What are your event colors saying?

color-meaningsThe colors you use when hosting your event can say a lot about not only the event but who you are as a person. Should your guest come expecting a lively, exciting party, a sophisticated and passionate event or a calm and relaxing, vintage-inspired affair?  The tone of your event is set with each component of the event starting with any  correspondence you send and the colors you use.

Today I want to delve into what the colors you use for your event say about you and your event. It’s sometimes thought that a person’s choice of colors for their event tends to be a subconscious reflection of their personality. Today let’s take a look at the colors red and yellow.

RED– The color red is a strong, energetic color that evokes passion, energy, and demands attention. Events that feature red are usually those where the hosts want to make a bold statement.  Red can be very versatile, though, with brighter versions being more energetic and darker shades being more powerful and elegant.red wedding

Keep in mind that red can mean different things to different people.  Outside the western world, red has different associations. For example, in China, red is the color of prosperity and happiness. It can also be used to attract good luck. In other eastern cultures, red is worn by brides on their wedding days. In South Africa, however, red is the color of mourning.

If you’re looking to use red as a main color in your event, what you pair it with can  contribute to creating a cohesive look that expresses who you are and what you want your guests to feel while attending your event.

Red flowers symbolize courage, respect, constancy, admiration and,  desire.

Red events, especially in weddings create a warm and stimulation moodRed is energizing. It excites the emotions and can evoke feelings of passion and excitement. But beware….The color red can stimulate the appetite, often being used in restaurants for this purpose.  You might make some of your guests REALLY hungry!

YELLOW– like the sun, denotes positivity and optimism. A yellow event brings joy and happiness to your guests

yellow eventExuding warmth and vitality and usually possessing a great sense of humor, people who love yellow are usually cheerful and optimistic. They tend to look forward to the future and are intellectual, creative and idealistic.

A yellow event creates a warm, welcoming, cheerful and happy mood which can often lift up the spirits of your guests.  You’ll often find yellow being used for events that celebrate new beginnings like baby showers.

Variations of yellow include; citrine, golden (lemon) yellow, cream and a darker, deeper yellow.

Yellow events tend to yell “let’s have some fun and be happy!” while Yellow flowers represent trust, compassion, respect, sympathy and warmth.

What about you?  What feelings or thoughts to the colors red and yellow evoke for you?

Dare to be you

Happy Friday everyone! It’s been unusually quiet around here lately and I apologize for that.  Life forced me to take a much-needed break from many things I’d been focused on and this blog just happened to be one of them.  It wasn’t intentional but it happened.  It started off with a surprise pregnancy and horrible morning sickness, add in two toddlers, commitments made to my previous job, a bunch of bumps in the road and a whole lot of distractions and you have the recipe for my extended absence.

This forced absence has caused me to do some real housecleaning in my heart, y’all.  It’s made me re-access everything I thought I knew and wanted for my life.  Am I really cut out for a life as a wife, mom, entrepreneur, active church volunteer and all-around encourager or is it better for me to drop everything and just be focused on one or two things? Do I postpone pursuing my dreams because life has gotten tough or do I push through because that’s what makes for a great success story?  These are all things I’ve been asking myself lately.

Thankfully, I finally feel like I’m traveling to the other side of the crisis and while I can’t confess that I’ve got it all figured out, I can say that I have a clearer path on how to proceed.  In the word of Dory from Finding Nemo I’m going to “just keep swimming”.

Today I want to share something that’s been stirring in my heart for a while now. Believe it or not, this post was actually written back in July! I haven’t had the nerve to post it until now. It seems like I’m back at the same place I was six months ago because this posts still rings true for me today. Through everything I’ve been wrestling with internally I realized that a lot of my uneasiness about my place in life was based on other people’s comments, looks, unspoken words, etc. You get the point…

dare2bu

Here is what I’m learning. WE CANNOT ALLOW OUR DECISION TO BE BASED ON OTHER’S OPINIONS OF US.  Since each person has their own opinion, whose opinion will you use to make your decision? Do you see how this can lead you into a vicious cycle? I know firsthand about this because for far too long, I’ve been caught in this cycle.  To a certain extent, I still get on the roller coaster from time to time until I make a conscious effort that other’s opinions are their opinions and I refuse to live my life by their expectations.  It really is a daily battle.

The question is this: do we want to live a fragile life built around other’s expectations, experiences, and information (or lack thereof).  A life that can and will change when someone else comes along with a better argument about the way you should live your life and what you should be doing. Or would you rather live a flourishing life built around the Creator’s intricately, tailored plan just for you, your gifts and your experiences?  Which sounds better?

I’ll give you a very specific and personal example from my own struggles.  Several years ago I read a book called Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America.  A summary of the book from Amazon reads:

Shifting reveals that a large number of African-American women feel pressure to compromise their true selves as they navigate their lives. Black women “shift” by altering the expectations they have for themselves or their outer appearance. They modify their speech. They shift “White” as they head to work in the morning and “Black” as they come back home each night. They shift inward, internalizing the searing pain of the negative stereotypes that they encounter daily. And sometimes they shift by fighting.

I read the book and cried as I saw the double life I felt I lead was finally exposed on paper.  I never felt any of my work colleagues truly new me because there was always this other side of me I was afraid to reveal because of what they might think if they were shown my “other side”. I was often asked to represent the “Black voice” about current music and trends when I actually listened to NPR and have always been a huge Martha Stewart fan!  How was I to know what Jay-Z and Kanye’s music meant to a new generation of young Black people?

This is not just a Black woman thing.  It’s a human nature thing. I’m still faced with making the shift only now the groups are different; now it’s my Christian friends or my white friends or my friends who haven’t had many of the same experiences I have.  If I show them all of me, will they accept me or will they shun me for the little piece of me that isn’t like them and doesn’t fit into their idea of what “right” is.  Here’s the thing I know to be sure, It’s miserable to live trying to please everybody else and suppressing who you really are to appease others yet I see many people do it all the time.  I speak from experience when I say that living this way can lead you to a place where you’ve tried to please others for so long that you no longer know who you are.  I’ve been there and you can rebound from it but take my advise and don’t let yourself get to that point.

So here’s the biter of all this; it’s easy to see your side of this coin and say I won’t live my life based around someone else’s expectations yet it’s not so easy when we see others doing things we couldn’t necessarily see ourselves doing for our lives.  “I can’t believe she wants to stay at home with those kids all day”.  “What kind of mother works? Her children need her at home!”  We have to learn to give each other grace as women, as mothers, as Christians, as humans.  We all miss it and all too often we’re hard enough on ourselves without the added weight of other’s opinions.

What I’m saying is this; Let’s all strive to live our lives based on the person you were created to be and celebrate the unique gifts and individual bent God has given you. Let’s seek to see the good in each person we’re in contact with. Although different, we all have a story to tell.  That story just might surprise and help you if you’re open to hearing it.

I struggled with even putting this out for people to critique however as I’ve so often learned, if I’m struggling with it, there are others struggling with it.  Maybe this might help someone else. It certainly is serving as a pep talk to me!

In Love,

Madelyn

My update

Happy Friday everyone! It’s been unusually quiet around here lately and I apologize for that.  Life forced me to take a much-needed break from many things I’d been focused on and this blog just happened to be one of them.  It wasn’t intentional but it happened.  It started off with a surprise pregnancy and horrible morning sickness, add in two toddlers, commitments made to my previous job, a bunch of bumps in the road and a whole lot of distractions and you have the recipe for my extended absence.

This forced absence has caused me to do some real housecleaning in my heart, y’all.  It’s made me re-access everything I thought I knew and wanted for my life.  Am I really cut out for a life as a wife, mom, entrepreneur, active church volunteer and all-around encourager or is it better for me to drop everything and just be focused on one or two things? Do I postpone pursuing my dreams because life has gotten tough or do I push through because that’s what makes for a great success story?  These are all things I’ve been asking myself lately.

Thankfully, I finally feel like I’m on the other side of the crisis and while I can’t announce that I’ve got it all figured out, I can say that I have a clearer path on how to proceed.  In the words of Dory from Finding Nemo, if I’ll “just keep swimming”, I’ll get where I need to be.

My hiatus hasn’t been all bumpy roads and life re-assessment, not at all.  I’ve had a healthy pregnancy and some really good times with my family.  I’m currently 31 weeks pregnant with my 3rd little Ridgeway boy!  An ultrasound in early April revealed that despite everyone’s girl guesses, I am indeed housing another member of the male species. Because of this, the MRE offices will be closed starting August 4- September 20 so I can enjoy some time with my new little guy.

There are also some REALLY exciting things on the horizon that I can’t wait to share with y’all.  Be sure to sign up for the Love letters newsletter if you haven’t already to be the first to know about the new happenings.

If you’ve been struggling with something, I’d love to know so I can keep you in my prayers and encourage you.  Leave a message in the comments and I’ll send you a little something special.