How to Effectively Surrender your Emotions!

Canyon captained the orange raft as we paddled the Snake – it’s hard to admit he’s a MAN now!

“When we are in fear and pain, anger and hate are our go-to emotions”

~ Brene brown

It was about 5 years ago that I went through a similar experience to what I am going through right now. As you probably all know by now I have 4 boys, and it was 5 years ago that my eldest, Dalton, left to serve a 2 year mission for our church. What I found was that as the time approached I became frustrated, could cry if someone looked at me wrong, and I was very angry. I see an “energy” guy and he told me that because I was essentially fighting the emotions of sadness, which at times can feel like a death…and I was making the whole experience painful and frustrating!

Canyon’s Graduation picture

As I navigate what I am currently going through, which is the upcoming departure for 2 years of my second son, Canyon, I have found myself in the same boat. After not knowing how to handle my emotions with Dalton, and actually getting angry at myself for feeling what I considered “weak” feelings at the time, I decided that this time I needed to figure out a better way to handle it. I am still feeling all the same things, but what I have started to do is first ask for help and guidance from my God and I have also learned to recognize when these feelings of frustration and anger hit me and I choose to ride the wave instead of being angry about it!

So…here’s the hardest part of the whole process: How do you know and be conscious of those feelings and emotions that are happening to you? It can be really tricky to catch yourself amidst these emotions and do an about face…but it can be done! Here’s how I have found works for me…

  1. The most important thing for me is to recognize the old patterns that I have – or the old MO that I have and notice when that reaction shows up. As I mentioned, my initial reaction has often been to become aggressive, frustrated and mean – because it allows me to hide the feeling I had once considered a weakness. Now, when I notice these feelings show up (because they still do), I ask myself…what else is going on with me right now? Essentially I identify the root cause of the feeling rather than just accepting it!
  2. I make a choice to have a different reaction – I let myself know that it’s OK to feel vulnerable and it’s OK to feel sad. In fact, those feelings are what is making me stronger for the next time I have something show up…
  3. Once I have made the choice to have a different reaction, I make a note about how well that alternative response has worked! If it works really well and my anxiety or heightened frustration is less, then I give it a name. Yes, that’s right…I call it something that makes me have a good feeling – I call it my happy response or something like that – so that next time when I need a different response or feeling I know how to call upon that feeling.

I promise you, it may sound hokey, but it really has been working for me. I am still super sad about Canyon leaving, I could still cry at the drop of a hat, but I don’t allow anger, frustration or stress about it to take over me! I welcome the feeling because I know what it means – that I love my son so much it hurts. That I want to honor him in a way that doesn’t involve stress and I want to enjoy every last minute that I have with him.

I would love to hear if you try some of my steps above and if they work for you…comment below!

Do you know who you are?

“Knowing others is wisdom. Knowing yourself is enlightenment!”

The older I get the more I realize that I didn’t really know myself when I was younger. I was pretty much just flying by the seat of my pants and not really thinking about it…but that’s not true anymore. I definitely focus on thoughtfulness, and paying attention to me and how I am feeling. What I have found is that the more I pay attention to me, the more I am able to not just react to situations but I am able to recognize triggers that show up for me and adjust accordingly (of course, I definitely still get it wrong sometimes).

You may be asking how it’s possible to be more thoughtful and notice things as they come up…so I’m going to let you know what I do and it works for me.

  1. I practice being present – really present wherever I am. In the past I was guilty about thinking about what was coming next, what I had to look forward to and almost wishing away my time. I have noticed that when I don’t do that, when I enjoy right where I am, I notice things more. I notice feelings that come up for me…I notice patterns and I remember them for future times when the same things show up (because they will).
  2. I don’t become so attached to my ideas that I forget about other people. I think in childhood because of our experiences we find that if we are wrong about something, if we screw up or if someone knows more than us then there is some part of us that is not right. It’s a very simple black and white concept, but not easy to spot if we are in a more reactive space like I know I have been in my life. Now I feel like even if I feel that I have to defend myself, I usually catch myself at some point (sometimes it’s right after I do it) and I allow myself to get it wrong and not beat myself up!
  3. I pay special attention to how I eat, to what I put in and on my body. I want to be around for a long time, so I pay attention to how certain foods affect me and make me feel. When I find something that makes me feel not great, I avoid it in future. I pay attention to my health and practice using as many preventative healthy ways of taking care of myself to avoid any illness or injury as much as is possible for any person to control.
  4. Just as I take my relationships with family and friends very seriously, I do the same for myself. I recognize when I need something – sometimes I need solitude so I find a way to take care of that. Sometimes I crave interaction with others, sometimes it’s as simple as needing more sleep, but whatever it is…I make sure I am taking care of me so I can be the best possible for other people.
  5. I feed off the energy of good, positive people, so I surround myself only with people that lift me up. I have worked in places in the past that did not have the best environment and now I am no longer in that space, I realize how vital it is to be careful who and what you surround yourself with.
  6. Breathing – I’m not just talking about the unconscious act that we do all day every day. I’m talking about deep, thoughtful breathing that allows you to exhale away stresses and negativity. I started doing this when I was younger and didn’t really realize what I was doing. Now I know that it has served me so well because I am paying more attention to my body and myself that I notice I visibly relax and feel less stressed when I practice my breathing. I even teach my kids to do the same and my youngest swears by this to help him relieve his stress and anxiety.

Having a relationship with yourself, and really knowing who you are is truly the only way to live. As I reflect on all of my life and realize that a lot of it was spent in reaction mode, it makes me even more determined to focus on being present and knowing what I need and how to give it to myself.

Do you have some ways that you make sure you are taking of YOU? Comment below – I would love to hear!

Organization; it doesn’t have to be a bad word!

“A good system shortens the road to the goal!”

I realized a long time ago that if I have a cluttered space then my mind and thoughts seem to be cluttered too! The biggest problem with this is that I live in a home filled with all males and they don’t seem to have the same feelings I do about organization.

At one time I would have been frustrated by the lack of tidiness, organization, and clutter, but somehow over the past 20 years I have figured out a way to let it go…(cue song from Frozen) and just focus on the things I can control. There are certain areas of my home that are mine, and pretty much everyone knows to either stay out or leave them alone. The entry way is not one of them, and the dining table seems to be a magnet for just about anything…but again, I surrender to the fact that they are not always going to look great all the time. I guess it’s becoming less and less important to me as the years go on because my oldest son, Dalton already doesn’t live with us, and Canyon, my second son, is getting ready to leave for 2 years for a mission to Chile. As I think about the time when all the boys will be gone and it will be just Brandon and I, the clutter and tidiness of certain areas of our home that are more lived in than others becomes less and less important to me!

Having said that, there are some areas that I do love to be organized and my closet is one of them! I recently produced a podcast where I interviewed Brian from The Closet Butlerclick here to watch that episode. One of the things that really stood out to me while I was talking to him was that not all closets are created equal. I have A LOT of shoes, and most closets I have seen only have very limited space to store your shoes, and they don’t really allow you to put them on display.

Example closet from The Closet Butler

At The Closet Butler they customize and manufacture every closet from scratch – music to my ears. I love the idea of creating my own space that fits MY NEEDS…You can check out some of the recent closets they have created by clicking here.

Because my closet is all mine, I get to control how it looks, how organized it is, and essentially turn it into a space that I enjoy being in. For me, my clothes, shoes and accessories are kind of like art – I love to look at them, imagine and create new styles and looks by mixing and matching things I have, and of course, finding new styles that I can add to my wardrobe.

As I explained in the podcast, when you have closet that is organized and displayed the way you want it, putting together outfits becomes so much easier and can even become more daring and creative. Essentially declutter your closet, declutter your mind and find the space that opens up so you can effectively express your unique style!

Do what you Love!

Doing what you love is freedom. Loving what you do is happiness!

Do you take the time to do the things you love? Do you spend time with family, or are you stuck in your daily grind?

When my boys were younger I pretty much just breathed a huge sigh of relief when I had made it through a week – which I know now is exactly how NOT to go through life. A lot of those times were a blur as I put my head down and just fought day in and day out to keep my head above water…but that’s not really living is it?

So, how did I change that? I know some people may think that I spend way too much time on vacation, traveling and not working, but here’s my thought on that…there’s no such thing as doing too much traveling & spending time with family! When I travel, I am revitalized. When I spend time with my family (even though it’s not always rosy), I get more energy. When I take just a few moments a day just for me, I am so much better for my family…

I know not everyone has the same interests, has the same things that get them excited, which is why finding what YOU love and spending time doing that is vital. I look at it like it is my way to give me energy for the things I need to do. I remember Brandon telling the kids (and possibly he said it for my benefit too) that if you do the things you have to do, you can then do the things you want to do. Make sense? We all have responsibilities, things that must be done – bills to be paid so we have to work, the house needs to be cleaned, we need to eat and therefore need to cook…but once those things are done, that’s when the fun starts because we have left room for it – and leaving room is the key!

That’s why I love to travel and explore with my family. It’s what I want to do…it’s the thing that recharges my battery. It’s what keeps me going so I can make it through the things I have to do!

Our recent family river rafting trip was even better this year because all my boys came – it gets harder and harder to get us all together now they are getting older and I can’t FORCE them to come with us on vacation (I didn’t think I would ever have to force someone to take a free vacation with people they love to amazing places, but I guess sometimes you do!)

What is something that you LOVE to do and are committed to making sure you do it so that you can be your best self for those around you?

Comment below – I would love to hear!

The importance of Unplugging

Basking in beauty of the river waiting for the boys to cliff jump

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a while, including YOU!

Currently as I am on our family’s annual river rafting trip, I started to stress myself out about how I was going to be able to be as active with my blog, on social media, and such…and then it came to me. While all of these things are really important, it’s also vital that I take time away from them. I’ll be honest, I’m not the best at following rules, and I definitely like to be told what to do (even when I tell myself what to do unless it makes total sense to me)…and here’s the thing, this finally made sense to me.

Not that I am going to unplug completely and be totally black, but the difference is, I am not going to stress about it. It is not going to be my first thought in the morning nor my last thought at night because I know that having strong connections with Brandon and the family and friends is also ESSENTIAL!

So, with all of that being said, I will still post pictures of our adventures, I will still show a little snippet of what we are doing, and I will write a travel log when I return, but I will not be doing so much along the way.

Reiken trying his hand at oaring a mellow stretch

Our family has been doing this river rafting trip for 20 years, and it’s a tradition that Brandon had been doing since long before I ever knew him. There have been years that I have not gone along because I was either heavily pregnant or I had just had a baby recently…but I absolutely love this tradition of meeting other families on the river and having a blast running the white water.

This year has been even more fun because all my boys came and it is the last big vacation that we will get to do with Canyon before he leaves on his mission for two years at the end of July…

Just a pause between rapids 😉

Our new boat – the purple one – took it’s maiden voyage today and it was so fun. We took it on a mellow stretch of the Payette river called “swirly canyon” and there were lots of cliff jumping and other antics involved. I can tell you, if you’ve never been river rafting before I highly recommend trying it at least once – even if you just take a guided tour and paddle down!

Our next river rafting adventure will be in a little under two weeks and we will be floating the Snake river near Star Valley Wyoming. Stay tuned for more fun times…

Why the Act of Giving is VITAL

“You have two hands – one to help yourself, the second to help others”

There are so many holidays here in the U.S. and for most of those holidays we find ourselves in stores that are promoting gifts and as my kids walk around stores, they ask for things that they see, they add things to their Christmas list and the focus is so much more on what they want to receive. So it hit me that we are teaching our younger generations more about receiving than we are about the act of giving…

I started to think about I can change that for my boys, starting with myself. Starting by paying attention and giving things that I need to myself. Are you anything like me in that you focus on taking care of everyone else, making sure everyone else’s needs are met, and then you finally think about what you might need? It’s easy to do, but it’s also the worst thing we can do for ourselves because we are not practicing giving to ourselves!

Shop my outfit by clicking the links below

The older I get the more I realize that there are certain things I need to do for myself in order for me to be able to be there for anyone else. In effect, I am no good to anyone, if I am running on fumes myself.

Here are a few things that I do for myself to make sure that I am practicing giving to myself – and the best part, I get to decide what those things I need are and whether I actually do it.

  1. Exercise – it may sound cliche but I can tell you with 100% certainty that when I skip a day of exercising I am no good to anyone. It doesn’t have to be anything super strenuous, but I like to spend a minimum of 45 minutes a day exercising either doing some kind of cardio (biking, elliptical, walking, running or swimming), and then also a few squats, lunges, sit-ups and curls.
  2. Take a bath – another thing that everyone in my house knows has to happen every night before bed so I am a happier camper. I take in my iPad and watch my latest TV show episode or sometimes a live sporting event.
  3. Coffee or lunch with a friend – I am always revitalized when I spend time with those I care about. Talking and catching up with a friend is one of the most grounding things that I do for myself, especially if I get the chance to serve or give to them too.
  4. Get a pedicure – I had to mention this one because I actually have one scheduled for today and I am meeting a friend…so it’s like combining number 3 and 4!
  5. Go bargain shopping – whenever I am feeling a little down or need a boost of energy, I take myself to a store like Nordstrom Rack or TJ Maxx and just browse for deals. When I have nothing in mind that I want, there is no expectation of buying something for an event, the bargain hunting can become fun.

So, as I start on this quest of giving to myself, and therefore having the energy to give to others, I know that this is where the lessons will be learned by my kids. It is after all, what we see other do that leaves the greatest impact on our lives. I know that if I want my kids to appreciate the act of giving to others and themselves, that I have to make sure that I am showing them how it is done.

A little food for thought to start off this Monday…

Fashion Blog

Style Queenie is Your Fashion Blog

“You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure!”

I grabbed a pair of amazing leggings that I recently purchased because they fit both criteria.  Leggings are a perfect wardrobe addition (if you pick the right pair) because they are comfortable, they can be flattering and of course don’t forget, you want to find a pair that is stylish.  I have seen lots of people walking around in leggings that are either worn out, the wrong color or fabric for someone’s body type (they show off ever bump and curve) and finally the worst thing I think I have ever seen is a pair of “flesh” colored leggings that looks like someone isn’t wearing any pants at all…definitely not the impression you want to make EVER!

The booties have a perfect heel height for lots of walking, shopping and errand running – which is essential for weekends and holidays.  As I have mentioned before, I like to wear shoes with heels a lot more than not, so when I find a pair of boots or shoes that have heels but are still comfortable, I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot!!

What is your ideal street style?  Do you look for comfort first?  Style first?  Or do you just throw on whatever is closest.  The great thing about style and fashion is that it is ever-changing so you don’t ever have to stick with what you have always done, you can change at any time.

Personal Style

Find Your Personal Style

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as WE are!”

What is your personal style definition? There are many different types of personal style how do you identify your fashion style? We have many personal style examples here at Style Queenie!

Don’t get caught up in wearing things that you think you should wear or what you think others might like, dress for yourself, be yourself, love yourself…let that confidence and certainty in yourself shine through in everything that you do.  Which means picking out your outfit is only a small part of that, but it is something that will set the tone for your entire day.  I know for a fact, when I feel like I look amazing, I am going to perform and react a lot better than if I feel uncertain about my outfit or even my hair.

We all have bad hair days, we all have not so great outfit days, that’s why I always have a few outfits that are back-ups, which means that I can fall back on these outfits on days where I know I need to look my best.  It is something that isn’t thought about much, but it is always a great idea to have a few outfits ready to go in your closet just in case you need them!  Choose things that flatter your body, your coloring and boost your confidence.  I have talked in previous posts how certain colors can evoke certain feelings…there are always colors that you are more in tune with than others, I am drawn to Red and when I want to feel really sassy, powerful and confident, that is always the color I am drawn to first.  Do you have a color that makes you feel most confident?  If you do, make sure you have something in that color that is a standby just in case you need it.

Johnny Cash was always known for wearing all Black – during his era people thought it a little strange.  These days it is not so unusual, but still not something that everyone likes to do, and that is totally fine.  Outfits that incorporate all of the same colors, or closely similar colors are becoming more and more popular – I love the idea of wearing all Beige or all White, to me that is classy.

This is just one more way for you to put your unique personal style stamp on what you wear and how you present yourself…have fun on your personal style journey and don’t be afraid to try new things!

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Fashion Inspiration

Here to Empower Your Fashion Sense

Don’t underestimate yourself by comparing yourself to others.  It’s our differences that make us unique and beautiful.”

What if I told you that you need to forget everything you already know about style and fashion inspiration.  Not because you are doing anything wrong, but because no matter how great you are at putting together outfits and fashion, it is always fun to “clean house” and go back to basics.  We are your fashion inspiration blog with fashion inspiration themes we are not here to tell you who you are but help you find your own fashion inspiration and personal style.

If you truly want to be different, unique, or stand out, the only way you can do that is by taking risks – and the most important thing to remember is that you will probably have people that don’t like what you are wearing BUT if you feel good, then you have accomplished what you set out to do.  Are you confident enough to create your own unique style.  It is easy to see what someone else is wearing and copy it or try to be just like them – but what takes real confidence is to be you…and not care what anyone else says about it.  Now that doesn’t mean you can’t try to recreate outfits that you see in magazines or see a pair of shoes and want to buy them – because magazines and blogs (just like this one) are there to give you ideas and inspire you!

I honestly believe that we were all created to be unique and that our style has the opportunity to show the world just how unique without us having to do or say anything.  As you go out in your own outfit creation, don’t forget to smile and have fun…the more happy and confident you feel, the more others will feel it too!

“Fashion inspiration should be a form of escapism not a form of imprisonment.”

Have you ever wondered which colors suit you best?  Do you sometimes hesitate to wear certain colors because you think they are too bold?

“If you want to have something you’ve never had, then you’ve got to do something you’ve never done!”

Wearing a tight skirt with a tunic or dress over the top is actually a really flattering look and appropriate for most occasions. I feel that it looks professional, especially because I didn’t have to worry about pulling down a shorter dress all day long (especially when sitting down).

Wearing short dresses in the summer can be really tempting but beware of wearing something too short for work – it not only conveys the wrong message to people you are meeting, but it also means you are going to be trying to adjust your hem all day long. Even if when you are standing and it’s not too short, it is a good idea to do the sit test and see how the dress or skirt fits you when you are sitting down.

Doing something unexpected is definitely going to be different for everyone – I tend to try things that can be unusual, but that doesn’t mean that you have to. The key is to make sure you don’t come outside your comfort zone, but you can definitely stretch it!

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