A Little Sparkle!

I’m going to break my own rule.  I can’t help it.  I’m so excited and I just have to share it!  Last week, The Skin We’re In bloggers traveled together to Las Vegas for Apriori Beauty’s 1st annual Making Life Beautiful celebration.  While we were there we were showered with gifts.  Each of us received gorgeous bouquets and beautiful silver charm bracelets from Links of London complete with charms made specially for our company.  Then Jamie and I were given silver pens from Tiffany & Co. as a thank you for training.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better I learned I was one of 11 award winners in our company.  On the last night of our convention/celebration they held the awards ceremony.  First they announced the top 3 retailers.  I waited to see if my name was called, but no.  Then they announced the top 3 Great Start Consultants.  Given the fact that I was not a “new” consultant, I didn’t expect to be in this group.  I was correct.  The last 5 awards were awards of Excellence.  Points had been awarded for sales, sponsoring and promotions that indicated a balanced and consistently growing business.  While my team screamed “Kansas!” when asked where we thought the #5 consultant was from, I secretly thought, “No, not yet.”  I mean, after all, I knew one of them was mine.  Why not dream big?  Number 5 turned out to be a teammate.  We were all so excited for her!  They mosied on up the list until there were two of us left.  When they announced my upline and only Platinum Director was number 2, I knew what that meant.  I was beyond excited for my dear friend who received an outrageously stunning diamond broach.  However, I was simultaneously trying to breath and not throw up.  I knew I had to walk up to the front and onto that stage in just a moment.  I desperately wanted to avoid tears as I knew the mascara would run and I didn’t want the “ugly cry” caught in photographs.

They called my name and I managed to avoid tripping and the ugly cry.  I kept breathing (barely) and I didn’t throw up.  When we were finished with all the photos with all the award winners I opened my gift.  I was back to gasping for air.  There in my hand were the most spectacular white gold and pave’ diamond earrings I had ever seen!  They were dazzling, but also designed in such a way that I could wear them every day.

I have worn those earrings every day since and I’ve discovered something.  They make me taller and apparently more credible.  Sparkle lends credibility.  Who knew?  As friends have seen the “photo-palooza” that took place on facebook upon our return I have suddenly received urgent requests to try my skin care.  Maybe an award of any kind would have done the trick, but I can’t help but think my new sparkle gave them all a “bright” new idea.

"The Skin We're In" bloggers aka "The Fab 5"


If these photos make your skin itch for organic, performance based skin care, let me know.  I’ll send a complimentary teaser pack your way.  I’ll even pack some sparkle.



Pass the Ritalin, please!

Honestly, how ADD am I?  OK, maybe it’s not attention deficit disorder, but I prefer that over early onset Alzheimer’s.  I guess that’s not funny considering today’s news about Tennessee Volunteeer coach, Pat Summit.  I love her, “I’m not giving in.  I’m fighting this!” attitude.  I just can’t seem to get everything done that needs to get done in a day.  My plate is full and it keeps growing.  It’s not that I need to learn to say no,  it’s that I don’t WANT to say no.  I apparently have either an exaggerated sense of self or of time.  I know, we’re all busy. Blah, blah, blah……  Really?  Some people are busier than others.

This week I think I can run a preschool, teach 6 two year olds to recognize the letter B and maybe even the sound it makes (I know, reaching.).   I also plan to attend 3 networking meetings, make record sales in my Apriori Beauty business, have brunch with a friend, take part in a fundraiser, host a tea for military wives, finalize plans for a fundraiser two weeks from now and find two more sponsors for the Nutcracker Tea Party in December.  I also met with a woman who is fundraising for a safe home for women and girls who have been rescued locally from the sex trade.  Sex trade in Kansas!  You betcha!  How do you say no to that?!

Still, my house may be a mess and I may be behind on my blog, but I feel blessed to live this life.  I’m employed (I’ll never fire myself!), I know where my next meal is coming from, my children are healthy and my grandchildren are, well, grand.  Still, I can’t help thinking that if I could just convince my doctor that the reason I don’t have everything done is because I just can’t focus, maybe I could get a little help in the form of a small pill.  Do you think I can get a prescription for a personal assistant?

This week, promise yourself at least 30 minutes just for you.  I’m not really unique.  Most of the women I know are up to their eyeballs, too.  Many more so than me.  They forget to take care of themselves, too.  As for me, I am squeezing in a mani/pedi tomorrow.  Happy Thursday!


Follow Maria on twitter at mholiday or on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/abmaria

“Vacation with Grandma”

Oh my gosh!  Where did July go?  It’s been a month since I blogged.  So sorry my friends.  I was just having too much fun!  This year my granddaughters who live much too far from me came for a 2 week visit with Grandma and Grandpa.  We met my daughter half way to make the swap.   Earlier we had decided that we would have to swap vehicles for the duration as my fun little car will not accommodate  three, yes THREE, carseats.   Upon meeting, the oldest, 6 year old “K” wrapped her arms around me and immediately asked, “Grandma, why is it SOOOO HOT in Kansas?!”  I smiled and said, “So we can go swimming together!”

Now I still have small children in my home every day so I figured I was more prepared than the average grandma to bring a 6 yr, 4 yr and and a 10 month old home for a couple of weeks.  My house is full of toys, books and crafty things.  I still have a crib and a high chair in the kitchen.  After all, my other granddaughter is local and spends lots of time with us.  Monday through Friday small people arrive to learn and play at my house.  My daughter-in-law and I take turns leading activities.  If I need to meet with an Apriori client I can.  If she needs to run an errand she can.  She gets to pursue her teaching interest and stay with her infant daughter.  I get to fill my need to teach and love on children with the flexibility that allows me to build my Apriori business.  I thought adding 3 more children to the clan would just add to the fun.  In many ways it did, however, I had overlooked something very important.  Those children go home each day and my evenings are my own.

Sometimes I cook, sometimes my husband and I go out.  We usually decide as we’re getting hungry.  If it’s 8:00, so what?   I often meet with friends or clients in the evenings.  I watch my recorded Y&R,  go shopping and run those little errands.  I answer emails, check fb, follow up with my consultants and write my blog.  It’s my “me” time.  For two weeks in July, I was reminded of how so many of my friends and business partners live.   First, I had to have a meal plan that could be executed by 6:30 at the latest.  The baby needed to be bathed so I could have her fed and asleep around 7:30.  Back to clean up dinner and do a load of laundry.  If I hurried or grandpa was available to help I could squeeze in time for a swim or some other fun with the older two.  “K” was ready and willing for bed by 9:00, but 4 year old “T” is a night owl.   Not wanting to miss a thing I had to convince her to go to bed each night.  Somewhere around 10:00 I could sit down at the computer to do some work or watch my show.  There was only one problem.  I was too exhausted!

I’m proud of how well everything went.  “T” learned to spell her name.  “K” learned to tie her shoes.  Baby “A”  learned to enjoy the pool and her bath and DIDN’T learn to walk while she was here.  Her mommy made that a stipulation knowing she was very close.  We spent time with their Great Grandma, visited my hometown’s “After Harvest Festival” where the girls went to their first carnival.   We went horseback riding, visited the library, made the obligatory trips to Deanna Rose Farmstead and Kalidiscope and went swimming 4 different places.  We were busy and I was tired, but I wouldn’t change a thing.  I got to share some new experiences with the girls and make some memories with them.    We made the absolute most of the time we had together.

When it was time to go home there were lots of tears.  The girls missed their parents and were ready to be home, but we had grown so close in those two weeks and it was hard for them to say good-bye knowing it would be a while before we were together again.  I miss them for sure, but I am grateful that I could go out to dinner with my husband tonight and not worry about what time it was.  I’m also grateful to have been able to sit and write this blog without one single interruption.  I might still peek in their room and check the crib before I head to bed though.

The Tour de France

In a normal month, I would probably watch about 5 hours of tv for the entire month.  It is just not my thing…HOWEVER July is a different story.  I am a Tour de France junkie. I LOVE IT, in fact I am listening to it as I write this.  I started watching in the early Lance Armstrong days and haven’t stopped since.  Why, you may ask?  I used to do some bike racing, so that is part of it, but even someone who isn’t a cyclist could easily find themselves enamored with this.  There are super fast sprint finishes, unbelievable mountain climbs, teamwork and very complex strategies.  The teamwork and shear determination of these men is what I think keeps me coming back.  The race really reminds me of most of

Independence Day

The Fourth of July is over, the hot dogs are eaten, the beach towels are washed and in the dryer and most of the fire cracker debris has been swept up.  My dog is feeling much better.  As much as I love the fireworks, poor Rudy is not a fan.  It’s exhausting barking and running from one end of the house to the other in an attempt to ward off the noisy evil that threatens his people.  Today I just tried to get back into my routine while recovering from a busy, albeit fun, 3 day weekend.

It was a great weekend.  Four generations of family and friends gathered together for several days of fun.  It was what you might expect.  Extended family came for the week with their campers.  There were horseshoes, washers and lots of ladder golf.   Everyone enjoyed the pool and the kids did some fishing at the pond.  Men and women alike did their part to feed the 30-50 people that gathered on any given day.  There was never a shortage of food or fellowship.  One of my favorite moments happened during the private fireworks show on Sunday night.  Everyone gathers at one end of the quarter-mile long drive on benches and lawn chairs.  Most of the children were in the front and I happened to be sitting right behind them.  The girls squealed in delight and the boys wondered aloud what it would be like to shoot in the air like a rocket.  As one particularly large firework erupted so did the 8-year-old in front of me.  “This is my favorite day of the whole year!”  That’s a testament to the kind of fun we have at the farm each year.

It’s one of my favorite days as well.  I can’t imagine living in any other country.  We may be living in an economic downturn, but I get to choose what I will do for a living.  I live in a home considered palatial in many parts of the world.  I travel freely and the chances of a riot anywhere I’m going to be are, well, let’s just say it’s more likely that I’ll be injured watching a fireworks display.  I love my country and I’m proud of the way we pull together to help each other.  I’m also proud to be a part of teaching the next generation how to properly celebrate the greatest country in the world.  Happy Birthday, America!  I’m already looking forward to your next birthday party!

Life’s little twists

So I grew up telling myself (and my Mother) that I wasn’t going to get married or have children because I was going to be a career woman with an important corporate position.  I didn’t need a man or little kids holding me back.  Ah, it’s funny how things work out though, isn’t it?  Despite my determination, I did get married and considered children but I held firm that I was NOT going to be a stay at home mom.  No way, uh-uh!  I was too career focused to sit at home teaching my kids how to color within the lines.

Well…I may have gone back on my word a bit.  I am now happily married with 2 little girls and am classified by some as a Stay at Home Mom.  Of course, I am not an SAHM by definition because I run my own business and am an actor/model but I do stay home with my girls.  And to be honest, I LOVE it!  Yes, you heard me, I love it.  I never thought I would but now,  I can’t imagine putting my girls in day care full time and working in the corporate world again.  I did enough time working for someone else.  And, thanks to my flexibility I’ve gotten to see so many of those little leaps kids take; first steps, first  words, first tantrums (okay, those I could do without).  So many moments I will cherish forever.

Today, I have the best of both worlds…I get to enjoy watching my children grow up and even teach them how to color while at the same time staying true to the career minded me by nurturing my business.  My life truly has taken some unexpected yet fulfilling turns.

Attachment Parenting?

Ok, I’ll start by saying that I am definitely going to offend someone tonight.  After you get over it, I hope you’ll think a little about what I have to say.  I recently heard about “attachment parenting”.   I was introduced to it by a young mother who also explained that her 21 month old didn’t nap and had a “need” to climb.  RED FLAG!  I have an in-home daycare that I have operated for 14 years.  I taught public school before that for 10 years.  I have two education degrees, 3 children and 4 grandchildren.  I knew before this mother ever arrived at my door that “attachment parenting” meant “no discipline” for this mother.

Now this parenting style must have quite a following if their extensive website is any indication.  I spent quite a bit of time on it and found plenty that any good parent or person with basic knowledge of child development could agree with.  I also found quite a bit that I think is utter garbage!  I’m going to concentrate for the purposes of this blog on their take on discipline.

First of all, discipline is not punishment.  Discipline means teaching a child to control their impulses.  Not interrupting, sharing, not running into the street, and not throwing a full on temper tantrum when angry are examples of the type of impulse control a child learns when taught discipline.  Being disciplined is how one learns self discipline and it is absolutely required for a child to be happy and healthy.

Attachment Parenting Scenario:  3 1/2 year old girl is throwing a temper tantrum and refusing to come in the house because she is angry/upset that she can’t go with her 6 year old brother to his friends house.  Mom has a guest for a business meeting waiting at the kitchen table.  Mom asks the child to come in 12 times!  Finally, she brings the child in and shuts the door.  Child hits mom repeatedly screaming at her the entire time.  Mom gives her a “time-in” in her room to calm down.  Child slams door 3 times.  By the time mom returns to the table to the professional waiting for her the child is on her way back down the stairs.  She climbs on mom’s lap and her disruptive behavior ends the meeting prematurely.  Mom apologizes for her child being over tired because of a morning play date and asks to reschedule the appointment.

This kind of thing makes me nuts!  Seriously?  Why do so many parents let their kids run the show?  Do they believe this is going to make their children productive and well socialized?  I think they do it because they are afraid and they are lazy.  They are afraid their children won’t like them and they are too lazy to actually do what is best for their child.  They just don’t them to be unhappy.  They are afraid that disciplining their children will lead to their unhappiness.  Unfortunately, the exact opposite is true.

Now I understand that this child was tired, but why?  A morning appointment out followed by a play date is enough to tire anyone especially a 3 year old.  A nap could have avoided the entire episode and left mom quiet time for her business appointment.  The child wouldn’t have felt ignored during the meeting, wouldn’t have even known that her brother was gone to be upset and would have been much more pleasant for dinner time and the evening.  Why didn’t she nap?  Well, mom can’t get her to stay in her bed unless she is laying down with her.  This child has not been taught to self-soothe.  Of course, the attachment parenting site states that children can’t and shouldn’t be expected to self soothe.  Ridiculous!  What do people think pacifiers and blankets are for?

So how happy was this child?  Not at all.  She was tired, frustrated and angry.  Frankly, so was her mother.  Please parents, for the love of your children, teach them that everything can’t go their way all the time, that other people matter.  You’ll be raising empathetic, self-aware children that will be well adjusted.  They will be happier and they will love you for it.

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