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This question has been asked by many, and it is time to put an end to this outdated, erroneous statement! There is actually no scientific link supporting that chocolate causes breakouts. There are however, many benefits that the ingredients in chocolate bring to the skin. Sweet, right!? I think so!
Let's look into these skin-focused benefits a little closer.
Benefits of Dark Chocolate:
So many SKINTASTIC goodness comes along with dark chocolate! Having the opportunity to mix two of my favorite things-- chocolate and skincare-- I have incorporated a wonderful dark chocolate mask into my Facial Of The Month for February!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jennifer McKeever has a passion for making others feel beautiful and valued! She has spent the last few years perfecting her talents & growing her brand as a freelance makeup artist for weddings, editorial print, professional headshots, & special occasion events. Her focus on clean beauty and boosting others' self-esteem is what drives her as an artist. She believes that makeup is best used when it naturally enhances one's unique features, but appreciates the creativity and art of expressive makeup when the time calls for it. Venturing further into the beauty industry, Jennifer spent 9 months learning all about the skin & its functions, skin care ingredients, color theory, makeup production, safe hair removal, and advanced facial techniques. Graduating with honors at Tricoci University of Beauty Culture, she uses her education and experience as a platform to help educate people on the importance of skincare, proper makeup application, & bringing confidence and light to everyone she meets!
Follow Jennifer on Instagram/Facebook/Pinterest & Twitter: @JenTheEsty
Kicking off 2018 with some motivation!
I started off 2017 at the I've Decided Motivational Conference and ended up with the best year ever so it stands to reason that this year should be no different. This time last year I had just signed the lease on our first location and this year the Inspired team was able to join us! What a difference a year can make!
Kim Martin, founder of I've Decided is just one of those people that you can't help but love. She pushes everyday to bring more value to her tribe of I've Decided Business & Community Members and is motivated by success. Not her own success, but the success of those she serves. That is why Inspired is proud to partner with this great organization to provide personal development, networking, and inspirational content to our team members. It is a cost effective and productive use of resources for any small business owners that value investing in their team members.
This year's keynote speakers didn't disappoint. We started with Randy Fox from FoxPoint Transformational Leadership who shared strategies with us to make 2018 our BEST YEAR EVER! My quoteable from Randy, when discussing fear of failure, was "Failure describes an EVENT, not a human being" Love that. I also attended his breakout power session called "A Leader Worth Following" and loved his take on servant leadership. I got to chat with him about some shared experiences afterwards and couldn't wait to download his Free E-Book: The ABCs of Leadership!
My second breakout was with Kim Kaufman of KimPresents who shared her experiences in broadcasting, theatre and marketing to teach us how to find, create and share meaningful messages. My immediate impression was that she was so poised and professional (undoubtably due to her broadcasting experience) that it was intimidating. She could have easily shown me an unrealistic communication bar that I could never achieve so I was surprised to find that she was also funny and loveable, making her presentation very relatable. Story telling in today's world is a critical skill, especially when you have an inspired story to tell, so having someone like Kim in your tribe is an invaluable resource. You can hear her for yourself on the I've Decided Radio Show.
Everyone who attended also had the opportunity to talk with I've Decided Business Resources to get the connections they need to make whatever they declared come true. I haven't stopped thinking about Rachel, who stopped by the Inspired table and said that she #decided to create community programs to help those in need. We were both so amped up talking about microlending, poverty, and community development that we both ended up with goosebumps! I live my life for those goosebumps moments. They are my favorite.
Our final session with Peoria Native and former Harlem Globetrotter Curley "Boo" Johnson was an informal conversation about how he learned to dig deep to find that inspiration within allowing him to have a life rich with experiences. My favorite story was about the time he played Michael Jordan one-on-one. Can you even imagine? While listening to him, I found myself contemplating the Push Vs. Pull psychology of motivation; the idea that some individuals push themselves to complete a goal in order to satisfy a need while other individuals have an unexplained desire or pull towards their goals. It is so important to know yourself well enough to understand which motivates you and if you are a leader you need to understand what motivates your team. This is a good place to start and after that I'd check out Randy Fox's ideas on leadership!
Our Sign is up!
What a nightmare! We thought we would save time and money AND update the front of our building by reusing the existing sign and just have them covered by a local printing company. Steve and Dad nearly killed themselves on the ladder getting them down for me and then I spent a day scraping off the sun damaged lettering with a razor blade and goo gone until my fingers were bloody. I hauled them back out the door and I struggled to fit the giant plexiglass in my SUV. While I was cursing my brilliant idea a sweet lady working next door had a truck and volunteered to drive them across town and deliver them to Allegra Printing for me! I love small towns! So off they went and the fine people at Allegra did an amazing job. I highly recommend them for any printing needs. They also did the window sticker for me and went above and beyond to make sure that it all turned out exactly as I wanted it.
Allegra was kind enough to deliver the signs back to me and it just so happened that another local business was getting a sign installed on the front of the building that same day. I ran over and asked the guys if they would be able to use their boom truck and install mine while they were here-lucky break for me! Once they were up I decided that I didn't like the ratty old frame around the outside of it and wanted it dressed up a bit with a new vinyl frame. Dad and Steve worked out the details and we got in installed just before dark on our last weekend before opening day. Now we have a big, beautiful sign and you can't miss us!
I love it when a plan comes together.
I had to call in all the troops for help to get the place ready for city inspection this week! A family business means everyone pitches in and does their part. You would be amazed how much work you can get out of a 6 year old with the right motivation! It also doesn't hurt that I am pretty good at delegating so if you are walking through the doors in the next 10 days expect to be given a job. There is no time for idle hands right now so when my friend came by yesterday I made her put in new lightbulbs while we talked.
The first thing I'm going to show you when you come in is the very impressive structure that my husband Steve built to make sure that my 50 year old mirrors were secure. You must Ohhh and Ahhhh when you see it! The guidelines were that I only wanted 2 legs instead of 3, they couldn't lean on anything, and I didn't want to mess up my beautiful new floors or ceiling with attaching them to it; which I assumed was impossible. It took him a couple days of thinking, some conversations with his advisor (my dad) and a few extra trips to Menards but he created an engineering masterpiece that is so secure you wouldn't believe it isn't attached to concrete! Reason number 5491 why I married him.
I'm really lucky to have such a loving and supportive family and friends that are constantly asking how they can help. Steve is a rockstar when it comes to picking up the slack at home and is always willing to do some heavy lifting. The boys are learning that we work hard and play hard but they are less than thrilled about spending their spring break at the shop instead of the beach this year. We told them that sacrifices now mean that we will have the freedom to do what we want later. I try to think about all the important life lessons I'm teaching instead of the mom guilt that comes with all that.
As I write this I have less than 10 days (9 days, 17 hours) to have this place ready to open. I have the same deadline for getting our house ready to sell! What is the world record for no sleep? Because I'm about to beat it!
Oh the baby steps are so frustrating! Things are coming along at the shop but we have been fighting the wall repair. Today I was really happy to see we are moving in the right direction again, however slowly that may be. If everything goes according to plan we could be finished painting this week!
One of my top 10 least favorite things to do is pick out paint colors, fixtures, or anything that has to do with decorating. I am easily overwhelmed by the 50 shades of grey that I have to scan to pick a wall color but I think we have it narrowed down. I mentioned before that I'm going for an industrial look so I see a lot of those crisp colors. I also picked out the new awnings today. We will be removing the black ones on the front of the building (that I believe were original in 1969) and replacing them with a slate colored valance with darker charcoal trim.
So although it doesn't look like much, those baby steps will, in a couple weeks, turn into a huge transformation that someone who hasn't been following the progress all along will see as an overnight success. Isn't it funny how that happens? The ones who are not there for the tiny wins or the baby steps miss the best part of the story. Without the struggle, what is the win? Empty.
This reminds me of a note from the Universe I received.
I still have to pinch myself when I open the door to my first shop, but it is really happening! Renovations were off to a great start. We got walls out, new walls in and fixtures moved around. The poor maintenance man, Scott, has been amazing. He spent the better part of a week trying to get down thru almost 50 years of wallpaper. We spent alot of time this week thinking about other options for the walls because that stuff is not coming off by April! I also decided to do some electrical upgrades so that adds a little to the timeline but not as much as you would think. Everyone has been amazing to work with from the contractors to the landlord. I know I am going to be really happy here. This was a dream I didn't know I had and it is turning out better than I ever could have imagined.
Here is a quick tour and check out our Facebook page or Pinterest pages to follow the entire process, Start to finish.
I spent the summer with the boys. We traveled, and spent our days at the pool. I kept kicking around this idea but didn't really know what I was supposed to do with it. I agreed to do some consulting work with a friend that owned a salon and was a former business partner at MICHE. She and her partner hired me as their business manager when school started again. I was going to help them fill the empty chairs in the salon and do some team building and personal development. That was my area of expertise and it helped me see how a salon is run day to day. I enjoyed it, but it still didn't feel right. I missed my team from MICHE and I missed being on top of my game, nationally recognized and totally crushing all my goals.
Turns out, this friend and her business partner were not getting along the way they should and things were way worse than I imagined. I tried to help, but the partner and I didn't see eye to eye and she asked me to leave. I was back to figuring things out but by this time I had decided that I wasn't going to spend the money and a year of my life at beauty school. I still felt pulled in that direction but hadn't figured it out yet. I had my hands in a couple other businesses and I kept saying that I had all the pieces to the puzzle I just couldn't figure out how they all fit together. I got a SCORE mentor to help me write a business plan and launched an online boutique. I resolved to focus on my online store for a year and see where that took me. I felt really good about that smart move and started moving forward.
Fast forward a couple months and the friend contacted me for coffee; she needed to talk. Things had gotten worse and it was time for her to move on and close her salon. She wasn't ready to retire, didn't want to go work somewhere else and didn't have the energy to start over again. I told her my crazy, I hear voices story and being the great friend that she is, she didn't give me the UMMMKAY look. It wasn't the time to dream a big dream, she was in crisis mode. I remembered how it felt to close a business I worked so hard to build; I could be there for her.
I had a couple of possible locations in mind for her and spent that week calling around. We booked an appointment to go look at a local plaza that had 2 former salons. I went for support initially but I would be lying if I didn't at least consider the possibility that this was the universe aligning for me.
The first place we looked at was turn key, I could have opened it tomorrow. I could feel myself getting excited about the possibilities but there wasn't anything special about it. Then we went to the second location that was a salon for nearly 50 years. The agent warned us that it was special and needed some TLC but it was a bigger space and didn't hurt to look at it.
I walked in and the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I am a firm believer that if you are ever involved in something that gives you goosebumps that is exactly where you are supposed to be. This place was amazing, you could feel the history there. There was this giant piece of industrial art hanging in the middle of the room and what I can only describe as a disco ball looking decor surrounding it. Sounds nice, right?
On the drive home my mind was spinning with the possibilities. I walked in and was talking a mile a minute to Steve. How awesome could this be... it has everything I would want... and I can afford it! He smiled and reminded me I said the same thing about the house we live in! If it felt right, I should go with my gut.
I talked to my friend the same day and asked if I build it, will she come? Between the two of us we could afford the rent and I could have my boutique and she could rent from me and not have to build an entire salon again on her own. It made sense but I had never done anything like this. I wasn't scared...but was that because I was too stupid to be scared or because I knew in my gut it was where I was supposed to be? I don't know, but I was too excited to think about that. Time will tell, I guess.
I was in negotiations with the landlord and a couple days later we were drafting a lease and starting renovations. It's easy to move fast when your inner voice keeps telling you to take the next step forward.
I am very focused and listen for those whispers. I get them all the time, this one from my favorite life coach BRENDON BUCHARD popped up in my timeline and gave me goosebumps again.
So here I am, almost a year to the day that I heard that voice tell me that I was supposed to go to beauty school and I am opening my own salon. Not at all the path that I expected for myself, and I have no idea how it is going to turn out.
But I don't have to know the how, just the why. Now that's a story for another day….