Motivational Monday: Replace the Word Hard with Challenging

When I think of the word HARD, I think of something I can’t do. But when I think of the word Challenging, I think of something that I can do. Anything that is hard is good for you if you choose to see it that way. Whether it is something at work that’s hard, a workout class or learning something new.

A year ago, I had taken Pure Barre’s Reform class and deemed it too hard for me because of the moves that I thought I couldn’t do. So, I gave up because my mind set was that it was too hard. Then, the other night at class, I talked to a friend at barre who told me she liked Reform because it was challenging even for her (we both go to barre all week). That’s when I realized that if she and women twice my age can go to this class, then I can too. If it’s not too hard for them, it’s not for me either. So, this weekend I took my second Reform class and I realized it’s still just as difficult as it was a year ago. I still have trouble using a slider to pull my feet to my arms while in a plank position.

Looking at back my decision to not take this class anymore, I’d realized I was wrong to think this because all my barre classes are challenging. When I first started barre I could not hold a plank for 30 seconds or do pushups, I thought it was hard, but I kept going to class anyway because I enjoyed the challenge. I also enjoy seeing all that hard work change my body for the better. I must push myself in class every time to do my personal best. Even though I was the only one struggling while using the slider during that portion of Reform Saturday morning, maybe someone else was struggling in an area of class that I deemed less challenging. But here’s the mantra my teachers use in class and they are words to live by: WHAT DOESN’T CHALLENGE YOU WON’T CHANGE YOU.

So, today on this Monday morning, I am challenging you to do things outside of your comfort zone that you deem hard. Take the word hard out of your vocabulary and replace it with challenging because when something is hard, you’ll likely give up but when it’s challenging you will push through it. Push through everything that’s hard in life because you will come out stronger mentally and physically for it every time.

Happy Monday ❤

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 😊

How To Organize Your Closet-Part One

When I was growing up I would organize my closet twice a year, once at the end of each summer to get ready for new fall/winter clothes and at the beginning of the spring for summer clothes. Before going shopping, I would go through everything from last year’s previous season styles and put away the opposites seasons clothes.

Here’s a checklist of how to organize your closet:

Go through your closet-Really look at the pieces in your closet. Figure out what it is you are and are not wearing and why. Once you do this, you’ll realize what you have in your closet and what you need to buy. Do you need more cardigans, pants, or shoes? Knowing what you have and need are half the battle when it comes to shopping.

Try It On-Just like you would try on clothes in a store, try on anything you are unsure of fitting. This is key for any pieces you have not worn in a while. Once you have it on, ask yourself if the item still fits, if so, are you still going to wear it this season? If the answer is yes, great! If no, make a donate pile and if it’s a maybe, then keep until after you’re done shopping. Remember those “maybe” items while shopping, so you can fit them into your new wardrobe.

Make Piles-Once you’re done trying on clothes, make three piles, yes, donate, maybe. Of course, throw away any items with holes, stains, rips, dirty underwear or socks. Put any donate items in a bag or bin. Also, since the seasons are changing, store the previous season’s clothes into a large bin. Inside the bin, store like items together. This will create ease when the seasons change and you have to take everything out again. This cuts down on closet clutter, out of sight out of mind. If you have room in your closet or another closet available, put any larger seasonable items, such as winter jackets, to the back of your closet or in another room. This will lessen the space for this season’s wardrobe.

Donate-Anything I grew out of as a child I donated. When my cousins were younger, a lot of my clothes went to them, which was a great way to keep cute outfits in the family! Today, I offer my friends and family clothes I no longer wear and they do the same with theirs. My friends and I even make it fun by bringing the items we want to give away to a girl’s night and show the clothes after dinner. I also donate to charities such as the Rescue Mission and Salvation Army. Back home we had a store called The Pink Door, which is where a majority of my items went. Donating clothes as a child was a great lesson to give back to others and it’s still something I continue to do and would encourage anyone to do the same. My rule for donating-if you haven’t worn it in two years, donate it!

Overall, the main point of organizing your closet is for you to keep track of what you have and what you need. Go through your closet twice a year and be honest with yourself about what you want to stay vs. donate. If you feel like you are stock piling items you never wear, donate them. If you’re struggling with buying too many clothes, try reading this article on The Art of Browsing Clothing Stores I hope these tips help to reduce clutter in your closet and helps you have a more organized closet in the future ❤

Stay tuned for Part Two of How to Organize Your Closet where I’ll share the ultimate way to organize inside your closet. It’s a fool proof way that I’ve used for over two years and I can’t wait to share with you all!

What are your tips for organizing your closet? How do you keep it fresh every season?

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?

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. ❤

 

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.

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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: 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!