Pretty Blue Rose

life musings, fashion, and inspiration


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Wednesday Wisdom: Walk through the open door

 

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This Wednesday Wisdom seems common sense but how often do we beat down the closed door rather than walk through the open one? When I used to take the metro into to work, I noticed something simple: when the metro train stops at a station, only one side of the metro doors open to the platform, while the other doors leading to the dangerous rails (and sometimes oncoming train) stays closed. Because metro stations have platforms on different sides of the train, the different sides opened as I made my way along the route. At one metro station the left doors may open and then the next the right will open (so you have to pay attention to which door will open).

Can you imagine fighting to open the closed doors that lead to the tracks? Dangerous and silly right? But I feel like that’s what we do sometimes. Rather than walk though the open door of opportunity, we bang on and beat down the closed door thinking it’ll lead us to something better and bigger.

Pay attention to the open door. Although it’s only open for a limited amount of time and it changes, it leads to the next place of opportunity. Leave the closed door closed.

Paying attention to the open door,

A. G.


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Thursday Throwback: The Baby-Sitters Club

Hulu has the first (and only?) season of the Baby-Sitters Club! I cannot wait to dive in and watch, but part of me is scared to watch it because it will remind me that I’m getting older.
I am outing my age, but I was in love with the Baby-sitters club growing up. My entrepreneurial spirit encouraged me to start a baby-sitters club (several times!) and my childhood BFF and next door neighbor was the only member. We’d have meetings on my back deck and talk about our marketing plans and fliers. We even had a client! (I recall the baby I watched threw up on me! My neighbor had to walk to get her mom to help me out…)
In any case, I loved those books and I could devour a super series book in one afternoon. I was dumbfounded when I found out a few years ago that they were out of print.
To my delight, I recently discovered a store called 2nd in Charles and it sells used books and whole bunch of other second hand things. When I tuned the corner and found they had most of the baby sitters club books, I about lost my mind. (I love Nancy Drew too, more on that later.)
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Shopping at 2nd and Charles. Forget makeup, I want books!

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A seat full of Baby Sitters Club books!!

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All of my spoils laid out on the floor.

I was a ballet dancer like Jessie, ambitious like Kristy (I refuse to say bossy!), and shy and sensitive like Mary Anne–my favorite character.
Take a look at how a fellow Baby-sitters club lover put together collages of the members. (she did a fab job!) Enjoy!
Stacey (The Babysitter's Club)


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Wednesday Wisdom: Keep Your Spot

 

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According to wikipedia, spotting is a technique used by dancers during the execution of turns (above she’s executing fouetté turns). The goal of spotting is to attain a constant orientation of the dancer’s head and eyes, to the extent possible, in order to enhance the dancer’s control and prevent dizziness.

So that’s a bit jargony, but the bottom line is that when dancers turn, they keep their head and eyes focused on one point for as long as they can. When their body is twisted and they cannot keep their head forward anymore, at that last moment they whip their head around back to the original point of focus. This spotting technique allows dancers to turn many many times in a row without becoming dizzy and falling over.

This spotting technique can apply to life as well. If you’re anything like me, you have many things going on or things that you’d like to accomplish. I’d like to work with Janet Jackson when she comes back from maternity leave (velvet rope tour part 2), publish a mystery series, grow this blog, invest in real estate, and a few other things. If I try to attack these goals without a clear point of focus (turning without spotting) I’ll become overwhelmed, distracted, and quit (get dizzy and fall over).  Like a child on a raft in the ocean, if you lose focus you’ll drift through life. You’ll continue to move thinking you are making progress,  but if you have no spot to return to, you have no way of knowing if the movement is progress towards your goals.

Spotting can also help overcome the shiny object syndrome. That’s when you have new ideas or see new opportunities that catch your attention, but they are simply distractions from your goals. It’s easy to say: “Oh! that looks great!” or “Hmm… maybe I’ll try that”,  but if we focus on one point and keep coming back to that point even if something shiner comes along, we will be better equipped to execute the control needed to accomplish our goals. Overtime, I’ve learned to think about life in terms of the long game. Look ahead, see where you want to go, but then employ the techniques that allow you to stay focused on that spot– or life goal.

still turning, still spotting,

A.G.

 

 

 


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Pretty Face: Make-up optional skin

I hesitated to do a post about skin. It’s like the ultimate jinx. Right? “Hey look at my wonderful skin and here’s how I maintain it” …and the next day my face will be a hot mess!

But I’ll push past my own issues to share what an everyday girl with sensitive skin uses.

As I’ve aged, I’ve had to be more diligent in how I care for my skin. I know women are always looking for the next new thing in skin care or the “old staple” that really works…so I thought I’d share.

A few years ago I was a totally Philosophy girl, but now I’ve diversified. What got me to try Philosophy was their slogan about their skincare creating make-up optional skin. To me, that’s really important. I am a self admitted minimalist when it comes to make up, but even if you like to wear makeup, having the option not to wear it is something that I find super appealing. So here’s what I use:

Pretty Face: Skin Care Regimen

1.Cetaphil is great and economical. I now use it for me and my daughter. It’s similar to Philosophy’s purity face wash–that I like as well.

2. Philosophy’s Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash is gentle and still re-surfaces the dead skin quickly. Nothing like looking grey in the winter.

3. Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple wipes. At first it took me some time to get used to them, but they are so perfect for the night I had tonight. I am utterly exhausted. After a day of work, I’ve put up Christmas decorations with a “helpful” 4 year old. (’nuff said.) Washed a load of laundry and I even folded it and put it away. (The t-shirts were actually warm when I put them back in the drawer.) I used to use baby wipes (and when I am being frugal I still do) but seriously the purity wipes are great. Keep them by your bedside.

4. I use the Aveeno Daily lotion, but truth be told I am looking for another, especially for the winter. I’m not a fan of the illuminating sparkles they put in the lotion…

5. Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar with spf was my go-to day time lotion before I switched to aveeno.

6. For a girl with sensitive skin, Eucerin is my go-to lotion for fall and winter and heck early spring. In the summer I can get away with lighter stuff–in that case I use Baby Grace by Philosophy.

7. I have nothing but good things to say about Philosophy’s Microdelivery Peel. I try to do it once a week. When I am looking grey and splotchy, especially in the winter, the peel is my do-over. Also the two step process is fun.

8. When I use the peel and then use my L’oreal night cream (it’s for maturing skin like 40+, but I am proactive!) I look like I’ve been on vacation–well rested. But even if I don’t use the peel, the night cream is my newest staple.

So with lots of water, avocado, salmon, and other good fats I’ve been able to maintain make-up optional skin. My skin isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough for me. And again, I’ll admit–when I don’t eat right no peel, cream, or cleanser helps.

I’m curious about your skin-care tips.

stay inspired and enjoy the journey,

~A. G.


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Wednesday Wisdom: Life Lessons from the Sims Game

Anyone remember the Sims game?

It is a strategic, life simulation video game series where the player (you or I) creates virtual people called “Sims” and places them in houses and helps direct their moods and satisfy their desires.

Now a-days there are all of these additions, but I used to play the original back in the day-spending countless hours hustling to make a few bucks, keeping myself happy and clean, while keeping my friends and family happy. It was a struggle to do all of that, very frustrating at times, but it was fun and highly addictive….that is until I learned there was a cheat that allowed me to exponentially increase my money at a moments notice. When I entered in a certain code, my money would increase by thousands of dollars! Jackpot! Right?!?!

When I first found out about the cheat I was ecstatic– I felt like I won the lottery in real life! I could hardly sleep for the first few days after I found the cheat code. I could build any house I wanted with all of the furniture I wanted and I didn’t have to work for measly dollars. Life was great….or so I thought. After the newness of my money wore off, and I had all sorts of new and expensive furniture in my houses (yes plural), I stopped playing the game altogether. It no longer excited me, so I moved on. Cold turkey.

So years later I am able to look back on my sudden change of heart with a game that I really really loved to learn a very valuable lesson.

I never understood either, how rich celebrities could be so self centered and miserable. To be frank I would get quite annoyed. I would look at a bored Paris Hilton, the Kardashians, and just shake my head. But now I get it. They are bored. They have the Sims “money cheat” and they don’t know what to do. The excitement of the money wears off and you have to find other ways to entertain yourself.

Now I am not one of those people who thinks money is bad, I think it is preferable to have money than not. No apologies for that sentiment. (how can you help others if you have nothing to give?) But I do realize that as a society we tend to put too much emphasis on money, the influence and privilege it provides, and how we can get more of all three.

So when I am tempted to complain thinking if I just had more money things would be better/different— I try to think about what I am really asking for: peace of mind and financial freedom to make decisions not based on how much work leave I have.

While money does make things more convenient, it doesn’t erase the hardships of life. Although the hustle of working everyday, can be frustrating, it is a necessary function to keep us from becoming bored.

In a virtual world, I had what I thought I wanted: unlimited funds, access to the best houses, cars and lifestyle but I quickly became bored. Interesting, eh?

-A.G.


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Some Wisdom: Nothing Even Matters

 

I was recently involved in a situation where I was very very upset with a few folks. I was repeatedly being disrespected…in the subtle, passive aggressive way that only nasty folks know how to do…

The evening of the “most recent encounter” I went into my studio to dance (and sing) my stress away…

And since I was feeling “creative” I started looking for other dances to inspire me.

I stumbled upon this dance by one of my favorite choreographers, Galen Hooks.

her movement really is amazing. (I’m still learning it…it looks simple but it isn’t)

Well, from there I found this You Tube cover of Lauryn Hill’s Nothing Even Matters and it is Sick! (Galen’s dance reminded me of how much I love Lauryn’s song…)

So in love with their voices, I began listening to it again this morning–and then it hit me–It doesn’t matter! (duh I know, but still…). We all know about ignoring petty, angry, insecure people, but when they strike it’s hard not to retaliate.

Although, on the surface the song Nothing Even Matters is about love– but hearing them sing the phrase nothing even matters over and over made me see how small this battle is and reminded me why I shouldn’t engage.

I started thinking about how eagles soar above adversity while chickens just peck and flap on the ground. Arguing with chickens is silly. Eagles and chickens don’t fly in the same air space–so for me to engage would be like residing in the chicken coop. No Thanks!

I have a destiny to fulfill, I have people to inspire, I have dances to create, a family to raise and to love…so no this disrespect doesn’t matter.

Ms. Hill says it best:

Now the skies could fall
Not even if my boss should call

[Nothing even matters]

These buildings could drift out to sea
Some natural catastrophe

It still doesn’t matter,

 

A.G.


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Wednesday Wisdom: Stop trying to figure it all out!!!

let it go

I think I’ve uncovered the one thing that keeps many people from realizing their dreams—and that’s trying to figure out how it will happen, when it will happen, and who will help you get there before you purposefully move forward.

My day job is very far away from the creative life I envision. For as long as I can remember I’ve had visions of dancing around the world, teaching and taking  master classes, and owning a studio space to grow others’ gifts related to dance, singing, acting etc. I’ve recently added author to my goals, writing and publishing a massively successful series of mystery books for children.

Now dreaming is great and having a clear vision is wonderful, but I realized that trying to figure out how all of my dreams would come to pass has kept me from moving forward.

Reasoning  about how I am going to find the energy to dance after work, family time, blogging, home improvements, and everything else had me stuck. Then I also thought that even if I did have the energy to pursue dancing, with the millions of other better, more talented, and more dedicated dancers where would I fit in? (so why try?)

My current trajectory seems to be taking me left when I so badly want to be walking right. But what I have to remember is that 3 left turns actually makes a right (I’ll pause to let you visualize that).  I believe every step I take on the way to my destiny will NOT be one that makes sense, gives me chills, or makes me swoon.  But I’ve lived long enough to know that I just need to keep walking.

to the left, to the left,

A.G.