Monday, November 30, 2015

Holiday Favorite

(Dress: Lilly Pulitzer// similar here, here, here

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is the many occasions to dress up! I love any reason to throw on a party dress and a pair of heels. This one-shouldered dress is so whimsical, playful, and the perfect silhouette for a night out on the town or hosting a stylish soiree. I'm always drawn to bold colors around this time of year, and there's something so elegant about a cool blue flecked with gold. It just might become my holiday favorite this year! As social calendars begin to fill up, do you have a go-to outfit? What are your favorite trends this season?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Attitude of Gratitude

Thanksgiving week is here once again, and now more than other days we are mindful of the many things we've been blessed with. While we may think about the food, football games, parades, and even starting our holiday shopping, my hope, for both you and I, is that we continue to live with an attitude of gratitude. It's not just a one day kind of is a lifestyle that is less about self and more about others. As you share stories and food with family and friends this thanksgiving, challenge yourself to practice gratitude daily. Wake up and thank God for another day to live and to make a difference! Sit down for 5 minutes and make a quick list of things you're grateful for, look for ways to bless other people with unexpected kindness, and give of your time, talent, or resources in a new way this season! Not only will this bless someone else's life, but you'll find that it blesses you, and expands your capacity to give even more! Gratitude is essential to a fulfilling life. Start today! 

Wishing you and yours the most wonderful Thanksgiving celebration!

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
    His faithful love endures forever."
Psalm 107:1

Monday, November 16, 2015

What Matters Most

As the sobering events continued to unfold worldwide last week, we were both rocked and reminded to focus on what matters most in life. It's easy, isn't it, to get wrapped up in the little details, and to be so tunnel vision that we get fanatical about things that don't really matter.

Have you ever been so busy creating a lifestyle that you forget to really live your life? I mean more than just existing and going about routines. Have you stopped and thought about the last time you were grateful for the basic things? Life. Breath. Sunshine. So many people live their lives looking down, so focused on their own little world, that they forget to look up, look around, and appreciate. It's not just a matter of taking in the surroundings, but actually focusing on what matters most in life. Who cares if you make millions if your family life is in shambles? What difference does it make if your work attendance is perfect, but you never have time to enjoy a beautiful day or catch up with a good friend? Balance. All of life is a balance, and it's easy to get out of balance if we're not careful. Instead of debating the small nuances, practice gratitude, inspire change and growth.

Today I encourage you to not only focus on what matters most, but to take time to be grateful for those things we often take for granted. Hug your loved ones, give someone a smile, do something kind for another person. Allow someone grace instead of taking offense and be passionate about the things that will make a positive difference. Live your life, rather than casually observing or vicariously living through other's virtual highlight reels. Ask yourself, what matters most to you? Is it worth living for? As you begin to answer that question, with greater focus on the things that have true value, I have no doubt that you will discover an incredible, beautiful, full life that's worth living. Embrace it; this is the life you have been designed for.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday Motivation

In a world where photo filters, curated posts, and social media runs rampant, remember that this is not a competition with one another. Strive to be the best version of you, and not only will people be drawn to your authenticity, but you'll find that you are far happier than you ever imagined. The world doesn't need more copies, it craves those who are original, authentic, and real. It has been said, "be you, everyone else is already taken", and those words ring ever true today. Instead of looking around and wishing you were living another's life, take a moment or two to think of all the blessings you have experienced in your own life. Comparison is the thief of joy. Don't let it rob you of a happy life, but rather see each day as an opportunity to become better, learn more, love more, and inspire those around you. Your life makes a difference, never forget that! Today is a new opportunity, seize it!

Monday, November 2, 2015

10 Commitments of Leadership

Leadership is not simply about power, position or prestige. In fact, leadership is often challenging, involved, and sometimes even messy; however, when a leader rises to the occasion, it is always rewarding. We're all in different points of the leadership journey, and each person has different areas of strength and growth. Here's a few commitments that a successful, captivating, and effective leader should make, no matter where they may be in the process.

As a leader, I commit to...
1. Search out challenging opportunities to change, grow, innovate, and improve.
2. Experiment, take risks, and learn from the accompanying mistakes.
3. Envision an uplifting and ennobling future.
4. Enlist others in a common vision by appealing to their values, interests, hopes, and dreams.
5. Foster collaboration by promoting cooperative goals and building trust.
6. Strengthen people by giving power away, providing choice, developing competence, assigning critical tasks, and offering visible support.
7. Set the example by behaving in ways that are consistent with shared values.
8. Achieve small wins that promote consistent progress and build commitment.
9. Recognize individual contributions to the success of every project.
10. Celebrate team accomplishments regularly.

I challenge you as a leader to read this out loud to yourself, and when you are in a challenging situation or season of life, remember that leaders are called to do more, be more, love more, and live life in a way that's different than average. Commit to live and lead beyond what you think is possible, place the interests of others first, and watch your influence skyrocket in a positive direction.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Vested Interest

(Top: Target, Vest: Lilly Pulitzer, Skirt: F21, Shoes: Lauren Conrad)

Fall weather makes me want to wear plaid shirts and vests everyday. I recently got to get away for a quick trip up north to experience the color and crisp air! I'll have to share more photos soon. It was so much fun to be able to layer up with cozy cashmere sweaters and break out the riding boots. One of my favorite layering pieces this season is this lightweight quilted vest. While I love traditional puffer vests, this silhouette adds warmth without adding bulk. It's definitely going to be my go-to all season long. I added this cute pair of black patent pumps because I love how the gold bows accent the gold buttons in the vest, but to make this a little more casual, I'd throw on my tall black riding boots, or even a pair of tan ballet flats. Restyling is the key to outfit interest. Do you have a favorite piece for fall? 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Cozy Up

(Sweater: Lilly Pulitzer, Top: F21, Denim: Target, Scarf: Lilly Pulitzer, Boots: Amazon)

I love the beginning of fall that shows up as a cool breeze, late afternoon golden light, and brilliant skies at sunset. When the mornings are cool, the first thing I grab is a cozy cardigan and a lightweight scarf. This print of this scarf is so soft and beautiful, so I paired it with the grey cashmere to let the colors do all the talking.

It's hard to believe it's mid-October...where has this month gone?! While temperatures won't drop significantly until later, it's fun to take advantage of the early signs of fall. Besides sipping on apple cider and trying pumpkin flavored everything, I've been burning this candle which makes the house smell incredible. If you're a candle person, or wanting to make the house feel festive and cozy, you absolutely need this, it's definitely the best. Happy Fall, friends!
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