• ODLifestyle

    Three Black Woman-Owned Businesses to Shop with this Juneteenth

     Juneteenth should be a national holiday. This is the day where enslaved Texans learned about their freedom…two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was made effective in 1863. As a native Texan, this holiday has never NOT been part of my life. We host BBQ’s, parades, and parties to celebrate the strength of our ancestors. We honor their sacrifices and create joy in the midst of the horrible atrocities that African Americans have to face daily. To honor Juneteenth, you can learn more about American history by virtually visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Here you can learn more about the struggles that African-Americans have endured for centuries and the importance of…

  • joshua and alyssa mcneil at wedding engagement photoshoot

    The ODMcNeils – Love Never Fails

    Over a year ago, Joshua James proposed to me in front of our family and friends and changed my life. Over a year ago I “said yes” to the man I trusted to help raise my kids with love. I “said yes” to the man who consistently makes my stomach hurt with laughter. I said yes to the man who is walking proof that God exists and that He favors me. Since then, we’ve grown together in incredible and unpredicted ways. We’ve managed job loss, death of family members, mental and physical health issues, and so much more that has tested our faith and relationship in more ways than one.…

  • Creating Magic from Nonsense

    My COVID Story – Creating Magic from Nonsense

    I spent 2019 “preparing for my year of victory.” I was working a job that pushed me to places I didn’t know I could go. I spent silent moments questioning why God gave me such a big vision for ODStorytime only to have it accompanied by crippling depression and anxiety that kept me from going after my dreams with everything I could. Eventually, I finally found some peace as I orchestrated my re-vamp around our wedding. This summer I planned to graduate esthetician school, get married in Paris, switch careers, honeymoon in Italy, and do so in a carefully curated vacation wardrobe of all white with rose-gold accessories. It is…

  • COVID-19 Survival Tips from Nature

    Survival Tips from Nature

    Since lockdown began, I have been binge-watching animal documentaries on BBC America and National Geographic as part of their Earth Day campaign. Learning about the hunting styles of lionesses or watching sea otters devour a sea urchin is entertaining af. It’s also an incredible distraction technique that helps me not mass obsess over COVID-19. Unfortunately, as I’ve become consumed with learning about sea dragons, I’ve been beating myself up about the level of productivity that I haven’t been producing.  Social media is inundated with quotes that say something like “If you don’t find all of Voldermort’s Horcrux’s during this time you don’t lack time you lack discipline.” Or my personal favorites that remind people…

  • Daily Affirmations Blog Post

    Daily Affirmations in the Middle of a Pandemic

    Like most- COVID-19 has tried to take my edges, it’s called me everything but a child of God and even tried to cancel my wedding. My immediate reaction was to freak out, cry, pray, and then start again from step one. Fortunately, I’m finally feeling at peace with the new reality this pandemic has ushered into my life. The best tool that I have used to get back to this place has been sticking with my morning routine. In the morning I get up, do some light stretches, journal, read my bible and start the morning with daily affirmations. These cards remind me who I am, keep me assured that…

  • Healthy Coping Skills

    Healthy Coping Skills I’ve Learned

    The end of last year was hard. I wish I could say that it was this sudden event that caused my world to turn upside down but it wasn’t. It was a series of small actions that lead to me making myself small, not practicing healthy boundary settings, and the worst depressive episode I have ever had. After taking a very long pause on all things not absolutely necessary, getting back on anti-depressants, and finding a therapist I can trust – I have revised what coping skills I use. I learned painful lessons and as I’m starting to come through the other side, I am understanding that it’s the little things…

  • My Esthetician School Journey

    Minding My Business and Trusting God – My Journey to *Finally* Starting Esthetician School

    When I first started blogging is when I truly started learning about skincare. After I fully immersed myself in glam makeup, I learned about how a good esthetician can merge the two worlds. (Mainly because I wanted my makeup to look better. Sorry not sorry.) I became fascinated with the career. The idea of helping people achieve their makeup and skincare goals seemed like the best job in the world. I immediately added it to my to-do list – and left it there for 3 years. I told my family and friends that this is something that I wanted to do and for the past 3 years there was always something…

  • e.l.f. cosmetics 1 brand tutorial by ODStorytime

    e.l.f. Cosmetics – One Brand Makeup Look

    I have loved e.l.f. Cosmetics for a long long time, y’all. It honestly might be quite possible that I use something from them every time I do my makeup. For Christmas this year, my mom gifted me some products and I hoarded them until I got the chance to write this post. (Yes, I’m ridiculous.) I recently picked up a bunch of their new products and filmed a get ready with me video for my Youtube channel!  My favorite product is the Poreless Putty Primer. I heard through the grapevine that it had the same flawless makeup effects (sadly without the skincare benefits) of the Tatcha Silk Canvas primer. Throughout…

  • @ItsMyRayeRaye and BH Cosmetics Palette

    @ItsMyRayeRaye and BH Cosmetics Palette Round 2!

    My favorite beauty collab of 2017 was the @ItsMyRayeRaye and BH Cosmetics eyeshadow, contour, and highlight palette. A year and a half later, I still religiously use this palette and keep up with all that is BH Cosmetics and @ItsMyRayeRaye. The two decided to release another eyeshadow palette. In fact, I screamed when I saw the announcement. I am very dramatic in real life and not just on my blog. The new glam eyeshadows are a stunning release from @ItsMyRayeRaye and BH Cosmetics. Glam makeup makes me happy. Recently, I’ve had to master the art of a “quick 20-minute beat.” During this time, not once did I feel the rush and…

  • bite beauty lip lab

    Bite Beauty Lip Lab

    My 25th year around the sun was a lot. Frankly, I didn’t think my year was going to go like this. However, it taught me more about love, my “no’s” became louder than ever, and I accomplished a lot of health goals; and for all of this, I am thankful. As my 26th birthday started to creep up on me; I became confused as to how I wanted to spend it. Which is where my fiancé stepped in. He planned the entire day out for me and all I had to do was live in the moment. He knows I love beauty and one of my long term goals is…