There are so many wardrobe styling and fashion experts on TV telling you, complete strangers, what to wear that you don’t really need my advice anymore. Or, do you?
Do you know that when the wardrobe styling personalities on TV make their recommendations as to what the must haves are for the season, they typically are representing the stores that carry the merchandise they are plugging? Their job is to stimulate sales and not to make sure that you are wearing clothes which show off your best features, and hide the ones you like the least.
Just think back to whenever you might have seen the Ambush Makeover segment on the fourth hour of The Today Show with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. Women anxiously wait outside for hours, hoping to be chosen for a clothes, hair and makeup makeover. They show up in sweat pants or mom jeans, and walk out with a great hair style and makeup, wobbling in high heels often wearing a cocktail dress.
Many times they cannot see how they look in the mirror until they put their eye-glasses back on, while struggling to walk in shoes that throw them off balance or possibly cause them nose bleeds due to their footwear imposed high altitudes.
Now I love the new makeup and hairstyles the Ambush Makeover candidates receive, but I am not impressed with their wardrobe makeovers. Why not style these makeover winners in clothes that they can use for their real world lives? Perhaps pants that can be dressed up or down along with shoes that are comfortable yet good looking? By the way, those type of shoes do exist and I always get a thrill out of the reaction of women when they try them on for the first time.
Recently I was watching a fashion segment on the CBS show, The Talk. I was so aghast at how most of the hosts were styled, that my daughter sneakily took a photo of me. The look of horror on my face was hysterical and gave us a great laugh, but ake a look at the video and see if you agree with me.
These before and afters makeovers are of a few of my clients, and notice how not only do they look younger, thinner and taller but also confident, successful and professional.
Go here to get my 5 secrets to Instantly Update Your Image?
One of my favorite quotes is from Anais Nin. It's about pain and the beauty held within it.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
You might be saying to yourself, "What? Beauty in pain? Have you lost your marbles, Laura?"
I don't blame you for thinking this way. I would have thought like this too ~ until I lived this quote.
You see, I was in an unhappy marriage. If I'm honest, I had been unhappy for years. In fact, for the majority of years.
However, I wouldn't let that in too much. It hurt. In fact, just the thought of that pain seemed overwhelming.
So I did what any good wife does and just fake-smiled and busied my way through life.
Something happened, though, that made that even more difficult. I found out about a four-years-long affair that my husband had been having.
Ouch is an understatement. Wow. That was REALLY painful. It almost felt like every cell of my body was experiencing emotional pain ~ if that makes sense.
The months following that were some of the darkest of my life. It seemed that the rug had been pulled out from underneath me.
He wanted to "work it out."
I was frightened of the prospect of being alone ~ my daughter without her family unit intact ~ being labeled twice divorced ~ not having someone to spend national holidays with ~ you get my drift.
So we "worked on it." I soon found out that working on it meant me understanding his need to go to nightclubs on the weekends and never bringing up my feelings again.
Sounds ideal, right?
So there I was. Back to square one. Trying to manage my feelings ~ alone. Trying to shield my young daughter from the sadness and hurt I was feeling inside.
This little scenario played out for two whole years. Yuck. Seriously...ish! It was the least fun I've had in a long time ~ let me tell you.
I actually prayed to God for a sign that I should leave. I didn't know what it was but knowing myself, I knew that I could tolerate pain for much longer than I should. It wasn't a badge of honor. Just the way I was.
However, a glorious day arrived!
At 5:15 a.m. on a Saturday morning in June, I could hear the garage door open. I was accustomed to him getting home at 2 or 3 a.m. but 5:15 was way beyond my comfort level. (Really? Looking back, why was 2 or 3 a.m. okay?)
Anyhoo, I tore down the steps and asked for an explanation. No. I DEMANDED an explanation. I also asked where his wedding ring was as I noticed it was not on his finger.
What followed was one lame excuse too many.
After he passed out, I quietly looked at his email. Not violating his privacy in this fashion was one way I was "working on" building trust. However, all bets were off.
As I began reading the email exchanges between him and his latest lady love, I understood the quote from Anais Nin.
Despite the terror, pain and intense sadness I felt in that moment, I woke him up and asked for a divorce right then and there.
And then I realized...I was finally ready to blossom.
You’re invited to a formal affair, and you ask yourself, pantyhose or bare legs? Some have told you that wearing pantyhose is old fashioned and not in style. But, what if you don’t feel comfortable being bare legged? Perhaps you have spots, veins, or just hate the idea of not having pantyhose on your legs.
I get that, because I often feel the same way, and have found the solution; Donna Karan In The Nudes stockings, look and feel like you are not wearing pantyhose, yet give you all the benefits while making your legs look flawless.
It’s Sunday which means I’m headed to the grocery store with
my clipped coupons and sales ads, a strict
budget in mind. I double check that I have my smartphone before I head in
because I have several digital coupon codes on there too. I unbuckle my
four-year-old daughter and we head in to stock our fridge and shelves for the
upcoming week. We stop for a cookie and then start meticulously checking off
our list as we go.
It would probably be easier to do the shopping alone but
these Sunday trips are part of a bigger family plan: teaching my daughters
about financial matters. The one with me today may only be a preschooler, but
she understands that mommy only has so much money to spend on groceries and
that she makes that money by working for it. Occasionally she is rewarded for
her good behavior by picking out a non-list item that is on sale; sometimes
there is simply not enough budgeted to make that happen.
I don’t remember really understanding finances as a kid. I
had no idea how to balance a checkbook when I went to college or the dangers of
signing up for five credit cards in exchange for free T-shirts. I always worked
but had no idea how to budget my earnings. I took out student loans that I
probably could’ve passed up because it seemed like free money at the time. Now
eight years as a college graduate, I am still at least a decade away from
paying off that giveaway money.
A new study by Alliance Data found that more than half (51%) of smartphone or tablet owning moms use their mobile device as part of their shopping experience either daily or weekly with more than a third (35%) using them daily, base
They surveyed women who have one to two children, and found the top reasons that most of them (56%) use mobile devices to shop is that it’s fast/easy, they have no time to go to a mall or store and they can more easily compare prices. They found that the number one way that moms incorporate their mobile device into their shopping experience is that they like to receive SMS/text messages from retailers. In fact, SMS was the only category that a majority (52%) said they used to incorporate mobile into their shopping experience.
With that information I wanted to share a new promotion that recently kicked off that I've been involved with for almost a year. We've been working with Triad Retail Media who specialize in creating and managing online media programs for some major retail e-commerce websites such as Walmart, Sam's Club, Dollar General, CVS and Toys R Us. These custom digital ad campaigns are created for a variety of national brands to help them reach their customers and engage with shoppers at the right time while they’re researching brands and making final purchase decisions.
For 40 days Mobil 1 is giving away free oil changes from a Walmart Tire Lube Express. All Walmart customers need to do is visit the Walmart.com Mobil 1 website to enter the sweepstakes and sign up to receive car care tips on their mobile device from Mobil 1.
The entry form includes a short survey to help gain additional insights into these customers such as gender, age, how often they may use a Walmart Tire Lube Express, type of oil used, age of vehicle and who is primary decision maker for auto care in the family.
Besides the entry form, banner ads are also inviting customers to enter via text message by texting Mobil1 to the shortcode 50101. Those that enter the sweepstakes by this method receive an additional text message inviting them to opt-in to receive the future car care tips.
We are again using the Signal platform to create and host our sweepstakes promotion which collects the different methods of entry, both the SMS and the web landing page, into one database. It then allows us to maintain an SMS list of all the subscribers in order to send out the car care tips to them via their mobile device.
We will be drawing 40 winners, one per day, and at the end of the promotion. All winners will receive a Walmart gift card good to cover the cost of a oil change at a Walmart Tire Lube Express along with a Mobil 1 hat.
It will be interesting to see the final stats and gain insights into female vs male participants and who they say is their primary car care decision maker in the family. In my household it's definitely my husband. However, he's not the norm. This is someone who recently rebuilt the engine of a 1985 Spitfire that he owns.
I'm the one though that does do the majority of the food and household shopping and using my iPhone and my iPad more and more these days!
We all know women possess the power of the purse, commanding consumer spending decisions (85% of purchases). But what about when it comes to taxes? Are women empowered? Are you? (Check out interesting tables on gender and tax return data from the IRS.)
One way you can take charge of your financial future is through your taxes –- making sure you don’t pay too much (or anything) to prepare and file, plus getting the full refund you deserve.
One of the most rewarding projects I’ve worked on for the past few years is MyFreeTaxes.com –- this nonprofit partnership provides free federal and state tax preparation and filing services for individuals and families who earned $57,000 or less in 2012. MyFreeTaxes offers a toll-free phone line or chat pod so you can get help to file online, or you can get help in-person at a community-based tax site -– still free.
Why does this matter for women? Because truly free tax preparation and filing (some providers offer a free federal return but make you pay for state) means you don’t have to use a paid tax preparer (saves you about $200), plus ensures you receive the maximum refund, including all the credits you qualify for –- earned income tax credit (EITC), child tax credit and more. Plus, ensures you're getting good advice from trusted nonprofit partners who can help you find other programs and services too.
It doesn’t matter if you’re single or married, head of household or not, a grandmother or a college student. If you made less than $57,000 and haven’t filed your taxes, you probably qualify. Last year, more than 1.4 million taxpayers used MyFreeTaxes either online or in person to file their taxes free and got back an average of nearly $1,300 each. With the $200 saved on tax prep costs, that could be $1,500 more in your pocket -- or your friend’s -- so spread the word. When women have more money, they pay bills, take care of basic needs, help their families and make the world a better place.
Most of us would agree that love is the primary purpose of every human being on this Earth. Love is universal. But is love expressed the same by everybody?
Love is actually spoken in different languages. Dr. Gary Chapman, author of "The Five Love Languages", has identified the five universal love languages through years of study and counseling couples: Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, and Quality Time.
Do you do the dishes for your partner but never feel appreciated because he or she never offers to do them? Maybe your partner buys you gifts instead. Or perhaps your partner feels you don't kiss or hug them enough, but you say "I love you" on a regular basis? We tend to express love in the ways we like to receive it...but your partner may express and want to receive love in a different way.
Heifer projects around the world, women are the backbone of agriculture and the
key driver of food production. One way Heifer is helping to end poverty is by
providing women in impoverished communities with the assistance, tools and
training to enhance food production and build sustainable assets and income.
Last month Walmart kicked off a new "Green" promotional marketing campaign with its first #WinItWednesday contest on Twitter. The contest gives entrants the chance to share their unique eco-friendly ideas and to win Walmart Gift Cards. The contest takes place on the first
Wednesday of each month, so today is round two for the month of March.
Today @WalmartGreen will ask Twitter users to respond to a specific
#WinItWednesday sustainability inspired challenge question. Three winners will be selected by judges
representing Wal-Mart Stores, and the
Mother Nature Network for each month's challenge question. Participants must follow and reply to @WalmartGreen and include the hashtag #WinItWednesday in their tweet.
Each of the three winners will receive a $100 Walmart gift card and a
chance to have their Submission featured on Mother Nature Network’s The Leaderboard and The Green Room, Walmart's sustainability blog, within that month.
For the first contest entrants were invited to share their idea for an eco-friendly gift for their Valentine (in 140 characters or less !). This first contest resulted in a 5.4% spike for @WalmartGreen in their number of Twitter followers in only 6 hours. This equaled 1.5 new followers every minute. The contest was also mentioned by John McCain and Planet Green on Twitter! Here's an overview of last month's winners which includes Terri Pointon who's idea is turning old wool and cashmere sweaters into new items.
Walmart's “The Leaderboard” was launched earlier this year through a new partnership formed with the Mother Nature Network with the purpose of creating a special
editorial channel on the site for readers to explore the people,
businesses and organizations leading in sustainability.
“Thanks to the ingenuity, passion and innovative thinking of so many people, we’ve seen an increase in sustainable technologies, processes and options in the past decade,” said Andrea Thomas, senior vice president of sustainability at Walmart. “These new ideas have helped companies, like Walmart, make significant progress toward our sustainability goals. Walmart has a responsibility to use its size and scale to influence positive change, and we believe ‘The Leaderboard’ will be a place to showcase cutting edge ideas and spark further adoption.”
Today's challenge question is scheduled to be posted at 11am ET, so check it out and share a tweet @WalMart Green with one of your eco-friendly ideas.