Thursday, May 21, 2015

6 Reasons Women Writers Need a Personal Stylist

6 Reasons Women Writers Need a Personal Stylist

  1. If you work from home you may be guilty of spending the day in yoga pant or sweats.
  2. Dressing with style will make you feel like the professional writer you are.
  3. Writing is a solitary business and having friends who share your style interest will brighten your day.
  4. You'll never have to think up your Outfit Of The Day, let alone struggle with dressing your characters.
  5. You can go clothes shopping, get what you need without deliberation, and get back to writing.
  6. You'll be able to pack for that vacation, retreat, conference or research trip with ease.

Can't afford a Personal Stylist? You can afford a Virtual Personal Stylist!

All women deserve to have their own stylist. And if you're a stay at home writer you may need a little incentive to step out of those yoga pants or sweats and dress with style. It will make your day brighter and may even give you a push to write that elusive scene.

The Summer Challenge is open and I encourage any woman who is feeling uncertain about her style, wants to feel confident in her style and/or just loves to learn more about style and trend, to join. 

Join now while the Early Bird Registration is open 5/22 - 5/27.

I have been doing Alison Lumbatis' Style Challenges since last Fall and now I have a wardrobe I love, I'm proud of and I never have to guess what to wear in the morning.   

From Alison:

Imagine waking up every morning this summer knowing EXACTLY what you’re going to wear that day, walking into a closet full of mix and match on-trend pieces that you love. Better yet, having a summer capsule wardrobe that makes vacation packing a breeze. No more wandering around the mall not knowing what to buy. 
All the work is done for you! 
If this sounds like a dream come true, then let’s make that dream a reality.Let me help you re-discover style and feel pretty again!Each GYPO Style Challenge includes the following:• Your Summer Basics Wardrobe Shopping List• 21 Days of Daily Outfits• A Vibrant Community ExperiencePlus Bonuses
Bonus #1: Summer 2014 GYPO Style Challenge
Bonus #2: SUMMER 2015 14 Piece/10 Day Vacation Packing List
 A Sample Daily Outfit:

 Sign up today while you can take advantage of the early bird sign-up price. You'll love it, it's so much fun. You'll make lots of style friends.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Sentiment doesn't always equal style, and a family eggnog recipe

Do you have a favorite piece of clothing you cling to? Can't toss? Keep for the comfort of having it, or for sentimental reasons? Something you wear when you need to feel cosseted?

Looking a bit done in by my cold after a
week. Hope it ends soon!
I have a shirt I bought when I lived in Phoenix, eons ago. It's big, flannel and has images of the desert printed on it in blue and green. It's lost half its buttons. I came across it recently when clearing out some old stuff stored in my shed. I almost tossed it, but couldn't. Now today, as I'm getting over a bad cold/cough, I'm wearing it because it's warm and cozy and makes me feel better.

My mother's vintage 1950s cosy coat and
the iconic Tupperware tumblers I grew up with.
Tupperware photo via
It reminds me of a garment my mother has kept since I was very small. It's a kind of fleece (although it wasn't called that then), classic 1950s swing coat. It's baby blue and had one large plastic button up by the collar, which has gone missing. It has a satin lining, which is becoming thread bare.

When I was little and home from school sick, mom would bundle me up in the huge coat and let me rest on the sofa with a Tupperware tumbler. She poked a hole in the lid with a hot skewer she heated over the gas stove then put a flexi straw in the hole. She invented the sippy cup! She would fill it with either homemade eggnog for nutrition (see recipe below), or she'd put in Seven-up or ginger ale for fluids and to settle stomachs. Also the cold bubbles would feel good on my sore throat. Both concoctions were easy on an upset stomach.

She, too, would cuddle up in the baby blue coat when she wasn't feeling well. I can't remember if my brother ever did, or if he thought it was too girly to wear even if he was sick.

1950s EGGNOG (non alcholic 'cause it's for the kids!)
1 c. milk
1 raw egg
2 T. sugar
1/4 t. nutmeg

Whip the first three together, dust nutmeg on top.
This was back in the '50s and '60s, when no one was afraid to eat raw eggs or white sugar. 

In my book A DADDY FOR LUKE, the heroine Sandy keeps a sweater for sentimental reasons. Sandy is a legally blind, single mom and in this short scene she recruits the help of a stylish friend to help her choose an outfit for a date with David. 

“Would you like me to help you pick out an outfit?” Jenny, Sandy’s friend since high school, asked. They sat in her car in front of Sandy’s duplex. From the time Jenny earned her driver’s license, she’d given Sandy a ride to church and get-togethers at friends’ houses. On the drive home from church Sandy told her about meeting David, that he had offered to read to her, and that she was indecisive about what to wear to their next meeting.
“Do you have time? I’d love that. We can have lunch.”
“Then let’s do it.” The brake handle ratcheted, then Jenny shut off the engine. They walked arm-in-arm to the front door. “This will be fun.”
“I really need your advice when it comes to clothes.”
Once inside Sandy took Jenny’s sweater and hung it on the antique coat tree that had been Sandy’s mother’s. She took off her own sweater, held it up and tried to see it through Jenny’s eyes. “Is this too big for me now?” Claire had knit it for her at a time when she’d desperately needed cosseting. She wore it often. It was bright orange, like a warm summer sunset, and reminded her of her mother’s comforting arms. She felt wrapped in love whenever she slipped her arms into it and snuggled it over her shoulders. She rubbed the sweater against her cheek. The yarn was soft and nubby. “Is the color okay for me?”
“Well . . . the color is flattering, and I think it’s a good, warm winter sweater to wear around the house, but I think you could use something more stylish when you meet the author again.”
Sandy laughed. She loved Jenny for her honest but gentle criticism. “I think you’re right.” She hung it in the coat closet and crossed the small living room to the kitchen.
“This is my favorite room,” Jenny said.
“Mine, too.” It faced south and was bright. Sandy remembered the fun she’d had when she’d first moved in and her dad and Claire had helped her paint it a sunny yellow. She’d picked out yellow curtains with large white polka dots. The saleslady had said they were retro. She just thought they were perfect. The cabinets and countertops were white and she’d added splashes of color with a red toaster, a green breadbox and an orange coffee maker. A rug in the shape of an apple lay below the sink. A poster of larger-than-life sunflowers decorated one wall. An over-sized clock with big numerals hung above the stove.
“I have some chicken noodle casserole. It always tastes best the next day.” She slid the casserole into the microwave and pressed the braille buttons.
“Let me show you what I was thinking of wearing.” Sandy led the way to her bedroom. “I’m still not sure if I should wear a dress or jeans.” She went to her closet and Jenny sat on the bed. The hangers squeaked as Sandy slid them across the pole. “This dress? Or is it for summer? How about this blouse? With a skirt or jeans?” She pulled out several items and draped them across the bed.
She picked up the dress and held it up in front of her. It was a straight sheath in a summery mix of blues and sea greens.
“That’s pretty,” Jenny said.
“I’m not sure what the pattern is supposed to be, but I like it and it fits well.” She hung the dress on the closet door and stepped back.
“I like how the colors blend and shift in the light coming through the window,” Jenny said. “Try it on so I can see.”
Sandy slipped off her russet cords and lime green pullover and slipped the dress on over her head. “It must be like looking at the sea. I’ve never seen the sea. Have you?”
Jenny stood and studied Sandy. “Turn around. And yes, I’ve seen the sea. My grandmother lives in the Bay Area, remember?”
“Right. What do you think?” Sandy probably never would see the sea. David Winston was sure to have seen the sea. Maybe she’d ask him to describe it to her.
“I like it; it flatters your figure. I don’t know how you keep so fit.”
“Running after a four-year-old boy!”
“I guess so. It’s a bit thin for the weather. Do you have something warmer?”
Reaching back in her closet, Sandy pulled out a warm green cardigan. From her dresser she pulled out some yellow tights. The wind could be chilly, and it was almost always windy in Wheeler Valley this time of year.
“It looks like you.”
“But sometimes people say I dress weird. Are you sure this is okay?”
“Sandy, you dress expressively. I love your quirkiness. This looks really good on you. It’s stylish, yet shows your individuality.”
“Really? I love colors, but some people say I pick the wrong shades to wear together. I’m not sure about shades. Yellow is yellow and pink is pink, right?”
“There are subtle differences that you probably can’t pick out. I like what you wear.”
“You’re not just saying that?”
“I’ll tell you if it doesn’t work. You know me. Remember the chartreuse and red outfit you were going to wear to Kay’s party a few weeks ago?”
“The one you made me change before we left the house. I haven’t worn that top and pants together again. I remember.”
“Good. Now the orange sweater doesn’t work. But I know it’s sentimental to you, so keep it. But don’t wear it to meet the author. Otherwise, he’ll never see you in it.”
“Does he need to see me?”
“Sure, why not? You’re single, he’s single. He is single, isn’t he? I mean, he wouldn’t be spending time with a beautiful woman like you if he wasn’t single.”
“You think I’m beautiful?”
“You’re gorgeous. I’ve always envied your creamy complexion. And your curls are to die for.”
“I’ve always envied your ability to talk to anyone and make them feel good. And the way you really listen to people.”
“You’re sweet.” Jenny hugged Sandy, and Sandy wished, not for the first time, that she’d had a sister like Jenny.
“I think we’ll have to heat the casserole all over again. Let’s go eat. And I’ll tell you about the blind date Claire fixed up for me last night.”
“No! Not another one?”
When the casserole was hot they served up and sat at the kitchen table.
“This man that Claire invited to dinner last night was really nice. He’s an ophthalmologist, so I was afraid the evening would turn into an examination. But it wasn’t so bad after all. He asked me a couple of questions about my sight, but he wasn’t pushy. He seemed kind of shy. After dinner he ended up talking to Ted about fishing. They’re fishing buddies. Claire and I talked about our kids. I guess the ophthalmologist wasn’t interested in me. At least he wasn’t a bore.”
“He doesn’t know what he’s missing. But now you have the author to think about.”
“I shouldn’t be thinking about dating anyone. I have a boy to raise, a house to take care of and a job to do. That’s about all I can handle right now.”
“When the right man comes along, you’ll know it. So I think it’s a good idea to be receptive. You don’t have to follow through if you don’t feel comfortable with him. But give him a chance.”

A DADDY FOR LUKE: A Cottonwood County Chronicles Sweet Romance by Christy Olesen

Do you have a sentimental piece of clothing you can't bring yourself to toss? How about your spouse or significant other? Does he have something you've tried to toss but he won't let you? 

If you're looking for style help, the GYPO Summer Style Challenge opens soon. Stay tuned for opening date announcement.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

I'm celebrating Spring and learning how to style...

My crabapple tree is blooming
Imagine waking up every morning knowing EXACTLY what you're going to wear that day, walking into a closet full of mix and match on-trend pieces that you love. No more wandering around the mall not knowing what to buy. That was me, for sure!

Now all the work is done for you!

If this sounds like a dream come true, then I can help that dream become a reality.

You love looking cute and put together, right? But sometimes you're not sure what to buy or how to pair it up. Maybe you're stuck in yoga pants or out of style, poor fitting clothes but aren't sure where to start to rebuild your wardrobe. That's were I was when I found the Style Challenges. Now I have more confidence when I go shopping and when I dress each morning. That's why I'm so excited to share this with you!

My friend and personal stylist Alison Lumbatis, the creator of Get Your Pretty On has just opened registration for her latest GYPO Style Challenge. The GYPO Style Challenge is a wildly popular virtual styling program where you get a shopping list of the latest seasonal trends along with 21 days of outfit combinations created from the list. You can pull items you already have in your closet or buy new. It's fun now to go shopping!

Here's a sample day from last year's Spring Challenge.

How cute is that? And so easy. I load screen shots of the daily outfits into my PhotoStream, then I can access them from my mobile devices. You can learn more here

Alison is passionate about helping other women get out of a style rut and feel pretty again. She offers affordable, accessible style programs to help women regain confidence and feel great about how they look.

The GYPO Style Challenge also includes a vibrant and extremely active Facebook community where women swap shopping and style tips and encourage and support each other. Most participants agree this is the best part of the challenge. It's so fun to check the Facebook group in the morning and see how all your 'friends' have styled the pieces they've gathered for the challenge. I've met stylin' ladies from all over the US, Canada and Europe!

If this sounds like fun to you, you can check it out here.

It's great fun! Take it from me, I just signed up and this will be my fifth style challenge. (I started with the Fall Challenge, then did the Work Wear Challenge, the Wardrobe Basics Challenge and the Winter/Holiday Challenge.)

Try it, it's so much fun… Christy

P.S. I only ever recommend programs and products I truly believe in! Click here to see all of the details and exactly what’s included.

Here are photos from before and after I found the style challenges.
New Year's Eve 2013.

St. Patrick's Day (lots of green jewelry), 2015 and 40 lbs. lighter.