I’m Not Dead

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Yes, I know, I have been missing in action for a few weeks. I started a new job and practically dropped off the face of the earth, well the face of CaraMia Why… I have to admit that my life has been pretty busy and crazy over these past few weeks and I’ve been lying to myself about finding the time to write, or a finding a new topic to write about. The Nitty Gritty has not been so pretty, although I have not abandoned my beauty and wellness routines… you know I’m still out here being cute!

It’s just a coincidence that around the time I created CaraMia Why, March 2015, I stopped writing a year later, March 2016. Most blogs don’t make it past year one, because it’s a lot of work, and not just the writing. There’s the work of staying connected to other bloggers on bloggy sites and link-ups, researching topics, promoting your sh*t on social media, fixing your blog when it breaks for the 3152 time, design, etc…. It’s a whole lot to keep up with, even for those of us who love to write and connect with others through detailed descriptions of exfoliation or Mommie Dearest life tips or the real deal about blogging Moms.

Balance is what I’ve been searching for, but I am not sure if it even exists? Work-life-balance lies…. My life is more of a work-life-spillover. When you’re at work and get a call from your kid’s school-spillover! When you’re at home and remember that you left something very important undone-spillover! Spillover! Spillover! When every dinner conversation with your spouse is about your job, even though you promise not to keep talking about your work- Spillover! Not to mention school-work-life balance. I have accepted the fact that my life will be messy for as long as I have little kids and I remain in a career that I am passionate about. In the meantime, I’ll do my best!

Meanwhile, while I was away dealing with my messiness: Prince is dead, Lemonade happened and Trump has a chance of being our next president. Who would’a thought? Anyway, I need to get back in here and give you more of the Nitty Gritty and sometimes Pretty Life Updates really soon!

Tips for Hosting A Successful Vision Board Party

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OK so, I should have named this post, “the Do’s and Don’ts of hosting a Vision Board Party,” since I learned the hard way, what works and what will make you want to stab one of your guests with your crafting scissors.

First, a couple of definitions: Vision board: A board (either cardboard or bulletin board) on which you place images or words that represent your future goals and aspirations. The ability to see your hopes and dreams often will help them realize faster. Vision Board Party: involves a group of people creating their own vision boards in the same place, and is also an excuse for adults to enjoy snacks and alcohol while playing with glue and scissors.

I hosted a Vision Board Party this weekend at my parent’s house for a few family members and close friends and it was fun overall. I would like to do more of these, but make them better based on this last Vision Board Party experience.

Tips for Hosting A Successful Vision Board PartyHow to have a vision board party. Caramiawhy.com

Invite positive people who have the ability to be introspective. This is so important, since one guest can ruin the experience for everyone by making fun or comments that make others reluctant to create freely, or just be freaking distracting! I learned this the hard way and I felt that other participants did not get the most out of the experience or finish their boards because I wasn’t careful about my guest list.

Send out an invitation explaining the vision board activity instead of trying to surprise others with it. Vision board parties require clear and focused intent as well as a desire to share personal goals and dreams with a group. Give people an option to decline. Bye Felicia!

At least a week before the party, ask guests to start collecting magazines (all kinds), postcards, and pictures to bring to the party. You can also ask them to bring a pair of scissors and a glue stick, unless you have enough of these materials on-hand. Trust me, everyone needs their own scissors and glue! Fighting over materials during the Vision Board Party just kills the creative process and takes away from the positivity that is needed for this event.

Gather enough boards -one for each guest, with a few extra’s. cardboard works, so does posterboard, and cork. Glitter and other arts supplies are optional. I bought a bunch of patterned paper, in case anyone wanted to make her board a bit fancier. I like the idea of having different shaped cardboards available so that guests can choose the ideal size/shape for the space where they’ll keep their vision boards.

At the start of the Vision Board Party, explain the activity and show examples, there are plenty on Pinterest for inspiration, just search for “vision boards.” It helps if you have a computer or laptop nearby so that guests can go through a few examples, but you can do this on a smart-phone, too.

Provide paper and pencils for guests to plan out their vision boards before they start. Because, if you’re like me,you can get caught up in pretty pictures and cool sayings and forget what your major goals are if you didn’t have a plan.

Have fun snacks, desserts and drinks. I prefer alcohol, but not too much and snacks that are not too messy, since you do not want to ruin your or someone else’s board. Make a fun cocktail, or have a few bottles of wine ready.

Although the goal is to leave with a completed vision board, advise everyone to leave space to add more inspiration later. You can even plan a Vision Board Update Party where everyone brings their boards and talks about which dreams have come true or what new one’s they’ve added.

Here are some pictures from our Vision Board Party

Vision Board Party Ideas, Caramiawhy.comVision Board Party Ideas, Caramiawhy.comVision Board Party Ideas, Caramiawhy.com

A Vision Board Party is one of the simplest but rewarding party themes. Try it for yourself, but don’t forget to tell me about it!

Stay inspired!


Somebody Tell My Hormonal Acne I’m Grown

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My Battle With Hormonal Acne

Thinking back on the times when my skin was clear of blemishes is hard to do. I started getting acne when I was about 12 and have had to deal with moderate breakouts and the hyperpigmentation scars they leave behind ever since. I did have little moments of respite, although they were very short-lived. While on birth control my skin was fairly clear from acne, but my hormones were so haywire that I was a raging lunatic, so I am not too sure. During my pregnancies I did have “clearish” skin in my last trimester’s, but postpartum acne was the worst. After my third baby, I looked like the before photo on a pro-active commercial, and I could not find any treatment to rid me of the most awful case of acne I had ever experienced. I caked on the makeup, and visited the dermatologist to get scripts for retinol and rounds of chemical peels to help. What I ended up with was a raw face with patchy dry spots and unwarranted advice from just about every well-meaning person I encountered. Why is it that people feel the need to advise others on skin-care, when there is an obvious issue, like eczema, psoriasis or acne? I mean, thanks for drawing attention to the obvious eruptions on my face that are no match for the concealer I’ve spackled on and the groundbreaking advice you chose to share like: stop wearing make-up, it’s clogging your pores, drink more water, don’t eat chocolate, don’t touch your face with dirty hands, etc.. because without it I would never have noticed that my acne was still visible and I really needed to find out from a random stranger, and I also had never thought about any of the possible causes of my acne and was just waiting for you -not a dermatologist, to come along enlighten me! What would I do without you tactless, unsolicited-advice-givers??!!

Hormonal Acne & Oil

Cut to about 2 years ago, I discovered oil-cleansing and realized that an over-production of oil was causing most of my acne. as counter-intuitive as it sounds oil is perfect for oily skin and dry skin. I have combination skin with an oily t-zone so, I needed oil to remedy both “facial situations”. The oil-cleansing method took care of 90% of my acne and hyperpigmentation. But even still, I would get the one or two monthly pimples. Now, I’m not talking about the well-behaved ones that pop up and go away when treated with anti-acne gels and creams. I am talking about the painful, bumps that form so far under the skin that there appears to be no end in sight, the kind that stays for weeks and tags your face with a scar to say, “I Was HERE Mutha Effer’s!” This problem left me with mostly clear skin averaging about 1.5 pimples every 30 days, resulting in 1.5 news scars a month that took 3.5 months to fade. I did the math and decided that I would never have clear skin! The acne was usually around my lower jaw and every month I was anxiously standing in front of the mirror ready for the next pimple to appear. Would it be the right side or left this time, one or two?  I felt like I was playing a freaking game of whack-a-mole.

I suspected that my hormones were the culprit so, I looked up hormonal acne and Evening Primrose Oil (EPO). I learned that it balanced hormones and could help with PMS symptoms including acne, bloating and cramps as well as cystic breasts and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). I started taking it orally (1300 mg a day) and applying it topically mixed with my Rosemary oil, which is also good for balancing hormones. I have been at this for three months now and it’s working! No more wack-a-mole, No more hormonal acne!

Here’s How I Use EPO to Stop Hormonal Acne 

I take one EPO pill a day, I use this one: Nature’s Way Evening Primrose Cold Pressed 1300mg, 120 Softgels

I mix EPO and Rosemary Oil and apply them twice a day, after I wash my face. Tip: You could puncture the EPO capsules to get the oil instead, but I thought buying the oil saved time and energy!  Rosemary Essential Oil – Big 4 Oz – 100% Pure & Natural Therapeutic Grade – Premium Quality – Great for Hair Strengthening and Dandruff as well Aches & Pains
ORGANIC EVENING PRIMROSE OIL. 100% Pure / Natural / Undiluted / Unrefined /Certified Organic/ Cold Pressed Carrier Oil. Rich antioxidant to rejuvenate and moisturize the skin and hair. 0.5 Fl.oz.- 15 ml. by Botanical Beauty

It’s that easy! Give it a try and let me know what you think?

Read More About EPO Here: Acneassassins.com

The Grass Can Be Greener

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The Grass Can Be Greener

I’ve been MIA from Caramia Why for a while, but for good reason…
I’m starting a new job next month! A great opportunity that falls in line with my career goals! So, naturally I have been busy doing a lot of soul searching and planning to make the transition go smoothly. I feel that before a big transition (I’ve been at my current job for over 6 years) planning and self-evaluation are necessary. I don’t like to start new with the same ‘ole crap, just like I like to buy a new pair of shoes each season…..ok, maybe more than one pair! I felt the need to decide which things I want to take with me. No, I don’t mean my pens and stapler, but those things about me like thoughts and behaviors I’ve adopted a long time ago, as a defense that I may not need anymore. Mainly the ones that made me feel safe as a young girl, but now serve no good purpose. This involves really get to know me, including my habits –good and bad, what I really want and where I want to be. It takes time, and if you do it right it can be painful, but rewarding.

When was the last time you really thought about how you behave and why?

Do you usually act out of fear or take things personally that have nothing to do with you?

How important is it for you to be liked or to belong and why?

What are the lies that you’ve been told, that you continue to tell yourself?

The Grass Can Be Greener

How to make your next chapter even better than your last. CaraMiaWhy.com
Many of us leave a job a relationship or a city with high hopes and visions for the next phase in our lives. Along the way, we hear, “The grass isn’t always greener,” and other pessimistic sayings that we may try to ignore. But, there’s some truth to “the grass isn’t always greener” because if you don’t take full responsibility and inventory of you, you may be dulling every other lawn you step onto. This is why you cultivate your own grass, first! I didn’t want to contaminate my new chapter with the old stuff that I no longer needed. So, I took inventory of all the things under my own control that made me less than happy at my old job as well as those that made me happy. I thought about all of the things I did and didn’t do to make that experience better, including what I reacted to, what I failed to say or ask for. I also thought about how much I searched for validation and self-worth in the eyes of others because of my own insecurities and ended up feeling empty and resentful because I didn’t get it. Not realizing that they never had the power to give it in the first place. My happiness was my job and my responsibility, not theirs.

Ever since I was a little girl, I constantly gave other’s too much power over my joy for the chance of a gold-star on my forehead. I looked for someone to tell me what I deserved, if I belonged, or if I was good enough. I don’t’ want to spend my life searching for gold stars to be placed on my forehead! I want to make my own and shine from within. Now, don’t get me wrong – I am not done and still have a hard time breaking those habits that took years to form. I also have daughters who I want more than anything to look within rather than without for praise and approval. It’s not an easy job but somebody’s got to do it! What a great time to start!

To help with my introspection and getting my Sh@t together, I got an inspirational planner:

A new book:

And some new shoes….because I deserve ‘em!

The Intern Movie: Unexpected Inspiration

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The Intern Movie: Unexpected Inspiration

If you haven’t checked it out yet, please watch the movie, The Intern. I saw it on the big screen a few months ago and again as soon as it was available to watch at home. In case you haven’t heard of it, it’s a film about a 70 year old retired widower named Ben, played by Robert Deniro who takes an internship in a hip fashion ecommerce company headed by a smart 30-something entrepreneur named Jules Ostin, played by Anne Hathaway. Although Deniro steals the show, and actually acts in this film instead of just making faces, Hathaway did her thing too. It’s funny and motivational and one of those films you should see when you’re sitting alone thinking, “What am I doing with my life?”

Overall it was a great story about generations, wisdom and confidence. Not to be shallow, but the fashion and interior design were also so on-point that I was actually smiling at the screen. Have you ever experienced that? When something is so visually pleasing that you want to scream out, Yaasss! But you know that it’s not pleasing to fellow movie goers, so you just hold it in? I know I’m not alone in this, but that scene in the Devil Wears Prada with the Channel boots? Yaasssss!!!

Ok, back to the Intern! Besides echoing all of the things that ring true in my life as a hustling mom who finds herself stuck between guilt and ambition, Deniro’s character was the epitome of gentlemanly grace. Kinda reminded me of my own dad, and my late great uncle and the way they could be supportive without making you feel needy or incapable and protective in a way that never made you feel weak.  For these men, being a gentleman was more than a classic suit, although they knew how to wear them well. Men like these would gladly wrap their designer coat around your shoulders if you’d so much as shiver.

In one scene, Deniro’s character explains to a younger man, why he should carry a handkerchief, “because women cry.” To some this may sound sexist, but to a woman who grew up with her tears being wiped by the soft endearing handkerchiefs of the first leading men in my life, I can tell you a tissue fails miserably in comparison.

Dear Men, if you’re reading…..

Why you Should Carry a Hankie:

  1. Its sophistimicated, especially when you’re dressed up. It looks better than a wad of tissues in your pocket
  2. It’s a signature move, especially for a single guy if he hands a lady his embroidered handkerchief, it’s a total boss act
  3. It’s good for the environment, male or female- think Wash and Reuse
  4. It’s neater for when you don’t want to have little tissue pills all over your clothes and beard
  5. It’s a sweet vestige of gentlemanlier times, and many women appreciate that

Side note: you got to check out Jules Ostin’s wardrobe in this film! It encapsulates the hip, boss-lady, casual, professional tone that is right up my style alley. So, of course I created some wear-to-work outfit idea sets inspired by the movie.Check ’em out:

Here’s a feature from The Window on the costume designer, Jacqueline Demeterio