Monday, October 31, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I Am Choosing to be Happy

A few days ago, my 7-year-old son asked me why I never smile and how come I never seem happy.

Now, this was at 9:20pm on a school night after I was up at 4:15am to run five miles; worked 9 hours plus my hour commute; helped with homework; cooked dinner; cleaned up; packed lunches for the next day; and then about to begin the bed-time dawdle that we go through each night (i.e.:  I’m hungry, I’m thirsty, I have to pee, one more book all at a snail’s pace).
Believe me, this is no excuse and I was devastated that this was – and may be – Shane’s perception of me. 

But, by the end of my day, I’m seriously at the end of my rope.  That night, all I wanted to do was get vertical in my own bed with a good book that I was almost done reading.  I could not hide my frustration or lack of patience.
I would be lying if I said his words didn’t stick with me causing me to sleep poorly and, the next morning, I awoke feeling out of sorts and like a failure as a mother.

I pretty much beat myself up all day long.  I just couldn’t see the positive in the situation and felt hopeless.  Resigned to believe that for the past seven years and two months, I have been gearing Shane up for years of therapy as an adult.
I spoke with Jason late that afternoon and he talked me off the ledge a bit.  His thoughts were that – since I work full-time – I only get to see Shane for about three hours each week night before he goes to bed.  He made the perception that I am up early and pretty happy all day but, when I get home, I can get “cranky.” 

Jason suggested that I should conjure up images from one of our favorite movies, and use that as inspiration to be more happy and positive at home in the evenings.
This would be the Oscar award-winning, Italian movie, Life is Beautiful, in which Roberto Benigni plays the father, who uses his fruitful imagination to help his family while they are imprisoned in a Nazi Concentration Camp.

OMG, I just deflated like a balloon. That would certainly be my always optimistic, upbeat, positive husband who is more like Benigni than I.  I have always thought of myself more like Glen Close in Fatal Attraction.  Not to mention, is living with me like life in a concentration camp?  I knew Jason was trying to help, but I felt as though I was at a roadblock.
My son is the absolute most important person in my life but, if you know me, I am certainly a glass half empty girl.  I just couldn’t even imagine myself pausing during my evening rants and reflect upon being a better person.  I mean, that just isn’t me.

I am constantly working hard to be a more positive person, but it is a lot of work, and only because I choose to be happy. It doesn't always come naturally to me.
I continued to feel defeated until I picked up Shane from school.  He was his happy, go-lucky self and we spent a wonderful evening together.  We hit up the library, then the Counter for dinner, home for some homework, a nice long bath, and we read his coveted chapter book, “Frankie Pickles,” before he went to bed at …of course…9:20pm.

But I was able to reinforce to him that I am happy and, sometimes, I am just tired and short on patience.  I let him know that he and his dad – among my other family members – are the most important people in my life.  I

t was a wonderful night and Shane let me know that being around me makes him happy.
Whew!

I felt a million times better when I woke up the next morning and when I looked to my Inbox, I found the following DailyOm about "Making Life Yours" which was just so perfect; especially the following verse:

“To make a conscious decision to be happy is not enough. You must learn to observe life’s complexities through the eyes of a child seeing everything for the first time. You must furthermore divest yourself of preconceived notions of what is good and what is bad so that you can appreciate the rich insights concealed in each stage of your life’s journey. And you must strive to discover the dual joys of wanting what you have. As you gradually shift your perspective, your existence will be imbued with happiness and contentment that will remain with you forever.”
I was meant to receive this post yesterday and I can’t think of anything more apropos and, since I have those little child eyes watching me, I believe these are words to live by so I am choosing to be happy...and smile more often.

I have included the whole post for your reading pleasure:

Making Life Yours
Perception

A simple shift in attitude can help us recognize the hidden potential for fulfillment in every event.


There is no secret recipe for happiness and contentment. The individuals who move through life joyously have not necessarily been blessed with lives of abundance, love, success, and prosperity. Such people have, however, been blessed with the ability to take the circumstances they’ve been handed and make them into something great. Our individual realities are colored by perception—delight and despair come from within rather than without. Situations we regard as fortuitous please us while situations we judge inauspicious cause us no end of grief. Yet if we can look at all we have accomplished without dwelling on our perceived misfortune and make each new circumstance our own, the world as a whole becomes a brighter place. A simple shift in attitude can help us recognize and unearth the hidden potential for personal and outer world fulfillment in every event, every relationship, every duty, and every setback.

The universe is often an unpredictable and chaotic place, and the human tendency is to focus on the negative and assume the positive will care for itself. But life can be no more or no less than what you make of it. If you are working in a job you dislike, you can concentrate on the positive aspects of the position and approach your work with gusto. What can you do with this job that can turn it around so you do love it? When faced with the prospect of undertaking a task you fear, you can view it as an opportunity to discover what you are truly capable of doing. Similarly, unexpected events, when viewed as surprises, can add flavor to your existence. By choosing to love life no matter what crosses your path, you can create an atmosphere of jubilance that is wonderfully infectious. A change in perspective is all it takes to change your world, but you must be willing to adopt an optimistic, hopeful mind-set.

To make a conscious decision to be happy is not enough. You must learn to observe life’s complexities through the eyes of a child seeing everything for the first time. You must furthermore divest yourself of preconceived notions of what is good and what is bad so that you can appreciate the rich insights concealed in each stage of your life’s journey. And you must strive to discover the dual joys of wanting what you have. As you gradually shift your perspective, your existence will be imbued with happiness and contentment that will remain with you forever.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

One Fashionable Gal Takes a Close(t) Look At Frivelous Spending: Is Abstinence the Best Policy?

This past weekend, I found myself standing in my closet contemplating my inventory.

First, I am happy to report that I am quite satisfied with what I have going on in my closet right now; although, I have found myself at a cross roads.  Lots of pretty clothes, but nowhere to go!  Yet, I think that is where the universe wants me to be right now.
Shoe Whore
As Rachel and I count down the days to our half-marathon, I have found myself plagued with a plethora of nagging, minor injuries.

I looked upon my shoe shelves salivating at the stacks of stilettos and platforms which I am unable to strut right now.
 
If I am not suffering from a pulled muscle somewhere in my legs – after 8 hours of walking the catwalk of my life – I find myself nursing tight hamstrings or a pulled calf muscle.  So I have shelved those bad boys.

On my way to work a few weeks ago, I had to stop short on the freeway.  No biggie!  I escaped a fender bender and only suffered a mild rush of adrenaline; only to get to work to have a pulled groin from slamming on the breaks.

So – in just one week – my closet will, once again, open a whole world of dress up to me that I have missed over the past three months.

With fall and cooler temperatures upon us, I am so excited to pull out my warm sweaters, buttery boots, furry vests and felt fedoras. 

Last year, I felt that I had stocked up quite sufficiently on my winter wear and feel that I only need to acquire a few things on my wish list to become complete.  Good thing because, since we bought the house, I have pulled in the reigns and have been much better about spending frivolously on fashion.  Now, we spend all our extra cash at Home Depot but THAT is another story, for another day.

Interestingly, the Atlantic Wire reports that, despite the double-dip recession, insatiable consumers are still making nonsensical purchases.

As third quarter earnings are reported, numbers reveal that sales are up in the luxury item industry.  It seems that consumers are cutting back on necessities such as diapers and green cleaning products in order to indulge in cosmetics, high-end hand bags and …not surprisingly… designer alcohol.  I mean, I did by me some bottles of Skinnygirl Margarita over the past three months.

According to Kevin Mansell, chief executive of Kohl’s, in the Atlantic Wire article, “The psychology of the customer is you can – I hate to sound too esoteric here – but you can improve your outfit or dress up your outfit without buying a new outfit by buying a new handbag.
 
“It makes people feel better.”
Shoes, shoes, shoes!
Well, Mansell has me pegged and, although I am a self-proclaimed “equal opportunity shopper,” I do prefer high-end hand bags and most likely wouldn’t be caught dead carrying a handbag from Kohl’s. 
 

For the sake of not sounding like an absolute snob, I do purchase my running shoes and socks from Kohl’s.  Different strokes for different folks – there are certain stores for certain purchases as far as I’m concerned.

I like to buy things that catch my eye and look good on me whether they are from Target, H&M, Forever 21 or Barneys, Saks or Bloomies.  Also, I refuse to buy anything without feeling like I am getting a deal.  It is an addiction.

The bottom line is that, along with the masses, I have also cut back on frivolous spending (which is why I am at Kohl’s buying my sneakers) and overall am always looking for the best deal when doing what I do best -- consuming.  It is not a successful purchase unless I feel as though I got a “deal.” Although that old saying remains true, abstinence is the best policy.

So, this Sunday, I’ll be running toward the finish line in anticipation of a well-stocked, but neglected closet.


Monday, October 24, 2011

All Things Fashionating Got a Face Lift

Today, I am launching a new and improved All Things Fashionating.  I wanted to update my blog's look as well as add some new gadgets.  I hope you like the changes and feel free to give me your feedback.

Happy Monday!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Is ULTA the Ultimate Beauty Shop?

As I have posted before, I am fiercely loyal to my local Beauty Supply Warehouse http://allthingsfashionating.blogspot.com/2011/07/finding-loveliness-and-bargains-at.html
But, when Ulta – the largest beauty retailer that provides one-stop shopping for products and salon services – opened up in my neighborhood, I just had to check it out. 

Ulta’s website touts it as a unique combination of beauty superstore and specialty store, but I saw it as part low-budget Sephora, part beauty supply, part salon and part drug store.

Yet, I wasn’t that impressed.

I had been seeing coupons in the paper and getting them via mass mailings but, of course, the weekend that I needed to stock back up on my beauty bounty, I couldn’t scrounge one anywhere – even online.  (Which did have some nifty online specials, but I was all about checking out the store -- live and in person.

I did find a few of my products in the discount section, which was very cool; however, I needed a few things that were not on sale and it was a bit painful. At BSW, they always offer a 20% coupon off your entire purchase.

On a positive note, even though it was a bit pricey, I did find everything that I was looking for since they carry a few make-up lines that I adore such as Benefits, Too Faced, and Urban Decay.

They really weren’t joking about the one-stop-shop.

Ulta carries the following product channels: Makeup, Skincare, Fragrance, Bath and Body, Hair care, Tools, Travel Products, By Ulta which is their own line of products, and as I mentioned earlier, a salon in the store.

I especially thought the By Ulta palettes seemed like a good buy and intrigued me – even though I didn’t pick one up this time.

According to its website, Ulta started back in 1990 as a discount beauty retailer at a time when prestige, mass and salon products were sold through distinct channels – department stores for prestige products, drug stores and mass merchandisers for mass products, and salons and authorized retail outlets for professional hair care products.

After extensive research, Ulta recognized an opportunity to better satisfy how a woman wanted to shop for beauty products. 

I have never seen another Ulta store, but this one is conveniently located at a high-traffic, off-mall setting.

Ulta claims that their strategy provides them with the competitive advantages that have contributed to their strong financial performance.

I believe that is true because, I was there on a Sunday afternoon, and the store was absolutely crowded.  This included a long wait for the salon.

Overall, my trip to Ulta was a positive experience.  I can see myself popping back in now and again.  But I prefer to stay loyal to my Mom and Pop BSW in which I can always get 20% off my entire purchase, and Sephora or higher-end department stores so I can find the make-up that I need and love.

Ultimately, Ulta was a bit of a disappointment to me.





Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Have Been Guilty of Shopping Under the Influence

A few weeks ago, my BFF Rachel and I went to Barneys in Beverly Hills. We were there for her – as she was on a mission – for a pair of shoes.  We stopped by the shoe salon first, so introductions could be made; yet, before she sealed the deal, we decided to lunch.

After a meal of yummy salads and a few glasses of vino at Villa Blanca, we made our way back to BNY. Now, I was just Rachel’s wing man, with no plan nor a budget to splurge on a decadent pair of shoes; however, a pair of Fendi wedges kept calling my name.

We made the rounds to Saks Fifth Avenue just to make sure we got a visual on all the options out there, but ended up back at Barneys.  By then, the euphoria of my wine buzz was beginning to wan and after a phone call to my husband – who reluctantly gave me the green light – ruined my thrill. 

Reason and a clear head spoiled my spontaneity and I went home empty handed; Although, I haven’t always been so lucky and have several SUIs under my belt. 

This has everything to do with drinking, and nothing to do with driving...but rather shopping.

 At other times, I have caused some serious damage while Shopping Under the Influence (SUI) although it mostly takes place at home – behind closed doors – and the Internet is the weak link.

Online shopping makes this possible because we can shop on our own time.  For me, it is when my husband is out and I’ve put the kiddo to bed, a few glasses of Sauvignon Blanc while searching the Net and suddenly my cart is full.
 
I am not so bad that I don’t remember making the purchases; it just seems that when they arrive, they don’t look quite as good as I remembered them to be from my online spree or they are ill-fitting.

One of the main reasons that I don’t typically like to make big ticket purchases online is that there is just too much room for error.  And some Internet retailers make returning online purchases a bitch to reduce big return rates which can drag down profits.

My most recent online purchase – those dreamy “IT” boots that I found for the fall – arrived at my home after a liberal click on the buy button after a few libations.  The boots, which looked so hot online, were such a disappointment that, after a month, they are still sitting in the box in my office waiting for me to either return them online or in the store directly.  I can honestly say that I don’t want them, but I better do something fast so I am not forced to own them.

I am willing to bet that most online retailers are hoping that will happen with online purchases. I would even venture to say that they are “banking” on SUIs.

While researching this post, one topic that kept coming up was that a lot of individuals – mostly women – are addicted to both shopping and alcohol. Hmmmmm, could that be moi?

Seriously, substance-related, compulsive shopping is a very grave problem.  It can go hand-and-hand with eating disorders, alcohol and/or substance-abuse, as well as depression.

I mean, I am not clinically-depressed; however, I would be lying if I said that sometimes going out and shopping absolutely lifts my spirits.  And, on the same note, I can say that sometimes having a little spending binge can actually leave me feeling a bit guilty and depressed within itself.

Experts urge that if anyone suspects that they have a substance-related, compulsive shopping habit, to seek help. 

Lucky for me, I don’t fall into that category; But I can tell you that after each SUI hang-over I swear I won’t ever do it again, but my closet continues to runneth over.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

DailyOM Reminds Me to Just Breathe

The DailyOm entitled, “Putting Yourself First” could not have come at a better time because this morning I was having me a pity party! 
I had grand plans for myself this past weekend but none of them materialized. I had good intentions to brew a big pot of java and, with my renewed energy of a fresh day, spend Saturday morning working on my blog and organizing some things in our home office before moving on to my domestic duties and ending the weekend with some leisurely time on the couch reading. 
Instead, I spent Saturday morning cleaning up the chaos of our lives; our weekly jaunt to Home Depot; a flag football game, a school fund-raiser; which dissolved into Sunday and 10+ mile run; our weekly soccer game; errands such as grocery shopping; Only to get home in time to put the groceries away, clean up the house again because it had imploded with Shane’s toys, and figure out dinner.

By 5 p.m., I found myself in the throes of a full-blown panic attack. 

Now, I know that I am feeling sorry for myself and I don’t even have it half as bad as some of my gal pals. Most of my friends work full-time jobs in addition to having multiple children.  I know, I know…I really have no right to complain with just one measly child. However, I can honestly say that the constant feeling that my time never seems to be my own is starting to wear thin on me.
I am just trying to figure out how I can fit it all in and feel good about everything, which is where this daily reflection about putting myself first puts it all in perspective.

Putting Yourself First
Daily Self-Care

Putting yourself first means that it may be necessary to say no to someone else in order to say yes to yourself.
We have all heard the instructions of an airline attendant reminding us to put on our own oxygen mask before we help anyone else with theirs. This advice is often cited as a metaphor for self-care because it so accurately expresses why it is important. It seems to say, ironically, that if you can’t take care of yourself for yourself, do it for others. Few situations in our daily lives mimic the wake-up call of an airplane emergency, so it’s easy to keep putting self-care off—easy, that is, until we get sick, overwhelmed, or exhausted, and suddenly don’t have the energy to care for the people who count on us. That’s when we realize we haven’t been getting the oxygen we need to sustain ourselves. We begin to understand that taking care of ourselves is neither selfish nor indulgent; it’s just plain practical.

Putting yourself first means that it may be necessary to say no to someone else in order to say yes to yourself. For many of us, there is always something we feel we could be doing for someone else, and it helps to remember the oxygen metaphor. You can even encourage yourself by saying “I am caring for myself so that I am better able to care for others” or some other mantra that will encourage you. It also helps to remember that self-care doesn’t have to be composed of massively time-consuming acts. In fact, the best prescription for taking care of yourself is probably small, daily rituals; for example, taking one half-hour for yourself at the beginning and end of the day to meditate, journal, or just be. You might also transform the occasional daily shower or bath into a half-hour self-pampering session.

Whatever you decide, making some small gesture where you put yourself first every day will pay off in spades for you and the ones you love. The oxygen you need is all around you; sometimes you just need to be reminded to breathe.



The reality is that I can’t shirk my responsibilities to my family nor do I want to; but, I certainly want to make the time to be kind to myself.  So I am going to make some small gestures for myself and also grab the oxygen mask the next time I feel a panic attack coming on. 

It certainly can’t hurt to breathe.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Crushing Hard: Agate Pendants

Hewn Achates Necklace: Anthroplogie: $58
I have been seeing fabulous girls all around town wearing Agate Pendants for the past few months.  But yesterday morning, my buddy Rachel and I popped into the Rolling Hills Flower Mart in Riviera Village – which is an ΓΌber-cool little boutique within itself – and I found the perfect pendant of my dreams.
The Rolling Hills Flower Mart is part flower studio; part-boutique which sells high-end candles, toiletries and accessories; and as Rachel revealed, the shop boasts a semi-hidden boudoir in the back selling sassy lingerie and sensual props.
Unfortunately, I did not wake up and smell the roses; Without nary a Benjamin in my wallet, this little high-end gem slipped through my hands this time; however, I found a similar necklace – with a moderate price point –  at Anthropologie to add to my own fabulousness.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Doors to the Church of India.Arie Are Open

Last night, I had the sheer pleasure of experiencing – for the third time in my life – India.Arie live in concert.
The Grammy-Award winning R&B artist – who has been nominated for 20 and taken home 4 – performed at Luckman Fine Arts Complex located at Cal State University, Los Angeles.

Idan Raichel and India.Arie
The show was a sneak-peak into India.Arie’s most recent project; A collaboration with Israeli singer, Idan Raichel, on her up-and-coming album Open Door, which is scheduled to drop later this year.

The show was transcendent, inspirational and exhilarating all at once. Listening to India.Arie’s music is like going to church and it doesn't matter who you worship or what religion you are.
Her music is potent, spiritual and empowers you all at the same time.  It humbles me and brings me closer to my God…my higher power.

The resonances of “Open Door,” are a combination of Idan Raichel’s otherworldly piano-playing and middle Eastern melodies – sometimes in Israeli – and India.Arie’s classic deep-thinking prose that are entwined with the comforting sounds of soul – Jazz, R&B and my favorite Gospel music.
I found India.Arie when my son Shane was born.  A vulnerable time in my life when I was trying to figure out who I was and how to retain my individuality while learning to be a first-time mother.

“Voyage to India” was like going home to me because the album dissected India.Arie’s self-exploration as a woman on all fronts.  It discussed motherhood (even though she isn’t actually a mother yet), sisterhood, having confidence as a woman, loving yourself, respecting your elders, life, death and God among many topics.
From there, I went back to her first release “Acoustic Soul,” which I loved as well.

Tracy with India.Aria singing in the background.
However, when India.Arie launched her last two projects: Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship; and Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics; I was hooked.  Both albums expressed everything that I had inside me that I didn’t know how to express. 

Interestingly, India.Arie is also a self-proclaimed work in progress.  She posted the following message on her website:

“I have spent the last few months looking with an open heart and un-limitless expansive mindedness to who I want to be NOW, honoring and working towards my vision for the future.  I have learned that counting on anyone else to create the life I want makes me feel weak.  Knowing it’s in my hands to create my life makes me feel strong, simple as that.
“It is in the spirit of renewed commitment to living the life my soul intended, the fulfillment of my destiny, well-being, authenticity, and joy, that I write these words today.  I’ve had to let go of certain people, worn out ideas about myself, and MOST OF ALL, I’ve had to let go of MY image of ME,…my EGO surrounding my view of myself as a musician.”

India.Arie's music influences me to want to be a better person. To continue on my own journey of self-exploration and to open doors in my own life.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

All Dressed Up and Nowhere To Go

At the last Barneys Warehouse Sale, I bought a black Versace dress; however, I just haven't had the right occasion to wear it until this past weekend. I showcased this fabulous frock while toasting to my handsome husband's 41st birthday in addition to celebrating our new hardwood floors and light fixtures. It was the perfect occasion.

I am wearing my own Versace dress, gold BCBG platform, peep-toe Mary Jane pumps, Fendi Forever Pochette, and vintage pearl rope. (Photo Credits: D. Jason Mausser)




Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Yes! Yes! Yes!

“Make the most of every moment. Get excited about every little thing. Why not? Why not have your wonderful moment of excited anticipation? Why not be happy NOW? This is my greatest challenge, but something I'm pouring my heart into: learning how to enjoy what I have, right here, right now. Every moment is precious and although sometimes I struggle to see it, I see it more and more every day.”
Bethenny Frankel, “A Place of Yes

As I have posted before, I am a huge fan of Bethenny Frankel http://allthingsfashionating.blogspot.com/2011/04/girl-crush.html; but I also happen to be a sucka’ for a good book – especially if I can read it free via the library.  So I declare a resounding Yes for Frankel’s most recent book, “A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life.”

Part biography, part self-help, part motivational and inspirational; "A Place of Yes" had me hooked from the first page.
As I have said before, I am constantly evolving and a work in progress. I still struggle to maintain a positive attitude and not let life’s speed-bumps derail me, but it’s not always easy.

So I found myself relating to Frankel on multiple levels – her childhood struggles, dysfunctional relationships, career set-backs; However, she ultimately pulls it all together – herself together – to put it all in perspective and realize that, in order to get what you want out of life, you have to be who you are -- without any pretenses.
More than just being an ex-housewife, Frankel is the star of her own show on Bravo, contributes to Health Magazine as a monthly columnist, and has trademarked the Skinnygirl cocktail franchise. 

She makes it clear that she didn’t get there overnight.  But Frankel uses personal anecdotes to guide us through her journey and back up her 10 rules.  She is highly entertaining and her thick New York accent rings through loud and clear. 
Frankel proclaims that her book isn’t about being perfect, or even being nice. “It’s about getting through your life in the best possible way for you, and learning how to stop getting in your own way.”

She is very clear that it’s not the Power of Positive Thinking or a Secret.  Well that is good since I’ve been there, done that.  She states that “Yes gives you something to do: a mission, a purpose, a goal.”
An excerpt from “A Place of Yes” that sums up Frankel’s rules:

1.   Break the Chain.  Your past happened, and it’s part of you, but you don’t have to carry forward the bad habits, bad feelings and ideas about who you are from that part of your life.  Break the chain and celebrate coming into your own as an adult who is in control of your own life.  What happens from here on out is entirely up to you.

2.   Find your truth.  Only you can know who you want to be, what you want out of life, and what the right path for you could be.  Investigate yourself, your true desires, what feels right to you.  Listen to your gut and celebrate who you really are, apart from anyone else’s expectations.  Knowing your truth will make every decision in your life easier.

3.   Act on it.  You make things happen.  Don’t wait for someone else to make them happen for you.  Act on your beliefs and instincts and the things you know about yourself.  Don’t just sit there – do something.  Forward is always the right direction, even if you aren’t sure where you are going, as long as you act with integrity from a place of yes.

4.   Everything’s your business.  You never know what could become your next big break.  Do everything to the best of your ability, give every job your all, and treat everything like it’s your business.  Respect others, play fair, do what feels right, and always keep both eyes open for what might be your next great path.  That way, you won’t miss an opportunity.

5.   All roads lead to Rome. You won’t always know what’s over the horizon, but you will get somewhere good if you stay focused on what you want.  Even when something bad happens, you’re likely to see why it happened later.  Everything you do leads to something else, and in the end, if you stay on your path, you’ll get to the place you wanted to be – even if it isn’t what you expected.  It’s probably going to be better.

6.   Go for yours.  You have to get what you want before you can have the inner resources to give to others.  Clarify your goals and then go for them.  It has to be about you first.  It’s not selfish. It’s common sense.  It’s the only way to be whole.

7.   Separate from the pack.  To find your calling or succeed in the path you’ve chosen, sometimes you have to step out of the crowd and remember who you are.  You’ll distinguish yourself, and you’ll have a much better view of where you are going.  When the way gets crowded or obscured, stand up, step forward, and move away from the masses.

8.   Own it.  Keep your word, act on your beliefs and whether you regret something or not, always own up to it.  You did it.  Admit it, even when it’s hard.    You’ll never have to regret that you didn’t cop to the truth, and owning it always turns out for the better in the long run.

9.   Come together.  When all is said and done, life is about connection.  Come together with others.  They may be work colleagues or family or the partner you’ve chosen to share your life.  No matter who they are, get yourself right first and then you’ll be able to come together to do something even greater together.

10. Celebrate! Life is precious. Love is precious.  Celebrate the many good things you have instead of focusing on the worries, and you’ll find success, inner calm, and happiness at last.
OK, so Yes isn’t a brand, spanking new concept; but I love the way Frankel presents her ideology.  I feel that these are simple and practical principals that set a positive foundation. 

To me, these are easy words to live by and apply to my own life.  Personally, my aspirations aren’t as grandiose as Frankel but, if applying these rules can bring you the success she has acquired... than I say Yes!