Pretty Blue Rose

life musings, fashion, and inspiration

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Wednesday Wisdom: Running alone, running together

I heard this old African proverb that really spoke to me:

“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

I believe this is an analogy that is frequently used to show how working together accomplishes more. In our “quick quick do it yesterday” society the tendency is to do things ourselves so we can be off to the next thing. Sad thing is we tire out that way and end up not finishing our race. Look around, make sure you have people to support you on your journey and make sure you have people that you are supporting. You will all get there…together.


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. Genise.

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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


Throwback Thursday: Ol’ School Candy

Music, food, and scents are things that can instantly take you back in time . When I saw a picture of the strawberry candies below, I was instantly taken to my maternal grandmothers house in Philadelphia. When I would visit, she would leave them in her candy dish and I would demolished them all weekend. I just love them and her. Those candies bring back such good memories. (now that I think about it, she was probably refilling them so I didn’t get in trouble, however her trash cans were full of those shiny wrappers!)

Strawberry Hard Candy

Who doesn’t remember candy necklaces?! So fashionable, yet so tasty. Oh the days!

OK, yes I did take it back to the candy cigarettes that were bubble gum and blew smoke. Now-a-days this would be so taboo, but back in the 80’s these were soooo cool:)

Six feet of bubble gum, for you not them! I think that was their slogan. What on earth was I doing with that much bubble gum? Oh I remember, trying to make sure it didn’t hit the floor…

Watermelon candy was such a favorite candy of mine. Did they used to be 5 for a penny?

There are many many more throwback sweets, what am I missing?

Stay inspired and enjoy the sweet journey,

A. Genise


Wednesday Wisdom: Stop Auditioning

I’ve been getting a lot of advice lately. Let’s just say there are some interesting things going on in my life and lots of folks have lots to say (reminder to self: stop telling lots of folks).

One piece of advice really stuck with me. One individual said, “Although unfair, everyday is an audition”.

I found two definitions of auditioning:
1-An interview at which a singer, actor, dancer, or musician demonstrates their suitability and skill. or a 2-A trial performance, as by an actor, dancer, or musician, to demonstrate suitability or skill.

So what I take away is that for a trial period it is OK to be asked and necessary to demonstrate your skills. The thing I’d like to highlight is that it’s for a limited time (hence the words interview and trial).

But I’m learning some people expect folks to have to prove themselves everyday and that’s tiring! Right? Living everyday as on a trial performance is not healthy. But unfortunately, I had to agree with that sentiment. In some circles (families, jobs, etc.) there’s always this “thing” hanging over you about your reputation. Everything you do, say, and work you perform is always “shaping” your “reputation”. To me this means you are always auditioning, always proving.

When I mentioned my new found revelation to my hubby (he is always my sounding board and gives the best advice) he said I don’t need to buy in to that status quo (and unhealthy) thinking.

He said, let’s oversimplify to make a point: If you are the best cook, dancer, employee, blogger, or athlete ever and someone passes along their perspective, 50% will believe it and 50% won’t. The same is true in reverse, if someone passes along that you a horrible parent, dancer, singer, cook, there is a 50% chance that others will believe it and the other half won’t. (Now I know the relationship to the messenger highly influences the likelihood the person will believe the information passed along, but again this was simplified to make a point). So in the scheme of things, there will be a group of people who believe that you are great and others who won’t, no matter what you do. Point Blank Period. (said like Tamar Braxton).

I think of the heated conversations men (and some women) have about athletes illustrates this perfectly. You can take one athlete, say LeBron James, and one person who loves him lists stats and all sorts of things to convince others of his perspective, but the others who know those same stats and watch the games will disagree and call Mr. James garbage. They will say he only can do what he does because of those around him (coaches and teammates) and they say he’s no good. Same person, same performance, different perspectives.

So, if you are a person who cares about what folks think or even worse, thinks you can change how people perceive you, you are going through life auditioning–be it for a job you already have or a role you already perform (a parent for example).
You are always trying to prove that you are worth your title.

I’m learning to focus on doing good work regardless of what others think I can or cannot do. I won’t keep auditioning for a job or a role I already have.

I am important, intelligent, and worthy because I am a human being. Period.

No. Convincing. Needed.

And now that I think about it, one of the main reasons I didn’t pursue a professional dance career was that I hated auditioning. The constant comparisons, rejection, and stress was something I wanted no part of. Why start auditioning now?