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: Struggle Vs. Success

In a world that is comparison overload between social media and everyone judging each other on how people live, we sometimes only focus on other’s success. What we forget to see is the struggle of how the person got their success. Most success isn’t an overnight thing, people work hard to find success in their life-whether it is with their business, relationship, fitness goals or mental health.

A lot of times we only see the best versions of someone’s life and forget that maybe that person who is currently successful may have struggled. Sometimes people choose to share their struggle and when they do it can make them feel relatable, like maybe you’ve gone through a similar situation. And if they decide to share their life it can make other’s judge them less…hopefully.

So, why do we judge people so hard when they’ve found success? Maybe we shouldn’t. Maybe instead we should see their success is coming from a place of hard work and empowerment. Maybe their success is something they’ve been wanting for themselves for YEARS and couldn’t achieve it until now because they were going through a struggle you know nothing about. You truly don’t know anyone until you’ve seen them behind closed doors. If someone shares their struggle with you and you help them then you are adding to their success, maybe without even realizing it.

Be happy for the one’s who’ve found their success and lift up the one’s who are struggling.

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!

How to Resist Foods-And Why I’m Giving Up Chocolate for the Month of June

Here’s why I decided to take on this challenge-I want personal growth of not relying on chocolate to be the only satisfying food in my life. Immediately after dinner I’ll want chocolate and it doesn’t matter if I’m full from dinner or not, I just want it, so I’ll eat it regardless. However, I’ve realized that the foods you don’t have in your home means you can’t eat them. It’s been YEARS since I’ve walked down the cookie and soda aisle to pick up a box of cookies or bottle of soda. I realize now I can incorporate this same method into buying healthier items instead of something chocolatey for after dinner-like ice cream, chocolate ice cream sandwiches, etc. Last year, I realized that every time I bought a regular size tub of ice cream I’d devour it in a LESS THAN A WEEK. Once I caught on to doing this, I stopped buying it, again, I didn’t walk down the ice cream aisle.
I’m not saying I’m never going to buy or eat chocolate again. I’m doing this experiment to see how much will power I have to go without chocolate for one month and to make myself eat healthier options after dinner and on the weekends as a snack.
Here are my tips when it comes to self-resistance of chocolate or any food you’re trying to avoid while shopping at the grocery store:
1. Have a positive mindset-Tell yourself that you’re taking on this challenge for a good reason. Decide what you want to substitute chocolate (or any food) for. For me, this is fruit-raspberries, grapes, blackberries or blueberries. While I know fresh fruit can be pricey, it’s also substituting for the chocolate I’m not buying, which ultimately costs the same price.

2. Do not walk down the grocery aisle that the food you need to avoid is in-This is simpler than it sounds. If you’re trying to avoid eating cookies, don’t walk down the cookie aisle. IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE FOOD IN YOUR HOME, YOU CAN’T EAT IT. This is why it’s important to make substitutions instead of going cold turkey. Because I’m use to eating chocolate after dinner, my rule is to either make dinner portions big enough so I’m full or subbing chocolate for fruit.
**If for some reason you have to walk down this particular aisle, be mindful by telling yourself not to stare at the items and keep walking.

3. Give yourself a timeline-Make this sustainable-not too long or too short. You want to give yourself enough time to really explore how you feel about the challenge. Do you have cravings or is the fruit you’re eating keeping you satisfied?

4. Think about the benefits of why you’re making this change-Mine is for health and mindfulness reasons. After graduating college, I received my first cavity. I was convinced it was from two things, becoming older and years of eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. During college I drank lemonade (hello, sugar overload!) like it was my job. Once I got that cavity filled, I only drank water. I switched my mindset of allowing myself to ONLY drink water. I also want to be more mindful of what I’m putting in my body and knowing when to stop after being full from dinner. I started a workout routine and since then I’ve noticed my body tells me when it’s time to stop eating. Also, the healthier foods you put in, the more energized your body will be!

5. Don’t give up-If you’re going to commit to a challenge for a certain timeframe, make sure to stick to it! Tell your loved ones too, so they won’t tempt you with the foods you’re trying to avoid.
Any of these tips can be useful for changing your lifestyle in many different ways. Create goals and timeframes to accomplish what you’ve set out to do and they’ll become a positive way of life.
What food would you give up for an entire month? Have you ever used any of these tips to accomplish your goals? Please let me know in the comments below!

Motivational Monday: Replace the Words, “I don’t have time” with “I’ll make time”

There is always something that we wish we could do more of but people will tell you they don’t have time to do so. So, how you make time to do the things you love?
Replacing the words, “I don’t have time” to “I’ll make time” can help anyone get in the right mindset of making positive choices for their life today. The things you put off because you don’t have time, try to put into perspective, how long is the thing you don’t have time for really going to take? Fifteen minutes? A half hour? An hour? Once you’ve recognized how long it will take, figure out a time frame that fits into your day.

Decide today that tomorrow you will wake up and do whatever it is you claim you don’t have time for. Whether that means you need to wake up earlier, take a break from the TV or social media, do whatever it takes to get it done.

Today, you can write what it is you want to get done in your calendar for tomorrow which will hold you accountable because you’ve written it down-this is all about visualizing that what you’ve planned for tomorrow IS GOING TO HAPPEN. Visualization is a key component to realizing your goals.
Lastly, hold yourself to your promise that you will spend the time it takes do what you’ve written down. Making time for yourself is so important because it shapes who you are and who you want to become. You then go from a vision of saying this is what I keep claiming I don’t have time for, to I’m making the time to do it, and look what I just accomplished! Keep writing down things you want to get done in your calendar so you can achieve more of your goals.

What are some things you need to make time for? Please let me know in the comments!

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-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 🙂