Saturday, November 2, 2013

Mandii is Back!! Time for some heart to heart talk...

Hola lovelies,

I know it's been a long while since I've blogged. I know most of you have wondered what happened to Mandii A La Mode, and although some have kept up with me and Mandii A La Mode through our Facebook page and Instagram - many don't know exactly the reason for my long hiatus from blogging.
I figured it was time for me to come back and do what I love the most, but first explaining what has been going on, and hopefully you can help me on the mission Mandii A La Mode is about to embark on...

For a long time- 26 years to be exact, I've been living with a congenital heart condition called Sub-artoic stenosis, a narrowing of the heart valves which cause poor blood flow and murmurs. It has been a minor complication compared with other health conditions I have, which thankfully, haven't hindered me able to live a somewhat normal lifestyle. Those that know me know I am Misses-Do-It-All! I can't sit still and I'm always running around! Heck, I'm a full-time preschool teacher, blogger, and a Mom and Wife!

However, over the past couple of months my condition had progressed and even becoming more complicated with the development of another issue in my heart. It had reached to the point of me being diagnosed with heart failure and doctors considering surgery asap.

I'll be honest with you. I wasn't having the easiest year. Two close aunts of mine had just passed away, and losing my Dad quite suddenly as well left me emotionally drained. Now, hearing this news of having a failing heart and needing a second major heart surgery completely destroyed me. I was scared of dying- I couldn't imagine the possibility of my boys losing their mom, my mother burying her daughter, my husband grieving his wife, or even my sister experiencing another loss. It was devastating.

This all was happening around April. Inside, I had completely shut down. But as far as putting of facades, I was on my way to winning an Emmy. I tried my best to continue of running around, taking the best care of my boys, working hard on my classroom, putting stuff together and attending events for the blog - making it seem like all was fine and normal, and I just couldn't. I really just wanted to quit.

And then I just remembered I needed to have faith. I didn't make it through 29 years for nothing. Everything in my life has happened through a miracle and I truly believed this. So I clung on to this chance of hope and faith that everything was going to be okay. That I'll get a chance to be here a little longer, my boys will have their mom and I can be there for my family.

Fast forward to now. It's November and I'm typing up this post. No surgery as of yet, and my heart is doing much better. Living with heart failure is the new norm for me and it's not the easiest thing in the world, the medicines create moments that make me miserable - however there are more better days than bad. I'm living on the miracle and faith that one day it will all be better, yet remembering it's important to live our lives to fullest and happiest- cause one day it is gone all too soon.

So, before I get too sappy on you, I wanted to let you all know my grand purpose of this... Mandii A La Mode besides finally returning and remaining as a Beauty Blog - will also focus on the philanthropic  efforts for GO RED for Heart Disease.  Heart Disease is the number 1 cause of death in women and it's important to raise awareness and help in GO RED effort's in helping women. I will go in further details in future blogs - but I hope you can join me in this mission on behalf of Mandii A La Mode and myself.

I know this post was a little long winded but I appreciate those who have taken a moment to understand   the person behind the blog and I look forward to reaching this goal with you all ...  

As always, lots of hugs!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Latest Drugstore Haul Part 1: Eyes

Hola lovelies! Miss you much! It's been a while since I've been on the beauty blogging roll with all the work I've got going on- of course work, school and all the fun stuff that goes with being a Beauty Blogger - BUT- it should be an interesting couple of months going on here because Mandii A La Mode Blog-aversary is coming up so that means lots of goodies in store! 
Anyways, beyond the ramblings- I actually had a chance to recently do a DRUGSTORE HAUL! I posted a couple of the pics on Instagram (which is where you can usually find me), and as promised - I finally got around to getting these on here! 

 Since it was a bit picture heavy- I decided I would just post by parts. 
So let's go in on the EYE goodies:

Been hearing some good things around the Beauty Blogsphere about the Maybelline Master Duo Liquid liner and decided to pick this baby up for myself! 

This particular one is in Black Lacquer. As you can see, the felt tip is rounded and flat giving you the option to go for either a thick or thin, lined look. 

For demo purposes only-I decided to go for a thick, winged liner look! 

My thoughts- ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! Get's an A in my standards. The Maybelline Master Duo Liquid Liner formula has a great fluid consistency - I had no problem with it being too "liquidy" or it tugging while I was lining away.  It's tip was also perfect for creating my "wing edges" nice and clean! 

Next up, I picked up the Covergirl Clump Crusher by lashblast in Very Black. I received this mascara to review a while back and I never got around to giving it a photo op and some blogger love!  So when I saw it on display I knew I HAD to share!   

The bristle comb on this mascara wand are curved and contoured to get to all your lashes. It also has the same "rubberized spikes" like most of the other mascara combs in the Covergirl lashblast family have. 
I must state, although I've never been too crazy with the lashblast mascara formulation (on certain times it's a hit or miss), I loved sooo much- as you see, I had to have it twice! 

Here's a close-up of my lashes! No clumps or flakies here! Plus, it gives my lashes such a pretty fanned out look! 

I'll be following up this post with my Lips and Nail picks so keep a look out for that, plus other post along the way! 

If you like any of the products or have questions and comments please feel free to share as always! 

FTC Disclosure: Items have been compensated for, however all products shown where independently chosen by the blogger to review and all opinions are bloggers own. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I "Heart" Julep: February Julep Maven Box

"Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love." - Mother Teresa
The chocolate hearts from my Classic with a Twist February Julep Maven Box

It's the season of love my lovelies- and Julep knows how to celebrate with their February Maven Box! I've posted on their monthly boxes before (Click here for a review post) so most of you already know I love to share my Classic with a Twist boxes! 

So here's a quick pic post with February's goodies, but I can't go on without saying I love you all!

I am extremely thankful for being not only being patient with me the last couple of months - but always thoughtful and supportive! 

Now before I get all mushy...

February's Classic with a Twist Box included their signature Oxygen Nail treatment - "A perfecting tint and revolutionary treatment for thin, weak nails prone to breakage and peeling" and their Freedom Polymer Top Coat - which claims to offer a "gel like shine and durable manicure". The two included nail polishes this time around were Claudette which I describe as a terra-cotta red, and Helen - a nude lilac. 

And as added bonus, a cute little lash curler was included! 

Any Julep Maven lovers? Share your thoughts on your boxes! 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Rockin' Grammy Beauties!

Okay lovelies, I have to admit - I was frustrated being that I had to miss the 55th Grammy Awards last night! (Well, I forced myself away- I had lots of work to catch up on!) 

Watching the celebrities walk the red carpet and show off designer dresses is a must and of course, being a beauty fanatic, I can't resist checking their make-up looks for the occasion!  

So, after ignoring twitter and Facebook for the night - I did some of my own beauty browsing this morning and picked my fav Grammy looks: 

J.Lo looked fierce showing all leg - but she flaunted her signature radiant, glow! Loved the lush lashes and winged cat-eye liner look as well as the definition at the inner corner of they eyes!  Well played, as the look was topped with nude-esque lips! 

Beyonce rocked fire red lips, which was a beautiful compliment to her black and white outfit. Loved her slightly flushed cheeks and the lightly smoked out eye look as well - not overdone, yet regal- Queen B for sure! 

Rihanna also went with retro red lips, as well as a elegant cat-eye lined look! Overall this look was very simple as her beautiful hazel-green eyes took it to the glamorous vixen level! Which is a beauty rule to live by: Take your best asset, and play it up! 

Taylor Swift oozed goddess with the amazing gown she wore and her look was just icing to top her heavenly look! It was kept natural and fresh with just a bit of flare at eyes to keep you guessing if is she really is anything more besides innocent!

I'll try to update this post with exact products used to create these looks as soon as I find them! 

In the meantime, tell me whose look you loved or wasn't too crazy about - comment below! 

2012 Make-Up Favorites - 2013 Must Haves!

Beautysets - 2012 Make-Up Favorites

I'm extremely late posting this - We're practically in spring people! (Well, for us New Yorkers who are battling snow, Spring is just a thought.) But, I thought I would very quickly share my overall favorites for last year and so far have continued to be my go to basic staples for 2013! Hope these inspire your beauty must-haves for this year!

1. Milani Bronzer in Glow- Love this as a subtle highlighter and blush.

2. Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in Passion - My perfect HG red! Creamy and long lasting!

3. Revlon PhotoReady 3D Mascara - Red carpet lashes on point! My review here: Mandii's September Favorites...

4. Urban Decay Naked Shadow Palette - This palette is a must have in every beauty bag! Read why here: You Don't Have to Bare All to Get Naked!...

5. MAC Blush in Blunt - The "it"product for creating beautiful sculpted cheekbones! Hey, it works on my chubby cheeks!

6. Mally Evercolor Eyeliner in Onyx - Yes, Mally (Beyonce's go to Make-Up Artist and friend to Mandii A La Mode) has a awesome line of beauty products! This is one of my favorite eyeliners, and they really are "Bulletproof"- these babies hold up to anything!

Anything you loving? Comments, questions? Share!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Year, New Beginnings!

Hey there lovelies, this post is longgg overdue! We're already practically two weeks into the new year and it feels like a lifetime ago I was welcoming 2013! 

I'll be honest with you, 2012 was a year full of up and downs for me. On the upside, Mandii A La Mode was picked as a VIP Blogger for Duane Reade, as well as becoming an affiliate to a number of beauty brands. I even had the pleasure of attending a few fab events during the year! But it wasn't all sugar and butterflies - Last year started with a surgery that left me in and out of work for months and it sidetracked school and blogging for a while. My step-father, who was the only "Father" I knew passed away and I also had to say goodbye to our beloved family pet, Amber.  

If there is one thing I learned from last year is that you have to make the most with what is sent your way. We don't have total control of what happens, but we can control how we handle situations that come our way! 

This year I can only hope for bigger and better things for myself and for Mandii A La Mode, and of course for you, my lovelies- awesomeness as well! 

By the way here's a couple of pics I shared throughout 2012, can't believe how much things can change in a year! Enjoy the pics!   

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