The Ten List: April 2020

The Well Dressed Life's 10 List for April

The Ten List was our most popular series in 2019. This year, it moves from being a weekly to a monthly post to make more room for style focused content.

Here I share a thoughtful quote, a little insight, and some products (that don’t require their own post), articles, and other conversation starters that I’m enjoying. As always, I hope it’s a helpful bit of inspiration for your day and love to hear from you in the comments below!

1. Quote of The Month

The Well Dressed Life's 10 List for April

The news right now is terrible, and this week is going to be hard. After an already grueling three weeks, many of us are feeling lost and a little hopeless.

So if I may offer one piece of advice to help us navigate it a bit better, something that’s helped me immensely, it would be: try to do one, (or two or three) acts of kindness.

It’s pretty incredible the shifts that happen when we focus on doing good, no matter how big or small when we’re in a moment of fear or sadness.

Last week I was starting to feel sorry for myself and was getting worn out from what daily life has turned into. Knowing that acts of service keep my anxiety at bay, I came up with an idea.

The fact that area small businesses have taken such a hit bothers me more than I can put into words.

I wondered, how hard would it be if we tried to raise some money to spend at some of our local favorite restaurants and use it to send food to hospital workers and other local  first responders?

This idea, I later realized, is not unique at all, but wasn’t happening in our community yet.

So, last Friday, I quickly set up a Go-Fund Me and Facebook page, and texted about 20 neighborhood moms, asking them to help me spread the word. I thought, maybe we would raise $500.

Instead, in the first 24 hours, we raised close to $2,000. One week later and we raised $7,000 so far. 

We’ve already sent out six catered meals to hospitals, a local nursing home staff and our police department, with more scheduled for the coming weeks.

So why am I sharing this with you?

Not for head pats, I assure you. I can’t stand when people humblebrag.

I’m telling you because it was easy to do. People were incredibly generous; restaurants and frontline workers were overwhelmingly grateful. And all it took was some organization and a few text messages to get us up and running. 

Personally, life feels normal when I’m organizing the logistics of a delivery.  For a few minutes (and that’s all it takes)  the narrative isn’t tragic; it’s empowering. It’s created a feeling of community that I am really starting to miss.

The goodness that’s in humanity doesn’t get news coverage because it’s not a sensational headline. But it’s out there in abundance, and experiencing it first hand is probably the single best thing any of us can do right now. 

There are so many things you can do to spread good this week. In your home, you can do something kind for who you spend your life with – this can be as simple as fixing their coffee, or making Sunday pancakes for your kids on Tuesday morning. 

You can send your local police department some pizzas, have your kids make cards for people in nursing homes, send flowers to a neighbor who lives alone or have groceries delivered for an elderly couple to save them or their caretaker a trip to the store.

The simple act of turning the attention away from ourselves not only helps us manage our understandable anxiety, but it collectively puts goodness into the world, and right now, we need all the good we can get. 

 

2. Snap-Up Fleece

The Well Dressed Life's 10 List for April2. Snap-Up Fleece 

I am a 40 year old mother of three, so I can’t believe I’m sharing anything from Abercrombie & Fitch, but this asymmetrical snap-up fleece is so cute.It’sperfect for the chilly early spring.

I ordered it in the “cloud” above in a large. There are lots of other options available. I’m wearing it now with distressed jeans or leggings for a morning walk. But what I’m really looking forward to pairing it with shorts for weeks at the beach this summer. 

3. Helpful Advice 

The Well Dressed Life's 10 List for April3. How to Ease Children’s Anxiety about COVID-19 

We talk a lot about the importance of routine, self-care and virtual connection in our adult lives, but they are also so important for our kids right now. This article is a good reminder that our kids are processing this differently, need a lot of grace, and a solid routine filled with structure AND space.

4. Capri Blue Lagoon Candle

The Well Dressed Life's 10 List for April
4. Capri Blue Lagoon Candles

The Capri Blue Lagoon Candles at Anthropologie are some of my favorites. I ordered a few more to keep around the house. As we continue to try to create “balance” around here, I like the idea of lighting them while we clean up from dinner and settle into a nighttime routine. They smell heavenly and look chic even when they aren’t lit. 

5. Updated Pajamas

The Well Dressed Life's 10 List for April
5. Updated Pajamas 

Some people will end this stay at home order with a few painted rooms, maybe an organized garage.

Me? I’ll have new pajamas.

There is no better time to treat yourself to an updated set, especially if they are on sale like this pretty set from Nordstrom. I ordered them in the gray (I’m not crazy about the blue option). They are perfect for these nights filled with movies, or Sunday’s that are extra lazy. In fact, I wouldn’t be mad if you spent the whole day in them. 

6. Kate Spade Keds 

The Well Dressed Life's 10 List for April
6. Kate Spade Keds

Over in our Private Facebook Page we got into a discussion about leopard print sneakers. Are they a classic? How wearable are they? To which I said, yes! they are classic and you can wear them all the time.  These Kate Spade Keds are a bit of a splurge but my favorite. You can wear them with jeans, or leggings, a tee shirt dress, or a long maxi dress. Just use the print as a neutral and you’ll update any outfit. 

7. Waterproof Cosmetics Pouch

The Well Dressed Life's 10 List for AprilWaterproof Cosmetic Pouch

I found these waterproof cosmetics pouches on Amazon (they get rave reviews) and scooped them up to put in my big girls’ Easter Baskets. They’re great for them to take to the pool or beach to keep all their essentials like phones and sunglasses out of the sand and water. Grab them if you need a $25 gift (for teachers!), or use it as a base and fill it with some lip balm, sunscreen and a gift card. 

8. Follow Me! Please? 

The Well Dressed Life's 10 List for April
8. Instagram Follow

Here’s the deal, I am 1,500 followers away from hitting 10,000 followers on Instagram. Why is that important? Because once you hit 10K, Instagram unlocks business features that will make using my profile easier for readers. Now more than ever having any extra leverage will help me navigate this unknown time so if you haven’t already liked me, and you enjoy our content, would you head of there and hit “follow.” I promise I’m not annoying. 

 

9. Join our Book Club

The Well Dressed Life's 10 List for April

In light of everything that’s happening in the world, I started looking for a lighthearted book to escape with and decided to turn it into virtual book club. I was so happy to see how excited everyone was about it. All you have to do is order Evvie Drake Starts Over (here on Amazon or call your local bookstore and see if they’ll do a curbside pick up), start reading, and we’ll “meet” up the weekend of April 18 in our Private Facebook Group.

10.What’s Your  Happy Song?

https://www.facebook.com/187761984666423/videos/533420370691215/

We all have that one song that lifts our mood every time we hear it.  For me, it’s I Want it That Way by the Backstreet Boys. So silly, I know. 

The second I hear the first few notes, I’m immediately back in my dilapidated sorority house on Temple University’s campus, living with 18 of my best friends, the song blaring out of bedrooms. It’s part of the soundtrack of the happiest years of my life. 

Since then, it’s turned into my feel-good anthem. It sort of hangs in the background of parties, and nights out, especially at the shore, all us old moms huddled in the middle of a dance floor singing along like we are kids again. 

Last week they played it as part of Elton John’s living room concert, and I found myself with a big stupid smile on my face. 

So I’ve been playing this and all the songs that take me back to happier, easier times at home. My kids think I’m nuts, which also feels appropriate for where we are right now. 

I wonder, what’s the song that takes you back to your happiest time? Share it in the comments below. 

 

The Ten List: March 2020

Where you are a year from now is a reflection of the choices you choose to make right now.

The Ten List was our most popular series in 2019. This year, it moves from being a weekly to a monthly post to make more room for style focused content.

Here I share a thoughtful quote, a little insight, and some products (that don’t require their own post), articles, and other conversation starters that I’m enjoying. As always, I hope it’s a helpful bit of inspiration for your day and love to hear from you in the comments below!

1. Quote of the Month

Where you are a year from now is a reflection of the choices you choose to make right now.

It’s often said that real, life-altering decisions happen when you’ve just had enough of your current situation to such an extreme that you have no alternative but to make a change.

For me, that was this time last year. I had just had a baby, my older girls were getting more independent and therefore, busier, and I felt like my chance at building the business I wanted was slipping threw my fingers like sand. 

Very well-meaning people would tell me, “Oh, you have plenty of time to work; just enjoy your kids now!”

And I would think a 40-year-old woman (me) who needs to pay for her kids’ education and her retirement does not have plenty of time to work. 

The runway many of us have when it comes to reaching our personal, professional, and financial goals seem to start and stop at the same place and time. 

One morning, around 3 am, after feeding Vivi, I started to think. I knew I was unwilling to give up time with my kids, and equally unwilling to loose my professional shot. 

So I decided that I was going to throw everything I had into building this site. 

It meant reevaluating where I was spending and wasting time, and creating a priorities list of only two things: my kids and my work.  I gave up basically everything else and I had to be even more organized and focused than before. 

It’s been 12 months of nonstop, 7 days a week work. 

And it was worth it. 

I’m on the other side of it, and I can say with certainty, after a year of focus and discipline, our site is up from last year in all the important metrics. Our community continues to grow at a rapid rate and we now have countless opportunities to monetize in a way that feels congruent to my own integrity.

The work isn’t finished. In many ways it’s just getting started. But I’m so happy I did it. And honestly, I didn’t miss much. By cutting out a lot of the “fat” I was still able to be available to my kids, volunteer in big ways in their school, and had room to work. 

So today, this is just a reminder that if you have something on your heart that you want to create, whether it’s a business, a career change, a shift in your lifestyle, or a weight loss journey, every choice you make now will determine where you are a year from now.

The best choice is often the hard one, but a year from now you’ll look back with such satisfaction and pride, it’s worth the sacrifice.

Chic Sweatshirt

The Well Dressed Life's March 10 List

Varely Barton Sweatshirt: $99

I was in Anthropologie on Sunday and the woman in front of me in line bought and wore this sweatshirt out of the store, of course I stopped her to take a closer look.

It’s adorable. She had it on with slim cut dark jeans and sporty loafers, and looked so chic and cozy.

I immediately bought one for myself. It’s the perfect piece to elevate a work-from-home outfit. 

Comfortable Feminine Loafers 

The Well Dressed Life's March 10 List

Cole Haan Caddie Bow Loafer: $130

I read a lot of popular style blogs, but not for why you think. I usually skip over the expert commentary and head right to the comment section. Here, I can figure out the pain points of consumers and the specific challenges they face when shopping. Then I use that information to inspire relevant content for our readers. 

Now and then, I even discover some product recommendations, like these Cole Haan loafers that are getting rave reviews for comfort. I saw this specific shoe mentioned so often that I tried them myself, and they are wonderfully comfortable.

Loafers tend to feel clunky, but these have a lovely, feminine shape that will help elongate your leg. Available in black (above), tan, coral, blue, and white. These are popular, and Cole Haan tends to sell out quickly in the beginning of the season, so scoop them up if they are on your shopping list. 

Glow Boosting Drink

The Well Dressed Life's March 10 List

Goop Glow Morning Skin Superpowder, $60

I’m a big fan of Goop; I don’t care what the critics think. I’ve tried many of their products, and while they all haven’t been for me the ones I that have, are incredible. If you’ve been reading here a while, you know that I would take the Goop Instant Facial with me if I were stranded on an island, and I’ve been ordering Vintners Daughter from them for years.

One of their products I’m shocked I like as much as I do is their Goop Glow Morning Skin Superpowder. 

I love it so much I have it on auto-delivery.

I add one pack to a glass of water while my coffee is brewing, and sometimes another to my water bottle at the gym. It tastes delicious, like a bright orangey-lemony drink, and it’s full of good for your skin ingredients (you can read all of them here). I’m also convinced that the super shot of Vitamin C is why I haven’t even had a cold since I started drinking it. 

Fresh Clean Skin

The Well Dressed Life's March 10 List

Drunk Elephant’s Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser, $32

Speaking of skincare, I started using Drunk Elephant’s Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser, and oh-my-goodness, I love it. As you know, I’m committed to my skincare routine and rarely deviate from it. But lately, I’ve felt like I needed a more potent cleanser at night for a deeper clean to rinse off my day.

This is glorious. It’s gentle, yet you can feel a difference. 

They recommend only using at nighttime, so I’m now I’m using this in the PM and then my beloved Tatcha cleansing oil in the morning. 

Bonus: I also picked up the Drunk Elephant SPF 30 for my face and am delighted. It goes on like moisturizer, absorbs quickly, is waterproof and layers under makeup nicely. If you are looking for a good, everyday face sunscreen I HIGHLY recommend it. 

Style Elevating Bracelet

The Well Dressed Life's March 10 ListOmega Two-Tone Cuff Bracelet: $65

Sometimes our jewelry recommendations get lost in our posts. Happily, lot’s of readers reporting back that this cuff bracelet we featured last month works well within their wardrobes. It’s such an easy piece to wear on its own or layer with other bracelets.

I like it because the two-tone nature of it allows you to mix metals and create a cohesive look with the jewelry you already own.

Updated Slip-on Sneaker

The Well Dressed Life's March 10 ListSlip on Sneaker: $39.00

I needed an updated slip-on sneaker. Initially, I was going to order a pair of Vans, but when I realized that my preteens exclusively were them, I decided against it. So I started looking around and found these on Amazon for under $40.

They are surprisingly comfortable and much like the loafers above, feel slimming on my feet (I wear a size 10). I like them with leggings, slim jeans or even joggers.

I’ll post a pic later today over on Instagram so you can see them in real life.

Instagram For Real Life Pictures!

I spent a couple hours last week setting up a corner in my office so I can “easily” take real life outfit pictures in real time. 

Wardrobe Challenge Starts on March 15th! 

The Well Dressed Life's Spring 2020 Wardrobe Challenge

Every Friday, starting on the 15th, I’ll post a series of challenges designed to walk you through the process of discovering your personal style, editing you wardrobe and coming up with the pieces you need to pick up to create a closet full of clothes you love to wear. 

It’s free and there is no up sell, it’s just a fun and helpful activity I offer every season to our readership. You don’t even have to sign up but joining our private Facebook group is helpful. 

 

The Ten List: February 2020

Get in the Habit of asking yourself, "does this support the life I'm trying to create"

The Ten List was our most popular series in 2019. This year, it moves from being a weekly to a monthly post to make more room for style focused content.

Here I share a thoughtful quote, a little insight, and some products, articles, and other conversation starters that I’m enjoying. As always, I hope it’s a helpful bit of inspiration for your day and love to hear from you in the comments below!

1. Quote of the Month

Get in the Habit of asking yourself, "does this support the life I'm trying to create"

Turning 40 was a real positive shift for me. Perhaps it’s the combination of my experience, understanding that time does fly by, and gaining the confidence in myself that I lacked in my youth, but I’m so happy and grateful to be in this chapter of life.

Conversely, my 30’s felt like one big distraction. So this new decade has given me what feels like a fresh start, an opportunity to take the lessons I learned, and get rid of everything (and anyone) that doesn’t suit me.

It’s like I finally get to say, this is me, I’m strong, ambitious, not so people-pleasing, and I demand the best out of life.

One of my realizations from the last ten years is that to accomplish the goals I’ve set for my family and my businesses; I need to be more intentional with how I spend my time, where I allow my thoughts to go, and who I give my energy.

I’ve learned to ask myself, “does this support the life I’m trying to create?”

Amazingly, it works for everything. Whether it’s committing to taking on another volunteer role, going to a social event, or deciding how I’m going to react to something.

For example, I got my feelings badly hurt around Christmas time by an extended family member. It had to do with my girls not being included in something, and I was furious. 

After a few minutes of being angry, I thought to myself, do I want this kind of thoughtlessness in our lives? Do these people support the life I’m trying to create? 

And it was wonderfully obvious. No. 

At that moment, I gained a ton of power because it not only prevented an unproductive argument, but it also helped me see that I was investing too much time in a one-sided relationship. 

In years past, something like that would have bothered me to the point that I would have lost hours and days of my life. It would have distracted me, cut into my time with my kids, and the little time I have to work. 

This simple question has already given me so much clarity and control in countless ways.

I encourage you to give it a try this month, any time you’re faced with a decision, no matter how big or small, does it support the life you are trying to create? 

2. Love at First Sight

This dress does it for me in so, so many ways. Wear it now with tights and boots, and add a moto jacket for an extra layer. Come spring, throw on your favorite heeled sandals for a perfect look. It’s under $70, also available in a gorgeous olive green. 

3. Gen X Women are Exhausted

Gen X women are stressed out. We are in our prime, at the peak of our personal responsibilities during the fastest-moving, ever-evolving, most interconnected chapter of human history. Add motherhood, caring for aging parents, managing a career, saving for retirement, and keeping everyone’s balls in the air; it’s no wonder why we are all so physically and mentally fatigued.

If you find yourself in the same phase of life, pick up this book, Why We Can’t Sleep, by Ada Calhoun. My friend recommended it to me, and I couldn’t put it down. You’ll feel validated, laugh, and while it won’t make your life easier, it will help you reframe your thoughts and perspective.

4. Sparkly Feet

Practical shoes are a big topic of conversation around here, but does anyone need a  totally impractical, fancy sparkly pair? Because these are so gorgeous. I’m not saying you can walk in them, but sometimes I just want a pretty pair of shoes to find a fun home. 

5. Razor 

The age difference of my kids makes for some crazy, funny situations. Like one minute I am changing a diaper, and three minutes later I am in the shower, helping someone that is not me shave their legs. It’s a mind bend, for sure.

Last month I discovered the Flamingo 5-Blade Razor at Target and bought them for all the razor-using girls in my house. They are fantastic! No knicks or cuts. They fit nicely in my grown up hands and my pre-teen’s and I love that they come with a suction cup holder to keep off the shower floor.  

6. Bobbie Brown Stick Foundation

If you are looking for a lightweight, long-lasting, comfortable to wear foundation, consider Bobbie Brown’s Stick Foundation. I’ve been using it for over a month, and I love it so much. I’m not too fond of liquid foundation but do want enough coverage to take the red out of my skin and cover some age spots. This is so easy to apply and, somehow, covers what I want to hide and still shows off my freckles.

7. #GirlDad

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

When I was pregnant with Vivi and told people we were having our 3rd girl the overwhelming, immediate response from almost every single person was: “THREE GIRLS?! Poor Bri” . It made me crazy, and furious. . Poor Bri. . Poor Bri, surrounded by the endless love only a daughter can have for her dad. . Poor Bri, getting to raise three little girls to become the strong, determined, self assured, ambitious young women our world needs. . Poor Bri, having to have tea parties, and Disney sing-a-longs, and teaching them to surf and coaching them in softball. . Poor Bri, who is loved beyond reason because he gets to be a #girldad. . 💔It’s such a shame that it takes an unimaginable tragedy for girl dads to trend. . But maybe people will stop acting like men bare some burden because they didn’t get a boy. . 🎉Here’s to all the girl dads who take their role in their daughters lives so seriously and know how precious a gift they were given.

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Basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter’s tragic death, along with their friends on their helicopter, cut through the heart of the country. It seems like, collectively, we all projected our vulnerability onto a truly unimaginable loss. Like everyone, I haven’t stop thinking about and praying for all of the families, who likely started their day as the rest of us, and then were instantly shattered. 

In the wake of their loss, we’ve learn so much more about Kobe, namely, what a devoted dad he was to his girls. It’s hard to miss, in all the images in the media, he looks positively in love with each of his daughters.

The #girldad started to trend, with men all over the country posting about how proud they are to have their girls. 

Over on my Instagram I talked about the crazy comments people said to me when I told them  that Vivi, our third, was in fact another girl. I was even more amazed to hear how many other parents of all girls experienced the same thing. 

8. Size is Just a Number 

Supermodel Ashley Graham is a pretty cool chick who is changing the face and size of beauty. If you ever didn’t buy something because you needed to size up in it – do yourself a favor and watch this three minute video she created about vanity sizing and how bad it is for our mental health. 

9. Long Live Taylor 

 


We are a Taylor Swift house. After I took my girls to their first Taylor Swift concert I was a fan. After the next one I was a SUPER fan. Her Netflix documentary is powerful, and opens up space for a lot of important conversations to have with our girls. I’m watching it tomorrow night with them while their dad is on a business trip as a “girls night” surprise that will hopefully bring bigger topics to the forefront. 

10. WDL Shop! 

Thanks for all the kind words about our new shop!!! I’m really excited to roll it out – and yes!, it’s been a ton of work. I’m working of figuring out the kind of help I’m going to need and will likely be looking to fill a position within our team by the end of the year.

Stay Tuned!

This month we have so much content to share as we start to think about spring. Please continue to share your ideas and questions – they are what fuels our daily content and now, also, the shop!

The Ten List: January 2020

The Ten List: January 2020

The Ten List was our most popular series in 2019. This year, it moves from being a weekly to a monthly post to make more room for style focused content.

Here I share a thoughtful quote, a little insight, and some products, articles, and other conversation starters that I’m enjoying. As always, I hope it’s a helpful bit of inspiration for your day and love to hear from you in the comments below!

One: Quote of the Month

The Ten List: January 2020A few years ago, I was running my styling business and doing corporate work around personal brand and communication skills. Things were moving along nicely for a few years, until I started to get burned out from the private client work. It was then that I knew I had to decide what to focus on next.

Everyone told me to build out the corporate side of the business. I had some great clients at the time. Finding new clients would be hard, but the money would be worth it.

Build a training company!, they said.

Become a professional speaker!, they said.

Lured by the idea of stability, a bigger paycheck, and the ego boost that comes with running a big business, I gave it a try. 

I lasted 5 minutes.  

I hated the grind, the flying, and staying at crappy hotels. I hated the sales calls and negotiating contracts and corporate jargon and dealing with disinterested participants. 

I really hated being away from my family and missed my kids terribly.

So, I closed up everything to focus all of my energy on growing The Well Dressed Life.  

Mind you, I’m pretty sure my husband thinks my decision making is more in line with that of a socialite with tons of old money than someone who actually needs to be dual income to survive. But I just can’t make something work if it doesn’t feel genuine. And the corporate road warrior I was turning into is the exact opposite of who I am.

It’s been a journey for sure. I’m not always the quickest learner. I’m frequently in over my head and frustrated with technology and algorithms. Learning online advertising feels like I’m back in Latin class freshman year of high school. 

The downside to a business like this is that I am always plugged in. I could use a team of 12, except I don’t have the budget, so instead, I’m continually watching YouTube videos and tutorials to do the most basic piece of editing or code.

And the struggle is real when it comes to monetizing the site without compromising my integrity.

BUT, I’m at home when my kids get off the bus. I get to volunteer at their school. I don’t miss Christmas concerts anymore. So while I might be working in the middle of the night, I’m doing what I love. Which was the entire reason I started a business in the first place. 

Over the last decade, I’ve learned that you have to stay true to you, even if that means taking a crazy big risk. It’s important to ignore advice from people whose lives don’t look like what you want for your own, not matter how well intentioned they may be. And once you start to architect your life to suit your desires, everything else falls into place.

I haven’t lost my ambition. In fact, I feel more motivated than ever. I still want to build something big, grow a team, and take advantage of as many professional opportunities as possible – I just want to do it on my terms.

Cheers to a prosperous 2020! I hope if you are sitting on a dream, no matter how big or small, this is the year you take your first step in making it a reality.

 

2. Office Ready Dress

I’m crazy for this H&M dress in gray/green for work for $35. Size up and alter down for a perfect fit. Pair with grey suede heels for the perfect office look. 

3. Do You Mind If I Cancel? ( Things That Still Annoy Me)

Gary Janetti’s Instagram is as inappropriate as you get and a guaranteed laugh out load moment of my day. I bought his book Do You Mind If I Cancel? (Things That Still Annoy Me) the minute it came out, but haven’t had a second to myself to read it. That changes on Friday when I take it on my flight to Austin to kick of a much need weekend with friends.

4. Press On Nails

In a pinch before Christmas with no time to get a manicure I grabbed these Kiss Press On Nails, and guess what? They are great! I wouldn’t use them as a replacement for regular manicures, but as an alternative to a quick, haphazard one you do on your way out the door, these do the trick. They took less than 10 minutes to apply and stayed on for a full week. I got a ton of compliments on them too.

5. Designer Sale

On a lucky run through Off 5th I found a rack of Joe’s Curvy Skinny Ankle Jeans for half price. I picked up a pair for myself, and then checked their online inventory. All sizes are still available. These are fantastic if you prefer a higher waisted jean. They will stretch out so if you are in between sizes go down one. 

6. Best Selling Dress of 2019 

We sold thousands of this simple dress from Old Navy last year. It was originally $40 but it’s on sale right now for only $25, available in missy, petite, and tall sizes from XS – XXL. 

Original Post: An Easy $40 Dress

7. Body Love

I’m a massive fan of Kelly LeVeque and her Fab Four Smoothies. They helped me bounce back after having Vivi, and I don’t mean just losing the weight. They are so nutrient-rich they helped heal me from the inside out and gave me the energy I needed to manage many sleepless months.

Her new book, Body Love, lays out a 21-day plan to reset and change how you look at food. Her recipes are easy and delicious, and she explains everything backed by actual science. So if you’re a nerd like me, you’ll enjoy the education as well as the tips.

8. Easy Hydration

If water is not right next to me, I won’t think to drink it until I’m at the point of dehydrated. Overindulging in Prosecco during the holiday hasn’t helped either. So I picked up this tumbler with a straw to keep at my desk and bedside. I’m already back to drinking the appropriate amount of water a day and feel better.

9. Shitt’s Creek

I binged Shitt’s Creek on Netflix as a form of self-care over the holidays. Never have I watched a show that made me laugh out loud at every episode and also brought me to happy tears. It might be perfect television, filled with a quick wit, smart humor, and so much heart. And Catherine O’Hara’s Moria Rose is the greatest TV mom of all time.

Have you seen it? 

10. 2020 Wardrobe Challenge

This Friday starts our first Wardrobe Challenge of 2020. You don’t have do to anything if you want to participate, just follow along here. Our Facebook Private group is helpful (but not necessary) so you can join more interactive conversations. 

If you prefer to use Instagram, I will also be posting all of the challenges there, along with exclusive videos, etc over on my page

The accountability you’ll find in this group will keep you motivated and inspired, I’m working on a few steps myself today and will post my progress along with the group when we get started! 

Monday Musing: November 4th, 2019

Monday Musings November 4, 2019

Every two years my kids’ school hosts a huge fundraiser, a live and silent auction theme party (this year it’s Back to the 80’s) that benefits our school and parish community. I volunteered to be the chair back in 2017 because I am insane and didn’t know I would be pregnant a few months later.

After a year of hard work with a crew of amazingly generous and talented moms, this Saturday is finally the big night.

As much as it’s been occasionally frustrating and time consuming, it’s also been incredibly satisfying. I can’t believe how much I’ve enjoyed the process and what it’s done for me personally.

Monday Musings November 4, 2019Society glamourizes entrepreneurship. The idea of every day being different, having autonomy over your schedule, and the ability to make a living doing something you love is obviously appealing. Who wouldn’t want that? 

But, I’ve been an entrepreneur for 15 years. I can tell you there is a brutal dark side to it that is isolating, filled with the unknown and operates on a landscape so ever-changing it’s almost impossible not to feel like you are always three steps behind.

The last few years with this business have been challenging. I’ve had more setbacks and more failures than I care to mention. At least once a week I wanted to throw my computer across my office. 

Add to that aging (me) in this industry and feeling over-leveraged at home … I’ve been feeling increasingly defeated. 

So to be able to devote myself to something, to lead teams, see the process through, and have it be a success as given me back some of the confidence I’ve been lacking. Seeing that my efforts can result in a “win” after feeling like I was loosing for so long, was just what I needed. 

As crazy as it sounds, this experience has helped me feel purposeful again and is helping me feel reenergized. 

I’ll be showing some of the fun behind the scenes activities this week on Instagram and my 80’s look that many followers helped me put together. 

What about you? 

I’m sure there are times in all of our lives when we need that infusion of confidence. I’m shocked I found mine where I did, but as I think more about it, it makes sense. 

What about you?

How have you gained back your confidence after you felt like you lost it for a bit? 

 

 

Monday Musing: October 28th, 2019

The Well Dressed Life's The List for October 28th

I found this quote scrolling through my phone the other day and immediately saved it. It’s a great reminder that our thoughts are responsible for the quality of our lives.

When I was at the height of dealing with my anxiety and depression, I learn a trick worth sharing. Often, we think we can’t control our thoughts, that they sneak up on us and have all the power.

Visualize

But, with the help of professionals, I finally understood that we can control them. Whenever you feel or hear a negative thought, the kind that you know is going to send you down a spiral, immediately stop, and visualize yourself removing it.

A few years ago, I read an interview with Serena Williams who talked about how she was able to win (crush) the Australian Open right after she discovered she was pregnant.  She said, “I had to take all that energy and put it in a paper bag and throw it away.” 

That visual stuck with me, and now, every time I have a negative thought, I see myself putting it in a paper bag and throwing it away. 

Related: How Mindful Breathing Changed My Life

The Well Dressed Life's The List for October 28th

Know the Difference

Of course, not all negative thoughts are bad, but many of them serve us no good. I spent a decade talking to women in a dressing room, where they are vulnerable and facing many of their insecurities head-on.

You can change how you feel about yourself for a few minutes when you look great and feel confident in your clothes. But if you find yourself in a chronic state of negative self-talk or worry, it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing.

For a long time my pulled-together facade lead everyone to believe that I had it all together, but I was probably at my worst.

Taking the time to learn how to let go of self-sabotaging thoughts will change your life for the better. You’ll be amazed at how much more confident and strong you’ll feel.

For me, my anxiety disorder worked like a filter. There was who I am: naturally optimistic, eager, cup-half-full, kind of person, but my anxiety and subsequent depression altered that making me feel the polar opposite.

Once I was able to “fix my filter,” my true self was able to rise and my outside matched my inside. 

Blog News and Updates

P.S. I’m testing out a new format of posts this week. Mondays will feature two quick posts. At 10 am, our “Quote for the Week” will be published. It’s meant to be an opportunity to stop and reflect for a minute, maybe start a conversation (we love comments!) before your busy week begins.

At 2 pm, we’ll post our “Item of the Week.” This is one piece (with additional options for sizes and price points) that will “float” throughout outfits over the week. That simply means, we’ll use it in different applications within outfits to demonstrate its versatility. For example, tomorrows outfit will be based on today’s Item of the Week, etc. 

All of these changes are intended to continue to build our engaged community and make the site easier to navigate.

The List: October 21st, 2019

The List - October 14, 2019

Last week, I took a few days “off” to get my life in order. Do you ever feel like you just need a minute to reset? Laundry was piling up; the girls didn’t have pants that fit, I forgot to pay bills. It wasn’t pretty.

For the last few months, I’ve felt like something was off, specifically with work. I feel like I am always behind schedule (because I am) and am utterly overwhelmed at every turn. It became obvious in these last few days away from posting that the current set up of The Well Dressed Life is critically flawed. Not from a content standpoint, but the backend of the business. 

For three years now, I have done everything myself. From content and site development, updating SEO, managing social media, sourcing new ways to monetize, and managing the accounting,  I’m currently doing the work of at least six people and it is taking a toll across all parts of my life. 

If the site crashes (it has several times this year),everything stops until I figure out what is wrong and fix it. When Google changes its algorithm, I need to relearn how to make sure my content is searchable.

I also have to create unique content for the blog, Facebook, AND Instagram while circulating our posts on Pinterest, which is our biggest driver of views. That in and of itself is a full-time job.

As one person, with three kids and only 24 hours in a day, I’ve reached the point of it being impossible.  You can only be good at so many things, and right now I don’t feel like I’m doing anything well. I’m also realizing the more time I focus on the technical aspects of the business, the harder it is for me to be creative.

Bottom line: the current way I’m running things is impeding my ability to grow any further.

The List - October 14, 2019

So, for the rest of the year, everything will look pretty much the same on the surface. Just know that behind the scenes, I am starting to build out a team to give me back the time I need to focus on content creation and growth and to establish  a solid foundation of a business that I can sustain for years to come. 

I’m sure there will be some hiccups along the way, so please stay patient as I figure out the best path forward. 

What would be so helpful is if you would continue to ask your specific questions in the comments. I read every single one and use them to build out our posts. For example, our recent posts about Age Appropriate Dress and Flats You Can Wear Instead of Heels were inspired by your questions and well received.

And now for the rest of The List: 

2. Currently Reading: Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (And More Life to Live) by Eve Rodsky. 

3. Cozy Halloween: This chunky knit sweater is perfect for taking the kids trick-or-treating on a chilly fall night. 

4. As-Seen-On-Social: After seeing a ton of Wander Beauty videos on Facebook and Instagram, I had to give some of their products a try. Their press foundation is a top seller, but I wasn’t a fan. For aging skin like mine, it’s too heavy and set into my fine lines and wrinkles. I prefer lighter coverage that lets my skin breath. However, I LOVED their mascara and under-eye patches. I’m working on a video review of my favorite beauty products so stay tuned!

5. Legging Upgrade: On Friday night we celebrated a good friends 40th birthday. I wore this H&M sweater and these faux leather leggings with a pair of pumps. It reminded me how versatile those leggings can be this time of year. Spanx makes the best pair that fits well and holds you in, available in missy and plus sizes

Have a great week!!