5 Things to Know About LuLaRoe

Yesterday I was shopping at a craft store when I overheard two women chatting about these leggings one was wearing. 
"It's called LuLaRoe! My daughters are selling them!"
When I brought my fabric over to have it cut, I joined in the conversation about LuLaRoe because I'm basically in love with LLR clothes. 

The woman who was cutting my fabric had never heard of LuLaRoe before, which made me realize that there *are* actually some people in this world who aren't familiar with these glorious leggings yet. 
If you've been one of those people, or you're just wondering about all of these Facebook groups you keep getting invited to or crazy leggings you're seeing people wearing, this post is for you. 

5 Things to Know About LuLaRoe

1. It's a woman owned and woman centered company.
LuLaRoe was founded by a mom. Their origin story is a classic "garage origin", even if in this case it's more of a "sewing room" story. The company was founded by a woman, and I'd guess (without having seen any kind of facts on this) that about 98% of LuLaRoe consultants are women. The company promotes the idea of selling LLR as a way to support families, and I think that's great. I think everyone is entitled to structure their work/life and their family the way they want to as long as they aren't preventing other people from living their lives. So you do you, ladies.

2. It is a multilevel marketing company, but it's different.
Like the Tupperware, makeup, and scented candle parties we've all been invited to in the past, LuLaRoe is definitely a MLM company. Individuals sign up to become "consultants" and they pay for an initial inventory that is physically sent to them. 
You buy clothes through in home parties or (my favorite) through Facebook groups that are organized by a consultant. There are Facebook groups that you join and if you spot an item you like you comment "sold" and you're emailed an invoice. Once you pay that invoice, your items are mailed to you by the consultant. Party hosts get perks for helping the LLR Consultant connect with more clients- usually clothes. 
As someone who has purchased other products from MLM events in the past, I've found it interesting  how the way that the product distribution is structured seems to be less encouraging of competition between consultants, in large part because every consultant has a different inventory from every other consultant. If anything, this encourages collaboration between multiple consultants on events, combo parties, or Facebook group networking events where you're entered to win a prize if you join all of the consultant's Facebook groups in the "circle".

3. You never know what you're going to get.
This is a really really critical part of what makes LLR special and what I think has been driving the explosion of popularity in the last year- no two consultants have the same inventory. They can request specific styles and they can sign up for  special "theme" items like Valentine's Day leggings, but consultants can't put in an order for only teacher themed leggings, or only green leggings. You might find a pattern that you LOVE (if it's something magical you're on the hunt for you call it your "unicorn") and you have to scour multiple groups for things with that theme. For me that's airplane patterns and red/white/blue color schemes. I have friends who are also into this and we help each other by finding items in different groups. The thrill of the hunt definitely adds to the experience. 
The whole line covers a lot of different styles, but not every consultant carries all of them. You can check out the full list here. 

4. This clothing is empowering women. 
Yes, there's the obvious financial empowerment for the consultants who do well at selling things, but I've also seen these clothes empowering the women who buy them. 
These clothes are comfortable, confident, accessible, and modest. The patterns and bright colors are just plain fun, and the fabrics and sizing are very forgiving. For so many women we've been battling clothes in fitting rooms and numbers on tags for our entire adult lives. It's really nice to be able to select something simply based on whether or not you think it looks fun and to know it's going to fit your body. 
It's equally nice to know that everything you want covered is going to stay covered. I'm a big fan of the leggings plus an "Irma" top, because that outfit is comfortable, allows for a full range of motion (useful when you're hanging out with kiddos), and it's modest. 
Personally, I feel most confident in clothes that are considered "modest". That's my thing. If you want to let it all hang out, no judgement. Again, you do you. 
These clothes really come in all sizes and it makes my heart sing whenever I see women get excited about showing the world who they are. 

5. Ohmygoodness, these buttery leggings tho.
My introduction to these leggings came when a Flight Attendant friend came up to me in the Crew Room and told me I had to touch her leg because the leggings she was wearing were so soft. I'm so glad I listened to her because now I pretty much live in them when I'm not working. 
The leggings come in two sizes, One Size and Tall and Curvy. They come in patterns and solids. 
All of them are SO soft, SO comfortable, and COMPLETELY opaque. 
I've said it before and I'll say it again: leggings are pants if they aren't see through. 
I started with a couple of black pairs (which have become increasingly hard to find) and now I'm wearing full on patterns. As I type this, I'm wearing LLR leggings with little red and blue airplanes all over them. SO. CUTE. I even used a picture of them for the background of the graphic for this post. My wonderful friend found them (my unicorns!) and mailed them to me for Christmas. Joy!
Essentially every item makes a great addition to a travel wardrobe, depending on your destination, of course. I always have a pair or two of the leggings in my layover suitcase these days, and they've quickly become essential travel clothes for me. 

LuLaRoe is not haute couture, and I'm fine with that. 
These clothes are practical, comfortable, and fun. I'm totally digging it.

*This post was in no way sponsored by LuLaRoe or any consultant. I'm just jazzed about it*

My 10-Step Korean Skin Care Routine

Korean skin care is one of the hottest beauty trends out there right now, and I am so on board. 
The basic idea is that it's a routine that involves a lot of steps, a lot of high quality products, and you're going to end up with glowy lovely skin. 
I dipped my toes in the water gradually over time, first by experimenting with Dr. Jart+ BB Creams, then Tony Moly Masks, and then I finally dove in with the full on 10-step Korean Skin
Care Routine.

One of the things that sold me on it was this article about embracing self-care as a radical feminist act.
The idea that taking care of ourselves as women is a way of fighting back against the misogyny rang so very true for me. I love embracing femininity as a way of fighting the patriarchy, and I want to make choices where I prove to myself and to the world that I value myself because I'm a woman, not in spite of the fact that I am a woman. Self-care is not the same thing as self indulgence. Read the article I linked to. It's seriously good.

But enough of my feminist soapbox rant and back to soap. 

The basic steps of my Korean Skin Care Routine:

1. Remove makeup.
2. Wash your face with an oil based cleanser.
3. Wash your face with a water based cleanser.
4. Exfoliate.
5. Toner.
6. Essence
7. Mask.
8. Eye Cream.
9. Moisturize.
10. Sunscreen. 

I had a lot of questions when I started this little project.

Aren't too many products harmful to my skin? Isn't over cleansing bad? Won't I strip away valuable things my skin needs to thrive? What makes this routine Korean? Am I culturally appropriating here? Isn't oil a BAD thing for skin? What the heck is with all of this aggressive cleansing? Do I have to do every step every day? Am I going to be able to easily lug this around when I fly? Will this clear up my skin magically?

Here's what I found out:

-Cleansing with "oil" helps your skin retain moisture.
-It really does take all that cleansing to get serious makeup off.
-The layers of moisture you add after the thorough cleansing make up for many sins.
-It's Korean because many of the products used are Korean exports and the priorities are traditional in Korean beauty. Here's a blog post about K-Beauty and questions around appropriation that I found informative. Like the author of Snow White and The Asian Pear, I've embraced this because I want better skin, self-care is radical enough without being exotic, and I love that this movement is bringing a little bit of diversity (and a focus on sun protection) to Western beauty standards.
-You don't do every step twice a day every day. I only exfoliate once or twice a week, and the same goes for masks.
-I've made this work pretty easily with my packing routine, but a big part of how I'm able to do that is because I'm a Flight Attendant and we're subject to different liquid restrictions when we're in uniform. That said, it's simple to get these products into tiny portable containers that work with TSA rules.
-This routine has definitely improved my skin. It has also made it very clear that at least 60% of how clear and glowy my skin is on any given day is impacted by my stress level, hormones, and how much water I've had to drink. Thanks, truth telling skin care.

Here are the skin care products that I've been using:

1. 2. 3. 4. 

5. 6. 7. 8. 


1. Neutrogena Hydrating Makeup Removing Wipes.
I have used makeup wipes every single day for almost ten years. They're essential and these are my favorites.

2. TonyMoly Aquaporin Skin Care Kit.
This set has a group of K-Beauty essentials together in one box and I went with it because I'd used TonyMoly sheet masks before and liked them. This comes with an oil cleanser, a toner, an emulsion moisturizer, and a more intense cream moisturizer. I use the emulsion when I'm at home and the moisture cream when I'm on layovers.

3. Benton Honest Cleansing Foam
This cleanser is my absolute favorite product from this whole experiment. It smells so perfectly soapy, cleanses beautifully, and feels great. I'm in love with this product.

4. Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence
I don't know if this is a magical silver bullet for wrinkles yet, but I've enjoyed using it and it's done good work. There's a whole Snail Bee line by Benton that I'm planning on moving to as my other products run out because I've been so impressed by this brand.

5. Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze in Wine
This is a really great, usable exfoliating peel, but if the smell of fake grape flavor makes you feel vaguely sick, this is not the product for you. Try one of the other "flavors" in this same line like lemon or green tea. I've been very satisfied with these exfoliating pads and I don't find the smell unpleasant though it is strong while you're using the product.

6. TonyMoly I'm Real Mask Set
What a deal this set is! My favorites in terms of results have been the Lemon, Wine, and Aloe. I've seen immediate (if not long lasting) results and I definitely plan on repurchasing this to give as gifts.

7. Eborian Eye Cream
This company is so interesting- they're a Korean/French brand and I've loved this eye cream. The other day I forgot to apply it at night and when I woke up the next morning it totally showed. When I do remember to use this (which is 99% of the time) my under eyes are moisturized and the lines are less noticeable.

8. Fresh Rose Face Mask
This mask is pricey but one of the best things I have ever put on my face. When I use it consistently at night, my face looks refreshed and better than ever the next morning. It moisturizes and somehow magically also deals with any spots I have hanging around.

9. Dr. Jart+ Waterfuse BB Cream
I'm in love with this BB Cream. It's pale enough for me, moisturizing, has a good SPF, and my skin instantly looks 100% better when I have it on. It's the closest thing I've found to a miracle product.

I hope you feel empowered to give some of these products a role in your daily skin care line up!

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Sausage

This recipe is one of my absolute favorites. 
It's easy, it's healthy, and it's very tasty. 
If you're looking for a new idea for an easy weeknight dinner recipe, here you go. 
I'm a big fan of spaghetti squash and it's so easy to use it in place of regular pasta. 
If you're lucky, you'll even have some leftover for lunch the next day! Just make sure to pack some extra cheese. 


That Whole Miss America Thing

Six years ago today, I was on national television. 
Most days it still feels impossible that I was *actually* Miss Vermont. 
Like, how on EARTH did a pale nerd become someone competing to be "the queen of femininity" at twenty years old?

Spot the Vermonter.

Being a former (forever) Miss State is a weird thing.
You're a celebrity with a very specific group of people.
You're part of one of the most elite sororities in the world. 
You can never really leave it behind you, even if you wanted to.

Being Miss Vermont will always be a part of my identity.
It has shaped too much of my life for it to become some "fun fact" that I hide most of the time. 

And for all of that, I'm so grateful.

But as always, what I'm most grateful for are these women.

 (To this day I can't watch this without crying and having flashbacks.)

We met a lifetime ago when we were all so young.
Now we've gotten degrees, gotten married, had kids, gotten divorced, bought houses, started careers, changed careers, starred in hit musicals, starred in TV shows, become lawyers and doctors and so many more things.

So here we are- another year into forever as part of one of the most hilarious, most interesting, and most fun Miss America classes to ever rock that runway. We've come a long way from Las Vegas, and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Thanks stars.

How to Survive Flight Attendant Training

Two years ago right now, I had just received the exciting news that I had been chosen to start Flight Attendant Training with the world's largest airline. 

I was excited, nervous, and I had almost no idea what to expect.

The airline I work for has a training facility where you live, eat, and study for the six and a half weeks that you're in training. You don't get paid, but they do feed you and house you for the duration of your training. It reminded me of college or summer camp- we lived together and worked together and learned so much. 

Training can be very stressful. 
You're living in close quarters with strangers, you have to score above 90% on every test in order to be able to stay in the program, and some parts of training can be a little scary
I'm really scared of heights, and I had to throw myself down a a really tall evacuation slide. 
I hate putting my head under water, but I had to jump into a pool wearing a lifejacket, swim across it, and climb into a life raft. 
I had to put out fires (literally) and demonstrate physical defense techniques. 

And on top of all of that, you still have a life back home that's going on without you. There are bills that need to be paid, loved ones facing challenges, and just general homesickness. 
While I was in training I was going through the beginning of a divorce and my grandmother had a massive heart attack. Your real life doesn't stop just because you need to learn the difference between a Boeing 757 and a 787, but don't worry, this is worth it and you can handle it.

You know what though? Looking back I had so much fun. 
I made lifelong friends, I ate some really good breakfast burritos, and I fell in love with an exciting new career. 

So for those of you preparing to start the journey of a lifetime, here are a few tips so that you will be one of the lucky ones who survives flight attendant training. 

How To: Survive Flight Attendant Training

1. Memorize your airport codes BEFORE you leave for training.
I used an app called Quizlet, which has a lot of airport code flashcard sets made by other trainee flight attendants. Double check to make sure that the codes you're memorizing match up with the list provided by your airline. Start as early as possible- literally the DAY you get your training materials.

2. Use whatever tactics YOU need to study.
Some of my classmates studied in groups. Some of them used ironing boards to diagram airplane equipment locations. Some of them took large pieces of paper and put mock ups of airplane doors on the walls of their bedrooms so that they could practice door opening and closing. 
My roommate and I studied best by quizzing each other in our room, with just the two of us. Don't feel pressured into studying in a way that doesn't make sense for you. If you need a group, make that group. If you need to study quietly alone, do it. 

3. Take copious notes.
When your instructors give you information, write it all down by hand. Studies have shown that your brain memorizes information better if you record it manually rather than electronically. 
This applies particularly during lesson or section recaps. If they're reiterating it, it's probably on the test. Pay attention to acronyms and specific phrasing. They matter.

4. Practice your commands out loud.
Evacuation commands are some of the most important things you'll learn while in training. You hope you'll never need to use them in real life, but when that moment comes you'd better know them deeply in your soul.
Yell them out. Do the physical movements that go with them. Ingrain them into your muscle memory.  You'll need to do these every year at your annual recurrent training anyway, so get them down precisely NOW. 

5. Use moderation when putting things into your body.
Whether it's food or alcohol, don't overdo it. When your snazzy new uniforms come in, you're going to want them to fit, and memorizing the location of the portable oxygen is going to be a lot harder with a merciless hangover. 
Don't get me wrong, I still have a love affair happening with the training center's chorizo breakfast burritos and I enjoyed a mug or two of vinho verde with my roomie, but just be smart about your choices. 

6. Go to sleep, but not in class.
There will be times when the lectures you're in get a little bit....tedious. One particular powerpoint on how to operate a coffee maker comes to mind for me. Be a responsible grown up and get enough sleep so that you don't drift off during class time.

7. Look sharp.
Dress professionally and follow every single attire guideline you are given, both in and out of uniform. Don't forget that you haven't actually been hired yet. To some extent, training is one long extended job interview.

8. Make friends.
There are some jobs where it doesn't matter if you're friends with your co-workers. 
Being a Flight Attendant is not one of those jobs. 
Your life could literally depend on the people around you one day soon. If nothing else, you're going to need at least a few of them to rely on as your new support network when you get sent to your base. You'll be in a new city navigating a new and intricate job. The stakes are high. You need friends you can text things to like "Where's the crew room at DFW?" or "Where can I find the max duty day chart in the tablet?" 
You also need friends you can hang out with while you're on Reserve and waiting for the phone to ring.
Being a Flight Attendant is so much more than just a job- it's a way of life. 
You're going to use jargon that makes no sense to ground dwellers. 
You're going to have amazing experiences that your friends back home simply can't understand. Hopping on a last minute flight to Paris for the weekend? Don't expect your high school BFF to get it. 
You're about to start a completely new lifestyle and you're going to need a crew who will have your back.

Congratulations on making it this far and good luck on this next leg of your journey! 

Have Courage and Be Kind

For some people, being kind is like breathing- they do it constantly without thinking.
For me, being kind is more like breathing correctly during yoga- I'm generally pretty good about it but sometimes I forget and have to be reminded that I need to do better. 

I've been pretty heartbroken since the election in November. It's tested my resilience and my commitment to intentional optimism. 
To be clear: I'm not heartbroken that the candidate I supported lost, I'm heartbroken that people who believe in violence and hatred feel like they've won. 

No one knows better than me that in politics, sometimes you lose. 
Sometimes what you hope for and dream of and work for doesn't happen. 
That's life. That's normal. 
C'est la vie. 

What I refuse to accept is the normalization of hatred. I refuse to accept the normalization of violence.
This is America. 
We always rise and show that we are worthy of the promise of the pursuit of happiness. 
Too often it takes longer than we want it to.
Too often we have to fight back against our own apathy to embrace the better angels of our nature. 
But we must. 

I am not perfect. I have been unkind and I will be unkind, but in small ways and in large ways, I hope you'll join me in committing to intentional kindness and optimism as we face these next four years. 

Kindness, empathy, and compassion are the most basic ways we can fight hatred in out every day lives.

Five Ways to Show Kindness:

1. See something, say something. 
If you see someone being harassed or treated rudely, have the courage to engage with the target by saying something like "Oh my gosh! Sarah?! I'm so glad to see you! It's been so long!"

2. Stop and help.
If you see someone struggling with their shopping bags, offer to help. If you drive by a house where an elderly woman is trying to rake leaves from her motorized scooter, pull over and ask if you can help her. If there's a parent traveling alone with a baby on your plane, offer to hold that baby if mom/dad needs to go to the bathroom. 

3. Donate feminine care items.
Homeless shelters around the nation are in dire need of bras and feminine hygiene products. 

4. Donate your time.
Is there a cause you believe in? Volunteer for it. 
Personally, I'm all about helping girls develop courage, confidence, and character so I volunteer for my local Girl Scout Service Unit. I also love my local library, so I've gotten involved with a group who wants to support it. 
Put your time where your heart is. 

5. Hold the door and smile at people. 
Especially for people who might worry that they're unsafe these days.
Little kindnesses add up. 

You don't have to be perfect, you just have to try. 
Every small effort to make the world a better place does matter.
So do it. 

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Curry Soup

I am so excited to share my favorite recipe for curried pumpkin soup with you today!

In my family, we taking cooking pretty seriously. 

On my dad's side my Nana is a published cook book author.

On my mom's side my family owns and runs two Bed & Breakfasts and a catering company in Northern Vermont. Our cousin also recently purchased a small hotel and restaurant in the area, and we're all related to Julia Child. 
(For real. Her dad was my great-grandfather's first cousin. They grew up together in Pennsylvania.)
 So if there are any production companies looking for new reality TV show ideas- I've got some material for you to work with. Brunch Wars, anyone? 

One of our go-to appetizers for events is a pumpkin bisque that is absolutely fabulous. We serve it in shot glasses because soup shots are always a good idea.

I put my own twist on the recipe by using coconut cream, and vegetable broth when I want to make things vegan. 
Adding the curry powder and the powdered ginger gives this soup a brightness and an almost Thai flavor that I just adore. If you're into curried vegetables, you'll be into this curried pumpkin soup recipe for sure. 
You can easily double or triple this if you're serving a crowd, and I like to freeze it in individual servings to take for meals on the go at work. 

Pumpkin Curry Soup


-4 shallots
-2 cloves garlic
-2 cans of pureed pumpkin
-2 cans of coconut cream
-One box of Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth
-Two tablespoons curry powder
-One teaspoon powdered ginger
-Two tablespoons coconut oil, olive oil, butter
-Sea salt and fresh pepper to taste


1. Mince shallots and garlic. In a medium pan, saute shallots on low in your preferred oil until shallots are slightly caramelized and light brown in color. Add garlic and saute until fragrant.

2. Pour canned pumpkin, coconut cream, broth, and sautéed vegetables into your slow cooker. Add curry powder and salt and pepper to taste. Give it a good stir.

3. Set your slow cooker to four hours on high. 

4. Check in every hour or so to stir and see how it's coming along. When everything has liquified, you can use an immersion blender to get everything to a smooth consistency or just leave it as-is if you're ok with beautiful dots of caramelized shallots floating in your soup. I know I'm cool with that. 

5. Serve hot with whatever delicious garnish fills you with joy. Thai red pepper for a kick of spice. Maybe some toasted pumpkin seeds. Heck, add some oyster crackers baked with olive oil and curry powder. You do you.