Entertainment

Grit & Grace: Pretty Things And All That Brings

We love when women have a dream and make it a reality.  We had the pleasure of meeting the amazing women behind the new, fabulous boutique in Cedar Park call Grit & Grace.  They have fantastic items from household décor, jewelry, clothing, candles, etc. What we particularly appreciate is not only that their items are affordable but they support local businesses that give back to charities.  In today’s blog post, they share their story with us.

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How did Grit & Grace come to be?

Two girlfriends who were complaining one evening about the lack of boutique shopping in our area, that conversation lead us to both share our dream of one day owning a boutique. Then we spent the next 3 years laughing and dreaming over champagne every time we were together until one night our sweet husbands looked at us and said "we love you but, make it happen or quit talking about it" We took that as their support and early last January had our first "board meeting" which was our husbands and us over sushi where we laid it all out on the line. We discussed everything from risk (biggest one being friendship), our fears (demands of being a mom top of the list), to logistics.  Every step of this journey we have been reaffirmed that we are meant to be business partners. We still struggle how to introduce each other friend seems like it is to dismissal of our hard work together, but business partner seems way to formal for us.   The name evolved from our approach to life - it takes a little grit and a lot of grace to make it.
 

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Created Woman is all about following your dreams and walking in your passions. Can you share how the store does this for you?

 In so many ways this store has brought us to a new place in our lives. Personal growth has been overwhelming. We have put into practice that faith is bigger and more powerful than our fears. I can not tell you how many times there was a fear and the door would blow wide open and we would walk right through and think that was it. Timing was also huge for us. Our oldest babies will be graduating from high school next year and then what? Our kids were a huge part of the urgency not to just fill the void, but to show them that dreams do come true.   There was a moment when Shauna and I stood back and just absorbed what we had created and we both knew it was bigger than us.  From the very beginning of our dreaming we talked more about the way we wanted people to feel than what the "stuff" would be. We want people to feel special.  We believe life is in the details. The details are what make every day feel special so if drinking champagne out of your wedding crystal makes you feel young and giddy than use them.  I realized one day that I had to quit waiting for special moments to do things, I was the special.  We are all growing and changing that is how we were designed, but we are the special in each moment. When we surround ourselves with what make us happy and feel good then we're the best version of ourselves. When you come in we want to help you feel excited about the details whether its what to wear to a party or a gift that you need to give.  There is no better feeling than to be excited to give a gift.  
 
Finally laying down our fear and making the steps toward our dreams feels like we have been set free. It's the strangest feeling in the world to have a hundred reasons to be afraid of failing, but instead we feel the lightest and most fulfilled we have ever felt.  It is peace, no doubt when you pray and align your dreams and passions with your given purpose then the fear is on the back burner, instead we wake up every day ready for the adventure. Finding that peace has set an urgency in me to want that for others. It has changed my whole perspective, I don't get bogged down in the crazy and drama. There is to much good and excitement happening to dwell on the negative.   Shauna and I so genuinely want every girl to be successful and find that excitement for herself.
 

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What "woman/women" are you serving in your store?

 Every woman - we truly and passionately want every girl who walks in to feel like she just walked into her girlfriend's house to hangout and see what was new.  We made a conscience effort to make sure we had a little something to appeal to everyone's budget and taste so anyone that needed that special thing would feel proud.
 

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 Can you share some of the products and their stories/mission/charity?

We have had great response to our Goodworks line. We have jewelry and beautiful candles with inspirational sayings and verses on them. Goodworks gives back 25% of every purchase to good causes that support the underprivileged and children.  We have several local lines. We love the idea of supporting other women in the area and letting our dreams grow together. Granado cosmetics is one of those. Mandy Granado is a local hair stylist and makeup artist that has created her own makeup line that is amazing all the products are  mineral and free of chemicals and synthetic fillers.  We currently carry her lip glosses, but are hoping to expand in the next year.
 

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Please share any special message you want others to know.

If two crazy blondes can jump with heels on then anyone can.  When you follow your passion and are in God's timing than every window and door will open and the peace you find will be undeniable.

Hope your day is filled with "Pretty Things and All That it Brings,"
 

Amanda Madden & Shauna Cotton
512-852-8602
1420 Cypress Creek Road Ste 600
Cedar Park, Tx 78613
www.gritandgraceboutique.com 
visit us on Facebook and Instagram

 [title subtitle="Sip & Shop"][/title]

Created Woman is excited to announce that we will be hosting, along with Grit & Grace, a “Sip and Shop” holiday party Thursday, December 17th. The party is come and go from 5:00pm-7:30pm.  There will be light bites and sips! A portion of the evenings proceeds will go back to the Created Woman Foundation…so shopping and giving back…a great reason to shop for Christmas gifts or a something special for yourself.
 
We wish Grit & Grace all the success and are grateful they are opening their doors to Created Woman to join forces for faith, fashion and supporting dreams.     
 

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 Owner Amanda Madden with Created Woman Founder Heather Frierson136
       

Building Stories Around the Table One Mess at a Time

The day after my new husband and I returned from our honeymoon refreshed and ready to start a beautiful life together, I couldn't contain my excitement to venture out to purchase our first dining room table. It didn't have to be expensive. It even didn't have to be perfect. It just had to be big enough and comfortable enough to hold conversations, love, and laughter - lots and lots of love and laughter. 

While roaming each store I dreamed of fancy dinner parties and double dates and family holidays along with lots and lots of belly laughs and stories. To me, a dining room table wasn't just a resting place for your plate, it was a place to drink tea with your sister and catch up on life when she comes to visit, a place to fill up on popcorn and root beer while playing cards with the in-laws, a place where you can leave all your troubles behind and enjoy good company. That is the kind of table I wanted. 

The furniture store delivered our purchase on a sultry summer day. I sat on the front porch waiting for the truck to pull up like a child on Christmas morning. It was so stuffy and hot that day that your brows would start sweating as soon as your foot stepped out the door. But I didn't care. It was delivery day!

The deliverymen gently placed the top portion of the table in the center of our dining room unwrapping the legs and assembling the parts piece by piece. It was like watching a beautiful painting come together - a painting that will be loved and admired for years to come. Different meal ideas flooded my mind as the men put on the last leg and flipped the table over to reveal the final product. Carefully, I polished the top, warning my husband not to touch it until we were ready to break it in with our first dinner party. 

For days I browsed stacks of cookbooks planning the perfect meal. I selected the perfect place settings and picked out the perfect serving platters. It was going to be perfect, yet I kept postponing the invitation. I made excuses - the living area wasn't ready for entertainment, I needed to purchase flowerpots for the front door to create an inviting first impression, my husband and I just got into a big argument, and so on. I wanted fancy dinner parties and double dates and family holidays, but I was too afraid to open up my home with all its messes and allow others to carry in their mess as well.

People are messy and their stories are messy. However, the only way to enjoy the table is to get messy with them.  

God is there among us, present and working, and all of life is framed with God's presence. Part of the gift of walking with him is seeing his fingerprints in all sorts of unexpected ways, especially in the mess. 

Modern life has caused us to wander away from the table. It has pushed us into fast food and highly engineered food products cased in packages that we eat in the car or on the bus as though we can't be bothered with a table. It has created unbreakable walls around families too afraid to let anyone in. Too messy. Too close. It has diminished the sense of belonging that a gathering around the table brings. What happens around the table matters. It's the act of coming together, slowing down, opening up our homes, looking into one another's faces, listening to one another's stories, and being present. 

We might not realize it at first, but the table teaches us things. It teaches us how to love freely, embrace each season - good and bad - with grace, speak confidently without hiding behind insecurities, and live a bold and adventurous life. The best stories are written, developed, edited, and sometimes rewritten at the table because it is a safe and open place. Old friendships are strengthened and news ones are created, it's the perfect place to build a community. 

Invite a friend today. It may involve store bought chicken and unmatched plates and glasses and a messy kitchen, like my first dinner party ended up being, but it will also involve conversation and friendship and a whole lot of laughter, something that, messy or not, is worth calling to the table.

5 tools for happiness during the holidays

Holiday season is upon us. How did that happen so fast? Invitations to festivities are arriving, plans to be with friends and family are being made and happy times are being imagined by all … or are they?
Holiday season can bring with it a mixed bag of emotions. Yes, there is typically “one” in every family, company, event …  you name it …  who seems to ruin the good time. This holiday season I want to empower you to find your own personal happiness. No one can take your joy away from you. Only you can give it away.
 

Here are 5 tools to help you experience a happy holiday season

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1. Choose to go where you are celebrated!: There are over 7 billion people on this earth. I bet there are at least 100,000 who would celebrate you if they only knew you! Make a list of the people who boost your spirit when you are around them. Choose to spend time with those people and stay open to meet other amazing folks who will celebrate you too. Don’t get caught in the negative energy of those who complain, blame, and see through bitter lenses. Stay around upbeat people and you will experience more happiness yourself.

2. Set clear boundaries: Are you heading into a situation that you know may be a little sticky? Set a time boundary. Sometimes it is important to attend functions even if we aren’t exactly thrilled to go. Take care of yourself. Set a simple boundary of how long you can stay and then politely excuse yourself. You are responsible for your own well being. Take care of yourself as you would your best friend. Give yourself permission to do what makes you happy this holiday season!

3. Stay in the present moment: Looking back at holiday time can be a beautiful time of reminiscing. However, pay attention! When we are driving down the road, an occasional glance into the rear view mirror is a good thing, but what happens if you stare into that rear view mirror? You are going to crash! To experience the most joy this holiday season, enjoy each moment for the good that it contains. Don’t stare into the past. Glance backward at the beautiful moments and glance forward to the hope that is ahead of you, but stay in the present moment! This is where the peace is.

4. Brush up on your networking skills: Holiday season can bring new situations that feel rather awkward.  Brush up on your skills. Learn to introduce yourself appropriately and how to break into groups when networking. Invest in yourself and not just everyone else. Confidence brings great joy and a feeling of self-satisfaction. Take steps to boost your confidence and learn to mingle like a pro. Check out the free resources on my website, or contact me with a question. I am happy to help! 

5. Focus on bringing joy to others: When I was going through a particularly difficult holiday season, I decided to reach out to a cause my local church was involved in. It was not easy. I felt like I was dying inside, but I must admit, happiness came from reaching out to others even though I was experiencing great emotional pain. It helped me to get outside of myself and my own troubles. What you make happen for others will come back to you, so this Holiday season, spread a little joy to others and watch the magic happen in you!
 

Click below for another “Tool To Win”.
http://civilityconsulting.com/show-up-well/

[title subtitle="More  “Tools To Win” ?"][/title]

 Visit my webpageat www.jangossinternational.com  or email me atjan@jangossinternational.com . I would love to hear from you!

Was this helpful for you? Do you know someone who could benefit from these Tools to Win? Pass this information along and make their day!
Sending you many blessings this holiday season,

[title subtitle="Guest Contributor: Jan Goss-Gibson"][/title]

janJan Goss is one of those people you do not soon forget. She is a woman on a mission; a positive charge in a negative world, an agent of change. She has written numerous programs to help others live life to the fullest in their personal and professional lives. Tireless in pursuing avenues to communicate, she is also an accomplished singer / songwriter and award winning motivational speaker. Jan is a published author of two books, She Scriptures™, released in fall 2008 and her second book, Protocol Power, 21 Days to Professional Polish released in July 2010. She is a featured columnist and expert for various publications and is highly regarded for her First Impression Management and Business Etiquette expertise. Jan also blazed a trail as a consultant in the luxury real estate community in Austin, Texas for 13 years.

Born in Munich Germany, Jan was the daughter of a military officer. She and her four siblings traveled extensively in her early life (21 moves in 18 years!). As a result, a passion for people of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds was born.

Executives, client facing professionals, and those in the public eye benefit greatly from Jan’s services. She is an expert in her field and provides a plethora of services for personal and professional growth.

Jan Goss founded the Austin School of Protocol, LLC in July 2007 and launched Civility Consulting in January 2011. She has been named America’s #1 Master Confidence Strategist. Jan studied International Business at American Intercontinental University and is a graduate of the Protocol School of Washington in Washington, D.C.

Jan resides in beautiful Austin, Texas with her husband, Richard Gibson.

Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week Ready-to-Wear ended last week and as an obsessive fashion addict, it is one of my favorite weeks. This is the week when design houses that I dream about show their ready-to-wear styles for the next season (because some of them are special enough to have haute couture lines.) I was a little surprised about how “wearable” many of the styles were from the runway. It’s easy to see them transitioning into the everyday wardrobe when spring comes. Some of my favorite shows were Balmain, Jean Paul Gaultier, Louis Vuitton and of course Chanel.

The looks at Balmain were all about power dressing. A sophisticated woman who can rise to the top while still dripping with sex appeal is the goal of Olivier Rousteing at Balmain. Many of the looks had black leather lattice work, dresses were tight but also longer, and pants were wide legged trousers paired either as a jumper or with an ultra chic top. With typical Balmain fashion, it was vintage in a way with references to past collections from designers like Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy. I love how to collection is so sexy without it being revealing. 

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It makes me so sad to say this but Jean Paul Gaultier went out with an extravagant affair for his last Ready to Wear show. He is moving on and focusing only on haute couture and that might be one of the most depressing but exciting things I’ve ever heard. His final show was a “Miss Jean Paul Gaultier 2015” competition with with categories like Miss Smoking, Miss Wives and Girlfriends of Soccer Players, Miss Tour de France and Miss Meteo (or Miss Weather in English). The looks were all over the place- sharp pinstripes and tailoring to models in Mexican wrestling masks. The show was everything I expected and more. Monsieur Gaultier bid Ready to Wear goodbye in the best way possible. 

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I might be a little biased here because I have been in love with Louis Vuitton for years. Not because of their super cute brown and black monogram bags, but because of the brilliance that goes into making every piece they come out with whether it be clothing or accessories. The collection that went down this runway can best be described as preppy meets vintage. Models donned cropped flairs with beautifully designed boots, knit dresses with fabulous detailing, and skirts of multi color leather stripes. The bags however could have stood alone, exquisitely designed and unlike the bags we all have been used to seeing from the house. Not only were the bags new, the LV logo was too. It is clean and contemporary and the perfect fit for the direction Louis Vuitton is headed in. Nicolas Ghesquiére’s first year with Louis Vuitton has been a dream come true.

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Chanel not only had an amazing collection, a runway made to look like Boulevard Chanel with actual puddles and my favorite model (Gisele Bündchen), they also held a protest to end the show. Karl Lagerfeld is one of my idols and an absolute genius in the world of fashion. He wanted every look that he sent down that Boulevard to be something that every woman could wear daily. Models walked in groups rather than alone as if they were strolling down the street with friends. He kept with traditional Chanel using tweed, florals and adorable cocktail dresses which is exactly what fans of Chanel want. 

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Now for the long wait until January for Haute Couture in Paris. 

 

Credits:
Featured Image - TheGuardian.com

Tribeza Fashion Show

Last week, Tribeza held their 11th annual style week in Austin full of great food and even better fashion. They had events like Smoked Meat & Metal with skate boarding demos, a rum garden and a live performance; a southern brunch with a lavish menu, cocktails and live bluegrass music; Blooms + Butter dinner with famous chef Gabrielle Hamilton with food prepared straight off the menu from her New York City restaurant Prune. However, we were able to attend their fashion show presented by Lexus of Austin.

The night started out in a beautifully decorated yard outside an industrial space in downtown Austin. I arrived early so I took a look around at the food and drink vendors to see what they had for the night. My first stop might have been my favorite stop. The Austin Winery is located just a few minutes from downtown on Austin’s east side. They work with family owned vintners and grape growers before they go to work crafting their wines. The CEO and founder, Ross McLauchlan, was running the table and he let me sample before choosing one and they were all delicious. I ended up choosing a glass of chardonnay and it may have been one of the best I’ve ever had. They also hold private wine tastings- I may have to have a mother daughter date there.

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The food wasn’t quite ready so I made a second stop at Austin Cocktails where they were sampling their four different cocktails all with delicious sounding names. The Vodkarita, the Cucumber Vodka Mojito, the Tea Twister, and the one I chose later to have for the fashion show, Paradise Found. It was a mixture of vodka, natural coconut water, stone and citrus fruits, basil, and organic agave nectar topped off with a couple fresh raspberries- absolutely delightful. I’m not sure how I had never heard of Austin Cocktails. They pride themselves on creating better tasting cocktails made with better ingredients like natural herbs and fresh fruit juices. 

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From there I went to sample delicious foods from Fork & Vine, Chinatown, Barlatta and Delish. I wasn’t able to make it to Winebelly. Fork & Vine served the most incredible tacos I’ve ever had. Scallops, Cabbage, fresh lime juice and some sort of delicious sauce. I can’t wait to check them out after they finally open next week. Chinatown stood out from the crowd. Instead of serving on a plate or napkin like other vendors, they filled up the typical Chinese take out boxes for people to eat out of. Barlatta was my favorite. I love tapas and I feel like good tapas is hard to find. They were serving a dish called Arros Negre that had a mixture of black rice, squid, clams, and a few other ingredients thrown in. Delish supplied yummy cupcakes for dessert. 

Austin Event Photographer -

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After everyone enjoyed a drink and a bite to eat, we all headed inside to our seats to enjoy the show. Reflecting current styles and Austin’s easy style, the show was broken into four parts- Yourself Exposed, Rugged Beauty: The Texas Landscape, Street Chic, and Steal the Party with music by The Nightowls.

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Yourself Exposed featured delicate pretty lingerie in pastels and neutral colors styled with denim jackets, jeans and even a shawl that looked almost like a sarape blanket. The delicates came from designers such as Elle McPherson, Stella McCartney, Fleur and Simone Perele. If you loved any of them enough to purchase, you were in luck because they were all from two stores- Teddies for Bettys and Underwear.

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Rugged Beauty: The Texas Landscape featured easy and relaxed style in colors that you would find throughout this state of ours. Flowy white dresses, gray jackets, blue button down shirts and cozy yellow sweaters were shown on the runway. Every outfit looked comfortable and fit perfectly with that Texas style. Pieces were from designers such as Hermès, BB Dakota, Creatures of Comfort and Billy Reid and were from many local Austin retailers like MOSS, Hoiden Supply Co., and Raven + Lily.

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Street Chic was surprisingly wearable. Usually when a collection is “street chic” it’s not easily wearable for the everyday person. Street Chic featured bold pops of color paired on a fairly dark background. Stripes and polka dots seemed to be the prints of choice on the runway. Pretty scarves, bright pants and a sort of sophistication was the idea of Street Chic. I wish I could wake up every morning and have all of it in my closet. Some of the designers included were Saint Laurent, John Varvatos, and Nicole Miller from retailers like The Garden Room, Olive, and By George.

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Steal the Party was exactly what is said. If you were to wear any of the outfits they showed on the runway from Steal the Party, you would do just that. Sparkle and shine was in every outfit and all the models even carried sparkling motorcycle helmets by Daytona Cruiser as they walked. If I was to ever own a bike, I would need one of those helmets. Glittering gold dresses and fun pants were available from designers such as Pauline Trigere, Babette, and Alice & Olivia. A few of the retailers were Kick Pleat, Beehive and Feathers Boutique.

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Thank you so much to Tribeza for having us there and holding such an incredible show proving Austin fashion is still alive and strong. We can’t wait to see what next year has in store!

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Photos from Tribeza, Amy Gentry from The Austin Chronicle, HungryGirlAustin and myself. 

 

 

Style Speaks Fashion Show

Style Speaks was a great day for fashion in Austin. All the women in attendance looked beautiful in their most stylish outfits while enjoying incredible speakers, delicious food, awesome shopping and most important, an entertaining fashion show with stunning pieces brought to us by three Austin brands- s.t.e.f., W by Worth, Capra and Cavelli and UAL. The final walk out!

s.t.e.f. had a pop-up shop with multiple pieces and also opened and closed the show with nine different looks. s.t.e.f. is a sustainable women’s clothing line designed and created in Austin, TX. They pride themselves on creating quality pieces that are designed to last using organic cotton and hemp blend fabrics. From my personal opinion, s.t.e.f. should be the brand that everyone gravitates towards. I love their use of natural fabrics and recycled materials and the quality of their pieces. I also love that their pieces aren’t too expensive. You may think that $200 for a cotton dress is a little pricey but when you’re paying that, you’re paying for a dress that is fitted perfectly to you that will last for years to come. The designer, Stephanie, prides herself on creating a line that is sustainable and also producing clothing that makes women feel beautiful and has a positive impact on her community.” She launched s.t.e.f. in Austin in 2013. If only I could afford to buy everything from s.t.e.f. all at once, especially the dress that Stephanie wore yesterday.

 

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How can you say no to a skirt like this?

The front had a super sexy deep V-neck. Perfect little black dress for a night out!

W by Worth also had a pop up shop and had 6 looks in the show. Worth is a New York City based company founded in 1991. They don’t sell their clothing in a store like most brands; you can shop online or in person with one-on-one appointments with a professional sales associate. They aim to provide personalized luxury experience for every woman that shops with them and remain dedicated to strong women of purpose, passion and style. I love the intimacy they offer while shopping because I know many women are like me and hate shopping with crowds.

I love a good animal print!

Anyone who saw me at Style Speaks knows how much I adore black jumpers. I must have this.

Capra and Cavelli had six incredible looks in the show and also gave out gift cards to everyone in attendance. Capra and Cavelli has been around for over 19 years and has established a national reputation as the distinguished source of exceptional clothing for men and women. The women’s shop is located downtown in the Hilton Lobby and is the newer of the two locations. The women’s location emphasizes Austin casual dress and local designed jewelry. One of my personal favorite brands they carry is Tess. The men’s location is the original location and has been recognized by Esquire Magazine as one of the top 100 clothing stores in America. They even have an in-house tailor to make sure your purchases have an exceptional fit. I have to say I can’t wait to visit both locations to do some shopping for my boyfriend and I.

She's like a modern day Sandy from Grease!

UAL was a personal favorite of mine because I got to help dress the girls wearing their clothing. UAL unfortunately did not have a shop but they did have six gorgeous looks on the runway. UAL, or United Apparel Liquidators, was founded by a husband and wife team in 1980 in Mississippi. Since then it has grown into a recognizable name and now has five retail stores in four states including the one in Austin along with an online store. They were built on the concept of obtaining high-fashion brands at affordable pricing. You can find incredible pieces from 70-90% off retail prices. I fell in love with all the pieces they had and almost had a heart attack when I saw how much they were. I’ll be stopping by there in the near future.

I must have these pants!

Again, the animal print.

Every look in the show was a perfect representation of what to wear for this fall/winter season and I hope everyone that went to this event and reading this posts checks out all four of these incredible companies.

To top off the amazing show...

My dream came true at the end of the fashion show. I actually got to walk down a runway! I couldn't have been more excited!

Michele and the rest of us did an awesome job of putting the show on!

 

Thank you to s.t.e.f.'s instagram and Asya for the great pictures!

Barbie Girl

This might be a little different than anything you would ever read at Created Woman and different than anything I would normally talk about unless you are one of my close friends but I’m going to spill a secret today. I’ve always wanted to be a mixture of Barbie and Elle Woods (Legally Blonde). I don’t know if it’s because of my blonde hair and blue eyes along with the fact that my signature color is pink or if I am just that strange. I’ve always owned it though and my friends and family know it.

Moschino has always been a little over the top with their collections and yesterday at Milan Fashion Week was no different. I believe Jeremy Scott had me in mind when he thought of the theme for Spring/Summer 2015. 

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As the show began, Aqua’s hit from the 90’s “Barbie Girl” started playing while a lifesize Barbie in a pink dress with black polka-dots strutted down the runway. Following her came looks from workout Barbie, travel Barbie, Malibu Barbie and more. In true outrageous Moschino style, bright colors, eccentric prints and unusual accessories adorned the runway. 

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Not only did Jeremy Scott channel his inner Barbie Girl in bright colors, he also showed styles in metallic gold and black as well as an exaggerated 1980’s high school prom, all still with that Barbie style. I loved the gold lamé trench coat with gold "Moschino" belt- tough girl vibe from Barbie. 

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Moschino has never been a brand that I am willing to spend money on and probably never will be, but it has been selling in huge numbers. With the release of this collection, I can only imagine that sales will continue to increase adding a customer base of  other girls like me who actually have money to spend on a tshirt that states “it’s very expensive being Moschino.” However, I may have to waste $85 dollars on a pink iPhone case shaped like a hand mirror. 

 

 

Featured images from Vogue

Golden Globe 2013 CW Pics

Always a pleasure to watch the golden globes as the stars we watch on the big screen or weekly on TV become real as they chat, drink and laugh at the golden globes laid back atmosphere.  And this year, Amy Poler and Tina Fey rocked the opening monologue!  So without further ado, here are my favorite trends and looks of the golden globes 2013.  

#1 The old Hollywood hairstyles!

nicole-richie-golden-globes-2013-red-carpetAlways one of my favorite, Nicole Richie in In Naeem Khan

francesca-eastwood-golden-globes-2013-red-carpetJennifer Lopez - Zuhair Murad Jessica Alba - Oscar de la Renta Megan Fox - Dolce & Gabbana

#2 My other favorite trend...the nudes!

Amy Adams

Amy Adams  combined both the old hollywood hairstyle with a beautiful nude fishtail Marchesa

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Ms. Golden Globe Fracesca Eastwood in Pronovias

Kerri Washington

Kerry Washington in Miu Miu

My Favorite Looks!

Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt is always one of my favorites!  She's stunning in Michael Kors

Olivia Munn

Olivia Munn in Giorgio Armani

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The always fun & quirky Zooey Deschanel in Oscar de la Renta

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Stunning Anne Hathaway in Chanel

Twins?

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Helen Mirren Kate Hudson - Alexander McQueen

New Look

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Still looking amazing!

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Cheers to the 2013 Award Season!

Entertain Without the Weight Gain

I am a true southern girl who loves to entertain. I have to admit, holiday and party foods are my favorite. However, to entertain without the weight gain, during the holidays, can be a challenge. With the average weight gain for Americans of 7-12lbs from Thanksgiving to Christmas, it is crucial to have a plan to avoid those extra pounds. Planning how to eliminate the temptation to indulge is just as important as planning the party itself. Here are a few of my strategies.

THE PREPARATION

Eat healthy the day of the party :  Don’t let the time get away from you with all of the baking, cooking, cleaning, decorating and errands and forget about eating.  To avoid starvation and overindulging  by the time your guests arrive, be sure to budget time during your day to eat a healthy nutritious meal.

Prepare healthy options:  Have healthier options available so that you can fill  your plate with foods that are lower in calories to give yourself less room on your plate for the higher calorie treats.

Prepare your staple items:  If you entertain regularly, you probably have those recipes that are a crowd favorite.  Stick to them and maybe try one new thing. Attempting all new recipes can lead to taste testing all day……which leads to extra calories all day. I have a couple of deserts that I know will work every time. No need to sample.

DURING THE PARTY

Focus on you guests :  If you have eaten properly during the day, you will be ready to give all of your attention to your guests.  Enjoy your food, but don’t make it your focus.

 

Have smaller plates available:  To accommodate all of your guests, having different plate sizes available is a way for every person to control their own portion sizes.  Decide ahead of time that a smaller plate will be your choice.

Have to go boxes ready:  As the hostess, my biggest fear is running out of food so I tend to prepare too much and end up with plenty of leftovers.  However, having them stay over night can be disastrous. If you can relate, have cute to go boxes ready for anyone who may wish to take some home and get them out of your house.

Don’t fall into the weight gain statistics this year.  Just as you must plan the food and decorations, be sure to plan your strategy to avoid the holiday weight gain as you entertain.

Editor's Note - Where No One Has Gone Before!

July 4th brings celebration, fireworks, waterworks, barbeque and lots of red, white and blue.  It’s the time of year where families and friends celebrate where we’ve been and where we’re going.  How amazing it is that we have the privilege to live in a land where there is so much freedom!  Freedom we sometimes take for granted during election season, which can usher in so many different emotions, conflict and division.  Nonetheless, no matter what your political stand, we live in the best country in the world; a place where we can express our thoughts, pursue our dreams and wear want we want - except in restaurants,  “No shoes, no shirt, no service.” This July, as we celebrate the month of freedom, Created Woman celebrates the freedom we have to pursue a dream we’ve had since its birth.  The CW family is excited to announce the launch of Created Woman Magazine premiering in August 2012 during Austin’s Fashion Week.  The road to get here has been an exciting one with many twists and turns, but the journey has been no less than a pleasure all because of you, our readers!

With our first photo shoot behind us and many more ahead, our thanks goes out to the many people who helped us along the way; the writers, readers, make up artist, hair stylist, photographers, editors, stylists, web and graphic designers and wonderful boutiques that made it all possible.  We can’t wait to share with you more fashion, more inspiring stories of women becoming who they were created to be, creative ways to live a healthy life and much, much more!    We invite you to come with us, because where we’re going, no one has gone before!

 

Thanks for being a part of Created Woman and we hope you enjoy Created Woman Magazine! 

Behind the Scenes of our 1st Photo Shoot