Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Nearly Naked and Unafraid: A TV girl's guide to claiming your glow

Naked FACED.  (Now keep reading.  This is good stuff.)

It was a rainy Thursday morning.

Every time the consultant came into town, I was always assigned a meeting.  I was starting to feel a little targeted.

I sat, as usual, with pen in hand, ready to take notes on how I could change my on-air presentation/look to better represent myself and the company brand.  At first, I feared consultant meetings, but our consultant was a genuine, kind-hearted woman with a lot of experience in the business, so I had come to value our time together.  When I first became pregnant, she was incredibly helpful in guiding me through gracefully gaining baby weight on the air.  I appreciated that.  I hoped that Thursday's meeting would also be positive, but I had a feeling I was in for more of a rude awakening.

The consultant was not as chipper as she had been in the past.  We sat face to face in an empty conference room.  She sat in a chair directly opposite me and scrutinized my face.  My very tired face.

"What kind of foundation make-up do you use?" she asked rather sympathetically.

I told her.  It was a lovely but expensive boutique brand made for heavy coverage but light wearability. She nodded.

"It's not really working for you," she began cautiously. "I think you need to find something with better coverage."

She went on to very tenderly convey to me that I looked worn-out, washed-out and broken out.  It was all very hard to hear.  I had a five month-old at home, so I was VERY aware of the toll that sleeplessness, poor nutrition and hormones were taking on my skin…and my psyche.  I was in LOVE with my baby son, but my infatuation had also led me to spend less time considering my outward appearance.  The truth is, I still feel that way to some extent.

It wasn't long before I knew that I would be leaving television, at least full-time, to relocate with my husband.  Despite my 13 year career, I was somewhat relieved to be turning in my "TV persona" for a little while.  I looked forward to living minimally - cleaning out the cosmetics case and dialing down my everyday dress.  I was tired of spending the big bucks on make-up because I hated wearing it.  My first move upon arriving at home every single day had been to wash my face so that I wouldn't rub a day's worth of grime on my son's perfect little face as I snuggled him.

But, as I fell into my new routine, and my make-up use dropped off to twice a week at most, I realized, I didn't feel too awesome about what was lurking underneath.  All of that fatigue the consultant had mentioned had become all too obvious, and even though I didn't know anyone and had few interactions daily, I was still losing confidence.  I was terrified I was becoming one of those women people accuse of "letting herself go".

It was time to have a little heart to heart with my vanity.

I have never been a big fan of the heavy focus placed on TV personalities' looks.  I understand completely WHY that focus exists, but I was always given to rebelling against the system.  In 2009, I participated in a nationwide push for television personalities to appear on the air without make-up in support of a movement toward greater confidence in young women.  I was happy to do it, but I wasn't a big fan of what I was putting out there.  However, at the time, I believed that investing in proper skincare was playing into the hands of the great media machine, and I was fervently against that.  Ah, how we do know EVERYTHING in our 20s, right?

What I didn't think about was how I was doing MYSELF a disservice by trying to buck the system.  Not taking care of oneself is not taking care of oneself - period.  The idea is a bit like sitting and eating an entire tube of cut-and-bake cookie dough just to prove that weight doesn't matter.  It doesn't, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't still eat healthfully and exercise.  I'm much more useful to any movement if I'm healthy.  That goes for everyone.

Where my understanding of the situation exited the track was my perception that I could only present my best self by covering it up.  Make-up.  More make-up.  MORE MAKE-UP!  Cover those dark spots!  Concealer!  Concealer!  MORE CONCEALER!

It has taken me midway through my 30s and motherhood to finally GET what looking my best is about.  What I LOOK like is, and should be, an extension of what I'm doing to take CARE of myself.  What I'm doing to be KIND to myself.  What I'm doing to BETTER myself.  How much I VALUE myself.

This is why I now do what I do.

This debrief is not a sales pitch by any means, but it is important to note that I am now a consultant with what I believe is truly the modern leader in effective skincare.  You can CLICK HERE to learn more about what we offer, but for the time being, just know that I do what I do because I am living proof that you really CAN look your best and hold onto your ideals.  In fact, I am SO pleased with the way my skin has been transformed, I decided to ditch the foundation and concealer and REVEAL myself through the skin in which I live.  (Here I go, bucking the system again!  But this time, the RIGHT way.)

What you see here is my once dark spot, blemish-riddled skin with only a light dusting of powder and blush.  I'm still sporting my eye make-up and lip color so that you can actually make-out my features, but there is not a spot of liquid treatment anywhere else on my face.

Taking these photos felt pretty amazing.  Whether I'm in front of a camera on a consistent basis again or not, knowing I'm glowing because of what I'm doing to treat myself right informs the rest of the way I live my life.  When I'm at my best, those I love (one little tiny guy in particular) are getting the best I can give.

I think the consultant would be proud of me.  No re-touching.  No filter.  No foundation.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

HUGE August R+F Giveaway! HUGE, I TELL YOU!

First of all, this giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook.  In accordance with FB rules, I am stating that now.

Okay, now that THAT's out of the way…

This is an AMAZING prize package containing this FABULOUS vintage tote, our award-winning foaming sunless tanner, a much coveted REDEFINE Eye Cream AND…wait for it….an ENTIRE BOX OF REDEFINE ACUTE CARE for Expression Lines.  That last part in and of itself is worth over $200.

For those unfamiliar with Acute Care for Expression Lines, this is R+F's answer to dermal fillers, and it is truly an innovation.  The product is a gel patch/cone instead of a needle assisted gel.  All you have to do is press the cone into the expression line you are targeting and go to sleep.  Wake up in the morning looking YOUNGER!  Results appear after just one use, but our doctors recommend three usages in one week to achieve top results.

And, with this giveaway, you could win A WHOLE BOX!  10 sets!  20 single treatments!!

Here's how to win:

- Become a *Preferred Customer through me before 4:45 p.m. on August 15th.  - 1 entry

- Become a Preferred Customer through me before 4:45 p.m. on August 15th and refer a friend who ALSO becomes a Preferred Customer through me before that same day and time - 2 entries

- Become a Rodan + Fields Consultant through me before August 15th at 4:45 p.m. - 5 entries

*Preferred Customer means that you sign up to receive your products automatically shipped every 60 days.  The cost is $20 the first time you order, but you receive a discount of at least 10% on that order and every order thereafter.  I will personally adjust your future orders for you - contents, shipment date, etc., and you can cancel anytime.

Also, do NOT forget - all R+F products come with a 60 day money back guarantee.  If you're not happy with your results, you get your money back.  All you spent was the $20 enrollment fee.

Click here to take the R+F solutions tool test (it takes 5 minutes) to find out what our doctors recommend for you, then send me your results.  Private message me on Facebook to order or email me at  If the regimen recommended for you seems daunting, don't worry - I have ample experience with this whole line to be able to help you craft your perfect plan!

Contact info again:
Facebook Private Message
If you have my number, use it.  I cannot include it here for security reasons.

*All past PC members may secure a double entry by referring a friend who becomes a PC through me by the stated date and time.

Prize winner will be selected by a drawing at my Business Launch Party on August 15th.  Winner will be notified by email, text or phone call.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Maguire-ish Manifesto

It's July in Wisconsin.  

Everything is in bloom.  The trees are green and pink and white and purple.  The rainbow flowers are set off all the more by the blueness of the sky.  The world here exists in over-saturation which means my photos of my little son rarely need a fun filter.  There is a Monarch butterfly fluttering outside my window as I type.

I spend my days at the splash park.  The pool.  The playground.  And, I love it.  I LOVE IT.  Never in a million years would I have believed myself the quintessential stay-at-home mom, but here's the skinny: I WANT to make homemade popsicles.  I WANT to mow my own lawn.  I WANT to teach my son how to grow peppers and tomatoes. (which means I better learn, I suppose)

I DON'T want to miss a minute of his transition from baby to child to adolescent to man.  


I also don't want to forget that I am capable of other things.  Once upon a time, I was so career hyper-focused, I wasn't even sure I wanted children.  I worked as hard as I could to climb a ladder I was sure would lead me to happiness or at least a place of financial zen.  Then, a wise co-worker imparted this tidbit that has never left the dark recesses of my consciousness:  "It's not all about the money, Holley.  Always remember to love what you do too or, at the end of the day, you'll look at what you have and it will all seem meaningless."

And so, I am embarking on a new set of journeys with a new vision and a new passion.  Will you still find me on air in the future?  It's possible.  I am certainly not ruling that out.  To say never is to pose a dare to the universe.  I'm not in the business of playing cosmic roulette.  Meantime, I AM in the business of self improvement.

I recently contracted my own independent consultant business with Rodan + Fields which many of you already know to be a fast-growing leader in skincare (the docs also created Proactiv….) .  Why?  Because I've used it and it works.  In fact, I used it then stopped using it and am now using it again because in the interim when I was NOT, I saw a serious decline in the quality of my skin.  I have a toddler.  I rarely have time to put on lip gloss let alone make-up.  I NEED to already have good skin that doesn't need to be all covered up.  My lifestyle demands it.

More importantly, as I mentioned, the business model (which is not what you think - I promise) allows me the freedom to work from wherever which is paramount to my commitment to my son.  

Here are my links if you are interested in finding out more.  If you're feeling "sold to", that isn't my intention.  I'm just excited to finally be settling into some direction with something I believe in as a base.  (And, it's DARN good, you guys.  Remember, I was on TV for a really long time.  I have some perspective on putting your best face forward - pun intended.)

For product:
If you want to learn more about the business to get the gist of why the heck I'm doing this: 

Now, for phase 2:  As of the end of September, I'm in hot pursuit of the title "Milwaukee's Best Group Fitness Leader".  I'll be all trained up, fully and entirely certified and ready to build my niche in this already incredibly active community.  So many of you told me I should be doing this.  So, I'm doing this.  I'll be posting updates, but my first endeavor involves getting mommies and babies out into the fresh air for fitness, fun and bonding.  After all, Mommy can't be her best for her little guy or gal without feeling her strongest.  

So, for those who have been asking "what they heck is she doing now?", there's your answer. These decisions come from a place of true introspection, a LOT of consideration and sincere "heart talk".  

And, I'm tired of breaking out like a teenager.  I'm 35, for pete's sake!  I'll also be sharing lessons I'm learning along the way via a new blog which I'll write more about later.  

I part with this thought: Doing nothing is guaranteed to yield nothing.  Doing something may yield something unexpected, but it is guaranteed to yield SOMETHING.  

Monday, January 19, 2015

And then what: From chaos to cabbage and toxic chemicals

My plan is to make soap.

At first, I fully intended to make my soap the old-fashioned way - a little jojoba oil, a little shea…highly combustible lye…

Needless to say, a little research and my husband's raised eyebrows changed my focus.  I'm a risk-taker, no doubt, but I have a child who is in need of a mother, and I wasn't very good at chemistry in high school.  Plus, I don't have a well-ventilated work space seeing as how it has averaged 15 degrees in my new frosty home since I arrived, and I am fervently opposed to losing fingers to frostbite because I chose to mix hazardous chemicals in my backyard.

Nonetheless, I plan to make soap.

I have done a lot of googling, and there are plenty of lye-free methods out there I intend to try.  I am passionately committed to addressing complicated skin issues for people like myself who once thought they had combination skin, then moved to Wisconsin and learned that they actually had very dry, flaky, chapped, lizard skin.

Today, I am committed to this idea.  A few days ago, I learned to knit.  Last week, I made kimchi.

One might say I am bored, but the truth is, I don't get bored - I get inspired.  Over and over.  By many things in many different forms.  I bought performance activewear so that I can begin training for another half-marathon this summer while the weather remains in the sub-freezing zone.  Today, I turned an old garage shelf into a stylish storage piece for my kitchen.  I study Google Maps to find shortcuts to the places I frequent.  I post a little too often on Facebook.

But, I'm not bored.  Not yet.

Honestly, taking care of my little man is absolutely a full-time job.  I love actually being there for every new milestone.  I am so thankful for this opportunity to observe him in action.  He is amazing, and I spend a lot of time brainstorming ways to provide him with even more stimulation and to entice him to say "Mama" before he settles on "Dada" as his first word.  (It seems this is the direction in which we are headed.  Dada, kitty, or, on the outside chance, "lamp".)

But, I have never NOT worked.  (And, when I say "work", I mean maintain employment by a company that pays me.  Anyone who says raising a child isn't work needs to have their wiring checked.)  This is the first time since I graduated from college that I have not received a paycheck, and it is a strange and awkward feeling.

I come from strong feminist stock.  My mother might not consider herself thusly, but I remember well a particular Sunday when our church pastor gave the "women should be submissive" sermon, and my mother stood up in the middle of our pew and stepped over no fewer than eleven people to exit the sanctuary.  I was seventeen, and I followed her.  Hence, I am not comfortable not being a breadwinner - however anemic my bread contribution might be.   I'm sure my husband would say that it is pretty nice having me take care of a lot of the everyday logistics, but there is a small shred of my being that wishes I was getting paid for setting up our car insurance, managing our investments and doing all of the laundry.  I would also relish being surrounded by "peers" again, as attempting to make friends without constant exposure to the same people everyday is a lot like trying to pick up a date in a bar using lame lines, except there is no social lubricant.  I am literally hitting on the women running the registers at stores and the mothers of the other children in my son's music class.

"So, you're from here?  I'm not.  I just moved here from Florida.  No, I don't mind the cold at all - want to be my friend?  I make a mean kimchi!"

Luckily, people here are incredibly nice or else I might very well be "that weird girl"- avoided in mommy groups and snubbed in stores.  As it were, I am more capable of handling this odd state of singularity now than I ever have been.  Working in television, one grows armadillo skin.  In the immortal words of Chumbawumba, "I get knocked down, but I get up again…"  Eventually, my incredibly awkward pick-up formula will work, and I'll find a friend as bizarre as I am.  I'm maintaining hope, anyway.

For now, I'll make soap.  I may change my mind tomorrow and opt to pursue a taco truck (which this area desperately needs!!!) or simply buy popsicle molds and see how many different flavors of pudding pop I can devise.  Maybe I'll plant tulip bulbs.  Maybe I'll knit eight more infinity scarves.

Maybe I'll spend a little time meditating on that word "maybe".  Maybe may be the single most freeing word in the English language.  It's an open door - a cosmic vastness - one of those restaurant menus that is five pages long.  Overwhelming, yes - but also infinitely promising.

Two syllables.  Endless possibilities.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Farewell, Florida: A parting thought (or 10...)

Here we are. 

In 24 hours, I will have completed my final moments on air at WTSP and will be embarking on my final New Year’s Eve in Tampa Bay.  Perhaps it’s the rain…the lack of sleep…some pull of the moon even…but this otherwise stalwart pragmatist is driven to nostalgia.  It’s an uncomfortable place – but so goes the theme of 2014.  Stand outside your comfort zone long enough, and the disconcerting cold pricklies on your skin begin to turn to enthusiastic warm fizzies.  Funny how similar they feel.

It’s cold where we are going.  So I’m told over and over and over daily by my colleagues and friends.  Mind you – we are all Floridian – almost all of us transplants, but we all came here for one reason or another.  Those reasons range from new starts to jumpstarts, but we all have one thing in common: the sun.  We crave its warmth, and here in Florida, we can get it in abundance.  We live in vacation-land.  We are the reprieve for those poor, chilled folks who travel here from where I am going.  So I’m told.

But, something changed in 2014.  Up until this year, the Bay was my baby.  My husband is the lifer, but I somehow felt that I was cosmically a part of the tapestry woven by the immigrants who largely built the collection of cities I have come to love.  They travelled from places afar, and I just came from Texas, but those bridges are every bit as much mine as anyone’s – at least, I have always felt that way.  But, on March 6th, 2014, I somehow stopped needing the sun, the sand, the sidewalks of the Burg.  As I stand beside the seawall across from Straub Park now, my gaze is not on the boats in the marina, but on my son’s smile.  With him and his father now completing my team, I am free.  My sun goes with me to the great white north where there are bears, moose, cheese and beer in excess.  (Maybe not moose.  I kind of hope so, though.)

This is not to say that there is not still a golden place in my heart where the Burg abides.  I hold high the rooftop at The Birchwood, the brick courtyard of Cantina, the flamingo pink fa├žade of the Don Cesar, the sunset deck at Caddy’s.  But, the truth is, my priceless collection of friends and “extended family” compiled here is worth infinitely more than any of those sun-kissed locales.  Because I was here, I have the love of my life in Oshkosh overalls.  I have my incredibly talented and usually congenial husband. I have a god-daughter who is smarter than all of us and will probably be president or the next Tina Fey one day.  Her mother may as well be my sister – people already believe her to be.  I have a spirit guide with a pixie haircut and a heart of gold whose progeny is Beyonce reincarnate.  I even have my very own version of Julia Louis-Dreyfuss who took her game westward a year ago.  God, has it been a year?  But because she went, I know that my leaving is not equal to letting go.  The ties that bind us all are made of sturdy stuff, and neither the salt on the roads in snowy Wisconsin nor the salt in the air on St. Pete Beach can corrode our connections. 

As for my cohorts at WTSP – my kindreds - the misguided folks who chose a similar path to mine – this is a transient business.  We are all rather used to goodbyes, aren’t we?  But we do get our share of “hellos” in the process.  Those make the “miss you” moments more bearable.  To all of you, I simply say this:  who would know better than us how very small the world is?  We are the ones who make it so.  Given that, I expect to be informed of all of your comings and goings – from job changes to new additions (wink, wink).  I’m-a-be watching! 

So, while where I’m going might be cold, I won’t be.  I pocketed plenty of Florida sunshine by way of each and every one of you – enough for the Sinn clan to stay toasty for many winters to come.  I also got a heated mattress pad for Christmas. 

Be well.  Be kind.  Be warm.  Don’t be strangers.  C’est la vie, et la vie est bonne!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Lessons for my little man: What is Love?

It's Valentine's Day.
It comes every year…
Red roses abound, reservations are made and people hold each other near.

Babies like you are often…ahem…created,
and romantic gestures are extravagant and overstated.

Thank goodness society has set aside a day,
when it is encouraged to make a grand display…
of how we feel when we hold each other close,
but this isn't the day of love that your mama loves most.

That day will inevitably be the day you appear…
when your cry will be the sweetest sound I could hear.
The day when I know my life won't be the same…
the day that your daddy and I officially give you your name.

Meantime, there are some things about love I've learned in my time…
Some little nuances I'll now put into rhyme…
If you want them, they're yours to use or discard.
Some of these lessons were easy - others were hard.

First, people are people - we're flawed at the core.
Love is making allowances for this and not expecting too much more.
For the mercy you give will be the mercy you take.
We forgive each other readily when we accept and don't forsake.

More often than not, there is good in every heart.
Choosing to believe that is a gift and an art.
The pain that was cause comes from the pain that we feel
Love is offering a hand to help someone else heal.

Love is keeping those close who feel so far away…
Making an effort to reach out every day.
Giving of our time when we have no time to give…
Serving others first is the kindest way to live.

Never shy away from those who touch your soul.
It's becoming vulnerable that eventually makes us whole.
Love is knowing that the sting of another's pain
is what inevitably compels us toward making great change.

Love is preserving hope for another no matter the cost.
Never allowing for the possibility that the future is lost.
In this way, love is exhausting and a burden to bare,
But no greater fulfillment can be found in anything else, anywhere.

Love is giving of joy any chance that you can.
Offer kindnesses unlimited, my son, and you will truly be a man.
Love is essentially wearing your heart on your sleeve,
But from all my experience, I truly believe…

That even when you want to build a wall and hold the world at bay,
And your impulse is to tuck your broken heart away,
If you keep yourself open and your chin pointed north,
The love that you give, back to you will come forth.

So on this February day marked by flowers and such,
Perhaps your mama's broken verses don't mean all that much.
But one day, I know, you'll see the value in what I write and what I do.
Because this is the kind of Love I'll be giving to you.

I love you, Teddy.  The tiny feet that kick me in the ribs….and the sweet spirit I know you already possess.  I know that because of the woman I have become from carrying you.  Perhaps these are lessons that you are teaching me….from the inside, out.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dear Santa...

It sure has been a while since we last spoke.  I know my letters stopped coming in 1988, but I want you to know, you are still a very real part of my Christmas - I just always figured you had enough on your plate what with fulfilling my little brother's unusual requests (rope, plywood and nails…oh, and that Christmas of the bag of rocks…) and keeping up with ever changing technology.  I mean, these days, your elves are busy assembling complicated tablets, smartphones and interactive virtual reality games.  All I ever really wanted was a doll that didn't have scary eyes.

Anyway, I haven't been keeping my distance because I don't believe in you.  Quite the contrary!  As a matter of fact - if you would consider doing me the honor - I have a very important request for this Christmas.  And…I, in no way, doubt your ability to deliver, but what I'm about to lay out here isn't exactly a friendly-eyed dolly.  This request might prove a bit more elusive and might require a bit more time and cooperation from some outside parties.

You see, in just a few very short months, I'm going to become a mommy.  (to a person this time - not cats)  I'm sure you were already aware since you are in the business of knowing things.  The point is…well, Santa…if you could…for my one gift this year, I would like to have the ability to be good at that. Being a mommy, I mean.  I know that is a vague and ambiguous gift request, but it really is the one and only thing I want for myself this year.

Now, you may be hearkening back to that one Christmas when I asked for the ability to fly….I can see how that one might have been outside your gifting scope.  But, the way I see it, you have a pretty good handle on the whole parenting thing.  After all, a world full of children looks at you as the grandest and most generous of patriarchs, so from where I stand, this minimal gift list is totally doable for you.  But, just to make things a bit easier, allow me to elaborate.

My little fella is going to come with his own unique batch of talents, character traits, strengths and challenges.  The angels have already adorned him with his collection of bit and pieces - some that I can potentially predict but most of which will come as a total surprise to me and to his daddy.  He may have my nose and his daddy's confidence.  Conversely, he may have his daddy's mouth and my strength of focus.  Whatever he brings to the table, I need to be ready to flex my adaptability muscles…more than I ever have before.  He might like soccer.  I know next to nothing about soccer.  Heaven help me if he loves golf.  He may cry on his first day of preschool…or worse…he may run into the fray with nary a backward glance at his mother who will be crumbling inside.

In any scenario…at any moment…whether small or critical…I need your help, Santa, to be both an oak and a river all at once.  I need to learn to love all the harder the firmer I stand.  I am desperate to understand how to let my tiny boy fight one or two of his own battles when my instinct is going to be to pounce like an angry tigress.  What do I do when he comes home with a naughty note from his teacher…or asks me to stop giving him a hug goodbye in the drop-off line?  I know there are far worse scenarios, but Santa, those frighten me too much to mention.  But, know that I could certainly use an extra dose of fortitude (or 10!) should any of those situations present themselves.

Hopefully, I'm explaining this request clearly enough - I'm happy to itemize if you see fit, but something tells me you get it.  Being the best possible mommy I can be is the only thing I want now…and will probably ever want again…so I'm really putting all my eggs in this one basket.  I understand that this is a doozy and likely rather overwhelming, so let's not impart the old traditional time frame on it.  Christmas is less than three weeks away: how about we spread this thing out over the next…oh….well...the next indefinite number of Christmases?

To put it simply: if you'll keep teaching, I'll keep listening and learning, year after year.  That is my promise.  And, while I'll be happy to write each year just to check in, you can just keep this letter on file.  I can pretty well guarantee it will be forever applicable.  Oh…and I'll do my darndest to stay on the "nice" list, although if that tigress does make an appearance….well….cut a momma some slack.

I suppose that will do it, Santa.  Baby Teddy and I will put out your cookies and milk (or Irish coffee if you need a little somethin') on Christmas Eve then snuggle into our nest of pillows to listen for your jingle bells.

Merry Christmas, Santa Claus.

Holley (and baby Teddy)

PS - If you DID happen to have any of that magic reindeer feed that sets your velvet-footed fellas aloft lying around…I STILL wouldn't say no….