Pretty Blue Rose

life musings, fashion, and inspiration


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Wednesday Wisdom: Lessons from the movie “The Women”

After all of the Thanksgiving sickness, my daughter now has an ear infection…fun!

When she gets sick she tends to hang all over me, which means I get sick too.

This past Monday was a sick day where I actually sat still. When I was awake I ended up watching TV– usually HGTV, but even that got old.

I stumbled on the movie The Women, and I recalled that I liked that it when I saw it in the theater, so I watched it.

The Women Poster

Quick synopsis for those who haven’t seen it:

The Women tells the story of Mary Haines (Meg Ryan), a clothing designer who seems to have it all – a beautiful country home, a rich financier husband, an adorable 11-year-old daughter and a part-time career creating designs for her father’s venerable clothing company. But when Mary’s husband enters into an affair with Crystal Allen (Eva Mendes), a sultry ‘spritzer girl’ lurking behind the Saks Fifth Avenue perfume counter, all hell breaks loose. Mary and her BFF Sylvie’s relationship is tested to the breaking point while their tight-knit circle of friends, including mega-mommy Edie Cohen (Debra Messing) and author Alex Fisher (Jada Pinkett-Smith), all start to question their own friendships and romantic relationships.

So at the end of the movie, after Meg Ryan and her BFF made up, after Debra Messing’s character has a baby boy (the only male in the entire movie!!), and Meg Ryan starts to move towards reconciling with her husband, this amazing song comes on as the end credits are rolling. After feverishly searching for the song (imagine googling “song during end credits of The Women movie” didn’t work!? ), I found the song.

It starts out: “Yesterday wasn’t easy…” and that just had me!

The next verse starts out: Suddenly it gets clearer….better days are drawing nearer. There’s nobody to stop us now.

It’s called Count on Me by a talented artist named Lucy Schwartz. (Click here for lyrics to this song)

Here’s Lucy just singing plainly. No flashing lights, no drama, just a voice and a piano. (no judgement on the xylophone playing, my sister and I would joke and say that’s what we’d have to do–with no singing if we were in the video.)

It’s just an uplifting song. (Digression: I am always surprised at how such great talent is not more popular. Oh well, she has a new fan in me.)

The song is basically about friendship, about having someone to lean on when it’s hard to move forward. But it also talks about how storms clear up so quickly. The day after a snow storm is usually sunny and clear. It’s just hard to remember that when the storm in right on top of you.

Watching Meg’s character come into her own was so empowering and inspiring.

I know for me, I am making alot of empowering decisions that I just think are crazy, totally counter to my risk averse personality. I feel like I am at a fork in the road like Meg’s character was. The safe path I’ve been on is to the right, and the entrepreneurial risk taker, dreamer, go-getter path is to the left. Watching how Meg’s life went from a hot mess to magnificent is a great reminder of how life works when you hang in there long enough to pursue your dreams.

In the meantime, it’s just one foot in front of the other, one day at a time and sometimes, (to be honest) I’m counting the hours until my dreams manifest. I am grateful for the lessons I am learning now, because they are ordained and will carry me through to greatness–as your lessons will for you.

Thanks to my sister and my good girl friends who are supporting me, to those I “can count on.” You will be blessed greatly.

And in true pretty blue fashion, here are some outfits inspired by the movie:

The Women

 

Alexander McQueen dress, $3,865 / Hervé Léger body con dress / Cutout dress / Black Ruche Detail Shrug, $16 / Tabitha Simmons platform high heels / Giuseppe Zanotti stiletto heels / Schutz heel boots / Long chain earrings / Kenneth Jay Lane chunky jewelry, $86 / Sorrelli vintage earrings

Best,

~A. Genise


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Pretty Healthy/Style:Post-Thanksgiving Routine

Let’s get this “admission” over with.

I did it and I’m fairly sure you did too: OVERATE!

I thoroughly enjoyed my 7 or so crescent rolls, my mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes. I was grossly full and very happy! I had a great time joking and laughing with family and despite a sick child (103 temp!) Thanksgiving was a blast!

Post Thanksgiving, I squeezed into the only pair of jeans that fit me, and when I needed to switch it up, I unbuttoned the cargo pants that didn’t fit for the car ride home. (no judgement please—I wore a long t-shirt to cover it up!)

So, in the aftermath of Thanksgiving and before I indulge again for Christmas dinner, I’d like to get back on track. No crazy stuff, all reasonable adjustments.

Starting today (if my cold isn’t horrible–come on you KNOW I got sick from the kid breathing on me all week!) I am vowing to do my 15-20 mins of yoga/pilates in the morning.

I will continue with my Zumba (and water Zumba?!?) 2 nights a week.

I’ll need to get back to working out with my You Tube videos and not let myself “relax” on the weekend.

Most importantly for me, I will return to my more disciplined eating style. Although it’s not for everyone, I’ve found that as I get older refined sugars/carbs hate my body. So all the exercise in the world does me no good because I’m lethargic and miserable when I eat certain foods.

With all that said, let’s focus on style. What can I wear to get me through this week? (Disclaimer: I am not one to have several different sizes of clothes in my closet because it forces me to self-correct a bit sooner if I over indulge. It removes my safety net.)

Below are some ideas for outfits that can help camouflage the post holiday bulge while it’s “working it’s way out/off”:

1.Once again, blazers. (unbuttoned of course!). A good tailored blazer cinches the waist.

Pretty Blue Style: Post-Thanksgiving Work Outfits

Wool jacket / Knit blazer / Apt. 9 / J.Crew wool jacket


2. Dresses

I know it seems counter-intuitive, (at least it did to me), why on earth would I want to shove myself into a dress if I’m not feeling “myself”? Well, because the dresses I am proposing have a little give, and will be flattering. There’s nothing worse than working all day in ill-fitting pants. You get the permanent button mark on your belly (because they were way too tight!)

Pretty Blue Style: Post-Thanksgiving Work Outfits
Dress / Banana Republic dot dress / Banana Republic pleated dress / J.Crew fitted cocktail dress

Wrap dresses are especially great, if they aren’t clingy.

Pretty Blue Style: Post-Thanksgiving Work Outfits

3. Patterned Blouses

Loose and flowy tops are perfect!

Pretty Blue Style: Post-Thanksgiving Work Outfits
Sheer top / Sheer top

4. Peplum

It hides just the right spots.

Pretty Blue Style: Post-Thanksgiving Work Outfits

stay inspired and enjoy the journey!

A. Genise


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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.

4.T-shirts

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

Best,

Amber Genise

stay inspired and enjoy the journey

 


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Gifts for Her

In honor of Black Friday–the official start of the holiday shopping season,  I’ve decided to spend this week (now that I’m back!) helping you find gifts for those you love (or like)…

Day 1: gifts for her.  This could be mom, sister, wife, grandmother, teacher, or co-worker.

Gifts for Her (2012)

1.   Crystal Vivian Necklace ($42)

Faceted Cut Black Diamond Crystal set in a Victorian Crystal encrusted Pendant, suspended from layered Leather.

2. Chevron Note Cards ($48)

These boldly colored notecards are sure to get the attention – and win the admiration – of their recipients. Each boxed set includes 50 notecards with colored trim and chevron printed backs along with envelopes boasting chevron printed interiors.

3. Wallets ($26,$49)

These super cute wallets will make anyone feel better during the dreary winter.

4. Philosophy’s  Home for the Holiday Set ($38).

The eight-piece collection of festively scented formulas is great for hair, skin, and lips.  It may be hard to part with this, so perhaps you should get two so you can keep one.

5.Graphics Metallic Votives ($8).

These delightful glass votives add lustrous shimmer to any household surface — whether they’re illuminated or not. Mix and match them on an empty mantle, on a table for a dinner party or place them near the tub before you hop in for a long, luxurious soak.

6. Pave Initial Letter Cuff ($48)

This dazzling bracelet is a cute personalized pieces with a glittering pave-encrusted initial. Just right for layering with chunky cuffs and delicate bangles alike, you’ll love the way this letter-perfect piece catches the light.

7.Pave and Pearl Drop Earrings ($38)

The updated pearl earring exudes sophisticated style. It was smart to add a touch of glittering pave stones for a dose of modern glamour. I love love these!

Pajamas for the holidays. ($25 and $30)

At home, it’s ok to have ratty tatty pjs. But when you go home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holiday’s it’s good to have “presentable” pjs when you are around family. Here’s a few nice ones for  you to choose from, I’m sure the women in your life will be appreciative.

Gifts for Her (2012)
For tomorrow, host/hostess gifts for the home (all under $20!!!)
Stay inspired, enjoy the journey!
Best,
A. Genise XO


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Econ 101: Supply and Demand

Original date published September 3

In honor of my daughter heading back to school today, I’m feeling like heading back to school this week to discuss some of the basics of economics, physics and wood shop/painting. How am I going to make it work and have it be interesting? Stay tuned this week and learn a little something fun in the process!

I loved majoring in economics. Not saying it was easy, but it helps me frame the way the world operates. Events like shopping can always be enhanced with some econ 101.

Lesson#1

Econ 101: Supply and Demand

The basic premise is that the supply, demand, and cost of goods are related. I’ll stick with demand, since, in my examples we are the “demanders” or customers.

When demand is high, generally the items demanded cost more (if supply is held constant). If demand is low or little, and supply is again held constant, things tend to cost less than they “should”. “Should” is really equilibrium (what the market dictates)–and since I’m trying to keep this reader friendly I’ll stop there. [Disclaimer: I did not look at any econ books for the explanation, I went off the top of my head from classes I took many many years ago… This is all in fun.]

Reinforcing the lesson with a real life example:

Demand and prices play out in my everyday with when I choose to shop. I generally (really only) shop for clothes and shoes out of season (when demand is low) because I get spectacular deals. Call it the mini-economist in me, but I just cannot pay full price for things knowing if I wait a few weeks or months, it will be 75%+off.

I think working at Old Navy in my high school days adds to my ability to wait for a deal. I would see prices drop so far below from where they started…I just can’t part with my money for anything at full price.

I am the girl you’ll see with lots of new summer clothes in late August and new winter clothes in February. Patience pays off 🙂

Illustrations:

About a month ago, I (reluctantly) went to DSW. On the whole, I am not a fan of walking up isle after isle looking at hundreds(?!) of shoes. I only go when my good girlfriend (who loves DSW) is looking for something particular. Ironically, she usually leaves with nothing and I leave with a cute pair of super cheap shoes. That day it was a pair of black riding boots (on clearance!) similar to these:

I am happy to say I’ve finally ended my hunt for riding boots. I am looking forward to wearing them with leggings and leather or with or a casual dress.

Riding Boots-two looks.
 

My most recent trip to DSW I purchased camel colored knee high boots. I am ready to rock those as well!

At the local mall in say mid July I snagged a cute black sweater, navy blue and cream cardigans, a pair of grey skinny jeans, and an unforgiving (yet super cute) navy and white striped dress(similar to that above) all at Banana Republic, all on the super cheap!

Banana Republic Clearance Finds
 

Now I realize if you tend to be a popular size, waiting to purchase clothes could lead to missed opportunities. But the good news is that retailers are so far ahead of themselves these days, that “out of season” is still in season! All of the good deals above were acquired in late June! The end of summer for retailers, in still season for everyone else. I’m just salivating waiting for the fall/winter deals in February.

(shout out to the hubby who patiently entertained our daughter as I shopped at the mall)

stay educated and enjoy class!


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Wait! It’s not fall yet…

I know September is always fall fashion month. To get a jump on the newest trends, August is the month that magazines and blogs discuss fall fashion and the newest fall make-up looks…and in just a few weeks I’ll fall in line and do the same. But for now, I just want to bask in summer. No need to rush, fall will come.

The end of each season brings great sales, so why not take a look…

I found some cute summery purses from Brahmin’s Chevron Stripes collection:

 

I think I may like the pink version even better…

Another cute tote from the Copa Cabana Collection:

 

 

This Pour la Victoire ‘Gunter’ Tote from Nordstrom’s clearance says ‘sophisticated beach’ to me.

 

For some more reasonable priced summer bags (and shoes) I went to my trusty Banana Republic clearance and found:

Trina Turk pinking shears tote

Vierra espadrilles

Boardwalk tote

This Boardwalk tote from JCrew–is only 39.99!

 

The good news is that summer bags, shoes, and clothes are all super cheap now. So savor the last days of summer and go get a cute summer outfit!

 

stay inspired and enjoy shopping