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

How To Get Out Of A Food Rut

While driving home from work, I realized I didn’t want what I had planned for dinner-chicken fried rice with veggies. While it is a simple dish to cook it didn’t sound appetizing. I caught myself wanting to drive to the grocery store to pick up something to eat, so I started to think about what I could make with the ingredients I’d already had that could be incorporated with the dish. Since I had fresh food at home I didn’t want to waste the money I’d already spent and waste another night of not eating the fresh food. I knew I had kale, zucchini and eggs. Since none of those ingredients take long to cook, I decided to cook them all, throw them on a plate and call it dinner. It came out really good and was a very filling meal.
Here are my tips when you find yourself in this rut while driving home from work:

1. Think about the foods you already have in your kitchen. If you have a lot of fresh ingredients cut up some or all of them and incorporate them into the dish you originally planned to have. Just thinking about creating a new dish will get you excited about dinner and will make you want to eat at home.

2. Think about the possibilities for two meals instead of one. If you make enough food to last two days or more, come up with ideas on how you can make the meal a different way for leftovers. Small things like adding new dressings, seasonings, bread or cheese will really add to the dish to make it taste new.

3. You’ll save money. If you’ve convinced yourself that the dish you’re about to make will satisfy you for dinner that night, then you’ve saved money. The fresh food sitting in your kitchen is something you picked up from the grocery store for a reason, don’t let it go bad for another day.

4. You get to be creative. Coming up with several ways to prepare a meal stretches your mind-you become versatile in cooking.

5. You’ll get to cook. Going to the grocery store to pick up dinner is really easy. However, I find that after work I enjoy cooking because it gives me something to focus on. Plus, every time I cook something new it helps to further my cooking knowledge and ability. It also shows me what I enjoy eating and is a meal I can cook again in the future.

 

Do you have any ideas for how to get out of a food rut? Any meals you enjoy making with fresh ingredients? Let me know in the comments below!

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.