Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Champagne Diet Takes Chicago! Event Recap

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Back in January, I booked a segment on Good Day Chicago on how to overcome your fears to turn your New Year's resolutions into reality. I was in town for less than 48 hours, we flew through a snow storm to get there (and yes, it was just as terrifying as it sounds), and it was -7 degrees the entire time. Yet despite the circumstances, I fell in love with Chicago.

I came back in March to do the show again and this time I loved it even more. I met so many wonderful people during both trips, that I even came back for my birthday in April! (when I love something, I love it hard). After realizing so many of my Champagne Girls lived in the Windy City, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to celebrate my Girl Code book launch with some fun events for all my ladies of Chitown. So last week, I strapped on my stilettos and blew through town yet again for a whirlwind trip meeting so many fans, readers, and fellow female entrepreneurs, and it was truly a blast.

First up on the agenda was a coffee date with Nicole of Cedar and Rush. We met up at Allis in the West Loop area and chatted all things Girl Code over some yummy cappuccinos. Nicole is a truly doll and I suggest checking out her blog and/or connecting with her if you're local. We had a lovely morning that I capped off with some shopping and relaxing before my big weekend.

Then it was time to sparkle.

....when your book matches your outfit #SorryNotSorry
Purchase my shoes here

On Friday night, we officially kicked off the party with a champagne happy hour at Nellcote, which despite a torrential rain storm, turned out absolutely perfect. Our original plans were to have our event in the patio of RM Champagne, but due to the weather it was impossible. Plus, we would have ruined the gorgeous blowouts Glowout salon treated us to beforehand! Can we talk about those for a second?

When Jenn Dieas (@Glowprah) found out I was going to be in town, she invited me in to her salon for a complimentary blowout in true Girl Code style. I invited my dear client and friend Brittnae of Bling Girl Fitness who flew into town just for these events (!!) and we had a fabulous time. From the moment we walked in, I immediately fell in love with the vibe of Glowout and Jenn and the stylists made everything that much better. Champagne, blowouts, and Buddhas? Yes, please!

These candles smelled divine

I already told Jenn I'm moving in. I've got dibs on that couch, so don't even try it.

After we raised our glam vibration, we darted across the street to Nellcote, just missing the rain. The lounge area was not reserved by anyone else, so we ordered a couple of bottles of bubbles, decorated the tables with books, and waited for the ladies! Don't you just love when things just flow like that? Thanks, Universe!

I was so blown away by how many women showed up to mix, mingle, and celebrate Girl Code. There's nothing more exciting to me than the sound of champagne bottles popping and women connecting. Okay, maybe the sound of my waiter bringing me a cheese board. But that's about it.

Leopard print was on the menu. And we were ordering it. 
Purchase my top here.
After Friday night wrapped up, it was time for our dream board party at Madame Zuzu's teahouse in Highland Park. Billy so graciously offered his space for me to throw an event while I was in town, and it was the perfect backdrop for a night of inspiration, art, and creativity. 

Upon arrival, we had some of the best coffee I've ever tasted (seriously), and thumbed through a stack of goddess guidance cards. I mean really, could these not be more up my alley? #SpiritualGlamour

The teahouse (which is so charming, by the way, you really need to check it out) filled up fast and some more of my clients and readers showed up, some who also traveled from Michigan just like Brittnae. You ladies rock! I also got to meet some brand new women who were absolutely wonderful and ready to dive right in to our dream boarding...

All in all we had a fabulous evening and everyone left feeling relaxed and inspired. 

Then it was time for my Sunday afternoon book signing at Standout Style boutique. Are you exhausted yet? Because I feel like I need a cup of coffee just writing this. Whirlwind weekend for sure. Tamika Price, who owns Standout Style, reached out to me on Instagram a few weeks before my trip to see if I'd ever be interested in collaborating on an event with her. As synergy would have it, I was already booked for Chicago so we picked a date and started planning!

From start to finish, the event was absolutely amazing. Bubbly was provided by Le Grand Courtage, and you can actually check out an interview with the owner, Tawnya, in Girl Code (page 109!), so that was a lovely touch. Custom Champagne Diet themed cookies were made by Deelishables, and they were truly "deelish." Kim took the time out to create mini, edible version of my quotes and the book cover. Could you die?

I got to connect with so many of my readers, sign books, take photos, and we even had a little Q&A session where I got to answer questions from the women who came out. If you missed my Periscope, you can catch the replay here on my YouTube channel. Huge shout out to Tamika who opened her shop on a Sunday afternoon to host this event. I am so grateful!

Bubbly so graciously provided by Le Grand Courtage helped us kick off the afternoon in sparkling style!

not sure who this photo belongs to, but please let me know if its yours so I can credit you!

photo via @nikeyayoung

This time in Chicago just reinforced the fact that when women (and men, thanks Billy!) come together to support one another, amazing things happen. When we ask how we can help someone else, when we let go of the need to compete, and when we genuinely show up for each other, it leads to magic.

Thank you so much to everyone who showed up for me. I appreciate you all more than you know.

With love and bubbles,

To purchase Girl Code, click here.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Ideas for a Soulful, Sexy, Champagne Sunday

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So, full disclosure: Sundays used to be a day I would dread. I knew my weekend was coming to a close, and I would get major anxiety knowing that Monday was around the corner and I had to go back to a life and a job that I was anything but passionate about.

But as years went on, and I started taking positive action steps toward living my Champagne Life, I began viewing Sundays in a whole new light. They were my day to recharge my soul, renew my spirit, and craft my "plan of attack" for the week to start making things happen. I knew that I could spend Sundays filling my flute, so to speak, so that when Monday rolled around I was ready to create opportunities for myself and continue moving toward my dreams.

If you're feeling blue today, or getting that tinge of anxiety knowing that Monday is almost here, I want to share a few ideas with you on how to make your Sunday fabulous. Remember, everything is a choice. Every feeling, every decision, every thought. What are you choosing today?

Here's my Soulful, Sexy, Champagne Sunday plan:

-- Take a bubble bath with lavender essential oil. If you don't have lavender oil, you can find some in Whole Foods or most health food stores.

-- Get sweaty: in the gym, in a SoulCycle class, in bed, in whatever way works for you ;)

-- Read an empowering, feel-good book. Here are some options!

-- Treat yourself to a solo brunch date in an outfit that makes you feel gorgeous.

-- Set your intentions by writing down your top 3 goals for the week. Pick the most important goal, and list 1 thing you can do tomorrow to get closer to making it a reality. Theme of the week: be bold.

-- Download one of the official Champagne Diet home study programs and get to work (hint: they are best paired with a beautiful bottle of bubbles).
-- Meditate.

-- Dream up one huge, big, scary, insane dream and write it down on paper. If it scares the shit out of you, you're on the right track.

And remember, whatever you do, do it with all of your heart.

Wishing you a deliciously dazzling day... 

With love and bubbles,

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Is "I'm Not Getting My Hopes Up" Your Catch Phrase?

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One of the things I used to always catch myself saying was, "That would be great, but, I'm not getting my hopes up." Have you ever said or thought the same thing?

Just pause for a moment and think about how insane that sounds. Why wouldn't we get our hopes up? Why are we conditioned to think that if we think positively, we may somehow "ruin" the outcome?

It wasn't until I began practicing the Law of Attraction (or my own version of it that I've coined The Power of Fabulous Thinking), and really witnessing the mind-blowing results of just how powerful our thoughts are, that I started to realize how crazy it was to not want to be hopeful.

In the past few weeks alone, by getting my hopes up, I have manifested some truly amazing things. I have been pinching myself, in major gratitude mode, and totally in awe of how fun it actually is to get my hopes up and watch the magic unfold.

And I know you're probably thinking, "But what about when it doesn't happen?" I'll get to that in a sec...

So I'm going to ask you: what can you become hopeful about today? And let's take it a step further -- what can you become downright excited over? As a caveat to that, let me also say that you need to have a deep-rooted faith that what's for you will never, ever pass you, and that if there is a dream placed in your heart, it's there because you will achieve it. It may not happen exactly as you envisioned, but I can promise you that if you think positively, take consistent action toward your goals, you will be very, pleasantly surprised. I am living proof, as are the hundreds of women I have worked with.

So that's your mission for today. Will you accept it? (I feel like I should be in a trench coat right now handing off some sort of briefcase to you).

OH, and, I also wanted to let you know that I have just a few spots left for my upcoming Create Your Champagne Life: GIRL CODE Workshop. If you need a little help with this whole positive thinking thing, or you're just looking for some serious guidance, support, and accountability to start making some big changes in your life, then read on. There is nothing I love more than helping another woman build a better life for herself. I get goosebumps when I think about all of the shifts and successes that my clients have created in their own lives during our work together. No matter what phase of your life or business you are in, you shouldn't have to navigate it alone. Women are better when we come together, and I would be honored to stand along side you and empower you to truly create your Champagne Life. Click here to join.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Vulnerability Is Sexy

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Hi gorgeous,

When is the last time you felt vulnerable? Like really, really vulnerable?

I watched a brilliant TED talk by Brene Brown last night on vulnerability and the topic reminded me just how vulnerable I have been in my life and in my business from the start. I have always been the type to wear my heart on my sleeve. I love to share everything. I laugh at myself when I make a mistake, I ask for help when I need it, I am brutally honest about my past, my insecurities, my bad days, and my fears. I truly attribute this level of vulnerability to my success because it allows people feel a connection to me. As I always say, this is a "No Bullshit" zone.

Many of my clients are afraid to share their stories. They are nervous to put their heart out on the line and talk about why they got started doing what they do. And I totally get it. Often times, our pain is what leads us to our passion. Our biggest traumas can lead us to our most brilliant moments of creativity. And that is scary as shit. But if you're not allowing yourself to be vulnerable to your potential readers, clients, customers, and audience, you are selling yourself short. You are robbing yourself of an authentic connection and you are missing the point of all of this.

Our stories are what bond us. Our stories are what make someone say "I need to work with her. She gets me!" There are hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs out there. Why do people choose to hire certain ones over others? Because there is something there they can relate to. There is a familiarity. A common bond.

I encourage you to look at your business -- whatever that business is -- and think about why you do what you do. What inspired you to get started? Really think about it. How has your past shaped you and led you to this moment? What are your dreams for the future? I want you to go deep. I'm not talking about wanting to make a certain amount of money or be home with your kids. That is surface level. Think about why you want those things. Were you a latch-key kid who struggled with insecurity and feeling abandoned and you want to be the complete opposite for your children because you can vividly remember the pain of feeling so alone? Did you go through a traumatic break-up where you questioned every single thing about yourself and felt like you were unworthy of love because your ex called you fat and told you nobody would ever love you again? Maybe that situation led you to become a coach who empowers women to find beauty and strength within themselves through fitness, or makeup, or books, or whatever. See what I'm getting at here?

Vulnerability is sexy. Vulnerability empowers you, and your audience. Vulnerability allows us to truly, deeply connect. And after all, isn't that what life is all about?

With love and bubbles,

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

How to Cultivate Your Inner Peace

Pin It Now! Hello beauties,

Do you feel like you have inner peace? Before we even go there, do you know what inner peace looks like?

I had a situation earlier today that tested me. I mean, really tested me. I had every reason to basically lose my shit, but instead I chose to do something totally different. 

Now let me preface this with saying the following: I used to be in a constant state of self-defense. I was ready to go to blows over every unfavorable situation. If I felt I was being challenged, I went into total "mama bear" mode and I was prepared to fight to the death. But over the past few years, I began to change. I have finally arrived at a place where I truly feel that 99% of the time, its a waste of my time and energy to go there. Time I could spend doing productive things for myself and for my business.

So today, when I was tested, I was presented with a very clear choice. I could freak out, or I could chill out. And I chose the latter. Rather than feeding into the negative thoughts, I chose to shift my energy. I lit my candles and did a quick 7-minute meditation, focusing on filling my mind with only happy, uplifting thoughts and breathing out whatever I didn't need (stress, worry, anger). After my meditation I chose to only speak about the situation in a way that felt empowering to me. I sent the situation love and light and in turn cultivated my own inner peace. 

Inner peace happens when you take control over your energy. When you decide to not let the energy of others penetrate your well-being. When you realize that every single thought and feeling is a choice.

Ladies, please know that while you may not be in control of what's happening TO you or AROUND you, you're in total control of how you react to it and how you allow it to affect you. You're never, ever a victim and remember: Champagne Girls will always, always rise above. 

Cultivate your inner peace and then protect it like mad.

With love and bubbles,

Monday, July 27, 2015

Keep Going (Trust Me!)

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Hello beautiful,

Right now, I want you to take a deep breath and realize that in this very moment, you are exactly where you are meant to be. No matter how much you can't stand your boss, or how freaked out you are that the money isn't rolling into your business as quickly as you'd like it to be, or how scared you are to publish that post. Whatever is happening in your life is setting you up for the very next moment, and it's going to be wonderful.

For those of you who don't know, I've been at this for a while. I launched The Champagne Diet blog back in 2008, with absolutely no idea of what it would eventually become (and I still don't know where it's going, but the thought alone gives me goosebumps!) When I began my blog, I didn't even have a personal Facebook page. I launched a Twitter account at the suggestion of one of my friends to try and build my platform. I literally started at Ground Zero.

Here's an example of what the early days of The Champagne Diet looked like:

Crazy, right? That little blog has now turned into a coaching practice that has allowed me to leave my full-time job at MTV, 3 bestselling books that have taken me to London and Paris to meet readers and fans, a massive social media following that I get to inspire and uplift daily, sponsorships and partnerships with brands like Moet and SoulCycle, TV appearances around the country, features in magazines like Glamour, Shape, Cosmo South Africa, Marie Claire UK...the list goes on. I share this all with you because if you would have told me ANY of that back in 2008, I would have laughed and told you that you were insane.

Please believe me when I tell you that every single thing is possible. I want you to know that if you keep showing up, it will happen for you. Keep showing up even when it feels like you're talking to a brick wall. Keep showing up even when there's $40 in your bank account. Keep showing up when you host a live call and there are 2 people on the line (because those 2 people will most likely become your most loyal fans). Keep showing up and have faith that the right people will show up when it's meant to be. Every single thing is lining you up for success. You've just got to keep going.

PS -- My next Create Your Champagne Life: #GirlBoss Edition LIVE workshop is nearly sold out! If you're ready to work through some MAGIC with me and an intimate group of like-minded, fabulous female entrepreneurs, then click here to check it out. You are seriously going to LOVE it. 
With love and bubbles,

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Authenticity is Magnetic. Are You Being True to You?

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When I launched my life coaching practice, I did not follow a road map. I had a blog called The Champagne Diet, and by every rule in the book, I should have changed that name to “Cara’s Life Coaching for Women” or something equally as boring. In fact, I even bought the domain “CoachingByCara.com” when I first started out because I considered using it for a split second (luckily that thought faded fast).

Early in my career, I remember being inundated with opinions on how I should act, what I should look like, and how I should run my business -- and I hated all of it. I invested in business coaches because I wanted to soak up every drop of information and learn from the “power players” – or so I thought. I spend thousands of dollars – even taking a loan out against my 401k – to pay for programs to ensure I would be set up for success and give myself every chance to grow my business the “right” way. I will never forget the day I sat down with my first business coach and she handed me a sales script. It was a two-page document filled with dry dialogue that made every inch of my insides shrivel up. I was mortified when she asked me to read it aloud and reenact a client conversation and pretend I was trying to close a sale. I walked out of her office that day and vowed to never, ever follow advice like that again.

I quickly realized I could not be anyone but Cara and that meant incorporating all the things I love into my brand, even if some of those things happen to be champagne and Chanel ;) 
Since that experience, I built my business around my gut instincts. I decided to create things from my heart; things that I wish existed. And the results have been magic. All of my books have hit various best seller lists and my coaching workshops and programs sell out and often have waiting lists. I attribute my success to being unique and being confident in who I am, even when it doesn't look like everyone else.

Authenticity is magnetic. I encourage you to look at your life -- and your business -- and ask yourself if you're being authentic. Are you being true to yourself? Don't worry about doing things to get people to follow you. Focus on your passion and your individuality and those who are meant to be there, will. 

With love and bubbles,

PS -- More to come on this topic in GIRL CODE! Make sure you click here to get on the list and stay updated on the new book, out in August!