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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! 

The Ten List: January 2020

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Claire Fanger

Tuesday 7th of January 2020

That quote is absolutely the best! Just got diagnosed with a chronic illness and I needed that quote! I also applaud you for making the bold move to step out of the workforce to work out of home. I also did to run a home business and home-school our daughter with a chronic illness for 7 years. Best decision of my life and now she wants to homeschool her daughter. I think women are realizing “doing everything a man does” actually means doing more, and it is our children that are growing up with parents with their faces stuck to their phones. Good for you for getting help! Thank you also for being real. We ARE real out here. Not skinny models. And finally, that H&M dress rocks! Appreciate your finding affordable pieces. My husband has me on the budget tight😔


Tuesday 7th of January 2020

What a GREAT post! I love your style I’m a 63 retired stay at home mom and grandma 😁. I was blessed to be home for my kids everyday, I also spent a lot of time with all 13 of my grandkids. I applaud you for going against the majority of society that encourages women to put careers and everything before their families. I heard before you can’t do everything 100% so something will suffer. It’s something that I’ve never regretted. Kids grow up so fast and you don’t always get do overs. Your blogs, IG ,FB are my every morning go to. Keep up the good work ❤️

Megan Kristel

Tuesday 7th of January 2020

Thank you, that's very kind. I still very much value my career and work really hard at it. I think if I loved the work I was doing while on the road, I would have found a way to make it work, but when you're pulled from your family, and not passionate about what you do, it's a bad combination :)


Tuesday 7th of January 2020

I've glad that you did all that road warrior traveling because that's how I met you. And am happy for you to now be finding a new groove

Megan Kristel

Tuesday 7th of January 2020

Same! And I actually still do work with D. Forever my favorite group of people to work with :)


Tuesday 7th of January 2020

Megan, I met you in the spring 2008 when you were my Christmas gift from my husband. I love watching you grow and evolve. Good for you for figuring out a way to be with your children and for making a career out of your passion. Thanks for being genuine, for sharing your struggles, and for encouraging other women to succeed! Here's to your best year yet! Annette Cronauer

Megan Kristel

Wednesday 8th of January 2020

Oh Annette! I remember you so fondly - we had so much fun! Thank you always for your kind words and encouragement. Hope everyone is well and happy :) xxoo

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