Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What's new

I have been here in the US for about 10days. Over this time in all honesty I have been getting the kids school stuff sorted and enjoying some family time.
Social security numbers came this week so now I can get started on getting my US driving license and work out how I want to spend my days. But for now it's involved wifely duties and plenty of basking in the sun. Oh well ok, there has been a little time spent on my fav tv shows too...waking the dead giving me my zombie fix, and the kardashians.

Something I'm not used to here is the lack of freedom to simply walk to the local shops. although I still do it, everyone thinks I am mad.

 So here is a real quick run down of some more of my observations of middle America

People are not used to being asked questions, and often laugh at you like your stupid if you ask something they think you should know. I don't think many people are used to tourists here.

Food is wonderful, service is excellent, and alcohol is served stronger and larger.
Makeup is cheap, services are cheaper, and Money in general goes farther.

Houses are bigger, yards still exist. Many with mature trees.
areas are set up into neighborhoods. Some better than others.
People also stick to themselves, but the people that are your friends are ready to help at a moments notice. I think America still has a lot of family spirit like that.

As I type this a siren is sounding in the background, who knows what kind. But the birds and the sunshine make it easy to forget all that. I know that I have many new adventures in store, some I will love others I will be challenged with. The winters here getting to about 20 below freezing . I am uncertain how we will cope with that, but I propose we see it as another new adventure, and enjoy that last of the summer weeks before fall sets in.

Well that's all for now. 

Be blessed,

Saturday, August 18, 2012

the USA

well the time has finally arrived! My kids and i are living in OHIO. It has been a crazy few months transitioning from Australia to the US, but we made it.
  Its been about a week since we arrived and already the kids are enrolled in school.Which starts the new school year next week. My youngest being in grade 2 at a prepatory academy. Her uniform consists of polo shirts in either white, sky blue, navy, or lemon. Pants/skirts or shorts in khaki or navy. I think she will come home wore out the first week or so. Her day has to start on the school bus at 6.15am. And yes the bus looks exactly like the ones in the movies!
  My eldest is a freshman in high school. And i am pleasantly surprised by the number of hours spent in school.The average day beginning at 7.45am and finishing at 3pm. With only a 50min break for lunch. NO recess! I think this is going to be a shock for her to begin with. Her school is new,and i was having such a good time looking through it all. With its shiney lino flooring, lockered walls, the lacquered gym floors with stadium seating. Not to mention the theatre room which looks more impressive than the professional one in my last town. The school is one big building, which i like alot. The doors lock once school starts, and to go to the bathroom you need a hall pass. Oh and there is a navy training program through the school as an elective - cool huh?  And lastly an impressive trophy case!!!   No one gets in, without going through the office and getting a photo id. So i do feel safe with my kids schools. I so wish i could upload the pictures i have to go with this blog...argh.
  The weather here is perfect. It reminds me of spring in Port Macquarie. The birds are thriving in all the trees. The houses have yards and space between. And there is a general feeling of space here. Considering all the people, i am once again surprised i feel that way.
  My husband and i have a blended family, and i am impressed at how everyone is getting along so well. what i am not so impressed with is how my eldest child has already lost her aussie accent! Laughs i guess thats typical for a teenager though. I too left my home country at her age to move to australia, so i know first hand what this type of thing is like. And they are adjusting very well.
  Already the kids have been shopping, gone to the biggest roller coaster theme park ever for them, been hiking through caves in the woods, and today we are all going to head out to visit with family in the country. Perfect day for swimming, camping and picnicking. Ahhh....the past year of waiting has been more than worth it...and its still so surreal for me to think about actually being here.

blissfully content with my new life...
joanna xo 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

gratitude - the magic ingredient to a happy life

over the past few years i have really transformed my thinking. I began by learning to see the positive over the negative. Then i started to use up-building self-talk. After this i began to implement the ability to dream beyond what my circumstances told me. All of these things definitely went a long way to impact my life for the better.

But something was still missing, the missing link between holding these habits and practices in the forefront of my mind, and being able to walk in the victory on a daily basis. What i would find was i would be good for a day or two, then forget for a day or two, repeat cycle.

It was an endless source of frustration to me to know that i was a born again christian who had all the abundance   of life's gifts inside me to manifest, yet how was it i could get STUCK, more than ever despite my best intentions?

Gratitude one little word with an endless source of power. I have been doing a little study on this subject of late and have found it to be a hot topic among philosophers, theologians and religious leaders alike.

How much of our lives are we truly being grateful for? I think if anyone of us were asked this question - we would all think we are doing pretty well at being grateful. But if someone was to record our conversations or our thoughts for a day - i think we would be shocked to KNOW the truth. Being grateful and living in gratitude means we have no space in our minds, or hearts for negativity, anger, resentment, greed, lust, and almost any other negative emotion you could think of.

That is a big call! One little thing, having the capabilities to revolutionize the way our entire minds function and every circumstance that comes our way...But i can tell you this. Since i have begun to apply the art of gratitude to my life in every single aspect INCLUDING finding the good in the bad, and speaking it out. My life is changing. I just don't see the bad as often, i don't get as emotional over things as i once did, and i am more and more appreciative of what i have - which in turn brings about more and more to be grateful for. Its a win win.

I became acutely aware of just how easy it was to live in ungratefulness. I don't think any of us choose this place, its just a slump that happens when we forget to be thankful for the good every single day.

Some of the traits that are displayed when we are taking our life for granted are things such as:
-negative thoughts
-negative words


small statement - huge impact.

How can we take steps to be more grateful everyday?
Focus each morning on all the things in your life that you can be grateful for - there are hundreds no matter who you are, or what your situation!
Think over these things and express your thanks for them, before you know it you will have this over whelming feeling of joy building on the inside. I promise you! There are so many simple things we can take for granted even something as small (or HUGE) as water...

Water is the life force of this existence. Yet how easy is it to take it for granted?

So, if like me are you are looking for the missing link to living in the joy of life every single day, no matter what life throws at you. Then the answer may just lie in learning to think and express your gratitude everyday for all your blessings, no matter how big or small.!!!

Be blessed, because chances are you are more blessed than you know

joanna xo

Friday, March 16, 2012

st patricks day

So whats St Paddy's day all about then aye?

To cut along story short its about the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. It's celebrated by lot of major religious groups, and is the widest recognized holiday of a saint, in the world.
FUN FACT: Originally the color blue was used in recognition of this day!!! 

But with the popularity of such things as green ribbons and shamrocks (three leaf clovers) which were used to explain the "trinity" to the pagans, the green tradition as we know it came about.

So here is the perfect excuse to add a little green to your attire tomorrow. Whether it be in the form of; makeup, dying your local river, or letting off green smoke bombs. (which i don't recommend) Perhaps something alittle easier like a scarf, or earrings. 

Here's some ideas to help you feel inspired.








be blessed
joanna xo

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

fantasy makeup

call it the "entertainer" in me, but i am fascinated by fantasy makeup. So this post isn't going to be tortured by my musings, just a collection of pretty images to inspire...








Sunday, March 11, 2012

The hunger games

So those of you that don't know, this fantastic book series is about to become the next teen movie sensation.
To cut a long story short - 24 people (1 male and 1 female from each district 1-12) get selected to play in a battle to the death, winner getting a life of luxury and celebrity status. Catch - the players are aged 12-18, and they are drawn from a lottery. The capital, a excessive community of decadence and superiority is in charge of this "entertaining battle that is televised live".

Sounds a little morbid i know, but a truly interesting read. And has a detailed focus on it main characters.
For me being a makeup artist i have been impatiently waiting to see the faces, and the fashions of "the capitol".
And they have not disappointed. Its was a fine line between creating something visually bold and interesting - without changing the somber mood of the city itself.

Over the next few weeks i intend to re-create a few capital inspired creations myself. In the meantime here is a sneak peek at some of the looks in the movie.


last image courtesy of Hayley phelan.

be bold,
joanna xo

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

DIY pick me ups!

I love treating myself to some quality spa time, but even more than that i love finding a budget friendly alternative to looking and feeling as great as i would after a trip to the spa. So today i am going to share with three of my top DIY alternatives.

OLIVE OIL/SUGAR SCRUB - for all skin types

For me exfoliating is apart of my everyday. And i have been using this simple formula for years with great success.

1.mix together olive oil and granulated sugar. (the finer the better) Just enough to do your face, i never really make exact measurements. You just want to be able to make a grainy paste i suppose.
2.Rub this over your whole face (avoiding eye area), in circular motions. Concentrating on corners of the nose, chin and forehead, anywhere that is feeling dry or looking dull could use some extra attention.
3.Wash off with warm water, and not only is your face clean, but it is also super smooth and soft. 

I  find that i don't need to moisturize after this treatment as i use it before sleep. If your skin is very dry then you could definitely use a moisturizer on top. My skin is in the normal to dry range. If you have oily skin, you may want to wash this off a second time, just to make sure any residual oil is removed but do it with water only, even oily skin will benefit from some moisture.  I have found that oils don't clog pores like one would think. Its more the oils found in heavier creams that cause problems on oily skin. Most times i use olive oil on clients it soaks in and revels beautiful supple glowing skin without looking or feeling like it has a film of oil on top. So go ahead and try this one!

BAKING SODA SCRUB - best suited for normal to oily skin types

1.mix 3 parts baking soda with one part water, or your regular gentle cleanser. 
2.Rub onto face in circular motions
4.Rinse off

This is great for minimizing the appearance of pores and for giving the skin a deep clean. This isn't something i would do daily, but certainly one a week would be a great addition to ones beauty routine. Not drying, and leaves the skin soft and smooth. This concept has been around for generations.


2 tsp. almond oil

1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. beeswax pellets
1 vitamin E capsule

1.Combine almond oil, honey, beeswax, and fluid from vitamin E capsule in double boiler or small pan. Stir over low heat until beeswax melts.
2.Pour into a small container and allow to cool.
3.When balm solidifies, rub onto lips as often as desired.

Optional extra, adding a drop of essence for a scent and flavor is a fun option.

well let me know if you try these out and what you think, also feel free to share with me your own tips and tricks!

Be blessed,
joanna xo

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

makeup trends autumn 2012

i love autumn, it harks the beginning of layered dressing, and a completely different set of colors from the other seasons. I'm not usually one to fall into wearing the mustard's, Forrest green and burgundy. BUT with all the extremely cute fashion in these hues its hard not to find something one would like.

SO lets talk make up trends for autumn.

BOLD BERRY LIPS - this one never gets old, and for most of us no matter what our complexion tone we can find something that suits. Pair it with bronze smokey eyes for a night, or just a subtle hit of smudged liner in a metallic brown/gold for the day. Keeping the lashes strong and polished suits this look.

blood red lips

OLIVE EYE SHADOW - this one also not as tricky as it sounds, imagine soft metallic greens, or warm matte tones blended with browns, in smoked out silhouettes. A little smudged eyeliner and your done.

PURPLE LIPS - ok so this may be for the more adventurous of us...if your game anything from deep violet, to crimson/black will work. Be sure and keep the eyes neutral for this one to work. Although having said that i am always one to recommend eyelashes and eyebrows are done, as i think there can be something a little alienish about dark lips and no eyelashes/eyebrows!

SIXTY'S MAKEUP - think twiggy, huge focus on eyes lashes, matte textures, whites and black. Matte pink lips. I love this look and find it a refreshing change. i am also really excited about the sixty's fashion that's making an appearance. This look takes aittle practice but is well worth the effort. I have a sixty's inspired tutorial on my youtube channel (joannamarie77), if you want some tips.


well thats all from me, be blessed and enjoy the cooler weather.
joanna xo

Makeup geek eye shadow review

HI guys, its been a while i know and with getting things sorted this side, everything other than my family is taking a hit from my lack of attention!

I have been wanting to do this review for awhile. So here it is.

Makeup geek eye shadows-

These were a concept from makeup geek creator Marlena. And you can tell they are made by a makeup artist. They are made of  high quality ingredients, and the color payoff (or pigment )is very intense on almost all shades.

Initially I purchased 11 shadows in shades that i found were missing from my collection.

I have to say i am impressed. The packaging is great. The size is generous, and the continuity is good. I found one or two of the shades were alittle harder to move...what that means is they aren't as smooth to place and blend. Having more of a "place and stay" mentality.  I think this could be ironed out by using a primer. I haven't re-tried those ones with a primer yet, but i will do that and let you know if its any better.

The range of shades are great, and the variety of finishes is also very good. As a makeup artist i value my matte shades as much as my shimmer finishes.

I especially love the plums/purples and grey tones in Marlena's range as i was having a hard time finding matte versions of those colors.

Top picks :
fiji - a super smooth, matte apple green.
fairytale - a matte lavender
stealth - a matte grey (this one i find alittle harder to blend as its one of the stay colors i mentioned)
preppy - a beautiful olive/tan brown
unexpected - this one i would call a matte mauve (it has a dusty pink/purple/mushroom color mix)

moondust - a gorgeous cool toned shimmery taupe/silver
shimma shimma - great champagne shimmer
burlesque - a beautiful rusty burgundy tone.

 left -right: Fiji, stealth, fairytale, shimma shimma, moondust, burlesque

Bottom to top: peacock, corrupt, unexpected, preppy, taupe notch

there are plenty more shades to choose from and i am sure there are lot more wonderful nuetrals, but seeing as i have an abundance of those i wont be getting amy until i run out of my current supplies.

Here is a look i created using: unexpected, fairytale, steath, and corrupt.


I can say that i am very pleased with the quality and size for the price. And that i will be purchasing the full- range at some point. If you are looking for professional quality eyeshadows - at a reasonable price, with a stunning colour range. I suggest you check out  marlena's site.Bear in mind the shadow come in refill format, so you will need something to store them in. I use Z palettes, as they are study, magnetic, easy, and have a see-through top. You can find these at the makeup geek store too. Please note i am in no way affiliated with makeup geek, i give honest reviews based on my personal findings and i am not endorsed to do so.

be blessed,
joanna xo

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Power of the mind

I have been doing alot of research lately in the power of the mind and what causes the outward patterns of life, from our internal workings!

Neural pathways

I have come across some very interesting findings. I will share the ones i can make sense of to explain.
Here is a huge statement....

96-98% of all our pre programmed behaviors and actions are created and played out through our subconscious mind!

So what does this actually mean?

It means that only 2-4% of our thinking can have any affect on the things the mind has been conditioned to believe and accept through repeated training, and experience. That means WILL POWER has very, very little to do with accomplishing anything.

And in order to change the external patterns (that are the actions of our lives) we have to change the internal system...its like trying to cut a tomato with a spoon...the wrong tools wont give you the desired results. When we focus on trying to change things in our life by using our conscious thinking when our "unconscious thinking" is programmed to REJECT that new way of thinking...we can spend a lifetime going round in circles getting stressed out not seeing the kinds of results that others practicing the same kinds of POSITIVE thinking CAN achieve!

Neurological pathways Left/Right Brain Synchrony

There is truth in the saying you have what you think you have, and you are what you believe you are. These thinking's have impacted and shaped the self belief network in our minds. And some of us are happy with the way they are...and some of us are not. Many of us sit in our comfort zone, for fear of failing.  But what if i told you that all you had to do was start reconditioning your thinking to coincide with what you wanted in life...and then after a period of time (some say it takes the brain 30-90days to re-hard wire its neurons to accept these new subconscious beliefs.) You would automatically be seeking and attracting like minded things into your life?! Ten years ago we didn't have the tools required to see into the mind in the ways we can now. And it has been proven that new neurological pathways can be self created when the right thinking in the right mental state is repeated...which means that everyone of us, is able to re-wire our subconsciousness thinking...almost like self hypnosis without the hoopla.

I am very much a product of this thinking. And anyone that has witnessed the profound changes in my limited self beliefs and the fruits of this powerful, positive thinking over the past 4 yrs is testament to this.And yes, i have a relationship with Christ that has in fact changed my life. I do believe God gave us the power of our thinking to be used in more useful and purpose driven ways than many of us choose to use it. The mind is the most powerful tool on this planet...and its available to every single one of us to grow, and train and use for the better.

So if your stuck in the rut of life and cant see a way out, think about that for just a moment....what are you thinking about? Anything is possible in this life, anything you dream CAN become your reality, you just have to train your mind to believe it, and create the action plan needed to achieve it. How many times do you find yourself accepting mediocrity, when you really want nothing more than extraordinary!?

For more information on this fascinating topic i have listed some good google search starting points.
Bob Proctor
John Assaraf
Centerpointe research

Whatever you choose to think may it be serving you, and those around you well.

joanna xo