Monday, July 27, 2015

What's Your Why?



We all want to be successful in life. An important component of success is knowing what you stand for. One can look at any major company and easily come across their vision/mission statement, detailing exactly what the organization holds as important or as truth. What about you? So many of us drift through life, simply reacting to situations, yet never really defining what it is that we hold as valuable or consider to be truth in our life. A journey taken with no direction never accomplished anything of significant value.

Do you have a personal mission statement?
What is it that you believe you do that makes a difference to others and to mankind as a whole?
Or, in other words, why do you do what you do? What is the reason behind your actions?

The objective behind defining a mission is not the creation of goals, but rather life purpose. It is designed to direct and express your values and beliefs. It provides guidance and direction, not goals, although those will certainly compliment your mission statement. I think of it as a life map of sort. Your mission statement will and should grow and change over time. You will enter and exit various seasons of life, and discover new strengths and challenges within. In fact, you may take on several missions that coincide with the various areas of your life, so be open and ready for that.

"To live a mission requires that you realize you can make a difference in this world, and requires that you practice the strengths to fulfill your mission." (Marcus Buckingham, Soar With Your Strengths)

Challenge yourself to sit down for a few moments and write out a personal mission statement. What is it that you truly believe in? Why do you do those things that bring you greatest fulfillment? What do you hold to be truth or to have value in life? This activity provides the framework for increased success, clearer direction, and continued personal growth.

What's your why?

Monday, July 20, 2015

You're Pretty


We focus a lot of time and energy into what makes us pretty. We purchase products, choose outfits, take photos from the "right" angle, read books/articles/blogs on how to achieve the ever-changing, and sometimes elusive trends, all in the hopes of becoming beautiful.

I came across a quote recently that somewhat shifts the paradigm on this topic when it says,
Do you consider yourself pretty? Is "pretty" something that only affects the outside? 
Scripture would tell us that it's about more than just a good hair day:

"Be beautiful inside, in your hearts, with the lasting charm of a gentle and quiet spirit that is so precious to God." /// 1 Peter 3:4

What does inner beauty look like in your life?
We're quick to judge another's appearance, or base a friendship on surface attributes, yet the beauty of a person's heart and spirit are what sustain relationships. Instead of allowing "pretty" to determine whether or not we like someone, or to inhibit our friendships from further growth due to competitive comparison, our objective should be to embrace and encourage the beauty found within everyone. Each of us has beauty to bring to the world, yet too many of us are so busy wishing it away, hoping for something that someone else has. Give yourself a little love and encouragement. You are awesome. It is ok to want to look and feel your best...in fact, it's encouraged! In addition to the "pretty" found in the outward appearance, let's cultivate the "pretty" found within. Let's be pretty smart, pretty funny, pretty kind, and pretty encouraging to all those around us. Instead of comparing to one another, decide to ditch the drama and embrace the strength found in all of us enjoying and living life together. Now, with that said, I just wanted to tell you, I think you're pretty. Live like it!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Celebrate




(Dress: Terani Couture (similar version here), Shoes: Target, Bracelets: Michael Kors, Lilly Pulitzer)

If there's one thing I love, it's a good celebration. This week was nothing short of that, as we enjoyed cake, spa time, good food, time with family and friends, sun-drenched days on the water, breakfast by the beach, and a generous dose of sparkle.
Here's to fun, celebrations, and birthdays that last all week long...

Monday, June 29, 2015

4 Summer Styling Tricks

Summer is my favorite. I love the warm breezes, beach days, necessity for sandals, and summer fashion. It can be challenging to dress for such high temperatures, but with a couple tips and tricks, you can stay cool and stylish, even in the summer heat.


1. Choose lightweight, breathable fabrics. 
It's fun to wear a pretty dress in the summer, but make sure you choose fabrics such as cotton and linen to ensure that your skin can breathe. There's nothing more uncomfortable then being sweaty and hot in an outfit. I like to lean toward bohemian or brightly colored prints during the summer season! 

2. Pick a relaxed silhouette. 
Form-fitting dresses are great, but in the summer heat it can feel restrictive and sticky. Choose pieces that are a more relaxed or looser fit. This doesn't have to mean sloppy. Tailored detail tunics over white pants are a great combination to look put together without feeling so warm. 

3. Top it off. 
Throw on a straw hat, and a panama style is my favorite choice for summer! The loose weave allows the breeze to blow through, keeping your head cool, and also shades your eyes from the sun, whether you're on the beach or out for lunch. 
4. Dress up your basic pieces. 
It's easy to reach for the favorite shorts and t-shirt combo, out of habit and temperature factors, but mix things up, and pair your white shorts with a lightweight, silk sleeveless top, and some metallic accessories. Rather than the worn in flip flops, pair this look with strappy sandals with a low heel in a neutral to make your legs look miles long. Voila! Classic with a twist. 

Speaking of summer style, I don't know if you've heard of Eshakti.com, but they are a custom design retailer that allows you to design, style, and create your own pieces! I designed and ordered this flamingo printed piece from them last summer, and loved how it turned out! They've recently expanded their collection, and I'm already thinking of a few summer additions to my closet...whether it's a relaxed resort-style dress, tassel-trimmed tunic, chic chambray maxi, or custom linen pants, there's something for everyone! I love what they've come up with! Eshakti generously offered a $35 credit toward any purchase for anyone who reads my blog, so now's your time to pick out something pretty! Happy shopping! 


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thanks to Eshakti for sponsoring this post

Monday, June 22, 2015

5 Signs You're Leading At Your Personal Best


We all have influence in different situations, and as a leader, it is imperative to know how to lead at a high level. When we're operating in the area of our personal best, we'll see these 5 common factors, whether it is in the corporate sector, creative community, or in ministry. Check to see if your current area of leadership is allowing you to lead at your personal best. Here's a few indications...

When a leader is at their personal best, they:

1. Challenge the process.
Just because things have been done a certain way out of tradition does not mean that it is most efficient or effective. Leaders operating at their personal best are innovating, creating, and discovering new options.

2. Inspire a shared vision.
No one gets anywhere alone, ever. To create the greatest momentum among a team or an organization, it is all about inspiring the team to buy into and catch hold of a shared vision. Together everyone achieves more.

3. Enable others to act.
Empowering others is a skill of a strong leader. A leader operating at their personal best will speak to the potential in others, and empower and enable them to operate in those areas of greatest strength. Strong leaders do not hoard tasks and withhold opportunities from their teams for fear of losing power.

4. Model the way.
A leader is the one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. A leader operating at their personal best is consistently exampling how to be a person of good work ethic, integrity, humility, character...etc. If you want others to do the right thing, example it for them.

5. Encourage the heart.
The strongest leaders are those who speak life, encouragement, and positivity into their people. They are aware of the needs of their team, and are willing to set aside tasks for the care of relationships. To make the biggest strides toward positive progress, a leader operating in their personal best is able to uplift and encourage the hearts of their people.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Island Paradise: A Photo Diary

I love going on vacations to explore beautiful parts of the world. The Hawaiian islands are one of my favorite places to visit. On our recent trip, we did a good amount of exploring and also took a few days to simply relax and soak up the sun. It is always fun to go back and sift through the many photos after a great trip, and so I've compiled a little photo diary of our time in the islands. Have you been to Hawaii? I'd love to hear your recommendations...there's so many cool local hangouts to discover.

Click the Read More link below to come explore the islands with me...

Monday, June 1, 2015

Out Of Office

Is there anything more fun than the excitement of summer travel? I sure love a day off here and there to explore, relax at the beach, or swim in the pool. Now that those long, sun-drenched days are officially here, I've got travel on the brain. Here's a few of my favorite tips for a island vacay.

1. Plan Ahead
It can be an overwhelming process to pack the day before you leave, so skip the frustration, and plan out your outfits ahead of time. I like to lay everything out before putting it in my suitcase, so I bring the right pieces and avoid overpacking. Here's a fun couple of lists to help get you started.

2. Do Your Research
While there's definitely something to be said about spontaneity; however, you don't want to miss out on some amazing memories because you didn't plan enough time or pack properly for them. It's really beneficial to do a little searching around to see what local hangouts, beaches, activities, and events are close by the area. You never know what kinds of local gems are just waiting for your discovery! 


3. Enjoy the moment
Nothing against documenting that perfect sunset or picturesque vista, but remember to enjoy the moment! In our world of technology and constant barrage of social media updates, it's easy to focus on trivial things and miss the beauty of the place you're in! Vacation is a time to get away, relax, and recharge...don't worry, your social tech world will be there when you return. Let yourself be "out of office" for a bit, and you'll find that it does wonders for your creativity and stress level. 




There you have it! Three of my top tips for a fun, relaxing, and fabulous vacation this summer. 
Bon voyage!  


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