Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Immutable Ramblings: SMILING IT FORWARD™

Immutable Ramblings: SMILING IT FORWARD™: Disclaimer: I have received information and products from McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc., the makers of TYLENOL®. ...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Too Tired To Write

I'm working on three hours of sleep here...but I really liked my mani and wanted to show it. The brown is Revlon Parfumerie polish in Autumn Spice, the emerald/dark teal color is Sinful Colors in Opening night.

I also wanted to share this AMAZING lotion I'm using on my hands now. It's got all the good oils and butters in it for healthy skin. It's SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Body Butter LOVE! The smell, the feel, the lasting power, the SMELL! Yes, I repeated myself...

Back to work and to sneaking 60-second naps in between each duty...

Until next time,

XOXOXO - Jessika

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


...that's the only word I can think of that can aptly describe the last few days we've had in our home. The things we were discovering about what's been happening in our absence were infuriating to say the least. If I had rich relatives in another state, I think I would have sent my kids off to live with them; that's how angry I was with them...

It's bad when you are so angry with, disappointed in someone that you don't even want to look at them.

I felt like I was floating above my home, watching some other family go through the things we were experiencing. I've calmed down considerably, but, at this point, I don't trust anyone in that household but my husband. This fact depresses me...

Please pray for us...

Until next time,

XOXOXO - Jessika

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Talk

When I came home yesterday, there was a fire truck pulling up close to my house. I of course immediately panic, thinking something's happened to my kids, but, thanks be to God, that was not the case. There was, however, a very huge fire in the woods behind our house, and, had our house not been surrounded by angels, it could have made its way over to us.

Thank you, Jesus!!!

My husband and I had a long talk with the kids last night about their behavior and school performance. During our talk, it hit me that I may make them think that they need to be perfect all of the time. I made sure to relieve that thinking and to assure that all I want from them is their individual best, not perfection. I think kids sometimes don't WANT to give their all, however, because they'd prefer to do other things. The same can definitely be said about adults, myself included. I'm sure there is so much more we could be doing but don't because of our distractions (self-selected and otherwise).

Raising kids is hard when you actually care about and love them. I used to think diapers and daycare costs were the worst of it; I WAS WRONG!!! I can say, however, that the trials we've encountered with them have proven what we've already known: God has truly set each one apart for great things. The fact that the enemy has attempted to thwart their spiritual paths so early in their lives is great confirmation of that fact. What a loser and a liar that devil is!!!

Prayer absolutely has to be a part of my life as a mother because there is so much that I don't know, that I can't fix, and that BOTHERS ME, but what else can I do? I absolutely must trust God to fill in the gaps that my husband and I cannot...and I'm ok with that.

Until next time,

XOXOXO - Jessika

Thursday, November 14, 2013


This week was supposed to be a short one for me but it's felt longer than usual...

I'm feeling a little down this morning. I keep finding things out about someone I love that have been truly disheartening. It's so hard to continue to have high hopes for someone only to find out one more thing about them that makes you want to lose hope. I guess that's how Jesus feels about us sometimes. Though, the difference between Him and us is that He can see - has ALREADY seen - what we're supposed to be. Not just what He wishes for us, but what were truly built to become. If only I had that ability...

It's exhausting. Caring about the life of someone who is doing everything they can to WASTE truly draining...

Please pray for me, for US...

Until next time,


Friday, November 8, 2013

The Inspirational Manicure

My sister recently posted something on her blog that she called "Manicure Monday." That was sort of a wake up call to me because for goodness sake, I'm the nail person, not her! LOL! I am proud of her for taking better care of her hands and nails, and for starting to actually enjoy showing them off! But pride was not the only thing I felt while reading the post. I felt...inspired! There's really no reason whatsoever that I shouldn't be doing something like that every once in a while, particularly when I don't feel like I have something substantial to write about. I change up my nail color at least once a week, sometimes twice (sometimes three times...:/); why not share what I used at the very least? Girls like to see nail stuff, right? :).

Anyway, I REALLY hope she keeps it up; I REALLY enjoyed seeing that on her blog!!! (HINT HINT ROSE!!!)

I recently purchased a bottle of DeLore Nails Organic Nail Polish Dryer (oil) from Amazon that when used, really tore my cuticles up. I'd gone months without cutting or removing my cuticles just by using my DeLore oil and Nutra Nail Growth Formula several times every day. This is on top of regular lotion application, of course, and pushing my cuticles back once a week. But, something was off with the bottle I got from Amazon. The oil was more watery than I remembered it being the last time I'd bought it, and with a week of use, it really started to dry out my cuticles. They got so rough and ugly that I resorted to cutting them again just to start over.

I figured I received a fake so I ordered another bottle from to compare. As I suspected, the oil I got from Walgreens was thicker, though still not quite as thick as I last remembered it. It worked well - definitely quickly and obviously enough to confirm that the one I got from Amazon was fake. However, after ordering it again from my original retailer,, I believe that the oil has indeed gotten thinner. Not watery by any means (like the one from Amazon), but definitely not as super thick. I remember thinking about how annoying the thickness of the oil was because there was always a bit of it left at the bottom that I couldn't quite coax all the way out (unless I left it in the car on summer days to make it melt even more, making it super watery). I'd also complain to myself about how quickly the bottle would run out because of the thick consistency of the oil. Maybe they think they're improving it by thinning it out, but I don't agree. They should have just made a bigger bottle!

Enough about that.

I'm trying to get back into the rhythm of writing because I feel like I'm facing a "Use or Lose" type of situation here: if I don't keep writing, I may lose my ability to do it as well as I was born to do it...yes, I said it. I believe I was born with a natural gift, and that gift is writing. Please know I am not the bragging kind; I'm stating fact. I've interacted with people over email from all walks of life, professionals, college graduates, etc., and I've come to realize that writing well is not something that can be taught. Maybe I'm wrong; maybe it can be taught, but not easily learned...whatever the case may be, I believe it is a gift, and I don't intend to waste it...

Until next time,

XOXOXO - Jessika

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Negativity/Complaining Issue

Last week, I asked my husband if I generally complained a lot. This was after talking to him about someone in our office who constantly complains about everything and everybody. While trying to figure out a way to tell her to stop complaining so much, it struck me to ask if I, too, have this issue. According to my husband, I do.

Being that he's the only person I bother to complain about and TO on a regular basis, it makes sense that he'd feel that way. I personally don't agree with his assessment, however, I do have a negative talking issue.

What I mean is that I talk unnecessarily in a negative way about the stupidest things. Like, TV. Things like, "Why are his lips so cracked?" "Why does her hair look like that?" "Ugh, she's an idiot!" "Ugh, he's a moron!" These are things I'm yelling at a TV or a computer screen on a regular basis.

I don't complain. I'm just really critical and judgmental is all....

I've been this way since I was a teen. A lot of my friendships (okay, ALL OF THEM) ended because of this issue. I've been extremely critical and judgmental and it makes sense. You really tell people who you are by what you say and do - and by the things that bother you. Seeing as how I have something negative to say about everyone and everything else tells the truth about the way I've spoken about myself. Lately, I've been criticizing the way some people in my life have been handling money and making financial decisions - and duh, who just wrote about how terribly she was handling money and making financial decisions?!! Here's a hint: ME-ME-ME!!!

There was a period of time when I started going to church, regularly studied in the bible, and committed myself to Christ, where I was extraordinarily tolerant and accepting and loving and refused to say anything negative about anyone. I remember at the time that I was very happy with myself as a person. For the first time, I loved myself and when you love yourself, it's easy to love others. The longer I stay away from the bible, which is where the truth about who I am really is, the more I forget about all of the good things God has to say about me, about all of His children, the very children I have been criticizing...

I'm not saying I hate myself, but I have been very critical of myself, and that's not cool. Before I started to write this, I was going to announce that I'd decided to watch my words and not speak unless what I had to say was positive, but as I started to write, I realized what the root cause of the issue was, and unless it's addressed, no form of commitment to doing better was going to stick. That proved true all weekend when I kept having to "take back" and re-word things I was saying out loud. Shame, shame.

I've heard it all my life: the importance of loving yourself first. Some may think that means to put your happiness, your goals, your desires, your needs above everyone else's. But the truth is, love of self is necessary not for those purposes, but for the single purpose of putting others first. When you are truly accepting and loving of yourself, it's easy to take yourself out of the equation while in the practice of loving and supporting others. I'm not just spewing stuff I've heard before. I've actually lived this, experienced this myself, and I intend to be in a similar, but much better and more magnificent place...

For a long time I've been wishing that I could go back to the way I was, to a previous version of myself, but that's not God's will for my life. Why wish for something old when God is all about making us NEW? No, I don't want to go back there. I want, I need, I WILL move forward into new blessings...a brand new Me...

Until next time,

XOXOXO - Jessika

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Shopping Issue

On August 28, 2013, it hit me: I shop too much!!!! To be fair, I knew that I shopped too much. But, what really hit me is how broke it was making me. We make too much money for me to have to rely on my credit cards to take care of our family in between pay periods.

My husband has depended on me since the beginning of our marriage (8/8/10) to make sure everything was paid on time and that there was always money left over for what we needed, WHEN we needed it. In the beginning, it was great. I was able to put hundreds of dollars aside every paycheck in savings and for incidentals while all of my credit card balances remained at zero, untouched unless I needed to make a small purchase to avoid the card from being marked as "dormant" by the credit bureaus. My husband had great confidence in me and felt good about the money he was giving me because he felt I took great care of it.

Then, a little over a year into our marriage, I discovered QVC. Oh, that QVC is the devil, I tell you. Shortly after discovering QVC, I discovered beauty gurus on Youtube - that's when it all REALLY went downhill. I started shopping for handbags and makeup nonstop. Every little recommendation a guru gave me, I bought it. When I came across one guru's recommendation for a fast-drying top coat in June of 2012, my obsession with nail polish began (I now have over 600 bottles).

It was weird. It was the day before my 37th birthday and I was sitting at my desk at work going over my bills and balancing my checkbook. I was considering buying something, I don't recall what, and was trying to figure out how to make it happen with what I had left in the bank or on my credit cards. When I realized all of them were nearly maxed out and I barely had enough left in the bank to make it until my next paycheck, my heart sank into my belly. Not because I couldn't buy what I wanted to buy, but because I was disgusted with myself. Ashamed. Embarrassed. How could I let this happen? I let myself down and more importantly, I let my husband down. There he was, working this full-time job PLUS building a marketing career on the side to bring in extra income, and here I was looking for ways to spend it all.

It was then that I decided I needed to stop shopping, cold turkey.

The first week was easy. I was so committed, that I un-liked a lot of polish and shopping related Facebook pages and unsubscribed to almost every single beauty related youtube channel.

The second week was also a breeze. I started to feel proud of myself for making this important decision. I began to feel less stressed and a lot more optimistic about our financial future.

The third week, I ran into a video about some new lip stains by Jordana and I felt that I absolutely had to have them all. I slept on it, thought about it some more, then decided to buy them. That was ONE $26 purchase in THREE WEEKS. I didn't feel bad about it.

At around week six, I found myself really browsing again. Looking at bags and polishes, and makeup. I'd even picked up a few bottles of polish, but nothing expensive, $2 to $3 each. Two of them I actually gifted to my mom and sister.

Last week, I bought myself a handbag that I'd been looking at for months. It wasn't expensive and I didn't feel bad about it. This week, I bought more things. What I bought was really for my sister as Christmas and birthday gifts, but, because I wanted them also, I bought a second set of items for myself. Still don't feel bad about it.

Today, I got some notifications of EXCELLENT deals on Avon and Julep stuff that I love and I fully intended to take advantage of them...but, as I was online adding things to my cart, I stopped myself. I've had enough.

I'm not going to allow myself to fall back into that trap. "Oh, I'll just get a little something here and there, no big deal." But it is; it IS a big deal when you really don't NEED anything you're getting. And those little purchases add up quickly. Shopping is in fact a disease, a disorder, a bad habit, a full-on sickness that I simply REFUSE to accept. I quite literally don't need another bag, organizer, makeup or makeup-removing item, nail polish, fragrance, lotion, etc. I have PLENTY of ALL of that. I have more than enough to last me for years, even if I gave half of all of it away.

I am in full control of my spending now. I can name at least 20 things that in the last nine weeks I WOULD have purchased had I not regained control of myself, and that would have cost me hundreds of dollars (maybe even exceeded $1,000). Instead, all of it has gone to tithing, saving, paying down my credit card debt (which has been drastically reduced), and I still have a lot of it sitting in my bank account.

During this process of greatly reduced unnecessary spending, I found out how my emotions connected to the purchases. I found I wanted to buy things the most when I was either angry or stressed. I broke out of the habit of stress-and-anger-spending with prayer and restraint. Soon, I found that decreasing my spending increased my appreciation for what and who I already have in my life. Even my husband has remarked at how much happier I've been these past few weeks. After two years of constant spending looking to make myself happy, I discover and learn to truly appreciate that all I needed to be happy was already in my heart and home...

I am truly, truly blessed!!!

Until next time,

XOXOXO - Jessika