Beauty Mondays with guest blogger D'Angelo Thompson

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Adorn Yourself!
by D'Angelo Thompson

Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, yet makeup and hair can "enhance" it. When you have a night out with the girls or your significant other, try a fresh flower in the hair. I find orchids, lillies or roses to be perfect and a great accent! You can add it to an elegant bun, near the temple or behind your ear. The key is to secure it with hairpins or a comb.

D'Angelo Thompson - makeup, groomer, beuaty educator, blogger and author

Top 10 Things My Kids Will Likely Say in Therapy

Take an imperfect person with her own baggage. Mix in nine months of out-of-control hormones, years of sleep deprivation and no formal training. What do you get? Your average mother - and the perfect recipe for years of therapy.

I don't know what's on YOUR list, but here are the top ten things that my kids are likely to say when they hit the therapist's couch years from now:

10. For years I actually thought that MY name was Jesus Christ

9. I still can't seem to fall asleep without the sound of someone screaming at me to be quiet and just go to bed already...

8. Once I realized that "Mommy juice" was actually liquor, I began to suspect that there was a problem

7. ...and that's why I'm only attracted to women with unreasonably high standards

6. At first I thought that mom was really into fitness. Then I realized that she really went to Bikram Yoga just to get away from us for 90 minutes

5. If a girl doesn't yell at me, I just don't think that she REALLY cares...

4. At first I thought it was irritable bowel syndrome. Then I realized she would just lock herself in the bathroom to get a break

3. ...and that's when I realized that everyone does NOT call them boy boobies

2. I still start twitching every time I hear someone say, "Look at me when I'm talking to you"

1. She may have been bat-shit crazy, but I always knew that my mom loved me and did everything she could to help me become the best person I could be...unless she made a deal with you years ago to get a percentage of my therapy bill under the table

Beauty Mondays with Guest Blogger D'Angelo Thompson


Beauty Stress Relief
by D'Angelo Thompson

Yesterday, I was volunteering at a wig (a.k.a."crown") event hosted by hair stylist Hadiiya Barbel at Alibi 25 Salon called "Crowns for a Cure". A portion of proceeds went to the Urban Zen Center founded by Donna Karan. A few of the women in the room were cancer survivors and were radiating with light and a sense of knowing. 

I thought about beauty/getting crowned and what it means. The answer I came up with is "self loving care" from the inside/out. When overwhelmed with life, work and your being, take a beat and walk away and process my beauty "advice" today is TREAT yourself to a nice 10-60 minute massage and you will radiate.

Confessions of a BadAssMama - The Resentment Edition

I have a confession to make. I've been watching Oprah again - and she's making me think about my life. OK, truth be told it didn't all start with Oprah (reflecting on the crazy-town that is my life is the point of this blog, after all). But several poignant moments in last week's Life Class, combined with an incredible sermon at church today have brought The BadAssMama to her most startling revelation to date.

I often resent the changes I've had to make to my life since I had kids.

There. I've said it.

Judge me if you will, but the first step in recovery is to admit that you have a problem. And something tells me that I'm not the only mama out there struggling with a nasty little resentment habit. Keep in mind, I really have no excuse here. I entered into this motherhood thing knowingly and willingly. Discussions were had, plans were made, spacing decisions carefully thought out. Yes, I entered motherhood with eyes wide open and heart prepared to love these tiny little buggers more than life itself.

I think it's comes down to expectations. In my head, I would have my kids and they would fit perfectly into my neat-and-tidy life. They would sleep through the night by six weeks and fall into a comfortably predictable schedule well in advance of my return to work (yeah, yeah - I can hear you laughing. These are the things that a Type-A-borderline-OCD-perfectionist likes to believe before she's had children).

So, as you can imagine, the realities of motherhood basically kicked my ass from the moment my first child zoomed into the world eight weeks early (that kid is STILL a drama queen - but he sure knows how to make an entrance...). Add a second child 23 months later, and my neat-and-tidy world slowly but surely began to crumble all around me.

Instead of being the Mary-Poppins-meets-a-much-younger-and-cooler-Martha-Stewart that I imagined myself during my pregnancy, I rapidly deteriorated into a sleep-deprived-slightly-deranged-screaming-lunatic in less than 3 years. I yell at my kids on practically a daily basis. I have not a shred of patience. The sound of "Mommy? Mommy?! MOMMY!!!!" makes me want to cut my ears off and I spend more time prepping and cleaning AROUND my kids than actually playing with them.

I miss sleeping late. I miss wearing white shirts. I miss lazy Sundays on my couch with nothing to do but read the newspaper. I miss sleeping through the night. I miss being in control of my own schedule. I miss being responsible for a single life, rather than mine and the two tiny lunatics who look to me for their every want and need. I miss being irresponsible, irreverent, spontaneous. I miss going to a diner at 2am after a great night out, knowing that I can sleep until noon the next morning. I miss non-animated movies. I miss time alone with my husband. I miss long weekends with my girlfriends. I miss my pre-kid life.

But, guess what? As much as I miss all the freedom that came with life before kids, I couldn't imagine never experiencing Angel's infectious laugh or Victor's incredible smile. I used to come home to an empty house (since The Hubs often worked later than I even did in our pre-baby life). Now, two tiny lunatics scream "MOMMY!" at the top of their lungs as soon as my key hits the lock. I love a few nights of uninterrupted sleep on a business trip, but the room is always too dark and too quiet for me to sleep well the first few nights, and I can't wait to get home to the madness that is my post-baby life after three or four days away (hey, I'm no saint - mama likes a bed to herself and room service as much as the next gal...).

Yes, there are times that I resent the changes I've made to my life since having kids. At times, I allow that resentment to color my interactions with my kids and cloud my perspective. I'm not proud of this, but it's true.

The good news? There is so much more that I absolutely adore about my post-baby life than the things that make me crazy. If I can focus on these things more than the crazy-making-moments, I hope I can yell a little less, cuddle a little more, and enjoy every moment of this crazy thing called motherhood. 

When I Grow Up

Multi-tasking came naturally to me before I had kids. I could easily type a document, manage a conference call on speakerphone and field numerous random in-person questions at the same time without losing track of any individual task. Now that I have kids, I can barely walk and chew gum.

Interestingly enough, this week I also discovered that it is impossible for me to be a parent AND a child at the same time.

It all started when both kids came down with strep throat at the same time as my parents were coming into town and I'd taken a week's vacation. My plan was to keep the kids in daycare part time while I enjoyed some quality time with my parents and some rare-but-desperately-needed R&R for myself. But, just like rain on the day you wash your car, you can bet your bottom dollar that my kids will get sick as soon as I take any stretch of time off of work. So, for six straight days I played nursemaid to my legitimately-ill-yet-increasingly-irritating children while also trying to entertain my parents.

And by entertain, I mean show them what a perfect mother and grown-up I had become.

Maybe it's just me, but no matter how much time has passed I somehow magically transform into a needy 14-year-old roughly three days into any visit with my folks.  On paper, I may be a nearly 40-year-old executive with an Ivy League education, snazzy job title, 2 kids, husband and a mortgage. But give me an extended period of time with my parents and I transform into a geeky bookworm, desperate for straight A's on her report card and a stream of gold stars from the teacher (meaning my mother). I interpret almost any suggestion - be it delivered lovingly or with a healthy side order of snark - as an attack on my parenting/wifing/housekeeping/grown-up-making prowess. Sure, I can keep up a good front for the first few days, but by the end of every trip I'm hiding in the bathroom calling my husband at work crying over what a failure I am at EVERYTHING.

Now, before this is misinterpreted, let me be clear that my parents are very nice people. I had a lovely childhood and continue to have a really strong relationship with them. I speak to one or both by phone every day, they have always been extremely supportive and I genuinely not only love them but like them both - a lot.

It's simply IMPOSSIBLE for me to act like an adult when they are in my house.

Now, this situation can be challenging as a single woman managing her own household across the country. Add in a husband and 2 kids who actually expect you to be a grown up and take care of them while your parents are in town, and you've got a recipe for a Lifetime Movie of the Week.

Long story short, I don't know about you but I cannot successfully be a parent AND a child at the same time. My parents' opinions will always be important to me, but for the sake of my family (and what remains of my sanity), when we are together I need to focus on being the best mom I know how to be, and not worry about being perfect in their - or anyone else's - eyes.

If anyone finds a cure to Type-A-approval-seeking-perfectionism, could you PLEASE hook a sister up?

Makeup Mondays with celebrity guest blogger - D'Angelo Thompson

Best Face Forward
By D'angelo Thompson

When shopping for an ideal summer foundation I suggest tinted moisturizers by Laura Mercier, Almay, Neutrogena or Clinique. For more coverage as needed I also love Face&Body foundations either by MAC or Make Up For Ever-you can get a sheer yet flawless/waterproof effect.

Beauty Mondays with Guest Blogger D'Angelo Thompson

Whip Your Hair Back and Forth

For an instant beauty fix or to simply switch it up like many in the spotlight their stylist  pop in "extra hair" or instant hair. The key is to match it to your color, choose the desired length and look for tracks (2 or 3 rows) or pieces with snaps or combs. Instant hair can add body, fullness for thin hair and length of course. My main suggestion is make sure it's human hair. There are many brands out there in beauty salons. Ulta shops nationwide and beauty supply stores or you can have custom pieces or wigs made.

The beauty of being human is we can morph into many types of butterflies-HAPPY MONDAY!!!

D'angelo Thompson, make up, groomer, beauty educator, blogger  and author