Tag Archives: leta greene

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.

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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.

Snake Cinnamon Rolls!

I’m a “working mom” and also what I call a “traditional mom”. I cook dinner, volunteer in my kids classes, and have lots of cuddle reading times!

I cook dinner almost every night because I enjoy that my family can get together and talk about the day.  And also, not starve. They like to eat regularly… they are weird that way.
Notice I didn’t say “I like to cook”. I can cook. I’m a great cook. I assume that I would even enjoy doing so if it weren’t an everyday thing!

With Pinterest these days you think you are crafty until you see what others make! Then you feel like you are failing the mommy craftiness.

Also, I live in Utah. The Capitol of Mommy Craftiness. FACT!
My daughter wanted a snake party and as we discussed her dislike of cake (Hmmm?) and her love of cinnamon rolls. A crafty mommy moment came to me!

So get ready this is my first non-makeup Pinterest-ready post!

I feel pretty awesome about these and took some pictures so you can follow along at home!

 

STEP 1:

Rhodes rolls– because making my own dough would be way over the top and over achiever-ish and who am I trying to impress?

Answer: Everyone

Step1

 

STEP 2: 

Put two rolls together like this!

Step2

 

STEP 3:

Flatten your dough with your handy-dandy pampered chef rolls thingy that you bought to make your own pizza dough.  Because you do that.  Your that domestic.

Step3

 

STEP 4:

Cut in half.  I used my chef knife so it would be a single cut.

Step4

 

STEP 5:

Mix brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon.  If you want an exact amount go search Martha Stewart’s website.

Step5

 

STEP 6:

Smear with butter because that REALLY does make everything better.

Step6

 

STEP 7:

Sprinkle with sugar happiness and start rolling!

Step7

Now THAT’S a legit cinnamon roll!

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STEP 8:

I poked little holes because I thought it would make a cool picture. These are for the eyes!!

Step8

 

STEP 9:

Cranraisen eyes! Red and very spooky.

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STEP 10:

Pan of cinnamon snake rolls!  I snipped the top of the snake dough with scissors to give it scales.  This is where I asked myself if my daughter would notice that she had the most amazing crafty mother or not.

Step10

 

STEP 11:

A Cauldron of STEAMING SNAKES!!!! Ahhhhhh!!!!!!
Oh, not Halloween? Umm.. Okay, so I baked them at 350 for 18 minutes.  Because that made me feel like I was my own woman (Rhodes rolls had to many words kinda like this blog post and I saw the numbers 15 and 20).

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STEP 12:

Cream cheese frosting required.  Because cream cheese is an ingredient of happiness.

A sight that would cause Indiana Jones to squirm a tray of slithering snakes!! Just so you know they don’t actually move…

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Just so you know 21 children noticed the creativeness and ate them giddily!

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ENJOY!

Sincerely,

Leta Greene AKA: Creator of the Snake Cinnamon Roll (if someone else has done so I don’t want to hear about it I’m enjoying my creative genius moment).

I was on Fox 13 Good Day Utah yesterday!

I had the opportunity to be on Fox 13’s Good Day Utah segment yesterday to discuss my book, How to Embrace Your Inner Hotness, and the importance of self-esteem and being nice to ourselves.

Thank You Cards

Being the artsy-fartsy type that I am I love to play with paper! Back in the day was an avid scrapbook-er. Kinda hurts my heart to say back in the day because I would like to think I still am a scrapbook-er. The reality is that in writing my book something had to give. I have all the supplies – REALLY it’s a problem – and over Christmas vacation I decided I was going to make a bunch of Thank You cards. In the process of this I re-discovered my love of cutting, gluing, and design with paper.

When my kids are getting ready for bed and family prayer they brush their teeth, get in their pajamas (it’s a process). I’ll sneak into my corner (where all my supplies are and it’s still in calling distance for “brush longer” and “put those clothes in the hamper”) I’ll make a card or two as the kids obediently (fingers crossed) go about their routine.

Kids are always watching and learning. We don’t always know what lessons we are teaching. I thought I was teaching a lesson about proper two minute teeth brushing. But kids are always full of surprises.

This month has had some extra stressers. Some good and some not so good. I have been trying to manage the demands of being a mom, wife, daughter (my parents live in our basement and don’t have the best health), makeup artist, team leader, author, and speaker. It’s not always easy to balance them all. Sound familiar? This is the state of being a woman. We think that we can do it all and the problem is that usually we can.

My daughter’s school is on break and she has been with me throughout the day as I do a makeup demos. She colors as I talk on the phone with clients and even, at moments, fights with her brother just as I am being offered a speaking opportunity.. love that? Wednesday, she was in my scrapbooking corner. They have papers in my corner that they have free reign with. I was glad that she was happily creating and engaged to allow me to attend to other tasks: Making dinner with one hand and checking my day’s to-do list with the other.

My daughter brought me a stack of her handmade cards, “Mom these are for you. They are for your clients. I will make them for you so you can rest more. You say ‘Thank You’ a lot and now it will be easier!” It brought tears to my eyes. She worked so hard on them and she did it for me and the lucky women who will get one of these works of art. The kind of art that we moms love. The kind of art that cannot be duplicated because she is only eight for so long.

Her friend at dance on Thursday bought her a Gatorade. She immediately told me: “Mom I need to give her a Thank You card!” A little later a card was made. And another for Grandpa who is in the hospital recovering from knee surgery. Her brother shared his candy bar (well just a little corner of it) and he got a Thank You card too. There is nothing better than getting a Thank You card.

I was tucking her in bed and thanking her for her kindness to me. She said mom, “I think of others before I think of myself. That’s what Grandma says and she is right.”

Being a mom is the best work I do. It is more important than the applause I receive as a speaker, more than the reviews on my book, or the success of my team, more than the gratification of helping a woman see her beauty— I love what I do the impact I am able to have to help others. But more than all of that I am thankful that my three kids are watching, learning, and serving others too.

Send a thank you card. People love getting them. Especially if they are made by small loving hands.

 

Confidence

For my entrepreneur friends:

Do you have confidence in you? Do your clients? Do they believe you will take good care of them? Does your family believe in you?

Friday, I was working a Christmas boutique when a lady called my house looking for a distributor. My eleven year old son answers. He picks up the phone by saying, “This is the Greene’s. How may I help you?” Echoing what he has heard me say thousands of times, “This is Leta, how may I help you?”

The woman was desperate to purchase LipSense for her sister as a gift. She had called two other distributors (fortunately not on my team) leaving messages. None of them had called her back.

She then calls my house. She can tell that the man answering the phone is young. But he is professional and told her, “My mom is at an expo. Here is her cell phone. She is awesome and will take good care of you.” He has heard me say to clients “I will take good care of you” and more importantly he has seen me take good care of my customers.

She believed him called me and ordered several tubes of lip color. She asked if there was any way I could deliver it to her tonight. I asked if it was okay for me to drop it after my expo around 8:30 pm. She said that was great and was immensely grateful.

I called my son telling him what a great job he had done and that I would give him $7 (a large amount of money to his 11 year old economy) as a 5% commission on the sale. He was busting proud bragging to his grandparents and dad all day!

At the expo the building was cold. Very cold. The heater was not working properly. And it was only 55 degrees. I am very tired of being cold, I’m tired– and honestly feeling grumpy. Walking out I accidentally spill my tester kit of 100+ tubes of lip color, eye shadows, concealer, and foundations all over the ice. Remember, I’m tired, cold, and now I have to bend over and un-glove my hands to pick up tubes from the icy ground below. I want to cry. I don’t have the best hip and bending in the cold is the last thing I want to do. I decide not to cry. My tears may freeze.
Two wonderful men saw me struggling in the parking lot to pick up numerous items from the icy floor and came to help. Thank you to my rescuing knights! One man pointed his car lights so that we can divide my applicators, that are now dirty, to the trash, and put my testers back into my kit to be cleaned and organized later. Hopefully where it’s warm!

As I headed to the woman’s house I put on my happy face carrying in my container of inventory– Not only did she order significantly more upon seeing all the pretty colors and my impressive inventory she also purchased my book for her and as a gift for the boxes awaiting to be mailed out from her Santa’s workshop. We had a delightful conversation not only do I have a new customer I also have a new friend.

Driving home I’m still tired, still cold but with $420 extra income. I’m thinking about how remarkable my son is and it hits me he has modeled me. I’m teaching him something incredible. Old time values that seem to be forgotten of doing what I promised I would do even when it’s hard, teaching kindness, courtesy– I’m incredibly thankful as a mother that I’m an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur takes confidence in myself. It’s not always easy but you know life isn’t easy but the rewards are greater than the money. Don’t get me wrong I like money, the reward of involving my children in what I do and how I do it is well– priceless.