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Monday, October 23, 2017

New Studio!

     I have revamped my in home studio, using the amazing Impressions Vanity. It turned out better than I imagined, and I wanted to share my outcome with you. I received my order in pieces, much like IKEA, I had to assemble every component. By "I", I mean my amazing husband did a lot of the brunt work.

     As you can see, it was an intense project.

     As you can imagine, I felt very accomplished once so many seemingly random pieces began to form actual functional drawers!

     My cat Phyllis claimed the boxes (with product still inside) as her own, many times throughout assembly.

     It looked so beautiful, and I couldn't believe that we did that! With proper instruction, and all the necessary materials, of course, but still! I'm not handy at all, so this was a big deal.

     My amazing husband putting on the final touch- the item that gives this vanity all its glory; the lighted mirror.

     I had several mishaps with the wrong rug being delivered, but finally put everything together the way I truly wanted it.

     I might update this post with new pictures once I fill the vanity with all the makeup and color analysis material. It's going to look so great with everything on display. I highly recommend Impressions Vanity. impressionsvanity.com

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


     I get a lot of questions on how someone can change. People who use my services typically want to change more than their wardrobe or personal style. I often get, "I need a complete overhaul! I want to be a new person."

     Let me offer a bit of advice: Change your wardrobe or personal style, but use it to enhance who you already are. You're more unique than you might think. The world needs your insights and personality. No one else can offer what you can give. Only you are you. Embrace it. 

      I used to wish I could take things more seriously. I wished I could be a more focused individual like so many of my friends. I would get so frustrated, because no matter how much I tried to be the kind of person who organized everything, or worked on being more detail oriented, I would not only fall further behind in those categories, but then I would feel worse about myself.

      John C. Maxwell has a lot to say about working within your strengths and not focusing time and energy working on your weaknesses. Take that however you will, I mostly agree, of course. When I work on my weaknesses, I personally find that I lose some of my light. I am in general, fairly silly, outgoing and let's be totally honest; weird. If I am working in all the wrong areas, I no longer connect. I'm good at connecting with people. I love it. I thrive in a crowd. I was draining my own energy that I could be giving the world. 

     Think about the various compliments you get in your life; whether it be from co-workers, close friends or family, even complete strangers. I'm guessing whatever those compliments are on are your strengths. Things you do well, and could probably do in your sleep, so to speak. 

     I find that I am more productive when I am focusing on those things. I get more compliments on my silly weirdness than I ever will on my time management skills- though those are useful skills one can have. "I wish I could be more playful like you and still get things done. I don't know how you do that!" Is usually met with, "I don't know how you can be so organized and have so many different projects at once that you actually finish!"

      There's only one you. Yes, we need skills like organization, and time management. Embracing your unique skills, personality and special abilities means you just don't put yourself down or beat yourself up when you drop the ball occasionally on whatever your weaknesses might be. Focus on what you do well. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Why Hire an Image Consultant?

I've compiled a list of my top 5 reasons to hire a professional Image Consultant. If you find yourself on this list, you might benefit from my services, or someone like me- more local to you.

  1. If you are going through any kind of identity transition, whether it be a divorce and trying to redefine who you are or want to be, if you recently lost or gained a significant amount of weight and are not sure how to dress your body anymore.

  1. If you are trying to move up from a blue collar position to a white collar position and are unsure of how to do that. Or maybe you are already in a white collar position but would like a promotion, but need help with personal branding.

  1. If you hate shopping, there is most likely an insecurity about what to choose, or immediate regret upon choosing something. Hiring a professional can eliminate a lot of the guess work.

  1. If you are fresh out of college, and have never had a job before, or if you have been focusing on raising a family for quite sometime and are looking to go back into the work field with a huge gap in your resume.

  1. If you simply don't like looking for clothes in your closet, or if you find yourself realizing you have so many clothes, but nothing to wear. An Image Consultant can help you organize and purge your closet in a way that will better suit your lifestyle.

Maybe you find that you're not on this list, but you know someone who is struggling with 1 of the above 5. Reach out to them and suggest it, or even better, share this post.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Not Just A Stylist

     I have to remind myself sometimes, that I am an Image Consultant. Not a stylist. Not a makeup artist. Not a Personal Shopper. Of course, I am all those things, but more importantly, I am an all encompassing Image Consultant. That means everything to do with image. If you suffer social anxiety, or don't know how to interview, or have low self esteem- those are all things that someone like me can help with. Sometimes my job is dark. There are times that in order to lift someone from the darkness of their own shame, you have to share your own.

     I believe living a life of transparency will help all avenues of your image. Be willing to share your own experiences with others; your failures, your awkward moments, and your successes. Guess what? If you're human, you've had an experience that lands in one of those 3 categories. When I share an experience on how I got through something, I have opened the door to relate to one more person. We are not so unique that others have not gone through what we have.

     Yes, there will always be a time for boundaries, but that's not what I'm talking about. If someone confides in you- please don't miss that opportunity to share. If I'm going through a hard time, I do not need to hear about the million things going right in your life. Please reach out and tell me if you've experienced something similar, even if we haven't gone through the same things, I can learn from you and your outlook. 



Monday, September 11, 2017

A Year Of Fitness

     A lot of you have been asking about my personal goal of making it an entire year of working out 3 times a week. I apologize for the delay. I hit the one year mark in April, and have kept going.

     There were days when I just did not feel like it. There were days I wish I hadn't. There were so many set backs, it's unreal. I had a car accident that required new modifications on what kind of exercise and how much, etc.

     I only missed two workouts in a year. One due to getting the flu, and the other right after a car accident. I haven't stuck with something for that long, ever. I realized that I can stay committed to a goal. I'm so much stronger than I have given myself credit for. I had set so many outrageous limits on myself. I said so many times, "I can't do this, while so sick."

     I started this fitness journey mainly because I have Crohn's Disease and fellow sufferers told me that regular exercise was life changing for their energy levels, joint problems, and mood. I'm going to be honest... I didn't experience any changes in any of those areas, which made it extra challenging to keep going. However, I did change in other ways; new muscles became more visible, my attitude changed for the better, I became more disciplined, and gained endurance. While those are not the things I started for, or hoped for- I certainly cannot complain about them.

     What's next? I continue! I keep learning new things about my body- what it responds well to, what it does not, new dietary restrictions and exercise modifications for optimum results. I find that I am doing this more for me and not my disease anymore, which takes a lot of pressure off. I'm grateful for those of you that held me accountable, spurred me on, and challenged me. Thank you for being my cheerleaders, and I hope I can return the favor.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Planned Parenthood (Trigger Warning)

     I went to Planned Parenthood. Yes, you read that right. I, Heidi Martin who was raised in a conservative Christian household, who was taught that Planned Parenthood was literally the devil, went there, and used their services. 

     Bear with me as I share some very personal information with you. I have only shared this with a select few, and certainly never saw myself writing about it on such a public platform. Breathe, Heidi. Here goes. 

     I was raped. I was a scared 14 year old girl who couldn't go to my parents, so I went to the only place I could think of. Enter Planned Parenthood. Let me tell you about that experience. I rode the bus by myself, and nervously went into the empty lobby (Thank God for that empty lobby, as it would never be empty for my future visits). 

     I timidly approached the receptionist and burst into tears as I choked out the words, "I've been raped". What happened next was one of the most empathetic and compassionate things someone in that setting could have done for me. She didn't hand me a clip board and have me fill out papers right away. She didn't even call a doctor or put me in the computer. She got up from her closed off desk, and walked around into the lobby. She then sat down with me and hugged me as I sobbed uncontrollably for what felt like hours. I don't even remember her name, but I think of her and what she did often.

     I thankfully was able to receive Plan B and prevent an unwanted pregnancy. I also received invaluable counseling and follow ups. I was able to get on the birth control pill without my parents' knowledge or judgment. They even called the police for me. 

     There is a lot of talk about "Planned Parenthood being this..." or "Planned Parenthood is that..." fill in the blank. You can find nice or nasty things to say about anything on the internet. I'm not doing that. I am simply here to tell you my personal experience. My concern is for scared, lonely 14 year olds who may not have a place to go if Planned Parenthood is shut down. From my personal experience, they were a gift from God, and I will forever be in debt to them and what they have done in my life.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

An Open Letter to Someone I've Hurt

     The following is a letter I have been working on for a lost friendship that is on the mend. If anyone reading this has had a similar falling out with someone in their life, I would encourage you to write a letter to them or reach out in some way. Life is too short to hold grudges, or have too much pride over who might deserve blame.

     Dear Friend,

     I am writing to you because as you know, we got into a fight. A big one. I took a year and a half off of talking to you and having a relationship with you. I don't mean to rehash the past or open old wounds, but some things have been left unsaid and I wish to say something very important to you. Bear with me as I am known for my tough exterior.

     I'm sorry. I'm sorry for letting my pride counteract my empathy and compassion. I'm sorry I refused to speak with you over our disagreement. I'm sorry I let my hurt feelings dictate how to respond. I'm sorry I abandoned you in a time you needed unconditional love and acceptance.

     I never meant for a year and a half of silence between us. I want to thank you for the years of relentless love that lead up to "that day"- you have no idea just how much you meant to me. In fact, I didn't know either. I couldn't believe how many nights I cried myself to sleep or lay awake because I didn't know what life without you looked like. Of course many nights turned into weeks, months, and then a year. I was baffled by how much I still thought about you and dare I say- deeply care for you. 

     Here is what life looked like- in many ways it was the same, but something was missing. I have lost loved ones, I even had one of my dearest friends pass away. This felt a lot like that. I would see something that reminded me of our friendship and reach for my phone, only to realize I could no longer do that. Life was very empty without your larger than life personality in it.

     I'm sorry that instead of facing my demons, I chose not to acknowledge their existence. I'm sorry I chose to run when things got difficult instead of weathering the storm with you. 

     Thank you for allowing me back into your life, and showing me that vulnerability can be a strength. Thank you for wearing your heart on your sleeve and being an outwardly emotional person, as I had no idea just how much I needed that in my life. I know we can't have that time back, but I sure hope you will let me attempt to make up for it.

     I want you to know that I am here. I will not run. If challenges come up, I will do my best to face them with you. Feel free to call me out when I don't. I also want to thank Adele for the perfect timing of her release "Hello" which made me email you. I love you, and moving forward I will follow your example of jumping with both feet. 

With much love and humility,
The Very Sorry Lydia to your Lizzie (or Bekah to your Paula)