Becoming my own BOSS!

I became a small business owner on Thursday Nov 7 at 8:27 pm when I left my letter of resignation on my managers desk and told the team lead on staff that today was my last day. I smile every time I think about how that day went down. I was so anxious, nervous, sad and excited! I remember 2 different co-workers asked me what I did differently with my makeup. Little did they know, it was the natural glow of finally finding balance and pure joy (and getting the heck out of this joint). This day marks a new beginning and a fresh start. 

I will start by saying my almost 11 years at the salon weren’t all bad. I was given amazing opportunities to grow as a stylist, learn from the best and build an amazing clientele. I met and collaborated with other amazing stylists within the company. The benefits were good and the opportunities were plentiful. I worked hard to consistently be on top. Year after year being in the top 5 with 300 other employees is a huge accomplishment. Working with strong women could lift you but quickly tear you down. This started to weigh so I decided to attend therapy, figure out what would make me happy and slowly understand more about myself. Some could call me weak and say I shouldn’t take things personally but being offended isn’t a bad thing. I would have such a hard time recharging during my breaks because of the constant banter, competition and drama. It was hard not to get sucked in.  On the positive side, we always were there to support each other, had many laughs and great memories. The expectations started to pile up and I was no longer focusing on my business. I loved being a teacher, but its very draining when others chose not to educate themselves and don’t care about the integrity behind their business. I know I can’t control what they do, but their are part of the company I work for. We all are affiliated as a brand, a brand I didn’t want to represent anymore. Yup, life isn’t fair, but I couldn’t be asoociated with the mess.  

About 2 years ago I was in a horrible place personally and professionally. I researched a lot about leaving. I remember I was traveling in CA with my husband, calling businesses and weighing my options.  I decided against leaving because I saw it as running away, when in reality I was drinking the KOOL AID thinking this was the best I could get. I had only ever had one serious career job. I’m a LIFER! My therapist and I worked through some of my issues and tried to build my trust in the future of the company. But I only became more and more frustrated. So September of 2016 I told my husband I was quitting my job and opening my own studio in 8 weeks.  He didn’t question my decision once. That’s a true partnership. No asking permission. 

Insert the following emotions: EXCITEMENT, FEAR, DETERMINATION, DENILE! 

Some stylists think that when you leave a salon you lose your integrity. That can be true, but I also saw it in the salon. I worked with some people who never cared, yet I was under that brand umbrella. Now I am my own brand and no one can take away its value. Others say studio stylists never take advanced education. This once again this is circumstantial. I paid for a lot of my outside education while employed by my salon but also received great free education. Funny they say this because I invited some of my fellow stylist friends, independent and employed, to LA for a color class and guess who is going? Yup independent stylists! This industry is ever changing and you should have a stylist who has the principle to give the the best. 

There is always this back and forth between independent and employed stylists and we will never see eye to eye. I always thought they were embellishing on how great it was. No one would ever admit that they made a mistake leaving the best salon ever. The excuse was that person left because they weren’t successful at the salon and they are lazy. HA! The second I ran the numbers and took off my blinders, I was mad at myself for not believing in myself earlier. They are not elaborating on the freedom and flexibility. I don’t judge those who choose to stay (well maybe a little) but it takes a certain kind of person to do it. You need the clientele and confidence. That’s it. Yes having money saved it easier, but since I didn’t plan ahead, you get a business loan like everyone else. I won’t lie, I had doubted my decision for about 4 weeks and then that all went away. I’m slowly learning, growing and changing, Nothing is ever perfect, but I am in control now.

Now for the honest truth. During the 8 weeks of creating Angela’s Atelier, I had many moments of self doubt. I had the best supporter, Ryan. One day I would be high on life, excited for my new adventure and the next day in tears. He would always have me high five him and say “I’m a rockstar”. He was right, I am a rockstar, I can do this!!! It was very hard when some of my clients didn’t follow but I have an 87% retention rate from the salon, which was humbling. Over the years you develop a relationship with your client and its hard not to be upset when they don’t support you, but I understand convienience is key for some people. I was so shocked, yet humbled at all of my clients that did follow me my new space and contribute to support me. I’m so blessed (you know I hate that word) that they understand how much courage it took to make this move.

My new space is so much fun and brings me happiness every morning when I wake up, I don’t dread driving to work and seeing a specific car in the parking lot. I don’t dread the questions, expectations or drama. Yes, being a business owner requires a bit more work but I hardly notice it. I don’t mind doing laundry because at least its for me versus the girl who NEVER helps out, figuring out my accounts is rewarding because I see my growth, researching the best products for my clients is exciting and honestly my online booking system has made my life easier than having a receptionist. I’m the weirdo that loves organizing inventory and working on social media posts. I am able to change my hours whenever I want without feeling guilty. I take random days off and not have to worry about money.  I finally can take my time on clients and focus on quality vs quantity. 

I honestly never thought this day would come and I only hope this inspires ANY ONE to go into business for themselves. As a small business owner. I am trying to support that community even more. 

Napa-Style Egg Muffins

This recipe was inspired by an amazing breakfast I had in San Diego. I am all about convenience so I turned the scramble into egg muffins. The recipe makes 12 muffins so you can meal prep and re-heat them for the rest of the week.


8 whole eggs

6 egg whites

1 cup chopped spinach

1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes

2 avocados

goat cheese

salt and pepper


1. Whisk eggs and egg whites in large bowl.IMG_7734

2. Add chopped spinach and sun dried tomatoes.IMG_7742

3. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix.

4. Spray muffin tin and fill with egg mixture.  Top with desired amount of goat cheese. IMG_7741.JPG

5. Bake for at 425 degrees for about 15 mins. I used a knife to stick in the middle to check if they were finished. 

6. Once cooled, top with avocado and ENJOY!


Work/Life Balance

Attention young/all professionals!!!

Trust me, you are going to want to read this…

Most everyone strives for greatness, which is a definition customized to each individual. We all want to be the best version of our selves and work hard to build an amazing career that helps us create one FABULOUS life. That is the definition of myself. My goals as a career driven woman were to be at the top, build my own little empire and live an experience filled life.

Growing up, I was raised in a single income family. My dad worked his full time job and had part time work to be able to provide for us. My mom was great at balancing our spending by giving us some of the “luxuries” (silver jeans, A&F shirts etc) that we could afford, but by no means was I a spoiled child. Once I was able to get a job, I worked multiple jobs in the summer to save for a car, pay for gas and save for college. I was a girl with Tiffany silver plated spoon taste on a wooden spoon budget.

I started working as a stylist 4 days after I graduated Aveda Institute. I built a clientele very quickly and was drawn into the competition of being at the top and hitting all of my goals. In my mind, that meant acceptance. The more hours you work, the more people you can accommodate. I was obsessed with making $$$ and earning bonuses. To be able to achieve both of those things, I needed to make myself available. So I skipped out on quite a few events. It didn’t allow it bother me at the time since I had conditioned myself to think this was all worth it. A few years down the road and understanding life values and myself, I am upset that I missed most of it.

I will be  honest with you, I climbed the ladder of success and hit every goal I wanted but I missed out on A LOT of life’s little joys. I missed out on weekends with my family, evenings with my husband, friends bridal showers, weddings and time to focus on my needs. But on the flip side, I had an amazing clientele, made some $$$ and was able to use my earnings for experiences. I made my choices but would like to pass along this advice.

Honestly, I would change how I did things. Trust me, I don’t have regrets by any means. I don’t believe in regrets. I look at it as lessons and growth. I worked my way out of friendships, bonding with my husband and celebrations. You can’t buy those back or have do overs. Sometimes you are given second chances but most events that come our way are once in a lifetime. We have our whole lives to work hard, make money and become our best selves. I have learned that the BEST version of me is compilation of my hard work, relationships with friends, happy memories and adventures. BALANCE. Balance means a state of equilibrium and finding emotional stability and mental steadiness.

I would advise young professionals to find balance. At the beginning of your career you do need to put in the hours and work hard. You have to earn flexibility, seniority and find your place. I encourage you to speak with your manager about their expectations of you. Be honest with them about the importance of friends events, family get togethers and how important working smarter, not harder is to you. Explain how you have goals to meet and will can meet both sets of needs. Find a mentor who you trust and who can direct you to meet all qualifications. You need to be your own advocate for you life. Management  and companies also need to realize that happy, balanced employees create a successful business plan, rewarding results and a strong environment. 

Best wishes on your career. Stay driven, balanced and cheers to success!

Dirty Little Secret

I’m not good enough…

I’m not writing this for sympathy or for you to pity me. I’m not looking for positive reinforcement or judgement. I am simply writing this for myself and for others who might be going through the same thing.

I am depressed and have constant anxiety.  I hate my body. I binge eat super naughty foods. And most days I judge and shame myself.

I am in constant fight mode. My defenses are up because of my need to be’s and not enough’s;

I need to be happy.

I need to be healthy.

I’m not enough at my job.

I need to be the perfect wife.

I need to be a motivator.

I need to be a success.

I don’t fit in with my friends lifestyles.

I need to be more…

Holy $hit! I’m exhausted. I care so much about how other people perceive me, that my ego is constantly on and it’s struggling to keep up. I put up a very good disguise. It’s an act that I’m a part of 24/7.

I have a great life. I am married to an amazing man who loves me for who I am. I have a loving family, awesome friends and a very successful career, so I am supposed to be happy, right?  My career is based on me being happy and making my clients look their best and feel their best. How I am supposed to help them feel better when internally I’m a hot mess and am a fraud? A majority of my co-workers are fun to be around but it’s a deadly combo. You mix a bunch of insecure, judge mental women together and it’s toxic. I’m not attacking all of them but there are a select few I’m distancing myself from. How can I be real when a facade surrounds me?

I always tracked my weight and over the years it goes up and up and up. Currently I am sitting at 170 lbs. Yes I have some muscle but my addiction to sugar to make am feel happy has put a padding around it. My weight goes up and down because my mood goes up and down. I let my weight define who I am and what I deserve.  I am always looking for that “miracle” to fix me. I crash diet, workout like crazy, change my birth control, try blaming it hormones and try any cream or wrap to lose the inches. None of it worked.

I currently talk to a therapist and at the beginning of the year I was feeling great. I had a new plan to fix my metabolism, the witch at work was out of my life, I was turning 30, had an year filled with fun ahead and finally felt balanced. My therapist taught me that my worth wasn’t based on the number on the scale or what others thought about me. Self-care was very important (see Self Care blog). I had confidence. I was traveling with my husband. I was smiling. I felt genuine. I felt like myself and was comfortable being me.

Summer came along and I started to fall off track with my eating, self care, therapist appointments and changed my birth control. I had no idea how sensitive I was with my hormones. I slowly started slipping away from my mantras and beliefs and fell into the “social” norm. I started judging others to lift myself up and hopped on the Shame Train. I started comparing and felt like I was falling short. I was questioning every single thought and move I made and tortured my self with negative thoughts.

I was falling apart. I dreaded going to work. My marriage was passive and I secluded myself from friends and family. November and December were the worst. I was in a dark place…all by myself. I didn’t want to be around anyone. My estrogen levels were so high that every morning I would get up, binge on Caribou donuts, sugar coffee drinks and Starbucks breakfast sandwiches. I would eat, fall back to sleep for 2-3 hrs and get up and force myself to make it through the day. I hated getting ready. I starred at my body every morning, shaming it and punishing myself by eating more crappy food. I was eating fast food (which I had not consumed in 16 months), drinking wine every night, and was a lazy, lifeless body. Joy and self love a a thing in the past.

I would cry over anything and everything. I hysterically bawled when Dumbledore died in Harry Potter, when ever I heard certain songs and every morning when I woke up and saw my reflection. I couldn’t stop. I also had anger issues and my anxiety was through the roof. I was frustrated with myself and fighting. Over Christmas all I did was cry. I was at the bottom and couldn’t see the light.

The Tuesday after Christmas, I met with my “team” of professionals to get me on the right path. I started a cleanse to get all the inflammation out of my stomach and to re-train my taste buds and brain to not rave sugar. My therapist finally pushed me to cry. She helped me come to the realization that I don’t love myself and don’t think I’m deserving of just being me and that being enough.

As of today, as I’m sitting on the plane heading to Miami, I am feeling OK. The past 10 days has been baby steps to a healthier me. I took the time to prep food, enjoy yoga, clean my house when I felt like it, and told myself that Miami won’t be anymore or less fun with the way my body looks. If someone wants to judge me, I applaud them and hope it brings them happiness. My therapist gave me a great mantra from Brene Brown; ” In my defenselessness, my safety lies”. This is from her book Daring Greatly, which I just started reading. Once I put my fists down and was gentle with myself, I knew I could get out of this dark hole.







Therapist…Yes, please!! 

So I have mentioned my “dark age” in my 30 1/2 blog and I’m still not going to get too deep into that, but this blog is about how I found the most amazing lady who helped me throw out the bulls#*t people in my life and uncover what my personal insecurities were.

I was referred to Judy by a good friend who’s life was changing in front of my eyes. She had such a postive outlook, had growing self esteem and was comfortable in the life she was living. At this time in my life, I wanted to leave my job, move far away from the a$$holes, I was grasping for any way to drop some lbs and my marriage was on the rocks because I was so unhappy. If I could have, I would have quit my job, move to San Diego and drain my savings for full body lipo. Then I would be happy?! Ha! 

But a therapist, aren’t those for the extremely crazy?! Yeah, no! We all need a therapist in our lives. We all need someone to listen to us and even better, we need someone to be the voice of reason.

The first few months of meeting with Judy were rough. I didn’t want to admit my faults, I wanted her to tell me to run and I thought she had a magic wand to make things perfect. I just wanted her to wave that wand and POOF, everything would be better. Sadly, she fell short of my fairy godmother expectation, and DUH thats not how it works. I didn’t want to put in the time. It was work. It was my responsibility to change how reacted to what was happening around me. If I couldn’t change my environment, I had to change how I saw that environment.  We met every 2 weeks and I had lots of homework to do.

We had 2 major things we were focusing on; the break-up/bully friend/coworker and finding balance in loving my body and having self esteem. She went about things in a compassionate way, she was very black and white but still was gentle. I know for a fact, I can’t have a sugar coated therapist. I was raised with life being sugar coated and it will get you nowhere. She allowed me to cry, word vomit, question and throw a few F bombs. She even knew when I was holding back. I would say something with confidence, hoping to disguise the truth, and she just gave me a look…BUSTED!

After about 6 months of ah-ha moments and tough love, I started to realize how I wanted my life to be. Its not perfect and I struggle with the balance of IF, AND, OR. It’s much more difficult to control these things around certain people. But Judy has taught me how to re-think situations and not get sucked into the drama and negative, dishonest people around me. I learned to feel sorry and show compassion for the manipulative b’s that I thought were my friends.

Life is a roller coaster and so I’m at a time in my life again when I need her. She is the un judgemental hand to help you out of the dark. I’m not ashamed to admit I get depressed, eat my emotions and cry. I’m human. My life is no where near glitter and rainbows, but I have an amazing family, loving partner, super fun career and I have my health. I am grateful for what I have but sometimes you need someone to remind you and talk through the chaos.