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To be honest, I’m having trouble deciding on where to start writing this entry. Up until a few weeks ago, I had never really put conscious thought into what it means to be a ‘military spouse’. I just was.

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“Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day”. Really? Like is this a national holiday? Because it should be. If we aren’t on a base and completely surrounded by the military 150% of the time, we’d never know we were appreciated. And that is because no one, but ourselves, knows our battles. Each one is different, and yet we all share a few common denominators.

There is the obvious description of what people think we are, we spend a lot of time alone. We worry. We stress. But then there are things that aren’t so obvious, we often times find ourselves operating as single parents. We fight alone on the home front (or so it seems sometimes). We have no identity when it comes to the military and the benefits given. We are always identified as a ‘dependent’ crushing our individuality and in some cases, not all, creating chauvinistic a-holes in the men who we ‘depend’ on. (more on this in another blog)

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Have you ever put thought into what that word means?

de·pend
dəˈpend/
verb
  1. 1.
    be controlled or determined by.
    “differences in earnings depended on a wide variety of factors”
    synonyms: be contingent on, be conditional on, be dependent on, hinge on, hang on, rest on, rely on;

    be decided by
    “her career depends on a good reference”

    (source https://www.google.com/search?q=Dictionary)

    When you describe us like this….it does something to our psyche.

    Psyche-Dissociative-Disorder

    (Image from: http://www.wakingtimes.com/2015/04/06/psychological-warfare-and-the-fragmentation-of-the-psyche/)

    As a military spouse, the “service” that we are thanked for goes far beyond the obvious.

    My husband recently returned from an 8 month deployment to an area of the world that I’m not privee to. Doing a job, I have no idea about, and comes home with residual ‘interference’ that I can’t help him with. Do you understand how frustrating that is?

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    As a model, my job requires me to travel. Often times for days at a time. I am a Canadian citizen and my entire family resides in a foreign country. Not realizing it at the time, I purposely made my agents life difficult because I didn’t want to take a 2nd parent away from our 2 boys. I had an excuse for everything!

    It’s hard enough for children to live without a parent on a good day, but what if that parent was in harms way? My kids don’t need verification that my husband is in danger, all they need to do is see the news, and then put 2 and 2 together.

    Now, if I pursue my career while my husband is fighting for our lives and his on deployment….how will my kids function?

    Sure, my Mom can come and take care of them. Friends have volunteered as well to help, but what can they say when it’s time for bed and our youngest is crying because he misses his daddy? It’s not fair for him that I leave, and I’m lucky that I have the choice. But the sacrifices go so much deeper than just sharing my husband with the rest of the country.

    Often times, military spouses don’t have the liberty to be the ‘stay at home mom’ everyone thinks we are. The military pay isn’t phenomenal. Over the last 5 years our income has been threatened by government shut downs. So what are we to do when we live in a home that requires rent or a mortgage, need to put food on the table and pay other life supporting bills when our primary source of income could be snatched away from us as a moments notice (hello deployment)?

    We have no choice but to find a job. And often, those jobs are low income producing or a ‘work from home business’ because we can’t commit to a long term position because in 2-5 years we’ll likely be moving.

    Now I’m sure a lot of people out there might be reading this and be like, “oh suck it up lady, you get free medical & dental coverage”. Have you ever been to a naval medical facility? Did you know that the military doctors cannot be sued for negligence? Let that instill confidence in you next time you require a serious surgery.  Is it better than no medical? Yes, but most recently we lost our dentist because our dental insurance now pays so low that it doesn’t even cover the biggest discount the practice offers and it’s just not economical for the dentist to treat us anymore. So now we need to search for a new dentist, who will take our insurance or ‘suck it up’ and pay out of pocket.

    Let’s also talk about the fact that while our spouse is away, they cannot disclose to us what is going on. Therefore we are left to wonder and speculate and worry. Do you know how many times I had to pray myself to sleep just so I my mind wouldn’t wander into the unknown world of what my husband was doing overseas?  How many times I had to smile and tell my boys that Daddy was ok for the 3rd week in a row of not hearing from him and trying my hardest not to cry while doing it?

    My son became ill while my husband was gone, not seriously but still required a few days off of school & a doctors visit. But I wouldn’t dare tell my husband about it because the last thing I want to do is create a distraction for him that could not only put his life in danger but the men and women around him. For 8 months our relationship became very superficial. Is that selfish? Maybe, but if anything ever happened over there because my husband wasn’t 100% focused on the mission, I couldn’t live with myself.

    There is an unspoken attitude amongst us veteran spouses, we just deal with it. No sense in complaining or bitching about it because we know, nothing is going to change.

    When someone thanks ME for my service, often times I shrug it off and smile. Give the polite ‘thank you’. Afterall, I’m just doing what any normal Mom would do right?  I’m just taking care of my family….But behind our big white smile and little giggle, just know, that we are each fighting a battle that we can’t talk about, often times have no answer for and couldn’t even if we wanted to and wouldn’t anyway because the number 1 lesson we’ve been taught as supportive spouses is ‘OPSEC’.

    I am proud to be a military spouse, and I want to use my voice and my visibility to help those men and women holding down the homefront to have a voice and know that they aren’t alone and to raise awareness about what really goes on back home.

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    Be sure to follow and subscribe to my blog, as my next topic will be on the; “now he’s back, dysfunctional trials and tribulations of the reunited military couple. ”

     

     

     

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Body Con

I love clean living….farm fresh. Organic. Simple ingredients for both my belly and my body. I am not a big fan of being in the kitchen. I can cook…but it’s very basic.

I do, though, love to create my own spa & skincare products.

One of my favorites is my sweet orange and vanilla sugar scrub.

Here’s how I make it;

The ingredients are simple. Pick your favorite coconut oil, if you don’t have one I recommend the store brand where you grab your groceries. Because you aren’t ingesting it, you don’t necessarily need the super duper fancy version of it. Grab a bag of sugar. I use the generic white sugar as it’s inexpensive and it goes a long way. Plus it dissolves quickly in the shower.

Now the essential oils, you’ll get a different answer from about everyone you ask. All I can say is find the highest quality oils, that are great to use for skin and won’t lose any integrity if mixed with oil. I use the Sweet Orange mixed with Vanilla for my scrub. I put in Vitamin E to give my skin that extra bit of softness.

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Grab a bowl and let’s get started. You’ll want something with a lid so the scent doesn’t fade away and the water from the shower stays out of the mixture.

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I like to soften the coconut oil a bit so I can mix the sugar and Vitamin E better. Be sure not to liquify it too much or the sugar will melt when added. 10 seconds in a microwave is a great place to start.

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Soften the coconut oil

Once the oil is softened, you can start adding the sugar. Keep adding and stirring the sugar until it gives you the consistency of cake batter. You can also add the Vitamin E during this process. You want it nice and thick so when the oil cools it hardens and is easier to apply in the shower.

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Once you have the consistency right, start adding your essential oils. I wish I could say a particular amount but that will depend on the size of your container and how strong you want the scent to be on your skin. So add the amount that appeals to you.

Once you have it all mixed together, it’s time to get naked!

Put it in your shower and get ready to get wet! If you take showers in the morning, this is a great combination, however, if you take showers at night, you’ll want to maybe use a lavender oil mixture so you don’t perk up when you’re trying to calm down.

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After use, your skin should look like this. Jump out and air dry if you can…it will allow the oil to absorb more and keep your skin soft all day.  If not, dab dry, don’t rub….trust me, your skin will thank you!

With the holidays around the corner, this also makes for a great gift or stocking stuffer!

More to come of my fav diy skincare.

Please share with me how your version turns out.

I had a dream

I had a dream, as I’m sure many women do, that I married ‘The Rock’, Dwayne Johnson.

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Then I woke up. It was a difficult morning, but it’s then that I realized, not all dreams are meant to be a reality.

As a little girl, I dreamt of being a model. At 5’11.75″ tall, age 13 and weighing in at 150lbs….that dream faded. I succumbed to walking in my small town mall shows and high school fashion shows. I shifted gears and was going to join the RCMP like my father.

At age 18, I moved to Sweden and befriended a girl who had just returned from a year off of school so she could pursue her career as a model. She was what traditionally stood for a model…5’9, maybe a buck 5 in weight….and her age was on point, she was 17. This was the closest I had ever come to the real world of modeling.

When I returned back to Canada, I left for University, where I was constantly surrounded by people saying “You’re so tall, you should model”. This was 1993. So, I took myself to a local agency whose first comment was “you need to do a photoshoot”. Now, take yourself back to the early 90’s, no cell phones, no internet, no photoshop, nada…..in order to be a model, you had to be photogenic, otherwise, there really isn’t a purpose to the whole industry.

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The results were in….I WAS PHOTOGENIC! Woohoo…now there was that dreaded weight and size issue to address…but, while I was lost in my little Canadian world of school and 2 part time jobs, this division of modeling popped up called “Plus Size”…yeah..not really the route I wanted to take, the agent said I needed to gain weight and become a size 16(I was a 12 at the time). Plus, growing up the beauties that were the ‘IT’ girls,  the Claudia Schiffers, and Cindy Crawfords and Naomi Campbells, those were models….but, opportunity knocked (not how I envisioned it) and I TOOK IT!

If you’ve followed my career at all, you know that eventually I was signed to Elite Model Management, permanently moved to the US and embraced not only the plus size industry but became an advocate for self-acceptance. I’m proud to be among the founders of this industry….not all dreams are meant to be a reality. But sometimes reality turns out better than any dream…which happened in my case.

You need to be realistic, you need to be patient, you need to understand that sometimes, dreams are put into your life to show you what could be, or how high you need to set the bar. Dwayne seems like a great guy….but he’s not meant for me. If I spent all my time and energy on trying to make it happen, I would be missing out on the blessings that God does have for me, which included a 20+ year career in front of the camera and introduced me to this guy, who helped me make our 2 beautiful boys.

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I’m not saying don’t dream, just be prepared to wake up and see what reality offers.

 

Learn more about me on my website

 

 

What is it worth?

20 years ago when I started modeling there was no internet. There was no digital photography, hell there weren’t even cell phones.

There were standards. There were requirements. There were things that every model needed to do in order to make it in the big, bad world of fashion.

Today however, if you have a smartphone, daisy dukes and aren’t afraid to show the crack of your ass, congratulations….YOU’RE A MODEL, or as some women are finding themselves, ” influencers”.

I was recently approached by an online company who represents social influencers. A social influencer is someone who has built an online following either through FB, IG or other social media platforms. These people are the ones you see getting ‘free’ products in order to share with their followers and increase the visibility of the company. In return for taking a photo with the product, you get to keep the product.

The problem here is that the company, who represents like a modeling agency, takes 70% of any fee you earn through them! 70%! The average modeling agency takes 20% and that can be negotiable depending on the talent.

The problem with being an influencer is that you are selling yourself, your time, your image, for sunglasses. Or hair products. Or a dress etc. And what is the value of these items? Retail cost $100? $39? $55??? Is that what your value is?

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And what about what you have to do to get those followers? I recently came across an ‘influencer’ profile where every other photo is of her ass. Her ass alone. Her ass in pants. Her ass in velvet. Her ass in a bikini….I’d like to think this woman has more to offer than just what she sits on. But as with life, everything is open to interpretation, right?

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Now, I will play devils advocate for a minute, she has over 20k followers, but what is she offering them exactly? What is she influencing them to be a part of? And the company who is giving her free stuff, THIS is how you want your company to be represented?

Have we lost our minds, ladies? I get it, sex sells, but I mean honestly, we are WAY more powerful than what the flesh represents aren’t we? All of that work our ancestors did to get us the freedoms we have today, we have to now go out and take a gazillion steps backward in order to get recognition??

Has our self-worth totally been demolished requiring us to seek validity from the thousands and thousands of male predators who surf the online outlets for free pornography? I imagine porn stars are as annoyed and the modeling industry is…their sales went down when social media went up too.

My self-worth, my legacy is worth more to me than a few IG followers. My dignity is worth more than how many likes I get or views of my video. I have 2 boys who are growing up. They say boys marry women like their mothers, and girls marry boys like their fathers? If I have no self-respect, what kind of woman are my boys likely to bring home? The answer is just not good enough.

Ladies, we need to step up and stop allowing our sisters to demean themselves just to get a few free items in return. Up your standards. Don’t support the companies who take advantage of these women who clearly have self-esteem issues.

Hold your head up high and don’t make a deal with the devil who only seeks to take advantage of your lapse in judgment ( I have faith in you!). Hold tight to the efforts made by our foresisters….and stand up to those who wish to take us down by treating us like Jezebels, but disguise it as admiration.

Our power goes beyond the physical ladies, let’s start posting sexy photos of our smarts, instead of our parts.

And that my friends, is my take on the world of social media influencers. Share your thoughts below

Full Time whatever I want

Many of you who have been following me for a bit know I LOVE NETWORK MARKETING….I’ve been doing it for 12 years..and I have no intention to stop. I’m a full-time mom, a full-time model, a full-time whatever the hell I want to be because my primary source of income comes from network marketing.
Now, has it always been that way? NO!
In the beginning, I was just breaking even. My first company was jewelry…but like ALL retail network marketing businesses, if you aren’t out selling, you aren’t making anything…then there are the discontinued items, buying the new items, because I’ll tell you, no catalog can do justice…so you HAVE to have the pieces for clients to feel, touch and try on….
After that we moved into various other companies, eventually moving into the residual income world of consumables…THE ONLY sustainable income in network marketing lies in the consumables.
My first 6 figures were earned with a company called IWG…or for some, better known as ‘those crazy wrap things’…up until this company…we had broken even with our investments but never gotten ahead.
In those first 14 months, I was hustling. I was here, I was there, I was in Miami, I was in Canada, I was doing events I was literally working full time….but, it all paid off when I got my first $6000+ dollar check. Then I got another one…then it started to dip…then I had to work harder and replace boxes where distributors quit…I had to give away my customers, long story short…the longer I was in and the more money I made, the harder I had to work…until eventually it all fell apart and I found myself rebuilding my empire for the 2nd time…
Enough was enough…I left IWG because getting to the top, is like running in a hamster wheel…for a while you feel like you’re accomplishing something, but eventually, you figure out you’re going nowhere.
I could go on and on about that one…but the long and short of this blog post is…WHEN CHOOSING THE RIGHT PART TIME JOB….THINK!!!!!
This article from www.bottlesoup.com about LulaRoe hits the nail on the head….if you are looking at starting a Plan B, part time job in network marketing, KNOW THIS…the retail options aren’t as good as they are being sold…..there are way more costs involved than what this article covers but the sheer concept is enough to deter me.
Residual income is the way to go…for example…imagine NOT WORKING your business for 3 months…and STILL PROMOTING, which translates into A BIGGER PAYCHECK (disclaimer made…my hubby did do a buttload of work for about 6 months getting his team settled before he left for parts unknown)!!!
Couldn’t take a day off over at IWG… (which is why so many leaders have LEFT or been arrested for domestic violence against their spouse…likely due to frustration at not being able to take a damn day off)
Yes, that is what I’m talking about…the real world of network marketing lies in residual income…
For more info…comment below or visit this link
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Ugh. As a woman who has given birth naturally twice, this conversation is real and annoying. Can you relate?

I love to workout. I love to try new styles, I love to challenge myself. I love to see what my body can do, especially the older I get.

The problem? Jump jacks. Jump rope. Burpees. Frankly, anything with the word ‘jump’ in front of it. Trampolines? Forget it….not even going to try. My kids think I don’t want to play with them, my trainers think I’m lazy…but in all honesty…I just don’t want to pee myself and the panty liner that I wear daily for just this reason is not strong enough to hold what would come if the flood gates open.177274539

I drink a minimum of 120oz of water a day. That’s a lot of detoxing, flushing and trips to the bathroom. I will not stop drinking water. I know many of you have just because of the possibility of losing it. Running for the bus or subway. Running to catch a flight. Chasing after littles ones, playing on the playground etc….all of these activities have the potential to create fear and embarrassment.

So, what do we do? Load up our panties with pads? Bulk up? Be uncomfortable? What about date night…OH NO! Catastrophy! Even if our men love us unconditionally, it’s not the kind of surprise he had in mind when he caressed your thigh.

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ENOUGH! Taking care of ourselves shouldn’t cause us such anxiety. Have no fear, I have found the solution. Trust me when I say I’ve put this to the test. I’ve tried various workouts, ranging from Crossfit to Kickboxing. It’s amazing to get through an entire 1 hour, vigorous workout without leaking, or running to the bathroom 12 times, taking valuable time away from my body and it’s maintenance.

Introducing Poise Impressa. I affectionately refer to these as a peepon 🙂

How they work…as seen in the image below, you insert it, as you would a tampon. The shape of the peepon pushes against the valve that allows for leakage. It kind of resembles a balloon. It’s in a large applicator, (smaller than the average penis so if you are getting any, you’re good with the comfort level when inserting (yes, I went there), and once it comes out of the applicator, it sort of pops into its shape.impressa-diagram-37impressa-product-view

There is a sample pack you can purchase to see what level of protection you need. 3 different sizes. I recommend you start there, try each one during a workout…when using level 1, be sure to back up your protection just in case you need the next level up. If you find you are still leaking during those push sessions, move up to level 2 and so on.

This is truly revolutionary in the world of working out and holding our dignity and self-confidence as we age. You will always get what’s real and what’s useful from me. I don’t hold back, and I won’t patronize. If it helps me, it will help you.

Let me know what you think and share your new adventures with your peepons!!!!

 

 

Our society loves a catch phrase or a catch term and the newest one is “I’ll just take an Uber”. It has replaced the word ‘taxi’ and I’m sure it won’t be long until it appears in our dictionaries across the world. The actual definition of Uber though is this;

uber-
ˈo͞obər/
combining form
 1. denoting an outstanding or supreme example of a particular kind of person or thing.
I suppose the creators of Uber had this definition in mind when they were searching for a name? I mean, honestly, when it comes to transportation nicknames, I think Lyft won the obvious choice award for this round, and yet, Uber is more widely known. Proof that first to market is always a better place to start.
For the past 2 weeks, I have taken up as an Uber and Lyft driver. I first started with Uber. To be honest, Lyft didn’t even cross my mind, but I’ll get to that transition soon enough.
The process to become an Uber driver is pretty simple. You need a nice car, good driving record, all your applicable licensing and insurance paperwork and the ability to photograph it and upload it to Uber for them to check you out. Once you get the all clear you are good to go.
I was a little nervous at first, after all, I’ve only spent 12 years chauffeuring my children around, where they have zero control over where we go or what music plays on the radio station. Now I’ll be responsible for complete strangers and my success rides on their ‘starry’ opinion of me.
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My first step once approved to drive, I hit the car wash. After all, a nice, clean ride means a better experience for my riders and also a better rating on my profile. I vacuumed my baby out, made sure all the coloring books and nicknacks that belong to my kids were well hidden, I bought some bottled water to offer my guests, put in a garbage can and made sure it all smelled good by wiping it down with automotive wipes and window cleaner. I was ready to hit the ‘Online’ button.
My van is the ultimate in shared ride luxury. Leather interior, automatic doors, plenty of space for the whole gang plus luggage and a tv for those who want the extra, extra benefits (I haven’t had anyone request that option yet).
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Not even a minute after I went online my phone pinged. I had my first pick up. Away I went. I was about 5 minutes away from the pickup location. When I arrived, I opened the power, sliding doors, and saw my passengers had luggage, so I jumped out and opened up the back hatch. I already felt like I was in total control of this chauffeuring thing.
My two passengers were headed to the airport. This would be a good fare, I thought to myself.  Since I have been driving in this area for years, I knew a couple of short cuts to get them to the airport faster, which I found out they rewarded me with a badge…the badge of Good Navigator…I’m movin’ on up already and it’s only my first day!!!
I continued to drive for a few more hours, it was a pretty uneventful day, only one passenger that wasn’t a 5 star on my end but other than that…I made some money and away I went.  After looking at the meter and seeing the total for the day, I wasn’t jumping for joy…but I did feel I spent those few free hours well, I mean $30 bucks is better than no bucks right?
On my 2nd Uber day, I picked up a passenger who informed me about Lyft. Now I had only heard of Lyft once. I had used it in Dallas, TX a few months ago to get around. The thought of driving for them didn’t even cross my mind. But, that day when I got home I signed up.
The process however, is VERY different between these two companies. With Uber, it was all me inputting the information. With Lyft, I had to meet a 3rd party before I could be approved to drive.
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Before I had my app closed from signing up I had a phone call from my Lyft Mentor scheduling a meet up with me for the next day. I arrived in the parking lot of a local store and parked next to the lady I was meeting. She proceeded to ask me for my legal information with regards to driving, she photographed it, the car and myself before jumping in to have me take her for a ride. Once the ride was over, she looked over my lights and signals to make sure they were working and we parted ways. The whole process took about 20 minutes and was painless.
I left that interview with a new respect for Lyft. As a female, I personally would choose to Lyft to a destination vs Ubering just because of this in-depth screening process. I feel safer and I know the Lyft drivers will be high quality because of this 3rd party interview.
The long and short of it. In my area, Uber is more well known and so it offers you more opportunities to make money, you will often drop off one passenger and get pinged to pick up another one within minutes. Lyft, however, you could wait 10-20 minutes between rides. That can add up by the end of the day. BUT, on the other side of that, because there are less LYFT drivers, the demand is greater at peak hours.
But you are really here to find out about the money right? Because of the frequency in which I Ubered, I made more money overall. HOWEVER, you have to wait a week before you get that money until you have reached certain milestones in Uber.
Lyft on the other hand, I was able to get an instant withdrawal once I reached $50 in fares collected. I found this to be handy since it allows you that instant gratification and also quick cash vs having to wait.
So to Lyft or not to Uber…which will it be? My opinion, do both. Each company offers their own unique benefits which could include helping you to get a car, which is a life changing event for most. Take note though that if you do not like people….this likely isn’t a good option for you.
Take note though that if you do not like people….this likely isn’t a good option for you.
I am not the chauffeuring type so this is not a long-term solution for me, but should I ever need that quick $50 cash, I would choose pink .
If you are looking to try LYFT as a driver click here and earn up to $75 in your first month, use this code to get $50 in in ride credit.
For those who want to UBER your way around and get paid for it, click here to claim your $100, if you just want a ride, use this code

Shoes. The one relationship that never lets you down….causes you pain sometimes, but hey, no pain no gain right?

Imagine for a minute you have received a gift card, from a very awesome sponsor, for a pair of designer shoes. BUT…you don’t just get one pair, you get one + pair….have I confused you already?

Have no fear, introducing Alterre. At first, I wasn’t sure I liked this concept. You basically pick the base shoe, your choice of 3 styles, various colors and then you pick your accessories, tons of variety there…I couldn’t pick just one look online but for this specific type of shoe, I needed to see them up close.

I gave the gift card to my Mom as a holiday present, the one downside to Alterre, their sizing stops at 10. I am at least a 10.5 or 11 depending on the shoe, Mom however, is a nice 8.5 so she has now become my guinea pig.

The site is super easy to navigate, Mom had her gift card out and used in a matter of minutes and the product arrived mere days later…AND during the holidays!!! Mom was so excited, as was I to see what these swappable shoes had to offer.

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The shoes and accessories are packaged well. Included is a nice shoe bag for transporting your variety where ever you go. My Mom started out with the black suede mule. The heel height was perfect for a 70 year old who can’t necessarily don those gorgeous stilettos anymore. It was Christmas all over again as Mom tore through the box, tossing paper and plastics aside to reveal these snazzy, interchangable shoes.

First, went the black mule with the Jackie in black suede strap, then with a simple pop off and pop on, the 2nd accessory option was in place, the ‘Marilyn in sunshine’ strap.

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As you can see, two different straps, two different shoes. Now earlier I mentioned my Mom is a size 8.5. She ordered a size 9 as the site recommends that if you wear a half size, then order the next size up…here’s the thing, the box said 9, the shoe said 8…not quite sure what happened but the fit of the shoe wasn’t bad…we decided for this shoe, we’ll keep the 8 and the next round of options Mom ordered a 9. We’ll compare the difference once they arrive.

All in all, Alterre did Mom good…with an extra bounce in her step and a feather in her superficial, ‘very expensive shoe addition’ hat, Mom is feeling like a million dollars and her shoes make her look like it.

Visit Alterre and check out their complete line of mules, sandals and platforms to design your perfect, portable shoe wardrobe. Tell them Women Who Wow sent you!!!!

 

 

In a world where everything changes in the blink of an eye, it’s no wonder we walk around angry, confused and bitter.  What we thought was job security was just a means to another’s end.  Our grocery bills are going up while the amount of food we get is going down.  Things that used to be good for us all of a sudden are now bad!

To fuel our way through life costs more each day without warning and in order to succeed you practically have to throw caution to the wind and go it alone.  With all of these factors working against us how is it that we are supposed to live long, healthy and happy lives?  Isn’t it a fact of nature that the more we stress the older we become?

You may ask some people how long they want to live and their answers might be surprising.  “The sooner I’m gone the better, I can’t bear to see what this world has come to any longer”.  Others may say “I want to see my great-grandchildren make a difference in this world, I want to hang on as long as I can”.  How can we guarantee longevity and happiness in a world that seems to be working against us?

Over the next 100 days I am going to try to offer you some small and some big ideas about little things you can do to change your world.  It may not stop global warming and it may not be the magic cure to all things unhealthy but I feel knowledge is power and I want you to feel powerful and live your life to achieve all things dreamed of.

I hope you’ll join me daily as we navigate together the world of uncertainty in hopes of finding our personal nirvana.

Cheers to a year of motivation, inspiration and higher elevation.  After all, they say the higher up you go, the better the view.

 

V/r

Tracie Stern

 

There is a saying “Home is where the heart is” and if that’s the case, mine is floating in the middle of a body of water somewhere aboard the USS ‘we’re going to kick your ass’*.

*(some names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved…**snicker**)

Many of you who follow this blog know the whole story.  Scott left in March, tragedy after tragedy has struck our home as only it would while he was gone.  I’m determined to believe that the military invented Murphy’s Law.   When you get married that should be the class they offer you in preparation for your lives together….

Recently I was asked to write a short article about my husband and why he is an American Hero.  I couldn’t say no…it was an opportunity to share with the world what life is really like, for both of us.  To take those in the line at Starbucks and make them understand exactly why they are able to be in that line.  We are so shrouded in blindfolds that when that day happens that the blindfolds are removed we all stand there and stare at each other saying “Wow…how come I never saw this before”.  We see what we want to see, we hear what we want to hear (this is very true in the case of men) and we will accept and acknowledge only that which fits into our perfect bubbles at the time.

I received a letter from my husband yesterday, yes, a hand written letter, written on printer paper because that was all he had…it’s the prettiest paper ever!  He mailed the letter on Aug. 2, 2011 and it arrived Oct. 16, 2011.  Good thing his postage was free.  He also mailed a postcard from his last port to each of our sons.  I emailed him that they finally arrived and his response was  “sure does shed some light on the GIs of the old day, and the whole ‘wait for me’ phrase from a GI to his girl”.  He was also glad that that wasn’t our only means of communication.   The military spouses that came before us truly were ladies in waiting.  I know I wake up everyday wondering if my husband is ok but I can at least receive an email stating so…

In the letter my husband writes “I keep listening to the Eminem & Rihanna song “Love the way you lie”.  It’s awesome music but if you listen to the words, it sounds like two people who constantly cannot get along.  Good one day, bad the next.  I only think of the Navy.  That’s sad, huh? ….he goes on to say “Every time I hear ‘you’ or ‘her’ I replace it with the word ‘Navy’.  I know when they say “If it stops being fun, it’s time to move on” we have some time before that happens”.

The art of a hand written letter is almost non existent.  However, the power it possesses is more powerful than any ammunition the world has.  A letter can fit into your pocket, you can carry it around, read it whenever you need to, hold onto those words like you were clinging to life.  Imagine what a note from home can truly do to a soldiers mind and spirit.  You can’t take a computer onto the battle field but you can carry the ink of a loved one with you where ever you go.

I don’t think the Navy understands the kind of sailor they have.  No matter how hard it is, no matter how many tragedies, stress points, deal breakers he gets, he is still dedicated to his job and defending this country.  I wish everyone had the work ethic my husband has.  What a wonderful world it would be.  Imagine integrity in every facet of life…talk about an action movie.

You wonder, how does a man at sea for months and months stay connected to their love back home?  That is a good question…this is the answer my husband offered in his letter…unprovoked by me 🙂 “I am lucky to have met you on that pier.  It was God’s hand and it is still his guidance to keeping my heart tuned in to my feelings for you.  I recognize them every day.”   That is a decision he makes everyday to honor me, to love me and to choose me over him.

That is why I wrote the article for Goddess Magazine, because it is my way of honoring the man who chose me, who chooses me every day and who will until the day he dies, love me.  It’s the least I can do.

I read this article to two friends the other day and started crying while I was reading it.  I guess I had no idea just how much I bottled up.  Other than a few grammatical errors I noticed ( writing when you are emotional is not suggested) it’s not too bad….click on the link and it will take you to a pdf version of the article.

A special Thank you to Goddess Magazine for their support of our troops,  asking me to do this and allowing me to share not only my story but the story of so many spouses around the world.

Tracie Stern’s Tear Sheet

http://www.wix.com/goddessmagazine/goddess-magazine-website

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