While going through my desk I ran across a Christmas card from several years ago. It was better this time than when it first arrived. I stopped what I was doing and sent the sender a quick dm letting her know how much I was still enjoying the card. This got me thinking...Is it time to start thinking about Christmas Cards, baking, buying, and wrapping already?
Is it time to start looking for THE card for this holiday season? They are out and being snatched up and since I'm not one that makes time to make those super cute, homemade jobs either I should make a decision soon! In my entire life there has only been one year that I intentionally had a theme. The French Victorian theme ran from my cards to my table decor for Christmas dinner and all points in between. It looked pretty and I felt accomplished but not enough to repeat it again the following year. Considering a more organized approach to Christmas this year so I can enjoy the process. So I figured it starts with the cards. (Shot in the dark really because I am not a planner for these types of things)
I'm sure you super women out there have already updated your mailing list, picked your theme and are well on your way to cruising through the holiday season. Obviously, this domestic goddess stuff takes planning and executing. I threw that last part in because I will plan to do something great and get sidetracked before having a chance to execute.
Receiving a card via snail mail means that someone took their time to find the perfect cards, write a message specifically for you and to pay postage ((gasp!!!)) just to get that card in your hands. It makes you feel thought of gives the warm and fuzzies. I have a friend Deb that manages to pull off superwoman status on the daily and so when Christmas comes around, she just dials it up. She's the lady that makes time in her schedule each Christmas to write out those amazing cards. It's a nice reminder that someone is thinking about you and your family. (Did I mention she makes like a million holiday cookies she packages and gets out to countless people also?)
So perhaps this is the weekend that I find a perfect Christmas Cards to send out this year. And to those that have been doing this consistently throughout the years...please don't stop. You never know what time of year that card is making someone feel special and causing a smile.
Have you opened that door yet? You know, the one that sends you spiraling down that slippery slope of pumpkin flavored everything and fall decor.
I recognize all the signs but I am stubbornly refusing to bite. Yes, it's chilly when I get up in the morning, yes, I may soon need a sweater to leave the house, yes, the leaves are turning the most beautiful colors and yes, I saw pumpkins for sale. I'm holding tightly to the remains of summer. Beaches, lighter hair, suntans and the ocean. I was just there!!! Less than two weeks ago.
I know I'll have to accept the inevitable and boldly traipse into fall with my plaid and riding boots (are they still in fashion? I must find out). It will all start with that coffee shop trip for the official ordering of the season's first Pumpkin Spice Latte. (And if you're a cool kid, it's a PSL because we are far to busy to say the entire name.)
As you may have guessed, we like to encourage supporting our local businesses. We have our monthly meetings at local restaurants to support our communities. One of my favorites (and on our list for monthly meeting places) is Paradise Diner. It's located on rte 17 in Fredericksburg and well worth the trip!
When you walk in the door you are immediately greeted by a dessert case that is rivaled by no other in the area. Seriously! There they all are for you to drool over while you decide which you are going to try. There are around 17 available daily to choose from It's sinful!! Believe it or not, that's not the best part of visiting this restaurant. You'll receive outstanding customer service and food that is out of this world. I've been several times and ordered something different each visit and everytime the meal has been consistently delightful.
From the street the place looks tiny. This is deceptive as it is a rather sizeable place and very comfortable. You may come in a stranger but you will leave as part of the family. Not uncommon is to receive hugs on your way out! Do you dine alone? If so, you'll love it here. In addition to the tables, they have a counter that you can sit at (think old school diner).
So, please do support your local businesses and share with your friends and family those that you love. They can always use the business and chances are great that they provide that extra something you won't be finding in a chain store or restaurant.
Via HITC I recently met some ladies that are doing the most interesting things! I met them while they were doing my first Henna tattoo on me. (I loved it by the way!) It's so beautiful and vibrant. The designs were so to die for!! During our Henna session, the ladies shared with me that they were going to start offering eyelash extensions. I was invited to be an eyelash model for them with their instructor standing by as they were finishing up their training. I've wondered what it would be like and look like so I quickly said yes and got the info on where to be.
I won't bore you with all the details, but this is what I have learned from my experience.....bring a pillow and a blanket because they are done one at a time, you're on a very hard bed and it takes between 3-5 hrs. (Yes! It takes a very long time.) Is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY!!!! I've had so many compliments on them in 2 days that I'm wondering why I waited so long. It's great not having to put on mascara.
Have you thought about doing it? Go for it!!
The lovely ladies that are responsible for Zee Zee Hjn https://www.facebook.com/zeezee.hjn.1. They are super nice and have much to offer!
I'm cruising through FB one day and I came across this post on a page: Hi! I’m Ayesha and I’m an artist. I’m looking for a select diverse group of humans who would be interested in being a model for a portrait collection I am beginning. A humble modeling fee will be given to those who wish to participate....
What I’m searching for:
People who have struggled to find physical beauty in themselves.
People who have struggled to find acceptance in social circles.
People who have suffered from mental or physical conditions.
People who feel they have no voice but have something to say.
This was intriguing on many levels. I was curious as to what was pulling her to these wonderfully unique individuals specifically. (p.s.- we are all wonderfully unique in our own ways)
I reached out to her as a potential subject and so that I might be able to get a face to face with her for this blog post. We messaged back and forth and set a date for coffee. What a treat! This beautiful soul is a ball of energy and intellect. It was a conversation that left me filled with information and in complete awe. Ayesha has been painting for most of her life. Her work is insightful and beautiful. Not simply what is on the outside, but exposing the uncomfortable and whatever that looks like in each individual to bring it to the surface and find the beauty in it. Her work is featured at the Darbytown Art Studio located at 241 Charles Street, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401.
We can consider this a trailer for what's to come. It turns out that she assigns homework to her subjects and presently....I'm working on mine! I'm excited to share this local artist and amazing woman with you. (Did I mention she's a wife, mom, and career woman as well? Stay tuned!
A huge thank you to the amazing downtown restaurant Juan More Taco on Caroline St. in Old Town Fredericksburg, VA. They were our venue this month for our Girl's Night Out. They were FABULOUS! Their food is amazing and it's followed up by exceptional customer service.
The sugar skull decor is popping as soon as you walk in. Everyone was commenting about how great the food was throughout the night. So Maria, that you! We love your place and look forward to coming back.
Did I mention they were voted Best In the Burg 2018?
826 Caroline Street
Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401
Meet Chris Parker. This guy makes some of the most beautiful wood and resin items! When asked about how he got started in it, he had this to say; "I always enjoyed using a lathe in shop in school and a co worker got me interested in giving it a try again. I do this mainly as a hobby, and the sales I do keep me able to continue with the hobby. I am always looking to try new things, Whether it is on the lathe or with resin."
Chris was in the Air Force for just under 10 years before he was medically discharged. He believes it helped prepare him for life outside of home, as well as gave him the education to do his primary job.
"I have met most of my professional goals since leaving the Air Force, but I am not limiting myself to the goals I have achieved. I am hoping to continue the path I am on while taking on more responsibilities."
Thank you for your service!
Check out his FB Live: https://www.facebook.com/staffordhitc/videos/474703740000531/
This month we are pleased to announce that our charity focus will be on Gwyneth's Gift Foundation. This foundation can be found on FB: https://www.facebook.com/gwynethsgift/
Our mission is to serve as a catalyst to ensure that those suffering an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest have a greater chance of survival because they were provided with immediate life saving measures from a community member educated on how to administer CPR and utilize an AED.
Our vision is a community that is educated, confident, and capable of responding to save the life of an individual in need of CPR. Gwyneth’s Gift is a world where everyone can save a life! Through this work her spirit of caring, compassion, and community live on.
Our goals are to promote the importance of CPR and AEDs through education and public awareness campaigns; provide funding for the placement of AEDs in schools and other public facilities; offer scholarships to deserving high school students and encourage medical research and development in the areas of cardiology, neurology, and traumatic brain injury.
I encourage you to visit the website and learn more about this amazing organization and the beautiful soul that it was named after. I'm sure you heard of the recent Mom Prom held in the 'Burg? Well meet the folks that put it together! This wonderful group is doing great things in and around our area. They will be onsite with us with more information for you this month at our GNO on June 26, 2019 from 6:30 - 9:30 at Juan More Taco in F'burg.
Meet Jolie Atkins with Rodan + Fields! She recently reached out asking about our event and decided to be one of our featured vendors this month. She's outgoing, friendly and optimistic. I'm sure these are contributing factors to her success. She shared with us that within two months of joining the company she got her first promotion! She's successfully maintained it since.
We asked her to tell us about her business and how she became the successful business woman she is today. Founded by Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, world-renowned dermatologists, they are redefining the future of anti-aging premium skincare backed by clinical results. I was motivated by the energy of friends who use the products and introduced me to the unlimited opportunities. This business has been rewarding, empowering, and capitalizes on the power of social media, networking and e-commerce. I try to keep myself immersed in positive online social groups, friends and new opportunities. I have the ability to work whenever I want and build my dream at my own pace. I have been an elementary school counselor for 10 years. I truly enjoy working with children and making a difference in their lives every day!
My goals are to continue paying down debt, pay cash for my family vacation this year and support my son financially in college. Through social media and e-commerce, this business allows me the flexibility to be a mother, school counselor, entrepreneur and prioritize my time as needed.
Who better to ask what advice they would give to women thinking of starting their own business? This is Jolie's advice to them "Go for it!! Get out of your comfort zone - create a Vision Board, set goals, meet new friends :) You will get out of it what you are willing to put in to it. The presence of women who are empowering themselves and others to live their lives to the fullest has been overwhelming!"
We welcome you Jolie and look forward to hearing more about your business!
You can e-mail her at email@example.com or visit her website at jolieatkins.myrandf.com
Dianne Chandler, Fredericksburg, VA
Scout and Cellar, Independent Wine Consultant
Email Address * Cleancrazycellar@gmail.com
Website URL * www.scoutandcellar.com/cleancrazycellar
Business Facebook Page URL * https://www.facebook.com/cleancrazycellar/
Instagram URL www.instagram.com/cleancrazycellar or @cleancrazycellar
Tell us about your business and how you became the successful business woman you are today. (how did you get the courage to open your own store, what motivated you, how many hours you put in, how you keep a positive outlook, etc) *
Thirty-eight years as a government contractor, 25 plus years as a direct sales hobbyist, and a social media enthusiast prepared me to take the leap of faith and market Scout and Cellar full time. As a wine consultant I get to teach people about clean-crafted wine (see photograph) and take them on a journey to discover the unknown good and enjoy wine as nature intended. Scout and Cellar is about 2 years old and I choose Scout and Cellar because:
-we partner with small family-owned businesses around the world. I love supporting small business.
-the introduction of pesticides, chemical additives and sugars provided a way for wine producers to get around natural unpredictability. At Scout and Cellar we offer cleaner, healthier, and an altogether better wine experience to everyone without additives, chemicals, and sugars.
-our wines are independently lab tested to ensure our wines meet the clean-crafted wine criteria, are guaranteed and are hand picked by a Sommelier 3.
-we off wine clubs or individually purchased wines. We are the wine store that comes to your door.
-most importantly, our wines taste great!
The biggest key I have found to my success is a networking - people do business with people they know, like, and trust. Networking allows you to build relationships, acquire great friendships,and build your customer base.
The nice thing about direct sales is you are the CEO of your own business and can work as many or as few hours as needed. I personally work my business every day whether it is posting on social media, sharing wine at tastings or with friends, celebrating at weddings and galas, giving back to the community or just sharing about our company and clean crafted wine.
Describe yourself in three words: * strong, compassionate, driven
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement? * Having teammates tell me I made a difference in their life and success.
What are your professional goals for the next six months? * Grow a successful team of clean-crafted wine consultants. Give back to the community and grow my business base in events, galas, and weddings.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? * I ultimate goal in life is to be a beach bum, but, I would love to be a mentor to help other people to be successful.
How do you maintain a work/life balance? * As a mother of 3, caretaker for my parents and nephew, and owner of two dogs, time blocking and flexibility is necessary to survive. I always get up before everyone and have some me time to reflect, exercise when possible, and read books. When a day is really bad, I jam to upbeat music and dance.
What websites do you visit every day? * All major social media platforms, Rachel Hollis, Zig Ziglar and of course my own website. There are many others and I vary from day to day.
What are your top three favorite people/places/things to do in your city?
Jet skiing/boating on the river
Hanging with my kids (when they aren’t annoying me!)
Getting tea or walking downtown with my friends
What is your goal for retirement? * Live near the water, have enough residual income to live comfortably, and be a millionaire! Go big or go home !
Do you have any advice for women who'd like to start their own company? Take a leap of faith. Work hard. And, don’t give up.
Any final comments? Discover the journey of the unknown good. Join me at a wine tasting.
Hi, I’m Courtney Villarreal, Virginia girl born and raised. I relocated to Fredericksburg from Fairfax in 1993. I am a wife, a mother of two amazing boys and an entrepreneur at heart.
Event coordination, supporting others in business and lifting others, especially women is my mission.