Pretty Blue Rose

life musings, fashion, and inspiration

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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


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Pretty Cool Gifts: For Kids (under $50)

This was a toughie, there are so many toys for children and they never have an issue saying what they want. Here are my picks for the toddler/preschool age:

Pretty Cool Gifts: For Kids (under $50)


1.Lavender Dot Sadie Jewelry Boxes ($25)

Pottery Barn’s Sadie Jewelry Boxes are wrapped in pretty polka-dotted paper, accented with striped ribbon and finished with a twirling musical ballerina inside.

2.Pillow Pets Dream Lites ($29.99)

This is #1 on my daughter’s list. With just the touch of a button, it projects a starry sky onto your child’s bedroom ceiling and walls. (oh fun!!?) I’ll be able to project steady blue, amber or green light, or cycle all three colors in a loop (more fun!). The Dream Lite turns off automatically after 20 minutes. (oh thank goodness).

3.Pirate Ship Playhouse ($29.99)

A timeless favorite play theme for young children this Pirate ship design is inspired by real Pirate Ships that ruled the Caribbean long ago. Large enough to accommodate 2-3 children, this ship includes printed line work and is ready to make it your very own customized ship.

4.Fisher Price Disney’s Jake and The Neverland Pirates – Bucky Pirate Ship ($38.99)

This musical pirate ship, Bucky, straight from Disney’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates show is equipped to battle Hook and his crew. Bucky is packed with 25 action phrases and an exciting pirate-adventure song. This set includes Jake and Skully figures and three water ball projectiles. (watch out mom and dad!)

5.Green Toys Tea Set ($29)

I am a big fan of tea, and so is my daughter. This set would be perfect for her/us. The eco-friendly set made from recycled milk jugs is pretty, durable and nontoxic.

6.Construction Vehicles ($39.00 each)

Each vehicle features interactive details such as a working tipper on the dump truck, and rolling caterpillar tracks on the bulldozer and digger.

7.Monster Bowling Game ($24.99)

Melissa and Doug’s monster bowling game for kids adds color, texture and a whole lot of eyes to a familiar game.

Enjoy the weekend:)

A. Genise

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Pretty Cool Gifts: Gifts for Him (under $50)

I’m really into putting people’s names on things this year… so there are several gifts that allow for monogramming.

I think the gifts I selected for him are quite nice!

Pretty Cool Gifts: Gifts for Him (under $50)

1. Hess helicopter($27)

My dad is an avid collector of Hess trucks. I was excited to see that there is now a chrome detailed helicopter with working lights. There’s also a, a 6-door SUV style rescue vehicle with real working lights, retractable emergency roof lights, and chrome detailing. Nice!

2.NFL Glassware ($18.00 – $24.00)

Football fans will love the chance to declare their loyalty with this customizable NFL glassware. Available with the insignia from each of the National Football League’s 32 teams. And you can personalize the glassware with your loved one’s name for free.

3.Saddle Leather Business Card Holder ($10.50)

It feels to be organized when you’re on the go (or at least something to fuss with the man in  your life that he should use to be organized). The business card holder  is stylish but compact enough to keep business cards neatly stored in a bag or pocket.

4. SwipeTie ($39.95)

The Sky SwipeTie is  made from quality handcrafted woven silk with an integrated inner tip made from a premium specialized fabric designed to remove fingerprints and smudges from delicate surfaces such as eyeglass lenses, iPhone and Android smartphones, iPads and other portable entertainment devices. A multitasking tie, I love it!

5.Canon Camera Lens Mugs ($30)

This lens mug  is super cute for a camera lover. I just think this is so cute and if I were to buy one for my hubby, I’d probably be the one to use it.  I gift for him for me:)

6.Saddle Leather Earphone Case ($15.50)

This case will keep earphones neatly stored in a bag or pocket. I know I am always “reminding” my hubby where he put his earphones…

7.Hanes Striped Pajama Set ($30)

Pajamas are always a safe gift for him.

Tomorrow, gifts for kids.

Stay inspired and enjoy the journey,

A. Genise

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Wednesday Wisdom: Have Good Supports

No this isn’t a post about undergarments, although they are very important and any good outfit won’t look right if your undergarments are lacking…

This post is to cause you to think about those who you choose to keep around you, those that you let speak into your life, those that support you in life’s journey.

A few weeks ago I had the best convo with my closest girl friend from undergrad. We hadn’t been able to catch up in a while, but we made up for it last week with a 2+ hour phone conversation.

The best thing is that when I am done talking to her I feel good! And after that particular conversation, I felt invincible. I got to share my fears, my struggles, ideas, and hopes, all while problem solving my way to feeling inspired.

Too many times we value quantity over quality in friendships. We just hang out with anyone, and then wonder why when we leave the presence of some people we feel dejected and insecure. But we continue to interact with those people because we think we should,  we are being mean if we don’t, or that something wrong with us–that we are too picky.

The reality is you must be very careful of who you let feed your mind and who you let speak into your life. Your life literally depends on it!

Don’t allow the nice girl/guy syndrome force you to tolerate what we now-a-days call “frenemies”–meaning either an enemy disguised as a friend or someone who’s both a friend and a rival. (common in the workplace where things are more collaborative yet more competitive).

Where do you draw the line, especially when you are first getting to know someone? But my rule is, if time after time when I leave your presence and I’m hurt, angry, embarrassed, or feeling insecure, then it’s time to roll back on that relationship. It’s time to reassess that friendship.

And the beauty is it doesn’t have to be a drama filled “reality show”breakup with discussions on what went wrong and why–just lessen the time spent with that person if you can, and most times  you can.

Now this is not to say only hang with yes people, or people that say what you want to hear. But real friends give you the truth in love and you can feel the difference.

I hope this was able to help someone:)

stay inspired,

A. Genise.

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Pretty Cool Gifts: Gifts for the home (host/hostess gifts)

I know I always have trouble thinking about what I should take to someone’s house that I am A) visiting for the first time or B) visiting for the holidays.  Hopefully my selections will help you a bit and even better than yesterday, they are all under $20!!

Pretty Cool Gifts: Gifts for the Home

1. Wine Stoppers ($19.50). Pottery Barn has these cute wine stoppers that I am certain your host will love.

2. Lavender Mint Fine Home Keeping ($9.50-12.95) Just yesterday, I went to the Stonewall Kitchen store for the first time yesterday. It was delightful! There were a bunch of things I liked (they had great samples of jams and dips throughout the store) but I picked the soap/candles for this list.

3. Linen Guest Towels ($19) These light towels are super cute and for just $7 more, you can monogram them.

4. Mugs ($10) These one-of-a-kind gift mugs feature a different letter design, handle style, and cup shape.

5.Butterfly Picture Frame. ($19.95) I love taking pictures, but I sometimes get really cheap on buying picture frames, but this aged blue frame metal butterfly might just change the way you look at someone.

6. Fleur de Sel Candle. ($19.95)  I just love this candle– its light floral fragrance captures the invigorating freshness of a seaside meadow. Especially in the cold dark winter, smelling the sea is so refreshing.

stay inspired and enjoy the journey,

A. Genise