Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Frost + Fire

"Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire."

-Robert Frost 
(Continued below...)

| Flower Crown: c/o Miss Stevi Marie |  Sweater: c/o Chic Style Utah | Necklace: c/o Noonday Collection | Skirt Extender: c/o Marilyn & Beverly's | Dress: H&M (similar here & here) | Plush Tights: Nordstrom Rack | Booties: Aldo via Nordstrom (similar here & here) |


I can't think of a better word to describe some of the strongest emotions my heart has felt in my relatively short lifetime.  The first spark of love, burning tears, red hot anger, a flaming soul, roaring passion; all of these feeling have one thing in  Fire has been my drive in starting my companies, traveling, blogging, applying to law school and starting to develop a non-profit organization to help fight teen depression.  These fiery desires all burn within me and have made me all the wonderful things I am today, they have also been my obstacles.  I have recently found myself so exhausted from working 50-60 hours a week and then coming home to study, blog, cook, clean, take care of the puppy, schedule appointments, etc.  I have been working seven days a week for the past couple of months and if I every get away with 40 hours a week I pretty much had a vacation.  My fire has been literally burning me out.  I have an addiction to work and progression, which can be great strengths as well as vices.  I've been reflected on the words of wisdom spoken to me over the last year about not running faster than being able.  I know I am not the only person in this position, I'm sure most  of you have found time slipping by and your body giving in to weariness, so instead of getting burned up by your fire I would like to share a few quotes and words of advice I am trying to work on as well.

Gandhi stated, "There is more to life than increasing it's speed".  Life already moves so quickly, why do we feel the need to fill every minute instead of enjoying it and focusing and the most important things?  Sometimes "we have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best" as Dallin H. Oaks once said.  When I evaluated my time I started to realize I was spending a lot of my efforts doing jobs and tasks that are not ultimately important to me and it was time for me to cut back on a few things in order to make room for what matters most.  For each of you what matters the most may be different, but take some time this holiday season to stop and remember your priorities so you don't get lost in stress and living a life full of keeping up with the neighbors or chasing after things that ultimately make less time for what your most important goals are.  Not to mention, take time for your mental stability!  Take it from me, last holiday season I was in tears every other day completely overwhelmed with everything I had put on my plate.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, let the roaring fire in your body dwindle so you can more clearly see which sparks to focus on and rekindle the fires of what ultimately matters most.  

 [Left to Right] | Stevi | Jody | Katelin | Ariel | Lauren | Jessi | Jaylynn | Abby | Me

*Special thanks to Miss Stevi Marie who organized this shoot and invited me to be part of it, these girls have become some of the most positive friends of mine and I loved being able to do this shoot with them.  The team that made this shoot possible was amazing as well, thanks to Kali Poulsen for the images, Stevi for the crowns, Chic Style Utah for the cardigans, Emily Rose for my makeup and Lovely Locks and Darling Dyes for my hairstyle.  You girls were all wonderful and I'm so lucky to have been able to be part of this gorgeous shoot!  

Happy Thanksgiving tomorow goldies!  Thanks for reading, remember to slow down and take time to enjoy the day.  I'm so grateful for all of you who take the time to stop my my blog and support me.  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sparkle on Rodeo Drive

"Do not let your fire go out, 
spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite,
the not yet, and the not-at-all.
Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved
and have never been able to reach.
The world you desire can be won.  It is is possible's yours."

-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Every human being has a fire burning in them, a fire of deep desire that smolders beneath the surface that most rarely let others see.  Desires so dear that they drive our daily lives and propel us to achieve dreams we scarcely think we can achieve.  Regardless of whether or not our desires are realistic, this fire is a major driving force for success in life.  Often life throws failure in our way, causing our flames to flicker, falter and diminish.  Failure is the epitome of a road block; it halts progress, frustrates and discourages us from continuing along in the same path.  Disappointing failures can consume the mind and have a paralyzing effect on progression.  I have often encountered countless disappointments and major failures.  There are years of my life that I feel I could have put to better use had I not been so wrapped up in thoughts of the "not-quite, the not yet, and the not-at-all", as Ayn Rand put it.  Today I see so much more potential than I did even five years ago.  I can see how far I've come and how my successes have exceeded my failures.  (Continued below...)

| Sequin Leggings + Bracelet: c/o Marilyn & Beverly's | Sweater + Tee: Nordstrom Rack | Booties: Go Jane | Purse: Kate Spade |

We all have the opportunity to constantly do that; to fail, learn, adapt and grow and then look back and see how far we have come.  We have the opportunity to rekindle our sparks and let the "hero in our soul" live.  So remember to keep a passion for life and let yourself dream about what seems to be the unachievable.  I'm a big supporter of the aiming for the moon and landing among the stars theory.  So instead of letting life happen to you and accepting your failures it is imperative to claim the world you desire because "it is is's yours".  Now is the time feed your fire and SPARKLE.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Think of the Happiest Things + Disney Movie List

"Think of the happiest things, 
it's the same as having wings"
-Disney's Peter Pan

Every time I walk down Main Street in Disneyland my heart overflows with happiness!  It doesn't matter how many times I go or who I'm with, I always have joy in my heart when I feel like I'm entering a land of make believe and imagination.  Countless wonderful things came from Walt Disney's vision when he started bringing some of the most memorable cartoon characters of all time to life.  Not only do we have books and movies from his dream, but we also have lands and worlds where fantasy can become reality.  To share some of the Disney joy with you I thought I would compile a list of the "20 Happiest Disney Movies" to watch when you need a little extra pep in your step!  (Continue reading below for the list...)

| Sweatshirt: CottonOn | Pants: Nordstrom Rack (other styles here & here) | Booties: Aldo via Nordstrom (similar here & here) |

There are so many amazing Disney movies that I can barely begin to choose my favorites, however, I can tell you which ones are the happiest Disney movies for sick, blue, down or you are just in the mood to laugh days.  These movies are a sure fire way to put a smile on your face!

Happiest Disney Movies
1. Peter Pan (a movie full of thinking happy thoughts so you can fly)
2. Oliver & Company (catchy songs/cute animals..."why should I worry, why should I ca-a-a-are")
3. Big Hero 6 (pound, then blow it up..."doodle, doodle, doodle, do")
4. Cars (focus on the things that are the most important in life, then go tractor tipping)
5. Finding Nemo (it will get you to "just keep swimming, just keep swimming")
6. The Emperor's New Groove (learn how to speak squirrel and don't throw off the groove)
7. Wreck It Ralph (a bad guy who doesn't want to be bad + candy galore)
8. Monster's Inc. 1 or 2 (monsterous fun with "lemon" snow cones)
9. Mary Poppins (a place where you can jump into sidewalk chalk and medicine actually tastes good)
10. Meet the Robinsons (my personal favorite villain...bowler hat guy, he has the best ideas around)
11. A Goofy Movie (it's all in the title, head "out on the open road" with Goofy and Max)
12. Ratatouille (a cartoon about good food...yum)
13. High School Musical (sing and dance along with Zac Efron)
14. Princess Diaries (a girl who is just as clumsy as I am)
15. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (makes your day look good in comparison)
16. Enchanted (fairytales coming to one hundred and sixteenth and Broadway)
17. The Parent Trap (who didn't want a twin they could fool their parents with when they were little?)
18. Honey I Shrunk the Kids (giant Oreo and adventure right in the backyard)
19. Mighty Ducks (team spirit at its finest "quack, quack..."
20. Aladdin (I also wish I could be wealthy and royalty)

What Disney movies make you smile?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What a Wonderful World + Life Perspective

"I see skies of blue
And clouds of white
The bright blessed day
The dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world"
-Louis Armstrong "What a Wonderful World"

Whenever I listen to Louis Armstrong's smooth lyrical tribute to this beautiful world I find myself taking the time to look around and notice all of the details around me that are truly beautiful.  I am often in awe of how wonderful this world really is, every color, animal and piece of nature; however I still find myself taking them for granted.  Instead of seeing a "bright blessed day" sometimes I just see a new morning and find myself wishing the sun would go back to bed so I can continue sleeping; or instead of a "dark sacred night" I wish the sun would be up so I can get more done.  How many times do we all want something that is the opposite of what we have instead of being grateful for what we love about the moment?  Life is all about perspective and mine is often skewed.  Some people are naturally born with a positive perspective, but for the rest of us, it can be a complete mental reset for us to start seeing looking for all of the good things around us instead of the bad.  (Continue reading below for my tips on thinking more positively...)

| Sweater: Halogen via Nordstrom | Blouse Dress: sold out (similar here) | Plush Lined Tights: Nordstrom Rack | Boots: Go Jane | Bracelet: Marilyn and Beverly's | Handbag: Kate Spade (current season here) | Lip Stain: Sephora |

2 Tips for Thinking More Positively:

1. Listen to happy music!
Especially if you are prone to depression.  I listened to a lot of punk/EMO music in high school and in the early part of my college years and as much as I still love this type of music I have to be careful to not listen to some of the songs if I am in a bit of a rut.  For some people this type of music might not have this effect, but a different genre might bring them down.  Perhaps you are more brought down by soft ballads, love songs, etc., decide what types of songs can make you feel a bit more down and avoid listening to that in times you might be more affected by the lyrics or melodies.
2. Mentally or physically correct yourself if you think a negative thought.
If I find myself thinking negative things, I try to correct myself by replacing it with a positive thought.  For example, if I am irritated with my husband because he decided to vacuum while I'm studying, I try to mentally correct that thought and focus on being grateful that he is helping with the cleaning around the house; or I might even verbally tell him thank you.  It is amazing that when I do this, I really mean it!  I really am grateful instead of irritated.  This is probably the tip I need to keep working on the most because it does make a big difference.  

Here's to a wonderful world and I wish all of you a wonderful week goldies!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

For Beautiful Lips

"For beautiful eyes, 
look for the good in others;
for beautiful lips,
speak only words of kindness..."
-Audrey Hepburn

Today's blog post is going to be on lip color and I couldn't think of a better way to start out than with this quote by Audrey Hepburn, because no matter what you put on them the most beautiful thing about your lips will be the kind words that come out of them.  In the world today there are no lack of vile words and gossip runs rampant, so my challenge this week to you is to try to say one kind thing each time you think (or accidentally say) something that is less than amiable.  

This year I've been experimenting a lot with lip color, however, I've had the hardest time finding one that would stay on my lips and go on smoothly without looking gloppy while still providing bold color. Recently, I went to Sephora and one of the girls working there introduced me to my new favorite lip stain!  I have become so obsessed and I seem to add more colors to my collection each month.  I've tried a ton of drug store lip stains that I liked, but these have won me over.  (See why below...)

| Colors (left to right): Fuchsia Concentrate, Tangerine Stain, Ruby Extract |

Here's why I like Sephora lip stain:
1. It's affordable and a pretty close dupe for Yves Saint Laurent lip stain
2. It doesn't dry out my lips like lip stain markers do
3. Goes on glossy but dries more matte
4. Highly pigmented
5. Long lasting
6. Doesn't get cakey like lipsticks tend to do on me
7. I don't have to constantly worry about it getting on my teeth!

The one thing I would be aware of is that typically their bold colors turn out better than their nudes and light pinks.  If you are going to try them, I recommend starting with a red or bright pink and then experimenting with other colors.  Also, I always exfoliate my lips before putting on a bold color.  My lips have a tendency to get some dry skin so if I know I am going to be featuring that part of my face, I do my best to make my lips smooth.  I either use warm water and a wash cloth or Laura Mercier Face Polish while I am in the shower.  

Pucker up goldies!  Until next time...

Monday, November 3, 2014

Stay Cozy in the Fall

Get cozy, comfy, cute fall style with extra long cardigans and fuzzy scarves.  I pretty much love walking out of the house feeling like I'm snuggled in a long blanket and super soft fuzzy scarf.  Comfort and warmth in cooler months is pretty much a fall essential for me because when I get out of bed in chilly weather I sleepily reach for whatever is warm and easy to slip into.  Create at least two ultra comfortable, classic, go to looks for cooler weather so you're not tempted to stay in the house all fall and winter, lounging in sweat pants and slippers.  I may or may not be giving this advice from experience... ;)  It's hard to stay motivated to go outside when it's cold and I've found that feeling at least semi cute and getting ready for the day helps to keep me going.

| Cardigan: Halogen via Nordstrom Rack (similar here & here) | Scarf: Nordstrom | Jeans: Forever 21 | Boots: old (similar here) | Tee: Abound via Nordstrom Rack (exact in stores, online similar here) |
*These skinny jeans were only $7.80 at Forever 21!

Stay cozy goldies....

Friday, October 24, 2014

Dream Your Life + $500 Shopbop Giveaway

Recently I haven't been doing a lot of posts where I've talked about fighting depression and loving your life, so I thought it was time to change that.  I asked my brother a couple of months ago to write something to help people during time they feel a little discouraged and what he came up with was so beautifully written I thought I would share it with you today (don't forget to check out the $500 giveaway below as well).
Dream Your Life by Mark Flora
Imagine you are asleep one night and throughout that night you have a single dream.  That next morning you wake and in that dream you have experienced eighty years worth of time.  During the dream you have full control of everything that happens to and around you.  Every wish and desire you can think of is yours without hesitation.  You have enjoyed a lifetime of bliss.
Now let's say the next night you fall asleep into yet another dream.  Again you experience another eighty years, but this time with no control over what happens.  You jump in, nervous of the unknown, but you begin to experiment.  You push and push the limits of what you can do and create a life, your life.  Then you stop.  You look around and realize that you are experiencing the life you live today.   
Life is a dream in which we have no control.  We cannot play God and force our will on the life that was given to us.  When you loosen your grip on the idea of controlling every outcome, eventually you will learn to let go.  Relieve yourself of the burden of control and with this you will understand true freedom.  As in the dream, push the limits of what you can do with the life that was given to you and create the life that you live.  Now wake up and understand that you are where you are today because this is where you are supposed to be.  (Continue reading below...)

| Leggings: c/o Soul Rx | Plaid Top: H&M | Chambray Blouse: Nordstrom | Boots: Shoedazzle | Necklace: Forever 21 | White Tee: Nordstrom Rack | Bracelet: Marilyn and Beverly's |

Sometimes trials in our lives are the result of bad choices we have made, but often trials are not some form of punishment.  Trials are part of life and are necessary to help us develop and progress.  It's easy to get discouraged when trials get overwhelming, especially when you feel like you have not done anything that we result in a negative consequence.  However, I have found that each obstacle we face pushes us closer to our limit than we ever thought imaginable.  Just when you think you have things under control you get another test.  Without these experiences though, I can honestly say I wouldn't progress nearly as much and I wouldn't develop humility, empathy, compassion, motivation and determination.  It might be hard to enjoy some of the hardships you have been given, but don't get discouraged.  Each one will make you stronger than you were before and you will continuously be able to overcome more and more until you look back and realize how much strength you have gained.  

I'm also excited to announce a $500 giveaway today to Shopbop!  These wonderful girls below are doing the giveaway with me and made it possible to bring you such an awesome prize.  Happy entering and good luck!
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