Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Celebrating New Years and Staying Classy

New Year's Eve is one of the most celebratory times of the the year. As women, we get to bring out that most fabulous sequin dress for a fun dinner out on the town or it's the time were we can showcase our home with fabulous cheeses, decadent desserts and of course a bubbly bar stacked with champagne! We all want to have a great time, but that doesn't mean it's time to let your guard down and become a sloppy drunk.

Five ways to celebrate, but keeping it classy!

1.   Slow It Down. Don't race towards the finish line. Enjoy your drinks. It may be New Years, but the faster you drink, the quicker your night will end with you feeling horrible!

2.   Know Your Limit. Keep your drinks within two glasses of your limit. Try not switch between wine, beer, mixed drinks and shots (this is never a good idea). Everyone wants a good buzz, but do you really want to be throwing up in an unknown bathroom before the clock strikes midnight?

3.   Act the Part. Sometimes it can be more fun to pretend that you're drunk rather than actually being drunk. You're friends don't have to know that your playing a part, but if you can pull this off you will have more fun throughout the night, while remembering everyone else's stupidity. You might even have some fabulous stories to tell your friends the next day!

4.   Full Stomachs and Hydration. Munch on appetizers throughout the night if possible. Please don't drink on an empty stomach, you won't make it past the first hour. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Yes, we know you aren't working out, but if you drink water while enjoying that second glass of champagne, this will help with any potential hangover the next day.

5.   PARTY LIKE IT'S 2015! Most importantly, enjoy your night with the friends and family you love! New Years is all about celebrating the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from the previous year while welcoming in the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly for the upcoming year. Because let's be honest, as much as we want the New Year to be the best year ever, there's no guarantees so let's take the good, with the bad, and HAVE A PARTY!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Love the Journey!

Now that Advent is more than half done, and we are getting closer and closer to Christmas, we want to thank our many readers who have given us just a snapshot of what they are doing to Occupy Advent during this 24 day challenge.  Here are a few of our favorites!

Anonymous #1 said that she went through her winter clothes and gave away as many coats, hats, scarves, and gloves that she could spare to a local homeless shelter. How wonderful!

Anonymous #2 put together "survival bags" for the homeless that stand on the street corners near their office. They included a pair of warm socks, trail mix with dried fruit, toothpaste and tooth brush, hand warmers, and a scarf. How thoughtful!

Anonymous #3 decided to give up shopping for unnecessary items and she was able to save over $200 since the beginning of December! She plans on donating the money to a local charity! What a blessing!

These are just a few of the wonderful things our readers are doing during the 24 Day Challenge to better themselves during #occupyadvent. You have ten days left before Christmas. How do you plan on spending it?

Here's a poem that was shared with us by a reader, enjoy!


We make them cry who care for us.
We cry for those who never care for us.
And we care for those who will never cry for us.
This is the truth of life, it's strange but true.
Once you realize this, it's never too late to change.

Don't let someone become a priority in your life,
When you are just an option in their life...
Relationships work best when they are balanced.

Never explain yourself to anyone.
Because the person who likes you doesn't need it,
and the person who dislikes you won't believe it.

When you keep saying you are busy,
then you are never free.
When you keep saying you have no time,
then you will never have time.
When you keep saying that you will do it tomorrow,
then your tomorrow will never come.

When we wake up in the morning, we have two simple choices.
Go back to sleep and dream, or wake up and chase those dreams.
Choice is yours...

Don't make promises when you are in joy.
Don't reply when you are sad.
Don't make decisions when you are angry.
Think twice...Act Wise.

Time is like a river.
You cannot touch the same water twice,
because the flow that has passed will never pass again.
Enjoy every moment of life...

First I was dying to finish my high school and start college.
And then I was dying to finish college and start working.
Then I was dying to marry and have children.
And then I was dying for my children to grow old enough so I could go back to work.
But then I was dying to retire.
And now I'm dying.
And suddenly I realized I forgot to live.
Please don't let this happen to you.
Appreciate your current situation and enjoy each day!

Monday, December 1, 2014

#OccupyAdvent: A 24 Day Challenge

Who hasn't heard of the 30 day challenges swarming all areas of social media? It seems like every month there's a new one popping up, whether it's an exercise challenge, a healthy eating challenge, or a clothing challenge. These are all good, but today, the Ladies of Provocative Manners would like to challenge you to a special 24 day challenge and it's the perfect time of year to begin! With the season of Advent and Christmas upon us, it is time that we re-examine ourselves internally and externally. The purpose of the #OccupyAdvent 24 day Challenge is to help you simplify your everyday life while using those benefits to pay it forward through charity to others. You have 24 days! How will you spend each day?

Every week we will be sharing some experiences of our readers during this #OccupyAdvent Challenge. Don't worry, if we choose to share your story, it will be anonymous. Feel free to send us your Challenge "stories" to provocativemanners@yahoo.com, on our Facebook Personal Page, or our Business Page.

Here are the guidelines for the #OccupyAdvent 24 Day Challenge. Remember that the purpose of this is to improve ourselves, assist those around us, and prepare us for Christmas. These are only guidelines, adjust them to accommodate your lifestyle.

1. Contemplate the Meaning of Christmas.
     This time of year isn't only about ourselves, family, friends or even strangers. This time of year is about the birth of Christ. How are you preparing for His Birthday? Without Him, this season would not exist, so let's show some thanks!

2. Simplify Your Life. 
      This may include limiting your access to social media and increasing time within your day for reading, organizing, or helping others. You know better than anyone what consumes your time and yet doesn't have much merit. Spend more time with family and friends, these are the moments that you will remember when you get older and the kids are grown. Don't have regrets!

3. Don't Purchase Anything You Don't NEED!
     Yes, we know this is difficult this time of year, but our consumerism mentality is overbearing. (Maybe this is one of the reasons I cannot stand Black Friday, or Black Saturday, or Cyber Monday...) For me, it will be difficult to drive past Starbucks without a Skinny Peppermint Mocha, but instead of spending the money there, I can donate food to the local pantry or purchase gifts for families in need. That cup of Peppermint Mocha will be so much more enjoyable on December 26th by waiting!

4. Internal and External Silence.
     We all have loud, busy, chaotic lives 12 months out of the year. Maybe these 24 days we can occupy ourselves internally and externally with moments of silence. Take a few minutes out of each day, even 5 minutes to sit in silence. Don't try to plan your next party, or dwell on all the gifts you have to purchase, but enjoy those moments of silence. They are more important than you realize.

5. Keep Perspective - Pay it Forward
     Charity is the highest form of respect for others. Whether you give a meal to the homeless man standing on the corner or choose to give your waiter an extra percentage of a well-earned tip, these are the moments that make living worth while, because for once you are not making it about yourself. The most important thing to remember: don't brag about it. Once you tell the world your inner most actions, those beautiful forms of charity begin to loose bits of their luster.

Take Control of Your #OccupyAdvent 24 Day Challenge! 
How will you push yourself to be a better you?

95.7 KJR

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Constructive Criticism v. Destructive Criticism

Written By: Danielle Silva Heckenkamp

How do you deal with criticism?

Is there a certain type of personality that deals with criticism better than others?

We all know that critical opinions are a fact of life and oftentimes they can be given in a charitable and constructive way, but then again they can also be used as a defense or barrier for others to hide behind. We are all willing to dish out the critical comments, but more times than not, it is extremely difficult to acknowledge them, let alone accept them.

It is a trait of human beings to pounce on any and every opportunity when it comes to judging others. It either makes us feel better about ourselves or helps us justify our actions by comparing and  contrasting our virtues and vices. It should not be this way! It is easy to dish out the critical comments but it is another thing to accept them as constructive.

There is definitely a difference between constructive and destructive criticism. A person who has secure beliefs and a high level of self-esteem will be able to notice the difference. They will be able to take those constructive comments and put them to good use by improving any mistakes, but those who are unwilling to appreciate such well-meant opinions will struggle for the rest of their lives barely floating above the tide.

Four Ways to Determine Whether a Criticism is Constructive or Destructive

1.  If the comment made critically points out personal flaws of a person only with the intention to showcase failures then this is destructive criticism.

2. If the feelings of other people are not part of the consideration process when expressing an opinion, then it is most definitely destructive criticism

3. If the opinions are charitable, but firm, then this correction has validity and is a form of constructive criticism.

4.  If the comment makes a suggestion and then provides a tangible solution, it is an excellent form of constructive criticism

Saturday, October 18, 2014

When You Cross The Road...

Written By: Danielle Silva Heckenkamp

I know, I know, we all want to go through life assuming that the world should revolve around one and only one person, ME! Well it doesn't and yet again, I have another example to discuss with our readers.

Most of us would think that the idea of crossing a road should be pretty self-explanatory, if not, then you should have learned that as a pedestrian, crossing the road when the cars have a green light is mostly likely not a good idea. It's actually probably a horrible idea!

Yes, of course I have a story to back up this post about crossing the road. Several days ago, while waiting for a light to turn green I noticed a woman standing at the corner ready to cross the street. Well, did she decide to cross when the pedestrian light gave her the recommendation? Nope! She decided that it would be smarter to begin crossing a busy street after my light turned green. Because of course pedestrians have the right of way, no matter what.... Nope! Wrong again! There's a reason the pedestrian light comes on at a certain time, well because that's the safest time to cross a busy intersection. Not only did this woman cross the road when the cars had the right of way, but she also chose to do so at a very, very, no I mean a very slow pace (age was definitely not a factor to the slowness, let's just say it was a smartphone). I was not the only unhappy driver to say the least, but I kept my cool and sat and waited for her. Because patience is an active virtue, right?

What's the moral to this story? Well there is actually more than one!

The obvious one is that the woman's inconsiderate approach and choice to ignore the rest of society functioning around her was ridiculous selfish. Who needs to watch for cars when they will watch for me, right? Wrong again!

Another lesson was the response many of the drivers wanted to relay or did display towards the woman. Yes, she was inconsiderate, but screaming at her was not moving her along any faster. Even though I was irritated, and it gave me a great topic for a blog post, it also helped me work on something that I struggle with each and every day....PATIENCE!

Have a Safe and Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

An Autumn Bucket List To Remember

There's something special about a crisp cool autumn breeze. It seems that once September hits, everyone is ready for a season change. Here is Wisconsin we long for fall, but trend that winter comes next! Let's enjoy the warm fall temps before they disappear for several months!

Let's Make Some Autumn Memories!

(Makes 6 servings)
4 medium bananas, sliced and frozen overnight
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Five Ways to Love Your Life!

It's a Happy Happy Day! 

Many people go through life only finding the negative things that surround them. But is this any way to live? It seems that this type of mentality would exhaust a person more than having a happy disposition. We felt that it was about time to comment on those negative people, not in order to criticize, but to give a few pointers on how to live, love, and laugh often! Life is too short, let's enjoy the moments of love and try to overcome heartaches with a smile. It isn't that we should ignore any sufferings, but we need to remember that everything shall pass.

5 Ways to Love Your Life!

  • Wake up each morning at the same time and preferably at an early time. (Depending on your work schedule, of course). There is no reason to waste your life away in bed. Carpe Diem! Waking up a bit earlier might give you a few extra minutes that you can enjoy by yourself with a warm cup of coffee and a good book.

  • Schedules are important, but they should never stress you out. If you are making a schedule to improve your chaotic lifestyle then that's a step in the right direction, but if this schedule is unrealistic and can never be achieved, don't push yourself into a state of despair. Adjust the schedule, little by little, so that it fits into your life appropriately. Remember, good things usually happen in small steps.
  • Smile more, laugh more and talk more! Take a moment the next time you are at the grocery store and count how many people you see smiling, usually the clerks aren't even happy. Well isn't it best to stand out from the norm, so make a point to smile at people, make them laugh, and engage in a conversation. Not a conversation all about YOU, but about the person standing in front of you because they deserve kindness too.
  • Take care of yourself. If you aren't happy about your life, your body image, your health, or your financial situation, then it's time you make changes. Of course, these changes won't happen overnight, but this is all about setting realistic goals. No one gets out of financial difficulties within 2 months, sometimes it take years or even a decade, but it can be done. Our society is based on wanting self-gratification immediately, but this is completely unrealistic. Find a friend or ask a professional for help to get you back on the right track. Never be afraid to ask for help, it's o.k. to be vulnerable.

  • Good Things Take Time! Don't expect your life to change without you initiating those changes. It is easy to pick up a bad habit, but it is so much more difficult to permanently fix those bad habits. They say it takes 21 days to fix a habit, that's almost a month. Give yourself a month before giving up on your goals! At no point in our lives will we be perfectly happy. There are too many factors outside of our control, but if we make the most of our situations, work to better ourselves, and assist those around us, life will always be good!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Fabulous Bridal Shower Favors!

Bridal Showers have changed over the decades. Games have gone in and out of style, themes are all the rage right now, but we know that great food is always a must! One of our favorite things is creating unique, but practical Bridal Shower favors for the guests. Here are a few of our favorites!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Let's Be a Girly Girl Today!

Let's be a Girly Girl for Today! Everything in Purple, Glitter, Lipstick and Pink!

A spectacular drink with the girls!
Passionfruit Margarita

Smokey eyes for a seductive look.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Coming Late to a Party is Just Plain RUDE!

Everyone loves a good party! It's a time for celebration (whatever the occasion), a time for good food and good friends, but let's not forget that good manners are still required! We all know how important it is to RSVP to events, especially weddings and parties where food and drinks have to be pre-ordered. Let's not forget another important form of party etiquette....timeliness!

Now we have all heard the saying, "Fashionably Late". Well, this saying only applies to a few, and rare events. Actually, by the time we are finished with college and living in the professional world, being "fashionably late" is "unfashionably rude"!

If you are attending a wedding, never walk into the ceremony while the bridal party is walking down the aisle. Always try to be at least 15 minutes early.

Cocktail parties are a little bit different. If it is more of an event where there will be only appetizers and drinks then strolling in "fashionably late" is fine. It's a social hour. Just know your party!

For a birthday party, retirement party, a bridal or baby shower, or anniversary party it is important that you are on time or no later than 5-10 minutes. We all know that traffic can be tricky, but don't use bad traffic as your "go-to" excuse! Plan ahead and leave earlier!

If you are attending a small intimate event, then you absolutely MUST be on time. Not only is it embarrassing to the host and extremely disrespectful, but you won't feel so "fashionable" with critical eyes watching you stroll in.

By chance, if you are going to be later than 15 minutes for an event, it is required to let the host know. When you contact the host to make them aware of your tardiness always ask if it's o.k. or if it will be an inconvenience. The world does not revolve around you.

Here's a big no-no...if you are coming to a small event late and then have to leave early, it's best that you don't come! What an inconvenience for the host and whether you mean to portray this or not, it looks like you don't care to be there. You aren't on time and you don't care to stay.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

One of My All-Time Favorite Holidays: July 4th!

The Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. I think partly because we all have a communal reason to celebrate, but largely my love for this holiday stems from my grandmother and mother. They made such an amazing effort when we were kids to take us to the parades, decorate bikes, perform in the community talent shows, visit the festivals with amazing rides and of course, end the day with a BBQ and fireworks! I love everything RED, WHITE, and BLUE! Don't you?

An easy, fun and festive craft!

If this isn't a staple at your 4th of July BBQ, it needs to be!

Of course an over the top obnoxious door decor is necessary!

Beer and Wine are great, but what about a drink like this?!?

Let's not forget that the Fourth of July isn't all about eating and merry-making! We are celebrating the independence of our country and the many lives that were sacrificed for the years since the beginning!

Games are a must! Be inventive!

Monday, June 30, 2014

No, I Don't Want To Watch You Eat!

Written By: Danielle Silva Heckenkamp

This past weekend was Strawberry Fest in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. So after a morning of picking strawberries we headed over to downtown Cedarburg for a bit of shopping and an ice cream cone. It was a lovely day and even though it was warm and humid everyone was so nice and sweet. Unfortunately, I witnessed one major etiquette no-no...

We stopped at one of the small shops to browse and just as we were about to leave, I noticed the cashier who was a young high school student eating an incredibly large piece of pizza at the checkout counter while a customer was making a purchase. It saddened me to watch this young girl find nothing wrong with eating in front of anyone. When I was in college, I worked in several retail environments but under no circumstances were we allowed to eat in front of customers! Not only is it rude, but don't you feel awkward chomping down on food in a professional work setting?

How has our society become so immune to these common courtesies? We were always taught as children that if you plan on eating in front of everyone else, you better have enough to share with everyone! I found it even a little more disturbing because these girls were wrapping beautiful merchandise while also eating a greasy slice of pizza. I want to give the girl a little benefit of the doubt since she was a little hesitant as she attempted to take small dainty bites, but unfortunately that doesn't make the action any better! Just remember, politeness is the greatest form of respect and this should be followed in every area of our lives.

Word to the Wise ~ There is never, under any circumstances, a reason to be eating food in front of your customers! Either take a break, or if it's too busy you just suck it up and wait until your shift is over. Self-control, please!

Monday, June 23, 2014

6 Ways to Say "Hello"

In the past, we have mentioned that one of our pet peeves is how very few people smile, but let's add one more to the list. Why is it so difficult to say hello to strangers? And every time an effort is made to acknowledge someone, they are in complete shock. How sad is that? We are social human beings and most definitely need that attention and interaction with others. Yes, it might take a little bit of effort, but it's worth the final reward...making someone's day brighter!

Say "Hello" with a Smile ~ Sometimes words not necessary. A simple, but bright smile is sometimes all that's needed when passing a stranger at the grocery store.

Say "Hello" with a Wave ~ Our life is full of moments where we can make the most of a small gesture. Wave "hello" to that next door neighbor you rarely get a chance to talk to, but your thoughtfulness might make them smile.

Say "Hello" with a Gift ~ Deliver a container of freshly baked chocolate cookies to a friend. If they aren't home this will be a great surprise for them. An unexpected surprise!

Say "Hello" with a Note ~ Everyone is all about the text messaging, but do remember as a kid when your mother would put a small note in your cold lunch. There was such a level of anticipation waiting until lunchtime to read that note. Leave a love message for your husband before he leaves for work in the morning or mail a card to your mom letting her know you are thinking of her.

Say "Hello" with a Kiss or a Hug ~ We have all heard of the "Love Languages", some of us need to give or receive physical touch. Your grandmother or best friend might just be that person. If you are aware of this, make an effort to give them a hug and/or kiss when you see them each time. This might mean the world to them!

Say "Hello" with a Question ~ In our self-indulgent society we sometimes forget about others. Instead of walking past your neighbor or acquaintance at the store, take a moment to stop and ask them how they are doing. Maybe ask if they need help or would like to go out for coffee. You might be the bright light they needed to get through the day.