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Dress for Success Midwest Community Action Project Update

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on January 23, 2011

“ Yes We Can! Women Overcoming Obstacles”

Dress for Success Midwest Professional women’s group voted to have an project that focused on empowering women. We felt that being a part of Dress for Success Midwest has given us tools to empower ourselves and we wanted to share that with other women. We are utilizing our Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women’s Group blog to encourage women to use technology to get information that would be helpful in them overcoming their obstacles. We created the blog and social networking accounts ( twitter and facebook) to provide women with information about career advice, personal finance, women’s health and community resources.

In addition to our online efforts we are providing homeless women and their families information about resources and feeding them.Our project goal is to support women who are re-entering society from incarceration, homeless women, and women living in poverty. We want to equip women with information about community resources and approaches to overcome obstacles may be holding them back.

For the conclusion of our project we plan to hold a one day conference for homeless women on March 12 and women re entering society from prison by and provide information and resource on the areas of employment, personal finances and women’s health.

Our theme this year is “Yes We Can! Women Overcoming Obstacles.” The women in our membership have over come obstacles. Several members have experienced being homeless. This has caused them to be interested in giving back to the community through helping the homeless.

Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women’s Group (PWG) has formed a partnerships with First Steps Back Home, Makeover for Life Outreach, and Opal’s House to assist women with workshops job preparation and readiness. We are reaching out to our community global to provide information about personal finances and women’s health. We are have contributors who have shared blog post on career advice, personal finances, and women’s health Locally we are developing relationships with university, ministries and non project organizations who work with the homeless.

We kicked off our community action project by feeding, providing gift bags and resource information to homeless women and their families.

Our progress we have given bags of personal hygiene items to 40 women and we have feed homeless women and their families three meals.

Ly Syin Lobster
Dress for Success Midwest Community Action Project Leader
twitter @stlpwg


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Open Mic Day Event

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on January 23, 2011

Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri

Girl Scout Troop #2741 Silver Award Project:

Open Mic Day Event

Who: This entertainment event is open to Girl Scout Family and Friends.

Where: Connections to Success @ St. Charles Campus

1701 N Second Street, St. Charles, MO. 63366
When: Saturday, February 19, 2011

Time: 1:00pm-4:00pm

Admission per person: 3-5 personal care items, packaged in a goodie bag, ready to be passed on to the woman / child in need (toothbrushes, toothpaste, small mouthwash, mints, gum, floss, lip balm, lipstick, lip gloss, female hygiene products, comb / brush, deodorant, powder, soap, body wash, lotion ,shampoo, conditioner, sanitizer wipes)
RSVP: what type of performance your troop or girls will do, example:  3mins-5mins song, poem, or dance (must have own music) to
Lynn’s email:  dreamnbelieve14@yahoo.com

Our troop is collecting the personal care items for the homeless women and children from PWG (Professional Women’s Group), Community Action Project of St. Charles, MO.
The items we collect will be given away at a Women’s Conference Workshop on March 12, 2011, at the St. Charles campus.
Performance Times will be emailed back to all troops that have signed up to perform.
Any questions please feel free to give troop leader Lynn Thomas a call @ 636-724-7594.  Leave a message and one of the girls will return your call.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri encourage all people with disabilities to participate in all Girl Scout events and programs. Please indicate below if you have a disability and any accommodations needed to participate in this event.
Does any participant have a disability? No_______ Yes________
If yes, indicate what type: Hearing impairment______ Specific learning disability _____ Physical impairment _____
Visual impairment_____ Other impairment_______
Please describe any accommodations needed: _____________________________________________________________

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New Year Resolutions or a Chance at a New Beginning?

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on December 27, 2010

This is the time of year that many of us begin to focus on our New Year resolutions or our goals for the upcoming year. I find personally that New Year resolutions are quite cliche and sometimes set people up for failure.  Last year and this year, instead of “resolving”, I have put forth a list of goals or items that I want to accomplish in the following year and I have been successful with most of those items. Some of them remain a work in progress, but I try not to give up.

What is it about the New Year that makes us want to change and improve our lives? For me, I think it is because January 1st marks a the beginning of a totally new year—it gives us the option to dream big and cancel any negativity or bad news that was in the previous year. It is a hopeful and optimistic time. With the new year, we feel that we can say goodbye to the changes we didn’t get to see last year—it gives us a brand new start.

Last year, my goal was to make my blog big enough that I could eat and live off of it full-time. That has now become a reality, being as how both October, November, and December were epic months for income for TheCubicleChick.com. But this year, my goal is to grow my audience, continue to grow my voice, and learn from others who are doing wonders with their blogs. I also intend of growing my brand with a book, more videos, and doing radio and television appearances. My goals this year don’t just end with my blog—I want to grow as a lifestyle pundit and expert. I am hoping 2011 will be a year of growth for me.

Many people rely on a vision board for their goals and New Year changes. On my freelancing column on Young Black Professionals, I discussed creating a vision board. By creating the board, you put visual images or anecdotes on the board which serves as a reminder of what you want to accomplish. Seeing these visions everyday can help fuel your determination and improve your success. Mega blogger Necole Bitchie has mentioned many times that she utilizes a vision board to help propel her career. Oprah Winfrey has used a vision board as well, and we know how large she is!

I would suggest you that the to keep pushing despite any roadblocks that may appear in your way during the next year. I know personally, I have hit many roadblocks that are hard for me to rebound from. As I’ve gotten older, I don’t take no for an answer. I keep moving through another detour or method until I get the prize.

The one major thing I could say that I keep faltering on year after year is my weight. That is one goal that I have reached many times, but end up gaining it back. This year, I claim to lose the 25 lbs I’ have been trying to lose for years and I will keep it off. I am not giving in to settling for not being fit and healthy.

What are your goals for the New Year? Do you have a vision board or will you create one? Please leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.


Danyelle is the founder of Show Me the Blog, the first ever blogging and social media conference in St. Louis. She is also one-half of the blogging team The Blogging Chicks.

She has worked with the following companies and brands: Lifetime Television, Creme of Nature, Essence Magazine, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Lottabody, Nailene, Shoes.com, Zoya, China Glaze, Shuttle Lotion, Save-A-Lot, Macy’s, and more. Danyelle was also chosen as one of twenty-five Midwest moms to attend Build a Bear’s Brand Workshop in June.

Danyelle is a mother of two children and is a WAHM (work at home mom). She is a decent cook, aspiring writer, best friend, daughter, granddaughter, Godmother, niece, cousin, lover, and sometime vixen.

Simply put, she is EVERY woman.

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Healthy Holiday Eating

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on December 24, 2010

The holidays are here, and even though they come with enough cookies, candy and comfort foods to last a lifetime, don’t run screaming from the buffet table just yet. Food may be a centerpiece of holiday festivities, but the holiday season doesn’t mean you have to pack on the party pounds. Try these tips for making your holidays healthful:

Take the edge off your hunger before a party.

Feeling hungry can sabotage even the strongest willpower, so eat a small, low-fat snack such as fruit or low-fat cheese before you head out the door. This will help you avoid rushing to the buffet table when you arrive.

Make just one trip to the party buffet.

Choose only the foods you really want to eat and keep portions small. Often just a taste satisfies a food craving or curiosity. Also, move your socializing away from the buffet table to eliminate unconscious nibbling.

Meet and greet.

Conversation is calorie-free. Get a beverage and settle into the festivities by catching up with old friends and making new ones.

How Can I Help My Overweight Child?

If you have an overweight child, it is very important that you allow him or her to know that you will be supportive. It is important to talk to your children about their weight, allowing them to share their concerns with you. It is not recommended that parents set children apart because of their weight. Instead, parents should focus on gradually changing their family’s physical activity and eating habits. By involving the entire family, everyone is taught healthful habits and the overweight child does not feel singled out.

Choose lower-calorie party foods.

IGo easy on fried appetizers and cheese cubes. Instead, have some raw vegetables with a small amount of dip-just enough to coat the end of the vegetable- or try boiled shrimp or scallops with cocktail sauce or lemon. To help ensure there will be healthful treats, bring a dish to the party filled with raw vegetables with a yogurt or cottage cheese dip, or bring a platter of fresh fruit.

If you are at a sit-down dinner party, cut your first helping in half.

That way, you can enjoy seconds (and your host or hostess will feel good about that) and the total amount of food you eat will be about the same as a normal-size portion.

Enjoy physical activity after a holiday feast. Find activities the whole family can do such as walking, biking, roller-blading or hockey, and develop family fun-time habits that can continue after the holiday season.

Be realistic. Don’t try to lose weight during the holidays-this may be a self-defeating goal. Instead, strive to maintain your weight by balancing party eating with other meals. Eat small, lower-calorie meals during the day so you can enjoy celebration foods later without overdoing your total calorie intake.

Have fun. Enjoy traditional holiday meals and party foods with family and friends while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, too. If you need help developing a plan that works for you, contact a registered dietitian.

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Dress for Success Worldwide CEO Joi Gordon answers your questions and provides career tips.

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on December 3, 2010

Question #1

Some jobseekers have a very clear vision of their ideal job. What do they need to do to turn that idea into a reality?

Response #1

I have learned that in some cases a job seeker’s “ideal job” might be different than the “right job.” The only way to know the difference is through research and tapping into the networks of the industry you are interested in. By joining like-minded associations, clubs and attending industry related events, one gets a genuine feel for what the culture and expectations in that industry really are. Consistent and targeted networking lands people jobs—make sure you have this kind of network.

Question #2

There are jobseekers who lost their dream jobs because of cutbacks. How can these jobseekers take what they loved about their old jobs and apply it to new positions?

Response #2

My guess is that these particular jobseekers always brought their best self to work – day in and day out. This should never get old, regardless of the position you’re in. Loving what you do is one thing, but when you bring your best self to work, it’s a recipe that allows you to do everything better. As you get acquainted in your new position, think about how you are accustomed to bringing your best self to work and continue to do so. And you never know—the “dream job” you had could very well turn into a hobby or something to be passionate about outside of work. Keeping a balance of work and other outside interests is key—your glass should be full!

Question #3

The job market is extremely competitive for recent grads. What can recent grads do to make themselves stand out?

Response #3

Presentation is key. It’s all about how you walk into that room—and how you’re dressed does matter. I always tell women that come to Dress for Success—on that interview, look like you have the job. Recent grads can erase the interviewer’s concern that you don’t have the experience necessary to be successful in the position by looking polished and professional. Enable the interviewer to easily visualize you working for that company.

Question #4

Do you have your dream job? How have your ideas about your dream job changed as you progressed through your career?

Response #4

My work at Dress for Success has never been a job—it’s been something I wake up every morning excited to do. If my journey didn’t include Dress for Success, I would still be making a difference because that is what I am committed to doing as a person and a professional. Why do we have to dream? Start doing it! Your moment to shine is right now. Identify the path, take the steps and prepare for incoming opportunities right now. I promise you’ll love what it is you’ve decided to do. And don’t forget to keep us at Trop50 and Dress for Success posted on your success.

Question #5

How can people get more involved with Dress for Success?

Response #5

You can easily help Dress for Success right now by sharing a fabulous free online gift with the Trop50 Facebook application. For every online gift shared through December 31st, 2010, Trop50 will donate $5 to Dress for Success (up to $25,000). Logon to Facebook today and help give goodness! Thanks all!

For more Trop50 career tips from Joi and E! News host Giuliana Rancic visit Trop50.com.

Interview provided by Tropicana

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What Is a Credit Score and Why Is It So Important?

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on November 19, 2010

Why Should I Care About My Credit Score?

You may not care about it, but lenders and even some employers do. The better your credit score, the lower the interest rates will be on any loans or credit cards you decide to apply for. There are a lot of low-cost services online that enable you to check all three-credit scores at any time. I’d recommend using sites with calculators that show an approximate interest rate for a car or home loan based on your score. That way if you need to develop smart debt you are sure to know you’re getting a good deal.

What Affects My Score?

Are you making payments on time? What is your debt-to-income ratio? In other words, how does your income relate to the amount of unsecured debt you own? The length of credit history can also play a big factor. Keep in mind that five years is still considered short. You’ll need credit history for at least a decade before you’re in the ideal area for lenders. The amount of credit you have is a factor, as is when you took out that credit. If it was recent, it could have a negative effect on the score.
A late payment can hurt your score, but if this happens only on rare occasion, then the impact is minimal. Bankruptcies, foreclosures, and judgments can devastate your score.

How Does Mine Look?

The most widely known type of score is a FICO score. FICO is short for Fair Isaac Corporation and is considered by many to be the most accurate. The three major credit-reporting agencies are Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, who also calculate credit scores.

In general this is how lenders tend to view your score:

Excellent credit = 720 and above
Good credit = 660 to 719
Fair credit = 620 to 659
Poor/bad credit = 619 and below

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Enhance Your Immunity Balance for this Autumn

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on November 12, 2010

According to Ayurveda, a person in good health will not be affected by even the most contagious disease because natural resistance to disease is part of being in good health.

In Ayurveda, immunity is dependant on the digestive fire, our capacity to digest and assimilate nutrients. If your body is healthy the immune function is strong and foreign bodies are destroyed and removed so that it can return towards a state of homeostasis. If your body is not healthy, foreign bodies can survive in that environment. Toxins from undigested food also provide a favourable environment for foreign bodies.

So, how can you improve your eating habits and lifestyle choices to enhance digestion. Here are a few dietary, lifestyle and yoga tips to set you on the right track for enhanced immunity this autumn.

Dietary tips to enhance digestion

Be aware of:

* how you digest (how do you feel after a meal? light, satisfied?)
* the size of your portions and when you have eaten enough
* the foods you eat – do they suit your constitution ?

In Ayurveda, foods such as milk, ghee or clarified butter and honey (in moderation) are also considered important for enhancing immunity.

Other suggestions:

* Include many fresh organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans in your diet. To get the nutrients for an enhanced immune function, make sure that there’s always plenty of fresh organic produce around.
* Sip hot water or ginger tea throughout the day but not during mealtimes to enhance your digestive capacity.
* Reduce your sugar intake and alcohol, both of which affect the activity of white blood cells

Lifestyle tips

There are several lifestyle choices that can tip the scales towards either illness or health. Try the following ideas to help boost a healthy immune system:

* Be regular with your mealtimes so that the body is prepared for periods when it will be nourished.
* Maintain a healthy body weight (ideally BMI between 20 -25) Being underweight or overweight places stress on your organs and body functions, thus adversely affecting the immune function.
* Have a good night’s sleep
* Exercise regularly – 3-5 times a week for 30 minutes is the recommended minimum

Yoga tips

* Savasana, the basic relaxation position, can help to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and heart rate, reduce muscular tension, reduce fatigue, improve sleep, and enhance immune response.
* regular meditation e.g. simply sit in a quiet place for a short period each day
* do alternate nostril breathing to balance the mind and body and boost immunity

Many of the practices to support good health and immunity are intertwined. Lowering stress levels can help you to sleep more soundly and choose more nutrious foods. Sleeping more soundly can give you more energy to exercise. Ayurveda’s holistic approach can help you develop a lifestyle that is good for your body and your mind while supporting health and immunity.

Janet Gomez, nutritional consultant, produces the “Nutri-Jyoti News”, a free bi-monthly e-newsletter for busy professionals. Feel ready to learn how to use nutritional strategies to manage your energy levels? Then sign up for her FREE e-course “5 Nutritional Keys to Vitality in your Life” on the Nutri-Jyoti home page now.

Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved Janet Gomez

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PWG Financial Tips

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on November 12, 2010

The calendar page turns to November or maybe even December and we realize how few days remain until Christmas. It’s not too late to plan for a merry holiday season paid for with cash!

This week, start by making a list of all the people whom you’d like to bless with a gift this season. Keep it simple. Start with your immediate family and set a dollar limit for each. The dollar limit for each should be the amount that you are comfortable paying in cash. Commit to keep your spending to that amount or less.

The next thing to plan for is holiday gatherings, both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Determine now the amount you can spend on potlucks or travel.

Once you’ve determined those two amounts, total up them up and divide it by the number of paydays you have between now and Christmas. You may need to make adjustments.

Last, make a list of inexpensive or free gifts you could give. Examples are homemade cookies, fudge, chocolate sauce, soup mixes, certificates for nights of babysitting, free car washes, or for a homemade dinner. Look also for packs of items you could divide into several different gifts. There are a multitude of ideas.

By making a plan and sticking to a preset budget, you can have a merry holiday season with no financial regrets later.


By Natalie Ames

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Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on November 3, 2010

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a contagious viral disease that can lead to serious health problems—especially for young children and older adults. There is no vaccine to prevent RSV. However, there are simple ways you can protect your child or yourself from getting sick during RSV season. Some quick facts about respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV:

• It is a contagious viral disease that may infect a person’s lungs and breathing passages.
• Almost everyone gets RSV by age 2.
• The number of RSV cases typically rise in the fall, peak in the winter, and decline in early spring, but the exact timing of RSV season varies by location.


RSV symptoms are like those of many other respiratory illnesses. Infants and young children may experience a fever, reduced appetite, runny nose, cough, and wheezing. Older children and adults may have a runny nose, sore throat, headache, cough, and a feeling of general sickness. RSV also can lead to more serious illnesses, such as pneumonia and bronchiolitis, in both children and adults.


RSV spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes, sending respiratory droplets into the air.


• Cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing,
• Wash their hands often with soap and water for 15–20 seconds,
• Avoid sharing cups and eating utensils with others, and Refrain from kissing others.


If you think that you or your child might have an RSV infection that requires medical care, schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider. RSV symptoms in most infants, children, and adults clear up on their own in a week or two.

More Information www.cdc.gov

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LinkedIn 101

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on October 29, 2010

I often receive questions about LinkedIn and how it works. Here are a few tips for beginners:

1. Define a purpose for joining LinkedIn. This step is extremely important and guides your activity on the site. Do you want to build a professional network? Are you looking for new clients? Maybe you would like to keep in touch with former co-workers.

2. LinkedIn is a starting point for building meaningful relationships or improving existing ones. Connections should be related to your overall purpose for using the site(see #1). You can start connecting with others. However, it will take a little elbow grease to cultivate and sustain those relationships.

3. Complete the profile. Include a professional picture, accurate description of your background, and purpose for joining LinkedIn. At the bottom of the profile page, there is a section called, Contact Settings. Select a purpose to describe your LinkedIn activity such as looking for career opportunities or networking with others.

4. Personalize your LinkedIn Public Profile link and then add it to your business cards, resume and any other networking items. The default public profile link can be long and confusing. Try to shorten and personalize it by using your name and/or initials. For example, my public profile link is http://www.linkedin.com/in/anitasantiago.

LinkedIn is a very powerful network tool and can be used by jobseekers, professionals at any level, students and retirees. These tips should help you get started even if you have limited LinkedIn experience.

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