Motivational Monday: I believe… I know…

I believe in wearing white after Labor Day.

I know being the best version of yourself means you’re happy.

I believe to be happy you must spend time with yourself to learn what you enjoy and listen to what you want and don’t want anymore.

I know it’s important to take yourself on vacation and treat yourself with good food, shopping and hotel. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

I believe you should always continue to learn, it’s how you’ll become successful. I also believe in mentors-I’d never be as successful as I am without them.

I know that changing yourself is always best.

I know you learn the most about yourself when you’re alone and try new things.

I believe when given a challenge you must take it and not complain, there’s a reason the person giving you the challenge believes you can do it, it’s because they believe in you.

I know that if you are tired of being the person you used to be that you’ll find a way to change yourself. Unhappiness gets old. And when you tell yourself you don’t want to be sad anymore, you’ll do what you can to change.

I believe you need to do what’s best for you.

I know confidence comes with a combination of standing up for yourself and finding the right people to guide you.

I know spending time with loved one’s is one of the most important things in this world because you don’t know when anyone’s time is done.

I believe that death can give you a push to make you realize your dreams. It reminds you how very little time we all have here.

What are some things you believe and know in life? Please share them with me in the comments below or on social media, at @stylestomakeyousmile

The Style Collective Conference

Joining the Sisterhood of Style Collective has been one of the best decisions I’ve made since starting my blog. Read more HERE on why I joined Style Collective. As soon as I found out Annie, the owner of SC was holding a conference during New York Fashion Week I knew I had to go!

Style Collective has the best community! Right away after joining I met bloggers who I follow, support and talk to weekly. This attributed to wanting to go to the conference because I knew I’d meet more like them and even met a few during conference! It was amazing to be in a room full of women who all have the same likeminded values and goals for their blogs. Meeting the women from SC who I’ve been following on social media was a big deal because these women were exactly who they portray themselves to be online. They were friendly, nice and I got to know them on a personal level.

SCCon1

Being able to hear from speakers who are in the industry is an incredible bonus! Annie had a variety of women speak from influencers, life coaches and an author. These people are here for you to learn from and ask advice. None of the speakers held back on the truth about the blogging industry, they shared the ups and downs. One of the speakers I was dying to meet was Cara Alwill. She’s the author of Like She Owns the Place and has written seven other books, plus has a podcast-Style Your Mind. I’m a huge fan of hers because she’s honest and authentic.

I received a shout out during the opening of the conference from Annie which transferred onto her podcast, The Becoming Fearless podcast. This shows just how close Annie and I were before meeting in person. Annie is amazing in the way she connects with everyone in SC because she truly cares about you and your blog/business.

AnnieAndI

There was a contest during the conference for posting pictures from the day and I won a beautiful blue Mon Amie watch! I love the color, the diamonds and that it’s iridescent. Also, we were provided an amazing swag bag of goodies!! We received everything from jewelry, makeup and skincare products from various vendors.

We received a workbook to write in during the conference. Inside were lined pages to write notes in and a quiz to help you determine the purpose behind your blog. I had written about five pages of notes, jotting down things that I wanted to remember that the speakers said, quotes and important websites to reference.

SCWorkbook

Throughout the day we were able to get our hair and makeup done by Be Glammed. They also gave everyone a gift certificate to use at their stores.

SCCon

At the end of the conference, VIP members were to write a letter to themselves that Annie would mail to us. I literally sat in my chair frozen because I was so emotional. I thought to myself, I NEVER WANT TO FORGET THIS MOMENT. This moment of being happy and doing something for myself that was completely out of my comfort zone-planning a trip to NYC and navigating the city, meeting new bloggers (some I’d been following online for a few months and it was surreal to meet them in person, like they actually exist!), meeting Annie and the speakers and overall having a wonderful NEW experience. I learned in that moment that it feels AMAZING to allow yourself to be apart of new experiences. Yes, it can be scary to put yourself out there, but I met incredible women because I went to conference, so you see the outcome outweighs the stress of going. It can be so easy to freak yourself out by telling yourself all the reasons you shouldn’t do something, but if you just do it I guarantee it will be worth it in the end.

Will you be joining the SC Sisterhood ? I hope to see you at the next conference! Follow me online @stylestomakeyousmile & let me know if you’re an SC Sister and I’ll connect with you 😊

Motivational Monday: Don’t Compare, Be Inspired

Do you ever look at what someone else has and think, I wish I had that? Or, I wish I made that amount of money or had that car or that job or lifestyle in general? No matter what anyone else has, YOU can have a great life, too. It may not be exactly what the other person has, but you must work for what you want out of this life.

The simple fact of why no one should compare themselves to anyone is because no one is you. Even if someone else has had the same experience as you, that does not mean they are YOU. Every single person is on a different path than you. Even if someone else did the exact same things as you, that person still speaks and thinks differently.

You never REALLY know what the person you compare yourself to is really going through-their struggles, stress, etc. What that person’s life looks like to you or the outside world may be completely different behind closed doors.
Build your own life. Do things that make you happy and proud because you only get ONE life. Instead of comparing yourself to this person, ask them how they became successful-showing that you admire someone else’s hard work can be very humbling.

Tip: One of the things I love doing is following my favorite influencers on social media-specifically Instagram because they share SO MUCH about their life! They share everything from what they eat, workouts, other influencers/friends they love, to what they did to make themselves successful-even if it’s just changing their mindset.

No one wakes up one day and is successful, it takes time. We must realize that we are all on our own journey and be inspired by others to do the best we can ❤

Happy Monday! Follow me on IG & Facebook at @stylestomakeyousmile

Beauty Giveaway on Instagram

Hi Everyone!

I am partnering with Tiffany Williams-skincare specialist of Naturally Lovely Kinks, to giveaway her top sellers. You will receive a hair and body gift basket that includes: Nourishing Lavender Chamomile Hair Spray

Natures Seduction Body Lotion

Apple Turmeric Radiance Scrub

Hair Pudding Rosemary Delight and Knot Free-Knot Today-Knot Ever Hair Conditioner.

Naturally Lovely Kinks provides 100% organic skin and haircare products. I love that the products are handmade, organic, vegan and rich in vitamins. I’ve tried the Natures Seduction Body Lotion and it provides hydration all day! Tiffany is an incrediblely motivated woman who inspires everyone to be positive and be themselves. Check out more of her products on her site:

http://www.naturallylovelykinks.com

To participate:

Follow @StylesToMakeYouSmile & @NaturallyLovelyKinks on Instagram

Like the post on NLK page

Tag one friend, you can tag more than one person for multiple entries.

Giveaway for US residents only.

This giveaway is not affiliated with Instagram in any way.

Winner will be announced on NLK IG page on 6/23 at 4pm EST

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

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

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