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Leaning Back…

April 30th, 2014

www.pinterest.com

As I write this I am prepping to leave for a meeting in New York in the morning and coming off a long weekend trip to Texas to attend a conference, which capped off a week of lots of work, appointments, meetings, blogging and truly exhausting personal obligations. Oh yeah, and that whole “book” thing. I am bone tired; weary to the point of collapse and yet there is an voice in my head saying “You are not doing enough. Try harder.” Have you ever heard that voice? I bet you have.

As women I think we have it pretty tough.  I think we are fierce competitors, more-so then men in many ways, and we are easily and often overlooking our health in order to maintain crazy schedules, our families, friendships and bodies.  I feel there is this obtuse goal of becoming the impossibly perfect woman who has a demanding full time job, is a wonderfully engaged mother and wife, amazing cook (gluten/sugar/dairy free of course), attends five spin/barre/yoga/pilates classes a week, sleeps 8 hours, voluteers for the greater good  and is dressed to the nines and, while doing so, is perfectly relaxed. Namaste.

But no one can do all that (with out a team of full time personal assistants and nannies, at least).  In this Lean In era though, the pressure to do more and be more is everywhere.   I don’t even take time to draw in full breaths never mind meditate.  It’s not a sustainable pace of life and I am starting to feel like as a gender, we need to both lean in as well as know when to “lean back”.  I came across this article from the Washington Post about just this- the working woman (that includes you stay at home Moms) and her inability to stop and take in life’s true joys because we’re trying to do too much.  This quote in particular sums it up quite perfectly:

Americans work around the clock to be a success, wearing exhaustion like a badge of honor. In the process, they miss a lot of important stuff. Success is less about money and more about valuing wisdom and wonder, giving to others and well-being.

I’ve totally felt like there are other bloggers, writers and designers out there working until 1 a.m. and felt guilty when I turn in at 9:30 for bed.  I’ve berated myself for not more fiercely going after new, bigger business when I already have a wait list.  Just as I’m sure there are others who feel the need to stay in the office until 9pm and still get up for a 6 am run instead of sleeping in an extra hour, or moms who feel they need to produce some incredible Pinterest-sourced kids activities when really all they need is to put them in front of a Disney movie for a little and sit down with a magazine. There is this guilt associated with taking a break, this feeling that others aren’t and so you shouldn’t either. But in reality what we need to do is feel proud of what we’ve accomplished, keep working hard (of course) but also balance that work with more healthy behavior.  For example, I’ve stopped doing yoga in favor of working more.  I’m not taking that time to get myself off the grid anymore and it’s showing now. I feel out of shape,  sluggish and so much more stressed.  And while I know that my career and life are very blessed, that doesn’t mean I don’t feel broken from the pressure and pace sometimes.

So I’m asking you if you have felt this pressure and what you’ve done to try to get off the hamster wheel?  For those working busy jobs, how do you give yourself permission to check out? And of course when you’re a Mom there are no breaks until the kids are asleep or the babysitter shows up (this video perfectly explains that), but perhaps there’s a technique you’ve developed that helps you relax a little?  I’d love to hear what YOU do to give yourself a break and enjoy your life’s little details more and turn this comments section into a little tip list for all those reading.  Or perhaps a forum to vent, because sometimes a nice little venting session is the best gift you can give yourself. :)

 

Giveaway: Rikshaw’s New Nursery Bedding!

April 29th, 2014

When I saw the new line of nursery bedding from Rikshaw I think I felt my ovaries shiver. I am obsessed with block print anything and this new line is THE BEST nursery bedding I have seen in years. Seriously. Just looks at these phenomenal designs….

e97-1-padma-nursery

bbt-119-1bsc-202-1

hero-nursery-mayoor

bcs-101-1bsc-105-1

hero-nursery-asha

bs20-104-1bsc-103-1

hero-nursery-pondicherry

bcs-201-1bsc-201-1

hero-nursery-taj

bcs-202-1bbt-118-1

Some cute accessory pieces too!

bs20-102-2

xpe-102-1bom-bb-1

 

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We are giving away any combination of (1) crib skirt (1) crib sheet and (1) quilt of your choice! Contest will run until next Monday! A great gift for yourself or an expecting friend or family member!  To enter:

1) Leave a comment with what combination of bedding you’d like from the new Rikshaw Nursery Collection.

2) Either like Rikshaw on Facebook or sign up for their e-mail list on their website (top right corner)!

3) Cross your fingers and toes!

 CONTEST CLOSED!

Inspired By: The Joule Hotel

April 28th, 2014

I spent my weekend in Dallas, Texas at the RewardStyle Conference held at The Joule Hotel. I don’t think I’ve been an enamored with a hotel’s lobby design in a long time.  Giant, breathtaking Lindsey Adleman chandeliers anyone??? Yeeeeaaaahhh, pretty much a designer’s mid-century influenced dream, if you ask me.  Since this was mainly a style blogger gathering, I found myself drawn to hanging with the few lifestyle bloggers like Caitlin from Sacramento Street, Jaime from Furbish Studio and Erin from  Apartment 34.  After years of interacting on the internet only, it’s so fun to get to hang out with these ladies in the flesh!  But back to the lobby, here are some quick Instagrams (follw me here!) I took to file away for inspiration.

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Amazing barstools by Garza Marfa

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And speaking of inspiration, here’s a little living room concept based on the seating area by the coffee shop (best latte I have EVER had, by the way!) A mix of leather, pink, light blue, gold and marble- and a Adelman looking chandelier I found on Etsy for a fraction of the cost of the real deal.

The-Joule-Erin-Gates

sofa // chandelier // art // pink pillow // patterned pillow // coffee table (and a cheaper option) // chair // rug // pouf // side table

And one other REALLY excited bit about this weekend? I got to see the prototype for the handbag I designed for Gigi New York which will come out in the next few weeks in 5 colorways!!! Trust me, as soon as it’s out and you can buy it, I will sing it from the mountaintops. It’s AWESOME, you guys!

Gates-Tote-GigiNY

 

 

Fashion Friday: My New Favorite Shirt Two Ways

April 25th, 2014

I was in New York the other week for a meeting and right before I went into a rather important meeting I spilled coffee on my white jacket (per the usual- I keep Tide Stick in business).  Panicked, I ran into the nearest J.Crew looking for something to pop on in place of my stained top and picked up this Thomas Mason for J.Crew tuxedo shirt.  Little did I know it would become my favorite new shirt!  Made of insanely soft yet substantial fabric and with the cleanest, best fit I have found in a button down to date, I have worn it so many times since- and right now it’s 30% off with code GOSHOP.

thomas mason jcrew 3

(This is a slightly more rumpled version of it, I have kept mine a little crisper)

Here are the two ways I’ve worn it- casual and slightly preppy with white denim and dressed up with my favorite leather leggings and heels (a sexy menswear meets vixen look!) Here’s how you can get it for yourself….

shirt

CASUAL: shirt // jeans // sandals // bag (only $59!) // bracelet // earrings // sunglasses

DRESSY: shirt // leather pants // heels // lipstick // bracelet (affordable version of Cartier’s Just un Clou!) // necklace // clutch

My Favorite Face Oils

April 24th, 2014

As I get older I am finding I can’t put just anything on my skin and have it appear luminous and supple (uh, I kind of hate that word but it’s true). As I’ve been testing and sampling things I’ve fallen madly in love with face oils. I still swear by Shamanuti’s Charcoal Cleanser (also have been using Revive Gentle Cleanser and love it too), Creme de la Mer in the winter months (especially this past winter- my God) and I’ve added a prescription Retinol to my repertoire too. Apparently 34 is proving to be the age in which I have started noticing my age catching up to me (grey hairs, wrinkles, sun spots- oh my!)  Over the past two years I’ve found face oils to be the best way to add either light or dramatic moisture to my skin depending on the type and brand- and even that hard to capture J.Lo “glow”.  Even those with oily skin should try them!  Here are a few of my favorites and a few I’ve been dying to try:
faceoil

1. My new personal favorite- this really makes you glow and I feel like it feeds my skin all sorts of good stuff.

 2. I’ve heard AWESOME things about this Tarte oil. Must try.

 3. Josie Maran’s regular Argan Oil is one I keep in my vanity, but this version is great for those with oilier skin instead of dry like mine.

4. The cult favorite that so many celebs swear by. Another on my lust try list.

5. Nude is kind of the “king of oils” (their cleansing oil is also amazing).  This has anti-aging qualities as well as good moisture.

6. This Bobbi Brown oil has so many superfans, it’s basic and it works well at really moisturizing your skin.

 7.  I adore the Plantscription line, I’ve used the serum a lot over the years, but this new addition is one I need to get a full size of!

 8. I tried this L’Oreal version and also really liked it- and it’s at a good price point too!

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