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

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.


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.

 Ho'okipa is a popular surf break, especially during the winter months. Even on one of the less sunny days, it's still beautiful! It's one of my favorite places to visit, as the waves, surfers, and view provide endless entertainment.
The best place to lay out and get some sun, right? In the afternoons, someone would bring around fresh fruit juices, dried coconut, and even extra sunscreen. Perfection.

(shop my shorts on sale here)

Obviously gelato shops are a must-visit on vacation. This one in particular serves a flavor called Lilikoi Quark, which has passionfruit and goat's milk. It sounds totally bizarre, but trust me, it's ridiculously delicious. 

We took a day and hiked to a couple of waterfalls on this trip, and plan to come back with swimsuits next time so we can hop in one for a swim! Doesn't it look fun? This is one of many, many falls on the island. Around each curve of the road is something even more beautiful to discover. 

These painted eucalyptus trees look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book, but they're 100% real! The neon colors of the bark are even more dramatic and stunning in person. Nature is just the coolest!

One of the things I loved most about the islands is that the valleys are just exploding with beautiful plants, flowers, and trees. Everything is so lush and filled with wild beauty!

Many of the roads are so close to the water's edge. Funny story, we were driving along this road and I had my window down to let in the breeze. All of the sudden, a couple of big waves came in, and I got splashed with water! 

This is an entire eucalyptus forest that exists halfway up a volcano. If you've ever wondered what heaven smells like, I'm pretty sure it's something close to this. We were lucky to catch it right after a rain shower, and it seemed to intensify the scent even more than I had remembered from previous visits.

 These sea turtles were so fun to see up close! We got the chance to both snorkel with some, and watch them sunning themselves on the beach. In recent years, these turtles have come up on this particular beach during the day, and no one seems to know why. I like to think that they are enjoying the sun just like the rest of us! ;) 

I highly suggest a trip out to snorkel, see the beautiful reefs, and even swim with turtles, colorful fish, and other creatures. It's an experience you'll not forget! There's all kinds of beauty beneath the water's surface to be explored. 

(shop my dress here)
(shop my cover up here)

If you visit the islands, I strongly encourage you to get out on the water and view the islands from the sea. It provides an incredible view of the stunning beaches, valleys, and mountains. There's nothing like it! 
Acai bowls are always delicious, but having fresh fruits, coconut, and local honey all from the island makes this treat even more fantastic. On both Oahu and Maui you'll find a fabulous new shop called Wow Wow Lemonade which makes the freshest lemonade (choose from a delectable variety of flavor options), smoothies, and acai bowls. Wow Wow is definitely worth the stop, especially after a day at the beach! 

Each evening we were treated with the most spectacular sunset display. While every one was different, there's nothing better than watching a brilliantly colored sky, accented with swaying shadows of palms, all to a soundtrack of sweet hawaiian songs being sung into the night. 

Have you been to Hawaii? I'd love to hear your favorite spots and recommendations...

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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