Motivational Monday: The Story of Your Life

The other day I realized that everything and everyone has a story. Every dance you watch is telling a story, a book you read tells a story, every song you hear and out of all of those comes from a person who has lived their story and is able to share it.

Sometimes the reason that people can be so successful is because of the story that they have to share with the world. Being relatable to other’s can help people in so many ways. When it comes to my blog I have always told myself that if I can help at least one person with my content then I’m happy. My content is just a story of the world I live in. The way I see and have seen the world in just a short 31 years. I believe that because everyone has such a different view on the world, you should share what you’ve learned with others and be honest about it. By realizing the value in the story, sharing it can open many doors for you.

I believe that in life people just want to be heard, respected and loved. No one wants to be judged but by putting their story out into the world, but you will be. But by doing so you can connect on an emotional level with so many people. So, don’t be afraid to put yourself out their and share what you’ve learned because you don’t know who you’ll help in the process of sharing your story.

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: 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: How Small Gestures Make a Big Impact

Have you ever had a REALLY bad day, and someone recognized it and did something nice for you unexpectedly? Or have you walked into work and there was a nice note left for you written by a coworker and friend? Or have you received a text from a loved one that says, Have a great day!

It’s those unexpected small gestures that make a big impact on us. Even if a bad experience happened there are always ways to get through them. So, remember what those people who care for you, have done on a bad day or wanted to start your morning with a smile. Pass this on by doing the same for someone else. Send an I Love You text, especially to someone who is going through a rough time right now. Send a card in the mail to your friend who lives far away that says you’re thinking of them.

Remember, to do the same for yourself too, buy pretty flowers to keep in your home and put them where you’ll see them every morning before work, write yourself a note on pretty paper, keep notes from loved ones and hang them on a board where you can see them daily. Any of these will keep you remembering you are loved, happy and that you can make it through the week.

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?

How to Have a Positive Experience in the Fitting Room

While working in clothing retail stores, I’ve found some clients to be fearful of trying on clothes simply because they’ve had a negative experience in the fitting room. I wanted to provide tips to take with you on your next shopping trip so that you can have a positive experience in the fitting room. My biggest lesson and takeaway I have for you is to keep trying on clothes until you find pieces you LOVE. Keep an open and positive mind-the more clothes you try on is when you’ll find what fits, items you love, gain your own personal style and confidence within yourself!
Try on 2 sizes-Whenever I shop at LOFT, I normally fit in a size small in shirts, however, depending on the shirts style-length of sleeves, width of top/neckline or bulk of fabric I may try on a small petite too. The difference between a regular and petite in clothing is that a petite is shorter-the sleeve length on a size regular shirt will be longer than on a petite shirt. Also, I always take in two sizes when it comes to jeans, only because all jeans fit differently.

Ask for Assistance-If you’re really having a hard time deciding if a piece flatters your figure, just ask a sales associate! They may be able to point you in the direction of another item, size or use an accessory (like a belt on a dress) to help complete the look. Asking for another size is better than getting dressed, finding the item in the store, just to go back into the fitting room to try on again.

Be Confident-Go out of the dressing room to walk around and look in the 3 way mirror (most stores have them) and decide if the piece fits properly. Do this especially with coats and dresses as you’ll want to see every angle of yourself.

Try on as many items as you can-Remember pieces look different on a hanger than on the human body, so if you like something a little bit, try it on! Stores will always have a variety of trendy pieces like belle sleeves, off the shoulder, so try them on to see if you’ll like it. Try on a new color-I LOVE anything blue but tried on a $3 pink top from Forever21 and fell in love (and received compliments on the color/style). Trying on new colors will also change your perspective on what colors compliment your skin tone.

Tip: Try on a piece you wouldn’t normally-it can be a fun way to see what styles you like.

Take your time & try on more than once-If something doesn’t fit properly hang it up on the rack in the fitting room and try on the next piece. This is why I suggested trying on as many items as you can because you can’t know how something looks/fits until it’s been tried on. If there’s a piece you’re skeptical about put it in a maybe pile, try on everything else then come back to it.
Ask yourself: What would I wear this with? How often would I wear this piece? Does the shirt fit me properly? Is the material going to last or will it pill easily after washing a few times?

With these tips, I hope you can have a more positive experience in the fitting room ❤
Do you have any fitting room rules for yourself?

How I Stock My Kitchen

When I go grocery shopping each week, I normally have a list of items to buy, but what I’ve come to realize is that I can add value to my shopping trip and stock my kitchen if I buy at least one extra item from the list below. This is helpful in case there were ever a time when I couldn’t run to the grocery store like getting sick or having a busy week.

Below are lists of items I stock up on:
Freezer-Organic chicken and beef and turkey burgers, pizza, vegetables (you can get bags of these for under a dollar at certain stores), fruits-strawberries and mixed berries, vegetable rice/quinoa and Greek yogurt pops.
Fridge-Water, Almond milk, yogurt, eggs
Pantry-Cereal, peanut butter, soup, pasta, tuna, cereal bars, rolled oats.
Other-Apples, oranges, avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers

Stocking up on these items means I will always have a full kitchen. It also means I’ll never run out of ideas on what to cook. While I might buy something one week, it means I can eat it when I’m in the mood for it later on. None of these items listed costs more than $10 total, so it won’t break my budget. For more information on budgeting read: How to Stick to a Weekly Food Budget When you give and take on your budget it all comes out the same-stock up on one expensive item one week-like organic chicken-then next week stock up on frozen vegetables.

How do you stock your kitchen? Let me know in the comments below or on social media @stylestomakeyousmile