Thursday, December 31, 2015

Adios, 2015

New Year's Resolution #1: Write more in 2016!

For a million reasons, I neglected this blog in 2015, but I hope to revive it in 2016. I also hope to write more, to simplify, give/donate more things (I got rid of a LOT of things this year --it is truly life-changing), use my new Fitbit to motivate more movement and less sitting, spend less time on gadgets and more time with live experiences, to cook more, to stick with my capsule wardrobe, which I've really loved and am continuing to improve upon. I'll also continue my annual tradition of writing out ten resolutions with the goal of accomplishing the ones that make the most sense. It eases the pressure and helps me focus on what I want the next year to look like.

2015 was a doozie of a year. I left a job I loved to take on a new adventure of building a customer success team at a small start-up. It's been quite an adventure, and nothing at all like I thought it would be, which is all part of professional growth. I've been out of my comfort zone more than I could ever have imagined, including driving a 15 passenger van filled with international customers with extremely specific dietary needs and many, many questions. I co-authored a 50 page training manual in a matter of 48 hours due to unforeseen circumstances that were terribly stressful but I survived in one piece. With each challenge, it's been an opportunity to grow, and that's never a bad thing.

This year, I made some wonderful new friends and walked away from some toxic situations. I worked on being more direct (I still have work to do there, but every time I get out of my comfort zone and have a direct conversation, it has the most positive results).

I had to give up walking to work, so I bought a little golf cart. Okay, it's not a golf cart, but a small used convertible that I absolutely love. If you have to drive, it might as well be a fun time. I pump up my favorite songs and sing at the top of my lungs with the wind in my hair. I'm a firm believer that everyone should have a convertible at some point in their life!

In September, my husband's mother Eileen passed away. She was an incredible woman, the epitome of grace and class, feisty and whip-smart, and never afraid to tell it like it was. We miss her terribly but are so thankful for the time Tim and his siblings had to spend with their mother in her last days, and we're eternally grateful for the legacy she left to her grandchildren.

I lost two friends in two separate tragedies this year. Both men were far too young to leave us, and were such incredible influences to so many. I'm still shocked, saddened, and mainly angry that they're gone. It seems like a cliche to tell you to hug those you hold dearest, but you just really never know, so go ahead and hug away.

My kids are growing up so quickly that suddenly, I'm the shrimp of the group. I was as tall as I am now in 7th grade, and I always felt like a giant around my cute, petite girlfriends. Now that my 12 year-old daughter has passed me up, I'm wishing I'd grown a few more inches back when it was feasible, but since I'm freaked out by human growth hormones, I guess I'll have to live with what I have. I'm so thankful to have healthy, happy kids.

New Year's is my favorite holiday. Tonight, we'll do a repeat of our annual tradition of making fondue and vision boards. Here's a piece I did for the Huffington Post in 2014 about how we ring in the new year. This year, our usual group is expanding with the addition of some new significant others and beautiful baby Serena, my dear friend Candace's new baby. We will cherish these new memories.

How do you spend your New Year's Eve?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Smells Like One Direction

(Posted originally on The Huffington Post, 8/24/15)
As the mother of a daughter entering 7th grade, I've learned to pick my battles. When she begged me earlier in the summer to buy her a pair of high-waisted jean shorts, I caved, figuring that while converted mom jeans fashioned into shorts are pretty hideous, they're the superior alternative to the low-rise models that resemble underwear. To handle the music battle, when we're in the car, we alternate between my delightfully tasteful singer-songwriter playlist to that tortuous song about the guy who found himself a cheerleader. I even agreed to participate when my daughter urged me to join her in facing a full-length mirror as she offered me lessons on how to do a whip and a nae nae.
Lest you think I'm the kind of parent who can't say no, I absolutely know where to draw the line. I just choose to draw the line when the request is completely intolerable. For me, that was when my daughter began to relentlessly ask me to buy her a bottle of One Direction's perfume, "You and I."
The first time she asked, of course I thought it was a joke.
"What does it smell like, prepubescent boy sweat with a hint of vanilla?" I asked.
"Mom!" she said, groaning. "I'm serious!"
I had to investigate, so I found the One Direction perfume website, where I learned quite a bit about the boy band's passion for perfume. The mega boy band offers our girls far more than wispy vocals and almost-man buns; "You and I" is the third of their four signature scents. Four unique scents? These guys have been going at the perfume business since Harry Styles discovered his first underarm hair!
As all online research goes, I found myself falling down the rabbit hole of slick One Direction videos devoted to pimping out their perfume lines. The "You and I" video is a highly-produced Mission Impossible spoof where five "men" clad head-to-toe in black suits and masks lower themselves into a bank vault, where a bottle of "You and I" sits luringly on a pedestal, ripe for the stealing. There's a surprise ending that I dare not spoil. It's all very cheeky and totes adorbs.
On the "Behind the Scenes" video (which of course I also watched), 1D member Liam breaks the bottle during rehearsal. That clumsy Liam! The video shows the shattered bottle on the ground, and the director's sincere surprise that they only had one back-up bottle on set. Yet I couldn't help but notice that they edited out the segment where the boys and crew were hunched over retching from being trapped on set with an entire spilled bottle of "You and I."
So, because I refuse to take my daughter to Macy's to sample it, what exactly does the One Direction's signature scent smell like?
"Bright splashes of mango and refreshing grapefruit are combined with a heart of creamy osmanthus, exotic orchid and soft peony to offer a romantic signature that captures the peak of nature in bloom. Background notes of musk, indulgent praline and sandalwood blend to wrap the fragrance in smooth, seamless harmony."
Well, that certainly helps justify my decision to say no. I'm sorry, but no daughter of mine is waltzing out of the house smelling like an indulgent praline. And what the hell is creamy osmanthus? That sounds like a something you'd see on a list of symptoms of a STD.
I ventured over to the social media page to let one of One Direction's super fans give me the real deal:
"I love 1D fragrances because they smell literally like HEAVEN and that basically sums it up."
There's nothing like a user review from a tween who has like, literally been to heaven, returned, and compares that smell to a One Direction perfume. That kid has a mighty celestial olfactory system. Can you imagine what is going to happen to that girl when she finally smells Chanel?
For now, I'm just hoping my daughter's urgent pleas to literally smell like heaven will phase out as quickly as her acid washed high-waisted shorts (a mom can dream). Perhaps I should be glad she's not asking for the Luke Bryan Yankee Candle, or that Donald Trump hasn't come up with a presidential frontrunner perfume. Until this phase passes, I'll compromise by letting One Direction into my car, where the only thing they can stink up is 3 minutes of airtime, every other song.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

BlogHer15 Highlights: the Best Crazy, Last-Minute Decision

The 11th Annual BlogHer Conference in New York was a trip of a lifetime. Because so many of you are such supportive and caring friends, you've asked me to share some about my experience. 

First, at the start of July, I made a difficult yet easy decision to resign from the company where I've worked for the past nearly four years. My expiration date had hit me in the face at an unexpected time, but I'm a decisive gal, so I did the necessary soul-searching and decided it was my time to leave. I'm eternally grateful for the growth I experienced while working there, and even more grateful for the relationships I was honored to create during that time. Plus, I now have my own personal sister city, San Francisco. 

After resigning, I desperately needed time to reset before starting my new job (which begins tomorrow!). I've been working pretty much non-stop since I was 18. It's baked into my DNA; I'm the daughter of two hardworking parents plus two hardworking stepparents. Since I'd been hoarding a lot of vacation time unintentionally, I used that time to take a few weeks for myself. Let me just say that the Europeans have it figured out; taking an extended break is exactly what the doctor ordered. 

I spent long days by the pool. I stayed up until 2 a.m. watching movies with my 12 year-old daughter. I read books. I woke up early and watched The Today Show in bed. I re-vamped my summer Capsule Wardrobe. I canoodled with Mr. Arndt. 

One day during this delicious hiatus, I came across a post from a writer named Jessica Lahey, who recently released her book, "The Gift of Failure." I came to know about Jessica through my contact at the New York Times Motherlode, and I find her ridiculously smart and inspiring. In the post, Jessica announced she would be signing copies of her book at BlogHer15. 

I knew very, very little about BlogHer. I knew even less about SheKnows. Yet, because I have wanted to meet Jessica since I was first introduced to her writing, I made a crazy decision to register and book travel plans. When else would I get this chance?

As a BlogHer Conference rookie, I set basic goals:

1. Meet Jessica Lahey.

2. Connect with anyone remotely related to The Today Show. (My dreams are simple: Write a book. Talk about that book on The Today Show. Observe a reader passing my book to another reader at the airport). 
3. Learn about WordPress. I bought a WordPress domain and special theme over 2 years ago, but I find it intimidating.
4. See Central Park for the first time.
5. Time permitting, get off property to eat calamari at Carmine's at Times Square.

BlogHer delivered. I was able to tackle everything on my list and then some. I intend on writing full posts about many of the things I experienced because it was truly life-changing. Until then, here's a list of key takeaways:

1. The most important thing I learned at BlogHer is that competition doesn't exist there. Every woman is valued. Every woman is beautiful, has worth, and has their own unique voice to share. If every woman there wants to start a blog or write a book, so be it! What a beautiful thing! I'm generally skeptical of big groups of women because I've been in situations where women are catty and competitive. Not the case at BlogHer. 
2. Two of the panelists for the keynotes, Gwyneth Paltrow and Christy Turlington, are beautiful on the outside not just because of amazing genes and good health, but because of their internal beauty. Also, I was delighted to see that they both have real foreheads that move. The older I get, the more I appreciate a moving forehead.
3. I learned so much about how white women are perceived by women of color, and how much work we white women have to do to support our friends in non-white communities. I had some powerful, enlightening, life-changing conversations that have helped shape new, important views. I developed a massive girl crush on Selma director Ava DuVernay, whose closing keynote made me want to jump up and do cartwheels, I felt so empowered. 
5. BlogHer can be overwhelming, but not because of crowds. The freebies are out of control! I had to buy a brand new suitcase just to schlep the freebies home (and I gave away a lot of it before I left). I want to talk more about this, and how I would like to see us reduce our need to have so many things while learning about wonderful new products. All of that stuff doesn't help me with my need to simplify in the least. Eek.
7. Jessica Lahey: get to know her writing and her philosophy on raising children. Jessica was not only superbly gracious, she greeted me with a hug, signed my book, and introduced me to two of the most fantastic women who gave me terrific advice about getting a book published, and advised me on my Today Show dreams. 
8. It feels so great to be 42 and be inspired by women of all ages. During one of the sessions on memoir writing by Brandi Bowles of Foundry Literary and Media, I noticed the woman in front of me was writing on a page, and I could see three exclamation marks on it. I love people who take handwritten notes! I snapped a picture because it inspired me so, and it represented so much enthusiasm and hope. Well, what do you know? The woman who wrote it is the lovely Hope Arcuri, a 19 year-old Duke student who writes Words of Hope Blog. Hope writes with such truth and has so much promise as a young writer. Go read her blog; I expect big things to happen from her. 

9. I also met a woman in my age bracket (but man, she doesn't look like it!) named Amy who writes the hilarious blog, "'A' My Name is Amy." I shared just enough time sitting on the floor talking to Amy to know that her kids and her readers are very lucky people indeed.
10. I overcame my paralyzing fear of public speaking by reading for an audience at the Listen to Your Mother Open Mic. There, on stage in front of a room of women, I read one of my blogs. Now I know why comedians get addicted to the work. To read something I wrote and to hear others laughing was a complete rush. To have women approach me later in the conference to compliment my work was a thrill I can't describe.

I'm forever thankful to the sponsors and the organizers of BlogHer15. The only thing keeping me from my sadness in it being over is the promise of another conference in 2016.

Go live your dreams, friends! It's all within reach -- you just have to want it.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Nursing the Sleepover Hangover

When your kid is invited to a sleepover, it's like a commercial for a Royal Caribbean cruise. The list of perks is so sexy, you'd be crazy to deny them. After minimal prep that includes begging your child for the very last time to please put down the hula hoop and pack an overnight bag while your husband makes a beeline for the garage to grab a musty sleeping bag, you're rewarded with the delightful benefits of an easy 14-16 hour break from reality. As you drop off your squealing kid to the kind, unwitting hosts, you leave waving and smiling, knowing in a matter of minutes you and your husband will bask in the glory of a table for two, not a trace of Crayons and pink lemonade in sight.

At home, you giddily unlock the parental control on Netflix for back-to-back episodes of Orange is the New Black. Your husband, warmed up by the full frontal nudity, pours you another glass of wine and offers you a back rub. Thank you, sleepovers!

You rise glowing and rested, noting that it's so quiet that you can imagine your life together as retired people. You take one look at your husband when you realize you're the retired people on the Viagra commercial. Your passion reignited, instead of sneaking in a muffled Saturday morning quickie before the kids wake up, you realize you have the green light to engage in unbridled passion reserved for hotels and Kardashians. You spend the rest of the morning drinking coffee and reading the newspaper, refreshed and ready to conquer the weekend.

Then you pick up your kid.

The happy, pumped-up ball of energy you dropped off last night has been replaced by a child you hardly recognize. The kid who hugged you tightly and thanked you endlessly for allowing you to spend a night away from home greets you with a blank stare that would frighten Putin. With effort, you manage to get your kid to thank the host for inviting them when you realize that the host is also greeting you with the same blank gaze. You are afraid. You scan the floor for wayward socks, grab the unfolded sleeping bag and haul ass to the SUV before things get ugly.

That's when it hits you. Your kid has a sleepover hangover.

You've been here before, but parental amnesia is part of the package, so naturally you didn't see it coming. It's a lot like your cousin Sal's wedding. Remember that lusty trifecta of wedding romance, an open bar and an 80's cover band? When you woke the next morning in an unfamiliar hotel room wearing Sal's cousin's bow tie and little else, turning back time wasn't exactly an option.

The most important thing to do when you guide your zombie-like child into the car is to minimize conversation, otherwise, someone is bound to say something regrettable. Don't bother asking the kid what time they went to sleep because you don't want to know the answer. The car ride home will likely lull your child back to sleep, so depending on their age and weight, you'll probably want to ask your husband to carry them inside. He'll be rejuvenated from your morning tryst, so he'll happily oblige.

Here's the easy part: sleepover hangovers are just like regular hangovers. It's all about rest and rehydration. Even better, unless the kid completely binged on pizza and Sour Patch Straws, it's unlikely that they'll spend the morning puking. Gently guide the kid into their bed or onto the couch, hydrate them with orange juice and feed them a super carby breakfast. Turn on cartoons, a fan and turn out the lights. I usually stick around to make sure the kid doesn't pass out in the middle of eating a toaster strudel, just to be safe.

Just like a regular hangover, you'll want to wake the kid every few hours and give them more liquids. Wash, rinse, repeat until the child looks like your child again, and only then should you inform them that they will never attend another sleepover again. At least not for a few more weekends.

(This appeared in the Huffington Post on July 10, 2015 in the "Parents" section)

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Can Love Be a Sin?

Last night, I was in downtown Austin with my husband and daughter to celebrate the Supreme Court's ruling on marriage equality. Many of us stood in tears as we watched joyous members of the LGBT community embrace and applaud as our mayor, local elected officials, and Austin's police chief spoke about the significance of the day. Love, acceptance, and rainbow flags filled the air.

Throughout the day, I wiped back tears as my Facebook feed began to fill with images of faces I love smiling beneath a transparent rainbow, symbolizing one of the most important civil rights events of our time. Everyone from my 67 year-old mother to friends who are members of the LGBT community changed their profile pictures to show their support. I cried when I saw the face of one of my mother's cousins, a man who has been with his partner over 30 years, and whose legal marriage in New York is now recognized in Texas, where he'll share the rest of his life with the man he loves.

Before I went to sleep last night, the final clip I watched was the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington singing our National Anthem outside the Supreme Court building. As I cried one last time, I fell asleep feeling immense gratitude and love.

This morning, I poured my cup of coffee and began my morning ritual where I check email and social media. I was excited to see more rainbow-covered faces, and to bask once again in the glow of so much love.

Then came the judgment.

A post discussing homosexuality being sinful. Another post about how the United States has defied God's will. Another post suggesting that God is so mad, he's talking to us through thunder.

I grew up in socially conservative East Texas, where a lot of people believed in an angry, judgmental God. I am fortunate because I attended church in a loving and nurturing Methodist community that wasn't rooted in fire and brimstone. Lucky for me and for my sister, my mother taught us that love is love, and her interpretation of religion was that Jesus was a kind, open spiritual leader who lived a life based on loving others, not judging them.

Back then, homosexuality wasn't discussed, at least not in my small town. We had family friends who were gay, but it was very quiet. I kept the lock on many a closet for gay friends to respect their privacy, and in many cases, their safety. Some of those people who came out later were people who once believed that homosexuality was a sin. It was ingrained in our upbringing.

As I read posts and comments condemning the actions of the Supreme Court, I have to ask this question: Can love be a sin?

Interesting question, right? For my friends who believe that homosexuality is a sin, it's because of religion. The Bible is where we start to get befuddled, because it's a tricky read with a lot of room for interpretation. A literal translation of the Bible would mean that we could still own slaves. If I interpret the Bible one way, because my husband was divorced before marrying me, our marriage isn't recognized in the eyes of God, because divorce is a sin. On the other hand, if my husband wanted to use the Bible as his guide, he could just as easily come home one day and bring home a Tahoe full of sister wives.

To my friends who are having serious struggles between their religious beliefs and whether or not to support two men or two women choosing to marry, please take some time to watch video after video of couples who have spent their lives together who are truly in love. Ask yourself if God would judge two people who want nothing more than to have legal recognition of their union, and ask yourself if you are in the position to judge that yourself.

This morning, my first inclination was to make some quick edits to my Facebook friend list, but that action in itself defeats the purpose of being open and inclusive. I respect that not all of my friends will agree on this matter. One of the most beautiful things about where we live is that we have the right to free speech, to our own opinions, and to make our own decisions. So, unless the people in my social circles turn their judgment into hate, I'll keep them on my friend list, and we can agree to disagree. What I won't agree with, and never will, is that love is a sin. Because it isn't.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Everybody's Doing It: My Capsule Wardrobe Experiment

Last week, I got completely enchanted by a blog titled, "Why I Got Rid of My Wardrobe" by a Dallas mommy blogger who made a big decision to get rid of almost all of her clothes and downsize into what's referred to as a "capsule wardrobe." The writer was inspired by Unfancy, a blog devoted to the capsule wardrobe experience of a really hip and cool blogger named Caroline. The concept is to create a significantly downsized, deliberately simple wardrobe, so downsized, in fact, that the writer was able to display a painting inside the closet. Because deep down, we all want a painting in our closet. 

The thought of applying this to my life felt radical and scary, but I was intrigued. A little background: I'm evidently a bit of a shopaholic. We live in a small home, and several years ago I moved out of my closet and into two large mirrored Ikea wardrobes. Never mind that the reason for moving out of the closet was to create a writing nook, which was a very cool idea, let's focus on the fact that I moved out of one closet and into two wardrobes. And guess what? It still wasn't enough space. The cute writing nook my sister and I worked hard to create ended up being another place to toss piles of clothes.

For a while now, I've been wondering what makes me continue to buy numerous cheap things on sale when I should choose to invest in one nice piece instead. I also wonder what makes me think I need new clothes for every event, or why my wardrobe has so many personalities. I also wonder why I spend so much time shopping and still feel I have nothing that I like. I wonder how much I spend on clothes and shoes. (We'll talk about that in a different post).

I resolved to give it a try. 

Saturday morning, I woke up nice and early to start the project. Here's Exhibit A: The Before Picture. 

Do you already have questions? I don't blame you. Some answers:

1. Is that a sombrero on the top of your wardrobe? Yep, because you never know.
2. Is that a pile of clothes over what should be a desk? Yes, because look how crammed that wardrobe is!
3. But wait, you look fairly organized. Yes, despite owning way too many clothes, I do keep a method to my madness and I actually stay pretty color-coded. The system has evolved where the far left side is clothes I'm currently wearing, then there's a tops section, a pants/skirts section, and a section for coats and nice dresses. I also have clear plastic boxes for my piles and piles of shoes. 
4. Are the suitcases on top empty? Nope. Those contain part of my winter wardrobe. Any available storage space is maximized with more clothes. Eek.
5. What's in the white bag? My wedding dress and my dress from Symphonettes. Symphonettes is a debutanty-thing in my home town. I still have the dress because one day, I may lose a million pounds and bow for a roomful of East Texans again. It's always good to be prepared.
6. Is that a laundry basket full of clothes at the end of the bed? Yes, because where am I going to put the clean clothes? And the ones I try on and toss into the basket? 
7. Is that the single cutest dog on the planet poking around down there? Of course it is. That's Taco. He came to lend moral support, and boy, did I need it.

While I'm putting it all out there, I also have two identical dressers for accessories and underthings and pjs and jewelry. More winter clothes are stored in the other closet in boxes, and my workout clothes are in drawers in the first wardrobe.

I began by taking everything off of the hangers and throwing everything on the bed. I pulled out the immediate "no's," quickly and easily filling a large box. It was exhilarating. I kept going, and then I hit a wall and the pile on my bed completely freaked me out, so I did what anyone else would do in that situation.

I baked a quiche.

This won't be funny to you unless you know me and how often I cook. The quiche was delicious! Purging was giving me mental clarity to cook quiche without a recipe! 

I went back for Round 2. It got easier and easier. I got very snobby about my choices. If it needed mending and I wasn't completely smitten, it went in the garage sale pile. If it was made of cheap materials or didn't make me feel fabulous after wearing it, I got rid of it. 

An example. Exhibit B: The Mossimo Dress with the Faux Leather Accents

This is a dress I bought on the sale rack at Target and never tried on. Trust me when I say that buying a dress and not trying it on is a terrible idea.

Target has a way of sucking me in when I'm going there to buy a birthday gift, garbage bags and laundry soap, and next thing you know I'm frantically zipping through the clearance rack and landing on this Mossimo number, a Mossimo layering tank (I have about 45), and a trendy Mossimo top that I wear once and the button pops off. How much Mossimo does a woman need to buy before she realizes it's all cheap, terribly made junk? By the piles on my bed, it became clear I "needed" a lot of it.

I made the delightful mistake of buying this to wear to a party, and once I got it zipped, I looked like a slutty California Raisin. For those of you too young to to know what California Raisins are, imagine me sausaged into this terrible dress, and there you have it. 

Or this: Exhibit C: My Sexual Harassment Cardigan, Brought to you by Target (Not Mossimo, it's Merona!)

I was mildly sexually harassed in this sweater several years ago. By no means am I making light of sexual harassment, but a creepy coworker once told me that I looked "minty" in this little Merona cardigan, and I've not been able to wear it since. However, because I'm crazy, I also think that if I wear it, I will get compliments, so I never get rid of it. My husband offered to sexually harass me in it, but I decided to put it in the donate pile and move on.

Lest you think that I only shop at Target, here's an example of a dress I plan on keeping forever. Exhibit D: The LBD That Stretches. Like Crazy.

I wore this Maggy London dress to an awards dinner in Aruba in 2007. I paid full price for it at Nordstrom. I loved how I felt in it, it travels really well, but every time I try on dresses for an event, my sister gently encourages me to let it go and I can't seem to do it. I am adopting the wardrobe capsule lifestyle, but I am going to keep a few sentimental dresses and who knows? I may wear this again one day. Right?

I kept going, and about dinner time I started completely freaking out. What in the hell had I done? Why was more than half of my wardrobe in boxes in the living room? Where did all the Mossimo go? 

So, I did what any other normal person would do at this juncture in the process.

I went shopping.

I am absolutely serious. I had a rain jacket that I bought at Nordstrom Rack that two family members confirmed was "boxy,"so I begged my husband to come with me to return it. And because I was planning on a classy capsule wardrobe of nice items, I would look for a simple pair of brown leather flats while we were there.

While shopping, I observed others. Were they all filling a void? Shopping for a special occasion? Celebrating weight loss with new clothes?

One woman was on the phone, shopping away while complaining about her job. Another woman was flipping through a clearance rack while arguing with her boyfriend/husband person, a man with missing teeth and ugly tattoos. A pushy woman who smelled like sweat and perfume stood by me while I tried on the only pair of simple brown leather flats because when I try on shoes at Nordstrom Rack, there is always that woman hovering around. Why is that?

After trying on a few items and asking myself if I would want it in a simple capsule wardrobe, I am proud to announce that I left Nordstrom Rack with a $70 credit and overflowing pride for not buying a single thing.

I celebrated by going home and working until 2:00 am. Other things came up in this process. I have too many clothes, but I also have too many "sentimental papers." A good scanner purchase is in my future. I moved everything out of the closet-turned-writing-nook-turned-storage-place and put that stuff into the mirrored wardrobes. 

I'm not completely finished, but I'm close, and my seasonal wardrobe capsule will be a little weird because I'm starting mid-season, but here is where I landed:

9 shoes (3 dressy work heels, 2 casual heels, 3 pairs of flats, and one brown pair of flats or sandals left to purchase)
3 jackets
12 tops (includes tshirts, tanks, buttoned shirts and blouses)
10 pants/jeans
2 skirts
3 dresses

I went online and bought another pair of nice work pants and a white blazer to replace the cheap one I have, and I'll discard one pair of worn-out black pants and replace with a better pair, and buy a pair of brown flats or brown sandals, taking my new wardrobe total to my goal number of 42: one item for every year I've been on this planet.

The Unfancy blogger doesn't work in an office, so I knew that her goal number of 37 might be tough, but the idea isn't to follow the formula as much as it is to follow the lifestyle. It's kind of like when I went vegan but I refused to give up hot dogs. There are really no rules when it's your life, right?

There is more work to do here, but in less than 24 hours, I had a finished product, and I effortlessly selected a cute casual outfit for the wine tour I took with my girlfriends. Voila!

Exhibit E: My Spring 2015 Capsule Wardrobe (with a photo I won in a charity auction and my Best Wife Award proudly on display). You will note that I am not afraid of color. The Unfancy blogger has an all-neutral palate, but that was a little extreme for me. 

Exhibit F: That's me, top right, in my simple outfit that took 3 minutes to pick out: black tank, neutral cape cardigan, grey jeans, neutral flats. 

I'll keep you posted on how things go, but so far, so liberated. 

You should try it, too! Let me know how it goes!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Suddenly, She's 12

One of my Vision Board Goals/New Year's Resolutions was to post one blog a week.

I have failed.

I have a million excuses, and I have no excuses. Isn't that how it always goes?

Until I'm able to catch up, I'll share my latest Huffington Post blog. Most of you have already read it, so thank you for your lovely comments and birthday wishes. Emily Rose read them all out loud last Friday in the car while we were driving to her small birthday celebration with a few elementary school friends, and it was great to see her face light up with all of the love from friends and family.

For those of you who missed it, here you go.

A Birthday Letter to My Almost 12-year-old Daughter

Now that my youngest is 12, perhaps I can find the time to post a blog once a week? Perhaps?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Somebody Give This Kid a Trophy

I'm back! I disappeared for a while. (Writer's block. It happens.)

What do you think about trophies? Emily Rose seems to think having more of them would help her self-esteem. She cracks me up.

You can read about it on the Huffington Post here.

Happy New Year, readers! I hope to be back with regular posts soon!