I love to share stories and posts that are meaningful, inspirational and motivational when it comes to creating a beautiful life. I also love having fun, discovering new things that make life more interesting or easier, AND sharing those things with other people.
I talk to a lot of women who want to work with on different areas of their lives and how I might be able to help them, and I also get delightful messages and emails about everything from what shade of lip gloss I’m wearing in a photo, to how I have such awesome eyelashes, to what I’m reading, eating or what I do with all of my shoes.
So here are some answers to those questions and a few of my favorite things I will share with you that have made my life more lovely. Enjoy.
First things first…shoes.
I love a great pair of shoes. And I really love finding a great pair of shoes on sale — I’m very good at doing that. I’m a hunter. For real. And let me tell you, I do capture, and I have to have somewhere to put this carefully curated shoe collection of mine.
My closet is in my office (a converted bedroom); and I had so much stuff that I gave my husband the closet in the master bedroom and moved my stuff across the hall. It was working out pretty well, except that my shoes took up all of the available shelf and floor space pretty quickly.
I wasn’t even looking for a solution when I stumbled upon this game-changing find at Bed, Bath and Beyond last month. I’d never heard of Shoe Slotz before I found them in the aisle near the velvet hangers; and I’ve had more than my share of “meh” experiences with “as seen on TV” products — BUT THIS! This lived up to the the exclamation-point-hype on printed on the box.
I really did double my space AND I get to see what I own front and center. I don’t have to open a clear box and see which pair of black pumps I’ve stored in there.
It’s a very simple design and I love that feeling of opening up those louvered doors and seeing all of my beauties on display. I bought three boxes of these things and use all of them.
The eyes have it…
I’m a beautiful woman and it’s fun to amplify that in any way that I choose. One of my favorite forms of maintenance : ) are my eyelashes. For almost a year and a half now, I’ve had eyelash extensions and I love them. Yes, you can get a weave for your eyelashes – lol .
Whenever people ask about them, I’m always up front about telling them that there’s some care-and-keeping that goes into maintaining them and keeping them healthy; so if you’re thinking getting lash extensions is a one-and-done deal, I’m here to tell you that it’s not. If you want to keep them, it’s a commitment and you’d need to decide if they’re important enough to you to be in your budget.
So that’s one piece to know about this glam look.
Here’s the important part — they are ahhhh-mazing and one of my favorite parts about being a girl. I take good care of them, I rarely wear mascara anymore and it just gives me a lift to see those big green eyes of mine framed so beautifully when I wake up every morning. It’s worth my time and money to have that feeling. I love them and I’m all-in.
I get my lashes in Louisville at Clique Beauty Boutique and Janna and her staff are excellent at what they do. If you don’t live in my area, but want to find out where you can get extensions in your area, you can always Google it, or go to www.xtremelashes.com; those are the lashes my salon uses and also how the technicians at Clique got trained to apply them.
Do your research and work with someone who knows what they’re doing; ask around and read reviews. Some people have a reaction to the lash glue and/or the pads they put under your eyes when they’re applying the lashes — ask about all of those things so you’re well-informed if you think this is something you want to do.
Wait, there’s more …
Christian Dior Addict Ultra Gloss, #256, Negligee Pink and NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss – Natural: These are my two go-to shades of lip gloss. I’m pretty devoted to gloss these days unless it’s a really great lipstick color from MAC that a makeup artist will introduce me to.
I also stick with more nude or natural pink colors — I like the soft-pretty of that paired with my platinum hair and dramatic eyelashes.
My very talented local makeup artist I hire for events, Wendy Zaki, gave me the Dior gloss when she prepped me for my Body of Work dinner in July and I fell in love with it.
My day-to-day gloss is usually the NYX gloss (in Natural) and I buy it at Nordstrom Rack — usually a few tubes at a time : ) .
Mr. Coffee BVMC EL1 Cafe Latte – This coffee maker of mine is right up there with the shoe organizers in terms of my favorite-favorites. If you follow my blog or my social media posts, there’s often a selfie with me holding a big cup of caffeine in my hands.
Not so long ago, I was queued up at Starbucks to get a Flat White on the daily, which I still love, but it’s an expensive habit. It also takes time to get there and back, and I’m building a business and a family, so I wanted to reclaim my time more than anything.
Amazon is just a big ol’ electronic catalogue for whatever you can think of, so I looked for a coffee maker that would make a latte. And I didn’t want it to cost what a pair of Jimmy Choos would cost. Because … Jimmy Choos.
Anyway, this was the winner — solid ratings and easy to use — so I crossed my fingers and ordered it.
I’m happy to report that I loooooovvvvvveeee my lattes. This thing makes foam! And I can put cinnamon (my favorite add-in) in the milk so it mixes in as it foams. So easy.
I’ve gotten so good at making lattes each morning that it’s hard to believe I once thought that I sucked at making coffee. And I’m so proud of myself for a life hack that saved me time, money and is still one of the most grounding and lovely rituals of my day.
Bitmoji – I’m so tickled with my personal emoji — my own little cartoon avatar that I use on Facebook and in text messages. She cannot make great coffee or organize my shoes, but she still delights me and let’s me play.
You can download the Bitmoji app on your smartphone and choose every feature from head to toe. And there are even extensive wardrobe choices. It’s like paper dolls on your phone, and sometimes that’s just what you need when you’re a grown-ass woman taking care of your kingdom.
The Slow Down Diet – I’ll say a LOT of other four letter words before I’ll ever let “diet” slip off my tongue, but this book isn’t a prescriptive, scammy, tight-rope way of looking at food. It’s the opposite — it’s really an approach to your whole life, not just what you’re putting into your body.
The Slow Down Diet explains how relaxed eating stimulates metabolic function and how stress hormones encourage weight gain. There’s science behind this and the content is also engaging and inspiring.
If you want an idea of what my approach is when it comes to helping women develop a different relationship with their bodies that is based on loving, deliberate choices — this book is one of my guides. It’s also how I’m taking care of myself every day.
That said, you may be following my posts about how I’m making a very conscious and loving effort to take care of myself and my body on an even higher level than I ever have before.
If I want to live this big life I’ve created with steady energy, contentment and grace, that requires planned and articulated self-care. I think I spent a lot of time sort of hoping something would “save me” — like I’d have “enough time” or discipline to figure out why I haven’t been feeling as good about myself, and as light and energetic in my body.
The answers were within me, and I have had to slow down enough to pay attention to them — in my mind, my body, and my actions.
I’ve definitely changed what I’ve been eating each day and people have been asking me about that. Every woman’s body is different and what one person consumes and metabolizes is going to affect another person differently.
That said, I know I love new ideas for better living, and I’m always happy to share to what I do and what I know with another woman if it will help her feel good in her body and her life.
Overall, the biggest change over the past few weeks has been reducing the amount of sugar I consume. For months, I was eating a lot of out-and-out sweet stuff, not just hidden sugar found in bread or crackers; I’m talking candy, ice cream and stuff like that.
I work out so much and so intensely, that I built up a belief (which I know isn’t true, but I was just going behind my own back and rebelling) that I could outwork any of the extra calories I consumed. That’s a myth and it hurts your body over the long term. Food and movement go hand-in-hand, and food really plays a huge part of taking care of the body.
I reduced the sweet stuff, but I didn’t eliminate it. So earlier in the summer, where I may have had a few cookies here, and some gummy kind of candy my kids had around, there…and some chocolate — well, I let go of that.
Some nights, I don’t have something sweet. On another night, I might have some sorbet or a small scoop of ice cream — all-out sugar — but I haven’t banned it and I actually enjoy it when I do have it.
And I check in with why I want it. Am I eating it because I love it? Am I eating to zone out? Because I’m bored? Or because I think the night can’t end without having it?
I don’t have perfect answers for my questions; I’m just here to show up for myself and learn. And that’s helped me “be love” for myself.
When I consumed the amount of sugar I was eating earlier in the year, I’d almost always feel sluggish and bloated the next day.
Over time, I gradually stopped checking in with myself and allowing myself that consciousness when I was eating. That’s what “numbing out” means in terms of overeating — you just keep going — ignoring yourself.
I’d ignore myself because I didn’t want to feel frustration or shame (and guess what? I felt frustration or shame by trying to hide from it). And then I’d have shitty thoughts about myself — and the cycle would continue.
It was an act of love to stop that cycle.
What else has shifted? I eat breakfast now, which, if you read in my last post, I was gradually starting to neglect that a few days a week. Now, I have my coffee in the morning and usually eat eggs, avocado, tomatoes and maybe a piece of toast. Some days, I’ll eat steel cut oatmeal if I want to change it up.
For lunch, I almost always eat a really big salad with lots and lots of dark greens, more tomatoes, cucumbers and I might add a hardboiled egg, grilled chicken or avocado.
Dinner at my house was an area where I was starting to slide, too. Everyone is busy, and it’s easy to lean into picking up takeout on the way home or having something delivered. It gets expensive and there’s higher sodium and fat content and bigger portions. I was telling myself we didn’t have enough time to cook and that was not true.
I decided that if I stopped telling myself the “I don’t have enough time” story over and over again, managed my time differently and also communicated with my husband, we could get back to doing what we’d usually done that kept us healthier — prepare food at home.
Dinner is pretty simple: a protein (sirloin, chicken or fish — grilled or broiled), vegetables (steamed with light seasoning) and a starch (I eat a sweet potato almost every night of my life). We might have some multigrain bread, too. It doesn’t take long. It tastes awesome. My body is happy.
I also record everything I eat in my journal (just a list — no specific, painstaking measurements) and weigh myself every morning and record that weight.
Write shit down and watch what happens. I promise. I’m down five pounds, people.
And my body already looks different — if you look at it as much as I do in a mirror (lol – at home and when I’m working out) I can see it. It feels good. My body really wanted to let that weight go.
I’m doing the work for myself that I teach my clients to do for themselves — I just got away from it for awhile because my life has changed and I told myself I was “lost” or “couldn’t get back” to where I was.
And you know what? I was right in that I “couldn’t get back to where I was,” and that’s because I’ve grown – and that’s good! That’s what I’m here to do with my life.
Things have changed and all I’ve needed to do is reconnect with tools I know to meet myself in this part of my life. The tools didn’t change; my life did — and that’s such good news.
Just because it breaks down to being that simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. It requires preparation and attention and believing my life is worthy of both.
That is my slow down diet.
I’ve slowed down in terms of when I eat and what I eat, but I’ve also slowed my mind down to a deeper level of consciousness and intention.
If you’re in a place where you’re wanting to change or improve the trajectory of your life in terms of your health, your body, your career, your relationships or any other goals and dreams you have, then I think I have created a beautiful program where you can do just that.
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The summer Body of Work course ended in July and the women in the class lost weight, created exit plans for soul sucking careers, wrote business plans, went to exercise classes for the first time in YEARS, flew their freak flags (yaaaaassss!), made travel plans, bought and sold homes, renovated houses — this is the kind of stuff that happens when there’s an environment of synergy, connection and kickass coaching.
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