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Marathons Are Training For Life

Written by Katie Hinderer, Web Editor

This past weekend I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I competed in the Chicago Marathon. That’s 26.2 miles of running through the city streets with about 34,000 other people. Insanity – you bet. Amazing – totally!

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I stood at the starting line, with my dad and sister who were crazy enough to run it with me, and thought ‘What the heck am I doing?’ Then the national anthem started sounding over the speakers and I watched the freezing cold crowd still and look forward. And in that moment I thought, ‘This is amazing I can’t believe I am lucky enough to be doing this.’

The buzzer sounded and the thousands of people slowly surged forward. 17 minutes into the race we finally crossed the start line and began a 26.2-mile life-changing event. Sure, my time wasn’t the greatest – I finished in about 5 hours. And I’m so sore today walking looks and feels like a painful process.  I don’t consider myself a hero for finishing a marathon but the life-changing part is the fact that I learned so much from the process that will get me further in life.

For instance, some days getting out to run is the very last thing you want to do. But you bite the bullet, tie on your gym shoes and hit the pavement. The same goes for anything else in life. There are days we don’t want to get out of bed, we rise anyway; days we don’t want to do homework, we pull out the pen and paper and get to it; days we want to watch movies all day, we read a good book instead.

Or even as I hit mile 14, I wondered if I could really finish the entire thing. In my training I had only run up to 14 miles, no more than that. But it’s mind over matter. I just put myself in another zone and kept putting one foot in front of another. How many times in life do we ask ourselves if we can really do something – run for class president, start a club at school, write a book, whatever. Put your mind to it and you’ll be surprised what you can accomplish.

Dad Doesn’t Think I Work Hard Enough

My dad is always on my case about my grades. He’s never happy.  If I work really hard and get all my grades up he thinks they aren’t high enough. If I work average, the grades sink and he tells me I’m a slacker and not putting forth all my effort. I’m not a brain. I don’t like studying. But I do try and I want him to see that.

– Grade Challenged

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Dear Grade Challenged,

I think nearly every student goes through this at some point. And look on the bright side, your dad cares enough about you and your future to give you a hard time. Maybe you need to sit down with him and see if he has any study tips or advice. And then show him you are dedicated. Study without loud music blaring and really focus when you are sitting before the books. Ask a teacher for help. He’ll be proud of you if he sees you are making an effort. The results are more in the effort than in perfect grades.

– RelateMag

Michael Buble: Crazy Love

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Michael Buble pulled a fast one on his fans here in the US, by releasing his new CD Crazy Love on a Friday, instead of the normal Tuesday launch of new music. But any true fan wasn’t deterred. The CD was purchased and well worth the weekend trip to your CD-buying store.

Crazy Love is Buble’s fifth CD and follows in his earlier tradition of mixing old-school songs with his own jazzy, butter-melting voice. He’s also got two self-written songs on the album, including the first single Still Haven’t Met You Yet. The CD contains 13 tracks, one of which is a bonus track.

Any Buble song or music-lover can tell you that Michael Buble has an incredible knack of making the old current. Who would have thought we’d be listening to and loving songs that were written more than 50 years ago and still have an older-sounding vibe to them? Oh but we do!

And if you haven’t seen the music video yet for Still Haven’t Met You Yet click here. It’s amazing!

Taylor Swift's Fifteen Video

Finally a new Taylor Swift video. After yesterday’s news that she will extend her concert tour into 2010 (YAY) this video is just hitting the internet. What do you think about Fifteen? As good as Love Story? Better?

I’m loving it. – Katie

Buble – I’ll Meet You!

I admit it. I’m slightly addicted to all things Michael Buble. I mean hello, he sounds like he’s singing directly to the listener in Home. And let’s not forget the song Everything, which has probably been played over 100 times from my computer, iPod and car stereo. Well if you’re anything like me… you’re obsessed with the Canadian singer, too. His new album drops Tuesday – can we say RUN to the nearest CD-buying store?!

Here’s the video for his first single: Just Haven’t Met You Yet:

Toy Story 3

Apparently I’ve been living under a rock the last several weeks because I totally missed the Toy Story 3 movie trailer release. Did you all see it?

I loved the first two movies as a kid so I can’t wait for this one to be released. It comes out in June 2010. The basic storyline is that now that Andy has grown up and is headed to college the toys get dropped off at a daycare center. Hilarity must ensue.

Here’s the trailer if you missed it. Random I know, but so cute:

– Katie

ShopMamie Founders Impress

Megan Healy and Amy Trelenberg are co-owners and founders of ShopMamie, an online clothing boutique that has some of the cutest clothes we’ve seen in a long time. (Stay tuned, we’ll be reviewing one of the pieces in the days ahead.) Best friends from childhood, these 25-year-olds have made a go of a clothing business even in one of the worst economic times our country has seen in years.

Megan took time to fill us in on how they got started, where the company is going and what they’d say to others looking to pursue a similar dream.

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RelateMag: Can you tell us about how you got started?

Amy and I have been best friends since we were Freshman in High School. At age 14, we spent a lot of our free time shopping, styling ourselves, and tending to our wardrobes. We dreamed about opening a store when we get older. However, our dream got put on hold as we both went off to separate colleges, me to Virginia Tech to pursue a Business degree, and Amy to Penn State for Accounting. Amy and I reunited back in Wilmington after our graduations. Amy got an accounting job and I had a job in medical sales, however 2 years later, we left behind our safe but mundane full-time jobs, with a dream and a great idea to start Shopmamie.com. We worked months and months on our business plan and put together our nominal savings until we had enough funds to create a website and buy our first season of clothes. We threw a Shopmamie.com launch party on March 5, 2008. It was such a success…we sold out of most of our clothes that night. From there, we committed full time to making our Shopmamie.com dream come true.

RelateMag: Why start ShopMamie?
Amy and I saw a need in the market for a company that sells stylish but quality merchandise at affordable prices. You can choose from a lot of cheap and chic stores these days, but along with the store, comes the ‘digging’ through endless amounts of merchandise to find something cute. We wanted to eliminate that and be a place where women can go for stylish and affordable merchandise ‘minus the digging.’ We were truly inspired by looking fabulous on a budget.

RelateMag: How has the company grown over the years?

We now get about 5 times the orders and attend about 5 times the events that we did since our start in March of 2008. We also moved out of our rented townhouse which was exploding with clothes from just about every closet you can imagine to an actual office space on the 2nd floor of a beautiful historical old mansion where women can come and shop by appointment. We have also hired a part-time employee and an intern from the University of Delaware.

RelateMag: Where do your clients come from?

All of our clients have come from word-of-mouth. We are lucky to have such a large circle of friends and we have gotten some great PR such as blog, magazine, and newspaper features. We just recently launched an affiliate program which will help increase business across the country.

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RelateMag: What has been the customer feedback?

We get such a great response from our customers. When people email or call us, an owner picks up the phone or responds. How many stores can say that? Our shipping is also extra fast because we don’t have that lag in handling time, so our ground shipping normally takes 2 days. In addition to being an online store, we also host and attend various shows (home shows, fashion shows, shows at colleges, ect.) and so we are able to get great face-to-face feedback from our customers. Our shows can sometimes get ‘out of hand’ because women love our clothes!

RelateMag: Looking forward where do you see the company in 5 years?

We would like our online portion of our company to grow substantially in the next 5 years. We are looking into designing our own merchandise and hopefully following through with that in the next 1-2 years. We have a lot of growing to do!

RelateMag: Do you work on the company full time or have other supplemental work to support yourself?

We both work full time at Shopmamie.com.

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RelateMag: Where do you find your inspiration?

Our inspiration stems from a lot of different sources….outside scenery, seasons changing, movies, magazines, family, friends, and people in general. A lot of times, we are inspired by another person’s outfit, for example, we will say “I love how that girl made that summer dress look so ‘fall’ with the turtleneck underneath or if we go pumpkin picking during fall, we might be inspired by the deep orange and green colors and decide that we would like to see that in our fall line. If you look around you, anything and everything can be an inspiration.

RelateMag: Has your education helped you start this company?

Our education has helped us a lot. Amy was an accounting major, so she handles all of our business financials and accounting. This is essential for every business and without her, we couldn’t run our business successfully. I ended up majoring in merchandising management, so I knew more of the fashion side of things, such as navigating through Fashion Markets and how to fashion forecast, etc…

RelateMag: What has been the most challenging part?

The most challenging part of our business is the tremendous responsibility it entails. Your work follows you everywhere and when something fails, you cannot blame anyone but yourself.

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RelateMag: The most rewarding?

The most rewarding part is seeing our clothes presented in a fashion show or being featured in an article, blog, or on TV. We feel so rewarded when a customer gives us a compliment or even something as simple as opening the door to work every morning and stepping into our office and realizing that we actually did it!

RelateMag: Do you sell in stores anywhere?

We buy from small manufacturers and designers, so we do not design and therefore, we can’t sell in stores. However, we hope to design one day!

RelateMag: How do you spread the word about the company and products?

We have spread the word about our company and products through our great network of friends and family. Facebook and twitter have helped us increase our network as well. We also spread through through great press such as blogs such as dailycandy.com and realsimple.com, NBC10 features such as ‘Digphilly’ and ‘The 10! Show’, and also area magazine publications such as DelawareToday and Spark Magazine.

RelateMag: Growing up were you a typical girly-girl playing dress-up and all that?

Amy and I were both girly-girls while growing up. I myself always played dress up and was definitely caught once or twice in my mom’s jewelry chest. However, we both loved sports and getting down and dirty too!

RelateMag: To aspiring fashion designers what piece of advice would you offer?

Trust and believe in your dream no matter how young. You have to love what you do or your never going to be successful. Always have successful people around you with good advice. My Dad, Jack Healy owns a successful Construction Company and Amy’s Dad is a retired engineer who traveled the world supervising plants. Although they are very different industries from the fashion industry, both our Dad’s provide amazing advice.

RelateMag: If you could dress any celebrity today who would that be?

We both love Rachel Bilson’s style, so I think she would be someone that we would love to dress. Sarah Jessica Parker would be so fun to dress as well because she will wear just about anything.

RelateMag: Any exciting plans for the company in the near future?

We have a lot of large-scaled trunk shows for college sororities coming up. We are also looking towards being featured on another TV program in November as well as some other press features.

Selena Gomez To Raise $1M for UNICEF

Selena Gomez isn’t just busy acting and recording her first album. The Disney star and 17-year old singing sensation recently made a trip to Africa with her mother and step-father as an ambassador for UNICEF.

“It was completely life-changing and eye-opening, and when we came back we definitely had nothing to complain about,” Selena is reported as saying to a reporter at the AP. (read the whole story here.)

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This is Selena’s second year as a spokeperson for UNICEF’s Trick-or-Treat program. Last year she raised $700,000. This year she plans to raise $1 million. To gather the funds Selena will donate four VIP tickets to one of her upcoming concerts with backstage meet-and-greet access to the highest bidder through a Charity Buzz auction. The highest bidder will get an autographed CD. The auction will begin October 21 and run through November 11, 2009.

“Trick–or–Treat for UNICEF invites children and adults alike to make Halloween count by joining UNICEF to do whatever it takes to help save children’s lives,” says Selena Gomez. “This October, I would like to encourage everyone to make a difference and support UNICEF’s mission to reduce the number of daily preventable deaths of children, from 25,000 to zero.”

The program was started in 1950 and raised only $17 its first year by collecting money in milk cartons. Now US children have collected $144 million by going door-to-door with the trademark orange collection boxes on Halloween and by planning fundraisers with their school or group, according to the information on the website. Read more about the program and how you can get involved here.

UNICEF, which stands for The United National Children’s Fund, was created by the UN in 1946 in order to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries torn apart by war. The organization has grown since its inception and is now headquartered in New York City.

Selena Gomez: Kiss & Tell

Written by Katie Hinderer, Web Editor

We love Selena Gomez in a Cinderella Story. We fell further in love with her in Princess Protection Program. And now we’ve got one more reason to adore her – Selena’s first album Kiss & Tell. kiss-and-tell-abulm-cover-selena-gomez-7774077-320-334

Selena, following in the footsteps of her friends Demi Lovato and Ashley Tisdale, teamed up with The Scene to create this 13-song album. The amazing part about the album is that it sounds better than the usual first attempt by a young singer. The songs fit together and sound like Selena’s been in the business of album making for years.

In case you’re thinking ‘I’ve never heard of this band The Scene before’ you’re not the only one. This is the name of Selena’s band. She’s reported to have explained the name of the band this way: “I named my band the Scene because a lot of people are making fun of me calling me a ‘wannabe scene,’ so I thought I would poke fun [at] that. Can’t beat ’em join ’em!”

Don’t compare the songs to Tell Me Something I Don’t Know – arguably the worst song on the album and one we’ve heard a lot before. Half the songs are peppy and upbeat dance beats. Others take it down a notch giving us Selena’s more sensitive vocal side. As a Blonde is hilarious, and it’s a cover of one of Selena’s favorite Canadian singers Fefe Dobson.

Selena’s reported as saying, “I basically want to make music that is fun and that parents and kids can jump around to and have a good time to.”

Homecoming Dresses and My Mom Don't Mix

I’m heading to Homecoming next weekend and I just went out shopping with my mom to pick out a dress. We fought the whole time. I wanted a short puffy dress and she said each one I picked out was inappropriate for a 16-year-old girl. She told me I was being immodest and skanky. I told her everyone my age was wearing dresses like this. She said it didn’t matter and I’d understand when I was older. She’s being ridiculous. I don’t know how to convince her that I just want to be like everyone else.

– Just One of the Girls

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Dear Just One of the Girls,

You’re probably not going to want to hear this but, sometimes it is excellent to NOT be just like everyone else; in fact, it’s wonderful. Try stepping outside of the situation and considering your mom’s position. She wants her daughter to look lovely, elegant and beautiful at one of the biggest dances of the year. She also wants you to be respected by the guys in attendance and not looked at in a way that turns you into an object instead of a person. You want the guys to notice your face and beautiful smile, not your long bare legs. Step back, go give your mom a hug and try to give her dress choices a chance. And enjoy your dance!!

-RelateMag