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Real Not Perfect

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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!

The Importance of Contemplation and Gratitude

“Gratitude is not a passive response to something we have been given, gratitude arises from paying attention, from being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without us!”

I was going to write about this later in the month of December but after the events of my weekend, I knew I had to write it today!  

Saturday night was pretty normal, I went to sleep around 12:30am, and at around 1:30am Brandon woke me up because he was having severe pains in his abdomen and chest.  After I saw how panicked he was, and how much pain he was in we decided to head to the E.R.  They were amazing and got us straight in…and immediately ruled out his heart as causing the pain – which was a huge relief!

We were taken back to a room where then took blood for some further testing, put him on monitors etc. etc. and kept checking in with us about every 1/2 hour.  After they had ascertained that it wasn’t a heart issue, they ruled out gallbladder and gave him a G.I. cocktail.  It is basically Lidocaine and Maalox, and after about 1 hour his pain was almost gone.  

It took hours to get the labs back, and when they did they thought he could be suffering from pancreatitis, so to rule that out they had him eat some crackers.  Because there was no pain from that, and the fact that the cocktail made him feel better, they thought it was very likely to be acid reflux with esophageal spasm.  

OK, so I know that was a very detailed story, and the reason I wanted to share all of that with you was because that is kind of what kept me going.  I immediately went into the role of helping him, being there for him and not even thinking about the fact that I hadn’t had any sleep.  

As I contemplate my life with Brandon, I realize that I haven’t always been the most amazing wife, I sometimes let my needs be all consuming, and because of my past life and relationship experiences I have, at times, not allowed myself to be completely vulnerable and present with him.  Going through something like we did on Saturday night, even though it turned out that it wasn’t life threatening, we didn’t know that when we were in it.  It certainly made me pause to be grateful for having him in my life.

Adding a pop of color to this fabulous leopard dress – shop my post by clicking the links below

Do you ever find yourself being so caught up in living your life that you don’t have time to appreciate how amazing your life is?  I was talking to a friend who also has kids that are getting older now, and we both agreed that having young kids was one of the best times in our lives…but when I was raising a house full of boys, the chaos, the mess, the tantrums, and the lack of freedom sometimes caused me to wish away those years to the day that I would be able to leave them at home alone!  Now that my boys are getting older, I have less and less control, I hate that they are not the snuggly little boys that they used to be and I wish I could bring back all the wonder and excitement they had around learning new things.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my life, and I love this stage of my kids too – I have definitely learned not to wish away the time, but I am also grateful for all the younger years too.  The years that both they were and I was younger…the years that they were excited to go to the movies with their parents and hanging out with us was always a first choice 😉

There are so many things that I feel gratitude for, especially at this time of year, because I allow myself enough time to slow down and notice the things that are important in our lives.  Having a family I love, working side by side with my husband helping people improve their lives, having a home I love, friends I couldn’t live without, sharing my experiences and hopefully helping others know that they are capable of anything they set their mind to via my blog and so much more.

I choose to pause and feel gratitude every day so that when I contemplate what I have in my life I don’t have any regrets…and that I am able to share my appreciation and love with others!

What would you answer if you asked yourself every day “what do I have to be thankful for RIGHT NOW”…even when things are going wrong, there is always something to feel gratitude for!

Top 5 Style Trends to Help you Make it Through Winter

“If you want to go big, stop thinking small!”

There are just some styles that are timeless, ageless and for any season!  Leopard print works for just about any season, but I especially love it in the Fall and Winter, and find that there are so many great outfit options…

For today’s outfit I just grabbed a Black turtle neck, Black pants and some funky block heeled dark Green shoes.  The Leopard jacket is just the icing on the cake, and pulls the whole look together.

 

 

I think we all have that “go to” look that no matter what we can just pull it out of the closet and run.  For even the most novice style conscious dresser, adding a leopard jacket over a plain Black outfit is something that doesn’t require a lot of thought, planning or even coordination.  In fact, all you need to do is throw on the jacket and run…

If you are looking for some simple yet stylish ideas to get you through the last months of Winter…here are five of my favorites:

  1. A faux fur jacket, vest or accents – even if you are against animal cruelty, faux fur is one of those fashion essentials that works for any age.  You can throw a jacket over your already fabulous outfit, add a vest to make your current outfit pop or just find a great sweater with fur accents, or even a scarf to add a touch of something that is uniquely you to your outfit.
  2. Sock booties – I honestly can tell you I don’t know what I did before these were invented.  I love how they cling to my legs so they work under a pair of pants or with a skirt, don’t require zipping, and especially love how sexy they look with a funky pair of tights.
  3. We’ve already talked about leopard – but i’ll list it here anyway!
  4. Glitter or sparkles – like the Silver leggings I own, a sequined piece or just something to lift your spirits on a Grey day!
  5. Red lipstick – there’s nothing more bold then a great Red lipstick in the winter.  Typically your skin will be a little paler, you might be feeling a little drab, a lot of winter colors tend to be darker, so add a pop of Red to your lips and pucker up!

Of course, as you look at this list, don’t just wear something because I say they’re my favorites…if sparkles or glitter are not YOU…then don’t do it!!

(This post contains some affiliate links – if you click and purchase something from one of these links at no additional cost to you I will receive a small commission!)

Below are some of my favorite picks from the list that you can shop…

 

10 Tips for Feeling Feminine without Giving up Who You Are!

 

 

“A Woman is the full circle.  Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform!”

 

I was raised in a home with only boys…meaning that there was a lot more physical fighting to resolve differences rather than negotiating. I am the oldest, but that didn’t mean I could avoid the fights, but rather I had to become smarter about how I did it.  After about the age of 12 I couldn’t match up physically with my brothers, but I could outsmart them.  I learned some tricks (OK, some of them were dirty) but nevertheless, I not only survived my youth but I actually thrived.

For me being raised in such an environment taught me mental and physical toughness.  I am not a quitter, and I don’t like to appear vulnerable (it was considered a weakness).  Even after telling you all these things, I can tell you that it didn’t take away my feminine side.  In fact, it has taught me to embrace what God gave me, and make the most of it wherever possible.

So, let’s get down to it – what are my tips for feeling feminine and using that femininity to your advantage – because, I believe that we were all given gifts, so why not develop them and use them?

  1. Wear a nice smelling perfume or body lotion.  I know not everyone will agree with this one, but whether you like strong smells or not, when you wear a perfume, that perfume contains chemicals that our bodies react to…and some certain smells are going to make us “feel” good.  It’s a physiological thing – give it a try 🙂
  2. Choose your fabrics wisely – ever noticed that when you are snuggled up on the couch with a blanket, you feel safe, secure and cozy?  Fabrics and how they feel on our skin can also evoke certain feelings. Silk, for example feels luxurious, sexy and feminine, whereas fleece is more about keeping warm. Choose the fabrics that fit the mood you are trying to create!
  3. Take care in how you speak – I have been known to intimidate people because I can be very direct. That is not my intention, however, that is the response that it creates.  So, when I am embracing my femininity I am much more conscious about not only what I say, but mostly how I say it.  Being direct is something that is very controversial, I feel like it is frowned upon when Women do it, however, what I have found is that I can still be direct and concise, but if I do it with a non-aggressive tone, I am much more likely to find positive results.
  4. Wear your favorite colors – certain colors make us look and feel more confident and vibrant.  Bright colors are a great way to show off your personality – not to worry if you are not a fan of bright, bold colors…just add a pop of color in an accessory or lipstick to add that extra dimension to your look.
  5. Go old school – in history Women wore many more dresses and skirts, in fact, they even wore them when they were doing tasks the same as the men such as farm work, etc.  Even if you are not a fan of skirts or dresses, you have to admit that when you see someone wearing a skirt or dress, you notice the legs, the shoes, pretty much the whole look draws you in.  I’m not saying you have to wear a skirt or dress every day (heaven knows I wouldn’t do that) but perhaps you add to your feminine style repertoire you could add them in every once in a while.
  6. Don’t try to too hard – being feminine is something that is subtle yet confident.  Less is so much more, wearing too many ruffles, pleats, patterns or lace can just be too overwhelming and create a really confusing look.
  7. Recognize your strength – femininity is not weak (contrary to popular belief), in fact throughout history many strong Women have shown their feminine side.  When I was younger and much more immature, I thought that in order to get anything done, I had to be aggressive and overpowering. What I have come to realize is that there is so much power in femininity and actually it is much better to embrace your femininity and approach things that way.
  8. Take pride in your appearance – I know there may be a popular belief in Men that we as Women dress for them (should we let them into our secret?)…We all know that confident, self assured Women are themselves and dress present themselves the way that THEY want to!  With that being said, it is important to take pride in your appearance, but for yourself.  Wear your hair in the way that makes you feel great about yourself, and your hygiene should be good.  There’s nothing wrong with wearing something that accentuates your curves, so long as you are doing it for the right reasons 🙂
  9. Be a good listener – I have found that I feel better about myself when I know I am there for people.  Loyalty in friendship is vital to my wellbeing, so when I am THERE for my friends, it makes me feel better as a person.
  10. Be confident – if you do the things listed above, you are most likely going to feel this anyway, so why not show it off.  There is nothing more attractive than a confident Woman.  When I say attractive I don’t just mean in a sexual sense, but also in the way that people will want to be around you.  The better you feel about yourself, the better people will feel about you and hence want to soak up that confidence.

I no longer believe that being feminine is weak – I believe that it is a gift we have been given and we should nurture it.  It was never hard for me to dress in a feminine way, but my actions and behaviors were sometimes contradictory…I am still a very assertive, confident woman, but I am working on presenting myself in softer ways!

 


A Few of my Favorite Things…

“What you tell yourself every day will either lift you up or tear you down!”

 

Ok so this may be a little Sound of Music-esque, but nevertheless, I have some things in my closet that when I wear them I just feel amazing.  It has nothing to do with what anyone else things, they truly are a few of my favorite things…

 

So let’s start here – this dress, the color, the cut, the length, and fabric, in fact to save even more time, I could say EVERYTHING about this dress just makes me feel amazing.  Now the dress alone could be enough for me to walk into any room with my head held high knowing I look good and just have that air of confidence, but I decided to take it up a notch and add a Leopard coat (if you don’t own one or haven’t thought about buying an animal print coat, you should really reconsider now), and some amazingly funky tights and boots.  Yes, this outfit is very bold, yes it is going to get you noticed, and yes, if you dare to wear it and trust that you can rock it, you WILL feel good about yourself.  (feel like you want to shop my outfit, check out the links below – the best news, the dress is almost FREE 🙂 )

This post may contain some affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

 

If you have read any of my previous posts you know I am not one to condone copying someone else’s style in its entirety, however, if you see someone wearing something and it evokes some kind of feeling inside you making you want to just rush out and buy it, there’s something to be said for trusting your gut.  Not that we get it right all the time, but a lot of the time those feelings come from us already knowing what we like and what we think we can get away with (when I say get away with, I really mean more on the side of styles or cuts than colors or patterns).

 

Being bold is not for the faint of heart, you absolutely have to be prepared to cause people to stare, people to comment (not all of which are nice things because there are people out there that are just bitchy and like to say mean things), and most definitely you are going cause people to really notice you.  I don’t just mean by looking at you, but it’s kind of weird, I have noticed when I am wearing something really sassy and noticeable, people actually tend to listen more to what I am saying.  It’s almost as if they think that suddenly I have more knowledge or understanding of a subject.  Of course, logic tells you that this is not true, but you know as well as I do that there are “power” outfits, and those outfits absolutely without a doubt make people pay attention and take you more seriously.

 

I could get into bold doesn’t have to mean trashy, but I think we’ll save that for another day.  To me, bold means confident, absolutely OK with being yourself and not afraid to show others that you feel good about yourself.  It doesn’t mean you need to have people looking at you for you to feel good about yourself, but it does mean if they do, you’re fine with it.  I am drawing that line in the sand – don’t get mixed up by needing attention versus just getting it.

 

Confidence isn’t something that everyone just inherently has, but rather something that needs to be nurtured and grown.  So why not start 2018 by taking steps to grow your confidence – because if you do, that confidence will help you in all areas of your life.

 

Be bold – be brave – be you!

 


Winter Shopping Made Simple

“Real style is never right or wrong, it’s a matter of being yourself on purpose.”

Our experience of winter is very much related to how prepared we are for it.  When I first started skiing I would only be able to do one run, then I would have to go into the lodge to warm up for a while before I could do another.  The reason being that no matter what I tried, my toes were always like ice cubes almost immediately.  It wasn’t until I discovered the heated hand and feet warmers that skiing actually became fun for me.  I could bundle up everywhere else, but no matter what I did, I couldn’t keep my extremities warm.

Winter is very much like that for me – I can tolerate just about anything so long as I’m not too cold.  I have some really cute ski jackets, but there are times when I want to wear something a little more stylish, but it’s still important for me to be warm and cozy.  I wear beanies, hats, scarves, gloves – the whole nine yards, so finding some unique, pieces are important to me.

I have ordered from some online sites before and when the merchandise arrives, I have been disappointed more than I have been happy.  I know my size and very rarely try things on when I’m shopping, so when I order online I expect their sizing to be accurate.  I have found everything that I have ordered from this site (Shein) has fit me just how I want it to, and the quality is really good.

Don’t believe me?  Give it a try – I picked out some jackets, leopard print and some accessories for you to look at, and you can also click the discount link below and shop some of their great extended Black Friday sales…don’t wait!  The deal is ending soon!

 

  1. Camel lapel long sweater coat
  2. Draped Collar Grid longline coat
  3. Hooded Fluffy Faux Fur Jacket

 

 

  1. Contrast Chevron Sweater
  2. Leopard Print Stretch Heels
  3. Short sleeved cheetah print T shirt

 

 

  1. Oversized quilted scarf
  2. Contrast tape fishnet tights
  3. Faux pearl velvet socks

 

Disclosure:  Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through or make a purchase.


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Just hanging out

 

“I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me!”

Saturdays are just for hanging out, running errands and now spring is here it is almost time for baseball season!

Today’s outfit is a perfect simple casual look with a little added leopard for that extra spice…

Just to be clear, when I say casual I don’t mean going anywhere without at least looking at least a little put together.  I think that looking put together is relative and individual – it can even just mean as little as brushing your hair and applying a lip gloss – but one thing that is for sure is that you should always check yourself in the mirror in a good light so you can make sure you can catch even the smallest detail!

My casual styles tend to be a little more dressy than some other people’s and I think that is my upbringing (I don’t think I even owned a pair of jeans until I moved over here from England!)

I like shoes or boots with at least a little bit of a heel – they always make me feel more dressy and confident.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t wear flats or sneakers when I am having a casual day.  The point is, whatever you are wearing, take a little time to make sure it flows and you can feel good about yourself when you step out of the door…!




Sunday Best Throwback

 

“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine!”

Today’s outfit is one that features one of my favorite peplum tops.  This style of top works really well when you wear something that is fitted (like this pencil skirt) – they also work with tight pants or leggings.  The point is, in order to make sure that the top doesn’t create a frumpy look, you will want to have a contrasting piece of clothing on the bottom.

I paired the top with the pencil skirt in Khaki and then to finish it off, added some fishnets and leopard print pumps.  The effect is really striking and actually quite timeless – because it is not exactly a “trend” it is an outfit that you can put together in many different ways, on many different days and not look outdated.  Finding pieces or outfits like this are key when you are considering buying clothes.

I love Sunday’s – I get the chance to dress up for Church, and then spend the rest of the day relaxing and spending time with my family.  We enjoy playing games, watching movies and basically being lazy but happy!

When the weather is warmer we like to go to parks for picnics, even take a hike in one of our beautiful canyons.  Sometimes what we think is going to be horrible or boring (according to my kids) actually ends up being one of the most memorable things we have done together as a family.   On our last vacation to Maui with the boys we got to hike, zip line as well as many other things – my boys still talk about the trip!

What makes your Sunday special…?

Casual with Leopard Accents

 

 

“Self confidence is not taught or learned; it is earned by surpassing your own limitations.”

Today’s weekend casual outfit definitely makes a statement for so many reasons:  Form fitting pants, over the knee boots, Leather Jacket and Leopard Scarf.  It’s simple, and really easy to recreate.  If you are looking for something similar but want to adapt it to your own style, awesome…here are some things you can switch out and still look equally as put together.

  1.  Switch out the scarf for something that suits you more if Leopard is not your thing.
  2. Wear a pair of knee high boots if the thigh high’s are just a little out of your comfort zone.
  3. Add a little color to the outfit – colored form fitting pants or top (especially a bold color) will look amazing.
  4. I love the look with the Leather jacket, but if you don’t own one, that’s OK, find another semi casual style jacket for an equally polished look.
  5. Switch out the color of the Leather jacket, perhaps Red, Grey or even Brown.

All of these suggestions are simple, and the purpose of me telling you these are because we all know that we ALL have different tastes, styles and things that suit our personalities.  You can absolutely gain style inspiration from others, just don’t forget  who you are and what YOUR unique style is.  If you haven’t figured that out yet, join the rest of the world, it’s a constant journey, but what I can tell you is that who you are is important and expressing who you are in an appropriate way is equally as important.

Success is achieved by many factors, but definitely how we present ourselves and the impression we create when people meet us (which can often be before we even speak), is a huge factor that lead to, or prevent us from achieving our professional, relationship and success goals.

If you stay on YOUR style path and don’t be afraid to try new things, trust your instincts and put yourself out there, I know you will find things out about yourself that you will love.

Have a beautiful Sunday – I know I will, because today is the day I get to spend with my family!

 

 

Street Style

“Never accept anything less than you deserve.  Remember, you teach people how to treat you!”

I love Friday’s because I get to dress a little more casual than the rest of the week, but I never completely dress down.  I put together today’s outfit with one of my favorite pair of faux leather leggings, a tan sweater that has Gold sparkles and to finish it off a great pair of Leopard print T-strap pumps.

Because it is more of a casual day I threw on a new Down Jacket because it was comfy and I knew I was going to need it because I was going to be in and outside from appointments.  Sometimes you just need to throw on that super warm jacket and call it good!

The Leather leggings are perfect for that polished casual look, but they are also on the edgy side, which I like when I am feeling especially sassy.  They are classy looking but they are also something that are great for comfort, because they fit really well and stretch where and when you need them to.

The Jackie O style shades got to come out today because we actually had some sunshine sneak through the Grey clouds today, if only for a while.  We do have snow forecast for later in the week that I think will clear up a lot of the smog and inversion and bring the beauty back to Utah.  Of course, if I really needed some rays, I could always take a drive to Park City or Midway, or even opt to go skiing.

If you’re looking for the perfect casual yet classy outfit, Faux Leather leggings are perfect for just about any body type.  The ones I have are great because they are actually fleece lined so they are warm and cozy as well.  If you are looking to hide your stomach or hips you can throw on a longer blouse or sweater like I did.  For a more polished look, a form fitted blouse or sweater or even a shorter styled top would look great.  The shoes are the icing on the cake and make the outfit just a little different, if you are looking for something to wear outside more, you could switch out the pumps for booties, or even sneakers (I wouldn’t recommend those for work, but for any other casual day they look amazing – especially a lot of Vince Camuto, Nine West and Steve Madden sneakers that I have seen are really stylish.)

If you don’t currently own any Leather leggings, I would recommend snagging yourself a pair – they are versatile and comfortable, and they make me feel quite sexy, perhaps they would do the same for you?!