Hello my friends and welcome to 2017! I am slowly getting back into the swing of things after my little holiday break. Re-entry is freaking HARD!!! I am actually currently writing this on a plane heading somewhere I can't share with you yet. (trust me, it's killing me too) But what a FUN and unexpected treat to start the new year.
So the real reason I am here today is to talk to you about my theme for this year. I am not huge on resolutions and I sometimes think that a word is a little limiting, so this year I have decided on a theme for my life and for the blog. Are you dying to know what it is? MAKE PRETTY CHOICES. So what exactly do I mean by that? It is so much deeper than just making aesthetically pleasing choices, although that is certainly a component. It means make pretty choices in your relationship or marriage, in your friendships, in your parenting and in how you treat yourself. All of these things are beautiful components that make up my life and I want to make sure that I am making decisions that honor their beauty by making pretty choices.
This is going to be a theme that we are going to explore here on the blog throughout the year, so be on the look out, but today I just wanted to give a little synopsis of how pretty choices play out in the different areas of my life. Some of these things I am really great about and some of them will require a little more effort or work on my part. I also want to start a hashtag that we can all use on IG to document the pretty choices we make. So be sure to hashtag your posts with #makeprettychoices and then I will feature them periodically here and on Instagram. So fun!!!
This has actually been such a hot topic with you guys and something you have really been curious about. It caught me off-guard a little because I don't necessarily think of Steve and I's relationship and love story as that unusual. However, in this day and age there is something unique about a relationship that began in 8th grade, has endured through all of the life stages and changes we have gone through and continues to thrive and grow today. But here's the thing, I don't want it to be unique. I want all of you guys to have that too, so I am going to be sharing some of my thoughts on keeping relationships strong and some of the things we do to honor each other, our marriage, and keep the spark alive. Whether it is small things like a pinch on the butt or holding hands in the car or big things like supporting each other in our careers and pursuit of our dreams, there are so many things that go in to a healthy marriage. I am not an expert, a therapist, or someone who thinks I have some magic formula or know it all. The truth is relationships and marriages are hard and require work, but making pretty choices in how we treat each other and how we treat our marriage helps keep things strong.
Ah, our sweet girlfriends, the tribe that keeps us sane. The ones we can call in the middle of the night. The ones that will pick up our kids from school because our hair appointment is running late. I think that as women, and mom's in particular, we get so caught up in the daily shuffling, meal-making, house-cleaning, etc that our friendships really struggle sometimes. I found this to be particularly true when my kids were younger. That time period is just so physically and emotionally demanding that honestly it felt like I didn't have anything left to give myself at the end of the day, let alone my girlfriends. But let me tell you ladies, MAKE TIME FOR THE GIRLS IN YOUR LIVES. Your squad has such a beautiful ability to pick you up and carry you when you don't think you can go another mile. They will be to the rescue with a glass of wine at the end of a hard day or a bottle of Sprite and saltines on the porch when the bug hits your house. Find your tribe and love them hard. Cultivate meaningful relationships with your friends and remember it is not the quantity of friends that matters but the quality of those relationships that really count. We have moved a bit due to Steve's career and I have been so blessed to find such wonderful, loving, creative, fun, funny, kindred souls in my friends here in Nashville. They have been such a blessing in my life and one of my goals for this year is to make time in my relationship with them a focus.
Remember how I said some of making pretty choices would be talking about making aesthetically pleasing choices? Well these next two categories focus on the pretty choices that we can see. I hope that this doesn't come across as shallow, but I really believe in surrounding ourselves with things that we love and make us happy. It doesn't mean you have to follow a certain style or have a home that looks like everyone elses. It just means that you make space in your home for pieces and things that you truly love. Some of the things that I do in this arena that are so simple are: I buy all white plates because I love to open a cabinet and see them all stacked up neatly. I keep a limited, neutral color palette because I like it to look calm and serene in my house (even when it is utter chaos). I buy the gold spatulas and measuring cups instead of the black plastic ones. I do these things not because there is anything wrong with black plastic, but because I am a firm believer in the notion that the everyday things that we use the most should be things that bring us joy....and you know what, gold spatulas and white plates bring me joy! I feel like if you are going to buy these things anyways, you might as well get ones you love. Am I right?
Style is about feeling good. Feeling confident. Walking with a little pep in your step. If a new shirt helps you achieve this, than go on girl.... buy that new shirt and a new earring too. You are what you DRESS. Clothing has such a significant effect of self esteem and confidence. It's so important to dress for the day. I know when I take the time to put a little effort into it, it changes my whole outlook on the day. I feel I even get more done. I'm happier. It's right up there with walking in heels and a good tan. Get out of those old sweatpants, trust me.
If you've been following me for a while, you'll know I won't be spending $80 on a white t-shirt. But I will spend $80 dollars at TJ Maxx on three shirts and new belt and a scarf. However, I am not afraid to splurge every now and then on a closet staple that I will wear over and over again, or on a piece that I truly love. I also believe in loving what you have and making it new again. Have you ever cleaned out your closet and found that shirt you used to wear ALL THE TIME. Bring that baby back to the front and put her on. Remember, trends are not for everyone. Just because People Magazine says we should, doesn't mean we can. Find your style and embrace it. And if all you don't exactly know what that is, stick to the basics. You can never go wrong with black and white + a good stripe + your favorite denim + blazer and a good scarf.
Girls, why are we so mean to ourselves? Whether that is the negative self-talk that sometimes runs through our heads; the constant comparison to someone else's seemingly perfect life; the body-shaming and internal critique of if we could only loose this weight or make that smaller or this bigger. I really think that we can be our own worst critics, when we should be our own biggest cheerleaders. I also think this pertains to our relationships too. Whether it be friends, family, spouses or partners we sometimes allow ourselves to get caught up in toxic relationships that in the end only cause of hurt and frustration. So let's all make it a point to be nicer to ourselves this year, give ourselves the grace we afford other people, and evaluate the relationships in our lives and who makes pretty choices in the way they treat us. Cultivate those relationships and let the rest fall to the wayside. Ya know what I mean.
If you have followed me for any time, you know that living a relatively healthy lifestyle is something I am really passionate about. I am definitely not in to self-deprivation, by any means, but I do really try to make conscious decisions about what I eat and how I treat my body. This year I am going to be sharing some of the things I do to physically take care of myself, whether that is my workouts, my diet and meal plans, or my skin and beauty routine. I figure I only have this one body and it is mine for life, so I better make the most out of it I can.
HOW TO START
So, let's make 2017 about MAKING PRETTY CHOICES. Let's focus on the positive, embrace those stretch marks. I mean, look at that sweet baby. Go the extra mile, do those last few sit ups and don't cut yourself short. Smile at a stranger, cause maybe that's just what they needed today. Invite your inlaws over for dinner or pick up the phone; without them you wouldn't have that hubby. Try a new recipe. Learn to cook. Make better choices when it comes to what you put in your body. Call that sitter or beg the neighborhood girl to watch your little ones. Because dating your husband is important, very. Knock on your besties door after work with a bottle of wine, and chat it up, the laundry can wait. Buy that new lamp at Homegoods, because you hate the one your mom gave you after college. DO ALL THE THINGS. Do them this year and start making pretty choices. And I'll be here along the way in case you need a little guidance.