New Word, New Outlook for 2016

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I'm trying something a little radical (for me) in 2016. I'm going to try and plan less. I'm hoping this will catapult me into actually doing a whole lot more. That was the motivation behind my word of the year choice- NOW. I like that it's a call to action, an intention to work with a sense of urgency, so that I don't look back at this time next year and just think it all passed me by so fast.

I'm sure some fellow creatives/introverts/obsessive list-makers will relate to this, but in the three-part process that is idea-plan-implement, I'm often only achieving two out of these three things. I sometimes feel like I'm exploding with ideas and I have been my whole life.

It wasn't until the past five or so years that I started getting good at part two. The detailed planning and disciplined organizing/scheduling that I really struggled with in high school and college became a strength in my adult life. I began to love the excitement I got from planning out dreams and goals.

The problem is, I have SO many dreams and goals. They are big and they are constantly changing. I like this about myself, because it pushes me out of my comfort zone, so I'm never bored. But I also find that I'm held back by my lack of a specific direction and a need to overly plan. I know for a fact that if you look at my notebook from my first year blogging that I have some plans that now, two years later, are still stuck in my list of dreams. If I have a mental block in any part of the planning process or I don't have a perfectly clear vision of the final product, it can be really paralyzing.

So normally I would be telling you all about my goals for 2016, but this year I want to eliminate extraneous planning as much as possible. I am a long-time believer in making measurable goals and I will likely continue posting on this topic, for those that struggle with this step. I believe in measurable parameters if you are struggling with meeting goals or changing habits, as I have been in years past. But 2016 me has these planning/organizational methods down. 2016 me needs, more importantly, a good jolt out of her head and into action. (She should also stop calling herself "2016 me," but you know her...)

I hope that this year I can stop overthinking every detail of every thing. I hope I can start every project that has been swirling around in my head, even if they end up unfinished or total disasters. I hope that I quit wasting time being afraid of imperfection or worrying that I'm still not qualified enough to go for my biggest dreams. I hope to relax more, dream more, but mostly that I create more, as if it is as natural and important as breathing in air.

I hope that in 2017 I look back at this year as the one where I finally made it all happen. That the life-changing year is now.

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Do you set an intentional word of the year? I'd love to hear all about your 2016 theme and goals in the comments!

 

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The Best is Yet to Come + My Weekly Goals

 

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You guys, I'll be real honest, I had a rough time last week. I had a handful of things come up, some great and some very upsetting. I was a complete emotional roller coaster. I felt stressed. I felt burnt out. I felt like I couldn't concentrate on anything. I had about a year's worth of crying sessions and I was exhausted every single day. So, honestly, my goals I set for last week barely even crossed my mind. And you know what? Sometimes that's going to happen and I think when you're that "off" the best thing can be to just go ahead and give yourself a pass, so I'm doing exactly that.

One of the great things that happened (thankfully!) was that I got to see my sister and two of our friends this weekend who live out-of-town. Even though I was excited to see them, I had a hard time actually wanting to go because I just could not get out of my funk. And by funk, I mean I was literally crying in the car on the drive over about things completely unrelated. But then instantly, they provided their usual hilarious magic and I snapped out of it in 0.5 seconds. Friends (and sisters) are awesome like that, aren't they?

I was thinking about something on my way home (I'm having very emotional car rides these days)- both of these girls, just a couple of years ago, were handed some of the worst luck of anyone I know. They each separately went through things that a lot of people will never have to deal with in their whole lives and neither had done anything to cause it or deserve it. And yet, here we are now, just a few years down the road, celebrating the upcoming wedding of one (to a hunky, Disney prince of a man, I might add) and the other coming from her actual dream job that she has wanted and worked towards for as long as I've known her.

So I know this is not the best story-telling, in efforts to keep some things private, but the point here is that no matter what you are going through in life, it is all momentary. You know the dozens of Tumblr quotes that are along the lines of "Darkness is needed in order to see the stars"? They're everywhere because they are so true. Every time I've been through something that I've felt like I just couldn't take, times it physically hurt to breathe, I've stumbled my way right on through it anyway and ending up growing from it. And in case you're feeling like that now, like you hurt so bad you don't know how you're going to go on, I just wanted to send this message: try and have faith that this too shall pass. Just keep trying your best and, when you can, look for any teeny tiny excuse to feel some joy or peace and really, really appreciate those moments. Even though you can't see it yet, you will heal, you will reach the other side of the pain, and one day everything will feel bright again.

Plus, you never know, that dark road might be leading the way to your dream job and a Disney prince. ;)

 

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As for my goals-setting, I'm literally not even going to look at last week's goals. I got some done, kind of on accident, and the one's that absolutely must be done are like flashing neon lights in my head. I will get to them, but as for now, I've got a pretty busy week coming up, so whenever I can I'm only focusing on two things: working on the blog (and the plans I have for it coming soon) and doing something every day just to feel happy. This may be a new book, a walk by myself, ice cream with friends, whatever. Just something that I don't "need" but at the same time really, really need right now.

What are your goals this week?

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This post is part of Weekly Wishes, a personal goal setting community where you can share your upcoming dreams and hold yourself accountable to achieve them. If you'd like to join and/or add a link to your own goal-oriented blog post, you can do so at The Nectar Collective. It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to achieve your weekly aspirations.

Random Weekly Roundup 11/52

Raise your hand if you love the internet! Me, too. Here are some of my favorite links this week...

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1  Rebecca Minkoff's romantic yet edgy S/S 15 campaign is the stuff dreams are made of. Specifically my fringe jacket dreams. #goals (WhoWhatWear)  |  2  Remember last week's juice jars and recipes from Cassey Ho of Blogilates? Well, this week she's released new (and brilliant) detox water bottles with more recipes and I love them just as much. (Blogilates)

 

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3  I loved this post on celebrity kitchens. Do you recognize this one? (Hi Sugarplum!)  |  4  I'm a little obsessed with out-of-the-box Easter egg designs, and right now, these bouffant eggs are taking the cake! (Studio DIY)

 

5  I would seriously consider selling an organ to see the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibit. But in the meantime, I will just have to continue swooning over it online. (V&A Museum)

 

A few more...

YouTube channels that will make you smarter. (Career Girl Daily)

Antique gold frames and cartoon presidents?! I'm in heaven. (A Beautiful Mess)

Great books for creatives. (The Private Life of a Girl)

Obsessed with Chad Wys right now. (Honestly WTF)

Would you do face yoga? (Byrdie)

The Duchess + Downton = pure jealousy all around. (PBS)

 

If you haven't yet, there are still a few hours left for to enter my giveaway with Clothe Ohio!

What were your favorite links this week?

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Meet Clothe Ohio: Your New Favorite Company + A Giveaway!

Here's a little not-so-secret secret about the blogging community: we get approached by companies about partnerships all the time. And while that's fun and flattering, it can be really tricky to know what brands are worth giving your stamp of approval. When I spoke to the folks at Clothe Ohio and found out more about this emerging local brand, however, those usual doubts flew right out the window. My only thoughts were YES! YES! YES! Where do I sign up?!

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And I'm not the only one who's thrilled to throw my support to the brand. There's been major buzz among Ohio bloggers and all over social media. But in case you've missed all of this, you might be wondering, what's so special about Clothe Ohio? And the answer is simple: it's their mission.

Clothe Ohio is a brand of athletic/lounge wear for men, women, and children, but there's much more to this company than you see at face value. Clothe Ohio was created from a passion for giving back and with every order placed, they donate a t shirt or sweatshirt to an Ohioan in need through their partnerships with charitable organizations such as The Homeless Families Foundation.

 

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To help spread the word about their mission, Clothe Ohio has also offered to give away any shirt on their website to a lucky StyleOnHigh reader! To enter, simply show your support through any or all of the entry options below.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*The contest will end Sunday, 3/22, at midnight, and winners will be announced the following Monday. Open to US residents only.

 

Now let's shop together! Check out the Clothe Ohio website and tell me, which shirt is your favorite?

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#MonthlyMani: A Practice in Negative Space

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Happy St. Patrick's Day! I don't really do anything to celebrate the holiday since I'm in that space in my life where I'm a lot less interested in binge drinking in crowds but also don't have kids to do fun all the fun themed Pinterest-y things with yet. I will, however, be wearing my green, especially since I'm already rocking some in my new negative space mani!

Have you tried doing negative space nail art yet? I've been wanting to try it forever and taking part in Delightfully Kristi's #MonthlyMani linkup (my first time!) gave me the perfect opportunity to finally give it a shot! This month's theme was St. Patrick's Day, obviously, but since I'm not really going all out with the celebrating, I wanted to do something that was a more subtle approach to the festive mani. Something I could wear for the rest of the week without screaming "Happy St. Patrick's Day!"

So I opted for a black and nude negative space mani with just a few pops of green. And let me tell you friends, for my first ever nail art post, I have to say some lessons have been learned.

1. It is WAY harder to photograph your own hand than you would imagine.

2. Manicure pics without background colors or props turn out really boring.

So, bear with me and my rough/boring pics this time and hopefully next month I will have enlisted help and employed some more interesting photo techniques. (Click images to enlarge.)

How to do it:

1. Start with a bare or nude nail. I actually prefer the look of a bare nail, but had bright blue polish on my nails last week and they still had a bit of a blue tinge, so I opted for the painted look. If using polish, make sure it has plenty of time to dry or you'll find yourself in a very sticky situation (pun, yes, but also horribly true).

2. Mask off the areas that will become your negative space. You can make each nail have the same design or get completely random, like I did here. Nail art striping tape is generally recommended for this, but I just cut thin strips of clear office tape and it worked perfectly fine.

3. Add your polish to the exposed areas. I used two colors- black and green- and the trick here is to move very quickly because step 4 is crucial.

4. Peel off the tape immediately, while the paint it still completely wet. This seems strange at first, but if you wait for the paint to dry, you run the risk of it coming off and taking parts of the design with it.

5. Add clear top coat.

6. Voila! (See the all-green accent nail? It's my version of a negative space four leaf clover. Like I said, subtly festive. ;) )

 

I have to say, although I'm not crazy about the pictures, I am loving this negative space manicure! It was a lot easier than I anticipated- it probably took only about 5 minutes for the tape and polish- and although a little shaky, I think it ended up looking pretty good! I can't wait to try the look with bare (non-blue) nails and employ even more negative space.

 

Looking for more #MonthlyMani ideas? Check out the St. Patty's day nail art from my fellow linkers:

Kristi from Delightfully Kristi

Piniel from Pins-Place

Jacki and Lesli from Sistas from Cali

Erika from Erika’s Style Diary

Marlena from Here, Pretty Kitty

 

Have you tried a negative space mani?

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The Art of Conquering Fears + This Week's Goals

 

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You know that girl you went to elementary school with who never seemed afraid of anything? She would kick up to the highest point on the swing set and then just jump off, flying into the mulch? She would have a crush on a boy and, instead of acting like she hated him like everyone else, she would just make him be her boyfriend? You all knew a girl like that, right? Yeah, I've never been that girl.

I'm afraid of so many things. I hate having to speak in front of a crowd. I don't leave my doors unlocked for even a minute. And don't even get me started on being stuck on a bridge during traffic. Hello, Mothman Prophecies, anyone?

Maybe it's the number of emails my mom sent me as a teen with titles like "Top 10 Things that Make you a Target to Kidnappers" or "How to Escape When You've Been Locked in a Trunk," but I've always been very aware of perceived danger. (And by the way, I know the exact information from both of those titles, so thank you, mom, and be warned, attackers.)

But there's a big difference between things that are dangerous and things that only feel dangerous, even if our physical responses are often the exact same. And though I am plagued by a lot of unnecessary fears, I've always tried really hard not to let anything I'm afraid of have any say in my actual choices. But it's always a process. I constantly need to remind myself that some of the things that might be holding me back don't necessarily need to exist. And I know when I choose the scarier option, I always feel so much more confident at the end than by taking the safer route.

So that's my focus this week- to do a few things I've been afraid of- and I challenge you to make it yours, too!

 

What's one fear that, if you conquered it, your life would improve drastically?

And if you're not ready to start there, what is one tiny fear you could conquer this week?

(Disclaimer: please understand I'm talking about the fear that comes with asking for a raise or going on a blind date. Please don't take up sword swallowing or hitchhiking and blame it on my encouragement.)

 

And if you really want to be brave, feel free to share a fear you would like to conquer in the comments!

 

Now onto my goals! As usual, this post is part of The Nectar Collective's Weekly Wishes series. Head on over if you want to link up your own post and share your goals with the community. Now, for a recap of last week:

 

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+ Taking another stab at posting to Instagram daily and scheduling my meetups - I think I missed one day but still posted way more than usual. Keeping this on the list for this week as well.

+ Get 3 days ahead of blogging schedule (a long-awaited dream I have yet to make reality) - Yeah, no. This goal may or may not be the end of me.

+ Nail down theme, acquire wardrobe, and book venue for an upcoming shoot I’m styling - Done and done! This was a big one so I'm glad to be on top of it.

+ Make needed edits to my latest resume - Yes!

+ Create a website for my dad’s company - Created, yes. Finished, no.

+ Make a dentist appointment (she typed with dismay) - I gave this one a valiant effort. I tell you, Columbus is not an easy place to make healthcare appointments! I should be hearing back from the office I want to go to today. (Side eye emoji.)

+ Tour 3 wedding venues (for me and for an upcoming post!) - Because of Zach's schedule, we only toured one, but it was awesome! Will be seeing several more this week.

+ Start nailing down summer design work - Work in progress. Keeping this on the list.

 

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+ GET THREE DAYS AHEAD OF BLOGGING SCHEDULE! (If I can't get this done this week, so help me, I have no control over my own life.)

+ Tour more wedding venues

+ Apply for summer design work (at least 1 daily)

+ Apply for my dream job (This is definitely a fear for me to conquer. I keep putting it off for the perfect moment but now is the time!)

+ Instagram TWICE daily! (#goals, right?)

+ Work on monthly illustration series

+Finish my dad's website

+ Work on blog makeover

 

What are some things you're working on this week? And for all you brilliant bloggers, how the heck do you get ahead of schedule?! I feel like Jessie Spano- there's never any time! Share your wisdom with me!

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Random Weekly Roundup 10/52

Spring has sprung in the midwest, and man, this weekend has been a nice break from the ice storm in which I'd gotten used to living. I hope you all had a beautiful sun shining Saturday. And now for a little light weekend reading...  

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1  I'm going to go ahead and nominate Lily James for Style Star of the year. She's nailing all the looks, from fairy tale pretty to modern and cool, on her Cinderella press tour. See more here... (Who What Wear)  |  2  Speaking of fairy tales, doesn't this intricate coloring book for adults, titled Enchanted Forest, seem like a wonderful way to work your creative muscles? (Bored Panda)

 

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3  I tried this beach waves tutorial this week, and the simple tweak of using different irons on different rows is a major game changer. (The Beauty Department)  |  4  I want all of these juices in all of these jars. (Blogilates)

 

5  My. head. is. going. to. explode.

 

More links to love...

A simple and brilliant DIY side table. (I Spy DIY)

Basically how I want to wrap every present forever. (A Beautiful Mess)

A new collection from one of my favorite jewelry designers. (Melissa Joy Manning)

Gorgeous spring wedding outfit inspo. (Polienne)

When I dream about rugs they look like this. (Domaine)

A great reading list. (The Zhush)

And my favorite look this week. (The Zoe Report)

 

What's your favorite link this week?

 

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The Great Budget Home Office Makeover: The Dismal Before Pic + Inspiration

I have been talking about making over my "office" for such a long time. Office is in quotes because by office I really mean the 4 feet of space in my living room where my computer lives. And when I tell you this space needs a makeover, I really mean it. The irony (and possibly hypocracy) involved in writing about style and great design from a space whose style can best be described as "boy's dorm room junk" is becoming too much to take. You see I'm plagued by a serious disease (please hear the over-dramatic undertone in this post). It's basically whatever the opposite of hoarding is... which, btw, I just googled this second and it is apparently called Spartanism. Who knew? Anyway, when I moved in with my fiance I got rid of way too many things. I was just planning to get new pieces, and by planning, I mean being delusional about the budget required to refurnish your home.

So anyway, here I am, blogging from a peeled paint desk circa 1972 with a missing knob that was literally being thrown out when my fiance adopted it. Consider it among its supporting cast, his actual dorm room rug and chair from way too long ago, and we've got a much needed makeover on our hands!

 

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Oh my gosh, I can't believe I just posted that online. Not exactly a glamorous picture, is it? The problem is, as much as I want to decorate the space, it's definitely not in the budget to get new furniture and large scale art. Cue the great $150 DIY plan (drumroll, pleeeeeease).....

 

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I threw this little mock up together on Photoshop. And really, even if you don't use Photoshop at all, I would totally recommend this method (even cutting things out of a magazine) for deciding on a room design. I was having such a hard time picking a color scheme, an era, etc. I was feeling the pressure for it to be cohesive, but once I just threw all the things I liked together, with no intention of matching or being "designed," I found that I really liked the end product.

So here's the (tentative) plan:

+ RUG: I've been really obsessing over African mudcloth and I realized that with some paint and a lot of patience, I could update the existing dorm-era rug into something I will hopefully love! Estimated cost: paint ($7) and fabric protector ($7)= $14

+ CHAIR & THROW: I had my heart set on a ghost chair, but this little gem from Ikea is only $19.99, so as long as it's not completely uncomfortable, I'm sold! Topped with this gray faux sheepskin, only $12.99 also at Ikea and I'm a happy girl. Cost: $33

+ DESK: Okay, this one depends on a whole lot of good luck. Plan A is to find two thrift store filing cabinets for just $10 each, spray paint them, and top with a cabinet top or wood slab. Since that kind of depends on the thrift store stars aligning, Plan B is to paint the existing desk and add decorative drawer pulls. Estimated cost: filing cabinets ($20), spray paint ($7) and top ($24)= $51

+ ARTWORK: I will be painting my own artwork. I haven't fully committed to an idea yet, though I'm a little obsessed with eye and lip motifs, so those will likely be involved. I'm thinking of having two paintings (on some scrap wood instead of stretched canvas to save money) with a frame surrounding the pieces that I will make from strips of moulding. Estimated cost: wood (hopefully found scraps- $0), moulding ($15), paint (on hand- $0)= $15

+ CLIPBOARDS: This depends on what I can find, but I'm hoping to find very basic clipboards for $2.50 each. Estimated cost: 6 clipboards= $15

+ACCESSORIES: I hope to make gold vases (hopefully hexagon shaped) using copper contact paper and thrift store vases. I also need some sort of paper sorter or magazine holder, but I really don't have any ideas on that yet. Estimated cost: whatever else I can get with the remaining $22

Grand Total: $150

 

I'll be updating you with progress posts over the next several weeks, so stay tuned! And local friends, if you have any supplies/tools/skills you would like to donate to the cause, I will welcome it all with open arms.

 

Do you think I can do it?

 

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Top 10 Must-Try Beauty Trends for S/S 15

We're getting our first glimpses of Spring and I'm really starting to feel the excitement that comes with updating my look. Fresh, easy, colorful- all words I'm welcoming with open arms right now. If you're looking to shake up your beauty routine, too, here are my top 10 favorite beauty trends of the season for a little inspiration...

(Click an image to enlarge and activate slideshow.)

Which beauty trend are you most excited to try?

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Weekly Wishes #10: 5 Ways to Get Stuff Done (when all you really want to do is watch Netflix)

Whether you work in an office or from the comfort of your sofa, I'm sure you have days when tackling your to-do list just seems impossible. I know I do. Sometimes I feel so stressed out that I can't seem to have even one uninterrupted thought. Sometimes there are so many things on my plate needing to be done that I don't know where to start. And sometimes I'm just in a total funk and can't focus or find any motivation.

In general, I am a supporter of taking a break when you truly need it. I mean, if you've been banging your head against a wall over the same problem and there's no end in sight, by all means, give yourself a day. But the majority of the time, the overwhelmed/overly distracted mindset is something that can be overcome.

Here are a few of the tactics I use when I'm feeling the brain fog but really need to focus:

 

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This one is a two-parter. First, it's important to start your day off on the best foot possible. For me this generally means having my workout done and having gotten ready, even if that just means some mascara and real pants and shoes. (Side note: for those of you that work from home, it's amazing how much simply having on shoes can put you into full work-mode.) Then I aim to get my most important, time-sensitive task done before even glancing at my email. If that's not an option, I would recommend skimming your mail, answering anything urgent and then getting it out of sight as much as your job allows (same goes for social media and other apps).

Part two is just committing to starting all projects that are on your plate that day. Starting is always the hardest part and I often find that once I've gotten over that mental road block, the task can be completed much faster and easier than I had anticipated.

 

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A coffee cup that makes you happy. The perfect playlist. A pretty candle (these scents are the best for productivity- and yes, that exists). Anything that can help you to create a happy feeling in your work space will be good for your end product.

My perfect day at my desk involves either an iced coffee or Diet Coke, a really beautiful planner, and Spotify (I find I work too slowly when Hulu is on in the background, but I like to reserve it as a treat on more relaxed days). Spotify is my favorite music source because of the option to select pre-made playlists by mood. It's amazing what an uplifting playlist can do on a sluggish day and what a mellow mix can do for a chaotic day. It's all about balance and harmony here.

 

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It can be hard as a creative to commit to a system. The worry is there that it might interrupt or impede your "greatest idea ever," but I cannot function without my systems and I find that the more structure I implement in my creative life, the more productive I am by far.

I'm a total paper person and like to physically write notes so I use a monthly calendar for my blog schedule/design projects/business schedule, a weekly/daily agenda for my workout schedule/meetings/specific tasks, and then use a notebook for notes/details/ideas on each task as I'm working on it. If you like to be more a part of this century, here are some top apps for productivity and organization.

And speaking of productivity, I recently discovered the Rule of 52 and 17 and so far I find it really helpful. A study by The Muse found that the most productive 10% of their workers followed a ratio of 52 minutes of work followed by 17 minutes of restorative break time. At first I thought, why not 50/10? But the beauty of the specific 52/17 is it really forces you to use a timer, like this one here, and thus focus solely on the work. The act of actually getting out of my office chair and resting for a full 17 minutes seemed extreme to me at first, but it has really been forcing me to sprint work through that 52 minutes (plus it's great for your body to have that chair break).

Overall point: have a plan and stick to it. Eventually your effective system will become comforting and make straying from schedule at every whim seem much less appealing.

 

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I mainly work from home, which is a great blessing, but sometimes the sight of my own walls make me want to barf all over my newly minted to-do list. On those days I head to a local coffee shop or bookstore and, amidst the new sights and sounds, find myself instantly refocused.

When I'm really stuck I find that hitting pause and focusing on anything physical almost always leads to a break through. A good walk (or run, for you crazy people) can solve almost any problem. Plus, there's a head-clearing bonus if you can do so in a beautiful environment, really focusing on the moment and taking in your surroundings.

But if the thought of exercise makes you cringe, you can get the same benefits from anything that involves focus and movement. Have a dance party, do the dishes, browse a thrift shop- anything that will force you to focus on your senses and your movements will help you hit a mental refresh.

 

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If you truly can't find the motivation or focus to tackle a task, find a trusted ally and give them a (quick) rundown of your situation. How many times have you heard yourself talking and then mid sentence found your answer? Sometimes hearing your thoughts out loud is all you need to get the ball rolling.

And if that's not the case, a new set of eyes and ears might be able to pinpoint in seconds something you've been overlooking all afternoon. A new perspective can give you a fresh idea and a whole new energy towards your project.

 

What are your best methods for staying focused and being productive? Share your wisdom with us in the comments!

 

And while we're on the topic of to-do lists, here are some of my hits and misses from last week's goals, as part of Nectar Collective's Weekly Wishes linkup...

 

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+ Decide on a color palette and inspiration for office makeover - Done and done!

+ Pick up my March reads - Done (although I haven't cracked them open yet).

+ Catch up on the Blogilates workout schedule - YES! And best news ever: after weeks and weeks and weeks of feeling like some of it was pure torture, I finally hit that mark where it feels good! Hallelujah!

+ Post on Instagram everyday - Worst fail ever. I have been a total ghost in the social media world.

+ Officially schedule meetups - This one proved a little harder than anticipated so is still a work in progress.

+ PAINT! - Yes and also a work in progress...

 

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+ Taking another stab at posting to Instagram daily and scheduling my meetups

+ Get 3 days ahead of blogging schedule (a long-awaited dream I have yet to make reality)

+ Nail down theme, acquire wardrobe, and book venue for an upcoming shoot I'm styling

+ Make needed edits to my latest resume

+ Create a website for my dad's company

+ Make a dentist appointment (she typed with dismay)

+ Tour 3 wedding venues (for me and for an upcoming post!)

+ Start nailing down summer design work

+ Keep painting!

 

What's on your goal list this week?

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Random Weekly Roundup 9/52

Was anyone else completely blindsided by daylight savings time? I was up late and all the sudden 2 am became 3 am on my phone (yikes!). I guess that's what I get for getting my all my news from buzzfeed and blog reels. But since we're all a little shy for time today, I won't waste any. Here are my top links of the week!...  

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1  The Spring campaign for Emily Current and Meritt Elliott's new brand, The Great, is pretty and dreamy and everything I want it to be. (The Great)  |  2  Kelly's nailed it again with the most adorable DIY Easter eggs. (Studio DIY)

 

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3  New dream vacay: the Artist Residence hotel in London. It looks like absolute heaven. (Honestly WTF)  |  4  This DIY Gold Foil Pillow has been everywhere this week, but for good reason... It's amazing. (Design Love Fest)

 

5  Oh my gosh, I could watch this Alexa Chung makeup tutorial all day. Her voice is so cute! (Lisa Eldridge)

 

Want a few more?

How have I lived so long without this? (Elements of Style)

I must get a spiralizer. Just looking at this makes my mouth water. (Skinny Taste)

A cool new layering idea. (Who What Wear)

Say what?! You can now spend the night at Leonardo DiCaprio's house. (Domaine)

Better than positive thinking. (NY Mag)

Inside the sad new Pinterest changes and what you can do about them. (Cool Mom Picks)

How to make your home into a cool loft space. (Vintage Revivals)

JOMO is pretty much my life. (Apartment Therapy)

And my favorite look this week. (A Cup of Jo)

 

See anything cool this week that you want to share? Feel free to post any links you loved in the comments!

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Currently... March

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Watching Hindsight on VH-1. Have you seen this yet? About a girl that gets sent back to her wedding day in the 90s to do it all over again? I really love it and the soundtrack alone is reason enough to watch.

Reading the many fashion week(s) reviews. The One Sentence Recaps on Man Repeller are among my favorites.

Working on making over and rebranding the blog for my upcoming birthday.

Listening to Sheppard. Geronimo is my ultimate mood-lifting jam right now.

Making inspiration boards on Pinterest for a few upcoming design projects. Spring is always a busy design/styling season and I'm excited to get back in the game.

Eating too much this weekend as we celebrate Zach's birthday. When asked what he wanted (as in gift-wise) his answer was steak so...

Thinking about getting a medium-length haircut. My hair is so out of control right now I would probably lose 5 lbs. Right now I like this, this, and this. (Votes via the comment section greatly appreciated.)

Wearing some old peasant/tunic tops circa 2010-ish that I haven't worn in so long they're starting to feel fresh to me again. Is there anything better than a roomy top? Answer: no. I want to add this bad boy from Old Navy to my collection and live in it all spring.

Planning my Aldi shopping list. I'm pretty new to the Aldi frontier and I was hesitant at first, but if you're gluten free like me, I'm telling you it's a dollar-saving goldmine.

Feeling exhausted yet motivated. Not a bad combo.

 

 

What's on your "Currently" list this month? Pick one (or all) and share with me in the comments!

Until next time!

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Weekly Wishes #9: March Kickoff

I am becoming a serious broken record with this one, but I have been sick AGAIN this week. The third bout of illness since the New Year's, and I'm not talking the sniffles here. I'm talking knock me on my butt for days sicknesses. It all started when I visited my family in Dayton this past weekend. Both my big sis and our cousin's daughter had birthdays to celebrate so we all got together and had a joint party at one of our favorite local restaurants. And they both conveniently matched their cake...

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And then as seems to be the trend when visiting my sister, these two little ones generously shared their germs with me and I have again been out of commission for the majority of the week. Who would ever think such cute little things could cause so much misery?

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I'm starting to think when I have children of my own, I'll have to hire a live-in nurse just for myself.

But lateness and productivity pitfalls aside, I'm excited as always for a new month and setting out some clear goals. Last month I experimented a little with giving myself some slack in the to-do list department and it paid off in some surprising ways. I got so many cleaning projects done and therefore prevented a chaos-induced nervous breakdown, but now I'm really ready to get back into a more structured schedule. And for me, that always starts with setting goals!

 

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+ start office redesign (this one's been on my list for a looong time)

+ read at least 3 books (my list so far: Make It Happen, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, and An American Tragedy from my All-Time 100 Novels list)

+ do the Blogilates March Workout Schedule and 30 Day Thigh Slimming Challenge (I'm already behind on this from being sick but it is crucial to how I feel so I'm hoping to catch up quickly!)

+ Post on Instagram daily (a continued goal- this is by far my favorite social media platform but I have a hard time being a regular presence on it myself)

+ paint a watercolor series (this was originally part of my New Year's goals and I've yet to do it so I'm hoping the third month's the charm!)

+ implement an entirely new blog theme (yay!)

+ plan (and hopefully hold) the two meet-ups I've been in the process of planning (more on those to come)

 

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+ decide on a color palette and inspiration for office makeover

+ pick up my March reads

+ catch up on the Blogilates workout schedule

+ Post on Instagram everyday (again playing catch up here)

+ officially schedule meetups

+ PAINT!

 

Do you have any goals you want to tackle this month? Share them in the comments so I can root for you!

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Random Weekly Roundup 8/52

The increasing quality of DIY projects on the Internet continues to amaze me. So much so that this week's roundup ended up a little craft crazy. So what do you say we grab our supplies and jump right in?...

 

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1  This DIY acrylic message board has so many awesome possibilities. (A Beautiful Mess)  |  2  Such a simple and pretty spring upgrade to those affordable clear phone cases. (...Love Maegan)

 

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3  I have a strange obsession with gemstone soaps so this DIY is right up my alley. (Fall for DIY)  |  4  These adorable DIY jewelry cloches are a clever way to keep your most precious jewelry on display. (Honestly WTF)

 

5  Love these 15 second #Babeskills how-to videos. (Piece of Chic)

 

And a few for the anti-DIYers...

Bloggers, crafters, countrymen: Pinterest tips you need. (Adventures in Fashion)

A hilariously true account of getting your hair done. (The Daily Tay)

Reformation has gone petite. (Reformation)

A few for my reading list. (Elise Blaha)

And last but not least, this first girl might be my hero. (Simplee Chic)

 

Are you adding any of these DIYs to your must-do list?

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Dress Your Nest: The Simple Life

This post is part of a new series that combines two of my favorite things ever, fashion and interiors. Fun fact: I love them both so much (and just great design in general) that I couldn't decide which one to major in during college and ended up getting a separate degree in each. So this new series is kind of an ode to the knowledge gained from my very expensive indecision. (So, see, it did have a purpose, mom and dad. ;) ) Does anyone remember that show Dress my Nest with Thom Filicia from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy? Thom would rock my world by taking a girl's favorite outfit and then turning it into a beautiful room where the chandelier would represent her favorite dangling earrings, and so on and so forth. I LOVED that show. I wish there were new episodes for me to watch over breakfast every single day of my life.

Another big inspiration for his series are the This or That posts on one of my favorite blogs, Elements of Style. They also combine fashion and interiors, showing the design similarities and current trends.

So I wanted to steal borrow from both ideas and bring them together into my own version of the fashion/interior fusion.

For the first installment I'm focusing on minimalism, which has reemerged in the past few years and become a major movement in all areas of design. This is basically a warm welcome into my dream post...

 

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runway looks:  loewe  |  celine  |  adam lippes  |  zero + maria cornejo

trousers  |  bedding  |  necklace  |  lights  |  bag  |  chair  |  tee  |  pillow  |  cuff  |  rack  |  shoes  |  candlesticks

 

What trend would you like to see for the next installment of Dress Your Nest?

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Weekly Wishes #8: Be. Do. Have.

I'll be real honest here, I didn't really have time to post today. But even though it's starting to get late, I'm sitting here typing at the speed of light because I really wanted to share with you something that has stuck with me all weekend. I was listening to a webinar by the beautiful genius, Hilary Rushford. If you aren't familiar with her work at Dean Street Society, you might still recognize her name because I talk about her, oh, pretty much every week. I'm basically obsessed with her and I pretend she's my life coach in a world where your life coach has never met you and doesn't know you exist.

Anyway, this was a webinar about How to Get Paid to be Creative, and if you're someone who is at all interested in this topic, I totally recommend it. I loved it and as I was frantically taking notes, one specific notion really stopped me in my tracks.

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It's such a simple concept, but if we take some time to really consider it, it can also be pretty life changing. I think a majority of the time, we think in terms of Do - Have - Be. If I lose weight (do) then I'll have a perfect body (have) and then I can finally have some confidence (be). Or when I move (do) into my massive dream home (have) then I can finally consider myself a success (be). And the problem with this sequence of events is that we are denying ourselves the have part- in these scenarios confidence and a feeling of success- until we've "measured up."

If you think about the last thing you really wanted, the last big change you wanted to make, I wonder if this Do - Have - Be thinking got in your way? 

I know it certainly has for me in the past. Fashion is a hard world to go into feeling imperfect. I spent a lot of wasted time in my 20s thinking, 'Once my body is how I want it to be and I have a really amazing wardrobe, then my career will really take off.' But guess what? I never got any of those things and I probably never will. So I really had to face the facts: I could just go for it with all of my flaws or wait until I'm "perfect" and therefore face the very real possibility that I will never even get a chance.

This was so real for me when I had just started blogging. I got tickets to an event and I had to walk up to designers/vendors, etc. and say "Hi! I'm a local blogger, would you mind if I take a picture of your work?" And, you guys, it took me so long to actually go up to anyone and do that really simple task. I just felt like a total fraud. And really I kind of was. I was "a local blogger" because I lived nearby and had created my own website that week. And looking back it was so silly to feel nervous about, because my "fake it til you make it" behavior was actually a very valid and necessary step in the process. Sometimes you have to do things that seem backwards to get where you want to go.

If you decided today to BE that person in your head that you envision, what would you DO differently this week and how much confidence/happiness could you HAVE? 

I know for me personally, this message is a big one. I'm a perfectionist and I always feel like I'm not quite ready to be the person I want to be. I'm not perfect enough yet.

So this week I'm not setting any benchmark goals outside of my to-do list, and instead I'm just going to focus on the BE part of the equation. For me that's considering myself a "Creative Professional" and an "Artist." Those terms always feel funny to me, like I need to have a gallery showing or give a lecture at a college before I can claim either of these titles, but this week I'm going to try and not care. Everyone has to start somewhere, right? So between you and me, this week I am a total professional artist. ;)

What is something you are holding yourself back from because of fear or the feeling that you're not worthy? And better yet, who are you going to BE this week?

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Random Weekly Roundup 7/52

I refuse to talk about the weather. I will only reference it to say that under these circumstances, I'm doing a whole lot of nothing out in the real world this weekend. I am cleaning, blogging, painting, and all kinds of Hulu/Netflix-ing in the cozy warmth of my apartment.

I'm also reading up on my favorite links this week. Enjoy!

 

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1  I find this Justina Blakeney's charity home makeover on a budget ($11000 for the entire home) so inspiring. (The Jungalow pt. 1 and 2)  |  2  This Moleskin photo notebook is gorgeous and would make such a beautiful Mother's Day gift. (Paislee Press)

 

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3  I love this idea so much I wish I could go back in time and send it to all the moms I know. (Enjoy It by Elise Blaha)  |  4  This coat almost made me faint. As did the rest of the inspiring metallics in this street style segment. (The Sartorialist)

 

5  Is it April 5th yet?

(AMC)

 

 

A few more to love...

Can you believe this jacket is under $90? (Pixie Market)

Style hacks to steal from NYFW. (Garance Doré)

Love this double scarf look. (De Lune)

Some inspiring "boob jobs" (not what you think it is). (Apartment Therapy)

Fashion advice from the 70s. (Who What Wear)

 

What links are you loving this week?

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