Stacey Loscalzo

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Nov 30

What I’m Into (November 2016 edition)

by Stacey

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Today I’m going to borrow a post idea from my one of favorite bloggers, Modern Mrs. Darcy. Each month, Anne writes a post called What I’m Into and I’m always excited to see what has caught her eye that month. So here goes…

What I’m Reading…

I have to admit that the election hit me hard and I really couldn’t concentrate on anything. Usually when I’m in a reading slump, I turn to mysteries and thrillers but for some reason, I downloaded The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory and it was the best possible pick. Being immersed a world so totally different from our own was exactly what I needed. And you know what? There was some pretty crazy political stuff going in the time of Henry VIII too.

What I’m Watching… 

This month I watched the third season of The Fall which was completely unrealistic but still super fun and the first few episode of season three of The Affair which might just be my current favorite show.

What I’m Talking About… 

Shortly after the election, I turned to Facebook and asked if anyone might want to read the book Hillbilly Elegy with me. Hillbilly Elegy is a memoir written by J.D. Vance who grew up in Appalachia and went on to graduate from Yale Law School. I was hoping that this book would teach me about a part of the electorate that voted for Donald Trump. I asked if anyone wanted to read with me and get together to discuss what we had learned. I expected a handful of people to respond. But… last night fifteen people, some I knew but many, many more friends of friends, joined at my favorite book store, The Curious Reader, to discuss the book, what we had learned and what we could do to learn more. I love the power of books to bring people together and I am thrilled that our group will be meeting again.

What I’m Writing… 

This was a month to get back to writing. I had been in a real slump and I realized that writing makes me feel better and it was time to get back to it. I spent ten days writing to short prompts with the super wise Jena Schwartz and now I’m in an interesting on-line class with Jessica Smock and Stephanie Sprenger of the HerStories Project called Using our Words to Change our Worlds. It is great to be putting pen to paper again. Or fingers to keys but you know what I mean.

What I’m Listening to… 

Podcasts, podcasts and more podcasts. A few of my current favorites are The Axe Files, From the Front Porch and What Should I Read Next.

So now it’s your turn. What were you in to this November? I’d love to know…

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Sep 26

Still Doing It: Rodan + Fields Six Months Later

by Stacey

img_6058I have been a Rodan + Fields consultant for six months. I know people were surprised that I joined a direct sales company. I know this because enough people told me directly that I was able to deduce that almost everyone thought the same thing. I understand the confusion. I was a writer, a reader and a teacher. I was not a business woman and I was especially not a sales woman.

Now though, I have a secret for you. I am a still a writer, a reader and a teacher. And I am a Rodan + Fields consultant. I have not changed as a person. I have only added to who I am.

I knew I wanted to join Rodan + Fields for the challenge. I wanted to do something new. I wanted to stretch my brain in different directions. I wanted to show the girls that I was working and contributing to our family’s income. So I started to do something totally out of my comfort zone. And it was scary. And I felt silly when I told people what I was doing. I felt judged. And I felt insecure. I was suddenly that woman who I had been avoiding for years. While many of my friends and family members have been amazingly supportive, I still questioned myself. But I held on because I had promised myself one year. I would not quit before the one year mark. And six months later, I have no intention of quitting.

Direct sales and network marketing are hard work. There are reach outs and coffees. There are phone calls and orders to place. There are posts to schedule and thank you notes to write. There are team members to mentor. But the actual work involved is not the hard part of this job. The hard part is ignoring both silent and verbal judgement of others.

The longer I spend in this line of work, the more confusing this judgement becomes. I represent a product created by doctors that people love and I share it with my friends. Do I make money off of my sales? Yes I do. And it’s good money too. Do I want others to join my team because I think they would enjoy the work as much as I do? Yes. And will I make more money when others join me in business? Yes, I will. And over time this money will have a significant impact on our family’s lifestyle.

I am an entrepreneur and I do the same things that other entrepreneurs do. Yet many judge the actions of network marketers in ways they do not judge other small business owners. People do not respond to emails, texts and phone calls because direct sales are uncomfortable and to some, annoying. And I can write this because I used to be on the other side of those e-mails, texts and phone calls. And I get it. I too ignored them. I skipped the parties. I forgot to RSVP. I let the coupon code expire without ordering. I declined the Facebook group invitation.

Now though, I have a different view of myself and of the women who surround me in direct sales. We are entrepreneurs. We are small business owners. We have found a career that fits into our family’s lifestyle. And we are making money doing it. And yes, we are asking our friends to support us both as friends and yes, maybe even financially.

We ask in the same way that your realtor friend asks you to consider her when you are selling your house. We ask in the same way that your yoga teacher friend asks you to give her class and her studio a try. We ask in the same way that your artist friend asks you to consider her for mural work when you decorate your nursery. And we ask in the same way that your banker friend wants you to say, ‘How’s work going? Is your commute any better?’ Or that your teacher friends want you to say, ‘How’s your class this year?’

I promise that your direct sales friends are no different than the other entrepreneurs and working moms that you know. We have found fulfilling work and we want to share it. That’s all. And if you are willing to engage in conversation with us about our products or our business as many of my friends have, I think you will be pleasantly surprised by what you learn.

 

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Sep 16

A Day In Asbury

by Stacey

We have wanted our friend Patty to photograph the girls for years because she is simply my favorite photographer. Somehow it hasn’t happened. I’ve been worried about where we would take the photos. What the girls would wear. If the weather would be right. And on and on and on.

And then Patty posted pictures of her boys at Asbury Park. Please click here to see these pictures and you’ll understand why I called her and said, “I want the pictures that you took of the boys but with the girls in them.”

So one day this August, the girls and I headed down to Asbury Park with Patty. My only regret is that Rob was at work. I really don’t like staged pictures and didn’t think that I wanted any posed family pictures but I was wrong. We missed Rob and Patty and I joked that maybe we could photoshop him in. I’m thinking we will schedule another session with Patty soon so that Rob can be in the shots but for now, here are a few examples of the amazing photographs that Patty took that day.

I loved each picture more than the next. The girls did too. I told Patty that I wished she could have heard us as we looked through the gallery. We kept saying, “That’s my favorite one!” “No! That’s my favorite one!” We really couldn’t choose. But here are a few that we really love.

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Jul 15

Quick Lit: July 2016

by Stacey

I’m excited to write a Quick Lit post after a long, long break.

Here’s what I’ve been reading lately…

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The One in a Million Boy by Monica Wood. There are many books that I have read only because they are a book club pick. And it’s books like this one that make me glad I join these clubs. I would have never picked up The One in a Million Boy were it not ‘required’ and I am so glad I did. It was the first pick in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer Reading Club. Anne has gathered tons of people together on the internet to read amazing books in community and I am having a blast discussing books with so many amazing readers. The One in a Million Boy is the story of friendship and grief and family. While the story is certainly fun to read, the writing in this book is what will stay with me. I am not typically an underliner when I read, but I marked passage after passage in The One in a Million Boy.

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Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolke. Wolf Hollow is definitely my favorite middle grade read in a long time. This one came recommended by Sally, the owner of our favorite independent children’s book store, The Curious Reader. In Wolf Hollow, we meet Annabelle who faces a truly evil bully. I do recommend this book for middle grade readers but I would suggest that a grown up reads it first. It might not be a great book for the sensitive souls in your house.

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The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. The Nest was the second pick in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer Reading Club. I had heard a ton about this book and I’m glad I read it. I liked it but didn’t love it. It’s the story of a dysfunctional family and the characters were fun to get to know. Many people in the book club couldn’t get past their dislike of the characters but I actually enjoyed them. I wasn’t able to join in live to our on-line discussion of the book but I am excited to listen to the replay. I only found this to be a fun summer read but I know others in the group got a bit more out of it and I’ll be excited to hear what they thought.

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This is the Part Where You Laugh by Peter Hoffmeister. This is another recommendation from The Curious Reader. This time from Chris, Sally’s partner. Initially, I really disliked this book. It took dark and gritty and sad to a new level. Each character we met had a problem and I just desperately wanted something good to happen. I was reminded though after discussing this book with Sally and Chris and other patrons at The Curious Reader that this book in an important one for people to read. It reflects the truth for many children and introduces others to the lives of many, many people in our country.

I’d love to hear what you are reading and loving this summer! Share in the comments.

 

 

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Jul 08

Happy 13th Birthday Sweet Caroline

by Stacey

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Dear Caroline,

As I scrolled through pictures looking for one to use for today’s post, I recognized and remembered many of them but I had forgotten about this one. We had traveled with friends to the Outer Banks for a week and spent an evening exploring gigantic sand dunes. This was you at this age, ready to go and hard to hold back. You had a wide open space to run and you were ready to go.

As I think about what to say on your 13th birthday, writer’s block has kicked in in a big way. There is so much to say but as you enter the teenage years, I know that protecting your privacy is really, really important. I don’t want to get mushy or sentimental but it’s really hard. You are the girl that made me a mom and every day we travel this path together succeeding and making mistakes in equal measure. Being the first born is hard. I am learning about this mothering thing right along side you. Every decision I make is new. Knowing when to say no and when to let you go is a constant struggle.

I know I should struggle less. You are an amazing girl. You make smart and difficult decisions every day. You are loving sister (most of the time!) and an amazing daughter. You are a devoted friend and thoughtful student. You are a dedicated and a talented soccer player and watching your love of the game on and off the field is inspiring.

I hope you know that even when I struggle to let you grow it is not because I don’t trust you. It is because I love those days when I could hold you close and I know that mothering now is different. Now it is up to me to show you how to be in this world as your own person. And you are doing an amazing job. You are figuring it all out and I couldn’t be more proud.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl. We love you so very much!

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Jul 06

What Should I Read Next

by Stacey

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About a year ago, I discovered podcasts and became immediately hooked. I have quite a few favorites including, Modern Mrs. Darcy‘s What Should I Read Next. I have read Anne Bogel’s Modern Mrs. Darcy‘s blog for years and love her book recommendations. We have very similar tastes. Therefore, you can imagine how excited I was when she launched her podcast, What Should I Read Next. I was so excited in fact that I submitted an application to be a guest on her show. I never expected to be chosen so I was thrilled when I got an e-mail a few weeks ago inviting me to join her on this week’s episode of What Should I Read Next.

I was super nervous in the days leading up to the recording. All of Anne’s guests have sounded so articulate that I worried I would never sound the same. It turns out that Anne is such a great interviewer and so easy to talk to that our recording really felt like a visit over a cup of coffee.

On each episode, Anne asks her guest to tell her three books they love, one book they hate and what they are reading now. She then recommends three books that she thinks her guests would love to read next.

Take a listen and see what you think!

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Jun 29

5 Things I Learned in June

by Stacey

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Inspired by the amazing Modern Mrs. Darcy.

1. I miss writing in this space. 

I’m becoming a bit like a broken record with this but here it is again. I have not been consistent here and I miss it.

2. The Kale Broccoli Salad from Trader Joe’s with grilled chicken makes me like salads for lunch. 

I know that I should eat more salads but when I have them for lunch I feel so unsatisfied that I snack all afternoon long. I recently found the Kale Broccoli Salad kit from Trader Joe’s and it is so good! I have had it with our own grilled chicken but I have also added the Trader Joe’s grilled chicken for a completely cook-free lunch.

3. Taking pictures while walking makes the walking much more fun. 

I am on a constant journey to find exercise that doesn’t hurt my back. I keep thinking I’ve found just the thing and then I throw out my back, my shoulders get painfully sore or in the case of last week, I just tweak my back but it worries me enough to stop doing what I’m doing. When this happens, I come back again and again to walking. I’m pretty sure I am not getting enough exercise for my mood (or my over 40 metabolism!) when I walk but it is the right thing for my back these days. Having a camera with me at all times, thanks to my iPhone, makes the walks much less boring. I love spotting interesting things along the way and capturing them.

4. Reading ‘assigned’ books in community is one of my favorite things to do. 

I joined Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer Reading Club and I am loving it. We recently finished The One in a Million Boy and it was so great to read and discuss a book I wouldn’t have chosen on my own with a community of people who love reading as much as I do.

5. The Overcast app makes podcast listening super easy. 

I’ve been listening to podcasts for awhile now but I only started using Overcast this month. I’ve heard lots of people recommend the app as a way to streamline podcast listening and they were right. The system is easier (and prettier!) than the native iPhone app.

How about you? What did you learn in June?

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Jun 27

A Step Back in Time

by Stacey

IMG_2294Caroline had a soccer tournament this weekend in Albany (well, really Schenectady, well really Scotia) but the point is, it was far away. Caroline joined a new club this summer and with the increased rigor of this club comes increased travel. This weekend’s tournament was already the second of the summer. Caroline and Rob went to the first tournament on their own but this time, we decided we should all go to support her and because if not, we were going to have a lot of weekends apart which made us sad.

Traveling two hours to watch two soccer games was tough to see to Katherine so I promised her an adventure, telling her that at some point during the day, we would leave the field and explore. I wasn’t sure what I would find in Scotia, NY. In fact, I never had heard of Scotia until we arrived but I figured we could find something interesting. Truth be told, I had imagined a lake or a waterfall or a park but instead, we found a library.

We drove away from the field to find ice coffee and adventure and as we left Dunkin Donuts, I spotted the library above. This tiny building, erected in the 1700’s, houses a few small rooms and many, many books.

Initially, it felt like a step back in time. The children’s department had a Fisher Price school house and Playskool puzzles that had to be as old as I am.

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IMG_2298But they also had shelves and shelves of books.

IMG_2297I’m not sure where our next tournament will take us but we certainly enjoyed our first adventure.

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