Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Grecian Greatness: Dress Edition

Every single Vintage piece has a story. The story of the woman, or women who gave it a past life or the era/decade that the garment was first created.

I love when I come across imagery showcasing a piece that I have available in my eBoutique, EVOLUTION VINTAGE

Seen here in a light shade version on SNL star Jan Hooks during a skit in 1986.
Nora Dunn, the other half of the Sweeney Sisters alongside Jan Hooks - pictured on SNL in October 1986

The mint green Grecian goddess number by by Mister Jay is a draped delight from the 1980's an available via Evolution Vintage. I love the sequin and beaded detail at the waist. SHOP THE DRESS





Monday, September 26, 2016

TINOGONA: Dr. Tererai Trent


Making a commitment to myself and deciding to push through personal boundaries can yield the most profound and unexpected gifts. This weekend I spent in Ojai, California at The Empowered Authors Academy hosted by the dynamic, authentic, publishing powerhouse of Enliven Books Zhena Muzyka. I will chronicle my thoughts and feelings about this weekend in an upcoming post.


I wanted to share one of the MANY amazing humans I had the pleasure of sharing a room with over the last 2 days, the beautiful Dr. Tererai Trent.


Dr. Trent's story is nothing short of incredible! She evolved from living as an abused child bride (age 11)  in a small village in Zimbabwe, under poverty conditions that we spoiled westerners could not even fathom, to dreaming what seemed to everyone else an impossible dream of hope and education. She wanted a life with access to education, plenty to eat and peace. Her mother and grandmother supported the belief that she held the power to change her life and realize all of her dreams.


She wrote a brilliantly illustrated children's book called "The Girl Who buried her dreams in a can" that tells her story to the girls she is now empowered to uplift. I acquired the book yesterday for my 8 year old daughter and I am so excited to be able to share it with her.

Not only did Dr. Trent realize her dream of acquiring an education (a bachelors degree, two master's degrees, a PhD and 4 honorary degrees) she has inspired thousands of women and girls to reach for their dreams, never letting the bleakest of situation, towering odds or geographical restrtictions stop them from dreaming and living the lives they want.

Dr. Trent is Oprah's ALL TIME favorite guest and received a gratitude gift from lady O herself to the tune of 1.5 million dollars to build schools in Zimbabwe, thousands are now being given access to education because of Dr. Trent's sacrifices, vision, dedication and hard work!






She is currently writing her memoir soon to be published by Enliven Books! I cannot WAIT to get my hands on what I know will be a national and global BEST SELLER.


WITH SINCERE GRATITUDE to you Dr. Trent for inspiring me to not only make all the dreams I have held silent into a reality by sharing my unique voice but showing me through both your word and deed TINOGONA - It is achievable! When we unite our voices as women, empower and inspire one another there is truly nothing that we cannot accomplish.


Make a donation to Dr. Trent's Foundation





Thursday, September 22, 2016

Falling Into Autumn


I love the changing of the seasons. Growing up in Ontario Canada there was a stark contrast and my favorite transition was between summer and fall. There was something about the difference in the air, the falling of the leaves and changing colors. I now live in California and this transition is a lot more subtle, but last night was the first night I felt a slight chill in the air. I used my seat warmer in my car today when transporting my kids to school this morning so I know for sure the season is upon us.

I was thinking a lot about the concept of these falling leaves as a metaphor for letting go. People who are attune to the seasons and the subtle shift in nature can gain insight from the "messages". To me the falling of the leaves symbolizes a shedding of sorts and a letting go.

It is fascinating that the tress instinctively know when it is time to let go and release their leaves, making way for fresh new ones after a period of barrenness and rest. As humans we wonder why we don't have the same innate capacity as we watch the literal leaves falling from the trees. I believe that we ALL do. We simply choose to ignore feelings, rationalize red flags away and let our inner voices be drowned out by all of the external noise of the busy world that surrounds us. We are afraid to strip it all away and see ourselves clearly. We cannot hide from ourselves if our life camouflage is gone.  The change that is brought forth breeds fear and we try to avoid it. When we let go and let our life leaves fall we never know what new opportunities, friends, connections are just around the corner. 

Today is the perfect time to take pause, be silent and still and think about all the people and things in your life. Give gratitude for the blessings that make you feel good and examine the things that have been nagging at you, make you feel off, cause stress or negative emotions. We ALL have that intuitive voice inside, can you hear it? Could you just make a commitment to yourself, today on the first day of autumn, to just let it all go? Bid farewell to the people in your life who are not authentic and hurt you? Say goodbye to situations that no longer serve you in a positive way? Send all of your own behaviors who's results and consequences are causing you stress or anxiety far far away? make some personal changes that are not comfortable but are necessary?

I think you can. That is what I will do with the latter part of my day. Recently my world has went through a cleansing of sorts, only because I am listening to myself a lot more and clearing away all of the negative people, energy, habits and situations. By taking accountability for exactly where I am standing in life is so difficult and painful but necessary and empowering all at the same time. I've taken my head out of my phone and essentially my ass and began to look up a lot more. Because after all, the sky is indeed the limit.


A falling leaf captured by my iphone ... see what happens when you look up?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Best: Black & White


Ruben Ireland


As we approach the fall season there is always a default annual color pallet of neutrals; including of course earth tones. What about two shades: Black and White. This color combination in accessories and clothing is a style staple and is seasonless. 


Some of my favorite Black and White pieces for fall:

Best Splurge


Best Loafer


Best Repro (1950s Reproduction)



Best Investment



Best Bag 

Best Makeup Case


Best Palm Print (Contemporary and Vintage)


Vintage Palm Print

Some of the best Black  and White pieces from EVOLUTION VINTAGE

Best Designer Vintage

Best Maxi Dress

Best Dress Set (Worn 3 Ways)



Best Jumpsuit

Best Blouse

Best Dots


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Footprints & Contemplation

Image: East Beach Santa Barbra 9/12/16

Since Labor Day my family has been in serious flux due to the illness of an extended family member. My brother-in-law has spent the last 10 days in the ICU, fighting his way out of the dark hole of addiction. A brutal addiction to alcohol and drugs that has left him literally fighting for his life.  My husband has been at his bed side and in his absence it got me thinking about our footprint on this life, what is it we leave behind in others? A whole host of friends have made a week long endless procession past his bed and some stayed holding vigil, waiting for him to wake up. Thankfully he has come back to us yesterday but I was left amazed and still pondering the foot print analogy. Even through the depths of his horrid disease he was able to leave such an amazing footprint on the lives of all who have texted, called, prayed, emailed and paid a physical visit to his bedside.

His addiction is just part of his story, it isn't who he is. His authentic self has been buried and smothered by the dark cloak of addiction for so long but everyone knew HE was still in there. I did not know him before his addiction. I was introduced to and grew to care for the man who the addiction held captive because he still put on a jovial face through his obvious pain and showed glimpses of his kind heart to me over the years that I have had the privilege of being married to his brother. Footprint left. 

Is it only when you see someone for who they truly are, looking past their perceived faults, disabilities, symptoms of their diseases and repercussions of their choices that they have the ability to leave that footprint behind? 

I wonder why some footprints (impressions/feelings) stay intact and others fade, like those left in the soft sand that are whisked away by the tide leaving no trace behind. 

Part of the miracle of life is not having all the answers. I felt compelled to share my contemplation in hopes of arriving at some. Maybe the footprints are simply feelings that say more about who you are then who has left them. If we are busy judging someone for perceived flaws or other issues we are missing the opportunity to enjoy how they, flaws and all, make us feel in that moment. The footprints then could be an accumulation of those tiny moments, the end result or manifestation of our own openness to really see someone and allow them to make an impression. 

I am interested to hear your thoughts. Leave them in the comment section below.

Enjoy leaving and receiving footprints today.




Monday, September 5, 2016

Now Watching: Born This Way


In 2015 the Network A&E brought us an original 6 episode docuseries that chronicles the lives of 7 individuals who have Down Syndrome and their families. It is back for a second season and airs on A&E at 10/9c Tuesdays. It is obvious that my initial attraction to the show would be the fact that my son also has Down Syndrome and I was looking forward to seeing the characters on the show as all of our families are connected through our kids designer genes. I was happily surprised that this show I related to but it is SO MUCH MORE. 

The network, A&E should be commended for providing diversity in their programming and giving their viewership an opportunity to celebrate differences. The celebration of differences and the emphasis on being unique is something seriously lacking in television and our society in my opinion. This show is a breath of fresh air to me and I love that the network has certainly lived up to their slogan: Be Original! 


It is an important lesson in humanity and a reminder to everyone: People with Down Syndrome have the same feelings, hopes and dreams like everyone else. They may process and navigate the world in a different way or require extra assistance or time but they navigate it just the same. This reaffirmation coupled with the inspiring cast is a great reason to tune in. I often wonder what the 'general population' would accomplish and achieve putting in as much hard work and effort that these individuals put into every day tasks. This show is providing us all with an opportunity to learn as there are still so many misconceptions about people with Down Syndrome.


The Parents take the show to another level for me. I can truly relate to the issues they have faced and continue to face with their children and it's simply because I am a PARENT. They face the same challenges that other parents face but during different stages in life. I applaud them all and look forward weekly to hearing more about their children, strategies they have used and their experiences in parenting their extraordinary humans.

Finally this show has a HEART, something we can all relate too. The friendships, bonds, challenges, triumphs, obstacles and determination we see each week is both heartwarming and inspiring to me.


If you can't watch live on Tuesday 10/9C please DVR/PVR the rest of the season or catch up and stream it online HERE 







Sunday, September 4, 2016

Flawless


Today the creative force that is Beyonce celebrates her 35th birthday and it made me think about the evolution of her music. Her new visual album Lemonade was a very powerful statement but the 2013 track 'Flawless' is equally as powerful for budding feminists or an inspirational anthem for girls challenging them to rise and accept themselves.


We teach girls to shrink themselves
To make themselves smaller
We say to girls
"You can have ambition
But not too much
You should aim to be successful
But not too successful
Otherwise you will threaten the man"
Because I am female
I am expected to aspire to marriage
I am expected to make my life choices
Always keeping in mind that
Marriage is the most important
Now marriage can be a source of
Joy and love and mutual support
But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage
And we don't teach boys the same?
We raise girls to each other as competitors
Not for jobs or for accomplishments
Which I think can be a good thing
But for the attention of men
We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings
In the way that boys are
Feminist: the person who believes in the social
Political, and economic equality of the sexes


This is so great considering her platform to reach young women and remind them of 2 things:

1) The meaning of Feminism and to ponder social constructs that continue to limit women.

2) That they, as is, are indeed FLAWLESS and empower them in the physical realm.

You wake up, flawless
Post up, flawless
Ride round in it, flawless
Flossin on that, flawless
This diamond, flawless
My diamond, flawless
This rock, flawless
My rock, flawless
I woke up like this
I woke up like this
We flawless, ladies tell 'em
I woke up like this
I woke up like this
We flawless, ladies tell 'em
Say I, look so good tonight
God damn, God damn
Say I, look so good tonight
God damn, God damn


From a style perspective her look in the video is quite a departure for her. First of all it makes me want to chop my hair and give it texture and take a second look at a button down with a statement brooch. I believe she paired her plaid button down with a necklace but I personally prefer a brooch. Wear it YOUR way ... necklace or brooch .. or necklace AND brooch .. or nothing at all. Wear with jeans or follow Queen Bey into short, short jean shorts (even for fall maybe with a fun fishnet) with a metal chain belt of our choice. Think androgyny meets grunge chic with a side of moto boot! 

GET THE LOOK
Vintage Printed Men's Shirt