Friday, February 27, 2015

It's Friday, Love


{ Loving my monthly Birchbox samples }

Pretty good week to report. The band got together and listened to the first cuts for our new album. It was pretty special. Made me think about how this all started out as a little idea two years ago, come Spring. Can't believe where we are now. Fun couple days in DC for work, but sad I missed another fun Richmond snow day. Kept up with everyone's shannigans on Facebook though.

Trying to keep busy. Trying to tell myself right now it's best case scenario. Be happy. Spring will be here soon. Hopefully something might bloom from beneath the snow.

{ Flipping through a new cookbook and can't wait to try something fabulous }

{ Bulbs that I got as an Xmas present are blooming beautifully }

{ A smart person would put up weather stripping, but I don't know how to do that so I used trash bags to keep the cold air out }

{ Listening to our tracks for edits and changes we want to make }

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Grey Area



By the picture above you thought this post was about paint samples didn't you? Well, it is in a way. I'll get there. What its actually about is how wildly different we all react to things. In this case, the book/movie 50 Shades of Grey.

First of all, I'll tell you I haven't formulated my final opinion. I had a certain reaction when I read the book, but I had a different one when I saw the movie. Trying to reconcile the two as we speak, or more to the point as I type. Why write a blog post about it then? I want it to be fresh in my mind and I find the longer I wait to write about something the more energy the idea looses. Strike while the iron, or in this case riding crop, is hot, eh?

While I sort out my thoughts, it seems others have loads to say on the topic. I posted on Facebook that I was simply at the movie and a couple people commented with their opinion about the book and that it amounted to stalking and rape. That seems like a good place to start, because the diametrically opposed opinions I've heard are what made me want to explore this in the first place.

In no particular order those opinions have included the following.....
  • Put a romantic sheen on it if you will, but the relationship the book depicts is controlling and borders on criminal stalking.
  • God that man is sexy.....
  • If a woman was the Dominant we would be applauding this book.
  • My husband hit me for 10 years before I left. We didn't have safe words like "yellow" or "red" when I'd had enough, so excuse me if I get pissed off when people say this woman is battered. A consensual sexual relationship, no matter your opinion of it, is not the same as what I went through. 
  • It's sooooooooo poooooorly written. I haven't read it though.
  • Why does everyone think this is so dirty? I've read way dirtier stuff. 
  • I don't particularly want people to judge my sex life, so I'm not going to judge theirs.
  • I love the intensity of their feelings for each other and their willingness to explore what pleases their partner. Even if they decide not to do it in the future, they explore and decide that together.
  • Sometimes I don't want to read Shakespeare, I just want to read something fun and then let my husband benefit.
  • That kind of sex isn't normal. 
What's also interesting to me is why this book, of all books, took off like it did in America. Our little corner of the world has had a healthy romance and erotic novel business for decades. Based on the opinions I've heard from people who loved it,  I think they responded the way they did because of two things.

1. They talk about it before they do it. Women, as a whole, are verbal creatures. In the book they talk about what they're going to do, how they're going to do it and why it turns them on, sometimes, ad nauseum. I know there's a contract to work out, but let's get to it already!

2. He makes his intentions absolutely clear. This piggybacks off #1 but I gave it it's own number because..... Sometimes women find themselves with a track record of men who are never clear about how they feel, what they want and, subsequently, where you stand. He leaves her in no doubt of exactly what he wants and that what he wants is her. There is no guess-work, there is no game.

Then there's the people who hated it. Some who have read it and some who haven't. They seem to feel just as strongly as the ones who loved it. Some of their opinions seem to be based on the literary merits, some on personal experience and some on professional. This is where I should insert some stroke of genius and be able to discern why these reactions are so different, but honestly I can't. That's where the paint samples come in.

Good or bad, grey/black/or white, we are all different and we respond to people, relationships and sex like we do to paint colors. Sometimes their isn't any rhyme or reason you just see a shade of grey and if you can't paint your living room that color right now you feel like you're going to die. You know I'm not actually talking about paint colors right?:).

No matter how you feel about the book I think it has moved the needle on a couple things. I think it has encouraged a dialogue where women can be more open about what they like sexually. I also think that maybe it's helped some women identify things they did feel were controlling in past relationships. Hopefully, by also talking about that side of the coin, they don't repeat those patterns in the future.

But as I've typed I've still ended up with more questions than answers.....

Where is the line between what shade of grey you should like? Which grey is healthy and which is unhealthy? Which shade of grey turns you on? Which shade of grey helps you explore what you like sexually? Which shade of grey is abusive? Who are you to tell someone else they like the wrong shade of grey? What shade of grey are you?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Weeeeee!!!!!!!



Here's a few pics from our recent snow day in Libby Hill Park! No work + being unable to drive anywhere + snow = an infectious feeling that turns everyone into a 7 year-old. Unfortunately, as I didn't have a sled of my own and stealing one from a kid seemed excessive, I had to settle for watching as others zoomed down the hill. No matter, someone has to take the photos. Enjoy! Weeeeee!!!!!!!
















Friday, February 20, 2015

It's Friday, Love


{ Leaving the twinkle lights from my birthday party up because they make me happy }

It was cold. Then it was crazy windy. Then my power went out. Then we got it back on again. Don't ask. Then Dominion Power turned it off while I wasn't home. Then we got it on again. Then I said a prayer as my house warmed back up again. Then it snowed. A lot. Well, for Richmond. Then I unexpectedly got a couple days off and made the best of it. Then it continued being cold. Then it got even colder. Even the Canadians thought it was cold. The Richmonders contemplated suicide. Oh Winter, how I hate you.

See ya Monday!

{ Snow Day = Turkey Sandwich }

{ Spending hours on hold to try and reschedule my flight to KY was almost as fun as my Father's Funeral }

{ Only the best for my Baked Ziti }

{ This week's tools of the trade }

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Snowy Day



On a snowy day I need something comforting and fabulous to get through the frantic pace that is sitting and doing nothing. I hope you make your own Snowy Day the next time you find yourself with a to-do list that consists of:

1. Sit in front of the fire and dream...

Snowy Day

1 oz Cognac
1 oz Creme de Cacao
2 oz Coffee
1 tsp Bar Sugar
Lemon Twist for Garnish











Monday, February 16, 2015

An American Girl: At Work



I'm excited to launch a brand new series on the blog called, An American Girl. Over the past couple years I've been lucky enough to find a wonderful group of women who have become my friends, and in turn, have served as the inspiration for the series. There is, in my opinion, nothing more beneficial to a woman today than peers who understand what you do professionally, support your growth and provide guidance and empathy when needed.

Over my life I've encountered other types of women as well. Those that compete at unhealthy levels. Those that are so insecure they need company down there in the doldrums, so they try and hammer away at you until you accept the invitation to join them. Those that will come to tire you with their vapid problems and complaints. Those that you will realize are not good for you.

I hope with this series I can share a bit of what I've learned from the latter's insight and experience. Along with posts that highlight their beneficial advice, I'll also be interviewing and sharing profiles of women I admire and hope to learn even more from. Step 1 to aging gracefully and continuing on the road to one day "getting it right", the illuminating realization you don't know everything and you're willing to ask for help. Luckily, I now have several numbers I can dial when I need to.

We're starting today with the place that has consumed my days and nights for the past few months....work. Here's the question I asked our contributors:

"As a woman trying to make her way in the business world, what advice do you wish you had been given?"

  • In work, and in life, you can never be overdressed.
  •  Don't be surprised if women are tougher on you than men. Sometimes it's because they want you to work as hard as they did to get where they are and sometimes it's because they're jealous. Either way, knock it out of the park.
  • Never be afraid to speak up and raise your hand. 
  • Learn to embrace, fully embody and own the word "bitch".
  • The only way to prove yourself is to do the work.
  • It's ok that you don't know, but that you're willing to find out.
  • Never accept a first salary offer.
  • People will test your boundaries. Let them know early on you can be flexible, but you expect respect and compensation. 
  • Work is not the place to find bridesmaids for your wedding.
  • Never say or type the word sorry!
  • Do what you have to do the night before to be prepared the next day. 
  • Some people will tell you that appearance shouldn't matter, but frankly they don't know what they're talking about. If you look like you just got out of Freshman Psych you're never going to be taken seriously. Dress for the job that you want and realize your wardrobe can be a bit like a suit of armour. 
  • Bad things will happen, you will make a mistake....it's how you handle it that will get you ahead. 
  • Find a partner that makes you feel like you're on the same team, not keeping score. 
  • Always be willing to say no.


Friday, February 6, 2015

It's Friday, Love


{ One of the warmest birthdays I can ever remember }
I had a great day on Wednesday. Got to lead advocates from The Lupus Foundation for their advocacy day in Richmond. A very gratifying and humbling way to spend my birthday. Hope the weekend is fun as well. February is already looking crazy busy, so trying to plan ahead and get my ducks in a row. See ya Monday!

{ Super fun DIY with gold glitter spray and fallen branches from the backyard }

{ My boys got me a cake for my bday. Best band mates a girl could ask for }

{ Oh suitcase...how I have NOT missed you. We're about to get reacquainted this month }

{ Adorable birthday card from my Aunt Mary }

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

36




Today is my birthday. I'm 36. I will be 40 in four years. That’s the first thing that this number means to me. Maybe I’m vain, well I know I’m vain, but that’s the truth. A friend who is older gave me the finger when I made a pinched, winy face while saying that the other night. I get it, I get it…..because I give the finger to people (children) who say oh my god I’m going to be 25 this year. Shut up. But as another friend always says….it truly is all relative. Realizing a milestone is close can be scary.

The next thought in my head is, wow, life is pretty damn great right now. These past couple years I’ve come into my own professionally in a way that has made me finally feel like I’m fully practicing the art of what I do. I’m performing again. I’m singing again. That 10 year-old who loved to march on stage and sing her heart out has a voice again. Blogging and taking photos has continued to be fun and creatively full-filling. My house still feels cozy and Miss A is there to keep me company.

I am very grateful and aware of how much I have to be thankful for….

Then there’s the one spot I need help with. I hope everything will work out in the end and that I can trust that whatever happens IS what’s supposed to happen. I keep repeating "patience and strength" over and over again in my head. Sometimes it works and sometimes I'm like screw you God help me out here. Martinis anyone?

The  third thought in my head is what next? I’d love a house with 2 bathrooms and humbly ask God that one of them be on the ground floor. I’d love to take on even larger projects professionally. I’d love to sing a certain duet that I’m practicing. I’d love to take a vacation where I don’t have to check my phone for a week. I’d like to….a couple things I can’t mention on this blog.

I’d like to keep going…..and I hope that every year gets better!

Cheers! 

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Recording



Last week got away from me with a crazy work schedule, but fear not, we find ourselves on Monday with one more chance to get it right.....

So last Wednesday evening I had a bit of a dream come true moment. The band has been trying forever to schedule some time in the studio to record and it finally worked out. One of the best night's of my life so far. I felt like Stevie Nicks. I'm such a dork:). Hope you like the photos. Some are from my camera, some from iphone and the lot. I'll let you know where you can buy our album soon, but in the mean time, check us out live here!














 

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