Posted in Women, Women Worth Knowing

Women Worth Knowing: Meet Suzanne

Suzanne is one of the first GAWBs I met–and well met, too, as she’s a co-founder–and everything about her makes me happy.  She is a sheer delight.  She was one of the Beta readers for TIARA TROUBLE, and I certainly appreciated her help.  When you finish reading this little introduction to her, please pop over to THOUGHTS IN PROGRESS for a review, and to Storm Goddess Book Reviews for a review and an excerpt.  But first!  Meet Suzanne.

She's just so cute!!
She’s just so cute!!

Name: Suzanne D’Aunoy Meehle

Age: 46

Job Title: Attorney (The Meehle Law Firm) / Vice President and Evil Genius (Grown Ass Woman Brigade)

Industry: Law / Non-profit

1.  Who are you? I’m a do-gooder.
2.  What do you love most about your life? My marriage. I’ve got an amazing man who supports all my crazy ambition and ridiculous pursuits.
3. What do you love most about your work? I get to help people be their best selves. No, really! My law firm exclusively supports small business. And GAWB supports women.
4.  Describe your family: it’s just me, my husband Tim and our dog Legal. Tim is a web developer. Legal is a lab/beagle mix. I’m also extraordinarily close with my siblings, Beth, Carla and Lester.
5. What does the first hour of your day look like? I go check the calendar and email in bed. Sad but true. Then I get up, lace up and go for a run.
6. The last hour? I finally put my laptop away for the night, do some stretches, go brush my teeth, and go to bed. Sounds pretty pathetic.
7. What makes you feel successful? When it all gets done by the end of the day.

8. What brings you joy? Running. My husband. My dog. GAWB. Not necessarily in that order.
9.  Which women do you most admire? Women who have been successful on their own terms. Arianna Huffington. Hillary Clinton. Condaleeza Rice. Sandra Day O’Connor.
10. What do you like best about your closest friend? Falling asleep and waking up next to him.
11. What do you like best about yourself? I’m strong. And fairly weird.
12. What advice would you give to boys about girls? You don’t need to own her. Just be her friend.
13. What is the best advice anyone has ever given you? “It’s ok if you don’t want to go to grad school. There’s always law school.”
14. How do you overcome adversity? Power through. There’s no other way to get to the other side of it but through it.
15.  How do you want to be remembered? As my own woman.
Posted in GAWB, Women Worth Knowing

Women Worth Knowing: Sergeant Sassypants of the Grown Ass Woman Brigade

For those of you who have been playing along since 2007, you’ll remember that the Women Worth Knowing Project started out as Wonder Woman Wednesdays.  I was talking to a friend about a friend, and realized they needed to know each other.  As I started making introductions, I started realizing just how special and wonderful every woman friend I had was.

To make it a little easier on myself, I decided to start introducing them to one another through a Q&A profile sheet with a short bio from me.  Awesome people need to know other awesome people.  Then, I started thinking, “These women are inspiring,” and I decided that the rest of the world should get to know them, too.  So Women Worth Knowing was born and I started posting profiles of any interesting woman I met.

You know why?  Because y’all need to meet each other!  I’ve gotten to watch careers begin and successes unfold when my friends have been introduced.

A few months back, during the WWK lull, one of my neighbors pointed me in the direction of the Grown Ass Woman Brigade.  I laughed when I saw the name, but I got a happy little chill when I read this:

I was having a really terrific conversation with my friend, Suzanne, one day when I had a revelation.  “You know,” I said, “it’s just so nice to be talking to another…grown ass woman.”  Suz immediately understood what I meant.  It’s hard to meet other women who are creative and strong and smart and okay in their own skin.  No crazy drama…no weird insecurity…no inexplicable competitiveness.

I like to call them grown ass women and I am lucky to have met quite a few.  My goal here was to introduce these friends and maybe create a nurturing, supportive network of amazing and fun women.  -Heather, GAWB co-founder

Doesn’t that sound just like the Women Worth Knowing Project?  And since I have been a member of GAWB, I have seen women throwing all their resources together to help boost one another up and over every ledge, ladder, and wall you can imagine.  From health and family, to career and networking, these ladies share their lives with one another to help out as a community.  It’s pretty wonderful.

I was talking with Heather and asked if I could link up WWK with GAWB and start interviewing the membership for the project.  I am still very excited that she said yes.

So, to kick off the re-re-restart of the Women Worth Knowing Project, I’d like to introduce you to Sgt. Sassypants, the mascot of the Grown Ass Woman Brigade.

Sergeant Sassypants, at your service.
Sergeant Sassypants, at your service.

Sgt. Sassypants is capable, compassionate, drama-free, ugly-insecurity free, determined, dedicated, and looks great on a t-shirt.  She’s Rosie the Riveter for the roaring 21st Century.  She will bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan, and never let you forget she’s equal to any man.

Since GAWB’s inception, co-founders Heather and Suzanne, have worked to build a base of women worthy of the name.  We even have mini-GAWBs, who will grow up to rule the world.  Not only that, but they have branched out into public service.

Sassypants Nightengale.  Going to keep you in top form!
Sassypants Nightengale. Going to keep you in top form!

And they have instituted an annual charity ball–The Red Dress Ball.

Spiceypants.  I'd like her to have a tiara, but that's just me.  You know how I am about tiaras.
Spiceypants. I’d like her to have a tiara, but that’s just me. You know how I am about tiaras.

I haven’t been able to attend a Red Dress Ball, yet.  Why?  What could keep me from dressing up and dancing the night away?  Geography.  Until recently, most of the GAWBs were based in Florida.  But, Heather is moving my way, and our Texas GAWB chapter is starting to hop.  I’m looking forward to boring my husband with details of dress shopping to find that perfect red for the next ball.

In the weeks to come, you’re going to meet some of the GAWBs.  We’re going to start with Patricia, since she’s the one who introduced me to the group, and because you’ll wonder where she’s been all your life once I tell you about her.

Meanwhile, if you are a woman worth knowing, or you know a woman worth knowing, email me.  lane (at) theoutsidelane (dot) com.




Posted in boot camp best, Explaining the Strange Behavior, Women Worth Knowing

I’d Do Me

I want this blog entry to be really special.  Because, if you’re a new reader who has come over from the Nickelodeon Parents Connect site and hit the “previous posts” button, it is likely that this will be the blog entry you read, and I want you to enjoy yourself here. 

I started blogging with a LiveJournal in December of 2001.  I had met this guy I really liked, and I wanted him to like me.  He had an LJ, and I hoped that if I started one, I could catch and keep his interest.  It worked well enough that he married me, and seems to still like me.  He still reads my blog after ten years.  That’s something!

I drove all my LJ friends berserk with journaling my wedding (2 out of 4 bridesmaids have confirmed I was bridezilla.  The other 2 said I was just fine, but they might just have been afraid of me.)  Eleven months after that hoopla died down, I started driving readers further nuts with journaling my pregnancy.  My first Mommy Blog was born five months into the pregnancy, and I kept up with Mommie Diarist until just before Thor (the nickname our son has had since his first sonogram) started Kindergarten–he learned to read, and I didn’t want to embarrass him by keeping a totally Thor-centric blog. 

I started To The 9s, a fashion/style/etiquette based blog, while I was working for a staffing agency.  The impetus for that being the number of job candidates I was seeing, who showed up for interviews wearing dirty, wrinkled, extremely casual attire, including flip-flops, and the coworker who never bothered to dry her hair before coming in to work. 

I kept up with that through the chronicles of my Exotic Dance Class, a diet, and the gutting depression that came with having made a very bad decision to change jobs.  The Women Worth Knowing project came out of those days as well. 

I started thinking about the wonderful women I knew all across this world, and wanted to introduce them to one another.  I created a profile Q&A and sent it off to various and sundry, and started posting those as a means of highlighting women who were successful in their endeavours at home, in the workplace, and in the world.  You can read the archives here and join the Facebook group here.  Eventually, I’ll start updating again.  I know some really amazing women.

To the 9s went the way of the Dodo, and when I was ready to start blogging again, it became The Outside Lane.  Part mommy-blog, part human interest blog, part fashion/music/movie reviews blog, part soapbox, part therapy, all me.  I have no idea how you would market this thing.  It’s very…diverse?  I hope it’s diverse and not just scattered.  I write about what I find interesting.  I write the topics of conversation I’d like to have.  I like to think the common thread is my personal sense of humor, and I like to think that comes across whether I’m shaking my tiny fist of rage, or shaking my booty.

If you’re here from Nickelodeon’s Parents Connect, then you’ve come by way of the Sexy Mama Bootcamp.  If you’re looking for advice on how to be sexy, the best I can give you is to fall in love with yourself. 

And buy one of these t-shirts.  If you wear one of these t-shirts, you will be totally sexy.  Trust me.  I’m an expert.

Posted in Style, Women Worth Knowing

Women Worth Knowing: Meet Shrinkle a/k/a Sugarpill a/k/a Amy Doan

I love makeup. Love it. Love, love, love it. A few years ago, when I was looking for a particular shade, I came across a girl selling loose kryolan pigments on Ebay. Shrinkle, as I knew her then, had a robust store that included cutesy-pie dresses, vintage slips, and accessories I coveted. The cute clothes of her own design and a revolving door of vintage are still available on the Shrinkle etsy store, but the makeup is long gone.

Why, you ask? Because Amy Doan, Shrinkle herself, developed her own line of cosmetics called Sugarpill.

Since I’ve been following Amy’s stores and blogs for years, I have watched from afar as she made the transition from simple seamstress to sylph of a makeup mini-empire (Sugarpill is the official makeup brand for the 35th Anniversary of Hello Kitty.) Amy’s photo filled blogs are always full of color and energy. She is positive and exciting, and I love her story. I love her makeup. I want to hang her eyeshadows on my wall as art because they are so pretty.

You should get to know Amy and all her enterprises. Shop her stores and read her tutorials. I thought I liked Amy before she responded to my WWK inquiry, but reading her answers to all my silly questions…I want to put this girl in my pocket and take her everywhere with me. She is just fabulous.

Meet Amy.

Amy Doan aka Shrinkle
Age Range: Just turned 30, wooo!
Preferred Job Title: Fashion designer and owner of Sugarpill Cosmetics
Industry: Fashion and Cosmetics

(In a departure from the usual WWK interview, I added some very Amy-centric questions that I thought would be interesting.)

How did your business evolve from you making outfits for yourself to a new beauty empire?
I started out making clothes for myself because I had nothing to wear. I was a broke college student and couldn’t really afford to go shopping much. I got lots of compliments whenever I wore the outfits I made, so I began selling them on eBay. It kind of just took off from there, and before I knew it it had become my full time job! I decided to branch out into cosmetics when I realized that makeup can really make or break a fabulous outfit. A super awesome outfit never looks complete without the perfect makeup to compliment it.

What designers do you like?
I don’t really have a favorite big name designer. I don’t care too much about labels, I mostly just wear vintage flea market slips! But I do love to support my friends who have their own indie clothing and accessory lines, like Jessica Louise ( and Cutie Dynamite (

<What inspires your colors for Sugarpill?
I love obnoxiously bright colors that sparkle and shine in dark clubs! No subtlety here.

How do you pick names for your colors (because that just sounds like fun!)
Whenever I think of or hear a word that I like, I write it down on this giant master list I have on my computer. Then when it’s time to come up with color names, I pull up the master list and start mixing and matching a bunch of the words together. I am also a super nerdy bird enthusiast and love to name colors after birds. And my cats!

The usual Questions
Who are you?
I am a crazy cat lady and the owner of Sugarpill Cosmetics and Shrinkle clothing!

Describe your family: I’m the youngest of 3 girls, no brothers. We all live within an hour of each other, so we see each other quite frequently. I am really close with my sisters and we share all our secrets. My parents are pretty cool too, although I don’t really tell them anything. But I think my mom already knows all the scary details about my life because I found my Twitter and blog bookmarked on her computer. My mom is also my favorite shopping buddy. We love to hit up the senior discount days at Ross and Savers! My dad is awesome and can beat anyone at tennis, even competitors half his age!

What does the first hour of your day look like? I usually wake up covered in warm purring cats, so I’m a slow waker upper. I spend the first hour of my day laying in bed with my cats, reading my emails.

The last hour? I answer work emails until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore, then I pass out!

What makes you feel successful? I am terrible at keeping track of my finances, so unlike most people I’m unable to gauge my success with dollar signs. I guess I feel successful when the people around me are happy. Whether it’s my customers, my friends, or my family. It means I’m doing something right if people around me aren’t complaining, haha!

What brings you joy? Sewing, being around animals, cuddling with the boyfriend, and discovering super amazing vegan food even though I’m not vegan.

What women do you admire? I love and adore all of my female friends. They are adventurous, creative, talented, funny ladies who inspire me!

What do you like best about your closest friend? That we’ve been best friends since the 3rd grade, know each other’s flaws inside and out, and still like each other! Also, we’re so over impressing each other. We are the hugest scrubs when we hang out!

What do you like best about yourself? I can finish a foot long burrito in less than 10 minutes! It’s 100% true, I have witnesses.

What advice would you give boys about girls? Just because girls are more independent now than in the past, it doesn’t mean you should stop doing nice things like holding doors open for us or offering to carry heavy objects if we’re obviously struggling with it. Common courtesy and gentlemanliness never go out of style!

How do you overcome adversity? I’m an optimist! Whenever things look shitty, I remind myself that it can only go uphill from there. Wait it out, it will always get better!

How do you want to be remembered? I hope people remember me as someone who was happy and made others feel good about themselves.

Find Shrinkle and Sugarpill Cosmetics on Facebook and follow for updates on new product, and just to have pretty pictures pop up in your feed now and then.