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New Year. New Word.

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Happy New Year's Eve! I have taken a break from the internet for the past week or so to reconnect with family and friends and take an aimless visit to my hometown. It has been lovely and save the air mattress, very restorative. I have loved this year. Loved. It.

2012 has brought many blessings and good learning. Lots of time with good friends and special time with family. It has reconnected me with old friends, taken me on adventures and deepened my connection to my marriage. It has brought beautiful new babies and seen my darling cousin married to her perfect match. I traveled to a place I have never been and explored the city I live in and love like I was a visitor.

From a business perspective it has been a big year for Curly Girl Design. We have assembled the best team and combination of staff personalities that we have ever had, which makes every day a joy. We have moved our warehouse to Montana (!) and built and launched a pretty bad a#* new website! We have been busy developing some exciting new products and lines for 2013 and are getting ready for their debut. We are also getting ready to move into our first big-girl office space (that is not in a basement by a dumpster) and gear up for some majorly inspired things next year!

This year has brought its challenges and heartbreak too. The balance is evident. The learning hard-won. But in the end, I will take the lot.

I have been reading a lot about vulnerability in Brene Brown's books, and thinking a lot about the concepts of abundance and scarcity. It is amazing how often we start a thought or a reaction with "I am not __________ enough. (Enter the concept of your choice: pretty, talented, organized, rich, thin, successful...) Or "I don't have enough ______" (time, money, love, etc....).  Dr. Brown suggests that the antidote to this kind of thinking is to begin to realize that we are enough. Already. As is.

While I agree with her whole-heartedly and would love for each and every one of us to start from a place of enough....I propose we take it a step further. I propose that the opposite of 'not enough' is not simply 'enough'...I propose that the answer is PLENTY. Plenty is full, and abundant and adequate and fulfilling. Plenty is not more than you need, but as much as you need. Plenty is so much more than enough. Because the truth is...you are plenty. You have plenty. You will have plenty and you will be plenty. Enter the tense of your choice. It is already within you and there is more than enough to go around. You are more than enough....so much more. Already.

So without hesitation (or waiting until February....or March) I would like to announce my word of 2013: PLENTY

Will you join me in a year of PLENTY? Will you fill those blanks with "more than enough"? Will you do us all the service of resting assured that there is more than enough to go around and that we all have exactly what we need already? Right here. Even in the blank spots. Plenty.

This may well be my word for every year after this.... but let's see what we can start. Shall we?

I am so grateful for your company in this space. Thank you for being with me on this journey and thank you for inviting me in.

I wish you the very best of New Years. May the beginning be a sparkling fresh and full of joy and may you have to count your blessings by the ton.

xo

By Leigh 12.31.2012 – 11:22 am

15 Comments

Holiday Gift Guide

Style File

Hello Lovelies! I hope that your week has been filled with festive things! Mostly I hope you have been hugging your nearest and dearest a little tighter and saying your "I love you's". For those of you who are finishing out a full week of work (teachers...that's you! Friday is tough, but hopefully you have a good break ahead!) hang in there! and may your elves work extra hard with you this weekend!

I absolutely love gift giving. It is really one of the joys of my life. I think it's what makes me a good retail buyer, I truly love finding things that will delight. I like matching people and personalities with thoughtful treasures that will make them feel special. One can never underestimate the power of making an effort to make someone feel loved and 'seen'. It's a magic thing.

This gift-guide was inspired by my cousin-in-law Amy who is lives in Manhattan and is the definition of fabulous. She is sparkly and glamorous and a little bit edgy, and she has a closet full of shoes to make Carrie Bradshaw swoon (the closet and the shoes!) She has places to go and people to see and always does it in beautiful mega-watt style.

Somehow, I still like her.

This gift guide is for your glam-girl. The girl that can always pull it off...heck, she probably invented it.

1.) Diptyque Mimosa Candle ~ Liberty Simply one of the most refined collections of scented candles in existence, Diptyque will have her feeling fancy in no time.

2.) Melinda Maria Rose Ring ~ Marmalade (call: 617-484-0093) This beautiful plated 22K gold ring is like wearing the night sky on your finger. It is delicate enough to be 'pretty' but big enough to let her know you mean business! A total stunner.

3.) Croc Leather Tote ~ Topshop Someone might want to be there to catch her when she swoons over this oversized real-leather bag with an ever-chic crocodile pattern. Big enough to carry just about everything this is perfect for everyday or a carry-on!

4.) Sequin Crop Cardigan ~ American Eagle My motto is: "when in doubt, err on the side of sequins." I don't thing you can go wrong... ok, I'm sure you can go wrong somewhere....but for the most part, the more sparkle, the better. This cute cardigan is no exception. Perfect for over a LBD or with jeans. Something sequined is a staple in every wardrobe.

5.) Retro Disco Cowgirl Necklace by Frieda and Nellie ~ Charm & Chain Using vintage rhinestones (sidebar: if I were a country singer, that would be the name of my greatest hits album: vintage rhinestones) and embroidered folk ribbon Frieda and Nellie have created a striking combo that looks one-of-a-kind. This is where bold meets beautiful. Plus, who can walk away from something called the "Retro Disco Cowgirl Necklace"??

6.) DKNY Sparkle Strap Watch ~ Nordstrom What I said about sequins (see above) ... that goes for glitter too. This sparkly little number is on my personal wish list this year. I think it will be a fabulous guest at an arm party! Got a girl who's got everything? Bet she doesn't have one of these!

7.) Gold Dot Pillow ~ Caitlin Wilson Textiles  A little pop of gold never did anyone anything but a little bit of good! Never mind gold polka dots!! This is the perfect party hat for any little spot in her house!

8.) Sofia Prosecco Minis ~ Coppola Vineyards Probably one of my very favorite inventions of the last 10 years (I mean, the smart phone is okay.....) these personal proseccos in their pretty pink pop-tops are positively perfection! I can think of no fridge in glamourville that should not have some of these at the ready!

9.)Studded Biker Ankle Boot ~ Zara  Sometimes a girl just needs a few good studs. These studded ankle boots are something of an unexpected choice coming from me, as they are undoubtedly edgy...but man to they kick a**!!! I love them with skinny jeans and a blazer....add a softening scarf and she is smack dab in the center of glam.

10.) Chanel Rouge Coco Lip Colour in Paradis ~ Chanel I'm not sure this needs any explanation... stick it in her stocking, stand back and enjoy!

11.) Cashmere Leopard Print Scarf ~ Bluefly Cashmere + Leopard Print = Glam. This Cashmere scarf is the perfect topper for our glamour girl. Super, soft and fabulous!

 

Got any favorites? Who's on your list this year!?

xoxo

By Leigh 12.19.2012 – 10:05 am

0 Comments

Holiday Gift Guide

Style File

Hello! Just about a week until Christmas and I thought I would put together a little help for last-minute Santas!

There is nothing better than being cozy this time of year. Maybe it's a New England thing but don't even think about showing me your resort collection until well into February! I seem to want everything I touch to be flannel or lined with fleece or shearling. Seriously, if they made underpants lined with shearling I might consider them! I love layers and layers of cozy and in my opinion, the more, the cozier!

Here are some of my cozy favorites, perfect gifts for the girl on your list who's favorite knit is cable, loves a mug in her hand, a flake on her cheek and a scarf 'round her neck!

1.) Cole Haan Sadie Shearling-lined Drivers ~ Zappos I have nothing against Uggs, they are great for running to the post office or, you know, after a long morning of surfing.... but I am longing for something more refined. (Don't even get me started on leggings-as-pants) I am, however, unwilling to let go of the splendor and comfort that comes with a full (real) shearling lining. Enter this loafer. The comfort of a slipper with the refinement (and sole) of a loafer. The fact that it comes in fun colors is just a bonus.

2.) Meadowlark Knitted Cap ~ Sundance Oh how I love this hat!! Warm plus super cute? And flattering to boot!? I wonder if Santa takes rush orders??

3.)Cable Knit Sweater ~ H&M A cream colored cable knit is an absolute staple in a cozy winter wardrobe. Make it slightly over-sized (or better yet, his) and we are in business. It is even acceptable to wear leggings-as-pants (provided your hind quarters are covered) with this lovely...add your favorite tall boots and the biggest scarf you can find and head off for hot chocolate!

4.)Vintage Sweater Tall Socks ~ Free People Add a layer of cozy under your favorite tall boots with these knit tall socks. Perfect stockings for her stocking!

5.) Boot Tights ~ Sahalie These boot tights are probably the coolest product I have seen this year! Such a need-filler (useful!) and a total cozy-qualifier! Opaque tights with actual socks built right in! No more tights plus socks with your boots! These also come with short socks and in other styles and colors. Genius!

6.)Fleece Lined Crocheted Fingerless Gloves ~ Marmalade (call: 617-484-0093) These are my favorite winter accessory hands down (no pun intended). I have several pair and can never decide which color I think is cutest! They are lined with fleece for cozy warmth and leave your fingers free so you can still use your smart phone or type when you wear them inside... (what? they are that cute!)

7.) LeCreuset Enameled Dutch Oven ~ Le Creuset This might be the thing I use most often in my kitchen next to forks. It is heavy, sturdy, and she will have it forever. Great for everything from soups to casseroles to roasts and goes from the stovetop to the oven and (at our house) right into the fridge! She will love it ...and hopefully make you something delicious!

8.) Hand Painted Polka Dot Mug ~ Marmalade (call: 617-484-0093) Speaking of hot chocolate! What cuter way to wrap your hands around it then in this polka dot mug!

9.) White + Warren Cashmere Travel Wrap ~ White + Warren This might be on every gift guide I ever do, ever. Simply the best, coziest, largest, softest, loveliest most delightful thing ever. I wish I still had mine. Sadly, someone in the security line at SFO now does. Tear. If she travels it is a must, but even if she stays more local it is the perfect thing to keep her safe and warm.

10.) Tweed Boots ~ Joules A cute addition to her winter wardrobe, these cozy tweed boots are a little bit cuter than the rest of the lace-ups in their class. With a woodsy plaid and a faux fur lining for extra warmth they are a perfect fit!

11.) Camden Tote ~ Madewell This calf-hair tote is perfectly chic and cozy! It is large enough to fit all of her essentials and that extra book to read at the cafe. With an optional shoulder strap and super cute patterns this a winner under the tree!

Love it? Have any favorites?

xoxo

By Leigh 12.17.2012 – 11:58 am

1 Comment

January 2013 Sneak Peek #6 (Last one!)

Sketchbook

Hey all! Happy 12/12/12!! Here is the 6th and final new release for January 2013!

When people ask me what my favorite card is in the line, I usually say whatever is newest. I am fickle like that... new shiny things catch my attention easily. But it is also because I have recently spent time with them and they are near in my heart and mind. This one falls into that category. But I think I love it most because it perfectly encapsulates a part of my personality that I have worked hard to earn.

The pointy end.

That's not to say that I crave violence (though, I always did relate to Jo in Little Women while admiring the inherant goodness of her parents, sighed: "but I rather crave violence") but the feisty part of my personality has become a good tool for me. It has allowed me to know my own mind and stand by it. It has allowed me to learn to negotiate and state my opinions. It has helped me learn to stand up for myself and what I believe in.

And most of all, it doesn't take any crap.

It is not a finely tooled mechanism just yet... my 'spirit'  has gotten me in trouble before and I am sure it will again, but it has accomplished more than it has destroyed and I am proud of that.

This one goes out to your moxie. Wherever you may keep it!

By Leigh 12.12.2012 – 2:08 pm

12 Comments

January 2013 Sneak Peek #5

Sketchbook

Hello there and happy Friday! I can't believe how fast time moves sometimes. Don't blink!

Here is another January Sneak Peek for you! It was inspired by a conversation I had with my dear friend Kelly Rae Roberts one afternoon. Though she and I live on opposite coasts of this huge country, we get to see each other a decent amount and periodically spend a good chunk of time on the phone just basically unloading on each other. We both lead lives and careers that give us cause to be exceptionally grateful but those lives and careers are also a lot of hard work, an endless amount of juggling and decision making and a huge amount of responsibility. Responsibility for our livelihoods, our careers, our family's livelihood and responsibility for our art and voice and soul's purpose. We have that stewardship in common, and though it is a blessed journey for the most part, it is not without it's frustrations and limitations and just plain crappy days.

So, when I get into a pickle, or state of mind, or have an issue that I am having trouble navigating, Kelly is on my short list of people to call. The day of this conversation, it was her turn. She was suffering from a restlessness about her purpose and career and the 'next step' and all the energy that goes with that. It can be profoundly unsettling, and I totally got that. She wrote about it here, The feeling of everything feeling a little bit harder than it should, like too-tight pants (another feeling I am familiar with unfortunately...) everything feels a little off. Or a lot off in many cases.

"It just doesn't feel joyful" She said, in her lovely way.

And in my usual, somewhat overly pragmatic way I replied: "No, but it's useful."

I am a firm believer that "what doesn't kill us, make us smarter". There will be bumps in every road, things that suck to go through, that challenge every part of us (even parts of us we didn't know we had) but in all of those moments, those non-joyful moments, we will make tiny adjustments. We will bob and weave and stay afloat and use that discomfort to navigate our best path.

For many of us, and if you have found your way to my blog, I am including you as my "us", which is to say, I am assuming you are a seeker and an adventurer and lover of life (not to put too fine a point on it....) for us, it is not about smooth sailing all the time....it is about testing the sails, and building a better boat. This card is dedicated to Kelly, and to all of you boat-builders.

xoxo

By Leigh 12.07.2012 – 11:19 am

7 Comments

January 2013 Sneak Peek #4

Sketchbook

Another sneak peek for you! These sneak peeks will be available as cards mid-January 2013 and other product later in the year.

This one is in honor of our furry friends that bring so much love and light and companionship to our lives. I am a total dog person (though Coach and I had a cat, Chancellor, when we were first dating who was a gentleman and a scholar) but I know many many cats lovers that would be way underserved if I did not include thier feiline masters in this category. So voila!

It is with love and understanding that I dedicate this card to my dear friend Lacy and her husband and their lovely little "Hinge" who was recently called home. Thinking of you guys!

Do you have a devoted beast that this reminds you of!?

xoxo

By Leigh 12.06.2012 – 12:12 pm

7 Comments

January 2013 Sneak Peek #3

Sketchbook

Have you ever pressed up against a deadline so closely that you could see your breath fogging up the glass? That is becoming familiar territory for me. I just put a bow on our January 2013 introduction and the catalog has to go to print today!! I am feeling a little worn down with this and the season at Marmalade (we had a Midnight Madness event last night. Til, you guessed it....midnight!) so might have a nap in my future, but I wanted to share the next few cards with you.

I love this image and think it is going to look smashing as a canvas. This one speaks for itself, I believe it to be true.

I feel like the idea of 'living your dream" is a tad out of control in our society today. Perhaps rather...out of context.

Now, you know me, I am no dream crusher! I love dreams... I have them all the time! Sometimes several times a day! But I think the trouble is when we expect them to happen. We are entitled to do the dreaming, not to have them come true...that part is up to us. And dreams are hard work....and risk and trust and failure and try agains...and failure...and try agains. It's big stuff. In fact, the bigger and more personal they are, the harder they get. But the more magnificent also.

So, this lovely little reality check is brought to you today by Curly Girl Design and the road less traveled. Get on out there!

 

Let me know what you think!

xoxo

By Leigh 12.04.2012 – 1:02 pm

4 Comments
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