Casual Cool

 Necklace: similar, Bracelet: Forever 21, Earrings: Ana & Eva)

I never liked Birkenstocks. In fact, that was something I always said I'd never ever ever. I mean, no one wants to revisit the worst of the 90s fashion. But then I saw a few outfit ideas like this and this on Pinterest...and I thought, know, they're not that bad. Then I tried a pair from OnlineShoes, and I discovered how ridiculously comfortable they were, and then, somehow, they didn't look as terrible as I first thought, and...I liked them, a lot. Yeah, I admit it. They're actually stylish in a chic, casual cool-sort of way. So you just might see them around a little more. Trust me, if I can wear them, you can definitely rock a pair too, but please, for everyone else's sake, don't wear them with socks. 


Why I Don't Watch TV

Confession time: I don't watch TV...I know, cue the weird looks and questions. I didn't grow up with cable, spending Saturday mornings watching cartoons, and probably couldn't tell you many of the shows that are on to this day. No, I didn't grow up on a deserted island, and as strange as it may be to some, I'm actually quite ok with the fact that I never really invested much time in front of the screen. My parents were really adamant that I get outside to play, read books, and try all kinds of fun activities (hello 12 years of ballet) that were interesting to me. Looking back now, I see how intentional they were about something, and the effect (very positive, in this case) that it has had on my life. This got me thinking...are we intentional about certain things in our own lives? Do you do things on purpose because you're tracking for a certain goal, or do you just kind of drift through life, taking everything as it comes? I don't know about you, but I sure want to be a person of intention. Instead of waiting for life to just happen, wasting moments on things that are of little value, let's become intentional about how we invest our time. 

Personally, I take a little time each Sunday evening to plan out my schedule for the coming week, and to prepare any materials I might need for meetings and other events coming up. It's the little preparations that keep me intentional about how utilize my time. For example, exercise is an important part of my life, and I am intentional about getting some kind of a workout in every. single. day. Sometimes it's a struggle to wake up extra early to squeeze in that run or to do something after a long day at work, but the hard work and discomfort is worth the results of feeling and looking good. The same way that my parents were intentional about what I watched when I was a child, is similar to what I allow myself to watch, read and listen to, even now. Negative thoughts, people, and information are easily accessible, and that's not the kind of influences I want directing my life, so it's become something that I am very diligent about monitoring. If something is not bringing positivity or beneficial results to my life in some way, I cut it out of my life. Sound strict? Yeah, it is, and I realize that other people might think that it's weird or harsh, but we're looking at results here, and I'm willing to do what it takes to get the results that will come from that kind of discipline. I can't speak for you or your goals, but I can encourage you to examine your own life, and see if you're being intentional about how you live your life, invest your time, and create your habits. Trust me, the people who accomplish great things don't ever do it "on accident"; everything is always, always about habits and discipline. Can you imagine an athlete just walking up to the Olympics to compete without ever training for their event? Certainly not! Each one has trained, prepared, and faced the discomfort of all the hard work that is required to become the best in their country for that sport. To get what you want, you must begin to plan your life around doing what it takes to get there. 
Take a moment right now and ask yourself, "Am I living an intentional kind of life?"

Spring Happenings

Today is the first day of Spring! Yay! If you're not able to get out and enjoy the gorgeous weather, or just want to browse on your phone while at the beach, here's a few fun things that are happening around the web today..

With a change in weather, it's time to get bikini ready for Spring breaks, and beach days ahead! I'm chatting with Pen & Keyboard about how to stay stylish while you sweat, and some tips for finding the perfect gym outfit!

It's time to celebrate a new season, and what better way to do so, than with a special gift from an awesome collaboration of two great brands! Lilly Pulitzer & Estee Lauder have teamed up to gift you with a beautiful limited-edition collection that showcases the gorgeous hand-designed prints with fresh cosmetics for a new season! The gorgeous gift is a special 7 piece collection that comes free with any purchase of $35 of Estee Lauder products, and you're able to customize which collection you'd like, based on your style.

Not sure which product to add to your beauty arsenal? Some of my friends at Macy's have let me in on a few of their consultant tools, so you can use the same professional methods to find your perfect products at home!
To find your perfect product, use either of these applications:
 Estée Lauder Foundation Finder       Estée Lauder Skincare Finder

Details of the Estée Lauder Gift With Purchase
Choose a free 7-Pc. gift with any $35 Estée Lauder purchase through The free gift with purchase includes free makeup valued at $120 and a one-of-a-kind Lilly Pulitzer cosmetic bag available only through Macy’s until March 23

Have a few extra minutes?
Take a look at this post from last year..It's a good one :)

...or read Part 1 of my story Girl Behind The Mirror: Part 1


Spring Into Color

(Tunic: similar, Shorts: similar, Bracelets: Marianna Mae c/o
Necklace & Sunglasses: F21, Tote & Sandals: Target, Ring: TJMaxx)

Oh how I adore the gorgeous arrival of Spring weather! Lately I've been lucky enough to steal away to the beach and walk along the shoreline, catching glimpses of stingrays & playful fish as they leap out of the water. It's days like this where I couldn't imagine a better day than one that starts off with cool mornings, and warms right up to beach weather. The punchy colors of spring have inspired me to incorporate a little brightness into my wardrobe, and I couldn't think of a better way to do it than with these darling bracelets! There's such a boho, carefree vibe to the colorful beads and tassels...kinda reminds you of Anthro, right? Love them. They've been my constant wrist companion for the past week, and I love pairing them with a simple tunic & shorts or even with my bathing suit to head to the beach. 
Spring, you just might be my favorite. 



I don't know what it is about mornings, but I just love the cool air, soft early light and seemingly abundant creativity that seems to flow whenever I have a few minutes to scratch away on a journal page. Have you ever heard the thought that people have different times in which they are most productive & creative? While many are self-proclaimed "night owls", mine happens to be the morning hours..the sweetness of sounds as birds awake & begin to twitter back and forth, and the symphony of preparation coming from the kitchen as people go about their day's beginning, and off to the activities the daytime hours hold. Most days, I'm up early to exercise before the day's schedule & demands begin, but when I'm lucky enough to have a morning to myself, I'm often found dreaming up new ideas and projects over a fruit smoothie and toast, or catching the first rays of sunshine as it warms up the world with a hazy, golden glow. Oh the bliss of enjoying each moment, being fully present in life, and taking those quite morning minutes to start the day off just right. When are you most productive?


Everyday Sparkle

(Top: F21, Shorts: Lilly Pulitzer (past season), Necklace: Majestical Jewelry c/o)

Ooh I do love the arrival of spring! Time to pack up the bag and head to the beach, or at least slip into a pair of shorts and enjoy the day! This weekend was filled with glorious weather, and I had a little time to enjoy a beautiful lunch by the harbor and an afternoon walking along the shoreline, playing tag with the waves and soaking up some sunshine. Most days my style uniform consists of shorts and a simple top, and when the weekends arrive, there's nothing better than a soft, striped tee, paired with a fabulous necklace. I've been eyeing this gorgeous tortoiseshell piece, as it reminds me of the art deco era, but updated with a modern twist. There's something so fun about everyday sparkle...who says that you can't glitter during the day? I'm all for bringing out the fancy evening jewels to play in the daylight, and give casual style a little glamour. After scouring the internet for a little more affordable version of this beauty, Majestical Jewelry seemed to have the perfect option, and I've got to admit, I'm a little obsessed with their collection that's perfectly curated for every season. Definitely worth the visit! 


Acceptance, Insecurities & Social Media

quickly scanned the notifications on Facebook, checked my Instagram feed, updated my Tumblr, responded to blog comments & tweeted back to someone all in a matter of about 10 minutes, and later got to often do I find myself with a few minutes of time to do whatever I want, and immediately begin to scroll on social media? We check our phones, Facebook, email, Twitter, etc. multiple times a day, and then complain about the lack of time in our lives to do what we “need to do” or want to be doing. I think it’s time to begin to introduce a little self-control when it comes to social media. Do you really need to post another “selfie” or be up to the minute on what everyone else around you is doing? What really matters in life? How many followers we have on Instagram, or those real relationships we have in our lives?

 I sat down to lunch with a friend the other day, and the conversation turned to the fact that many of us used to have pen pals, and be so excited to receive a written update on the other person’s life, phone calls were the preferred method of communication, and with a good friend or special someone, could often last for hours. People would look forward to meeting up for a coffee or lunch to catch up on the latest ongoings, while now we can find out every little detail of what our friends have been up to via photos, tweets, check-ins & status updates. Is social media wrong? Absolutely not. Does it serve a purpose? Certainly. Do we need to perhaps shift our perspective on it? I think so. Many in the generations before us have often commented that our generation is very narcissistic, entitled and too connected to technology, and while I don’t agree completely, I have to acknowledge the truth that perhaps they are right about something. You see, our connection to technology is really fueled by the need for connection...we join social networks to gain that sense of belonging, the essence of what every human desires is the acceptance and connection to others who acknowledge your worth. Now most of us wouldn’t say that we joined Facebook, Tumblr or Instagram to be fulfilled in life, but when we get new followers, likes on photos and comments on our status updates, doesn’t it feed that innate desire to base our happiness on other’s approval? We take our photos from just the right angle, we add filters to make things appear a certain way, and post our meals, favorite places, and self-portraits to be shared with the world..for what? While I appreciate the connectivity that comes from being able to find out what a friend is up to, or to be reminded of a birthday (admit it, we’ve all been there!), there’s a growing deterioration of creating relationships that are built on time invested with people, in person. 

Our society is one that runs on a “busy” time schedule, and we want our information, food, and things immediately, and forget that things of value often take time. One of the most important things in life is the people that are around you. Invest in those relationships, find your worth and security not in an amount of “likes” or “followers” on social networks, as those change almost instantaneously, but rather search for your acceptance in the one opinion that matters most, God. People’s opinions change, we see this all the time with trends in music, fashion, and celebrities, but when you begin to discover the beauty that each person holds within, and invest time in relationships that matter, you’ll no longer desire the fleeting, counterfeit “happiness” that social media tries to feed us. Now, before you think I'm totally bashing the usage of all Social Media, please understand this: I appreciate it, and I work with it on an almost daily basis for my job, as well as for fun, and within this blogging community. I've even gotten a degree that required multiple courses that focused on understanding how it can become a powerful tool for both business communication and branding, so I don't think it's completely terrible. 

So what's the solution to this ever growing obsession? Should we rid ourselves of all our accounts? No, but I do think that in finding a balance, and living life instead of documenting every little thing, we’ll find that we don’t need to rely on it as much as we first thought. To help me keep things in perspective, a little break from social media every now and then helps to reset my outlook. I choose to leave my phone off while seeing a friend or while I'm doing things with family because sometimes being in the moment is more important than documenting it. It helps me to remember to enjoy life for what it is. There’s beauty in every moment if we disconnect ourselves long enough to enjoy it. Instead of the constant barrage of words, photos and opinions, fill your mind with beautiful things, enjoy the day, live a little. Life is far more wonderful that way. 

What are your thoughts on social media? Love it? Hate it? 
How do you find the balance between online time and real life?
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