Being vs. Doing

I apologize for being absent from my blog for the last few months… I could have never predicted how crazy life would get after I quit my job and went out on my own! Everything you think you know about business from school and past jobs doesn’t really hold a candle to the things you learn owning your own business. A question I get on the reg: “So… what do you do all day now that you’re not working?” Ironically enough, I definitely work more hours now that I’m “not working” than I ever did when employed at a 9-5 job. Working for someone else allowed me the luxury of leaving my job at the end of the day and getting to completely unwind from hectic office life.

When you’re out on your own, you’re constantly working… even when you’re not. You’re always thinking of new ways to approach your business, brainstorming how to effectively market yourself & occasionally stressing about how to get your next client. On top of that, you’re in charge of details like billing, taxes & legal in a way that your success depends on it. Nevertheless, I’ve never been happier. I’ve realized that I don’t necessarily need a work-life balance to be happy, but that my work and life should be one and the same, at least for right now. Working for myself has caused me to really dig into who I am and what my future holds.

One of the things I admire most about my husband Chris is how he’s invested in himself as a person since he was young. As we grow up, I think it’s easy to focus on what we are doing more than who we are. We spend so much time trying to determine what our “jobs” will be rather than who we want to become. You don’t have to know what the future holds in order to invest in yourself now. So many times we wait for opportunities to come our way but are unprepared when they knock. As a twenty-something, I’m forcing myself to take a step back in my own life and really take time to become the person I want to be and be open to whatever life has in store.

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My favorite tips for glowing skin

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALike most things on the internet, there are millions of way a girl can keep her skin looking beautiful these days. To be honest, the whole skincare market is a little overwhelming to me. Every time I start doing research I seem to find 20 different products that promise to do the same things for my skin but have slightly different ingredients and a different name. We are lucky to live in a time in history where science has brought us so many options for keeping our skin great, but sometimes the tried & true basics are what win at the end of the day. We’ve all heard some of these tips before, but I thought I would share my favorite tips that have worked for me and try to simplify the madness.

Disclaimer: we all have different skincare needs, so create your skincare regimen based off of what you need. I don’t use anti-aging products yet but I know there are many natural & well-reviewed products out there for those of us who do. This is my current regimen based off of my age, skin type & preferences.

1) Water. Lots of it. I never used to take it seriously when people would attribute healthy, glowing skin to the amount of water they drank…until I made a conscious effort to try it. Now I can tell the difference in my skin at the end of the day if I’ve drank as much water as I need or not. The texture seems dryer and color not as fresh. Water flushes toxins from your skin (goodbye breakouts) and keeps it supple & hydrated. Since caffeine is dehydrating and I love coffee & green tea, I make a conscious effort to up my water intake after drinking one of those beverages.

2) Slather on the sunscreen. This is one we have heard over and over again for the past few years. Confession: I used to be a sun-worshipper. My skin tans very easily and Arizona is a great place for year-round tanning. I rarely burn so I felt that I could spend hours in the sun without sunscreen and everything would be okay. I loved the “glow” I had during the spring & summer and did not take care of my skin the way I knew I should. I’ll probably pay for some of that sun damage later in my life, but for now I’m doing my best to not make the same mistakes. I literally NEVER leave my house without sunscreen anymore. I even keep a small version in my car and/or purse in case I forget. I’ve noticed a difference in the texture of my skin over the past few years protecting it. It’s smoother & has a natural glow that I didn’t get even after hours of laying out. I make sure there’s sunscreen in my daily moisturizer and BB cream to be extra safe.

3) Exfoliate regularly. The feeling your face has after exfoliation is amazing. Besides making your skin feel baby-soft, exfoliation helps rid the skin of impurities that lead to breakouts. I used to suffer from constant breakouts and I learned that it was in part due to lack of hydration which led to dryness and lack of exfoliation of that dryness that led to those breakouts. Keeping your skin exfoliated can help keep acne at bay as well as reveal a smoother layer of skin underneath all of that dead stuff. My favorite ways to exfoliate are daily with my Clarisonic skin brush & weekly with my go-to drugstore scrub, St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub.

What are your favorite tried-and-true skincare tips?

Dressing for summer in Arizona

Floral Dress
Floral Dress by amadden1988 featuring party dresses

It’s no secret that Arizona is incredibly hot during the summertime. When I can’t escape to neighboring California or Colorado, I’m weathering 110 degrees regularly from June to August. Once the temperatures hit the 100′s I start wearing my go-to summer uniform: a sundress. A light sundress is the most comfortable thing to wear in this kind of heat so it’s easily the most prominent thing in my closet year-round. In the “winter”, Arizona rarely sees temperatures lower than the 50′s-60′s. While that’s still a little cold for a sundress, it only lasts a couple months until we are back in floral dress territory. This dress is a perfect one that I could wear for brunch with the girls and also throw a pair of heels and a light sweater on for church on Sunday.

I like making fashion collages with a combination of things I own and things I’d like to own in order to give me real-life outfit ideas. While I can put together pretty outfits all day with brand-new items, it’s more realistic for me to put together a combo of things I have and things that I want if I’m actually going to act on it. In this collage, I currently own the glasses, watch & Jessica Simpson heels. You can never have too many fun, girly dresses… right?

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Six Goals for Twenty-Six

Chlosyne_laciniaLike many of you, I’ve never been good at keeping new year’s resolutions. The word “resolution” itself is defined as “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” It implies deciding to do something and sticking to it no matter what. I think the sentiment is great and it’s definitely a start. The problem lies in the execution, actually being able to stick with a decision that was made overnight. Like I mentioned in this post about getting healthy, people rarely change overnight. I think if you want to make a drastic change, (like going to the gym 5 times a week after going no times a week for a year) it’s better to create small steps to reach it rather than just “resolving” to do it just because the clock struck midnight on December 31st.

Don’t get me wrong, I know there are plenty of success stories of people who kept their new year’s resolutions and ended up changing their life entirely. Some people operate better when throwing themselves completely into a resolution rather than slowly working goals into their everyday lives. I have exactly one New Year’s resolution that I’ve actually kept: not drinking soda for an entire year in 2005. I basically only kept it because I had made the resolution in front of tons of people and used their doubts to motivate me throughout the year.

This year I didn’t make any new year’s resolutions. When my birthday rolled around in April, with it came a flurry of other life changes on top of turning 26. I thought this would be a great opportunity to set some new goals that I plan to work towards every day.

1. Get up earlier. One of my personal goals for this year is to get up about one hour earlier on weekdays. I used to sleep in as late as possible, allowing the just minimum time required to shower and pull myself together before work. Now that I’m self-employed, getting up an hour earlier let’s me get ahead of the day before it’s in full-swing. I’m hoping that the extra 240 hours of productivity I’ll get this year will pay off in the long-run. I’ve heard it said that “if you want to be successful, you’re going to have to be willing to give up sleep.”

2. Drink more water. This is such a typical goal but also super practical if you live in a desert like Arizona. For the first time I’m starting to notice a big difference in my skin based on how hydrated I am. This is a small goal that I can easily work into my day-to-day.

3. Work on my Spanish. One interesting fact about me is that I was raised by a French-Canadian mother who spoke French to me growing up. She tells me that I actually learned to speak French before I ever spoke a word of English. One of my long-term goals in life is to be fully trilingual. My third language will be Spanish and I’ve been working on it since high school but am still pretty far away from being fluent.

4. Be more proactive to spend time with loved ones. Over the past few years, I’ve been so busy with working full-time and coaching that I’ve neglected important relationships in my life. We all have those friends that you can go months without seeing and one afternoon sipping coffee together makes you feel like zero time has passed. I have several of those friends and I want to do a better job being proactive in our relationships, no matter how different our lives may be.

5. Incorporate more “fun” workouts into my routine. I’m going to admit something: sometimes I get bored working out. Growing up, dance and cheer mostly kept me in shape. In college I realized I had to learn to lift and run in order to stay where I wanted to be. As much as I want to be, I’m not a runner. I do it because it’s the quickest way for me to get the cardio I need, but I don’t truly enjoy it the way I enjoy other activities. This year I want to incorporate more dance classes, hikes and sports into my routine so I don’t get bored.

5. Support more local businesses. I’m trying to make an effort to eat and shop locally whenever possible. Since most of the country’s workers are employed by small business, supporting those businesses is also supporting the livelihoods of those working there. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with national brands, I’m just trying to branch out a little into my community this year and shop at places close to me that I never even knew existed. This also goes hand-in-hand with supporting local business through consulting for their marketing efforts to help them grow.

Do you keep new year’s resolutions? What were they this year?

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