Monday, October 20, 2014

Time For Change

 There comes a time when changes need to be made, when capacity has surpassed that former space, and now craves a bigger, better challenge; a new opportunity. When I began my blog, Teatime Thoughts, the title was appropriate for the season I was in, and as I continued to learn, grow, and move toward the passion and dreams for my life, it has brought me to a place where that title no longer feels sufficient. While I still do love tea, and the bond that is shared between friends over a warm cup of chai, the overall direction of my blog has changed and matured over the years, and the title needs to fit that transition. So with that said, you'll see some changes around here, beginning with the title, and continuing toward exciting, fresh things! I'm really grateful to all of you who have faithfully read from early on, and for those who have joined along the way. There's a lot more in store, and I cannot wait to share more details soon! 

Monday, October 13, 2014


(Poncho: similar here Pants: Lilly Pulitzer, Shoes: similar here (on sale!), Watch: Michael Kors)

One of the things I love most about classic pieces is the fact that they can get a fun twist for an updated feel. Two such examples would be the anchor motif and ponchos, which, combined are a perfect combination for cool fall days. I'm convinced that white is acceptable year-round, and this simple color scheme is fresh, even among the muted, earthy fall tones. Ponchos and capes are pretty much the best invention (especially if they have anchors on them!), since there's not a whole lot of styling effort required, just throw on and go! This cotton style is so lightweight I could toss it over a swimsuit, or style it with grey skinnies and tall boots...and did I mention it's reversible? Oh, the possibilities!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bet Your Boots

 (Top: Lilly Pulitzer, Denim: F21, Boots: GoJane, Necklace: , Watch: Michael Kors)

Fall is boot season, and I am so excited to finally get to wear this over-the-knee style that I've been pinning on my style inspiration board since last fall. (I admit, I'm a little late to the over-the-knee party, but it's back for this season again, so I couldn't resist this year.) Since it's not quite cool enough to cozy up in a sweater, this pop of bright pink was the perfect color for that transition between summer and autumn weather. When it gets cold, I'll wear these boots with an oversized sweater, leggings and a big scarf, or swap out the silk tee for a button-down and a vest. For now, it's still deciding if it wants to be fall around here, so bright pink and statement necklace it is! I'm also loving short ankle boots and the ever-so-classic leather riding boots this season...fall weather, where are you??

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Everyday Essentials

It's always fun to take a peek into what people consider their daily handbag essentials.
As a writer, it's important to make sure I have pen and paper at a moment's notice for when inspiration strikes, and my job makes it essential for me to have things organized and written down. I'm all about the calendar on my iphone, but still a little old-fashioned and love having a planner so I can write out my activities and schedule for the month and week. When I have events or meetings back to back, there's not time for more than a touch up, so I bring along the essentials like this gorgeous lip color, a slim rollerball perfume, and a dab of lotion. Tortoise-shell shades transition effortlessly from summer into fall, and I love a good cat-eye style. 
(Clearly I have a thing for gold, mint and turquoise! haha)

Bag: Michael Kors (similar), Notebooks: Target, 
Planner: Lilly Pulitzer, iPhone, 
Wallet: Lilly Pulitzer (past season), Lotion: EOS (only $2!), 
Perfume: BCBG, Lipcolor: Stila in 'Carina', 
Sunglasses: Cole Haan 

As fall fashion makes its way into the stores, I begin to search for a fun handbag update for the new season. Throughout most of the year, I'm often found carrying a large tote style since it will fit all my essentials and my ipad. I recently discovered this fabulous Handbag 101 handbook that Rue La La put together, and think it's a wonderful style guide for tips on the latest trends in bags, ideas on how to properly care for your purse, and things you should know about some of your favorite signature brands. Definitely worth a look. What do you consider your handbag essentials? I'm always looking for new favorites. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

How to Handle Stress

I came to a point recently where everything just seemed to be pretty overwhelming, schedules full and stress abounding. Normally I thrive on the rapid shift from event to event and the busyness that fills my calendar with things to do, but this time it felt like a lot of stuff and not enough time to accomplish it all with excellence. This got me thinking about how often we go through life, and when people ask us "how are you?" we respond with "I'm busy"---when did that become an acceptable or even admired response? Are we investing our time into the right kinds of activities and plans that will lead us to accomplish greatness, or do we simply fill our calendars with things that keep us occupied? After a good conversation with some friends, I was inspired to do some planning and self-examination of how I balance my schedule and life. Here's a few of the things that have helped me in the search for finding that necessary wise investment of time.

-Create a system for everything (daily habits, school, writing, work..etc.)
-Assess where you have put the majority of your focus up to this point in your life. Is it a direction that will benefit you in the future? Determine how to shift that focus by adding time, money and attention to the activities that will benefit and grow you in those areas and develop your character.

Ask yourself 4 questions:
1. Who are you becoming?--What are you doing everyday to develop a habit of character growth?
2. What are you doing?--Are you investing time in activities that will lead you to your goals?
3. Who do you hang out with?--Do you surround yourself with positive, encouraging and inspiring people?
4. Are you growing?--Are you asking enough questions and challenging yourself to do hard things, or do you simply stay within your comfort zone?

Once I've answered those questions, I move on to creating a schedule that gives me more time to do what I want and need to be doing.
Here's a few tips I've picked up over the years to create more margin in life:

Delegate: Work smarter, not just harder. Do what you do best and drop the rest. Operate within your areas of strength.

Plan: What gets planned for, gets done. Get control of your calendar; otherwise, other people will.

Collaborate: Work with others that you like so you are energized. Surround yourself with people who uplift and inspire you. Invest time with others who are ahead of you on the journey, in the areas where you want to grow, and learn from them.

Reduce: Look at your calendar, examine your daily and weekly activities, and decide which ones are keeping you from being productive...and eliminate them. This frees up your time and energy to be focused on what really matters and will make a world of difference for you! (This concept also applies to relationships with others...sometimes it's best to simply move on when friends aren't growing in the same kind of direction as you. Don't try to drag people along to a place where they aren't willing to be.)

"It honors God when we enjoy life and live it well. That means taking risks--sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding, but always learning. When you enjoy your life, the lines between work and play begin to blur. We do what we love and love what we do. Everything becomes a learning experience."--Tom Peters

Perhaps you've been in that same stressed situation like I was. It was so beneficial to invest some time in assessment of my priorities, calendar and goals. Challenge yourself to look at your life, examine your daily routine, habits, and schedule, and apply some of these ideas to create the life you really want.
How do you handle stress? What helps you to stay focused on your goals?

Monday, September 22, 2014

New Season, New Beginning!

Happy Fall, everyone! It's officially a new season, and a welcome to cooler weather, all things pumpkin, boots, scarves and apple cider. I love the arrival of this season of the year because it seems like a fresh start, and a good opportunity to do some reflection on the memories of summer, as well as providing time to plan for what's coming ahead! With the arrival of fall, I'm going to be debuting a few new things here on the blog, so keep looking for some exciting writing projects, new design, and more fun things soon to come! Have a fabulous start to autumn!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mermaid Life

As an avid ocean-enthusiast and mermaid at heart, I fell in love with this darling tank
from the fabulous SS x Eluxe collection While I've enjoyed it through the summer weather, it's not something I want to stash away upon fall's arrival, so I decided to style it for the transitional temperatures. A colorful cardigan and black skinnies take the tank from beachy to polished, and I paired it with some jewelry in ocean-colored hues as well as a buttery, caramel-colored bag to finish the look. For those of us who live in an endless summer, this is a great way to transition those well-loved, warm weather pieces into cool, fresh looks for fall. How do you wear your summer staples into autumn?

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