Pretty Blue Rose

life musings, fashion, and inspiration


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Wednesday Wisdom:Small Life

“Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life. Well, valuable, but small. And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave?”

-Kathleen Kelly (played by Meg Ryan from the movie You’ve Got Mail)

You may already know I love the movie You’ve Got Mail.

In the (oh so long ago) past, I had a (bad) habit of “small” thinking, which leads to the small life Meg Ryan spoke of. I would think that other successful people had/stole my life.

For example JLo, who started out as a fly girl on the comedy show In Living Color, ended up dancing her way into singing and acting– somehow stole my career path. (yeah I know it’s silly, but hey…)

Then, I was also supposed to be one of Janet Jackson’s back up dancers, so Tina Landon (one of Janet’s best choreographers seen below in the front right) also had my job.

It’s easy to think successful people have some special secret, or a leg up that you don’t have. Thinking successful people have an “in” negates the hard work and many hours of practice they put in (even if you think they don’t deserve the success). All that kind of thinking does is gives you an excuse to stay small.

I encourage you not to count yourself out, knowing that you can and should be more. Even if you are deep in the trenches of job and commute land mixed with raising a family (sound familiar?) move bravely towards your aspirations.

Be brave, live big, be bold!

A.G.


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Wednesday Wisdom: Frustration can help you move to the next level

There are many things that can frustrate us.

Frustration can manifest if you move too fast. You want everything done yesterday–having made arbitrary timelines for life goals and they are not being met. (House, marriage, and kids in 3 years anyone? Or how about I expected my business to take off and make me a millionaire like yesterday-wink wink)

Or frustration can manifest if you move too slow. When you look around you see others doing what you know you should have stepped out on faith to do, you are angry (really that’s just frustration).

And I’d say both of those types of frustration are good only to let you know that you are moving too fast or too slow. So once you identify the source of your frustration you can adjust.

But there is another type of frustration that I have recently encountered that I think will forever change my life for the better…

and it’s the frustration that inevitably comes along with learning new things.

I now realize that as adults we may be more easily frustrated than when we were toddlers. (and if you’ve raised a toddler that may be hard to believe, but follow me for a few moments…)

As adults, we’ve become proficient at many things. We’ve mastered walking, talking, writing, cooking (some of us anyways…), so when we start to do something that we are unfamiliar with, most of us freak out. As a 30-something, why should I go back to feeling like a toddler trying to walk? I already know how to walk!!! So rather than feel silly or clueless, as we age we tend to do only what we know, like, and what we are good at (see a problem here?).

Although I wrote about stepping outside of my comfort zone a while back, I really experienced it this past week.

With dance, my training and comfort zone is in ballet, lyrical, and classical jazz. They come relatively easy. I stopped dancing regularly when hip-hop became mainstream so I never learned it. Any time I’d try to learn hip hop on my own I’d become super frustrated and stop. (Dancers have this joke about watching ballerinas trying to do hip hop it’s always funny and you can always tell they are “ballerinas”. I felt like I started to look like that).

A while back I discovered a down to earth yet amazing choreographer named Candace Brown on You Tube. She is ridiculous. She moves like silk and I am in awe of her talent.

So in this case, I saw this choreography to a song by one of my favorite artists Dwele called Two2Tango. It’s ridiculous. I watched it into the wee hours of the morning totally mesmerized.

So the next morning I decided to learn the dance. I had to tell myself I’d try to learn an 8 count per day because it’s a hard dance to learn on your own, in real time, and looking at their reflection in the mirror. (for someone out of the dance loop, this dance is darn near impossible!)

Well I couldn’t get the first 4 counts…4 COUNTS!! I was more than frustrated. As soon as I thought I got it, I realized I was doing it wrong. (thanks to the mirror)

I walked away for a bit, came back and still wasn’t getting it. We ran errands later that day and every few steps (in BJ’s) I was practicing, still with no luck. Talk about frustrated!!!! I am a dancer and I needed two days to get the first 8 count! Although I heard all the voices saying how I was a has been because I was struggling so hard to get the first 8 count, I didn’t quit. I hated how I felt, but I wouldn’t stop trying. (oh and on day two I was so sore it was hard to take deep breaths!)

But at the end of day two, I started to get it! And that felt good! But how often do we quit because we are “embarrassed” thinking we should be learning it quicker or be more proficient by some arbitrary date. Just keep going!

So I will be learning this new dance. Although I am totally scared, my plan is to post the video once I learn it all.

Another thing I’ve learned is that letting a talent die is one of the worst things you can do. Maya Angelou said is best when she said: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Although I left dance, she hadn’t left me. And although I turned my back on her, she’s willing to take me back. Now our becoming re-acquainted is no walk in the park. It’s not like picking up where you left off with an old friend. Dance is a high maintenance friend that demands daily interaction, so me getting to know her again is not always going to be fun, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So for the bigger lesson is don’t let adulthood and the proficiencies you’ve acquired thus far push you to only pursue what you are great at. Sometime you should feel frustrated like a toddler learning to walk. It’s painful, perhaps embarrassing, but totally necessary to move to the next level.

I am now begging my hubby to put in full length mirrors in our basement for my studio. I cannot wait! Hopefully in no time, I’ll be dancing and teaching others.

Until next time,

A. G.


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Wednesday Wisdom: Road Cars vs Race Cars

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The other day I heard the best analogy while listening to the radio.

The speaker was explaining some of the differences between how race cars and road cars are built and related them to how we should operate in our everyday lives. He explained that road cars are built with a long life in mind. We expect road cars to perform reliably for hundreds of thousands of miles because they are built to last.

This is not the case with race cars, however. A race engine is built with one thing in mind: power. Race engine components are built to be light and strong, but in most cases, they don’t last much longer than one race.

We, in turn, are not built to run at a race car’s top capacity all the time. Although multitasking and constant working are things our society pushes and even rewards,  it’s not good for anyone long term. Can you handle what’s thrown at you? Can you juggle different responsibilities without letting them see you sweat? Can you manage unrealistic expectations and unreasonable staff while looking flawless? Of Course I can! But at what cost? Like a race car, you may be able to manage juggling everything for a few trips around the track, but you will burn out. Promise. If you live your life for the long term, similar to a road car, you will last much longer. Let’s try to see the long game, slow down!

Chillin in my road car…

 

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A.G.


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Style: In BeTweed

I am a huge fan of tweed, which is a rough, unfinished woollen fabric. It is made in either plain or twill weave and may have a check or herringbone pattern.

Tweed is super comfortable and I just cannot say enough good things about it. Check out some of my favorite looks:

Having some fun with work and tweed.

The black and white almost grey looking tweed is a great staple. It’s good with jeans, dress pants and skirts.

Tweed and Coach

Tweed Pencil Skirt

Jeans and tweed, yes indeed!

Tweed Biker Jacket

My tweed pants, similar to those below, are really a favorite of mine. I really get happy when I realize enough time has passed and I can wear them to work again.
Mustard Tweed

I don’t own a pair of tweed shoes yet, but I’d love to. The blue tweed shoes below are sick!

Tweed Shoes

This monochromatic look incorporating tweed could work for the office or the weekend.

Tweed in Lavender
Stay stylish and enjoy the weekend (I feel spring in the air!),
A. G.


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Pretty Houzz: My Weekend Cabin

Not too long ago, I talked about my dream winter weekend cabin, where I would cuddle up and read murder mysteries…well I think I found it!

It is a big house, but I dream big. I can see many many friends and loved ones coming by to spend time and make wonderful memories with good outside activities, good food, and good laughs. Check it out! (all design by Atlanta Architect Peace Design):

The stone work and large windows caught my eye.

I am a sucker for organization, so mud rooms really get me excited. (sorry they do. There is a place for everything and everything in it’s place). Can you just imagine trudging into this mudroom after a day of snow tubing down hill? I can smell the hot chocolate with marshmallows waiting in the kitchen…
…speaking of the kitchen, how about this one?! I’ve always wanted a pot filler and in the little cave over stove you can see it.
Another (evening?) view of the kitchen. The metal pendant light is beautiful and I love the panel refrigerator.
I’m a sucker for a banquette (this one looks like it would seat 10!). Oh, and the view ain’t too shabby either.
The massive fireplace is just what I’d love as a back drop to a good board game of clue.

I may be wrong (in the tacky sense), but when I saw this little nook I thought it would be great timeout spot for my daughter. (hehehehe)

Ok these sliding barn doors to the master bathroom are sick! I’m also feeling the distressed wood floors.

This looks like the master bedroom. Just the right size. Oh! and I ain’t mad at the fireplace.

I just noticed that the massive tub is set on a stone. Very creative, just don’t stub your toe. That would be ugly, very ugly. And again, I’m not mad at the fireplace. Cozy fire and a nice warm bath are great ways to ward off the soreness from over doing it on the slopes.
The floor to ceiling windows flood this hallway with light. The glass insets in the floor are a nice design feature that adds interest to the room. In looking up this house, I found out that what’s below the glass is the wine cellar. (Perhaps it’s to be able to always keep an eye on who’s in the cellar…)
 
I see this room as the The “kids only” room. The soft ottoman is key when there are kids around. My favorite part of this room, however, is the bunk beds. I just see a house full of kids enjoying themselves and having great sleepovers making great memories.
What a view! Let’s do some crafts here.
Well I hope you enjoyed a tour of my dream cabin meant to share with family and friends.
keep dreaming big,
A.G.