Sit At The Table

"But I also know that in order to continue to grow and challenge myself, I have to believe in my own abilities.  I still face situations that I fear are beyond my capabilities.  I still have days when I feel like a fraud.  And I still sometimes find myself spoken over and discounted while men sitting next to me are not.  But now I know how to take a deep breathe and keep my hand up.  I have learned to sit at the table."
-From the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO

I read the above excerpt today while reading Lean In, a book that has spurred some controversy.  I was interested in reading it not only because I am always fascinated by the stories and advice from professionally successful women, but also because I wanted to better understand what Sheryl Sandberg meant when she said, we can't "have it all".  Turns out, just 38 pages in, Ms. Sandberg is inspiring me to take action in my life by way of redefining my inner voice.  

Let's take yesterdays post for example.  Before I even took the first photo I was doubting myself.  "I don't look good in pink", I thought.  "I'm not thin enough to do a style post", I convinced myself.  "This was a horrible idea", I said between shots. As soon as the other post went live, I compared myself, "they did so much better than me", "Why didn't I think of that"... I chalked the sweet comments I received up to people just being kind.  I know it is a remedial comparison, but it's not the only one that comes to mind.
I find myself holding back all the time though because of my self doubts, in business and in life.  I have ambitious dreams, but hesitate to call them goals because I am afraid I can't reach them. I'm afraid I can't compete with people with higher degrees, with diploma's from a more prestigious school, with the family life I may have one day, with the societal norms my dreams might challenge. 

I don't always take the safe road.  I pushed my boundaries when I moved to London for an internship for three months following college.  I pushed myself upon my return to the states to get one of the coveted internships at one of the few top IMC companies in Phoenix.  Then something changed.  I will save that story for another time.  The important thing, is that girl with big plans and a bit of moxie started to come back.  

She peeped her head out when she decided it was time to shake things up and move to California.  She took another step forward by actually finding the right job and accepting it.  In her next step she left family and friends to move to a place where she knew no one.  Why am I talking about myself in the third person?  Probably because, like Ms. Sandberg, I feel a little like a fraud, especially when acknowledging my own accomplishments.  
So what is next?  Well for one, I definitely need to finish the book and a couple other books sitting on my nightstand.  Then I need to decide what I want to be when I grow up and pursue it with vigorous passion. 

I'd love to hear from other women with big dreams/goals, women who have found personal/professional success and anyone else who is reading Lean In.  I'd love to hear your thoughts and what you are doing to lean into you successes.


The Messy Project

I am not a fashion blogger.  Sometimes I wish I was.  I wish I felt comfortable in front of the camera again.  I imagine that will come with time and weight loss.  But like Sheryl Sandberg says, "It's time to lean in!"

The Deal:
1 Item
5 Girls 
5 Different Looks
1 Major Blog Post Day

High-low Rose Print Tank-Forever 21, Crop Sleeve Blazer-Target, Maroon Dress Pants- New York and Company, Nude Platform Peeptoes-Marc Fisher

Since I live on a pretty tight budget, it is important that I can make things work for both work and play.  I liked the tank Kelly Picked out because it gave me a fun print to use to vamp up my work wardrobe and a great top to throw over black skinnies or leggings on the weekend.

I played with the pink by adding some fushia lipstick.  I'm still working on being daring and mixing prints, so I started out small and used a black and white print clutch to jazz things up.

I used to really love fashion.  Some might have even said I was fashion fearless.  In high school, I wore clothes that I liked, not what was trendy or "cool".  I was a little more sophisticated than the average Arizona 16 year old and preferred BCBG to Abercrombie and Fitch.  In college, my lack of income and preference to sweatshirts scaled my fashion sense back a bit.  Then as the number on the scale rose, my interest in fashion faded and I just tried to find something that fit versus something that I loved.  Still, I tear great outfits from magazines and dream of one day being able to pull them off again.

This project gave me a little awakening.  It reminded me how much I love clothes and their ability to express what you are feeling that day.  It reminded me that feeling good in my clothes is important.  Just one more reason to skip those sugary or fried snack, push a little harder in the gym and really commit to my 90 day challenge.

Don't forget to check out the other April Messy Girls!
Dinah at Sunshine Super Glam
Kelsey at A Muse in Purple
and of course Kelly at Messy Dirty Hair


Not So Perfect Attendance

I've been absent.

In grade school, I had near perfect attendance.  Yes, I was that girl.  But somehow, I can't seems to plan ahead enough to blog when I say I am going to.  It shouldn't be that hard to write should it?

Sure. Some days I just wanna write and clicking publish feels like I've released all my emotions out into the world disguised as words, but other days I just want to watch some TV, read my book and go to bed at a decent hour.  

My life is just busy. A good busy, but busy nonetheless.

So what does that mean for my blog? I don't know.  It means maybe when things slow down I will get back to writing 3-5 times a week.  Maybe it means I will only write once a week, but I'll put a lot of heart into those words. Maybe it means I'll lose some followers.

I hope you'll all stick with me through this hectic time in my life.  I hope I am still able to engage with readers and build friendships across the country with strong women.

In the meantime, here's a little look at what I have been up to:
A new hair cut and color,
my nano second of fame on Jimmy Kimmel Live,
Lunch at Villa Blanca (with Ken sighting),
 A well-deserved Coronarita,
Started by 90 Day Challenge with Body by Vi,
Lifeguard Tower Sitting,
Bestie's Baby Shower,
The Cutest Little Cyclist at One Of My Events,
 My favorite little Nugget  (my youngest sister) and I had a photo shoot during dinner,
 Shopping on Rodeo with one of my Favs,
Tour de Cure San Diego
Want to see what I am doing to lose weight?   What to see pretty pictures of the ocean? Follow me on instagram!

Don't forget to stop back later this week, to see my attempt at fashion blogging when I hook up with Kelly for the Messy Project.

Oh and congrats to Sabra Nice, Winner of the Compliment Giveaway!!!


Choosing your Before Picture

So I am about to embark on a little weight loss challenge.  I'm pretty excited about it and I promise I will share more about it as I see results.  In the meantime, I started thinking about what picture I wanted to use as my before pic.

I started searching through the minimal pictures I've allowed taken of me over the last 3 years (the years I like to call my "big year").  My search quickly got pretty depressing as I compared which image made me look worst.

"Well my thighs look pretty massive in this one, but check out those thick love handles in that one!"

Which only made me look in the mirror to see how wide everything looked.  Feeling pretty deflated...err well I guess I felt as inflated as Garfield in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, I decided to distract myself with a little Facebook stalking.  As life often does, it sent me the right message at just the right moment.

It's so easy to forget that we are beautiful.  It's so easy to just focus on the flaws and brush the good stuff to the side.  If only we saw ourselves the way others see us.  Imagine how much more confident we would be.  Imagine how happy we would be.

So I decided to stop my search for the most horrible picture.  Instead, I am going to find a photo that I like my smile, that my hair looks awesome and that I can look at and say, "All things considered, I look pretty darn good".  And the best part is, I can only look better as I get back to a healthy weight.

So today, I want to reaffirm each of you reading this.  You are freaking gorgeous, extra freaking! If you haven't already, learn to love the things about yourself that you can't change.  Remember you were created to be just the way you are.  That, in itself, is truly beautiful.  So go out and stop worrying about being pretty enough and be beautifully yourself instead.


A Few Of My Favorite Things

Just like Fräulein Maria, I have a few favorite things.  But instead of singing about them (you're welcome) I thought I would blog about them!
Tonight I am headed out of town, back to my hometown for my best friend's baby shower.  I love parties, but especially parties that require decoration.  Seriously, throw a bridal shower,  a bachelorette party, a baby shower, or themed party my way and instantly my mind turns to decorations.  When a friend of mine opened her Etsy Shop, Let's Wear Dresses, I was in soiree design heaven!

Let's Wear Dresses
Elisa specializes in custom party supplies that will take your party from great to gorgeous! I mean seriously, I can't wait to plan my next event!

One of the most important things to love!  When I saw this, I had to share!!

This month, I have to register my car in California, not only am I disappointed in the amount of money I am going to have to give up to register sweet little Fiona, but also my sadness stems from giving up my Arizona plate.  That plate was my home state identifier!  To help myself cope, I have been trying to find myself a new AZ identifiers.  Even if you aren't from AZ, you can pay homage to your state with some of these cuties!
Print, Shirt, Necklace, Pillow

Know of some favorite things I should check out?  Let me know about them!  And don't forget to get entered to win $50 to Compliment, one of the cutest jewelry stores on the web!

Happy Friday!!


Was That A Light At The End Of The Tunnel Or Just A Firefly?

I've been working my butt off lately.
Literally and figuratively.  

I work a full day, workout, then most nights I go home and put in another 3-5 hours on work, consulting or designing projects and then I try to squeeze in an hour of blogging or reading.  

I'm not complaining. 
I really love my life, but sometimes I wish that I would just get an obscure inheritance from a family member I have never met. I mean, who doesn't wish that?

On days like today, days that I am feeling truly exhausted, broke and frustrated by the grind, I try to remind myself that it will all pay off.  Eventually, I will be where I want to be, do exactly what I want to do and respect the journey that got me there.  In the mean time,  I try to focus on the positive, so I figured I would share a little positive with you all!

                        Source                                    Source                    Source                               Source                           Source
P.S.  Don't forget, you can win a $50 credit to Compliment!

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I'd Like To Pay You A Compliment

You are amazing.  And I'm not just saying that because you are reading my blog.  I'm saying that because, you are.  No matter who you are. No matter what you do.

You. Are. Amazing.

And quite honestly,  that is not always easy to remember.  So today I want to pay you a compliment, while also giving you a chance to "pay" yourself (or someone else) one as well!

Have you all heard of Compliment, the jewelry, stationary and gift shop by the lovely Melissa?

Unlike many sponsors, I actually reached out to Melissa.  I believe in the principles in which she founded her shop.  She believes in building a community by building each other up.  And on top of that her jewelry designs are absolutely gorgeous!! And I just love these note cards!  I <3 p="" you="">

Melissa has offered you all a chance to win a $50 credit to her shop.  Check out Melissa and her designs at www.shopcompliment.com and enter the giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway