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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…

Business like a Boss Lady

She knew the power of her mind, so she programmed it for success!

Just in case you missed my Video Podcast, I wanted to talk a little about Business Style and how it doesn’t have to be boring.

I think this was one of the most important realizations I had when I was working in Corporate America. YES – there are rules, but NO – it doesn’t mean you can’t adapt them and still be business appropriate.

I am a firm believer in that fact that you can look amazing even if you are not in a business suit or the traditional styles of old business. I’m not condoning breaking the dress code at the company you work at, but I have found that dressing appropriately for business doesn’t mean that you can’t still march to the beat of your own drum.

As women we have so much more opportunity to create our own look than men do, so why not take advantage of all the amazing offerings the world of fashion has for us?

Here are a few of my own suggestions and things I did that helped me feel great about my business style:

  • Incorporate bright colors – yes, you can add a bright colored blouse but what about really stepping it up and adding a pair of bright colored pants or a skirt. Red is always my favorite go-to, but there are so many others like green, purple, orange and yellow – or pretty much any color that is bold and stands out! Bold patterns are always find to wear too – like these cute joggers that look professional yet funky!
  • Add a little lace – it is so feminine and looks so professional as well. By adding something lace to your look, you will immediately elevate the look from ordinary to fabulous.
  • You don’t have to stick to traditional fabrics – try adding some leather or velvet. Gone are the days when wearing something less traditional is a bad thing. Leather was once thought to be edgy but now it really can be made to look feminine and classy by wearing a pretty blouse, and some stand out shoes!
  • Don’t forget the details – accessories can be the thing that elevate an otherwise ordinary outfit. By adding some cute jewelry, a scarf or carrying a bag that is fun – you will immediately draw peoples eyes to those pieces. Which means, if your business style is understated, you can make it more sassy and fun by adding some gorgeous accessories. Beware though – in this situation, less is more. Don’t over-do it…keep it classy!
  • You know my philosophy about shoes…well, it applies to business style as well. When you wear a pair of shoes that is colorful, bold or unique that’s what people more often than not will remember. I’ve talked about how someone’s shoes are usually the first thing I notice…well, I can tell you that I am not the only one 😉
  • Business IS all about looking professional – you having a jacket handy is a good thing…but that doesn’t mean that the jacket has to be ordinary. In fact, finding jackets that are unique is always fun for me – like the blazer I’m wearing here with the leather accents. Professional – YES! Unique – YES!

A lot of dressing for business in a way that still expresses your personality is really about changing your mindset. It’s about being open to exploring differentiations and creating your own interpretations of the rules.

None of the pictures I’ve posted are inappropriate business style, but can you agree that they are my unique style? I have found that I am happiest when I am not conforming to the opinions of others, but rather adapting situations to suit my style – but doing it in a way that is still social acceptable and fun! Sounds like a win/win doesn’t it?

Are you ready to explore your business style?

What does success mean to you?

Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules and build a life you’re proud to live!

There are so many definitions for success – for some it could mean being happy in whatever it is that you do.  For others it is tied to income or status, or even it could mean helping others.  Whatever your definition is, there is one thing that is absolutely vital in order to achieve your level of success.  You need to surround yourself and associate with people that think the same way as you do, because when you spend a lot of time with people, you start to emulate their characteristics – so pick the ones that think like you do, that have similar goals and most importantly, people that will lift you up rather tear you down or drain your energy!

As you know, I have changed the career that I had for 20 years, so things have definitely changed to say the least!

Here are some key things that I use in my life to stay motivated and feel successful:

  1. One thing that is a constant for me is that I get up every morning, get dressed (nicely) and go to my office. It’s not that I couldn’t work from our home office, but I have found for ME, I like the dressing up and going out part…
  2. I have found that the more passionate I am about something the more likely I am to put forth the most amount of effort into making it successful – so loving what I do every day is vital. Even when I am doing tasks I may not like, I tell myself I am doing it BECAUSE…and that because could be something as simple as “I want to feel proud of myself” or “I want to have the money to travel” etc…
  3. I am not afraid to try new things or take risks – it is sometimes easy to talk yourself out of something because it is not comfortable or scary.  You will not always get the results you want, but you certainly won’t grow unless you try new things and take risks. This is one that is very real for me right now – with the launch of my video podcast, things are definitely uncertain but HEY! I’m going with it 😉
  4. I have 100% confidence in myself that I will be successful.  If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will believe in you.  It doesn’t mean that every time you are going to get the result immediately that you want, but it does mean that sometimes you take a different path and find success in other ways.
  5. I always make sure that I take care of myself.  I have a busy life with a career, kids and volunteer work, but I always make sure that my cup is always at least partly full because if it isn’t, I can’t be there for anyone else. Self care and vacations are two very important things for me and, you can just ask anyone that knows me – especially about the vacations, I don’t ever sacrifice them!
  6. Finally, I take my relationships in business and my personal life very seriously – I am extremely grateful for everyone that I have and make myself available as much as possible to ensure that I continue to foster those relationships!

Mornings are hectic in my house as I am sure they are in yours, so taking the time on appearance, or spending time to make sure you are presenting yourself in the best way is something that can be neglected or at least not a priority.  I don’t think that I can say this enough – the better you feel about yourself, the better people are going to feel about you.  It doesn’t mean that you have to wear a ton of makeup, dress to the nines every day, but it does mean that you need to feel good about however you look.  Holding your head high when you walk into a room can change the entire dynamic of a situation…

Today’s outfit is one that makes me smile – makes me feel sassy (which I love to feel) and most importantly makes me hold my head high knowing that I feel good about myself…after all, when we love ourselves and feel good…that’s what others see!

Shop my look by clicking the links below…PS – I found the red pants and they’re ON SALE!!!

Exciting News

Some Women are lost in the fire, some Women are built from it!

On my social media recently I have talked a little about how I was planning on launching a video podcast series…well, I am excited to let you know that the wait is finally over…My pilot episode is ready. It is all about empowerment, confidence building, a little bit of style and a sprinkle of laughs. Confidence grows as we grow, I have found that the more I share what I know, what I am learning and how I feel, the stronger and more confident I become. Empowered women empower other women – why not subscribe and join this ride?

You can view my very first Video Podcast by clicking the image below…

Click this picture to watch the Podcast 🙂

I will be posting a new one each week, and they will be focused on topics like:

“How to find true confidence”
“Your age or size doesn’t define who you are”
“Know your audience”
“I’m me, you are you – feeling comfortable with who YOU are”
and many more…

My goal with this Video Podcast is to make you feel great about yourself through confidence building, strength empowerment, and some incredible fashion tips that you can use for your everyday life. I want all you amazing women out there to be the best versions of yourselves and the ultimate goal is for you to love yourselves.

Over my years as a successful business woman, mother, wife and so much more, I have searched for and found amazing confidence building styles, fashions, and frames of mind.

Why don’t you join me in my journey and start following my podcast – which is currently available on iTunes by just clicking here or searching Stylequeenie. If you don’t have access to an Apple Device, just click the link above…

Stay tuned for when you can download directly from the FM100 app or at fm100.com.

I would love to hear what you think!

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!!