Saturday, September 20, 2014

Look Back: Fall 2012

I REALLY didn't post very much at all during the fall of 2012. I was preoccupied with training for my second marathon and finishing strong with Amanda. I think this was when my blog really went through it's mini-identity crisis and I realized that I just didn't have the energy to keep posting my outfits to a blog, when I really have so much more going on in my life!

I'm glad that I made the decision to start adding different kinds of posts in the mix. It makes it feel more representative of who I am. :)

Now I get to share my Gluten Free Food, my Real Life, and of course, my Beautycounter business!

As always, you can click on the photos to see the posts from way back when!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

belts and buns / denim and a dress

denim and a dress 14

I named these photos "denim and a dress" but then began to write the post naming it "belts and buns" - so rather than choose, this post has two names. It's a lot like my life in general. I haven't quite chosen definitively who I am or what I want to be when I grow up, so throughout my day I wear a lot of different hats.

I wake up in the morning and I am an athlete. I have a coach sometimes, but sometimes I am self coached. Then I turn into the coach for others. And since that roll involves children, I am also a mentor and an "ace"/"treasure hunter" (if you're familiar with Kids at Hope). Then I am an assistant/employee. I am a business owner, and even that's not completely simple, because I have three businesses. I am a girlfriend. I am a puppy's world. I am a daughter and a sister. I can't choose to be just one thing, because I am all of these things. So this post gets two names, because I can't choose there either.

But sometimes I have to prioritize being one thing over another. Right now I need to focus on being an entrepreneur and social mission advocate. I need to put my fears (and procrastination) aside and get to work! Some things are easy, sometimes you can just repeat a formula and get the same results - don't reinvent the wheel. But sometimes wheels don't cut it, and you have to invent tank like tires that can handle your specific terrain. I feel like I am stuck between these two predicaments right now.

I don't want to reinvent the wheel when it comes to my business, but this area (the DC metro) might be a special, different terrain.

So am trying wheels, and inventing tank tracks, and moving forward! :) Anyone want to book a Beautycounter social? ;)

denim and a dress 3
denim and a dress 9
denim and a dress 2

When and Where:
  • Thursday, August 21st, 2014
  • to work
What I'm Wearing:
denim and a dress 15

Support my blog: I buy a lot of, well, everything from Amazon with my prime membership (both personally and at work). They are offering a free 30 day membership to new subscribers and a referral bonus for me! So check out Amazon Prime and support my blog at the same time! I donate 10% of all ad revenue to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through their Team in Training and Light the Night programs.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Beautycounter, butterflies, and my thoughts on business

more butterflies 12

My Beautycounter business has been on my mind a lot lately and here's why. I want to build a business, but I don't want to be known for selling skincare. My driving intention is to help share Beautycounter's social mission that we deserve better. We, as American consumers, deserve to know what is in the products we choose to use and surround ourselves with, and we deserve regulations that protect us. Right now, the personal care industry is largely unregulated. In the European Union, there are over 1300 chemicals that are banned from use in personal care products and cosmetics, the US only bans 11 chemicals. There are some companies that market products both places, under the same label and brand name, but with different formulations. They make a version that is arguably safer, for Europe and a "free for all" version for the United States.

Safety and skincare aside, I also want to support the direct sales industry. It's an awesome opportunity for (mostly women) people to become entrepreneurs and business owners. You get to write your own check based on how hard you work. I did a direct sales business when I was younger and could write the book on how not to do it, so it's hard to not fall into the same patterns! Direct sales requires work, but luckily that work is a lot of fun! I suggest that if you're thinking about a direct sales business, you should contact your consultant and just do it! And here are my suggestions for getting started:

  • Buy the consultant kit (usually $75-150) and what you will personally use and that is it! Surely there are stats that will be shared with you that the most successful people start with the highest product level, but remember that the person telling you that is making commission on your order. It will always be there to order, don't over do it!
  • Along that line, you do NOT need inventory. People will wait for products and your kit should come with enough things for people to gauge quality of what is in the catalog. As you make commission, reinvest a portion of it to build your samples.
  • Offer it to your friends, but don't feel bad when they don't want to be customers. They are your friends, they want to support you, but they might not want to be customers and that's okay!
  • Reach out to people outside of your immediate network to find customers. Once you start to be successful sharing your business with people outside your immediate network, your friends will be more interested!
  • Support your friends that are in other direct sales businesses, even if they sell a competing product. This one is tough, but remember, they started their business for the same reasons you did - for themselves and their families - not to compete with you. There is plenty of room in the market place for all kinds of products! And each has their own pros and cons. And when they have a complementary product, do parties together! Sure, sales are lower for the amount of people, but generally you meet people you wouldn't otherwise meet!

That's all I want to include for now, but I certainly have other things to do and not do on my mind. Well, like right now I'm thinking "don't be afraid to ask for the booking!" And with that, I am off to ask my network to let me crash their homes with my Beautycounter business! :)

more butterflies 14
more butterflies 8

When and Where:
  • Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
  • to work
What I'm Wearing:
  • top - Banana Republic Factory Store
  • sweater, sandals - Gap
  • shorts - J. Crew

more butterflies 5

Support my blog: I buy a lot of, well, everything from Amazon with my prime membership (both personally and at work). They are offering a free 30 day membership to new subscribers and a referral bonus for me! So check out Amazon Prime and support my blog at the same time! I donate 10% of all ad revenue to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through their Team in Training and Light the Night programs.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

organic pedicure at Organic Nails with Lambeth

organic nails 2

I could live in this sweater, and pretty much have been since I picked it up at the outlets at the beach. I wore this outfit when I went to get pedicures with my friend, and Beautycounter buddy, Lambeth! It was Lambeth that originally introduced me to Beautycounter last November, before her second son was born. I immediately signed up as a member, but I waited to make product purchases because I wanted to do my own research on the information that was shared at the social and, as I've shared before, I thought I was happy with what I was using.

It took me nearly 6 months to make a move toward using healthier products, but once I started really looking in to it, I knew I had to make a change. It was the book Toxin, Toxout that really brought it home for me. I had already made the change to safer personal care and home products, but I was on the fence about food and wasn't sure what to do about my monthly pedicure! In the book, they use nail salons as an example of a toxic environment, mostly for the workers, but still, I wasn't sure how to handle the pedicure predicament. I'm all in when it comes to detoxing and un-cheming my life, as long as I still get to feel like a pretty, pretty princess! Luckily, Lambeth was there to rescue me from toxins, yet again, by suggesting Organic Nails in Vienna!

And boy, was it amazing! Not only was it clean, with an amazing selection of 5 free polishes, but it was a great price AND they served me champagne! Luxury, low toxin, and a great value - this is why I'll be driving to Vienna for all of my upcoming pedicures from now on! I am counting the days until I get to go back for another pedicure (and possibly a massage!) after my triathlon this weekend.

organic nails 3
organic nails 9

When and Where:
  • Sunday, August 17th, 2014
  • around the house and to Organic Nails in Vienna, VA
What I'm Wearing:
  • sweater - Banana Republic Factory Store
  • top - Gap, a gift from Besty
  • shorts - J Crew

organic nails 7

Support my blog: I buy a lot of, well, everything from Amazon with my prime membership (both personally and at work). They are offering a free 30 day membership to new subscribers and a referral bonus for me! So check out Amazon Prime and support my blog at the same time! I donate 10% of all ad revenue to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through their Team in Training and Light the Night programs.

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Monday, September 1, 2014

nachos and freezer mac and cheese (gluten free)

UntitledUdi's gluten free Mac and cheese with bacon!!!

Since it's Labor Day and we're all probably out BBQing, let's "taco" bout what I have been eating lately. (I couldn't resist the pun!) My two go-to meals are nachos and gluten free mac and cheese from the freezer section (though I still love some Annie's GF easy mac). As I explained in this post, I've decided to try all the different types of gluten free mac and cheese my local safeway decides to stock. So I thought I'd share my review the Udi's one too! So sit back, and let's talk food!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

once upon a pie (gluten free mini pecan pies, to be exact)


Once upon a time (last year, for Thanksgiving, when I wore this), I made some gluten free, mini pecan pies! These are more photos that got overlooked (remember when I told you I found a bunch of blog photos), but I remember these pies being so good that I figured since we're less than 3 months from Thanksgiving, why not share them now!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

outlet success

outlet outfit 4

While at the beach, Reid and I tackled the outlets. Reid was under the impression that the outlets are a magical place where you can find exactly what you are looking for at an amazing deal. What he learned was the truth about outlet shopping, you have to go with an open mind, looking for deal on things without a particular item in mind. Because chances are, you're not going to find exactly what you're looking for. The truth about shopping is that when you need a specific item, especially a wardrobe staple, it's best to shop in season and be open to paying full price. Not that you can't find amazing wardrobe staples on the sale rack! It's just that sometimes a full price item that is perfect
beats out 3 sale items for the same amount that are almost right.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

two of my faves, coming together!

catalog 2

When I put on this outfit, Reid said "you look like you just stepped out of a J.Crew catalog!" It was an adorable compliment, though I really don't have any shortage of compliments coming from him! I love J.Crew and shop the sale rack whenever I can, since my budget prevents me from being able to afford full price items. But here's the deal, even at full price, their clothes are WORTH IT. They are made well, the fit is always nice, and they last! That's why I think it's super cool that select Beautycounter products are available on J.Crew's website! Of course, you can get your Beautycounter from me, but how awesome is it that they are helping our brand reach more people?

Beautycounter is just over 3,000 consultants strong (as of the beginning of August), so we're a very new company when it comes to the direct-sales, skincare industry. But again, the thing that sets us apart, and really into our own category, is that we are safe skincare that performs. You really can't beat it! I mean, who else out there has an anti-aging line that is safe enough to use on pregnant women and children!?! (not that kids need anti-aging, but if it's safe for them, it's safe for everyone)

Can you tell that I love Beautycounter? Just a little ;), right! It's that the more that I learn about the skincare industry, common skincare ingredients, and toxin free living, the more I respect Beautycounter! The Never List is the upfront promise that our products are safe, but we're also 100% transparent when it comes to our ingredients and the sources of them. That last part is important because some ingredients could be bad if they come from a contaminated source. It's nice to be part of something with a larger mission that just skincare! :)

catalog 8
catalog 12

When and Where:
  • Thursday, August 7th, 2014
  • to work
What I'm Wearing:
  • Sunnies - RayBan (and sacrificed to the ocean the following week... sadface!)
  • top, belt - Gap
  • shorts - J.Crew
  • flops - Old Navy

catalog 5

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Monday, August 25, 2014

South Lakes 10k


Yesterday I ran the Potomac River Running - South Lakes 10k for the second year in a row. Just like last year, the circumstances weren't totally ideal. Last year, Crescent and I stayed out late celebrating her birthday, so running the 10k the next morning was tough, to say the least! It was also super hot, compared to yesterday's beautiful 64 degree morning. (here's a photo of us with Leeanne after last year's race). This year, it was a different kind of tough.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Look Back: August 2012

In August of 2012 I was in a bit of a blogging slump, as summer tends to go. But I did do a little post about my real life and how I like to waste time. Reid and I also made these amazing blackberry brambles and fabulous Hoegaarden shandys (boy do I miss real beer - stupid celiac!). We've actually been talking about trying to make some gluten free beer-tails (that is cocktail with beer), but haven't gotten around to it yet. That's why it's so fun to look back, it reminds you to follow through on old plans. :) We're also planning a birthday hike for his 32nd birthday that is coming up this week, just like we did for his 30th!


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