Lady Gaga and I Share Something in Common

Hello Lovelies,

I recently watched a fantastic documentary on Netflix called Lady Gaga: Five Foot Two, which chronicles the recording of her Joanne album, her prep for the Superbowl, and her struggle with chronic pain.

I cried along with her when she was in her doctor’s office, saying “I just need someone to fix me.”

I wanted to stand up and yell that as well.  “Please, just FIX me.”

Chronic pain is one of the most unpredictable, stressful conditions one can have.  I could feel fine one day, but the next can be an entirely different story- depending on what my activity level Is, or my stress factor, how much sleep – or even what I eat.  It’s hard to pin down and tricky to diagnose and treat nerve damage.

What’s the most frustrating part of having chronic pain is that many times I can be like Gaga- working out, performing, dancing- then it hits like a ton of bricks. Strangely enough the sciatic attacks (which feel like fire running up my leg) have happened when doing every day things like grocery shopping. I was literally stopped in my tracks with my shopping cart and had to call a friend to get me. While waiting, I flagged down a store clerk to get me a motorized cart. I was so embarrassed and upset. Not only is this pain messing with my life, but I have to involve others with my struggles.

I don’t wrote this post to elicit sympathy or bring attention to myself.  This is something that I’ve been told that I may need to deal with this for the rest of my life (which I’m not exactly accepting; we’ll see about that). But I write this because chronic pain is something many people are silently dealing with, and some are in real dire need of help. Some have turned to narcotics to try and get through the day and unfortunately end up hooked. Others drink. Some grit through it with basic pain meds. I’ve been dealing with it with basic meds, but I would just love to not have to take medicine anymore.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying all that I can and seeking that something that will fix me.  Lady Gaga- I feel ya, girl.  Hang in there. We’ve got this.  

Advertisements

The Truth About Direct Sales

Direct Sales. Some people love it; others roll their eyes at the idea. I have several friends who are consultants for direct sales companies, and I belong to two companies as well. If you have thought about joining a company to make a little extra income or to expand on a hobby, read on.Or, if you are curious why your friend is selling bags, scents, makeup, etc., you’ll find this interesting. I will share my experience, lessons I’ve learned, and things to consider before signing on.

  1. They are not all pyramid schemes. Yes – there have been a few companies who have got into legal trouble for basically being pyramid schemes and leaving people with a lot of inventory on their hands with not much to show for their efforts, but this is why it’s important to research a company before signing on. Many direct sales companies are reputable and have been in business for awhile due to a strong customer base. If the company you are looking at seems to value recruiting more than the products, watch out. Recruitment should be a bonus, not the focus.
  2. What’s the true cost of joining? That cheap introductory kit will be more than what you’re paying for. Most companies will charge a one time technology fee (anywhere from $10 – 25) and sometimes a monthly website fee to stay in business. Do you need to meet a quota to stay active? Is there a yearly fee? These are not negatives, but real factors to consider. Depending on your intent, the cost could add up if you are not planning to actively sell.
  3. Who are you signing up under, and do you get training? Personally, I want to talk with the consultant a bit before I join her team and feel out her intentions. Will she be a supportive guide or a “ghost sponsor?” Are there resources to learn how to be successful with your business? I am blessed to have great sponsors for both of my businesses, and they have become good friends. Both companies I work with have supportive networks and plenty of resources for me to get ideas and information. You are making a business decision, so treat it like such and do the research.
  4. What is the track record for customer satisfaction? The last thing you want to do is piss off your friends and family if the company doesn’t deliver on their promises! Does the company have a good return/exchange policy? An easy way to contact? Are these quality products?
  5. Is this something you want to dedicate time towards?I would be really wary if someone told me, “all you need to do is share pics and make money in your pj’s!” Oh, if only it were that easy! The truth is, you need to establish your credibility with people. Your customers will buy if they feel they can trust you and that you care. Building a direct sales business takes time – so please don’t think you’re going to make thousands of dollars in a matter of months. BUT, if you are consistent,  positive, and offer great service, you will build a strong customer base.
  6. Family and friends might not be on board at first. Of course, you will have friends who will be excited for you and love the product you are selling. However – don’t expect your sales to come from just those close friends and family. Sometimes people feel funny giving money to their friends, or family members are nervous about showing favoritism. Let them know you do not expect them to buy, but if they could refer your name if someone is looking for your product/service, that’s all they need to do.

These are the main things I’ve learned over the course of a year in the direct sales biz! Most of all, find something that you are passionate about. People will feel your authentic love for what you do.

And friends who have friends in the biz – don’t roll your eyes at her. She is trying to do something to better her situation. If you don’t like the product or are not interested, just be honest and say so. Don’t “ghost” her! I can tell you that being ignored is MUCH WORSE than being told no. Chances are, she is a big girl and can handle it! I do!

I hope this was helpful! Enjoy your new adventure!

Love, laughter, and makeup (my new tag line!) –

xo, Melanie.

May Makeup Challenge and Marilyn

Hello lovelies!

I don’t know about you, but it’s so easy to fall into a rut when it comes to doing my makeup. Same colors, same techniques, and though the makeup looks fine – it can get borrriiing after awhile!

So I decided to join the #MayMakeupChallenge!

Each day is a new look or technique to try. I started a couple of days late into it, but today (the 3rd) is 50s Glam.

Marilyn Monroe was my first Girl Crush. When I was 17, I saw The Seven Year Itch during a Saturday afternoon movie on TV and I was struck by her ability to be sexy, funny, and vulnerable all at once. I was a fan. That Christmas, my parents gave me an “Complete Encyclopedia” of Marilyn – I cannot remember the name of the book-but I spent many days reading through the close to 1000 pages. Her look, style, and story influenced me in so many ways.

So I thought it would be appropriate to channel her for this first challenge.

Her look is simple, but a bit deceptive in its simplicity. It’s glam without looking “glam.” It’s all about luscious lips, lots of lashes, and carefully shadowed creases in the eyes.

I decided to go all in with her classic red lip! Here, I am wearing Limelight by Alcone’s Enduring Lipcolor in Candy Apple, a matte color, with Limelight’s Signature Jeweled Lipgloss in Love over it for that sexy pout.

Lashes for days!

I think there’s a little bit of Marilyn in all of us. Even a purple haired chick!

She was ahead of her time – championed having pale skin and curves. Marilyn did things her way, even if it was controversial or rattled cages. She wasn’t perfect and didn’t pretend to be. We can all relate to that.

Get the tools to my look here: Limelight by Alcone (chemical and cruelty free makeup and skincare, originally created for makeup professionals).

Tomorrow – Bold Liner!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo Melanie:)

Spring is Here – Refresh, Reboot!

Hafa Adai Lovelies!

SPRING! A time to clear away the blahs, to reassess goals, to clean out closets! Here in Guam it is an endless summer (which may sound great to a lot of you!). however, the weather can be a motivation killer. That “sameness” is kind of what has happened with me lately. The lack of a season change made me a bit stuck with my mindset and goals. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I noticed that I hadn’t written anything in awhile or planned something new. So – presto!

Presenting the new look to The Divine Mz M! I am back, baby! New beauty tips, reviews, fashion, fitness, body image discussions….and GIVEAWAYS! Yes!!

As of late, I have really worked on my makeup skills and started a side gig as a makeup artist! Being able to create while making someone feel amazing is such an fantastic feeling. If you are on Instagram, please check out my work and let me know what you think! @DivineMzMel

What are you planning to do differently this spring? I’m going to get more fit (planning on 15 more pounds gone by my July birthday), focus more time with friends, and saving cash towards a December trip to Australia!

I would love to know your goals!

Until next time –

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo Melanie:)

The Truth About Getting Older!

Hello Lovelies,

I think the month of January ran by me without my realizing it. My every day life has been incredibly busy for a month straight – between teaching, doing parties, and now launching a new business with makeup and skin care (more to come on that later!!), I think my body decided to revolt!

Some of you know that I’ve become pretty passionate about getting healthy. For almost a year, I’ve watched my diet and worked out at least 3-4 times a week, focusing on a cardio/weight lift circuit. It’s worked out great, as I’ve lost 33 pounds. Pretty nifty keen, if I say so myself!

March 2016

March 2016

January 2017

January 2017

But here’s the thing. Though I am stronger and more fit, somehow my body decided maybe I was trying to do too much and as a result, my sciatic nerve GOT MAD last Saturday morning and the Hubby and I spent most of the day at the emergency room. So, imagine my frustration when I am told to rest for a few days and take medications for pain. UGH!

Besides all that, I am realizing that my eye sight is going downhill. More and more I am having to rely on my reading glasses – and that’s not such a bad thing, as my glasses are kinda cute, but damn….it means I am definitely getting older!

I want to tell all young women out there – CHERISH your bodies. Love them as they are; don’t wish for something else. Now that I am in my mid 40s, my beauty routine has become much more elaborate to fight gravity. More supportive bras, firming creams, regular masks and facials. Yes, I know – we all get older. However, it doesn’t mean I have to just let gravity and stress tell the story of my life! Call me vain, but I want to look as young as my heart feels.

Dress. LuLaRoe. Bag, Just Fab. Necklace, Premier Designs.

Dress. LuLaRoe. Bag, Just Fab. Necklace, Premier Designs.

I take care of my skin. No longer do I trust just anything to put on it – chemicals make me red and the inflammation ends up breaking down cells, causing loss of tone and creating wrinkles. I discovered a professional grade skincare and makeup line, LimeLight by Alcone, which uses no chemicals, is free of parabens, plus is cruelty free (which I especially love!). Check out my before and after! You can see more at my Facebook page: Giving Good Face by Melanie! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1069186336560621/

Left, last December. Right, Feb 3 2017 after using LimeLight by Alcone's skin care and makeup consistently. No photoshop or filters!

Left, last December. Right, Feb 3 2017 after using LimeLight by Alcone’s skin care and makeup consistently. No photoshop or filters!

So yes – physically, aging sucks. Over time, things wear out. However, one thing I know is true: With age, comes wisdom. I don’t get sucked into others’ dramas, I focus on what’s really important to me and my family, I believe kindness is much more effective and needed, and true friendships are precious and few. I have no patience for toxic people or situations.

Getting older has given me more confidence. I say what I mean, and mean what I say. I don’t have time for games. If I want to try something, I will do it. Appeasing others to save face doesn’t interest me. The cliche’ of “life is too short” becomes very clear as one gets older.

So, yes I’ll have to do more physical therapy, wear glasses more frequently, maybe pass on more commitments to reduce stress. However, I’ve got one life and I want to live it the best I can!

Until next time!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo, Melanie:)

 

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.

a6013f11d07d7195f9ca957122374994-1-jpg-1

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

 

 

Phrases I Hate

“Act your age.” “Ladies don’t act like that.” Those two phrases were ones I dreaded hearing when I was growing up.  I never truly understood what they meant, but now I am older, the context of those words make me cringe and upset. Why?

Because we direct them at girls. We expect them to mature faster and be quieter, more “ladylike” in demeanor. Their enthusiastic energy gets toned down, their “tomboyish” attitudes and activities looked at as something weird, or a “phase.”

IMG_20161026_120906.jpg

There’s a famous saying, “Well behaved women seldom make history.” To me, it means not being quiet when people are hurting.  To not accept poor treatment. To rise above expectations. To DO YOUR OWN THING, regardless of age.  I am in my mid 40s and still like amusement parks. I listen to everything from Rihanna to Skrillex and jazz too. Wearing crazy leggings makes me happy, and yes- my hubby is 12 years my junior. Some people might think I haven’t “grown up,” but on the contrary, I’m growing in experiences. If we stop trying new things, taking risks, or sharing an opinion, then you have stopped experiencing life.

So, to my fellow “ladies” out there: Stop apologizing for your ideas. Don’t second guess yourself.  Trust your instincts. Say what you mean.  Be brave and DO YOU!

Until next time,

Love, laughter and shoes-

xoxo, Melanie.