He Called Me Fat and My Reaction Was Priceless.

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I wanted a new place to shop that didn’t involve the mall, so I shopped Coco McCall through Insta.

There are a lot of men (boys) who think it’s acceptable to comment on women’s bodies. I’m going to share this story to help bring awareness.

A group of co-workers were standing in a circle talking when one guy said “I hate this place and all of the people here.” I reply with “I like everyone here, well… mostly everyonelooking straight at him as if to say that I liked everyone, besides him.

A little backstory… anything this individual has ever said to me has been negative, rude, or downright disrespectful towards women. This time (instead of staying quiet) I put it out there that I’m not his biggest fan.

He then says, “You think you’re better than everyone here, don’t you?” I responded with “No, just better than you.” I was smiling ear to ear, but I look back and think I may have misspoke because I don’t think I’m better than anyone — but you better damn well believe my parents raised me better. Of that I am sure.

He got so twisted over it, that he proceeded to ask me if I was getting fat. I laughed.

It’s funny because I am usually too busy getting skinny-shamed (yup, it’s a thing). “Eat a cheeseburger” and “You look unhealthy”, so this was a new one for me. First I’m too skinny and then I put on ten pounds and suddenly I am a cow, moooo. So, I decided to tell him that I put on a healthy ten pounds and then I walked away. I didn’t call him names, I didn’t bother stooping to his level. Why not?  It wouldn’t do anything for my character except make me feel just as immature.

I felt empowered after that happened. He has called several co-workers fat in my presence before, and now me. How was I so happy after being put down? It doesn’t make any sense — or does it? His intent was just that — to get me down, but why give him that satisfaction? He hated my smile at that moment. He wanted to make me feel inferior, intimidated even. He would have felt better about himself if I had turned bright red and stayed quiet. This time, I did not. I love my body enough to not allow him or anyone to impact my opinion of myself. I have a whole girl gang behind me that supports me and that’s all I need.

What makes me so disappointed about people like this is the fact that had I been feeling a little insecure that day, maybe it would have affected me in a negative way. What if I  wasn’t in a good mood? He very well may have gotten the rise out of me that he intended to. What if he had said this to someone who may have developed an eating disorder, or worse — self-hate. Though I know words are just words, that doesn’t mean you should say whatever you want. It’s called being a decent human. For those who think bullying is for kids, I’m here to tell you, it’s not. Some people never do grow up.

The good news: there is something we can do. We can choose to be the bigger person and not allow their words to affect us. Instead, we should take it for what it is — someone trying to steal your shine because they are blinded by your radiant light. To be clear, I am nowhere near perfect and I can’t always follow my own advice, but you can bet that I try my best every single day and my hope is that I inspire others to do the same.

Surround yourself with other girls that make you strong and lift you up, they are important! In case no one in your girl gang told you today, you’re the shit. Need a powerful movement to join that supports women of all shapes and sizes? Check out this café with a cause and become a warrior for change like I did.

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Say it with me girls, kiss my fat ass 😘

xo,

-E

Don’t Let Anyone Dull Your Shine

This applies to all types of relationships: from friends to significant others.

When people are unhappy with themselves, they tend to hold a certain amount of animosity towards those who are happy with themselves. They almost instinctively try to dull their shine. Are you a shiner, or a shine-stealer?

I share this from personal experience. I allowed someone to dull my shine and I had no one to be mad at, but myself. I was happy, headed in the right direction, and excited about life until I began questioning myself. I let someone question me and who I was for far too long. If you hang around negative energy, it eventually latches on to you, too.

Cut ties.

It’s not that they are bad people, they just haven’t found their way yet. Give them a fair chance before you just cut all ties. Sometimes people go through hardships and they take it out on all the wrong people.

My best advice is this: once it starts to affect your mental health and/or happiness, it is time to let go. Be honest, tell them the deal. Be selfish and put yourself first. That’s loving yourself.

XOXO,

-E

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Meet Kaitlynn: From Employee to Boss Babe

There are several reasons that I find Kaitlynn’s story inspirational, but let’s start at the beginning.

Kaitlynn was at her job doing hair for about 10 years when she started feeling unhappy. Unexpectedly, co-worker Vince got fired triggering the revelation. Feeling under-appreciated, Kaitlynn and two fellow co-workers quit their jobs. With no set plan, they had to find a way to support themselves — and fast! Faced with uncertainty, they still chose to do what they felt was right.

She began working with clients out of her home for a short time before coming together with her old co-workers and developing a game plan to purchase a building in Cicero, NY. Vince being the main investor helped form the alliance between the four. Little did they know when they quit their jobs that they would be going from co-workers to co-owners in a matter of months. You’d be surprised what you can accomplish when you have no choice but to make big moves.

When describing her journey from employee to boss babe, easy is the last word she would choose. Many tears and countless busy days/nights getting things in order while still trying to manage clients in-and-out of her home. Between getting all of the proper licenses and insurance out of the way and co-owner Vince doing all the construction to make the salon ready for business, Kait did not have much free time (or funds) for any fun. She is an amazing friend of mine and I remember asking her to dinner or drinks during all of this, her response always the same “I just can’t afford it at the moment, but soon!”

I’m happy to announce that she has been a proud business owner for about four months now. Going through personal hardships in the midst of all this (including a split between her and long time boyfriend of four years) earns her well-deserved boss babe status. She specializes in hair restoration giving her the opportunity to help men and women regain their confidence from hair loss due to cancer, trichotillomania, alopecia, and baldness. In her new business she is now able to especially help women who have lost their sense of femininity and self-love and treat them as more than just a customer. Her and the three co-owners are more than friends, they are fam(ily). Driven by passion, hard-work, and dedication — you can count on Revelations to treat you as family, too.

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The fun side of her job includes hair extensions for thinning hair or just for people like me who want voluminous, luscious locks! Which of course, I had to test out. Here are my results… wow. I went from Fiona (from Shrek) to Jessica Simpson.

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Timeline:

MAY — Quit job.  JULY — Salon purchase. NOVEMBER — Revelation’s doors open for business.

Remember: it’s not easy, but it is possible. To schedule a free consultation or for more detailed information, you can check out her website or e-mail her directly at revelationshairstudio@yahoo.com.

 

Q & A:

Q: If there is one thing you would tell women who are unhappy in their current job/field, what would it be?

A: A client once told me, “little risk, little reward, big risk, big reward”, and that has stuck with me through all the ups and downs of this process. People told us that we couldn’t do it and that we wouldn’t be successful, which only fueled our fire.

Q: What was your driving motivation to up and quit your job with no set plan?

A: I knew I had enough passion, desire, and drive to achieve my ultimate goal of being able to make a career out of this while still putting my clients needs first. Achieving results for my clients suffering from hair loss at a more affordable price is what I do.

Q: How can we inspire other women by your story?

A: Everyone wants the American dream; be successful and be your own boss. If you stay true to yourself and your priorities are in check- with a little bit of hard work you can achieve anything. No matter what other people think.

 

xo,

-E

10 Ways to Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet

1. Take care of your health (physical & mental) — Believe it or not, they actually go hand in hand.

View More: http://raeoflifephotography.pass.us/erin-hartle-blog

Benefits of exercising include, but are not limited to:

♥  Improved self-confidence

♥  Improved overall Well-being

♥  Sexual satisfaction

♥  Improved Intellectual functioning

Exercise has even been reported to decrease the following:

Alcohol abuse

Headaches

♥ Hostility

Mild to Moderate Depression  1

2. Keep A Clean Living Space

The importance of a clean house is not to be underestimated. Having a messy area can actually be distracting and prevent you from getting other things done.

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3. Cook More Real Food

There is a certain amount of self-satisfaction knowing you took the time out of your busy day to make your own meal.  With all of the overly processed foods out there, knowing exactly what ingredients you’re putting in your body is a comforting feeling. After all, you only get one body—unless you’re Kim K. of course.

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4. Make personal connections with people

This world can be an increasingly lonely place, but making personal connections with others makes life that much better. Social media can make you feel distant or loved, depending upon how you use it. Reach out to people and engage in real conversations. You’d be surprised how much you may have in common with a stranger. Now — Don’t forget meeting people in person is just as important. I’m available to chat on various social media platforms, don’t be afraid to chat me up on Instagram or Facebook.

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5. Fear-less, Do More

I’m not saying go out and live a fearless life, but fear can be crippling. How about actually living—try something new & step out of your comfort zone. Remember that one time I went camping in the Adirondacks on an island?! No? No worries, catch up here..  Adirondack Island Getaway. How about the time that I snuck up on a roof top and stood on the edge? Read that epic story here.

 

 

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6. Focus On Your Strengths

God knows we have plenty of weaknesses, but how about we try focusing on our strengths for once. For those looking for an enticing read in the new year, I highly recommend you add this to the list: Now, Discover Your Strengths: How to develop your talents and those of the people you manage. For example, I have a way of connecting with people through writing; however,  I’m not so good at math. The concept is as simple as this; focus on connecting with people through writing and create momentum for yourself. So—blogging, here I come.

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7. Be a Woman Who Empowers Other Women

It’s a common, almost disgustingly popular trend to comment negatively regarding other women’s bodies. We are almost all guilty of this. Just because everyone else does it and just because they think it’s okay, doesn’t mean it actually is. Challenge popular opinions. You can find a prime example of women empowering other women in my post titled Every Body Is Beautiful and read about how I took the pledge.

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8. Surround Yourself With Likeminded People

We are most at home when we are surrounded by others whom we are most comfortable around. Finding  people that have the same mindset or outlook on life as you do are where you are bound to shine the most. One diamond is shiny, but how about 100,000 diamonds?  🙂 Now that is real shine.

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9. Attract What You Expect, Reflect What You Desire

This is for all my single peeps as well as people in relationships. Say it a couple times aloud to grasp the full meaning. No doubles standard here, just love. Keep in mind, this also applies to friendships.

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10. Be UNpopular

Last, but certainly not least. My blog title. You don’t have to go with the crowd. Stand up for what you believe and be Unpopular. We need more of you.

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erinhartle@yahoo.com

 

XOXO,

-E

 

 

 

References

  1. Taylor, C B, J F Sallis, and R Needle. “The Relation of Physical Activity and Exercise to Mental Health.” Public Health Reports 100.2 (1985): 195–202. Print.

Every Body Is Beautiful

Café at 407

A café with a cause.

MaryEllen created Ophelia’s Place — a nonprofit organization that helps individuals struggling with disordered eating, eating disorders and body dissatisfaction. They offer support services, treatment programs, education and community for anyone struggling. Some of Ophelia’s Place is funded by this amazing little café on Tulip St. in Liverpool, NY. Café at 407 is a coffee shop created for the sole purpose of funding this treatment center. The café supports Ophelia’s Place with the belief that EVERY BODY IS BEAUTIFUL. 

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Circles of Change is an outreach movement that was created by Ophelia’s Place to change the culture and conversation around health, beauty and body image. Its goal is to help people reach their full potential and ultimately CHANGE diet culture and skewed standards of beauty, with the end goal of putting an end to eating disorders, disordered eating and body dissatisfaction.

I love the mission of Circles of Change and while blogging at Café at 407, I found some inspiration.

I gave $15 today to help someone struggling — I gave someone hope.

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Buy this shirt

Want to get involved? Click here to give back OR give to the cause by purchasing a shirt with a message of empowerment for you or someone you love + become a part of something bigger while supporting families and communities impacted by eating disorder, disordered eating and body dissatisfaction.

For another way you can get involved, become a Warrior for Change. After much thought and consideration, I took the first step to become a Warrior by taking the pledge.  

👉🏼Take the pledge with me 👈🏼

I choose to:

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I choose to accept every body

I am a warrior for change

You can also get involved with different “circles creating change.” You can become a Movement Warrior, Wellness Warrior, Community Warrior, Parenting Warrior or Media Warrior. Whatever your interest, there is an empowering community circle you can join to find tips and tricks to change the conversation and culture within those interest circles.

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Additional information on Ophelia’s Place:

  • Ophelia’s Place was established in 2002
  • It is a national leader in redefining beauty & health
  • 100% of the profits from Circles of Change products (like the “Be Brave” shirt above) goes directly to supporting the cause, Ophelia’s Place.
  • Every coffee and baked good at Café at 407 supports the movement and the cause
  • Even employees tips go directly toward supporting the cause

Not only are they behind a great cause, but the desserts are handmade every day and phenomenal! The menu is also worth mentioning — serving up local coffee and tea, paninis, grain bowls, salads, smoothies and more. They try to source all of their food locally as much as possible. One of the absolute best of Liverpool, NY! If nothing else, just stop by and enjoy a cup of with a side of coffee cake; they would love to have you!

Something new every day, YUM.

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XOXO

 

-E

Bridal Shower Honeymoon Basket

My girlfriend is getting married and I wanted to think of a bridal shower gift that was cute, but also meaningful and unique — So I thought about a few things..

#1) What will they actually use?
#2) Try not to leave the groom-to-be completely out (poor guys always get left out.)
#3) What is something that they would say that is definitely from Erin? (That’s me.)

The third is how I came about the honeymoon basket idea. I love travel, and they will be traveling for their HONEYMOON. What a brilliant idea!! One that is not on the registry. Hopefully not every single person in the world takes this idea because as a result, registries would be pointless, and brides would not receive anything they actually asked for (sorry bride-to be’s.) The best part of this idea is it is 100% customizable by YOU. Anything travel related, and— if you know where they are headed, you can customize your gift to according to that! Most of these items were bought at T.J. Maxx. Amazing deals.

Item number one:
Luggage tags: They are adorable + makes them feel fancy. For more travel gift ideas click mytagalongs.

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Item number two:
Tropical pens and Bucket List notepad — This is great if they don’t know exactly where they are going and it will get them motivated to actually throw some honeymoon ideas onto paper. My gf has kids and I didn’t want her to put off the trip forever! She deserves to go wherever her heart desires — and so does every bride.

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Item number three:
Neck pillows for two. AWH-dorable. One boyish, one girly-ish.

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Item number four:
Travel Backpack: Especially when it’s hot out. Nothing is worse than hauling a huge or uncomfortable purse around with your wallet, ID, passport, camera, etc. This Stylish, neutral, gold-studded backpack from my travel experience, is a necessity.

 

 

Item numbers five & six: 
Wanderlust bag & Franco Sarto shades.

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Item number seven:
Honeymoon dress. I probably should have gotten him swim trunks too, but I left him out. Sorry Scott, I said I wasn’t going to do that.

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Item number eight:
His & Hers mugs. I may have gotten a little carried away here because these don’t really have to do with travel, but they are so cute — AM I RIGHT?! Think of this gift as a filler or just because I’m my own person and I can give whatever gift I desire whether it’s relevant or not! #yourenotmyrealmom

 

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Item number nine:
All items placed in this cute pairs-themed tote finished with a pretty gold bow. Don’t forget the bow for the bride-to-be hat at the end of the shower! Maybe I am trying to sway where she decides to go for the honeymoon. Maybe it’s just a cute travel-themed tote that went with the flow, the world may never know.

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For more unique gift ideas that are sure to please the crowd, head on over to  👉🏼 annavasily: 15 Bridal Shower Gift Ideas To Stand Out

 

 

**This is not a sponsored post.

 

-E

Some Days I am Inspired.

Some days I’m inspired. Some days I lose focus and forget what I’m doing or why I’m doing certain things. Sometimes I’m lost, sometimes I’m found, — but everyday I am thankful.

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I spent a lot of wasted time explaining to people why I do what I do, but eventually came to the conclusion that I don’t owe anyone an explanation. If they get it, great! If they don’t, I don’t care. Sometimes people don’t understand me and occasionally I allow it to throw me off my game. I have to remind myself to let my creativity flow. Realize this —not everyone will understand your journey, but as long as you understand it, other people’s feelings about it shouldn’t matter. How could they possibly understand you? They’re not you. You’re you, the only you. People may not always understand, but they will eventually see the fire and passion in your eyes and support you whole heartedly wishing they could find the same. You never know, maybe it will be you who helps them do that.

I search for self-validation, I try not to search for it in others. You’re unstoppable as long as you believe it. Sometimes I have bad days, but I impress myself just by the way I handle it — changing my mood and making things happen despite having a bad day. Yup, I’ll just be over here kicking ass and taking names if you need me.

Sometimes you just have to focus on you, even if you’re the only one in your corner. Once you believe in yourself, people will start to follow that notion. It takes practice and patience to believe in yourself. It also takes hard work, dedication, focus, and most importantly — confidence. Don’t let people lower your standards to meet theirs, let them want to raise their standards to meet yours. Be the one to encourage others and help others believe in themselves when no one else will.

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I had to tone down my negative attitude 95% to get to where I am now. It definitely took some work, but it was well worth it. Something about getting older made me feel like I couldn’t let loose anymore, couldn’t be goofy. Once again — caught trying to live by the rules of society. I was straight-faced 24/7, always taking things to heart and making mountains out of molehills.

Now — sometimes all it takes to get me back to my happy place is being at a coffee shop by myself just reflecting and writing, contemplating my next bad-ass move. A margarita at a nice little bar sometimes works the same. Tequila is my girl.. It used to take someone telling me I’m awesome to bring me back to life — now I’m that person. Sometimes I sit at work and smile to myself because genuinely don’t hate being there anymore. Just because everyone else hates working, doesn’t mean you have to. I feel so lucky to have found myself. I believe some people never do and hopefully with this blog, you will find some inspiration.

 

xo,

-E