The Art of the Female Friend

As I have reached middle age I can count my female friends on one hand. I’m not speaking about the acquaintances and people we “act” like are our friends. I’m talking about the hardcore “have your back” and will not talk behind your back kind. I decided that I would conduct an experiment and get together with 3 or 4 female friends that I was convinced wanted the best for me.

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Friends Forever

Guess what, after two hours of nonstop talking about themselves, their accomplishments and problems; I should have just sent a cardboard cutout of myself and had her nod her head. What has happened to the reality of a reciprocal conversation? Afterwards I thought, “what am I doing wrong?” I have always been way introverted but I started to notice a new trend where I was almost going out of my way to try too hard with friendships, which has never been my style. I caught myself a few times mid-sentence trying to brag and suddenly stopped. I sounded ridiculous to myself. What is going on here I thought? Do women not support each each other that way they seem to in public or on social media — which could be a big part of the inherent problem. In the past, we have had to engage and actually conduct a real conversation. Then there is the mom sector who you think who would support you and your children versus compete.

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Therefore, after all this inner turmoil, I decided, yes I do want friends and it is healthy (like that 15 minute walk around the block); however, as we age and mature I would advise to be selective. Life is hard and it is also beautiful. It is alright to just have a few that you know care and let the rest keep showing off. I rather be real and let the others go. It might be painful at first but you feel very free after. Somehow things unfold the way the were supposed to and then you truly value the authenticity of a friend.

The lesson: Do not become bitter. We are here to learn and sometimes painful lessons lead to beautiful things.Just keep going and remember, it’s about the journey. Always!

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An Artistic Expression of Fashion and Style

Elisabeth Katie Style ~ Fashion. Floral.Lifestyle

Fashion posts can be fun, fabulous and fierce. Then every once in a while, there comes along a “story,” actually a special and meaningful one that must be told. Such is the case with James Daugherty and his stunning designs. Do you happen to know who James Daughtery is? Well, I am about to enlighten you.

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My blog has always stemmed from original trailblazers. I like to cover designers and artists (fashion and jewelry) that make an innate and intimate impact upon people. Hopefully designers that inspire others the way they inspire me through their endless creativity, dedication and passion for their art. James Daughtery set the tone for style, fashion and individualism during a time when this was not considered “the norm” for an African-American man. He was the definition of elegance and grace.

I was first introduced to this fashion icon by a dear friend of mine who…

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Keeping it Classy at 40 (plus)

Lately there has been a lot of “rules on style at 40 plus.” Being in my forties is not always fabulous, but I continue to love fashion and finding ways to make it work. Here are my rules:

1. There really are no rules. Do you want to dress like your tween daughter? Absolutely not, but do not be so hard on yourself. Go with what makes you feel good (within reason). If denim works for you, do it. Pair your jeans with a classy button down or stylish sweater. Furthermore, they do not have to be $150.00 jeans either.  I have bought so many jeans at Target that Do work for a great price. Be resourceful and do your research. Go online to get ideas and search for a brand that appeals to you. Yet with jeans, I apply the same rule here as I do with bathing suits: Try them on! If you prefer long skirts that are streamlined that is a lovely look too. Flowy skirts are in at the moment and I love them.

Tory Burch Fae Reversible Jacket ~ Ultimate Street Style
~ Ultimate Street Style

2. Flats at Forty. Nordstrom can be pricey but in all honesty, nothing works better than a classic pair for that school function or work meeting where you want to be casual but also put together. I think some women feel more comfortable in flats than others. Since I am short, I have always preferred a heel but am slowly transitioning to a flatter ground. Many women feel paying a higher price for flats is “too diva” but actually various “high-end”  department stores are quite reasonable than some of the speciality boutiques out there. Without a doubt, they will be a smart shoe investment. Lastly, if you go with a nude flat (maybe unconventional), you can play up other aspects of your look with more color as well as being more bold in your accessory choices. Personally I am obsessed with the look below ~ very sweet and feminine combined with some bohemian aspects.

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Nude flats are wonderful!

3.  Handbags. Obviously these are personal preference and I am obsessed with bags — both big and small. It never hurts to invest in a classy one with a touch of edge. It makes you feel good too. Also, you do not always have to go with black! The grey clutch below is a great option (notice the simple gold chains that add flair). Here she can be bold with her cargo pants since her petite blazer, silk blouse and purse are in the grey/back realm.

Dorothy Schmacher Tailored jacket, patterned blouse, marigold slacls and grey tote

4.  Jewelry.  I would  be a bit more picky in this area. This is the time when your favorite designers come into play. As you know, I have mine. Debbie de la Cueva Jewelry, Moon Rocks To Roses and Liz Bee Jewelry. Independent designers stand out as something different but these lines are all eclectic, classy and unique. All three of these lines are designed by three of my closest friends which makes it even more fun. I am always amazed by their artistry and inspiration to create.

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Moon Rocks To Roses
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Moon Rocks To Roses
Spring Collection
Debbie de la Cueva Jewelry
Liz Bee Jewelry
Liz Bee Jewelry

5.  Makeup. I would go as natural as possible but play up your best features. For a while I was scaring my kids because I decided I needed shadow, eyeliner and mascara. A little too much for me. My rule for this: use a combination of products  that all work together. Most makeup artists I have worked with know the best  cosmetic results come from a seamless blend of different products.  No need at all to stick with one brand. Most important of all — go for a quality moisturizer!!! It starts there. It does not have to be insanely expensive but it definitely helps to use one that consists of beneficial qualities. Especially one with a SPF. That sets the tone for everything else having a smooth finish.

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Protect your Skin ) DNA EGF Skin Renewal

6.  Be You. This might sound cliché but “no one can do You better.” Yes, we can all improve, eat healthier, exercise and have a better attitude. But I finally put down a lot of the fashion magazines (where I thought all good research comes from) and started to really ask myself what works for me. It is not about pleasing anyone else or having a man (as my photographer husband works with some incredibly beautiful women) …. but ultimately,  it comes from within. So make it fun and it will work. Embracing the change is half the battle. Experiment until you feel good about what you choose. As we all know, nothing is more stylish than a confident woman.

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A great choice for pumps ~ camel color
Wearing a multi-color belt adds an eclectic touch
Wearing a multi-color belt adds an eclectic touch

Isabel Marant Girl

I try hard not to be a “trend girl” and I like to keep my copy as fresh as possible; but when it comes to Isabel Marant, the style news is always fabulous. Her designs are so on point and this collection in particular features some budget-friendly buys. This is from whowhatwear.com (one of the best fashion and style sites out there). After seeing these creations, I am an Isabel Marant-Obsessed Girl! If the styles featured are not Isabel Marant, then I chose some pretty swell knockoffs.

Chic studded sandals ~ All the rage!
Chic studded sandals ~ All the rage! Isabel Marant

Marant is known for her ability to seamlessly mix bohemian chic with casual designs. Isabel Marant is the epitome of of Parisian cool, and since I plan to live there in a few years, it all makes sense. She consistently turns out collections of bold prints, relaxed silhouettes and the coolest shoes. (Is it just me…. I have not found a pair I’m thrilled about in years). Here are some pieces from her standout, spring collection. I think with Isabel Marant, she has that European vibe going on, yet she does not take it too far where it is unrealistic.

White fringe Boho
Ivory Item With Frayed Hemline or Tassels Isabel Marant
Perfectly printed summer dress
Perfectly printed Tribal Dress Isabel Marant

Gosh, forty-something is hard enough, yet Isabel Marant makes it a bit more realistic and gets you excited for your wardrobe again. Again, that is what style is all about ~ making it work for you.

Zara Dress
Zara Embroidered Dress
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New Romantics Kamanyani Dress

My Bad

Recently I let some very important people down — all three of my kids. Yes, when I get involved, I go full force. As moms, we all make mistakes. Some parenting mistakes are more costly than others, but there are moments when you truly mess up and admitting that is even more brutal ~ both to your children and yourself.  The “perfect mom scenario” simply does not exist. You can make it look like it exists (on facebook, instagram, etc) (I am guilty of this too), but facebook is a bit of a facade. It has it purposes, it does. Yet, “Why am I friends with people on facebook who were awful to me high school or even my present life now?” This is not the point though.

In reality, it is much more complicated yet fully gratifying to have a real and authentic relationship with your children. Without a doubt, it is worth the time and effort. Sit down with them and really understand what is happening. Listen to what they are saying.It might not be what you expected. safe_image-3.php I got involved in their personal lives and somehow thought, “I knew best” and “I can fix this.”  As it turns out, I made a fool of myself and now am dealing with the consequences.  With my daughter, she is still a child, so I got involved for a very fair and valid reason. Yet, when the teenage years start, it is a different beast. Warning: when your teenage sons say, “Let me handle this,” it is best to listen. Ironically, I thought I was helping them, but unfortunately, I hurt them in the process. Why did I feel the need to get involved? They are already self-sufficient and extremely mature. I am having a hard time myself answer this question. Maybe I feel my kids need me more than they really do. Maybe I want to feel useful; yet, it just might be time to let all three figure it out on their own ~ bruises and all. I have always prided myself on letting them have an incredible amount of independence and breathing room. safe_image-5.php So how do you heal from this? Well, you can apologize, but be prepared for that not to go very far. You have to go through the unwanted valley of watching their disappointment within you and simply, giving it time to ride the wave. Truly, there is nothing worse than doubting your child to handle a situation that they have assured you they can do themselves. So who is this really about? My bruised ego or trusting my kids? It is about understanding that I need to step back. I cannot rectify certain situations. Yes, I doubted when I should have trusted. And honestly, I am not sure what is worse: the disappointment from them, within myself or from other moms. Maybe all three, but without a doubt my kids first.1978593_1417084811919417_2679505439009740731_o Adults have growing pains too. It is very hard to let go but one must in order to rebuild (not only yourself), but your relationship with these “new mini adults.” I think the key is to never give up — mistakes and all. Keep communicating as best as you can and hope for a breakthrough, even a small one. It is worth the time, effort and pain. Remember, you have one shot at this parenting thing. It is something you want to do well.  Yes, the helicopter has landed ~ no more hovering.10649990_325256107641669_1484035156621811758_n