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When I first met my friend Jess it was when we were both speakers on an entrepreneurial panel about life hacks. Chosen because we were “awesome at life” (seriously- still the best compliment I’ve ever gotten), Jess shared her passion for butterflies and how she was creating a “Legit Love Revolution”. Yup, if you’re like me, you just rolled your eyes, pictured hippies dancing on the playa at Burning Man, and thought “next she’ll be asking me what my sign is.”  LOL Now you’ll be shocked to discover that in addition to her love revolution, Jess has a day job at an airline keeping people happy- hence her first hand expertise knowing that all of us need love and rarely get enough of it in our lives. Recently a friend asked me how I define love and my answer was simple “unconditional acceptance”. Don’t we all deserve people in our lives who accept us unconditionally? Who love us when we do ugly things? Who celebrate us when we hit rock bottom? I am infinitely grateful to the people in my life who have done just that, so when Jess reached out to ask that I share her new monthly event, well, I am in and I hope you will be, too.  

Fill Your Cup Friday is the place where busy women gather together to start the weekend off Radiantly Recharged! This will be a monthly event.

The first event is: Friday, Dec. 5
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Location: Oasis to Zen Wellness Center & Transformation Spa, 5715 W. Alexander Road #140, Las Vegas, NV 89130 
Cost: FREE! Bring a bottle of wine to share, if you like
RSVP!! Make sure to save your spot (space is limited): 
Put your name and email in the boxes at http://JessTomlinson.com/fillyourcup

Women will: 
>Connect with a community of expressive, heart-centered business babes
>Share your struggles without judgement
>Receive support from women who can relate
>Learn Radiant Self Care Success tips from Jess Tomlinson, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach
>Relax after a long week of work
>Have fun & play!
>Express yourself freely – dance, arts, creativity & more!
>“Fill Your Cup” with a little vino :) 

Upcoming events: 4th Fridays of the month 1/30, 2/27, 3/27 (RSVP link will remain the same and details will change after each event is over.) 


Follow Jess on twitter @LegitLoveJess.  


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BossBabe

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Last night I went to a late dinner and drinks at Tivoli Village‘s View Wine Bar & Kitchen with a group of friends. Now, all of the things that you would assume matter the most about a restaurant all of the sudden became inconsequential to our entire group. Was the atmosphere nice? Oh heavens yes, it was lovely with live jazz playing in the background. Was it clean? Meticulous. What was the food like? Delicious small plates of creative cuisine like Risotto balls and lobster mac and cheese- not one spice or sauce out of place. Perhaps the wine wasn’t amazing? Nope- the list of over 30 wines was on point and the signature cocktails were creatively delicious. Was it crazy busy? Not really and there were plenty of staff on hand with lots of open tables. So, why were a table of eight entrepreneurs- each one someone who owns and operates their own business (making us by our very nature more empathetic to the struggles of operating a business), furious at having spent $350 hard earned dollars at this establishment? Easy: we were ignored.  

Not only were we ignored all night, but our server, Ray, made it very clear that we were a burden on his Thursday evening from the moment we sat down. I don’t know what about a group of professional, friendly locals pissed Ray off, but we got not one smile, not a greeting, and the only way I knew his name was Ray was on the receipt when I was so pissed off that I had to find it out. I know what you’re thinking: everyone has a bad day. I agree. However, we were at the restaurant from 7-9PM on a Thursday night and Ray had so many opportunities to provide us with even average service that you, too, would have been pissed right off. It’s a wine bar. I was able to sip my entire glass of wine, finish the entire glass of water next to it, and I had to flag Ray down to ask him if I could inconvenience him by bringing me another glass. It’s a wine bar. The very name implies that their job is to sell me wine. Everything from placing our dinner order to getting glasses of wine involved us flagging Ray down and begging him to do his job. We were located at the center table right by the kitchen and the bar, so there is no excuse. Ray walked by me 4 times as I waved the check with my credit card and flat ignored me. I even yelled “hey” and nothing. Yes, I yelled “hey” in a restaurant. That’s how bad it was. Finally, I got up, went to the smiling blonde bartender and told her to run my card while sharing that this was the worst customer service experience that any of us had ever experienced in Las Vegas. She apologized, but offered to do absolutely nothing for us. It’s almost impressive to have done such a terrible job that you earned eight entrepreneurs who are determined to share their awful experience with anyone who will listen. 

How could it get worse? Oh it could. I wanted to give the restaurant the opportunity to address the problem, so I reached out via email immediately once I arrived home. Nothing. I tweeted them. Nothing. (But I did get a ton of retweets and engagement from people comparing them to Amy’s Kitchen in Arizona- funny stuff) So now, I have done my Facebook and Yelp and Google reviews and am posting my blog. This experience proves that you can create a beautiful restaurant, craft delicious drinks and food, and have all of the ingredients for a successful business, but if you hire assholes and don’t understand customer service, it’s a total fail. 

*UPDATE: Management did contact me after reading my blog and Yelp review to offer me a free glass of wine and cheese platter (essentially a $40 value), but when I was underwhelmed given that my mandatory tip to the undeserving waiter was $50.04, I suggested that the same group be invited back on the house. I have yet to receive a reply. 


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BossBabe

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I suppose one of the benefits of having lived a life being a bigger lady is that being flat chested or mistaken for a young boy has never been a concern of mine. However, the risk of knocking myself out while doing jumping jacks has been ever present since my pre teen days. With a 40DDD rack, shopping for bras has always been an event where I seek out the wisest, most experienced sales woman at Nordstrom (sorry Victorias Secret- the secret is out and you don’t cut it) to discuss how to harness my chest without ending up with uniboob, spillover boob, or floppy boob. I am looking for serious support that won’t force me to sell an organ, will hold up over time, and won’t slice my skin as it lifts and separates. Ah, the great sports bra dream. Am I asking too much?  I headed over to Sport Chalet to snag some styles to find out if I could make my dream a reality. My test for each of these bras was a 1 mile jog, a weight lifting work out, and a cardio session that included lots of jumping jacks.  

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MOVING COMFORT JUNO RACERBACK SPORTS BRA: At $56, this was the most expensive of all of the sports bras I purchased and it wasn’t on sale. The Sport Chalet sales woman swore that this is the bra every plastic surgeon recommends for post-op patients. Getting into it felt a bit like getting into a breast corset, but once it was on I appreciated the support. The straps are easily adjustable, but I felt like they ran a bit short for what I needed. The longer length was great and my breasts weren’t going anywhere. During my jog the bounce was minimal and I felt well supported without feeling suffocated. The material is serious and didn’t cut, chafe, or cause me a moment’s discomfort. If anything it wicked away the sweat from my weight lifting session and kept me cool during hard core cardio. This is absolutely the sports bra I would go with if you want to do jumping jacks. Overall, an investment, but the technology makes it worth what you will spend. 

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UNDER ARMOUR MID IMPACT UA PERFORMANCE SPORTS BRA: At $29.99 this was a very affordable option and, while I didn’t have high hopes for a mid impact sports bra, I expected that it would at least make it through my weight lifting routine. Unfortunately, no amount of desire wanting to love this bra could make it happen. It is a complete waste of fabric. Offering absolutely no support whatsoever, the fancy smooth fabric felt lovely, but wouldn’t even keep these girls supported at bedtime. Ten minutes into my weight lifting session I wanted to change into something that would give me some support and I flat could not finish my run or cardio session in this bra. The entire experience was painful misery I don’t dare repeat. Under Armour designs really attractive bras, but they are clearly better for ladies with smaller chests.  

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CHAMPION HIGH SUPPORT DAZZLE SPORTS BRA: The tag on this Champion bra suggests I use it for tennis, cycling, or soccer. Let me save you some reading: I wouldn’t wear it to WATCH tennis, cycling, or soccer.  It was easily the WORST sports bra I tried (I even made an Instagram video to prove it- AWFUL). It isn’t high support at all. I wouldn’t even categorize it as mid or low impact. At $36 it is an affordable option, but I wouldn’t waste your money because a tank top would offer you more support.  This sports bra was so poorly designed from fabric to cut that it made me wonder if a pre teen boy designed it without ever asking a woman what she looks for in a sports bra. This bra flat pissed me off because Champion oversold it by categorizing it as high support. I didn’t make it out of the house- let alone to do the test. If you doubt me just watch the video. I wasn’t going running in this nightmare.  

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NIKE ULTRA HIGH SUPPORT SCOOP BACK BRA: I love Nike. Blame my Pacific Northwest roots or 8 year love affair with my Nike workout pants, but the products deliver. I had high hopes for this sports bra since it was ultra high support and it did not disappoint. With only two hooks in the back I was worried it wouldn’t stand up to my run, weight lifting, or cardio session, but it delivered. The dri-fit fabric kept me cool, the design with cups made sure I didn’t have uniboob, and the well designed straps didn’t cut, chafe, or cause me any discomfort. At $58 this isn’t a cheap option, but it certainly delivered. I liked the scoop cut that supported, but also showed off my ladies in a respectable way. This was a great sports bra. 

TIPS FOR SPORTS BRA SHOPPING: 
*Get professionally sized. It’s well worth the time and fit is everything.
*Don’t settle. Try, try, try.
*Better to invest in one great sports bra than a bunch of crappy ones.
*Price doesn’t always dictate the best option for you and your body.
*Pay attention to the return policy. You want to test it in a real workout. 


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BossBabe

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When you’re from the Pacific Northwest there are certain things that just feel like home: mountains, the smell of a fresh rain, evergreen trees, and a deep appreciation of sunny days. Even today, living in sunny Las Vegas, I still feel like time practically stops when I am in downtown Seattle on a sunny clear day. A quick trip down the I-5 leads you to another one of my favorite cities, Portland, Oregon. One of my favorite places to do serious retail damage thanks to no sales tax, Portland and I have shared some pretty amazing adventures together.

Last spring I heard about Whiskey Fest Northwest. Organized by The Luna Foundation, whose mission is to facilitate otherwise unavailable opportunities for children and families affected by illness or poverty through the promotion of the arts, music and events in the NW, Whiskey Fest Northwest is a music and whiskey festival that supports Pacific Northwest charities. With a talented line up that included folk, blues, and country musicians from around the country, Whiskey Fest Northwest guarantees a good time for a great cause. Thanks to the Whiskey Fest Northwest team, the Luna Foundation was able to fund adventure therapy programs for deserving individuals. 

Recently announcing the 2015 dates, I’ve already blocked my calendar to attend May 8-9, 2015 and am following them on twitter to be the first to know about ticket packages. A little birdie told me that there is going to be a massive selection of different whiskeys to try, delicious craft cocktails and food, and an even more diverse music line up. Personally, I am hoping that they bust out a mechanical bull. (fingers crossed!) Since the charity that benefits changes each year the new beneficiary hasn’t been announced just yet, but give them a follow to stay up on the latest and greatest. Cheers to a great weekend ahead and to strong drinks with good friends!  


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BossBabe

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I have unreasonable workout pant expectations. My first pair of Nike running capri pants were purchased at the Nike outlet store in mid 2006. They were black with a purple swoosh and lasted me until I washed them with a sports bra that snagged them and put a huge hole in the ass last month or I would still be wearing them. 8 years later. Soak that up for a minute. Yup, these are the pants that took me through two pregnancies, a 100 pound weight fluctuation in both directions, and their death came after 8 good years as a result of my own laundering stupidity. These were the workout pant equivalent of a Mercedes Benz that made it to 500,000 miles. After a chat with my seamstress in which she explained that no level of sewing magic could repair my beloved workout pants, it was off to the local Sports Authority to find a replacement pair.  

Let’s start with my measurements and preferences, I am a solid size Large/XLarge with a 38 inch waist, thick hips, and a big old booty that I am quite proud of. I need a full coverage pant that will get me through the occasional yoga class, my frequent intense weight lifting sessions, and won’t spontaneously combust as I fat girl shuffle (AKA: jog) to the gym. My thighs rub, I sweat like a raining lady beast, and I prefer a capri, so I don’t get hot. I’ve tried workout shorts, which are fine for lifting, but for cardio they leave me feeling like a bon fire happened between my thighs. Also, I don’t want to spend $100 on a pair of workout pants and I want them to last for years. Hey, I warned you: I have unreasonable workout pant expectations.  

At the sales rack at my local Sports Authority they had a really good selection of size Large and XLarge pants. Frankly, I was surprised. Perhaps this is the opposite of every other store’s sale rack? The first pair I decided on are the Nike Tech Women’s Running Capris. I prefer running gear because they tend to have a tie at the waist in addition to heavy duty spandex and, well, I need it. Nothing is worse than pants that fall or roll down as I work out. Regularly priced at $65, these were on sale, so I snagged them at $40. You can find the dirty details from Nike here


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Granted, after my 8 year love affair with my previous Nike capri running pant, I was biased. I knew I loved the technology behind Nike’s fabric and cut, but I wasn’t so sure about the new features. There is a zippered pocket at the back waist, which I found useless since I run with a running waist belt to hold my water, keys, and lip balm. While working out they stay put. No movement, no shifting, and they hold everything in that I don’t need flashed to the strangers at the gym. Even in my deepest squats, the bum doesn’t get exposed and all of my girly bits are covered. Over the last month I have worked out daily and these pants have made it through numerous washes, even accidentally found their way into my hot dryer, with no sign of wear or tear. If anything they look and feel the same way they did on the day I purchased them. No pilling in the thighs, no wear in the booty, just a great fit that makes them perfect for every workout I have managed to put them through.  Overall, if they make it as long as my first pair they would have been well worth paying full price.  

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The second pair I purchased was the Under Armour Power in Pink- Fly By Compression Capri’s for women.  Regularly priced at $49.99, I snagged mine on sale for $29.99 and they were a special item for breast cancer awareness, so they aren’t on the Under Armour site anymore.  You can get your own pair from Gliks here. I found the size large was perfect for me- snug and comfortable without being saggy anywhere. This was my first pair of Under Armour workout pants and these have been awesome.  I like the length- they are shorter than the Nike running pant- and they sit a bit higher on the waist. With a thick tie around the waist, once they are on, they aren’t going anywhere and I found they washed up well after the Color Run, where they were coated (as you can see) in color dust. Before I purchased these I had always admired the Under Armour products on brand ambassador Shauna Harrison on Instagram and these pants deliver. 

Overall, if you are looking for a new workout pant I would recommend Nike or Under Armour, but most of all I would recommend investing in one really great pair rather than a bunch of cheaper pairs that won’t last. Your health is an investment and you want to be comfortable while you are investing the time and sweat that it takes to keep you in the best shape of your life.  

*Disclosure: I paid for my own pants and I put them on one leg at a time, just like everybody else. 


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BossBabe

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One of my best friends was over last night and mentioned that since he started on social media three years ago he has lost more friends than before he started on it. As an entrepreneur, he was frustrated that social media was supposed to be growing his network and business, but it was doing the opposite.  If social media is not growing your network, you’re doing it wrong. In my friend’s case it is because his view of how social media should be used does not match his goals. His posts are emotional, following the authentic roller coaster that has been his life for the last year or so. If he feels a certain way, he does not edit or filter and his followers get the raw, authentic version, complete with unchecked emotion. For the drama seeker social media follower, they are fed for the short term by his anger/frustration/sadness/elation/enthusiasm, but for your standard, run of the mill busy human who doesn’t have time for their own drama- let alone someone else’s- his drama is too much and they ignore it, unfollow, or unfriend him. His view of social media was that it is real time therapy for sharing the raw moments of his life. NOT. NO. NEVER. NO NO BAD HUMAN. 

I understand the temptation. Twitter tells me that it is a conversation. Doesn’t that mean that when I am in the middle of a nasty divorce I should converse about how he did me dirty? Facebook exists for me to connect with friends and the world around me. Isn’t that Facebook’s invitation for me to connect over my dirty laundry? Social media is an effective communication tool for your personal brand. Even at your most authentic, your personal brand should never be the undigested emotional word vomit that makes for hilarious Buzzfeed lists.  

“Brand” is one of those words that is widely used, but unevenly understood. Put simply, your “personal brand” is what people think of when they hear your name. It is everything that the public thinks it knows about you- both factual and emotional. Your personal brand exists objectively; people can see it.  It is fixed, but your personal brand exists only in someone’s mind. Your personal brand vision should be to create a lasting personal brand with its’ own voice, imagery, and personality. For your personal experiences it should involve a filter and steps of reflection to ensure that yes, you share the authentic moments that happen in your life, but that you do it in a way that won’t make you blush with shame a year from now when your personal storm is over.

In my life I have found that it helps to write down my gut reaction in a notepad, then come back to it an hour later. If I still want to write a post about dirty double crossing ex husbands or gossipy bitches after an hour of contemplation, go for it. However, more often than not, I find that the contemplation gives me perspective to realize that the point of social media is to connect, engage, inspire, and be inspired by the people and experiences around me. I don’t need to tell you the dirty details of my divorce for the audience to connect with the pain of a relationship ending; to engage with my personal journey; to inspire me that everyone experiences tough times; or to be inspired by my willingness to talk about the struggle without sugar coating it.