Asking for what you want: a script for requesting support from your boss.

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Asking for what you want: a script for requesting support from your boss.

This is a great format I picked up from Villa Consulting-  the amazing women who are running the female executive business retreat on September 8-12th in Heber Valley. While this is specifically for requesting that your company pay for this inspiring coaching event, this can be used as a good starter to present your request for anything that helps build your career. Logically, the most important thing is to show how this is a value for your business: how does this retreat improve your performance, how does it help you bring more to your position and your company’s bottom line?


(Image credit: Startup Stock Photos)

Ask yourself these questions…

…write out your responses so you’re confident that you can express them clearly.

  1. What you want
  2. Why it is valuable (to the company/boss/team)
  3. How it could happen


(Image credit: Terimakasih0)

Example conversation with your manager:

What you want

I’ve learned about an executive retreat in September where I would be able to get 3 full days of intensive coaching and skill-building, and I’d like to attend. (Add details later)

Why it is valuable

You and I have been talking about my development path in this company, and I believe this would be a great way for me to get a jump start. I know supporting and promoting women has become a strategic priority for the company, and I am confident the experience would help prepare me for my next critical role, as well as equip me to influence and mentor other women to meet the company’s goals.

How it could happen

I understand there may be some funds set aside for talent development in each team, and I’d like to ask you to sponsor my attendance. The cost for the 3 days/4 nights is all-inclusive, and it’s a fraction of the cost of an individual coaching package. I would be willing to come back and do a training session for our team, and I think this would be a cost-effective way for us to leverage those funds. I need to sign up within the next week to secure a reservation. Would you like to look over the materials?

Here are some short one-sentence examples:

  • Chocolate Villa can help me identify my authentic leadership style and discover opportunities to achieve my potential.
  • I would like to connect to a broader community of women and develop efficient communication and interpersonal skills to improve my career development.
  • I have been looking into coaching and development and found this program that provides that and much more for a fraction of the cost.
  • Chocolate Villa will provide me with a framework to coach myself, coach others, and effectively influence my team so I can do more within the organization.
  • Chocolate Villa helps executive women explore and break down the barriers that may be holding them back from moving up in the organization.
  • I am ready to take the next step in my career and Chocolate Villa is a unique, intensive program that can help me with a roadmap to get there.


Once you have your manager’s support, register for the retreat here. Don’t forget, there’s only 10 spaces open at the retreat as I write this, so please hurry! I’m looking forward to learning with you.

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Day 4 – The Chemistry of Confidence – Villa Confidence Boot Camp

Day 4 – The Chemistry of Confidence – Villa Confidence Boot Camp.

Did you know there’s an actual biochemical component to confidence? Truth! The way you feel and how you react when you’re in a strong, confident position goes right down to your chemistry. Let’s have a look…

BTW: If you’ve missed any of one through three of the Confidence Boot Camp days, find them here, here, and here.

Are you ready for more? More in your career? In your life? Here’s the place: ChocolateVilla’s executive women’s retreat, March 8-12 in gorgeous Heber Valley in Utah’s prettiest mountain range. This is four days that transforms you. I speak from experience. The fall retreat gave me a clarity of purpose that I’d been struggling for – something I couldn’t seem to put together myself. And I came away with friends I’ll treasure for life. Living the Villa means that you’re still supported after the retreat ends. There’s friends, follow-ups with the entire group, and the knowledge that you’re not on your own. Learn more about the retreat here, and I have some advice about how to request that your company pay for your participation here.

Day 2: The Power Pose – Villa Confidence Boot Camp

I have no shame. I’ve hidden in bathrooms, corners of parking lots and once a broom closet, but I do the Power Pose before I meet a big client. The first time you do this, you might feel vaguely silly, but boy howdy, it makes you feel invincible.

This is Day Two of the Villa Confidence Boot Camp, a month’s worth of small, manageable concepts that will guide you into a feeling of fearlessness and a solid belief in yourself.  Today’s tip is one of my favorites because it’s something I still do almost every day after learning it at the retreat last September. The next Chocolate Villa executive women’s retreat is March 8-12th, and it’ll give you the tools to move forward in your career. But what surprised me is that the retreat changed more than my career, it changed my focus, it made me think about what was really important to me. Merrilee’s teachings made me stand back from the day-to-day “Gotta do this, gotta do this” trap I was in and really find the clarity to understand what my next steps should be.

Are you ready for this kind of clarity? Information about March’s retreat is here.

Cover image credit: pexels


Suing For A Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich – 9.3.19

Suing For A Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich. How much do you need a crispy chicken sandwich that you’re willing to sue for it? One chicken restaurant’s in court for running out of… chicken.

Utah’s emergency task force and search and rescue are sending out volunteers for Hurricane Dorian, and we’ve found the best commute ever. It involves a jet ski.

(Cover image credit: Popeye’s Twitter)

Maple-Bacon Pancake Bites – Breakfast in Your Hand! – 8.20.19

Maple-Bacon Pancake Bites – Breakfast in Your Hand! The perfect new breakfast for back to school- meet the Maple – Bacon Pancake Bites! These things are freaking delicious! Any breakfast item you can shove into your offspring’s grimy paw to eat on the way to the car is genius. The recipe is at the bottom of this post.


(Image credit: Nassau County Police Department)


Also today, what happens when you’re pretending to be a cop and you pull over a vanload of the real thing? Sorry, I just cackled when I told this story. Like, full-out witch cackle.


And Metallica. You know, the heavy metal band. Is there nothing they can’t do? We’ll explain their latest piece of Awesome. Who knew someone who could scream the song “Enter Sandman” loud enough to give me nightmares should really be nominated for sainthood?


Maple – Bacon Pancake Bites


3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

2 eggs

1/4 cup of butter, melted

1 tbsp white vinegar

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups of milk


1/4 cup REAL maple syrup (it does make a huge difference)

1/2 cup cream cheese, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

a pinch of salt


1 pound of bacon, crispy and chopped into small pieces



  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Combine the dry ingredients- flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in one bowl.
  3. In another bowl, combine the milk and vinegar, stir and let set for one minute. Then whisk in vanilla, eggs and butter.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Spray two muffin tins well, pour the batter in to about two-thirds full.
  6. Bake for 7-12 minutes until lightly brown on top.
  7. As the muffins are cooling, mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar and maple syrup together in a small bowl, making sure to get rid of all the cream cheese lumps. You want a smooth, slightly thick texture.
  8. Take the now-cool muffin and dip the top into the frosting mixture to cover the top, then adding bacon garnish.



BTW: hungry for more? We have some spectacular chocolate recipes! Skillet S’mores here. White Chocolate Macadamia Cranberry Cookies here.

Welcome to the Florida beach where the sharks are just DYING to eat – I mean, meet – you. – 8.6.19

Welcome to the Florida beach where the sharks are just DYING to eat – I mean, meet – you.

The Week of Chocolate

The wonderful women at the Chocolate Villa women’s executive retreat are offering up today’s luscious addition to the Week of Chocolate- a decadent chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and raspberry puree. Chocolate Villa is part of the Villa Leadership- an executive women’s retreat that transforms you – your career, your life, who and where you want to be. You can learn more here. (PS: you’ll get a 10% discount on the September retreat by adding TODDANDERIN at checkout.) BTW: did you miss yesterday’s epic white chocolate cookie recipe? Cranberries… macadamia nuts… the recipe’s here.


(image credit: cocoparisienne)

Welcome to the Florida beach where the sharks are just DYING to eat – I mean, meet – you.

So, there’s a beach in Florida where the sharks are just waiting for you… mouth open… with big, sharp teeth. I’m not joking, – it’s bad enough that Florida’s had over 2/3 of the shark attacks over the last decade, but at this one beach, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll run into one. And yet… everyone’s still in the water. We’ll explain.



Who do you choose?

Well, surprise surprise… looks like those rumors of Jon Huntsman Jr. running for governer are true- he just resigned as U.S. Ambassador to Russia. The latest poll had him running neck and neck with Lt. Governor Spencer Cox on just a rumor that he might run. Does this impact your vote?

Aw, crap… no more French Silk Pie at 2am… all the Marie Callendar’s in Utah just closed as the company heads into bankruptcy.

We’ve got the most impossibly expensive place to live in Utah, why McDonald’s straws suck (hah! get it? HAH!) and a lovely Tell Me Something Good about a mom who bought out an entire Payless Shoe Store to make sure all the kids in her daughter’s school had new, comfortable shoes to wear.


(image credit Jon Huntsman Jr via Wikipedia)

(image credit Lt Gov Spencer Cox via Wikipedia)

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