GO BLAZE, Baby!

 

BAMMMMM.

The falling down part, the struggle, the strain, the humility, the stretching, the minor disappointment…ugh, your light has been temporarily dimmed. You can feel it. Like one of those dimmer switches, your light is not it’s highest wattage.

 

But, it’s the refusing to give up…

choosing to rise,

choosing to brush yourself off,

choosing to learn the lesson,

choosing to shine again,

and allowing it to empower you to step forward into your next level of greatness is what true success is all about. Who feels me?

 

We are the Phoenix:
1. A bird in Egyptian mythology that lived in the desert for 500 years and then consumed itself by fire, laterto rise renewed from its ashes.
2. A person or thing of unsurpassed excellence or beauty.
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Life circumstances and horrible choices have nearly killed me, literally.  Back in the day, I have been in such a dark hole and have done random drugs with random people I didn’t know. I should be dead and certainly never thought I would see the light again much less strive to be full of love and light. We can’t have the light without the dark. Warmth without the cold. Highs without the lows.

Embrace those seasons you don’t feel so shiny and sparkly because thats when your are being refined and purified.

The embers are becoming a flame.

GO BLAZE, BABY!

10 HABITS OF HEALTHY CHICKS

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The topic of health and living our best, most fabulous and spiritually conscious lives is what the foundation of SOS is based on. My wish is for every woman to rock their personal style, but more importantly I want them to be strong and healthy in body, mind and spirit first. I am here to help you relearn how to love yourself and realize

how important you are,

how beautiful you are and

how powerful you are.

It has been a long journey of relearning for me and I’m still a work-in-progress. I abused my body with low nutrient junk foods and recreational drugs. I abused my spirit and mind with toxic thoughts toward myself. I was one unhealthy chick! Which means I was one unhappy chick. Healthy in every area equates to happy.

Throughout my journey I have found these key elements are vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle:

1. Early to bed, early to wake. I realize this is impossible for some diehard night owls, but generally those who get adequate sleep start the day early feel more refreshed and creative. Our bodies regenerate during sleep so if you’re depriving yourself of sleep you are damaging your immune system. Sleep is also one of the most important beauty tips because it keeps you looking young.

2. Attitude of gratitude. Once you gotten enough sleep and wake up early, healthy chicks take some time every morning (even if it’s in the shower) to count their blessings. The happiest and healthiest chicks I know have a disciplined practice of gratitude journaling, prayer & meditation. The complaining sourpuss is usually sickly with constant physical ailments. You could probably think of a few family members or friends right now who are forever complaining about having a migraine or stomach issues, am I right? When I was living fully in shame and negativity, I was always sick! 

3. Move, move, move. Being sedentary is a recipe for depression and physical issues. I get it– some people hate working out with a passion! Find something you enjoy like dancing or rollerskating that doesn’t feel like a workout. Luckily, I loved playing sports as a kid and have been a powerwalker since I was 13. I learned early on that walking helped my mind as much as it helped my figure. Now, I kill two birds with one stone and love listening to various speakers on Podcast One while I walk. I get in a physical workout and a mental & spiritual workout at the same time! Highly recommend it.

4. Eat & drink right. This is a super important key to health. You really are what you eat! We are so lucky to live in a generation with so much knowledge about foods and modifications. Our parents didn’t have this knowledge and many of them are suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure now. Pay attention to what you are sticking in your mouth sista! If I eat low energy and low nutrient foods, I will feel it immediately. I’ll have a slight headache and feel lethargic. Trust me, I am all for indulging once a week, but I  know that I will feel it the next day. Also, healthy chicks are conscious of their alcohol and sugary drink consumption. Water is the first thing they reach for!

5. Birds of a feather. We all rub off on each other. Healthy and happy chicks are conscious of surrounding themselves with happy and healthy friends. It is human nature to take on someone’s behavior- to a degree– when we are around them a lot. I grew up in a home where there was constant complaining and naturally, I took on that behavior and have had to work really hard to reverse it. We can’t live in a happy bubble 24/7 so make sure your mentally & spiritually strong to be able to affect the negative people in your life in a positive way… instead of them infecting you! Holla!!    

6. Make the best of it. Bad crap happens to all of us. Healthy chicks choose to see the silver lining in challenging circumstances. They can see the blessing or the lesson in the situation. They do not play the victim or sit and wallow in the crap. I use to be the Queen Wallow! Allow yourself a quick pitty party, cry, scream then dust yourself off and dry your eyes because you have important stuff to do.

7. Lend a hand. Another key to being spiritually healthy is helping others on a regular basis. Talk about a mood lifter and game changer! The minute you sense yourself slipping down the slide of worry and fear- go find someone who needs some help. The healthiest and happiest chicks I know are the first ones to visit a sick friend with a big pot of soup or take an elderly aunt to her doctor appt. Now, make sure you don’t take it to the opposite extreme and wear yourself out trying to help everyone which is actually very unhealthy!

8. Mindfulness. Everyone is busy. We are in an age of multitasking. We make phone calls in the car while listening to news radio at the same time. We start dinner while helping the kids with their homework plus answering texts from friends. Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment—and accepting it without judgment. When I’m overloaded with distractions, I skip listening to podcasts during my walks and savor the quiet. Scientifically, mindfulness has been found to be a key element in happiness. Being present– not living in the past or too much in the future- is one of the greatest obstacles we face especially with the constant distractions of people, email, social media and television. I keep my phone on silent A LOT! My hubby and I have gotten in the habit of turning our phones to silent before we have dinner. This allows us to connect and be present with each other. A marriage without mindfulness is a set up for disaster.

9. Stress managers. A healthy woman knows her limits and finds outlets for stress. This could be as simple as turning off the phone like I mentioned in #8 and taking a quiet moment to get centered when too many people are pulling at us. It could be practicing yoga, singing in the car and watching funny movies on a regular basis for a good laugh. Another key to keeping stress low is the ability to say no and setting healthy boundaries.

10. Body love. There’s a few aspects to this one, physically and spiritually. When we have a healthy love for ourselves, we take notice of things going on in our body instead of ignoring it. A healthy chick gets to the dentist regularly, performs self exams and schedules her annual pap. We are more in tune with our hormonal fluctuations and how certain medications effect us. We don’t just take antibiotics at the drop of a hat.

 

Yes, life happens and we can get out of balance from time to time. It may be a challenge to have all 10 of these operating smoothly every single day, but I encourage you if you are too far off in a few of these areas- make some small tweaks in order to elevate your life and be your most healthy….

and happy!

I want to hear from you. Comment, share, tweet and let me know which of the 10 you are going to tackle.

Love, Tiff

Are you ready to say “YES” to being Sexy Fit & Fab at ANY age? By Guest Blogger: Author + Beauty Expert Susie Augustin {Plus Book Giveaway}

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Meet the beautiful Susie Augustin!  

Susie is a beauty expert, speaker and author of Sexy, Fit & Fab at Any Age!  In this book she shares eight keys that help women of all ages explore their inner and outer beauty, inspiring them to develop their essences, exude confidence, embrace their true selves and feel extraordinary. With a marketing degree and aesthetician license, she has over fifteen years experience in the health and beauty industry. Susie is an author, speaker, educator, publisher, columnist, marketing copywriter and branding specialist. She studied theatre, acting and improv for ten years and loves connecting with an audience. Susie has been a featured speaker at numerous workshops, with topics such as skincare, health, beauty, sex appeal, confidence building, writing and publishing. Having worked at some of the world’s most well-known and top rated beauty companies, she’s motivated thousands of women to look and feel their best, to embrace their sex appeal and to live a healthy lifestyle. Susie is excited about her new publishing company Get Branded Press. She offers workshops on how to write and publish a book, with several different services provided, such as book development, editing, proofreading, ghostwriting, book layout and many more. Susie’s motto is Dream it. Brand it.

 

SOS asked Susie to share her thoughts on a few topics we see many women dealing with today:

SOS: Many women seem to lose confidence in themselves when they become a new mother. What is your #1 piece of advice for women who feel they’ve lost their spunk, sizzle, moxie and sex appeal after they have a baby?  

SA: Due to the celebrities we see in the media, we have a false perception of women regarding beauty, fitness, and bouncing back to pre-baby weight and body immediately after having a baby. The average woman doesn’t have the access to a personal chef, trainer, nannies, housekeepers, or the funds for liposuction, photo shoots and airbrushing. To all the new moms out there, give yourself huge credit for going through childbirth and putting the health and happiness of your new baby and family first. Don’t compare yourself to celebrity moms. It’s not realistic to bounce back right away in a bikini. It’s all about what works in your lifestyle.

You have to take a moment for yourself every day. Take a shower and put on some makeup to start your day off right. Planning a date night at least once a month is essential, as parenthood puts stress on a relationship. Remind your partner on date night how sexy you are by throwing on some heels, hoop earrings, lipstick, and strut your sass -confidence is sexy to men!

 

SOS: What was the best beauty tip you ever received and who was it from?

SA: Smile!  A smiling, happy face is a beautiful face. I’ve heard this throughout my life and I’ve been telling this to girls and women for years. As far as beauty products, my mom started selling Avon when I was eleven. I was introduced to washing my face and wearing sun protection daily at an early age. Years later studies showed that aging skin (lines, wrinkles, skin discoloration) is due to sun damage, so I’m grateful that I took preventative measures.

 

SOS: You are on a mission to motivate other women to look and feel their best, but how have YOU personally stayed motivated through the years? Many women seem to hit a certain age and just give up or throw in the towel…

SA: Staying positive, following my dreams and living a healthy lifestyle keep me centered, confident and enthusiastic about life. I enjoy being around like-minded people, so most of my friends are the same way. We constantly motivate and inspire each other. As we go through changes and challenges in life – stress, divorce, childbirth, health issues, weight gain, entering a new decade – we are able to lean on each other to get tips on how to look and feel better. I’ll set health, fitness, and weight loss goals with some of my friends. Many times we’ll do it together and keep each other on track. When you realize that we all go through ups and downs and experience insecurities, you feel less alone and the size of your challenges feel more manageable. I also regularly attend personal development seminars and networking events and am meeting fabulous new friends with similar interests.

 

SOS: Women are spread so thin and wear so many hats these days.  In your book, you teach the importance of living a balanced life.  We always need to reset and readjust things in order to stay on track. How do you reset when you find yourself getting unbalanced? 

SA: The eight keys to living a balanced life in my book Sexy, Fit & Fab at Any Age are Spirit, Nutrition, Exercise, Education, Passion, Personality, Grooming and Sex Appeal. I do my best to stay balanced but it can be a challenge, even when you are pursuing your passions and everything in life is great. Setting goals and priorities are a great way to stay on track. Start with small goals and take baby steps. It’s not always practical trying to do everything every day. Be flexible. I like to start off my day with the first three keys, by taking a quick walk, having a green drink, writing in my journal and listening to an inspirational CD. Some days I have two hours for this, and other days only 45 minutes. I’ve learned not to be so hard on myself if I can’t get it all done, and remember that small cumulative steps can slowly build up to beautiful results.

 

SOS: What would you tell your 16 year old self? 

SA: Take care of yourself and follow your dreams. Be patient, flexible, and open to things happening in unexpected ways. Be okay that life doesn’t always go according to your schedule; sometimes it takes longer or the outcome may be even greater than you’d dreamed. Know that your inner and natural beauty is one of your biggest assets.

 

SOS: Many people aspire to become an author and share their message with the world, but it seems like a daunting task.  How did you get started? What’s the first step to writing a book?

SA: I’ve always been passionate about reading and writing since I was young, and even my friends had me proofread and correct their book reports for them. Years later I went into the beauty industry and did everything from skincare, makeup, sales, training, marketing and copywriting. So it was through natural progression that my friend Kim Somers Egelsee asked me to speak at Willow Tree Circle about beauty and sex appeal. Women of all ages were interested in knowing more and asked when my book was coming out. During this time, Kim asked me to edit her book Getting Your Life to a 10 Plus. I started Get Branded Press and published both of our books and we had an amazing red carpet book launch, as well as hitting the Amazon Bestseller list. This is an amazing testament to what can happen when women practice being supportive of each other rather than competitive.

Since we both get requests daily for tips on how to write a book, what the process is, how to overcome writer’s block, and how to self-publish, we created Writing to WOW, a book writing workshop that is coming this September. The workshop includes visualizations to open up creativity, choosing a topic to write on, learning how to outline your book, and more. Complete information will be posted on my website soon at http://www.SexyFitFab.com. In the meantime, grab a notebook and pen (yes, I’m asking you to write, not type, as this opens up creativity) and make a list of your interests and passions. Pick one and write a paragraph about it. Challenge yourself to write even more. I also suggest writing in a journal daily. Get your feelings out, vent, write a gratitude list or to-do list for the day. You don’t need to be eloquent or articulate, just start writing!

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It was an honor for Susie to ask me to share my testimonial and be featured on the back cover of her book!

Susie and I are thrilled to share her book with all of you SOS Sistas and will be giving away (3) copies!

To Enter:

  1. Share this blog post once via Twitter or Facebook. See the buttons below.
  2. Click LIKE on the SOS Facebook page.
  3. Make the comment “I am ready to say yes to being sexy fit & fab” anywhere on the SOS Facebook wall.

 

(3) Winners will be announced on Friday, June 28th on the FB Page.  

Get ready to be your most fab! 

Love, Tiff

 

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE DAY!

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A quick word of encouragement for the day….

Do you realize how VALUABLE + PRICELESS you are?  Truly deep down in the core of your soul… do you realize it?  The word “valuable” has been resonating with me all week. Women around the world from all walks of life struggle with this word. 

The definition of valuable is “something that is of great worth”. 

As I have mentioned on this blog more than once, I did not realize my worth until I truly grasped the concept that I was a child of God.  Many of you are Mothers, so think of how precious, perfect (even when they get on your last nerve), valuable, beautiful and truly special you think your children are?  That is how God thinks of each of you.  YES, YOU SISTA!   God is the Master Creator and does not make mistakes.  You are Divinely Designed…A Masterpiece. Start viewing yourself as such!  Today, strip away the titles you wear and stand in boldly in the beauty that is YOU and you alone.  Not as mom, wife, sister, daughter, employee, grandma, aunt, etc… as (  your name  ).   Love her today, cherish her and begin to realize how valuable she is… JUST AS SHE IS. 

For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14. NIV)

 

Go do something special for yourself today to celebrate

YOUR AWESOMENESS!

Be grateful for who you are and stop comparing yourself to others.  You are a masterpiece and they are a masterpiece.  We don’t go around comparing Michelango’s works to DaVinci’s.  It just doesn’t make sense, right?

Love, Tiff

 

BE IRRESISTABLE by Plus-Size Style Expert Marcy Guevara

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Yves Saint Laurent once said,  “I have always believed that fashion was not only to make women more beautiful, but also to reassure them, give them confidence.”

What is confidence?  Can it be bought?  Can it be taught?

As a plus-size style expert, women of all sizes ask me, more than anything, WHERE I FIND MY CONFIDENCE.  I believe that SELF-ESTEEM and CONFIDENCE is something you have 100% control and power over in your life.

Here are three quick tips for starting to cultivate confidence:

First, it is important to acknowledge a few things you love about yourself.  You have to love the skin you’re in, because if you don’t no one will.  We all have problem areas, start to focus on your “positive areas”.  The more you complain about your thighs won’t make them thinner, so take a walk instead.  Your thighs may never get smaller, but the feelings of accomplishment, the fresh air and the energy you’ll feel after the walk are priceless!

Second, train yourself to be confident.  Everyday so many thoughts run through our minds that are negative, self-hating, self-shaming and cause us to break down.  You must begin to take these thoughts captive and replace them with loving and positive thoughts.

Third, affirm yourself.  Stop waiting for the recognition of others and affirm yourself. I love using affirmations to start my day. Write a few on a mirror or on a card you place on your desk or car and use them to build yourself up.  They can be as simple as “I love me” or as intricate as “I am an interesting, beautiful and unique person with lots to offer the world”. Get creative!

I LOVE ME Challenge 2013

How we portray ourselves to others attracts business, love, prosperity… draw people in with your confidence.  BE IRRESISTABLE. You have control over this. I hope you will take these thoughts and give yourself the grace to be a work in progress.  Take this challenge one day at a time so eventually you become the BEST you.

Marcy Guevara is a stylist, host and motivational speaker.  Connect with her at www.themarcyminute.com

 

Be {YOU} tiful

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Hey Style + Spirit Sistas,

I was filling out a questionnaire about my blog + videos and thought I would share what I wrote: 

WHY DID I START A BEAUTY BLOG?

The inspiration for starting my blog was simply to help women learn to love themselves!  Yes, beauty products and developing your own unique personal style is a big part of it– but, the core of why I do what I do is to teach women to LOVE who they are.. inside + out.  Love your quirks and love your thighs!

WHAT DOES “BEAUTIFUL” MEAN TO YOU?

SOS is about sharing beauty and style tips, but the most important are the INNER BEAUTY TIPS– which are tips for nurturing your spirit!  It may sound strange, but I believe in the “Spiritual” aspect of Style.  We can rock the latest Louis Vuitton handbag, fit into size 2 skinny jeans and have flawless skin, but if we do not love who we are- the quirks, the flaws, the good/bad/ugly- then we will not SHINE and step into our greatness.  God created us all PERFECTLY the way we are and when a woman embraces that fact…and rocks it with her shoulders back and her head held high…. THAT IS BEAUTIFUL!!!

AN INSPIRING STORY ABOUT YOURSELF:

My ethnicity is a blend of Japanese/Czech/two tribes of Native American/English and was raised in a lower middle class neighborhood outside Houston, Tx with a variety of ethnicities, but predominately Hispanic and African American.  I grew up “color blind” and saw everyone as equal.  My favorite magazine when I was little was National Geographic so I was fascinated with other cultures and ethnicities.  I wanted to see the world and experience all these different types of people.

When I entered junior high, I began participating in sports.  My dad who is 1/2 Japanese and a bit Native American, a bit English–  attended my games and when my friends saw that he was Asian– I was ridiculed and they made fun of him.  See, I had dark blonde/light brown hair and didn’t have the normal Asian appearance.  I started to feel shame about my heritage.  I even told my dad to stop coming to my games.  It was so confusing because my best friends were African American and I had a crush on a boy who was Mexican.  I had no idea what racism was at 12 years old!

A few years into high school I began modeling and realized that me being “different” was a cool thing because I didn’t look like anyone else.  I had traded in my National Geographics for Elle and Marie Claire at this point.  I loved the creativity and glamour of the beauty + fashion industry.  Most of the models did not have the typical “All American” beauty so I started embracing my heritage and seeing other mixed ethnicities as beautiful and unique.  I even darkened my hair to look even more exotic and ethnic.  Funny, magazines and the media get so much flack for steering our young girls the wrong way, but they actually had a positive effect on my self-esteem!  Through my career, I went on to fulfill my dream of seeing the world and being “different” was a big blessing in disguise!  Again, God made us all unique and perfect just as we are.  Now, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to teach and mentor young girls to love themselves just as they are.  If we can break the cycle of comparison and competition before they reach high school years– WHOA, it will save so many women years of heartache! 

Love, Tiff

YOU ARE A WORK OF ART…. so stop the comparison!

Hi Lovelies,

I just have a quick love note today reminding you how special, unique, blessed and marvelous you are.  If we all truly owned that fact, we would STOP the madness of comparing ourselves to others.  Do you compare yourself to your friends or models or celebrities?  Comparison will suck the joy right out of you and leave you with a constant feeling of being “less than”.  If you are always looking at how everyone else looks, what they are achieving or what car they are driving– you will stay distracted and stuck.  STOP THE MADNESS NOW!  You are a Child of God.  Yes, YOU!  You were designed– from the way your lip turns up when you smile, the way your hugs make people feel loved, the way your laugh is a tad too loud, the way you have the ability to balance a budget with your eyes closed, the way your broad shoulders make you look strong– and on and on!  Everything about you makes up one pretty amazing work of art.  You have gifts, talents and characteristics that are yours and yours alone.  There is no one on earth exactly like you…….so you know what that means?  Comparison goes right out the window.  

Are you comfortable in your own skin?  Do you constantly seek approval and feed off of others complimenting you and when they don’t you, you feel deflated.   I know all about it!  I was that to a “T”.  I never felt happy with myself.  Plus, I worked in the very industry where the judging of your appearance determines whether or not you get the job.  Can you imagine 15 years of auditions and castings where you are basically sized up and compared to whatever “image” the client needed for their project.  You may not be tall enough, skinny enough,  young enough, etc.  No wonder I almost became a drug addict until I realized my worth lies in the truth that I am a precious Child of God. Period.

If you battle with comparison and competition, please free yourself girlfriend.  Life is too short to live another day not appreciating yourself and OWNING your uniqueness.  Also, appreciate others for their beauty, originality and brilliance instead of wanting to be like them. 

This past week, I was a guest speaker at the Willow Tree Women’s Circle for a discussion titled “Fabulous Not Frumpy”.   I was asked the question, “how do we stop comparing ourselves to the images we see in the media”?  One thing I mentioned and I wanted to remind you all today since the Oscars are coming up this weekend….. all of those gorgeous celebrities you will see on the red carpet look perfect because they have a massive team of people helping them.   They have hairstylists, makeup artists, wardrobe stylist, fitness trainers, botox injectors, estheticians, nutritionists and who knows what else I’m leaving out.  They have been starving themselves for the past month.  Getting spray tanned.  Having their dress altered to fit them perfectly.  So, remember when they go home after it’s all over– they will be just like you and me in their sweats, with their hair on top of their head with a zit on their face having to change a dirty diaper if they are a new mom.  Many of them are because I remember last award season there were several preggars celebrities on the red carpet.  We can “celebrate” their beauty and talent, but remember they are just people complete with cellulite and issues, too.  Don’t compare yourself to them in their expensive couture gown when you are sitting there watching from the couch in your sweats and not a stitch of makeup on.  Ya hear!   Ok- so this post ended up not being all that quick. LOL!

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I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

Leave a comment and let me know your 2-cents.

Happy Humpday!  Step out today and turn up your wattage. 

SHINE ON! 

Rock your confidence today.  It’s a must-have accessory!

Love, Tiff