…..and, I’m back!!

FINALLY MY INTERNET CONNECTION IS BACK!!!!!

It has been a while since I’ve been able to sit down at my computer and write to you, and boy did I miss it. For about a week after the storm we had no power. We were blessed to have friends with a generator who housed us for a few days. It was great to sit with my friend Gina and no distracting internet and discuss the myriad of ways we plan to create more charity and fundraising efforts around The Muchness. That’s really what this is about. When you realize how fleeting life is, who wants to spend it just taking, taking, taking?

The MUCHNESS fills my heart because it is a way for me to use

my gifts to give back and help others.

Certainly this storm and all the heartache it brought with it drove that point home.

This past weekend, before our power came back, we were at my mothers. For dinner she had a family over whose power had not yet been restored and were staying in their cold, dark house. The conversation turned to “What do you do?” and I replied, my usual – “I have a community website and I make inspirational accessories to help women re-find their joy after grief or trauma.” and the woman replied, “Oh, I could really use some of that after this storm.” My brother piped in “Oh- it’s not this kind of trauma…” and I stopped him. Yes. It is.

There are Muchness Stealers all around us, all the time. They don’t have to be as heartbreaking as baby loss or infertility- though, for some, this storm may have been.

So, how does one stay Muchy in the face of such acute disaster?

Gratitude.

As the storm beat the hell out of our region, and in the days of frigid darkness that followed, I found myself constantly counting my blessings. That we were safe, our family intact, our house dry and still standing. I thought about those that had suffered much greater losses than us, and those that live in areas of the world where a storm of this magnitude might affect people who live in poverty and don’t have a roof over their head to protect them, let alone having to worry about the lights going off.

I want to do my part.

From now until November 15th-  The 2nd Annual International Muchness Day- I will be donating 50% of all Muchness Band proceeds to local Sandy relief organizations.

Any Color. Any length. Click HERE to view the collection.

Muchness Bands. Little Bits of Light To Help You Find Your Way Through Darkness.®

PS- Stay tuned for my upcoming post in Still Standing Magazine with the nitty gritty details of how this storm really made my gratitude meter swell…. I’ll drop you a note when it’s published.

PPS- Yes, You DID read that correctly! The 2nd Annual Muchness Day is upon us! I have a really great idea & contest planned that I’ll be sharing in the next day or two…

 

 

Brain Farts.

I’ve been having a lot of them lately and they are making it hard to sit and write about all the muchness that is actually happening all around me- Big things, from working on MUCHNESS TV(!!!!!) to little things, like how incredible the gourmet chocolate shop, neuhaus, in the mall was. And the more I try to get to the bottom of this case of mental flatulence, the worse it gets.

It is also August. The shadow of September looms in these warm months. I am missing the twins a lot. Thinking about them. I wonder if it would be different if I’d chosen a different path after they died. If I did what so many people try to do- take that pain, lock it in a box, and move forward, never to speak of it in polite company. If I didn’t create this beautiful project as a tribute to them, if I didn’t create a place for me to speak of them. Maybe I’d think of them less? Maybe I’d be further along in my grief? Further Behind?

Anyway, hoping that just releasing some of my feelings will, um, release some of my feelings so I can get back in the swing of things. Because really, things are swinging!

Today I went to the Mall. Not a place I head to frequently but I needed to pickup some Thank You Cards and knew Papyrus would have some super Muchy ones (I was right)

…and a whole host of other Muchtastic glittery cards!

I was feeling sorta ‘ehhh’ about all the stuff I mentioned above when this chocolate shop caught my eye.

OMG— I loved how they just filled these cases with perfectly perfect mounds of mini chocolates all lined up just so perfectly. I walked in and the woman that worked there gave me this one to try. I thought it was poetic, since it was actually sparkly! I’ve never seen sparkly chocolate!

And if I tell you, that hint was devine!

So I bought two more and left the shop, only to be drawn into LUSH- that shop that sells all natural creams and lotions and potions and soaps.

So, this is why I never head to the mall. I always end up romanced into buying shit I never knew I wanted and didn’t know I needed. I walked into the store because the stuff looked beautiful and colorful and Muchy and I was needing a little of that.

Look- they even have gold bath salts!!

The women offered to give me a mini ‘treatment” on my hands using one of their rubs.

It felt nice.

It smelled good.

I bought it.

Then, they showed me their color wheel. She sat me down and spun the wheel while I held my eyes shut. She instructed me to open my eyes and select the three colors that I felt drawn to, today. Not my favorite colors,per sé, but the colors which grabbed me by the Muchness Meter. (My words. 😉 )

These are the three I selected:

She then “read” me my feelings for the day and kaboom! They were right on target!

After that, I told her about The Muchness Bands which ALSO have a color associated with a positive and inspiring feeling!!! I told her how when people wear their muchness bands they are reminded to look around for their Muchness Moments and see the light and positivity all around them!! (Are you a Member of the Finding My Muchness Community? Log in to your account for info on a special weekend sale on Muchness Bands!!!, Not a member, sign up now!!)

As I am wrapping up this post, I received a text from a friend telling me that this site has inspired her friend to do something huge!Love how the positive energy comes just when I need it the most!

 

 

What does the mother of two dead babies look like?

This past weekend I had an amazing, once-in-a lifetime opportunity and I wanted to tell you about it. One of the women I’ve met through Bschool is an incredible, top-tier photographer named Tanya Malott. She saw my story in one of the Bschool groups and reached out to me, and we instantly clicked. She is amazing.
This past weekend, she offered a day of FREE headshot photos to anyone from Bschool who could make it to the shoot. I pounced on the opportunity. She got access to this glamourous photo studio in Manhattan owned by Heike Grebenstein – who makes jewelry that is simply gorgeous and she arranged for our hair to be done by the incredibly talented Joshua Barrett, and fellow Bschooler, celebrity makeup artist Michelle Coursey did our makeup. I mean, the whole thing was like a dream.
But beyond all the pampering and how fun and inspiring it was to was to meet other bschoolers face-to-face, something profoundly emotional happened to me that day, and that’s really the reason I’m sharing this story….
After getting my pictures taken, I was talking to one of the other women there and I found myself telling her a story that I’ve been meaning to share with you but just… haven’t. So, I’m sharing it now.

After the twins died, everything in the world just literally became gray. It was all I could see. I’d wake up in the morning, my face puffy from the tears that had dried on my cheeks the night before. I’d drag myself into my closet and pull something out that felt like I felt. Something gray. Something brown. Something stained, ripped, dirty, overwashed and ill-fitting. I really didn’t care. I’d walk from the bus station to my office, sometimes crying the whole way. Not caring that people were looking at me strangely. “If they had two dead babies, they’d be crying too” I said to myself.

I’d get to the office and do my work, feeling like shit, looking like shit. I wasn’t worried what my coworkers thought of my appearance. That just never occurred to me to matter.

Then, one day, my boss unexpectedly called me into a sales meeting. The women who sat at the table looked polished and fresh in the bright display lights of our showroom. I stood before them, completely mortified. I remember clearly what I was wearing that day. Jeans that were unwashed and way too big, saggy on my tush with an actual patch in the seat to cover a hole. Gray sneakers. An olive green t-shirt stretched over my muffin top and post (dead) baby belly with a graphic of The Beatles stretched across my chest. Over that, I wore a brown vintage button down polyester shirt. I believe it was missing a button. My hair was in a messy, unwashed ponytail.

My boss introduced me as the head of design. “The genius who makes magic happen.” he said. I stood before them feeling like something that crawled out of a sewer. I pasted a smile on my face and answered their questions. When I walked out of the room I thought to myself “Well, they’d look like shit too if they had Two Dead Babies.”

And when I heard myself think that, that’s when I knew. Enough Was Enough.

It was up to me to make the choice to sink or swim, and I decided to swim. The only way I knew to start was with the outside. And so I did- No more gray, no more heavy disgusting clothing. I was going to infuse my outside with color and shine that was so bright and so bold it could break through the wall of gray that surrounded me. And, you know how that story unfolds. That decision ultimately found a name, and it’s name is The Muchness.

When I look at pictures of me before the twins, I feel like it is a different person– a naive, innocent, opinionated girl I no longer know. And when I’ve looked at pictures of me after, it’s felt like a kaleidoscope of bits and pieces of me in the middle of some kind of reformatting process.

This weekends photo shoot felt like a culmination of that journey and that decision to swim. Tanya knows my story and understands the path I’ve traveled to get here. She saw my dress and it was her suggestion to take pictures in this setting. Pictures of a woman who has not drowned in her grief, but has been able to push through to a brighter, even more beautiful place of light & joy. I mean, really. Who wears a party dress in the bathtub?

I looked at the pictures Tanya took of me- beautiful, incredibly muchy pictures of a woman with two dead babies, who has found happiness and beauty and joy again. And those pictures Tanya took, they were pictures of a woman I do know. The woman I am learning to see myself as. Me. 20120703-105429.jpg

Charitable Muchness- Who wouldn’t want to participate?!?

Two of my very dear friends Vadim & Tommy are participating in Pride Run this weekend in NYC and they have decided to run with the goal of raising funds for The International Gay And Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

They call themselves Team Brandi and I think they said it best when they write “Unlike Team Brandi, who have the luxury to run for fun or General Tso’s tofu, many LGBT people are running from machetes, guns, knives, rocks… They are running for their lives. Literally.”

Click to read their story

 

Last year when they ran, I created a Muchness band to support their mission,

It's Hot. :)

 

and I’m proud to share that we just donated $100 bucks to their race!! (OK- I admit- most of that came from my heart, and not Muchness Bands… maybe next year I’ll be able to donate 10 times the amount!! I’m gonna put THAT on my To-Do list. :-)

Wanna know what you  can do to increase your Muchness Meter this weekend? Donate to this amazing cause and help Team Brandi meet their Goal. No donation is too small to help and make you feel Muchtastic!

 

Sequins For SALE!!! Muchness for YOU!!!

Does This picture make you want a gold sequined skirt?…or Silver? Or Blue?? Or Black???

I took this Muchness pic of the day last week. I found this skirt by Romeo and Juliet Couture at a sample sale and I fell in love. The original retail price was $130! On Bluefly it was $78 but it’s all sold out. But I found it for less than that!!! So I bought it in 4 colors. Unfortunately, they only had 4 colors. If they had it in other colors, well, you know they’d be mine.
But I loved it so much I couldn’t contain myself!! Ya know, I love to share The Muchness!!! I went back the next day, before they ran out of stock, (sample sale- when it’s gone, it’s gone…) and bought more. Like, a bunch more… well, not a WHOLE bunch but more than I alone need. Because I know that finding not tacky and not úber expensive sequins is hard. And these skirts are not tacky. Nor, at this steal of a price, terribly expensive. And I thought I’d see if anyone wants one!! They are so awesomely perfect for the Holidays! They have a nice, casual fit and an elastic waist so you can eat as much Christmas Ham or Chanukkah Latkes as you want and still look Muchtastic!!

And- they’re just $40!!! !!!and I’ll include FREE shipping!!

Note- these run pretty small so order a size up. I didn’t even buy the small since I wear a small and it was snug on me. 

If you want one, just buy it here!! How convenient is that?? I’ve only got one or two in each color / size listed so don’t hold back! When they’re gone, they’re gone for good.

Here’s some more pics of the ACTUAL skirt, since, ya know, My Muchness pic of the day isn’t exactly like the Nordstrom’s Website. haha.

Sequin Skirt:
Gold Medium
 CLICK TO BUY

Gold Large CLICK TO BUY

Silver Medium CLICK TO BUY

Silver Large CLICK TO BUY
 

Blue Large CLICK TO BUY

Black Large CLICK TO BUY
_____________

(More me Muchness Pics)

___________________

…..ummmm, wait. Theres something else. I also got leggings there!!!! Shhhh!!! I only have like, 4 pairs!!! Silver or gold!! I haven’t even worn mine yet, but Sarah wore hers!!! (Yes, she saw mine and HAD to have a pair of her own, but of course!) These also run a little small but have a cozy elastic waist and retail online for as much as $125!!! That’s NUTS!!! $35 bucks with FREE shipping and they’re ALL YOURS!!

But don’t hesitate. I have two of each color in each size. 


 

Sequined Leggings:
Medium Silver CLICK TO BUY
Large Silver CLICK TO BUY
Medium Gold CLICK TO BUY
Large Gold CLICK TO BUY