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Lift Your Spirits with Fashion

By: Jackie Clark

Fashion can speak volumes when it comes to making a woman feel empowered, confident and beautiful. All that it takes is simply giving yourself and extra five minutes in the morning to apply a new lipstick or try on a bold pair of heels to instantly boost self-esteem. However in life we face many obstacles, and if you are diagnosed with a cancer such as mesothelioma from asbestos exposure, you can easily lose sight of keeping up with your daily appearance. Yet don’t let the illness take hold of the beautiful woman you are, fight back and employ these simple beauty techniques to get the sexy, bold woman in you back!


There’s nothing like a new outfit to make a woman feel great about herself and gain a little pep in her step in the morning. Switch up your daily wardrobe up by trying something different; even if it is not purchasing a new outfit, mix and match to change up your style. Shopping for clothes can be an exhilarating experience because you can see yourself in a completely different light. Treat yourself to something you have had your eye on so you can feel fabulous the next time you wear it in public. The great thing about fashion is there is something out there for every woman, of every size, age, color and every background no matter what illness you have.

Hair and Makeup

Having your hair and makeup done can make you feel more beautiful about yourself because you can instantly get a new look. Wearing makeup does not mean that you have to completely change your appearance; the key to makeup is to simply enhance your own natural features to give you that glowing, healthy look everyone wants. There are numerous ways you can style your hair and if you are itching for a change, simply get your hair cut in a different way than you have ever had before whether it is layering the frame of your face or going brown to blonde. Grab a magazine the next time you’re out at the grocery store and pick your favorite celebrities hairstyle and bring it to your next hair appointment. By trying something different it can be fun to have the look of someone you’ve always admired!


Getting your nails done is one of the simplest and yet one of the most uplifting fashion techniques you can employ. Pick a vibrant color if you’re feeling down or a deep red to bring out the vixen in you. When your nails are done, you instantly feel better about yourself, on top of the fact that being pampered for those 20 minutes is an extremely relaxing experience.

Fashion is one of the best things to lift your spirits. Nothing makes a woman more alive and empowered than looking beautiful. It is a proven fact that when you look good you feel great too; so wake up excited to put on your favorite outfit and throw on a pair of vibrant heels or a sophisticated, bold necklace. Give yourself the opportunity to look and feel your best despite what your feeling on the inside. There are a number of ways you can incorporate fashion into your daily life to make you feel more optimistic and confident, so get out there and try them!  LADIES–What is your favorite styles and how do they make you feel beautiful?! 

Stay Beautiful, Be Strong, and Look Sexy!
Until next time,
About the Author:

Jackie joined the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance in 2009 as research assistant after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English. Jackie’s interest in health and wellness spawned into a passion for fashion from her desire to treat her body well. Jackie saw the power in fashion and how it can enhance a woman’s overall self-esteem. As a result of this, Jackie was able to blend her experience in technical and medical research to assist in the development of medical content and outreach efforts, with specializations in alternative care, cancer support programs, and social media campaigns. To learn more about Jackie follow her blog and writings at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog.

Beauty fashion Jackie Clark mesothelioma Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog My Pocketful Of Thoughts new writer Soulful Sundays Stay Tuned Therapeutic Thursdays

..the NEWest writer to bless the My Pocketful Of Thoughts blog…

I hope that you are well on this Therapeutic Thursday!  Today I am introducing the NEWest writer to bless the My Pocketful Of Thoughts blog.  She comes to us from the land NY, NY.  She does outreach work with the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.  She has a passion for fashion-from shoes to makeup, nail polish to handbags, and everything in between! Coupled with that she believes that all women need to feel beautiful, no matter what circumstances they may be facing. Women are powerful beings and WE need to realize it! Sadly, many women are hearing those devastating words ‘you have cancer.’ Despite a cancer diagnosis, women can still feel beautiful in their own skin. Fashion is a wonderful way to feel strong and confident. On Sunday she will share the reality of cancer and how women can say ‘YES I have cancer, but I am no less beautiful than I was before my diagnosis‘.
It takes a certain type of person to go out and make others feel good about themselves.  Please help me welcome Jackie Clark to My Pocketful Of Thoughts.  STAY TUNED!  Her post will appear this coming Soulful Sunday.  In the meantime check her out at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog.
Until then,

Soulful Soulful Sundays

Always Encourage the Children in Your Life!

Sunday Inspiration

The last few months I’ve been spending a lot of one-on-one time with my niece, helping her on a journey towards getting to know God.  We’ve made this tradition of going to mass and then off to eat.  We have the craziest conversations at times, and I find myself fascinated with her. 

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40 Days For Life

This lenten season, the Bridgeport Diocese has launched its second, 40 Days of Life campaign. Each church from the diocese has rotated days of hosting a prayer vigil in front of an abortion clinic in Bridgeport. Yesterday was my church’s turn to host. For weeks I pondered the idea of going, not having experienced it ever myself, I felt a slight disconnect. We tend to feel passionately about the things that hit home to us. It is not to say that the rest of what pains the earth is not important, but it is unfamiliar to those who do not experience them. The announcement stayed in the back of my mind though. I unconsciously made the appointment on my calendar, well before committing to it.
It was a warm 50 degrees, the sun was coming in and out, causing me to shed my long wool coat. I came upon the scene around 10am. The Rosary in English was well on its way. I am familiar with the Rosary, but only in Spanish. Thinking back now I don’t believe I’ve ever heard it aloud in English. I stepped quietly behind the group and chimed in at the appropriate parts. I silently watched the woman praying the rosary with a curiosity. What was SHE thinking? Upon completion SHE had let those who had just arrived know that people had already begun to arrive at the clinic. One person who had heard the prayers and read the signs, had left as quickly as they had come. Others who had entered, had yet to come out. SHE went on to explain that the purpose of our presence was to let God’s voice be heard. If someone had come with the intent to follow through with an abortion, their heart and soul might be persuaded to choose, perhaps the harder path. If the harder path was to still follow through, then we were there for them to.  We were there solely to pray. We were not there to voice our opinions, regardless of what they were. We were told that if someone were to get angry and come at us, that we were to remain silent and not provoke a fight. I was a little frightened then at the thought that someone might attack us.
It suddenly dawned on me then, upon hearing her last words, that I found the hesitancy on my part to come to pray that day was that I had always believed I was Pro-Choice. Women have had so many rights stripped of them for the longest of time, that I think sometimes today we take it for granted. Liberties that are available today were not so 100 years ago. These thoughts began going through my mind, when SHE asked me if I would do the Rosary in English. Sure, I had said, ‘but just to let you know I’ve never done it before’. SHE looked at me and told me to take my time, the words were written out for me to follow. SHE went on to explain to the crowd, that we would be alternating the Rosary in English and then in Spanish until 6pm. We were to understand that we were not in a hurry. Prayer should be from the heart, a place of meditation, to truly feel the words that are spoken allowed and to reflect on the situation at hand.
Another young woman from my parish started off the Rosary in Spanish, again I chimed in at the appropriate moments. My mind continued to think about why we were there and what effect it might have on those that came to the clinic that day. There were many honks from passerby cars and a few yells of encouragement. One pair of females, who walked on the sidewalk between us, nodded their heads to us and said “God Bless You.” As we continued to recite the prayer I realized that I was taking part in something much larger than myself. I listened intently, trying to follow along, knowing that my turn was coming up. It ended and there was a five minute break to reiterate to the new comers of the rules and our reasons for being there.
Then it was showtime. SHE squeezed my arm and let me know that it was OK, to take my time; ‘We are not in a rush’ SHE reminded me. I mentally prepared myself with a prayer, for God to give me the strength and allow me to do a good job. I started off strong. I read the words loud and clear; slow and steady. Somewhere after announcing the third Joyful Mystery, an Our Father, and the second Haily Mary, I felt myself becoming overwhelmed with emotion. I felt a deep and sudden sadness for the souls I would not meet; past, present and future. The tears began to flow and I lost my voice. Tears ran for the ones I had known to have gone through with abortion, the ones who might have but didn’t and the ones that would have never thought to. In the back of my head I was thinking, WHAT IS GOING ON? My tears ran in gratitude for the opportunity to know my nieces and nephew, who were bought into the world when my sister’s were young. Tears ran for those who still remember the exact details of when it happened to them. Tears ran for the ghost of children skipping rope and playing hopscotch. What I also didn’t expect was to feel the woman to my left and to my right, strangers before then, step into me on both sides like warriors and take over where I had left off. I didn’t expect the hands that wrapped tightly around my shoulders to offer me comfort. I remember feeling the gentle, firm squeeze in a silent speech, that told me it was OK.
The reason I went to pray yesterday had nothing to do with me. My subconscious knew it all along. My tears continued to flow but I had found my voice again. I picked up on the Fourth Joyful Mystery and each word I spoke aloud took on a different shape, a new meaning, than the words I had spit out earlier. I prayed loudly, in hopes that our Holy Mother, Mary Most Holy, would hear me; would hear us. I prayed with an open heart, so that those who went through with their decision might feel Jesus and be comforted, if only for a moment.
Prayer has always been a part of my life. I look to God everyday for guidance. But, I also remember that has not always been the case. As I’ve gotten older I have learned how powerful prayer can be. May anyone reading this today know personally, or for the first time, the power of prayer. May we take a moment everyday to pray for each other. I ask that you do this now on this Soulful Sunday.
Dear Lord,
My brothers, sisters and I, would like to take this moment to ask that you look over the unborn souls, taken from this earth, by your will or no. We ask that you keep them forever strong in our memory, until we come to be with them again. We ask that you find ways to comfort us, to let us know that everything will be OK. Remind us Lord that anything is possible through you. May you hear all of our petitions today. Peace be with us all.
Until then,
 PS. The rosary is such a powerful prayer I’ve included this link that translates it into many languages, The Rosary Prayer.

For more information about the Bridgeport 40 Days for Life Spring Campaign,
visit: or contact Christine Murphy at / 203 438-4866
Learn more about the national 40 Days for Life campaign.
#lent credit cards debt debt-free Lent Season paying debt off faster sacrifice Soulful Sundays St George Catholic Church The Lord works in mysterious ways

The Lord works in Mysterious ways…

Image borrowed from

We hear that all the time, right?  The Lord works in mysterious ways.  While we believe this in blind faith, on occasion we are pleasantly surprised when we’re reminded of that by getting a letter in the mail.  These past months I’ve been focusing hard on paying down my debt and trying to find creative ways to do it faster.  I always ask the Lord to guide me, to keep my on the right path.  This past week I’ve been trying to find online, the dates and ending dates of balance transfers I put a while back on my credit cards.  Interestingly enough, I could not find this information anywhere. I looked back to the initial statement issued when the balance transfer began, but no information on when it would end.  I delayed starting any new balance transfers until I knew for sure the promotional period was over.  I even tried to search my inbox hoping the promotional email had been saved.  Nothing.  So Wednesday, I decided to just make the balance transfer when I got home.  Of course when I got home I was exhausted so I decided to put it off for Thursday.

On Thursday morning I opened my mail and I received a letter from one of my credit card companies.  I read it twice because I could not believe what I was reading.  It said:

We have extended the length of your promotional Annual Percent Rate (APR) on your balance transfer that took place on 08/10/11.  We also want to inform you why we made this change and how it affects your account.

Information about your balance transfer.

When you transferred a balance to your &*$%# credit card, you were given a choice between two promotional offers.  These offers were for two different promotional APRs, which would last for different lengths of time.  Since the date of your balance transfer, the lower of those two APRs ~ 0% ~ has been applied to your transferred balance.

A change has been made to your account.

In reviewing your account, we could not determine with certainty which promotional offer terms you originally selected.  We are now providing you with better terms than we gave you in our promotional offers.  We have applied the lower of the two APRs for the longest length of time that was offered in the original promotion.  For you, that means we have extended your promotional APR of 0% through your billing cycle that ends in 1/2013…..

We are continually working to improve the service we provide to our customers.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you…..
I knew for a fact that I had selected the 0% option but I knew that it was not for a long period of time.  I figured that it would motivate me to pay it off faster.  Now I do not have to worry about trying to get yet another balance transfer offer.  If you have ever done this, you might recall how difficult it is to get done sometimes.  I won’t bore you with that today.
Since I had been given a sign, I felt it only right to share the news I learned on Friday.  Friday nights I help run a Youth Group Meeting at my Church.  Most often than not I feel that I am a participant, a catechist learning something new.  This week we learned about Lent, since we are in the Lent Season.
Lent is the penitential season of approximately 40 days aside from the Church in order for the faithful to prepare for the celebration of the Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection, by works of penance, that is, prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which is actually forty-six days before Easter.  We say that Lent is forty days in number because the six Sundays are excluded from the rigors of Lent in order to afford the faithful a time to pause and rejuvenate.  The number of forty is found frequently in scripture to signify either a time of penitential preparation….

For the Lent Season, we are challenged to make individual sacrifices appropriate to our own spiritual condition.  Before we choose something to give up for Lent, it’s important to assess our current spiritual state:  What habits do I engage in that are destructive to my spiritual health?  To what material things am I too attached?  What areas in my life are unbalanced?  To what do I devote too much or not enough time?
My niece picked out what I was giving up for Lent.  Shopping.  I admit freely that I do find myself attached to wanting to buy material things.  If you saw my bedroom right now you’d agree.  I was reluctant to do so, but only mainly because I had given up the month of February to not by anything that was unnecessary ( #NoUnnecessarySpendingFebruary).  I had done so well.  Even returned an item bring my total a -$59.03.  The end of February was coming so close and I could see myself buying something as my reward for going a whole 29 days without shopping.  To what material things am I too attached?  Shopping.  Another 40 days of not shopping.  I am ok with that, Jesus went through so much for us.  Died for us.  As much as I want to buy every single thing that comes out this spring, it’ll wait.  He DIED for us.  It can all wait!  I hope that I have the willpower to go the whole 46 days.  I like the fact though, that the six Sundays are excluded….in order to afford the faithful a time to pause and rejuvenate…to have a min easter.
I hope we are all well today, on this Soulful Sunday!  May we all stay strong in our faith, reflect on our spiritual lives this Lent Season and to continue to walk in His path.
Until then,
PS: To my niece, Ariana, who so willingly gave up soda (which she loves) as her sacrifice for Lent, Sunday’s are excluded 🙂
Resources: The above bold italic was taken from slides and pamphlets given by:  St George Catholic Church, 443 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT; and Sisters Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara of 153 Linden Ave.  Bridgeport, Ct
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Happy Valentine’s Day Week!

It’s that time of year again, where we embrace the commercialized holiday of St. Valentine.  While February 14th is no longer recognized as the day to remember Saint Valentine, the martyred saint; his name is kept alive year after year.  We fall in love with the idea of love.  We hope that on this day, the love we give away is returned.  We look forward to the gifts, the dinner, the cards and the sudden decrease of money in our wallets. We do this all with smiles on our faces! This year let’s give this ‘Valentine’s Day Industry’ a message and not buy the flowers, chocolate, jewelry and fancy dinners.  Let’s make cards out of construction paper, and bake cookies instead!  Let’s celebrate in March and tell this money-making industry ‘WE ARE NOT GOING TO LET THIS RIDICULOUS PRICE GOUGING FIASCO CONTINUE!’

Who am I kidding?  I sent my boyfriend an email with my wishlist of potential gifts on Friday; to which he laughed.  I think that gifts should come from the heart.  However, this month I have been trying to stick to not spending any cash towards items that are not absolute needs (#NoUnnecessarySpendingFebruary).  Of course, the best sales are going on, now that the winter months are almost over, so I see so many cute things and I’m like adding things to shopping carts and then abandoning them last minute.  It really is hard.  Anyways, my whole point was to give an idea on this Soulful Sunday.  Normally I would post sales going on and places to find awesome deals despite the price hikes that Valentine’s Day brings.  However I thought back to Christmas time, and the things I got or gave and I have to say that giving the gift of making memories was at the top of my list of favorites.  Last month, my boyfriend and I used one of the Christmas gift’s I got him, A Two-Hour Photography Workshop at Grand Central (NYC) with Judith from Sundays in New York.  
                               We took the train into the city and had brunch at Michael Jordan’s Restaurant in Grand Central Station.  I tried my first Bloody Mary (didn’t like it). 
We got to visit the nooks and crannies of Grand Central.  We laughed with the rest of the class as people tried to avoid the cameras.  We learned things, together.  It was an experience, a memory made to last in our book of memories.  Isn’t that what we really want anyways?  Memories to keep us warm when we’re bored in the nursing home at 93?
Simply Vera Platform Heels, Vera Wang for Kohls
Maybe I’m wrong, though 🙂  Comment below and let me know what you’re looking to get for Valentine’s Day, what your favorite Valentine’s gift has been thus far OR let my boyfriend know how great I look in these shoes!  
Until then,

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Give a pair of shoes to a child in need with TOMS on this Soulful Sunday

While we are all out thinking of what to get our family, friends or even ourselves for this holiday season I would like to plant the seed of doing good at the same time.  Kill two birds with one stone and feel good about it to.  I overheard a conversation in August about how TOMS gives a pair of shoes to a child in need with every pair purchased and I thought how awesome is that; Get your kids school shoes and do a good deed at the same time.  While it left me feeling warm and fuzzy I completely forgot to write about it.  Although I am sure I am not the first to hear about TOMS, I personally had never heard about them so that means that out there somewhere you might not have either.  A friend of mine came back from her cruise in Europe in September and told me how comfy they were, but even more, they were super cute.  COMFY AND CUTE, say no more right?  TOMS offers shoes for women, men and kids so why not give a gift that keeps on giving?  Isn’t that what the holidays are about anyways, giving instead of receiving?  Nordstrom has a large assortment on line as does the official TOMS website.  I’m going out and getting a pair for myself.  Merry Christmas to me and to a child in need.  GO TOMS, lets help them out with their ONE TO ONE program!

Until then,

PS: Not into buying shoes for people, how about glasses?  With every pair of sunglasses you purchase TOMS will help give the gift of sight to a person in need with their ONE TO ONE program.