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

 

 

Are We Thankful, or Shopaholics?

Hello Lovelies!

I hope you had a great weekend! Though Thanksgiving is a US holiday, I’ve noticed that many countries do some kind of “giving thanks” celebration around this time of year. Even if they don’t do the big dinner, SHOPPING has definitely become a big tradition!

Yes, I’m a shopper who loves a great deal, no doubt. However, I’m not crazy about the Black Friday frenzy. Getting up in the middle of the night to go stand in a long line to MAYBE get a discounted item is not my idea of a good time! In the States, the Black Friday mayhem has gotten so crazy that many stores open on Thanksgiving night! Sometimes fights break out, prompting extra security to patrol these crowds. Have we gone too far?

What happened to spending time with family and friends? Going to a movie? Passing out after gorging ourselves?

For me, I try to find balance between finding meaning in the holiday season while finding a good deal for gifts. Most of all, I think it’s fun to be creative when coming up with a gift for a friend or family member. Since I can’t go home for the holidays, I want people to know that I put some real thought behind what I chose.

Right now, I am thankful for the good health the Hubby and I have, a safe and lovely place to live, careers which challenge and make us happy, and for the love we share. I am especially proud of him today, as he just got promoted! Of course, I had to look fierce for the ceremony!

Dress, Forever 21 Plus.

Dress, Forever 21 Plus.

Heels, GX by Gwen Stefani, Shoe Dazzle.

Heels, GX by Gwen Stefani, Shoe Dazzle.

F21 blue 2

I mentioned in my last post that I got a Fit Bit. Not wanting to take it off today, I decided to create an arm party and dress it up! Not bad, huh?

Just add sparkle!

Just add sparkle!

Lovelies, I am thankful for YOU! I am still running my “My Beauty Faves” giveaway until Dec 12, so scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Rafflecopter icon on the RIGHT! 

Good luck!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo Melanie.

 

 

 

 

Go With the Flow

Moving to a new area is exciting, a little scary, and…yes, frustrating. Even in a paradise like Guam, I have had moments where I just wanted some familiarity.  The Hubby and I are in our new home, but it isn’t “home” yet. Our furniture, pictures, favorite games, convenient kitchen gadgets, etc. are still en route to us, and it could possibly take another month for these things to arrive. Trying to find where to get resume’ paper, a hose for the tub (these things are not in the same place!) and spending an afternoon driving around to find these is a bit challenging. Thank God for the beach!

Beautiful and lonely.

Beautiful and lonely.

A couple of days ago, I was really struggling with loneliness. The time difference between here and Michigan is 14 hours, so pretty much the two times of day I can call home is early in the morning, or late at night. Not exactly the most convenient times.

Wish my family could enjoy this with me.

Wish my family could enjoy this with me.

There is the saying, “this too shall pass.” Belongings will arrive, new friends will be made, and I’ll be a whiz at finding bargains.

Until then, I’ll just soak up the sun and go with the flow.

Fringe beach 2

Fringe beach 4

I love fringe, but hate it when a snag happens!

I love fringe, but hate it when a snag happens!

Kimono by Primark, tee by Calvin Klein.

Kimono by Primark, tee by Calvin Klein.

Until next time, lovelies!

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xx Melanie.

 

 

 

 

And Now For Somewhere Completely Different…GUAM!

Outside hotel

HAFA ADAI, all!

Yes, I am LITERALLY on the other side of the world since I last posted! The hubby and I got into Guam two days ago, and whoa, the jet lag is kicking my behind, but I’m very excited for the new adventure:)

Leaving our friends and family in Michigan was very emotional for us.  We had so much fun hanging out and enjoying each others’ company, and when it was time to go, my heart sunk. We don’t get to see our family except for once every couple of years, and that is the toughest part of being in a military family.

However, I find some comfort in being in the sun and being able to rock my newest looks from Charlotte Russe and H&M! Curvy gals, did you know Charlotte Russe just debuted their plus line? Check out this adorable romper!

Char Russe romper 1

And…CR is doing a 30% off sale right now! Ohhhh yeahhhh!

I also got adventurous and decided to mix prints. Here’s a cute lipstick kiss tee from H&M paired with this skater skirt from Charlotte Russe! Forgive the mirror selfies; hubby is busy getting our stuff processed!

Lipstick shirt 2

Lipstick print shirt

Lipstick print CU

 

Kiss, kiss!

Kiss, kiss!

Lots of pics to come soon of this lovely island – but here is a view from our hotel balcony!

Hotel view

Until next time – love, laughter, and shoes!

xoxo

Melanie.

Working It, Holiday Style

Hello and Happy Holidays!
I apologize for not blogging lately, but last week was CRAZY busy! The Hubby finished a class, my vocal students gave a terrific vocal recital, we started sorting out items for moving, AND we went to the Hubby’s Christmas party! Lots of activity going on, to say the least!
Let me tell you about this Christmas party. The invite said “business casual,” but as you can see, people turned it out! Even the guys were weeerking it!
One of my favorite looks of the evening was this Jackie O inspired dress and hat! LOVE IT!
Jackie O

I say these two fine gentlemen make the “Man of Style” section! Check out the kilts!

Man of Style 1Man of style 2

Of course, I can’t leave out my own Man of Style. The Hubby looks sharp in his black Express shirt and hot red tie! I kept it more simple in my INC sweater tunic and H&M faux leather skirt. I got to debut my new rhinestone earrings by Bijou Brigitte (a bargain buy at 4 euro!).

Xmas Party

Xmas selfie

arrow earring

Are you done with your holiday preparations? Ha, I am so not! Still  tree to put up (yep, a slacker) and a few gifts to buy.

However, I hope not to be slacking on future posts! I’ve got a number of new beauty products to try out and review this week, so stay tuned!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

Thankful for Travel, Thrift Finds, and Beer!

Hello lovelies!

Back home, it’s Thanksgiving and a time for being thankful for all the blessings we have. I am very thankful to have the opportunity to travel while here in Europe, and since it’s our last Thanksgiving in Germany, we decided to head to one of our favorite places to stay, the Edelweiss Resort in Bavaria.

It's like a storybook location!

It’s like a storybook location!

You know the “Sound of Music?” This area is where Julie Andrews was spinning around and singing about the hills being alive! Though there wasn’t any snow (which is a bit unusual this time of year), the view is still gorgeous.

The town of Garmisch is adorable with many unique shops and cozy cafes. Though it’s mainly a U.S. tradition, Germany has jumped on the Black Friday train (though they are more sane about it – no 4 a.m. openings here!). However, I discovered a thrift store on an army base and got this comfy and stylish sweatshirt dress for just $5!

My $5 find!

My $5 find!

Shirtdress pocket

Check out the cool little details on the pocket! The shoulders have faux leather patches. Looks great with my H&M skirt and Just Fab boots!

shirtdress selfie

Shirtdress boots

What else do I love? German beer! Especially when I can go on a brewery tour and taste many different kinds! The hubby and I got to sample all kinds of beer, even one with a chocolate base (Don’t worry; we had someone drive us)! Wolfgang, the brew master, presented us with honorary Brew Master diplomas!

shirtdress wolfgang

Why sure, I'll try another kind...

Why sure, I’ll try another kind…

On a more serious note, I am incredibly thankful for all the love and blessings in my life. Life can be very tough at times (and I have had my share of those moments), so when life is peaceful, I enjoy every bit of those moments.

I am also very thankful to all of YOU for reading my blog! I really appreciate the “likes,” comments, and sharing. Here’s to all of the blessings we enjoy!

Cheers!

Cheers!

 

Reflection of a Journey

Summer is winding down, and as I look ahead, I realize that our time in Germany is coming to a close. In a few short months it will be time to get ready for a new adventure! Such is the life of a military family.

I have really enjoyed living in Europe these past three years.  This girl who grew up in a small town in Michigan used to fantasize about seeing the Eiffel Tower, and I still shake my head in disbelief that I did!

Mel Paris shrt

Ahh Paris! Tourist shirt over an H&M dress.

From Amsterdam, to Paris, Switzerland, Crete, Berlin, Venice, Milan, Verona, Rome, Florence, Innsbruck, Munich – and all of the little towns we visited in Germany, it’s been an amazing ride. I appreciate and treasure the wonderful opportunity for all the travel we’ve been able to do.

Calling Romeo on Juliet's Balcony in Verona!

Calling Romeo on Juliet’s Balcony in Verona!

It’s been a trade off, though. For all the wonderful memories made, we’ve missed out on weddings, a funeral, Christmas parties, birthdays, and everyday hangout time with family and friends. Our time away definitely makes me more appreciative of the time we do get with them, and with every passing year, I know there is less time for all those things. It’s hard being away sometimes.

Wearing an icon from Deb Shops in front of the iconic Gucci store in Rome.

Wearing an icon from Deb Shops in front of the iconic Gucci store in Rome.

Someday we will be back living in the States, and though I will be glad to be closer to loved ones, I know I will be in for culture shock. I will miss the charm of a small village, the castle on a hill, a designer store just minutes away, the ancient architecture.

Will I be able to adapt back to a city with strip malls, Wal Marts, and fast food on every exit? I don’t know.

But until then, I will make as many memories here as possible!

With Cleopatra and Marc Antony in Verona.

With Cleopatra and Marc Antony in Verona.

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

 

 

Bloggers Unite in Black & White!

With the fabulous Signe Savant!

With the fabulous Signe Savant!

There’s the old saying, “great minds think alike.” For me and fellow blogger and friend Signe Savant, “great fashionistas style alike!”

Signe Savant, of thedailysavant.com, is “responsible” for turning me on to blogging. She and I are both instructors for a youth facility on a military base (she was assisting me with a pom pom squad!), and I kept noticing her fabulous sense of style. When I asked her one day where she got her clothes, she explained about her blogging and the opportunities/freebies she’s received from various retailers. Well, that definitely got me interested!

Yesterday, at a “good bye” party for a mutual co-worker, we both showed up rocking black and white!

I love her crop top and floral skirt! So chic!

I debuted my new Forever 21 Plus chevron sundress. It’s so super comfortable, and easy to dress up or down.

 

Working some fierce accessories!

Working some fierce accessories!

 

Love that statement necklace!

Love that statement necklace!

Mel sunnies

I also picked up these “Fresh Cat Eye” sunnies from Forever 21 for only $5.80! Love me a bargain.

Feelin' foxy!

Feelin’ foxy!

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY:

How did you get started blogging? Have you met or collaborated with any other bloggers?

 

Let me know!

Love, laughter, and shoes!

xx Melanie.

IFB_SEAL_RED

 

 

The Show Must Go On!

Ralph Lauren BW

Does it get any better than having a great event to wear your foxiest dress and perform in front of hundreds of people? That’s what I did last night at the 19th annual TOPPER Awards.

Toppers 2014 trophies

What is TOPPERS? It is the yearly recognition of excellence in military community theatre, with awards that range from “Best Prop Design” to “Best Debut Performance” to the coveted “Best Actor/Actress” trophies, to “Best Play” and “Best Musical.”  Roughly a dozen theatres from around Italy, Germany, and Belgium compete and cheer each other on. It is one GREAT time!

Best Actress in a Comedy, 2013!

Best Actress in a Comedy, 2013!

I’ve had the honor to perform twice as a “Toppers Singer,” which involves learning six songs with choreography. Miraculously, we rehearse only about a handful of times before 11 of us get in front of our peers, either to be cheered or silently judged. Thankfully, we all passed the test and received enthusiastic applause. WHEW.

Remembering words/movements aside, I sprained my knee (yep, the one that’s been giving me trouble!) the day before performing!

So, what do I do? I tape it up, add a painkiller cream (courtesy of fellow singer Annie), and go out there and give it all I’ve got. YES, it hurt like hell to do some of the movements, but as every performer knows, THE SHOW MUST GO ON!

Toppers 2014 medley

Toppers 2014 slow song

Toppers 2014 broadway

Toppers 2014 performing

Fashion wise, I couldn’t work any cute heels, however, I did get to wear this fierce Lauren by Ralph Lauren gown I got on sale from Nordstrom. LOVE the lace and sequin detail!!! (There is a sexy side slit, but my knee is wrapped, so I didn’t show that off)

Ralph Lauren gown

Ralph Lauren 2

After the last award was handed out, pictures taken, and cake consumed, the Hubby and I ended our evening at an “after awards” party, where MORE drinks and laughter followed. 🙂

I’m so grateful for this experience! Hopefully, if I do get to go to Toppers next year, I won’t be injured!

Love, laughter, and shoes:)

xx Melanie

WHAT I WORE (and where you can find it!):

Dress –  LAUREN BY RALPH LAUREN

Necklace – BIJOU BRIGITTE

Flower ring – CHARLOTTE RUSSE

Crystal studs – SWARVORSKI

IFB_SEAL_RED

 

 

 

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.

IFB_SEAL_RED