Interview with Sarah Whiley: Writer, Blogger, Teacher, & Future Author #interview #nonfiction #amwriting #nonfiction


Welcome to another writer/blogger interview. Today I’m interviewing the wonderful, talented, and gorgeous Sarah Whiley who I have come to know through the prompt website MindLoveMisery`s Menagerie (MLMM). Sarah`s personal blog is called: By Sarah. You can also look for her to do the Saturday Mix prompt on MLMM. Here`s the link to last week`s prompt: Same Same but Different December 30.


Sarah Whiley Interview Pic 1
Credit: Sarah Whiley

1. Sarah, Please Tell Us About Yourself? What Are Your Writing and Blogging Goals? What Do You Hope to Accomplish by Writing? 


My name is Sarah Whiley and I live in north-east Victoria, in Australia. My blog is: ‘By Sarah. I’m a primary school teacher of 17 years and have taught all ages from 5 to 12 years old. I have always loved writing since I could pick up a pencil and create. I am passionate about instilling this same love of writing in my students.

In order to do that, it is important that I see myself as a writer – as an author in my own right. This is what I am hoping to accomplish by writing and blogging. I am so fortunate to live where I do. They don’t call Australia the “lucky country” for nothing!


2. Tell Us About Where You Live and What You Love About It?


I’m originally a city girl from Canberra, and later, Melbourne. I have enjoyed the spoils of both cities’ such as the cosmopolitan cafes and restaurants, nightlife, and their unique cultures.

When I met my husband and moved to the country! I love the wide- open spaces, the varying landscapes and the bush. I am now an avid bushwalker and spend most weekends out and about, communing with nature.


“I am a primary school teacher of 17 years and have taught all ages from 5 to 12 years old. I have always loved writing since I could pick up a pencil and create. I am passionate about instilling this same love of writing in my students. In order to do that, it is important that I see myself as a writer – as an author in my own right.” – By Sarah Whiley 


Sarah Whiley Pic 2
Sarah Whiley

 


3. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging and Why? What Does Writing Mean to You? 


My journey with blogging began five years ago, after a series of personal setbacks and issues. I commenced blogging primarily, as a cathartic experience to help me work through my thoughts and feelings. Once I no longer ‘needed’ my blog, I had a small break, however always felt something was ‘missing.’

After attending professional development for helping me teach writing, I realized, the hole that blogging and writing had left in my life!

I started my blog, ‘By Sarah,’ to explore my own creative writing, to explore myself, and my talent for writing. I have, particularly, enjoyed writing short stories and poetry. An unexpected bonus to continued blogging has been the great friendships I’ve gained in the WordPress community; I have established so many along the way.


4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Continue Writing and Blogging? Why Is It Vital for you to Keep on Writing? 


I have some seeds of ideas stashed away in my writer’s notebook. I tend to work on these pieces over a long period of time. For other ideas, I rely on a range of prompts. I feel it’s important to write regularly in order to develop my skills and continue to write and maintain it as a habit. Also, I experience a great degree of stress relief from writing.

Moreover, as a teacher, it is easy to get stuck in a cycle of hyper-vigilance and not to give yourself enough ‘down time’. I find a variety of prompts extremely helpful for motivating and inspiring writing for myself and in my teaching.

As well, I have a schedule of sorts and I endeavor to write every day aside from Wednesdays (which is my ‘well-being-do-nothing’ night!


 

Sarah Whiley Group Pic 3
Credit: Sarah Wiley

 


“For other ideas, I rely on a range of prompts. I feel it is important to write regularly in order to develop my skills and continue to write and maintain it as a habit. Also, I experience a great degree of stress relief from writing.” – Sarah Whiley


5. What Are Your Writing and Blogging Habits? Do You Prefer Writing a Certain Time of Day? 


I set aside time each day to write. Usually, I can be found on the couch with a dog or two keeping me company, along with some background noise from the TV (I am one of these people who can’t concentrate when it’s quiet). I enjoy writing poetry most. I have a knack for rhyme and rhythm and find it easy to whip up a poem.

As well, I have been challenging myself to explore other types of writing and short stories to extend my skills. I don’t write in the mornings as I am in a rush for time once I wake up. I rush out the door to teach school, but I write after dinner, sometime between 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. at night. I find Tuesdays and Thursdays to be my busiest and most productive days.


6. What Are Your Most Current Writing or Blogging Projects? Do You Have Projects Outside of Your Blog Involving Writing? Do You Plan on Publishing Any Writing in the Future? 


Currently, I am undertaking Sammi Cox’s  ‘A Month of Mini Writing Challenges’ and have am the new host for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s ‘Saturday Mix’. Outside of my
blog, I keep a writer’s notebook and am busy maintaining a Class Dojo Story (similar to a blog) for my classroom.

I will soon be published as a feature writer in Linda J. Wolff’s upcoming eBook. Linda runs a fantastic Urban Poetry site and I was the winner of her Fibonacci poetry competition earlier this year. At the end of the year, I plan to convert my blog posts for 2017 into a self-published collection for family, friends, and anyone else interested.


Toa Hefitaba Sarah
Credit: Toa Hefitba via UnSplash

“I will soon be published as a feature writer in Linda J. Wolff’s upcoming eBook. Linda runs a fantastic Urban Poetry site and I was the winner of her Fibonacci poetry competition earlier this year. At the end of the year, I plan to convert my blog posts for 2017 into a self-published collection for family, friends, and anyone else interested.” – Sarah Whiley


7. Can you Briefly Describe Your Writing Process? What Do You Think Will Be Your Process of Self-Publishing Your Writing? 


Being a teacher, I find the writing process natural and not something I have to think too hard about. Storytelling and explaining my ideas is something I innately do. Upon analysis of my writing, though, I definitely follow six-traits in my writing process including ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions.

After I am happy with a final piece, I often bounce it off my husband or my mum, seeking their feedback. They are a tremendous help to me and improve the end result of my stories and poems and their overall flow. When I self-publish at the end of the year, I am investigating the use of the ‘Blook-Up Service.‘ (As Sarah gave me these answers super-quick back at the end of August or September, please ask her about the progress of her book and her published poem!!).


8. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing and Reading Genres? And Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers and Bloggers Starting Out? 


Well, I’m definitely drawn to the dark, somewhat macabre styles of writing. My pieces often take a dark turn or have a twist at the end. I am not a fan of science-fiction or fantasy, at all, but I prefer supernatural, horror, thriller, crime, mystery, drama, historical, and biographical works.

My advice for new bloggers is:

  • Write what you know. Capturing a small moment in time can sometimes produce the best piece of writing! Also, go with the flow….literally! Don’t overthink it. Go with your ‘stream-of-consciousness’ and see where it leads.
  • Find like-minded people. Better to have fewer blog followers and likes, and better to have more feedback from those few who ‘get’ you and your writing, those who appreciate your efforts! Quality not quantity as they say.

Sarah Whiley Hiking 4
Credit: Sarah Whiley and Her Beautiful Photography!!

Find like-minded people. Better to have fewer blog followers and likes, and better to have more feedback from those few who ‘get’ you and your writing, those who appreciate your efforts! Quality not quantity as they say.” Sarah Whiley


9. Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Share With Us About Writing Or Yourself? 


My experiences growing up in a large family and my relationships with my siblings have certainly shaped many of my ideas and stories! I am the eldest of six children (No, we are not Catholic!). My mum just wanted another son and kept trying until she got one! It’s ironic how she wanted four boys…she ended up with four girls! Despite the large age gaps between some of us, we are reasonably close and hang out together and, at times, travel together.

Also, I LOVE to travel. Whether it be exploring local gems, interstate expeditions or overseas adventures. I am curious and interested in the world around me. I soak up information and facts like a sponge (you never know when they’ll come in handy for a trivia night!) I enjoy nothing more than experiencing new things. I adore the outdoors and take every chance (money permitting of course!) to jump on a plane and go somewhere different.

As well, I love New Zealand and have holidayed there four times now – with plans to go back! I have also traveled to the US (including Hawaii), England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, and Indonesia. All of these factors have helped develop my writing.


10. Can You Briefly Tell Us About Some of Your Favorite Blogs? What Do You Like Most About Them? 


Gosh, it’s hard to name a few. There are a lot of my WordPress friends whose work I truly respect and enjoy. But, if I have to narrow it down, I would have to say:

  • Jane Dougherty Writes – Jane has a wonderful turn of phrase and is able to use colorful words to create great imagery in her poems and stories.
  • God’s Chair – Jael Sook is an engaging and diverse poet and writer and I thoroughly enjoy her work, anticipating each post she makes.
  • RedStuffDan – Dan is an incredibly artistic photographer. His subjects include Bordeaux vineyards, local village life, architecture, doors, mirrored
    images and digital photography as art.

11. Can You Please Share With Us a Few Links from Your Blogs:

TASI

By Sarah Whiley

*Inspired by “Whiskey In the Jar” Music Prompt

*****

 

Tasi Sarah
Credit: Sarah Whiley

 

*****

My summer holiday in Hobart, Tasmania had not begun quite as I had expected. A thunderstorm, a severely delayed flight, and an inaccessible hostel topped off with some bitterly cold weather that I had most definitely not packed for. Finding myself with a few hours to spare, I decided that a stroll around the CBD to orient myself was in order.

The gathering, dark clouds had other ideas.

I had no sooner ventured out onto the streets when the skies opened and a torrential downpour began. Cursing, I sought cover under the awnings of the few shops that had them.

And that’s when I saw it from across the street. ‘Lark Distillery’.

I have never been a whiskey drinker, but I could not resist the pull of the plume of smoke coming from the chimney, nor the cozy 1800’s building that housed it. I ran across to the front door and pushed it open.

Immediately, a warm, yeasty aroma hit me. Unsurprisingly, I was the only patron. The young man behind the ba took in my sodden, street-urchin appearance, and without a trace of disdain, offered me a tasting.

‘But I don’t really drink whisky,’ I protested. ‘Can I just stay in here until the rain passes?’

‘Sure,’ he replied. ‘But why not have a little taste, just to pass the time?’

He took a glass and bottle from the shelf behind him and sang a few lyrics of the Metallica song, ‘There’s whisky in the jar oh.’ He winked, and with that, I took a seat at the bar.  I felt somewhat lonely amongst the long row of empty bar stools. Clearly, they were used to a greater custom.

‘So what would you like to try?’ he asked.

‘I’m in your hands,’ I admitted. ‘What would you recommend?’

‘Let’s start with the single malt. It’s a classic,’ he advised.

He poured a sample into the glass. The glug-glug and almost syrupy quality of the liquid was mesmerising.

‘This whisky is double distilled in locally crafted copper-pot stills and aged in small, 100 litre oak casks. We store our spirits for 5-8 years in smaller barrels for faster maturation,’ he explained.

I took a sip and promptly spluttered. He laughed.

‘Try throwing it back in one go,’ he suggested.

So I did.

After the initial burning sensation and urge to cough, the most amazingly delicious warmth spread from my belly to my brow.

‘Mmmm,’ I approved. ‘Nice. Smooth.’

‘Well if you like that, you’ll love the cask strength. It’s got the same smoothness but is more full bodied due to a higher percentage of Tasmanian malt. It bursts across the palate with hints of maple syrup and sweet notes of highland peat.’

‘Right,’ I said, not having a clue what that meant. Irrespectively, I nudged my glass forward and said, ‘Hit me.’

And I threw that back too.

This bloke knows what he’s talking about, I thought. It was amazing. My palate was dancing and my whole body was alive. The rain outside had faded away, and I felt all toasty and warm and happy.

‘How much alcohol is in this?’ I demanded.

‘58%’ he replied, with a twinkle in his eye, as if he knew that I was feeling tipsy already. ‘How ’bout we mix it up a little? Wanna try some gin?’

‘Gin?’ I replied with enthusiasm. Now we were speaking my language! ‘Oh yes please! Definitely’.

Again, I pushed my glass forward.

‘Now, here at Lark, we do a gin each season,’ he explained, ‘that way we can capitalise on the unique flavours available at different times of the year. This one is our summer release.’ He poured a more than generous sample.

This time, before I drank, I lifted the glass to my nose. The aromas were incredible. Bold and beautifully sweet, I inhaled a balance of citrus and rosewater with undertones of juniper and coriander. It made me think of the warmth of the summer sun. It was almost as if I could feel it on my skin.

I drank and closed my eyes with satisfaction.

‘That was good.‘ I could hear my voice starting to lilt and slur with the effects of the high alcohol content. I sat with the gin in my hand and sipped from the glass again and again. As if wanting to savour it but devour it at the same time, until every drop was gone. I couldn’t wait to see what was next.

‘This is slainte,’ he declared. ‘This is very, very special. It was developed by one of our owners in response to the strong demand for a unique Australian whisky liqueur. Slainte is the marriage of our single malt whisky and a distilled spirit of herbs and spices. The two are carefully combined to give a complexity of character, spiciness and sweetness, while maintaining the overtones of the whisky.’

I could listen to this guy talk all day! I thought. Such passion for the product.

My head was swirling, and I though I still didn’t fully understand what this whisky was all about, I had decided I liked it. Very much. I slid my glass towards him.

‘Now, Tasi,’ he began, as he pulled out a new bottle from behind the counter, ‘Tasi is something different altogether.’

‘What is it?’ I asked, my curiosity getting the better of me.

‘Tasi is a unique herbal liqueur derived from a single native Tasmanian berry.’

‘I know about the Tasi berry!’ I interjected, surprisingly myself. ‘It’s actually called a Myrtus berry isn’t it?’

‘Yes, that’s right. It’s unique to Tasmania. So this really is something you can’t find anywhere else,’ he was speaking almost reverently. ‘Pass me your glass.’

Unlike any of the other tastings, he first scooped up some ice cubes and placed then delicately in the bottom of my glass.  Intrigued, I leant forward as he carefully poured. Tasi was a glorious deep yellow in colour and looked like liquid gold, flowing over iridescent rocks.

I will never forget that first mouthful. It was as if the liqueur curled around every inch of my teeth and gums. It stuck to my tongue and was like treacle down my throat. That liquid gold coated every surface it touched within my body and I felt like royalty. I smacked my lips approvingly and even moaned out loud. I appreciated every last golden drop and licked the ice cubes once my glass was drained.

He smiled.

He knew.

It was THAT good.

I bought three bottles and thanked him for his time, his advice and his expertise. The bottles clinked as I pulled the door open and reentered the world outside.

I did not notice if it was still raining.

And I did not care.

****

Sarah 2017©


12. Here Are Some More of Sarah’s Link’s to Explore!

Some of her favorite Short pieces:

Some of Sarah’s Poetry:


Thank you so much to Sarah for filling out the interview questions and providing such honest and thoughtful answers. I’m so sorry it took so long to put the interview together. This last past year has been crazy. Make sure to check out Sarah’s Blog: By Sarah.


I should have another interview out in the next couple of weeks, with no promises. If you would like to be interviewed and are a writer or blogger or if you blog for a cause, please reach out to me through my Contact Page. If you’re a regular, you’ll notice I’m playing around with my blog to update my theme. The Contact Page info also needs to be updated eventually.

Have a fantastic week!


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

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Beauty: A Dream Vanity Area



If you could choose your favorite place to get ready in the morning or when you’re going out to a party or special event, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a vanity area? Yes, I know for many women (and some men) this seems like a dream.

I would adore haveing a dressing table area where I could have all my makeup and hair tools, have everything organized well, and have my vanity area designed exactly the way I would like it to be designed to my unique preferences.

While modern vanity tables for women and shaving tables for men developed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, beauty items such as cosmetic boxes, ointment jars, and perfume jars, were found in 1910, in “inlaid cedar cosmetic box[s]” in the tombs of Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh. 

Madam Pompadour of France, however, was one of the first women of the aristocracy to perform elaborate grooming rituals. The french aristocracy had boxes called Neccessaires’ which held perfumes, combs, nail files, and tiny scissors. Madam Pompadour (mistress of King  Louis XIV (1638 to 1715)) aided the French king in developing the ‘toilette’ or beauty regime for both men and women in the royal court. 

One fantastic example of an early vanity table was used by Marie Antoinette who had a dressing table specifically made to fit makeup items, writing implements, and a mirror. The piece was commissioned as she was due to give birth to her son and the vanity served multiple purposes also being used for eating and receiving visitors.

In the twentieth century, the vanity table developed significantly in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Glamorous Hollywood films made popular skyscrapers with luxurious penthouses and “femme fatale [movie] heroines.”

These starlets sat elegantly at their dressing tables which were streamlined in form compared to vanity tables of the past. Many women wanted to emulate these actresses and the vanity table became an essential piece of furniture for the modern woman.


Considering my dream vanity and how I would design it and the area around my vanity,  I realized there are many vital factors to consider. What I ended up with was a mood board of decor items I would adore in a vanity area. You can find my mood board at the beginning of this post.

There are many aspects I considered when I thought about designing a vanity area. The first being what style of vanity (the dressing table) I wanted. There is such a variety of styles of vanities to choose from but many are actually writing desks used as vanity tables, not the actual vanities which for instance, my great-grandmother Ida owned.

I tend to love antique vanities which have been repurposed. There is something curvilinear, ornate, and luxurious about the carving and details in the design of some antique vanities. What I love about repurposing old furniture, is that much of it is made from quality hardwoods, not cheap soft wood. Much furniture today is made of wood which easily breaks or splits.

Also, I would choose to paint my repurposed (or designed to appear antique) vanity my favorite color of light-blue. I would make it a feature piece of furniture in my bedroom and would paint the walls a neutral beige or gray with the same warm or cool hue found in the color blue used on the vanity. Below are three examples of vanities which caught my eye would be similar to my dream dressing table. I wouldn’t want such a roughed up quality to the paint but a nice sheen or solid color.


 

Credit: Home Decorating Trends – Homedit -www.pinterest.com

 

img_3080
Credit: http://www.createinspireme.blogspot.com

 

Credit: http://www.danisvintagedesign.com

Another choice for my dream vanity would be to paint it with a pearlescent paint in a light sheen of bronze, gold, or silver. These dressing tables are more glamorous than the blue ones but would also retain a unique but more modern design such as the opulent vanities of the 1930’s.

A significant reason I chose antique vanities versus modern streamlined ones, has to do with my personal aesthetics and especially, drawer space. I think a vanity should have significant drawer space for you to put your makeup, hair tools, lingerie, or whatever else you would like to store in your drawers. My favorite vanities have both slimmer drawers up top and larger deeper drawers on the sides. Storage is a major issue when choosing a vanity for yourself.


 

Credit: http://www.facebook.com via http://www.pinterest.com

 

Credit: http://www.pinterest.com

 

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Credit: http://www.missmustardseed.com

Many of the vanities pictured above have attached mirrors. I would be happy to have one of these mirrors refinished, but I also felt you could remove the mirror and hang a mirror with an interesting frame on the wall, behind your vanity. The mirror might be a little farther away from where you would sit, on the wall, but I don’t think this would be a problem if a person had enough natural and artificial lighting in their vanity area.


 

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Credit: http://www.restorationhardware.com

Credit: http://www.arhaus.com

 

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Credit: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.ca

Another important detail to consider is the chair you sit on in front of your vanity. Whether you purchase a vanity that’s antique which you refinish yourself, or you find you like already refinished, you can replace what is often a small stool or bench, with a fancy and comfortable chair.

Especially if it’s for a special occasion, I prefer to have back support, personally, and be comfortable while I’m doing my makeup and hair. I want a cozy place to sit and a chair with a cushioned back and seat. Here are a few examples of chairs I like below, the gray one is my favorite chair; however, you can also find yourself a fancy dining chair, or some other kind of comfortable chair which matches your vanity and decor scheme.


 

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Credit:  Unknown – Google Search

 

Credit: Source Unknown -Google Search

 

Credit: http://www.potterybarn.com

Another aspect I would consider for a vanity area, if you have space, would be a soft but stylish chaise lounge near your dressing table. I would include this in a dream vanity area because a chaise lounge or sofa, would make you feel more at home and enjoy being in this space, even when you’re not preparing yourself for the day or an event.

A chaise lounge or a couch could be somewhere your significant other sits and talks to you while you’re getting ready, or your kids. It would also be a comfy and plush hideaway to read a book when you have the time, especially if you have a space with excellent natural light or a floor lamp nearby, as I would in my dream vanity area.

As well, it makes sense to have a plush chair of some kind here because a vanity area would be close to my closet as well, so I’d probably need something to throw clothes on as I try on several outfits or change out of my work clothes after arriving home.It’s also a place to sit on while you put on your shoes and zip up your tall boots.


 

Credit: http://www.decor-zone.net

 

Credit: http://www.neimanmarcus.com

I talked briefly about lighting but it’s one of the most significant aspects of all to consider, not only for aesthetics but because women require fantastic lighting when putting on makeup and doing their hair.

There is no substitute for natural light and in my dream vanity area, I would have many windows nearby. You never want to walk outside and see you’ve put on your makeup too thick for daytime or used the wrong color of foundation for the season so your foundation ends up appearing orange in the daylight.

In addition, having a chandelier or some kind of pendant light above your dressing table makes it the area appear more opulent as well as making it easier for a woman to see what she is doing at her vanity. A small chandelier, for me, makes the area all the more appealing. It aids in creating a space where would enjoy spending more time and I would probably be spending a lot of time there, so I want a beautiful light fixture.

I had trouble choosing between three different light fixtures. On the Restoration Hardware website, I found this lovely light made of “tiers of translucent white capiz shells” and I love the movement created when light shimmers through these iridescent shells.


 

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Credit: http://www.restorationhardware.com

Another especially favorite pendant light of mine is the flower pendant light from Arhaus. This light is gorgeous, unique, and sculptural. I think the “Italian glass” crystals hanging down would be perfect for a vanity area. This light fixture is superbly classy with this flower having “dark silver clay finish;” the artist in me adores it.

Lastly, I was drawn to another indoor/outdoor chandelier made from recycled glass and wrought iron from Pottery Barn. The glass circles made me think of bubbles and/or a pair of pretty dangling, bronze and glass earrings. I think for me interior design and fashion often overlap.


 

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Credit: http://www.arhaus.com

 

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Credit: http://www.potterybarn.com

A third issue to consider with lighting is actual lighting where you sit at your vanity, on top your table. Here is the place where you or I would apply our makeup or remove it, perhaps along with our jewelry. I’m not a fan of those big bulbs that go around vanity mirrors, to me they’re a bit tacky (my opinion).

I think I would browse for some trendy table lamps which went with my decor scheme and weren’t too large. My thoughts are that they would appear classier and provide more natural lighting as you can put light bulbs in lamps with more of a warm glowOne lamp might be enough, or you might prefer two, depending on how much space you have. There are a couple of different ones I liked and you can see them below. They’re both from Arhaus,  here and here.


 

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Credit: http://www.arhaus.com

 

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Credit: http://www.arhaus.com

One final issue to consider with lighting and mirrors, is a having a magnifying mirror. Yep, the kind where you feel scared when you can see every mark or wrinkle on our face. While I hate that aspect of these mirrors, they can be helpful. They’re especially great when you’re plucking your eyebrows, getting rid of a few stray hairs, or when you’re trying to apply liquid eyeliner or any eyeliner for that matter.

I would buy one of these magnifying mirrors which lights up. It could sit on my dressing table top or be attached to the wall behind my vanity. I prefer one not on the top of the vanity since I need the space for other items.

Certain mirrors with LED lights can be moved closer or a farther away, whichever way you need. There are also various degrees of magnification. You can check out this magnifying mirror below, from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Lastly, ensuring my vanity area is near plugins where I could easily plug in a power bar with more plugins for curling irons, a blow dryer, and my table lamps would be a must for my vanity area.


dream-magnifying-mirror-light
5X Magnifying Mirror with LED Light(www.bedbathandbeyond.ca)

Now to tackle one the largest issues in my vanity area, having the best kind of storage for makeup, makeup brushes, hair devices, and any other products I store in and around my dressing table. A wonderful place for these organizational items is Bed, Bath, and Beyond because they have a ton of well-priced organizational items, many of which are also attractive for certain decor schemesHome Sense is another excellent place for this.

A third place you might consider buying storage for on top of your vanity is an office supply store, as many of their lines for storing stationary work well for storing makeup and skincare products. You can also use decorated or lovely colored trays and special storage from any home store, these products are easy enough to find.

Hanging a few decorative shelves nearby to house some of your personal items, is also an option I would consider for my vanity area, along with this neat holder I found on Pinterest, which is specifically designed to hold your blower dryer, hair straightener, and curling irons and can be found at Home Depot and mounted on the wall. For specifically made to hold makeup organizers on top of your vanity, Amazon is an excellent place to search for these holders at a great price.


 

Credit: http://www.homedepot.ca

 

Credit: Unknown – http://www.pinterest.com

 

http://www.bedbathbeyond.ca

 

Credit: http://www.overstock.com

 

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Instagram – http://www.pinterest.com

For makeup brushes my favorite storage solution is to find a pretty container, it could be a pencil holder a candle holder (whatever fits your brushes) or a couple of each, and fill them half-full with little rocks/beads or a similar vase filler. Stand your brush handles in these containers along with your mascara and eyeliners. Your brushes and makeup products will stay upright and it works superbly well.  I would use the same method on my dream vanity table; however, any pretty container which stores your brushes upright along with eyeliners and mascara, works well as long as they suit your design scheme.


 

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http://www.stylecaster.com

 

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http://www.totalbeauty.com

For makeup, you can also find some beautiful trays to put your makeup and skincare products on. Sometimes even trays with divided off sections, so it makes it easier to store certain items such as blush or lipstick. I prefer stylish storage for on top of your vanity, such as silver or gold trays, decorated or colored candle holders, and mirrored makeup supply/brush holders. Below are some photographs of these ideas I liked for my own vanity space.

It’s also helpful to find some see-through jars or containers to hold items such as Q-tips and cotton rounds, used for toner and taking off makeup (etc). For haircare products, a shelf that can fit hairspray, mousse, dry shampoo, and other taller hair products is useful with a shelf on top which leaves you with storage for smaller bottles of hair care products. 


 

Credit: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.ca

Credit: http://www.bathbedandbeyond.ca

 

Credit: http://www.bouclair.com

 

Credit: http://www.bouclair.com

 

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Credit: http://www.bathbedandbeyond.ca

 

Credit: http://www.hautandhealthyliving.com

The last and hardest part of storage is finding containers which will fit in shallow top drawers and in deeper side drawers for a dream dressing table. Since I would like my vanity area to not look so cluttered, I would like it if most of my makeup could be organized in the top drawers at least.

It is possible to purchase makeup dividers which fit inside draws or find your own little baskets or boxes, which will fit different kinds of makeup. Makeup storage also depends on how much makeup you own and should still be keepingAmazon is an affordable and easy place to find this type of storage.

Makeup storage also depends on if you want to store your makeup visibly on the wall or hidden (such as I do) in the drawers of your vanity. I prefer drawers, they appear so much neater than makeup storage in wall-mounted containers or on a magnetic board.  I can close messy drawers if they need cleaning and if my makeup has dirty cases. 

I believe in keeping a vanity top clean and clutter free as possible because it makes it easier for me to find what I need each morning before working or if I was Mom, for instance, before dealing with my children.

For me, I would only keep the makeup I use the most out and put everything else away. I would like the top to be clutter free so I have space to work and to display some of my prettier pieces of jewelry and perhaps perfume.


 

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Credit: Instagram – http://www.pinterest.com


 

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Credit: Instagram – http://www.pinterest.com

 

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Credit: http://www.walmart.com

It would also like to personalize my vanity space with authentic artwork to my taste, which matches my decor in my vanity area. I have chosen some of my favorite watercolor paintings off of Etsy which work into the blue vanity scheme and have this Chanel, posh and classy feel about them.  Also, I like how this spice wrack became the perfect place to store perfume and display bracelets.


 

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Credit: Mandibelle16 – Amanda Eifert

 

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Credit: TiffanyUssery – http://www.etsy.com

 

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Credit: theArtForYou – http://www.etsy.com

 

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Credit: LA Scandal – http://www.etsy.com

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Credit: Maria Ahrens – http://www.etsy.com

 

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Credit: Cheri Miller Art – http://www.etsy.com

I enjoy purchasing my artwork prints on Etsy because the prints you buy are less expensive and they are from local artists and small businesses. The prints are more unique than art you would find in most home decor stores. I would order the prints I’ve chosen off of Etsy and then visit Winners/Home Sense or the Craft store to find frames to put my art in.

I could choose to search for frames which are all the same style of frame or look for frames which are the same color. I believe what I would do is mix up frame colors and styles, have frames in black, gold, and silver, as long as they fit in with the vanity area them I’ve created and its ambiance.

For me, this would be my perfect dream vanity area; however, as you can tell, it’s difficult to choose precisely what pieces fit and what pieces don’t. Thanks for reading!


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

November Notes: Poem – Day 22 – Ninefold – “Free Fallin’ Long Gone” #amwriting #poetry #novembernotes #writing 


Today’s song prompt is “Free Fallin’ ” sung by John Meyer. I adore the original classic by Tommy Petty so that’s the video I’m going to post! 

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“Free Fallin'” – Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers 

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http://www.pinterest.com

——–

Good girls, so gorgeous don’t know beware; 

Long brunette locks, emerald eyes flutter.

Curves and hips swaying, breasts thrust up high. 

He feels the wind through his hair, smells the pine, 

Their bitter perfumes oversprayed gone. 

Road trip –he’ll never return to her. 

Good girls crush his spirit, expecting —
He’ll remain; he’s long gone, free fallin’

Never hold him down, his soul must soar. 

——


——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 


#OctPoWriMo – Day 28 – Sonnet Petrarchan – “Beach Peace” #amwriting #poetry


Prompt Day 28: Picture Prompt – Beach 

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net

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Of all the places I love to visit, 

The beach is my most adored place of peace.

Tide goes in and out, a rhythm ceaseless, 

Hands, toes buried in sand, sitting in it. 

Gorgeous place, with blue skys and sun gifted. 

I watch the children build their castles pleased, 

Towers, moats built –they knock it all down ungrieved. 

Reading novel, sunlight my spirits lifts. 

——-

Can anything beat wading, two-miles or so, 

The water just rising around calves low; 

Sunscreen reapplied, temperature hot, glow —

Of the light on water beaded skin, gleaming. 

Tranquility found in sand, surf, sun dreams; 

Natures temple, relax, unwind; heart beams. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

#OctPoWriMo – Day 15 – Senryu – “Blue Ain’t Your Color” #amwriting #poetry #keithurban


Day 15 Prompt: Blue
“Some of the things that come to mind regarding blue: blue moon, feeling blue, wild blue yonder and blues music. Free write for ten minutes on all things blue, where does it lead you?”
—–

“Blue Ain’t Your Colour” – Keith Urban

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http://www.pinterest.com

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“Blue ain’t your color,” 

It doesn’t suit you at all, 

Darling, just try — smile. 

——

Blue ain’t your color, 

Don’t you know what’s your best shade? 

Gorgeous and pretty. 

——

You sit nursing a —

Potent drink, it ain’t solving —

A thing; look around. 

—– 

I’m sitting in the —

Corner; you’re so miserable, 

I’m walking over —

——

I’m here to cheer you —

Up; turn tears to laughter, ’cause–

Blue ain’t your color.

——-

I adore your face, 

Cheeks creased and blushing, eyes —

Sparkling, shining. 

——–

No blue ain’t your —

Color; he ain’t your guy so 

Darling, no more tears. 

———

Don’t waste your time ’cause, 

Blue ain’t your color, never —

Feel so sad again. 

———-

Blue ain’t your color, 

We’ll laugh, talk, and kiss the whole–

Night through, both so glad, 

——–

Blue has gone, left the —

Building; if you ever frown, 

I’ll ensure you know; 

——

Blue ain’t our colour, 

We’re happier together, 

Blue isn’t for us.

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Tale Weavers Fairytale Prompt: Enchanted Apples #taleweaver #amwriting #fiction 


Thanks to Mind Love’s Misery’s Menagerie for hosting Tale Weavers Fairytale prompt. This months prompt is: a tale with fruit.

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Mara Eastern
——

Jared was the kind of man who made any woman who saw him stop and stare. He was classically handsome, with blond hair and blue eyes; he was told he resembled a thirty-five-year-old Brad Pitt. 

Jared was blessed, but he didn’t realize how much. He owned his dream company, made tens of millions of dollars early in his career, had mansions all over the world, cars of various makes and models from classics to brand new, as well as, any toy he desired — skidoos, motorcycles, dirt bikes, (etc). 

Yet, Jared was alone in life. He had no emotional relationship with any woman he dated. He felt many women and men were worthless beings, wasting their life focusing on helping others and building relationships which, ultimately, ended. 

Jared believed he was “better” than other people due to his wealth, prestige, and attractiveness. He knew he needed a partner, a woman who had similar qualities to him. He also knew it wouldn’t be a love match for he had no love in his heart. 

One night at a charity reception, a hideous girl named Ali approached Jared. She carried with her a basket of the most delicious looking apples. 

People were drawn to their ruby shine and many people begged Ali to have one of her apples. Yet, they cringed at her repulsive faces and body, ravaged by burns and disease.

Ali’s form was bent and crippled and she dragged behind her a club foot. Her eyes were beady and when she opened her mouth, she revealed rotten teeth with many missing. Her basket of apples, in fact, was the only attractive quality about Ali with exception of her beautiful golden hair. It was thick, lustrous, and reached her waist.

Jared was appalled when Ali approached him but he noticed her mouth watering basket of apples. As with everyone, he was drawn to them. But Jared didn’t understand why Ali carried the apples around, not willing to give them to anyone, despite offers of large sums of money and contacts for proceeders to alter her appearance. 

——

“What do you want?” Jared asked Ali, gazing down on her in her repulsive ugliness. 

Ali laughed. Her voice deceivingly youthful, “I can give you anything you desire with these apples. What you want the most will be yours with only one bite.”

“Yeah right,” said Jared. “Why would you give me a bite of one of your apples? And for free? You’d be stupid to do that.”

Ali giggled,”I didn’t say I’d give you a bite for free. Nothing’s free in this world as you well know.”

Jared peered again at the apples which called to him, a sirens song from forbidden fruit,”What’s your price hag?” 

Ali smiled and her rotten teeth and foul breath made Jared take a step-back. He knew what the ugly woman would request, but for some reason, he let her ask for what she wanted.

“I want a kiss. A real one,” Ali said.”For a kiss I will give you one apple. Perhaps, then, you will find the woman who will truly be your other half.”

Jared gasped, afraid the horrid woman could read his mind. He nodded to her and said: “I accept your bargain.” 

“My names Ali,” she said and drew closer to Jared. She stopped for a moment,”This will only work if you truly desire a partner to love, with a pure-heart.”

Jared brushed Ali’s words aside, “My intentions are honourable enough.” He tried not to gag as Ali’s mouth drew closer. But he stared at her gorgeous red apples and imagined an apple in his mouth; it was how he managed kissing Ali.

Her lips were dry as they rasped against his. Ali’s tongue dove in his mouth and when she groaned, he felt as if he might throw-up. She bit his lip and she laughed when he cringed. 

When Ali stopped kissing Jared, she stepped back, her mouth in a mischievous smile. She drew a beautiful ruby apple from her basket and presented it to Jared with gnarled fingers. 

Jared grabbed the apple, greedy for its taste. He gorged on it as if he was Eve and the apple, the forbidden fruit in Eden. 

Suddenly, both Jared and Ali began to glow with white light. While Jared withered, developing scars and burns all over his skin, Ali became stunningly beautiful. She became a curvaceous and breath-taking woman in her prime. She attracted the crowd in the room to her presence.

Jared’s hair had fallen out and his expensive clothes hung on him as his muscle tone disappeared. In minutes, no one recognized Jared; he was as ugly and as repulsive as Ali had been. His only remaining attractive feature were his bright blue-eyes. 

A beautiful golden haired goddess stood before Jared. She sighed, grasping his scarred hand. 

“I told you Jared. You had to want what you desired with a pure-heart. You had to be ready to love the perfect woman for you; but you love no one but yourself. I was the perfect woman for you, but you loath me. You called me a hag.”

Jared laughed, “You were disgusting and now you made me disgusting too.”

Ali let go of Jared’s hand, offering the basket of apples to him: 

“Only, give an apple to the most loathsome and disgusting person you can find on the earth. Remember appearances are not everything and under the most beautiful and sometimes successful people, hides a monster,” Ali warned.

“You’re a monster Jared, but you have been given a chance to redeem yourself. To learn to love and be human, until you find the most terrible woman and find the smallest glimmer of hope inside her. She will either become your truelove and save both you and her, or become as you have, taking your place. You will return to your former privileged life and body, but with a changed heart. You will know when you find the right person and will wander the earth until then.”

Ali dropped Jared’s hand and disappeared into the crowd. No one noticed him for once. They only noticed Ali who had become his philanthropic sister. She became owner of all his wealth, company, mansions, and life, when he disappeared. 

Jared wandered the earth an evil gnarled old man for years and years. Some say, he still wanders today. No one knows if he’s changed. 

——

©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Moral Monday’s Flash Fiction: The Red Dress #amwriting #flashfiction 


Thanks to Nortina for hosting Moral Monday’s prompts. This week’s prompt is: ” Money is the root of all evil.” 

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http://www.pinterest.com

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“Wow, it gorgeous. Why am I always drawn to the most expensive clothes.” Charla muttered. “Why are the nice dresses cut well, a better colour, and made better?” 

Charla began walking away from the slimming silky red dress, before stopping and deciding to try the dress on. 

When she shimmied into it, her appearance in the dressing room mirror was stunning. Charla gasped, her boyfriend would love her in red.

Out of the corner of her eye, the $750.00 price tag caught Charla’s eye. She sighed slipping out of the dress; her boyfriend would love her in a less expensive dress too.

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Poem: Free Verse – “Making Grandma’s Day” #wordhighjuly #poetry #amwriting #marahuyo



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Grandma When She Was Young (www.pinterest.com) Actually Betty White!

——–

You straightened your blue tie;

The ocean-blue of your sweet eyes.

Long lashes, dark styled hair; must be —

Embarrassing for such a strong —

man going on 6’5, to have such eyelashes.

Not that height, 

Makes a huge difference;

But I’m liking what I see.

You smiled, lips full, 

Kissable, and my mind goes south . . .

Then, I’m blinded by another,

Of your sweet smiles.

Gorgeous, open; you appear so alive,

Happy and handsome.

Steamy and hot;

I think it’s love at first-sight.

In a summer suit; a baby-blue shirt.

Blue is your colour, in every shade.

You walk, I get the view from behind;

It all looks good to me.

Big-feet;

I hear that’s great too.

Again, my mind wanders, 

Should I walk the same way you’re walking?

Maybe, you’ll notice plain old me?

Utterly, enchanted by your sight.

On this dreary day, 

Everything’s gone wrong; the cancers back.

But your magnatism, your laugh;

It made my day.

I feel as if I’m some voyeaur, 

To appreciate such beauty,

And care of appearance.

Qualities such as long-fingered hands,

No doubt talented; I miss those . . .

I trip while admiring you, 

So marahuyo;

I can’t see straight.

You turn around alarmed,

Having noticed and heard, 

Me fall on my face embarrassed.

I’m an eighty-six-year-old woman, 

Falls aren’t a good thing and I’ve pride;

To walk yet on my own.

But you’re kind and pleasant;

Though I tremble in your presence,

You bring me ice from a restaurant for my hip.

I say: “If I was younger . . .”

You blush and I do the Grandma thing;

Patting your arm, 

Possibly, inhaling how great you smell, 

And showing you,

A recent picture of my favourite,

Gorgeous granddaughter.

Dark auburn hair and grey-blue eyes, 

Beautiful, healthy, and fit, 

Witty and bright; an Art History Professor.

Your eyes go large and I know you’re, 

Thinking of a way to charm her number from me.

I chuckle say: “I’m where she gets her looks.”

You grin and chuckle.

Your laugh makes me so pleased.

And I accidentally, 

Let my granddaughters number, 

Pop-up on my giant iPhone.

I snap a picture of you Mr.Gorgeous,

You blush so cutely, she’ll love you.

Send your photo to my precious girl,

I just have this feeling. . .

Get you to text: He’ll Call. His Name is Cale. Love Nanny.

I take pictures on my IPhone and call;

Texting is too hard.

After more conversation,

I’m sure of you, wishing I was twenty-eight.

You have to leave, making sure I’m fine.

I’m sad; but my dear girl will bring you over,

Hoping I did her a favour.

My best and only granddaughter;

Smiling pleasantly, at the thought of you, 

A handsome businessman.

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Maydays:  Flash Fiction – The Green Lady #Maydays #amwriting



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Thanks to K.L. Caley from new2writing for hosting #Maydays prompts. Today’s prompt is doing or having done something stupid or awkward.

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http://www.cooldigital.photography

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Jeff had drank too much that night. It started with the tequila shots, followed by rye and gingers, and ended with shots of jäger. He walked through the bar, connected to his condo building, and he stopped in the lobby. He noticed a pretty woman, wearing green and standing by herself. She must be waiting for a cab, Jeff thought.

Jeff started talking to the woman, leaning up against her, laying it on thick as he could.

 “Hey baby. You’re gorgeous. You’ve such beautiful green eyes. Would you like to come upstairs to my condo and have a drink with me? You don’t have to stay there unless you want to. I can’t believe you’re here alone and you haven’t a wedding ring. Women as beautiful as you don’t come to this bar often.” 

The woman didn’t say a word and Jeff tried to get a kiss from her but she was rigid, ignoring Jeff’s lips.

 “Please, one kiss. You’ve such plush lips. I want one kiss, only to remember such a lovely woman by.You’ll like it. I’m a fantastic kisser.” 

The woman didn’t move. She never even turned her beautiful smooth greenish-skinned face towards him. Jeff became angry at her and Jeff tried to turn the woman towards him, she ended up falling on the floor. Then he was in tears, hoping she was alright. 

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to knock you over. I’ve had too much to drink. It’s only you’re gorgeous and I’ll probably never see you again. It’s okay. I know you’re not interested. Sorry to have disturbed you.” Jeff said helping the woman stand up, before heading up to his condo. He collapsed on his bed and slept.

The security guard watching the camera footage of a drunk man hitting on a plant he thought was a young woman, had tears running down his face. He couldn’t stop laughing as the histarical scene played out.

———

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Maydays: Italian Sonnet – “Thrive” #Maydays



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Thank you to K.L. Caley of new2writing for hosting #Maydays prompts. Today’s prompt is a fortune cookie stating: “May You Live In Interesting Times.” 
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http://www.youtube.com

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My friend: May you live in interesting times.

Let the shadows at night not overtake you, 

Brightness driving out with light, what shakes you.

Listen, the wind echoes trilling the chimes, 

To breathe fresh air and thrive is not a crime.

Holding your dreams close; with great flight pursue, 

Let life shimmer within, remember: choose! 

Don’t let life cage; chase ethereal sublime.

——

Out with sadness; out with cruel fate’s lies, 

There’s a future brash, hollering –go find. 

Feel grass beneath your cheek seek; realize —

Nature’s gorgeous beauty, freedom designed.

Chase the shores; eagles on cliffs thrilling cries, 

Live, not content to merely survive — thrive.

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.