Inspirational Woman: September 2018, Heather

Every month on the 18th, I celebrate women.

This month I sat down with Heather, one of my oldest and dearest friends for over 27 years.

She is a cancer survivor and a survivor of domestic violence. Toward the end of our interview, she asked if she could share her experience of surviving domestic violence.

Her courage to share this with all of us is incredibly brave and I hope you take a few minutes to read the entire interview.

This is the first time Heather is speaking publicly about all that she went through.

When I asked her to be our Inspirational Woman, she didn’t think she was an inspiration.

When you’re done reading, I believe you will all agree with me, she is!

Meet Heather

18th Style: Where are you originally from and where do you live now?

Heather: I am a New Yorker through and through. My family and I lived in Queens until the summer I turned 10 when we moved to New Rochelle. I say I’m from New Rochelle, but the Queens never left me. Recently I moved to New Jersey from Long Island. It is quite a change, but very positive since I wanted to be closer to my family.

18th Style: Tell us a bit about your background.

Where do I start? I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 1983 (right before we moved from Queens to New Rochelle). I was an awkward kid (and I think I am an awkward adult).

I had my first major surgery in 1993, moved to LA right after college graduation. Changed careers and came back east two and a half years later.

I was a successful event planner and planned, or was involved in planning every kind of event. From society weddings at Tavern on the Green to outdoor concerts and Thanksgiving parades.

I left event planning to slow down a little, I was living to work, not working to live.

I started temping as an administrative assistant until I figured out what I wanted to do next, but that turned into a full time job. Four years later, I resigned to get married.

A few months later I was diagnosed with cancer and now, four years later, I’m going through a divorce.

I loved, and still love the man I married, but his addiction to cocaine and alcohol stole him from me.  Although his physical being is still here, the man who swept me off my feet, left long ago.

18th Style: You attended Emerson College and had the opportunity to study abroad in the Netherlands. What did you love most? What do you love most about Europe?

Heather: It was such an amazing experience and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity. I would encourage anyone, should they have the opportunity (or their children), take it.

Money is always a concern with an adventure, but I offset my cost by being an RA (resident assistant), which covered some of my expenses and was not much more than a semester in Boston.

But that is not what you were asking. 🙂

You want to know what I loved most. I loved everything. I loved the setting, I loved the bonds I made, I loved meeting people from all over the world and being immersed in different cultures, I loved the sightseeing, going to Amsterdam, Paris, Antwerp, Brussels, Brugge, Dachau, Vienna, Florence, Rome… I can’t narrow it down. It was just the overall experience that was amazing.

My one major takeaway was to appreciate what is around us.

As Americans, or at least New Yorkers, we tend to fly through life without really seeing life. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”

So, when you’re out walking, enjoy peoples yards, watch the wildlife, look past the obvious and see the design, wonder what the dog smells in the wind, the way the leaves blow.

Just stop and enjoy the moment, that moment could change your life.

18th Style: What are your favorite hobbies or pastimes?

Heather: My favorite hobbies or pastimes? Does spoiling and playing with my dogs count? After my pups, I love to cook and entertain.

One of my favorite things to do, going to the farmers market, buying a bounty of goods and trying to figure out what to make.

I love creating things from cooking, to painting, to crafting. I also love my NY Giants. If you want me or my brother-in-law to show up for family gatherings, they all know to not plan anything on Sundays during football season (unless there is a TV).

NY Rangers are a close second and NY Yankees are right behind. And books! I don’t want to leave my books out. I am an avid reader and can spend hours in the library.

18th Style: You are incredibly witty and have such a great sense of humor, where did this come from? 

Heather: As I mentioned, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s in 1983. I was still only 9.

A few months after my diagnosis, I was sent to sleep away camp for the first time, and when I came home, my family had moved from Queens to New Rochelle (I did know we were moving).

So I was 10, going into 5th grade at a new school with kids who had known each other since at least 1st grade, if not kindergarten, all while dealing with an illness that not a lot of people, including doctors, knew a lot about. I think my wittiness and sense of humor was borne out of necessity. Sometimes you have to laugh because the alternative is to cry.

We’re going to shift gears now.

18th Style: You’re a cancer survivor, if you’re comfortable talking about this, when were you diagnosed and what is your diagnosis today? 

Heather: Two weeks after I got married, on March 10, 2014, I received my diagnosis. I had a very rare form of cancer called Perianal Mucinous Adenocarcinoma.
It is so rare that Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City treats, at most, two a year.

As of this writing, I am still cancer free.

18th Style: Where are you in your cancer journey and how are you doing today?

Heather: Since I am on a fairly powerful drug for my Crohn’s, I still see my oncologist every few months for screenings.  So far so good, but I still struggle daily, both physically and mentally.

My treatment consisted of chemo followed by a surgery to give me a permanent ileostomy pouch  (an ostomy is an opening created in the skin to which a pouch is affixed to catch refuse), followed by radiation, then a month in the hospital and an emergency surgery to fix my ostomy, then, in December of 2014, I was finally strong enough to have the tumor removed. Because of its location, I had a team of surgeons play Tetris with my insides.

My body will never be the same and it has taken some time for my brain to understand that my body just can not do things which used to come so easily.
Couple that with dealing with the realization that I have a bag attached to me 24/7, I have some pretty down days, but I work really hard to not stay there.

Life goes on and I have to just keep putting one foot in front of the other because I need to believe that “it” will get better.

18th Style: Any words of wisdom to other cancer survivors out there?

Heather: Trust the process. It will get better. As bad as it is today, tomorrow might be worse, but the day after could be better. Don’t bury your head. I won’t go away on it’s own. Get on it as soon as possible and fight because you have a life to live!

18th Style: Who or what inspires you?

Heather: My dogs inspire me. I know it sounds weird, but have you ever just watched a dog? Mine are funny, inquisitive, curious, intuitive, happy and loving.

They enjoy moments. They love playing, going for rides, meeting new friends (human and four legged), swimming, smelling the wind.
I love watching them enjoy their world. It constantly reminds me to enjoy my world, both the big events and the small moments.

When they come to me to play, I stop what I am doing and play. With their attention span, it will take no more than 5 minutes from me, but makes their day.
There is nothing so important that I can’t walk away for a few minutes. It is the least I can do for them considering everything they do for me.

18th Style: What’s your favorite quote or saying?

I have many favorite quotes. One of them is, “This too shall pass. It may pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass.”

18th Style: Lastly, what’s your favorite movie?

Heather: My favorite movie is an old movie that very few people have ever heard of. It is called, Who’s Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?
The film pairs my love for mystery with food. What could be better? 

18th Style: Lastly, is there anything you would like to share or talk about that I didn’t ask?

Heather: I had mentioned earlier I love the man I married but that he turned to cocaine and alcohol. It was hard.
I was trying to take care of myself and continue my recovery while battling him and his demons. He was destructive, not just to himself, but his behavior effected me, the dogs, his kids, his father, his business.

He was in and out of jail and rehab so many times I lost count. He was angry and took his anger out on me. He did hit me. Once.

I had the wear with all to grab ice, call 911 and went outside to wait. He was arrested that night. I was embarrassed for a long time, but I had an epiphany and realized I did not do anything to warrant anything that he did to me.

I was a loyal, devoted wife through all of his indiscretions, drinking, coking, disappearing acts, etc.

I made sure his daughter’s rent and tuition was paid, I made sure the credit cards and taxes were paid.

I didn’t cause it, I can’t control and I can’t cure it. That has to come from him and it was not something he wanted. He would yell at me, degrade me, call me names, but I would remind myself that he is projecting his shortcomings on me.

I am strong, I am a good person and I try to do the right thing. Heck, I had already battled cancer!

I set boundaries. I would not keep alcohol in the house, I would not get alcohol for him, I stopped helping him.

My final straw happened the day after he came home from a rehab to avoid jail. He drank and was calling and texting incessantly while I was in NYC at Memorial Sloan Kettering with my surgeon to find out if I needed another surgery.

He was supposed to start outpatient treatment. Clearly he did not. When I got home, I did not go in the house. I knew that would result in something unspeakable happening to me.

Instead I got in the car, pulled out of the driveway and as soon as I turned the corner, I called him and told him we were done and to get the &%$! out, I then called a divorce attorney I had previously met with and told them to file the paperwork and have him served.

I am still not officially divorced, but I am no longer living with his chaos on a daily basis.

If anyone is in an abusive relationship, whether it has to do with drugs, alcohol, or anything else, it is not your fault.

All you can do is take care of yourself, the best way you see fit. I know it is painful and emotional.

The man who was supposed to be my prince became a bigger monster than cancer and the hardest thing I have had to do in the last couple of years is mourn a man who is still living.

Do not be embarrassed about your situation and do not be embarrassed to ask for help. You are worth it.


If you or someone you know, needs help, please contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Inspirational Woman: August 2018, Barbara

Every month on the 18th, I celebrate the strong, intelligent and kind women in my life.

This month, meet Barbara, entrepreneur (founder of BLF Entertainment).

We met and became friends during college. There are many things I love and admire about Barbara: her free spirit, kind heart, drive and determination are just a few.

She is a sweetheart and I hope you enjoy reading about her.

Barbara

18th Style: Where are you originally from and where do you live now?

Barbara: I am originally from Montreal, CANADA and proud. I currently live In NYC, although I consider myself part anglophone and part Southern (haha!).

18th Style: Tell us about your background.

Barbara:  I was raised in a large Jewish family, very social, very loud, loving and happening! My house was the center of where all the action took place!

18th Style: What is BLF Entertainment?

Barbara: BLF Entertainment is a talent management company that represents actors and actresses for TV, film and, Theater (Broadway) both on and off Broadway.

I also am involved in producing several film and TV projects. The most exciting project coming up is my novel entitled “Failing Upward.” It has the same DNA as Bridget Jones, perhaps, more of a “Modern” Bridget Jones!

FAILING UPWARD also tears a page from Lena Dunham’s playbook with a character navigating her twenties “one mistake a time,” not unlike Hannah from the hit television show Girls. Andy Sachs, the heroine of Revenge Wears Prada: all these heroines on and an epic journey of self-discovery.

Very timely and female driven.

18th Style: As an entrepreneur what advice do you have for those balancing their day job and life?

Barbara: My answer is simple- You need to TURN off your phone!

You need to have balance and set boundaries and put stock into whom you are sitting across from, a dream friend once said to me, make sure- you keep your apartment separate.

Make sure you have rooms where you DO NOT work, they are your “play ” rooms, or social rooms so to speak, otherwise it is 24/7.

Make sure you LIVE.

I travel, I keep up with my friends, I cycle, I make sure I am the best Auntie possible, I turn my phone off when I am having a meal with others- as much as possible.

18th Style: What do you love most about your job?

Barbara: I love when I DEFY gravity! I love turning NO into YES, I love creating, being out of the box.

18th Style: Who or what inspires you?

My late grandfather was my biggest inspiration as was was probably the greatest influence on my life to date. He was a rags to riches story and all the while, helped many people along the way. I still hear endless stories from people all over the world on how he helped them, it is incredible.

My father is another HUGE inspiration to me. He is one of the most brilliant yet humble people I have ever known. People everywhere seek his advice. He is my rock.

With regard to the business, I feel privileged to have relationships where I go to different people for different things, I think Ken Weinrib is a big inspiration and mentor for me.

18th Style: What is your favorite place to travel and why?

Barbara: I love EUROPE, because they work to live. I can’t say that I have one favorite place. I definitely would say London has a piece of my heart, although this past trip, it was all work, little play.

Bordeaux is pretty chic too. I also LOVE Charleston, I am a total foodie so no where is more charming and FUN!

18th Style: What is your favorite Broadway show and why?

Barbara: My all time favorite Broadway show is BLOOD BROTHERS by Willy Russell the original one, I saw it in London on the West End.

18th Style: Name one thing you want to do in life that you have not done yet.

Barbara: I want to Run the Boston Marathon …(unsure I ever can with my permanent knee condition, but hey anything is possible…)

18th Style: I always love ending an interview with this question. What is your favorite quote?

“In the end only three things matter: how much loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”

Inspirational Woman: July 2018, Charlotte

Every month on the 18th, I celebrate the strong, intelligent and kind women in my life.

This month, meet Charlotte, entrepreneur (founder of @charlotteshouse), wife, mom of five children (ages eight to one), and friend of mine.

We met 7 1/2 years ago, when our daughters, now BFF’s, started pre-school. I have watched her family and business grow over the years and in awe of all she has accomplished. She works her butt off, pays it forward and truly inspires me everyday!

Charlotte

18th Style: Where are you from?

Charlotte: Born in Charlottesville, VA. Grew up right outside Washington DC in Alexandria, VA and currently live in Southport, CT.

18th Style: You lived in New York City, what did you love most and what do you miss most?

Charlotte: I LOVED living in the city and still miss it desperately. I loved the fundamental diversity of experiences that are so omnipresent in the city.

I loved getting on a subway with people from all backgrounds, cultures and life experiences. I loved that camaraderie of the city despite the thousands of people crashing into each other on a daily basis. I loved the it is completely unapologetic, un-pristine and just VIBRANT.

I also just loved being able to find anything at anytime anywhere.

18th Style: Tell us about your background.

Charlotte: Growing up, I loved sports and the arts and pursued both throughout high school and college. I suspect they gave me very different things, but a sense of creativity, teamwork and self-motivation was probably the overarching traits of these two disciplines.

After college, I fell into elementary school teaching and loved it. I taught 1st grade for 4 years and then decided to move to NYC and try my hand at the corporate world on the off hand chance I might still love my job AND make a more impressive salary.

Didn’t take me long to realize corporate life was not for me, so I went back to school to get a psychology degree in order to work as a school counselor.

I spent 5 years as a guidance counselor at PS165 in NYC and then we made the difficult decision to leave NYC to live full time in Connecticut, where my husband grew up.

Our third child was a newborn, so the city was growing increasingly difficult to navigate, but I was still the only member of the family not convinced that suburban living was my jam. 🙂 When we moved to CT, I started a DIY blog on a complete whim and with ZERO understanding of what that entailed.

I’ve had two more children since we moved, have parlayed my blog into TV appearances and continue to build upon my brand, At Charlotte’s House.

18th Style: What’s At Charlotte’s House and where do you see it going in the future?

Charlotte: My website has become a place for me to share creative colorful ideas and to champion the idea that ANYONE can have a house that reflects their personality and style.

It doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Home should be a place you love regardless of budget or experience.

18th Style: You’re raising five beautiful children. How do you balance motherhood, work and life?

Charlotte: Lots of HELP!

We have some to help with the logistics of kids every morning. I would never be able to get it all done so she’s essential for me getting any work done.

My husband is incredibly supportive and doesn’t consider his contribution to raising the kids any different than mine. I.e. if he has to make dinner for the kids every night, so be it! I also admit to being fairly low on the micro-management scale.

I let my kids entertain themselves and they’re pretty independent as a result. As I sit here typing, one child is drawing next to me, the other is doing puzzles in the other room, two are making ‘poor’ decisions, and one is helping get dinner ready.

18th Style: How do you spend your free time (and do you have any)? 😉

Charlotte: Very little free time.

Honestly I LOVE what I do so if I had a night to spend alone in a hotel, I’d bring my laptop and my computer and
would edit photographs with the Housewives playing in the background and a glass of Prosecco next to me.

18th Style: Who or what inspires you?

Charlotte:  My fellow bloggers and designers are incredible. They are the most multi-talented group of people I know and their ability to create and run a business and manage social media is incredible.

18th Style: How would you describe your style? What are your favorite brands?

Charlotte:  My style is colorful and eclectic.

I love mixing and matching and bringing a sense of the unexpected into my design.

I’m not sure I could pick a favorite brand because I’m always thrifting and pulling pieces from all over… I love Serena and Lily although I don’t have much of their stuff in my home. I love Anthropologie.

18th Style: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

Charlotte: I’d love to time travel! Having a few more hours in the day would be REALLY useful. That or flying.

18th Style: What’s your favorite quote or saying?

Charlotte: I love “No one can make you feel inferior without your own consent.”

18th Style: Lastly, I love fun facts. Tell us something people wouldn’t know about you? Can be anything.

Charlotte:  I used to sell tie-dye t-shirts on the corner when I was a kid. Also… I’ve run 8 marathons and played division 1 lacrosse.


You can follow Charlotte, At Charlotte House on Instagram, Facebook and You Tube

Inspirational Woman: June 2018, Johanna

Every month on the 18th, I celebrate the strong, intelligent and kind women in my life.

This month, meet Johanna, a rock-star mom with a very cool background. Her love for travel, food and culture will make you want to plan your next trip today!

Johanna

18th Style: Where are you from?

Johanna: OK so a little bit everywhere! I grew up in Belgium, went to International School in Waterloo (yes THAT Waterloo), moved to the US (shout out to NJ!) at about the age of 13. The next big move from NJ was to Fairfield, CT (Fairfield University) for college, but essentially I was always trying to get myself to NYC or Italy.

After graduation I was lucky enough to get an internship in Brussels for a hotel company. That internship lasted 4 months because it ended up morphing into a job, 4 years later, I ended up moving back to CT with my then fiancé (now husband).

We stayed in Fairfield County for the next 12 years until about 2 years ago we moved to Orange County, California. What a change, wow – all of it. Food, people, temperature, landscape, pace of life.

18th Style: You’ve been at home with your kids for the past seven years. How did you find the transition? What can you share with other moms about the decision to stay at home?

Johanna: I’ve been home about 7 years now. It was a tough decision but one that I literally thought about every day twice a day after having my twins. I planned

for it mentally but after a year you finally get into your stride and then the planning has to lead to new planning.

I felt like planning physically and financially is most peoples focus, but it’s the new “mental space” that takes the most getting used to. By mental space, I mean going with the ebbs and flows of the day, the hurry up and wait, the ‘wears it all hat’, the fix it all, and manage it all.

It really was taking on the emotional lives of your children  24/7 without being able to go hang at Starbucks during lunch if the office was just getting too much. Like anything you gain and you loose, but it all comes back to you when the time is right.

 

18th Style: How do you spend your kid-free time?

Johanna: The way I relax is by doing things and traveling: mostly classes (creative, sewing, cooking) and art lectures and tours. When I was single and kid free, I followed museum shows across Europe.

As a family, we still try to explore by doing things and of course eating our way through the cultural highlights, local and far. Why not?

18th Style: Do you have a favorite blogger?

Johanna: I have so many different interest this one is hard –  but I can narrow it down to two:

Jamie Beck of @annstreetstudio is the profile I constantly search for and look for updates on. If you can’t get to Provence for the next year and want to see what the local market highlights are, this account will take you there. For me, she embodies the ‘authentic’ Instagram: great photography, a glimpse into her life, honest commentary on the ups and down on the life of a creative. And if she photoshops her photography, chances are she is showing you EXACTLY how she does it in Stories.

A creative I have followed before Instagram on her blog (http://www.parkandcube.com)  is Shini Park of @parkncube

She is not an ‘over poster’ on Instagram but that’s what I like. And she’s good at putting out some hard to ask questions about what brands are really looking for when they hire ‘influencers.’

She stays true to her passion of great, unique graphic design, and it doesn’t hurt that she works with some great brands like Bentley and Breitling. She still publishes on her blog, which I like, since sometimes we need an editorial with great writing to get the vibe across.

18th Style: Who inspires you?

Johanna: This one is hard – I have no heroes, I talk about this with my kids all the time. Inspiration to me varies. Sometimes it comes from a place and sometimes from an event. I would say travel is most transformative for me.

18th Style: Who inspires your style and what’s your favorite store or brand? 

Johanna: I am still trying to get the hang of 75 degrees all year around here. I have a hard time layering in cottons. I am used to layering in wools! If I had to choose three brands I couldn’t live without (in order of importance) they would be Birkenstock, J. Crew and Gucci.

I mean, I could live without Gucci, but it’s the one reminder that I can’t be in Birkenstocks’ 24/7. As for inspiration, I am still addicted to magazines and W is one I have been getting for years. I love the fantasy of the editorial shoots.

18th Style: How would you describe your style?

Johanna: I would say still trying to work it out? Yikes. I do like unique pieces (sunglasses, etc). It took me two years to finally be in a city that had a boutique that sold the sunglasses I was dying to try on because sometimes you want the boutique experience (@valleyeyewear).

My SIL (who is Swedish and very style savy) is my go-to for a lot of “where can I find…” advice.

18th Style: As we all know, life is a journey and presents many challenges . What advice would you give your 20 year old self?

Johanna: The advice I would give without hesitation: Keep traveling and keep going.

18th Style: Favorite place you traveled to and why? Feel free to share more than one. 

No matter how many times I try and introduce a new destination, Italy always loops back around. We’ve been a few times and every time we have a great trip. We walk a ton, eat a ton, see friends and we have always been lucky with great tour guides – this really is my main focus when booking a trip.

I try and find private tours and obscure museums, manage our time there so the kids don’t loose it, and segway right into a snack or treat. To me discovery is all about time management: having the time to discover and learn BUT also making sure you know when to leave before the disco ball drops.

We have also been lucky enough to spend time in Stockholm since my husband is Swedish. It’s a great way to get immersed in a culture and traditions, and of course trends. Every time we go back there’s something new to discover. Its an underrated city with GREAT coffee and food. The Swedes know design: style, packaging, fashion, music, you name it.

Drottningholm Palace

HOWEVER – let it be known that I will not be giving up on going back to Cairo and Luxor. The kids keep asking and it’s really one of those surreal places that I have always wanted to go back to.

18th Style: Do you have a favorite quote or saying? If yes, would you mind sharing?

“Let no one steal your peace.”

Inspirational Woman: May 2018, Patti

Every month on the 18th, I celebrate the strong, intelligent and kind women in my life.

This month, meet Patti, a dear family friend and woman whom I truly admire.

Patti and I met six years ago through family friends and hit it off immediately. She has a kind heart, a love for life, her friends and above all her family.

Patti

18th Style: Where are you from?

Patti: I was born in Greensboro, North Carolina and moved to Fairfield as a child. However, I remained quite southern in my upbringing from manners to meals. We were taught to stand when an adult entered a room, say, “Yes Sir, No Mam.” We ate everything on our plates without comment or complaint, even when we had no idea what it might be.

In short, there were certain standards we did not question or cross!

18th Style: You are retired now, but spent your career as teacher. How long did you teach for and what did you enjoy most? 

Patti: I began my teaching career in 1968 in a rural Virginia school “teaching” second grade. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I did not want to leave Virginia after my college graduation because my then boyfriend was in law school there. I had to get a job so he  set up the interview, and I was hired on the spot. I spent all my time trying to figure out how to teach, fell in love with teaching and out of love with the boyfriend- no time for romance!

Sine then, I have taught high school English, Middle School English, but along the way fell in love with fourth graders. Once in fourth grade, I stayed in fourth grade for about 35 years out of a 42 year teaching career. I am not sure what it was that I most enjoyed. Falling in love with teaching was like finding the man you want to marry. I knew I belonged there, I never had one day that I did not want to go work, and my days were filled with joy and laughter, and learning. Actually, it was even better than finding the person you want to marry! s.

18th Style: In your opinion, what you think the biggest challenge(s) teachers face today?

Patti: The biggest challenge teachers face today is technology, coupled with cultural change; they are actually one in the same. Having everything instantaneously available deprives one of the process of investigation and research and the opportunity to reflect. That sounds contradictory because of course students are researching online.
However, the process of going to the library, looking through texts, reading through those texts and then deciding on what to use…that process slows us down to THINK, and then to reflect upon that thought.  I saw a distinct shift in the quality of written creative and expository themes with the advent of technology. There is much less time to reflect on a news article, a poem or even making a decision.

18th Style: Do you have any memories (a specific student or funny teaching moment)  that stand out the most? 

Patti: Oh Goodness! I have more funny memories than God has little green apples! Children are so unabashed and they say what they say.
Where to begin…”Last night I ate a piece of cake as big as my head…My brother, Tucker, can fit his whole self into a pillow case, My report is about a disease called osteoporosis which makes you bend in half, and after reading a story about fact and fantasy here is the fact..it is easy for a man to turn himself into a an eagle, and here is the fantasy… but the wingspan of an eagle is too large to fit through the smoke hole of a tepee.”
18th Style: How do you spend your free time?
Patti: Hmmm. What is free time? I believe all time is free, it depends on how we choose to use it. If we have an extra five minutes in the morning, we can choose to: have a little more coffee, scramble an egg, text a grandchild who has been having a tough time in school, or just think about how grateful that we are that we woke up pretty healthy. I sort of let my free time choose me rather than I choose it.
18th Style: Who inspires you?
Patti:  I have been, and continue to be, inspired by many people. However, my husband is probably one of my greatest inspirations. He is smart, patient, reflective, but most of all he is humble and forgiving at all times. These are qualities that are rare in our culture today.

18th Style: Who inspires your style and what’s your favorite store or brand? 

Patti: My style might be found in The Preppy Handbook written sometime in the early 1960’s. While I do go out and buy a small number of in style fashions such as leggings, I tend to stick to the little black dress and pumps. I never got the the hang of high heel shoes or fishnet stockings

My shoe game has evolved in my 40s – to funky but comfortable and quality made brands.  LESS is MORE!  I’m also a blossoming sneaker-head. 🙂

18th Style: How would you describe your style?

Patti: I  would describe my style as traditionally old fashioned- sort of classic, conservative, and very safe. I am not a fashionista.

 

18th Style: As we all know, life is a journey and presents many challenges . What advice would you give your 20 year old self?

Patti: I would tell my 20 year old self to slow down, and to listen, listen, listen to the wisdom of those who have age and experience.

 

18th Style: Do you have a favorite quote or saying? If yes, would you mind sharing?

Patti: Yes…There are thousands of wise quotes, however, this anonymous one is my favorite:

“Always remember this…a positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth your while!”

 


 

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