Thursday, March 22, 2012

Got Your Back







What a week this has been and it's not even over yet!
I knew I was in for a wild ride at work this week, so I stayed in New York at my brother and future sister in law's house Monday and Tuesday night. This way my commute would be 40 minutes each way rather than 2 hours. Wednesday was an early morning into work accompanied by an executive extravaganza. I basically collapsed when I got home last night after 3 days of non stop go, go, go!
This morning I hopped back in the car bright and early and headed all the way back so I could take notes and photographs of all the merchandise placements. Without going into too much detail, part of my job is to observe, take notes and photos and email them to upper management so they have an idea of upcoming merchandise and how the stores will look. This is only a small piece of what I do, but when you are sending emails to important people with all of your peers on copy, you've got to nail it.
After my pics were done and I jotted as much as I could down, I was back in my car and off to another one of my stores. I carefully typed my notes. Uploaded, named and rotated every picture. Attached the pictures in  a perfect sequence and emailed it all to my boss to give it a quick once over. She gave it a thumbs up and I was thrilled since it was my first time doing it on my own. I carefully sent it all out.
Within the hour she called me. "You're never going to believe this..." was the opening line and my heart sunk. Every picture I had so carefully edited, rotated and saved one by one was upside down in the email! She couldn't understand because when I sent it to her they were perfect. I have no clue what happened. I felt my face flush and heart sink. This email went to people who don't know me from Adam....I can't believe this happened.
She told me that she was called by one of the exec's who is actually the person that hired me many moons ago on my first go round with the company. She was upset for me that it had happened (especially on my first one!) and had her secretary turn it into a power point. They emailed it back to me so I could resend it out myself with a disclaimer about the prior error. Talk about saving the day!
Her generous act meant a ton to me as I am sure there was at least one caddy person out there thinking "Rookie". In a day and age where so many people are clamoring to try and get to the top with no regard for who they trample on the way, it was refreshing and heartwarming to know that there are some people out there confident enough in themselves that they can boost and bolster others. She emailed me later to tell me I did a great job and I responded by thanking her for having my back. 
Of course the powerpoint looked pretty impressive and I received a bunch of emails giving me accolades. Normally I would give credit where credit is due, but I think she is just fine with me keeping this one between us.

P.S. When I saw this peplum top and color blocked skirt on the 50% off rack at New York & Company a few weeks back, I couldn't resist. 

P.P.S. As I type this, my sister in law is in the hospital getting ready to give birth to a new little niece. I'm going to be an auntie again tonight!!!

peplum & skirt: ny&co
earrings: express
sunglasses: adrienne vittadini
heels: bandolino
watch: citizen
bracelet & ring: tiffany's

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Fever


I love adding elements of the current season to my home, and while it might seem overzealous to be decorating for Easter in early March, the thermometer has totally said it's acceptable. With temperatures consistently hovering above normal for this time of year, the thought that spring is finally here has filled me with so much energy and creativity just dying to be unleashed.

In my new found attempts at thriftiness, I dismantled a wreath that I haven't used in a while to function as floral "picks" in this wooden trough that doubles as a wine/beer cooler when we entertain. A few inexpensive grass mats from Michael's (at 40% off!) and some adorable fuzzy chicks give our foyer a true spring feel.


Some beautiful blossoms on my dining room buffet provides a fresh sense of rebirth. Aren't the first blooms of spring always so refreshing?
For my dining room table I did another thrifty DIY project.
I purchased 2 moss rolls at Michael's (when they were 40% off).


I rolled them out in a large wooden tray I have had for years.
I bet you can guess what I used in that tray...


Of course! The glass cloches that I use constantly in seasonal decor!
For Easter they are filled with little wooden and porcelain eggs and a little patch of leftover moss. Extra fuzzy chicks and some scattered mini eggs fill the bottom.




The eggs were purchased at a craft fair many, many years ago. I don't always use them from year to year. But as I have said before, if you collect what you love and invest in some decorating pieces that can be multi functional reinvention can be limitless.

How do you decorate for Spring?

Monday, March 19, 2012

StrengthsFinders




Years ago I took the Clifton StrengthsFinder 2.0 quiz at work. All the leaders in the company took this to help us all leverage our strengths to maximize our leadership potential. 
I totally get off on things like this.
Last time I took it, my strengths were:
Strategic
Analytical
Input
Responsibility 
Command

I got a good chuckle over Command because that is the one that means you are bossy. My strengths were dead on to my personality. I can be pretty bossy and struggle keeping the "it's my way or the highway" thing under control from time to time.
On my first day of work, my new/old boss handed me another copy of StrengthsFinders and I told her how I took it years ago with all of them when the company rolled it out as a learning tool. I almost declined it, but in an instant realized that maybe I should take it again. I have changed so much, especially in the last 6 months...maybe some of my strengths have changed too?

Tonight I finally got the chance to sit down and take the quiz. And guess what? My top 5 strengths HAVE changed! I had a funny feeling they had! My new strengths are:

Strategic
Input
Communication
Intellection
Competition

I was disappointed at first. I was proud of Responsibility because I take complete ownership of everything I am involved with and see it through. Even Command didn't seem so bad when you read into the description because it really meant that you aren't afraid to take control and be a leader. It seemed I had lost two of my strengths I had been pretty proud of.

As I read into each description in depth, my disappointment faded and I realized that these 5 strengths really do define who I am now. Upon first glance I thought competition was the need to win (which I never mind doing) but it really means that you have the most clarity and focus when working under a deadline. And boy, oh boy, isn't that the truth! I didn't know what to do with myself at home half of the time with no schedule or regimen! Being back to work and juggling my life at 90 miles an hour feels right to me. It feels good. Because when I juggle it all at once is when I make things happen and am at my most creative.

Unfortunately, I don't always focus on my strengths to get through a situation. Sometimes I get caught up on my weaknesses as many of us do. I need to stop myself more often and remember these things I am good at, then leverage them to guide me through more than just work situations.

 I am thinking about getting it for my son and my husband to take too. I think it will give us all a better idea of how to motivate and support each other as husband deals with an exhaustingly stressful job and Mr. Teenager is looking for his first job and goes to college in just over a year.

Have you ever taken StrengthsFinders? 
You can find it at places like Barnes and Noble ~ no matter what your career, it is always good to recognize our strengths and use them to our advantage.
Like my new found strength of remixing black and white into something fresh and new each day! 

*in the 3rd picture see the extra fabric in the pant leg? Those were ordered for work in a size up which fit me perfectly when they arrived (sadly). After one week of my diet and running they are way too big! Woot! Woot!

vest: thrifted jean jacket that i diy'ed
sweater, shirt, pants: jcrew
shoes: enzo angiolini
sunglasses: express
bracelets: jcrew & express
watch: citizen


Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Fat Story, Part 2


I found out I was pregnant in early 1994. It was a crazy thought and my head swirled with fear, anxiety and overall shock. Although I had been living on my own since the fall of 1992, had a good job and was planning to marry my boyfriend, getting pregnant had not been in the equation. I worried about being responsible for someone other than myself. I worried how I was going to afford it ~ weren't babies expensive? 
Besides the obvious issues of stability, being pregnant at such a young age was a tough transition. I still wore my nose ring and my job was managing a rock and roll boutique. The job afforded me my individuality, but now that I was going to be a mom...shouldn't I change how I look? Maternity clothing was a nightmare. All floral print and matronly looking. I sat in many a fitting room and cried my eyes out.
To add insult to injury, early in my pregnancy the doctors discovered I had a genetic kidney disease that if untreated would eventually kill me. Unfortunately, the treatment was to completely remove my left kidney, which was impossible to do in my current state. I spent the better part of 9 months in emotional turmoil and physically sick.
On September 8, 1994 after 36 hours of labor, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Holding him those first moments made everything I had been through more than worth it. I thought I had known what love was, but looking at my own child made me realize that the love I felt for others was completely conditional. I learned in a split second what the meaning of unconditional truly was.
Two months later I spent my 21st birthday at home in my apartment nursing my infant instead of at the bars like all my friends did.
Six months after that, I underwent surgery to have my left kidney removed and spent a week hospitalized and a month convalescing at my grandparents home.
It was a crazy time indeed.

I had never watched what I ate or exercised. I only gained 24 pounds during my pregnancy. Almost immediately after my son arrived I started gaining weight at a rapid pace. Being so busy with a newborn, I barely noticed. Until I looked like this:




I don't think I noticed because my mother was obese. My grandmother had been obese for many, many years. But I was still skinnier than they were, wasn't I? My sister has battled with weight her whole entire life and one day I snickered at her over something insulting one of my brothers had said to her in an argument. I will never forget what happened next.
She turned to me, fire in her eyes, and said, "What are you laughing about? We're the same size!"
Wh~wh~WHAT???
It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was never a really skinny kid, but I had always been "normal". In comparison to mom, Nanny and my sister....I was the skinny one! 
I was stunned into silence.
I looked into the mirror and for the first time I saw what I really looked like and I didn't like it.

I decided that if I wasn't going to be fat any longer, then I needed to cut fat out of my diet.
Completely.
And I lost 20 pounds in 2 weeks flat.
The doctor scolded me for losing too much too fast, but I was determined. The freedom from those 20 pounds was so exhilarating that it only powered me on. I became obsessed over what I ate. My son's father and I practically had an all out brawl one evening when I caught him dumping a chunk of butter into a saucepan of veggies. 
"Now I can't eat that!!!" I screamed "You ruined it!!!"
I rode my bike, did yoga and target exercises every single day. When I finally agreed to marry my son's father (a long story), the dress I ordered was the smallest size the designer made and slid right off my shoulders. Luckily, the designer and her team had me come into NYC to their studio where they altered the dress to fit my tiny frame.
When my son was 4 years old, his father and I married and my dad and my son both gave me away.


I separated from my husband exactly a year later. During the stress of the divorce, I became scary skinny. When people told me I was too thin (which was all the time) I rolled my eyes. Could there be such a thing as too skinny? I sure didn't think so.
Falling in love again after my divorce was a surprise because it happened to be with one of my brother's best friends. We were engaged in less than a year and eloped nine months later, two days before my son's 7th birthday. We tried for a baby immediately and within 3 months we were pregnant with baby girl. I was nervous about gaining weight, but determined that I was going back to work six weeks after her birth in my regular clothing. No ifs, ans or buts about it ~ it was non negotiable.
Within the first week I was home from the hospital I decided it was time to start working out again and nearly put myself back in the hospital. I had enough common sense to apply the brakes at that point, but true to my word, I was wearing all of my pre pregnancy clothing when she was six weeks old.
I don't know where my determination has been hiding these past 7 years as I have let weight creep on. I haven't stopped exercising and maybe the thought that I was still "active" nulled out the calories from drinking half a bottle of wine myself? Or perhaps I stopped seeing what I truly look like in the mirror as I did almost two decades ago. 
One thing is for sure, if I did it once, I can do it again.
I am determined ~ I will do this.

Thanks again for listening and your supportive comments on my last post. You guys are seriously the best.

*fyi ~ my mother had to resort to gastric bypass surgery after having knee replacement surgery in order to get her weight under control and I know that her personal battle haunts me. Thus my obsession with being in shape. Mom would be the first one to say, "Don't ever let it happen to yourself ~ it's not worth it"



Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Fat Story, Part 1





Most of the time I write here with my tongue firmly placed in my cheek. I am a believer in gentle comic relief or silly sarcasm. I have drama pop up in my life from time to time as you all do. There are days I find myself inconsolably cranky as well as days spent with my stomach in knots with worry and stress. My favorite days are the ones when I feel pure bliss for no reason other than the fact that I live a blessed existence.

I keep the dark and negative as far away from this place as I can because I never started writing this blog to be a platform for my moods. Of course, the real life things pop through here and there. I am a real person of course!  I don't think I give the impression that my life is perfect. I'm just like every single one of you ~ my moods range from happy to sad, loved to lonely, joy to disappointment...I trust you get where I am coming from.

Something I have not shared with all of you is how desperately unhappy I have been with my body for far too long now. Did you chuckle to yourself and say "then why do you take pictures of yourself on a regular basis?" Because you would have every right to. It sounds ridiculous doesn't it? I could just imagine the headline if I was a tabloid worthy soul, "Vain "style" blogger bitches about her looks after posting loads of pictures of herself everyday". I would pick it up and give it a go through in the checkout lane myself.

I'm not writing this to garner compliments, or comments. Nor am I writing this to whine about the whole situation. I'm telling you this because I am in the process of doing something about it. And I decided a while back that I wanted to share something with all of you.
My Fat Story.
I'm not referring to my current state. Many, many years ago I was overweight, took matters into my own hands, lost it all and then some. Over the past 7 years I have gained about 30 pounds and I have finally said enough is enough. It's time to change my lifestyle and mindset for good. I am not looking to lose 30 pounds. Thirty pounds ago I was often told I was too skinny. Probably because I existed on Red Bull, coffee and yogurt. I don't need to be a size 0 or 00 again...but when my size 4 dress no longer fits? I pick up the phone and say "Houston, we've got a problem."

Instead of picking up the phone, I utilized this amazing community of bloggers and reached out to the wonderful Anne who's blog I have been reading for quite some time. Anne is in incredible shape, teaches classes at her local gym and when she posted about putting her husband on a fitness plan, I knew I needed her to put me on one too. Even if it is long distance and through the interwebs. Although she just moved halfway across the country and juggles 3 young children she obliged. See, I told you blog friends are best!

On Sunday I started Anne's diet plan. She suggested I not worry about working out because the diet is so restrictive and tough to stick to, but I'm no quitter. I can do this. At Anne's suggestion, I started running 2 weeks ago and haven't quit yet. Nor have I quit or cheated on her plan which has eliminated all sugar and carbs from my diet. That means no wine, minimal portions of fruit, and tons and tons of protein. I eat every 3 hours as the goal is to retrain my metabolic system. Deny it sugar so it has no option but to burn fat. It's not rocket science, but with all the crap in processed foods and false labels guaranteeing healthy living it's easy to be fooled. I was.

I love to drink and make merry. Husband and I both love to cook and entertain. As we age, the old tricks I used to rely on after a "binge" no longer work. And it totally sucks. And now that I shared this with all of you, I really have no choice but to make it happen or you will all be asking yourselves,
"What the hell happened?"

Tomorrow I will share my story on my past and why this is so important to me now.
Thanks for listening.

skirt: jcrew #2 pencil
shirt: old, old ny&co
scarf: ?
heels: bandolino
bracelets: jcrew and express
ring: gifted by an old friend in high school
sunglasses: banana republic

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

When In Rome






Around this time of year I start looking at my pasty white legs and I find myself dreaming about the warm glow of the sun gently tinting them a shimmering brown. The siren call of the tanning bed begins blaring so loudly in my head that my vehicle will often shift to autopilot and before I realize it I am sitting in the parking lot of the tanning salon with no recollection of how I even got there.
I go to the tanning salon a handful of times to give myself a great base tan before beach season officially hits. When summer finally arrives, oh my, do I lay there as often as possible for hours on end soaking up those glorious rays with every inch of my being. I love the beach and personally think I look so much better when my skin is a glowing bronze. 
Don't judge.
 I was born and raised here on the Jersey Shore where I have resided for decades on the opposite side of the bridge that leads to THAT Jersey Shore. You know the one I'm talking about...where tanning is a daily activity, there are more gold chains than Mr.T could have dreamed of and where the height of hair poof's rival the nations tallest buildings. In my youth (remember what I looked like?) if I ended up over there with friends there would inevitably be confrontations between that lot and my pale, artsy friends. We couldn't understand their big hair and MC Hammer pants and they didn't get why we wore all black and our clothing was safety pinned together.

Fast forward to today, where our once exclusive musical tastes have long lost their mystique thanks to the day when bands like Nirvana and Green Day hit Top 40 lists.  Seaside is still full of big hair, just without the MC Hammer pants (I still don't get it...) and even has a hit TV show all about the antics that occur there. There are still confrontations, but mostly because someone is way too drunk and out of control. The days of separate groups and rival cliques seem long gone. Husband and I only go there occasionally for a few drinks, like this past Saturday when we met up with friends for the St. Patty's Day celebration. The bars were so packed we could barely move, it took about half of an hour to wave down the bartender each time to get another drink, and while walking back to the car there were stumbling drunks to dodge everywhere. I laughed to my sober self and shook my head thinking that some things will just never change.
Then this morning as I was getting dressed in these pants, lamenting that my legs are too white to bare and it was too warm for tights, I looked in the mirror at my heavy chains and hair and asked my husband;
"Oh my gosh...does it look like I have a Snooki poof?"
Holy crap. 
I've changed.

blouse: ny&co
cafe capri: jcrew
necklace: express
sunglasses: banana republic
heels: bandolino
bracelets: bought at this lovely ladies holiday shopping party

*upon further reflection I decided it just looks like I am wearing one of those "bump-its". Not that that makes it any better... ;)
** ironically I got a good chuckle out of the old post I linked up as it had a very similar vibe! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

For Good Measure





I've been boasting about my deep closet dives and I thought it was time to come through and show you all what exactly I am talking about ~ even though I am a little wrinkled and disheveled after working all day.
I guess you can say I'm just keeping it real.
I spent Sunday packing away the heaviest woolens and started transitioning our closets for spring. We are supposed to have temperatures in the 70's all week so I figured why not? And I will accept full responsibility if a fluke snow storm occurs! Of course there are things that need to remain packed away until summer regardless of my high hopes, and there are certainly things that need to be put away once the mercury rises on a more permanent basis, but the bulk of the work is done.
This JCrew tunic, circa 2009 or such, is one of those items I pack away during the colder months. Considering I need all the options I can have for work wear, out it came. These pants are an even deeper closet dive. They are made of a very thick knit and fit like a pant but they feel like a legging! I liken it to wearing pajama jeans...just nicer! And ~ as if wearing pants that feel like pj's wasn't good enough, they have the cutest little zippers on the back of the ankles! I can't even remember how long I have had these pants for...but I'm sure they are well on their way to being classified as "vintage" sooner rather than later! And the belt? It could be the grandmother of the pants, that is for sure! Then, just to keep all of you on your toes, I threw in some neutrals for good measure. You're welcome.
On a more serious note, I have read a couple of interesting articles lately regarding a current "trend" of people, who, much like I did, are pink slipping their employers and walking away from their jobs/careers. The articles I read boasted how this is a sign of a strengthening economy. Americans are feeling much more confident that another job awaits them, so why put up with nonsense?
While that may all be true, I feel a big reason people are walking away from jobs that are too demanding and too stressful is because there is a shift in mentality happening out there. People have realized that they can live a full, happy life on so much less. Frugality is quite the buzz word lately and I find myself drawn to others who share this same mindset. Less is more.
I have also been reading articles on how malls across this nation are dying slow and painful deaths as traffic is way down and retailers are pulling out left and right due to their own store closures or for the fear of getting trapped in a lease and going down with the ship. I believe a large majority of people have realized that instead of owning 10 cheap t-shirts, they are better off saving up and buying 2 higher end ones that they really want. People aren't going to malls like they used to because people just aren't shopping like they used to.
For well over a year I have been saying to anyone who will listen to me that shopping habits have changed. Remember when your mom used to take you clothing shopping twice a year? Once for your summer clothes and once for your fall clothes? And the only time you went to the mall in between was if you needed an outfit for a special occasion? Remember how your parents probably used layaway to buy your Christmas presents? I do. And just look at how many retailers reinstated their layaway policies just this past holiday season.
I am certainly no saint when it comes to money and budgeting. My heart begins to race and I get butterflies in the pit of my stomach every time there is a new JCrew catalog in the mailbox. I can spend hours trolling ebay and thrift stores searching for that elusive, perfect treasure. 
But in my lucid moments away from the coveting craze that occasionally overcomes me, I can honestly say that she who dies with the most clothes is not necessarily the happiest. But she who dies wearing the hell out of a pair of pajama style work pants? Now that's a whole other story indeed....

tunic & heels: jcrew
scarf: express
pants & belt: ny&co
sunglasses: banana republic
bracelet & ring: tiffany's
watch: citizen



Monday, March 12, 2012

May I Take Your Order?






Having to wear a dress code based on color is a wonderful thing for someone like me who is embracing the "less is more" mindset. I just cannot justify buying myself something I won't be able to wear to work.
However, being allowed to only wear all black or black and white can be a little tricky. Black on black can go totally wrong if the fabrics and textures are amiss. Black and white when not pulled together properly can look like a food service uniform. So what's a girl to do?
Accessories people, accessories!
I've had this dress for many years and have always worn it with a white button up underneath. (Collar popped as always!) To keep from looking too uniform~y, I have worn it with patterned belts and big chunky baubles. In this reincarnation I decided a buffalo check scarf and loads of pretty bangles made it more hipster than "did you want fries with that?"

dress: limited
shirt: jcrew
scarf & tights: express
bangles & belt: ny&co
watch: citizen
bracelet & ring: tiffany's
shoes: style and co
sunglasses: adrienne vittadini

Friday, March 9, 2012

That Loving Feeling






There was so much I loved about yesterday.
I had a great day at work, I felt comfortable in this outfit, temperatures were in the 70's, and I arrived home while it was still light out. It was one of those days where the sun, moon and stars all seem to align into sheer bliss. I took full advantage of the daylight that remained and snapped these photos before heading out for a run. That 20 minutes of exercise gave me the most incredible burst of energy and while I am usually at my worst in the evening hours, I found myself being so proactive all while in the best mood ever! It may sound laughable, but getting a jump start on laundry before the weekend and having things like the coffee pot prepped and ready to go on when I wake in the morning go a long way in making a happy me.

There's a bit of love brewing in the air around here in general lately. Little girl has a sweet, 3rd grade version of romance blossoming at school right now and it's innocence can't help but put a smile on my face. In the beginning of the school year she was all about the tousled, blonde, popular boy in her class named Vito. Back in the fall when I had her parent/teacher conference, her teacher informed me that one of the boys in the class had a huge crush on her. Of course, I asked if it was Vito knowing that it would send my little darling straight over the moon.
She told me it wasn't Vito, but a sweet, quiet, brown haired boy in the class named Dan. His parents had informed her at their meeting that he couldn't stop talking about my daughter ~ he thought she was simply amazing. Her teacher swooned over how sweet he is to her and what a great boy he is. I think we both cocked our heads to one side at the same time and in unison let out a huge "Awwwwww!"
Of course I kept this all secret from my daughter, but over the months listened as she has begun talking about Dan more and more. "I think he likes me Mommy" she has mentioned again and again. When she's had a bad day I can rely that she will tell me how Dan did something very sweet to cheer her up. Just a few weeks ago she announced that Dan was her very best friend at school and how she now eats lunch with him and plays with him on the playground everyday.
As I drove home in the glorious sunlight yesterday, I listened as she chatted with me over the phone telling me all about her day. I asked how Dan was, and she told me how his friends wanted him to play football on the playground yesterday so he asked my daughter if she wouldn't mind him doing so. (cue another "Awww"!) She shared how she told him to go right ahead although inside she was so disappointed that she wouldn't get to play with him herself. 
"You like him don't you?" I asked.
She hesitated before bursting out, "Oh, Mommy I do! He's so sweet to me and so nice to me!"
"No more Vito then?"
"No. He's a jerk and stepped on my lunchbox on purpose yesterday."

I know a real live relationship is in her far off future, but I can't help but find this little crush adorable. And I want to cheer for the sweet and quiet boy who's kind ways and caring manners won her over.
It's always nice when the good guy wins isn't it?

blouse & cardi: express
cafe capri: jcrew
heels: bandolino
bracelets: jcrew & express
sunglasses: banana republic

Thursday, March 8, 2012

iPhone Life








Life is a whirlwind lately. 
I feel as if yesterday was Saturday but it will already be Saturday again in just two days? How could that be?

I'm still trying to find my groove in getting back to work. Figuring out my own systems and routines at home as well as in the workplace. My hours in the car are long as my responsibilities take me to different locations in New York and very metro parts of northernmost New Jersey every day. All far from what I now realize is actually my "quiet" seaside hamlet; otherwise known as home. I knew what I was signing up for in taking this job and the commute that comes with it and to be honest the time spent in the car has it's merits. The morning commute is a chance to plan my day and make any work related phone calls. The drive home is an hour or two of pure "downtime". Peace and quiet and the chance to be alone with my thoughts. It also affords me a chance to catch up with loved ones so that when I arrive home I can be present.
I would be lying however, if I didn't tell you that I am dying for daylight savings time. It was so warm yesterday and after spending a day setting up my office and doing desk work I had more energy than a hyperactive toddler. I was aching to get home and get outside for a walk, a bike ride, anything...but the traffic I hit put me half an hour later than I should have been and by that time it was dark. C'est la vie. 

The thought of outfit pictures is laughable right now and the only photos I have been taking are for Instagram. It's a crying shame because my closet dives are deep and many things that were almost forgotten have been seeing the light of day. Wearing all black or black and white takes more thought and consideration than one might think and has me stretching the limits of my wardrobe while maintaining my more frugal mind set. And it feels pretty darn good.

All in all, I can't complain. Life is great and I am truly blessed. Seeing the beauty of such a magnificent skyline on a regular basis is pretty darn cool. And there's something to be said about stand still traffic affording me the chance to capture that beauty and share it with all of you.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Projections






Saturday just felt good.
The forecast for wet and dingy weather was instead a reality of warm, dry, beautiful sunny skies. The fine weather was so infectious that I couldn't help but feel warm and sunny on the inside too. My great mood translated into a smile on my face, boundless energy and a longer tether of patience than I usually have when out and about running errands.
My inner happiness was met with smiles and pleasant banter through my travels. A stranger saying "Oh, go ahead of me in line you have much less than I do" a cashier complimenting me on my handbag and asking where I got it (the Tillary of course!) and an overall air of kindness and well being surrounded my every move.
Coincidence? I think not....
A while back I was zooming around Target with my shopping cart in a rush and generally irritated by everyone who kept getting in my way. And everyone was getting in my way that day. I noticed that I passed this same elderly gentleman a few times from aisle to aisle and each time he kept looking at me. He eventually approached me and said, "You are very beautiful. You would be a great deal prettier if you smiled though."
At first I bristled at his comment. Sure, I knew I was tearing through the place looking as irritated as I felt. I'm sure my exasperated sighs were more than audible when I came across those "aisle blockers" and slowpokes who were hampering my rush. But, who was this man to pass a comment or even care?
In reality, I couldn't help but smile in response to his comment, blush a little and thank him for the compliment, however backhanded it may have been. When I did smile, his face lit up and he pointed his finger at me and said, "Now that's what I am talking about!"
After having such an enjoyable day yesterday and seeing the warm response my great mood received from everyone around me it really got me thinking about how we project ourselves. Perception is reality 99% of the time, isn't it? Of course I am a realist and know that I will never be a Pollyanna type 100% of the time. But I also believe in mind over matter and the power of thought.
What I haven't told you all was that I was very cranky when I woke up yesterday. It was wet and gloomy out. I was tired and irritable and sat down for a few moments in quiet and decided that I was not going to spend my day feeling that way. The conscious choice for happiness is what truly righted my mood and the change in weather was an added bonus that simply complimented it.
Today is grey and colder. My house is messy and I woke up to dishes left over from last night. I thought I had finished doing all the laundry when the kids churned out another couple of loads they must have been hoarding somewhere in their rooms. But sitting here right now I am choosing to put a smile on my face, rally the troops to help me get this place pulled together so we can have an amazing day together like we did yesterday. 
We don't know what will happen tomorrow, so why waste today?

How do you right your bad moods?

leather jacket: donna karan
blouse: ny&co
scarf , earrings & jeans: express
shoes: jcrew
sunglasses: banana republic