You Were Born to Stand Out

If people were rain – why be drizzle when you can be a hurricane?!

I remember when I started my first sales job, I would be working at my desk (even before I had my own computer and had to just make phone calls), and would need a break every so often…so I would jump up and take a walk around the office. I had quite a few people tell me that they always knew it was me because my walk was so distinctive. I don’t know if I knew exactly what they meant until someone told me that I “walk with purpose” that I got it. What they were telling me was that I knew where I was going, what I wanted and that no matter what I was going to get it!

Since I quit my job last year, I haven’t been quite so sure in my direction, what my ultimate purpose is, but I haven’t changed the fact that I walk with purpose. In fact, I think I actually do it even more now because it just feels right to me.

No matter what are goals are, where we are going or what we are working towards achieving, the absolute only way we will ever get there is if we are decisive and determined to get there. Walking with purpose is only part of the equation, we have to believe with all the fiber in our being that we WILL get there, otherwise we never will.

I thought the quote for this topic was perfect because I believe that if I want to chase my dreams I have to do it in a way that makes those dreams notice that I coming, and what better way than a hurricane to do that? 😉

What if we all believed that we were destined for great things, that there was truly nothing to hold us back, would our goals and dreams change?

Would we focus on bigger things because there was no reason that we weren’t going to get there?

Would we allow ourselves a little grace when we fell down knowing that we will once again get up and still reach the dreams?

When I talk about dreams, I am not talking “pie in the sky” or something that only involves visualization (not that visualization is bad, but without the work it doesn’t mean anything)…I am talking belief in ourselves, trust that we can make something happen, knowing that we are enough to be who we want to be…

So knowing that…what goals would you set knowing that you are enough to achieve them?

Dressing up your Jeans

Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?

This may not be as big a deal to some of you as it is to me…
For 20 years I have worked for companies that only allowed us to wear jeans as sales people on Fridays (and after a while, not at all!). Since I left last October I’m not going to lie I have actually had fun experimenting with my jeans, and guess what I found out – looking good AND professional and that “put together” doesn’t need to exclude jeans.

I realize that I’m not talking about anything ground breaking here, but it has actually been really freeing for me to be able to dress exactly how I want, because I am mature enough to figure out how to dress appropriately for what I am doing and who I am going to be seeing.

Dressing for your audience is a huge deal – knowing what kind of a person they are, and making the right impression is important. I have always found that it’s better to err on the side of being over-dressed rather than being under-dressed! But jeans aren’t necessarily under-dressed, unless of course the person you will be meeting with is an ultra conservative person that never dresses down 😉

Skinny jeans can be really dressed up with a gorgeous sweater during these winter months and wide legged, high waisted jeans are one of my current favorites. They almost feel like you’re not wearing jeans at all. I added a fur jacket, high boots, big hoop earrings and voila…sass in jeans 😉 .

I have found that when I am happy in what I am wearing, it affects my mood for the whole day. I have learned to notice things that make me feel good, and I steer myself toward those things (whether it is who you hang out with, what you wear, the makeup you put on, you hair etc. they are all equally important if they make you feel good).

I have a challenge for you all…what if you came up with one style or piece of clothing that makes you feel good, and find ways to adapt it to make it UNIQUELY YOUR STYLE!

See how it makes you feel…
See if it affects your mood and ultimately your reaction to the day’s events…
See if it changes the results you get on that day…

I have found that the more conscious I am of myself, my surroundings, my feelings and my behavior the easier it is for me to not react or let things really get me down. When we’re not completely conscious that’s when we are in reaction mode, and I can tell you that’s not where I want to be because it causes me to react hastily and very often with anger.

Are you willing to take on this challenge?
I would love to hear your results…

You can shop my look & some similar styles by clicking the links below

Turn Weakness into Strength

Women are never stronger than when they arm themselves with their weaknesses!

As I think back to my childhood I realize that there were so many times that people told me negative things which caused me to feel bad or insecure with myself. In fact, one of the things that I was told when I was growing up by “mean girls” was that I had a huge chin and that it made me look like a witch. I’ll admit that there were some times where I wasn’t sure what they were saying was true or not, and it definitely made me self conscious.

It took me a few years to realize that those that told me those things were probably saying it because they felt insecure or less than confident about themselves. I had a choice at that time to either let what they told me become what I believed and repeated to myself, or to not let it get to me. I was a teenager when it happened, and it was one of the must vulnerable times in my life. My choice was to embrace my features, enjoy who I was and not only carry on but to hold my head up and be proud! I looked at my family and realized that my “strong” chin – which is what I choose to call it – came from my Grandad and he was an AMAZING man! How could I possibly feel bad about it?

As I think back to that time in my life I realize that it was a turning point – it was the time that I made a decision to not let others determine how I feel about myself. It was at that time I promised myself that I would always stand up for myself and be bold! If I could see the people that said mean things about me, I would want to thank them – because if they had not said those things, I wouldn’t have become the strong, determined, powerful and fulfilled woman that I am.

There are definitely people in this life that are going to try and make you feel bad about yourself, who you are, what you look like and very often undermine what you are capable of. I can promise you that NO ONE can make you feel anything. It is your choice to believe what people say or think about you or not.

I have found at times in my life that some people I thought were my friends chose to root against me, to sabotage my success, and quite often be two-faced and almost a wolf in sheep’s clothing. As I become older and more mature I realize that I have no control over how people act or how they think, but I do have control over how it affects me. When someone points out a weakness of mine or roots against me, I choose to not focus on that but rather on being the best me that I can be!

What I have also found is that for all the negativity out there…there is still so much positivity. I choose to focus on that.

Whatever we focus on we end up with more of – so why not think the best about yourself, your talents, your blessings…see what happens!

Laughter – the Best Medicine

Always find a reason to laugh. It may not add years to your life but it will definitely add life to your years!

Something that has always been apparent in my life is the need for me to laugh. I like to think of myself as quick witted, because I love to say things a little off the cuff to make others laugh too. I’ll tell you why…I have always loved laughing and find greater connections with others when I feel that they have the same sense of humor as me or are equally as “strange” 😉

When I first came to the US from England and I was newly married I found myself sometimes getting offended or hurt by things Brandon or others might say. I was brought up so much more reserved, I was taught that sometimes saying something to someone wasn’t necessary. Not that I have ever had a problem giving people a piece of my mind…I just was taught that it was so much more important to be polite over “just being honest”.

My family was one that always laughed and made fun of each other, but somehow we just knew that it was a joke and a little cheeky. It’s weird that even though I had been brought up that way and my family and I had done that, when Brandon particularly said things it made me feel a little self conscious and sensitive. The good thing about having a mindset coach for a husband is that he is ALWAYS willing to talk things through and somehow we just figure out a way to make it work.

Over the years I have learned that I need to not take myself so seriously, and I have actually learned to laugh at myself. Being a work in progress is nothing to be ashamed of, in fact, it’s absolutely vital. I do still get called the “fun sponge” but more often than not I try new things, I don’t mind if I screw up and make a fool of myself, but most importantly I work on not letting ideas be more important than people.

One thing I look forward to in 2019 is the opportunity to smile more, have more fun, create even more connections and love my life even more.

Laughter truly is something that makes every situation more enjoyable…in fact, when we create experiences that involve laughter and smiling they are always more memorable. Even if you don’t remember exactly what you were laughing about, remembering the feeling you had and the experience of connecting with those you love is felt throughout our bodies FOREVER. I can still remember the feeling I had when I was around my Grandad Ron…he always made us all laugh because he was quick witted and funny. His saying that still brings a smile to my face was “Happen she/he wasn’t thinking” – he would say that whenever someone would do something that was an accident or not intentional.

Because smiling and laughter is contagious in our house when someone gets started on a good laughing fit, there are always going to be others that join in at some point. My kids tease me that when I really laugh, not only do I cry but also my right eye closes and they say I look like a pirate. I’m totally OK with it, especially because at the very moment that I know my eye is closing, I am having the time of my life. Who knows, I may even capture a picture of me with the eye closed mid-laughter at some point soon.

If you don’t resolve to do anything else for 2019, decide to add a little more smiling and laughter into your life and see what happens. I bet you won’t be able to say you’re not having fun!

Michelle
XOXO


Boost your Confidence – Wear Fur

 

“She always stood out from the crowd so she decided to embrace it and just be exactly who she was!”

 

I don’t own a “real” fur, but I have to admit I have quite a few fur coats, jackets and then some with fur accents like the Leather one in this post.  I love it because no matter what I am wearing, when I add fur it just elevates the whole look and makes me look and feel classy (not to mention the fact that it also keeps me warm).

Wearing fur can be a little intimidating for a lot of people, because it’s definitely one of those things that really makes you stand out.  In today’s post I am showing just a few of the fur coats and a jacket with fur detail so you can see the many ways to wear it.  I do realize that not everyone is going to want to wear things exactly like I like, so as well as posting links to shop the coats I am wearing, I have also included some links that are not quite so bold (see the bottom of the page).

 

 

Over this Thanksgiving weekend I was speaking with Dalton, my oldest son, and asking what he wanted for Christmas.  He said that he pretty much just wanted cologne, shoes and clothes.  Right after he had finished telling me, he paused and said “I don’t want all STYLEQUEENIE clothes though!”  When I asked him what he meant he said that he’s OK with some things that are flashy but he didn’t want me to buy everything according to what I like, which apparently he thinks is too “flashy”.  I had a choice, to get offended or just take it for what it is and realize that not everyone is going to like the same things as me, and just move on.  I chose to move on and take it as a compliment – I like being flashy, I like to stand out – there’s nothing wrong with that, I’m just being ME.  It’s also OK that he doesn’t want to do that…it’s OK that he is who he is supposed to be as well.

I have always encouraged my kids to be themselves and express themselves how they want to in their style – but this also means that I sometimes have to take them out wherever we are going looking a little less put together than I would like.  The good news is that now they are all a little older, there are very few times that they are not presentable, and they feel validated.  They feel like they are free to be themselves! This was a lesson I was taught by my dad.  I have always enjoyed dressing differently than others, and as I was growing up, my dad always told me “if you look good, feel good and it makes you happy, then you shouldn’t worry about how others view you.”  I 100% agree with that statement and it has definitely guided me many times in my life – especially the part about not worrying what others think.  I have found that when I like the way I look and I don’t judge myself, then that also is how others see me and there is no way that their view can negatively impact me.

So does fur make you flashy?  Well, it can, it just depends on how you wear it, and how much confidence you have in yourself.  There is one thing for sure though, it is definitely going to get cold and fur can keep you warm.

Why not add a little fur into your life – and increase your wow factor?

Shop my looks and more by clicking the links below (the best part, it’s Cyber Monday so there are some steals!)…

 

 


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 🙂

 

 

I’ve got that Luxurious Feeling

 

“If you’re always trying to be normal, you’ll never know how amazing you can be!”

 

Have you ever noticed that there are certain fabrics that make you feel that you are wearing luxury, emanating class and they just make you feel a little more confident.  It may sound weird but I have definitely noticed when I wear certain things I seem to walk with a little more pep in my step!

In today’s post I am wearing one of my favorite fall/winter cardigans with a fur overlay that can be removed.  It is one that I bought last year when I was back in England from French Connection, but don’t fear there are plenty of other fur options out there to buy (I’ve linked some of my top picks below).

I did a little research because I wanted to find out if I was overthinking this whole fabric thing, and here’s what I found:

Throughout history there have been certain fabrics that have long been worn by royalty and by only those with money.  Times have definitely changed now with the introduction of faux fur, silk being used not only by designers now, and wool which was traditionally a very expensive fabric is now mass produced so that it can be made available to everyone.

 

 

These luxurious fabrics were worn because it made the rich and royals feel confident, unique and very often superior.  Not that I think we should ever want to dress to be superior to another human being, I do think that anything that can give you a little confidence and feel unique is a good thing.

I absolutely love wearing faux fur because in all of it’s many forms, mainly because of the sass it can add to any outfit, but there are definitely other fabrics that can add that air of uniqueness to your wardrobe, such as:

Velvet – perfect to wear for fall and winter.  It works well by itself or with a contrasting fabric such as denim or leather.

Satin – definitely one of the more sexy types of fabrics.  Looking to add a little glamour to your look, satin is your friend.

Chiffon – a very delicate and feminine fabric.  It’s elegance can create the most amazing ballgowns that you will see on the red carpet.  If you’re looking to really pull no punches, this is a fabric you won’t want to overlook.

Tulle – who wouldn’t love to add a tutu to their wardrobe.  Seriously though, there are so many fun things you can create with tulle- I have a  long length skirt that is so fun and I wore for an award banquet.  It definitely stood out from the crowd (which is always what you want when you’re amongst hundreds of people 😉 )

What is the one fabric that you have worn that makes you feel amazing?  Comment below…

Whatever your personal taste and personality don’t feel that because something is popular that you have to wear it.  If you don’t feel comfortable wearing something it really doesn’t matter whether that fabric is known to make you feel sassy, confident or luxurious – ultimately it’s all about how it makes YOU feel.

As we head into the weekend, I hope you have a wonderful one.

Thanks for checking in with with  me 🙂

 

Don’t just “make it” to the Weekend

“Joy is a decision, a really brave one about how you are going to respond to life!”

I hear lots of people saying and people posting about “making it to the weekend”, and I know I have been guilty of that too, but recently it has made me pause and think about what means.

We live in a time of immediate gratification, high expectations, social media comparison and so on, and I interpreted that as meaning we are always searching for that “thing”that is going to make us happy, we put expectations on ourselves and our situations so high that it is almost impossible for anything to reach those expectations.  And then when you start looking at what other people are perceived to be or have on social media, it only leads to even more  dissatisfaction and disappointment.  I have definitely been guilty of almost wishing away my time while I have been waiting for an event or a vacation, and the result is I don’t get to fully enjoy the moments that I am in NOW!

So, when we talk about “making it” to the weekend, my goal is from here on out to enjoy what I’m doing, and not be in such a hurry to get through the week.  There are definitely times that are hard and challenging, but if we spend all our time waiting for the next big thing, or just pushing through, we could be missing out on so much.

You probably all know by now that my husband is a coach and he teaches to trade your expectations for appreciations and find gratitude in things where there really doesn’t seem to be anything to appreciate. Finding joy in your life journey is the secret weapon to an amazing life.  Finding the good in the things that don’t seem good, or just being OK with things that you can’t control and working through them are a great way to start!

I am an extremely driven and motivated woman, and I am my own worst enemy.  I complete ruthlessly with myself trying to be so much better than I have been in the past, so much so that I sometimes lose focus on the things that are the most important things in this life – which are love, family, friendships, and heath.  I think at this point I am not going to remove that competitive drive from within me, but what I can do is learn that there are times when I need to pause and just appreciate!

 

 

This weekend is one that I am spending with my family at our home away from home in Midway, and our day is starting with a hike and appreciating the beauty of this world, and spending time with my boys (grumbling and all), because that’s what life is about.

 

I hope as next week starts you think about learning to enjoy the week so that you are no longer just counting down the days to the next weekend – you may even find that you start to enjoy what you’re doing 😉

Happy Saturday beautiful people!!

Shop my looks by clicking the links below…

 

Spring is in the Mind…

“Being positive isn’t pretending everything is good, it’s seeing the good in everything!”

I have always had a hard time with unpredictable weather.  I think it’s because growing up we couldn’t ever REALLY plan a barbecue or outdoor event for fear of the weather turning and us getting soaked.  I have somehow held onto that frustration with weather and realize as the seasons change, especially Winter into Spring, I find myself becoming annoyed, frustrated and sometimes even a little depressed when it snows in March or if Easter is not a sunny day.  Crazy…yes I know…but here’s what I have realized:

I don’t like certain things, but whether I like them or not, I have no control over them – and the weather certainly falls into this category!  Logically I know that at some point, at least in Utah, Spring is going to arrive and it’s going to be glorious, so getting myself worked up about WHEN is ridiculous, right?

 

 

With my personality type, the weather is definitely not the only place that this type of frustration over lack or control shows up.  I could give you a list of the areas of my life where I suffer from this same ailment, but what’s the point?  You’re probably already thinking of your own list, aren’t you?  I don’t know about you but my life is crazy enough with work, family, sports, recreational activities, traveling (OK, i know this one isa fun one but still stressful sometimes), so why would we add additional stress or frustration by wanting to control things that are most definitely outside of the realms of what can be controlled?

It seems like wasted energy and I very often tell my kids when they say they are stressed about school work, sports, friends, and they are worrying about how things will turn out, that there’s no point in worrying about what we can’t control – I get it, I can see it in others and offer them advice better than I can do it myself.  Logically it makes sense that energy wasted worrying about these things is truly just wasted, but I am guessing I’m not the only one that does it, am I?

Sometimes I feel enlightened and can handle it all, but other times I let silly stuff get me down.  The one thing that I have found that has helped me navigate this life as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and business professional is to cut myself some slack.  Knowing it’s OK to not get everything right 100% of the time has actually released a huge burden from me.  I used to beat myself up for feeling sad, angry, or frustrated and then over-think how I reacted to situations, how I treated people etc., which then led to beating myself up for not handling things great – a vicious cycle.

So, as we are now “officially” into Spring, I wanted to say to myself and to anyone out there that can relate, it’s OK if the Spring you want doesn’t arrive exactly when you think it should, it’s OK that you might not be happy about everything all the time and mostly, it’s OK, in fact, it’s more than OK to be YOU!  We can’t change the past, but we can certainly decide how we are going to be in the present, so why worry about old things & things to come, when if we focus more on finding some joy in where we are right now, even if that isn’t perfect, how much more happy and calm would your life be?

As a tribute to those things I can’t control – the pictures in this post are me feeling OK with wearing a jacket and there being snow on the ground…! You can shop this look and similar by clicking the links below…

 

 

Get up, Dress up and Never Give up!

 

“Believe you deserve it and the universe will serve you!”

 

Unfortunately it is the time of year here in Utah where the air quality is not great, we may or may not have a snow storm, but chances are, it’s going to be really cold.  With the poor air and inversion that we suffer with in the valley it very often brings colds, flu and other ailments that are never good but can really set you back if you don’t take care of yourself properly!

 

The reason I’m telling you this is because when I did this shoot, I had a cold and didn’t have any energy, but I knew I needed to do it because, well, just because I committed to it, but also because writing my blog is more important to me than taking a little time with some chicken noodle soup on the couch…

 

 

I have always been one of those girls where unless I literally can’t walk and I’m bleeding I don’t like to let anything stop me from what I need and want to do.  As a mum of four boys that works full time as well as having this blog, I am sure you can imagine that my life is pretty full, and that doesn’t even count anything I want to do for fun 🙂  I have found that I can sometimes be my worst enemy in that I don’t like to ask for help but that can sometimes cause me to feel resentful (even though logically I know that I brought the chaos onto myself by not asking for assistance!)

 

One of things I worked on this holiday season (which is probably one of the most hectic times of the year, not just for Christmas but also for my job because it is busiest at the end of each year), I allowed other people, specifically my husband and kids, but also co-workers and other people I know, to help me with things I would normally have just powered through myself.  Are any of you like me where you feel like you have to be a “soldier” and you are on the front lines just slogging through the day only to find at night that you just want to fall into bed and you really haven’t enjoyed yourself along the way?  Whew!  It’s not a good place to live I tell you…and the worst part, it’s so unnecessary!

 

So how do we change the way we have always been?  Is it who we are?  If you are like me and struggle with any of these things, here’s something to think about…by not asking others to help or by not including them in what you’re doing, you are taking the opportunity to serve away from them.  What do I mean?  When you do things for others does it make you feel good?  Are you that person that is always reliable, always giving, doing or just being there for others?  If you can answer yes to any of these questions then you know what an amazing feeling it is when you know that you’ve done something for someone else…right?!  Conversely if you don’t let anyone experience that feeling by doing something for YOU, aren’t you robbing them of that experience?  I know all of this stuff logically but I can tell you, it’s still hard for me…but I do know unless I teach my kids (and my husband) how to serve others, then I am doing them a disservice!

 

 

I definitely rolled into 2018 with a really positive attitude, great goals (one of which you read on Sunday), plans and aspirations…so now the key is to continue as I have started (yes, I know, it’s only been 1 day), but nevertheless, it’s still hard to keep to a path you have laid out for yourself, unless the goal means so much to you that quitting is not an option!

 

You are going to see a lot of people talking about goals, asking you what your goals are…and you may or may not want to share.  The key is to have goals to have things you want to do, even if it is to keep doing what you have always done, and just be better at it.  We all have our own paths to walk, but I can tell you, no matter who you are, whether you make goals for yourself or not, there are going to be things thrown into your path that are going to make you grow whether you like it or not, so nobody is going to have an easy ride.  Might as well set yourself something exciting to achieve so you are not letting life just happen to you!

 

Happy New Year…and by the way, the outfit I’m wearing in this post is an amazing velvet dress, with a leather jacket and leather booties.  You can shop a similar velvet dress, leather jacket, and booties by clicking the links below (who doesn’t love a luxurious velvet dress with a great leather jacket? :))