Well, what is it? What do you know about me?
♥ I have two teenagers. One won't be a teenager anymore in 18 more days. Yikes! I'm getting up there ;)
♥ I'm married to my high school sweetheart.
♥ We have a yellow lab named Dolly who is supposed to be the kids' dog but I'm the one she follows around the house and stares at me when I'm sitting on the toilet (I thought those days were over when your toddlers grew up)?
♥ I have had a clothing business for many, many years.
♥ I love the flowers in my yard.
♥ My brother Fred died in 2008.
♥ I love the beach.
♥♥ And I REALLY, REALLY love being at home, eclectic home decor, sewing drapes, pillows and pretty little things and just creating beauty within the walls that I live. This is what brings me peace, clarity and makes me happy. I could almost be a hermit.
Now, don't get me wrong. This really has nothing to do with my "actual" house. Although we are blessed to live in a really beautiful area with amazing neighbors and many, many houses more beautiful than mine, it's really what the home represents. I could just as easily live in a little cottage or bungalow in Encinitas a few blocks from the beach with Hollyhocks and Rambling Roses along my sandy sidewalk with my pink beach cruiser leaning on the fence. No I haven't been visualizing that at all ;) A home allows my creativity to shine and a place to surround myself with what I think is beautiful and joyful. It surrounds me in safety, loving comfort and wisdom (my big Ponderosa Pines). A home is cozy fireplace and cup of coffee.
But the last few months my home hasn't been feeling like this. It is time for change! I think a de-cluttering is long over-due and a kitchen upgrade! The kitchen has served us well, but it needs to be lightened up! Stay tuned:) I'm starting on a project today and am repainting my cabinets, goodbye Cherry. I have to admit, this had me thinking, yikes, do I dare? Cherry is beautiful and not cheap. But I don't look at my kitchen joyfully anymore. Time to go!
After one of my best friends and my brother died in 2008, I had a mass clear out of "stuff". I had a need to de-clutter. I realized there was no room in my life for most knick knacks. For the most part, knick knacks are just mass produced junk that we have accumulated to "decorate" our most sacred space. I saved only the things that had meaning and brought me joy. Interesting thing happened. More than a few of the special things I saved that made me happy, broke. Broke. Some not salvageable. This all happened within a month or two of my brother. WEIRD. But I think the message in that was don't ever get attached to objects, even ones that are "special", they are still just things.
So, this brings me to another point of this blog post. Not only is the kitchen getting a makeover but I need to de-clutter again and start fresh. About a year ago I went back to Napa and helped my dad clear out my moms knick knacks from the house. Out of a sense of obligation, I brought home several boxes of "stuff" that I didn't even want. But these had been her collectibles and things that had been in the house since I was little. Now, I have "stuff" sitting out on shelves, "stuff" sitting in my cabinets, "stuff" everywhere. It's stifling! So even though I have a sense of obligation to keep it, I'm going to let it go to someone seeking their own treasures. Mom's knick knacks, Gone!
I'm going back to my principles of home decor for my house.
♥ It must bring me joy to look at it.
♥ I like my decor to have history and very little is new.
♥ It has to be well made and is "real" wood.
♥ I like to bring nature indoors.
♥ I often like things to have a handmade touch.
♥ I LOVE beautiful fabrics.
Now if I could only get my husband to start on the basement....He recently had a dream there was a zoo in our basement and backyard. Umm, hello, what is your sub-conscious telling you??
I had a big AHA moment this morning. Something has been unfolding for me starting a week ago today and just this morning I realized it is The Path of Toleration. My toleration specifically, but it may ring true for you too.
I am the product of two alcoholics, so let's just say I was born into a life of toleration. My parents were good parents, doing the "best they could do", which I have come to think is a cop out in parenting and living to a higher standard. We had a "normal" childhood with a stay at home mom who shopped and volunteered at school while my dad worked and supported our family. We most certainly didn't want for anything and for the most part I'd say our childhood was happy. Not until high school did things become dicier with my mom as she drank more and more, ultimately leading to her death 3 years ago from alcoholism.
I have been on a path of transformation, self-growth and expansion for the last several years as I searched for answers, but in reality I was searching for myself. My world was rocked and forever changed in 2008 when one of my best friends died of a heart attack at 36 leaving 3 kids behind, my 22 year old brother died in a car accident 5 months later and 3 days later the real estate and stock market investments we had worked so hard for went kaput and we had to file bankruptcy. If that's not enough to send someone searching for the meaning of life, I don't know what is. But I've been able to reveal what the beauty of life if for me and what I've discovered has become crystal clear. Here are a few gems...
Before we left for the 3 day event we stayed at Dana's house for a couple of days and in the guest bathroom is a quote by Janis Joplin. "You are only as much as you settle for." So this already had me thinking, even before the beginning of the life changing event we were about to embark on. Next aha came late in the first day of the conference shortly after I headed up to the room to grab something. I ran into the bathroom to fix my lipstick and took a look around. Dana had taken the time and care to set up a little makeup station using one of the bathroom glasses. Her pretty, quality brushes and pencils were arranged beautifully and looked special. She had a few other items sitting artfully next to the glass and the whole set said "I'm worth it."
Next to her nice little set up was my nasty, old, ripped, one-time-free giveaway makeup bag lined with half used kleenexes ready for another good blow. In that moment I realized that my level of expectations are exceedingly low, my level of belief that there is plenty more to come my way is only as large as my half used kleenex and the obvious belief that I don't deserve the best, just whatever trickles my way and hopefully it's free.
WOW! I started thinking about everything materially and physically in my life where I've set this bar so low. The majority of my underwear give new meaning to thongs, as in there isn't much left more than the thong portion, they have so many holes. My coffee cups that I've been starting my morning off with every. single. day. for years; broken off handles and chips all around. (I do have nice ones, but I "save" those for special occasions.) My spatulas; those who eat my cakes might just get a piece of rubber in it too, literally falling apart. My hand held cheese slicer; hasn't had a handle for years, but hey, it still slices. The aforementioned makeup bag. Gross. Half used kleenex, everywhere, even the shelves in my closet. My relationship with my husband; let's just say I cemented in a whole new level of no longer tolerables once I realized where I've been settling. I could go on and on! I am now declaring that I will no longer tolerate broken, chipped, ripped stuff that should've been replaced a long time ago. I will no longer tolerate allowing myself to be a doormat for anyone, husband and kids included!
I took myself shopping last night and replaced my mugs and makeup bag and a new wallet for my husband. I feel more empowered already! Picture of the goods above.
As you can see, this is all about self reflection and being honest with yourself. Once you set the thresholds on what you are worthy of, what you deserve, what you are going to tolerate WITHIN YOURSELF, you take back your power, because after all, you can only control yourself. It is liberating. It's exactly like riding a horse. If you are wishy washy on your ability to control the animal, he knows it and takes advantage. However, if you have 100% confidence in your ability to ride him, never faltering, he knows that too and
responds accordingly. Your level of tolerance corresponds directly to what you've allowed to surround you and be in your life.
I challenge you to take a look around and assess your life. Where do you let things get out of hand? Do you have any addictions or self medicating going on? Do you have others around you that are not dealing with life by addictions or self medicating. Is this tolerable to you? Take a look at your relationships. Are you allowing and settling for things you thought you never would? Take a look at your bank account. This is a great representation of what you've tolerated and settled for in your life, whether good or bad. Take a look at your health and physical body, another great eye opener to what you've allowed.
What I came to understand this morning after a full week of processing is that throughout our lives we shape who we are and what we become by what WE tolerate in OURSELVES. What have I (or you) been willing to tolerate and no longer will? That's really the only question you need to ask yourself. Once you become certain and firm in these convictions, unnecessary stuff, people, etc. will naturally fall away or step up to plate to be in your new level of greatness you are allowing for yourself! My chipped cups and makeup bag have already been hauled away by the trashman and are a beautiful representation of my new level of toleration. As always, a work in progress!
Okay, so yet once again here I am retaking my anatomy class for not only the second but the THIRD time. You can probably imagine how I feel. The worst part is, I still have to take another second anatomy class once I finally pass this one. Meanwhile my friends are applying for nursing school this semester, some that have already applied and some have even been accepted while I sit here and struggle to pass the prerequisites.
Alright, so I started off my freshman year at University of Northern Colorado where I knew I was going to study nursing. First semester was alright where I lived off of asiago bagels and chai tea from the library. When second semester rolled around I felt like my head was spinning in a thousand circles. Well let's just say it was so bad it got to the point where I was going to tutoring almost everyday, plus I was studying in the library an average of six hours a day. I was constantly telling myself I couldn't be the only person who was struggling so hard. I made flashcards, studied with groups, wrote things out on a white board and nothing seemed to work! I was also taking 18 credits this semester while trying to get my CNA on top of that. My hands were full and my brain was DEAD by the end of each day. Wow, I was drained!
I will say taking the CNA class was so much fun because I met a lifelong friend, Sarah, who made that class so much more enjoyable. We studied and worked together and very, very occasionally we even went to the gym, although it was rare because we would always end up at Cafe Mex. I will say Sarah and I never had a shortage of shopping sprees. She was enrolled in the same anatomy class as I was, so we would go study at Starbucks but usually end up at TJ Maxx.
So I already knew I was pretty much going to fail the anatomy class because I hadn't gotten higher than a D on any of the tests, although I did work my butt off. The final rolled around the same day as my CNA final. I was already extremely stressed out about the CNA final because that was one I could not fail. I told myself I was going to pass! I studied HARD and worked hard for it so there was no other way than passing with flying colors! Every student showed up at 7:00am to start the written final first then continue on to the skills final. The teacher came out with the results and everyone passed! Now, onto the skills final. I was the third group to go and everyone in the previous groups had come out and told us it was easy and not to worry about it. I took my skills final and can you guess what happened?... I FAILED. Yep, the only kid so far to fail in my class. I ran out of the room crying and Sarah was waiting for me where she was about to go next. Now, I'm waiting for Sarah to finish while I'm on the phone trying to reschedule another day I can come take it again. Meanwhile I still have to go take my anatomy final in about an hour. I was less worried about that because I pretty much knew I had to retake the class. Anyways, Sarah passed, and yes I was happy for her but also mad because she didn't fail with me (I know, thats kinda mean to say). So finally about a week later they got me in and I was able to retake the test where I finally passed. Phew, finally done with school for the summer.
After a crazy year at UNC, I decided to move home and attend Arapahoe Community College which is by house and costs a lot less. So, I enrolled for several classes, one being anatomy again. I figured I had already taken one of the hardest classes at UNC so I figured I would be fine and I would blow community college out of the water. Well, yeah, actually quite the opposite. Community college blew me out of the water.... So here I am a year and a half later taking the same class again for the THIRD time, just trying to get a B to move on (It kills me to even think about moving on and taking the next class higher & harder). I loved the teacher I had, which is why I chose to take her again and her material is easier to learn although you must put in hours and hours of work even if you just want a decent grade. I have decided this is my last semester of taking anatomy and there is no other way. I WILL PASS THIS TIME!
So who cares if your friends are applying to nursing school and you are basically a fourth semester freshman like myself (I know, embarrassing). If you know that is exactly what you want to do, go for it! Plus, by the time I graduate I will be much smarter than all my co-workers because I will have much more experience ;) Sometimes it's hard to wrap my head around why I'm the only one that has to retake the class so many times, while my friends don't even have to study as hard and receive an A+. Obviously school comes much harder to some as it does to others, and unfortunately I am one of those. That doesn't mean I will ever give up, it just means I will have to work twice as hard as them!
There was even a point last semester when I was going to give up, not go back to school and sign up for beauty school. I even went and toured beauty school, and although it looked fun I knew that wasn't the job for me. I love blood, guts, intestines dragging on the floor and any other nasty thing you can think of, which is how I know the ER is where I'm suppose to be. No matter how long nursing school will take me, I will eventually be there and I know it will be the most rewarding feeling because of how hard I had to work to get there!
2017, Here I am!
I've been asked if I'm choosing a word for the New Year, it's one of the hot things to do instead of resolutions, and I said no. I can't even remember my word from last year. So much for that. One less thing I need to try and remember is a good thing! A random word for me to work on when I remember to, stored up there with passwords, social security numbers and birthdays, doesn't stand a chance! But I did have a revelation this morning that is summed up in the picture above and one I want to share with you.
I gathered some takeaways as I was reflecting on 2016. 2016 was a year of lots of shifting and growing and launching. I learned a lot. 2016 was a year I would put in "It was a good year column". It was a year of transitioning into a new business, Shift to Joy. A year of reinventing an old business and transitioning it into this Blog, Hollyhocks and Heels with my daughter, Wren. A year I stepped into ME and discovered what that meant. I became more self-assured, uncovered truths, learned to really listen to myself and really explore what the answers I heard meant. It was a year I would say was lived almost exclusively by me listening to my intuition and acting on it. 2016 was a year of helping women in transition learn these same skills to implement into their lives. A year of developing crystal clear expectations from myself, my marriage and my businesses. I have just begun working on surrendering, something that came to me with some automatic writing a few weeks ago and I will carry this with me into the New Year.
2017 Here I am!
At first I wrote "2017 Here I Come!" but that didn't feel right. It felt like I was ready to grab 2017 by the horns and wrestle it aggressively until I got what I wanted! Not this year, I'm using a different approach than ever before. It'll be a year of Intentional Action. The beautiful, inspired picture above sums up what I have in my vision for 2017. It is going to look and feel like the picture above and is more in line with the title,
"2017, I surrender, here I am."
As I was doing a little brainstorming and deep cleaning this morning the phrase "All Things..." came to me, in relation to a selling avenue for Hollyhocks and Heels. I started exploring what this meant and what it should be followed up with. I tried on different themes, genres and time periods, none of which seemed right. I then hit the word Aqua. Yes, All Things Aqua. I'm assuming this is in part inspired by someone I'm doing some work for. She has branded herself with a color (not aqua) and has found deep meaning in her work and delivery of her message with her color. I shouldn't be surprised by the color aqua coming up for me because it has been a recurring color throughout my life. My senior prom dress was aqua and my date was my now husband. Our last house in California even had aqua drapes in the living room and my current laundry room is a beautiful shade of this serene color. I love turquoise jewelry (one of the few necklaces I wear) and stones and believe it has many healing properties and provides strength. Beachside in Mexico is my very favorite place to go to think and rejuvenate in the magical turqoise waters. A couple of months ago I bought my 2017 planner, yep, aqua. And for Christmas, my Aunt got me the journal in the picture. So no surprise indeed.
As I thought about the phrase All Things Aqua, I took a walk around my house and gathered the items for my picture. Beautiful.
In the picture, I see history, beauty and a deep connection to nature and the earth. It feels grounded, soft, clear as a bell, and evokes grace and understanding. It stays in it's lane but flourishes with options, knowing exactly who it is, where it is and is content and rooted with just being. It speaks of flowyness, peacefulness and it smells of the sea and sounds like the tolling of church bells. It's intentional and prepared to implement the growth within.
That's what I see in this picture and in me for 2017! I can't wait to see where this Intentional Action takes me ♥
Happy New Year from
Hollyhocks and Heels!
In a little less than a week I will head to the NFR, so of course I've been planning outfits in my head for a while but now it's time to show you what I'm bringing! I'm absolutely loving each and every one of these pieces because they are so easy to pair together! You can never go wrong with trousers, fringe and a dark colored lip! Sweaters and lace tops are easy to pair with any pieces of jewelry listed below and can go with any boot! Kendra Scott accessories are super fun and can be worn to dress an outfit up or just casually.
I'm not going to lie, yesterday was a really bad day (warning, it's a wordy and transparent one!)~ Vanessa
You know those days that you just can't deal with another thing and you want it to be bedtime so you can escape and you look at the clock and it's only 4:00 pm? Well, I had one of those yesterday. A bad day. I hesitate to call it a REALLY bad day because unfortunately I've had to experience a few REALLY BAD days, especially the day my brother died. So to put it in perspective I have to say it was just a bad day, but still a hard day. We'll go with that, HARD day, I like that better.
I don't have many days like I had yesterday, in part because of perspective of truly REALLY BAD days and also because I have put in the time to learn and develop tools and resources to deal with what life throws at me. I've invested in myself and my growth through self-development courses, lots of reading and through the creation of our very own 12 week transformational program for women called Shift to Joy. It was because of these life experiences I've had that I could contribute to the creation of something so powerful to guide other women through trying times. Check it out here at Shift to Joy to learn more.
Now for my day yesterday...
It all actually started on Friday evening at 11:35 when my lovely 17 year old son didn't show up at 11:30 pm, the time that we had agreed upon. Being the rational mother that I am, I gave him some leeway and didn't start the barrage of calls and texts until 11:54 PM. No Answers to calls or texts. Then 12:54 AM rolls around, still no answers. Obviously by this point I've been out of bed for awhile and in the kitchen, checking all traffic reports, Facebook pages, Moms of Castle Rock and Castle Rock Classifieds being my favorite go to's (lots of narcs on there reporting teens up to no good, a reliable source for info), Verizon call logs, Twitter, Instagram etc. Nada. Nothing. Crickets. A mother's worst nightmare. My next step was to wake Wren up at 2:00 am so we could start a Twitter Campaign to "Help Find Chase". So much for Social Media, even with all these resources at my fingertips I was still no closer to figuring our where he was busy making out. Then, prior to the Twitter Campaign launch, a text came in at 1:51 AM. Yes, almost a FULL 2 1/2 HOURS after curfew he texted me. He's so sorry, he just woke up, he's on his way home now. Ummm hmmm, sure, I wasn't born yesterday. In he walked at 2:05 AM at which point I went to bed because I wasn't prepared to deal with him. I'd leave that for the morning. Hubby was sleeping soundly, but at 3:25 AM, at which point I was STILL awake, he did get up, walk down the hall, saw Chase was home. All was well. Back to sleep.
As these family disturbances go, in my experience, fights with the kids lead to fights with the spouse. Anyone else experience that phenomenon? Next morning I had to fill the hubby in on what had occured during the night and our no-show-until-2:05 AM-son. Let's just say it was downhill from there.
The phone was confiscated, consequences were set, the interrogation was begun and then the lobbying ensued. FOR HOURS... After all, this was an important Satuday night for a teenage boy in Castle Rock, the 80th annual Starlighting, which is a huge downtown draw for all residents. I think Chase may have found his calling, I had no idea he was such a lobbyist and negotiator. He completely wore me down and out, which was his plan of course. He even had the gall to ask if he could sleep over at one of his friends house. SERIOUSLY??!! At one point, around 4:30 PM, yes it went on that long, I offered to call in a professional, my neighbor Julia who is an attorney and worked in the Bronx. I needed strong reinforcements and a trained professional to deal with him and shut him down. He was good! He didn't think I was serious about calling Julia. I was. At that point, he took the plea bargain and stopped. I was being more than reasonable and told him way earlier in the day he could go to Starlighting and be home by 9:30, not a minute later. He was home by 8:30 and I think he missed the actual Star being lit because of his lobbying efforts.
Early on in the day, the hubby and I began fighting because as he does (we all have our things), he turned it personal and became offended at something said during the teenage punishment phase. So off to the basement he went for the rest of the day (working). I do have to say he wouldn't have entertained the negotiations anyways and would've shut Chase down and I was kind of impressed and entertained by his arguments although it was exhausting and I let it go on too long. Between being worn down by Chase and even worse fighting with his father, I just wanted the day to be over. So, I went to bed at 8:30. I was in a horrible mood, with tons of thoughts going through my mind. And to be honest, yes, Chase had exhausted and annoyed me but it's my marriage and ultimately my family that my thoughts turned to. When these rare rotten days happen I notice it sends me into a tailspin of contemplation, wondering and insight that often leads to more questions.
Often, I think my word of the year should've been perspective. I've had it come up so many times and lately I've been wondering and thinking about what it means and allows to occur in your/my life. Maybe I let too much slide because of the perspective I now have after living through some of the worst of what can happen to someone. Or is it something else?
Are my thoughts and what I accept from others skewed? Do I "let" them get away with too much? Or on the flip side have I grown to accept that we each lead our own journey and the ramifications of actions and decisions of others shouldn't affect us personally and we should just go about our own business? When I get upset, like yesterday I find that I quickly recover and need to move on from it. But I know for a fact that some of this stuff I've let slide and move on from is stuff people have ended friendships over, led to rocky marriages, interventions have occured and kids have been grounded for months and lost privelages many times over. I ask myself these questions and wonder what angle I'm coming at it from. I think there are several possibilities but I'm not sure which one I'm living in. Am I numb to anything that happens, am I rolling with the punches and jumping back up, am I avoiding issues and emotions and stuffing them down to be dealt with later, have I grown to a point where I know this issue is the person's and not mine or am I being weak and letting others get away with behavoir very few would put up with and letting myself be used as a doormat? But then I have to wonder where is my threshhold? When is enough enough? Is it really about perspective or tolerance or avoidance?
Here's another thought, maybe it's about where your line is drawn in the sand? What is the straw that would break the camels back? Have you determined what your point of no return is? But that too is interesting because you may have a firm line, or so you think, then when confronted with that line being crossed did your line move or was it truly the end of your rope? Is that your level of tolerance or is it avoidance? And if other life circumstances were different would your line hold more firmly?
One thing I know for sure is that things tend to go full circle and circles intertwine. Be brave and follow the circle and you'll find it's full of surprises and aha moments. For me it all started with a certain 17 year old teenager on Friday night, moved on through the husband and marraige and ultimately is ending with me and my level of self-love I need to contemplate. I'm diving in because yes, I like to face my fears, it's scary, it's revealing and juicy and will lead to my own growth.
Here's what has been revealed in the last 5 minutes. I haven't ever and continue to not contribute much to the family finances. Yes, I've worked hard at being a stay at home mom, they've had a spotless house, dinner almost every night, no laundry piles ever, beautiful yard, carted around to where they needed to be, etc., I've always dabbled and had a small business and made a little but I admit, I would never be able to support myself or my kids. Ouch #1. Even a year ago, when for the first time in my life I did make enough to actually make a difference, it turns out it has to be paid back, and affected many people's lives negatively. My biggest fear come true. Imagine that. Ouch #2. My aha moment is this; If I did make enough to support myself that line in the sand I was talking about would hold firmer and a lot could change for our whole family. Therefore, in order to avoid those tough decisions, I sabatoge myself and only dabble or get involved in things that won't work out so I don't have to make those tough decsions. Hmmm, did I just solve it. Avoidance and self-worth are my main issues. Then here comes my husband's intertwining circle. Ouch #3 We're still fighting from yesterday, so as we continue to throw the swords, he tells me all he does is work to put a roof over our heads (true) and work so I can dabble in this and that, sit behind my computer and "work" and now he's got to pay off my mistake from last year (true). So why does he put up with this and not make me go work at Starbucks? My thought would be that he too is afraid my "line in the sand" would become firm and things would change. So ultimately, he's also avoiding. And BOOM, guess what? A few days ago I made up a quote I posted to Shift to Joy's Facebook "Joy is found on the other side of AVOIDANCE". Full circle. Crazy how this stuff works! Now the hubby and I have a place to start a normal discussion.
What I know for sure is life is a journey with lots of uphills and downhills and we're all just trying to figure out how to get through it. Here is my checklist of the top 5 things for a life that goes more smoothly that I'd like to share with the younger ladies before they dive in too deep to anything.
1. If you're going to have to create a lie to cover up, excuse or rationalize something, even a little white lie, don't do it, it's wrong. PERIOD.
2. Think twice about marrying or dating someone with an addictive personality, it will be a rollercoaster. You may love them like crazy but addictive personalities always have something they're addicted to and go overboard in all aspects of life. How do you identify this? Do they work too much, do they drink or do drugs? Are they obsessive about exercise? Do they roll the window down all the way if you say you're warm and need a little air (I find this to be a good test. An addictive personality rolls it all the way down so then you're freezing. Nothing in moderation.) I kind of find myself to be an expert in this field and feel I can speak freely on it being the child of two alcoholics, one of whom has already died from it.
3. Invest in self-develpment, even if it's scary because you may not want to face things. There will come the day you'll need strength and the tools and resources you've learned.
4. Don't be afraid to distance yourself from people who are negative, gossipy, don't have the same morals and make bad decisions.
5. If you're going to college only get a degree in a SPECIFIC field that leads directly to a job the day you graduate from college.
There's nothing better than playing dress up in your home with the clothes you sell! It's like having your own personal boutique at your fingertips. Well, actually, it's exactly like having your own personal boutique! We are excited to share this look with you for our Outfit of the Week. The Black Fringe Vest and Wine Colored Open-shouldered Blouse are so easy to pair with jeans and booties. We hand pick all of our clothes including these two items to ensure you are getting the best quality, fit and style!
There's nothing more fun than going on a buying trip with your mom to pick out the hottest fall and winter looks! This super cute black sweater with fringe is a great bang for your buck at only $58 and the Wine Colored Blouse is an unbelievable $34! When you save on the outfit basics, the great sweater, ripped skinny jeans, sexy blouse, then you can really splurge on the accessories like the Chloe Handbag in stone suede below.
Do you want to show up
your college aged gal?
Bring her to your personal training sessions and let your trainer kick her butt!
I'm certainly not in great shape but I do try to workout a few times a week so I can eat my hot fudge sundaes a few times a week. I really need to try to curb that habit!
I must admit, there is a level of satisfaction when Golden, my personal trainer, hands me a heavier band than my 19 year old daughter (This is why you take your teenage daughter and NOT your teenage son!) Maybe Wren will start showing up a little more often on Monday's and Wednesday's ;)
Hey, I can't beat her in the wrinkle department so I might as well try to be stronger!
Here are 3 great partner moves that Golden put together for Wren and I to do together.
Partner Squat - Facing eachother, hold hands, keeping your arms straight. Apply resistance to one another by leaning back and squat. Repeat for 25 reps.
Table Push-ups - Next to eachother, on a picnic table (or you could do this on the ground) do a push-up and then clap your out hands together in the middle, then push-up and then clap your inner hands together. Repeat 10 times.
Partner Crunch - On the ground or on the picnic table if you're working out outside, lay down in opposite directions with your feet touching. Now inch together, with knees up in crunch position, and one of the partners put your legs and feet on the outside of the other partners legs and feet. Now crunch up and high five one another at the top of your crunch. Repeat for 20 reps.
Watch our video below to get the proper moves and positioning from Golden himself!
Vanessa - Are your costumes ready? Me neither. Anyone that knows me knows that I am a last minute Halloweener. My best ideas don't appear until the final wire and then I'm frantically creating/sewing/gluing to get the darn thing done. I have a Gala tomorrow night to attend. I have a general idea, since it is a Gatsby Theme, so hopefully the juices start flowing soon! Definitely down to the wire.
I love fall, it's finally cooled down, there's crispness in the air and the decorations on everyone else's porches look great. Mine, not so much. But, Halloween is a chance for me to let my creative juices flow in the form of costumes. I love coming up with elaborate ideas.
Since Wren and her brother were little things, I have forced on them costumes that they may have not chosen on their own. Ok, I admit, would NOT have chosen on their own. Some of my notable favorites were Wren as a Copacabana Girl, fruit head piece and all, the Peacock was rather extravagant and the French Poodle was pretty cute. My all time favorite costume that I made for Chase was Captain Hook with his fancy lace embellished coat, the Mad Hatter was a close second and let me not forget his Gladiator with chariot and all. Yes, my kids often won the costume contest, but I can't say they loved all my ideas.
Wren - No, my mom's ridiculous costumes were not my ideal costumes. Especially since my friends got to have a store bought costume and I had to wear a "CREATION" fitting of Hollywood. But Halloween is always a fun day and I like to say that the only benefit I got out of my Catholic Elementary Education was the fun we had on Halloween day. We had a raffle, school wide parade, costume contest, coloring contest that I never won but wanted to and tons of food and junk all the moms brought in. Loved it! My most favorite costume was my pirate costume because it was the most normal, my mom didn't get too crazy, thank goodness since I was in 5th grade by then.
Vanessa - Obviously, we (Me) like to dress up around here. Although I do have a Gala to attend tomorrow, this year is a little sad in the dress-up category. We live in the best neighborhood ever with amazing neighbors and friends who tend to go all out for holidays. Halloween is no exception and one of our neighbors has hosted the most outrageous, beautiful, fun, crazy Halloween party for years. They've decided to take a break this year. Although we all understand, this is a very involved, expensive event to put on, we are bummed out. There was serious thought, research and preparation that took place not only for the generous hosts to get everything ready but for the party goers as well. The costume choices were SERIOUS business. We all had to start planning next years costume by Nov. 2 and keep it top secret for a year until the big reveal at the next annual party. We had Ken and Barbie IN their Mattel boxes, we had Dog the Bounty Hunter and his stunning wife Beth, my Hubby and I were personally some good ole fashioned white trash one year, there was a 5 year old Pageant winner in her poofy dress and babydolls, we had Scooby Doo and his whole crew and we even had Flavor Flav and Slash join us in years past, just to name a few standouts. Good times...
Wren - My mom has kept multiple costume boxes for years that she adds to all the time. Now you see why she needs me to help her clean out her closet. So much of the stuff that needs to go makes it no further than the Halloween boxes because she never knows when she might need it for next years costumes! But I must say we have a few items that are good old standbys that make it into SOMEONE's costume every year. They are our staple pieces, that add the finishing touch to everything. What do you think they are? Watch the video below to find out!
And this wasn't even for Halloween.
I think we must just really like to do crazy hair!
I sure do love loading up my cart on Saturdays and no I'm not talking Costco. As a college student, sometimes the funds are a little short...Ok, maybe all the time. I'm waiting for my cattle business venture to pay off in a few weeks when I sell the rest of these show steers and send them off to their new homes. Here are a couple of the items in my cart. I'll be ready to hit buy very soon ~ Wren
Ever since going to Mexico for the first time with my family a few years ago, I discovered my favorite dessert. Rice Pudding. It was served hot in the morning and cold at night, and I ate my fair share at both sittings. There seem to be quite a few take-offs on the recipes we found, none of them sounding traditional. It's starting to feel a lot like fall weather so last night, we thought we'd try to make our own version. Here's our recipe and it was delish!
Mexican Rice Pudding
Wondering what you can do to build a strong mother/daughter foundation? Are you feeling like there is a disconnect between you two or you don't have much in common? Let us help you be inspired to find some common ground!
It's easy to be busy and not make time for the little things that add up to the big things in life. We're tired, we need to clean the house, we have tons of computer work to catch up on and the yard looks like a tornado went through it. Mom will be busy with busy work and daughter will sit on her phone. Sound familiar? But guess what, that stuff tends to wait for you, your daughter being 19, 15, 25 or even 35 won't wait. This day will pass by into another day like so many before it.
This warm autumn day, with the guys out of the house in California and a day to ourselves, I said "let's go somewhere, we can't have an inspiring day sitting in the house." So off we went to South Pearl Street in Denver. And we laughed until we cried (you try getting a good selfie with someone with no wrinkles), we found some really cute gift stores and had a more expensive than Starbucks latte and chai.
We realized when we each assessed our 5 favorite activities, we were able to recognize how they popped up just by spending a few hours together.
1. Shopping - As long as it involves clothing, candles and bargains. I'm always up for any type of shopping spree!
2. Drinking Chai - I'm always down for a Starbucks run or even better our local cafe, Cookies and Crema
3. Cattle - Now that I've aged out of showing I've stayed busy by starting my own business of selling show steers.
4. Vacation - My favorite vaction to go on is Mexico with my family. I sure love to annoy my brother, eat endless amounts of rice pudding and nap by the pool and ocean.
5. Ditto my moms extra #5. Weekend away, hanging out and going to the spa with my bestie Bradi and my 3 aunts. Next time my 4th Aunt is coming too!
Found the cutest little gift store on South Pearl Street today. Loved their burp rags, I'll keep them in mind for down the road, far down the road ;) Candles, stationary and lotions.
1. Sew, create and look at beautiful things - Drapery, houses, fabrics, flowers, furniture
2. Read - I'd love to spend the day reading but would give myself a major guilt trip
3. Skiing (me)/snowboarding (Chase)- Even though I'm good with only a few runs I feel like this is something that Chase♥ and I can do together that is a special bond between the two of us. I can keep up with him and it's something he loves.
4. Drinking coffee/eating out - I'm putting them together so I have one more spot!
5. Hanging out in Mexico (or any tropical beach) with my hubby ♥.
5. See how I snuck an extra one in there! Weekend away, hanging out and going to the spa with my 3 aunts and Wren ♥
Found the cutest Little Free Library at the front of someone's house. I'm going to ask Shawn to make me one for our neighborhood. Can't wait to see how fancy he makes it, it'll be magazine worthy!
Season change, outfit change, accessory change. With fall upon us I like to pair a good turquoise necklace with some of my favorite basics that are a must in everybodies wardrobe. I love my American Eagle light denim button down blouse paired with a great dark denim jean. Also loving my bargain buy, Nordstrom Rack Frye boots. Cute! My outfit isn't complete until I dress it up with a turqoise statement necklace.
Turquoise is universal, always in fashion, timeless and will take you from the show barn to the shopping mall!
We figured a great way to get this blog and shop going was by clearing out the old clutter and unwanted stuff in our lives and make room to welcome in the new. It's ALWAYS necessary to clear out clutter if we want to make room for something fresh into our lives. This can run the gamut. Maybe we're looking for new clothes is our closets? Or maybe we want to start a new romance. Want new furniture and home accessories? Want a new car? We need to start cleaning up our lives now! Today is the day, throw something away! We're being weighed down by the JUNK.
There are several steps to this process.
1. We must prepare for what we want to change or add by STATING CLEARLY what we want. If we're not sure ourselves and are wishywashy how in the world will we know
when it arrives?
2.Throw out or donate some stuff, kick a friend/boyfriend/relationship out the door that isn't feeding us and allowing us to thrive.
3. Be ready and open to receive. Don't fret, worry or wonder how. As long as we've been clear, made space and are open, we'll be surprised by what we are able to welcome in.
Go ahead, start small and give it a try!
Comment below and tell us what you are going to get rid of
and what you are wanting to bring into your life.
Wren and I are going to start with cleaning my closet. I need some new fall clothes and I can always count on a teenager to give me the honest to goodness truth whether something needs to hit the road to the Goodwill.
Let's see what she has to say in the video below :)
The beauty of the mother/daughter relationship is that one of us has a bit more life under our belt and can lovingly pass on this info, even if it's not taken to heart. Someday maybe...
We can spend time together doing the things we love or do things just to support one another, working on building that strong foundation and bond between a mother and daughter.
Examples of things Wren and I love to do together:
1. La Costa Spa - a facial and massage are always good bonding experiences
2. Cookies and Crema - cute little coffee shop to bond over lattes and chais
3. A good TJ Maxx run - not too hard on the pocket book but lots to look at and ponder over
Examples of things we support one another in, but may not love:
1. Showing livestock - I'm slightly allergic but have supported Wren for years because it is one of her passions
2. Hairdos- Wren claims she wants to go to Beauty School but hates to practice on me when ask her to give me a hairdo
3. Hiking - We are lucky to live in a place with such natural beauty and miles of trails but Wren and her brother don't enjoy hiking with us, but will join us on occasion
Vanessa ~ Mom ♥
Love the CC hat on Wren?
Perspectives of a college girl and her mom. Both are women in transition. Both are fashion forward ladies. Both are strong, confident women. Both are ready to inspire YOU! Stay tuned for college tips, school advice, surviving empty nest syndrome, style & fashion tips and good ole keeping it real posts from a mom and her college girl.