April 22, 2015

I Don't Want to Bore You

H&M Dress | H&M Blazer | Zara Shoes | Love,Cortnie Clutch

...but yes, it's another boring color palette  black, heather grey, and a dash of blue. Can I at least get credit for the blue? "No brainer" outfits are just about all I can do right now because, to be honest, my mind isn't really here this week. I don't mean I'm going crazy or anything (although, I'm sure that's debatable at times), but truth be told, I'm so ready for a vacation. Lucky for me, I have one coming up soon! Can. Not. Wait.

By the way, Stevie Wonder's "Knocks Me Off My Feet" has been in my head for weeks and was totally the inspiration for the title of this post. #SorryNotSorry

April 17, 2015

Sometimes, Selfies

I don't take selfies often, but stick me in some traffic with decent lighting... don't mind if I do.

The problem with me and selfies is that either it takes 100 shots to get the perfect "one" or I'm just way too analytical... or perhaps both. I'm sure that I've taken tons of selfies that were just fine, but one hair out of place might have caused me to delete them. The one negative aspect prevents me from seeing the "big picture." Don't be like me, folks. Just post the selfie. It's not that serious.

For me, my internal struggle with selfies is just an examples of a struggle that many of us have with positive vs. negative thinking.

If I'm to be completely honest, I'm not a full-time optimist. Sometimes it takes a little more effort for me to see the good in everyone, everything, and every situation. I wouldn’t say that I’m a pessimist either, but I’m definitely a realist; and in reality, bad things happen. We get embarrassed, things stop working, short cuts turn into obstacle courses, and the list goes on. Being the planner that I am, I try to prepare myself for the worst. As I get older, I’m realizing, though, how stressful it can be to live every day thinking about all of the negative things that might happen instead of spending more time enjoying the positive. 

When I came to terms with my innate “Debbie Downer” tendencies, I started to do some research on the positive vs. negative thinking and came across information that provided insightful relief in that it legitimized my negative thinking without encouraging it. 

Negative thoughts actually serve a purpose. They remind us to be aware and cautious of situations we should avoid and promote healthy competition for successful outcomes. However, it’s much healthier to have a balance of positive and negative in our minds to avoid unnecessary stress.

If you’re not naturally a super optimistic positive thinker, try some simple techniques to be more mindful of your thoughts and think more positively:

(1) Live each moment. 
Sometimes we can get so caught up in thinking about the possibilities of the negative things that can happen next instead of focusing on the positive things that are happening right now. Just enjoy the moment. Most likely, the negative things that could happen won't happen if you don't dwell on them.

(2) Verbally express gratitude. 
Life can go by so quickly that it causes us to take things for granted, even though not intentionally. It can cause us to get into the habit of disregarding the things we're most thankful for. Tell the people you care about, work with, or inspire you regularly how much you appreciate them, and always remember to give thanks in prayer.

(3) Look at the big picture. 
I guarantee you that there is more to think positively about than negatively; that's just the beautiful thing about life. Don't miss the forest for the trees. Try looking at it from a different angle or take a few steps back to get a wider shot. I guarantee, you'll either like what you see or figure out what you can do to improve the picture.

Happy selfie-taking, people!

April 15, 2015


I.N.C. Shirt, Forever 21 Skirt | Zara Bag | TopShop Shoes via ASOS

This skirt has been faithful to me: from my slimmer days, to my pregnancy days, to my not so slim days. It's great to have a few items that I can count on through all of life's ups and downs.

April 13, 2015


Forever 21 Tee | Express Skirt | Forever 21 Shoes | Sole Society Bag

This is my way of doing color lately it seems – a small injection with accessories. Trying to ease into brightening things up for spring. Not sure what I'm afraid of. I've gone through phases of color obsession in the past, but looking back, I feel like I went about it in a cheesy way that didn't truly express my personal style – perhaps because I didn't know what it was yet. Anyway, maybe next month I'll do some full blown color, but right now I'm OK with just getting my feet wet.

April 10, 2015

Live Less Out of Habit and More Out of Intent

Intent > Habit
I’ve been seeing the quote, "Live less out of habit and more out of intent," floating around on social media for a while now. I must have scrolled passed it three or four times (you know, out of habit) before actually, intentionally absorbing the message and allowing it to inspire me to make some life changes. It’s amazing how being intentional versus habitual can be applied to so many areas of life if seeking fulfillment and achieving better results are the goals.

We’ve all done it at some point in our careers – gotten so caught up in the habit of completing tasks and sticking to plans we “know” work until we get derailed. One day, the routine just stops producing the right results. Or, yes, you’re meeting expectations, but never exceeding them. Now you’re functioning in your role at a level where anyone could do what you’re doing, or worse, do it better. What now? You’re forced to make a change, and fast, before anyone else (client, boss, or coworker) notices.

Performing above mediocrity can be avoided every day on the job by taking a moment to assess the different possible approaches for the assignment at hand and intentionally making the choice that you feel will knock it out of the park rather than just sticking to how you “always do it.” Each situation is different. Sometimes the right choice is what will get the job faster; sometimes it’s spending a little bit more time on the thought process; other times it’s enlisting help or a fresh perspective; quite often, it’s all of the above. The point is to be intentional; make a decision that you can stand by because you’ll be better able to explain the thought process behind it and own it.

As an overtime wife and mom, all-the-time daughter and friend, and sometimes everything else to everyone else, it’s easy for me to slip into a routine that barely scrapes the surface of each relational need. In today’s fast-paced world, we can get caught up in trying to be all things to all men all the time, not realizing that when it comes to relationships, quality over quantity is almost always the winning strategy.

I’ve grown to appreciate making memories with the people I care about versus sticking to predictable relationship habits that are too easily taken for granted. Routines are necessary when it comes to making sure every person gets attention, but being intentional about engaging with each person gives them the attentiveness they really deserve.  

Our lives can get to the point where we are solely governed by habits and routine that we forget why we’re doing any of what we do in the first place. Whether we want to adopt a hobby, take a vacation, write a book, or start a new career or business, we make the excuse that our habitual obligations take priority, preventing us from taking action outside of the norm. In other words, habits created by the life we live for the super-ego (what pleases others or society) convince us that the life we want to live for ourselves to truly enjoy what we’re doing needs to take a back seat. This is a myth that can be dispelled by simply making intentional decisions.

There are three types of people: those who make this happen, those who watch what happens, and those who wonder what happened. (I've heard this said a million times, but it recently hit home during a webinar.) In essence, the people who make things happen have only one real advantage over the watchers and the wonderers: they are intentional about what they are doing. They are paying attention and getting hands-on involved with their realities. That’s what real living is – living less out of habit and more out of intent.

April 1, 2015

Balancing Act

H&M Shirt | H&M Skirt | Zara Shoes | Rebecca Minkoff Bag

Is it just me, or is life getting busier by the minute? Each time I check something off of my list, four more items get added to it. That goes for work, home, church, personal, and the list of lists goes on. No complaints, though I like being busy. I'm just constantly searching for an efficient way to balance it all to get everything done and done well. Ideas welcome.