Wednesday, April 25, 2012

30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She's 30

In 1997, Glamour magazine published a story titled "30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She's 30."  Funny how it's still relevant 15 years later.  Thanks Glamour!

By 30, you should have ...
1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.
2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.
3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.
4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.
5. A youth you’re content to move beyond.
6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.
7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age -- and some money set aside to help fund it.
8. An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account -- all of which nobody has access to but you.
9. A résumé that is not even the slightest bit padded.
10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.
12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.
13. The belief that you deserve it.
14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.
15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship, and all those other facets of life that do get better.

By 30, you should know ...
1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.
2. How you feel about having kids.
3. How to quit a job, break up with a man, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
4. When to try harder and when to walk away.
5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.
6. The names of the secretary of state, your great-grandmothers, and the best tailor in town.
7. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.
8. Where to go -- be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a yoga mat -- when your soul needs soothing.
9. That you can’t change the length of your legs, the width of your hips, or the nature of your parents.
10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.
11. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.
12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or not flossing for very long.
13. Who you can trust, who you can’t, and why you shouldn’t take it personally.
14. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.
15. Why they say life begins at 30

I'd also like to add....
31.  You should never waste any time with a man who can't express his feelings and does not value spooning.
32.  If you have to ask someone to change, to tell you they love you, to bring wine to dinner, to call you when they land, you can’t afford to be with them.
33.  Be able to express everything you want to say through clothes.
34.  If you think this list is BS, be able to make your own.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Gold Rush

I love many many beauty trends.  But I usually resort to cat-eyes with bright lipstick or golden-girl look.  And it's mainly because the former is classic and the later is easy and young.  Jennifer Aniston has been rocking the golden-girl look for years now, and she's my perfect muse.

Words of Wisdom

My dad never gave me any words of wisdom (at least none that I would take seriously as he would always offer advice in a not so sober state), so I'm glad I found "What's your favorite piece of advice from your father" article in Real Simple magazine.

"Never be afraid to be silly.  It breaks the ice, smooths over awkward moments, and makes people laugh in the middle of an argument.  And a women is never more beautiful than when she is happy, with a sparkle in her eye."

"Smile.  It makes everybody wonder what you're up to."

"There is no use in two people worrying about the same things."  So you can worry about the medical bill on your desk, and have your husband worry about the flood in the basement.

To create a beautiful combination of spontaneity and precision in your world, combine these two pieces of advice.  "People do not plan to fail; they fail to plan."  "Live by the seat of your pants and enjoy this ride of life with laughter."

"Hanging on to resentment, guilt, grudges, or any negative emotion is destructive to body, mind, and spirit.  Most importantly, it consumes energy better spent on living.  So look for lessons, learn, and let it go."

"Don't look back at the furrow you've plowed."  Meaning, you'll never get ahead in the future if you're focusing on the past.

"Lower your voice whenever you're angry or upset."  One reader explains that this technique helps get her the attention of her husband or her fighting kids.  A low, firm voice keeps your body composed and in control under many stressful situations.

"You won't win in life all the time, but it's the experience that counts."

When it comes to children, "Always let your child know who's in control, but do it with love."  Children are looking to adults for boundaries, and that is what they need to become respectful, responsible adults.

"Know when it's more important to give in than to keep fighting."

One dad gave her brokenhearted daughter this advice, "There are other, better men in the world out there for you."  And he did it without speaking a word; he simply hugged her and held her hand.

"There are three types of people in this world:  people who make things happen, people who watch things happen, and people who wonder what the heck happened."  So always remind yourself which person you want to be.

"There's a big world out there - go live in it."

"Make a decision or someone else will make it for you."

"Stand up for what you believe in until you are proven wrong.  And if you are proven wrong, accept it gracefully."

People can't read your minds, so "You've got to learn to ask for what you need."

"A woman does not need a man to live a full and meaningful life."  So don't be afraid to end unhealthy relationships.

"It's easier to stay out of trouble than get out of trouble."

Ask (Well) And You Shall Receive

I came across this article by Gail Blanke in Real Simple magazine and just had to share it.

It's no surprise that we as women have a hard time asking for what we want.  Whether it's a new job, a raise, a promotion, or change in behavior from friend/spouse/children.  Most of women have a hard time asking for what they want in the bedroom as well, but that's another topic.

So why are we afraid of asking what we want?  We may be afraid of seeming pushy or we may think we're not worthy of what we're asking for.  Or we may think that if we're really good at something, someone will notice and just give us what we want.  Another problem is women simply don't know how to ask.  After all, most of us were taught to wait to be asked, whether it was to dance, go on a date, get married, or even offer our opinion.  It's mind boggling that in 21st century women still have little rights and even though there are a lot of women who hold important posts, we are still looked down upon as inferior sex.  So I think it's time for women to start asking for what they want.  And getting it.

Step 1 - Believe in your request
You have to believe that you're absolutely worthy of having your request granted!  A lot of women are afraid of coming across as arrogant.  If you remember this, you want have to worry about that:  Boldness comes from the strength of your conviction; arrogance comes from a feeling of entitlement.  You know the difference, and that will come across when you make your pitch.

But always make sure your conviction has legs.  Be prepared to follow through and make a success of what you're asking.

Step 2 - Anticipate a positive response
On the whole, we usually get what we expect from people, so your approach is important.  If you approach your request with energy and optimist, if you exude positive anticipation, you immeasurably increase your chances of getting a yes from anyone.  Practice this one by starting out small; ask for samples at the beauty counter, or return that lipstick that you were pressured into buying for $25+.

So how do you positively anticipate something?  For starters, never apologize for asking and beware of your non-verbals, aka your posture, your facial expression and the tone of your voice.  Everything should give your listener the sense that you expect him/her to say yes.  Smiling really helps as well.

Most people can sense your aura.  People are naturally drawn to positive and confident people.  Next time you're at a party notice where the crowd is.  Are people gathered around a person with a frown who constantly has something to complain about?  No, people gather around someone who is confident and fun.  This doesn't mean that you have to memorize 10 jokes and fell the need to entertain everyone, it means that if you exude positivity, people will be drawn to you.  Heck, I can sense a fake bitch just by looking at the picture, and I'm sure you can too, but I digress.

A good example of an optimistic approach is if you're going to an interview, walk in with "you guys are going to love me" attitude.  Attitude alone might not land you that job as you need to show experience, but it least it'll get your half way.  And repeating a positive mantra to yourself can really calm your nerves and help you put on your best show.  A good example is, "I'm glad I'm here.  I'm glad you're here.  I care about you.  I'm in control."  You'd be surprised how many people from presidential candidates to stand-up comedians have a mantra they chant before they hit the stage, so don't feel silly when you say yours.  It really works.

Step 3 - Engage your audience
Consider the point of view of the person you're asking.  What would make life better for him?  What is he out for?  What is his opinion?  Then fashion your request as a means to bring his vision, desires, or viewpoints to life.  When he feels that you "get it" about him, he'll take down his listening barriers and start to hear you.  And that's when you swoop in with your request, almost as if he had asked for it.  This technique almost never fails.

Here's an example.  My co-worker recently got out of a ticket by saying the following, "You're absolutely right officer.  I was speeding.  And I'm disappointed in myself.  I understand how important these speed limits are.  If we all disobeyed them, we would have chaos, if not tragedy."  The policeman nods in agreement.  "And I'll never make this mistake again - that's why I'm asking you not to give me a ticket."  Hey, it may seem a little out there, but what's the worst that could happen if you try?

Step 4 - Give them a chance to say no
What?  Say no?  The first 3 steps were about convincing them to say yes.  Hear me out.  Let's say you've made a pitch to your boss to launch a new initiative for your company.  You're convinced it will go a long way in accomplishing the annual sales objectives and it fits beautifully with the overall strategy your boss has outlined.  But your idea may be bold, different from anything your company has done before, or it requires additional funding.  You can see that your boss is intrigued, but she's wavering, and this is when you describe the benefits and the costs of not acting on your proposal.

"Look," you say.  "We can just keep doing what we're doing.  We won't have to take any risks, we won't spend additional funds, and we won't put ourselves out on a limb."  You look up, smile expectantly, and wait for her to not.  "But," you continue, "the costs of doing nothing are great too.  We would forgo the opportunity to exceed our sales targets this year, we would abandon the chance to learn from trying something new, and we will have settled for doing business as usual."

Seriously, the minute you give someone a sincere change to refuse your proposal, he takes the other side and begins to defend your idea.  That's when you say, "I believe you're right."

Chances are, someone already used this technique on you, you just didn't realize it at the time.  So go ahead and ask for what you want, cause you just might get it.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Marchesa Favorites

Marchesa's collections are always filled with Oscar glam, so it's no surprise that Hollywood A-listers sparkle on Best Dressed lists while wearing one of Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig's designs.

I've come to really adore the brand and one of it's designers, Georgina Chapman. The very talented Georgina is one of the judges on Project Runway All Stars. The designer is so glamorous, yet gives off this down to earth vibes, or maybe it's just her British accent.

The brand has been around for very short 8 years, but has really taken off. These are some of my latest favorites.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Have You Met Prabal?

No, I haven't either, but I would LOVE to!  Prabal Gurung launched his own collection under his name in 2009 and has become a hit with celebrities and fashion insiders alike.  Prabal's Spring RTW is rather simple in terms of color palettes, mostly whites, blacks and blues, yet the stunning shapes definitely make up for the lack of yellows and pinks that are favored this spring.  It's hard to make cutouts classy, yet it seems easy for Prabal.


Fall in love that is with Christian Dior's pre-Fall 2012 collection.  I know, I know it's not even spring yet, so how can we be talking about fall already?  Let me ask you this, when you see these pieces, how can you NOT be taking about them?  I love the simplicity and clean lines with subtle structure that Bill Gaytten at Christian Dior introduced for Fall 2012.  Bill Gaytten, by-the-way, is Galliano's replacement.  Christian Dior fired Galliano after Galliano's antisemitic comments in 2011.

A little side note.  Get quality opaque tights, I recommend Wolford, as they will last forever and will add drama to that dress or skirt.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Jewelry Repair

Another great DIY article from Real Simple magazine showing how to repair a broken necklace or bracelet clasp.

Be Your Own Cobbler

I found this great article in August 2009 Real Simple magazine on how to replace a worn-down heel tip yourself.  What a great way to save $15-$20 in today's economy.

How To Care For Your Shoes

An interview with Edmundo Castillo, who has designed shoe collections for Sergio Rossi and Narciso Rodriguez, as published in the March 2010 Allure magazine.

The only shoes that look pristine for a long time are the ones that stay in your closet.  Here's how to prolong the life of your favorite pair and keep shoes looking their best.

1.  Prepare them. If you plan on doing a lot of walking in the shoes, take them to a cobbler after you buy them and ask him to put a thin layer of rubber on the soles. Most shoe-repair places also sell waterproofing spray for suede and leather. To apply it, hold the can at least six inches away and spray lightly.  Spritzing too close to the shoe can cause spotting and may dry out leather.

2.  Make an effort.  You don't need to store shoes in the dust bags, but that flannel material is perfect for cleaning them.  Once a month, use that cloth to wipe down the shoes with a cream designed to keep leather moist. Leave the cream on for a few minutes, then buff the shoes with a dry cloth. For suede, brush a hard toothbrush or nail brush down the shoe in one direction. (Beware of metal brushes; they can be too abrasive.) A good drycleaner can take care of silk, satin, or other cloth shoes that get dirty.

3.  Take notice. Pay attention to the heel lift, the little piece at the bottom of the heel. If it wears down to the nail, your shoes will be irreparably damaged, so be sure to replace them before that happens.  (Also see "Be Your Own Cobbler" post on how to replace a worn-down heel tip yourself!)

4.  Watch the weather. If you're going to be out in bad weather, wear rubber boots.  Snow and salt will leave a white ring on your shoes, which will eat away at them.  If you get caught in the rain, put your leather shoes in a warm place to dry as soon as you get home-near a heater is fine, just not on it. When your shoes are dry, rub them with conditioning cream and put in shoe trees so they regain their shape. If you must wear heels in the rain, stick to patent leather. The varnish gives an extra layer of protection.

5.  Store them right. A lot of women like to keep their shoes in boxes, but if you don't have that kind of space, organizers that hang on the back of a door work well, too. Just don't pile up shoes on the floor of your closet-any sort of weight on a shoe will deform it. Shoe trees prevent pointy toes from turning upward and help flatten out the creases that develop in leather.  Fabric shoe trees are perfect fir geeks and high0heeled boots, while cedar ones are best for flats; they absorb moisture and odor.