Keep it Simple

The greatest prison people live in is the fear of what other people think!

I think one of the biggest challenges we face when trying to figure out what our style is or how to dress is the fact that there are so many options and styles available.  There is a huge problem in society where we tend to overthink things, or even talk ourselves out of things because we are worried what others might think, or we are just not confident enough to trust our instincts.

Confidence in today’s world is word that is thrown around all the time, but what does it really mean?  Around the age of 9 we start focusing more on what other people think and tend to shape ourselves more after the reactions we get from people rather than by what actually makes us feel good.  The good news, just as we chose to mold our thought process after what others think, we can change that same thought process and make it more into what we want it to be.

The only way to do that is just to jump in and start dressing for YOU without any thought (or at least not giving in to the fear that you might not be accepted) and just go for it.  Starting small, keeping it simple is the best way to start.  Because there are so many style options out there, the best way to create your own unique style and do it for YOU is to start by finding colors that you love.  Once you have your favorite color (one that looks good against your skin tone), then you start looking for styles that flatter your body type (of course, only ones that you like and not what you think others will like).

The pictures in today’s post are a couple of years old because I wanted to demonstrate that simple can also be timeless.  A simple pair of faux leather leggings, a peplum top (flattering when you are looking to accentuate a smaller waist or give the appearance of a small waist) and a leather jacket.  Simple – classy and comfortable.  When you dress using simple pieces like these, a great way to add a little funk is by adding some fun accessories and shoes.  A pair of fun drop earrings, a chunky pearl bracelet and some bold pumps.

The key is to not let the fear, over thinking or lack of confidence dictate what you wear or how you feel.  I know that may sound easier said than done, but honestly the only way to grow your confidence is to expand your comfort zone and try new things.  Loving to dress for YOU is the start of having an amazing relationship with yourself.  If we don’t love and treat ourselves the way we deserve to be treated, other’s won’t know that’s how they should be treating us.  

Confidence is like love, the more you have the more you get…the hardest part is just latching on to that little bit that is already inside you.  I believe that everyone in this world has at least one thing they can own and be proud of.  That one thing that makes you know how amazing you are.  It could be something like being a good cook, having creativity and using that to make your house into a home, being exceptionally patient with your kids to name just a few.  There is always something, and that feeling you get when you feel satisfaction after accomplishment or showing love, that is the feeling you will want to latch onto.  Use that to help you gain confidence in any other area of your life…trust me, I have used this so many times in my life and it works.

I hope you have a blessed weekend, and if you feel like sharing something that you did to help you gain more confidence, I would love to hear!

Michelle
XOXOX


The Act of Giving

“You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm!”

 

Yesterday was a snow day in Salt Lake, it snowed pretty much the entire day, which made Christmas tree shopping last night chilly, but also beautiful.  The boys raced around the lot, hiding, throwing snowballs and having fun.  It was exactly what I needed to fill my cup!

As we have been spending time with our boys this week we have been asking for them to tell us what they each want for Christmas. With only one boy that still believes in Santa we are almost to the point where we don’t need to hide anything anymore, which is kind of sad as well as relief. It seems like I have been doing this for a long time – well, I guess I have because Dalton is 24! It’s so funny that they don’t seem to have a hard time telling us what THEY want, but when it comes to giving gifts themselves it’s a little harder.

It’s a hard thing to teach kids to know that giving is so much more important than receiving gifts – in fact I believe that the only way they truly learn is by watching what we do. I remember there was one Christmas when I was really naughty and I went searching for what my parents had bought me. I was old enough to know better…but still I found the closet that my mum had hidden the gifts. I saw what they had bought and I felt so guilty that it pretty much ruined my Christmas. Since then, I have always loved more giving than receiving. Not to the point where I don’t love getting gifts, I just absolutely LOVE finding unique, meaningful and personal gifts for people and watching their faces when they open the gift.

Christmas can be such a hard time to spend time on things like this, because it becomes a mad frenzy of finding the “right” thing – I swear that toy companies and some other stores only produce a limited amount of things to feed this frenzy and make the season so overwhelming. If you have every been that parent that couldn’t find that ONE THING on your child’s Christmas list because the stores were all sold out, then you know the level of disappointment that comes with it. I remember one year one of the boys wanted a remote controlled car which we bought but what we didn’t realize was that it needed a special battery that it didn’t come with. We were out at Walgreens at 11pm on Christmas eve trying to find one, but of course we couldn’t/. Even though we had bought the gift, the fact that he wasn’t going to be able to play with it until we went to Toys R Us the day after Christmas was enough to cause mass disappointment 🙁

One thing I have really been guilty of is neglecting myself and running around like a crazy person, so when Christmas morning comes and the kids are so excited to get up and open gifts, I am totally exhausted and partly checked out. Seems kind of crazy to do this to myself, especially when Christmas morning is the reward for all the hard work…but it has definitely been done by this girl!

This year I have resolved to get this more organized, but most importantly to take care of myself while I am taking care of others. Any of you guilty of this? You know when the flight attendants tell you to put on YOUR oxygen mask BEFORE helping anyone else…well that applies. In fact, Brandon was talking to a pilot who told him that if you don’t put on the mask first, there is a really good chance that you will pass out and unless someone puts a mask on you, then you’ll probably die. Crazy – I know this is a metaphor, but this goes way beyond self care. It can be so detrimental to our wellbeing to not take care of ourselves because we are too busy taking care of others.

 

 

Over recent years I have become much better at this, and I am able to set boundaries for certain things so that I am not neglecting myself. I started small, just picking one thing that was a “non-negotiable” thing that I was going to do. What I mean by that is, I found one thing that was so important to me, that no matter what, I was going to make sure that I did it. The one thing that I do almost every day is take a relaxing soak in my bath. It probably only takes around 20 minutes, but after those 20 minutes, I feel different. I feel important, I feel loved (by myself) and I am able to tackle so much more. Meditation could be your thing, it could be having lunch with a friend…whatever it is, I promise if you find something and start small, you will enjoy the holidays so much more!

 

You can shop my look (and more) by clicking the links below

 

 


Share Your Color with Others

women empowerment personal style style consulting

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

I came across this quote and fell in love with it…how often are we given the chance to be that person for someone else that can be an inspiration, an example, a role model or just a friend?  I have always loved the idea of being there for others, in fact when I was younger my Grandparents gave me a book that was a “birthday” book, that had a different quote for each day of the year.  Then meaning was that the quote on your day said something about you…

Mine said “If you need me, call…I will always answer.”  I don’t know if it was at that point that I started taking my relationships seriously or I had already innately known that before, but it was something that certainly rang true for me.  I have always felt that we owe it to others, and ourselves, to give everything to our relationships.  If you ask anyone that knows me they’ll tell you that I am a fiercely loyal friend, and I will do anything for those that I love.

Life is definitely not meant to be spent alone, and the only way we will ever ensure that we have others in our lives is if we make sure that we are working on our relationships every day.  I can tell you that my biggest challenge so far in this life is raising kids (particularly teenagers), in fact I think it’s kind of like a white knuckle rollercoaster, where you know you’re going to survive but somehow your hair is going to be messed up, your head will be rattled around and you’re most definitely going to end up with a killer headache.  So those are probably the relationships that are going to require the most effort.

 

 

This Thanksgiving weekend our whole family, along with my parents, came up to our house in Midway (a small town about 45 minutes away from our home), to spend some quality time.  Thanksgiving day went pretty smoothly, which is great because being cooped in a house and not getting along is pretty painful.  Yesterday was a different story however, there was a fight surrounding playing the Xbox that belongs to one of the boys, that ended up in a real fight, lots of shouting and eventually Brandon having to work his coaching magic on the boys to get them to calm down.  Fortunately there was no bloodshed, and we managed to come together again long enough to make it to watch “Creed” as a family last night.

I have never been so emotionally exhausted as when my kids get into a fight with each other, or when I end up in a fight with one of them.  It’s way more draining than any physical exertion, and it feels a lot worse.  What this weekend has taught me a little is that we are not only responsible for our own energy but also the effect that energy has on others.  It’s a big responsibility to know that I can affect other’s feelings, but I can tell you, if I want my house to run smoothly, I have to make sure that I am balanced, not neglecting my own needs which makes me cranky, and I am definitely not pretending to be OK when I’m not.

I know I am not going to be OK all the time, so I have been known to put myself in “time out” to recharge, and make myself feel better.  Energy is such a powerful thing, there is no way to fake it, so when we are feeling negative or frustrated even if we think other people are not aware, chances are that our energy is giving us away regardless of what our words say.

Being conscious of our feelings is the first thing we need to do to be able to share the best of ourselves with others. We are definitely never going to be perfect, but by noticing how we are feeling, being in touch with that so we can act consciously, that will allow us to have a greater influence with anyone we interact with.  Knowing what I know now about raising teenagers and adult children, I know that there are definitely times when I have to check myself to make sure I am not influencing their feelings or behavior in a negative way.

My favorite color, the one that defines me the most accurately is Red which means excitement, love, strength, energy and passion.  When I wear Red I feel a lot of those things…

My goal in my life is to share my “color” and help as many people as possible!  Who would you most like to share your color with?

 

 

 

Remember the 5th of November

“If you don’t do wild things when you’re young, you’ll have nothing to smile about when you’re old!”

For those of you that know anything about the history of England you will know that today, the 5th of November, is when we celebrate Bonfire Night.  Guys Fawkes was the reason Bonfire Night started, and his story is pretty gruesome.  He tried and failed to blow up the Houses of Parliament, was held as a prisoner in the Tower of London until he was executed.  So, being a country strong on tradition, ever since then we have celebrated his failed gunpowder plot by putting a stuffed Guy Fawkes on top of a bonfire and burning it to the ground.  Kind of crazy when you think about the history, but as I was growing up I didn’t realize all that history (as I am sure many of the youth now don’t either) I just enjoyed a time to hang out with friends and family, with treacle toffee, parched peas, parkin (to name just a few of the foods we ate) along with some fireworks.

Since obviously we don’t celebrate the 4th of July in England, this was when we got to let off our fireworks and have a good time.  I must admit, I do much prefer fireworks in the summer than in November when the nights can be very cold and quite often rainy.

You might be wondering why I am telling you about this good old English tradition – well obviously the first reason is that today is the 5th November, but secondly it’s because as I sit over the other side of the Atlantic from my home country I realize that there are a lot of things, whether the reason behind them are great or not, that I miss about England.  I have traveled back there now twice in the past 2 years, and the more I go the more I realize that I had an amazing upbringing and I am very happy for the life my parents gave me over there.

There is a lot to be said about tradition and nostalgia.  There are a great many traditions that I brought over with me and I share with my family.  Remembering where we came from is a huge part in recognizing and being grateful for where we are today.  I have no plans to move back to England, however, I miss my friends, and I definitely miss a lot of the history that is everywhere over there.  It has made me feel like I want to take my kids (now that they are older) to see some of the sights, to walk down memory lane with me, and to see where I grew up.  My youngest two boys have never been over there, and I think they would love some of the places – who doesn’t love a castle or two?!

There have been times in my life when I have gone through hard things, one of which was moving over here to the US as a single mum…but now as I look back I can be grateful for that trying experience because it shaped me into who I am today.  So as I sit and think about my life and the things that have made me stronger, I feel nothing but gratitude and appreciation.  There are rewards from trials but only if we let ourselves surrender to the good that came from it.  I know in some things it is harder to find something good that came from it – and it may be something as simple as meeting someone that helped you through or admitting to yourself that you need help (a challenge for me)…

Wherever you’re from, whatever you have been through, looking back at your life with fondness and love is the only way that you can move through today into the rest of your life.  After all, nothing can drag you down if you’re not holding on to it!!

Have a fabulous Monday…

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

 

Don’t be afraid to Sparkle!

 

“In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present!”

 

Even though next week is Halloween all the stores already have their Christmas stuff on display…

It makes me excited and sad at the same time.  Excited because I love the spirit of Christmas, I love how my kids get excited and I love to pick out personal, thoughtful gifts for all my friends and family.  Sad because it means the year is already over and we are already looking to the future (which can be a problem if you’re not enjoying the present – and I definitely have to focus so I don’t fall into that trap!)

Growing up we never had a live Christmas tree – they were a lot harder to get in England.  In fact, for many years of my youth we actually had a silver tinsel tree that was about 6′ tall…I wonder if that’s where my love to sparkle came from?  We would decorate the tree with all the brightest, boldest colors and even add some tinsel or garland in metallics as well.  I have seen trees like this since I have moved over here to the U.S. and I still love them – in fact at some point I would love to have one in my home (not sure if I can get Brandon to commit to that 😉 )

We see the most amazing window displays, lights, colors and garlands everywhere we go.  There is not a place where the holiday’s doesn’t seem to touch, and I love it!  The holidays are a fabulous time to add a little sparkle into your life.  Even if you are not the biggest fan, there are always ways to add just a little pop into an outfit by using something metallic or a little bling.

In today’s outfit the boots are definitely not subtle, but I absolutely love them (you might not, so then you should pick something that works for you).  The blouse has a more subtle gold thread running through it, but still sparkles.  When you add the coat (of contrasting sheepskin fabric) with the gold buttons, the patent leather satchel, the shiny pants, the gold booties and of course the metallic blouse, I think you will agree that there is no way I am not afraid to sparkle 😉

 

 

Whether you have a big personality, prefer to stay a little out of the limelight or you’re completely uncomfortable with ANYTHING that draws attention to you, there are ways to add a little sparkle.  In fact, here are some suggestions just in case you need a little inspiration:

  1. Use your jewelry to add the sparkle.  A pair of big gold hoops, a long statement necklace with jewels and bling, some stacked bracelets in contrasting metallics.  There’s no shame in not wanting to be bold and “out there”…but I don’t know what it is, adding a little sparkle just makes me feel better.
  2. Add a metallic scarf or an embellished scarf or beanie.  I have a beanie that has diamonte’s all over it and it is my absolute favorite beanie.  So even when I am feeling a little more dressed down or casual and I know it’s going to cold outside, I add that hat and suddenly not only do I not need to do my hair, but voila – sass!!
  3. Belts with a statement buckle or a metallic belt are a great way to make any outfit pop.  I have a silver belt that is mid width, and it’s perfect to pair with black jeans to make the outfit stand out a little.
  4. Wear a pair of shoes or boots that are not 100% metallic, but maybe have some studs or buttons on them that are metallic.  That way they stand out without being more in your face.  I have a few pairs of black shoes that have either silver or gold studs, some more edgy than others, but all of them add a little something extra to the outfit I am wearing.
  5. Wear a blouse similar to the one in my post that has a thread of metallic running through it.  It’s a great way to add a touch of sass without having to overcommit to the whole “sparkle” vibe!
  6. Sequins- pretty much anything with sequins is going to be the perfect amount of sparkle.  I have pants, a skirt but even a simple embellishment on a blouse is somewhere to start.
  7. Add a pop of metallic eyeshadow – a very subtle but fun way to start.  I even bought some last year that have glitter in them, perfect for a special occasion rather than every day wear.
  8. A purse or clutch in metallic or embellished is also a fun way to add a little pop to your outfit.

In stores for the holidays you will see red metallics, green, gold, silver, rose gold, and many more…so why not take this time of year (pretty much when everyone steps out of their comfort zone a little more) to try something that you might not normally try.  What’s the worst that can happen?  You’ll either love it or you won’t and either way, you’ve grown by being open to being different.

Growth only takes one step…the first step and you’re already on that road!

Here are some of my top holiday “sparkle” picks for you to take a look at.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweater Weather

 

“Don’t miss out on something that could be great just because it could also be difficult!”

Wherever you live, there is probably going to be more of a chance to wear sweaters or layers in the Fall, so how do you find the ones that are the most flattering and fun for you to wear?  Since in Utah we haven’t had the time to really get into this trend yet (it’s definitely coming just not here yet), so here are some throwbacks to some of my favorites…

I have always loved Fall more than Winter, mainly because Winter is just a little too cold for me, and in Fall I get the chance to layer and get really creative with my outfits while at the same time not freezing to death 😉

I am a very visual person, so colors and patterns really appeal to me, but I am also tactile, which means that I really care about how something feels.  There’s nothing worse than finding a cool sweater and it itching you all day because it’s not soft.  My youngest is definitely like this – we have bought him clothes over the years and if he doesn’t like how it feels, he will NEVER wear it, and I don’t blame him.  Honestly the only time I ever sacrifice comfort for style is with my shoes – LOL!

So, to answer my first question, here are some great ideas for wearing layers and sweaters for the Fall and Winter months:

Wear a large oversized sweater with some skinny pants.  Wearing oversized pieces means they can tend to make you look larger than you are, but when you wear slimming or skinny pants or a skirt you can offset that appearance.

 

 

Wear a fitted turtle neck with a cute casual skirt and pumps or boots.  As the weather gets colder adding a pair of funky tights is a great way to add that extra pop to the outfit as well.

 

 

Wear a fitted sweater with an accent belt, and then add another layer of a long cardigan for a unique take on sweater weather attire.  The ruffle skirt and boots are the perfect compliment too!

 

 

Wear a chunky cardigan with some booties.  Because I paired this cardigan with the fitted skirt, just like the oversized sweater, it prevents the perception of being larger than you are!~

 

 

Embracing each season can be as easy as finding a style that makes you feel at home in that season.  The key is not to let the weather (the thing you can’t control) decide how you feel about what you wear and how you feel.  It can be all too tempting to wear comfy, warm, cozy things in the Fall and Winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still look amazing.  Sweats can be cute – especially the leopard print or camo ones I have seen recently.  Enjoy experimenting with styles that could work for you, and don’t be afraid to try something a little funkier than usual.  Add a scarf here or there, wear a hat, layer like crazy and have fun!

Have a great day 🙂

 

 

A New Start

“You only ever get in life things that you have the courage to ask for!”

 

I’ve talked a little about my new beginnings over the past week or so…well, the day is finally here!

Have you ever started something new and found it a little challenging to switch your mind to the new things you will be focusing on?  This morning when I woke up I still had to get the kids ready and off for school, but the direction of my office, the things I need to accomplish, what I could wear, who I was going to meet with…all different.  After 15 years working in the same office, doing essentially the same job,  it had definitely become second nature..so what now?

Sometimes it’s easier to stay doing what we are familiar with rather than to take a risk, especially when you hear others around you questioning whether you can do it, or we may even start to question ourselves.  When I was in High School in England I remember going to parent teacher conferences/career night – I believe I was around 14 years old.  I met with my Biology teacher and my parents and at that time I had wanted to do something in the medical field.  I loved the sciences and they seemed to come easy to me.  As we sat there that teacher asked me what I was wanting to study in College and when I told her that I wanted to study Medicine or something like that she actually said to me “If I were you, I would set my sights lower”!

Wow!  Can you imagine the self esteem of a 14 year old at that point.  Well, here’s what happened, I decided to dig my heels in, I went to college, and worked my butt off to get my degree in Physiology with Microbiology.   As I was studying I found that I liked to meet new people, embraced challenges and love to develop long term relationships built on trust.  Consequently, when I was done with my degree I decided to apply for a job in Pharmaceutical sales.  In England in the early 90’s there weren’t many women doing that job and even though I had multiple interviews I found that it was a very sexist environment.   My self esteem took a beating again.  I was told by one interviewer that if I wanted a job where I was going to meet with Doctors I would need to wear short skirts.  The ironic thing about that is that the person telling me was actually a woman!  I am not someone that likes to be backed into a corner, and at that age I was a lot more naive, so I told her NO!  I would not do that.  Needless to say I didn’t get the job.

After a couple of years trying unsuccessfully to get a job in pharmaceutical sales, I decided to move over to the US – where I thought I would have an easier time as a woman in a career.  I got a job in Radio advertising sales so that I could gain some sales experience before I started applying for more sales jobs in the medical industry.  After a few years in radio, I moved into TV and then onto cable, where I have been working for the past 15 years.

 

 

Whilst working in cable advertising sales I found that I was experiencing very similar things to those I experienced when I was back in England.  I had to work twice as hard to get to the top, and I was the top.  I had to overcome men that were intimidated by strong women and people that were put in positions of management certainly not because of their experiences or qualifications to do the job, but rather because they were part of the “good old boys club” or had a friend that put them there.  What I realized is that I have NO control over what people say to me, how they treat me or whether things are “fair”.  What I do have control over is whether I let that define who I am.

I developed many amazing relationships while I was in the media industry and I am extremely grateful for those relationships.  I also refined my tenacity, my determination, my resilience and my confidence.  I learned that I could rise to the top no matter how someone treated me.  I learned that I am really good at what I do and now I have the opportunity to prove that to myself even more as I embark on a career that I get to control more.

I will be working with my husband that is a mindset and motivational coach, as well as working on my blog.  I feel like both work really well together, and I am excited for what our future holds.

I would not change anything that has happened to guide me on the path that I am on in my life.  I have learned a lot of what I am capable of and I have grown so much.  I have learned to love myself and not just because I look a certain way or I am successful in my career.  If I had placed too much emphasis on my career performance these past few years where I was challenged way more than anyone in a career should be, would have certainly diminished my self esteem.  Instead, it fired me up, it made me want to make more of my life!

Taking risks and starting new things are sometimes easier said than done.  It takes a lot of courage to walk away from something, but it can also be the most rewarding thing you have ever done.  I realized that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life wondering “what if” or thinking that I had settled.  What about you?  What risks are you willing to take to grow?

 

 

Feel Good in your own Skin

“The best gift you can ever give yourself is the permission to feel safe in your own skin.  To feel worthy, and like you are enough!”

Feeling good in your own skin is so much more than being confident in how you look…it is more about who you are as a person and how you feel about that person.

We all came into this world the same way, but our experiences and our relationships in our lives shape us into who we are today. Sometimes those experiences can  cause us to feel insecure, lacking in confidence, or even make us feel like we are not good enough.  It can be hard to move through things that trigger us, or make us feel like this, but there are definitely steps we can take to help soften us and allow us to feel more worthy, more comfortable in our own skin and ultimately more confident.

I have found that the more I give myself grace for not being perfect, and the more I don’t compare myself or what I do to others, the better I feel about myself.  I can tell you that this getting older thing is not for the faint of heart.  I didn’t realize how much it affected me until I saw some pictures of me when I was younger, and noticed that I have laughter lines, I have wrinkles I had chosen not to notice before and that perhaps my muscles aren’t as toned as they once were.

 

 

So, as we go through life, how do we feel good about ourselves even as these things happen?

Here are a few things that help me – maybe they’ll help you too:

  1. Take care of yourself – for me this can be as simple as taking a bath at night, reading a good book or just having a small amount of time to be left with my thoughts.  I like to be unpredictable, so for me going on a bike ride in a different direction, walking the dog a different route or even driving home a different way allow me to feel free and let the stresses of the day go a little.  We don’t all have the same things that relax us or make us feel good, so whatever it is for you, that’s what you need to do.  It seems like the world is advertising to us all the time about what we should do, eat, wear, and like…but ultimately whatever it is that makes YOU feel good, well that’s what you need to do!
  2. Focus on the good – it’s easy to be critical about your flaws or what is wrong with you…so what if every time you saw something that you didn’t like about you, in turn you found something to appreciate about that thing.  For example, I always had a really flat stomach and that’s not the case anymore…but here’s the best part – I have 4 boys that I am immensely grateful for,  and I wouldn’t trade a little bit of a stomach for any of those kids.  Another could be the wrinkles around my eyes – but I appreciate that I have had plenty to laugh about in this life.
  3. Embrace your Uniqueness – we are all created to be different,  so why would we want to change who we are in order to fit in?  I am very lucky that my parents always encouraged me to embrace my unique, quirky and feisty personality, because I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t.  Society teaches about fitting in all the time, and social media only accentuates that need…but what if we considered that the world just wouldn’t be as it should without US and what unique traits we have to offer.
  4. Don’t be afraid to be alone – before I met Brandon I was a single mom for about 5 years, and during that time I really wanted to meet someone to settle down.  What I realized is that I wasn’t ready to meet him until I was 100% OK with being alone.  I love the time I spend by myself, not that I don’t love the company of my family or my friends, but I also need that time to make me the best I can be for all of them.  Taking time to be alone to read, to contemplate, meditate, or exercise are great ways for us to enjoy alone time.
  5. Do things that make you happy – as you have probably noticed by now, one of my biggest loves is travel.  I love to travel with Brandon, with my kids, my friends and even alone.  The thrill of exploring new places, enjoying sunshine, waterfalls, the ocean, the forest, and many, many other things is really the reason I work.  Even going out of town for business is a huge thrill for me because I usually get at least a little time to relax.  I love to shop (I know, shocker), I love to go to movies and dinner with my family, I love river rafting, hiking, biking and sunbathing.  By doing any of these things we are able to fill our cups to make us better for ourself and those around us.

 

Oh and if by wearing some funky boots, or a fabulous leather skirt makes you feel as good as it makes me feel…I’ve linked my boots and the rest of my outfit (or similar pieces) below…


How to Transition into a New Season

 

“Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity!”

When the seasons change, no matter where you live, there is at least in some part a change in the weather (even if it’s only the slightest change).  So, what is the best way to transition your closet to a new season?  The fashion magazines tell us the latest styles, trends, fabrics and colors, but how do you fit those to YOUR unique style?

Sometimes, expanding your sights to new things can seem overwhelming, expensive and very challenging.  I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be…

I have many pieces of clothing that I continue to wear across seasons, things I pull out year after year and colors that can be adapted to my style.  I don’t ever buy a completely new wardrobe every season, that would be too expensive and impractical.  What I do is add a few new pieces and pair them with things I already own.  I love creating my own looks using new and old styles, colors and fabrics combined.

There are some fabrics that work better during cooler seasons, and some during warmer seasons, as well as patterns that you associate more with one season over another.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t cross over or color outside the lines a little, all it takes is a little imagination and experimentation.  Here are some styles, patterns or fabrics that you can transition into fall:

 

Leather – although leather is definitely a warmer fabric, I wear this every season of the year and love adapting my looks accordingly.  In spring pairing leather with florals is a great way to go, and in the fall adding a chunky sweater or an earth toned contrasting piece along with some boots is a great way to wear it.

 

 

 

Red is a color for any season – for fall try wearing your red (warm or cool red works) with tan, some form of animal print or just black.  Red is such a strong color that makes a statement all by itself, so by adding this to your fall look, you are going to make any outfit stand out.

 

 

Unexpected – I love adding colors that are a little more unexpected.  I love wearing a bright pair of shoes or boots that are unusual.  Not necessarily the color of the season but one that can be a contrast to the look of your outfit.  I have a pair of green satin booties that I love to wear in fall even though they are not a traditional fall color.  This is where the coloring outside the lines comes in 😉

 

 

Velvet is a great warmer fabric, so tends to be more traditionally worn in cooler seasons.  However, if you wear a velvet top with a satin or cotton skirt or pair of pants, it is versatile enough to be worn in spring.  By wearing these velvet shorts with a pair of tights and boots, I could transition the look into fall and winter…the possibilities are endless!

 

 

 

Tights are a great way to change your summer dress to a fall outfit.  A little summer dress paired with a funky pair of tights, and a duster or cardigan is a great way to get the most out of your summer look.

 

 

I am always looking for new things to try, new ideas, something that will make me stand out, that’s the only way anyone can grow.  So maybe your style isn’t to stand out or maybe you don’t like to be bold, that is OK, but in order to grow in anything in life, you have to try something different.  However you transition into the fall season, what if you tried something you haven’t tried before.  What if you found that thing was your new favorite thing?  I am always telling my kids that if they don’t try new foods how will they ever really know what they like?  Even a new accessory, a pair of sunglasses, a new color…trying something new expands our comfort zone and the more we do that the more confidence we get and the happier we become.  Baby steps work just fine 😉

 

Walk in Style

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail!”

I realize that not everyone loves shoes as much as I do, but one thing I can tell you is that if you don’t pay attention to the shoes you are wearing, it can mean the difference between making a good first impression and not!

Shoes are the icing on the cake, the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is your outfit, and if you wear a pair that doesn’t match, is scuffed or scruffy, isn’t the right style for the outfit you are wearing, what it does is draw attention from the best parts of you to something that is wrong.  It may seem shallow, but here’s the fact…people notice the shoes you are wearing and they will make assumptions about you (whether they are correct or not, and whether they should be doing it or not doesn’t matter).  You have the control to make sure that their assumptions of your are the ones that YOU want them to make.

Strange to think that something as small as a pair of shoes could control someone’s opinion of you or have them form a great first impression.  I have talked before that quite often I will pick out the shoes before anything else, but that isn’t always the case, and I realize that is not something that everyone may feel comfortable with, so…here are some simple rules of thumb when picking out your shoes/boots for an outfit:

  1. Only wear a pair of shoes or boots that you are comfortable wearing – no matter how cute a pair of shoes is, if it’s too high, too pointy or just plain uncomfortable it’s going to have the opposite effect than you were going for.  You will have a harder time walking and draw attention to that rather than the shoes.
  2. Wear shoes that won’t get lost in the outfit – for example if you are wearing a wide pair of pants, your shoes are pretty much going to be hidden, so the need to wear something really fancy isn’t there.  What you won’t want to do is have the pants trailing on the ground, so wear shoes that will show as you walk and prevent the pants from dragging.
  3. In business, I have always preferred wearing at least a small or kitten heel.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t wear flats, but take care when you do to wear a pair that is a little more structured rather than so soft that your foot looks like it’s falling out the sides.  The key here is to look more polished, because believe me, people WILL notice!
  4. When wearing jeans, skinny jeans work with so many different styles giving you so many more options.  I like to mix things up depending on the season or the occasion, and when I am going somewhere special I sometimes add a little sass.
  5. Bold patterns, fabrics and colors are a great way add a little spice to a normally bland or conservative outfit.  For example, these booties in this post with the skinny jeans add an extra little pop to a pair of black skinny jeans.

Shoes should definitely not be the last consideration when choosing your outfit, in fact, when you take a little care when choosing your shoes I know first hand that you will reap the rewards.  Who doesn’t love a compliment or a little attention that wearing an awesome pair of shoes can bring.  After all, the right pair of shoes can speak louder than words!

I don’t know about you but I am walking into this Monday in a sassy pair of shoes 🙂