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

Motivational Monday: Why Small Wins are Important

A small win is an accomplishment that can be done every day. When we accomplish something we can then feel good about what we got done that day. These wins can be as simple as cleaning your home, checking off your to do list or finishing a project. It can even be as simple as creating a new routine so that way the thing you do-like reading a chapter out of a book becomes part of your nightly routine.

Once you’ve achieved your accomplishment celebrate it! It will feel good and will make you want to be more productive throughout the week!

How do you celebrate small wins? And what are your small wins?

Regular Vs. Petite Clothes-Do you know the difference?

Main differences- Length and fit in the hemlines, sleeves, necklines, shoulders, waistlines, etc. All of these are a few inches shorter in the petite than in the regular sizes. If a brand has both petite and regular and you’re on the fence about  an item try them both on and see what you feel comfortable wearing-recognize what you like about one fit or the other. If you’re unsure ask an associate or take a picture to see the differences.

I recently tried on a dress at LOFT in a regular size small and I loved the length of the dress and sleeves. But I wanted to see how the petite would look on. The difference was the length was shorter in the dress and sleeves. It was also more form fitting. I ended up purchasing the regular small simply because I felt more comfortable with the length of the dress.

The dress on the left is a regular and the one on the right is a petite. Can you see the arm length and hemline differences?

PS- When you feel comfortable in your clothes you’ll never regret purchasing them ❤

What’s your take on petite vs. regular clothing?

Motivational Monday: Worry Less

Have you ever worried so much over something that it drives you crazy? Then once the thing you worried about was over you find something else to worry about?

But, when you realize that what you worry about doesn’t end up being as bad, stressful or painful (whatever IT is) as you thought, you can relax. However, if it does end up being one of those things, just know that we all have the opportunity to move past it and learn from it. Now that you know this, you won’t have to worry about things as much. You will always learn from every experience.

What I hope you take away from reading this is to make smart decisions so that you can worry less in life. Your life can start over at any time by focusing on the present instead of worrying about the future. ❤

 

How I Stock My Kitchen

When I go grocery shopping each week, I normally have a list of items to buy, but what I’ve come to realize is that I can add value to my shopping trip and stock my kitchen if I buy at least one extra item from the list below. This is helpful in case there were ever a time when I couldn’t run to the grocery store like getting sick or having a busy week.

Below are lists of items I stock up on:
Freezer-Organic chicken and beef and turkey burgers, pizza, vegetables (you can get bags of these for under a dollar at certain stores), fruits-strawberries and mixed berries, vegetable rice/quinoa and Greek yogurt pops.
Fridge-Water, Almond milk, yogurt, eggs
Pantry-Cereal, peanut butter, soup, pasta, tuna, cereal bars, rolled oats.
Other-Apples, oranges, avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers

Stocking up on these items means I will always have a full kitchen. It also means I’ll never run out of ideas on what to cook. While I might buy something one week, it means I can eat it when I’m in the mood for it later on. None of these items listed costs more than $10 total, so it won’t break my budget. For more information on budgeting read: How to Stick to a Weekly Food Budget When you give and take on your budget it all comes out the same-stock up on one expensive item one week-like organic chicken-then next week stock up on frozen vegetables.

How do you stock your kitchen? Let me know in the comments below or on social media @stylestomakeyousmile

Motivational Monday: Staying True to Your Values

Values are what you hold true in your life. As you mature, your values make you into who you are and you’ll put the energy from those values into everything you do-at work, in your relationships and within yourself. When you stay true to your values it shows outwardly who you are as a person. The things you value in life show other’s what is important to you. It is good to find people who value the same things as you.
Below are some of my values in life:

Spending time with loved ones.
Being appreciative and respectful toward others.
Staying positive in any situation.
What are your values in life and what do they mean to you?

The Importance of Dressing For Yourself

Today, I’m sharing the three key factors when it comes to dressing for yourself: Comfort, Body Figure and Personality. Since you are unique, you should dress it! Dressing for yourself says a lot about you and it can shift the mindset of the life you want to live.
I believe you should dress for:

Comfort-Find clothes that you feel comfortable in. These are pieces you can wear all day long without anticipating when you’ll be able to go home to change into something more comfortable. One of my favorite things to buy are cardigans because they are comfortable and functional (keeping me warm). And, while I love the look of an off the shoulder top, the tops do not work for me because the shoulders ride up, so I don’t buy them. Instead I go for other trends like bell sleeves.

Body Figure-If a piece of clothing is too tight, loose, long, short or does not fit correctly, don’t buy it…unless you plan to tailor it. See more in this blog post about tailoring tips: Tips For Your Next Clothes Shopping Trip You’ll want your clothes to have the right amount of looseness to them, so that the clothes flatter your figure. They should push away from your body instead of pull inward which makes the material pull in multiple places. Pay attention to small details on clothes like if you should be wearing a petite or tall. Clothing brands will always range in size and style, so it is okay if you range in sizes, remember the important thing is that the clothes fit you, not what size you’re wearing.
Personality-Dress in what you LOVE! If you love a certain color, style, trend, print or pattern then buy it. Incorporate pieces that work with the items you love. Personally, I love a lot of floral pieces such as pants and shirts which I then ground with neutral cardigans.

Why I Enjoy Eating Simple & Healthy Meals

This week I made an easy delicious yet healthy dinner and if you’ve read any of my other Tuesday food posts, you’ll see that this is a weekly theme.
The ingredients for this meal were: Garlic naan, tomatoes, kale, and chicken with pomegranate vinaigrette.

This meal was simple to prepare because I bought a rotisserie chicken which I tore apart, cooked the kale in water and olive oil, sliced up tomatoes and cooked them, warmed the garlic naan in the oven and put all the ingredients together on the bread and poured the pomegranate vinaigrette over top. This took less than 30 minutes to make.


The next night, I reheated the meal, added a small avocado and topped it with everything seasoning. It tasted so good this way, too! The beauty of this dish is that you can add many ingredients to make it new again, which is why it’s a staple dish.

simplemeals1
The reason why I enjoy eating a meal like this is because I get to eat what I want while still eating my vegetables. And, anyone can make this dish. I treated it like it was a personal pizza. While I LOVE pizza and eat it from time to time, I also enjoy coming up with new dishes that satisfy me the same way a pizza would. I encourage you to try this too, all you have to do is think about ways you can alter your favorite dishes to make in a new healthier way at home. Doing this will make you more excited about cooking and eager to try something new for dinner.

Tip: I’ve learned to treat cooking as a way to relax my mind. Anytime I need a break from working on something or need to clear my mind, I find that cooking focuses my mind.

What’s one staple dish you’ve reinvented? Would you eat the dish I’ve posted? Let me know in the comments below.

Motivational Monday-The Keys to Success

If you continually say to yourself, “I’m going to be a …. (Insert title here)” and are taking the necessary steps to get there then someday you will be what you say. There are so many people in this world that will tell you no or that you can’t do something or be what you want because it’s too hard. The key to success and staying happy is to keep going. Eventually, someone will say yes. It may not be right now or even in the near future but at some point someone will tell you yes. The key is just to keep telling yourself yes even if you don’t know how you’re going to get there. If you want something bad enough, you’ll make a plan for how to make things happen. Little by little, spread out that plan into achievable goals. Start with small goals and see how things are going. Once the small goals are being managed, add on more goals and plan how to execute them. This can be anything from starting new career goals to personal goals that will enhance your happiness. Doing things that make you happy will ultimately lead to future success.

What are your keys to success? Let me know 🙂

The Art of Browsing Clothing Stores

Whenever you’re feeling the urge to go shopping but don’t want to spend money, you can browse your favorite stores. In my lifetime I’ve worked in two malls. I often found myself shopping after work and since I would shop in my favorite stores consistently, I would see when the stores would have the best sales. I also got to see how long it would take an item to go on markdown.
*In the picture I’m wearing a beautiful dress from LOFT that I just LOVE! I’m waiting for it to go on sale so I can wear it all summer!

Here are my tips for browsing clothing stores:

Shop full priced items when the new product hits the floor. This is the perfect time to try on your size. Most stores will have at least 3 or more clothing items of your size available when the item is brand new. Trying on the items now allows you to see what items you like and what fits properly. By browsing the store and trying on clothes it really gives you the opportunity to think about what you’ll wear the item with, how it fits into your wardrobe and how often you’ll wear it. Want more tips? LINK TO SHOPPING TIPS.

My three favorite sales are 1. The ones where an item is on markdown AND it’s 40% or more off. 2. Final Sale Items because this is the lowest prices you’ll find in the store. I’ve found some great final sale items for $9! 3. Buy one, get one free! With all three sales you can find some really amazing deals and it won’t cost a fortune to update your wardrobe. In order to purchase from these sales it may take some waiting but that’s okay because if you’ve done your browsing ahead of time then by the time these sales hit you’ll be able to purchase from them.

Watch the merchandise’s cycle. New merchandise is always set up in the front of stores. This means it has a while before it will go on markdown. However, it will go on a percentage off sale at some point, so if you don’t want to wait for markdown, wait for it go on sale or until you receive a coupon in the mail. If the item is in the back of the store that means it’s been in the store for a while and it will go on markdown soon.

Another great reason for browsing is if you know you’ll be getting a coupon in the mail soon-whether it’s a birthday coupon, store cash or you have a coupon already but it can’t be used for another week/month. So, if you don’t want to wait until the day the coupon is active, start browsing now and you won’t have to wonder what you’ll buy when the time comes.
My ONLY exception to browsing, is if you LOVE IT, BUY IT. If you really can’t wait for the item to go on sale then buy it!

Do you browse stores often? What are your tips for browsing? What are your favorite stores to shop? Please let me know in the comments below or on social media! IG: Stylestomakeyousmile FB Page: Stylestomakeyousmile