12.31.2012

Things to Think About When Setting Goals

Okay, so I lied. I'll see you one more time in 2012. Yay! right?!

I know I said this in my last post, but I love this time of year. New Years represents new beginnings, fresh starts, change for the better, and a chance to start over. (I feel like I just repeated myself in four different ways. Oh well...you still got what I was trying to say right??)

Since New Years resolutions and goal-setting is extremely popular this time of year, I figured I'd give you some insight on how to set them so they are easily accomplished.  Most people have dreams and big pictures of what they envision in life for themselves. Most people also write those visions down as their goals. Here's the big problem with that....they are overwhelming and seem too big to accomplish, so it's easy to give up. 

So, what to do??

1. Specifically identify your vision. It's easy to say "I want to be a business owner" or "I want to be a blogger". What kind of business owner do you want to be? How big would you want to get? What's your target market or audience? These are the kind of things that need to be identified first and it takes time to do this. Take 30 minutes over the next few days to think clearly about what you want.

2. Break it down. You want to lose 20 lbs? Make it manageable. Set the small goals to help you accomplish the big one. Lose 5 lbs first. Then worry about the next 5.  You want to pay off that $25,000 debt? Again, set the small goals. Do $1,000 at a time. I promise it will make the big goal seem manageable.

3. Write them down. And put them in a visible place, such as your mirror, desk at work, etc. That way you have a constant reminder of what you're working towards. And make it pretty. Who want's to look at a legal pad with notes on it? BORING. Write at the top what the big goal is though. You don't want to forget the ultimate goal you're working towards. 

4. Tell someone who's close to you, honest with you, and encourages you. That way they can hold you accountable, give you support when you need it, and be your all-around cheerleader. We all need them. Or tell the whole world. Whatever works for you.

5. Reward yourself for the small things. BUT make sure you don't reward yourself with things that are going to distract you from the goals. For example, if your goal is to get out of debt, don't go spend money you don't need to spend. Or if your goal is to lose weight, don't reward yourself with food. Go get a pedi or a new shirt instead. 

If I can give you one BIG tip, work your goals into your schedule. And don't let that happy hour or lunch date deter you (unless your goal is to be more social. then by all means, have at it). Working it into your schedule creates discipline, which we all know we need to achieve anything in life.

Also, be flexible on things you can't control. Sometimes things just happen that are out of our control. And that's okay. It's life. Don't view these obstacles as failures. They're obstacles. You can always re-focus and get back on track.

Last but not least, evaluate your goals every month at a minimum, or every 3 months at a maximum and see how you're doing. Change up your gameplan if you need to.

I've learned (the hard way) this year that nothing worth having comes without paying a sacrifice. Life's tough people. You have to give up something to get the bigger something. Accomplishing goals requires sacrifice on your part. My mantra this year it to live sacrificially. My life's pretty amazing right now, but I still want bigger and better (this means more to me this year than any time before because I hit the big 3-0 this year. which I'm not looking forward to. Those of you that have been there, done it...fill this girl in on some tips to gracefully leave your 20s behind!).  To get more fit, I'm sacrificing my social life to clock in the gym hours. To get better on the blog, I'm sacrificing tv time (which is totally fine now that Gossip Girl is over...but Modern Family, Nashville, and The Mindy Project have taken its place. So I guess its not totally fine). To save more money each month, I'm sacrificing Netflix and some dinners out. Are you getting the point I'm trying to make here?

Gah. It was so much easier as a kid when my goal was to get an A in science. Or to clock in more playtime. 

Here's to being a better person and having a better life! 

Happy New Year! 

12.27.2012

A little late, but...

Merry (Belated) Christmas!!

I hope each of you had a fabulous holiday! Someone else wanted to say Merry Christmas too...


For the record, this is my (ridiculously spoiled, sweet, cute, and chunky) nephew. No kiddos for this girl yet. He still wanted to say hi though. 

I feel like the holidays zoomed past me. It's so hard to believe Christmas has come and gone, and the New Year is 4 days away. Eeeek! We had a fabulous Christmas day with presents, a crazy, fun family, a Southern ribs + chicken wings (and lots of other goodies) candle-lit dinner, and lots + lots of relaxing.  Um, I stayed in my sweats all day. Relaxing enough for ya?! 

My 26-year-old, married sister who is a mom still woke up at 7:30 for us to open presents. Apparently some people don't grow out of this. So, I'm in recovery mode. 

It's time to start planning for 2013! I love new beginnings, setting goals, and game-planning. Anyone have any big plans?! 


For those of you planning a party, I adore these champagne flutes with the rock candy in them! How fun and festive!

Just for the record, I've heard from some of you on posts you'd like to see. They are in the works so look for them in 2013! Hope everyone has a Happy New Year! See you in 2013!



12.24.2012

Holiday Wishlists: Handbags, Part Deux

Merry Christmas Eve!! I sincerely hope you are having a fabulous day with family. I had to get this last post in before Santa actually delivers the presents...maybe he'll get my last minute memo;)

Handbags are my biggest weakness. And shoes, jewelry, + make up. But bags are it for me. The way to my heart. Someone please clue my future hubby in on this tidbit of info...it would bode well for him! Grin. Since I can't get enough of them, I had to do TWO holiday wishlists: handbags posts. As if I could get all my favs into one post. Ha!

While the first handbag wishlist post was geared more towards the professional look, these are more fun. And still not too crazy to take to work with you. My favorite kind. These bags on this post are investment pieces and should last you quite a few years. 






My hands-down favorite bag here?? The All Saints. I talked myself out of it when I saw it in the store in SoHo and have regretted it since. The most useful? The Madewell tote. I actually do have this bag and carry EVERYTHING in it. It's not a bank-breaker and totally worth it, I promise!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Here's to good food, family, love, presents, and the best of all...the birth of Jesus (John 3:16). He's the real reason for the season...and it's certainly been a great season for this girl. Love to you all! 


12.21.2012

I'll be back...

Hi friends! I'm sorry I've been MIA this week. My big girl job has taken precedence. Sad face. 

I've had to study for a pretty big test I had yesterday (I passed! Whoopeee!), so my days, nights, spare time, eating time, have all been devoted to that. I will be back next week though! 

In trying to plan out the first part of next year, I've been scouring my now-not-so-crammed brain for some post ideas. I would love to get some feedback from y'all on what you'd like to see on here! There's definitely some fun posts in the works, but I want to hear from you! Leave a comment, shoot me an email, or leave a Facebook message...it doesn't matter to me! 

I hope you have a fabulous last-weekend-before Christmas! 

I'll be looking like this by the end of today....


BUT have the next 5 days off! 

Here's to lots of sleeping, wrapping, shopping, and eating. See you Monday!

12.17.2012

Black + Bright

It's a office workday for me today...no client meetings! Just some office meetings....

ADAM shirt (rue la la), LOFT Julie trouser pants

Earrings from Bizarre Bizaar (similar here and here)

the standard bracelet set + david yurman bangle



Hope y'all have a great Monday!

12.14.2012

Big News Y'all. BIG.

Are you on the edge of your seat yet??? Because I'm giddy with excitement over here. I've got BIG news y'all. BIG, EXCITING news. Ready?! 

Here's a lil' teaser for you...


Um, how fun are these pieces??? 

Okay, I won't keep y'all in suspense any longer. Much longer anyways...


Okay, okay, I'm done. Here's the big news...all these gorgeous pieces are from

The Main Street Gallery

Seriously, they have some of the most fun, beautiful pieces that go with just about any look you're trying to achieve. And guess what they're willing to do for us?? ANY follower of The Market Confidential gets 10% off anything you want. Anyone y'all

Here's the scoop:

You need to follow the blog to get the 10%. Or you need to "like" the Facebook page. Personally, I think you should do both:). We just need to prove that you're a follower. 

You know what else you need to do? Head over to The Main Street Gallery's Facebook page. "Like" it, check out the albums, and then message them and fill 'em in on what you want! 

Just for the record, they sell more than just jewelry...they have tons of really cute things!

There you have it. Amazing, huh? Better than Casual Friday?? Yea, I thought so. 

Seriously, get yourself on over there and get yourself some chic baubles. Look for a giveaway from there coming soon! 



12.12.2012

Lean, Clean, + Green (a guest post today!)

I'm so excited to introduce y'all to Carrie today! I've known her pretty much all my life, but really gotten to know her these last couple years. One thing I learned?? The girl can cook. And she cooks very healthy. She's a great influence on this carb lover here. I twisted her arm into doing a post today for y'all on ways to eat healthy while at work! I mean, an 8 hour day can be so draining right?! She's got some tips on good foods to keep your energy levels up, how to plan your meals during your workday, and best of all? The foods she suggests are super yummy. Y'all make sure you check out her blog here.


Hi! I'm Carrie and I'm so excited to be over here today! It's not as difficult as you may think to eat healthy in the workplace. Most of the time I pack my lunch. However, if I go to lunch with a client or wholesaler, I order a salad or fish (which happen to be my favorites) and either water with lemon or a sweet tea to drink.

The trick to making your lunch-- make and pack it the night before! Trust me, you're not going to want to make it in the morning (and having a monogrammed insulated lunch bag makes it that much more exciting).

Since I sleep in until the latest possible minute, I also eat my breakfast at work. A typical winter breakfast for me includes oatmeal made with unsweetened Almond Milk, ground flaxseed, a little bit of stevia and cinnamon and fresh fruit on top.


In the warmer months I enjoy a hard boiled egg and Chobani Greek Yogurt. 



No matter what season, I always have a cup of French Roast coffee (the bolder the better)!

For packing my lunch, I love sandwiches- turkey and white cheddar with some spring greens are my favorite! I also enjoy salads. Try to include fresh fruit and veggies whenever possible when they are in season. I always use fresh ingredients and NEVER buy frozen meals- I try to avoid preservatives as much as possible and try to eat lean, clean, and green whenever I can. Another favorite is homemade leftovers from last night's dinner!


This post wouldn't be complete without a mention to my favorite- snacks (because we all get hungry!) I love almonds and peanuts, apples and peanut butter, edamame, cottage cheese, and cheese- there is always a block of cheese in my fridge drawer. It's safe to say cheese is my main food group.

For beverages, I drink water throughout the day- hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! I do have a craving for a soda every now and then and when I do, I don't deny myself that treat! To be honest, I probably drink one soda a month. If it is carbonation I want, Pellegrino is another great choice with the juices of fresh fruit.

Finally, satisfying your sweet tooth. I don't believe in denying yourself anything, but you must eat everything in moderation. When I want something sweet at work and don't want to eat poorly, I enjoy chocolate almonds (Blue Diamond is the only brand I've seen that makes these), honey roasted peanuts/almonds, or a hot chocolate!

Whether you are looking to eat healthier or love food like myself, I hope my lifestyle can be a good example for you! Read the ingredient labels, don't eat fake food (aka preservatives) and try to eat as lean, clean, and green as possible!



Y'all get on over and check out her blog, http://carriesouleretcooking.blogspot.com/. She's got all kinds of great recipes on there! 


SPARKLE!

I'm on jury duty this week. Merry freakin' Christmas to me. I'm really hoping it's like an episode of Law & Order. However, since it probably will be more like "this person is on his/her 20th DUI...", it'll be a waste of my days keeping me from my REAL job. Which means I'll have to do that at night. Which in turn means I'll be back here on Monday. Boo. I do have a guest post though coming later today, so check back!

Did anyone else know that you only get paid $30 PER DAY for this "civil duty"? That's like $5 an hour. Less than minimum wage...or highway robbery as I like to call it. And they don't even give you lunch. What kind of operation is our government running here?! Oh wait. I realize what I just asked. Stupid question.

I want to meet which founding father decided jury duty was everyones civil duty. Um, was it even a founding father? I could totally be making that up. With my luck, I'll wind up with the defendant being a psycho gang member/killer who will etch my face in his memory and hunt me down when he gets out of jail. Or the next Casey Anthony case where the entire nation hates me. Gosh, I can't wait for this.

I guess this is going to have to be my mantra for the next 72-96 hours...



Y'all make sure you sparkle enough for me. I'm probably going to be shooting daggers at the d-bag that got in trouble for keeping me there.

Oh, and I promise to be more professional next week:)

Don't forget to check back later for a super fun guest post!!

12.10.2012

Do I Really Have to Get My Boss a Gift???

This can be such an annoyance every year. Whether it's deciding IF you need to get he or she something, or trying to determine how much to spend, or finding that perfect gift, it can a huge, unnecessary pain in the booty during the Christmas season. And frankly, unless the pain is going to cause my booty to shrink, I'm not sure it's worth it. Especially if your boss is the kind who seems to have it all. I mean, what do you get the person who has everything?! 

But alas! Fret not ladies...I've got all kinds of ideas for you today! Best part? They don't break the bank. Drum roll please...

For the girls in charge:










For the gents:






And for both:









Okay kiddos. These suggestions hopefully will keep you from pulling out that stress stash you have in that desk drawer (whether it be chocolate, your own happy hour bar, or whatever it is that makes you happy. No judging over here. Promise.) Get to shopping! 


12.07.2012

Silent Night

Allow me a moment to brag on my alma mater, Taylor University. This has nothing to do with work, being professional, tips...nada. Unless you count that this particular place prepared and propelled me into the working world (and adult life. Gah.).

Let me give you a little background info here...

Taylor University is a small, conservative Christian school located in Upland, Indiana. Never heard of it? It's because Upland is about 3 miles wide, 4 miles long (total guesstimations on my part. I could be being very generous). And it's located in the middle of a cornfield. And when TU wasn't in session, the town population dropped by 3/4ths of its residents. Now mind you, TU only has about 2000 students. We are located almost smack dab in the middle of Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. Upland's claim to fame is Ivanhoe's, a local restaurant who boasts over 100 milkshake and sundae options. It's also the only restaurant option.

Our claims to fame...
-#1 private school in the mid-west, according to US News (and have been for awhile)
-A former alum, Steve Johnson, was head of the EPA during the Bush Administration
-John Groce, Illinois basketball coach, is also an alum
-The tragedy of mistaken identity, which is still fresh to many. Hands down the biggest tragedy to have occurred at our school. I can also say that I've never seen a campus come together the way ours did that evening and the following days.  (read about it here)
-And best of all....SILENT NIGHT! This was always one of the most fun nights at Taylor (along with Airband and a few other traditions). Here's how it works:

It's always on the last day of regular semester classes and coincides with the Ivanhoe's basketball classic. Everyone dresses either in pajamas, or if you live in Wengatz or Sammy (guys dorms), it's a crap shoot. Those guys dress up in anything and everything (or next to nothing). You have to be completely quiet until Taylor scores the 10th point, then the place erupts in complete pandemonium. I mean, you gotta let off some steam right?! The crazy thing here, is that our little tradition has made national news now. ESPN, Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal (which was a huge surprise to me when I opened up to read about the markets that day and saw my fav place in there. I did a not-so-little dance and squeal in my office, let me tell you). Places (um, Illinois?!) are trying to copy us. Justin Bieber tweeted about us since the girls from Olson did a flash mob dance to his song...which was my former home. I couldn't have been more proud, let me tell ya. Prepare to have your day made.



And for your viewing pleasure....


Do y'all notice I said "we", and "us", and "our" a lot? As if I still go there? And am still a part of everything on campus? Let me just tell you, that's the thing I love about Taylor. If you have gone, are there, or will go to this amazing school, you are part of the family. We welcome you with open arms and once you're in, there's no getting out. I can assure you. And I mean that in the craziest way possible. 

This place gave me 4 of the best years of my life. You current TU students? Enjoy tonight and etch it into your memory. You will look back on it fondly, I promise.

Casual Fridays

This sweater has been a go-to for me for the past 2 years. It was a stinkin' steal at H+M last fall. It feels like I'm wrapped in a blanket and I absolutely LOVE the pockets in the front. Perfect for the cool fall day. 

H+M tunic sweater (old), Gap boyfriend jeans


Simply Meg bangles, Michael Kors watch, Kenneth Jay Lane cheetah bangle (Gilt Groupe)


Steve Madden booties (similar here and here and here)


I have a weekend full of holiday parties that I am beyond excited for! I think I'm going to have to hit the gym extra hard this week. Gah. I'll try to remember to take some pics to post (key word being TRY).  Hope everyone has a great weekend!


12.05.2012

Holiday Wishlist: Gadget Style

I, for one, am one of the most technologically challenged people on planet earth. Just ask my assistant. Or don't...he may unleash all kinds of stories on me which I'd prefer to keep in the confines of my cozy little office! However, when the iPad made it's grand entrance, my world changed. I knew how to use it! And I do. Often. I've affectionally referred to it as my child. And my right arm. And any other body part that is of importance. Get my drift? 

One thing I love about any and all cool techie things are the cool accessories that accompany them! I mean, seriously, how many adorable, functional cases can a chica have?!

Hipster Headphones-also in other fun colors
Monogram iPhone Case
iPod water-resistant speaker
For the exercise fanatic
Dorothy Perkins Kindle case
Metallic Handsets-also in silver metallic
Rebecca Minkoff iPad envelope
Kate Spade chic iPhone case
Stylus Pens
iPad keyboard
Tory Burch iPad sleeve
Laptop Case
Cable Box
Portfolio iPad case
Video pen
Retro Handsets


12.03.2012

It's Party Time!

We've finally hit holiday party season! Anyone else busted out their Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, and *NSync Christmas music yet?! I've been singing at the top of my lungs over here since Thanksgiving week. Much to the chagrin of those around me. 

I can't even begin to tell you how happy glitter, sparkles, and sequins make me. Is it pretty obvious from some of my fav holiday party dress pics?! These are some suggestions that I have if you have a fancy office Christmas party. 



1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12


There are three rules I abide by when choosing whether a dress is appropriate...
  • cleavage is a no-no. I'm not saying no v-necks or low necklines, but make sure the girls are IN. Ya know what I mean?! 
  • Make sure you aren't in a mini. They are not appropriate for any corporate office party. Above the knee is fine, but a mini? No. Use the old-school test where it's no shorter than the bottom of your finger-tips when your hands are down by your sides. Anyone else have to do that for the principal in high school?! 
  • Bandaid skirts (which is what I like to call them) are never appropriate for a work party. Save it for NYE with your friends.

Use wisdom y'all. If people would confuse you for a Vegas cocktail waitress, chances are it's not a good fit for an office party. If a simple dress is what you feel comfortable with, remember you can always bling it out! 

Bring on those parties!




12.01.2012

Neiman Marcus + Target

It's here!!! I've been waiting for this day since Neiman's and Target announced their big collab!

And y'all? It's so much better than I expected. The Alice + Olivia luggage, Altuzarra old-fashioned glasses, Proenza Schouler sweatshirt, DVF yoga mat,Robert Rodriguez dress, and the Tracy Reese dessert plates are some of my favs!

Get to target.com and get shopping!



 

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