PPW – Like it, Love it, Live it



Early in my career, I landed a job at PR firm in downtown Chicago on Michigan Avenue. My office was steps away from incredible city attractions and tons of shopping. I was also making what I thought at the time was a lot of money for a young single gal. Did I save it and invest? Nope – I indulged in shopping trips during my lunch breaks and after work. Ahh – being young and naive and the tough lessons we learn.

After one of my lunchtime shopping trips a coworker asked to see what I bought. I excitedly showed her a funky off the shoulder brightly colored sweater and the most expensive pair of jeans I had ever purchased. All of my jeans in the past had been from the sale rack at the Gap, but these were a pair of Hudson jeans for $100. I felt like a new person in these jeans – legs elongated and butt lifted! Not that a 24-year-old really needs much help with a perky butt.

My coworker asked how much I paid for each item and then told me to immediately return the sweater, but to keep the jeans. I was stumped and a little annoyed. That is until she educated me about the PPW…or Price Per Wear theory.

That acronym changed my entire shopping mindset. The PPW forces you to think about how often you might wear something in relation to the price. For instance, the Hudson jeans I bought for $100 are an item I would likely wear 100 times over the next year, making the PPW approximately $1.00 per wear. That’s a pretty good investment, especially considering you likely keep and wear a great pair of jeans for year, which I did with this pair.

On the contrary, the brightly colored off the shoulder sweater I bought for $50, I would likely wear twice over the next year, making the PPW approximately $25. Not such a great deal. And, it was a trendy style that I’d probably abandon after a year. Thank goodness I kept the receipt!

The PPW is why you should invest in high quality staples like a great winter coat you’ll wear for a number of seasons, well made leather riding boots, jeans that fit your body like a glove or anything cashmere. That doesn’t mean you should go hog wild and spend a boatload of money on these items. Definitely look for the best deal on the highest quality items you can find.

Red coat

My 10-year-old red Tahari trench I still wear! PPW is currently at 33 cents.

For instance, about 10 years ago I stumbled upon an incredible red Tahari calf length trench coat. Originally $500, it was on sale for $100. Buying that coat was one of my smartest purchases. It is well made, classic, classy and every year, I wear it a minimum of 30 times. If you do the math – 10 years x 30 wears per year = approximately 33 cents per wear!  And, the coat is still in mint condition, so I will continue to wear it.

On the other hand, PPW is also why I will never spend much on things like a trendy cold shoulder shirt, jeans with tears in them, pleather leggings (which seem to be all the rage

Born boot

I purchased this pair of Born Boots at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. They were on sale for $150 (originally $240) and I’ve already worn them 10 times. PPW to date = $15.

this Fall), over the knee boots or leopard booties. These are the items I scour the racks for at TJ Maxx or Nordstrom Rack and wait until they go on clearance for $10 – $20.

At a recent Nordstrom Rack Clear the Rack sale, I found a pair of pleather leggings for $11. I bought them and for that price, I won’t feel bad if I only wear them twice, which is probably what will happen.

I also wanted to try out the over the knee boot trend, but paying $150 for a pair is a joke. Luckily I found a pair on clearance at Target for $19.99 at the end of the season last year. I’ve worn them twice and might wear the twice more this year.

PPW is also one of the reasons I will ever buy my daughters a pair of Uggs, like the ones I see lots of other girls her age wearing. That’s a PPW nightmare! But more on kids items and PPW in another post.

As you’re charging full force ahead (pun intended!) with holiday shopping, you’ll likely find an item or two for yourself. Keep the PPW theory in the back of your head before you purchase any pieces of clothing, shoes or jewelry. The one exception to the PPW rule would be a wedding dress!

I will always be grateful to my old colleague for educating me about PPW. So simple, yet so impactful!




Confessions of a Non-Crafty Mom


art supplies

I have a confession to make…I absolutely despise doing arts and craft projects with my kids. The dentist has more appeal to me than scrapbooking or leading a Thanksgiving craft project for a class of 20 second graders. There – I finally said it out loud and you know what? I am not ashamed.

Thanks to Pinterest, mommy blogs and the marketing of a zillion “make your own” kits, it’s assumed once you become a mom you should also immediately channel Martha Stewart. I dread the headband making, bracelet making and pottery making sets my daughters inevitable receive on their birthdays.

Looking back at my childhood, I never enjoyed art class and I wasn’t a kid who spent rainy days inside doing craft projects or sewing. Ironically, both of my girls are obsessed with creating objects out of construction paper, making paper chains and anything that involves glue sticks. I support their artistic efforts because it makes them happy, but I definitely don’t enjoy it.

As a parent, I cringe when I see crayons, markers, confetti and any other craft items strewn about my house. Don’t get me started on the piles of drawings that come home from preschool every single day. I usually wait until I am alone and then weed out the one or two best pictures and toss the rest. Come one – stop judging – you know you’ve done the same thing at one point or another.


Sorry to the kids who got the last batch of jack-o-lanterns. Momma may have been sipping a bit of wine to get through the project.

Last year, I volunteered for my daughter’s first grade Halloween party. In an attempt to impress the other mom’s I found a Pinterest project involving turning Cuties into Jack-o-Lanterns and suckers into ghosts. Looked simple, but after close to three-hours of tying tiny strings on suckers, drawing faces on fruit and packaging 26 sets of everything, I was at my breaking point. Yet, I was damn proud as I brought those treats into the classroom.

Guess what – the kid tore them open in a split second and I would bet not one of them (my own child included) remember those treats. What my daughter does remember is that I was there and was part of her party.


Friends have recommended taking photos of every scribble, drawing and art project and then putting them all into a Shutterfly photo book. Or, laminating everything and putting them in a binder. Not surprisingly, I have no interest in doing either of those things.


These drawings make my heart sing. 

I am not heartless. If you look around my house, you’ll see various drawings taped to the wall and pieces of artwork and sculptures on my coffee table. The Martha Stewart exception for me is baking. I do love to whip up a mean batch of brownies or cupcakes. Although, I admit to using a mix and doctoring it up a la Sandra Lee from Semi-Homemade. My girls are always excited to add our super secret ingredient. Pssst – the super secret ingredient is a “pinch of love.” It makes everything taste 100% better.

I’m not hating on those who possess the craft gene. In fact, I am envious of the talents of my friends. I love seeing the photos on Facebook of the awesome crafts and decorating projects. It’s just not a talent I’ve ever possessed or even enjoyed. Like the meme going around Facebook says – I am more of an Amazon Prime mom than a Pinterest mom.

I spent years feeling embarrassed about my lack of artistic talent and the expectation that all moms should be craft and decorating divas. It turns out the pressure I felt was purely self-induced. My daughters don’t really notice or care that I’m not crafty. They love the uneven streamers I haphazardly tape to their bedroom doors for their birthdays and the giant bouquet of balloons from the Dollar Store.

When you come to a birthday party for one of my kids, the decorations may be straight from Party City, the cupcakes may have had an assist from Betty Crocker, and the goody bags may consist of a snack pack of Oreos. But there will also be lots of laughter, love and fun.

Now, if one of my crafty friends ever wants to help a sister out and have my daughters over to work on a craft project, I promise to bring snacks and wine!



Greasy hair…Heck Yeah I Care!


Dry shampoo

*Post contains affiliate links

My daughters are both blessed with gorgeous hair. One has pin straight fine hair. She wakes up in the morning, runs a brush through her hair and it looks perfectly bouncy and shiny. The other has thick wavy hair that holds styles like no other. The best part is both can go days without washing their hair and it still looks gorgeous. Ahhhh – youth.

Me – not so much. I am cursed with dry ends and oily roots. I wash my hair every other day to help preserve the color and keep the ends from getting even dryer. Just kidding – it’s really because I am lazy. Come on, who wouldn’t choose sleeping an extra 20-30 minutes in the morning instead of washing, dryer and straightening her hair? And if the side benefit is my color last longer and my hair is healthier, then go me!

The trade-off is on the non-wash days my roots look sooo greasy, especially if I’ve worked out. Whenever my hair is in a ponytail or twisted up, you know it means I didn’t wash it. The only solution (well, besides washing and drying my hair every day) is dry shampoo.

But for some reason the idea of dry shampoo scares me. Maybe it’s because of the versions that came out years ago and left white flakes in your hair and never seemed to work anyway. Or, maybe it’s because there are so many brands to choose from!

To help narrow down the choices, I recently polled my friends about their favorite dry shampoos. I tested the top four recommendations…and the results are in and ranked from 1-4.

Although, I have to admit all of them did the job well. I also learned (the hard way) you need to spray your hair from about 10 inches away and let it sit for 30 seconds before combing through. Otherwise your basically right where you started.

  1. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day (PhD) Dry Shampoo
  2. Batiste Dry Shampoo
  3. Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Two Day Extender Dry Shampoo
  4. Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo

Living ProofThe Living Proof Dry Shampoo blew me away. It was the only product that both smelled great (but not overpowering) and soaked up the oil so well that I could actually wear my hair down again for a second day in a row, which is basically unheard of for me. It also gave my fine hair a bit of volume at the roots, which was an unexpected surprise. A friend said she sometimes uses the dry shampoo on her clean hair just to add volume to her roots. Living Proof is the priciest of the bunch at $22 for four onces, but well worth the splurge.

batisteBatiste did a great job. I only tested the original version, but it comes in a few different scents, and versions geared towards blonds, medium and dark brunettes. There is even a version that has gold shimmer in it. To be honest, the ones with hair color scare me. I have highlights in my hair and didn’t want to risk spray a color depositing product on my head. Batiste clocks in at an affordable $5.99 – $7.99 for $6.73 ounces.

Pillow ProofThe Pillow Proof Dry Shampoo worked well, but I didn’t love the scent. It wasn’t horrible, but compared to some of the others, the scent was definitely not a draw. It is also expensive at $20 for 3.4 ounces. I’m willing to spend more money on a product I love, but since I didn’t love this product, the cost is a huge barrier for me.

Clean Freak Dry Shampoo worked well, but didn’t degrease as Clean Freakwell as some of the others. I also noticed a little bit of the dreaded whitish flakes floating in my hair. I had to almost scrub my scalp to make sure the flakes were gone. Clean Freak is $5.99 for 7 ounces, so for a girl on a tight budget, this is a good option.

Bottom line – Living Proof Dry Shampoo now has a permanent place in my beauty routine. I am kicking myself for not discovering it sooner!

Little known fact – Ulta will allow you to return any product you purchase and end up disliking. So there’s nothing stopping you from picking some up to try. What’s the worst that can happen…you don’t like it and go back to Ulta and get a refund? Trust me – you won’t head back to Ulta to return your Living Proof Dry Shampoo. You’ll be heading back to stock up on more!





My Personal Glinda

This is the first of a monthly series recognizing the “SHEroes” who have touched my life. 


I often wonder why bad things happen to good people. Actually, it infuriates me when bad things happen to good people! We’ve all heard the saying, “things happen for a reason” or “you’re never given more than you can handle.”  ARGH! That’s tough to believe when you’re in the midst of a challenging situation.

Sometimes people come into your life at the exact moment you need them and you don’t even know. Eleven years ago, I was two weeks into a brand-new job and my dad had just been diagnosed with cancer. To say I was feeling lost would be an understatement. It was also at that time when I was introduced to an incredible woman named Cheryl Kravitz.

I was at a work event where we were training domestic violence survivors to be part of a speakers bureau. Cheryl was perfectly put together, had a huge smile on her face and when I went to shake her hand, she pulled me in for a hug. It’s almost like she knew I needed a hug at that very moment! You could feel the warmth and positive vibes radiating from her.

I assumed Cheryl was an advocate there to show support. That was until she shared her story of survivor to thriver…and I learned not to judge a book by its cover.

Cheryl wrote a powerful op-ed for The Washington Post. Click here to read her story of surviving an abusive marriage and how speaking up can change a life.

Cheryl is a journalist, advocate, mother, mentor, dear friend and a survivor of both domestic violence and breast cancer. Yes – she faced two devils and emerged victorious. She did this all while continuing to help raise awareness and funding for both causes. Did I mention she worked for the Red Cross and has been a board member of the Governor’s Maryland Family Violence Council, the Family Justice Center Foundation and the Maryland Network to End Domestic Violence…just to name a few.

What’s even more impressive is how Cheryl has harnessed the power of positive thinking and intention.

Cheryl Kravitz

I tip my tiara to you, Cheryl, my personal Glinda.


We all know the story of Glinda the Good Witch telling Dorothy that she “had the power all along.” Sometimes we need someone else to remind us of that notion. You see, instead of feeling sorry for herself when she was heading into the hospital for cancer treatments and surgery, Cheryl handed out magic wands to friends, family and even hospital staff. Friends across the country bought their own magic wands and together, we all wished for health and recovery.

And you know what – it worked! It may sound simple but it takes extreme strength to turn a tragic time into one of unity and empowerment. That’s who Cheryl is – she is a leader and an inspiration. My older daughter still has the wand we bought to help heal Miss Cheryl.

We are stronger together!

Click here to read more about Cheryl’s power of the wand in the Washingtonian.

The more I got to know her over the years, the more Cheryl’s beautiful and supportive spirit shined brighter. She was a constant support during my dad’s cancer battle and passing and she also reached out to my mom through social media to show her support. Whenever I am having a challenging time a note seems to pop up from Cheryl with a positive thought to remind me to tap into my strengths and believe in myself. I swear she has a sixth sense!

In fact, Cheryl was recently in town for a business trip. She knew I was going through a tough time and went out of her way to listen to me and be there as a friend and mentor. And she also brought me a fabulous gift called a Damnit Doll.

dammit dolls

Cheryl and me with our Damnit Dolls.

Whenever you’re feeling upset or frustrated, you can take it all out on the doll. Trust me – it helps!!!

Cheryl is the definition of a SHEroe. A beautiful soul who is a selfless inspiration to others. Every time I grasp my magic wand and close my eyes to make a wish, I think of Cheryl…and also when I take out my aggression on my Damnit Doll!

Cheryl’s friendship has changed my life and I have no doubt she has touched more lives than she can even count. Next time you see a magic wand lying around, pick it up and feel your own strength course through it, and I am positive you’ll also feel your spirit lift.

Who are some of the SHEroes in your life? 

To support economic empowerment for survivors of domestic violence and learn more about how to break the cycle of violence, visit www.PurplePurse.com and to support cancer research and resources, please visit www.AmericanCancerSociety.org.


Kids Eat More Than 3,000 Calories on Halloween!



Hat and bookIt’s not even Halloween and my kids are already talking about Christmas. Once you hit October the excitement of the holidays all seems to roll into one. And somehow eating four mini candy bars at Halloween doesn’t equate to eating a regular Snickers bar, right? Same thing goes for eating an entire row of mini Oreos.

Besides the hefty haul of candy from trick-or-treating, my kids usually attend two-to-three community Halloween parties where they come home with even more candy. They sit in the living room counting and trading candy, without the knowledge that it’s all going to be mixed together again in our candy jar. And, a few of those mini Twix bars and Kit Kats will mysteriously disappear overnight.

I typically allow my girls one or two pieces of candy after dinner, but our candy supply still seems to last well into the Spring. I kid you not! No one needs that much candy and temptation hanging around the house. In the past I’d bring it into the office so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat it myself. I have no control with mini version of my favorite treats.

According to medicaldaily.com, kids will consumer over 3,000 calories on Halloween. The average trick or treater consumes about three cups of sugar- equivalent to 220 sugar packets!

That stat makes my stomach hurt – literally. Luckily I was introduced to a fabulous mom, entrepreneur and author, Cara Via. She too couldn’t believe the amount of candy consumed on Halloween and wrote a book to creatively address the issue – “Halloween Holly: Santa’s Helper.”

Cara’s book centers around an elf at the North Pole named Holly.  Holly discovers the elves need candy to keep up their energy in order to make enough toys for Christmas. However, the candy supply in the North Pole starts to run dangerously low.

Holly comes up with the idea to ask kids to save some of their Halloween candy to send to the elves. She even creates a special bowl to collect the candy and Santa gives her the nickname “Halloween Holly.”

Here’s how it works – On Halloween, adults help kids choose 10 pieces of candy to eat over the next few days. The rest is put in Halloween Holly’s special bowl, which she magically brings it back to the North Pole overnight. Genius!

Remember how I mentioned my girls are already talking about Christmas? Well, we’ve now read Halloween Holly approximately 100 times. Ok, perhaps it’s closer to six, but they keep asking me to read it to them and are excited to choose their treats and put candy in the magically bowl. I am also excited we’re starting a new tradition in our household.


It’s not completely selfless as my seven-year-old told me Santa will be so excited that he will probably give her an extra present at Christmas. And my four-year-old is hoping most of her candy goes to Kaia, our Elf on the Shelf. But I still consider it a win-win as the girls get to eat treats and learn about helping others, and I can feel better knowing their tiny bodies won’t be as overloaded with sugar.

Especially for those of you with younger kids, Halloween Holly is a tradition that will last for years. If you’re like Piper, when the magically bowl isn’t in use, it doubles as a cool hat.

Halloween Holly

Piper styling Halloween Holly’s magical bowl as a fancy hat.

The book is available at www.HalloweenHolly.com and it comes with the magical bowl. It’s also available at Sam’s Club. Connect with Halloween Holly on Facebook and Twitter.

I hope everyone has a fun, safe and healthy Halloween! Don’t forget, staying healthy is important, but is still doesn’t make handing out raisins for Halloween okay. 🙂

*Product provided for review by author.




I Hate That it’s “Me Too”


Hand of an elderly holding hand of younger

Never have two words instantly connected more people. As I watch the stream of “Me Too” posts flood my Facebook and Twitter feeds I have never felt such an odd mixture of sadness and empowerment. Sadness because so many of us have suffered alone in silence. And empowerment because our collective voice is finally being heard and will hopefully create change.

I got my professional start in sports PR. I actually started by working as a student assistant in the Sports Information Office at the University of Iowa. This was in the late 90’s, before you saw a lot of women working in sports. It was before people like Erin Andrews were doing sideline reporting and there were few women with a seat at the sports anchor desk.

Working in Sports Information was fun and awesome. I got to hone my writing and PR skills and be in the thick of Big 10 college athletics. I even got to register for classes early with the student athletes so I got the best times and days. Sure I was around student athletes who occasionally smacked my butt as I walked by them at practice or on the field, but I figured it came with the territory.

More than once I would hear things like “check out her knockers” as I was walking on the sidelines. One football player even grabbed his crotch and said, “why don’t you write about this, sweetheart.” It didn’t matter that I was usually dressed in a giant men’s sized Hawkeye Athletics polo shirt (this was before they finally decided to make sports apparel in women’s cuts) bloused over khakis. Sexy outfit, I know.

Did I feel uncomfortable? Absolutely! Did I ever say anything to an authority figure about it or even my friends? No.

Instead, I tried to laugh it off and chalked it up to being a part of being a female working in sports. After graduation I took a job doing sport PR on the East Coast. For a new college grad, it was an incredible opportunity. I traveled all over the country and got to be on the sidelines of a myriad of high profile sporting events. I met some amazing people whom I still keep in close touch with today.

However, I also encountered other individuals I’d like to forget. The incident burned in my mind took place at a national championship. I was a media relations volunteer and so incredibly grateful for the opportunity. I was living my dream working amongst the excitement of collegiate sports.

We were wrapping up a long second day of the championship when one of the higher ups invited me to a party in one of the suites at the hotel where we were all staying. I was 23 and always up for a party. He told me all of the staffers would be there and he’d walk me there.

Have I ever mentioned that one of my biggest faults is that I’m too trusting and take what people say at face value. 

When we walked into the hotel suite I noticed no one else was there. In a split second this person had me pinned to the wall. I could smell the stale beer on his breath and wanted to vomit. Suddenly my fight or flight instinct kicked in. I shoved him as hard as I could and took off running like a bat out of hell. When I got to my hotel room I dead bolted the door and sobbed.

The next day I told another volunteer about it and her response was, “What did you expect? You knew what he wanted when you went to his room with him.” That was the response from another female!

I was stunned and embarrassed for being so naive…and I never told the story to another person.

As the mom of two little girls I have made it my mission to make sure my daughters know they always have a voice. And they need to use it not just for themselves, but to speak up and help others.

My daughters attended a phenomenal daycare center. From early on, they taught the kids to communicate with each other using three simple, but powerful, statements.

  • I do not like that.
  • Do not touch my body.
  • Walk away.

I credit a lot of their confidence to stand up for themselves to these lessons instilled in them at daycare. When another child pushed my daughter on the playground, she immediately said, “I do not like that and do not touch my body.” I have never been more proud. My girls are not shy about expressing themselves and standing up for each other.

The only time I didn’t appreciate this type of confidence was when I told my younger daughter to turn off the Kindle and go to bed. Her response was “Walk away, momma.” You can probably guess how well that went for her. Or when I picked her up off the floor at the grocery store when she was having a meltdown and she yelled, “Do not touch my body!”

Ok, so there might need to be some work on exactly when to use those statements, but the fact that my girls are confident enough to use their voices makes my heart swell. I count that as a parenting win!

I never want my daughters to have to say the words “Me Too.”

By speaking up and supporting each other we can turn a ripple of change into a tidal wave of empowerment. We are stronger together and it is up to use to pave the way for the next generation.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi




Comfy High Heels and Unicorns do Exist


shoe rack

*post contains affiliate links

Cinderella and Dorothy both knew a things or two about shoes…the right pair can change your life! That’s why a friend recently gave me a mini heart attack when she posted a photo of herself on Facebook tossing a beautiful pair of blush pink high heels. She wrote that life was too short to wear uncomfortable shoes. Totally agree…but life is also too short to never wear heels again.

Come on, no one can argue that a fierce pair of heels will elongate your legs, make you look slimmer and give you tons of confidence. However, everyone has a story about hobbling home at the end of the day, regretting wearing those gorgeous heels. And those shoes now sit in the back of the closet.

Spoiler alert – beautiful comfortable heels do exist. My absolute favorite heels are the Madison 12-hour pumps from Banana Republic. They come in a myriad of colors and patterns at a price point of $118 – $128. Banana Republic is always running a sale, so chances are you can get anywhere from 30% – 50% off if you hit the right time to buy. A block-heeled version is also available for a different twist. Sadly, they no longer carry shoes in-store, so you’ll have to order online.

Trust me – you won’t regret getting a pair of these heels, which will feel great on your feet all day.

Ann Taylor also sells an amazingly comfortable high heel. The Tyler Suede Pumps are awesome! I have worn these while running around all day and although I can’t say they felt like sneakers, they were super comfortable. I always tend to go for the 3-4 inch height, but the line offers quite a few height options, including kitten heels and the on trend block heel.  Prices range from $128 – $138.

If you aren’t a heel person, wedges are the way to go. I own an incredible pair of rose gold wedges from Cole Haan that I have had for years. They have the company’s Nike Air technology which is basically the most genius shoe invention every. My wedges aren’t available anymore, but a similar option is the Tali Grand Lace Wedge. It is sooooo comfy and cute.

The price is hefty at $180, but it is a shoe worth investing in as you will wear it constantly with everything from dresses to jeans to shorts. Nordstrom Rack online occasionally carries Cole Haan wedges and heels for quite a bit cheaper than in-store. Although sizes and types can be hit or miss.

My best shoe advice is to find a pair that looks good, but also feels good. Take the shoes home and wear them around the house with a big pair of athletic socks. No – don’t leave the house or you’ll get laughed at. This is a technique to stretch out the shoes before you wear them so they are even more comfy. And, you all know my most important piece of advice…NEVER pay full price for anything!

But, if you have $285 burning a hole in your pocket, you can be the proud owner of a pair of unicorn heels. Hey – I said they existed, but I never said they were comfortable.





Cheers to Being 40 and Fabulous



Today, I enter a brand-new decade of life…my 40’s.  Yowza!  And I don’t usually like to brag, but I got personalized birthday emails from some of my closest friends including Kate Spade, Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Ann Taylor and Betty Crocker.

Those emails confirmed my suspicion of a few things.

  1. I sign up for waaaay too many mailing lists, which clog my inbox and sometimes cause me to miss real emails.
  2. I clearly have a shopping problem. Not saying I actually purchase a ton, but I can’t resist the time suck of clicking through to see what’s on sale.
  3. I need to spend some time decluttering and streamlining some things in my life.

A lot of people dread hitting the big 4-0, but not me. I am excited to head into a new decade of life. My 30’s weren’t always easy, but they were filled with things like getting married, bringing two beautiful girls into the world, great friendships, a career I loved and finally becoming comfortable with who I am as an individual. Remember when I took a stand and walked away from my job in corporate America? That was me being bold enough, strong enough and secure enough to stand up for the ethics and morals of who I am.

I intend to spend my 40’s enjoying my family and choosing to do things that make me happy and make a difference in the world.

I’ll admit my 20’s were a pretty selfish time. Honestly, who wasn’t selfish in their 20’s. I look back at photos of myself and remember thinking that I needed to lose weight, change my hair, etc. In retrospect, I looked pretty darn good and was in perfect health, but I never took the time to appreciate how lucky I was. You know what – I had a lot of the same insecurities about my looks into my early 30’s.

As I hit my late 30’s something clicked. It was more important to be happy than to just try to look happy.

Am I carrying about 10 more pounds than I’d like right now? Yep. But newsflash – I no longer deprive myself of drinks with friends or an ice cream cone with my girls. I workout and follow moderation, but I also finally realized how to live in the moment and to appreciate the experience.

This concept goes deeper than vanity. My goal in my 40’s is to stop worrying about things I can’t control and instead focus on how incredibly blessed I am and how I can put my skills to use to help others.

Now please excuse me as I go back to cleaning out my email and enjoying a slice of birthday chocolate cream pie.


Treat Yourself Well or No One Else Will


*Post contains affiliate links.

There are two types of people in this world. Those who like to ignore their birthday and pretend it’s not happening and those who like to wear a birthday crown and have waiters sing to them. I am definitely the latter and absolutely love celebrating birthdays, be it others or my own. The more balloons and singing, the better!

On my 30th birthday, I started my very own birthday tradition. I started buying myself something pretty, usually jewelry, to commemorate the day. It may sound trivial, but it’s important for a number of reason. First, if you don’t treat yourself well no one else every will. As simple as it sounds, this is a lesson that is often hard for many of us learn and act on. At least it has been for me. Secondly, the gift I buy myself doesn’t have to be expensive, but it needs to be purposeful and memorable.

I was on a business trip in NYC on my 30th birthday. My last meeting of the day was over and I found myself wandering in the Diamond District. Of course, that’s where I would unknowingly wander. As I window shopped and stopped into various stores, I drooled over eye-popping oversized diamonds and other sparkly jewels.

Purchasing something in the Diamond District never crossed my mind…that is until I stopped into a tiny store right before I headed back to my hotel.

In that store I saw a gorgeously simple half eternity band with alternating diamonds and sapphires. I tried it on and admired how it looked on my finger and then took it off and then asked to try it on again and then took it back off. The saleswoman, who was about my grandma’s age, started asking me questions about myself. When she found out it was my birthday she clapped her hands and said, “Oh you must buy this ring as a birthday present to yourself.”

I glanced down at the price tage and gulped as it reflected way more than I typically spent on myself.


The woman then cupped both of my hands in hers and said,”I have learned many lessons throughout my life, but one of the most important is that a woman should always treat herself well or no one else every will. You will look at that ring every day and it will remind you that you are worth it!” 

Who knows – she may have seen me as a gullable customer and easy sale, but little did she know that her words would stick with me and I’d one day share them with my own daughters. I bought that ring and after close to 10 years still wear it every single day. And you know what? I am absolutely worth it!

I’m not saying you need to induldge yourself in an expensive piece of jewelry each year on your birthday, but it’s a yearly reminder to always do something nice for yourself.

This year I will hit the big 4-0 and I have already purchased my early celebratory gift. I bought myself a Kendra Scott Elisa Silver Pendant Necklace. It’s simple and elegant, but that’s not the main reason I chose this necklace. Kendra Scott has an incredible philanthopic arm to its business. In 2016 alone, the company gave back over $3.5MM and donated more than 75,000 pieces of jewelry to 3,500 local and national organizations.


That’s what I meant about purchasing a gift with purpose. Talk about a win-win. And if anyone else is looking for birthday gifts to get me, you can never go wrong with Kendra Scott!



Pink Eye on Purpose?


I am a sucker for a free makeover. My old roommate used to chuckle every time I’d walk through the door with a face full of sparkly eyeshadow and bronzer. My husband also knows my love of the make-up counter, but he gives me a hard time and is insistent the sales people hate me. Why you ask? Because I am one of those annoying people who lets them paint my face with expensive products, but can’t bring myself to spend the insane prices on the products. I usually purchase something small and then search for lower price alternatives for some of the other products.

This past weekend I had a few hours to myself, so I swung into Ulta where the brand Anastasia Beverly Hills happen to be doing make-overs to introduce its new fall line. Ummm – yes, please! I knew Anastasia was known for eyebrows, but didn’t realize there was an entire make-up line. I was excited until I took a look at the new eye palette the brand was launching. It was full of rust colors and pinks. Now I’m a big fan of pink on my lips, cheeks and nails, but the thought of putting it on my eyelids makes me cringe.

My make-up artist started chit chatting with me and I think she could tell I was hesitant about the colors, so she asked me, “which color scares you the most?” I pointed to a deep  magenta color in the Anastasia Modern Renaissance Eyeshadow Palette. All I could picture was bad 80’s make-up.

“Great,” she said. “That’s the one we’re going to use!”

I tried to stay calm as she explained to me how she was layering the various pink shades and blending them to create a soft look. She let me look after she did the first eye and I shockingly it wasn’t awful. She did the second eye, swept on some bronzer and a coat of metallic rose lip gloss.


How about that pink power girl duck face!

I had to admit, the pink was doable, but definitely wouldn’t be my first choice and was for sure out of my comfort zone. The palette rang in at a hefty $42, which is a little too much for something I might wear once in a blue moon. However, I did find NYX Professional Makeup Hot Single in Pink Lady for an extremely reasonable $4.49! For that price, I could justify buying a pink to play around with on occassion.

In case you were wondering, I did take the palette from the make-up artist and carried it around in my Ulta tote while I did the rest of my shopping. I had absolutely no intention of buying it, but felt bad having the make-up artist do my make-up and then walking away empty handed. When I went to pay, I discretely handed the saleswoman the palette and said I had changed my mind. I am sure she had encountered my type before. But hey, I did buy the lip gloss for $16. A girl has to treat herself once in a while and one can never have too many lip glosses.