Thursday, August 14, 2014

A 10-Day Journey of Imperfection (Part 1 of 10)

Get it here
One of our most popular Curva-Lish posts was "The Key to Wholehearted Living" where we gave a highlight of Brene' Brown's "The Gifts of Imperfection", her wildly popular book that serves as a guide to wholehearted living.

Although I was happy to write about it, I wanted to delve deeper and didn't think one post covering all 10 Guideposts (Tips) was sufficient so I am going to use myself as an example to discuss each guidepost over the next 10 days and how it leads me down a path to envelop my imperfections.

Book Summary: In The Gifts of Imperfection, BrenĂ© Brown, a leading expert on shame, authenticity, and belonging, shares ten guideposts on the power of Wholehearted living—a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.

Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we'd no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, "What if I can't keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn't everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?"

In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, "No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough," and to go to bed at night thinking, "Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn't change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging."

GuidePost #1:  Cultivating Authenticity (Letting Go of What People Think)
I don't know about you but when I hear people announce, "I don't care what other people think about me.", those seem to be the people who cares THE MOST about what other people think of them!  I maybe wrong but to me, if you are comfortable in not caring what others think about you, then there doesn't seem to be a reason to announce it as if it's something that was an award...ok, let me not digress.
This is perhaps my most favorite of all of the guideposts because Brown's messaging of authenticity is directly connected to our mission statement.  What I love even more about the guidepost is that she used the word "cultivating".  In my own journey to do my best to present my most authentic self to the world as my life evolved and as I age to different seasons in my life, it requires a different method of cultivating authenticity.  

For example, when I was a new college graduate starting my career, authenticity meant be brave enough to believe that even though 90% of the people I worked with in my department were twice my age, I still had a voice to contribute.  When I became a leader of a publicly traded company, authenticity meant believing in being a leader that empowered my team without assuming the dictatorship leadership style that was prevalent in the industry that the company operated.  Each instance was tough but each instance started with me making a other words, to let go of what people might think of my decision to bring my authentic self to the workplace.

Does this resonate with you?

Whether you are a mom who doesn't have the time to be the #1 PTA volunteer, the board member who decides that you can't lead the committee due to your promise to your family to be more "present" during family socials, or the single woman who chooses to live a life of traveling until you do get married despite the constant comments about how "you must not be happy since you are not married"...deciding to do what will work best for you is the most sure-fire way I know of letting go of what others think and thus, creating a life of authenticity.

Be brave, make decisions that correlate to your evolution and season in life and more importantly, let go of whether everyone understands your are worth it.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Authentic Beauty: Skin from the Inside Out

Get Skin that Glows Authentically
As I age, I am noticing more and more that the products that worked on my skin 10 years ago are completely ineffective on my skin now.  It seems to have happened overnight! And, as I'm heading into a new decade, I'm getting more serious about searching for ways to keep my skin healthy.  And as much as I have switched products to deal with the surface of my skin, I am a fan of Dr. Perricone who is regularly featured in periodicals for his advice on how to care for the skin with products developed by his company but also is an advocate for dealing with what we put in our bodies that impacts the glow, dullness and overall nature of our skin.

"Our skin is the perfect barometer of our internal health," says Dr. Perricone, who compiled a list of beauty super-foods that can help you get an authentic glow from the inside out.  "Anything that lessens inflammation imparts radiance to the skin.  In practice I've seen a huge difference-comparable to a face-lift- in just two or three days when people switch to an anti-inflammatory diet."

Dr. Perricone also states, "One of the greatest joys of my research has been discovering the role of key nutrients in the foods we eat and how they impact our beauty, health and longevity. What I often refer to as 'super-foods' are those remarkable anti-inflammatory, healing and rejuvenating properties, which have all but been forgotten in today's world of fast and processed 'food'."

So I was excited when I saw this short list of the most impactful super-foods that can give you gorgeous skin in little time and that are easily purchased from your neighborhood grocery store or weekend market.

Properties Key:
* = Hydrating
** = Glow-Boosting
*** = Firming
**** = Detoxifying

Wild Salmon:  Omega fatty acids improve tone *, **, ***

Kale:  Fiber and vitamins give a good glow **, ****

Olive Oil:  Essential fatty acids hydrate and reduce inflammation *, ***

Blueberries:  Antioxidants neutralize wrinkle-forming free radicals *, ***, ****

Cinnamon:  Just 1/2 teaspoon stabilizes blood sugar for up to two weeks ***

Lemon Juice:  Vitamin C promotes collagen production *, ***, ****

Kefir:  Probiotics boost radiance *, **, ****

Walnuts:  Essential fatty acids hydrate and plump *, ***, ****

I thought this list of super-foods for skin was do-able and something I could eat for a few days in preparation for a big meeting, an important function, or to just do once a month to revive my skin.

As I researched this post, I also found a 3-day diet Dr. Perricone recommends that is also intended to give you a face-lift! The promise of a visible difference in your looks in just three days may seem too good to be true. But if you eat the wrinkle-free way for even a short period of time, you will experience dramatic changes, not only in how you look, but how you feel.

Note: If you feel you need a change from all the salmon, you may substitute poultry or tofu - but remember the special essential fatty acids and antioxidants in salmon give skin a remarkable suppleness, radiance and youthful glow.

  1. 3 egg omelet and/or 4-6 oz. grilled salmon. I do not recommend smoked salmon or lox on the three-day diet because of the salt intake.
  2. ½ cup cooked oatmeal (not instant). Cooked oatmeal is a great source of fiber, low glycemic carbohydrates.
  3. 2” wedge of cantaloupe or 1/3 cup fresh berries. Cantaloupe is very hydrating to the skin and contains important antioxidants - blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries are high in antioxidants.
  4. No Juice, No Coffee or Toast. If you normally drink large amounts of coffee, drink black or green tea to prevent caffeine withdrawal.
  5. 8 - 12 oz. spring water

  1. 4-6 oz. grilled salmon. Option: you can also use canned salmon and mix a little mayo and fresh squeezed lemon.
  2. 2 cups green salad made with romaine lettuce or other dark leafy greens. Dressing: extra virgin olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon to taste.
  3. 1 kiwi fruit or cantaloupe and berries as above.
  4. 8 – 12 oz. spring water.

  1. 1 apple
  2. 2 oz. slice of turkey breast or 6 oz. plain yogurt.
  3. Small handful of hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds. Great source of fatty acids and folic acid.


Get a Healthy Glow
  1. 4-6 oz. grilled salmon.
  2. Green Salad as described above.
  3. ½ cup steamed veggies. Especially asparagus, broccoli, spinach, etc. NO root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, beets, parsnips, etc.
  4. Cantaloupe and berries.
  5. 8 – 12 oz. spring water.

Before Bedtime Snack

  1. 1 pear or apple.
  2. 2 oz. slice chicken or turkey breast or 6 oz. plain yogurt.
  3. Small handful of hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds. Great source of fatty acids and folic acid.

Let me know how well this worked out for you!  


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Be Inspired to Will What You Want

I have been greatly inspired and empowered by the new Under Armour campaign slogan of:


The reason why I love it so much is that it is such an empowering message for women and how you can use your own will to get what you want out of life.  You don't have to be a professional athlete to be inspired by the amazing journey of how someone like spokesperson Misty Copeland overcame circumstances to get what she really wanted:

Misty's story:  She started training too late. She didn't have the right body type. Everything seemed to indicate that Misty Copeland would not be a professional ballerina. Everything except her WILL. Now Misty is a ballerina soloist that is considered one of the most premier ballerinas of all time...all because she decided to be it.

I can completely relate to Misty because, for example, I grew up on the front porch of elder family members and neighborhood families telling stories of our history at catfish fries while watching Dallas Cowboy games.  I considered this a blessing that our family history was being passed down through stories of bravery, loss, and the births of life.

However, as I went to school, I was told repeatedly that I'd never be a good writer and make sure I chose a profession where I wouldn't have to write much.  As you can imagine, this was hard to hear over and over so that by the time I went to college, I had hopes that I could somehow be able to graduate without my lack of writing skills preventing me from getting decent grades.  It didn't.

What I know now as an adult writing blog posts as apart of my profession, it wasn't that I wasn't a good writer, It was that my writing style is truly indicative of my memories of telling a story...not whether it properly aligned to English prose.

It was only through sheer will and belief in myself that I decided to become a blogger that lead to a growing lifestyle brand.  Every time I sit down to write anything, I have to tell myself not to approach it with fear from all those years of hearing that I was a bad writer.  Instead, as Under Armour says, I Will What I Want, which is to create a source for women around the globe to be inspired and empowered to find their authentic style, grace and purpose through the postings on Curva-Lish.

No matter what it is in your heart to do, don't let a negative comment from someone else deter you from fulfilling and experiencing all that you want for your life.  You living a full life has a way of being a gift to all those that know you and those who surround you.  Never stop believing that...shut out those negative voices.

Here's to all women in my hope that what we will is creating what we want...bravo Under Armour!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Inspired Style: Macaroons

If you are active on social media you may have noticed that macaroons are hot right now (not literally but figuratively)!  Most people are familiar with Macaroons when they think of Paris' Laduree, a historical landmark that shows up in every tourist photo.

However, I have seen macaroons from parties in New York, Boston, and Chicago to celebrations of the arts, weddings, Bastille day, to books on how to create these treats!  Macaroons are literally everywhere!

So, I was not surprised by the new collection released today by Shabby Apple.  They released their new Fall favorites today and we are loving their affordable and classy collection including their skirts inspired by macaroons!

Image Credit: Shabby Apple and Stylish Petite (Instagram)
The macaroon inspiration was gorgeously worn by style blogger Stylish Petite!  Both skirts she is wearing are available on Shabby Apple.  "Midi" skirts are so on trend right now and if you combine that with inspiration from macaroons, you can't go wrong!

Happy shopping and check out Shabby Apple's other great Fall fashions! And remember, net commissions from all sales from our website are donated to charities that support women and children!


Friday, August 1, 2014

We Are Curva-Lish: Become a Curva-Lish Ambassador!

Celebrate our 2nd year anniversary of the Curva-Lish women's lifestyle brand developed from the grief of a daughter over the sudden loss of her beloved 52 year old mother that then created a purpose and is now ready to continue its global impact of spreading the mission of inspired lives of authentic style, grace and purpose!

Complete a profile and we'll contact you within 10 business days!



Authenticity in LIfe and Business with Event Planning Extraordinaire Preston Bailey

As you know, I created Curva-Lish with a mission of inspiration but even more importantly, authenticity.

Why Authenticity?

I believe that  life of authenticity is one of the basic building blocks to a woman living a whole life and even though we are bombarded with images that tells us we should somehow be different and only be a certain way.  As I age, I try to be even more mindful to stay grounded in my own authenticity despite life constantly evolving with its challenges, hopes and dreams!

My hope is that Curva-Lish as a community and movement can always be a resource for you that constantly empowers you to live a life of authenticity in your style, with grace and with purpose!

Image Credit: Preston Bailey
In that vein, today I read a wonderful post by none other than uber fabulous Preston Bailey on his take of authenticity in his blog post "The Courage to be Authentic in Both Life and Business" on and be inspired! (Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended)

"So often, we find ourselves in the position of having to choose between what the world wants to see from us and what feels most right to us. As an individual, and as a brand, I believe it is necessary to stay on top of what is happening in our lives, the industry, and the world around us, but to also be authentic in our responses to it. 

That said, authenticity, while a respectable goal, is not always easy. In fact, it’s most often not. We live in a world ready to judge our every move, idea, design and desire, and often in black and white terms. Sometimes, it can feel as though we are being pressured to follow trends (in both design and behavior) instead of creating our own (as I instruct my clients to do). Quite frankly, I feel this kind of environment can cause conformity out of fear, a suffocating and dangerous scenario for an artist.

This is why I want to encourage all of you to really sit with yourselves this weekend, and take a close and meaningful look at who you are, where you are, what you want, and what you really believe in. Think about what you really agree with and disagree with, and how you can bring your brand (and your life) a little closer to home. If you were really true to yourself–without allowing fear to bully you–who would you be?
Celebrate Summer with a Smile! Flowers & Gifts Starting at $29.99. Only at!You may not be able to snap your fingers and change everything in a moment. However, having a clear concept of what feels synergistic with your soul is a great place to start when deciding what to grab a hold of, and what to discard in the next chapter of your life. Remember that there is room for all of us in this business, and your space should be truly reflective of you and the talents and visions that make you the unique professional that you are."
I hope you will take Preston's advice and journal by taking a fresh close look at how meaningful you are, where you are and what you want...followed by how these things correlate (or not) with what you really believe in.  If you notice any particular discrepancies, then make changes!  You deserve a life that matches up to what you really believe in...

To your fabulously authentic self...Que

Diana Vreeland and the Scents of Elegance

I am a huge fan of Diana Vreeland because, as I wrote for the post on "Awareness: The Eye Has to Travel", she was one of the outspoken pioneers in expanding one's vision beyond their everyday, limited scope through travel, experiences and befriending people who are different than you.

So I was excited to hear about her estate being involved in issuing new fragrances available exclusively at Neiman Marcus!

The collection of five fragrances available exclusively at Neiman Marcus is the work of Diana Vreeland’s grandson, Alexandar Vreeland, who recently published the book Diana Vreeland Memos

The collection includes fragrances available in colorful flacons, while the compositions are signed by prominent perfumers of the IFF company. The fragrances of the collection by Diana Vreeland (1903 - 1989), famous columnist and editor of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar were named Extravagance Russe, Perfectly Marvelous, Absolutely Vital, Simply Divine and Outrageously Vibrant.

Diana Vreeland Extravagance Russe was created as an homage to Diana Vreeland’s love of Orientalism. The fragrance incorporates warm and deep shades of amber in a modern interpretation combined with resins and balms providing opulence of thick and hot shades, softened with bourbon vanilla and sensual musk.

Diana Vreeland Perfectly Marvelous: What inspired perfumer Celine Barel was Diana Vreeland’s statement on the occasion of creating the fragrance Perfectly Marvelous: "If that's not passion, if there is no smoke, if there is no fire, you have not lived at all." The composition resulted in a memorable blend of lacquered red sandalwood spiced with pimento, framed in a bouquet of white jasmine.

Diana Vreeland Absolutely Vital is a fragrance signed by perfumer Yves Cassar who created it of top quality ingredients from LMR (an IFF property in Grasse), in honor of Diana Vreeland’s love of India and sandalwood. This precious blend is composed Indian sandalwood wrapped in silky aromas of Turkish rose and Egyptian jasmine absolute, softened with myrrh and opoponax. The fragrance closes with vanilla shades providing a sensual experience on the skin, leaving a warm and soft trail.

Diana Vreeland Clement Gavarry composes a unique blend dedicated to floral notes of tuberose as the central notes of the composition, which includes fresh crushed leaves and nutmeg accords. The fragrance highlights its floral heart with Tunisian orange blossom absolute and Egyptian jasmine absolute. The floral shades are deepened with Indian sandalwood and softened with Italian orris root, cashmere wood, tonka and sensual musk.

Diana Vreeland Outrageously Vibrant signed by Carlos Benaim presents a culmination of 2 years’ work on the fragrance with a chypre-floral composition, bright, red and partly gourmet. The fragrance is based on classic chypre accords originating from patchouli with an unusual twist in the form of cassis cream. The richness and sophistication of the composition are accentuated with a rose bouquet with modern contrasts, seductive and exciting currant buds.

You can get the lovely scents here!