We all have our own unique way of handling things in life, we do things differently, we place varying degrees of importance on some things over others, and as a result, we are all unique individuals.
Paying attention to the small things can be hard when we have goals, ambitions and life’s distractions – who knows what I’m talking about (especially if you have kids!~) . So how do we stay focused and remember the small things?
The small details in our lives may not seem significant until we start adding them up – then the accumulation is actually HUGE!
This method can be equally true when putting together an outfit – all the combined detail of an outfit are what make the outfit great.
I always try and make sure that I have at least one conversation starter, or one thing that may seem like a small detail but it is significant to me. I typically choose shoes, but there are lots of other ways to do it as well…
In this outfit I am wearing there are a couple of things – the ribbon detail on the pants definitely got me some attention, the boots (especially for those of you that love Dr Marten’s either more recently or from the good old days) and the nail polish. A detail like your nails is something that can definitely be a small detail that can make you feel sassy and fabulous.
Whether you’re someone that likes to be noticed or not, ask yourself this question “Do I like to feel good about myself” – if you answer yes, and I am guessing that most people will answer “yes”. The next step is to figure out what it is that makes you feel good. Are you a girl that absolutely loves makeup? Do you enjoy the process of making yourself up and putting on some fabulous lipstick? Do you find your hair to be your favorite feature? Does it make you feel good to know that you are working out regularly? Do you like to get your finger or toenails done regularly? Do you like wearing a pair of shoes that is unique? Are you a bargain shopper that loves the thrill of finding a deal so that you can wear something knowing that it didn’t cost you a fortune?
Whatever it is that makes you feel good, that is something you should make sure you nurture. Paying attention to all details in your life and appreciating those details is something that will make you feel great.
I have found that while it’s important for me to think “big picture” I definitely realize the steps that it takes me to get to my goals, and I appreciate and every single one of those steps. And while I’m at it – I think it’s important (at least for me) to feel good as I am on the road to my goals…
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 Self–Esteem. 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 🙂
You may have noticed that I like to post a quote each day, and that they tie into the theme I am writing out that day. You may be asking yourself why I do that, so I thought I would fill you in…
I have talked a little about why I started this blog and what it has meant to me, but there’s definitely more to it than I have have spilled the beans on already. For example, when I write a blog post, the reason I do it is because it is something that resonates with me that day and I feel that by sharing what thoughts I have that it might also help someone else as well. I have found that when I have thoughts about something, when I am feeling a certain way, it really helps me to focus on handling it rather than avoiding it. It is pretty much the story of my life and it is definitely worked for me to come at something “head on”. I choose quotes that serve as motivation for me, and they help me focus on overcoming whatever I am going through at that time…or at least serve as a reminder of what I need to do.
We all have storms in our lives, and I am definitely no exception. I really need to remind myself constantly to be strong, to weather the storms, to feel grateful, to be patient, to remember why I am here and so much more. So when I post something about gratitude for example, it’s because on that day I realize that I need to focus on gratitude rather than the fact that something might not be working out for me!
I have found that my mindset is absolutely what controls my outcome. When I feel positive I am much more likely to achieve what I am striving for, or at the very least, be OK with whatever comes my way. Do you ever wonder why when something bad happens that more bad seems to show up as well? I have seen it time and time again in my life, and being lucky enough to be married to a mindset coach, I have learned that focus is absolutely what needs to change if we want results to change.
Now don’t get me wrong, just changing how you think isn’t going to change everything in your life, action is still required, but positive action starts with positive thoughts.
Do you have habits that you wish you didn’t have? The best news about habits is that they can be changed at any time in your life…and just as they were started, habits can only be changed by repetition of what you want to replace your old habit with. For example, if you want to change the way you eat (kind of like the post I wrote on Friday), then you have to create new habits that embody the way you want to eat in the future. Think about why you want to change, what it means to you, what it would mean if you didn’t do it and how it could affect anyone else around you. Once you reach the point of pain where it hurts too much to continue the old habit, that’s when you will be motivated enough to change.
The key to changing those old habits, because positive thinking is not all that’s needed like I said, is to realize that there is a COST associated with not changing. I have had many times in my life where old habits are stopping me from getting where I want to be in relationships and in business. Here’s one of my habits that I have had to change to make my relationship with Brandon excellent: I have always been someone that is not big on talking about my feelings in a relationship, I have never been a big talker and I always felt like because Brandon wanted to talk about EVERYTHING that it meant there was something wrong and I was being told that I was doing something wrong. You see, Brandon (and actually 2 of my kids) are people that need to problem solve by talking things through, and I am a person that internalizes what I am going through and just handles it on my own 99% of the time. As you can imagine, me not being a talker and having a husband that needs that could cause huge problems in our relationship. For many years I fought it, I thought “why should I have to be the one to change?” “This is just the way I am”, but eventually I realized that I wouldn’t actually be giving something up to give Brandon and my kids this gift. I started to open up more, to talk things through and learn how to not “own” whatever it was they were going through and to not try to fix it.
Once I started creating a space where I was open, the conversations became easier, and now (not that I still get it right all the time) but I am definitely on the road to making this my normal behavior rather than just shutting down. It wasn’t until I realized that the cost to NOT do it was higher than it was to DO it, that’s when I was able to change my habit. It was worth it to me to be there for Brandon and my kids, and guess what I found out, it actually wasn’t just who I was, and I started to be able to feel empathy and just listen – something that was hard before because I very often could see something and want to just fix it.
Whatever you have going on in your life, I hope that you will find at least a little motivation from my posts and quotes…and if there’s a topic you would especially love to see – i’m all ears!!
I feel very fortunate to have always been able to listen to my body when it comes to hunger, and seem to know what I want. I had a client I used to work with that after a few times of taking him to lunch he nicknamed me “small portions” because I only ever eat what I hear my body telling me what I need. That way I don’t have to feeling of being bloated and I know I can eat pretty much at least a small amount of whatever I fancy!
I know that isn’t true for everyone, so after having lunch with a friend, Claudia, and she told me about her amazing book “One, Two Punch” I just knew I had to share about it and here’s why…
You can click on this picture to buy the book for yourself…
Claudia Wilson, Author and so much more!
How many of you know the difference between HUNGER and APPETITE? I don’t know if I consciously knew either, at least until I read this book. HUNGER is your body’s need to eat, APPETITE is your desire to eat. It is a simple explanation of something that if unchecked can get even the best eater into trouble. For example, how many of you eat when it’s TIME to eat, when you’re bored, when you’re watching TV or a movie, rather than when you’re hungry? If any of those things are something you do all the time, then you definitely need to read this book, if you do it sometimes (and even I do it sometimes), I still don’t think it would hurt for you to read the book either 😉
If we really listen and learn how to hear what our body is telling us, we can actually not just learn to know we are hungry but also learn what our body needs to eat. The thing about this book that I love the most is that it doesn’t say you have to diet, but it says by choosing to balance your meals and not counting calories, you can actually eat a little bit of whatever you want – remember me saying that I like to eat “a little bit of whatever I fancy”. So, what you do is look at the amount of carbs that you have with a meal and balance that with protein and fats. She teaches about how this method works anywhere, when you’re traveling (no need to measure or count calories), all you need to do is look at the portion size. And here’s the best part – you measure the size of a portion by the size of your fist! So with this method you’re not depriving yourself of ANYTHING just making better choices (and the key here is that it’s YOUR choice).
I know I have talked to friends and family and they talk about their experience with diets and how they don’t work. It’s mainly because their choice is taken away, and pretty much everyone in the world doesn’t want to controlled or have their choice taken away (even if it is by ourselves!)
In today’s social age we can definitely become distracted by going out to dinner with friends, chatting and not being conscious to listen to our bodies and find out if we are full. I know I am always going to go to dinner with friends and family, so it just means I have to be paying attention a little more. I have definitely been guilty of filling up on appetizers or bread before my meal comes and before I know it all I have eaten are carbs, and my intake is not balanced. Obviously that doesn’t work with this method because the One, Two Punch is about balance and portion size… so now I will be more conscious about not snacking before my meal comes. The same can also be said about eating a meal in front of the TV, especially if you’re watching something that is very intense or has your pinned to your seat. Ultimately the key is to focus on eating while you’re eating, that way you know to drink as you eat, you can listen to your body to know when you’re full and leave food on the plate if you don’t need it. I know it can be hard to leave food uneaten, especially if you’re out at a nice restaurant and are paying for the meal, but for you and the wellbeing of your body, knowing when to say when is also necessary!
If you are that person that has a fear of missing out, which can be one of the main reasons many quit their “diets”, if you’re looking for something that will allow you to be more conscious about your eating – because 90% of how we look comes from what we put into our body! Then you need to click this link or the picture of the book above, to buy the book! Use the code STYLE to get 10% off!
I love one of the quotes in the book “There’s no wagon to fall off” – that whole “I screwed up so I’m going to restart on Monday” kind of excuse doesn’t work.
Stop beating yourself up and just work on being more conscious moving forward. And here’s the most important thing – START NOW!!! Go ahead, order the book and see what happens in your life. Even if all you want to do is find a routine that helps you balance your weight and health fluctuations, this will work for you!!
And here’s another thought, this is a great Christmas gift – I have a few people in mind that I want to give this to! At the very least, go and check out her site and read a little more for yourself…
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Whether you’re like I was when I started this blog and hate having your picture taken, or even if you don’t mind at all, there are definitely some pictures that you HATE and those that you LOVE!
Thankfully in this digital age and with fast shutter speeds a lot of the pictures I have taken manage to capture me without my eyes closed, and some even make me have that “Vogue” feeling – where I feel like I could actually be a model. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t ACTUALLY think I could be in Vogue magazine, but I have learned to appreciate my beauty and definitely love finding good pictures of me.
The reason I am telling you this is that it is so important for us to see our own beauty, and like the quote says, true beauty comes from being beautiful on the inside too. I have known a lot of people in my life that may not have had the most attractive features but once I got to know them, I realized that they were the most beautiful of all people…because they radiated that inner beauty. The same can be said for those people that have the perfect features, and are pleasing to the eye, if they are not beautiful on the inside, that will eventually show and they won’t be seen as beautiful people. Do you remember that movie “Shallow Hal” with Jack Black and it had a cameo from Tony Robbins who actually taught him to see the inside and not just the outside. Once he did that he started overlooking people’s outside flaws and saw them for who they really are.
OK, so I know that Tony Robbins is not going to actually do that for each of us, but here’s a great way we can start: We can see ourselves as beautiful, recognize beauty in others (and not just appearance beauty but the real stuff) and the more that we look for it, the more we will see it (including in ourselves). I know a lot of people that can truly see beauty in others but have a hard time seeing it in themselves. For whatever reason they don’t like to look for it. Here’s what I’ll tell you, just like the lack of inner beauty eventually shows, so does the real beauty and no matter what, even if you kid yourself that you aren’t actually beautiful or deserve love, guess what, it’s going to come out in the end. You may as well see it for yourself because it’s not something that can be permanently hidden.
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Perhaps it’s a worthiness, where because of something in your past you don’t feel worthy of love or anyone’s praise? Perhaps you have heard your entire life that you aren’t beautiful from someone you trusted or loved? Or it could even be that you have faced some type of bullying or abuse? The only way you can change your past is by changing your future. If you’re still believing what someone told you, how you felt, and you’re ultimately agreeing with what they said or did, then you are still allowing that person or situation to control you. Maybe i’m the only one that has a problem with control, but I can tell you, something like that wouldn’t sit well with me – I definitely wouldn’t want to feel that someone or something else had power over me.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been times in my life when I have felt “less than” because of someone’s behavior, because of not meeting unrealistic expectations I put on myself, and many more reasons. So, when I did eventually come to my senses and realize that in order to move through something I had to just let go, that’s when everything changed. I have been known to have a hard time letting things go, i’m not going to lie, so when I tell you that I did it, just know that it didn’t happen overnight. In fact it took years, and during that time when I didn’t let go I was absolutely miserable. I had this notion that everyone should know what an injustice had been done to me, that it just wasn’t fair, and honestly I thought I was fighting back, but what I realized is that what I was doing was perpetuating the situation.
So how do we move through something so that we can start to see our beauty (and not just the mirror reflection kind of beauty)? The easy answer is just change your thoughts, but that’s easier said than done. So honestly, here’s what it will take…repetition, telling ourself that we are beautiful, so that eventually we start to see what others see. And here’s the best news, as you start to see beauty in yourself, the beauty around you becomes so much more pronounced and life just starts to seem rosier!
I don’t about you but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with looking at the world through rose colored glasses – who knows we might actually start to find things and people we didn’t even know existed.
Happy Wednesday – you’ve made it to the middle of the week, there’s definitely beauty in that!
For those of you that know anything about the history of England you will know that today, the 5th of November, is when we celebrate Bonfire Night. Guys Fawkes was the reason Bonfire Night started, and his story is pretty gruesome. He tried and failed to blow up the Houses of Parliament, was held as a prisoner in the Tower of London until he was executed. So, being a country strong on tradition, ever since then we have celebrated his failed gunpowder plot by putting a stuffed Guy Fawkes on top of a bonfire and burning it to the ground. Kind of crazy when you think about the history, but as I was growing up I didn’t realize all that history (as I am sure many of the youth now don’t either) I just enjoyed a time to hang out with friends and family, with treacle toffee, parched peas, parkin (to name just a few of the foods we ate) along with some fireworks.
Since obviously we don’t celebrate the 4th of July in England, this was when we got to let off our fireworks and have a good time. I must admit, I do much prefer fireworks in the summer than in November when the nights can be very cold and quite often rainy.
You might be wondering why I am telling you about this good old English tradition – well obviously the first reason is that today is the 5th November, but secondly it’s because as I sit over the other side of the Atlantic from my home country I realize that there are a lot of things, whether the reason behind them are great or not, that I miss about England. I have traveled back there now twice in the past 2 years, and the more I go the more I realize that I had an amazing upbringing and I am very happy for the life my parents gave me over there.
There is a lot to be said about tradition and nostalgia. There are a great many traditions that I brought over with me and I share with my family. Remembering where we came from is a huge part in recognizing and being grateful for where we are today. I have no plans to move back to England, however, I miss my friends, and I definitely miss a lot of the history that is everywhere over there. It has made me feel like I want to take my kids (now that they are older) to see some of the sights, to walk down memory lane with me, and to see where I grew up. My youngest two boys have never been over there, and I think they would love some of the places – who doesn’t love a castle or two?!
There have been times in my life when I have gone through hard things, one of which was moving over here to the US as a single mum…but now as I look back I can be grateful for that trying experience because it shaped me into who I am today. So as I sit and think about my life and the things that have made me stronger, I feel nothing but gratitude and appreciation. There are rewards from trials but only if we let ourselves surrender to the good that came from it. I know in some things it is harder to find something good that came from it – and it may be something as simple as meeting someone that helped you through or admitting to yourself that you need help (a challenge for me)…
Wherever you’re from, whatever you have been through, looking back at your life with fondness and love is the only way that you can move through today into the rest of your life. After all, nothing can drag you down if you’re not holding on to it!!
Have a fabulous Monday…
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