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SheSpark #WishList

Office Holiday Party: Transform Your LBD

40 Gifts

December 2016

for Over-40 Women Menopause vs. New Year’s Resolutions Post Election: Put Power Back in Your Soul


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NOTE FROM THEA & AUDREY All Is Calm? No, all is not usually calm in December. But never fear, SheSpark has all the information you need to make your holiday season both calm AND bright! Do you find yourself running to the mall, grabbing up all the gifts you can find—just to be done with it.? Why not try something different this year? Browse our gift ideas, shop online, and support small business. The gifts are unique, so you’ll be hearing compliments like, “Where did you find that?!” YOU will be the gift-giving guru this year. We’ve got gift ideas for: - The home decorator - The fitness fanatic - The beauty addict - The jewelry lover - The fashionista And while you’re handing out those gifts, you’ll look amazing. Check out our new style twists for your favorite “Little Black Dress,”” and easy ideas on how you can wear glitter like a grownup. So sit down, relax. Pour some Tito’s Handmade Vodka if you want to. You’ve got time. SheSpark has you covered this year. All is calm. All is bright. We truly hope everyone has a peaceful, beautiful holiday this year. It’s time to celebrate! Cheers, Audrey and Thea

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ISSUE EIGHT Co-Editors-In-Chief

Audrey Stefanik, Thea Wood

Copy Editor

Colleen Sullivan

CONTRIBUTORS

SUPPORT SHESPARK FRIENDS

Jacynth Bassett

Brilliant Imports Honey & Abernathy India Hicks (Debra Lopez) InsideOutStyle Konenkii LG.com Lisa Joiner Majestic Filatures Nitch Store Passion Flower Beauty Quatro/Worth RMB Naturals Sarah Martin Bemrich Designs Simone France State Optical Success On Fire Academy Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Andrea Carter Imogen Lamport Vincent Libretti Holly Osterman Audrey Stefanik Thea Wood Jone’t Wooten

COVER: Hanging aluminum ornaments $12 Shop Brilliant Imports

SheSpark is published monthly by SheSpark, LLC., a publishing group dedicated to connecting over-40 women with emerging brands and experts in style, beauty, and wellness. Responsibility is not assumed for the opinions of writers, other articles, or advertisers.

SheSpark does not endorse or guarantee the products and services it advertises. Copyright © 2016 SheSpark, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be duplicated or reproduced without permission from the publisher. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy of information included in the magazine at the time of publication, the publisher shall not be liable for damages arising from errors or omissions.


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VIDEO: Project Runway Designer Gives the Gift of A Brighter Future The tough design challenges Vincent Libretti faced on Project Runway Season Three were just a warmup for the most impactful challenge of his career. Vincent founded design accessories company Akcpt based on A business model that teaches, trains, and hires those in need. “After teens go through their programs to learn a trade, if they cannot find work, often times they end up back on the street, says Vincent” Watch this sneak peek behind the scenes and learn about Akcpt’s fashion, philosophy and crowdfunding campaign through Dec. 19th. You can be the designer of someone’s destiny!

“I WISH I could just go tell all the young women I work with, all these fabulous women, ‘Believe in yourself and negotiate for yourself. Own your own success.’” — Sheryl Sandberg

CLICK TO WATCH

“"We believe feeling good about yourself is not a challenge but a necessity!” — Vincent Libretti

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Office Holiday Party? Take your LBD From Day To Night by Thea Wood (@Over40Style)

How do you transform your workplace LBD (little black dress) to your holiday office party LBD? Many of us feel like we’ve recycled style tips too many times and aren’t in the market to buy a cocktail dress that collects dust in the closet.  We've also witnessed the backlash of trying "hot" editorial trends that come off as too risqué or inappropriate for an evening with the boss and co-workers. Here are some festive style tips for taking that LBD from day to a night out with the team.  Add the ones you love to your #wishlist or buy them as a little gift to yourself.

Bowties & Cuffs: Not just for men

Instead of a necklace, try a brightly printed bowtie.  You do *not* need a collar-- in fact, it looks edgy and unexpected without one. Can't tie a proper knot?  Watch this Nordstrom video or buy one that's pre-tied.  If you have a short and wide neck, try one of these other tips. Pair with matching cuff bracelets to mimic a formal men's look minus the button up!

Kimono Belts & Corsets

I've written about the power of a pretty corset before, and it holds true for the office party. Place it over your LBD for a sexy look that doesn't reveal too much. Choose a style that doesn't look like it belongs in the bedroom. I'm a huge fan of Anne Namba Designs, who makes her corsets as outerwear from vintage obi materials.  READ MORE


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5 Age-Related Style Myths BUSTED!

Party Season Edition By Jacynth Bassett (@the_bias_cutcom)

By now we’ve all read enough articles ‘advising’ (ahem more like dictating) women on what not to wear over a certain age. And I think it’s safe to say they’re getting a little tiring. From the ban on animal prints, to being told never to repeat a trend if you wore it the first time round, these views are just as out-dated as the looks they claim they’re helping you avoid. While it’s time to accept that women can wear whatever they want, that doesn’t necessarily mean we want to dress like we did years ago. Nor does it mean we want to look identical to our younger counterparts. After all, style is like a fine wine – it develops and evolves with age. So how can you strike that balance between dressing modern and fresh and still reflecting the best version of your true self? The trick is to never rule anything out. Because there’s no look you can or can’t wear; it’s about how you wear it. So let’s start by debunking age-related style myths.

Myth 1: Sparkle is for girls  The Belief: Wearing sparkly clothes makes one look like a little girl. Or, at best, the Sugar Plum Fairy.  The Reality: It’s time to embrace your inner magpie. Because glitter and sparkle are joys of life that should never be reserved just for younglings. You can wear them at every age, while still looking sophisticated and glamourous. READ MORE


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All That Glitters… Is OLD by Audrey Stefanik (@CremesComeTrue)

Everything sparkles a little brighter during the holidays, even our faces. It’s time to get festive! So bust out all your glittery makeup and decorate yourself! But how do you pull off a sparkly look when you’re over 40? It can actually highlight wrinkles and add years to your face. And you don’t want the “bubble-gum” look of a little girl. I’m here to say, IT CAN BE DONE. I’ve got ideas on how over-40 faces can shine this holiday season. And, yes, body sparkle is definitely an option.

Check Out My Ideas…

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“She’s Got Style” Spotlight by Jone’t Wooten (@ChicOver50)

Andrea Zavodska, Slovakia Today we are visiting the breathtaking city of Bratislava, Slovakia, to visit the beautiful fashionista Andrea Zavodska. Andrea is a former model and tells us she loves embracing her feminine, elegant side. Judging by her stunning photos, it would be a safe bet that her favorite fashion piece would be a fabulous pair of designer heels or drool-worthy handbag, but not our Andrea, she prefers PAJAMAS and we ♥ that about her! Andrea, who is a wife, mother and entrepreneur, was born and still living in the picturesque city of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, which she describes as “the heart of Europe”. Without further adieu, let’s get to know our new friend, shall we? READ ANDREA’S STORY

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“If a person has a feeling that she ages, she will. If she feels young, she grows younger.” — Andrea Zavodska

“I imagine what would happen if everyone turned their regrets into wishes, went around shouting them.” — Nina LaCour


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by Imogen Lamport (@ImogenLamport)

The air has become nippy these past few days and it made me think about winter coats.  They are a more expensive items in your wardrobe, so if this year is a year you’re planning on updating your winter coat wardrobe here are a few tips to help you choose a flattering style. Scale of collars & lapels. An enormous lapel suits someone who is very tall or has a dramatic… READ MORE

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“Someday I'll wish upon a Star And wake up where the clouds are far behind me… Where troubles melt like lemon drops Away above the chimney tops That's where you'll find me!” — Judy Garland, Wizard of OZ (lyrics by E.Y. Harbug)


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There’s a rawness looming in the air for

women after this presidential election. It’s palpable and the rawness is running the risk of disabling future progress with gender equality. Most women have had the experience where they should’ve received something they thought they earned––the job promotion, the salary increase, the new client, the endorsement—the baby they dreamed of since they were 6, the loving partner they believed would share their hopes, dreams and their bed—we’ve grown up being told, “go after what you want—hard work will pay off”,,” yet after this election most are contemplating, questioning, and mourning the sacrifices made, wondering was it all for not? It stings being hustled. It sucks being overlooked. It aches being devalued. A reframe for these electoral results is what I ask you to consider because the more personally we choose to interpret the outcome, the harder it will be to recover and the longer it will take for women to regain momentum. Heading into this holiday season and 2017, I ask you to dig deep and draw out the most powerful behavior stored within the human condition-– optimism. Don’t laugh. Optimism is truly powerful. Optimism ignites deep changes within your DNA and supports otherwise dead-in-thewater deals and hopeless situations, into possibility and potential.

What is optimism? Optimism is the ability to look at any situation and, instead of focusing on the challenges, engaging the mind to search for a solution. It’s true, we’re not taught how to do this in school or in most regular family upbringing—it certainly wasn’t taught in our family home or in my school—yet over the course of my life and the countless women I’ve worked with, I guarantee it’s the only solution worth exploring. The usual response that we learn in society and within our homes is typically that an “I’ll show you” attitude or an air of “revenge is sweet.” Yet, both of those only further hurt the woman holding that spirit because it places value and worth outside of self and back into the hands of another. Instead, using optimism will quite literally begin to train your brain and mind, to identify where there is greater potential and a windfall of benefits. Here are five keys to allow optimism to be the answer so you can release the rawness, anger, fear, and violation and re-engage your personal power and the power for the generations of women to come. Key #1 - Optimism isn’t conceding – Optimism is believing. The start to a better world, a better life, a better future begins with the belief that it’s possible. What is it that you want… READ MORE


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Want to Keep Your

New Year’s Resolutions? Menopause May Have Other Plans by Holly Osterman (@empartnow)

You didn’t want to do it. You knew you shouldn’t do it. But that tin of Christmas cookies your neighbor dropped off was calling your name. And then, in a moment of weakness, it happened. You broke down and ate them all. Just like that, the one New Year’s resolution you were absolutely determined to keep was broken. Many of us start the year with a list of resolutions and really good intentions. Maybe we want to kick a bad habit, reinvent ourselves, or just get our lives back on track. After all, there’s no better time than the new year to unload the guilt and start fresh. Out with the old and in with the new, right? But the reality is that resolutions usually don’t stick. And if you’re one of the 37 million women in menopause in the United States, keeping those resolutions presents an even more unique set of challenges. (cont’d page 19)


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Our bodies are changing, our hormones are running wild, and it’s easy to get lost. Does that mean we should scrap our resolutions entirely and settle for whatever life is going to dish out? Of course not. Sometimes, though, we just need to step back and look at our resolutions from a different perspective. And here are a few places to start. Resolution: Lose Weight and Get Healthy We all want to ring in the new year ten pounds lighter and with a commitment to eat better. We want a life without Spanx and control top. We want that cute shape we had in our twenties.

track if you don’t have immediate success. Spread your weight loss plan over the coming twelve months and celebrate the small victories. Avoid the latest fad diets. Sure, you may be able to lose ten pounds in two weeks by eating nothing but grapefruit. But again, this isn’t a sprint. Make the healthy choices that will pay dividends in the long run. Explore your options when it comes to exercise. Haven’t been to the gym in years and not sure where to start? No sweat (and no pun intended). Before you rush out and sign up for a membership at the new fitness center across town, research your options and focus on activity. Resolution: Get Organized

A recent Nielsen survey showed that nearly 37% of Americans resolve to stay fit and healthy and another 32% plan on losing weight. Easier said than done, though. And when we’re transitioning through menopause, we actually tend to gain weight. You can blame it on your hormones, but according to an article by the Mayo Clinic, other factors---such as lack of physical activity, lack of sleep and even genetics---may be behind those added pounds. How You Can Keep It Set realistic goals. It’s okay to think big and make dramatic lifestyle changes on January 1. But it’s also easier to get of

As we get closer to the end of the year, it always seems like we’ve built up a lot of emotional, spiritual and even household clutter. We imagine how much easier life would be if we could only find our keys in the morning or remember our best friend’s birthday. So we resolve to be better organized. But when we hit menopause, we begin to struggle with memory, staying on task, and getting things done. In fact, according to Dr. Tara Allmen, one of America’s leading experts in menopausal medicine and author of the book Menopause Confidential, “brain fog” affects… READ MORE


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EVERY MINUTE THE WORLD IS WHISPERING OPPORTUNITIES TO YOU... CAN YOU HEAR THEM?

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ANDREA CARTER


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SheSpark December 2016  

SheSpark makes it easy to get all your holiday shopping done online with unique, "feel good" gift ideas for every woman at every price point...

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