The New Kid

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Was anyone the new kid at school? Remember that feeling to enter a building or sit in a classroom and not have a familiar face near by? I remember starting a new high school. Even in a place where there were some faces I knew, the process and the settings were overly unfamiliar. I was lost. I didn’t know where to sit or stand or eat my lunch. All around me were groups of friends and I was an island. In the face of the unknown, I never seem to elude confidence. I stand with my hip awkwardly pointing to one side twirling my hair around my fingers trying to answer the million-dollar question…now what? My days finally turned into weeks then months. By Christmas break, I was still wary of the unknown but slowly gaining ground and making friends. I sometimes look back at my self and poke fun at the things I did to ease the transformation, the people I tried to like, the things I tried to get into and the feelings I thought I needed in order to fit in. Slowly I would latch on to a person and try to find that ease one gets when they find a friend. I always thing of life a team sport and not a solo event, so when I am in unfamiliar situations, I try to form a team. Being the new kid again is not easy. I feel more and more like an island everyday. As I hum the theme to Cheers in the back of my mind, I try to navigate myself through the unknown. For me, the unknown is everything. Starting a new job is hard, but you still have that air of familiarity..the people who know you. Maybe it is family or the cashier at the grocery store, but to someone I am not an unknown. I am a sister or Layla and Olivia’s mom or that lady that buys a six-pack of Magic Hat number 9 every Friday night. I am that neighbor that is out walking every day or the friend that always makes someone laugh. Here, I am still trying to find out how to be these things again. Moving my life somewhere else, starting a new job, not knowing where I will live and not having my kids and husband to come home to every night is not easy. There are the days when I don’t mind; I like the challenge and the anonymity. Then there are days that are lonely…the days where I wish I wasn’t that new kid or that unknown. I am trying to collect the pieces of who I was a few short months ago and assemble them back together in this new setting. It is not always easy, and it will take time. It does feel nice to be tapping away at my laptop again. Even if I don’t have the immediate satisfaction of a prompt post, I feel comforted to know that my blog was waiting here for me. The one thing I have in my new life is the willingness to stand out. Whether it is a cute dress or a great necklace, I am falling back on my ability to say who I am by how I dress. I haven’t been shy about color lately. My new claim to fame is a great pink blazer. I saw it on a girl at my last job and had to have it. (and paid only $20 for it!). I have had limited access to pictures as my photographer husband is still at home with the kids. There will be lots of weekend outfit pics from now until June 8….when I will be making a full time return to mom-ing, wife-ing and blogging.
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Dress/Belt: Francessca’s
Necklace/Tighs: Target
Shoes: MIA (DSW)
Jacket: New York & Co

The Method

Cassidy.Marie.Rose
April 11, 2012
It’s a broken poem, started up yesterday
And it came true now, mind was on holiday
It’s an open road will we soon see the end
It’s an open book, a story to tell the band
There is hardly a method you know” TV on the Radio

There seems to be a method for everything. Methods to loose weight, methods for parenting, methods for success. Anything you do, you need a game plan for. If you succeed, then everyone wants to know..what is your method? What is you secret? How did you do it? I sometimes wonder if we get so locked in the method that we are oblivious to the end result. I am terrible with directions. If someone tells me where to go, I simply ask “what is the address”. If they try to give me turn by turn directions, I start to tune them out and hear things like “la la la..gas station on your right…la la la, blue house. I don’t mean to do it, and my life has become significantly easier since the invention of GPS, but I just can’t seem to focus on a step of instructions that work for someone else to get somewhere. When I buy anything that requires assembly, I can usually function by looking at the picture..not really reading the directions. I love to make as man “there are two kinds of people in the world” analogies as I can. It simplifies things to black and white, eliminating any sort of complicated shades of gray. So for this post, we are going to say there are two kinds of people in the world: those who are driven by the results and those who are driven by the method. I am a results person. Whether they are good or bad results, I am just looking for the point. When people explain things to me, whether it is at work or when I am trying to fix a phone, I simply ask “what is the point of this?”. Sometimes it makes me seem rude, but since I can’t always comprehend other people’s methods, I cut right to the chase. I need to see the big picture before I can see the process of painting it. When I think about parenting, I am often amazed about how many opinions there are about to raise your children. Since children don’t come with a step by step handbook or a picture of what the end result looks like, I assume the method that works best for you is the best bet. My end result is pretty easy: I want children who aren’t jerks, respect themselves and who aren’t so caught up in trying to mimic other people’s methods that they forget that the real fun in life comes from creating your own methods. So when they are doing the kind thing like holding a door open for a mother struggling to get an oversized stroller through it, I would be overly proud to know that they aren’t jerks. When they look at themselves in the mirror and they truly love what they see, then I will know they respect themselves. When they create their own paths in life, one that involves learning from acehivements as well as mistakes, then I will know they are learning their own methods. I feel pretty strongly that the best mentors, parents, bosses, etc. are those who are clear about the end result and build you up enough so you are confident enough to come up with the methods that work best for you.


That is why I have this blog. It is my method..my result. My style is a reflection of my method. When I read magazines, or watch TV, or even try to find women around me that have amazing personal style, I see one thing: an end result. That is what an oufit is every day, and end result of how you want the world to see you. How you get there should be up to you. One day I want to look professional, confident, grown up. I put on a black button down and a full skirt. I added a gray cardi, feeling that the dark colors would make it more serious, more confident. These are the colors that demand I be taken seriously, that say my methods are just as good as yours. Some days I dress in vibrant colors or playful flowy prints. Those are the days I want to seem fun or flirty or relaxed. When you start to create your own methods, you have more freedom over your results. I don’t like to ask people “how do you do that?” I like to just admire results.

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Shirt: New York & Co
Skirt: The Limited
Shoes: Seychelles (DSW)
Sweater: H&M
Belt: Betsey Johnson (TJ Maxx)
Necklace: Charlotte Russe


Writng prompt: What is a method you created that you are proud of. What was the end result? Did you achieve the result you wanted? Some would argue that methods and structure are more important. Which do you find to be of greater importance?

The Leader

Cassidy.Marie.Rose
February 18, 2012

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Today’s deep thought brought to you by: dusty pink pants. Can I be anymore obsessed with pink? I love these light pink pants from the Gap..they are such an great alternative to the traditional khaki colored ankle pants. I can’t wait to throw on a white tank and stack necklaces for a cute summer staple. Of course that is months away…so I have to keep my focus on winter. I wore a gray embeleshed Tshirt under a cream cardi. Since the top had so much detail and the pants were a statement in themselves, I kept it simple with silver and gold earrings. If you are afraid to try the colored denim trend..I would highly reccomend a pale hue like pink to perhaps give a try. Keep it simple and neutral on top..like a cream or gray top. (or both like I did today).  If you are feeling a bit more daring..try a pale seafoam green top. Don’t be afraid to mix up your palett a bit. Start a trend…be a leader.

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“Lead me to the truth and I will follow you with my whole life…” Mumford & Sons

I have learned a lot from watching countless hours of the “Walking Dead”. Who would have thought a zombie apocalypse would be so insightful?  Sadly, you know what is not needed during the apocalypse? an Accountant…. “Since we have been watching The Walking Dead,” Josh said..(we were g-chatting this morning) “I have been trying to figure out what role I play in the group.” You know, in case there is a zombie apocalypse or something. When you are chatting via computer, it is possible for a tone to get lost in translation. “Are you being profound?” I asked. “I was being funny.” He said. Too late, my wheels began to turn. Do you ever wonder what role you would play in a zombie apocalypse? Not that I see that as a possibility, but our personality types are indicators of what roll we play in a group mentality. At home, I am obviously the leader. I am the sheriff in this small town and even the dog respects my alpha-ness. I have a few circles of friends including childhood friends, mommy friends, work friends and drinking friends. I usually like to be the comic relief…and never really the leader. One time a girlfriend was let go from her job…which she relayed to our high school friend circle in via group text. I was on my way to dinner with Josh when I got her message. I kinda started laughing and sent back “boom roasted.” She did not respond right away. “Was that insensitive?” I asked Josh after five minutes of no response. Perhaps I should have sent her the supportive friend..”don’t worry you will land on your feet” sort of encouragement text instead of going for immediate humor. Finally she called me and was laughing. “That was the best response I got!!” She exclaimed. I was relieved she still wanted to be friends with me and it solidified my role and the “funny one”. 
When Josh told me he was thinking about his role in the scheme of things, I couldn’t really think of a great answer to give him. I am the leader, the banker, the one with the steady job, the one with the benefits and the one who gets the car every day. His role as daddy is not as defined as my role as mommy. He is more like my admin and support system, my therapist and the person who makes me laugh. Before being a mother and wife, I really never pictured myself as a leader. I was always the one who followed..and went with it. I hated making decisions and shyed away from commitment. Being a leader is never easy..you have to make all the decisions then try not to second guess whether they were the right decisions or you should have gone down that other road. Would that path lead to an area that is just as infested with the dead or would it had been the road to medics and a way out? The leader bears the burden of great responsibility. I am not sure I am always up to the task. I guess I am more of a reluctant leader…not sure how to handle my role and always second guessing my abilities.  It is funny how life puts you in these roles and doesn’t always take the time to check your resume or call your references and see if you are qualified. So as the reluctant leader, I have these days where I am not sure I am the best candidate for the position. I asked Josh why he doesn’t call the shots and be the leader. Why is he so happy to just go with it and let me be in charge. “Why don’t you step in and take charge?” I asked. “You would hate that.” He said. I am actually a little afraid of how much truth there is to that. As a leader I have to learn to focus on the positive and praise the people who have helped me get there. The one in charge is only as good as the people who bring them up and when they accomplish something..then all who helped should be recognized. We are not solo creatures and don’t make it on our own. The boss who lets other people do the work and takes all the credit is hardly a good boss at all. I am a good leader because my girls are easy to lead and Josh knows me better than I know myself most of the time. Being a mother is nature’s way of putting you in charge and even if you are a reluctant leader like me, you find the strength to keep your subjects in line. 

Life Goes On

Cassidy.Marie.Rose
January 6, 2012
“L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N….
You’ve got more money and sense my friend.
You’ve got heart. And you’re going your own way.” 
Noah and the Whale

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Picture two children and one adult in a Subaru Forester singing to the radio. (not texting, not playing a hand held video game and not looking blankly into the snow). The three of us were belting some of our favorite songs including “Life Goes On”.  If you haven’t heard it..it is one of the best songs from last year. (Sorry Katy Perry). I looked at the kids singing the song (with heart) and I just smiled. Do you even have those moments where you detach your self from the situation and watch it happen…like your mind is recording the details because it knows it has real significance? Maybe one day the kids will hear Life Goes On and think about how we used to sing it in the car. (my kids are that cool). I really want them to take away the message…life goes on. What a great thought for the new year. Another year is born, life goes on. We all have these moments, some that pass us by and some we seem to get trapped. Can we move past these moments? Do we never want them to end? I like to take a minute to stop and sing along to the music…it always makes me feel better. Sometimes I stress about what is going to happen or if things will happen the way I want them to happen. Life goes on. Sometimes I worry that I am never going to figure out what the pursuit is trying to tell me. Life goes on. I get anxious that I am not doing the right things. Life goes on. There is really one constant..life goes on. Sometimes we get so driven by logic that we forget to follow our hearts..or even worse we are afraid to follow our hears. What are we afraid of failure? Life goes on. That is my motto for 2012…life goes on. I think about that when I get dressed. What if someone doesn’t like my outfit? Life goes on. What if I get to work and decide I just feel so fat in what I am wearing…life goes on. Somedays I get up and make great outfit choices, some days I fail to hit the mark. I used to be afraid to take risks. I had this voice inside my head that would torment me with the worst possible scenerios. I used to fear the worse. (voice from the mom in Carrie) They are all going to laugh at you. Maybe that is why I put off writing for ten years. 
“But to a writer, the truth is no big deal” 
Welcome to the 2012 life goes on marathon. It is the year where we stop being afraid of what is holding us back. Today I fought back agains the cold and grey winter. Once the first snow has blanked my front lawn, it is enevitable that I am going to yearn for spring. I love snow, and skiing, and all things winter, but the down side is that it can be cold, depressing and long. I wore a skirt to melt the driveway today. Red hot? Yes, please. Why not stand up to your fears in style? I got a red pencil skirt from the Limited and paired it with a color block Tshirt from JCrew. I have been wearing my Cole Haan boots a lot lately….expect to see these as a repeat performer when the snow hits…I hate cold feet. No pants Thursday is going to be tough in the winter..but I am up to the challenge. I need the confidence my red skirt gave me if I am going to start looking at all my fears and saying…life goes on.

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Skirt/Scarf/Belt: The Limited
Shirt: J.Crew
Tights: Kohls
Boots: Cole Haan (TJ Maxx)
Sunglasses: XOXO (Burlington Coat Factory)

The Tip

Cassidy.Marie.Rose
December 19, 2011
“So many times, it happens too fast. You trade your passion for glory. Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past. You must fight just to keep them alive” 
Survivor

I dream of being awesome. In every sense of the word..sleeping me does things that normal me would never have the nerve to do. I tell people what I think and I stand up to strangers. Sleeping me has been know to get in a few fights. My “sleeper” usually involves hair pulling and scratching. (me-ow!). I am fearless. This is nothing like the real me. Awake me is awkward and a push over. I cringe at the word confrontation and get easily frustrated with what I should have said. I am a bully’s dream because I comply and try my best to play nice. I don’t have an aggressive bone in my body. Except in my sleep. Then I am the Chuck Norris of dream world. No one messes with me. The other night I was dreaming I was at some dive bar. I often have dreams where I am having a fun time drinking and hanging out with friends. Sometimes they have faces some times I just remember odd conversations.

Dream world drunk me was going to order another beer. I am not going to lie, dream me doesn’t have good taste in beer because I was getting a MGD. (maybe this was 1997 dream world drunk me…). There was a girl next to me getting her tab. She had one of those sour scowls that bar tenders hate. If you have ever worked as a server or bartender, you know the look. It is the look like this patron will never be happy no matter how fast their appetizers come out or how great the happy hour prices are. There is no fix for unhappy at a bar…we just sell things to help you forget you are unhappy. (mind eraser anyone?). The former server in me, both in dream and real world, glanced over as ms. sourface got her credit card slip. I saw her bill had come to approximately ten dollars. I watched as she filled in the amount for the tip….twenty five cents. Even though this was a dream..and the numbers never lie..every part of my waking body cringed at that waste of a tip. I tensed up the way I always do when I witness a crime of tipping. No matter how long you have been out of the game, waiting tables is something that will never leave you..or your psyche.  I still have serving nightmares seven years later. Serving nightmares are when you dream you are waiting tables but something is never right. There is this table you just can’t seem to get to. You walk toward them to refill their drinks or bring their appetizers and the table moves farther away from you or something distracts your attention. You heart is pumping with anxiety and doom.  These dreams are a leftover reaction to the feeling of getting your apron knocked right off your body..or you ass handed to you by a crowded night. Then you run around like a crazy person filling drinks, bringing food, making quick small talk and relying heavily on the patience and generosity of strangers to make the night worth the stress. 
When I looked over at that twenty-five cent tip, my sleepy mind was jolted. Even thought I was asleep, I had the crystal clear thought feeling of disgust for this girl and pity for the bartenders. I did something I had always wanted to do…I confronted her. “Really?” I said with a new found confidence..”You are only going to leave a quarter…You do know these people only make three dollars an hour?”. My eyes stared her up and down and I could see the admiration from the bar tender twisting the top off of my cold MGD. (Wow…even in a dream my beer choice really bothers me..). There was a silence as the whole bar stopped to look at our confrontation. I could feel my hands clench and the blood in my chest stop running to my heart as I looked at her and wondered what the silent patrons around me tough…how was she going to react? She looked down at her bad tip and looked at the bartenders with and embarrassing smile. I had called her out..she was hoping she could slip out the door before anyone noticed how bad that tip was. She quickly added a 3 in front of the .25 and rushed away. The bartender bought my drink and added a bleu cheese stuffed olive on the side. (yet again really weird dream drinks). I felt amazing..I had finally confronted someone over a cause that was so personal to me. From all the ten percent tips to the prayer cards in lieu of tip (yes that really happens) to the eat and skip patrons and the people who camp out long after dinner is finished and don’t compensate accordingly. I stood up for the underdog! I felt like my arms go up like Rocky…the eye of the tiger..I stood up. 
I woke up feeling great. What I got was even better than sleep, it was an accomplishment. I believe a persons character should be judged on how well they tip. Have you ever been out with a ten percent tipper and you had do go back and sneak a five under the sugar caddie out of sheer embarrassment? Let me give you a few of my personal insights: servers make a couple dollars an hour. A server is not responsible for the food prices, food times or food quality. A server will usually never get a raise. Servers usually don’t have benefits and if they get sick or hurt, they won’t get paid. A server works long hours on their feet for days at a time. Servers are human and make mistakes and sometimes are affected by things in the personal lives which they bring to work. We live in a country where a restaurant is not responsible for paying the servers much. From a financial point of view, this keeps food cost and operating cost down as well as keeps many smaller restaurants from going out of business. If the server’s wages were to be part of the restaurant’s expenses..then your dinner would cost twice as much then if you were to leave a twenty percent tip. (my idea of what a good tip should be). By telling off that one girl (in my dream)..I couldn’t help but to reflect on the years I spent relying on the generosity of strangers. I have been given bad service before…and believe me I have given bad service. Unfortunately we servers are humans and not robots, and are subject to the same ability to make mistakes or just have a bad day as the rest of us. What can I say, my dream struck a nerve that I forgot I had. Here is a tip: twenty percent is really easy to mentally compute. Take the total bill and double it..then move the decimal place over one and you have your tip. (eg..your bill is $40. Double it = $80. then move the decimal over one = $8.00..no fancy tip calculator there!).  
I rubbed my confident tiger’s eye when I woke up. There is nothing that I couldn’t accomplish today. Except, I couldn’t get my pants on. My ass has now reached critical mass…no pants can cover it. (none that don’t have an elastic waist that is). It is time put my tip ranting energy into some real exercises. As strange as it sounds, when you are feeling large all around try not to wear loose clothing. It just adds more volume. When my butt is looking like it needs a separate bedroom, I try to find an area on my body that looks small. Mine is my chicken legs. I put on stretchy leggings and a flowy top to hide the problem areas. If you have a tiny waist, use a belt to cinch a loose top and create shape. Most women look their smallest in that area between boobs and muffin top. It is that area at the bottom of your rib cage…if you can find a top that cinches that for you with out creating the look of pregnancy, then buy it in every color. I felt overall large. My tip rant confidence had drifted back off to my dream as I stared at my closet with dread. I sighed and became grateful for one thing this season: ponchos are in style. I paired on over a pair of jeggings (elastic waist..score!) and some low boots for a Sunday feast that would surely put my weight loss efforts off another day. It is time. This is the time where I dust off my tennis shoes and my pilates mat..I get angry that I am not and natural size 2..and blast some Eye of the Tiger! 

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Poncho: Lauren Conrad for Kohls
Shirt: Free People 
Jeggings: New York & Co
Boots: Rocket Dog
Bracelet: Target
Necklace: Charlotte Russe