Inspiring Women to Live with Poise, Flair, and Purpose

Modern-Day Cinderella

We’re a week away from Christmas and there are some procrastinators (you know who you are) scrambling to finish holiday shopping. The harsh reality is that some have no choice but to wait until the last minute. They have to wait for that next paycheck or will have to pay off maxed out credit cards from the holidays well into 2016.

Like most Americans in the work force, many of our Consultants are at some point in their lives, in the same boat. They are doing it all – juggling family, career, home and health. I remember times in my own career when I had to set money aside every month, starting at the beginning of the year just to ensure that there would be money for my children’s gifts.

This year, I wanted to spotlight a Consultant, Krystle Celeste, Screenshot_2015-12-02-12-07-00~2who has mastered the art of living within her means and still achieving her dreams. Krystle not only successfully manages everything she has going on in her life, but she has such a positive outlook in the way she does it. She recently won Pure Romance’s Superstar Cash Bonus (congrats!) and set the goal to renovate her kitchen. I asked her to share some of her tips for others who are looking for ways to live within their means, not make excuses, set goals, stay positive, and achieve their dreams. See below for my Q & A with Krystle.

What would you say to those who say you’re just “lucky?”

Life wasn’t always easy for us. The day that I had to tell my child that we could not afford to purchase milk was my breaking point. As a mother, how could I not afford to provide a necessity for my child? I worked the 9-5 job that I hated. I barely saw my son; I was short every month for bills and could not even afford to feed my child. Before I knew it, I ended up in such a bad depression. I felt lost and began to lose hope. It took a life-changing situation of almost losing my life to realize, life had to be better than it was.

I believe that you will be as successful as your next excuse. The position we choose to be in life is determined by our choices and attitude. I’m pushed by the fact that what I do now will be a reflection on my children’s future. My two oldest do not want to work for anyone; they want to be entrepreneurs!

Can you offer any tips on better money management?

My husband lost his job unexpectedly after Hurricane Sandy. It was just a few days before Christmas. It was a complete shock and I was so scared. I didn’t have a full schedule of parties making consistent money. I was spending faster than I was earning because my money management wasn’t that great.

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A few weeks in to taking my business full-time, I set a goal to purchase my first home. I needed a vision, so my husband and I spent time driving around looking at houses in different areas. I picked out the exact development with the house that I wanted, although it was nowhere near my price range. It just so happened that my dream home went on the market and I needed to see this house. Of course, I fell in love and I wanted it. I had no down payment, not much saved, but I had someone who believed in me… ME! In three months, I saved enough for the down payment, closing costs, and even furniture. I purchased my first home, which was my dream home, all by myself. It was a dream come true!

It wasn’t long after that I paid off a new truck for our growing family, and then customized my kitchen! I wanted a lot of custom details, and the more things that I decided to add, the more parties that I booked to cover it. I promised myself that I would earn this at that moment and have a purpose – going into my savings was not an option. I DID IT! I designed and had my dream kitchen done, I paid for it without hesitation. It is full of glitter and sparkle, complete with custom floors, granite, glass and crystal – my kids call it my Cinderella kitchen.

What motivates you to succeed?

Success was great, but that isn’t what kept me going. What kept me going is getting the countless calls, texts and emails from women, thanking me for helping or saving their relationship. When I started, I had no idea how much helping other women really meant to me. The more that I realized how important I was to them, the more I wanted to do research, study and understand. Sexual Health is so important. We are not just the “toy ladies.” We are the ones that our clients trust, the ones that they confide in, and the ones that they go to for answers. We are the ones that help them to understand their bodies, which will help them to understand their relationships, their selves and their partners. Falling in love with this part of the business has pushed me to go back to school to study sexual health. I love every minute of it! I will be the first in my family to graduate from college and the best part is that my children will be able to watch me walk down that aisle.

Any final advice?

Joining something new can be scary. There is no one in the world that can change your life other than you. When you start to believe in yourself, everything becomes possible. Never give up on your dreams because someone else told you it wasn’t possible. Never lose hope because you got discouraged on a spare moment. Never lose your excitement or your passion; once you lose that, you lose your purpose. Always remember your reason for starting and realize you are a step closer to your goal because you made that initial decision to try. With effort, you will see results, with a positive attitude and the belief that everything is possible, you will HAVE IT ALL!!

Home Alone

It’s December – the time of year our TVs are flooded with holiday classics like It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story and Home Alone. It’s only fitting that I spend a few minutes talking about a more grown-up version of “Home Alone.” Launched in late summer, Pure Romance’s Home Alone is currently one of our top-selling products! It’s a 30-speed contoured, high quality silicone clitoral vibrator that is petite and unintimidating – perfect for the discreet woman, and for the partner that is new to welcoming an intimacy product or adult toy into the bedroom.Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 3.59.03 PM

Our Consultants also love the versatility of Home Alone. Its wide range of pulse patterns and speeds provide an incredible range of intensities. A “jack of all trades,” it can offer super power, but also gentle rhythms for those who want to build up pleasure over time.

What I especially love about Home Alone is that its curvy shape allows it to double as a full-body massager. The soft texture feels amazing on your skin – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve turned to this product to treat tense and tight muscles around my neck and shoulders after long business trips, or often just because! Many of you reading this can probably relate – in this day and age, we are all sitting hunched over computers day in and day out, and it’s an inexpensive way to skip the regular visits to the masseuse. Oh, and did I mention it’s bath-proof? I’ve always encouraged women to spoil themselves and what better way to experience a massage than soaking in a hot bath in the comfort of your home?

Other awesome features include a rechargeable motor and a small built in light that will help you navigate the buttons in the dark. I don’t know about you, but whether you’ve been naughty or nice (wink, wink), this seems to be something that will be at the top of many ladies’ wish lists!

 

Body of Work

Comedian Amy Schumer is known for goofy, outrageous pranks – like falling on the red carpet at Time 100 in front of “KimYe” and then bowing at their feet (a story that practically crashed the internet).  One thing I particularly love about her is her ability to push the envelope, and just plain tells it like it is, whether it rubs you the wrong way or not.

Most recently, she’s been all over the media after choosing to pose almost nude for Pirelli’s 43 anniversary calendar. For decades, the Italian tire brand has turned to exotic models in exotic locations, and shook things up recognizing 13 women “of outstanding professional, social, cultural, sporting and artistic accomplishment.”image

Schumer’s black & white photo, in which she’s sitting perched on a stool in just her panties sparked a firestorm reaction. When asked about it, she said, “I’ve never felt more beautiful or more like myself.” What an incredible role model and inspiration! It’s no secret that we live in a world where women have often been taught that you have to look like a Victoria Secret model to be sexy or beautiful. Here is someone who’s challenging this, and teaching other women to love yourself with all of your imperfections.

If anyone can relate to this attitude it’s our Pure Romance Consultants. Our business is made up of empowered women who are out there teaching others how to love themselves so they can focus on communication and true intimacy in their relationships. To our Consultants and all those reading this, I encourage you to voice your support for Schumer and others who are putting their foot down when it comes to body shaming. We are used to calling out the pink elephant in the room regarding sexuality and sexual health, and self-love and acceptance of our bodies is a huge part of that. Kudos to Schumer and all of you out there that continue to uphold other women and push for self-love!

Worried about Your Eggs?

This scene is something that a lot of women can relate to as they age. More specifically, egg freezing is a trending topic that we are also seeing more and more of in the news. Most recently, Apple and Google announced that each would be providing special benefits to women who would like to freeze their eggs. Many believe that women are waiting longer to have children because they are focusing on their careers, and progressive corporations like these see it as a way to give back to them for their dedication. 

I reached out to Michael Thomas, M.D., a respected Professor and Division and Fellowship Director in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center to get his take on this topic…

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All women are born with over one million eggs, which is all she will ever have.  These eggs decrease in number from birth and are all gone by the time she is 50 years old…also known as the menopause.  Though the age of menopause varies from woman to woman, it is usually the same age that your mother or your older sister have or will go into the menopause. Between birth and menopause, a woman loses about 1,000 eggs each cycle.  Also, as a woman gets older her eggs start to develop problems in their chromosomes that increase the risk of miscarriage, or developmental problems in the baby.  These chromosomal abnormalities especially increase when a woman is over the age of 35.  Therefore, it is easier for a woman to get pregnant in her 20s or early 30s.

Because of this, fertility doctors are now giving women the opportunity to retrieve their eggs at an early age, then to either freeze them or mix them with male partner or donor sperm to freeze embryos.

How does it work?

Eggs are obtained by in vitro fertilization (IVF).  During an IVF cycle, women are given medicines to rescue some of the eggs that would have died off during a normal menstrual cycle.  These eggs are obtained by using a catheter through the vaginal tissues directly into the ovaries.  Once the eggs are removed, they can be frozen immediately (future pregnancy rate is 2-12% per egg) or mixed with male partner or donor sperm to make embryos or fertilized eggs (future pregnancy rate 35-60% per embryo).  The biggest advantage of frozen embryos over frozen eggs is that embryo survival after thawing may be higher, which increases the chance of future pregnancy.

The advantage of freezing eggs without fertilization is that they can be fertilized with the sperm of a future male partner or donor sperm no matter what your age may be at that time.  Another way to look at this is that if you freeze your eggs at age 24, you will always have a 24-year-old version of yourself waiting for you while you continue to complete your career and/or find the right time in your life to have a child with or without a partner.  Some patients opt to freeze half of their eggs and fertilize the other half.

Unfortunately, most insurance companies do not pay for egg freezing.  But if egg freezing is being performed to store eggs prior to taking chemotherapy or radiation because of a recent diagnosis of cancer, some insurance companies may cover this procedure. (Chemo and radiation destroys eggs that are developing in the ovaries.)

Egg freezing is not a guarantee that a future pregnancy will take place.  Many things factor into a successful pregnancy, including the age of the woman and/or the quality of the eggs at the time of egg freezing.

I applaud companies like Google and others who are paying for employees who aren’t ready for a pregnancy now, but would like to in the future. There are many professional businesswomen who are now in their 20s and 30s who don’t want to force a pregnancy before they are ready; it’s also common for women to freeze their eggs when they simply have not found the ideal partner yet; that being said, it’s a great resource for those who want to have a family, but also do not want to settle!

If you have questions or for more information, you can contact your local fertility practice or reach me at Michael.Thomas@uc.edu or www.ucfertility.com.  Follow us on Twitter at @ucfertility.  More information for any reproductive health topic can be obtained at www.reproductivefacts.org.

Football 101

Tonight’s Cincinnati Bengals Thursday night NFL prime time game will determine whether our hometown football team will continue to go undefeated. It’s an exciting time for our team and I feel an even more personal connection to them because of the long-term partnership we have had with the Marvin Lewis Community Fund and their awesome long-running Football 101 program.

Football 101 is a fun and interactive “debrief” for women on the ins and outs of the sport that raises money for the various important causes of the Marvin Lewis Community Fund. This year’s event took place on October 21st with 450 women making it the biggest “Girls’ Night Out of the Year!” Female Bengals fans received swag bags, bid on auction items, tried some of the city’s top signature cocktails and fare, learned first-hand from Bengals’ coaches on topics like passing, field goal kicking, game strategy, and even practiced drills

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Pure Romance is proud to be the presenting sponsor of this event. Each year we set up a booth and invite a handful of Pure Romance employees to join us through a special in-office raffle. With more than 150 employees, it’s a fun and fair way to reward them. In the case of Football 101, we kept some Blow Pops up at our front reception and for any of the female staff that bought one with a surprise red sticker on the bottom were eligible to win a spot to attend the event. Meanwhile, two men who played won $100 gift certificates.

The girls who won absolutely loved it! Many had never been to Football 101 before, or even touched or thrown a football in their lives. At Pure Romance, we love any opportunity to give back and the events we choose to participate prove that giving back can be not only rewarding, buy very fun.

Each year during the event a cancer survivor is honored at Football 101 with the “Pink Football Award” presented by TriHealth, the MLCF and the Cincinnati Bengals. This year, the 11th annual award was bestowed upon Debra Nickell, recognizing her strength, courage and perseverance in battling this devastating disease. In 2014, my daughter’s friend Jill was also recognized for her resilience and strength after her breast cancer diagnosis. Needless to say, almost all of us have been touched by cancer in some way, shape or form in our lives at one time or another.

The Cincinnati Bengals and Marvin Lewis continue to show through this event, and others such as the Cincinnati Scurry, the Marvin Lewis Golf Classic, and much of the charity work they do throughout the city that they are committed to giving back to our community. We look forward to cheering on our talented and caring team tonight to becoming 8-0!