. It’s been 5 years now. I’m out of excuses.

Every once in a while, the Universe will give you a little push. Most recently that push was in the form of my dead dryer. It had been 20+ years since a dryer had been purchased for my house. My old roommate had purchased the first one and sold it to me when she moved out. It outlived the washer by a few years, but the day after I knew it was a goner, I ordered a new one on the Internet complete with delivery, installation, and hauling away the old one.

After 2.5 weeks, 2 new dryers, an electrician visit, a ridiculous amount of Google searches, and the kindness of 2 guy friends who were available on a Sunday, things finally resolved themselves in my laundry room. I have the dryer I want. It works. And I completely re-organized the space with bins so that I can reach everything easily.

The NEW Laundry Room Organization Plan
Now I’m moving on to other parts of my house. If there’s something you don’t like, WHY NOT FIX IT? If you leave it there continuing to make you miserable, you’re only going to stay miserable.


I set out this year to improve every aspect of my life. So far, so good.



Marie Kondo is my Muse

I set out to make this a daily project, but lately I’ve been slacking. For that, I apologize. I’ve been out getting my ass in gear on my very extensive “to do” list. After a few years of doing double-duty in a band, then living a double-life in Esthetician school, things had more than adequate time to accumulate around my tiny pillbox of a starter home. I’ve come to realize that just as it took time to collect the mountain of clutter that I successfully hid, then subsequently shuffled between the 2 spare rooms, it’s going to take time to go through and get it to it’s final destination (sell, trash, recycle, give, donate…). Fortunately, there are a myriad of options for where you can re-purpose most anything nowadays. However, when you just want it DONE, considering all the options only makes the job more time-consuming. Can you believe I even found a place that takes my old bras? Yes, I said bras!

Basically, when you live in a small house with 2 rooms that have almost exclusively been unusable for the past decade or so, you start to feel like the walls are closing in. I’d chipped away at this for a little while, then I’d feel the need to have people over and in my rush to prepare, all the clutter or anything someone would poke fun of if it were left lying in plain sight was shoved in a box and thrown into one of the spare rooms. The cycle continued…

The last time I found time to clear out a room was when I was dating Dennis. He lived in Charleston, and was seeing a handful of other people who I didn’t know about, which gave me plenty of time to myself. When he would visit, the house would be neat as a pin, but it weighed on my mind that I should clear out at least one of the rooms just in case he peeked in and ran screaming. My methodology was to take everything out and only allow what was needed back in. This would have worked like a charm if my idea had come equipped with a small storage unit. Instead, I lived with clutter everywhere until I figured out what to do with it all. Unfortunately, I think most of it ended up in the other spare room.

One boyfriend and one birthday party later, the room I cleaned is hardly navigable. I’m not putting it off any more. I’ve begun fixing/replacing everything I don’t like and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Why? I’ll tell you. That feeling you get when everything is finally in order… when you are free of clutter and you can find all the things you are looking for… when you can walk freely through every space in your home… I don’t even remember what that’s like. I’m envious of Marie Kondo, the organizational muse of the masses who has her collective “shit” SO MUCH together that she’s developed the new IN methodology by which the world is now becoming more organized and happy. All I can say is that I’d love to see her house. Although, I downloaded her audio book and I’m afraid it might just bore me to tears. We shall see…

DIY · Life

Weekends Were Made For…

Although this weekend’s rainy weather wasn’t too great for morale, it was fantastic for Mr. Muddy Paws to turn my backyard into a gigantic mud puddle. This act turned me into a bit of a DIY-Diva come Sunday, but not before I’d had my share of Netflix-binging, audiobook-listening, and catching up with friends.

Friday I worked a little late and ran a few errands, then dropped by my friend Jessica’s roller-skating birthday party. I didn’t know how long they would be there and I was tired from the week (and still dizzy from the vertigo) so I didn’t bother renting skates. There I met a makeup artist friend that I’d known through social media for the majority of both of our careers. I’d even referred her for a few gigs because I liked her so much. Meeting her in person was exactly as I’d hoped. She’s exactly as sweet as she seemed online all these years. I think we both had the same reaction.

On the way home I continued my Audible audio book listening party with Anna Kendrick as my co-pilot. I’ll tell you the truth. I sort of don’t want to finish the book because I’m enjoying her company so much.

In one of the first chapters she talks about her experiences filming the movie Camp and her character Fritzi. I decided since I hadn’t seen the movie, this was going to be my Friday night activity. I found it on Netflix, made myself a huge mug of hot cocoa and snuggled up with my pup. I’m so glad I did. Since I was on that part of the book, it enhanced my reading experience just that much more.

When Saturday rolled around I suddenly felt like I hadn’t slept in a year. I honestly don’t know what came over me. My day consisted of a series of naps between WTF moments while I tried to wrap my brain around the Netflix series Black Mirror. Saturday ended with a sleepover at Kat’s after Hurricane Bianca and black peel-off masks.

Sunday morning I had brunch with the inner circle: Lee Ann, JD, Suzi, and Kat. It was exactly what I needed. I was up early enough to start my day, had intelligent conversation, and we even planned another get-together. After brunch I was off and running to find a new doorbell since I had dismantled the one Greg had installed SOOOOO long ago.

Sidebar: Greg was a bartender who worked at TGI Friday’s with a high school friend when I first graduated and moved back to Raleigh. If memory serves, I only went out with him so that I could catch the eye of one of his co-workers. (Yes, I know, I was awful.) One night he came to pick me up to take me to a Christmas function and brought me a gift for my dog and a doorbell, which he installed while I finished getting ready. Evidently, the one that came with the house wasn’t sufficient for him. I’m not sure I even took notice.

Years ago the light had burned out in that doorbell. Was there even a light? I’m not even sure anymore. Anyway… because there was a prominently-displayed doorbell, I was using it as an IQ test for my dates. If you knew enough to ring first, you might be worth dating. If you knocked, you might be an idiot.

Because my experiment never quite went as planned, I decided to get a wireless doorbell for the side door so that I could differentiate between the two doors. I put the receiver in my room so I could hear it when I was getting ready. Then I found the prettiest LED-lighted doorbell I could find at Lowe’s and installed it at the front door. You can see it from the street now. I did well.

But of course, in my DIY frenzy, this was not enough. I went back and bought 12 HEAVY concrete pavers to cover the new area of mud that Quincy had decided to repeatedly stir up. The guys at Lowe’s seeing me as a fragile flower insisted on pushing my cart and loading my car. They seriously wouldn’t let me lift a finger. I think they were laughing that I didn’t have a trailer or better system planned out to get what seemed like a metric ton of concrete pavers back to my house. Little do they know. I put all those bad boys out myself, and I have the muscle spasms to prove it!