#WeekendCoffeeShare – 4/23/16

If we were having coffee, I’d offer you a pod of Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce, even though I’d hope you’d decline in favor of Breakfast Blend. Cinnamon Dolce is one of my favorites, but it’s pricey as K-Cups go. Don’t expect to find it in my Keurig carousel next weekend. 

Let’s sit in the living room. (It’s cold outside again this morning…errr.) I have got to tell about last night. We had so much fun!

The Hubs and I went to a fundraiser for the hospital. It could have been a boring, stuffy affair, but…well, here…check this out…


Yes, I know! An 80s theme! How cool is that?

Up until 11:00 yesterday morning, I hadn’t actually decided to dress up. Maybe it was Prince’s passing the day before or the Purple Rain ear worm working its way through my brain, but I was feeling nostalgic and decided to go for it. I ran to T.J. Maxx at lunch and lucked out with that Flash Dance-esque top. Then I stopped into the craft store for ribbon. I went with the purple because…you know…Prince. 

The Young One watched me do my hair. When I started teasing my already crazy curly hair, she gave me a, “What the???”  I can’t really blame her. The whole big hair thing is still something that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I just told her it’s what we did back then. I did not tell her that I used to perm my naturally curly hair, so it could get even bigger. She was already traumatized. 

Somewhere between shopping and hair and make up, the Older One texted from Germany. He asked what our plans were for the weekend. I texted about dressing like we were back in the 80s. He lol’d, then asked me to send him pictures, so he could use them as blackmail. I explained to him that if it was blackmail he wanted, he should look for the real pictures from back in the day. Tonight, I told him, I knew I was wearing a costume. Back then, I wore it every day and called it a wardrobe!

Anyway, by the time we got to the event and found ourselves seated between Stevie Nix and Devo, I had embraced my inner Valley Girl. 

Oh! Wait! I almost forgot…look…we went Back to the Future too. 

It was, like, the best, like, night in, like, ever!  

Sorry. My Valley Girl keeps showing since last night. 

We danced all night to songs I haven’t heard in decades, and by the time we got back home my feet hurt, and my hair was sticky. I kicked off my stilettos, and grabbed my iPad to wind down a little before bedtime. I knew right away that the Young One had needed a little art therapy after the torture she saw me put my hair through. 

I hadn’t expected to see this though…

  

Okay…okay! Stop laughing!

I need you to tell me something honestly. I’m not a bad mother for letting her see 80s hair, am I?

**Today’s post was inspired by Part Time Monster and the Weekend Coffee Share.

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If the Shoe Fits

Polar vortexes, ice, snow, wind chills…they are all conspiring against me and putting a serious cramp in not only my style, but my sense of self as well.

I don’t like the cold. I definitely prefer balmy ocean breezes to the frigid gusts that have been rattling my window panes the past two days. I’ve been bundled in turtlenecks, scraping frost from the inside of my bedroom windows and spending far more time with my faux fur lined snow boots than my beloved stilettos.

I’m feeling clunky and slow, curiously like my footwear.

The Polar Vortex is cramping my style! #stilettomomma

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I didn’t quite understand this feeling of rugged darkness until I ran across some words of wisdom from a red soled hero of mine.

“Shoes transform your body language and attitude. They lift you physically and emotionally” – Christian Louboutin

I need some warm weather and an occasion to don the perfect pair of pumps to lift my spirits and put an end to this gloominess. In lieu of that, I’ve spent the last few hours on the photo editing and sharing wonder that is Instagram preparing a tribute to all things high-heeled.

Such as the ultimate in desk accessories–the cherry red stiletto tape dispenser. I never go to work without it. I remember when I saw it from across a crowded Staples aisle while shopping on a lunch break. It was love at first sight. I laughed out loud and declared to the everyone within hearing distance, “I have to have that!” I made the purchase, rushed back to my office and showed it off to all my co-workers.

Love my tape dispenser! #stilettomomma

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It was my favorite non-wearable shoe until two Christmases ago, when I participated in an ornament exchange with a group of West Point moms. It was a secret Santa-style of gift-giving, and while I didn’t know who would send me a pretty new trimming for my tree, my Santa certainly knew who I was. The small package was addressed to “Stiletto Momma”, and inside I found an Audrey Hepburn inspired ornament I am sure to treasure for holiday seasons to come.

One of my all time favorite Christmas ornaments. #stilettomomma

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As much as I would love to, I can’t carry that shoe with me every day, but I sure can tote the one that arrived for me with this year’s exchange. The sparkles on the key chain bring a smile to my lips not only because the crystal encrusted open-toed stiletto perfectly fits my personality if not my foot, but because the woman who sent it knew how much I would cherish it.

I love my shoes, not because of the height of the heel or for their color or even for the way they click smartly as I strut about my day. I love my shoes because they make me feel like me. They lift my mood and my confidence, and I miss them when the weather calls for low rubber soles and rounded toes.

So today, as the wind swirled and the temperature plummeted, I eased my chilly toes into a pair of thick socks before I stuffed them snuggly into my warm brown boots. My feet thumped as I headed out the door, but I smiled to myself because I knew what the Young One and I had planned on my return.

We were baking cookies, with pretty little princess pumps stamped on the top!

Stiletto cookies! Yum! #cookies #stiletto #pillsbury

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What are you doing to keep your spirits up during the Polar Vortex of 2014?

Observations From The Boardroom

I take it as a point of pride and a testiment to my business acumen that I am invited to participate in my company’s quarterly board meeting reviews.  Someone in the chain of command believes the work I do on a daily basis is significant enough to warrant review and discussion with business leaders across the company as well as the CEO himself.  It is a great boost to the ego, and if all goes well, it offers an injection of self-confidence that lasts at least until the next conference call or project meeting.

But as much as I enjoy being invited to these elite board meetings, I hate the fact that I am the only woman in the room.

Stilettos

My torture device of choice.

Until not that long ago, I worked for a Fortune 100 company that saw the need for diversity in the work place to be a priority almost on par with the need to aggressively drive up our stock price. I rarely attended a meeting where I didn’t see someone else in the room who looked like me. In many cases, that person who looked like me was the most senior leader in her business. These were the women I aspired to be. Like them, I wanted to be one of the women invited to the board meeting.

When I interviewed with my new company, I commented to the executive recruiter I was working with that I was concerned because everyone I interviewed with was white and male. He  assured me that generating a more diverse workforce was one of the company’s initiatives. Needless to say, a few more people have been hired into leadership positions since me–all of them male. So, as I sat in the boardroom last week and looked around to see one man after the next take a seat at the table, I began to make some observations on what it is like to be the only girl in the club.

1. The Suit – At the proclamation that the board meeting attire was “business” (as opposed to “business casual”), a collective groan was heard down the hall. “I hate wearing a wearing a jacket all day,” one collegue complained. To me, the attire declaration went almost unnoticed.  On most days in the office, you’ll find my clothing choice to include a jacket or a “completor piece”, as my friends on TLC’s What Not To Wear describe how a jacket or sweater is used to to elevate an outfit to a different level.  That elevation is exactly the inequality I have felt for years.  In order for a woman to be taken as professionally as her male counterpart, she must routinely dress herself at a higher level. I learned this lesson while at that diverse Fortune 100 company, as most of those women I admired were always seen wearing a suit or jacket even when not presenting to senior leadership. The men, on the other hand, wear their golf shirts and button-downs as their daily uniform.

2. Torture Devices – As I walked down the hall to the boardroom, I met up with a sales vice president.  He took in my business attire (a truly sharp, brand new, tan pant suit over a silk tank in a tasteful reptile print with coordinating accessories), and said, “You didn’t wear a tie? That’s not fair!”  My response?  “No. No tie for me, but I am wearing four-inch pointy toe pumps. Would you like to trade?”  For the dinner following the meeting, my boss respectfully told everyone, myself included, “No tie for dinner.”  It was very nice of him to consider his team’s comfort at dinner.  We really can’t expect the guys to have to deal with a little adversity while they eat.  I, however, kept my four-inch pointy toe shoes on my aching feet throughout the entire meal!

3. Bio-Breaks – Board meetings at my company are all-day events with two miserly breaks distributed throughout the day.  The only thing that saves me from some serious bladder issues is the fact that our CEO is a chain smoker whose need for a cigarette happens just about as often as my need for a trip to the little girl’s room.  The guys it seems, can sit there four hours straight without a care in the world.  On the plus side, the smoking area and the restrooms are in the same general direction, so I was able to get some extra face-time with the CEO on the way out the door, while the men stayed behind loosening their ties.

4. Language – Prior to my first board meeting appearance last year, I was prepped by my peers to expect our CEO to launch several “F-Bombs” during the course of the meeting.  I don’t think their warning was a concern for my gentle nature so much as a statement of things to come.  When the first meeting ended without a single utterance of anything that would be considered colorful, I commented about the lack of four-letter words.  One collegue quickly joined the conversation to declare that the only reason our illustrious CEO was so tame was because I was in the room, and he probably didn’t want to offend a woman.  There may be some truth to that, as I have participated in four board meetings now and have yet to be a victim of his notorious F-Bomb attacks.

Regardless of the lack of estrogen in the boardroom, I don’t regret my decision to leave the Fortune 100 company for the smaller, less diverse employer.  While I am one of only a handful of women who work in my office, I don’t feel discriminated against, just a little lonely to not have another female to make these observations with while sitting in that boardroom.

Hopefully, one day soon, I will be able to add someone to my team, and I intend to make sure that person looks like me.  In the meantime, I’d love to hear your observations from the boardroom.

Be comfortable in your pointy toe pumps!

Stiletto Momma