Student Rewards… That Aren’t Junk Food!


It is BACK TO SCHOOL time. I keep reading stats lately that the average dollar amount spent on the back-to-school list is upwards of $600 -yikes-! Once all those lunch boxes and reusable water bottles are purchased, parents everywhere have to make tough choices about what to fill those little tummies with for lunch and snacks 5 days a week.

I’ve personally been trying to convince my little one that sugar is really not so great for the body. She lives an active lifestyle, dancing 6 days a week, about 2 hours a day. Sustaining energy throughout a 7 hour school day and 2 more hours of dancing is a tough thing for a growing body to do. I have met with LOTS of resistance! While I continue to fight the good fight I can’t help but think how great it would be if the same attitude would be embraced at school. I came across this fantastic blog post at 100 Days of Real Food with brilliant ideas for alternatives to the typical party-time, sugar-filled rewards. Read the whole post here.

Group/Class Rewards

  • Extra playground time
  • Pick different seats to sit in for a day
  • Teacher wearing a silly outfit or hat (let the class decide…one reader even said a teacher wore her wedding dress to school!)
  • Afternoon movie (as an individual reward one student could be allowed to select and bring in the movie for the class)
  • Lunch in the classroom
  • Dress up days…let the class vote!
    • Pajama day (can also incorporate sleeping bags/blankets)
    • Crazy hair day
    • Farmer day
    • Stuffed animal day
    • Backward day (wear clothes backward and even follow the class schedule backward!)
    • Camp out day (kids bring sleeping bags and teacher brings a tent)
    • Hat day
  • Book swap party (each child brings a book they no longer want and “trades” with their classmates)
  • An art or craft party
  • A game the class plays together (like bingo or kickball)
  • If it’s warm outside…water play in bathing suits
  • Plant some flowers or plants together at the school
  • Paint birdhouses together to put up at the school
  • Dance party with music
  • Film a short digital video/documentary as a class (for e.g. each student answers a question for the camera) then watches it together afterward

Individual Rewards

  • Lunch or recess time with the principal
  • Books donated to the school library in the student’s honor with a guest reader to read them to the class
  • Extra computer time
  • Go to “specials” (like gym or Spanish class) with a friend’s class instead of your own
  • Sit with a friend from another class at lunch
  • Gift certificate to the school store
  • Lunch with the teacher
  • Sit in the teacher’s chair or at their desk for the day
  • Use a rolling chair/stool at your own desk for the day
  • Sit next to a friend instead of in your own seat for the day
  • Be the “special helper” for the day (running errands to the office, line leader, etc.)
  • Name read over morning announcements
  • Student asked to actually read the morning announcements
  • Choose the story for story time
  • Let a student be the “principal for the day” or the “assistant principal for the day” or even “teacher for the day” (or just for an assignment)
  • “Stinky feet” which means you get to take your shoes off in class
  • Pick something out of a treasure box with prizes like stickers, pencils, erasers toothbrushes, silly bands, etc.
  • Give out “play money” to students that they can spend in a class-wide auction later in the year (auction items can include games, books, etc. and be donated by parents)
  • If students wear uniforms a “no uniform for the day” pass
  • “Family night” bags that kids get to borrow from the teacher for the evening including “lego night” and “movie night”

School Fundraisers

  • Principal can be duct taped to the wall (our school actually did this last year – students had to buy pieces of tape)
  • Principal can kiss a pig in front of the school if a certain amount of money is raised (another example that really happened at a reader’s school)
  • “Teacher car wash” where kids can “buy” buckets of water and wet sponges that they can throw on teachers in car pool line

Birthday Celebrations

  • Class makes fruit smoothies together
  • Small goodie bags with stickers/activities given out to classmates
  • Each kid is given supplies to a make small craft together
  • Birthday card(s) made by the other students
  • Popcorn birthday parties (popcorn is a whole-grain food) served in “popcorn cones” that the kids make themselves out of paper
  • New book donated to class library by birthday student with their parent as the guest reader

Thanks for being here,

GO with love!


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It’s Our Birthday!

maria 254

Today is Glamour Owl’s birthday! We launched exactly one year ago today with a party, a cocktail, and a an inventory of 168 shirts. I am so grateful for the awesome reception by friends, friends of friends, and total strangers who have fallen in love with the brand. Since inception we’ve sold several hundred garments and donated a little over $1000 to Kiva, the Ronald McDonald House, and a Cancer Research fund. I asked a couple of people to share why they love Glamour Owl and here is what they said…

From Jenna, a Glamour Owl superfan:

So, what would I say about GO?!? It kicks ass. Can you write that?

Seriously, Some of my actual quotes when I tell people;
“you’ll love it. It is sooo comfy that you’ll want to wear it everyday.”
“My friend uses these great fabrics and all the designs are original and so cute”
“I wear them everyday…it’s all I wear!”
“It’s my favorite workout gear because it’s comfy and it’s adorable”

I think the most lovable factor of your stuff is 2 things: uber comfy and super cute. But, I also love it because it takes the guesswork out of “Am I looking cute?” ‘cuz I know when I throw it on, I look fashionable. I pretty much let you do all the deciding of what is cool and then I wear it with faith easily because it’s comfy and cute and I feel super confident in your things cuz I know if you designed it, then I’m “in” with looking trendy.


From Jill, owner of Core Studio Pilates & Yoga (where they also carry Glamour Owl):

This is what I love about your brand:
1. You represent the Pilates and yoga lifestyle with the designs on every shirt.
2. Unique from anything you purchase from a bigger fitness clothing company.
3. Excellent Service
4. You give back.
5. Much thought is contributed to each and every design.
6. Everyone stops me and loves the “Glamour Owl!”

Thanks for allowing me to be a part!

You will see Jill very soon modeling on the about-to-be-launched, newly designed Glamour Owl website!

Cheers to a year and if you’d like to celebrate with us with the Glamour Owl Cocktail, here is the recipe:

5 muddled blackberries

2 oz. Bacardi Dragonberry rum




Thanks for being here, GO with love!

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Ordinary Photos Trump Perfection


Perfection is a great goal until it actually gets in the way of doing something great.

This week I stepped out of my comfort zone and posted gorgeous new items at my online store using -gulp-, my own very amateur photography. I would never have done this because we all want to see what we are buying in as close proximity to what it will be like in real life after purchase… and these new items are fabulous, I’m really proud of them and excited to put them into the world. They are better than the photography. But I had a compelling reason…

I have a great friend (Jenna) who has a great friend (Amy) who has a great friend (Pattie). Too many degrees of separation? Not at all in this online connected world. A month ago, Amy and Pattie were going to breakfast, but Pattie had a pain and they rerouted to the ER. Fast forward to the next morning and a surgeon was removing a malignant tumor the size of a baby’s head from her appendix and ovaries. Pattie is my age, with a doctor husband, and three little kids. Her first round of chemo was a week ago. She is fighting fiercely with realness and grace.

When I read her blog on CaringBridge I feel like I’m fighting with her, and like she is fighting for women everywhere too. I feel connected to her story, brought into intimacy through facebook, and her blog, and my friend of a friend (who is incidentally my friend too now).

When you feel connected to someone who is fighting for goodness, for health and wellness, and happiness,  it makes you want to fight too, it makes you want to participate. So Amy and I are doing a trunk show benefit tomorrow with 25% of all purchases going to the cancer fight. Many of her friends will be shopping online, hence the need to post amateur photos of exceptional clothes.

If you would like to join this shopping benefit, use discount code “PSTRONG” (it stands for Pattie STRONG) in the discount code box. 25% of your purchase price will go pick up a sword and fight cancer.

Thanks for being here,

GO with love

“Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity”



This is the back view of the shirt shown above. You can order here.

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Smoothie Recipes Galore

I’m halfway through my 30 day smoothie challenge and feel amazing! So many compliments have come my way lately about looking healthy. I take excellent care of my skin but apparently nothing makes you glow like great nutrition! A  handful of cherries and a bunch of kale is seriously SO much cheaper than the stuff I slather on my face every day (be religious about sunscreen btw). I’ve seen a significant improvement in my energy levels, with less highs and lows throughout the day.

Here are most of the recipes I’ve tried thus far. If there is a picture it goes with the recipe that follows. Many of the recipes have come from this fantastic site. A couple are from friends and a couple I just made up along the way. Here are hints – vary the greens, always add a medjool date if you need it sweeter, and fresh fruit requires some additional ice.


Papaya Cherry Smoothie

1/2 papaya
1 cup frozen cherries
1 orange
1 cup of ice water



Lemon Ginger Zing

1 banana
1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
2-3 cups of greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard etc)
1/4 inch slice of lemon with peel (or juice of 1/2 lemon)
small piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1-1 1/2 cups of water


Green Smoothie

1 orange, peeled
1 cup pineapple
1 cup mango
6-8 big romaine leaves, washed
1 1/2 cups of water
2 medjool dates


Really Red Smoothie

1 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup frozen cherries
1/2 green apple
1/2 cup pineapple
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 splash of fresh orange juice
1 medjool date



Mexican Beach

1 orange peeled
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 small stalk celery
1 handful of spinach


Lime Green Dream

1 cup papaya
1 cup mango
2 tbsp lime juice (1 lime)
2 cups parsley, packed
2 cups water
1 tbsp coconut oil


Mint Strawberry Lime Smoothie

1 cup frozen strawberries
1 sprig fresh mint, stem removed
juice of ½ a lime
1 medjool date, pitted
1 cup of coconut water
¼ cup of water


Mango Orange Ginger Smoothie

1 orange peeled
1 cup frozen mango
1 small chunk of ginger
1 cup of water




Pineapple Mojito

1 cup frozen or fresh pineapple
handful of spinach
juice of 1 lime
sprig of mint




Orange Flashback

2 oranges, peeled
1 1/2 cups frozen mango, or 1 whole yellow mango (peeled and pitted)
1/4 inch slice of lemon (with peel)
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup of water
1 medjool date


Raspberry Lemon Hemp Smoothie

1 cup frozen raspberries (or fresh with some ice)
1/3 cup hemp seeds
thin (1/2 cm) slice of lemon with peel, or juice of 1/2 lemon
2 medjool dates. pitted
1 cup of water


Papaya Mint Lime Arugula Refresher

1/2 papaya
1 banana or a few strawberries
3 sprigs fresh mint leaves, leaves picked
handful of baby arugula
juice of 1/2 lime
1 cup ice cubes
1 cup water




Mango Raspberry Romaine Green Smoothie

1 yellow mango
1 cup raspberries
6 big leaves romaine lettuce
1 – 1 1/4 cups water


And to top it off, here is a little philosophy, a little religion, and a little poetry to feed your soul…

Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.



The spirit cannot endure the body when overfed, but, if underfed, the body cannot endure the spirit.

~St Frances de Sales


“And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart:

Your seeds shall live in my body,

And the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart,

And your fragrance shall be my breath,

And together we shall rejoice through all the seasons.”

― Kahlil Gibran

As always,

GO with love!

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How a Shirt Becomes…. In Pictures

Get inspired

Get inspired

Have surfer dude with mad graphic skills put design in Ai (Zacc Pollitt in Costa Rica)

Have surfer dude with mad graphic skills put design in Ai (Zacc Pollitt in Costa Rica)

Have screens sized and printed (thank you ink floyd)

Have screens sized and printed (thank you ink floyd)

Screen printing has been around since 960 AD!

Screen printing has been around since 960 AD! (you’ve mastered it Dave Collier)

Pick the shirts - only the best!

Pick the shirts – only the best!

Pick the ink

Pick the ink

Perfect placement is key

Perfect placement is key

Heat set

Heat set

Marvel that you made something cool

Marvel that you made something cool

Add Swarovski crystals for bling

Add Swarovski crystals for bling

Get a stellar photographer to shoot it: the amazing Mary Len Cutter at Profusion Photography!

Get a stellar photographer to shoot it: the amazing Mary Len Cutter at Profusion Photography!

Realize you are too old to model and get someone cuter (thank you Abby Marcey!)

Realize you are too old to model and get someone cuter (thank you Abby Marcey!)

Put it up on the Glamour Owl online store

Put it up on the Glamour Owl online store

Put it on a dress form for a party

Put it on a dress form for a party

Put it in a store - The Boulevard at South End in Charlotte, NC

Put it in a store – The Boulevard at South End in Charlotte, NC

Put it on another cute college girl at a festival (thank you Paula Barreto at the Cornwell Center!)

Put it on another cute college girl at a festival (thank you Paula Barreto at the Cornwell Center!)

Put it on a beautiful senior yogi who wears blue eye shadow

Put it on a beautiful senior yogi who wears blue eye shadow

Put it on a facebook cover photo at

Put it on a facebook cover photo at

Ship it straight to you!

Ship it straight to you!

Thank you so much for being here! I am so grateful.

GO with love!




















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Something More than Sympathy

Before I started Glamour Owl I only gave a cursory glance to news stories of textile tragedies in foreign countries. I’d have only the slightest pause of something that with more time would have developed into sympathy.

Last November when news of 120 garment workers, mostly women, perished in fiery deaths because emergency exits were locked and fire extinguishers unavailable, I was horrified. I vowed never again to shop at WalMart, something that I rarely did anyway, and moved on. I understand the good WalMart does when it comes to bringing affordable goods to those who would otherwise not be able to own those goods, but they are know for profiting from sweat-shops in a long-term pattern.

Five months later, in April, again a factory in Bangladesh collapsed killing at least 430 workers. Now I felt grief and true outrage. This is my industry?! How and why is this happening? I wondered. But it has happened here too. In 1911 the Triangle Shirtwaist Co. in New York was set ablaze by a dropped match. 146 people were killed, many jumping to their deaths from the 8th and 9th floors. The public was outraged and industry standards in the US were forever changed.

In developmental economics you learn that when a country is undergoing industrialization, the first industry that is developed is clothing manufacturing. I say industry implying value added as opposed to export of fungible commodities like agricultural products or mining. Did you know that clothing production is the first manufacturing strategy of any developing nation? As such, there is nothing in the way of means testing or infrastructure or even, ways to assess the solidity of infrastructure because it is so broad to include things like available power, water, proximity to transportation -much less political stability and social customs. So forget such lofty goals like building inspectors; the nation is too focused on generating export income. And having no money, how could they afford inspectors? Sure they can be homegrown but with so little experience in industrialization, what kind of meaningful experience can be learned and taught?

It’s natural to look at the horror in Bangladesh and weigh a vow never to buy another t-shirt sewn in that country. But no one suffers more from a boycott than the impoverished workers for whom even an unsafe job is better than no job at all.

Better to press our retailers, our fashion brands, our investors, and our governments to use their influence — their power — with foreign leaders to promote the idea that corruption is not just a moral problem; it’s bad business. Killing workers is no way to build an economy, nor will a system of bribes and spoils ever lift a nation to lasting prosperity.

Triangle Factory Fire 1911

Triangle Factory Fire 1911

Rana Plaza Building, Bangladesh 2013

Rana Plaza Building, Bangladesh 2013

20,000 Garment Workers Strike for Change

20,000 Garment Workers Strike for Change

Bangladesh Garment Workers Stage Protest

Bangladesh Garment Workers Stage Protest

Be mindful and as always,

GO with love.

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30 Day Smoothie Challenge

Smoothie challenge? Is that like a milkshake challenge? Yes – it is exactly like that and you should do it with me!

Okay, well it is more like a juice cleanse I think but better. I’m not looking to lose any weight but I do want to look great in my Glamour Owl clothes with glowing, healthy skin and shiny hair. I also just want to see if I can find yummy recipes that give me a sense of superiority.

Ha! Okay, not superiority over anyone else, just superiority over the woman I was last May, or the May before that. That’s what makes life beautiful and interesting and fun – becoming more then we thought we could be and trying some new things along the way. Get ready for some colorful smoothie pictures coming your way soon!

If you want to do it too (come on, do it, do it, do it ) read this…



GO with love!

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Cheers, Jeers, and Cheap Tricks!

Over the last few months I’ve tried a few new products. There’s nothing better than getting an honest review from a trusted source so I thought I’d share my cheers and jeers along with a tip or two…

A few of these products were recommended in the book How to Look Expensive: A Beauty Editor’s Secrets to Getting Gorgeous without Breaking the BankThis is a great little reference book that gives recommendations for products on the cheap as well as for what and when to splurge!

First up: I’ve had my old hairdryer for who knows how many years and it simply had to go. I asked my hairdresser for a recommendation and he loves the T3 Featherweight Hair Dryer so much that he sells it in the salon… for $180. Yikes! But I figured that the last one has lived for about a decade and I wanted to invest in something that would really help my challenging hair. It needs all the help it can get. Luckily, I found the same dryer on Amazon for $130 and LOVE it! It really dries my hair so much faster and leaves it less frizzy. I make sure to use the cool shot at the end which really seals in shine.



2 Cheers and 1 Jeer for some hair products I’ve experimented with recently:

Oribe Supershine Light Moisturizing Cream – so great! It is pricey at $37 a tube but I only need a wee little bit to make sleek and shiny tresses a reality. That tube is going to last me a long, long time.



I bought it about 4 months ago and have been so happy that I decided to try another Oribe product that I read a good review for. It is the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray which can totally double as a dry shampoo. It came yesterday and I used it this morning and got compliments on my hair twice today. I don’t look like this girl but it is a good representation of what it does…



I hate to bash a product but buyer beware. I would want someone to tell me, after all. I bought a Moroccan Oil Hair Shampoo and not only did it not leave my hair shiny and gorgeous as promised, it smells horrific! My eyes practically sting from the chemical smell – a sad waste of $28 but this is how we learn.



Now I have 2 spectacular products for the face! These are both home runs as far as I’m concerned! The first is a great tinted foundation / BB cream that I bought at my dermatologist office. You can also get it on Amazon. It is one formula that works on every shade of skin and provides excellent SPF coverage along with allowing your pretty skin to look naturally beautiful.



Part 2 of a pretty face is an awesome applicator for that tinted moisturizer. The Beauty Blender Sponge is used by some of the top makeup artists. I decided to give it a whirl and am in love. It puts your makeup on like you’ve been airbrushed. Need I say more? So much better than my fingers, sponges, or brushes!



Finally, I have a great little trick for you. If you go to an art supply store you can buy this little plastic key that is used for getting oil paint out of the tubes when it is almost empty. They only cost about .50 cents. As you can tell some of the goop I put on my face is pricey. And who wants to waste even the cheap stuff? Get yourself a little key and the end of those product tubes will squeeze right out, saving you $$$.

images-5works like this…images-6Thanks so much for being here!

GO with love!

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Thoughts on Courage


“To do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time,

with the right motive, and in the right way,

that is not for every one nor is it easy”

(Aristotle on Courage, Ethics II.9)

My last post listed virtues that I would like to focus on making more habitual this year. The first of these is courage. Right now I’m taking a college class that studies current legal issues. We have started by discussing the horrific crimes at Sandy Hook elementary. It is hard to study such a tragedy. It is the kind of situation that makes you question everything. And yet, in the midst of such inconceivable horror, the courage of those teachers was stunning. That kind of courage is required infrequently which contributes to how noble it is. Yet, I’d still like to be aspirational enough to look for little ways in my daily life I can be more habitual about courage. Here are what some famous people have said about it…

Ernest Hemingway famously defined courage as “grace under pressure.”

According to Maya Angelou:
Courage is the most important of the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.

Or this insight from Winston Churchill:
Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities … because it is the quality that guarantees all others.

J.R.R. Tolkien identified a ‘theory of courage'”—the heroic or “virtuous pagan” insistence to do the right thing even in the face of certain defeat without promise of reward or salvation.

For Aristotle, to be courageous is the consequence of a careful calculation about what good is being sought in a troubling dilemma and the course of action that best resolves the conflicting values manifesting themselves in that dilemma. The virtuous thing to do then is not to act courageously as if there exists only one courageous way to act. Rather, acting courageously requires balancing the oftentimes conflicting and sometimes contradicting aspects of courage—fear and confidence—enacting the most appropriate mean.

Here’s to facing this week with courage!

GO with love.

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New Habits


Happy New Year! This month brings all kinds of self-reflection, or at least consideration of self-reflection. What would that be called? Meta-reflection? We banter about resolutions, self-improvement, goals and dreams, and then tend to go about with our daily lives because change is hard and disappointment with self is daunting. Jan 1 is a clean slate and by Feb 1 that slate is all scratched up again.

The ancient philosophers understood this and so they taught that the good life, a life full of happiness and satisfaction comes with time and habit. Are habits such as eating more salads, balancing our budgets, and getting on the elliptical more frequently the end goals? No, those are goals that reflect the higher value of a flourishing life. Here are the habits Aristotle encouraged:

  • courage
  • temperance
  • self-discipline
  • moderation
  • modesty
  • humility
  • generosity
  • friendliness
  • truthfulness
  • honesty
  • justice.

Wait a minute. Those don’t sound like habits. They are virtues or character traits. How am I supposed to check modesty or humility off my list of things to do today? For Aristotle, virtue is excellence at being human, a skill that helps a person thrive, form meaningful relationships, and find happiness. Learning virtue is difficult at first but becomes easier with practice over time until it becomes a habit.

So, this year I am going to keep this list around and see if I can become more habitual about the things that really matter. It is a daunting list but New Year’s is about stretching and reaching for more.

So grateful for you this year!

GO with love.

We are then what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”  -Aristotle

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