Saturday, October 1, 2016

DSAM 2016

I can't believe that another year has gone by and we can officially begin the celebration for Down Syndrome Awareness month. October is also Breast Cancer Awareness month and I will be sharing lots of inspiring and meaningful stories of courageous women I have the honor of bring connected with.

To kick off DSAM 2016 I have partnered with The National Down Syndrome Society and started a campaign to celebrate differences, promote inclusion and raise funds for this amazing Human Right's Organization.

My goal is to raise $5,000 by the end of the month in support of NDSS and all the great work they do for The Down Syndrome community and families like mine. The campaign is inspired by my 5 year old son Blake! 

Any size donation is helpful and appreciated. No donation is too small (or big!). If you are unable to donate please consider sharing the link on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Blog or email your contacts.  You never know who will be come the next Parents, Sibling, Cousin, Friend of someone who has Down Syndrome. Blake wasn't diagnosed until after he was born in May of 2011 and our world was forever changed!

Together we can create an inclusive world that is full of love, respect, community and celebrate our differences. Lets face it, we all have differences, challenges and ABILITY! There is room for all of us to shine and support one another!

How will you celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month?

Friday, September 30, 2016

New Moon

Paper Moon Pin-up

A new moon in tropical Libra which to me is a sign of a new beginning, a new adventure and a re-boot of sorts. Take the time this weekend to rest and absorb all that you left on the field of life this week. Sometimes our lives are just so full that a day (or two) is in order to process everything.

MysticMamma shares this, "Whatever it is, this New Moon plants the seeds for increased stability and cooperation in some aspect of your life. Mercury’s retrograde cycle is now over. Perhaps you’ve encountered some setbacks in the past few weeks. But it’s also possible that those setbacks served to gift you with a different perspective.'

Reading this coupled with the wisdom of  Dr. Trent (read her blog feature HERE)

 "Don’t let the current challenges despair you — sometimes it is the ugliness of our environment that propels us towards our greatness." TT

 It looks like we are all in for a fabulous week ahead celestial creatures, because regardless of our current environments it is all a matter of perspective!

Happy Friday & New Moon

Actress Hedy Lamarr

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.