Fashion is More than Frivolity

Widely considered exclusive and elitist, fashion was never my bread and butter. I couldn’t see the connection between the power of a well-assembled ensemble and feeling empowered until I embraced fashion and my personal style as battle armor for a series of unfortunate events.

It was then that I remembered how strong and confident I could feel by taking pleasure in the details, carefully crafting the pieces that exuded who I believed I was – or could be – how, as a result, my self-worth and confidence came gushing through, and I walked taller, more gracefully and with the poise I needed to handle a few hard times.

Fashion, in fact, is a powerful means to cultivating confidence and a stronger self-concept. Used as a mode of self-expression, fashion is one of many ways we speak to the world with our own unique blend of nuance, passion and vulnerability.

When we fully express who we are, we access the deepest parts of our authenticity and personal power, which paves our path towards optimal well-being.

"Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak" overlay on an image of a runway behind
photo cred: Pinterest board of myperfectline.com

Much like how you organize and decorate your home or office or what you post on social media, how you put yourself together, your personal style says, “here’s who I am, here’s what I’m about.” Although, at times scary, in expressing ourselves through creativity, e.g. fashion and personal style, we satisfy an intrinsic desire to speak our truth and express our individuality.

Want a few ideas to awaken your inner muse without breaking the bank?

Try these on for size (see what I did there? 😉 ) :

  • Browse Pinterest and Instagram for real-world fashionistas, the kind who are your size or exude confidence, boldness, or other attributes that inspire you
  • Write down a few words (or print a few pictures) that describe your style
    Bonus points: Make a mood board
  • Take an inventory of your closet
  • Note which items awaken that inner confidence? Keep these!
  • Note the items that make you feel drab or frumpy? If there’s hope that a good tailor can resurrect some beloved pieces, keep them; if not, donate them!
  • Decide on a budget for any additional pieces you want to add

Once you have an idea of what you’re working with, slowly fill in your wardrobe with the key pieces that you can wear again and again!

To make your budget go even farther, shop sales at your favorite department stores and mosey through TJMaxx, Marshalls, Saks Off Fifth, Nordstrom Rack, etc. to shop the look you want without going broke. Set a time limit for how long you’ll shop and shop with intention! You’re on a mission!

Fashion is simply one of many fluid, flexible means to enliven your creativity, satisfy your desire to show up in the world and be seen as only YOU can. No matter your size, income level or personal style!

How are you using Fashion to express who you are?

We love to hear real-world stories on how you do Fashion (and so does our community!), so leave a comment below, share this post, or discuss your great ideas with friends, and report back!

Part Two: How to Set New Year’s Resolutions and *Be Successful*! | How-To’s for Long-Term Success

Silhouette of people jumping in front of the sunset on a beach
photo cred: http://lovingdancer.tumblr.com

It’s Your New Year! Happy New Year to you, and kudos for setting out to make this year your best yet!

You have undoubtedly set your Resolutions for this New Year, and if you read Part One of this series, you have already taken the most important step towards successfully achieving that Resolution in 2017 and beyond!

Now what?

Using the following six tips, you will align your actions with your intention to achieve your Resolution for satisfying results. So, let’s harness the momentum you’ve already gathered, and get you going on creating lasting change in your life!

  1. Be realistic with your goals… then stretch!
    Set time-bound, achievable goals, then set a stretch goal to push yourself. Even if you don’t hit your stretch goal, you will very likely outperform your initial goal!
  2. Break down your goals into monthly, weekly, and daily activities that will lead to your success.
    Think through the activities that would lead to your success on a smaller scale. Setting smaller goals that ladder up to the larger success, such as planning weekly for a six-month weight loss goal, allow you to make progress towards your goal every day, week and month; before you know it, these new practices will be your regular routine, and you’ll see success every step of the way!
  3. Plan to work, and work your plan.
    Once you break down your goal into smaller pieces, you’re on your way! Prepare your daily, weekly, monthly plans in advance and think through what may create obstacles along the way, so you can have a successful strategy in mind to overcome them.For instance, perhaps before today, you used to fall into the pattern of losing yourself in social media before bed, which kept you up too late, made you oversleep, and left you tired the next day. Now, you’ve realized that going to bed early is more important to you; now, you’ll adjust accordingly if you find yourself on a digital scavenger hunt throughout the interwebs!Here’s a life hack to help you work your plan: Set uplifting reminders on your phone or put post-it notes in highly visible locations in your home, office and car.When the reminder “goes off,” you’ll be reminded of your motivation behind the goal, the goal itself and your ability to succeed.

    For example, some ideas are: “I am sticking with my goal of saving money this year, so I can travel and see the world, and I believe in my ability to succeed,” or “I choose healthier habits, so I can walk my daughter down the aisle and be around for my grandkids. I am worth the effort, and I believe in my ability to succeed”

  4. Measure, measure, measure.
    Without measuring your progress along the way, how will you know how far you’ve come? Measuring keeps you informed and empowered, and it’s not just about if you’re measuring up.Measuring offers learnings around how realistic the goal was initially and how best to devote your time and energy for the best results (i.e. if during month two you tried different activities than during month one, and you saw better results, you know to keep putting your energies into those things. If you didn’t see better results, you know to try something different).
  5. Rally your support system and let them know specific ways they can support you.
    Changing your thinking and behavior is no small feat, and undertaking the journey that accompanies doing things differently takes courage and resilience and support. Changes in your life affect the people in your life, as well as yourself. Letting them know of the changes you’re excited to make, as well as what to expect and how they can help you, will eliminate awkward situations or miscommunications because expectations will have been set and managed.Also, if along the way, you feel like you aren’t as far along as you were hoping, the emotional support and empathy that those who care about you can provide does wonders for boosting your spirit and resilience in your pursuit of your goal.
  6. Recognize and celebrate your wins – large and small!
    It really cannot be understated; making change is a brave and courageous undertaking. Particularly changing yourself. Applaud yourself for taking on the challenge of making positive change in your life, and give yourself the kudos you deserve from the Big Milestone Wins to the seemingly Small Wins, like each and every time you fall down and get back up. Recognize and reward your successes and stick with it! Before you know it, you’ll be celebrating the greatest win of all – achieving your 2017 New Year’s Resolution!

Peace, Love, and Cheers to Your Brightest Year yet!

Friday Faves

Clemson Tigers, Tailgate, Family, College Football Fun,

This week has been filled with love, laughter and lots of “opportunities for growth” (aka times when you want to throw in the towel)… so, it was a normal week! Encountering challenges in some aspects of life really throws light onto those other areas where things are going well. With an attitude of gratitude, here’s a look back at all the fun, friendship and favorites of this past week. May you have an effortless end to your week and a simply refreshing weekend! xo!

First Clemson Tailgate Reunited with the tribal framily for the Clemson/Syracuse Homecoming Game. It was simply joyful (and anything but dull)! I pulled out some Parkview H.S. gear to channel my inner Clemson Tiger! Loving Divo in the back, resting his elbow on Little Bit.  Rag tag bunch, we are indeed!
First Clemson Tailgate
Reunited with the tribal framily for the Clemson/Syracuse Homecoming Game. I pulled out some old Parkview H.S. orange gear to channel my inner Tiger! Rag tag bunch, indeed!
Clemson, rowdy, God's country
…in case the organized, perfectly-posed picture gave the impression we are a calm group. We are not.
Louise Hay, guided meditation, self-esteem, you can heal your body
Rediscovering Louise Hay
Loving this new-to-me book by Louise Hay, an author I have rediscovered as a relevant, sage teacher in my ongoing journey to better health & a better version of myself. Her wisdom and guided exercises in self-healing are remarkable (and a little vision boarding never hurt either) 😉 You can find her books on tape on YouTube, as well. Check her out!
This Bartender Playlist Road trips, commutes, writing, the workday are all made better with good tunes. They're the soundtrack to our lives.  This playlist full of y'allternative tracks by Zac Brown Band, Lady A, Cole Swindell, Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington, Eric Church & the like has kept me upbeat and energized, and I just can't get enough of the rockin' twang and outlaw style! Singing along made not only the daily grind, but a certain five hour drive to see some BFF's a lot more fun.
This Bartender Playlist
Road trips, commutes, writing, the workday are all made better with good tunes. They’re the soundtrack to our lives. This playlist full of y’allternative tracks by Zac Brown Band, Lady A, Cole Swindell, Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington, Eric Church & the like has kept me upbeat and energized. I just can’t get enough of the rockin’ twang and outlaw style! Singing along made not only the daily grind, but a certain five hour drive to see some BFF’s, a lot more fun.
Girls Night at True Food Kitchen Old friends, new eats. It was a really refreshing, heartwarming and authentic time together. And not without a hint of sass and sparkle! Easy friendships that welcome you as you are a rarity. So thankful for these girls!
Girls Night at True Food Kitchen
Familiar friends, new eats. Ever have those friends where you can talk about anything, even the really messy stuff that reveals you’re imperfect? Yup, these are the girls! Refreshing, re-affirming and authentic…And not without a hint of sass and sparkle! Easy friendships that let you come as you are a rarity. So thankful for these girls!