Thursday, October 31, 2013

25 Inspired Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes!

It is Fall and Winter is coming in many parts of the world.  No matter where you live, a scarf is a necessity but doesn't have to be stale, unimaginative or unfashionable!  It is an accessory that can be purchased at multiple price points, in many styles and worn in many ways!

With over 20 million views, we love this simple YouTube video on how to wear a scarf 25 ways with different tie options you may have heard of and some that you probably have never heard of!

Here are some great scarfs from our retail partners:

Forzieri has the most covetable and luxurious accessories that includes a Vivienne Westwood black and gold scarf and Missoni zig zag scarft that we are in love with! Use their drop down menu in the upper left hand corner to shop in your home country...they deliver globally!

China print Vince Camuto unique option: China Print Scarf

Saks Fifth Avenue (UK) has a great Plaid Cashmere option for our European Curva-Lish readers

An Alexander McQueen Skull scarf from Nordstrom is a statement piece that you can wear forever

If you love Polka Dots or Tribal Print, then Hobbs Ltd (UK) offers a great option

Most people know Amazon as selling strictly books or electronics but they have a huge selection of greatly priced fashion and we found these Mixed Infinity Brick and this gorgeous Leopard Print Cashmere scarves that are cute and highly functional for day or night!

Happy scarf-ing!

Curva-Lish Team

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How-To Inspired Wreaths: Football!

Yes, we know it's the holidays and when you first saw wreaths you thought about Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Well, we wanted to do something a little different.  What about wreaths that celebrate Football that can also be a fun family project you can do with the kids, your community group or as a fun activity with some girlfriends and wine!

I asked my talented friend Meredith to share her how-to tips and give us a few steps to make a wreath with a football/sports theme that's a different twist than the traditional holiday theme (we'll also cover that in a November post). 

Since we are in the great state of Texas, of course Meredith selected a University of Texas at Austin (UT) (whose chant is "Hook 'Em" and mascot is the Longhorn) and Texas Christian University (TCU) themed wreaths to share with us!

Here are Meredith's tips and steps to make a "Too Easy Tutu Wreath":

Step #1 Start with a styrofoam wreath form and 3-4 6 inch x 25 yard rolls of tulle in the colors and patterns of your choosing. You can find it in a wide variety at most craft stores (or see our links below).  I find that 2 or 4 colors work best.  You will also need accent ribbons and letters or pieces to glue on to accent the wreath depending on your theme.

Step #2 Begin by cutting the tulle into even strips roughly 15-17 inches long.  The easiest way to do this is to wrap it around cardboard lengthwise and cut the ends.

What You'll Need (Step #1)
Step #3 Double knot each strip of tulle around the wreath form as shown, alternating in a pattern of your choosing.  For two colors, I typically do an AABBAABB pattern, for three I've found that ABABCABABC works well.  I used purple, black, and white in the TCU wreath below, and just orange and white on the UT one.

Step #4 Make sure that each knot is very close to the one before it, and continue tying knots until you've gone all the way around the wreath--no hot glue or sewing needed!  When finished, give the wreath a "haircut" to trim any long tulle pieces that are sticking out.

Step #5  Cut your accent ribbons (if you want to use them) into pieces a little shorter than your tulle and knot them around the wreath as well.

Step #6  Finish by gluing accents or letters onto your wreath--whatever your heart desires to match your theme or decor!  You can do a sports team theme, a hobby theme, a family reunion theme, a birthday theme, a best friend theme, a vision/goal theme, etc...the possibilities are endless!  Use your imagination!

To purchase accessories like what Meredith suggests, our partner Amazon has some great options in their Arts, Crafts, and Sewing section for your own "Too Easy Tutu Wreath":

Happy wreath-ing!

Que and Meredith

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Run Your Own Race

The motivation for this post came to me as I walked along the lake one morning. As I came towards the end of my walk, a guy passing by on a bike yelled, "Get moving and go faster!"  After I got over the shock of how rude I thought his comment was, I sat down at a nearby bench and pondered what would make a total stranger yell something like that?  I was doing my best and running my own race.

When I sat down, that was the first time in the countless times I've been to the lake that I noticed it's beauty.  I always went to the lake with a specific mission in mind: exercise.  There were athletes walking, running, biking, hiking and some parents playing with their children. In other words, everyone was running their own race doing what gave them satisfaction.

This made me think:  the longer I live, the more I am convinced that true, authentic victory in life comes from running your own race.

Then what happened next really surprised me...I realized that I am extremely grateful to be out on that lake walking!  You see, I had major reconstructive knee surgery a few years ago and since moving from Seattle (a colder climate that made it painful to just walk) to a warmer climate in Texas, my quality of life and health has improved tremendously!  I've been living in Texas for about 10 years and this was the first time I could recall sitting calm and still, thankful for better health and greater mobility in my knees.

I started Curva-Lish for exactly this same reason: to figure out how to focus on running my own race.  I love fashion, I love style and home d├ęcor but I also love learning new things in the areas of self development, purpose and tools to create greater happiness and self awareness.  After searching for a blog that would help me with being a "work in progress" and not finding one, I created Curva-Lish to be such a resource for all those who felt the same way I did!

Inspired and Authentic Life of Style, Purpose and Grace

What's also interesting is I created Curva-Lish's first post on the one year anniversary after I resigned from my corporate job so that I could replace that date with a memory of not being scared to death of what life would unfold but of a memory when I dared to create something believing that my experience wasn't the only one.

It has been a little over a year since Curva-Lish began and I am always startled at who reads the posts: our top 5 locations where Curva-Lish is read is the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Russia and India. This proves what I thought from the beginning...the experiences of being a woman is universal no matter your country. We are all seeking out tools, resources and ways to live the most inspired and authentic life we can.

I hope you all will continue to read and support the blog by signing up for updates via email and forward to your girlfriends!  You can also support Curva-Lish by shopping with our partners who took a chance on what started as a small blog whose future is bright with a readership that grows every month! (You must be viewing the full web version to sign up for the newsletter and shop with our partners)

Curva-Lish is a labor of my absolute purest love and although I really hope you are enjoying it, the interviews, research, time and reading I have to do to write the posts have a way of opening up a new door for me which I consider to be priceless!

I recently ran across this book that I'd highly recommend to help you on your journey for inspiration and authenticity:  How Good Do You Want to Be?

And remember, run your own race (even when there are jerks yelling at you to go faster!) and I'd love to hear your thoughts on the posts, ideas for future posts, guest posting or anything else that is on your mind!  Send us an email or comment below...thanks!

Curva-Lish Team

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Vulnerability: The Key to Wholeness?

I watched the OWN Lifeclass on Sunday with Brene Brown discussing her revealing research on our inadequacies with Vulnerability.  My first thought was that I would likely not get very much out of it but wow, was I wrong! 

Within the first five minutes I scrambled to my office to get my journal and pen to take notes!  I was so blown away by what was shared that I wanted to share some of the notes I took and also share some of the tools they mentioned that can help you on your vulnerability journey.

You can choose courage or you can choose comfort but you can't have both.
You get from this life what you have the courage to ask for.  There will always be someone who wants you to fail.  Press on anyway.  Even if only you and God believe in what you are doing, continue to believe.
We are often the most afraid to be vulnerable because we use armor to protect ourselves from hurt.
Armor we use to protect ourselves:
  • Perfectionism:  when perfectionism is driving, shame is always riding shotgun and fear is the annoying backseat driver.  It is a way of thinking "If I could look perfect, live perfect, work   perfect then I can minimize criticism, ridicule and shame.  There is a difference between healthy striving and perfection.
    • Healthy striving: internally focused and wanting to be the best I can be
    • Perfection: Asks and is driven by what will people think of me
  • Numbing:  using outlets such as food, drugs, gossip and social media to numb fears and put on armor.  Asking for help is a bid for connection (vulnerability) and is asking "I am in pain/trouble, can you make space for me." 
  • Forboding:  joy is a vulnerable emotion we experience; if you can't tolerate joy, then you start dress rehearsing tragedy...for example, you stand over your sleeping child and think "I love you" and then your mind starts to think of a tragedy.  People who can Lean In to joy and settle into present moment and fill yourself up with gratefulness is exhibiting vulnerability.
  • Cynicism, Criticism and Cool:  the biggest armor is disengagement...our world is experiencing this at unprecedented levels due to anonymous social media comments, etc.  You also have permission to live in the moment and be is an armor. 
Why should you care about dismantling your armor?
Armor truncates the story of your life
Again, you get from this life what you have the courage to ask for and it comes down to worthiness.  There are no pre-requisites to's AS-IS.

Wholeheartedness is about engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.  To be a person who believes they are worthy, you have to go back to "Where did that come from?"
So how to do you take steps to get rid of "Gremlin" (negative, unworthiness) thinking?
  1. Know what you triggers shame for you
  2. Reality check the Gremlins
  3. Reach out and share your story (with trustworthy people who have earned a right to hear it)
  4. Speak Shame (counterintuitive but talk to yourself like you would someone you love; secrecy, silence and judgment are three things that shame needs to grow exponentially)
Our collective loss of capacity for vulnerability comes from the need to believe that everything is supposed to be comfortable and happy all the time...that is not the way we are built.
One key step to take your vulnerability journey suggested by Ms. Brown:  every morning tell yourself "Courage is my value and it could get uncomfortable today".
To find a helping professional certified in Brene Brown's work, go to Daring Way
Oprah and Brene are partnering to bring a six-week eCourse titled "The Gifts of Imperfection" which starts October 20, 2013.  You can sign up here

I've started my journey to vulnerable living by starting with the simple question "Where did that come from?"...I hope you join me/us.
Curva-Lish Team

Monday, October 7, 2013

Cultivate a Better Belief in Yourself

I recently read a great article in Career Brazen that had us thinking about how our audience could benefit from this great information. I am constantly amazed at how much people are un-willing to admit that life and leadership does not have a manual that guarantees that if you follow the steps, success is imminent. Life, career, motherhood, friendships, marriage, board service, etc. is filled with seasons of strength, seasons of confusion, constant learning and eye-opening aha moments.

There is no recipe... That's why the Career Brazen article stood out to was an honest write-up with tips on how to empower your journey to cultivate a better belief in yourself!

Ever had an event so big and devastating you felt your dreams and ambitions were shattered in one fell swoop? I have and it has threatened every ounce of esteem and past accomplishments that I could feel good about often replacing them with thoughts that my successes were accidents! Or maybe it’s not one event, but a succession of life circumstances that make you doubt your potential, causing you to question yourself and hesitate.

The article also pointed out another factor:  Too often we’re led to believe the lot we’ve been cast dictates who we become — that we’re a product only of our environments. People put us in boxes and stereotypes, claiming our possibilities are dictated by who our parents were, where we were born, what our skin color is, how pretty we are, how much money we have. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. These sweeping statements create a belief culture where people focus more on who they’re expected to be than who they want to be. And these restrictive beliefs have the tendency to become self-fulfilling prophecies. Other people’s limitations are only prophetic if you give them credence. 

Lastly, the article pointed out: If you let your environment dictate your future, you’re reinforcing your own glass ceiling. You’ll only go so far and so high. But if you foster a healthy belief culture, you’ve already exponentially increased your chances of success. Think about it this way: You have a small garden in your backyard. It’s just a small plot of dirt. In it, you plant flowers — little seedlings with the potential to bloom. But, as with most gardens, weeds creep in. They start to encroach on your flowers’ growing space. You have a couple of options. You can either let the weeds remain, killing off your flowers and littering your garden space, or you can weed them out. You can remove the junk and cultivate a space where your flowers can bloom.

Creating a healthy belief system is like that. While it would be great if we went through life with only positive people and situations around us, that just isn’t possible. Life is real and it can be hard. You’ll come across people who doubt you and want to hold you back. You’ll have discouraging experiences that will make you second-guess yourself and your ambitions. But all of these negative people and events are weeds. Remove them or you’ll never be able to see your dreams bloom. To move forward, you’re going to have to revolutionize your beliefs.

Here’s how to remove your weeds:

1. Take inventory of your self-talk Think about how you internally describe yourself, good or bad, and write it down: I’m not good enough. I’m too fat. That could never be me. Nobody’s better than me. I’m super smart. I’m very shy. I’m not a good test-taker.

2. Identify the self-talk that isn’t serving you Go back to your inventory, and for every statement, ask: Is this going to serve me to meet my goals in the future?

3. Replace negative self-talk Change your thoughts to a new dialogue that will move you forward toward your ultimate goal: I used to be very shy, but I’m more outgoing than I’ve ever been. Will you be your own glass ceiling, or will you accept and fully embrace — no matter what happens — that there’s more out there for you than what you’re settling for?

Que representing the Curva-Lish Team