Tuesday, November 25, 2008

There is no need to be frumpy....

It is unfortunate that I have had to become an online style stalker. You see I truly believe that there is some reward in going to the mall hunting down your purchase and trying it on. For me it is the reassurance that I am getting my money's worth and that it fits the contours of my body in just the right way and that it is worth the swipe of my debit card. Yet recently the demands of medical school have been interfering with my savvy shopping, and I have been experiencing bonafide withdrawals from shopping... some might call it an addiction, I like to refer to it as a form of self-expression. I often ponder where I gained this passion that has kept me up many of nights perusing through websites or checking out the latest Style magazine and then I realized that I had many years of training as a Fashionista. I would like to blame it on my mother who from an early age would dress me in the most stylish of children's apparel and place me in my stroller as we would begin to embark on a day of mother daughter bonding...Shopping. We were a team my mother and I as we would traverse the malls for hours. I have heard stories about how much I loved these retreats as my mother would push, I would smile with glee as I stuck my little paws out of the stroller and touched every article of clothing that passed by. Little did my mother know that she had a fashionista in training on board. It was here in that stroller that I had my first exposures to the rich cashmeres, the silks, and warm wools that populate my closet today.

Yet, even today I find that style gives us more than articles of clothing to cover our bod, but is a form of expression about the way we feel about ourselves. I have many mantras in my life and one of them is Dress for success. It is a factoid that I do better on tests when I look prepared and professional. While many of my friends can pull the sweatpants, side pony just stumbled out of bed look, I can't. Now don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with sweatpants, I am just indicating the way I feel about myself when I try to perform this look...frumpy. There are many things I have vowed to in life and one of them is to never be Frumpy McFrumperson.

One of my best friends and I laugh as we think about the future, and we have promised each other to never be victims of frump. While she lives in New York the capital of style and glam and I in the dashingly stylish state of Indiana (hahaha geez louise) we converse about the day when Anthropology and Manolos will populate our closets. Even though our individual style is different where she has this mad style that is a mixture of bohemian -art galleria elegance and I have this Jackie O wanna be eighties vibe we both concur that the idea of losing our sense of style would be a travesty to our souls.

However,"to each be there own", and if you are thinking that I am crazy mad that is fine. Yet, as sad as it may be I do believe that as a society we are perceived by the way we look. This is why I encourage you to embrace your own style and develop it. Let it flourish and prosper.You are never to young or to old because the best thing about style is that it resurrects the timeless beauty of every woman. And honesty ask yourself is there any reason to be frumpy............

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Did Cinderella ruin us all?

Over the past few weeks I have been thinking a lot about happy endings, are they possible and do they even exist. I have been perplexed with the question did Cinderella ruin us all? Now let's just get a couple of things straight I am the queen of fairy tales and happy endings. As a child I would watch Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella over and over, I was mesmerized by every song, dance, and character. I mean Cinderella was high on my list of life long professions. Yet, I wonder if all my countless hours with Cinderella have somehow shaped my expectations in life.

Let's take Prince charming for example....now where in the world does he live because I need his number. I sometimes wonder if the original author of Cinderella was trying to make a parody of men or suggest that this kind of treatment is only found in the fairy tales. Yet, I cannot help but dissect my own life and expectations and wonder are my expectations too high. While I realize that no man will be coming around with a glass slipper to see me,(thank goodness I wouldn't want anyone to see my feet) I still feel that as a society we have lofty ideals on what to expect from love and even marriage. I guess I would explain my love life as well, selective, call me even picky, but I prefer to acknowledge it as knowing what I want. I don't think anything can tonk me off more than women who settle for less than their best. Why do women do this? Why do we stay in these ridiculous relationships which end up being fabrications of what romance and love truly are?

You see every honest woman out there will tell you she too wants a happy ending---her own story. The problem is that a Cinderella story is not a goal to be achieved, but an ideal to strive towards. We all want to believe that the shoe fits, that the guy is a perfect match, but in reality the shoe is always a little snug and needs to be broken in. You can't expect perfection, but there is no problem striving for it. Thus, I believe that Cinderella was an instrumental part of my education. Not only did she reaffirm for me that happy endings are possible no matter what you do or your background, she opened my eyes to see that we are all destined to have own story our own slipper. While your guy probably didn't come riding in on a white stallion, I am sure you recognize the way that you two compliment each other. If you are asking where in the world is my good 'ol Prince C, I encourage you to not settle and to maintain your expectations. Because Prince Charming is out there but perhaps he is incognito as a guy who leaves the toilet seat up and forgets to recap the toothpaste occasionally.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Coloring inside the lines

I think coloring was probably one of my favorite activities growing up. I could color anywhere or anytime. I don't know what it was about coloring, perhaps it is the copious amount of color provided from that one beautiful Crayola box, or maybe just colors like neon orange, macaroni and cheese, and purple pizazz that would get my creative juices flowing. Regardless, I would sit so jubilantly crayola poised in hand ready to create a masterpiece always careful to never encroach across that dark line. I was meticulous in the way I colored. Perfecting every solid color and mastering the art of staying within the lines. In preschool I even insisted that my mother write a note so that I would be allowed to use the small crayons even though my classmates had to use the bigger crayons. I told my mother that I could have more accuracy and control with small crayons, by in large creating a more perfect crayola smudge.

It would not surprise you then that for much of my life I was one of those people who refused to step out of the comfort zone or traverse the lines. I led a life that strived for perfection and playing by the rules. It has only been recently that I discovered how beautiful it is to live a life outside the lines. I feel that most things we choose not to do or experience are done out of fear. While fear can be paralyzing, I realized how scintillating and exciting spontaneity in life can be. Since this revelation I am determined to live a life that colors with all the crayons in the coloring box. I want to experience, travel, and delight in the things of life that truly matter. I want to drink and enjoy great libations. I want to take chances and put myself out there. I want the beauty of the world to embrace my every step. I want to see the good in every person and creature. I want to believe that each ordinary day has the potential to be extraordinary. I want escape from the insecurities that hold me back. And mostly, I want to share with you the joy and happiness that awaits for you just outside the line.

Therefore I encourage you today to leave your paint by number projects in the closet and instead create your own Picasso wherever you go.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Domestic Divas are made not born

I often wonder if the Martha Stewart's of the world were always so kitchen savvy or if they had one on one training from gonache gurus and bundt cake prodigies. You see the truth of the matter is I will always be the girl who brings the jell-o ring to the pitch-ins or the salad bowl to Thanksgiving. I have accepted the fact that not everyone is destined to be a domestic diva. It takes time, patience, and practice. All three of which I don't have. I would love to blame this inconvenient truth on my mother, Cath. You see, my mother is one of those rare culinary creatures who can cook anything and whip up a meal from scanty ingredients in a matter of minutes. She makes the most sinfully sensational two- layer chocolate cake from scratch. I remember watching her as a child as she would mix and blend throwing sugar, eggs, and flour in a bowl without reading a recipe card or following the back of the box verbatim. I asked her once how she knew all of the ingredients were in the right proportions and she took her index finger swirled it in the batter and placed it to her lips....It's perfect she said. My conclusion to my conundrum is that I was never forced to cook because my mom was so stinkin' good I never needed to learn.

Thus, this brings us to the education and domestification of a die hard diva. I have concluded that the only way to approach diva-dom is to put a little effort in and recognize my strong suits. So I have reflected about the things I do really well. I make a mean beater, egg-beater that is. I can shake the box of golden wonder, pour, and solidify with the best of them. I also can make yogurt parfaits that are as beautiful to the eye as they are nutritious to the soul. Oatmeal now this is an art, one of fortes. I can do things with oatmeal you've never dreamed of. I don't use those soggy flakes from a packet, but the old-fashioned (a smidge like myself) cook em on the stove oats. You can throw anything in it berries, raisins, nuts, chocolate, and of course my favorite peanut butter. Yep, that is about all I am good at unless you count boiling water or using Ziploc steam bags as an art. Therefore, I am left with lots of room for improvement.

My plan is to pick one realm of culinary creativity and go with it. I encourage those out there who are also domestically challenged to do the same. My genre of choice is soups. I love soups there is something about that warm goodness as it slides down my esophagus to swim in my stomach that makes my soul smile. I am going to breakthrough my domestic diva depression and discover that I gotz mad slicing and dicing skills up my sleeves. Chunky soups to purees from colors of red to green, I am going to be the queen.

Ok I tend to believe in the power of positive thinking and even this my friends my be a bit of a stretch for me. Yet, I still am going to try to put my creativity to the test. While I am probably going to strike out 95% of the time, there is the hope that the remainder of the 5% will be extraordinary. Thus, grab a glass of wine, throw on your most figure flattering apron, and get to work because if you can't conquer diva-dom at least you can look like you play the part. And let's be honest if you should fail remind yourself of an important question, who else would bring the jell-o ring to your next party?