Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Recognizing Happiness + $200 Nordstrom Gift Card Giveaway

A simple truth in life is that if you are looking for things that make you happy you will think your life is good.  If you're looking for the misfortunes in your life, you will think your life is bad. People who have nothing have been happy and think they have everything, even when extremely terrible things take place.  On the other hand, those that have everything have often been unhappy.  Look for the good in your life and count your blessings.  Don't compare your life to anyone else, you can never measure up above everybody in every way.  You often don't know what struggles others face and another's happiness or success should never diminish yours.  Success, money, possessions and opportunities don't determine happiness; gratitude, perseverance and a cheerful heart do.  So have sunshine in your soul today because there is always something to be happy about!

A company I found recently that I felt like I just had to wear on my blog is Noonday Collection!  I love finding companies that work to give back instead of just working for profit.  Not only is Noonday a great company, but their accessories and jewelry are absolutely gorgeous and each piece is so unique.  They use fashion to "restore dignity to abandoned women in Ethiopia, empower communities in Ecuador, and create business opportunities for Ugandans".  It's so cool that you can even see where your item was made and how it is benefitting and providing dignified, well-paying jobs to locals.  That's definitely a company that embodies the idea of having sunshine in your soul!  (P.S. Don't forget to scroll down to enter to win a $200 Nordstrom Gift Card!)

| Necklace: Noonday Collection | Dress: Marilyn & Beverly's | Sandals: Zulily | Photography: Sam Stapley Photography |

I am so excited to be teaming up with 17 other beautiful bloggers to celebrate labor day weekend (week), giveaway style! One of you lovely readers will be winning a $200 Nordstrom gift card just in time to stock your closet with some amazing fall clothes and accessories!
So, go ahead, enter to your hearts desire. And remember, if you complete every entry, you will get 10 extra entry points and the more points you get the more likely you are to win! To enter use the rafflecopter below. This giveaway runs until Tuesday, September 9th at midnight! Good luck and don't forget to stop by the lovely co-hosts blogs and show them some love!
Win $200 Nordstrom
Meet your host
Nordstrom Giveaway Group 2
Nordstrom Giveaway Group 3

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Failure Is Not Fatal

I can't believe how rainy it has been here lately!  I'm not ready for the cold and overcast skies, although the weather did create the perfect setting for this blog photo session with Sam Stapley Photography.  It was so much fun to take pictures in the water...until the lighting started and then we darted for the car.  It also gave me an excuse to wear this maxi cardigan that I've been dying to wear ever since it came in the mail from SoulRx!  I think for the last bit of summer and into fall I am going to be completely obsessed with maxi cardigans and dusters.  I just love the way they flow when I walk and give provide a lengthening effect for my body.  
One quick thought today on perseverance...have you ever failed at something and become completely discouraged?  I know I have.  Sometimes failure can be paralyzing and it is difficult to see new opportunities or a way to rebuild.  Winston Churchill addressed failure and success simply, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts".  If he could find the light and "never surrender" during some of Britain's darkest days during World War II then you can find the way to rise from your failures.  So persevere and take courage, life is short and wonderful.  

Cardigan: Soul Rx / Dress: H&M / Booties: Aldo via Nordstrom (similar here) / Slip: Marilyn & Beverly's / Flower: TJ Maxx
Photography: Sam Stapley

Friday, August 22, 2014

This Makes Me Happy

When I found this tee I knew right away I had to have it!  I feel like it goes perfectly with my blog and what it stands for, not to mention the fact that the company, Camp Moxie, has a great platform as well.  They were "founded on the idea that your clothes should not only make you look good, they should make you feel good too".  Their company is so inspiring and their tees are full of cute, fun and inspirational graphics.  The text on this top is what I want to talk about today.  After reading the text on this tee for the first time, "This Makes Me Happy" I immediately began to think about what makes me happy and what makes me savor my time on this earth.  What truly makes me happy are often the little things, the kind of things I often loved as a kid.  I remember finding so much joy as a child jumping in puddles and rolling down green hills, but somewhere in the transition from kid to adult I stopped doing those things because I felt like it wasn't something grown ups do.  In the past year or so I decided these reservations were holding me back from enjoying little moments in life that ultimately make me grateful for what I have.  (Continued below...)

Tee: c/o Camp Moxie; Skirt: H&M (similar here); Necklace: c/o Marilyn & Beverly's; Heels: ShoeDazzle (similar here)

The truth is, I love the feeling of jumping in puddles, running through sprinklers and rolling down hills. Now that I'm an adult I can do all of those things without a grown up worrying about the mess I might bring in the house or if I'm ruining my clothes.  I can make the decision that I'm okay with getting my clothes a little wet and dirty and dealing with the laundry that follows because it is worth the work to enjoy those experiences.  So I would challenge all of you to remember the little things that make you happy and DO them!  Don't just watch movies, read books and think about how much fun it would be to stargaze from the hood of a car or jump into a lake fully clothed, do it.  It's in the little moments that I find my deepest sense of gratitude for this life and understand what truly makes me happy.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Be Bold & Shine + $500 ASOS Giveaway

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to do a blog photo shoot with the beautiful, talented Sam Stapley Photography and today I’m excited to be able to share some of the pictures with you!  If you live in the Utah area make sure and look her up, she is an absolutely amazing artist.  On that note I thought I would just share another quick “how to be happy” tip.  Something I have focused on in my effort to live a more happy life is looking for the light in everyone around me, especially my family and friends.  Instead of mentally belittling someone else’s talents because I don’t feel inadequate, I realized I needed to get out of that accidental habit and reverse that thinking.  I have found I actually feel happier when I try to truly recognize the greatness in others around me.  Try to take the time to identify what makes someone wonderfully unique over the next week.  This thinking will transform the way you look at life, those around you and even how you feel about yourself.  Don’t talk yourself down while you’re elevating others, just focus on identifying the good instead of a mental size up.  Let your light shine and in the process of recognizing the greatness of others, you will help them to realize their worth, which will only help your light shine the brighter.  One of my favorite quotes is by Marianne Williamson that has also been quoted by Nelson Mandela: (post and giveaway continued below...)

Skirt: c/o Sweet Salt Clothing; Top: H&M; Sandals: Zulily; Photography: Sam Stapley

*Note: If you're looking for modest, comfortable skirts I'm seriously in LOVE with Sweet Salt Clothing.  I have had so many compliments on this skirt, it actually has length to it and the quality is awesome!

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine, as children do.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear our presence automatically liberates others.

Don’t be afraid of the good you are capable of and don’t fear the successes of others.  Instead be grateful for talents and successes and share your talents and praise with others.  It is our responsibility to share our good qualities and talents instead of keeping them hidden because of shy reservations or laziness.  Be bold and shine!

Today I am thrilled to be teaming up with Kiss Me DarlingStyle Elixir and many other amazing bloggers to bring you a $500 ASOS Gift Card Giveaway! When it comes to online shopping, it can be hard to find a website that caters to all different kinds of styles and trends, while still giving you items with great quality and a great price. ASOS has it all!

One lucky reader will win a $500 ASOS Gift Card to splurge on some amazing clothing, jewelry, and accessories. I don't know about you, but I could spend hours on their site picking out adorable tops, bottoms, bags, you name it!

To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway is open until midnight on Monday, August 25th and remember, the more entries you complete, the more chances you have to win! For fashion lovers around the globe, this giveaway is open internationally. Oh and be sure to visit and say a big hello to all the fabulous people involved. Good luck!

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Summer Is Not Over Yet Checklist

I can't stand the idea of summer being over yet, I feel like sunshine, green grass and warm evenings just got here.  I love when the sun doesn't go down until 8 or 9pm and shortened days cut into my productivity.  BUT summer is not over yet!  So before summer is over it's time for us all to reevaluate our summer checklists and get a few more fun activities crossed off.  Want some ideas on what to do while it's still warm?  Keep reading...

(Jumper: c/o SoulRx; Top: c/o Marilyn & Beverly's; Sunglasses: TJ Maxx; Belt: old (similar here); Heels: Nine West)

*By the way, if you are looking for an awesome, insanely comfortable piece for your wardrobe that transitions from summer to fall?  This black jumper from SoulRx is the single most comfortable piece of clothing I own and I get so many compliments when I wear it.  In addition, the quality of the material is out of this world.  It is so soft and smooth (so you don't have to worry about wrinkles), and it is also made to last.  For the end of summer you can wear it with a tee or tank and in the fall this jumper also looks great with a 3/4 or long sleeve top.  Just thought I would include a little note about it since I have been completely obsessed since I got it in the mail!

Final Summer Checklist
  • Movie in the park/drive-in movie
  • Picnic for family dinner
  • Play mini golf
  • Have a bonfire/campfire (with s'mores of course)
  • Grill and eat fresh corn
  • Have a BBQ
  • Stargaze 
  • Go to a concert
  • Watch the sunset from a mountain or beach
  • Pick a wildflower bouquet
  • Last minute road trip
  • Explore a tourist destination in your city that you haven't been to before
  • Catch some rays on a beach towel
  • Go camping
  • Play tennis at dusk

Hope this gave you some fun ideas!  I think Jordan and I have done just about everything on our list here except we our last minute road trip and concert are planned for next week and the week after!  What was on your summer list?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

"Be The Good" + Giveaway

Happy Wednesday everyone!  I hope you are enjoying your week.  I'm super excited because it is the last week I will have to wake up at 5:30am every morning to get ready for work; starting next week I get to sleep in until 6:30am.  Whoop, whoop!  Hey, you have to celebrate the little things, right?  This week I did a photo shoot featuring a shirt (and a giveaway) from My Sister's Tee.  The graphic on the tee inspired my subject for today's blog post, "Be The Good".  I love what this t-shirt says!  After receiving it, I started thinking about what that really meant, and one area of my life I could apply it.  Today after having a conversation with a co-worker I started reflecting on my friendships and how I met and developed a relationship with those closest to me.  It's so easy to meet new people and hide behind the cover of a shy personality or think to yourself, "I'm just going to wait until that person says hi first".  When I am in a large group of people I am initially quite reserved.  I always admired my friends who would walk into a room alone and leave with at least five new friends.  In college I started reflecting on what drew me to  the friends I had and how they initiated a friendship.  (Continued below...)
Top: c/o My Sister's Tee; Pants: Nordstrom Rack; Heels: ShoeDazzle, Beanie: Marilyn and Beverly's

Here are some my favorite qualities I observed about my closest friends:
1.  They are the first to say hi to someone new
2.  They initiate a day or activity to get together again
3.  They give sincere compliments
4.  They are open and willing to share funny flaws or personal stories
5.  They listen to you during your conversations
6.  They remember past conversations and details about you

Over the past couple of years, I've really made an effort to push past my shy inhibitions and be the first one to try and instigate conversation and create friendships.  I probably would have lost out on the opportunity to get to know so many people if I had not been the first one to reach out and try to get to know someone.  This is something I want to continue to improve upon and "Be The Good" in a friendship and bring light and happiness to others just like so many of my friends do for me.  Just a little food for thought, hope it inspires you to put yourself out there once this week and make a new friend!

Also, if you loved the message on this top...why not get one for yourself?! You have the chance to win a shirt for yourself so you can pick sport a top of your choice from their variety of uplifting graphic tees!  I have teamed up with My Sister's Tee and four other bloggers to give away FIVE tees.  Enter below and good luck lovelies!
That's right, 5 of us bloggers are teaming up with My Sister's Tee to giveaway 5 shirts!
That means 5 chances to win an adorable t-shirt for yourself!
Just visit all the cute bloggers below, and then enter the rafflecopter for a chance to win!

Lauryncakes | The Salty Mess | Michaela Jean | Hearts of Gold | Paige Arminta

a Rafflecopter giveaway