Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Survival Skills For Young Women: Lesson 1

Lesson 1's Quote:  The world bursts at the seams with people ready to tell you you're not good enough.  On occasion, some may be correct.  But do not do their work for them.  Seek any job, ask anyone out; pursue any goal.  Don't take it personally when they say "no" - they may not be smart enough to say "yes." ~Keith Olbermann, broadcast journalist

I have decided to start a new post series, fittingly called "Survival Skills For Young Women."  These are lessons I have learned along the way, lessons I may still struggle implementing in my own life, but lessons I want to share with others.  My hope is that others can relate with my struggles, and perhaps find their own solace in knowing they aren't the only ones who have made mistakes along the way!   

 Being a bit of a nerd, I naturally love to learn.  That's why I secretly loved studying for college courses and enjoyed the challenge of tests, midterm papers, and projects.  As I walked across the stage at the University of Oklahoma in May of 2010, I naively thought I was adequately prepared to take on the world.  What I have found interesting in the past year of being a full-time working girl is how UNPREPARED I was for the "non-work" side of working.  Yes, my major equipped me with the knowledge I need to carry out my work.  However, I often find myself desperately wishing there had been a class on interpersonal relationships, or "How To Deal with Difficult People." 

Let me explain by first making a confession- I tend to care what others think of me.  Sounds pitiful, right? My faith in the Lord teaches me all validation I need can be found solely in Him.   In fact, for me to have the relationship with Him I desire, it is imperative I get to a place in my life where I truly get all my validation from Him alone!  And oh, how He knows I am working towards this.  Nevertheless, I can't help but internalize the sting of disapproval.  I realized this past year that the minute I felt someone was not happy with my work, my demeanor, how I dress, or how I conducted my life, I immediately faulted myself. 

There is a phenomenon I have discovered regarding women- anytime a woman that is prettier, more successful, or in any way (that one PERCEIVES) superior, women naturally feel threatened unless they are at peace with who they are.  If a woman is NOT at peace with herself, she often can become catty.  Catty does not a tres chic woman make.  One can see then, the importance of having a strong sense of self.  My belief is that anytime a woman compares herself to another woman, she demeans herself.  Once I internalized this idea, I realized everytime I listened to the disapproval of others, I was allowing myself to be a punching bag.  All I had worked so hard for in school was truly not amounting to much at the end of the day because I felt weighed down by my failure to live up to others' expectations.  I knew this wasn't healthy, and I knew this wasn't what I wanted for my life.  This was not how a truly tres chic woman acted.  So here came my realization...

In order to not only survive in this world, but to thrive, we must get to a place of indifference regarding other's judgements of our lives.  Because, at the end of the day, only you are responsible for your life.  The people who disapprove of you will not be there when you succeed, and they definitely won't help you pick up the pieces when you fail.  So why do we give such weight to what they think of us?  Why do we feel such a great need to prove ourselves to them? 

A tres chic woman takes risks with her life.  She ignores anyone who attempts to define her in a limiting way.  She's kind.  So if you aren't happy with who you are, recognize that.  The recognition of that is huge in and of itself.  Then, use whatever means necessary to come to a place of peace.  For me, it came through my faith.  For others, it may mean making some hard life decisions (ditching a boyfriend that only brings you down, finding a new job, a new circle of friends, etc.).  This process of self discovery is an important one.  Trust me, as I mentioned above, I am still working on myself! As women, we have got to come to the realization that we are on the same team.  My closest girlfriends have enriched my life in a way I never knew possible.  Can you imagine what the world would be like if it was full of women who were truly happen with themselves? 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Little "Tuft" Love

The bedroom is by far and away my favorite room in a home.  As I post, you will see that I frequently revisit the many design elements of a good bedroom. When I first visit a friend's apartment or home, I love to go look at their bedroom because I feel it gives you an intimate look into a person's deeper self.   Bedroom are personal- HIGHLY personal.  This room holds us through the night as we dream. This is the room we are most likely to meet another human being at the most intimate level. A good bedroom must be a place where we can escape to and find solidarity.  When I have had a long day at my office, there is nothing more comforting than escaping to my bedroom and getting in my bed with a good book.  When I began decorating my bedroom, I remember wanting to create a place that nurtured my soul- I wanted the walls to be a warm, calming shade.  I wanted plenty of space to create and read.  I wanted the room to express elements of my personality through the colors, furniture, and decor.  One element I adore in a bedroom is tufted furniture.  Tufted headboards, occasional chairs, and benches instantly add a glam factor to an otherwise ordinary bedroom while not making it overly stuffy.  Below are some of my favorite bedrooms that include a tufted piece.  If you are more of an understated decorator, adding a small tufted bench at the end of your bed is a great way to add a splash of glam... 

Or, if you are more of the bold type, glamming up your room with a tufted headboard adds a big statement...

I love the vintage glamour of this headboard and the pairing of the light pink throw- so feminine!

A funky take on the tufted look- via Decor Pad

 I love the painted white frame of this bed- the detailing makes it especially dramatic.

Of course this look takes 1st place in my book.  Turquoise AND tufted? Yummy!

Here is a more modern bedroom style.  I love the pink, black and white combo as well as the symmetry and clean lines. 

Here is my own tufted headboard.

So what's your take? To tuft or not to tuft? 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bag Lovin'

Hi loves!  Keeping in step with the title of my blog, I feel it is my duty to share with you all things tres chic- and today I bring something to you that is BEYOND tres chic- it's tres hip, tres sexy, tres MAJOR, as RZ would say.  Now, I can tend to be a bit of a bag snob.  I don't like this about myself, believe me (neither does my bank account).  Unfortuantely, my internal eye always seems to drag me to the couture bags when I step foot into Saks or Neimans.  That is why I am thrilled with my recent find.  Let me tell you how this love-at-first-sight saga began.  I was casually strolling through the Galleria with a friend, where we were in search of a particular item for her.  I wasn't planning on shopping for me- honest.  But then I walked by Aldo Accessories, and my eyes feasted on a bag so delicious I couldn't help but stare.  It had all the qualities of an authentic couture bag- fur trim, gold accents, beautiful black leather.  But, here's the best part...... it was priced at $48!!!  What do you think?

Isn't it sick?  Since carrying it for the past week, I have gotten a ton of compliments on it.  I assume because it looks frightingly similar to these bad boys...

Classic Hermes Kelly Birkin Bag- Retails at $5,200

Yves Saint Lauernt Cabas Satchel, Retails at $1,995

Prada Madras Woven Top-Handle Satchel, Retails at $2,895

Rachel Zoe leather tote bag, Retails at $450

What do you think?  Do you like my find?  If so, get to your nearest Aldo Accessories store!!  Stay chic, my friends.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Celebrating Fifty Fabulous Years

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Truman Capote's classic, Breakfast at Tiffany's.  In this 115 minute film, Audrey Hepburn managed to change American fashion, style, body idealization, and jewelry sales through playing the quirky, carefree Holly Golightly.  I do believe I could watch this film again and again and never grow tired of it.  I love how Holly is initially presented as an easy-going, freedom-loving young woman, but as the movie progresses we see the depth to her character.  We see her fear of commitment, of being hurt, or living an "ordinary" life.  We see her tendancy to run from difficult situations, and the intensity with which she proclaims her freedom, all the while truly living in chains.  I think on some level many of us can relate to her character. 

Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly

Peering in on Tiffany's jewels

In addition to the beautiful portrayal of her character, Audrey Hepburn also glamorized the classic little black dress (LBD).  We have seen the tendency in fashion to always come back to the classic LBD, as every woman is flattered in black and for the many possibilities it offers in the way of accessorizing.  Below are some of my most favorite movie snapshots...

"Breakfast at Tiffany's" © Courtesy of Everett Collection

And, of course, The Moon River scene.  Such a classic song!

I wish I had more excuses to wear diamonds and big hats like Holly.  Isn't she wonderful?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Quote For The Evening Is This...

"She packed up her potential and all she had learned, grabbed a cute pair of shoes and headed out to change a few things."

via Inslee

I like this quote particularly because in additional to cooler temperatures and football,  fall brings job interview season for my industry.  In fact, I thought of this quote as I was packing my suitcase tonight.  I will be traveling back to my alma mater tomorrow (BOOMER SOONER!) to interview prospective new hires.  It was roughly one year ago that I was settling myself into my new job and new home.  I remember feeling invigorated at the sight of unfamiliar territory. I was filled with gratitude that I would be able to actively participate in designing a life for myself here in Houston.  Although I was grateful for a fresh start (and, of course, a job in general) I felt uneasy regarding the life I had left behind in my hometown. My entire family was there, as well as the illusion of a "perfect future" with a particular man.  Still, even when I was surrounded in the comforts of familiarity, I knew in my heart that I wanted more.  Fast forward 6 months, and I am unloading boxes into my first apartment.
The past year hasn't always been easy, but it has been worth it.  I have developed deep friendships, found fulfilling work, and had the opportunity to discover a passion I never knew I had- design.  The Lord, as always, already knew the plan, and was patiently waiting for me to surrender mine.  
I am still heading out and changing a few things, and I hope you are, too.  As Ghandi so wisely said, "We must be the change we wish to see in the world."

I hope it can be said sooner rather than later that "alis volat propriis", which in Latin means "she flies with her own wings." 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fashion Night Out...Houston Style

Hey friends!  I hope you have gotten some R&R this weekend.  There has been a break in 100 degree temps here in H town, which has put a little spring in my step, but what really has me going is Fashion Week.  Last Thursday, my fashion and design-loving friend Alexis and I hit Neiman Marcus for their fall fashion preview show.  As usual, Neimans did not disappoint. (Do they ever?)  We sipped on some delicious pink champy as we watched the models strut their stuff.  Confession:  I was absolutely giddy and felt like a 13 year-old pre-teen seeing Justin Beiber for the first time.  

The fall trends on the runway included deep plums, greys, lots of leather, and structured bags.  The 70s seem to be the decade of fixation this fall- both 70s sophisticated glamour and 70s bohemian, as wide-legged trousers and loose sheer tops were popular.  As always, there were fur pieces and leopard incorporated in many of the looks.  Below are some of my favorite looks from the evening...

I loved the pulled-back bun many of the models were sporting.  I think we can all thank Lauren Conrad for bringing it back!  Learn how to sport one yourself here.

How fabulous are the glitter tights?

Lots of leather pieces were seen on the runway.

This is one of my favorite looks of the season- bold-colored tights worn with open-toe shoes.  The model here is wearing Fendi.

How major is this evening gown?

Alexis & I after the show- she was such a fun friend to share the experience with!  We were inspired and agreed that while our first love is interior design, the show had definitely rekindled our love of all things fashion.  Our goal is to get to NYC Fashion Week in the next year!  Perhaps a lofty goal.... but we are setting our sights high.

Speaking of Fashion Week...here are some of my favorite fall fashions from the couture runways...

Alberta Ferretti


Jason Wu

Victoria Beckham

Wes Gordon

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

You're Invited To A Dinner Party

Let's get real my friends.  I haven't cooked anything in my life besides waffles in the toaster and frozen pizza in the oven.  There was that one time I tried to bake a boyfriend a birthday cake on a flat pan..... imagine my dismay when I opened the oven to a flat goob of cake! It was quite a travesty, but one my roommates and I laughed over for many months.  

So, why would yours truly ever feel she could be worthy of throwing a fabulous dinner/cocktail party (see said post)?  Because, as Roxy brilliantly states in her adorable blog, My Cup of Te

 "I believe, and let it be said with much conviction, that you should live sparkly! Vivaciously! Legendary! I truly believe that life is a celebration, that means everyday, and poppin' bottles is something I do with frightening regularity."

Don't you love it?  And isn't that what life is about?  Living adventurously and pursuing dreams you have for yourself, no matter how silly!?  Let it be said that I vow to "Live Sparkly", as Roxy encourages.  I am imagining vegetarian cuisine, fruity cocktail drinks, and endless bubbly.    Of course, the tabletop decor will include lots of beautiful candles.

It's not wedding decor- it's my cocktail party!!

The cocktail list will include...

Society Sparkler

½ large white peach (roughly chopped)
½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
 1½ tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom Champagne Edible gold glitter stars

 Cupcake Champagne Cocktail

½ ounce butterscotch schnapps
½ ounce Vanilla Simple Syrup (recipe below)
1 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice (from the jar)
3 maraschino cherries
Cupcake sprinkles

via Fashionably Bombed

Bubblegum Martini

1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup milk
2 ounces Bubble Gum Vodka
Gumballs for garnish
Crystal sprinkles for garnish
via Fashionably Bombed

Okay, okay.  I know I said dinner party.... but dinner really isn't my forte.  Baby steps, my friends.  What do you think of the fabulous decor and cocktail list? 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

For the Love of Turquoise

It's no secret around here that my favorite color is turquoise.  I find it to be the dreamiest of colors.  Everything fabulous in life is turquoise- the Caribbean ocean waters, Tiffany's boxes, cloudless skies.  The very essence of turquoise is unique. It is a rare and prized mineral that for centuries was esteemed as a holy stone and a bringer of good fortune.  The color itself is a calming hue.  It comes as no surprise then, that my room is accented in turquoise and most of my favorite jewelry and outfits have hints of the beautiful stone.  Here are some of my favorite interiors that highlight my love of this timeless hue...

A lighter version of turquoise can create a calming affect- perfect for places where you want to relax, like in a bubble bath!  I also love the chandelier- it adds an element of glam to this bathroom.

This bedside decor gets an A+ for creativity.  I love the juxtaposition of the nailhead bold turquoise headboard with the shabby door and sconce.  The headboard brings out the aqua hues in the door and sconce.

I always swoon for a French settee.  I love the playful striped pattern on the cushion.

How fun is this Kate Spade statement necklace?

Don't you love the funky bulletin board?!  It's definitely on my DIY list.

Another beautiful statement necklace

This must be Tory Burch's bedroom...

 via House of Turquoise

I love the robin's egg blue throw and striped chair.  What a cozy spot to read this is!  A "must" in my dream bedroom. 

via House of Turquoise

Chanel Iman looking gorgeous in a bold aqua hue.  She's KILLING it.

Speaking of turquoise, it's time for me to head off for my stay-cation next to the pool.  What are you doing for Labor Day Weekend?  Whatever it is, I hope you get some much-needed R&R!
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