Archives for June 2014

Spreading the love with family dates

Enjoying some quality family time at the ballet

Enjoying some quality family time at the ballet

It’s not just prayer that keeps a family together.  For me the family that plays together can stay connected and building strong memories of love and laughter that define what family is.  As a mother to an only child it is easy to focus on spending time with her as it does not come with the extra hassle that come with making arrangements with adults.  With one child it is more of a grab and go scenario, but when you mix in different generations and preferences and time schedules things can be a lot more difficult to coordinate.  Even worst when all of the coordination is said and done some of the carefree nature and fun can be sucked out of the plans.  When done right, however, it is a great reminder of the lessons to be learned from both young and old alike.

I am blessed enough to have both my mom and grandmother to be able to spend time with.  Making plans for an age range from 12 to 86 is no small feat, however, in sticking to simple events like parks and movies and museums you open the door to real discovery.   This is not just a look into the assigned family role, mother, sister, daughter, son, granny, but also who the person really is.  Learning what the likes and dislikes and personal experiences of another person can change not only how you view the person but also how you view yourself.

It is a powerful thing to get a deeper understanding of the sacrifices those before you have made to provide for you and that as unique you may feel your story is, others have faced similar challenges and survived and thrived.  Plus there is something fun about seeing your parents or grandparents or even kids just being a person.  Once they let this guard down you see them just as someone who tries and fails, has loved and lost, and has endured more struggles then you can imagine if they remain for you just in their role in the family.  This experience is especially valuable to the youth as with age comes perspective it is difficult to gain from friends or TV or the internet.  Making these connections in not just in formal gatherings but in casual scenarios as well gives me the quality time I want with my daughter and insight to my village of the tools and efforts we need to jointly raise the child and sometimes even raise each other.

Art Immersion with Mixed Media at MFAH

Mized media part and partyBreak dancing at the museum may seem as likely as pigs flying, but for Mixed Media at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston everything you thought you knew about the museum flies out of the window.  Coming into the event I knew there would be a mix of DJs and fun that would change the vibe of the event.  What I failed to realize is how contagious this vibe is.  Starting with one person loving the beat of a song or having a great laugh in conversation the mood spreads like wildfire.  Because of this every step seems through museum seems a little more lively, every station packing an extra ingredient to the fun to be had.Enjoying Mixed Media with cousin Mixed media art appreciation 1

Even in passing the museum I could feel the change.  To drive by and feel the music beating and see the feet moving in the heart of the museum district the tone of the museum gets a reset.  With every step into the event you are moved closer and closer into a new ideal of what art appreciation can be.  Whether that is step 15 when you gather with your friends for your best smiles and shenanigans at the picture booth or step 32 when you see you really are in the heart of a museum surrounded by images of beauty and strength from years past.  No matter how you take it by step 45 when you are face to face with a DJ mixing up their brand of funk or sipping on the evenings drink special you are knee deep in the vibe where you can look and appreciate all the things that comprise art and see them with fresh eyes.

Party at the museum for mixed media Checking out Atlas at mixed mediaThroughout the course I was reminded how much I love all kinds or art.  As I joined a friend in strolling through the Houghton Hall: Portrait of English Country House Exhibit I even wondered if perhaps this is how art is meant to be enjoyed.  With lively conversations imagining the uses of old chairs and guessing the thoughts in the minds of artist models from centuries ago.  The art immersion continued as I watched DJs and enthusiasts transform sound and movement into art that again begged me to jump in and try my hand at being my own artist.  Even if you go for the art, the music, dancing and a little bit of mayhem will make you stay.  Don’t miss your next chance for fun at Mixed Media at the music the last Fridays in summer at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.Breaking at mixed media 1 Breaking at mixed media 2 The Chivary special at mixed media DJ Love at Mixed Media Crowd at mixed media Breaking at mixed media 4 Breaking at mixed media 3

 

 

Mixed Media at the Museum of Fine Arts

Mixed mediaArt is a celebration of life but far too often enjoying art does not feel like a celebration.  You walk through a museum and the expectation is to silently enjoy the art.  That is a great way to really take in art, but it is far from being a true celebration.  Like many of the best things in life, art is way more fun when shared.  Today, you get to enjoy life and art all at once at the Mixed Media event at the Museum of Fine Art Houston.  Art takes a whole new light in the midst of enjoying it with friends and music and libations.  All of these things are the true to life inspiration of art so why not mix inspiration and the art to get a better appreciation.  Mixed media dancing Mixed media art appreciation  Mixed media people shot Mixed media people ice scupture Mixed media dj

With a musical line up to include Lunice, DJ Sun, Gracie Chavez & Navo, John the Third and The New Mercies the museum will be rocking to a whole new beat.  Plus with the opportunity for dancing you get a chance to express the vibe that the ambiance and art motivate you to do, be it through words or laughter dancing or music.  It’s a great way to enjoy a new look for the summer.

Empowerment over coffee and conversations

TBE 2014 Coffee and Conversations RecapEmpowerment at its best provides not just the instructions on how someone else did something, but the why that gives deeper insight to not just replicate their success but to have the tools to make a path of your own.  A poignant opportunity for this type of empowerment came with the “Coffee & Conversation” Business Empowerment Series at the Texas Black Expo.  This series featured intimate insight from Jeff Hoffman, Founding member of Priceline” but also opened the floor for other business leaders to share their insight on attaining success.

TBE 2014 Coffee and Conversations Keynote speakerAs the keynote speaker, Jeff Hoffman started the series off with a focus not on the how to of running or building a travel titian or by retracing the steps that lead him to the success.  The keynote speech instead took a retrospective of how to intertwine being a success in business with being a success in life.  Within the words he share the message was not a life built on bottom lines and increasing bank accounts but on an internal drive of passion and purpose that allowed Jeff to “take a chance on excellence because money follows excellence”.  This focus has proven fruitful as Jeff has contributed to building a company that is a household name and now continues to build his personal legacy on demanding excellence from himself to motivate this same excellence from others.  In this spirit of servant leadership Jeff continues to enable others to become successful.  This point of view provides a never-ending well of inspiration as the purpose to make money to empower him to build people far exceeds the purpose of making money that stops at the bank.

With these motivating opening words peaking the rooms interest, the panelist were able to share add to the conversation on success by exploring some critical areas that determine one’s level of success both internally and by the world.  Here are some of their key insights:

TBE 2014 Coffee and Conversations panelistCore strengths: The challenge in developing ones core strengths is in the appreciation that it is a journey, not a destination.  By rising to the challenge that there is always that possibility that one can do better you can see areas of greatness but also areas for improvement.  Additionally this internal challenge can be applied outward.  In doing so encounters with others around you promote the challenge to leave others better than you found them. This endeavor ultimately provides a win-win motivation to push oneself harder as you see the reward in others as wells as within.

Team Development:  Entrepreneurs have the challenge of being not just a boss but a critical member of a team.  In doing so recognizing what people do well guarantees not just personal success but the success of the business as well.  By checking the ego at the door the boss can accept help when need and find empowering ways to delegate work that develops the team around them.

Skills of a CEO vs. the skills of an entrepreneur: The skills are different and in recognizing the difference you can get the best skillset out of all members of the team.  An entrepreneur is a problems solver, however, to be CEO these skills have to be coupled with organization, systems building and execution.  If an entrepreneur does not have this skill set to be a CEO they can still build an empire by working with others who can provide the skillset they are lacking.

Networking Strategies: Strong networking skills are just that, a skill.  While some are naturally gifted with a friendly or outgoing personality, by honing the skillset anyone can successfully become great at networking.  The panelist used books like “How to Work a Room” or programs like Toastmasters and the American Leadership Forum to cultivate the skills that made a lasting impression on others by how they treated them, not just what they said.

 

 

 

 

HYP Summer Networking at Triniti Recap

HYP Summer Networking at TrinitiFueled by the energy of a cocktail haven, HYP had another great networking event at Triniti Resturant and Bar yesterday.  Networking happy hours presented by Houston Young Professionals give a break from some of the low energy events categorized as networking.  In these events you typically meet with other industry professionals, share information and look for opportunities to collaborate or direct business.  Houston Young Professionals kicks it up a notch with a more upbeat happy hour.  The vibrant mood set you are able to focus on the qualities that usually dictates if you will work with or refer business to someone in the future…likeability.  Being likeable is one of the most important criteria in both remembering someone from a brief conversation and, even more important, remembering someone when an opportunity that is perfect for them arises.  As Houston Young Professionals pulls from a wide range of industries they make sure you can step outside your normal networking range and open the door of possibilities to meeting new people and finding new opportunities.

Triniti provided the perfect opportunity to get out and mingle.  Triniti sits at a great location on South Shepard near West Alabama and the bar tops the convenience with unique cocktails dreamed up by the mixing geniuses of Laurie Sheddan and Leslie Ross.  As the Ladies of Libation they make sure that drinks join the conversation in the free flow of fun.   All in all the event proved a great way to not only highlight Hump Day but also to get acquainted with a phenomenal restaurant and bar inside the loop.

 

 

Using the end to motivate the now

mother and child at graveyardAs a child I always approached mazes from the finish line.  Something about working my way backwards made it a lot easier to see the areas that were dead ends or detours.  The same clarity that working through a maze backwards can bring also can be applied to the maze of life.  At the end of everyone’s life is a period and trying to see life from that standpoint can shed light on what we want our lives to represent as we go through the daily struggle of getting things done.

When we are running through life we often think about things from what we should plan to do, always keeping our eyes on the daily to do list of what should be accomplished.  In this never ending list of things to do some of the larger picture can get lost.  By looking at things from the perspective of what happens when there is no more tomorrows we can refocus on the things we want to do today.

What would you want on your epitaph?

For some looking at the end is a scary thing.  Realizing that we all must die one day is not the most enjoyable subject but the focus on the end can give real meaning to everything that is between.  The epitaph is the memories that others would share when reflecting on your life and can demonstrate a life well lived or a life where the priorities were all out of whack.  It helps relate back to the fact that people, and your impact on them, drive how you are remembered perhaps more than any other thing.

What would others say about you tomorrow if they attended your funeral?   

Knowing what you want is only the first step.  The tricky thing about an epitaph is that usually you don’t write it. It becomes a collection of memories and feelings you’ve left on others.  Starting from how you want to be remembered and moving to what you believe others would say gives insight on areas where you bridge the gap.  If you want to be remembered as a family man, but all who know you see you as a strong business person you have to question “why do they say that” and if you would be okay if this impression is their lasting memory of you.

How have you worked towards achieving some of the most import things for you personally?  

Working backwards gives an important reminder that there is a mystery end date at the end of our stories.  By not working with the assumption that there will be a tomorrow to complete the priorities on our list you remember that something that seem super important are really not what matters in the bigger scheme of things.

How have you balanced work and other demands with other priorities you would have if you faced your own demise?  

At the end of the day a life well lived is usually one that balances priorities such as family and love and adventure with the things and support and provide the possibility for these things to happen.  It is easy to get caught up with the providing for the things without really enjoying and developing the reasons for it all.  By prioritizing the things that really matter we are reminded to make time for the things that in the end would matter the most.

New Rules for Suit Success

New Suit StyleNavy and gray suits are the standard for professional attire.  Although the look may be perfect for interviewing for a new job or making power moves at the one you have, the look can get a bit monotonous and fail to showcase some of the personal appeal that can be translated through fashion.  A standard suit is not always the best fit for the more relaxed and personal nature of some businesses today.  For me I favor some pants and jacket options that give a similar feel of a suit but with the comfort and style needed to let me work hard and show my own style when doing it.  New suit options combine fun and funky embellishments and relaxed and comfortable fabrics to break the standard of what to and what not to wear.  The variations in these rules are especially valid in hot and humid climates like summer time in Houston.  Dressing up in a full suit can be the equivalent of jumping in a sauna with even a short walk outside.  When combining the concerns for climate and comfort finding alternatives to traditional suiting rules become a necessity.

One of my favorites is this BCBG jacket with flower cutouts and pants.  The cutouts and crop of the jacket give it more of a poncho look and by using an accent color for the base shirt you can lengthen the look of your torso and add a splash of color.  The pants provide some stretch so they can provide more comfort fit.  The comfort is crucial as sitting in a stuffy suit can make a long day of work seem twice as long.  By choosing materials that move and breathe can give back the comfort needed to tackle the chair affair throughout the day.

Exploring the tradition of Afternoon Tea

Enjoying frieds at the afternoon tea at the Hotel GranducaThis past weekend I took some time away from the normal busy flow of the day to get acquainted with the old tradition of afternoon tea.  To get the mood for such a feat I put on one of my favorite hats and headed to one of the locations in Houston that embody the indulgence found in the roots of afternoon tea, the Hotel GranducaPreparing for fancy at afternoon tea at the Hotel Granduca

Heading out with some of my favorite friends usually takes us to restaurants where we go through the routine of what to eat, to drink, to share or not share, and an appraisal of the location and its patrons.  When this is the usual there is something really nice about the structure of afternoon tea.

The Hotel Granduca provides a perfect opportunity for you to step into the old world sophistication and elegance of the time that first inspired afternoon tea.  In the courses of tea you get something that I also miss in meeting with my friends…serenity.  Assorted Ribbon Sandwiches at afternoon tea at the Hotel Granduca Himalayan Peak Parjeeling Tea at the Afternoon tea at Hotel Granduca Assorted pastries at the afternoon tea at Hotel GranducaOutside of the decision of what tea to have, everything else just slows down and rolls out automatically.  You get a chance to sip and enjoy the beautiful simplicity of tea and light bites.  When it comes to indulging less can be more. Upon serving the small snacks that make up the courses of afternoon tea, you get a chance to spoil yourself with your most wanted fresh backed scones and Devonshire clotted cream with jam or pastries and tea cookies.  Best of all you get a chance to take it slow with friends and get a great reminder of the support, laughs, and even silence that makes them good friends in the first place.

Without the noise and choices and people from a normal gathering we found that all we have is each other, sharing our lives.

On a slowed down Saturday afternoon over tea and talking about the good, bad, and ugly experiences that we call life we realized that the sharing in and of itself is enough to make for good times with great friends.Tea is served at the afternoon tea at Hotel Granduca Afternoon tea the Hotel Granduca

 

 

 

Inspire Leadership Series with Peter Remington Publisher for Houston Luxury Magazine

Inspire Leadership Series with Peter Remington, Publisher of Houston Luxury Magazine

Inspire Leadership Series with Peter Remington, Publisher of Houston Luxury Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the publisher for Houston Luxury Magazine, Peter Remington recognizes some of the best food, clothing, cars, and living that Houston has to offer.  Throughout his journey, both personal and professional, Peter’s inspiration is now laser focused to seek and emphasize on the best of what is on the inside of a person as his passion.  Through his Prepare 4 More books and speaking engagements Peter is working on building the luxury from within and sharing his faith and experiences with a much wider audience.

Lessons from the bottom

Entry level positions can be some of the most difficult places to start as seeing the stars is almost impossible when you can’t see past the clouds in between.  Peter Remington first planted the seeds of success in a career in radio where he refused to take no for an answer.  Early on the decision was made to take any opportunity given and really know the ins and outs of the position he was assigned to.  Focusing on the potential guided Peter into charting a career path marked by growth.  By stocking up on his skill set in sales he developed confidence from himself and others in his measurable strengths.  The strengths could be sculpted and reapplied regardless of the position or field.  His career in radio demonstrated this success as he excelled and eventually ran a $72 million office for Eastman Radio.

Developing a team to propel your success

Originally Peter support for his dreams came from his supervisors and mentors within radio.  As his focus shifted, however, Peter learned to adapt his support team to the priorities he set for his own life.  Peter continues to build and cultivate a team that fed both his professional and spiritual aspirations.  Through his team and his commitment to his faith Peter receives the support, accountability and motivation he needs when facing his own hurdles from others that understand his motivation and inspiration.

Building a routine and working that routine

Up at 5 AM every day and on to workout, visualize, meditate, and write all before work can be an intimidating routine for anyone.  For Peter learning to cultivate a routine where he can really focus on motivating his mind, body and soul sets the pace for the rest of the day.  The goal in such a stringent routine is to seek to maximize his vibrations out to the world.  By focusing on developing his internal foundations first, he steps out in the world ready to share this energy with others.

Making a personal mantra

“My purpose in life is to achieve my Highest Human Potential so that I may help others achieve theirs.”

Peter has worked to develop this personal mantra that guides his thoughts and inspire his steps as he faces the challenges and successes of life.  Much like the Pledge of Allegiance this simple statement is available for quick repetition and to share with others who are building up or knocking down the obstacles he faces.  By adapting this mantra he has boiled down his actions and intentions to a simple phrase as a reminder of the reason for all of the hard work and an overall guiding star as he looks for direction for his next steps. Developing a strong and simple mantra goes a long way in warding out the distractions that are a constant in life.

Allow the wind of change to move you

The more rigid a plan is, the more likely the risk that the change winds of time will break that plan to pieces.  Peter has learned to take his concrete goals and passion and make them flexible enough to be fluid with the changing environment.  Upon completion of his first book Be:Aholic, Peter was faced with the decision to actively pursue his passion on a full time basis or make a move to the publisher for Houston Luxury Magazine.  By understanding the difference between “no” and “not right now” Peter has been able to continue to cultivate his connections and professional prowess while still actively writing and preparing for his ultimate goals as a writer and personal speaker.

Walking the line between passion and career

Even as he began his career Peter developed a success formula that was simple – Making other people successful.  In doing this Peter knew he would eventually become successful himself and was able to test and prove this philosophy several times throughout his career.  Having a passion is not guaranteed to be your career, however, any and all experiences can be a stone in the foundation of reaching ones passion.  By tacking the challenges with persistence u

ltimately Peter is able to actively pursue his passion to making others successful while ensuring his foundation is built on rock instead of sand.

Staying inspired

Staying connected to his spirituality and making a commitment to continue to seek knowledge fuel Peter’s inspiration.  By having an open conversation with God and being patient and prepared for the answer Peter abides by the following wisdom:

Prayer is when you talk to God, Inspiration is when He talks back

By keeping his mind and heart open for this communication Peter is able to look for inspiration in his reading and cultivates this knowledge and inspiration in the form of his writings, which you can find in his Daily Insights on the Prepare 4 More sight.

Ultimate versatility with the Convertible Jumpsuit

Convertible Jumpsuit with back tieIt is not rare for me to have the face the challenge of finding one outfit to provide a good fit for multiple occasions all on one day.  Many outfits have tried but few offer the endless possibilities than one of my favorite pieces, the convertible jumpsuit.  As the jumpsuit provides the comfort of pants with the look of a dress and the options to take the look from conservative to va-va voom sexy few others pieces can even hold a candle to the style options.

First and foremost on days where events are lined up back to back there is nothing that can give you an energy boost more than really being comfortable in what you are wearing.  The loose fit of the pants give a great fit for almost any size.  The wide legged pants spread to give the look of a maxi skirt or dress so you can be sure to be appropriate even in the most conservative situations.  The rest of the options go to the styling of the top and when it comes to that the sky is the limit.

Convertible Jumpsuit cut outsThe versatility of the jumper comes in the long straps that can be wrapped, tied, twisted and bowed in combination after combination to fit your occasion.  I have taken these options to do a full bodied wrap when at work to a back tie for a “business in the front, party in the back” look to a one shoulder tie for a little drama.  Most recently I wore the back in a wrap which gave a high tie of the straps for an open back look and moved on later to a new event and new look with wrapping to give the look of cutouts in the front and back.  Depending on the ties you can offer more or less support where you need it and even use the tie to give some cinching at the waist for a more sculpted look.  With this option the sky is really the limit and you can let your imagination run wild on ways the convertible jumpsuit can showcase your style while highlighting your best assets regardless of the event.