Pretty Blue Rose

life musings and inspiration

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Wednesday Wisdom: Don’t look down!

Members of my family are going through some rough times health and job wise. Some days are better than others, but it’s frustrating to watch.

What is interesting is how when I am down about my family’s situation, my sister will cheer me up and visa versa.

What is even more interesting is that our focus is what drives our perspective, which in turn drives our mood and ability to function.

If I am standing on the edge, looking down in the proverbial trench/valley, the darkness and the fact that I cannot see the bottom, is overwhelming. It only takes one peek over the edge before I am totally dejected.

But when I change my focus and look to the other side of the valley, I see the beautiful horizon, my spirit is lifted, and I can encourage others.

Look out, not down. It makes all the difference.

And when you get to the other side, be sure to glance back at the enourmous leap you took.

Keep that glance stored away as a reminder when the next valley presents itself. Remember the last hurdle you jumped.

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Pretty Face: Minimalism

As a working mom, blogger, wife (etc. etc.) my make-up preference is minimalist at best. As a teen I was really into make-up (who wasn’t?). I recall the blue eyeliner (mine wasn’t this polished)

Blue Eyeshadow Black Woman

and brown or black outlined lips filled in with light colors…


I’ve since revised my make-up strategy substantially, I’m a mascara and chapstick girl most days. (Blush if I have an important meeting). Here’s my daily go-to collection:

Pretty Face: Minimal Make-up

Mascara, mascara, mascara. I actually feel naked without it. I started out loving L’Oreal’s voluminous (I love the natural lush look), but most recently, I’ve been using Cover Girl’s lash blast. (I think the packaging is what hooked me).

Tinted moisturizer. Beauty bloggers I follow tend to really love Laura Mercier. I wasn’t sure how it would fare for a woman of color, but I am happy to report I am very pleased with the tinted moisturizer. I’ve also made my own (foundation and moisturizer mix) but that’s only in a pinch.

MAC’s bronzer. I use this in the summer/early fall to add to my glow. In the winter it just looks silly on me.

Estee Lauder Pink Kiss Blush. In my early make up days I never wore blush (it seemed old ladyish and I always saw it done wrong). Now I know the importance of blush–it gives me just enough color.

Any other must-have products I’ve missed?


A. Genise

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Pretty Good Time: Family Movie Night

This past Saturday, we had our first official family movie night.

After a late morning at the mall (with an unsuccessful sighting of Santa–good news my daughter doesn’t really know he should be there, so she wasn’t disappointed when we didn’t see him) some Costco shopping, some grocery shopping and a nap, we needed some way to fill the evening.

(Digression: I’m really starting not to like late fall/winter. As a child I loved the snow, as a single and even married but childless couple, I could deal with the 4 pm darkness–I could just nap, but with a child the short days in the winter are a challenge for things to do and quite frankly I don’t want be trolling around outside in the cold weather, putting her in and taking her out of the car seat. Ok now that’s out.)

At the grocery store we were forced to grab a movie (Santa Paws 2—yay us!). After dinner I decided I would knock out her bath and everyone would be in pjs by 6:30. Movie time was 7 pm. The kitchen was clean (yay again!), the popcorn was made, my tea water was boiled, and we were off to the basement.

We have a large grey sectional that actually was my aunt’s–it’s over 30 years old and I love it. It’s been in all of my apartments since grad school. We all cuddled up and had a great evening. I didn’t even bring my cell phone!

My daughter is really excited about next week’s movie night. She’s asking for the Princess and the Pop Star  movie. So long as redbox doesn’t let us down, we have movie night penciled in for next weekend.

Since I’m a lover of interiors, here’s a few of my dream media rooms:

I enjoy the sectional style seating in this room, a media room doesn’t always have to have stadium seating.

However, if I did want stadium seats, I wouldn’t be mad if this showed up in my house (the grey curtains are super dramatic):

I love libraries, I love books (I had a very hard time succumbing to digital books) and my dream home will have a library. The library won’t have a TV, but I saw this media room and had to give it a shout out.

stay inspired,
A. Genise


Pho Sho

This past week I went to a restaurant in Chinatown DC called Pho, it serves authentic Vietnamese food. My dish called the Bun Bo Nuong (grilled beef on rice vermicelli) was amazing. My dish was so good that I thought about it at 4:45am the next morning when I was awake (not intentionally). My dish was so good I talked a different co-worker into going with me the next day! (tacky maybe, but I don’t care). I think my expectations were too high because the next day the food was great, but the first day was life changing.

(that clear sauce at the top right is sinfully delicious)

In an unrelated event, my hubby just bought some wonton wrappers. I am now inspired  to try to use them in a dish this weekend if  I have the time. (I have a half decorated tree to attend to, a list to Santa to help write, and perhaps a trip to see Santa (I know my daughter will be scared of him, but she talks about him as though they are BFFs)).

Ok back to the food. I have visions of stealing the recipes from this restaurant, perhaps just the broth and freezing it–heck who am I kidding, I just want to grab the chef and keep her/him at my house to cook –the food was just that good!

I really wanted to try the soup, but the beef dish was so good I couldn’t switch on my second visit. When I go back next week (because I most certainly will, it’s a matter of how many times…) I promised myself I’ll try the Pho Chin or beef noodle soup .(below)

Pho Chi'n Nam Ve Don at Caravelle-Pho 79 Restaurant

I am soo hungry now.

Enjoy the weekend!

A. Genise

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Pretty Blue Style Staple: Silver Shoes

Seeking to replace my well worn and much loved grey flats, I stumbled upon and purchased silver flats and they have become my new staple. It may sound silly, but metallics (mainly gold and silver) are great neutrals that are a step up from black, tan, or even grey.

If you are wearing a patterned shirt or dress and don’t have shoes that match any of the colors in the piece, silver shoes are a great option.

Take a look below, I’ve revised some of the looks I’ve put together for prior posts by updating the shoes with metallics.

Pretty Blue Style Staple: Silver Shoes


10/5 Casual Friday Outfit


Pretty Blue Style:Pink and Blue


Lime, Navy, and White for the Fall (Casual)


Desk to Dinner

Pretty Blue Style: J Crew lust outfits

Did this convince you to snag a pair of silver shoes? Go for it!

A. Genise


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Wednesday Wisdom: Keep on keeping on

About a month ago my website crashed for 9 days. So not only was it unavailable to readers, I had about 30 or so draft posts that I couldn’t access.

Initially, since my web host said it would be fixed in about 48 hours, I waited patiently. I was calm.

Day 4-6 I started feeling sorry for myself. I would just mope really missing my website. I’d call my website host company incessantly to check in…(they give no insight at all. no time frame for fixing, no reason for taking so long, nada)

Then anger and frustration set in. I find this emotion is helpful if I channel it correctly. Once I get sufficiently angry and frustrated, I start to think outside the box and this time was no different.

How would  a business deal with this problem? How would a CEO work around a crashed website? And after a nap I came up with the idea to re-launch my website through another web application and it worked. It got me back up and running. I was elated!

But the “high” from thinking outside of the box was short-lived when I remembered I still didn’t have access to my 30+draft posts.  I had to start writing from scratch. There were no draft posts were waiting to be finished, I actually had to work harder than I did when I first launched.

So I was moving forward, but I still needed to keep moving forward.

I also faced needing to rebuild my reader base since I was unexpectedly gone and had no real way of communicating that. Out of sight, out of mind.

Most of us can deal with a set back or two, but when multiple setbacks occur, do we keep moving forward? And do we maintain a good attitude while moving forward?

I believe when you face great opposition, it’s because something great is just around the corner. But will we hang in there long enough to see it come to pass?

Will you keep knocking on doors, keep looking for answers, keep expecting, keep dreaming in the face of many set backs? Will you keep asking after the 5th no or even the 25th? Will you make sure you don’t let others talk you out of your dream when the 25th no comes around? (They will be plentiful by then).

Thomas Edison failed 2000 times when trying to invent the light bulb. I know the Wright brothers’ first airplane prototype wasn’t successful. Tyler Perry lived in his car because he was so broke and Donald Trump’s companies filed for bankruptcy multiple times. (no endorsement of Mr. Trump, just a fact). But they never quit.

You may have had some setbacks or disappointments, but you are being prepared for your future. Each light bulb prototype that failed provided valuable information for the next time. Just continue on. Not only after a few setbacks, but after many.

Sometimes I feel the last one standing, although not the smartest or strongest, wins. I want to win!

Do you?

stay in it, enjoy the journey.

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Pretty Blue Style: Hospitals and Holiday Parties

The hospital where my daughter was born has an annual holiday party. Since she was born (really) early, the hospital likes to gather all of the parents so that those with kids in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU as it’s often called) can see the parents and the kids who have “graduated”. The parents of those currently in the NICU can see first hand that it will get better.

My favorite part (selfishly) is how the nurses and hospital staff, who remember us, fawn over my daughter because she is in such good shape. It’s always a nice reminder of how blessed we are and how far we’ve come.

Yesterday, I needed an outfit that was suitable for church and a long(ish) drive to the hospital while maintaining comfort. And, although I don’t do the “dress like my kid” thing, since my daughter was wearing purple, I decided to stay in that family. So here’s what I came up with:

Pretty Blue Style: Holiday Party

While I’m on the holiday subject, take a look at some other fun looks for parties.

Pretty Blue Style: holiday party with an edge

The one above has a little edge to it. The one below is is my favorite. The dress from modcloth is under $100 and is appropriate year round.

Pretty Blue Style: Holiday Party

Enjoy your holiday season:)