Oh No, My Friend Has a Home Business…!

Hello Lovelies,

I know this has happened to you. You’re on Facebook, and you’ve received an invite. It’s from your friend Jane and guess what – she’s started X business as a consultant, and wouldn’t you like to 1) come to her launch party 2) refer her to some friends and/or 3) host a party?

One of two things will happen:

  1. You sigh and decide to go to the launch to support her (but you’re not spending more than X, dammit!)
  2. You sigh and pretend you didn’t see the invite and make up an excuse later.

I know you’ve done one of the two because I’ve done the same thing!

However – here’s the truth: Your friend is excited about her new business but is scared sh**less at the same time because she’s worried about:

  1. The cost she’s put into the start up.
  2. Her partner’s rolling eyes and the “I told you so’s.”
  3. She will piss off or annoy her friends and family with party invites and product posts.

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Kinda seems like it? hahaha!

Kinda seems like it? hahaha!

Here’s where things changed for me. When I decided to go to a party that had a a direct sales product, I actually had fun. For real!

Plus, the consultant was a military spouse like me, and she was just trying to make a little side money – no grand delusions of getting rich. She wasn’t pushy, either. Bonus: I liked the products!

And then, I thought – why am I giving my money to big box stores when my business could be directly helping a family? 

I decided I would try to support home businesses as much as I could. If I needed a special gift, better makeup, skincare, comfortable clothing, or great smelling wax bars, I would seek out those consultants.

And, though I never sold any products before, I became a Pure Romance consultant last August! Nearly six months later, I’ve sold nearly $17k in retail and was able to buy Christmas presents without digging into our joint checking account! Most importantly –

  1. I believe in the products. I’d never recommend anything I didn’t believe in to a friend, or use myself.
  2. The parties have introduced me to new friends. As a military spouse, it’s easy to feel isolated and I’m so grateful for new women in my life!
  3. I don’t feel like I have to “bug” people.
With my team members!

With my team members!

Ready to do my party thang.

Ready to do my party thang.

So, the next time Jane invites you to her Scentsy, LuLaRoe, Limelight, Younique, Origami Owl, Thirty One Gifts (or Pure Romance!), party –  DO THIS:

RSVP and go.

OR

Not interested? Let her know. Just say, “Thanks for inviting me! This isn’t really something I’m interested in, but I’ll pass your name on.”

She (and other Janes) will appreciate it! Believe me, a “no” won’t crush her (if it does, then maybe she shouldn’t go into business?!!).

Hope this helps you out!

Until next time –

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo, Melanie

Your friendly Pure Romance Consultant:)

http://www.pureromance.com/melanierobinson187802

 

 

What #BeautyIs…

Hello lovelies,

What is beauty? What do you consider to be beautiful? I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea lately, mostly because so many women and girls are subjected to a marketed ideal which for many, is unattainable. As a beauty and fashion blogger, I am committed to writing about and showing diverse versions of beauty. Maybe if more of us did, we can combat the  unrealistic, photoshopped messages and embrace who we really are!

Beauty Is…

  1. Trying something new.
The awesome Carmen.

The awesome Carmen.

My dear friend Carmen, who is already an accomplished actor, director, and ballroom dancer, decided she wanted a new challenge and a new way to get healthy. So, in her late 30s, she picked up a whole new sport! Fierce.

2. Creating Your Own Trend.

The unique and awesome Jakey!

The unique and awesome Jakey!

Jakey (another dear friend!) has always followed her own lead in fashion. She’s worked every hair color you can think of, can pull off just about any style, because she’s fearless!

3. Making Your Life Happen.

My beautiful cousin, Jax.

My beautiful cousin, Jax.

Though she had a steady job and was doing well in her hometown’s college, Jax (real name: Jacqueline) wanted more. She took a risk, aimed high, and ended up becoming an Editor in Chief of a major college newspaper. She’s also about to graduate and launch a new career. Well done!

4. Not Settling for Less Than You Deserve.

My BFF of several years, Debby.

My BFF of several years, Debby.

Debby is practically my sister. We’ve been best friends since age 4, and we’ve seen one another through all kinds of ups and downs. A couple of years ago, she was in a miserable relationship which had practically stolen her bubbly lightness and joy. Though it was difficult, she summoned the courage to leave the man who brought her pain. By not setting for someone who did not appreciate the beautiful person she is, she now has a wonderful relationship! Don’t EVER settle. You don’t know what you are missing out on!

5. Celebrating Your Body, Your Spirit.

Bikini CU

 

Bikini, Forever 21 Plus.

Bikini, Forever 21 Plus.

So many of us wait until we’ve got the “perfect body” before we’ll put on a bikini, wear a swimsuit, or even go to the beach. I haven’t worn a bikini in 15 years, and I’m tired of waiting. Let’s not let media decide how we should feel about ourselves. Be proud to be you!

6. Facing the World Through Challenges.

The lovely Beth!

The lovely Beth!

Recently I learned that Beth, one of my high school classmates, is facing cancer. Though her prognosis is good, she is still dealing with the harshness of chemo. I love that she put herself out on Facebook with a red lip and a sparkle in her eye! Get ’em, girl! You’ve got this.

Beauty is not what comes out of a bottle, a syringe, by an Instagram filter, or off a clothes rack. It’s truly how we see ourselves and how we treat the world around us. Let’s celebrate what truly #BeautyIs!

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xo, Melanie.

 

A Reunion in Paris, 10 Years in the Making

Bonjour, my dear readers! Today I am feeling a bit under the weather, so I’m chilling out and looking through pics from last month’s Paris adventure, so I thought I’d share a favorite moment it with you.

I love the signs in Paris.

I love the signs in Paris.

I think I’ve already shared that I have a background as a professional actress (still do), and one of the best parts about acting is making many friends over the course of a production. About 10 years ago, I did a touring production of My Way, a Tribute to Frank Sinatra for The Springer Opera House in Columbus, Georgia. Working/living with the same dozen people for six months will either make you  great friends or sworn enemies, but happily I am still friends with all the cast to this day.

And who would’ve guessed that I would have a reunion with Jessie, my cast mate, in PARIS 10 years later?!!

Cue the song: “It’s a Small World After All….”

She and her husband moved to the City of Lights this past year, and with the magic of Facebook, we re-connected and had a wonderful double date night! Jessie and I traded touring tales with our hubbies, devoured delicious French cuisine, and made plans for our next get together.

They are a wonderful couple, and we can’t wait to hang out again.

Paris Jessica

The weather changes quickly in Paris, so I decided to keep it casual, comfortable, and chic!

Paris jacket 1

Paris jacket 2

NEWS!!! On another note, I just did my first GUEST BLOG! I want to thank Jasmine of FOR A REAL WOMAN for asking me to write, and I appreciate the opportunity so much. Check out my picks for affordable and stylish plus size wear here!

Until next time –

Love, laughter, and shoes!

xx Melanie.

WHAT I WORE:

Moto jacket: FASHION TO FIGURE

Gold necklace: FASHION TO FIGURE

Cranberry T shirt: H &M

Black shorts: TJ MAXX

Gold flats: AK ANNE KLEIN

IFB_SEAL_RED

 

 

Love: How Do You Know When it’s Real?

Yesterday, I was around a conversation which involved relationships. A young guy (maybe 22-23) has fallen hard for a girl (around the same age) and after 3 WEEKS of dating, he is already thinking about proposing to her.

What I immediately thought was:

a) THREE WEEKS?

b) You can’t be in love!

c) How many guys out there are like you? (ha ha!)

To add to my astonishment, this guy is one old fashioned fellow. He asked the girl’s father for permission to COURT her. Now, that’s not something you hear every day – “courting,” or asking a parent’s permission!

I shouldn’t judge. Every situation is different. However, I couldn’t help but think what all it took for me to find the real love I have with my husband. After one ex-husband, a few boyfriends, and “acquaintances,” it wasn’t until I “gave up” and focused solely on myself, when I met the Hubby. Even then, during the first six months of our dating I waited for the other shoe to drop. WHAT would he do or say that would prove to me that men were jerks?

He did no such thing. Rather, his acceptance of me (warts and all), support, and sweetness got to me. I felt excitement whenever he called, and my heart did flutter when I would look into his beautiful blue eyes. I WAS IN LOVE!

Nine years together (four married), I still feel that flutter. (sigh!)

Our wedding day!

Our wedding day!

WHAT I WORE:

Dress & Cape- DAVID’S BRIDAL

Silver bracelet- PREMIERE DESIGNS

Brooch – Borrowed from my aunt:)

How do YOU know it’s love? Please comment below!

Love, laughter, and shoes!

xx Melanie.

IFB_SEAL_RED

Reworking Vintage by Raiding the Closet!

VINTAGE 1970s gold disco purse!

VINTAGE 1970s gold disco purse!

There is a great thrill when you find that special piece…that dress, accessory, or necklace at a thrift shop, and you CANNOT believe someone gave it up!

This purse is one of those finds. Back in Michigan, I would regularly raid the local Goodwill for treasure. One day, there it was…a 70s disco shoulder strap purse! I swear, I felt like I got a passport into Studio 54 when I left the store.

The only trouble with these treasures is that it can be tricky to find things that complement them well. However, today I rediscovered a sweater dress from Express tucked away from last year that did the trick just fine!

Dress by Express. Bag, vintage. Boots, JustFab. Leggings, Forever 21 Plus.

Dress by Express. Bag, vintage. Boots, JustFab. Leggings, Forever 21 Plus.

I also lucked out and got my hands on some treasure by fellow blogger and friend Signe Savant of thedailysavant.com! She was doing a spring cleaning (which I need to do as well), and this super cool Charlotte Russe choker necklace is mine! Woo hoo! Be sure to check out her tales and fashion as well:)

One blogger's spring cleaning is another blogger's treasure!

One blogger’s spring cleaning is another blogger’s treasure!

I am also very lucky to have a great hookup (my stepmom!) who runs an Ebay store (hollywoodprincessfashion) that has discount designer wear. On many occasions, I’ve received terrific designer shoes, dresses, purses, and jewelry, including these awesome earrings by Betsy Johnson! Thanks, Diane! xoxoxo!

cu betsy johnson

Betsy Johnson leopard earrings, c/o hollywoodprincessfashion

What’s been your favorite vintage find? Please comment!

Love, laughter, and shoes xoxo!

Why Friendships Matter

Remember when you were a kid and all it really took to make a friend was to walk up to someone on the playground and say, “want to play?” Then, BINGO – you were best buds. That is pretty much how my best friend and I met -we were four years old, I was playing with my Barbie and Debby rode up on her bike and asked if she could play. Flash forward, we are still BFFs -MANY years later (no need to give ages away!).

For most of us, making and keeping friendships can get a bit sticky as the years pass, and as adults, it can be even harder to make friends. We’ve all been burned at some point and our guard is up. Many times, we feel the other person wants something from us (want to buy my makeup? Insurance policy? Bank with us?) and the deeper connection with other people can get lost.

Add to the mix a spouse, a job, perhaps kids (or in my case, pets) that take the attention. Friendships can take a backseat to those responsibilities, and it’s easy for the friendship to wane. However, as I’ve become older, I find that I NEED my friendships more than I ever did. Life becomes more complicated as we face loss, breakups, firings, and moves.

As much as I love living in Europe, I miss my friends back home very much. I’ve been very fortunate to have a strong circle of lifelong friends, and when I got the opportunity to visit home last summer, I felt so rejuvenated spending time with my “sister” Debby, my dearest friend Terry from college, and several friends from high school who I haven’t seen in years. These are the people who saw me through the Duran Duran obsession, supported my artistic side, held my hair when I had a little too much to drink, raised eyebrows over fashion choices, let me cry over first loves, and stood with me at my wedding. These are the people who helped to shape who I am now.

Today, I can say since we moved to Germany I’ve added a few people to my life who I feel will still be good friends when we’re sixty-something. The unfortunate thing is, one has gone back to the States and the others are soon to follow. Such is military life! But it is a small world, and I have hope we will cross paths again soon, if only for a visit.

This year I resolve to keep in closer contact with my friends. They are so much more than that word, “friend.” They are my extended family, a part of my blood. I love them all!

Me with Drea and Vanessa-looking fierce!

Me with Drea and Vanessa-looking fierce!

With my "sister" Debby, my lifelong BFF.

With my “sister” Debby, my lifelong BFF.

With my partner in crime, Terry, from the college days!

With my partner in crime, Terry, from the college days!