“It’s not personal, it’s business” is a memorable quote from the classic Meg Ryan film “You’ve Got Mail”. A film that captures the very real problem of when, and how, to separate your personal feelings from your business decisions. How do you stay true to your relationships but still be practical and ambitious in your career? If you want to succeed in your chosen field, you can’t always allow emotions to get in your way. It’s a business, with goals, and everything else falls into two categories. Things that help you achieve those goals and things that don’t. Separating your career and your personal life can be extremely sticky, and unfortunately there will be times when you have to preference one of the other. Which you choose in each instance is entirely up to you, but you can’t, and shouldn’t, feel guilty in those times. Here’s a list containing some of the most common situations where personal life and career intersect, and how to handle them.
The biggest event we’ve ever handled is only days away and all my time is spent triple checking last minute details. So in my current state of mind I choose this fitted, knee length, patterned blue dress with tulip capped sleeves. The inverted pleats above and below the waist, and the tie in the back, create an intricate origami that flatters any figure in a perfectly planned way. And it’s intricate busy-ness looks the way my hectic schedule feels. I’ve also been thinking hard about presentation and representation. Logos, color palettes, and any product you associate with become part of your public image. So I found myself drawn to this beautiful blue, almost stately, print that reminds me of the patterns on traditional club ties. Then I bring out the dashes of orange, and the complicated pattern, with a structured, coral, snakeskin handbag and intricate white, retro heels. I keep reminding myself that If I just focus, and prioritize, then everything will get done in time.
Regardless of how much we plan and organize, sometimes life throws things our way that we have no control over. And when those things are in direct opposition to the goals we are trying to accomplish, the ability to negotiate a compromise is a valuable skill. Here are a few thoughts on finding common ground that can be applied to both your professional and personal life.
Annie Weston is a saint. Even when pregnant she is the most understanding of friends and the most forgiving person I’ve ever known. No matter how much disappointment she is forced to put up with. And even when pregnant she has an elegance and effortless beauty that is unparalleled. Since the baby shower we threw for her was early enough she could still avoid the maternity clothes and opt for this loose and flowing, black and floral, silky shift dress. The short, leg showcasing skirt is so distracting you’d never notice she was pregnant. Plus the sharp contrast between colorful flowers and plain black in the center creates the impression of a waistline where there is none. A day-to-night look that is complimented by her neutral heels, simple black wallet clutch, and this decorative yet streamlined necklace with a tightly packed row of mint colored stones. No matter what Annie has a grace and poise that I truly envy and admire, and will spend my whole life trying to achieve. No matter how often I fail to live up to it.
So if Jane wasn’t busy enough lately she spent most of the party dealing with an over abundance of socializing and questions about her personal life. But she still took the time to make an effort and dress for the occasion. Personally, I think she did a wonderful job. This lovely, sleeveless, 1950’s style white dress is conservative enough for a private person but still very figure flattering with it’s high neckline, cinched waist and full skirt. The sheer overlay gives it a sophistication that only comes from subtle, tailored details and the large, melon colored blooms have an air of innocence perfect for a baby shower. Paired with simple, thin strapped, taupe summer sandals and a matching, perforated, taupe shoulder bag, Jane fit right in. Even if it wasn’t really her usual kind of party.
The other day was my best friend Annie’s baby shower. And though I was really looking forward to it I admit I got a wee bit distracted with work. But I tried my best to make an effort, truly I did, even down to what I wore for the event. I thought back to my own childhood and all the things I use to love growing up. My first find was this neon peach, knee length, full skirt made up of cascading, pleated folds. Perfect for twirling as little girls do, and who didn’t love neon colors in elementary school? Next a white, short sleeved top with a wide cropped hemline and slightly open, tulip back. It’s patterned with clusters of sparkling sequins and silver beads, the effect almost magical, the way everything is magical when you’re young. Finally a grownup, summery, modern take on the classic Mary Jane’s with these white cutout heels. I adore the black piping and buckled straps across the front. Makes me want to try tap dancing, as I often did, across the kitchen floor. Overall, the perfect outfit for the perfect party. I only wish I had been able to enjoy the whole afternoon.
As I was researching baby shower traditions, I realized that games are often a big part of the event. The surprise of the new baby lends itself to all sorts of activities that capitalize on the fact that we don’t know what this adorable little creature is going to look like or be like…or even exactly when he or she will arrive! Some people know exactly what to do when a roll of toilet paper is pulled out at a baby shower, but for those of us who are new to friends having children and the events that celebrate them, here’s a tip sheet on some of the games you may encounter.
I’m thrilled to announce that Emma Approved is planning the official opening for Boxx – the hottest celebrity-owned restaurant opening this summer. This world-class farm-to-table establishment is non-GMO, organic, all-natural, sustainable and seasonal, and a portion of their revenue goes to environmental charities.
Our star-studded event will be taking place on July 23 at Boxx’s premiere location in the Hills, complete with decadent gourmet food and a stunning view of the city. Everyone from the Emma Approved offices will be attending, along with my friend Frank Churchill (for real this time) and some other notable guests. Not to give anything away, but I can guarantee that this will be a night to remember.