Edit: I wrote this at the end of 2017 but life got busy.... so here it is, going up a year later but tis the season for me to get my sh*t together... so enjoy hehe
As I reflect on 2017, my biggest takeaway is that the most meaningful life one can live is an authentic one. Not to say that any other year wasn't "authentic" but I really feel I've grown into myself, honestly and confidently. I accept my flaws and my strengths. I accept that not every situation is going to be great and positive and that's okay. Those trying and harder times are what builds your character. They shed light on areas of improvement and that's a beautiful thing.
Life is an ever evolving thing. Nothing ever stays the same forever, you have to learn to grow through every situation you face. This year Mike and I both changed jobs, actually right around the same time. While we had good jobs, they took a toll on us over the years. We grew threw each of the more stressful times. But there comes a time when you have to decide whether situations (work or non-work related) are worth continuing trying to fix, improve, whatever you want to call it. We had to decide whether what we were doing vocationally was worth it to meet our overall goals of raising a happy, healthy family. After a year or so, we decided it just wasn't the right fit.
So we've both taken a leap of faith and are pursuing careers we know we have a passion for. It's been a really good move for us both. I can see a huge difference in our emotional, mental and physical health. And that's what's most important right? I'm all for helping be a part of the change but at some point, you have to realize when the energy you put out is just not worth it. Happy New Year. New year, same you - just better.
Our First Helicopter Ride
We went to Mike's work banquet in Orlando and he surprised me with a helicopter ride!
Yoga on the Bridge With My Work Bestie
We got amazing opportunities to watch our friend's son play for FC Dallas and the US team for the World Cup. So grateful!
Another Year of Life For Us Both
Training in Orlando With My Favorite Co-Workers
And I got to eat my favorite fish dish, Golden Tile at MOOR. It's a must try if you're in the area!
We re-did our floors and treated ourselves to new couches! We had this brown sectional for 8 years, ever since we first moved in together. Why we bought a brown couch, I can't even fathom lol
Our Friends Became Parents
New England Trip
We visited family in New Hampshire and went to a Patriots game at Gillette Stadium!
Last but not least (actually probably my biggest highlight) is having Juicy with us another year. 2017 was not the greatest for her. First she got a bite on her back (I think it was a brown recluse) that caused necrotic skin. The vet had to remove the skin, stitch it back together and we had weeks of watching her to ensure she wasn't jumping up on anything. We moved all the furniture and blocked the stairs so she wouldn't be able to jump anywhere. We even dragged the mattress of the frame so that it was closer to the floor lol.... she healed and bounced back!
Then later in the year, we got her teeth cleaned and she had a hard time recovering from the anesthesia. It bothered her tummy so she wasn't eating and it threw her glucose levels all out of wack because we couldn't give her insulin without her eating. She ended up in the ER for a few days on fluids and it was one of the hardest things for us. But we had faith and she is such a strong, brave fighter than she bounced back yet again. I am so so so grateful to spend another year with her and pray for many more years to come.
Hi y'all! With switching jobs from public accounting to industry, I was in the search for a new work bag. I'm able to workout during my lunch break at work so wanted a bag to double up as my gym bag. I've been a fan of Dagne Dover for several years and own one of their wallet on chains. I wasn't super crazy over it but I love the styles Dagne Dover has come out with in the past few years, including their collab with Marianna Hewitt (style muse). I have been wanting to purchase a bag of theirs for a while, I love how organized their bags are plus their history. Originally I wanted to get their signature tote and a backpack but after realizing that would cost close to $400, I looked for other options. After a bit of research, I decided on the Landon Carryall in the medium size. This color, Dune, is seasonal (and currently on sale) and I took a leap of faith hoping it wouldn't end up being brown and I'm so glad I did! It is a beautiful, muted plum shade that I am going cray over.... mayhap it will be added to my color combo?
I filmed a full review plus what's in my work/gym bag on the channel. If you're coming from there, hello & welcome :) Hope you will come back soon for more posts. I wanted y'all to see the color a bit more for those interested. Scroll down more for what it looks like in direct sunlight. Snatch up a carryall while you can during their sale!! P.S. I bought it myself during their Black Friday sale.
Hi y'all! As some of you may know, I recently switched jobs and obviously while I was deciding whether to do it, what I wanted out of life, etc., I wasn't able to share my rationale. So in addition to sharing this super cute outfit, I wanted to give you a few of my thoughts. Maybe it will help you if you're in the same boat.
What is important about your career? I thought about this long and hard before I made my decision to even start looking for another opportunity. Everyone's answers are going to be different. Even over time these factors can change. What you viewed as a deal breaker when you were 25 may not be a deal breaker when you're 29. I think it's very important to constantly reevaluate if your current career, company, team, etc., meets these criteria. You obviously want to make these criteria realistic and attainable. For a dramatic example, if you want to make $1 million right out of college, honey, almost all jobs and companies will fall short (although I'm sure it can happen).
For me, my criteria has more or less been:
Culture - What is the overall "feel" of the people? How do the majority of people communicate? How is feedback provided? What is/isn't acceptable in the workplace? What behavior/actions are rewarded? Is hard work appreciated? How much does politics play a role? Do you like being around your co-workers for minimum 8 hours a day?
Growth opportunities - are there opportunities for you to move up in your career (if you wanted/worked for it)? Are their opportunities for you to pursue your interests? Do you have mentors who support you?
Compensation - am I making enough money doing what I do? Am I making enough money to put up with what I do (so key)? Remember, PTO, flexibility, insurance, bonuses, etc. all make up compensation.
Work/life balance - this is a criterion that varies the most in my opinion. Everyone has a different view on what work/life balance means. Some believe it means a person works their required 8 hours then goes home and that's work/life balance for them. For me, it was never about the amount of hours I worked or having last minute projects pop up. I expected it and while I didn't jump for joy, that never made me question my career. As long as I could take care of Juicy, attend to my personal life and have a break when I needed, I felt that was work/life balance for me. Sometimes that means working 50+ hours a week but going home to beat traffic and getting back online. Or doing something for my personal life and working in the evenings. Of course it varied depending on my client, deadlines and whatnot but hopefully you get the drift.
Are you excited to go to work or do you dread going to work?
Do you add value? Do you feel like you're doing you're best and asking for feedback but feel like a mouse on a never ending wheel?
Living your best life - is the job, the people you're around ultimately helping you live your best life? It's so easy to say "leave work at work". The stress, the drama, the highlights and the low. There are times when inevitably, what happened during the day is going to affect you. Whether it was good or bad. The key is how you handle it and it's definitely a sign if more often than not, you bring baggage home.
After weighing all of the above and spending over a year trying to fix what I felt I needed to fix to give this a fair shot, I came to the conclusion it was time for me to see what was out there. I knew I had a passion for internal controls and tried to pursue options within my firm which unfortunately there were none at the time. So far it has been a really good move. I have been much more happy, more focused on what matters in my life and overall feel I have a healthier life. Physically, mentally and emotionally. Also, I'm only a month in but I can see a drastic change when I think about where I was a year (or even a couple of months) ago.
I hope this thought process can help you if you're unsure of your next move. Be fearless. Have faith that everything happens for a reason. Wishing you the best of luck!
Hi y'all! How is the year almost over?! Is it just me or the older you get the faster time flies? It makes me cherish the time I spend with my loved ones, knowing that at any moment, everything can change.
My social media friends and subbie family already know this but I wanted to get words on paper (really, on blog) about this past month to remind myself when I'm becoming impatient. We decided to have Juicy's teeth cleaned after holding off for a couple of years. The last time, she had a hard time recovering, stopped eating for a couple of days, had to get fluids for a day but then went back to her normal self. I remembered how worried I was and how painful it was to see her like that. So I put it off. And put it off. And put it off.
The past year she's had to deal with some cray things, getting bit by a poisonous bug (I think it was a brown recluse but can't be sure) causing necrotic skin and the vet having to cut the dead skin away. She had a drain in the suture and first time she had to have stitches other than when she was spayed as a baby. It was awful but we got through it. I promised myself I'd be more patient and not take time for granted.
But then life gets in the way. I started falling back into old patterns. Taking things that in the grand scheme of life, had zero importance in my life but allowing them to have an effect on me.
So then we decided to get her teeth cleaned. We were faced with a decision to allow her to continue to have bacteria forming in her mouth which could lead to a weakened immune system. Or take the risk of having her put under anesthesia and maybe having a hard recovery. We decided to take the chance.
I don't want to rehash it all, it's all pretty fresh in my mind so I'm just going to do a quick recap. We fed her 1/2 her food and 1/2 her insulin the morning of the dental cleaning. Her cleaning went well and I made sure to carry her up and down the stairs or up and down the bed (which my vet didn't warn me of the first time so I attributed her getting sick to that). That evening she ate 1/2 her food, 1/2 her insulin and the following day was back to the full amounts. I was feeling hopeful that it was the right decision. Around 2 am she started to have severe diarrhea. Brought her back to the vet the following day. They watched her, gave her some meds and thought that would fix it. It didn't. The next day I brought her back again. They put her on subcutaneous fluids and when I picked her up she had a fluid pocket under her skin that worried me (it eventually absorbed into her skin). They were able to coax her to eat.... stew cat food. But whatever, she was eating so I fed her that.
Over the weekend, we fed her some cat food and then boiled chicken once she was over it. I thought we were going in the right direction, at least she's eating. Mind you she's not getting her insulin because it was all out of wack without her eating. Saturday and Sunday morning she threw up after jumping off the couch first thing in the morning but was interested in eating after so I tried not to worry. Monday she doesn't want to eat at all. So I take her to the vet yet again and they finally diagnosed her with pancreatitis. The throwing up part definitely was a symptom of it. It could have been caused by the stress of it all, switching her from this food to that food... lord only knows. They give her more fluids, more Cerenia. But yet she's still not wanting to eat. She was getting so itty bitty. I was trying to keep it together but inside I was falling apart.
Tuesday she was shaking, not wanting to move. I knew it was something more. So back to the vet I go and they finally recommend that I go to the animal ER. Thankfully it was a few mins down the street. I knew it was going to be a huge bill but I'd sell my house and car to do whatever it takes (I'm being dramatic... but seriously. I would). She was in so much pain and discomfort she would even more out of her car seat. So I just carried her entire car seat into the ER. They did tests on her and on top of her GI tract being irritated by the anesthesia and the pancreatitis, she also was in DKA because of her glucose levels being so high for so long. They ended up hospitalizing her for 36 hours, hooked her up to fluids and took it from there. I visited her every day while she was there. I prayed. I postulated. I kept having faith that she would get better, she had to get better.
And now, a couple weeks later, she is better. She's eating full meals and is on a smaller dosage of insulin although she needs a glucose curve soon because all the issues made it unregulated again. She's pooing solid and is her wonderful, sassy self. I am so grateful. So thankful. I know it's not completely normal yet but we'll find a new normal. I'm taking this as a win.
Ok that was not a short synopsis of what happened but oh well. Hope this will teach me and inspire you to enjoy life, not worry about unimportant distractions and focus on what truly matters in life. I know all of this has nothing to do with the outfit I'm sharing but I'm working on taking a little me time to play with my creative side. Thank you for listening to me vent.
Hi y'all! It's been about a year since I did a dressing room update and I have a hankering to move things around in the next few months so might as well share how the dressing room looks right now.
Since my last update, we have added an Elfa / Ikea system to the other wall of the room. I mainly use this side for longer pieces (like my maxi dresses and dusters), blazers and jackets. I added a few drawers to hold my lady garments and athleisure wear. I bought this valet rod from the Container Store and use it to hang the following day's outfit, during the days I actually plan ahead which - let's be honest - are far and few between :) It gives the dressing room almost like a store feel, so I can trick myself into shopping my closet and not an actual store hehe.
Knowing what I wanted this wall for, we designed and purchased a custom Elfa plan during one of their sales. I actually purchased everything over a span of 3 visits, whenever they had their 30% off sale. Took a bit of patience but it was well worth it. To border the Elfa system, we bought the skinny versions of the Billy bookcases from Ikea. The Elfa system definitely cost more than the other sideof the room but I wanted some versatility in case I changed my mind. I can always add more drawers, add shelves, more hanging space, etc. with the Elfa system.
Mike DIY'ed this island from three Ikea bookshelves. When it's not piled high with clothes, I like using it to showcase my perfumes and jewelry. I plan on adding a glass or mirror counter-top soon.
I've been spending this holiday weekend decluttering and reorganizing my dressing room and office. It's crazy how much stuff can accumulate over the years! Does anyone else have a hard time parting ways with things? I just posted my Christian Louboutin Decollete pumps on Poshmark if anyone is interested in purchasing. They don't get any loving from me so I think it's time for them to go to a loving home :) Anyways, hope y'all enjoyed my little update, now going back to decluttering!
Hi y'all! I remember growing up, my mom would take my sister and I to networking events - usually at hotels or convention centers - and while she did her networking thang, we'd sit in the lobby hanging out. That was my idea of networking for the longest time. People getting together, talking about I don't even know what and being super bored. Not very mature but that's from a 10 year old's viewpoint. Soooo..... (might be wondering why she brought us with her, that's the life when you don't have other family in the area but I digress).
Over the past year, I have started networking at my job, internally and externally, and I've learned a few valuable lessons. Be involved with organizations that you are truly interested in then the networking part comes naturally. Go into networking with the goal to build relationships rather than seeing it as "who can I meet to bring in business". You never know, one person you meet might refer you to another person, that's the magic of networking!
This week I connected with the head of a local association. Not accounting or audit related but within an industry I focus in at work. Funny enough, I went to an event with some work peeps a couple of weeks ago, met a couple of people organically and exchanged business cards. One of those people connected me to this person and now we may have more opportunities to build relationships with others in my industry who eventually may need a public accounting firm for something. Anywho, I felt SUPER pumped about it. So if you're like me and have never really been into networking, give it a try! Do it with an association you have an interest in and you may just find you like it too :)
I have been obsessed with mom jeans lately and I love styling them for workwear. Casual Friday is upon us and this has been a go to outfit as of late. I bought these from ASOS while they were on sale. I've already gotten so much wear out of them. A total steal!! My top is actually a crop top which makes for a perfect tuck into something high-waisted. This blazer I bought on sale years ago and finally got the sleeves taken in. Now it's a fave piece in my closet. If you're able to get your hands on these wedges, be sure to size up a half if you have regular to wide feet. I love the studs and espadrille-esque sole.
Hi y'all! Busy season is over which means I have my life back!! Dramatic much.... but my fellow public accountants understand my pain. It is always hard to get back into a routine after busy season. For 4 1/2 months I'm 99% focused on work, eat take out for most meals and work most weekends. When work starts to slow down, I have this weird feeling of discontentment because I feel like I should be "doing" something. It is the weirdest thing and I'm working through it. I have to remind myself that work is not my entire life. I have to remind myself to find balance, to enjoy my hobbies, to eat healthy(ish) food, to enjoy the moment, to be present and to remember why I even do what I do in the first place. It's the strangest feeling but yo girl is getting past it. This weekend I got to reconnect with the hubby, have meaningful conversations and watch movies. We went to the new Mitsuwa in Dallas and hubby was so excited with all the sashimi he's about to eat. Gotta enjoy the small things in life :)
Now onto the outfit... this blouse is one of my favorites. You can wear it tucked into skirts or over ponte leggings with it's tulip hem (great for covering the CT). I fell in love with the wrap scallop details of my skirt but I find it very inconvenient. I felt like I was going to give everyone quite the show if I didn't keep checking the skirt flaps. These mules were one of my staple pieces in my fall/winter wardrobe. I love how versatile they are - wearing them with a skirt makes it an easy transition into spring. They come in butterscotch too - on my wish list!
Hello hello! Goodness this busy season has been SO hectic (hence the wrinkly shirt) but perfection is overrated so I'm still sharing! At least my public client has filed but I have a couple more clients to get wrapped up. If you've been following along my busy season journey on the YouTube, you probably saw how it went (kinda crappy) but there is always a lesson to be learned, a struggle to overcome and a situation to make you an even better person that you were. Thankful for the struggles because they reminded me of my strength. Anyways....
Before it actually turns to warm spring/summer weather, we get stuck with the cool transitional period. I look for pieces that I know I can use for several seasons. I love this flippy skirt and mules combo. To make it more weather approp (for everywhere OTHER than Texas), I threw on some tights for extra warmth.
Hi y’all! ASOS has been killing my bank account recently and it doesn’t help that if you spend $140, you get free 2 day shipping… just take my money!!! I love finding new pieces for my wardrobe that are somewhat unique (I have yet to bump into anyone IRL that has the same piece from ASOS) and at a great price point.
I have been loving capes the past few years and when I saw this blazer, I knew I had to have it. I have been gravitating towards longer lengths in my outerwear. Something about the longer lengths make me feel part princess, part superhero and part vampire. Weirdest combo ever I know but it’s so satisfying whipping my cape around.
I shared these mules in gray leopard but of course, since I love the style I had to get it in more than one color. Surprisingly, they are very comfortable and are super affordable.
This week my co-workers commented on how I seem to always be a "glass half full" kind of person. They say I have a positive attitude and outlook. I like to think that I do too. But this is a reminder to not be fooled by anyone's optimism and positivity. That might just be the way they get through whatever it is they're going through. Just because someone has a positive outlook doesn't mean they have a perfect life. I choose to look at the bright side of life. I choose to do this because otherwise I would dwell in the not great parts. Sure I have a small pity party (party of one - check please) but choose to redirect that energy into something positive & productive. This is a lesson I need to remember and by doing so, being more kind to people than I might initially feel like being.
Hi y'all! If you've been watching any of my vlogs, you know I have been rocking a luminous face for quite a while. I wanted to look like either a) I got enough sleep the night before or b) I'm glowing from within. I know there are so many awesome highlighting and luminous makeup tutorials out there. Mine is a bit more on the subtle side and makes it work appropriate (always my goal). Here's how I do my luminous face routine for work:
For foundation, I mixed a pump of MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC25 with MAC Face & Body Foundation in C3. I love the coverage of Studio Fix but it can be a bit too mattifying, especially during cold weather where my skin tends to be more dry. The Face & Body adds just enough moisture and dewiness. I recently have been trying a YSL foundation that gives the same effect and seems to be a better color match.
Concealer for my undereyes is such a deal breaker for me. I love this concealer. It conceals any darkness while really brightening your face. It can be a bit on the heavy side so I thin it out with a damp Beauty Blender. I set my concealer immediately after with this powder. I have it in shade #1 which is a translucent, white-ish shade with small flecks of glitter. It's not my fave. They used to have another shade that was more on the warm side but it was discontinued :(
I like to use bronzer to give more dimension to my face, especially on normal work days. MAC Give Me Sun Mineralized Skinfinish has been a new fave of mine. For blush I grab whatever I'm feeling that particular day. I have been loving how MAC Harmony has been looking on my skin. I used to use it as a contour but since I don't do it daily, I have really been liking the matte tan-ish flush it gives.
Then to take my glow to ANOTHA LEVEL, I dust on some MAC Soft & Gentle MSF. It is legit, hands down the BEST highlighter out there. Trust me. It gives a beautiful, luminous glow without any flecks of glitter. I cannot say enough good things about it. As you can tell, I'm a MAC addict & have been for my entire adult life. BUT if I had to recommend just one product... it would be this.
I get my brows put on then set the areas without powder product with Hourglass Dim Light Powder (one non-MAC product, OMG!!). I love the soft focus it gives and just smooths your entire face. My lip combo usually depends on how I'm feeling that day. I used MAC Soar Lip Liner with MAC Modesty Lipstick. Then to lock in the dewiness and remove any powder residue, I drown my face in MAC Fix+ and that's it!
Let me know if you try any of these products! And remember, the most beautiful glow comes from within. No amount of beauty products can replace your inner beauty so above all, focus on that.... these are just tips in case you want a little boost on the outside :)