Thursday, August 23, 2012


Naming my blog, "The Epic Journey of Me" actually made me smirk just now.  I'm not sure how "epic" it is, but it's my story.  I share with you all as a woman who has had joys and despair; hoping that some how my story can produce a laugh or smile or some type of contentment that you're not alone in life. We all have ups and downs.  So, the journey continues as I share with you all a glimpse into life as I know it.  

Life as I know it.  Well, life is good.  Although, I believe we all go through life wanting more, I thank God daily for my blessings.  I have a home, healthy children, and a happy marriage.  We have never been hungry. We've never lived on the streets.  

Now, on to some real stuff.  It's true.  There's an ongoing battle in my mind and body.  Do you know what I mean? Kind of like high school, but a grown up version.  Am I good enough?  I'm fat. Why can't I look like her? Crow's feet. Graying hair. Sore joints. It's all there.  Friends, I know.  Yes, I'm good enough.  I just have less confidence than some women my age.  I'm overweight.  (Fat seems so harsh). I am overweight because I choose to eat things that are bad for me. Crow's feet.  No comment.  Graying hair.  It plagues me. It's a constant battle. Sore joints? Oh boy, that hit me at 40 like freight train.  Everything else?  There's too many to name here. I don't have all night. 

So, there's my "life as I know it".  It's my reality.  Part of it is bliss.  The others I named are a shameful reality. This is what stinks.  In my mind?  I am 29 going on 30.  I want to be healthy. I want to dress in style and have a flair for fashion.  I have a love for beauty; makeup, shoes, jewelry and on and on.  I'm just STUCK!  I'm stuck in my body and my guilty pleasures that unfortunately, have caught up to me at 42.  

However, I am publicly going to announce a "Change Challenge".  I want to change.  I want to be healthy.  I want to FEEL beautiful!  So, guess what I'm going to do?  I'm going to announce my change in process.  Today is the day.  I will start with small changes so that I don't freak out.  More water, no Pepsi & a daily walk. I'll also cut out the guiltiest pleasure of all; CARBS. And yes, I'm going to do something that I SWORE I would never do!  I'm going to post my progress in PHOTOS.  It's NOT pretty. So, viewer discretion is advised. It doesn't get any more real than this.  It might not be a perfect journey as I know I will make mistakes, but I will arrive at a healthier me! Wish me luck! NO, pray for me. I know that works! 


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My TOP 10 Beauty Must Haves!

I wanted to start my blog off with a bang this week so I decided to begin with my TOP 10 Beauty Must Haves! These are items that I use on a daily basis and pretty much couldn't live without.  Most items are affordable and can be purchased at your local dollar store, drug store or at Walmart. The others can be found at your local department store. If you're looking for new products to try~ I highly recommend these!  Read on, be beautiful, and enjoy!

#1  Must Have:   Merle Norman Purely Mineral Makeup
Although I've always been a liquid makeup girl, I recently asked my beautician what makeup she used.  It was luminous, natural, and the coverage didn't look too heavy. I immediately went out and bought this foundation and I love it! A first time mineral makeup user, I was hesitant but caught on quickly!  This is a great foundation with great coverage and doesn't sit in lines or wrinkles.  You can build the coverage and even apply with your choice of a brush or sponge.  Oil Free. BIG HIT!  Purchase at your local Merle Norman Store $25 

#2 Must Have:  Revlon Creme' Gel Eye Liner 

Eyeliner has always been a pain in my side.  Or eye.  Laugh out loud.  I have watery eyes, so finding the perfect, long wearing eyeliner has always been a challenge.  However, this is a must!  The application is smooth and easy as it is gel creme' and not a liquid.  The brush is precise and ease to use.  This comes in 4 choices in color, but of course, black eyeliner is a staple for me! Waterproof & lasts up to 24 hours!  LOVE LOVE LOVE!  Purchase at your local Walmart or drug store.  $10-11 

#3 Must Have:  Lancome Oscillation Mascara 

Yes, ladies.  It vibrates.  When I worked for Lancome and this product was introduced, I laughed.  Out loud.  I mean, really?  VIBRATING mascara?  Then I tried it.  Yep, no going back for this girl.  It's expensive.  It's luxurious.  It's worth it.  
With the push of a button, you can transform your lashes! Lengthens, separates, and adds volume quickly and with little effort!  Try it once!  I dare you! Purchase at most Department stores. $35 

#4 Must Have:  Dolce & Gabanna Light Blue Perfume 

Perfume has always been a love of mine!  Most women have a signature fragrance; this being mine.  I wear a lot of perfumes.  I buy them (or my husband does) as a collection, and I love trying new ones.  But this is my favorite.  It's light.  It's fresh.  It's clean.  It's feminine.  Most days that I wear it I get compliments.  If you're in the market for a new fragrance OR need something to add to your Christmas list...choose this!  You will love! Purchase at most Department Stores 1.7 oz $68 

#5  Must Have:  Garnier Refreshing Remover Cleansing Towelettes

I'm a big believer that I HAVE to take off my makeup before going to bed!  I've used a lot of cleansers, and still do on occasion, but for a fast, easy, detoxifying removal of your day's makeup; these are a must have.  They are gentle, do not burn my eyes, and do a great job of removing eyeliner and mascara.  Non comedogenic (won't clog pores). 100% oil free,  Dermatologist & Ophthalmologist Tested. Travel friendly. Purchase at Dollar General, Walmart or drug store. $5-6 (price varies)

#6 Must Have:  Suave Volumizing Root Boost Spray
Honestly, I've always had a weakness for salon products.  Proven salon products.  BUT, on a frugal budget, this is a great product.  Divide hair with your finger, spray on roots and blow dry.  It's really simple.  This spray isn't sticky, doesn't leave a residue and actually WORKS! Plus, it's not expensive.  Contains folic acid & collagen. Actually, all the Suave Salon proven products are wonderful, but this would be the one that I use the most.  Purchase at Dollar General, Walmart or your local drug store. $4

#7  Must Have:  Beauty Treats Sun Shimmer Face & Body Bronzer 

This is a beauty!  It subtly shimmers, adds beautiful color, and can be applied to your face & body!  I apply over my foundation mainly for the added POW & shimmer! Add this to your Summer line up at hardly any expense!  Wait ladies!
This price will stun you!  Purchase online or check your local tanning salon $5 (WOW!!)

#8 Must Have:  Softsoap Body Butter Coconut Scrub

I'm usually NOT a big fan of cheaper body products.  Formally I worked for 2 well known Cosmetic companies and was quite spoiled to their luxurious body products.  However, as I strolled the isles of Walmart one day, this caught my eye.  I LOVE the aroma of the beach. Don't we all?  I picked it up, lifted the lid and sniffed~ and bought it.  Although, the fragrance is not truly coconut, it radiates that "I've been to the beach" aroma.  Once I got this home, I used it with a bath puff in a circular motion and was instantly hooked.  Arms, hips, elbows, legs and on and on. It's gentle enough to use everyday and washes off easily.  I even use it to shave my legs.  Most importantly, it softens and smooths the skin!  Love this product!  Purchase at Dollar General, Walmart or your local drug store.  $4 

#9 Must Have:  Bath & Body Works Triple Moisture Body Cream 
  I love lotions & creams.  I love any sweet fragrance.  However, finding a lotion or cream that is actually beneficial AND smells sweet is hard.  I use lots of different hand creams, but for the body and legs I'm a little more particular.  Containing milk proteins, oils and extract it moisturizes without a greasy feel and lasts up to 24 hours.  Pictured here is the "Dark Kiss" fragrance which happens to be one of my favorites.  If you're needing a new body creme that won't break the bank~ visit your Bath & Body Works Store. Available individually @ $12.50 or can be purchased with many different combinations in store or online. 

#10 Must Have:  Lancome Juicy Tube Lip Gloss

Lip Gloss.  A must have for any girl, right?  So many to choose from. So many formulas, colors, and pretty packages.  Me?  I'm pretty picky when it comes to lip gloss.  I want glossy; Not sticky.  I don't want my lips to stick together when I'm trying to talk.  This is not a cheap gloss, but will last forever and provide that pretty gloss without drying your lips out.  There are endless colors and even seasonal packaging at certain times of the year.  Purchase at your local Department Store. $18 (I recommend buying their gift set of Miniature Juicy Tubes during the Holidays~ lots of different colors and will easily last all year!) 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Finding myself....

I believe there have been many times in my life where I've wanted to "find myself".  Who am I? What defines me? What are my dreams?  What scares me? What are my passions? What makes me content? At 18, after graduating from high school, I found myself getting married.  Later in my 20's I became a Mom.  At this point in my life; I did have some revelation that this was something that I was good at!  I didn't quit at the first sign of stress.  My heart and soul were poured into these 2 little girls that soon became my world.  

In my 30's life became somewhat difficult.  Insecurities, failures, depression, and the onset of my reality were almost too much too handle. My 17 year marriage failed and it was my choice.  Yes, I chose divorce.  I chose it over my children's security and happiness.  I chose it for me.  As I felt like I had lost myself in a marriage where I had no real identity. I was someone's wife.  Someone's mother. My name was Leigh Ann. I had fears.  I had sadness. I had an overwhelming lack of self esteem. I felt lost.  To be better; I needed to find out who I was.  Who I wanted to be. I owed it to myself.  To my girls. 

My second chance came in my latter 30s when I met my husband, Patrick. At this point in life, our life together produced a combined family of 3 girls and one 1 boy.  Ranging in age from 3-14.  Life seemed peaceful, and even with work and sharing our kids with their other parents, I became somewhat content.  I believe my 30s were my most "beautiful" years. (laughing out loud). I did feel my best physically.  I FELT beautiful.  I began to dress like someone who is comfortable in their own skin.  My 30s and I. We had a good time. 

My 20's

My 30's

My 40's
Then it happened.  The new decade in my life came.  It started with a 4.  Ended with a 0.  Wow. Happily married- CHECK.  Beautiful & happy children- CHECK.  Feeling healthy- Nope. Feeling sexy- Nope.  Career in Place- Nope. Ideal weight?- Nope. 

So here I am.  Finding myself.  Come with me.  We'll take a look at the emotions, the daily grind, and all the girlie things that help make us who we are~ and help us to feel, act, and love beautifully! 

Journey on,

Leigh Ann