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Fashion by Fiancé

My fiancé dressed me for a week…here’s what happened

by Alix Angelelli

Remember when you were little and your mom would set out your clothes? The perfect little put-together outfit for the school day. I am (and always have been) a slight control freak, so my mom quit doing that around second grade. But recently I’ve given up all control when it comes to my daily outfit choice.

I have given my fiancé… a MAN… complete control over what I wear for a week. He picks my outfit including shoes and accessories. He also gets to make suggestions when it comes to my hair and make-up (if I can accomplish that look). He has a few rules, 1) it has to be work appropriate and 2) he has to consider my day (i.e. if I have lots of running around I can’t be in my most uncomfortable shoes). So here it is a complete diary with photos on his outfit choices.

Day 1: We had a photo op with our Wine, Women and Shoes 2016 Committee, so I made note to opt for a solid color choice. I loved the outfit, it was comfy and put together. I thought it may be too casual for work but it ended up being perfect! I’ll definitely wear it again.

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Day 2: We are both Texas A&M grads, so I was not shocked by his maroon choice for day 2. This dress made me feel flirty and fun and like I can go straight to date night with him. He did a great job at piecing it together and making me feel cute and fun on a Wednesday.

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Day 3: Again he stuck with a dress, but it was patterned and he accessorized it a little more. I was really surprised with this whole outfit. He generally sticks with solids and doesn’t step outside of the box with patterns and materials (even in his own daily wear). But he brought it all together.

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Day 4: It was Friday at work, which means “casual wear.” I can say this is not my favorite of his choices. I mean it wasn’t bad, but it also was blah. He meant well…keeping it chill and loose and putting me in jeans. But I wanted something more.

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Day 5: All the Monday feels were gone when I slipped this on. He made me feel like I am ready for a night out in a coastal town. I feel put together. I feel confident. I feel like summer. I also enjoyed the natural hair recommendation… keeping together the beach babe vibe.

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Overall, I loved this experiment. Even on the days when I felt that he was not putting the time and effort into choosing my outfit for the day, he actually was. As a woman I often struggle seeing my own beauty and self worth. These past few days really allowed me to embrace every part of myself. Seeing what he loves and thinks is beautiful about me helped me see strengths and beauties within myself. What we should all keep in mind is that each one of us is beautiful inside and out, and this experiment opened my own eyes to that!

Daily Gratitude

“When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.” -Buddha 


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Recently my roommate, Emilie, went out of town for the week, and while she didn’t bring me back any souvenirs from El Paso, TX, she did bring back some great ideas. One of my favorite things about Em is that she is a wealth of information and inspiration. Our talks can go from last night’s episode of The Bachelor to how grateful we are for our families and the opportunities we’ve been given. Em brought back a new daily habit that has thankfully rubbed off on me, and I wanted to share it!

Every night before I go to sleep, I reflect on my day. There’s a great app called Notes to Self that gives you a layout and checklist of what to look back on, but I’m old school and like to journal. The goal is to write 3 things you’re grateful for, one reflection of good in your day, and one act of kindness you performed.

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These things don’t have to be life changing. The goal is to realize that there’s always something to be grateful for…we just often overlook it. Whether you spilled coffee all over your dress (speaking from personal experience), sat in bumper to bumper traffic, or just had a really bad day, make a point to find the good.

As an example, I’m sharing my reflection from yesterday. I hope this gives you some inspiration and a starting point! To really commit to this, pick an app or buy a new journal and dedicate a specific time every day for reflection. Spending just a few minutes focusing on the positive will remind you what makes you happy and help you develop patterns to repeat those actions every day.


My reflection: “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25

My random act of kindness: Texting Sam, my (not-so-little) little brother, and wishing him a happy first day back to school

Three things I’m grateful for: 1) late night decorating with my roommate, 2) people who feel close even when they’re far away, 3) coworkers who make me laugh

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The Other Me

by Emilie Harris, guest blogger

Last year I read a book called The Other Wes Moore. The book is an autobiography written by a Rhodes Scholar who was reading the paper one day and stumbled across his name. The article he was reading was written about a man serving a life sentence for murder who happened to also be named Wes Moore. The more Wes read about the other Wes Moore, the more he wondered why his life had taken such a different turn. How had he become successful and the other Wes Moore had been reduced to a single jail cell? The book is fascinating and I highly recommend it – learn more about it here.

The book resonated with me mostly because I have the same name as a lot of people – Emilie. And as I read it I began to wonder about all the people I could have turned out to be. Mostly, I can tell you. I can tell you that growing up I wanted to be a heartless businesswoman in the middle of a Los Angeles high-rise. In high school the only thing I wanted worse than to get out of Waco, Texas was to disappear completely. In college I wanted to be the President of my sorority – the girl with all the answers.

Before he died, John Lennon told a story about himself as a child. It goes like this: “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

In the end, my other Wes Moore story isn’t about a stranger at all. It’s about me. I have been hundreds of different people over the course of these 22 years and I’m sure I’ll be hundreds of other ones over the course of the next, and there’s a great deal of power in that. I like to think with each new person I get better. I learn from my mistakes. I learn from the people I love, and I work towards a final product by practicing mercy and understanding and most of all, joy.

I guess what I’m saying is this: if someone read about my life in a newspaper and tried to compare it to theirs, I doubt they’d feel particularly moved. The things I’m most proud of, the things I would want a newspaper to write about me, aren’t the cold hard facts. The facts are I work in a cubicle from 8 to 5 Monday through Friday. I run during the week and eat salads more than I eat hamburgers, even though I wish it was the opposite. I do the dishes and watch television just like everyone else.

What a newspaper can’t write about me is how deeply I feel every sunrise and sunset. How it makes me smile to watch my boyfriend with his nephew. The way I feel when my mom tells me the name of every flower in her yard. The intense gratitude I feel when I come home every night to my best friend who wants to hear about every detail of my day. What makes up a person? Why does it matter? I think it’s because it’s like John Lennon said… Your occupation, your name, your hometown, those facts and figures are simple logistics. I’m not sure anybody would want to be the other Emilie Harris, but this ordinary life feels pretty astounding to me most days, and I don’t think I’d want to swap it… even with a Rhodes Scholar.

Emilie Harris is a past high school nerd, present Brand Development Manager for The Woodlands Convention and Visitors Bureau and lifetime pursuer of an unstoppable positive attitude and the perfect fountain Diet Coke.

Staying Active At Your Desk

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by Erica Johnson

If you’re like our team here, many days we find ourselves glued to our desk chairs (and for me, at 6 ½ months pregnant, sitting/standing or doing anything in the same manor for hours at a time can literally be a pain in the back!)
So this week I’m sharing some of my top tips that I’ve started to use to incorporate into my 9-5 routine to keep active while working an 8 hour work day.

1) Start Your Activities Before Work

Knowing that I’m going to be sitting a good part of my day, I always make it top priority to get moving before I even arrive to work. Could be a walk with the dog, doing yoga or weights, as long as you get your body jump started (and your metabolism working) before you even plop into the office. You’ll be amazed how much it wakes you up too!

2) Give Me a Break- From your desk that is.

Get creative. Keep an extra pair of sneakers under your desk and take 30 minutes of your lunch break to go on a walk. Or, simply walk around the office the long way to your next meeting. A few simple minutes up and moving will not only keep you active, but make you more alert, too!

3) Stretch it Real Good

Something as simple as doing some arm stretches and leg/ankle rotations can help you keep mobile. Know how you’ll see those stretches suggested in the airlines booklets for long flights…those aren’t bad to implement at your own desk.

4) Take the Stairs or Grab the Mail

If you work in a building where there are multi-floors, take the stairs in lieu of the elevator to your next meeting and feel that extra burn. Don’t have a multi-floor building? Offer to take the mail out to the mailbox or even run a quick office errand to help your blood flow.

5) Switch Up Your Position

Do you sit all day long? Try changing out chairs, or standing for a bit of a time while you review papers or reports. Even bring a yoga ball to sit on instead of your chair. The change of something so simple as your position will amaze you!

There are so many ways to incorporate some basic exercises and stretches into your daily routine at your desk. What are your favorite ways to stay active at work? Share them here…(we’d love to try implementing them too!)

Stylizing Your ‘Me’ Time

Making your ‘me’ time reflect your style

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by Erica Johnson

Please don’t tell me that I’m the only one out there who has a difficult time scheduling “Me” time! As women, I think we’re all accustom to constantly putting others first and forget about ourselves. Top it off with being in the work sector of non-profit for the majority of my life, this is even truer. Everything I do from the minute I wake up, until the final email or meal prep I do for the next day revolves around helping others/my family/etc., so I constantly have to remind myself to make me time…and for me, I love my spaces in life to be stylized (and on a budget!)

Within the past year, I’ve learned it’s the small things (even if it only is 5-10 minutes of me time) that can make a huge difference in my day. The thing I’ve learned to actually enjoy my me time, is to have my surroundings look beautiful/chic. I’m an organized/type-A/clutter free sort of gal, and when I get me time, I want my space to be stylized also…thus today’s post….stylizing your me time.

I LOVE all the perfect looking blog posts and magazine pictures that show a pretty coffee mug and a cute notebook to journal in, and I always (used to go) “I wish I had that picturesque stylized time for myself.” There’s something warm and welcoming that makes me desire those picture worthy settings.

About a year ago, I was drinking my luke-warm coffee out of my chipped mug that had a I gotten for free from a business expo and journaling in my so called “notebook” that had a beat up cover (if any cover at all). It was free, quick and easy, but it was also messy. My “me time” started feeling more like a chore than an inspirational time for myself.

I decided to take that picture perfect notebook and coffee mug look and turn it into my own. (And little did I know, I already owned a lot of the small things that made my “me time” feel pretty again.) I dusted off some plates and coffee cup that had been sitting in my cabinet and started using my ‘nice stuff’ on a daily basis…why shouldn’t I enjoy the gifts people have bought me and were collecting dust in my kitchen? Then I found this adorable notebook on clearance at Trina Turk and a beautiful orchid at my local grocery store. It was amazing how EXCITED I was to have my 5-10 minutes of “me-time” back again feeling so glam and chic.

I encourage every one to find your own style. It doesn’t have to be glam and chic (that’s just my personal style). Maybe you love urban rustic or boho-chic…whatever it is, take a few minutes and a few dollars to truly enjoy and stylize your “me time”. We all get so very few minutes in a day that we should enjoy the small things…even if it’s as simple as a chip-free coffee mug! Make it an inspiring, dazzling and empowering week!

Heart Half-Empty or Half-Full?

How to keep your heart half-full

by Tristan Cablay

I continue to pour myself into the things I love: being a mom and a partner in my marriage, being successful at a career that I adore, and making a positive difference in people’s lives! Are all of these things easy? Some more so than others, but they all need a considerable amount of effort and work, so I continue to try everyday. I pour a bit of myself into each capacity that I love. What’s amazing is that my cup never runs empty.

Half empty? Certainly.
Half full? Most of the time.
Dry? Never!

If you love the things in your life that you spend your time and effort on, go ahead, pour yourself into them. Give of yourself, nurture that relationship or capacity and put in extra effort! Sometimes, you may not be at your best, but you pick yourself up and try again. Some days it is easy. Some days it is hard.

What has been the most amazing experience for me is that when I am at the lowest point and I think the cup will never reach full again, some thing unexpected always happens; someone pours into my cup. That is the beauty of giving of yourself, when you least expect it others give support to you.

So today, I encourage you to fill someone else’s cup; to pour yourself with extra intention into someone else’s cup- children, partner, work, really anyone you come across. Look at your glass half full and with the mindset of making everything you touch overflow!

Break-Up Survival Guide

 

“We are never, ever, ever getting back together”

Breakups are THE WORST. We’ve all been there. There’s no right or wrong way to get over a break up, but the good news is the feeling doesn’t last forever. Here’s a few ways I’ve learned to get out of that funk.

 

Step 1: Cry it out

Cry to your mom, your roommate, your little brother even. Cry in the bathtub, cry in your bed, cry to your favorite sad songs. Basically, channel all that emotion into tears and get it all out of your system. Everyone feels better after a good cry.

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Step 2: Treat yourself

I am a firm believer that a manicure and a shopping trip can fix almost anything. Go to Target! Something in those magical aisles is sure to boost your mood. Go to the mall and aimlessly wonder. Buy something for yourself that you normally wouldn’t, because you deserve it.

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Step 3: Become empowered

Listen to Beyoncé. Put on your brightest lipstick and your favorite heels and strut around because you are a strong, independent woman! You are done moping and feeling bad for yourself! You are YOU and nobody can compare. Ex-boyfriend who?

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Step 4: Do something for others

It’s so easy to become consumed with sadness when you feel like your world is falling apart, but it helps me to remember all of the things I am happy about and thankful for. Instead of focusing on your own problem, help someone else in need. Send a positive note to someone who may need it. Volunteer somewhere. Donate to a good cause. Send your mom a “just because” text. When you put positive energy out there, it comes right back to you!

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Whether you’re ending a relationship or just got dumped (been there, girl, been there), take some time for you and then overcome.

XO,

Tori Carruth

 

At Home Workout: Boxing

Boxing At Home

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by Alix Angelelli

A few months ago my fiancé and I each bought a pair of boxing gloves and punching mitts at our local sporting goods store. I was determined to be the next Ronda Rousey within a month. Ripped and strong and superhero-like. Well… that did not happen, but I did learn how to incorporate some great moves into workouts. Boxing moves tone, tighten, and get your heart pumping.

I enjoy having the gloves and punching mitts. It allows for a bit more resistance and a LOT of stress relief (punching something really hard without physically hurting another person is quite pleasant). However, these moves and workout can be done without any equipment. You can incorporate the moves into your normal workout routine or use for a quick sweat-sesh.

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a professional, so don’t completely rely on me for form advice.
This is the 30-30-30 workout. Basically you do 30 of each boxing move then incorporate another exercise in a set of 30. Some quick tips for boxing moves: keep your middle tight, make your punches quick and strong (think striking like a snake), and keep your opposite, non-punching hand, up in front of your face.

Warm-Up
10 Jumping Jacks
10 Alternating High Kicks
10 Alternating Butt Kicks
Jog in Place 30 seconds

Round 1
30 Jabs Right – 30 Jabs Left – 30 Jumping Jacks
Jabs are short little punches that focus on hitting higher up.

Round 2
30 Upper Cuts Right – 30 Upper Cuts Left – 30 Squats
With upper cuts you are coming up from your hip and punching up.

Round 3
30 Hook Right – 30 Hook Left – 30 Push-ups
Hooks you are literally hooking your arm around to punch, focus on hooking around and hitting the midsection.

Round 4
30 Right Kicks – 30 Left Kicks -30 Duck-Unders
When doing a duck-under get low and squat down like you are going under a fence or hurdle.

There are TONS of examples of boxing workouts on Pinterest and even more fun boxing workouts are popping up everywhere, like 9Round 30 Minute Kickbox Fitness (which Tori and I will be doing for September!) Take your time, listen to your body, and be proud of your strength and accomplishments!

Simple, Sweet, and Healthy Dessert

Chia Seed Pudding

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Erica Johnson

Sweets…by far my #1 weakness. There are very few sweet treats that I say no to. However, my goal is always to find something that is not only healthy but sweet…from breakfast shakes (see my prior blog post) to after dinner desserts. I’ve been dying to try this Chia Seed Pudding recipe (don’t let the name freak you out) and I put my own twist on it the other night…and all I can say is it’s FANTASTIC!

Not only is it healthy, but packed full of protein and fruit (for this version) too. I’ve had the leftovers already for breakfast one morning and it was equally as delicious. It easily makes four solid servings and you’ll see that I packaged some in fancy glasses for dinner and then also some in small mason jars for snacks/breakfast.

Ingredients:

14 oz Unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk

6 tbsp chia seeds

3 tbsp shredded coconut

Organic honey or agave nectar or stevia (adjust amt. depending on preferred sweetness)

1 tsp vanilla extract

fresh mango, diced and chilled

Directions:

In a bowl, combine the almond milk, chia seeds, shredded coconut, honey (or sweetness option) and vanilla extract. Whisk together.

Let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes at room temperature.

Whisk again then cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Next morning, layer pudding/fruit in desired serving dishes, alternating levels to desire and top with some shredding coconut for an extra pop.

Serve immediately or keep refrigerated until time to serve.

This variation with mangos and coconut is one of MANY ways that this recipe can be served…you can do it with mixed berries; dark organic chocolate nibs; plain without any additions or with nuts. You will NOT be able to put this dessert down and will be anxious to make the next batch and new version of it…I sure was!!

 

Presenting Sponsor and Designers of Wine Women & Shoes Announced

EXIT_WWS
 

The Breast Cancer Charities of America is pleased to announce that EXIT Lone Star Realty will be the presenting sponsor for Wine Women & Shoes Houston. This is the second consecutive year that EXIT Lone Star Realty is the presenting sponsor for Wine Women & Shoes, returning on September 29, 2016 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott.

“We’re very fortunate to have EXIT Lone Star Realty back as our presenting sponsor for Wine Women & Shoes,” said Erica Johnson, Founder and Executive Director of The Breast Cancer Charities of America. “Just as breast cancer has touched each of us, it has directly touched them as well, and we appreciate their passion for helping to educate and empower women to prevent and survive breast cancer.”

“EXIT Lone Star Realty is excited to be the presenting sponsor again for Wine Women & Shoes. It touches home even more that both my niece as well as a dear friend/client (both breast cancer survivors) will be modeling in the runway show as survivors,” said Susan Mack, Owner/Broker of EXIT Lone Star Realty. “BCCA is such a worthy cause and it is wonderful to see how the event is growing. It’s going to be even more fabulous than last year if that’s possible!”

The New York-Style Runway Show will be spotlighting the night this year with local and name-brand designers. For the third annual event, Dillard’s will be the Exclusive Fashion Show Sponsor, showcasing their newest fall fashions; Kendra Scott will be the Exclusive Jewelry Sponsor as well as hosts of the popular ‘Sip & Sparkle’ station; Uptown Park’s custom shoe designer, LUCHO, is back as the Exclusive Shoe Sponsor and will be displaying their fabulous stilettos. Other marketplace vendors are Rhinestone Leopard, Magnolia Mey, Armarillo de la Bella, and Marmi, who will all be selling their new fall lines.

This year, Wine Women & Shoes is honoring those touched by breast cancer in a very special way. All of the runway models will be women who have been affected in some way by breast cancer: survivors, family members, medical personnel and more will be showcasing every look and sharing their inspiring stories of hope.

Tickets for Wine Women & Shoes are available now. VIP tickets and Platinum VIP tables are available on a first come first serve basis. Sponsorship opportunities also remain. To find out more information visit: www.WineWomenandShoes.com/Houston  orwww.iGoPink.org

The Breast Cancer Charities of America is grateful for all of their event sponsors, which include: Maserati, CHLOE Wine, Tiff’s Treats, H-E-B, Dr. Lind Plastic Surgery, Stephens Gatewood & Associates Dentistry, Woodforest National Bank, The Woodlands Compounding Pharmacy, Pinnacle Insurance, Avanti Senior Living, Four Seasons Veterinary Hospital, Massage Heights Panther Creek & Spring Creek, The Woodlands Waterway Marriott, Morgan Stanley, Shag Salon, Style Revival, DJ Hollywood Steve, Mindy Harmon, My Wallet My Style, Tara Flannery Photography, J Stacy Photography, Woodlands Photo Co., AGB Videography, SpeedPro Imaging, The Woodlands Lifestyles & Home, PKWY Magazine, PR Luxury Media/reviewit.Flair.Vida Social Magazines, Woodlands Monocle, The Woodlands Journal, Hello Woodlands, Woodlands Online, FOX 26, and KSTAR Country Radio.