Lucky FABB is here!

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Okay darlings, I’m keeping this one short and sweet because I am getting ready for Lucky FABB (Fashion & Beauty Blogger) Conference!!!

Stay tuned for updates via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook:

Twitter: @iamsparkles

Instagram: @Iamsparkles

Facebook: Elizabethology

Hope to see you there ; )

XOXO Liz Signature

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Surviving a Manic Monday & Other Uplifting Thoughts

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It’s Monday. Again. My beloved coffee press has to break before 7 AM. Is this a bad omen?

Not necessarily. One might say it’s a matter of perspective. For instance you might be at work right now, at a job that you either hate, couldn’t care less about or perhaps you are incredibly fortunate and are living your dream. Boy, do I hope you are experiencing the latter.

For the rest of us who are still searching for a career vs. a job, something with a purpose and perhaps a few perks…please read on!

What do you do when you work full-time and feel drained, emotionally and physically? You’re thankful to be employed at all; perhaps you know the feeling of instability and uncertainty that comes from being unemployed or stuck in the temp-to-hire cycle. Do you spend every possible moment that hasn’t been sucked out of you to rest (a.k.a. retiring to a quiet spot to stare at the shadows on the wall) or even sulk? Or do you dedicate whatever time and energy you have left from the day to find inspiration or inspire others?

I have to admit, when you fill up your schedule trying to make the most of each moment and opportunity, you may feel fulfilled and accomplished but you can easily become exhausted trying to balance the “day job” alongside the pursuit for your “dream job“. Even more so–If your day is dedicated to projects or obligations that do not capture your creativity or do not have a meaningful connection to your passion, you are well on the path to becoming disengaged and in some way, a shell of yourself–going through the motions to get things done, make the money, pay the bills and do it all over again (darn you, $tudent loan$!).

Enough. I’m learning how the negative energy that arises from being in a rut or a slump just breeds more energy-sucking negativity. I firmly believe that when you are dedicating your life to something with substance and meaning to your soul, the energy you put into your work will regenerate you, not deplete you. It requires determination, courage and strength to stop the cycle and reclaim control over your life path. Yes, you are in the driver’s seat and you better believe there is a destination and destiny that is far greater than the road blocks you might be facing lately. Embrace it. Own it.

What do you to find inspiration and how do you keep the momentum going once you find it?

I believe it is imperative to surround yourself with a core group of family, friends and colleagues who respect you, your dreams and your struggles. This group should be a source of support and motivation and they should also dole out tough love when you need it. I also believe it is key to embrace your community and be an active contributor to it. There are so many causes that could use your support and that’s a great push to get “out of your head” and focus on things much greater than yourself. Giving your time and effort to others and to improving your community benefits you in so many ways. It’s kind of like sending positive energy out into the universe and getting some of that right back.

I think the hardest part is putting yourself out in the world so you can take advantage of all the opportunities that you can’t find sitting at home or at your desk job. These opportunities may not always be what you expect. They could be lessons on what not to do, who not to trust. But learning these important lessons can save you a lot of time and heartache later on. This part is hard for me at times because it can make me feel vulnerable. But it is in these raw, honest moments that you can experience the most fulfilling and life-propelling moments and meet the right people who can help you on your mission. 

Yes, I believe your skin needs to be thick if you want to make it in the ‘real world’ and the more you expose yourself to challenges and rejection, the savvier and more shrewd you will become. But be open to the opinions of your core group of support, they will know you best and therefore have the most concern for you and will help keep you grounded. Having a thick skin does not mean you need a heart of stone, or that you need to be cynical or ruthless. Remain humble, no matter how great your success or failure.

I’ve gathered a few of my favorite inspirational quotes, thoughts and advice in this slideshow. May these nuggets of wisdom spark the flame of your passion and help you find meaning in who are and what you do : )

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Here are a few of my favorite career entries found on The EveryGirl. The stories behind these amazing women will certainly kick your motivation into gear:

BRIKA FOUNDERS JENNIFER KOSS AND KENA PARANJAPE

SELF MAGAZINE SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR STEPHANIE MILLER

CECILIA WONG OF CECILIA WONG SKINCARE

XOXO Liz Signature

You Will Never Look Like The Girl In The Magazine…

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You will never look like the girl in the magazine. The girl in the magazine doesn’t look like the girl in the magazine. – Jessimae Peluso

I read something inspiring the other day and wanted to know your opinion about it: Huffington Post published an article in their Style section titled, “Verily Magazine’s No-Photoshop Policy Proves It Can Be Done“.

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The article discusses the female-operated magazine’s mission to it keep it real by not relying on Photoshop and other techniques to “artificially” enhance the appearance of their models.

From Verily Magazine’s Web site:

Like so many great ideas, Verily was conceived over a gathering of friends for brunch in NYC. Our conversation turned to the topic of women’s magazines–more specifically– how most of them fail to reflect our lives or our philosophies as women. We were a diverse group of women, hailing from all over the country and working in professions as varying as fashion, medicine, and philanthropy. We had gone through the learning curve of our first jobs, navigated life in a new city, and been on more first dates than many of us would like to admit. If this group of modern women were all feeling overlooked, surely others must feel the same way?

I thought this was pretty neat and encouraging to other women and celebrating the authenticity in our beauty.

What do you think?

XOXO Liz Signature

Express Grand Opening Party & Jessica Sturdy from Bows & Sequins

2013-10-03 19.04.24{Yours truly with Jessica Sturdy, style blogger of Bows & Sequins…we match!}

I had the honor of meeting Jessica Sturdy, style blogger behind Bows & Sequins last Thursday at the Desk-to-Dinner shopping event with InStyle Magazine  and Grand Opening Party for Express at Madison and 51st in NYC.

Jessica was so sweet and we talked about how she started her blog and some of the exciting projects she is working on. I asked her some style advice questions and I wish I could take her shopping with me because this lady has an amazing eye for style.

The theme of the event was Desk to Dinner. How to take your professional work attire and transition this into night life. Think about the blouse/pencil skirt combo and adding a leather jacket and a long chain or trading in your denim for leather pants.

The newly renovated Express had a club-vibe and there were hors d’oeuvres and refreshments, mini makeovers and of course special discounts for purchases made during the event. I wore a fancy Express top (black and gold lame) with a black blazer, skinny dark denim and leopard flats. After all, I took the whole desk-to-dinner theme literally by adding the blazer and walking from work to the event. I wore my Bows & Sequins inspired necklace my sister gave to me (from JewelMint) in honor of the hostess.

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2013-10-03 18.13.06{Display styled by Jessica}

2013-10-05 14.51.37{A few items I picked up from the event: Diamonds & Camo}

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{My Bows & Sequins inspired necklace from JewelMint}

Upon entering the store I took the atmosphere in and immediately recognized Jessica. I introduced myself and we got to talking. She recognized my top because she also owns one and she got the reference from my necklace right away : ) Jessica took me around parts of the store explaining the outfit she wore and some of the displays she styled for the night. Not only was I a bit star-struck to ask this style guru my questions, but I was ecstatic that Jessica was so open about her blogging, career and encouragement to me and my dreams.

I’d love to share some of the highlights from my convo with Jessica:

Highlights:

Dressing to Impress:

Jessica will also be attending this year’s Lucky FABB in NYC! She went last year and said the speakers were amazing and the networking you get to do is priceless. She said the energy was high and the gift bags were fabulous. She was excited when I told her I was going for the first time and I asked her what a beauty or fashion blogger should wear to an event like this.

Jessica’s advice: Wear something that is honest to who you are and comfortable–both in fit and style. This is the event where you can wear anything that expresses your style, but you don’t need to feel like you have to wear something wild to stand out. Her lesson for me was that she wore pants to last year’s conference that weren’t tailored and she did not feel 100% comfortable in them and it can show in your body language and pictures. At a conference like Lucky FABB, you can’t afford to be uncomfortable in your ensemble–you have to focus on feeling fabulous and enjoying the moment (and taking the most Instagram-worthy selfies ever).

Fall Trend Alert:

I asked Jessica if there was one thing we should pay attention to this Fall, be it a print, color combo or cut. Jessica took me over to one of the displays she styled for Express and explained that she is currently feeling Camo (yes, it’s back!) to mix with more refined pieces (i.e. camo shirt with blazer and skirt for work). She also loves the incorporation of leather details like piping on skirts and of course the slew of moto-style jackets that are in practically every collection–classic and adaptable bad-ass chic style. For colors indulge in black and white; gold and black.

Expressing Your Style:

If you have checked out Bows & Sequins (do so right now if you haven’t) you know that Jessica displays her outfits of the day (OOTD) with candid with the city as her backdrop. I asked her how she felt about taking these pictures out in the open where passers by are sure to gawk out of curiosity. Jessica agreed that especially when she started blogging in Chicago, that the idea was a little frightening to her and that she had to be creative in how she got the pictures taken (now she has the assistance from friends and photogs, but before that she had to rely on self timers and quick poses!). Her confidence comes from loving what she wears and having fun with expressing her style choices.

Now she is more comforatble about the street style pics, even if a small crowd forms near her shoot. After all, that’s New York for you. The sidewalks are our catwalks and we are all models and photographers.

Passion Advice:

I am so grateful to Jessica for giving me her honest advice about how I can manage a not-so-dream job and the pursuit of the ideal career path while juggling a blog and passion that requires whatever remaining time and energy you have. Basically, you have to stick to your guns, take advantage of every opportunity you have and surround yourself with the right energy to keep you grounded and humble.

For all my fellow bloggers, whether this is your “hobby” or your career, you have to put in the hard work and allow yourself to thoroughly enjoy the fruits of your labor. And for those of you who feel like you’re not that important or not that big of a deal: Jessica has come a long way from sharing outfit pictures to hosting events and being an ambassador for brands. She didn’t get there overnight and she still has those pinch-me moments where she can’t believe the opportunities that have blossomed from her blog. But most importantly, she does not take it for granted and she appreciates her supporters.

Bottom line: If you have subscribers, fans or followers you have source of support and admiration from people who celebrate you and look forward to what you have to share. So keep on sharing, creating, writing and designing. There are millions of creative people in the blogosphere and the more variety we have the more we have to celebrate.

For more pictures from the event, search for #EXPStyle!

XOXO Liz Signature

Express Grand Opening Party with InStyle Magazine & Jessica Sturdy of Bows & Sequins

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ill see you there

Who: Jessica Sturdy, style blogger and author of Bows & Sequins

What: Express Grand Opening with InStyle Magazine

When: Thursday, October 3rd @ 6 PM – 8 PM

Where: Express @ Madison Ave & 51st Street

Why: Desk-to-Dinner Shopping Event

XOXO Liz Signature

October: Breast Cancer Awareness & Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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{Photo courtesy of Avon Foundation}

October has kicked off and there are so many things to look forward to on the agenda. This is indeed a very special month not just because we start the end-of-the-year holiday season (bring it on, baby) but because it is Breast Cancer Awareness and Domestic Violence Awareness month.

These are extremely important issues for women and it is imperative for us to recognize where we stand in terms of progress and how our communities can unite to make a difference.

I love to write about beauty and style and there is nothing more beautiful or stylish than to support a cause that affects so many.

I believe…

Awareness is beautiful. Empowerment is beautiful. Unity is beautiful.

I’ve included a few organizations and programs that you can check out and support. Please feel free to share with your family, friends and coworkers and let me know if there are any other organizations you support!

From the National Coalition of Against Domestic Violence:

Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the first Day of Unity observed in October, 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect battered women’s advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children. The Day of Unity soon became a special week when a range of activities were conducted at the local, state, and national levels.

From Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN):

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization and was named one of “America’s 100 Best Charities” by Worth magazine. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org) in partnership with more than 1,100 local rape crisis centers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helplinefor the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.

From National Breast Cancer Awareness Month :

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The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) is a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and provide greater access to services.

Since its inception more than 25 years ago, NBCAM has been at the forefront of promoting awareness of breast cancer issues and has evolved along with the national dialogue on breast cancer. NBCAM recognizes that, although many great strides have been made in breast cancer awareness and treatment, there remains much to be accomplished. Today, we remain dedicated to educating and empowering women to take charge of their own breast health.

From Susan G. Komen:

You may be a runner. A volunteer. Or an activist. But however you choose to get involved, just know that everything you do makes a difference. After all, without the support of people like you, we know 10 million people could die of breast cancer in the next 25 years. Susan G. Komen for the Cure® strives to raise funds and educate people in the battle against breast cancer through global events and legislative actions each year. Breast cancer is still killing and impacting far too many of our loved ones. So, how will you get involved?

From Avon Foundation For Women:

From crusading against breast cancer to speaking out against domestic violence, the Avon Foundation has been standing strong for women since 1955.

From the Mary Kay Foundation:

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Mary Kay Foundation is a leader helping end violence against women and finding a cure for cancers affecting woman. What better way to support both of these causes then to participate in The Mary Kay Foundation’s MK5K Saturday, Oct. 5. For more details visit, http://lnkd.in/bMkEzV5less

From m.powerment by Mark:

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I hope your October is filled with achievement and empowerment. 

If you have any words of encouragement or a story to share, please feel free to leave a comment!

Pass it on : )

XOXO Liz Signature

Just for YOU: 20% Promo Code for Cherry Blossom Tree Designs!

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Birthday in a Box has launched–what better way is there to say “happy birthday” then sending that special someone a mini surprise party?

Elizabethology fans can enjoy an exclusive offer from Cherry Blossom Tree Designs!

Visit the shop, Customize your order & Enter promo code “LizXO20” during checkout.

This offer will expire on October 13, 2013, so happy shopping : )

There are many options to choose from…here’s a few examples of adorable customized goodies you can request:

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Love what you see? Well, CBTD will be introducing customizable boxes for many more occasions…but probably not this kind!

dick in a box

XOXO Liz Signature