A little something fun for the brave

I need some fun!  I know my posts are often of a very serious nature, and there is certainly a place for that, but I’m in the mood for some fun.

I’m sure you’re familiar with body paint, but I saw a video recently on social media where the ladies where all painted up with glitter, rather than plain old paint.  It was beautiful!  Not only would it just be downright fun for an outdoor festival, but I think it photograph beautifully, just as it did for Beyonce on this magazine cover for Flaunt magazine.

So, what do you think?  Would you be willing to give it a try?  Would you do it for a festival or other public event?  Would you do it for a photo session?  How brave are you feeling?

If you’d like to give it a try, I found the perfect glitter!

 

Total vulnerability

I believe in allowing yourself to be vulnerable. I believe that we as people who want to grow, to learn, to live, we have choose vulnerability. Being closed off is as good as being dead. Not living our truth is as good as not living at all. Who you are, where you’ve been and how it’s shaped you is your gift to this world.

I believe that boudoir is powerful because of vulnerability. But we can be vulnerable in other ways.

I have a confession. I have spent most of the last year hiding a part of my truth. A part that I have been ashamed to admit. A part that hurts my heart in many ways.

As those who follow me regularly know, I got divorced last year. What you don’t know is why.

The last few years of my marriage were very difficult. My husband had grown to resent me, and to resent decisions that we had made together. And he took it out on me. He took it out on me verbally. He accused me of things that weren’t true, he called me names, he made me feel as though I was worthless. And he even used that word once: worthless.

Words matter. What you say to people matters. That word, worthless, mattered a lot.

Do I hold some of the blame for the end of my marriage? Absolutely. Did I make mistakes? You bet I did. Did I deserve that word? Absolutely not. No one does.

I chose to leave, to end it. I chose to be strong for my kids. I chose to stand up for myself and not be treated that way anymore. It was truly terrifying because I had spent 20 years of my life with that man. That’s a pretty big change.

Is he a bad guy? No. Do I resent him? No. But he wasn’t the husband I want or need, and I clearly wasn’t the wife he wanted.

It’s hard for me to admit that I put up with those words for as long as I did. Several years was WAY too long. It’s hard for me to admit that I chose to be weak for so long.

So what helped me change?

Actually it was you. It was my supporters, my clients, and the many strong and amazing women that I’ve surrounded myself with. I found my strength in you. In your vulnerability, your truth, your power.

Vulnerability. It changes everything. It empowers.

https://sparkstalk.com/vulnerable-jennifer-bartlett-phelps-headliner-sparks-february-2017/

Exciting news about lingerie

I have been toying with the idea of carrying lingerie in the studio and offering personal lingerie consults for about a year now.  I was hesitant. I was hesitant partially because of space limitations for carrying stock of said lingerie, and partially, because I was having trouble finding lines I loved that were also available in plus sizes.  Today, I am happy to announce that I made the decision to go ahead with it.  I received my first shipment today!

The thing I’m the most stoked about is that all of the lines I’ve chosen go up to a 3x in size.  Many of my clients are plus-sized. It’s often very difficult to find plus sized lingerie in store locally.  Many of my clients have to deal with ordering pieces online and hoping it fits when it’s received.  That feels like such a shot in the dark and I wanted to fix that problem.  Since I’ll only be carrying a small selection of lines, I can know exactly how each piece will fit in each size.  Even when I have to order a particular piece, there won’t be any guesswork on the sizing.  I couldn’t be more excited it!

Want to come shop from my stock?  Call me to set your complimentary personal shopping appointment today!

lingerie, new offering

Is the week over yet?

Have you ever had one of those weeks where absolutely everything seems to go wrong?  Well I had one last week.  And you know what the worst part is about those weeks?  Trying to let go of the negative feelings they foster.

I am an absolute believer in the notion that you get back what you put out and I try to be positive most of the time.  But, there are just some weeks that seem to snowball with one piece of bad news after another.  I know that the more I let it affect me, the more bad things will happen. But letting go can be hard. Sometimes I will do something extra creative to try and reframe things in my mind.  I’ll paint (though not well), draw or style a new photographic art piece.  Sometimes doing something physical like working out will help.  And when it’s warm out, I like to just take a walk in the woods.

You may not know this about me, but I like to be in control of things.  It’s part of why I own my own business.  But sometimes I have to remind myself that relinquishing control can be just as powerful and productive as holding on to it.  Earlier this week an opportunity fell through, and I’ve spent most of the week trying to figure out how to replace it with a different opportunity.  A good friend reminded me that letting this one go allows another one to find me. She reminded me that I don’t have to micro manage everything.  That, just maybe, this one fell through to make room for something even better.

So what is your philosophy when everything feels like it’s falling apart?  How do you let go of the negativity and find your positive?

“I need to lose weight first” …

I hear this all the time.  And I even say it myself occasionally.  It seems our weight (wether your a size 2 or 22) seems to hold us back from doing so many things.  It’s the number one reason women give me for no booking that session for themselves now.  So today, I’m going to do something I’ve never done before.  I’m going to let you see two sides of me.

I am currently at my biggest weight ever.  A year of stressful life changes will help that along pretty readily.  And while I could let it influence my every decision, I choose not too.  Did I just get a new gym membership?  Sure I did.  I deserve to work on me and be my best version of myself, and that requires me to get healthier.  That said, my weight doesn’t stop me from getting in front of the camera.  I refuse to be that mom who doesn’t have pictures with her kids because “I look too fat”.  I refuse to believe that I’m not beautiful or sexy because I’ve gained some extra weight.  I refuse to let the “ideal” make me feel like less of a person, or less of a woman.

before pic, with the weightHell in heels t-shirt, laying on back, still carrying extra weightfeet on wall, pearls

Please excuse the bad cell phone pic, but I wanted to show that just because my body is full of flaws, it doesn’t mean I can’t still look pretty darn sexy. (A big thanks to Sara Means for helping me!) I may not ever be the “ideal” woman, but I’m ME.  I deserve to celebrate that every single day, and so do you.

Reflections: love, support and other things

I don’t know about you, but this year has been an absolute whirlwind!  I’ve been reflecting on how my life has changed considerably over the last 12 months. I’m now a single mom after 14 years of marriage and the bread winner for a family of three.  Not everything I wanted to accomplish this year got done, but I did accomplish so incredibly much!  And I couldn’t have done any of it without the love and support of some amazing people.

I feel incredibly lucky to look back on 2016 and realize that I’ve been absolutely surrounded by some totally amazing amounts of support.  Relying on other people has never come easily to me, but I also realize that I am not an island. The support of good friends really does make a huge difference in our successes.  I am blessed to have that support from a lot of different people over the last year.  I wish I could name them all here, but I would undoubtedly forget a few.  They know who they are.

My biggest accomplishment this year was writing my book “The Business of Confidence” and it’s companion journal “The Act of Confidence.”  Both were definitely a labor of love, and they both took considerable hours away from other things I hoped to accomplish, but they were certainly worth it.  I’m so thrilled to be reaching a far bigger audience with my message of self-love, than my small studio could ever reach alone.  In the end, that is what this is all about for me.  Accepting myself and my own worth, and helping others to accept theirs.  I couldn’t have done it without the amazing people who surround me everyday.

What have you accomplished this year?  No matter how big or small, I truly believe that you have to celebrate those accomplishments to better celebrate yourself.

I challenge you to reflect on your year.  Where do you find your biggest source of support?  What forms of love have you been blessed with this year?  How will you use that love and support to spread more into this world?

reflection and support

Are you a planner?

I have a strange dichotomy in my life.  On one hand I am that girl that plans things out.  I make endless lists and I don’t like to wait until the last minute to finish things up.  But I’m not his way with everything.  In fact, when I shoot a session I rarely plan anything out.  My clients clothing choices and personality dictate how the session will go. I choose the lighting setups and posing in the moment.  My passion for what I do drives the process.

When it comes to a creative endeavor, I’m perfectly happy letting things take their own course and evolve.  Evolution is important to my work process behind the camera.  In the rest of my life though, it’s quite the opposite.

My list making habit probably borders on compulsive. There’s a list of what needs to be accomplished, what needs to be purchased and even an order for which these things needs to happen.  It’s partially because I like the feeling of scratching things off that list.  It’s also partly because without a list, I’m afraid I will forget a large portion of the things that need to be done.

I’m sure I’m not alone here.  As a mom I already have a multitude of items to take care of in any given day.  I’ve always been a list maker, but it’s certainly much more prevalent now than ever before.  Between taking care of my two kids, runing a business, writing (2 books now!) and taking care of a house and life in general, I am unbelievably busy these days.  Organization is my safety net.  I need for things to be tidy in order to focus.  In fact, if my house is too messy, I have to clean it up before I can do anything else.  Chaos makes me feel unfocused, so I have to reign it in in some small way.

What about you?  Are you a planner?  How do you stay organized?

“Me” time

I have been extremely busy the last few months.  Between writing my book, running my business day to day and adjusting to my life as a single mom who is also dating (a WHOLE other post), I have pretty much been running in circles.  It has shown in my health and in my sleep patterns.  I’ve been pretty exhausted lately.

Yesterday I took a mental health day.  I ignored the laundry that needed washed, the dishes that needed to be done and I chose me.  I spent the day on my couch in my yoga pants watching bad movies and eating junk food.  I even took a mid afternoon nap!  Any you know what? I don’t feel bad about it.  I don’t feel bad about the extra calories I ate, the laziness of my day or the disarray of my house.  And do you know why I don’t feel bad?  Because I deserve to take some time off and do nothing, guilt free.

You deserve it too.

I’m not good at being lazy.  I tend to be on my feet from the moment I get up in the morning, until I decide to go bed, usually after midnight.  I tend to burn the candle at both ends.  I like to be busy.  I like to feel like I’ve accomplished a lot in a day.  But I also know that “me” time is important.  It’s important for my physical health and my mental health.  Now that I’ve finished my book, it’s time to refocus.  It’s time I started taking time for myself on a regular basis, so that I don;t get burnt out on life.  I haven’t decided how that will look yet, but I suspect it will include some form of exercise, since that has been lacking in my life lately.

What do you do when you take “me” time? How often do you do it?  Is it scheduled into your week, or do you tend to push until your body makes you take some downtime, like I often have?

It’s finally here…

I know I’ve been absent from my blog here lately but it’s for a very good reason. I was finishing up my book “The Business of Confidence”. And now it’s finally ready!

It’s no secret that I love what I do but the reasons for that are often misunderstood. This book is all about why I do this, how I got here and what the boudoir experience does for all of us. I truly hope you’ll take the opportunity to check it out.

I’ve been a writer my whole life but had never put those skills to use in this way. Publishing a book is pretty scary and exhilarating all at the same time. I’ve included a lot of my personal journey in this book, which makes me feel extremely vulnerable. Vulnerability is how we grow though, so I’m very glad I did it.

Please check out my book on Amazon HERE.

13 things I hope my daughter learns from me

We just celebrated Mother’s Day, and it has me thinking a lot about my role in shaping my children’s lives.  At the age of 10, my daughter has a lot personality all her own.  She also has some insecurities that are already apparent.  Here are 13 things I hope she learns from me.

  1. Love yourself. First and foremost, love who you are, and treasure it.
  2. Be brave.  The more something scares you, the more likely it is that it’s something you should definitely do.
  3. Chase your dreams. They won’t fall in to your lap on their own, but they are worth chasing.
  4. Believe in yourself.  You can do ANYTHING you set your mind too.
  5. Don’t let money be the reason you don’t do something. If it’s important enough, you’ll find a way.
  6. Take care of your health.  Allow yourself to rest and recharge when you need it.  The little things can wait.
  7. Know that you are beautiful, no matter what you look like.  The most beautiful things about you come from within anyway.
  8. Be independent, but also know it’s okay to lean on the people you love when you need too.
  9. Don’t settle, ever.  You deserve better than that.  Everyone does.
  10. Know that walking away from something with good reason isn’t failure; it’s pragmatic.
  11. Embrace change.  It will happen anyway, but if you look forward to it rather than dread it, it won’t be as hard.
  12. Find what your passionate about, and don’t let it go.
  13. Love completely.  Sometimes you’ll get hurt, but it’s worth it.
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