Browsing Tag


Well Being

Follow That Arrow: Notes on Getting Here from There Book Review

February 21, 2017

How many of us follow any arrows even when the signs are so obvious? I know sometimes I don’t.

I had some time today, so I decided to get my thoughts that have been swirling in my mind about this book out. Months, which might as well be decades ago, a good friend asked me if I would be interested in reading her good friend’s book. I said sure and read it the second I received it. Now, a million years later, I’m finally getting around to sharing this book with you.


Title: Follow That Arrow: Notes on Getting Here from There
Author: Gwen Van Velsor

Initial Thoughts:

This was a really easy, smooth read. It didn’t leave my wondering what she meant nor did it leave me feeling frustrated. Yet, it’s been keeping me thinking about it months later after my initial read.

Nothing about the writing was complicated especially given a very complicated topic about life and how love can die in a blink of an eye. The author’s husband left without any warning and left her life in what I assume to be an emotionally painful upheaval. The guy didn’t know why he did it, he just did.

I honestly wanted to know why he left and was hoping she’d divulge in this mystery by the end of the book. I also was waiting for Gwen to bash this guy to pieces which she never, ever did! What even!!! She barely expressed any anger, not even an ounce of passive aggressive anger. I could sense she was shocked and sad, but not the kind of sadness that kept her in bed unable to function at all for months on end.

To be honest, I kept reading because I wanted to know like the dirty little secrets about Gwen’s marriage that she never really talked about. DARN IT! This part kind of irked me but it was the immature, nosy bastard inside of me who wanted to know what she wouldn’t tell me. I then felt horrible about it because why would I want her to share this painful part of her with her readers? A dissolution of marriage is so private and painful and I felt glad that she never spoke about her husband again after the initial mentioning of him.

Thoughts After Reading:

I felt like I had read a version of “Eat, Love, Pray” and even though I never really read “Eat, Love, Pray”, I’ve heard enough about it to make that comparison.

My first reaction was: OK, that’s great.
My second reaction was to talk about it with my husband.
My third reaction was: I’m not sure what to really think about this!!!

It was well written. Easy to read. I felt like I was traveling with her on her journey. She did a lot of walking by the way. She also met what I presume to be a really hot young man who was in love with her and wanted to whisk her away into the most romantic life ever. God, I really wanted her to be with this young man!!!!!

I was also slightly disappointed that she didn’t go “wild” in her “love” part like the “Eat, Love, Pray” lady did. I almost felt like if my husband were to up and leave me like that, being that he’s the only man I’ve ever been with, I might as well. (Ok, I’m joking mom, I’ll just become a nun).

Anyway, I felt happy for Gwen that she found what she needed which was mainly healing and herself. She went about it in a great way which was to hike a million miles and she made some great friends along the way. I’m glad she didn’t plunge into despair and a feeling of never being able to be herself. I felt proud that she was able to keep living and that her self-worth and self-identity weren’t so intertwined and DEFINED by her husband!

Months Later:

I am thinking this book had a bigger effect on me that I initially thought because I’m still thinking about it months later.

There are some poignant lessons to be learned from Gwen. The lady’s husband left her suddenly without any rhyme or reason! This is brutal and horrible and mean. But, the way Gwen handled this situation is what grace looks like. She didn’t burn his belongings, she didn’t poison him, and she didn’t even speak poorly of him! She was angry and sad but turned these emotions to find the better version of herself and I honestly don’t know many people who could do this in this kind of situation. People get hurt all the time and our first reaction is to hurt that person back. Maybe she suppressed it but I know some of those feelings came out when she was on her million mile walk.

She never lashed out at anyone. She didn’t treat her hot, young lover poorly because of what happened in her marriage. She just seemed to be always mindful, polite, kind, and graceful and that seriously blows my mind. Her emotional control was spectacular and she never let on that she fell apart into one big mess even if she was one big mess inside.

I don’t know Gwen, but I know her friend Marie and friends of a feather flock together. I assume Gwen is like Marie and without meeting either of them, I can almost sense they have a good soul. When shit hits the fan, the way you handle the situation speaks to what kind of person you are. Do you want to stab everyone in the face for your problems or do you try to work through it like a mature adult?

I also thought to myself, “If I was having a hard time, would I want to talk to Gwen about it?” I think yes, totally. She has this kind of gentle wisdom and perspective that isn’t violent, brutal, judgmental, or superior to you kind of attitude. I felt like Gwen was easy to relate to even if you haven’t been in her situation. But, if you are in the process of rediscovering yourself, I feel like she’s the person who can talk you through it.

Final Verdict:

My initial thoughts were not all too exciting. But, my final thoughts took so long to formulate because I think I needed to read beyond the words. Whoa, not trying to get all weirdly fourth dimension, but there was definitely something to be seen past what she wrote.

I think Gwen is like a warm cup of tea. If you are going through some personal things where you need reassurance that things will be ok on the other side, this book will really help you see that. If you need inspiration on how to find yourself and love yourself again, especially if you’re not into making all the love to all the men all over the globe, Gwen will help inspire you.

I still think that she’s incredible for really keeping the dignity of what was marriage once was. We are easily too quick to get mad at our spouses and when we do head for divorce, things can get ugly real quick. I think Gwen showed us that even if a marriage fails, there was a reason why we fell in love and got married in the first place. We should uphold that moment and give it the respect it deserves even if things changed.

Definitely worth the read and I’m confident it will get you thinking twice or three times about it over the next few months!


If you’re interested in reading this book, you can check it out here on Amazon!

Beauty Cosmetics

Kjaer Weis Eyeshadow in Grace Review

January 25, 2016

I already know what you’re thinking.

But, can you blame me? Once I feel like I’ve struck the holiest of grails, I just start building my collection and I don’t look back. To some, I might be a borderline hoarder slash addict on some level. But, I become a loyal fan who simply believes in and has confidence in what companies produce.

We all know holy grails are hard to come by. We all know that even though there are a bajillion neutral shades of brown, there are only a handful that any of us enthusiasts would consider “the one”. You know, the one you’d stock up on and panic if it were ever discontinued. There are so many aspects to the perfect netural brown: the formulation, finish, lasting power, and whether that one brown shade does what we need it to do. Does it look natural? Can I build up to a dramatic look? Is it smokey enough? Does it contour, define, but still look classy? And heaven forbid, does it make me look dirty? It’s a picky business when it comes to eyeshadows!

So, for someone who has little time each day to even look at my eye lids, I need a color that will give me zero hassles and zero worries hours later. I can’t worry as to whether it has traveled somewhere without permission or faded away… like my youth. I need a shadow that stays on, stays the same color even 8 hours later, and at the end of the day, I won’t feel that pang of regret when my eyeballs are red and itchy.

What ingredients are in this eyeshadow?

Please refer to this link to review all her ingredients.

PRODUCT: Eye Shadow in Grace. Made in Italy. Net wt. 0.043 oz./ 1.2g. $45 (with compact) /$27 (refill only)

Kjaer Weis Grace packaging

PACKAGING: I honestly wish that I bought the compact now because I feel like I’m missing something in my life. But, as I’ve said 5 times now- it’s luxurious!

Kjaer Weis Grace eyeshadow

SHADE: As described on their site: ““A luscious, light mocha color with a semi-matte finish.”” What I appreciate about all the descriptions on their website is that it is accurate! It’s not fluffy or full of unfulfilled promises- just beautifully straight to the point. This is definitely, absolutely “The One” for me. Do you ever just want more natural definition to your eye? This is the perfect color. What I LOVE is that you cannot mess this one up! I’m not sure what magic is bestowed upon this and all other shadows, but even my puppy did my eye makeup using this shade, it would still look flawless.

Kjaer Weis Grace swatch

INITIAL SWATCH: Just as with Divine, Grace is semi-matte and breathes life into your eyelid. It is smooth and color translation from pan to skin is impeccably perfect. There is no fall out yet the shadow is very buttery.

APPLICATION: I am trying not to repeat myself, however the consistency among products and within products is stellar. Again, Kjaer Weis created yet another shadow that has seamless application properties. You can build Grace as much as you need to and it will never look too overdone, muddy, or sloppy.

EFFICACY: Did this give the illusion of not wearing makeup? Yes. Did this create subtle depth but also perform well enough to provide a dramatic look? Absolutely. Everything Kjaer Weis promises in this eye shadow, she delivers!

IS IT WORTH SHARING OVER COFEE?: YES! From baby steps to professional level usage, Kjaer Weis meets all levels of needs. How amazing is that? And the plus for those who are interested but absolutely not obliged in my eyes, the ingredients are top notch and cruelty free. I would wholeheartedly suggest Kjaer Weis as one of my top 3 when my friends ask me “What’s a good neutral brown?”

I love using Grace to blend out the edges of my smokey eye when I use Grace. It’s so perfect and definitely makes you look like you had your smokey eye professionally done. I believe this look is achievable for skin tones similar to mine up to medium. For tanned beauties, I believe this shade would be a beautiful highlighter shade or a shade to layer underneath another shade to help make that shade more vibrant. I personally feel that the best thing about these eyeshadows is you can LAYER and it just never seems to get cakey or overwhelming. Not many organic shadows have this level of versatility. I also feel that for people who are just starting out with makeup and are not quite experts with the shadow-brush dip pressure, how much to pick up, how much pressure to apply, and what direction to blend things, Kjaer Weis shadows would help them learn beautifully! I’ve been in a place where I got a palette, the color was “too much of everything” and I wasn’t able to blend, unblend, apply correctly, and I completely got turned off to eyeshadow all together.

My final answer is: GET ALL THE SHADOWS!

Rating Scale:



WHERE TO PURCHASE: Directly at their website, or Beautylish, Spirit Beauty Lounge, BeautyBar, The Detox Market, and Citrine Natural Beauty Bar. Each of these sites have enormously generous and kind customer service. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact them. They are all generally free shipping after $50/$75. For the fastest shipping, literally 48 hours, is the place to go. They also have free U.S. shipping for orders over $35.