The #1 Way To Remember Your Father

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Remember The Walks In Autumn

As October edges into double digit days I know the ramp up and slow down cycle is beginning. I can’t help but be reminded of a song I’ve loved for years.  I’m not ashamed to admit it. I love Barry Manilow’s voice and music, and the song, “When October Goes” in particular is my favorite.

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Remember To Keep His Ties For The Son You Might One Day Have

For most of my life I looked forward to this month.  The cooler weather. The trees changing color. A bunch of days off school. All of that. What could be better?   Well, everything.

In 1997 my dad passed on the 8th of October and everything changed.  It became a month to shoo away, crossing the days off the calendar as quickly as possible. Trying to sleep less so I wouldn’t dream of him. Missing him and remembering every sad moment surrounding his passing.  The diagnosis.  The surgery.  The hospital stay.  The nursing home.  Hospice.  Saying goodbye.

When October comes each year, why does that mean that I can’t sleep?  Why do I hear my father’s voice in my head almost every day in October, when I can barely bring it to mind at any other time?  How do you cope with the same loss every single year?  The cellular memories keep rising to the top of my cup and it overflows with my father.  I wish I didn’t have to drink but there is a longing and I simply cannot push myself away from the table.

What’s amazing is that finally this year, twenty-one years gone, little by little it’s changing.   Instead of just another chalk mark on the wall until I see my dad again, I’ve been reminded of our last great Thursday lunch date.  How he would lead me into the restaurant by gently touching the small of my back, and sit seemingly mesmerized while I regaled on about some latest escapade in the office. It’s conjuring up a joke or phrase he used to say or the way he called my name. It’s sharing stories with my kids of how strict he was and how now at 50 I’m so grateful for it. After this 21st anniversary of his death,  I realized this month that I just want to enjoy remembering him however I can.  And overnight, October is my favorite again.

My sweet 16 year old girl created these images for me.  She sent them to me in a text as if it were no big deal.  She never had the chance to meet my dad, and she knows nothing about my rocky relationship with the month of October.  Isn’t it funny how it can be quite natural to reach out and give exactly what someone else needs without them even knowing it?

Stories are the oldest and best part of our lives.  In every chapter there is joy and melancholy. Turmoil and peace.  Love, loss and letting go.  But it’s folding down the corners of joy that make it a best seller.

The way to remember your father is by daring to be passionate and purposeful and connected and confident in re-telling the stories.  It’s by not forgetting to remember.  It is the #1 way and there is nothing more powerful.


 

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Certified Life & Health Coach. Gifted Writer Creating Print & Video Content that Raises Confidence, Positivity, & Energy in Corporate Women and Business Owners. Self-Talk Shifter. Motivation Elevator.  Catalyst.

Specializing in content creation for women-owned small businesses, Chatone Morrison is the Princess of Positivity® a highly creative, high energy, heart-led, coach, consultant, mentor, leader and excellence enthusiast. Chatone is absolutely passionate about helping her clients to script their unique brand story, systematize their message so they can confidently sell their services on and off line. 

 

To Connect With Chatone on Social Media:

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Introduce Your “Yes” And Your “No” To Each Other – They Make A Perfect Couple

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It’s pure and simple like grade school math. The old fashioned kind. Before common core and base 10. Just the basic method of rote memorization.  Flash cards and carrying the one. For every yes there is a corresponding no. Period. Point. Blank. We keep thinking that there must be a way around it, but there is none to be found. 

As a mompreneur with two businesses this formula sometimes gets in the way.  I get caught in the yes and yes syndrome. Or the no, but syndrome.  Both end super moms and super wives in a cliff hanger of, “how in the world I am going to do all of that?”

Especially when one of my kids is involved, all bets are off.  I don’t know about you, but I think we have a way of making the  impossible suddenly feel possible.  We do what we otherwise cannot do.  It’s yes and yes all the way.  That is until we can’t.  When we have to realize that one strong defiant yes does not always have to be married to another strong defiant yes.  More often that not, our strong yes must establish a courtship with a loving No, thank you.

For the last 3 months, my life has been a series of yes and yes.  Nothing too difficult that I couldn’t handle it, right?  Sure thing.  That is until I found myself sleeping in the park 4 miles from home because I was too tired to get there safely.  And then again a few weeks later, when I had to take a 20 minute nap, (relaxation music, essential oils and all) in the radiology parking lot across town.  Uh-oh…something is out of balance.

Almost 30 years ago, during a routine exam one of my doctors saw what they now know to be the sprinkles of CFS.  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  I didn’t have it, but I had the “factor”, whatever that meant.  I went on the hunt and became embroiled in natural practitioners and healthy eating.  Before long, positive thinking, affirmations and gratitude edged its way into my life and finally coaching and eventually leaving my day job to pursue more balance.  It was a long process, but now after 6 years, launching my confidence and positivity coaching business coupled with Mary Kay, things make more sense.  I know what I’m doing.   Sure thing.  That is until I get over tired and keep pushing.

But what about  kids?  That is a yes and yes proposition always, right?  Nope. In order to be our best to our everyone; hubbies, kids, career, etc. we have to allow yes to get into a relationship with no – date, get engaged, and eventually marry.  It is only once we embrace the truth that saying yes to any single thing is saying no to something else, that balance even comes into view.IMG_2652

Take last night as an example.  Darling daughter had her third doctor appointment in 2 days and it just so happened to be in the middle of the height of traffic and over an hour away.  Hubby would be at worship with my son so that meant I would go and hold down the fort.  Pull my weight.  Do my share.  In the words of Nike, “Just Do It”.  Except in reality it wasn’t in me.  The sprinkle was becoming a wave last evening and I needed to slow down to a drastic halt and let the yes of her appointment become the exclusive one and only  lover of the no to my driving.  I didn’t see it, but dear husband did.  Because I’m a high creative, and I live in gratitude, I wrote this while I rode last night.

Tonight I watched a sunset while riding and felt sheer bliss. The rush hour traffic was slow-going and thick. We had an appointment that could not be missed. Stress had lifted a heavy hand as if it would never withdraw. But as I sat in the back seat all I felt was peace. 

Earlier in the day my soul love partner offered to cancel his plans and drive us. My immediate response was no.  His day had been equally challenging and as a wife I like doing my share. And I can handle it.  Tonight though would have been too much.  He knew before I did that saying yes and no must coexist.  They are the exact same value on a bill that needs to be paid on time.  Everytime. 

Tonight I was reminded that being a ‘super mom’ and ‘super wife’ has limits.

Positivity is not a substitute for waning power.  

Confidence does not trump Self-Care. 

Sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is sit behind the driver and watch the sun fall.

So there it is.  Yes and No in a beautiful relationship that each confident woman needs to embrace if she will slay the servant, wifey and career/momtrepreneur game.  I’m not yet asking you to run out and ask for loads of help.  That might be too jarring.  That kind of levelheadedness takes time!  But if it’s been far too long since you allowed yourself to receive a hand up, it’s time.  Just say Yes…and No.

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Are you a make it happen woman in public,  who is hiding behind a facade of confidence? Could you benefit from support around your mindset, body image, motivation and self-talk in private?  Are you ready to ease your way into releasing your negativity so your positivity can reign?  I’d love to help you up level your game.

Complete the questionnaire to apply for a free 20-minute strategy session with me.  http://bit.ly/Ready-now

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Family Dialysis: Sign Me Up!

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Does this family look like yours?  One of the things I absolutely love about elephants is that they stick together.  They care for their young.  The protect and don’t mess around when predators try to infiltrate.  Sounds like you?  It definitely sounds like me.

Wondering how you can get close and stay close to your kids despite the difficulties of social media, negativity, peer pressure and way too little time with them?  Want to get less toxic?  Is it time for you to rediscover why you procreated and get back to basics?

It’s time for Family Dialysis.  This series started here on my blog but has now moved to The Confidence Catalyst Academy.  Each month or so there is a new video with tips and tricks for the family along with fun ideas for connection.  Subscribe to my youtube channel Chatone Morrison YouTube to be notified of any video posted to my site and for a preview of Family Dialysis.

If you are looking for more for your family try checking this out.  It’s bigger than a breadbox but smaller than an elephant – just the right size for your tribe!

For more information, contact: hello@chatonemorrison.com.

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Are you a make it happen woman in public, who sometimes hides  behind a facade of confidence? Could you benefit from support around your mindset, body image, motivation and self-talk in private?  Are you ready to ease your way into releasing your negativity so your positivity can reign?  I’d love to help you up level your game.

Complete the questionnaire to apply for a free 20-minute strategy session with me.  http://bit.ly/Ready-now

Social Media
https://linktr.ee/realprincessofpositivity

Coaching Website:  ChatoneMorrison.com

Facebook:
@chatonemorrisonconsulting
@princessofpositivity

Instagram:  @realprincessofpositivity

Periscope/Pinterest/Twitter:  ChatoneMorrison

Family Dialysis – 2 Tips To Have a Better Week With Your Kids

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“Emotionally Stable”    Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

It used to be that you had to have some gray hairs on you before you felt this “rock and a hard place” feeling.  But just in case you didn’t know, this is how our typical middle schoolers are living each day.  Our young 11-13 year olds are leaving the house feeling pretty “fresh” and then somewhere between math and recess and the bus loop they look like they are hanging on by a thread.  This is in the best and worst of neighborhoods.  It has less to do with family income, status or zip code than it ever did, even though that seems to matter more than ever.  In reality it has to do with what we as moms and dads do to debrief, cleanse and reboot with our tribe everyday.

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Photo by Joseph Gonzalez on Unsplash

Early in 2017 I started a Periscope® broadcast called “The Friday Night Family Scope”.   My mission was to bring families closer together in a positive way.  For many of us the weekends need to be a time of family dialysis.  We need to get inside the blood of our kids and remove the toxins.  If we don’t go into the shadows and knock on their doors, ask the right questions and find out what they are focused on, we can’t provide help.

But if your kids are anything like mine, you know that you can’t wait for Friday to make this happen.  How can we motivate and energize our kids more frequently?  How can we get inside their lives and stay in there, especially if they are moving into young adulthood?  Can a few minutes a couple of nights a week make a difference?  Yes!  We are more than chauffeurs, ATMs and short order cooks.   We do more than feed and clothe.  We do even more than teach and keep them safe.  In just a few minutes devoted parents can do pivotal things.    We help our children thrive in a scary world.  And we gotta jump in and do a little very day.  

2 Quick & Easy Tips:

  •  Listen More Than You Lecture.  If you are guilty of this, raise your hand.  Come on!  Raise it up right at your desk or in your kitchen or at the gym.  I know you are out there.  Join us.  My hand is raised too!  One is markedly easy.  The other is definitely hard.  But if you can get a tween or teen to talk to you, even if what they are saying is making you want to scream at the top of your lungs, try to listen.  Yes, sometimes the story seems like a web that is wrapped upon itself and you want to jump in and untangle it.  I know…I’ve been there…in fact, I visited that familiar destination earlier today.  In the midst though, it hit me that I needed to assign dignity to this young adult that is so much like…well, me!  And a lecture wasn’t going to cut it.  What about you?  Can you use your ears first this week?
  • Let Acknowledgement Be Your First Words.  I keep thinking that after I speak I love to know that someone was actually listening to me.  The same is true for our kids; listening is only half the battle.  The other half is letting them know that we heard  them.  Extract something to show that you acknowledge they have been willing to share.  “I know what you mean”, doesn’t carry as much weight as “Man,  that sounds awful!  I’m sorry that you had to face that.” (Or whatever similar matches your tribe).  It’s not easy for our kids to open up.  If they do, don’t waste the opportunity.  Acknowledge them, their feelings and what they have to say.  It’s worth it.
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Photo by Max Conrad on Unsplash

So many of our precious kids are at pressure’s edge.  The waves keep coming and they are aren’t dressed for swimming.   If we are going to make a difference we are going to have to dive in deep.

The goal of Family Dialysis is to chat about ways to get closer as a family and ensure that parents are the major influencers to a positive future.  Let me know what you’d like to see.  I’m excited to share with you!

Chatone Morrison ©2017

Ready to get your positive energy in check?  Looking to clean up your self-talk, create a personal affirmation plan or ease your way into releasing your negativity so your positivity can reign?  Complete the questionnaire for a free coaching strategy session.

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https://linktr.ee/realprincessofpositivity

Coaching Website:  ChatoneMorrison.com

All photos courtesy of Unsplash.com

 

Will Work for Fines: When Library Books Bankrupt The Family

 

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At this rate, it might be better to just buy the books!

Raise your hand if you have children.  If your kids are 20 and above, you are off the hook.  Put your hand down, kneel and give thanks.  If your kids are under the age of 16, keep them raised.  If they like to read raise both hands.  If you have managed to get the books they like to read from the library instead of the bookstore, keep one hand raised, and pat your back with the other hand.  You are an awesome parent! Bravo!  You can sit down.

mariana-vusiatytska-174679Feeling pretty good aren’t you?  You understand the value of borrowing instead of buying!  You are green!  You are saving the planet!  Unfortunately you are also broke, one step away from losing your home because of the fines.  One mom told me she recently paid $85 for one overdue book.  Why didn’t she just buy the book?  She did.  She paid for a replacement,  but then the book filed for lost wages in court and won.  Seems that since no one could read it for 6 months, damages needed to be paid!

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Your last fine cost WHAT?!

Imagine my dismay when my dear hubby sent a text to me stating that our latest bill was $41!  I could have sworn I put all those books in a slot someplace.  All the libraries in the county advertise:  “Any branch will do.  Drop your books at any library convenient for you.”  Well I did that!  How am I supposed to know where all the county lines are?

It once seemed like such a great idea to use the local public library, but now with all the fines, and the looming threat of bankruptcy and all, what’s a positive mom to do?  Encourage video game playing and TV watching and Snapchatting®?  Search for debt consolidation infomercials?  Find the best credit counselor in the land?  Pack the family up, and move back home with your parents?  Nope on all counts.

All you have to do is join the club.  We are a very supportive group and membership is free; we know you already spent your last dime on fines.

Take The Oath

  1. I promise to borrow only enough books that can be read in the super short, ridiculously, annoying time that is allowed by the library.
  2. I promise to put all the books in the same place each and every evening.
  3. I promise to never have my children read their favorite book while in the tub.
  4. I promise to never allow my children to drink a delicious, pumpkin spice latte with extra foam and cinnamon, caramel drizzle while reading a mystery…(oh no wait…that one is for me).
  5. I promise to never avoid returning the 7 books we have because of the 1 book  we cannot find.
  6. I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth when the librarian asks me the whereabouts of any said overdue book:  “No ma’am.  I’m sorry ma’am.  I have no idea, ma’am.”
  7. I promise to put each finished book in the trunk of the car so I can drop it in the drive thru slot.
  8. I promise to place only books that are on time in the drive through slot.
  9. I promise to remember that there is a drive thru slot.  And lastly . . .
  10. I promise before all internet onlookers,  librarians and random book-shelvers alike, to bring my credit card, loan papers and the kids drained college fund to the library to pay for the outstanding fines.

 

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Stop trying to remember!  Write it down!

Jokes aside, having a family calendar helps when everyone needs to be on the same page.  You can choose a physical paper or whiteboard option placed in a conspicuous place for all to see. Or you can create a shared cloud option and place all common due dates, appointments with progressive alerts.

 

 

Being a parent of voracious readers is a blessing.  It helps our kids do better in school, have an increased thirst for knowledge and have incredible vocabularies.  And even if those vocabularies are so often pulled out and used against us, it’s wonderful to know they will be smart enough to find a great job and take care of us when we lose the house in exchange for all the fines!

Chatone Morrison ©2017

No…I don’t do stand up!  I’m actually a life and confidence coach for women.  I love helping them to release negativity so their positivity can reign.  Ready to get your positive energy in check?  Looking to clean up your self-talk, create a personal affirmation plan or ease your way into releasing your negativity?  Complete the questionnaire for a free coaching strategy session.

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Don’t Miss The Weekly Sunday Corner Show on YouTube:  Bit.ly/ChatoneYT

Social Media

https://linktr.ee/realprincessofpositivity

Coaching Website:  ChatoneMorrison.com

Facebook:

@chatonemorrisonconsulting

@princessofpositivity

@chatonemorrisonMK

Instagram:  @realprincessofpositivity

Periscope/Pinterest/Twitter:  ChatoneMorrison

Interested in starting your own business?  Let’s set up a marketing chat. chatonemorrison@marykay.com

All photos courtesy of Unsplash.com

Looking Down and Looking Back – One Woman’s Perspective on Life After the Workplace

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What did you focus on today? Was it the big important thing that is always right there and needs your attention? Or was it the small almost silent whisper that edged its way to you tapping for you to take notice. If it was the latter I hope you decided to #focusandtaketime. Because it is most often in the silence that the miracles appear.

I took this picture last week from my hotel in Dallas. I couldn’t help but think of all the nights I stayed away from my family and was submerged in work and activities based on someone else’s agenda. I loved my team. My work. I loved coaching and mentoring and teaching others to be excellent. Both at their jobs and and as people.

For many years while I did the corporate grind, Dallas was a second home. It was fast paced, exciting, my work seemed to matter and I strived to be really great at it. The view was from way up and everything looked good on the ground. The only problem was that the ground home, far away in New Jersey/Maryland, and I could not divide myself and be in two cities at once. The place I longed to be was with my hubby and my kids…that was the place that mattered. I was home plenty, but I was missing a lot too. It wasn’t the concert here or there or the shows. Every parent misses a couple. It was the little things that no one remembered to tell me. It was little everyday-mundane-seemingly-boring-too-unimportant-to-recount things. I’m still discovering things 5 years later.

It’s like watching a big city from high up. You don’t know what the sights and sounds are on the ground. When you see the movement of the highway and the people and the traffic, you imagine what it sounds like. And you can remain fairly neutral because it doesn’t seem like much. But sometimes there is laughter. And sometimes there is weeping. Other times there is confusion. And every now and then there is a bittersweet contentment. Sweet because you recognize the joy. Bitter because you are too high up to enjoy it.

No matter how much I love a city (and I treasure them) I prefer the whir of my family to the whir of a plane taking off. When you are a work at home mom or mompreneur, there is a delicious banter that will drive you both out of your head crazy and out of your heart happy. No win in the boardroom compares to my daughter, son, hubby and me, taking time to bond over the Bible at breakfast. Can you do it from a distance? Sure. While in between flights? Yes. Running to a conference call? Of course. But the best memories are built from blocks picked up by hand. Because the beat of a city should never drown out the beat of your “most important”.

The portfolio of my Mary Kay business, coaching, writing, and supporting my husband in his ASL interpreting business is keeping me from idly looking out of windows wishing I could hear “what’s going on down there?” Getting to be home to see, hear experience more is worth putting the suitcases away.

What about you? Are you a corporate warrior but wish you could be at home? Are you looking down and out from way high up but longing to be closer to the ground? There are ways to make a plan and start your exit. Let’s talk.

Ready to get your positive energy back in check?  Looking to clean up your self-talk, create a personal affirmation plan or ease your way into releasing your negativity so your positivity can reign?  Complete the questionnaire for a free coaching strategy session.

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Don’t Miss The Weekly Sunday Corner Show on YouTube:  Bit.ly/ChatoneYT

Coaching Website:  ChatoneMorrison.com

Facebook:

@chatonemorrisonconsulting

@princessofpositivity

@chatonemorrisonMK

Instagram:  @realprincessofpositivity

Periscope/Pinterest/Twitter:  ChatoneMorrison

Interested in starting your own business?  Let’s set up a marketing chat. chatonemorrison@marykay.com

 

Do You Love The First Day of Summer, Too?

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Going 100 East, Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Today was a near perfect day in Maryland.  The sun has been high and glistening, adding a slight warmth to the skin but not a burn, the occasional wind has rustled the trees in the yard, even the bumblebees hummed a bit louder it seemed.  Well, maybe just to me.  

Yes!  I am that girl.  The year begins and ends for me on the first day of Summer.  I always wished my name was Summer.  There was that one girl I knew growing up and…oops, already digressing away from my point.  THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER! #FDOS

I can remember staying outside so late and waiting for the sun to finally go down.  It was precious as the pink and amber head of glory slipped behind the range of Orange mountains near my family home in New Jersey.  Shoes were optional, double dutch and hopscotch were desirable and ice-cream from the neighborhood truck “Eskie’s” was mandatory.  

So tonight I grabbed a handful of my best memories to sprinkle on my kids and we rode up the highway, windows down, breezes flowing in, talking and laughing.  As we headed east through the county, the weather threatened disagreement with my plan, and the raindrops began to fall light and steady in nearly transparent sheets, like the beads we hung from our doors to separate us from the outside world and create a false sense of privacy.  The sky behind us was brilliant, gorgeous, shiny and bright.  And I tossed the memory of riding on Route 280 in West Orange, 32 years ago in my red 1978 Ford Pinto, so low to the ground I felt like I need to use my heels to break, like Fred Flintstone.  On that “First Day of Summer”, the sky behind my head was so utterly gorgeous that it nearly devastated me. Literally!  I kept turning around to peek at it.  I was so afraid that I would miss out on its beauty – like it might never happen again.  I stared hard over my right shoulder until I lost my focus and had to drive the rest of the way home with  those huge spots blurring my vision.

Today with the sun and rain coming at the same time, I have the wisdom that keeping my eyes on the road, my heart and mind in the present, and my memories in the past, but close enough to fondle, is the best plan of action. So I kept my eyes straight ahead and bounced my childhood onto my kids in the back seat.  They laughed.  Asked questions.  Were genuinely interested, or at least acted like it.  

Just as the rain stopped, and the sun was beginning to stream through the dark clouds, I reminded them about the wonderful Rainbow promise that God made, and told them to look for the rainbow.  Like clockwork, it appeared (pictured above)  We clapped and snapped and a new #FDOS memory was made.

Special moments surround us every single day.  Many of our great days and best memories are behind us.  The tendency to constantly peep over our shoulders to look for them is strong.  But don’t miss the rainbow looking for the sunshine at your back.  Allow the best parts of your past experiences to warm you, and keep looking forward for the miracles that are waiting.

Happy First Day of Summer!

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Chatone Morrison                   Certified Professional Coach   ChatoneMorrison.com

 

 

 

 

Ready to get your positive energy back in check?  Looking to clean up your self-talk, create a personal affirmation plan or ease your way into releasing your negativity so your positivity can reign?  Complete the questionnaire for a free coaching strategy session.

 

=======================================================================

Don’t Miss The Weekly Sunday Corner Show on YouTube:  Bit.ly/ChatoneYT

Coaching Website:  ChatoneMorrison.com

Facebook:

@chatonemorrisonconsulting

@princessofpositivity

@chatonemorrisonMK

Instagram:  @realprincessofpositivity

Periscope/Pinterest/Twitter:  ChatoneMorrison

Shop for Mary Kay Here:  marykay.com/chatonemorrison