Terrifying & Amazing

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I know today is Monday and usually that means normally I’d be spamming your inbox with lots of pictures from another wonderful weekend, but this week is a bit different.  Actually it’s A LOT different for some pretty wonderful reasons.  This is the week we launch the new Piccadilly brand and website.  It’s the week I get to introduce you to the best team on earth and share with you all the things we’ve been working on for the last few months.  It’s super exciting but also pretty terrifying.  I thought today, I’d break with the norm and share with you a bit of what’s been going on in my heart behind the scenes.

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I know I’ve said it like a gazillion times on here, but what’s happening with Piccadilly is really a dream come true.  Pursuing dreams is scary business though.  It means you have to actually admit and own what you want. It means you have to be vulnerable. It means you have to take risks. This inevitably comes with a barrage of thoughts like…

“What if people don’t get it?”

“What if they think I’m stupid?”

“What if I try and fail?”

“What if they realize I don’t know what I’m doing?”

“What if I REALLY don’t know what I’m doing?”

“What if… What if… What if?”

Even if it is scary and overwhelming at times, it’s also one of the greatest feelings in the world.   The flip side of the challenges I listed above, is that going after what you want also sets you free.  It gives you permission to be yourself. It let’s people in on the adventure with you. It gives others the opportunity to dream along with you.

It means that you can take your dreams off of the shelf marked “someday” and put them firmly in the space marked “today”.

Earlier this year I realized that I have been playing it safe for a long time.  I think subconsciously I had thought that if I didn’t really try, I couldn’t really fail.  Not realizing that every moment spent in that thought pattern was making failure a common occurrence. I read a really awesome book and have basically been listening to a song called “You Make Me Brave” on the repeat all summer and both have served as the catalyst for moving forward and “doing it scared“.

I know that sometimes it’s easy to look at the outside of something and think that it just happens.  I know many times I’ve looked at other people’s lives and thought that everything just seems to work out so easily for them.  They seem to have it all together.  Things just happen for them.  I’m here to tell you, that at least in my case, it’s not that simple.  Sometimes it’s scary and sometimes it’s messy, but it’s always worth it.

So here’s to dreaming of things bigger than you can accomplish in your own strength.  Here’s to being unrealistic. Here’s to taking the leap.  Here’s to hoping the parachute will open.

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Living the Dream

When I was little I dreamed about being all grown up and living on my own in a house that looked a lot like the castle from Candy Land.

I used to dream about NEVER having to go to school again.

I used to dream about waking up each day and going to work (ah! I was so innocent) and supporting myself (Thank you Destiny’s Child for glamorizing the thought of paying my own bills).

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I used to dream about living with my best friends, singing, traveling the world, and starting my own business…

This is the crazy part though.  It’s happening you guys!   Even on the most stressful days when I can’t tell which way is up, I’m reminded that I once dreamed about these moments. I couldn’t be more overwhelmed with excitement, scared out of my mind and grateful…truly, truly grateful.

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Take a minute.  This moment you are living in.  At one point in your life, you dreamed about it.

Maybe your dream doesn’t look like you imagined?  Perhaps it’s come with a few more complications than you ordered (isn’t it funny how we act like that sometimes)… but still,  at the end of the day, there’s so much to be grateful for.

At one point in your life, you dreamed about this moment.  You are, in fact, living the dream.  Enjoy it. Relish in the moment. Keep going. There’s more dreams to be had.

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Photos provided courtesy of Erica Baker Photography

 

Behind-the-Scenes : Piccadilly Photoshoot

I know I’ve hinted at it, but there are some seriously fun things on the horizon for my event styling & coordination business, Piccadilly.  It has been a season of God moments and seeing new life breathed into long-held dreams.  Needless to say, it’s been very exciting.

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Part of this season includes a re-brand and re-launch of the business.  There’s lots of details included in something like that and I’m currently in the thick of it.  There’s no where I’d rather be though.  It’s honestly thrilling to be taking steps towards really seeing my dreams take flight.

It’s also scary… but whatever. Totally worth it!

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One super fun part of this process was a recent photo shoot that I had the opportunity to do with Erica of Erica Baker Photography and Bakers Tell Stories.  She’s incredibly gifted and on top of that a TOTAL BLAST to work with.  Who else will teach you how to dinosaur dance mid photo shoot?piccadilly disco ball

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Her wonderful friend AND my new friend, Sarah, of Fashion and Philosophers and Kicheko,  came to help as well and took these incredible behind-the-scenes shots.  You can see more and read her recap on her site here.  I’ve been obsessed with her blog for awhile now and I had more than one fan girl moment having her at my shoot. She’s pretty much the best!

We had the shoot at the uber-chic, too cool for school, Ulysses Room located at the 52 O St. Studios (ahem, it’s a great spot for events!).  I felt like my cool factor rocketed just by walking through the door.  The space belongs to the wonderful Virginia Arrisueño who is the master mind behind DeNada Designs and other creative endeavors like DC MEETMarket and Topaz&Arrow.  She is amazing and truly a joy to work with.  I hope I’ll have the opportunity to work with her again soon.

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If that wasn’t enough to make it the BEST.DAY.EVER.   My beautiful friends Janelle and Ashlynn came along to make sure everything went smoothly, looked pretty and was overall just wonderful.  Also, they lent their super cool dance moves to the mix. I mean, what more could you ask for?

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I can’t wait to share more with you as it unfolds!  I’m very much looking forward to the future. The BEST most definitely is still to come!

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Malaki Paul

Bring on the tissues.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this little guy.   He inspires me to no end.

The fact that he was brave enough to get up in front of so many people to sing in the first place amazes me.  More than that though it is his sheer determination to sing again after he “failed” that brings me to my feet cheering.

He messed up.  He needed his mama.  (Don’t we all from time to time?)  What mattered most was this…

He didn’t quit.

The moment when his face began to crumble and when it seemed like he’d lost all hope…I can relate to that feeling.  I’ve been there. I bet you have too.

We all experience failure at one point or another.  We all have moments when the fear we face seems to get the better of us.  It’s part of life.

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I want to encourage you, the next time you find yourself in that place, take a page from little Malaki’s book.

Take a deep breath.

Hug your mama.

Start again.

You’ve got this.

 “The time has come for your dreams to be heard”

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Girl Talk : GLAM Thoughts & Living the Life of your Dreams!

girl talkHaving girlfriends is the best.thing.ever.  Someone with whom you can swap stories, giggle and share life’s wonderful moments. There’s so much wisdom that I have gained from the amazing women in my life; whether about the best product to get rid of dreaded frizz or advice on how to live my life with passion.  My life is better because of the girlfriends in it.  That’s why I started “Girl Talk“.

This is my friend Eileen.

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She’s one of my favorite people in the whole wide world.  I met her when I was a scared little freshman at GW and she instantly reached out to me and made me feel welcome.  I remember being a little bit in awe of her and always overwhelmed when she would make it a point to ask me to hangout? Over the years she has been one of my best friends, a constant encouragement, an inspiring leader, a supportive cheerleader, my first call when deciding where to put my couch, my style icon, mother to some of my other best friends (two, soon to be three of the cutest kids in the world) and the list goes on and on.  Needless to say, I’m a fan.

On top of that, Eileen is launching her new Blog – it’s sort of a ‘Joyce Meyer’ meets ‘Rachel Zoe’ guide to overcoming stress and anxiety in order to reach your dreams.  I’m thrilled that the rest of the world is going to get to see all the wisdom and fun that I’ve seen over the years!  It’s also another reason why I am beyond excited to have her on the blog today.

LAH – Tell me a little bit about your journey thus far? 

Eileen – I’m a Long Island girl, who came to DC for College with a New York accent and no idea what I wanted to do with my life.   I bounced around, actually switching my major 5 TIMES (much to my parents chagrin) and right before I graduated – I discovered a passion for Art and Music.

I started using this passion to serve people in my local church, making graphics and writing music.  Eventually I started my own design business, later becoming the Creative Pastor in my local church. I may have lost my accent – but I totally found my dream.

LAH – What were some of your dreams growing up?

Eileen – I have always had a deep desire to reach people, to impact them at a core level….I just had no idea how to do that.  I remember as young as 5 years old I had dreams of singing “The Sun Will Come Out” from Annie, before large crowds.  People were being super touched in my dream…really affected by my amazingly brilliant song!

It seems so silly – but I think the singing was a metaphor of my art, inspiring people. It’s what still lights a fire in me today.

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LAH – What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve faced in going after your dreams?

Eileen – At 5 years old, the same age as my “singing dreams” began, was the same year I had my first anxiety attack.  On a normal everyday bus ride I started trembling, my heart started pounding at a rapid pace that totally scared  me – and I got nauseous – all over the bus, in front of my friends.  

Far into my 20’s, I continued to have these anxiety attacks at regular intervals.  The anxiety also began manifesting in other forms like low self-esteem, insecurity, depression and eating disorders.  I felt totally trapped.

LAH – How have you overcome them?

Eileen – It was so frustrating!  I totally felt like was on one side this “chasm” – riddled with insecurity, overweight and anxious.  On the other side of the chasm –  there was this fearless, bold, HOT version of me…but I had no idea how to get there.In my twenties, I began to resign myself to the fact that I would never get better. My days became filled with fear about having another attack publicly (my worst fear).It wasn’t until my husband Harrison, said “….so what if you have another anxiety attack? If you give up, and stop trying to fight – that’s when the enemy wins.”

That one statement started giving me a vision to fight.  I began to see I was going to have become fierce with fear – because fear had been fierce with me.  I became a woman determined.  Focused upon creating a bridge to the other side of the chasm. I began to fight fear with a plan.

LAH – Oh wow! That’s so interesting. Tell us more, how did you go about creating this bridge?

Eileen – It was when I started examining the lives of successful people, that I discovered that my thoughts were the bridge.

My negative, anxious mind was what was keeping me on one side, and positive faith-filled thoughts could get me to the other side. I had no idea I could choose my thoughts. That I could think “good thoughts on purpose” – was totally new information to me.

An ancient proverb says “As a man thinks in his heart; so is he.”  Once I got a handle on that – I began a total mind-makeover.

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LAH – What inspired you to start writing?

Eileen – To share what I’ve learned, in an effort to save people all the time I lost – and frustration I went through.

It took me close to my thirties, to finally have peace of mind, to feel truly great about myself.  That’s too long! I really want to save people time so they become their best – sooner than I did. So they can have more peace,  more confidence, so they can be the weight they want – with the joy they deserve, as a child of God.

It’s one of the reasons I started the free GLAM thoughts….because we are all super busy, but yet we need quick, power thoughts to get us going!

LAH – Ohhh GLAM thoughts, I love it.  What does GLAM stand for?

Eileen – GLAM thoughts stands for “Gorgeous, Loved, Amazing & Magnificent” – because the reason we live so far below our potential is because we fail to recognize the stunning beauty that we possess.  It’s impossible to become your best self listening to a soundtrack of negative self-talk.

And let’s be honest – we’re all living full, busy lives!  So GLAM thoughts are aimed at injecting quick, power thoughts to get your mind straight, and you feeling great. Like a great latte before jumping on the metro…power thoughts are the key to crossing the chasm.

164295_10152315073921002_1134940797_nLAH – What’s your heart for you blog?

Eileen – To inspire and inform people to become the best version of themselves.

Studies show over 40 million Americans are seeking treatment for fear and anxiety related issues.   9 out of 10 women claim to have a faith in God  – yet women are 60% more likely to suffer from most anxiety disorders as men.

As women of faith, supposed to live fearless lives – the question is “Why are we so afraid? and more importantly – is there a way out from feeling this way?”.It’s not that we don’t see who we’re meant to be, it’s that we have no idea how to get there from here. We have failed to connect faith to our everyday lives.

This is what I hope to do with my blog. Through the Daily GLAM thoughts and weekly posts I want to give readers the practical tools they need. I want to help people cross that chasm. To get rid of that fear.  To get to the absolute best version of themselves.

LAH – If there was one thing you could say to the dreamers among us what would it be?

Eileen – I would say, “Why not you?”   Plenty of people not as intelligent, not as creative, not as good-looking as you…have accomplished success beyond their wildest dreams. Why not you?

At just 5’ 11”, Russell Wilson, the Quarterback for the Seahawks, who recently won the SuperBowl said that his father would always say to him, “Why not you, Russ?”

So why not you?  why can’t you be as successful as you want to be? why can’t you start that business? publish that book? why can’t you be the weight you want? be the best version of you?

and why not start now? because just one thought can change everything.

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Find out more about Eileen’s Blog and GLAM thoughts at www.eileenwilder.com

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Details

I love these photos from our #YouSparkle photo shoot a few weeks back.   The color combination, the sparkle, the polka dots…the details.  So much loveliness.  Each detail drew me in to take another look.

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“The details are not the details. They make the design.” – Charles Eames

I know the common phrase says that “the Devil is in the details” but I actually think that the DELIGHT is in the details.   The details add depth.  They add richness and they add story.

It’s the same in life.

We each are allotted the same number of days each year and the same number of hours a day.  If we’re not careful those days can blur one from another.  What makes a day stand out from the rest are the details it contains.

Who did you meet?  Where did you go?  Who did you hug? What made you laugh?

The true treasure of each day is in the details.  It’s in the shared laughter.  The kind smile.  The beautiful flower.  The delicious first sip of coffee (or tea in my case).  It’s in the time taken with people.  It’s not in the busy agendas.  The endless “to-do” lists.

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I watched this movie recently called “About Time”.  I’ve wanted to see it since it came out, but it took a super long plane trip for me to actually make the time (ironic? Just a bit).  It’s a wonderful story.

Spoiler alert – you will cry.

At least I did. A lot.  There’s lots of twists in the story line (some require you to suspend reality just a bit) but the ultimate message of the movie, I believe, is simple… make the most of the time you are given.  Savor the moments. Delight in the details.  Time moves quickly.

Treasure the moments you’ve been given. Delight in the details that each day brings.  Appreciate the beauty all around you.  It’s there. You just have to stop and look for it.

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A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. Even so, life is but an endless series of little details, actions, speeches, and thoughts. And the consequences whether good or bad of even the least of them are far-reaching. 

– Swami Sivananda

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Personal Styling : Start Close In Styling
Floral Design : LeRoy French Flowers
Handmade Valentines : Birch+Honey
Makeup : Melissa Taylor
Creative Direction & Party Styling : Piccadilly