Category Archives for "Lifestyle & Habits"

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. 

An important time to #justgetdressed

Well, what can I say? We certainly didn't think we'd be sitting here a month ago, did we?

Topics like spring shopping, fun outfit formulas, and cute sandals seem like a bad joke right now, don't they?

But ladies....now is NOT the time to wallow, throw in the towel and fall into bad habits.

Does it mean it's time to sit at home and shop online for a bunch of new stuff that will make us feel better? NO. It's not.

I'm suggesting it's time to pivot in our Spring Style System and use this time to motivate each other to #justgetdressed - even though we're isolated at home.

It's a time to take steps that will make us feel better, give us control over some areas of our out-of-control lives, and connect with one another.

So, what does this mean for the Style System membership?

First of all, love or hate Facebook - our private Group is going to be GOLD at this time. If you are a Facebook holdout, (I bow to you -- you have saved yourself years of wasted time;) I would encourage you to give this group a try. No pressure to do so, but I think you may enjoy it, especially at this time of social distancing. It's where all the group interaction and coaching go on since it's hard to do that via email.  And it's fun. And the women are amazing.  And it's free (included in your membership).  And it's private - no one outside the group sees anything. 

If you don't have a Facebook account (you are my hero) and need help creating one, just let me know. You can hit reply to this email.

Another feature of the Facebook group that will be of value is that members are identifying their body types and challenges and sharing the cuts and styles that work best for them. This will be a great way to learn and visualize outfits on real women with various shapes.

As far as the formulas go, I'm pivoting there and will be creating outfits that make sense for this unusual (understatement) spring we are ALL experiencing.

I will also be focusing on using what I already own, and I encourage you to do the same. I had purchased a bunch of things to use in the formulas, but have decided to return some of them and am only keeping items I know I will wear now, this summer, and into the fall. I will share my keepers with you over in the Facebook group.

If shopping makes you feel good, I say go for it, but be intentional and smart.  And maybe consider shopping at a local boutique. Many of them, like Wish Boutique,  are offering online options and shipping. Wish has a new Facebook Group, Wish Tribe,  where they are doing live videos of their awesome, affordable products. But remember, a list and a plan, right? Use the Style System list for direction.

As always though, I am here to serve you and your needs. So please post any requests in the private Corona Spring group. I am open to your ideas and my goal is to provide the content that will help you most.


I've included a lot of  information about body types. Remember, these are general guidelines and not hard and fast rules. Use them to help guide you, and when in doubt, sound off in the private Facebook group. Every shape and size are represented and this group is so happy to share and help one another.

Outfit formulas will start next week, but that doesn't mean you can't start making your own now. Feel free to get creative, use what you have, and share with the group so we can inspire each other.  And there will be no judging for living in cozy clothes these days. But let's make an effort to still look and feel great. Little things like lipstick and a necklace can do a world of good to our psyches.

We have many people in the group who have brought friends in and I am so appreciative of your support. Please feel free to share this sign up link with friends. It's not too late to join and benefit from this special program. 

I hope to see you in the Corona Spring Group so we can support and inspire one another during this unprecedented time....and of course, #justgetdressed.

xo, Beth

Our Finest Hour

If only reality looked like this. 👆🤪


To say this has been a surreal time, is a gross understatement.  I find myself waking up each morning  thinking -  is this really happening? 

The two college sons are home indefinitely, spring break trips cancelled, and my high school junior son is out of school for at least three weeks. I know most of you are in a similar or worse boat. There are so many stories, and none of them very happy. 

It's amazing to think how much has changed in just the past days, and I'm trying not to get too anxious worrying about what the next days and weeks may hold. 

As some of you know, my husband Bill had a kidney transplant (10 years ago on April 12th). Fortunately, he is very healthy (thanks to his amazing donor Eddie) but we do worry, as he has a suppressed immune system.  Mary is 95 and fairly healthy, and we are obviously concerned for her too. But we feel so very fortunate that she is able to be at home with us. 

We're practicing Social Distancing as much as possible, washing our hands like maniacs, and trying to enjoy simple things like walks outside with the nutty dogs  (they've never had it so good).

The boys are pretty much living in the basement to keep some distance from Bill and Mary. Maybe I'll call it  Alpha Corona Roy....I don't go down there much, but I'm sure glad we have it - as are they.  Seriously, they are really lucky to have each other...I feel really sorry for only children or those with sibs not living at home.  

All 5 of us are "working from home" (boys with on-line classes).  It will be a test of everyone's patience ---and we'll see how it  goes...one day at a time. 

After a rough start with some really unhappy young adults, we're getting into a groove.  I'm working on developing some new muscles -- namely patience, flexibility, and battle-picking. It's definitely a work out. 💪🏼🤪  

As scary, inconvenient, and difficult this time is gong to be for all of us, I also think it can be our finest hour. 

This is an excerpt from an article on Grown and Flown. It's a powerful message for all of us, but especially for the teenagers and young adults -  who may not be as physically effected by the virus, but can have a huge impact - positive or negative - on how it unfolds:

"Imagine if we could make our response to this crisis our finest hour. 

Imagine if a year or two from now we looked back on this and told the stories of how we came together as a team in our community, in our state, in our nation and across the world....

Your contribution to the finest hour may seem small, invisible, inconsequential—but every small act of ‘not doing’ what you were going to do, and ‘doing’ an act of kindness or support will add up exponentially. These acts can and will save lives....

It can only be our finest hour if we work together. You are all on the team. And we need all of you to shine in whatever way you can.

Gretchen Schmelzer

Grown &   Flown


On a lighter  note...I think that we all have a decision to make right now about how we're going to handle the day-to-day in the next weeks. 

For those of us who are not on the front lines, who will be at confined at home, it may be easy to justify over-eating, over-drinking, not exercising, watching too much news and Netflix, and choosing NOT to #justgetdressed.  

I'm being flexible and trying to enjoy the down-time (??), but also trying to  wake up by 6:30 (ish) and keep to my morning routine. I'm trying  to exercise daily and  spending time outside every day too.  And I'm biting my tongue.  A lot.

But hey,  I'm even cooking dinner. Every night.  Imagine that??

And you know what else? I'm working to #justgetdressed each day ---and occasionally I'm even wearing pants with a button;) 

I propose we all commit to using the #justgetdressed metaphor and mantra to help get through this time.

It's NOT about vanity, or spending time on frivolous matters. It's about taking care of ourselves and controlling what we can in fact control. 

Head over to my free, private Facebook group: B.Styled justgetdressed VIP's, where we'll support and help one another, and provide a diversion, and even some entertainment while we're cooped up. 

And if you want to take things a step further,  work on getting your closet cleansed, purged and organized, and get direction on putting together outfits to feel good in today AND when life gets back to normal, I invite you to join my Spring membership. 

We are  learning how to dress our unique body shapes, how to use accessories to improve any basic outfit, and what shoes to wear that are good-looking and comfortable. 

If interested, click here to learn more.

Thank you for your friendship and support of my business—I am truly grateful.

Be well.

xo, Beth

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 coming at a later date - I promise.

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.

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.  

All this to say, 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 Systems 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 Conona version of my Style System membership and get it for just $39.

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.