Can We? Monday, Jul 16 2012 

I read an interesting article today about whether women can “have it all.” It seems to have become a hot topic over the last few years as we strive to move up the ladder, raise a family and still make time for ourselves. I believe that part of the heat fanning the flames of this conversation is that as women, we tend to scrutinize and judge other women’s choices. At the root of it, I think that judging comes from a deep-rooted insecurity that the other woman we are judging is doing something we haven’t achieved. And frankly, I’m not sure that there is a definite answer to whether we can have it all. I think it really depends on each woman’s definition of having it all. I also think there is a natural ebb and flow – there are times in our lives when we feel like we’ve got control of everything and are knocking things out of the park left and right, and there will inevitably be a time where we feel like we’ve dropped all of our balls and have no way to grab them again.

For me, the concept of “having it all” implies perfection, which is impossible to achieve:

  • A happy, healthy marriage (CHECK!)
  • A job that I love that gives me a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment everyday (still not sure what that job is for me or what that feels like)
  • Raising perfectly groomed, healthy kids (this one doesn’t count yet since we have not started procreating yet)
  • A home that is perfectly decorated and could be photographed for a magazine in a heartbeat (yeah, right)
  • Living a completely healthy lifestyle with a perfect body – working out regularly at 5 a.m., never indulging in processed foods and enjoying all treats in moderation (NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN)

I also think that as women, we are our harshest critics, and the negative poison of “comparison to others” is more prevalent than it’s ever been, thanks to social media and the internet. When I have negative days and beat myself up for where I should be in my life, I try to think of what I would want to teach my daughter, should I have one someday. I would want her to believe in herself, be confident and proud and positive. So when I’m having a particularly negative day, I try to make a conscious decision to focus on the great things in my life and be grateful for what I have and who I am. It’s not always easy and sometimes nothing pulls me out of that funk, but it’s important to try.

Today I am grateful that my husband and I and our families have never experienced true poverty. I am proud of myself for making healthy eating a priority for us most of the time. Knowing I would be home later tonight that usual, I cooked tonight’s dinner last night and it was delicious. Plus, I baked some homemade cookies. The sense of accomplishment I felt from planning ahead and spending a few hours in the kitchen yesterday afternoon allowed me to come home from a long day, heat up a yummy dinner and catch up on some tv this evening.

I may never have it all by my definition, but I know I have more than enough.

What are your thoughts on this hot topic? Do you think women can have it all? What’s your definition of having it all?

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A-Z Monday, Jul 9 2012 

I saw this on one of the many blogs I read daily and am stealing it. After a Monday back at work after a full week of vacation, it’s hard to get back into the swing of things and my mind has been blank all day on a fun blog topic. So here you go. Plus, it’s always important to cherish the small things.

The Small Things – A-Z

A: almond butter – YUM! I can’t get enough.

B: Brett – my hubby. He makes everyday better.

C: champagne – I went to a happy hour tonight and enjoyed the bubbly.

D: dresses – easy to wear and always flattering.

E: eggs – one of my favorite foods and oh-so-healthy.

F: family – I just love my fam and enjoyed spending time with them last week.

G: girlfriends – no explanation needed

H: house – okay, so maybe this isn’t a small thing, but I love our house and after living here 2.5 years, it really feels like it’s ours. Plus, we take for granted that we have a safe, secure shelter over our heads every night.

I: Internet – because, let’s face it, we live in the online world

J: jewelry – I love to accessorize

K: Kate Spade – still loving her line.

L: lazy – let’s face it, I enjoy being lazy

M: macaroni & cheese – YUMMMMMMMMM

N: nail polish – I’ve been thinking about adding a minty green-teal color to my collection, so that will probably happen soon.

O: orange – one of my favorite summer colors

P: Pirate’s Booty – so yummy! I enjoyed it alongside my whole wheat bagel thin smeared with almond butter for dinner tonight

Q: quiet – I appreciate living in a quiet suburb

R: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – my absolute favorite candy

S: spinning – my Tuesday/Thursday a.m. workout – I love the sense of accomplishment I get from this

T: The Bar Method – I have already professed my love for this (side note: S & T necessary because of my immense love of R ;))

U: umbrella – because it’s a stylish, functional accessory

V: vase – I love a clear, chunky vase – such a statement piece

W: wine – no explanation needed. (Coincidentally, girlfriends and wine go well together, and no explanation is needed for either.)

X: XM radio – although, technically, we subscribe to Sirius, but since they are one in the same now, it counts.

Y: yard – I love our yard

Z: Zoey, of course!

What are some of the small things you appreciate in life?

Would You Move? Monday, Jan 9 2012 

I wore one of my favorite dresses from Dress Shop today. (Sorry, no picture. I didn’t take one and we all know my camera sucks anyway.) But back to my topic, a colleague at work complimented me and said “You should be in fashion instead of doing XYZ….” I said thank you and told her I would love to work in fashion, but really needed to live in NYC for that. The conversation got me thinking about being bold and brave enough to uproot yourself and make a change for something that you love. I can tell you right off the bat that I personally don’t think I would ever do this. For one thing, I’m married, we own a house and are the parents to a chubby, wrinkly English bulldog. We are at a place in our lives where packing up everything and relocating would be beyond challenging. Secondly, I appreciate security and routine so would never be brave enough to just quit my job and move. And I discovered my love of fashion late in life. I didn’t major in it and never really considered making a career in that industry. Plus, I’m pretty sure that I’m not edgy or avant-garde enough in my style to actually work in the industry.

I have huge respect and admiration for people who actually take that leap of faith and move or start over to try something they love. Have you ever made that leap? Do you think you ever would?

Just for fun, let’s pretend that we don’t have jobs/mortgages/family commitments to keep us somewhere – in this fantasy land, where would you move and what you want to do? I would love to have lived in NYC for a while, or even better, London or Paris. And I would have loved to have a shot in the fashion world, or as a best-selling author or even as a chef. It’s fun to play pretend.

It’s even more fun to spend the evening with my hubby and my pup. 🙂

Rambling Thoughts (About Fashion & Style, Of Course) Thursday, Apr 21 2011 

So I forgot to update about my Belmont Open Clogs that I ordered online from Banana Republic. They came in and got stuck in the closet for a good week during a cleaning spree. Earlier this week, I pulled them out to try them on. I was so excited and convinced they would be my new spring shoe. The verdict? Not good. Just not for me. I still fully believe these are cute shoes and very “now.” But they just didn’t work on me. They were super tall and chunky all over. They just didn’t flatter my legs. Of course, we’re all our own worst critic, but I attributed it to my hourglass (okay, pear) shape. There are a lot of things I love about my body shape, but considering that I carry most of my weight in my curvy backside and hips, adding chunkiness to my feet just didn’t flatter me. And as I’ve said in earlier posts, finding your personal style is all about dressing for you. These weren’t for me. I hope someone else out there loves these! I would love to see pics of how everyday, stylish women wear these.

On another note, I am planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe in June for 10 days. I am beyond excited. It’s a girls’ trip with my mom and some very dear friends. On the top of my mind is what to pack. Call me shallow, but I will not go to Paris and Italy looking fuddy-duddy. I want to be stylish and updated but still pack efficiently. A few things on my mental packing list…..

  • A few more skirts (I don’t want to wear jeans or shorts – no need to scream “tourist”), so I plan on packing comfy and cute dresses and skirts. Plus, I have noticed that I really don’t like the majority of skirts in my closet anymore, so finding some new options is imperative.
  • Some comfortable shoes. Not planning on wearing tennis shoes  – see the note above about not being an obvious tourist. I purchased a pair of Cole Haan flats with Nike Air technology, but am worried about them rubbing on my heels, so maybe I need some comfy, flat strappy sandals.
  • A cross-body bag – stylish and functional.

I think this list will keep me occupied for the next few months. I’ve got a local shopping trip planned when my BFF comes in town next weekend and I plan to shop smart: focus on this list – the things I need – and I need to stick to some sort of a budget. Should make some for some interesting blog updates.

Have a stylish Easter weekend!

Style Matters Tuesday, Mar 22 2011 

One of the (many) reasons that I started this blog was to step outside of my comfort zone, specifically in my own personal style. During my regular perusal of fashion magazines and blogs/websites, I find outfits and articles of clothing that I am drawn to. However, when I open my closet doors, I don’t see a lot of that style reflected back. So my hope is that this blog will help me pinpoint my personal style and really streamline my wardrobe to project that style daily.

Another reason for starting this blog is that I truly am passionate about fashion and personal style. I realize that fashion is not saving the world, not curing any diseases. But whether we want to admit it or not, we are all judged on our outward appearance. First impressions are so important and always will be, even in a society that is full of technology and social media. In addition to how we are perceived, I really believe that finding your personal style gives people confidence. Wearing clothes that flatter you makes you feel great about yourself, which in turn reflects in your daily life, your attitude and your work.

If someone asked me today what my dream job would be (taking out risk and money and security factors) I would be a personal stylist, hands down. I think giving someone that gift of discovering who they are and increasing their self-confidence through their style would be so fulfilling. But I don’t have any experience in that. I didn’t major in fashion and have no formal training. So for now, I will start with myself: look at what I put together to wear in the mornings with a critical eye, clean out my closet, be much more selective in what I purchase. It will definitely be a test in discipline: I’m regularly lazy and my shopping habit has always gone the way of “purchase everything that looks good on me for 1.5 seconds that I like.” It’s definitely a fun way to shop and gives you that rewarding shopping rush, but it does not a cohesive wardrobe make.

So I’m on my way to re-styling myself. Should be fun.