Archives for May 2014

Fighting shine control with Mary Kay Transulcent Loose Powder

Influenser Box Mary Kay

Having oily skin has always been my curse.  I start the day off with a clean wash and with my makeup applied I leave my house usually feeling flawless.  It is not until the day progresses and I do a quick pass by a mirror that I quickly realize the oil monster has taken the polished look I left the house with and turned it into an oil slick.  This problem is only magnetized when it comes time to take a picture.  It is hard to take a great pic with a face full of shine.  My options are to wipe the shine off, and along with it my flawless makeup application, or dap and pat my way to a temporary fix.  The Mary Kay Translucent Loose Powder has given me a new solution to curing the shine for a full day of flawlessness.

With the Mary Kay Loose Powder you are applying a new level of absorption.  Sure there are lots of products out there on the market that make the same claim but can result in clogged pores or a heavy look to the makeup application.  It becomes pointless to solve one problem with on a bigger problem when you latter have to battle the problem skin that comes along with clogged pores, especially for oily skin.  Instead the Mary Kay Translucent Loose Powder offers a light powder to absorb oil but not heavy enough to clog the pores.  With easy applications you can easily go from day to night and put in a real heavy hitter in the fight against shine.

Tailoring your style with David Peck

David Peck Dress 2I have often found myself jealous of the options men have when tailoring a suit.  Through the process men have the option to customize a suit not only in the selections of fabric and color but also in making sure the measurements fit exactly to their proportions and preferences.  There is no question that some amount of tailoring can do wonders in ensuring your fit is both comfortable and flattering to your shape, and there is no size fits all in that area with the wide variation of women body shapes and curves.  My longing for custom clothing has come to an end, however, after I stepped in the showroom at David PeckDavid Peck is an exquisite American Fashion House based right here out of Houston and the brand is blazing their way into women fashion by providing the style and making the fit for a custom feel in every season.

David Peck kicks it up a notch by giving you the hands on experience of shopping off of the rack blended with the option for you to both customize fit as well as materials and colors for pieces you love.  As important as a custom fit is, tailing clothing from scratch is not for the faint of heart.  Choosing colors and materials from scratch can wind up in things that look a lot different once made than they did in your mind.  This is where David Peck truly shines.  There showroom is already a haven for style for the woman on the move.  From power suits to evening dresses, David Peck proves that you do not have to take a cookie cutter approach to professional styling.  DSCN1298 DSCN1295The key to these looks are great separates you can mix and match to find the combination perfect for your occasion and style.  In the showroom my mind raced paring blouses with suits and then with shorts and skirts with vibrant color with mellow shirts.  With the each season’s collection on the showroom floor as well as popular mainstays, you have a strong foundation on where to start your style evolution.  The process becomes a lot more complicated when designing pieces from scratch.  By being able to see the style, like the fit, and handpick the material you really begin to fall in love with the pieces from David Peck that are tailored to your likes and needs.    This philosophy is a great way to make a statement that is strong, conservative or bold, colorful or muted and still be the perfect example of you and your style.  With the manufacturing done on sight you have a real hand in the design and make in your pieces few designers can come close to Here are some great picks I loved at David Peck, stop by and choose your own as the sky is the limit.

 

DSCN1265 DSCN1267Vereberg Skirt in Seafoam Handwoven

Glasgow Jacket in Seafoam Handwoven

 

 

DSCN1273 DSCN1270Orlando Blouse in sky and silk chiffon

Venice Skirt in Galveston Print and Organic Cotton

Paris Blouse in midnight and silk chiffon

 

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Barbados Top and Shirt in Navy Ikat Handwoven

Paris Blouse in midnight and silk chiffon

 

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Hayne Dress – Geography Print in silk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSCN1286Vereburg Skirt in Autumn leaves and organic cotton

Sydney Top in sky/yellow and silk

 

 

 

DSCN1289Anya Dress in plumb with velvet dots

Building your personal brand

fashion

When you hear names like Beyoncé or Barak Obama or Miley Cyrus chances are there is an image associated with that name that pops in your mind.  Whether good or bad this image represents the brand of their persona and can be used to make millions or lose millions depending on how others see that brand.  The image of you may not yet be worth millions but the fact is, big or small, the image that represents how others see you makes up your own personal brand.  The reality is that what people think of you impacts how people treat you.  Now personally this may not bother you or impact your life at all, but professionally what people think of you can have a major impact on your jobs, clients, and income.

Building your personal brand involves taking a look at who you believe you are and relating it back to how others see you.  Through the process you can learn how to cultivate the image you project to be an honest reflection of what others can expect you to deliver in their business interactions with you.  There are some ways you can help hone this impression to get the impact you want in what defines the brand of you.

Think of the image you want to project of how others see you – I always like to figure out a difficult maze by starting at the end as it gives you an idea of the bigger picture.  Take some time to imagine how you want others to feel and what they think of when your name comes up.  Maybe it is an image of grace and style or compassion or concern.  Having an image in mind to work towards acts not only as a guiding light on where you are going but also as inspiration when the path becomes murky.

Backtrack and do an assessment of who you think you are now – Once X marks the spot of where you want to be you have to get your bearings on where you are.  As a professional you may want your brand to depict strength and conviction, but you know internally you have problems making decisions.  The difference between who you are and the brand you want to build may have a disconnect.  Your brand is a depiction of yourself that speaks even without direct contact.  As people get to know you personally, however, you only stand to hurt yourself if you cannot back up the brand you are trying to promote with the person you are.  Be honest on where you are in your own development, accentuating the positives and committing to work on the negatives before someone points them out and defines you with them before you do.

Ask people you trust and respect around you for their opinion – Two heads are always better than one when it comes to perspective.  The view from the inside is usually drastically different than the view from the outside as no one lives in your mind but you.  Having a dialogue with those who see you and have a personal connection can let you see the places where what you see you how you want to be seen and where the perspective of this image deviates.  Brand management is not successfully done eyes wide shut so others opinions help to fill in the gaps of what you can’t see and allow you the support to work on areas that need development.

Become aware of the way you treat people – A mentor once told me the key to making a sale is for the customer to both trust and like the sales person.  The way you treat people speaks directly to if they like you.  Disliking someone naturally makes you more keen to areas where they are not perfect and believe me there will be lots of imperfections in even the best brands.  Once someone dislikes you then you have to work twice as hard to overcome this feeling or bank on the dislike being the selling point of your brand (think of Donald Trump).  You don’t have to be the sugar plum fairy to be likable but being yourself and cordial to all is usually a good place to start.

Make sure your actions support honestly the brand you are trying to create – The component of trust is probably the most important as people have to believe you are the brand you are promoting in order for it to be successful.  Because of this your actions have to work on the path towards your overall brand so that each component builds on the other in creating and delivering the image.  Once you prove inconsistent you quickly lose the trust of others.  Once the trust is lost it is ten times harder to regain and even then your message is often diluted.  In brand management consistency is usually the best policy.

Put in the energy to creating a plan and then work that plan – Putting in the time to see where you are, where you want to be in building a brand all mean nothing if you do not walk that path.  This is where the real work comes in as you must absorb the overall image of your brand completely if you expect your actions to be a reflection of it.  Putting in the work and time to develop images and mantras of your overall image serve not only as an external promotion but as an internal reminder of what you are creating and the steps it takes to get there.

Creating your own brand is perfectly doable and gives people a quick reference of whom you are and why working with you benefits them.  Once done you have a great way to relay information quickly and when done honestly have a community of friends and colleges there to support it to expand your network.

 

Road trips with the amigos: Texas Edition

Two pretty happy girls in the car. Concept of carefree roadtripRoad trips within reach: Summer is upon us and with that brings the need to recharge with some fun in the sun.  One of my must do’s in every summer vacation planning is a getaway with friends.   Something about my mandatory Pina colada along with a good mix of friends and relaxation takes away some of the stress of being an adult.  As a kid summer means hanging out with friends, relaxing and goofing off and bringing that in the mix as an adult brings back some of the energy and enthusiasm of being a kid.  The challenge is in the coordination and the cost that can come with getting your friends mobile for a getaway.  A key trick can be to keep the party close, but not too close to where you can’t really escape what happens on a daily basis.  Keeping your getaway options to things close enough to drive but far enough to be out of the city are key to a jam packed getaway with friends.  If you are from Houston or in the Texas area here are some fun options for your friend’s getaway.

Austin: Austin is a town that wears many hats: from college town to hill country or just plain weird.   a The range of options of fun Austin offers helps bring everyone together and then have everyone all wind down in their own way.  Few cities give you the options to take it as slow and focus on relaxing in the day with the drastic change of the jam packed night options that Austin gives.  Check out the hill country to relax but head into downtown for some of the night fun.

New Orleans: New Orleans is known as a party city that may not be for the faint of heart.  Anyplace I can get a frozen drink at the mall is a good place for me, but for those more on the conservative side New Orleans is a haven for history that can really take you away to a whole other world.  Between bayou tours, casinos and cemeteries there should be something for everyone even outside the nightlife.  Don’t forget the food!!! A requirement to handle the drinking intake but even without the drinks the food array in New Orleans provides some exceptional cuisine you are unlikely to find elsewhere in the country.

San Marcos: if your emphasis is on sun then San Marcos is the premier beach destination in Texas.  Given the size of the state it may take you as long to get there as going out of state but the trip gives a chance to do something else that is equally as fun, really enjoy a road trip with friends.  On the road in college we would load up on junk food and our favorite CDs to murder on the ride up.  Having some dedicated time to explore and talk helps you remind you that in good company getting there can be more than half the fun.

Dallas: Dallas offers a great urban escape that showcases the more metropolitan version of Texas.  There is an opportunity to take it slow at places like the Botanical Gardens but also a wide range of bars and clubs.  It gives a new spin on Texas but also provides some of the big Texas mainstays such as great food and landscape.

Lake Charles: I am not a big gambler but with the concentration of gambling and money comes accommodations to attract those gamblers.  Lake Charles has become a meca for gambling getaways and the hotels offer the music and food that comes as a part of the package even if you do not gamble.  L’Auberge is my favorite spot to getaway as the pool and food are top notch and help me to forget that I don’t gamble.  The people there are always ready to have a good time and it makes it easy for good times to roll

Wherever you getaway to time away with friends is a great way to get some concentrated love and support that makes friends invaluable to your battery recharge process.

Annual Checkups with Dr. YOU

Self-diagnosis. Female cardiologist listening to her heartAs an adult most of us know that for some reason or another you should start annual visits with a doctor for the preventative maintenance of your health.  With every visit you add your information on where you are at the point and throughout the years you can track a course of where your health has been at any given point and see the direction you are headed in.  When it comes to doing a check up on your mental wellbeing, however, establishing those checkups can occur a lot closer to home.  Performing a check up on you every year gives you, as a specialist in you, the information you need to see where you are and remind you of where you want to go.  Over a period of time these checkups measure how well you did in getting to the person you want to become.

So what does a check up on you look like?  A life checkup can be an insightful process of taking the time to see where you are and where you are going.  Just like a room clean up you have to see where you are to make room for new things and avoid the clutter that comes when you never put things in their place.  The checkup is just that, a review of where you are.  Many times in life these questions may come up in interviews or with friends but for many reasons we may not take the time and energy to answer them for ourselves truthfully.  This way it is not the answer you think is correct or shows you in a positive light but is real.  As with a doctor’s checkup you can lie or not be completely honest about your condition but it ends up hurting you more than helping you.  Starting off with a review of some simple basics about you and your life really work to capture where you are at the time and later how far you have come to get you closer to the truth of who you are.

Think of the check up as a life capsule of your life in a year and the things you would include to express who you are.  Some things work to define you such as what you love, how you relax, and the most important people in your life.  Other things speak to your circumstances such as what your dream job is and the friends and family that make up your inner circle of love and support.  The things that speak to who you are at your core may take a little longer to answer so the checkup helps you break down the components that make up the person you are at a given point.  You have to know what you have to get where you going so making this checkup an annual appraisal helps you see you a little clearer.  Here are some questions that may assist you on your own personal check up:

Personal Checkup Questions

  • What are you?
  • How do you see yourself?
  • How do you feel others see you?
  • If there is a difference why do people see you differently than you see yourself?
  • What do you do for a living?
  • What do you want to do for a living?
  • What is your favorite color and how does it make you feel?
  • What is your favorite food and how does it make you feel?
  • What is your favorite song and how does it make you feel?
  • Who is my favorite person and how do they make me feel?
  • What makes you laugh?
  • What makes you smile?
  • What brings you peace?
  • Am I at peace and if not why?
  • How do you relax?
  • What is your favorite thing in the world?
  • What is your favorite place in the world?
  • What is your biggest strength?
  • What is your biggest weakness?
  • What is your favorite quality about yourself?
  • What is your greatest accomplishment and what did you learn from it?
  • What is your biggest failure and what did you learn from it?
  • What task do you like to do most and why?
  • What task do you like to do least and why?
  • Have you helped others and if so how?
  • Has your personality improved and, if so, in what ways?
  • Has my conduct towards been such that they are induced to respecting me?
  • How do I treat others?
  • Do I treat others the way I want to be treated?
  • What is my best habit?
  • What is my worst habit?
  • Have I been unfair to anyone, and if so, in what way?
  • What do I believe in?
  • What resources have I used over the year to help in my growth?
  • How do you want to change over the next year?
  • Who makes up your support system?
  • If you died tomorrow, how would you want to be remembered? How do you think you would be remembered?

Maxi Love

Maxi Dress 2Even in today’s age of skin, skin and more skin there is something alluring about packing some of the skin away and letting the imagination do the heavy lifting.  I am admittantly a maxi fan both for the shape the dresses provide but also for the ease.  The ease of wearing maxi dresses are the basis of the reason of why they are a mainstay in my wardrobe.  There is something appealing about an all in one outfit and when in a rush or on the move.  Not having to coordinate pieces always helps to streamline my day.  Not to mention the wide array of possibilities when it comes to slipping on a maxi.  With styles that range from tight to structured to flowly you can feel comfortable on the move with the stress-free ability to choose from a range that simple options like a maxi provides.  Keeping it simple is a great fashion guideline that allows you a canvas to accentuate with accessories and shoes.

When you combine the ability to stress the curves paired with the ease in wearing them Maxi’s have become indispensable for me.  Maxi’s are a great way to provide some of the illusion that comes in a silhouette as opposed to seeing something more of what is underneath. For the body, maxi dresses are a great foundation because the emphasis is on the shape.  Flaunting the curves instead of the skin gives an alternative to ramp up the appeal.  With the great maxi choices now available they even have options with built in bras and shapers to help in ensuring the canvas is flawless.  Even without the extra assistance just by focusing on the gathering point you have a great opportunity to highlight or even create curves.  By playing with where the dresses chinches, below the breast or at the waist or even at the dropped waist, you can put your best assets to the forefront and balance some trouble spots with the illusion of height.  Play with materials and colors and maxis can take you from playdates to power plays in zero to sixty.

Having fun with cut outs

Sachin and Babi Cut OutCut outs have jumped onto the fashion scene in a big way and has emerged as the DASH in apparel allowing you to add a little or a lot of skin and pizazz.  The placement and size of the cut outs can add a punch to a normally demure outfit or blow the doors off of a super sexy outfit.  One of the great things about cutouts is that it can work well on a wide range of body shapes as the cut out can give either the real thing or just the illusion of skin.  The possibilities for the options are staggering and fit a range of occasions.

On a casual level I am fine with a back or side cut out to show skin without being overly sexy.  Because of the flexibility of cut outs, however, I was able to rock a great cut out for a friend’s wedding to produce the combination of classy and sassy that I always love.  The Sachin + Babi Walker Insert Dress offered a couple of features that could make it a winning pick for an array of occasions.  Sachin and Babi Cut Out backOn first look the pattern of cut outs on the top and throughout the skirt make the dress visually interesting to balance the moderate tones of the dresses.  If you are headed somewhere that is pretty conservative you can quickly add a jacket and still have an ensemble that catches eyes but does not have the disapproving glares that can come with an overly sexy dress.  If and when you are ready to be a little more daring then the back is the show stopper.  The mesh cut out on the back gives provides the sexiness that comes with a back cut out but the mesh provides the dress with both structure and a good way to cover some of the back cushion that may exist.  Playing around with cutouts can pay off big on impact when it comes to dressing to impress so don’t be afraid to find a fit that works for you and try them out!

ZaSpa Take me away!

ZaSpa RoomSometimes we all need a way to just stop…take a break…and unwind.  When you are due for this just dessert and you have worked hard then you deserve to play hard…Calgon just won’t do!!! When I am ready to treat myself and get not only the rest and relaxation I need but also the pampering I deserve I head over to the ZaSpa at Hotel Zaza.   ZaSpa offers a chance to escape the busy demands of life and work in the heart of the museum district in Houston with an ambiance that is unparalleled.   What I love about Hotel Zaza is the eclectic mix of luxury and style that provides a unique experience from the moment you step in the door.  This foundation the hotel builds is carried on to ZaSpa as it provides an urban retreat that lets you leave your trouble at the door and focus on you for a change.

Za Spa RelxationOne of the things that keeps me coming back with Hotel Zaza is the intimate space the spa provides.  Some spas have become giants but when you really think about being pampered you think about personalized services one on one for you that go above and beyond.  The ultimate goal for pampering is to make you feel special and this is what ZaSpa concentrates on.  The thought ZaSpa puts into making the experience special for you is clear when you take a look at the menu of services.  From scrubs to massages to facials the services focuses on making you relax and look and feel better than you did when you walked in.  My personal favorite, the “It Happened One Night Facial” is customized so regardless of your skin type you get a facial that deals with your skin care issues so you look as good as you feel long after you leave the spa.  With a knowledgeable staff to share with you the products they are using and their benefits you the option to create your own mini spa at home by picking up the products for sale and easily keep the party going once you get home.

Once I am in the pamper zone it is really hard to pull me out and ZaSpa makes you feel like you never have to.  Before or after your treatment you can relax in a cozy bed with an oxygen treatment.  From relieving headaches to boosting your immune system the stream of concentrated oxygen can give your body a boost and if nothing else relaxing after a treatment continues my Zen.  Bubble BerryIf you are not in the moving slow or napping mood you can always hop into their sauna to stay in your pleasure zone.  As a fabulous treat to a fabulous spa day you can wrap things up with a great lunch and drink (I suggest the bubble berry) poolside.  All in all a great way to treat yourself for a job well done and get the boost you need to continue to tackle life’s challenges.

Curing my Chronic Tardiness

Late man in bedI have come to the realization that I am chronically late.  For appointments or outings with friends and even with going to catch a flight at the airport, my aim to be right on time leads me to constantly stay a little behind the times when it comes to being timely.  Like any problem recognizing it is a problem is always the first step but I really had to pause and explore the question of why I am always running a couple of minutes behind.  I don’t necessarily think my time is more valuable than others or have a total disregard for time but again and again I find myself running behind.  In trying to move myself and my business to the next level the time has come to get back on track and start scheduling my time more realistically to void my chronic tardiness.

When I get to the problem that makes me a person that always is running a little late there are two basic problems at the core of my derailing from the reality of timely scheduling: impatience and optimism.  I am a pretty impatient and want to avoid waiting for long periods and for that matter almost any period.  Part of that is because my life is overscheduled to begin with.  Between work and friends and kids and more work it has become one constant stream of movement.  In my mind any pause in that movement has a trickle-down effect to push back all the other happenings that have to occur.  Step one in curing my chronic tardiness has been to change that way I think about waiting.  During the day there are a million things I do that take up time that I can repurpose during a lull that may come up in a day.  If I wait to check my email once I arrive as opposed to eight times throughout the day I have given my wait time some purpose.  Instead of waiting I have an opportunity to wrap up on some minor issues, catch up on my social media or even better take a second to breath, do my affirmations and just be thankful for all of my blessings.   This is always time well spent.

My next source of chronic tardiness is an optimistic expectation that everything will go just the way I planned or want it to go.  It is this faulty optimism that leads me to think I can always make it to the location in the exact time provided to me by MapQuest or that I can finish an hour’s worth of work in 45 minutes.  Although it is important to be optimistic there are always things that come up ensuring that even the best of plans will not go exactly as scheduled.  I have had to learn to pad in some extra time for the What Ifs.  This padding in my time expectations prevents the hiccups that occur at random that I am not in control of and some that I am in control of resulting in me being late.  Essentially I have given myself permission to not be perfect and also not expect perfection from the world.  Part of the fun in any journey are the detours along the way and learning to anticipate and appreciate those brings me a lot closer to have a more realistic picture of time.  By combining patience with realism I can actually show up when I say I can and send a message that I value others time as much as I do my own.

Overcoming the Illusion of Failure

Stress and frustrationAt the beginning of the year most people set at least one New Year’s Resolution and by the time February hits many people have dumped their freshly minted resolution.  Of the many reasons for this trend one of the most frequent is because people mess up on their resolution early on.  Once the trip up occurs it becomes harder to get back up on the horse and so the whole mission is aborted.  I call it the “F-It” Moment. Once the moment hits the reasons why it will be impossible to complete start to pile up… “It’s too hard”, “I are too weak”, or “There is no help”.  All of the reasons work to build a wall that blocks us both from the inspiration that started us on the path in the first place and the goal that is waiting at the finish line.

Out of sight out of mind is the truth!  Because of this one of the most important factors in overcoming the illusion of failure is keeping the goal within our sight.  We all learn things differently, some through sight some through sound, but once the reminders cease so can the motivation to finish, especially once you have stumbled.  Having a constant reminder of the overall goal is a great way to not be deterred by the stumbling block.  Write down what you want and why you want it and put it some place where you can see it and say it when you need a reminder.  These reminders may seem small but they are a great way to trigger your memory that you are in a war, not just one battle.  When I am having a day where I feel defeated I just grab a pen and jot my goal on my arm as reminder that I can still accomplish what I set out to do, despite the roadblocks.

Another critical component that breaks down the wall of defeat is learning the lessons each pitfall can teach.  If you are in a battle for success sometimes defeats are just what you need to teach you lessons previously unseen.  When driving if you hit a pot hole you can’t erase the bump but you can remember where to swerve next time.  Beating yourself up because things did not go as smoothly as planned is worthless if you don’t walk away with some ways to make your plan bigger and better.  In some ways it can be a blessing in disguise as you may fall some minor battles but are better prepared when the major one approaches.

At the end of the day ultimate failure is not seen when we mess up, but when we give up.  As long as you keep trying you still have the possibility of success.  By keeping your goal around you and learning as you go you can prevent the failures along the way from resulting in abandoning the mission altogether.

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