All the Chanel Couture goodness in Paris this week...swoon.
Can someone please get me a peter pan collar fairy godmother floor length cape stat!
See the whole collection here.
In the spirit of the new year and trying to make something happen this year, I thought I would share a little bit about my experience with the Making Things Happen Conference.
I decided to attend MTH in October 2013, which sounds like ages ago. I was at a point in my life where I had no idea what I wanted to do, I just knew that I needed a change, a kick in the pants, something, anything.
I had heard of Lara and the conference, but really knew nothing about it when I basically decided to spend my bonus on attending. I knew that I wanted to be doing something creative and I was far from that, and I knew that I needed to be surrounded my like minded people.
So October arrived and I was terrified. I started to get extremely anxious, as I knew literally no one attending and had no idea what I was in for. To make matters worse, I received an email saying they would be confiscating our phones for the whole day while the conference was going on, which really upped the ante on the anxiety. What a fantastic crutch those things are in awkward situations. So it was just going to be me, paper, pens, and a bunch of women I don't know. If you know me, this is my worst nightmare, why did I pay for this?
The conference was not what I thought it would be. I really thought it would be much more business driven. I thought I would walk out with a step by step guide for building a thriving wedding magazine, or becoming a photographer, or social media maven. Instead, it was a very personal in depth study of myself. How I see myself, how do I think and feel, what am I afraid of, what brings me joy, where am I, and where do I want to be. It turned out to be a pretty life changing experience for me, although I really didn't start to see the fruit of it until the past year.
I'm not a feeler of feels. I don't know why. I'm just not super emotional despite coming from a mother who has been moved to tears by a 10 second commercial. So, this deep study of myself and what I felt and thought was weird. Standing in a room of people I don't know and telling them I don't think I'm enough was almost out of body for me. I got really frustrated with myself for not being able to go there and looking back I definitely held back a lot during the actual conference.
I honestly left the conference feeling a little deflated. I mean I was encouraged and inspired by the speakers, but I still had no concrete ideas on what I wanted to make happen and to top it off I had all these feelings to deal with. It took me a while to process my experience and as time went on I realized I learned some extremely important, life changing lessons from my MTH experience. The most important of which was to get out of my comfort zone. My happiest, most comfortable place is in my home watching Netflix and eating hibachi food. With the advances we've made in food delivery and online shopping, I could conceivably not leave my home for many days and be totally fine with it. However, MTH slowly started to show me that we were made for community. I saw this community of people who really cared about each other, encouraged each other, and weren't competing. Many of them met through MTH or just via social media and they had built thriving relationships. This concept was crazy to me, but was something that I wanted for myself and knew it would mean giving up a lot of "me" time, but that it would be worth it.
So I started walking into more rooms full of people I don't know. I do my best to push through the awkwardness. I spend time evaluating how I'm feeling and how I feel about myself. Are the things I think about myself true and are they what God says about me? What fires me up? What moves me to feels?
In the meantime, I made this blog happen.
I made being a personal stylist happen.
I made being a personal shopper happen.
I made a deeper relationship with Jesus happen.
I made community happen.
I made a relationship happen.
I made meaningful goals happen.
I say "I" very loosely, because God made these things happen, but they happened nonetheless.
None of them have reached their full potential which is where my second most important lesson from MTH comes in, "Progress not Perfection."
I feel like I'm no longer standing still, things are moving even if they aren't perfect.
There is progress, and little by little progress adds up.
If you feel stuck, need encouraging, or just want to make something happen I would highly recommend looking into attending the March conference. There are 7 days left to get the early bird rate. Several of the speakers this year are people I call friends (because I chose to walk into those scary rooms full of people) and they have incredible stories to tell! The conference doesn't promise to change your life in 48 hours or give you a mountain top epiphany, and it probably won't. But, giving yourself the gift of time to reflect and evaluate where you are and where you want to be is worth it.
I love Leslie Mann and I love tulle from Monique Lhuillier.
This was a good look for Gina Rodriguez in Safiyaa.
I love a Zuhair Murad Couture gown and this one is no exception.
and I'm obsessed with this minus the hair. Zoe Kazan in ODLR.
Carpool Karaoke is one of my favorite things and the newest installment features Queen Adele. I would highly recommend watching all of these, but especially this one.
As I mentioned in a previous post, my word for this year is PRESENT.
I have a really bad habit of constantly looking ahead and worrying about the next thing.
I need someone to tell me what my life looks like 5, 10, 50 years from now. Even if they told me I would be living in a hut in Africa in 5 years, at least I could prepare myself. So, I could do things like go ahead and buy the Louboutins and enjoy them because I'll only need Toms in 5 years. You know, important life decisions like that. The problem is, there is no crystal ball to tell what my life looks like and I think I've finally come to terms with that. So, my main goal for this year is just to be present wherever I am. Put my phone down, talk to people, worry less, pray more, trust God, just be.
So it was my first time using #Powersheets for goal setting. That being said, I really felt the need to fill up all 10 goal pages which might have been a little nuts in retrospect, but here goes.
Some of these are big and ridiculous and some of them are small practical.
I'll be digging into these in more detail throughout the year as they play out.
Probably my favorite. J Law in Dior, duh.
I'm usually not a huge fan of side cut outs but this just works.
Laverne Cox in Elizabeth Kennedy. #werk
Also in white, Judith Light in Maggie Norris Couture tux. I want this and the shoes.
Jamie Alexander in Genny. Pockets!
In a similar style, which I love, Jenna Dewan Tatum in Zuhair Murad Couture
Also in blue, Bryce Dallas Howard in Jenny Packham which she purchased at Neiman Marcus. Stars, they're just like us, kind of.
Bringing me all the sequins, Kate Bosworth in Dolce & Gabbana
Prints from Aziz Ansari in J.Mueser and Eddie Redmayne in Gucci.
Fashion Police is back tonight. Fingers crossed it works.
Guys, getting a new agenda every year for both high school and college was the highlight of my life.
I could hardly wait to fill in all my friends birthdays, football games, upcoming trips, even a homework assignment or two. I don't know why I decided when I became a working adult that I no longer needed this great joy. I think it was the Microsoft Outlook of it all, I thought I should have all my tasks, calendar appointments, etc. neatly packaged on my computer screen because I was adulting and we're in the 20teens.
I don't say this often, but I was wrong.
I decided to try the daily version of Emily Ley's Simplified Planner this year and it's changing my life. #allthepraisehandemojis
I've found that I associate negative feelings with pretty much anything on my Outlook calendar. It's not that I hate my job, it's just this tiny screen that holds day after day of minutiae. Even if the calendar appointment for today says free lunch, I'm just like ughh. That might sound weird, but it's my life right now.
Enter the Simplified Planner.
I kind of bought this on a whim. I saw on Instagram that If It's Paper had their planners 50% off after Christmas and I thought why not. I knew that might life needed some structure and this seemed to help lots of people. And I have to tell you, so far it's awesome. Each day is broken down into hourly increments which might sound a little intense, but it's the best thing ever. I thrive on deadlines and having a timer on my tasks has done wonders for keeping me moving at work. I spend the last 10 minutes at work filling in what needs to be done the next day between 8-5 and then fill in the rest of the day with things from my Tending List from #Powersheets. There's also a space for Meal Planning for each day and space to keep a running To Do list. I can't tell you how much it's helping me actually get things done.
Even Mac is psyched.
Sharing my goals for 2016 tomorrow...
I jumped on two bandwagons this year, three if you count the Carolina Panthers, #keeppounding.
One is the purchase of Lara Casey's #Powersheets and the other is Emily Ley's Simplified Planner.
I'm going to focus on #Powersheets today, more on the planner (which I'm OBSESSED with) tomorrow.
I have long resisted buying #Powersheets.
I don't really know why.
As someone who has attended the Making Things Happen Conference, follows Lara and Southern Weddings on all social media and calls Lara a friend, I don't really know how I resisted the Powersheet as long as I did. Mostly, I didn't really think I needed them or that they would really help. I mean, I have plenty of paper and I can write down my goals whenever I want, fo' free. The only problem is I never did.
So, in a last ditch effort to actually make something freaking happen, I asked for The One Year Powersheet notebook for my birthday. The "prep work" takes a week or so to get through so I thought that would give me plenty of time to prepare for the new year.
The prep work is awesome. It's hard and sometimes it seems redundant, but it's all there for a reason.
It took me about a week to get through the prep work and I came out on the other side with goals that I'm really excited about for the new year. Some of them are big and ridiculous, and some of them are small and practical. My favorite part is that each goal page requires you to list Action Steps for making progress to accomplish that goal. Which sounds so simple and obvious, but it's SO necessary. Then moving those action steps to your tending list throughout the year gets you well on your way to accomplishing things and not just talking about them.
I'm trying really hard not to sound like I've just been sipping the powersheet juice, but they really are great. Especially if you are a business owner or want to be one.
Prior proper planning prevents poor performance.
If I don't plan to have a blog, or a clothing line, or even a healthy dinner, I probably won't.
It's so easy to forget what your plans and goals are by next week, but having this list in constant view does wonders to keep you track.
Pro Tip: If you work on your #powersheets wearing sequins and sitting on a polar bear, they are 100% more effective.
Also, sorry these pictures are so grainy, we didn't PLAN properly with the camera so these were shot with iPhone. In Emily Ley's defense, this was before I started using the planner:)
and isn't it ironic...
Happy New Year Y'all!
In case you hadn't noticed, I took an unannounced break from blogging in December.
I was exhausted and said yes to way too many things.
This space became more of a burden than a blessing and I just needed a break.
I had a very restful Christmas and New Year filled with lots of intentional planning and goal setting.
I'm excited to continue blogging this year with better focus and preparation.
First, let's talk about the things I learned in 2015:
1. Blogging is work, shout to everyone doing this.
2. Lack of planning stresses me out, like major. This is new.
3. Messy spaces stress me out, also new.
4. Worrying really is like a rocking chair.
5. Cooking brings me joy and rest.
6. Having a budget isn't terrible.
7. I need to travel for my sanity.
8. I'm still in love with style.
9. Relationships are the most important.
10. Jesus is Lord.
I'm going to continue tomorrow with some goal setting/planning tools I've used to help me prepare for 2016. I will tell you that my word for the year is Present. Whatever I'm doing, whenever I'm doing it, I want to be all there. Not thinking about my to do list, or checking instagram, or daydreaming. Last year seems like a huge blurr because I spent most of my time thinking about the next thing. Not only does stress and worry about what's next steal your joy, it basically stole my whole year. So, I want to actually BE wherever I am, good or bad, happy or sad, just be in the moment.
Right now my present is that it's January 4th, I haven't finished all of my planning for the month (so, I'm 4 days behind in my calculation), I ate a ton of sugar for breakfast, and I already kind of want to quit. I'm also totally ok with all of that.
Join me in the present, friends!
Raleigh, NC girl with a passion for all things style.