I’m back!

I unofficially extended my Tabbatical into September but I’m slowly coming back, albeit in a more focused way.

I got myself a brand new website for my Let Me Rephrase That writing business, too! I’m having a lot of fun geting that going.

My youngest in now in preschool and my oldest is now in football so life got even busier. It’s a good thing I’d decided to re-prioritize and regroup or I’d have been in WAY over my head.

fantabulouswomen roses

Even now, I am trying to be strategic and focused with ALL of my activities, including FanTABulous Women.

I want to produce quality content and useful offerings to best serve you.

As a people pleaser and “yes woman,” it’s easy for me to get overwhelmed and stretched too thin. I know I cannot serve you well if I am stressed because I’m trying to do too much!

So, be on the lookout for more of a focus on color, image and marketing for professionals. You’ll see more from the writing side of what I do, too, which I hope will help you.

Please let me know what I can do for you and I hope you’ll connect with me in real life!

 

I’m Taking a Tabbatical

Yes, I am taking a Tabbatical from August 5 to September 1  October 6th.

I will be taking a break from everything except my paid writing clients and my #1 obligations.

There won’t be much in the way of new content or social media activity until September  October.

In the meantime, feel free to email me at letmerephrasethat(at)gmail.com.

I’ll be back to it, with renewed focus and vigor, in September October.

Back-To-School Supplies for Mom

fantabulous women tabitha dumas back to school for mom

Back-to-school supplies for Mom.

This may seem a bit premature for some of you (back to school?!? In July?!?) but my oldest son is on a modified year-round school schedule (two weeks off after each grading period and seven weeks off in summer) and starts 2nd grade on July 22nd.

My baby is starting second grade!! Eeeeeek!!

Back-to-school time is HERE for us and I realized that I—work-at-home mom and home manager—need to get myself ready!

For me, summer has been a mixed bag. Yes, we got to take a road trip to my home state of Florida at the start of summer and, yes, my older son has kept the younger one occupied during the day so I could log some billable hours, but…we’ve been doing the “stay up late and wake up late” routine but when the boys are up late, I can’t get “real work” done (I need total peace and quiet to write) and my mornings when they’re sleeping in are not very productive. I’ve been lax on housework and meal planning (don’t ask me how many pizza boxes were in the recycle bin this week) and I’m low on energy because of the wacky sleep schedule. Plus, I’ve had to postpone my usual meetings because it’s hard to get child care for both boys.

I’m ready to get back into the school routine.

This year will be unique because on August 5, my younger son will begin preschool so I will have nine hours a week to be foot loose and kid-free. I’ll keep the fancy.

So I need to be ready.

Here are a few tools I assembled to help ME prepare! The idea is to keep things running smoothly and to set yourself up for a wonderful school year. For yourself AND the kids!

Cookbooks and meal planning tools.

Pull out your favorite cookbooks, grab a shopping list and map out your meals for the week (I do pizza, taco soup and pasta almost every week). Mine have to be quick, easy, and kid-friendly (and when I say kid, I mean picky-eater-kid).

fantabulous women tabitha dumas back to school mom meal planning shopping list

New office supplies.

Why should the kids be the only ones who get fresh folders, markers and composition books?? Get some cute folders for filing all of the papers that will soon be coming in from school and treat yourself to some pretty pens and highlighters. Have a day planner handy, too, for writing down PTA meeting times and coffee dates. Remember to schedule in “me time,” too!

fantabulous women tabitha dumas back to school mom supplies calendar me time

Beauty time-savers.

I advise my Mary Kay customers to have an everyday makeup look accessible to grab even if they only have five minutes to spend on their face in the morning. All you need is one or two neutral eye colors, a soft blush, mascara and gloss. I highly recommend the Mary Kay 3-in-1 cleanser, too, because it cleanses, exfoliates and freshens in one step. My other favorite multi-tasking product is the Mary Kay Moisture Renewing Gel Mask. It feels almost like aloe and you can use it as a quick mask or wear it overnight if your skin is dry, inflamed or stressed.

fantabulous women tabitha dumas back to school mom beauty time savers

Designate a “mom zone” or “home management zone.”

This is the place to keep paperwork, calendars, to-do lists and things like greeting cards, wrapping supplies and bills all in one spot that is yours alone.

fantabulous women studio home office craft room

As you can see above, I am spoiled—I have a studio/office/craft room (nearly) all to myself but you can use a small desk, a corner of your laundry room or even a closet. For example…

Below is is my “drop and grab zone” between the front door and the garage where I can drop my keys or grab library books on the way in or out, plus a spot for reminders and papers.

fantabulouswomen mom command center

Take a moment to tweak your inspiration board, too, so that the things that inspire you or make you smile are where you can see them regularly.

fantabulous women tabitha dumas back to school mom inspiration board

If you work from home, you may want to reorganize your desk or set up new filing systems–whatever it takes to be efficient and productive.

If you’re a home school mom, now is the time to get your desk and teaching area(s) ready.

There are some fun ideas for work-at-home and home school moms on my Back To School Pinterest board.

And you can’t go back to school without books!

I have found a good many of these at Goodwill.

fantabulous women tabitha dumas back to school mom books

Two of my favorites: “Simple Abundance” by Sarah Ban Breathnach and “Organized Simplicity” by Tsh Oxenreider.

fantabulous women tabitha dumas back to school mom books

For those with a business: “Love is the Killer Ap” by Tim Sanders, “Good to Great” by Jim Collins and “The Power of Uniqueness” by Arthur F. Miller, Jr.

fantabulous women tabitha dumas back to school mom books for business

And for personal development: “By Happy Without Being Perfect” by Alice D. Domar, Ph.D, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families” by Stephen R. Covey and “Take Time For Your Life” by Cheryl Richardson.

fantabulous women tabitha dumas back to school mom books for personal development

You may also need a new tote bag to carry your books in or maybe a pretty new purse for fall. You get a backpack for the kids, why not treat yourself?? 

Have some fun before the race to Winter Break begins and set yourself up for a wonderful new school year.

Remember to visit my Back To School Pinterest board board for more ideas, inspiring images and links!

Ten Image Tips for Professionals

Most of us aren’t required to look 100% professional 24/7.

It is inevitable that you will run into a colleague at the grocery store when you are still in your workout clothes or at the home improvement store when you are in your yard work clothes. I don’t know anyone who lives their entire life in a suit.

However, for those times when you want to look like the most professional version of yourself, here are some image tips. The main goals are to represent yourself well, to look like you’ve got it together and to not distract anyone with how you look.

professional image tips tabitha dumas

Ladies & Gentlemen

1. Have a mint and save the gum for weekends. Chewing gum just looks silly in a professional environment, plus you may be like me and be tempted to blow bubbles, making you look like an eight-year-old.

2. Put your sunglasses away. You can’t imagine how many times I see people sitting in a meeting with their sunglasses perched on their head. Ladies, sunglasses are NOT a headband.

3. Clean up your shoes. Nothing looks more careless than dirty shoes. If you live somewhere dusty, keep wet wipes handy to clean up before entering a meeting.

4. Keep your nails trimmed and clean. Ladies, nude and light colors look best for your fingers (and use your discretion when it comes to your toes–you can probably get away with bold colors if you prefer).

5. Mind your body language. Maintain proper posture and when someone is speaking, make eye contact, nod and smile as appropriate.

Ladies

professional woman fantabulous image tips for professionals

6. Don’t overdo the cleavage or the exposed leg. Don’t let your skin be a distraction or affect your credibility. In fact, I recommend against spaghetti straps in the office and even sleeveless tops unless it is very modestly cut. Knee-length skirts or longer are also recommended. Oh, and when you wear a skirt, make sure it is lined or PLEASE wear a slip.

7. Beware of “dress shorts” and even “dress capris,”  meaning fancier shorts and capris that are supposed to be office-worthy (like with pin stripes). Just make sure your overall look says “Professional” and not “about to board a cruise.”

8. Wear some makeup. It is a proven fact that women are considered more confident and competent when they wear simple, flattering makeup. Even out your skin tone with tinted moisturizer or foundation and accentuate your best features with a little mascara, plus a neutral blush and light lip gloss.

Gentlemen

professional man fantabulous image tips for professionals

8. Keep your hair groomed. That means your facial hair, ears and nose, too! Consider waxing that uni-brow and PLEASE trim your long eyebrows.

9. Be bold with color! Don’t shy away from colors other than black, navy or gray. Whether a collared shirt or a dress shirt, most men (especially those of you with salt-and-pepper hair) look great in purple, red, a shade of turquoise and even orange. If your job requires you to be more conservative, consider a purple or pink-hued tie instead.

When you look your best, you will be AT your best!

What do YOU think should be added to this list?

Need help with your professional image? Contact me to schedule a “Next Step Assessment” to determine how we can work together to elevate your look to the next level! 

The #1 Secret to How I Built a Business I Love In Two Years

Two years ago, I came home to the east valley of Phoenix when our little family packed up and moved into my parents’ neighborhood in Chandler, Arizona.

When we relocated, our mortgage payment increased along with our our living expenses. Our sons were ages two and five and quite independent.

My husband affirmed what I had been thinking: It was time for me to find a job.

I had been “working” from home since my first son was six months old, but mostly dabbling in various direct sales companies and even running an Etsy shop for a couple of years.

It was time to get real.

But…I didn’t want to get a “real job” in an office or in a retail store. Having one son still at home during the day, I determined in my heart to become a work-at-home mom. I wanted to create a small business all my own and work from home so I could earn money to help our family while also parenting our sons, managing our home and volunteering within the community…and enjoy every aspect of it.

So I set out to build a business for myself. Boy, oh boy, has it been a journey! 

I am being absolutely vulnerable and authentic when I tell you that only in the last two months or so have I moved past being a “hobbyist” to actually turning a profit.

But I did it all in two years and with virtually zero capital (along with a very supportive and understanding husband by my side and a LOT of help from my parents, friends, extended family and cohorts).

In a way, I wish I had started sooner or could have sped up the process…but looking back, each obstacle, phase and success was another perfectly timed and vitally important step of my journey. I can honestly say that I have no regrets. 

Whether you think building a profitable home-based small business from scratch in two years is impressive or pathetic, if you’re still reading, I bet you’re wondering how I did it.

What’s the secret, you ask? I can summarize it in one word: networking.

 

Anyone who works as their own boss or works on commission knows about the power of networking.

There is a lot of power in the use of marketing and sales strategies, social media, honing your skills, personal development and the myriad of other areas of growth for a young small business—but networking is the one that fuels and propels them all.

See these business cards? They are just a small sampling of the cards I amassed over the last two years.

fantabulous women networking

I didn’t, however, merely go from meeting to meeting collecting cards! These cards represent hundreds of connections, contacts and resources shared. Many of these cards belong to people that I now call “friend!”

In my opinion, networking is a key component of any small business’s success. It took me two years to build my network to the point that it buoyed a profitable small business.

 

Yes, I’ll be writing more about this topic in the weeks to come and revealing the actual secrets to effective networking. I have a lot to say on this topic! Stay tuned!

What about you? Are you a master networker, a newbie or something in between? What do you want to know?

 

Why I Have a Personal Purpose Statement

NEWSFLASH: I am not busy.

Yes, I have two small children (and busy boys at that).

Yes, I have a husband, a home, hobbies and a social life.

Yes, I have two home-based businesses, multiple social media accounts and five-plus blogs to run.

Yes, I teach a class once a week out of my home studio, using my own curriculum.

Yes, I serve in Marketplace Ministries, am active in the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce and serve at Central Christian Church.

Yes, I volunteer and serve many hours every week.

I also get dressed every day (including makeup and jewelry), pamper myself regularly, craft my own greeting cards, make frequent trips to browse in secondhand stores, cook, clean, read magazines and regularly take my sons on exciting adventures.

BUT…I am not busy. I am living my life according to my personal purpose statement.

fantabulous women purpose statement

When approached about a new project or opportunity, I will never tell someone that I am ‘too busy’ to do it. I DO tell them that it is not a priority for me right now. I am not too busy to make time for what matters to me (and neither are you).

The fact is, to DO all of the above, I have to NOT do some things.

People have often commented to me: “I don’t know how you do it all.”

NEWSFLASH: I don’t do it all.

I ‘did it all’ back in 2008 and it resulted in resentment, stress and eventually full-blown anxiety and the occasional panic attack. I let the anxiety serve as a wake-up call to purge busyness out of my life and get back to the things that truly matter to me and to the people I love.

That’s when I started living by my personal purpose statement (PPS).

Let me tell you what I DON’T do:

I don’t maintain more than five close female friendships.

I don’t participate in a moms’ group.

I don’t exercise regularly.

I don’t watch more than an hour or so of television per day.

I don’t volunteer in my older son’s classroom.

I don’t send my younger son to preschool.

I don’t entertain regularly.

I don’t attend networking groups.

I don’t schedule meetings and consultations all over town.

I don’t promise regular posts on my blogs.

I don’t travel.

I don’t pay for manicures, pedicures, expensive meals out, an elaborate hair style or trendy clothing (except on very rare occasions).

I don’t have my boys in multiple extracurricular activities.

I don’t drive a fancy car.

I don’t have a fancy phone or a fancy tablet or anything fancy when it comes to electronics (except my three-year-old laptop we won at my husband’s company picnic).

There are a LOT of things I don’t do.

“But wait!” you say. “Some of the things you don’t do are GOOD things!”

Indeed. And yes, I would like to fit in exercise. I’d like to have my son in a Montessori preschool for a few hours during the week. And of course I’d like to get regular manicures and pedicures!

But those things don’t fit into my current season of life, my family budget and/or my personal purpose statement.

Of my personal purpose statement and my life, neither are perfect. But allowing my PPS to guide my activities, priorities and financial goals means that I can live a life of as much balance, peace and joy as this season of life can afford me.

Someday I hope to streamline my administrative duties, hire someone to help me clean the house and be able to write more while I’m on the go so that I CAN find time to volunteer in my son’s classroom, but today is not that day. I am OK with that.

I know what I’m about. I know what I can and should do–and not do. And that is priceless.

To learn more about creating your own personal purpose statement, attend my “Living an authentic life based on your personal mission statement” class OR schedule your one-on-one consultation TODAY!

Check out the details of all of my UPCOMING CLASSES on Facebook here.

Want to have your Best Year Yet??

Hop on over to my “Let Me Rephrase That” blog for my one-week Best Year Yet series.

You can also join my Best Year Yet Facebook group to keep the conversation going.

Let’s grow and learn together to make 2013 our BEST YEAR YET!

Staying True to Your Vision

Do you ever get stuck on something and can’t seem to let it go? Maybe it’s a vision of the future, a dream, a wish or an experience you hope to have. You get the idea and are tempted to just ‘get over it’ when it doesn’t happen, but it won’t go away.

That happened to me with this day bed from IKEA. I had my eye on it since at least September 2009 when I was dreaming of my future craft room in this post on my old blog. I saw it as more of sofa for me to lounge on and a comfy place for people to chill out during all-day craft-a-thons.

fantabulous women studio daybed

When we toured our current home almost a year ago (pictured below), I took one look at the bonus room in the front of the house (complete with tall double doors, right off the entryway) and said, “This is going to be MY room.” It was a playroom at the time but I saw the potential.

bonus room studio craft room before fantabulouswomen.com

At the time, I envisioned it as a craft room and a place to have some ‘girl time’ away from my rambunctious boys. A few months in, I was holding color consultations in there, too, and my boys had the back half of the room to themselves and sat on my daybed (MY daybed) to watch TV and play X-box. Their area is hidden behind the screen.

fantabulous craft room studio

Then I started my Mary Kay business and began using the studio to organize my inventory and hold skin care consultations. It’s a little hard to give someone a facial on a daybed. Plus my business started booming and I didn’t want kids in (what had become) my office. We even moved The Big Desk into the room and moved the boys OUT.

Tab's studio office after

But my vision persisted. I still wanted to meet with women on my daybed. I couldn’t let it go.

A few months ago, I got the idea for FanTABulous Women and I big part of that vision was meeting with women to talk about their needs and how we could help each other. I clung to my vision of having a ‘business meeting’ on my daybed even while I debated about moving it out of the room to free up the space. “Is anyone going to actually WANT to sit on it with me??” I wondered.

Then yesterday, I had a ‘meeting of the minds’ with one of my business partners who is a wellness expert (you will be hearing more about her and her offerings soon) and invited her into my studio. She moved toward the daybed and I told her, “You can sit wherever you want to.”

“Oh, I want to sit on your daybed, it looks so inviting.”

daybed for meetings fantabulouswomen.com

I felt my heart sigh a little. Then it got better.

She started to take off her sandals and I told her, “Oh, you don’t have to take off your shoes in here, the floor isn’t THAT clean,” and she replied, “Actually, I was thinking about sitting back and putting my feet up on the bed.”

I was thrilled.

We spent about the next hour-and-a-half both lounging barefoot on the daybed, talking, laughing and planning together.

She commented, “All business meetings should be like this.”
It felt a lot more like a slumber party than a business meeting. I loved it.

I am so glad that I didn’t abandon my vision. That meeting on my daybed was just a little affirmation that I am right where I belong.

What vision do YOU have that you can’t seem to shake, but hasn’t been brought to fruition yet? What’s holding you back? How can we help you? Please leave a comment and tell us.

Copyright Tabitha Dumas, online and in-persona image consultant Gilbert Chandler, Arizona. All right reserved.