GO CONFIDENTLY INTO SPRING By Guest Blogger Tina Hamilton

 

FringeBag-CloseupMy trademark spring look, boho chic.

Spring is here and everyone is getting excited for the change of the season. Spring not only means that the weather is warmer and the flowers are blooming, but also that there are new fashion trends to peruse. With all of these great new beginnings, it’s impossible not to get excited for spring!

Even though there are so many great things about this season, many women dread the change because warmer weather usually means more revealing clothes. It can be difficult for any woman to shed her winter layers and expose herself to the world.

Here are some tips to help women confidently wear this spring’s fashion trends:

Start with basics that fit perfectly

Every woman needs to have a few essential items in her closet that she can pair with any outfit and feel fabulous in. some of these basics usually include a great pair of jeans, thong underwear, and a few layering t-shirts. Starting with these basics can help any woman rock a new trend with confidence.

Add a new twist to a trademark look

Most women have a trademark look, or a go-to style that they loved last spring and summer. Anyone can use these looks to create a new and fun trend that they will be able to wear easily and comfortably. For example, if last year a woman could not be separated from her maxi dresses, this year, she could try wearing a crop top over the dresses to create a new style.

Use light layers to cover up

Even though the weather is warming up, women can still use some layers to make each outfit a little less revealing and more comfortable. Most women will use sheer fabrics that are lightweight but still solid enough to cover any areas they are less comfortable with. This year’s mesh trends are perfect for this.

Focus on quality over quantity

Many women make the mistake of buying trendy pieces that are made of cheap fabrics and overall poorly made. Though this may seem like the best financial decision at the time, it is almost always better for women to invest in higher quality items. These pieces will not only last longer, but they will also be more flattering to a woman’s figure.

Only wear the trends you really love

Even though the media may tell a different story, not all trends are made for everyone. Women should recognize when a certain trend does not fit their style and avoid wasting money on something they will never wear. Instead, a woman can use her own style to make new trends and fads that she can feel proud of.

Take a chance on color

One of the best trends that always makes its way into spring fashion is bright color. Every woman can find one bright color that they love and that flatters their skin tone. This season, many women are trying out bright pink or coral, which is great on almost every skin tone.


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Finishing touch with accessories 

The best way to put the exclamation point to your new spring outfits is with fun accessories. Adding a great pair of sunnies, gemstone earrings and necklaces and a festive handbag lightens up your look after all the heaviness of winter.

 

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Tina Hamilton HeadshotTina Hamilton is a journalist, blogger and social media guru. You can usually find her online or walking along one of Southern California’s beaches with her dog, Joey. Look for her on Twitter

 

 

 

 

KEEPING THE “HAPPY” IN THE HOLIDAYS By Guest Blogger Tina Hamilton

HAPPY

There is no doubt that the holiday season is crazy for everyone. From entertaining family to buying holiday gifts, there seems to be so many things to do and never enough time to do it. However, many women tend to feel like this any time of the year. Women are selfless in nature, always wanting to give more and do more for the people they can about. These desires are often the most intense around the holidays when women want to make everything perfect for their friends and family.

Many women forget that the holidays are about so much more than just giving the best gift and having a perfectly decorated home. The holiday season first gained its popularity because it was a time for friends and family to relax and enjoy each other’s company, being thankful for everything they have been blessed with that year. Every woman should take some time to stop worrying about pleasing everyone in her life with tangible things and think more about how she can show appreciation for them.

Here are some ways women can stay grounded during the holiday season:

Make a list

No, not talking about a holiday gift list. Women should make another list, a list of all the things that they were grateful for this year. This can be a great activity for women to do with their families to bond or on their own for some self-reflection. This list can be a great way to remind women of all the special things in their lives and help them appreciate everything they are blessed with.

Use some props

Many women can benefit from using some tools to help them remember why the holiday season is important. Tangible items can be very helpful as reminders for women of their goals and blessings. Women can use pictures around their home, an inspirational app on their phone or even a piece of  jewelry that has special meaning to help remind women of their goals and what it most important in their lives.

Take some weight off those shoulders

Women are often left feeling like that they have to do everything during the holiday season. Women feel they have to take care of everyone, but that is not always practical. Women should try to take some of that pressure off by delegating some other friends or family members to take on some of the holiday responsibilities. For example, instead of cooking an entire meal for a group of people along, women can ask each guest to bring an item to the dinner to take away some of the stress. This adds more personality to the dinner and makes for good table conversation for the holiday meal.

How to Stay Grounded During the Holiday Season

 

Focus on new goals instead of failures

Women can sometimes beat themselves up too much for not accomplishing everything they wanted too. They think that they should have been there for their family more over the past year, or they should have lost more weight before those holiday parties arrive. Instead of beating themselves up over and over for ‘failing’, women should focus on the goals they can set for the next year and what they have accomplished this year. This can help women feel more confident as they face old family and friends over the holidays and help them stay positive when entering into the New Year.

Never let guilt rule holiday decisions

Women forget sometimes that they always have control over their decisions, especially during the holidays. Women feel guilty to turn down a party invite or not give someone a gift, but they need to keep the big picture in mind. Women need to remember not to spread themselves too thin over the holidays and instead focus their attention on a few things. When giving gifts, women should not focus so much on the price of each gift, but instead on the meaning behind each gift. Giving an inexpensive gift that preserves a special memory is much more meaningful than an expensive gift that will be forgotten about by next year.

Stay happy this holiday! 

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Tina Hamilton is a journalist, blogger and social media guru. You can usually find her online or walking along one of Southern California’s beaches with her dog, Joey. Look for her on Twitter

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PURPOSE GONE WILD by Guest Blogger Ashley Brown

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The Gift you are meant to give…

You are a rare specimen. I know that’s a random way of starting this blog, but its true! The fact that you are alive is confirmation that you have purpose. Out of MILLIONS of sperm and hundreds of thousands eggs, YOU WERE SELECTED TO BE HERE. This is simply amazing. In case you didn’t know, it only takes 1 sperm, and 1 egg to create a baby, and in that particular moment, you were created. This is phenomenal. There is a specific reason why you are here, and your purpose is directly linked to your passion.

Let’s talk passion today…

We all have our passions & interest. The problem comes when we fall into a hypnotic rhythm of imitating the lives of others, and fail to realize our own uniqueness. Those who are truly great and legendary are the ones who pursed their curiosities even when it was contrary to what everyone else was doing around them. They did not fear the opinions of others, they simply acted on their hearts desires and in turn, they made a significant contribution to the world. The problem with mass media and social media is that when you are so focused on the lives of others it can be a distraction and distort your thinking, making you believe that you are supposed to be in a position that you are not.

Truth is…

you are right where you need to be and as soon as you take your eyes off everyone else’s purpose you can start pursuing your own.

Don’t be afraid of your own happiness or success.

The world NEEDS that authentic thing you have to offer.

Imitating the masses is a sure way of neglecting your true calling. Dig deep to find your OWN creative voice. Copying is easy. Many people can do it and it makes money, but there is no rewarding feeling at the end of it. When you pursue your passions, that “rewarding” feeling is worth more than any dollar amount.

Take some time to revisit the things that captivate you.

The things that make your heart skip a beat or have you up for hours, researching, studying, dreaming etc. When you are really excited or passionate about something that is a green light that you are headed in the right direction. Some people have a misconception that discovering your purpose is supposed to be a drawn out struggle. It is actually the polar opposite. You are co-creating this life with the ultimate creator (God) and he has instilled a gift in you that will spark your interest.

It is important to act and dive deeper into even the most subtle passions that may seem random and pointless. For instance, if you have a passion for drawing on the ground with chalk, you may be able to start a campaign writing positive quotes on college campuses. As crazy as it may sound, extraordinary things happen when you take time to learn what drives you. God didn’t create anything that is not gifted. Master who you are, instead of being pre-occupied with everyone else.

As we head into the new year, I want you to rediscover your passions. Take some time to reflect back on what interested you as a child, and be confident on your pursuit of purpose. I can’t stress enough how living your purpose truly serves the world.

If your passions don’t line up with all the degrees you have received or career path you’ve been on, do not fear. It’s better to start now, than to look back 30 years from now, realizing you let all your passions die.

So…join me in re-discovering our passions and unwrapping the beautiful gift God has given us. #GettingMyLife #PurposeGoneWild (Hashtag! I want to see your success & progress.)

 Follow me: @AshleyEmpowers 

http://www.ashleyempowers.com

AshleyEmpowers

 

RADIANT AFTER ALL By Fashion Stylist & Cancer Thriver Dawn Mellon

 

dress4yellowDawn walking in the “Dress4Yellow” fashion show, which celebrates cancer survivors.

Bad hair days.  Ugh!  We’ve all had them, right?  You spend 45 minutes drying and curling your other-wise stick straight hair and single-handedly deplete a portion of the ozone layer with hairspray to keep your ‘do in place.  Then, you walk outside only to be greeted by Mother Nature who whips up the wind and challenges the humidity to reach an all-time high, and you can almost hear her sarcastic laugh crackling in the wind as you feel your curls succumb to the elements.

Yep, it stinks.

But, everything is relative.

What if your bad hair day began when you took wig tape and stretched it across the perimeter of your bald head while you prayed the tape would be strong enough to withstand Mother Nature?  Losing your curls to the humidity is one thing.  Losing your wig to the wind is…well, a nightmare.  

And, the bad hair day continues as you try to recreate the eye brows you once complained about having to wax so often.  The cu-de-gyres, of course, is gluing false lashes to your eye lid without the guidance of a single eye lash.  You get so frustrated, you consider giving up until the thought of continuing to look like an alien surpasses your urge to quit.

I wish I could tell you I’m describing a scene from a bad movie, but the truth is I was the star of this real-life nightmare.  I was 46 years-old, married to my soul mate and husband of nearly 25 years.  Together, we were raising our12-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son, and I was enjoying a successful career as a fashion stylist.  Then, one day I woke up with a lump on my sternum.  It, literally, grew overnight.  I had been to several doctors prior to that day because I was having difficulty breathing and received a series of inconclusive diagnoses.  But, this time, I knew something was wrong, really wrong.  

andrewfamilyfreshDawn & her family shortly after diagnoses. 

The next day I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and had about a quart of fluid drained from my lungs – fluid that wasn’t draining through my lymphatic system because it was no longer capable of doing its job.  Instead, the cancer-filled lymph nodes formed a 9-centimeter mass between my lungs, and the lump on my sternum was the outward manifestation of that mass.  Within a week, I underwent a biopsy of the mass, a biopsy of my bone marrow, a PET scan, and had a port placed underneath my skin through which I began my chemotherapy treatment.  I was given a 70% chance of making a full recovery.

Eventually, I had a 100 hours of chemotherapy treatment.  It rid my body of cancer and, simultaneously, it rid me of my femininty and my dignity.  

As a fashion stylist, I’ve often said, “The way you look on the outside is a reflection of who you are on the inside.”  So, what does a 9-centimeter mass of cancer-filed lymph nodes positioned between your lungs look like?  I don’t think anyone wants to know the answer to that question.

Yet, despite everything I’ve just written, the most ironic thing happened to me during the first few months of my treatment.  Although I was on a sabbatical, I decided to attend a book-signing party given in honor of one of my clients.  A woman, not just any woman, a 6-foot-tall, redheaded fashion icon, said to me, “You look radiant.”  

jonb-dayWith supportive husband, Jon.

I was speechless.  I just stared at her until her very polite and intuitive husband broke the awkward silence between us and commented on..well, truth be told…I don’t know what he said, but his voice was exactly what I needed to hear in order to find my own voice.

Radiant.  Now that was an interesting choice of words, I thought to myself.  You see, she didn’t know about my diagnosis, she didn’t know I was wearing a wig, she didn’t know how it took every ounce of strength I could muster, mentally and physically, to be standing in front of her at that very moment.  

Then, of course, I told her.  Our conversation from that point forward is one I will always treasure for many, many reasons.  But, perhaps, the most important reason is that I came to realize the deeper meaning behind the advice I had been dishing out all these years.

ericarecital11With beautiful daughter, Erica – rockin’ her wig.

Despite the fact that I was a cancer-filled mess, standing a death’s door, and fighting for my life, I was spiritually stronger than ever before.  I felt the presence of God in a way that I’ve never really been able to capture in words.  I felt like I had been chosen – like so many of the biblical figures I’d grown to admire – I’d  been chosen to glorify God.  He knew that I would credit Him for healing me; I would lead others to Him through my unshakable faith; and I would be a living example of His power and grace.

291880_2030631369859_1860769476_nA toast to good life at the “Eternally Grateful” party Dawn & her family threw for everyone who helped them on this journey. 

Dawn Speech Photo2Dawn speaking at the 2013 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show & Luncheon – sharing her journey and encouraging others to give to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

So, I was radiant after all.  Radiant from the glow of the Holy Spirit shining so brightly that even my wig, my penciled-in eyebrows and my false eye lashes couldn’t overshadow its glow, and shedding a new perspective on the adage, “The way you look on the outside is a reflection of who you are on the inside.”  

 

llsfamilyDawn with her family, including her mom, at the 2014 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show & Luncheon when she received the “Heart of Gold” award.

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To further inspire, here’s a ‘must see’ video of Dawn and her remarkable family: 

MIX & MINGLE LIKE A PRO: Common Mistakes Women Make At Holiday Parties by Guest Blogger Tina Hamilton

The Most Common Mistakes Women Make at Holiday Parties1

Photo Courtesy of DailyWorth

The holiday season is nearing fast, which can send many women into a sense of panic. There are a lot of things to do before the holiday season is over, from buying presents to securing travel plans, the holidays can be a hectic time for any woman. One of the things that women often stress about the most is attending their holiday parties.

Holiday parties are meant to bring people together to celebrate, but often women create a lot of anxiety around these events. From finding the right thing to wear to deciding what to bring to even deciding how long to be at a party, there are a lot of little details that women feel the need to work out before the day of the holiday party. Most importantly, women should let themselves have fun at their holiday party. However, there are a few simple rules that women should follow to ensure that their holiday parties are a success.

Here are some of the most common mistakes women make at holiday parties:

Wearing something too sexy to an office party

Office parties can be a little confusing for women to dress for. Women can get confused between dressing work appropriate and dressing for a party. This is a balance that is not always easy to find. So many women just let loose and wear what they would wear to a club. Women have to remember that even though it is a party, it is in a workplace setting, so the attire should be festive, but still work appropriate.

Relying too much on the LBD

A good LBD, or little black dress, is always a great option for any special occasion. A LBD that makes a women feel beautiful and confident is always a good choice, but women should not let it be their only fashion statement. Holiday parties are about sparkle and fun, so a woman’s outfit should reflect that. Women can add some statement jewelry or a bright handbag to their LBD for a more festive look.

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Spending too much time at the bar

Drinking is a part of almost any holiday party, and there is nothing wrong with a woman having a few cocktails to celebrate, but they should be enjoyed in moderation. There is nothing worse than being the annoying woman at a party who has had one too many drinks. Women should limit themselves and have a glass of water after each drink.

Doubling up on gifts

Many women make the mistake of combining birthday, anniversary or even wedding gifts with holiday gifts. Women should instead give appropriate groomsmen gifts and birthday gifts at the appropriate time, and give a new gift for the holiday party. Each gift may need to be smaller or less expensive because of this, but the gesture will mean a lot more to the recipient.

Spending too much time with one group of people

Women are often time invited to holiday parties where they might not know everyone, or even very many people. This can be uncomfortable and nerve-racking for any woman (avoid the excessive drinking here!) and she might want to just stick around the people that she knows. Holidays are meant for gathering and mingling, and holiday parties can be the perfect opportunity to meet new people and network. Women should step outside their comfort zone and talk to some new people at their holiday parties, they might just get a great opportunity or new friendship out of it!

Inviting guests who were not invited by the host

Women want to have their ‘entourage’ with them as they head to their holiday parties. This may seem harmless, but it can be a big issue for the host if a woman brings other people who were not invited to the party. Women should put themselves in the position of the host and see if they would do the same thing. The host might not have enough food, drinks or even space for extra people, so women should leave the entourage at home and enjoy the people already at the party, taking advice from the previous point.

All of these tips can help any woman have a fantastic time at all of her holiday parties this year and make her a total pro at mixing & mingling! 

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Tina Hamilton is a journalist, blogger and social media guru. You can usually find her online or walking along one of Southern California’s beaches with her dog, Joey. Look for her on TwitterTina Hamilton Headshot

 

 

 

4 Ways To Keep Up Your Look As A New Mom by Guest Blogger Allison Taylor-Moseley

Style is a frame of mind. It’s expressing who you are at a particular time in your life. Ask yourself, “Where am I in my life and does my personal style fit my current lifestyle?” I’m an Austin based jewelry designer, wardrobe stylist, and new mom to a 4 month old baby girl. I basically live in jeans, tees, and my favorite wedges these days. My “getting ready” routine has really changed! So, I’ve rounded up the 4 ways I keep up my look as a new mom…  

  1. Have at least 1 fabulous pair of jeans that fit you like a rock star (and make you feel like one). Even if you wear them everyday, you know you’ll look good! They’re durable, easily cleaned, and you don’t have to shave your legs as often! Plus, you can dress them up or down. Wear them casually with tees, tanks, and flats, or dress them up with blouses, blazers, and heels. I have 3 pairs in high rotation: a pair of cropped colored denim, straight leg dark denim, and a flared light blue. Don’t buy duplicates; you gotta mix it up!
  2. Build a wardrobe with a foundation of essentials and stick to a color scheme. This allows you to easily mix & match your pieces to make a variety of outfits. Getting dressed will be easier and you’ll avoid the dreaded, “I have nothing to wear” syndrome when you have the basics. Don’t be tempted by too many trendy items, which are hard to style. A great color scheme is blues, greens, and reds (pick shades that work for your skin tone).
  3. Buy stylish statement shoes, even if they are flats, sneakers, or low heels. Shoes are a quick & easy way to add a stylish touch to the most basic outfit. It could be a fire engine red patent leather flats, animal print wedges, a bold pair of oxfords, brightly colored sneakers, or a gorgeous pair of low-heeled pumps. Let your shoes make a statement!
  4. #1 MOST IMPORTANT TIP: Don’t give up on yourself; do your hair & make-up! I find that when hair and make-up are done, everything just looks more “put together”. Even when I haven’t showered or I’m feeling down on my looks, if my hair and make-up are done, I’ll feel great!   So, here are my tips:
    1. For hair, learn to create a quick up-do that works for you. For example, learn to braid it, curl it, pin it back, or tie it in a bun in 10 minutes or less. Find a creative way to use a scarf or hat on bad hair days. For me, I curl my hair 2 or 3 times a week. Instead of washing, drying, and curling it every day, I’ll use a shower cap and just refresh the curls with a little spray wax the next day.
    2. For make up, get yourself a 5-minute make-up routine. Mine is: Foundation, concealer under eyes, blush, 1 eye shadow, powder, mascara, gloss.
    3. Bathe at night. I save a lot of time by bathing at night. In the morning, all I have to do is hair & make up! I also find it very relaxing and nurturing to my soul to bathe at night. It’s like I’m washing away everything that happened that day and getting into bed with a fresh start.

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Above, is an example of one of my favorite “mom” outfits: Fabulous Denim (Black Orchid), Colorful shoes (Nike), a graphic tee (Zara). For more outfit inspiration, visit my instagram. And, let me know if you have any questions!

XOXO Allison

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Allison Taylor-Moseley is a personal stylist, jewelry designer and new mom living in sunny Austin, Texas. Her jewelry collection is made with precious metals & colorful gemstones with the goal to make style as effortless as possible. The pieces make great wardrobe staples and are designed to be layered with each other, worn alone, or paired with other styles of jewelry to suit your personal style.

SOS is excited to be giving away a unique Taylor-Moseley design in the popular Stocking Stuffer Giveaway this Dec!  

Browse the collection NOW! 

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Cancer VS Suicide: Team Angels Won by Christine Handy

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Christine & a few of her angels, today! 

It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with breast cancer and completed my chemotherapies and surgeries before I felt full inside. I felt loved in a way I didn’t even know existed. I found the Holy Spirit through the teachings by my team of friends that we called my “team of angels!”

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The first days of my diagnosis I was set on suicide. In my mind I felt unworthy of the time and devotion I knew it would take for my family and friends to care for me. I was coming off an already brutal health problem and I felt like I had used up my “reserves” of care from my husband, parents and friends. I was ashamed to ask for more and yet I knew I couldn’t care for my 2 sons while fighting breast cancer. I believed everyone would be better off without me and without the intensity of my health pressures. I rationalized that decision and it made sense at that moment in time.

Then came my angels.

My friends rallied around me and made me believe the truth, Gods Truth. I was worthy and God loved me so much that He knew every hair on my head. The hairs before chemotherapy and each one as it grew back. I became overwhelmed with love, devotion and care by not only my family but my friends. They became my “team of angels”! And they were.

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Christine’s hair began falling out in the shape of a cross! 

I asked many of my friends why they gave up so much to help me. They gave up their time with their own families to care for mine. They gave up their lives in so many ways for my secured health and well being. And through their faith and teachings, I came to realize why.

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They did it for God, the Glory of God. Those woman didn’t want thanks, they didn’t care about the thank you cards , they taught me that the thanks went to The Lord.

I don’t know about you, but being raised a Christian doesn’t guarantee learning the principles that these woman taught me.

They taught me that my life was important and that I was worthy.

They taught me to give all my worries to The Lord .

They showed me what to serve really looks like even in a society that wants to take all the praise and the credit.

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They not only saved my life they taught me how to live. I went from giving up when I was diagnosed to fighting for my life with their help. I believe God put those woman in my life to change me, refine me and save me.

I am cancer free and love my life. I am never alone, I have the Spirit inside me. The terrors of diagnosis and the fears that come with it are devastating. But my life and my story are bigger than that day I was diagnosed, October 1 st , 2012. God has a plan for me that’s so great. There are days and nights where I feel doubt or fear but I remember my faithful angels and how they modeled the Truth for me.

My fears go away and I pray and feel comforted.

John 15:12-17
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.  This is my command: Love each other.

BE FAB FRIDAY: 5 Ways To Layer Without Getting Lost by Guest Blogger, Tina Hamilton

How Women Can Avoid Getting Lost in Fall Layers

Photo courtesy of Cosmopolitan

Beautiful fall is finally here and everyone is getting excited about getting cozy with a cup of hot chocolate and their family in front of the fireplace. This year’s fall fashion is also something to look forward to, embracing a lot of new trends and some bolder colors that every woman can get excited about. However, a lot of women don’t get as excited about fall because the weather means they need to start layering their clothes. Layering can be a great way to create a beautiful & feminine shape and make a woman feel confident about her style, but many women still shy away from layers.

The most common reason why women try to avoid layering is because they think that it will make them look bigger than they actually are. Though it is true that layering does add more weight to the body, it can actually make a woman look a lot smaller and more perfectly proportioned when utilized correctly. Every woman should know the basics of layering to stay warm and look great this fall.

Here are some tips to help women avoid getting lost in fall layers:

1. Start with thin, fitted layers

When a woman starts layering, it is important that she start out with layers that are fitted to her body to create the best base. This even starts with appropriately fitting bras and the best fitting panties. Adding light tank tops and t-shirts will make warm layers effortless and comfortable. These kinds of layers can be topped with anything to create casual or work appropriate looks for fall.

2. Utilize color, texture and pattern to add dimension

Women tend to layer a lot of basic neutral colors for fall. This look can turn any woman into a lifeless blob, so instead, women should take some time to mix up their basic layering pieces with other pieces that utilize color, texture or pattern. An example of this would be layering a basic brown t-shirt with a tweed jacket and a chunky tan sweater-style scarf. This is a classic fall look that combines textures in the same color palette to create an interesting and elegant look. This can also easily be done with accessories, like a bright jeweled necklace over a basic sweater.

3. Don’t forget about hemlines

Hemlines are very important for women to keep in mind when layering clothes. Choosing the wrong hemline can take a layered look for put-together to frumpy. Women should choose hemlines based on their body type and the features they are trying to accentuate. For example, petite women should avoid long tunic shirts and instead opt for structured layers that sit above the hips. Hemlines can also be used to hide or accentuate certain body parts. For example, pear shaped women can layer a full skirt with tights to camouflage a wider lower half and balance out their body.

4. Balance loose layers with structured pieces

This season’s trends involve a lot of loose and flowy fabrics that are void of a lot of structure. To avoid getting lost in a lot of loose layering pieces, women should try to balance a loose trendy piece with a structured piece to balance out the look. For example, maxi skirts have become a great option for fall, and when paired with a structured boot and a tailored blazer, the look becomes sophisticated and trendy. For women who are more apple shaped, skinny jeans with a long loose sweater is the ultimate comfort look perfect for fall and winter.

5. Add accessories to create shape

Accessories are always the perfect way to take a boring or lifeless outfit to the next level. Women can use popular fall accessories to liven up their look and stay warmer in the fall. Scarves are a great way to add color, pattern, texture and an extra layer of warmth to any outfit. To make things simple, women can opt for infinity scarves that don’t involve as much fuss or know-how to tie in order to look fabulous. An additional fall favorite is a belt that can create a waistline in even the thickest outerwear. This helps women maintain their feminine figure while staying warm and cozy.

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Tina Hamilton is a journalist, blogger and social media guru. You can usually find her online or walking along one of Southern California’s beaches with her dog, Joey. Look for her on Twitter.

Tina Hamilton Headshot

4 Little Innocuous (but revolutionary) Phrases by Guest Blogger Natalie Bolton

 

4 agreements

Scientists have done studies on “happiness” and why some people seem to grasp it and why it eludes others. MINDSETS are one of the possible factors that will determine the quality you are able to see reflected in your life. And let me say, I am no perfect master at this, however, it I can just set an intention or two for the day it does help.

Take the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, if one decided to challenge their everyday life with just one of these agreements a day this could totally shift the baseline of the mind, just by focusing on one.

These four little innocuous phrases can be revolutionary!

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BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD. (I may just take this one on everyday for an entire month)

If I can make the promise to myself to be impeccable with my word that means that I believe that what I say means something and impacts my life and others. If I just say “YES” to everything and over schedule myself then I end up flaking out of something and letting someone down. So my “yes” should be solid, strong, and valuable. And if I’m putting my word behind it-I need to pay close attention to what I am signing off on in my life. People are affected by my loose over scheduling, over committing, and under delivering (one of my life challenges).

DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY.

I am uber sensitive. I have pinned it on being creative, artistic, a Capricorn, and moody. Blah blah blah…whatever. I have been sensitive in my life because I have taken things personally. What is so amazing in this life is that no one is ever really doing anything on account of anyone else. Honestly, we are so self-consumed that when someone hurts our feelings 9 times out of 10 the hurter of the feelings was completely unaware and in their own world. When someone “consciously” seemed to personally hit you where it hurts it is due to his or her own fear- his or her own perception, and his or her own battle that they are fighting. When I can remember this I am no longer at the affect of someone else. Yah, we all act out sometimes but if we can pause and think that maybe just maybe that person’s issue has zero to do with us it allows us to continue to buzz throughout our life. Then we are able to put our efforts into things that truly matter.

DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS.

There have been times more often than not, sadly, where I have written an Oscar-worthy drama of “Gone with the Wind” proportions that actually in reality never even happened. Now, don’t judge me and say ”Oh, hmmm, did she just admit that she hears voices in her head…hmmm? Did she just announce her crazy to the world?” NO. What I am saying is I think we all at some point have created storied to back up our colorful imaginations. For example, someone doesn’t pick up his beautiful Great Dane’s poop from your yard turns into “Why does so-and-so hate me?” Or a teenager cackles you from across the street turns into “Oh my god! My cool factor has expired and I am officially old.” Or your partner forgetting the dinner at 8 date turns into “He doesn’t love me and he never did love me!” I know I am NOT the only one so reader don’t squint your eyes and poke fun-we all have done it (hormonal fluctuations could be the culprit most times). Nevertheless, we all have had these ridiculous conversations with ourselves. If I can make the choice to NOT assume, I can show up in the world as an adult and ask real questions to get the real answers. Such as, “hey, poop perpetrator, I have a stash of bags here in case anyone walking their dog needs one in a pinch. Have I told you before that they were here?” Poop perpetrator replies, “Oh man, good to know, the other day we totally left a present in your yard because I forgot the bag and also locked myself out of my house resulting in being late for work and forgetting to come back and pick it up. That is what these flowers picked from my garden are for. My sincerest apologies.” The teenager scenario is simply a teenager scenario. And the forgetting of the date drama? Maybe a question such as “So, by you forgetting about our dinner plans is a simple glitch resulting from you being overworked and overscheduled?” And that gives your partner the opportunity to express his or her love for you and how they were actually getting so involved in planning a surprise weekend get-a-way that they simply forgot about the dinner at hand. Problems solved with simple real questions.

ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST.

What does “The Best” scale look like? Well, it is different everyday and moment by moment. One minute I can extend love to a complete stranger on a plane by listening to her heart for the entire 3-hour flight, and the very next moment I can get annoyed and react to the person kicking the back of my seat. Our best is continually changing but if we are striving to always keep our best forefront in our minds we can avoid the all too common abusive self-talk and regret we love to punish ourselves with. You may be able to run the LA marathon after training at your best, but when you are laid out sick from the flu just getting up from the couch to go to the bathroom is your absolute best. Be kind to yourself and always keep your “BEST” as the goal.

 

Fall can be our best season yet. It can be a time of restoration on many levels.  And our mindset can be the solution to problems we have been unable to fix until now.

Small tweaks powerful impact.

 Thrive on,

 Natalie.

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In Natalie’s own words she shares her personal philosophy, “The mandate for my life is not only bringing beauty to people by external means with new technologies, and cutting-edge technique, my goal is to also refresh the spirit. I pray every morning to bring beauty to the spirit of everyone I touch-so they leave feeling more beautiful and at peace after they leave me. I want to live my life like that as well. I want to leave the world more beautiful than when I found it.”

From CBS’s SURVIVOR to skincare, my sister Natalie Bolton has landed at VANITY LOUNGE in Houston, TX. (Yay, do you know how happy our mom is to have both her girls back in the Great State!!)  Having the opportunity to fulfill her desire to bring beauty, healing and a sense of well being to men and women alike, Natalie has found her calling. As a state-board licensed aesthetician and certified Epicuren specialist, Natalie enhances the appearance and condition of her clients’ skin and their sense of self. Her specialties include rejuvenation and anti-aging. Natalie is also an expert in the areas of acne and problematic skin.

To book your appointment with Nat, call 713-942-9177 or book online.   Vanity Lounge is located at 2800 Kirby Drive #B110
Houston, TX 77098 in the Tootsies shopping center across from Eddie V’s.