Range Fashion: What to Wear at the Range

Posted on Posted in Being A Woman, Training Notes

Men have it so easy! I’m serious, they could wear khaki pants and polo shirts with close toed shoes and be all set for the range, either in/outdoors! For women, there is much more to consider. Well, there may be some useful tips for men too…

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Let’s take this Head to Toe…

Cardinal Rule: Comfort is #1 while shooting.

  1. Hats – Absolutely! Outside, it will protect you from the sun and elements; inside, the hat will limit the amount of lead and gasses that get into your hair. I prefer Velcro backs, that way I can take the hat on/off around my ponytail easily.
  2. Ponytails are IN! The less hair to get in your way, the better. Pull your hair back, up- whichever is the most comfortable for you.
  3. Makeup. Keep it simple ladies. Liquid foundations and indoor ranges do not mix well. Mineral makeup is best suited for indoor ranges. One you will look fresher and it is healthier. Liquid foundations will trap the air in the range on your skin (yuck) and I don’t know many women who like to wash their faces after being at the range before they leave the range. Waterproof mascara and eyeliner, and matte lipstick or a little bit of tinted lip balm. You want nothing that could be sticky on your skin. Best thing to do is wash your face after your range visit.
  4. Earrings. Studs are fine but dangles may dig into your skin. Hoops may pull as well. It is best to remove any earrings before putting ear muffs on. If using ear plugs, no need to worry about your earrings.


  5. Tops. Higher necklines are best for preventing the hot brass dance. Hot brass casings will eject from your firearm and travel as you are shooting. Gaps in your top are the perfect place for these scalding hot casings to land. You can change tops in the bathroom if you are dedicated to your cute blouse. Best range wear tops? Pro-gun, pro-women t-shirts!
    1. If you are going to an outdoor range, outdoor performance shirts are fabulous. Sun-protection is highly important.
  6. Bras. I think it goes without saying, you should be as comfortable as possible while handling firearms. Keep the restrictive, pretty, painful bras for another time.
  7. Pants/Shorts. Unless you are doing a ton of kneeling shooting positions, you do not need tactical pants. Lightweight pants with cargo pockets are wonderful for indoor and outdoor ranges. Again, comfort is key. If you are doing kneeling shooting positions, get a pair of tactical pants with reinforced knees and consider knee pads.
  8. Belt. The reason to wear a belt is to carry a holster. First, check with your range to make sure using a holster while shooting is allowed. A good gun belt is rigid and at least 1.5 wide. Most pants will accommodate 1.5 belts.
  9. Shoes. Close-toed is the only way to go. Remember the hot brass dance? Keep your piggies safe and burn free, cover them up. Do not get a pedicure then come to the range.

Safe Shooting,

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Article: Does this gun make me look fat?

Posted on Posted in Uncategorized


For decades, women have had few choices when it comes to the clothing they can wear to hide that they’re carrying a firearm. They could wear baggy T-shirts or coats, or put it in a purse and hope it didn’t get swiped or that they didn’t have trouble getting it out in an emergency.

Enter holsters, corsets, camisoles and other clothing designed to be flattering, feminine — and functional — for the pistol-packin’ mama crowd.

“I don’t want to dress in tactical gear and camo all the time. I love tactical clothing for the range. It’s comfortable. I don’t want to ruin my everyday clothing,” said Marilyn Smolenski, who in 2012 created Nickel and Lace, a company that caters to women who want to carry a firearm concealed but don’t want to trade in their femininity. “But I don’t want to wear it to the grocery store.”

Smolenski started her company right around the time when Chicago city laws changed and she could again legally carry a firearm. When that happened, she struggled to find something that didn’t make her look frumpy and didn’t broadcast that she was packing heat. Most of the clothing was geared to men — coats with hidden pockets, or holsters that tuck neatly inside a waistband. But until the last few years, those weren’t always great options for women who don’t wear belts as frequently and are more likely than men to wear form-fitting clothing, making it difficult to hide the fact they’re carrying a firearm.

“When you put a man’s holster on a woman’s body it sticks out. It doesn’t hug the body,” said Carrie Lightfoot, founder and owner of The Well Armed Woman in Scottsdale, Arizona, which does everything from providing firearms instruction to women to selling a variety of concealed carry clothing. One of her company’s first missions was to design and produce a holster that recognized the differences in body types and clothing styles between men and women.

Women’s waists tend to be shorter, providing less room to withdraw a gun from a holster. Hips and chests can get in the way too, she said.

Lightfoot and Smolenski said that some manufacturers tended to “shrink it and pink it” — thinking that taking gear produced for men and making it smaller and brightly colored would satisfy female customers. They and their counterparts emphasize they are driven first by function and safety before aesthetics come into the equation.

“Women need to know they can carry effectively,” Lightfoot said. “I think the key is finding a way to carry it so you can be comfortable and move through your day without being poked and having a big hunk of metal in your pants and not be able to sit at work.”

Both also are advocates for providing women with information and guidance on ways to feel secure and be safe. For Smolenski, that goal has led to the creation of the annual Firearms and Fashion Show which includes seminars on personal safety. Her company actually got its start with a line of jewelry — from necklaces that can be pulled away easily and then used as a weapon to “chopsticks” that can both be used to hold up hair and then be wielded against an attacker.

For Anna Taylor, the founder and CEO of Dene Adams LLC — named after her grandfather, who first taught her to respect firearms and handle them safely — the road to creating a line of concealed carry clothing began at around the time she became a single mom and the safety of the family rested on her shoulders. When she got her first concealed carry permit in 2013, she went through seven different holsters.

“Some were hard and uncomfortable. Some of them I’d have to take off and set down when I went to the bathroom and I was afraid I would go off and leave it just like I’ve left my phone behind before. Others, belly band types with a print so bad you could see the grip or outline of the gun through my clothes,” Adams said. “So when I went out in public, I felt like I had these awkward arms always trying to hide this thing.”

Her first design involved a mousepad and a post-partem corset to create a soft holster. She was able to carry the kids around, nurse, give the kids baths — even jump on the trampoline — “and I could forget that it was there.” With her last $200, she found a manufacturer willing to do a small run. Flash forward three years and she now has products on shelves at nearly 100 dealers around the country. She has expanded into safety and training and is now an NRA pistol and rifle instructor. She even has a few men who buy her products — including, she said, air marshals, who gravitate to the snug, comfortable designs.

“We have options that don’t have lace. We have solid black,” she said.

Fed up? Train!

Posted on Posted in Training Notes

Every terror attack, every life lost angers and saddens me. I have plenty of opinions about the political landscape, but I don’t wish to be yet another voice in the void complaining. Instead I would rather focus on being positive. My observation about these terror attacks is that most of them are planned and executed and I am sure there are more to come. What can we do about it? Sitting around and complaining about how the government is not doing the right thing is not the answer.

The answer is to get prepared! Develop your personal safety strategy, buy personal protection devices and train with them. If you have put off training, get refocused! Trouble is not going to wait for you to be ready, terrorist are not just Jihadist, there are people out there that wish to cause harm to others because they are hurting themselves.

I was mugged at gunpoint at my own local gas station by someone asking for directions it can happen any time, any where. Firearms are one of many personal protection tools, if you don’t wish to learn how to use a firearm, you must learn close combat. I encourage everyone to learn everything you can about self-defense and multiple disciplines. Share your experience with others, the more you share, the more others will be encouraged. Invite your friends with you to that self-defense class, a local shooting class, or even take someone to a local shooting competition like IDPA.

Stay Safe. Stay Aware.

Are you carrying with faked confidence?

Posted on Posted in Being A Woman, Training Notes

Every woman who carries knows the feeling. If stuff goes down, I have a tool to use. If something happens, I have options I wouldn’t normally have. It is a reassuring feeling, faked confidence. Wait, what? Faked confidence? Yep. You have a tool but do you know how to use it? Have I trained to be proficient with my tool? Have I practiced my draw from my concealed carry option until I can do it without hesitation?

Meet a friend, Snap Caps. Snap Caps can help you train, practice your draw. Help you be ready for something in the real world. How fast can you draw? How fast can you draw and be ready to shoot? Are you carrying with your safety on? Do you mindlessly set it your safety to fire as you draw? Do you carry with a round chambered or do you have to rack your firearm to fire?

These decisions have to be made so you can practice properly. Guns are tools, the use of the tool is only as good as training you do. I recommend Snap Caps as they will help keep your firing pin. These are the only ones I know of that will allow your firing pin to actually hit brass, inside the Snap Cap is a spring that allows the brass primer to move.

Dry firing is your friend. It allows the correct habit to form in your muscle memory (also known as myelin). The more you practice dry firing and drawing, the better you will be during a real encounter. Practice in your vehicle as well as you can.

With training and practice, you can carry with real confidence.

Stay safe. Stay Aware.

HuffPost doesn’t understand the meaning of empowerment.

Posted on Posted in Advocacy, Being A Woman, Newsfeed

Alanna Vagianos writes that Dana Loesch and the NRA is misdirected in empowering women and says due to the statistics that have been used time and time again to say women shouldn’t have guns.

As The Cut pointed out, the presence of a gun in instances of intimate partner violence actually increases the risk of homicide for women by about 500 percent. That includes instances when the gun belongs to the victim.

Women in abusive relationships are also more likely to be murdered with a gun than “all other means combined,” according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

To further debunk the ad’s message, Loesch and the NRA seem to paint rapists and abusers as strangers who lurk in dark corners waiting for their next victim. When it comes to perpetrators of sexual assault, that’s most definitely not the case.According to RAINN, 93 percent of sexual assault victims under the age of 18 know their attackers.

Of course! If the abuser in a relationship (because women can be abusers too) has access to a firearm and wishes to yield power and control over another, it is logical that any means of intimidation and control will be used. Financial, mental, and physical means will be used- a gun allows the abuser a means of intimidation without being too close to their victim.

There is not actual numbers of that statistic that allow for an understanding of how many victims of abuse owned their own firearm and still resulted in their death. Where are the numbers of the abuse victims that survived the ordeal and found solace in owning a firearm. What about the abuse victims that got away and bought a firearm for self-protection afterwards?

No. Let’s just retrain the men not to abuse or rape women. Yes, that is the answer. Let’s not allow Americans their 2nd Amendment right, let’s just change our mainstream culture which systematically objectifies women through all entertainment and advertising channels.

What a cop-out answer! Alanna, where is the empowerment you suggest is misdirected? Call for help and wait? Pray that you won’t be killed or hurt worse in the meantime?

The statistic of 93% sexual assault victims know their attacker, why wouldn’t you want a potential victim to know how to defend themselves? If a woman gets firearm training, she will also get situational awareness training, firearm safety training, and learn about other self-defense techniques. No, let’s just retrain the criminals who have no regard for others.

Stay Safe. Stay Aware.


“Oh, I’d love to do that,” she exclaims!

Posted on Posted in Advocacy, Being A Woman

There are very few women I have met that don’t want anything to do with guns. Most of the time, women wish they had time, or wish they knew where to learn when I ask them why they don’t shoot. The one thing I realize is that they consider it an optional pastime as I once did.

It’s for fun, novelty. The local gun store has a ‘Ladies’ Night’ and you get 50 rounds of .22 ammo, a 22. semi-auto and/or revolver pistol. You sit through a short presentation on grip and sights and then go onto the range to shoot. You leave with your target, a grin on your face, and a t-shirt. This may be an excellent way to introduce women to shooting for some but it is lacking in so many regards in my opinion.

On some level, everyone understands the need for personal safety and the reasons why someone would carry but there is a path to take between the thought and the action. First, I feel the solution is to make the path to action easier and more accessible. Women need to know who to talk to, I think this is the main reason women are not as involved as they could be. Shooting sports aren’t even televised or reported about!

For most women, shooting is a man’s world- we see it in the movies and our own male friends and husbands can talk hours about their ‘macho’ subjects. It is no longer just a man subject anymore, women who shoot, enjoy it and want to learn more. However, the cultural norm prevents women from crossing that invisible line, unless they see another woman interested and talking about it. I wish there was more media exposure to the shooting industry, that the 3-gun events were mainstream broadcasted and IDPA and other competitions were more mainstream.

As women shooters, I feel we have to share our experiences and encourage other women. I was hooked when I saw Julie Golob on Love at First Shot on NRA Women TV, how wonderful is that! I want to do that! The more I learn, the more I love, the more I want to share.  The more I see violence in the news, the more I want to arm others so they can protect themselves.

We have to change the “Oh, I’d love to do that!” to “Wow, that was awesome, I want to learn more!”

Stay Safe. Stay Aware.


I’m Terrified Of Guns, But I Felt Like A BADASS Shooting An AR-15

Posted on Posted in Advocacy, Newsfeed


It can be a bit intimidating trying something new, especially something it’s been taught to be afraid of. Are there rules to follow? Sure, but for yours and others protection. I’m sharing her story because we were all there. It’s short and sweet and she’s hooked!


Woman Power in Politics

Posted on Posted in Advocacy, Being A Woman

3770e3b58f4b7e9a5872ce818d4870e6Women have so much power, we can rally people together not just on an intelligence level but also speak to people’s emotions. Sadly, there is a huge push to “mother” the nation with gun control. I feel that women for the 2nd Amendment must stand up and speak out. Of course, evil doings when others are killed shocks us, makes us want to act, punish those that would hurt others, and we must do everything to prevent it from happening again but absolute control is not the way.


Education is the only way. We must call for gun education everywhere, as an American is deplorable that gun education is not taught in schools. I know, I know- the Department of Education has already messed with the political tone and history taught to our children. American history shouldn’t have political slant. That’s a whole other post…I digress.


The Right to Bear Arms is American, 100%- our children should be taught why and gun safety education at every age. Women have powerful voices, women are passionate about their causes and can rally others easily. Men can come across as condescending, patronizing, and rude while if a woman says the same exact message, it can be a call to action. Hillary Clinton’s popularity has nothing to do with Hillary’s politics or record- it is about what she is saying and how she makes people feel.


As women, we must speak out. We must get involved in the political conversation. We must help or form political organizations reach the constituents in our areas. We have voices that should be heard. We can be just as loud about our right to carry as others are about their right to choose. Find organizations in your state, get involved. Be vocal on social media. Help educate your friends, family and advocate!


The NRA doesn’t have control of any legislature- that is spin. The NRA lobbies for the 2nd Amendment and fights to protect it. End of story. The NRA also educates and empowers and has been the sole organization that promotes gun safety education on a mass level. I am the NRA. I will fight. Will you?


Join the D.C. Project: http://www.agirlandagun.org/dc-project/

The D.C. Project is a nonpartisan initiative bringing 50 women, one from each state, to Washington, DC, to establish relationships with their legislators, and reveal the faces and stories of firearms owners and 2nd Amendment supporters.

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) is dedicated to promoting a better understanding about our Constitutional heritage to privately own and possess firearms. To that end, we carry on many educational and legal action programs designed to better inform the public about the gun control debate.


The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is dedicated to protecting your firearms rights. Our role is to educate grass root activists, the public, legislators and the media. Our programs are designed to help all Americans understand the importance of the Second Amendment and its role in keeping Americans free.


Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) is a 501(c)4 grassroots, non-partisan, public benefit organization.

  • To protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and the People’s rights, privileges and immunities deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition, especially the inalienable, fundamental, and individual right to keep and bear arms;
  • To protect, defend, and advance the means and methods by which the People of the United States may exercise those rights, including, but not limited to, the acquisition, collection, transportation, exhibition, carry, care, use, and disposition of arms for all lawful purposes, including, but not limited to, self-defense, hunting, and service in the appropriate militia for the common defense of the Republic and the individual liberty of its citizens;
  • To foster and promote the shooting sports and all lawful uses of arms; and
  • To foster and promote awareness of, and public engagement in, all of the above.

Keep and Bear Arms is a grassroots movement of the people, by the people, and for the people.  It is a call to action, a call for self-education, and a 21 gun salute to the many good men and women who fought and died to bring America into being.

National Association for Gun Rights   With our rapidly expanding membership of 4.5 million grassroots activists, the National Association for Gun Rights has led the charge to halt the radical anti-gun agenda across the nation. Accepting NO COMPROMISE on the issue of gun control, NAGR works tirelessly to hold politicians accountable for their anti-gun views, and has made great strides in protecting and preserving the Second Amendment. But our effectiveness in the battle against the gun grabbers depends entirely on the support of gun rights supporters like you.

There are many more!

Learn about their mission, learn how you can help, do more than donate money, get involved. Your state has advocate groups that need you to volunteer. Be the woman that stands up and rallies others together. Let’s drown out the message of more control and less personal freedoms! Together we can do it!

click here to find out more about NRA membership


She’s Packin’!

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Advocacy, Being A Woman

Very soon social media with be abuzz with She’s Packin’ photos, to bring awareness to women who carry personal protection devices. This campaign is close to all of our hearts because concealed carry is just that, concealed. We want to share with other women that they can protect themselves, see what we carry, you can too!

Carrying women will be sharing a photo amongst their friends, groups, and family. The group of women involved in spreading the message and bringing awareness that women are just as serious about personal protection as men, and want for women to feel empowered. Even if another woman decides to start carrying pepper spray or a self-defense tool on their keychain, it’s one tool more than she had before.

If you see a She’s Packin’ photo, please feel free to submit your own photo in the comments below or jump into the conversation! We are more than happy to talk about the products pictured and answer any questions you have. If you would like to get involved, email me jessica@liveloveload.com, or private message Live Love Load via social media and I will get your She’s Packin’ photo ready to share!

The photo with this post is from Henn Holsters and Tactical, owner Hannah shared her own photo for this project. Please visit her Etsy shop for more options that may fit your conceal carry needs. Henn Holsters is also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so please feel free to Like & Share her posts.

#ShesPackin #LadiesRoar #LadiesShootToo

Stay safe. Stay Aware.


A little polishing…for us.

Posted on Posted in Being A Woman, Stories

I did not grow up in a YouTube world. Nowadays, if you wish to learn something, you can watch thousands of videos (good and bad) to learn anything you want.

When I became 15 my mother took me to Merle Norman to get my first makeup “professionally” done. I walked out of there with a couple of pounds of makeup. My face was completely pancaked and I had makeup of every pore of my face. Even my thick eyebrows had makeup in them!

I never really learned how to properly apply makeup. I started in earnest to learn a couple of years ago in my early 30s. It seemed going to get your makeup done at Merle Norman or a makeup counter was the thing to do and you’re at the mercy of that person’s interpretation of what looks good and their knowledge. I swear, I looked like an overdone performer one time when the ‘makeup artist’ put a dark shade from my lash line all the way to my eyebrows. Geesh, I couldn’t wipe that off fast enough.eyemakeup

I walked into Ulta recently and asked for help. My first question was, ‘are you knowledgeable?’ Which is ridiculous now that I think about it afterwards, of course people are not going to ‘tell’ on themselves for being less than an expert. Anyways,  I needed help determining if my skin tone is cool, warm, or neutral. I don’t know what to call a male made up like a female but not wearing female clothes other than Boy-George.

So Boy-George took a look at my wrist to see what color my veins looked. If they are blue I am cool, if they are green, I’m more neutral. Guess what, based on that I am neutral. BUT I am more of a cool neutral than anything because I have pink undertones to my skin. Boy-George said I was a Neutral Warm. Um, no. You just lost all credibility. Yes, my hair has red tones in it (I paid to put it there) but I am not a Warm in any capacity.


My lesson in all of this is not to trust the paid retail help. You may get lucky and actually find someone who knows what they are talking about because they live and breathe makeup but that hasn’t been my experience. Oh and stay away from the mannequins, if you want a more natural look, the real life mannequin dolls at the makeup counter cannot help you, they cannot even help themselves. If their face seems like a mask they are wearing, walk away. I have a hard time not staring sometimes.

Recently I have learned about-face shapes, eyebrow shapes, eye shapes, skin tones, what colors to wear, and eyeshadow application. You cannot look your best if you don’t know how to accentuate your natural beauty. Makeup is a tool to learn to use. I found this website that has great helps to start your path.


Best part is no one is trying to sell you anything. For years I thought I had a round or oval face. I am actually heart-shaped. Which is why I have had a hard time finding sunglasses that compliment my face. Now I know what to look for. No matter what age, we all want to look and feel our best. I consider this a part of Ladies Roar, anything that promotes self-awareness and self-improvement. #LadiesRoar