What an amazing weekend it has been in Houston!
Oprah’s Life You Want Weekend Tour has been hitting arenas nationwide for the last few weeks. With a total of 8 stops in all, Houston was number five to experience this awakening, transformative two-day interactive life class with Ms. Winfrey and her hand picked Life Trailblazers.
Oprah’s Life Trailblazers:
- Deepak Chopra, MD, the Meditation Master, @DeepakChopra
- Elizabeth Gilbert, best selling author of Eat, Pray, Love, @GilbertLiz
- Rob Bell, incredible inspirational speaker and pastor, @RobBell
- Iyanla Vanzant, star of Iyanla: Fix My Life on OWN, @IyanlaVanzant
With with so many incredible takeaways, my coverage of this weekend will be broken up into a Life You Want Houston blog series. Stay tuned for more coming very soon!
What is The Life You Want Tour All About?
The entire line up included powerful presentations and conversations by each Trailblazer, amazing music by DJ Kiss, tons of dancing between activities, an amazing SOUL15 work out with SoulCycle Master trainer Angela Davis, an interactive workbook used throughout the workshop and some very special moments with fantastic tour sponsors like Toyota and their Standing O-vation Award presented by the incredible, Amy Purdy! Like I said, it was a busy weekend with too much AWESOME to fit into just one blog post.
It was a packed house at the Toyota Center with thousands of women and some very secure male counterparts experiencing all that this unique event had to offer. This arena was well prepared for such a busy event; they were even clever enough to turn a couple of the designated male restrooms into female restrooms during Oprah Weekend to meet the demand. If that’s not a great host then I don’t know what is! Kudos to Toyota Center!
A Shared Experience Different From the Rest!
This weekend truly felt like an intimate adventure but in a very unique way which I had never experienced before. Not only was this feeling evident with Oprah and her guest speakers but with fellow audience members, the many thousands of us. We were all on this journey together. We all want to live our best lives. We are all here to learn and grow.
We know that Oprah has an uncanny ability to “speak directly to you” and you alone – whether it’s through her television shows or standing on stage in front of massive crowds but I have to mention this essence was captured and multiplied so well through out the event!
It was an incredible production, utilizing technology via these really cool light up wristbands, that each and every audience member received. You’d wear your interactive wristband throughout the event to check in, sign up for prizes at O-Town, etc. but throughout the actual showtime and presentations, they would light up, in sync with the stories being told. It was mesmerizing! We were all connected in this shared experience, not only spiritually, but visually. It was powerful. It just added a little touch of goosebump worthy stimulation to go with what your heart, mind, and spirit were already feeling. I have to applaud Oprah’s production team on the excellent execution of this live show phenomena. It was truly special!
I also loved the interaction with the #LifeYouWantHOU hashtag. Throughout the event, they were streaming tweets and Instagram posts from audience attendees. Again, emphasizing that shared experience and a sense of community, belonging and togetherness amongst the crowd. We all know just how much an excellent use of social media tickles my fancy, just had to mention. Again, major kudos!
The Life You Want Weekend Tour has three remaining stops that you will NOT want to miss:
Yes, the ticket prices are a tad on the expensive side but consider it an investment in yourself. I guarantee, you will hear things that you NEED to hear and learn strategies to propel your life to evolution and greatness. After all, the entire mission of this tour is to get you living the Life You Want.
[Disclosure:] Special thanks to Toyota USA for sending me to Oprah’s Life You Want Tour this weekend! I truly appreciate the incredible experience. I’m SO excited to share it with my wonderful readers.
My husband and I may not have kids of our own just yet but that doesn’t mean I don’t get excited about seeing the CUTEST clothes on adorable little guys and gals. Our family happens to be full of them!
We also have an amazing children’s fashion designer in the family and I’m really excited to showcase her today on the blog!
Meet Five Little Ducks Boutique based out of Magnolia, Texas
Heather is an entrepreneur, business owner, happy wife and mother of five.
Are they not the cutest bunch? Five Little Ducks Boutique offers the highest quality, homemade children’s clothing specializing in holiday-themes and custom creations.
Heather has done a fantastic job of launching her business online via her Big Cartel store and Facebook group.
With Fall being in full effect and the holidays right around the corner, dressing the little ones for family functions is on every mommy’s mind. Five Little Ducks Boutique has an incredible line up of dresses for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas ready for orders! Why not have your little one in a one of a kind, unique creation this year?
Check out a few of my favorites of the 2014 Five Little Ducks Boutique Holiday Collection:
Pumpkin Set Tilly & Darby Shorts (Made to Order) $65
Holiday Flutter Till(Made to Order) $48
Elf Christmas Dress (Made to Order) $44
The Story Behind Five Little Ducks Boutique: Q&A with Children’s Fashion Designer, Heather Buck
What inspired you to start Five Little Ducks Boutique?
“I laid my hands on my first sewing machine when I was twelve but didn’t really learn to sew until just last year. I saw a dress made by Corrina Couture and just HAD to make one myself for my two girls! My kids are without a doubt my biggest inspiration.“
What’s the meaning behind the name, Five Little Ducks Boutique?
“I wanted the name to be inspired by my kids. I thought Five Little Ducks did just that, as well as bring about sweet childhood memories for anyone who hears it.”
Have you always been in to fashion design?
“No. I actually went to school for Mortuary Science. I have an Associates of Applied Science and a P&C license. It was not until about 14 months ago after being a stay at home mom for four years did I start my sewing adventure.”
What’s your favorite season or holiday to design for?
“Halloween! Without a doubt!”
Do you get design inspiration from your kids?
“YES! They are my favorite little designers. I will often ask my oldest daughter about fabrics and patterns to get a little girl’s perspective. She has fabulous taste!”
Join the Five Little Ducks Boutique Facebook group for all the latest fashions available for order, as well as, sneak peeks at latest creations. You can also browse and place orders at: http://www.fivelittleducksboutique.bigcartel.com or the 5 Little Ducks Etsy shop!
Watching this undoubtedly moved me to tears and it will do the same to you, too, but I urge you to watch. This beautiful woman is an inspiration. With a limited amount of time left on this Earth due to a stage 4 malignant brain tumor, she’s choosing to spend her precious time with her husband, mom, and those she loves, traveling the world, fighting for her cause.
To be honest with you, if I was in her shoes this is exactly what I would have done, too. Two and half years ago, I found myself in a similar situation, although, the cavernous malformation found in my brain stem was not cancerous. I did not die from my brain malfunction but this woman more than likely will in just a few weeks.
Thank you for sharing your story, Brittany. Your advice to us all is priceless.
“The reason to consider life and what’s of value is to make sure you’re not missing out. Seize the day. What’s important to you? What matters? Pursue that. Forget the rest.” -Brittany Maynard
Photo Credit: http://thebrittanyfund.org
Click here to learn more about The Brittany Maynard Fund.
Today, I’m so excited to be shining the spotlight on a true Houston talent: Ali Lanning, the amazing freelance hair and make up artist behind Beauty by Ali.
I had the pleasure of meeting Ali through a close mutual friend of ours over two and a half years ago. Honestly, I was in a last minute bridal bind and couldn’t find anyone to do my hair and make up for my wedding in Galveston, Texas. Ali saved the day for me, quite literally, for both my engagement photos and my wedding day MUAH. (FYI – That’s the abbreviation for make up and hair.)
Ali working her magic on me the morning of my wedding – notice my six month hair growth from my brain stem surgery. She made it so that you couldn’t even tell my hair was so super short back there.
I absolutely LOVED my hair and make up on our wedding day… not to mention those glam lashes!
I know first hand just how talented this girl is – not only because she is amazing at what she does but she also has such a fantastic demeanor and energy about her. It’s a joy working with her. She makes brides feel comfortable, pampered, confident, and sexy. She knows just how to build upon your features, by enhancing your natural beauty to the max, and achieving whatever look you’re going for.
For Ali’s portfolio and more examples of her fantastic work, visit the Beauty by Ali official website and the Beauty by Ali Facebook page.
Since 2008, Beauty by Ali has been offering much more than just bridal hair and make up. Her professional on site hair & make up services also include:
- Airbrush Makeup
- Special Event Makeup
- Natural Makeup
- Beauty Makeup
- Fantasy Makeup
- Halloween/Costume Makeup
- Special FX Makeup
- Brow Shaping
- Hair Styling
Asking Ali – Q&A with Houston Hair and Make Up Rock Star, Ali Lanning
Photo Credit: Megan Batson Photography
When did you discover your passion for make up and hair?
“I have been into hair and makeup ever since I was a little girl. I loved to watch my mom sit at her vanity and do her makeup in the morning before going to work. I was the kid who constantly got in trouble for putting on makeup or playing with the girl’s hair who sat in front of me.”
How long have you been perfecting your craft and doing hair and make up?
“I started doing hair and makeup professionally back in the Fall of 2007.”
What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
“I love to see the look on my clients’ faces after I’m finished making them up. They always end their session with a bigger and brighter smile than before I started and they gain an air of confidence.”
What are your top three go to product/tool must have’s?
“A good brow kit is a necessity! You can spring for the Anastasia of Beverly Hills brand but Sally’s also sells Ardell, which is another great product for much less money. A good finishing powder is a must have. I love Makeup Forever FD powder and tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing powder. Also a good lip gloss completes any look. I love any of the glosses from Butter London which are available at Ulta.”
On Site Makeup Services for Your Next Big Event or Photoshoot
If you have an event or photoshoot coming up in the Houston area, book an appointment with Ali by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 832-429-5598.
Rock Show Random HELLOs Turned Into Life Long Friendships – #ItStartedWithHELLO
When thinking back about the best random “hello” stories – I remember the good ol’ days of the Houston music scene from about 2002 – 2008. During these times, I was in high school and some of my college years – all I did was live, eat, breathe, and even sleep music. I remember when MySpace was the coolest kid on the social media block and it was ALL about music. A simple “hello” message went a really long way when connecting with new friends with similar music tastes in your area.
Some of my favorite bands and the most memorable shows I’ve ever been to include: Further Seems Forever, Copeland, Acceptance, Jimmy Eat World, Underoath, Brand New, The Spill Canvas, etc.
My absolute favorite thing about the entire show experience was that you could always count on meeting new people who were all about the same music as you. While waiting in line for doors to open, a simple “hello” and “hey, I love your band tee” made me some of the longest lasting friendships of my life. To this day, I’m still friends with many, many of the people I met at shows back in the day. I really do miss the “good ol’ days” of the emo rock scene but at least, I have the friendships and memories to think back on – not to mention the music to relive those amazing times.
It All Starts with HELLO
You never know where a simple “hello” can take you or who you might be standing next to at your next concert, on the street, in the grocery store line, in the elevator, or at the mall. Maybe it’s your new best friend or your future husband or wife, even!
I love the inspiration behind Lindt’s newest line of premium chocolates, Lindt HELLO – to serve as a simple, sweet conversation starter.
I was so excited to try these new chocolates and put them to good use. I took them to work and shared them with the whole office! Everybody appreciated the colorful, vibrant packaging and especially, the chocolatey indulgence inside. They really did bring a sweet smile to their faces.
Say HELLO to Latest Sweet Treats from Lindt
Ranging from variety pack mini-stick bags, candy bars, and chocolate stick versions – these chocolates are best when shared with friends, family, co-workers, guests, and especially, new friends!
Inspired by classic desserts, the NEW Lindt HELLO flavors include:
- Caramel Brownie – smooth milk chocolate, hazelnut & caramel brownie filling.
- Strawberry Cheesecake – rich milk chocolate and a light, fluffly strawberry cream cheese filling.
- Crunchy Nougat
- Cookies & Cream – crunchy chocolate chip cookie pieces & cream filling
Some of my co-worker’s comments about the chocolates included:
“These caramel brownie ones are amazing. They’re really rich for something so small. The caramel is really, really good. This flavor is the best!”
“The strawberry cheesecake kind is so tasty. I don’t think I’ve ever tried a chocolate of this flavor. If you’re a fan of chocolate covered strawberries and cream, you’ll love this flavor.”
The clear favorite was the caramel brownie kind and I’d have to agree.
Lindt HELLO is the new, hip, trendy brand of premium chocolate. I know, I know. Working on my weight loss journey, I really don’t get much of a chance to experience many sweets like this but these were a pleasure to try. Each piece of chocolate (mini-sticks from the variety bag pack) is 55 calories. If you’re looking for your chocolate fix, go for the best with Lindt HELLO.
The “It Started with HELLO” Web Series
The Lindt marketing team has launched a super cute YouTube channel with Ashley Tisdale. The web series is made up of cute, romantic comedy videos inspired by the new line of chocolates. I love the look and feel of the videos. Super adorable and pairs really well with the personality of the product.
Click here to check out the “It Started With HELLO” web video series.
Don’t Miss Your Chance to WIN!
Enter here for your chance to win in the Lindt HELLO Sweet Connections Sweepstakes! You have plenty of chances to win GREAT prizes inspired by the Lindt HELLO product line including some fantastic date nights!
Disclosure: Special thanks to Lindt for sponsoring today’s post and letting me be a part of the #ItStartedWithHELLO campaign!