12.22.2014

Christmas Memories


Decorating our family Christmas tree is the one part of Christmas that makes me laugh and cry simultaneously. You see, our tree is decorated with ornaments (some handmade and some from the stores) that chronicle my families life together. The handmade ornaments were created by my sons hands when they were toddlers and home with me, while some were made when they were in elementary school. As time marched on, and their little fingers grew and were no longer crafting, my family began the tradition of selecting ornaments that best represented our son's life for that year. We have ornaments that represent musical instruments, football, airplanes, artist palettes...you name it. It is quite an adventure for us to journey out after Thanksgiving to find our annual ornaments. But what a joy it is when we find the perfect ones!

This Christmas season, my oldest son, who will be leaving for college come fall 2015 said, "Mom, this Christmas, I want us to do all the things we did as kids because this is my last year as being a kid." I smiled and then I got teary eyed. So yes, this Christmas has been filled with us reliving the activities we enjoyed when our boys were much younger, and the experience has truly been a blast. As we sit fire-side playing family board games and watching Polar Express for the umpteenth time, my spirit is filled with so much joy because I know that my family is creating Christmas memories that our children will carry with them for a lifetime {wink}

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday to you!

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Photograph by Glenda

 





12.17.2014

Peppermint Shower

*This is not a sponsored post, but my own personal experience*

Monday morning, after taking photos for Valuable (which also happened to be my 200th post) and then working out, my body decided to remind me that it's no longer the age it once was. After my invigorating workout, I reached across the table to grab some honey for my morning cup of tea and then...OUCH - I pulled a muscle in my back. The pain was so bad that it gave me an aching headache as well. What I thought was going to be an enjoyable day with my husband, shopping for Christmas and having lunch, turned out to be an excruciating day in bed with a heating pad on my back. I spent the next two days in bed, barely able to sleep or move about with my daily activities.

What's a woman to do when she finds herself in a painful situation? She sends her hubby to the organic grocery store to purchase Aura Cacia's Aromatherapy Shower Tablets. If I haven't shared with you, the organic grocery stores are my favorite places to peruse. I absolutely LOVE the beauty department! Just the scent of the products alone evokes thoughts of days at my favorite spa. The aromas are fresh and herbal, and not at all like the man-made scents that I often dodge in the perfume section in department stores...scents that often give me a migraine.

Since the pulled muscle gave me an awful headache, the peppermint tablets were exactly what the doctor ordered. The back of the box reads: 'Now you can enjoy the luxurious aromatic escape of a bath with the convenience of a shower. These unique effervescent tables will fill the air around you with the delightful aroma of peppermint essential oil - proven to revive your mind, body and spirit.



Yes, the box description is the absolute truth. The experience made me feel as if my pores were being penetrated with the glorious tingly scent of peppermint. Once I exited the shower, my head felt much better. I wrapped myself in my cozy jammies, made myself a cup of tea and crawled back into bed. Sometimes I wonder if when we have to stay in bed for a few days, is it often for our own benefit to nurture thyself completely. I believe this is true, and I took the opportunity to do so. My peppermint shower made me feel revived{wink}

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 All Photographs by Glenda

12.15.2014

Valuable

Lately, I've been speaking to my sons a great deal about knowing their value, or what some would refer to as knowing your worth. A few days before we headed up the coast on our annual trek to Solvang, California, I sat down with them and told them how I grew up not knowing my worth, and that it wasn't until recently, that I discovered what makes Glenda valuable. I told them the pitfalls of not knowing what made me special or unique, and that if you don't get in touch with these very important attributes, others will place a value on you. Unfortunately, the value that others force upon you may be far less than your true worth and could be detrimental to your well-being. For myself, not knowing what made me unique, caused me to succumb to a hurtful past, and to just settle without really striving to reach my goals. I never felt like I was worth anything special.

My instructions to my sons were simple. I asked them to think about themselves...to dig deep and write down what makes them special, unique. "What is your value?" Then I told them that while we're on our drive to Solvang, I would ask them again, and this time, I want them to tell me what they have written down and why. As instructed, as we took our family drive, I asked my sons the question they had been waiting for. I was so proud to hear them read their list of attributes along with the reasons why they selected them. When we returned from our trip. I gathered their lists and created a wall-hanging that now proudly hangs in their individual bedrooms so that they can be reminded of what makes them valuable.

For today, as I reflect back on this special assignment, I think back on my own journey of discovering my own self worth. Many of you took that journey with me, and it was your kindhearted comments that cleared the way for me to see who Glenda truly is. She is so much more than a woman who adores fashion. She is a woman who looks to her future with anticipation; a woman who wants to blaze a trail for others to feel their very best about themselves; a woman who can look introspectively at herself and smile; she is a woman who knows that her life is full of amazing wonders. Glenda is a woman who is turning her wounds into wisdom!


Today's look represents my attributes and makes me feel wonderful. A crisp white shirt to show I mean business; a flirty and fun skirt that makes me feel free; my boots that carry me through the brush while I blaze trails; and gold accessories that remind me just how valuable this self knowledge truly is to have.


   
 





Now, with my head held high, I can conquer this world with all the confidence needed. Knowing your value is worth the weight in gold. So I ask you my dear friends, "Do you know what makes you special and unique?" "What makes you valuable?"{wink}

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All Photographs by Freddy Harrison

12.11.2014

Silver Slippers

It has been one of those crazy kind of weeks where you barely have time to breathe. My husband's occupation always keeps him on overdrive during the holiday season, so, I've been left to fend for myself in the parent department. My older son, who is a well-decorated saxophonist has many school activities which cause us to spend our evenings on his campus...and then there is my youngest son who is also engaged in school functions. Because of my hectic schedule, after Monday's blog post on Conscientious Blogging, I haven't had much time to focus on So What to Twenty. So today, I'm just stopping by to show you an outfit that I put together to celebrate the newest addition to my shoe wardrobe. 

I had been searching for months for a great pair of silver shoes. I finally found a pair on eBay...it was love at first sight. If you haven't noticed, silver is my all-time favorite metal. In my opinion, it evokes thoughts of a carefree lifestyle, easy, breezy, lightweight, airy, cool...you get the picture. Yes, there are many silver shoe options available to us, but I was searching for a heel that wasn't too high, and believe it or not, I didn't want a sandal. One night while laying in bed, I scrolled through eBay and found this perfect pair by White House/Black Market for...drum roll please...$15! Can you believe that? The original price was $125. What an incredible deal! Midway through my week I received a knock at my door from a very pleasant UPS driver who handed the package to me. What a wonderful surprise in the midst of all the chaos.


Today's Look - Amira Silver Metallic Shoe: White House/Black Market via eBay; Accordion Pleated Silver Metallic Skirt from Talbot's via eBay (still available); Sweater: Zara (old); Coat: Vera Wang for Kohl's (very old); Scarf: Zara (very old), Clutch: Juicy Couture via eBay



 


The day my silver shoes arrived, I was headed out the door to pickup my sons from their schools. I had on a pair of sneakers, but when the carrier handed me the package, I ripped off the wrapping, opened the box, cracked a huge grin, and immediately pulled off the sneakers and replaced them with my new silver slippers. I felt like Cinderella when her fairy godmother arrived to dress her for the ball, accept my fairy godmother was the UPS driver (smile). Suddenly, in the middle of all the busyness of life, by dawning my slippers, I felt like a new woman. It's amazing what a new pair of shoes can do for ones spirit{wink} 

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All Photographs by Freddy Harrison

12.08.2014

Conscientious Blogging

Conscientious:
Controlled by or done according to one's inner sense of what is right.


Lately I've been mulling over the idea of bloggers being more conscientious. Conscientious about what, you ask. My friend, Elle, from My Daily Costume recently touched on subjects that weighed on her heart in a post called, The Case for Buying Quality Clothing and a Little Bit of Fir. Many of you probably already know of Elle. She is a petite, fashion dynamo from New York who greatly inspires me because of her innate ability to mix & match vintage and modern pieces to create an eclectic ensemble that is reminiscent of Carrie Bradshaw (ala Sex and the City) and quintessential Elle. After reading her latest post, I felt further compelled to delve into a subject that's been on my heart...Over-spending.

Like most writers, I spend a great deal of time reading articles, books, blogs and watching videos from others. I appreciate persons who bring an interesting spin on the idea of fashion and style. The idea of simply stuffing my closet with the latest find just isn't all that appealing to me. Yes, I adore fashion, but like I have written in previous posts, I'm more about style, and the two subjects, though they may seem similar, are two entirely different subjects. When a person knows who they are - they know their style, and thus, will not find it necessary to run out and buy the latest big thing. Cornel West best sums-up the meaning of style in an interview he did with Prepidemic Magazine. West states, "Style has to do with the ways in which you're able to orient your critical intelligence, your spirituality, and your sense of character."

So I wonder and I ponder the idea of taunting the idea of purchase, purchase, purchase, spend, spend, spend, buy, buy, buy. Is this truly what fashion is all about? Is there more to the subject? As I sat and watched a YouTube video from a very popular blogger with legions of followers, I listened while she gave her latest video haul which showed all her latest purchases. When the video concluded, I wondered how many women would rush out to buy these items just because this particular blogger did. How many women, who really don't have the same fashion style as this blogger, or worst yet, the money to purchase these items will fork out the dough and continue to stuff their already too tight closets with more? I felt perplexed and saddened by this example. So I ask you, my dear readers, Do you think bloggers should be more responsible or conscientious when in comes to their content? Should we take on the responsibility of consumer awareness and accountability? Is it necessary for bloggers to jump on the over-indulgence bandwagon and buy the latest in order to stay relevant?


For today's look I've decided to wear clothing that I've had in my closet for years. Nothing is new and if you've been following me for some time, then you have seen this pieces mixed and matched with many other pieces in my wardrobe. To be perfectly honest, I don't shop mainstream that much. I enjoy the idea of recycling finer goods. I adore vintage and consignment shopping the most. And like Elle, I prefer to invest my money on quality pieces that will stand the test of time, rather than buying garments that are cheaply made and wear out after a few wears and washings.

Today's Look: Sweater purchased over 10 years ago, Jeans purchased about 7 years ago, Shoes purchased about 6 years ago, Disney watch purchased over 16 years ago. In this look you'll notice that I'm wearing my cuffs up and down. I did this because midway through the photo shoot I decided that I liked the look down.


   


So I ask again...
Do you think bloggers should be more responsible or conscientious when in comes to their content? Should we take on the responsibility of consumer awareness and accountability? Is it necessary for bloggers to jump on the over-indulgence bandwagon and buy the latest in order to stay relevant?
Let me sum this post up by saying, If style is how we project who we are, then how we dress, or fashion, is simply a small piece of that projection. Though what we're wearing is a part of first impressions, once we get past the outer layer, their must be substance. Let's talk about this. I can't wait to read your feedback{wink}

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All Photographs by Freddy Harrison



12.03.2014

Let's Chill

Well friends, it has happened...California has finally, after an entire year, had a change in weather. We have gone from our average of 80 degrees to cloudy, rainy weather that made me make a made dash to the store to buy a warm scarf and cap. And though the temperatures hover in the low 60s by day and the very chilly 40s by night, for Californians, this type of weather is pretty darn cold.


Since life goes on when the weather report calls for rain, for today, I have chosen an outfit that rolls with the punches. A soft sweater that's just the right weight, faux leather moto pants, ankle boots and cozy accessories - an ensemble that keeps me warm but also gives me that let's chill vibe.

Today's Look - Diane Gilman Sweater with Chiffon Ruffle (Courtesy of Diane Gilman), Moto Pants: Zara (old. Options on eBay), Plaid Scarf: Loft, Knit Cap: H&M; Ankle Strap Boots: Loft

Thank you to Diane Gilman for sending me this incredibly soft sweater. I'm wearing a regular medium and it is quite big for me (notice the area around my wrist). I typically wear petite sizes. Depending on how roomy you want the sweater to fit, you may want to consider ordering a size down if you are petite.




 

I am a true California girl who absolutely loves the warm sunshine, however, this cool, rainy weather has been a nice change of pace. I'm enjoying sitting at my desk while sipping vanilla tea with the sound of rain encompassing me. The sounds of raindrops are calling my name, and they are saying - Let's Chill{wink}

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12.01.2014

Masterpiece

Masterpiece: 
a work done with extraordinary skill; especially :  a supreme intellectual or artistic achievement 

Since my days in college, where I had to study art history and the evolution of apparel, one of my favorite forms of escape has been to visit an art museum to take a guided tour by tape. This adventure is not only a cognitive experience, but therapeutic as well. At my own pace, I enjoy moving along the galleries while taking in the wealth of information that my personal curator verbalizes directly into my ear. At the end of my artistic escapade, I take great pride in knowing that I have learned what it takes to create a masterpiece.

As we all know, there are many genres which have classified works as masterpieces - literary, music, visual artwork, dance interpretations, and yes - fashion. As I delved deeper into the idea of a masterpiece, my initial thought was, "Isn't the idea of a masterpiece subjective?" While one person may lose themselves completely in a work, another may find the piece to be simply - average. And though in our modern day, certain works have been deemed as masterpieces, while listening to the taped tours, I learned that in many instances, an artist was unsure with a particular work and would make several changes. It was often quite rare for an artist to have a vision, stick to it, and complete it without any adjustments. 

For today's look, I am wearing a creation courtesy of eShakti, an online store that allows you to create your own masterpiece by ordering garments that have been customized to your height, size, and style. In many cases, you can adjust the sleeves, fabrication and other details to your taste. For myself, I gave them my height and size, and within a few short days, my lovely, new creation arrived. I selected a piece that was lovely As-Is, and reminded me of a work of art by Claude Monet called Nympheas. A velvet empire waist maxi dress in an artistic print in dark florals of rich, deep tones of purple, turquoise, various shades of blue and green with a touch of bright pink and orange.


Today's Look - Empire Waist Velvet Maxi Dress: Courtesy of eShakti, Mainstay Booties by Nine West via eBay, Brinjal Necklace from Anthropologie (Old, but saw a few on eBay), Sunnies: Loft

For So What to Twenty readers, shop between 11/29/14 and 12/29/14 and receive a 10% discount on your purchase. Use code 'sowhattotwenty'
Please note:
Code has to be entered in the ‘promotional code’ box. It is not case-sensitive. Code can be used any number of times until the validity period. It can be clubbed with any other promotional offer, gift coupon or gift card in the same order unless explicitly specified otherwise in the offer conditions. This discount code is not applicable on clearance / sale, gift cards & overstock categories.Not applicable on previous purchases.

Nympheas by Claude Monet





The dress is lined which gives it a lovely weighted feel but still allows it to have incredible movement.



Bravo to eShakti for allowing their customers to create their own individual masterpieces. In a world of mass production that leaves little to the creativity spirit, it's a nice change of pace to wear something that is your own work of art{wink}

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All Photographs by Freddy Harrison