Full Circle (A female entrepreneur memoir. In part.)

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Over the course of three years, I've run a business. I pause there because I'm just going to let that sink in for myself. I didn't just run a business, I started a business. That in itself is a triumph.

From an idea, to conception, to experimentation, and (my God) through trial and error... to finally finding my model and my place as a businesswoman in this world. It's been a long chunk of time that I've even allowed myself to feel proud and good about that.


Because it's been hard. Really, really hard.

The hardest part? Getting my heart broken more than once. You might say that I have no place in the business world if I could even make a statement like that. But why isn't it OK to say so? The toughest moments were those with people - colleagues, clients, and even those I once considered friends who have all but demolished my spirit at times. Don't get me wrong, those moments have been few and far between. But I've been blindsided more than a few times and every time it surprised me. Every time it hurt. I look back now at those moments as major forks in the road. I always had a decision to make. Which way do I go?

I always knew that it was OK to stop...

But I never did.

I never could.

There's a piece of my heart that has absolutely toughened up over time, but I don't want to believe that you can't have a good, kind heart, that you can't believe in people, and still be in this fierce, competitive world.

And you know what else I found? There are far more lovely, encouraging, equally committed, and supportive females out there who are rooting for you to succeed than to fail. And the past forty eight hours have really proven that to me (more on that later). And it's been proven in such a blazingly obvious way, that I feel like it's a direct hit of love and light nudging me... don't stop. Don't you dare stop. 

So I won't.

Over the past few years something else happened... I've grown so much more into becoming the woman I always wanted to be. And that's huge.

So here I am at another fork in the road, and that road lead me straight back here. The original source of inspiration, but a more grown version.

A grown-up version of November Grey.

Thanks for still being here. I'm going to keep this blogspot as a place to share these thoughts (of course some fashion!) and all the inspirations that keep me going. And make sure to check out novembergrey.com - the business side of things. This female entrepreneur won't quit. (And neither should you!)

With love,

Tanya xx

This is what happens when your sister takes your kids for the night

Saturday, June 4, 2016

You go to bed at midnight 

Because you've had too much thai iced tea at dinner. (No, not wine, not vodka. Iced tea. Apparently this is now how you roll.)

You still wake up at 6:00AM 

Because your body is so accustomed to it. Or perhaps because the sunrise still flickers in ever so slightly from those expensive, black-out, Pottery Barn curtains you just purchased. Or maybe because the rumors really are true - as you get older, you just sleep less. 

You miss your babies for a moment, then realize you haven't gotten to sit outside on your deck in the peaceful morning air with coffee for... (oh, wait) you've NEVER done this. So you grab a magazine and a yummy cashmere sweater, and take in the morning, sip by sip. (Bliss)

Your husband wakes up in a panic at 8AM because its too quiet, and everyone's gone (including his wife) and he thinks you've been kidnapped. You see his sleepy and adorable face relieved to see you (simply enjoying a cup of coffee on the deck) and for a moment remember what it was like when it was just the two of you. 

You go back to bed together until 9AM

You eat a piece of chocolate. The whole thing. And you don't share it with anyone. 

You realize that you're starving, because around 9:30-10AM is usually close to lunch time for you in your real world. So rather than grabbing a bit of toast or a quick bowl of cereal, you make scrambled eggs with care, sprinkling in cheese and carefully cut tomatoes. You savor every last, slow bite (except for the intentional leftovers you keep for your sweet, old dog Violet - who also remembers what it was like when it was just the two of you.)

You blog again. 

You let the words pour out, not for a job, not money, not for clients or reasons. Simply because it's what you used to do to center your world and somehow make sense and keep track of things. You write because you love it. You share because you wonder if perhaps your audience is still there to listen. But either way you're doing it for you. You. And you realize right then and there that everything is not without sacrifice. Balance isn't possible, but to prioritize what can be sacrificed is. To have these stolen moments, you will be without your children. When you have them with you, no other priority is possible. And that's how it should be. And you also realize in a sort-of epiphany-of-peace that to have the career and the write-ups and the work and the successes, the hard times and the heartbreaks, the ups and the downs that come with running a business, you will get less of this. But maybe, just maybe... there's room for a little bit more. 

They Say You Can't Go Back

Monday, March 30, 2015

Oh, I've missed you. A cup of coffee in my hand, a silent, sleeping house, and my blank, open blog space ready to be filled up with words. Like returning to an old boyfriend you left behind... not because he was bad for you, but simply because you had outgrown him. You wanted to see and explore new things. But every once in a while you check in. A text. A quick call when life changing events happen; a wedding, a death, a birth, or maybe just because you remembered one day that he always treated you with kindness. And he helped you grow.

(photo Sechoir TV)

What am I talking about? An old boyfriend or a blog? Ha. Both, I suppose. Mostly the latter. It occurred to me after my year of hard work conceptualizing, creating, and managing my own business, full of so many things that inspire me: fashion, beauty, on-camera work interviewing women leading their own companies that inspire me so much, that there was one tiny thing that I missed... writing.

So, like a check-in text, or nostalgia, or simply because I remember just how much this blog meant to me, (and not to take anything away from my current flame) sometimes I will write.

Goodbye November Grey - This is Where I Leave You

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Chambray - Loft, Skirt - Lou & Grey, Neon Clutch - Old Navy, Heeled Sandals - Jessica Simpson
{For more details on this look - visit Séchoir}

I've been meaning to write this post for some time now, but every time I sit down to do it, I get stuck. There's so much I want to say about how these past few years have changed my life. How do you some it all up in one, short post? In all honesty it makes me a little sad.

I started this blog soon after my daughter was born, as an outlet to express. To keep being ME, to keep going and growing by documenting the many inspirations that motivate me on a daily basis... From fashion, to food, to my beautiful family and amazing friends, old and new, who have supported me, so unconditionally through this journey. (You know who you are and I love you.)

As I look back over the years, I'm so grateful I have pages of visual and written documentation of my life and passions during this time. What a gift it's been to share it with you all. I feel so lucky that so many of you responded to it - whether it was a recipe or a thrifted vintage shirt, or the way you decorated your own kid's birthday party. I realize now that it was just as much for me as it was for you. My most "popular posts" and all those comments from you, all the collaborations with brands and other bloggers who have become actual, REAL-life friends, have given me the courage to grow even more.

And now I must move on.

If you'd like to know what I'm up to these days, visit my new website, Séchoir. A video styling series that was born out of the concept of fashion blogging, but has evolved into so much more. We also have a blog section where I'll continue to write and dream and document...

I'd love it if you stopped by.

Goodbye, November Grey. You have meant the world.

What Truly Matters

Thursday, July 24, 2014

For me, those moments and those someones are all that matter.

And sometimes I'm afraid I'm missing it all.

What a whirlwind it's been, you guys!

I've been trying my best to keep up with everything. Starting my own biz, turning my garage into that business' office, the day-to-day grind of kids and house and pets and work...

This poor, neglected blog...

I had a thought this morning as I stared into my children's faces, sleep-eyed, mussed up hair, smeared syrup all over their tiny fingers from the waffles I made them... this is my "nameless" moment. This is my beautiful now -- full of smiles and connected hearts and the things that truly matter.

I hope I can pause the time in a way that makes me sit still in these moments for a while. Appreciate what I have been given -- as I blast full-steam ahead into my personal goals and dreams.

Gluten Free Banana Bread Muffins

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I have a (super delicious) banana bread recipe that is a family (and friend!) favorite and in serious rotation in my house. I've made it so many times that I've memorized the ingredients and can practically make it with my eyes closed. If you haven't tried it - go here immediately and do so.

Recently I did a week long cleanse. No sugar, no alcohol, no carbs, no processed junk - just lean protein and vegetables. Let me tell you it was not easy, but it was one of the smartest things I've ever done. Once you get your body into a squeaky clean state, you can slowly add back foods, one-by-one, to see which are good for your body, and which are not. (More on that later.)

What I also realized is that while I'm all about splurging from time to time and love to bake, I needed a healthier, lighter version of my traditional banana bread. I found this recipe here (love & light to you, Jacqui) and modified it until it worked for me. I'm pretty sure I've perfected it. My babies loved them and I don't think they even noticed the difference other than the omission of their beloved chocolate chips.

4 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour

To make this vegan, substitute apple sauce for eggs and Smart Balance or any other butter substitute in place of butter.

Bake at 350 for 12-15 min. 
Yields about 48 mini muffins - two tins of 24. Enjoy!

Red Balloons for Ryan

Monday, May 26, 2014

Blogging is funny. It's a strange and wonderful world we live in where the power and immediacy of social media can touch so many, so quickly. I've made some "blogging buddies" over the years. Some I even consider to be real friends, even though I've never actually met them in person. Which is strange if you think about it. But it's how I feel none-the-less. What is a friend anyway? Someone you connect with on a regular basis, someone who lifts your spirits, inspires your life, gives you recipes and outfit advice. Man, I feel honored that some of you even think of me that way... heading over to this little blog of mine that's been so neglected lately. (Sorry about that.)

With so little time, I've been getting my daily dose of social media "friendship" on instagram lately. Keeping up with all my favorite bloggers in one quick instant - what they're doing, (what they're wearing, baking, etc...) and recently something made my heart stop and hurt so hard that I can't stop weeping about it. And now I realize that the connection you feel to these cyber buddies also means you can feel their pain along with the joy... in one quick instant.

Jacqui from Baby Boy Bakery recently lost her three year old son, Ryan in a tragic accident. The last picture of him on her instagram feed was a shot of him running happily through Disneyland - on the last day he was alive. As I type I can't stop the tears from flowing and I can feel, so clearly the sharp pain of fear only a mother can experience. As I simultaneously try to listen out for my own kids on the deck, clean up the kitchen and do a million and one other things, I realize just how fleeting and fragile this life, this moment in time is.

I'm baking the muffins you posted on your blog, Jacqui - the last happy recipe while Ryan was with you. The first time I've ever tried baking with gluten-free flour... and they're not quite turning out the way I planned. Just the way life goes. My heart and thoughts and tears are with you and your family. Keep going, keep blogging, keep sharing your story along with us. If prayers and energy are real (and I believe they are) then you have an army of love surrounding you right now. Sending peace to you and red balloons for Ryan.
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