Friday, September 16, 2011

Q&A with Brianna

One of the best reasons for blogging is the opportunity to network with other bloggers who might have similar interests (or not, but they become your friends anyway). Along the way, you form friendships you may not have otherwise even considered. One way of showing your appreciation to your blogger buddies is by promoting their blogs. Today, I am doing just that. Brianna is a lovely lady who blogs about fashion, beauty, and décor. After you read the Q&A, please go and check out her blog here.

So let’s get started!

RukhparMor: When and why did you start blogging?

Brianna: I started blogging around the beginning of this year. This is my third attempt at blogging. My first couple of times were not successful. I didn’t have or make the time to put anything into it and I didn’t share it with others. It was all private. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to share with the world.

RM: What is your blog about? 

B: My blog is evolving slightly since I began. It began as a Style/ Décor and Beauty themed blog where I share pretty things, give away fun stuff, and meet new people. Ultimately, I would like my blog to be more streamlined and represent my inner “Martha” and mimic the idea behind Real Simple. I do crafts, cook, and decorate. But, I am also very much into styling and beauty advice. So, I would love to merry them all together and offer some posts on each subject per month.

RM: Tell us 3 unknown facts about you.

B: 1. I suffer from depression and anxiety disorders. It has been a constant battle. After much thought, I started seeing a therapist and it has dramatically helped me come to terms with events in my life and move forward. I realize now that I am not crazy. I needed to deal with my problems instead of bottling up emotions and bursting at the seams. I would advise anyone that takes a sudden turn toward moodiness, withdrawal and anxiousness to seek out professional help.

2. I am the oldest child of 5. I have always been quite independent even when I was young and have always acted as the “mother hen” to friends and family alike. I’m bossy and it’s quite annoying sometimes but its just the way I am. People close to me don’t take it personally and laugh with me and endure my silliness.

3. Relay for Life, a benefit for the American Cancer Society is a huge passion of mine. I spend lots of time and energy fundraising and spreading awareness for this cause. I do it in remembrance of my Grandmother specifically and all the other family members I’ve lost to Cancer. Cancer Sucks!

RM: What is the first thing you think about when you wake up?

B: Oh gosh, it’s a scramble. I wake up every morning to several of my husband’s alarms set to really crazy music and then I hear mine and tap on him and if I realize he isn’t there, then I understand that it is MY alarm going off. I worry instantly that I am late, wonder where my husband is (even though he leaves earlier than myself for work) and I start figuring out what I’m going to wear/ how my hair will look/ time for coffee or not? It’s kinda funny really!

RM: What is something you would like to change about yourself? 

B: I really like myself the way I am honestly but I’ve always said I wish I was born with a chin! Mine is non-existent.

RM: What brings a smile to your face? 

B: So many things…. my husband, the life God has blessed me with, children, my cat Plato and every single Cancer Survivor and Patient that I meet while volunteering.

RM: What is one thing you would never joke about?

B: I won’t make jokes or support racist comments. I HATE them. I think they make people look ignorant and unimportant.

RM: Since your blog deals with fashion , is there any fashion tip you would like to give us?

B: Be yourself. Don’t be afraid of who you see yourself evolve into, embrace it and be confident.

RM: What is something you will never be caught without?

B: Lip Products. I guess I’d say I have good lips really. I keep chapstick & several lipsticks and glosses in my purse at all times, each and every single purse too! I find that it’s a great way to change the mood of your outfit, project confidence, and it just lifts my spirits when I have a pretty pout.

RM: What is one thing you want to know more about?

B: I am a nerd for information. I love it! I have become slightly A.D.D. when it comes to research because I enjoy it that much. Whether it deals with the blog, work or Fashion…I become entangled and lost like a good book.  There are so many things I want to know and learn more about, I can’t quite put my finger on just one topic really.

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Click here to visit her blog.

Visit her Etsy page here

Visit her on Smashion (New & Used Items) here.

Visit her on Facebook here.

Twitter: @Bresbaubles


Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Toast to Toastmasters

I joined Toastmasters International in May 2011.

I heard of Toastmasters while I was studying at University of California, Irvine about a year or two ago. At that time, however, my reaction was, “there is NO way that I’m going to participate!” Fair enough. I mean, who wants to be giving speeches in front of an audience when the thought of standing in front of two people is tormenting. I didn’t mind learning about public speaking-how important it is and how to be a good speaker-but I was not in the least interested in actually doing it.

That is where the problem lies for many of us. Listening to lectures titled “How to be a Great Speaker in Ten Days” or “How to Get More Twitter Followers” is not automatically going to make you a better speaker or get more people to ‘follow’ you on twitter. 

Finally, I decided to check out Toastmasters this April. I went to their main website and searched for a local club. I found a club in Cypress,CA called “The Talking Heads of Cypress” and saw that they were having a communications workshop in the month of April.

I was hooked after the first day. I met some of the nicest people who were dedicated to becoming better communicators and helping each other along the way. During this workshop, I gave two speeches and was asked to give impromptu answers to questions during a section of the meeting called “Table Topics”.

I officially became a Toastmaster in May and have given four speeches and participated in lots of Table Topics. Additionally, I became secretary of my local club and am ‘Contest Chair’ for a competition taking place this month. My job as ‘Contest Chair’ is to recruit volunteers, assign them a role, tell them their job requirements, and make sure they do their job on the day of the contest. I am also in close contact with our Area Governor (for Toastmasters International) and she has become my mentor.

If I hadn’t joined Toastmasters, I would not have gotten a chance to experience leadership. In my 22 years of existence, I had never taken a leadership role in any of the clubs or activities that I was a part of. It’s very different with Toastmasters. Everyone encourages you to become part of the leadership team and there are mentors available that can help you along the way.

I am so grateful for Toastmasters and I encourage all of you to join as well. Visit the website and click on ‘find a club near you’ and follow the prompts to locate a club near you. There is a club in almost every country! If you don’t have one close to you, start one! It’s a great way to improve your communication and leadership skills.

To read my ice-breaker speech, click here. To read my second speech, click here.

Do you know of any clubs that help you develop a skill? Make sure to mention them in the comments. I would love to know!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I’m Linkin’ it:

Just yesterday, I heard a speech promoting frugality in our consumption of food, electricity, water, etc. The speaker mentioned a time when his colleagues went to Germany on a business trip. They stopped over at a restaurant, ordered some food, and then (since they enjoyed it so much and had the money to spend) ordered some more. When they were finished, while they went to pay, an older lady sitting across the room called the police. The police officer fined them a good sum of money. What was their crime? They ordered more food than they ate and the rest was wasted.

Whoa! I didn’t know that existed. Americans are among the top in consumption and wastage, yet we have nothing in place like that. Even in a month like Ramadan, which is dedicated to consuming less food, Muslims in the US aren’t exactly practicing the true spirit of Ramadan.

I remember reading a poem written by a Chinese lower class citizen. One of the lines of the poem mentioned how the emperor had milk spoiling in his reserves while the rest of China was starving. Every time my mom has to throw away milk, that poem comes to mind.

What if there was an incentive to recycling and ‘greening’ our lives? Would more people do their part? That’s exactly what Recyclebank is set to do. Not only do they have tips and tricks on living green, but they have incentives so that you can feel good about recycling. You earn points at Recyclebank by recycling and taking pledges. It’s easy to earn points and you can redeem these points to buy coupons (valued higher than the regular newspaper coupons), gift cards, or magazine subscriptions. For example,to get a one-year subscription to Redbook, Whole Living, Better Homes and Gardens, you only need 115 points and it’s easy to get to 200 points. 

So, join Recyclebank today to get involved in making our world greener! It’s absolutely FREE to join!

Once you join, click on EARN REWARDS and play the Green Your School Challenge. Just the challenge earns you 110 points. After that, take other pledges on the page to earn more points. Once you receive at least 115 points, you can order a one-year subscription to the following magazines:

Better Homes and Gardens
Food Everyday
Good Housekeeping
Marie Claire
Midwest Living
Popular Mechanics
Siempre Mujer
Town and Country
Whole Living

Remember, you can earn enough points to order the above magazines in one day! I’ve already ordered mine. Join Recyclebank! It’s free so you have nothing to lose.

Note: Some programs are only for residents of certain countries. Make sure to check if it is available in your country.

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