Friday, August 26, 2011


As a budget fashionista its important that my pieces transform from wear to work, to lunch on the weekend and night on the town (which I admit haven't happened as often as I would like).  However, ensuring that your pieces fit into your wardrobe requires some planning. Below is a list of tips on how to ensure you are maximizing your wardrobe by utilizing multi-purpose pieces...
  • BEWARE OF THE URGE OF THE IMPULSE PURCHASE: As a teen I remember buying things tht tickled my fancy. I ended up with a ton of cute items that had no real purpose and didnt help me create outfits.  Now before buying a top or bottom I think of what existing items I can wear it with. 
  • ACESSORIZE: I can’t stand stress this enough, an outfit can go from great to glamorous with the right accessorizes. Accessories also help you create different looks with a few key pieces.
  • DO EXPERIMENT WITH HAIR AND MAKEUP: Your look can be enhanced by the right hair and make-up. This is also a way to try new looks without breaking the bank.

Enjoy the weekend everyone!!!
Stay Fabulous,
Betsy Aimee

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

In Between Two Cultures in a Halfway Changed World

In Latino culture we are taught to appreciate what we are given and not demand too much. I see this everyday with my extended family " Be grateful for what you have mija" ,  "It's so great the Cousin (Blank) is making 17 dollars per hour. I should probably not be upset if i'm overlooked for a promotion and that I sure as hell shouldnt be marching in there asking the boss for a raise. I realize that in these tough economic times we should be GRATEFUL for what we have. But as the wonderful, accomplished women that we are, we should also value our work and the fact that on most days we go above and beyond the call of duty.

Given that I am a woman who also happens to be a first generation American Latina I wonder where that leaves me... I am  in between two cultures but I am also living in a world where women have made great strides, yet still make less money than men. How is this even possible?  At this point it must mean that women who are in positions of power are paying women less than men for performing the same work. This is equally puzzling because then it must mean that indeed men possess certain traits that are more favorable to success in the workplace.

Even more depressing is the fact that Latinas make about 57 cents for every dollar a man makes! This means that there's really no room to be bashful when it comes to asking for what you want. I have had countless conversations with gal pals who accept their salary offers without negotiating, and hesitate to ask for more. I was granted with a natural ability to ask for what I want/need that has helped me face these scenarios with gusto. But I must confess that I have found myself having conversation with my male life partner (aka-husband) whee he is reminding me that I shouldnt be afraid to ask for more and I say, "Are you crazy I cant go in there asking for X amount of money!" or "No, I cant ask for that promotion." I notice this self doubt is a lot more present in the women I know that in then men that I know. At this point, I have almost become jealous of men's arrogance/delusions of grandeur

Now im not making a generalization about men and women, but I have a few scenarios that I think are contributing to the 57 cents to the dollars/ 75 cents to the dollar phenomenon...
  • Women are accepting the first offer given to us from the beginning of our careers thus placing ourselves on the lower end of the pay scale for this job and the ones that will come after it.
  • We are never negotiating our salary because we are too busy being thankful we were offerred a job to begin with.
  • At some point the fields that became "female dominated" also became the ones that paid the least. I probably dont have enough time to discuss what's wrong with that statement.
  • When we become mothers we start getting paid less because people perceive that mother's work less. This one irks me because it also assumes that women stop caring about everything when they have babies. I can tell you from all the fabulous mommies I have encountered that this is SO not the case.
Now in every case it seems that we women can help solve these issues by speaking up and asking for more and not accepting less than what we deserve. For those of you that are in decision making roles please remember that if we are not challenging the status quo we are doing a disservice to future generations.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mad About Neutrals and Basics....Fall 2011

Summer is almost over and while it is sad to see it go, its now time for one of my favorite shopping season of the year, Fall.  One of the themes for my Fall Wear to Work Wardrobe is Neutrals Mad Men Like Fashions. The Fashion Blog World has just been going crazy over this collection. The wardrobe is one of my favorite parts of the show as most of the clothes are work appropriate and have the cinched waist look that I so love as I find it to be flattering on many body types and the tailoring on the show is just superb.  Below are some of my favorite neutral and "Mad Men Like" items for this fall. These basic pieces are appropiate for more conservative work environments and the hints of leopard and color make it current and much more FUN!   For my next fashion challenge I hope to find affordable versions of expensive pieces. Stay Tuned!

The Basics: This Linen ASOS Dress is a BARGAIN at 34.99 and this color can be easily combined with anything else already in your closet such as a cute cardigan in a fun color or a stylish Men's Blazer

The Banana Republic Mad Men Collection is just stunning. Its stylish yet still work appropiate.  The lace shell comes in ivory, beige and black. I wanted it in every color however, I restrained myself and purchased it in black for 49.50.

This one is not part of the Mad Men Collections but it has that same feel and tailoring. Great for those fall crisp afternoons! At 198.00 this is definitely an investment piece. Vintage Blazer-J Crew

 Ok. Everyone needs something leopard this Fall. It instantly makes an outfit sexy and fun! This skirt from J Crew is a fabulous addition! Click on this link to see more colors

These Red Nine West Booties are just the splash of color and modernity that your neutral palette needs. They will instantly update any outfit and are the great transition shoe for Fall! Love, Love these.

This bag is just gorgeous and almost a bargain at 88.00 from White House Black Market. This neutral tone looks great with everything and the structured style makes it great for work but its still stylish enough for cocktail hour!

I love Chunky necklaces and bracelets. I truly feel accessories make the outfit and this GORGEOUS Kate Spade Necklace will spruce up any outfit its daring yet also demure thanks to pearls!  Its also way too EXPENSIVE for my non-profit income. I will definitely try to find a less expensive version of this. But this one is nice to admire! Kate Spade has lots of other lovelies on her site that you should check out, if only just get inspired

Here's my quote for the day, " If we fail to recognize how our choices influence the world-either by reinforcing the status quo or challenging it-we're doomed to live lives of diminished possibilitied" Gloria Feldt

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Art of Mentoring

Just came back from a much needed vacation. I have been pondering a lot on the art of mentoring and what it actually means.  This lead me to reminisce on the advice people have given me that I may have probably ignored or brushed aside. But there are tidbits of wisdom that have been given to me that have remained:

“When you fear something, face that fear. As that is what brings growth"
“Don’t change who you are for any job or any boss"
“You will always be someone's bitch"
“It’s all about internal marketing"

A very intelligent woman I know recently told me that there is a difference between life coaching and mentoring. Furthermore, she told me that she is very selective about who she mentors as she tends to become emotionally involved in their lives.  I realize that my ideal mentor-mentee relationship involves a mentor who guides the mentee along his/her desired path and helps them find their true vocation. However in my case, it becomes about preventing others from making the same mistakes I made and saving other from the pain and anguish I have suffered.  My lack of career role models meant that mom wasn’t there to tell me how to deal with difficult bosses, my cousin wasn’t there to make a phone call on my behalf.  Now I’m ALL about doing that for my family and given the intrusive nature of family. I'm sure at times my advice is unwanted and most definitely unsolicited.

Granted I’m still much more in the category of those who need mentoring rather than those who should be mentoring others. However, I’m starting to think that the question is more basic than how to mentor, but rather make sure your mentee is actually interested in your mentoring. The line between doling out helpful advice and being overbearing is a fine one. One that I’m still learning how to navigate especially with those who are in my family and close circle of friends.

My mother was a housekeeper when I was young and as my mother cleaned her home this woman took it upon herself to dole out advice to me about life and relationships.  It was totally unsolicited yet she made such a strong impression on my younger self.

My mom worked for her till I was in my late teens and eventually her own daughter was going off to college. Some of her advice such as go to school and don’t marry a man because you need him to provide for you, I have listened to. Other advice such as don’t get married before the age of 30, I didn’t listen to. That doesn’t mean she didn’t make an indelible mark in my life.  I hope that someday I can make that kind of impression on someone and that I have enough emotional distance to accept that not all of my advice will be followed.  

She told me that the hardest part of being a parent is learning when it’s time to let go. Although I am not a parent I think this applies to being a mentor at some point you have to let the kids go out into the world and make their own mistakes. Just make sure you let them know you will be there when their car gets towed for excessive parking tickets (Thanks Dad!)