Thursday, March 31, 2016

Choosing A Life That Inspires Others to Be Great

Today a great person was lost...the pioneering architect Zaha Hadid.

Zaha was, what many considered, the greatest architect of our time.

You don't have to be an architecture buff to appreciate the brilliance of what Zaha has done in her mind-bending renditions of some of the most important buildings in the world. Up until the works of Zaha came about in the 70s/80s, buildings were strictly utilitarian, box shaped with only verticle and horizontal lines.

Zaha caused the world to "see" buildings differently while also yes, serving noteworthy functions.

Here's a sample of some of her works:

The death of Zaha had me thinking about what it means to be so great at your chosen craft that your legacy will outlive you many years over.

There is a ton of great write-ups on Zaha and her brilliance but as a fan who's followed her amazing work, I'm writing this post to focus on how her authentic greatness has literally effected and inspired thousands of people, many whom she has never met.

You don't have to be at the level of Zaha to have the same effect on people.

However, to be great at anything, it will require a level of obsession and commitment that history has shown most people don't do.

Don't be one of those people.

You matter.

Make a decision that you will do your best and commit to be great at something... a career, a hobby, a cause, a passion.

It doesn't matter what it is...just decide.

And like Zaha, I hope your life's commitment ends up being something that will outlive your earthly life, for many years over.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Vacation Eating at Home: Fried Avocado Tacos

Aerin Lauder is vacationing and posted this pic on Instagram of her new Bahamian food discovery: Fried Avocado Tacos!

She is gushing about it!

I thought it was funny because tacos are such a food  staple living in Texas!

And Austin probably gets the credit for making fried avocado tacos so popular!

I tracked down a great recipe from Curva-Lish food partner Food52. Their version includes creamy pinto beans and a heavenly cilantro lime taco sauce so it is packed with flavor and filling...and if you don't use a corn based flakes, they are also gluten-free!

Happy eating and get recipe here:

New in Positive Psychology: Savoring

I am a member of the Professional Coaching Association of Harvard/McLean Medical School and one of the five pillars of the association is rooted in Positive Psychology.

Positive psychology is not pie in the sky thinking. Positive psychology is about connecting perceptions, experiences and motivations to what makes people happy, experience well-being and wholeness.

One of the newest research results of positive psychology is the loss of people's ability to savor.


I haven't heard that word in literally years.

So much so I had to look up the definition to make sure I was clear on its meeting:

Savor Defined: taste or enjoy something completely

The point of positive psychology stating that people are losing their ability to savor has to do with a few things:
* we are all constantly in a hurry
* we are living in an age of instant gratification and a low tolerance for patience (aka patiently experiencing life's greatest pleasures)
* we are anxious to capture events or activities for social media more than practicing "being present"
* we have an endless and bountiful ability to experience more things than our ancestors ever thought possible, thus, we don't have to make deliberate choices for what will make us the MOST happiest

You get the idea.

The problem with not being able to savor is that our sense of fulfilment and utter contentment is connected to having moments to savor.

Ask yourself: based on the definition of savor, when was the last time you savored food or savored a moment?

Don't cheat...I'm asking you about when you savored it completely, not just when's the last time you tasted something delightful or had a fun experience.

When was the last time you savored?

And remember, savoring is not about frequency, it's about connecting it to something authentic and meaningful to you!

Do me a favor, make a conscientious choice sometime this week to savor something that you haven't done in a long while but that you know will give you complete and utter joy.

FYI: for me, one of those things is singing my favorite gospel song at the top of my lungs as if no one can hear me...even if I'm off-key. It makes me feel free! I will take a pause to savor the moment.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Spring Forecast: Season of Palms & Victory

Get are going to see an abundance of Palms this spring and summer!

Artist Megan Hess Palms Drawing

Don't say I didn't forewarn you...

Did you know? Most people associate palms and Palm trees with carribean or Bahamian tropical life. But I found out that, especially on this Good Friday before Easter, that there was a historical reason why the people in biblical times used Palm leaves to bless Jesus as He entered the city before the cross.

Did you know that historically palms are symbolic of victory?

Isn't that awesome!?!?!

So, get some symbolic victory in your life with these Style inspirations I tracked down for you...

I'm hoping this gives you the impetus to believe for seasons of victory in your life!

India Hicks Palm Friends Collection

The India Hicks Palm Frond collection is seriously gorgeous and extremely chic while being practical during this season of swimming, beaches, outdoor activities and nonstop play and work!

Here's three of my favorites from the collection:

Palm Frond Inside the India Hicks Riviera Tote

Palm Frond Bag

Palm Frond Pendant

This Palm tree lamp shade is super cute with diverse lamps!

Welcome your guests with this Palm Tree Door mat

I seriously can't think of anything more gorgeous than this 300 thread count sheet set in a guest is perfect!

For all those outdoor pool parties, especially with a tropical theme, this crystal pitcher is so chic!

This Palm Canyon print is a non-permanent way to incorporate the palm look for the season!

I searched for this Palm print pillow on top ($22) and on bottom ($18) so that you can buy more than one!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Life's Authentic Imperfection Inspired by Japanese Legend Wabi-Sabi

According to Japanese legend, a young man named Sen no Rikyu sought to learn the elaborate set of customs known as the Way of Tea. He went to tea-master Takeeno Joo, who tested the younger man by asking him to tend the garden. Rikyu cleaned up debris and raked the ground until it was perfect, then scrutinized the immaculate garden. Before presenting his work to the master, he shook a cherry tree, causing a few flowers to spill randomly onto the ground.

To this day, the Japanese revere Rikyu as one who understood to his very core a deep cultural thread known as wabi-sabi. Emerging in the 15th century as a reaction to the prevailing aesthetic of lavishness, ornamentation, and rich materials, wabi-sabi is the art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in earthiness, of revering authenticity above all. 

In Japan, the concept is now so deeply ingrained that it’s difficult to explain to Westerners; no direct translation exists.

Broadly, wabi-sabi is everything that today’s sleek, mass-produced, technology-saturated culture isn’t. 

I believe it also doesn't have a translation or existence in the perfections showcased in social media.

Wabi-sabi is flea markets, not shopping malls; aged wood, not swank floor coverings; one single morning glory, not a dozen red roses. 

Wabi-sabi understands the tender, raw beauty of a gray December landscape and the aching elegance of an abandoned building or shed. It celebrates cracks and crevices.

To discover wabi-sabi is to see the singular beauty in something that may first look decrepit and ugly.

Bringing wabi-sabi into your life doesn’t require money, training, or special skills. It takes a mind quiet enough to appreciate muted beauty, courage not to fear bareness, willingness to accept things as they are—without ornamentation.

It depends on the ability to slow down, to shift the balance from doing to being, to appreciating rather than perfecting.

You might ignite your appreciation of wabi-sabi with a single item from the back of a closet, love of an imperfect friend, a connection to a chipped table inherited from a grandparent, failing forward towards a big dream, appreciation of that imperfect job that allows you flexibility to be there for your children, value that one bedroom apartment that's small but affords you peace from not having a roommate...fully appreciating where you are in life: highs, lows, successes and failures. It is YOUR life's wabi-sabi!

Our universal longing for wisdom, for genuineness, for authenticity, for shared history manifests in these things.

And I believe the great Oscar de la Renta had it right: " in a way where you appreciate things." Is that not wabi-sabi defined as the ultimate luxury???

So no matter what's going on in your life right now, remember the wisdom of wabi-sabi...accept the imperfections of your life, like a chipped vase, and be joyous that your life's story is the most "perfect" wabi-sabi.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Inspirational Spring Fever

With less than four days into the official start of Spring, living in Texas I am already excited about all the things that Spring promises...newness after Winter, growth, renewal and all things sun and outdoors living!

Spring is the perfect season in Texas because our summers are SO hot!

So, to kick off Curva-Lish spring fever, here's some inspiration from India Hicks and Domino (both blog partners)!

India Hicks Flat Stanley is a go-to insider handbag pouch when needing to step away from your desk and run a quick errand or on a weekend when all you need to take with you are keys, phone and cash/credit cards. And it is luxuriously chic! (Shown in Bridesmaid Ivory; also comes in Flamingo and Heritage print)

India Hicks Flat Stanley in Bridesmaid Ivory (Closeup)

India Hicks Flat Stanley in Heritage print (Closeup)

Domino is one of my FAVORITE design sites!  I was originally inspired by their goal of inspiring your authentic style with diverse ideas on what it means to live in style, design help (starts at only $185!) and everything in-between! Their mantra is "bring your style home"...yasss!

Here are some things that has inspired me from the Spring 2016 issue of Domino that will give you some both trendy updates and some classic style for spring...

Pyramid Dining Arm Chair

Pink Faux Fur Mongolia Pillow
Palm Leaves in Glass Vase
Palm Leaves Cocktail Napkins

Royal Blue Alpaca Throw
Cyprus Area Rug (8x10)
Midnight Blue Double Old Fashioned (Only $1.99!)
Seagrass Baskets (Set of 3)

Hope this inspires you to begin your Spring Fever!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

How to BE Your Dreams

I know there are many resources out there telling you how to start to create your dreams and what to do once you get there.

The beginning is super exciting.

And the fulfilment of a dream is exhilarating.

But I have found that most people spend 80% of their lives in between...that space where you are not fully where you want to be and you're also not technically starting from ground zero (meaning you have SOME skills or experience to apply towards your new goal).

So I wanted to share this message from guru Tony Robbins and give you real world tips on how to live in that in-between place as though you have already achieved your dreams!

Quick Tips To Live As Though Your Dreams Have Already Been Answered

Tip #1: Check Your Mindset
Once you have an absolutely clear vision about what it is you want to achieve, create a mindset of "BE-ing" it.

I know you've heard the often repeated quote "You can be what you see"... This is true but keep in mind that this isn't about the instantaneous achievement of your goals. This quote is implying that it all starts in your mind before the manifestation can appear.

Tip #2: Create a New Lifestyle Around Your Dream
As soon as you know with clarity in your mind what it is you want, take time to determine what new lifestyle choices you need to make that will support the achievement of that goal.

And guess what, most people get this wrong!

Most people create a big dream and then continue to do what they used to do. Why? Comfort, scared of change, not practicing intentional living, fear of what people will think, need for acceptance... You get the idea.

Exercise: on a sheet of paper, create three columns. Make a heading for all three with following headers:

  • Column #1: "Goal"; 
  • Column #2: "What I'll Start Doing to Achieve"; 
  • Column #3: " What I'll Stop Doing to Achieve"
As a coach, I have used this simple exercise repeatedly because the power in it is that it clears away goals that clients create due to ego, envy or low/no commitment.

Why? Once a client has to write what they must give up to achieve a big goal (from the exercise above), it has an interesting way of revealing their true intentions. It also helps them create a goal with "eyes wide open" as opposed to blind-faith without realizing the focused intentions that will be required to achieve it.

For example, you are not going to get in the best health of your life (Column#1) if you are not willing to start applying your time and resources towards the goal (Column #2) and stop getting overly anxious and stressed on that high pressure job (Column #3).

Another example, you are not going to be the top sales leader in your specific field (Column #1) if you are not willing to give an over abundance of service (Column #2) and stop letting distractions from ___ steering you from being optimally productive (Column #3).

Tip #3 Go From Visioning to Envisioning
Once you have the vision, with clarity and you've mapped your new lifestyle around it with your three columns, now it's time to Envision!

Why Envision? Of course it's great to create a vision but what's even more powerful (I have found) in Be-ing your dream is to create a visualization of your dream but only after you've done the things above. This takes your dream from some random goal to a "tangible" goal.

Here's How You Can Envision:

  • Write the Vision and Make It Plain: before you start your day, write out your goals. That's not a typo...write your goals everyday or at least weekly. Doing this trains your subconscious mind to seek out the people, resources, products and services that will support the achievement of this goal. You must do this frequently because as much information that we get exposed to in a day, you must continually focus your mind.
  • Meditate: right after you write your goals out, close your eyes, get quiet and discipline your mind to create mental pictures of what the successful achievement of each goal will look like, feel like, and BE like. You don't know the exact details of how this goal will be achieved; this meditation step has the power to make what you desire to achieve "tangible". Remember, this post is inspired by Tony's quote of acting as though your goal through prayer has already been achieved. This step is helping you do exactly that!
  • Declare It and #OwnIt: right after you do the two steps above, create some positive declarations around each of your goals. For example, if the goal that you're envisioning is to be the first in your family to have a divorce-less, happy family, then your declaration could be: "I believe that my household is one of happiness, no drama, blessed and that open communication flows as a solid family built on a firm foundation!" Do you get the idea?
If you are thinking this will take you a lot of time that you can't spare in order to do it frequently, then you either #1, have too many goals (tip: focus on quality vs quantity and so go back and shorten your goals list) or #2, you aren't clear in the level of priorities your goals need to have in your life (tip: be clear on your "why").

Tip #4: Begin Today
One of the things that gets us all caught up in the negative mindset that we'll never achieve our BIG dreams is that our society programs us that we are either doing it or we're not doing it.

That's the wrong way to go about achieving a dream!

There is NO dream that has ever been achieved in one action, one encounter, one client, one whatever. Big Dreams are normally the result of a succession of wins, actions, steps, learning from failure and " showing up".

So shift your thoughts from thinking you have to be all-in in one step. That's bogus!

No matter where you are today, in order to act as though your prayers for your Big Dreams have been answered, do SOME step today!

For example, if your goal is to run for political office in your local community to bring humanity back to politics and you've done the steps and exercises above, begin by volunteering for a local political office while your children are still small and need your attention. You could also join your local Toastmasters to begin honing your speaking skills.

The awesome thing about getting action behind your Big goal is that it will begin to exponentially grow your confidence and clarify your envisioning exercises you do daily/weekly! Your dream will continue to become "tangible".

Was this helpful to you? If so, let me know:

Be great...

Monday, March 21, 2016

Failing Forward with Girl Boss Kendra Scott

One thing I'm proud to say is that this blog is slowly (and strategically) building direct Partnerships with some amazing brands and girl boss owned businesses.

One of those Partnerships I feel especially proud of is one with Kendra Scott.

Image of Kendra Scott from Success Magazine

People in Texas are very familiar with Kendra since she launched get jewelry business out of her bedroom in Austin.

She is building an empire that I believe will be in the same scale as some other great girl bosses at companies like Rent-the-Runway, Spanx, etc. (These companies are also partners and you can support their companies on our "Shop & Give Grace" page.)

I wanted to focus on Kendra for this post to highlight her feature on the cover of Success Magazine.

Read Summary below and see full feature in Success...hope it inspires you:

Kendra Scott (Instagram)

Kendra Scott turned out the lights.
For the last time, she flipped over the sign in the window of her failed retail hat store that read, “Sorry, We’re Closed.” Then she shut the door and locked it.
It was 1998. She had lost her life’s savings—and those of her stepfather, whose battle with cancer had inspired her to start the Austin, Texas, business.
As if on cue, it started raining. “I just sat there and cried like a baby on the steps,” Scott says, “feeling like I was the biggest failure on the planet. I had let everybody down."
Then something amazing happened. “I heard steps behind me,” and when she looked up, the sign was flipped over and read, “Yes, We’re Open.”
“It was a literal sign.” She laughs. “It was a sign! I looked and I just started laughing because I’m like, Is this some kind of joke? But all of a sudden, it was almost like God talking to me: ‘You have to be open.’ ”
Looking back, Scott—42 in late March—believes that amazing moment happened for a reason.
“If you look at the struggles in your life, they have all happened because there’s something amazing waiting for you. There is an open window. This moment is going to make you stronger in the future.”
Soon, Scott picked herself up and moved forward.
“OK, I had to wallow for a minute,” she admits. But then Scott regained her determination. Over the next few years, she held onto the idea that her failure was a moment of impact that would alter her life for the better.
“And it did. That store was the greatest gift that ever happened to me. I’ve been able to run a business so much differently and so much smarter because I had that tough experience. It was an MBA in the school of hard knocks. It’s an incredible university.”
Scott tells me she believes the failure of her first business was instrumental in the success of her second one: “Experience is something that you can’t teach. That feeling of how are you going to make payroll? How are you going to pay your rent? How are you spacing out paying your vendors? Those are things you can never learn in a book. That knot in your stomach that wakes you up in the middle of the night is something that, unless you’ve lived it, you don’t understand how to navigate through. And when you get yourself in a business—a business that is growing as fast as we’re growing right now—I think having that basis and remembering that knot, remembering what it feels like, has made me be so thoughtful and so careful about how we’ve grown and what we’ve done.”
Scott says failure also gives you a determination that you can get through anything. “No matter what comes at you, you can get through it. You will overcome. There is a reason this is happening, and the sun will shine again.” She says it’s crucial to focus on how you can move forward in a positive way.

“I'm putting all my chips on the table, and it's go big or go home.”

- See more at:

What will you do the next time you feel like you've failed in reaching your Dreams?

Let this post be your "sign" that "Yes, We're Open"...keep going!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Beautiful Inspiration from Grammy Stars

As you'll notice, there is very limited posts on stars or celebrity hype on this blog. That type of coverage is not consistent with the empowering messages I want you to be inspired by from Curva-Lish.

So it might surprise you that this post is derived from the great speeches from musicians at the Grammy Awards.

I personally love Grammy speeches because first of all, it takes alot to be a winner and what you say in the limited amount of time you get on such a big night is the most purest thoughts you have towards life, success, etc.

And I was super inspired this year!

Here are a few nuggets of inspiration from this year's Grammy winners:

Be Yourself
"A lot of people try to duplicate others. But what makes someone connect with you is being yourself. Learning to love who you are is one of the most important things you can do." -Jazmine Sullivan

Keep Going
"If you love what you're doing, persistence will pay off. It doesn't matter how long it takes." -Lana Del Rey

Know Your Purpose
"Before you chase after anything, have a reason to do it that's more heartfelt than just the desire to be famous--that will be your motivation and drive you. Because once people know your name, you need to think, What else do I have?" -Zendaya

Own Your Confidence
"I struggled a lot with my confidence when I first started. But once you have it, you will succeed faster....I knew that I had to keep going and that I could achieve my dreams." -Meghan Trainor

"It took me a long time to figure out how important it is to collaborate. I wish I learned that earlier. I was trying to do everything myself. But what's the point if you're the only one?" -Bonnie McKee

Stop and Feel the Moment
"Sometimes things happen rapidly, so you have to stop and feel the moment. At the Superbowl in 2013, I recall that moment before I went through the chute and then that was it." -Kelly Rowland

Your Wings Are Ready

Get ready for spring with Nordstrom!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Getting Your "Fringe Benefits"

Who says that Fringe Benefits has to be a bad thing?

Fringe has taken the fashion world by storm and has appeared in many publications as one of the best style ideas for spring.

But I don't think of fringe as only a benefit for is a style idea that can look fresh every season depending on how you wear it!

Here's is a very specific way to get and wear your fringe benefits that won't ever be trendy: in a savvy sandal in a classic color or as a pop of color to a update a classic outfit.

My favorites are by Ivanka Trump and Banana Republic...Fringe Benefits from two stylish brands!

Search "Ivanka Trump Hettie"
Red, Black, Metallic

Image Credit @lunchpailandlipstick (Instagram)

Image Credit @lunchpailandlipstick (Instagram)

Image Credit @thefashionisha (Instagram)

Search "Honey Fringe"
Red, Black, Green, Metallic, Blue

*All Banana Republic pics from @BananaRepublic Instagram account