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

 

 

#ShopMyCloset Part 2: Being Comfortably Chic with Athleisure

Blk floral

Hello Lovelies!

One of the new trends in fashion I’m LOVING is the “athleisure” look. The best way I describe the style is “yoga gone glam.” It’s not just throwing on sweatpants and sneaks (though those are comfy!); it’s selecting the type of material and cut of the clothes that takes the “workout” out of the look.  Since Guam is such a laid back place, this style works PERFECTLY for me. It’s more elevated than t shirts and shorts.

For instance: Here’s a typical gym look.

CELEBRITY-WORKOUT-STYLE

Athleisure has a more structured look and feel, though it borrows heavily from yoga wear.  The pants are tailored; the shoes are either glam kicks, booties, or heels.

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athleisure 1

The key to nailing the look is to keep it grounded. If you are a 20 something or younger, you can get away with more embellishments and brighter colors. However, those of us 30 and older look more chic in neutrals, black, whites.

I shopped my closet and came up with this look with a beach hoodie, a high/low t shirt dress from Express, leggings from Forever 21 Plus, and wedge sandals from Shoedazzle.  I added a little sparkle with accessories.

BW floral 2

BW floral long

I love this hoodie!

I love this hoodie!

BW Ring

What I love the most about athleisure is that I can wear it from running errands to joining my hubby to dinner and still be comfy and chic!

Show me YOUR best athleisure looks!

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xo, Melanie.

 

 

Shopping and Stuffing My Face!

Hello all!

I know, I know…I’ve been slacking on posts lately! However, the Hubby and I have been having a whirlwind visit with friends and family in Michigan. As they say, time FLIES when you’re having fun.  We’ve been stuffing ourselves silly with dinners out, so I am NOT getting on a scale for at least a month, ha!

Of course, no vacay is complete without shopping! I picked up some GREAT bargains for Guam. My everyday purse was dying a slow death, so when I saw this gorgeous Nine West fringe bag at Younkers for ONLY $20, I snatched it! I love between season sales!

Can you believe I got this for $20?!!! It was originally $90!

Can you believe I got this for $20?!!! It was originally $90!

Being a Michigan girl through and through, I HAD to get this University of Michigan “Lucky” tee to wear with my Primark sporty skirt! Check out my maize & blue socks!

GO BLUE!

GO BLUE!

I’m also wearing a new Clinique foundation. This is “Perfectly Real” makeup I got from Sephora. The coverage is light, but still covers those little ruddy areas.

Lucky CU

With winter gradually melting away, I was able to wear my SWAK Designs denim jacket out to dinner. This is the PERFECT between season jacket. It’s a cozy soft denim.

SWAK jacket

And I thought this cat bracelet looked purrrrfect with it!

Cat bracelet

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. Our visit ends Monday, and off to our new adventure in Guam we go! Stay tuned to see my new spring looks!

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xo Melanie.

I love a fireplace on a cool night!

I love a fireplace on a cool night!

Looking Hot in the Big Chill

Michigan, aka Antartica.

Michigan, aka Anarctica.

Hello lovelies,

So, the Hubby and I are “back home” in Michigan, during one of the coldest freaking winters ever! Today it was actually a semi-tolerable 20 degrees, so the two of us (plus my dad) ventured out to the pier in Grand Haven. Lake Michigan is almost frozen solid! You’d think we were in the Artic!

Brrrrr! But beautiful.

Brrrrr! But beautiful.

Of course,  I had to attempt to be fashionable, so I wore TWO pairs of leggings (these are my new favorites from H&M), a cute knitted head wrap to keep the ears warm, a black peacoat from Paris, and my trusty Just Fab boots. Let the frostbite just try and get me!

Hurry and take the pic!

Hurry and take the pic!

Pier 1

Check out this ice sculpture Mother Nature made!

Pier 5

While my teeth chattered, I chanted under my breath, “soon I will be in Guam…soon I will be in Guam…”

How are you keeping warm and fashionable? Let me know!

Until next time-

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xo Melanie.

 

Oh the Weather Outside is Not Exactly Frightful…

SWAK jacket 3

Merry Christmas, or Frohe Weihnachten, as they say here in Germany!

It’s Christmas Eve, but you wouldn’t know it except for the decorations around town. Germany is in a week long stretch of GRAY skies and RAIN. Not so pretty! Normally, I’m not a huge fan of snow, but it would be nice to see something glittery white for Christmas morning!

Despite the grayness, it is mild enough to still rock some fall styles.  This denim jacket from SWAK Designs is actually quite soft, and how refreshing it is to get a jacket that fits comfortably when buttoned up around the bust! You busty gals know what I’m talking about. It’s tricky to find something that doesn’t make you look like a box!

SWAK jacket 1

SWAK jacket 4

Forever 21 Plus leggings and skirt, Just Fab boots.

 

I’ve discovered a new site to obsess over – Sephora! How many of you have ordered beauty products from them? THREE FREE SAMPLES with an order? Plus when I bought just $30 in product, they threw in ANOTHER sample. Speaking of product…

Josie Maran Argan Oil for Face has CHANGED my skin. I only use a little bit all over after cleansing, and my face has never been softer or glowier, EVER.  This may be oil, but I don’t feel greasy and no breakouts at all! Check out my skin – I am wearing just a little CC cream as foundation:)

SWAK jacket 5

Not bad for a 40 something chick, hmm?

I hope you enjoy your holiday, and blessings to all of you. I will share in a few days what Santa brought me…so excited! Hope you share your surprises as well!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

Cozy Comforts and Cyber Monday Madness!

 

Hello all!

So, I admit it: I’m not a huge fan of cold weather. Though I’m originally from Michigan, I just could not get into skiing, snowmobiling, or any kind of cold weather sport. However, I do enjoy wrapping myself up in a cozy sweater and drinking some coffee with Kahlua!

As some of you curvy gals know, sometimes it’s hard to find sweaters that don’t add bulk or offer no shape. However, I found this great sweater dress from H&M which works with leggings, tights, or skinny jeans!

HM sweaterdress

Relaxing at the Edelweiss Resort in Bavaria.

Relaxing at the Edelweiss Resort in Bavaria.

HM sweater 3

I  recently got these cute Forever 21 booties. They’re very comfortable and go with so many looks!

f21 booties

Here’s some chic sweater dresses from H&M in straight and plus sizes! Both are under $35.

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Yay for cute and warm affordable clothes!

Did you do any shopping on Cyber Monday? I got all my hubby’s shopping done, and I ordered items through my Ebates account. What’s Ebates? Only the most awesome way to shop online! Just sign up, select a retailer, and shop! You can earn anywhere from 1-18% CASH BACK from your shopping trip! I am getting over $17 back (so far!).  Sign up, save with coupons, and earn $!

Click here! http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=YQvuaf2PAQvnIFOicHk9Qg%3D%3D&eeid=26471

By the way, fashionistas – you get referrals for others who sign up! When a friend signs up and makes a shopping trip, YOU GET $25 back! Oh yeah!

I’m all about getting a little more green during the holidays – how about you?!!!!

Until next time, stay warm and enjoy some tasty hot beverage:)

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

What I’m Wearing:

Sweater Dress – H&M

Leggings – FOREVER 21 PLUS

Booties – FOREVER 21

Scarf – KOHL’S

 

 

 

“You Say It’s My Birthday…” Time for a GIVEAWAY!

IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE!

This is a BIG week! It’s my birthday on Tuesday, plus I hit over 3,000 views here yesterday!

As a thank you to you all, I am hosting my very first giveaway!

So excited!

So excited!

SOOO…I picked up this adorable Eiffel Tower necklace in Paris, and I’ve been holding on to an extra one for my readers!

Love the delicate tower!

Love the delicate tower!

AND….you can’t possibly rock a Parisian necklace without a red lip, so here’s a sample size of Cynthia Rowley Lipstain in Valentine PLUS Evologie Stay Clear Cleanser to keep your face soft and blemish free this summer!

flower 6

 

THIS IS AN INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY, so enter now! JUST CLICK ON THE “PARISIAN GIVEAWAY” on the sidebar:)

My new peplum top and leggings!

My new peplum top and leggings!

Flower 5

Casanova, the Photobombing Cat!

Casanova, the Photobombing Cat!

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Peplum Top – FOREVER 21 PLUS

Floral Leggings – FOREVER 21 PLUS

Sandals – MADDEN GIRL

Good Luck to everyone!

Love, laughter, and shoes…

xx Melanie.

 

 

 

 

Be Italian: The Vatican

Bonjourno! The Hubby and I are home now in Germany, safe and sound, with a TON of pictures! I’m going to spread out my tales of Italy over several posts with fashion musings mixed in, so I hope you will enjoy!

In St. Peter's Square.

In St. Peter’s Square.

We arrived in Rome around 10 p.m., and the first impression was not great. The area where our train stopped looked sketchy;  a LOT of graffiti on buildings, dark streets, and the rain didn’t help matters, either! I would learn later that unfortunately, Rome has a lot of graffiti. However, Italians are very friendly people and many of them speak good English. Thanks to a helpful waiter in a café we stumbled into, we were pointed in the right direction and found our B & B.

A tour of the Vatican and St. Peter’s Square began our first full day. I cannot say this enough; GO TO THE VATICAN IF YOU EVER GET THE OPPORTUNITY. For one thing, you are visiting a separate state within the city of Rome ( you can buy post cards and send them from the Vatican’s post office!), and the artwork is absolutely STUNNING.  If you do visit Italy, book tours with Dark Rome. You’ll get an excellent guide, and a lot of bang for your buck.

Entrance to the Vatican.

Entrance to the Vatican.

Just one of the hundreds of frescos!

Just one of the hundreds of frescos!

My neck became sore by constantly looking up to see the genius works by Michaelangelo and Raphael.

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I cannot really fully describe what it was like to see the Sistine Chapel. Absolutely no photos were allowed, and what I’ll call “professional shush-ers” stood on the edges of the area to keep people quiet (it is considered a church, after all). But looking up and ACTUALLY SEEING “The Creation of Adam” got me emotional. Just unbelievably beautiful!

Since we had a full day of seeing sights, I kept my look comfy and light. My new tunic from American Rag (available through Macy’s), leggings from Forever 21 Plus, and comfy sneaks did the trick. I wore my new rings from A Wild Violet, an Etsy store that does custom work. Check out the Michigan midi ring!

I got the Michigan and crown ring BOTH for just $23.00! The owners often offer discount codes, so be sure to check them out!

rings wild violet

Wild V rings CU

Me outside Constantine

Gotta keep it simple for all the walking! My JustFab bag held EVERYTHING I needed for the day!

Many more adventures to come, so stay tuned!

Us in St Peters

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

 

Am I a Fashion Victim?

I really enjoy blogging about fashion; it’s become a new passion in my life. However, I am noticing that I am much more susceptible to buying clothes and makeup than ever before! Other bloggers’ looks, enticing emails of special sales, magazine layouts, and Birchbox sample boxes make me feel compelled to “stay current.” The pressure to create a great outfit for pictures is real, and I worry about what I have is “blog worthy.”

Anyone else feel like me? At times, I feel so silly for worrying about this at all.

I also wonder if I’m becoming a slave to trends. For example, I just ordered a floral skirt, thinking “well, floral prints are in right now” versus “will I look utterly ridiculous in that?” I’ve never been a florals kind of gal! Am I stepping out the box, or just boxing myself in to trendiness?

Let’s talk crop tops for a second. They are HOT this season, and I’ve seen examples of curvy gals rocking them well. I’ve actually starting thinking, “which top should I choose for my blog?”

Not considering: “YOUR BOOBS ARE HUGE, AND YOU’LL LOOK LIKE A BOX.”

Perhaps we’ll skip that one!

One thing’s for sure, I don’t want to lose my own sense of style.

My New Pledge:

1. I’m Not 20, and It’s OK.

2. Not Every Trend is For Me.

3. I Don’t Have to Try to Impress.

4. Stay True to Me.

5. Don’t Buy it Because it’s on Sale!

6. Have Fun with Fashion, Don’t Take it So Seriously!

So, keeping with my new pledge, here are a couple of my new favorite looks. This is truly my style:)

Toughing it in a Moto Jacket at the Tough Mudder.

Toughing it in a Moto Jacket at the Tough Mudder.

Eiffel Tower Leggings and Hot Pink Tights. Because...Why Not.

Eiffel Tower Leggings and Hot Pink Tights. Because…Why Not.

 

Blue and white is my new favorite combination!

Blue and white is my new favorite combination!

Look close - the skirt has yellow in the print! I almost never wear yellow!

Look close – the skirt has yellow in the print! I almost never wear yellow!

It’s important to try new things to avoid getting in a rut. However, there’s a fine line between being stylish and becoming a fashion victim.

So, if you catch me wearing those Teva inspired Prada sandals – please stop me and send me to an intervention, because I’ve gone too far.

Not for me.

Not for me.

Love, laughter,  and shoes –

xx Melanie.

WHAT I’M WEARING:

LOOK #1 –

Moto Jacket: FASHION TO FIGURE

T shirt: H & M

Eiffel Leggings: H & M

Pink Tights: FOREVER 21 PLUS

Union Jack Flats: GRACELAND

LOOK #2-

White Tunic w/lace detail: JOLLYCHIC.COM

Skirt: PASSPORTS

Silver sandals: PAYLESS

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Paris, Part Deux

Ah Paris! This is our third time visiting, and with each time, I fall in love with you a little more. Paris is truly the “City of Lovers!”

In fact, the Hubby and I decided to “lock our love” on a bridge over the Seine, a tradition of many couples.

Four years of a wonderful marriage, nine years together!

“Come What May, I will love you until my dying day.” -our vows.

Lock in Paris

This day, I opted to be comfy by dressing in layers since we’d be out all day.

Locked Mel

But of course, I added a little sparkle with these Eiffel Tower earrings to jazz up my look!

mel cu eiffel ear

One of my favorite things about Paris is visiting museums, and I loved seeing the Musee Rodin which included the iconic statue, The Thinker.

Of course, everyone has to “think” with The Thinker!

Mel and Thinker

 

The Musee Rodin has an AMAZING garden full of fantastic sculptures! Also, a beautiful pond area and café to enjoy a coffee!

Musee Garden full 2

Channeling "Eve's Shame"

Channeling “Eve’s Shame”

The Three Shades.

The Three Shades.

Spring is everywhere!

Spring is everywhere!

Rodin Museum1

There’s a great view of Napoleon’s Tomb (and with the over the top ornate décor of his tomb, there’s no doubt in my mind that Napoleon would’ve been a fashion designer if he didn’t decide to rule the world).

Napoleon tomb 2

We checked it out, and yep – this is an example of “Little Man Syndrome.” Great taste in final resting digs, though!

Stunning!

Stunning!

IMAG2425

There are few places in this world that can make me drop my mouth with awe. Paris is one of them!

More Parisian adventures to come!

On another note…I found out today I have 100 followers on Bloglovin now! Thank you so much for following and reading. Your comments and likes mean so much! Please leave your links so I can follow you too!

Love, laughter, and shoes!

xx Melanie.

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