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INTERVIEWS mom life

Sometimes we talk about our back fat…and other body issues

October 12, 2017

So this VERY intriguing and informative video started out as an interview with my friend Sherry about her mom life and beauty experiences, but somehow MORPHED into this candid confession and explanation about our back fat and body “things”. There is also the blog gem about her avid use of spanx(interview here), which is very important to read because well, sometimes we just need to tuck stuff in. I mean this is riveting stuff!

To be super honest (because I haven’t done enough of that in the video), after you’ve had at least 2 kids, things just appear on your mom bod right out of nowhere! What is THAT about?! Anyhoo, the moral of the video story is that if you from time to time, dissect your mini back fat and other mysterious body parts that just show up randomly without your permission, you’re not alone. (There is maybe perhaps a very, ultra slight possibility that the body parts are altered after a bit of children’s birthday party cake…but it’s ever so slight). We’re here to let you know that it’s quite ok, and very funny (in a we have to laugh or we’ll cry way)!

STYLE

Stay loose with your style

October 9, 2017
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I love these polka dot jeans, and denim in general. If you’re buying jeans, shoes, bags etc…that aren’t plain colored wear them like they’re plain colored. For example, “I could NEVER pull off yellow boots Mandy!”
Yes, you could. Just treat them like you were wearing black boots. Replace bright colors, polka jeans, printed purses as your black/staple piece. Everything will fall into place, even polka dots!

In other news:
I had a conversation at the gym with my hot 78 year old friend:

ME: Oh you did your hair. Looking good!
HER: Girl, I burnt myself twice in the same spot trying to do this!
ME: The price of beauty I guess…
HER: I was trying to look tight for the weekend, but I guess with this, I gotta stay loose!
ME & HER: Hearty chuckles!

Throughout the work out she kept saying, “we just gotta stay loose!”, and I kept laughing. But really – she’s 78, she’s working out, she’s spending time on herself, and she’s staying loose even when she burns her head with a curling iron.
For me it was a bit of inspiration and life metaphor – to do my best and work on myself, but to remember not to take things so seriously, relax, and stay loose!
And of course, personal style and expression is an easy way to stay loose – hair, polka dot jeans, however we want.
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Photography STYLE

Turning on your personal style

September 19, 2017
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You’re beautiful on the inside but you just don’t know how to make it shine on the outside?
You see yourself as this fierce diva in your head, like say, Queen of Dragons, but you don’t think the Khaleesi outfits will translate at your office? (I MAY have a slight Game of Thrones obsession)
No one would even believe your style icons because you sooo don’t look like it (yet)?

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To unearth your inner exquisite, bold, chic, sophisticated, edgy, classic, feminine unique style you need to:
APPRECIATE YOUR GOOD BODY PARTS, and then maximize the bejesus out of them!
THAT is the secret to great personal style and confidence.

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Size doesn’t matter. Shape doesn’t matter. Age doesn’t matter. ALL that matters is that you focus on the best parts of yourself, appreciate them, and dress them up. I’ve photographed (and done some of the makeup and styling) all these women, so I know for a fact that every woman can look stylish and beautiful outside.

It just takes effort, focus (on what’s amazing about you), and experimenting. Yes, it takes double effort if you’re a mom and your body seems to be a revolving door of weird lumps and bumps. You’ll just have to focus on your great lips, heavenly hips, doe eyes, glossy hair, sleek hands…pick at least 3 body parts that you can dress up and feel amazing about.
Then start experimenting with all the style pieces you’ve always wanted to try. At least TRY THEM ON and then dare yourself wear one.
A bold lipstick color here, a colorful blazer there, dangly earrings this day, high heels with jeans that day, funky statement necklaces with your work wear etc…Whatever your fancy, just try it.
When you’re comfortable with some new pieces combine some and voila, you’re creating your own personal style.

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When you feel the kinda good that makes you strut the sidewalks, and your friends notice how fabulous you look and glow, you’re doing it right. Focus on all the great about yourself and expressing the shiniest version of yourself will become easier. Happy experimenting!

LET'S TALK mom life

Lift your sisters up

September 13, 2017
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Women stupidly inflict guilt on each other. It’s so stupid, and yet so rampant that I need to talk about it. Say for instance, Sofia is a stay-at-home mom, and Solange works at a nice paying corporate gig. They’re both stressed, because really none of those jobs are easy. But in conversation Solange says to Sofia, “you’re so lucky, you get to stay home all day long.” Sofia will probably say something like, “well yes, but it’s hard,”…and then try explain the things the crazy kids (she can’t believe she birthed) do on a regular annoying basis. Solange will then say, “Oh yes, I know, I come home to little Billy every afternoon so I understand.” So then Sofia feels guilty that Solange “does it all”.

WHY??? Why should Sofia care if Solange do it all? Sofia is doing HER. Sofia is living HER life with HER choices. WHY does she have to feel guilty? Working moms also feel guilt when mothers who don’t go to a workplace say, “You have TIME to work too? When do you spend time with your kids?”

This is just a standard scenario, but it comes in so many different forms, and is inflicted by many different women including friends, sisters, mothers and those closest to us. It’s basically, “you’re so lucky because you get to do this while the rest of us are slaving away.” So slave then! Do what YOU want to do with your time and your day. That’s YOUR choice and circumstance. Stop trying to make other women feel bad by comparing yourself to them. You’re not her/them.

I’ve witnessed this in so many forums but when it’s directed towards mothers, it makes me want to barf in the face of the person saying it. And it comes in very sneaky “little” ways. And the person saying it a lot of times feel like they’ve done you a favor. And the person receiving it, doesn’t speak up because they’re busy feeling bad about themselves.

We don’t know other people’s journey or struggles, and even if we do, if we happen to be their friend, we still don’t get to guilt them for not living how we think they ought to live. They get to choose that. And perhaps they’re not happy or satisfied with their current situation. Does it make them feel better that we expound on that? Or perhaps they are totally happy. Which means we are still being judgey and stupid and worse, they don’t care.

So, in conclusion, we’ve all been guilty (see my pun!) of doing this at some point, in some way, but we can choose to lift our fellow sisters up. Don’t compare yourself to them. Don’t try to make them feel bad so they can pity/give you more attention. Don’t try to make them feel bad because you think they should do more/better.
Meet them where they are, see how you can help, and lift them(her) up. And they will probably lift you up too. And even if they don’t lift you up, you’ve done your best to distill some kindness that we all need. If the feeling of kindness is not enough, the unfollow button is a click away.
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mom life STYLE

Stay sparkly my mom friend

June 6, 2017
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So how do you stay sparkly? How do you maintain your inner and outer glow so as to not fade into the abyss of motherhood and all its demands? Because it’s an absolute vortex if you don’t take little breaks. I’ve learnt this the extremely hard way.
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So instead of having to go on time out binges every couple of months, I’ve been figuring out that it’s better to take little (mental health) breaks that are void of  lamenting about the mini squad. Because then it’s just a personal misery break.
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My stay sparkly suggestion is this:

SPOIL YOSELF! TREAT YOSELF! Go Nike and just do it!

Shop, sip a frappacino and people watch at a coffee shop, get your hair did and your body rubbed, laugh and drink with your girls, sneak and watch your favorite shows – Alone. With ice cream. Or wine. Or some amazing carb. (If you love detective shows I love these – http://wp.me/p5C7hM-1aA). If none of these suit you, do something that floats your sparkly, shiny boat!
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Stay sparkly mom friend!

INTERVIEWS

Journey from Olympic hopeful to personal trainer

March 6, 2017
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I go to Marketa’s gym classes, and I’m pretty sure sometimes she’s trying to kill the class…well at least me. I admire her strength, although it’s a tad annoying to watch her look effortless with the exercises while you’re panting for breathe and trying to resist imminent collapse.
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Anyway, I really wanted to know what it felt like to be in her body, and look like an Olympian. The Olympian body part is my personal opinion, but it turns out I’m right, and she WAS working towards going to the Olympics!
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ON THE OLYMPICS
What sport were you hoping to go to the Olympics for?
I was hoping to be on the Handball team for Czech Republic, and then the US team.

Why Handball? Is it like Volleyball?
No. It’s like water polo on the ground. It’s the 2nd or 3rd most famous sport in Europe, except Americans don’t know that.

Why didn’t you go to the Olympics?
Long story short – I was 19 and not a permanent part of the Czech team, and then I moved to the US. I had high hopes of being on the US team but then I got into a life altering accident and my hopes and body were crushed.
What was the accident?
I thrown off the back of a motor cycle. We were going 100miles/hr and I wasn’t wearing a helmet. My face and body were crushed.

Did the driver survive?
No. Just me. I was rushed to the hospital and it took many operations and rehab to get me back to my new normal.

WOW! So it wasn’t your time. And you STILL look like this?
Yes. So I know people can make a come back.
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So after the accident, no more Olympics?
No. That was it for the Olympics. I was 27, and already getting up there in age, and then my body was ruined. I was done. On the upside, I married the guy I was with and had a daughter because of it.

So what sport do you play now?
Now I love tennis. I play doubles.

Ooohh! So you and Serena in a match up then?
Yes! I would love to just be able to return her serves!
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ON BEAUTY
Do you think you’re beautiful?
Yes.

What do you tell your daughter about beauty?
Good question. I do tell her that she’s beautiful but I try not to be shallow about it because she’s heard that she’s beautiful since she was a baby. I tell her that she’s beautiful but don’t count on beauty taking you everywhere. You have to have something to offer and then let the beauty help you and be that extra step. You’ve gotta make sure that you’re smart too.
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What did you hear about beauty when you were growing up?
Not much. But I think this whole boy image has to do with my dad treating my that way.

Like a tomboy?
Yes, and I embraced it. But my sister is kinda struggling with it now…

How?
As in thinking of yourself as not feminine enough when you were growing up. My sister and I were both solid, and strong,  and athletic, but I guess I never thought that athletic could be feminine…even though I think my sister is a lot more feminine than I am.

But athletes can be feminine…
All I had to do was put on a dress. But I think growing up in the sport that we were in(Handball)…I remember I had a team mate who liked to put a skirt on and she was almost made fun of. So it was WE girls who kinda created this environment that… you were almost expected to be this tomboy jeans girl…and always makeup…but dressed in jeans and a baggy t-shirt.

You wore makeup? But makeup is feminine…?
Yes, we always wore makeup. It’s not that we weren’t women or girls, because we were very boy crazy and the whole deal. But I think for women in sports they embrace their style differently. Basketball players wear longer pants and they don’t want to be in short shorts, where as volleyball players are sexy as heck. It’s just their style. It’s not that handball players didn’t want to be sexy, or have the body to be sexy, but we had a certain image…sort of…and who created the image…I don’t know…but I think that shaped me.
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So where’s your sister’s struggle then?
She embraced “I’m gonna put on a dress” way before I did, but I think it’s the feminine part of the whole thing that’s a learning process. I had my first handbag at 26, and my first pair of boots at 35.

Wow! And dresses?
I’m still not a dress girl, but I do have my tennis skirts!
Which you’ll challenge Serena in!

You’re really into chokers. You even wear them to work out.
I don’t really like chokers, but I have a scar on my neck from the accident and the choker hides it. Plus, I have a long neck…

ON FITNESS
What should we be doing to get to our fitness goals?
I would say that 99% of people that I deal with, including myself, can do so much more than they think they can. I find very few people that I can say “you’ve reached your potential”.

So we can all be doing more…so that’s why you try to kill people on Fridays? (The class is a HIIT class with boxing elements)
LOL! Do I?
Yes, and yet people keep coming.
The Friday class is good because you work out hard, yet it’s fun. I put a lot of time into the music because it makes a huge difference, and adds energy. If you’re bored you tend to think you can’t do it and you don’t push yourself.
Yep, the music makes a huge difference, especially with the lose of breathing thing!

Lastly, your butt. You should do a whole instagram feed dedicated to it!
LOL! No.
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INTERVIEWS mom life

She’s a fiction writer, with the kids, and the mom life

February 14, 2017
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Ever wanted to be a fiction writer but you’ve got the kids and the mom life? Jill can offer some inspiration. She’s writing a novel and she has 2 young kids.

A brief history: Jill and I are gym-quaintances. We trade “the kids are sick this week, my body aches, I think the instructor is trying to kill us” and other mommy war stories. We got to talking about style, which lead to lunch, which lead to conversation about how she’s a fiction writer and currently writing a novel. Which then led to conversation about the style battles she’s having with her 8 year old daughter.

Coincidently, we chatted at a restaurant that’s also a book store. How apt right?!
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ON BEING A WRITER
You’re writing a fiction novel? Cool! What’s that like?
Well I’ve been writing if for awhile now but it’s been a start and stop process with young kids. I started when my youngest daughter was 2, and now she’s 7. Now I’m focused on getting it done. I write everyday, even if what I write might not end up in the final copy.

Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes. I used to write stories when I was little and hide them under the bed. I thought about it all the time.

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