My Favorite Homemade Smoothies

Over the past two years I’ve found a LOVE for making homemade smoothies. I make them either on my way out the door before work, during the late afternoons on the weekends or before a road trip so I won’t be hungry on the road.
The main ingredients I use are:

Cacao powder, banana, mixed berries, strawberries, almond milk as a base, avocado for creaminess, ice, chia seeds, flax seeds, basil, spinach and peanut butter.

The key to any smoothie is to have a liquid base (ice or milk), veggie or fruit and something to make it thick like an avocado or banana. Adding the chia/flax seeds to any smoothie can help for digestive health.
My indulgent smoothie-Almond milk, cacao powder, banana, strawberries and peanut butter. Note-I only use a few strawberries as too many can overpower the entire smoothie.
My work smoothie-Almond milk, mixed berries, banana, basil and chia/flax seeds.
Others-Ice, spinach, avocado, berries and basil.

Would you try any of these smoothies? What are your favorite homemade smoothies? Share in the comments or on social media! @stylestomakeyousmile –Facebook Page & Instagram

Motivational Monday: Embracing the Path you’re on

On my Facebook Page-Styles To Make You Smile, I’ve shared a video of actress Lisa Kudrow discussing her life story of how she was hired to work on the TV show Frasier but then was fired and after many auditions landed Friends. What I learned from her story is that you should always keep going no matter what path you’re on. She got up every single day, continuing to go to auditions which means she stayed on the path of being an actress and not giving up because it’s what she loved doing.

It can be easy to believe that the path you see for yourself is the only one that should work out. But sometimes receiving disappointments along your journey can be right for you, but it’s all about how you look at it. If you keep going and continuing to do things that make yourself happy then you will eventually find yourself doing what you love. In the end, Lisa realized that it was a good thing she’d gotten fired from Frasier otherwise she’d never be on Friends. So, the next time something doesn’t work out, keep on facing the day to strive for something new. Eventually, you’ll find where you’re meant to be. ❤

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?

Regular Vs. Petite Clothes-Do you know the difference?

Main differences- Length and fit in the hemlines, sleeves, necklines, shoulders, waistlines, etc. All of these are a few inches shorter in the petite than in the regular sizes. If a brand has both petite and regular and you’re on the fence about  an item try them both on and see what you feel comfortable wearing-recognize what you like about one fit or the other. If you’re unsure ask an associate or take a picture to see the differences.

I recently tried on a dress at LOFT in a regular size small and I loved the length of the dress and sleeves. But I wanted to see how the petite would look on. The difference was the length was shorter in the dress and sleeves. It was also more form fitting. I ended up purchasing the regular small simply because I felt more comfortable with the length of the dress.

The dress on the left is a regular and the one on the right is a petite. Can you see the arm length and hemline differences?

PS- When you feel comfortable in your clothes you’ll never regret purchasing them ❤

What’s your take on petite vs. regular clothing?

A Delicious 30 Minute Freezer Meal

I’ve recently gotten back into the habit of buying freezer meals. They are easy to cook, inexpensive and a great option for a night in.

The featured meal is from Trader Joe’s-Organic Superfood Pilaf-Quinoa with sweet potato’s, kale and carrots. This is ready in about 15 minutes by stove- you can also cook in the microwave.

To this I’ve added organic chicken that I cut into small pieces (it cooks faster this way). Once cooked I’ll add it to the pilaf with some olive oil, pink salt & pepper.

I love cooking dishes like this because of its versatility. You don’t have to eat it the same way twice especially with great add ons such as: tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, avocado, tofu or another meat or fish, soy sauce, balsamic, lemon dressing or Italian dipping oil with herbs.

What are you’re favorite freezer meals?

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. ❤

 

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

Motivational Monday: Staying True to Your Values

Values are what you hold true in your life. As you mature, your values make you into who you are and you’ll put the energy from those values into everything you do-at work, in your relationships and within yourself. When you stay true to your values it shows outwardly who you are as a person. The things you value in life show other’s what is important to you. It is good to find people who value the same things as you.
Below are some of my values in life:

Spending time with loved ones.
Being appreciative and respectful toward others.
Staying positive in any situation.
What are your values in life and what do they mean to you?

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.