Friday, October 29, 2010

October's Nutshell

As Tallulah Belle and I chatted this morning over coffee about this past month, I realized that I’ve learned an awful lot these last few weeks. I’ve discovered that we really should let certain issues go, while we should address others rationally and of course, elegantly. So here goes my month, in a nutshell:

-Be wary of washing machine repairmen who claim that buying a new unit would be far more affordable than having the current unit repaired. It’s not true. Also, don’t offer the repairman any candy until he’s sufficiently completed his job.

-I must thank Sienna Cleaners on Lexington in Sugar Land for providing such great laundry service while the aforementioned washing machine was on the fritz. There really was no need to hang the towels and washcloths, though, on individual hangers; folding them would have been just fine.

-Kudos to my neighbor for posting a notice to our little townhome community about the dog issue. The noise and mess are truly getting out of hand, and this particular notice makes much more sense than last’s months notice that we all meet to complain about the trees that were chopped down. No one mentioned actually replanting the trees….they merely wanted us to join in a good, old-fashioned gripe session. We passed, obviously.

-I understand that we all have our own tastes, fashion-wise, but I simply cannot come to terms with the fact that Gretchen Jones and her Whole Foods, hippie-inspired monstrosities were crowned winners during last night’s season finale of Project Runway.

-On that note, I’ve fallen madly in love with Tim Gunn. I encourage those of you who aspire to more elegant living to read Tim’s latest book, Gunn’s Golden Rules.

-In other book news, Rick Springfield’s Late Late at Night is truly a remarkable read. On his book tour, he’s primarily asked about his bouts with depression, his infidelities, and of course, Jessie’s Girl. I’d love for reporters to ask him about his journey toward spiritual awakening, for that’s what I enjoyed most about the book. I’m no longer 15-year-old Beth with a mad crush on him; I’m 40-year-old Beth with nothing but deep admiration and respect for him, his talent, and his candor.

-The Toot N Totum on I-40 and Washington in Amarillo, TX refuses to allow EMS workers the use of its restrooms. This is nothing short of shameful. EMS workers spend long, exhausting hours insuring our well-being, oftentimes putting their own safety at risk. I think a very elegant boycott is in order, don’t you?

-Why is it so difficult to find Halloween goodies three days before Halloween? If I were in the market for chocolate Santas and marshmallow jingle bells, I’d be in luck, but that’s not what I’m in need of at the moment.

-The Doodle Buddy application for the I Phone is a God-send for those of us who are called upon to keep a three-year-old entertained.

-Dr. Scholl’s Her Fast Flats come in men’s sizes. Don’t ask me how I know this – I just do.

And that, Sweeties, is my October in a nutshell! Cheers!

Beth Newman
Image Consultant/Life Coach/Author
Newman Image
Look, feel, and LIVE your absolute best!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

More Than a Little Scary, I Think

Information revealed on last night’s episode of Fashion Police stunned me: reports claim that the best-selling Halloween costume thus far is that of Snookie – you know, the little gal who represents what I hope to be the worst part of New Jersey.


Now, I don’t watch her show, and therefore know very little about her. My limited knowledge stems from what I read in Star magazine. From what Star tells me, I can only assume she’s loud, obnoxious, and a heavy drinker who’s experienced brushes with the law.

She doesn’t sing, dance, or act. But she’s famous – really, really famous.

So yet again we observe another example of our society as a whole sinking further and further into the depths of déclassé amusement.

I’m weary of it, darling, I truly am.

Of course, Halloween is intended to frighten us a bit, to provoke us a little, and to take us on a short stroll along the darker side. Witches, goblins, and ghosts, however, have been replaced by pimps, ‘ho’s’, and the aforementioned Snookie.

Oh, I don’t get this one either: why are there so many costumes designed to sexualize? Strolling through my local costume shop the other day, I saw Sexy Nurse, Sexy Cat, Sexy Demon, and Sexy Clown. There’s nothing sexy about them, in my humble opinion – I just find them trashy and sad.

I’m no prude by any stretch of the imagination. I’m just a simple gal longing for a little elegance and creativity during Halloween (and throughout the year, for that matter).

If an adult chooses to Snookie herself up this year, that’s okay – it’s her right to do so. With that being said, should an adult encourage a child to do the same, I shall take issue. Any junior Snookies (or ho’s or sexy whatevers) will not get candy should they ring my bell on All Hallows Eve. They will get a copy of my book Become a First Style Fashionista (sorry for the shameless plug, boys and girls!) and the adults responsible for allowing them to show up at my door in such unacceptable costumes will be given my raised eyebrow.

Think long and hard about your costume this year, my dear.

Beth Newman
Image Consultant/Life Coach/Author
Newman Image

Look, feel, and LIVE your absolute best!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Successful Shopping Strategies

Over the last few years, I’ve spent many an hour with women inside various boutiques and department stores, searching for those outfits that will make them feel like a million bucks. As the aforementioned stores have officially begun their peak season, I want to take this opportunity to share with you some thoughts on making your next shopping spree a true success for you – and for them:

1. Wear the right undergarments. If you’re in the market for a silky, clingy cocktail number (and you should be, by the way, for party season is quickly approaching) don’t show up in a jogging bra and cotton underpants that are two sizes too big (or small, for that matter). Wear, or at the very least bring along, what you’d normally wear under an evening ensemble.

2. Look your best. It’s hard to get excited about trying on clothes when you’ve not a hint of makeup nor have taken the time to fix your hair. These little things truly make a difference.

3. Know what to expect. Cost-wise, boutiques are generally mid-to higher range, so be prepared to spend a little money. Don’t complain about the prices, and don’t have the audacity to ask for discounts. If you’re looking for steals, visit the well-known discount places, but do so with this in mind: most of what they carry is from last season. Develop an awareness of the shops before you hit them!

4. Be mindful of returns. Know the store’s return policy (it’s most likely printed on the bottom of your receipt). Don’t buy a boatload of clothing with the intention of returning a portion (or all of it) – not only does the store take a hit when you do, the stylist who sold it to you does, as well. Yes, most stylists work on commission, and most of them spend hours sorting out things just for you, so be mindful of that if you should start to have second thoughts about your purchases.

5. More on returns. I find it incredibly tacky when someone has obviously worn a garment and then has the gall to return it. Trust me, the boutique’s staff knows what you’re up to; they see the makeup on the collar, and can smell your perfume on the garment. They also know that wine stains were not prominently featured on the item when you left with it. Don’t try to pull one over on them, please, for they do remember – and talk about – these things.

6. Customer service. Boutiques pride themselves on hiring actual, trained stylists who are more than happy to assist you in fitting rooms. You won’t find that in department stores or the discount places, so don’t expect it. I also encourage you to take to heart what the stylists tell you. They’ve a trained eye, and those with integrity sincerely have your best wardrobing interest at heart. (Side note: if you’ve no intention of buying, don’t waste the stylist’s time. One stylist friend of mine once spent two hours in a fitting room with a woman, who claimed to love everything, yet left empty-handed. Seek attention elsewhere, please).

7. Refrain from including your teen-aged daughter in your fashion decisions. Nothing baffles me more than a woman who will hold off on buying something new for fear her teen-aged daughter will disapprove. You’re the adult; she is still a child. Even if she’s fashion-forward, she doesn’t know what works best on your 40-something frame. Parents who constantly seek approval from their children worry me; but I’ll save that for another blog.

So there you have it – my little spiel on successful shopping strategies. My intention is to guide you on the art of seeking out new clothes. Enjoy the experience, and remain open to new, gorgeous things!

Beth Newman
Image Consultant/Life Coach/Author
Newman Image
Look, feel, and LIVE your absolute best!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

September's Nutshell

Here I sit, reviewing the month of September for any startling revelations or any a-ha moments. What have I learned this last thirty days? What’s amused me…baffled me….made me go ‘hmm’? Surprisingly not that much; but you know me, I’ll always dig up something to share.

-I like to work. I really, really do. Keeping busy keeps me alive. I’m blessed to pursue those things I truly love to do.

-A certain squirrel I know is nothing short of a menace. I see you eyeballing my patio, and strongly advise you to think twice before entering.

-Every experience builds upon itself, thus taking us to the next level – if we allow it to do so. As I get older, I realize that I never should proclaim, “Well, that was a mistake and a huge waste of time.” The mistakes and time wasters are intended to teach us something.

-I'm baffled when someone tells me, “I need something to go with a pair of black pants,” Aside from pastels, pretty much anything will work with a black trouser.

-We really should pay very close attention to our dreams, for the subconscious mind is a powerful little cuss. In the back of my mind, I’ve known that I’ve not eaten terribly healthfully nor worked out like I should these past couple of weeks. Last night’s dream of vegetable hummus wraps eaten at the gym’s café have motivated me to get back on track.

-Is there anything more fun or more reviving than cleaning out one’s closet and revamping one’s wardrobe? I think not!

-Is Kim Zimmer enough to lure me into watching One Life to Live?

And this, my friends, concludes my monthly review. How did you fare in September?