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?

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!!!

Professionally Styled

If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission!

Have you ever struggled with what to wear for work, an interview or for a professional meeting? I am not sure if it is because I am from England or just because I like to play dress up but I have always loved putting together outfits that are more dressy and polished looking…

To me, when I dress up, it is letting my audience (who I am meeting with) know that I am taking them seriously and that I care enough about making a good impression to dress up! Sometimes knowing when it is the right time to dress professionally can be the difference between getting the job at an interview, closing the sale, or making the impression you want so that you can make a long term connection. I have heard a lot of people tell me that people shouldn’t judge us by what they see, but rather by what they hear or learn from us. The problem with that is that we have ABSOLUTELY no control over what others think, and whether they should or not, they are likely going to form an opinion of us whether we like it or not. But here’s the thing…we can have a lot to do with what that opinion is by dressing appropriately for our audience (or more simply, dressing in a way that is going to make the best impression on the person we will be interacting with at any time).

I know that when I meet someone I pay attention to pretty much every detail – good or bad. I notice shoes, accessories, styles, colors, cuts of clothes, how things fit, and I most definitely notice the confidence of the person I am meeting with. If I meet someone that has their own unique or even quirky style, their confidence level is going to be what I notice the most because to be different, unique or quirky a certain level of confidence is required…and it’s this that sets them apart!

Having confidence in yourself and how you are presenting yourself is vital to this whole dressing the part thing! I actually think it is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING because even if I don’t like I style for myself, I can truly appreciate someone else’s style especially when I know that it makes them feel amazing. It tells me that they are not afraid to take risks and they are comfortable in their own skin.

Professional or business style doesn’t have to be boring, in fact, it can have an even greater impact if it is more non-traditional and a little bit unique. For women we have the opportunity to create a lot of different looks – and that’s what makes our style so much more fun…

Take this tweed dress – it’s professional, but unique. Paired with some sparkly tights and boots, a fun, unique take on business style.

You can shop my look and similar by clicking the links below…

Make No Excuses – Just Goals

 

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment!”

 

Do you have goals?  Even if you think you don’t, I am sure there are some things that you want to achieve.  It could be as simple as decorating your home, raising your kids to be respectful, or even just about eating healthy.  What one thing do all these goals have in common?  They require WORK to get there!

Have you ever found yourself imaging your future, the home you’ll live in, the career you’ll have, standing at your kids’ weddings next to the bride or groom with pride all over your face?  To imagine is completely normal, but the only way you will actually get there is by doing at least some work.

In order to stand next to your kids on their wedding day requires you having a good relationship with them (WORK), to have the career you want (EFFORT), to move homes (WORK, TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD IT).  The thing that I have noticed in my 20 year career in sales is that unfortunately a lot of people want the reward without the effort.  The problem with that is that our imaginations can create AMAZING realities, but when we are in our actual reality it looks bleak in comparison.

It is only my second day in my new career, and I can tell you that it has its challenges, the grass is not always going to be greener, but the one thing that I have going for me is that no matter what I am not afraid to put in the effort.  Working hard is not the most important thing, working smart needs to be part of it as well.  I have found myself having to think a lot more about structuring my day to include tasks I want to accomplish, the things I need to do, along with things that I know will distract me if I don’t schedule time for them.

We have so many distractions in our life that if we don’t schedule time for those distractions we will become swept away, and when the option of doing a harder task versus something that is more fun, we will always welcome the fun one if we haven’t planned ahead.  For example, as I sit writing this blog I have probably had 20 emails, 3 texts, not to mention the phone call from one of my boys.  Obviously some distractions can’t be avoided (I try to never miss a call from my kids, even though most of the time it’s about drama or something I wish I didn’t have to deal with), but the big question is…do we welcome those distractions.  I will definitely admit that when I am doing mundane tasks I tend to become more easily distracted and tend to stay that way for longer.

So, now we know what we have to deal with on a daily basis..how do we  handle it effectively?  I have found that I allocate myself a certain amount of time on a task, and once that time is up I switch to another task.  If I haven’t completed the first task I can always go back to it.  This helps me with my focus,  my boredom and most importantly I allow myself a little break (even if it’s just a bathroom break) so I don’t become burned out!

 

 

I don’t always do work outdoors like I am in this post, but there are definitely times when a little fresh air can be exactly what the doctor ordered – maybe you can give it a try (although it’s been pretty cold here in Utah, so I won’t be able to do it soon!)

Today is Wednesday – what have you accomplished this week already and what do you still want to achieve?  Comment below…

Leather and Heels

 

“Instead of thinking how hard your journey is, think of how great your story will be!”

As you already know I love my shoes, and I love all shapes, sizes, colors and patterns…so when new styles, especially those that are unique come out, I have to at least try them, right?!

The good news about some of the latest styles out right now -they work for just about anyone.  Block or chunky heels are great because they are much easier to walk on than stiletto’s, kitten heels are heels that are much smaller than regular pumps, yet the small heel still allows them to look feminine.  The heels in this are some mules that I found on my trip to England, and absolutely fell in love with (mainly because I loved how unique the heels were, but also because I didn’t have a pair of mules like this…

 

My leather skirt is a Zara purchase – not that I am short of leather skirts, but I didn’t have one this color 😉 The cream blouse is perfect to add a feminine touch to the outfit, and make it work appropriate.  I have talked about wearing leather for work before, and this is another great example of how you can do that and still look classy/business like!

Looking for ideas or ways to wear leather for work…here are a few of my favorite looks:

  1. Leather pants with a velvet tuxedo jacket and button up blouse
  2. Knee high leather skirt, knee high boots and a fitted sweater.
  3. Suit jacket with leather accents, paired with satin pants, and satin blouse.
  4. Midi fitted leather skirt with ankle boots and a loose fitting blouson top.
  5. Leather leggings or tight pants with a long tunic top and animal print shoes.

These are just a few of my favorite ways of wearing leather for work…what is your favorite way?

Shop some of my Top current leather picks below…

(This post contains affiliate links meaning at no additional cost to you I may receive a small commission if you purchase through one of the links)

 

 


Crossover Outfits Made Simple

“You will never influence the world by being just like it!”

OK, so we may be into the New Year but that doesn’t mean that your party or fun styles have to be retired to your wardrobe.  In fact, what a great way to move into a New Year by keeping your style fresh, funky, versatile and most importantly YOU!

This post may contain some affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

There are lots of style that people wear for business or work that you wouldn’t want to be seen wearing if you had a dinner or get together right after work, but I’m happy to tell you that’s its not too hard to create a look that works for both!

 

 

Today’s post is one of those outfits.  It is a simple dress, but by adding some sparkly tights, and a fun faux fur jacket, it makes it a more non-traditional work style that you wouldn’t mind being seen wearing after work in a restaurant or wherever you might be going.

 

I have never been a big fan of conforming to any traditional style – I much prefer to tailor it to my personality…it is what makes me who I am!  The greatest thing about styles and what we wear is that it can announce us before we even speak.  If you’re someone with a big personality wouldn’t you want what you wear to say that about you.  You might even be someone that is kind of shy but doesn’t want to be…so why not let your clothes and outfits do the talking?

 

Still unsure about what really expresses who you are?  Then here are a few ideas that might help you…

  1. Ask yourself – do I want to be noticed or fly under the radar?
    • If the answer is yes, then you would want to wear “louder” more colorful clothes, whereas if you prefer to not be noticed, sticking with muted or traditional styles and colors are going to be where you want to live.
  2. Are you confident about your body and how you look?
    • If the answer is yes, wearing form fitting, bold styles and colors are going to make you feel great about yourself.  If you answered no, then wearing styles that accentuate your body are not going to be where you want to go (wearing a skirt that is tight around your stomach if you are conscious of that area is only going to make you feel uncomfortable and insecure).
  3. Are you worried about how others are going to look at you?
    • The most confident people know that when they wear certain things they are going to attract attention (not always good because there are always going to be people that are going to judge you), but they are OK with that.  They know how they feel about how they look and that is enough for them.  Therefore, if you are still not confident enough in yourself to wear those things you like without worrying about others, then you probably ought to stick to less outrageous outfits until you sidebar what others think!
  4. When you get dressed, who are you dressing for?
    • This is probably one of the most important questions you can ask yourself.  All too often I see people dressing for how they think their friends, their spouse or their boss might want them to. There is a huge problem in this because we are not being true to ourselves.  I have always marched to the beat of my own drum, but I do see very often people not knowing how to dress and buying things because they think it is something that someone else would like.  Confidence comes from knowing who we are, and not being afraid to show that…

The best gift you can give yourself is the gift of allowing you to be you!

You can shop items similar to my outfit by clicking the links below…


A Simple Guide to Mixing Fabrics

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us!”

 

‘Tis the season for luxurious fabrics and styles…in fact, the more sparkly, glittery, fluffy and cozy the better.  It can be really fun to mix patterns, fabrics and styles and create some amazing looks that will really help you stand out and be noticed during the Holiday season.

Deciding which fabrics work together can be a little overwhelming, so here are some simple guidelines that you can work with if you are a little unsure of what may or may not work well together:

  1. Don’t try to be too “matchy” – I have noticed that when I try to match my the fabrics of my outfit too closely it just ends up failing miserably.
  2. Choose only fabrics or prints that you are comfortable wearing – if you are not someone that likes to have themselves introduced before they even speak, you will probably want to steer clear of prints like leopard, snake or sequins.
  3. Mixing leather with satin or lace is always a great “go to” look because it adds an element of femininity and softens the whole leather look.  Of course leather can fall into that category of being one of those fabrics that you really have to be comfortable wearing, so make sure that if you are going to wear it, you are really going to “rock it!”
  4. For a really luxurious look, pairing velvet with fur is not only classy but it is also really warm and cozy.
  5. Adding a loose wool sweater over a form fitting knitted or satin midi length skirt and a pair of sock booties adds lots of different fabrics and textures and is perfect for a really cold business day!
  6. Experimenting can be really fun, but also overwhelming if you are not sure what really works for you. Before you try anything on, it is always a good idea to hold the fabrics up against each other, and then also up against your body.  That way you can see objectively by looking at it while you’re not wearing it and also in a mirror against your body and skin tone.

 

These are just a few ideas you could use yourself, and adapt to work for your own unique style.  The outfit I am wearing shows mixing leather, velvet, snakeskin, fleece, and satin which is a lot of different fabrics and patterns, but it all works.  Each one is different enough that they compliment each other.  Even if you used just two or three of these different fabrics the look would still be really classy.

 

 

There are definitely some styles and trends that are a little more versatile, whereas others are definitely more edgy.  If you are more of a risk taker, experimenting with furs, leather and satin are a great way to create some really unique looks.  I love to experiment with leather and fur, because I really believe that they can both be worn for so many different occasions and can really transform an outfit from ordinary to unique.

 

You can shop my jacket by clicking link here, and see shopping links for the boots and a similar bag.

 

What are your go-to fabrics and what is the one fabric that you haven’t been brave enough to try?

 

I would love to hear from you…

 


 

Leather, Boots and Fluff…

“Confidence is never having to tell the world you have it!”

 

Feeling feminine, classy and sophisticated as I sit at the Grand America in Salt Lake City for this photo shoot.  I enjoy mixing styles like these thigh high velvet boots, with a velvet skater skirt and fluffy fleece jacket.

 

Wearing a leather skirt is something that can work for so many occasions, because it can be worn so many different ways…

 

 

My outfit is a little edgy with thigh high velvet boots and a Black leather skater skirt, so I softened it by wearing a soft, fleecy jacket and high necked feminine blouse. Here are some other ways that you can wear leather appropriately for work, a party and so many more occasions:

  1. Wear a midi length skirt in Red or Black with a fitted satin blouse and stiletto pumps.
  2. Wear a pair of fitted leather pants with a fluffy box cut sweater and a pair of velvet or satin booties.
  3. Mix things up by wearing a maxi length leather skirt with a fur jacket and a pair of lace booties or pumps.
  4. A Black leather bodice over a white business blouse with a tweed pencil skirt and a pair of stiletto satin pumps.
  5. If you are looking for something really edgy mix and match leather colors by wearing a leather skirt in one color, a top in another and a leather jacket in another color.  Booties with studs would work really well for this.

 

Just a few ways to wear leather, you can mix and match and create YOUR OWN unique style.

 

The only way you will find out what really works is if you try out lots of different ways to wear them. Experiment and have fun…

 

Shop some great leather and velvet boots below…and for this jacket click here

 


 

 

Isn’t it Fascinating that we want to control the Weather?

 

“Anything you can’t control in life is teaching you how to let go!”

 

When I wake up on a cold, overcast, or rainy morning I have a hard time not letting myself feel a little down or even depressed.  While I consciously know that I most certainly don’t have the power to control the weather, it still sometimes leaves me feeling similar to Chicken Little where the sky is falling in!

 

It is almost an exercise in insanity to feel so down because of something so out of my control and scope of understanding, nevertheless, my body still feels this way.  I realize that not everyone feels like this about the weather, however, I am sure there are all times and things that make you feel inexplicably out of sorts. Knowing that the only solution to get through times like this is that you have to let go of control and realize that things are just happening for you, the key is to recognize when this is happening…

 

 

I still find myself sometimes worrying about things I shouldn’t, over-thinking, over-analyzing or even obsessing about things that clearly I have no way of influencing.  I am definitely starting to recognize when it happens more and more, and the more I become conscious of it, the more likely I am to be able to eliminate these habits.

 

Weather is just one example of something outside of our control, another huge cause of feeling frustrated is worrying about what other people are doing and how they are not doing things the way we want them to. As I sit here writing this post, my dog is outside and he’s barking at someone walking by or another dog out there, and I even found myself getting irritated and shouting at him.  Yes, I can shout at him and tell him to stop or bring him inside, but then he’s going to forget in a few minutes or he’s going to jump on the couch and start scratching at the door again.  Bottom line, I may be able to get him to stop for a while, but not until HE wants to!

 

I realized when I had kids that control is really just an illusion, but there are definitely times when I find myself jumping in and handling things for the boys when the best thing to do would be to let them figure it out themselves.  I am definitely not a mum that hovers enough to fall into the helicopter mom category, but I think that’s just because I work on catching myself when I have the urge to “fix” and force myself to take a step back a lot of the time.

 

Worrying about things outside your control is definitely one of the major stress causes in today’s world, so what if you could just allow yourself to let go and just enjoy the moment.

 

Today was a gloomy, rainy, cold day with some sleet and snow.  While I don’t like winter, I have to admit that I actually love how it looks with snow on the ground, blue skies and sunshines, even when it is cold. The real reason I don’t like winter is because it brings grey skies and in Utah we get an inversion in the valley – which I find ugly and dreary.  I did get through the day without too much frustration, but now I sit by a lovely warm fireplace with my feet up after eating a lovely fish and chips dinner.  I can feel all the stress that the gloom brought me just melting away…

 

If you can relate to any of these feelings or thoughts, and you are looking for a quick fix, i’ll let you into a trick that works for me…find something you love and move your focus away from the thing causing you frustration to that thing.  I love to spend time with friends, so sitting in a coffee shop with a great friend is a great remedy to the blues.  I also love to shop (I know, big surprise), so I sometimes take myself off to the mall and just wander around until I feel the thoughts just slip away – of course, if I see some great things while I’m there, I may have to buy them too!  Another great way to refocus is to sit by a lovely fire, curl up with a good book, watch a movie or spend time with your kids.

 

I am definitely a long way from being an enlightened being, but I feel that if I am constantly working on improving myself and my attitude, things will start to get easier and eventually I may even be strong enough to kick some habits!