Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Recipe: Figalicious Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Texas Olive Ranch's "Figalicious"

In the middle of the pandemic, as more small businesses were closing, I thought about how I could help.

One of my ideas was to have an e-store filled with curated products mostly from small businesses.

One of my favorite brands that I offer in my e-store to much success has been the fine balsamic vinegars offered by Texas Olive Ranch.

And of the 3-pack I offered at #CuratedxCurvalish, filled with my favorite flavor Fig(alicious), Pecan and JalapeƱo Lime.

For my favorite Fig(alicious) I created this printable for you to print out to uplevel your roasted brussels sprouts and make the most amazing side dish for the holidays.


Sunday, October 25, 2020

Safety Now Comes in Your True Colors


Banana Republic True Hues Mask ($9)

No matter where you turn, everyone is chalking up 2020 as the worst year ever. 

While I can agree in some regards, to just write off the entire year would miss some of the real changes that have come about this year.

An example is acknowledging culture.

I remember just a few short years ago when there was massive dialogue in the lack of hued fashion options for people of color.

And now, in 2020, we can see how that dialogue impacted changes still in brands like Banana Republic.

As we are still wearing masks to navigate these scary COVID-19 times, Banana Republic has not forgotten about its original commitment to inclusivity in its fashion offerings.


Friday, October 23, 2020

Revisting Your Archives to Create The Modern Version of You


Balmain's Olivier Rousteing

For Curva-Lish, since I cover a few lifestyle verticals to articulate what it means to live a cultured life of style, I bump into many inspiration points.

This week, my inspiration has been two brands that are moving boldly forward by giving acknowledgement to what once was apart of their foundation and creating in its modernized future version of itself.

This is important because post-COVID lockdown, I think everyone is trying to determine how best to move forward. Everything has changed. Even with a critical upcoming United States election less than two weeks away, most people know that there is no going back to what was their lives before the pandemic.

So what are we to do?

Let me give you a unique idea inspired by these two mega-fashion brands.

First let's consider what Balmain Creative Director Olivier Rousteing has brilliantly done for his latest runway showcase Balmain Spring 2021.

He went into the Balmain archives.

Not pre-pandemic archives. I'm talking 45 year old archives from the vision that Balmain's original founder created.

Here are a few images from that Balmain archive:

Using the Balmain checked logos from the archives, Rousteing re-imagined the checked logo in a way that makes it both modern and at the same time paying homage to it's design beginnings.

So before I tell you what this has to do with you and me, let me give you one more brand example for what it means to re-visit the archives.

Kim Kardashian's SKIMS brand announced this week that they would be recreating the infamous Juicy Couture two-piece velour track suits that was made popular by the reality star and her friendship with Paris Hilton.

The first image defined a whole generation of 2000s pop stars and fans and the second image is the new SKIMS marketing campaign image with the two stars revisiting their roles in shaping a generation, including paying homage to the style of that time.

Hilton and Kardashian in 2000s

Hilton and Kardashian in SKIMS 2020

Soooo, when I thought about what it means for me to move forward in this still existing pandemic environment with so many uncertainties, I told myself, 

"I should re-visit my archives and look at it with fresh eyes of someone who is surviving in an environment of so much uncertainty."

We ALL have archives. No, it might not be a 45-year old fashion archive like Balmain or a 20 year old archive like a reality star but don't compare. 

We ALL have archives that we can refer to.

It may be some archive (such as a journal) you had in your 20s when you documented what you had hoped your dreams and goals would be in your 40s/50s/60s.

It may be an archive of some drawings you made when you had hoped to be a professional artist but now that you are an accountant that doesn't seem do-able. Go back to those archives anyway. You never know what creative spin-off that may inspire in you determining what your future looks like. 

Your archive re-visit will be the "modernized, experienced, having lived a few years since the archive" person. Those fresh set of eyes on your archive has the potential to be your biggest life opportunity full of possibility.

You reading this blog post right now is a manifestation of me re-visiting my own archives.

RIGHT before the pandemic and shut downs, I had everything in place to launch a Curva-Lish digital magazine with the lead stories being my media coverage of SXSW and the Dallas Arts Fair. I had intensely prepped for two months.

In a one week time period in March 2020, both these projects got cancelled in what seemed like overnight. I was so devastated I haven't really written any media coverage since then other than a random blog post in May, 2020.

So when I re-visited my archives, I realized that using this blog platform is one of the key communication channels in which I share the vision and perspective of what cultured life and style means. 

It's always how I've defined Curva-Lish.

But now, moving forward, it's going to be the "looking to the archives, modernized version". 

Hope you do the same.

** All Balmain images credit to Balmain Instagram and all SKIMS images credit to SKIMS Instagram

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Who is Winning the Pandemic's Digital Lifestyle Retail Race?

As Pier 1 just announced it's permanent closing, another once preeminent brand that has lost it's luster in modern consumerism, I was curious which lifestyle retailers are winning in the digital landscape during our pandemic times (excluding the obvious Big 3: Amazon, Walmart, Target).

Here are the numbers I ran according to website metrics for April, 2020 (and the brand's month over month change):

* Trendyol (Turkey): 115.0M (increase 47.6%)

* Sephora (USA): 44.0M (increase 41.92%)

* Gap (USA): 48.84M (increase 23.13%)

* H&M (USA): 81.68M (increase 18.0%)

* Nordstrom (USA): 35.62M (increase 17.86%)

What does this mean from a lifestyle brand perspective?

* USA based companies are dominating global shopping

* Sephora (with it's over 41% website visit increase in one month smack dab in the middle of the pandemic) shows that even despite a world catastrophe, beauty will always be a powerful category with women

* Gap appearing in the top 5 is indicative of many consumers shopping with the mentality of "Essentials"

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

When Your Problem Maybe You

I just received a notification from a lady who has one of those "buy my $1,299 program and you'll succeed" brands that said she's leaving Facebook because it doesn't have the high vibration that she wants for herself and the group.

I can respect that but guess what?? If you look at her posts, SHE'S the one posting negative, instigating, divisive content and shares!

When you are a grown person, at what point do you stop blaming others, media, or some other scapegoat and truly ask yourself: maybe it's ME!

Like, for real!

At what point do you make self-care and self-awareness balanced and asking yourself: If I keep getting the same results in my life, maybe there is some dysfunction in my life that I need to face.

Do you keep losing friends? Maybe it's you.

Do you keep losing opportunities? Maybe it's you.

Do you keep missing your goals, no matter how earnest your intentions? Maybe it's you.

Surrounded by negative people that is always gossiping about other people's lives? Maybe it's you.

Going on 100 dates a year and still can't seem to find "the one"? Maybe it's you.

Does other people's achievements deter you from focusing on your own lane? Maybe it's you.

Instead of looking for some scapegoat to blame...seriously ask yourself:




Dr. Lauren Ives, Licensed Psychologist

I asked my friend Licensed Psychologist Dr. Lauren Ives to weigh in: "In today's society people are quick to point the finger at others when really they should be taking a long hard look in the mirror. So the next time you want to blame others for your shortcomings, just remember that positive energy attracts positive energy...don't be the source of negativity in your life!"

That's it! "...don't be the source of negativity in your life!" YOU get to decide. Not Facebook. Not your co-workers. Not your high school teacher from 30 years ago. YOU get to decide if YOU are the source of your negativity or not.

And the easiest way to know that is to determine whether you are taking ownership of it or blaming everyone and everything else around you...thanks Dr. Ives!

If you need help with identifying what is your "Maybe it's you" issue, check out Talkspace and with the current discount code you can try it!

If you are already on your journey but need further support, I advise checking out the Coaching Federation and their tips for hiring a Coach that helps you continue to move forward without the baggage of past dysfunction.

If you don't know the difference between needing a therapist versus needing a Coach, check out my comparison included in my popular new beginnings post (scroll down).

And again, don't be afraid to admit that the reason you aren't moving forward in life in a particular area is because: Maybe it's you.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

The Future of Urbane Herb Gardening

One of the things I missed the most about attending 2020 SXSW (due to cancellation by City of Austin) was doing media coverage on the #futureoffood and how we will be eating in 10 years and beyond.

Also, the focus of my lifestyle brand is clearly on an urbane way of living: I'm literally obsessed with the migration towards city centers. The International Organization for Migration in 2015 estimated that around 3 million people are moving to cities every week. Approximately 54% of people worldwide now live in cities, up from 30% in 1950.

This means that from a lifestyle perspective, there will be a continued need for companies who are creating solutions for how the majority of us will be living in the future. 

Two brands have/are creating solutions for how the urbanite will be growing vegetables and herbs: Gardenuity and FarmShelf.

Gardenuity Co-Founder Donna Letier says it best: "Our mission is simple- we make gardening accessible to everyone."

Gardenuity does this by creating gardens that can literally be grown in their signature black bag that can be placed any many sized homes, but especially tiny balconies in urban cities.

That may already be impressive but even more cool, Gardenuity creates specific bag gardens depending on what you will using the herbs/plants to make.

These are my favorite garden bag options:

And don't forget that Gardenuity also offers a one-time payment subscription service that takes all the guess work out of growing your seasonal herbs. Brilliant.

FarmShelf is innovating the way #urban homes and businesses (from restaurants to office buildings) around the world will have the ability to grow greens and #herbs (from a choice of over 40 options). Insert seedpods and crops grow 3x faster than outdoors.

My focus is on the Farmshelf as a home solution. Farmshelf automates the hardest parts of growing a garden and with it's fast growing shelving unit can produce pounds of fresh produce per week. When you consider the costs and savings, it will be a major competitor for urbanites who frequently buy fresh herbs and produce at farmer's markets or pricey grocery outlets such as WholeFoods.

And the best thing is you can grow as much or as little produce as you need without wasting like when you buy normal store bought produce—you harvest only what you need while the rest keeps growing. 

Here’s a typical week:
  • 8 heads of lettuce (ex: Romaine, Bibb, Butter)
  • 8 bunches of herbs (ex: Basil, Chives, Parsley)
  • 8 bunches of greens (ex: Kale, Arugula, Mustard)

This is pure brilliance in innovation that also lessens waste, adds nutrition options AND saves money for people like me who frequently shops at weekly #farmersmarkets

FarmShelf pre-orders going on NOW at $4,950 with only a $100 deposit required (compared to upcoming retail price of $6,450). Hit the link to learn more:

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Your Go-To 2020 Summer Cocktail...It's Just Peaches!

The Peach Pucker

Every Summer I select a curated group of go-to cocktail drinks for the season so that no matter if someone stops by unannounced or if a neighbor has an impromptu porch sesh, I am equipped to have/bring a great drink!

One of my 2020 Curva-Lish Summer Drink Selections is from World Market: The Peach Pucker

Why I love it: 
* it's simple (just four ingredients), 
* can be made family friendly (by skipping the bourbon) and still tastes just as good, 
* it involves one of my favorite summer fruits: peaches!

You're Welcome...Recipe HERE