Motivational Monday: Staying Present

The biggest lesson life has taught me is to always be in the present. With so much noise in the world-social media, news, stress, emergencies, etc. it can be difficult to stayed focused. The key is to bring yourself back down to a calm state of mind. Listen to the noises around you instead of the thoughts bearing your mind. Focus on your surroundings-look out a window to see that life is moving on. Breathe. Focus on your breathe by taking a huge breath in and letting it all go without thinking about anything. Do this until your body and mind are calm.
I have learned that doing these things to focus my mind on staying present can work in any situation. No matter if I’m having trouble going to sleep at night because my mind is racing or if I’m in a stress related incident.

What are the tools you use to stay in the present? Please let me know in the comments below!

Tips For Your Next Clothes Shopping Trip

To start off  The Smarter Shopper Series I wanted to state my five tips that will be helpful for your next shopping trip! I created this list as a way to make clothes shopping easier. It’s also a great way to think about how the clothes fit into your wardrobe and lifestyle. Check back every Wednesday for new content! Enjoy ❤

My top 5 tips:

  1. Style-Everyone has a style. Whether you like classic, trendy, casual or dressy, the pieces in your closet should make a statement about your style. When going on your next shopping trip, think about how the styles you buy today can complement the pieces that are already in your closet. This applies to shoes, jewelry and accessories too!

 

While shopping, see what you gravitate towards most. Do jeans always have the same color, shape or fit? Consider trying on clothes or accessories you normally wouldn’t wear to see if you like the style and fit for your body type.

 

  1. Fit-The type of fabric will make a difference in the fit of the clothes. You don’t want anything pulling, creasing, showing the line of your undergarments, or sticking to the fabric. What you do want is for the fabric to push away from your body so that it makes one smooth line from the top of the garment to the bottom.

While trying on clothes it’s a good idea to move in them; sit down, walk around the fitting room, and lift your arms up to see how high a shirt will come up or to see how much room you have to move in a jacket. If you wear a lot of layers during winter, it might be a good idea to go up a size in a winter coat, this way you’ll have more room to move your arms. Pants are a great example of fit. If there’s a gap, can it be fixed with a belt? Does the gap come out too far when you sit down? Some stores will provide a definition of their different “fits.” Try on the ones you think will work best for your body type. If you’re having difficulty finding the right fit, always ask an associate for help

Remember if you find a dress you love but it doesn’t fit quite right, it can always be tailored. It usually doesn’t take very long and generally isn’t costly. Bonus points if you can do the tailoring yourself 😉

 

  1. Wearability/longevity-If you’re on the fence about whether or not to buy floral capris, consider its wearability and longevity. Think about the pieces in your closet you repeatedly wear and ask yourself, ‘is this an item that can be worn with those pieces too?’ Be mindful of the colors too. Does the floral capris coordinate with the others, or would you need to buy something else just to wear it? For example, if you own a lot of printed capris focus on buying solid/neutral pieces to go with them.

Also, think about whether or not you’ll be wearing the item(s) for a long period of time. Is this an item you can only wear once (and do the first few points already mentioned make it good enough to buy) or each week? You get bonus points if the item can transition from season to season (which is great in my opinion). If this is true, think about how and what you can wear it with each season. Example: A striped shirt can be worn with a cardigan and denim in the fall and floral shorts in the summer. Can the item be dressed up or down? Again, if the answer is yes to both, then great! What you don’t want is to buy items you’ll wear a few times only to then sell online or donate after one season.

 

  1. Price-If you can justify the first three points for buying something, then it may be worth the price. You just need to determine whether buying it today is worth it or if waiting for it to go on sale may be a better option. Note: Some stores don’t have sales, so you may want to buy the same day before the stock runs out OR make sure the item is available online and buy at a later date. Also note, when buying at a later date, you risk the item going out of stock both online and in-store. However, you can ask an associate if the item is available at another store. If the store has a lot of sales, keep track by either going back into the store or looking online.

 

5. Buy it if you love it-Regardless of everything else that has been said, buy it if you love it. If all four points come across in your favor and you absolutely love the item(s), buy them! You don’t want to have buyer’s remorse later on. Stores tend to carry different trends, colors, fabrics, and styles throughout the years so if you find something you really love at a great price and it fits well, go for it! You may never know when you will find something you love again.

What shopping tips do you have when you’re clothes shopping? Let me know in the comments below ❤

Motivational Monday: You Heal Yourself in Time

Ever hear that saying, Time Heals All? I grew up listening to Dr. Phil and his saying of, “Time doesn’t heal all wounds it’s what you do in this time that matters.” I’ve always remembered this saying growing up and at 31 I can say that it’s true. It doesn’t matter how much time passes in life, if you don’t do the work to make yourself a better version of yourself you’ll always be the same. You’re the only one who can write your own story and if you choose to continue down the same path for a number of years then that just means time passed and you didn’t do anything to change within that time and time healed nothing. But if you take the time to better yourself by finding new perspectives on life then you’ll change.
Again, you’re the only one who can write your own story. Sure, there will be obstacles in your life that will change the path of your journey. If you recognize those challenges as a positive and take the right steps to face them, your life will change.
You heal yourself in time when you’re ready and willing to do the work to change for the better ❤
What’s your opinion on “time heals all”?

The Smarter Shopper Series

Today, I want to introduce my new series: The Smarter Shopper. A new blog post will be posted every Wednesday from now until May! Here are some of the posts I’ll be sharing with you all:

The Art of Browsing
How to Have a Positive Experience in the Fitting Room
The Ultimate Way to Organize Your Closet

In 2011 (the year after I graduated college) I began writing this series. Now that I have the platform of my blog to share with you all, I’m so excited and hope you’ll find the content interesting and insightful. I created this content as a way of sharing my love of fashion, shopping and knowledge on the retail industry to help anyone who struggles with the enjoyment of clothes shopping.
If you know me personally or have read my About Me page on my blog, I have YEARS of experience in retail. My first job as a teenager was a sales associate at a local family owned department store and that’s when I realized I loved helping people find clothes/shoes/accessories they love and look great in. Now that I have my blog, I’m transferring my passion for shopping here in hopes you’ll look at clothes shopping in a positive perspective.

See you back here on Wednesday. ❤

Please let me know in the comments, what do you like or dislike about shopping? Let me know if you want me to cover anything specific in this series so that I can better help you enjoy clothes shopping.

My New Perspective on Food

Before I can tell you my new perspective on food, I’ll tell you my original perspective. I used to only buy enough food for the week and nothing more. What I’ve learned is when sticking to a budget- How to Stick to a Weekly Food Budget  and shopping at two stores where I can pick and choose what I want to buy based on the food items prices-I can buy more each week. I also used to buy whatever food I wanted, until I started recognizing what foods my body truly doesn’t like and recognizing what foods I’m addicted to. Here are my new perspectives on food:
Stock up on frozen & pantry foods. By stocking up on these items, it means you’ll always have something to eat. The only problem I’ve seen is that sometimes I’ll forget what I’ve bought a week or two ago. To combat this issue, I write down what I’m going to eat each week for dinner. If I have to buy food to go with it I’ll write that down that too. If I’m making something with fresh ingredients, I’ll incorporate them into my dinners for the week. However, if I’m making something frozen I can choose to make half of it for the week and the other half some other time.

Since I’ve been stocking up on food, my budget can go further by buying extra items-I’ll buy a package of chicken sausage even if I’m not going to eat it that week. Or I can save money by not buying any meats that week because I already have some in the freezer. I can also choose to spend my money on something that’s the same price as chicken.
What you eat each week begins in the grocery store. Over the past few years, I’ve realized what foods my digestive system likes and dislikes. One of the things I love is chips and artichoke & jalapeno dip from Trader Joe’s, however, my body does not. Not only because I’ll devour this food in a weekend but the food just makes my stomach upset. So, knowing this, I focus on buying foods that actually give my body energy and make me feel good. Since I know what foods I’m addicted to: chips, dip, salt, chocolate, etc. I try to minimize or eliminate buying them during the week. Another thing I’ve realized is that by eliminating the purchases of these items means I have money for fresh and healthy foods. The chips and dip costs almost $6, instead I bought hummus and veggies that cost less and makes my digestive system happy.

Tip: If you don’t know what foods you’re addicted to, start by looking at what you buy each week and try to figure out why you buy these foods. Is it because they taste good but then later your body doesn’t feel good or works improper? For one week, try eating different foods to see how your body handles them.

As I mentioned earlier, I am addicted to chocolate, so to combat this I’ve tried a few different things. Last year, I used to buy a  whole carton of ice cream and eat it in a week. I realized I should try eating less sugar each week, so I then started buying Greek Yogurt Frozen Pops (they are really good!). This gave me a small portion of chocolate to consume each week. Other things I buy are chocolate almonds-they come in a small pack and because I only consume a small handful every few nights, it takes me two weeks to eat through the pack instead of a week. The other thing I’ve tried is to buy 1 or 2 chocolate candy bars a week, which really cuts down my chocolate intake. After dinner is when I’d normally have chocolate, so if I don’t have it in my home, I’ll make sure I’m eating enough food at dinner.

The point of all of this is to recognize that the foods we bring into our homes is what we’ll be eating every day. And if those items are not making our body function to its best, we should try something else, or slowly wean ourselves into eating something else. I also learned last year that if I don’t walk down certain aisles in the grocery store that means I won’t be tempted to bring those foods home.

I’m curious to know, what is your perspective on food? Let me know in the comments below or on social media IG: @stylestomakeyousmile FB Page: Styles To Make You Smile

Motivational Monday: Balance & Gratitude

I recently had a weekend that reminded me of how I got to where I am today. It wasn’t at all pretty having a negative experience to remind me of the struggles I face daily such as things like, living on a tight budget, saving money for future purchases but yet spending some money to do things that bring me happiness. It’s been hard but I’ve learned how to balance my finances with saving and spending AND not feeling guilty when I spend money on things that bring me joy-I mean I do only have one life, right?
The biggest realization I made this weekend after having a negative experience was simple, to let it go. Just let it be what it is, move on and think about something else. You can’t change the past. I’ve learned that when I put all my energy into something positive it makes me think about that instead of sitting around upset about the past.

Life will always move on. Just look outside, the world is always spinning, seasons changing. As long as you can find a balance within your experiences-by having a negative experience turn positive-you will always be able to succeed balance within yourself.

Gratitude:
I’d like to say thank you to everyone who read, liked, commented or followed me after reading: Lessons I’ve Learned at 31  When I started my blog the goal was to provide Realistic Lifestyle for Everyone. I want to create blog posts that are relatable to you all and I felt like I received a positive response from this post, so thank you ❤ My goal is to provide more posts like this and hope that you’ll learn something new along with gaining a new perspective on life.

How do you find balance within and your life and what’s something you’re grateful for? Please let me know in the comments or on social media! IG: @stylestomakeyousmile FB Page: Styles To Make You Smile

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! ❤