Modern Day Wardrobe Malfunction.

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So I have been traveling this week for work.  I love to travel. I love meeting and working  with Customers – I love to hear their stories, understand their goals and aspirations, and relate to them in a personal and professional way.  When I am able to make a difference in their work life, it makes me feel really good. I gain great pleasure seeing them “get it” – when they learn that there is a different, better way.  Makes my day.

This article is not about my work travel and adventures, my passion for travel, or how much I love my customers.  It is about picking the wrong clothes and packing too lightly- aka a modern day wardrobe malfunction.

Having been through hundreds of airports, on thousands of flights in the last 20 years,  I like to be comfortable when I travel (who doesn’t?).   I used to travel in my business wear – skirt, high heel, silk blouse….  no longer.  I like to look fashionable but be comfortable.  So upscale “active wear” (if you haven’t seen the Active Wear video, stop everything and watch it. Bookmark it and give yourself a good laugh on tough days).

Anywhoo, being on the curvy side, I love the Curvy Fit at Ann Taylor and The Loft.  Honestly, if you are a woman with substance, check the curvy fit out …  pants that actually fit without having to nip, tuck, hem… no tailoring!  They actually carry the Curvy fit in Petite.  I discovered this about 4 years ago and have not purchased another pair of pants since.  They fit my body and my short stature.

Well, I was with a friend a few weeks ago and we stopped into an Ann Taylor.  I find these lounge pants that have elastic at the waist and the leg bottoms.   The material is so soft… and they are more form fitting (not sloppy).. fashionable right?!?!  They definitely fit The Do of Jogger pants fashion.  I fall in love. I buy them (I never pay retail for anything!).  My vision is that these are my stylish travel pants.. with a pair of comfy sneakers or short heel, a nice t-shirt/top, a casual jacket.  I will own it – My vision is stylish AND comfy.  I. Am. The. Boss.

Nope. Vision vs. Reality.  The pants, well they stretch out.. a lot.  I purchased a Small. Based on the amount of stretch after one flight alone, I should have purchased a Petite XS.  Wow, these things went from stylish and sexy, to sloppy and frumpy in 2 hours… This probably wouldn’t be that big a deal, except that I chose to ONLY bring these pants on my trip (along with a dress and a skirt)…   I look like I’m wearing my pajamas when I wear these pants.  I tried to find a picture of a fashion fail like the one I have made, but alas, there are none. Apparently no one else makes these kinds of faux-pas.  But I did find a very long article on the right vs. wrong way for men to wear suspenders. Fascinating article. 😉

Needless to say, I recommend that you do not pack a brand new pair of pants as the ONLY pair of pants when traveling. Your welcome.

What are your favorite places to purchase clothing?  @Greygoose – You are tall (I am short).. I always think about what it’s like for you to purchase clothing..  I’d love to hear your story!

 

 

 

 

 

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Think, Think, Think, Think, Think…

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I’m so frustrated with myself for so many reasons.

I’m in Nashville this week, on a business trip. Prior to coming to Nashville, I was in Utah visiting with family and friends.

My birthday was last Friday – I’m officially 44. I spent the weekend with my friends in Park City. They spoiled me with great meals and their fabulous company. C-Licious, one of my best friends, moved to Utah 10 months ago. I miss her desperately. It was so good to see her, but it also made me realize that I do feel really incredibly alone in CA without her. She was the one I visited with most often …we spent a couple of times a week together as well as at least one weekend night. I do have other very close friends near me, but they all have their busy lives and I do not see them often.

Now that I’m in Nashville, I am interacting with folks but I’m not connecting. It is like I am numb all over, and no matter what I do I can’t seem to feel.  Feel anything.  I’ve heard some great stories about people, friends, their families.  Normally I would be totally engaged… moved by the intimacy of sharing experiences.  Not this week – I really like the folks I’ve spent time with, but I am having a difficult time connecting.  That is my thing – I have an ability to connect with most people on just about anything…  I just couldn’t do it this week.

What is wrong with me? I had such aspirations at the beginning of this year. I was so excited, so energized to make changes.  And now the year is almost half over and I’ve done nothing to change the course of my life.  I know I need to, I know I want to, I’ve even written it all out in my 2015 New Years Resolutions. I know the important things take time, but god damn it, I need a bone.  Something, a small sign that this is the right path… that life is going to get better, a light at the end of the tunnel… that things WILL get better soon… I keep thinking that I need some time off, a trip away, a long one where I can regroup and get my bearings back…  but I am not in a financial position to do this.  This is something I will create for myself so this situation never happens again.  But for now, it’s not going to happen.

All I can do is think.  My mind just spins, over and over.  I moving towards my New Years Resolutions, but outside of that, I’m doing nothing.  Because my NYR are taking a while, I feel I’m frozen. I’m standing still, unable to move in any direction. I keep telling myself that I will feel different once I reach my goals – once I lose the extra weight, once I get my finances in order, once I get to where I want to be professionally…. but these things aren’t going to happen if I do not DO SOMETHING.

I am in a sad state.  I know that this is just a phase, and it will pass.  But right now I’m desperate for change. Desperate to get out of this life I’m in – that I wake up to everyday and wish desperately that it was different.  . So much so that I am now seriously considering moving to Utah.  I’ve been looking at real-estate – what I can afford is exactly what I want AND I can afford it.  My biggest fear about moving back is being alone… Salt Lake City isn’t exactly the mecca for singles, especially singles in their mid-forties.  But it’s not like I’ve done that well for myself in CA.  And the good part is a better quality of life, I will be closer to my family, and of course to C-Licious.

Do i stick to my current plan, my New Years Resolutions, or do I just pick up and move on? Moving seems easier, my life would be easier – less financial stress, less job stress, I would be closer to my family and friends.  The thing that hold me back is that I would not be able to get back into the Bay Area (once I sell I can’t purchase again – all prices are out of my range)….. .  the real question is do I really care about having a foothold in the Bay Area?

Well, it’s late in Nashville. There was a party tonight and I couldn’t muster up the energy to go.  One of the first cities that I’ve visited that I didn’t get out and mingle with locals.  Sad really, I was very much looking forward to this trip – to seeing Nashville. I’ve heard so many great things about the city and the people.  Another thing that I didn’t do because i just didn’t have the energy to get out and socialize.

I’m so lame right now.  Lame friend, lame person, dull and unexciting.  I’ve lost my Paula Peppiness… I’ve got to get my groove back.  Any guidance on how to do this would be helpful and appreciated.

Now I need to get to bed so I can catch a plane home.  I get home late on Friday and I’m looking forward to seeing and holding my precious babies.

Decorators Envy.

mcmansionI’m in Utah.  I had a few customers to visit late this week, and decided to stay the weekend and stay with family.  I’m now staying with AbFab and her two awesome kids Mayonnaise and Shahnaynay.  4 and 6 now, 5 and 7 in very short order. My twin also came up for the evening, and she looks awesome.  I got a few pictures of us together, which is a rarity for us.

Since I’ve last talked about AbFab, she has gotten divorced from the kids’ father and has since remarried to a great guy. I’ll call him RoadRage for now… he is a very nice calm person, RoadRage is a great name for him as its opposite of the personality I’ve seen of him.

Anyway, they now live in a 5800 square foot home.  Its GORGEOUS. I love it.  It’s not the size that I love, it’s the dream of decorating and making a home.  It’s turning each room into a masterpiece, with color, with furniture, with flare. I can see why rich people keep buying new homes even though the ones they already have are Martha Stewart perfect.

On a personal front, I’ve been sick lately – a combo of allergies and a head cold.  I took a long nap today, it was good for me. I feel much better. Tomorrow, Sunday, I’m cooking dinner for the kids and my family…. Its going to be gluten-free (my new diet) but delicious.  I love to cook, it’s nice to cook for others.

O.k. so that’s it.  Not much tonight, but a little bit of something.  Which is what I’d love to see/read from Grey Goose…  hint hint GG, give me something!

Indian in Chinatown.

apple-amongst-orangesYep. I have found and am eating at the only Non-Chinese restaurant in Melbourne’s Chinatown district.  Well, to be fair, it is the only Non-Chinese, Non-American establishment within 2 blocks of my hotel in the Melbourne Chinatown district.  And its a Sunday night, and there isn’t much open on a Sunday night.

I find this choice much like the choices I’ve made while on my life’s journey – against the grain.  I have opted to NOT eat at the 1000 Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, noodle houses, etc. near me.  I’ve picked the one Indian restaurant around – Jaisalmer Palace.  The food – delicious. I would definitely come here again, what a find!  But the bigger question – Why do I pick the one place that isn’t “normal”?  Whatever causes this type of thinking, I was born with it.  But enough about me, let’s talk about me!  Just kidding (sort of).  Let’s talk about my day/weekend.

  • First, I am in fucking Melbourne Australia!  Yes, that’s right, Melbourne. Only one of the best cities on this planet.  It’s San Francisco, but better (nicer people, generally happier people, less ego driven, more relaxed, etc..). It’s like Italy, but better (it actually has a sustainable and growing economy)..  would I move here? In a heart beat!
  • And one of my very dearest, best friends lives here. Lets call her Smiles from now on, because she has one of the best smiles ever. Its taken me 10+ years to get back to Melbourne and be in her presence. Seeing her for the first time, again, it was like no time had passed, It’s like we haven’t skipped a beat. Catching up with her, our lives, and visiting with her family makes me feel truly alive and lucky.  Last time I was in Australia, I visited with Smiles and her immediate family (mum, dad, sisters, etc)  and had more fun than any one person should have in a lifetime, let alone 2+ weeks.  10 years later, we are both in very different places, and we are still as connected.  She shared her life openly.  We were swinging singles back then (not really, single yes, swinging, no).   She now shares her life with a handsome Aussie and 2 kids..   Spending the day with her and her family made me feel so lucky – I’ve done something right because someone I love to the end of this earth just shared a day in her life with me without reservation.  How lucky am I??
  • AND (I know, it gets even better!!) one of my newest besties is ALSO living in Melbourne.  I got to catch up with her, introduce her and her hubby to Smiles, and who knows… maybe another connection made.

This weekend, for me, is what life is what MY life is all about.  Connecting with people who I love dearly.  I know I don’t have kids, and I will not carry on the typical “legacy”, but that is o.k..  I live, I love, and I feel loved.  And being in this space, where I love openly, where I feel loved, isn’t that what life is about?  Taking care of those we cherish?  Knowing who to cherish and why?  I spent what felt like a lifetime in a marriage with someone who didn’t love me – didn’t truly love my quirkiness… and it took its toll on me. I bring it up now only because it’s taken me 5+ years to close this insecurity.  I have fewer and fewer why didn’t it work” moments (not just with the Ex but with My Mr. Big, Mr. Showtime, and the like, which you can catch up on by reading The Roster (which I will update soon enough)) and more and more “here we go” hands-up-in-the-air roller coaster moments.

So, while trying not to be philosophical, life has been a roller coaster and I’ve often felt out-of-place.  But today, this weekend, while sitting in this Indian restaurant 15000 mile away in a city I love because its near a bestie, I realize, I’m in exactly the right place for me.  Which is the path that 99% of the people would NOT take. I get that, and I’m learning to be o.k. with it.  And more and more I’m better than o.k. with it, I’m LUCKY to have had this path.  Definitely not what I pictured for myself, but truly lucky to have experienced it thus far.

O.k. now I need to leave this restaurant, go back to the hotel, and get ready for work tomorrow.  There are a few other things I want to write about – such as saving a super drunk girl from herself last night (my first night with an Aussie wink wink was not what you would ever guess/think), the Melbourne lights night that was super crowded, to meeting strangers at the Exec Lounges (and I love it!!). So many stories, so little time!

Behaving Badly Down Under.

New Besties from Western Australia
New Besties from Western Australia

So, WTF?  I am shaking it up down here in Australia….

First, I met a couple that I LOVE, that I am definitely going to keep in contact with.  I sat with them for breakfast and dinners for 3 days – they are an amazing fun couple.  We stayed in the Executive Lounge all night 2 nights in a row just talking and drinking…  It was so much fun I forgot to eat dinner 2 days in a row!  Margaret wants to take Errol to Italy, so we have made plans to vacation in Italy in September 2015.  I’ve signed myself up to plan this 2015 Italy vacation, and everyone is welcome.  We will be spending a week at a castle in the Umbria region, then another week on the Amalfi Coast… give or take a few weeks/months/years depending on my work, boyfriend, or marriage situation.  😉  The picture I’ve attached is of my new besties!

Second, I went out with the local sales guy yesterday, On Tuesday…. too yummy.  It took everything I had in me to behave appropriately.  He is handsome, down to earth, very attractive, fun, …. but he has his own set of distractions – he does have a girlfriend, and ex-wife, and a child..  I went home alone, but don’t think his luscious gorgeous face and thick accent was easy to leave behind.  Good thing for him that has a Niami Watts girlfriend type around to keep him happy.  Now I just have to find my Liev…

Went to a client site on Wednesday then spent most of the evening catching up on other work.  Another Hotel guest asked me to join him for dinner and I did. It was fun to not eat alone. He is from Connecticut, recently retired, and on his way to spend 2 months in New Zealand… I look forward to hearing about his adventure when he returns.

So that’s it. Nothing really “Bad” per say, but certainly not my regular routine.  Feels good to shake it up a bit.  And I love Sydney and the Australians in general. What a super nice bunch of folks.  Must be something in the water…

One last question – the girl I sat next to on the airplane.  I want to be  her friend.  She hasn’t reached out to me but I found her on Facebook. Is it too “stalkerish” to friend her?  If I do that she will know I had to find her – as she only gave me her name, no contact info.  Please advise.

10 Days in Australia.

14_02_19_SydneyClosetHello from down under! I just arrived in Sydney Australia. The trip was FANTASTIC- thank you Virgin Australia, Xanax and Ambien. I woke up, had breakfast on the plane, watched Shawshank Redemption, deplaned, went through security, picked up my luggage, and took the train to my hotel.  I’m all checked in (the room doesn’t have a bathtub??!?  What is going on with hotel rooms without bathtubs??).

I’m out of the country for 10 days.  I’m in Sydney for 5 days visiting with Customers. Then off to Melbourne to visit with more Customers. In between these weeks, I will be spending the weekend in Melbourne, catching up with two close friends. I’m soooo looking forward to it.

I packed one carry on bag for the 10 days.  I’ve attached a picture of all the clothing I brought with me for this 10 day trip. I’m super proud of myself for picking comfortable easy pieces that I can mix and match. I’ve been meaning to reduce my wardrobe, I can’t wait until I lose weight and I can get rid of it all EXCEPT for the cashmere.  🙂

I also sat next to this very cool girl on my way here. We are going to connect via email and the next time I’m in Sydney we are going to get together. She is 10 years my junior but very wise. She has lived a great life thus far… I will share her blog with you once I get the info.  I don’t want to give away her name just in case she too writes under an assumed name.

It’s raining here. The locals tell  me it’s about time – they haven’t had rain for a long time.  I wanted to go to the beach, I’ve never been to a Sydney beach, but alas, it is a to-do for another day.  So instead I went shopping.  Really just browsing and people watching.  I wanted to see what everyone is wearing, interact with the locals, etc.. I did purchase a coat, which I need for the week. It’s a casual business jacket.. I’ll wear it every day and beyond. Not cheap, but a good piece.

Now I’m in the Executive lounge having a glass of wine and posting this message.  I’m super excited about being here, being on this adventure, this journey. I need this time away from my regular life to figure things out. I cannot believe that I’m 42, cash poor, living in a persons garage apartment… at 42 I’m starting over. Why do I do this to myself? And what do I need to do to define a right path and stay on it. I saw this book at the airport and I didn’t buy it – http://www.amazon.com/dp/1583335080 – I didn’t want to carry it and thought it would be available at the next airport.. it wasn’t. Now I must have it.  Do I order it on Amazon and wait until I get home to read it? I feel like it would be such a great book for me to be reading NOW.

I’ll try to post every day – I know that I have a lot on my mind, it would be super helpful to have your support and guidance while on this journey!

NYC Is A Fabulous City.

 Buildings in Tribeca neighborhood of New York City. I spent the week in NYC God do I LOVE this city…  so vibrant, energetic, exciting.  It is true, the City never sleeps!

Isn’t the picture fabulous!?!  Big thanks to JoeyBLS Photography for taking such a fabulous photo!

I was in town to visit with customers and help with a company event.  In between, I had time to catch up with a very close friend.  Here are my thoughts after processing the week.

  • Arrived town and had dinner @ Artisanal Bistro with my good friend.   The restaurant was delicious and it was so good to catch up in person!  We ended up having a fabulous time… did I mention he is extremely handsome?!?  I know, a bit of arm candy for Paula!!
  • I stayed at the Tribeca Grand Hotel . It was a great hotel – gorgeous rooms, excellent customer service.  I would consider myself lucky to stay there again. Picture is of the building that I could see from my room on the 8th floor.
  • According to a customer of mine, my company’s only redeeming quality  is a colleague of mine.  I love my new team.
  • NY men like to say, before they let it all out, that they are going to unleash it all, after all, they are “from NY”.  Apparently being from NYC means you are open to tell it like it is.  I LOVE the directness.
  • There are a lot of non-white folks with white babies in this town.  I know,  I know, they are nannies and babysitters.
  • Kids walk in NYC (well, really pulled by their parents really).  Parents don’t slow down for their kids, their kids keep up.  Kids do not set the pace in NYC, the parents (or babysitters) do.   Certainly helps keep the pace and reduces the number of abrupt stops while walking through the City.
  • And I’ve not seen a “double wide” stroller as of yet….  People stack their kids on top of each other. Love it.  There should be room on the sidewalk for everyone, it is not for people who want to hog sidewalks with their buggies.
  • Women are very fashionable in NYC, men are so put together and handsome.  I like that people dress up, don’t do everything in casual attire.

I loved the trip. I’m so happy that I have customers in NYC, and that I get to go to this fabulous city on a regular basis.  Yeah me!

I will have to learn to pace myself though, I’m home today, Saturday night, nursing a cold… I’ve fallen sick with all the party-ing and lack of sleep… I’ll catch up just in time for work on Monday.