Hoopla 2015!

When I joined my second side business last year, I decided, no matter when or where it was, there was no way I would miss this company’s very first conference. Well, it was last weekend and it was amazing! Compared to being with 15,000 women last year, being with just 500 was very different. But it was such a great experience. The speakers and training and product demos could have been anywhere. But the best part was that many of us had been with the company since Day 1, and we knew each other online, and it was so awesome to finally meet these women in person! That was really the main highlight for me, because honestly, by the time conference rolled around, I was questioning whether I wanted to go or to stick with this at all, but having met those women, I am going to make the effort to keep with this as long as I can :o)

I was supposed to fly to Dallas on Thursday with another Designer from my area, but she ended up cancelling at the last minute due to some family issues. So I traveled by myself, and then it turned out my Director arrived at the airport about the same time I did, so I got to meet her for the first time (she’s amazing, more on her later) and we shared an Uber to the hotel. Oh, and Uber! The hotel was really not walking distance to anything, so this is the way we got around town all weekend, and it worked out great! Thursday we mostly hung around the hotel and greeted people as they arrived. A bunch of us went out to this Mexican place for dinner, and I’m sure it would have been really fabulous, but by that point, between traveling and a slight time difference and just the long day I’d had, I really wasn’t feeling well, so I barely touched my food. I just crashed in bed.

Friday was the day most people were arriving, so again we kind of claimed a spot in the hotel and greeted people as they arrived. The co-founder and “Customer Advocate” of Tiny Torch happened to be in town for another conference, and I was able to get him to come by and do a little meet and greet with some of our Designers! Ok, it was mostly with me, but it was great to meet him in person, he’s a super guy, and I think it at least piqued others’ interest in the service – there’s been a lot of interest and questions since I’ve been home, so I will be putting together a little guide to show people how I use TT to organize my businesses and schedule. Check-in opened, and we all got our swag bags full of new product! Plus, we were able to meet home office staff who, again, we’d been interacting with for the past year. Leadership training was during the day Friday, so the rest of us had free time until our first general session that afternoon. That night was our “team party,” which my director hosted in her suite (I got to help set up cupcakes!). Really cool to meet the whole team and celebrate accomplishments within our group.

Saturday started early with lots of training and special announcements. It was a long day of sessions, and then I went out with some other girls from my team for dinner at this cool diner. (Anytime in this story that I’m not mentioning where we ate, it’s probably because I had a meal from one of the food trucks that lined the sidewalk outside the hotel. Again, it was kind of removed from everything, so the trucks were really the only option if you didn’t want expensive hotel food, and didn’t have time to go out somewhere.) After dinner, it was time to get ready for our dance party! This was a really nice event, we had a whole big ballroom in the hotel with DJ and dance floor, photo booth, little sweets and cakes, cash bars featuring a special cocktail just for us, and lots of ladies just going nuts meeting each other and getting pictures. I got to meet a Designer who joined in the very beginning with me, and we actually spoke on the phone when we first were starting because she had never done anything like this before and was nervous. Guess what – she’s now one of the top Designers in the company! I hadn’t had a chance to meet her before because, as a leader, she had been kind of segregated from us, so it was so awesome to meet and congratulate her in person! Also hung out with my roommate (not on my team) and some other local Designers from PA, and we are going to try to hook up back home!



Our last day, Sunday, got off to kind of a slow start – I think some people were partying a little too hard at the dance party! Our “Chief Happiness Officer” serenaded us on his saxophone, then gave a really inspirational speech (which I think had the unintended effect of inspiring me to do something else, but .. at least it was inspirational). Everyone slowly started checking out and making their way home. This time I had a travel companion (my roommie), and our flight wasn’t until later, so we checked out and then hung out in “our” spot in the hotel, saying goodbye to people. (Cool thing that happened: I was there in the lobby and saw a home office person I recognized and hadn’t met yet. Hoopla was officially over, but I just went over and said I wanted to introduce myself and thank her for all she did for us. “I said, “You don’t know me, but my name is [first name],” and she said, “Oh, [first name last name]?” That just made my day – she knew me too!) We got an alert that our flight was delayed, but still headed to the airport at the scheduled time anyway, sharing a shuttle with another girl from my team who we just met there in the lobby! We grabbed dinner at the airport and killed some time before heading to the gate. Somehow, despite being delayed, we made up time in the air, and actually arrived home a little ahead of schedule! GG not only picked me up at the airport, he actually came inside to meet me, which was really sweet :o)

And since there wasn’t a good place in the narrative to include this, I will just add that my director is an amazing woman. The more time I spent with her, the more I learned about her. She’s had such an unbelievable life, and is really an inspiration. She lives every day with a condition that basically feels like she has a permanent migraine, and will probably someday need brain surgery, but still takes care of her family and has had such amazing success in her business. She has experienced heartbreaking losses. Her three children are fabulous, and she has been a surrogate, carrying pregnancies for other families, multiple times! But the main thing I love about her is that she is not like most of the other leaders in this company, all “rah-rah” and sometimes aloof. She’s just a normal person who does not like being in the spotlight, who has achieved great success and knows that we all can, too.

FabFitFun Summer 2015 Box

I will start off by saying, I purchased the Spring box after finding out what was in it and deciding I wanted it, and ended up disappointed with about 1/3 of it. Once I was in, I saw that I would be getting the Summer one automatically and decided to just go with it anyway, sight unseen. I love everything in this box! I’m so glad I kept the subscription! If you find this post helpful and choose to join, I’d be honored if you used my referral code for $10 off!

  • Wren 14Kt Gold and Black Sapphire Necklace: I received a small rose gold heart with a tiny black sapphire embedded in it. I didn’t know what this was going to be, but it’s so cute! Even though I’m selling my own necklaces and wear them 101% of the time, I had to wear this one to work the very next day! (Bonus – it would look great layered.) Love it, as I’m kind of obsessed with rose gold right now :o)
  • The Everyday Wireless Speaker by FabFitFun: I haven’t tried using this yet, but mine is hot pink. You can either plug in your audio source, or pair it wirelessly with your phone (it also has a microphone so you can use it as a speakerphone). It has an FM radio, and a carabiner clip so you can hang it from your beach umbrella or wherever…
  • Inkling Scents Sultry Roll-On Oil Perfume: When I first opened my box, something smelled really good. Turns out it was this perfume, which wasn’t very tightly sealed (and I see other people’s bottles leaked all over their boxes). It smells nice, and the small roller bottle would be great for travel, I’m just not sure the scent lasts that long…
  • Gorge “I’ll Make You Look Amazing” Daily Spray: Very excited for this spray, which claims to be a leave-in conditioner that offers heat protection, among other things. It has a really nice lemon/coconut scent, that dissipates pretty quickly. I sprayed a few squirts into my hands, and then ran them through my hair, to make sure it got where I wanted. So far, so good!
  • Tarte LipSurgence Lip Gloss: I think FFF released a preview of this and I was looking forward to it, but honestly this was probably one of my least favorite things in the box. I just do not like the texture of this gloss. It claims to have “plumping” properties, but I didn’t really notice any change there, either.
  • FabFitFun x CosmoBody Jump Rope: This hot pink rubber jump rope has really nice, cushy handles, and if I had ever in my life been able to successfully jump rope, I would have been very excited to get it. However, I’m just not that coordinated, so I gave it to GG – the pink color will inspire him to man up and work out.
  • Scratch Nail Wraps: You know I’ve been trying all kind of nail wraps lately!! Per the package, “Scratch is an LA based company that works with artists to create unique nail wrap designs.” These are a white nail wrap with different patterns of pink triangles on them – kind of ’80s retro, and perfect for summer. There are eight different sizes, and like the Sally Hansen wraps, they come in a sealed package and must be used within one month of opening. A small orange stick and nail file were also included. I will report back on these!
  • Headspace 3-Month Subscription: Probably won’t use this, but it’s a card to redeem for three free months of an app called Headspace that guides you through a series of meditations. Gwyneth Paltrow uses it, sooo…
  • Hello Konjac Cleansing Sponge: This is a little white half-sphere sponge. You run it under water to soften it, then use it to wash your face, with or without cleanser. There was no other information on the package, and the card from FFF doesn’t really have much info either, so I’m not sure if the benefit is exfoliation, or if the konjac vegetable fibers it’s made from impart some type of nutrients to your skin or something, just that it’s “an all-natural way to restore the skin and balance your face’s pH level.” (I also just got a Clarisonic, so who knows what’s going on with my face right now. It’s not a very controlled experiment.)
  • Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Soothe Spray Moisturizer: Call me boring, but I’d been thinking of trying this lotion and was so excited to see it in the box – a full-size can, too! It has a nice cool cucumber scent, and the light spray just stays where you put it until you rub it in, no running down your legs or anything. It’s certainly plenty moisturizing for summer.

In total, the FabFitFun Summer 2015 box contains over $275 in product, and can be yours for only $50 – $40 if you use my code! I think it’s definitely worth it, it was a fun treat and is packed with products that are perfect for summer. At first I was kind of wary of joining an automatic subscription service, but now I’m really excited to see what the Fall brings!

Photo borrowed from Hello Subscription – check out their post for more detailed photos of the products!

Early Adopter

Originally I had titled this post “Things I’ve been doing since before they were cool,” but that sounds like I’m such a hipster. Although there are lots of things that I’m late getting into (e.g. I didn’t have a smartphone until, like, forever), I feel like there’s a lot of things I’ve been doing that have only recently become very popular.

Greek Yogurt: GG and I were talking the other night about how Greek yogurt has really taken over. At our regular supermarket, Greek yogurt probably fills about 2/3 of the yogurt case, and even the regular brands seem to have a Greek version. But I have been eating it for years! When I started eating Greek yogurt, you couldn’t even get it at the regular supermarket, they only had it at specialty stores like Trader Joe’s. And there was one flavor: Greek! Want honey in it? Add in your own honey! I like that there are so many options and it’s so easy to get now, but I’m sure the trend will die down eventually. (I hope Australian style is the next trend – that stuff is delicious!)

BB Cream: I used to read this makeup/beauty message board and years ago they were all going nuts over BB cream, this lotion/foundation/SPF combo coming out of Korea. It was huge in Korea and there were many brands to choose from, that you could order online. I picked a brand and purchased a sampler pack so I could try out six of their options. The differences were so minimal, I actually made myself a spreadsheet to track what each bottle said and what my impression of each was! Anyway, I ended up choosing a favorite and ordering a full-size bottle, and I’ve been using it ever since! Of course, now every mainstream makeup company has their own version of BB cream (and now there’s “CC cream” and other iterations).

Quinoa: This is another food that I discovered long ago at Trader Joe’s – thank you for helping me be ahead of the curve, TJ’s! I remember cooking quinoa back in college, circa 2003-2004. There are people today who have never heard of or tried quinoa, even though it seems to be in everything lately!

Edamame: I found this in high school (around 1999-2000?) from – guess where – Trader Joe’s! I used to get the bags of frozen edamame, cook it all up at once, and store it in a container in the fridge, to snack on with a little salt. I specifically remember one time I went to the movies with a friend and we sneaked in our own little containers of edamame in a backpack for a snack. I was just talking to someone recently who had never tried edamame (or quinoa)!

Etsy: Per Wikipedia, Etsy launched on June 18, 2005. Looking at my profile on the site, I joined on Dec. 15, 2005. I actually did a bit of selling back in the olden days – first little things that I had sewn, then I got into knitting adult and baby hats, and I also started sewing cloth pads. Someone asked me to knit a red and white Where’s Waldo had for a costume one year, and that led to my selling thirty-three more (I just counted) over the next couple Halloweens. I probably could still sell a bunch at Halloween time, just through people searching for them, but the site has changed a ton since it started. You used to be able to launch and promote your business solely through the site; now you really need to establish and market yourself outside Etsy, and just use the site as your shopping cart application. I still do shop there frequently for gifts and and for myself!

Nailipop Review 2!

I hope nobody thought my Nailipop review was really negative. Overall, it was pretty positive – they weren’t perfect, but also I kind of expected a lot.

So I gave Nailipop another shot (I had to, I had more stickers). This time, I took a little more care with application, trimming things that didn’t fit quite right (minimal effort), and being more careful about filing the edges. I also painted over everything with a clear top coat. The results were pretty amazing. I used Galaxy Party, and got more compliments on this than any crazy manicure thing I have ever done! Not just from friends and coworkers, but from the girl at the Target customer service desk, waitresses, and other random people. It is a gorgeous pattern, and really striking when it makes up your entire manicure!

I applied them on a Sunday night, and they had a pretty good run, lasting until Thursday, when I decided to switch them up for something else I’d been wanting to try. The background of the Handcrafted Roses stickers is the exact same shade of green as Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in “Mint Sorbet.” I had a couple leftover stickers from my first attempt with Nailipop, so I cut them down to ring finger size and used them as accent nails! I love the way they turned out, and they really lasted well.

After a brief break, my most recent mani featured The Guardian, for the 4th of July, of course! I didn’t even go that many places over the holiday, but I got tons of compliments on them at a small party I went to Friday night, and at my band concert on the 4th. This design was definitely a hit!

So yes, I highly recommend Nailipop, the product is fantastic (I know they don’t make them, they source them from elsewhere), and customer service is really top notch. They are very responsive and active on social media, and love seeing customer pics, so share them if you’ve got them!