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Professionally Styled

If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission!

Have you ever struggled with what to wear for work, an interview or for a professional meeting? I am not sure if it is because I am from England or just because I like to play dress up but I have always loved putting together outfits that are more dressy and polished looking…

To me, when I dress up, it is letting my audience (who I am meeting with) know that I am taking them seriously and that I care enough about making a good impression to dress up! Sometimes knowing when it is the right time to dress professionally can be the difference between getting the job at an interview, closing the sale, or making the impression you want so that you can make a long term connection. I have heard a lot of people tell me that people shouldn’t judge us by what they see, but rather by what they hear or learn from us. The problem with that is that we have ABSOLUTELY no control over what others think, and whether they should or not, they are likely going to form an opinion of us whether we like it or not. But here’s the thing…we can have a lot to do with what that opinion is by dressing appropriately for our audience (or more simply, dressing in a way that is going to make the best impression on the person we will be interacting with at any time).

I know that when I meet someone I pay attention to pretty much every detail – good or bad. I notice shoes, accessories, styles, colors, cuts of clothes, how things fit, and I most definitely notice the confidence of the person I am meeting with. If I meet someone that has their own unique or even quirky style, their confidence level is going to be what I notice the most because to be different, unique or quirky a certain level of confidence is required…and it’s this that sets them apart!

Having confidence in yourself and how you are presenting yourself is vital to this whole dressing the part thing! I actually think it is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING because even if I don’t like I style for myself, I can truly appreciate someone else’s style especially when I know that it makes them feel amazing. It tells me that they are not afraid to take risks and they are comfortable in their own skin.

Professional or business style doesn’t have to be boring, in fact, it can have an even greater impact if it is more non-traditional and a little bit unique. For women we have the opportunity to create a lot of different looks – and that’s what makes our style so much more fun…

Take this tweed dress – it’s professional, but unique. Paired with some sparkly tights and boots, a fun, unique take on business style.

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What Makes you Feel Feminine

When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid!

No two people are exactly the same, we all like different things, we all enjoy spending time doing different things and different things make us feel good about ourselves.

In a world where as women we have long been known as the weaker sex, softer, less aggressive, more of a nurturer, etc., it doesn’t mean that we have to give up ourselves in order to look and feel feminine. I will admit that for the longest time I considered femininity to be a weakness, but what I have realized is that it is actually a power. Femininity is a tricky thing because it’s not something that you can just go after aggressively because that essentially kills the whole feminine vibe, it is something that you have to gently, softly and cautiously attract to yourself…so how do you do that?

I think that because we are all so different, there are different things that make us feel feminine, but there is also a good chance that how one person feels feminine may also carry a lot of weight with another person. Here are a few things that I use, what I call on when I want to feel feminine:

  1. First things first, I don’t allow myself to think of femininity as a negative thing. I call it my superpower and I allow myself to take on it’s persona.
  2. I am a very type A personality, I am driven and I am a boss lady, but when I want to feel feminine I don’t allow those of my traits to take over. I allow myself to feel vulnerable and let my empathy take over.
  3. Wearing certain clothes can definitely affect how I feel and there are certain things that make me feel more feminine than others. Such as, lace, velvet, floral patterns, and soft lines in the design of a piece. Take the blouse I am wearing in this post – it flows, it’s soft and it gives the impression of gentleness.
  4. There are certain hairstyles that scream femininity. I always feel feminine when I pull my hair back in a chignon, soft curls and waves can have the same effect.
  5. The most important thing that I remember when I want to feel feminine and not “scare” people by being a boss lady is that I don’t have to be right all the time. It is especially hard when I know that I know something and I want to tell people that what I know is right, or I want to correct people, or just push my opinion…I know that if I do any of those things, it will have the exact opposite effect!

Feeling and looking feminine isn’t just about what you wear, it’s so much more. When I see models in magazines and they look really feminine and soft, I often wonder if that is what they are really like. Femininity is about letting your inner sensitive self come out (unless of course you are just planning on taking a picture and not interacting with anyone all day). I have found that the best connections I have made in my life are those that are based not on me being pushy or bold, but more about me being gentle, listening and being there for someone else. It doesn’t mean that you can’t create amazing connections if you are strong or bold, it just means that you might turn people off that are not quite as strong as you if you don’t approach them in a more gentle way first.

I am a strong woman, I love being strong, I love challenges and I love taking on things that scare me, and one of the biggest challenges I have had in my life is to know when to be gently strong. I honestly didn’t think it was a real thing, but what I am finding is that in my strength I have found a whole new level of strength that comes from being empathetic and loving.

Of course it also doesn’t hurt to look feminine, because I’m not going to lie, Brandon does appreciate it the most when I am sensitive and vulnerable. In fact he has told me that he feels the closest connection to me when I am gentle – way more than when I am working on my sexy vibe. Crazy to think that he might not be looking for what society has taught us that men like the most. He wants me to be real, relatable, vulnerable, sensitive and loving – and if that’s what creates the best connection between us, then that is what I want to nurture more than anything!

Growth from Change

Change is inevitable, growth is optional!

As I sit and contemplate all the things that have happened to me since I left my job back in October, there is one thing I can tell you that I have learned…very often we can’t control the change that happens to us, but we can definitely control the impact it has on our lives and whether or not we grow because of it! I made the choice to change my career path, it was definitely a scary thing for me because I had been doing the same thing for almost 20 years.

I knew that it was the right time for me to change, because I was too comfortable and needed to create some growth in my life by helping others…and that is exactly what I have been doing and it’s only going to get better. Making the choice to change and step outside of our comfort zones is not an easy one, and we will find ourselves second guessing our decision, doubting our abilities and even deciding not to do it, but it’s at those moments, the times when we feel overwhelmed that we know it’s exactly what we DO need to do!

Have you ever had an experience in your life where you faced an immense amount of opposition but you did it anyway? What was your experience? Did you regret your decision? More often than not, if we do work ourselves through the fear, when we reach the other side we find that it was the best thing we have ever done. If you were to sit and think about two or three of the most amazing experiences in your life what would they be? Would it be the birth of a child? Skydiving? Getting married? Swimming with sharks? Really think about it…

 The most amazing experiences in my life are the births of my children, marrying Brandon, having the guts to move to the US from England as a single Mum and creating a successful career. Do you know what all of these things have in common? They all required me to face a fear at some point and push my way through. The birth of children is one of the most scary yet amazing experiences anyone could ever have – and we don’t allow the fear of what might be or what could happen stop us from doing it…so why do we allow fears of other circumstances allow us to talk ourselves out of change and getting outside of our comfort zones?

Here’s another thing about change – sometimes we don’t get to choose whether it happens or not, but we do get to choose whether we learn and grow from it. We are going to face challenges, face things that we don’t always want to face, but how we face those things is entirely up to us. We can either do it with frustration because we didn’t want it to happen, or we can embrace it and learn as much as possible. Some of the hardest experiences in my life have actually turned out to be the things that I have learned the most from. Having Dalton and being a single mum for 5 years before I met Brandon was a challenge to say the least, but I can honestly say that had I not gone through that I wouldn’t be the Woman I am today.

I would not change one thing about it, I love Dalton, I love my relationship with him and I love the life we were able to create for ourselves before Brandon came along. It was such an empowering time in my life because it taught me that if I really want something I am not afraid to put in the work to make it happen!

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.

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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?

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…

Goals NOT Resolutions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!


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Snow – a Love Hate Relationship

When it snows you have two choices…shovel or make snow angels!

The beauty is all around us, the serenity, the wonder, the bleakness. Sitting in a cabin looking out over a gorgeous valley of rolling hills, mountains and farms and watching my kids sled and ski down the hill. It is a beauty that I can’t deny but for me that’s much easier to say when I am sitting inside the cabin by a cozy fire rather than being outside.

I have always had a love/hate relationship with snow – I can’t deny the fact that there is true beauty but I am also not a fan of how cold it can be.

When I came over and went to the U.S. I had never skied before, so for one of my classes I took skiing at Grand Targhee ski resort. My roommate and I were actually featured in the local newspaper and they named us the “snow angels” because on a snow/powder day we went up there and they captured our pictures with snowflakes in our hair and on our eyelashes…I guess they thought we looked cute.

I did actually love the experience of skiing but as the years have progressed, as I’ve been unable to ski due to being pregnant or having young kids, the fun just seems to have gone away. That’s not to say I won’t ever get it back, but for now the feeling that I don’t want to pay to be cold is kind of where I’m at. I love being with my family, and I have promised the boys that I will go at least once this year, but that’s probably all I can muster.

Many, many years from my college days, but not too many miles away from Grand Targhee resort we are in Star Valley, hibernating in the cold and enjoying family time playing games.

I did spend a little time outside today, but only a little. I sledded with my youngest, Reiken, and actually had fun. I found that I liked sledding in the inner tube kind of sled much more because those kind of sleds don’t hurt when you go over bumps…am I really turning into the fun sponge my kids say I am? I think not – at one time a few years ago I would have been content not going outside at all…

As I think about these winter months stretched ahead of I’m not going to deny that a lot of the time I will be wishing for warmer days, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find some fun in the winter as well. My winter goals for this year are about finding things to do with my family that don’t have to involve just being inside, but that also involve some outdoor and chilly activities. Let’s see how this goes…