Friday, January 6, 2012

Fashion: Resolution

Are you a Resolver?  Or Resolutioner?  Or whatever the word is that means you are a person who makes New Year's resolutions?  Well if so, stay tuned this week as I suggest 5 resolutions that I make (and keep) every year (with a twist, of course).

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I resolve to wear color.

Are you guilty of wearing one dominant color?  Is black your thing?  Maybe you are like me and you tend to lean towards "earthy tones" (which is fancy talk for "I wear a lot of browns").  Go look in your closet right now.  Is there one color that dominates (and is it really a color or, as I suspect, a neutral)?

Anyone else think it's time we break out some color? Be bold--be daring!  It's easy to do if you know some color tricks!

Look at the color wheel below.




Okay, so hopefully we all remember that the primary colors are red, blue, and yellow.  Secondary colors (which are made my mixing primary colors) are purple, green, and orange.  Color basics.  Check.

Now, how can you wear color? Here are 5 Easy Tips to wear color.

1. MONOCHROMATIC (A BIG WORD FOR "SAME")
Go with a monochromatic look.  Monochromatic means "one color."  On the color wheel above, find one color--say blue-green. There are roughly 9 levels of blue green. You can mix ANY of these levels and look good.  They go. Trust me.
Rocking a monochromatic look.  Photo Source.

2.  IT'S COMPLIMENTARY 
Wear complimentary colors.  Complementary colors are directly across the wheel from each other: Red/Green, Blue/Orange, Yellow/Purple.  Mix and match complimentary colors.  They go.  If you don't want to be too bold (like if you want to wear blue and orange but don't want to look like a Denver Broncos fan, move in on the color wheel.  Wear peach and cornmeal blue.  It works.)
So NOT a Bronco fan look!  Photo Source

3.  OF PRIMARY IMPORTANCE
Wear primary colors.  These are bold and look great together.  However, make sure you wear only 1-2 of the colors dominantly and one of the colors as a highlight or else you'll look like a clown.  For example, wear blue-jean shorts with a red top and a yellow belt or bracelet or a yellow dress with navy shoes and a red bag.  Another option is to wear softer versions of these colors: blue jeans, light blue top, maroon jewelry ...
A fellow 30/30er rocking the primaries.  Photo Source

4.  ONE BOLD MOVE
If you must wear neutrals, make your neutrals pop!  Brown, gray, black and white are generally regarded as neutrals (though really gray is the "real" neutral).  You can pretty much make anything look hot with neutrals.  If you must wear a brown tank top and khaki capris, make it pop with an eggplant purple woven scarf and yellow shoes.  Add a dash of color with an accessory--it'll add some flare.  (Click this link to The Joy of Fashion for a brief tutorial on how to wear a pop of color!)
Photo Source

5.  MIXED BAG


Really mixing patterns has nothing to do with wearing color but I threw it in here because if you really want to wear neutrals, a nice way to do it is to mix patterns.  Mixing patterns within the same color family really makes an outfit stand out.  Just make sure you read "the rules" so you don't end up looking like a sad 70's sitcom neighbor.
Mixing patterns adds so much drama here you might not even notice the solid neutral color scheme.  Photo Source


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Things I Love: Resolution

Are you a Resolver?  Or Resolutioner?  Or whatever the word is that means you are a person who makes New Year's resolutions?  Well if so, stay tuned this week as I suggest 5 resolutions that I make (and keep) every year (with a twist, of course).

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I resolve to read more books this year.

I love to read.  LOVE IT!  And yet, I rarely find time to do it.  Of course I'm reading constantly--newspapers, recipes, Guess How Much I Love You, e-mails, blogs, school work ... but I'm rarely reading what I WANT to read--a book of my choosing.

So this year, I resolve to read more books.  Of course this means reading only my favorite blogs.  Of course this means turning off my TV and picking up my book.  Of course this means not playing on my iPhone.  

The benefits of reading are far-reaching. I will reap the benefits this year.  My goal is to read 30 books (actual books of my choosing on top of school work and the aforementioned gunk) this year.  (I'll be documenting these books as I go so you are technically my reading accountability partner).

Tersea's Reading Corner is my go-to blog for book reviews, etc., and she has reading challenges posted. If you want a reading challenge for 2012, consider:

  • Reading the 100 most famous books this year (and probably next).
  • Reading 5 books that have to have specific words in the title (this year it's a celestial theme so words in titles must include star, moon, etc.).  
  • Doing an audio-book challenge (if you hate to read or commute).  
  • Setting a book number goal (like me) or a genre.  
  • Doing a reading challenge with children's books (my children and I are going to read 300 different children's books in 2012)

Read about potential challenges here and then leave me a comment telling me what your reading resolution is this year.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What I Think About: Resolution

Are you a Resolver?  Or Resolutioner?  Or whatever the word is that means you are a person who makes New Year's resolutions?  Well if so, stay tuned this week as I suggest 5 resolutions that I make (and keep) every year (with a twist, of course).

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I resolve to date my significant other.

Matt and I have been together for twelve years.

It was just the two of us (well, and two slightly dysfunctional dogs we played "house" with) for six years.  In that time we were given to weekend trips to New York, moving to Vegas for the summer, and recklessly wasting time and resources dining out, going to the movies, and sleeping in until ten.

My how things have changed since we had children!  Most of the changes have been good but a few times I've looked at my husband and tried to remember the husband he was before he became a father.
Let me say that no man has been or will be as great of a father as Matt is (I expect you to disagree so we'll just agree to disagree).  He plays with our children, changes diapers, makes toys, plays dress-up, cooks, carries, cleans vomit ... He is not of of those men who comes home from a long day at work and is "done" for the day. He finishes his day when I finish mine, and sometimes later.

Though I love and admire the father in him, I also yearn for the Matt who wasn't a dad--fearless, reckless, spontaneous, dangerous, carefree.  Deep down he still is all those things but the daily routine grinds him down.  What I realized in December of 2009 is that he felt the same way about me. And what we learned was that the key to igniting the pre-parent passions we had for each other was within our grasp.

What follows is an excerpt from an e-mail Matt sent to me on December 1, 2009 in preparation for our anniversary.
I tell you all the time that you are beautiful, and I tell you often that you are a wonderful mother.  What I don’t tell you all the time is that you are so mysterious…and I love that about you.  Though you tell yourself and others that you like to plan, play things safe and keep control at all times, one of the mysteries of you is that those things are not entirely true.  Even though you would never admit to it, I have come to realize your secret affinity for adventure and more importantly… spontaneity.
One of the things I committed to you nearly seven years ago was that I would make you happy.  And while I know that you are happy in a general sense, it bothers me that we so easily get bogged down in the routineness of being married, of being parents and of life tasks.  Every time I have asked you in the past three months about your happiness and what about life is causing you stress, it is the daily reality that is grindingly numbing.  You are so tough.  You raise our children with excellence, you care for your family and you are a wonderful friend.  But deep down, I know that a little adventure….a little romance…..a little passion and a little spontaneity just might create an opportunity for us.
Every day from now until our anniversary, I am going to present you with at least one opportunity to do something completely spontaneous.  There is no pressure on your part to accept each opportunity.  Some will be more adventurous than others.  Some may even stretch your comfort level.  But deep down I know there is an inner Bond girl dying to escape…
Thus was born the Legacy Parkway Spy School.  For the next twenty days Matt sent me on wild goose chases taking secret photos of him, creating movies, practicing "Unagi" (we love Friends), and learning how to box. These games, these spontaneous "assignments" were nothing more than little thoughts meant to brighten my day by reminding me that before I was a mom, I was a sexy, confident woman and still could be.

When I share this with friends I always get comments like "I wish my husband would do stuff like that."  All I can say is this, DO IT FIRST! 
  • Date your husband. 
  • Wow him. 
  • Remind him that he is a sexy and confident man.
  • Remind him that before he was your children's father, he was your lover.  
If you'd like to send your husband to the "Bond Spy School for Hot Dads" click here for ideas.  For other ideas, click the "date ideas" link on the left side of this blog.  Of course, The Dating Divas website has plenty of ideas too.  There's really no excuse not to date your significant other so this year, RESOLVE to plan and date your spouse at least once a month.
Thank you to Shell at Things I Can't Say for letting me vent my sometimes depressing thoughts.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Days of Play: Resolution

Are you a Resolver?  Or Resolutioner?  Or whatever the word is that means you are a person who makes New Year's resolutions?  Well if so, stay tuned this week as I suggest 5 resolutions that I make (and keep) every year (with a twist, of course).

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I resolve to actively engage in intentional 
play with my children.

Playing can be fun.  But let's face it, playing with kids isn't always fun--not when you have to do lists to cross off, dinner to make, and volcano-sized piles of laundry to tackle before they explode and bury your family Vesuvius style. 

But your children need your time.  Yes, they need your random "let's play hide and seek seven minutes before bed time" time but they also need your QUALITY and QUANTITY time.  They need to know you planned something special for them.  They need to know you are sacrificing other "things" to spend time with them.  

So while I encourage you to find the time to play with your kids a little bit every day--coloring, making dinner together, etc., challenge yourself to plan ONE event a week with your kids that requires you to think about them and spend time with them very intentionally {kinda like how you should date your partner}.  

Consider a weekly family night, art project, science exploration, physical activity, or food-based fun. <--click those links for ideas or click "PLAYTIME" on the left side of this blog for more ideas.

Play with your children.  Intentionally.  When they are adults, they will thank you (like I thanked my parents!).

Monday, January 2, 2012

Music Monday: Resolution

Are you a Resolver?  Or Resolutioner?  Or whatever the word is that means you are a person who makes New Year's resolutions?  Well if so, stay tuned this week as I suggest 5 resolutions that I make (and keep) every year (with a twist, of course).

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I resolve to expand my musical tastes.

It should come as no surprise that I love music (mainly because I blather on about this fact weekly).  What I love most about music is how many different sound options and genres there are.  When I find a band that fits with a particular "mood," I'm ecstatic!  Since I have around 8,923 moods, there needs to be a lot of bands.  And a lot of genres.

This year, find some new bands.  Listen to Pandora to find a new sound.  Find an album you love in iTunes and scroll down to see what else listeners "bought."  Check through old issues of Monday Music to see if there's something there you didn't think you'd like but you actually love.  Or simply listen to these five songs and learn to love these five bands.

The Airborne Toxic Event (my absolute fave American Indie Rock band which is why I post about them four times a year).



In other news, did you notice how the drummer is Chester the Cheeta's doppleganger.  So awesome!

The Epilogues (a unique alt-indie sound)





Rooney (this is what I consider acceptable pop music)



Sick Puppies {Explicit} (Heavy rock with hot female bass player. Kill me now! So good live!)



Sia (Folk made fabulous {without Mumford and Sons})