Queen of your Life...

Shoes: Nordstroms, Dress and Necklace: Vestique, Ring: Lotus, Purse: Target, Bracelets: Alex & Ani and Celene Stones (email Krista at Celenestones@gmail.com for 15% off - if you mention ModaFresca)
I'm tired this week. "Run ragged from too much ripping and roaring" as my mother would say.  I'm not complaining though. I am busy with things that I enjoy doing (for the most part anyway), but I am beat to hell nonetheless. 

I will say though... I feel like I am really living this year. I'm doing what I said I wanted to do... going out on a limb, putting myself out there... trying new things. Creating my life. Trying to live the quotes I am inspired by. 

I don't always balance everything well... I am realizing how much I don't know every day... I'm scared... tired... and I know for a fact that there are a lot of people out there who have something shitty to say about it all, but FUK it.

I saw a quote the other day and it said "you can't just live the same year over 75 times and call it a life". I thought... wow... that is awesome... and terrifying. Time really does go by so much more quickly the older you get. If you don't force yourself to do anything new and exciting once in a while your life will become less and less joyful. A lot of people just sit and wait for something BIG to happen. Then they will be happy. You know the type. "Let me just fix this one thing... get this job... find this person... get to some goal weight... take a vacation... finish this degree... get into a relationship... get through this break up... get pregnant... buy a house... get a new car... buy these clothes... "fix" these boobs. Whatever it is. 

We look into the future and are convinced that that is where our happiness lies. We see these people and we get jealous of the things they have, or what they do and we want it. We want the end result, but don't want to do any of the work that it requires. 

Truth time?  That's what I did up until this year. I wanted to be in better shape. Without working out. I wanted to learn. Without going back to school. I wanted to write, teach, share... without criticism (good luck with that). I wanted a life that I refused to work for.

No more. This is my new motto. And if this one doesn't work for you....

I'll leave you with these. #awesomesauce


My First Friend...


Dress: Bevello, Purse: Thrift Shop, Shoes: ? (can't remember), Bracelets: Celene Stones (15% off if you EM Krista at CeleneStones@gmail.com and tell her you saw them on ModaFresca)

Today is the first day of school for all of the kids in my county. As I pulled out of my neighborhood this morning I saw a bunch of little kids on the corner waiting for the school bus. There was this one little boy in particular who caught my eye (not in a creeper, stranger-danger way, just in a... "isn't he adorable" kind of way).

He looked about 5-6 years old, had platinum blonde hair (a fresh buzz cut), and a summer tan. He was wearing little glasses, a light blue polo shirt, and navy shorts. I am assuming that he goes to a private school and that's their uniform since most of the other kids were wearing the same thing.

This little boy caught my eye and made me smile, but seeing him also my stomach drop a little bit.

He looked so much like my friend, Frank (who I grew up with). It got me thinking back to my very first day of school. In kindergarten and first grade I attended a private, Catholic school called, St. Ann's. Frank and I were in the same class both years (not difficult to do since there was only one class per grade). I distinctly remember two things about my very first day of kindergarten.

One, I became Melissa (as opposed to Missy). There was a another Melissa (Ludden) in my class and we got to choose which one of us was going to be Melissa, and which one was going to be Missy. I chose first, and it stuck. For me, and for her.

The second thing I remember is Frank crying. He missed his mom and was really upset. So upset that our teacher brought him up near her and put him on her lap (as the rest of us sat cross-legged on the floor around her while she read us a story). I remember Frank sobbing. The kind of crying that makes it hard to breathe. I felt so bad for him. Frank and I got seated right next to each other for the rest of the year (our last names both start with "H") and we became friends that very day.

Fast forward to 1st grade. Frank would always play with my hair during story time. He'd sit right behind me on the floor and undo the braid that my mom had put in that morning. He'd just comb his hands through my hair and then give me my hair holder back when he was done. I also got my first love note that year from Frank (Do you like me? circle Yes or No). I don't remember if I ever gave the note back, but I do remember wanting to circle "yes". I mean, why else would I have let him undo my awesome French Braid???

It's funny the things you remember about certain times in your life. Those memories are almost 30 years old at this point.

We moved after that year, I went to school in a neighboring town for 2nd grade, and by the time I went back to school in my home town, I was in public school. I saw Frank around town, cheered for him on our Vince Lombardi football squad for years, played release with him near the Little League field, etc. But it wasn't until he came to public high school that we became good friends again.

We sat right next to each other in Earth Science (seated alphabetically) and had lockers next to one another throughout all of high school. We got in trouble constantly. In every class we had together. We would talk, pass notes, and laugh out loud at completely inappropriate times. We hung out together in a really close kit, large group of friends. We'd all eat lunch together at Giovanni's, ride around in each others cars listening to music, and park up on back roads and just sit around doing a whole heap of nothing. We spent days on end at our friend Ben's house. Watching TV, sitting on his porch, just hanging out. After his friend Shane passed away from cancer. He'd come over to my house on Fulton Street every day after school and we would sit up in my room for hours listening to Led Zeppelin (Stairway to Heaven), talking about life. We used to sneak out of the house on school nights once in a while to meet near the Little League park. We had a code. He would call the house and hang up. When he did that, it meant it was a "go". I'd put the cordless phone by my head so I didnt' miss the ring. Once I got the bat signal I would throw on a hooded sweatshirt and meet him at the dike down the street.

We wouldn't drink or do drugs when we went out late (well... I take that back... once we split a 6 pack of Hornsby's Hard Cider on a school night). But, mostly we would just sit and talk for hours on end. One day we were at his house laying on his living room floor watching TV when his Mom came home early. He didn't tell me this, but apparently when she left the house she had given him specific instructions. "Do not invite any friends over!" Welp... there I was (laying next to her son no less) when she walked in the front door. Holy shit was I scared. She started yelling and I started running. I got out of there so damn fast. I was terrified of Mrs. Hornbeck. That woman meant business. She had 5 kids. Four boys and one little girl. She loved God and her kids, and when I was young I didn't think she liked much else.

A couple of years later, Frank (and some of my other best friends at the time) were in a terrible car accident. It was in August 1999. I was home for the summer after my Freshman year of college. I remember being woke up that morning by my brother. There had been an accident. All of my friends were in the hospital an hour away. It knew wasn't good, but I didn't know anything else at the time. I drove to Rochester, and that's when everything changed. Frank was gone, and one of my other best friends was touch and go. We really didn't know if he was going to make it or not for a while.

That was the worst summer of my life. I lost my Grandpa Maglier in July, the accident that took Frank and forever changed my other friends lives happened in mid-August, and my Great Grandpa Buono died a few weeks later. Three funerals in 8 weeks. I was a friggin' wreck. I was sad. All of the time. I questioned everything. Why? What the F. Why? Thinking about all of this, and "talking" about it is still pretty tough even 15 years later. I'm actually crying my eyes out as I write it now.

Anyway, Frank's mom (Cyndi) and I got really close after Frank's passing. I would visit her every time I came home from college, and after that when I came home from Charlotte. She would write me letters, send me little mementos and trinkets in the mail that made her think of Frank. She gave me one of Frank's thrift shop shirts (we spent a lot of time shopping in the Salvation Amy in those days). It's a light blue, pinstriped mechanics shirt that has the name "Jim" embroidered on it. I have had it hanging on the back door of my bathroom for 15 years. I still wear it around the house and to bed at least once a week.

A few weeks ago, I got a call from my mom telling me that Mrs. Hornbeck had been in a life-threatening accident. She is in the hospital, and has been for weeks. She made it through the accident, but I don't know how much longer she will have to be in the hospital, or what life is going to be like for her and her family after all of this. She and her husband have always been small business owners, and she did not have health insurance. I couldn't help but think... "How much tragedy can one family endure?"

I got extremely, life and death sick in the summer of 2011 (the only time I didn't have health insurance in my entire life) and racked up almost $40,000 in medical bills. I am still burdened by them. I can't begin to imagine what they are going to be facing.

I have been challenged to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by three different people now, and I haven't done it yet. I have decided that instead of donating to that cause (albeit a worthy one), that I am going to donate my money to the Hornbeck family. A family from my town. A family who raised the son I loved very much. A pillar in my community. A family who has endured more pain and sadness than one should ever have to face in a lifetime. They have done so with grace, dignity, humility, and unwavering faith in God. I pray that maybe you will do the same. No amount is too small. Every dollar makes a difference.

Please go here to donate:

This is Frank. There are lots of great pictures of him, but this one is my favorite. And here's his shirt.  15 years later.


Rebel Unicorn

Kimono: Lotus (15% off - coupon code: MODA),  Tank Dress: H&M, Booties: Dolce Vida, Bracelet: Celene Stones (celenestones@gmail.com - tell her you saw it on ModaFresca and get 15% off)
This is my kimono. Did you know that kimono, in Japanese, literally means "thing to wear" (ki "wear" and mono "thing")? 

I guess that is pretty fitting since they are kind of "the thing" this year.  Kimonos are a big trend right now. Short ones... long ones... ones with long sleeves... fringe... tie-dyed kimonos... leopard print, etc. They are perfect for when you must put on clothes, but would really rather hang out all day straight chillin' in your bathrobe.

I'm thinking this is also a bit of a man repeller item. You know what I mean? One of those trends that most women dig, but that most (straight) men could do without. Like... peplum, high waisted jeans/pants/shorts, wedge shoes of any kind, drop-crotch harem pants, shoulder pads, combat boots, boyfriend jeans, cardigan sweaters, and maxi dresses (true story... most men just don't appreciate a good maxi dress like we do).

The kimono's spot on the list was confirmed  when I wore it yesterday. An early 20-something girl in Target stopped me and said... "Oh, I really like that kimno thing.... like, a lot... but my boyfriend would never let me wear it."

Uhhhh... ummmm??? I don't even know where to START with that statement. Let you????  Ohhhhhh boy?? I wanted to sit that girl down and give her a stern talking to. Instead I just smiled and said... "Well, maybe you should get one; and if you're boyfriend doesn't like it, tell him that he doesn't have to wear it. (And then I may or may not have rolled my eyes a little.)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. MOST women dress for women. We dress for ourselves and for our friends. Think about it. Do you stress out more when you are getting dressed to go out to dinner with a dude, or when you're trying to find something to wear to go to an event where there are going to be a bunch of stylish women there? More than likely, the later.

If we dressed for men, we'd simply walk around naked, in 5 inch heels (distributing cheesburgers and craft beer). Most men like short, fitting, and simple. Same goes for makeup. They like it simple, but we like to experiment with looks. Some things that come to mind when I think about what most guys hate... dark, smokey eyes... talon-like fake nails... blunt bangs (or baby bangs.... anyone remember those?) ... bright pink/red/or dark lipstick... fake lashes... sock buns... ombre hair. Most men hate all of  that shit (unless all of that is on, let's say... Beyonce), but man...  I LOVE me some blunt bangs, lashes, and lipstick. They make me happy. 

That's all part of the fun of being a woman though, right? Experimenting. It would be a pretty boring existence if we never tried anything new. I'd rather look back and think to myself... ah... I looked utterly ridiculous (in that outfit, with that hair color, wearing that lipstick), versus... ugh... I looked predictably boring every single day of my life.

I am convinced that women who let their looks be determined by the men they are with... they are the same women that rebel at age 75 (after their husbands pass). That is why there are so many awesomely crazy old ladies. Their husbands are gone so they cut their hair, dye it blonde, paint their long nails bright red, wear sequins in the middle of the day, and wear every piece of jewelry they have ever owned all at once.

So, you see. It's inevitable. Why wait... go ahead... live a little. You saucy little rebel unicorn, you.


Storm Season and Small Shirts

Pants: Lotus (15% off online with code MODA), Purse: Target, Shirt: Vestique, Shoes: Jessica Simpson, Watch: Michael Kors, Bracelet: Celene Stones (email Krista at CeleneStones@gmail.com to create your own jewels - mention ModaFresca and get 15% off).

So... I wore my first crop top in public (or private for that matter) this past weekend. Nervous? Yes. Afraid of someone thinking/saying something rude about the fact that I am not 20 years old, or 115lbs? At first. But... I wore it anyway. FUK it. Haters gonna hate. Wearing one was on my (fashion) bucket list. Superficial? So what. You only live once, do what you want. I just acted like I could pull it off until I wasn't thinking about it anymore. Not a big deal for some women out there, but the rest of you get why I was a bit terrified. Wanna feel pee-your-pants vulnerable?? Just bring up the subject of stomach skin. That shit is scaaaaary.

Okay, enough about shirts that look like they spent too much time in the dryer...

I try to be somewhat positive on the blog, because the world is tough enough, right? And you don't come to this page in the hopes that what you read here is going to make you feel like shit.  But, bear with me for a sec.  I feel like there is a lot of really big, scary stuff going on lately in the lives of the people that I love very much. Life changing things. Depression, disease, fear of the unknown, tragedy, accidents, crushing sadness, hopelessness, emotional wounds that won't heal, etc. That's not to say that good things aren't happening too, but I feel like it is storm season for a lot of people in my life.

Do you know what I mean by that? If you look back on your life I am sure you can think of times where you were going through some pretty major storms. I have a few big ones that stand out to me in my life. Scary shit. Shit that forever changes you. The kind of things that define you. Like... there is the person you were before that specific event/news/change and the person you were after. Never quite the same.

It's VERY hard going through that stuff, because when you are in the middle of it, it's almost impossible to see beyond it. Past it. Around it. It feels like the rest of the world should stop spinning because your world is falling apart. But, it doesn't and that brings up a whole new, additional set of stressors.

When I don't know what to say. When I don't have the words for the people I love, I turn to quotes. I get a lot of encouragement through the written word. I just figure that at some point in history, someone out there said some pretty epic shit and it got written down along the way.

I was gathering some quotes together to send to someone I love, and I thought that maybe one or two of you out there could use them too. So, if you're down, sad, discouraged, feeling hopeless, or just need to be reminded that "this too shall pass"... here you are. I hope that one of these "speaks" to you.

(For you... my sweet Mama, and also for you... my dearest friend, my soul's mate. You know who you are.)