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How to Organize Your Closet-Part Two

Last week I shared How To Organize Your Closet-Part One

This week I’m sharing the way I’ve kept my closet organized for over two years and it works! It’s not difficult to keep up with and once you master the easy technique, you’ll have it down packed. Having an organized closet saves you time in the morning getting ready. It means you don’t have to think about what to wear as much as you would if your clothes were everywhere. Also, it means you’ll know exactly what you own, what you need to enhance your wardrobe and what you no longer wear.

1. First, organize by category and sleeve length-these are items you’ll hang in your closet.
Categories: Shirts, cardigans, dresses and pants.
Sleeve length for shirts, cardigans and dresses-sleeveless, short sleeve, three quarter and long sleeve.
Dresses and pants can be hung up after these items or in a separate space of the closet. Put them the same way you would with the sleeve length.
2. Organize clothes by color-the rainbow. Within each color put the clothes lightest to darkest.
Example: Hang light blue to dark blue-Exception: If a light blue shirt has white lace on it, hang it before the first light blue shirt. I hang white cardigans before the cream ones and a black cardigan with white before an all-black cardigan.

Tip: When adding new clothes to your closet, follow the first two steps.
For some room savers in your closet-hang up accessories like scarfs and belts on a scarf hanger-the belts can hang on the hook of the hanger. If there is an accessory you wear with a specific item (black belt with a black dress, hang it on the hanger of the item).

Tip: Every morning when I use a hanger from the closet, I’ll put it in the front of the tank tops then after doing laundry I can grab all the hangers and hang up my clothes exactly where they need to go. This solution has helped me to not search for hangers throughout my closet.

The key to having an organized closet is to maintain it. Hanging clothes up after they get out of the laundry is super easy if you maintain your closet this way. Why? Because you’ll know exactly where everything goes. Again, you’ll know exactly what you own, what pieces you need to buy and what you no longer reach for and can donate or sell.

Do you have any closet organization tips? Please let me know in the comments! Or on social media-@stylestomakeyousmile

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What to do When Your Meal Goes Unplanned

You know those nights where you have dinner all planned out then something happens and your “planned meal” goes unplanned? The tomatoes you planned to put in the pasta aren’t good, you planned a fun night out but it got cancelled or you just weren’t in the mood for the meal you planned? Whatever your situation is, try to selvage any food you have in your kitchen to make a meal work.

Here are my tips on what to do when this happens…

Tip 1. If you’ve already begun cooking dinner and one ingredient is bad, mix in something similar. This literally happened to me tonight-hello post inspiration! I was planning on making pasta with chicken and tomatoes and found that most of the tomatoes I had bought three days ago went bad…so instead I replaced them with spinach and mixed it into the pasta. Cooking with fresh ingredients can be challenging because you don’t know how long the food will truly last-I have trouble using avocados all the time because if I don’t check on them regularly to see if they are ready to eat they can go bad pretty fast.

Tip 2. There have been many times where I will take out chicken to unthaw it and think it’s going to be ready to go the next night but turns out it’s not. When this happens my whole dinner game is thrown off. Also, the opposite has happened where I’ll forget to take the chicken out of the freezer to unthaw then I have to wait until it unthaws for dinner the next night. So what then? I’ve learned this year that it’s best to keep the freezer stocked full of food you can cook on the stove in less than twenty minutes such as turkey and chicken burgers. These are perfect substitutes when things go unplanned because you were planning on cooking anyway.

 
Tip 3. There is ALWAYS something in your kitchen you can cook for dinner. You might need to be creative-try mixing ingredients, looking online for inspiration (search for recipes where you already have most of the ingredients), cook something simple like pasta but make your own dressing. Or try my favorite, have breakfast for dinner-this can be anything from eggs on toast to an omelet with cheese and veggies. Don’t overthink the recipe and don’t get overwhelmed, as long as you’re grocery shopping on a regular basis and stocking up on food like pantry or frozen foods, you’ll always have something you can substitute when dinner goes unplanned.

Tip 4. For the nights when you thought you weren’t going to be home but your plans changed-instead of running out to the grocery store to buy food (since you were planning to spend money anyway on dinner) see what you have in the kitchen that you can cook up quickly. My mindset when this happens is that I’m not in the mood to cook because I was planning on having a fun night out, so if I can quickly cook up something in the microwave, in the oven or even make a sandwich I will. If all else fails, do what my grandmother would do and have a bag of popcorn! She always said that a bag of popcorn counts as dinner!

 
Tip 5. When you had a meal planned but you aren’t in the mood for it. This happens to me when I’ve made a big batch of something like pasta, and have eaten it for the past three days, it means it’s time to eat something else! Mood and cravings are everything when it comes to food, so ask yourself what are you REALLY in the mood for? If you can’t quiet figure it out, just make something that comes to mind or if it’s something you have in stock make that instead.

Do you have any solutions to unplanned meals? Let me know in the comments or on social media! @stylestomakeyousmile

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Motivational Monday: Replace the Words, “I don’t have time” with “I’ll make time”

There is always something that we wish we could do more of but people will tell you they don’t have time to do so. So, how you make time to do the things you love?
Replacing the words, “I don’t have time” to “I’ll make time” can help anyone get in the right mindset of making positive choices for their life today. The things you put off because you don’t have time, try to put into perspective, how long is the thing you don’t have time for really going to take? Fifteen minutes? A half hour? An hour? Once you’ve recognized how long it will take, figure out a time frame that fits into your day.

Decide today that tomorrow you will wake up and do whatever it is you claim you don’t have time for. Whether that means you need to wake up earlier, take a break from the TV or social media, do whatever it takes to get it done.

Today, you can write what it is you want to get done in your calendar for tomorrow which will hold you accountable because you’ve written it down-this is all about visualizing that what you’ve planned for tomorrow IS GOING TO HAPPEN. Visualization is a key component to realizing your goals.
Lastly, hold yourself to your promise that you will spend the time it takes do what you’ve written down. Making time for yourself is so important because it shapes who you are and who you want to become. You then go from a vision of saying this is what I keep claiming I don’t have time for, to I’m making the time to do it, and look what I just accomplished! Keep writing down things you want to get done in your calendar so you can achieve more of your goals.

What are some things you need to make time for? Please let me know in the comments!

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Lessons My Mom Taught Me

My Mom has taught me many lessons over the years, from the importance of pictures, as they always spark a remember when conversation to sayings I’ll always remember. Here are some of my favorites that I hope you can learn from.

 
1. “Only buy it if you love it!” This is her ultimate saying while clothes shopping. If you know you’ll wear a piece of clothing all the time then buy it or if you need to buy something that’s expensive but you know you’ll use it, buy it! The value of something outweighs the cost based on how much you use it! See how I relate this lesson in this post-Tips For Your Next Clothes Shopping Trip

2. How to SAVE MONEY! My Mom received the “Bank of Mom” title from my Sister when we were growing up because Mom would always save money for big projects-the house maintenance, a vacation, college education, etc. This lesson stuck with me and it is how I was able to buy my first car. It’s not always fun saving money vs. buying things immediately but the tradeoff is when you finally purchase the thing you’ve saved for, which makes it worth it in the end.

3. “Don’t let WANT be your middle name”- I can hear her saying this to me when I was younger. She is right, there needs to be a clear understanding of want vs. need in life. And if it’s something you want that’s expensive, you’ll need to save money for it, then it will be worth it in the end because you’ll always remember how much you paid for it!

4. How to have fun and laugh! My Mom always has fun wherever she goes-out to dinner, having a party at home with friends and family, in the car jamming out to her favorite song-she once told me she waited in the car until a song was over and I TOTALLY do this too! Haha. We can always find something to laugh about no matter the situation.

5. How to do things by yourself-My Mom taught me it’s okay to do things alone because then you can do whatever you want when you want. See this post-Learning How to go to Events Alone & Painting Tips

6. How to shop for clothes-Twice a year we’d go on a major clothing spree. We’d be at the mall from the time it opened until the time it closed! We’d meet my Dad for dinner and he’d ask if we’d had good luck finding clothes and it was always as YES! She’d teach me about what looks good and flatters my figure, etc. and it’s how I’m able to share all the clothes shopping tips on my blog!

7. A love for dance-She passed along her love of dance to me, as she’s danced for many years and I’ve been dancing since I was a baby. My senior year of high school we ended my dancing journey with a jazz duet where we did the kick line at the end of the dance and everyone clapped for us. We laughed and hugged at the end of the dance. *I also got to do a dance with my Dad my senior year! She’s the reason why I love the ballet and Broadway shows.

8. The importance of family-Whenever my family gets together it’s always a good time! We all laugh over past memories and find anything in the present to talk about that’s funny. We give each other advice and always make time to see each other on the holidays. And, if we go out to dinner, we are ALWAYS the last ones in the restaurant because we like to talk! I remember one specific night when I was younger where we stayed at the restaurant until it closed and said goodbye to the workers as they headed home while we just stood in the parking lot talking all night!

9. Pictures are everything-On Christmas Eve, my Mom’s side of the family gets together and it’s a tradition to take pictures of each family. And when I say pictures, I mean, the ENTIRE FAMILY TAKES PICTURES AT THE SAME TIME-SO YOU NEVER KNOW WHERE TO LOOK! Ha! My Mom always has pictures printed and put into albums so you can always look back at them. In my parent’s home there is a wall with shelves dedicated to family albums. *My Dad always loved taking videos and it’s also fun to watch them and see how everyone’s grown.

10. “Enjoy the age you are because you’ll never be it again”-Oh how true this statement is! You only live once, so enjoy everything that each year brings you! It’s taught me not to worry about getting old but to focus on the age you are and making the most of your years.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! Love you!

What are the lessons your Mom taught you throughout your life? Share with me in the comments or on social media-Instagram-@stylestomakeyousmile or Facebook Page-Styles to Make You Smile

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Lessons I’ve Learned at 31

This weekend I made a list of the lessons life has taught me at age 31 and I thought I’d share some of them with you all. These lessons I’ve learned have helped me grow into the person I am. I hope they help you grow into the person you want to be no matter what age you are. ❤

Take a break when you need to. Whether it’s from work, school, and your busy schedule or from someone you love. Your body will tell you when you need one-physically or if you’re like me, your mind will be saying, I need a day off to be left alone. When you take that time for yourself, make sure you do things you enjoy to help you recharge.
Your body will change physically. When I was in my late 20’s I found my first gray hair and I now have just a few more 😉 Haha. I’ve always loved to sleep but now I’ve realized getting sleep helps me to function during the day. Having a routine where I go to sleep around the same time each night helps. Certain foods I used to eat I can’t eat anymore because they upset my digestive system, instead find the foods that give you energy.

Write things down as soon as you think of them. This also goes for doing things as soon as you think of them or you may forget until later. Stopping what you’re currently doing to do what you’re thinking of is okay because you’ll remember to go back to what you were doing originally.

It’s okay to do things alone. Just like I learned to go to events alone, see in this post-Learning How to go to Events Alone & Painting Tips Being alone in public is okay. I love going for walks at the park by myself so I can think or not think about anything and just enjoy being outside. I’ve also learned to go to cafes alone so that I can blog.

You’ve probably faced dealing with a friend or family member dying of a disease or sudden death, whether they’ve lived a long life or were a child. Unfortunately, I’ve seen many people I love pass away. The lesson I learned from this is to do what you love before your life is over. The person who passed would be so proud of you for it. Life is too short not live how you want, so if you want to be doing something, go out and make it happen however you can. I know that money can hold people back from their dreams but find small ways to start and go from there.

Everyone in your life is struggling with a battle you may not know anything about until or IF they decide to share. And if they share their struggles it may make you realize why they act the way they do. Things always make sense when you know more information about a person but until you do, don’t judge them, just remind yourself that they may be struggling with something and ask if you can help in any way even if it’s just to talk.

Learning to deal with people who don’t like me has taken most of twenties to deal with. It wasn’t until I found the right people who liked me and appreciated me that I realized who matters. Don’t ever hold yourself back from being great just because someone doesn’t like you or tells you aren’t good enough to do something. DO IT ANYWAY.
Listen to advice. I have always loved reading people’s stories in books and listening to them online/TV. Everyone is on a journey and it may be similar to yours. Their advice may make you realize things about yourself that you need to change (even if someone close to you has been telling you the advice for years, sometimes if you hear it from someone else’s perspective it will click with you).

Confidence is something that I’m working on every single day. I’ve learned that it comes with believing the positive advice/things people say about you, finding a great mentor such as a friend/family member/therapist/coworker and most importantly believing in yourself. Confidence is NOT something that can be forced onto someone, so as much as you’re seeing someone else struggling with confidence, you can give them advice but know that they have to make the choice to be confident on their own.

Travel and go to as many events as possible. Getting out of the house is important and it’s FUN to do new things. Seeing how other people live is important and can put things in your life into perspective. You may even make new friends from going to new places simply because you’re interested in the things they are.

Decide what’s important for your life. People may not agree with your choices or understand what makes you happy but that’s okay.

Put your all into the things and people you love. Starting my blog has given me something to look forward to every day, I believe everyone needs this. Everyone needs people who care about them, so find the ones who do and treat them well.

HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE. Just like I’ve talked about in my blog post, Motivational Monday: Live the Life You Want  you have to live the life you want to live and not listen to judgement, only positivity. Focus on what makes you happy because life’s too short not to.

What are some things you’ve learned at your current age? Please let me know in the comments! ❤

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What I’ve Learned in One Month of Blogging

MM-Happiness vs. Passion

I can’t believe it’s already been a month since I’ve launched my blog. I thought I’d share what I did before I started my blog, what I’ve learned and things I’m still working on. If you didn’t do the things I did before I started my blog, you can start now!

Before I began my blog:
I researched A LOT! I searched everything I could think of about blogging on YouTube; what equipment to use, what is SEO, and a bloggers life to name a few. I would watch videos in the mornings before work. I listened to two Podcasts: The Influencer Podcast and The Becoming Fearless Podcast after work while cooking and doing dishes. I watched Live Instagram videos after work and during lunch and I watched free webinars on the weekends and took notes. I did all of this because I wanted to know how others were so successful at blogging and how I can be too.
I tried the WordPress website for free-I used the WordPress domain before purchasing my domain. This was so I could get used to using the site before I launched it to the world. Having a lot of things in place before launching benefited me, so that I could then work on other things the day of launching-like my Facebook page. I had my picture taken, a Welcome page, a background picture and two posts written and published beforehand.

I began an Instagram account two months prior to launching my blog (I heard this tip from more than one influencer in the blogging world). This helped determine if I enjoyed posting pictures every day AND if I liked the public to see what I was posting (prior to this I’ve never had any public accounts).

Things I’ve learned:
I love going to cafés just to get posts written for my blog (and buy a smoothie). I’ve found that I can zone into my work and work quickly (the pressure of getting work done before the café closes helps to work fast, even if I’m there for three hours, I treat it like a countdown). I also love working from home so I can cast YouTube music videos on my TV while writing my blog posts.
The only person who will promote yourself the most is you, so if you publish a post on your blog, promote it to your social channels so they can view it.

Things I’m still working on:
Creating an editorial calendar and sticking to it. I’ve tried to plan with a physical calendar and with an excel spreadsheet. Neither of these have stuck with me, yet. I feel like I need something to see visually every day that is inspiring. I’ve seen the idea of a white out board, does this work for anyone else?

Along with the editorial calendar comes with making sure every post is ready for the week-this is important if you have a very busy personal life or if some weeks are busier than others-planning is key! Use the calendar to plan a month’s worth of blog posts before this I would just determine in my mind what I would write about and then write and schedule it on the weekends.

Managing social channels-For now I have Facebook and Instagram and I’ve heard influencers say to work mainly in the channels you’re interested in. But one of the main reasons I picked WordPress as my blogging platform is to engage with the community, so I also have to be following, commenting and liking posts. I also just joined Style Collective so I have to keep up with those girls too. While this sounds like a lot, I really do love engaging with others in the blogging community. It’s finding the time to properly engage with everyone that I need to balance-I do most of this on my free weekends. Anyone have any free tips on this?
Diving into new social channels can be a little intimidating but I know that I want to try Pintrest because of all the beautiful inspiration!

 

I’d love to read in the comments what you did before you started your blog, what you learned and are still working on.

How To Organize Your Closet-Part One

When I was growing up I would organize my closet twice a year, once at the end of each summer to get ready for new fall/winter clothes and at the beginning of the spring for summer clothes. Before going shopping, I would go through everything from last year’s previous season styles and put away the opposites seasons clothes.

Here’s a checklist of how to organize your closet:

Go through your closet-Really look at the pieces in your closet. Figure out what it is you are and are not wearing and why. Once you do this, you’ll realize what you have in your closet and what you need to buy. Do you need more cardigans, pants, or shoes? Knowing what you have and need are half the battle when it comes to shopping.

Try It On-Just like you would try on clothes in a store, try on anything you are unsure of fitting. This is key for any pieces you have not worn in a while. Once you have it on, ask yourself if the item still fits, if so, are you still going to wear it this season? If the answer is yes, great! If no, make a donate pile and if it’s a maybe, then keep until after you’re done shopping. Remember those “maybe” items while shopping, so you can fit them into your new wardrobe.

Make Piles-Once you’re done trying on clothes, make three piles, yes, donate, maybe. Of course, throw away any items with holes, stains, rips, dirty underwear or socks. Put any donate items in a bag or bin. Also, since the seasons are changing, store the previous season’s clothes into a large bin. Inside the bin, store like items together. This will create ease when the seasons change and you have to take everything out again. This cuts down on closet clutter, out of sight out of mind. If you have room in your closet or another closet available, put any larger seasonable items, such as winter jackets, to the back of your closet or in another room. This will lessen the space for this season’s wardrobe.

Donate-Anything I grew out of as a child I donated. When my cousins were younger, a lot of my clothes went to them, which was a great way to keep cute outfits in the family! Today, I offer my friends and family clothes I no longer wear and they do the same with theirs. My friends and I even make it fun by bringing the items we want to give away to a girl’s night and show the clothes after dinner. I also donate to charities such as the Rescue Mission and Salvation Army. Back home we had a store called The Pink Door, which is where a majority of my items went. Donating clothes as a child was a great lesson to give back to others and it’s still something I continue to do and would encourage anyone to do the same. My rule for donating-if you haven’t worn it in two years, donate it!

Overall, the main point of organizing your closet is for you to keep track of what you have and what you need. Go through your closet twice a year and be honest with yourself about what you want to stay vs. donate. If you feel like you are stock piling items you never wear, donate them. If you’re struggling with buying too many clothes, try reading this article on The Art of Browsing Clothing Stores I hope these tips help to reduce clutter in your closet and helps you have a more organized closet in the future ❤

Stay tuned for Part Two of How to Organize Your Closet where I’ll share the ultimate way to organize inside your closet. It’s a fool proof way that I’ve used for over two years and I can’t wait to share with you all!

What are your tips for organizing your closet? How do you keep it fresh every season?

My Favorite Homemade Smoothies

Over the past two years I’ve found a LOVE for making homemade smoothies. I make them either on my way out the door before work, during the late afternoons on the weekends or before a road trip so I won’t be hungry on the road.
The main ingredients I use are:

Cacao powder, banana, mixed berries, strawberries, almond milk as a base, avocado for creaminess, ice, chia seeds, flax seeds, basil, spinach and peanut butter.

The key to any smoothie is to have a liquid base (ice or milk), veggie or fruit and something to make it thick like an avocado or banana. Adding the chia/flax seeds to any smoothie can help for digestive health.
My indulgent smoothie-Almond milk, cacao powder, banana, strawberries and peanut butter. Note-I only use a few strawberries as too many can overpower the entire smoothie.
My work smoothie-Almond milk, mixed berries, banana, basil and chia/flax seeds.
Others-Ice, spinach, avocado, berries and basil.

Would you try any of these smoothies? What are your favorite homemade smoothies? Share in the comments or on social media! @stylestomakeyousmile –Facebook Page & Instagram

Motivational Monday: Embracing the Path you’re on

On my Facebook Page-Styles To Make You Smile, I’ve shared a video of actress Lisa Kudrow discussing her life story of how she was hired to work on the TV show Frasier but then was fired and after many auditions landed Friends. What I learned from her story is that you should always keep going no matter what path you’re on. She got up every single day, continuing to go to auditions which means she stayed on the path of being an actress and not giving up because it’s what she loved doing.

It can be easy to believe that the path you see for yourself is the only one that should work out. But sometimes receiving disappointments along your journey can be right for you, but it’s all about how you look at it. If you keep going and continuing to do things that make yourself happy then you will eventually find yourself doing what you love. In the end, Lisa realized that it was a good thing she’d gotten fired from Frasier otherwise she’d never be on Friends. So, the next time something doesn’t work out, keep on facing the day to strive for something new. Eventually, you’ll find where you’re meant to be. ❤