Jamberry in Orlando

speaker labelWhen I first started speaking I was told I had to pick between being a makeup artist/beauty expert and being a speaker.  I was told I couldn’t do both; but as I see it, they go together!

We see ourselves in a certain light and how we see ourselves affects our thinking.  We need to feel good to “think” good.  If we are in pain— physical or emotional, it is harder to see the tender moments for what they are.  Instead, we are just gritting our teeth trying, to get through it.

IMG_1160This month, I spoke for Jamberry Nails in Orlando, Florida.   I was the keynote speaker and was able to share basic image concepts in the two hour program.  I spoke about what makes you beautiful, how have your clothes flatter your curves and entertained them with how to wear a scarf.  I say entertain because I literally tucked the scarfs into my clothes so that has I pulled them out— it was like magic… well kinda… because I don’t have the skills of a magician, but it was a fun surprise!  After I taught them how to use their scarves in versatile ways, each of the Executive Elites (that’s Jamberry’s top rock stars) were given a scarf along with other cool swag like my BOOK!   scarf tricks

Scarfs are a great way to bring the eye up to your face.  The extra fabric, added right at your chest area gives your figure more curve.  Here’s a sneaky beauty tip— the eye doesn’t care the size of the hourglass, just as long as it sees an hourglass shape.   Go on Pinterest and search for scarf tying ideas and play with what feels comfortable.  For me, I found stuffing them down my pants and hiding them in my blazer to NOT be the most flattering look.

Scarf style

I had so much fun working with Jamberry Nails.  They have these nail stickers they call “wraps”.  You heat them up and they stay on your fingers or toes with no chipping for weeks!  They have hundreds of patterns and I have become addicted.  I used the product before and in my professional opinion there is nothing better for your toes.  Seriously, they take just minutes to but on , no smelly application.  On my toes, they stay for at least 4 weeks and look great the whole time.  Here’s the bonus: right after you put them on you can climb into bed– no time waiting to dry.  I love beauty that is simple—that is what I have been doing for the last 15 plus years full time—making beauty simple through my makeup classes, image workshops and speaking.

A Perfect 10

Mom label

When my son Nathaniel turned ten, I was shocked– I have been doing this mothering thing for ten years!  Wow!  Those late night feedings, comforting by walking the hall endlessly, stubbed toes, chasing him down, playing dinosaur/cars/train, have now melded into one sporting event after another and conversations about… girls.  He is now 12.  Wow. Wow. The other moms warn me, “those” years– the teen years are coming.  I have decided that my son will, of course, be a charming delight through his teenage years.

I was.

Really!  Ask my parents.

My husband and are dismissing the occasional first grumpy clouds of teen angst as dangerous teenage “experimentation” I hear about.  It will end.   Not long after his 12th birthday, a young lady told him that she liked him… Oh my, lets stop this ride!!  It’s not that I don’t trust my son; I think he is beyond awesome.  This young lady is an exceptional girl; he has great taste. NathanielWe’re even friends with her parents.  Honestly, he should marry this girl!  What?  Yep, I can see the young man he is becoming.  He is great, he will be a great man like his dad, I have no doubt; but still I find myself looking for the breaks!

I want to go back to when he was ten.  Then his interest in girls was observational– if they sat near my son, what words were said, if he perceived them to be having a good day or not, and each day I heard an account of how certain young lady’s day went.  Now it’s bashful smiles and conversations—I find comfort in the fact that without asking him to he gives me a rundown of the conversation… and then it hits me.  My daughter is ten soon… whoa… that means somewhere in the neighborhood there is a boy observing her.  I feel protective and irritated that any boy could see her in a “interested” way.   Back OFF!

I saw a boy at church hold the door open for her… he looked at her.  He is a nice kid.  Great parents.  I felt totally protective.  Why is that I found my son’s interest in girls okay, humorous even and proud that he was picking out such level headed academically oriented kids; but a boy holds the door open for my daughter and I suddenly want to move to the hinterlands?

I remember the heartbreak of my own girlhood…  sometimes that hurt came from boys.  I was still in “the becoming” and wasn’t the girl they were anxious to dance with. Of course it hurt.  Then there were the other girls – teenage girls.  I didn’t get it. I just didn’t get the emotions that come with the roller coaster of girl doom.Ailsa

I realize now, with terror, I have no skillsets to raise a teenage girl.  My teen friends were mostly guys- who I knew I could beat in an arm wrestling match any day.  My daughter is a perfect ten.  She is sooo cute!  She has it all: looks, brains and personality.  So much of my character and becoming the woman I am today came was from being overlooked by my peers– getting to be in a corner watching the world go by.

I want her to stay as she is now, surrounded by her stuffed animals, playing with her American Doll and thinking I have all the answers.  I can take her turning ten, but let’s stop there– at the perfect age of ten.  That, to me, is a perfect ten.  This growing up stuff is overrated!

Last night I kissed my daughter as she was being tucked into bed and whispered to her as I have ten thousand times “Never forget how much I love you.”  I may not have all the answers to help her navigate the next ten years, but I can do what my mom did and see her as the perfect ten that each daughter of God is.

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Mature Eyes

Makeup Artist label

In 1989 big eye-shadow and big hair ruled.  I was 16-years-old and was bold with my makeup too—I wore brown eye-shadow hesitatingly applied.  Self-criticism held me back from enjoying those over the top eye-shadow styles of my youth.  In my book I talk about how I was able to find my way out of the cycle of not appreciating what I had.  Now, 25 years later, gravity has become an issue as I feel my wisdom growing, and I can totally appreciate what I have—beautiful, mature eyes.

If you only look at beauty magazines and Pinterest for your makeup application tips you may have laughed out loud as I cheer for my mature eyes—we could get really frustrated with our eyes because they are not the same as they were in 1989, 1979 or 1969.  Time happens and our eyes shift.  That shifting isn’t bad.  I believe that ageing is beautiful and I want to help you see it!

As an early makeup artist most of my work came from brides.  Those girls had the young eyes you find in all the magazines.  You can really do anything you want with eyes like that—just look at the crazy makeup tips you find.  I want the tips I share to help you feel more comfortable and see yourself as the beauty you are.  I believe we are all beautiful; we have just been trained to think that only perfection is beautiful.

I have a ton of makeup tips for mature eyes—but here is my concern:  if I just start posting these awesome tips you may not see what I am talking about.  You need to be retrained first.  You are beautiful.  You are perfectly normal.  What is being sold to you in magazines as “the standard” is not normal. 

Look at this:  

allwomenstalk.com

allwomenstalk.com

In this example, notice what you don’t see.  There are no wrinkles, no hinge on the outside of the eye.  We get this hinge wrinkle from the movement of the eye.

Now look at these:

Lady 2        Lady 1

 These ladies must have been moving their eyes too much.  With all these wrinkles, they must have had years of too much squinting in the sun.  The problem is… these are nine year old girls!  But THIS is the standard we are held to.

tamayou.com

tamayou.com

She is fabulously airbrushed to a standard of perfection that we all fail to meet.  Because it is not real.

 

Here is a picture of me (please notice what a good hair day I am having).

Hotness

I look stinkin’ hot and I am real.  You can tell this picture hasn’t been edited because look at this picture and notice what you see.

Hotness Eye

It’s like I have wrinkles—shocking!!  I look great for 41 as I use SeneGence skincare.  Look at this without makeup on and see the real “normal”.

The wrinkles, the downward pull of the eye.  Notice how you don’t see it on the first picture?  It is because I used my makeup as a tool to guide the beholder to where I want you to look.  (In my next makeup artist blog I am going to start teaching you those tricks.)

 

As you are out there looking at Pinterest, see if they are real tips on real faces or if the unreal standard of beauty will make you think that nine-year-old eyes are old because they are not airbrushed.

How to Embrace Your Inner Hotness Audiobook

author labelOne of the first questions I got from people when I wrote How to Embrace Your Inner Hotness was, “When is there going to be an audiobook?” You, my readers have said you want to hear the stories, not just see them.  I’ve heard you want to have it read to you as you drive, work, run errands.  I know the real truth, you want to hear my hilarious voice tell you jokes and have me entertain you!  Since my book shares many personal stories from my life, I knew I was the one that had to read it.  I’ve worked hard to record my audiobook, working to give life to the words through my voice.  I’m so excited to have the audiobook available for all of you.

Listen below for a sample from the audiobook.

If you pre-order before December 15th, your CD copy of How to Embrace Your Inner Hotness will be only $15. 

Click here to pre-order a copy.  CD copies of the book will be mailed out by December 15, and will arrive in the United States before Christmas.  Merry Christmas and enjoy!How-To-Embrace-Your-Inner-Hotness-Cover

 

Why I’m a Speaker

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When I was 13-years-old I sat in the front row of a crowded room while Scott Anderson spoke.  He delivered his speech with such passion, but never lost sight of his audience.  I could feel his emotions as he spoke, I could see the tear as he talked about his brother and his battle with drugs; and I could relate because my own brother was in the grip of addiction.  Scott shared a deeply personal story with a message for us.  Afterward, I waited for him, thinking how cool it would be to shake his hand.  If this had happened in today’s world, I would have taken a selfie with him.  I still love meeting the speakers that move me, shaking their hand, thanking them for their speech and taking a picture with them like we are old friends.

I didn’t think about being a speaker until late 2009.  When the thought came to me, it never left; at first I thought it was a sign I was going crazy.  I didn’t want to stand in front of people with the kind of vulnerability that I had seen and admired in speakers like Scott Anderson.   I didn’t see the skill sets building though years of leading classes and workshops on image and makeup.  But God was pushing me hard to it.  I was Leta.  That was awesome enough.  The amount of influence and interaction I had with others, my kids, hubby, my neighbors, friend’s – I was fulfilled, life was good.  But now, even though I’m a speaker, I’m still me, Leta, even with the embarrassing clapping.  I find it humbling that I have more influence and impact than I originally set out to have.

The speakers that I respect see the microphone not as an improvement to their status, ego or power, but as a gift that we have the honor to hold.  Jason Hewlett, Kelly Swanson, Chad Hymas, Dan Clark, Kathy Loveless—for those of you not in the speaking world, these are some of the greats.  They all view the stage as an honor.  They are consistently in high demand, and deservedly so; they are really good people.  They all have humility; they all have a deep knowledge that they are just people – they are normal people who get to do something incredible for their job.  They are not in it for the glory, or the money.  These speakers, like me, are in it because they feel pushed to speak.  It’s a big responsibility; every single time before I take the stage I pray.  I pray that my preparation was enough, that my message will connect, that I will make them laugh and then I get on stage.  It has taken me a lifetime to become what I am and really intense focus to prepare my message.  It didn’t just happen.   What you see on stage is me in HD (High Definition).  I am still me off stage, I’m still funny and prone to telling stories—but when I walk on stage it is no longer about me.  It’s about the audience, it’s about you.

Because the truth is, you are why I speak.  I speak to light up something in others, to make an impact, to know I really helped someone to laugh and think I really changed something—there are no words for that feeling.

Leta Speaking

Stranger Danger

Mom label

From the time we are little, we are taught about the danger of strangers.  We’re told scary things about how they lurk with menacing plans.

My dad owned a small trucking company.  When I say small, I mean small as in my mom was the other driver, and we kids were the set-up crew.

Dad was often the stranger who stopped and helped the car on the side of the road with the hood up.  It wasn’t uncommon for us to find a lady with a car full of kids.  Dad would tinker on her car and soon have it up and running.  He always had extra fan belts, duct tape and rope on hand, saying “you never know when someone could use it.”  The people he helped often thanked him for his kindness with tears running down their faces, but Dad didn’t do it for the glory or any reward.  He knew it was the right thing to do, and he quietly helped strangers.

I remember one late night in the middle of a snowstorm Dad saw a car stopped on the side of the freeway.  He stopped and helped get the man’s car running.  As my dad was leaving, the man gave him his card and said he wanted to help out my dad in return someday.  That man was an internationally known dentist.  It just so happened that not long after that stormy night, I was in a serious bicycle accident.  I knocked out three of my teeth.  That man was the one that came to the hospital, and made sure I got the care I needed; even though my parents were in-between insurance companies.  This stranger saved large portions of my upper jaw bone.

My mom loves people.  She says she never meets a stranger.  One time we were out hiking, my mom went ahead to make lunch for us at the car.  When I got to the end of the trail, I saw Mom sitting on the tailgate of our tan Toyota pickup truck surrounded by bikers, laughing with them and giving out sandwiches.  I imagine some women would be horrified to find a pack of bikers around her vehicle, but not my mom.  She offered them food and drew them with her wit.  She learned one of them was a fan of Shakespeare.  I’ll never forget seeing them quoting Shakespeare to each other over sandwiches of white bread, bologna, and that horrid cheese you have to unwrap the plastic from.

For me, the worst pains of my childhood didn’t come from strangers.  It came from those who were in a position of trust who violated that trust.

So, when I became a mother I had a decision to make; to teach my children about the danger of strangers or to teach them that they needed to trust their inner voice, regardless of who the person was.  I chose the latter.

This is what I tell my kids.  If someone asks you to keep a secret from your parents it isn’t okay—ever.  If someone touches you in your privates it isn’t okay—ever.  I tell them they are people and their feelings and opinions matter.  They know the voice of what is right and what is wrong speaks inside of them.  I tell them to listen to that voice, and if they do, they will recognize danger.  I tell them that while using that voice as a guide, they can have enriching experiences like meeting a biker that is a poet; a dentist that will save their jaw; a single mom whose tears of gratitude will teach lessons.  I try to show them, like my parents showed me, that helping others when it may not be convenient is always the right thing to do.

Our new Polish friends

I think they’re learning it.  The other day at Costco I started a discussion with a couple in the line behind me.   As we stood out by the carts they told me they were from Poland.  We talked of hard work and their years of living under communism.  They told me what makes a good Kielbasa sausage and the pride they feel in their children. They hugged and kissed me, told me I was beautiful and a good mother.  Soon after, my daughter told me she wants them over for dinner.  I do too… and after our discussion, I had better buy the right Kielbasa sausage.

Missing Tooth

WARNING, pictures of my dental surgery are below.

Makeup Artist label

 

 

I admit it, I love my wiggle tooth, but I didn’t always.

When I was nine I knocked out my front three teeth, and the excessive dental work began.  I hated the gap, it made it so obvious what missing and what was so clearly wrong with me.  The funny thing is that those feelings of inadequacy were really coming from me, and not from others.  Sure, kids teased me, but what made the situation worse was how I handled it.  In my book How to Embrace Your Inner Hotness I teach how to get over self-taunts and about how to change the perceptions of ourselves to see the radiant women we really are.

I’ve learned in my nearly 20 years of working with women in beauty, that we all have an area, feature, or something we just don’t like about ourselves.  Yes, there are makeup tricks that can minimize facial features to bring out our best; but I really love helping women see how beautiful they really are, and helping them start the real work—seeing themselves differently.  I can meet with you one-on-one through Skype.  I am here to help you see that you are far hotter than you think you are!

Through helping other women, I actually got so good at changing my perception that I LOVE my wiggle tooth!  I’m not saying that I want to have a retainer with a tooth attached my whole life… but then again, maybe I do!  The tooth is such a relatable subject and always an instant icebreaker.  I often joke that “I am soooo HOT, I don’t need all my teeth!”  It is funny– I like funny.   But Mr. Greene doesn’t love it so much… I guess when he takes his wife out a on a Oral Surgery romantic date, he would like to look across the table at a full toothed smile.  It’s particularly annoying to him because we have already paid to have it repaired, and I’m putting it off because it’s so funny.  I guess I can see his point of view on this.

So, on October 16th, I reluctantly dragged myself to the oral surgeon.  I was so sad—not only would my adorable toothlessness be gone, but I knew it was going to hurt.  I’m not really one who thinks being drilled on is fun.  With that said, I firmly believe in choosing to have fun in any situation — here in this picture with the drill head attached to the recently placed implant.

I would like to point out that my lip color survived all of this with grace— meaning it stays on like a rock star!  I forgot to take pictures that night of my still perfect makeup because I was high—you know, legally drugged up—since it really hurts to get drilled on.  The important thing that every girl IMG_0079needs coming out of oral surgery is to know that her makeup is still there and looking awesome.  I can help with you with that part, but the missing-tooth hotness, you will have to take care of on your own.  I can show you how to bring out your best without looking like you tried too hard.  If you want amazing skin, and want to know where to put your makeup and the right colors just for you that stay looking perfect all day until you take it off— I can help with that.Tooth X-ray

As for my tooth, in four months, after the bone heals around the implant, I will get a new set of not-as-hot-though-very-expensive-teeth.  I firmly believe that Mr. Greene will miss the wiggle tooth.  Although, if we’re being completely honest… probably not.

 

 

The Words our Mirrors Say- a deeper look into the book

While writing my book, many people, places and events inspired me.  This blog is to help look deeper into the inspiration behind some of the moments in my book, How to Embrace Your Inner Hotness.

The quote above was inspired by a woman I met at one of my Hotness Workshops.  She was a mother of four children that were close in age.  As so many of us do in that process, she lost a tinge of sanity, a lot of peace and the figure she had before she became a mother.  At the workshop, she shared with the group a powerful story of how she learned about positive self-talk.

One day, after she got out of the shower, she looked in the mirror and felt that what she saw was not flattering.  She was struck by the changes in her body.  She said, “I grabbed by tummy, disgusted with myself that I was this fat!  How could I let this happen?!  I started to call myself names… and then I felt something stop me.  Hadn’t this body birthed four healthy babies?  That was a gift.  I felt an impression that I was never to be so unkind to myself again.  I felt that it was from God.”

After she told her story, the room was quiet.  We all knew we were guilty of being unkind to ourselves and even bullying ourselves at times.  Her experience spoke that truth into our hearts, in a clearer way than I could ever express.  The truth was that God doesn’t want us to feel poopy about ourselves.  Don’t be mean to that amazing body you have!  It was made ON purpose for a purpose.

Choose to be nice to you.  Honor yourself with your thoughts.  Feed your mirror kind things.

If you want help with this, my book is available by clicking here.

Jamberry Nails

The company Jamberry nails has a very cool concept.  Instead of waiting for what feels like eternity (at least to me) for your nails to dry, you can use these nail wraps.  They’re made from vinyl and once you know what you’re doing, it’s really easy to apply.  Even better- the wraps last for weeks.completed nails

You all know I do makeup, all day long.  Because of that, I love long-lasting, easy beauty.  I love looking great without the fuss.  I’ve found Jamberry fits in perfectly with that mentality.  They’re gorgeous and I particularly like them on my toes.

So, when Jamberry called me to speak for them, I was not very dignified on the phone.  I was so excited to have the opportunity to speak for a company that does something so cool.

jamberry logo

Jamberry organized an amazing show for their executive level leaders, and I brought the Hotness™ to share.  While I know you’re dying to hear the details, I can’t tell you all about it because they asked me to participate in the same show again.  I’ll be traveling with them to Orlando, Florida in January.  Jamberry treated me very well and even gave me the swag bag they gave their hardest working leaders.  All of the attendees received a copy of my book at the show.

Recently, I also spoke at “The Women Empowered Conference” put on by the Ogden/Weber Chamber.  They gave each attendee my book in the swag bag.  It’s such a thrill to be able to speak and have the attendees be able to learn more about How to Embrace their Inner Hotness!

I Killed the Little Pig…

Kids with Guinea pigI killed my kid’s guinea pig.  I didn’t mean to.

I imagine being a guinea pig can’t be too exciting- living in a little cage, walking in your own poop- and for a reason that I can’t understand- you (the guinea pig) pooped and peed in your own food bowl.  This sort of behavior doesn’t seem to bother the little pigs.  They are super cute and the kids love them.  I like them too.  I had to pick a favorite, it would be Ricky.  Ricky wasn’t prone to peeing on you like Lucy would.   Technically Ricky was girl (for better population control).  My son “owned” Ricky and my daughter “owned” Lucy.  Back to my issue— I just can’t imagine how living in your own mess in a small cage can be a good life.  

I had this dream that we portioned off an area on the front deck with chicken wire and make an enlarged enclosure for the piggies.  They could run wild, poop and pee to their heart’s content– and with weekly cleanings, such a large area wouldn’t be so bad.  Full of this vision, my daughter made little houses from boxes with doors and windows cut in.  She attached several of them with little tunnels.  We even put up a blanket for shade and as a wind breaker, and an area for the guinea pigs to hide from the Kestrel hawks in our area.  Really, we thought of everything for their comfort and happiness.  We just knew life for Ricky and Lucy was going to be awesome at the Greene house.  We brought out their little cage and opened the door to their new enclosure—one that provided almost total freedom.  We reveled in them exploring.  I thought I was rocking the mom job.Spoiled Guinea Pig

Well, evidently guinea pigs are susceptible to heat stroke— I found Ricky peacefully dead the next day.  I felt sick.  I ended up telling them that night… and tears flowed, sad bitter tears… and I remembered the pain of my cat dying when I was young (I found my cat, a dead (partially eaten) bird… and my young CSI mind deduced the cat choked on a bird bone.)  The passing of this guinea pig was the first Pet Death of my children’s life—and it was my fault!  My hubby, in just five minutes of Google-smarty-pants research discovered that guinea pigs don’t deal so well with the heat.  I didn’t even think of that when I made their awesome new home.  I thought the outdoors would be heavenly for them… Bad pun? 

That night, as midnight was approaching, I was outside with a head lamp burying our dearly departed guinea pig.  My neighbors, who were up late painting, had a horror movie moment when they looked out the window and saw me burying things in the dark of the night.

So…I killed Ricky.

pig4I couldn’t apologize to my kids enough.  They didn’t seem to blame me, but I sure felt bad.   When kids are young, a mom can kind of solve everything.  I want to protect my kids, hold them and make life as perfect as possible, while I prepare them for everything I can—and just like I tried for Ricky, I want to make a good home for them.  When I was looking out for dangers for the guinea pigs, I thought of the wind and of the small Kestrel hawks that frequent our street; and I tried to protect Ricky and Lucy from those things.  But it was what I didn’t think about—what I didn’t see as a threat—that ended up getting to Ricky.  As I held my tear-soaked kids and wondered what snot was being wiped on me, I felt guilty.  My kids are getting to the age that I can’t soothe every pain with the ease that I could when they got a stubbed toe at age three—and now, they’re old enough that I may not see what dangers are lurking for them.  The one thing I hope is that I am being a good enough mom that they will have the good sense to escape the hawks of life, and that they will ask for help when they need it.  

We all have a weakness to something.  For a guinea pig, it’s the heat (how is that possible?  They are from South America!  It’s hot there.)  For me, I like to sleep.  I love sleep— it gets in the way of getting everything I would like to accomplish done.  I also have a weakness when dealing with manipulative people.  I don’t like it.  I think I would die of exposure if I had to live in poopiness. We all have our thing. 

My daughter told me she forgave me because it was an accident and she knew I was trying to do something good.  My son told me that he was glad that Ricky didn’t suffer and he didn’t blame me either.  I guess that is the most we can do— just do our best and hope we don’t kill the tender feelings of others.  We can go through our lives and try not to cause pain purposely and when we do—we can take responsibility for it.   We can apologize, and when needed, stay up late (even when we are tired) to bury the pain we cause and ask for forgiveness.

There is something else we should learn from guinea pigs— don’t walk around in your own poop.  If you have read my book you know what I am talking about.  What does that have to do with my story?  Not much, but it’s still a pearl of wisdom. 

I should mention…we have two cats they are doing well.