Pretty Blue Rose

The style of life…with some wisdom mixed in.

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Throwback Thursday: Jem and the Holograms

O.K. Another 80’s show I looooved!

Pink hair, yes!,

Star earrings, check!

Heavy 80’s make-up, yuppers!

Jem and the Holograms was amazing!

They were one of the coolest fictional girl bands of all time!

Quick background for the youngins:

Jem, also known as Jem and the Holograms, is an American animated television series that ran from 1985 to 1988. The show is about music company owner Jerrica Benton, her singer alter-ego Jem, her band the Holograms, and their adventures.

Jerrica ran Starlight Music House by day and by night she changed into her alter ego as Jem. Jerrica was able to change into her alter ego with the help of a holographic computer named Synergy. Only the Holograms knew of Jerrica’s alternate identity.

Every good story needs an antagonist and in this story, Jem and the holograms were constantly trying to be outdone by a rival band called the Misfits: Pizazz, Roxy, and Stormer (she was the “sensitive” one with the blue hair) and Jetta. Pizazz came from a family with money and her life goal was apparently to discover the Jem was actually Jerrica. (she never did!)

How badly did I want Synergy to come out and help me?!? (no judgement if maybe I used to hold my ear and whisper Snergy every now and then…) Show’s over, Synergy!

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New Year’s Real-Solutions

It’s January 1st. You know the extremes, you either disregard resolutions altogether or go overboard on dieting, relationship, or money resolutions that according to all stats are kaput just a few week later (and then there’s all this silly and unhelpful guilt you are carrying into the new year!).

I totally understand the appeal of resolutions, as a matter of fact, here’s some of my past doozies: I swore off carbs and then had a loving husband cook pancakes on New Years day–I couldn’t resist a “bite” (oops!). I know some others (not me of course) who resolved to start the year with a well intended morning workout that was missed because they slept in…(fail!)

So we’ve all been there before.

But I offer on this day of resolutions, an alternative approach to New Year’s commitments and declarations and that’s to think about the changes you want to make for 2013 in terms of real-solutions to specific problems. Think more holistically about problems you’d like to solve in your life and then come up with real solutions for them.

Here’s some examples:

Problem: living paycheck to paycheck
Solutions: create a simple budget where you explicitly identify your priorities. After bills, a budget it really about identifying priorities (massages and eating out or saving for retirement and college or some combination of all).

Problem: fluctuating weight

set up a weekly workout schedule.

exercise discipline with eating.
I know…easier said than done, but again focus on the real solution(s) that will help you solve the problem. Also try new foods. Exploring new cuisines can help put the fun back in eating. If there is fear and guilt around eating, your relationship with food will always be sucky.

grab a workout buddy.
I loved doing zumba on youtube, but as with most things in life having an accountability workout partner is key. I have one and it’s made a big difference (getting into a bathing suit during the fall and winter for water Zumba takes someone else joining you–seriously!).

Hopefully you find somethings you love to do, so working out is not a chore. For me, running on a treadmill was torture, I would try to read, listen to music, or watch TV, but 30 mins seemed like forever. Since I am a classically trained dancer, Zumba and water Zumba have been great for me.

Problem: I have a disjointed wardrobe. I have a bunch of jeans and shirts, but still nothing to wear.
solution: Tune in to my pretty blue style (on Friday’s) that will cover everything from how to select and wear seasonal basics and trends, to helping the busy shopper create a wardrobe from one store. (plug!)

Problem: I want to conquer the world in 2013 and feel overwhelmed because I don’t know where to start. (hmmm who could this be?)

Potential solution:
Tune in to my Wednesday Wisdoms, they are mostly meant to encourage you (and me) as we seek to live out our dreams. I give good food for thought… (yes another plug, wink wink!)

In all seriousness, if you do decide to do the New Year’s resolution thing, make sure you are articulating real solutions to real and solvable problems. Keep the solutions small and realize every day is a day to do better, not just January 1st-7th.

Happy 2013!

The best is yet to come:)

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Banish Holiday Stress with…Christmas in July!?

For many many years I got away with a last minute approach to Christmas. Although I love to be prepared and stuff, I was the girl who would do most of her Christmas shopping December 23rd-24th and come up with fabulous gifts!! (at least no one told me otherwise).

But now that I’m an adult (I do forget that sometimes…) being a procrastinator during the holidays makes doing adult things like sending Christmas cards, getting gifts for others, you know–being thoughtful, a source of stress.

So this year, we barely made the requested dress code for my daughter’s holiday party (I didn’t read the cover letter sent home), and I forgot to give the teachers cards with their gifts. Part of me says, just let it go Ms. Perfectionist, but there is another part of me that knows it’s about better planning. I know there will be a time when kids are exchanging gifts and cards or baked goods, so I need to get on the ball!

And even if you don’t have kids, I’m sure you have holiday amnesia. We are stressed from Halloween through the New Year–but since we always manage to get through it, we do everything the SAME way the next year (or wait even longer)—forgetting how hard it was the years before.

My solution and my resolution for next year is to start writing Christmas cards in July. Yes July! I’ve been trying to get them out for 3 years now, and I haven’t. If I were to really take this all seriously, I would not procrastinate on gift buying, card writing– I’d start super duper early.

I’ve always had the mindset that Christmas shopping should be done year round, so I usually do that and have a gift drawer filled with gifts I find year round. But I need to step it up a bit. I need to give myself mooore leeway because last minute things creep up in the holiday season (unexpected house guests, needing last minute gifts for people you just met or found out are giving your child gifts!!)

So the solution to an easier season is to do what you can do early. No one will know if you write your holiday cards in July (just don’t send them!!). No one would know if you took Christmas pics in July ( I’m more diligent about exercise in the summer, no holiday weight yet…hmmm that may be a great idea!!) just don’t send them. Can you see my family traveling to some photography studio in Christmas sweaters in the summer to have our pictures taken? (well maybe we change into the Christmas garb at the studio…)

Christmas in July

Ok, seriously, if you plan ahead when the inevitable last minute things pop up, the routine and time consuming holiday things are already done.

I know in July, I’m going to feel silly writing Christmas cards, I’m going to say I’ll be able to get it done in October or even November, but I am saying to my future procrastinating self: “DON’T WAIT!” On a nice hot summer evening, sit outside, write your cards and make your shopping list (rather than wait until the card ride to the store on December 19th).

I’m starting to wonder if this is where the term Christmas in July came from…


Well safe travels to everyone traveling.


A. Genise

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Pretty Blue Style: Mix it up!

When I first started working professionally, I was a big Ann Taylor Loft (ATL) junkie. I was also a rushed (or lazy?) shopper, so I liked outfits picked out for me so I had to do as little thinking as possible. I would just grab what I saw on the store mannequin and be on my way. Since I did that over and over I ended up looking like a walking promo for the Ann Taylor Loft store (something they loved probably, but I didn’t).

What’s even worse is that I would frequent the Loft so much that I immediately knew if someone else (at work, on the metro, in Target!) was wearing something from ATL. I burned myself out on Ann, so I’ve given them a 3 year break. (I will add their quality of clothes has changed dramatically in my opinion. The fabrics are thinner and the cuts are not as tailored).

But buyer beware, I replaced my ATL fixation with a J. Crew one–I have three of those brightly colored pencil skirts and when I see someone on the metro with one, I’m like–darn those skirts are everywhere and I shouldn’t have purchased 3!

J Crew Mall Finds


J.Crew tall skirt / J.Crew pencil skirt / J.Crew pencil skirt


I think the trick of being stylish is to mix it up. I now pick pieces from different stores like H&M (I used to love them, but all of a sudden stopped going for no good reason) the Limited, Target, Ann Taylor (clearance mostly, their stuff can be pricey), Express (I stopped shopping there for a while their stuff was really trendy, but again it’s about the mix) and Marshalls. Long digression on Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and other stores like it. I am still a semi-lazy shopper, so going through racks and racks of clothes is still not my thing. (remember my issues with DSW?) I end up getting warm, thirsty, and just overwhelmed in those stores. I mainly get shoes and accessories from those stores. Also the housewares sections is my favorite.

So all that to say, mix it up. I know we are all short on time and that’s one reason why I’ve always wanted a personal shopper. I’d love to have someone run to the stores so that I’d have a balanced wardrobe. But in the meantime, I’ll take my time, look for good deals and mix it up. 🙂

Fall Work Wardrobe

stay inspired,

A. Genise


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Pretty Good Times:Favorite Christmas Tradition?

I’ve seen gorgeous Christmas trees, beautifully decorated mantels and wreath-bedecked front doors, (mostly in my Pottery Barn Books!) and I love them. However, I’d like to know what your unique Christmas traditions are. What is the one thing you pull out of the attic, the basement, the closet, or buy, that makes you know it’s Christmas? Do you watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and laugh at the Griswolds (my dad practically howls when that movie is on)? For me, unless I’m watching the Christmas Story on Christmas day I don’t know what I would do. And snow wouldn’t hurt either…

This year, we are using our Advent calendar this year…it has chocolate for each day so my daughter loves it! Also, I go over the top with with lights in our home– I just love them. And now that my daughter is more helpful than harmful in the kitchen, I love that we can bake cookies and just laugh at all the things she says.

I hope you all are enjoying the season, we are (if everyone would stay healthy!!!)

Enjoy the weekend,

A. Genise