Archive for the ‘Fashion’ Category

The Good Opinion

“We can be bad company to ourselves.  As long as it is seen, it can be fixed”

Sit beside yourself and take a good look at what you see?  Do you speak and carry yourself as someone who likes who you are? 

One of the most powerful influences on your attitude and personality is the opinion you have of yourself.  Your self-opinion is the most important opinion that you will ever have.  It plays an important role in how much or how little you value yourself – its the foundation of living a life that is worthwhile.

In order to value others, you have to value yourself first. It’s about appreciating your self-worth and taking pride in your abilities, skills and accomplishments.

They see you as you see yourself..

We all have faults and weaknesses, but we should never go through life being against ourselves.  How you see yourself  is your perspective lens for your world – showing others how to treat you.  If you constantly send out unworthy messages, you will receive unworthy responses.

Too many of us go around feeling low on the inside and not realizing that how we feel about ourselves affects how we’re perceived by those we come in contact with.

When you think good about yourself – you are putting a high value on yourself and your capabilities.

You owe it to yourself and those you love to take good care of your most valuable asset…YOU!

Living Free

 

I recently crossed paths with an old school friend who I haven’t seen in over 25 years.  We  worked together on a project, so during those few months we enjoyed reminiscing about the good ole days and catching up on each other’s lives.   After a few weeks of  spending a lot of quality time together, she said something that totally threw me off guard and surprised me.  Telling me that there was something different about me – something unique that she doesn’t usually see in other people.  Telling me that I appear to be Free – that I carry myself as if I’m weightless – no baggage or drama from my past.  Radiating happiness and appear to be content with my life, open/approachable and I don’t  seem to have any ulterior-motives or expect anything in return.

Wow, I was’t expecting that HUGE compliment and was really in awe by her observation of me and my life.  To be honest,  I never really put much thought into how I’m perceived by those I come in contact with.  But to have someone tell me that I appear to be “Free” is certainly a compliment that I gladly accept and appreciate.  I guess the last 15 years and counting of being on a “letting go to find Me” journey is showing its true colors and is evident to those who are open to see it.   

What I know for sure about Living Free:

  • You are not fully Free until you reach a point in your Life when you no longer feel the need to prove anything or impress others.
  • We make life more complicated then it really is.
  • Happiness is living a purposeful life and being true to your authentic self.
  • When you find yourself in a useless battle – you just simply walk off the battlefield.
  • To move forward and allow change, you must let go of old beliefs, habits and thoughts – unlearn the many things that you’ve spent your entire life learning.
  • Letting go of all anxiety, stress, anger, grudges and resentment means that you are Freeing yourself up for many Blessings that are in store for you.
  • You are what you think – your outer world becomes a reflection of your inner world.
  • You must Believe and have Faith that your present and future holds the best days of your life.
  • You attract what you put out:  Learn to release the need to “control” everything in your life. 
  • Let yourself become Spiritually open to allow all good things to flow into your life.
  • Trust in your instincts and God’s nature to guide you.  Stop trying to make everything happen according to what you think should happen. Let things happen and unfold according to the natural flow of life.
  • Living one’s life with an attitude of gratitude.
  • It’s not possible to move towards what you want when you aren’t grateful for what you already have.
  • Letting go of your hurts, pain, resentment & unforgiveness is one of the biggest gifts you can give to yourself and share with others.

My Lost Asset

A few weeks ago I did my usual saunter past my husband in my snug jeans before I headed out to meet with my friends for dinner. I do a little wiggle, then say, “So how does my ass look in these jeans?” He says, “Nice and flat”

“What? I’ll  have you know I was voted ‘nicest ass’ in high school.”

He laughed and said, “Are you sure you didn’t leave it there?”

Don’t get me wrong; my man loves my tushie. It’s just that we will do the banter dance whenever we learn something quirky about each other. It’s our way of keeping each other grounded. So in this case, he likes to throw it back at me whenever I mention my “high school badge of honor”.

I didn’t find out about this “label” until I was in my early twenties, while being out on the town with a few high school friends. Of course the conversation always goes back to the good ole days. One friend says, “I see you still wear your title proudly.” Puzzled, I said, “What title?” She laughed and said, “Don’t you remember being voted nicest ass in high school?” My other friend then piped up, saying, “Oh, yeah, that was common knowledge around school.” I was shocked at what I was hearing.

Sure, I’ve always had guys comment about my butt, but I didn’t know that a “best ass” stamp was branded on me during my high school years. 

Well, at least my rump made an impact, considering I never had a date during those years. I guess closely resembling Dustin Hoffman’s Tootsie would be a setback in anyone’s love life. With my tight curly perm, bad make-up and don’t forget the HUGE glasses – which I can now fondly look back on and refer to as being my form of birth control.

During those school years, it was standard procedure for us to find creative ways to paint on our jeans. My personal favorite was lying on my bed and using a fork to pull up my zipper. The motto back in those days was “the tighter the better.” It just didn’t matter how much discomfort we were in, just as long as we looked good in our second skin.

After finding out about this prestigious title, I thought it was only right that I wear it well.  So I did my very best to take good care of my most recognized asset – wearing all the right clothing to accentuate my curves and I welcomed the compliments. I exercised regularly – working hard at keeping my lovely lady humps plump. 

A few years ago, after stepping out of my morning shower – I caught a glimpse of my naked side profile, and that’s when my life changed forever. I quickly put on my glasses and wiped the steam off the mirror so I could get a better look at this earth-shattering moment that left me so crushed.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The sizzle had fizzled!!! My once bodacious bubble butt had deflated. It seemed to have melted into the back of my thighs. What, when, why, where and how? kept spinning in my head.  It was like – one day.. “Baby’s got back” and then….“poof,” it was gone.

I did all the right things to keep it “up and out” but somewhere along the way it must of sprang a slow leak and left me as I graduated into my forties.

It’s easy for me to accept the inevitable – to see my boobs lose their shape and make their way south. With today’s bra technology, I can still create the illusion of my once perky breasts without considering surgery.

I also accept the changes I see in my face – skin not as plump, becoming dry, and the fine lines starting to creep in. But to lose my full backside…well, that just wasn’t as easy to accept. Maybe because it was a part of me that really resonated with my youth – having that special something that I won a prize for and I just don’t want to give it up.

Butt…can I get back what I lost?

I’m as curious as a cat so I had to investigate what options are out there for those who are looking for a little extra cushioning when exercising can only do so much.

There are “shape enhancers” – underwear with padding. I wonder if I can get padding the size of Jennifer Lopez’s humps? More than likely that would be a custom order.

The good news is, the pads are removable – wash and wear. Maybe I can do an “R&R” – rotate and recycle.  After the padding gets used and abused from covering my backside, I guess I can then use them as inserts in my bra for when deflation really sets in.

I also did a little digging about butt implants (or, to use the proper terminology, buttock augmentation).  I squirm in my seat as I write about this unusual surgery.

The incision is made where the cheek meets the back of the thigh, or down the buttock crease.  The doctor then creates pockets large enough to insert the butt implants. The recovery is very painful and can lead to a long healing time. There’s also the high risk of repetitive surgeries due to implant shifting or deflation.

After reviewing these not-so-natural remedies, I think its best that I just accept my “little” tushie just the way it is. I will learn to love and cherish it just as much as my butt from the past.

Now when I put on my snug jeans to go out with my friends for cocktails and dancing, its no longer shake my bon bon…it’s ..shake what’s long gone. Sure, I still get the odd compliment. But it’s no longer “you’ve got a great ass.” It’s more like “you’ve got a cute little butt.”  I figure that a compliment is a compliment – I’ll start to worry when I no longer get any.

Ageless Attitude

I recently read the book “I feel bad about my neck” by Nora Ephron. I chuckle as I study the cover and remember hearing about this book when it first came out in 2006. I guess it just wasn’t my time to read it until now.

From the first page, my laughter started and hit its peak when I read the line.   “If you want to get really really depressed about your neck, sit in the backseat of a car, behind the driver and look at yourself in the rearview mirror”. At that moment I collided with her words – it was a true déjà vu moment.

One week earlier before awakening to Nora’s “rearview mirror experiment”, I accidentally stumbled on it.  I was sitting behind the driver’s seat and within minutes of starting out on a road trip, I made eye contact with the person looking back at me through the review mirror.

I just wasn’t prepared what I saw – it was as if a stranger was staring back at me. The mirror opened a window to what middle age has in store for me – giving me a glimpse of a thinning and maturing neckline, eyes losing their luster, noticeable nasolabial folds and a sneaking presence of a softening jawline.

I sunk low in my seat and said to myself “What the heck am I going to do? I can’t possibly sit here staring out the window for the next two hours, avoiding the rearview mirror –  which I now refer to as the “evil eye”.  At that moment, I knew I had to do whatever it takes to get away from its wickedness. I switched seats with the person beside me, giving her the excuse that the direct sunlight was giving me a headache.

For someone who spent 10 years in the skincare/beauty industry, this is the first time I’ve been stumped in finding ways to hide the evidence of aging without the interference of injections and/or surgery.

I do everything right – use all the right lotions and potions, eat well, drink lots of water and get lots of sleep. Being an expert illusionist – I pride myself in knowing all the tricks of the trade when it comes to applying make-up. With a swirl of my brushes and some magic dust I can make anyone look like a superstar. But no skincare certifications, workshops or even my mother prepared me for the “crossover” from dodging my real age to suddenly looking my age.

I’ve now reached that reluctant pinnacle stage in my life when the mirror’s reality has slapped me across the face – blatantly letting me know that I’m no longer the fairest in the land. The ghosts from years of excessive tanning and late night celebrations are starting to carve their stories out on my face.

Acceptance: With or Without Grace

We worry about wrinkles because we view aging as a downhill road. Our faces sag, our bodies sag and we let our attitude sag along with it.   

Aging gracefully isn’t always easy, but having a positive attitude towards it matters greatly.  Maybe we should stop chasing after the past and look forward to the future and embrace what we see in the mirror.  

Here’s to looking at the bright side of aging…we may not have total control over the wrinkles that form on our faces but we can certainly control whether or not we let wrinkles take over our mind, soul and attitude. 

Commit yourself today to living life with an ageless attitude.  It’s more than half the battle and it makes a world of difference.

Love Thy Self


“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance” – Oscar Wilde (Irish Poet, Novelist, Dramatist and Critic, 1854-1900)

I recently did a presentation to a group of young mothers (17 to 21) to encourage them to continue their education.  One young mom was ready to return to school last year when she discovered she was pregnant with twins.  She’s now 21 years old with four children.

After the presentation I spoke with an expert who organizes and facilitates programs teaching young moms parenting skills.  I ask her, “Why do you think young women have babies?”  Not taking time to think about the question she immediately answered “They’re looking for love.  They do not love themselves and are desperately trying to find it externally in the fathers and children.”

I was saddened to hear this but couldn’t help but think back to when I was their age and how I too felt lost and chased after love.   I may not have taken it to the extreme that these young women have but part of me understands where they are coming from.

It wasn’t until I was in my early 30’s when I realized that the void or emptiness I felt wasn’t going to be found externally.  What I’ve come to realize is that I’m the one I’ve been looking for. 

Invest In Yourself

Loving yourself is believing in your own worthiness and nurturing a healthy sense of self-regard.  Accepting and loving who you are means actively caring for every facet of yourself.

It  shows up in every action you take, from protecting yourself from those who hurt you to leaving a job that does not fulfill you. It’s really about tuning in to your own wants/needs and honoring them the way you want them to be.

It’s an inside job…

Learn to take the time to tap into the inner reaches of your heart and soul to discover all that you are worth – because what you see and often admire in others is what you should really be valuing in yourself.

Your Image! How Important Is It?

I conducted a little survey asking random people,  “How Important Is Your Image? The results are unanimous; everyone said Image is important to them.  The surprising thing is that everyone viewed Image differently.  Some people relate image to grooming/appearance, while some think it is all in how you conduct yourself professionally.  Then there are the ones who think it’s the whole package from grooming, style of clothing, how you walk, talk and conduct yourself in different environments.

Image is different for everyone. Personally, I think it boils down to how you wish to be recognized by the people you come in contact with.

I’ve always taken great pride in my Image.  Since my early twenties I always did my best to conduct myself in a professional manner when it comes to my work experiences.  Based on the different industries I work  in, I would conform to that environment from the way I dress, to how I interact with the people I worked with.  I work hard, have fun and always maintain a professional image even when socializing with my employers and coworkers. 

As for my social image when hanging with my friends, well, I used to be a bit relaxed without totally letting my guard down and never really put much thought into it until I had my wake up call summer of 2007.  Since Facebook has come into my life I’ve been getting reacquainted with old friends who I went to middle and high school with.  So I jumped at the opportunity to meet up with my home-girls for a night of cocktails and dancing. 

It was certainly a night to remember because I was absolutely horrified the following morning when a friend uploaded photos from the night of oblivion.  Lets just say I was one big Mess!  I felt more nauseated from seeing my drunken stupor then I was from the actual hangover itself.  I laughed off the jokes and comments from my friends but I felt completely humiliated and embarrassed. 

Facebook is a fun place to check out friends’ pictures of their families, vacations and party moments but it can also be very dangerous.  Whenever friends post pictures, you really don’t have any control over what they upload.  So you need to keep in mind that there could be hundreds, if not, thousands of people who will see pictures that you might not want to share. Not to mention the fact that potential employers are not only checking your references but are also checking to see how you conduct yourself in Social Media.

This experience was an  Aha moment for me!   That horrifying nightmare experience helped me come to my senses and realize that my Social Image is just as important as my Business Image.  

Do your own Public Relations

It’s not just about being in control of your own photos and what gets uploaded to your social medai profiles – you also need to be conscious of your Image when others are taking photos of you. Always stay alert and protect your Image!  Once it’s released in cyberspace, you can’t take it back.

Do You Shop Unconsciously?

If you’ve been reading my entries you will know about my new swim buddy Linda Haynes (She Sees No Limits).  I recently met up with her for a coffee and was shocked and flattered when she asked me to go clothes shopping with her – she had an important interview coming up and felt she didn’t have anything appropriate to wear.  I couldn’t wait to get started on this new adventure because I love fashion and believe in the saying “when you look good -you feel good”.It doesn’t matter if you’re a size 6 or size 24 – when you “consciously” pick items that fit your figure nicely it is an instant confidence booster. 

Linda is a full figured woman, now size 18 from 24 – she lost 40lbs over the course of two years since she first started training for her speed walking marathon.  She basically lives in her work out clothes and what casual and dress clothes fit her she bought at a local goodwill.  She admitted that she doesn’t make conscious decisions when shopping for clothes and sticks to elastic waist pants and baggy shirts because it’s convenient and thinks because she’s full figured and in her sixty’s that’s the way she should dress.  Well, after spending the day with me she has become a conscious shopper – no more elastic waist pants and baggy shirts for her.

Lets face it; we can’t be replacing our wardrobe every year and when we get to a certain age (over 30) there should be less trendy and more timeless pieces in our closet.  There are two questions you should ask yourself before you make that “impulsive” purchase.  “Will I get lots of wear from this piece?  Is it versatile enough so that I can mix and match with many other items in my closet?  Shopping consciously will save you a lot of money and “buyers remorse”.

THINK OF YOUR WARDROBE AS A COLLECTION

De-cluttering – Clear out those things you don’t wear, that don’t fit and don’t flatter you – you may need help from a friend whose advice and style you trust to help you with this.  Repair or alter the items that might still work for you. Alteration services can breathe new life into clothing e.g. shortening skirt hemlines, taking in (or out) jackets, removing or shortening sleeves, and ultimately save you money. After you’ve been through the clearing out process, take a good look at what you have left.  How do the remaining pieces combine with each other? And what do you need to complete your wardrobe.  You might find that you already have a clothing capsule in your wardrobe; hidden among all the things you didn’t wear.

Essential Pieces

Straight Legged Black Pants – Dressed up or dressed down depending on the situation, black pants are a key to any wardrobe.  They should be long enough to wear with a two inch heal but not too long or you won’t be able to wear them with flat heels. Avoid elastic waists, pleats and front bulky pockets, as this makes you appear larger.

Crisp White Tapered Blouse – The classic white blouse is a must-have. It is one of those pieces of clothing that complements everything else in your wardrobe. Pair the blouse with jeans or khakis, brown shoes and some fun jewelry and you’re good to go.  Have a business meeting?  Pair it with black dress pants and conservative jewelry and you’re ready for any meeting.

Fitted Boot Cut Jeans – No matter what size your figure, finding a great fitting pair of jeans is a chore – but, it is worth the effort.  Medium to dark wash jeans will work really well as your basic pair.  The best thing about jeans is that they go with everything.  Dress them up with a blouse and a pair of healed boots or down with a t-shirt and flats.

A Black Blazer – This is another one of those basic pieces that can be dressed up or down.  Ideally, it would be best to purchase a black pantsuit – will help you go a long way in having a great basic wardrobe. Those with a plus size figure should pay extra attention to the fit.  It should be loose enough to wear a light sweater underneath, but it should not be boxy. Consider having it professionally tailored to ensure a proper fit.   A good black blazer can be a part of a suit for business or dressy occasions, paired with jeans and a white shirt for casual, or used as a light jacket. Now that’s versatile!

Black Shoes and Black Boots – They go with jeans, dress pants or long skirts. Buy the best you can afford for a few reasons. To begin with, the better the boot or shoe the better it will be for your foot.  A good, comfortable fit is important in all your shoes to help prevent foot problems.  Secondly, a well-made pair of shoes will last longer.  If taken care of properly, they can last for years unlike cheaper shoes that you may need to replace after one year.  Good quality shoes just plain look better.

When choosing the essentials of your wardrobe, remember a few fundamental things. Get them as well fitted as possible. If they don’t fit great, you will not look your best in them. Buy the best quality you can afford. You’ll have better-looking clothing that will last longer. Use these basics as the foundation to a wardrobe that you can personalize to your exact style. Add the colors and accessories that you love to make these basics your own. Whether your style is conservative or funky, preppy or bohemian, there is a place for each of these wardrobe essentials in your closet.

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