Pretty Blue Rose

life musings and inspiration


To scratch the Keurig itch?

Keurig B70 Coffee Maker, Single Serve Platinum - Electrics - Kitchen -...

Years ago, I told myself that I didn’t want a Keurig for two main reasons: 1. I didn’t want to pay that kind of money for a “gadget” and 2. maybe more importantly, don’t I have the counter space. (Ok and I didn’t believe you could get a good cup of anything by hot water “running” through a small cup of concentrated stuff). And that was that.

However, just this week a facebook friend posted a picture of herself making her first cup of coffee with her new Keurig and that was a few days after I saw the hosts/sales people on QVC (a home shopping network and yes a major guilty pleasure) laying it on thick about how much better, more enriched, my life would be if I owned one. For the first time I started to re-visit my anti-Keurig decision….

Let’s say I had this kitchen:

or even this one:

My counter space would be plentiful. (POW!) And if my kitchen looks like that, I darn sure should have the money. So rather than a question of can I buy a Keurig, it becomes should I?

Follow me, as I break this down.

I am a tea drinker, so I need hot water just like coffee drinkers. However, a large part of tea drinking is the process of waiting for the water to boil, which requires patience. Add in waiting for the tea leaves to steep– and sometimes we are up to 10 mins of waiting. (not counting allowing your tea to cool down so you don’t burn your mouth off!–although I’ll throw in an ice cube every now and then)

But there’s something empowering about choosing to wait, about bucking the system… In a world where everything needs to be quicker and more individualized (cakepops anyone?), the tea making process counters that “quicker, more efficient” mindset.

So as much as I hate standing in front of the stove, cold and almost lifeless, first thing in the morning as the water in my tea kettle slowly comes to a boil, or in the evening when I am dead tired but crave a warm cup of tea to melt away stress–there is something rewarding about waiting. (slightly sick? who knows…).

Now if I had a Keurig at work, that’d be different. I’m always in a rush at work and I sure as heck don’t relax there, so perhaps I’d cave. But at home, I want to savor the process. Even Ms. Efficient (me!) knows that there are times when the older and slower way is just better. Also, I know if I would use a Keurig, I’d love it, so I intentionally stay away.

So as much as I’d love to have a cup of tea that’s been pre-selected to be the perfect temperature, strength, and size waiting for me each morning, I still think I’ll pass.

This is not to say I won’t ever scratch the Keurig itch, but I’m certain it won’t be anytime soon.

Now time to put on my pot of water for tea. It’s time for bed 🙂


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Pretty Good Time: Weekend trip to the Cabin

On our 4 hour ride to PA for Thanksgiving, we saw many billboards. (nothing unusual)

When we were about an hour away from my parents’ house, we saw a billboard for a big outdoor/sporting goods store called Cabelas. (again, par for the course). But this time, I started thinking about shopping at Cabelas, and the cold, and skiing, and then I start going on and on about how I’d like to go snowmobiling at our weekend cabin. (we don’t own a cabin…)

I (most likely) tortured my hubby with my babble on how I’d love to own a cabin and make winter weekend trips so that the winter would be filled with family outdoor activity rather than us trying to find things for our daughter to do other than watching TV. (no judgement, it’s cooold outside without the appropriate outdoor gear, and the mall gets old AND expensive after a while). I was saying that I wanted to do some serious shopping at L.L. Bean or Cabelas and really have a place the wear the stuff we purchased. My husband dutifully nods and listens (he’s driving so he really doesn’t have a choice).

Pretty Good Time: Wintertime Fun

Well, until the time when we do have a cabin, I’ll just inspire myself with some outfits.

Pretty Blue Style: Winter Trip to the Cabin

All in all, it was a pretty good (pretend) time:)

~A. Genise

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Wednesday Wisdom: Lessons from the movie “The Women”

After all of the Thanksgiving sickness, my daughter now has an ear infection…fun!

When she gets sick she tends to hang all over me, which means I get sick too.

This past Monday was a sick day where I actually sat still. When I was awake I ended up watching TV– usually HGTV, but even that got old.

I stumbled on the movie The Women, and I recalled that I liked that it when I saw it in the theater, so I watched it.

The Women Poster

Quick synopsis for those who haven’t seen it:

The Women tells the story of Mary Haines (Meg Ryan), a clothing designer who seems to have it all – a beautiful country home, a rich financier husband, an adorable 11-year-old daughter and a part-time career creating designs for her father’s venerable clothing company. But when Mary’s husband enters into an affair with Crystal Allen (Eva Mendes), a sultry ‘spritzer girl’ lurking behind the Saks Fifth Avenue perfume counter, all hell breaks loose. Mary and her BFF Sylvie’s relationship is tested to the breaking point while their tight-knit circle of friends, including mega-mommy Edie Cohen (Debra Messing) and author Alex Fisher (Jada Pinkett-Smith), all start to question their own friendships and romantic relationships.

So at the end of the movie, after Meg Ryan and her BFF made up, after Debra Messing’s character has a baby boy (the only male in the entire movie!!), and Meg Ryan starts to move towards reconciling with her husband, this amazing song comes on as the end credits are rolling. After feverishly searching for the song (imagine googling “song during end credits of The Women movie” didn’t work!? ), I found the song.

It starts out: “Yesterday wasn’t easy…” and that just had me!

The next verse starts out: Suddenly it gets clearer….better days are drawing nearer. There’s nobody to stop us now.

It’s called Count on Me by a talented artist named Lucy Schwartz. (Click here for lyrics to this song)

Here’s Lucy just singing plainly. No flashing lights, no drama, just a voice and a piano. (no judgement on the xylophone playing, my sister and I would joke and say that’s what we’d have to do–with no singing if we were in the video.)

It’s just an uplifting song. (Digression: I am always surprised at how such great talent is not more popular. Oh well, she has a new fan in me.)

The song is basically about friendship, about having someone to lean on when it’s hard to move forward. But it also talks about how storms clear up so quickly. The day after a snow storm is usually sunny and clear. It’s just hard to remember that when the storm in right on top of you.

Watching Meg’s character come into her own was so empowering and inspiring.

I know for me, I am making alot of empowering decisions that I just think are crazy, totally counter to my risk averse personality. I feel like I am at a fork in the road like Meg’s character was. The safe path I’ve been on is to the right, and the entrepreneurial risk taker, dreamer, go-getter path is to the left. Watching how Meg’s life went from a hot mess to magnificent is a great reminder of how life works when you hang in there long enough to pursue your dreams.

In the meantime, it’s just one foot in front of the other, one day at a time and sometimes, (to be honest) I’m counting the hours until my dreams manifest. I am grateful for the lessons I am learning now, because they are ordained and will carry me through to greatness–as your lessons will for you.

Thanks to my sister and my good girl friends who are supporting me, to those I “can count on.” You will be blessed greatly.

And in true pretty blue fashion, here are some outfits inspired by the movie:

The Women


Alexander McQueen dress, $3,865 / Hervé Léger body con dress / Cutout dress / Black Ruche Detail Shrug, $16 / Tabitha Simmons platform high heels / Giuseppe Zanotti stiletto heels / Schutz heel boots / Long chain earrings / Kenneth Jay Lane chunky jewelry, $86 / Sorrelli vintage earrings


~A. Genise

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Pretty Homes: Beautiful Blue near the Blue

I am increasingly thinking I should be a realtor, architect, or an interior designer. I just don’t browse beautiful pictures of homes, I study them. Although my hubby thinks I’m strange, few things make me happier than a beautiful looking home (even if it’s not mine, just yet).

I came across this kitchen in a home near Martha’s Vineyard and just fell in love. Can you just imagine a trip to the beach house if the house looked like this?

I am usually a fan of white kitchens, but this blue kitchen is just divine, what do you think?


For more pictures see:
stay inspired and keep day dreaming,
A. Genise

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Pretty Healthy/Style:Post-Thanksgiving Routine

Let’s get this “admission” over with.

I did it and I’m fairly sure you did too: OVERATE!

I thoroughly enjoyed my 7 or so crescent rolls, my mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes. I was grossly full and very happy! I had a great time joking and laughing with family and despite a sick child (103 temp!) Thanksgiving was a blast!

Post Thanksgiving, I squeezed into the only pair of jeans that fit me, and when I needed to switch it up, I unbuttoned the cargo pants that didn’t fit for the car ride home. (no judgement please—I wore a long t-shirt to cover it up!)

So, in the aftermath of Thanksgiving and before I indulge again for Christmas dinner, I’d like to get back on track. No crazy stuff, all reasonable adjustments.

Starting today (if my cold isn’t horrible–come on you KNOW I got sick from the kid breathing on me all week!) I am vowing to do my 15-20 mins of yoga/pilates in the morning.

I will continue with my Zumba (and water Zumba?!?) 2 nights a week.

I’ll need to get back to working out with my You Tube videos and not let myself “relax” on the weekend.

Most importantly for me, I will return to my more disciplined eating style. Although it’s not for everyone, I’ve found that as I get older refined sugars/carbs hate my body. So all the exercise in the world does me no good because I’m lethargic and miserable when I eat certain foods.

With all that said, let’s focus on style. What can I wear to get me through this week? (Disclaimer: I am not one to have several different sizes of clothes in my closet because it forces me to self-correct a bit sooner if I over indulge. It removes my safety net.)

Below are some ideas for outfits that can help camouflage the post holiday bulge while it’s “working it’s way out/off”:

1.Once again, blazers. (unbuttoned of course!). A good tailored blazer cinches the waist.

Pretty Blue Style: Post-Thanksgiving Work Outfits

Wool jacket / Knit blazer / Apt. 9 / J.Crew wool jacket

2. Dresses

I know it seems counter-intuitive, (at least it did to me), why on earth would I want to shove myself into a dress if I’m not feeling “myself”? Well, because the dresses I am proposing have a little give, and will be flattering. There’s nothing worse than working all day in ill-fitting pants. You get the permanent button mark on your belly (because they were way too tight!)

Pretty Blue Style: Post-Thanksgiving Work Outfits
Dress / Banana Republic dot dress / Banana Republic pleated dress / J.Crew fitted cocktail dress

Wrap dresses are especially great, if they aren’t clingy.

Pretty Blue Style: Post-Thanksgiving Work Outfits

3. Patterned Blouses

Loose and flowy tops are perfect!

Pretty Blue Style: Post-Thanksgiving Work Outfits
Sheer top / Sheer top

4. Peplum

It hides just the right spots.

Pretty Blue Style: Post-Thanksgiving Work Outfits

stay inspired and enjoy the journey!

A. Genise


My Black Friday Lust List

Two Black Friday’s ago, my sister, husband and I had a serious plan. My husband waited in Target’s line since 9 pm Thanksgiving evening to get a TV. My sister and I tried to get to Kohl’s at 4 am to pick up some items (I slept in, and when I did get there and saw the line I ended up leaving. My family booed me). Ah those were the days…

This Black Friday, I am not shopping. All credit cards are out of my wallet so it’ll be a day to relax, and visit family–no fighting the crowds.

I can dream however, I can lust a bit, right? A few days ago I received my J. Crew “style guide” and paging through I really was lovin the shoes this season (several shirts and jewelry also caught my eye).

When I get overwhelmed and end up liking everything I see, I’ll just put them all in one place and then make some outfits. It kinda gets all of the lusting out. Here’s my most recent J. Crew lust list:

J.Crew Lusts November 2012


J.Crew knit sweater / J.Crew chiffon blouse / J.Crew waterproof dog boots / J.Crew high heel shoes / J.Crew high heels / J.Crew high heel shoes / J.Crew flat / J.Crew ballet flat / J.Crew flat / J.Crew necklace


Pretty Blue Style: J Crew Shoes pt 1



Pretty Blue Style: J Crew lust outfits


Pretty Blue Style: J Crew lust outfits


OK, I think I got it all out…

What’s on your lust list?

Stay safe and enjoy the journey,

A. Genise


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Wednesday Wisdom: Contentment

I had this whole post ready about why being discontent was a good thing, how it pushes you to do better and move forward. I listed all sort of reasons why being a type-A policy analyst gave me a reason to be discontent because I am paid to think critically and find what’s wrong in situations…my eye is naturally drawn to the imperfections…yada yada.

It was a good post, but then I scrapped it.

Really, thanksgiving is about being content and so that should be my focus. A type-A person like myself isn’t very fond of the word content because to be honest– I hear resting or being lax. I am always looking to improve, to succeed, to forge ahead, and to do that you need to think about how to improve where you are now.

But there is a balance. There is a place I need to learn to spend a little more time and that’s the land of contentment. In my life, there are very few times that I stop to  smell the pretty blue roses. I am always doing a post-event analysis to see how I can improve next time, but that is tiring and can be demoralizing.

So this Thanksgiving, I am purposefully trying to spend more time being content and satisfied. Because our human nature is such that we always want more. I want it all and I want it yesterday. Maybe it’s a function of being the first born, who knows, but once I tend to meet a goal I’m on to setting the next three.

Ultimately balance is what I’m after. Being forward-thinking without being discontent. Being satisfied without becoming complacent.

I’m still trying to find the happy medium of being present, being content, which ultimately leads to being thankful everyday, not just on Thanksgiving.

stay inspired and enjoy the journey,

A. Genise


Pretty Blue Style:7 Men’s Casual Wardrobe Staples (Fall/Winter)

Dressing a man can be tricky.

I always need to build in extra time to make sure my hubby looks presentable (read: ironed and matching). We can talk all day long about how to look good as women, but if the dad, boyfriend, hubby or brother in your life looks a hot mess, when you go out together you’ll be a luke-warm mess (at best).

Now I’m not talking about how JLo “made over” Ben Affleck (if you don’t remember the golden tan, bronzer, and the perfectly styled hair, look below for a reminder)

I’m talking about more of an understated make over that allows the man in your life to look like himself, just only more refined.

Given my goal, my selections for 7 key pieces for a man’s wardrobe are:

Pretty Blue Style: Men's Casual Saples (fall/winter)

1. Oxford/Button-up Shirt

The oxford shirt is an invaluable item in both casual and professional settings. If you keep it subtle, it’ll withstand fashion trends.

2. Jeans

Blue jeans look good with nearly everything from a blazer and loafers to a T-shirt and sneakers. Again, avoiding trendy styles (for example, purple skinny jeans) and sticking with basics ( worn-in straight legs) will make this staple more versatile.

3.Loafers/Boat Shoes

Because of their minimalism, they will never go out of style. They can be dressed up with a blazer or kept casual with some khakis.


T-shirts are a wardrobe staple all year round. A thin T-shirt under a sweater makes these pieces useful even in the fall and winter.

5. Blazer/Sports coat:

A good blazer can be used in numerous situations and can often make mediocre looking ensembles respectable (yall know I love me some blazers!).

Your blazer can be worn at the office with a matching pair of suit pants, or to a casual weekend dinner with a pair of jeans.

6. Sweaters

Kind of a no-brainer. My suggestions are to keep them simple for maximum versatility. I am a fan of argyle and v-necks.

7. Khakis

Provides a nice alternative to jeans that can be dressed up or made more casual. I (strongly) prefer the flat front style over pleated khakis.

Just a few combinations from the wardrobe staples I selected above.

Pretty Blue Style: Men's Looks (fall/winter)
Pretty Blue Style: Men's Casual Saples (fall/winter)
Pretty Blue Style: Men's Coats (fall/winter)

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Home for Thanksgiving!

In a few days, most folks are heading somewhere for Thanksgiving. I thought I’d help out by suggesting some outfits for the trip.

Happy Packing!

Pretty Blue Style: Thanksgiving Packing


Amber Genise

stay inspired and enjoy the journey