WHAT TO BUY AND WHAT TO SAY BYE-BYE TO!
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WHAT TO BUY AND WHAT TO SAY BYE-BYE TO!
Our mailing address is:
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Full disclosure, I was going to call this blog post “Why I love my job”, but I feared most people would roll their eyes and hit delete. I know I would if someone else posted that title. So why am I still going to write about something that sounds like its dripping with sticky sweetness? Because I am a true blue pessimist, or, more politely, I’d call myself a realist. I look at the good, the bad, and the what could go wrong.
There is a beautiful quote that I love:
See I tend to live my life in the past, constantly beating myself up about mistakes I’ve made, things I’ve said wrong and what I could have done differently. I play it like a highlight reel in my brain, like reliving that awful final episode of Lost, where I’m left with more questions than answers. And, when not enjoying the sad-masochistic sport of beating myself up, my thoughts wander over to hang out in the worry department of my mind, also known as the future. No, I don’t mean the future as in global warming, although that is stressful and I’m convinced we will all end up like the Disney Wall-E movie, I mean my personal, and usually immediate, future. “What are we going to have for dinner? When am I going to find time for that car appointment? Am I ever going to get that stain out of the rug?” This is where a normal person’s brain would take chicken out of the freezer and decide to grill it for dinner, then call to make the car appointment while getting online and ordering miracle carpet cleaner from Amazon, all within 5 minutes. I KNOW this and I KNOW how to do these things but something in me just gets stuck, and, quite frankly, I don’t claim to be a normal person. So I’m currently trying to focus really, really hard on the present, where if I stay really, really, focused, it’s peaceful happy, and generally a good place to be.
I know so many of us struggle to be “in the moment”, and why I can’t possibly get into all the reasons why, I can give you some small tricks and tips I’ve picked up that are helping me. True confession, my career stresses me out. I love my job but it’s that big word career that I struggle with. I’m supposed to be a badass hashtag girlboss entrepreneur. Sadly, I just had to use spellcheck to find out how to spell entrepreneur. I’m not competitive but I struggle with comparison. I don’t want to compete with others but I can’t help but compare.
Another great quote:
And by human nature when we compare, we contrast, it’s pretty much what we learned at an early age at school. Compare and contrast these two sentences/pictures/objects, see what makes them different. Different IS good, but, we are conditioned to think one version is better than the other. Again, I’m going to blame this on school, we look at choices or options and we determine which one is good, better and best. That’s just not real life. Stop that thought process that is robbing you of your own joyfulness. Focus on you and your accomplishments. Compare those to how far you’ve been and I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
I’m throwing out yet another quote, this one from the movie that may have been overlooked by the Academy, but in my family it’s a masterpiece.
From Talladega Nights: The Ballard of Ricky Bobby
Poor Ricky lives his entire life based on advice his own father rambled out one day. But eventually his father even admits that it was stupid advice.
It’s Ricky Bobby’s dad who gives out this poor advice and it’s years later that he explains how nonsensical that same advice sounds. We strive to teach our children to do their best, and, to not compare themselves to what other people are doing. Does winning feel good? Hell, yeah. No one loses a game and says they feel great. You don’t bomb a presentation at work and think, “Wow, that felt amazing!” But what if we started treating ourselves like children again? While I wish that meant more snacks and afternoon naps, what I really mean is a little dose of kindness. I’m really hard on myself and pretty accepting of others. When it comes to my own attitude I don’t tend to pull it all together, put my big girl panties on, and go into battle. I’m more of a grab my blankie and go back to bed kinda chick, who then lies there and beats myself up for being that kind of chick. Good times. What if, bear with me now, you could take the rational adult out of your body, and have it have a chat with the frustrated, upset, confused child that is still in there? Even if you are not a parent I know you know how to speak and give advice with compassion. What would you tell this child version of yourself? I’m pretty sure it’s not “you suck”. Just try this for five minutes and give yourself some words of kindness, encouragement and reassurance. Then go in your room, slam the door, and take a timeout if you still get mad at your own inner parent for trying to help yourself.
Kids’ activities and sports are brutal these days. I recently had the very honest conversation with my son that when he is deciding to participate in an activity I want him to ask himself two questions.
Are you going to have any fun? Are you going to learn anything?
Hopefully he’s learning something AND having fun at whatever he’s choosing to do as an optional activity. I say optional because school is not optional and while I know he is learning many things, most of the time he is telling me how it’s not very fun. There’s also activities that we find ourselves in and realize that we aren’t having fun and we aren’t learning anything. We can’t control other people so why would we depend on them to make us have fun and to make us learn something. With the right mindset we can CHOOSE to have fun, and, we can CHOOSE to learn something, even in negative and/or boring situations. Mind over matter is HUGE. It’s so simple and yet so complicated because it involves actively listening to and consciously changing the dialogue in our minds. That dialogue can quickly grow into a chaotic chatter like listening to the ladies of The View talking over each other and arguing about who knows what. So turn the volume down and change the channel. Put on music you love. Take control by listening to your thoughts and sending the bad ones off to walk the plank.
A few years ago my friend and her family moved into a new neighborhood. The homes were pretty much picture perfect and the other moms looked the part as well. One of them came over to introduce themselves and drop off homemade muffins. Before you think this gets too Wisteria Lane-like, my friend shared with me the best part. Those muffins were had Halloween themed wrappers on the bottom, yet it was April. This is the moment my friend knew she’d become good friends with this neighbor because the kind gesture and cooking skills came with the big ‘ol reality check that says, yeah this is all the wrappers I had and I am good with that. Nobody likes perfection. It’s annoying and it’s not relatable. If she came over with homemade muffins, in a handmade basket with wrappers on the muffins that said welcome I think things would have turned out very differently. So why not share our gifts and strengths, put them out there and be proud of them. Just don’t forget to share the other real parts of your life, because that’s where we all can relate to each other. And when we relate to each other we understand each other. We forgive, we accept, we open up and we help each other. It’s a safe place, a happy place.
This is the same thing I tell my kids every Christmas, mostly because I still love the fantasy and magic of the holiday, but boy have I been learning lately how very true it is. See I had this post finished yesterday morning and ready to post last night but yesterday afternoon I had a bit of a shakeup. I went out yesterday evening to go to the wine store and the grocery store. On the way to those two stores I decided to stop at on outdoor flower market. It’s finally feeling warm and sunny and I wanted something pretty by our door. I left the flower place and pulled into the parking lot at the grocery store and was stopped by a man in his car who politely asked if I had a pink wallet. Shit. He said he saw what looked like a pink wallet blow off the top of my car just outside of the flower place and he followed me her to tell me. I thanked him profusely and jumped into my car to go back to where I was. I was walking up and down the road and encountered another man who was working nearby and said he saw a car stop and grab what looked like a wallet off the side of the road. Double Shit. All my credit cards, drivers license, and contact info were in that wallet. This was either a good thing because the person would have no problem contacting me, or, a really horrible thing, as in identity theft. The pessimist in me quickly canceled everything and reported everything and went home and cried. Like really hard cried. I was so mad at myself. My mind quickly started the blame game and snowballed all the things I felt like I had done wrong. I was not being present, I was not paying attention and I was sick of always feeling like I am messing up. And then I threw myself in front of that runaway train in my head. Stop. Enough.
One of my best friends recently shared a really fabulous mantraof hers with me:
Show up and shut up.
It was time to do something and shut up all that crap in my brain. I posted on our local community Facebook page that if anyone saw the wallet, even if it was empty, that I’d love to have it back. I received so many relatable, funny, hopeful, kind and caring replies. A friend of mine wrote that one time her mom left their cat on top of their car. Yes, she was serious, and yes, the cat did indeed have nine lives because it survived until someone notified her mother to pull over. Many more women let me know all the places they have left and lost things so I didn’t feel like it was just me. I went to bed feeling oddly at peace. There was nothing I could do but send out good vibes into the universe and hope for the best. I was going to will that wallet back to me, somehow, someway. I also saw it as a sign as heavy as a rock being dropped on my head. I didn’t need that wine from the store last night as I probably would have drank too much of it and woke up tired and bloated. I needed to get rid of some of those credit cards that I wasn’t using and didn’t want to use. I needed to slow down.
This morning I woke up and hit the restart button. I had some cash in my other bag and I set out to Dunkin Donuts for my liquid motivation. I said another quick prayer to the universe and set a positive mindset. My father-in-law always says “keep the faith” and since our daughter is named Faith I think of this so very often. Two minutes later my cell phone rang with an unknown number. A man asked for me by and said he found my wallet in the middle of the road this morning, right where I had lost it yesterday. He was in the parking lot across from the Dunkin Donuts that I was headed to right then. I drove over and thanked the man profusely and then I cried in my car. I was so happy. Everything was in my wallet, even my Dunkin Donuts gift card. Today will be a good day.
We’ve all heard the advice that sometimes you have to “Fake it till you make it”. Your clothes can help with that. Ever hear the term “Power Suit”? Or how about to “dress for the job you want, not the one you have”? There is truth to all of those pieces of advice, and yes, I don’t advise dressing like Batman at your current job unless you are Robin and work in the bat cave. What this really means is, sometimes you have to shop a bit outside of your comfort zone, stocking your closet with items that you know you can put on and FEEL differently when you are wearing them. I want to stress the emphasis on only going a bit outside of your comfort zone. Buying a cone-shaped bra will not make you feel as sexy as Madonna if your idea of wearing something revealing is open-toed shoes. Imagine your personal style to be a box. Now draw a circle around that box. When people recommend to go outside your box, a.k.a. your comfort zone, they don’t mean to go onto another planet.
Just outside that box, but still inside the circle is where you want to be. This way you stay true to who you are without compromising your character.
There is this really cool part of my job where I get to play fairy godmother to a Cinderella. As we all know, in the fairytale, Cinderella didn’t go all Bravo Real Housewives and change who she is when she put on that dress. She was always the same girl who was mopping the floors and she was always beautiful. The Fairy godmother didn’t make her beautiful, she simply placed her into a dress that made her feel beautiful. If Cinderella put that dress on and looked down, and slumped over and never made eye contact then she probably wouldn’t have danced with the Prince. It’s not like the Prince thought, wow, is she wearing a dress from the new Chanel Spring collection? He simply noticed her, as she was radiating because she felt beautiful. When we feel beautiful outside we start to feel beautiful inside. A dress can’t transform an entire person, but sometimes it’s the kickstart we need to start to feel better. A new haircut, a little makeup, it all helps us see to see ourselves a little differently when we look in the mirror, and, ultimately, think a little differently as well. So what can a woman who feels and looks baeutiful do? Anything she wants.
This is what I love about my job. I get to bring out the beauty that I see in my clients. But in order for me to see it I have to see them, as in really, truly see them for who they are, flaws, strengths and weaknesses. Making someone feel better about themselves? I’m not gonna lie – it’s what drives me, it’s what feeds my ego, it’s what motivates me to take this job and turn it into a career. I’m so damn lucky and so very grateful to have found something that I know I can do well. I don’t say that with conceit but with confidence. I build relationships with my clients and they mean everything to me. I mess up emails, I have missed deadlines and I’m disorganized as hell, but I will always work my hardest to make others see all the good that I can see in them. Finding clothes and a style that showcases the woman inside the dress, not just the dress. When I find that sweet spot of the outfit that truly fits the client, inside and out, that’s the joy. It’s the satisfaction of looking through all of the pieces in the puzzle box and doing the work to put the right two pieces together.
Just like a puzzle, there are more than just two pieces needed to put together the whole picture. I can’t stress enough how grateful I am for all of the other pieces in my life. From an efficient and talented tailor, to a well staffed salon with talented stylists, to a beautifully curated boutique staffed with helpful and kind sales associates, I need all of these people and places in my life to help me complete the picture with my clients. Much like Cinderella, it takes a village (birds, mice and a very large pumpkin) to carry out the whole scenario.
Stop comparing yourself to others, talk up your inner child, parctice mind over matter, share your strengths and weaknesses and believe to receive all the good you deserve. Find your people and hold on tight. Share your gifts and believe in the good. Ask questions and ask for help. Believe in your own beauty and share it, rock it and scream it. Go change the world.
Thanks for reading!
In fact you can’t even wear these items. But I promise you they are essential.
Item #1 – PAPER.
I know, super exciting, right?? Okay, on its own it’s not much. But, add in most important item number 2, and you’re off to great things.
Item #2 – A pen.
Or a pencil, or a crayon, or whatever you can write with – eyeliner works in a pinch but I don’t recommend it.
Besides the fact that you need both – I don’t want you writing on your walls so paper is important, and it’s of no use to use without a writing tool – together, these two items will create….
I know, you are probably thinking, “What is she talking about??? I can’t wear a “list”, and, the last thing I need is more stuff crammed into my closet, but hear me out.
What do you do when you are in your kitchen and you realize you are out of something? Maybe you have pasta but no sauce, dip but no chips, etc. Maybe you have eggs but they are expired. Typically you write it down, or, for the tech savvy, you type it onto a list on your phone. Your closet is similar to your pantry, or at least it should be. There are basics like bread, milk, and butter (white t-shirts, jeans and, hopefully, underwear). And then there are the extras, like a pair of red high heels, which become the fresh ground cayenne pepper we can use to spice up our wardrobe (corny pun totally intended).
How many times have you gone to the grocery store and forgotten your list? Isn’t it the most annoying feeling ever? You walk up and down the isles trying to be reminded of what you need. Instead you end up throwing random items in the cart and leaving without what you truly came to purchase.
There is not much difference with your wardrobe shopping list. Going into a store unarmed, without any kind of list, is dangerous. More than likely you will spend too much time, and worse, too much money, buying something that you don’t really need, or doesn’t have anything to go with it once it joins its other clothing friends in your closet. Human nature and instinct take over when we go into a store. Remember, with regards to food, we started out as hunters and gatherers. Clothing is no different in that we hunt (shop) and gather (buy) it. The problem arises when we shop for the wrong clothes, or we buy something we don’t actually need. Let’s say Fred the caveman hunted bison, while his wife Frida gathered poison ivy. They bring it back to the cave but their daughter Finley says she hates bison, (she’s debating on going vegetarian, typical teenager), and, Fred Jr. can’t use the poison ivy leaves as toilet paper because, well, I think that one is fairly obvious. Now Fred and Frida are tired, hungry, annoyed, AND they don’t have any toilet paper (i.e. leaves).
The point is that we feel the need to buy something, even if it is not the right thing, just to feel like it was worth our trip and our time. But this can lead to poor choices, like coming home from the Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale with a cute yellow dress that you got for a total steal. You think it will be the perfect dress to wear on a lovely Spring day, you can even picture yourself strolling through a park, or the farmers market, wearing this exact dress. You go home and put the dress in your closet. And there it sits, staring right back at you, two years later, tags still attached. The reality is that you don’t really look that good in yellow, and the dress is a bit tight. And that walk in the park you pictured never happened, and your farmers market trips were done in sneakers and stretch pants, just like Jennifer Garner who always keeps it real when she is out and about. Love her! That dress purchase may have felt right in that moment, but it ends up being so wrong for you, your body, and your lifestyle.
It’s time to shop smarter. It’s time to save money. Keeping a notebook or notepad right inside your closet, along with a pen, ensures that when you discover you are about to run out of something, or, you are missing something to complete an outfit, you can write it down immediately, and remember it. This list needs to be kept in your closet as opposed to somewhere else, because in your closet is where you’ll be when you realize you need something. Once we walk away from that closet we barely can remember what we own. Have you ever gone into J.Crew and saw they have t-shirts on sale and they have every color under the rainbow? We have no idea what one we NEED, only which color we WANT. Only when you are standing in front of your closet will you be aware of what you are missing to complete potential outfits sitting right inside your own closet. When you go to toss your basic black cardigan into the donate bin (which I also suggest you keep right in your closet), you can quickly jot down that you need a new black cardigan. When you put on that beautiful printed skirt you bought at Anthropologie, but take it off yet again, because, you have no idea what will match with it, then write that down! Maintaining a list will help to keep your shopping focused and efficient. Much like compiling a shopping list for a specific recipe, you can compile a list for an item or even a type of outfit you think is missing from your wardrobe. This way, when you open that flash sale email, you can check your Need list and be prepared. No more buying stuff just to buy, needlessly adding more stuff to what could be an already crowded wardrobe.
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Afraid of being out and about and forgetting to bring your list? There is no need for that list to ever leave your closet. Every so often just take a picture on your phone of the list, then create an album under your Photos app and call it Shopping. This way, no matter where you are, you will know what you need. All you have to do is look at your list, and you can take advantage of buying something that fulfills a specific need, or want, in your wardrobe. Bonus points for taking a picture of that hard to match item, giving you a visual to reference if you are out. Show your picture to the sales staff for suggestions on how to complete the outfit. You can also take photos of your clothes as they are hanging in your closet and post those photos to the same Album. Now you will have a visual reference reminder of what is hanging in your closet. Even if you can’t see each and every item, it is still more helpful than drawing a blank on what you have and what you need. Say goodbye to impulse shopping and hello to taking control of your closet.
Compiled a list but not sure where to shop for new items? Don’t have the time, or the patience? I’m here to help! Choose any or all of the services below…
On Monday I posted about what I packed for my sister for her girls trip, which included visits to both New York City and Newport, Rhode Island. I received lots of comments and questions about the clothing we packed so I did my best to find pieces similar to her looks. I put together a Catalogue where you can that you can easily use to click and shop. We used existing items from her closet, most of them solid color basics, and included lots of jewelry options to give her versatility. You can find the catalogue right here through this link….SHOP THE LOOK. …then go to the FINDS section.
If you are looking to avoid that dreaded HEAVY sticker on your luggage and the even more dreaded extra weight charge than versatility is imperative when it comes to picking out your items you will pack. Sometimes we can get stuck in a rut and where the same tops with the same bottoms. Getting a fresh eye to help mix and match your existing pieces helps to reimagine your wardrobe into some fresh new looks. My favorite way to do this is through the LOOKBOOK feature I create for my clients. Each time you click on one of the items in a “look” it will show you what other outfits it goes with. It’s kind of like when you use those recipe apps where you type in a specific food and it will show you all different meals you can make with that one food. Think of it like meal planning for your clothes, all available on your own app at your fingertips. So whatever your mood or occasion, you will be covered, literally, in an outfit that fits and feels good!
Check out the NYC to Newport Shopping items in different outfit combinations by clicking HERE. and then clicking on the LOOKBOOK header.
Thanks for reading!
Hide your kids, hide your husband and break out your credit card. THIS IS IT. I know it feels like a sauna outside but I promise you that fall will arrive, and when it does I want you to be ready. Just why is this sale so bananas? Because they slash the prices on brand new inventory for a short time and then the prices will go up. So this is not your typical leftover sale rack. This is big. While this is certainly a great time to invest in something big and possibly brand name that you may have had on your wishlist, my picks are going to focus on some building block basics as well as some fun prints to bump up your wardrobe. The best part? My picks are all $200 or under. I spent the past 3 days pouring over every single item in the sale. Yesterday I ignored my children and ate cookies and drank coffee for lunch (I don’t recommend it) so I could stay glued to my computer to find you the best finds. Some of the items I picked in 2 color ways not because I think you need 2, but so that you can pick the color that will flatter your coloring and mix and match back into your existing wardrobe.
TWO big things to keep in mind.
Here’s how it works…
These are the insane faces I realized that I make when I am shopping. Here I am below shopping at Ashley Austin in Kennett Square – clearly concentrating on all the goodies they put out for a private client party I hosted in January. Luckily you can’t see me making these faces while I am at home from my computer.
To my existing clients I am offering a personalized shopping list based on YOUR wardrobe and YOUR style. Think of it as your own digital stitch fix. Since I’ve been in your closet and I know your needs, I will sort through the sale and identify 10 items that I know you would need and love. The cost is only $65 for my existing clients and includes a phone chat so you can tell me if there is anything special you have coming up or that you are looking for. Please contact me via text if you are interested – 610-517-2983.
As always, thank you so much for reading!!