Women Need Women

I received products from Coca-Cola's 5by20 program; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

I'm incredibly passionate about empowering women to accomplish whatever they set their minds to. Unfortunately, there are women throughout the world who, no matter how big their dreams, are limited by their circumstances. Whether they lack resources, skills, or opportunities, they are unable to provide for themselves or their families. This is where Coca-Cola's 5by20 initiative comes in.

Coca-Cola saw the need for female entrepreneurs in developing nations to receive the tools and training they need to lift themselves out of poverty. With the 5by20 initiative, women are turning Coca-Cola packaging into decor and accessories sold at the 5by20 shop.

The PCF Narrow Ring-Pull Bracelet was created in the Philippines from locally sourced recycled aluminum ring-pulls and elasticized thread. It hard of the metal coordinates well with the delicate of the Coletivo Piraquet Handbag. Created in Brazil, its inspired by the scales of the ancient Pirarucu fish found in the rivers and lakes of the Amazon. Recycled PET "scales" are hand-sewn onto mesh for this delicate purse.

This Classic Flower was made by an entrepreneurial woman in Mexico.

The cop(m)adam Bottle Cap Purse from Turkey makes a statement.

This may be my favorite item I received. It's an Acacia Creations Soda Can Giraffe from Kenya. It's made with recycled aluminum cans and bound with recycled telephone wire.

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The materials used to make these items would typically be considered garbage. Thankfully, there are women in developing nations that are creative enough to see its potential. Just as they see more in the materials, Coca-Cola saw the potential in women throughout the world to grow their businesses, families, and communities. Watch the "Chain of Inspiration" here.

The program has the goal to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs by 2020. Thus, the 5by20 Initiative. Why women? Well, we're more likely to reinvest our income to our children and families through food, education and healthcare. When women rise, our communities rise.

So ladies, let's support each other, not just in business, but in day-to-day life. We'll reap the benefits and so will society.

Girls Getaway at Universal Studios

A HUGE thanks to Visit Anaheim for the opportunity to visit Universal Studios Hollywood. It was amazing!

As much as I love taking my children to theme parks and living vicariously through their wide eyes, there's something about visiting one with just your friends. No worries if anyone is going to get scared on a ride. You can split up without fear of someone getting lost. Plus, you're just paying for you instead of adding in the whole fam. So here's a snippet of my girls getaway at Universal Studios Hollywood!

I joined my friends and fellow bloggers Jana, Summer, and Ashlee for a fun-filled week that topped off at Universal Studios Hollywood.

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We had less than one day to see everything and jumped right in. We went for the newest rides and first one on our list? Fast & Furious – Supercharged!

It's a part of the Studio Tour that is no longer a live show, but a crazy 3D interactive adventure! You really feel like you're racing along with Dom and the gang with 360-degree HD screens. Trust me, even if you've been on the tour before, you're going to want to go again just to experience the adventure.

Next on our list was Despicable Me Minion Mayhem.

This is another 3D ride that turns you into an actual minion! You're there to be trained but in usual Gru fashion, not everything goes as planned…

The line for this one had my favorite artwork in the park — Minion recruitment posters!

Despicable Me was everywhere in the park from the tickets to the actual characters.

Oh, hey there Gru!

I even found my minion doppelgänger, Bob! (It's the two different-colored eye thing.)

I HIGHLY recommend hitting up Universal Studios Hollywood during September and October when they're decked out for the spookiest Halloween you've seen!

You get up close and sometimes too personal with the special effects makeup and prop skills skills that Universal Studios is known for. Just ask soon-to-be headless Jana!

The detail of everything just blew my mind. But I was glad to be there with my friends instead of my kids because I know they would have had nightmares!

Just writing this post got me all nostalgic. I'm thinking another girls weekend needs to happen soon. Where would you go with just the girls?

My Love of Alt Summit (and a contest!)

I'm thrilled that Hayneedle asked to sponsor this post! I adore them just as much as I adore Altitude Summit.

In January of 2012, I was online looking at the Flickr album of photos from Alt Summit, a blog conference held in Salt Lake City. It wasn't the first time I had ogled the beautiful backdrop of The Grand America, the well-orchestrated outfits, the cocktail parties. Not to mention the caliber of bloggers and businesses in attendance. It was organized by one of my blogging idols, Gabrielle Blair, and her sister, Sara Urquhart.

I turned to my husband and said, "I want to go there. I want my blog to be worth going there." He told me I should get to work. So I did. I started reviewing my haphazard blog, streamlining its purpose, cleaning up design, and ended up rebranding completely from stylemom.blogspot.com to Being Spiffy.

I attended my first Alt Summit in January of 2014. I was scared out of my gourd. Even though I'd worked hard on my brand, and knew other bloggers that would be in attendance, and had gone shopping for just the right ensembles, I still felt unprepared and uncool. What I soon learned is, I wasn't alone. So many where there for the first time. So many were just starting their blog (I had been blogging since 2005). Some people wore amazing day dresses and high heels. Others jeans and Converse. All the things I had worried about were inconsequential. We were all there to support each other, collaborate, and have a good time.

Some of the fab people I was able to meet…Girls with Glasses, Dooce, Christy Turlington Burns, and someone who became a dear friend, Troy Williams

I wasn't sure when I would be able to attend Alt again, but I was lucky enough to be donated a ticket to their first Summer Alt Summit in June 2014. I was definitely more open, since it wasn't my first rodeo. I chatted it up, hip hop danced in a park, sat 10 feet away from the hilarious Martha Stewart during her keynote, and met one of my scrapbooking mentors Ali Edwards.

Through a random set of circumstances, I was able to score a ticket at the last minute to Alt in January 2015. Since it was my third time, I knew I couldn't attend "just for the experience." So I went with a goal in mind — to discover the WHY behind my blog, discover my mission statement, and establish myself as a brand. And you know what? I did all that! (Plus I got to see my friend Brit and had some really rockin' headshots taken by my girl Bax Miller.)

Finally in June 2015, after applying multiple times, my dream was achieved. I taught at Alt Summit.

My roundtable was entitled "How to Create a Type-A Editorial Calendar with a Type-B Personality." We had just moved three days before and I felt overworked and underprepared. But I knew I would get the support I needed from the Alt community and they didn't disappoint. My 10 years of blogging had truly paid off and it's an experience I will always treasure.

My husband was super jealous that I met Guy Kawasaki but I was just jealous of Melissa Esplin's hand-lettered photo backdrop. Melissa also did the lettering on my sweet arm art from Fanciful Face Painting. Hayneedle threw a magical party to end an equally magical conference.

Now that I've convinced you that attending Alt Summit will change your life, the good news continues. Hayneedle.com is sending one lucky home design blogger to Alt in January 2016! Here's how…

Visit Hayneedle's website and click on the Alt Summit banner on their homepage. Nominate your blog to be eligible then get your community to vote for you! The blog with the most nominations wins an all-expense-paid trip, complete with conference ticket, airfare, and hotel. Guys, that's a $3000 value! Hurry, because the contest ends October 15, 2015.

I hope one of my freaking fabulous readers wins! And if you do…can I be your roommate? :D