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STYLE

I tried a pajama suit and I like it

February 20, 2018
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So pajama suits – I had no intention of buying or wearing one. I don’t even wear pajamas to bed. But then the look grew on me, so I decided to try one. Turns out it’s super comfy and more dressy than anticipated. If you’re wearing the pants with a different top, you have to suck in your stomach a little extra because the pants are so…soft. Just a little heads up!
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I think we just have to keep trying things on. Sometimes they’ll work, like this pajama suit, and sometimes they wouldn’t. When they don’t we’ll have to return them…back to the archives of ideas that seemed like a good idea but didn’t work out, or just back to the store.

So in short, the pajama suit try on and its conclusive success, is a metaphor for our creative ideas and the trying of them. If we don’t try them they’ll keep haunting us, then probably go out of style. If we do go ahead and try our ideas on (if just to add some flare to our lives), they just might work. But if they don’t work it’s not such a big deal. We tried, and they’re returnable from whence they came.

Sometimes it’s magic and sometimes it’s not. I remind myself to remind myself of this (at least 50 times/day).
#liveboldly
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mandy on duty style blog, mom style, style blog washington dc, style blog, lifestyle blog for moms, senior style, older woman style, mandy talks, mom interviews, mom talks, chic mom style, women with style, how to be stylish, effortless mom style, how to find your style, finding your personal style, mandy on duty fashion mom mandy on duty style blog, mom style, style blog washington dc, style blog, lifestyle blog for moms, senior style, older woman style, mandy talks, mom interviews, mom talks, chic mom style, women with style, how to be stylish, effortless mom style, how to find your style, finding your personal style, mandy on duty fashion mommandy on duty style blog, mom style, style blog washington dc, style blog, lifestyle blog for moms, senior style, older woman style, mandy talks, mom interviews, mom talks, chic mom style, women with style, how to be stylish, effortless mom style, how to find your style, finding your personal style, mandy on duty fashion mom

LET'S TALK

Good friends match every outfit

February 8, 2018
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Once upon a freezing snow day recently, my friends and I were sitting at a coffeee shop marveling at our good fortune. We were out of our houses sans les enfants de l’armée (without the army of kids!) – like, totally by ourselves! We lucky women were sitting toasty in the west wing of coffee shop heaven giddily beaming and acting like we were just like all the other single coffee shop peeps!
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mandy on duty style blog, mom style, style blog washington dc, style blog, lifestyle blog for moms, senior style, older woman style, mandy talks, mom interviews, mom talks, chic mom style, women with style, how to be stylish, effortless mom style, how to find your style, finding your personal style, mandy on duty fashion mom
A conversation was in session opposite me. My 2 friends were sprawled in club chairs beside each other chuckling over the hilarious fact that they had considered dressing up for our date, but then:

Friend 1: Yeah, I really thought about dressing up because I knew we were coming out with Mandy, but then I settled for having a bath. Don’t judge me!

Friend 2: Do you see that she’s (me) wearing bright lipstick! That alone is dressing up for me.

Friend 1: Yeah, but I couldn’t be bothered. I thought about trying but I settled on the yoga pants.

(All the while I’m sitting opposite them grinning. They’re quite funny those 2!)

Friend 2: But, you know what I like? I like that I can think about it but not feel pressured to dress up, even though we’re out with Mandy.

Friend 1: Me too. I don’t feel pressured at all…obviously. But I did think about it for a second.

Me (in full smirk): I’m really glad too, because I don’t feel any pressure to dress down when I’m out with you 2!

Loud cackles erupted amongst the 3 of us!!
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My take is that friends (and stripy salad bowls) go with everything! We get to be our individual complete selves, make fun of each other, laugh about our individual crazy issues, and not feel pressured to be anyone else but ourselves. So even when most of us are dressed down, skipped showers, wear yoga pants, and some of us dress up when we feel the urge, it doesn’t matter. Being together and laughing, and acting giddy because we left our kids home, matters most.
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You know the kind of women who, it never crossed their brains NOT TO speak their minds, liberally splash sarcasm everywhere, laugh at each other, and be themselves all the time. Those are the kind of women I feel completely lucky to be friends with.
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So I guess in short (and this just struck me), this is a love note to all my girlfriends far and wide. Thank you all for being so genuine and amazing! Because I’m surrounded by you, I didn’t even realize that some people don’t treat themselves to being who they are all the time. Also, like this salad bowl, you ladies always match my fancy outfits!

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STYLE

The style of dressing like yourself, even at work.

January 31, 2018
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“But Mandy, you don’t understand…I can’t wear “that” to work.”

“I can’t wear tights to work. Only Millennials do that.”

“But there’s more pressure on women to look a certain way.”

“But Mandy, it’s not as easy as you think…I can’t just wear my natural hair/my open fro/dreadlocks to work.”

“I can’t wear…blah, blah, blah…”
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Mandy understands. Mandy just believes that you don’t have to fit it. That you should not fit in. That you should dress in your own authentic style. All. The. Time.
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One of my best friends wears her hair in dreadlocks and dresses with flamboyant color and style to her corporate work place. Her colleagues tell her that she “gets” to dress “like that” because “it’s her”. YES! YES! Exactly right!
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It’s BECAUSE she rolled up in her authentic style and it’s BECAUSE it never occurred to her to wear a boring brown suit every day that she “gets” to show up being herself.
She didn’t second-guess her style. It’s authentic to who she is, and she would be remiss to change it.
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Does she notice that no one else dresses like her? Yep. Does she notice that other women may give her quizzical looks? Yep. Does she care? Nope. Because if she dressed like them, she wouldn’t be true to who she is.
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Let me also say that if you’re a mother, I think you get to wear whatever you want! You birthed humans! You’re raising humans. What more can I say? You’re already being amazing. Daring yourself to dress up and strut your style around work is nothing. Just go ahead and be authentic. Start injecting your personal style into all your work outfits. You’ll feel great!
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And for the love of all things freeing, and this is the key to authentic style especially at work: STOP CARING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK!
That’s none of your authentic personal style business!
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LET'S TALK mom life

Are you an interesting mom & woman?

January 23, 2018
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Are you an interesting woman? Are you an interesting mother? Do you stay interested in things and people outside your sphere? What’s your thing, or your things?

Last week I drove an hour away to meet my friend who drove an hour from her house, to eat at a Korean place she hadn’t eaten at in 3 years, just so she could reminisce on the taste of the food. My dish was overcooked and not sliced as per expectations (from my professional Korean experiences), and she loved her “lived up to my memory” spicy pork dish. So now we have to find a new place that suits both of us, preferably less than hour away. But the adventure of “finding the next Korean joint to satisfy my friend’s love of Korean food” is a thing on top of our thing and well worth the trek. And by our, I mean all. As in, all my friends treat eating and trying new foods, like an Olympic sport. Because food is one of my things, and finding a new Korean spot is a thing on top of our food thing. I will drive hours away to try food just because it’s fun and interesting to me and to my food sporting friends.
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A few years ago I was talking to my dad about older men seeming to want to be with women who are younger and “hotter”, and that keeping up with that seems impossible and frustrating. This was bothering me because my younger brother was talking about how his girlfriend HAS to be hot. Hot to him, but still “hot”. My dad’s response to me was, “don’t worry about that! Just stay interesting. Men like, and are friends with women who are interesting.” That stuck with me. I thought, “Do I find myself interesting?” The men part I’ve let go of because…meh…are YOU interesting SIR? But mostly, what I like about me is more interesting to me than what they like about me.

So, are you interesting to yourself? I won’t go on about how motherhood is an energy sucking alien that drains you of every part of yourself until you’re a shaking shriveled stalk of wheat with dark under eye circles “trying” to keep it together. I didn’t go on at all there!
Anyhoo, I’ll just say that upon this realization, you have to make huge efforts to reclaim and remake yourself, if only for bare sanity. You have to find your thing or things that make you feel good, laugh, and keep you lively and interested.
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I should say, the thing doesn’t have to be a Socrates kinda thing to be interesting. Just a “your” kinda thing. Movies, books, articles, clothes, swimming, décor, coffee, tea, writing, shopping, comedy, skiing, hiking, painting, politics, shoes, socks, working out, whatever…just some things, or a thing, that keep you interested in yourself. Then you can discuss it with your friends and even if it’s not their thing they can listen, and maybe even share it with you. If not you can find people who share your interests. And now you’re on interesting street!
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So in short, don’t be boring. Eat and make every attempt to be the most interesting, delightful mom possible.

INTERVIEWS

Her style is Confidence

December 8, 2017

Along with building her confidence every day, Jennifer has fit a lot into her 43 years: a single mom at 21, 7 years in the military, being a personal trainer, and a successful corporate career. At this tender age of 40’s are the new 30’s, she’s embarking on the new life of entrepreneur with her own consulting firm. Plus between army abs, a lovely daughter, and great career, she managed to marry a man she’s still in love with (HE’S lucky!). WHEW! Let’s start the conversation!
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YOUR FAVORITE BODY PART – What?!

WHEN DO YOU FEEL YOURSELF MOST

MARRIAGE & THE INDEPENDENT MOM

DATING AS A SINGLE MOM

PREGNANT AT 21

HOW KIDS REACT TO YOU MARRYING SOMEONE NEW

RAISING MULTICULTURAL/INTERRACIAL KIDS IN AMERICA

THOUGHTS ON EQUALITY

THE FUTURE IS MULTICULTURAL

INTERVIEWS

Being a beauty entrepreneur & the best Jollof rice

November 11, 2017

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I love makeup, so OF COURSE I would want to talk to a young mom entrepreneur who’s started her own makeup line. Of course! And since makeup mogul is not on my resume, I needed to know how it’s getting on hers. Here are some basic details: Her name is Irene, she’s a mom of 2, a makeup artist, and an entrepreneur. She saw a need for skin care for darker skin toned ladies, so she decided to create her own makeup line called Omolewa. Ballsy and brave!

I also love that she’s African, but multicultural African – she’s Nigerian AND Ghanian. And she’s also American. So she has a few cultures under her belt. She’s truly entrepreneurial as she travels to Ghana and Nigeria to sell her makeup, and she runs another businesses at the same time. I love why she started her own line and her take on why some women with darker skin may not be so confident. It’s something for all of us to consider when communicating with our children.

We really got into the real nitty gritty stuff!
On Nigerian vs. Ghanian culture…Jollof rice matters!

Freaking out over a bight lip color! We all do it…I think!

On why she chose the name Omolewa

Why she started her own makeup line

On darker skin color confidence

Rihanna we love you, but she’s coming for you!

Her makeup line is available via her website (www.omolewamakeup.com) and through her Instagram page – @omolewa_cosmetics.

INTERVIEWS

The vivacious beauty & style of a 61 year old!

November 3, 2017

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We women are so interesting, and fun, and vivacious! It’s so easy to make assumptions about other women when we don’t know them, but once we start talking to each other, we find that we have so many similarities that we can bond over.
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Sharman is 61, an ex-judge and lawyer, and now an entrepreneur. Despite our age difference we have common likes, and because of our age difference Sharman is able to share life experiences that are insightful, interesting, and fun.
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Some of our common likes: Jane Austen-esque, British Netflix shows: The Paradise, and Death Comes to Pemberley (don’t judge us!), and Netflix Marvel shows – she likes Arrow and the Flash (I don’t), but we’re in agreeance with liking Daredevil. We also share curly platinum hair, and skin that used to be angry a.k.a we had acne problems, but that we now accept.
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Sharman is one cool woman! Here are some of the joyful nuggets she shared about her life:
Developing Confidence
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She took time to discover and learn about herself and her style – You’re you!
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You can rebel at any age!
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On having boyfriends and being cat called:
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Her take on motherhood and disciplining kids:



“…In minor ways we differ,
in major we’re the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.”

– Maya Angelou

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