Monday, April 9, 2018

Color Street!

Ladies, have you heard of Color Street?

It an amazing new nail application company that began in July 2017. A friend of mine who has a very successful LuLaRoe business introduced me to Color Street a few weeks ago. She joined because of the amazing product, but also because this company is so new, and shared with me that we can both get in while it's still breaking the ground. That said, I thought it would be a great add to my Mary Kay business, and I simply could not pass on the opportunity! They are super easy to apply and have NO drying time! Personally myself, I don't care to go to a salon and this is so much easier than waiting for my nails to dry at home with a toddler. Honestly, I never had the time to let my nails dry and would end up painting them in my car before I start driving so I'd forced to sit still. Ha!

Plus, nails are like shoes... they look great on everyone, no matter what your size or shape is!

Ladies, if you love having pretty nails or need a little extra cash, check out my website for more information. It's $129 for a starter-kit to become a Color Street Stylist! It comes with 75 samples to hand out, and 10 strips to sell, plus other supplies for hosting a nail bar! You make back the money in just one kit. Plus you can earn 25%+ commission! (I didn't know how well I would do, I figured I had manicures for a year if anything else, but I've already earned my money back in one week!)

Or if you just interested in ordering some color strips, you can Buy 3, Get 1 FREE! Or buy 1 French manicure and get 1 FREE! If you already know you are going to want to order monthly, then become a Preferred Customer and get 10% off each month.

Early Blooms is the sample shown above from the Spring Collection!

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018


Greetings! I hate that I've been away too long... I've been extremely busy this month exploring the world of Mary Kay. I've been attending meetings, boot camp, hosting parties, and even attending the Reno Career Conference in the middle of a snow storm. I dove right in and have been having a blast.

It has been a roller coaster of a month, well the past few months really aside from Mary Kay... I mentioned awhile back that I really wanted to open a brick and mortar store, but it has been exceptionally hard to find the right property, in the right location, for the right price. I knew the business model would develop after I found the right property, and I almost found the right place... twice.

I've come so close to signing a lease twice since the beginning of February. First, for a book, gift, and flower shop. Then the landlord took two weeks to draft a lease after we already agreed on everything, it caused me to doubt whether it was right or not. But while waiting I found my dream place, and then I was grateful for the delay. However, the place was not zoned for retail, the exception in zoning code was an art gallery or tea house. So I revised my whole business plan for a cozy tea house / gallery that sat in a historic neighborhood in Carson City between two existing galleries, excited because a tea house would be as close to a bed and breakfast as I will get at this stage in my life. When I had the neighborhood blessing, the health department's blessing, and put in an offer, the landlord then decided she'd prefer an 'easier' business like another accountant or attorney. Because our community will benefit from another office professional occupying precious historic real estate, rather than trying to preserve an old-fashioned business model which no longer exists in our community for people to gather for parties.

(My plan to pursue a brick and mortar store also temporarily delayed a lot of promotions and advertising I was doing for Lulabelle Gifts and Gallery because I was hoping to incorporate it there if anyone was wondering. I will be adjusting the business model soon for more affordable price points, stay tuned.)

Needless to say, I'm mentally and emotionally exhausted from 'things not coming to fruition'. One word I've learned from Mary Kay this month is GRIT. I allowed myself a few days to recollect... BUT yesterday I pulled my laptop back out to refocus on my first passion which was pushed to the back burner the past couple of months... writing.

I didn't realize I'm only a few chapters away from finishing my first FICTION book (Patisserie in the Alps) until I reformatted it yesterday in book layout! Swiss Escape is another fiction book that I'm about 1/3 done writing. It motivates me to print out the manuscripts to get closer to crossing the finish line.

Also, I posted on Facebook and Instagram yesterday that I FINALLY have signed author copies for my memoir, Running Away to Europe available thru me for $12 with FREE shipping (cheaper than Amazon), and I sold a few already. Yea!

Sorry I haven't shared much of my plans... I really wanted a definitive plan before I shared any good news, but I've got to the point where the journey is either taking too long, or someone is trying to tell me it's not right time. So, now I'll just include you in this path of continued self-discovery!

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Mary Kay

I've always known Mary Kay to be a timeless beauty company whose product has proved itself. I'd be in awe when someone in their 50s and 60s tell me they wore Mary Kay for years and could tell that their skin looked decades younger. So, I knew the proof was in the pudding, because their skin looked amazing. This past weekend, my mom, daughter, and I had a free facial. But I went into our appointment wanting to learn more about this amazing company that would allow me to feel confident.

I was always one to cut and color my own hair and paint my nails myself because I'm too frugal to splurge on beauty products and services. Fortunately, I've been blessed with good skin. Since turning 35 this year, hormones in combination with time spent gardening in the sun, has led my skin to start aging. It is not as vibrant and youthful as it once was... (even with applying a lot of sun block). I'm now at that crucial age where I have to start being regimented in my skin care routine.

(Getting my welcome rose and Mary Kay pin.)

During my first facial, I used the TimeWise Microdermabrasion Refine on one half of my face and neck. I saw wrinkles on my neck disappear within minutes of the application, and I was immediately sold! (Below is a photo four days after my facial.)

You can tell on my neck where the wrinkle is on right side and smooths out in the middle on the left. I think I'm going to apply the TimeWise Microdermabrasion Refine on only one half of my neck for a few more times, just to see the dramatic difference for myself. My neck crease may not look too bad here, but you can see it more defined below.

I'm so not a 'selfie' person, but I guess I'm going to have to get over that fear. I was nervous about embarking on this journey, because I'm very shy and reserved by nature. I wasn't sure if I could see myself in sales. But as a former Public Information Officer, I've gotten over my fear of public speaking as long as I'm informed on what I'm taking about. I had been approached by a sales rep a few years ago for a pharmaceutical company, when my former boss choked in front of a stakeholder meeting, and I was able to get up and save her, only because I wasn't nervous talking about something I knew and could share in a room passionately with others. From that point, I often wondered how I would do in sales. 

Originally, I wanted to sign up for the discount so I can start taking better care of myself. But when I started to really think about the new opportunity and explore the rewards of being a consultant, I started to get more excited by the minute. I don't view it as sales, rather getting together with long-time and new girlfriends for intimate gatherings to allow women to feel more beautiful about themselves. My enthusiasm has bloomed thinking about 'feeling beautiful' as work! I always thought I was doomed to be in a cubicle crunching numbers, and thus probably stopped caring about being pretty. But there is so much excitement in this company. I can't wait to attend the Career Conference on March 16-17, which I will share after!

Three generations getting our Mary Kay facial.
(Don't kill me mom... you look beautiful!)

Email me at if anyone would like a Mary Kay Spring Lookbook (catalog), or to order the TimeWise Microdermabrasion Refine ($32) or the TimeWise Microdermabrasion Plus Set ($55), which includes the Refine and the Pore Minimizer, 
or if you would like to find out how you can become an Independent Beauty Consultant!
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Friday, February 16, 2018

Author Blog

I'm blogging next door today on my author blog, about Reading Goals for 2018 and setting the parameters for book reviews.

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

When Love Blooms

Sometimes there is love at first sight. Sometimes love is easy, and sometimes love is hard. There are peaks and valleys. Though this photo was nearly four years ago, it is what love means to me. Bathing our delicate preemie together as we embarked on parenthood as a couple.

Because I disappeared from blogging and social media during the early mommy years, I'll occasionally share bits from the past few years.

Father Daughter Dance 2018

Hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's!

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Monday, February 12, 2018

With Perseverance Dreams Do Come True

Nine Years Ago... I wrote a humble little blog post about discovering NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). On that day in 2009, two of my blog friends wrote a comment (which you can read in the link above) that they too would join me in the challenge that year. Who knew what would come of that one post and those simple comments to commit to the challenge?

One friend, Kori Donohue of Blonde Episodes, published her completed book, Murder on the Boulevard, in 2011. In which, she left me a sweet dedication.

I published my first book, Running Away to Europe, this past July 2017.

My other blog comrade, Teri Reynolds of Girl Meets Paris, wrote in a comment that she would 'consider it with fear and trepidation of failure'. Well, I'm excited to announce that this Valentine's Day, February 14th, 2018 her novel will be available on Amazon! It is called Marie Antoinette and the Hidden Door of Versailles. I'm very excited to read it, and will post a review on my author blog, Nicolette Johnston after I read it. I recommend checking out her website and viewing her You Tube book announcement video, which was partially filmed at the Palace of Versailles.

So, during this week of Valentine's, I'm celebrating because I'm reminded that once upon a time, my humble little blog did make an impact on a few people and so many people I used to know have gone on and achieved some amazing accomplishments. This has been just the kind of encouragement I've needed. I'm reminded how much I once loved this blog and have wanted it to be as special as it once was, but felt lost as to how I could gain my creativity back... I'm reminded there is no greater love than remembering who you once were and finding your way back to yourself.

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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday Treasures

I love to collect unique cook books... 
I was browsing my hutch this weekend and delved into Vintage Tea Party.

We may be having a Valentine's tea party this week!

Check out some of my older posts on Tea and Sweets & Treats.

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Saturday, February 10, 2018

3 Highly Enjoyable Podcasts

I wanted to share a few podcasts with you that have made a dramatically positive impact in my life the past few months...

Brooke Castillo has some truly eye opening words of encouragement to help anyone get their life together.

Co-hosted by Annie Jones, bookstore owner of Bookshelf in downtown Thomasville, Georgia and Chris Jensen. Their podcast is self-described as a "a collection of conversation on books, small business, and life in the South". A weekly joy about book recommendations. 

Listening to Shannon Ables, blogger from The Simply Luxurious Life is a weekly treat. She blogs and talks about on her podcast about living a more simple but quality lifestyle. I particularly enjoy how she focuses on the French lifestyle and has interviewed many bloggers and authors I've followed for years. While listening to her podcast a few weeks ago, she was interviewing Jamie Cat Callen about her new book, 'Parisian Charm School', and they were discussing a short story from her book about a woman who met her husband in Paris. It took about a minute before I realized she was writing about my dear friend, Mimi, I wrote about in my book, 'Running Away to Europe'.

I highly recommend binge listening 
to any of these wonderful podcasts!

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Winter Days

While much of the United States has had lots of snow so far this season, we got our first snow last night (and we live 20 minutes from Tahoe). So when Florida gets snow before us, it's an odd year. But we welcomed sunshine all day, and I took our black lab, Hank, for a jog.

A couple days ago, I enjoyed an afternoon at David Walley's Hot Springs & Spa for a pampering session. I soaked in the hot springs and enjoyed a Swedish massage.

Even though I live ten minutes away, I had never been, and it was nice to be adventurous once again exploring my own backyard.

Stay Warm!

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New Year Resolutions - 2018

My resolutions are generally the same every year, and probably fall in line with most everyone else. But this year my resolutions seem to mean more to me...

1. Be fearless. Let go of my fear of failure. Take more risks. Don't worry so much about what other people think of me and my decisions. Something I do way more than I should. Now in my 30s I've gotten somewhat better at this, but realized I'm going to waste my life away if I keep letting it get in the way.

2. Write more. (On my list every year.) Though I published my first book this year, it took six years to write. To grow as a writer. Publishing my book was a lot harder than I anticipated. With a memoir, many people formed opinions. Some were bold enough to tell me I made a mistake. Others said nothing, but the silence was just as loud. Which again leads to... be fearless and... don't worry so much about what other people think.

3. Read more. To grow as writer, I need to read more. But this a purely selfish resolution. I want to catch up and make this my Literary Year. (More on this later.) I want to read like a pre-teen with no summer job, remembering the days my dad drove me to a long gone indie bookstore called, Davis Kidd once a week in Tennessee. I want to cancel the cable, wean myself off Hallmark movies, and stay away from social media apps, to pick up a book and read one after another.

4. Health. But not for dieting. For changing my lifestyle. In November, I had a wake-up call. I ended up in the ER due to stomach pain. Discovering that I had colitis, I'm now forced to change the way I eat permanently. I was put on an antibiotic which nearly killed me. I couldn't swallow and my throat closed up, since then I've kept off 7 pounds. I've given up coffee for the acidity, which has in turn helped balance out blood sugar and dehydration issues. I've gone gluten minimal which has greatly helped pain and bloat. I've cut my white sugar intake way down, and have also discovered how much pain dairy was causing. I've also noticed the need to cut down on greasy red meat. I was worried that didn't leave me with many options. But surprisingly I've found lots of alternatives that keep me satisfied. The hardest part was the lack of caffeine, but every now and then I have tea or hot chocolate. My greatest substitute for the craving of a hot beverage has been Turmeric. I heat up a cup of hot water and add Turmeric Boost, this greatly helps with pain or inflammation when I do cheat. I drink a few mugs everyday for preventative measures. It has helped keep off inches, which has been a huge bonus!

What are some of your resolutions?

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Lulabelle Gifts & Gallery

I'm happy to announce my new online store, Lulabelle Gifts & Gallery

For a few months I brainstormed a business model wanting to have some sort of retail shop whether it be solely online or a brick and mortar store. For now, it is only an online business. For those who have followed my blog since the beginning know about my passion for travel and floral photography. I've always wanted a place to showcase my photography. But I also wanted the ability to create and sell gifts from other crafty artisans. Because gift giving and creating beautiful packages is such a joy to me, I wanted to extend this to a gift box subscription. From there it branched off to all-occasion gift baskets as well. 

There is a great lineup scheduled for each month with different themes for the Lulabelle Gift Box, and I'm so excited to put these boxes together to ship out! Gift boxes will be sent out on the 10th of the month. Orders placed after the 9th, will be shipped in January. There is only a few days left to get your December box(Products shown below are examples, there will be much more than two items in the box... promise!)

Curious to know why I named the business Lulabelle Gifts & Gallery? Check out the About page at Lulabelle Gifts & Gallery!

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Author Interview

I'm very excited to be able to share my author interview with you! Many people have asked questions about my book, 'Running Away to ...