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Look out Ottawa, Toronto, and Winnipeg! Tina O’Connor is coming to town!

Here’s your chance to meet Tina O’Connor, author of ‘Be That Girl’ and the newly released ‘Be That Mom‘.  Tina loves to inspire women to be the best they can be and looks forward to this opportunity to connect with fans and friends.  She hopes to help women ignite their passions and would like YOU to join her for an evening of girlie fun.

Your $20 ticket includes wine, appetizers and a ‘goodie’ bag !  Books will also be available for purchase, but if you already have a copy… feel free to tote it along for Tina to sign!

 

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RELEASE YOUR INNER GIRL IN…

 

OTTAWA 
When:  Thursday, October 3, 2013 @ 7pm
Where: Adorit, an eco-friendly boutique in the Market area.
153 York Street.

Purchase your Ottawa ticket HERE.

 

TORONTO
When: Thursday, October 10, 2013 @ 7pm
Where: Shop Girls Gallery Boutique, Canadian designer clothing
and a need to fit women of all shapes and sizes!
1342 Queen Street West.

Purchase your Toronto ticket HERE.

 

WINNIPEG
When: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 7pm
Where: Second Sensation Boutique, a high end consignment store.
10-725 Corydon Ave.

Purchase your Winnipeg ticket HERE.

 

 

WEST COAST DATES COMING SOON!!

So put your best party outfit on and let’s chat all things girl!

We can’t wait to host you!

Signature for BTG

 

and the ‘Be That Books’ team!

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Say Yes To Less Stress

Stress.  Getting stressed, or being stressed.  All I know, is the sound of the word ‘stressed’ leaves my shoulders feeling tight and icky.  I instantly feel like I am carrying a 50 lbs child on my shoulders while walking uphill… stress is no good in my opinion and I do everything in my power to shirk this awful feeling.

Like a few years ago when I realized I was missing out on my girls growing up.  Life was the liquor stores, plain and simple.  Often, I had no time for me at all and the nanny raised my kids.  I envied from afar, because you know, I wanted to be that savvy, career mom.  Owning these businesses seemed like what I wanted to do, but all it did was cause stress in my head and in my family life.  For the first time ever, I didn’t want what I thought I wanted.  I wanted to be the mom who witnessed her kids successes and their failures.  The mom who is there when they flip heads over tails off of their bike.  The mom who schleps kids back and forth from dance and to the library.  Suddenly, I wanted that more than I ever thought I did!

 

So what did I do to calm this stress?

 

In Alberta, we have an awesome tourism tagline….

 

“Remember to Breathe”

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I breathed.  I breathed like it was the first time I had ever breathed!  Fresh air is an amazing way to release your stress.  Clean oxygen opened my eyes and my lungs, releasing the stress of past decisions made.  I never imagined that having my girls would alter my path.  I am a pretty determined lady and like to have things my way… but at some point the whole career thing seemed empty and I realized I needed much more balance.  It wasn’t so much that I was stressed, but rather, I was reacting to stress in a way that wasn’t productive.

 

Ways to Release the Stress:

      • Learn what you need to do to control your reaction to stress.  As soon as you gain control, stress is no longer detrimental.  We don’t need to live with stress, we just need to make modifications so that our soul feels good again.  Do whatever that takes!
      • Don’t create your own stress… say NO to negatives.  Always have a list of good, positive ideas or pictures or of things you love nearby. Whenever you are feeling negative, push that thought away and choose to focus on what is good or positive.
      • Direct your Dreams!  Be in control over your mind and body.  Focus on what you would like to see happen in your life.  Visualize it- draw, doodle, write poems… do whatever helps you to turn your ideas in plans, plans into action and action into reality.

 

These days, I am enjoying a career on my own terms… one that I can live with more fully.  I am able to experience my children at school, I am able to volunteer and I am using my efforts in a way that still makes me feel ‘career full-filled’.  I am so lucky to have realized how to turn perceived stress into powerful, life-giving energy!

 

 

 

Signature for BTG

 

 

 

 

Tina O’Connor, BSc Psych.
President & CEO, Be That Books Inc.
Author, Entrepreneur, Mom, Wife, Professional Organizer, and Cool Chick.
www.bethatgirlnow.com
tina@bethatgirlnow.com

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Back To School, Lunches and A #Giveaway !

 

We are back-to-school and I have to say, the amount of paperwork that has come home this first week is unreal!  Times three girls and I have a pile quickly… see what I’m talking about?

 

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September is about me being on my game.  While I do elicit the help of the girls and Ryan at this time (we’re all getting into a new ‘team’ routine!), I understand that they cannot fill out their own paperwork.  That, unfortunately, is a ‘Mommy and Daddy job’.  Upon receiving the paperwork, I immediately sort it into one of four groups: Do It Right Now (to my desk), File It, Recycle It, Save It For Memories.  This one teeny tiny act will save your counter-tops from the mail, flyers, school paper etc. stacking up.  (We won’t even go into the Feng Shui effects right now… that’s a whole other blog post!)

 

How about lunches?

Lunches seem to be the bane of all moms with kids returning to school.  What fun creations will we come up with daily?  Healthy, home-made, store bought or otherwise… for ten whole months! ~sigh~  If you think outside the lunchbox, you’ll find many suitable lunchbox fillers.  Don’t let Pinterest get you down — let it inspire you!  (But don’t pull out the sandwich shape cutters just yet!)  You do not have to live up to others Pin-worthy ideals.  Sending leftovers in a thermos can easily be done (just make a little extra) and bento box style servings are all the rage, offering up a variety of options for the child who thinks sandwiches are not fun.  Heck, if your children are old enough… they should make their own!  This whole lunch thing doesn’t have to be a big deal.  It would be best if kids could come home each day for a healthy hot lunch, but the reality is that cannot happen for many families (including ours).  Don’t sweat the lunches!  Just feed the kids exactly how you have been all this time and for the older ones, instill a little independence.

 

Other Clutter?

This is a great time to get rid of clutter!  A site I  love to frequent called UsedEverywhere.com is having a great contest!  Simply post an item (with image) in the household section on UsedEverywhere.com Canada or U.S.A and automatically be entered to win !  Each posting counts as one entry in the contest and there is no limit to getting uncluttered.  Win one of 4 – $1000 prizes!   (Enter before September 15, 2013!)

 

 

Last but not least, to celebrate the release of ‘Be That Mom’ October 1st…

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#WIN 1 of 3 book sets (includes Be That Girl & Be That Mom) !  Giveaway closes September 23, 2013 at 12:01am MST and is open to Canadian and U.S residents over the age of 18.  Winner has 48 hrs to respond by email or another winner will be chosen.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Cheers,

 

Signature for BTG

 

 

 

 

Tina O’Connor, BSc Psych.
President & CEO, Be That Books Inc.
Author, Entrepreneur, Mom, Wife, Professional Organizer, and Cool Chick.
www.bethatgirlnow.com
tina@bethatgirlnow.com

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Get Your Green Thumb Happy & Reap What You Sow!

One of my favourite things about Summertime, is collecting all the wonderful vegetables from my garden at harvest! I know some of you have likely already been enjoying your garden goods, but out here in Alberta we’re a little behind in the season. Just as things are finishing up, the frost begins… each night requires a garden check up (some things may need to be covered), or those last few veggies might find themselves bitten!

Look what we dug up for our dinner the other night–

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 Baby carrots and baby potatoes…

So Yummy!

 

One of the summer vegetables that grows crazily in Alberta is Zucchini.  Some years, I even need to share the bounty with my neighbours.  I love to make zucchini relish and zucchini-like pasta, but think zucchini is at its finest as a boat.  These ‘boats’ take only 15 minutes in the oven, and your family will love scooping out the insides!

And you are lucky… because I am going to share my recipe with you.  ;)

Zucchini & Feta 1

 

Zucchini Boats

Medium Zucchini

Butter

Goat’s Milk Feta

Pre-heat oven at 400F.

Wash zucchini and slice in half lengthwise.

(Make slits along the top to help the zucchini bake.  See, photo 1)

Spread butter on each side.

Sprinkle Goat’s milk feta on each half.

Place the zucchini on parchment and place against each other so they do not tip over.

Bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

 

See what I mean??  Yummy, right? The kids will love them as much as you do!  No yucky veggie ever comes from the home garden.  I find the kids are much more veggie-adventurous when we grow our own delicious treats.  Just being a part of the process, from seed to veggie leaves one of any age with a feeling of accomplishment.  I vividly remember how much I loved escaping to the garden to sneak fresh peas as a child…

So tell me — what is your favourite Summertime vegetable??

 

Signature for BTG

 

 

 

Tina O’Connor, BSc Psych.
President & CEO, Be That Books Inc.
Author, Entrepreneur, Mom, Wife, Professional Organizer, and Cool Chick.
www.bethatgirlnow.com
tina@bethatgirlnow.com

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Recipe for a Great Girls Night Out!

Being Girls, there are a lot of opportunities available to us for a Great Girly night out, or in! Our time as women is valuable, and spending time with our lady friends can really bring out the GIRL in all of us! Being women, what we want to do is always going to depend on our moods, which may, or may not be influenced by the “time of the month”, “the phase of the moon”, or just your own personal preferences. You will never want your girly nights to be dull , or drab…they may only happen once a month, or once a year, so make them count! Variety is the spice of life, so pull yourself out of your comfort zone and plan an amazing Girls Night Out with these amazing ideas from Be That Girl™.

Pampered Pretties:
– Go for a manicure and pedicure together at your local ‘splash n dash’.  If funds are tight, do each others nail while you sip tea, or other delicious beverages.
– Get all dolled up in your girl best at someone’s house… there is nothing more energizing than 5 or 6 women getting ready together! Make up, hair, clothes, shoes, accessories – laughter!
– Go out to a classy bar or restaurant together and take over the dance floor!  Or just enjoy cocktails while hearing about all of the exciting things going on in other people’s lives.

Slumber Party:
– This will NOT be the kind of party that men fantasize about… this is about what women want!  Comfy jammies and sweat pants, hair pulled back in ponytails, no makeup, tubs of ice cream, chocolate, licorice, chips, popcorn and brownies, combined with a perfect girly movie, or just a few girly magazines.  Nothing stirs up conversation like a few Hollywood smut magazines!
– No actual sleepover required, but letting oneself hang out with 5 or 6 other women in your most casual nature for a whole night is a total indulgence.

Chez Paris:
- Have one of your friends agree to host this event at their home. You can alternate homes and make this a monthly event, if everyone’s game.
– Ask each person to bring a type of cheese, and either crackers or baguette or pita chips to go  with their cheese. No need to specify what types to bring…the spontaneity of this exercise is fun in itself…you never know what you’re going to get! The host will provide a small fruit tray and a red and white wine selection. Everyone can taste different cheeses paired with wine. Sophisticated noshing of wine and baguette is so elegant and posh, and there is no need to leave your house!    The conversation that will ensue from the cheese high will be out of this world!

Skills to Pay the Bills:
- Plan to learn something new as a group. There are a lot of classes that you can  take that will vary in time frames and skill level. Try to plan for an introductory class, or weekend class that is beginner so that everyone can be included, but that does not require an immense level of time commitment, especially when you are starting out. What a great way to ‘experience’ life…together!
– Be sure to include a Juice Bar session before or after your class to rejuvenate your body, and add some deliciousness to your night!
– Some examples of classes you can try together – yoga, thai chi, karate, kick boxing, make up application, pole dancing, belly dancing, ballet, shooting range (what an empowering way to spend an evening), cooking class, learn another language, bartending 101

Focus on Win-Win:
- Attend a fundraiser with your group of girls. Typically, fundraising nights are fancy, schmancy nights where you will all get to be dressed to the nines! (or in your case, 10’s!!). From Golf Tourneys to Gala Dinners, charity events are exciting ways to spend time together as a group.
– Your fancy, fun night out will be helping you favorite charity, and you will feel great about the support you are all sharing!
– Fundraisers are excellent places to network with other amazing people.

Localize:
- Go out to a popular local attraction, like a museum, park, tower, or landmark that is well known in your community. Seeing the top of the “Calgary Tower”, walking through your local zoo, or seeing “Banff National Park” together could look a lot different than it did to you as a child! Attending a museum as a group of elegant ladies would be rather posh, wouldn’t it?
– Shop at a local Farmer’s Market. Find the closest Farmer’s Market and meet your ladies there. Enjoy shopping from farmers and vendors who live down the road from you and who take intense pride in the goods they grow and make. Meet at someone’s house afterwards to create a delicious dinner or round of appetizers with your market finds. Feel good about supporting your local economy, while selfishly indulging your own needs.

 

No matter what you choose to do, finding the support, friendship, and charisma of a group of women friends can be a joy in life that we are all worthy of sharing. If you want to make the very act of hanging with each other on a regular basis appealing and exciting, you have got to add in a little variety. When you have  5 or 6 women to please, you are going to need to switch things up,  keep it light, and make it fun to keep everyone happy. Women make the world go around, and as Raffi sings “the more we get together, the happier we’ll be”. So let’s hear it for the girls, and let’s make time for girl nights!

 

Signature for BTG

Tina O’Connor, BSc Psych.
President & CEO, Be That Books Inc.
Author, Entrepreneur, Mom, Wife, Professional Organizer, and Cool Chick.
www.bethatgirlnow.com
tina@bethatgirlnow.com

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Release Your Inner Girl & A New Book

I am very excited (elated and ecstatic) to announce that my newest book, Be That Mom hits the shelves October 1, 2013!  (You can pre-order it here.)  I have enjoyed writing Be That Mom and truly hope that you will find it useful in your life too.

With this release, we begin the ‘Release Your Inner Girl’ initiative.  I endeavour to inspire and challenge women to find what ignites their passion for life on this tour…  so maybe I’ll be lucky enough to meet you!?!

 

Tina's newest book out October 1, 2013!

 

 

Stay tuned for updates on the cities I’ll be visiting on my upcoming cross Canada book tour!

 

 

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Keeping Organized is a Team Effort!

I love an organized house, closet, pantry… you name it!  Nothing makes me ooh and ahh more.  Of course, even I have those moments where life gets too hectic, and the paper piles on the counter and the closet loses its mind.  A family of five can get disorganized in the blink of an eye!  So, instead of allowing myself to go completely crazy, running around cleaning up after the kids… I have decided to let them in on a secret.  The key to an on-going organized house is to have a proper place for everything and to utilize teamwork in the effort!

We might think our children are too young to be taught organizational skills, but the truth is, it is never too early to start.  Many parents often find themselves frustrated by the mess made in their home because of their kids;  however, with a little encouragement your kids will easily be able to contribute to the team.

Here are four easy tips to getting your littlest team members to help clean-up:

1)  Keep the clothes off the floor.
This is the very basic of skills.  If your child can dress themselves, they can learn to pick up the clothes.  Place hampers and baskets low to the floor and hooks on the wall that are easily reachable by small children.  This makes helping out safe and easy, and should happen daily before bedtime.

2)  Putting away the toys.
Teach your children that putting away their toys is all part of playtime (I know, easier said than done!).  Keep toys in shallow, labelled containers to avoid your child digging endlessly to the bottom in search of a toy.  After playtime comes clean-up time!  Sing a silly clean-up song or say a silly clean-up poem.  Make the transition from playtime to a new task a valuable practice — this will translate well into good lessons for homework time or desk/office clean-up later in life.

3)  Keep the bedroom clean and tidy.
I know, you just rolled your eyes… right?  I’ve tackled this beast numerous times — having three little girls means plenty of clothing changes per day, always strewn about.  The bedroom is a space where your child will begin and end each day…it needs to feel neat and ooze healthy Feng Shui.  Making the bed each morning, keeping food and drinks out, and having a place for everything (dressers or closet organizers),  go a long way to keeping the bedroom free of clutter.  A simple 10 minutes per day set aside for your child to tidy is all it should take to return to order.

4)  Teach your children to let go.
It is not always a fun lesson, but not everything lasts forever. (Like ice cream cones on a hot day!)  Clothes and toys are items that children grow out of and that are worn down after years use.  Use this concept to teach your child the idea of letting go at an early age.  It is a good idea to go through this process every 6 months or so, pointing out which items your children don’t play with or wear any more.  Explain to your child that they have two choices:  they can donate the item to another child in need or they can put it towards the next garage sale.  Involving them in this process makes it more fun for them while teaching them a valuable lesson — both about letting go and donating items to those in need.

These four easy steps will have your children on the path to organization in no time!  And you won’t lose your mind constantly over their mess!  You may have to modify these ideas to suit the age of your child, but you’ll be so much happier teaching your children to be capable team members.

#BeOrganized

 

 

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*Thank you to the Professional Organizers of Canada for providing these quick and easy tips.  The POC is a national registered non-profit association that provides education, business development tools and a code of ethics for all types of organizers across Canada.  Representing more than 500 Professional Organizers in more than 14 chapters nation-wide, POC’s mandate is to provide a supportive environment for members to learn, share ideas, network, and exchange resources.  For more information, please visit www.organizersincanada.com .

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Meet Tina at a book signing event!

Published on May 15, 2013, by in Be That Girl.

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Be there. Be that girl!

 

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Treat Yourself Absolutely Fabulously! Spa Review and Giveaway!

Published on May 8, 2013, by in Spa Reviews.

Ab Fab Gift CertEnter to WIN a Massage! See details on how to enter below!
Back in January 2013, I had the pleasure of traveling to Vancouver on my Be That Girl™ book tour. I was fortunate enough to have my amazing cousin, Julie, accompany me on the trip.  She celebrated a big birthday while we were there, so we took the opportunity to book ourselves a spa day! Any excuse to book a day at the spa is a good one!
 
 
 
We booked into a spa called Absolutely Fabulous Urban Spa., conveniently located directly across from the hotel we stayed at, 910Beach.
 
We arrived early afternoon and were warmly welcomed at the door, and promptly escorted into the quiet room to fill out our client forms.

ab fab t and j wait roomThe dark wood elements, warm Egyptian rugs and furnishings, soft lighting, calming music and cozy chairs really set the mood for our spa day getaway. There was water and chocolates on the table, and we were offered hot ginger tea. I loved that tea…it was spicy, sweet and soothing.

 

We booked in for the Fabulous Escape, which included a 60 minute Relaxation Massage, Express Manicure and the Absolutely Fabulous Pedicure ($165, 2.5 hours) Just to make it even more delectable, we each added on a facial ($100).

ab fab massage roomI changed into my robe in the elegant massage room (complete with fireplace) while Julie got going with her facial. I opted for a Deep Tissue Massage with Fuku. It was an extra charge for this option over the Relaxation Massage included in the package, but it was totally worth it. If I lived in Vancouver, Fuku and I would be seeing each other on a regular basis. Her personalized, sensitive touch and incredible massage techniques not only relaxed me, but healed me and straightened me out! Julie also enjoyed her massage with Fuku, but did comment that she could hear the traffic quite loudly in the room.

Our estheticians...Barbara and Fuku

Our estheticians…Barabara and Fuku


 
The facial was next for me (Julie moved on to her massage), and I was introduced to Barbara, my Esthetician. The facial room was similarly calming and had white billowing curtains on the ceiling that made me feel like I was in a far away land of sand and sun. Barbara’s facial was so relaxing, it almost made the exfoliation portion fun (almost…and I know that deep cleaning is so important for vibrant skin). I really enjoyed the smell of the products they used. Barbara made sure to educate me on my skin type and help me select the right foods going forward to make my skin even more radiant.
 
Onto the pedicure. I was escorted to a large reclining, leather chair for my pedicure. The chair was very comfortable. Julie had her pedicure at the same time, but was seated in a reclining bed…no buzzy, vibrating chairs here. My room was packed with lots of great magazines, but of course I was writing away in my journal! The foot bath was a large steel bowl filled with warm water, and when I put my feet in I was pleasantly surprised to feel several small rocks in the bottom of my bath. It felt very natural and calming to my feet. The attention paid to my feet was lovely. This was not a traditional scrub and rub pedicure.
 
They have a no cell phone policy at the spa, and for good reason. At one point during my pedi, I answered my phone and was politely reminded of the policy…there was a massage in session. A spa is supposed to be a getaway from your life for a few hours!

ab fab mani spotsThe finale of our spa day was the manicure. Again, there were smooth rocks in our hand soaking bowls, a touch that I thought was very appealing. By this time, Julie and I were ravenous! We hadn’t eaten in hours. The spa staff took care of us by serving us handfuls of chocolate and sparkling pink wine! What a way to top off an incredible day at the spa. Next time, Julie and I agreed that we needed to bring food, or order something. Hours in the spa can really work up an appetite.

ab fab choc and wineWe left the spa feeling a little tipsy and a lot more relaxed and pampered. We were thankful that my niece Brooke had prepared a snack plate for us to chow down on as soon as we returned to the hotel.
 
The prices were very reasonable for the level of service we received. The warm and friendly staff and the cozy, elegant atmosphere at Absolutely Fabulous Urban Spa make this a place I’d go back to again.

Located in downtown Vancouver, BC right by the Granville Island Ferry terminal, this spa is fantastic for visitors and locals.

Check out Absolutely Fabulous Urban Spa at www.myspa.ca for more information.

My Vote: [rating=4]

Julie’s Vote: [rating=4]

Be That Girl Logo

 

 

 

 

From One Spa-Worthy Girl to Another…Until next time!

Tina
Ab Fab Gift CertHere’s your chance to WIN a 45 Min Massage! To be entered, follow these easy steps:
1. Like Be That Girl on Facebook.
2. Like Absolutely Fabulous Spa on Facebook.
3. Leave a comment below, or on facebook, stating whether you have ever had a professional massage.
Contest closes on May 28, 2013. Good Luck, and may the spa be with you!

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Time to Shoelerize with this Awesome Giveaway!

Published on March 27, 2013, by in Giveaways.

Last year at the Women’s Show in Toronto, I was introduced to something that changed my accessorizing life…Shoelery! Just as the name suggests, Shoelery IS jewelery for my shoes!

Shoelery Pic

There were so many amazing pieces of jewelry for my shoes that I had a hard time choosing, so I ended up filling up a box full of these beauties!

 

Boot Jewelery 2The thing I love most about shoelery is that you can change your look simply by adding a different piece of shoelery! My favorite pieces so far have been the boot jewelry and the zip on fur. Shoelery can add sparkle, pizzazz and excitement to your favorite, most comfortable pairs of shoes. Another bonus is the price…These gorgeous pieces are affordable priced, so you can use your budget to buy good shoes, and then stock up on Shoelery to make it look like you have millions of pairs…sneaky and awesome!
 
Your husband will think you’ve really gone off the deep end with shoe buying, but you can reassure him that you are actually saving money and buying less shoes! (Whatever it takes, ladies!).

Glam Shoelery
I travel a lot, and I have to look great all the time, especially when I am on TV! Trying to pack millions of pairs of shoes just doesn’t work, especially with the new weight and bag restrictions at the airport. Having Shoelery can make it feel like you have 8 pairs of shoes with you when you only really packed 2. Freedom of choice ladies, even when you travel!
 
Tina’s Vote for Shoelery[rating=5]
 

Enter to WIN your copy of Be That Girl PLUS a $40 or $100 Giftcard from Shoelery!
See below for entry details.

BETHATGIRLPOSTS-Win

To Enter the Giveaway:
1. “Like” Be That Girl on Facebook.
2. “Like” Shoelery on Facebook.
3. Leave a comment telling us how many pairs of shoes you need to “Shoelerize“!
Contest runs from March 27 to April 18, 2013!

 

Can’t wait to start SHOELERIZING? Here is an Exclusive Offer from Be That Girl…Happy Shopping!
BETHATGIRLPOSTS-Offer
10% off SHOELERY by Erica Giuliani – jewelery for your shoes!
Shoelerybyeg.com
Enter offer code BETHATGIRL2013 at checkout to receive
discount.

 

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