“The first flash of color always excites me as much as the first frail, courageous bloom of spring. This is, in a sense, my season–sometimes warm and, when the wind blows an alert, sometimes cold. But there is a clarity about September. On clear days, the sun seems brighter, the sky more blue, the white clouds take on marvelous shapes; the moon is a wonderful apparition, rising gold, cooling to silver; and the stars are so big. The September storms–the hurricane warnings far away, the sudden gales, the downpour of rain that we have so badly needed here for so long–are exhilarating, and there’s a promise that what September starts, October will carry on, catching the torch flung into her hand.”
― Faith Baldwin, Evening Star
Ahhh, yes. The end of September is drawing near. The month’s end brings the release of Summer and the beginnings of Fall. It also brings the annual ALS Association’s: Walk to Defeat ALS® for people “like me”. Read More
I get this question often and I know that those who don’t ask but are silently watching my posts are honestly wanting to ask as well: “Why in the world should I start this business?” My answer is short and simple: “So MANY reasons.” I’ve complied a quick list below – let them resonate with you and really sink in. When you are ready to ask, I’m here to answer and help you get started!
Be your own boss.
Set your own schedule + hours.
No inventory, parties or deliveries.
Everything is done online.
Work from ANYWHERE you choose to, all from your phone.
Fits perfectly into busy schedules.
Unlimited earning potential.
Time + freedom + flexibility. Residual income (ie: make money while you sleep).
Help people achieve great skin + feel good about themselves.
Help families build an extra income.
Transformational skincare products with clinically proven results.
Low business start up costs.
All the support + training you need to succeed – you’re never alone in this business.
Taking my word though only gets you so far. You won’t know what you were missing until you TRY. The worst that can happen? It’s not for you. The best that can happen? Your whole world changes. You owe it to yourself to find out if this can do for you what it’s done for me and everyone else in this business. You’re worth it!
Welcome to a new portion of the website called, Thursday Thoughts! Every Thursday, I will share a quote of the week and in turn, discuss my own thoughts about this quote. Quotes to me are essential to everyday life. Yes I am THAT girl. You know the one I’m talking about. The one who posts quotes as their Facebook status, the #mondaymotivation Instagram poster, the cliche – you need advice – let me throw some of my favorite Oprah inspired passages at you – friend. Mhmm, that is me and it took me a long time to own this and embrace it.
Quotes are words but words are power. To some, quotes are cheesy and sure, I can agree and see both sides. Words don’t provide action and without action, words can be nothing but fluff. The icing on a cake that hasn’t been baked. But on my side of things, you know, the “positive patty” side – wink wink – it’s just so much more. No matter what people may say, we all need inspiration. We all search and long for more than what we know. We all feel lost at times and there’s something in the connection that quotes can provide that bring us back home and in essence, remind us we are not alone by connecting us to someone else’s thoughts and inner voice. There’s no better feeling than knowing that what we’re feeling is justified and valid.
Today’s quote of the week is one I found on one of my favorite Facebook pages: The Female Entrepreneur Association. The Female Entrepreneur Association is an awesome company founded by Carrie Green. This social media mogul has changed the #girl #boss game by teaching other women her secrets, tips and tricks into not only starting your own company but integrating social media into your everyday actions. Quotes are posted daily on their Facebook page and you can check out their website here.
SOMETIMES THE RIGHT PATH IS NOT THE FASTEST ONE.
I’ll make today’s post short as I’ve already taken up time explaining this weekly addition to my site. So, to put my response to today’s quote bluntly, “A – freaking – men!!!” Who even wants to take the quickest path?! It’s so “easy” – keyword easy – to hope and wish and dream for something to change whether it’s physically, emotionally, occupationally, or romantically. As little girls, we were often fed the fairy tale that dreams come true if you WISH hard enough. Search and find that “lucky” star and the shining beams of light will magically burst upon you and change your world. I surrounded my whole essence with these thoughts. I prayed hard, I wished hard, I spoke to the stars and drew my fairy tales out in my head. And did my dreams appear!? Of course not. All that happened was that years passed me by and I was still the same person, in the same place, with the same hopes and failed dreams.
So what is the “right path” and how do you get there? You get there by starting. You get to anything in life by doing. You get what you want by TRYING. And more often than not, that path isn’t going to lead you to the answer overnight. You won’t lose your glass slipper and wake up in the morning with a Prince searching for you to hand you what you desire. We all hold the power to save ourselves and we should want to. My thoughts for you today are this: What do you want? What are you reaching for? What goal are you wishing to achieve? Now, how are you going to get there? When you start this path, and you figure this out, start walking but know that you don’t have to run to get there. I hope that you take the time to enjoy the view, that you allow yourself the possibility to take a few detours and forgive yourself for them when you do. The blessing and ultimate accomplishment is always in the journey, my loves, never solely in the end destination.
We took a day trip away from the resort that I was at first ambivalent about but it ended up being really awesome! We were shuttled an hour away to the city of Macao, where we rented an ATV to off road through the town and beach. We also received a funny presentation about local foods and learned about how Dominican coffee is made and other items like coconut oil, green tea and baking spices.
Leaving the resort was definitely a culture shock, and while it was expected it was still eye opening to say the least. The bordering towns are covered in trash and run down. Children and adults line the street, lingering in bars and shops and most just sit outside their homes in lawn chairs blankly staring at you as the tour bus drives by. I wonder if they are glad we bring business to these towns or angry for our flashy American touristy ways. I would imagine the latter, if I were them.
The entire tour was a little over two hours. I was nervous at first to ride in the ATV (especially with my road raging husband as its sole driver – love you Brian but you know it’s true!) but that worry quickly wore off. It was nice to change it up a bit, let loose, get dirty and learn about the culture.
We walked away with two jars of natural coconut oil, some green tea leaves that are supposed to help us naturally lose weight (you know I’ll update you on this) and a cd of posed beach pictures we took. The photo cd purchase occurred after aggressively being chased after, we bartered a purchase of from $45 to $25 a cd. When anyone warns you the people of the Domincian Republic enjoy bartering and pursuing a sale, they really aren’t kidding. By the end of the day excursion, my polite attitude was gone, replaced with a blank angry stare and stern “no more” after being asked 20+ times to look and buy a $5 bracelet. I understand there is a livelihood at stake and that everyone selling has a story and need. I’m sure certain tactics work on certain people but I found myself purchasing only the goods and from vendors who were not pushy and brash in their approach. The coconut oil and other times were said to be given 25% to the local school for children’s education, which I can only hope is true.
Exiting the ATV at one stop, this little girl stole my heart and broke my heart. She opened my door and then asked for a dollar or anything I could spare. I did not have anything on me but it got me thinking. Whether or not she was put up to that to pray on unsuspecting tourists or it is really a true and desperate need, she’s still a seven year old girl with no shoes on in the middle of a dusty road begging for money. No child should remember that as a childhood memory. We should all count our blessings for what we have and the freedom we surely possess where we live.
Honeymoon Tip: Wherever you are, find a little time to learn about the area you are in and the culture. Branch out of normal activities and try things you would deem out of your comfort zone. The memories you will one day tell your kids won’t be about the endless Mai Tais you drank, but instead will be about the little moments, you and your significant other learned, explored and loved together.
I told myself I would blog everyday but the plan went out the window the minute we arrived at the resort!
We are in heaven here. The resort is stunning and beautiful and the people who work here are awsome – not to mention gorgeous!?! Dominican men and women are stunning! Our Royal Service perks provided us with a personal concierge, or butler. I mean, so fancy right?! His name is Enrique and is just the sweetest and most helpful. He also looks like he could be Brian’s cousin. In fact, many people here think Brian is Dominican. I’m getting such a kick out of it!
We have a bottom floor suite with an outside patio and day bed and inside, we have a living room, loft like bedroom and the bathroom holds a double shower head shower. Honeymoon ready, si?! The mini fridge is restocked daily and you can request anything you want. (Juices, soda, liquor. Oh the all-inclusive life!)
We were greeted with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries in the room upon check in.
Dinner reservations had already been made for us by Enrique at the Adults Only – Royal Service exclusive restaurant, La Palapa.
The ambiance and decor is striking and modern. White geometric vases surround you and wicked laterns adorn the area. Not paying for anything at dinner is the strangest thing – no prices listed on the menu actually takes some getting used to. The downside that I could see to all inclusive as well is that this can limit your drink choices (if you’re a wino, you will need to pay for the wine you WANT vs the house white or red that is only so-so here) and if you’re craving something in particular food wise, you’re out of luck. Overall though it is is nice to have eveything planned out for you and the mystery taken out of the bill coming that’s for sure!
Honeymoon Tip: Research research research any all inclusive resorts you look into. Read eveything and as much as you can. I picked our resort based on the food reviews and adults only area and the top of the line premium drinks available. Even with this upscale additions, you will find yourself ordering, eating and drinking several things you may not have been apt to if you had picked the establishment and drink choices. If you can’t roll with the punches and/or want particular items, all inclusive may not be for you.
After 12 hours of traveling and two layovers, we have arrived! Travel time… Not gonna lie, we hated it. The red eye from Portland to Detroit was not bad but once we got into Detroit and made our connecting flight, 6 am there was “way too early” feelinv Portland time for our bodies and we felt all kinds of strange and exhausted on that second flight. By the time we got into Atlanta, we were definitely ready to hop onto the next flight and get to our honeymoon destination!
Unfortunately there was a “heating situation” on the plane so we got delayed an hour. Hubby took this opportunity to play the honeymoon card and asked for a seat upgrade. What do you know? It worked! Literally – smooth sailing on our end from there to Punta Cana! We rarely fly Delta on the west coast, so I had no clue what to expect. They definitely surpassed my expectations and treated us kindly and graciously. The seats on the planes (main cabin included) all come with tvs and plug ins for your devices and ample leg room. First class was truly fun for us and enjoyable and made the final leg of the destination perfect.
Arrival into Punta Cana’s airport was hectic. We had no idea we had to pay $10 a person to get into the country and that we needed cash or pesos to do so, so customs was tricky and frustrating. We finally took money out from the airport exchange booth using our credit card, got through customs and hit the luggage rounds. A kind man was there with my luggage and asked who we were using as a shuttle to the hotel. He whisked us down to the Blue Shuttle/Expedia counter. And then of course… waited for his tip. “Kind man” was not needed as we had instructions via Expedia to begin with on how to get to the shuttle counter and instead we fell for the oldest trick in the book. We were “those Americans” with the lost – take advantage of us – look on our face! It’s funny now, or it will be when we retell this story to people when we are back right?! $2 tip later we were on the shuttle to our hotel. After a few stops to the resorts around us, our driver took us to our hotel last. Though he did not speak much English, he did tell us that it’s the “American VIP” hotel. Yes! All that research was worth it!
Shuttle time: approx 40 minutes from the airport to Bavaro Beach location
Honeymoon tip: Research customs prior to leaving your country. Don’t assume any country will be the same as we did with our past experiences with Mexico. Always carry cash with you. And lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for upgrades or better amenities! You don’t get what you don’t ask for!
It’s finally here!!! A month and half (almost) has passed since our wedding and the much needed back to reality check of work and a normal life has given us the time to prepare and build the anticipation for our honeymoon! Tonight, we fly from our home in Portland, Oregon to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Travel time is 12 hours total with two stops – one in Detroit and the next in Atlanta. We are going to be pretty tired but it will be worth it…!
Many people have asked us why we chose the DR. To be honest, we went back and forth on many options, Bora Bora was our first choice – only to find out that travel time is 24 hours. We couldn’t take more than a week or so off of work so that didn’t seem worth it. Italy was next as Brian is half Italian – other half African American – (my hottie husband!) but let’s be honest Italy is no cheap feat… So back to the drawing board we went.
I ended up entering a blog contest from @theeverygirl that asked who I would take on a trip to Eden Roc and why… and lucky me, I won a two night stay to this ultimate resort! (More to come on this.) We are talking luxury vacay at its finest! Being that the free trip was only for two nights, we decided to look into the area and found out how immensely popular Punta Cana is for its mostly all inclusive resorts and breathtaking Carribean beaches. Eden Roc is not all inclusive so we chose to save money and find another place to go for a few days prior to ER. After four or five days of researching the best resorts (Brian everyday to me: Just book something. Me: “One more day! I need to make sure it’s the one!” (Aren’t we women funny?!) We decided upon Pardisus Resort by Melia Hotels with the option of having the Royal Service. The services listed on the hotel website are that you are provided access to your own 24/7 butler and access to top of the line drinks, food and ammenities exclusive to the royal service guests. Oh la la! Six nights will be spent there and we will then move to Eden Roc for the last two nights of our honeymoon.
I’m so excited to get to the Dominican Republic. Brian and I have different days off so our schedule is never the same and we rarely get to spend an actual day together. I’m looking forward to relaxation and unlimited time with my new husband. Husband… The term is something I’m still getting used to saying outloud. It’s like, so, adult.
Honeymoon tip: Trear yourself to a fun manicure inspired by your destination. Thank you Fumi at Color Treats PDX for my own tropical nails! How cute is the pineapple!? Being from Hawaii I’m obsessed with all things pineapple! 🍍
There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why. – William Barclay
I have seen this quote many times over the years and always found it “nice” but meh. “Discover why”. Okay….the answer could be so many different things ranging from the superficial to much more in-depth, profound reasons. As I mentioned in a previous post, birthdays for me are usually non stop parties with my entire group of friends. I enjoy celebrating and more importantly, I enjoy bringing people together to celebrate! My favorite birthday parties in the last few years were a spur of a moment (or much induced alcoholic night) group idea that resulted in my friends deciding to throw a “beach house birthday party” for me. This idea grew to an annual trip that my entire group of friends and I looked forward to for the next 4 years. We always rented a beach house in Lincoln City – and when I say beach house I really mean mansion, we’re talking 8+ bedrooms with 26 people – and partied all weekend. These parties were some of the best times of my life and I think will remain so for the rest of my life.
After Brian and I got engaged though, wedding planning took over and it just seemed silly to me to have my friends spend money and celebrate my “birth” vs all the pre-wedding and eventual wedding festivities that came and are still to come! Last year turned into a brunch birthday party and this year turned into me thinking, ok well – my bachelorette party is in June, my bridal shower is in June, our wedding is in July. There is no need to for a self-absorbed party this year. I decided upon a nice dinner with my fiancée after going to work for the day as usual and chose to keep it low-key.
Well, welcome to the life of a car salesman’s future wife. Brian has long hours that are required of him from the start of the deal to the finish. And most times, he is able to work around set plans we may have but wouldn’t you know that my birthday evening would be the one time he ended up getting such a large deal, that it was worth it for him stay. Summarized: He was scheduled to be off at 5 pm. Dinner reservations were at 7 pm and he didn’t get home to pick me up until 9:40 pm. We had a nice dinner at Thirsty Lion Pub right up the street from us and called it a night.
In the past, this would have angered me and yes I feel selfish and slightly high maintenance admitting this. I expected things from people on this day and I felt I deserved them. Whether this was the younger me who didn’t quite grasp life and the priorities I should be having or what – I definitely felt the need to make my birthday about me, centered around me and well, worshipped on this day. I’m embarrassed now looking back and realizing that I felt this way or assumed that the affections of friends on this day meant people loved me more/less or that I needed that validation in life to feel wanted.
I am not sure what changed in the last few years – if it was my mom’s death, if it was getting engaged, if it really is in fact being in my thirties and understanding life better – but if I could use one word to describe how I feel entering 33 it is: renewed.
I get it now.
Brian working late was needed for 1. our future family 2. our dreams of buying another house 3. for our wedding! Nothing in me felt upset that he worked late or we “missed “dinner. Dinner can happen anytime – memories are made day in and day out in the small interactions of us living together and loving each other. I’m excited for 33 – beacue I feel this difference in me. I am ready for this future. I’m embarking on forever with the man I love and I know that I have alot I am capable of expanding on within myself – from expanding this blog, to my side gig, to various other passions I have yet to fully tap into. So here’s to birthdays, yes – for the annual reminder that we were born, we are lucky to still be alive, and that the reason we are alive should be to enjoy the present, make plans for the future and thank the past for all that we have gone through to be where we are today.
Hey hey! Things are rolling along with my “side gig” – I had my BBL or Big Business Launch last week and it went really well. Two of my favorite and dearest friends ended up joining my team to share in the love of R + F as consultants. I couldn’t be more excited to share in this journey with them! (I will need to write a separate post about that soon!)
In just a month of being in this business, this role I’ve taken on as a consultant has brought me so much inner joy and confidence, it’s unreal. I don’t even know how to put into words the emotions I have felt tackling this job and challenging myself to break out from my comfort zone and reach out to others to help them. I assume most people see me posting about skin care and calling out to them to learn more about it and think I’m fairly aggressive, annoying and frankly, wonder why I am sharing with them when they really didn’t ask for my unsolicited skin advice. Those nagging thoughts is the reason I’ve been tested through this process, doubted myself numerous times and definitely had moments where I wondered if I was cut out for this. This process has brought attention to my insecurities and the people pleaser side of me that doesn’t want to ruffle feathers and has helped me to face that I’m not as confident as I like to portray. It’s been disheartening to feel those thoughts yet…oddly also motivating. When the self-doubt creeps in, I wonder why. Why do I feel I don’t have the necessary tools to succeed? To finish the job? To help others? To become who I want to become?
I think at some level we all face this question at various stages in our lives. And on the other level, we all know the answer is that we do have all of that and more. When the doubt creeps in, the uninvited stranger to your mind’s party, it’s so easy to open the door and let them come in and stay. Linger awhile, why don’t you. I don’t have the strength to kick you out. The hardest part is slamming that door and saying, NOT TODAY, not invited, adios, don’t come around here any more! I’ve learning… (and it’s still not easy), but every day that I at least get up and TRY is one day closer to being free of this burden and not locked down by self-doubt.
I started this company because 1. I love beauty products 2. I believe in these products and 3. I wanted a job that allowed me to follow this passion of skin care, and also help people and make a little money on the side. What I didn’t expect was that as I set out to change the skin and ultimately the life of others, my life would simultaneously change as well. I’m becoming the better version of me. From my sponsor, (my hired and insanely talented wedding MUA turned friend and now business partner) to this amazing team of women whom most I have never met in person but joyfully cheer me on via social media and instantly chose to be my friend, I am learning to believe in ME. Women supporting women can get lost in today’s society. Competition can lead to jealousy and let’s be real, social media leads to comparing lives, judging others and forgetting our own blessings as we evaluate everyone else’s. I can’t sit here and not say I haven’t been a part of that same circle of social media dysfunction. R + F broke that for me and the mold is set now for me to want more – not only for myself but others.
So, that’s why I post. That’s why I share. That’s why I want everyone to feel this feeling I have while I sit here writing this. We are all the same inside and the beauty of it is, that we all have our own talents on the outside: coming together and uniting only makes the world ours and our options limitless.
Talk to me, ask me, call me, email me, text me! I want you to run with me on this newfound journey to unstoppable too.
PS. In one month, I got promoted from Consultant to Executive Consultant. I’m not one to boast or brag. I’m just one to say I didn’t think I could do it, I had no confidence I could but….I did. 🙂
Birthdays are my favorite – maybe not for myself, but always for when it’s the birthday of someone near and dear to me! On March 3, 1984 the world was blessed with the cutest little boy who would then grow up to be handsome, perfect soon to be husband! 😉 I love to shower my friends and family with birthday presents and participate in extravagant social events celebrating their life and entry into this world. Brian on the other hand is much more of an introvert and humble about his birthdays. He literally is fine with a low key dinner with only myself and him in attendance and calling it good. With our wedding around the corner and so many various celebrations for us personally (bachelorette and bachelor party, hellllo!), I am finally on board of having a low key birthday for myself this year but still wanted to do SOMETHING to celebrate my main man. With help from my bff/maid of honor Ellie we got reservations secured to the hottest new PDX restaurant, Renata. This more than appealed to my foodie fiancee! Reservations at this restaurant are currently booked out for months in advance so we were more than excited for this plan.
After surprising Brian with a private town car so he didn’t have to drive us and picking up his friend Ryan, we met up with Ellie and her fiancee, Boyce. The minute we walked into the restaurant, I was blown away by the ambiance and the intimate and sophisticated vibe. The bartenders immediately helped us with our drink orders (the chemistry of the cocktails here are amazing! Not your typical mixed cocktail at an ordinary bar by any means!) To our surprise, the owner of the bar ended up being someone Brian knew from high school. (Go figure, Portland really is the smallest city ever. Ever ever.). The next thing we knew we were wined, dined and spoiled with appetizers galore and the very best wines (Rose all day for me.) I’m not known for being an adventurous eater but when I’m given the opportunity like this, I can bend the rules a bit. I wish I had taken pictures of the food, because the presentation was beyond perfect and so aesthetically pleasing! My favorite was the Arancicni appetizer and of course the Fromaggio plate. (Cheese. My weakness.) Many bottles of wine later and the best pasta and pork chop our table ever had, we were full and happy and crazy impressed with this place!
We ended the night at a the most random bar up the street, and a town car drive later we were home. The next day – yeah you could say we weren’t feeling well (32 year old hangovers are like 21 year old hangovers times a thousand) but it was worth the calories, headache the next day, and the fact that Brian finally let me celebrate him the way he deserves.