When life is hard, you have to change...

Pants: Express, Sweater: Old Navy, Scarf: ASOS, Shoes: Off Broadway, Belt: Target

1. Didn't want to do my hair this particular day (shocker, I know). So... I twisted it back wet, drenched in coconut oil (to condition it) and went on my merry way. I wore it this way for 3 days. #lazy I also realized while I was posting these pictures that this 'do makes me look weirdly like the wife of The Russian in Rocky IV. Remember her? Hahahahaa...

2. It was cold out. I wanted to wear this scarf, but was getting annoyed with it wrapped around my neck so I tried something new. I belted it. In doing so I created this kind of make shift vest. It may not be for everyone (especially pairing plaid with a leopard print belt), but I'm digging it. It kept me warm, made my outfit more interesting, and didn't make me feel like I was being strangled to death. Dramatic? Maybe, but I don't really dig things up near my neck. Crew necks drive me bananas. I've been know to freak out and cut a "V" into the very shirt I am wearing with kitchen scissors just because I can't take it anymore. #abitextremeIknow

3. Do you ever feel like there is a "theme" swirling around you? Like... you hear about something going on in one person's life and then you hear about it happening over and over to numerous other people?

The theme that seems to be swirling around me lately is "starting over".

Friends of mine have recently been breaking-up, breaking off engagements, and/or going through divorces. And while they are all deeply saddened by the something or someone they are "losing" they also seem to be viewing these life changes as opportunities.

I don't know if that is shift is something that happens with age or maturity... faith, hope, or optimism (or perhaps I just have really enlightened, self-aware friends), but but these don't seem to be like break-ups of the past. Devastating, long, drawn out, roller coaster breakups that include thousands of tears, hibernation, self-loathing, self-sabotaging behavior and shame. The people I know that are going through these things right now are choosing to focus not on what is "gone", but on what "could be".

Now, don't get me wrong. It is ridiculously hard... wrenching... vomit-inducing to make a major life decisions about whether to stay in a relationship or to leave one. Sometimes those decisions are made for us by other people, but sometimes they are made (or finally accepted) because we know (somewhere deeeeep down in the dark place we have been stuffing it) that we are not our best selves with that person, or in the direction we were headed with them. Either way... the shit is going to hurt.

But... when we get passed the pain enough to see the opportunity, there is this freedom that is like none other. Many of the people I know who have done truly amazing things with their lives did them shortly after a break  up. It was as if when that one chapter closed (without being conscious that they were even doing it) the next page they started writing in their life's book became much more interesting, joyous, and exciting. And before they knew it that one page became a chapter... then an entirely different book/life all together.

There are BIG things that happen in our lives. Places we go, things we do, people we meet, things that happen to us or for us and our lives are divided by them. There is who we were before that moment or that person, and who we are (forever changed) after. And that's okay. Those things mean that you are living. That your heart is beating and your lungs are breathing. Some of our greatest joy can spring from some of our greatest pain.

I guess it boils down to how you choose to view change. The way I see it is that you get to decide.

 Either... your best days are behind you... or your best days are in front of you.

I don't know about you, but I'll pick the later every time.

If you're going through this right now (or contemplating big change)... here...  maybe some of this will resonate. 

"When you feel your life ain't worth living
You've got to stand up and
Take a look around you then a look way up to the sky.
And when your deepest thoughts are broken,
Keep on dreaming boy, cause when you stop dreamin' it's time to die.
When life is hard, you have to change."
Lyrics to one of my favorite songs of all time... "Change" by Blind Melon. 


My "To-DON'T" List.


Boots: Aldo. Leggings: Lotus, Sweater: Old Navy, Purse: Michael Kors, Bracelets: Celene Stones (15% off celenestones@gmail.com when you mention ModaFressca) and Alex&Ani

Someone said to me this weekend... "Mel... I don't know how you find the time to do all of the things you do. You seem to do it all. Do you sleep? Man... I feel so bad about myself when I think about all you do and all I don't".

They went on (and on... and on.... ) to paint this picture of me that is not at all accurate. A picture of this person who kind of has it all together and floats effortlessly through life. Someone with great habits, perfect priorities, and a solid handle on what matters most. If I had a big fat buzzer I would have hit it like... URRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH nope. Stop right there, sister!

Granted, I do a lot of shit. Hopefully most of us do.

It's called living.

I work full time, teach Pilates 6-7 days a week, co-instruct a bootcamp a few times a week, take Pure Barre classes, I'm in nutrition school, in a relationship, and I do some things with my girlfriends and in the community. Those are the things that I do. So... those are the things I talk about and post about.

There are hundreds of things that I don't do though.

I think sometimes social media leads us to believe that other people have it all together, or that they have these picture perfect lives. That's a dangerous myth to buy into. Social media (as I have always said) is someone's highlight reel. Right? I don't believe in putting "woe is me", dramatic bullshit out into the universe like that... but sometimes not putting it out there can lead people to believe that shitty things do not exist in other people's lives. Ugh... 100% false.

I think it's great to get inspired by others (I get inspired by a lot of people in my life near and far) but man... don't make yourself feel like shit, or put someone else up on a pedestal because your behind the scenes doesn't look like their perfectly filtered Instagram feed.

As I was talking to this woman I started telling her that I am a firm believer that we MAKE the time for what is most important to us, and as far as my life goes my "TO-DON'T" list is longer than my "TO-DO list. Right now, health and wellness are very important to me. A lot of other stuff isn't. Be that right or wrong.

My "TO -DON'T" List: 

- I don't cook everyday. When I cook I cook for a small army and eat off of it for days.

- I don't do a things for free anymore. I used to do A LOT of photography for free. It took up SO much precious time (coordinating with the people, driving to a location, taking the photos, driving back, endless hours editing and perfecting, uploading, etc) and sometimes I never received so much as a friggin'  "thank you" for it. I started to resent it. I have stopped doing that.

- I don't go to "parties" where people are trying to sell me things anymore.No more Pampered Chef, Scentsy, Thirty-One, etc.

- I'm really bad about sending Birthday and Christmas cards. Oh, and Easter... Father's Day... Mother's Day, etc. Also, I don't remember anyone's anniversaries. I'm the worst.

- I'm not crafty. I don't do DIY projects. Like... ever.

- I don't wash or blow dry, or straighten, or curl my hair that often. A complete waste of time most days.

- I have at least 25,000 unread emails in my g-mail account. I skim for "real" ones and leave the rest. My work inbox is enough to handle. My g-mail is a joke.

- I don't listen to voice mails for weeks sometimes. I hate them. Not sure why, just do.

- I don't watch series on Netflix. I know nothing about Game of Thrones, Sons of Anarchy, Mad Men, Downtown Abbey, Breaking Bad, etc. I tried Orange is the New Black. Fail. I just can't commit.

- I keep a really clean house 90% of the time, but I don't give a shit about whether my car is dusty. I probably get it washed once a fiscal quarter.

- I don't take the time to match my socks.

- I don't spend time with people who are not right for me. I'll put the brakes on that shit quick fast. You live and you learn.

-Sometimes I am in such a hurry that I forget to put on deodorant. I keep some in my car's center console for such emergencies.

- I don't have children. A mother's job is NON-STOP. Props to you guys.

- I don't grocery shop that often. If I am at the supermarket chances are there is only ketchup in my refrigerator.

Some of the things on this list I am not proud of (ie: I'm REAL bad about birthday cards) and others I am exceptionally proud of. That is one of the beautiful things about getting older.... you get a chance to create your life. You weed out what does not serve you and focus more on what does. But... just because someone's focus is different, does not make it better. Remembering that would probably be helpful once in a while.

You never really know what other people are going through, so chill out and fight the urge to compare. Basically... stick to counting your own blessings.

You'll be a lot happier that way.


Bond... James Bond

Pants: Lotus (15% off online with coupon code MODA at checkout), Shirt: Target, Shoes: Aldo, Earrings: Nordstrom, Jacket: (?)

Another day... another chance to wear the same pair of leather pants I've been sporting since Christmas. I'm just not ready to commit to zippers and buttons yet (these have neither). Maybe by February?  #doubtit #highlyunlikely

I normally transition from leggings straight into summer dresses. I pretty much hate real pants and avoid them at all costs. If I'm going to be uncomfortable I'd rather go big... like if I'm going to make the commitment to sucking in my gut all day I'm going straight up crop top. Yup, exposed midriff. BOOM. Real pants are just all the work, none of the reward.

Anyway... this is what I wore out to dinner on Saturday night. The manfriend and I met up with friends for a birthday dinner and then went to a house party to watch playoff games. And... I know what you may be thinking... "Uhh?????... navy and black??? Really?

Oh the HORROR!"

I know there is some weird antiquated "rule" we learned a long time ago telling us not to wear two colors together, but I have always loved navy and black. Especially for evening. I think the pairing is kind of bad ass. Sophisticated, if you will.

Case in point. One of my all time favorite tuxedo looks on a man is a midnight blue jacket with black lapels. (ie: Daniel Craig at a James Bond/Skyfall premier.)


Now tell me these two colors were not meant to be worn together?

"Have Mercy!!!" (said in my best Uncle Jesse voice)

I think the key is for the two colors to be obviously different, so it looks like an intentional pairing. Not to be confused with the time <<true story circa 2009>> that I wore one navy 3.5" heel to work and one 4" black one. Not only was I walking around with a limp all day from the 1/2" difference, I looked like an asshole who got dressed in the dark.

Which I had. Hence the mistake. 


Laundry and Lace with a heavy dose of Shut the hell up...

Skirt: Lotus, Shirt: The Limited (I think), Shoes: Jesscia Simpson, Watch and Tortoise Shell Bracelet: Michael Kors, Chain bracelet: Target, Ring: LeVian (and before I get any text messages, it is not an engagement ring.... it is just a ring that fits best on this finger.)

Lace on the skirt. Lace on the shirt. Overkill? Yeah. Most likely.


I wore this to work yesterday and a (perpetually grumpy, rather unpleasant) woman who works on the same floor approached me in the elevator lobby and said.... "Melissa... ummmm... haven't I've seen you wear that skirt before." and then looked at me with a snarky, puzzled stare. I cocked my head to the side and waited a second (checking to make sure she wasn't joking) before I looked her in the eyes and slowly replied...

"Uh, yeah................ cause it's mine.... and I have a washing machine... so..............???"

I wish I could take credit for that sarcastic comeback, but truthfully, it was an e-card or something I saw on Instagram a few weeks ago. I didn't realized that I had stored it in the ol' memory bank but there it was. Ready. Aim. Fire. I probably shouldn't have been so rude, but man, she slow pitched that one to me. Set it up perfectly. Plus, I was in a shitty mood. I giggled to myself as I walked into the elevator, impressed that I recovered so quickly.

Who says that though, really? "Haven't I seen you wear that before?" Like an a accusation. No shit, Sherlock. Don't normal people buy clothes with the intention of wearing them more than once? And (before you say anything to the contrary) I can assure you I wear the same stuff to work all of the time. I rarely get creative when it comes to work outfits. So... if it is a skirt that does not have sequins on it and comes anywhere close to my knees, then more than likely I have worn it to work no less than one hundred times. She was just being snotty because I was "dressed up" and she was wearing (as per usual) the equivalent of sweat pants with flip flops and socks.

Sometimes, when people are being dickheads you should "kill them with kindness". Other times, it's more fun to just be a dickhead right back.

Honestly though...  only the first part of my (plagiarized, yet witty) counter was accurate. The skirt is mine (that much is true), but there is no way I washed it before wearing it. I am a complete dirt bag. My workout clothes get washed after each use (for the most part). Everything else???? Mmmmmmm. Debatable at best. My manfriend goes through four times the clothing that I do, and every time I start to get huffy about all of the laundry I have to remind myself that it's only because he is a normal, sanitary human being. I, on the other hand... not so much.

I like to live on the edge, ya know? Test my limits.

But when I do finally break down, this is 100% how I feel...


Leather Pants and Resolutions

Coat: Michael Kors from Marshalls, Leggings: Lotus, Necklace: Custom from Celene Stones (EM Krista for 15% off your custom creation- celenestones@gmail.com) Sweater: Page 6, Shoes: Aldo, Big ass bag: Target

Happy 2015!!!!

Granted... I'm a week late with the New Years well wishes, but I have not yet blogged in 2015 so it's still relevant.

Frankly, I haven't made the time for blogging. I have been running a million miles an hour going from one thing to the next all day errryday. One of my 2015 resolutions is to slooooooow the hell down (before I become a sick, exhausted, miserable bitch with no friends). I am an "all or nothing" type of person though. Always have been. Balance is not a strength of mine.

"I go zero to a hundred... real quick... real quick... real f*ing quick."

Speaking of resolutions... did you make any? Like... real ones that you are going to work on throughout the year? I know many people don't "believe" in them, but I love making them. Last year was the first year I really ever took them seriously though. I took a piece of notebook paper and wrote all my goals out with a Sharpie then taped it to my bathroom mirror. I kept those suckers up the entire year. That way, every time I was in front of my sink I was forced to look at them, read them, and ask myself whether they were still important to me... relevant.. and if so, was I moving my life in the direction that would allow me to achieve them?

Last year at this time I wanted 2014 to include: becoming a Pilates teacher, enrolling in nutrition school, losing 20 lbs, living a fit & active lifestyle, saving x number of dollars each week and buying less crap (clothes especially). I accomplished some... Pilates teacher/ nutrition school/ living an active lifestyle/ buying less... check. Saving a shit ton of money and losing 20lbs? Weeeeeellllll... those didn't happen. I didn't save like I should have (that goal made the list again this year) and I didn't end up losing all of the weight I thought I wanted to. Shocker. Dropping 20lbs been on the list since I was 11 friggin' years old.

I may have totally shit the bed on saving, but I did lose about 13lbs over the course of the year. Not much when you consider that there are 12 months in a year, and that shit was super slllloooooooow to come off, but I completely changed my body composition through Pilates and wha-la.... now I don't really give a damn about the last 7 pounds. Actually, a funny thing happened. The more time I dedicated to the process of getting fit (making it something that became a part of my life), the less I gave a hoot about the "end result". I was proud of all the new things I could do. I was spending more time with my body, but a hell of a lot less time thinking about it, resenting it, shaming it, and wishing it looked like someone elses. I gained freedom through the journey, and THAT SHIT... is priceless.

I made some good decisions in 2014 and some really dumb ones. I propelled myself forward in many ways, and took some self sabotaging steps back in others (weekend binge eating, and over scheduling myself to the point of madness to name a couple). But, that is the beauty of resolutions. They allow you to take a good hard look at what you're doing... what you want to be doing... and deciding how you're going to get from A to B. Making resolutions doesn't mean you're not going to have bad days, or fall off the proverbial wagon. But they do give you something to strive for. And sometimes, having a goal that you work towards leads you down a path that you never expected. The journey becomes more important than the goal itself.

So... get up, do what you said you wanted to and do it as close to every damn day as you possibly can.

Our lives don't change because we make resolutions, our lives change because do them.

So... cheers, mamacitas.... to 2105. May it be your BEST freakin' year yet!