Flying Together, In Particular

This morning, I contemplated flight.

I was only contemplating the average airplane variety at first. As I drank my first cup of coffee, I checked ticket information and layover times, tucked my passport in the carry-on, checked the weather forecast over the ocean on Friday and considered the likelihood of a mechanical failure on a Boeing 737 during a period of Mercury in retrograde.

“What a lame time to leave the country,” I thought as I managed to conjure up a healthy amount of guilt as I considered all the reasons the business would struggle in my absence.  “If all of Hot Tomato lived inside a snow globe, I pondered…the whole studio, all the clients and files, bank records, garter bets and all the crew members too…If we were all in there together, it’s like someone picked it up and shook it for a whole month!”

{In this snow globe scenario, we’re all just kind of spinning around in there grabbing arm-fulls of hot tomato glitter and trying to organize it into tidy piles.} The truth is, we are a family that is rapidly growing, training, moving, changing, and recovering. Present and accounted for, we’re just a little disoriented.

Flight Cont.AMR_1789-21

If I’m really going to examine a concept, I enjoy Googling the root word and getting a clear definition.

flight: noun

  1. the action or process of flying through the air.
  2. a group of creatures or objects flying together, in particular.

With the above glitter globe reference, you can begin to see how my contemplation was taking shape.

I re-filled my coffee mug and took the necessary steps to ready myself for a day I knew would be filled with laughter and champagne, dazzling outfits, encouraging words and easy, authentic talent.

“IT’S SHOOT DAY!!” I see come up on our group chat from Jocelyn as I’m gathering up the last of my things to head out the door. “She’s cute for a morning person,” I smile.  She’s cheering from the sidelines today as she rocks her dreamy nine to five at the helm of The Betsey Mills Club. Today was actually deemed Vintage Hot Tomato because it was Andi shooting and Jesse assisting like the olden days of 2012 ;) But, it also highlighted for me just how much more glitter was in the globe these days.

~The Plan~

Shoot day will be Saturday. Tonya’s on hair and makeup, Jessica is Concierge to the clients, Jocelyn assists, Andi shoots and Jesse prepares far in advance of her travels, carefully making lists and packing things in a thoughtful order.

**glitter globe shake**

Woops, that’s Easter weekend!- Tonya and Jessica will both be out of town with family. BUT we decide we could make Monday work! Jesse would assist for Jocelyn, who would be at The Betsey and Jessica can cover for Tonya who is still out of town Monday. Jess would be home early enough on Sunday to wash the studio laundry, bring it in early and set up for client hair and make-up! Woohoo!

**glitter globe shake**

An evil bunny tried to take over the good Easter bunny’s job Sunday morning. But THEN….Unicorn Jessica swept in to save the day and dove in front of the Easter Bunny to save him to ensure all the kids got their Easter baskets!!! -a fictional dramatization by Courtney Smith

The real story is, Jess slipped in her pj’s moving the car and broke her arm. On Easter morning. In Cleveland. …SO, Jocelyn delivered the studio laundry to Andi to be washed and drove to Selby to pick up Jess and take her home to rest. MEANWHILE, Tonya is coordinating Abigail (whom she has been training in the art of Hot Tomato make-up) to cover the day in a pinch (her first solo day).

Abigail was able to cover with less that 12 hours notice and did AWESOME! Jocelyn was still cheerful in the morning after delivering dirty laundry and broken unicorns, I got to assist with client care and shooting (which I adored), Andi arrived with clean laundry and photographed masterfully. Clients were happy, crew felt loved and cared for, plans are being formulated to cover my absence and Jess’s recuperation and just. like. that. #tidyglitterpiles

Really, just when you think all hell is breaking loose, doesn’t that seem to be the precise moment that that everyone’s best selves come bursting out in little super hero capes? I hope you’re lucky enough to keep company with such folks but if you are in need of an infusion, join us.  

I always liked “Birds of a feather flock together” but I think  ” a group of creatures or objects flying together, in particular” might suit us better!

Thank you to my crew for doing just that! I love you all to bits.

Dirty Thirties HANDLED

“Stella, I’m 37. What a completely lame age to be.” I said out loud to my golden retriever this morning as I slurped shrimp-flavored ramen for breakfast at 11:15am.

I stayed up really late last night migrating images from my personal Instagram with the business name to a business Instagram with the business name per the instruction of my cousin slash best friend slash marketing consultant, Rachel Hyde. She thinks my personal life is too tied up in the business and it’s difficult for first-time clients to navigate the social media platforms. She’s right.

So, to completely defy all reason, I have decided to use this particular platform to … tell a completely hypothetical story about something that could happen to anyone (it’s totally about me.)

A stand-out, sure fire way to tell that you’re plummeting into the depths of mid-life crisis is looking in the mirror to find that the head of hair that frames your face is grey. NOT the natural kind that you get from living a pure and decent life but a grey that started out grey but was covered up with brown followed by a more striking black, stripped down to a ginger color, tortured into an ashish blond, covered in royal purple, faded to a yellowish lavender, bleached of all remaining dignity and strength, tapped, foiled and woven into a frenzy, coaxed back into a periwinkle color and finally DYED grey for the low, low price of roughly $1,300. THAT is when you re-evaluate your beauty standards. And your life.

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The Invisible Woman

It’s only a matter of time. I actually fear it.

The day that I walk into a room and no one takes notice.

I am a woman who doesn’t mind being looked at. I wear my emotions, ideals, convictions and intentions on my tattooed sleeves…and statement necklaces, ripped jeans, scarves, dangly earrings, big hats and high heeled boots.

People notice me and I like that. But maybe one day I will disappear…

It’s probably me.

It’s possible that I will tire of coming up with new and interesting ways to decorate myself. Maybe the age in my face will prevent me from wanting to draw attention to it with make-up. Perhaps my body will take such a rapid nose dive that the confident woman I am today will turn into an insecure hermit in one week’s time.

Fade /fād/ verb- the process of becoming less bright

The thought of losing color and brightness actually terrifies me. Picturing my closet full of bold colors and loud prints slowly being replaced with plain, pastel cotton knits that sag from my neck and waistband in exactly the same way they do on the plastic hangers makes me shudder.

Faded hair, faded skin, faded clothes…But why? Are we actually ashamed of what our bodies are anatomically designed to do in the second half of our lives? Is it a cultural leftover? One that  states that once a woman is past childbearing age, she should just blow away useless on a breeze? Here’s my personal favorite. We often stand in judgement of other women. Then, we are totally shocked when that same language rings in our own ears. “She’s dressing too young.” “She’s trying too hard.” “Her poor husband must be so embarrassed!”

No No No No NO!8982068ecd30085eb2667e723f1ee8e3

I will NOT quietly fade away. In FACT, THIS image is hanging beside my closet! I WILL wear animal print and chartreuse hats and leggings and ….I’ll have 107 wigs and sunglasses in odd shapes and I’ll walk around town with a whole pineapple just because. My shoes will be magnificent too. Maybe I’ll wear Chucks with an old wedding gown. I’m OLD! No one is going to say anything and even if they do, it will be something like “Wow, look at that amazing ol broad!” #oldladygoals

Black Label Sessions

We don’t have to get old to feel faded. There are lot’s of women that feel invisible for a million different reasons. Andi and I went to work to create a top-shelf session, brilliant with color designed to “reclaim, replenish and reignite…” Meet The Black Label Session.

Think about those words for a moment.

Reclaim- Has a part of you started to fade away? Your style or unique identity? We have you covered. Personal shopping with a master stylist is something we offer and Parlor chats are always on the house if talking it out with a friend is what you need.
Replenish- Are you so busy being in service to others that you continually let your own needs fall off the priority list? At Hot Tomato, self care is number one. We are a group of women that will show you how to prioritize yourself in 100 different ways!
Reignite- Passion. How much of that are you swimming in lately? Let’s get that spark glowing red again! Have you recently become inspired to political activism? Dying to finally write that novel? Ready to climb to the top of the corporate ladder? Longing for regular, red-hot romps with your lover? Let us help light your fire.

join us.

Are you ready to give yourself permission to reclaim, replenish and reignite with a Black Label Session? There are so many ways to make that happen. Please take a moment to select the session options that suit you best on this Contact Form and a crew member will be in touch right away.

Come as You Are

What if you could come just to the studio for your session… as you are?amr_3200_bw-5

Sleep in that day. After a long shower, the kind where you just stand there in no particular hurry and let the water just run all over you. Drain the hot water tank until you are in a thick cloud of rolling steam! When you push the curtain to the side, stroll out like a super-star emerging from the fog at a rock concert. Cover your body in your favorite body cream or baby soft powder. Leisurely dress in your soft cotton tank, over-sized sweater and favorite faded jeans. Welcome your curves to spill and remain soft and pliable. Pile a love-worn scarf loosely around your neck and shoulders and slip on leather loafers.amr_3295_hh-9

Go out and start your car well before you intend to leave so it’s too warm when you head out and you have to crack the window as you start down the road. (My favorite scenario is when the heat in the car is unbearably blasting and I open the sun roof when it’s snowing!) Your favorite mug in hand, the one that molds to your hands and warms your heart, you breathe it in deep and turn on music. Drive like a tourist. Notice the interesting architecture and natural landscape of the neighborhood you usually speed through.amr_3196_bw-4

When you arrive in our space, you’ll smell coffee and hear laughter. Your time with us will follow the natural path of self care that you’ve already started.

Your session is just that, yours. You. Not always a dressed up, cinched in and painted version. Rather, soft, natural, relaxed and unfettered. I know this kind of session speaks more to me where I am at this moment in my life. Maybe it speaks to you as well.

I’d love to here your thoughts. Begin Here <3

Fierce Mama Love

 

Can they ALL be my favorite session? For serious. Look at these.rfp_7288-2

This Mama knows how to rock a bump, now. Week 38 didn’t exactly look the same on me if memory serves. “Fierce” isn’t just a sexy buzz word I’m putting in here either, I’ve seen this mama bear with her THREE other littles! (You read that right) The love, the snuggles, the..ahem..”shaping of character” that is the hardest and best gift we can give our children…this Mama has it all!

She’s brilliantly funny, drop dead gorgeous and happens to be married to a lifetime friend of our photographer in training (yeah, you read that right too). Training.

Jocelyn: “A boudoir maternity shoot..this will be a first!”

My jaw flopped to the floor when these proofs were placed in my hand. STUN.NING. Just pure magic! I mean, here we have a great photographer that adores what she does, photographing a super sweet and hilarious friend who is blissfully expecting an already flipping ADORED baby girl! Mama is also super hot and had a brilliant hair and makeup team and was photographed in the most kickin studio in Marietta…maybe even the WORLD!

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So yeah, you could say I was pleased with the results ;)

ALSO, guess who’s birthday is TODAY? That’s right! Happy Birthday, Kennedy Sue <3

You got one fierce Mama, sweetheart!!

The Book of Love

A little black book will have a BIG impact.

Hot Tomato loves to tell a story with images. Flip through this fiery selection and see if you can guess the plot twist!

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Fill out our Contact Form and we will get you booked right away.

You and Me, Sister!

Sometimes it’s tough to justify booking a day to pamper yourself. “Oohh, look at me, I went and got all sexified and had a luxurious day to myself!” *Your friends hate you already. Not really. But sorta ;)

HOWEVER, you totally want that for your friends, right? BUT, it’s kinda weird to be like “Here, you go and do this fabulous thing and look all gorgeous and I’ll be over here super happy for you.” Yeah, your heart was in the right place but…Awkward!

Wouldn’t it be swell if you both got to do something glamorous AND and do a little good in your community? Read on. We have a solution!

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A 300 Hour Day

Do you ever feel like your life is one giant metaphor? The moment I entertained the notion that we might all really be connected and that nothing is really random, it seemed that all the forces in the universe high-fived each other in celebration that I finally “got it.”

My last post “Tomato Roots” came bursting out all at once. I could hardly wait to follow it up with the VINES! Yep, this was it. Felt totally right. It was a next step, a level up, a tying together of everything we all bring to Hot Tomato. I would spend the rest of October creating brilliant marketing and getting women into the studio to help them celebrate their stories and scars, family and history. EVERY very kind of beauty!! The ROOTS, the VINES!

Stay Tuned

arjohuntleigh-blog-5-questions-to-ask-before-implementing-early-mobility-in-your-icu

“Stay Tuned” was how I ended my last post. The next day my sister overdosed on heroin.

Mom held her as she seized in the ER. Dad paced the hall with his hand fixed over his mouth. I made phone calls. Our work, political agenda, domestic duties, holiday preparations, social obligations and personal priorities were checked at the hospital doors until further notice.

The last two weeks have have been more like one very stressful 300 hour day. Being in the ICU with a loved one, for me, is sort of like being an on-call journalist and news reporter, while going to medical school during a family reunion in a minimum security prison. Information in a hospital is a giant game of telephone only using words like dialysis, fasciotomy and rhabdomyolsis. It’s also a terrible time to be introduced to strangers but here they come in droves bearing worried looks and awkward embraces. Your conversations are like recordings that are played again and again. It still feels good be useful. You lead an odd parade past your unconscious family member and together you stare at them, stroke their hand and then stand there and chat in hushed tones as if remarking on a museum display. It’s all very strange.

Back to My Roots

root-definition

I was pretty sure I understood what I meant in my last post when I spoke of the power and possibility in my roots but I had just scratched at the proverbial surface.

There’s nothing quite like a large scale family tragedy to check the quality of the ol roots. Holy numerous branches and fibers, Batman! I knew I had some serious, deep family veins but I truly had no idea my network of support was so beautiful, complex and far-reaching. Support, nourish, encourage growth…yes indeed. In every kind of way.

I shared this glimpse of my last two weeks because I recognize that we all have life events that afford us the opportunity to grow. Our crew often is privileged to be part of that growth. Being a witness to change, a hand in healing and a new root system of continued support…

I love that part most.

 

Tomato Roots

I want the same thing for myself as I want for my vegetables…To grow strong and colorful, to nourish those that care for me, to leave behind quality seed and to die as organic compost”

~Jesse Hyde

I wrote that note on Facebook soon after I opened my account in 2009. Hot Tomato wasn’t a twinkle in my eye or even ink on my skin yet. I homeschooled. I gardened. I hung herbs around my kitchen. I watched my little girls chase butterflies and build fairy houses.

Facebook recently asked me if I’d like to update my bio. I read the current version and thought “Oh geez, how antiquated! Yes, I must update with something sassy that tells the world that I am a powerful Hot Tomato!” Then I read it again.

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***GLAMSHOP***

You asked for it. We delivered. Now, choose from TWO workshop packages!

September 25th

10am-3pm

200 Putnam St. Suite 300, Marietta Ohio

The Glam Bam, Thank You Ma’am – $99 plus tax
  • Hot Tomato Studio tour
  • Full instructional demonstration in the art of glam hair and makeup styling
  • Lunch and cocktails in The Parlor
  • Access to the coveted Hot Tomato Lending Wardrobe for dress-up (as cocktails allow!) Ever try on a steel-boned corset? Let The Madame show you how!
  • Behind the scenes peek of a session in progress
The GLAM SLAM – $399 plus tax
  • Private wardrobe consultation and session planning
  • Hot Tomato Studio Tour
  • Full instructional demonstration in the art of glam hair and makeup styling
  • Personal one on one hair and makeup styling with two of our professional team members
  • Lunch and cocktails in The Parlor
  • One outfit, high glam photo session on our custom set
  • Private proofing session to view your images
  • Free 8 x 10 canvas of your favorite image
  • New title for your sassy resume of #GDHT ;)

RESERVE YOUR SPOT

We’re looking forward to seeing you there! Grooowl wink ;)

 

 

Photographers, Andi Roberts and Jocelyn Adelsperger
Concierge, Jessica Kufel
Makeup Artists, Lauren Elaine and Tonya Winebrenner
Hairstylists, Veronica Fields and Chelsea Holtz
 Mistress of Ceremony- Jesse Hyde