Choose Gratitude

Last week, gratitude was high on my, and everyone’s, list. I loved the social media posts highlighting gratitude and love (what a lovely break from political arguments!), I loved sending out gratitude notes to family, friends, colleagues, and I loved receiving similar notes in return. I want to hang on to this feeling well past Thanksgiving. Really, I want gratitude to be #1 on my list every day of the year. Lucky for me, I have Debra Neill Baker in my life, to be an inspiration and remind me of the importance of a daily practice of gratitude.

Here are her tips to ensure a grateful state of mind, beyond Thanksgiving:

1. Write in a journal, write down what you are grateful for. The act of writing it down moves us more into gratitude, training us to capture what is good in our world.
2. Embrace the not-so-good too. Learning to be grateful for the lessons and learning that comes with it. Making our learning greater than our less-than desirable experiences.
3. Express gratitude rather than keeping it to yourself. Not expressing your gratitude can be perceived as ingratitude.
4. Enjoy the small things. This season is perfect for rediscovering your inner child… be childlike, curious, open, and loving!
5. Engage. Be active, be of service. Doing for others always comes back two-fold!
6. Pray, reflect… daily. Spend time with yourself in silence visualizing the life and world you want, overcoming challenges.
7. Replace complaints, criticism, gossip with gratitude. Be mindful and watch yourself and your words, knowing that words are powerful and carry energy.

Thank you Debra for these gratitude strategies, today and every day.

Four men I can't live without…

…As in, the men who keep me beautiful. They each make me feel good because they make me look good, and I am grateful to have them in my life!

My dermatologist, my father: Dr. Luigi L. PollaForever Institut

Together since: 1977

It starts with my father, of course! As I recently shared with Glamour Magazine, he is the source of all of my skin care knowledge and good skin habits. And the only one whom I entrust my face to when it comes to Botox.

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My hair whisperer: Frank Rizzieri, Rizzieri Salon & Spa

Together since: 2014

Other than blow-outs (see below), I was never one for hair cuts, hair styles, or hair extensions. That is, until I met Frank Rizzieri – then all that changed. I now drive 3.5 hours to Marlton, NJ, for my hair appointments, because he is worth it. I never look as good as I do walking out of his salon.

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My blow-out guru: Enver Coban, Gerogetown Salon & Spa

Together since: 2002

Enver came into my life thanks to the recommendation of my friend Pirooz Sarshar. Having just moved to DC, I asked Pirooz who gave the best blow-out in town. “Go to the Turks,” he said (himself of Turkish origin). And so I did. I met Enver when he was working at George at the Four Seasons, and followed him to Georgetown Salon and Spa. He still gives me the best blow-out, in under 30 minutes.

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My eyebrow master: Erwin Gomez, Karma Salon

Together since: 2002

I can’t recall who recommended I go to Erwin for my eyebrows – if it was a best friend, or perhaps Allure Magazine, but I am forever grateful. I get compliments on my eyebrows weekly, and I have him to thank. The maintenance is an investment, but Erwin is worth every penny. And when, one day in 2014, he told me: “After more than 10 years, your eyebrows are finally looking the way they should!” I didn’t know if I should cry or celebrate!

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Mid-year goals evaluation

I cannot believe that we are almost in July… and that half of the year is gone. On a six hour drive yesterday I mentally revisited my 2011 goals, both personal and professional, and realized there is much to do still. I thought by putting in writing what I have accomplished this year so far, and what I have yet to accomplish, by sharing this with you and with the Universe, I would hold myself more accountable and move forward with more purpose. Feel free to periodically ask me how I am doing on any of these goals… knowing you might be a great motivator!

Ada goals:

– Drink more water: done! I now carry around a water bottle everywhere I go.

– Read more: in process. Current book: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

– Learn to be a good wife: hmm… not sure about this one. Need to ask my husband.

– Build my art collection: in process.

– Develop a better morning routine: not done. I still read emails on my phone before even opening both eyes up. Need to stop doing that and start my day in a different way. Thoughts?

– Unsubscribe from emails I don’t read: in process. Hopefully you are reading this one and won’t unsubscribe…

– Do more yoga: definitely need to work on this.

Alchimie goals:

– Consolidate our partnership with Universal Companies: in process (the six hour drive yesterday was Abingdon – Washington DC).

– Grow sales: in process; in my mind, sales are never high enough and never grow fast enough

– Reformulate our products without parabens: in process

– Improve our sampling program: done! As of next week, we will have beautiful paquette samples of five of our best-selling products! So excited…

– Continue to generate national, international, trade and online press mentions: in process. Would you like to write about us? Email me!

– Relaunch our website: done! Have a look…

– Do more with social media: in process. Are you a fan on Facebook? Do you follow us on Twitter? Have you seen our various YouTube videos?

– Improve our sustainability practices: in process. We are reducing, reusing, and recycling. Our new brochure is printed on paper from managed forests, with vegetable dyes. Our new samples are aluminum, not plastic. We are working with the Arbor Day Foundation and Casey Trees to plant trees throughout our community. And we are having fun doing it!

– Find someone to join our Board of Directors: in process. Interested? Please email me to apply!