How To Get the Most Out of a Conference

Having just come back from TLC's annual trichotillomania conference, I have conferences on my mind! Having been to quite a few, I have some advice for getting the most from this unique learning and networking experience.

Bring a notebook and pen. You never know when you'll want to jot down an important piece of information or contact details. Plus, furiously scribbling notes (or 'notes') is sure to make the speaker feel good!

Don't forget your business cards. I swapped cards with a few fellow attendees and some presenters at the conference, and am looking so forward to keeping in touch! Network, network, network.

Speaking of which, practice your elevator pitch. Find articles that might help here and here.

Make friends. Even if you're shy and/or an introvert, it's worth it to psych yourself up and introduce yourself to someone. You never know; you could make a lifelong friend, connect with a new business contact or, at the very least, prove to yourself that you're capable of getting out of your shell in this kind of environment.

Dress appropriately. Whatever the conference, it's wise to consider the dress code. Keep comfort in mind, too. Is it a casual event? Wear dark wash jeans or leggings with a nice top. Professional? Try a blazer with slacks or a pencil skirt paired with power flats or low heels.

How do you make the most of events?

Inspiring Imagery: Queens, New York

With the growing popularity of Tumblr, Pinterest and IMGfave, today's blog post is a little something different. This is a collection of inspiring images (this time, of Queens, NY!) I've found around the web (sources included when possible). Explore other Inspiring Imagery posts here.

 Hydrangeas in Queens

Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Things I Love Friday // Link Love // 19.4.2013

Hi gorgeous! I'm in Newark, NJ for a conference, so here's a quick TILF and a whole bunch of fun links to keep you busy. Have fun!

Highlights of my week:

♥ Working like a busy bee.
♥ Looking forward to a couple days in NYC this week coming.

Little things which made me smile:

♥ Listening to Carrie Underwood's Blown Away and dreaming of the south ♥ Tumblr ♥ Early morning snuggles with Edward ♥ Brownies ♥ Remembering this. ♥ Giving fellow Trich survivors pep talks on Twitter ♥ Vanilla bean frapuccinos in Midtown Manhattan ♥ Manhattans! ♥ Law and Order SVU marathons ♥ Veggie dogs ♥ Team Canada hoodies ♥ Cherry red manicures ♥ Shopping at New Jersey's largest outlet mall (and buying an adorable tiered lace mini skirt) ♥ Breakfast for dinner ♥ Long bus rides ♥

Check out Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi's home. Apparently Ellen has a "passion for decorating".

Wouldn't you just love to visit South America? How beautiful!


Beating Panic Disorder: Stop Giving Into the 'Shoulds'

We have so many shoulds in our lives-- from who we should be right down to how our days should go. But when you have an anxiety disorder, things don't always go to plan.

Tuesday morning, I get on the bus expecting an uneventful ride, but there's a guy picking his nose and wiping it on the back of a chair, then coughing. A germaphobe's nightmare. So I get anxious.

Then I walk from the coffee shop to the grocery store, and it's hot out compared to the temperature inside, and I have a slight headache. Instead of thinking the weather's wonky today, I think "I'm sick, I'm gonna panic, and I'm gonna die". It's irrational, but it's often the anxious person's thought process.
And I feel so small. I had a panic attack today! That's pathetic. I'm pathetic.

But... If we stop giving into the shoulds and start embracing how far we've come, how many panic attacks we haven't had today, we'd be a lot healthier and happier.

I think I'll give that a try. Will you?

Hello, Spring!

Spring is a time of newness and rebirth-- both in nature and in the lives of those with seasonal depression. Most of us with SAD experience this change in mood in the winter, and begin to feel better as spring comes.

Set yourself up for success this spring by taking these steps:

Take it slow. Don't expect all your energy to return the moment it gets warmer.

Be optimistic.

Try new things. What have you never done before, that you'd like to try? Yoga? Sushi? Planting a garden? Now's the time to do it!

Update your wardrobe. Bright colours! On-trend patterns and cuts. A gorgeous dress or sexy slacks that fit just right.

Get a support network in place for next year. Join a meetup for people with depression, see if a local hospital offers CBT groups or create your own circle of friends who 'get it'.

Enjoy yourself!

Image Source

Things I Love Friday & Link Love 5-6.4.2013: Rainbow Sprinkle Cake, Office Makeovers & Justin Timberlake

Hey darling! So, I'm considering condensing Things I Love Friday and Link Love into one post every week, instead of two. Y'all seem to like it better that way (I got a few emails about it-- thanks!) and the content fits nicely together. Let me know if you feel the same this week. Afterall, Polish and Sparkle is as much yours as it is mine!

♥ Getting excited about my trip to Newark and New York!!

♥ Writing a review of Hot & Heavy (an amazing anthology for fabulous fat women).

♥ Looking forward to seeing my friends, Chana and Tush.

Little things which made me smile:

♥ Feeling inspired ♥ "You do not have to trade for Dunkaroos. You can buy your own Dunkaroos. And then you will control the world" [source] ♥ Immaculately groomed eyebrows ♥ Cherry Italian soda ♥ Reviving old projects (and making them better than ever!) ♥ Push-up bras. Va va voom, I feel like Mae West! ♥ Christina Hendricks in Flare Magazine

And now, on to Link Love!
Justin Timberlake's brilliant marketing strategy sold 980,000 copies of his latest album. Giving away free content really does boost sales.

This rainbow sprinkle cake is amazing.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

5 Reasons To Read "Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love & Fashion"

Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls On Life, Love & Fashion came out earlier this year and continues to receive a plethora of positive press from within the fat community. If you haven't already got a copy, I urge you to rush to Amazon or your local bookstore. It's worth it, I promise!

Edited by Virgie Tovar and published by Seal Press, Hot & Heavy features incredible writers/fat activists, including Tasha Fierce, Kitty Stryker, April Flores (pictured on the cover) & lots more listed here.

Here are 5 reasons why you should read this anthology today:

1 The stories are genuine, authentic and raw. Written by real fat women with a variety of experiences, from illness to dieting to dancing and learning to love their bodies, every chapter is unique and engaging.

2 Virgie's piece, "Pecan Pie, Sex & Other Revolutionary Things" is my favourite, possibly because I relate to much of it and adore Virgie's writing style, but every chapter spoke to me in some way. I think you'll feel the same.

3 The book advocates "shedding shame instead of shedding pounds" [page 51]. We are more than our size or shape, our gender or sex, our skin colour or background. This is a powerful message.

4 The epilogue is full of inspiring, actionable ideas for fierce fat girls who want to love their bodies. A perfect way to end an incredible book

5 Explore the "About the Contributors" section at the back for even more fatspiration, including links to fat positive websites run by the contributors. Consider it hours of extra reading for free.

A copy of Hot & Heavy was provided to me by Seal Press in exchange for this blog post. This in no way affects my opinion of the book.
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