27 Mar 2015

All Mascara is not Created Equal: An Excerpt

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Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media are sending mixed messages about the way we, as women, are to live our lives. Catch phrases like “YOLO” and “swag” are distorting the ideals that we should strive for. Women have more to contribute to society than being sexy, and we certainly shouldn’t attach our worth to how many likes we get on a selfie.

As a mother to a tween daughter and a teenage son, I have learned a few things about life along the way. This book is full of valuable tips or bits of wisdom that I have learned, or heard from my parents, while growing up.

Some of them are quite spiritual and have helped me through some difficult times. Some of them are practical and certainly would have helped me to avoid some major overreactions to the silliest of things. Some are just plain amusing. They stem from those eureka moments where I was like “That is so true!” Like, who knew that the thread count of sheets really does make a difference?

This is not just another book where a mother and her daughter walk hand-in-hand in the garden as the mom passes along life lessons. This book is more of a woman-to-woman guidebook for life.

Now about mascara...how many of you look at celebrities and are like, there is no way their lashes can be that full! You’ve tried to layer coat after coat with your mascara and wonder why your lashes still look like, well, your lashes. You think, am I applying this wrong? Maybe I need a special brush? No.

All mascara is NOT created equal! This was news to me. I don’t care how much your current mascara costs, it still might not be good. There ARE mascaras that are superior to others. You just need to find the right one.

So, as you read through the pages of this book, grab a cup of tea, and let these tips sink in. Don’t get distracted by what society is trying to tell you to become; walk in the plan God has for you. You are God’s beautiful creation, and He has a wonderful plan for your life.

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#WomenGetRealBlogTour @AshleyLitPub @JessicaLandmon @PRbytheBook

All Mascara is Not Created Equal: Blog Tour

“My desire is to see every woman become all they are destined to be in Jesus and to bring hope and healing to the broken-hearted.  It’s time for women to be released from the bondage of fear and instead live lives of faith – faith in God’s word, faith in God’s promises and faith in God’s character.  I truly love the women I lead and have been told that I take on their pain, perhaps to a fault.  But my purpose is not to be a life coach; I want to be a life changer, pushing people towards Christ.”

I just had to quote her. Jessica’s book resonate with me so much, also because my novel deals with issue of accepting oneself and allowing pop culture and other people make them believe otherwise. I’m glad I’m part of her blogtour. She’s one of the women worth knowing. To get to know her better she responded to few questions.

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1. Hello Jessica, can you give us a brief summary of your book, All Mascara is Not Created Equal?

All Mascara is Not Created Equal is intended to present lighthearted, witty, and spiritually sound advice to young women and girls in “tweet-like” form to help them live a life God would approve of.

2. Where did you get the idea to write this book?

I actually started writing the book specifically for my tween daughter and intended to give it her as she entered middle school. Those years can be tough. As a parent, I’m very concerned about the message culture is marketing to our youth. It contradicts the way God has called us to live.

3. How did you come up with the playful title?

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love mascara. I had tried several brands over the years and finally discovered a fantastic mascara that I just loved. It was full of minerals and actually nourished your lashes. Plus, it created a very full lash. I would always joke with daughter, saying that if you remember anything I tell you remember that ‘All Mascara Is Not Created Equal.’

4. How long did it take you to write the book? Do you have any stories you can share of how you gathered specific quotes or advice?

You could say the book took most of my life to write, as my experiences growing up and parenting are what shaped it. But, in actuality, it only took about a year to record them and fine-tune them. Most of them wrote themselves. I would be having a conversation with my kids, and all of a sudden I would give some advice. If I liked it, I would later record it. In fact, as I was compiling the tips, my kids would remind me of the things I had told them through the years.

Some of the tips are just reflections of the advice my mother and father passed on to me. Of course, they needed a little tweaking. I didn’t have to deal with the pressures of social media and cell phones when I was growing up.

5. Did you have any challenges when writing this book? If so, what were they?

The only challenge I really faced was stopping. At some point, I had to say, this is enough. I will most certainly continue to give my daughter (and son) advice as they continue to mature, but there definitely needed to be a stopping point for the book.

6. We would love to know more about the woman behind the book. How would you describe yourself?

Practical. Organized. Planner. These are some words that my close circle of friends and family would use to describe me. And I can’t argue with that.  But, when the Holy Spirit asks me to do something, all that goes out the door. Jesus’ love for me is the most important thing in my life. My goal is that everyone would experience this type of love, which is why I am so quick to abandon my plans and do what God wants me to do.

On a fun note, I am married to my high school sweetheart. I was only 16 when we started dating. He was a football player and I was a cheerleader. You don’t get any cuter than that! God has blessed us with two beautiful children who are my absolute joy.

Also, I just love Yorkies, which is why you see them all throughout the book. One day, when the timing is right, I will add one to our family.

7. What do you hope readers take away from All Mascara is Not Created Equal?

I hope women learn that pop culture shouldn’t define the kind of women we become. I hope that they see that life is hard, but Jesus will be your comforter and strength. I hope that every woman sees her beauty, even before she puts on her mascara. Our inner beauty is so much more important than anything on the outside.

8. Can you tell us more about the ministry behind the book, Women Get Real?

Women Get Real Ministries is all about “getting real” with other women. All too often, women put on the fa├žade that everything is just perfect. But, in reality, they are silently suffering with issues like fear, anxiety, depression, body image, and faith. We break the rules about what is and is not acceptable to talk about, to try and reach the hearts of women providing them with hope and healing.

9. Where can we find you online and purchase the book?

Books are available through my website, www.womengetreal.org and on Amazon. It is also being sold at many boutique stores in Connecticut.

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#WomenGetRealBlogTour @AshleyLitPub @JessicaLandmon @PRbytheBook

Weekend Stills

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This weekend I didn’t take many photos to document our lives.

Saturday morning AOI assisted her daddy as he cooked a veggie bolognese. I took AOI to story time at the library, whilst TOI stayed home to nap and spend time with daddy who was working on some papers. After story time I wanted AOI to sleep so I drove around for a bit but that didn’t work. We came home to find daddy making a focaccia. AOI was disappointed when she found out that daddy has prepared sharped pie instead of spaghetti bolognese. She started to make a scene, but that was cause by sleepiness.

Sunday after church, I went to my writer’s group and then we all went to the swimming pool. We locked ourselves out of the car. AMI was sweating and trying to force his hand into the car. I was so calm and just pointed out that we can phone CAA. They came within 40mins. While we waited I bought some food for the kids who didn’t notice the whole situation. The beauty of childhood!

25 Mar 2015

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A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015

AOI and TOI: The best photos of them together is when their intent making the other one laugh. This photo captures the pure joy of their bond. They were both having snack and next thing I see is AOI sliding on the table. She sits in front of her brother who in that second decided to put a tomatoes in his water and then take it out to eat and put it back into the cup. She laughed. TOI really loved seeing his sister laugh so much that he did the same action many times until I snap the photo and took the tomatoes out of the way. 

TOI: He loves claiming on and off his sister’s bed. My own favourite toy among AOI’s favourite stuffy toy as she pretends they’re watching her currently cartoon show Paw Patrol.

AOI: Reading is one of her favourite activities, especially now that she can spell the words. Most nights her bedroom floor is full of books so on this particular day I decided to have fun with books before placing on the shelves.

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linking with practicing simplicity

20 Mar 2015

Easy Going - Saskatchewan Maternity Portraits

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So I’m working on the newborn session I did for this gorgeous lady’s new baby, but I realised I haven’t shared her maternity shoot yet.

I love her long thick brown hair, her easy going approach to her beauty, her witty sense of humour.

The session was easy going just like the way her family is. She was natural in front of the camera and she allowed me to explore my creativity as a photographer. Her little girl was so fun to photograph, she just make me laugh. Her partner is down to earth. I didn’t want to stop photographing them.

I love my job and the people who allow me to capture their precious moments.

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I also had the pleasure to do a mini maternity session while we were in San Francisco on Baker Beach. It was awesome to capture these portrait with the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge and the ocean as backdrop.

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16 Mar 2015

Weekend Stills

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  • Weekend of week 11 we went swimming late afternoon after spending the day doing nothing. I tried to organise my office but I didn't get anyway with little boy wanting to play with my things. He can reach nearly everything on my desk and he loves pressing the keyboard and the computer mouse. Daddy baked his first bread of the year {with the help of the children, in particular with the messy help of TOI}, it wasn't his best but I know he will get only better like making the pizza base.

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A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015

TOI: He wants to jump and jump without help from anyone. He didn’t want to hold my hand when I offered because he kept falling down in his cot.  This new found independence breaks my heart a little because my baby is growing at a speed I can’t wrap my head around yet.

AOI: Monday was warm, warmer like a spring season {which in most part of the world but in Saskatchewan we can’t allow our hearts to feel sprint until May because snow can fall at anytime until end of May}. I brought out the bubbles before AOI to the park for a play date. She enjoyed blowing bubble all by herself, last year she needed my help a bit more. My children are growing.

AOI and TOI: My heart is always in spring when I see them play together or along each other without quarrelling.

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linking with practicing simplicity

13 Mar 2015

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A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015

AOI: I love her new interest in standing in front of the camera for me when I ask her to. This time she asked me to use my camera to take a picture of me too. All these are little signs that my toddler is growing

TOI: He loves to take a book and sit or lie on his sister’s bed and read or pretend to read

AOI and TOI: It’s nice to see big sister sharing her frozen blueberries with little brother all by herself

10 Mar 2015

Weekend Stills

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         He is so proud sitting at the driver’s seat

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  • A part from our usual routine {me going to the gym on Saturday and daddy taking the kids for food shopping trip} we went to the zoo after lunch then went to the Ghanaian Independence Celebration Party where I self appointed myself the official photographer. The children enjoyed the event and I’m so happy to go a Ghanaian event this allows me to expose my Ghanaian culture to my children.

5 Mar 2015

Lost for Words + Some Photography Work

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It has been a while since I sat at my desk to formulate a sentence that doesn’t have any thing to do with my ordinary everyday life.

I miss that the pure writing of blogging, I miss the community around blogging, I haven’t been networking as I used to due to busy motherhood lifestyle and everything little way I get to document this fast moving life is more than welcome.

I miss writing random thoughts, I want to say so much but I don’t seem to find the words, I feel tired but I don’t want to sleep and as soon as I fall asleep I have to wake up because one of the kids want my attention.

My internet is very slow, I take photos everyday but just a few make their way onto the blog. I want to sleep but can’t seem to have the courage to waste time doing that.

I’m enjoying my experience as photographer and I can’t wait to capture the next precious moment for my clients. I love printing the photos that I capture, to hold them and feel them in my hands take me back to my days as film developer.

I haven’t shared some of my photography work {today I’m going to so that, hope you like them, also I have an exciting news coming so stay tuned}.

I’m still doing the final edits of my novel and I’m working hard {as possible} so I’ve have it ready to send out to print by the end of March.

Please pray for me.

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