5 ways I’ve experienced culture shock in Spain

culture shock in Spain

Friends, I’ve experienced culture shock in Spain. In fact, I’m experiencing it now. All of my close friends and family members already know that I’m an open book. I like to talk about my struggles and as a highly sensitive extrovert (God that’s the weirdest combo, by the way. You have overwhelming feelings and aren’t afraid to verbalise them … sometimes not in healthy ways either), I always feel the need to talk out my feelings with at least 10 people. You add in the fact that some of these people speak only your second language, and it can feel isolating.

So instead of posting one of my fun travel posts, I’ve decided to push that one back a few days and write about what is actually happening. I promised you all that I would paint an accurate picture of what life in a foreign country is like. And culture shock is a part of that experience. Everyone experiences culture shock, we just all experience it in different ways. And some don’t want to or need to talk about it. However that’s not that case for me. So I figured I would share my experience here for several reasons.

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My wedding style: a collaboration

wedding style

New fashions added daily at SheIn.com

I don’t know about you, but I’ve found myself at plenty of weddings and also in several weddings over the last several years. I suppose it’s because I’m 29 and everyone but myself (okay that’s an exaggeration) is getting hitched. The thing is, I’m not one of those bitter people. I really, REALLY love weddings. I love wearing dresses and love any excuse to wear one! Furthermore, when my friends ask me to be their bridesmaid, I’m overjoyed. I love being there for my friends and helping them in any way I can.

So when Ada from Elegance and Mommyhood approached me about a wedding style collaboration, I of course said yes. In fact, there are six of us collaborating today! This dress is absolutely perfect for a wedding and in a less-expected color: green! I love dark green and feel like I look best in it, so I had to order this from Modcloth. In fact, I had been eyeing it for about a year before purchasing it.

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4 tips for Lularoe shopping success

LuLaRoe shopping has been all the rage lately. I feel like I get invited to a new LuLaRoe party every week. And I must say that as someone who almost exclusively wears dresses, I love LuLaRoe. In fact not one but two LuLaRoe dresses came with me to Spain. However unless you happen to stumble upon a LuLaRoe booth at a fair, festival or event (which is more likely in the summer anyway) and find something you like, LuLaRoe shopping seems to exclusively be on Facebook. Unlike other companies, there’s not really a central website where you can shop. But not to fear! I’ve complied my 4 tips to ensure you some LuLaRoe shopping success.

LuLaRoe shopping

1. Join LuLaRoe groups on Facebook

So first, let me explain to you how LuLaRoe shopping works. Independent consultants each have their own LuLaRoe business (think the Mary Kay or Pampered Chef of ridiculously cute dresses, skirts and leggings). Each one I’m sure has her own style of running her business, but I find the majority of them have Facebook groups. In these Facebook they’re always posting about new products, new parties where you can shop and fun discounts.

In order to shop you have to be online when their shop is “open” which usually means during a party. You have to comment on the photo(s) of the items you want. When the party is over, your lovely consultant sends you an online form to fill out with payment and shipping information, and then she e-mails you your invoice. Once that’s been processed she either ships you the item(s) or you can arrange to pick it up if you live closely. Each consultant works from her own inventory and most likely does this to keep control of everything.

Unlike other companies, I’ve found that LuLaRoe consultants are not at all offended if you shop with them and other consultants too. In fact both dresses I own came from two different consultants. So start by joining a Facebook group or two. Don’t know any LuLaRoe consultants? Luckily these ladies are all over social media. You will find hundreds of them on Instagram and Facebook. All of these ladies would gladly let you in because well … it is a business after all. I am a part of these three Lularoe groups: Shop LuLaRoe with Krista McClelland, LuLaRoe by Lauren Yinger and LuLaRoe Mandy Cavanaugh. I’m sure any and all of these ladies would love to have you as a part of their group!

LuLaRoe shopping

2. Make note of days/times for parties and open shops for best LuLaRoe shopping

So I actually learned this one the hard way. I was super excited when I got invited to my first online LuLaRoe party several months back. I had discovered LuLaRoe while at an event last Spring. So I was excited and ready to shop. Unfortunately my busy schedule made me forget that I had a LuLaRoe party to attend. Fail.

Normally when a consultant is having an online party or open shop, she lets you know in advance so that you can plan. I’d suggest making an event on your calendar on your phone with a nice little reminder. Then either ensure that you are at home or in a place with working Internet. And if you make my mistake, just stay tuned for the next party. Just join a few groups and I’m sure there will be another one happening soon!

3. Develop a relationship with your consultant

When I bought my first LuLaRoe dress, the consultant didn’t actually list that particular dress at the party. I had already done a little LuLaRoe research of my own and knew I wanted the Amelia dress the most. I loved the material and the pockets. So I was a little bummed when my consultant Lauren Yinger didn’t list any Amelia dresses. So I decided to ask her if she had one. She did not but contacted some of her consultant friends and found me several Amelia dresses to pick from. That level of customer service really impressed me. This is said dress. I LOVE the cassette tapes.

LuLaRoe shopping

These ladies want to help you be the most happy you can be with LuLaRoe. So if you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to ask them!

4. Wear your LuLaRoe out!

So this is another cool story! Before I left for Spain, I had a job where I’d run a display table for two different companies at fairs and festivals. It was good weekend work and probably too much funnel cake. One day, I decided to wear this cassette tape dress to work. A woman walks up to me and silently hands me a little coupon. It said “spotted in LuLaRoe … you get $5 off” or something along those lines. This consultant apparently keeps those with her as she’s out and about, and hands them out to women wearing LuLaRoe. So you never know … you could get a sweet coupon if you wear your LuLaRoe out.

Have you done any LuLaRoe shopping? What has your experience been?

LuLaRoe shopping

LuLaRoe shopping

LuLaRoe shopping

LuLaRoe shopping

Photos were shot in Gatlinburg, Tennessee by my best friend. You can read all about our Gatlinburg adventures in these two blog posts here and here.

Also here are my fantastic blogger linkups!

 

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The Granada story and leaving

Granada story

Hi everyone! I have not written as many posts as of late. That is because I am moving to Spain tomorrow! Like tomorrow in the early afternoon, I board a series of flights which will eventually land me in Málaga, Spain. I am currently staying in a hostel in Chicago with my bags all packed. And let me tell you … it was hard to figure out what to take and what to leave behind. A fashion blogger preparing for a year of living overseas … that’s some entertainment. But I made it and am happy with what I brought.

I also realized that I never told you guys why I made the switch from living in Jaén to living Granada. So here goes.

My Granada story

I am teaching English in Spain for a year (and maybe a few more) through a program sponsored by the government. They take everyone on a first come first serve basis and placed you at a school all year long. You give them your preferences on where and how big of a city, but they kind of just do what they want anyway. So I ended getting my first choice location: Andalusia. I however got placed in a small town rather than a big city like I had asked. I’ll admit that I was crushed and also just worried about how I’d get to work and out of the town if I wanted to travel. So I e-mailed my school.

They responded right away and told me it’d be best to live in Jaén, a city of like 115,000 about 35 minutes away. So it was doable. I began keeping an eye on apartments and in general was thinking about life in Jaén.

Then in August my ride to and from school changed because the one teacher I was going to ride with switched schools. Another teacher was commuting from Granada, so that became an option and I jumped on it! Here are some reasons I’m excited to live in Granada

  • Many bars offer free tapas if you’re drinking
  • Flamenco dancing
  • It’s 250,000 vs. 115,000
  • It’s closer to the beach
  • It’s beautiful
  • EVERYONE says amazing things about it

So folks … I’m living in Granada. Yes, this will mean a longer commute but that’s okay! More time to practice Spanish. And … guys … I’m going to live in Granada!

The last days

I wanted to round up some photos from my last days here. It’s been fun and real.

Granada story
mmm Eli’s bbq

Granada story Granada story

dsc_0715
My best friend!
Granada story
quick Tennessee trip

dsc_0740

I’ll have a whole weekend in Tennessee post coming soon folks! The next time you hear from me, I’ll be in Spain!

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My 5 Poshmark dresses

poshmark dresses

If you have ever seen one of my looks on the blog and wanted it for yourself, now is your chance! These are my 5 Poshmark dresses. I must say, I just love the Internet. There are so many things that exist now that did not exist even 5-10 years ago. Poshmark is one of those things.

You all are familiar with a consignment shop, right? You gather up clothing you no longer wear in a laundry bin or garbage bag, and see what they will take. Depending on the shop, some can be rather picky. But at the end of the day, the nice thing about a consignment shop is that you get cash back from the things you longer wear.

Poshmark is basically that consignment shop except you are the one selling the items. Each Poshmark user downloads the app onto their smartphone or tablet, and has their own profile called a “closet.” When you want to list say that cardigan sweater that’s too small or those sandals from last season, you simply click the sell button. It asks you to snap a few clear photos of the item, describe and list all the pertinent information such as size, brand and color. You can follow other closets and they can follow you back. You can share items. The more active you are (think almost like the Instagram of online consignment), the more traffic you will drive to your page and thus the more sales you will make. And the best part is that you can do all of this in your pajamas (and I have poshed in them a few times … guilty).

The main reason I joined Poshmark several months ago was because of my move to Spain. Call me crazy (especially since I’m a fashion blogger), but my goal is to pack light. Don’t get me wrong … I still plan to bring many of my favorite dresses because they are such a part of my everyday style. However with all the planes, trains, taxi cabs and buses I’ll have to take once in Europe, I wanted to bring what I could easily walk around with. So Poshmark seemed like a great option to get rid of the things I knew I wasn’t taking.

Also if this has made you think of all the clothing you could sell on Poshmark, you totally should go ahead and join! In fact, if you use my code JRFRW, you get $5 towards any purchase on Poshmark!

Without further ado …

My 5 Poshmark dresses

5. The skater dress

This lovely dress was one I found on sale at Love Culture and only wore a few times. While it happened to be a small, it still fit me. While I have enjoyed wearing it, it’s one I do not necessarily need. Thus it is up on Poshmark.

Poshmark dresses

This dress initially appeared on the blog right after New Years. You can read the post here. Looking back, it seems like so long ago in my blogging career. It’s a size Small and you can view it on Poshmark here.

4. The LBD

Let’s be honest … I have way too many little black dresses. This is one I bought on a whim from Forever 21 and only wore a few times. I had also bought a size Large because … well I don’t remember why. But it’s always been a tad big on me.

Poshmark dresses

This nice, velvet material will be perfect with winter fast around the corner. Also notice my big toe in the bottom, right corner? Hehehe. It’s a size Large and you can view it on Poshmark here.

3. The blue sparkly dress

Now I really REALLY liked this dress. However it is just a smidge too small on me and therefore at times uncomfortable. I told myself that everything I’m bringing to Spain has to be comfortable in addition to being functional. Sadly, this one did not make the cut.

Poshmark dresses

Poshmark dresses

I found this at Charming Charlie almost two years ago. I had been invited to a Christmas party with a blue theme. It was perfect. It’s a size Medium. View it on Poshmark here.

2. Another little blue dress

I have no idea why, but I seem to be getting rid of all my blue. With this one, though, I do not wear too many frilly necklines anymore. It’s still very cute, though.

Poshmark dresses

This was found at Old Navy. It is a size Medium and can be viewed on Poshmark here.

1. Yet another … little blue dress

This one was actually featured on a post several months ago. I was in Florida and just had to do a photoshoot in the beautiful outdoors. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this dress. I just will not have a need for lots of sundresses during the winter months in Spain.

Poshmark dresses

Poshmark dresses

This dress initially appeared in my post entitled 5 Reasons you need a little blue dress. It is a size Medium from Charming Charlie and you can view it on Poshmark here.

Feel free to shop these or any other things in my closet. Everything I make from Poshmark funds my big move overseas. And don’t forget … if you’d like to join Poshmark for yourself, make sure you use my code  JRFRW to earn $5!

Linking up here today:

Wednesday

Jersey Girl Texan HeartShopping My ClosetPumps and PushupsThe Pleated PoppySydney Fashion HunterThe Mummy ChroniclesCappuccino and FashionPosh Classy MomLiving on Cloud Nine

Thursday

Elegance and MommyhoodDoused in PinkCurly Crafty Mom,

Friday

Bright on a BudgetKT Cup of TeaDella DevotedThe Closet by ChristieLife in LeggingsStyle ElixirTwo Thirty-Five DesignsA little Bit of EverythingLiz AdventuresHello HappinessNancy’s Fashion StyleJeans & a TeacupClaire JustineRachel the HatA Poketful of Polka DotsForage FashionFashion Should be FunSincerely PaulaShelbee On the EdgeBirdie Shoots

Monday

Birth of a Fashion BloggerSincerely Jenna MarieMore Pieces of MeFizz and FrostingStill Being MollyBeauty by Miss LMichelle’s PaigeNot Dressed as LambMahogany Closet, Color and Grace, and Not Dead Yet Style

Tuesday

Live Randomly SimpleSandy a la modeTwo Peas in a BlogI Do deClaireThe Fashion CanvassWalking in Memphis in High Heels and Elegantly Dressed & Stylish

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My mint green dress and thoughts on leaving

mint green dress

Today is Wednesday. In just two weeks, I’ll be either in the air or on a layover somewhere in Europe. Spain is actually getting close and real. It’s both scary and exciting.

For those of you who do not know, I’m moving to Spain to teach English. All summer I thought I was moving to the city of Jaén. Instead I’ll be living in Granada and plan to tell my lovely e-mail subscribers the whole story this Friday. Speaking of, have you subscribed to my Spain list? I’ll be sending out two e-mails a month with exclusive posts about my Granada and Europe experience, travel tips, travel deals and lots of beautiful photos. You will not want to miss out. Click here to subscribe.

Anyway, so the look I’m going with today is my mint green dress. I found this on Poshmark. I’ve actually been poshing a lot lately as I cannot take all my clothing with me to Spain. Honestly, packing lighter is better. They have most of the same things we do here and I know I’ll shop over there. So for now, I’m getting rid of dresses, shirts, accessories and a few scarves. You should definitely go take a look! Any money earned on Posh funds all my big moving expenses.

I initially downloaded the app back in I want to say April or May. This dress was so stinkin cute and from Modcloth. Modcloth dresses are normally $60 or more. I got this one for $25. That’s one of the coolest things about Poshmark. If you like a certain brand, you can follow that brand and find things on there. Like it’s great for people who love more high end brands like Kate Spade and Michael Kors. For me, I love looking for Modcloth stuff on there.

My mint green dress

mint green dress

My favorite thing about Modcloth are the vintage looks they create. I can spend hours on their website searching through their dresses and shoes. It can be addicting. My favorite thing about this dress was the neckline.

mint green dress

This is the only thing I’ll be buying from Poshmark for a while. As I said before, I have so much that I need to downsize (ps. you can shop my closet over there on the sidebar!). I know that I’ll still be left with having to leave things behind.

I have goals …

The other day, I wrote out a long to-do list of all the things I need to do before I leave. I’m sailing through it but still know I won’t be able to think of everything. That is okay. I need to keep reminding myself that all will be okay. I’ll arrive in one piece. I’ll find a wonderful apartment and I’ll have the time of my life. It’ll be one of the best and most challenging experiences of my life. I’m ready, or so I tell myself.

In short, I’ve learned that life is also about goals and self growth. One of the things I dislike about myself is my disorganization. I see it all over the place with my blog. I set a schedule and then I don’t stick to it. There are a million things I want to do and then don’t. I see it in my car and in my room. And I’ve known for some time now that it needs to change.

It’s happening

So right here on my blog, I’m proclaiming that I will be better. I want to note that better does not mean perfect. In this new chapter of my life overseas, I’ll be more structured with my life. I’ll run more regularly, keep a tidier room and stick to a better blogging schedule. I’m so excited to see where it takes me. And if I fail a few times, that’s okay.

mint green dress

mint green dress

mint green dress

Do you like turning over new leaves? What are some of the biggest changes you want to make in your life?

*This post contains affiliate links*

Also photos were taken by Paige Dunn. Check out her work on Facebook here.

Today I’m linking up here:

Wednesday

Jersey Girl Texan Heart, Shopping My Closet, Pumps and Pushups, The Pleated PoppySydney Fashion HunterThe Mummy Chronicles, Cappuccino and Fashion, Posh Classy Mom, Living on Cloud Nine

Thursday

Elegance and MommyhoodDoused in Pink, Curly Crafty Mom,

Friday

Bright on a Budget, KT Cup of Tea, Della Devoted, The Closet by Christie, Life in LeggingsStyle Elixir, Two Thirty-Five Designs, A little Bit of EverythingLiz Adventures, Hello Happiness, Nancy’s Fashion Style, Jeans & a Teacup, Claire Justine, Rachel the Hat, A Poketful of Polka Dots, Forage Fashion, Fashion Should be Fun, Sincerely Paula, Shelbee On the Edge, Birdie Shoots

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Green is one of my colors and how to find yours

your colors

Green is one of my colors. We all have a set of colors that look killer on us and green just happens to be one of mine. Our colors may be different than our favorite colors. For example, I absolutely loved pink in middle school and high school. In fact my old e-mail address was pinkchica474@fuse.net. And little did I know back then that Spanish would later become my second language. However pink, unless it’s a very dark pink, tends to just wash me out. I have fair skin and blue eyes, so lighter colors like yellow and pink are often a no-go.

So green was never necessarily a “favorite” color like pink, blue or purple. However I look amazing in it. I’m not just saying this because I have some big ego and think I always look amazing (because really, who does?). Whenever I put on green, I get lots of compliments. A royal green tends to be a nice, warm contrast to my fair skin, blue eyes and light hair. So because of this, I’ve sought out more green in my wardrobe over the years.

my colors

Do you know what your colors are? If you are a tad unsure, I’m here to help! When we discover what our perfect colors are, it makes shopping so much easier and worry-free. If we buy a cocktail dress in one of our colors, we are way more likely to wear it over and over again. So in reality, the biggest benefit to discovering our colors is that it makes us wiser shoppers. And more than anything, I’m a huge fan of shopping wisely.

Here are a few of my tips for discovering your colors:

1. Start by looking in the mirror

You’re simply going to want to take a close look at yourself. What is your skin tone? Is it dark? Is it more of an olive? Or is it incredibly light, like me? What color are your eyes and hair? Write all these things down!

2. Let’s look at colors!

Go through your wardrobe and start holding stuff up. For me, for example, yellow or beige just washes me out. Perhaps light green or blue look awful on you. Perhaps pink goes perfectly with your olive skin. Here are a few cheats that generally tend to work:

  • Blue eyes: blue or green
  • Olive skin, dark brown eyes: orange, pink
  • Green eyes: grey, light pink
  • Darker skin tones: yellow, beige, pink

3. Dress accordingly!

So blue maybe isn’t your color and it’s your favorite. That doesn’t mean you have to completely shut all blue out of your life. Perhaps you can add blue accents to your outfits. I personally love adding little pops of color here and there to my outfits.

Overall, no one needs to like buy a whole new wardrobe. That’s ridiculous. However knowing your colors can make shopping for new things a little more easier. I don’t know about you but the older I get, the more cautious of a shopper I become. I really take the time to think about what I’m purchasing and when I’ll actually wear it. I’ve found knowing my colors really helps when doing this.

My look and my colors

Dark green is one of my colors, so I was initially drawn to this dress. This was, oddly enough, the first dress I bought on Modcloth. While I have been a fan of the online shop for years and have spent lots of time looking through all their AMAZING dresses (they have so many), I had never bought anything. Perhaps it was the online plunge? I’ll admit that when buying things online, the sheer fact that it’s the Internet can be daunting. What if it fits funny? What if the pictures are misleading?

Well you know what? I actually had to send this dress back when I first got it. In a way, my fears came true. When I initially got my order in the mail, the slip stuck out from underneath the green lace part by about two inches. It looked awful. However if you’ll take a gander at the pictures below, you’ll see that this is not the case. That’s because their customer support is so ridiculously easy!

I often work in the evenings and return to my house around 8:30-9 p.m. It’s too late to call a call center and I’d honestly probably not have time the next day between the hours of 9-5. However Modcloth offers a customer support online chat feature. I chatted with someone and she right away put in to send me a new dress. It arrived just a few days later and was perfect! I love how easily accessible their customer support is and how friendly they are. I have also bought things from Modcloth since with no issues.

This dress was in one of my colors and it was on sale. I’m glad I bought it! I ended up wearing this dress to my friend Sara’s rehearsal dinner. And this necklace unexpectedly paired so nicely with it. I oddly found this necklace at a craft store for $6! Sometimes some of your most-loved accessories are found in the most unlikely places.

These photos were shot by a lovely photographer named Paige Dunn just as the sun was starting to set.

my colors
Photo cred: Paige Dunn

my colors

my colors

my colors

my colors

my colors

my colors

my colors

Dress: Modcloth

What colors do you look good in? Are your colors and your favorite colors the same? How did you discover your colors?

Today I’m linking up here:

Wednesday

Jersey Girl Texan Heart, Shopping My Closet, Pumps and Pushups, The Pleated PoppySydney Fashion HunterThe Mummy Chronicles, Cappuccino and Fashion, Posh Classy Mom, Living on Cloud Nine

Thursday

Elegance and MommyhoodDoused in Pink, Curly Crafty Mom, Jaymie Ashcraft

Friday

Two Thirty-Five DesignsNancy’s Fashion Style, Jeans & a Teacup, Claire Justine, Rachel the Hat, A Poketful of Polka Dots, Forage Fashion, Fashion Should be Fun, Sincerely PaulaBirdie Shoots, Shelbee on the Edge

 

 

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The Amway scam: bloggers beware!

About a week ago I was sitting alone in a Panera eating a salad and drinking an iced tea. You’d think I got stood up on a first date. While that would have been sad, I’d have taken that over the feeling of just having been deceived. I had just met with someone about the Amway scam. Except she didn’t tell me it was the Amway scam until the very end.

Bloggers … pay attention

I’m writing about this experience because many of my readers are fellow blogers. We’re all a nice little community and I’d like to think we all have each others’ backs. I was simply talking about my blog, when my experience with Amway started. We bloggers talk about our blogs a lot, so this could be any one of us.

Now before I get into the story, let me explain to you what exactly Amway is. Amway is a multi-level marketing company (or pyramid scheme, basically), where you make commissions off of building a team. Thousands of companies operate this way (Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Scentsy … just to name a few). Sure you can sell a product in a market already saturated with consultants from that company.

You can also kind of sell the product and heavily recruit others into your “business.” Many are pressured into doing the later, especially since the person who recruited them also gets a commission off of their recruits (and the person above them and the person above them … see how it’s starting to look like a pyramid?). I sold Mary Kay for a short 3-4 months of my life. So I’m already put-off by the term multi-level marketing. Although I have absolutely nothing against buying something from say Pampered Chef at a party. I just never want to do direct selling again (although I’ve like 5% thought about Lularoe only because those dresses are SO cute and I could just set up shop at festivals all summer like gee … a normal business).

Amway scam

Anyway, so the basic premise seems to be that you have a website and sell these Amway products. It has been compared to a cult. This cracked.com story here tells it a little better than I probably can: Amway: 5 Realities of The Multi-Billion-Dollar Scam. Also when you google the word Amway, the next word that comes up is scam. You know that’s not a good sign.

My Amway scam story

So I was at the mall working a table for my side job, the Gutter Shutter. It’s not glamorous, but I’m a show rep for a gutter company on the weekends. I go out to fairs, festivals, home shows, etc. and talk to people about gutters. Several months ago, there was some event at the mall and we had a table set up. I was talking to everyone who walked by and this woman came by. She seemed nice and somewhat interested, so we struck up a conversation. She mentioned that she had a business where she has her own website and she partners with brands like Marshalls and Target to sell products. She said the whole focus was on driving online sales to those sites. Not once did she mention the Amway scam.

To me, that sounded exactly like affiliate marketing. Bloggers, I know most of you not only know about affiliate marketing but are probably also signed up for several programs. I am a part of several affiliate programs and  include affiliate links in my outfit posts. So I told her I was a style blogger and asked her if it was affiliate marketing. She responded with “yes.” “We train you, set you up with a website and then you have your business,” she said more or less (those were not her exact words … this all happened three months ago). I was thinking it was just another affiliate program, so I was interested. I gave her my phone number and we parted ways. Then I never heard anything and assumed that she had lost my number.

A few months later

Last week I got a voicemail from this woman following up. So since I was interested, I called back. I was very upfront with her. “I’m a blogger and I’m really focused on that. I have absolutely no interest in creating a new website. However if I can use the one I already have, I’d be interested.” She did not know the answer to this, which should have been my first clue. Also, I cannot believe I did not ask the name of the company. But I digress …

She is going to have to ask the owners of the company if I can use my own website. But she would still like to meet with me and is willing to come to the Panera by my house. Why not, I think.

The meeting

We start our meeting at the Panera by my house. A third woman who I never met shows up. I suppose she is with the company. But that was another odd tip off. The woman I initially met starts with a brochure. It seems odd to me that a supposed affiliate marketing company wouldn’t just open up the computer and show me how the website works. After all, she told me that it was all about having your own website to drive online traffic to online retailers.

The brochure does not say Amway or at least say it anywhere blatantly visible. She goes through some diagrams, the bogus money I could make (6-figure income … sure), etc. I feel confused. What does her website look like? How does she drive traffic there (social media … Facebook? Twitter?). She also says that she’s unfamiliar with bloggers using affiliate marketing? Well, if this was a legit affiliate marketing company, she’d have been super familiar. It’s kind of our bread and butter.

She hardly ever uses Facebook, she says. “Then how do you drive people to your website?” Family, friends, face-to-face, she tells me. Everything is face-to-face, she tells me. That’s what they prefer. We are about to call the company so I can explain to them what being a blogger is (since she clearly has no idea) when I ask to see her website. Right there … top left corner … Amway. I feel so dumb.

So this is Amway?

I feel so lied to. We make chit chat for another few minutes and I tell her “yeah, I think I’m just happy being a blogger.” I also ask her why she left out the part that it was Amway until now. “The negative connotation,” she tells me. “If you google it, lots of untrue things will come up.” Well that sounds super shady.

Then we awkwardly make small talk about my salad for another two minutes and then she claims to have another meeting in 20 minutes just down the road. Whether she actually did or just wanted me to think she was successful, I’ll never know. Her and that other woman tell me it was nice to meet me and leave. So here I am eating my salad all alone in Panera and processing my thoughts about the Amway scam.

It was a waste of time

That was such a total waste of time. I could have spent that 30 minutes writing blog posts, scheduling social media, updating my pinterest, writing my next e-mail newsletter or doing a whole variety of needed blog things. So here are a few tips to potentially avoid being in this situation:

  1. Find out the name of the company (I feel stupid for not asking).
  2. Do an Internet search and use your judgement. If one bad review comes up, take it with a grain of salt. However if 50 or more come up, then those bad reviews might be making a point.

Do you have an Amway scam story? If so, I would love to hear it! Feel free to share in the comments section.

 

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Why you need a true weekend away … now!!

weekend away

This past weekend away I packed away dresses that had already appeared on the blog. While I had my camera with me, it did not leave the case one bit. On past weekends away, this made me feel anxious. “This place is beautiful,” I’d think. “This backdrop would make for some killer Instagram photos. I just need to go bug someone I came with to play photographer!” While there is absolutely nothing wrong with this way of thinking, it was also nice to take a true weekend off.

The family reunion … my weekend away

Ever since I was little, my dad’s side of the family has taken these trips in the summer. We usually pick a lake-side location and all rent cabins. Some people arrive Thursday night and others arrive Friday. We spend the days on the lake boating, water skiing and swimming. We spend the evenings grilling out, drinking beer and enjoying each others’ company. I used to dread it growing up. My phone would loose reception about halfway down and I’d be bored. Now I really enjoy this weekend away with family.

I just returned from my family reunion to Jamestown Resort and Marina off Lake Cumberland and I feel more rejuvenated than ever. I’m ready to conquer this week of blogging … at least!

I did take a few shots of the lake as it is beautiful. And confession: I did do some small blog things. It’s hard to completely separate yourself. However the tranquility allowed me to breathe and think a little more. It was nice. I made some brainstorm lists and slept in every morning. Bloggers and non-bloggers, we could all benefit from this.

weekend away

Why you need a weekend away

Ladies, I’m specifically talking to you. We often take on so much in our daily lives. I know for example that many of my blogger friends reading this have children and full-time jobs in addition to running their blog. It can get crazy and hectic. I know the feeling well. Others of us may work two and three jobs. Others of us may play large voluntary roles in community organizations. Whatever it is, many of us could keep on going if we allowed ourselves to.

Several months ago, I sat down and wrote an exhaustive list of all the things I needed to be doing for my blog. From scheduling Twitter to growing my e-mail list better to writing blog posts in advance and everything in between, it was LONG. I got overwhelmed.

“Our to-do lists will never end, which is exactly why we need a weekend away.”

weekend away

I’m a firm believer in accepting reality rather than trying to live in unattainable ideals. Once of those ideals is that I’ll do it all. With two jobs on top of my blog, that will never happen. Our to-do lists will never end, which is exactly why we need a weekend away.

Leave it at home and just go. Smell the flowers, swim in the lake and drink the beer. Browse around the gift shop without an end time in mind. Just be … don’t do.

We simply cannot keep going without some time for ourselves. Yet we often forget to love ourselves. Please do me a favor ladies and make time for yourself. Put that list or that phone down. And instead of doing … just be.

Ladies, what are some of your favorite ways to show love to yourself?

Sunday

Beauty 101 by Lisa, The Wardrobe Stylist

Monday

Birth of a Fashion Blogger, Sincerely Jenna Marie, More Pieces of Me, Fizz and Frosting, Still Being Molly, Beauty by Miss L, Michelle’s Paige, Not Dressed as Lamb, Mahogany Closet, Color and Grace, and Not Dead Yet Style

Tuesday

Live Randomly Simple, Sandy a la mode, Two Peas in a Blog, I Do deClaire, The Fashion Canvass, Walking in Memphis in High Heels and Elegantly Dressed & Stylish

Wednesday

Jersey Girl Texan Heart, Shopping My Closet, Pumps and Pushups, The Pleated PoppySydney Fashion HunterThe Mummy Chronicles, Cappuccino and Fashion, Posh Classy Mom, Living on Cloud Nine

Thursday

Elegance and MommyhoodDoused in Pink, Curly Crafty Mom, Jaymie Ashcraft

Friday

Two Thirty-Five DesignsNancy’s Fashion Style, Jeans & a Teacup, Claire Justine, Rachel the Hat, A Poketful of Polka Dots, Forage Fashion, Fashion Should be Fun, Sincerely PaulaBirdie Shoots, Shelbee on the Edge

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Winter farewell

winter farewell

Ah my winter farewell. I remember this day well. This summer at my main job we have a day camp for kids. That means I leave the house at 6:30 a.m. and return at 3 p.m. That also means that I schedule photoshoots at 3:30 p.m. like I had done this day. The cold of the early morning told me that I needed to wear this long-sleeved black dress. It wouldn’t be so bad, I told myself. Your work building is overly air-conditioned anyway!

However it was hot. Summer was finally here and more or less, it was here to stay! So while these photos look great, I was sweating a lot. Little did I know that that day would be my unofficial winter farewell. I’m so glad that summer is here because …

  • ice cream
  • swimming
  • sundresses
  • the county fair (which is the most American thing … ever)
  • sun
  • sandals
  • the beach
  • sunglasses
  • the outdoors

winter farewell

Things I will not miss:

  • Waiting for my car to warm up
  • gloves
  • that instant rude awakening anytime you walk outside
  • ice/snow (I don’t work for a school district anymore so I have no reason to like snow)

So black dress it’s been good and real. I’ll probably wear you next in Spain. And my winter farewell …

winter farewell

winter farewell

winter farewell

Dress: Old Navy

Shoes: DSW

Necklace: Premier Jewelry

Today I’m linking up here:

Wednesday

Jersey Girl Texan Heart, Shopping My Closet, Pumps and Pushups, The Pleated PoppySydney Fashion HunterThe Mummy Chronicles, Cappuccino and Fashion, Posh Classy Mom, Living on Cloud Nine

Thursday

Elegance and MommyhoodDoused in Pink, Curly Crafty Mom, Jaymie Ashcraft

Friday

Two Thirty-Five DesignsNancy’s Fashion Style, Jeans & a Teacup, Claire Justine, Rachel the Hat, A Poketful of Polka Dots, Forage Fashion, Fashion Should be Fun, Sincerely PaulaBirdie Shoots, Shelbee on the Edge

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