A Body of Strengths

Last Friday night, I was scrolling through Instagram, drinking a vodka and sparkling water. In hindsight, that’s probably not the best combination for a Friday night.

See, I was quickly getting down about myself as I saw countless beautiful women with “perfect” bodies appear on my feed.

This picture in particular caught my eye. So much so that I sent it to my best friend Jessica as a joke with the comment, “This is going to be me in 21 days.”

Fit girl

Apparently, this wasn’t the first time over the last few weeks that I was cutting up my body to Jess – specifically criticizing my “four-month, stretched out prego stomach.” No, I’m not pregnant, I just look the part. So she called me out on it! She told me to stop beating myself up for no reason and that my pity party was over.

That’s what best friends are for. Telling you how it is when you’re being ridiculous.

But raise your hand if you’ve been in my shoes. As women, we are constantly picking apart ourselves. How many of you have had this conversation with yourself or your girlfriends?

My nose is too big. I wish I had bigger breasts. I want a butt lift. I need liposuction. My feet are too big. I need Botox. I’m too fat. I’m too skinny.

And the self-deprecating comments just keep coming.

Why is it so easy to point out our perceived flaws, yet we have a hard time flaunting our best features?

It’s like in the workplace when I tell my team to develop their strengths and focus less on their weaknesses. It seems silly to grow a weakness (i.e. I’m not good at the financials, unless I’m spending money), so we concentrate on growing our strengths. Why can’t we do this about our bodies?

It’s time we change the narrative.

When I was in high school my Nana would tell me that I had such nice “gams.” I had no clue that “gams” meant legs. And until she said that, I never really thought they were anything to write home about.

But as I matured over the years, I learned to like my legs. I learned to show them off in skirts and dresses and shorts. I constantly receive compliments on them… and my big blue eyes… another strength.

It’s taken me years to recognize them as assets and is still a little hard for me to admit it aloud. But that’s the point. We all have at least one or two or hopefully 10 things we like about our bodies. And we should be PROUD of them. If you can’t think of anything, consider the last compliment you received. Oftentimes it’s our friends, family or strangers on the street who see something in us before we do.

So, what are your best features? What do you love about your body? What do you get the most compliments about? Sound off in the comments below.

I know it might be hard to admit but we need to start embracing our beauty.


Judging a Book by its Cover

Have you ever been in a book store or library and selected a book based on its cover? Maybe it was one that had a catchy title or a beautiful image. Or maybe it was a combination of the two that made you reach for it.

The author typically selects the title and illustration for the book – two aspects that represent the contents of the story and draw the reader in.

Fashion is much like that. While outfits and book covers may seem extremely different, the two share a similar appreciation to detail and style. Just as the cover of a book indicates its contents, an outfit indicates the contents of an individual’s personality.

Aside from utilitarian purposes, clothing provides one of the greatest opportunities to express your sense of self. Clothing is not optional ninety-nine percent of the time, unless of course you are a nudist. So, when you select an outfit, much like an author, you are telling the reader how you want to be portrayed.

I am by no means insinuating that a person’s clothing is what defines them as an individual. I am simply saying that an outfit has the power to indicate a lot of information about a person.

Last week, my fellow classmates and I learned about the importance of your personal image from Mary. I learned that it only takes seven seconds for a person to inform an impression of you. Where does most of that impression come from? Your appearance. Appearance includes every visual element that can be seen and understood in the first seven seconds, including your outfit.

How do you make a good first impression? What do you want to be known for? How do you want to showcase your personality?

I encourage you to tap into your creativity, evoke a sense of individuality and display it through your wardrobe. Aside from whatever brands, trends or messages you are representing while wearing a particular outfit, you are representing something even greater, YOU.

Never let go of your sense of authenticity. Always remember that you are the protagonist in your novel.

Carpe Diem,




Don’t Let a Weak Moment Define You

When planning my second blog post topic, I instantly went to, “oh, I’ll tell them all about…

  • my life story – including crazy stories about being the oldest of six kids,
  • Chris, my husband of almost 10 years – and how we met after I appeared on a billboard,
  • my three handsome boys – Jack (6), George (4) and Frankie (3),
  • why and how I decided to create Perfectly Poised – a personal style and image consulting business and
  • why I feel compelled to write a blog.”

BLAH. What a mouthful.  And clearly, All. About. Me.*

But this isn’t a blog about me. It’s for you, the reader who wants to escape your life for five minutes, relate to someone who gets what’s it’s like to be Perfectly Imperfect and perhaps chuckle because you’ve been or done something similar. So let’s cut to the chase.

Take Monday for example. I try to kick it up a notch when it comes to my outfit to start the week off on the right foot. Even though I didn’t eat the greatest over the weekend and the scale was moving in the wrong direction, my sweet husband complimented me on my figure. HA! My “smoke and mirrors” trick of looking 10 pounds lighter was fooling him! (More on looking thinner in a future post). I packed a healthy lunch and gym clothes for a post work gym session. I was ready to tackle the day and the week.

Then meetings and emails began to flood my day. I let people’s comments get me down. The stress began to build, I started biting my cuticles and by the end of the work day I was SPENT. I may or may not have mentioned to my boss that being a cabana girl in the southern Caribbean was starting to sound really appealing. (I mean, what possible stress would you ever encounter being a cabana girl? Someone getting upset that you gave them the wrong color umbrella garnish in their drink? I’d take that any day of the week.)

Anyway, back to my real life. Instead of trying to turn the day around, I found myself driving to a local chocolatier, filling my basket with every sort chocolate covered item you can imagine (pretzels, Oreos, potato chips (yes, there is such a thing))… and a few things for the kids and Chris for Valentine’s Day. I didn’t want it to look like I was trying to shoot just myself up with enough sugar to last me until Easter. (I’m giving up all sweets for Lent this year because, I’m seriously addicted.)

I proceeded to eat said chocolate in the car as I scrolled through Instagram. And low and behold, what image pops up? One of the most beautiful women in the world – Blake Lively – in her perfect workout outfit, 14 months postpartum, looking like a supermodel. It set me over the edge. Here I was, stuffing my face with copious amounts of chocolate, wishing I could have a body…and hair like hers. Ummm, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what I was doing wrong.


I mean, I’m so happy for her. She looks fantastic and clearly put in the hard work. Blake also has a very important point – you can’t look and feel that good by scrolling through Instagram wondering why you don’t.

My pity party was over. Time to woman up and start again. It could have been real easy to get sucked into the black hole of feeling down about what a bad day I had. Or complain that the reason she looks like that is because she has all the time and money in the world to go to the gym. (Celebrity or not, raising kids, tending to a husband, all the while juggling a career and God forbid having time to yourself takes a whole lot of balance.)

She gave me the motivation that I needed in that weak moment. I can do anything I set my mind to and one slipup wasn’t going to define my life. Tomorrow is a new day!

What’s something that has given you the motivation to say, enough is enough and pushed you back on the wagon? Let me know in the comments.


*If you really want to get to know me better, check out the Meet Mary page or follow me on Facebook or Instagram. I can promise you that my life isn’t fancy… but Perfectly Imperfect to me.

Uncle johns.JPG

I’m surrounded by handsome men (clockwise) Chris, George (4), Jack (6) and Frankie (3).

Most Likely to be Imperfect

Remember high school superlatives? You know, the “Mostly Likely to” … cure cancer… star on Saturday Night Live (my BFF’s) … or serve as the first woman President.

Well, mine was perfect. No seriously, I was voted “Most likely to be perfect.” I beamed with pride when I received my year book and read those five words. I’ve wondered why my classmates thought of me this way. Maybe it was because I strived to get straight As, or that I always wanted to look put together, or that I was a successful three sport athlete or simply because they couldn’t think of anything else.

Most Likley to be

Fast forward 18 years. What I’ve learned is that being perfect is an unachievable goal. Even when we think others are perfect – have the perfect life, marriage, kids, career – they aren’t. There is typically something he or she is struggling with… whether out in the open or deep down inside. But that doesn’t mean that you give up all hope and stop trying to be the best version of yourself.

Life takes effort. And while it’s much easier to sit on the couch and binge watch your favorite TV show (Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), eat crappy food riddled with sugar or salt (Romolo’s chocolate covered pretzels), wear yoga pants seven days a week (cheers to the inventor of “athleisure wear”) or not care about your physical appearance (all of which I’m guilty of), doesn’t it feel a whole lot better when you pull yourself together and rise above?

That’s why I decided to write this blog, called Perfectly Imperfect. It’s really a dichotomy of sorts. It’s for those who want to look great and be confident, but some days can’t even get through the day without a “major” crisis. And that’s OK!

You’ll see a healthy balance of fashion, lifestyle and empowering narratives, mixed in with real life vulnerability. I want this to be a safe place for readers to embrace their inner imperfection, yet at the same time leave with the motivation to reach their full potential.

The goal is to publish the blog every Thursday… but don’t hold me to it because I’m not perfect.

Be sure to tune in next week when I’ll dig a little deeper into who I am and why I decided to launch Perfectly Poised, a style and image consulting business in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Thank you for showing interest in my blog. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. How are you perfectly imperfect?

Life can get in the way of your goals but that doesn’t mean you stop setting goals. It simply means that you do the best you can, adjust course, keep going and have a good sense of humor about it all.


Yearbook Photo

Senior Portrait – Villa Maria Academy Class of 2000