Princess Leia, Hurricanes, and Tatas.

Have you ever had an out of body experience? Where you are pulsing with energy and your life just doesn’t feel real; almost as if you are hovering above yourself witnessing something too complex for the human mind to process? I have. In fact, it was so profound that it has taken me weeks to put pen to paper–errr, finger to keyboard.

I’m talking about Mardi Gras.

Yes, you read that right. Mardi Gras was a profound experience for me and DEFINITELY not one I expected. All I set out for was a girls weekend of guilt free debauchery, and I left with a pocket full of wisdom and a suitcase full of beads.

This was a girls weekend that was planned a year in advance- organized by one of my favorite girlfriends.  She has a joyful spirit and spontaneity about life that is infectious. Truth be told she’s one of my favorite people in the world because she makes me feel alive when I am around her. She lived in New Orleans for several years, and is the only person who could make my true Texan blood crave a N’awlins address.

From the minute we arrived, the city felt electric. You know that feeling in a stadium when the music starts blaring as the team runs out and it feels as if everyone in the stands is bouncing in excited unison? It was palpable.

The first thing the Uber driver said to us was, “I need to hurry and go see my son walk in tonight’s parade- I count down the days until Mardi Gras, it’s better than Christmas for our family. We live for it.”  He was smiling ear to ear and it brought an immediate feeling of joy to me to see this man revel in the Mardi Gras spirit. There was a sparkle in his eye that was full of truth- a sparkle I couldn’t quite forget.

As I sat back in the Uber, pulling out my phone to check work emails, I pondered do I take myself too seriously? Do I not have enough fun? There is a true importance in stopping to recognize that life should be celebrated and embraced- are we underestimating JOY? At that moment, I tucked my phone back into my bag and said f’ it. I’m here to experience life in a way I never have before- I wanted to see what that sparkle was about. I vowed to myself to let go of my phone so that I could have two free hands (well maybe just one free hand…one hand is for hurricanes) and a completely free spirit.

I know the Mardi Gras reputation can weigh heavily on overly gluttonous drunkards all parading down Bourbon street wreaking havoc on the city- but to be honest, I have never witnessed such authentic joy. People could walk down the street naked, at any size, with glitter pasties and be celebrated- not mocked. People of all shapes and sizes stand shoulder to shoulder in the name a of a good time. People from all different walks of life come together to celebrate more than just Mardi Gras- they come to celebrate freedom. Freedom to be whoever the hell you want to be, to let your true freak flag fly, and to find a little youth and rebellion at any age.

The spirit of the city was so intoxicating that I found myself totally comfortable dressed as Princess Leia throwing beads off a float. In fact when we got back to the hotel that night I almost crapped my pants when I looked in the mirror and remembered what I left the hotel wearing…I will say some of that is due to alcohol, but most of it is attributed to being in a place of acceptance of all absurdities.

no2

At the end of the trip, I had learned a huge lesson about acceptance. I even had to accept that I was now 5 lbs heavier and would have a headache for days- but I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. I saw the true beauty in humanity, I saw the fire that lit a spark in our drivers eye. Pulling back from all the negative connotations I had about the chaos of Mardi Gras, I was able to open my eyes to what was going on between all the tatas, costumes and public drunkenness. I was able to see people celebrating each other for being exactly who they are in that moment.  Allowing myself to let go and live in the moment with my friends- laughing, being overly indulgent, and even doing downward facing dog in public (clearly I was overserved), is something I will cherish for a lifetime. I’ve already found myself trying to find ways to bring a little Mardi Gras spirit to my life here in Houston and I’m even saying ‘Dah’lin’ a little more too.

no1

XO, E

 

 

 

 

Women For Women.

ET_180126-0200

Where would we be without each other?

We all know that our friendships with the most important women in our lives are often our deepest and most profound love stories. As women, we get it. We all have an unspoken understanding of what it means to be a woman – the overwhelming impossibility of it all: our sensitive, vulnerable, breakable hearts, our complicated body and lady parts, our innate drive for perfectionism, our desire to be the best Mother in the world, our unbound, infinite love we have for our children, our dutiful, caretaking spirits… I guess you could say, intimacy begets intimacy and a new found emphasis on female support and friendship isn’t just good for some women; it’s good for all women. With this new awareness around bringing more women in to boardrooms, government and leading Hollywood roles, I am hopeful we are on our way to real, tangible change.

By creating an arguably stronger cultural focus around women; I believe female friendships, mentorships and overall support for one another can multiply. As a result, helping women increase their professional power and fulfill their highest potential could create a ripple affect that subsequently reduces gender inequality.

When women work together, they also succeed together. We all NEED to embrace the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler, Gayle/Oprah love fests! Celebrating female friendships, rather than competition between women will help the next generation of women embrace, rather than resent, the strong women around them. Plus, let’s be honest between juggling all your roles as a woman, it’s just too damn hard to keep up with the competition- so pull up a seat, pour a glass of wine and cheers to the power of being a woman.

 

xo, E

Get Real.

True friends know each other inside and out. Quirks, fast food preferences, bad haircuts and all. No truth is too ugly to uncover, no wound too deep to heal. So let’s get real- here are 25 things about me.

 

Question 1: Guilty Pleasure?

Answer: That’s easy. Wine, Cashmere, and Massages. Bonus points if all 3 happen at the same time.

 

Question 2: Clothing item you wouldn’t be caught dead in?

Answer: Overalls, crop top, harem pants, culottes. I paid my dues with those already in life.

 

Question 3: First thing you do in the morning?

Answer: Roll over. Moan. Stretch. Repeat.

 

Question 4: Most binge worthy Netflix show?

Answer: Stranger Things. I’m already (un)patiently waiting for season 3!

 

Question 5: Favorite place in the world?

Answer: The St Regis at Princeville Resort in Kauai, Hawaii. It truly is like God took all of the best things he created and put them here- lush greenery, waterfalls, mountains, crystal blue water. It is pure magic.

 

Question: 6: Team you root for even when it seems that every season is a “rebuilding season?”

Answer: TEXANS! Rebuild on, I can wait.

 

Question 7: Currently pinning?

Answer: Inspirational quotes, home decor, and anything Meghan Markle.blogpost_25-01

 

Question 8: Signature Scent?

Answer: Amber Lavender by Jo Malone

 

Question 9: Who makes you laugh the hardest?

Answer: Kat McKinnon, and I have to say, the Will and Grace revival is insanely satisfying.

 

Question 10: Last thing you do before falling asleep?

Answer: Read. I’m currently still on my New Year Resolution kick of health so I just started reading The Dr.’s Book of Natural Health Remedies. This might be a coaster by March when my health dedication fades…so I’ll keep you posted!

 

Question 11: One thing that is saving your life right now?

Answer: Long. Hot. Baths.

 

Question 12: What is your Whataburger order?

Answer: #1 meal with everything. Hold the pickles and mayo. I’m still desperately searching the index of The Dr.’s Book of Natural Health Remedies for Whataburger but I just can’t seem to find it…

 

Question 13: How do you unwind?

Answer: Aromatherapy is a must. My favorite scent right now is the Serenity Blend by Doterra.

 

Question 14: Worst haircut?

Answer: There have been many. My perm days in high school, though, cut the deepest.

 

Question 15: What do you whisper to yourself when you need motivation?

Answer: “I can handle this.” I have a lot coming at me between owning my own business, a special needs daughter, and a high school senior. It seems someone needs something from me all the time which can cause a lot of stress and anxiety, but I try to reset my frame of mind by reminding myself that I can handle every curveball thrown my way. And if I still feel overwhelmed, I (man)handle  Whataburger while I figure out the rest as I go.

 

Question 16: Do you have a spirit animal?

Answer: Butterflies. Every time I see one I feel something deeper. It is almost like they are little earth angels sent my way to guide me and connect me to something greater than myself.

 

Question 17: What is your greatest blessing?

Answer: My marriage, without a doubt.

 

Question 18: What is your ultimate healer?

Answer: Humor coupled with a heavy dose of vulgarity and few f’bombs usually takes the edge off.

 

Question 19: Creative outlet outside of Design?

Answer: Writing. I find so much peace in getting my thoughts out- it’s the world’s cheapest therapy, monetarily-speaking, but emotionally, it is the richest experience.

 

Question 20: Any OCD tendencies we should know about?

Answer: My home. It’s my sacred space and it has to be clean at all times. You can come over and touch things, but I might sweep behind you as you walk out.

 

Question 21: You love interior design, what is one movie home you wish you could move into?

Answer: The home in the movie It’s Complicated– it’s a gorgeous ranch/Spanish Hacienda style home and it is what dreams are made of! Meryl can stay too…as long as she picks up after herself.

 

Question 22: Who would you trade lives with?

Answer: India Hicks. Live in the Bahamas and be British Royalty…sign me up! I’m currently writing her an offer for trading lives, but I’m not sure it’s a fair trade!

 

Question 23: Favorite TV Show?

Answer: Madam Secretary. I bow down to Tea Leoni!

 

Question 24: What has surprised you most about Motherhood?

Answer: How much my kids have taught me about life and myself. You grow up thinking it is the other way around but it’s surprising how quickly that changes.

 

Question 25: Current soundtrack to your life?

Answer: The sound track to The Greatest Showman is on constant rotation at my house. My daughter loves the movie and I love the message. It’s almost as if I needed this movies message as I moved into the New Year- it’s all about celebrating differences as well as having a vision and realizing that vision even when the odds are stacked against you. Having the soundtrack playing all the damn time is a great reminder for me to remember my goals are not out of reach no matter how many obstacles stand in my way.

 

Bonus Question: What are your favorite things to purchase on Amazon?

Answer: (Scrolls through order history…) Ardell Demi Wispies, Compagnie de Provence Hand Soap in Lavender, books (LOTS of books), Essential Oils, and Vitamins.

 

 

I’d love to get to know you more! Leave a few facts about you in the comments and let’s take our friendship to the next level.

XO, Elaine