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Thank Goodness for Warm Jackets

Life was always a matter of waiting for the right moment to act

I don’t know if I’ve been feeling the cold more since I came back from my birthday trip, or it’s just been A LOT colder, but I can tell you, taking pictures has been pretty painful 🙁 . It probably doesn’t help that my whole family, including me, has been sick all week with the flu.

It seems like we get moments of optimism where the sun shines, it gets up above 50 degrees and I start craving riding my mountain bike again. Of course, the foothills are still covered in snow, so I realize that it won’t be around the corner, but I do at least get hope. Then, just like this week, it snows, snows again and gets to temperatures in single digits or the teens.

Are you anything like me where you have a hard time thinking about style and fashion when you’re really cold? I find myself just wanted to wrap up in thermals and not leave the house (if only that were possible). Unfortunately, because it isn’t possible, I find myself searching my closet trying to come up with ways to create looks that make me happy while at the same time trying to not freeze to death – LOL.

A good jacket definitely helps, but when the wind is blowing hard and you have to stand outside for more than 5 minutes, the thickness of your pants and the amount of skin you are showing becomes more and more important. I know when I am going somewhere like skiing or sledding I am always really prepared but I find myself not quite so prepared for day to day activities.

This outfit that I’m wearing was perfect for a workday, but not so much for standing outside taking pictures – which of course I had to do because the lighting was just right.

I am linking the details of my outfit (the top is sold out but I have linked some similar), and the jacket is ON SALE so such a great deal. Click the links below to shop any of the pieces of my outfit.

Plans for the weekend: Sleep, clean, shop (ordering delivery from Costco because I hate going there at the weekend), and relax.

What do you have planned?

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?

Color is Important

Why live as one single color of crayon when you can live as the whole box and color the whole world!

When we pick out the clothes we are going to wear finding a color we like is not enough. Knowing that certain colors suit you more than others is something to keep in your back pocket when shopping and putting together an outfit.

There are a lot of things that play into whether a color suits you or not…such as: skin tone, hair color, eye color, attitude (yes, I said attitude – if you are sassy and confident you are much more likely to feel comfortable in a bold, bright red than if you are shy and withdrawn), and even our mood. Of course we are always drawn to colors we love, and I am definitely no exception. When I find a style in a color that I love, I always hold it up against my face before I even try it on to see what it makes me feel like. On a good day I am pretty certain that I love it and that it will look good on me, but on a bad day (a day when I am not sure of my emotions, how I am feeling or if something else is affecting me), that’s when I seek an outside opinion.

There are definitely times of the year that some colors are more available than others…for example this mustard colored sweater. Mustard is a color that is very often associated with fall or autumn, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be worn at other times. In fact, I kind of love wearing colors that you don’t see a lot of people wearing at certain times of the year. Because the color of my sweater is not as prevalent during winter months, that’s when I am choosing to wear it – you know the whole “standing out” thing 😉

Going back to colors being more readily available at certain times of the year, you can guarantee that each season fashions are going to be put out in certain colors that they have picked for some reason. But here’s the important thing to remember…just because a color is “in style” doesn’t mean you have to wear it. If your skin tone works really well with a cool red but the season’s color is an orange red, that doesn’t mean that you suddenly have to start wearing it. I believe that the season’s styles, colors and textures are just a guideline – they are only there to enhance what we already know we want to wear.

For those of you out there that only love to wear black or grey, go on and express yourself. The only caveat I would offer is that sometimes dark colors like black and grey can make you look pale and withdrawn. If you feel most comfortable in those colors because that’s your style, I get it. For those of you that do it because you are afraid to express yourself or you aren’t sure what other colors might suit you – then I would recommend stepping out of your comfort zone and trying a new color each week. Who knows, you might actually find that you love color!

Remember, our confidence grows when we are not afraid to step outside our comfort zone and try something new!

Shop some of my top color picks by clicking the links below…

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!

Turn Weakness into Strength

Women are never stronger than when they arm themselves with their weaknesses!

As I think back to my childhood I realize that there were so many times that people told me negative things which caused me to feel bad or insecure with myself. In fact, one of the things that I was told when I was growing up by “mean girls” was that I had a huge chin and that it made me look like a witch. I’ll admit that there were some times where I wasn’t sure what they were saying was true or not, and it definitely made me self conscious.

It took me a few years to realize that those that told me those things were probably saying it because they felt insecure or less than confident about themselves. I had a choice at that time to either let what they told me become what I believed and repeated to myself, or to not let it get to me. I was a teenager when it happened, and it was one of the must vulnerable times in my life. My choice was to embrace my features, enjoy who I was and not only carry on but to hold my head up and be proud! I looked at my family and realized that my “strong” chin – which is what I choose to call it – came from my Grandad and he was an AMAZING man! How could I possibly feel bad about it?

As I think back to that time in my life I realize that it was a turning point – it was the time that I made a decision to not let others determine how I feel about myself. It was at that time I promised myself that I would always stand up for myself and be bold! If I could see the people that said mean things about me, I would want to thank them – because if they had not said those things, I wouldn’t have become the strong, determined, powerful and fulfilled woman that I am.

There are definitely people in this life that are going to try and make you feel bad about yourself, who you are, what you look like and very often undermine what you are capable of. I can promise you that NO ONE can make you feel anything. It is your choice to believe what people say or think about you or not.

I have found at times in my life that some people I thought were my friends chose to root against me, to sabotage my success, and quite often be two-faced and almost a wolf in sheep’s clothing. As I become older and more mature I realize that I have no control over how people act or how they think, but I do have control over how it affects me. When someone points out a weakness of mine or roots against me, I choose to not focus on that but rather on being the best me that I can be!

What I have also found is that for all the negativity out there…there is still so much positivity. I choose to focus on that.

Whatever we focus on we end up with more of – so why not think the best about yourself, your talents, your blessings…see what happens!

Winter Days

The best thing you can do is master the chaos in you. You are not thrown into the fire, you are the FIRE!

One thing I have written about quite a bit on my blog is how much I really don’t like the cold, but what I wanted to talk about today is how I have learned to embrace winter and what tricks I have used to do that.

Let me start by telling you a story about why cold hasn’t been my favorite thing. As you know, I grew up in England and my family lived there until 20 years ago when we moved here. Our home in England was middle class and pretty big for the UK. We were one of the first people I knew to get a dishwasher, and I had my own en-suite bathroom (pretty rare for England). We didn’t get snow like we do here in Utah in the winter, however, as you know, there was PLENTY of rain.

One of the things about damp climates is that the cold cuts right to the bone, and it is hard to plan for that cold because it is so damp. There was no central air in our home, in fact there were no homes that I knew of that did have central air…we all had radiators in each room to heat them. The thing about radiators is that it takes a while and it never quite feels like it’s really warm, again because they are filled with water and create damp heat. In my room I remember frost being on the INSIDE of the window pretty much every morning that I woke up and I had a heated blanket under my fitted sheet on my bed so that my bed wasn’t cold at bedtime.

My memories of damp and cold soggy days with little to no sunshine in England definitely catalyzed my disdain for cold…but I am learning to embrace it and even love it to some degree. So what’s my secret…?

  1. I search for something that I can love about each and every day that is cold. For example, on a sunny day with blue skies, I take time to appreciate and love the beauty of the mountains and the skies. If it is a grey day I appreciate the fact that I can light the fire and spend time cozy inside.
  2. I stay active. During winter months it is easy to become sedentary and not do too much, so I make sure that I am still actively working out and eating healthy because it makes me appreciate my health.
  3. I make sure that I am prepared. It is still important for me to look good even in the winter but there are so many ways to do it AND make sure that you are adequately prepared so that your hands, feet, head, ears and body are not cold. There are so many cute winter clothes now that there is never a reason to be cold or unprepared when venturing outside.
  4. Taking time to cook – when I get home from work I often don’t want to go out again, so I plan ahead and make sure I have all the ingredients I want to make a great family meal. I have found that my cooking is much more adventurous during colder months because I do it so much more often.
  5. I like to plan time to go somewhere a little warmer. Beaches are my favorite, but even a few hours south of us the weather becomes much nicer and it is a trip just about anyone can take.
  6. I choose to have fun and be silly. I have found that the more I focus o the negativity of how cold it is, the more cold it seems to feel. I choose to focus on the positivity and what I can appreciate about it.

Mondays can be hard, especially cold Mondays – but what if you thought of it as just another day instead of a cold Monday?

Choosing how to experience something is the key to mastering inner peace. I don’t know about you, but inner peace sounds pretty good right about now!

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!!

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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