The importance of practicing gratitude every day

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There was a word that I chose to be the forefront of my year: JOY. The truth is that finding joy has been a bit of a struggle for me. I have had a lot of personal struggles with my mental health. What sent me over the edge was getting laid off from my full time job in February.

I have been finding myself feeling absolutely helpless. My anxiety has been through the roof. Often, I feel like I do not have a chance to get out of the heartache I am going through.

I realized this weekend, however, that the reason I have been unhappy is not because of a lack of control. It’s because I am not taking the time to be truly grateful  for the blessings I have.

Have you ever written out a list of things you are grateful for? I find that I was write these lists far too vaguely. In turn, I have been struggling to be grateful every day.

When it comes down to it, we need to really focus and be specific on what we are grateful for. For example, these are some of the things I am grateful for:

  1. I am grateful for my community. When I announced that I was laid off on Instagram, my heart was filled with so much joy. Because so many of my followers reached out offering me advice or even a chance to talk about the whole situation. It turns out, there were a lot of women who have had to deal with a lay off and were more than willing to help out in any way they could.
  2. I am grateful for my closest friends and family. I’m grateful that I have so many deep and meaningful relationships that have helped me to  stay focused on moving forward instead of feeling sorry for myself. They continue to shower me with more love and support than a girl could ever ask for.
  3. I am grateful that I have a new job. As a girl who has been financially responsible for herself since 16, I was haunted by of the fear of not paying my bills on time. Thankfully I am not struggling and for right now, that is all that matters.
  4. I am grateful that I have a home. When I get home from work, I have the luxury of taking a warm shower, change into clean clothes and end my evening by blogging or watching Friends at the end of the night. A home is a blessing and it is one we can’t afford to take for granted.
  5. I am grateful for my car. My friends and family know that I basically live in my car and that is because I spend so much time in it. Whether it is for Target runs or to get to work, I am so grateful that I never have to worry about getting when I need to be.

My list could go on and on. Here is the bottom line: when you are practicing gratitude, do it on a day-to-day basis by being specific. The more specific you are when practicing gratitude, the happier you will be. Life sure can be tough at time. As long as you take the time to truly focus on what is important, you will be able to face anything that comes your way.

Photography by Katie Vee Photography

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4 Podcasts I cannot get enough of

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Most of my time is spent in the car. While I love listening to music in the car, there are times I need a little extra motivation from professional who can challenge me creatively. So today I wanted to share with you all the 4 podcasts that I can’t get enough of. All of the them are entrepreneurial based. So whether you are a blogger, a business owner or a student, these podcasts are sure to keep you inspired to tackle all of your business goals.

1.

The Influencer Podcast by Julie Solomon 

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This is the first podcast I started listening to a few years ago and I have been hooked ever since. Julie provides so much valuable insight. I find myself mind-blown with all the free advice and resources she provides to her readers (all for free I might add). She always has some of the best guests on her shows from different industries. I can say this: anytime I have felt like giving up, I would turn to this podcast to dispel any limiting beliefs of myself.

2.

Goal Digger podcast by Jenna Kutcher

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I had heard so may great things about this podcast from fellow bloggers. So when I finally sat down to listen to the podcast, I felt like I had been missing out! Jenna has a fun, upbeat personality that blends well with her informative episodes.

3.

The Gary Vee Audio Experience

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Gary does not shy away from giving honest, actionable advice on his podcast. I had just started following his journey last year and still need to catch up with all of his keynotes and presentations. His podcast gives his audience a chance to listen to all of his videos from the comfort of your home or car. What I like about Gary is that he is true to who he is. He stands firm behind his message and does not compromise on who he is. I will warn you, he does curse a lot lol. Regardless, his advice is golden!

4.

The Mind Your Business Podcast by James Wedmore

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I came across this podcast earlier this year when James was a guest on Julie Solomon’s podcast. James’ podcast looks into the personal psyche that entrepreneurs face. Whether it’s comparison or limiting beliefs, James tackles how to follow an entrepreneur through creativity, efficiency and innovation.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which ones? Feel free to share your favorites in the comments below!

 

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Spring Fever: Items I am crushing on this spring

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It’s hard not to get stir crazy this time of year. Doesn’t feel like winter is never going to end? Sure enough, spring will be gracing us on the east coast (eventually). In the meantime, today’s post is dedicated to pieces that I am in love with right now for spring including details on this charming belted dress that has been re-stocked!

Believe it or not, last year I did not get a chance to share details on this look because it sold out so quickly! It is so flattering on petite frames and looks well on it’s own (as pictured) or with a long coat with you can see here.

Last summer, I styled this dress with these feminine scalloped wedges and a straw hat. This look is so effortless to put together. The best part is you can wear this look both in spring and in the summer!

Below I have categorized some of my favorite spring pieces that I am crushing on. Have a lovely week. Spring will be here before we know it!

SPRING DRESSES

SPRING EARRINGS

SPRING HANDBAGS

SPRING DESIGNER HANDBAGS

SPRING SHOES

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Dress: Macy’s // Shoes: QVC (under $50 & on clearance) // Hat: Nordstrom

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You don’t have to be athletic to enjoy sneakers

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I am not a athletic person. I guess that is why I have always associated sneakers with athleticism. While I love wearing love wearing boots in the winter, I have been longing to change up my shoe selection a bit. So even though I am a nerdy 5’2 woman, I have been able to successfully find sneakers that suit me and personality.

I can safely say I understand the hype behind Sperry shoes. They are so crazy comfortable! Plus, these cute pink Sperry sneakers were too adorable to resist. These Sperry shoes are a great way to add some color to your winter fashion. What is your favorite type of shoe to wear in the winter? Feel free to share in the comments below!

Photography by Randy Lange Photography 

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Top: LC Lauren Conrad // Jeans: LC Lauren Conrad // Shoes: Sperry 

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How to winterize a spring dress

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Ah winter. It feels like it last forever here on the east coast. If you are anything like me, chances are you are probably itching to have your spring wardrobe out (at least I am). Nonetheless, who says you have to only wear black and gray during the winter? So today I am sharing a few simple hacks on how to winterize a spring dress.

Layers, layers, layers

Winter is all about layers and your dresses are no exception. By adding short sleeve top with this darling gingham dress, my look is instantly winterize for any occasion. Don’t be afraid to utilize your long sleeve shirts or turtlenecks. These are also pieces that you can pair with a spring dress effortlessly.

Add a feminine touch with stockings or leggings

Leggings and stockings are fun, tasteful way to winterize your outfit. When layers with shorts, a skirt or a dress, leggings or stockings are a great way to keep you warm (and stylish).

UNIQLO Heat Tech pieces

These are also my secret weapon to winterizing my dresses during the winter. You would  never it from these soft, silky pieces but they have UNIQLO’s heat tech technology that traps in your body heat when you wear them! I wear them when I am winterizing spring pieces or use them under my workout gear when I go for walks in the winter. *not sponsored by the way – I am just an active consumer* 🙂

Photography by Randy Lange Photography

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Report Women’s Finch MuleKENDALL BUTTON FRONT DRESS

Dress: Stitch Boutique // Shoes: Amazon

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Valentine’s Day outfit idea

Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it. Whether you are going to be on a special date, staying in or spending time with your girls for Galentine’s Day, I wanted to show you all a look that you can wear this winter for any occasion.

For anyone who has been following me for a while, you know my love affair with floral print. Pieces with floral print have a wonderful dash of femininity and can be worn all year round! One of the main reasons I decided to feature this dress is because it is super flattering. It almost give the illusion that my stomach looks flat (which is it not ha) plus the flare of the skirt adds some extra femininity to my petite frame.

I paired this look with my favorite knee high suede boots (these are also petite friendly) and my favorite red lipstick with gold lipgloss. I got my lipstick and lipgloss from this kit that my baby sister this last Christmas and I am in love!

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May this Valentine’s Day be everything that you want it to be! If you are native to New Jersey or New York, I will be co-hosting a Galentine’s Day event at Stitch Boutique in Madison NJ this Thursday 02/07! You can RSVP for the event here. I hope to see some of you there! xo

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Dress: Cupcakes & Cashmere (on sale for under $24.78!) // Boots: Marc Fisher // Lipstick & Lipgloss: Colorpop

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So, I got laid off – here is how I am coping

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So, I got laid off.

I’m a millennial and independent woman to lost her sole source of income on a Wednesday morning. I have never had this happen to me before and I found myself terrified without a plan. As dramatic as it sounds, I truly thought my life was over.

Lay offs are never easy. Regardless of where you are in your life, it sucks to be let go of a company without warning. I am happy to say that I am now in the acceptance stage of my lay off. Now that my heart is full of love and joy again, I want to share about how I have coped with being laid off:

  1. Take time to rest. I like to work and as a result, I tend to invest a lot of time into work. To walk into your office then to be told that you cannot return to your desk (both literally and legally) forced me to take some time to myself. I wanted to spend all my free time sending our resumes and reaching out to my network as soon as I was let go. Instead, my lay off force me to take some time for myself. For the first time in a year, I got a chance to sleep restfully. I was able to eat foods I enjoy making guilt free without being glued to a desk. I also got to choose how my week was going to go. Additionally, I chose to invest in myself with completing certifications and creating new content to share here on my blog. I didn’t have to report to anyone and I got to be my own boss.
  2. Speaking of emotions – feel them. If there is one thing I have learned from being laid off is that it is dangerous to suppress our emotions. Let them pass so that you can move forward. Do your best not to make any decisions until your anger and sadness has passed. The best decisions made with clarity.
  3. Let people know that you are seeking new opportunities. You don’t have to have a blog to share the experiences you have been through. After telling my brother about about my lay off, he helped me secure an interview within 24 hours of being let go. A week later, I started training at a new position. Don’t be afraid to talk to your family, friends or mentors about being let go. You might be the valuable asset someone in your network looking to add to their team.
  4. Know your job does not define you. This was something I had to accept when I was let go. I felt like such a failure as I carried my things from my desk to my car – knowing I would not return. I learned that there is more to me than just my job title. Losing a job title does not change who I am as a person. As stressful as it is to lose a job, we are defined by the choices we make not the titles we hold.

As I face a new chapter in my life, I am taking the time to re-invent myself as a professional. I am in the process of finishing a marketing and social media certification that I have been meaning to complete for years. I have secured new collaborations for February to share with you all on my blog. And most importantly, I know now that I am not a failure. I now recognize that a lay off is simply a foundation to a greater calling. I’m excited for what is in store for the next chapter in my life.

If you are dealing with a lay off, know that you are not alone. Keep the people you love close. Understand that it is ok to be upset or mad but also find peace by sharing to your network about your lay off as well as seek help if you need it. Most of all, know that you are going to be ok. We are going to look back at this minor bump in the road knowing that we have grown to be stronger than we ever thought possible.

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Sweater: Express// Hat: J.Crew // Jeans: LC Lauren Conrad (Kohls) // Boots: DSW // Scarf: Lush Cosmetics // Lipstick: Stila Liquid Lipstick in Patina

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