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I spent a lot of time doing my taxes today

Therefore, I am not in the most creative state of mind. I actually enjoy doing taxes because it is so detailed and methodical. One of my favorite jobs during college was as a bank teller. Multiple transactions per shift, and no room for error. Meticulous data entry and precision. At the end of the day there were always two people on duty to verify the counts. The drawer had to be perfectly balanced or we found ourselves having to stay late until every last penny was accounted for. One of my favorite memories from working at the bank was a time when I left the intercom on for entertainment sake. A customer was in the drive up lane jamming out to a song on the radio. The best part was the song he was singing: Take the Money and Run.

Another favorite memory I have from the bank days is when someone drove off with the canister. I don’t know why it struck my funny bone so much when they sheepishly pulled around a few minutes later and dropped it back off without a word. Finally, I remember watching a customer drop the canister entirely. It rolled under the car and the person was so flustered that they opened the door of their car to retrieve it, but ended up slamming the door into the concrete post. The driver quickly pulled the door back shut and drove off. All a teller can do is watch wide-eyed as the spectacle unfolds… Anyway, taxes. Things are looking decent this year. No surprises- though I did just receive a 1099-MISC in the mail from a business I had no recollection of working for. I had to Google the payer listed and see if it sparked a memory. I’m pretty sure now it was from a modeling job I had last January. Not 100% certain, but pretty sure…I had a busy year.

Good luck and happy times to you if you file on your own- or- enjoy your free time if you use an accountant!

Best,

A.Lockhart

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Beauty, Blog, Health and Wellness

3 Ingredient Natural Lip Scrub

My quest to find all-natural beauty product alternatives has taken a turn for the crazy. I can now eat my own lip scrub. Here’s why: I made it myself with ingredients from the pantry. Yes! Three simple ingredients that will moisturize, exfoliate, and soften.

What you need:

  • Olive Oil
  • Honey
  • Sugar

Instructions: Mix the olive oil and honey in equal parts. I just went with one tablespoon each to start. Next, add whatever amount of sugar strikes your fancy and fold gently into the honey and olive oil. The more sugar you add, the more exfoliant/gritty property you will feel.

Rub the product on your lips in a circular motion, resist licking, and finish with water or a mild facial cleanser of your choice. Your lips will be kissably soft and smooth. Chemical free, inexpensive, and delicious. I figure the total cost ended up being less than $1.00/ounce.

I found these adorable little containers at the Container Store to store my magical beauty potion. I must say that I am a little addicted to this scrub because it tastes good, smells good, and allows me to go without chapstick. I used to have to apply chapstick at night before bed, but the olive oil really conditions my lips well.

Let me know if you try this out and what you thought!

To your health,

A.Lockhart

 

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Blog, Shopping

Stitch Fix!

Who has tried Stitch Fix? Anyone? Well…I have and I absolutely love it, and here is why:

  1. You can set your own style. They ask you a series of questions, and you can rate it anywhere from Love It to Hate It.
  2. You can link your FB, Pinterest and other accounts, to your stitch fix account. Your stylist can see you and your style, and outfit you appropriately.
  3. You can set your ideal price points when forming your profile, as well as when you evaluate and keep/return your Fix’s.
  4. You can schedule Fix’s to come weekly, monthly, every other month – or whatever you’d like. Right now, I get an average of 8 Fix’s per year. I schedule them to coincidence to about 1-2 weeks prior to an event or Vacation – and I write my Stylist a quick note outlining my plans and what I am looking for!
  5. I am charged $20 when the Fix ships.
  6. When I review my Fix, I decide what I keep. As long as I keep 1 piece, teh $20 is deducted from the total of the piece(s) that I keep. If I keep all 5, I get a 20% discount on the entire order.
  7. After I receive the order, and decide what to keep and/or return – I go online, “Check Out” by marking Keep or Return, and give feedback on each piece. Do I like the style? The fit? The price?
  8. Then i put my returns, if I have any, in the pre-paid bag that they provide – and put right in the mailbox. Easy. As. Thanks!

What Stitch Fix does for me, is pushes me outside of my comfort zone. It is exciting, something to look forward to, and just plain fun. I plan to take pictures of some of my Fix’s over the next few months, for you to take a peak at!

If you haven’t tried it, I suggest you give it a trial run. Let me know what you think, and feel free to use my referral site, to get started.

https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/4625261

Cheers,

H Bloomer

 

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Uncategorized

Overwhelmed. Exhausted. Thankful.

Can someone be overwhelmed, physically and emotionally exhausted, and yet so incredibly thankful and grateful, all at the same time? The answer is a resounding Yes. Absolutely. Most Certainly.

How can I be so sure? Because today, it is Me. I am that exact definition.

My Exhausted, Overwhelmed Self Thinks:

  • I am working longer hours that I have in my entire life. My clients have huge initiatives reaching their peak.
  • I flew to Milwaukee for 26 hours Friday-Saturday for a baby shower.
  • My kids want to play games.
  • My house isn’t picked up.
  • Laundry and dishes are overflowing.
  • I have Leads who need Proposals. And Prospective Clients who want to move forward on Proposals. And Prospective Jobs that need to be filled with Amazing Contractors.
  • We leave for vacation in 6 days. To a tropical beach. And I haven’t found time to buy my kids sandals yet. (barefoot is the way to go, I guess!)
  • We brought on a new Financial Planner for our business and personal finances – and there are so many options and things to consider – that my mind can’t even hold them all straight.
  • I. Want. To Scream….and then proceed right into tears.

My Grateful Self Thinks:

  • Holy Hannah – the work I am doing is meaningful, adds value, and shows my true Unique Ability. This is what I dreamed for, and I am only 30, and it is temporary. How did I get so blessed?
  • Amazed – I have the ability with my finances and my support system (Helloooo Mom and Aaron!) to leave on a whim to attend a great friend’s baby shower? How did I get so blessed?
  • My two, healthy, happy, kids love me. I have an amazing home that have so much food and so many dishes.
  • I have business leads. Who ask for proposals. And then sign Service Agreements. I have the pleasure of offering work to those looking for it. And creating capacity to the clients they are allowed to Serve. Dream. Come. True.
  • I have financial options. I have the capacity to give. I have the capacity to learn. Enough said.
  • Tears of joy have been flowing lately.

Be Blessed,

Overwhelmed. Exhausted. Thankful.

(written on 1/17/16. by the time this posts – I will be in beautiful Hawaii. Stay-tuned for a Comprehensive Review of the Big Island. 

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Beauty, Blog, Health and Wellness

Coconut Oil as Eye Makeup Remover

I’m on a new kick since discovering the Skin Deep app I talked about in my last post. I am now on a quest to find products with excellent health ratings, and swap out my current products for those free from toxins.

I ran out of eye makeup remover this week, but didn’t have time to go to the store, or research very much. In a pinch I decided to try Coconut Oil to see if it produced the desired results. I am happy to report that my “in a pinch” solution can now be a permanent solution!

The mascara I currently use (yes, it has chemicals in it, but I can only be so good one product at a time) is a lash builder, lash thickener, lash 50x my lengthener. I love mascara. It’s also waterproof, which means that it takes some serious product to remove all the build up.

As a test, I put on at least 20 coats of mascara per eye, and then attempted to wash it off at the end of the night. Coconut oil has truly done the trick. I didn’t think it would, but it did. I applied it on the eyelid and around the eye as I would with the other product and then finished by washing with my normal face wash. The mascara came off just fine. No tugging, rubbing, or extra effort. I love that this option is significantly cheaper than official eye makeup remover, too. Trader Joe’s has a 16oz jar of Organic Virgin Coconut Oil for $5.99. I used to spend triple that amount on my eye makeup remover!

I encourage you to give it a try.

To your health,

A.Lockhart

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Blog, Career

My Website’s 1year anniversary

This month marks the 1-year anniversary of my 2nd website for my company. The journey of my website has been an amazing one. I have learned so many about what makes a website work, the various types, and the key parts of a website that help you sell your business, and make your services credible.

I was honored to have Particle, LLC build my current website – and I love it. I decided to take the jump early-on to ensure my website match who Avant Synergy was, and could validate that for any prospects that were checking things out before they signed on the dotted line.

However, the journey continues, even now! Almost 2 years into my business and my website will soon be undergoing another large re haul. The brand will stay in tact, however I will soon be launching numerous packages and menu items for your clients to choose from.

In the meantime, check out http://www.avantsynergy.com to see the current version of the website – and feel free to share what you love, and any advice you may have!

Cheers,

H Bloomer

 

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Beauty, Blog, Health and Wellness

How did I not know about this until recently?

I found a new app to install on my iPhone and now I’m obsessed with it. The name of the app is called Skin Deep. It’s free in the App Store and provides me with information on the health & safety ratings of more than 80,000 products sold in the U.S. cosmetics industry. The app was developed by the EWG, “the nation’s most effective environmental health non-profit organization.” I don’t know if it’s the scanner that makes it so addicting or the fact that I am learning tons of new information about the chemicals found in everyday products that I use! What I am learning from my own research is that the U.S. federal government is lagging when it comes to regulating the cosmetics industry.

How it works: I can type in a product name (e.g. “Clinique” or “Philosophy”) and the database will pull info on all the products listed in the database for that brand.  The other option is to scan the barcode of the product I want to learn about, and if the product is listed in the database, it will pull the info specific to that product.

Once the product is located it will provide an overall rating for the product based on the health concerns associated with that products including: Cancer, Developmental/Reprotoxicity, and Allergens. If there are ingredients contributing to a high hazard score, it will specifically list those ingredients.

I took this app with me on a mission to the local Ulta on Friday evening. My goal was to find an eye makeup primer that had a positive health rating. I get the “greasy creasy” effect on my eyelids and eyeshadow tends to slide right off within a couple of hours if I don’t use a primer. I started with some familiar brands and was disappointed to see poor ratings based on the chemicals they contained. After about 20 minutes of scanning products I finally located a product from BareMinerals that had a score of “1” which is the best.

1.17.16a

I sort of wanted to shout out to the store and tell every shopper in the store about the powerful tool I held in my hand. It feels good to be a consumer who is equipped with knowledge and can make informed choices about the products I purchase. Instead of being a weirdo in the store, I decided to write this blog post instead.

After I came home from the store I started scanning products I own at home. I made the choice to dispose of several items because I know I can do better for my health. When my baby girls were born I was obsessed with finding all-natural and safe products for their delicate skin. Why did I not think to take the same care and concerned approach toward my own skin?!

I’m thankful to the friend who guided me toward this information and gave me the option to take action as I saw fit. Check out the app and see what you think.

To your health-

A.Lockhart

 

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