Motivational Monday: Celebrate Life

People all want the same things in life which are to be happy, overcome struggles, find themselves, and be surrounded by people who love and support you and have great times turn into great memories.
For anyone who celebrates birthdays, always remember to treat every day as good as a birthday. You should celebrate being alive today. There is always something good in every day whether it’s something you did for someone or something someone said to you or something you did for yourself. Treating yourself as good as you treat others is can make a difference in your own happiness. Think of what you would say to a friend in a time of need and repeat that to yourself.

Wake up each morning to decide that today will be worth it. Any struggles you’re facing can always be worked through. As long as you don’t let your struggles diminish you, you can get to a point where the struggles you face today, won’t be your struggles for tomorrow.

There will always be a balance of struggle and celebration in life. If you can recognize the work you’re doing to win against the struggles than that in itself is a celebration of life. ❤

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.

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!