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Color Theory: 10 Facts About The Color Red

Researchers at Arizona State University discovered the ability to see red is located in the X chromosome. Since men only have one and women have two, women are able to see  various shades of the color (such as crimson and maroon) whereas most men are only able to see bright fire-engine red.

The color is said to have the strongest impact on our emotions, making the heart beat faster and intensifying breathing patterns.

It’s a common misconception that red makes bulls angry. The animals are, in fact, color blind.

Studies have shown that sports teams wearing red have an advantage over teams wearing other colors and are more likely to win the game and for good reason; the color is universally associated with male dominance and testosterone among all primates.

Brenda Della Casa, Red Typewriter, 10 Facts About The Color Red

Less than 2 percent of Americans have naturally red hair.

In Russia, red is associated with beauty whereas in South Africa, it is the color used in mourning. Chinese brides wear the shade on their wedding day to bring them luck.

In Greece, easter eggs are colored red for good luck.

Ruby is derived from the latin word, “rubens” which means red.

The color is associated with power but can turn off potential employers.

A study by British researchers found that men are more likely to form a relationship with a woman who wears red on their first date. Interestingly, the color makes the wearer look heavier…what does that say, ladies?

What’s your favorite color?

Brigitte Bardot

Leaving Him With Nothing

She missed him.

In a way that was ferocious, overwhelming, obsessive and slightly insane. There was not a single reason and a million to love him and certainly no reason to mourn his absence, and yet she was acutely aware of the silence as the sun rose and set four times in a day.

He was a culmination of everything she loved, hated, wanted and wanted to avoid. He was a no one who became someone who became everyone and everything–the life and the death in her days–an ever-present dull ache that no drug, drink or prayer could diminish.

The hurt he caused her ignited outbursts of texts and tears that left her soaked with exhaustion.

And so, in part to spite him, she became fiercely independent, storming through one experience to the next. She succeeded in everything except letting him go and now she  was determined to beat her heart until (all of) it stopped. She took her place in line behind the prayers and finally had her moment. In a calculated move, she bartered with the universe, offering up her heart and hope as a sacrifice in exchange for the world at large.

She could not have him, but when she was done living her life, he would be all he had left.

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Lovely Lana Del Rey

I am one of the millions who have fallen madly in love with Lana, and thanks to a very generous bestie who surprised me with tickets, I am flying out to San Fran to see one of my favorite performers/writers (with one of my favorite people) this weekend!

That’s worthy of a playlist post, no?

A few of my favorites.  I swear this woman found some of my old diaries…not sure if that is a good or bad thing ;)

 

Summertime Sadness (Love this Remix So Much) #SuddenlyLastSummer

 

Dark Paradise #LovingYouForeverCantBeWrong

 

God’s and Monsters #NoOnesGonnaTakeMySoulAway

 

Young & Beautiful #WillYouStillLoveMe

 

National Anthem

 

Summer Wine

 

West Coast

 

 

Happy

Being Her Best Self

She is interested and interesting,

Kind and polite,

Educated and easygoing,

and formulates opinions without confusing them with facts.

She can hold her own while holding his hand,

and does her best never to mistake stubbornness for strength.

She follows her heart,

uses her head,

 Loves sincerely,

and is left unscathed if that love is unrequited.

She lives to laugh,

To make others smile,

And bats  her triple-coated lashes like she’s fanning a flame.

She’ll make wishes into the wind,

Faces at a child,

And love only to the man who makes her feel loved.

She can balance her checkbook,

Work and play,

and all of the responsibilities that come with living a full life.

She loves to dance.

To hope.

To discover.

To see a soul come to the surface.

She sips mojito’s al fresco,

Collects stamps in customs,

Tosses compliments at strangers,

And says prayers in private.

With a heart wide open.

and a sparkle in her eyes,

She sees seeing the world as an adventure,

and life itself her blessing.

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Cheers To You: Upgrade Your Warm Weather Cocktails

I don’t know about you but warmer weather always means longer days and yummy cocktails and convo’s with my nearest and dearest. If you’re looking to give your standard poison a sophisticated twist, here are three concoctions that will do the trick.  Toast happily & Drink responsibly! Cheers!

 

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Cranberry Mojitos

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Limoncello and Prosecco (Or Champagne)

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Gin, Basil, Cucumber & Lime.

Gwen Stefani 4 AM

Twas Many Things, But Not Love

It’s a funny thing,
When you think of who you loved,
and why.

Rose colored memories of romance offer a lovely view,
But hindsight is 20/20 when you look at how they treated you,

While on your knees.
In your time of need.
When you could no longer provide them with the satiation they desired.

Love is abundant when only a word,
But when action is required,
A third of the world goes hungry.

Health and sickness find us all,
Where is the call when the latter calls?

I love you.

Easy for one to say,
Hard for the other to feel,

When there was so much passion then,
And no compassion now.

Was there ever a link beyond two bodies in need,
Or just a need that linked bodies?

One will never know.

 

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The Black and White Of It

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“How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself.”

Anais Nin

 

 

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The Great Escape

What does one do…

When the cold becomes too much to bear?

When the silence begins to deafen the screams of hope?

When the walls become so thick that all light is blocked?

How does one chip through the ice and touch the heart that hides inside of it?

How does one do penance in peace when they don’t know if they are in purgatory or hell?

The opposite of love,

Is apathy.

If it were hate,

There would be hope.

Nothingness kills a spirit,

and leaves us with a choice:

We die a little more every day for (a) love,

or fight like hell to live without it.

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What Definition Defines You

Cruelty: Callous indifference to or pleasure in causing pain and suffering.

Kindness: The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

Love: An intense feeling of deep affection.

Hate: An intense or passionate dislike for something or someone.

Liar: A person who tells lies.

Trustworthy: Able to be relied on as honest or truthful.

Naive: Showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgment of a person or action.

Hope: A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen; a feeling of trust.

Mentor: An experienced and trusted adviser.

Manipulative: Characterized by unscrupulous control of a situation or person or a desire for it.

Selfish: Lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure (of a person, action, or motive).

Thoughtful: Absorbed in or involving thought.

Thoughtless:  Not showing consideration for the needs of other people (of a person or their behavior).

Reliable: Consistently good in quality or performance; able to be trusted.

Supportive: Providing encouragement or emotional help.

Selfless: Concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own; unselfish.

Victim: A person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.

Nice: Pleasant; agreeable; satisfactory.

Vindictive: Having or showing a strong or unreasoning desire for revenge.

Abuse: The misuse of someone or something. To treat (a person or an animal) with cruelty or violence, esp. regularly or repeatedly. To use (something) to bad effect or for a bad purpose; misuse.

Friend: A person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.

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Loving Out Loud

“It’s probably not just by chance that I’m alone. It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he’s terribly strong. And if he’s stronger than I, I’m the one who can’t live with him. … The two men I’ve loved, I think, will remember me, on earth or in heaven, because men always remember a woman who caused them concern and uneasiness. I’ve done my best, in regard to people and to life, without precepts, but with a taste for justice.” Coco Chanel

 

 

 

Karen Alexander in Issey Miyake by Herb Ritts, 1989

bow

Down

I have fallen.

I have been brought to my knees once again.

And so I shall do what I am supposed to do,

Something I have never done.

Something that will change everything.

I  shall not

Cry

Out

“Why?”

I will instead bow to the lessons of my life,

and give thanks while I am down here.

A wounded soldier,

Yet

 Undefeated.

                                                                                                                         (Photo: Out There” Carmen Kass by John Akehurst for Allure December 1998).
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The Beauty In The Broken

You sit alone with your bleeding heart,

In the silence of your screams,

Wondering how you will ever be whole again.

So caught up in the parts, you forget the sum, You don’t realize…

Those times your heart has been broken,

Those  moments you have had your mind blown,

Those beautiful dreams that reality has shattered,

Those cutting words dispensed chaotically by razor sharp tongues,

These pieces (of you) will all add up to a beautifully designed life.

 

(Photo Zuhair Murad)

sharon

Your Reflection

It starts with an uncomfortable glance, a joyful noise that always turns cold when you enter the room, a sense that, perhaps, that whispered vibration in the air contains fallacies and projections related to you.

It’s the random email that devalues something about you; your work, your look, your existence. It’s the silence to your pleas, on your birthday, the casual comment suggesting that, perhaps,
something of value to you has no value at all.

It’s the denouncement of your being, the discarding of your feelings, the dehumanization of who you are, both on the surface and at the core. It’s the arrogance that glistens from judgemental eyes and salt that oozes from snarling lips. It’s the lack of empathy for the one who cannot breathe deeply or function productively in an anxious environment. It’s a message:

You don’t matter.
You are worthless.
You mean nothing to me.
You are going to pay…

For the shortcomings I feel,
The happiness I want,
The rejection I fear,
The bullying I suffered.

It’s cruelty frosted with contempt.

It’s what you have done to me.

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A Merry Unbirthday To You

Brenda Della Casa, Author, Blonde, Birthday   Those who know me know that, for me, birthdays are a big deal. I love to celebrate the lives of those I love by way of early morning please-stop-singing-to-me calls, why-are-you-so-mushy-its-awkward-cards and OMG-stop-embarrassing-me-gestures. These days are special, not only for those I love, but for those of us who love them as well. They mark the day that gave them life and changed ours for the better forever by doing so. How wonderful is that? When it comes to the day I made my own debut, well,  let’s just say that the month of April is reserved for a celebration of the life I have been blessed with and the people who have blessed me by choosing to be in it. It’s the one time of year that I allow myself to splurge and spoil myself with sleeping in (a rare treat), brunches, massages, trips… just about anything else my heart desires. I walk around in a “you-can’t-get-me-down mood” and give myself the freedom to make space to keep my spirits lifted. It is a bit indulgent, but the truth is, it’s a challenge.  I am not someone who relaxes well and my people-pleasing and sensitive nature tends to make letting things roll off of my back quite a task. Treating myself to anything, and well, in general, has been one of the hardest lessons I have ever had to learn. For many years, my “special day” served as little more than a reminder me of my “special circumstances,” which often resulted not in the counting of blessings, but the many reasons I wasn’t worth celebrating.  This all changed twelve years ago when, while on my knees sobbing there were no parents or boyfriend calling (though I had the latter), I decided to celebrate for three days straight out of sheer spite. If I am being honest, it was almost in a ” Haha, I was born and I am here and I am going to thrive, and there’s nothing you can do about it” kind of attitude. That lasted about two hours. By hour three, I was having so much fun serving friends slices of pink coconut cake and toasting glasses of champagne that I vowed to never RSVP to a pity party again, and instead decided to turn the entire month into an event). It’s less about celebrating me, and more about making time to celebrating a life shared with the people I love. These days, all of my Aries friends join in and we take ownership of April (sorry, Taureans). Last year,I had the great pleasure of jetting off to Australia where I enjoyed  good food, fantastic wine, a terrifying sky dive, and outdoor seats to Carmen with the Sydney Opera House in the background.  This year, I enjoyed dinner with loved ones at my favorite restaurant, Antica Pesa, was surprised with a homemade pink coconut cake by a sweet  someone, relaxed at Eventi Spa,  and am looking forward to a special night tomorrow and a lovely trip to San Francisco to see dear friends and Lana Del Rey. When I thought of this today, I thought about how much time we waste focusing on what we don’t have and waiting to have this and that instead of really taking ownership of the moments we are in and making the most out of them. Do bad things happen on days in April? You bet they do. But my mindset makes everything seem manageable. I decided to keep it all year long. After all, why should we reserve the freedom to treat ourselves well and live the life we love most for birthdays and vacations. Why not spend a lifetime celebrating the fact that we, in fact, have a life to celebrate? Cheers to that. BDC   P.S. How will you celebrate your unbirthday today?

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Things I Know To Be True

Clark Gable as Rhett Butler is the epitome of what most women are looking for in a man. No woman wants to be with a man who reminds her of her girlfriends.  There’s no getting around it; masculinity is sexy.

That long, brutal process of mourning a relationship is usually looked back upon as a waste of time.

Your worth as a friend, lover, colleague or citizen is not dictated by your declaration of it or the devaluation of it by someone else. It is measured by the choices you make and the actions you take.

Friendship is truly one of the most wonderful benefits of being alive.

Those who bounce from desire to detest quickly and often are not yet capable of lasting love.

When you ache to be with the one you love allow your ego to keep you apart, well, that is what we call “a living hell”.

You can love someone emphatically and still just want to have sex with them, but pretending to make love to someone you just want to have sex with is downright criminal.

It’s an inescapable truth that the body reacts to everything the mind experiences.

Everyone has limitations and fears, concerns and expectations. Those who can communicate them and control them usually have better relationships.

Laughter between two people is an act of love.

There are some people who wake up looking for ways to devalue you. When that happens, you know you’ve done something worthwhile.

When a life ends, no one remembers socks on the floor. In fact, they’d give anything to have those socks thrown about.

They don’t suddenly become a different human being just because they have found someone else.

New York City gives a Ph.D in street smarts while showcasing the validity of Darwin’s evolutionary argument on a near momentary basis.

Someone once told me, “I was once in love and it was a very painful experience. Today, I am not “in love” with my partner in that way, but I smile every single day and that means something to me.”  That hit home.

If someone is not your “type” and your “type” is usually an arrogant a-hole, perhaps that’s a good thing.

A gossip always looks like the court jester to intelligent people.

There’s absolutely no point in being close with someone who doesn’t give you the benefit of the doubt when you have earned it.

Life is a beautiful gift, even when it doesn’t feel like it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Sea of Clarity

I remember a moment in time when I was afraid,

A moment that lasted a lifetime,

Until the very moment,

I learned to live in it.

I remember a clock that would not move,

A time that change would not rescue,

A past that was delivered daily into the present…

A painful “gift” that I could not escape.

I recall swimming against a tide of terror,

A current of emotion that I was sure would  steal the last of the breath I could no longer hold,

Waiting for a hand that had waved and beckoned,

But one that had never helped me.

The fight started with a strategic movement,

Against  a destiny I did not deserve,

Towards a life I was willing to create,

and

Now That I am dry and safe,

I look at the sea of opportunity,

And I plan to dive right in.

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Extracting The Blessing With The Lesson

She stood alone in the crowd,

Surrounded by friends and strangers.

The room buzzed with whispers about what it all meant,

What had been true and what wasn’t,

What he was doing now,

And with whom.

***

She was cautioned against optimism,

Told her continued faith in him was foolish,

Warned against waiting,

And made to promise she’d keep walking forward.

So she swallowed hard and  made it,

To others,

To herself.

***

Still, behind the polite smile,

Her frenzied mind raced,

Her anxious heart trailed not far behind.

Whether their love and he were who she believed them to be.

Did he love her then?

Did he miss her now?

It didn’t matter.

In that one moment in time,

She had been happy.

She had been blessed.

And both then and now,

She was grateful.

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Liberation From Love

The morning comes in the break between my restless sleep in which dreams of you taunt, titillate and torment a mind and heart that remains wrapped around the idea of you.

And me.

A prayer thrown into the crashing silence as a lifeline.

A heavy, anchoring whisper.

Let me get over him.

Let me forget.

Let me find a way to love.

Someone else.

There is.

No way to reach you.

No way to reach me.

If only you would reach for me.

I wish.

I could stop holding my breath.

But if I inhale…

The tears no one can see,

may drown me.

 

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On Women

There are no good girls gone wrong – just bad girls found out. Mae West

For most of history, Anonymous was a woman. Virginia Woolf

Being the boss anywhere is lonely. Being a female boss in a world of mostly men is especially so. Robert Frost

You see a lot of smart guys with dumb women, but you hardly ever see a smart woman with a dumb guy. Erica Jong

I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will. Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness. Oprah Winfrey

I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too. Elizabeth I

I never realized until lately that women were supposed to be the inferior sex. Katharine Hepburn

I will come again, and I will be millions. Evita Peron

One can find women who have never had one love affair, but it is rare indeed to find any who have had only one. Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry. Gloria Steinem

I like intelligent women. When you go out, it shouldn’t be a staring contest. Frank Sinatra

Though the sex to which I belong is considered weak you will nevertheless find me a rock that bends to no wind. Elizabeth I

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Sex, Love and Enrique. Yes, Please!

My love of Enriquito is the worst-kept secret on the planet. He’s been my biggest crush for 15 years (and will be for another 50) and I pretty much squeal like a 15-year old girl when a new song comes out. Now, I have not loved some of his latest beats (I’m a freak, really?) but I am so happy that he’s finally found a way to mix the romance his old fans love (Hero is Neruda-Worthy) and the cocky club kid Pitbull brought out.  #ProudlyObsessed #PerfectMan #Unstoppable #SwoonSighFaint

There Goes My Baby (Been there, Felt That)

Heart Attack (If Only…)

Only a Woman (I love this so much).

Bailando (Love, Love, Love to Dance Around My House to This)

Noche y Dia (Another Dance Around The House Song)

Still Your King

Let Me Be Your Lover

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No, I don’t. I know.

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The Day She Opened Her Eyes

Once Upon a Time,

She tried to fit her foot into the slippers they wanted her to wear, in sizes that didn’t fit and styles she didn’t like.

She walked at paces that left her feeling pulled back and pushed ahead and into situations she didn’t want to be in.

She let him take the lead, quietly hurting as he stepped on her toes and twirled her into a dizziness, to music she didn’t like.

She was certain that the happiness she experienced in the first few pages was somehow hiding somewhere in the darkness of the rest.

She accepted that she’d have to compete for his affections.

She believed someone would (could) save her.

She believed he needed to be a prince to love him and that toads were worth kissing.

She didn’t know that she could climb down the tower, slay the dragon, bare her truest self and go and walk barefoot in the park.

But one day, she woke up from her dark slumber and that was The End of all of that.

And she lived happily ever after.

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(A) Return To Me

Isn’t funny,

How sure you were they would break you?

Isn’t it interesting,

How you waited for nothing (in)(to) return.

Isn’t it strange,

How you argued that you would never love again?

You were so certain,

They were the only one.

But slowly,

The lessons began to sink in.

One who loves you…

shows you love.

One worthy of you,

Respects your worth.

The head lifted,

The backbone aligned.

You went from crawling,

to standing,

Feet firmly on the ground.

In a rush, you ran

Into the open arms of your future.

The breeze drying the tears on your face,

as the smile returned.

The passion was once again ignited,

The heart back in one piece,

Beating,

Stronger.

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In Memory

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mmdryer

MMGorgeous

MMchanel

mmeating

marilyn Clark

mmwish

I remember.

When you introduced yourself within seconds.

When you called the next day,

And every day thereafter.

I remember.

The first time you called me “baby”.

The times you called for me to come to you.

The times we both sighed a breath of relief when we traveled through time and walked through those doors.

When you saw me clearly,

Before you were blinded by rage.

I remember.

When you told me to trust you,

Because you were sure enough for the both of us.

When fears would be met with a hand,

And tears with understanding.

And love with love.

I remember.

Being terrified and looking over to you,

Your focus was on navigation,

Then…

Closing my eyes and jumping,

for you.

I remember.

Plunging to the ground,

And seeing your proud face when I looked past my shaking heart,

and  stood up on my own two feet.

I remember.

When you looked into the future and saw a present we’d unwrap together,

Before it exposed a shattered heart,

and unraveled a life that beckoned from a few steps ahead…

In addition to the one I was in.

I remember.

Running to the phone.

To the door.

Into your arms.

and finally,

After you.

I remember.

When  you were the only man in the world.

Before you were a world away.

When you were everything I had hoped for,

and that was everything,

And the only thing we needed to be happy was “More”.

I remember.

When you were a stranger who was not a stranger…

And what’s stranger still…

Is how quickly you forgot.

Me.

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Into Her Own

Though the scenery was recognizable,

The road was new.

Not speeding. Not slowing down,

In constant motion, but taking it all in.

Her breath was steady,

her heart the same.

She knew she had choices…

To remain the girl she was,

Or fully embrace the woman she had become.

She was already a success,

She had already made it.

Right here.

She had nothing to prove to the world,

But everything to herself.

And when she thought about it,

She laughed at the hardest part of her journey…

Acknowledgement.

Brenda Della Casa Fashio

Protecting Yourself From Projections

There will be those who will accuse of you intentions and traits you do not have.

It’s not your responsibility to prove them wrong.

There will be those who come into your life who will bring peace and others who will want to stir up drama.

 Guess which ones should get to stay?

There will be moments when treating others how you would want to be treated won’t work…

You’ll have no choice to treat them exactly as they are treating you.  

There will come moments when you know you have come to the end.

Don’t miss the chance to step into a new beginning.

Life.

Take it all in.

Take it easy.

Process it all as best as you can.

Protect yourself.

Forgive yourself.

But don’t run in circles trying to prove yourself.

You are complete and whole entirely on your own.

You cannot be defined by the interpretations of another,

Nor can reality be changed by  projections and paranoia.

Theirs or your own.

Time is never wasted until that moment you realize you’re wasting it.

And you, my darling, are in control of what ruins and makes your day.

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Knight Fall

My armor; polished, form-fitting and strong.

My courage; undefeated.

My bravery; secured.

Then you,

a Misericorde.

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Sin Cierre

Like an intricate, emotional novel,

Framing within its chapters the highs and lows that make a story an experience

There was an engagement,

Between storyteller and audience,

Between desire and delusion,

Between the sheets…

and finally,

out of nowhere,

 The End.

With no final chapter written,

She did what any great leading lady would do:

She grabbed her character and started writing…

Alone.

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Dear Leo, You’re Always A Winning Leading Man To Me

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Just being honest.

#SwoonSighFaint #OriginalGosling #SeeIDontOnlyCrushOnLatinBoys

#OnlyTimeIveWishedIWereaSupermodel #GreenLight

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When Wine Is Not An Option: 12 Unexpected Ways To Relax

Wining down with a friend after a long day is a New York to-do list essential, but shockingly, there are other ways to rock a little more serenity. Here are a few I’ve found to be  equally effective, well, almost.

Consider The Source:   A statement so common it has become somewhat of a cliché, there is serious lesson in this short-yet-brilliant statement. How many times have you allowed some random person to ruin your day with a flippant comment you took in as fact? Not only is walking around allowing every opinion of what we say, do, look like a waste of time, it’s a sure-fire way to ignite some serious self-doubt, and that’s dangerous as it’s what poses the strongest threat to success. We can’t have that. Bottom Line: The stranger or colleague making comments about your life choices should hold a lot less weight than those made by a friend who knows the full story and who has shown, through example, they have your best interests at heart.

Get on The Vespa, Feel The Breeze, Kiss The Boy (or Girl): I have done the first three and can assure you they all bring a serenity and excitement that no pill can match.

Refuse to Be Scared Into Submission: Having been at the mercy of plenty of them, I could teach a masters class on bullies. What I have learned along the way is that bullies are like the man-behind-the-curtain in the Wizard of Oz, nothing but little cowards who want to control you through fear. Take away their ability to scare you and they have nothing. While it’s an unfortunate fact that not everyone in the world has laws, rules, and social norms to protect their rights, those of us who do should not only be grateful for them but rely on them to protect our right to live honestly, openly, authentically and to never allow anyone to make us afraid to use our voice or do the right thing.

Stretch It Out: By way of Yoga, a massage, or an actual stretch at your desk (who cares what your coworkers think? You have knots to address!)

Pay Attention To What’s Important: Paying attention to details makes for a great event and outfit, but getting caught up in them is often what stirs up drama and discord. If you’re in a fight with someone you love, remind yourself that the relationship is more important than being right. If you’re annoyed at the slow walking stranger in front of you, focus on how to get around them to get to work on time. If you’re unhappy with your job, be grateful you’re not unemployed and spend more time talking to colleagues and connections than complaining to friends. Pointless distraction is not for bosses. You’re a boss, so get it done.

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Stretch It Out, girl. You Got This.

Plan For Problems, Don’t Look for Them:  Once, when I was about to make a life-changing jump, my good friend, Lauren Cosenza told me to “Think of everything that can go wrong and plan on what you would do if it happened and then decide if it is worth the risk.” Amazing advice that literally saved the life as I know it. My friend, Stacey, however, also offers great problem-solving by reminding me not to “ worry about a problem before it is a problem.” Example: If you have just met a guy or girl and they mention they have always wanted to live in London, what is the point of stressing about a long distance relationship on date two?

Be Gentle, Even When Being Firm: Knowing how to set boundaries is an essential component of healthy relationship navigation, but there’s a way to say “that’s not OK with me” without bringing in the gasoline and matches. In most cases we find that a soft and strong “enough” does as much to draw a line in the sand (if not more) than screaming like a haughty two year-old.

Be Clear: We sometimes say too little or avoid saying anything at all as a way to “be nice” or avoid a problem all together. Keeping someone in the dark isn’t all that nice and most people can’t pick up on hints because needs, desires, projections and fears get in the way. Say what you’re thinking (see above) and be as clear as possible. They may not like your message, but they will ultimately appreciate it (and you’ll have less stress yourself.)

Be Goal-Focused: Knowing what you need to do and how to prioritize is a lot easier when you know what it is that you ultimately want to get done. Whether it’s on the train during your morning commute, in the shower while getting ready for the client meeting or at the table while you sip your morning coffee, spend a minutes really thinking about who you are and what you want–out of the day, week and month and year. Not only does this help you stay on-track, it also helps you identify what (and who) is working for and against your goals a lot easier.

Don’t Play Psychic: As much as we would love to know what will happen tomorrow, we don’t. That’s bad news when feeling anxious and good news in general because–hello–without an element of surprise, life would be Groundhog-day boring. Still, there is good news for worry-warts and that is that most of us live in patterns. We can use our consistent past behavior (and the consistent past behavior of others) to gain a pretty good sense of a situation. Translation: If your boss tends to be moody, his snarky comment or silence doesn’t necessarily mean you’re about to get canned ;).

Have Your Back: Reminding your friends to take care of themselves, letting them know that you will be there for them, no matter what, and reminding them of their worth and talents make you a great friend. Why not be one to yourself?

Carry Yourself Like The Person You’d Like To Meet, Love, Be Friends with and Work With: It’s the basic do unto others rule, but in that rule one finds the key to stronger relationships, better business and an unbreakable reputation.

If none of these work, call a friend and make a plan to meet to break open a bottle of red.

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No Holding Her Back

You could wait for him to text you (but why not put your phone down and enjoy the company of someone who doesn’t make you wait?)

You could spend your Saturday nights standing at the bar, waiting for someone to strike up a conversation (but why not get your cute booty out onto the dance floor with your friends and attract someone with your independence and happiness?)

You could hope to be lucky (but why not train yourself to be good?)

You could try and marry rich (but why not work hard and invest your money wisely and not sell yourself to someone else?)

You could keep them in your life (but do you really need the drama?)

You could convince yourself that you’ll always be alone (but why not enjoy your independence while you have it and realize the more you do, the happier you’ll be, and the more likely you are to attract someone worth your time?)

You could waste your time wishing things were different (but why not accept the now as it is and work to make it what you want to be?)

You could point out the negative aspects of situations (but why ignore the good sides?)

You could be a source of snark and criticism (but why be someone everyone wishes would go away?)

You could spend your time talking about others (but why not turn conversations into connections and make headlines?)

You could try to accommodate their idea of who you should be (but why not just be yourself and attract someone who likes you as you are?)

You could bend yourself backwards trying to make something work (but why let go of a lemon and invest in something that gives returns?)

You could put yourself down and say you are too old, too fat, too whatever (but why not work to accept that you are not defined by any one attribute, you are package, and that whole package is incredible?).

You could put your life on hold (but why not get into the drivers seat, turn up your favorite tunes and  go in the direction of your dreams?)

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Easy Ways To Protect Your Happiness

If our thoughts create our reality and we find what it is that we seek, aside from serious health issues, tragedies and disasters, we all have the potential to live a life that is full–and a whole lot happier.  Here are a few ways to grin more (and bear less).

 Open Your Arms, and Put Out Your Hand, But Don’t Clasp Onto Anything: None of us want to admit it, but we have all been in situations when something (or someone) we wanted so badly starts to slip away. Some of us release while others tighten their grip.  What is right for you takes work to maintain, but begging is not becoming of  the person you have worked hard to become and if you’re not being welcomed into someone’s home, heart or office space and respected and appreciated while there, it’s best to stop knocking and go back into your own happy space.

Change Your Tune:  Sure, sad and angry songs can feel synergistic, but listening to something more upbeat (like Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” or Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”) can bring you back up when you’re down.

Assume The Best In People: Not every missed call means someone is avoiding you, and that look from your co-worker might have just been laid on his or her face by a painful thought having to do with something far more serious than you not filling up the paper in the fax machine.  Yes, there are selfish and manipulative people out there, but walking around looking for slights and insults is a one-way ticket to misery (and often driven by misinterpretation).

Find The Present In Your History:  Your past offers you the gift of understanding and strength.  There’s a good chance that, whatever you are facing, you have either faced something similar or worse and things turned out just fine.  Nothing can break you except you. 

Be Proactive:  The more you reach out, read up and walk forward, the more aware of opportunities and possibilities you become.  Fear of the unknown is common, but what if what you don’t know is how wonderful your life can actually be?

Play The Kaley Game:  My friend, Kaley, is one of the most positive, kind-hearted and friendly people I have ever known.  Whenever one of us gets down or complains too much, she stops us and says, “Quick, name six things you are grateful for right now.”  She then makes everyone around us do it.  Works every time.

Accept Reality, Then Change What You Don’t Like:  Buddhists believe that rejection of what is happening in the here and now is at the root of unhappiness.  Sounds simple, but the more I think about it, the more I see the truth in it.  Whether you’re dealing with a job loss, a break-up or something far more serious, accepting that you are where you are instead of focusing on where you were (or beating yourself up for how long you stayed there) or where you would like to be is a waste of precious time that can be used to create a plan of action to move you forward.

Bring Positivity & Perspective: They say that misery loves company, but I personally like to be surrounded by smart, strong and happy people when I am feeling low.  While being dismissive of my concerns will not lift my spirits, validating my feelings and then reminding me that I can change my situation and that whatever I am dealing with is manageable and I can turn it around works like a charm.   I love that my friends and I will treat unhappiness as an infection to clear up and not join in a big piss-fest (wait, did I just say piss-fest?)  There is freedom in accountability and knowing that we choose what we deal (and don’t deal) with.

What are your tips?

(Photo Courtesy of Pinterest)

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Are You Afraid To Introduce The Real You To The World?

You can be held back by the fear of judgement, of failure, of rejection or you can spend your time here on this earth seeking out the the people, situations and understanding you want to experience on your journey.

Your journey.

Think about that for a moment.

The time you have here belongs to you.

Your life is not meant to fit anyone else perfectly.

It is not meant to please everyone else all of the time.

It’s supposed to be tailored to fit you whether that’s living to make the world a better place or living in isolation.

As long as it is not hurting anyone, there is no problem.

Just do not forget that you are someone, too.

Take a chance and introduce the world to  who you truly are.

What’s the worst that could happen?

You will live authentically and know you did it the way you wanted to when it comes to an end…

Without confinement. With total freedom.

Isn’t that the epitome of the good life?

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10 Things I Know To Be True

Most of the time you don’t need to “change” your life, you simply need to change a few choices and make a few tweaks to keep things running smoothly into the right direction.

There are a lot of people who will let you down, but those who surprise you and lift you up when you least expect it? Those are the keeper-closers.

Favors are for friends to ask.

Running away–from someone, to a new city, from a difficult feeling is for cowards, and it’s a surefire way to stay a coward.

There’s no point in trying to work or work things out with someone who doesn’t care to add value to whatever situation they are in.

Taking good care of yourself, honoring your boundaries and accepting that rejection is just a universal way of keeping you on-track is a great way to live.

Those who talk a big game look that much more foolish when they don’t show up to play. Those who say they will try and strike out look courageous, and those who say nothing and knock it out of the park look like champions.

Pride is not about being stubborn, pride is doing the best you can do to be the best person you can be because you care, and not just about your reputation, but your legacy.

You can love someone unconditionally, but that doesn’t mean you need to condone bad behavior.

Each day you have the chance to use your voice, your mind, your heart, your eyes and your power to change a life.

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10 Ways To Date Like a Grown Up

You’ve made it this far with plenty of lessons under your chic leather belt. Now it’s time to take what you know and take dating to a whole new level. Warning: You may avoid awkward situations.

Know What Is Important: So, he’s a model or she’s got great legs.  Attraction is a part of seduction, but are height, eye color and bank account balances more important to you than kindness, intelligence, empathy, compassion and authenticity? If you find someone with all of the above, pass go and collect your $200.00 quickly!

Pick a Date, A Time and Place and Put It Into Your Calendar: Yes, it’s fun to be spontaneous, but by the time someone hits their late twenties, they’ve likely got social events, a work schedule and lifestyle investments they enjoy and plan out. This means that they will usually have plans set up to a week ahead of time and they’re not going to take anyone who doesn’t respect their time seriously. Note: Guys, if you make a date, call the day before to confirm or expect her to make other plans.

Pick Up The Telephone: It sounds a little retro, but texting has no tone which means there’s plenty of chances for miscommunication and not many for sharing a good, old-fashioned laugh. Also, think about how two angry adults look frantically texting on their phones with all of the changing facial expressions.  Ridiculous, right?

If You Have Nothing Nice To Say, Don’t Bring It Up: Your ex was a jerk? Grab a drink and join the club! Speaking about old relationships is a part of getting to know one another (yes, it’s OK to share a synopsis when asked), but ex bashing is for college dorms and just makes you seem bitter, angry, and yes, still hooked.

Get Tested: I know, I know. It’s not something people want to think about and it’s not fun, but you deserve to take care of your health and decent people honor the rights of others  to make informed decisions about actions that may impact their health.

Don’t Collect Admirers: There are some people who just love to add new names into their phone and then text, text, text until they are blue in the fingers. If those eyes aren’t seeing the face that hides behind the screen, you’re pen pals with someone who is giving face time to someone else.

Know What You Want Before You Make a Move: It’s not so easy to undo big steps without stepping on hearts.

Use Your Words: Ignoring texts is like sticking your fingers in your ears. If you are upset, say so. If you don’t want to talk, say so. If you’re not interested, say so. Don’t say that it’s  not the right time or that you don’t know what you want. Just say that you’re happy to have met and wish them the best.  Clean. Simple. Respectful.

If You Love Them, Let Them Know: It’s not about whether or not they say it back or where it will lead, it’s about a feeling they have inspired in you and that is beautiful and a blessing in itself. If You Don’t, Be Gentle: And grateful…you’ve touched a life.

Don’t Be a Garbage Collector: We all have things to deal with, but if someone is going to weigh you down with theirs instead of sorting through their issues, tossing bad habits and making room for a healthy life together, it maybe dump-time.

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