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…

I Believe in Superheroes

Weakness is a Superpower in Disguise!

I have always loved the superhero movies – maybe because I grew up in a home with only brothers and now I only have sons. Nevertheless, when a new movie comes out I am the first to want to be there, and I absolutely love them!

With all of that being said, I do believe that the world actually has REAL superheroes. I don’t believe in them in the same way that Superman can fly or Aquaman (oh boy! Aquaman…) can actually survive underwater, but more in the sense that we all have our own super powers should we choose to use them.

Shop my look by clicking the links at the bottom of this post…

Our family went to watch “Glass” earlier this week, and for those of you that have seen that or seen “Unbreakable” or “Split” you may get where I am going with this. I don’t want to be the one to ruin this movie for you just in case you haven’t seen it, but just know that in the movie things you would not expect to be superpowers or strengths actually are what make the characters super-human. I really enjoyed the movie and would definitely recommend it. Unbreakable was the prequel to this movie and released in 2000. In that movie Bruce Willis’s character was the sole survivor of a train wreck and it was at that point after he had experienced such trauma that he realized what his superpower was.

After I watched it I started contemplating how if in the movie (and yes, I do know that it was not based on fact), if it was possible to have strengths or superpowers, then why not in real life? I have always believed that our talents or strengths are actually our superpowers. We are not all good at the same things, and that is what makes us stronger and more unique.

The quote I posted at the top of this blog is one that really resonated with me, because if we consider our weaknesses and how they can stop us from reaching our full potential, how amazing would it be if we converted those weaknesses into our strengths?

So, if we consider our weaknesses and how we can turn them into our strengths, what is the one that you really want to be your superpower? I would love to say that I am going to turn the fact that I am not the fastest runner into me being The Flash, but in the real world, that will never happen. So, I am going to focus on those things I know can make me stronger, more confident, resilient and happy!

For now – I consider my superpowers to be: I believe I can do anything if I put my mind to it, confidence, empathy, and inner strength. What are yours?

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!

Step Outside of your Comfort Zone

You are only confined by the walls you build yourself!

For one person their comfort zone may be really small meaning that they won’t try anything challenging or intimidating…whereas the next person may take on new challenges willingly. The size of our comfort zone isn’t the thing that holds us back, because even if you are the most daring or confident person out there, there is always something that may be your kryptonite or something that really holds you back.

You have probably realized if you have followed me on social media, or if you have been reading my blog, is that I am a pretty confident woman. I moved from England not knowing how I was going to make a life for myself and my son. That was 20 years ago, my son was 3, I was a single mum and even though moving here was intimidating and uncertain, I jumped at the chance because I knew that the other option of staying in England didn’t present the same prospects or opportunities for us.

Over those 20 years I have taken on new challenges, and not all willingly, but the key is I have taken them on. About 4 months ago I was approached about starting a Video Podcast with a local Radio Station here in Salt Lake. It was right after I had handed in my notice from my sales job, & it seemed like perfect timing…so why did it scare me so much?

I have talked a little about when I first started my blog how I hated to have my picture taken all the time, I didn’t want people to see me having my picture taken and it made me worried that people would think that I was being conceited by posting pictures of myself all the time. I definitely don’t have that problem anymore, and the only way that I don’t is because I have done it so many times that it is now “comfortable”. I realized as soon as the fear of the Video Podcast came up that it was because that is what I NEEDED to do! I realized that the only way I was going to help people and grow myself was by doing that thing that scared me.

Before my first shoot I was really nervous…I definitely got in my head a little at first. But here’s the exciting news – I found that I actually really enjoyed it. I have never had a problem speaking in front of large groups of people, so this is no different. I stopped worrying about being PERFECT and just talked like I would normally.

I am to the point now where I am so excited for them to go live and see where this thing takes me…

Stepping outside of a comfort zone isn’t easier for one person than another, the only difference is that one person does it where the other won’t. Like the quote I posted today, the only thing that stops us is US!

The level of our success and happiness is determined by the amount of uncertainty or discomfort we are willing to endure. I don’t know about you, but I don’t ever want to be the cause of my own lack of happiness or fulfillment!

Here’s to expanding comfort zones in 2019. Start small…but just START!!

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!!

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…