Category Archives for "Lifestyle & Habits"

3 Dumb Things I’ve Done to Be “Stylish”

Ladies… you know I’m all about using style (and #justgetdressed) to enhance your life – so I want to share 3 things I did in the past (and still have to keep in check) that completely wasted my time (and money).

My hope is to help us be aware of this cycle and these habits so we can still have fun with style and fashion, but keep our wits about us at the same time.😜

So here’s what I used to do..can you relate?

1) Back when my kids were younger, I used to kill time waiting to pick them up from practices, etc. by walking the aisles of TJ Maxx, Target, etc., picking up $19.99 tops and other “stuff” that caught my eye.

I thought I was getting “great deals” and adding fun items to my wardrobe.

In reality, I was just spending money (that adds up quickly) on things I didn’t need and didn’t love.

2) I’d commit to purging my closet, but always ended up keeping things “just in case” or because the item was “totally fine”.

I told myself I spent good money on that item, and the thought of purging it made me feel guilty and wasteful.

3) I’d keeping accumulating and storing items until my closet was bursting at the seams – and I’d still put on the same few items day in and out.

It was routine – a habit really – that I wasn’t truly aware of until I started helping other women with their wardrobes. I was accumulating more and more, without a strategy or plan – or a real love for what was coming into my closet.

Is this a cycle you can relate to? Do you have any habits surrounding style or shopping that you want to break?

Share in the comments!

8 Simple Steps to a Better Day: My Morning Routine

The concept of a Morning Routine has been around for years. I remember desperately trying to hammer a morning routine into my sons as they were growing up. Sadly,  the only one that truly stuck was brushing their teeth, but hopefully as they get older and mature, they’ll catch on to some of the others.  Make your bed? Put away your #$% stuff ??  One can dream....

But today I’m talking to mature, respectable, grown-up women (i.e. you;) so I’m thinking you can relate and are more interested in the topic than my sons were/are.  🙃

I’m a firm believer in the power of routine and positive habits, and during the Covid-19 lockdown I’ve made even more of an effort to create and stick to a morning routine.  I thought I’d  share mine with you today because I realized how truly helpful it is for me. 

The way I found out how important my routine is to me was by skipping it. 

 For a couple days last week, I went off the rails of my previously solid morning routine, and man did  it take a toll on my mood and productivity.  There is a clear and direct correlation between doing my morning routine and having a better day. No doubt about it.

Don’t worry….I’m not  going to tell you that you have to get up at 5am.  In fact, I’m not going to tell you have to do anything in order to have an effective Morning Routine. The key is to develop one that works with your life, your sleep patterns and your personality. This is what works for me..take it for what it’s worth and design your own. 

My 8 Step Morning Routine to a Better Day

Let me start by crediting Hal Elrod’s book The Miracle Morning for inspiring me to develop a morning routine in the first place. And thank you friend and B.Styler Carol Perlman for her recommendation of the book. It changed her life, and it's changed mine as well. That said, I don’t do the exact steps Hal lays out, but the point is, I developed my own Miracle Morning Routine that works for me.  Here it goes:

1. Get up One Hour Earlier than Usual

😉And by "get up" I mean actually wake up and get out of bed and vertical;) 

Notice I didn't say get up at 5am. But, if you normally get up at 7, try getting up at 6. And if you’re like my son and normally get up at 11am, get up at 10am instead;)  The reason for this is simple. You want time by yourself before the other humans in your world get up and start to annoy or interrupt you. Seriously though, even if you live alone,  this uninterrupted time will become sacred and beloved - trust me. 

And even if you love your sleep, I’m willing to bet you a cup of coffee that you’ll start loving this time even more than that extra hour of sleep (most of the time at least).  It may take some time, and you may have to go to bed a little earlier, but it’s so worth it. 

Here’s an aside for the night owls out there who are saying, no way jose' to early mornings. I guess you could do these things late at night if that works better for you. The point is to have dedicated, uninterrupted, private time whenever you can get it and make a daily routine. That said, I still think the way you start your day determines your day, so keep that in mind. #tryityou'lllikeit 😉

2. Drink 16 Ounces of Water, Right Away (before coffee!)

I fill my 16 ounce bottle before bed and put it on my bedside table. When I wake up, I have a game with myself where I can’t drink any coffee until I’ve downed the whole bottle. I take my vitamins and meds while I make my coffee and chug chug chug the water. It’s so important to rehydrate after a night’s sleep. I drink 3-4 more bottles during the day. 

3. Head to My Morning Routine Hideaway

Next, coffee in hand, I head to the little loveseat in my office/living room. For me it was helpful to dedicate a particular room for this next part. It’s a spot in the house that I’ve associated with my morning routine and it’s quiet, cozy and free from distractions. I recommend designating a particular place in your  house - it doesn’t have to be a private room...just a spot for you to be alone and comfortable and (hopefully) undisturbed. Be creative and make it pretty! 

I start with my daily devotional, reading the designated page from this book. There's a page for each day of the year. It takes about a minute or two to read each day and I find it so powerful. I’m a Catholic, and if you are Christian and interested in having a daily devotional routine I highly recommend this book (it was a gift from a dear friend - thank you SB!) The key is to do what works for you, so take it or leave it or adapt it to fit your own beliefs and interests. 

4.  5 Minute Meditation/Prayer

Next I meditate and/or pray for about 5 minutes. For beginner meditators, I love the 10 Percent Happier app by Dan Harris of ABC News (who was a very relunctant meditator like me). I also recently started to use the free Insight Timer App as it has prayer-based, guided meditations as well as every other meditation type you can imagine. I’m still a novice ...I can’t say I’m a huge fan yet, but I’m determined to use it to become more mindful, less anxious and more focused...all benefits of meditation.

5. Write Something! 

Next I take 5 minutes to write in a free-style journal. I’ve tried many types of journals but for me a book of blank, unlined pages works best and I literally just scribble thoughts, stories from the prior day and things I’m grateful for. It’s very much  “stream of consciousness” writing...no prompts or structure. This works for me but if you want more direction, the 6 Minute Diary looks really good. I actually plan to leave my journals behind for my kids to read someday, so that is always in the back of my mind as I’m writing. Maybe I should have a separate book for my deep, dark secrets. I’ll have to consider that;) 

6. Read Something!

So at this point I’m about 15-20 minutes into my morning - tops. Next,  I spend time reading. Usually about 10 minutes but sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the day. During this time I read a non-fiction book on personal development or something related to business and entrepreneurship. Some of my favorites that I’ve read (or re-read) recently include: 

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

The Happiness Equation

The One Thing

Atomic Habits

Next up is Stories that Stick

Have you noticed that so far I haven’t mentioned things like “check email”, “read texts” “scroll through social media”? That’s because my goal here is to AVOID doing any of those things during this Morning Routine. I know that the minute I “check my phone”, the wheels can easily go off the proverbial bus and I head straight into the time-wasting vortex.  Am I perfect about this? No. But I am aware of the temptation and make a conscious decision to avoid it.

7. Move!

Next, I exercise for at least 30 minutes. Ever since  the world came crashing down in March I started doing on-line workouts almost every day. I miss my gym friends SO much but I have to say the time and money I save has been significant. I never thought I was motivated enough to work out at home, alone - but given no other option,  it’s just part of my routine. In particular I’ve gotten hooked on at-home yoga and am slowly getting better at it. I have a long way to go, but the beauty of doing it at home is that I can’t compare OR embarrass myself with others. In addition to yoga (which I aim to do everyday), I try to mix in some HIIT workouts, and I also love barre classes and go on walks/jogs a few times per week. YouTube is filled classes; it’s a matter of finding the ones that you like. It’s such a personal thing. Here are a few that I've been doing: 

Yoga with Adriene

Action Jacqueline (Yoga, Barre, HIIT)

30 Minute Strength Training Bootcamp (HIIT, weights - note the modifications!)

Speaking of exercise --- Here’s another little routine I started during quarantine...I read about habit stacking in the Atomic Habits book...and challenged myself to do 5 pushups every time I go to the bathroom. STRANGE, I know. But since I’m home all day, it’s an easy way to work them in and get stronger arms in the process. You could do standing countertop push-ups to start, and work up to real ones. You could also habit stack with something else (instead of the bathroom which may seem weird to you).  Maybe everytime you fill your water bottle or enter your kitchen, or open the fridge, etc. you do 5 pushups. Or maybe alternate squats with push-ups for variety. Just think of creative ways to sneak those powerhouse moves into your day. Can’t do push-ups yet? Here’s a great guide for how to start and work your way up. 

8. Last but not least...You guessed it -  #justgetdressed

I’d love to be able to tell you that I’m dressed to the shoes by 9am everyday, but that would be a big fat lie, especially these days. This new never-leave-the-house routine has definitely impacted my fashion choices;) 

That said, I so passionately believe in the power of clothes (and especially accessories) that I do consciously #justgetdressed (almost) every single day. And I find the earlier I get around to it, the better my day is.  

I’m not making this stuff up ladies...it matters, it's impactful and it does NOT have to be hard. 

Actually I think it  can and should be  one of the most enjoyable things you do each day. That, my dear friends, is the missoin of B.Styled: 

 To help women like you leverage the power of personal style to create a better life.

So there you have it,  my morning routine. Do I miss days occasionally? Yes. Weekends can be especially hard. But my goal is progress not perfection. And I find the more I do it consistently, the more it just happens on autopilot.  And that’s the goal of routines and habits, right? 

I’m guessing many of you already have morning routines firmly in place. I love talking about this stuff, so I’ll be starting a thread over in the private #justgetdressed facebook group where we can talk about it. See you over there! 

Until then, drink your water, move your body and #justgetdressed. 

2

Weight and Wardobe

What do you think the #1 roadblock is that keeps most women from having a wardrobe they love?

Is it Money?  Time?  Desire?

No, no and no.  

When I ask women  the  #1  why they  don't have the a wardrobe they love, most answer something along the lines of their weight or body image. 

It's the (mistaken) belief that you can’t have the wardrobe you want until you have the body you want.  

Disclaimer…..This post is not about weight loss or how to dress different body types.  I’m not a weight loss expert, and the body-type dressing lesson is part of the Style System Planner program. 

Instead, this is about building a wardrobe you love regardless of the number on the scale or the size of your pants.  

It’s about valuing yourself enough to care for yourself. Today.  As is. 

That’s what I mean when I say #justgetdressed.  

It means dressing the body you have right now, in clothes that make you feel great right now, without waiting until you’re happy with the number on the scale.  

It means buying great jeans, even if they’re a size bigger than you’d like them to be. 

And, by the way,  it also means some days leaving the house in sweats and no makeup because you know you don’t need to #justgetdressed in order to feel good about yourself. 

But Instead, you #justgetdressed (most days;) because you enjoy it, it makes feel more confident, and it’s become a habit.  

One of the main "why's"  behind B.Styled is my desire to give women the freedom and joy that comes when they #justgetdressed today,  not putting it off until they’re the “right” shape or size. 

I’ve never met a woman, either through my business, or in my life, who doesn’t have body image “issues”. Never.

The closest I’ve come is Mary, my 95-year-old mother.  I’ve never heard her beat herself up about her body, or even really put it down. The only exception is that my dad used to lovingly tease her about having “thick ankles”. This makes him sound like a jerk, but trust me he wasn’t. He adored Mary and I think it was just an inside joke they had because in his eyes she was perfect.  

She also had (and still has) an irrational obsession with her ears...She thinks they stick out. Whatever. I don’t see it...but she does, and always will.

Now, I know, both Mary and I are blessed with genetics or metabolisms that keeps us pretty thin. And some would say I have no credibility on this topic because I don’t have weight struggles.  Believe me, both Mary and I count our blessings for this. We also work at it and take steps to maintain our weight and stay on track. Some days are harder than others too. 

But the fact is, unlike Mary, I do have body image issues. I grew up with a body that looked more like a boy's (with the lovely nickname of "Bones")  and I was so envious of the more developed girls.  Then in college, I gained weight and was heavy for the first time in my life. I felt awful in my own skin for many years.  I spent some time digging out old pictures - which brought up some VERY fun memories --but I also vividly remember how yucky and self-conscious I felt.

Here's just one doozy I found.

Can we ignore the dress for a moment (it was a loaner) and focus on the awful tan, ridiculous make-up, not to mention the hair?

And does this prove that girls have been sticking out their tongues to the camera since the beginning of time?

I'm sure I was having a great time though based on the friends whose faces I cropped out. You're welcome, girls. 😉

I did end up losing the weight in my early 20’s and swore I’d never go back.  Since then (aside from pregnancies) I’ve stayed within a few pounds of the same weight.  I learned that it's easier to take the steps to maintain an ideal weight than it is to lose weight, so I try really hard to stay within a pound or two of my ideal.  That's gotten harder thanks to menopause, but I still get on the scale a few times each week and cut back or change things up if it starts to creep. But I know for many, many women it's not this "easy" and again, I'm not here to give weight loss or health advice. 

What I am here to say is , we're all sisters here, and though our struggles are different, I say let’s just support each other, and not judge or discount one another's experiences.  

Ok, now, back to the connection between weight, wardrobe and style...

Through my business I speak to women all the time about this topic and few themes come up over and over.

The first thing I hear frequently is “I don’t want to invest in clothes at this weight”.

The question then becomes, how long is too long to put off investing in yourself?  A year? 5 years? When the kids grow up? When the kids get married? You get my point. 

Focusing on what “could be” next month or next season, keeps you from enjoying clothes and prevents you from appreciating and enhancing how you look and feel right now. 

Another point about not “investing” in clothes you love until you’re a size you love, is that most of us here aren’t shopping at Barney’s, buying thousand dollar pieces meant to last for "a lifetime". 

Even if you had your dream body, the clothes you’d buy today at Loft, Banana Republic or even Nordstrom, are going to need to be updated at some point. 

Face it, these clothes aren’t going to truly last forever, so no need to wait until you’re a size you’ll be happy with forever

The second thing about weight and wardrobe I hear all the time is, “I have SO many clothes – I just need to lose x pounds to get back into them”.  

And I get this...it’s painful to think about getting rid of perfectly good clothing that may fit someday. 

So, what should you do?  Should you buy clothes now, or just wait until you can wear the things you already own?? 

That’s a tough question, but let’s review what a WARDROBE really is.  

Your wardrobe is NOT all the clothes you own.

Your wardrobe is all the clothes you can wear - right now. 

So, what about all those clothes you love but can’t wear right now?

First of all, staring at those clothes every morning is not an effective #justgetdressed strategy, and will not help you feel good about yourself.  And, I dare say it will also NOT motivate you.

Instead,  try this:  box up everything you still love, is still in style, but that you can’t comfortably wear today. What’s left in your closet is your wardrobe.  

Will this wardrobe enable you to #justgetdressed every day and make you feel confident? 

If the answer is no, then you really don’t have “SO many clothes”.   

Right?

Go buy things that you can wear right now, and that make you feel good right now, and will make it easy to get dressed - right now. 

PSA: My Seasonal Style System will help you do just that, with a step-by-step list and plan, and NO willy-nilly shopping. Click HERE to learn more about the Style System Planner and get it for just $47.

When and if you get back into those beautiful things you boxed up, great. But in the meantime, they won’t be taunting you or taking up valuable real estate in your closet.  

Here’s another consideration. You know that when we feel good and  like the way we look, we are more likely to treat ourselves better as well, right?

Have you ever noticed that when you #justgetdressed, and put a tiny bit of extra effort in...maybe real shoes instead of slippers? Maybe pants with a button instead of elastic? How about a little make-up too? There’s no doubt we feel more confident and carry ourselves differently than when we’re schlumping around feeling like a hot mess.   

Which version of you is more likely to eat healthful, nourishing food? Which one of you is more likely to dig into “comfort food” and a gallon of mint chocolate chip? 

Photo: Steemit

Now, this is NOT to say that the answer to weight struggles is a better wardrobe (wouldn’t that make me rich?)   But I do know that looking and feeling frumpy is never the answer either.

Today is the day to start valuing and appreciating and dressing the body you have.  

Today is the day to give yourself a break and show yourself some self-love (personally not a fan of that trendy term, but it is true;)

And, today is the day to make your closet a boutique customized to YOU and your life, your body and your style. 

I’m here to help!

Ok ladies...Philosophical Beth is done.  

For more, see the LIVE video below where we discuss the topic. 

Now go  #justgetdressed.