Pretty Blue Rose

life musings, fashion, and inspiration


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Wednesday Wisdom: Be like a salmon

I am increasingly becoming alarmed at who the media tells me I should like, who is beautiful, and role model worthy. (my heart always breaks for the underrated musicians who have something important to say, but never appeal to the masses.) My inner circle knows I feel this way, but today I just need to get it out.  On Monday, after the Superbowl, my sister and I had a long conversation about the demise of the music industry and how if you disagree with masses on the talent of a superstar you are called  a “hater.” (Most. Overused. Word. Ever.). We also discussed our frustration that we feel we are force-fed a love of certain “superstars” and celebrities sometimes without merit.
But I encourage you to see being called a “hater” as a badge of honor that you are able to think for yourself rather than do what the media tells you to do.
Although my big issue is with the music industry and what images are being sold to children, heck everyone, it’s also relevant in all other areas of life.  Think for yourself. Be critical and ask questions of those in authority or  those running media corporations (deciding what TV programs to produce.) Don’t just take what you are fed,  be it from the pulpit or from a news anchor.  Sometimes you need to go against the grain and make decisions for yourself. Or think through what you are told or sold before you run with it. You may feel like you are swimming upstream, but hang in there. There are plenty of examples in life where people went against the grain, and it started a movement. Don’t just take what you are given. Just because it looks and feels good, doesn’t mean it is.
If it means you are the only one who thinks that way…so be it. And side note, you may want to get a new group of friends because you may find that once you do, others feel as you do!
be encouraged,
A. Genise
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Wednesday Wisdom: Why I cannot and will not quit.

“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”  

(Shout out to my sister for sending me this quote, I loooove it)

With all that’s piled on my plate with work, the holidays, home life, traveling, etc., I’ve really questioned continuing on with my blog.

I’ve second (third and fourth) guessed my challenge to post every week day for a year.

I knew it would stretch me in ways I couldn’t imagine. I wanted to challenge myself to step totally out of my comfort zone. (I think I jumped rather than stepped, but hey that’s me!!)

But growth and stretching is sometimes painful. (and I am feeling it now)

I’m proud that I now know a little about HTML.

I can think up a topic and write about it with very little prep work. (increased creativity)

I’ve become more confident, I have greater perseverance.

I’ve gotten better at marketing myself and my talents. I’m thinking like an entrepreneur!

I’m learning not to expect success overnight, all good things take time. (realistic, yet hopeful expectations. Y’all know I want everything done yesterday!)

My lens of life has changed.

Photography has become something that I love again.

I’ve revived my love of style, home décor, DIY, and cooking.

I’ve enlarged my networks, I’m more open to meeting new people.

But I have far more to go…and I don’t want to stop learning and growing now. (It’s like quitting a diet when you lose 3 lbs—keep going!!!)

But most of all, the reason I cannot quit is because I need to keep this door of creativity open, it keeps me alive.

If I quit, I will figuratively wither away and become engrossed in/consumed with my day job.

I will revert back to my old ways of being too concerned with that everyone is thinking. And stressed about things I cannot control.

I’ll come home after work replaying conversations I had throughout the day rather than spending time with my family being present.

I’ve become a better wife, mother, and employee because I have something all my own to look forward to. With everyone telling me what to do all day, no one can tell me what to blog about.

I don’t want to go back to pre-blog me.

I’ve learned too much (Wednesday Wisdom—hello!?), I’ve come too far.

I believe I will look at this post in the future and be glad I didn’t quit….

Olympians don’t quit (and they push so much harder than I do) and neither will I.
I think of Gabby Douglas begging her mom to come home, she technically did quit—her mom just wouldn’t come get her!

I hope you continue on with whatever seems tough in your life.

You have a lot of greatness to achieve and so do I 🙂
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going” -Jim Rohn


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Wednesday Wisdom: Don’t look down!

Members of my family are going through some rough times health and job wise. Some days are better than others, but it’s frustrating to watch.

What is interesting is how when I am down about my family’s situation, my sister will cheer me up and visa versa.

What is even more interesting is that our focus is what drives our perspective, which in turn drives our mood and ability to function.

If I am standing on the edge, looking down in the proverbial trench/valley, the darkness and the fact that I cannot see the bottom, is overwhelming. It only takes one peek over the edge before I am totally dejected.

But when I change my focus and look to the other side of the valley, I see the beautiful horizon, my spirit is lifted, and I can encourage others.

Look out, not down. It makes all the difference.

And when you get to the other side, be sure to glance back at the enourmous leap you took.

Keep that glance stored away as a reminder when the next valley presents itself. Remember the last hurdle you jumped.


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Wednesday Wisdom: Keep on keeping on

About a month ago my prettybluerose.com website crashed for 9 days. So not only was it unavailable to readers, I had about 30 or so draft posts that I couldn’t access.

Initially, since my web host said it would be fixed in about 48 hours, I waited patiently. I was calm.

Day 4-6 I started feeling sorry for myself. I would just mope really missing my website. I’d call my website host company incessantly to check in…(they give no insight at all. no time frame for fixing, no reason for taking so long, nada)

Then anger and frustration set in. I find this emotion is helpful if I channel it correctly. Once I get sufficiently angry and frustrated, I start to think outside the box and this time was no different.

How would  a business deal with this problem? How would a CEO work around a crashed website? And after a nap I came up with the idea to re-launch my prettybluerose.com website through another web application and it worked. It got me back up and running. I was elated!

But the “high” from thinking outside of the box was short-lived when I remembered I still didn’t have access to my 30+draft posts.  I had to start writing from scratch. There were no draft posts were waiting to be finished, I actually had to work harder than I did when I first launched.

So I was moving forward, but I still needed to keep moving forward.

I also faced needing to rebuild my reader base since I was unexpectedly gone and had no real way of communicating that. Out of sight, out of mind.

Most of us can deal with a set back or two, but when multiple setbacks occur, do we keep moving forward? And do we maintain a good attitude while moving forward?

I believe when you face great opposition, it’s because something great is just around the corner. But will we hang in there long enough to see it come to pass?

Will you keep knocking on doors, keep looking for answers, keep expecting, keep dreaming in the face of many set backs? Will you keep asking after the 5th no or even the 25th? Will you make sure you don’t let others talk you out of your dream when the 25th no comes around? (They will be plentiful by then).

Thomas Edison failed 2000 times when trying to invent the light bulb. I know the Wright brothers’ first airplane prototype wasn’t successful. Tyler Perry lived in his car because he was so broke and Donald Trump’s companies filed for bankruptcy multiple times. (no endorsement of Mr. Trump, just a fact). But they never quit.

You may have had some setbacks or disappointments, but you are being prepared for your future. Each light bulb prototype that failed provided valuable information for the next time. Just continue on. Not only after a few setbacks, but after many.

Sometimes I feel the last one standing, although not the smartest or strongest, wins. I want to win!

Do you?

stay in it, enjoy the journey.


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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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Wednesday Wisdom: Contentment

I had this whole post ready about why being discontent was a good thing, how it pushes you to do better and move forward. I listed all sort of reasons why being a type-A policy analyst gave me a reason to be discontent because I am paid to think critically and find what’s wrong in situations…my eye is naturally drawn to the imperfections…yada yada.

It was a good post, but then I scrapped it.

Really, thanksgiving is about being content and so that should be my focus. A type-A person like myself isn’t very fond of the word content because to be honest– I hear resting or being lax. I am always looking to improve, to succeed, to forge ahead, and to do that you need to think about how to improve where you are now.

But there is a balance. There is a place I need to learn to spend a little more time and that’s the land of contentment. In my life, there are very few times that I stop to  smell the pretty blue roses. I am always doing a post-event analysis to see how I can improve next time, but that is tiring and can be demoralizing.

So this Thanksgiving, I am purposefully trying to spend more time being content and satisfied. Because our human nature is such that we always want more. I want it all and I want it yesterday. Maybe it’s a function of being the first born, who knows, but once I tend to meet a goal I’m on to setting the next three.

Ultimately balance is what I’m after. Being forward-thinking without being discontent. Being satisfied without becoming complacent.

I’m still trying to find the happy medium of being present, being content, which ultimately leads to being thankful everyday, not just on Thanksgiving.

stay inspired and enjoy the journey,

A. Genise


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Wednesday Wisdom: Have Good Supports

No this isn’t a post about undergarments, although they are very important and any good outfit won’t look right if your undergarments are lacking…

This post is to cause you to think about those who you choose to keep around you, those that you let speak into your life, those that support you in life’s journey.

A few weeks ago I had the best convo with my closest girl friend from undergrad. We hadn’t been able to catch up in a while, but we made up for it last week with a 2+ hour phone conversation.

The best thing is that when I am done talking to her I feel good! And after that particular conversation, I felt invincible. I got to share my fears, my struggles, ideas, and hopes, all while problem solving my way to feeling inspired.

Too many times we value quantity over quality in friendships. We just hang out with anyone, and then wonder why when we leave the presence of some people we feel dejected and insecure. But we continue to interact with those people because we think we should,  we are being mean if we don’t, or that something wrong with us–that we are too picky.

The reality is you must be very careful of who you let feed your mind and who you let speak into your life. Your life literally depends on it!

Don’t allow the nice girl/guy syndrome force you to tolerate what we now-a-days call “frenemies”–meaning either an enemy disguised as a friend or someone who’s both a friend and a rival. (common in the workplace where things are more collaborative yet more competitive).

Where do you draw the line, especially when you are first getting to know someone? But my rule is, if time after time when I leave your presence and I’m hurt, angry, embarrassed, or feeling insecure, then it’s time to roll back on that relationship. It’s time to reassess that friendship.

And the beauty is it doesn’t have to be a drama filled “reality show”breakup with discussions on what went wrong and why–just lessen the time spent with that person if you can, and most times  you can.

Now this is not to say only hang with yes people, or people that say what you want to hear. But real friends give you the truth in love and you can feel the difference.

I hope this was able to help someone:)

stay inspired,

A. Genise.

PS: Head over to Prettybluerose.com for more posts!