Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday Fantasies (Wishlist)

And here it is - the annual Superbowl of shopping known as Black Friday. Some of you may have gotten a jump on the action by going to one of the "Early Bird" events at Target or Walmart (though really? Seems a teeny bit excessive to me.) Some of you may be preparing to get out there for the midnight openings of other stores, shopping centers, and websites. Others of you may be tucked in bed already, sleeping off all that turkey and getting in your Z's before getting up at the crack of dawn to get out to some of the early morning sales (Anthropologie, anyone?).

The rest of you may be completely eschewing the human frenzy and planning on sleeping in tomorrow morning and getting up in a leisurely manner. Sales? What sales?

Me? Well...I've made out my list, and I've checked it twice. *Ahem* Does that list resemble the "One for you, One for me" sort? Okay, okay, it's not even that. This list is entirely an "all for me" list, but I've got the gift lists (for other people) too, and will share some of those later. In the meantime, here's what I'm dreaming of:

(You already know I'm a fan as I own one. But I love the black and gray stripes. Can't...resist...)

I love stripes. And I love the Maritime Dress, pretty much in all of its iterations. It's just so comfy and easy to wear. And I have to admit, this particular palette is much more wearable than my other royal-blue-and-white striped version, which you know...makes me feel a little smurfalicious. Just a little.

So that being said, if I run into it this current version in the store tomorrow, I can't guarantee I won't walk on by. And with J. Crew's current promotions (25% off entire purchase online - use code COLOR25 - or in stores/30% off for card members - use code CARDMEMBER), it could be dangerous. That goes for these others too:

1. Teddie Dress (A lovely, super simple, perfect-for-work dress. And that exposed zipper adds a bit of edge that's just right. You'll find me in the green version, should it fit well.)
2. Perfect Shirt in Tartan (I have a friend who owns this shirt and every time she wears it, I feel a frisson of desire - not for her, though she's lovely. For the shirt. I'm excited to see it's returned this winter. If it's in the store, it will be mine.)
3. Double-cloth Greatcoat (There is no call for a coat of this caliber in a San Diego winter. Which may be my saving grace. Because seriously, this coat sings to me.)
4. Frenchie Sweater (sold out online, available in some stores)/Giant Bow Sweater/Heartbreaker Sweater (I am trying really hard to ignore all the absurdly adorable, whimsical sweaters J. Crew is bombarding us with this season. But I'm not quite successful. If any or all of these are in-store, all my best intentions may be entirely overcome.)
5. Collection Everly Calfhair Pumps (Wow. These are I'm going to try and snow myself and remind myself that the Nordstrom's Half-Yearly for Women and Children is coming up next week, and to wait and see if there's anything there that might do instead. But wow. And geez. And wow.)

Then, too, there's Madewell with their 25% off everything promo (use code TREAT at checkout if buying online). Here's what I'm eyeing:

6. Striped Duet Dress (It's green. I love green. And made from a comfy knit. I love that too. Did I mention it's striped?)
7. Rebeca Raney x Madewell Cashmere Sweater (I absolutely have no budget for something like this, but speaking of adorable, whimsical sweaters...!)
8. Silk Flutter Sleeve Top (How much do I love this, especially in the Whisper Pink color???)
9. Transport Tote (in English Saddle, please!)

And of course, there's also my favorite department store, Nordstrom. There aren't any Black Friday specials going on, but I've got my eye on a couple of things there, including:

10. iiiBeca by Joy Gryson Reade Street Tote (I love all the colors, but I think I want Mustard. Or maybe the Ocean? No, the Lime Green with Navy Blue accents...haha, maybe all three? This bag is made of smooth, sturdy leather, is surprisingly light, and will hold my laptop as well as all my other crap miscellaneous items. And 9% of proceeds goes to charity - everyone wins!)
11. TOMS Classic Dot Woolen Slip-on (I bought my first pair of TOMS just a couple months ago, and I have to say, I'm totally smitten. I think these might have to be my second pair...)
12. Caslon Patterned Crewneck (Obviously, fun, whimsical sweaters are a thing because Nordy's has 'em too. I love the yellow one with the gray fox and the green one with the black/green dots across the shoulders. Too cute!)

So, what about you? Are you out there or planning to be out there, braving the Black Friday Frenzy? Or are you shopping from the quiet and comfort of your own computer? And what fun things did you pick up? Do tell!

And as always, thanks for visiting!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Grateful for:

1. Loving families
2. Good friends
3. Beautiful weather (San Diego has a forecast of 71ยบ F, today!)
4. Opportunities (they're everywhere, if your eyes and heart are open to them)
5. Yummy dinners
6. Health
7. A mopped kitchen floor (sometimes, it's the little things)
8. The kindness of strangers
9. Coffee
10. The internet (for making it possible for us to shop today without feeling guilty about leaving family/going into stores where people are working instead of celebrating with their families)
11. Holiday shopping lists (Whoo-hoo, Thanksgiving Sales!)

and you, wonderful and fabulous blog-readers and friends!

We wish you a very happy and bountiful Thanksgiving. 

Carol and Kathryn

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hi, Again! (OOTD)

I've been away for a while. A really long while. According to Blogger, it's been three and a half weeks since my last post, which converts to something like 8.75 months in blogging-years.

My apologies for the long silence.

Shoes: Sole Society 'Katherine' Suede Wedge (similar here and here - if you need a Sole Society account, click here. Non-Sole Society alternatives here and here)

Life has been...busy. Full. Interesting. Kind of awesomely so. Have you ever done that thing where you're looking, seeking, searching for something (your keys, your cell phone, your glasses, your pen, your vocation, stuff like that) and you feel like you've been looking forever and getting more and more frustrated because seriously you need this thing and where the heck is it??? And someone says to you, "What's that in your hand/in your pocket/on your head/tucked behind your ear/all over your conversation+Facebook feed+desktop+brain?" And wow, there it is! And it's been there all along and geez, how did you miss that? You feel both silly and enormously relieved, because finally - finally - you can stop spinning your wheels and get on with your life, now that the missing piece has been found.

Now that you see it clearly, for what it is.

For the past few years, I've been trying to discern my life's vocation. I've been going to conferences, reading books, blogging, journaling, and just talking with friends and loved ones for what feels like a really long time, trying to figure out what it is that I was put on this world to do outside of caring for my family. Unsurprisingly, there were lots of suggestions regarding fashion. But the fact is, while I really love clothes and style and I defend to my last breath the right of smart, accomplished women to enjoy and cultivate their style and fashion as both a creative and expressive outlet without being disparaged for it - it's not what makes me who I am. So when recently, a friend of mine pointed out how passionate I was about a particular subject and asked me if I did any work around it, I suddenly had an enormous epiphany.

It wasn't so much about knowing what I was passionate about - of course I knew what that was.

It was about giving myself permission to acknowledge that this passion isn't just an area of interest. That rather, it is what I'm called to do.

The whole thing rather took my breath away.

I wrote in an earlier post a couple months ago, on the topic of daring greatly. I imagined in that post that "daring greatly" was more of a circumstantial thing - that some crisis or opportunity would arise before us, and in daring greatly, we would stand and meet its challenges, engaging whatever came at us with courage and valor. 

But I didn't quite have it right. What I've realized since then, is that rising to meet conditional, situational, or circumstantial occasions does not constitute the whole truth of "daring greatly." 

To truly dare greatly, we must embody our "enormous, amazing, possible" Selves all the time. Not just sometimes. Every moment, no matter how seemingly trivial should be lived with everything we have and are. There should be no on-off switch for our authentic Selves. 

What this means is that we must acknowledge that we are, nearly always, called to do things that may seem crazy, impossible, or way too big.  

When I say, "nearly always," I'm referring to the fact that most of us, when baldly confronting the reality of our vocations - our callings - whether they are family building, entrepreneurial, community-based, creative, artistic, spiritual, etc., will feel inadequate in some big or small way. This is how I've gone decades - decades - seeking my vocation and being blind to the fact that it's written all over my Consciousness all the time. This is also how in order to accept and embrace it, I have to give myself permission to believe I can and should do this work.

I'm still figuring this out. After all, I've spent the past 36 years of my life cultivating the habit of diminishing myself in small or big ways and unlearning those habits could actually take me longer (though I'm really hoping not!). But I am figuring this out. I'm sharing my process just in case anyone else out there might be struggling with the same issues. 

And also, because the world needs more women - all women, really - to be their greatest, truest, most authentic and powerful Selves all the time. What will that take? And how close are you?