Being Adaptable for Spring

Adaptation is a profound process. It means you figure out how to thrive in the world!

OK – so we are back to it being winter weather here in Salt Lake, & I thought it would be a great time to talk about how Spring is sometimes that unpredictable time of year where you can’t quite put away your jackets because you have hot days, freezing and snowy days and everything in between – so how do you stop that messing with your style mojo?

I was sitting out on the patio of a local restaurant for lunch on Monday and today I am huddled in my office with my heater blasting watching the snow/rain come down. Here’s the thing, and this has probably been one of the hardest things I have ever done, I am learning to surrender to the fact that I have ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL over whether spring looks like it does today or its warm and sunny…

Last night I sat at my son’s High School baseball game with my winter coat, a beanie, gloves and a blanket as the snow came down. For spring baseball weather in Utah things like this have happened before but I hear that this is the worst or hardest baseball season they have had in over 20 years in regard to cancelling/postponing games, bad weather and the field condition…crazy, but NO control over it, right?!

So how do we adapt to not being able to fully transition from one season to the next, because my guess is that in a lot of places in the world, it is very unlikely that as soon as the first day of spring or a new season hits that the weather doesn’t come with it. March 20th was the first day of spring, and we are far removed from that now but still experiencing winter days…

By this time of year I am so ready to start wearing the cute new styles that spring has to offer, but I always keep a few colder weather favorites that allow me to transition into spring gracefully. I don’t think our style needs to have an EITHER / OR mentality. What I mean by that is that wearing some of your favorite colder weather/winter styles WITH some cute new spring looks is actually fabulous.

Yesterday for the baseball game I worse some great chino’s, some low cut booties, a T shirt and leather jacket. I took with me my almost full length winter coat for the baseball game along with the beanie and gloves…so all I did was pop those on when I got to the field. Meaning that I could still be stylish, feel good about my look during the rest of the day and yet still be prepared for that crazy snow! Sometimes having a coat or warmer jacket in your car to throw on if cold weather hits, and I ALWAYS carry an umbrella in my car just in case (I think that’s English Woman in me needing to be prepared for rain at all times 😉 ).

I see a light at the end of the tunnel, the sun is peeking through the clouds and I am ready to take on whatever weather gets thrown my way today!

What transition style could you create for yourself?

Have a fabulous Friday…

Life is an Adventure

She was powerful, not because she wasn’t scared, but because she went on strongly despite the fear!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while or you know me personally you’ll know that I am not what you might call a “shrinking violet”. I am not someone that accepts things as they are, I am always questioning, always looking to improve and always making amazing new connections.

To me this life is to be filled with amazing memories, amazing people and fear…the kind that forces you to push your way through it to become a stronger, more confident and happy individual.

You may or may not know that I am deathly afraid of heights, but I also LOVE zip lining. I know, I know, it’s a contradiction…so what do I do? Well, what I have realized is that in order for me to do what I love, I have to push through a fear that has been with me for my whole life. It is a fear that is deep rooted, and I am not sure I can even tell you where it came from or when I first started feeling that way. All I know is that when I am up high, I start to feel clammy, my breathing changes and I freak out if my kids go too near the edge.

I first tried zip lining 10 years ago, and fell in love with it then. I’m not sure if I even thought about what I was going to have to do, all I know is that once I was up there, flying down the line with the breeze hitting my face, it was too late to turn back.

So why am I telling you this…well, the point really is this: We all have fears, we all have things that hold us back in life, but we don’t have to let those fears take hold. I set aside my fear of heights so I could do something that meant more to me than the fear that might cause me to not do it could.

Here’s where I think breaking through that fear worked for me…I wanted to try something new, I had a bunch of people with me that were doing it (including little kids), and here’s the clincher, I didn’t let my brain tell me not to do it. Have you ever noticed that when you want to do something that might be scary or dangerous, you get thoughts about all the crazy things that MIGHT happen if you do it? You get thoughts of how everything could go wrong – in fact you can even start to visualize it all. Here’s the think – our brain (or mind as some think of it) is trying to protect us – to keep us safe and cozy in our comfort zone. Our comfort zone is the thing that completely stops us from growing and being who we are destined to be.

It’s not that I think by zip lining I am now going to be this amazing adventure athlete, but what it represented to me was that I can control what my mind thinks. I can decide if I do or do not do something. ME – I am the one in control…

It actually fuels my fire. It drives me to want to be better. To do something every day that scares me…so that when the big things come along, they don’t actually feel that big.

What do you say? Are you with me?

How Travel Revives my Soul

The best journeys answer the questions that in the beginning you didn’t even think to ask…

Ever since I was a little girl I have loved to travel…my favorite memories from my childhood are from the times we would travel as a family. I certainly don’t remember what I got for Christmas when I was 12 or 13, but I do remember the places we traveled that year, the things we did and how it made me feel. My brothers and I didn’t always get along, in fact we fought quite often, but the memories and times we spent together were still amazing. That I one thing I will always feel grateful to my parents for – they knew it was important to travel together! As a kid my absolute favorite place that we went to was Majorca (one of the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain) – my Dad’s company owned a Villa there and we would go and spend 3 weeks the summer there!

When our kids were very young Brandon and I decided that we wanted to create similar amazing memories for our kids, so we always made sure that we took at least one memorable trip each year with the kids. We have traveled many places with them, including road trips, long flights and of course we had to do the Theme parks both in Florida and California. The face that I have all boys meant that of all the theme parks, they loved Universal in Florida which also has Islands of Adventure.

Now they are a little older, we find things on the agenda such as: cliff jumping, kayaking, river rafting, snorkeling & swimming with Manta Rays, hiking down to sea caves filled with sleeping turtles (the hiking part is a little more for Brandon and I but they go along with it), zip lining, trying new cuisines, boogie boarding, surfing, paddle boarding, and many, many more things. The thing that I love about traveling with my boys is that they will pretty much be open to any new adventure and give it a try. It makes the trip so much more fun when new things are tried and places seen!

For spring break this year we booked our trip to Hawaii and decided to explore 2 islands: Kauai first then the Big Island. If you don’t know anything about the islands, Kauai is filled with Roosters that crow at dawn every morning…it may take a couple of days to get used to it, but it’s worth it! Brandon and I have been to Kauai a couple of times but always stayed on the dry side (Poipou), the kids have never been here. This time we are staying up on the wet side, Princeville. It is beautiful and tropical, and of course rains almost every day (at least for a little while). I have this love/hate relationship with rain but I can honestly say that I don’t hate it here…how could anything ruin the fact that we’re in paradise?!

It is also really important to Brandon and I to take time and travel without the kids to make sure we are nurturing our relationship, because there would be nothing worse than waking up one day when the kids are older and realizing that we have nothing in common. We take at least one trip (aside from our business trips) a year to somewhere new and exciting and explore together, here are some places we have been without the kids: Greek island cruise, Rome, Milan & Venice, Costa Rica, Norway & Scotland, Kauai, Maui, Playa Del Carmen, we are taking an Alaskan Cruise in June and next year we have a European trip planned with some friends – including a Danube River Cruise.

I will definitely admit that if I don’t travel I start to feel a little twitchy, even if it means we take a road trip down to California or North to Seattle area… Travel is something that makes me feel whole, it fulfills the part of me that always needs to experience something new, the part of me that is a little bit of a nomad.

Do you have a favorite place to travel? I would love to know, because I’m always looking for new places to go…

Exciting News

Some Women are lost in the fire, some Women are built from it!

On my social media recently I have talked a little about how I was planning on launching a video podcast series…well, I am excited to let you know that the wait is finally over…My pilot episode is ready. It is all about empowerment, confidence building, a little bit of style and a sprinkle of laughs. Confidence grows as we grow, I have found that the more I share what I know, what I am learning and how I feel, the stronger and more confident I become. Empowered women empower other women – why not subscribe and join this ride?

You can view my very first Video Podcast by clicking the image below…

Click this picture to watch the Podcast 🙂

I will be posting a new one each week, and they will be focused on topics like:

“How to find true confidence”
“Your age or size doesn’t define who you are”
“Know your audience”
“I’m me, you are you – feeling comfortable with who YOU are”
and many more…

My goal with this Video Podcast is to make you feel great about yourself through confidence building, strength empowerment, and some incredible fashion tips that you can use for your everyday life. I want all you amazing women out there to be the best versions of yourselves and the ultimate goal is for you to love yourselves.

Over my years as a successful business woman, mother, wife and so much more, I have searched for and found amazing confidence building styles, fashions, and frames of mind.

Why don’t you join me in my journey and start following my podcast – which is currently available on iTunes by just clicking here or searching Stylequeenie. If you don’t have access to an Apple Device, just click the link above…

Stay tuned for when you can download directly from the FM100 app or at fm100.com.

I would love to hear what you think!

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?

January Bleakness

My dreams are my dress rehearsals for my future!

January in Utah is probably my least favorite month. I love the whole new beginning of it, but the bleakness of winter, the inversion that seems to be getting worse each year, the freezing temperatures, and the dirty snow…they all add up to make me just feel like taking a bath and getting into bed.

I have found that there are some things I can do to help me feel a little more “sunshine” in my day, because I’ll be honest, if there is no sunshine I have a hard time functioning effectively. Some of these tricks may work for you too…

  1. I always make sure I have some time planned in the winter months to go somewhere warm and sunny. With the inversion there are sometimes weeks when we don’t see the sunshine here, and that can make the coldness even more depressing. I’m so excited that this year Brandon is taking me to Costa Rica for my birthday in February – but anywhere warm would be amazing.
  2. I make sure that I still keep up on my self care – pedicures, spending time with girlfriends and such. It can become so easy to neglect yourself when all you want to do is hibernate, but that’s the time when it’s the most important.
  3. I make myself do some kind of winter activity that gets me outside. Of course I make sure that I am properly prepared with the right clothes, otherwise it wouldn’t be fun. When sledded at the cabin I didn’t spend hours outside, but the little time that I did made me appreciate the warm cabin, and most importantly it made me appreciate the beauty of winter a little bit more.
  4. Stay true to a workout routine. It’s so much easier to exercise when it’s warm outside, I definitely miss my mountain bike, but staying strong during winter will actually give you more energy and make you feel better. Whatever your workout regimen is, whatever you choose to do, find something that is reasonable and that you can stick to. It’s no good having the best intentions of an intense workout and then quitting after the first week.
  5. I work every day on finding something to appreciate about that day. I realized that I used to count down to warmer spring days, to my next vacation, to some upcoming date or event, and I realized that I was wishing my life away. Winter is here, may as well enjoy it and find something to appreciate in its bleakness and beauty.

There are so many things about winter that even I, an intense summer lover, can appreciate. I love to drive around and look at snow covered homes and yards, see the Christmas lights that tend to stay up throughout the month of January, and look for the biggest icicles possible. Finding something to appreciate about something that is not your favorite, that’s the key to finding a little more joy in your journey of life.

I have realized that each year we have 4 seasons and I am wishing away 1/4 of my life if I don’t find something good or something I can appreciate about winter.

You may be thinking I am crazy about not loving winter because summer or another season may be your least favorite, well the same applies to that too. What can you find about your least favorite time of the year to appreciate and let me know if it makes that time more enjoyable…

Happy weekend friends…

Snow – a Love Hate Relationship

When it snows you have two choices…shovel or make snow angels!

The beauty is all around us, the serenity, the wonder, the bleakness. Sitting in a cabin looking out over a gorgeous valley of rolling hills, mountains and farms and watching my kids sled and ski down the hill. It is a beauty that I can’t deny but for me that’s much easier to say when I am sitting inside the cabin by a cozy fire rather than being outside.

I have always had a love/hate relationship with snow – I can’t deny the fact that there is true beauty but I am also not a fan of how cold it can be.

When I came over and went to the U.S. I had never skied before, so for one of my classes I took skiing at Grand Targhee ski resort. My roommate and I were actually featured in the local newspaper and they named us the “snow angels” because on a snow/powder day we went up there and they captured our pictures with snowflakes in our hair and on our eyelashes…I guess they thought we looked cute.

I did actually love the experience of skiing but as the years have progressed, as I’ve been unable to ski due to being pregnant or having young kids, the fun just seems to have gone away. That’s not to say I won’t ever get it back, but for now the feeling that I don’t want to pay to be cold is kind of where I’m at. I love being with my family, and I have promised the boys that I will go at least once this year, but that’s probably all I can muster.

Many, many years from my college days, but not too many miles away from Grand Targhee resort we are in Star Valley, hibernating in the cold and enjoying family time playing games.

I did spend a little time outside today, but only a little. I sledded with my youngest, Reiken, and actually had fun. I found that I liked sledding in the inner tube kind of sled much more because those kind of sleds don’t hurt when you go over bumps…am I really turning into the fun sponge my kids say I am? I think not – at one time a few years ago I would have been content not going outside at all…

As I think about these winter months stretched ahead of I’m not going to deny that a lot of the time I will be wishing for warmer days, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find some fun in the winter as well. My winter goals for this year are about finding things to do with my family that don’t have to involve just being inside, but that also involve some outdoor and chilly activities. Let’s see how this goes…

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


The Art of the Imperfect Selfie

 

“Making mistakes is better than faking perfection!”

 

We live in an age where the “selfie” is an art, where we judge ourselves more harshly than we would ever judge another human being, and we base our self worth on how many likes or comments we get on social media.  So how do we get back to the time when it was OK to not look “perfect” all the time or at least make people feel that we are looking “perfect”?

The Huffington Post wrote the following in an article and it’s probably one of the most scary things I have ever read:  “Social Media’s Impact on SelfEsteem.  Social media has been linked to higher levels of loneliness, envy, anxiety, depression, narcissism and decreased social skills. … However, what is shared across our social networks only broadcasts the positive aspects of our lives-the highlight reels.”

Even though we know what we are posting isn’t actually the reality of OUR lives for some reason it is not what we think when we see what other people post images and talk about their lives.

The reality is, no matter what, we are NEVER going to be perfect human beings.  In fact, when we strive for perfection all we bring into our lives is disappointment, insecurity and sadness.

I decided to write a post about the “imperfect selfie”, because we are not used to seeing them on social media.  Taking the selfie with the fish pout, with the fake smile, to capture a moment that would in fact have been more of a moment to remember if the camera hadn’t been out, are more and more what we see and consider to be the “norm” on social media.

 

 

Trust me, for each selfie or picture that’s taken of me that I consider worthy to post, there are 100’s of others where I have my eyes closed (see for yourself – in fact, for the eyes closed, I would say there are probably at least 40% of the pictures where my eyes are closed).  Then there are some where I have to edit the lighting, create a patch over something in the background that I want to cover up, and so on and so on.

I recently took a social media class and in that class one of the lessons was to know which angle to use to show the most flattering angle of your face, and which programs to use for editing and how to optimize your features.  I do realize that social media, especially Instagram is a very visual platform and that if you want to use it for a business, you are going to have to post things that are visually appealing, but that doesn’t mean that at some times it’s OK to not look “perfect” in a picture.

I took this selfie of myself today sitting in my office, the camera wasn’t at the angle that would take the most flattering picture, but I posted it anyway to prove a point.  As I sit and look at this picture I could tear myself down with thoughts like “my nose looks crooked”, “I can see the fine lines and wrinkles on my face” or even “my lips are too narrow”, but instead I decided to look for what I love about what I see.  Instead of the crooked nose, I feel thankful that I am able to be able to smell pumpkin spices, and much more at this time of year.  Instead of the fact that I have fine lines and wrinkles, I love that I have lived a life that has allowed me to develop laughter lines and experience life.  Instead of the fact that my lips are too thin, I love the fact that I am able to kiss my husband and my kids.

To summarize my self esteem is not rocked because I am not “perfect” and I am OK with people seeing a side of me that is not my best side because I want people to see the real, authentic and loving ME!  I am not afraid to say when I am sad, I very often react with anger when I become frustrated and anyone that knows me knows that I am can be a force for good or bad (just depends on how I am treated), and guess what, I am not ashamed of that either.  I am fiercely loyal and love the fact that my friends KNOW they can always count on me.

So, what does a “perfect selfie” mean anyway?  Is there really such a thing?  The thing about authenticity is that only people that don’t know you are going to be able to be taken in by fake pictures, and over-editing.  Those that know you, already know your flaws, and love you in spite of them.  Only those that don’t know you might judge you if you don’t look perfect in a picture, but those that already know you that there’s no such thing as a perfect picture and they love you anyway.

I don’t know about you, but I want my life to be filled with real relationships and that is why I put myself out there.  Why I tell stories about myself making stupid mistakes, in the hope that people can get to know me and relate on a deeper level than the superficiality of a picture.  Don’t misunderstand me, Instagram and social media are still a place to show some pretty fabulous pictures and that is what captures someone’s attention initially, but if you really want people to stick around…well, that is done with relationships and letting people get to know you.

I hope as you consider taking your next selfie, before you throw out a picture that you don’t think shows your best side, all is ask is that you ask yourself “what do other see when they see me?”  My guess is that then the picture will become so much more than just a pretty face smiling back, because seeing ourself through another’e eyes is the way we need to see ourselves – PERIOD.

Stay fabulous my friends 🙂

 


The Power of Music

 

“And for that one moment while the music plays.  You know who you are and everything you wish to be!”

 

Do you have a ritual or something you do that gets you ready for a hard task you need to complete, or to just make you feel better?  Music can have such a positive influence in our lives if we find the right music to get us pumped up.

There are so many options out there for good music, and there are so many bad ones as well.  I am more drawn to a beat than I am the words, but definitely the words (especially if they aren’t good words) do have an impact on us.  I love to listen to a wide variety of music, and I tend to focus on certain types to achieve different results.  When I am wanting to feel like I want to dance or just feel good, I listen to rap, hip hop, R&B, a little pop and disco.  I like NWA (I know, not typical), I love Mary J Blige, P!nk can really get me pumped up, love a little Rihanna, Drake, Travis Scott, and so many others.  If I want to feel inspired I listen to songs like “This is Me” from the Greatest Showman, “Unstoppable” by Sia, and a few others that help me to remember why I am here and how great I should feel about myself.

Music has been used to centuries for inspiration, and many other reasons, so there must be something to this theory.  I have had times in my working career where I could become distracted by negativity, and I would use music through headphones to block out the “noise” and help me to focus on the things that were important.  As I have been working with Brandon and going to his Live events, we use music to create a certain mood.  We use it to help people get out of their comfort zones, and I have seen it work amazing wonders. In fact, the more I see it, the more I want to use it in my life.

He goes through a ritual every morning and listens to music to wake him up, to get him ready to take on the day and the make sure his mind is in the place it needs to be so that he can be there for the people that NEED him.  I love that music can do that, I love that just by listening to the beat, the words and by letting that music take you places, you can honestly change your state and put yourself in a better mood, create the energy you need to accomplish anything if you really want to put your mind to it.

 

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Even when I am at home and I have to clean the house, the task doesn’t seem so bad when I have music on and it can take me away from what I am doing.  Driving long distances in the car becomes a lot more tolerable when you can listen to some great music.

As I started to think about Brandon’s LIVE events, his morning ritual and the feelings that I have when I listen to some music that speaks to me, I started to think more and more about it.  What I realized is that music and it’s artists really do have a power, and it’s there for us to use if we choose to!  We can harness the power of music and use it to our advantage.  You may already be doing it without even being aware, but my guess is that if you set yourself up with a great routine or ritual of listening to inspirational and motivational music before you do something that is important to you, the results will actually end up being better.

I have a few playlists loaded in my iPhone, different ones for different reasons, so that when I am working out, driving to work or a meeting, or even just having a hard emotional time, I can call on that playlist to help me change my state.

As I sit writing this post I have some background music, not something that distracts me from what I am writing, but rather music that makes me FEEL so that I can be real and write something that hopefully resonates with you.  You’ll have to let me know…;)

Now Monday is here, and let’s be honest Monday’s don’t have the best reputation, why not start incorporating more “good” music into your life.  Should you choose to accept this challenge – I would love to hear how it worked for you.

Have a great week!