Pretty Blue Rose

life musings, fashion, and inspiration


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

let it go

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.

My day job is very far away from the creative life I envision. For as long as I can remember I’ve had visions of dancing around the world, teaching and taking  master classes, and owning a studio space to grow others’ gifts related to dance, singing, acting etc. I’ve recently added author to my goals, writing and publishing a massively successful series of mystery books for children.

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 has kept me from moving forward.

Reasoning  about how I am going to find the energy to dance after work, family time, blogging, home improvements, writing my book, 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?)

My current trajectory seems to be taking me left when I so badly want to be walking right. But what I have to remember is that 3 left turns actually makes a right (I’ll pause to let you visualize that).  I believe 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 I’ve lived long enough to know that I just need to keep walking.

to the left, to the left,

A.G.

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday Wisdom: Walk through the open door

 

subway-925697_1920

This Wednesday Wisdom seems common sense but how often do we beat down the closed door rather than walk through the open one? When I used to take the metro into to work, I noticed something simple: when the metro train stops at a station, only one side of the metro doors open to the platform, while the other doors leading to the dangerous rails (and sometimes oncoming train) stays closed. Because metro stations have platforms on different sides of the train, the different sides opened as I made my way along the route. At one metro station the left doors 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. G.


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Wednesday Wisdom: Keep Your Spot

 

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According to wikipedia, spotting is a technique used by dancers during the execution of turns (above she’s executing fouetté turns). The goal of spotting is to attain a constant orientation of the dancer’s head and eyes, to the extent possible, in order to enhance the dancer’s control and prevent dizziness.

So that’s a bit jargony, but the bottom line is that when dancers turn, they keep their head and eyes focused on one point for as long as they can. When their body is twisted and they cannot keep their head forward anymore, at that last moment they whip their head around back to the original point of focus. This spotting technique allows dancers to turn many many times in a row without becoming dizzy and falling over.

This spotting technique can apply to life as well. If you’re anything like me, you have many things going on or things that you’d like to accomplish. I’d like to work with Janet Jackson when she comes back from maternity leave (velvet rope tour part 2), publish a mystery series, grow this blog, invest in real estate, and a few other things. If I try to attack these goals without a clear point of focus (turning without spotting) I’ll become overwhelmed, distracted, and quit (get dizzy and fall over).  Like a child on a raft in the ocean, if you lose focus you’ll drift through life. You’ll continue to move thinking you are making progress,  but if you have no spot to return to, you have no way of knowing if the movement is progress towards your goals.

Spotting can also help overcome the shiny object syndrome. That’s when you have new ideas or see new opportunities that catch your attention, but they are simply distractions from your goals. It’s easy to say: “Oh! that looks great!” or “Hmm… maybe I’ll try that”,  but if we focus on one point and keep coming back to that point even if something shiner comes along, we will be better equipped to execute the control needed to accomplish our goals. Overtime, I’ve learned to think about life in terms of the long game. Look ahead, see where you want to go, but then employ the techniques that allow you to stay focused on that spot– or life goal.

still turning, still spotting,

A.G.

 

 

 


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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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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