Tag Archives: inspiration

One Box + One Thing

empty boxEvery time someone asks me how the new house is coming along, I say the same thing. I’m ready to be settled. I’m ready for boxes to be unpacked and things to be pretty. I had coffee with my assistant, the lovely Taylor McCarty,  recently (for her to tell me she’s leaving me…boooo) and I told her the same thing. I’m tired of boxes and the sheer number of things left to do overwhelms me.

Honestly, this tends to be the case with everything for me. When the project feels too much or too overwhelming, I tend to avoid it altogether. Rather than chip away at it a little at a time, I just don’t bother with it. I put it on the bottom of my to-do list and then it nags away at me forever. I even have this approach to cleaning sometimes. Unless I have time to clean the entire bathroom, I won’t even do one thing like wipe down the sink. Reality is, I seldom have time to clean the entire house in one sitting, and I’ll likely not have time to unpack all of the boxes at once.

paintingDuring our meeting, Taylor suggested that I unpack just one box a day. While I’ve had that idea before, it just sounds dreadful! However, I finally realized that this is really the only way that I’ll make sense of my new home, so I decided to give it a shot. In addition to unpacking just one box a day, I decided that I’d also do one “thing” a day. The list of “things” that need to be done in this house is simply astounding. It feels like it could go on forever. Instead of avoiding all of the things like I have been doing, I’ll do one “thing” a day and unpack one box a day. It’ll likely be painful at first, but I’m hoping that I’ll adjust to the new approach quickly. I decided that I’ll unpack one box and then wipe down the door, hang the shower curtain rod, or clean a set of windows, etc.

After a week or so of using this method, I realize just how helpful it has been. I’ve certainly not enjoyed teaching myself to be okay with not accomplishing everything at once, but I’ve seen progress in my home and that makes it worth it.

boxes to unpackAs a matter of fact, things are really coming together around the new house. With the exception of the dining room/kitchen/entry way, I don’t feel like the boxes are taking over. We’ve also hung some art on the walls which was one of my September goals. I’ve done quite a bit of moving things around and then moving them again, but nonetheless, I feel like we’re making progress. I suppose I’ll keep unpacking one box and doing one thing until this house of ours is squared away. For my sanity’s sake, let’s all pretend that day is right around the corner!

White After Labor Day

White After Labor Day 2Before I even begin discussing wearing white after Labor Day, let me first tell you what I think the number one most important fashion rule of all is. Get a pen…you’ll want to right this down. Are you ready? Rule number one is…WEAR WHAT YOU WANT. Yes, I love keeping up with the latest trends. And yes, there are certain guidelines that you can follow to look your best. However, the most important rule that you can follow in regards to fashion is to not take all of those rules quite so seriously.  

So, let’s talk about Labor Day. I think it’s safe to say that most people know that I don’t really enjoy following the rules. After all, rules are made to be broken right?? I think the no-white-after-labor-day rule might be one of the longest living and most strictly followed fashion rules of old. People who still follow this guideline usually stick to it pretty firmly. Today, I want to offer some tips for ways to wear white after Labor Day in a trendy and acceptable way.  

  1. I never wear white shoes after Labor Day or before Easter. Honestly, I don’t really care for white shoes that much at all. However, I usually reserve my creamier colored options for the spring and summer months. (Actually, you should be very careful with true white shoes, as they can sometimes look cheap. Usually, something with a creamier color to it will look more expensive and classy.) Now certainly, there could be some exceptions to this rule. None of the tips I’m offering today are meant to be followed religiously. There are always exceptions and it’s always okay to bend the rules a little. Have a fabulous pair of cream heels like these? Wear them! They’d look fantastic with a pair of cuffed jeans and a baggy sweater.
  2. When wearing white pants out of season, I always wear dark colors or heavier fabrics with them. Wearing a bright color or summery printed fabric with white pants will make your outfit look a little out of season. However, pairing the pants with an oversized sweater or deep fall colors, looks perfectly acceptable. Similarly, I usually only wear dark colored shoes with white pants after Labor Day. Wearing a dark shoe instead of a light-colored one helps bring the white pant on into the cooler seasons. One of my favorite looks for winter is white pants with black riding boots and a heavy wool sweater. Following this guideline helps ensure that you won’t look out of season. Instead, you’ll look crisp and trendy!
  3. In addition to not wearing light-colored shoes with white pants after Labor Day, I’ll also seldom wear sandals with them. The exception to this rule for me is wearing a sandal that’s dark-colored and more substantial like the one in my photo from last week. I try to avoid wearing a simple sandal with white pants after Labor Day unless I’m wearing a long sleeve or bulkier top. I usually opt for a closed toe flat or boot instead. Again though, don’t take this rule too seriously. There are almost always exceptions.

White After Labor Day
While these are a few of the parameters I use when breaking the no-white rule, I don’t even follow them exclusively. As I said above, there are typically exceptions. What I tend to do when planning to wear white after Labor Day or before Easter is ask myself….does this outfit look like fall or does it look springy? If I think it looks a little springy, I’ll try to darken it up a bit. If it looks like I could be standing in a pile of fall-colored leaves holding a steaming cup of coffee, then we’re in business. 

As for white purses, if your handbag has an ivory or cream tint to it, then I think it’s acceptable year round! I would, however, reserve a true white purse for the spring and summer months. Again though, be very careful with true white accessories. You always want your clothing and accessories to look more expensive than they actually were, never the other way around. 

So there you have it…my thoughts on the no-white rule. As I’m writing this, I can’t actually think of any fashion rules that I follow exclusively. I think I’ve created my own list of “rules” and I like the flexibility of those rules so much more. 

Do you have an outfit idea that you’re unsure of? Or a question about how to wear your white accessories after Labor Day? Leave a comment below! I’ll be happy to offer some thoughts/suggestions. 

Let’s go break some rules! 

One of Those Days

In one of my first training classes at Keller Williams, the instructor talked about how she handled “bad days.” Our entire livelihood as realtors revolves around interacting with people. Calling people. Talking to people. Visiting with people. You see where this is going, right?

So, when you have one of those funky days where you don’t feel on your game, working to generate new business is really a waste of time. This particular instructor said that when she notices that she’s slipped into a bit of a funk, she leaves the office and goes to watch a funny movie at the theater by herself. I’ve held on to this random comment for a while now, because we all know that when those sort of days come our way, we don’t actually accomplish anything. I, however, have always forced myself to “push through” and continue working…even if all I want to do is to go home and put on pajamas. Her approach, however, seemed so much more productive. Rather than wallowing and not accomplishing anything all day, she does something to bring her mood back up so she creates at least a few productive hours. Genius!

So, I had one of those days a while back. The morning started out ok but the day went south pretty quickly. In addition to being extremely tired, I was having trouble focusing or wrapping my head around things. Everything started to annoy me…I spilled my entire drink in the parking lot at work, and then I emptied a big box of band aids on the floor. I decide today was the perfect day to give my friend’s method a shot.

Old Navy Bucks Back

I didn’t go to a movie, but I did leave my office and run a few errands I had been putting off. There’s no better time to go get those necessities from Sam’s like the day you don’t feel like being at the office. Rather than using a movie as a pick-me-up, I choose to do a little shopping! I had some Bucks Back to use at Old Navy, so I took a bit to roam around and search for something to perk me up. Then, I ran by Hobby Lobby and grabbed some new paints for a project I’d been dreaming up. What better way to motivate yourself than to plan out projects that you’ve been looking forward to?

New Paint

Of course, during this afternoon extravaganza, I still worked (My phone rings constantly.), but I was much more productive running errands than I would have been sitting in my office, wallowing in my weird mood. So, next time you find yourself slipping into a little funk, take an hour or so to do something you enjoy…something that is guaranteed to brighten your mood. Then, see if you’re able to come back to your task with a fresh outlook after taking a little breather. More than likely, you’ll have a productive rest of the day rather than wasting an entire day unsuccessfully pulling yourself from a funk.

I love pickles!

Let me know if this strategy works for you! I think I’m a new believer. What sort of things do you do to motivate yourself or turn a bad day around? I’m always open to new suggestions!


28 vs 22

28 vs 22Last week, I was laying in bed, reading through blog posts on my bloglovin’ reader. I had just read Elise’s post about things she’d tell her 22 year old self, when I realized that one of my blog posts that was supposed to post the following week, actually posted that day. Before we continue, here a few things that you need to know in order for this story to make sense. 

1. I noticed that the post had gone live because it showed up in my reader. I haven’t shared the details yet or promoted it, but you can use bloglovin’ to keep up with my blog posts. If you use it (or if you’d like an easy way to keep up with your favorite blogs), please follow me there!  

2. Even though it may appear easy, blogging is actually quite a bit of work. It takes several hours just to make one post happen. For the past couple of months, my assistant (who is fabulous by the way) has been helping me make sure my posts actually happen. I write the content, take photos, plan out the links/format, and then she sets up the post on WordPress and schedules it to publish.  Most of the time, getting the post ready to share with the world takes much longer than the actually writing. Having Taylor’s help with this, has been a tremendous help in making sure I post regularly.  

When I saw that the post had gone live before I meant for it to, I cringed. After all, the post wasn’t finished. Before this discovery, I had spent a little time thinking about my 22 year old self. My 22 year old self would have panicked. I would have immediately called Taylor and had her take the post down. I would have told her to be more careful and I would have made sure that never happened again. Not only would my 22 year old self have reacted this way, I think my 26 year old self would have too. 

26 year old meMy 28 year old self emailed Taylor to let her know the post went live accidentally and what we could do to watch for that sort of thing next time. I ended the email with, “Btw…this isn’t a big deal and I’m totally not upset about it. Just wanted to point it out for next time. Love you!” 

After hitting send, I realized that my 28 year old response to this little issue was much different than my 22 year old response would have been. I certainly want us to pay close attention to details like this, but I knew this wasn’t a tragic event. The post would be just fine without adding the extra photos I was waiting on.

As I thought about the significance of this small event, I realized that we are constantly changing and growing into the type of people we want to become. I feel like the past two years have been simply monumental in my personal growth, a fact that I’ve really struggled to put into words. This short, little email in itself shows one of the larger changes I’ve experienced personally. While I still pay very close attention to detail, I understand that the details aren’t always that important. I also have to give people room for error. There’s not a perfect person in this world and those imperfections are often what makes life so fantastic. 

28 year old meI think the moral of this seemingly pointless story is to realize (and celebrate) how ever-changing life is. As each day passes, we have the opportunity to grow into better and better versions of ourselves. With each new experience, we learn something new. We should take that knowledge and use it to become the best we can be. Even at the young age of 28, I can see how very much I’ve grown already. I love the person I am today compared to who I was at 22, and I’m certain that I’ll love 38 even more than 28. One of these days I’ll be able to wrap my head around some of the life-changing realizations I’ve had lately. For now, I’ll just celebrate this one small example. 

If you’d like some more inspirational reading, I had also just read this post that mentions not waiting for perfection. It seems like my Bloglovin’ feed was preparing me for that night’s discovery!

On another note, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who follows along here. Sometimes this place is filled with adventures from my life and decorating ideas. Other times it’s more of ramblings about the things swirling in my head. Either way, it means the world to me that you come and read. I love you all!

On Being Positive..

I should start today by acknowledging the fact that I haven’t been very diligent with my posts lately. Work has been so very busy, which resulted in me neglecting this online space. I made a promise to myself in this post that I would reserve time to develop this blog, because it’s something that I enjoy. Starting a new business has required a lot of my time and brainpower, but I promise to get back in the groove very soon!

That being said, I had such an interesting experience at Brookshire’s last week. (Brookshire’s is a grocery store for those of you who aren’t local.) The man in front of me in line turned around and told me that my face looked like I was filled with joy. I was so caught of guard by his statement, that I could hardly respond. He followed with saying that if things were bothering me, I looked like I wasn’t letting anything get me down.

Be the Change You Wish to SeeI can’t stop thinking about this experience. For several years now, I’ve been making a conscious effort to radiate more positivity. My goal has been to brighten the days of people around me and to see beauty in everyday life. However, I’m not a positive person by nature. As a matter of a fact, my instinct is to immediately think of the worst scenario. When I recognized that this was my tendency, I knew I didn’t want to be that way. I see people on a daily basis that have a negative outlook on everything…people who leave you feeling worse rather than better after being around them. I knew I didn’t want to be that person. I wanted to see the best in people…give them room to make mistakes and grow. I didn’t want to be the person always coming down on everyone else. I wanted to walk away from every conversation feeling like I left someone feeling better than they did before I arrived.

Of course, this hasn’t been an easy journey. It’s very difficult to realize that you’re shifting towards negativity and make yourself stop. It’s even more difficult to correct something that’s habitual and a part of who you are. Undoubtably, I’ve failed many times. However, I’ve kept trying. Last week’s conversation with the gentleman in front of me was a huge milestone in this process. I wasn’t talking to him. I don’t even know that I’d looked directly at him yet. He made his comment out of the blue, after being near me for less than 60 seconds. It left me feeling amazing! I felt like all of the times that I made myself think positively have paid off at least somewhat since a stranger could see positivity in me.

Today is a New DayIf you find yourself leaning towards negativity or think of yourself as a pessimistic person, know that you don’t have to be that way. You CAN change the way you think. It doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 83. If you don’t like how you feel or the impact you’re leaving on others, you can be different! It certainly won’t be easy, but my scenario proves that it can be done. I’m sure this is a battle that I’ll fight most of my life, but it’s certainly worthwhile when someone tells you that you’ve shined a little light into their life.

On top of this conversation with the gentleman, the cashier recognized me. She worked at the Brookshire’s in my hometown and remembered me coming in when I was in high school. I hesitate to say this…..but that was almost 10 years ago! I’ve often been told that I have a memorable face, but how amazing that a man compliments me out of the blue and then the cashier recognizes me from years ago.

Small Acts Change the WorldYou think you can’t make an impact on someone, even a stranger? Wrong. As a matter of a fact, you have the opportunity to make an impact on every single person you come in contact with. What sort of impact is it going to be? Positive or negative? It’s your choice.

Taking a Break

It’s almost midnight on Monday, and I’ve spent the last hour and a half working on blog posts and catching up on the latest Bayou Life Magazine.

Bayou Life Magazine w/Duck DynastyAfter a not-so-great afternoon, I spent most of the night cleaning and working on switching my closet over to spring (post coming soon). This Monday has been a pretty tough and exhausting one, and I really needed some time to stop for a bit.

When I finished the project I was working on, I decided to sit in my big, comfy chair and flip though the new magazine. To be honest, I really needed the time to wind down. All to often, I don’t give myself that opportunity, but today it was much needed.

Whatever you’re doing, be sure to give yourself a chance to check out for a bit. Whether you like to read, catch up on a TV series, or knit…it doesn’t matter. You deserve a chance to relax! Plus, taking a minute or two to wind down gives your mind the break it needs to come back refreshed and ready to go.

Salt & Pepper adSalt & Pepper Photo ShootBayou Gypsy AdTonight’s “time for myself” session included reading some great articles and scoping out Salt & Pepper’s presence in the magazine. Plus, be sure to notice the ad for Bayou Gypsy/Bayou Beaux. My friend, Courtney, has some precious things in her store, and you should definitely go check it out!

After taking this time for myself, I’m feeling much more capable and in charge. Here’s to hoping for a productive Tuesday!

Tuesday update: I obviously planned on posting this earlier today and didn’t. However, I still found it relevant. As a matter of a fact, I took a little extra time for myself again tonight (Tuesday). After cleaning up from dinner, I sat on the patio and painted my nails while watching the latest episode of “Nashville.” (Yes, I’m addicted!) Both my Monday & Tuesday night “breaks” have been ordinary, run-of-the-mill activities. However, they’ve both been things I don’t usually give myself the free time to do, and actually doing them has made me feel like a new person. If you haven’t planned to already, make a point to do something special for yourself this week…Pamela’s orders!

Big Things

Little things are big things journalSince Matt & I have been married, I’ve been in search of the perfect journal to keep notes about our adventures. Both Matt & I have pretty awful memories, so I’m afraid that we will eventually forget about a lot of the great times that we’ve had.

I’ve literally searched for months, looked practically everywhere, and not found anything that felt right. (Plus, Matt vetoed most of them!) I’ve even looked at genuine leather, custom made books that were hundreds of dollars and still didn’t feel like I’d found the right book. Well, this week I stumbled across this little fella at none other than TJ Max and thought it was perfect! And to make it even more exciting, it was only $5!

What do I plan to do with it? I don’t plan on actually journaling the events. I won’t write detailed accounts of everything. Instead, it’ll just be quick notes about what we did and why it was special. For example, I’ll include things like this: May 2012 – the time that we sat on the floor in his living room and talked for 4 hours.

This was a turning point in our relationship and the day that we both knew there was something different about our relationship. There are several little things like this that I don’t want to forget, and I know there will be hundreds more. Now, we have a cute little book to jot them down in to provoke our memories if we start to forget. I think this will be a treasure to have one day when we’re old and gray. It’ll also be useful on those days when we won’t really like each other! We can use it as a reminder maybe??

See why this book is so perfect? It will be full of “little things” that are actually big things for the two of us. Be sure to celebrate these little things in your relationships. They’re often the most important.

Blank pages waiting to be filled
Black pages for writing lots & lots of special memories.

This type of book would also work well for jotting down special memories of your kids. They’d love to read it later on! If you have kids that are older or you’re years in to a relationship, I know what you’re thinking. You’ve missed too much already. No way! It’s never too late to start. Even if you’ve missed several years, it’s better to have something to look back at rather than nothing. So, go ahead…get started! Find a little notebook like this one and starting jotting things down. You’ll be happy to have it later and so will your loved ones.

Anyone already do something like this?? I’d love to hear about it!

Walk to Work

Running Shoes in the GrassI walked/ran to work today. Well, not to actually work…that would be gross. I decided at the last minute to squeeze an ad into the new Bayou Life Magazine and had to get outfits together for a photo shoot. (Look for Salt & Pepper in the April issue!)

I live about 2.5 miles from the store, so it wasn’t too bad of a trek. Besides, it’s a beautiful day and the perfect opportunity to get in some exercise. I ran about half of the way and walked the rest. (I didn’t want to be a total mess when I got there!)

Ouachita River from the Levee

Lea Joyner Bridge on Foot
Crossing the bridge on foot was a tad scary with those grates moving up and down as cars passed! Yikes!

This walk was one of the best ideas I’ve had in a long time. It was a chance to clear my head, a chance to admire the beauty and serenity of my surroundings. During this commute, I thought through some things for work, relaxed a tad, wrote this blog post (and the beginning of another one), and solved a few of the worlds problems, not to mention the actual exercise…multitasking at its finest!


Dandelion in the Wind
I tried to capture me blowing the dandelion into the wind. It was only somewhat successful.

Most importantly, this walk got me back to my happy place. A place where I feel good about life. A place where I am happy and content.

The weather man says tomorrow is going to be just as pretty here. So get out and enjoy it! It doesn’t matter what you do…just go outside and do something that makes you happy and soak up this wonderful sunshine!

Don’t Die!

“Many people die at 25, but aren’t buried until they’re 75.” – Benjamin Franklin

I think this quote is all about having purpose. When real life hits, it’s so easy to get bogged down by the mundane and literally die inside. I think this feeling is sort of inevitable. But what do you do about it when it happens?

I have a bad habit of “waiting” to do things that I want to do. Waiting until I have more time, more money, less “work” to do. Well here’s the deal with waiting…you’ll never have more time or money, and you’re always going to have a million other things you should be doing. My husband says you have to balance work with play. He opts to do a few things he has to do and then do something he wants to do. This theory has opened a whole new world for me. Lets face it…if I waited until all the baseboards were clean and fan blades dusted, I’d certainly never have time to do anything for myself.

So here’s my challenge to you: do several things that you have to do today, but make room for something you want to do as well. Play with your kids. Make a craft project. Read a book. No matter what it is, make time to do something to free your mind. Reward yourself for all the work you’ve done.

Even taking a few seconds to appreciate a flower as you walk by can severely improve your day. I’ve walked by this tree every day for weeks without really stopping to look at these flowers. Stop. It only takes a few seconds and can give you that breathe of fresh air that you need.

Stop & smell the flowers.
Stop & smell the flowers.

I think Mr. Franklin was really on to something with this statement. If you don’t make time for yourself and do things to keep you alive inside, you’ll end up dead at 25 and not be buried until you’re 75.

I have several projects up my sleeve that I want to do will do (including this blog). What are YOU going to do??

The Five Year Plan

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Does that question send a chill down your spine like it does mine? Once upon a time, I was quite the planner. I had every aspect of my life planned and figured out. (If I could only tell you how many times I’ve had to start from scratch with a new plan!) After plans A-G fell through, I finally gave up.

Finally, one day I realized that’s not how life goes. You don’t get to plan everything. For example, owning a business or getting married in 12 days weren’t included in any version of my life plan! But, if I had stuck to these plans, I would have missed some of the most exciting times of my life.

In short, what I’m saying is, throw that rule book out the window. Every single day is different than the last. Every single day, you get a chance to do something different or be someone new. Don’t pass it up! The best thing I ever did was tell the life plan of mine to hit the road. Where will I be in 5 years? I have absolutely no idea. And I love that idea better than any scheduled version on my life.

Keep in mind that I don’t think anyone should float through life aimlessly with no goals. However, sometimes we focus so much on the “plan” that we miss other opportunities and adventures.

My advice: embrace unidentified tomorrows. Let each new day control your destiny. Don’t be afraid to be a new person. Adapt to your surroundings and make the most of every situation. After all, this life will be over before you know it. Make sure that you can look back on your yesterdays and be happy with what you see.

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” -Anonymous

I’d love to hear about your plans. Leave a post with your thoughts!