6.29.2015

I got my red dress on tonight...






Dress: Lotus (15% off online with code: MODA), Shoes: Jessica Simpson, Skincare: Rodan + Fields

Hola Mamacitas!

This dress may look familiar. I wore it a few weeks ago to a friend's engagement party. I posted a picture on social media (with my dapper manfriend) and started getting quite a few questions about where I got it from. I had to give the worst answer ever.

I bought the dress at Lotus. In.... wait for it........... 2010. UGH.

Over 5 years ago. Doesn't that friggin' suck; when you really like something and it's no longer available? One girl acted like she was legitimately pissed when I told her that, as if I shouldn't have worn it because she couldn't get it. << I was like... Uh???... my bad, I guess???>>

I haven't blogged in a couple of weeks.

I have been ridiculously busy, stretching myself to the point of breaking. I took a bit of a step back last week and decided to change some things up. I found that I had booked myself up every day of the week and I had less and less time for the people and things in my life that I love.

I work my corporate job Monday through Friday, was teaching Pilates EVERY single day of the week (most days at least 2-3 classes a day at different locations around the city before and/or after a full day of work),  teaching bootcamp here and there and starting to work my Rodan + Fields business. I wasn't giving myself any time to be spontaneous. I was missing out on date nights with my manfriend and girl's dinners with my friends. I was too tired to watch a movie, go to a Pure Barre class, call my brothers back at night, fold a load of laundry, or do anything at all that wasn't scheduled on a calendar.

Balance is not my forte. Clearly.

So, I have changed some things up.

I am still working in Corporate America, still teaching Pilates, and putting time and effort into growing my Rodan + Fields business, but some other things had to go. I am cutting down on my Pilates classes (private and corporate), no longer teaching bootcamp, giving myself a night off or two during the week, and making more time for my friends. I may even blog a bit more because I'll actually have a chance to wear some of the clothes in my closet. For about a year it's been gym clothes every day and every night. The other day I even said... "Man, these shoes hurt my damn feet." I hadn't been in heels for a full night in so long that my feet forgot how to handle them!!!!  Hold the fuk up. That is UNNNNN-acceptabe.

Sometimes you have to hit the "pause" button and evaluate where you are, what you're spending your time on, who you're spending it with, how you are feeling and take a bit of a mental and emotional inventory.

Busy is not something to be proud of. Balance is.

We have glorified busy SO much that we wear it as a badge of honor. We say it ALL of the time. Someone asks how you are, how you've been, what you've been up to, what you have planned, how your family is, why you haven't done something you said you were going to do... "Oh, I've been SO busy." We default to it. When we look at our lives and ask ourselves why we haven't done more of what would make us happy. Why haven't we gone back to school, seen an old friend, gone on a vacation, started exercising, been cooking healthier meals, called our family, read a good book... "I WISH I could, but I am SOOOO busy."

Sometimes busy is legit. Working and raising a family, taking care of a home, that's a lot of responsibility. Some things you can't get around doing; but every so often it's good to just step back...  take a moment and make sure that you are not SO busy living that you forget to make a life you love.

I don't want to look back on my years and realize they were mostly made up of calendar reminders and scheduled meetings. I want to go more places, eat great food, take more pictures, watch good movies, read great books, take walks and spend time with the people in my life that I love most.

Maybe you already have the balance thing down, and if you do... props to you. If you don't though... perhaps it would be worthwhile to take a look at how you spend your time and figure out how to fit in more of what makes you happy, because this one, beautiful life goes by in the blink of an eye.





6.12.2015

From the Inside, Out.


















ALL PHOTOS courtesy of  the BEAUTIFUL, TALENTED, SWEET, SOULFUL Stephanie Ramsey Photography

Here are the pictures from the Pilates photo shoot I had two weeks ago.

My beloved Synergy Yoga was kind enough to let me use their studio and Stephanie Ramsey (the sweet, beautiful soul in this last picture) took all of the photographs. 

These pictures turned out just as I had hoped. Simple. Strong. Classic. Artsty. Real.

I don't have the body of a ballerina. I'm far from a skinny-mini. I don't have a stereotypical "yogi" bod, that of a fitness competitor, or a model... but as I look at these photographs I feel immense pride.

I'm proud of my progress. Proud of my strength. Fortitude. Proud that I didn't listen to the voice in my head telling me that I don't "look the part" of a Pilates teacher and therefore shouldn't try to play it.

I took my first Pilates class (here at Synergy Yoga with my beloved teacher and friend, Gayle Stefanelli) two years and three months ago.

I have been teaching for the last one year and three months and in that time my whole world has completely changed.

Some of us have a moment.

A moment when a switch clicks for us. Someone we love gets sick, or passes... or maybe we can't walk a few flights of stairs without being winded. We feel self-conscious, sad, mad, hopeless. Maybe it's as simple as a pair of pants that no longer fit, or we see a picture of ourselves that we don't like. No matter what it is, something shifts in that moment. We don't want to just "stay the course". We have to change. We commit. We give up the fads, the unrealistic expectations of perfection, and the quick fixes. We just start to show up. We start to do the work. It is not pretty at first. In fact... it sucks. Bad. Even at our "best" our bodies may not ever look like ones in fitness magazines, but we become the version of OUR own best selves. Proud. Strong. Accepting. Happy.

These pictures represent that journey for me. A journey from doubt and fear to happiness and acceptance.

By the way... these are the pictures that did it for me. The ones I could not ignore and ones I cannot believe I am sharing. My "AH-HA" moment .They were taken at an event (two and a half years ago) that I was speaking at. When I was tagged in then on Facebook I cried. Well, I IMMEDIATELY (faster than a speeding friggin' bullet) untagged myself and THEN I cried. I didn't like what I saw. So I changed. Not overnight (I didn't even take my first Pilates class until months later), but eventually... I changed. Not into something I am not and not by unsustainable means, but slowly, and imperfectly. Complete with setbacks and meltdowns. 

I am a different person than I was in these pictures.

From the inside, out.

So, if you're reading this and you want to feel better... start now. Start where you are and with what you have. Throw "perfection" out the effing window and do it. You don't need a "buddy'. You don't need people to "get it". No one needs to believe in you, to encourage you, or do it with you. It's your life. It's on you. Do it now. Do it for the person you want to be. Make yourself proud.





6.08.2015

Don't Be a D!ck.








Tank: Marshalls, Pants: Lotus (15% online with code: MODA), Shoes: ?. Bracelet: CeleneStones (EM Krista at CeleneStones@gmail.com for yours- Instagram: CeleneStones, 15% off if you mention ModaFresca), Skincare: Rodan & Fields


Let me start by saying that I am 100% guilty of this when I am driving. (But I am working on it.)

I have noticed lately that everyone is in a big, damn hurry.

And because of that a lot of people act like rude, assholes.

Why is it that when "we" are in a hurry it's for a legitimate reason (we are running late, someone is waiting for us, we are trying to get to the airport, etc.) but if someone in another car is in a hurry they are just being a d!ck?!?

You never know why someone is in a hurry, and on the road it could be for a million different legitimate reasons. Maybe they are sick and going to shht their pants. Really. You don't know. So... giving someone the benefit of the doubt may be a good idea once in a while. I'm going to work on that on the road, but I've noticed a few other instances lately of people being rude because they are in a rush that are a bit more unacceptable.

I've seen three examples this past week:

1. A woman in line at Starbucks. She kept checking her watch, shifting her weight back and forth on her feet, and rolling her eyes way up in her head because she had been waiting for all of 3 minutes. Chick... you are at STARBUCKS buying a $5 cup of coffee. Clearly this is not a necessity. If you are in that much of a damn hurry, here's an idea...  skip Starbucks. Moron. When she finally got her order taken she was rude to the barista I pictured myself walking up to her and bitch slapping her. Instead,  I just locked eyes with her and gave her a dirty look then loudly complimented the barista on how hard he was working.

2. At the nail salon. Women walk in all of the time without appointments then get all huffy and puffy because there is a 15 minute wait. If your time is so precious, make an appointment. You are not the center of the universe. It is not the salon owner or the technicians fault that they are not telepathic. They did not "sense" that you were coming and clear their schedules for you and your field mouse-catcher, talon toes. Sit down and wait or politely leave. Geesh.

3. A woman walking out of Target was walking SO close to an elderly man that I bet he could actually feel her breath on his neck. There were quite a few people walking out at the same time and she couldn't get around him so she just got right on his heels. Literally. This man was hunched over, was taking each step carefully as not to fall, and using a cart to keep steady. This able-bodied 30-something year old woman was acting like a snotty teenager with no manners. It was insane. I got instantly angry. All I could picture was my own grandpa before he passed, moving slowly but still out and about. I haven't wanted to throat punch anyone that bad in a long, long time.

All of these examples happened in places that I would consider places of relative leisure. Starbucks, Target, and a nail salon.

I think I became acutely aware of these moments because the universe was trying to tell me to slow down. I may not be a bitch in quite the same ways that these women were being, but I sure as hell need to be checked when I am on the road. I expect everyone not going 25 miles over the speed limit to get the hell out of my way. I never stop to think that maybe they have a newborn in the backseat or a tray of food they are bringing to someone that they don't want to spill. Maybe they are driving an elderly parent, or they see a cop up ahead and are actually saving me from getting a ticket?

Anyway, I share all of that not to claim that I have the patience of a saint (because I sure as hell do not) but because I needed to be reminded of it. At a time where everyone seems to be in a giant rush, it's good to pause and remember that we are not the center of the damn universe.

Slow down... take a pause... give a little grace... be extra nice. It doesn't cost you a damn thing; it takes no more time to do and you never know who was an asshole before you. Smiles, compliments and patience could go a long way to make this insane world full of people needing instant gratification (and double-pump lattes) a better place.



5.28.2015

Love at First Sight.








Dress: Francesca's, Shoes: Dillards, Purse: Target, Cuff: CeleneStones (15% off your order when you mention ModaFresca. You can email Krista at CeleneStones@gmail.com or find her on Instagram at CeleneStones)

Do you guys believe in love at first sight?

Like in the movies when one person sees another from across a crowd... they lock eyes... seem to float through the air to get to one another and as soon as they meet BOOM everything just seems to kind of "work" then they live happily ever after.

I do.

That is exactly how it happened for me.

For me and this dress anyway.  (Did you think I was actually referring to human love? Shiiiiiiiiiiiiit?!?!?!?!?!)

Anyway... the manfriend and I were in Washington, D.C. last year  walking in and out of different stores and shops when I saw this dress through a front window. I stopped mid sentence, walked into the store, locked eyes on the dress, got nervous when I realized there was the only one (a M, thank gawd.... I feared it was going to be a S, or worse... an XS <vomit>). I grabbed it, tried it on and BOOM... fit like a damn glove. Plus, it was in budget at a whopping $48 US Dollars. Whoop Whoop. It was meant to be. The Universe wanted this dress and me to be together. Clearly.

I feel like it's been a while since I blogged. Two weeks I guess.

Since then I have...

1. Cut a shit-ton of hair off of my head.

Feels good. I always feel like Mel Gibson at the end of Braveheart when I cut my hair. I have an overwhelming urge to yell... "FREEEEEEEEEDOM" at the top of my lungs.



2. Tried paddle boarding for the first time.

I fell in love with it. I also fell head-first into the water, but I guess that is to be expected. It was amazing. A great workout. And now I am obsessed with buying a Yoga Paddleboard and becoming a bad ass on it. Those bad boys aren't exactly budget friendly I'm afraid so that is going to have to wait, but MAN do I want one! In my mind I looked JUST.LIKE.THIS doing yoga on a paddleboard. My beautiful upward facing dog and my beautiful ass.


In real life I looked a more like a chubby toddler learning to stand on their own for the first time. #realtalk


3. Got in a legitimate heated discussion (borderline argument) with other grown adults as to whether Reggie Bush or Kim Kardashian's baby is cuter. I'm not exactly proud to admit it, but it happened. Also, we were completely sober when it went down. They are both ahhhhh-dorable, but come on... North, for the win!! All day. (SorryNotSorry, Ameena-- xo).




5.12.2015

Haters Gonna Hate...









Kimono: LOTUS (15% off online with code: MODA at checkout), Dress: Urban Outfitters (5+yrs ago), Shoes: Jessica Simpson, Bracelets: Alex &Ani and the big cuff is a Celene Stones creation. You are interested in Celene Stones, email my girl Krista at CeleneStones@gmail.com or follow her on Instagram at CeleneStones. 15% off when you mention you saw her stuff here on the blog.

Maaaaaaaaaaaan... some people. 

I tell ya...

I love women and I support them. I don't hate on women who are successful, have nice things, have a rockin' body, lots of money, are hilarious, are off the charts intelligent or possess any number of talents or traits that seem to frustrate other women and make them jealous. I mean.... I may refer to them as "bitches" but in a....

"Man.... THIS BITCH RIGHT HERE is killin' the game!!!" kind of way.

Real hateful jealously is a waste of time and energy (count your own damn blessings would ya, everyone has problems you know nothing about); but I have found that it is the root of almost every side eye, or catty, hateful comment made (by women about other women).

I get inspired by women who innovate, hustle and work hard for their shit. (Just look at my friends... they are hot and successful... and all-around awesome.) It always throws me off when other people don't. You know, the "Negative Nancies" of the world. The people who always have some dumb shit to say, are never happy for other people and immediately feel threatened by someone else's success.

I am writing all of this out (venting basically) because I've been on the receiving end of some "hate" lately and it's pissed me right the hell off. 

I recently made the decision to start selling Rodan and Fields.  It's clinical skincare (4 different regimen lines and various other products) and it is ahhhhh-friggin-amazing!!!

It has changed the lives of the people who use it by making them feel more confident. That may sound like a stretch ("it changed their lives... yeah... sure, Melissa... ), but truly.

It's helped:
  • get rid of wrinkles and deep lines (Redefine)
  • reversed brown spots and years of sun damage (Reverse)
  • cleared up acne (even major, cystic acne) (Unblemish)
  • soothed red, irritated skin (even for people who suffer from psoriasis and/or eczmea)  (Soothe)

It was created by the same dermatologists who created Proactiv. The shit is the REAL DEAL HOLYFIELD. Although I will admit... I was REALLY skeptical at first. I refused to try it for months and months saying it was too expensive and probably didn't work. Truthfully, I was getting annoyed by people who were aggressively trying to "sell" me on it. I hadn't met anyone who just kind of talked to me about it like a girlfriend versus a potential customer. Until my friends, Elizabeth and Caroline. They talked "to" me, not "at" me and finally... I listened.

And when I did. I stood corrected. Really effing corrected.

I LOVE beauty products and I've tried a lot of them out there, but (for me at least) it was time to stop effing around and get serious. I'm 35 years old and I've got horizontal lines across my forehead, a few enlarged pores that look like little holes in my face, some blackheads on my nose that never go away for long, sun damage near my forehead, and I those vertical "11" wrinkles were coming in something FIERCE between my eyes.

(The pictures on this blog are pictures taken in GREAT light and the ones that look really rough, well... let's be honest they just don't make the cut.  I mean, I'm real on this blog, but don't get crazy.)

I kind of always thought I'd be the type of women to not really give a crap about wrinkles and stuff, but that was before I got them. When you are 25 it's REALLY easy to be all like... "I'm going to embrace growing old. I'm going to let Mother Nature leave her mark all over my face. Wrinkles are just evidence of past smiles and a life fully lived. Blah... blah... blah." But now.... FUUUK.THAT.NOISE.

I'm not going down without a fight. Mother Nature is a bitch.

I am trying to look exactly like I feel... young, vivacious, energetic, and healthy.

I spent a lot of time in the sun for many, many years. Like half my life. That shit jacked my face UP. I don't even leave the house w/o sunscreen now, but man... the damage has been done.

So here's the deal... I love Rodan and Fields products and the only way you can buy them is from independent consultants (aka- they are not sold in stores). So I decided to become someone you can get them from.

I don't care if you buy them, or if you don't believe me that they are THE BOMB. I'm not going to try to "push" anyone into anything. It's kind of the opposite. I'm not trying to "sell" so much as share.

I like women. I wants us all to look and feel good. I found out about something that can help with that, and I'm helping get the word out. Simple. And yes, it's a business. If I make some money from the time I spend working it... win-friggin-win. I refer people all of the time to things. (My hair guy, nail place, or a good restaurant. I share workout tips, when I find a good product on sale, who does my brows, where I buy clothes, etc.) I like buying local. I like supporting people that I know believe in what they sell. So this is a natural extension of that. 

Anyway...

Here are some before and afters that blew my mind. If you're interested in any products let me know (Hess.Melissa1@gmail.com or send me a private FB message). I'll call you, send you some info via email, or invite you to a girl's night in I'm going to have at my house soon. Here's my website if you're curious. You can buy a product, a full regimen, become a preferred customer, or become a consultant yourself.

Women sharing beauty secrets and supporting one another. What's so bad about that? In my opinion... nothing. So... sit the hell down and mind YO business, haters.

Go get mad about something that matters, like mass genocide, human trafficking, or global warming.

And if that scowl on your face starts to give you frown lines... I can help with that. HA!

REDEFINE regimen

SOOTHE regimen

UNBLEMISH regimen

REVERSE regimen

REVERSE regimen