Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Do you wanna know a secret???? I bet you do....

Today I was the guest star on my husband's YouTube channel for his work and I surprised him with two BIG announcements....... Watch to find out for yourself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50SzyE5nOFs


You will not be disappointed. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Beautycounter: Daring to branch out... Why I chose to become involved.



 An overriding theme I have discovered when I tell people that I have started a new business as a Consultant, now Senior Consultant, for Beautycounter is wonder.   Most everyone wants to know why… Aren’t you an attorney?  Don’t you have enough on your plate?     No, seriously you are a Federal Attorney and now sell beauty products too?  Hmmphhhh 
The answer is unapologetically, absolutely.   Now let me tell you why.  

First and foremost, I adore my job at the FAA.  My work is important, interesting, and fulfilling.  My co-workers are like my family and I am on an upward track and plan to keep it that way.  Notice I did not say glamorous… keeping the airways safe is important and interesting, but definitely not glamorous.  

In my quest to make the world more beautiful and safe, I fell into Beautycounter. I have always loved products.  My purse is heavy with lips glosses, lip sticks, etc.  I have various lotions going at all times.  When I was in high school, I used to mix nail polishes together for a new shade.  I love all things girly and being the mother of two boys has limited my ability to indulge in all things pretty.  It is fun to use new products that work and share with friends.  I do it naturally anyway, when I am talking to my loves about the new face wash I just adore or sharing a super fun lip gloss. 


 I first heard about the company when my friend Laura started selling it and I saw her posting about it on Facebook.  Laura, is my husband’s best friend’s wife (also my close friend), and they live in Fishers, IN.   I have known her for over 15 years and we have even vacationed together.  The fact that Laura was selling this product gave it instant credibility.   Laura is not just a wife and mother, she was a founding member of a medical testing lab that ended up being so successful she was able to sell the business and retire.  She is in her early 30’s.   I respect and trust her business sense plus she did all the necessary research.  

The decision to become a Consultant was one that my husband encouraged, in fact it was his idea.  He has crazy mad respect for Laura and he happened to be at their house when she came back from a social.  She told him all about it and he came home and told me that he thought I would be really good at it and to look into the company. After hours on the phone, online research, and an opportunity call with some of the leaders of the company, I decided that I wanted to lean in and give it my all.  It helped that the articulate and passionate women who was speaking was also an attorney with little kids.

There are two components of this venture that I really found worthwhile.  The products themselves coupled with the mission of Beautycounter, the second component was the business opportunity for myself and family. 

Beautycounter’s mission is to get safe products into the hands of everyone. We are actively trying to change the laws regulating the ingredients put into personal care products.  The United States currently bans 11 ingredients.  While other countries have almost 1400 ingredients on their banned list.  The laws in the US have not been changed since 1938 and the companies are changing the ingredients in their products without having to inform the consumers that are purchasing and slathering the products all over their skin.   The more I learned about the company the more I wanted to help.  People should not have to compromise their health to get results from a product.


 I also loved the fact that Beautycounter is a B-Corporation.  Which means that the mission of Beautycounter is more than just profit.  A B-Corporation or “benefit corporation” is a type of for-profit corporate entity, legislated in 28 U.S. states, that includes positive impact on society and the environment in addition to profit as its legally defined goals.  Among the factors that classify Beautycounter as a B-corporation one thing that struck me was that when any person signs on as a consultant or a member, you donate $10 to one of the partnered charities.    

The products are designed in a way that is completely transparent.  They are carefully developed to be both safe and effective.  The packaging is simple, sophisticated and elegant.     I have loved every product I have used.  The spa like quality of each product makes me feel like I am really pampering myself in my daily routine.   After coming out of a long bath “testing all the products” I proudly informed my husband that I just got done “working” so he needed to get the kids to bed.

The business side is also what ultimately led me to sign on and it did play an important part into my decision making process.   I researched the market in my area.   In my immediate area, Beautycounter was an untapped market.  While the market is not saturated with a large group of people all selling the same product, the challenge is to spread the word.  I love a challenge.    I know that with my work ethic and a great team, we can really help get these safe products into the hands of more people.     

 That being said I am focused on growing my team and offering this opportunity to equally determined, passionate women who want to contribute more to their family’s bottom line and help people at the same time.  Win/Win.   I looked at how much people in the company were making and liked what I saw.  The founding members were averaging staggering amounts monthly, but even the newer consultants were able to make a profit in their business within a short amount of time.   Most new businesses take months to years before making back the investment, let alone start profiting.  
On a personal level, I have financial goals that I would like to accomplish and this gives me the opportunity to maybe surpass those goals.  For example, paying off all our credit cards, student loans, helping my kids with college.  Have I mentioned braces are coming up?  My son plays hockey, one of the most expensive sports.   Also a trip to Disney World, when I looked up the prices I about passed out.   What could you do with an extra $500 a month, an extra $1000?  

I made the decision along with my husband, as I would require his support, to go for it.   In listening to other people in the company I have found that the most successful people are the busiest people.  The women who are rising to the top are the Consultants who have successful careers, who are work at home moms with 5 kids, doctors, lawyers, and teachers, nurses.. basically everyone who works at it and does not let fear get in the way.   There is no definition for who or what makes someone successful and I love that anyone with a powerful drive and a strong work ethic can succeed in this type of business.    It is not easy but it is fun. 


Fear held me back at first. When selling a product you put yourself in a vulnerable space. My least favorite place to be, no likes to feel vulnerable.  But putting yourself out there is how leaders and successful people are built.  Fear is powerful and has had me questioning lots of areas of my life.  I fear rejection, being embarrassed, failure, etc.    I just decided that it was my duty to push it aside and do it anyway.   

To answer the question of Why?    My short answer is………. Dream Big, I always have, why stop now?  

Katebarber.beautycounter.com




Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Family Meeting: And why I am not sure it worked.

As much as I think I am completely different from all these crazy boys I share a life and home with, there is one quality that all four of us have in common, we all have big fat mouths.    



 The answer to the age old question about what happens when an attorney and a radio DJ fall in love and make babies is that two people who both talk and argue for a living make two other people who are mouth monsters.  I do not mean literally, I mean that the stuff that they say and argue about is unreal.   It is horrifying, sometimes mean, and often impressive. 

     My boys are nine and four.  They are good, smart, hilarious, imaginative, talented, and have a ton of other amazing qualities, so please do not get me wrong, I am not raising monsters, well some days that is debatable, but that is a whole other blog post.    In fact, most of the time that they get in trouble it is for their sass mouths.    My oldest has turned into a little attorney and pretty much just argues or negotiates his way through my patience.  He also thinks he is our co-parent for the youngest so that is fun.

The four year old has issues with just plain saying mean words.  His go-to bad words are, "stupid" and variations of "poop" and "butt".   If you are really lucky you may even get a "stupid poopy butt."  I have heard a smattering of the really bad words but his old standbys, his signature words, are the ones listed above.

Here are some of the tactics we have taken to try to get the verbal assignations in line.

1. Time outs---- Ummmm that is a joke.  The oldest will accept punishment with drama and negotiation.  The youngest will wage an all-out war on the room, house, and your soul.

2. Washing the mouth out with soap-- The oldest told me to shut up a total of one time.   We were at my Mom's house and I calmly (huge victory for me) walked over to the sink, poured the soap in my hand.  

 I said you have two choices:

 1. Lick this soap off my hand or

2. Lose your XBOX for a month. 

 I had no idea what was going to happen, I was busy concealing my rage and quietly being proud of myself for not losing my mind on him.    He ate the soap and then proceeded to lose his mind.    The youngest pretty much hates it, and cries and runs away but it has not been enough to make him stop calling people poop head.

3.  Hot Sauce. -- The same effectiveness as the soap, plus I just think they kind of like it because Dad does.

4.  Taking away stuff-- this tactic is usually the most effective.  The problem is that the oldest is not allowed to play with electronics during the week already so that leaves little that he actually cares about to take away during the week.    The youngest…. It just makes him go into a spiral of four year old obscenities and hysterics that rage on until he is decides he is nice again.

5. The Spank—my hubby and I are not huge fans of corporal punishment.  We have had discussions, I read books, and before we became parents we decided  it was just not our way of dealing with discipline.  We never spanked our oldest, I even crafted a super cute time out chair.   

 Then we had our youngest.   He was a good baby. A beautiful perfect boy.  A sweet guy. My snuggler and lover.  Once he turned into a toddler, he changed.  We secretly call him Sybil.  He will go bat shit crazy and then flip the switch and give you sweaty tear soaked kisses, telling you he is sorry and "woves" you. I am not proud to say that both my hubby and I have spanked him.    I am also not proud to say that I cried in my pillow after and pretty sure he was more pissed than hurt, thus it did not work.

A couple of weeks ago the boys were just out of control.  Every conversation was either was an argument or a negotiation.  These boys were mouth terrorists.   I was already at my wits end when my oldest, who is usually more the negotiator/arguer was just straight rude and disrespectful in front of my sister in law and best friend after his football game.  Also keep in mind, at this point I had given up my entire Sunday and had to run the stupid clock at his game, which I had no idea how to do because I only fake liking sports for him, also it was hot out and I had on jeans.   At any rate, I was super embarrassed and hurt.  

The hubby and I had a conversation and we had the family meeting.     The TV was off.  Two kitchen chairs were pulled out and put in the middle of the room.   We sat the boys down and I started.  I was fabulous.   I gave the best closing argument of my life.   They were attentive and respectful.  The youngest even raised his hand several times to make various points of his own.  Hubby talked and made his points.

The short version is that we are done.  Things will change or life will be harder.  If we take away a train it is forever.  An IPad is not gone for a week it is forever!!!  FOREVER!!!!    It was going great.  I was feeling heard and vindicated and maybe even a little bit respected.  In my head I was secretly applauding us for being great parents.   I was thinking that our kids are going to be awesome, no more verbal assignations, bath time is going to happen without a meltdown, and homework will be done without many lengthy discussions.  We were all calmly discussing the situation and having a real family meeting.   I mean we were really making some progress here, everyone was on board.  

AND THEN….. Just as the hubby was making another clearly amazing well thought out point, the youngest screams…..

“ALL RIGHT, WE GET IT, THIS IS DONE NOW” with his little sticky four year old paws punctuating each point like an old Italian mobster.   The oldest eyes looked like saucers, I was stunned, he totally snippered our family meeting. It came out of nowhere.

 Let’s just say, the calm discussion was over and I once again said to myself for the 15 millionth time.       Good thing these two freaks are cute.  




Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My 30 day challenge to stop doing 30 day challenges.

What's the deal with all the challenges going around?  There are hundreds of 30 day challenges, anything from working out, eating right, not spending money, cleaning, writing, drawing, and on and on.

I am anything but original and I pretty much do whatever is popular, so obviously, I have tried many of these challenges.    My new challenge is to go 30 days without starting a new challenge.  Shoot I already ruined it!


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I have issues with commitment, self-discipline, and pretty much need a therapist, as evidenced below I would most likely only go twice so here is why I have to stop challenging myself to challenges.

This challenge I was very excited for and was very committed, until I wasn't.....the 7 day clean eating challenge,  here is how my challenge went.

Day 1: Wake up. Have pot of coffee with creamer, "accidentally" eat crescent wrapped mini-wiener from the night before.  Print out shopping list.  Go shopping... Buy all the things.  Eat Twix bar because day is already ruined.  Will start tomorrow for sure.

Day 2: Wake up. Look at the menu.  I am supposed to drink warm water with Pink Himalayan Sea Salt and eat Ezekiel bread.  Could not find these two items at the store.  Who the heck is Ezekiel and what is so great about his bread?    Decide if I can't do it right what is the point.  I will start tomorrow.

Day 3:  Too busy to find random weird products.  I can't start a challenge on a Wednesday anyway, that is just wrong.   Clearly week is ruined.  I will start next Monday.

Day 4-6:  Where the hell can I buy this precious Pink Salt??????  Starting to hate pink salt yet slightly obsessed with purchasing it. 

Day 7: Find pink salt and I am mad because it is expensive.  Buy it because the research I did said it helps with your "digestive" system, aka it makes you poop.

Day 8:  Must have this truly earth shattering salt in my water today.  Make big production making the drink.  Take drink.  Swallow. Want to die.  So gross.  Not worth it.  Pour out the rest.    I hate clean eating.  

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Sign up for 30 day Plank challenge on Day 30.  Whoops, I am out. Must read entire Facebook post before deciding on a challenge.

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Lucky me the next challenge is a a 30 day Burpee challenge.  You have to do 30 burpees a day for 30 days.

Day 1:  Get my work out clothes on and get ready... I am going to own this challenge.  I am going to make this challenge my Bi$%H.     Do 5 burpess...... want to stop... keep going.  two more.... Ok, 7 burpees it is for now.    Technically, the rules said nothing about having to do them all at one.  I will space them throughout the day.    Watch for kids to get off the bus, do 5 burpees in garage, neighbors think I am insane.    Husband gets home.  Challenge him to my challenge.  I show him I can do them and finish up my 30.   He says he could do 30 all at once.  I said no way.  We make a bet, I am sure to win.  Damn it, he does them.  Note to self: Never underestimate a man when action is on the line.  Note to self part 2 : Stop betting action as a prize to your husband.

Day 2: Do 7 burpees in my office.  I decide to do the rest when I go running at lunch.   Shoot, can't work out at lunch.  I will do them tonight.  Get home too tired to move. 

Day 3: Screw it. Why do I keep torturing myself?  I read something that said I am beautiful the way I am, I vow never to work out again.

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Pinterest instead of running in the cold morning... Yes Please!!!

A 30 day challenge to De-clutter your house!!!  Whooooo HOOO   sign me up.

My house will be so organized.  I am going to be a Domestic Diva.  My life is going to be so organized.  Life will be perfect!  


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Right after I finish this coffee and pinning this outfit. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Running the Dream....

I started running not out of any love of the sport or athletic dreams.  I started running because of my ubiquitous conquest of trying to be at a healthy weight.  In other words, I want to be a MILF and I want to wear cute shorts, swimsuits without making people cry, and not feel self-conscious.    The battle has raged on and let me tell you cheese, pizza, beer, and pretty much any type of sweet puts up one hell of a fight.

Running is great cardio and burns lots of calories fast, plus my brother is a runner and my husband is a runner and several of my friends so it seemed like a no brainer.   I am not going to lie and say I am now addicted.  It is not like Netflix, I can turn it off.  I literally force myself to run.  One way I have found that has kept me in check is making sure I meet with my running partners.  My running besties.  Felecia, Amanda, and Sarah have kept me in check many mornings when I did not want to get out of bed at 6:00 AM on a Saturday or kept me from cashing out at mile five and to keep going.   We are a little bit competitive, so that helps too, some of us more than others but I won't mention any names. But I will tell you it rhymes with Telecia.

 Here is another thing about having running friends, you end up pushing each other to be better but you also get more than just the competitive edge.  Four moms out running for two hours while their families sleep so they don't miss out on the events of the day.  We solved the worlds problems at least five times.  

Spending that much time together watching the world come alive every weekend, a bond gets created.  People that I have always liked and admired became more than just casual friends.   They became therapists, stylists, life coaches, doctors, and cheerleaders.     During our training we talked and talked and then sometimes we would all be quiet.   The quiet is just as beautiful as the talking because there is comfort in the peace of silence. Each of us in our own heads, perhaps praying to God, talking to loved ones lost, or even just going through a very long to do list.  There is comfort in knowing everyone is there working for the same goal and wanting you to reach yours. 

When I trained for my first half-marathon I did it alone in my basement on my treadmill.  It was May 2012 and I was an animal.  I was also 15 to 20 pounds thinner and was barely eating.  I pulled a tendon in my foot during the run and could not run for a month and then I gradually gained it all back which was depressing and not a new experience in my lifelong battle.    My time was 2 hours and 14 minutes.


I decided that this year was going to be a great year and to Choose Joy.  One of my goals was to run another half marathon.  Knowing I needed support, I enlisted some of the my friends I knew ran.  The three hotties listed above.  Obviously, with all of us working moms of multiple children with very active lives, I had to enlist the treadmill and some solo outside runs.   Our treat was the weekend runs and some occasional weekday meet ups.   We signed up for a run for on June 14, but then with a late addition of the Rockford Marathon.   I ended up running two half marathons within three weeks.

My Rockford Marathon time was 2:18.  I was not super happy but I was still proud. Being that my first and only other half I finished 2:14 and I was in my opinion in better shape at that time, I understood my performance.

I could not stop running because June 14th was coming up.  My thought was.... who the hell signs up for two in less than a month.  Turns out lots of people, but I digress.  Getting nervous, we decided that we needed to do a really long run before the race but not the weekend before because you need to rest your legs, so at 5:00AM on a random weekday we all met up all sleepy eyed and confused as to why the birds were still asleep and why we were out in the dew covered morning.   Amanda brought a GU for me to try and it really helped.  We ended up doing a full 13 miles that gorgeous morning and our confidence in our ability and our fitness was renewed.

On the morning of the race we all drove to Rockford ready to take on the day.  It was great weather and the course was a little different than the other races we have done but nonetheless it was a great day.  I pushed myself hard.  I kept a good pace for me and never let myself fall below.    I finished the half in 2 hours and 6 minutes and 33 seconds according to my Nike App.   Sadly, my race time was not posted on the website.  I had a minor temper tantrum after my husband told me it did not matter that I knew what my time was.......  I know you would throw a fit too.  It absolutely matters because I like to be validated more than is acceptable in polite society. 

 I was so proud of myself that I had tears in my eyes as I crossed the finish line. It was very emotional for me because I really pushed myself.  One of the things I will never forget as long as I live was the look on my friend Sarah's face as I crossed the finish line.  She knew my other time and that I had just scorched my PR by 10 minutes, which in the running world is huge.  Her face was so happy, proud, and excited for me. She was cheering and running towards me and we had a big sweaty awesome hug.   I must add that she is a natural athlete and had been done for awhile at this point like 20 minutes.    That is the thing about running though, you do race with other people, but you really compete with yourself.

My focus for the summer is to work on my 5K speed and to do more cross training.  I have a lot of other interests that I am pursuing so my time is getting even more limited.    But one thing I will always have time for is throwing on my shoes and running to meet up with my coaches, therapists, advisers, cheerleaders and friends.