Skorts and Break Throughs

Romper: Lotus (15% off online purchase with coupon code MODA), Shoes: Off Broadway, Necklace: Target (so old that the clasp is now a safety pin), Bracelet: Stella & Dot, Rings: Lotus, Purse and Earrings: ???

Hola, Mamacitas!!! I hope everyone had a good weekend.

I had a really good one. I got a chance to do a lot of things that I love this weekend.

I spent Friday night with girlfriends (and a wee liiiiittle bit of tequila), laughing (and then sobbing). Saturday I taught a private Pilates lesson, got my nails done and did a little shopping with my sister-in-law, hung out with some friends at my brother's house, and then got dressed up and went on a double date with my manfriend. Sunday we went to church, brunch, and then when we got home and I cleaned, studied, cooked dinner and took a test for nutrition school.

I tend to completely over book my weekends/life, so not having anything that I really "had' to do, was amazeballs. It was a really good weekend.

This is what I wore Saturday night when we went out to dinner. It's a romper from Lotus. I got it almost 5 years ago and I'm still obsessed with it. I love the juxtaposition of it. The sophisticated silk top with flowy bell sleeves in a soft, pretty purple says "I'm a lady"... but then BAM... booty shorts that scream "BAD Bitch". Hahaha. Actually the bottom if this thing is a "skort".  Part shorts, part skirt. It's perfect for those times you want to look dressed up, but still be able to sit like a 4 year old in a sandbox.

Totally switching gears...

I have realized lately that a lot of people I talk to have friends that they don't really "like" that much. Is that normal? To not like people, but still call them your "friends"? I don't think that I have people like that in my life, really. If I don't like someone, or we grow apart, I don't have a big problem distancing myself from them until the relationship changes and heads more into that "acquaintance" space.

I'm sure some would say that just means I'm a bitch, but I think it's healthy actually. We are constantly growing, evolving, changing, expanding, and morphing more into who and what we want to be (hopefully, anyway). We are doing this at the same time that everyone else is. It's not strange to me that some friends (like past boyfriends or girlfriends) have seasons in your life.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day who was saying that she was really hurt by the fact that one of her oldest friends had made zero effort, over and over, to spend time with her. She mentioned that she was always the one doing the calling, texting, and/or inviting, only to be kind of pushed off to the side and frankly ignored. I understood that she was very sad. This was, for a very long time, one of her dearest friends, but I asked her what I always ask myself when I encounter this...

"If you two were to meet today would you still become friends?" Like... if you met at a party would you have much in common to talk about, have any of the same hobbies, values, ideals, interests? Would you exchange numbers, call each other to hang out? Do your lives align at all? Now, don't get me wrong, you don't have to be the same as your friends, but you do have to have some commonality that brings you together. Right? If you have to think too long about the answer, or if the answer is an obvious "no" then you probably shouldn't be too surprised that the relationship has changed and hey... that's okay. Don't look at it as someone deciding NOT to be your friend. Look at it as life... as a season... as winds of change. Sometimes we have to let go of certain things on our life, brain, heart... to make room for other things (like awesome new friends). It's not a break up, it's a break through.


Long Pants and Daydreams

Jeans and Necklace: Lotus (use coupon code MODA on any online purchase, and get 15% off your order), Tank and Purse: Target, Sweater: H&M, Shoes: ?, Watch: Michael Kors, Bracelets: Alex & Ani

1. This was my casual workday look from last week (aka- just being lazy). 

The fact that it is 4 below zero at all times in my office lead to me a sweater in the dead of July, and as far as the pants go, well... truthfully, that choice just stemmed from the fact that I didn't feel like shaving my legs that morning. I think I shaved 1/2 of one calf and then gave up. Eff it.

2. These pants have a random stain on the right butt cheek of them and inevitably... every.single.time I wear them, someone points it out. 

It's been there since last year, but I always act like it must have just happened. I did that twice last week... all like... "Oh man, really???? I must have just sat in something! Dang!!!" << LIE >>. I know it's there, I just don't really care. Speaking of pants. My Grandma Hess calls them "long pants"... and now that I am older, I wonder if she thinks that shorts are in fact also called pants? Like she needs to differentiate between the short and long variety. Does anyone else's grandma/pa call them "long pants"? Is it generational, or just specific to my grandma (since the woman wears shorts 10 months out of the year... even though she lives in NY)?

3. White and blue stripes always make me think: Nautical. Like when I wear them I should be sailing on the ocean... with Ralph Lauren models or something. And I'd have a GREAT tan and that perfect wash and go hair that leaves me with effortless beachy waves (do those even exist in real life? Bitches).

It's weird how something as stupid as stripes can put you straight into a daydream. Right? I mean... black and white stripes always makes me think of Paris. When I wear black and white stripes I feel like I should be at a cafe in France, sipping espresso, and eating expensive cheese... and a croissant (but with my red lipstick perfectly in place the whole time) as I look out dreamily at the Eiffel Tower. And in that day dream I am effortlessly chic, naaaaturally thin, and a smoker... but I make smoking look super hot, not repulsive. No asthmatic cough, that would ruin it. Obviously.

4. And, on a completely unrelated note (as many of you know), I am currently in nutrition school and I have been teaching Pilates since May (and recently got certified to teach PiYo). So... I decided to create a FB page. I throw my weekly Pilates schedule on it, plant-based recipes (mostly), exercises you can do at home, and overall healthy living tips. If you're interested in any of that, head on over to Pilates with Mel and "like" it. Obviously I am not a health guru, just a real person just trying to live in a way that makes me feel good inside and out. Can I get an Amen?


Barbie Style

Shirt and Long Necklace: Vestique, Skirt: Lotus, Shoes: ShoeDazzle

Oh Hey Skirt. Come here often?

If this skirt were a person, I swear to GAWD I would make out with it. This thing. Come on. It's awesome. Not a mini. Not a maxi. A midi... and it's pretty perfect if you ask me.

If it were short it would be a bit much... you know, being that it is Barbie Pink, has a ruffle, AND a slit.... and if it were maxi length it would just look weird (like your 8th grade math teacher, or an aging mortgage banker may wear it with a matching blazer or something). But, as a midi. Friggin' perfection. It can be dressed up with a classic, basic white shirt and nude heels (like this), or made edgy with a black crop top and strappy hooker heels. I will be wearing it a lot. A LOT.

I got it from Lotus just last week. A picture was put up on Instagram and BOOM... the damn thing was sold out in minutes. Lucky for ya'll we got more in. There are 5 left. It's not on the website (because it's going to be sold out in a hot second, but you can message Lotus through FB, or call them tomorrow - 704) 335-8884-  if you want one.)  This is a large. I have a bit of room in it, but not much (just for reference if you're looking to get one) and I am 5'7.  The length is a perfect midi on me. If you are shorter than that, you may need to get it taken up an inch or so. Don't ruin it though and make it a mini. Dear Gawd, please don't do that. I will cut you. And as for cost, it will set you back just under a Benjamin.

That's about 100 bucks, in case you weren't picking up what I was putting down there.

I don't normally do an entire blog post about a skirt, but everywhere I went today women asked me about it. So... there you have it. All the info you could ever want or need (cost, fit, how and where to get it). BAM. Don't say I never did nothing for ya.

Oh, and how awesome is this beaded turquoise necklace? My friend, Arlene, went home to visit her family in Mexico last month and brought it back for me.  I love it. So Arlene, if you're reading this... thank you thank you thank you. XOXO


JT and The Jolly Green Giant

Dress: Bebe

This is what I wore on Saturday night when my girls and I went to the Justin Timberlake Concert.

My BFF Carrie and I scored tickets at the very last minute (sitting right next to our friend's Liza and Tish) and man... am I glad we did! What a friggin show?!?!? Holy cow. It's just not fair that one human being has that much talent. He sings, dances, acts, writes, plays the guitar, and piano... oh and if that weren't enough, he's funny and he's not hard on the eyes either. Shit.

I started to wonder though... is he really THAT much more talented than the rest of us, or has he just worked insanely hard for a really long time to become good at all of that? Some of it is natural of course, like his voice, and well... bone structure, but the rest of it is cultivated.

Every time I see an amazing concert, dance performance, or art of any kind really I get insanely inspired. The day after the show I cleaned the entire house, did laundry, made a legit dinner from scratch, did school work, edited photos, and put together new Pilates workouts for this week. BOOM.  I mean, if JT can sing and dance for 3 hours non-stop, I can at least sort laundry and change the sheets, right?

A night out on the town with my girls never fails to deliver some classic stories.

This particular night included Carrie and I busting out of ridiculously long the line for the Women's bathroom and breaking into the Men's room to use the toilet. We got a lot of strange looks when we sprinted in there...  especially when I hit the door open of an occupied stall (obviously occupied by an unsuspecting dude) and then we shoved ourselves into one stall and proceeded to laugh hysterically the entire time. It's amazing we didn't pee our pants, really. But... we didn't miss even a minute of the show. I can't say the same for the other 75 women stuck the "gender appropriate" line.

We all went out dancing afterwards where we experienced a drunk guy unzipping his pants as he attempted to beckon the 4 of us up to the VIP area he was standing in. Dude... come the eff on. Do you really think that would work? You're leading with your weiner???? Nice wedding band, buddy. Get out of here, creep.

Oh, and I almost got in a fight. There was a WASTED chick standing on a speaker dancing like she just got shocked with a taser (if tasers were to make you twerk like you have no self esteem). She spilled her entire drink down the back of my friends, and since I was STONE sober (not one drink) I walked up to her to let her know that she had spilled her drink and calmly suggest she be more careful. THIS chick looked at me like I had 4 heads and then says... "Ugh.... no biiiiitch... I did NOT do that, because I don't even HAVE a drink". As she proceeds to try to put her glass behind her back (like I can't see that shit). I said... "Excuse me?????????????????????? What the... ???? " Apparently her friend saw the look on my face because she stepped in to apologize on her behalf, but I swear I was 3 seconds from losing my cool. You see this dress. It's stretchy. I could move like a ninja in it. Plus, I was twice her size. I looked like the Jolly Green Giant next to this trick. I could have taken her and not even broken a sweat. Please. Go home, Sloppy B.

Oh, and there was a guy on the dance floor who smelled. And I don't mean, it's hot and you're sweating.. smelled, I mean... you have to work HARD to get to the point where you smell that bad. Like... not shower for a week in 99 degree weather. Straight up stench. It was disgusting. I cannot even explain it. I thought my friend Meredith was actually going to get sick. It was SO gross. BARF. You couldn't wipe the smile off of his face though... it was as if he had zero idea. How though??? How does one not know when they smell that terrible?

I had a blast at the concert. A blast with my girls. SO much fun out, and I am SO glad I went, but I was reminded in an instant that all of the nights I spend on my couch watching HGTV... yeah... I am not missing anything at all. It's a shit show out there.


Something Good and a Unique Choice

Skirt: Lotus (shop online, use MODA as your promo/coupon code and get 15% off your order), Shirt: F21 (old), Shoes: Guess, Watch: Michael Kors, Bag: Aldo, Bracelets: Celene Stones (email CeleneStone@gmail.com to design your own - reference this blog and get 15% off)
I was on a conference call for school last night (I am enrolled in nutrition school), and I was asked... "So, Melissa... what's new and good"? I paused a minute immediately thinking about what was new... all I could think of was my friend and my grandma passing in w/in days of one another. I feel like I have been walking around with a cloak of sadness draped over me these last couple of weeks. I stated that although a lot was "new"... like losing people close to me and dealing with grief as a part of every day life lately... something "good" I had noticed was the amazing, humbling outpouring of love that I have experienced through it all.

I have received dozens and dozens of text messages, Facebook comments, private messages, e-mails, and calls of love and support. From people I would expect, like my close friends and family members, to people I have not heard from in years, people I have only ever worked with, social acquaintances, and people I don't even know (but who read this blog). People from all over took time out of their days to simply "like" a picture of my Grandma, or to send me a few words of encouragement. It was really heart warming and I am so appreciative of every one. It hit me that although I initially was burdened by trying to think of something "good", there it was right in front of my face. I have an awesome family, a loving manfriend, and I am blessed beyond measure to know a shit ton of caring people. So... thank you... for giving me something so obviously "good' to be thankful for.

Okay. Enough sad stuff. BLAH.

This skirt.

I can't.

I love it.

I meaaaaaan, really, really (have to make a conscious effort NOT to wear it every single day of my life) love it. The watercolor painting-like print, the length, the fit, the LACE bottom. Dear LAWD. OHHHHBSESSED.

This article of clothing also made me realize that there are two types of people in the world.

The first group of people love this skirt. The second, hate it... don't get it, would not be caught dead in it.

I realized this while wearing it yesterday as I walked through the mall. I got a lot of looks (or the skirt did anyway). Most of them were followed by... "AGH... LOVE... that skirt... You look great, girl... WHERE did you get it???? (said by young women 20-40 and a couple of gay guys). But... I also got this... "Hmm... that is an interesting choice? and "Well... isn't that a unique skirt (said with a look on their face like I was simultaneously feeding them steaming heaps of dog turd). Those were comments made by two different women in their late 50's -60's. It got me thinking that:

1. It's nice to wear something special once in a while, even when it's not necessarily a "safe" choice. Screw safe.

2. Some people are jerks. I would NEVER go up to a complete stranger and tell them that their outfit was an "interesting choice".

Although the irony of the fact that that comment came from the mouth of a woman who decided on a (teal, sequins, zip-up) mock turtle neck bomber jacket that morning was quite hilarious. Ah well... thank God we all have different tastes. What a boring world it would be if we all dressed in fabulous fitted pencil skirts with beautiful prints and lace detailing??? Right? Hahahaha... that lady can kiss my watercolor ass. BOOM!


Making a Life. For My Grandma...

Dress: Vestique, Clutch: Target

I wore this outfit about a week and a half ago, but as I look at these photos it seems more like a lifetime ago.

I can't think of anything witty to say. Nothing interesting or amusing. All I can think... say... feel... is that my Grandma Maglier is gone.

She passed just 9 days after her diagnosis of lung cancer. The doctor's told my mom that they thought she'd have about 2 months, but my mom (a nurse for 30 years) feared she was in her last hours when my brother Joshua and I got the call last Saturday. "I'm scared that if you and Josh wait to come for the 4th of July that you may miss her."

What? How can that be?

We threw clothes into suitcases, packed the car and drove through the night from Charlotte, NC straight to the hospital in Rochester, NY. It took us about 11 and a half hours, and in the last hour we were going almost 100 MPH. My brothers, Mike and Joe, were calling our phones every 15 minutes or so with updates and telling us to hurry. Our hearts stopped every time the phone rang. We were running lights and stop signs and getting more nervous with every wrong street the GPS told us to turn down. Our brothers were waiting for us at the entrance of the hospital. Mike parked the car and Joe led us (running at full speed) through the hospital halls to our grandma's room. When we barged in, she was conscious and she knew exactly who we were. She looked up and said... "Oh, Hi Dolly" (a name she has called me ever since I can remember). She held our hands and kissed us back as we  put our faces close to hers. She asked my brother about his dog, my sister-in-law about her parents, and when she didn't see my manfriend, she told me to have him "get his ass in here". She was a pistol right to the end.

She awoke a few more times, started reciting The Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary and then her spirit was gone. Her body was trying to hold on with labored breath, but the room felt empty, almost like she was no longer in it, but watching all 16 of us in there. We were crying, praying, laughing, holding one another, holding her. We laid our hands on her as the priest gave her her last rights, and said our goodbyes to the woman who held our entire family together.

The next few days were a blur. I'm sure all of my family members will remember different things from the days following my grandmother's death, but this is what I will remember:

  • My sweet mother's heartache. The look on her face as grief overcame it and tears came flooding out of it.  Hearing her say, "What am I going to do without my best friend?"
  • My Uncle Pat's perfect eulogy. 
  • My cousin, Emma, beautifully singing this song at mass and saying, "This is for you, Nana".
  • My nephews and my niece crying. Not prepared or anywhere near ready to say goodbye to their great-grandma. 
  • My best friend texting me right when I needed to hear from her, and then talking me thorough the hour drive to the airport to go pick up my manfriend.
  • My manfriend flying in... holding me up... letting me lose it... and rubbing my back while I sobbed uncontrollably. 
  •  A dozen of the ladies from the Italian-American club praying over their friend together in the last moments of the calling hours.
  • My life-long friend, Kim showing up at the calling hours and funeral. I looked over my shoulder at the funeral home, saw her face standing out among scores of others, and lost it. Then the next day, she sat two pews behind me, over my right shoulder in the church. I looked back at her no less than 50 times. It felt good to make eye contact with someone who knows me so well. Someone who was there just for me. Someone who I didn't need to be strong for. Someone who loves me and my family. A lot. As long as I live I will never forget Kim being there for those two days. 
  • A group hug after the funeral service. My mom and all of her children. Me, Michael, Joseph, and Joshua and then hearing her say... " I love my babies. We have a good family".  
  • The fact that my grandma's funeral was on July 3rd, the very same day that her husband, my Papa, died 15 years before; and that we were in the same place saying goodbye to her, the same church they were married in 54 years before.  
  • Writing this on behalf of all of my grandma's grandchildren and then reading this to my family after her funeral:
As we started thinking about our grandma, hundreds of memories flooded our minds. We started reminiscing about family traditions, all the time we spent at Grandma and Papa's house, the things she did for us, the ways she silently sacrificed, and how proud she was of every single one of her "grandbabies".

Our grandma wasn't flashy or fancy. She never traveled the world, made millions of dollars, or saw her name in lights. I guess you could say, that by modern standards, she never lived an overly exciting life. But what we (her grandchildren) realized as we surrounded her in her last hours of life was that she accomplished her mission. See, our grandma was always giving us advice, telling us stories, and trying to teach us lessons about what is truly important.

In a world that can be self-centered and consumed by materialism and consumerism, our grandma was one of the few who had her priorities firmly in place.
  1. God
  2. Papa
  3. Her 3 Children 
  4. Her Grandchildren
She had it all figured out. She knew what was importnat and she worked to instill those values into all of us. Our grandma collected moments, bear hugs, mouth kisses, photographs, and belly laughs... not things.

Most of us are focused day in and day out on making a living. Working so hard and long on things that in the end, don't matter much. We give our best selves to our jobs, and our families get what is left over. Our grandma, having worked hard in her younger years cautioned us against getting too consumed in the small stuff. Grandma was proud of us when we did well... but she was most proud of us when we did good.

Grandma lived a life that left a legacy. The day she passed she was surrounded by all of her children and grandchildren. We were holding her, praying over her, crying over her, and laughing over her.

We are her blood, her love, her greatest achievements. We are her life's work, and in those moments it finally clicked... our grandma's final lesson:

Love each other. Be kind to each other. Forgive and support one another.... because making a living is not the same as making a life.

This is one of my favorite pictures of my Grandma. I took it less than a year ago right after we finished eating breakfast together. She was on her way to The Italian Festival. I love that sweet smile.