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Don’t be Afraid to be Different

Always remember that you are absolutely Unique – just like everyone else!

Do you fit the mold?
Do you identify as “normal”?

I don’t know what it is about the word NORMAL that just gets me going…

I know there were times in my life that I was laughed at for being different, for not being afraid to dress a little differently, for having strong convictions, and most importantly for not being afraid to stand up for myself.

As I get older I realize that I care less and less about what other people think, but care more about what I think about myself. In fact, that is one of the reasons I decided to start my blog. I wanted to share my belief that being unique is absolutely vital in this world, and it’s the only way that change will ever be made!

It’s not that I necessarily look for ways to stand out every day, but more about me making a decision to be ME every day regardless of what anyone else thinks. Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t like to try new and different things, embrace new styles or look for opportunities to put my stamp on something…it just means that I am doing it because it makes ME feel good and everything else is just gravy!

Take this outfit for example, nothing really groundbreaking…I added a little sass to a plain black outfit by wearing wonderful red booties and a scarf. Now, a scarf is nothing groundbreaking, except that I decided to wear it a little different. I wrote a blog post about a month ago about how wearing accessories doesn’t have to be just the traditional way – that you can also look for other ways to adapt the style to fit YOUR personality. I don’t wear scarves often and I think the reason I haven’t is because I find them a little too mainstream. Not that I don’t love them, but more that I haven’t really loved them on ME!

I will say that I did feel a little sassy wearing the scarf this way (not that the boots hurt either), but it made me feel like I was putting my own stamp onto the look and that always makes me smile!

Shop my looks by clicking any of the pictures below…

The scarf is linked on my Instagram story – or just click here to check it out…

How Strong is your Boot Game?

Your style is confined only by the walls you build yourself!

The right shoes or boots can make or break an outfit, so when I came across these gold boots I just knew they had to be mine. They’re not new, I have had them for a couple of years, but I still love them and I absolutely love breaking them out every once in a while when I want to elevate my outfit.

We are drawing to a close of the season where boots are worn all the time, but I also love the idea of wearing boots in warmer months too. In fact, to me, there’s nothing that shows more sass that a cute sundress or skirt with some boots or booties. Just a different take on a regular summer vibe.

So how is your boot game?

Do you shy away from boots that are too high, too bright, too much of anything? I’m definitely not saying that everyone should hurry out there and buy themselves a pair of metallic boots like mine (but I have linked a similar pair below just in case – and they’re less than $10 right now), but what I am saying is that you love to wear boots, you feel comfortable in boots and you are looking to elevate your style…try adding a pair of funky boots. In fact, as we draw closer to spring, it’s probably a great time to add some to your wardrobe because there are so many on sale right now!~

You may also notice that I am wearing a super cool mermaid styled faux leather skirt (again a throwback but I have linked a similar one below), because leather also is fabulous for ANY season…

The key to transitioning your style from season to season is to not always follow rules. I never pack away all of my winter or summer clothes, because sometimes adding a piece from a different season can create a really cool vibe. Like the boots, or the leather…because I find it important to put my own stamp on everything.

Again, if you’re looking for some fun boots on sale or some leather pieces to add to your closet…you can click the links below.

You Were Born to Stand Out

If people were rain – why be drizzle when you can be a hurricane?!

I remember when I started my first sales job, I would be working at my desk (even before I had my own computer and had to just make phone calls), and would need a break every so often…so I would jump up and take a walk around the office. I had quite a few people tell me that they always knew it was me because my walk was so distinctive. I don’t know if I knew exactly what they meant until someone told me that I “walk with purpose” that I got it. What they were telling me was that I knew where I was going, what I wanted and that no matter what I was going to get it!

Since I quit my job last year, I haven’t been quite so sure in my direction, what my ultimate purpose is, but I haven’t changed the fact that I walk with purpose. In fact, I think I actually do it even more now because it just feels right to me.

No matter what are goals are, where we are going or what we are working towards achieving, the absolute only way we will ever get there is if we are decisive and determined to get there. Walking with purpose is only part of the equation, we have to believe with all the fiber in our being that we WILL get there, otherwise we never will.

I thought the quote for this topic was perfect because I believe that if I want to chase my dreams I have to do it in a way that makes those dreams notice that I coming, and what better way than a hurricane to do that? 😉

What if we all believed that we were destined for great things, that there was truly nothing to hold us back, would our goals and dreams change?

Would we focus on bigger things because there was no reason that we weren’t going to get there?

Would we allow ourselves a little grace when we fell down knowing that we will once again get up and still reach the dreams?

When I talk about dreams, I am not talking “pie in the sky” or something that only involves visualization (not that visualization is bad, but without the work it doesn’t mean anything)…I am talking belief in ourselves, trust that we can make something happen, knowing that we are enough to be who we want to be…

So knowing that…what goals would you set knowing that you are enough to achieve them?

Dress For You

Style is a deeply personal expression of who you are, and every time you dress, you are asserting a part of yourself!

When you are truly confident in yourself and what you bring to this world, you don’t ever feel the need to be someone you’re not, which includes dressing for YOU.

Because we are so unique as individuals, it is only a natural reaction to dress to express that uniqueness. When we do that, when we do it for ourselves without a fear of what others will think or the need to seek approval, that is one of the most empowering things we as women can do.

Who isn’t attracted to, or doesn’t want to be around a confident and self-assured person – I know I do. I am always drawn to strong women, and I know that’s because I am that way myself,. It comes down to the old saying of “birds of a feather flock together”.

So, the question is, what do you want to attract in your life? I feel empowered and even stronger when I am around other strong individuals, and the more time I spend around them, the stronger and more confident I feel.

I remember when I was in college I had a few posters on the walls of my apartment- and one of them was a Garfield poster that I found amusing because it showed Garfield with books balanced on his head and the quote said “I learn by osmosis”… I think I found it so funny because as I was taking a lot of medical classes I really wished that it was true.

It may not be true about college learning, but I can tell you that energy is contagious – OK, it may not osmosis but it kind of works in a similar way. When I choose to spend my time around those that lift me up rather than drain me, my cup is filled – which then leaves me energy to pass along and help others.

My style has always been exactly that – MINE. I don’t always wear the most ground breaking styles, or even buy all the newest things out (mainly because I don’t like them all, and I’m definitely not going to spend money on something I don’t like. I find my inspiration in lots of ways, in lots of different places and on lots of different people. I love experimenting, because that’s just me. You may like to stick to things you know, colors you love or you may even hate shopping. Whatever your way of dressing, my hope is that you do it for you. Not for a partner, not to be accepted, not to be envied by flashing lots of expensive designer stuff, and most definitely not to hide who you really are.

I thought it might be kind of fun to come up with a name for my style personality – I am

What is your style personality?

If you find any inspiration for your style from me…you can shop my look by clicking these links:

Real Not Perfect

Shop my look & similar by clicking the links at the bottom of the post

To be worthy doesn’t mean having to be perfect!

Perfection is something that is one of those unattainable goals that we somehow seem to be striving for, always in vain. We set expectations on ourselves and set ourselves up for failure when our goal or expectation is to become perfect.

It is easy to get caught up in wanting ourselves to be perfect, but it is also very dangerous because when we are wanting that perfection it very often doesn’t stop at ourselves and we come to want or even expect that from others around us as well!

In previous posts I’ve talked a little about how comparison of ourselves to others is fatal, and in this age of social media, it’s really hard to not allow ourselves to succumb to such self-sabotaging behavior. So how do we change our mindset so that striving for personal excellence is what we aim for? Here are some things that I use daily and they work for me:

  1. Choose to focus only on being better each day than the day before – rather than focusing on what we’re doing wrong or we’re not great at.
  2. Choose to appreciate and love the things we are good at and build on those…
  3. Practice positive self-talk so that we can start to realize how amazing we are.
  4. Allow ourselves to celebrate any victory, whether great or small. That way we are not always dissatisfied with our results. We have to appreciate the small things first otherwise we won’t know what the big things are!
  5. Don’t just focus on the outcome – a lot of growth and strength building comes in the journey. In the learning – you know, the falling down and getting up!
  6. Sometimes procrastination comes from not wanting to not be able to complete something or do it perfectly. Allowing ourselves the grace to not finish something immediately gives us the opportunity to avoid procrastination and learn something along the way.

I know when I let go of my need to control everything, my need for things to go EXACTLY according to a plan I might have in my mind, I am always pleasantly surprised by the results I get. My expectations have been known to get me into trouble, because I promise you the scenarios and outcomes I create in my mind are so much more elaborate than I could ever create in real life. It took me a while to realize that I didn’t want to hold myself back and I certainly didn’t want to be unhappy…but once I did, it created a huge amount of freedom and was light a weight being lifted off my shoulders.

I used to think that the pressure I put on myself – the pressure to create success and fulfillment – was what made me successful, but what I have realized after A LONG time is that it’s actually the opposite. I am always going to be driven, motivated, have a love of stepping out of my comfort zone, but it was actually the expectations and the need for perfection that held me back rather than making me better. It’s hard to come to the realization that I was sabotaging my own success, but once I did and I became conscious about my behavior…that’s when the magic started to happen!

Snow Days

In the depth of winter I found that there was in me an invincible summer!

I had visited Utah many times when I was younger, visiting family and eventually when I came over to go to school here.  Whenever I returned to England I always missed the mountains and their beauty.  It was a strange feeling to miss a place and feel so at home in a place that I had never lived.

It’s been over 20 years since I moved here now and even though I miss England I still consider Utah my home…I love summers especially and I do love the beauty of the snow.  I am not a huge fan of cold weather, there is no denying the beauty of the sunshine against the beautiful white mountains and blue skies.  

This weekend I am spending time with my youngest 2 boys up in Midway (a small town about 45 minutes outside of Salt Lake City), and as you can see the snow is bringing real beauty here. I took a moment to snap a few pictures of me playing with the snow and acting silly and I have to admit, it felt really good.  Sometimes we get so caught up in our day to day lives, and I know that I have a tendency to be a little too serious sometimes.  So I have to admit, when I allow myself to let it go and I am not the “fun sponge” like my kids have been known to call me, I actually have been known to have a little fun (even when I’m cold).

Don’t be surprised if you actually find some posts and pictures of me over the next few months in full winter gear, sledding and skiing.  I promised Brandon and the boys that I would do a little of each.  In fact, between Christmas and New Year we will be going to our family cabin in Star Valley Wyoming and pretty much all we will be doing is hibernating and a few winter activities.

When it’s a beautiful, sunny winter day, it’s the perfect time to add a little fur to your wardrobe and have fun with it.  I am wearing a cute black fur vest, I added a plum colored beanie and my great Sorel winter/rain booties.  Throw on a pair of faux leather leggings, and cozy winter sweater, your favorite sunnies and voila…the perfect winter look!
You can shop my look and some similar looks by clicking the links below…


Keep it Simple

The greatest prison people live in is the fear of what other people think!

I think one of the biggest challenges we face when trying to figure out what our style is or how to dress is the fact that there are so many options and styles available.  There is a huge problem in society where we tend to overthink things, or even talk ourselves out of things because we are worried what others might think, or we are just not confident enough to trust our instincts.

Confidence in today’s world is word that is thrown around all the time, but what does it really mean?  Around the age of 9 we start focusing more on what other people think and tend to shape ourselves more after the reactions we get from people rather than by what actually makes us feel good.  The good news, just as we chose to mold our thought process after what others think, we can change that same thought process and make it more into what we want it to be.

The only way to do that is just to jump in and start dressing for YOU without any thought (or at least not giving in to the fear that you might not be accepted) and just go for it.  Starting small, keeping it simple is the best way to start.  Because there are so many style options out there, the best way to create your own unique style and do it for YOU is to start by finding colors that you love.  Once you have your favorite color (one that looks good against your skin tone), then you start looking for styles that flatter your body type (of course, only ones that you like and not what you think others will like).

The pictures in today’s post are a couple of years old because I wanted to demonstrate that simple can also be timeless.  A simple pair of faux leather leggings, a peplum top (flattering when you are looking to accentuate a smaller waist or give the appearance of a small waist) and a leather jacket.  Simple – classy and comfortable.  When you dress using simple pieces like these, a great way to add a little funk is by adding some fun accessories and shoes.  A pair of fun drop earrings, a chunky pearl bracelet and some bold pumps.

The key is to not let the fear, over thinking or lack of confidence dictate what you wear or how you feel.  I know that may sound easier said than done, but honestly the only way to grow your confidence is to expand your comfort zone and try new things.  Loving to dress for YOU is the start of having an amazing relationship with yourself.  If we don’t love and treat ourselves the way we deserve to be treated, other’s won’t know that’s how they should be treating us.  

Confidence is like love, the more you have the more you get…the hardest part is just latching on to that little bit that is already inside you.  I believe that everyone in this world has at least one thing they can own and be proud of.  That one thing that makes you know how amazing you are.  It could be something like being a good cook, having creativity and using that to make your house into a home, being exceptionally patient with your kids to name just a few.  There is always something, and that feeling you get when you feel satisfaction after accomplishment or showing love, that is the feeling you will want to latch onto.  Use that to help you gain confidence in any other area of your life…trust me, I have used this so many times in my life and it works.

I hope you have a blessed weekend, and if you feel like sharing something that you did to help you gain more confidence, I would love to hear!

Michelle
XOXOX


How to Transition into a New Season

 

“Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity!”

When the seasons change, no matter where you live, there is at least in some part a change in the weather (even if it’s only the slightest change).  So, what is the best way to transition your closet to a new season?  The fashion magazines tell us the latest styles, trends, fabrics and colors, but how do you fit those to YOUR unique style?

Sometimes, expanding your sights to new things can seem overwhelming, expensive and very challenging.  I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be…

I have many pieces of clothing that I continue to wear across seasons, things I pull out year after year and colors that can be adapted to my style.  I don’t ever buy a completely new wardrobe every season, that would be too expensive and impractical.  What I do is add a few new pieces and pair them with things I already own.  I love creating my own looks using new and old styles, colors and fabrics combined.

There are some fabrics that work better during cooler seasons, and some during warmer seasons, as well as patterns that you associate more with one season over another.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t cross over or color outside the lines a little, all it takes is a little imagination and experimentation.  Here are some styles, patterns or fabrics that you can transition into fall:

 

Leather – although leather is definitely a warmer fabric, I wear this every season of the year and love adapting my looks accordingly.  In spring pairing leather with florals is a great way to go, and in the fall adding a chunky sweater or an earth toned contrasting piece along with some boots is a great way to wear it.

 

 

 

Red is a color for any season – for fall try wearing your red (warm or cool red works) with tan, some form of animal print or just black.  Red is such a strong color that makes a statement all by itself, so by adding this to your fall look, you are going to make any outfit stand out.

 

 

Unexpected – I love adding colors that are a little more unexpected.  I love wearing a bright pair of shoes or boots that are unusual.  Not necessarily the color of the season but one that can be a contrast to the look of your outfit.  I have a pair of green satin booties that I love to wear in fall even though they are not a traditional fall color.  This is where the coloring outside the lines comes in 😉

 

 

Velvet is a great warmer fabric, so tends to be more traditionally worn in cooler seasons.  However, if you wear a velvet top with a satin or cotton skirt or pair of pants, it is versatile enough to be worn in spring.  By wearing these velvet shorts with a pair of tights and boots, I could transition the look into fall and winter…the possibilities are endless!

 

 

 

Tights are a great way to change your summer dress to a fall outfit.  A little summer dress paired with a funky pair of tights, and a duster or cardigan is a great way to get the most out of your summer look.

 

 

I am always looking for new things to try, new ideas, something that will make me stand out, that’s the only way anyone can grow.  So maybe your style isn’t to stand out or maybe you don’t like to be bold, that is OK, but in order to grow in anything in life, you have to try something different.  However you transition into the fall season, what if you tried something you haven’t tried before.  What if you found that thing was your new favorite thing?  I am always telling my kids that if they don’t try new foods how will they ever really know what they like?  Even a new accessory, a pair of sunglasses, a new color…trying something new expands our comfort zone and the more we do that the more confidence we get and the happier we become.  Baby steps work just fine 😉

 

Leather and Heels

 

“Instead of thinking how hard your journey is, think of how great your story will be!”

As you already know I love my shoes, and I love all shapes, sizes, colors and patterns…so when new styles, especially those that are unique come out, I have to at least try them, right?!

The good news about some of the latest styles out right now -they work for just about anyone.  Block or chunky heels are great because they are much easier to walk on than stiletto’s, kitten heels are heels that are much smaller than regular pumps, yet the small heel still allows them to look feminine.  The heels in this are some mules that I found on my trip to England, and absolutely fell in love with (mainly because I loved how unique the heels were, but also because I didn’t have a pair of mules like this…

 

My leather skirt is a Zara purchase – not that I am short of leather skirts, but I didn’t have one this color 😉 The cream blouse is perfect to add a feminine touch to the outfit, and make it work appropriate.  I have talked about wearing leather for work before, and this is another great example of how you can do that and still look classy/business like!

Looking for ideas or ways to wear leather for work…here are a few of my favorite looks:

  1. Leather pants with a velvet tuxedo jacket and button up blouse
  2. Knee high leather skirt, knee high boots and a fitted sweater.
  3. Suit jacket with leather accents, paired with satin pants, and satin blouse.
  4. Midi fitted leather skirt with ankle boots and a loose fitting blouson top.
  5. Leather leggings or tight pants with a long tunic top and animal print shoes.

These are just a few of my favorite ways of wearing leather for work…what is your favorite way?

Shop some of my Top current leather picks below…

(This post contains affiliate links meaning at no additional cost to you I may receive a small commission if you purchase through one of the links)

 

 


Get up, Dress up and Never Give up!

 

“Believe you deserve it and the universe will serve you!”

 

Unfortunately it is the time of year here in Utah where the air quality is not great, we may or may not have a snow storm, but chances are, it’s going to be really cold.  With the poor air and inversion that we suffer with in the valley it very often brings colds, flu and other ailments that are never good but can really set you back if you don’t take care of yourself properly!

 

The reason I’m telling you this is because when I did this shoot, I had a cold and didn’t have any energy, but I knew I needed to do it because, well, just because I committed to it, but also because writing my blog is more important to me than taking a little time with some chicken noodle soup on the couch…

 

 

I have always been one of those girls where unless I literally can’t walk and I’m bleeding I don’t like to let anything stop me from what I need and want to do.  As a mum of four boys that works full time as well as having this blog, I am sure you can imagine that my life is pretty full, and that doesn’t even count anything I want to do for fun 🙂  I have found that I can sometimes be my worst enemy in that I don’t like to ask for help but that can sometimes cause me to feel resentful (even though logically I know that I brought the chaos onto myself by not asking for assistance!)

 

One of things I worked on this holiday season (which is probably one of the most hectic times of the year, not just for Christmas but also for my job because it is busiest at the end of each year), I allowed other people, specifically my husband and kids, but also co-workers and other people I know, to help me with things I would normally have just powered through myself.  Are any of you like me where you feel like you have to be a “soldier” and you are on the front lines just slogging through the day only to find at night that you just want to fall into bed and you really haven’t enjoyed yourself along the way?  Whew!  It’s not a good place to live I tell you…and the worst part, it’s so unnecessary!

 

So how do we change the way we have always been?  Is it who we are?  If you are like me and struggle with any of these things, here’s something to think about…by not asking others to help or by not including them in what you’re doing, you are taking the opportunity to serve away from them.  What do I mean?  When you do things for others does it make you feel good?  Are you that person that is always reliable, always giving, doing or just being there for others?  If you can answer yes to any of these questions then you know what an amazing feeling it is when you know that you’ve done something for someone else…right?!  Conversely if you don’t let anyone experience that feeling by doing something for YOU, aren’t you robbing them of that experience?  I know all of this stuff logically but I can tell you, it’s still hard for me…but I do know unless I teach my kids (and my husband) how to serve others, then I am doing them a disservice!

 

 

I definitely rolled into 2018 with a really positive attitude, great goals (one of which you read on Sunday), plans and aspirations…so now the key is to continue as I have started (yes, I know, it’s only been 1 day), but nevertheless, it’s still hard to keep to a path you have laid out for yourself, unless the goal means so much to you that quitting is not an option!

 

You are going to see a lot of people talking about goals, asking you what your goals are…and you may or may not want to share.  The key is to have goals to have things you want to do, even if it is to keep doing what you have always done, and just be better at it.  We all have our own paths to walk, but I can tell you, no matter who you are, whether you make goals for yourself or not, there are going to be things thrown into your path that are going to make you grow whether you like it or not, so nobody is going to have an easy ride.  Might as well set yourself something exciting to achieve so you are not letting life just happen to you!

 

Happy New Year…and by the way, the outfit I’m wearing in this post is an amazing velvet dress, with a leather jacket and leather booties.  You can shop a similar velvet dress, leather jacket, and booties by clicking the links below (who doesn’t love a luxurious velvet dress with a great leather jacket? :))