Flashback Friday’s: Living Through Loss

Trigger Warning: I recently lost my Father so this post may get emotional and be triggering for people that are still in mourning, bereavement and so on.

flashback fridays hertaintedlips

F*ck 2016.
Seriously. I had such a positive outlook for this year and it seems like every time things are going well I get hit with a curve ball. The past couple of years have been challenging but 2016 is really the year that I feel is testing me and taking me to my limit. I am at my breaking point and each time I really want to give up someone comes to me and says something positive, loving and/or encouraging.

I went into 2016 with health and and other personal issues – I got through them the best I could. I felt lost and unsure on so many occasions but things slowly started getting better. I was feeling happy and healthy but over the summer I suffered a serious allergic reaction which sent me to the hospital for 3 days while they monitored me. I now have certain foods I have to avoid and will have to carry an Epi Pen with me for the rest of my life.

Soon after my hospital stay, my Aunt fell ill and ended up in the hospital. She suffered several heart attacks and passed away. I was thousands of miles away and I felt so guilty and frustrated because I wasn’t able to be there to tell her I love her and be with my family. I still have days I reach for the phone to call her only to remember that she is no longer there.

I thought that would be where the struggle and pain of this year would taper off. I was wrong.

Early in October I called my Dad and he told me that he wasn’t feeling well – he thought he had the flu. He apologized for cutting our call short. We exchanged our “I love you’s” and little did I know that would be my last time hearing his voice.

Soon after our last conversation he ended up in the hospital for pneumonia and ended up being put in a medically-induced coma so he could be intubated. Awhile later he seemed to be doing better – tube was taken out and he was moved out of ICU. Within two days he had a heart attack and was intubated again. My Mom worked some magic so that I could come to Georgia and be with him and my family. I thought he would kick this.

He had a total of 3 heart attacks and some seizures. There was too much damage done to his brain and things looked grim. I tried to remain positive and present but I would just cry randomly and my sleep schedule continues to suffer. Once I had the courage to ask the prognosis I knew that even if he was taken off the machines and could breath on his own – he would not be the same person we all knew and loved.

He was removed from life support on a Friday, moved to a Hospice facility on a Saturday and passed away on Sunday, October 30, 2016.

Living Through Loss

It has been a week since I stood in that ICU room while they removed the breathing tube and this weekend we are holding a memorial service for him. Anything that reminds me of him either makes me cry or makes my heart ache – sometimes both at the same time.

I want to sleep because maybe this is just a horrible nightmare yet fear, hurt, resentment and guilt fill my thoughts in the quiet of the night. Why couldn’t I be here sooner? Did he really know how much I loved him? I only eventually sleep because my body just cant take it anymore so it shuts down.

Depression and anxiety constantly knock at my door.

I feel like I am at one place in time and the entire world is just passing me by. I forget what day it is often – days turn to nights right before my eyes. I enjoy time with family but when I am not “busy” I get overwhelmed with grief. I’m an emotional eater yet I let my body feel empty. I feel lost and confused.

I told a friend that reached out to me with comforting words that I feel like I am about to crack open and end up in a dark place. He assured me that I am stronger than I know and if I “go there” I will find my way back out. I have so many wonderful friends and family members – as well as strangers that have reached out to me. I really feel like this support is what has kept me going because there are so many times I just want to give up.

I constantly tell myself that I can get through this. That I am a strong person. I can hear my Dads voice saying “don’t worry suga” – it is reassuring yet hurts at the same time.

This is what it is like living through loss.

Click here to donate to my bereavement fund

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links which means I will earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you decide to purchase something featured here. This commission will be invested back into hertaintedlips.com as well as help me buy a cheap bottle of wine or some Starbucks. For more information please read our disclosure page.

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Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask by Valentia

I received a jar of Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask by Valentia at a discounted price in exchange for an honest review. Product ingredients and directions are from the company, however, my experience and commentary is my own.

Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask by Valentia benefits:
– Reveals softer smoother skin
– Reduces fine lines
– Locks in skins moisture
– Boosts collagen production
– Increases skin radiance

My Experience
I used the Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask by Valentia on the dry patches that I get on my face and it did make those areas seem fuller/plumper than usual and my skin looked smoother as well.

What I liked about the mask was that it wasn’t too heavy and it was a cool golden color which was totally unexpected. It has almost a custard consistency and you can use just a little or a lot depending on how much you need. I also liked that it wasn’t oily or greasy feeling on the skin as a lot of moisturizing or hydrating products are.

The mask also has a pleasant scent and as noted on the jar – there was a tingling sensation. It was more of a cooling feeling. After wiping it off with a damp, warm cloth my skin instantly felt smoother. Even though it is marketed for facial skin, I even tried it on my elbows to see what would happen and again – smoother skin was the result.

Ingredient List and benefits
– Silk Protein Amino Acid Blend: These natural miracles increase moisture content and help in the production of collagen and elastin which decreases the appearance of visible lines.
– Botanical Hyaluronic Acid: Penetrates deep into the skin to secure moisture and plump skin from within.
– Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil: An anti-aging wonder berry that results in fewer fine lines, diminished sun spots, more even skin tone, and firmer more supple skin.
– Japanese Green Tea: Contains catechins that provide anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and anti-irritant effects to the skin.
– Aloe Vera: This botanical moisturizers skin and fight aging by improving skin firmness.

Directions for using Valentia Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask:
Apply to face avoiding the eye area. Leave on for 15-30 minutes. A slight tingling sensation is normal. Use a damp cloth and warm water to remove.

I have used several of Valentia‘s products and have yet to be disappointed with the quality and results that I have had with them. Their Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask is no different.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links which means I will earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you decide to purchase something featured here. This commission will be invested back into hertaintedlips.com as well as help me buy a cheap bottle of wine or some Starbucks. For more information please read our disclosure page.

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Sock Panda: Monthly Subscription for Sock Lovers

You can currently get a subscription box for nearly all of your favorite things. Every time I hear about a new type of subscription for something I get excited because sometimes it makes life so much easier (and getting monthly “presents” in the mail is FUN). Not only are subscription boxes great to purchase for yourself – they make great gifts as well.


Halloween Socks from
Sock Panda

If you are like me – you might have a bunch of sock lovers in your life. From male friends to younger family members; I have a list of people that absolutely love a cute pair of socks. Insert Sock Panda – a monthly subscription for sock lovers.

I was super excited when I discovered Sock Panda because I am going to order a couple subscriptions for some of my favorite little ones. I think this is such a great idea because they will get some cool and funky printed socks every month. They have Men’s, Women’s, Tween and Kids sock subscriptions so there is something available for everyone.


Black and Orange Halloween socks

One thing that I really love is that Sock Panda gives a pair of socks to someone in need for every subscription order. I am all about companies that give back to those in need. For this month check out this special: 15% off Halloween Sock Subscription at SockPanda.com. Use SCARY15 at check out.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links which means I will earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you decide to purchase something featured here. This commission will be invested back into hertaintedlips.com as well as help me buy a cheap bottle of wine or some Starbucks. For more information please read our disclosure page.

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Flashback Friday’s: Make It Work

Welcome to another edition of Flashback Fridays. I hope that this post finds you doing well and excited for the weekend.

flashback fridays hertaintedlips

This week has been eventful yet somehow relaxing at the same time compared to last week. I was glad that things sort of slowed down for me yet I was able to get a lot accomplished and had more fun days than blah days.

Last week I was extremely busy with school work as I did my part in wrapping up a final group project. At work things were a little crazy as well as I worked more hours and days than usual in order to make a deadline.

This week I was able to get together with family a few times and enjoy my time with then. From shopping & dinners to arcade games and catching up on our favorite shows together including Project Runway.

We are 1 week into October and I feel like if I blink Christmas will be here in no time. I am wanting to get so many things accomplished this month yet take it slow. I will have to somehow find balance in there somewhere.

I wasn’t able to get as much leisure reading in as I had hoped this week, however, I was able to check out some magazines while I was sitting in a waiting room waiting for a family member. Of course I chose the fashion ones to look through first.

Normally offices only have older issues so I was shocked and excited to find the October Issue of VOGUE featuring Lupita on the cover. I devoured each and every page – taking in all of the fall fashion and reading as many of the articles as I could muster.

Fashion magazines have been my escape and happy place for as long as I can remember. They sparked my interest in fashion design & marketing/advertising. Even though I never went into those fields they continue to be things I am passionate about.

Random fact: I once stopped by the Art Institute of Atlanta because I was interested in a degree in Fashion Design but at the time they didn’t have a degree available so I almost ended up in Advertising. The Adviser talked me out of it (sort of) by reminding me not to take something that would take years and $ out of my pocket that I may not be fully committed to. She was right – best advice ever.

I’m glad that I was able to go through the VOGUE and other fashion magazines. I feel inspired. I haven’t been feeling happy about myself and how I look lately and it shows in how I dress. I haven’t dressed up much since I left my Retail Store Manager position and I plan on changing that. I love clothes and fashion – this little magazine binge I had may be just what I needed.

It was a great week to make new memories and enjoy time with the people I care about. I hope that yours was great and if you are in one of the areas in the path of Mathew I hope that you are staying safe. Have a wonderful weekend!

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links which means I will earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you decide to purchase something featured here. This commission will be invested back into hertaintedlips.com as well as help me buy a cheap bottle of wine or some Starbucks. For more information please read our disclosure page.

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Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links which means I will earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you decide to purchase something featured here. This commission will be invested back into hertaintedlips.com as well as help me buy a cheap bottle of wine or some Starbucks. For more information please read our disclosure page.

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