1.31.2013

Motivation...and "positive energy" maybe?

Last week I had the opportunity to meet one of my favorite bloggers up in DC. Dorothy has been such an inspiration to me and I absolutely adore her blog, Mile Posts. If you are a runner, I highly suggest checking her out. She's inspirational, encouraging, and fullllll of valuable information. And on top of that, she's beautiful, genuine, and just the nicest person. I was beyond stoked that she agreed to meet me and wish I lived closer so I could get her to coach me:) 

Recently I've felt the fire I had early this year about getting into shape start to dwindle. It was time for an accountability check. You know what I realized? I needed to surround myself with motivating people. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those new-agey, "positive energy" in a hippie-type-way kind of person. I do believe in surrounding yourself by positive people in a positive environment, just not in the whole "aura" thing. If that's you, good for you. It's just not me. 

But after a few conversations I had last week and then meeting Dorothy, I realized that's what I needed. I'm the forever pessimist so optimism doesn't come easily to me. I need reminders, whether it be by my friends/family, the inspirational quotes on Pinterest, or some other way, of what I'm capable of. And to push through the tough times. It's worth the sacrifice. Remember what I said here about 'living sacrifically' this year?

I want to share with y'all a couple things today that are helping me stay motivated. 


This right here is my fav workout shirt. I mean, how can you not go get that run in when this shirt is staring at you?

You can get these shirts from Dorothy at the website above. I'm obsessed with my shirt (I have it in grey). There's something so motivating to keep going when I look down and read this. Because I do. I run my body. No one else does. No one else is going to accomplish my goals for me. It's my hard work that brings my rewards. 

Bangles. Especially after this post about layering watches and bracelets:)


How amazing are these? And see her layering look? L.O.V.E. The charm ones are from Alex + Ani. They say some of the most positive, motivational quotes that we all need to be reminded of on occasion. Or in my case, on a daily basis:) So why not just wear them on my wrist?! 

This post today has been personal. I get it. We deviated from the norm:) But I know my thoughts here can apply to more than getting my body where I want it. You could feel stuck in a rut at work and have lost your motivation from when you set your goals earlier this month. It happens to all of us. Do what you need to do to help you get out of it. I just wanted to share with y'all some ways I'm using to get back and stay on track to get what I want out of 2013. 

How about y'all? How do you stay motivated? And how's those goals going so far this year?!



1.29.2013

Watch Love

Coming off the last post about time management, I thought I'd take that post and accessorize it up. In order to be successful in time management, you've got to have a pretty fab timepiece, right?! 

I personally love a watch with a big face. I need to clearly see what time it is, especially if I'm seeing a client that has no concept of time. You'd be surprised how often that happens...or maybe not? A watch that can accomplish that, along with being trendy and professional is a major winner in my book.

Here's a few that are my latest favs. They can go from office to happy hour to party, shopping, date, etc. 

Seriously ladies...I want every single one of these.

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Obviously there could be hundreds of options up here. There's so many awesome ones to choose from, it's dang hard to pick favorites!

The best thing about watches (outside of its obvious functionality) is that they are one of the best accessories. I absolutely love layering tons of bangles with my watch. It keeps your potentially conservative office look fresh. And like you know a lil' something about fashion. On the weekends, layer up these watches with beaded bracelets, bangles, charm bracelets, leather wraps, etc. I haven't really found there to be a "rule" on what's okay and what's not as far as layering is concerned. It all looks good to me! 

Here's two ways I layer for the workday (the pic on the left I usually have the same gold watch on with those pieces). Clearly I'm a fan of gold.


Layer up ladies.

1.23.2013

Busy...or productive??

There's a saying in our business that goes a little like this..."it's easy to be so busy that nothing gets accomplished." You ever notice that statement to be true? It's so easy to get caught up in the activities of everyday life, that you are neglecting the hours you should be being productive. Busy schedules do not equal productive schedules. 


Let me explain a little further. In my job, the service side of things can dominate 100% of my time if I let it (service meaning taking phone calls to update beneficiaries on accounts, update someone's address, explain for the 15th time the benefits of a plan, etc.). Guess what? That doesn't make me $. The face-to-face time with clients is where I need to devote my time. Researching the latest info and how it's going to affect the markets (here in America and globally) is where I need to devote my time. Those are the productive hours of my day.


Or let me break it down even further...let's use someone who likes to workout as an example. That person has chosen to make exercise a part of their life. What if they went out and slowly walked everytime they went to do a workout? They would be busy walking, but don't you think over time that they really aren't being productive in their exercise? They aren't pushing themselves to get the health benefits that working out provides.

Make sense?

So, here's my challenge to you...when you are at work, are you beyond busy accomplishing nothing that's going to help your company or your team go further? I would recommend that you do an evaluation. I can, without a doubt, tell you that if you prove yourself to be productive, you will see yourself go much farther than those who just seem to act busy all the time. I would highly encourage you to do a time management study. For the record, I do these on occasion (once a quarter maybe?) to check myself. It's a great accountability check. Write down what you are doing every 15 minutes for a week. At the end of each workday, evaluate where your time was devoted. Were you busy being an admin assistant to your boss? Or did you really devote your time to activities that were productive?

*If you are an administrative assistant, I completely understand that a lot of your job is to do what your boss gives you. Why don't you ask though if there's something that you can contribute to that would help take the company further?

With that being said, everyone needs a fun calendar to keep track of their schedule. Confession...I have three. One where I handwrite everything in, one on my iPhone, and one on my iPad. It's sad really. I still like to write everything down...I don't trust technology enough yet! Here's some that really caught my eye...they are fun and compact enough to slide right on down into your bag.





Envelope
Coach
Kate Spade

Check out Kate SpadeNordstrom, and Franklin Covey for other options! Coach had some cute ones, but they were a little more limited than these other sites. There's just something so professional and chic about having a day planner. I know looks can be deceiving, but seeing other girls use dayplanners really makes me think they've got their crap together. Deceiving because I use one and Lord knows that I don't. At least it doesn't seem like it half the time;)

Y'all let me know your thoughts if you do the time management study! Happy hump day!!

1.21.2013

Blazer Love

Blazers are one of my favorite clothing pieces, for work and for going out. They are classic, versatile, and can be the perfect piece to match up to those blingin' accessories.

These are some of my current favs...

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There's two amazing things about a blazer:

  • They can easily move from the office to happy hour. Pair these with a pair of trousers for work, then switch to skinnies for meeting up with friends. Don't be afraid to rock an awesome necklace or earrings that can be worn to both. Remember that when your outfit is simple, jewelry is an easy way to amp it up.
  • They can help you lose 10 lbs overnight. Um, who doesn't want that?! If you have a straight figure, this look can create curves and give you a waist. If you are curvy, it can make your waist look even smaller. 
Blazers are a clothing item that doesn't have to break the bank either. The ones I liked here from ASOSPiperlime, and Zara are great quality, yet don't deplete your account. Plus, since they can be used for a wide variety of work and social situations, it's a good buy! 

What is your favorite blazers out there?? Let me know your thoughts! 


1.16.2013

It's all in the bag...

Okay, first of all, WELCOME to all the new followers!! I'm so glad you're here!

I get asked all the time why I carry a bag that's my size (I'm 5'2 for those of you who are dying to know. and I know some of you are.) I always respond that I carry my life in it. And it's soooo true. If I think I've misplaced my bag for even a millisecond, a panic attack ensues. It's not pretty ladies.

With that being said, I figured I'd share what actually is hidden in my not so little piece of luggage.



See why I need a big bag? And is it ridiculously obvious that I have a slight addiction to lipgloss?

Too bad it never looks this organized. You'd have a better shot of finding that needle-in-a-haystack that people always say, than anything that's tossed in my bag.

Okay, let's list this mess out...

My actual bag is a Kate Spade tote that was one heckuva deal ($498 at Nordstrom in October. $150 at Kate Spade Outlet in January. Blaire-1 Kate Spade-0). It definitely is the perfect tote for work. Classic, seamless, and roomy.

My lipglosses are NARS, MAC, and Lancome (which I got for free in a bonus one time). After looking at this pic, I'm realizing I spend to much $ on pretty much the same shade of color. I might want to finish one tube before splurging on the next. I'm a true believer in a lip gloss. It adds that finishing touch to your look. Find one you love and stick with it....unlike me. Oh, and don't go too bright or harsh. It's distracting to the person you're talking to.

My iPad, a notebook, and my sunglasses are ALWAYS with me. My iPad because I use it for client meetings, my calendar, email access, internet access, etc. My notebook because I like to jot down ideas or notes when they come to me, whether it be blog post ideas, marketing ideas for work, reminders, etc. And sunglasses for obvious reasons....every girl has to own a rockin' pair, right?!

My keys, gum, and 2 bottles of Purell. Because clearly one doesn't do the trick. Actually, my mom apparently thinks I'm not clean enough so she gave me one to keep on my keychain for Christmas. Because no one, including the pope, is allowed to touch my nephew without having freshly purelled. Everyone needs gum or mints. Especially if you meet with clients, bosses, co-workers, friends, significant others...frankly anyone who has the ability to smell your breath. Keep it fresh peeps.

And my basic daily make-up touch ups...NARS tinted moisturizer, Lancome mascara, and NARS lip gloss (in Turkish Delight..my fav!!) My days can be long with client dinners, seminars, etc. and I've got to touch up occasionally.

So, there you have it. Too bad the people (ahem, fellas) that ask me on a consistent basis what "could possibly fit in that bag" won't read this. Darn. Oh, and if you're wondering where my iPhone is...I keep it attached to my hand. It rarely makes it into the bag:)


1.14.2013

Winter Wonderland, Part deux

I feel weird doing this post today while it's 70-some degrees outside! I feel like I should be doing resort-wear looks. I'm definitely not complaining though. Give me these kind of winters any day!

When I did the last "Winter Wonderland" post, some of you contacted me to do a "going out" look while at some of these incredible, snowy places. For packing purposes, I centered three outfits around one winter jacket. I mean, who likes to pack multiply puffy things that take up so much space?!


Pictures from bottom left corner around up to the top right corner

The North Face black puffy jacket
Nordic crew neck sweater
Red coated skinny jeans
Sorel boots
Zara jeggings
Hunter boots
Striped sequin pocket sweater
North Face boots
Black coated skinny jeans
Faux fur cardigan

All of these pieces can also be interchanged with each other to create different looks so that means less to pack! You don't necessarily need both the black jeggings and the black coated skinnies, but they're two completely different pieces that create different looks. I recommend both, but if you're stuffed to the hilt, that's one piece that can be left behind.

Feel free to throw on some different boots than outdoor-friendly ones. I just liked these here because they're functional, but ridiculously cute, regardless of where you're headed!

Also, I'm still trying to figure out photoshop and picmonkey. This whole photo collage thing is a lot harder than I thought. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!!!



1.11.2013

Casual Friday

It's FRIDAY!!! This has been the longest-first-full-week-back-at-work EVER. So happy I don't have to wake to an alarm tomorrow!


Gap long-sleeve white tee (similar here), Express royal blue vest (last season), True Religion flare jeans

Express bangles, Aldo Accessories ring

Shop Mamie necklace (no longer available, but they have some CUTE necklaces in stock!)


My sweet little niece came to play too! Remember when I told y'all here that she's got dependency issues? And how she licks at you constantly? Notice how her tongue is going constantly in these pics. Licking faces, my hands, even air. She stops at nothing. But she's cute (cuter than she looks in these pics, I promise-she's not photogenic at all), so she had to make an appearance. 

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

1.10.2013

Defying the Norm

The start of 2013 has apparently made me crazy. This girl's stepping out in ways I've never done before. I'm taking the whole "new year, new me" to a new level. I've never been a huge risk-taker, but am a firm believer in the whole "the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward" mentality. I just don't have the guts to take big risks with my hair, make-up, etc.

However, this year it seems I'm throwing all caution to the wind. I apparently think that I'm invincible and just have this itch to make changes and take some risks. Case in point? I changed my hair yesterday. I know, I know...most of y'all are probably thinking "so what?". Well peeps, my hair has been the same since I was in high school. I'm 29. You do the math. 

I GOT BANGS!!!

I have not had bangs since I was in middle school (I wish I had a pic for y'all of those...it was a poofy sight, let me tell you). So this was A VERY BIG DEAL for me. My hair stylist-kudos Holli Pollard-talked me into them because I was whining in her chair about how bored I was with my look. Then proceeded to almost throw up and cry all over her when she was cutting them. Girlfriend knew what she was talking about though...I got a whole new look. And one that I'm actually liking and feel confident with. Isn't it ridiculous how some stupid scissors can give you a confidence boost?! 

I'm thinking I like this year so far (as opposed to how I felt here). What are y'all doing different to step out in 2013?? 

Also, check out my guest post on Bon Bon's blog. She made me blush. Seriously. How fun and awesome is she?!

Okay, sorry for the insignificant, random, personal life post today. I'm done. One more day left before the weekend! Woop woop!

1.09.2013

Winter Wonderland

Many times, your job can require you to go to meetings and conferences in sucky places. On the flip side, they can also send you to some ah-mazing places too! Since we're in the dead of winter, and I know some peeps heading to Colorado, Canada, Utah, etc. for such conferences, I wanted to show you some fun snow outfit options! It's like a crime not to take advantage of the winter sports on your free time in these locales;)

Okay pretties, I'm a snowboarder. I don't know much about skiing so we're going with boarding looks today. I don't want you skiiers (word? Probably not) to feel like you're getting the shaft...I'm just ignorant! Def not ashamed to admit ignorance here....



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Clearly my favorite outfits are on Burton. I know, I know...so typical. I can't help it! 

I do want to give you some options on where to get gloves. I ALWAYS recommend getting the layered gloves (the ones that have a thinly layered glove under the puffy glove. Check out these two: The North Face and Marmot

For layering, I love Under Armour's Cold Gear. It keeps the heat in and makes sure you stay warm on those cold, snowy nights. 

If you're just starting out, don't go drop loads of moo-la on a new jacket and pants...get the shells and layer (an item will be labeled as a "shell" when you are on the website). Then build from there if you find you like it! It really is a great workout and SO FUN! 

If you're heading to a winter sport spot, whether it be for fun or work, I hope you have a fabulous time! Happy Shredding!!







1.07.2013

Over the knee boots...appropriate??

Absolutely (depending on the boot). In the professional workplace? Absolutely not. Never, ever, ever is it okay. Remember I'm speaking in a corporate, professional environment here...not at a fashion magazine, MTV, the Bunny Ranch in Vegas, etc.

Here are some of my fav options for both the professional days as well as casual Fridays...




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I personally am a fan of heeled boots for the office, but completely understand how uncomfortable they are, which is why I included some flats. These were some good options that were still classic, sleek, and professional. With the exception of the "casual Friday" rugged boots I threw in here. I'm a huge fan of these kind of boots so I can't help but show some of my favs...

*Just an FYI, I found these boots on Piperlime because they do free shipping and returns, and I find their site easy to navigate. The con of shopping there? The 30-day time limit on returns. I love Zappos for this reason too, but find their site more difficult to get around. The pro of Zappos? 365-day returns. The best of all??? Nordstrom. Free shipping and returns and no time limit! You pay for the convenience in cost though:) 

Hope you have a fabulous Monday! 


1.04.2013

Casual Friday

We're taking casual to a whole 'nother level today. As in slipper style. It's the last week we can be really casual before business kicks into high gear.



Caslon blazer (similar here), lush tank, Old Navy jeggings



Vestique necklace, Gap booties/slippers (old)


It was another iPhone pic kind of day. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

1.03.2013

If only we were back in 2012

I'd still be sleeping in and not having to wash my hair everyday (who does that?!)

I'd only be hearing about the "fiscal cliff" crisis instead of have to answer questions about it and sort through the details of it.

I'd still be in the same yoga pants I wore for 10 days straight (I did wash them once while I was sleeping).

I'd still be getting that extra $200 in my paycheck that "the new tax deal" is currently taking.

I'd be dealing with my nephew sharting all over the place since we were together 24/7 over the holidays. And be turning accent tables into changing tables at Bar Louie with my sister. Yea, that was fun. Too bad I have no pics to show. What can I say? We're innovative people.

Who me?!


I'd be comforting my head-case of a niece who couldn't part with human contact. Do they do psych analysis for pups? Ever since the human tot came about, she's giving off this desperate vibe. If she's not sucking up to you (which in dog language means licking the skin off any body part her tongue may reach), she off pouting in a corner until you go apologize. Harley,  a word to the wise....it's not endearing or attractive. I know some girls like you. It hasn't bode well for them either.

The forlorn look. Little did you know she's on a boat enjoying a beautiful sunny afternoon. And she gets Sweet Frog when she asks. Life's not bad, you four-legged hot dog.


I'd be still eating home-cooked food my mom makes. Or eating out on my dad's dime. Either way, I wasn't responsible for my well-being. Now it's back to whatever nonsense I can scrounge out of the fridge or pantry.

I'd be going to a much less crowded gym. Oh wait...it'll be back to its normal crowd in 30 days. I can suck it up for that long.

I wouldn't be dealing with people of the procrastinating type trying to make last minute withdrawals or contributions to certain investment accounts. People, let's get something straight. I can't stroke you a check out of my personal checkbook and have it count for something with the IRS. There's no such thing as same-day delivery in the investment world. Why? Because it's illegal. Plus, the check would probably bounce. Consider this a warning.

And lastly, I wouldn't still be trying to perfect my goals 3 days into 2013. They should be typed, laminated (on pretty paper, of course), and hanging in my office and bedroom by now. Guess what? They're not. You wanna know why? Because I'm trying to break down the "be more social" goal to make it "attainable". This shouldn't be hard. But it is. I'm a social person; one would think it would be easy. Again...it's not. It's causing me to get the shakes. 

So there. Reasons why 2012, as great and sucky as it was, ended better than 2013 has begun. 


 

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