Pretty Blue Rose

life musings and inspiration


Pretty Homes: Lovely Libraries

I love libraries and bookstores. When I was a struggling grad student (heck and even undergrad) I would go to bookstores and read the books and put them back (I said I was broke, no judgement). I just cannot describe the feeling I get when I am surrounded by books. I just imagine myself curling up and reading a book that transports me to another world.
My dream home will have a library. No TV, no iPad, just books and a comfortable chair…and perhaps a super cool ladder like the library below.
Yet another win from my favorite contractor, Stonewood, LLC. The view from this room is ridiculous. I still think I could read in it though…
The windows on the back wall really caught my eye with this room. The deep wood keeps the room cozy though.
I am a chaise girl. My grandmother owned one and it changed my life! This purple chaise looks like it could be home to some good reading!
The octagonal (is that a word?!) wood shape on the ceiling is exquisite. Oh! and the fireplace is divine.
staying inspired,
A. G.

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Monday Motivation: Stop giving up!

In full disclosure, I haven’t been to a Zumba class since November (right before Thanksgiving). So when I went just this past Tuesday is was fun but a bit painful. The master class I took yesterday was an even greater reminder that I haven’t been working out as systematically as I’d like.

As I age I am learning that I can still pick up the dance moves quickly (yay dancers!), but I am far more winded than I’d like to be. My ramp up and recovery times are longer (in my mind I am still that 20 year old dancer…dangerous thinking I know!) At one point during the Zumba work out I thought my heart was going to stop (a bit scary) and I literally said to myself I will be so embarrassed if I pass out in this class.

So now back to the quote. The reason why I loooove it is because I greatly dislike longer ramp up and recovery times. I dislike the way I feel when I am just getting back into the swing of exercising, the soreness, the being super winded, the struggle to do things that I know I can do. So perhaps I shouldn’t keep quitting or taking super long breaks so that my body doesn’t keep feeling like it is starting over.

keep going,

A. Genise

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The Lazy Shopper Series: J. Crew

Anyone ever feel like the woman above? Lots of bags, lots of people, and not looking too happy. I feel her pain! I quickly get tired of shopping because my feet start to hurt, in the winter the stores make me hot, I’m carrying a big purse and coat and I’m usually very thirsty or hungry…wow, I sound a hot mess, but the reality is shopping is work and I’m not always down for it. (and that’s by myself, add in a pre-schooler and it’s just much worse. There’s lots of asking not to touch things. And to be honest, I’d rather spend the day looking at model homes…not shopping for clothes.)
So just because I like fashion and good style doesn’t mean I like to shop all the time. Believe it or not, I don’t do much shopping. I’m not a fan of endlessly browsing in stores, I like to get in and out of store. (I try very hard not to try on clothes in stores–I’m good at knowing what clothes will look like when I try them on, so I do all that at home.) Bottom line: I enjoy wearing my purchases and I don’t like to spend a bunch of energy and time acquiring them.
Talking to others, I’m finding that women and men fall into my style of shopping. Personally, I hate when I get home with a shopping bag full of clothes thinking I have a whole new wardrobe, but I can only get a handful of outfits out of my purchases–major fail!
So on some Friday’s (not every Friday, these posts take a good amount of time!) I’ve decided to start a new fashion series called “The Lazy Shopper”. I know you all aren’t really lazy, it’s more of an efficiency/busy thing, but “The Efficient and Busy Shopper” didn’t sound as good…
(I know I know I said that mixing it up it terms of the stores you shop at is ideal so you don’t look like a walking advertisement for one store, but that’s not always feasible.)
I want this series to help you get at least 10 different outfits from one shopping trip. As we continue on in this series, I can see setting price limits and all sorts of other things to challenge myself, but today’s challenge was:
-1 store,
-10 or more outfits,
-10 or less clothing items, and
-5 or less accessories (including shoes).
So let’s get started!

My “inaugural” store is J. Crew. I like their basics and they have things that are easy to mix and match without looking like a walking J. Crew model. (heck and since this is inaugural week and the first lady’s belt was from J. Crew…why not?!)
Below I selected weekend wear. I feel like weekend outfits are the hardest to put together, so let’s start there. Quick tip, when trying to pick outfits, I think it’s very important to consciously select one or two colors to stick with, so your accessories and shoes are complimentary. The two colors I chose were salmon and a minty green (see the salmon jeans, striped sweater, and green sweater). All of the rest are neutrals (the chambray shirt, and the crisp white button up). Also the white and blue jeans are nice neutrals along with the sand colored ballet flats.
Speaking of shoes, one of my signature looks is a unexpected shoe color. If you keep everything else neutral, you can pull off something like a blue or green wedge (below) and look pulled together. Take a look at my selections:
Pretty Blue Style: J Crew One Stop Shop
Pretty Blue Style: J Crew One Stop Shop pt 1
The outfits I selected above are nice for spring and early summer (depending on where you live). The salmon/pink colored pants are the perfect jolt of color I’d need coming out of the long dark days of winter. Also notice the middle outfit mixes colors but by matching the bracelet and the shoes, you look like you meant to mix and match rather than being an accident.
Pretty Blue Style: J Crew One Stop Shop pt 2
White jeans are so chic. If you get out of the house with clean white pants (and for me that’s a big if), then go for it! The outfit on the left with the chambray shirt is something that I classically do. I take a boring outfit and add cute colorful shoes with a matching accessory and it looks intentional. It allows you to get away with plain clothes (read: clothes that are easier to mix and match) while looking stylish. Hands down, this is my favorite thing to do. The middle outfit is pretty easy since you can wear any color that’s represented in stripes. Lastly, notice I did not select the matching bracelet for the outfit on the right since that would be too much green. Throwing in the neutral belt breaks up the green.
Pretty Blue Style: J Crew One Stop Shop pt 3
Last but not least, blue jeans. Everything goes with jeans, so as long as they look good on you–so you are good to go!
Starting with the outfit to the left, I could have added the wedges with it, but I kept the “accent” color in the brown family and more casual. The outfit second to the left is classic with that same pop of color via the shoes that I mentioned earlier. For the next outfit, I decided to add a pop of color with the salmon colored belt. Either the green wedges or the flats (as I’ve shown) work with that look. Lastly, the striped shirt is busy enough, so I kept the shoes neutral.
So there you have it! 10 outfits (there are many more combinations that make sense) from 1 store!
**If you have a particular store that you’d like to see represented, leave a comment and I will add it to my list:)
stay inspired,
A. Genise

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Go Fly a Kite!

Sunday was such a beautiful day in my neck of the woods. It felt like a balmy fall day. The sun shining, the sky was clear (you can see the moon in the first picture–my daughter loves that!) and the wind was perfect for flying a kite…so that’s just what we did.

I usually watch my hubby and daughter fly their kites, but on Sunday I joined in for quite a while. I felt such a freedom and peace flying my kite. (no judgement that we lost three kites to the trees!)

P.S. I didn’t wear my “fake uggs” with that outfit all day, I just wore them for play.

I actually wore my black knee high boots to church with my J. crew skirt, a 7-year old cotton shell from target, and a corduroy jacket from H&M. I call this look the “Purple People Eater”, but I think it worked:)

Keep Flying and Being Fly,

A. Genise

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Pretty Blue Star Style: The Scandalous Kerry Washington

I have a weird habit of being super early or super late with watching TV shows. What I mean is I will watch a TV show before it’s hot (the Braxton’s is perfect example. I was online saying “everything dot com” the day after the first show and no one really followed) OR I’ll watch a very popular show for the first time only when it’s syndicated (King of Queens is a good example of this, I never saw that show until it was on TBS at 6 pm, 7 pm, and 8 pm).
So since Scandal staring Kerry Washington is still on the air, it must mean I was super early with that show. I watched the first season and then stopped watching, no reason I just never tuned into the 2nd season AND since it was doing well, I figured I didn’t need to “support it”. Weird I know.
All that to say, I’ve started watching again (my hubby is a HUGE fan) and I am hooked (again). I love Ms. Washington’s style on the show and I thought I’d share a few outfits inspired by Ms. Washington’s character: Olivia Pope.
Scandal, Kerry Washington

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Throwback Thursday: Jem and the Holograms

O.K. Another 80’s show I looooved!

Pink hair, yes!,

Star earrings, check!

Heavy 80’s make-up, yuppers!

Jem and the Holograms was amazing!

They were one of the coolest fictional girl bands of all time!

Quick background for the youngins:

Jem, also known as Jem and the Holograms, is an American animated television series that ran from 1985 to 1988. The show is about music company owner Jerrica Benton, her singer alter-ego Jem, her band the Holograms, and their adventures.

Jerrica ran Starlight Music House by day and by night she changed into her alter ego as Jem. Jerrica was able to change into her alter ego with the help of a holographic computer named Synergy. Only the Holograms knew of Jerrica’s alternate identity.

Every good story needs an antagonist and in this story, Jem and the holograms were constantly trying to be outdone by a rival band called the Misfits: Pizazz, Roxy, and Stormer (she was the “sensitive” one with the blue hair) and Jetta. Pizazz came from a family with money and her life goal was apparently to discover the Jem was actually Jerrica. (she never did!)

How badly did I want Synergy to come out and help me?!? (no judgement if maybe I used to hold my ear and whisper Snergy every now and then…) Show’s over, Synergy!

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Monday Motivation: The ONE place to focus your anger…

It takes 6 months to get into shape and 2 weeks to get out of shape. Once you know this, you can stop being angry about other things in life, and just be angry about this!

-Rita Rudner, Naked Beneath My Clothes

OK y’all, if this statement isn’t true, then I don’t know what is! Just having had another (over 30) birthday, I am totally on board with this phenomenon. So using the Pretty Blue philosophy, I should start expending energy on what I can change:

I can change the fact that I work out all summer and then fall off the wagon from October to January when I inevitably vow to get back in shape. (Hmm..maybe if I did a better job of planning for the back to school through Christmas blur, I wouldn’t be as stressed…)

So knowing that every woman (especially over 30) is like me, and that we can no longer fall off the horse for more than two weeks, gives me some solace and comradery. (misery loves company right?)

If I could set a timer, and say OK: I’m traveling/I’m on vacation/I’m not feeling well/It’s a holiday—BUT after two weeks the timer goes off and poof! I get it back together. (that’s always the hard part, gaining the momentum to get back on the horse, once you do, it becomes routine!) Yeah right, nice dreaming!

So I don’t know about y’all, but I’m on the look out for my timer,

A. Genise


Pretty Blue Star Style: Janelle Monae

When I first saw Janelle Monae, I was intrigued.

An image of Janelle Monáe

She seems like a humble artist who is about the music…And heck, she’s very talented! I love her style, and thus far, I’ve always seen her looking fabulous.

Monae always wears what she calls her uniform: usually a jacket and pants mostly in black or white and her hair is done up in a fifties-style quiff:

Kinkspiration! Janelle Monae

During an acceptance speech, Monae spoke candidly about her family and why she wears a “uniform”:

“When I started my musical career I was a maid, I used to clean houses. My parents—my mother was a proud janitor, my step-father who raised me like his very own worked at the post office and my father was a trash man. They all wore uniforms. And that’s why I stand here today in my black and white and I wear my uniform to honor them,”

In the spirit of Pretty Blue Rose, she went on to say:

“This [award] is a reminder that I have work to do, I have people to uplift, I have people to inspire,” she said

“And today I wear my uniform proudly as a Covergirl,” she told the audience referring to her deal with the cosmetics giant.

“I want to be clear young girls, I didn’t have to change who I was to become a Covergirl, I didn’t have to become perfect because I’ve learned through my journey that perfection is the often the enemy of greatness. Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes other uncomfortable.

Sigh, so I’m a huge fan of her philosophy and her style. Cheers to you Ms. Monae!

Check out my outfits inspired by her:

Pretty Blue Star Style: Janelle Monae 1

Pretty Blue Star Style: Janelle Monae 2

Keep uplifting and inspiring others–this is the work we are all called to do,

A. Genise