how to be successful at just about anything


I think success can be measured in so many ways by everyone, but success to me involves reaching goals that I set for myself daily. I'm a dreamer for sure, I see something I want and I tend to go all out until I reach it. I'm a goal setter and a list maker, which I think helps me stay focused on all I need to do to achieve my dreams. 

When I began this blog I had a goal to make it as big as I could get it. I toiled for a year before I figured how HOW to get it there (hint: consistent posting, reading and commenting on blogs, and sponsoring other blogs to get your name out there!) I made a list one January and vowed to double my readership each month, and then set up exactly what I needed to do to get there. I signed up for sponsorships for the entire year, wrote some posts for other blogs that I hoped would share who I was and draw people to me, and by the time I was done with this plan I found that I had surpassed my original goal. It was never about being the biggest for me, but for being the best I could be. I knew I want to share my experience with others and create a community, so I worked daily to reinforce that. I found that I couldn't just say, "I want to make an income blogging," I had to make daily sub goals and lists that would help me achieve this ultimate dream. None of it was easy, and took years to get where I wanted to be (and I'm still working on it!), but looking back I see that it wasn't just about the dream, it was the focus that brought me there. 

You have to dream big by focusing small.

I find that this works in so many areas of my life. I have a fitness goal of being as healthy and fit as I can be. I love being able to lift weights and run fast and eat well. So I break it down. I focus on entering my daily food intake into Fitness Pal each day. Then I set a new goal to add miles to my run (even if it is a half mile at a time), or saying that I will only go to the gym for 10 minutes if I really don't want to work out on a particular day (though I always stay the whole time, so the trick works!) 

It's never the end result that really pushes me, it's the consistent nature of pushing through daily to do what I said I would do. (This could also mean I am really stubborn and hate not doing what I said I would do!) Blogging when I don't feel like it, eating a salad when I really want the burger and fries, running five more minutes when I want to quit, these are the little decisions that add up. These small choices all add up and create the life I have always dreamed about.  They push me to be the best me I can be, and in the end I reap the rewards of reaching goals that I never thought possible. 

Tell me, are you a goal setter? How do you make your dreams come true?

The cutest boots you ever did see


Forever 21 kimono; Old Navy tee (similar) and jeans; American Eagle headband; ℅ DSW boots.

*This is a post written by me on behalf of DSW, all opinions are my own!

You know what I really love? I love that the sales seasons run sort of exactly when you need them most. Right now the stores are pushing spring (which seems like a sick joke…), so they have to clear out all the winter stuff to make room. Except NEWS FLASH, it's only one month into actual winter and we all still really need to wear the stuff that is on sale. I mean, all this perfectly good stuff is out there, and it looks so nice and awesome and all that jazz, and it costs LESS than we could have gotten it for when it first came out. Gosh I love the reasoning behind sales and merchandising;)

Take these boots I'm wearing. I've been eyeing a pair similar to these for forever! The wood heel, the cool and different mid shaft height, and the funky straps across the ankle scream edgy boho to me, yet they are hard to find at a decent price. Enter DSW and their amazing boot prices. All of a sudden these boots can be found for $51 less than the original price, and WE get to reap the rewards. Yay! 

You know what else is fun? Leaping through the snow in a kimono on a 21 degree day to get these photos…you've gotta love style blogging in Michigan, right? ;)

Tell me, where would you wear these boots? How would you style them?

 Disclosure: Compensation was provided by DSW via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of DSW.

DSW is the destination for savvy Shoe Lovers everywhere. Customers experience a breathtaking assortment of designer brands at irresistible prices everyday.

How to wear your Summer stuff all year long


Forever 21 maxi dress, old (similar, similar); Faux fur vest, old (similar); Blank NYC faux leather jacket; Steve Madden boots, old (similar); Baublebar Zodiac Constellation pendant and Morse Code Initial necklace.

I've realized lately that I'm sick of looking at all my Winter stuff. I'm tired of my sweaters and tunics and heavy layers. I want change! The only issue is, it's not Spring. Or anything close to it. (Insert crying face emoji…) Last Fall I took a lot of my Spring and Summer clothes and either boxed them up in bins, or hung them from a rack in my laundry room in the basement. And now, every single time I do laundry I stare longingly at my floral dresses and kimonos and other various times that have been banished from my closet. Finally one day I said screw it. I took a couple of things I love and brought them back upstairs to my closet, and vowed to figure out a way to wear them. So DRAMATIC, I know.

I find that I can still wear all this stuff with some creative layering. Leggings or fleece tights under dresses, fur vests and multiple light layers on top. At this time of year I'm not really outside that much beyond going from the house to the car, or the car to a store, so I can wear lighter weight fabrics and not be THAT cold. I also like pairing tougher accent pieces with my Summer clothes, like my studded boots with a floral dress, or a winter beanie with a white dress and tights. It's all about how you look at something, I guess. There aren't a lot of things I can't wear year round if I get creative about it, and that makes me happy.

Tell me, how would you wear your Summer clothes in Winter?

a crazy important relationship question


℅ Lulu's plaid dress (only $18.50!); Baublebar cross ring.

A couple of weeks ago I overheard a conversation about what makes a relationship worth it, and it made me THINK. (Seriously, being nosy pays off...;)

"Does he make you want to be a better person?"

This statement could really translate into many different areas of your life, whether you are dating, married, or with friendships, in my opinion. It doesn't make sense to be with ANYONE if they don't push you to be a better person, right? 

When I think of my husband and our relationship over the past 15 years I notice a trend: he makes me want to be the best ME I can be. I love that he knows exactly who I am, the real me that doesn't always get seen in all its parts to the world, but can't be hidden from him. He's the first to call me out if I start acting off, he pushes me to reach my dreams even if they sound crazy, and he knows what makes me tick. The thought of disappointing him makes me cringe, but not in the way it sounds. It's just that he knows what I am capable of and will nudge me along of I fall from that course. He makes me want to be a great wife to him, an awesome mother to our children, and a person that I can be proud of deep inside my soul. I care about what he thinks, yet he knows that I am my own person and lets me live in a way that makes me happy. Even if that means he takes photos for me for Instagram, and hands out business cards at work for my blog, or supports the dreams and crazy schemes I come up with daily monthly. 

I'd like to think I do the same for him, too. After awhile you start to realize that the person you are with deserves to be their own person, too, and not someone you can change. I let him do the things he enjoys, and we build a life based on our own strengths and weaknesses. I'm a morning person, so I get up early with the kids, and he is a better cook that I am (and cleans up, too!) We know each other inside and out, and often we end up being brutally honest with each other. Sometimes all we need to do is give a little side eye to the other one and we both get it. It's funny how over time you really DO end up knowing what the other is thinking at any given moment, and how you end up just knowing what the other needs without saying a word. It's comfortable and easy and awesome to have this, and I hope my children find it someday, too.

My relationship makes me want to be a better person because he believes in me, he trusts me to be exactly who I need to be, and he has my back, always. I couldn't be more proud to call him mine.

Tell me, does your relationship push you to be a better person?

An informal tattoo poll (+ a $100 giveaway to Nordstrom!)


Funny enough, I've never seriously thought about getting a tattoo until a couple of months ago. I've had passing thoughts about it, but in the end I could never think of something that I loved enough to make it be a permanent part of me, you know? Yet lately I can't get it out of my head. I spend hours scrolling through Pinterest and I keep finding all these ideas that really resonate with me. Which seems weird because I'm not 18 (or 28), I'm a stay at home mama of two school age kids, a wife to a military man,  and a  style/life blogger (and a million other things, but we'll condense for the ease of writing;) YET, I find myself wanting to get a tattoo, something that shows on the outside how I feel on the inside. I feel like I'm getting to the point where I know who I am, know what is important to me, and know that I probably won't regret it. I think mulling stuff over in my head helps, and really taking the time to see if it feels right. And it does.

Now that I'm 99% sure I AM getting a tattoo, I have to figure out what to get. I've been thinking of what I love, where my life has taken me, and what I want to show to the world about who I am. Because that is what I think it all comes down to for me, showing that I am unique and my journey is unique. I know that a lot of tattoos out there are so personal, and though some designs are more popular than others, it comes down to finding something that speaks to me. It's not about being someone else, or living by a prescribed formula, it's about being authentic to myself. 

All images sourced from Pinterest

The big question then becomes, what tattoo(s) do I want? And how many? Ha! I went from wanting one, to maybe two, and now it's sort of at three. (Don't kill me, Dad!) I love the idea of smaller designs, dainty and feminine tattoos that aren't altogether that noticeable until you look close. While I admire those that can go all out in the tattoo arena (my sister in law can ROCK this look), it's not for me. Here's what I'm thinking RIGHT NOW:

1) My favorite idea, and one that I've seen on others and loved, is a set of three birds on my inner wrist. I have a close friend who has these on her shoulder and I adore them. For me, these birds would symbolize my kids and husband. While I wouldn't go out and get his name on my body (I can't jinx it, right?!), having a set of three birds is like my own little reminder of my family, because they are my life. Birds are wild and free and remind me of the quote from "The Notebook" (you know…"if I'm a bird, you're a bird.") It makes me smile when I think of it.

2) I also adore the idea of a saying or roman numeral dates on my ribs. Very small and dainty, and only really visible in a bathing suit or backless dress. I'm still mulling over a design or thought I'd like for this, but it is pretty appealing to me. Also, the symbol of an arrow completely makes me happy, because  it contains the thought that it can only be launched far by pulling it backwards, and doesn't that seem fitting for life sometimes? 

3) The last one I'm thinking of (er, I HOPE the last?), would be a tiny symbol on my inside heel. Again, small and dainty and unobtrusive. A shell appeals to me, because when I was a kid my grandparents had a beach house and it was a constant in my life. Being there made me happy, and so many of my memories as a kid are centered at the beach and at their house. 

Tell me, do YOU have any tattoos? What is the story behind them?

P.S. On a completely unrelated (but still AWESOME!) note, my group giveaway ladies have pooled their funds together so they could give away a $100 gift card to Nordstrom! The giveaway will run for one week and is open to anyone that can receive a gift card via mail or email. I for one can find a ton of things to buy at Nordstrom, so this is pretty awesome;) 

Wishing you lots of LUCK!

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