Perspective: Beauty is Everywhere...

Beauty really is everywhere. A fallen leaf, a silver drawer pull, a marble slab, a gnarled tree trunk, a puffy cloud. Be it man-made or natural, you've got to learn to see the beauty in everything around you. Are you seeing it? Are you marveling in it? 

Perhaps you even need to make some beauty on your own, hmmmm? Fresh flowers, a bit of gloss, a spritz of perfume and extra high heels will perhaps help you be the vision of beauty you wish to see in the world. Go forth and make things (and yourself) beautiful, everyone.

Your precious life is waiting for you... 

Perspective: Beautify the Small Moments of Life via Glamorous Details...

From my morning coffee to my nightly beauty routine, I've made it a point this year to infuse the smallest of moments with exceptionally glamorous details. Fine china espresso cups, gold leather journals, dreamy moisturizing creams... it's the details in our lives that make all the difference. These outward shifts are the shortcut to the coveted state of being "present" in your daily routine. Surprisingly luxe details wake up the mind and and make what could be a mundane ritual a transcendent experience. How can you enliven your life and shake up your habits? Only you truly know. But below I'm sharing a few of the elements I love infusing in my daily rituals. Join me on my quest to make life magical and the smallest of moments more magnificent.


1. Simple to-do lists become plans for world domination in my Christian Lacroix Paseo Leather Journal // 2. Wedgwood Arris Cup & Saucer makes sipping any morning beverage a special affair (also here) // 3. Why simply shower when you can give your body an at-home skin perfecting treatment? Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish smooths, hydrates & perfects. (also here) // 4. Slip Silk Eye Mask in the prettiest of colors is the key to a blissful night of sleep, regardless of what time zone you wake up in (also here)


Perspective: Small Steps Forward = Major Results...

I recently read a statement that caused an ah-ha moment for in my life. To paraphrase (because I can no longer find the original text) it dropped this wisdom: 

To make any life-altering changes to your life, you must select one personal daily habit and do it differently.

Boom. Simple truth. Profound impact. What might this mean for you? Does it mean getting up and working out right away every day? Does it mean changing what you do (or eat) for lunch? Does it mean making calls to family and friends each afternoon instead of surfing the web? Does it mean eating breakfast outside on the patio and watching the sunrise in lieu of grabbing a protein bar and dashing out the door? 

Most of mine will involve healthy habits or time efficiency, as these are personal priorities. Perhaps yours are financial changes. What if you skipped the $8 a day coffee shop habit and saved the cash. What if you dropped your usual lunch habit and applied that income instead toward a vacation fund? 

Think of these more as tiny pivot points that lead to big differences in our life experience. Minimal tweaks that produce dramatic emotional shifts. 

Can you think of a few small steps (or even just one) you could make in your life on a consistent daily basis that would cause a ripple effect in your life? Does it mean putting down the coffee cup and sipping matcha? Or starting your day with prayer & meditation? Or setting specific personal boundaries on when you lose hours staring at your iPhone? Maybe you could begin each day with a look at your goal sheet or inspiration board and let the messages wash over you. How might that small daily practice overflow into other areas of your life? 

What lifestyle habit could you alter that might feel like a tiny change yielding massive results? 


Perspective: White Out...

We don't get a blanket of white powder in the south very often. While we're unlikely to see a blanket of snowy accumulation today, it's drizzling and a chilly 30 degrees out there this morning. It's a dream, of course, but we're all silently thinking, "let it snow, let it snow, let it snow" inside our hearts. What better way to begin the new year than with a blank canvas both mentally and visually. Even a fine dusting of snowflakes does the trick. It seems to cover all manner of detail and leaves the view outside your frosted window looking absolutely gorgeous. Pristine. Pure. Snow obscures most of the detail you normally see and highlights textures you hadn't noticed before. It plays tricks on the mind, simplifying things... beautifying things. 

For the start of this fresh page of the calendar I wish for a blank canvas for each of us. A new beginning. A pure start. A new awakening. A clear line drawn on the timeline of your life to actively leave the past behind you and step boldly into a new you, a better you, a more high achieving you. 

This is when I'm craving my annual "mind cleanse" and life adjustment kickstart. It's time to fully assess my life goals and determine how to create maximum results to get where I know I'm destined to arrive. It's time to plan trips and book vacations. It's time to reach out to friends old and new and spark up flames of friendship you cherish. It's time to rethink your outlook, your mental roadmap and your life course. It's time to recalibrate and get back on track if you've drifted - or move your target further away if you're achieving your goals like a boss. 

Use today wisely. Cherish it. Relish it. Enjoy the completely blank page on your calendar and leverage the freedom that it extends to you. I challenge you to fill that journal with delirious, delicious, ridiculous goals that frighten you. Use your pen and articulate your thoughts in a way that feels a bit uncomfortable. Write out things as you truly wish in your heart of hearts they were in reality. Do this even if your present situation seems blah and uninspiring. Do this even if your wildest dreams are already coming true. Reach higher. Much higher. Strive to live a life of excellence and awe. It's time you stepped up your game and you know it. Stop settling. Stop coasting. Stop waiting for someone else to make your dreams come true. That person is you and only you. 

Write down your goals, your plans, your wishes, your aspirations and your deepest longings. Write them down in incredible detail. What perfume will you wear when you are the woman you've always wanted to be? How will you walk? What will you wear? Where does this version of you you shop? What does she buy? How does she enter a room? Is she regal like Grace Kelly or sultry like Angelina? Does she do yoga or is she a runner? Where does she go to get her sweat on? Find that place. Drive to that place. See yourself there. See yourself fit and fabulous. Visualize this new version of you happening.

Make "your life: the remix" your new reality by penning it in great detail in a journal, a book, on a napkin, on a scrap of paper, on the floor, on your wall - SOMEWHERE. But do it in pen and don't do it on a laptop. Write that out old school with a pen and look at it. Design the life you want, and design it in the finest of detail. It needn't be in a fancy leather bound book, but it needs to be written down. Get those ideas out and don't stop writing until you feel you've gushed and gushed. Word of wisdom: If your inner longings don't scare you you are not thinking boldly enough! 


Perspective: Success + Unrelenting Focus = Match Made in Heaven

this is the path to success
Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life... think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.
— Swami Vivekananda

This quote is one of my favorites. The passion, intensity and complete commitment to your goals is so intertwined with your chances of true success. Imagine a would-be winemaker with only a casual interest in grapes. It's easy to see that the deck would be stacked against he or she ever bottling an award-winning vintage from a vineyard of their own.

While this example might be obvious, many of us are dabbling at success rather than going all in on our pursuits. Longtime reader know I love being "all in" because it means that failure is NOT optional for you. It means you are ONLY looking at a successful outcome. It means you won't entertain Plan B. It means you have passion in your heart, a sparkle in your eyes and fire in your veins as you pursue your goals.

What goals and aspirations are you tied and tethered to? What are you obsessing over day and night? What vision are you clinging to? Can you feel it? Can you taste it? Can you SEE it? Remember, faith is believing in things unseen. Full, flat-out belief in things that have not yet happened. Harness the power of your mind and focus all of your thoughts, all of your energies on succeeding at something very specific . Be as detailed as you can and (you know what's coming) write it down!

Yes, grab that pretty notebook and flesh out that idea in as much detail as you can imagine. Who will you be when this dreamy goal finally happens? What would he or she wear? How will you walk? How will you feel? What will your emotional state be when this happens? Will you be radiant? Confident? Happy? Calm? Will you be energetic or relieved? Can you feel that mood? Can you imagine that inner emotion?

Here's the thing... once you can "feel" the inner emotions of "you" on the other side of achievement, you're halfway there! Truly. So tap into those feelings and visualize with your heart and not your head. And focus on it daily, nightly, always. And then... let the vision of achievement become such an integral part of you that you have no option other than allow it to become your reality. THIS... is the path to success.


Perspective: What You Focus On Expands...

Life holds a few simple truths. One is that what you dwell upon, what you focus on, what you think about grows. You'll get MORE of that in your life. This is why you must guard your mind and control that mass between your ears. Your thoughts truly become things.

This is one of the many reasons why I seek out beautiful things, high quality that make me happy. I seek out thought leaders that speak on personal growth and achievement. I seek out others who lift me up and avoid those who strive to pull us down.

What are you focused on this year, friends? Take some time to be strategic with your intentions. Surround yourself with joyful people, uplifting people, happy people. Move towards exactly what you want and make bold moves away from that which no longer serves you. Seek out joy. Seek out growth. Seek out expansion. Seek out beauty. Seek out life enhancing experiences. Seek out simple things that bring a big smile to your soul. What you focus on expands... so focus on GREAT things.

Have a terrific week, everyone!


Perspective: Decide...


One of the best gifts you can give yourself is the gift of a firm decision. Make a choice, a thought, a declaration to DO something... then go do that very thing.

The only thing standing in the way of what you want is your thinking. Change your beliefs and your current thought process and you can change your world. Break out of that rut you're in. Break out of those invisible (and likely nonexistent) bonds holding you back. Wake up and live the life you dream of... because dreams without specific plans to achieve them are just pretty thoughts.

Make detailed written PLANS. Then go ACHIEVE them.


Perspective: As a Man Thinketh...

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
— Mahatma Gandhi

There's no question that your physical reality is the result of thoughts you brought to life. Everything in your existence was born of your inner thinking and your focus. Isn't it true then, that we need to better harness those private moments and the inner workings of our mind? If our thoughts - all of them - join together to become the sum total of our lives, we'd better get a grip on our intentions. And fast. 

What are you focusing on these days? What are you bringing into your life? Are you channeling radiant health, vibrant relationships and abundance? Or are you focusing on the negative? If you've ever ridden a bike, you'll agree that you begin heading in the direction of your gaze. I encourage you to be more deliberate with your inner thoughts. What you're thinking and saying to yourself right now will soon become the life you're living. 

Let me ask you this. Would you want to board a plane with a pilot that wasn't terribly sure where he was flying? Would you accept a full time job with little indication of what the role entailed? Would you agree to let someone design your life for you without ever revealing their plan? Quite frankly, if you're not designing your life you are relinquishing complete control of your existence to circumstances and people around you. Not planning at all is in fact planning to just "let it ride" and let whatever happens happen. That's a pretty big gamble to take with your relatively short life. 

The good news? You can stop the spinning right now and get a grip on things. Today's thoughts become tomorrow's reality. So take some time to pull out a journal and plan - deliberately - the type of life you wish to live, the kind of person you want to be and the variety of relationships you intend to enjoy. Write it out. Plan it out. Make it happen. Describe it in such detail that you can't help but move toward that vision of yourself. Sounds a bit funny, and I know very few of you will perform this exercise. For the few who do, the results will be remarkable. 

It's your life's story. Decide how you want it to play out, how you want to live each day and how you want to feel. Yes, believe it or not this is all within your control. So grab a journal, baby, and write a life story so good, so juicy and so satisfying you can't help but begin to make it your reality. 

{illustrations by MySoulFly}


For some, the advice above may seem abstract and difficult to take seriously. There are other sites you can read for further inspiration and maybe a bit more encouragement.

Do What You Love is a great help with an option to receive inspiring emails or sign up for online courses.

Tim Ferriss of the 4-Hour Workweek & 4-Hour Body fame interviews the best and brightest of our time to open your mind to new possibilities. I highly recommend his podcasts for eye-opening discussions and cutting edge scoop.

I was fortunate to grow up with parents who were deeply curious about how to better their life experience and ways to maximize their health, their mental game and their lives through studying human performance. I know... right? They introduced me to Tony Robbins and I've always considered him a terrific life coach. If the "informercial" side of his business turns you off, rest assured, this guy is the real deal. Check out his many free videos, books and blog posts and take a listen or read what he's churning out. If you're interested in maximum personal performance, this guy has the lock on living your best life. 

Joel Osteen is another excellent resource. I've enjoyed Break Out find his podcasts to be so on point with life lessons based on scriptural truths. He offers a very simple, approachable system for breaking barriers and living an optimized life. 

Regardless of where you draw inspiration, the idea is to get started and become more intentional with your thinking and your life. This isn't a one time fix, though. Think of this like detailing your car. You'll need to tidy it up each day to keep it perfect and at some not too distant point you'll want to detail it again. Life planning is much the same (but far less frequently necessary). I find that a thorough examination and planning session once a year is absolutely critical, and every 6 months is perhaps an even better strategy to make sure I'm on course. 

So... start journaling. Start strategizing. Begin enjoying the life you're intentionally creating. Don't waste another precious moment because you'll NEVER ever get another NOW.


Perspective: Stay the Course...

I'll be candid. I feel a little like that third little piggy in the nursery rhyme lately. That big bad wolf is out there huffing and puffing and trying to blow my house down. Little does he know it's a fruitless pursuit. My focus, my confidence, my path, my plans, my integrity cannot be detoured by the force of his hot air. My structure (in this case, my very being) is built so solidly that eventually he'll come to know that any attempts to fluster & bluster are a waste of time and effort

Can you relate? Do you ever feel like life is testing you? And you're passing the test with flying colors because your resolve cannot be shaken? I hope you can relate on some level. Because it feels really, truly satisfying to know deep down in your core that this everything is going to be all right. It feels extremely comforting to have a vision in mind so clear and so positively fabulous that no forces (visible or invisible) can shake me.

The inner resolve feels so good, that I feel compelled to share my methods with you (all of which are easily replicable). Here's the method I know works for me...


The age old question... what do you want? Well, it's easy to say you want more financial wealth or improved fitness. But can you be more specific? Dig deeper. What exactly do you want? Imagine the legs you want to have, the ripped abs and the toned arms. Come up with an exact number you'd like to see in your savings account. Be specific. Very specific. And... WRITE IT ALL DOWN.


Now that you know you want a particular goal answer this... WHY? Why do you want it? Let's say you want more funds in the bank Okay... now look at that answer and go deeper. Why? Well, because I'll have more freedom, more security. Ah-ha. That's the real answer. It's not the thing... it's the feeling the thing will give you. Drill deep on every goal on your list and determine the real WHY behind the goal. And really feel those feelings. Allow yourself to connect to those deep desires. That's the key. You don't want things just to want things... you want them to feel beautiful, to feel connected, to feel secure... whatever your feelings are - own them and identify them. They are the fuel to drive you to make those goals reality.


Pinterest is great & magazines are wonderful, but I'm a big fan of adding images to the pinboard behind my desk. Fergie's legs in one image, my dream house in another, a Saint Laurent bag here, images of the Côte d'Azur there. Find photos, print them out, cut them out, hang them up. Silly? Not really. In fact it's pretty gorgeous when you get done and it provides constant daily reminders of the important WHY'S behind your pretty WHAT'S. If you skip this step (and most of you will) you lose out on the power of visualization. Which brings me to step four...


The reason the metaphorical big bad wolf can't blow my house in? It's because my future is all locked up, baby. I have seen myself and my family in the exact house, I've smelled the flowers in the breeze, I've heard the splashing fountains, I've felt the sun and the wind on my face. In my mind I am already there living in my dream house experiencing that life. You can't shake me because it's not a dream. I spend time daily putting myself there, feeling happy in this place, experiencing perfect health and the love of my family & friends.

Call it meditation, call it daydreaming... it's perhaps one of the most underutilized tools out there. Athletes do this, performers do this, winners or all walks of life do this. You visualize the result you want. You do this again and again so many times that your brain begins to believe the imagined reality is indeed the present.

And you know what...? It works. Gymnasts nail that dismount, quarterbacks catch that ball, pianists nail that performance. Visualization is a powerful, powerful tool that many of us aren't incorporating into our lives. Try it. Model the top athletes and talents out there, and try this mental practice.

See yourself happy. REALLY happy. See yourself healthy. Mentally attend the celebration of your success. Daydream about your housewarming party. Feel the feeling of accomplishment after the marathon. Imagine yourself graduating. Visualize the signed contract in your hands. Master your mind, or your mind masters you. (Trust me on that last not of wisdom.)

So... are you willing to try it? Do you dare believe in a life better or just different than your current life? Are you bold enough to dream? Are you willing to spend a tiny amount of time and very little physical energy to give those dreams a fighting chance of becoming your reality? I'll walk out in faith here and believe you will. 

Bottom line, don't let anyone blow you off course. Your dreams, your plans, your vision of the perfect future are just that: YOURS. It is impossible for anyone else to have the same drive and desire to achieve them. They do not have the same WHY'S to achieve your WHAT'S. It is for this reason that you must make them of supreme importance and never ever lose sight of that vision your hold so near.

Be different. Put up images of your dream house, your dream body, your dream life. Photoshop yourself on a sweet yacht and pin that image right over your desk. Place photos of Venice or Ibiza or Angkor Wat all over the house if that's where you want to be. Make it REAL and make it happen. FEEL that as a reality. Imagine yourself there doing that very thing experiencing that reality. Make it happen. I believe in you! 

{image credits 1 // 2 // 3 // 4}



Perspective: It's Time to Awaken the Beast Within...

If you've ever worked very hard to reawaken your inner lioness you'll know where I'm at right now. I'm excited. I'm brimming with enthusiasm. I'm reclaiming my inner beast. She has not been dormant, she's simply been chilling for a bit. The priorities and needs of others so often come to the forefront. Clients, children, projects... But you can't subdue your own needs and wants forever. She may lie back and wait, but she doesn't go away. And she shouldn't suffer for long. But now? She is focused. She is fabulous. She is ready to leap and jump and flex her muscular frame again. May Thursday greet you like a gorgeous lioness eager to take on the world. Let's forge some new paths in the jungle, everyone. The time is now. Enjoy your marvelous day! 

{all images via Office to #GirlBoss Community}


Perspective: Why "Going For It" Is the Best Decision You'll Ever Make...

{image  via  //  here }

{image via // here}

Fear is a terrible thing. It's the silent killer of dreams, passions, opportunities and goals. If I can offer you one piece of advice it's to identify your fears and push through them. If "going for it" seems scary, think of the alternative. Imagine the company you didn't launch, the phenomeal house you never placed a bid on, the trip you didn't take, the relationships not restored, the friends not made, the promotion you didn't have the courage to vie for. A life lived under the chokehold of fear is not a life, it's an existence. Is that what you want? Let me answer for you: NO. 

The road of your life should be paved with experience - littered with mistakes. After all, the most successful people you'll ever meet or know would be considered huge failures statistically. 

Walt Disney, as you may recall, was fired from newspaper job because "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas."  

Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. One of them clearly worked.

Michael Jordan has said of himself "I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

Those names sound familiar of course because they looked fear and failure in the face and persevered. Every entrepreneur I know has failed and surely faced silent middle of the night moments of fear. Perhaps they battled it daily, but they kept on progressing and they continued in spite it. 

What about you? You may not be striving to become and NBA All-Star or an inventor, but I'm certain you want to live the best (read: most enjoyable and fulfilling) life possible. As a human you crave new experiences and you will measure your happiness, as most of us do, by your progress. You can't make progress if you are frozen by fear. It's as simple as that. And what are you afraid of anyway? Most f us think everyone is staring at us watching our every move. It simply isn't the case.  

Failing means you TRIED something. It means you are daring to do new things. It builds character, experience and confidence. Do you know who ultimately succeeds in life? You guessed it: experienced, confident people with a well-developed character.

Failing actually builds the very traits you need to be successful. It develops your instincts, your sense of self-worth and makes you a far more interesting person. The kind of person who gets invited to dinner parties. The kind of parties that open you up to having life-changing conversations. Do you know who doesn't get invited to those parties? Boring people who always play it safe and never dare to try anything. I know this isn't you. If it is, I know you want more. You need more. Your soul is begging you for more. 

What does this mean? It means you should be trying to do new things as often as possible and open yourself to the very real possibility that you may fail regularly, repeatedly, again and again. Remember, all it takes is one shot, one successful product launch, one life-changing first date, one business opportunity, one perfectly timed investment, one moment, one miracle vacation, one serendipitous meeting to forever change your life. 

Now... go out and TRY something. DO something. Give yourself a solid shot at failing miserably at something. Then brush your shoulders off, get back up and do it again until that mess you may make becomes your legacy and the greatest dinner party story anyone has ever told. Happiness lies just on the other side of that invisible wall of fear. I dare you to push through it like a boss. I believe in you. 




Perspective: See Your Goals. State Your Goals. Seize Your Goals...

So... I have a new life goal. And it's a good one! I've always had a deep, deep desire to be a venture capitalist - able to give entrepreneurs and upstarts the financial push they need to thrive. I still have that goal, as it's a passion close to my heart for personal reasons. Now, however, I have a parallel goal. I need (notice the shift in verbiage here) I need to own homes around the world that are part of the a luxury home rental network. 

Just flipping through the Inspirato magazine is enough to jumpstart a dozen dreams. but I suspect most people glossing through the pages simply think of their next vacation. Me? I want more. I need more. It is my intention to own a handful of carefully selected properties that a company like Inspirato (and there are growing number of others like it) will manage and strike to keep booked throughout the year. 

Imagine knowing you have a home in St. Martin like the one above and it's generating passive income for you. Imagine feeling thrilled by the knowledge that you own a stunning mountain home in Vail that is producing a handsome profit for you. A chic flat in Paris's 16th arrondissement would be dreamy, no? What about a Mediterranean beauty in Sonoma overlooking a vineyard. It sounds like a dream, but these are real homes owned by investors who see the value in the ownership of spectacular properties. 

The rise of the Airbnb's and Luxury Retreats of the world is a cultural shift not to be overlooked. It's one thing to dream of vacations - and I definitely do. It's another thing entirely to develop the goal to own jaw-dropping real estate in the world's most coveted destinations and set yourself up for financial success. 

So that's it world. I'm putting this intention out there for you, for me, for everyone to see. It's a dream that's been building for a while and I'm finally saying it out loud with greater frequency, a stronger sense of purpose and a vision of it so clear that it rivals the clarity of that swimming pool above. 

What good is a post like this if I don't share simple goal setting & achieving steps? None at all. Here are the basic steps I liken to those shampoo bottle instructions "Lather. Rinse. Repeat."


This is the most difficult part for everyone. You need CLARITY. To get this, find ways to clear your head. Perhaps it's a scenic drive, a challenging run, a long swim, a solo bike ride. For me, thinking of this intensity happens when I'm moving. Regardless, you need perspective which means you'll want to shake off your typical daily routine and perhaps GO somewhere. Distance can be your very best friend. Frankly, these ideas just "come to me" once I'm alone with my thoughts. It takes some discernment to cast aside the flights of fancy from the inspired ideas.  Trust that you'll have the wisdom to know when your marvelous idea or ideas emerge. (Hint: you'll be overwhelmed with the urge to engage in step 2...)


Write those ideas down. FAST and in detail. Articulate them and flesh them out in as many beautiful details as you can. If it's a better body you dream of, describe how you'll feel, what that new body will wear and how you'll own every room you walk in. If it's a series of properties like mine, begin declaring specifics such as locations, occupancy rates, property management partners, etc. Articulate your BIG GOALS on paper for YOU to see, then you'll feel emboldened to share them with people. This process will develop a sense of certainty in you - a feeling of power and momentum. (Tip: a pretty journal pairs nicely with this act.)

One more tip: put it "out there" in the form of a decorated refrigerator door (do people still do that?) or an inspiration board. Me? I'm putting Inspirato photos of that house on my pinboard (my favorite option can be found here). I'm writing a few goals out and putting them up to see every day. I'm boldly declaring to myself (and anyone who observes my work space) the driving force behind my burning ambition. 


You won't believe this, but the first two steps are the most difficult for people. Most of humanity simply won't attempt the first two steps. They don't take time to dream, they feel that "thinking" the idea is enough. It isn't. Without a written goal that you can SEE on a regular basis, your actions won't align to bring about the necessary changes. Step 3 is a natural response to steps 1 and 2. So stop here and take the time alone to get clarity and then put those visions and goals on paper in big, bold, bossy ways. The third step will almost happen for you once you've established the importance of the goal on your subconscious. 

So go ahead... Dream big - REALLY big - because if those goals don't make other people think you're crazy, they aren't big enough. 

{Editor's note: this incredible home can be seen at Inspirato.)

Perspective: Excellence is Its Own Reward ...

{image credits: Chanel Fall 2014 Couture Show 1 / 2 / 3 Gianni Pucci /}

Our personal habits and behaviours are interesting, aren't they? What we do for ourselves often differs from what we do for others. I've been contemplating this lately as I fire up my creative life again. I'm making these for designers in town and have noticed that my attention to detail and perfection of aspects no one will ever see is astonishing.

It is imperative to me that the quality be unsurpassed and exceptional. Small construction and design details that may not matter to the designers or even the end client are wildly important to me through this process. And I must admit I love (LOVE) the feeling of producing with a spirit of excellence. It feels fabulous. It feels right. It feels purposeful. Whether or not anyone else cares about the finer points is irrelevant. The act of making things luxuriously fine is reward enough. I'm quite proud of what I've made and how well crafted the finished pieces are. That in and of itself is incredibly fulfilling. 

Would I invest as much heart and soul into a product for myself? I know the answer. I would strive for perfection but I would not obsess as much over the minor details. Just as you might eat dinner by yourself at your kitchen counter but pull out all the stops to entertain guests. It's using your finest ingredients and pulling out the heirloom stemware. There's a pleasure in doing things well for others. There is a value in striving for excellence for your own benefit. There's a deep sense of satisfaction in doing things well even if know one notices. It develops your inner life and builds incredible self worth. 

I encourage you to try it. Make a concerted effort to be excellent in areas no one will ever notice. Perhaps it is as domestic as perfectly iron sheets even though you'll be sleeping alone. If you are a maker, it's about producing the finest quality. As a chef it might mean whipping up a five course meal that surpasses all expectations. It's picking something up that someone dropped and rushing down the block to ensure they have it. The idea is about doing things exceptionally well and doing them without expectation of anything in return.

What can you do today to serve others (or yourself) with a spirit of excellence? What private acts could you perform right now with an attitude of precision and purpose? Think about that. Try it. I assure you the feeling that flows through your soul wil be all the reward you could possibly need. The acts themselves are in fact the incredible gift you receive in return for doing your best. 

Go... be excellent. You'll quickly find you're happily addicted to it. 


Perspective: Outlook is Everything...

Life is all about your perspective. Are you tending to your flowers or the weeds in your garden? Are you focusing on the brilliant wonders in your life or the nuisances and lack? It's important, because your mindset determines your outlook... your outlook determines your experience and your daily experiences tally up to be the very summary of your life. 

There are flowers all around you. Your friends, your family, your internet connection, your incredible mind, your very breath. Celebrate those incredible assets in your life and choose to focus on them. Stop feeding the weeds and they'll surprise you by slowly dying off... and all you'll be left with is a colorful, life-affirming garden of flowers. 



Perspective: Believe It to See It...

Call it chutzpah, call it blind ambition, but willing things to happen with unstoppable faith has incredible power. Kick of this Tuesday without fear, without hesitation and without any doubt. What you seek is already in your power. It's all about realizing it. 


Perspective: Make It Happen...

Consider this your nudge to chase your dreams. I promise you this: NO ONE is going to work harder to make your dreams come true. No one has the same passion for your life that you possess. No one has the exact dreams you hold in your heart. 

What do I want? The ability to travel comfortably and slowly and really enjoy each destination. I want a closet full of pretty dresses and shoes. I want a house on a hill overlooking the water. I want a handful of amazing girlfriends to laugh with and grab for days out & about. I want radiant health to enjoy my life. I want a gorgeous home filled with beautiful things I've designed and created. I want sunshine. I want a butt kicking (and booty tightening) yoga instructor to take me to the next level. And the level after that. I want a passport with an excess of stamps from far-flung locations and dreamy destinations. I want to feel fabulous, look flawless and live a life of laughter and adventure. I want enough Benjamins in the bank to put me at ease about the present and far into the future. That's what I want. 

And I know better than anyone that I'm the one who has to chase these dreams for myself because they are nearest and dearest to my heart. I'm the one who sees them. I'm the one who needs them. I'm the one who has to has to hustle to make it all become reality. 

The same is true for you. Have you written down your goals? Have you physically authored your 2015 plans? No? Then read this and start working, honey!  

A few things I'm going to add to the mix to make sure my plans come to life...


PB Teen Gilt Pinboard // Make It Happen Pink Notebook // Yours Sincerely Note Card Set

Why the gilt pinboard? I definitely believe in the power of visualization. See it, believe it, experience it seems to be the name of the game. It reinforces the words you'll no doubt have jotted down in your journal (hint, hint). Put up what moves you. For me this is a collection of gorgeous people, places and things. But I'm also keen on adding fabrics and other non-traditional inspiration board objects. It's all about creating an energy and an emotion. 

Why the note cards? Manners matter. Send thoughtful cards. Write heartfelt notes. Care enough to send a "thinking of you" letter to friends and family. Congratulate people. They will remember and it will reinforce (and create) meaningful relationships. 

Now... go "make it happen" people! 


Perspective: Being Happy Means Bending, Not Breaking...

November was a rough, tough, low-down dirty month for me. I was desperately resisting change and seeking any way to change the situation before me. It was exhausting, stressful and in many ways broke me down. I cried a lot (a lot!) and lived an emotional roller coaster as I never have before. It was an unpleasant month to say the least! Thankfully I've been writing my own good life lessons here for years and found great solace in the knowledge that somehow, some way I would come through it. And... I have. 

What did I learn? A few things...

I definitely proved to myself that trying, trying, and trying any and all ways to achieve a result can indeed have its own rewards. Although my efforts often did not result in changing the actual results, I feel great satisfaction in knowing I tried EVERYTHING to solve what I saw as a series of problems. I sleep soundly knowing that all options were explored and I gave my best effort. 

Not all conversations are easy or pleasant to have. Decide to have them anyway. Uncomfortable conversations are just a part of life and it is going to serve you best if you're willing to sit down and have them when necessary. Have the guts to put yourself out there and face the situation with boldness and bravery. 

If November taught me anything it is that my small posse of closest girlfriends are AMAZING. I've always been a quality over quantity girl, and with friendships it has proven to be a wise decision. My mighty yet small army of girls really rock the house. I had shoulders to sob on, open ears to vent to and willing arms to hug me when I needed it. They became my safe place to get honest and get it all out. I also had sound voices to offer fresh outlooks on my situation and willing hands to pitch in when I needed it most. Build your army of besties with love and care and invest as much in them as they have in you. These girls (or guys) will truly be your lifeboat when you feel you are out to sea. 

This is where I stumbled the most. I love change in so many areas. New destinations, new ideas, new discoveries, new people. Yet in some life areas I desperately need consistency and stability to feel good. Change, dear friends, is a part of life we cannot avoid. Struggling to avoid impending change can often be like falling into quicksand. The more you struggle the further you sink. Have faith that you'll see your dreams come to life, but be open to the possibility that change thrust upon you is actually what is best for you. 

Even on my most challenging days I could see how much joy my children brought me and how happy they are in their natural state. Kids are just living bundles of light and laughter. Observing them reminded me to embrace them and cherish the moments and even to simply honor those unpleasant raw emotions. This, for the moment, was truly how I was feeling. So happy or sad or frustrated or disappointed or stressed - it was best to honor those emotions and let them have their moment to escape and be rid of them. 

What felt like the end of an era to me was not the end-all-be-all in my life. My children and husband and I are all healthy and sound and well. Our safety was not an issue and our livelihood is alive and well. My personal challenge was not the "end" of my fab life. It might just be the beginning of a whole new awesome journey. Be willing to see around your obstacle and see the sun shining behind it. 

In the end I learned to bend and not break. Change will be forced upon you at times and it may or may not be avoidable. When faced with the inevitable, it's best to avoid letting it break you down. Be willing to see new things as good things. Be willing to trust that God has a bigger, better plan than you. 

I hope you'll all see the new month and the upcoming new year as an opportunity to give your life and your outlook a sweet reboot. Shake of the shackles of the past and see life as a new creation and new experience each day. Let go of things (even pleasant things) which might be holding you back from your amazing destiny. Move forward in faith with a broad smile on your face. Life truly is beautiful!

Perspective: Savor the Small Things...

{via  Pinterest  & via  The Fancy }

{via Pinterest & via The Fancy}

Stop what you're doing... and cherish the little moments of life today. The tiny whisps of steam from the coffee, the breeze on your face, the sun touching that part of the floor it normally never hits until this day of the year... life is special. YOUR life is special. Now go out and smile at the world and embrace today... it's been waiting for you your entire life. 

Perspective: Simplicity = Abundance...

Simplify, simplify, simplify. This is my mantra for life in so many ways. Through the reduction of clutter (mental, physical, behavioral, relationship-wise etc) we actually live more abundantly. Does that sound contradictory? It shouldn't. When we are free from the distraction of the unnecessary and the unfulfilling we can spend our precious lives focusing on the greatness in them.

Less life distractions means more quality time. This doesn't mean you must harshly cut out people that aren't in line with your life, but it does mean you should turn down the volume on some of the channels that offer pure static. Focus on the greatness, the goodness and the joyful and make those areas your areas of focus. Consider doing a massive purge of physical excess in your home. Less clutter = less tidying = more time actually living. Consider cutting out unfulfilling or unpleasant activities. Let go of the good... embrace the great. 

You absolute must make room in your life for awesomeness if you want it to be your dominant life theme. You must eliminate "adequate" space and time fillers to carve out the freedom necessary for an abundance of fulfilling relationships and activities. 

Simplify, simplify, simplify and watch the quality of your days, weeks and life skyrocket. I know I perform best with a handful of deep friendships in lieu of spreading myself too thin across an overly busy social schedule. I respect my limited time and attention span so I can deepen those special relationships. 

Are you spreading yourself too thin? Are you nurturing your most meaningful relationships? Are you valuing yourself? Quality runs deep, not thin. Pay attention to how you allocate your time and your attention. Your spouse, your partner, your very closest friends, your family, your pets, your business, your passions... those are your targets. Aim at them with all your might and don't lose your focus. 

Enjoy them with all your might and enjoy the overwhelming feelings of abundance in your life! It will be akin to turning on the lights in what was once a dim room. You'll see the beauty in the smallest of moments and the subtleties of your days. Life is suddenly rich and overflowing with miracles. 

Perspective: On Gratitude...


It's been an unusually challenging week. In spite of this that and the other going off the rails, I find myself looking at all that is right with my world and the world at large rather than dwelling on what's not going smoothly.

We are healthy. We are happy. My sweet little family of four is madly in love with one another. And there's something unbelievably grand about that.

Waking up snuggling my little toddler is such a joy that it fuels me to tackle the day ahead with a huge smile and renewed vigor. Each morning is a fresh opportunity to see life with new eyes, a new outlook and a new attitude. Each daybreak we are allowed to be reborn and reinvent our perspective. 

I hope you'll cherish this precious day and make it beautiful inside and out. Love on those who love you. Call or text those amazing friends who are there through thick and thin. Tell your parents you love them. Call your grandparents. Send notes to several friends who are on your mind. 

Use this new day to be a better you, a more grateful you, a more amazing you. I believe in you.