all because of gray

Monarch dreams do come true for us commoners. I have just become an AMBASSADOR. And, no, it’s not from binge watching “The Crown.” Twice.

But it’s true – I am working alongside India Hicks. India is a designer with royal roots. If you’re a royal fanatic, you may remember her as one of Princess Diana’s bridesmaids in that fab ‘80s dress. She’s also the daughter of David Hicks, so if you’re design-obsessed like me, you can already envision her style sense.

India is authentic, hilarious, and smart. She has made her home out of the limelight, on a tiny island in the Bahamas, and with her significant other, raised 5 children without the fanfare of the life she grew up in while keeping her feet firmly rooted in the sand.

From here she has built a company that encourages women to stand on their own two feet and to build a business in their own time, on their own terms. She is entirely earnest and sincere in her mission to create a tribe of entrepreneurial women.

Now that I have assisted Larkin with getting The Ritz MV up and going these past two years, I have really been feeling like I needed something for me. The bar business is his thing, and it has been an *adventure working alongside him. (*see previous posts if you’re interested in my definition of “adventure”)

I knew that the right thing would come along for me, at the right time…my own adventure. 2017 was going to be different. For one, there wasn’t anything big on the books for me; like a wedding to plan, a home remodel or a big move across the country. I was committed to searching out what I needed to do for ME, in my 50th year.

For starters and much to the chagrin of a few Texas friends, I decided to let my hair go gray, after my daughter Jordan’s wedding in October. I just felt that for me, coloring this mane every two weeks was a ridiculous waste of time, energy, money, etc. So, I hit up Pinterest, watched DIY videos, pinned a few hundred pics and found one woman in particular that spoke to me. Her blog and Instagram feed are very inspiring. https://www.instagram.com/annikavonholdt/

I kept sharing the photos with Larkin, who was very supportive of my decision, by the way, although I think he secretly worried that my following and liking of all things Annika, I might be a borderline stalker. However, he did notice that she posted a lot of pictures from a beautiful beach on Harbour Island. I noticed that we shared a common follow: @IndiaHicksStyle.

That same week, as I was semi-stalking my gray-haired spirit animal, Netflix released “The Crown.” Larkin was working in Houston, so I had the luxury of binge watching the series, in front of a cozy fire here on the Vineyard. Now, when I watch a movie or TV series, I have the IMDb page pulled up on my phone and Wikipedia at the ready. I am one informed viewer. While watching episode 2, I looked up the name “Mountbatten” and the first thing that came up? India Hicks. And where does she live? Harbour Island.  And what did Larkin give me for Christmas? A trip to Harbour Island.

I love when the universe speaks to you, personally. Even better when she shouts.

So here I go, Ambassador for India Hicks Style, reporting for duty!

I would love to share the collection of lifestyle products with anyone who would like to see them. They are exceptionally crafted but very affordable. India understands that not everyone’s grandfather was the Viceroy to India, or is Prince Charles’ goddaughter, yet they still want and deserve beautiful, well-designed things. (Personally, I would love a crown.)

My blog and social media accounts will have the link to our collection, and you can shop from the comfort of your home, at any time. For my friends on Martha’s Vineyard, I do hope you will call, email, message me and come take a look because the products have FAR exceeded my expectations. I can happily bring the collection to you, and we can make a party of it, at your home—I’ll even bring wine! Pop-shops, trunk shows; let’s make it happen.

I will be having a launch party at the end of the month, celebrating this partnership of island style with India, christened with a little bubbly toast to this new adventure.

In the meantime, please take a look at my India Hicks website: https://www.indiahicks.com/rep/JacquelineStallings to check out this gorgeous collection.

Gray hair, new adventure—-this is on!

Ps: Thank you for the inspiration, Annika.

10 life lessons from Katharine Hepburn

(edited from a previous post, August 2012)

hepburn2

The Tao of Hepburn~ 10 Life Lessons from Katharine Hepburn 

“If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.” Finding your passion and making it your life’s work is a choice, your choice.

“Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don’t do that by sitting around.” Do not stand on the sidelines and wait for someone to put you in the game. You are the quarterback of your life.

“I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.” Every day, every minute, each mundane moment is a chance to create. You can conjure up boredom and complacency or you can make magic. It is all on you.

“Being a housewife and a mother is the biggest job in the world, but if it doesn’t interest you, don’t do it – I would have made a terrible mother.” If you choose the mission, then give it your all without demanding anything in return. Grow respect by mothering from a place of love, not expectation. Nurture, guide and teach by example, without criticism. If you choose to forgo motherhood, see the following….

“Never complain. Never explain.” Do not ever give someone the power to make you feel guilty for your choices. You are on your path, living your life. Stand tall by your convictions and let your actions define your character.

“We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers – but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change you’re the one who has got to change.” Go ahead and pay the therapist your hard-earned money, get your parental angst off your chest. Now, get over it. Parents do the best they can with what they have. It is called the past for a reason. It has passed. Kick it into high gear and move forward. It didn’t kill you, it made you stronger.

“Without discipline, there’s no life at all.” Either you do it or you don’t. If you cannot apply discipline to your studies, your workout, your health, your screenplay, your marriage, your child rearing, your job, your finances, your blog, your novel, then, you will never achieve the success that will create happiness and security which, in turn, will cause you to feel doubt, fear and depression and, yes, that is “no life at all.”

“If you want to change attitudes, start with a change in behavior.” Your attitude is your superpower. You choose good or evil. Positive behavior creates a magical life, negative behavior fills your days with chaos and drama. Again, it is your choice.

“If you need a helping hand, you can find one at the end of your arm.” Roll up your sleeves and get it done. Especially if you want it done right. Nothing worth anything is easy, remember…

“Life is hard, after all, it kills you.” As long as you draw breath, draw breadth. Leave this earth knowing you worked hard, you played hard, you loved hard and you lived hard. This is your one life. Don’t hold back.

Be like Katharine.

 

look for the magic

via Sugarboo Designs
via Sugarboo Designs

It has been awhile. But, we have that kind of relationship, no? Like old friends that go awhile without seeing each other, then just pick up right where we left off. I thought so.

I’m perfectly comfortable with checking in, every now and then.

So,

as Fall finally flirts with us in the South, cold now…hot this weekend, I am reminded once again of change. Just like the seasons, time and those God-forsaken-Yes-I-know-they-save-lives smoke detector batteries, we all must change. And, be prepared to change. Especially before that obnoxious beeping sound starts. In the middle of the night. Every freaking time.

It has been a big year for our family. Transition and change has come in a variety of emotional packages, big and small, heart wrenching and heart soaring. Whether tears of joy or fear or gratitude, this I know is true: there has been magic. An exhilarating force of unexplained energy; I had absolutely no control. Experiences and outcomes that I couldn’t even imagine.

That’s the best thing about uncontrollable change. The house sets down with a sudden thump, you open the creaky black and white door, then, boom. A Technicolor wonderland. Not at all what you expected, but, wow! Pretty damn cool.

Today, there is uncertainty, chaos and indecision. Honestly, I’m still waiting for the house to land with a sudden thump. But, seasoned from experience, I am confident. There will be magic. Adventure magic.

I am not afraid. I am freaking Dorothy Gale excited.

Don’t be afraid. Push back the door. Go. Just go.

Look for the magic.

 

Friday Funny

So, My Girl is off in Los Angeles. With her Boston University Film/TV Degree in tow, she landed a job in record time and she is pursuing her dream. Making movies.

Making me laugh is one thing that Jordan does best. Always. She is the funniest person I know. A dry, sharp wit ever since she could speak.

There hasn’t been a trauma or drama where she couldn’t make her mama laugh.

Since it’s Friday and I’m missing her so badly, I am sharing her recent Mother’s Day card.

Man, I love that girl.
Man, I love that girl.

 What can I say? She makes me laugh.

Happy Friday, Jordan. And, Cheers! It’s almost 5:00. Well, in Texas anyway.

photo Jennifer Granger Photography
photo Jennifer Granger Photography

 

oh, happy day

living lola mantra
living lola mantra via My Chickas

While I don’t remember posing for this picture, maybe it was that awesome champagne in my hand, I do love the sentiment.

Living Lola Life Lesson:

Always keep a good bottle of champagne in the fridge. Today just may be the day that calls for the bubbly. You never know what is coming around the corner.

Be prepared to celebrate.

via TCM

 

Classic Champagne Cocktail 

1 dash of angostura bitters

1 sugar cube

Cold, dry champagne

Twist of lemon peel

 Add the dash of bitters to the sugar cube in the bottom of a chilled champagne glass and slowly pour in the champagne. Garnish with the lemon peel.

Cheers,

lola

 

friday, a beginning

Mary Shelley via behappy.me
Mary Shelley via behappy.me

 

On this very rainy Spring day, I find myself offering “new beginning” messages and advice to some of the closest people in my life. And, God, by no means do I have the answers. I just happen to have an over-abundance of the one thing that always seems to be the most annoying thing to the people closest in my life: a positive, self-disciplined, roll up your sleeves and show some muscle, “We can do this” spirit.

Several friends and family going through divorce. Some starting ALL over. Devastating and heart-breaking, yes. But, I also see the liberating, shake up the Etch-a-Sketch side. The fresh start. The clean slate. (This is usually where annoyance kicks in.)

Our kids, all in their twenties, are all making big life changing choices right now, as well. Ah, but that is what your twenties are for, no? The growing and maturing out from under and away from your parents. Trying on new locales, lifestyles and different jobs to see what is a good fit.

“Good fit”…hmm?….well, let me start with that.

New you. If you are trying to actually get fit, then do it now. It will never be as easy as it is in your twenties. Just saying. Make it a habit now. Get crazy about it. Fall in love with being good to your body. You will always have to be active in some way, as long as there is good food and cocktails. So start the self-discipline this minute. You will thank me when you are 47. And, you can thank me by taking me out for a cocktail.

New cities. Did you leave home to go to college, swearing you’d be back in four years? Do you stay in your college town, because it is just that awesome? Do you live where you have always dreamt of living? What holds you back? Do it now.  Now, while you’re young, nimble and traveling light. Spouses, jobs, kids weigh a freaking ton. It is so much harder to chase your dreams with a conga line of baggage. Albeit, beautiful and loving and Louis Vuitton-esque. It is still baggage. Even with the LV’s plastered all over it, it is STILL heavy.

New jobs. This is what you wanted that awesome education for, right? Get the job you love! Take your passion, make it happen…Irene Cara that interview! (Didn’t get that reference? Hello! I said, I am F O R T Y-S E V E N.)

You have the entire internet to find any possible job anywhere in the whole wide world. WORLD! That is why it is called the WORLD WIDE WEB. Do you know how utterly amazing that is? There are jobs everywhere. There are “engines” that do the searching for you. GO!  Go get yours. All you have to do is click, swipe and press send on your computer, iPad, smart phone, tablet or (insert latest gadget here). Done, resume sent. Do it now.

Poor things, you won’t ever even know what it’s like to dirty your fingers with black newspaper ink, scrolling the “want ads” for any little job possibility, in your field, in your one town!  “Gee, that’s a great story, Grandma.”

New friends. Who lasted from High School? Which college friends held your hair back while you vomited and will be in your wedding? Choose well and they will last a lifetime. Now, is the time to cut loose the friends that are not adding to the flavor of your life. It is okay to have fond acquaintances from your youth, but they just may not fit into your recipe for life, at this time. Hell, some may have even past their expiration date.

If you hang with people who bring you down, scoff at your adventurous ideas for an exciting life, offer back hand compliments or just plainly suck the very marrow from your bones, then, gently and gracefully, (always gracefully) cut these people loose. You don’t have to be ugly about it. It is only natural. We all grow at different paces. Surely, you’ve outgrown those epic vampire love stories by now. I’m sure you’ve out grown a few life-sucking friends, as well. Do it now.

With all friends, love, marriage and the baby carriage timelines will change everything and will never be in sync, again. You cannot plan that part, you just have to adapt and keep your heart open. Single, married, kids or not, there is a season for it all. It is different for everyone. (Although, it could easily be my new age of 47, but, don’t all of the couples with multiple kids, in these current TV car commercials look like 20-year-old Jason Mraz-ish prototypes? Not everyone can pull off that hat, Kia car advertising department!)

You see kids, the gold nugget that I feel I have been repeating lately, over and over, to loved ones in distress, of all ages, is this:

It is not just on the New Year or birthdays or during the renewing forces of Spring. It comes with every single day. Every single sunrise; a new beginning. Isn’t that amazing? (“Don’t you think that’s amazing?!)

Even on a random, rainy Friday.

A new chance. A new hope to create and live and be the person that you strive to be. It doesn’t happen overnight. It happens with every little step you take in the right direction. YOUR direction. Every single day. But, starting now.

Action. Discipline. Habit. Routine.

Life-changing awesomeness awaits.

What are you going to do, now?

 

I
Annoying pep talks, anytime.

 

 

 

letting the light back in

I stumbled. I was a little wobbly. I am back up again.

I just couldn’t bring myself to post without sounding perfectly intentional or inspirational. It’s just a tiny blog! You’d think I was trying to write a sequel to the I Ching.

I was totally over-thinking it. Trying too hard. Perfectionism is venom in the veins of creativity.

And then a friend of mine from the Vineyard sent me this video. It reminded me that simple beauty, perfection and creative inspiration can come from the most humble of places.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That’s how the light gets in.
~Leonard Cohen

That was the intent of my Living Lola blog all along. A small serving of creating a beautiful, meaningful life from the banquet of everyday living.

Simply put, it has been tumultuous times in Texas. Honestly, I’d settle for a little mundane right now. It isn’t anything I can’t handle. In fact, it is just another opportunity to widen the frame and sharpen the focus. Doesn’t the struggle make the story?  Or something like that? I know I want good lighting. Anyway…

So, back to basics. Gently coated anecdotes, well-intentioned wisdom, good food, brilliant beverages. Creative, authentic, sincere living.

I Ching, rest assured. “Book II-Dynasty Quest” has been shelved.

the Scared is scared from Bianca Giaever on Vimeo.

The Aisle: An Olympic Sport?

viaclass.postot.co.uk

What comes with having three 20-something girls, each with their own large circle of girlfriends, is the realization that no news travels faster, spreads wider and cuts like a light saber through general conversation than Guess who is getting married?!

It is 2012 and we all just giggle, gasp and guffaw at nuptial news like women at the “Meryton Assembly Ball” in a Jane Austen novel.

My girls, in particular, have been cursed/blessed with a matriarch that was wedded at the ripe ol’ age of 22. “Ugh,” they all sighed.

It wasn’t planned or arranged. It just happened. Just like they cannot plan or arrange when it will happen for them. (Although their father might just like the opportunity to “arrange” their partners.)

There are plenty of books, advice and well-meaning analysts and bloggers like Penelope Trunk that have written volumes about not only how to find and land your mate, but WHEN you should meet “Mr. Right.” Someone even came out with “rules”. Remember that brouhaha? There is even a book by Tracy McMillan based on her popular two-part essay on The Huffington Post telling you WHY you haven’t found that right person just yet.

Even my mother-in-law, a champion for women’s rights, a celebrated educator and author will most likely ask the girls if they have a boyfriend before she inquires about their job, school or general health.

So much has been written lately about “having it all” with the media swirling around the rise of the new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. She will have the opportunity to balance pregnancy, marriage, motherhood while running a major company, right before our very eyes; her every move, no doubt, covered by every media source from the Wall Street Journal to People magazine. (My guess is that they probably already approached Naomi Watts to play her in the movie. No?)

My Google Reader is not filled with articles in regards to a “cure” for bachelors or advice on landing Mrs. Right. I cannot recall any story about a newly appointed male CEO having to discuss how marriage or fatherhood would affect his job performance.

What is the fascination with women getting married?

I personally feel, the honest truth, is that it will happen, when it happens. And, it is most likely inevitable.

I will conserve my opinions of working women having it all, to focus on young, smart, single women just starting out and say this:  There isn’t only one version of “ALL”.  That is the beauty of it. Your version of “all” will change and grow as you change and grow.  Live your ALL, now. Make the most of “singlehood.” 

Don’t live your life in preparation or anticipation for something else. Live your life, today! See the movies you want to see, travel to the destinations you long to go, eat at the cool, new hip restaurants you want to try, sip cocktails at that new swank, bar opening. Go to the symphony, the ballet, the opera. Take that pottery class or that cooking class. Do whatever moves you.

In a very short time you will be in an adult relationship that requires care, concern and compromise. So, while young and single, ditch the compromise and put the care and concern into your life. Full steam ahead on your career. Put in the extra hours. Network around the clock. Take advantage of every opportunity that is presented before you and grab it up with full, unabashed gluttony.

Don’t waste a minute waiting.

Live an interesting, attractive life and you will be interesting and attractive. Live your life like a hot mess and, well, you probably have already met what comes your way.

One of the benefits of aging gracefully with big deep pockets of wisdom…ahem…is that I can sit back and see the bright radiance of young women who are making their own lives work. I can spot them a mile away. It is a confident glow. They are productive, taking exciting challenges and turning them into opportunities for their benefit and well-being. I am so amazed at the endless possibilities that lie ahead for young women.

When I hear of a young woman, taking the reigns of her life and creating her own success, I am compelled to share that story with my own girls. Other girls getting married doesn’t draw the same fascination for me. I will not cut out engagement announcements to show my girls when they visit. (And it’s not because I don’t receive an actual newspaper.)

Don’t get me wrong. I love marriage. I love being married. I love that I found my soul mate at 21. Yes, I believe in soul mates. And, Larkin is definitely mine. However, I also love that my sister Jen, found her love, Tim, at 37. They’ve been married for two years, laughing, traveling and living the life. And, no kids! Talk about living the life!

Walking down the aisle is not an olympic sport. We shouldn’t time our girls or measure for distance.

It will come soon enough.

We will eventually have the added place settings at our holiday table along with the added awkward explaining of our family’s sick, twisted obsession with turning every comment into a movie line. We will declare which “Friends” character the new addition is. We will go from four kids, to eight kids. We will have to show care, concern and compromise.

We have raised our children to believe in love. “Love is a many splendored thing, love lifts us up, all you need is love…”  We believed in soul mates and told them to believe, too. We showed them that your “better half” brings out YOUR better half. We lived the example that marriage to the right person is more fun than two people should be allowed to have.

And, that is what I want for all of my girls. Someday. No stop watch. No timeline. No pressure.

And, I want it for The Boy, too. But, seriously.

“Is anyone ever going to be good enough for HIM?” cried his three sisters, his aunt/godmother, his two grandmothers and his Latina mother.

That is a whole other blog post, entirely.

 

Derby de Mayo

Kentucky Derby! Cinco de Mayo!

What’s a southern Latina to do?

The Tequila Julep

Muddle 10 leaves of mint and half of a lime cut in wedges 

1/2 shot simple syrup or tablespoon of white sugar

2 shots of Herradura Anejo Tequila

ice 

top off with Topo Chico Agua Mineral

Inspired by Jordan Stallings (alchemist/filmmaker/activist)

Prepared by Larkin Stallings (nightclub sage/the most interesting Man in the world)

Viva la Derby!

are you reading that book?

It’s Friday!  After a nice week of birthday celebration, it’s back to business.

Are you reading Fifty Shades of Grey? I am planning on starting it this weekend. In comparison, I’m late to the party, I know. But, everywhere I go, I hear women talking about this book. I feel like I HAVE to read it, now. It reminds me of the fifth grade when you had to keep up with Judy Blume books, just so you knew all of the important stuff, like, “the bases”.

Let me know your thoughts, opinions. I’d love to hear what some of my like minded women (& men!) are thinking about this read. It will be like our own little blog book club.

Since it’s Friday, here is a little laughter to get the weekend started. Enjoy!