Traci McBride Posts
It’s common this time of year to review areas of our lives that we want to change or improve. One thing that impacts us every day is our wardrobe and personal image. It goes everywhere with us and influences how others perceive us and the skills we offer.
Try to be brutally honest as you work through the following steps to a refreshed wardrobe and personal image and take a candid look at the wardrobe choices you made this past year.
Before you go shopping, do an image review. If you’re active on social media such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, there are probably many photos of you. What do you see when you study images of yourself?
– Do you love your hairstyle?
– Guys, how does that beard or mustache look? Well groomed?
– Does your eyewear flatter your face shape and is it modern?
– Ladies, is your makeup still looking fresh and current?
– Are you wearing your power colors, texture, print and shine?
– Does it seem like you are wearing the same thing in every photo? HINT: If you wear mostly black or gray it looks like the same outfit on social media.
While studying those photos objectively, ask yourself a few questions:
– Would I date, hire or want to meet that person?
– Then ask, what is that person visually communicating to me? Modern, confident, influential, relatable, friendly, fun, polished, sexy? HINT: You get to choose.
– Is it possible those photos are saying you’re tired, bored, stuck, frumpy and unrelatable?
Next is the wardrobe review. What do you find?
Do you have items that:
– Don’t fit well?
– You’ve never worn, with tags still on?
– You like but rarely or never wear?
– You put on but then change your mind and take off?...
Style Under the Stars
By Traci McBride
If you haven’t stepped foot in a campground lately, you’re in for a surprise.
Elaborate tents with strings of solar lights. Fanciful campers with flowerpots and outdoor rugs at the doorways. Extravagant treehouses. Funky yurts.
You may drag along musty, stained sleeping bags and a package of hot dogs for a few nights under the stars, but your neighbors have upped the camping game: They’re glamping.
Camping lost its novelty for many of us with memories of miserable nights, too many bugs and ash-sprinkled food. The bugs are still there, but the rest has undergone a stylish transformation.
Glamping is getting away from it all while enjoying the luxuries of home. Are you a tent, RV or Airstream camper? Spice things up with practical, traditional yet supremely comfortable details that introduce color, patterns and simple amenities to your campsite. You’re a glamper.
You’ll sleep better and have more enthusiasm for hiking when you’ve rested on a queen-size blow-up mattress, having spent the evening listening to a waterproof battery-operated sound system after cooking a gourmet meal.
A portable kitchenette that includes a spice rack, paper towel holder and lantern pole makes food prep easy. You are more likely to get the grandkids to join you if they don’t have to lie on the hard ground and are still able to earn some tablet or cellphone time with a solar-powered charger. Download outdoor apps (such as SkyView and the Audubon Bird Guide) to enhance your hikes. Beautiful design plus practical functionality equals the ultimate glamping experience.
Products have certainly affected traditional camping. Battery-operated portable showers, solar chargers and battery-powered twinkle lights keep everyone clean and add a little romantic sparkle....
Family Affair – Plan a Reunion with the Clan
Is it time to make good on that goal of spending more time with extended family?
Facebook photos prove that years pass way too quickly. The gift of building deeper relationships with extended family can benefit every generation. Maybe this is the year for a family reunion.
Here are suggestions to get the ball rolling:
STARTING FROM SCRATCH — Begin with a survey or poll
Family budgets: Daylong, weekend, weeklong
Audience: How many adults, kids and teens?
What has the larger appeal to your family age group?
- Renting a house
- Park, campground, private home
What activities are popular with the majority?
- Snow activities: skiing, tobogganing, snowboarding or hot tubs
- Warm-weather activities: beach, ocean, swimming or spa time
- Other outdoor activities: hiking, biking, team sports or picnics
- Begin with a budget and request donations from the families for early expenses.
- Choose a firm date.
- Decide the theme. Go to Pinterest (pinterest.com) to get ideas.
- Create a website/blog or private Facebook page to communicate as plans are made.
- Create a timeline with deadlines.
- Email sign-up sheets with task assignments and list all members’ contact information. Find out skill sets of family members; don’t give a creative task to someone with an analytical personality, for example.
Here’s what local travel experts say about streamlining the learning curve for successful reunions:
Choose a Cruise
Adrienne Greben, franchise owner of Cruise Planners/American Express in Concord Township:
“Groups are complex. It’s important to use the services of a good travel professional who will remember your family’s details and can guide you through every step — at no cost to you. The pricing is the same, but travel pros can often offer extra amenities for your family.
“Book your cruise early — even more than a year in advance....
Celebrating at home in style is a great way to honor milestone moments and to spend time with people we enjoy and love. Pulling together a party isn’t everyone’s strength, so why not do what you do best and hire others for the rest?
ATMOSPHERE IS KEY
Choosing a theme, colors, music, food and decor is a good start. Regardless of whether you are a DIY type or hire everything out, a theme communicates that this is a festive event; your guests will feel welcomed.
Much can be done at every budget level. Be creative and use what you have in unexpected ways. Fill martini glasses with nuts or candy, or turn them upside down as bases to give food platters height on the table.
Fairview Park caterer Sandra Krueger opened her home for a couples tasting party on a recent Sunday afternoon. A few miniature tastings of sweets and savories with pops of vibrant yellow accents helped pull the mini-theme together, energized guests and spurred conversation. Fresh flowers and lemons from Trader Joe’s, yellow striped placemats, and white and clear serving pieces drew attention to the table and made already delicious food look even more appetizing.
Motivated to plan a stylish celebration but all you have time for is cleaning the bathroom? Bring in the local experts; Northeast Ohio has plenty of talented party-planning pros.
TIPS FROM PARTY PROFESSIONALS PROFESSIONALS
RAISE YOUR PARTY IQ
Jacquie Sopko, owner of Balloon Crew Inc. in Cleveland (ballooncrewinc.com)
• If you can help it, NEVER use helium-filled balloons onNtables outside. Rather, use air filled designs that can be weighted down.
• Get instant glamour by filling the ceiling with balloons.
• If inflating your own balloons, inflate them the day of the event (unless you are using Hi Float, which extends the float time of helium balloons)....
Create a unique way to give to those who support you. Lifetime friends, dear neighbors, a tight-knit family or great co-workers whose support and friendship help you to be happy and successful throughout the year all are worthy of a party. The group can be from any area of your life that you want to celebrate. And this time of year, the holidays provide a perfect backdrop.
EAT, DRINK & BE A GREAT HOST
Regardless of whether you are providing appetizers or choose to serve a more substantial meal, the key is to keep the spread simple yet visually appealing. You want to visit with your friends, not run frantically from the kitchen to the serving area to the door greeting guests. No one enjoys seeing a host spend most of their time preparing and serving food and drinks than visiting with their guests.
Chives, bacon, sour cream and cheese assortments can flesh out this theme. Make potatoes ahead of time, wrap them in aluminum foil and keep them warm in an oven until party time.
Offer a broth-based, cheese-based and a chili along with a variety of crackers and toppings. Use small ramekins so everyone can try multiple soups. Again, make these ahead of time. Borrow Crock-Pots to keep everything steaming hot
This is all the rage with many restaurants specializing in Mexican fare. You really can’t go wrong here. Before guests arrive, arrange all the basic ingredients (and a few they don’t expect — shredded cabbage, spicy shrimp maybe?)....
What happens when you style a professional photographer and a retired rocket scientist? They become one of the most inspiring and fashionable couples around.
Linda Ford of North Olmsted wanted to refresh and streamline the remnants of her former corporate life to better reflect her current passion, capturing milestone life moments as a photographer. She started with her closet and turned to Traci McBride, a wardrobe stylist and founder of STYLEDbyTee.com.
“Working with a wardrobe styl- ist gave me a freedom I never had before,” Ford says. “Learning why certain items worked and others didn’t was eyeopening – it wasn’t me, it was the cut of the clothes.
I have more space in my closet, clothes I love that express me and mix into so many unique outfits, and a “Look Book” so I just effortlessly recreate outfits every day. My style is fun and expressive, which is how I live my life.”
Her husband Bill, says, “It’s priceless to have a wardrobe that easily transitions and layers into my on-the-go life, supporting my beautiful wife on photo shoots, enjoying activities with our grand kids and traveling around the world. “My style is colorful and complementary to the love of my life.”
• Avoid hanging onto sizes that no longer fit you; they are using valuable real estate in the closet. Remove what doesn’t reflect who you are now, andm embrace your ‘now’ body.
• Fit is next. Try on every item in front of a mirror. Note what needs to be tailored and consider the costs involved. Do you love the item enough to reinvest in it?
• Proportion is key. Too long or too wide for your body looks sloppy.
• Subtle details make all the difference. Mix pin stripes and plaid as Bill did in the photo....