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Laughter – the Best Medicine

Always find a reason to laugh. It may not add years to your life but it will definitely add life to your years!

Something that has always been apparent in my life is the need for me to laugh. I like to think of myself as quick witted, because I love to say things a little off the cuff to make others laugh too. I’ll tell you why…I have always loved laughing and find greater connections with others when I feel that they have the same sense of humor as me or are equally as “strange” 😉

When I first came to the US from England and I was newly married I found myself sometimes getting offended or hurt by things Brandon or others might say. I was brought up so much more reserved, I was taught that sometimes saying something to someone wasn’t necessary. Not that I have ever had a problem giving people a piece of my mind…I just was taught that it was so much more important to be polite over “just being honest”.

My family was one that always laughed and made fun of each other, but somehow we just knew that it was a joke and a little cheeky. It’s weird that even though I had been brought up that way and my family and I had done that, when Brandon particularly said things it made me feel a little self conscious and sensitive. The good thing about having a mindset coach for a husband is that he is ALWAYS willing to talk things through and somehow we just figure out a way to make it work.

Over the years I have learned that I need to not take myself so seriously, and I have actually learned to laugh at myself. Being a work in progress is nothing to be ashamed of, in fact, it’s absolutely vital. I do still get called the “fun sponge” but more often than not I try new things, I don’t mind if I screw up and make a fool of myself, but most importantly I work on not letting ideas be more important than people.

One thing I look forward to in 2019 is the opportunity to smile more, have more fun, create even more connections and love my life even more.

Laughter truly is something that makes every situation more enjoyable…in fact, when we create experiences that involve laughter and smiling they are always more memorable. Even if you don’t remember exactly what you were laughing about, remembering the feeling you had and the experience of connecting with those you love is felt throughout our bodies FOREVER. I can still remember the feeling I had when I was around my Grandad Ron…he always made us all laugh because he was quick witted and funny. His saying that still brings a smile to my face was “Happen she/he wasn’t thinking” – he would say that whenever someone would do something that was an accident or not intentional.

Because smiling and laughter is contagious in our house when someone gets started on a good laughing fit, there are always going to be others that join in at some point. My kids tease me that when I really laugh, not only do I cry but also my right eye closes and they say I look like a pirate. I’m totally OK with it, especially because at the very moment that I know my eye is closing, I am having the time of my life. Who knows, I may even capture a picture of me with the eye closed mid-laughter at some point soon.

If you don’t resolve to do anything else for 2019, decide to add a little more smiling and laughter into your life and see what happens. I bet you won’t be able to say you’re not having fun!

Michelle
XOXO


Shine a Little

“Nothing can dim the light that shines from within”

Christmas is the season for so many things: Family time, present buying, parties and friends. Even if you’re not spending your time going to parties or spending it with friends, there’s definitely nothing wrong with “shining” a little. I know, sounds a little strange, but we hear a lot about making a good impression or dressing for an occasion, and all of those are great, but unless you are letting your inner light shine, are you really making a good impression?

I have spent the past few years becoming more and more aware of how my actions and behavior most definitely changes the outcome that I get. I realized a few years ago when I was going through a kind of dark time in my life, that if I wanted light or positivity to show up in my life then I had to be the start of that light.

Sensitivity to energy is something we all have but some more than others. I noticed that when I surrounded myself with people that didn’t evoke a positive feeling in me, or even worse that made me feel dark or even down, I wasn’t able to be as resilient to certain situations or when adversity hit my life. I realized that I must also be doing that to others too when I was not putting off a positive or light energy.

This may sound a little woo-woo, but I can attest 100% that I had to change MY behavior before anything in my life would change. I had actually reached the point where I didn’t even like being around me because I knew I was more focused on negative than positive, and I was more likely to see the cup as half empty rather than half full.

I don’t know if you have ever experienced this yourself or not, but even if you haven’t I am sure you have been around someone and for some reason you just felt a weird around them or they felt a little “off” and you couldn’t figure out why. Before someone even speaks our body is picking up on their energy and if that energy isn’t good, we may not understand exactly what is happening but chances are we feel uncomfortable or don’t want to be around them.

I made a choice to change my energy, to focus more on positivity and on bringing more light to others. After making a choice to do this and working on it every day, I have noticed that the more light I give off, the more light I actually get in return. If you haven’t heard the expression “you get what you give” I can tell you that for this example, it is exactly true. Just like the more love we give the more we get, it is true about light too.

So, as I plan spending family time tomorrow, amidst all the chaos of the Christmas season, I am focused on being the light in my home, in being the one that when someone feels like they need strength or positivity, that they can turn to me.

I don’t know if you experience this in your home or not, but I can tell you if I am having a bad day or I feel sad, EVERYONE in my house knows it. They know because the light or energy they are used to seeing from me isn’t present during my “down” times. I used to think that it was too much responsibility for me or that I didn’t want all of that to rest of my shoulders, but I have definitely changed my mindset so that now I think of it is as a privilege rather than a weight on my shoulders.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas…I hope your inner light finds its way to the surface and you have wonderful time filled with love and light!

Shop my look by clicking the links below…

Don’t be afraid to Sparkle!

 

“In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present!”

 

Even though next week is Halloween all the stores already have their Christmas stuff on display…

It makes me excited and sad at the same time.  Excited because I love the spirit of Christmas, I love how my kids get excited and I love to pick out personal, thoughtful gifts for all my friends and family.  Sad because it means the year is already over and we are already looking to the future (which can be a problem if you’re not enjoying the present – and I definitely have to focus so I don’t fall into that trap!)

Growing up we never had a live Christmas tree – they were a lot harder to get in England.  In fact, for many years of my youth we actually had a silver tinsel tree that was about 6′ tall…I wonder if that’s where my love to sparkle came from?  We would decorate the tree with all the brightest, boldest colors and even add some tinsel or garland in metallics as well.  I have seen trees like this since I have moved over here to the U.S. and I still love them – in fact at some point I would love to have one in my home (not sure if I can get Brandon to commit to that 😉 )

We see the most amazing window displays, lights, colors and garlands everywhere we go.  There is not a place where the holiday’s doesn’t seem to touch, and I love it!  The holidays are a fabulous time to add a little sparkle into your life.  Even if you are not the biggest fan, there are always ways to add just a little pop into an outfit by using something metallic or a little bling.

In today’s outfit the boots are definitely not subtle, but I absolutely love them (you might not, so then you should pick something that works for you).  The blouse has a more subtle gold thread running through it, but still sparkles.  When you add the coat (of contrasting sheepskin fabric) with the gold buttons, the patent leather satchel, the shiny pants, the gold booties and of course the metallic blouse, I think you will agree that there is no way I am not afraid to sparkle 😉

 

 

Whether you have a big personality, prefer to stay a little out of the limelight or you’re completely uncomfortable with ANYTHING that draws attention to you, there are ways to add a little sparkle.  In fact, here are some suggestions just in case you need a little inspiration:

  1. Use your jewelry to add the sparkle.  A pair of big gold hoops, a long statement necklace with jewels and bling, some stacked bracelets in contrasting metallics.  There’s no shame in not wanting to be bold and “out there”…but I don’t know what it is, adding a little sparkle just makes me feel better.
  2. Add a metallic scarf or an embellished scarf or beanie.  I have a beanie that has diamonte’s all over it and it is my absolute favorite beanie.  So even when I am feeling a little more dressed down or casual and I know it’s going to cold outside, I add that hat and suddenly not only do I not need to do my hair, but voila – sass!!
  3. Belts with a statement buckle or a metallic belt are a great way to make any outfit pop.  I have a silver belt that is mid width, and it’s perfect to pair with black jeans to make the outfit stand out a little.
  4. Wear a pair of shoes or boots that are not 100% metallic, but maybe have some studs or buttons on them that are metallic.  That way they stand out without being more in your face.  I have a few pairs of black shoes that have either silver or gold studs, some more edgy than others, but all of them add a little something extra to the outfit I am wearing.
  5. Wear a blouse similar to the one in my post that has a thread of metallic running through it.  It’s a great way to add a touch of sass without having to overcommit to the whole “sparkle” vibe!
  6. Sequins- pretty much anything with sequins is going to be the perfect amount of sparkle.  I have pants, a skirt but even a simple embellishment on a blouse is somewhere to start.
  7. Add a pop of metallic eyeshadow – a very subtle but fun way to start.  I even bought some last year that have glitter in them, perfect for a special occasion rather than every day wear.
  8. A purse or clutch in metallic or embellished is also a fun way to add a little pop to your outfit.

In stores for the holidays you will see red metallics, green, gold, silver, rose gold, and many more…so why not take this time of year (pretty much when everyone steps out of their comfort zone a little more) to try something that you might not normally try.  What’s the worst that can happen?  You’ll either love it or you won’t and either way, you’ve grown by being open to being different.

Growth only takes one step…the first step and you’re already on that road!

Here are some of my top holiday “sparkle” picks for you to take a look at.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 4 Fabrics Every Closet Should Have

“I’m cut from a different cloth and they don’t make the fabric anymore!”

Christmas may be over but the get-togethers, parties and dressing up opportunities are not over yet…so throw on some Red lipstick and rock your own unique style!  No matter what I’m wearing, if I add some bold lipstick, it adds a layer of confidence and power to my look. The Red I am wearing is an Ulta brand Red #202.  I love how warm the Red is, and if you are picking a Red to wear for yourself, bear in mind that the undertones in any Red work differently with different skin tones.  It’s actually kind of fun trying different Reds to see which ones work for you – and an added bonus is finding one that lasts for a while (even if you lick your lips often like I do) – Matte’s tend to work better as long-lasting colors.

If you are planning on a New Year’s Eve party this year, there are some amazing luxurious fabrics out there that can make you look really special.   Some of my favorite party picks are…

 

 

Velvet Pant Suit

I have seen many of these style suits, some with contrasting colored lapels on a Tuxedo style jacket, and some with a more feminine wrap style jacket.  The Velvet fabric is cozy yet classy and a perfect look for any New Year’s Eve party to get together.  If you do choose to wear a non-traditional style outfit like this for your party, the great news is that it can be repurposed and worn for business and also a less formal occasion.  If a suit is out of the question, add just a little velvet like I did with my cool leather cropped pants in the form of a Moto jacket…

 

Sequins

I don’t think anyone is ever too old to wear sequins, so choose a kimono style jacket, a pencil skirt or even a mermaid sequined top  – whatever type of sequins you choose, you will make a statement and look fabulous.

 

Leather

I don’t think I could post about a great party look without including leather.  It is always a great choice, and pretty much anyone can wear it.  Whether you choose a leather skirt, pants, top (like in this post), or coat, the possibilities of outfits you can create are endless.  By adding a soft mohair or fluffy sweater you will keep the look feminine, and if you are looking for something a little more sexy you can combine the leather with either velvet or sequins.

 

Fur

Last but not least…fur is always a great way to dress up any outfit.  I love finding a sweater with fur accents, or a fur top, or even just simply adding a fur jacket or coat to make an outfit a winning look.  Fur is probably the most luxurious of fabrics and has the ability to make any kind of look absolutely fabulous!

 

 


Top 10 Things you need in your Closet this Holiday Season

 

“Life is short, wear your party pants!”

Before I start, I wanted to let you know that it’s definitely not to late to start planning your holiday styles, party wear, and recovery wear (yes, after all the chaos we are going to need a little recovery time!)

 

There are a lot of things to plan, so does this seem like one more thing that you just don’t want to have to deal with?  I know there have been times when I have gone in my closet and just walked right out again because I haven’t known where to start…so here are some tips, ideas and styles that are really easy to duplicate to take some of the stress out of the holidays for you:

  1. Make sure you plan ahead…this doesn’t necessarily mean going shopping to get new things, but what it does mean is that sometimes if you lay out a few things on your bed to see how they look together, it’s going to help you decide what combinations you like the best.  I never try to plan an outfit for a special occasion when I am in a rush – even if I haven’t pulled out my clothes to look at, I have at least put them together in my mind (I know, I may or may not love thinking about clothes 😉 )
  2. Don’t try to wear something that is not comfortable for you to wear.  For example, if you are not comfortable wearing high heels, then don’t try to do it.  All that will happen is that you will feel awkward all night and want to take off your shoes.  Instead, find a pair of kitten heels (still feminine) or block heels that are easier to wear for longer periods of time.
  3. Make sure that what you are wearing expresses YOUR personality NOT someone you know or someone else you have seen wearing something that’s “really cute”…as you know, we are all unique, so when you are trying to be someone else not only will you feel like a fraud, but when people see you they are not going to know who you are.

 

With all of that being said, there are a few things that you are going to want to add to your closet this holiday season.  Don’t get me wrong I’m not necessarily encouraging you to go out shopping for yourself when you are still Christmas shopping (although sometimes it’s necessary to do that), but maybe you can put some things on your Christmas list or drop hints.  Even after Christmas there are lots of get-togethers and parties for the New Year, so even if you don’t have them in time for a Christmas party, it won’t be a bust!

 

 

Here are my Top 10 MUST HAVES for 2017:

  1. Something leopard print – whatever you choose (because not everyone is comfortable with a coat, a dress or shoes), make sure you that you rock it.  I have seen so many leopard tights, scarves, blouses, sweaters and purses plus many, many more things.  Pick one and have fun with it.
  2. Something sparkly – I love all the metallics, and they can be used in many different ways.  For example, I just bought some metallic liquid eyeshadow by Stila (from Sephora)…it is amazing and lasts all day.  It’s a great way to add sparkle without having to go over the top.  A great silver or gold top, pants, or shoes are great ways to add metallic into your wardrobe.
  3. Sock booties are my new favorite thing – I love how they fit to your legs and work with a skirt/dress, with jeans, or even under pants.  Versatility is key here, and they come in a variety of different styles and patterns.
  4. A great faux fur or fluffy coat – the reason why is that even if you are wearing something plain, by adding a really funky coat, you are going to make your whole outfit stand out.  Who doesn’t love the idea of being simple and still finding a way to be stylish?
  5. Sequins – what more needs to be said here?  Sequin earrings, sequin hair accessories, sequin leggings, or even sequin boots.  Find something again that expresses your personality, don’t wear the boots if you are more of an understated earrings kind of girl 😉
  6. A long kimono or thin cardigan -I love using these over pants, dresses or skirts.  They can just pull a whole outfit together and make it really funky.
  7. Velvet is still so huge.  It is such a comfortable and warm fabric, not to mention chic, so why not incorporate it into some of your outfits?
  8. Funky tights or fishnets.  Wearing a pair of unique tights with a dress or skirt this winter is not only necessary (at least here in Utah), but it is also a great way to make a statement.  I am always on the lookout for unique styles of tights, and love to incorporate them into my business and party style!
  9. A pair of chunky boots – there are definitely going to be those days that you are going to want to be able to walk and not have to worry about slipping, falling or just hating life because of your stiletto boots.  At the weekends or evenings, I love to wear a pair of comfy boots, but also look stylish, so find a pair that can be both for you.
  10. A great beanie or winter hat – I have never been a big hat person, but I am definitely learning to love beanies especially during the winter months.  I love how feminine some of the styles are now, and if you wear one with some accent jewels, patterns or even a pom pom it is going to look a little dressier!

 

So there you have it…my Top 10 of things everyone should have.  I have always been one of those practice what you preach kind of girls, so I wouldn’t tell you to do something that I didn’t do, so just know that all of these things I have tried and tested, and they work for me!

I don’t by any means expect anyone to be something they are not, so if don’t like or want to try any of these things, then you need to follow your gut.

Happy Holidays and more importantly – Happy Shopping!

I picked a few things I think are really hot below and you can shop the links below…


Holiday Stress Relief Tips

 

“Our greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another!”

As you can imagine with all that is going on during the holidays our stress level can multiply sometimes to the point that it can cause depression and stress…

There is always going to be an overwhelming list of things to accomplish, and if you have kids that list seems to grow even more.  Things we can’t control are sometimes going to take over our thoughts and cause us to feel like we are like a hamster running on a wheel.  I have always prided myself in being organized, but during the holiday season sometimes all the best intentions can make no difference. Finding the “perfect” gift, planning meals, parties and get-together’s can start to build on each other to the point of us suddenly having a mountain to climb!

 

 

Finding ways to handle stress and take some things in your stride are some of the ways to achieve a more peaceful and calm holiday season…here are some others to help you focus on the good things about the season rather than all the overwhelming things we need to do:

  1. Be realistic.  It’s OK if the holidays aren’t “perfect” or the same as they were last year.  I don’t know about you but my family is in an entirely different place and a lot of things have happened that will make our Christmas different (not worse) than last year.  I have a son that has his own apartment now, and our home is different, but that’s OK!  The key here is to not compare or create expectations about how you think something should look.  Circumstances change, your family is not the same as anyone else’s, and creating a vision in your head about how something should be is only going to cause you to feel disappointment because things NEVER go exactly as we would like them to – in fact, sometimes different than you imagined can be better!
  2. Stick to a budget.  This is one we implemented this year, mainly because after looking back we had created too much entitlement, and wanted to refocus our family’s thoughts onto what is really important – and that is people not stuff!  Christmas has become far too commercial, and it’s almost a competition with yourself to outdo what you did the previous year.  We realized that it wasn’t necessary to get carried away when we saw some gifts that our kids had been given that were still unopened in the basement and their lives were still going just as smoothly without those things! Giving gifts can be a way to show love and appreciation, but it’s not the only way we can show it.
    Spending time together is also an amazing way to show and be shown love and appreciation.
  3. Learn to say no.  This is a big one for me, I always like to do as many things as I can with friends and family.  Sometimes it just isn’t feasible because schedules conflict and the whole point is to not overwhelm yourself but to enjoy people’s company and time.  It can also be said for doing things for people as well…I had a phone call from my son yesterday wanting me to help him make some food items so he could sell them to raise money for his upcoming Humanitarian trip.  Of course I agreed, and ended up making these last night right before bed, which left me feeling a little flustered and tired.  I made sure he was helping, but it was something I really didn’t have the energy to do last night. What I should have done instead was either give him instructions on how to make them, or tell him to wait until I had more energy.  I felt sucked in to the situation and wanted to help him, so didn’t feel like I could say no.  I am sure you have all experienced similar situations, and the hard part is to know when and how to say no.  In order for us to serve anyone, we have to be able to serve ourselves, and that is by knowing not to overwhelm ourselves with too many things to do!
  4. Plan ahead.  We are definitely nearing the home stretch of this holiday season so this one is actually going to become harder.  The stores are going to become busier and we are going to have less and less time to plan things.  However, if you can set aside a certain time and day to do things, you will not feel like you are scrambling to find last minute gifts or make last minute treats.  I don’t do so well if I am not organized, so this is one of the most important ones for me.  I like to have gifts bought and wrapped, neighbor gifts delivered, and food purchased so that I can make sure I am not wasting my time worrying about things I have not done yet.  Write lists, put things on your calendar and stick as closely as you can to them to minimize any overwhelm.
  5. Take some time.  No matter who you are, everyone needs a little time to recuperate, time is of the essence, so taking a few minutes to relax and decompress is very important.  Some of my favorite ways to relax are:  taking a bath, reading, taking the dog for a walk, and getting a pedicure or massage.  Just one of these small things could be the difference between waking up on Christmas morning frazzled or raring to go.  I always tell my boys (including Brandon) that their hugs give me energy, so I make them hug me for 20 seconds…as they do this, my muscles relax, my shoulders are no longer hunched and my frown fades.  I can physically feel that transfer of energy to me, and sometimes that is all it takes.

 

The Mayo Clinic has put out research about stress and the holidays and it is their recommendation that we take care of ourselves, because if we don’t, then we are no use to anyone else.

 

Take that time for YOU…

 

What if you just went into the holidays with no expectations and had an open mind…what could that do?

 

I don’t know about you, but this year, I am focused on my family, our love and feeling gratitude for all that I have!

 

 


Holiday Styling with Satin

“They can imitate your style but they can’t imitate your creativity!”

 

Following on from my previous post “Mixing Fabrics“…there are some that are must haves for Holiday parties or events.  You know, those fabrics that just call to you and as soon as you put them on you know you look good.

 

One of those fabrics is satin…it is such a feminine fabric, it is versatile and finally it is just stunning.  You may notice the booties in this post as being Pink, but the fact that they are satin makes them even more amazing.  The disco pants are also satin and because they are so stretchy they are very flattering – which is perfect for a Holiday party or event.  I see a lot of really cute dresses around this time of year, and that seems to be what everyone likes to wear for parties, but I like to change things up and put my own stamp on my outfit.  You can just as stunning in a great satin pant outfit as you can wearing a dress.

 

If you are not sure about disco pants like these because they seem a little too form fitting or edgy, then you can add a feminine top or sweater, like the ruffle one I am wearing, or if you want something a little longer add a kimono (see link below) with a simple top underneath.  Just because all the stores are pushing “Holiday dresses” doesn’t mean that is your only choice.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you shouldn’t wear one, just try some other options as well. 🙂

 

One of the biggest challenges when shopping for a specific fabric or color is knowing where to look, or if you buy online, which stores have great quality clothing.  With that being said, I have put some of my top satin styles and colors below and the great news is that you still have plenty of time to order before Christmas!