The Ten List: September 24, 2018

Framing the issue of work-life balance as if the two were dramatically opposed practically ensures work will lose out. Who would ever choose work over life?
Framing the issue of work-life balance as if the two were dramatically opposed practically ensures work will lose out. Who would ever choose work over life?

Is there really such a thing as “work-life balance”? We put ourselves under so much stress trying to achieve some equal scale when the truth is something is always going to be off. Instead of focusing on achieving some mythical “balance” every day, week or month, try thinking more long term. We go through seasons, with priorities constantly shifting. Eventually, everything equals out

Right now, my life feels a little out of whack. I’m focused entirely on getting ready for our new baby, and my husband and I are both setting up our work to accommodate our changing family dynamic. At first, I felt like I was failing because I wasn’t able to do it all. But with some perspective and a lot of encouragement from this wonderful community, I realized there’s a time and a place for everything and to just take it easy on myself.

Work-life balance is a seductive headline but it’s often an empty promise and an impossible ideal. No one has figured out how to do it all, without being totally exhausted in the process. Let’s give ourselves permission to focus on the now, address the immediate priorities in life and let go of the idea that we have to be all things to all people.

Framing the issue of work-life balance as if the two were dramatically opposed practically ensures work will lose out. Who would ever choose work over life?

2.  Office Flats: These Marc Fisher flats are gorgeous and ideal for work.  Available in black, gold, blush and a sophisticated leopard print, they are under $80 and have a sleek and feminine cut that will work with pants or skirts.

3. Chic Commuter Lunchbox: Buying lunch every day gets expensive and can lead to making the quickest, but not the healthiest choices. Sometimes all you need is a few new supplies to make packing lunch fun, like this streamlined insulated lunchbox (for $15!) and this versatile bento box.

4. True Size Inclusion: This may pain some of you to hear, but Good American, the denim brand co-founded by Khloe Kardashian, makes incredible fitting jeans. Their styling might not be for everyone, but as a brand, they are an example of how success comes from listening to your customers.

After analyzing consumer data, they realized that 50% of their returns were coming from sizes, 14 – 16. Industry-wide, the space between going from a 14 – 16 is the toughest fit, so they went ahead and made size 15 to help bridge the gap. I hope other brands start to follow suit.

5. Don’t believe the hype. Over the last decade, there has been this narrative sold to women that owning a business is easy peasy. “Make your own schedule!” “Achieve financial freedom!” and of course, the ever-elusive, above mentioned, promise of work-life balance.

I’m here to tell you, if you’re thinking of running a business of any kind, whether it’s your own idea, or you are selling the new hot thing (oils, lashes, shakes, etc.) be ready to work harder than you ever have before. There is no shortcut, no magic formula, no guaranteed system of success. If your goal is to make a real income, the kind that pays the mortgage, sends your kids to the college of their choice and funds investments, you have to be willing to make some big-time sacrifices.

I’ve been doing this for over a decade and still work 70 hours a week. The pros far outweigh the cons, but I promise you I never worked this hard in the corporate world. This article breaks down a lot of the myths of owning your own business far better than I can.

6. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Bri and I watched this lovely documentary about Fred Rodgers on Saturday night and were both overwhelmed. Mr. Rodgers was a gentle soul and a fierce advocate and defender of children.

Not only was he a big part of our childhoods but his influence can be seen in how we try to raise our girls today: by respecting their feelings, being thoughtful in explaining big and scary things to them, and letting them know how worthy they are of love and acceptance.

It wasn’t lost on either of us that his brand of kindness and inclusion is what’s missing in our society today. It’s worth watching, especially if you grew up with him as we did. And have few tissues handy, this pregnant lady had a good cry throughout.

7. Scarf Weather: I love a plaid scarf …  LOVE one.  If you keep your wardrobe simple, they are an easy way to update a simple crew neck sweater or cardigan.  You don’t have to spend much either, I have my eye on this classic beige scarf at Nordstrom for $25, this black and white buffalo check at Target for $13, and this perfectly autumnal combination at Modcloth for $19.

8. Our favorite “Chili”: It’s not technically chili,  but this turkey chili recipe from Martha Stewart has been on a weekly rotation in our home for the last few years. My kids, their friends (who I feed regularly), and my husband get excited every time they see it simmering on the stove.

I make it extra good for us by using bone broth instead of chicken broth. It comes together quickly, so you can easily make it after a busy day at work. I serve it with chips and some Mexican cheese and it’s just about the most comforting meal ever.

9. Good for You Mascara: I’ve been cleaning up my skincare and makeup products for years now. While I’m not at 100% yet, I’m getting there. Mascara was one area I’ve tried countless options, but keep coming back to Juice Beauty’s PHYTO-PIGMENTS Ultra-Natural Mascara ($24).

It gives great coverage, coating every lash, and leaves your lashes looking long, but not Tammy Faye Baker long.  My one call out is that I hope they redesign the tube so it scrapes off a lot of excess product on it’s own, so just be sure to wipe off the brush before you apply.

10. An Organized Christmas: It’s hard to believe but the holidays will be here before we know it.  I’m due to have a baby by the second week of December, which means, on top of everything else like managing our day-to-day life, getting work ready for my leave, and oh, having our remodel finish on time,  I need to have our holiday planned and executed before I check into the hospital.

Luckily, I’m organized by nature, so I thought it would be fun to share some tips and tools I use to not go totally crazy.  I’m putting together a comprehensive post, but wondering, what are some of your BEST tips to keep the holidays from being totally overwhelming?

Let us know in the comments below:

And don’t forget! Tomorrow starts our 4 Weeks to A Better Wardrobe Series. Be sure to check it out and follow a long – there’s no sign up, just weekly post, every Tuesday for the next four weeks!

The Ten List: September 17, 2018

The Things that Excite You are Not Random

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that we’re doing the right thing and that we’re on the right path, even when times are challenging. I always look for signs, big or small, to give me the encouragement I need when life doesn’t move either in the direction I want or at the, um, pace I’ve decided is best. (Why does everything take so long??)

Whatever journey you are on right now, don’t get discouraged, don’t talk yourself out of it, don’t find reason to give up.  If you are doing something you love, you are already winning. The world needs more women who are following their passions, no matter what they might be.

The Things that Excite You are Not Random2. Sneaker Upgrade. I wear my gym sneakers into the ground.  Not on purpose, I just don’t think about it, until I find myself slipping and sliding around. Recently, I bought these ASICS running shoes.  (In indigo blue/ opal green.) I bought them because I thought they were pretty, but when I brought them home, Bri commented that they are great sneakers, and he’s right.  They are incredibly comfortable, have a nice bounce to them, and provide lots of support.

3. Tweed on Sale. Stocking up on interesting blazers is an easy way to make sure you always have something to wear to work. This black and ivory option from DKNY for Macy’s is under $100 and will work with any black bottom currently hanging in your closet.

4.  Mistakes Women Make in Business. I thought this article fell a bit flat. Typically, women are responsible for many if not all of the domestic duties at home too, so blanketed advice like, “find a mentor” and “network more” isn’t very helpful. I know I need to do both, but there is only so much time in the day. I wish regular (i.e. non celebrity) professional women would share more of how they actually pull life off, the challenges they have and how they over come them.  I wonder what you think?

5. Tired Eyes. I’m almost 7 months pregnant and officially not sleeping at night.  I’m exhausted, and look it.  Luckily, I spend most of my work day by myself at my desk, but on the occasion that I have to see another human in a professional setting, I’ve been using these under eye lift masks by Juice Beauty.  They give you a little extra help by decreasing the puffiness and brightening your skin, at least for a couple of hours.

6. Maybe food will help?  Speaking of being tired and having a total lack of energy, I am watching everything I eat to give me a fighting chance of staying upright during the day.  These foods are proven to help sustain your blood sugar. and give you a boost.  And the good news is many of these can be thrown in a blender for a smoothie making it easy to get as many in as possible.

7. Roll it Out.  Whether you’re on your feat all day, or hit the gym religiously, learning how to use a foam roller will change your life. I use mine a few days a week, especially on my lower back and hamstrings. This article has some easy, straightforward moves you can do at home.

8. Makeup Bag Geek. I get real excited about new makeup bags. Really any kind of  bag you can put things in thrill me. The other day I was running through Target to pick up a few odds and ends and spotted this out of the corner of my eye.  It looks simple enough, but it is fantastic for travel.  There is plenty of room to keep all of your makeup, skincare, and brushes clean and tidy and a bonus bag to use to get through security.  I’m about to start a crazy few weeks of travel before the baby is born and am stocking this up so it can live in my carry, then I’ll restock for my time in the hospital.

9. Tasty Recipe Videos.  I am mildly obsessed with Tasty How To recipe videos.  They first popped up in my Facebook feed (in the middle of the night, while not sleeping) and I find them incredibly informative, helpful and oddly soothing.  There’s something about the narrators voice that puts me at ease. This chocolate cake recipe looks incredible. I love to cook and bake, so it is first up once my new kitchen is done. Be sure to check out all three seasons, the tips include everything from how to cook a perfect steak to how to prep your cast iron pans.

10. The Best $20 I’ve Spent Recently. I wanted to swap out my long terry cloth robe with something shorter and lighter. I ended up ordering this white waffle robe on Amazon two weeks ago and I’m so pleased with it! It’s a nice weight, perfect length (and I’m tall) and what I like the most is the sleeve length.  They don’t get in the way while you’re getting ready, or doing dishes, etc.  For $20 you can’t beat it.

The Ten List: August 27, 2018

The Ten List - August 26 - The well Dressed Life
The Ten List - August 26 - The well Dressed Life

Over the last few years, there’s been this revolt against being busy.

Don’t be busy,” they say, be productive!” 

or

Nobody is too busy, it’s just a matter of priorities.

Why is being busy getting such a bum rap? I don’t know of a single modern woman who isn’t busy, overwhelmingly busy, every single day.

The Ten List - August 26 - The well Dressed Life

 

The minutia of life isn’t necessarily productive, and I don’t want it to be a priority, but if it’s not taken care of nothing else can get done. So unless I’m going to hire a driver for my kids and a full-time housekeeper and personal assistant, sometimes I’m just going to be busy and unproductive, and it doesn’t need to be a reflection of my priorities.

It feels like more silly societal pressure. It’s not enough that the responsibility of running a home, managing a family and providing for said family rests on our shoulders. We also have to be effortlessly organized with our priorities perfectly aligned; we need to be productive all the time. Because now, telling someone “I’m too busy” is seen as self-important and lacking interest.

Yet, we’re encouraged to start saying “no” to things. Hmm …

Modern life is busy, and women are often the ones to take on that work so others can be productive. What complicates things more is when our commitments are in and outside the home. We’re faced with the challenge of having to simultaneously manage the daily responsibilities, and move our career or business forward.

Managing the busy isn’t always as easy as sorting our priorities into some hierarchy. Most of us are doing the best we can with whatever is thrown at us that day and hope we get a few things accomplished.

“Busy” will look different as we move through each phase of life. But we don’t need any more pressure, especially from each other. So, ladies, can we collectively cut each other some slack? Let’s just admit we’re all too busy, and that’s okay? Let’s say “no” unapologetically, go ahead and say it’s because you’re too busy, and let’s give the women in our lives the space to do so too, and help each other out when we can.

2. Launching a Start Up Midlife. Think you’re too old to start a business later in life? According to this article, the only impact your age will have is make you more successful. You’ll still have lots of challenges, but your diverse network, work experience, increased confidence and change in parenting dynamic (i.e. having adult children compared to toddlers) makes you prime to hustle your way to success.

3. Need a gorgeous black dress for work? If I didn’t have a bump this stunning Theory dress would be one of my first purchases for fall. You can wear it to the office and dress it up easily for an evening event. 

4. Is it your instinct or your anxiety? I have strong intuition and strong anxiety which leaves me in a state of utter confusion at times. I’ve been trying to teach myself to decipher between the two. I’m starting to learn the subtle differences, by looking back on moments I had a gut feeling that turned out to be correct compared to moments my anxiety acted up yet nothing bad happened. This is a quick and helpful article if you find yourself in a similar state of mind.

5. Stock up now. We feature a version of these ankle boots every year and every year they become limited in sizes by the end of September. Grab them now if you need a new pair and check back on Friday to see how to wear them this fall.

6. DVF for the win. Everyone knows my love of DFV. I FLIPPED when I saw this midi length shirt dress. So often, her dresses are super short and don’t work when you’re tall like me, but this one hits below the knee. I would hem it to the very top of my knee and pair it with classic black suede pumps.

7. Worth watching. I always have podcasts and videos on in my office as I work, mostly as background noise. But when this conversation between Brene Brown and Lewis Howes came on I stopped everything. As someone who never really feels like I fit in, I was particularly struck by how Brene articulates the difference between fitting in versus belonging. Often we have to compromise a little of who we are to feel like we fit in, but that doesn’t happen when you feel like you belong and that is really what we are all searching for.

8. A splurge worthy of splurging. If you are looking to make an investment in a classic daytime bag, this Michael Kors Collection satchel is divine. The body is woven, the straps are leather, and there’s no logo in sight.  And trust me, I looked for the less expensive version, and so far – nothing.

9. 21 day Self Care Challenge. I was scrolling on Pinterest when I came across this article promoting 21 days of self-care. What a great idea to try to incorporate as many of these tips as possible as we head into the busiest time of year. Maybe I’ll come up with a list of my own to share. What would you add?

10. Mourning the Maverick. I don’t ever talk about politics on here for obvious reasons, but I’m definitely a political junkie.  As an avid reader, my library includes any and every autobiography by modern political figures of the last 30 years, regardless of party. I love learning about their background and struggles, their childhood, and hearing their point of view on topics and issues, especially those I may not agree with or fully understand.  I recently finished John McCains last book, The Restless Wave, and was left grateful for his lifetime of service. In light of his passing this weekend I hope his legacy helps our country return to civility, respect and healthy, spirited debate without turning each other into the enemy.

The Ten List: August 20, 2018

The 10 List - August 20, 2018
The 10 List - August 20, 2018

I cannot put into words how much I love this quote from Glennon Doyle. When I read it, the words went right through my heart. Wouldn’t it be nice if all women did this for each other? Imagine our communities and neighborhoods if we took a minute to extend kindness to the one woman standing off to the side? Imagine how that act of compassion, as simple as it seems, changed her day, her perspective, or her life.  Because it can.

There are a lot of people walking around this world feeling like they don’t belong, whether they are shy, maybe a little awkward, or dealing with something much bigger. Everyone is just hoping that they encounter someone with enough compassion to bring them into their fold.  All of our lives are so busy that it’s easy to forget that grown-ups are no different than kids in the fact that a little kindness can change their outlook on everything for the better. We are all just looking for connection.

Since getting the kids ready to go back to school means we all are going back to school, pay extra attention to who might need a smile, a friendly conversation or needs to be properly welcomed into your community.

Kindness and inclusion are two things you can give someone, that takes little effort, costs no money and makes the most significant impact on a person’s life. See what happens when you make your circle a horseshoe.

The 10 List - August 20, 20181. Quote of the Week

“If you are standing with other women in a circle and there is a woman standing alone in your circles vicinity – the thing to do is notice her, smile at her, move over a bit and say, “Hi, come join us!” Even if she decides to not join your circle, or looks at you like you are crazy – inviting her is still the thing to do. This advice is meant for both literal and figurative circles. Widen your circle. All the times. Always leave space.

Horseshoes of Friends > Circles of friends. Life can be lonely. Stand in horseshoes.” Glennon Doyle

2. Notorious RBG. If anyone is wondering where I’ll be on Monday, September 3rd,
I’ll be glued to CNN to watch their much-anticipated documentary on Ruth Bater Ginsberg.  I am fascinated by her life, grit, and determination. From her long marriage to Martin Ginsberg, which even by today’s standards is still quite revolutionary, to her friendship with her ideological opposite, Antonin Scalia, and all the trailblazing ways she made being a modern woman as I know it possible, it’s sure to be an inspiring few hours.

3. Weelicious Lunches Cookbook. I am more a “doing the best I can depending on the day” kind of mom than a Pinterest mom. Pinterest moms aren’t running through the aisles of Target at 9 pm because they realized tomorrow is “crazy hat and sock day” because Pinterest moms already have a collection of crazy hats and socks for such days. But Pinterest moms do kill it at lunch, and much to everyone’s surprise, no one more than me, so do I. I get a lot of satisfaction putting together healthy, interesting lunches for my kids. This school year, I picked up Weelicious Lunches, a clever cookbook with hundreds of creative lunch combinations that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. And don’t worry, the chances of me having to drop these off at school at least once a week because I forget to put them in their school bags is 100%.

4. On repeat. After opening my who-knows-what number reorder of Vintners Daughter, I realized I am more loyal to it than any other product, ever. Yes, it is expensive, but for what it has done for my skin I would pay double. I get a little panicky when I start to run low. The good news is it lasts a good long time, as you only need 6 – 8 drops every time you use it. It’s moisturizing without feeling greasy, it has somehow evened out my skin tone, made my pores look smaller, minimized wrinkles, and toned down redness. No wonder it has a cult-like following. If you’ve been thinking of pulling the trigger, I cannot say enough great things about it. 

5. Commuter Friendly Tote. We’ve had a few requests for a zip top alternative to our much loved Street Level Tote.  Luckily, Madewell has a similar tote, with a secure top zip.  It’s more expensive, but it’s leather.  Sole Society has a woven Vegan leather that is under $40, that’s also worth looking into.

6. Light End-of-Summer Pasta. This summer as been our busiest yet, between an extended softball season that lasted all the way through July, to busy work travel, and an all consuming home remodel, we’ve resorted to either eating out, taking out or throwing something on the grill.  I’m really craving some simple, light, and easy dinners I can throw together while I still have a functioning kitchen.  This orecchiette pasta is bright and fresh with some great depth of flavor that’s incredibly easy to pull together after a long day of work. 

7.  Early Fall Stripes. Being that I’m entirely over the summer, I’m fully invested in fall fashion, which in my world means jeans and sweaters – specifically striped sweaters.  I’m ordering this old classic from Banana Republic to wear with rolled boyfriend jeans and white sneakers. We’ll see how long I can get dressed without having to go full on maternity clothes.

8.  Honestly Beautiful. I’ve been slowly cleaning up my beauty routine, from face wash and serums to organic mascara and better quality lipsticks.  The one area I haven’t focused on has been eyeshadow. I wanted to work through the Naked II palette I splurged on. Now that it is all but gone, I picked up this Honest Beauty collection of neutral eye colors and love it. The color has rich pigment and layers beautifully so you can get as natural or dramatic a look as you desire. I was extra delighted to see it’s affordable ($20 compared to Naked’s over $50)  and free of all the bad for you chemicals found in mainstream products.

9. Even Serena Williams has mom guilt. Being a working mom is hard, and I have it easy compared to most. I know I operate with a certain level of privilege, but we still feel it when a wheel comes off our wagon, which happens on a weekly basis. I firmly believe that working, and in my case creating a career and business from scratch, is the best thing for me and my (soon-to-be three) daughters. But the guilt associated with working still guts me at times.

Like when I recently realized I will likely miss this Halloween for a work trip. Saying yes to this trip will make taking maternity leave for a few weeks a lot easier, and give me the time I need to heal. But, honestly, I’d have to say yes regardless. You’re always balancing and figuring out how each decision you make impacts the immediate and long-term. In this case, given the nature of my business and my relationship with this client, yes is the best decision for the situation.

I was comforted while reading this article about tennis superstar and general goddess, Serena Williams. The guilt is real for all working moms. The delicate dance of making decisions, and taking your career and family into consideration every minute of the day, is no joke. Even though we are doing the best we can, society still judges us and holds us to these crazy, 1950’s standards. Hopefully, we’ll keep moving the conversation forward, and more research will continue to come out showing that we’re raising some pretty great kids not despite the fact that we work, but because we work. 

10. Male of Female Doctors? This is an eye-opening article about the difference between male and female doctors.  I’ve had my share of medical issues over the past few years. Before then, my experience with doctors, both male, and female had been yearly checkups, and “maintenance.” I wouldn’t have claimed to notice a difference between the two. But now that I’ve had more severe issues, all related to being a woman, I have found myself more and more frustrated with the male doctors I’ve encountered.  I’ve received a lot of shoulder shrugs, blank stares and “that’s just your age” reasoning that felt inherently wrong. Even my husband started to notice the lack of empathy and would wonder out loud if I should find a woman doctor.

It turned out to be a female ER doctor and nurse who diagnosed my endometriosis and severe adhesions from multiple c-sections that set us up on the road to fix what’s gone undiagnosed for almost a decade. The second she walked into my room, I knew she was going to listen to me.

Of course, I don’t think all male doctors are like this, but it’s hard for me to give an example of one that’s made me feel heard.  I wonder if you’ve had a similar experience?

 

The Ten List: August 13, 2018

Perhaps when you thought you weren't good enough the truth was you were over qualified.

Sometimes a shift in perspective is all you need. When I read this quote, I thought, Yes!

As I’ve worked on growing our business, and my career, there have been several opportunities I’ve recently gone out for that I didn’t get. Each time, I thought, this one is it, but, of course, it wasn’t. For a while, it felt like disappointment after disappointment. Being an entrepreneur is a constant rollercoaster of emotions. I don’t know if my persistence is because I’m mentally strong, or I’m just incredibly stubborn (my vote is stubborn), but I’m grateful either way that I’m able to wait things out. Everything always works out in the end, just rarely the way you think it will.

Imagine if we looked at all of our professional disappointments not as a referendum on our lack of skills, but the universe conspiring to bring us to an opportunity where we can use our gifts to the best of our abilities?

Perhaps when you thought you weren't good enough the truth was you were over qualified.

2. At Long Last. I recently ran into Ulta to pick up a few things for a trip, and impulsively put Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Envy in color “Controversial” in my cart.  It’s awesome! Most lipsticks that promise long-lasting color fall flat, they either don’t last, are dry, chip and bleed. Would I call this moisture-rich? No. But, long lasting? Yes! You’ll get least 6 hours. To keep it from drying my lips I add a lightweight balm on top and I’m good for most of the day.

3.Under $50 Cardigan. Long cardigans are a versatile addition to your wardrobe for fall. You can pair them with jeans and boots on the weekends, and layer over a blouse and tailored pants for work.  This cardigan at Nordstrom has an on-trend curved hem, in six gorgeous autumnal colors.  I’m picking up the “green botanical” as a fresh neutral to pair with denim and cream.

4. Wino-in-training.  My husband is the sommelier in the family. We’ve been fortunate to travel to Napa and Sonoma several times, visiting all kinds of acclaimed wineries. Bri loves learning about vintages, blends, soil composition and the right weather for the perfect harvest. Me? Well, I like wine. I’m just as happy to have a glass of Cupcake with a friend as I am to pull out what we call a “racked bottle” (one of the fancy bottles Bri’s collected over the years that we keep on our cellar rack.)Despite all my education, I still get overwhelmed at the wine store. I never know what to buy, especially if we’re bringing it somewhere, so I end up spending more than I want, not knowing if it’s any good. This article breaks down the retail price points of bottles of wine and gives guidelines on the threshold of price vs. quality.

5. Reading List: I think Sarah Jessica Parker is a delight. Every interview I’ve read or listened to I’ve found her to be thoughtful, inquisitive, humble and so very well read. (Her episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is my all time favorite available on Netflix.) Her deep love of literature led her to recently being named an editorial director for Hogart and published her first novel, A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza which I’m diving into this week. 

Bonus:  if you love SJP as I do, you’ll enjoy her recent conversation on the Goop Podcast on “Heartbreak, Business, Books and Reality TV.”  They cover everything from motherhood and marriage, to how being an actress has evolved from just acting to having to be a brand, to how her own career has evolved to cover so many different passions. The highlight was when she dropped this quote on growing up that I adore, “You should be wrong, and you should break some hearts, and your heart should be broken.”

6. Are your female friendships holding back your career?  I don’t know how I feel about this article on Fortune. What I do know is that I rarely work with friends.  Too many times, female friends or in my case, female acquaintances, have assumed I would work with or for them for free, something I would never dream of asking.  I do have a few friends who I’ve worked with for years, and we fully expect to pay each other’s invoices, but generally, it’s been more of a hassle than not. Sadly, men do a much better job leveraging their personal relationships into working ones, and vice versa.  I wonder what we can learn from them?

7. Most ridiculous item of the week. Please tell me, who is wearing these and where are they going?

8. New Heights. I feature a lot of lower heeled shoes on this site because they feel more practical, at least for me, but I know many of you love and can walk in something higher.  If you need to replace or add to your heel collection, these Sam Edelman 3.5 ” heels are classic, affordable and come in several gorgeous colors.  I especially love the navy and plum suede and for something unique, the floral mesh.

9. Meghan Mania. Sadly, not me, but instead, Meghan Markle. She’s bringing some fresh, American style over the pond and is currently killing it every time she steps out.  This fun website rounds up her style evolution, giving lots of inspiration and little tidbits on the new Duchess.

10. Mother Daughter Trips.  I had worked up in Boston earlier this week, so I added a few days on and flew my mom up for a long weekend.  Both of our lives are busy, so it’s nice to be able to carve out some uninterrupted time together, out of the house, away from distractions.  It made me realize how fortunate I am to not only still have my mom ( I have so many friends who don’t) that she’s in good health, and that we can have a strong female friendship as adults. When I came home yesterday, Bri said I should figure out a trip a year to take her on so of course, I started thinking of other quick domestic escapes. This article has some awesome ideas, many I never considered.

As always, use the comment section below to add your thoughts and observations. Have a wonderful week, friends!

The Ten List: August 6, 2018

Good Monday Morning, Friends!

I took the last two weeks off to start to get our house ready for demo. The construction is moving along, with the garage to office conversion almost done, and the plans for the main house remodel just about finalized. At this point, the house will be finished within weeks of the baby being born. Given my natural state of anxiety, I’m pretty impressed with my current level of chill. I’m overwhelmed and busy, but surprisingly not too stressed.

We also took a week to travel to Niagara Falls and Toronto with the kids. It was a fun trip with a long car ride that gave me lots of time to think and plan out content for the end of the year. We’re not changing anything, more narrowing our niche. I see such a void for quality content for busy working women, but for some reason, whether it’s my insecurity or general lack of confidence, I’ve held back. After the overwhelmingly positive response from our reader questionnaire last month, I feel ready to bring a little more to our readership.  Our content has always been fueled by your feedback, comments, and conversations. So many of you talked about appreciating a voice of a “regular” working mom, one without a team of nannies or staff, with realistic advice and perspective. I’m also working on some ways to bring a few different experts into the mix some time next year. Stay tuned!

I always stubble on interesting articles and podcasts, great finds, and inspiring quotes that I want to share with you, but they’re not enough for their own post.  Why not, I thought, curate them into a weekly post we’re calling, The Ten List. So grab your coffee and take a few minutes for yourself before you get swept into the craziness of your day. As always, use the comment section below to add your thoughts and observations.

The Ten List

  1. Quote of the Week. 

Cleo Wade

2. Women at Work: Make Yourself Heard. Struggle with being heard in the office?  Confused by how to communicate as a woman at work? It should be straightforward but it’s nuanced and complicated.   I loved this podcast by Harvard Business Review.  There are too many powerful takeaways to recap for you here, so pop in your earphones and take a listen.

3.  Top it Off. I live for early fall. For some reason, transition dressing is my favorite and nothing makes the switch from warm to cool weather easier or elevates an outfit better than a blazer.  This tweed jacket by Halogen would be hanging in my closet if I wasn’t pregnant. Pair it with dark jeans for work or weekend. This ladylike black and white jacket is also a winner.  It’s a timeless update to breath new life into your basic black skirt or dress and, of course, your slim line black ankle pants.

4. Body Love. I’ve been following Kelly LeVeque (Be Well By Kelly) on Instagram for months now, and have been so inspired and impressed by her knowledge around the science of food. She created the Fab Four Smoothie, an easy way to get greens, fiber, protein and healthy fats in your morning drink.  The goal is to help not only fuel up for the first half of your day, but help you avoid the usual carb and sugar crash so many of us experience.  Her new cookbook is great for busy women, it’s not complicated, easy to follow and best of all, delicious.

5. An Affordable Classic with a Twist.  Every slingback I’ve seen lately, I love, and are also $500.  Having great taste has never been my challenge.  I was thrilled to find this classic style with a bit of twist by Louise et Cie.  Their shoes are comfortable, stylish and affordable.  Wear this now to the office, and right into the fall until it starts to get too chilly.

6.  Meatless MondaysThis Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quinoa bowl is heavenly.  It’s an easy 30 minute meal to make when you get home from work that tastes as good as it is for you. Do yourself a favor, and make a little extra of the cilantro cream drizzle … it’s divine.

7. Shine On with Reese.  Reese Witherspoon launched her Direct TV show, Shine on with Reese, with her first guest, the incomparable Dolly Parton. She’s sweet, smart, humble, sassy, unapologetically herself, inspiring and pretty much a national treasure.  Can you imagine a world if all women were like her?  We would be unstoppable.

8. Loose Ends. I just ordered this little leather organizer for the countless gift cards, coupons and receipts I need to keep (for both work travel and our remodel). It’s under $40 and can be monogrammed. I feel like it’s going to make me a better person. Might make a great teacher gift for around the holidays too.

9. Jeans Under $30.  I’m not in maternity clothes yet, but my smaller sized jeans are a no go.  To get me by, I picked up these Old Navy Skinny jeans in a size up, and I can’t believe how well they fit. The pocket placement is on point, the waist hits where you want, and they have just enough stretch.

10. Striped … Sneakers.  Pretty sure I need these in my life.  Can you ever have too many stripes?