Lifting The Fog

1Lord knows it sucks: getting up in the mornings, getting going. When you’re looking down the road ahead and it’s gonna be the same ol’ day, the same ol’ thing, the same ol’ life—SSDD: same sh*t, different day! Some mornings I struggle with thoughts like that, they creep in and settle in my head like a frigid fog. The alarm blares, my eyes open, I take a deep breath and I start to think: “I know what this day’s gonna be like, there’ll be big piles of bullsh*t and I’m gonna have to deal with all of it.” Or, heck, maybe I didn’t sleep worth a damn and I’m exhausted, or I have a cold or, or, or, there could be a million reasons for a sucky morning!

But you know what? There are people who would love our bad days. Whose lives or circumstances are so sad and hopeless, that even our worst (got fired), worst (gained 15 pounds), worst (kid brought home an F on a test) days seem simple and transient—nothing lasts forever, not even the bullsh*t! When that fog settles over you, you just have to pull yourself up and, sometimes, the best thing for me is to break out my morning playlist and rock out! Music has a mystical effect on attitude! Some mornings I may jam to Miranda Lambert, Pink, Blake Shelton or the Eagles. So, if a certain mood strikes, like the blues or anger or exhaustion, I pick the opposite mood and find the appropriate music. If I feel blue or angry, boom! I play happy music. Exhausted, then bam! I pick energetic music that makes me want to move. Whatever “foggy” mood I find myself in, I want to be the opposite of that ASAP.

You’ve got to figure out what’s going to make you feel good in the morning—yeah, you have to plan ahead. You’ve got to figure out what’s going to give you an optimistic attitude, because whether you realize it or not, you’ve got an audience: your kids, the people you’re leading or the people you spend time with. The attitude you display and how you treat others is what you’re going to get in return. Remember the old saying, “What you sow, so shall you reap.” So, the mornings that I want to be in a not very good mood, I get up, get my music going and I get moving. I make my bed (LOVE a fresh-made bed!), clean up my house and get to work on banishing the blahs.

Those rough mornings are the ones where you need to be extra nice and extra smiley. Your kids, your family, the people you work with—they’re very sensitive to your demeanor, and they’ll feed off of that. If you want to see a bad day get worse, then reflect on the days you’ve woken up kinda pissed at the world, then you treated everyone around you like you’re pissed at the world, and pretty soon, everyone around you is also pissed at the world. So, so, so not fun, right?

So, I guess all I’m saying is, life sucks sometimes. It does and we all have a right to recognize that and get annoyed or angry or frustrated, but we don’t have a license to treat people poorly. Yes, morning sucks! Crawling out from under those warm, snug covers, most days, is haaaard. But, we have to get up, pull on our boots—figuratively speaking—and go to work, whether that’s to an office or out to the kitchen to rustle up breakfast for the kiddos. You have to be the leader, in word and in deed! So if you need to write yourself a motivational note before bed that you stick on your bathroom mirror at night, so that it’s there to greet you every morning while you brush your teeth, then do it!


If you have to make a new playlist for every morning, then do it! How long does it take you to get ready? How many songs does that equal? So really, most people who are up and going and running around, they probably only need about 10 songs on the playlist—and you can make a playlist right from your iPhone in less than 10 minutes, y’all! No excuses!

Another tip for making mornings better is to do as much as you can the night before. Like, pack your lunch or your kids’ lunches at night! Get breakfast items out before bed—gonna make muffins? Get out the tins, the mix, the bowls and it’s all on the counter ready and waiting. Get everyone’s stuff ready, briefcases, backpacks, diaper bags, etc., and have them ready to roll out the door. Do you have animals to feed? Then fix their feed cans at night and have them ready to pour the next morning…seriously, these little things make an enormous difference the next day.


Enjoy those days when everything goes right, but be prepared for those days that crash and burn, and have something up your sleeve that’ll pull you up off the ground. You can do it, girl!


My Nirvana

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This place can smooth the wrinkles out of my most bunched up day. I think it’s a lifetime of enjoyable experiences that make me love this place so much, because almost all the time I’ve spent in a barn has been positive.

I know that every time I walk into a barn, I’ll feel a sense of peace wash over me. Kinda like being really, really cold and stepping into a steaming, hot shower, it just washes over me and warms me up!

My time in barns began when I was a tiny girl, and that was definitely a carefree phase in my life. I’m a long, long way—physically, spiritually and time-wise—from that wild wee girl on my family’s ranch in Southern California. Today, I’m a mom, a wife and a business-owner. I have so many people I have to worry about: my sweet girls, my loveable hubby and my awesome employees!


But, the barn, it’s my little piece of heaven. If you’ve never spent a lot of time around horses, you might think they’re stinky animals, but they’re not! They have this wonderful salty-sweet smell. The feel of their coarse manes, their tender soft ears, their bristly lips, and their insatiable curiosity! People think cats are curious, you should see the stuff horses get into—you turn your back for a minute while you’re saddling or grooming and you’ll turn around to find that your horse has a broom, straw-end first, in his mouth, swinging it around, trying to get a bite of straw! If I close my eyes, I imagine myself within those four walls: the heavy scent of horses, the fresh hay and almost sugary scent of the feed, aged leather aroma from well-used and well-loved saddles and bridles—it’s so comforting and assuring to me.


A visit to the barn means getting a chance to spend time with my horse Prince—it’s all-encompassing because I’m immersed mentally and physically. You can’t groom or ride a horse with half a heart, you have to be all-in, or you’ll get your toes crushed while you’re on the ground or get dumped while you’re on his back! So, horse-time is a kind of forced escape, your daily worries are put on hold while 100 percent of your focus is on this gorgeous, solid animal.


So, that’s my joyful place. I wanted to tell you about it because I hope everyone has their own place that makes them content! It can be the mall, baking, cooking, running, swimming, hiking, hunting—we’re all different. Just don’t take it for granted, don’t forget to live in the moment, soak it all in, stop and breathe and look around at your joyful place. Be grateful for it.

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My productivity relies on my creativity. That’s my life, creating things. And, y’all, sometimes it’s exhausting. I put so much of myself into my work and I spend so many days on the road, it can drag me down if I’m not careful. And, if you don’t work in a creative field or you’re not a creative person, you need to know this: creativity does not happen on a schedule. I can’t say: Well, between 8:30 this morning and 1:30 this afternoon, I will create!

Nope. Doesn’t work that way. It has to hit me. And, lots of times it hits me at 2:00 in the morning, or driving in rush hour traffic, or zipping through an airport trying to catch a plane. Crazy! That’s why I always have something to take notes on so I can remember my wild ideas that pop into my head at the most inopportune times. But I’ve said all that to say this: my mind never stops. Sometimes I have to force myself to shut down, turn away from my passion of creating, and just breathe.

Often, on a weekend, all I want to do is retreat and not think of work. Yes, I’ve been called a workaholic, so some may be surprised by my “retreat” mentality. I wasn’t born a workaholic; I was born a hard worker with a vision, creativity and drive. I was raised to take pride in everything I did, no matter how big or small. I was raised to know that my work was a reflection of me. I also knew that the only way my visions would come to fruition would be for me to make them happen. Although I had many supporters and helpers along the way, I knew that, ultimately, I was in charge of my vessel.


There’s a Steve Earle song I love: “It’s All Up To You.” In the song he sings: It’s all up to you, no one else can get you through, right or wrong, win or lose, it’s all up to you.

We all, at different times in our respective lives, have this realization. Maybe you were 15, maybe 45. But when that reality hits you that “It’s All Up To You,” it’s a moment of such clarity. If I want to succeed, to realize my dreams, the only person who’s going to make that happen is me.


I’ve got to steer this ship to make it happen! But, that doesn’t mean I don’t need down time, that I don’t need time to dream, that I don’t need to time to just be creative without a purpose, just for a high. Taking a break from the real world and just living in my world—appreciating the blessings in my life. I have found that my work is better, my creativity more intense and my anxieties—shocker, I got ’em, too, girlies—are kept at bay when I do this.

Why do I feel guilty when I take the time for myself? I don’t know, but I work on feeling okay with recharging my batteries and letting go of worries. I strive to just be happy being.

Yes, every morning, pretty much seven days a week, holidays and vacations included, I get up and check my emails. That’s my way of giving myself permission to enjoy the days I decide to recharge my batteries. I’ve made sure all is right in my work world and it brings me peace of mind, so to speak. That’s never going to change, and I’m okay with that.  But, I’m also working on giving myself permission to let go and enjoy!  We all insist of being the captain of our ship, to be the one in charge of driving that dream. But sometimes, I’ve learned as life happens, we just gotta let go of the wheel and enjoy the days we have in this crazy journey we call life.


Sometimes I just have to get out of my zip code, drive down some back roads, jam to my favorite music while singing at the top of my lungs. All that letting go brings my life into focus. I don’t have to be at the beach to allow myself to have fun—although that’s still my favorite place! I have lots of other favorite places and things to do that bring me tranquility.

Immerse yourself in following a dream, but keep in mind that to achieve that dream, you sometimes need to retreat and refresh and take the time to recognize what an amazing journey life is!


The Good Blues


I’m so excited to design a line of denim again! I’ve always loved the washes and the different tints that denim can hold and become. It’s crazy to see a plain swatch/leg of denim and then treat it and see what you come out with.

I love bells and whistles on jeans. The “Janis” and the “Motley” are my two favorites by far because they showcase two different spectrums of my personality: the hippie that I have always been and the rock and roll girl I have become through Gypsy Soule.

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Speaking of being a hippie, I feel like denim connects the wearer to nature. After all, it comes from a plant. The process of creating denim is as amazing as it is simple. The cotton is harvested, cleaned and then taken to a denim mill. The bales of cotton are in one end of the mill, and, as you walk through the mill, these compact bales go from being turned into thread, to woven into denim, and finally, resulting denim is dyed. At one end of the mill, there’s raw cotton, at the other, fresh indigo fabric, ready to be made into something fabulous.

And I love doing fabulous things to denim! Bleaching jeans is one of my favorite things to do and I have always done it—for years—to trick out my jeans so they didn’t look like everyone else’s. Plus, I think it goes back to starting with one thing and creating something new out of it with some scissors, crystals, studs and bleach! The prototype for the “Motley” sample that we sent to the factories was actually created by hand in my kitchen and laundry room with all of those tools!


Growing up on a ranch, jeans started out as a uniform for being horseback, they could stand up to all kinds of punishment.  Although, I am not gonna say I only wore jeans to ride – I might have been guilty a few times of wearing pajamas and shorts to cruise the pastures in. You should have seen the look on the cowboys faces! But I digress, back to Denim! The more I wore them, the more I tricked them out, whether I was on a horse or not, so they would stand out and be unique. That’s what we tried to do as we designed our Gypsy Soule denim line. We gave you basics, but with premium denim and treatments. And then, with our original fashion sense, we wanted to give you something no one else had, something that would really set our clientele, and us as a brand, apart from the rest of the jeans in this world.


I’ve loved watching the trends over the years, from high waisted, to ’70’s bell-bottoms, to dark trouser dressy jeans. It’s fun to watch the jean evolve and the styles recycle. In a sense, you see it with jeans more than anything else. I love that, in this day and age, denim is so versatile that it can be considered dressy or casual. Want dressy in the Gypsy Soule line of denim? Go with the “Vogue,” which can be paired with a fur coat and high heels and worn out on the town. Want a casual hippy kinda day? Well then our “Janis” is the answer for you!   Wear it with a tank and Gypsy Soule boots or flip-flops, just kickin’ around all day.


Now, I’m not prejudiced—I like denim in shirts, denim vests and, of course, the denim jacket—you ought to see the denim section in my shirt closet! So stay tuned – because you never know what will turn up next in our denim line.


Dirty Little Secrets


Forever young. Is that we’re all trying to be? Striving to keep that youthful glow? If only I could still be a size 5? I think the allure of youth, and youthfulness, is about more than pure vanity. Yes, being young and slim and toned and beautiful is desirable, we all want that. But, another thing about youthfulness is how you felt back then: energetic, ready to take on the world, tireless. We could go 100 miles an hour, get a little rest, and be ready the next day to hit it again. Who doesn’t want that? Because, with age, all that fades—I’m not saying it disappears, it just, well, fades.

Whatever your battle with yourself, it might be that it’s okay. We all have them! I have lots. I think if I would just work out a few more minutes or stop having one more glass of wine! Well, heck, with stress, kids, work, more stress, age and all the BS that comes with life, we all need some boosts here and there. We don’t stay a size 5 and along life’s highway, we collect a few more character lines on our face.

I have some things I’d like to come clean about: Yes, I’m vain and I like to look as good as I can. I know I’m aging and I’m fine with being 40—especially since it’s the year of the unicorn and all! But, I’ll fight aging as gracefully as I can. I think if you want a facelift, or you just need a facial to make yourself feel better, that’s your own business. I’m not one to judge! I take great pride in the effort I put into my body and myself. I have one life on this earth, until I go to Heaven and become a beautiful, perfect angel!

So, I’m coming clean on all that I do. I believe in “work” and “maintenance,” in other words, surgery and treatments.

Yes, I do Botox every 90 days and have for the last four years. I think I might start doing my crows feet now, but we’ll see. Yes, I have the cracks between my mouth and nose filled and, wow, I love the big change. Plus, it lasts for almost nine months. It’s an ego boost for me.


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Yes, I’ve had the girls done—just make things fit a little better up top!

Yes, I’ve had lypo. After I had Jaylee, I couldn’t get that last bit of weight off my belly. And, yeah, it hurt like hell. However, if you work hard you’ll keep it off. BUT, without the hard work, it will come back just like before!

I get my teeth cleaned every 4 months. I get them whitened as often as they’ll let me. I floss almost twice a day—chickies, I’m serious about this!



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The one thing that makes the most difference in how I feel is the bioTE pellet I’ve been using ( It’s a little testosterone pellet—derived from plants—I get implanted in one of my buns every six weeks or so. It makes me feel like I’m 29 again! I’m calmer, I have more energy, I can see a difference in my workouts, it helps a ton with my migraines, and it really helps heat things up behind closed doors with the hubby!

But the most important thing I do for myself—unlike the bioTE, this is something I consider a mental benefit rather than physical benefit—is unplug. It’s downtime SouleSisters! I work out three to five days a week, that’s time I take all for myself. Also, whether it’s time with Joel, the girls or my horse Prince, this time recharges my soul and brings me deep fulfillment. This unplugged downtime releases me from the stress in my life that threatens to drag me down.

Whether you think this is all wrong, unhealthy or too vain, just know that it’s different for everyone. Work every day on what makes you feel good about yourself. Look for things that reinvent you or give you a new outlook on life, look for change and challenge, look for something to be excited about. Do the work to live life to its fullest. Own it and own who you are. This is your life, so live it, ladies!