Pretty Blue Rose

The style of life…with some wisdom mixed in.

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I’m baaack!

Hey everybody,

Gosh, I don’t know where to start. I’ve written my “I’m back” post in my head so many times, I finally decided to put it on paper.

It’s been a little bit since I’ve posted. Well maybe not a little bit, but more like a few years. So many things have happened. So many of my prayers and dreams have come true, so there’s a lot for me to talk about. There have been a few life changes (moving and buying a new house), along with all sorts of ideas that are in progress like: business ideas, book ideas, real estate, dancing on stage, and even becoming a writing  contributor for a new dance magazine! [plug: it’s called A Ballet Education- the premier issue comes out August 15th! ].  Being vulnerable on a blog is not always easy but I think I’m ready to start sharing again–this time at a more moderate pace.

I think with my first round of the blogging in 2012-2013 I went into it sprinting, like I do a lot of things, but when you sprint a marathon you burn out. I also saw women who posted every day and were making a ton of money and so I tried to jump into that  trend rather than see how I could sustain my blog over a long period of time.

I want to keep the same website, but I do want to make some changes. I will start out by posting less often and go with the flow rather than try to apply my analytical business lens to my blog.

I did enjoy writing  my Wednesday Wisdoms, and you all seem to as well, so I plan to continue on sharing things that I’ve learned or observed, it’s the teacher in me.

Also like fashion, but from a slightly different angle. Confession: I’m a big YouTube junkie and I follow a wide variety of women from 40+ to 20-somethings and for the most part I like what I see. I like to see some of the trends that are going on as well as how women apply make up. (Since I’m more of a simple girl, I  am always in awe of  the amount of work goes into putting on make up that looks flawless.)

Back to the fashion though,
I will say the thought of buying more and more and more clothes and more and more and more accessories doesn’t always appeal to me. I know there’s this newish movement that asks people to create a “capsule wardrobe”, which is where you select a set number of clothing per season and mix-and-match. You are more thoughtful on the front end about your purchases so on a daily basis you have amazing close to wear that work together. This actually fits how I’ve approached my wardrobe over the last few years I just didn’t have a name for it. My plan is to create some capsule wardrobe for myself and share them with you all to get ideas. I do think there is a time and place for new but at the same time I like simplicity, and I find when I have a ton of things in my closet I -A end up wearing the same things because I don’t have the time or energy to figure out all sorts of creative ways to put unrelated items together and  B- because I am so overwhelmed with the amount of clothes in my closet, I end up wasting a lot.

My lifestyle does not require me to have a different outfit every day because paparazzi is taking my picture!

So I guess this is my pitch to simplify your wardrobe and let me inspire you to do the same.

Who so what else will I talk about?

Well I’ve started dancing publicly again. You all may have known that when I was back in Maryland we put a dance studio in my basement. It was a way to express my creativity into de-stress to be quite honest.

Well here in the great state of Georgia, I’m actually taking public ballet classes and last May I performed on stage for the first time in over 15 years. It was so much fun I didn’t know what to do with myself. Yes initially I had a lot of nervous energy but once I got on stage I felt so completely like home I couldn’t believe it.  So my plan is to talk about my dance journey as well.

Lastly, I am working on a book series. I grew up reading series like Nancy Drew and The Babysitters club and have a great affinity for reading.
I will get into more about my rationale for writing and what I’m writing later but for now know that I am working on a children’s mystery series and eventually I would love for it to make its way to the big or small screen. I’m not in love with some of the things I see on TV nowadays but rather than complain I feel like it’s my responsibility to create what I want to see. For the first book, I’ve written about nine chapters so far I think there will be 11 total. Right now I’m going through and editing the first nine chapters and hopes it will propel me to finish the last few chapters.

I dream so incredibly big sometimes but I’m back to show how a lot of my dreams have come true thus far and I am looking forward to sharing the rest of the journey with you.



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Wednesday Wisdom: Stop trying to figure it all out!!!

I think I’ve uncovered the one thing that keeps many people from realizing their dreams—and that’s trying to figure out how it will happen, when it will happen, and who will help you get there before you purposefully move forward.

As you all know, my day job as an analyst is very far away from dancing and the fact that I haven’t been doing what I love on a daily basis is hard to deal with most days. For as long as I can remember I’ve had visions of dancing around the world, teaching master classes, taking master classes, and having a studio space to foster others’ gifts related to dance, singing, acting etc.

Now dreaming is great and having a clear vision is wonderful, but I realized that trying to figure out how all of my dreams would come to pass, especially as my life exists now, has kept me from moving forward.

Reasoning how I am going to find the energy to dance after commuting and work, family time, blogging, home improvements, and everything else had me stuck. Then I also thought that even if I did have the energy to pursue dancing, with the millions of other better, more talented, and more dedicated dancers where would I fit in? (so why try?)

So in addition to trying to figure it all out, I then doubted it would happen even if I could find the energy–and both thoughts were huge hindrances to moving forward.The reality is that God’s plans are infinitely better than mine yet I was trying to figure out how He could make it work. And to my limited mind it really doesn’t work at all. I see absolutely No Way my current path crosses with the path that leads to my vision.

It’s like my current career/trajectory is me walking left when I so badly want to be walking right. I argued with God asking, why would you give me this vision, this dream if it cannot and will not come to pass??!!

But what I have forgotten is that 3 left turns actually makes a right (I’ll pause to let you visualize that) and although I feel like none of what I am doing now is connected to my passion, my dreams , and the vision for my life I am going to stop trying to figure it out. Every step I take on the way to my destiny will NOT be one that makes sense, gives me chills, or makes me swoon. But every step IS necessary.

Believing that it all will work out means I can walk forward without kicking and screaming about where I am now. I will no longer think this is a mistake. I will rest assure that every step I take in the seemingly wrong direction is ordained by God and every dream I have will manifest.

So what’s my plan of action now that I’ve have all of these realizations?

Well, I think my job is to hone my talent daily through learning new choreography, working on my own choreography, staying inspired, eating healthy, and staying in shape. (and then taking a class or two a week to reinforce.) I’ll do my job and allow God do to His.

I’m looking forward to sharing my journey back to dance with you:)

Here’s a picture of my new flooring for my in home studio!! We went to lowes to look for a microwave and ended up with flooring for my studio!

(hey if someone knows where I can purchase mirrors I’d love a heads up!)

A. Genise

PS. Happy First Day of Spring (for the folks in the northern hemisphere!)

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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, so it makes sense that I really love this quote!

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 I subconsiously thought that!)

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 left) 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. Genise

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Wednesday Wisdom: Walk through the open door

This Wednesday Wisdom seems common sense but how often do we beat down the closed door rather than walk through the open one? During my commute in to work, and noticed something simple: when the metro train stops at a station, only one door opens to the platform, while the other door to the dangerous rails (and sometimes oncoming train) stays closed. Also, because metro stations have platforms on different sides of the train, the same door doesn’t open as we make our way along the route. At one metro station the left door may open and then the next the right will open (so you have to pay attention to which door will open).

Can you imagine fighting to open the closed doors that lead to the tracks? Dangerous and silly right? But I feel like that’s what we do sometimes. Rather than walk though the open door of opportunity, we bang on and beat down the closed door thinking it’ll lead us to something better and bigger.

Pay attention to the open door. Although it’s only open for a limited amount of time and it changes, it leads to the next place of opportunity. Leave the closed door closed.

Paying attention to the open door,

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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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