::Beauty Meets Travel::

I started following blogs in 2007 and the first blogs I subscribed to was Rural Glamour. I left a comment telling her lived in a neighboring city and enjoyed her blog. I mentioned that we both are members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc and her reply was, I KNOW YOU! Come to find out we met back in 1998 when I was and a débutante for the local graduate chapter with whom her undergrad chapter was affiliated. How ironic was that? Needless to say, we've been blog buddies ever since. From accurate beauty product reviews(hair, skin and nail) to giveaways from exclusive beauty lines, Rural Glamour is the blog for you. Soon she is expanding to include, " .... fashion, food, kids, life as a mommy, eco-friendly, fitness( yes, honey!) and lifestyle."

Last week she posted a blog entry entitled Traveling Beautiful: Top 5 Beauty Products For Travel and guess who it featured? Moi! I was geeked. So this week I decided to present my source when it comes, "Real Life, Real Beauty, Rural Glamour".

1) What inspired you to create your blog?
In 2004, I moved back to my small hometown after living on the outskirts( Rock Hill SC) of Charlotte NC for 9 years. What transition it was! I missed
Sephora, Nordstrom, the mall, the food....I was city sick or what my friend called "City-itis". LOL. I started the blog to talk about how I was handling the transition of being a high maintenance beauty and fashion addict to a stay at home mom of twins in a very small town.

2) How do you define beauty?
Beauty is authenticity. Beauty is your feel good, whether its getting hair done once a week or buying makeup, you define what makes your honest beauty. Some would say "Oh, Beauty is what is within in you" Yeah, that's true, but, let be realistic, beauty is makeup, lip gloss, mascara, waxing, flat irons....lol!! My beauty is addiction...to beauty products.:)

3) What culture(s) do you think are the most influential on the international definition of beauty?
I would say from a business perspective, the Asian culture has huge influence on the beauty industry. Its the way they shop and buy. Beauty companies such as MAC will release collections that are Japanese releases only because they know the consumer will buy without fail. Also their focus on skin care is often rivaled and imitated in various skin collections we see. The use of acai and other berries in skin care are asian influenced. Some the most popular beauty bloggers and you tube gurus are Asian. They speak and girls shop.

4) If you could travel to any where in the world to study makeup, where would you go and why?
I would travel to New York. It is the base of beauty and fashion. Plus, I've never been to NY as a tourist. I've always gone as a visitor to my relatives who live in Queens. They don't even frequent the city.

5) What is your dream destination (both domestic and international)?
My domestic dream destination would be a cross country trip in a car to hit all the great shopping spots across the US. Elle magazine used to do a feature that had two of their editors travel in a camper cross country to visit all the vintage shops. I love that feature and I wanna recreate it! Plus, I'm a history junkie and I would like to hit the historical sites as well. My international destination would be London. I love the British take on fashion, so London would be the international destination of Rural Glam Fabulousness!

6) What is your favorite beauty quote?
"...if you don’t look, kissable, then scrub it off and start over.”( Rachel Zoe)

Merdi's favorite beauty quotes.

::Online Article:: Why Are African Americans Infrequent International Flyers?

Beyond the Block: Why Are African Americans Infrequent International Flyers? | Clutch Magazine: The Digital Magazine for the Young, Contemporary Woman of Color
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::Travel Inspired Decor::

July 21, 2010
Over the last 10 years networks like HGTV, along with shows such as Trading Spaces, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Design Star and my personal favorite, Miles of Style, have really shown us that with a little creativity and effort; we too can create a personal interior paradise once only reserved for the well-fixed and highly creative.

In the early 90's my parents decided to do some remodeling. I think I have been in almost every furniture store, Lowes and Home Depot in the states of North and South Carolina. I used to love Sunday afternoons. We would drive around to different open houses in developing suburbs. (Now know as Tega Cay and Pineville.) Once we had an interior decorator come from JC Penny. She recommended we transform our small dining room into a 1950's funeral parlor. At least that is what I made of her sketches.( Excuse the digression) It was back then when I first saw globes and maps being used in interior design, but mostly in studies and home offices.

Photo Courtesy of www.decor-medley.com

These days travel inspired designs have found their way into bedrooms, kitchens and even as the theme of a few southern weddings. I've yet to find one, but one day, I hope to design a travel themed nursery :-)

Below is a list of blogs and website I've come across where traveling inspired the design.

Using Maps in Children's Spaces

Unconventional Map Decor Ideas
" We think the most important thing to remember when shopping for map décor is to remember that maps aren’t just relegated to the wall. You can find map motifs on bedding, accessories, throw pillows, furniture and more."

Decorating With: Vintage Maps
" Not many of us have the luxury of jetting around the world, but hey...a girl can dream, right? And what better way to fuel the fantasy of international travel than by displaying a vintage map in your home!"

Maries Manor Decorating
"....decorative accessories available to help you create your fun travel theme dream room."

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::Cruise 2010::Key West/Cozumel, Mexico

I recommend a cruise to anyone. Even if you don't like to travel, in my opinion, a cruise is something everyone can enjoy. It is great for family reunions and girlfriend get-a-ways. I would even consider talking a 3-day cruise solo.
Cousin Dylice and my mom saw it advertised in our local newspaper and enlisted me as their guide. We took a bus from SC to Miami with about 50 other people from my hometown.

Overall, the trip was exactly what I needed. A week without emailing, texting, responsibilities or obligations. My only goal was to make sure my golden girls had a remarkable experience. There is something humbling and serene about being completely surrounded by the ocean. You have to acknowledge that there is something bigger than yourself. I used my time wisely and took full advantage of the steam room, gym, health seminars and private deck.

Carnival Imagination superseded my expectations. Everything was clean and operated properly. In my opinion, it was actually better than The Dream Resort in DR. Here are a few of MY pros and cons:

Cost. Very affordable.
Ship was tidy
Variety of activities. Even when ship was docked
A library
Each staff member had their home country listed on their name tag.
Only in Key West from 7AM- 2PM.
Only 1 pool and it was very small.
Gym wasn't 24 hours.
We had to catch a cab to the beach in Cozumel.

Here is a short video. Thanks for reading.

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