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I have great clothes. Really. I have a closet full of beautiful clothes for every occasion in only two sizes, perfect for the life I think I’m living. I have coordinated outfits and signature pieces, perfect for the office I pay for but rarely go in to, perfect for the camping trips scheduled but abandoned, mountain weather I’m rarely in, the soirees I attend but can’t find anything to wear to and every imaginable combo for the vacations I take and over-pack for. Theory and reality.

Most mornings I wake up at dawn, pull on a t-shirt and a pair of snappy yoga pants I bought for the classes I’ve paid for yet never gone to, take my son to school, return home to make a delicious hand-crafted cappuccino and head to the desk in my home office. I fire up the computer and the laptop, open my contact management program on one, my writing program on the other, log on to the MLS… and Facebook.  (You know where this is going, don’t you?)

All of this is fine really, and  I do get things done. I mean, something must be going right to be able to pay for  the multiple devises, the software, the yoga classes, the office desk fee and the closet full of clothes. And I devote enough time to writing to keep calling myself a writer.  But where is the gap between the life I think I’m living and the one that takes place day-to-day?

The question of theory is a check-in on the goals and resolutions for 2016.  In theory I’m the girl who gets up at dawn, pulls on those yoga clothes, does the school drop-off, heads to the gym/yoga class, showers and dresses into the sassy ensemble I’ve carefully packed and loaded into the car, and shows up at the office for a full day of work as a busy Realtor. At the end of the day (in my mind) I return to my home office and work for an hour or two on the Great American Novel before throwing a few shallots in the pan to sauté.

As a self-employed single mother, my time is flexible but never my own. Like most in my profession, I wake up every day unemployed and have to get my hustle on, as we all do, but rather than punch a time-clock, I have to time-block to get all that prospecting, house showing, contract writing, negotiating, parenting, exercising and creativity in. Don’t we all? Frankly, I’m not sure how anyone does it, who has time to bake cupcakes, or which day “laundry day” actually is.

But this is not specifically a productivity rant, rather an inquiry into the glitch that keeps us from writing that book or taking that tango lesson. Modern American life asks us to buy into images of perfection, because without feelings of personal deficit, how could we sell things? Madison Avenue must create the perpetual void to be filled with luxury cars, hamburgers, fashion trend and heartburn. We’ve grown so uncomfortable with the empty space within, the interesting space, we hurl ourselves moment-by-moment, away from it with busyness. I call it perpetual prepping; getting ready to be ready. It is the yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes, seeking a way in or a way out. 

2015 was a “structural” year for me. I opened the windows, dumped out my toy box, and got rid of what I’d outgrown, was no longer entertaining and/or working. The result was the grand realization that what I want I already have, I just want it more clearly. No sweeping changes or mid-life crisis, only the desire for simplicity, authenticity, and presence. I could dump my theory into the mixing bowl, add a dash of focus, blend until it becomes reality and, boom. Cupcakes!

I try this, making the commitment write more, I add time. I rearrange my head to include my body, specifically exercising before the caffeine has fully hit, a yogi move for sure. The night before, I  pack my gym bag, my work clothes, briefcase, and put them in the Subaru. So excited to become that new and improved Tracy, it’s hard to get a good night’s sleep, but pop of bed at the first alarm. Being met with  a “Hello” from Adele at sunrise should only happen if you’re just getting home holding your high heels, but I rally. Dropping Gabe at East, I pull into 24hr Fitness by 7:45 feeling pretty damned good about myself. Maybe I can be ‘that girl’ after all, I mean this is going great, right?  Workout complete, I’d even remembered the towel, my self-esteem rising with the hot shower. Pulling on the nude fishnets I’d never worn, I’m troubled by the fact that the crotch seems to want to stay halfway between my knees and hips, the hem has fallen out of my skirt, there’s a spot on my blouse which hadn’t come out in the wash and I’ve not packed mascara. I soldier on into the office looking like a hot mess, reminding myself it’s day one. The next day goes better, though I forgot to pack a bra which wasn’t my best look at 25 either.boobs in pants

Day-by-day, as I morph my theoretical life with the reality I dream of, I learn how much courage it takes to truly be yourself. How much clarity it takes to slough off cultural concepts of needing to fill a void. I am that void, that mystery, and with all the new space in the toy box it’so much easier to find what I’m looking for. And though a few million things need practice, today I will be more present, plan, and try not to forget my foundations…my mother’s word for the brassiere department.

It’s hard enough to build lasting relationships in real life, harder still to build a loyal clientele. Denver Fashion Diva, Denise Snyder, an expert at both–pushes the idea to the limit. Every well-dressed Denver woman knows Denise is the go-to gal for evening wear, and now the evening wear designer comes to her! Tomorrow, Ms. Snyder hosts a pre-event trunk show at her Cherry Creek boutique with the rare personal appearance of designer extraordinaire, Sue Wong. Making her Denver debut, Ms. Wong spends the afternoon at Mariel before jetting down the Valley Highway to the Flight to Luxury event and fashion show (hosted by Mariel) at Centennial Airport. Read more…

Let’s face it, no matter how much Oprah says it, shopping for the right bra is enough to send a girl scrambling to refill her Prozac. Unless you’ve got SOL…
Blow a kiss goodbye to standing half naked in a cold dressing while a salesgirl, cheerfully ignorant of the effects of gravity, sweeps in with a tape measure, an attitude and an armload of magic-memory-foam-underwire-gel-ultra-turbo-maxi-uplift contraptions designed for her sorority sisters. It’s all good when you’ve got youth or silicone on your side, but what looks great on an “Angel” looks like hell on a grown-ass woman.
Escape from the mall and wander over to Cherry Creek North to SOL…store of lingerie. It’s a little slice of heaven where a woman can hold her head and her bust line high. Rather than padding your ego, SOL sisters Cindy Johnson and Jeanie Peterson with their expertise and superb service, have grown their boutique into one of the country’s leading specialty lingerie stores and before you hit the dressing room you’ll know why. I took the girls in for a peek and found my new addiction.
The shop is simple and elegant, a beautiful frame for the exquisite designs. Part art, part architecture, the European intimate apparel carried by SOL goes way beyond what you’ll find at the mall. As we strolled the display boards chatting about style– body, bra and life— co-owner/psychic/bra-fitter extraordinaire, Cindy led me to a private room, asked me what shapes I liked, concerns I had and left me with “I have a few things you’ll like”. No measuring tape, no calculation of rib-to-nipple ratios, no humiliation… just a simple ‘be right back’. Her re-entry with a hand-picked array of lovelies and her adept handling of the proper fit, had me feeling like everything was in place and all was right with the world.
“How do you choose the lines you carry?” I asked, as I tried on one titillating bra after another. “Well, we used to go to the fashion shows and make lots of appointments with the designers, looking for, let’s say, that perfect red bra. It was crazy. Eventually we learned which lines were consistent with the quality, style and structure that fit our vision, then narrowed it down to those who were also able to deliver on time, as ordered. We’ve taken years to cultivate relationships with the lingerie design houses and have been asked many times to step in as consultants.”
What you pay for at SOL is more than snobbery of a luxury line of European lingerie, it is expertise. This expertise and consultancy has earned Johnson numerous visits to The Today Show, where she shows America what’s important in fit as she shows off what’s in fashion.
The experience is the very definition of personal… and in a good way. Because they put their heart where their SOL is, they create deep, meaningful and lasting relationships not only with designers but with a loyal clientele.
Celebrating 15 years, SOL is in full-birthday-celebration swing. Wednesday night saw a 1920’s themed bash, complete with a Nash. September 6th, stop by the store for a pre-party as Cherry Creek North hosts Fashion’s Night Out, or break out the purple push-up and come along to “Take Me Out to the Rockies” on September 26. October is national bra month and you know Team SOL will be decked out in style on October 7th at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure .
SOL…store of lingerie 248 Detroit St. 303.394.1060

One of Denver’s architectural wonders is the Fredrick C Hamilton Building, designed by Daniel Libeskind at the Denver Art Museum.. With its jutting roof line and walls all akimbo, I love its mix of elegance and surprise. Apparently the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent did too because when DAM Director, Christoph Heinrich, approached them to host the Yves Saint Laurent Retrospective they said “Oui”. They make for a chic ensemble and quite the coup. Denver is the only stop in North America before this exquisite exhibit heads south of the border. New York must be green with envy.

When Yves Saint Laurent took his seam ripper to the nipped Dior waistline, he unleashed the power of the modern woman and seems to have designed her wardrobe for the past 50 years. The words ‘jumpsuit, pantsuit, safari look and bolero jacket’ were rarely heard before the genius of the YSL moment, and never to describe fashion. Influenced by global culture, Saint Laurent drew his inspiration from the arts and artists, from operas, literary figures, personal muses and “aesthetic ghosts;” he has woven time into the timeless.

Read more.
The Yves Saint Laurent Retrospective lands in Denver for an exclusive look into the designer’s genius. The Denver Art Museum is the only North American stop as this exquisite exhibit travels from Paris to South America. Why? “Because I asked.” says DAM Director, Christoph Heinrich. With the integration of local fashion stars and designers included in the gift shop and gallery, I say “Magnifique!”

I live and work in a city that fosters and grows its arts and cultural community, lights the way with a beacon of alternative energy investment, and preserves the character of the city’s neighborhoods and Technicolor past… That’s something to look up to.