Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Two Big Life Changes, Part 2

I promised part 2 of this post and here it is.  This post, especially, is incredibly personal but I just love you all so much that I wanted to share.  Also, if I had to guess, I am thinking that many of you will be able to relate to this.

My previous blog post was about my first big change of going back to work full time.  If you haven't read it, you really probably should!  LOL!  It has been an adjustment but we are all making it through!  So, here is my second big change!

I turned 40 last year, which means I turned 41 this year.  Just doing the math for you!  Something weird happened to my body when I turned 40.  I swear it was on that very day, October 2nd.  Seriously.  My body changed.  I don't know how else to explain it.  I didn't change my workouts.  I didn't really change my eating.  But, suddenly, I started gaining weight in places where I never had a problem before.  40 has done really weird things to me!  I started gaining this weight around my middle.  I started having hot flashes.  I started forgetting things.  What is happening to me? Do NOT say the m-word, anyone!  I will hurt you!

So, not only did I decide to go back to work full-time and completely disrupt my life in that way, I also decided Day 2 of my job would be a great day to start Day 1 of my new eating plan.  I hate, hate, hate the word "diet", so I refuse to use it.  I am on a "new eating plan."  Yes, that sounds much better.  My new eating plan is called Ideal Protein.  Partial meal replacement, lots of protein, zero (and I mean zer0) carbohydrates outside of certain veggies and no wine.  Yes, you heard me!  No wine!!  It has now been 15 days (not that I'm counting), since I have had Mommy Juice.  

Since starting the new job and the new eating plan, I have thrown three temper tantrums.  Have you seen a 40-year old, oops, 41-year old woman throw a temper tantrum??  My mom now has!  They have been complete with feet stamping, tears and yelling "I am an adult.  I can drink wine if I want to!"  Self-discipline is my strong suit.  I can train for half-marathons, I can get up at 4:30 every day to work out.  Eating is a whole other story and I am finally coming to terms with the fact that I am, indeed, an emotional eater.  

But, I have stuck with it.  The silly body analyzing machine tells me I have 18 pounds to lose.  Well, then 18 it shall be!  I have only cheated with 2 tortilla chips.  No, not eating tortilla chips twice.  I have literally eaten 2 tortilla chips.  

My results, you ask?  At my two week weigh-in I had lost 6 pounds and 8 inches!!  8 inches!!!!!!!  I was jumping up and down like a little girl!!  Through all the tantrums and the haze of not having any carbs (although you really are full on this eating plan due to all the protein that you have to eat, and their food is surprisingly really yummy!), I am finally tackling my final frontier on the health front.  

Why am I sharing this story of mine?  Well, I feel like we are all in this crazy life together and sometimes it is nice to know that everyone has their own struggles.  For me, right now, this is my struggle.  I have taken great inspiration from other women's stories.  My friend, Heather, is an amazing inspiration.  She went from no running to half-marathons to tri's to who know's what is next!  She may not know it, but she inspired me to run my first half!  My friend, Hilani, inspires me daily in running my own business.  I have friends who inspire me to be a better mother, a better wife, a better friend.  

I guess what I am trying to say is this:  If I can tackle this silly eating plan and stick to it and have success, you can tackle whatever it is that you are challenged with!  And you can stick with it.  And you can have success!! 

p.s.  I just signed up to run my 3rd half-marathon.  I swore I'd never do another, but here I am.  Up for my next challenge!  What is yours?? Let's do this together!   

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Two Big Life Changes, Part 1

So, this blog post isn't going to be necessarily about fashion.  I do have one brewing on blazers for fall, though!!  Oh, I am loving any and all blazers.  They are everywhere and if you don't have one, please find a cute one and buy it!!  Found two really great ones at TJ Maxx that I will update on later.  But, this post is more personal and more for me.

I have had some very BIG changes in my life in the last month.  So, I guess this post is about how change, even if it is good, can turn your life completely upside down.  But, sometimes it is meant to be.  I am going to tackle my first big change in this post.  I promise to chronicle the next change later in the week!

My first change (and these two happened at the exact same time!) was going back to work full-time after 8 wonderful years at home with my kiddos.  I have been "looking" for something for about a year.  Sometimes harder than others.  But, I felt like I needed to go back to work after the girls were in school full-time.  Sad thing?  I couldn't even get an interview.  The fourteen years of experience didn't seem to matter.  It was the 8-year gap that people noticed, I guess.

In my previous life, I always worked in construction offices.  It is what I know and what I am good at.  I LOVE sewing, but I am good at knowing the nuances of a construction office.  I started chatting up the contractors working on our house, and found out they were looking for someone in their office!  The kicker???  It is right here in Parker and about three blocks from the girls' school.  In fact, the owner's kids go to school with my kids!  Small world!  They were totally willing to work with my schedule and I get off in time to pick up the girls from school.

So, two weeks ago, I went back to work!  I got my first paycheck on Friday, eight years in the making.  I get a ton of satisfaction (and frustration) from being home with my girls.  But, I have to admit, I have had great satisfaction in working again.  

But, the world of business has changed a great deal in eight years.  Did you know they don't really have fax machines anymore?  Everything comes over the internet.  Wow!!  Also, all of our files are kept electronically.  Sure, we have a hard copy, but everyone uses the electronic copies!  Fascinating.  And that darn internet has completely changed the way we do our work!  Sure, it was around eight years ago, but it is really different now!

Then there's the flip side to it all.  Being a working mom.  I didn't have kids the last time I was working.  I could come home, plop down, and relax.  Yea, not so much!  It's homework, then dance, dr.'s appointments and grocery shopping!  Did you know Target is open AT NIGHT?  I thought they closed about 3!  None of my favorite cashiers are there at night!  I have to learn a whole new group of cashiers.  Oh, the stress of working!

We are all slowly adjusting.  Dinner isn't always on the table and I forget to put the right things in the girls' lunches.  But, I think we will all survive.  Stay tuned for Part Two of My Big Life Changes!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Kids Are Fashionistas in the Making!

My husband and I have two beautiful daughters.  Twins.  Yikes, I know!!  They are my best buddies and have given me more grey hair than I care to admit.  And they are only 7.  Going on 17, but still, only 7!

They are each very individual.  One blond.  One brunette.  One looks exactly like my husband, the other like me.  And, dare I say, one has great fashion sense and one, well, she has a unique fashion sense.  They have both been begging me to add a "Kids Fashion" page on my blog.  They have me take pictures of them in their own creations. So, I decided that a post about kids and fashion would be fun.  This isn't about how to dress kids, this is about how kids dress themselves and how fun it can be to let your kids put together their own outfits. 

There have been times in the past when I have wanted to be able to still "dress" them.  I have friends whose girls still let them pick out their clothes.  They look so cute and put together.  Here is the only time I get to pick their clothes: School Uniforms!

There is no picking out their clothes in this house!  Isabel takes suggestions, but Caroline is another story.  If I suggest it, she definitely won't wear it!  What is amazing to me is seeing their personalities come through in their clothing. I rarely ask them to change (except for Mass).  I love to see what they perceive as "fashion" and how they put outfits together! 

Shall we start with Isabel??  She is my happy-g0-lucky, easy-going kid.  To say that is reflected in her wardrobe is an understatement.  Whatever is clean and fits, she wears.  She also uses my own fashion tips against me.  Mix prints? (she said it was a Predator(leopard top) and Prey (zebra skirt) outfit)
Add a skinny belt to nearly anything?
The more color the better?
And one of the few "suggested" outfits!
Then there is my sweet Caroline.  She is her mother's daughter, in so many ways.  A tad controlling, hard-headed and has a love for fashion.  She does a pretty good job at putting her outfits together.  I love how she pays attention to what I say (even if she won't admit it!) and she applies it to herself.

Just like adult fashion, kid fashion is about what makes you feel good about yourself.  I tell my girls that all the time when they ask "is this outfit cute?"  Even if I wouldn't put together the outfits like they do, I love their individuality and their sense of what they like.  I guess those planned outfits are not in our future.  But, that's o.k.  We are a fashionista household, whether I like it or not!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Creativity at it's best!

One of the best things about sewing (or, really, doing anything crafty) is that I can always find new and different things to sew.  If I see something that I like, I really try to figure out how to make it on my own.  

This all started with scarves.  Every time I see a different style of scarf, I love trying to figure out how to make it and add it to my store!  I never thought I was a creative person, but I love the creative part of sewing.  There are so many great scarf styles and different ways to wear them.  Here are a few from a recent photo shoot.  Please note that my fav wardrobe choice is my boyfriend jeans and a tank top.  But look how a simple scarf can spice up any outfit!!
Square scarf (36"x36")
 Ruffle rectangle scarf, untied (approx. 15"x 65")
 Ruffle rectangle scarf, simple tie
 Rectangle scarf, one loop around
Single loop infinity (13"x36")
 Double loop infinity, color blocked (13"x72")

 Small rectangle scarf (approx. 5"x 60"), used as headband

 Purse scarf (5" x 30")


While on a girls' night out, a friend mentioned that she was going to buy some headbands online for a ridiculous amount of money.  She showed me the headbands and I knew I could make them for a lot less than she was going to pay.  But, it also showed me that people love these headbands and they would definitely be a big seller!  By the way, after I had made up a bunch, she bought 10!  Yep, 10!!  They are great for kids, too.  I plan on making a bunch in my kids' school uniform colors!  All of the thick headbands are reversible, too!  So, you basically get 2-for-1!  Not bad.

Last but not least, our babysitter was over and mentioned that she needed "sport" headbands.  They are non-slip and super cute.  So, instead of having my sweet babysitter pay for them elsewhere, I made them for her!  The girls love them, especially Caroline, who wears glasses and can't wear traditional headbands anymore! They aren't just for the kiddos, either!  I wore one to work out yesterday and I was honestly surprised at how well it stayed in place.  These are perfect for an active lifestyle with just a bit of fashion added in!

Pink Zebra, 7/8"  Ribbon, with velvet inside
 Blue and brown, 7/8", with velvet inside

So, the lesson from this blog, don't be afraid of being creative.  If you see something you like, go for it!  Or, if you have ideas for me, I'd love to hear them.  I will give anything a try!  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Stuck in a rut?

What am I going to wear today?  How many times a week do you ask yourself that question, while staring hopelessly at your wardrobe?

I worked with a great client yesterday.  Her style is casual, jeans, t-shirts, tanks.  And she had a lot of it!  She also had a ton of color, with a great mix of prints and solids.  As we went through her closet, we realized that she really didn't need to buy too much at all (her husband was happy with that news, I'm sure!). 

But, like many of us, she wears the same few outfits.  She was frustrated that she had, what she felt was, a ton of clothes and yet would ask herself everyday "What am I going to wear?"

So, we came up with a fun and creative way for her (or you!!!) to get out of the rut, start thinking of new outfits, and actually wear those great clothes.

For one month,  just one month, she can only wear each outfit one time.  This only applies to her tops.  Here is what she is going to do:
1.  Pick out the outfit for the day, trying to wear it in just a little bit different way than usual.  Add a scarf, wear a different necklace, pair with different jeans.

2.  After laundry that week, she will hang everything she wore in a different section of her closet.  

How does this help?  My whole job is based on looking at someone's wardrobe with a different eye.  Well, this will force her (and you!!) to do the same thing.  You will be amazed at how it gets you to start thinking outside the box with your own wardrobe.  I told her to be creative, put together things that she normally wouldn't think of.  Try it!!  You will love all the new looks you put together!

Here's a sneak peek at some of the fun stuff we put together for her:

Monday, May 7, 2012

Where have I been??

I know.  Don't you hate it when someone creates a blog, does a few posts and then goes MIA??  Me too!!  So, I apologize to everyone for going MIA.  But, it was all for a good cause!

I hosted my first Style U by Casey Scarf Show.  Yay me!  Now, we have all heard of the Home Shows.  Our moms went to Tupperware, we do Pampered Chef and Stella & Dot.  The parties are so fun.  There is usually food, wine and good friends.

My best blogger buddy and business inspiration, Hilani of www.hilanimade.com, decided we should pool our resources and have our own home show.  

Here is the recipe for a successful home show:

1.  Invite every single person you know.  Dig deep.  Dance classes, school, gym, old friends you haven't seen, nice friends, crazy friends, dog park friends.  Don't limit yourself.  Women love parties!!  And they especially love parties with hand-made gifts and yummy food!
(these are my best buddies (photo taken at an 80's party).  See, invite EVERYONE!!  Even the crazy ones!)

2.  Have plenty of inventory (hence the reason I have been MIA!!).  Also have Special Order forms.  And the best piece of advice from business guru, Hilani, have customers pay up front for special orders.  Second best piece of advice from Hilani, get a Square Up account, www.squareup.com and take credit cards!! Mo' money comin' your way!
Partial Inventory:

3.  Have some yummy food.  And coffee.  And if it is at night, cocktails!  Food, food, food!  Pinterest was invented for Home Shows!
(this food wasn't really at this party, but it sure was yummy!)

4.  Have fun!  

Sound easy??  It is!  We had so much fun!  Here are some display pics to wet your appetite for your own Style U by Casey scarf:
The Derby Scarf (last one available!)
Silky Animal 
Purse Scarves
Scarf Display

The Audra
 Blue Linen
 Coral w/ Crazy Stripe
 The Derby (I love this scarf!!)

Stay tuned next week for three new products that customers requested.  So fun and great to get suggestions and be able to create products for customers.  Summer is right around the corner and these new products will fly off the dining room table!