Yesterday was a snow day in Salt Lake, it snowed pretty much the entire day, which made Christmas tree shopping last night chilly, but also beautiful. The boys raced around the lot, hiding, throwing snowballs and having fun. It was exactly what I needed to fill my cup!
As we have been spending time with our boys this week we have been asking for them to tell us what they each want for Christmas. With only one boy that still believes in Santa we are almost to the point where we don’t need to hide anything anymore, which is kind of sad as well as relief. It seems like I have been doing this for a long time – well, I guess I have because Dalton is 24! It’s so funny that they don’t seem to have a hard time telling us what THEY want, but when it comes to giving gifts themselves it’s a little harder.
It’s a hard thing to teach kids to know that giving is so much more important than receiving gifts – in fact I believe that the only way they truly learn is by watching what we do. I remember there was one Christmas when I was really naughty and I went searching for what my parents had bought me. I was old enough to know better…but still I found the closet that my mum had hidden the gifts. I saw what they had bought and I felt so guilty that it pretty much ruined my Christmas. Since then, I have always loved more giving than receiving. Not to the point where I don’t love getting gifts, I just absolutely LOVE finding unique, meaningful and personal gifts for people and watching their faces when they open the gift.
Christmas can be such a hard time to spend time on things like this, because it becomes a mad frenzy of finding the “right” thing – I swear that toy companies and some other stores only produce a limited amount of things to feed this frenzy and make the season so overwhelming. If you have every been that parent that couldn’t find that ONE THING on your child’s Christmas list because the stores were all sold out, then you know the level of disappointment that comes with it. I remember one year one of the boys wanted a remote controlled car which we bought but what we didn’t realize was that it needed a special battery that it didn’t come with. We were out at Walgreens at 11pm on Christmas eve trying to find one, but of course we couldn’t/. Even though we had bought the gift, the fact that he wasn’t going to be able to play with it until we went to Toys R Us the day after Christmas was enough to cause mass disappointment 🙁
One thing I have really been guilty of is neglecting myself and running around like a crazy person, so when Christmas morning comes and the kids are so excited to get up and open gifts, I am totally exhausted and partly checked out. Seems kind of crazy to do this to myself, especially when Christmas morning is the reward for all the hard work…but it has definitely been done by this girl!
This year I have resolved to get this more organized, but most importantly to take care of myself while I am taking care of others. Any of you guilty of this? You know when the flight attendants tell you to put on YOUR oxygen mask BEFORE helping anyone else…well that applies. In fact, Brandon was talking to a pilot who told him that if you don’t put on the mask first, there is a really good chance that you will pass out and unless someone puts a mask on you, then you’ll probably die. Crazy – I know this is a metaphor, but this goes way beyond self care. It can be so detrimental to our wellbeing to not take care of ourselves because we are too busy taking care of others.
Over recent years I have become much better at this, and I am able to set boundaries for certain things so that I am not neglecting myself. I started small, just picking one thing that was a “non-negotiable” thing that I was going to do. What I mean by that is, I found one thing that was so important to me, that no matter what, I was going to make sure that I did it. The one thing that I do almost every day is take a relaxing soak in my bath. It probably only takes around 20 minutes, but after those 20 minutes, I feel different. I feel important, I feel loved (by myself) and I am able to tackle so much more. Meditation could be your thing, it could be having lunch with a friend…whatever it is, I promise if you find something and start small, you will enjoy the holidays so much more!
You can shop my look (and more) by clicking the links below
I had to post today’s quote because it reminds me that I have that whole other level inside me that kicks in when I really want to accomplish something.
Do you know what I mean when I say that? Do you have that smolder inside you that lies dormant until someone tells you that you can’t do something or tries to stop you from achieving your goals. I didn’t realize how strong mine was until I really sat and thought about what I wanted to be when I grow up. I know, seems kind of crazy, but you could call it mid-life crisis or just a heightened awareness, but I definitely reached the point in my life where I didn’t feel fulfilled or happy with what I was doing.
I am sure some of you can relate to this in some way. Is there an area of your life where you are not feeling fulfilled? It could be your job, it could be your home life, it could be school…there are many ways to feel unfulfilled. So what do you do when you find yourself in this place? The simple answer is to change it…but that’s not always feasible.
I found myself in this place a few years ago, so I knew that I had to make a change. I had to decide if I would be happy if I was in the same place in a year or even 10 years. Obviously my answer was no, so that’s when I knew that I had to think about what I did want to be doing. It took me some time to ponder this question, months even, but when I came to the realization that it was important to me to help people, I knew what I had to do.
That’s when I called on that inner gangster & determination that I knew was inside me because I had used it many times before. The easy part is knowing what you want to do, the hard part comes when you have to slog away day after day, being consistent, undeterred and motivated (even when you don’t feel like it). This is when the grit comes in. That part inside you that doesn’t doubt you can put in the work necessary to get it done.
One of Brandon’s favorite shows is Shark Tank, and recently I have been watching it with him. I have found it so interesting to see these people that literally started with nothing, come up with an idea and grow that idea sufficiently that they are qualified to make it onto a show on TV. I love seeing their belief in what they are doing, I love seeing them overcome fear day after day – because that’s what I know I must do. It helps me know that I’m not alone, and that the only way anything happens in this world is if we believe enough in it and in ourselves to make it happen.
So what if, inside you, there is this inner bad girl with grit just waiting to help you accomplish your dreams? What if I told you that it is there – you just need to find a way to harness it. It’s no that it’s easier for some than others, it’s just that some will do whatever it takes to make it happen – they believe that much in themselves.
I may be that girl that eats organic foods, believes in the environment, believes that people and their feelings are more important than ideas, but I still love to listen to rap music. I still love to be walking the line of conformity, because I know that when I am open, loving and real, that’s when I am able to feel love and fulfillment in my life.
Sometimes I feel the need to show the outside world that I am not just a pretty face, but I have an attitude and I’m not afraid to use it…that’s why I chose today’s more casual, get stuff done, inner bad girl look 😉
Shop my look by clicking the links below…
I don’t own a “real” fur, but I have to admit I have quite a few fur coats, jackets and then some with fur accents like the Leather one in this post. I love it because no matter what I am wearing, when I add fur it just elevates the whole look and makes me look and feel classy (not to mention the fact that it also keeps me warm).
Wearing fur can be a little intimidating for a lot of people, because it’s definitely one of those things that really makes you stand out. In today’s post I am showing just a few of the fur coats and a jacket with fur detail so you can see the many ways to wear it. I do realize that not everyone is going to want to wear things exactly like I like, so as well as posting links to shop the coats I am wearing, I have also included some links that are not quite so bold (see the bottom of the page).
Over this Thanksgiving weekend I was speaking with Dalton, my oldest son, and asking what he wanted for Christmas. He said that he pretty much just wanted cologne, shoes and clothes. Right after he had finished telling me, he paused and said “I don’t want all STYLEQUEENIE clothes though!” When I asked him what he meant he said that he’s OK with some things that are flashy but he didn’t want me to buy everything according to what I like, which apparently he thinks is too “flashy”. I had a choice, to get offended or just take it for what it is and realize that not everyone is going to like the same things as me, and just move on. I chose to move on and take it as a compliment – I like being flashy, I like to stand out – there’s nothing wrong with that, I’m just being ME. It’s also OK that he doesn’t want to do that…it’s OK that he is who he is supposed to be as well.
I have always encouraged my kids to be themselves and express themselves how they want to in their style – but this also means that I sometimes have to take them out wherever we are going looking a little less put together than I would like. The good news is that now they are all a little older, there are very few times that they are not presentable, and they feel validated. They feel like they are free to be themselves! This was a lesson I was taught by my dad. I have always enjoyed dressing differently than others, and as I was growing up, my dad always told me “if you look good, feel good and it makes you happy, then you shouldn’t worry about how others view you.” I 100% agree with that statement and it has definitely guided me many times in my life – especially the part about not worrying what others think. I have found that when I like the way I look and I don’t judge myself, then that also is how others see me and there is no way that their view can negatively impact me.
So does fur make you flashy? Well, it can, it just depends on how you wear it, and how much confidence you have in yourself. There is one thing for sure though, it is definitely going to get cold and fur can keep you warm.
Why not add a little fur into your life – and increase your wow factor?
Shop my looks and more by clicking the links below (the best part, it’s Cyber Monday so there are some steals!)…
I came across this quote and fell in love with it…how often are we given the chance to be that person for someone else that can be an inspiration, an example, a role model or just a friend? I have always loved the idea of being there for others, in fact when I was younger my Grandparents gave me a book that was a “birthday” book, that had a different quote for each day of the year. Then meaning was that the quote on your day said something about you…
Mine said “If you need me, call…I will always answer.” I don’t know if it was at that point that I started taking my relationships seriously or I had already innately known that before, but it was something that certainly rang true for me. I have always felt that we owe it to others, and ourselves, to give everything to our relationships. If you ask anyone that knows me they’ll tell you that I am a fiercely loyal friend, and I will do anything for those that I love.
Life is definitely not meant to be spent alone, and the only way we will ever ensure that we have others in our lives is if we make sure that we are working on our relationships every day. I can tell you that my biggest challenge so far in this life is raising kids (particularly teenagers), in fact I think it’s kind of like a white knuckle rollercoaster, where you know you’re going to survive but somehow your hair is going to be messed up, your head will be rattled around and you’re most definitely going to end up with a killer headache. So those are probably the relationships that are going to require the most effort.
This Thanksgiving weekend our whole family, along with my parents, came up to our house in Midway (a small town about 45 minutes away from our home), to spend some quality time. Thanksgiving day went pretty smoothly, which is great because being cooped in a house and not getting along is pretty painful. Yesterday was a different story however, there was a fight surrounding playing the Xbox that belongs to one of the boys, that ended up in a real fight, lots of shouting and eventually Brandon having to work his coaching magic on the boys to get them to calm down. Fortunately there was no bloodshed, and we managed to come together again long enough to make it to watch “Creed” as a family last night.
I have never been so emotionally exhausted as when my kids get into a fight with each other, or when I end up in a fight with one of them. It’s way more draining than any physical exertion, and it feels a lot worse. What this weekend has taught me a little is that we are not only responsible for our own energy but also the effect that energy has on others. It’s a big responsibility to know that I can affect other’s feelings, but I can tell you, if I want my house to run smoothly, I have to make sure that I am balanced, not neglecting my own needs which makes me cranky, and I am definitely not pretending to be OK when I’m not.
I know I am not going to be OK all the time, so I have been known to put myself in “time out” to recharge, and make myself feel better. Energy is such a powerful thing, there is no way to fake it, so when we are feeling negative or frustrated even if we think other people are not aware, chances are that our energy is giving us away regardless of what our words say.
Being conscious of our feelings is the first thing we need to do to be able to share the best of ourselves with others. We are definitely never going to be perfect, but by noticing how we are feeling, being in touch with that so we can act consciously, that will allow us to have a greater influence with anyone we interact with. Knowing what I know now about raising teenagers and adult children, I know that there are definitely times when I have to check myself to make sure I am not influencing their feelings or behavior in a negative way.
My favorite color, the one that defines me the most accurately is Red which means excitement, love, strength, energy and passion. When I wear Red I feel a lot of those things…
My goal in my life is to share my “color” and help as many people as possible! Who would you most like to share your color with?
Have you ever noticed that the Holidays are not always a time of relaxation? That sometimes we over-commit ourselves, that we create unrealistic expectations about how things are going to look or just push ourselves too hard?
I used to end up exhausted and almost depressed after a holiday. All that went into creating the “perfect” meal, planning, cooking & setting up, seemed to drain me to the point of not wanting to do anything the days following other than sit & read or watch TV. I know what happened to me, and it’s been a process of overcoming and dealing with it over the years, and now I am at the point where I can actually enjoy my time.
Here’s what I did – I created an image in my mind about how I thought the meal was going to look. Sometimes even going far enough to contemplate the conversations we would have, the games we would play, the movies we would watch and so on. As you can imagine, especially when you have a large group of people to have something so orchestrated is impossible – which would leave me frustrated and feeling down. It’s not something that I did consciously but I had some thoughts and memories from my childhood and beyond that I wanted to recreate. The problem with that is that my brain was making those memories look far more amazing than they probably were, and certainly more amazing than it was going to be possible for me to force people to recreate.
Do you ever find yourself trying to control things to the point of creating such unrealistic expectations that no matter what happens because it doesn’t look exactly right, you feel defeated because it’s not perfect? Saying this out loud and writing it today makes me even more aware how ridiculous it is to do this, but that doesn’t mean that while it was happening it didn’t feel 100% real.
I have used various techniques to put me in touch with my body and what I am feeling, and some work better than others. I wanted to share one with you today that I have found works pretty well for me:
Name your feelings
Close your eyes. Let your mind wander into the different parts of your body and check in to see how it feels right now. What thoughts are going on in your head? Observe, don’t analyze. When you are connected to how your body feels, ask yourself: what is this feeling called?
Observe the feeling in peace and name it. You can also ask yourself if there is something causing that feeling.
By recognizing and naming your feelings you will start to feel ease from the lump of stress you might have had in your body.
According to the Mayo clinic, stress is the Number one cause of cancer in the US today – and if we subject ourselves to levels of stress during times when things are meant to be spent appreciating what we’re grateful for, then it kind of defeats the purpose.
I am planning on making a lovely meal for my family, spending time and doing “whatever we feel like” rather than trying to control the entire weekend.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! What do you have planned?
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…
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