Summer Hair Styles

A classic French Pleat

The right hairstyle can make a plain woman beautiful, and a beautiful woman unforgettable!

Hair is the most important accessory we ALL have, so why not get creative, have fun and be different?

One of the reasons that I keep my hair mid length to long length is because of the versatility it allows me. I love that I can style it down straight, wavy, pull it back in a ponytail, use scarves, various styles of up-do’s and of course, it looks great with most hats.

I do know that a lot of people struggle with knowing how to style their hair, so that’s why I am dedicating this post to creating fun summer styles.

I learned when I was much younger how to do a french braid, french pleat, and various other styles and I would practice. Some nights when I am bored, instead of checking out and watching TV I go into my bathroom, pull out all my fun hair accessories, pull out the mirrors so I can see the back of my hair, and I set to work. I find styles that I have seen on others, experiment with my own way of styling my hair, and I have fun. In fact, when I lived with my cousin after first moving to the US, she used to wake me up in the morning to help her put her hair up for work. I had fun playing around with her hair and creating classy, business styles for her…

First things first, how do you find a style that will work for your hair? You can definitely find inspiration in all places, from friends, from people we see at work, in a store, or even on TV…but I have found that the best source of inspiration for me is definitely Pinterest. I have my own board, where I pin ideas, things I have tried, and things I want to try…(you can see my board by clicking here)

Secondly, how do you recreate a look you see? This one can be a little more tricky because it’s easier for some than others. If you haven’t been one to try different things with your hair or experimented, then it’s going to take a little more practice. I have found that for me it is best to try out a style I have found when I have a little extra time. As I am waiting for my bath at night I will pull out my phone and work on some of the styles I have pinned. I practice, play around to make it work for me, so that when I am getting ready in the morning and don’t have as much time, I can still manage to pull it together!

Thirdly, choose a style that works for what you are doing and is right for the weather. I do realize that not everyone has long hair, and I definitely do love some shorter styles and even pixie cuts, especially if you are are really making them sassy…but for me, I love the versatility that mid to longer length hair gives me. I love the up-do and I love being able to be flexible every day on what I create with my hair, but also having the option to make sure I stay cool. I tend to wear my hair up a lot more in the warmer months just because it’s more practical because it means that my neck is not sweating like crazy.

A simple chignon bun looks classy, is easy to do and is honestly my “go to” style because I know I can create it in less than 5 minutes because I have done it so many times! I had a friend tell me that she will often sit behind me at church and try to figure out how I created my up-do. All I can tell you is that I have found simple things that cut my time down and I use every shortcut possible. My biggest secret is that all I do is put my hair in a ponytail making sure I have all the hair framing my face that I want, and then I take one of those really small clear elastics, wrap my hair into a bun shape and put that around the shape to hold it in place. I then add some bobby pins strategically to hold it in place.

Because I realize that so many of us are visual people, I will be creating a “how to” video for my simple “go to” up do, and I will be sending that out in my newsletter…so if you haven’t signed up, click here to do that so you don’t miss it!

Packing for an Alaskan Cruise

Travel doesn’t become an adventure until you leave yourself behind!

Taken 15 years ago – and I was 7 1/2 months pregnant 🙂

I may be a fan of sunshine, but I am also a big fan of travel, especially with friends when FUN is involved. So, Brandon and I are embarking on a cruise (no kids) and we are looking forward to amazing adventures.

So what do you do on an Alaskan Cruise?

How do you pack for the weather and know what to wear?

Well, we actually did a cruise similar to this almost 15 years ago when I was pregnant with my 3rd son, Jack. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t my favorite and I got a little sick (I am hoping that it was because I was almost 8 months pregnant at the time), but it obviously didn’t put me off too much because we’re doing it again 🙂

It helps that we are traveling with a large group of friends and will be entertained most the time, but just in case, we are packing the acupressure sea sickness bands. I have used these on Caribbean cruises I have been on and a Greek Island cruise I have been on and whether they work or it’s a placebo, all I can tell you is that I didn’t get sick AT ALL…
If you’ve never tried them and you have a cruise coming up, I would highly recommend. You can shop them by clicking here (because these ones are super cool and gold and let’s be honest, it’s important to look good too) or find them at any pharmacy!

Planning and packing for a cruise is hard enough, let alone one where you never really know what the weather will be like…so here are some of my top packing items, and for everything else, I will be packing layers, a raincoat, workout clothes (I definitely like to exercise with all the food I know I’ll be eating), and some casual capsule pieces that I can mix and match with.

Of course, this is only a fraction of what I will be traveling with, but I do like to have a few new pieces whenever I go on vacation, paired with things I already own.

Like I mentioned, layers are a must and a raincoat – especially on the days when we go on excursions including Whale Watching, a train ride to a nature reserve and of course when we explore the city of Victoria, BC. Our cruise is Royal Caribbean – you can see what Alaskan cruise options they have by clicking here. If you’re interested in other places to cruise, we have also cruise the Caribbean with them and it was amazing. We found it was so much more fun for the kids (we hardly saw them at all) with all the on board activities.

I have always believed in looking good no matter what you’re doing so I always plan my outfits ahead of time (even if I don’t pack until the night before). I will admit that the hardest thing for me is restricting the number of shoes I take – because I like to have plenty of choices. With my clothes, I am able to pack pieces that can be worn in different ways to create entirely new looks, and I have linked some of my favorite, versatile pieces below, along with some layers and raincoats that I am taking 🙂

Just click the pictures below to shop – or click the links above to check out my packing list

The Right Sunglasses

Style is an expression of individualism mixed with charisma!

Are you anything like me where you LOVE to have a wide variety of sunnies, for different outfits, occasions or moods?

Are you a little more conservative and stick to the same style all the time?

Or, are you not sure what style of sunglasses works for you so you just buy a pair and hope for the best?

No matter which of these categories you fall into, there’s something to be learned about sunnies, where to shop them, how to wear them or which ones will work for the shape of your face…so READ ON!

First, let me start by saying that I don’t believe that there is only one style of sunglasses that will work for any one person, in fact, with all the different styles, shapes and colors, we all have the ability to create a wide variety of looks…

I have a strong, square jaw…and an oval face which means I can wear larger frames. I love sunglasses that cover a lot of my face, I like to really stand out…but what works for you? The first thing I would say is don’t wear something that doesn’t make you feel great. But, if you want to explore sunglasses shapes and styles, here are a few ideas:

  1. I have found that Sunglasses Hut actually allows you to shop by the shape of your fact (just click here) – this is a great way to find out what you’re looking for before you go out and try on EVERY SINGLE PAIR 😉 – just click here
  2. I always check out Nordstrom Rack for Designer sale sunglasses (they seem to have new ones all the time and a big selection most times of the year) – that way I can get an amazing pair without having to pay full price (unless of course you want to pay full price).
  3. Even though I love larger shapes, there are definitely some that are TOO LARGE for me. A good rule of thumb is that if they are wider than your face, then they’re definitely too big.
  4. Create a contrast with the sunglasses for your face shape. If you have a round face, steer away from round sunglasses, and so on.
  5. Aviators work with most shapes of faces…and bonus – I have never known a time when you can’t buy a pair of Aviators because they are always “in”.
  6. Not sure what shape of face you have? That’s OK…take a friend with you to give feedback as you try on various pairs.

There are a few styles and shapes that I love to have, but that doesn’t mean I am not willing to try new ones when I see them in stores. I buy a wide range of expensive designer ones (which I like to find at a bargain) and then some cheaper pairs that usually end up getting hammered because I just throw them around…it’s perfect for those that you know you will get bored of, or they will go out of style.

For this summer, here are some styles I am wearing…you can click the link below each picture to shop:

Tips to make Bargain Shopping Simple

A good denim jacket is a must!

Nothing haunts us like the things we didn’t buy!

I have always enjoyed the challenge of finding a deal, bargain shopping and feeling like I have accomplished something.  Do you get excited at the prospect of “saving” money, even if you didn’t need something?
Buying things that are on sale is not always easy, there are a lot of things that I have bought in the past that have sat in my closet, tags still on, and never worn because I only bought them because they were a “deal”. If this sounds like you, then you definitely need to read on!

Have you ever heard yourself say “look how much money I saved” when you bought something?  I have to admit that I have told Brandon that many times and he just laughs because he knows that in order to SAVE that money, it means I had to spend money 😉

If you’re interested in saving yourself some money without stressing yourself out, and having fun – read on…

Take Your Time

One of the biggest reasons that some people might be more effective at bargain shopping is that they allow themselves time.  I know it sounds simple, but if you’ve ever been into a store like TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack or Ross you know that if you want to find anything you really have to dig.  You have to be able to rummage, to pull things out, and to check everywhere because things are crammed onto racks and not everything is where it should be.  I have been told that stores like this are an anxiety catalyst, meaning that it makes them break out into a sweat even just thinking about going into them, so it makes sense that if you don’t want to experience that feeling as intensely, you probably want to avoid peak times (weekends or lunchtimes).

Know What You’re Looking For

I have found my bargain shopping success comes more often when I have a specific color, style or fabric I am searching for.  Of course that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t jump at amazing deals just because they are outside your search criteria (unless they fall into the category of buying it ONLY because it’s on sale), it just means you have at least a goal in mind.  Knowing styles that work for your body is also helpful so that when you find something in your size you have an idea of whether it will work even before you try it on.

Give Yourself a Limit

This is definitely an area where I struggle a little because I don’t like to take anything off the table.  If I find something I like to be able to buy it, but there have definitely been times that I have told myself I would only spend a certain amount and I have always been able to find multiple things that have kept me under that budget.  One thing I like to remind myself of is that something is only a bargain if you can afford it…if you have the means.  I absolutely love a lot of designer shoes and I would love to have my closet filled with Louboutins, Jimmy Choos or Manolo Blahnik’s, but it’s also not something I want to spend all my money on!

Take a Friend

I am definitely a highly efficient solo shopper (anyone who knows me will attest), however, the most fun I have is when I have a friend – you know that person that will tell you “NO!  don’t buy it just because it’s cheap!”  Another rule of bargain shopping is that a bargain is not a bargain unless it’s something you will really wear!  Like I mentioned before, the number of times I have bought something that was a “deal” only for it to sit in my closet for ages until I spring clean and send it to goodwill!

I’m loving this green color right now – it is such a fun spring/summer color to add to your closet!

Break it up

If you are making a day of shopping, break it up by grabbing lunch or coffee, just to allow yourself to recoup even if just for a little while.  As you know I often go out of town on shopping trips and while I do spend 99% of the time shopping, I definitely take time to smell the roses, enjoy the food and company! If you are not a “shopper” by nature, then you will definitely want to make sure that wherever you’re going, you don’t plan on spending more time than necessary there. Even though I do love to shop, I definitely don’t like to spend too long in any store – I like to scan, and then leave.

Do it Online

Bargain shopping is by no means something that needs to be done in person.  Most stores have mailing lists that you can sign up for and will receive sale offers, there are also many sites that offer discounts, and daily deals, so there is honestly no reason that you can’t find a deal from the comfort of your couch.  The key with online clothes shopping is knowing the styles that work for YOU and reading the sizing guide because every store has different sizing).  Some of the best deals I have came from online sites, which I especially love because I am less likely to see someone else wearing the same thing! Some of my favorite online shopping stores are: ASOS.com, BOOHOO.com, HAUTELOOK.com and of course some websites like Zulily that offers daily deals, and Brads Deals. Amazon has really “upped” their game too – so if I am looking for something specific or want to see some fun, less expensive styles, I always search their inventory too!

If you are one of the many that likes the idea of bargain shopping but it causes anxiety just thinking about it, I hope these tricks or tips have helped!  I would love to hear if you have any ideas that I may have missed…hit me up 🙂

You can check out some amazing deals by viewing some shopping links I have put together for you – my latest favorite bargains…and these SALE items even have a bigger discount, just click the picture links below…

Don’t be Afraid to be Different

Always remember that you are absolutely Unique – just like everyone else!

Do you fit the mold?
Do you identify as “normal”?

I don’t know what it is about the word NORMAL that just gets me going…

I know there were times in my life that I was laughed at for being different, for not being afraid to dress a little differently, for having strong convictions, and most importantly for not being afraid to stand up for myself.

As I get older I realize that I care less and less about what other people think, but care more about what I think about myself. In fact, that is one of the reasons I decided to start my blog. I wanted to share my belief that being unique is absolutely vital in this world, and it’s the only way that change will ever be made!

It’s not that I necessarily look for ways to stand out every day, but more about me making a decision to be ME every day regardless of what anyone else thinks. Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t like to try new and different things, embrace new styles or look for opportunities to put my stamp on something…it just means that I am doing it because it makes ME feel good and everything else is just gravy!

Take this outfit for example, nothing really groundbreaking…I added a little sass to a plain black outfit by wearing wonderful red booties and a scarf. Now, a scarf is nothing groundbreaking, except that I decided to wear it a little different. I wrote a blog post about a month ago about how wearing accessories doesn’t have to be just the traditional way – that you can also look for other ways to adapt the style to fit YOUR personality. I don’t wear scarves often and I think the reason I haven’t is because I find them a little too mainstream. Not that I don’t love them, but more that I haven’t really loved them on ME!

I will say that I did feel a little sassy wearing the scarf this way (not that the boots hurt either), but it made me feel like I was putting my own stamp onto the look and that always makes me smile!

Shop my looks by clicking any of the pictures below…

The scarf is linked on my Instagram story – or just click here to check it out…

Business like a Boss Lady

She knew the power of her mind, so she programmed it for success!

Just in case you missed my Video Podcast, I wanted to talk a little about Business Style and how it doesn’t have to be boring.

I think this was one of the most important realizations I had when I was working in Corporate America. YES – there are rules, but NO – it doesn’t mean you can’t adapt them and still be business appropriate.

I am a firm believer in that fact that you can look amazing even if you are not in a business suit or the traditional styles of old business. I’m not condoning breaking the dress code at the company you work at, but I have found that dressing appropriately for business doesn’t mean that you can’t still march to the beat of your own drum.

As women we have so much more opportunity to create our own look than men do, so why not take advantage of all the amazing offerings the world of fashion has for us?

Here are a few of my own suggestions and things I did that helped me feel great about my business style:

  • Incorporate bright colors – yes, you can add a bright colored blouse but what about really stepping it up and adding a pair of bright colored pants or a skirt. Red is always my favorite go-to, but there are so many others like green, purple, orange and yellow – or pretty much any color that is bold and stands out! Bold patterns are always find to wear too – like these cute joggers that look professional yet funky!
  • Add a little lace – it is so feminine and looks so professional as well. By adding something lace to your look, you will immediately elevate the look from ordinary to fabulous.
  • You don’t have to stick to traditional fabrics – try adding some leather or velvet. Gone are the days when wearing something less traditional is a bad thing. Leather was once thought to be edgy but now it really can be made to look feminine and classy by wearing a pretty blouse, and some stand out shoes!
  • Don’t forget the details – accessories can be the thing that elevate an otherwise ordinary outfit. By adding some cute jewelry, a scarf or carrying a bag that is fun – you will immediately draw peoples eyes to those pieces. Which means, if your business style is understated, you can make it more sassy and fun by adding some gorgeous accessories. Beware though – in this situation, less is more. Don’t over-do it…keep it classy!
  • You know my philosophy about shoes…well, it applies to business style as well. When you wear a pair of shoes that is colorful, bold or unique that’s what people more often than not will remember. I’ve talked about how someone’s shoes are usually the first thing I notice…well, I can tell you that I am not the only one 😉
  • Business IS all about looking professional – you having a jacket handy is a good thing…but that doesn’t mean that the jacket has to be ordinary. In fact, finding jackets that are unique is always fun for me – like the blazer I’m wearing here with the leather accents. Professional – YES! Unique – YES!

A lot of dressing for business in a way that still expresses your personality is really about changing your mindset. It’s about being open to exploring differentiations and creating your own interpretations of the rules.

None of the pictures I’ve posted are inappropriate business style, but can you agree that they are my unique style? I have found that I am happiest when I am not conforming to the opinions of others, but rather adapting situations to suit my style – but doing it in a way that is still social acceptable and fun! Sounds like a win/win doesn’t it?

Are you ready to explore your business style?

The Power of Femininity

I have linked my entire look at the end of this post…check them out – some great sale pieces to look for!

The thing that women still have to learn is that no one gives you power. You just take it!~

There are some mornings that I wake and want to feel a little softer, a little more gentle and feminine. I used to think that by doing that or acting that way it meant that I was soft or weak, but what I have found is that it makes me more approachable, less intimidating and it is a hat that we as women need to wear at times and not be ashamed of.

I’m not saying that’s it’s about acting different from who we are, but if we have that inside of us, that piece of us that likes to dress up (kind of like when we were little girls) wearing something pretty, frilly and feminine – then that’s what we shouldn’t be afraid to do.

There are some days when it is not the type of day I know I’m going to have, so I dress appropriately…but on those days where I feel like I don’t want to just be a #bossbabe, but want to feel in touch with my inner feminine side, this is how I dress.

I don’t care who you are, there are multiple personas inside all of us, and channeling them all I think it vital. Do you act differently at work than at home? I know I do. At work I am more like a CEO and at home I need to be there emotionally for my family. Dressing in a feminine way is just a way of expressing that different persona inside of you. Are you with me?

Certain styles and fabrics just scream femininity – here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Ruffles – wearing a pencil skirt is sexy, but when you add ruffles, it just softens the whole vibe. Not removing the effect, just making it a little more subtle.
  2. Lace – is classic, delicate and always a great feminine look.
  3. Embroidery – especially floral embroidery is a way to add a feminine touch to a piece that may have just been ordinary.
  4. Up do – when I really looking to amp up my feminine style, I like to wear my hair up. I like it to look soft rather than edgy, and in today’s post I added a gold bun cuff to add a little extra something.
  5. Velvet has the versatility to be both feminine, luxurious and sexy. It may not be considered a fabric for spring and summer, but I always find ways to add it in if I really feel like my outfit needs it. For example – I have a really cute skinny pink velvet scarf that when worn with a leather jacket and jeans can add just a small touch of femininity.
  6. Patterns – floral is obviously feminine but there are so many other patterns that can add to your feminine style. Such as: eyelet (or broderie anglaise), smaller brightly colored geometric patterns (especially when I think about African fabrics), brocade, stripes and hearts.

Obviously these aren’t the only way to create a feminine looking style, but they are definitely some to consider. If you have any questions about a fabric, pattern or style, don’t hesitate to contact me and I will answer you!

What does success mean to you?

Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules and build a life you’re proud to live!

There are so many definitions for success – for some it could mean being happy in whatever it is that you do.  For others it is tied to income or status, or even it could mean helping others.  Whatever your definition is, there is one thing that is absolutely vital in order to achieve your level of success.  You need to surround yourself and associate with people that think the same way as you do, because when you spend a lot of time with people, you start to emulate their characteristics – so pick the ones that think like you do, that have similar goals and most importantly, people that will lift you up rather tear you down or drain your energy!

As you know, I have changed the career that I had for 20 years, so things have definitely changed to say the least!

Here are some key things that I use in my life to stay motivated and feel successful:

  1. One thing that is a constant for me is that I get up every morning, get dressed (nicely) and go to my office. It’s not that I couldn’t work from our home office, but I have found for ME, I like the dressing up and going out part…
  2. I have found that the more passionate I am about something the more likely I am to put forth the most amount of effort into making it successful – so loving what I do every day is vital. Even when I am doing tasks I may not like, I tell myself I am doing it BECAUSE…and that because could be something as simple as “I want to feel proud of myself” or “I want to have the money to travel” etc…
  3. I am not afraid to try new things or take risks – it is sometimes easy to talk yourself out of something because it is not comfortable or scary.  You will not always get the results you want, but you certainly won’t grow unless you try new things and take risks. This is one that is very real for me right now – with the launch of my video podcast, things are definitely uncertain but HEY! I’m going with it 😉
  4. I have 100% confidence in myself that I will be successful.  If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will believe in you.  It doesn’t mean that every time you are going to get the result immediately that you want, but it does mean that sometimes you take a different path and find success in other ways.
  5. I always make sure that I take care of myself.  I have a busy life with a career, kids and volunteer work, but I always make sure that my cup is always at least partly full because if it isn’t, I can’t be there for anyone else. Self care and vacations are two very important things for me and, you can just ask anyone that knows me – especially about the vacations, I don’t ever sacrifice them!
  6. Finally, I take my relationships in business and my personal life very seriously – I am extremely grateful for everyone that I have and make myself available as much as possible to ensure that I continue to foster those relationships!

Mornings are hectic in my house as I am sure they are in yours, so taking the time on appearance, or spending time to make sure you are presenting yourself in the best way is something that can be neglected or at least not a priority.  I don’t think that I can say this enough – the better you feel about yourself, the better people are going to feel about you.  It doesn’t mean that you have to wear a ton of makeup, dress to the nines every day, but it does mean that you need to feel good about however you look.  Holding your head high when you walk into a room can change the entire dynamic of a situation…

Today’s outfit is one that makes me smile – makes me feel sassy (which I love to feel) and most importantly makes me hold my head high knowing that I feel good about myself…after all, when we love ourselves and feel good…that’s what others see!

Shop my look by clicking the links below…PS – I found the red pants and they’re ON SALE!!!

Have fun with Accessories

Accessories are like the perfect spice. They compliment what is already there…

Yes – I do believe that shoes are the most important part of an outfit.
No – that doesn’t mean it’s the only thing you can think about!

I love spending time finding great accessories that can help make an outfit pop – in fact, aside from changing a pair of shoes, accessories are the easiest and most noticeable ways to affect how you look. By adding a great pair of earrings you can achieve an immediate style pop. A bag can be the thing that draws the eye and even easier, now that spring is here and summer around the corner, add a fabulous pair of sunnies.

You can shop a similar bag to the cute backpack I’m wearing by clicking here

I always have so much fun shopping for accessories (OK, I admit it, I pretty much have fun shopping for ANYTHING)…but for accessories, it’s an easy one, you can just buy whatever and then find things to go with it. Earrings are a personal favorite of mine – I definitely love statement earrings, especially when I am wearing my hair up.

If you are looking for a way to “up” your style game, accessories are the perfect way to do it. Buy a fabulous pair of earrings or necklace (find some of my top picks at the end of this post that you can shop, a pair of fun sunnies (shop mine right here), or even a set of bead bracelets or bangles for your summer styling (see the end of the post to shop more of my picks).

New Spring Trends to Try…

Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will!

I don’t know about you but I am always looking for inspiration of new things I can try, how I can adapt things to suit myself and how I can incorporate current styles that I love into new season styles.

I have been really excited by a few that I have found recently, so I wanted to share them with you. Spring is my favorite time of year for trying new things because Winter and Spring are so different here in Utah that it really gives me an opportunity to change dramatically.

I love the optimism that spring brings, I love to see all the blossoms and flowers, and I love that the nights are longer. I feel like I have so much more time to do the things I want to do and I get excited about riding my mountain bike again, hiking, walking my dog through the neighborhood, and spending time playing ball outside or hanging by the pool with the boys.

Here are some great new styles and outfits I am excited to try this spring, what styles are you looking forward to?

Add a scarf – but wear it differently. Why not try tying it at the back rather than the front?

A pair of wide legged pants paired with some crochet or just rainbow colors

Add a pair of statement earrings to spice up your style – if you really want to rock out, style a simple denim outfit with some amazing tassel earrings

Leather with lace – the ultimate in edgy femininity

Break up an all black outfit with some colorful accessories or shades

Looking for places to find some of these styles, I have linked some great deals below…just click the links below…