Peggy Writes

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Build Confidence by Loving Your Style

Fall brings images of pumpkins, hot cider, Halloween, football games and your favorite warm sweater.  The change of a season often brings the dread of going into your closet and the frustration of having nothing to wear.  The struggle is real, either our closets are disorganized, our physique or our lifestyle have changed, maybe we lack the desire to invest in anything new or creativity to keep up with new trends.  Often we resort to tossing on the same outfit we have worn 100 times; its comfortable, not too worn out and we can zipper it up after that extra bite at dinner.

Then what happens when a special event pops into our calendar, maybe a business function that flows into an evening event, a special anniversary, or simply lunch with a friend that you haven’t seen in years?  We find ourselves in our closet with more things on the floor than on the hanger.   We then head to the malls or search several websites and become overwhelmed, or frustrated by wasting time and money on clothes that we bought under pressure.

As my business has evolved (and my age along with it), I have found my style change, and yet my wardrobe was stuck in 2010, around the birth of my 5th child.  I know something needs to change when my teenage daughters poke fun at me by saying  “Mom, please never wear that outfit again, I can see your underwear lines.”   Yes, my confidence and posture are impacted by certain outfits, both positively and negatively.   

So this fall I decided it was time to consult a trusted friend and stylist.  She’s up on the latest styles “from desk to date night,” and has just the right knowledge to help me bring out my inner “moxie.”  When I’m wearing certain outfits, I feel like nothing can stop me, so we worked together to identify clothes that showcase my personality and confidence, while downplaying areas of my figure that I feel insecure about.  Best of all, she guides me toward signature pieces that are worth investing in, and she gives me the freedom to shop at TJ Maxx or Marshalls, because I love finding a deal.

A good stylist will remind you that clothing and style impact our self-image, brand and business opportunities.  This in turn  affects how others in business and casual settings perceive us and our abilities.   My stylist has researched the influence clothes can have on us, and shared several other good points :

  • People who wore more professional clothing performed better.  —Northwestern University study
  • “Clothes invade the body and brain putting the wearer into a different psychological state.”   —Joshua Davis, assistant professor of psychology at Barnard College
  • “Clothes speak to us, they subtly and dynamically transform us, not just on the outside but on the inside.” —Mind What You Wear, Karen Pine, University professor, talks on the transformational power of clothing.
  • Number of studies show that dressing the part may increase your income.
  • A polished look shows you respect yourself & your clients. It tells prospects that you’re well-organized, detail oriented, pulled together, & professional.
  • When aesthetics are important to your line of work,  a stylish wardrobe tells clients they can trust your taste.
  • More than half of 1st impressions are based on your physical image. You may not get a 2nd chance to make a positive impression.
  • Relationship, knowledge & customer service are what really count in a successful sale, but if you don’t convey a professional image, all the skills in the world probably won’t get you in the door.
  • Your visual image can be what differentiates you from others when all other skills are equal. —REALTORMag

 

When you’re confident with how you look on the outside, it influences how you feel on the inside:

 

  • How you perceive yourself, can mean the difference between making sales & needing a new line of work. —REALTORMag
  • You’ll be more approachable when you’re confident, so people feel more comfortable dealing with you.
  • Self-confidence gives you an aura and leads people to trust you, which is critical.   If you have a good image of yourself, you act differently.

 

Clothing, hair and make-up are only a few exterior details we can change to express our identity and and increase confidence.  Last month while attending a business function, a women complimented my dress.  Then she proceeded to say, “If I wore that my husband would laugh at me.”   Being deeply rooted in self-love helps us put on that outfit and walk into a room with our head held high.  Equally important is empathy and compassion for others who aren’t given that affirmation.  I was humbled by her honesty and reminded that we need to build each other up.    As women we need each other and even 1 nice compliment may be just the thing that someone needs.

If you are looking to clean out your closet, change your style, update your wardrobe or image, or maybe you need help coordinating all the separate pieces you have into one nice clean look, connect with Karen Crowe via her website or Facebook link and she can rock your fall wardrobe and beyond.

http://www.karencrowe.cabionline.com

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Karen-Crowe-cabi-Independent-Fashion-Stylist-175621362769137/posts/?ref=page_internal

inner-beauty

Self Love

The top drawer of my bureau containing my undergarments is overflowing, as many women might relate to. Yes, my weight has fluctuated having had 5 children, but it was those same 5 kids who put shopping for personal undergarments very low on my priority list. I wore only the necessities and the criteria was comfort and versatility. Any need was  often filled during a quick run through at Target, with a grocery cart full of diapers, household cleaner and paper towels. I’d toss in a few average black, white or beige, full coverage and boring bottoms. My eyes were opened recently when one of my teenager daughters popped into the bathroom, as I was blow-drying my hair (which I have to do with minimal clothing, thanks to my premenopausal hot flashes).  She stopped abruptly and with a look of horror asked “Mom are you wearing Grandma’s underwear?”
This put me on a mission to rediscover my inner goddess. As women, we are often inclined to care for everyone before ourselves, and this includes our spending. With groceries for our family of seven, bills, college funds and other looming expenses, splurging on a special undergarment now and then seemed out of the question.  My motivation to wear pretty underthings was further diminished more recently when my fitness regimen didn’t transform my figure as I had anticipated, so I wasn’t feeling confident in front of the guy who shared my dressing room: my husband, even though I knew he loved me, no matter my shape or size.
Beyond those very logical excuses, over the years I had forgotten about the 20-year-old me who had a zest for life and a playful connection to her femininity. In my parenting frame of mind, I had subconsciously come to think of my body as a life-source for our children: pregnancy, birthing, nursing and endless piggyback rides, all of which I have treasured. And yet through all this, I have placed an inner part of myself, my light and the part that likes to dance, under a basket.
My ministry, in some ways, had also distorted my view of self — I failed to see some of the fundamental truths that St. John Paul II stated in his Theology of the Body.  “The human body, includes right from the beginning, the capacity of expressing love, that love in which the person becomes a gift – and by means of this gift – fulfills the meaning of this being and existence.”
Perhaps it’s the fact that my youngest child is fairly self-sufficient now, that this fundamental truth came back to me. Thus I had a quest, and recently ventured to the mall, without the kiddos, and I picked out a few undergarments for myself. Yes, I was even a bit shy, I must say, as I brought them to the 20-year-old girl at the register.  Delight now comes each morning, as I get a new selection of something beautiful that’s just for me to begin my day.   I’ve been further surprised at the new bit of confidence building within me, as a result of my morning choice of wardrobing.   A renewed confidence is lasting throughout the day in my interactions with others, at work, and surely as I reconnect with my husband. Something that initially started out as just for me, has tapped into the deeper meaning of the gift. Self love and self-care is something I believe God intends for us all, and when we tend to ourselves, we have more capacity to love others.
My Valentine’s Day challenge for you, young or young-at-heart, male or female: go out today and buy yourself a pretty pair of undies or a sporty pair of boxers!

The human body includes right from the beginning… the capacity of expressing love, that love in which the person becomes a gift – and by means of this gift – fulfills the meaning of his being and existence.”    St. John Paul II

 

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What is Your Calling?

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Christian Women Entrepreneurs

Why in the heck would God call invite me into a business of selling skincare?   Tune in today with my interview by Christina M. Webber, MS, Speaker, Christian Women Entrepreneurs Coach, and Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist.  Christina coaches Christian Women Entrepreneurs how to confidently do God’s will by changing messages and patterns that block them from earning more money in less time while embracing their many roles in life.

Please contact me directly with any questions or to explore God’s call in your life.

Blessings,

Peggy

630-327-2213

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Creative Ways to Manage Household Finances and Rely on Faith

Frustrated MOm

Each month as the household bills come rolling in and we watch the scale tip; too much money going out and not enough coming in – it can be a hard pill to swallow.  It is emotionally draining, pounding on the ego, frustrating and very easy to become envious of what others have and doubting of decisions that brought us to this point.  This has happened to us before, as when we were first married we purchased our first home and had to settle into a mortgage payment that was a stretch.   Then several years ago we felt the pinch, being in our third home and managing the growth of expenses with a family of 7.  Now married 20 years this summer and 18 months into owning our own companies and again we have to make some major shifts in our spending and our income.  In times like these I hear my dad’s voice “you need to make sacrifices, what can you live without.”   Then my inner mom voice chimes in and says “roll up your sleeves and find a way to fix the situation”.

Getting organized is usually my first defense and that starts by reevaluating our expenses via a color coded spreadsheet.  As a stay home mom, through trials we learn how to be creative for example; on where to shop to find the best values for groceries (Aldi), how the majority of household providers (cable TV, security systems, phone companies) are willing to drop your monthly expense by simply asking and cooking at home on a budget versus eating out is an enormous savings.    Once those options are exhausted more difficult choices may be necessary.   When I had four small children under the age of 5, I shared with my husband if I didn’t get some help around the house or with laundry I may never make it to see them graduate high school.   Over the last 10 years, I was blessed each Tuesday from 9:00 – 2:00 with my own personal Mary Poppins.  She arrived each week and magically created order in our house, especially the laundry room.   I was spoiled and saying goodbye to that luxury was extremely difficult.   She helped me care for my newborns and she will be missed.  That sadness was lifted when I watched the kids’ expressions, as I showed them their new job charts.  I kind of chuckled when I heard one of them say “clean the bathroom sinks, are you serious?”    My oldest sister has the motto “a family that cleans together and prays together will stay together.”    In our fast past society, busy with sports and activities on the weekend, I believe we lost sight of this fundamental life lesson on working together to care for our home.

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We have many harder choices in front of us, that other families have faced and with perhaps less options than our family.   A few things that I have noticed in this chapter of our life; the idea of walking in faith when we have so many unknown pieces is challenging, rising to be the person I believe God intended me to be is much harder than I thought when under stress and giving into despair is easy.   On the flipside I am noticing blessings in the very small things of life; such as the joy of teaching my child how to wash the baseboards or asking one of the children to help me with calculating the groceries so we stay within a budget.  Or staying home and having a family game night versus going out to the movies.

We have found ways to supplement our monthly income by selling some toys and items around the house via an on-line garage sale site.  I have opened up my schedule for a few more speaking engagements; one at a Christian book store opening in the spring and a morning retreat for the Joliet Diocese Deaconate Wives.  This is my real passion, so please pass along my name if your parish, community or network is in need of speakers.  I also am working as a consultant for my favorite skincare solution and feeling so good about helping individuals address basic and everyday skincare needs; such as sun damaged skin, wrinkles, dull and sensitive skin, acne and eczema.  Having balance in my life for healthy eating, fitness, skin care, nurturing relationship and faith formation all help my confidence and relieve stress.

Last year I spoke at Illinois Benedict College to a group of students about “Using Your Strengths and Gifts to Follow Your Dreams.”    I shared with them wisdom from Saint Catherine of Siena “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on Fire.”  It is easy to doubt who God intended for me to be when life is at a crossroads.   When following your dreams isn’t quite financially sustaining the family then prayer and patience is necessary.  In scripture we hear that God doesn’t want us to worry and he wants us to trust in Him.  I also believe that God gave us a heart and a mind for a reason.   I believe he asks us to be creative, think outside the box, wear many hats, look at all your options, reevaluate what is important and how do the choices we make impact our not only ourselves but our children as well.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream….”  C.S. Lewis

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