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My whole life I’ve had dear friends and family that have associated as a part of the LGBT community and honestly I never fully understood the struggle that many of them had gone through. Then one day it all became clear to me. One of the most influential moments in my life was watching my younger brother go through the struggle of coming out. It’s odd because I’d always known something from the time we were little kids. Anyone who has a sibling can understand that they are an actual extension of your mind, body, and soul. It wasn’t that I knew he was gay, I didn’t even understand what that meant until I got older, I just knew he was different.  And what a beautiful different he is (swipe right for a peak of us as kiddos).

We’ve never really argued and luckily have always been close.  But when we were in our twenties I started to see a change in his demeanor. He was distant and angry. I knew deep down he was struggling to come out, I could see he was working through his emotions and journey and I had to be patient.  Even when he was distant, cold, sad, angry and a slew of other confused emotions I knew I needed to respect his timeline and truth.  I never asked him or told him what I thought but just waited as I knew someday when he knew and was ready he would come to me…because as one of my best friends for life I knew he couldn’t keep it a secret forever.  I couldn’t tell him what he was he needed to find out who he was.

It wasn’t until we sat down one day for dinner while he was in California for Navy training that he finally looked me in the eye and said, “I have something to tell you… I’m gay.”  In that moment I felt such an intense flood of emotions for him and the most important was pride.  Naturally I laughed and said “Duh, your cats are named Lauren & Ralph…you think I didn’t put that together…Ralph Lauren” (let’s be real no straight man would do that and if you have and are I’m sorry!).  We laughed and cried and shared a special moment, for the first time in a long time I saw hope in his eyes.  I never knew how severe his fear of loosing our family or acceptance was until that conversation, how he had been living two separate lives throughout medical school and how his biggest fear was if our father and family would disown him.

I felt a new found desire to protect him, much like when we were little and there were bullies at school telling us to go back to our own country and I would yell and threaten to fight them as they threw hot tar from a recently paved street at us, or when a kid slapped him and told him to get his black hands away from him and I only found out because of a friends sister going home crying about it as the teacher said and did nothing to protect him, I sat him down and made him talk to me about it and made him promise to tell our parents.  I protected him then and would again and always.  We come from a devout Catholic family and honestly even I didn’t think that strong foundation would hold through the coming months and years like it has.

From him graduating medical school, to being an active member of the US Navy, to then being able to officiate his wedding, to my amazing brother-in-law our family foundation grew stronger.  To say “I’m sorry for what you’ve gone through to get to here,” doesn’t seem like enough, I don’t think anything is.  But what I will say is…My Jimbo – I’m sorry you had to inherit my clarinet, for writing kiss my butt on your back, for making you dance with me at the school talent show in a sombrero, laughing at you when you puked on the continental divide (pic RIGHT after next to the telescope) and making you clean up after a rager I threw in high school.  Jimmy never complained and as these pics prove he always had a smile on his face…a smile that cannot only light up a room but my heart.

If you or someone you know is going through a struggle to come out know you are strong and you deserve to live the life you want to live, not behind a curtain, not as someone you are not but rather as your true self.  So during Pride month I always have a moment of reflection and smile as there really isn’t a word that could describe my feelings for my brothers’ journey any better than Pride.  Jimmy Hynes I am so proud of you!

Many brands and stores ​released exclusive pride collections in celebration of Pride month and some with proceeds to benefit the LGBT community and youth. Here are some of ​my favorites from this year:

Happy 2018 fashionistas! It’s interesting how beginnings always makes us reflect on an ending. Hopefully your 2017 ended on a positive note and you’re ready to pop into the new year!  I love setting new year goals, not just resolutions, but actual substantial goals. Hopefully I can give you a little inspiration for your wardrobe goals this year.

Most women wear 20% of their closet 80% of the time, that’s an extra 80% of baggage to what most of us already have in our lives. I find that many of my clients waste precious time each week trying to figure out what to wear, how to wear it and and trying to find where their favorite shirt is. It may not seem like much, but when you break it down, if you’re wasting ten minutes each workday morning trying to figure out what to wear and where things are, that is close to an hour every week wasted. So i challenge you to take no less that four hours to do the following:   

  • Grab three plastic bags, three pieces of paper and write TOSS, DONATE, MEND on them.  Get yourself set up with the three piles/bags with the pieces of paper in front of each spread apart so you don’t put anything by accident in the wrong bag.
  • Now ask yourself…What items in your closet have you not worn?…And then put your big girl panties on and decide if you can let them go!  And if you can look at something and not even remember the last time you wore it then either give it to someone, @Poshmark it, or donate it…one of my favorite charities @dressforsuccess!
  • If you have any clothes that you aren’t emotionally attached to with holes, pitted out armpits, or stains it’s time to toss those out.
  • Do you have things in your closet that need mending and that’s why you haven’t worn them??? Well make that pile and take them to your local dry cleaner.
  • Go through your shoes and look at the heels, straps, or clasps and see if any need some sprucing up…every girl needs a good cobbler.  Get them fixed so you’re not the girl in the office making that clicking sound or on a date and loose your heel.
  • Do you have any clothes that are to baggy or frumpy or don’t accentuate your best assets?  Well we all do especially for that time of the month but girl not for the whole month!  Narrow this pile down!
  • Do you have to much of the same thing?  20 black sweaters or leggings and long shirts only…this is definitely a deeper question and one we may have to tackle together.  Feel free to reach out for personal assistance managing your wardrobe, either in person or via Skype!

This list isn’t that long and just doing these few things you can get your closet ready for all that 2018 has to come!

Happy New Year

We are so thrilled to have the non-profit organization, The Beauty Board at our Girls Just Wanna Have Sun event on Saturday, June 17. Started by two girl bosses, Kelle Cantwell and Lisa Ibarra, The Beauty Board supports women transitioning out of homelessness.

The Beauty Board’s volunteers help to pamper homeless women and mothers so they can look and feel their best before a job interview. The services they provide include manicures and makeovers. The Beauty Board also sells nail polish to raise funds for beauty products and their events in Los Angeles.
To learn more about The Beauty Board or to make a donation, check out their website here

The three W’s that I’m all about!  Talk about a powerful evening of girl power!  It’s not often you get to meet a room full of outstanding women and network.  With a line up like this you can see why I took some members of my #SOS team to learn some wisdom from these fabulous women:

Justine Lassoff, Co-Founder of Love Goodly
Tracie Maffei, Head of Industry at Google
Rachel Payne, CEO of Fem, Inc.
Jennifer Song, President of Tobi
Maile Pacheco, Founder of beGlammed

waving

Some of our favorite soundbites from the evening…
Say yes even if you’re nervous. It may not be an ideal job but it may be a stepping stone to your next dream job.
Press for feedback and don’t be afraid to market yourself. We as women feel bad doing that and shouldn’t.

Rachel Payne – It’s important to remember the mentality of scarcity is not ok, there is more than one position out there for you.

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