viva ivivva

It’s now been almost 3 years since I began this life-changing journey with ivivva. I say life-changing literally because I went from a place of such negative energy and a dream crushing environment that I didn’t think I would ever find a career I enjoyed. Then I applied to work for lululemon.

Miserable at work for the umpteenth time, I decided that if I was going to sit around and not be utilized to my fullest potential then I might as well sell stretchy pants. I didn’t know a thing about the brand, culture, heck I may have only stepped into the store once in my life. But I applied to what I thought was the position of a lululemon Assistant Manager. I was qualified and desperate for change.

 

In the next week or so I received an email to meet with the manager and interview at a coffee shop. Still being full time, I had to sneak away at lunch and was curious to know why were weren’t meeting at the mall… where the lululemon was. It wasn’t until about 5 minutes into the conversation I realized I hadn’t applied to lululemon, I applied to ivivva, a brand of the parent company but just for girls. Young, athletic, empowered girls. Jackpot.

The excitement was bubbling within me and I knew this was too good to be true with the more information I was learning. I would be assisting in building out a showroom and choosing paint colors, hosting community parties with 12 year olds, and sweating in my community. I had the opportunity to share my dreams and goals with my team and be held accountable for them. The company cared about my personal conquests just as much as my career aspirations. It just kept getting better and better.

I went back to work beaming and knew the job was meant for me. All the proverbial pain and suffering through my past & present would all be for the caring & enthusiastic future! I had made such a connection with the manager, E, and had felt so confident in my answers that were truly how I felt, that I prayed this would be it. This would be what I was meant to do.

With a preplanned trip to vegas, I was hearing phantom rings of my cell phone or imaginary vibrations for an email. When we returned I met with E again and spoke with the Regional Manager. Each time I felt increasingly ready to take on this job and join the company. I attended a conference celebrating women in leadership and  while I was in a breakout group about negotiating pay, my phone was vibrating in my purse. I ran outside and answered to hear E’s voice offering me the position! And for the salary I was hoping for! I couldn’t wait to accept but, of course, played it cool and told her I’d get back to her in the morning. The best part? B and a couple of our friends were at the conference and I was able to immediately tell them. Perfect timing!

After I accepted, the next weeks were a whirlwind of training, community events, yoga, painting the showroom, ikea day-tripping, shelf assembling, and social media blasting. We were creating a place for girls to feel strong and confident and also find some athletic wear. But the retail was never first. It was always about the girls (and still is!) and that’s what made everything so fantastic. Our main focus was setting up the showroom and connecting our community. It was truly ‘living the dream’.

Survive the Indy500

The month of May in Indiana is relative to eating your first fried Oreo at the Indiana State Fair… complete bliss. The sun glows brightly and shines longer throughout the day, the communities come out from hibernation and embrace the downtown attractions, and race day is just around the corner. Then this bliss is brought to a screeching halt when the Indy500 rolls into town. Holy Moses.

When I decided that I would attend this hallowed event, I knew I was going to have to bite my tongue the entire day… Because, y’all, I STRUGGLE with early mornings, miserably hot weather, and people who don’t understand Situational Awareness. And let me tell you something, race day is full of those things, full of ’em.

So I have prepared a list of things to expect, not do, or definitely do for the big day:

  1. There is no such thing as heading out TOO early
  2. Sunscreen is a must but so is shade! Grab a tent or umbrella
  3. There will be more people trying to look like rednecks than actual rednecks
  4. Wear as much USA as possible, to blend in of course
  5. SnakePit – it’s a gamble and a crapshot, take your chances or don’t
  6. Ear plugs are more than necessary
  7. Hydrate
  8. You might see a pair of boobs or two but definitely lots of butts
  9. Bring high protein snacks and energy drinks to keep up with the chaos
  10. NO Styrofoam coolers – big fail
  11. Park next to a bachelor party for free drink opportunities
  12. Bring a blanket to pass out on
  13. Cooler with wheels is the best way to travel
  14. Instantly forget there is even a car race happening literally all around you
  15. Lug all your crap home and then watch the race on TV because why? You couldn’t when you were IN THE FREAKING MIDDLE OF THE RACETRACK

That’s all you need you to know. That is, if you are planning on hanging out in the middle of the track. There are, you know, seats. But that’s a little luxurious. You want to be in the literal heart of the action and get lost in the random rave happening in the Snake Pit, right? 

There is also the opportunity to spend the night before and after the race right nearby. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are vibrantly in your early twenties and can sleep through a parking lot party. B experienced a (luckily false alarm) bomb threat before he stayed the night. Delightful. 

You’ve been warned. 

everyday i'm strugglin' (2)

Things you should NEVER do:

I’ve either learned from experience or need to take the advice myself.

NEVER - wired for struggle

Never wear fabric shoes near a fallen cactus

Never forcefully blow out a hot, waxy candle

Never spit out of a school bus window

Never dive head-first into unknown waters

Never stand on a stool to play a pinball machine

Never put GAK in your hair

Never put velcro in your hair

Never listen to those who don’t know you truly

Never put Visine in someone’s drink

Never waste time worrying about the future

Never waste time over-thinking the past

Never wash your hands without soap

Never forget to wear sunscreen on your face

Never bite your nails in a professional setting

Never lose your curiosity

Never write down something you wouldn’t want the world to know

Never forget where you came from

Never receive a gift without returning a ‘Thank You’ note

Never let others influence your enthusiasm

Never pass up the opportunity to make someone smile

Never let anyone define your emotions

Never let some random blogger tell you what you can and can’t do

Never compare yourself to anything other than your own goals

Never neglect to have a spare key

and NEVER forget to floss!

 

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Top 6 – Gotta Love It!

There are a few things that I use, buy or am a part of that just make my life great! Solid companies, refreshing perspectives, or just good ole quality brands. And if you haven’t heard of them, I highly suggest you check them out:

downloadGrooveBook

This is a superior concept. How many of us have hundreds of photos taking up precious memory space on our smart phones and all they do is just sit there? Your photos never leave your phone because who has time to upload them to their computer? Or, dare I say, even print them?! Well GrooveBook has removed all the difficult and time-consuming steps by producing an easy-to-use app. The GooveBook app allows you to upload 40-100 photos, straight from your phone each month and they will send you a little photo album! And the best part? The pics are perforated and date marked! You can select doubles and pull one out for your fridge, grandma, scrapbook, what have you! Pure genius. Oh and it’s only $2.99 a month. B and I both have a subscription and have been thrilled which each of our albums!

download (3)Kickstarter

This website allows for up-and-coming businesses, inventors, artists, designers, basically anyone who has a product, to create a platform and start a crowd fund. Crowd funding is the idea of posting a monetary goal and then offering incentives for those who want to donate to a make the product a reality. Many times new companies just don’t have the resources to produce what they need and through this site they can upload a video explaining the items. The incentives can include the product itself, personalized notes, or even packaged deals. The downfall only comes in the deadline. If the requested goal for money is not met in time (1-60 days), all deals are off and a person’s “donation” is not charged. We just bought The Coolest and we are definitely going to get it because the project was already funded before the deadline came around. You’ve got nothing to lose so go check it out!

download (2)FitBit

This is a new one for me considering I just got this as a birthday present (oh yeah, I’m 26 now!), but the FitBit is a health monitoring device that can track calories burned, sleep patterns, steps, exercise, and calories ingested. Just a little rubber bracelet which you can order in a variety of colors and styles and they run about $100. It also pairs up with MyFitnessPal which I already use fairly consistently. So far it’s been a great motivator because you can earn badges for completing certain goals and I love a good competition!

download (4)Spotify

We are still in the Premium Trial right now but I am loving this music app. For $10 a month you can have access all sorts of artists, albums, and songs. This is great for me because I love buying whole albums but then I fixate on just a few tracks. Other users can create playlists which any one can follow and that makes for great diversity and new exposure. This app is more convenient than Pandora because you can actually the songs you want hear and skip as you please!

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Two Dots

This is a new game spawned from the creators of the DOTS App. Super addicting and much more goal oriented. Each level provides you with a different task and the more squares the better! Take a break from Candy Crush and learn how to connect.

 

2LF_webbanner

Two Little Fish

 Putting poverty to Bed! A wonderful non-profit organization that sells children bedding and accessories. Local to Indiana but supports women in Ghana, Africa by using their handmade and dyed fabrics for every piece. Once an item is purchased, a child gets a mattress in Africa! Another great cause from within the brand: the owner and her husband are trying to adopt a Snowflake Baby by only profiting from the sales for their bunting! Check out her amazing and heartfelt story on their blog HERE!

 

everyday i'm strugglin' (2)

5 Words & Phrases to stop saying… Right Now!

So this is, like, a post about, like, the words you don’t really know that you are saying all time, you know? And these words are probably stealing your appearance of being a professional and authentic to the person you are trying communicate with, if, you know, they have the time to listen to you ramble, so…

Does reading that first paragraph make you cringe as much as me?? It is painful for me to proofread and not correct the mistakes because even though I hear all of those interjections on a daily basis, my ear has, for the most part, learned to ignore them. This is fortunate due to the obsessive way I used to single out each phrase one by one during a conversation, keeping a running tally of my partner’s errors. Then, with each tally, I lost more and more respect for the conversation and a tiny bit for the speaker. I can’t help it. I understand when education is not always provided to all but these are usually colleagues of mine who I know have degrees.

You Know--

1. “You know”  – This phrase seems to have leapfrogged over “like” in the past couple of years. “You know” is the shortened form of “Do you know what I mean?” or “You know what I mean”.  I do?? You’re the one talking about your Great Aunt’s holiday party and the fact that everyone left with the stomach flu… no, I have no idea what you ‘mean’.  It is even more frustrating when the phrase is used as a closer to the sentence, for example: “We had an easy weekend, just relaxed, hung around, you know?” NO!

2. “So” – This word is often used to end a sentence that was not constructed well during a conversation “When merging the two accounts there was money left over so… ” So what?? Where’s the money now? It almost implies the ‘yadda yadda yadda’ phenomenon where the person is supposed to just fill in the blanks and know what the heck is going on… not usually the case. I also think “so” gets tossed around a lot as a signal to the other person that the first person is finished talking so…. what do you have to say now? Apparently “so’s” are now periods. Go figure.

3. “Heighth”: I’m thinking this is mainly a dialect problem but I cannot be sure… Yes there is width, length, depth, but it is height. I have heard, on numerous daily occasions, this word mispronounced and I just cannot understand why. I guess I never will, “so…”

4. “Supposably”: Supposedly. There are many online blogs pointing out this confusion but I feel it’s necessary to call out everyday because I hear it mispronounced every. single. day!

5. “Irregardless”: My dad made me feel like the dumbest 6th grader on earth when I used that word instead of regardless. Now, of course, irregardless is in the dictionary because majority of society was saying it wrong — so they might as well make it mainstream, right? Check out this link to see the formal definition, cracking me up!

You may have read about these incorrect or just plain obnoxious forms of speech on popular websites such as The Oatmeal or Hyperbole and a Half. Check those out for a great laugh with even better comics that I cannot draw… I’m sorry, you know?

 

everyday i'm strugglin' (2)