Dress For You

Style is a deeply personal expression of who you are, and every time you dress, you are asserting a part of yourself!

When you are truly confident in yourself and what you bring to this world, you don’t ever feel the need to be someone you’re not, which includes dressing for YOU.

Because we are so unique as individuals, it is only a natural reaction to dress to express that uniqueness. When we do that, when we do it for ourselves without a fear of what others will think or the need to seek approval, that is one of the most empowering things we as women can do.

Who isn’t attracted to, or doesn’t want to be around a confident and self-assured person – I know I do. I am always drawn to strong women, and I know that’s because I am that way myself,. It comes down to the old saying of “birds of a feather flock together”.

So, the question is, what do you want to attract in your life? I feel empowered and even stronger when I am around other strong individuals, and the more time I spend around them, the stronger and more confident I feel.

I remember when I was in college I had a few posters on the walls of my apartment- and one of them was a Garfield poster that I found amusing because it showed Garfield with books balanced on his head and the quote said “I learn by osmosis”… I think I found it so funny because as I was taking a lot of medical classes I really wished that it was true.

It may not be true about college learning, but I can tell you that energy is contagious – OK, it may not osmosis but it kind of works in a similar way. When I choose to spend my time around those that lift me up rather than drain me, my cup is filled – which then leaves me energy to pass along and help others.

My style has always been exactly that – MINE. I don’t always wear the most ground breaking styles, or even buy all the newest things out (mainly because I don’t like them all, and I’m definitely not going to spend money on something I don’t like. I find my inspiration in lots of ways, in lots of different places and on lots of different people. I love experimenting, because that’s just me. You may like to stick to things you know, colors you love or you may even hate shopping. Whatever your way of dressing, my hope is that you do it for you. Not for a partner, not to be accepted, not to be envied by flashing lots of expensive designer stuff, and most definitely not to hide who you really are.

I thought it might be kind of fun to come up with a name for my style personality – I am

What is your style personality?

If you find any inspiration for your style from me…you can shop my look by clicking these links:

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

Color is Important

Why live as one single color of crayon when you can live as the whole box and color the whole world!

When we pick out the clothes we are going to wear finding a color we like is not enough. Knowing that certain colors suit you more than others is something to keep in your back pocket when shopping and putting together an outfit.

There are a lot of things that play into whether a color suits you or not…such as: skin tone, hair color, eye color, attitude (yes, I said attitude – if you are sassy and confident you are much more likely to feel comfortable in a bold, bright red than if you are shy and withdrawn), and even our mood. Of course we are always drawn to colors we love, and I am definitely no exception. When I find a style in a color that I love, I always hold it up against my face before I even try it on to see what it makes me feel like. On a good day I am pretty certain that I love it and that it will look good on me, but on a bad day (a day when I am not sure of my emotions, how I am feeling or if something else is affecting me), that’s when I seek an outside opinion.

There are definitely times of the year that some colors are more available than others…for example this mustard colored sweater. Mustard is a color that is very often associated with fall or autumn, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be worn at other times. In fact, I kind of love wearing colors that you don’t see a lot of people wearing at certain times of the year. Because the color of my sweater is not as prevalent during winter months, that’s when I am choosing to wear it – you know the whole “standing out” thing 😉

Going back to colors being more readily available at certain times of the year, you can guarantee that each season fashions are going to be put out in certain colors that they have picked for some reason. But here’s the important thing to remember…just because a color is “in style” doesn’t mean you have to wear it. If your skin tone works really well with a cool red but the season’s color is an orange red, that doesn’t mean that you suddenly have to start wearing it. I believe that the season’s styles, colors and textures are just a guideline – they are only there to enhance what we already know we want to wear.

For those of you out there that only love to wear black or grey, go on and express yourself. The only caveat I would offer is that sometimes dark colors like black and grey can make you look pale and withdrawn. If you feel most comfortable in those colors because that’s your style, I get it. For those of you that do it because you are afraid to express yourself or you aren’t sure what other colors might suit you – then I would recommend stepping out of your comfort zone and trying a new color each week. Who knows, you might actually find that you love color!

Remember, our confidence grows when we are not afraid to step outside our comfort zone and try something new!

Shop some of my top color picks by clicking the links below…

Real Not Perfect

Shop my look & similar by clicking the links at the bottom of the post

To be worthy doesn’t mean having to be perfect!

Perfection is something that is one of those unattainable goals that we somehow seem to be striving for, always in vain. We set expectations on ourselves and set ourselves up for failure when our goal or expectation is to become perfect.

It is easy to get caught up in wanting ourselves to be perfect, but it is also very dangerous because when we are wanting that perfection it very often doesn’t stop at ourselves and we come to want or even expect that from others around us as well!

In previous posts I’ve talked a little about how comparison of ourselves to others is fatal, and in this age of social media, it’s really hard to not allow ourselves to succumb to such self-sabotaging behavior. So how do we change our mindset so that striving for personal excellence is what we aim for? Here are some things that I use daily and they work for me:

  1. Choose to focus only on being better each day than the day before – rather than focusing on what we’re doing wrong or we’re not great at.
  2. Choose to appreciate and love the things we are good at and build on those…
  3. Practice positive self-talk so that we can start to realize how amazing we are.
  4. Allow ourselves to celebrate any victory, whether great or small. That way we are not always dissatisfied with our results. We have to appreciate the small things first otherwise we won’t know what the big things are!
  5. Don’t just focus on the outcome – a lot of growth and strength building comes in the journey. In the learning – you know, the falling down and getting up!
  6. Sometimes procrastination comes from not wanting to not be able to complete something or do it perfectly. Allowing ourselves the grace to not finish something immediately gives us the opportunity to avoid procrastination and learn something along the way.

I know when I let go of my need to control everything, my need for things to go EXACTLY according to a plan I might have in my mind, I am always pleasantly surprised by the results I get. My expectations have been known to get me into trouble, because I promise you the scenarios and outcomes I create in my mind are so much more elaborate than I could ever create in real life. It took me a while to realize that I didn’t want to hold myself back and I certainly didn’t want to be unhappy…but once I did, it created a huge amount of freedom and was light a weight being lifted off my shoulders.

I used to think that the pressure I put on myself – the pressure to create success and fulfillment – was what made me successful, but what I have realized after A LONG time is that it’s actually the opposite. I am always going to be driven, motivated, have a love of stepping out of my comfort zone, but it was actually the expectations and the need for perfection that held me back rather than making me better. It’s hard to come to the realization that I was sabotaging my own success, but once I did and I became conscious about my behavior…that’s when the magic started to happen!

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!

Winter Days

The best thing you can do is master the chaos in you. You are not thrown into the fire, you are the FIRE!

One thing I have written about quite a bit on my blog is how much I really don’t like the cold, but what I wanted to talk about today is how I have learned to embrace winter and what tricks I have used to do that.

Let me start by telling you a story about why cold hasn’t been my favorite thing. As you know, I grew up in England and my family lived there until 20 years ago when we moved here. Our home in England was middle class and pretty big for the UK. We were one of the first people I knew to get a dishwasher, and I had my own en-suite bathroom (pretty rare for England). We didn’t get snow like we do here in Utah in the winter, however, as you know, there was PLENTY of rain.

One of the things about damp climates is that the cold cuts right to the bone, and it is hard to plan for that cold because it is so damp. There was no central air in our home, in fact there were no homes that I knew of that did have central air…we all had radiators in each room to heat them. The thing about radiators is that it takes a while and it never quite feels like it’s really warm, again because they are filled with water and create damp heat. In my room I remember frost being on the INSIDE of the window pretty much every morning that I woke up and I had a heated blanket under my fitted sheet on my bed so that my bed wasn’t cold at bedtime.

My memories of damp and cold soggy days with little to no sunshine in England definitely catalyzed my disdain for cold…but I am learning to embrace it and even love it to some degree. So what’s my secret…?

  1. I search for something that I can love about each and every day that is cold. For example, on a sunny day with blue skies, I take time to appreciate and love the beauty of the mountains and the skies. If it is a grey day I appreciate the fact that I can light the fire and spend time cozy inside.
  2. I stay active. During winter months it is easy to become sedentary and not do too much, so I make sure that I am still actively working out and eating healthy because it makes me appreciate my health.
  3. I make sure that I am prepared. It is still important for me to look good even in the winter but there are so many ways to do it AND make sure that you are adequately prepared so that your hands, feet, head, ears and body are not cold. There are so many cute winter clothes now that there is never a reason to be cold or unprepared when venturing outside.
  4. Taking time to cook – when I get home from work I often don’t want to go out again, so I plan ahead and make sure I have all the ingredients I want to make a great family meal. I have found that my cooking is much more adventurous during colder months because I do it so much more often.
  5. I like to plan time to go somewhere a little warmer. Beaches are my favorite, but even a few hours south of us the weather becomes much nicer and it is a trip just about anyone can take.
  6. I choose to have fun and be silly. I have found that the more I focus o the negativity of how cold it is, the more cold it seems to feel. I choose to focus on the positivity and what I can appreciate about it.

Mondays can be hard, especially cold Mondays – but what if you thought of it as just another day instead of a cold Monday?

Choosing how to experience something is the key to mastering inner peace. I don’t know about you, but inner peace sounds pretty good right about now!

Be You – Be Different

“Being different isn’t a bad thing, it means you are brave enough to be yourself!”

There are so many things that make us different from everyone else, but we live in a world where it’s almost frowned upon to be different. The sad thing about that is that there are so many reasons that the world needs YOU just as you are, not someone trying to fit in or be like everyone else.

Being different, standing out, expressing yourself just as you are, that takes real courage…but most importantly it means YOU have to know who YOU are!

I don’t know if any of you remember that movie “Runaway Bride”? In that movie Julia Roberts was engaged at least 3 or 4 times and each time literally ran away from the wedding as the groom was standing on the altar. Nobody knew why she did it for a long time, in fact, she gained a reputation and it was newsworthy enough that a reporter went to her small town to write about it. Turns out that what she actually did was fit into a mold of exactly what she thought each of the grooms wanted her to be. Whatever eggs they liked, she liked too. In summary, she pretty much didn’t show up to any of the relationships as herself, and when the reality hit (on the wedding day) she couldn’t go through with it.

I have seen this so much in life, it’s so easy to fall into line with what we think everyone else wants us to be, so much so that we give up who we really are. The problem with that is that the real us is still inside just stuffed down somewhere out of sight, and it means that we can’t ever find complete fulfillment or happiness until we let her or him out!

I have always been a very strong person, but there have definitely been times in my life when I have been afraid to let people see who I really am – specifically in relationships for fear that they wouldn’t love me, or they would leave. I am not the type of person that can live like that, so at some point, usually when I couldn’t take it anymore, I would explode and pretty much blow the relationship anyway. Even with Brandon and I it took me a long time to realize that it was OK to be 100% myself.

I have learned that I don’t need permission to express myself, it doesn’t matter to me if everyone loves everything about me, because I have found that the more authentic and real I am, the more people love being around me anyway.

I love to express my feisty personality through my style, and I have found that the more I love me, the more I love who I am, the more happy I am. My style is uniquely me – and I will always keep it that way! In fact, the jacket that I’m wearing in this post is one that I had customized for me…I saw something similar on Pinterest and had my mum knit it and create my one exactly how I wanted it! What’s better than that?

Being unique is one thing that we all have in common, and it’s exactly what the world needs!

If you could do one thing today that you have been afraid to do, what would it be?

Life is a Balancing Act

Life is a balance of holding on and letting go…

One of the things that being a working mum has taught me is that finding a work/life balance is essential. I realized very early on that I am the type of person that throws myself into whatever I am doing 100%, which can cause problems if I don’t figure out how to balance ALL my responsibilities.

I chose to work, and I did it because not only did I want to prove my worth (sales will definitely make sure you have to do that), but also because I wanted to show my kids how important a good work ethic was. Not to say that anyone that doesn’t work can’t teach that, because I absolutely believe that staying home with your kids is one of the hardest and most fulfilling jobs anyone could ever have. I, however, chose the working path and I don’t regret one minute of it because of all that I have learned over the years.

My kids are older now (with my youngest being 11 and my oldest 24), but I still have to make sure that I am creating a great home for them, I have to make sure that I am available when they need me, and I also have to make sure that my work doesn’t cause me to neglect any of them…all while making sure that I am not losing myself in any of it either.

Whether you have kids to go home to or not, it doesn’t matter. A work/home balance is still essential for your own sanity!

Working, especially when you are a high achiever is something that can take over your whole life if you let it, which is why finding that balance is essential. I have learned a few tricks over the years that work for me, so I thought I would share them with you today…

  1. Use a calendar – I know this sounds simple but I can’t tell you the number of times where I have forgotten to put a work or kids appointment on my phone and then scheduled something over it. The easiest way to avoid that is to make sure you use the SAME calendar for both business and personal so everything is in one place.
  2. Don’t miss dinner – I was always guilty of working later and not getting home in time to make a good dinner, so I had to make sure that no matter what, even if something wasn’t completely finished, I went home to take care of my family. There were some times I had to work on my laptop after the kids were in bed, but it was worth it because I got to spend my evenings with my family.
  3. Delegate – there are going to be times when you can’t do everything, that’s when it’s time to delegate. I used to have a hard time doing this, you know the whole “if I want it done right I need to do it” thing…but I learned over the years that I had to let that go to make sure I wasn’t missing out on things that were important to me. It could be that you delegate work or home stuff, by just prioritizing the things that you absolutely don’t want to or can’t miss!
  4. Hire a nanny – when my kids were really young I used to burn myself out and end up fighting all the time with the kids working on their homework with them – getting them to do it and coaching them through it. I realized that I didn’t want to be the bad guy anymore so we hired a nanny that would pick them up from school, do homework and chores with them before Brandon and I got back from work. That way, when we walked in all I had to do was make dinner and spend time with them. They didn’t fight the nanny like they fought me, and I didn’t feel deflated or frustrated with their lack of excitement about homework and chores 😉
  5. Let it go – whether you work outside the home or not, there are going to be frustrations from your day, and the only way your home is going to be welcoming for you and your kids is if you let the negativity and frustration go. Early in our marriage before Brandon started his coaching business he worked for a large corporation that brought with it a lot of frustration, so I used to tell him that he needed to touch a tree in our front yard and leave all that frustration out there. That way, we didn’t have to deal with it and the anger and frustration was mis-directed to the kids or me.
  6. Self care – this is the most important of all. If you don’t take care of you, and taking care of you doesn’t mean just working all the time because you love it, it means finding that thing that can reset your energy meter. Find the things that make you feel relaxed, renewed and ready to start the fight all over again. It could be something as simple as taking a coffee break, going for a walk in nature, working out, getting a massage or pedicure or even a date night.

Mastering balance in our lives is the thing that will make us even greater spouses, parents, friends, employees or bosses. It is the thing that differentiates the good from the great. You can’t give up one thing for another, because even if you are the most successful financially you won’t be fulfilled in other areas, or vice versa.

Why not start off this Monday by just implementing one of these ideas…or just making sure that you follow through with the self-care!
Even though this is the most important of all the steps, this is the one that is the most neglected…

HAPPY MONDAY!!

Goals NOT Resolutions

Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it!

I see so many posts on social media, and so many people talking about what their New Year Resolution is going to be each year it started me thinking…how long do people actually keep their resolutions? We all start out with the best intentions but somehow around mid-February everything has been thrown out the window.

I think this happens because our resolutions are made based on things we think we SHOULD be doing or not doing, because we want to make a change but we aren’t quite committed enough to the outcome to stick to it, or sometimes because we are worried about what other people think.

Quitting is so much easier than doing something consistently and changing habits. I have even found myself justifying that if I did something wrong it’s not a big deal because nobody keeps resolutions anyway. It’s also really common to think that if you do screw up that you may as well just quit now because it’s never going to work. Dieting when it’s not important enough to you can have the same effect! I have watched many people I know over the years make a mistake and eat something they shouldn’t so they either just quit completely or recommit to start on Monday.

As you all know by now that my husband, the coach, works with a lot of clients and what he recommends telling yourself is that you want to do this BECAUSE…what is the reason that you really want to do this? If it is dieting, it could be because you want to be healthier & have more energy so you can spend more time doing activities with your kids or spouse. If it’s quitting or changing your job, then what is the reason there? For me, when I started planning quitting my job, it was because I wanted more freedom to travel and make more money. The key is to find the reason that works for you.

I have always thought that resolution was such a flimsy word which is why I prefer to call them GOALS. We all have goals and the New Year isn’t the only time we start working towards those goals. That’s the main thing here…there’s never a bad time to start. It doesn’t matter your age, what your goals are, or how lofty they are, if you start…you are always going to end up closer than you would be if you procrastinated.

So this 2019…it still sounds crazy to me so be saying 2019…I am looking for goals that challenge me, scare me, help me grow, give me more freedom and patience but most importantly that help me gain stronger connections and relationships.

What is one thing that is so important to you BECAUSE…?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!


Like my look? Shop the look by clicking the links below…

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