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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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: Show Up For Yourself

This week I had a very busy week-you know the kind, where the days all blend together and by Friday you don’t even realize it’s Friday, until you’re told so and remember you’ll will have the next two days off and know that the work week is over. You mean next week DOES exist? Yes, it does. This means that the work week will always come to end. Anything you’re dealing with during the week, you can take a two-day break from, you just have to mentally show up for yourself to tell yourself that you deserve a break.

So, here’s what I did this weekend to show up: I worked out, I bought myself a new book called Work Party by Jaclyn Johnson and I read the first four chapters while dressed in a t-shirt, comfy capris, next to an open window with the breeze coming through and listened to life going by outside, I caught up with my friends and family, I planned my entire month of September in my planner-I’d be lost without a planner, I made plans with people I love and let go of the week.

Showing up for yourself mentally just means that you need to allow yourself to work through your emotional and mental process of how your week went and then turning it around by allowing yourself to be okay. Anything that you are dealing with will always end if you let it. If you drag it on in your mind, it will haunt you all weekend, so to move past it, you need to give yourself permission to think about what happened for a certain time then for the rest of the day/weekend tell yourself to move on.

There will always be hard times in life and times when things can be brought up from the past, but it’s how we deal with those times in the present to show up for ourselves that matter the most ❤

Say YES to Treating Yourself

Self-love is one of the best feelings in the world. Why? Because it means you’re making time for yourself. What you put out into the world matters, so if you are feeling like you need some alone time to rejuvenate yourself, you should. Your gut will always tell you when you need a break. I think we’ve all been there, when we’re so stressed out and frustrated with everything going on around us that we just need time away to focus and bring positivity back. When we treat ourselves, it means that we can be our best selves to everyone in our lives.

Some of the ways I’ve said yes to myself this year are: scheduling a weekly workout routine, planning dinners, fueling the body with the food it needs to function properly (I’ve done this by trial and error and I always know when my body is needing something different), sleeping on a normal schedule, waking up early and blogging before going into work, communicating with likeminded women online and taking myself on vacation.

Have you tried any of these as self-care? Have they worked for you?

Say YES to yourself every single day, whether that is by doing one of the things listed above or reading a book or laying in a bath while listening to a podcast or taking a walk. When we take time to drown out what everyone around us is doing and listen to ourselves, you will be able to hear yourself speak about the things you REALLY want to pursue. Once you begin to hear yourself think, GO DO IT. I promise you won’t regret it. Once you unleash your ideas your mind will be focused on how you can create what’s been in your mind all along.

Happy Monday! ❤

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

Motivational Monday: Reality & Dreams

I spent the other night looking at photos from the past 5 years and found myself comparing my life then to what it is now. When looking back those years feel like a dream because my life is so different than before.

I thought to myself, what if someone new came into my life and looked through photos of my past? While I realized they’d know more about my past without any explanation from me, I also realized what happened then doesn’t define who I am now.

Every experience and challenge has shaped me into who I am today. This is the same for anyone, we are not who we are yesterday if we choose. But that’s the key, we have to choose who we want to be-that’s our reality. Defined by our experiences and left to dwell on the past? Or take the lessons from the past and move on, keep going and stay positive.

So, what days will you choose to have?

A Special Father’s Day Post

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there! I thought I’d share some lessons my Dad has taught me over the years. But first a little background: He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, ran a family owned restaurant, worked as the Chief of my grandfathers Country Club and is a semi-retired successful businessman.

How to cook pasta-this something he learned growing up and passed down to my siblings, nephews and I earlier this year-See the post I wrote about here: How to make fresh pasta

The fun of cooking-When I was growing up he would cook me pancakes with an A in the center!

He can always tell you what the weather forecast is!

A love for cooking for family and community-During the holidays he cooks a prime rib dinner and Italian soup, and chicken and burgers for the annual family summer picnic.He works the church dinners which serve hundreds of people.

How to be a good sport-He danced with me during my senior year dance recital to I’ve Had the Time of My Life. He and my Mom dance every Friday night with friends.

He’s shown the work it takes to be a successful businessman which is long hours, dedication and partnerships.

A love for his home-He always does a beautiful job with the landscaping around the house, he has a garden and has hanging flowers on the front and back decks.

He has an incredible knack for knowing directions! Wherever you are, he can tell you exactly what roads lead home.

Love you, Dad!

Lessons I’ve Learned While Blogging

Blogging is a never ending journey. It’s a place to always learn and create and always have lessons to share. So, here are some of the lessons I’ve learned so far after five months of blogging:

Consistency-I know this one of the things bloggers struggle most with (and I have too in the past). So, how I’ve found to combat this is to pick a day or two to write my posts. For me, those days are on the weekend. If I have a weekend with no plans I’ll spend the morning running errands, working out either in the morning or early afternoon, cleaning, laundry and then in the early evening I’ll sit down to blog. Because I’m mindful of knowing that I’m going to blog on the weekends, in the evenings when the house work is done, it helps my mind to be calm. I can focus on getting my blog content written and know that anything I still need to do can be done another day.

The other thing that helps with consistency is to know what I want to write about. I have my week planned out based on the topics such as: motivation, food, shopping, lessons or blogging. I then pick a day for each of those topics and write the article (this is where a content calendar would come into play). Within each topic I’ll think about a post I want to write. Sometimes I’ll write down what I want to say on paper and then transfer it over to the laptop-transferring makes the process fast because you’re just rewriting everything without thinking too much (just be mindful of errors or changes you want to make). Otherwise, I’ll write the post on my laptop.

Put the phone away-I have a rule when I blog and it is to leave my phone in another room. This helps to keep distractions limited because my phone’s social media and email notifications go off all the time. When this happens I normally click to: read the email, see who liked my post, who is now following me, etc. I also leave the phone on silent which really helps from having no distractions.

Be positive-The best part about blogging for me, is to show people a positive message in the world. I love to share that it’s okay to struggle with things as long as you come out of it with a positive message to say that something was really hard but this is how I made it out of that time in my life.

The blog is yours-I realized today that the reason I love my blog is because it is mine. I don’t have someone telling me, you should do this or change this to read like that. I love being able to choose my own topics and have others be interested in the same subject as me. Blogging provides a space of freedom for anyone looking to embrace their talents, let other’s learn from you and you learn from others. I never thought I’d love learning as much as I do from reading blogs, listening to podcasts and writing my own blog content. The best part is to make it your own, show who you are and help others.

You can choose your environment-During the spring/summer/fall months I write at a desk surrounded by pretty flowers, my favorite blogging mug, notebook, pen and a nice message written on a chalkboard to motivate me. During the winter I’ll write in my living room with the TV playing music to help motivate me. I also love working from coffee shops, being around other people motivate me to do work.

New blog post ideas-When I have an idea for a post my mind never stops thinking about it until I’ve written it. Normally, my ideas are titles for posts and then one or two ideas of content. I’ll write these in a notebook and come back to them when I’m ready to write. Once I begin writing the post all comes together and the ideas start flowing. I’ll stop either when the post is complete or when I need a break. Sometimes it’s good to come back to content either a few hours later or the next day to read from a new perspective.

What are lessons you’ve learned while blogging? I’d love to know! 🙂