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This is not the color I picked out

13 May

I began this post weeks ago, but wasn’t motivated to finish until this morning.  Someone inspired me with their text message.  They sent me pictures of a room last week and said, “I want a soft golden yellow and a light burgundy.” What is light burgundy?

It’s rare that a paint chip gives you an exact match when you take it home and try it.  Colors tend to darken when they dry and if you look up in a paint store they use bright fluorescent lighting, which typically has a bluish tint or pure white light.  If you do not have fluorescent lighting in your home, you’re not getting a true depiction of the color.  Nope.  Can’t head outdoors.  Your room will not be in direct sunlight.  So what’s the solution? Buy a sample of the color and paint a 12 x 12 inch block on the wall.  If the wall has already been painted another color, prime before painting.  I also advise that you buy about 3 different colors you like.  Doesn’t make sense to continue going to the paint store when you can knock it out in one trip, hopefully.  Home Depot sells a flat finish sample for $2.98.  Make sure you buy paintbrushes.

Picking the right paint color is cumbersome.  If you get it right the first time out, congratulations!  That’s a HUGE accomplishment.  It’s more than a mixture of the primary colors; it gets quite complicated. I spend a lot of time with the Paintirista (barista…nevermind) asking what’s in the color and how much of it is in the color.   I use Home Depot Behr, unless my client has another vendor they prefer. 

Why do I love Home Depot Behr paint?  I am extremely familiar with their product, their price is mid-range and affordable, they have several color choices, they do color matching, they make their paint display user-friendly, and Behr has pretty darn good coverage and life.  Although Dunn Edwards and Benjamin Moore are great paints, they are on the higher end of the price spectrum.

Please refer to the picture above for the remainder of the post.  I didn’t get the bottom of the paint chip display.  Lame, but this is how to use it:

From top to bottom the colors are arranged by Pure, Muted, and Shaded.

Pure – exactly what it says.  There’s not a lot of white or black.  Just the primaries and the mixing of the primaries.  These colors are brighter and pack the most shock value.  Notice the top of the picture is brighter than the middle and bottom.

Muted – These are the Pures combined with white.  The colors get a little Eastery.  I think of babies when I see muted colors.  Generally, they are softer and cozy.

Shaded – I work a lot with the Shaded colors.  I call them the adult colors because they are a bit more sophisticated than the Pure and Muted colors. the Pures mixed with gray (a combination of Black and White, Shaded) result in Shaded.

I hope the dots are connecting and you’re having an Ah Ha! moment.  I’m excited for you to understand how easy this is.

I have couple of tricks that you can use in the paint store to lessen the risk of choosing the WRONG color.

Notice how the color chips move from red to green to blue (left to right).  Let’s look at the second row.  To the far left (where I obviously did not capture the entire column) are the reds; they are Pure reds.  As you move to the right they become red-oranges.  Move to the right again, they become orange-yellows.  Then, yellow-greens and green-blues.  Lastly, the blues. 

Let’s say you want a greenish yellow, I am going straight to the right-side of the 2nd to last column and the left-side of the last column.  Now, I have to decide, whether it should be Pure, Muted, or Shaded.  Basically, I moved horizontally.  Then, I moved vertically.

Oh last thing! Because the colors are mixed, there is always an undertone. You can always tell the undertone on a paint color by looking at the darkest color on the paint chip.  See the below.  In choosing reds, although I am not using the bottom colors, I was able to eliminate the one on the left because it takes on a brown color.  I don’t want that it to have a brown undertone.  I want more red, so I’d choose the one on the right. 

For All the Wrong Reasons

2 May

  Before

After

If  you’re like me (and unlike Misch) you feel easily judged by others. I HATE feeling judged or feeling like I’m at the butt of an awkward joke. About 2 weeks ago Mischalay came by for a visit and we were discussing clothing. I opened up my closet to reach for an item and immediately halted in my tracks because of the blood curdling gasp that escaped from her mouth.

Me: “WHAT! What happened, are you okay?”

Misch: “OH MY GOD!” *in her most dramatic tone*

Me: “What!!! What’s wrong!”

Misch: “Your closet! What is wrong with you! That is absolutely ridiculous….[insert the teacher’s voice from the comic Peanuts]”

She then proceeded to get up from the chair and rifle through my clothes in disgust…

Misch: “How do you find anything? Your skirts, dresses and pants are all mixed up, your shoes have no order and its not even color coordinated!”

By this time, I was mortified that not only had she put me on BLAST for how my closet looked but she took it step further and provided me with an itemized list as to why my closet was such a catastrophe.

Shortly after, she left [not sure if she really had to go or if she was that offended by my closet]. I sat there and stared…for about a good hour a stewed in embarrassment and contempt (mostly at myself) because my secret was out. My name is Megan and I have a terribly messy closet.

Fast forward 1 week later…besides feeling overwhelmed after the funeral (My Gandpa just passed) my normal paranoia began to seep in and I decided then and there- SCREW MISCH, I’m cleaning my closet! 2 days, 8 hefty over-sized trash-bags and 5 phone calls designating several items to appreciative people, my closet was cleaned. I sat on my bed looking at my completed work…then the anger began to boil in my body, I immediately grabbed the phone.

Misch: “Hey Meggy Poo!”

Me: “Don’t you Meggy Poo me! I cleaned up my flippin’ closet!”

Misch: “That’s great! It’s about time….you should’ve had that thing cleaned like yesterday!”

Me: “NO! I hate you! You judged me, I cleaned it and now I have no clothes and [insert 2 minute rant/tell off]…I will not be speaking to you for the remainder of the day!”

Misch: *insert uncontrollable laughter*

Although my closet probably was long overdue for a major cleaning overhaul, at this particular point in time I cleaned it for all the wrong reasons. Although this might seem a little dramatic to some of you (and it probably is a tad bit) I’ve come to realize that a lot of times in my life, more often than not, I tend to make the right decisions for all the wrong reasons.

I’ve never been one to break the rules or go against the grain and truthfully, I’m not sure if its because I am just a goody-two shoes or is it because I just don’t want to feel like others think I’m wrong. Despite what people think or the input some people may give you in regards to your life, at the end of the day the key words are YOUR LIFE. If I’ve learned anything from my Gandpa and the removal of 3/4’s of my closet it’s that I can no longer do things just because “it’s right”. What’s good for the gander is not always great for the goose.

This post is probably a little silly but the moral of the story is to do what fits you (as long as its not drugs, lying, cheating, stealing or anything morally compromising). So what if you’re turning 30 and still have no princess/prince charming, live your life to the fullest until he/she comes to sweep you off your feet. It’s alright if you are going back for your masters at 25 and your best friend had her’s at 23, ultimately things have to be done in your own pace on your own time. If you do what “your supposed to do” but its done for all the wrong reasons you will not be happy with the decision you’ve made.

Misch can comfortably go through her closet…I have to prepare myself for the amount of disdain I will every time I swing one of the doors open.

I hate you Mischalay.

Happy Monday!

Accessorizing: Texture & Color

25 Mar

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Size and scale are also important, but I think people struggle more with texture and color.  If there is one thing I loathe, it’s matchy matchy clothing and decor.  I like different colors and materials.  It gives so much interest to an outfit and room, but here we are talking about interior style.

While I was on a shopping expedition for some of my current projects at Marshalls, I stopped in the  frame and pillow aisle to do some arrangements for fun.  Unfortunately, they did not have what I needed for my actual project.

For the pink, green, and purple frames, I looked throughout the section for a larger black frame, but could not find one.  In layering, size and scale are so very important.

Here are some tips for pattern and color:

  • Choose a color you love
    • After you have thought about the mood you want to create
    • Decide how much of that color you can take.  If you can do lots of it, make it the paint color, comforter, rug, shower curtain, etc.  Essentially, whatever will have more presence.
  • Balance the color with a neutral (black, white, or brown).
  • Throw in a metal or something shiny.  This adds instant interest because it reflects light. The sequin pillow pictured above does exactly this.
  • When mixing patterns, think large, medium, and small.  Texture: smooth versus woven. The biggest misconception about print and patterns in interiors is the notion that small pattern has the least amount of presence.  On the contrary, small patterns look busy.  Larger patterns are easier on the eye.  The pillow with circles in the slideshow prove this point.
  • Combine simple lines with fussy or rustic things.
  • Use the color wheel to choose a palette.  The color wheel is one of the best things you can look at when building a palette.  It’s a color compass.

Work Wear in the 21st Century

27 Feb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love these two work looks from The Limited.  Great examples of how you could be stylish and professional.

Growing up, we were told to wear suits and button up dress shirts, which I hate.  I have a few left from my high school, college, and post college days of trying to get hired.  My mother encouraged this growing up. Considering her upbringing and the philosophies of her generation, this comes as no surprise.  She is neither wrong nor right, but things have definitely changed.  Update your work wardrobe to include separates.  Leave the predictable stiff dress shirt behind that costs you time in the morning because you have to iron it.

There are great benefits of no longer having to wear matching suits and dress shirts: saving money and the ability to mix and match separates.  Keep one suit for interviews and about two to three dress shirts just in case, depending on your job industry.

Here are work wear items that repurpose themselves in so many ways and wear over and over:

  • Blazer (black, navy, and/or gray. H&M is great for these)
  • Pencil skirt (of any color)
  • Camisoles and lightweight shirts of any color and style. Skip the cleavage, however
  • Turtlenecks (fall and winter)
  • Cardigans
  • Cropped fitted leather jacket (goes with skirts and pants. Flowy shirts make them feminine)
  • Dress pants or my awesome option because I am tall, ankle length/cropped pants (booties!)
  • Sheath dresses (go with any type of cardigan or jacket)
  • Belts (thin and wide fasten at the waist around a cardigan or dress)
  • Booties (can be worn with skirts and dresses)
  • Broaches
  • Watches
  • Scarves
  • Pumps (Black and Camel are basic)

Places to shop for these items for less:

  • Ross $
  • Marshalls $$
  • TJ Maxx $$
  • Thrift stores $
  • New York & Company $$
  • The Limited $$$
  • H&M$$

Tips

Yes, shop at thrift stores.  I tweeted this list a while.  Here it is again: a list of thrift stores. I found most of my pencil skirts thrifting.  Pencil skirts are timeless and most thrift stores have them.  For $5 – $8, you will have a brand new skirt for your wardrobe.

Save yourself time in the morning by hanging all of your work clothing (fewer wrinkles).  Buy washer and dryer safe clothing. I believe they call them Wash and Wear and Wrinkle-Free.  Don’t be fooled.  Some Wrinkle-Free clothing could use an iron.

Purchase almond or round toe pumps with a slight platform and great color.  They are more comfortable and don’t date as quickly, if at all.

 

 

 

 

 

As always, don’t be afraid of a little tailoring, especially on thrift finds.

 

 

Co-workers create their own Biggest Loser

10 Feb

My company’s internal homepage lists current happenings and I came across this. Yes, this began at the New Year…another one of those resolutions. But, I like their approach! It’s a realistic and well-paced plan that realizes you may backslide, so it gives some breathing room to what could be a rigorous and abrupt change in diet and exercise. A little monetary incentive won’t hurt.

Biggest Loser Competition

A group of employees embarked on a weight-loss effort at the beginning of January in the spirit of the TV show “Biggest Loser.” As part of the program, each week through the end of February they will adopt a new healthy habit or try to curb an unhealthy one while continuing to maintain the previous weeks’ restrictions. Follow their Biggest Loser plan right here! 

Participants in the challenge weigh in every two weeks and are eligible for cash prizes of $250 based on who has lost the most weight at the end of January and February.

Week One: “No desserts” 

Week Two:

1. “No carbonated drinks or any drinks with sugar.” Acceptable alternatives: sparkling water, water, unsweetened iced tea

2. Continue with no desserts 

Week Three:

1. No potatoes or rice
2. Walk 5 miles within the week. However you reach the 5 miles is up to you. All at once or over several days, it has to be done by the end of Jan. 23.

Week Four:

1. No bread: Rolls, tortillas, croissants, biscuits, bagels, muffins, cupcakes, pizza dough, etc.2.

WALK THE 5 MILES YOU DID NOT WALK LAST WEEK! 

Recap of what we will continue to eliminate:

1.     No desserts
2.     No “Carbonated Drinks” or any drinks with sugar (sparkling water, water, unsweetened iced tea are acceptable)
3.     No potatoes or rice
4.     No bread: Rolls, tortillas, croissants, biscuits, bagels, muffins, cupcakes, pizza dough, etc.

Remember to have “will power” and to get support from your buddy!

Insecurity

7 Feb

He probably called him a “boo boo head” or something

I dedicate this post to my niece, JoJo, who is 14 years old. You’re the most beautiful girl in the world! “T” said SO! You know what that means

They meet on the Elementary schoolyard starting fights. They get comfortable like Mucinex Mucus about Middle School. You try to avoid talking about them but secretly work on them.  For example, those that were hairy shaved unbeknownst to them they would have to continue.  Then, High School you get used to these things, sweep them under the rug or make jokes about them because you have either accepted them or still refuse to discuss them candidly. 

The hardest part is the initial recognition that I am not quite like the others. I am not sure that it was something physical or that you were simply a “weirdo.” 

For me, it was being freakishly tall in elementary.  I had long legs that extended beyond uniform pant inseams; thus, the term “flooding” came about.  The first time someone said this to me, I had no idea what it meant. LoL.  There’s nothing like being ostracized and not knowing what it means.  I had big feet, too.  I was afforded the luxury of standing at the back of the line my entire grade school life for two reasons: my height and my last name. Today, neither my being tall nor having big feet changed.

At an early age, children are socialized to stringently categorize feminine and masculine traits and features via multiple stimuli.  My being tall made me feel like an outcast.  Being tall was, for some reason, masculine and meant I played sports.  But, by middle school, I was over it.  Gimme my size 10 shoe and hem my pants! People still use basketball as a conversation starter. *shrug* But there was one thing I could not shake.

My acne was/is a struggle.  My skin reacts to and is allergic to almost everything.  My mother made it an issue growing up, among other things; she frustrated me and I became nonchalant.   At first, I acted as if I didn’t care while using Neutrogena products, Clean & Clear, Black & White Opal soap, Tea Tree Oil, toothpaste, Aveeno, etc.  When none of the over-the-counter (OTC) products worked, I stopped caring because I thought it was a lost cause. 

Then, in 2007 something changed.  I grew tired of it; I got tired of looking at it.  I visited a dermatologist and was prescribed two things: Retin A 0.05% and Hydroquonone for spot treatment.  I cleared my acne in about 3 – 4 months.  I had mild acne, so the process and treatment were not intense.  For the first time, since middle school, I had clear skin; I did not think this could ever happen and turns out seeing a specialist turned everything around (Try OTC first. It’s cheaper. Then, see a specialist, if you need to)  With my mother off my back and armed with more confidence, I exuberantly began my adult life after college, until I was bothered with oily skin. 

I had to wash my face multiple times a day to control the oil.  So, I turned to a dermatologist, again, in 2009.  He scrapped the medicines I was using before and prescribed BenzaClin.  Oh.my.gosh. my forehead had a rash; my cheeks were dry; my chin was oily; my nose was red.  Disaster!  At that moment, I regretted the decision.  Controlling acne is a process, the kind that required patience I had never given it before.  My skin profile changed; it’s doing things I have never seen it do.  The previous treatments no longer work. In addition, stress was adding to the complications.  Now, I am back to step one in treating it, which is again a process filled with doctor visits and phone calls until we find a solution.

Moral of the story:

Most of us have/had something that bothers us, but it is our attitude towards the difference that makes the situation a better one.  I do not promote cosmetic surgery, but it is ultimately one’s own decision.  I promote acceptance and a proceeding confidence that allows you to deal with the issue responsibly and sensibly. Keep trying until you find what works for YOU, all the while never lacking in confidence.

Au Naturale

3 Feb

Going back a few posts ago to the New Years Revolution entry, I made a commitment to embrace myself and my beauty so I have done the unthinkable (well unthinkable if you know me really well)….*drum roll* Acrylic nails off & the Weave is GONE!

Yes, GONE!!! And its the most liberating feeling in the world! After I finished doing my hair and looked in the mirror and saw the bare basics staring back at me, I was quite happy. My hair, tight curls and all (thanks mommy) was amazing, my skin flawless and my nails well…that is still taking some getting used too!

In Highschool, I used to wear contacts (half for seeing and the other to change up my dark brown eye color). Coming from a family where the majority of them have light eyes, I was so pleased to finally have some light brown eyes looking back at me, so I NEVER took them off. They became just as much apart of me as my skin color until one day, I was sick and couldn’t put them on. Everyone’s reaction was “Why aren’t you wearing those pretty brown contacts?” and it hit me, Why should I have to wear those pretty brown contacts when I have pretty dark brown eyes… I only put them in once more after this for prom and looking back at those pictures I regret it.

The same goes for a weave and acrylic nails. It started off being an every now and then thing tovput a few tracks in to add some length or some thickness and then it was every 8 weeks-NEW FULL HEAD WEAVE w/ my crown out. Don’t get me wrong, it was slamming! I definitely kept that bad boy up and we had some great times together…the problem was, it was a security blanket for beauty. It got to a point where I wouldn’t even want people to see my real hair out…that’s when it hit me. YOU HAVE HAIR, and its a good texture and it has length so what is wrong with MY HAIR without any weave assistance. So after much contemplating, and studying http://www.themoptopmaven.com and her journey to natural hair I committed and decided to go all natural (no pressing, no flat ironing and especially NO WEAVING).

Don’t get confused, this was a very hard (and superficial) decision, but after being so comfortable seeing myself with a weave in for so long I had to overcome feelings of doubt and insecurity and I’m so glad I did. Will I stay weave and straightening free forever, maybe or maybe not….but as of now I’m rocking the ALL NATURAL ME…and I love it!!!