Beauty, Current Events, Fashion, Health, Luxebox, My Thoughts, Writing

SPRING BEAUTY HAUL: MAY/JUNE 2017 – #amwriting #beauty #nonfiction


Welcome to another Beauty Haul. Excuse the lateness of this spring one as is almost summer, but I have some great products for the Summer Haul ready as well. For now, enjoy the products I have tried and am still using from the Spring season.


  1. MAC Powder Blush in Peony Petal (Bright Blue Pink: Satin Finish) – http://www.maccosmetics.ca – $27.00 CAN
File 2017-06-05, 11 47 48 AM
Credit: MAC Cosmetics Powder Blush – Peony Petal

It has truthfully been a while since I have purchased MAC cosmetics, since my last post on them years ago, trying their foundations that didn’t seem to work for me. Nevertheless, I have always loved their eyeshadows and blushes and found MAC’s pigmentation to be excellent in all their makeup products. Since mid-winter I have been looking for a bubble gum pink shade but with cool undertones, not warm ones and it has been difficult if not impossible to find a blush in this shade that wasn’t too expensive, or so inexpensive the pigment and quality wasn’t nice. Now that it is summer, I do see shades similar to MAC one I purchased available in several brands but the MAC powder blush is wonderful, it feels nice, and I love the satin finish. MAC has a huge variety of shades to choose from and their products are actually on the more inexpensive side of more expensive makeups. I ordered off the Canadian MAC cosmetics site for this blush and adore the color. It gives me healthy flush and glow that isn’t too intense. I have had no skin issues with the new blush and would buy more MAC blushes in the future. There are 43 shades in this range of MAC Powder blush for you to choose from so, enjoy! Five stars out of five for this product


2. MAC Velvet Tease Thick Lip Pencil (Light Pink: Matte Finish) – http://www.maccosmetics.ca – $15.00 CAN

To be truthful, I have been searching for a lipstick in this Light Pink shade, much longer than I have

MAC - Velvet Tease Lip Pencil Tease Me
MAC Cosmetics – Velvet Tease Lip Pencil (Tease Me) -$17.00 CAN

been searching for the blush (written about above). I must have been searching practically a year because I found a similar shade in InStyle magazine and had to have it, I see other brands besides MAC, now carrying this shade or colors near this shade in Sephora and other makeup stores. Beyond the light pink color, I enjoy that this was a fatter lip pencil from MAC that I can line my lips with and then fill them in with this pencil, all using one pencil not an additional lipliner. The MAC fat lip pencil feels smooth and lovely on my lips and even though I do have to apply a few coats, I love the color. A long with the price point, this was a steal! Sadly, I cannot seem to find it online on MAC cosmetics in Canada anymore but it might be a product still available in the U.S. or in store. Before applying the product I make sure to apply a thin gloss or lip balm before to moisturize my lips because this product does not moisturize one’s lips or go on well on dry lips. I also enjoy making my lips a bit shinier instead of having the matte finish of the fat lip pencil. The pencil did come in several other colors, not a huge amount, but eight or ten. I love how well the blush and the lip pencil match. The lip light pink pencil is slighter lighter but it has the same cool undertones as the MAC powder blush so it works well for me. I’d give it four stars out of five.

3. Bourjois Paris: Little Round Pot Eyeshadow in Generose (Shimmery nude – Intense Color – Longwear 12 hours) -www.beautyboutique.ca- $17.00 CAN

Bourjois Open Little Pot Eyeshadow Generose
Bourjois Open Little Pot Eyeshadow (Genrose) –

A product I always run out of and always use is an eyeshadow that is nude or the color of your own skin tone. This can be put over primer on your eyelids and creates a great base to blend other eyeshadow colors into. Because you have chosen a nude or skin color shade, any color of eyeshadow will blend with this color. I used to buy the nude color in a matte eyeshadow but recently found after using a similar color from NARS’s eyeshadow line with a sheen, that I enjoyed this sheen and I found the perfect one from Bourjois Paris in Genrose for only $17.00 as opposed to almost $40.00 for the NARS eyeshadow. If I only wanted to wear Generose, with my contour shade in my crease, the eyeshadow appeared wonderful, especially gleaming in the light; however, if a person wished to apply a more intense eyeshadow look overtop, this nude eyeshadow is great because it provides a sheen of light and sparkle underneath other eyeshadows, some that were even matte. The sheen is by no means overpowering, it only adds ‘a little something’ extra your usual eyeshadow look. I loved the feel of Generose by Bourjois, it was smooth and I was pleased it lasted 12 hours as advertised. I completely recommend this product, the quality, pigment, sheen, and price point are excellent. My only complaint is that the eyeshadow did not last long. I have had other eyeshadows last for three months or more. This one barely lasted a month and a half, so four out of five stars. 


4. Clarins Eyebrow Pencil (Soft Blonde with Spooley) -www.beautyboutique.ca – $27.00  CAN

The hunt for the perfect eyebrow pencil continues. Since my old BENEFIT pencil no

Clarin's Eyebrow Pencil - Soft Blonde
Clarins Eyebrow Pencil (Soft Blonde) – $27.00

longer exists in the same form. I have been trying various brands of eye pencils that are slightly harder as they last longer and have better pigment. For some reason, there needs to be a perfect balance in the hardness and softness of a pencil. As well, I was using points on Beauty Boutique online and this appeared to be one of the best eyebrow pencils in terms of quality and shade. I have tried some Clarin’s products but not many and was pleasantly surprised this pencil lasted three months. Even when I had sharpened it a lot and though it was becoming too short it still lasted another month after shaping and filling in my brows most days. I recommend BENEFIT’s volumizing gel to go over the top of your brows once they are filled in as this makes your eyebrows appear fuller. My only complaints with this pencil are that it was too hard for a brow pencil and the color available for blonds was too warm for my skin tone. The volumizing eyebrow gel helped to make the color ashier but when I look back in pictures where I am using this color, I can see it isn’t the right color for me. Overall a good brow pencil with three and a half stars out of five. 


5. The Beauty Crop: Lighting Crew Highlighting Creamhttp://www.thebeautycrop.com- $16.00 CAN

 

Beauty Crop Lighting Crew Highlighting Cream
The Beauty Crop: Lighting Crew – Highlighting Cream – $15.00

I received this excellent highlighter sample in my Luxebox for winter. I wasn’t expecting much but once I tried the product I loved it. Not only is it a natural and vegan product but it provides a wonderful sheen or highlight to areas of your face in a subtle way. Often I find cream products can make my skin break out after everyday use but not so with this cream highlighter. The highlighter comes out of a tube as a liquid and is a light bronzy color. It appears as if t might be too dark for some skin tones or too light for others but since using it, I think it could be used by anyone as the sheen in the product has an effect, not the color of the highlighter itself. I use it for everyday makeup when I’m doing usual activities. I put it on my brow bone, the corner of my eye, on my cheekbones, and on the bridge and tip of my nose. The subtle sheen is perfect and a little product, a dime sized amount, goes a long way and brings light to the high points of your face. A wonderful product and it’s always a good thing when products you didn’t think will be a good product, turn out to be awesome. Five out of five stars for this highlighter. 


6. e.l.f. Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette (matte finish & nude/brown colors) -www.elfcosmetics.com -$10.00 U.S.

I am a Pinterest pinner and I often pin beauty ideas and products on Pinterest. You can find me

ELF Matte nude and brown Eyeshadow palette
e.l.f. Matte Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette (nude/brown colors) – $10.00 U.S.

@mandibelle16 on Pinterest. I often see product charts comparing low-end and high-end beauty products on Pinterest. I see e.l.f. makeup which is Target’s brand of makeup, compared to more expensive makeup such as NARS and Urban Decay. I decided to test this and purchased less than $30.00 worth of e.l.f. products online as it is actually even cheaper to buy e.l.f online than at Walmart in Canada. Out of the four of five items, I purchased, this eyeshadow palette was my best purchase, one that I use a few times a week. I find with e.l.f eyeshadow, as long as a person uses a good primer underneath on your eyelids, the eyeshadow is fantastic and, supposedly, mineral based. Plus, most eyeshadow palette’s of this same price point are not nearly as good in pigment or quality. Instead of buying an Urban Decay palette with similar shades, I bought this e.l.f one for $10.00 U.S or about $12.50 CAN and either way its a fantastic deal. The colors are great and look good on everyone and the basic’s palette as more colors than in the basic Urban Decay palette. I love the skin tone colors as there are three of them and they are light enough to look good on practically every skin tone. The addition of gray shades at the end of the palette is something I liked as well. With e.l.f. eyeshadow palettes, I have found this one lasted over six months. Check-out e.l.f cosmetics online for other great eyeshadow palettes, just remember to wear a good primer underneath. The shadows go on well, smooth, and has good pigment. My only complaint is there is a more fallout from this kit as opposed to more expensive palettes, but saving nearly $30.00 makes up for this complaint. Five out of Five stars


7. e.l.f. Baked Highlighter (Pink Diamonds ) – http://www.elfcosmetics.com – $4.00 U.S.

ELF Bake highlighter in Pink Diamonds
e.l.f. Baked Highlighter (Pink Diamonds) – $4.00 U.S.

My second best e.l.f cosmetics purchase was this baked highlighter in the color Pink Diamonds. E.l.f has a few different shades you can choose from in these highlighters such as a couple of them that are more bronzy and one that is white and sparkly. I wanted the white one too but they were out of stock so I chose this shade. You cannot lose for $4.00 U.S. I love the shade it’s light pink so is also a more natural appearing highlighter for every day. It can even be used as an eyeshadow and stands up well as a longer-lasting eyeshadow if you wear a good primer underneath. Just a note, the e.l.f. brand eye primer is absolute junk and not even worth the $2.00 or $3.00 dollars I wasted on it. I threw it out after two weeks trying to make it work. So use your regular face primer on your eyes or choose a dependable and reliable eye primer for your eyelids and area such as Urban Decay, Benefit, Anastasia, (etc). Eye primer always lasts a long time (like 6 months) and are a product worth the splurge. Back to the Baked Highlighter, it was an excellent purchase and I would like to try the other shades available in the brand. My only issue with this product (as there is always at least one) is that it isn’t long lasting. If you apply the highlighter in the morning you are going to have to reapply later in the day even if you have a face primer or long lasting foundation on. Setting spray does help keep any makeup products last longer and can be found in brands such as NYX and Urban Decay. Both brands are different price points and both work well for matte or glowing skin.


8. Model Co. B.B. Cream: Daily All in One Skin Perfector (Broad Spectrum SPF 30 in Light) – http://www.modelcocosmetics.com – $24.00 AUSTRALIAN

This is another product from Luxebox. I put it on my hand and promptly put it back in

ModelCo BB Cream in Light (True Pic)
Model Co. B.B. Cream Daily All in One Skin Perfector (Broad Spectrum and SPF 30, Light)

my makeup sample bags as the color appeared too orange on my hand for pale skin. The foundation I use is by Urban Decay and I love it because it lasts a long time, is waterproof, covers extremely well, yet feels light. But it is still heavier feeling than a C.C. Cream or a B.B. Cream. I have never been a huge fan of B.B. Creams except for one by Bobbie Brown, but my skin does not need the extra moisturizer these B.B. Creams provide. One day I ran out of my Urban Decay foundation as my replacement was in the mail, and I used this B.B. Cream for a few days. The color on my face was actually perfect, even in daylight. It was not orange as I thought the color would be. It was very light coverage so that even with a good concealer I wasn’t all that happy with it, but at least I was wearing something. When the weather was colder I wore it around the house and it helped when my skin was drier. It’s an okay B.B. Cream but it your skin is normal or oilier I would go with a C.C. Cream as they have more coverage and often that coverage is matte. I probably would not purchase this product as it can only be found in Australia and I was not that impressed overall. Two and a half stars out of five.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Nature, Poetry, Quotes, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Tanka - 5,7,5,7,7 syllables, Writing, Writing Challenges

Collage Prompt: Poem – Tankas – “Not Perfect and Better For It” #amwriting #poetry #fiction 


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s collage prompt.

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Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

——-

Poor little Anne tried,

So hard to fit in; she can’t —

Conform to their look.

Sense of presence in her glance,

Terror; they don’t know freedom.

——-

Yet Anne tries and tries,

To be a cardboard box just —

Like all the others.

Left alone at recess eating,

Ripe oranges, she’s exotic fruit.

——

But they don’t invite —

Her to their parties, Anne cries,

She doesn’t see why,

She has to be so different,

A plant from foreign soil torn.

—-

Anne grows into her —

Self; she stops being afraid,

Sees her beauty is —

That she’s unique not like all,

Those other girls, loathing her.

——

In grade school there’s this —

Small boy painted in war paint,

His Dad went to war,

He didn’t return home, saddened —

Anne helps him; he remembers —

——

So years later they’re —

Attached — those girls all want him.

But his friend is his —

Love; she was with him,

All along; the handsome man,

Love’s different, not perfect Anne.

—–

Though she struggles hard,

Hoping for female friends, he says,

He loves imperfect her,

Because she doesn’t have to

Be ‘like them’; she can be good.

——

Then she starts meeting —

Others, women who become —

Her tribe, with her guy.

The gazes of jealousy —

Double, but Anne doesn’t care.

——-

Anne is as a bird,

A swallow singing sweetly.

She’s lively, vivid;

Her eyes shine bright; he loves his —

Anne, contently, completely.

——

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Children/YA/Family, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Guardian Angels #amwriting #flashfiction 


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

—–

Credit: Sunyana – http://www.moipenseive.com

——-

I marvelled at the set of angel lights at the the beginning of each block, with another set of angels at the end, as I joined my friends at a pub. 

It seemed right these angels should be here, watching over the revelry. As I later walked a block down in the early morning hours to catch a cab, I recalled my thoughts on angels as child. 

Sometimes I had nightmares and I was too afraid to fall asleep. My Mom told me not to worry because God’s angels were always watching over me. Still, I looked to the corners of my room afraid because the corners were the darkest places. 

Eventually, I began to imagine angels were there in these corners guarding me as I slept. If I woke up afraid I’d look to the corners of my bedroom ceiling and feel safe. Sometimes I dreamed I could see these celestial beings watching over me. 

Going home that night in the cab I gazed at the angels made of lights, four of them guarding a street; I hoped the night ended safely for all. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Current Events, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Quotes, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Three Line Tales, Writing, Writing Challenges

Three Line Tales: On Waffles #quotes #waffles #3LineTales


Thanks to Sonya of Only 100 Words for hosting #3LineTales.

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Credit: Roman Kraft via UnSplash

—–

1. “Poetry is a mystic, sensuous mathematics of fire, smoke-stacks, waffles, pansies, people, and purple sunsets.” – Carl Sandburg

—–

2. “Way, way back in the day, like in the 1990s, if you wanted to tell everyone you ate waffles for breakfast, you couldn’t just go on the Internet and tweet it out; there was only one way to do it — you had to go outside and scream at the top of your lungs, ‘I ate waffles for breakfast!’ That’s why so many people ended up in institutions; they seemed crazy, but when you think about it, they were just ahead of their time.” – Ellen Degeneres

—–

3. ” He gave her a look that you could have poured on a waffle.” – Ring Lardner Jr. 

—-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Blitz poem - 48 Lines, Fiction, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Nature, Poetry

Photo Challenge: Poem – Blitz – “Returning” #amwriting #poetry 


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s photo challenge. 

——

Credit: Mario Gervals

——

Aurora-borealis paints the sky

Hues of light to charm

Charm the cold from old man winter’s grasp

Charm the sky hovering, colours delightful still

Still as the snow when it stops

Still as the young man in the living room

Room in a home where he’s troubled 

Room of the television — loud sports

Sports of the freezing weather

Sports loved best

Best loved is hockey

Best loved he watches, engrained 

Engrained in the screen

Engrained in the game 

Game on and he misses his wife as she drives away

Game of his wife searching for time

Time ended when she him left 

Time is new for her; he doesn’t care now

Now she moves on 

Now she is but thrilled

Thrilled, yet in a storm she drives

Thrilled to have escaped without another fight 

Fights always happen

Fights which got worse, never stopped

Stopped when she rethought her life

Stopped when she said, “I’m gone” 

Gone while the new sliver of a TV loudly plays

Gone, he knows it it, feels depressed

Depressed at the mess of his life

Depressed, slight lines etched into his face

Face with red eyes

Face with mouth stifling sobs

Sobs because she’s gone for good

Sobs because she gazed at him appalled

Appalled because he always yelled

Appalled because he’s why ‘they’re finished

Finished forever, she’s free

Finished, but she’s not safe in such a blizzarding storm

Storm outside flinging snow in his face

Storm outside, her car didn’t make it far

Far off and tired the look in her eyes

Far off but tears streaming ’cause she’s stuck 

Stuck in the bank of snow 

Stuck in her life, no escape

Escape life here, without him?

Escape yet, she’s glad, for her, he came 

Came, so she takes him back; he understands now

Came, so they return to times where they showed

Showed love, affection where no distance divides 

Now acts of love, little things, change the future

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Children/YA/Family, Interviews, Music and Performers, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing

Interview With Michele Vecchitto


Hi everyone! Wonderful to see you again for this biweekly interview with Michele Vecchitto. Michele is a friendly and kind woman who has a talent for writing wonderful poetry and engaging stories. I have been following her for a couple of years now, so I hope you will like her writing as much as I do. You can visit her blog here: Steps Times Two – Love and Life . . . The Second Time Around.


miichelle-interview-4
Credit: Michele Vicchetto

1. Hi Michele, Please Tell Us About Where You’re From?

I live in Niantic. It’s a lovely town on the Connecticut shoreline that somehow manages to hold on to the charm of days gone by while still offering all the conveniences I might need.

One of the many treasures in Niantic is a used bookstore called The Book Barn.It now has four or five satellite locations, but the main store is a complex which includes a large barn and several quirky, smaller buildings, each overflowing with books devoted to a particular genre. The few resident cats and some goats, add to its unique vibe. It’s a place to spend the day and get lost in books. Niantic also recently opened a new boardwalk along the beach that offers fantastic views and a place to meet neighbors.


2. Can You Tell Us More About Yourself, Your Everyday Life?

I’m the second of four sisters. My family is especially close and the fifteen children my sisters and I have between behave more like siblings than cousins. My parents are definitely the foundation of our lives. I love everything about belonging to a large family – the support, the laughter, the chaos, and the history we create.

My three children are young adults, busy finding their place in the world. In some ways, they could not be more different from one another, but they remain close. I’m enjoying watching them evolve into the adults they will become. I’m proud of the choices they’ve made and the direction each of them is following in life.

I’ve been exceptionally lucky to find a man who provides the perfect balance to my life. My husband and I have been married just over five years. Mark is an Executive Chef and extremely creative in his own way.

Our personalities are different but we complement each other well. We are each other’s top priority and do everything we can to support each other in our many endeavors. We’ve intertwined our families and I feel blessed to have his three strong, caring, and talented children in my life as well. They, along with their families, are a vital part of my life.

On a professional level, I teach middle school Literature and Language Arts. I love working with students of this age. It’s my favorite age group of kids. I’ve taught math and science and enjoy teaching each subject, but I’m most thrilled to spend my days sharing Literature with my classes. Preteens and teens this age are discovering their voice and it’s exciting to see the world through their eyes.

Additionally, I work as a freelance editor. I’m working with an audio book company and enjoy the exposure to books I might not otherwise read.


“I’ve been exceptionally lucky to find a man who provides the perfect balance to my life. My husband and I have been married just over five years. Mark is an Executive Chef and extremely creative in his own way.” – Michele Vecchitto


3. When Did You First Start Writing and Blogging? 

I started my blog in 2014 as a way of keeping myself disciplined about writing, but I’ve always been a writer. I kept journals as a teenager and still have poems I wrote for a memorable class in high school.

My teacher, Ms. Jordan, helped me discover my voice and probably inspired me to become a teacher. I was a stay at home mom for fifteen-years, and when my children were in school, I’d spend eight or more hours a day writing. I took writing classes and completed two novels and a few children’s books.

When I divorced in 2007 and returned to work full time, I lost some of my dedication to the craft. Steps Times Two is my blog and remedy to not being able to write all day anymore.


4. What Does Writing and Blogging Mean To You? Why Do You Write?

I’ve always been a writer as mentioned earlier. I many of my stories and poems from younger days and used to write tales for my kids, nieces, and nephews.

I find if I have an idea for a poem or a story, it screams in my head until I write it down. It’s a great way to discover new ways of thinking about situations or work through issues which lurk beneath the surface. There were times, when I was going through my divorce, writing preserved my sanity.

Beyond these meanings, I love the way writing connects people. I am so excited to be able to talk with people from all over the world about subjects I have brought up or someone else has written about. It sounds sappy, but I believe people are more alike than different and we all have something to share. I am a big fan of the community writing fosters between writers and readers (etc).


“I find if I have an idea for a poem or a story, it screams in my head until I write it down. It’s a great way to discover new ways of thinking about situations or work through issues which lurk beneath the surface. There were times, when I was going through my divorce, writing preserved my sanity.” – Michelle Vecchitto


michele-interview-1
Credit: Michele Vecchitto

5.  Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write?

Sometimes motivation comes from pure emotion. I do some my best writing when I am out of my mind angry or excited about something or someone. I find the best writes are the ones in which I completely lose myself and emerge after I’ve released all my demons on the page. It’s a purge of excess energy which takes on a life of it’s own. Surrendering to the moment can lead to exciting results.

Inspiration for me can come from anywhere: a look between two people; a snippet of conversation I overhear; the expression on someone’s face when they don’t notice I’m looking; and/or an unexpected situation or some mundane activity we all experience. Music also inspires me. My playlist has a bit of everything on it and I love to hit play and let my mind drift. Sometimes I’ll find something to write about immediately and other times, I have to file an idea away and let it resurface when it’s ready.

As well, I’m a huge fan of writing prompts and blogging events. It’s a terrific way to stay involved in the writing community and interact with other people. I love to follow and read what other people are writing because each piece leaves me with something to think about and offers a varied perspective to consider. Prompts for me are similar to a puzzle. Each of us figures out how to put the pieces together in a different way to create authentic images. It’s fun when someone has a completely unique take on the same prompt.


6. Is There A Time Of Day You Prefer to Write?

I prefer to write in the mornings, although, it’s not always possible. During the week, I will write when I come home from teaching school. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I’d write from the time the kids went to school until they came home. I miss those days! I’m hoping to stay home next year and write full time.


“I do some my best writing when I am out of my mind angry or excited about something or someone. I find the best writes are the ones in which I completely lose myself and emerge after I’ve released all my demons on the page. It’s a purge of excess energy which takes on a life of its own. Surrendering to the moment can lead to exciting results.” – Michele Vecchitto


michelle-interview-3
Credit: Michele Vecchtto

7. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? 

I have my blog which I try to work on each day. I also post on Poet’s Corner on WordPress and do my best to keep up. I am working on a historical fiction novel based on my husband’s grandfather who escaped from Poland in the early 1900’s. I’m enjoying the research portion of this novel greatly. In addition, I recently cleaned up a YA novel I wrote about ten-years ago. My romance novel also needs editing and I have two short stories to finish.

My biggest hope for writing projects is finding time to submit projects again and become more involved in responding to all the blog posts I read. Responding to blog posts is a full time job in itself!


8. Can You Tell Us About What Your Publishing Process Has Been for Some of Your Writing?

I’ve had poems published in anthologies and in places like The Reverie Journal. I have self-published two volumes of poetry which can be found on Amazon. I’m considering adding a third volume but I think my next push will be seeking a publisher for a novel.

Years ago, when I had more time, I was organized about sending my work out. I had a contract with Blue Mountain Arts and several ‘good rejections’ from publishing houses. I took classes and attended conferences. I think networking is a huge part of the publishing process and hope to get back to it in the next year.

I’ve been invited to participate in the Austin International Poetry Festival next April. Eight of my poems will be included in their anthology and I plan to travel to the event to do some readings.


“My biggest hope for writing projects is finding time to submit projects again and become more involved in responding to all the blog posts I read. Responding to blog posts is a full time job in itself!” – Michele Vecchitto


9. Are You Able to Describe Your Writing Process To Us?

My writing process varies, depending on the type of project I’m working on, but it always includes music. I have a million playlists and a great pair of headphones.

The first thing I do is put my headphones on and blast the music so I can disappear from the world around me. If I’m working on a poem, I jot ideas or prompts on post-it notes and arrange them around my writing space.

If I’m working on a formal piece, I’ll have notes on rhyme schemes and various types of poetry. After I write, I’ll look for photos to accompany what I’ve written and then decide on a title. My titles always happen last.

If I’m working on a novel or short story, the music part is the same, but I’ll have notes on my bulletin board or in folders which I can flip through. I also send rough drafts to my sister Maureen. She’s read everything I’ve ever written and offers me honest feedback. She’ll tell me what works for her as a reader and what doesn’t, then I go back and edit.

I set my larger pieces aside, sometimes for days but often for months, and then return to them so I can see them with fresh eyes. My YA book has been through three major revisions already and I think it’s almost ready to send out.


11. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing or Reading? Any Genres In Particular?

 I’m not sure you can be a writer without being a reader. I love both equally and will read almost anything. I like to balance my writing with quick, light reads and books which require more concentration. I’m  a big non-fiction reader. It must be the teacher in me, but there’s never too much knowledge to learn. I always want to discover new things.

My own writing style has surprised me at times. My YA book is a fantasy novel which is something I’ve never followed, however; a fantasy story was the tale waiting to be told when I tackled the YA book project.

I must confess, I do enjoy writing darker, more provocative pieces. There’s such power there. I enjoy  inspirational pieces as well. Both of these kinds of writing have their place.


“The first thing I do is put my headphones on and blast the music so I can disappear from the world around me.” – Michele Vecchitto


michelle-interview-5
Credit: Michele Vecchitto

12. Do You Have Any Advice For Other Writers or Anything Else You Would Like To Add?

I find the more I write, the better I get. It’s a commitment and like any other craft, needs to be nurtured so, keep writing.

I’ve also started a Facebook page and hope to add more writing related posts in addition to my own poems. Twitter has been a great resource for finding writing communities and sharing information for me as well.


13. Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs?

I’m not sure I have favorites. I love to read blogs of all styles and content. A friend of mine started a blog in which she combines book reviews and running called Belle of the Book. It’s fun to follow a blog when you know the writer personally. If the writing is good I want to read it.


14. Here is A Piece of Michele’s Writing She Has Shared:

“Deerfield’s Ghosts”

By Michele Vecchitto

deerfield
photo: Atlas Obscura

Wandered into a cemetery

surrounded by a stone wall

hidden in the deep wood

The cold winter’s wind

calling the shadows and

whispering my name

Air weighted with sadness

as tombs of sorrow beckoned

like a house so empty

I stood alone, waiting

as voices of the lost

washed me in time’s tempest

My hands embraced each soul

as I traced those crumbling stones

placed long ago with care

Overcome with tears

as I read of Martha. loving daughter

a life lived five short years

And her mother, wife of John

who shared the same last day

in another time, another place

Night fell and mockingbirds

resumed their evening song, playing chords

that matched a funeral march

Chilled to the bone and wearied

I sank to my knees beside a family plot, crying

Tell me where hope lives

Awareness that each stone was marked

with that date, February 29, 1704,

came slowly, deliberately

Echoes of war drums rang

through the silence as fear

electrified the hallowed space

The massacre of yesterday

forgotten as time moved on

still hosts ghosts of the innocent

Every once and awhile

the lost invite someone back

to share their story

And so I did


Michele says about “Deerfield’s Ghost:” “I love this one because it almost wrote itself. When I came to the point when I narrowed in on a subject, I googled “massacre” to find a specific date to use and came across a list of victims from the Deerfield massacre of 1704. The funny thing is, it included the names and ages of people I had included in my poem.”


More Links To Michele’s Blog Pieces:

  • Ray holds special meaning for me because it was written for a dear friend who passed away. Reading it at his funeral was the first time I’d read my poetry in public and I feel grateful I had a chance to honor him in this way.
  • Small Town Hens is an example of a poem I wrote after I witnessed a situation that made my blood boil. It makes me chuckle now because it captured my disgust at poor behavior.
  •  Light of Love was written after the nightclub attack in Orlando. I will sometimes respond to current events in poetry. This incident demanded a response.
  •  The Choice and Metamorphosis are two old ones that I wrote during very difficult times.  I try to live my life as described in “The Choice” and “Metamorphosis” speaks to the ability to persevere in even the darkest of times.

Thanks to Michele for thoroughly and thoughtfully answering the interview questions. I wish her much luck with her writing and future endeavours. Here is the link to her blog one more time: Steps Times Two.


I hope you enjoyed this week’s interview. If you would like to share and answer interview questions on writing and blogging of any kind, feel free to reach-out to me on my contact page. See you in two-weeks!


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

 

Beauty, Fashion, My Thoughts, Nonfiction

Beauty Haul Winter 2016/2017: Part Two 


Good Morning! I’ve been meaning to do this post for awhile as part one was done before Christmas. I have an interesting selection of beauty products since the Fall Beauty Haul and I hope you find this post useful in your own Beauty Product selection.


1. Make Up Forever Excessive Lash Arresting Volume Mascara – (www.sephora.ca) – $31.00 CAN

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Make Up Forever Excessive Lash Arresting Volume Mascara (0.15 oz) – $31.00 CAN – http://www.sephora.ca

I received this mascara as a sample from Sephora. I adore Make Up Forever products in general so I was excited to try another of their mascaras. As usual, since my mascara never stays on my lashes unless the mascara is waterproof, I put on a coat of a waterproof L’Oreal mascara after applying the sample mascara. I like this Make Up Forever mascara, it’s quite black and the brush does a good job of creating volume for your lashes, but I’m not thrilled by this mascara. It’s a middle-of-the-line mascara and I think if you bought it you would like it, but not be overly impressed. There isn’t a wow factor to it. Honestly, there is not much difference between The Make Up Forever Excessive Lash Mascara and the L’Oreal one I put over top. The brush is the same, the opacity of the mascara the same,  and the only difference is the L’Oreal mascara is waterproof. I’d say this rates about a three out of five stars for a mascara.


2. Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil – (www.sephora.ca)- $29.00 – Two Pencils: One in Stingray (Jet Black) and Lion Fish (Deep Bronze Sheen)

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Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner (Pencil) This one one Lion Fish – (www.sephora.ca)- 0.28 g – $29.00 CAN

For the longest time, I always used pencil liners because they were easier to apply than the liquid ones I tried; however, then companies such as Lancome led the way coming out with liquid eyeliners which were easy to apply, they had great foam tipped applicators. I have especially used waterproof eyeliner since makeup brands such as Stila and well everyone else, has come out with wonderful liquid eyeliners which are like fine-tip markers for the eyes (pens). Once you learn to apply these awesome liquid eyeliners, they are usually much more vibrant and remain on your eye better than pencil eyeliners.

Nonetheless, during the Christmas season, I was searching for my trusty Stila liquid eyeliner pen in black and Sephora didn’t have any left except in a Christmas Gift Set that was $44.00 CAN and included Jet Black and Lion Fish eyeliner pencils as well. These eyeliner pencils aren’t’ exactly pencils such as the ones you sharpen. Instead, they’re roll-up, which means the tip remains small and pointed. I love them so much as everyday makeup products, enough to permanently add Jet Black pencil liner to my regular makeup purchases when it runs out.

The reason I love these roll-up pencils so much is that they are similar to smudge pot eyeshadows. They glide onto your eye line smoothly and they leave behind pigmented and rich color which is also waterproof, so it doesn’t rub off as many pencil eyeliners do. They are excellent eyeliners especially if you have trouble lining in your upper water line. The roll-up pencils do a fantastic job coloring in waterlines when you need, and remaining on your waterline, which is an extremely difficult feat for a makeup brand to accomplish.

I love Stila’s Jet Black for use on my waterline and sometimes for regular eyeliner. Lion Fish is a bronzy color which is a great change up for a daytime look from using a black liner. Lion Fish also has a bit of shimmer in it instead of being merely being a matte brown liner.

This gift set was completely worth the purchase for $44.oo because I received both these pencil liners and my black liquid eyeliner pen, a cost of about $96.00 regular price before tax. A definite five out of five stars for the Stila Smudge Sticks.


3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Metallic Luster Liner in Liquid Gold – (www.sephora.ca) – $23.00 CAN

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Metallic Lustre Liner in Liqiuid Gold – (www.sephora.ca) – 0.04 oz – $23.00 CAN

I cannot say Stila is the only pencil eyeliner I was recently impressed with. I had seen that gold eyeliner was a trend for the holiday season. Watching a Pixie Woo’s makeup tutorial on YouTube, I loved how the one Pixie Woo used this Anastasia eyeliner to line her lower waterline and corner of her eyes, it looked fantastic.

But the Anastasia Luster Liner in Liquid Gold was extremely versatile and is a  product and I think I will buy again. It works great on waterlines and the liner stays on with a couple of coats, and it appears beautifully on top of black eyeliner as a bit of a fancy touch. But my most favorite use for this eyeliner pencil was using it on Christmas and New years to fill in my entire eyelid area, then blend it out with other eyeshadow.

I had to be careful doing this as once this waterproof liner sets it remains put. It`s not moving except with eye makeup remover. So if you use the Anastasia liquid gold eyeliner this way, put on most of your eyeshadow before applying the gold liner on your lid. It does take a while to blend other eyeshadow colors into the gold eye pencil if you choose to use it this way. I loved this festive product and think it could be used for special occasions or if you want to add a bit of glimmer to your daytime look in the corner or your eye or your bottom waterline for instance.

I used most of the pencil up over two-months and only have a bit left, but it`s not a product too high priced to purchase again. I`m impressed with how well it works for multiple looks for a waterproof gold eyeliner with such bold and vivid gold color, and not a yellowy gold shade (if you know what I mean). The Anastasia eyeliner also comes in the color Liquid Silver. It was easy to sharpen and it never broke even though the pencil was soft and the color bright.I would give this eyeliner pencil five stars.


4. Origins: High Potency Night-A-Mins™ Mineral-Enriched Renewal Cream – (www.sephora.ca) – $55.00 (1.7 oz/50 ml) 

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Origins High-Potency Night -A -Mins Mineral-Enriched Renewal Cream – (www.sephora.ca) – 1.7 oz/50 ml – $55.00 CAN

So it’s Winter which means for many of us in colder climates, we are experiencing dryer skin. I usually have skin oily enough that it doesn’t seem to require much extra moisture, expect maybe applying my Clinique moisturizing gel twice every few days. This year I had a bit a different experience and found at night, I required a solid moisturizer but one that would not cause me to break out. So I used some of my Sephora points and received a large sized sample of the Origins Night cream and it lasted about a month, so I think the product itself even though it’s $55.00 for the smaller size, would last a person the entire winter.

I had tried eye creams and other one or two day samples from Origins and I have always liked their products and how my skin reacts to them. They are great to moisturize dry skin and even though it was a night cream, I did use it in the day sometimes. It felt wonderful and smelled great. As well, I like that the cream is made out of plant minerals. I have always found these type ingredients to be fantastic indicators of a quality cream/lotion/or gel. I completely recommend this product for dry skin, especially at night. I would give the Origins Night Cream four our of five stars. I can use this in the winter, but not in the summer or spring when the weather seems to indicate I need less moisturizer.


5. NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil  (Eye Shadow)- 611 Yogurt – (www.ulta.com) – $4.49 US ($6 or $7 CAN at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada)

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NYX Cosmetics Jumbo Eye Pencil (Eye Shadow) in 611 Yogurt – (www.ulta.com) – 0.18 oz – $4.49

I’ve heard good things about NYX as a cheaper makeup brand. I adore their matte setting spray for makeup so I thought I would try something else from their line. I wanted a base color that I can put on before my other eyeshadow, which is the reason I bought this pencil.

Unfortunately, I bought the wrong shade, it’s a bit too yellow for me and I should have bought a similar shade with more pink in it. But it’s not bad for a shimmery base color and I’ve worn it a few times. The only problem is, I’ve worn the eye pencil down and would think you could sharpen it, but I do not own a sharpener which can fit the jumbo pencil in.

The eye pencil color stays on your eyelids well and doesn’t come off easily. You can blend other eyeshadows of various types into it as well, and the color is easy to cover up if you don’t like the shade but are using it as a base.

I’m not sure where to find a sharpener which fits the NYX jumbo pencil, or if it even can be sharpened? If you know let me know. I think as with most products in the makeup industry, you get what you pay for and the NYX jumbo eyeshadow pencil is an example of this with only a two-star rating.


6. The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Balm With Calming Camomile Extract – Sensitive Skin – MakeUp Remover – (www.thebodyshop.ca) – $16.00 CAN

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The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Balm With Calming Camomile Extract for Sensitive Skin – (www.thebodyshop.ca) – 90 ml – $16.00

My last product to share was part of a gift from a friend with many lovely Body Shop Products. They definantly have some nice products and not only lotion and body wash. I was really thrilled with this cleansing balm I received. I wasn’t sure what it was at first.

But, it’s an awesome makeup remover and is also extremely moisturizing at the same time. I have doubts about using it in spring and summer, but right now it’s exactly what my skin needed. I usually use cleansing clothes to remove my makeup and right now I use both. I put the balm all over my face with my hands, including my eyes — it’s awesome at removing any and all eye makeup especially waterproof makeup. The balm feels as if it might be a bit greasy, but it’s not at all. It cleanses your face completely of makeup and works well with the cleansing clothes you can throw away.

The cleansing balm leaves your fast moisturized and feeling great, not to mention, it smells fantastic. If you can get your hands on some I recommend it. Four stars our of five.


If you haven’t read Part 1 of my Beauty Haul it was in December and can be found HERE.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer, My Thoughts, Nature, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Killing A Snake #amwriting #flashfiction #fiction


Thank you to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

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Credit: Grant Sud

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Leonard was absorbed by the red hues of the wide Arizona desert. It was hot outside in the late spring, the cascading layers of rock enthralling and the green shrubs and cacti complementing the red cliffs. Here Leonard could be alone with his thoughts, far from the problems of his life. 

No one was chasing him in the desert. No one was telling him he wasn’t allowed to set fire to buildings. No one was insisting Leonard couldn’t punch a guy in the face and start fighting because Leonard didn’t like how the guy was looking at him, or that the guy had a hot girlfriend which Leonard did not. In the desert, no one knew how much money he’d stashed away in offshore accounts from the company where he’d been an accountant with a falsified identity, these past two-years.

Out here in the desert, there was serenity and quiet. Leonard would in an hour, catch a private plane and reclaim his offshore funds. But he wasn’t counting on the rattle snake who bit his leg when he stood up and stepped on the snake accidentally.

The snake’s poisonus venom made Leonard numb in minutes. Quickly he was fading into obscurity and death; the bright red Arizona desert claiming him for all his wrongs. How curious a snake would kill a snake

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Pinterest, Quotes

Noteable Quotes: Part One – January 2017 #quotes #pinterest #newyear


Happy New Year 2017!!!!! Here are some quotes to start the new year off right. I look forward this year to exciting challenges to learn from, experiences to be present in, and new people I will have to pleasure to know and meet both out and about and in the blogging/writing world online. 

 Thank you to all of you who follow my blog and/or read my blog posts and writing. Thank you for your support and for your time! It’s much appreciated as are your likes, comments, and follows on WordPress, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Facebook!!!! You are amazing!!!! Hoping 2017 is everything fantastic you hope it will be! 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Nature, Octain Refrain/Double/High - Abbac/cabA Abbad/dabA, Poetry, Writing, Writing Challenges

Photo Collage Prompt: Poem – Octaine Refrain – “The Fantastic” #poetry #amwriting #fantasy


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last week’s collage prompt. 

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MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

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The fantastic hides and we’re unaware,

Turning to look, we might find we’re too scared. 

Adventures, colour, world with beasts daring, 

They’ll ask a question —answer with great care. 

Creatures with magic, books jammed with thoughts, stairs —

Causing absurd scenes, stairs move everywhere. 

The fantastic hides and we’re unaware. 

Turning to look, we might find we’re too scared.  

Magicians do tricks; hands, winding music blares, 

Beauty in circus apparel she stares. 

Without a body; her arms and hands fair, 

Melodic music raises our arm hairs. 

The fantastic hides and we’re unaware. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.